The international premiere of British comedy Anita & Me opened this years Regus London Film Festival at a star studded gala event in Londons Leicester Square.
The cast includes newcomers Anna Brewster (Anita) and Chandeep Uppal (Meena), Meena Syal, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Kathy Burke, Max Beesley, Mark Williams, Lynne Redgrave and Ayesha Dharkar
Anita and Me is directed by Metin Huseyin and produced by Paul Raphael. It is written and co-produced by Meera Syal, adapted from her bestselling novel.
Like every twelve year-old girl, Meena can't wait to grow up and break free from her parents. But as the daughter of the only Punjabi family in the mining village of Tollington, her fight for independence is different from most.
Meena wants to be a writer, and it is through her diary that we are introduced to her world - colourful, large and exciting, with a cast of eccentric characters including Mrs Ormerod, the village shopkeeper, Uncle Alan, the hippy vicar, Hairy Neddy, singer with the local rock group; Deirdre, Anitas sluttish Mum; wise and mischievous old Nanima and Auntie Shaila, her overbearing Indian auntie.
Her idyllic adolescence, surrounded by eccentric relatives and friends, is, however, disrupted by the arrival of Anita Rutter and her dysfunctional family. At 14 - blonde, aloof, beautiful, outrageous and sassy -Anita is everything Meena thinks she wants to be, and as Meena manages to weedle her way into Anitas life, she is introduced to the world of boys and cosmetics and teenage rebellion.
Anita and Me is a unique vision of British childhood in the early Seventies, a childhood caught between two cultures, each on the brink of enormous change.
Anita and Me opens the Birmingham International Film Festival on the 14 November 2002 followed by a Gala evening in Nottingham on the 19 November 2002.
Release date: 22 Nov
Running time: 93 mins