WEST IS WEST is the long-anticipated sequel to the internationally acclaimed and very successful film East Is East. A Gala at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, this uplifting film will open in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Halifax theatres on March 25th.

Director Andy De Emmony captures the spirit of young and old and the convergence of east and west in this film about a fascinating family. Reuniting most of the original cast, including the inimitable OM PURI who reprises his role as the dominating patriarch Zahir “George” Khan, and produced by the same creative team – the sequel takes the Khan family on a journey from Salford, north of England to rural Pakistan. From the same writer, Ayub Khan-Din, a British-Pakistani actor and playwright, the loosely autobiographical story begins four years after the first film.

Manchester, North of England, 1976. The now much diminished, but still claustrophobically cohesive and desperately dysfunctional Khan family continues to struggle for survival. Cocky 15-year-old Sajid, the youngest Khan (Aqib Khan in a breakout performance), is deep in pubescent crisis and under heavy assault both from his father’s tyrannical insistence on Pakistani traditions, and from the fierce racist bullies in the schoolyard. Isolated and bored, he resorts to skipping school and shoplifting useless items to spice up his dull and lonely little life.

In a last attempt to make a good Muslim and a good son of him, his father decides to pack him off to Mrs. Khan No 1 (Ila Arun) and family in the Punjab, the wife and daughters he had abandoned 30 years earlier. Resolved to teach Sajid a lesson, the tables are turned on George when he comes face to face with his own transgressions, and realizes that it is he himself who has much to learn.

It is not long before Ella Khan (Mrs. Khan No 2 – played by Linda Bassett), with a small entourage from Salford, England, swiftly follows to sort out the mess, past and present.

Newcomer Aqib Khan is 15 years old and is from Bradford, England. WEST IS WEST is his first professional acting job.

Om Puri is one of India’s most distinguished actors and a veteran of well over 100 films. He has been seen by international audiences in East Is East; Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi; My Son The Fanatic; Peter Cattaneo’s The Parole Officer; City Of Joy (opposite Patrick Swayze); WOLF (alongside Jack Nicholson), The Ghost And The Darkness (opposite Val Kilmer) and as General Zia-Ul-Haq in Charlie Wilson’s War (starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts).

Born in the Punjab in Northern India, Om Puri has worked in a wide range of roles with most of the India’s great directors, including Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal and Mrinal Sen. Puri graduated from India’s National School of Drama in New Delhi before studying film acting for two years at the Film and Television Institute in India. He then moved to Bombay, where he formed his own theatre group. In 2000 Om Puri was nominated for a BAFTA Award (Best Actor) and London Film Critics (Best Actor) for EAST IS EAST. He has received many other awards, including the Padamshree in 1989 – one of India’s highest civilian awards, a national honour given by the president of India for outstanding contribution to Cinema. In 2004 Om Puri received the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) – for his contribution to British cinema.

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