Friday, December 26, 2014

Call for entry: 62nd National Film Awards
Entries are invited for the 62nd National Film Awards in Feature films, Non-feature films and Best Writing on Cinema categories.
In co-productions, at least one of the producers must be an Indian entity. The director should be an Indian citizen and the cast and crew should be predominantly Indian nationals. The film should have been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) between 1st January 2014 and 31st December 2014.
Film professionals & technicians of foreign origin can also be considered for Awards. All films must carry English subtitles.
Last date for receipt of the application along with the print or Digi-beta (as the case may be) in the Directorate of Film Festivals, shall be 20th January, 2015.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Prashant Nair’s ‘Umrika’ goes to Sundance film fest

Director: Prashant Nair
Independent filmmaker Prashant Nair’s ‘Umrika’ has been officially selected in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition section of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, which will take place Jan 22-Feb 1, 2015.
‘Umrika’, which features ‘Life of Pi’ fame Suraj Sharma, is about a young village boy who discovers that his brother, long believed to be in the US, has actually gone missing. He begins to invent letters on his behalf to save their mother from heartbreak, all the while searching for him.
‘Umrika’ is jointly produced by Manish Mundra (‘Ankhon Dekhi’) and Swati Shetty. This is Nair’s second feature film after the critically acclaimed ‘Delhi in a Day’.
Sundance's World Cinema dramatic competition features the following films: Australian director Kim Farrant’s “Strangerland,” a marital drama starring Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving; Scottish helmer John Maclean’s “Slow West,” a Kiwi-produced Western with Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Ben Mendelsohn; and Irish filmmaker Gerard Barrett’s “Glassland,” a Dublin-set crime movie with Jack Reynor and Toni Collette. Elsewhere, the wide-ranging international lineup will also feature titles from Italy (Lamberto Sanfelice’s “Chlorine”), Turkey (Tolga Karacelik’s “Ivy”), Israel (Tali Shalom Ezer’s “Princess”) , Brazil (Anna Muylaert’s “The Second Mother”) and from India, Prashant Nair’s “Umrika”.




Saturday, November 29, 2014


NFDC Film Bazaar 2014 closes, marks new beginnings

~Film Bazaar sessions and labs bridge the gap between global film industries ~
~ Some promising projects: ‘No Land's Man’, ‘Proposition for a Revolution’, ‘The Strange Case of Shiva (Sivapuranam)’ and ‘Love of Man’ bag completion funds at Film Bazaar 2014
~Prasad EFX offer post-production support to ‘Thithi’

Goa, Sunday, November 24 2014:  The 8th annual Film Bazaar organized by National Film Development Corporation Ltd. (NFDC) culminated at the Marriot Resort Goa after a value adding film exchange between South Asian film industry and the global film fraternity over the last four days.

The project/ films at the Film Bazaar that have received Development awards, etc are as under

  1. NFDC’s Development Award along with the prize money worth Rs. 10 lakhs went to Mostafa Sarwar Farooki for producing ”No Land’s Man” under the ‘Co-production market.’
  2. Raam Reddy’s “Thithi” won the sponsorship for Digital Intermediate process at the facilities of Prasad EFX under the “ Work In Progress Feature’ category
  3. Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla’s ”Proposition for a Revolution” won under Work In Progress Documentary section for taking their rough-cut documentary to completion

In recognition of the role that the platform has played in facilitating the growth of cinema in recent years, Mr. Vidhu Vinod Chopra, eminent director and producer has come forward and extended an interest free repayable loan of INR 10 Lakh to the film, Haraamkhor’ by writer and director Shlok Sharma on behalf of Vinod Chopra Films and Rajkumar Hirani out of the Film Bazaar Recommends selections of films looking for gap financing. This is a new initiative to ensure that while funds are made available to deserving film makers, they are also responsible for returning the monies. This sum of 10 lakhs in the form of floating fund that would be given to deserving films in the next edition of Film Bazaar after the recipient of this year’s award returns it. Likewise Mr. Manish Mundra has extended an interest free repayable loan of INR 10 Lakh each to Rinku Kalsy’s for Love of Man’ and to Arun Karthick for The Strange Case of Shiva (Sivapuranam), both showcased under Film Bazaar Recommends.

Day 4 of Film Bazaar 2014 began with a session on ‘Promoting India as an International Filming Destination’, followed by panel discussions on ‘Monetisation of Indie Films’ and ‘Cinemas of India -
Punjab’. The Knowledge Series also featured a master class by film maker Anurag Kashyap in conversation with Nina Lath Gupta, Managing Director, NFDC on ‘How and why to maximize your film. Is there a formula?’ They addressed various aspects of maximizing a film’s potential and shared experiences on Film Bazaar as a mentorship platform for a film maker.

An afternoon session saw Rajeev Masand in conversation with noted film maker Karan Johar discussing what goes behind nurturing and mentoring the future star actors and directors of Bollywood.

At the Producer’s Lab, day 4 saw sessions here on ’How Not to Mess Up on Post’ with Editor and Post-Producer Vijay Venkatramanan and ‘An Introduction to the CNC Fund’ by Emmanuelle Deprats.

