Thursday, March 28, 2013

National Award winners for the year 2012 Non-Fiction Films – Documentaries and Shorts

The National Awards, instituted in 1954, is the Indian government's recognition of the best films made over the previous year in different genres throughout the country and in all its languages. The National Award carries huge prestige and comes with a handsome cash prize.

The National Awards are presented annually by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. The award winners for 2012 were announced on March 18. The actual presentation ceremony at the hands of the President of India is made shortly after.

Here are the award winners

Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus Award), a certificate and cash prize

Best Non-Feature Film
Shepherds of Paradise (Gojri and Urdu) , directed by Raja Shabir Khan.

Cash Prize 150000 (US$2,800)

Best Non-Feature Film Direction
Vikrant Pawar for Kaatal (Marathi) Cash prize 150000 (US$2,800)


Silver Lotus Award - Rajat Kamal (Silver Lotus Award) and cash prize

Best First Non-Feature Film
Producer Veenu Bhushan Vaid and director Lipika Singh Darai for Eka Gachha Eka Manisa
Eka Samudra
(Oriya) Cash prize 75,000 (US$1,400) each

Best Anthropological / Ethnographic Film
Producer: Sourav Sarangi and director Sourav Sarangi for Char... The No-Man's Island (Bengali) Cash prize 50,000 (US$920) each

Best Editing
Irene Dhar Malik for Celluloid Man (Hindi, Kannada and Bengali)
Cash prize 50,000 (US$920)

Best Arts / Cultural Film
Producer/Director Gouri Patwardhan for Modikhanyachya Don Goshti (Marathi)
Cash Prize 50,000 (US$920)

Best Promotional Film
Producer/Director: Nirmal Chander for Dreaming Taj Mahal (Hindi and Urdu)
Cash prize 50,000 (US$920)

Best Environment Film including Agriculture
Producer Public Service Broadcasting Trust and director Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh
for Timbaktu (English) Cash Prize 50,000 (US$920) each

Best Film on Social Issues
Producer/Director Babu Kambrath for Behind The Mist (Malayalam)
Cash prize 50,000 (US$920)

Best Exploration / Adventure Film (Including sports)
Producer Films Division and director Aribam Syam Sharma for Manipuri Pony (English and Manipuri)
Cash prize 50,000 (US$920) each

Best Investigative Film
Producer/Director Ashvin Kumar for Inshallah, Kashmir (English)
Director: Ashvin Kumar
Cash prize 50,000 (US$920)

Best Short Fiction
Film Producer FTII and director Vikrant Pawar for Kaatal (Marathi)
Cash prize 50,000 (US$920) each

Best Film on Family Welfare
Producer FTII and director Kaushal Oza for After Glow (English and Gujarati).
Cash Prize 50,000 (US$920) each

Best Cinematography
Cameraman Abhimanyu Dange for Kaatal(Marathi)
Cameraman Raja Shabir Khan for Shepherds of Paradise (Gojri and Urdu).
Cash prize 50,000 (US$920)

Best Audiography
Harikumar M for Do Din Ka Mela (Kutchi and English).
Cash prize 50,000 (US$920)

Best Narration / Voice Over -
Moni Bordoloi for Suranjana Deepali (Assamese)
Priya Goswami (Director) for Pinch of Skin (English and Hindi) Cash prize 50,000 (US$920)

Special Jury Award
Andrea Iannetta (Director) for Allah Is Great (English, Hindi and Danish)
Sanjay Jangid (Animator) for Raah - Certificate only

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Shorts & Docs River to River 2012



India, 2012, Blue Ray, 111mins, Hindi

Director/Screenplay: Anirudh Chawla

DOP: Viraj Singh

Music: Vishal Khurana

Film contacts: Phillumwallahs Productions

It is truly strange that “sex” is such a foul word in India, considering its population is close to 1.2 billion. Unfortunately Indian laws too are very archaic – leaving women, children and homosexuals vulnerable to abuse, persecution and social isolation. Balls is a raw and authentic documentation of the sexuality of twelve individuals with different sexual preferences over a period of four days, as the director-host grilled them on such matters.

