Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan will open the London Asian Film Festival 2012 along with British comedian and writer Meera Sayal. The nine-day festival, hosted by Tongues on Fire, will be held in multiple venues in London from March 16 to 24.

Abhishek Bachchan will be travelling to London to open the festival 16 March. We are so excited! Abhishek and Meera Syal will be opening the festival by doing the ceremonial lamp lighting with us at British Film Institute (BFI), a statement on the festival's Web site reads.

Abhishek is scheduled to attend the opening press conference and is expected to share his thoughts on the importance of this annual festival. He would attend the introduction of the opening film of the festival, Michael, starring Naseeruddin Shah, at the BFI in Southbank.

The 14th London Asian Film Festival has a global flavor celebrating diversity with films, special events and our annual short film competition. It is an exciting time for London and we hope the stories we have selected will move, excite and inspire you, says festival director Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry.

A highlight of the festival is Pakistani film section which would screen the controversial film Bol March 18.

Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali will deliver the Nargis Dutt lecture at the University of Westminster (Regent Street campus) March 22. His critically acclaimed films Black and Guzaarish will also be screened.

In addition, Meherjaan from Bangladesh, starring Jaya Bachchan will be screened in the festival.