Saturday, October 22, 2016

John Upchurch's heart-clenching 'Mango Dreams' at Jio MAMI!


A tale of hope with the tragic undercurrent of the partition
Mango Dreams has touched audiences everywhere it has screened 


Catch its India Premiere at

18th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival
October 20 - 27, 2016
Discovering India section

Winner of the Special Jury Award for Bridging Cultures—Arizona International Film Festival 2016
Mango Dreams
USA, 2016, 93 min, English

followed by Q&A
with director, producer, editor John Upchurch and festival curator Uma da Cunha

Sunday, October 23, PVR Phoenix - Audi 3, 2.00 pm 

2nd Screening October 25, Tuesday, PVR Phoenix - Audi 2, 2:55 pm

Attending screening and available for interviews
Director John Upchurch, Actors Riju Bajaj, Naseeruddin Shah, Ram Gopal Bajaj
Samir Kochhar, Pankaj Tripathi, Nouman Ahsan (DOP), Sunil Kaushik (music director)



Cathy Varvaris, Osho News

"Sometimes a film transports you to somewhere else for a few minutes of entertainment and sometimes a film has the power to move your heart and change your mind; forever imprinting it's message on your heart. This is a must see film! Thank you for this important work.”
...

Note from director of the CEBU International Film Festival

"After much deliberation, the 6-member jury decided to give your film Mango Dreams a special jury prize that we call the Humanity Award. Your film was moving to several of the jurors, and one juror in particular refused to leave the proceedings until your film was given recognition. And because your film covers so many diverse topics—family, religion, politics, aging, geographical boundaries, history and so forth—the only way to encompass all these concepts was to say that this film does a service to all humanity." 
...

Note from the festival director of the Arizona International Film Festival

"It was a very successful screening. I was at the exit doors when the crowd came out and most of them were teary-eyed. You were missed in person but I think you connected with the spirit of the film."
...

Notes from the Cleveland International Film Festival jury

"It really did feel like a journey across India, it felt like as an audience we were able to catch a glimpse and really see what it is like there, almost as if this were a documentary. The film itself was really well done, and in a country with such a complicated history it was really neat to see such a unique and personal touch."
"...it was a really great adventure and a great story about family and friendship."
"...it really came across like it was shot with a guerrilla style methodology. This is so drastically different than most movies and it made the film pull you in and make you a part of every scene. Everything looked legitimate and whoever was leading the costume department for the film deserves an award."
"Mango Dreams was a good, solid film about something that's important to all of us: Life and forgiveness for oneself and those that have trespassed against us. Given its depth and importance, it's also a film worth a repeat viewing."
...

Friday, October 21, 2016

Don't miss Bettina Ehrhardt's doc on conductor Zubin Mehta

18th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival
October 20th - 27th, 2016

Discovering India section 

Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds –
The Conductor Zubin Mehta (Documentary)
followed by Q&A
with director Bettina Ehrhardt and
Konstanze Welz, Television & Regional Coordinator: Asia, German Films
October  22, Saturday  PVR Phoenix - Audi 4, 10:45

2nd Screening October  24, Monday, PVR Kurla - Audi 8, 3:15 pm


2015, Germany, 80 min/53 min versions, English, German

Director, Producer   Bettina Ehrhardt

“Presenting my film about the Indian conductor Zubin Mehta in India means a lot to me. And especially in Uma Da Cunha's section at MAMI:Discovering India!

Because filming Zubin Mehta in India, in his hometown Mumbai, in concerts with the Australian World Orchestra, was a real gift for me. It made me discover the extraordinary spirit in which the Indian public responded to the perfomances of Western classical music. I understood where Zubin Mehta’s talent of being in the present moment, paying attention to at least 100 people at the same time, comes from, his elegant, effortless way, as it seams, to communicate what he wants to express to the musicians and to the public. The great Indian dancer Alarmel Valli, who appears in the film, puts it like this: "it's Abinaya, what he does” she says, "the art to depict through gestures, movements and particularly through the eyes. Thank you, India, thank you Uma.”