Anirudh Chawla is an Indo-Canadian film director, writer and tv/radio host, and he currently hosts a popular radio chat show. Through this show, he conducts the most provocative debates on love, marriage and relationships. Over the past few years, he has been a big radio personality in India and one of the pioneers in exploring sexuality-based themes on Indian Radio.


Bharatmata Ki Jai

(Long Live Bharatmata)

Direction, DOP, Editing, Music, Cast : Amol, Anurag,Arpita,Avadhoot, Shweta

Films Contacts: School for Media and Cultural Studies

India, 2012, DV, 28 mins, English, Hindi, Marathi

In the Lalbaug-Parel area of Mumbai stands Bharatmata Cinema one of the remaining single screen theatres that plays only Marathi films. Through the narratives of the owner and of one of the oldest employees of the theatres, the film explores the history and development of Bharatmata as a space for articulating the cultural identity of Mumbai’s working class and it ponders on its own existence and survival. The audience , though from widely disparate socio-economic cases, comes together in its passionate love for cinema and celebration of the main character in the film, Bharatmata Cinema itself.

Arpita Chakraborty, Avadhoot Khanolar, Shweta Radhakrishnan, Anurag Mazumdar, Amol Ranjan

The directors of the film are all students enrolled in the MA in Media and Cultural Studies programme and are all affiliated with the School for the Media and Cultural Studies, Chakraborty, Khanolkar, Mazumdar, Radhakrishnan and Ranjan come from different universities and Indian cities, but they are all united by the passion and curiosity for filming documentaries


It’s Cricket, No?

Director/Screenplay/Music: Sudhir Aggarwal

DOP: Shakeb Ahmed

Editing: Nirmal Chander

Film Contacts : Sudhir Aggarwal

In a world far away from bright stadium lights, and from multi-million dollar franchises, a unique Indian cricket team is making history in its own way. The film follows a group of blind boys as they chase their dream to play cricket for their country, for honour, and for passion. The film takes us into the world of the visually impaired, into their minds and their surroundings, showing how they are perceived and how they perceive themselves.

Sudhir Aggarwal lives in Berlin and Delhi and has been working as a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer for the last fifteen years. He is particularly interested in Indian and international NGOs. He is currently developing a feature film with a group of street children in Delhi.


Certo Esiste Un Posto Migliore

Director/Screenplay: Sara Luraschi

DOP: Andrea Zanoli

Editing: Sara Luraschi, Andrea Zanoli

Music: Angelo Bonfanti

Cast: Babli Joginder, Jessica Joginder, Pal Joginder

Film Contacts: Lab 80 film

Italy, 2011, Blue Ray, 38 mins, Italian and Punjabi

The Joginders were one of the first families to move at Casazza in Val Cavallina from Punjab. In the last ten years a large Indian community has settled here, changing deeply this place. Suspended between the shining world of Indian cinema and television and the grim reality of daily life, Babli Pal and Jessica Joginder are looking for a new balance and maybe for an opportunity to leave everything behind to start all over again.

Sara Luraschi was born in 1979 in the North of Italy. She graduated in Cultural Heritage of The University of Milan in 2006. As a filmmaker, she has produced documentaries on issues such as migration, women, history and environmental preservation, collaborating with NGOs, and cultural and artistic organizations. IN the past year, she mainly worked as an editor for television programmes and in schools as a tutor for audiovisual laboratories.

Living with Clay

Director/Screenplay: Gautam Banerjee

DOP/Music: Supriya Mukherjee

Editing: Robin De

Cast: Sanatan Rudra Pal

Film Contacts: RVC Production

India, 2001, Minidv, 24 mins, English

This is a film that deals with an art form that might disappear in only a few decades. Idol worshippers are rarely aware of the art of idol-making and the profession of idol-maker is not recognized in Indian society, even if, it is believed that a talented idol-maker can make divinity flow into his creation. Sanatan, a famous idol-maker and entrepreneur in Kolkata, gives employment to many artisans. He inspires clay modelers who are afraid of this profession’s insecurity.

