Wednesday, July 27, 2011

India at the 68th La Biennale Film Festival, Venice


India at the 68th La Biennale Film Festival, Venice

Two films from India at Venice Interantional Film Festival's Orizzonti section, 2011

Gurvinder Singh's Anhey Ghohrey da Daan (Alms of a Blind Horse)

Amit Dutta's Son Chidi (The Golden Bird)

Both films feature in Venice’s Orizzonti 2011 section, which presents an exploration of the modes of contemporary cinema.

Playing in Venice is a restored version of  the landmark 1973 classic, Duvidha, in tribute to the late Mani Kaul who passed away very recently, made available by the National Film Development Corporation of India.

Venice’s Orizzonti 2011 reinvents the relationship between cinema and the literary narration (comic or dramatic), beyond the conventional forms.

The talented filmmaker Amit Dutta, a favoutirte in Venice,  features here with his latest film Son Chidi (The Golden Bird). And so does filmmaker Gurvinder Singh with his film from Punjab, Anhey Ghohrey da Daan (Alms of a Blind Horse)

They join the ranks of of filmmakers inspired by  experimentation such as Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt, Mauro Andrizzi, Joseph Dabernig, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Wattanapume Laisuwanchai,. And this, in the year when the Visual Arts Biennale has dedicated a special space to artists who work with images in motion.


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Monday, July 25, 2011

Udaan wins Star of India award at Stuttgart

Vikramaditya Motwane's debut film 'Udaan' continues to win honours in its extended international run. The 8th Bollywood and Beyond Film Festival, held July 20 to 24, announced its awards on closing night. ‘Udaan’ walked away with its highest award, the German Star of India, feature film category. It is endowed with a 4,000 Euro cash prize donated by the festival’s main sponsor, the Honorary Consul Andreas Lapp.

The feature film jury comprised of noted English director Roger Spottiswoode, Swiss director Anna Luif and Indian producer Sunil Doshi.

During the five days of the festival, more than 10 000 visitors experienced a cinematic journey through contemporary Indian cinema. The programme featured a total of 40 new productions. The programmers for the festival are Elisa Melzer assisted by Uma da Cunha (India) and Therese Hayes (USA).

‘Udaan’, the Festival’s big winner, depicting the spirit of adolescent courage, is about the young son, an aspiring poet, and how he wins his freedom against a cruelly authorative, widowed father. Jury comment: The film looks at an industrial part of India rarely seen in the cinema and yet communicates in a way that is universal. Made by a first time director, it has a confidence and subtlety of which someone much more mature would be justly proud.

Shlok Sharma’s Film ‘Tubelight ka Chaand’ won the German Star of India in the category Short Film, endowed with 1000 Euros. This moving look at the power of dreams tells the magical story of a lonesome little boy, living on the streets of Kolkata, who falls in love with the moon and tries to reach it. Jury comment; “The camera’s play with light and darkness, fast cuts, and the use of documentary-like sound design serve to contrast imagination and reality of the boy.” The jury members : Konstanze Welz (Project Coordinator for German Films), German academic Alexandra Schott and Kerim Arpad, festival director of German-Turkish Forum.

‘It’s Cricket, No?’ won the German Star of India, endowed with 1000 Euros in the category Documentary. Sudhir Aggarwal’s film accompanies India’s blind national cricket team. Without any governmental or societal support, the team make their way to Great Britain to beat their English counterparts. Jury comment: “The player’s enthusiasm and positivity transpose the audience into a world where cricket is more than just a sport. It’s passion. It’s love” , adding that Aggarwal’s skilful depiction of how the game differs from mainstream cricket along with the accomplished sound design and cinematography gave an amusing and moving first-hand account of this sport through the eyes of a blind person." Jury members: scriptwriter Santi Pathak (born to an INdian father and German mother and based in Cologne Germany), documentary director Sigrid Klausmann-Sittler and Christian Hanel, Deputy Head of Robert Bosch Foundation of Area of International Relations.

The Director’s Vision Award given by the festival, for directors who take an ambitious look at a social or cultural plight went to "Arranged Happiness" by Daniela Dar-Creutz for its depiction of a traditional form of arranged marriage in India. Jury comment: "The film humanised this practice as a collective family responsibilty striving to find the best bridegroom within a restricted society. The film’s impact increases with the director being an intimate participant in the narrative, both emotionally and professionally.

The Audience Award went to a documentary from the US called “Big in Bollywood” directed by Kenny Meenhan and Bill Bowles, on the instant and amazing success of the NRI actor Om Vaidya in India following his role in The Three Idiots.