Production House BCE Films & More Co-Producers ZDF in cooperation with Arte, in collaboration with Unitel Producers Carlo Arborio Mella, Karl Martin Lötsch, Konstanze Welz DOP Ankur Kapoor, Hans Albrecht, Lusznat, Christian Möller Sound Piet Grotelüschen, Samant Christopher Lakra, Amir Tam Commissioning Editor Monika Abspacher, Christopher Janssen Executive Editor Anca-Monica Pandelea

Attending screening and available for interviews 
Director  Bettina Ehrhardt, Ankur Kapoor (DOP), Samant Christopher Lakra (Sound) 

Zubin Mehta, among the music world’s most charismatic conductors, is a citizen of the world. He combines many different characteristics: Indian culture and Parsi spirituality; the musical culture of Vienna; and the music traditions of Asia, Europe and North America. This film follows him to his home city of Mumbai, to Tel Aviv, Florence, Berlin and Munich. It features Daniel Barenboim, Zubin's lifelong friend, pianist Yuja Wang, members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, who have appointed him Music Director for Life. The triumph of this documentary begins with a script which weaves personality, ideas and performance into a suite. Zubin speaks in German to a perceptive, off-camera person who probes the creative nodes of the Maestro. What emerges is an extraordinary portrait of Zubin Mehta, the man, an artist beloved by audiences and musicians alike for the warmth he radiates both in his music-making and in his life. The film had its world premiere organised to coincide with his 80th birthday celebrations. The screening was hosted by Michael Siebert, Consul General of Germany, Mumbai, held at the National Centre of the Performing Arts, attended by Zubin Mehta and director Bettina Ehrhardt.


Bettina Ehrhardt is both a documentary producer-director and an author and journalist. Based in Munich and active internationally, she holds a Master’s degree in French literature, a Diploma in cinema and a degree in semiotics/linguistics from the University of Lyon II. In addition to making films on the arts, she also creates current affairs documentaries. Her documentaries on the arts have focused on composers Luigi Nono, Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Pierre Boulez and Bernd Alois Zimmermann, conductors Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta and Kent Nagano, classical pianist Maurizio Pollini, jazz pianist Chick Corea with his Trio as well as singer and conductor Bobby McFerrin. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Meet the creative team of 'Anatomy of Violence' at Jio MAMI!

18th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival
October 20 - 27, 2016

Discovering India section 
Opening Film
 Deepa Mehta’s Anatomy of Violence
2016, India-Canada, 93 min, Hindi

 Friday, October 21 at 8:55 pm, PVR ICON 3
followed by Q&A session with 
Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry
 Workshop Director for 'Anatomy of Violence'
and
Chris McDonald 
President of Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary film festival and market, and Jury member, International Competition, 2016 Jio MAMI Festival
           Interact with the dynamic team of Anatomy of Violence at the screening


Dr Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry is a Chandigarh based theatre artist. She has received multiple prestigious awards including the 2003 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the 2004 Shiromani Bhasha Vibhag Award of Government of Punjab. In 2011 the Government of India honoured her with the Padma Shri Award.
Dr Chowdhry has taught at Panjab University, Chandigarh and worked at Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal.
With her theatre group called The Company she has produced numerous plays and staged them across many cities of the world including London, Perth, Los Angeles, etc. Her most recent work has been with the artists of the National School of Drama, Delhi.


Vansh Bhardwaj
is an Indian actor who has collaborated with Deepa Mehta on ‘Heaven on Earth’ (2008) and ‘Midnight’s Children’ (2012). His other work includes
Dilip Mehta’s ‘Cooking with Stella’ (2009), ‘Punjab 1984’ (2014) directed by Anurag Singh and the recent Bollywood outing in Abhishek Chaubey’s ‘Udta Punjab’ (2016). Bhardwaj has conducted theatre workshops focusing on acting and body movement in school, colleges and universities. His group Holy Theatre was formed in 2003, and has since been engaged in promoting and popularising the use of theatre as a medium of communication for the welfare and upliftment of the society. Holy theatre has been performing various forms of street shows on burning social issues like the environment, Aids, female feticide, dowry, drugs and women empowerment.
  

Ramanjit Kaur is the artistic director at The Creative Arts, a theatre actor and a film actor and director who holds a master’s in instrumental music from Panjab University, Chandigarh. She has acted in Deepa Mehta’s ‘Heaven on Earth’(2008)  and‘Fire’ (1996) and in Samir Mahenich’s Indo-UK project ‘Anant’. Ramanjit’s journey as an actor started while she was still in school, when she was selected as a delegate for the International Children’s Film Festival. She has been a part of Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry’s theatre group The Company since she was fifteen and trained under her as an actress. This exciting collaboration with Dr Chowdhry has spanned almost 20 years, and resulted in lead roles for Ramanjit in almost all the productions, which have travelled all over India and International Festivals in UK (LIFT), France (Festival d’Avignon), Germany, Pakistan, Singapore, Japan, Australia, etc.

