Saturday, October 15, 2011

India scores two awards at Busan!

The list of coveted awards given out at the 2011  Busan International Film Festival were announced on October 14, its closing night.

The Audience Award, which is fast becoming an indicator for distributors to be a film that should run well in theatres, went to India’s entry, “Dekh Indian Circus” directed by Mangesh Hadawale. The film held its world premiere in Busan and from its very first screening had packed houses and a delighted audience that chuckled along with its quirky humour. The foreign press gave the film good reviews as well.    

The Sonje Award (Short Films)  went to “Thug Beram” directed by Venkat Amudhan.  A group of men are in a cafe looking for man, tipped off by an errand boy. However, the subject of the film is neither the group nor the target. Instead, it is the boy. The camera portrays his psychological stress and anxiety in a skillful and enticing way to tell a new story from a reverse point of view.

Yeun Sang Ho's 'The King of Pigs' won three prizes at the Busan International Film Festival.Yeun Sang Ho's 'The King of Pigs' wins three awards. The Morteza Farshbag of Iran's Mourning and Loy Arcenas's Niño sharing the top prize in the New Currents competition.

Although not a competitive festival, awards and prizes are given in various categories.

Below is the complete list.

Sonje Award (Short Films)

Winner (Asia): Thug Beram -- Venkat Amudhan (India)

Special Mention: DIY Encouragement -- Kohei Yoshino (Japan)

Winner (Korea): See You Tomorrow -- Lee Woo-jung

Special Mention: Bugging Heaven; Listen to Her -- O Hyun-ju


BIFF Mecenat Award (Documentaries): Sea of Butterfly -- Park Bae-il (Korea) 

Shoji & Takao -- Yoko Ide (Japan)

KNN Movie Award (Audience Award):Watch Indian Circus -- Mangesh Hadawale (India)

FIPRESCI Award: Mourning -- Morteza FARSHBAF (Iran)

NETPAC Award: The King of Pigs -- Yeun Sang Ho (Korea)

Busan Cinephile Award - The Twin -- Gustav Danielsson (Sweden)

Citizen Reviewers’ Award - Blue Pine Tree: Jesus Hospital -- Lee Sangcheol, Shin Aga (Korea)

Red Pine Tree: A Fish -- Park Hong-Min (Korea)

Yellow: Romance Joe -- Lee Kwangkuk (Korea)


DGK Award Directors Award: The King of Pigs -- Yeun Sang Ho (Korea)

Best Actor: Beautiful Miss Jin -- Ha Hyun Kwan (Korea)

Best Actress: Jesus Hospital -- Han Song Hee, Whang Jungmin (Korea)

CGV Movie Collage Award: The King of Pigs -- Yeun Sang Ho (Korea)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Block the dates for Film India Worldwide selection at the 2011 Mumbai Film Festival (Oct. 13 to 20)

Programmed by Uma da Cunha

Seven select films that present the global face of the cinemas of India.

Day I – Friday Oct 14, 3.30 pm at Screen I, Cinemax, Versova

Opening Film: Prashant Nair’s Delhi in A Day

Attending director Prashant Nair (based in Paris) and his actors Lillette Dubey, Kulbushan Kharbanda, Anjali Patil, among others in his crew and cast

Repeat screening: Wednesday Oct. 19th, 12.30 noon, Big Cinema – Metro. Screen 2

Day 2 – Saturday Oct 15th, 5.30 pm at Screen I, Cinemax, Versova

Daniela Dar-Creutz’s Arranged Happiness (feature-length documneatry)

Attending: director Daniela Dar-Creutz (based in Germany)

Repeat screening: : Monday 17th, 10.00 am (Big Cinema, Metro. Screen 2)

Day 3 Sunday Oct 16, 3.45 pm at Screen 2 Cinemax. Versova

Menhaj Huda’s Everywhere and Nowhere

Attending lead actor James Floyd (based in London) and Ally Khan (based London/Mumbai)

Repeat screening: Thursday Oct 20th, 3.30 pm (Cinemax, Sion, Screen 1)

Day 4 Monday Oct 17, 5.45 pm, Screen I, Cinemax, Versova

Sarovar Banka’s A Decent Arrangement

Attending director Sarovar Banka (based in Phildaelphia), lead actor Adam Laupus Screen 2 (based in Los Angeles), Shabana Azmi, Diskha Basu, Lethia Nall, Farid Currim, Shreya Sharma

Repeat screening Tuesday Oct 18th, 12.30 noon (Screen I, Cinemax, Sion )

DAY 5 Tuesday Oct 18, 3.30 pm, Screen I, Cinemax, Versova

Sandeep Mohan’s Love, Wrinkle-Free

Attending director Sandeep Mohan and lead actors Ash Chandler, Shernaaz Patel, Seema Rahmani, Sohrab Ardeshir, Ashwin Mushran, Aarika Silaichia,Marianne Borgo, Theron Carmine, Tensin Dasang

Repeat screening Thursday 20th, 12.45 pm (Screen 2, Cinemax. Sion

DAY 6 Wednesday Oct 19, 8.15 pm, Screen 2, Cinemax, Versova

Avie Luthra’s LUCKY

Attending: lead actress Jayashree Basavra (based in Bangalore).

