Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The proliferation of Indian film festivals across the world


Around 15 years ago, films from India at international film festivals were seen only as official selections, or when there was a country focus on India there. That made India a part of world cinema and brought such films to the notice of critics and distributors everywhere. But festivals abroad devoted only to Indian films are a relatively new phenomenon. They have proliferated rapidly. Such events have permitted world audiences to view Indian cinema as an entity. They spread awareness of India’s immense social and cultural realities and complement perceptions of the country derived from other sources.

13th Florence Indian Film Festival: River to River 2013 Dec 22 –28

13th New York Indian Film Festival, April 30-May 4, 2013 

 11th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, April 9-14, 2013

10th Indian Film Festival Stuttgart, July 17- 21, 2013

4th London Indian Film Festival, July 18-25, 2013

3rd Indian Film Festival The Haque, October 2-6, 2013

2nd Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, May 3-15, 2013


13th Florence Indian Film Festival: River to River 2013, December 22-28selvaggia_02

River to River Florence Indian Film Festival was inaugurated in October 2001 with the aim to promote only films from and about India and in what was announced as the first film festival of its kind in the world. In the ensuing years the Festival has grown and gained awareness among the audience, the film industry and the press. The festival has invited leading film personalities, directors and actors, to present their work. The latest edition had Amitabh Bachchan as its Chief Guest.

                                                                      Festival Founder and Director: Selvaggia Velo


13th New York Indian Film Festival, April 30-May 4, 2013

The New York Indian Film Festival (originally the Indo-American Arts aroon_s3Council Film Festival – IAAC ) was first held over November 1 to 4, 2001 and its focus then was the Indian Diaspora. Later it extended its programming to cover the gamut of Indian cinema and more recently, even films from the Sub Continent. This festival creates an awareness and better understanding of the people and stories from the Indian Diaspora by bringing the most acclaimed feature films, documentaries, and shorts from that region to America's biggest and most remarkable city.

                                                                    Aroon Shivdasani, Artistic & Executive Director


11th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, April 9-14, 2013

The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) is a non-profit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films, supporting emerging filmmakers, recognizing the leadership of entertainment industry performers and business executives, and promoting the diverse perspectives ofChristina Marouda the Indian Diaspora. Each year the festival is held at ArcLight Hollywood and features a rich mix of film programs designed to build and support the growing interest in the Indian entertainment industry. This includes programming that cultivates an audience for Indian films while supporting filmmakers of Indian descent in career development as they navigate the larger studio system in Hollywood.

                                                                                              Christina Marouda, Chairman

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------10th Indian Film Festival Stuttgart July 17-21, 2013Oliver

Formerly known as the Bollywood and Beyond Indian Film Festival Stuttgart, this festival in 2012 took on the new name of the Indian Film Festival Stuttgart, allowing an all-embracing reflection of Indian cinema in its programming. The festival presents many-faceted India – with great challenges for great achievements, the less privileged with hope, and exclusion and worship that are not that far apart.

                                                                                               Oliver Mahn, Festival Director


4th London Indian Film Festival - July 18-25, 2013CaryRaj_Sawhney

Launched in July 2010 by a merry band of film professionals with a simple and focused brief, to show the very best of new Indian independent films, especially made by a younger generation of filmmakers. This it did in a spectacular way and caught the imagination of cinema partners across London who shared the same passion. 2013 will present this festival’s fourth edition.


                                                   Cary Rajinder Sawhney, Creative and Executive Director

3rd Indian Film Festival The Haque, October 2-6, 2013

This versatile film event features contemporary cinema from India. Ricardo BurgzorgThe program of the five day festival includes an eclectic collection of art-house films, documentaries and popular Hindi films, most of which have not been show before in The Netherlands. So movie lovers can acquaint themselves with a panorama of artistic films from this fascinating country. Indian Film Festival The Hague offers rising and established film talent a platform with this annual film festival.

                                                                                       Ricardo Burgzorg, Festival Director


And presenting the latest in line …Mitu Bhowmick Lange

The Indian Film Festival, Melbourne, May 3-15, 2013

This festival, now in its second edition, is a Victorian Government initiative that aims to strengthen ties between the Indian film industry and Victoria. From Bengali art-house and Malayalam thrillers to Hindi blockbusters and Tamil action flicks, there's something for everyone, and they can be seen at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne where a dazzling selection of 40 films is only the start.


                                                                               Mitu Bhowmick Lange, Festival Director

Note: Each of the above film festivals will be covered in subsequent issues of Film India Worldwide as the festival ends and announces its award winners and highlights.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters’ Lab 2013 (2nd edition)


Winning Eight Announced!


