The 5th edition of the London Independent Film Festival (LIFF) will open on April 15 with Jan Dunn’s comedy drama The Calling.

Produced by Elaine Wickham, the film premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival this year. It stars Emily Beecham as a student who leaves university to become a nun. The cast also includes Brenda Blethyn, Susannah York, Rita Tushingham, Susannah Harker and Amanda Donohoe.

Dunn won the Best British feature award at LIFF 2008 for Ruby Blue, which starred Bob Hoskins, and used the $82,000 (£50,000) prize money to fund The Calling.

The festival, which is the brainchild of film producer Erich Schultz, showcases the best of British low budget film- making across features, documentaries and shorts. It will run across various London cinemas until April 27.

“The festival really can show how we film-makers can get a film off the ground with little more than sheer willpower.  We make films because we have something to say but often we can’t compete with the sheer weight of a commercial feature to get our films onto a British cinema screen…so well done LIFF in giving filmmakers like us a starting point,” said Dunn.