Repeat screening: Thurs. Oct 20th,3.45 pm (Screen 4, Metro, Big Cinema)

DAY 7 Thursday Oct 20, 3.30 pm Screen 1, Cinemax, Versova.

Closing Film: Vimukthi Jayasundara’s Chatrak (Mushrooms)

Attending lead actor Paoli Dam based in Kolkata, producer Vinod Lahoti (based in Kolkata) and director Vimuktti Jayasundhara (based in Paris/Colombo)

Press material and interviews:

Spot News!

Partnering with programmer Uma da Cunha in presenting Film India Worldwide at MAMI is Therese Hayes, programmer for the Palm Springs International Film Festival, USA (held Jan. 5 to 16, 2012). The bonus here is that one film from MAMI’s Film India Worldwide section will be selected by Therese Hayes for inclusion in her India programme at Palm Springs 2012!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mangesh Hadawale's "Dekh Indian Circus” lauded at the on-going Busan fest, where it is selected in competition

India has a wide-ranging bunch of films at the on-going Busan International Film Festival, holding its 16th edition over October 6th to 14th. The Indian film competing in its New Currents section, “Dekh Indian Circus” (Watch Indian Circus) is getting noticed there and winning plaudits.

The Hollywood Reporter is bringing out a daily edition reviewing the leading films being premiered at the Busan festival. The journal’s seasoned film critic, Kirk Honeycutt, covered the film “Watch Indian Circus”, introducing the film as a "A charming, buoyant look at the challenges of living in rural India". His review of the film follows:

Most international filmmakers who focus on issues of third-world corruption and lack of opportunity yet yearn for plaudits from festival crowds bore in on grinding poverty, utter misery and sickening tragedy. In Watch Indian Circus, director-writer Mangesh Hadawale has a better idea: Why not approach these subjects with a lighthearted story about young children who want to go to the circus and the efforts, sometimes quite comical with even a touch of slapstick, by the youngsters and their harried parents to fulfill this wish?

Watch Indian Circus did indeed win appreciative applause at its first screening here in Busan as the film’s two children were adorable yet accomplished actors, while the parents were most effective in creating genuine pathos — a rare thing in films. Meanwhile, the barren beauty and bright colors of the Rajasthan desert fill the eye with pleasing imagery.

But Hadawale’s story always keeps its deeper meanings in mind. It is a family comedy that contains a stinging satire of contemporary India and its rampant corruption.

The idea that India is still third world has almost been eradicated by that country’s wildly successful effort to rebrand itself. The word India today conjures images of high tech progress and tremendous economic growth in a country lousy with billionaires. And yet hundreds of millions of Indians still live in villages without decent water, electricity or access in any way to the “miracle” of modern-day India.

It is in such a state that the film’s parents struggle to earn the money to insure the education of their children. Kajru (Tannishtha Chatterje, star of Brick Lane and Road, Movie) spends as much time giving her kids strong values as she does cooking and maintaining their open-air desert home. Their father Jethu (Nawazuddin Siddiqui from Peepli Live) is a mute who works long hours on a road crew but must suffer many indignities in silence.

Ghumroo (Virendra Singh Rathod) wants nothing to do with education and runs away from his mother when she drags him off to school. His younger sister Panni (Suhani Oza) picks up a flyer advertising a visiting circus and her goal in life is set: She wants to go to see the “bamboo man.”

But every rupee the family can set aside is for education, not circus visits. The father recently attended a political rally and took a politician’s proffered money to vote for him in state elections. But when that money is stolen in a misunderstanding over his support for a rival candidate, he is embarrassed not to have the money to fulfill his promise to take his children to the circus. His resourceful wife finds a means but she must do so surreptitiously so her husband doesn’t find out.

So as the storyline takes you through the trials and tribulations of this circus visit, the filmmaker subtly conveys the larger sense of a nation where doors of opportunity constantly slam shut even as those in charge steal votes and money to leave a Rajasthani family to their poverty.

Metaphorically, the film comes most alive with the circus visit. The self-billed Indian Circus stands in for the nation itself. When there isn’t enough money for the mother and children to all enter, she buys two tickets and waits outside.

But Ghumroo is determined to bring his mother inside the big tent. Spying a rupee note, he gives chase, a comical adventure that sees the drifting money always elude him even as he must elude the circus’ Keystone Kop security guards.