Gautam Banerjee has a science background, as he graduated in Physics and taught for over twenty years. After receiving a formal training in film making for television in Kolkata, he divided his time between teaching, writing scripts and making documentaries and short films. Some of his previous works were screened at short film and documentary festivals. He is currently


Much Ado About Knotting

Direction and screenplay: Geetika Narang Abbasi and Anandana Kapur

DOP: Yasir Abbasi

Editing: Geetika Narang Abbasi

Music: Ashhar Farooqui

Cast: Rajiv Badola, Devika Kataria, Arathi Swarup, Manoj Swarup

Film Contacts: Public Service Broadcasting Trust

India, 2012, Blue Ray, 55 mins, English and Hindi

Born into a society obsessed with marriages, a girl, a not-so-young man and an NRI couple are compelled by tradition to look for matches via classifieds, matchmaking bureaus and websites. Confronted with innumerable criteria that determine who is acceptable and who is not, they question themselves and their choices. As they reflect at every turn there are service providers who are ready to solicit potentials on their behalf. People are searching for their ideal match endlessly and the often heard question is “When are you getting married?”

Geetika Narang Abbasi and Anandana Kapur

Geetika Narang Abbasi was born and brought up in Delhi. Having worked on various formats of filmmaking from documentaries to TV commercials with different production houses, producers and directors, she ventured into independent filmmaking.

Anand Kapur is an independent filmmaker and social scientist based in Delhi. She has worked in broadcast television. As part of a cultural diversity initiative she holds lectures on Cinema and Culture for exchange students from the US Canada and Europe.


Nakusa – The Unwanted

Direction, Screenplay, DOP: Rima Amarapurkar

Editing, Music: Sanjay Sankla

Film Contacts: Rima Amarapurkar

India-USA, 2012, Blue Ray, 25 mins, Marathi

Nakusa, the “unwanted”, is the name often given to the last of many daughters, when still there has not been a male heir. This documentary explores the psychological, social and cultural consequences of being named Nakusa. It tells the life stories of undesired girls who try to find their place in a country that between modernity and tradition, is still trying to find a balance in its contradictions.

Rima Amarapurkar

Rima Amarapurkar ia known for tackling women’s issues through her various films. After a position as an assistant director on some main stream Bollywood films. Rima produced and directed her first feature film in Marathi Ara Ara Aaba, Aata Tari Thamba! Followed by a short (fiction) movie entitled Jananee (The Mother). After producing and directing several documentaries corporate films and audio visual teaching aids she is currently working on a feature film.


The Rat Race

Director: Mirian Chandy Menacherry

Screenplay: Arghya Lahiri, Miriam Chandy Menacherry, Mathew Menacherry

DOP: Sameer Mahajan, Dev Shankar Prasad

Editing: Monisha Baldawa, Hari Domal, Susan Zachariah

Music: Joseph De Souza

Film Contacts: Miriam Chandy Menacherry

The Rat Race winds its way through the grimy underbelly of Mumbai, through dimly lit alleys and crowded markets it tells the story of the city’s rat killers. The documentary explores issues of livelihood, sanitation and development to paint a moving account of India at the crossroads and show the more human face of development with all its contradictions. It is a sensitive as well as funny portrayal of a workforce that remains unacknowledged, yet integral to the life of the city.

Miriam Chandy Menacherry, founder and director of Filament Pictures, has a long experience in writing and directing for several international television channels, such as the National Geographic Channel and the BBC World. The Rat Race is her first independent full length documentary . Miriam was awarded at the Mipdoc co production Challenge in 2010, Cannes, supported by the Jan Vrijman Fund 2011 and officially selected at IDFA 2011

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cannes Critics Week – Jury President

Miguel Gomes is President of the Jury
2013 La Semaine de la Critique

The Portuguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes will preside over the feature film jury for this 52nd edition of La Semaine. Alongside four international journalists, and like his predecessors Bertrand Bonello (Aquí y allá by Antonio Méndez Esparza) and LEE Chang-dong (Take Shelter by Jeff Nichols), he will award the Nespresso Grand Prize for La Semaine de la Critique. Making a name for himself in the industry with only three feature films, Miguel Gomes embodies what La Semaine is about: discovering new authors through their first or second feature film and showcasing their work on the international scene.

