Busan International Film Festival 2018 will see 5 Indian films having their World Premieres in the section titled A Window on Asian Cinema.
The festival is being held from 4th to 13th October 2018.

Namdev Bhau In Search of Silence

Screenplay, Director: Dar Gai
Producer: Dheer Momaya
Starring: Namdev Gurav, Aarya Dave, Zoya Hussain
Running time: 84min

Bhonsle

Director: Devashish Makhija
Producer: Saurabh Gupta, Namita Lal, Piiyush Singh
Starring: Manoj Bajpayee, Santosh Juvekar, Ipshita Chakraborty Singh, Virat Vaibhav
Running time: 128min

Widow of Silence

Director: Praveen Morchhale
Running time: 85min

Kaamyaab / Round Figure

Director: Hardik Mehta
Producer: Manish Mundra, Ridhima Lulla
Starring: Sanjai Mishra, Deepak Dobriyal, Sariika Singh, Isha Talwar, Kaurwakee Vasistha, Amitabh Shrivastava, Avtar Gill
Running time: 111min

Yours Truly

Story, Screenplay, Director: Sanjoy Nag
Producer: Platoon One Films, MDC Filmworks
Starring: Soni Razdan, Pankaj Tripathi
Running time: 78min

When master of the modern Hindi noir, Sriram Raghavan, announced his next project ‘Andhadhun’, there was a lot of discussion around the name, what it meant, and how it was supposed to be spelt. And of course, what the movie would be about.

The trailer and new poster for the film was released today (film’s new release date is now 5th October), and it shows that it is the love story of a blind pianist, who meets a terrific girl and then another woman, and then many things happen to him. Among his inspirations for the film Raghavan counts Fargo, both the film and the series.

The premise is interesting enough, and the trailer makes it even more so. The IMDB synopsis on the film reads: “He sees what he shouldn’t. She sees what he couldn’t. So the question is, does he see it or not?”

The trailer also revealed that the film stars famous 70s actor Anil Dhawan, which is causing much excitement amongst fans.

Here’s the trailer of the film:

Starring: Radhika Apte, Ayushmann Khurana, Tabu, and Anil Dhawan
Producer: Matchbox Pictures, Viacom18 Motion Pictures
Writer & Director: Sriram Raghavan
Editor: Pooja Ladha Surti
Co-writer: Arijit Biswas
Music: Amit Trivedi
Lyrics: Jaideep Sahni
Release: 5th October 2018

Here is Sriram’s interview regarding the film on Scroll.

The 2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival 2018 (Sg.SAIFF) will open with actor-director Nandita Das’ Manto which stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the titular role as Sadat Hassan Manto and follows the most tumultuous years and times in the life of the famed writer and of the two countries he inhabits — India and Pakistan.

The 2nd edition of the festival held from 5th to 14th October 2018 in Singapore will commence with an opening ceremony on 5th October at Carnival Cinema and close on 13th October at Resorts World Sentosa will also include the awards ceremony.

The film was chosen for the prestigious Un Certain Regard section at Cannes 2018 and features an impressive ensemble of actors including Rasika Duggal, Rajshri Deshpande, Rishi Kapoor and Paresh Rawal. The screening at SGSAIFF 2018 marks the film’s South East Asian premiere and will be attended by Nandita Das.

Das who will be presenting the film at the festival says, “We are delighted to screen Manto as the opening film at SGSAIFF. Manto was very much a South Asian writer. But unlike the Europeans, we South Asians do not own this identity, despite many cultural and social similarities amongst the countries in the region. Therefore, it is important to support such festivals that celebrate cinema from the Subcontinent. Last year, SGSAIFF screened a film I acted in, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai as the opening film, which is yet to be released. I was unfortunately unable to make it. So, I very much look forward to attending it this year.”

Abhayanand Singh, Chairperson of SGSAIFF, whose association with Nandita Das started with Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai, the film co-produced by his production company, Muvizz says, “It’s a great honour to open the 2nd edition of SGSAIFF with one of the most important Indian films of this year, MANTO. We are happy that Nandita Das accepted our invitation to come and present the film at the festival.”

The SGSAIFF 2018 lineup which will be announced shortly includes an interesting mix of features, documentaries and shorts which includes titles from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan.

About The South Asian Singapore Film Festival

Singapore South Asian International Film Festival (Sg.SAIFF) is devoted to a greater appreciation of South Asian cinema and culture. The festival seeks to support emerging filmmakers, open a fertile space for dialogue and collaborations within the industry, and most significantly share with the audience of Singapore the diverse and complex experiences of South Asia through the intimate storytelling medium of cinema.

With the impetus to effectively channel the expansion of South Asian cinema beyond the subcontinent and engage with a wider spectrum of audience. Singapore with its sizable population of South Asian descent, is a natural choice for this purpose. Supported by the Singapore Indian High Commission(IHC), the festival is a landmark initiative to serve as a cultural gateway between the global city of Singapore and the developing nations of South Asia.

Singapore, being the gateway of Asia, only enhances the potential of the festival to emerge as the melting pot of diverse cultures using cinema as a medium.

Aanand L. Rai, Sohum Shah, and Anand Gandhi’s much awaited mythological thriller about a goddess who created the entire universe, Tumbbad opened the Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week and is generating a lot of buzz at Venice Film Festival.

So here’s all the buzz around the film at the fest.