Suman Jha
 was born in a small village called Baliya in Madhubani, Bihar and went to the holy city of Varanasi, for further studies post his basic education in the village. It was here that the spirituality of the surroundings had a profound impact on him and led him to reflect on himself and his life. He then joined a theatre company, Nagri Natak Mandali  and realised that acting was his life’s calling. His first step was the play Dekh Tumhari Kashi and by the end of that year he had acted in 12 plays. After completing his graduation in 2013 Jha moved to Chandigarh for an MA in theatre at the Department of Indian Theatre. “Theatre has helped me enlarge my vision and has helped me understand different philosophical and technical dimensions of acting which in turn have transformed me as an actor and as a human being”, says Jha. ‘Anatomy of Violence’ is his debut film.



Mukti Ravi Das has conducted acting workshops with the aspiring artists across India, including Ekta School of Drama (Jammu and Kashmir), Athlete Art Group (Kerala), Mother Teresa Senior Secondary School (Delhi), Kala Niketan (Jharkhand), Five Sense Group (Mumbai) and many private schools.
He acted in the short film ‘Sound of Solitude’ directed by Gabbu, in the NDTV production ‘Chhupa Rustam’ and in the short film ‘9/11’ made by India TV.
 He has two upcoming film projects that he has acted in ‘One Last Time’ directed by Mohinder Pratap Singh and ‘Arthpurush’ directed by Abhinau Aditya


Mahesh Saini was born and brought up in a village called Garhkhera in Faridabad, Haryana. He has a BSc, a master’s in Hindi Literature, and a diploma in acting from National School of Drama, New Delhi and is one of the founder members of Brij Nat Mandli, Faridabad (a non-profit organization for theatre and culture). Saini has worked with various theatre groups across the country and acted in more than 45 plays directed by various national and international directors. Anatomy of Violence is his debut film.  

                            



The director Deepa Mehta could not be present in Mumbai for personal reasons 

2nd screening of  'Anatomy of Violence'
Monday, October 23,t 2:30 pm, PVR Phoenix, Audi 4



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Must watch for fans of Western classical music!



18th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival
Discovery India section
October 20 - 27, 2016

 
Saturday,  
October 22,  PVR Phoenix, Audi 4, 10:45 am 

Bettina Ehrhardt's 
'Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds
The Conductor Zubin Mehta'  

2016, Germany, 89 min, English, German

  "It's Abinaya, what he does ... the art to depict through gestures, 
movements and particularly through the eyes"  -  Alarmel Valli

Zubin Mehta, among the music world’s most charismatic conductors, is a citizen of the world. 
He combines many different characteristics: Indian culture and Parsi spirituality; the musical culture of Vienna; and the music traditions of Asia, Europe and North America.

This film follows Zubin Mehta to his home town of Mumbai, to Tel Aviv, Florence, Berlin and to Munich. It features artists such as Daniel Barenboim, Zubin's lifelong friend, pianist Yuja Wang, members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, who have appointed him Music Director for Life. The triumph of this documentary begins with a script which weaves personality, ideas and performance into a suite.

Zubin speaks in German to a perceptive, off-camera person unseen/unheard who probes the creative nodes of the Maestro. What emerges is an extraordinary portrait of Zubin Mehta, the man, an artist beloved by audiences and musicians alike for the warmth he radiates both in his music-making and
in his life. The film had its world premiere at a private screening hosted by Michael Siebert, Consular General of Germany, Mumbai, held on date, at the National Centre of the Performing Arts, attended by Zubin Mehta and director Bettina Ehrhardt.

Director Bettina Ehrhardt could barely contain her excitement, with so little time left before the film screens at Jio MAMI. She said,  "Presenting my film about the Indian conductor Zubin Mehta means a lot to me.  Because filming Zubin Mehta in India, in his hometown Mumbai, in concerts with the Australian World Orchestra, was a real gift for me. It made me discover the extraordinary spirit in which the Indian public responded to the performances of Western classical music. I understood where Zubin Mehta’s talent of being in the present moment, paying attention to at least 100 people at the same time, comes from, his elegant, effortless way as it seems, to communicate what he wants to express to the musicians and to the public." 

The great Indian dancer Alarmel Valli, who appears in the film, puts it like this: "it's Abinaya, what he does'   ... the art to depict through gestures, movements and particularly through the eyes.' Thank you, India'

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


You can catch the films in Discovering India 
and over 180 films from 54 countries including
 features, docs and  short films that will be 
showcased at Jio MAMI by registering for 
your delegate pass at this link: 



General Delegate •  Rs. 2000/- Festival Catalogue & Delegate Bag cost for General Delegates
Student Delegate •  Rs. 1600/- Festival Catalogue & Delegate Bag cost for Student Delegates

The Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star is India's premiere film festival. It showcases the latest cutting-edge, independent cinema and art house fare alongside genre movies from Bollywood, Hollywood and cult international movies. We offer the best of world cinema to the people of Mumbai and we offer the best of Indian cinema to the world.