Started in 2008, Film Bazaar has come a long way and become a sought after annual film market that connects filmmakers with producers, distributors and critics. This year’s Film Bazaar marked many new beginning besides creating networking opportunities for mainstream as well as new film makers and saw participation of about 1050 Delegates from over 38 countries. Film Bazaar also promoted co-productions by facilitating collaborations among potential domestic and international partners.

According to Nina Lath Gupta - Managing Director, NFDC India, “The response at the 8th edition of Film Bazaar has been overwhelming. We are truly pleased to see that our endeavor to encourage and showcase the film talent of India and South Asia at a global level, has reached new heights. What started as an idea eight years ago has evolved into a vital annual film event that the film fraternity looks forward to, year after year.”

The networking lunch today was hosted by the Tamil Nadu tourism and Co-optex and the networking cocktails were hosted by Abu Dhabi Film Festival at the Marriott Resort, Goa.

​To access the images for NFDC Film Bazaar 2014, kindly visit www.solarisimages.com. On the top right hand corner click 'log in'

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Password - filmbazaar123


Once logged in, click on NFDC Film Bazaar '14. Select the image or images you like and click on the downloading facility for high resolution image

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


FSLC Logo

GANGS OF WASSEYPUR


Exclusive New York City Engagement Begins Friday, January 16
at the 
Film Society of Lincoln Center

Gangs of Wasseypur, presented by Adi Shankar, is Anurag Kashyap’s extraordinary blood-and-bullets-fueled five-plus hour crime saga spanning 70 years in the lives—and spectacular deaths—of two mafia-like families fighting for control of the slums of Wasseypur in coal-rich eastern India, inspired by the real-life exploits of local gangs. Kashyap and his producing partner Guneet Monga also produced this year’s foreign-language hit The Lunchbox. Here, the director who’s been dubbed “the godfather of modern Indian independent cinema” offers his own epic to rival The Godfather saga and Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America. A selection of the Sundance Film Festival and Cannes, Gangs of Wasseypur will have its exclusive New York City engagement at the Film Society beginning Friday, January 16.   
 
The brand-new U.S. trailer for the film is available exclusively here:
http://youtu.be/SWTXVr8L0eE

Manoj Bajpayee (of the Kashyap-scripted gangster epic Satya) throws himself into the role of Sardar Khan, the revenge-driven patriarch wronged by Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia, the renowned director in a rare acting role), a mine owner turned corrupt politician. Shot with the flair of Tarantino and the scope of Scorsese, the enthralling Gangs of Wasseypur doubles as a chronicle of social and historical tides in 20th-century India. Called “a sprawling, giddy, hyperviolent ride” by Sight & Sound, Kashyap’s opus features plenty of sly humor, including Dhulia’s hilarious anti-Bollywood tirades. A Cinelicious Pics release.
 
Director Anurag Kashyap, Producer Guneet Monga, and Executive Producer Adi Shankar are available for phone interviews. Contact John Wildman, jwildman@filmlinc.com, for more information.

“A dizzying explosion of an Indian gangster film.” – Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

“Belongs alongside the great crime sagas of the cinema: The Godfather Trilogy, City of God, Bertolucci's 1900, Heimat and Election.” – Kurt Halfyard, Twitchfilm

Director: Anurag Kashyap; Producer: Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Guneet Monga, Sunil Bohra, Anurag Kashyap; Associate Producer: Ajay G Rai; Written by: Zeishan Quadri, Akhilesh, Sachin Ladia, Anurag Kashyap; Story: Zeishan Quadri; Cinematography: Rajeev Ravi; Music: Sneha Khanwalker; Editor: Shweta Venkat Matthew; Sound Design: Kunal Sharma
 

320 minutes / DCP / Color / Stereo / Not Rated / 2012
In Hindi with English Subtitles

 
For information or access to a screener or a link to view the film,
please contact John Wildman, jwildman@filmlinc.com

Press Notes and Stills available at:
www.filmlinc.com/press
password: pressfslc


FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center works to recognize established and emerging filmmakers, support important new work, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility, and understanding of the moving image. The Film Society produces the renowned New York Film Festival, a curated selection of the year’s most significant new film work, and presents or collaborates on other annual New York City festivals including Dance on Camera, Film Comment Selects, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, NewFest, New York African Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, New York Jewish Film Festival, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema and Rendez-Vous with French Cinema. In addition to publishing the award-winning Film Comment magazine, the Film Society recognizes an artist's unique achievement in film with the prestigious Chaplin Award, whose 2015 recipient is Robert Redford. The Film Society’s state-of-the-art Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, located at Lincoln Center, provide a home for year-round programs and the New York City film community.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, Jaeger-LeCoultre, American Airlines, The New York TimesHBO, Stella Artois, The Kobal Collection, Variety, Trump International Hotel and Tower, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. 

For more information, visit www.filmlinc.com, follow @filmlinc on Twitter and download the FREE Film Society app, now available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices.

 


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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

REFLECTIONS FROM THE TOKYO FILM FESTIVAL

Daihachi Yoshida’s “Pale Moon”

Everything at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) scales vast spaces, dizzying heights and awesome high tech. It is set in the sprawling upbeat Roppongi Hills complex which embraces a host of public venues such as restaurants, shops, relaxation areas and a splendid museum. The 2014 TIFF takes place in the Mori Building West which houses several theatres, the festival’s office rooms as well as meeting places such as the Press computer room, the festival video room to catch films one has missed, and banquet rooms for events and parties. This is on the 49th floor (the building has 51 floors in all).  TIFF is supported by the Japanese government in conjunction with the country’s leading conglomerates, the latter input accounting for its large-scale organization.

