Saturday, October 24, 2015

Jio MAMI Discovering India - Rucha Humnabadkar's debut fllm

17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival
October 29 to 5 November, 2015

Section:   Discovering India
Curated by Uma da Cunha

“For Here or To Go?” (USA)
India Premiere
Directed by Rucha Humnabadkar

Venue  PVR, Phoenix, Lower Parel, Theatre Nix 4
Date/Time   Tuesday, November 3 at 2.00 pm

To be followed by
q&a with director Rucha Humnabadkar, writer/producer Rishi Bhilawadikar
and actors Ali Fazal, Rajit Kapur, Amitosh Nagpal, Gaurav Dwivedi


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Actors Amitosh Nagpal, Ali Fazal in “For Here or To Go?”

Synopsis  Rucha Humnabadkar’s debut feature film, “For Here or To Go?” (USA)

Aspiring Indian tech entrepreneur Vivek Pandit working in California’s Silicon Valley is poised to get a plum job, but when his employers find out that his visa will expire within the year, they withdraw the offer. He finds himself battling the bizarre American immigration system for a chance to stay. Though returning to India grows tempting, a budding relationship with an Indian American girl hangs in the balance. Meanwhile, his eyes are opened to the similar struggles of his own roommates and those around him. American in mind and Indian at heart, this is a contemporary story of ambition and ambivalence fueled by one’s immigration status that characterizes the dilemma of modern cultural displacement. Actors from India featured in the film are Ali Faisal (Fazal), Rajit Kapur, and Amitosh Nagpal. The film has traveled to  Cinequest Film Festival, Indian Film Festival of Houston, IFFSA Toronto

      Director Rucha Humnabadkar

India-born Rucha Humnabadkar moved to the US twelve years ago and lives in San Francisco. She has written/ directed three English language plays and  in 1999 won the ‘Young Achiever’s Award,’ for contribution to theatre in Pune.. She has worked on acclaimed filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor’s indie hits “Hyderabad Blues”, “Rockford” and “Bollywood Calling”  as Assistant Director and Art Director.  Rucha has a Master's in Design from Carnegie Mellon University  and has attended the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking.. Her short film “Arranged Marriage” l featureed in the touring Smithsonian  Asian Heritage exhibit “Beyond Bollywood. Her debut novel 'Dance of the Fireflies', 2006, based on the lives of India's street children, received critical acclaim. For “Here or To Go?” is her first feature film.

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2nd Screening: Thursday, November 5 at 4.00 pm  PVR ECX3- Citi Mall, Andheri West

Jio MAMI Discovering India - Neelesha Barthel's Debut Film "Marry Me" (Germany)


17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival
October 29 to 5 November, 2015

Section:   Discovering India
Curated by Uma da Cunha

           “Marry Me” (Germany)                    
International Premiere
Directed by Neelesha Barthel

Venue  PVR, Phoenix, Lower Parel, Theatre Nix 3
Date/Time   Friday, October 30 at 4.30 pm

To be followed by
Q&A with director Neelesha Barthel and
actors Bharati Jaffrey and Arfi Lamba

 

2015, German, English, 94 mins,  German/ Hindi

 
Cast : Aryam Zaree, Fahri Yardim, Bharati Jaffrey, Steffen Groth, Renate Krößner, Arfi Lamba and a cameo role by Irshad Panjathan

Synopsis of “Marry Me”,  debut feature by Neelesha Barthel
Kissy really did not want to do anything with her Indian roots but did not reckon with her Indian grandmother who arrived suddenly on her doorstep. Until now, the young woman who ran  a cafe in Berlin's Kreuzberg district, is a convinced single woman on the Berlin scene , despite having a daughter  from whose father, Robert, she  has been separated for long. She has been raising her child alone although it is not easy. Marrying Robert  does not enter her mind. But  her Grandma has other plans,  wanting  to bring some order into  their lives.  She is determined to see the two married,  Indian  style,  with all its pomp and glory – which includes inviting the parents of the groom.  Before Kissy can react,  the wedding preparations are on in full swing. The feisty grandmother is unstoppable. So Kissy, in order to keep the peace, convinces Robert (already with a new girlfriend)  to  agree to a “sham" wedding.  Now the fun really begins.  Kissy discovers that her family history  holds some secrets which affects all their lives and makes her question what she is doing. “Marry Me” is a colourful, lively, multicultural comedy with a lot of heart, and touched with some seriousness about life. Above all, it is a film about freedom and how it can be redefined again.


           
   Director Neelesha Barthel

Potsdam-Babelsberg based Neelesha Barthel  started her film career by completing several internships at major film sets and working as a freelance cinematographer, editor and director. She then commenced  her film direction  studies in 2002 at the University Film Babelsberg Konrad Wolf.  She has made three documentaries. "En Why? See!" (1999), " Bling Bling " and" Fifty Fifty” (both 2002).  Since 1995, Neelesha Barthel  has also worked as an actress. Her notable roles include Pan Nalin’s  "Samsara" (2001) and "Everyday Life" (2002). The film  "Marry Me!" is Neelesha Barthels feature film debut.
 
