Saturday, July 27, 2013

NFDC Film Bazaar Co-production Market dates extended!

              Extended  Deadline -  August  20, 2013

Co-Production MarketScreenwriters' LabWork-In-Progress LabProducers' LabThe Viewing Room
Industry ScreeningsKnowledge SeriesExhibition BoothsBusiness Conclave

Film Bazaar's Co-production Market offers a unique opportunity to filmmakers seeking international co- productions.

Every year, the Co-Production Market invites a select number of directors and producers to present their projects to international producers, distributors, sales agents, funding representatives and other financial partners from across the world.
To submit your project, visit
Extended Deadline - 20 August, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

4th London Indian Film Festival

Spill-over crowds for competing shorts/docs! 
Viewers leaving the shorts/docs screening
The screening on July 23 evening of the six short-listed films for the Satyajit Ray Foundation Film Competition had a queue stretched into the road outside the Nehru Centre building.
The hall was jam-packed and over 50 people had to return disappointed. It was an exhilarating experience to see the enthusiastic response given to a film genre that usually gets over-shadowed by a festival’s feature films. Congratulations to Satwant Gill, who heads this side-bar section of LIFF.

The winner of the £1,000 award will be announced on Thursday 25 July, at the Cineworld Haymarket during
the closing night Gala

The films competing  ...
 *Vikram Dasgupta’s Calcutta Taxi 
The director was present, fresh from collecting the Best Short Film award at the recently concluded Stuttgart film festival.

Calcutta Taxi is set in the grimy backdrop of a city going through a political crisis, unravelling the story of three lives that coincide and affect each other. Each one having lost and found some things in this chance encounter of life.

*Shumona Goel & Shai Heredia’s I Am Micro
This widely travelled and highly regarded experimental essay on filmmaking, the medium of film, and the spirit of making independent cinema premiered at Toronto last year.

*Shekhar Bassi’s Faux Départ (False Start) 
A one-shot film on Fahim and Haashid, friends born of necessity. Neither speaks the other’s language as they prepare for a journey to England for a better life. Haashid unexpectedly invites his girlfriend Nana to join them which halts the preparations.

*Katie Wise, Devyn Bisson, Dan Duran’s Sikh Formaggio 
After emigrating from India to Italy in search of jobs familiar to their agricultural roots, a Sikh community finds work within the struggling Italian Parmesan industry.

* Asheq Akhtar’s On Migration 
A short film about the early experiences of migrants from Bangladesh and India, using verbatim accounts from the director's parents as they recount their personal journeys arriving in 1970's England.
*Anurag Goswami’s Kaun Kamleshwar? 
Brothers Madhav and Raghu travel back to their village with a clear mission – to find Kamleshwar and put an end to their troubles. Fate, however, takes an unexpected turn

Packed screening of Pakistan film “Josh”

  Director Iram Parveen Bilal  with the
film's music composer 
Andrew T Mackay at the Q&A
The London Indian Film Festival’s screenings draw full crowds in most of its many (as many as eleven) venues around all of London city. The two screenings for the Pakistan film Josh, which premiered at 2012 MAMI festival in Mumbai, were sold out in no time. The post screening Q and A was moderated by Kate Kinninmont, chief executive of the UK chapter of Women in Film and Television. It was addressed by the director – (this is her debut work) - and her music composer Andrew T Mackay. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

4th London Indian Film Festival

Closing night tomorrow ...with the screening of Bombay Talkies!

Irrfan Khan inaugurating the festival
The  London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) is coming to the close of its 4th edition. Its highlights over the past week included  the UK Premieres of Monsoon Shootout and Bombay Talkies, rare Masterclasses by two internationally acclaimed film personalities Director Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Actor Irrfan Khan, the festival’s first Pakistani and Gujarati films to the festival. The festival this year will have its first  movie Tour to Glasgow Film Theatre and National Media Museum, Bradford. 

A special side event is the Satyajit Ray Foundation International Short Film Competition 2013 which is held at the Nehru Centre. The winner of the £1,000 award will be announced on Thursday 25 July, at the Cineworld Haymarket during the closing night Gala.