The steady drizzle on opening night (October 23) did not deter the festival’s glitz  as guests from around Asia, Europe and Hollywood traipsed damp the red carpet alongside Japan’s Prime Minister, Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado and leading State politicians.

The august audience then watched the world premiere of Don Hall and Chris Williams' animation “Big Hero 6”, released locally by Disney. With the story set in San Fransokyo, a fictional combination of Tokyo and San Francisco, and the festival's emphasis on animation this year, the film provided the ideal start to the coming ten days.

The lavish party that followed saw glimpses of several friends of Indian cinema, such as Christian Jeune  from Cannes, Cameron Bailey from Toronto (on jury duty),

Kim Dong-ho, Honorary Director of the Busan film festival, Nashen Moodley – Sydney Film Festival director and also Asia/Africa programmer for Dubai film festival, the Japanese film critic Tadao Sato, among many others.

On the first day press conference programming director Yoshi Yatabe said that all 15 feature films competing this year convey portrayals of “people with their backs to the wall”, people who are cornered and wondering "how they are going to live tomorrow."  

The six member International jury seconded the choice of films. Chaired by American writer, director, producer, actor, musician, cartoonist James Gunn, the jury comprised Korea-born filmmaker John H. Lee (“A Moment to Remember”, 2004), Australian director Robert Luketic (forthcoming female-led “Expendabelles”), Singapore's Eric Khoo (Cannes 2008 Palme d'Or contender, “My Magic”), Japanese comedian/director Hiroshi Shinagawa (“One Third”, 2013), and veteran casting director Debbie McWilliams (“Skyfall”, 2012). At their media meet, the jury were both articulate and open about their impassioned crusading of cinema that is truthful and enlightening, the kind that should form the core of a film festival.

Chairperson Gunn, referring to this year’s TIFF, said, "It's great to have these pockets of real culture ... It's important to have events that acknowledge films as something other than commerce, so that it doesn't become a world where movies are made purely to make a lot of money and don't have any heart."

Director Luketic added that he viewed cinema as a “beacon of hope that illuminates the global human condition."  Considering the world’s difficult and challenging times, he said, “Films that can offer me hope and a sense that we're all kind of in this together -- that's sort of what I would look for, something truthful in that regard."

The festival announced the inauguration of the Samurai Award, to be presented to veteran filmmakers who “continue to create ground-breaking films that carve out a path to a new era.” The first recipients are Japanese director Takeshi Kitano and US director Tim Burton, whose “Big Eyes” was screened at the festival. Other sections announced include World Focus (films screened at major fests, but with no Japanese distribution), Asian Future (films by new Asian directors, including Japan and the Middle East), Japanese Cinema Splash (Japanese indie films) and Special Screenings (commercial films to be released in Japan over the last quarter of the year). Other key sections cover the work of animator Hideaki Anno, films from the New York Museum of Modern Art  (MoMA) collection, and new Thai films presented by the Japan Foundation Asian Center.

A luncheon was hosted the first day by the Japan Foundation’s Asia Center allying itself with the cinema industry in Asia and its individual festivals to promote their combined film culture. The same evening saw The Japan Foundation celebrate its presentation of Thai films in this year’s Tokyo festival and also its intention to work closely with Asia’s festivals to extend the strength of Asian films. Curiously, in the list of countries named or aimed for in this laudable collaboration, India was not mentioned even once. It would appear that the Near East remains somewhat outside the orbit of cinematic goals being heralded in the Far East – a situation that surely needs to be addressed and corrected.

The handful of films, mostly in competition, were steeped in the dire crises, often self created that individuals face amid the forces that shape our times. The much touted sole Japanese competition film, Daihachi Yoshida’s “Pale Moon” featured top star Rei Miyazawa as a disgruntled woman caught is a dull marriage.  Starting as a banking clerk, her swift promotions lead to her embezzling funds to free herself. The film ends on an ambiguous note, taking no position on her motivations.

Another ,low-key Japanese film, Takashi Nishihara’s debut work “Starting Over”, unfolded a poignant story of two schoolgirls drawn whose inseparable closeness develops into a lesbian relationship, largely because their home lives shut them out any sign of love or understanding.

The Spanish film “Flowers” directed by Jon Garaño and Jose Maria Goenaga, takes the onslaught of menopause into a surreal longing for love which changes the lives of three women stemming from one of them mysteriously receiving a bouquet of flowers every week without a clue of who the sender is.

From the Philippines, “Above The Clouds” directed by Pepe Diokno, starts with devastating scenes of a major flood that took hundreds of lives, and then zeroes  into a 15-year-old orphaned by it. He is sent to live with his eccentric, grubby grandfather. His initial grief and resentment finally gives way to an acceptance that life has something to give even when it denies you everything at one stroke.

