Saturday, October 22, 2011

India two-time winner at 2011 Abu Dhabi …

* Actress Jayashree Basavaraj gets the Black Pearl Award for the film “Lucky”
* Special Jury Award goes to Gurvinder Singh for “Alms to a Blind Horse”

Jayashree Basavaraj, stage and screen personality form Bangalore and also Member of Parliament,
won the top Black Pearl award for Best Actress award in  Narrative Competition at Abu Dhabi for her role in Avie Luthra’s feature film LUCKY set in Durban, South Africa.  The jury honoured Jayashree for her portrayal of an elderly Indian widow who befriends a South African orphan.

Jayashree was  attending the Mumbai International Film Festival, where her film LUCKY was playing in the festival’s Film India Worldwide section, when she received the news.  She was  taken by surprise and overwhelmed at  getting the coveted award which she won against such huge and respected names in the world of acting talent. Arrangements to fly her back to Abu Dhabi to collect the award in person could not work out. Director Avie Luthra collected the award in her name. 

Spot News: “Lucky” to screen at Palm Springs

During its well received screenings at the Mumbai International Film Festival, programmer of Asian films for the Palm Springs International Film Festival (held early January, 2012) announced that LUCKY had been invited to the next Palm Springs festival and would screen there.  Avie Luthra’s rapid-fire festival stops now include Toronto, where it premiered, and then Busan, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai and now Palm Springs.

Abu Dhabi’s Special Jury Award was given to Alms for a Blind Horse, directed by Gurvinder Singh “For its visual style and a poetic journey indicating a new and intriguing voice to emerge from the cinematic landscape of India”

Flmmaker Anwar Jamal served on the Documentary Competition jury.

The 2011 Black Pearl Awards:

Best Narrative Film: Chicken with Plums, directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud (France, Germany, Belgium)

Special Jury Award: A Separation, directed by Asghar Farhadi (Iran)

Best Director from the Arab World: Ismaël Ferroukhi, Free Men (France, Morocco)

Best Producer from the Arab World: Ziad Hamzeh and Ridha Behi, Always Brando (Tunisia)
Best Actor: Woody Harrelson, Rampart (USA)

Best Actress: Jayashree Basavaraj, Lucky (South Africa)

Jury Special Mention: Soufia Issami, Mouna Bahmad, Nouza Akel and Sara Betioui, actresses, On the Edge (Morocco, France, Germany, UAE)

New Horizons Competition
Best Film: Stories Only Exist When Remembered, directed by Julie Murat (Brazil, Argentina, France)

  Special Jury Award: Alms for a Blind Horse, directed by Gurvinder Singh (India) –

Best Producer from the Arab World: Souney Kadouh, This Narrow Place (Lebanon, USA)
Best Actor: Maged El Kedwany, Asma’a (Egypt)

Best Documentary: Position Among the Stars, directed by Leonard Retel Helmrich (Netherlands) -  Special Jury Award: The Tiniest Place, directed by Tatiana Huezo (Mexico)

Best New Director: Gemma Atwal, Marathon Boy (India, UK, USA)-

Best Director from the Arab World: Safinez Bousbia, El Gusto (France, Algeria, Ireland, UAE)

Best Producer from the Arab World: Film Clinic, Tahrir 2011: The Good, the Bad and the Politician (Egypt, UAE)

Our World
Best Film: The Last Mountain, directed by Bill Haney (USA)

Audience Choice Award: Skeem, directed by Timothy Greene (South Africa)

NETPAC Award: Marathon Boy, directed by Gemma Atwal  

FIPRESCI Prize: El Gusto, directed by Safinez Bousbia (France, Algeria, Ireland, UAE)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Film India Worldwide Closing Film ‘Chatrak’ screens October 20, 3.30 pm at Cinemax

Vimukthi Jayasundara’s ‘Chatrak’ after doing festivals rounds at Cannes, Toronto and other festivals now screens at the Mumbai Film Festival as the Closing Film of Film India Worldwide section curated by Uma da Cunha.



India-France/2011 / DCP (D-Cinema) / Colour /90 mins / Bengali

India Premiere

Director Vimukthi Jayasundara

Synopsis Rahul, an architect, has returned from Dubai to Kolkata, to work on a huge construction site. He is reunited with his girlfriend, Paoli, who has waited a long time for him to come back home. Rahul and Paoli set out in search of Rahul’s brother, who is believed to have gone insane and is living in a forest near the border, “Chatrak” was shot in Kolkata and Bolpur (Shantiniketan) in West Bengal, over a 28-day shoot spread over November - December 2010.

