Chaitanya Tamhane

Filmmaker Chaitanya Tamhane seems to be going places and making all the right marks. Last month, he was in news as he was selected for Rolex’s Mentor & Protégé Arts Initiative where will be mentored by Alfonso Cuarón.

And now there’s some more good news. He will be on the jury of 73rd Venice International Film Festival. He will be part of the international jury for the Orizzonti section of the fest. In addition to its president, French director Robert Guédiguian, other jury members for Orozzonti are : American film critic and historian Jim Hoberman, Egyptian actress Nelly Karim, Italian actress Valentina Lodovini, Korean actress and director Moon So-ri, Spanish film critic and scholar José Maria (Chema).

Interestingly, Chaitanya’s debut feature Court premiered at the 71st Venice Film Festival, where it won the Lion of the Future award and the Orizzonti award for Best film.

The Jury will award the following prizes, with no ex-aequo awards permitted: Orizzonti Award for Best Film; Orizzonti Award for Best Director; Special Orizzonti Jury Prize; Orizzonti Award for Best Actor or Actress; Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay; Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film; Venice Short Film Nomination for the European Film Awards 2016.

The festival will run from 31st August to 10th September, 2016.

 

Going by this wicked short film directed by Konkona Sensharma, we felt it was just a matter of time till she graduates to features. So here’s the good news – her feature directorial debut, A Death In The Ganj is ready, and the film will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

With this film, Abhishek Chaubey and Honey Trehan have turned producers with their new production banner, MacGuffin Pictures.

The film’s festival trailer is also out. Do have a look.

We don’t have exact synopsis of the film yet, but here’s what TIFF says about the film – Award-winning actor Konkona Sensharma makes her feature debut as a writer-director with this coming-of-age story about a shy young Indian student who quietly and fatefully unravels during a family road trip.

The film’s cast includes Vikrant Massey, Ranvir Shorey, Kalki Koechlin, Gulshan Devaiah, Tillotama Shome, Jim Sarbh, Tanuja Mukherjee, Om Puri and Arya Sharma.

Lights Out

David Sandberg’s horror feature, Lights Out, has released in theatres this week. And if you are not aware, it was actually a short film by Sandberg and his wife, Lotta Losten, that led to this feature.

The short is online. We are embedding it here. Do watch it.

 

Click here to read an article about the journey from this short to the feature film, how a complete stranger from other part of the world landed up in Hollywood to make his feature debut.

And do click here to read his interview.

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The 4th Indian Screenwriters Conference

SO NEAR, SO FAR: DO OUR STORIES REFLECT INDIA’S REALITY?

The Film Writers Association is back with its biggest, most prestigious and popular event for Indian Screenwriters.

Date : August 3-4, 2016
Venue : St. Andrews Auditorium, Bandra West
To register :  Click here

A quick summary of sessions

1. THE FEMININE FACTOR
Are female actors getting better roles now? Is our audience comfortable only with stereotypical women characters? Are we ready to have a more realistic gender equation on screen?

2. SERIAL KILLERS
Does our current TV content reflect our times and society? Why are we stuck in some unchangeable grooves? What is the way out?

3. WRITERS & PRODUCERS: PARTNERS OR ADVERSARIES?
Writers feel they are undervalued while producers complain of lack of quality scripts. How can this relationship be made more collaborative, more mutual, and more productive for both?

4. LITTLE BIG FILMS
Small films, driven by strong scripts and the passion of the filmmakers, are increasingly ending up as surprise successes. What is the scope and future of such efforts?

5. DECODING THE DIGITAL
The exodus of producers & studios is moving towards the web. What is the business of web entertainment like? Is the Internet answer to our creative and economic issues?

6. THE BUSINESS OF TV WRITING
The leverage of the TV writer is growing; it appears, with him/her turning into a producer. Is this the model for all TV writers to move towards?

– Reputed journalist and Ramon Magsaysay awardee, P. Sainath will deliver the keynote address, while the renowned poet Ashok Vajpeyi will be the Chief-Guest.