Meanwhile his little sister remains in her seat, mesmerized by the clowns, trapeze artists, elephants and her beloved bamboo man, the stilt walker. India is indeed a circus that can entertain and entrance while the venal operators block children in the scramble for ticket money. Political rallies swirl around the circus tent with the spectacle of vote buying and empty promises. One circus is inside, the other outside.

Watch Indian Circus is a charming film that nevertheless deals with tough Indian realities. The film, in Hindi and the Rajasthani dialect, features eye-catching images by cinematographer Laxman Utekar, an attentive production design by Ashwini Shrivatav and both western music by Wayne Sharp and Indian melodies and songs by Shankar Ehsaan Loy and lyricist Prasoon Joshi.

Production company Sundail Pictures

Cast Tannishtha Chatterje, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Virendra Singh Rathod, Suhani Oza

Director/screenwriter Mangesh Hadawale

Producers Chirag D. Shah, Mahaveer S. Jain, Anil Lad, Vivek Oberoi

No rating, 106 minutes

(This review appeared in The Hollywood Reporter, The Busan Daily No 3, October 9th, 2011)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Award winning feature-length documentary at MAMI's Film India Worldwide

See acclaimed documentary "Arranged Happiness"
on a Kashmiri family's search for the right bridegroom
* Saturday Oct 15th, 5.30 pm at Screen I, Cinemax, Versova
* Repeat screening: Monday Oct 17th, 10.00 am (Big Cinema, Metro. Screen 2

Kashmir-India, Germany / 2011 / HDCAM, 16mm/ Colour/87 mins /Kashmiri, Urdu
Asian Premiere

Director Daniela Dar-Creutz

Waheeda Dar, a 27-year-old actress/singer living in Srinagar (a disputed territory of Kashmir), is the third daughter of four in a carpet-making family. It is high time for her to get married. Her younger brother, Ashiq, spends his life’s savings on a traditional ‘arrangement’ for his sister’s marriage and the search for a husband. This quest serves as the film’s narrative thread. It weaves through different stages, leading up to Waheeda’s wedding celebrations. While filmmaker Daniela Dar-Creutz starts as a neutral observer, she gradually reveals more of herself and her relationship with the son, Ashiq (who is now her husband and living in Germany). Ashiq and Waheeda’s delicate journey and their family’s history reflect the differences between the traditions of the past and the modern life that young Muslims now seek.

Producers: Daniela Dar-Creutz, Joseph Reidinger, Carolin Dassel

Production Company: Blue Circe Productions, in collaboration with devifilm Gbr & National Broadcast Television BR

Screenplay: Daniela Dar-CreutzDirector of Photography: Roland Vuskovic, Daniela Dar-Creutz

Editor: Caspar Stracke, Daniela Dar-Creutz

Music: Ori Kaplan, Balkan Beat Box, Philipp Benesch

International Sales: Deckert Distribution GmbH, Marienplatz 1, D-04103 Leipzig. Tel: 0341 215 66 38   Email:

Participants: Ashiq Dar, Waheeda Banu, Iqbal Dar, Masrat Jan, Bashir Beigh, Shareefa Beigh, AinaSir, RehanaGulzar, BalbirSingh, MalikSir

Director’s Biography
Born and raised in Germany, Daniela Dar-Creutz obtained her MFA in Communication-Design from University of Munich and joined the Graduate Film Program at New York University. Her several documentaries include “Nobel Voices”, a 33-part series about Alfred Nobel, and “Generation Climate”, a documentary promoting environmental consciousness. Dar-Creutz is known for her intimate human portraits and her compassionate treatment of difficult subjects, both in non-fiction and narrative. “Arranged Happiness” is Dar-Creutz’s first feature-length documentary.

Director’s Filmography

Nobel Voices (Segment-Documentary/2002)
Generation Climate (Short Documentary/2007)
Captivated (Short, Direction & Screenplay/2006)
Conman (Short, Direction & Screenplay/1997)
Room For Rent (Feature Screenplay/2005)
Tug of War (Feature Screenplay/ 2007)
Tuc Tuc Rebell of India (documentary, in post/2011).

Festivals & Awards
1. Bollywood and Beyond (Germany), 7- 2011, Director’s Vision Award
2. Aljazeera International Film Festival (Qatar), 04-2011, Special Jury Award (Family & Child)
3. Madrid’s Imagine India (Spain), 05-2011, Best Documentary
4. Byron Bay International Film Festival (Australia), 03-2011, Competition
5. Krakow International Film Festival (Poland), 05-2011
6. FIPA Biarritz (France), 01-2011, January Audiovisual Program
7. FIFAD Festival du Film des Diablerets (Switzerland), 08-2011, Competition
8. Pärnu Int. Documentary Film Festival (Estonia), 07-2011, Competition
9. Montreal Int. Film Festival (Canada), 08-2011, Competition
10. flEXiff International Film Festival, Sydney (Australia), 2011 Competition