Friday, February 13, 2015

Call for Entries for Indian Films : Beijing International Film Festival 2015
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Beijing International Film Festival 2015
Calls for Entries in all categories for 2015. 

The 5th Beijing International Film Festival will be held from April 16-23, 2015 in Beijing, China.


The following sections have been announced for the 5th edition of the festival:

Tiantan Award (Competition Section)
A selection of a maximum of 17 feature length fiction films produced after 1st Jan 2014.
The Festival will give priority to feature films that are World Premieres.

AwardsBest Feature Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Music, Best Visual Effects

2) Beijing Film Panorama (Out of Competition Section)
A selection of feature length fiction films and animation films produced after 1st Jan 2013.

3) Future Forward Section (Competition Section)
A selection of feature length fiction films with a focus on fresh filmmakers and future trends of global film industry.

Awards: The Most Popular film, The Most Popular Director, The Most Popular Screenwriter

4) Documentary Section
A selection of 40 documentary films presented in 3 sections. The film submitted should not be less than 30 minutes in length
In order to submit an Indian/South Asian film for selection to BJIFF,  please contact the India Consultant of BJIFF, Deepti DCunha on
You will be sent the Rules & Regulations and Official Entry form.
The DVD Screeners should reach before 23rd February 2015.

All submissions (duly subtitled in English) should be sent to the contact details given below.
Name & Address:
Deepti DCunha
Contact Number: (+91)9820522468 (SMS only)
Our mailing address is:
Deepti DCunha
23, Gautam Niwas,
7 Bungalows, Andheri (West)
Mumbai 400 053

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

India at the 65th Berlinale

International Shorts Competition
In 2015, 27 films from 18 countries competing for a Golden and a Silver Bear, as well as the nomination for best short film at the European Film Awards, and the first-ever EUR 20,000 Audio Short Film Award.

The Jury
Madhusree Dutta (filmmaker, curator and pedagogue).
Wahyuni A. Hadi (curator, author and executive director of the Singapore International Film Festival)
Halil Altındere (artist, curator and publisher of art-ist Magazine)

From India
Amit Dutta’s Chitrashala World Premiere
Satindar Singh Bedi’s Kamakshi World Premiere

Still: Chitrashala
(House of Painting)
Director Amit Dutta
2015, 19 mins, Hindi language

Producer Amit Dutta, Ritu Khoda, Paolo Bertolin Co-production art1st Foundation, Mumbai
Animation Ayswarya Sankaranarayanan DOP Dhananjay Singh, Piyush Shah Sound Amit Dutta, Samarth Dixit Music Catherine Lamb

An old palace, now a museum, stands alone above the riverbank overlooking the city. It houses a set of the finest miniature paintings ever created in the Himalayan region. Hundreds of people come here to admire the art every day. When evening comes, the curtains are drawn, doors are locked and gates are bolted. In the calm of the night, characters from the pictures spring to life. They tell of the eternal love between King Nala and his wife Damayantin. Once while gambling, the king lost his kingdom and they were forced to live in exile. Separating soon after, they experience numerous adventures and eventually reunite at the end. Amit Dutta approaches this story with visual composure and concentration. He lifts the curtains with the greatest respect, to give life to love. He searches for the cinematic equivalent of this tale and expands the cinema, with the miniature.

Born in 1977 in Jammu, Amit Dutta is an experimental filmmaker and screenwriter. He is an alumnus of the Film & Television Institute of India, Pune. He won international acclaim with his experimental short film To Be Continued (2007), and the FIPRESCI Prize at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2007. His other significant films include The Man's Woman And Other Stories (2009) and his feature film Nainsukh (2010).