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2nd screening “Marry Me”
Sunday, November 1, 1.30 pm
PVR ECX1 - Citi Mall, Andheri West
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Friday, October 23, 2015

Jio MAMI's Discovering India Opening Film "Driving With Selvi"



17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival
      October 29 to 5 November, 2015

Section:   Discovering India
Curated by Uma da Cunha
            
     Opening Film  -  Documentary
       “Driving with Selvi”   (Canada)
Asia Premiere
Directed by Elisa Paloschi
Venue  PVR, Phoenix, Lower Parel, Theatre Nix 2
Date/Time   Friday, October 30 at 2.00 pm
To be followed by Q&A with director Elisa Paloschi and protagonist Selvi

​                                              
   Driving With Selvi,  directed by Elisa Paloschi,  2015,  78 mins, Kannada
Set in Karnataka, South India, "Driving With Selvi" follows the courageous Selvi through a nine- year transformational journey as she  discovers her personal power. At age 27, Selvi has already endured many hardships. An impoverished child, she was a victim of the society she inherited. Forced to marry at age 14, she endured abuse, exploitation and discrimination. Instead of giving in, Selvi made the decision to escape her abusive marriage. The film follows the courageous Selvi   through a 9-year transformational journey as she starts her own taxi company and becomes Karnataka’s first female taxi driver, works for a medical outreach organisation, gets her license to drive a passenger bus, becomes a wife again and eventually a mother. It is her unwavering spirit and character that pushed her through to finding a second chance in life and love. Through Selvi’s eyes, the audience is taken on an intimate journey, perhaps even a familiar one, of healing, overcoming obstacles and fulfilling dreams. The film took ten years to make.

  
Canada-based photographer, filmmaker, producer Elisa Paloschi is drawn  to stories with a human voice. Paloschi has produced diverse and multi platform content over the past decade. Her latest documentary feature "Embracing Voices" (2012) talks about Canadian jazz luminary,Jane Bunnett. She is currently working on "Driving with Selvi" and is in story development for an interactive documentary "The Memory of Forgetting".  Paloschi  has taken her camera into the Roma camps of Palermo, the breathtaking landscape of Karnataka, and deep under the Coral Sea of Australia.   Elisa is currently raising completion funds through the Indiegogo crowd-funding platform:  http://igg.me/at/drivingwithselvi
    
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2nd screening  -  “Driving with Selvi”
Sunday, November 1, 11.00 am
PVR ECX - Citi Mall, Andheri West
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Watch out for the five films in Jio MAMI's Discovering India

Discovering India
17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival
October 29 to 5 November, 2015


Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival is the only festival in India that showcases the section, ‘Discovering India’, which is much appreciated for the spotlight it gives to a unique aspect of filmmaking that connects India worldwide.
‘Discovering India’ screens feature films and documentaries that are international in character but linked to a recognizable Indian idiom. These films are by filmmakers either originating from India and now living elsewhere, whose heart and art echo back to their homeland. Or they are by international filmmakers who come to India’s locations to reflect its reality with new eyes.
2015 Jio MAMI’s ‘Discovering India’ presents five select films.  Three films are from Canada and  one each from Germany and the USA. Sami Khan’s “Khoya”  is a World Premiere on an unusual journey of self discovery. Another, Sturla Gunnarsson’s “Monsoon”, an iridescent account of what India’s rainy season means to people all over the country, won the People’s Choice Award at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Elisa Paloschi’s “Driving with Selvi” is an uplifting story of how an abused girl child can overcome all odds and emerge triumphant in life. From USA, Rucha Humnabadkar'sFor Here or To Go” is a disarming portrayal of young people who have to face the decision whether greener pastures lie abroad or at home. From Germany, Neleesha Barthel’s “Marry Me!” is an amusing take on generational differences when it comes to those with Indian roots.
The five films together embrace the gamut of what India denotes to creative cinematic minds on the world scene.
Note:  Screenings are at PVR ECX- Citi Mall, Andheri West and PVR:Phoenix Lower Parel, Theatre Nix

For enquiries, publicity material, interviews contact Discovering India curator, Uma da Cunha <uma.dacunha@gmail.com>, 91 22 22826699, 22873513
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Elisa Paloschi’s   Driving with Selvi
2014/2015, Canada, 78 mins, Kannada

Screening dates
1st screening, Friday,  October 30,      2.00 pm, PVR:Phoenix Lower Parel, Theatre Nix2
2nd screening Sunday, November 1, 11.00 am PVR ECX - Citi Mall, Andheri West

Attending   Director Elisa Paloschi and protagonist Selvi

Selvi, typical of India’s patriarchal culture, is forced to marry at a young age, only to find herself in a violent and abusive marriage. She escapes considering suicide but choosing instead to board a bus,  her life takes a turn, leading to her becoming South India’s first female taxi driver.
The film took ten years to make.

Canada-based photographer, filmmaker, producer Elisa Paloschi is drawn to stories with a human voice. Paloschi has produced diverse and multi platform content over the past decade. Her latest documentary feature “Embracing Voices” (2012) talks about Canadian jazz luminary Jane Bunnett.

