Wednesday, July 8, 2015

'Love Ke Side Effects' contest by Pocket Films
 on a high at Bluefrog, Mumbai on July 7, 2015

Three Member Jury: Nagesh Kukunoor, Sudhir Mishra and Sanjay Suri
give Best Short Film Award to Devashish Makhija's El'aychi

Started in February, 2015 by  Gionee  and Pocket Films. the  winners of the 
'Love Ke Side Effects' contest were announced on July 7 at Bluefrog, Mumbai. 

Ten shortlisted films were screened, followed by a panel discussion by the three jury members, filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor, acclaimed director Sudhir Mishra and actor turned producer, Sanjay Suri. They shared insights on the short film scene in India, followed by a Q&A session with  budding filmmakers.

Discussion at Bluefrog: l to r - moderator Saameer Modi panelists Sudhir Mishra, Nagesh Kukunoor and Sanjay Suri 

 The event concluded with announcement of the award  winners ...
1st runnerup: Bahaish Kapoor for his short,The Proposal: Award DSLR Camera
 2nd Runnerup Anuj Bansal’s  Destiny’s two: Award Smart Phone by Gionee
Best Short  El’aychi by Devashish Makhija: Award  Couple's return tickets to Paris.

Gionee smart phones were also awarded to consolation prize winners ...
Bahaish Kapoor for  Giving Up 
Priyanshu Painyuli Without You

Audience Choice Award Anuj Bansal for Destiny’s two  

Talking about the event, Mr Saameer Mody, Managing Director, Pocket Films, said “We are extremely happy to receive such great support from the filmmakers and jury members across India. All the films were really good with a powerful message of love and it was very difficult for us select a winner. We heartedly congratulate Mr. Devashish Makhija and other winners and would also like to thank our sponsors Gionee and supporter FunOnGo.”

Pocket Films, pioneers in distributing alternate content and short films, has always been a motivator for all the budding filmmaker by providing them with a platform to showcase their talent. This was one of their initiatives to encourage the industry. They have also conducted contests in association with the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, and this year they have partnered with MANHATTAN SHORT India. They also showcase their short films on television through a dedicated TV show titled ‘Prime Talkies with Pocket Films’ on NDTV Prime, which airs at 9 pm every Thursday.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Volume Zero: Charles Correa And The Therapy Of Architecture

“Films and filmmaking have always fascinated Charles. In fact, he sees clear creative links between filmmaking and architecture. Architecture is also a succession of images, he says, the main difference is time” - From the film on Charles Correa directed by Arun Khopkar 

Acclaim of Charles Correa’s path-breaking work is filling space in the world’s press and now time on TV screens since he left us on June 16. Given his iconic presence and an intellect that covered so many aspects of life and the Arts, it is strange that there seems to be only a single documentary made in India about him. Made in 2008, thanks largely to a generous grant from the Prince Claus Fund, it is titled “Volume Zero - The Work of Charles Correa” and directed by Arun Khopkar. The 58-minute film aired on NDTV on June 26, 2015. 

In the film, Charles Correa quotes Louis Kahn, the noted American architect, who had bought an 8-volume edition of English history and read only one: “I don’t believe history started the way it started. I think it started before that. I want to read Volume Zero.” Hence the title of Khopkar’s film. It tells of Correa’s thesis for his Masters Degree in Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was unique. It was not the design of a building. It was a film – an animated film ‘You and Your Neighborhood – The Story of Urban Rehabilitation”.
In his film, Khopkar takes the viewer on an informed tour of some of Correa’s most applauded and successful buildings in India and abroad. They underline Correa’s humane, well-rooted approach to designing buildings. A building, he feels, must be attuned to the need, the soil, the climate, the culture and the history of the region where it will proclaim itself. Correa also took pride in his concept of non-buildings: imperceptible structures sculpted into the landscape. Architecture is sculpture, he says in the film, but it is sculpture that is put to use.

On quite another plane is a lyrical, intensely personal film on the mind and thinking of a genius, ‘Into the Unknown’, directed by Sankalp Meshram. It delves into the conceptual side of architecture. Produced by the Champalimaud Foundation in 2013, the 29-minute film deserves to be far better known. It is sharply focused on Correa’s inspiring and stunning Champalimaud ‘Centre for the Unknown’ in Lisbon, Portugal. It is his masterwork and swansong, encapsulating the many splendours of his art.

“Into the Unknown” starts with Correa’s emphatic voice. “What makes me most proud is that this project is NOT a Museum of Modern Art. On the contrary, it uses the highest levels of contemporary science and medicine to help people grappling with real problems; cancer, brain damage, going blind.”
Charles Correa respected this film – it seemed to convey correctly his thoughts and feelings cinematically. This was clear when the film was shown at the NCPA on April 28, 2014 by the Mahindra Group.In a post screening, wide-ranging discussion on the film moderated by Gerson da Cunha, Correa and eminent Mumbai physician Farrokh Udwadia soared into the interaction depicted in the film among life, illness and location. It is like a voyage of discovery, with music, painting, sculpture, aspirations, open spaces, light, greenery and human contact, all combining to heal and to look into the unknown as the great Portuguese caravels did not far away five centuries ago.