– Confirmations are streaming in from the invited speakers, panelists and special guests, including Javed Akhtar, Gulzar, Siddharth Roy-Kapur, Ronnie Screwvala, Gaurav Banerjee (Star), Anooj Kapoor (SAB TV), Ritesh Sidhwani, Jaideep Sahni, Sriram Raghavan, Vishal Bhardwaj, Danish Khan (Sony), Ravina Kohli (Epic), Juhi Chaturvedi, Rajat Kapoor, Hansal Mehta, Jayesh Patil, Aatish Kapadia, Purnendu Shekhar, Shridhar Raghavan, Nagraj Manjule, Neeraj Ghaywan, Sonali Jaffer, Shashi Mittal, Varun Grover, Himanshu Sharma, Sudip Sharma, Saurabh Tiwari, Biswapati Sarkar and many more writers, writer-directors, and producers.

– On August 3, Dastangoi performance from 6:30 – 8:00 PM

– Click here, here and here to read some of our previous coverage of the conference.

 

DIFF

Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) 2016 invites submissions for the 3rd DIFF Film Fellows Programme – a Himalayan Filmmakers’ Lab that aims to develop filmmaking talent across India’s Himalayan regions.

– The residential programme features mentorship sessions, screenings of the best of contemporary independent cinema, masterclasses by visiting filmmakers and industry professionals, and panel discussions on contemporary filmmaking.

– This year, the mentorship sessions will focus on ‘The journey from idea to script in documentary filmmaking’, ‘Alternative forms of expression in documentaries’, ‘Producing a fiction short’, ‘Choices in constructing a narrative’, ‘Producing a short in anticipation of making a feature’.

Eligibility 

The DIFF Film Fellows Programme is open to aspiring directors from any of the following regions: Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarkhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and the hill regions of West Bengal and Assam.

– DIFF is searching for film directors who are interested in polishing their skills and increasing the impact and reach of their work.

– Applicants must have made a least one film — a short or feature — and be aged between 18 and 30.

(Please refer to the DIFF Film Fellows Rules and Regulations for more detailed information)

How to Apply  

– Applicants should submit the duly completed Application Form (no application fee) with a film they have directed. A jury of three film professionals will review the applicants’ films, essays and notes on future projects, and select five DIFF fellows.

– Selected candidates must be able to attend all workshop sessions and participate in festival screenings and events.

– The application aorm is available on the website.

Application Deadline 

– Applications must be submitted by 16 August 2016. They may be sent by email to info@diff.co.in (please mention <DIFF Film Fellows 2016 – Application>, in the subject line).

– Successful candidates will be notified by 19 September 2016.

Where and When Mentorship sessions: 1–3 November 2016. Festival screenings and events: 3–6 November 2016. Venue House of Peace and Dialogue, Upper TCV, Dharamshala.

Fellowship Inclusions – The programme will cover train fares (two-tier AC) and food and lodging for the duration of the workshops and festival (1–6 November 2016).

– To know more about the DIFF Film Fellowship Program, please click here.

 

writingNFDC India has selected six projects for the 10th Edition of NFDC Film Bazaar Screenwriters’ Lab.

The Screenwriters’ Lab is part of NFDC Labs’ ongoing initiative to develop original voices and stories from India. The selected participants work with mentors to explore their stories in one-on-one as well as group sessions and master classes. Aimed at domestic as well as international markets, the projects will be pitched to producers and investors in a specially designed session during Film Bazaar 2016. Like the last two years, this edition of the lab will continue its collaboration with Sarajevo International Film Festival.

– The selected projects include scripts in various regional languages, a Tamil script, Heart and Soul; two Malayalam scripts – Spirogyra and The Ward; a Bengali script, The Gift; a Punjabi script, Unresolved; and Hindi script, Time To Go.

Details of the scripts and writers –

1.  Heart and Soul (Tamil)

Hari Hara Sudhan is a Direction & Screenwriting student of Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute. Before joining film school, Hari trained under Balu Mahendra in Chennai.

2.  Spirogyra (Malayalam)

Abhilash Vijayan is an emerging filmmaker whose short film Dwand (The Dual) and short documentary That Elephant From the Bridge have won several national and international awards, apart from travelling to several international festivals. Abhilash holds a post-graduate Diploma in Direction and Screenplay Writing from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.