The festival is conducted under the aegis of the Mumbai Academy of Moving (MAMI) and is a platform that is shorthand for excellence in cinema. It celebrates the sheer pleasure of cinema, the joy it gives us and how much it enhances our lives. The goal is to nurture and ignite a passion for movies. The 18th edition of the festival will be held from 20th-27th October, 2016.





Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dilip Mehta’s 'Mostly Sunny' at 18th Jio MAMI Festival



Do not miss this film!

 Friday,  October  21, PVR Icon, Audi 4,  6:30 pm 


18th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival
October 20 - 27, 2016

Dilip Mehta’s 'Mostly Sunny'
2016, Canada, 86 min, English


Sunny Leone has reinvented herself as one of Bollywood’s biggest stars. She has a fan following of hundreds of millions on social media and is India’s most ‘Googled’ celebrity for the fourth year running. "Mostly Sunny" tells the remarkable story of this Canadian-born, American-bred adult film star who is pursuing her dreams of Bollywood stardom. 

Even more astonishing is that Sunny was born into an orthodox Sikh family in small-town Canada before being anointed as Penthouse “Pet of Year”, a few years after the family had moved to California. The film is a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ glimpse into an extraordinary life — one that exposes the conflict between traditional cultural values held sacrosanct by immigrant parents and the lifestyle choices made by their children under and within the influence of Western society.



Determined to succeed as a mainstream actress in a country in the midst of its own transformation, Sunny is unapologetic as she challenges the modern notions of independence, celebrity and feminism while forcing the birthplace of the Kama Sutra to confront its paradoxical relationship with sex. "Mostly Sunny" is a heartwarming introduction to Karenjit Kaur, a simple Indo- Canadian girl who lives behind the fantastical persona of Sunny Leone.




You can catch the films in Discovering India 
and over 180 films from 54 countries including
 features, docs and  short films that will be 
showcased at Jio MAMI by registering for 
your delegate pass at this link: 



General Delegate •  Rs. 2000/- Festival Catalogue & Delegate Bag cost for General Delegates
Student Delegate •  Rs. 1600/- Festival Catalogue & Delegate Bag cost for Student Delegates

The Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star is India's premiere film festival. It showcases the latest cutting-edge, independent cinema and art house fare alongside genre movies from Bollywood, Hollywood and cult international movies. We offer the best of world cinema to the people of Mumbai and we offer the best of Indian cinema to the world.

The festival is conducted under the aegis of the Mumbai Academy of Moving (MAMI) and is a platform that is shorthand for excellence in cinema. It celebrates the sheer pleasure of cinema, the joy it gives us and how much it enhances our lives. The goal is to nurture and ignite a passion for movies. The 18th edition of the festival will be held from 20th-27th October, 2016.



Monday, October 17, 2016

Plaudits for Anatomy of Violence at Toronto and Iceland


Do not miss its Asia Premiere at ...

18th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival
     October 20th - 27th, 2016 
Discovering India section

1st  Screening 

October  21, Friday , PVR Icon - Audi 3,  8:55 pm  

Attending -   available for interviews
Executive Producer/Workshop  Collaborator   Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry
Actors     Vansh Bhardwaj, Mukti Das, Mahesh Saini, Suman Jha,  Ramanjit Kaur
Please note:   Deepa Mehta cannot be present for personal constraints 

2nd Screening
October 24, Monday, PVR Phoenix - Audi 4,  2:30 pm




Patrick Mullen, TIFF Review

Deepa Mehta’s new film is a bold and exciting addition to documentary culture

Mehta’s Anatomy of Violence is exactly the kind of film one hopes to encounter at a festival. This exhilarating experiment in film form is bold, pioneering filmmaking unlike anything we’ve seen before. Anatomy of Violence is the bravest risk of Mehta’s career both formally and thematically as the film envisions new terrain for cinema. Is it true crime, mockumentary, hybrid film, or docu-drama? Anatomy of Violence is all of these forms and none. Let’s call it Mehta-fiction. 
...