Still: Kamakshi
Director, Scriptwriter Satindar Singh Bedi
2014, 25 mins, DCP, B&W and Colour, Marathi language

Producer Film & Television Institute of India, Pune Production Chandrashekhar Joshi, Film Research Officer (FTII) Editor Kratika Adhikari DOP Rangarajan Ramabadran Sound Sandro Sadhukan Cast Parvathi Limbhaji Suryavanshi, Snehal Pawar

A folk tale. The folks dig a well for her. The water seller, her horse and oxen are abandoned. A girl appears in her thirst. She digs alone and deep down. As the water engulfs, she erupts to make the land green. Note: In Hindu mythology, Kamakshi, the goddess of compassion, fulfils all wishes and embodies serenity and peace.

Satindar Singh Bedi graduated in Economics from Chennai. He says, “ I am a writer and a poet which I discovered in school. I used to write stories, poems, plays and act and direct them. It was lot of fun. In college it blossomed more as we did plays, which even took me to the Himalayas”. He then got a job in banking and sales. He quit to join the Film and Television Institute of India for a three year Post Graduate diploma in Film Direction. Kamakshi is his thesis film. He adds, “Direction per se is not an independent skill. It has to come from a core. I guess for me it comes from my writing and poetry”

Indian Jury Member

Mumbai-based Madhusree Dutta is an alumnus of Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and the National School of Drama, New Delhi. She currently lives in Mumbai. Madhusree is the founder and executive director of Majlis, a centre for rights discourse and multi-disciplinary art initiatives in Mumbai. The centre is engaged in cultural literacy, contemporary practices of archiving, mobilising artists around political articulations, and in producing texts, plays, films and multi disciplinary art works. Filmmaking, theatre, visual arts, text productions; students’ movement, feminist movement, movement against communalism, movement for democratisation of art practices; cultural literacy, art pedagogy; interfaces between genres, movements and disciplines form the trajectories of Madhusree’s journey.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Berlinale Spotlights 
Indian Cine Talent

BERLIN:The 65th Berlinale parade of film luminaries starts today with names such as Terrence Malick (presenting his latest, “Knight of Cups”), Margarethe von Trotta (“Misplaced World”). Wim Wenders (his first fiction film since 2008), Werner Herzog (the bio-pica “Queen of the Desert”), Kenneth Branagh (with “Cinderella” has his inspiration) and Jafar Panahi (presenting his third film under a government that forbids him to make movies), to name a very few. 

The Berlinale spotlight is also on India in a very special way - capturing the country’s singularly individual, diehard talent, who keep to their rigid standards, remaining for the most part under wraps, but revel in their work none-the-less. 

Nagesh Kukunoor’s "Dhanak" is in competition in the Generation Kplus (aimed at children and youngsters above 4 years of age), which offers the Grand Prix for the best film - endowed with € 7,500). This is Kukunoor’s thirteenth feature film, the latest in a series that have revealed India’s multi-faceted confrontations with a hard and harsh reality. 

Kukunoor’s last film “Lakshmi” exposed a true story of superstition and the use of the girl child in prostitution. For a change, in “Dhanak”, Kukunoor brings a ray of sunshine into a darkened world. In this case, a blind eight-year-old boy in Rajasthan whose light of hope is his gutsy, dreamer of a sister, just two years older. Kukunoor makes a bizarre connection with Bollywood by the girl turning to Shah Rukh Khan as the hope who will restore sight to the brother she dotes on. She sees the mega star in a movIe theatre extolling the need for eye donations - and that sets her off an a determined chase to get the star to help her brother. 

"One makes all of one's films with equal passion. But when one of them gets a special validation of this kind, it feels like balm on the soul. There are eight films in the Generation Kplus section. And we're one of them," said the ecstatic award winning filmmaker. 

Kukunoor’s film also heralds a new sharply individual, independent film producer – one who is not influenced by high-powered pressure groups who are led by market insights in a grueling film business. Manish Mundra, who shuttles between Dubai, India and elsewhere, has recently been the financial force of well deserved films such as Rajit Kapur’s “Ankhon Dekhi”, and very recently, the much applauded “Umrika”, directed by Prashant Nair, which competed as a rare Indian entry at Sundance and won the Audience Award there. And here is Mundra now, as the person behind Kukunoor’s “Dhanak”, the only Indian feature film to be in competition in Berlin this year. 