* Life In Pictures:   Adoor Gopalkrishnan - Master Class.
Moderator Derek Malcolm

*In Conversation:  Irrfan Khan
Moderator - director Asif Kapadia

At Nehru Centre:
Cary Sawhney and Satwant Gill 
The Festival’s main management team
Creative & Executive Director, Cary Rajinder Sawhney
Head of Industry & Partnerships, Satwant Gill
Programmer, Naman Ramachandran
Programming Team includes: Uma da Cunha (Film Programme Adviser),
 and Satwant Gill (short films)
Business Manager, Chris Hainsworth
Festival Brand Ambassador, Fereyna Wazheir
Marketing & PR Head, Ashanti Omkar
Marketing & Sponsorships Adviser, Laxmi Hariharan
Talent Manager, Pooja Vir
Prints Co-ordinator, Krushil Patel

The festivals screening venues spread across the city
Cineworld Haymarket
Cineworld Wood Green
Cineworld Staples Corner
Cineworld Shaftesbury Ave
Cineworld The O2
Peckhamplex Cinema (Free)
Cineworld Wandsworth
BFI Southbank
The Nehru Centre

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Farewell to 10th Stuttgart ...

Looking back at its lighter and also serious moments!

Distributor and head of crowd-funding company Catapooolt, Yogesh Karikurve (up front in the line-up) teaching the festival's management team the intricacies of Bollywood dancing. This was at a private dinner for the staff and delegates where Indian food was cooked and served by programmers Therese Hayes and Uma da Cunha

Opening Day ...
open-air welcome at the
Metropol Cinema 

Local dignitaries at the
Red Carpet fanfare,
Extreme left, Oliver Mahn, director of the festival, and festival's mentor and supporter Andreas Lapp conveying his  namaskars to all his guests

The team of the award winning Shahid answering questions posed to them post-screening of their film. 
Festival's moderator, director Hansal Mehta and actors Raj Kumar Yadav and Vipin Sharma 

Closing ceremony, on stage

Jury member Revathy announcing the German Star of India award - alongside Andreas Lapp and festival hostess Nadine Krüger

This top award went to Nitin Kakkar for his debut work, Filmistaan 

On stage
London-based directors Kuvera and Nelson Sivalingam,  the ebullient winners of  the Audience Award for their documentary, The Rajni Effect

Still from Filmistaan, winner of the German Star of India 


Still from Shahid, winner of The Director's Vision Award

Next Stop

On to the closing days of the London Indian Film Festival of which Cary Sawhney is the creative and executive director 


Monday, July 22, 2013

German Star of India’ for director Nitin Kakkar for Filmistaan

The big winner of the festival is Filmistaan. The German Star of India - a cash prize of 4000 Euros which was donated by the main sponsor Andreas Lapp, honours a feature film, that narrates a very serious political theme in a very poetic and humorous way. According to the jury, the film achieves to reveal the truth about the unnatural gap between simple people who speak the same language and live basically the same culture – in a very simple narration, that touches our hearts and raises questions of the political stance taken by several counties. This film is a fine example of the power of Art and is a befitting piece of work commemorating 100 years of Indian Cinema. 

The German Star of India in the category of short film went to, Calcutta Taxi by Vikram Dasgupta.
The German Star of India in the category documentary film went to Salma by Kim Longinotto.
The competition prices totaled with an amount of 7000 Euros was awarded.

Short Film for Calcutta Taxi 

Calcutta Taxi by Vikram Dasgupta is a lighthearted short film, which touches big topics of today`s India. A young art student is struggling to get back his belongings, which he believes to be stolen by a taxi driver. But things are slightly different. 

Salma wins in the category of documentary film
Salma by Kim Longinotto fascinates and shocks likewise. Locked in  the family`s house since her adolscence, without the possibility to go to school and to participate in life of society any longer, she escapes in a world of poetry. She begins to come to term with her life in poems. A breach of taboo. According to the jury Kim Longinotto achieves to bring Salma`s world and that of her family very close to the viewer. 