Courtesy: http://thecitizen.in/ - India's first independent on-line daily which was launched on January 27, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Aamir Khan gets superstar reception at the Tokyo International Film Festival

 

AAmir Khan and director Vijay Krishna Acharya )check name) of Dhoom 3

Aamir Khan and director Vijay (Victor) Krishna Acharya of Dhoom 3

October 29, two days prior to the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival's closing its ten day run, was the day for Dhoom 3 to be screened for the first time in Japan as an official selection at the festival. Aamir Khan was in town, along with the director of the film, Vijay (Victor) Krishna Acharya,  for the film's press conference followed by the screening. Both events were eagerly awaited by the local film audience and were touched with high excitement and anticipation. Both were packed to the brim with an almost 100 percent Japanese audience. Dhoom 3  is releasing in Japan on December 5, 2014 in 100 cinemas, the highest ever for an Indian film.

Aamir Khan has become a well-known name after his film 3 Idiots became a huge hit when it was released in Japan in June 2013.  As a matter of fact, because of recent Indian hits in the Japanese film market, there is an upward curve of interest in Indian cinema in Japan right now.  

The press conference was packed with around 100 Japanese media from TV and print attending.  The questions came  fast and furious and many had to remain disappointed for lack of time. Then, in the very same Press room, a brand new BMW motor-cycle was brought in for a photo session with both the famous actor and his director.

At the full-house public screening of the film, the audience applauded the two again – some gave him bouquets, others a token of appreciation, making it clear that in Japan, Aamir Khan is now a rage and a star. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

ROME FILM FESTIVAL | FESTIVAL INTERNAZIONALE DEL FILM DI ROMA
16 | 25 October 2014

Bollywood is back at the Rome Film Festival: the celebrated Indian filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj to present Haider and walk the red carpet with star Shahid Kapoor,
along with dances and choreographies to the sounds of the film’s score

Bhardwaj meets the Festival audience and is the protagonist of an onstage conversation on “Shakespeare and Cinema” at the Teatro Argentina

Bollywood takes another bow at the Rome Film Festival: today, Friday October 24th, at 9:30pm, the Festival hosts the premiere of Haider, the new film from Vishal Bhardwaj, Indian writer-director-producer as well as composer and singer, renowned for his masterful and innovative screen adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. Maqbool (2003) was based on “Macbeth” and Omkara (2006) on “Othello”; the two, which met with critical and popular acclaim in India and abroad, make up the first two parts of the trilogy which concludes with Haider, based on “Hamlet”.

The film, which will be screened in the Sala Sinopoli at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, features an impressive cast of Bollywood stars: Shahid Kapoor, honored at the Filmfare Awards, the Indian film industry’s most important accolades; and Tabu, considered one of the best actresses in Hindi cinema today, who has won the prestigious National Film Award for many of her film roles, and also starred in The Namesake, which premiered at the Rome Film Festival.

It’s going to be a crowded red carpet at 9 p.m. as Vishal Bhardwaj and Shahid Kapoor file down the aisle with the dance troupe “BollyMasala Dance Company”, which specializes in Bollywood dance. The troupe, directed by Ambili Abraham, a dancer and choreographer for Cinematic dance and a Bollywood dance icon in Italy since 2000, will sway to the rhythms of the film’s soundtrack. The film has already met with overwhelming success in India, a hit with audiences and critics alike.

Earlier in the day, at 6 p.m., Vishal Bhardwaj will be at the Teatro Argentina for a talk with the Festival audience devoted to “Shakespeareand Cinema”. The conversation will take place in the Sala Squarzina, which hosted the screenings of Maqbool and Omkara last Monday. The Indian filmmaker will be dialoguing with theater critic Attilio Scarpellini and directors Andrea Baracco and Veronica Cruciani, who have already devoted two stage productions to “Hamlet”.


Fondazione Cinema per Roma
Press Office | International Press
Viale Pietro de Coubertin, 10
00196 Roma
Italy

Rome Film Festival | Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma
October 16-25, 2014



Diary From The Tokyo International Film Festival

 

Aamir Khan

Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) was launched in 1985 as a biannual event. 1991 onwards it became annual. Among Asia’s leading competitive festivals, TIFF’s awards have changed over the years. However, the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix for the Best Film has remained its top award. Other regular prizes include the Special Jury Award and best actor, best actress and best director awards. TIFF now takes place in Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills development. Its events include open-air screenings, voice-over screenings, and appearances by actors, seminars and symposiums related to the film market, and sight-seeing tours that connect to the country’s unique setting and culture.

Aamir Khan at the Fest

TIFF has always shown an interest in Indian cinema screening unusual films such as S S Rajamouli’s “Makkhi” (2012) and Anant Gandhi’s “Ship of Theseus” (2012) in previous years.

2014 TIFF screens two unusual and polarised Indian films. One features in ‘World Focus -Discovering Asian Cinema’ -- the widely traveled “Song of Apu” (Apur Panchali) directed by Kaushik Ganguly. It traces the real life story inspired by Subir Banerjee, the child actor who played the iconic role of Apu in Satyajit Ray’s masterpiece “Pather Panchali”. Despite such a prime start to an acting career,Apu’ Banerjee never took another film role in his life. Eerily enough, his real life existence started bearing an uncanny resemblance to the 'reel life' Apu.

TIFF 2014 also welcomes Aamir Khan as a high profile guest appearance at the Special Screening “Dhoom: 3” directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya. The film is expected to screen on October 29. This marks Aamir Khan’s first official visit to Japan. He is traveling with his wife Kiran Rao and their son Azad Rao Khan. It is said that the family may celebrate Kiran’s birthday (November 7) in style in Japan.