The Champalimaud ‘Centre for the Unknown,’ which opened on October 10, 2010, celebrates its location from where, in the 15th and 16th century, ships set sail on voyages to explore ‘the unknown,’ east to the Indies and west where they bumped into the New World. The name of the centre reflects the parallel between the challenging quests of these early pioneers and of modern-day scientists. From afar, the centre even resembles a ship, tilting into the water towards the unique site at which the River Tagus meets the Atlantic Ocean. The film is tinged with the magic and mystery of the unknown. The music complements the mood and nuances of the visuals that unfurl.

At the start, Charles Correa stands alone, the voyager, architect, human being, looking out into the hazy, swirling, endless sea. He then vividly describes the love, care and concern with which he and his team fashioned this stupendous, state-of-the-art, project researching the sciences of life.

Location has much to do with the Centre’s success. Half of this huge space has been given back to the people of the city. The outdoor winding spaces extend expansively where lush greenery abounds , the clouds roll above and the waves rush and break all around. At the edge of the sea front is an amphitheatre for outdoor performances. The open surround of the Centre is where Lisbon’s people gather for leisure. Indoors, the most up-to-date research proceeds into cancer and diseases of the eye and brain.

Correa’s style of creating pathways, open spaces, courtyards and atriums is in evidence here. In the buildings within, there is an abundance of tall forest trees and green shrubbery that invite and console. On the high-scaled walls, Correa has huge circular glass windows, eager eyes looking outwards, seeking the unknown.

This is a film that does justice with poetry, music and visual stimulation to the spirit of mankind. The architect is the all-seeing conductor. Correa sums it up: “We have tried to help those who come here to see architecture as therapy … the sea, the sky, nature - all are therapy. Beauty itself is therapy, really.”


Courtesy, India's first independent on-line daily, June 30, 2015. 

Asia Society India Centre invites scripts - here's your chance!

Asia Society India Centre invites writers from across India to submit an original story.

 "The stories should be gender sensitive, women centric and driven by well-defined women characters. By Making Heroine the New Hero, we want to expose new writers to the experience of writing from a female character’s point of view and increase the number of women-oriented scripts in the film industry."

 Last date for submission – July 31, 2015

New Voices Fellowship for Screenwriters

Speaking on the launch of the third edition, Bunty Chand, Executive Director of Asia Society India Centre said, “The third edition of NVFS boldly steps forward and invites women centric, gender sensitive stories into the spotlight. Made possible by Time Warner Foundation and coordinated by Asia Society’s offices in New York and India, this fellowship represents Asia Society’s commitment to fostering creativity, nurturing new talent, building knowledgeable communities, addressing shared challenges, and bringing fresh perspectives to the age-old art of storytelling.

Anjum Rajabali, Head of the Advisory Council of NVFS and noted screenwriter, added that "NVFS is indeed a very worthy and important initiative that Asia Society India Centre has undertaken. It offers so many wonderful things to amateur screenwriters - full creative freedom, continuous mentoring by knowledgeable seniors, intensive workshops, no copyright lien of any kind, and a healthy fellowship amount!! It's a win-win process for them. And, this year’s brief is important and exciting: Scripts with multi-dimensional women characters who are individuals in their own right and whose issues and energy drive the story. The time has come for these stories to flood the film industry!"

NVFS has been made possible by a grant from the Time Warner Foundation. 

"Our mission is to find innovative and powerful ways to discover, nurture and celebrate the next generation of storytellers," said Lisa Garcia Quiroz, President of the Time Warner Foundation. "Asia Society is an important, globally recognized partner who continues to help us further our reach in talent development. We are excited to expand this groundbreaking programme in India."

Cause Partner: Laadli, a media advocacy initiative of Population First

Monday, July 6, 2015

News on Busan International Film Festival

Busan International Film Festival
Co-Director and Deputy Director Announced

*   KANG soo-youn, Co-Director, Busan International Film Festival 

Actress KANG soo-youn was introduced as co-director of the Busan International Film Festival. 
A member of the executive committee since 1998, KANG has played a significant role to connect international cineastes with the film festival and hopes to continue efforts with Director LEE Yong-kwan to create a brighter future for the festival. Director LEE discussed earlier in the year about the recruitment of a co-director and concluded that KANG was qualified for the position after several recommendations. Co-Director KANG showed deference to this decision stating that “it’s a difficult position to be in with tremendous responsibilities, but I will do my very best to create the best festival with people who already made it this far.”

Co-director KANG soo-youn started her career as a child actor and became an international star with best actress awards in acclaimed film festivals that include the 44th Venice International Film Festival with 'The Surrogate Woman' and 16th Moscow International Film Festival with 'Come, Come, Come Upward'. She also served on juries for major film festivals like the Moscow International Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, and Sydney Film Festival. As a member of the executive committee, co-director KANG will continue to interact with cineastes from around the world and successfully fulfill her role to secure an international network for the festival.

* LEE myung-shik, Deputy Director, Busan International Film Festival

LEE myung-shik, the former director of BUSAN E-FM, an English-speaking radio, who has been supporting local broadcasting for an extended period of time was appointed deputy director. Starting from the Busan Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) newsroom, LEE held many posts in Korea New Network (KNN), including director of news, administration, production, and planning head.  He will act as a bridge between the film festival and the local community.

Through this revision in the articles of association, the deputy director positions on the organization committee have increased to two and deputy directors of the film festival have increased to four. This will allow effective communication between the Busan International Film Festival, Busan Cinema Center, and all related organizations to prepare for the upcoming festival.

 20th Busan International Film Festival, October 1 to 10, 2015 
Asian Film Market, October 3 to 6, 2015 
Asian Project Market, October 4 to 6, 2015