Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

For the fourth year, FEST - New Directors | New Films Festival is hosting FEST - Pitching Forum.
Project submissions are now open! REGISTER HERE!

FEST Pitching Forum is a platform for upcoming filmmakers to present their projects to top industry producers, financiers, fund managers and investors who are looking to finance, produce or develop new projects.

Here you  have the unique opportunity to pitch your project to top industry producers and financiers, who are looking to invest, produce or finance new projects.

In a 5 minute pitch, you will be asked to unwrap your project, in whatever way seems more appropriate.
The feedback from some of the most experienced people in the film industry is invaluable.
This will be given to you immediately after your pitch, and privately at the end of the session. This will be constructive feedback that will help you to significantly improve your project, and will stay with you for the coming years.
Inside FEST Pitching forum there will be a section for training, the forum itself, and the Industry Meetings.
More information here.

There will be 4 independent and thematic pitching sessions covering the following types of projects:
- Feature Film;
- Short Film;
- Documentary;
- TV Series.
There are limited places, therefore there will be a pre-selection. Only 7 projects projects will be selected for each session – Feature Film; Short Film; Documentary and TV Series – in a total of 28 projects.
The event quicks-off with a 3-day training-program. During training, the 28 selected Scriptwriters, Writer-directors and producers will participate in a managed by 4 Experts.
On the following days, participants will pitch their film projects in front of a panel of 44 Experts divided into 4 sessions: Feature Film; Short Film; Documentary and TV Series.
At the end of each pitch, there will be 10 minutes for feedback and discussion from the experts. At the end ofFEST - Pitching Forum, each participant will partake in an exclusive meeting with all the experts, for more private feedback and counseling about their project. 

Each of the 4 sessions will have immediate awards at FEST Pitching Forum. The most valued projects will have the opportunity to be tutored and helped develop by one of the experts, who will surely help the project get to a new level, otherwise hard to achieve.
The list of awards is the following:
-- 1st Place – 3 months tutoring, and project development by Camille McCurry (United Agents).-- 2nd Place – A weekend training for a FEST FILM LAB Workshop of their choosing.
There is far much more to be gained apart from the immediate awards at FEST – Pitching Forum.
Firstly, each of the board of experts can select projects that they would like to develop/tutor/finance/produce.
If your project doesn’t win any of the immediate awards, or isn’t selected individually by any of the experts present to be developed/tutored/financed/produced, there is still something extremely valuable you will take home: The feedback from some of the most experienced people in the film industry.
This will be given to you immediately after your pitch, and privately at the end of the session. This will be constructive feedback that will help you to significantly improve your project, and will stay with you for the coming years.
Regular Submissions will be open from March 6th to May 12th 2015.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Los Angeles  - The five day high-octane event of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA), now in its thirteenth edition, concluded recently The final screening was boosted by the festival’s eagerly anticipated awards, and on to its joyous closing night festivities. 

The awards honoured many a first foray by India’s fresh-faced hopefuls making their bow as helmers, thespians and technicians. 

The first award to be announced was for Best Actress. It went jointly to petite, prodigiously talented newcomer Shweta Tripathi and playwright- actress Kalki Koechlin. 

Shweta won the award for her role in Haraamkhor, which held its world premiere at IFFLA.

Best Actress award winner, Shweta Tripathi, 
for her role in Haraamkhor
Speaking from the podium, Shweta disarmed the full-to-the-brim rapturous audience as she said, “What am I to say? This is my first feature film. IFFLA is my first film festival. Now, I am holding my very first award!”. Haraamkhor is the debut work of the mild, soft-spoken director Shlok Sharma and produced by the indomitable Guneet Monga (who was present). This dark film is on an irreversible collision course caused by a small town school-boy setting out to win the affection of his pretty classmate, quite unaware of her promiscuous crush on their bumbling teacher (masterfully enacted by Nawazuddin Siddiqui). 

Kalki won the award for her highly praised performance as the incorrigibly gutsy, spastic-stricken girl in Shonali Bose’s Margarita with a Straw. The film unfurled on the last day at a surprise secret screening, held low-key because it was being premiered later at another leading local festival. 