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Neelesha Barthel’s   Marry Me!
2015, German, 94 mins, Hindi, English

Screening dates
1st Screening, Friday, October 30,      4.30 pm,  PVR:Phoenix Lower Parel, Theatre Nix3
2nd Screening, Sunday, November 1,  1.30 pm  PVR ECX1 - Citi Mall, Andheri West


Attending  
Writer, Director Neelesha Barthel, actors Bharati Jaffrey and Arfi Lamba, from production company Bombay Berlin Filmproduction, Katharina Suckale and Ankur Singh

Kissy, a  convinced single woman living in Berlin, wants nothing more to do with her Indian roots, but suddenly finds that she has to reckon with  her feisty Indian  grandmother who arrives at her doorstep with her own notions on how Kissy should lead her life.

Potsdam-Babelsberg based Neelesha Barthel’s career started with several internships at major film sets and as a freelance cinematographer, editor and director. Her documentaries include "En Why? See! " (1999) followed in 2002 with," Bling Bling "and" Fifty Fifty ". She then went on to study film direction at the University Film Babelsberg Konrad Wolf. Since 1995,  Neelesha Barthel has also worked as an actress, her notable roles being in  Pan Nalin’s "Samsara" (2001) and "Everyday Life" (2002 Telefilm). "Marry Me!" marks Neelesha’s feature film debut.

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Rucha Humnabadkar's  For Here or to Go
2015, USA/India, 105 mins, English, Hindi

Screening dates
 1st Screening, Tuesday, November 3,            2.00 pm  PVR:Phoenix Lower Parel, Theatre NIX 4
2nd Screening, Thursday, November 5            4.00 pm PVR ECX3- Citi Mall, Andheri West

Attending  Director Rucha Humnabadkar, Writer/Producer Rishi Bhilawadikar, actors
 Ali Fazal, Rajit Kapur, Amitosh Nagpal, Gaurav Dwivedi

Aspiring Indian tech entrepreneur Vivek Pandit working in California’s Silicon Valley is poised to get a plum job. When his employers find that his visa will expire within the year, they withdraw the offer. He finds himself battling the bizarre American immigration system for a chance to stay. Though returning to India grows tempting, a budding relationship with an Indian American girl hangs in the balance. Meanwhile, his eyes are opened to the similar struggles of his own roommates and those around him.

Rucha Humnabadkar moved to the US twelve years ago from India, and now lives in San Francisco. She has written/directed three English language plays and won the Young Achiever’s Award for contribution to theatre in Pune, India, 1999. She  worked as AD/Art Director  on Nagesh Kukunoor’s indie hits “Hyderabad Blues”, “Rockford” and “Bollywood Calling”  Rucha has a Master's in Design from Carnegie Mellon University and has attended the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking. Her short film “Arranged Marriage” features in the touring Smithsonian Asian Heritage exhibit Beyond Bollywood.  Her debut novel Dance of the Fireflies, 2006, based on the lives of India's street children, received critical acclaim. For Here or To Go?” is her first feature film

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Sami Khan’s Khoya  - World Premiere
2015, Canada, 82 mins, English

Screening dates
1st Screening, Saturday, October 31,   4.00 pm         PVR:Phoenix Lower Parel, Theatre NIX3
2nd Screening  Monday, November 2,  11.15 am        PVR ECX5- Citi Mall, Andheri West

Attending Director Sami Khan, actor Rupak Ginn, Producer Karen Shaw

When his adopted mother dies unexpectedly, Roger Moreau loses the last tie he has to his Canadian upbringing and identity. He decides to travel to India to find his biological parents that gave him up for adoption more than two decades ago.

New York-based Sami Khan’s short films have screened at international film festivals including Toronto. He graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in Film where his thesis film “75 EL CAMINO” won faculty honours. In 2013, Sami was selected to participate in the Berlinale’s Talent Campus. He was  selected for the Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access Fellowship and NBC Universal’s 2014 Director’s Fellowship.


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Sturla Gunnarsson’s Monsoon  
2014, Canada/France,106 mins, English

Screening dates
1st Screening, Tuesday,    November 3,  2.15 pm  PVR ECX3- Citi Mall, Andheri West
 2nd screening  Thursday, November 5,  4.00 pm  PVR:Phoenix Lower Parel, NIX3

Attending Music Compsoer Andrew T Mackay

Part road movie, part spectacle, part human drama, “Monsoon”, a documentary is a cinematic journey into the terrain where nature, science, belief and wonder converge in one of the most astonishing and breathtaking landscapes on earth.

Sturla Gunnarsson was born in Reykjavik, Iceland.  He studied English literature and film at the University of  British Columbia. He has directed films for the National Film Board of Canada and for television.  His feature films include “Such a Long Journey” (98), “Rare Birds” (01),  “Beowulf & Grendel” (05), and documentary features ‘After the Axe” (81) “Force of Nature” (10) and “Monsoon” which won the People’s Choice Award at the 2014 Toronto International Festival.
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