Doors Open for Indian cinema

2014 TIFF’s rich feast of international cinema and Japanese films augurs well for India. The festival’s scenario now reflects Japan’s doors opening to release Indian films.

Mr.Aki Sugihara, the executive vice president (international operations) of Japan's oldest film production and distribution firm, Nikkatsu Corporation, now famous as the new Pioneer of Indian Cinema in the film industry Of Japan, first came to India in 2011 to attend the Mumbai Film Mart (MFM), an annual business-to-business platform at the Mumbai Film Festival. Since then, his company has released four Indian films in Japan –“3 Idiots(2009) , which I gather is still showing, Farhan Akhtar’s “Don 2” (2011) starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kabir Khan’s “Ek Tha Tiger” (2012) starring Salman Khan and Yash Chopra’s “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” (2012) starring Shah Rukh Khan. Subsequently Gauri Shinde’s “English-Vinglish” too had a good release.

3 Idiots and Bachchan

When “3 Idiots” unleashed in Japanese markets in June 2013, it went on to collect around ¥100 million (61 million) in its first two weeks, making it the highest grosser Hindi film ever in Japan. It was nominated for the Japanese Oscar (the foreign films category along with other Hollywood films). Mr Sugihara affirms that the number of Indian releases will soon double. He has also been busy with the release of “Makkhi” in his country.

Korean-born Japanese filmmaker Sang-il Lee (“Hula Girls”, 2006) showcased his “Unforgiven” last year in 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI, Goa), where he said in an interview, "It's my first time in India … I can say that Amitabh Bachchan and the film '3 Idiots' are very popular in Japan."

Rajinikant sets the Trend

The acceptance of a more wide-based collection of new Indian films follows the phenomenal appeal of Tamil superstar Rajinikanth in Japan ever since his 1996-super hit “Muthu” (1995) released in the country. It ran for a record 23 weeks, to about 90 percent occupancy, and became a top hit in Japan. It then had a successful cross country run through the WOWTOW private TV channel and DVDs, finally making it to the coveted broadcast list of NHK, which aired the film in 2001.

Since then, Rajini is a household name in Japan and the most popular Indian star in the country. Now Aamir Khan follows in his wake. His appearance at 2014 TIFF promises to fuel Japan’s burgeoning interest in Indian cinema.

Courtesy: http://thecitizen.in/ - India's first independent on-line daily which was launched on January 27, 2014.reproducing Uma da Cunha's column

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

MAMI Diaries: Day 7

‘Court’ing success in the city

The week-long celebration of cinephilia at the 16th Mumbai Film Festival ended on a high note with David Ayer’s Brad Pitt-starrer Fury, set during the World War II, as its closing film. Earlier in the day, the movie buffs caught up on the best of world cinema, many of which were repeat screenings. The two notable films on this day were The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius’ French drama The Search and Kim-ki Duk’s South Korean thriller One On One. With riveting performances by Berenice Bejo and the nine-year-old Abdul Khalim Mamutsiev, The Search, set during the 90s’ war-torn Chechnya, was a moving tale of a young boy taken in by a woman working with the Human Rights Committee and their special relationship. On the other hand, Duk’s revenge drama was a gory affair about seven suspects who are hunted down after the murder of a girl.

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Madhuri Dixit-Nene and Aamir Khan

The highlight of this day was indeed a glittering awards ceremony, attended by Bollywood’s crème de la crème including Madhuri Dixit-Nene and Aamir Khan. Peter Webber-led International Competition jury presented the Golden Gateway of India award for Best Film to Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court – that also won the Best Director award and Special Jury Mention for the Ensemble Cast -- while the Mexican drama Gueros bagged The Silver Gateway of India trophy. Meanwhile, French actor Martin Loizillon earned the Best Actor trophy for Fever and the Silver Gateway of India trophy for Best Actress was given to Liron Ben-Shlush for her exceptional performance in Next To Her. Finally, the jury award for Best Work Camera was bagged by Anthony ‘Tat’ Radcliffe for his cinematography in the historical action film ’71.

Within the India Gold section, Bikas Ranjan Mishra’s Chauranga was adjudged the Best Film and won the Golden Gateway of India award while Avinash Arun’s Killa won the Silver Gateway, with the film also receiving special award for its ensemble cast. In the short film competition, Dimensions Mumbai, Disha Rindani’s Mumbai 70 won the best film award while Shristi Jain’s Unfit received the second prize. Ramachandra Gaonkar’s Selfie received a special mention by the jury.

- Krutika Behrawala (Contributing Writer at FIW)

Monday, October 20, 2014

MAMI Diaries: Day 6

The masters at MAMI

With the 16th Mumbai Film Festival slowly inching to a close, the city cinephiles made a dash to catch up as many movies as they could and they were not disappointed. The second last day of the festival offered an array of international fare including Olivier Assayas’ Clouds Of Sils Maria. Starring the acclaimed Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz, the film is a story of an actress, Maria (Binoche), who, at the peak of her career, is asked to perform in a revival play, however, not the central character that actually made her famous but another, more pathetic one and how her personal assistant (Stewart) helps her prep for it.