2015 Berlin also heralds two very select Indian short filmmakers. 27 films from 18 countries will be competing for a Golden and a Silver Bear, as well as the nomination for best short film at the European Film Awards and the first-ever EUR 20,000 Audio Short Film Award. Competing here are Amit Datta with his 19 minute "Chitrashala" (House of Painting) and Satindar Singh Bedi with his 25 minute "Kamakshi" . 

On the Berlinale Short Film Jury, signaling another honour for India, is Mumbai-based Madhusree Dutta, an alumnus of Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and the National School of Drama, New Delhi, and the founder and executive director of Majlis, a centre for rights discourse and multi-disciplinary art initiatives in Mumbai, 

However, Berlinale Talents presents the grand finale to the festival’s belief in Indian cinema. This year as many as nine diverse film professionals from India have been selected and invited to benefit from the high caliber mentoring the festival provides in its Berlinale Talents. It is here that the most revered names in cinema personally and in detail guide these film talents to develop and hone their projects, their skills, their love for cinema. 

The notable nine Berlinale Talents from India are… 

Directors Atanu Mukherjee, Gaurav Saxena, Jasmine Kaur Roy, Jessica Sadana, Khushboo Ranka, film critic Monty Majeed, actor Sanghmitra Hitaishi, distributor Shiladitya Bora and editor Tinni Mitra. 

And in the Berlinale Market there are more than 20 Indian companies that I know of who are establishing their credentials as world players in the business of films. 

Sadly, the much needed and valued India Pavilion, the hub that gathers people from everywhere around the world to connect with Indian cinema, is not there this year.

Courtesy: - India's first independent on-line daily which was launched on January 27, 2014. Reproducing Uma da Cunha's column from the first edition 

Monday, February 9, 2015

India at the 65th Berlinale

Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dhanakin competition in the Generation Kplus section

Dhanak World Premiere
Director, Screenplay Nagesh Kukunoor
2014, 103 mins, DCP, Hindi language

Producers Manish Mundhra, Nagesh Kukunoor, Elahe Hiptoola DOP Chirantan Das Editor Sanjib Datta Sound Vipin Bhati Music Tapas Relia Cast 8-year-old Krrish Chhabria, 9-year old Hetal Gada, Suresh Menon, Ninad Kamath, Gulfam Khan, Vipin Sharma

Dhanak is about the closeness of two orphaned siblings, the caring 10-year old girl Pari and her blind, impish 8-year old brother, Chotu. Having lost their parents in an accident when they were small, they now are wards of their uncle and aunt. They live in a picturesque village nestled among the sand dunes in Rajasthan.

Pari is Chotu’s eyes, guide and best friend. Out of sheer, dogged conviction Pari reassures Chotu that he will be able to see by the time he is 9-years old and Chotu, in turn, implicity believes her. When Pari goes to a movie house and sees Shah Rukh Khan appealing to people to donate their eyes, she feels has her answer. She writes to the mega star pleading Chotu’s case. The lack of a reply does not deter her. She writes to him every day. Hearing that the star is shooting nearby, she seizes the opportunity. She and her brother stealthily slip out on an adventure seeking their benefactor. The main part of the film is their magical journey that only the innocence of childhood can experience.

"One makes all of one's films with equal passion. But when one of them gets a special validation of this kind, it feels like balm on the soul. There are eight films in the Generation Kplus section. And we're one of them," said the ecstatic award winning filmmaker" 

 Nagesh Kukunoor, an engineer by profession, gave up his     career and used his personal savings to write, produce, act and direct his debut film, Hyderabad Blues (1998), which became the largest grossing low-budget Indian film in English. Kukunoor has since then not looked back. Each of his films has proved his original bent of mind, his versatile and within the Bollywood system, themes that deal with contemporary life in the various segments of Indian society. Dhanak is his 13th feature film – in Indian belief a lucky number. His notable films include Lakshmi (2013), Dor (2006), Iqbal (2005), 3Deewarein (2003) and Bollywood Calling (2001)