In line with the world renowned Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab, held at Park City, USA, the Indian Screenwriters Lab is a five-day writer's workshop that gives independent screenwriters the opportunity to work intensively on their feature film screenplays with the support of established screenwriters in an environment that encourages innovation and creative risk-taking. Mumbai Mantra has collaborated with the Sundance Institute and established India’s annual Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab.

Through one-on-one individual creative meetings with Creative Advisors (established screenwriters and directors from around the world), Fellows (Independent Indian screenwriters) engage in an artistically rigorous process that offer them indispensable lessons in craft, a fresh perspective on their work and a platform to fully realize their material. In a uniquely inspired environment, Creative Advisors embrace the vision of the Fellows and give them the tools to improve it further. The Advisors’ guidance range from improving the Fellow's technique as a screenwriter, practical suggestions to be explored in their next draft, to life lessons. Emphasis would be placed on each Fellow's individual voice and story.

The Mumbai Mantra-Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab took off to a lauded start in 2012. In its second edition, the winning eight fellows whose scripts made the final short-list selection were announced at a celebratory luncheon held in Mumbai on March 10, 2013. Mumbai Mantra received over 500 applications for the Lab from Indian screenwriters across the globe. After intense deliberation with the Sundance Institute, the final eight scripts were selected.

The Creative Advisors of the Lab are:

*Screenwriter Bill Wheeler (The Hoax, The Reluctant Fundamentalist)
*Screenwriter Anjum Rajabali (Ghulam, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Raajneeti)
*Screenwriter Malia Scotch Marmo (Hook, Jurrasic Park)
*Screenwriter Sabrina Dhawan (Monsoon Wedding, Kaminey, Ishqiya)
*BAFTA award winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia (The Warrior, Senna)
*Mexican screenwriter, director, film producer Carlos Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien, Solo Con Tu Pareja)
*Indian screenwriter/director Habib Faisal (Do Dooni Chaar, Ishaqzaade)
*Writer-director Joshua Marston (The Forgiveness of Blood, Maria Full of Grace) and writer-producer Marti Noxon ( I Am Number Four, Fright Night).

The eight selected scripts are:

Betamax by Terrie Samundrabrunch10mar13-36
Betamax is set in the summer of 1976 in London on the brink of a youth uprising. The South Asian ghetto of Southall pulses with the sounds of dancehall, punk and bhangra. Gurmel, a Sikh cornershop owner, sets aside enough money to purchase a newly released Betamax camera.


Black Freedom Nitin Kakkar
by Nitin Kakkar

Black Freedom weaves together five stories by Saadat Hasan Manto, one of the most well-known and controversial authors of the twentieth century.


Delirium Abhijit Mazumdar
by Abhijit Mazumdar
Delirium is a story about six people: Maqsood, a young small time real estate broker; his younger brother Qalim, an office boy in a private bank; Mr. Rao, an elderly staunch Hindu, high-ranking officer in the same bank; Nafisa, a young social activist just arrived in Mumbai for research and Rao’s neighbor; Shinde, a corrupt cop who doesn’t hide his hatred for other religions. And a nameless weirdo who loves eating coins.

ForgivenNeha SInha
by Neha Sinha
Forgiven, set in Kerala, is a tale about a disintegrated family that is forced to come together, revisit their past and find forgiveness.



InkPratim D Gupta
by Pratim D. Gupta
Shantilal, a weather reporter at an English newspaper in Kolkata and Sofia, the reigning box-office queen of the film industry come face-to-face . Their climactic rendezvous decides whether “the story of a lifetime” finds its way in ink on a newspaper page or changes both of their lives forever.

Television Kanvajit Singh
by Kavanjit Singh
Television is the story of Vijay, who is about to get married and start a new life; Ravi, who wants best for his three year-old son; and Malik, who is now retired and wants to live a peaceful life. Unforeseen circumstances have put these three men at crossroads.


The Music Teacher 16
by Sarthak DasGupta
In The Music Teacher, the life of a small town music teacher takes a sharp turn when an estranged ex-student, now a celebrity in the city, comes to visit after several years. The teacher, now lovelorn, prepares to meet her, not knowing if she still bears the same feelings about him as she did those many years back.

Tribhanga Renuka Shahani
by Renuka Shahane
Tribhanga is the story of three women, from three generations of a family: Nayan, Anu and Masha. Their lives overlap each other like concentric



The Selection Advisory Committee comprises:
Dev Benegal, Ira Bhaskar, Pubali Chaudhuri, Uma Da Cunha, Rashmi Doraiswamy, Habib Faisal, K. Hariharan, Deven Khote, Prakash Kovelamudi, Ram Madhvani, Neeru Nanda, Sriram Raghavan, Anjum Rajabali, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Mahesh Samat, Meenakshi Shedde, and Anahita Uberoi.