3.  The Gift (Bengali)

Tamal Sen studied Direction and Screenplay writing from the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata. His graduation film, Still Voices won the Special Prize at the 58th Columbus International Film & Video Festival USA, and won an Honourable Mention at the Los Angeles Reel Film Festival 2010, among many others.

4.  The Ward (Malayalam)

Kris Rajan has worked as an editor on two-time academy award nominee John Sayles’ latest feature, Go For Sisters. His short films have screened at numerous international film festivals. Kris has been a researcher, writer, and editor on numerous commissioned and independent feature documentaries. He studied Film Directing at New York University’s Film program, where he was awarded the sole “Technisphere Award” for outstanding creative achievement.

5.  Time To Go (Hindi)

Mansi Jain is a writer – director who has recently co-written and associate directed Moh Maya Money, a crime drama. Her short film Lunch Lady was in official selection at many major film festivals. 42nd and Bombay, her short film screenplay, was awarded the prestigious $10,000 grant by Panavision at Columbia University Film Festival 2015. Mansi has also assisted Rajat Kapoor on Ankhon Dekhi (Before My Eyes, 2013). Currently she is a thesis year MFA screenwriting-directing candidate at Columbia University.

6.  Unresolved (Punjabi)

Vikram Singh is a writer – director who has recently written and director a comedy feature for children.He has worked with India’s largest advertising agencies, producing and directing commercials for some of India’s biggest brands. In 2001 Vikram moved to Mumbai and joined UTV in their ADs division as a director of commercials and corporate videos. Since then he has written several scripts on spec.

The mentors of the script labs are…

  1. Antoine Le Bos

Antoine Le Bos is a French screenwriter and script-consultant, with more than 25 feature scripts delivered under contract as a writer or co-writer, and the experience of over a hundred feature projects followed as a consultant. He has worked as a consultant for the Moulin d’Andé (CECI, France), tutoring their 2005, 2006 and 2007 rewriting sessions, as well as European Short Pitch 2007 to 2010 sessions, and taught screenwriting at Brest University. He won the Gan Foundation Prize as a writer in 2005 for a feature film project called La Vague Noire.

Antoine has been a tutor and consultant for Script&Pitch Workshops and Torino Film Lab since 2007, as well as for Interchange in 2009, 2010, 2011. In 2007, Antoine Le Bos became Artistic Director of Le Groupe Ouest, European centre for film creation in Brittany (France), and recently co-created the Cross-Channel Film Lab between France and Great Britain.

2. Urmi Juvekar

Urmi Juvekar was actively involved in theatre since her early years. She then moved on to working in a television production house to make non-fiction programmes while writing her first feature film, Darmiyaan, which released in 1998. Since then, she has written seven films including Oye Lucky, Lucky Oyeand I AM – both winners of the National Award for Best Film – and has made three documentaries, of which Shillong Chamber Choir and the Little Home School was shown in IDFA, Amsterdam in 2008.

After working as a creative producer with the critically acclaimed and commercially successful film, Love, Sex Aur Dhokha, Urmi adapted the famous Greek novel Z by Vassilis Vassilikos for her next film, Shanghai. Her latest film is Detective Byomkesh Bakshi. An alumnus of the Binger Film Lab, Urmi has also been involved with NFDC since 2011 as a consultant for Film Bazaar and script labs.

3. Romain Compingt

Romain Compingt is the youngest graduate of CEEA – the Conservatoire Européen d’écriture Audiovisuelle, where he is now a teacher. Populaire(directed by Régis Roinsard), his first feature film as screenwriter, has been released worldwide and has been nominated for five César awards.

Romain has co-written Divines, directed by Houda Benyamina, which won the Caméra d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2016. Known for bringing sensibility to a wide range of characters and for his strength in structure, Romain has also worked as a script doctor in the film La Fille De Brest, by Emmanuelle Bercot, which is set for release at the end of 2016.

 

by  मोहित कटारिया

(Mohit Kataria is an IT engineer by profession, writer & poet by passion, and a Gulzar fan by heart. He is based in Bangalore and can be reached at [kataria dot mohit at gmail dot com] or @hitm0 on twitter)