After studying at the Lisbon Theatre and Film School, Miguel Gomes published articles on cinema in the Portuguese press. After a number of short films, in 2004 he directed his debut feature, The Face You Deserve, followed in 2008 by This Dear Month of August. In 2012, the Berlinale showcased his third – and breathtaking – film, Tabu, which chronicles the construction and decline of Western popular imagination. Its double win of the International Critics Prize, FIPRESCI, and the Alfred-Bauer Prize attest to the unanimous praise it was met with.

The section in charge of talent scouting couldn't have hoped for a better ambassador to award one of the 7 filmmakers in the competition. A director at the forefront of a new generation of international filmmakers, a keen cinephile and an ex-critic, Miguel Gomes is thrilled to award the Nespresso Grand Prize for La Semaine de la Critique to one of these up and coming authors.  He said, “As a director, President of a jury of international film critics, I aim to be very democratic and open. Within all these films, a deal is made with the viewer: the latter should be able to project their own world and sensitivity onto them. I will try and find this in those first features.”

Tracing the generous initiative abroad to hold Indian film festivals …

River to River Florence Indian Film Festival can lay claim to being the first on international shores to moot the idea of hosting an exclusive annual Indian Film Festival.
That too in the august city of Florence, Italy, where its exeutive director, Slevaggia Velo, resides.

Why the title River to River? Because this festival aims to connect the two landmarks of our respective countries, the river Ganga and the River Arno.
The first edition of River to River, Indian Film festival was held in October 2001 in Florence, Italy. The festival, founded and run by Selvaggia Velo, is supported by Mediateca Regionale Toscana-Film Commission as part of the Cinquanta Giorni di Cinema Internazionale a Firenze. This festival has gained in respect and strength with each year. Selvaggia gives the event a completely Indian flavour, starting with lighting the proverbial brass lamp, and serving Indian food and chai to the sounds of Indian music.. There are workshops and talks held alongside recent features, shorts and documentaries screened through the day. The atmosphere is informal, intimate and convivial. Guests from India range from emerging names in cinema to established ones.
2012 was a high point of River to River with Amitabh Bachchan being the Chief Guest representing three of the many notable films he has starred in and talking to a rapt audience about these films and his work.
Here is Uma da Cunha’s article in the 2012 brochure of River to River on Mr Bachchan’s presence at the festival:
It is 12 years since Selvaggia Velo started her love affair with Indian cinema by bringing Italy’s Arno River and India’s Ganges together in her River to River Indian Film Festival held in Florence every December. In the ensuing years she has worked single-mindedly and almost single-handedly to bring a touch of India and the many facets of its cinema to Florence, the hallowed city she lives in. 2012 is truly special for Velo and her festival. It is the year when India’s most adored iconic mega star Amitabh Bachchan will arrive in Florence to grace River to River as its Chief Guest. Florence’s aficionados of Indian cinema, you are in for a rare and privileged treat. Mr Bachchan is that extraordinary multi-pronged talent who will enthrall you on many levels. He is master of all that he undertakes, not only as an actor but as a speaker, commentator, voice-over, quiz master (he is unparalleled as the host of his TV show), Bollywood dancer, action artiste, just name it and he excels. On screen, he towers as the romantic lover, the angry young man, the swashbuckling defender, the man touched with human frailty, the loveable hero with a comedic touch. With a career as actor that started in the early 70’s, he has appeared in around 180 films. No matter at what age or time, his impact remains as powerful. He can talk of cinema from the many exemplary points of view that he alone stands for. He is also a literary figure who renders narration of poetry and classics in Hindi as well as English, mastering both languages with ease in his deep baritone voice that is unmistakable from the very first word. Thank you, Big B, for being at River to River with three of your outstanding films and speaking to the ardent Indian cinema lovers that this festival has nurtured.
Look out tomorrow for the River to River 2012 shorts and documentaries.