Photo Courtesy:  Frank von zur Gathen

Director`s Vision Award for Shahid
The Director`s Vision Award goes to Hansal Mehta for his film, Shahid. The jury commended for the choice of his subject: "The true story of a selfless and dedicated human rights activist, who laid his life on the line to defend helpless and often very poor victims of political prejudice."

Sunday, July 21, 2013

10 Years This Year!

Indian Film Festival Stuttgart
July 17 to 21, 2013

In celebration of Stuttgart’s Tenth Year
Uma da Cunha’s daily diary
Day 5

This year the Indian Film Festival Stuttgart is hosting a triple celebration. First, the festival this year is in its tenth edition. Second, the festival honours the 45th year when the agreement was signed between Germany and India to make Mumbai and Stuttgart twin cities. Third, the festival is honouring India’s 100 years of Indian cinema.

India’s centenary year of cinema was lauded in a very special way yesterday evening. As its centrepiece, the festival screened the 1924 silent classic, Throw of Dice, in the largest 360-seater hall at the elegant Metropol Cinema to a full house... This film is particularly apt because the director of the film is the German filmmaker Franz Osten, who teamed up with Himanshu Roy (the main lead in this film) and others to make films in India on Indian themes.

Stuttgart made this evening memorable by inviting the sitar maestro Nishat Khan to play his original composition as an accompanying embellishment to the silent film.  The celebrated musician – who lives in Los Angeles – had London-based tabla player  Hanif Dewaka and San Francisco-based Franklin Martin on percussion and keyboard.  The music matched the film scene to scene and Nishat’s stirring sitar rendering brought the film to life – making it seem effortlessly contemporary.  

Nishat Khan is regarded today as the foremost virtuoso of the sitar. He comes from a renowned family steeped in classical Indian music for seven generations. The son and disciple of Ustad Imrat Khan, Nishat has been performing on stage since the age of seven. His command of the sitar makes his rendering explosive and Nishat has mastered not only the North Indian classical idiom but also styles and genres in music from other countries, such as the Gregorian chant, Western classical music, abstract jazz and Flamenco. He has collaborated with the  leading performers and composers such as John McLaughlin, Philip Glass, Paco Pena, Evelyn Glennie, and Django Bates.

After a folded-hands response to a 15 minute ovation, Nishat answered questions from the audience. To someone who obviously knew the intricacies of North Indian music, Nishat said that his composition complementing Throw of Dice used amalgamation of many haravi. ragas conducive to one another. In the main however he said he used the ragas Mand and Biaravvi. “The film is amazing in its visual range and density” he said. “It can go from a gruesome shot of an alligator or a slithering snake to the beautiful face of the heroine, Sunita, or a bewitching landscape. The contrasts are quick and startling. So the music to it has to be charged with the same fluidity”. 

Nishat said that when he initially saw the film, he fell in love with the beauteous Seeta Devi who plays the heroine (easy to do because she is so naively seductive) - and then with the film itself.  Although made in 1924, the film and its attention to detail (here Nishat elaborated on the subject) are amazing and authentic. He said the sitar lent itself as its music track because of its strong and dynamic nature, n which Nishat emphatically excels. He said he ended on a quiet solo piece because here again the sitar strains can be used for prolonged, effective, haunting effect. Nishat then gamely demonstrated for the rapt audience on how many ways this effect can be created.

Nishat surprised the audience by singing a Rajasthani ballad that he had composed for the first romantic scene in the film. His voice is gentle, mellifluous and evocative.

Clearly, the Stuttgart festival responded with warmth and admiration to this singular evening honouring Indian cinema.

Revathy’s comedic flair

In the q&a that followed the film Molly Aunty Rocks, Revathy stated that she thoroughly enjoyed playing comedy roles specially with a director as perceptive as Ranjith Sankar. She paid tribute to his film because it has made an impact on Malayalam cinema of today. The film has a 45 year old woman as its main character – and this woman is feisty, independent and full of the fun of life. The film has opened doors to playing string, leading roles”.