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                                                   Imtiaz Ali, Kunal Kapoor, Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani

Also on showcase were Edward Berger’s German adolescent drama Jack, Michel Hazanavicius’ French drama The Search, Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent, the biography of the powerhouse fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and Ken Loach’s Jimmy’s Hall – set in Ireland of 1920s, a stirring story of the political activist Jimmy Gralton and his quest to reopen a dance hall that was shut down by the parish.

Indian director Chaitanya Tamhane’s debut feature Court, that follows a court case in which a folk singer is tried for abetting the suicide of a manhole worker with his inflammatory song and bagged an award at the 71st Venice International Film Festival, opened to a packed house at this festival.

On the sidelines was an insightful roundtable conversation conducted by Imtiaz Ali with Shyam Benegal, Nafisa Ali, Govind Nihalani and Kunal Kapoor post which, Benegal’s 1978 period drama Junoon was screened. Meanwhile, Kal Penn and Rajpal Yadav launched the first look and behind-the-scenes footage from their upcoming film Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain, a social thriller based on the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984.

- Krutika Behrawala (Contributing Writer for FIW)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A warm welcome for Amar, Akbar and Tony

UK-based Atul Malhotra’s debut feature film Amar, Akbar & Tony, the closing film showcased under the Film India Worldwide section at the 16th Mumbai Film Festival, met with a packed house and a highly positive response. Interestingly, this screening marked the film’s World Premiere.

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Rez Kempton and Atul Malhotra

With a sly take-off from the 1977 Bollywood lost-and-found comedy, Amar, Akbar, Anthony, this film is a 10-year journey of three childhood friends -- Amar, Akbar and Tony – looking for love and dealing with absurdities of life. Laced with humour (one of the lines go ‘We shifted from Punjab in India to Southall, Punjab in London’) and Bollywood hits of the 80s, the film takes a harsh turn when one of its leads is arrested for murder and also touches upon rigid social taboos that Asian communities in the UK live by.

Present at the screening were Malhotra and the film’s lead actor, Rez Kempton, who has worked in several UK-based TV series and films. Said Malhotra, “While many might make fun of Bollywood, I love watching Hindi movies and as a result, decided to use a title that is a take-off on the hit Bollywood film.” Apart from the director and actor’s friends, also present at the screening were Pitobash, who was cast in the international venture Million Dollar Arm that released earlier this year and British music composer Andrew MacKay.

- Krutika Behrawala (Contributing Writer for FIW)

MAMI Diaries: Day 4

With every passing day, the cinema-hungry audiences at the 16th Mumbai Film Festival only keep increasing and the varied line-up of films ensures that every taste is catered to. From Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, that could well be the first Iranian western featuring a female vampire to Lech Majewski’s Polish love story Field of Dogs to Chinese master Zhang Yimou’s war drama Coming Home to Matthew Warchus’ real life inspired British drama Pride to Lars von Trier’s much-hyped sex addiction drama Nymphomaniac Volume 1, there was lots to catch up on the weekend for cinegoers.

clip_image002The film that drew in maximum crowds was undoubtedly Party Girl. Helmed by directed by Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis, the French drama, that won Camera d’Or at 2014 Cannes Film Festival, is a story of a bar hostess nearing sixties, who sets out to address her fear of ageing. With her realistic performance, Angélique Litzenburger, who plays the protagonist, ensured that the audience was a part of her party too.

Also witnessing a packed house was Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s social drama Two Days, One Night. A woman’s struggle of asking her colleagues to vote for her to stay on over their bonus, when she is laid off the job, this Marion Cotillard starrer received thumbs up for its sensitive and simplistic narrative as well as the lead’s stellar performance.

On the sidelines was a presentation by Anurag Kashyap on his 2004 release Black Friday, a gritty and dark portrayal of the investigations in the aftermath of the 1993 Bombay bomb blasts. A session on music in film, attended by many budding composers and filmmakers, saw Frenchman Laurent Koppitz from FAMES Project Macedonia in conversation with the British composer Andrew McKay, providing insights into the realities and costs involved in music compositions for films.

- Krutika Behrawala (Contributing writer for FIW)

Friday, October 17, 2014

MAMI Diaries: Day 2

 

A day of classics and contemporaries

clip_image002On the second day of the 16th Mumbai Film Festival, the audiences revisited some of the classics in world cinema and at the same time, got a taste of the latest fare from across the globe. As a toast to the French actress, Catherine Denevue, the festival screened her 1966 classic rom-com A Matter of Resistance and later in the evening, her most recent Dans La Cour (In The Courtyard), both drawing maximum crowds.

Celebrating Arab Cinema was Saleh Abu Seif’s 1960 black and white social drama The Beginning & The End, while Frank Capra’s 1934 classic It Happened One Night opened the Restored Classics section at the fest and Grigoriy Chukhray’s Ballad of a Soldier, the 1959 black and white Russian classic marked the Celebration of 90 Years of MOSFILM Studio. Closer home, Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen, too, received the fest’s salute as Dibakar Banerjee and Tigmanshu Dhulia, who worked as the casting director for the film, presented this cult classic.

