Thursday, September 8, 2011

Film India Worldwide salutes the 36th Toronto International Film Festival.

The Toronto issue of Film India Worldwide is now out! Order your copy now!

This issue highlights the India-related films being screened at Toronto and goes on to cover over 60 films that are new and/or in the final stages of production.

India at Toronto

There are three films that spring properly from India, two of them remarkable debuts, each in a different genre, each one a remarkable evidence of the growing variegation of the country’s cinema bouquet.

Suseendran’s Azhagarsamy’s Horse (Tamil) - Contemporary World Cinema

Pankaj Kapur’s Mausam (Hindi) – Debut - Special Presentations

Ribhu Dasgupta’s Michael (Hindi) – Debut - Contemporary World Cinema

Then, there are co-productions or films from countries linked closely with India, as many as six of them.

Robert Lieberman’s Breakaway (Canada-India) –English - Special Presentations

Vimukthi Jayasundara’s Chatrak (France-India) - Bengali Contemporary World Cinema

Avie Luthra’s Lucky (South Africa) English, Hindi - Visions

Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna (UK) English, Hindi - Special Presentations

Mark Cousins’ The Story of Film: An Odyssey (UK) - Real to Reel

D J Parmar’s Afternoon Tea English, Short Cuts, Canada

This issue reports on them all. So far, “Indian diaspora” has meant Indians going west. Now the term may have to include the west coming to India.

This issue also covers amazing new offerings from India’s many language regions and debut film-makers, also from Bollywood and short and documentary film makers. It also lists Indian films selected for recent major festivals, including the upcoming Busan, window to the East, and the Indian script writers who received hands-on grooming at workshops held at Locarno and Venice (with the help of India’s National Film Development Corporation).

“From Afar” notes the work and increase in number of filmmakers of Indian origin who are inspired by the remembered sights and sounds of India.

New writing on Indian cinema continues unabated and is listed in “Cinema Read.” Bollywood is covered by Delhi film writer Saibal Chatterjee. Two young film aspirants record their experience in pitching for a film and all they learned at international workshops.

Indian cinema expresses itself globally ever more and more, in many

different ways. Read about it in the Toronto issue of Film India Worldwide.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

India at 2011 Busan International Film Festival

India has a strong and varied presence at the 16th Busan International Film Festival being held October 6 to 14, 2011

Section: A Window on Asian Cinema

Directed by Gurvinder Singh

Produced by India’s National Film Development Corporation this film in Punjabi, is a remarkable debut work, by director Gurvinder Singh. He also written the film’s script. This quietly charged film that captures endangered lives caught in the cusp of change in a village in Punjab, which wakes up to the news of the demolition of a house on its outskirts..

Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali 
A paralyzed Magician-turned-Radio Jockey files a Petition in Court seeking permission to end his life. This blockbuster stars Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Sofia D'Souza and
Shernaz Patel.

NOBEL THIEF (Nobel Chor)
Directed by Suman Ghosh

Miami based Suman Ghosh brings us his third film, Nobel Chor, The film is a fictional account based on the Nobel medal of Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, which in 2004 was stolen from Shantiniketan in Bengal. It was housed in his residence-turned-museum. A nationwide furor leading to a massive search operation was unfruitful and the Central Bureau of Investigations dropped the case in 2009. With this as the backdrop, the film is the story of a poor farmer, Bhanu, who circumstantially gets involved in the theft.

 STANLEY'S TIFFIN BOX ( Stanley Ka Dabba)

Directed by Amol Gupte 
Popular fourth grader Stanley is talented and is liked by his teachers. He never brings his lunch box to school nor does his 'Khadoos', as he is popularly called, Hindi teacher who prefers to eat off others. The two have an altercation that makes them both understand each other better and look at life with greater tolerance.

TEMPLE (Deool)
Directed by Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni

This Marathi film, is a humorous take on a small, forgotten village called Mangrool lying in the neglected areas of Maharashtra. One day, Kesha, a herdsman, has a divine vision of Shri Guru Dutta. The news spreads like wildfire. Suddenly, the quiet village becomes into a hub of activity.

THE ADDRESS (Melvilasom)
Directed by Madhav Ramadasan

This debut work is based on one of the most successful stage dramas in Malayalam, set in the late 70s. It recounts the events of the court martial of Sawar Rmachandran, alleged to have shot two of his officers, killing one and gravely injuring the other. The events in this film take the exact time, under two hours, as it unfurls on screen. The entire film is shot in a court room with less than a dozen actors and a little girl making a special appearance.

Directed by Santosh Sivan

Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar, a warrior in 16th century Kerala wants to avenge his father killed in a confrontation with Vasco da Gama and his troops. He is assisted by his best friend Vavvali and warrior princess Ayesha.

Section - New Currents

WATCH INDIAN CIRCUS (Dekh Indian Circus)
Directed by Mangesh Hadawale

This film, a riot of colours, set in the Rajashtan desert, is about a visiting circus which connects on many levels with the on-going election campaining. It revolves around a village woman Kajaro, her mute husband and their two small children, This is director Hadawale’s second film following his celebrated debut work, Tingya.

Section - Open-air Cinema

GOD'S OWN CHILD (Deiva Thirumaganby) 
Directed by A L Vijay
This Tamil drama film written and directed by A L Vijay and produced by Mohan Natarajan, is a remake of the American film ‘I Am Sam’, a Sean Penn and Dakotta Fanning starrer. It features Vikram in the lead role as a mentally challenged adult with the maturity of a five-year-old boy, while Anushka Shetty, Amala Paul and Nassar portray other pivotal roles.

Special Program in Focus: Asian Western

SHOLAY (Fire) 1975 
Directed by Ramesh Sippy
Internationally labeled as the Indian curry western, Sholay, took India by storm, breaking all records. Considered to be among the greatest films in the history of Indian cinema, the film released on 15 August, 1975. It had a magnificent cast comprising Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kumar, Jaya Bhaduri and Amjad Khan. The film, shot in the rocky terrain of Ramanagara, Karnataka, is the story of two criminals hired to capture a ruthless dacoit named Gabbar Singh. It ran for 286 weeks straight (more than five years) in one Mumbai theatre. Sholay achieved a still-standing record of 50 consecutive weeks across India.

Section: Wide Angle (documentary)


Directed by Shashwati Talukdar and P Kerim Friedman
Over sixty million Indians belong to communities imprisoned by the British as "criminals by birth." The Chhara of Ahmedabad, in Western India, are one of 198 such "Criminal Tribes." Declaring that they are "born actors," not "born criminals," a group of Chhara youth have turned to street theatre in their fight against police brutality, corruption, and the stigma of criminality, a stigma internalized by their own grandparents.

Directed by Sandeep Ray

Filmed over two decades in a sprawling house in Kolkata, this intimate documentary follows the life experiences of Sarthak, an ordinary Indian man trying to hold on to his calling of being a poet while juggling a regular family. While being a coming of age story, it is also an exploration of Kolkata, Bengali literature, large Indian families and a close documentation of growing up in a Marxist State in a nation that is rapidly embracing globalization and free markets.

Directed by Ranu Ghosh
This film addresses the implications of 60,000 factories in West Bengal being closed or declared ‘sick’ and suspended, with over one million workers losing their jobs.