Filmmaker Arshad Khan shares his intensely personal journey of being a gay man, an unwelcome immigrant and a Pakistani at this year’s BFI London Film Festival.

'ABU' is the emotional journey to the centre of a fragmented family while they grapple with religion, sexuality, colonialism and migration. 

The documentary is brought to life with home video footage, animation and clips of classic Bollywood movies. 

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The film came about as a result of Khan making a video for his father’s memorial, when he realized exactly how much footage they as a family had created over the years. 

He said, “We carried cameras with us everywhere. My father loved photography and he wanted to create memories for all of us. 

"I saw the footage as an opportunity to share my ‘real’ story, but it was a huge decision to really come out and tell people things I had never shared before. 

"It has been a truly cathartic process and although it breaks all the rules of not sharing emotions and issues outside of the family, I hope that my father would be proud.”

Five years in the making, Khan was clearly on the right path, as award-winning Canadian filmmaker, Deepa Mehta, offered her support and experience as narration director after seeing a first cut of the film. 

Arshad added, “Deepa invited me to come in with her and re-record the narration, and it made a big difference. Narration is the backbone of this film. It’s so narration-driven, I had to record the narration at least 30 times!”

ABU will be screened on Friday 13 October 2017 at Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1 and on Saturday 14 October 2017 15:30 at BFI Southbank, NFT2. 

Both screenings will be followed by a director’s Q&A session with Arshad Khan. 

Tickets are available through the BFI London Film Festival website at