Sir Ian McKellen is to take the world of Shakespeare to India.
The actor, who grew up in Wigan, will travel to Mubai to speak with Bollywood actor Aamir Khan on May 23 to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare. It will also mark the debut outing of MAMI Film Club.
The following day, film buffs will be able to watch Sir McKellen hosting the screening of Richard III (1995) the film he co-adapted for the big screen and starred in.
Shakespeare Lives was launched by the British Council and GREAT Britain Campaign on April 23 in 110 countries. Sir Ian is the ambassador for the film part of the programme, which has been specially curated by the British Film Institute and is considered one of their biggest.
Sharon Memis, director West India, British Council, said: “Sir Ian McKellen is one of the greatest and most intelligent Shakespearan actors in the world. Plus, he is someone who really believes in the importance of Shakespeare.”
Sir Ian will also be inaugurating the seventh KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival on May 25.
He said: “For too many years, gay characters appeared in films only as comic relief, as often as not meeting a sticky end, as if that’s all they deserved. Increasingly, in India too, the film industry has matured, treating gay people with the same seriousness as straight characters. I look forward at Kashish to discovering more about Bollywood’s film-makers who reject fantasy for the truth about gay people.”