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Dibakar Banerjee and Tigmanshu Dhulia

Meanwhile, the contemporary fare included Reese Witherspoon starrer The Good Lie, a story of hope, honour and humanity, about Sudanese refugees (representing the ‘lost boys’ of Sudan) who win a lottery to come to the USA and settle for a better life. Witherspoon’s restrained performance along with a smooth narrative laced with humour capturing the culture shock faced by the refugees, made this film worth a watch. The debut works showcased on the second day included Safi Yazdanian’s Iranian film What’s The Time In Your World? and Sofia Norlin’s Broken Hill Blues, a teen-centric drama offering a peek into modern day Swedish Cinema.

- Krutika Behrawala
(Contributing Writer for FIW)

HoneyComb Lodge

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The appeal of Amma & Appa

 

ammaappa905024A heart-warming cross-cultural love story between a German girl and a South Indian boy, Amma & Appa, one of the four films in the Film India Worldwide sections at the 16th Mumbai Film Festival, was well-received by the patrons. Made by the husband-wife director duo Franziska Schönenberger and Jayakrishnan Subramanian, the documentary, that witnessed its Asian premiere here, chronicles the couple’s relationship, showcasing an insight into both the cultures through the eyes of the parents of the to-be brides and grooms.

German-born Franziska, who has worked in Mumbai as a journalist and studies documentary filmmaking at a film school in Munich, said, “Filmmaking brought us together. During my second year of filmmaking, I wanted to make a film on Indian artists in alternative music scene. I searched and found Jay. I emailed him and we met at a mall in Mumbai.”

Jay added, “Like most Indians, I also studied mechanical engineering and then went to pursue Fine Arts. I met Franziska in Mumbai and went to Germany and made this film to convince our parents.”

Already well-received in the European film circuit, Amma & Appa is brought alive by the conversations that the parents have with their children and with each other. Said Franziska, “My father-in-law feels like a small Rajinikanth, because he was present in Germany when the film was screened and now, he is recognised on the streets.”

- Krutika Behrawala (Contributing Writer for FIW)

MAMI Ceremony

Monday, October 13, 2014


NFDC Film Bazaar announces the 32 finalists of the Co-Production Market 2014

 

~ Three and a Half, to be produced by Mira Nair and directed by Sooni Taraporewala, Amitav Kaul’s, Interpreter Of Maladies, based on Pulitzer prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story and a film by highly acclaimed director from Pakistan, Sabiha Sumar (of Khamosh Pani fame) are among the finalists~

Mumbai, October 13, 2014:  National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) announces the 32 finalists of the Co-Production Market to be held during Film Bazaar in Goa from November 20-24, 2014.

The 32 finalists in the Co-production Market, hoping to attract funding and distribution from potential co-producers, distributors and sales agents from across the globe, include 18 projects from India and 14 from overseas.

Among the 18 Indian finalists, six are from the Screenwriters Lab 2014:

· By/Two – Directed by Devashish Makheja and produced by Dutta Dave

· The School Directed by Suchita Bhhatia and produced by Vivek Kajaria

· Blossoms (Pallavi)- Directed and produced by Nila Madhab Panda

· Nuclear Hearts - Directed by Bornila Chatterjee and produced by Tanaji Dasgupta

· Seven (Saat)- Directed by Ashish Bende and produced by Suhrud Godbole

· Medium Spicy - Directed by Mohit Takalkar and produced by Nikhil Mahajan

· The Invisible One - Directed by Amit Datta and produced by Anjali Panjabi

· Ashwathama - Directed by Puspendra Singh. and produced by Sanjay Gulati

· Rainbow - Directed by Shona Urvashi and produced by Raman Lamba

· Overcoat - Directed by Abhijeet Singh Parmar and produced by Rishebh Batnagar

· Mantra- Directed by Nicholas Kharkongor and produced by Rajat Kapoor

· The Indian Prisoner - Directed and produced by Shashwati Talukdar

· The Boyfriend – Vidur Nauriyal and Ashim Ahluwalia

· Winter- Aamir Bashir 

· Char Log Kya Kahenge – Hitesh Bhatia

· Flow – Vandana Kohli

· All about Her – Ruchi Joshi

· The Sunset Club – Karan Tejpal

The 14 international projects to be showcased in the eighth edition of the Film Bazaar Co-Production Market include two films from the US, two from Sri Lanka,  a film from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Norway, France, Germany, Singapore and United Kingdom and an IFP project which is selected through NFDC collaboration with Independent Filmmaker Project, USA.


  • Three and a Half- Produced by Mira Nair and directed by Sooni Taraporewala (USA)
  • Interpreter of Maladies – Produced and directed by Amitav Kaul (USA)
  • Minefield- Directed by Shiladitya Bora, the PVR Rare head and produced by the award winning Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage (Sri Lanka)
  • Womb – Directed by Nishantha Shanthadeva and produced and Rasitha Jinasenaby (Sri Lanka)
  • The Judgement- directed by Sabiha Sumar and produced by Sachithanandam Sathananthan (Pakistan)
  • Summer with Azita- directed by Fazila Amiri and produced by Paul Lee (Afghanistan)
  • Abomination- directed by Karan Shrestha and produced by Kshitiz Adhiraj (Nepal)
  • No Land’s Man -directed and produced by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki (Bangladesh)
  • Gilded Cage -directed and produced by Vijay Chandran (Singapore)
  • What Will People Say (Hva Vil Folk Si)- directed by Iram Haq’s and produced by  Maria Ekerhovd (Norway)
  • Goa directed by Jamie Mateus-Tique and produced by Luc Bossi (France)
  • Once Again- directed by Kanwal Sethi and produced by Holm Taddiken (Germany)
  • End Game directed by Geetha J and produced by Ian McDonald (United Kingdom)
  • Colony - Pulkit Datta (IFP Project)

The NFDC spokesperson says, “We are excited to have such diverse and interesting projects with a focus on South Asian stories in the Co-Production Market.  We also have a project from a country like Norway, which is participating for the first time.”