Simon Houpt , The Globe and Mail

Anatomy of Violence is an unusual film, and not just because it is an aesthetically ragged work, entirely in Hindi, with no music and no artificial lighting, shot on video with a skeletal crew that didn’t even include a hair or makeup person: wholly different than Mehta’s meticulously composed epics such as Midnight’s Children and her Elements trilogy (Fire / Earth / Water). It also defies labels: You could call it a docudrama, though Mehta says perhaps only 10 to 20 per cent of what she presents about the men is factually accurate. The film doesn’t even use the attackers’ real names.

It is, in essence, the physical artifact that emerged from two weeks of workshops last winter in Delhi with a small corps of actors (including Mehta veterans Vansh Bhardwaj, the abusive husband in Heaven on Earth, and Water’s Seema Biswas), who improvised moments from the lives of the six rapists based on the few biographical shards that had been reported. Stranger still, and strangely compelling: The actors frequently play the men in childhood, either suffering sexual or emotional abuse at the hands of relatives, or abusing others and having their parents turn a blind eye. It is an impressionistic portrait, offering glimpses of their lives that, while not excusing their later actions, provide devastating context.
...

Susan G Cole, nowtoronto.com

Mehta's unique take on the infamous gang rape of a young woman on a Delhi bus with her fiancé delves into the backgrounds of the perpetrators to ask what led them to become violators.

Workshopped by her excellent cast of unknowns and stars, it points the finger at a rigid class system, trauma, poverty and the patriarchal values that breed violent misogyny. These men are profoundly oppressed people; in sharp contrast, a canny - and risky - sequence shows the subway filled with well-dressed upwardly mobile women on their way to work.

Anatomy of Violence is hard-hitting, but take note - the assault itself is never shown
...
Mariellen Ward, breathedreamgo.com

Deepa Mehta’s film Anatomy of Violence looks at the making of a rapist

This film is not about an inconvenient truth, it’s about a harrowing truth. Inspired by the Delhi Gang Rape of December 16, 2012, director Deepa Mehta veers wildly from the sensational and the conventional to present a raw film that uncovers universal truths. This horrific incident made worldwide news and provoked unprecedented outrage in India — forcing the country to examine attitudes towards women and change the laws. It stirred up issues and concerns around women’s safety in India and planted fear among many travellers and would-be travellers to India. I have written about these issues extensively on this blog and elsewhere. I saw Anatomy of Violence at a Press and Industry screening at the Toronto International Film Festival... 
Film likely to be part of school curriculum 
Following its premiere at Toronto International Film Festival in September, Anatomy of Violence is likely going to be used in Canada as a tool in the high school curriculum to support Violence Against Women and Children. The film screened in Iceland in the first week of October with the Education Ministry and the Reykjavik Film Festival Director Ms Hronn spearheading the same effort — to get it in to the senior high school curriculum. Same for Estonia and Spain so far. It is at schools, universities, women and children shelters, NGO's, as Deepa Mehta would like it to be....


DocedgeKolkata Call for Entries


Sunday, October 16, 2016

San Francisco International Film Festival | Seeking Filmmakers of All Career Levels

SAN FRANCISCO
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

San Francisco, California - USA
April 5 to 15, 2017

The 60th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF), celebrates a milestone year as one of the leading international showcases on the festival circuit.

In addition to programming extraordinary films and hosting career-enhancing networking events, SFIFF places a unique emphasis on technology and innovation as they continue to enhance the filmmaking process. All attendees enjoy an incredible two weeks of unforgettable films, informative workshops and salons, and countless opportunities to learn from the top talents from the world of cinema. The festival annually attracts an audience of more than 70,000 film lovers, and welcomes more than 4,000 students in grades 3-12 through its unique "Schools at the Festival" program.

View Listing   Submit Now

UPCOMING DEADLINE
October 24, 2016 - Regular Deadline

View submission details

MISSION AND OBJECTIVE
The San Francisco Film Society champions the world's finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in and inspired by the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area. The crown jewel of the Film Society's exhibition program is the San Francisco International Film Festival. Through intelligent and innovative programming, SFIFF creates singularly vital experiences for audiences of all kinds. An essential stop on the international film festival circuit, SFIFF is well regarded as a significant celebration of world cinema in one of the country's most beautiful cities.


MORE ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
SFIFF offers close to $40,000 USD in cash prizes for filmmakers of features and shorts, in categories that honor Youth Works, Bay Area filmmaking, animation, and more. It is also a qualifying festival for the Cinema Eye Honors for Non-Fiction Filmmaking. Many feature filmmakers selected to screen their work at SFIFF will enjoy complimentary travel and lodging, festival passes, and invitations to participate in filmmaker salons and master classes.

Features, Shorts and Youth Works (18 year and younger) are invited for submissions - qualify your project today!