Producer: Vinod Lahoti

Co-Producers: Philippe Avril, Michel Klein, Stéphane Lehembre, Yov Moor

Production Company: Vandana Trading Company, 27 Brabourne Road, 3rd Floor, Room No.313, Kolkata 700001. Tel 033-2262 3797, 6499 3100.

Screenplay: Vimukthi Jayasundara

Director of Photography: Channa Deshapriya

Editor: Julie Beziau

Music: Roman Dymny

International Sales: Eastwest Filmdistribution GmbH, Schottenfeldgasse 14, Vienna 1070 Austria. Tel: 43 1 5249 31034

Cast: Paoli Dam, Sudip Mukherjee, Sumeet Thakur, Tomas Lemarquis

Director’s Biography Journalist, film critic and screenwriter Vimukthi Jayasundara’s shorts and features have been acclaimed at numerous festivals and won high awards, specially at Cannes. He studied film at India’s premiere Film and Television Institute, Pune, then enrolled as a post-graduate student at Le Fresnoy-Studio National des Arts, which produced his first short film, The same year he became a resident at the Cinéfondation, Cannes Film Festival.

Director’s Filmography

1. Mushrooms (Drama, 2011)

2. Between Two Worlds (Drama, 2009)

3. The Forsaken Land (Debut Feature/ 2005),

Camera d’Or winner, Cannes International Film Festival

4. The Land of Silence (Short Documentary, 2002)

5. Vide our l’amour (Short Fiction, 2003)

Festivals & Awards

Cannes International Film Festival (Directors Fortnight / 05-2011)

Toronto International Film Festival (09-2011)

Cinema Digital Seoul Film Festival, South Korea (08-2011),

Movie College Award

Zadar International Film Festival, Croatia (08-2011),

Award for Best Cinematography

Vladivostok International Film Festival, Russia


Warsaw Film Festival, Poland (10-2011)

Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, Brazil (10-2011)

Hong Kong Asian Film Festival (11-2011)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Avie Luthra's LUCKY plays in Mumbai after winning kudos at Toronto, Busan and Abu Dhabi


Avie Luthra's LUCKY screens October 19, 8.15 pm at Cinemax


South Africa / 2011 /35mm /Colour / 100 mins/ Zulu, English, Hindi

India Premiere

Director Avie Luthra


Set in Durban, this cross-cultural film is about the orphaned 10-year- old Zulu boy, Lucky, whose mother has just died of AIDS. Bent on getting an education, he leaves his village for the big city in search of the uncle who his mother had left money with for his schooling. The uncle, a dissolute wastrel, has no use for him. Quite by chance, he is given shelter by an orthodox elderly Indian woman who has a pathological fear of Africans. She takes Lucky in grudgingly segregating him in her balcony. Together, unable to speak each other's language, they develop an unlikely bond, which leads to a potentially promising and unexpected future. Through an odyssey marked by greed, violence, and, ultimately, belonging, Lucky shows how a child’s spirit can bring out decency, humility and even love in adults struggling to survive in the new South Africa.

Producer: Lance Samuels, Christopher Wilmot

Production Company: Out of Africa Entertainment/How Town Film Productions, 30 Judith Road, Emmerantia Johannesburg, Gauteng 2195, South Africa. Tel: +27 11 486 3355. Fax: 27 11 486 2531. Email: Website:

Screenplay: Avie Luthra, Tanya Welz

Director of Photography: Willie Nel

Editor: Josh Levinsky

Music: Phillip Miller

Cast: Sihle Dlamini, Jayashree Basavra, James Ngcobo, Vusi Kunene

Director’s Biography Avie Luthra is an award winning writer/director who has worked in features, short films, TV drama, documentaries and radio. He resides in London, UK and is a 2002 graduate of the Director's Course at the National Film and Television School. “LUCKY”, Avie’s second feature length film, grew from his BAFTA-nominated short film “LUCKY” (2006), which won 43 international film festival awards and was short listed for an Oscar in 2007. Avie is also a licensed Forensic Psychiatrist and is passionate about both psychiatry and filmmaking.

Director’s Filmography

1. Mad Sad & Bad (Feature / 2009)

2. Lucky (Short / 2005)

3. Torn (TV drama / 2005)

Festivals & Awards

1. Toronto International Film Festival, Canada (Contemporary World Cinema / 09-2011)

2. Atlantic Film Festival, USA (International Perspectives / 09-2011)

3. Busan International Film Festival (World Cinema / 10-2011)

4. Abu Dhabi International Film Festival (Narrative Feature Competition / 10-2011)