About Film Bazaar Co-Production Market:

Film Bazaar Co-Production Market is the first programme of its kind in South Asia to provide a platform for filmmakers with South Asian stories to make the right connections to get their projects financed.

Every year Film Bazaar’s Co-Production Market invites a select number of directors/producers to present their projects to co-producers, funders, distributors, sales agents and other financial partners from across the world.

FB Co-Production Market 2013 showcased 28 South Asian projects from across the globe including an Independent Filmmaker Project from USA.

For further information on NFDC Film Bazaar please log on to http://filmbazaarindia.com/programs/

Films That Debate Moralilty

Winter Sleep

Winter Sleep                                                                                                                         

Past halfway mark, and the Busan film festival’s deluge of films from corners of the world have had their usual effect – an astonishingly high number of young teenage Koreans upto 30 years of age thronging the theatres, and film buffs from everywhere bowing, waist down Korean style, in appreciation.

Busan is the last of the huge major festivals in the year. Its selection of its 312 films features the most talked-about festival titles that 2014 has so far showcased. Among them are Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s take on Checkov’s selected stories, the enticing four-hour Cannes winner, Winter Sleep, dialogue driven as it conveys genteel lives caught within closed walls -- and so riveting.

Then there is the film from France-Maurituana, Abderahmaine Sissako’s picturesque and poetic Timbuktu, set in a distant desert in Mali, where its simple people are subjected to mindless fanaticism; from Belgium, the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night on a worker’s conscience battling her employer’s manipulations to oust her; from Canada, the surprise hit of the year, Mommy, by Xavier Dolan, on a feisty widow’s strained and strenuous attempts to cope with her disturbed son as he drifts from hospital to her home.

At Busan, looking at the more human interest stories in cross sections of the programme, the thought comes across that the public concept of morality and good conduct are of concern in our times. A deeper understanding suggests that the driving social forces of today trigger people to become victims, forcing them into crass and manic behavior, almost to a point of self-destruct.

The only one competition section in the panoramic spread of this festival is its New Currents screening first or second-time directors. This year this section has 12 films from 10 countries. One is Sunrise by Partho Sen-Gupta in the Marathi language (it will feature in the upcoming Mumbai International Film Festival very shortly). The film has already evoked high praise from quarters as prized as both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. Sunrise, a tense, brooding psychological drama set in Mumbai’s murky areas, follows a grieving policeman doggedly searches for his missing daughter. The film’s balancing of fact with fantasy gives it an eerie, lurid hue. Lead actor Adil Hussein’s angst-driven performance in the lead role adds immeasurably to the film’s impact.

In the same section is Bangladesh’s Jalal’s Story by Abu Shahed Emon, who has studied filmmaking in Dhaka, Australia and Korea. The film has three tales that connect surrealistically to one another – each one set around a child set adrift in swirling waters with the intention to kill. There is no ambivalence here on moral issues. The film clearly indicts a society controlled by boorish men, caste hierarchy, exploitative superstition and criminalised politics.

From Korea, Kim Dong-myung’s The Liar takes magnetic control of its out-of-gear subject on a young girl who is abandoned by a mother she craves for. She escapes her sordid and desperate conditions at home shared with an alcoholic fat sister and a wayward young bother, by slipping seamlessly into a world of fantasy and lies. She pretends she is buying a high-grade apartment or a costly refrigerator, saying blandly last minute that she has left her wallet at home and will send her down payment. In the Botox beauty parlour where she works, she lies again about a high-flying boyfriend who in fact is an employee of a car company, who really likes the girl. However, her twisted mind finally gives way. She deliberately destroys all that she has going for her.  Consumerism is the killer here.

From the UK, Morgan Matthews’ X+Y looks with compassion at a little boy who is a total misfit in every aspect of life. All he cares for are patterns, numbers and mathematics (at which he excels). He connects with his father who indulges him at every turn telling him he is gifted far more than others and so is unique – a goal that the boy grows up using as justification for his isolation and total disregard of others.  It is only by leaving home for Taiwan to compete in the revered Mathematics Olympics as a member of the British team, and aided by his mother’s long-suffering support and that of his ailing, anarchic tutor, is he finally able to reach out to others. Significantly, he chooses to drop out of the competition at the last minute.

From France, there is the seductively spectacular portrait of the French fashion legend, Saint Laurent directed by Bertrand Bonello. The film captures the heady, drug-driven, smoke-filled times of the 60s and 70s and also captures the quirky, thin but compelling creative drive of  Yves Saint Laurent in all its excessiveness and even silliness. The tormented man and his times come through vividly. 

Courtesy: http://thecitizen.in/ - India's first independent on-line daily which was launched on January 27, 2014.reproducing Uma da Cunha's column