Bikas Ranjan Mishra, winner of Best Film Award 
for his debut work, Chauranga
The Best Film Jury Award went to another first film, Chauranga (Four Colours), directed by Bikas Ranjan Mishra (the man behind the extremely popular website portal “Dear Cinema”). This film had its international premiere at IFFLA. It follows a 14-year-old Dalit boy whose love letter to a 16-year-old reveals the violence of class oppression that still exists in rural India 

The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to yet another debut work, this time to a Tamil film, The Crow’s Egg directed by M Manikandan, making its U.S premiere. The film’s two engaging child actors, J Vignesh and Ramesh, play kiddie slum lords, Their street-smart bravado is aimed at getting to taste the mysterious ‘pizza’ relished by those better-off than themselves. The two shared the Best Actor Award. 

Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s Bengali film Labour of Love won an Honourable Mention for Cinematography. This distinctive work started its festival run by winning the Best Debut Director award at the 2014 Venice Film Festival. The debut film lyrically presents one day in the life of a married couple without using a single spoken word, it gains an increasingly sensory impact through its visuals and sound effects. At IFFLA, the demand by viewers led to a repeat screening. 

The remaining awards also went mostly to emerging filmmakers. 

The Best Documentary Award went to Tomorrow we Disappear, the debut work by Jim Goldblum and Adam Weber, on Kathputli, India's last colony of magicians, acrobats, and puppeteers, whose residents face eviction by a leading realty company. Another debut film, Sudarshan Suresh’s Khargosh (The Rabbit) won Honourable Mention. The film follows a debt-ridden farmer whose relationship with his daughter is tested when she adopts a rabbit. 

The Jury Award for Best Short (and also the Audience Award) went to Pratyusha Gupta’s second film, Safar, in which IFFLA award winner Shweta Tripathi plays a reformed prostitute who finds it impossible to hide her past. Her co-stars are the accomplished Vipin Sharma and Mahabanoo Kotwal. Leena Pendharkar with a strong body of work behind her, won the Best Short Film for Dandekar makes a Sandwich, on a picky retiree who goes all out to get the right ingredients for his snack. 

Bollywood actor with a difference 
IFFLA also went all out to make choice decisions when it came to its Jury members. Popular in indie cinema, Abhay Deol, whose persona differs sharply from the typical poster-boy Bollywood, was on the Narrative Jury. It was unusual to see the tall, unassuming Abhay flitting amiably film to film as he went about his Jury task. 

The closing film was Nagesh Kukunoor’s heart-warming suspense story, the Berlin award-winning Dhanak, around two orphaned kids who traverse the desert expanses of Rajasthan. Nagesh's family, who live in the US, were in full attendance led by his expansive, ever smiling mother. The Chief Executive of all of Kunukoor films, Elahe Hiptoolah, also lent good cheer to a fitting finale for IFFLA.

Courtesy: - India's first independent on-line daily which was launched on January 27, 2014,  reproducing Uma da Cunha's column from the first edition

                                                              CALL FOR ENTRIES!

28th Tokyo IntFilm Festival
Submission period
April 15-July 6, 2015
Film submissions for the Competition section is now ready on the festival website!
As one of the biggest film festivals in Asia - TIFF Competition has been showing many outstanding films created by up-and-coming directors as well as premieres of works by prestigious filmmakers of the world.

Last year, TIFF received 1,373 films from 92 countries and regions. 15 excellent films were screened after the pre-selection and Heaven Knows What (USA=France) directed by Joshua Safdie, Benny Safdie won the Tokyo Grand Prix for the last years TIFF.

The 28th TIFF will take place October 22-31, 2015 for 10 days in Tokyo, JAPAN.
Please find more details on TIFF's press release at

For detailed information about film submission, please visit the TIFF official website: 

For further inquiries about submission, please contact; TIFF Competition Section

Tokyo International Film Festival(TIFF) Promotion Group
4F, Shinkawa K-T BLDG., 1-28-44 Shinkawa Chuo-ku Tokyo 104-0033 JAPAN
TEL: 03-3553-4793
TIFF Official Web Site