– Baradwaj Rangan’s review on Film Companion here

– Hollywood Reporter’s review here

– Screen Daily’s review here

– Sohum Shah’s interview in Variety here

– Sohum Shah on the film in Quint here

Shefali Shah and Neeraj Kabi’s upcoming Indo-German feature love story, Once Again which is slated to release soon.

Witten and Directed by Kanwal Sethi, Once Again is an unusual and mature love story of Tara, a widowed mother who runs a small restaurant and one of her customers, a popular film actor Amar, who she delivers his daily meals. Tara has never seen him – except on the big screen.

Apart from the lead stars, Shefali Shah and Neeraj Kabi, the film features a stellar cast including Rasika Dugal, Bhagwan Tiwari, Bidita Bag and Priyanshu Painyuli.

The music composer, Talvin Singh, who has been at the helm of fusion music, and has played with the likes of Madonna creates an enchanting and melodious soundtrack.

Actor Neeraj Kabi, who was last seen in Netflix show Sacred Games as DCP Parulkar has done diverse roles in films such as Talvar, Byomkesh Bakshi, Ship Of Theseus, Hichki. Excited about playing a romantic hero on celluloid for the first time, Neeraj says, “I have always wanted to perform a love story on celluloid. I am so happy I finally did.”

The Indo-German film is produced by Crawling Angel Films, Jar Pictures, Neufilm in collaboration with ZDF/ARTE and is presented by Sanjay Gulati and Neeraj Pandey. ZDF/ARTE are the powerful channels behind films like Lunchbox, Masaan and Qissa.

The film won Facebook Award for the best Work-in-Progress Lab project at the Film Bazaar in Goa.

About the film:
Tara is a widowed mother who runs a small restaurant. One of her customers is popular film actor Amar, she delivers his daily meals. Tara has never seen him – except on the big screen. A chance phone conversation becomes a ritual. They spend hours on the phone, unable to muster the courage to meet. Aware of the reality of an impossible relationship and afraid to transcend the boundaries both have drawn around themselves they live within their safe bubbles. Until one day, when Amar sets out to meet Tara… What follows is a poetic journey of the two lonely hearts in Mumbai, a city of 15 million souls.

About the director:
Kanwal Sethi was born in Amritsar, India. After finishing school, he founded a theatre group and began to stage at various independent theatres. He shifted to Germany and studied Political science and Economics in Dresden. Followed by his own stage productions and parallel to this he started work on his own film projects. His short films and documentaries were screened at various international film festivals as well as the Museum of Modern Art New York. JUNCTION POINT was his debut feature film and premiered at Max ÖphulsPreis and MAMI.

About the Producers:
Neufilm
Since we successfully started producing films 10 years ago, we are constantly confronted with the phenomenon of a separation of art and commerce. Arthouse and mainstream seem to be often incompatible in the industry. The aim of Neufilm is to connect these two poles and make the author film accessible to a broader audience.

Crawling Angel Films
Crawling Angel Films is a film production company based in India that aims to tell the world unique stories through films, which have the quality to capture human emotions through their strong narratives. The dedicated team of Crawling Angel Films is all set out to dissolve the boundaries between the various nations of the globe by getting them well versed with one universal language – the language of Cinema. They have produced award-winning films such as, LAJWANTI (Berlin International Film Festival 2014), ASHWATTHAMA (Busan International Film Festival 2017), MEHSAMPUR and THE SHEPHERDESS AND THE SEVEN SONGS (co-production lab in Film Bazaar and Hong Kong International Film Festival) is currently under the process of shooting.

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The Dharamshala International Film Festival is pleased to announce the DIFF Film Fellows Programme 2018. The Film Fellows initiative, which saw its inception in 2014, aims to encourage and develop filmmaking talent in the Indian Himalayan regions by offering mentorship opportunities with established filmmakers.

This year, the programme will focus specifically on filmmakers from Himachal Pradesh.

The programme will provide a much-needed opportunity to budding filmmakers from Himachal Pradesh who would otherwise have limited or no access to these resources. Five young filmmakers from the HP region will be selected and invited to attend DIFF, participate in its various events, and benefit from one-on-one mentorship sessions with established filmmakers.

Previous DIFF Film Fellows have come from across the Himalayan region, from Ladakh all the way to Arunachal Pradesh, and are now engaged in various stages of their filmmaking career.

Siddharth Chauhan, last year’s film fellow from Himachal Pradesh, and the director of Pashi (2017) says: “DIFF Film Fellows Programme was a break I desperately needed in my life and career. Surrounded by beautiful mountains, young people and the amazing two mentors (filmmakers Gurvinder Singh and Kesang Tseten) I got to learn and unlearn so many facets of filmmaking.”

The deadline for applying to this programme is 24 September 2018. Applicants must be between 18-45 years of age and hold bonafide Himachali certificates.

A jury made up of eminent filmmakers will review all applicants and the final selection of the five fellows will be announced by 1st October 2018.

Rules & Regulations
  1. The DIFF Film Fellows programme accepts applications from aspiring Film Directors.
  2. Applicants must be in the age group 18 to 45.
  3. Applicants must be from Himachal Pradesh.
  4. Applicants must submit a completed entry form together with a link to a short film they have directed.
  5. Films submitted must be shorter than 20 minutes in duration but may include excerpts from longer films. In the latter instance, please do not send the full film.
  6. Films can be submitted as a link on Vimeo, YouTube, etc.
  7. Non-English-language film must be subtitled in English.
  8. Films may be of any genre: fiction; documentary; experimental; animation; etc.
  9. A panel of industry professionals will judge the entries and their decision will be final.
  10. The application deadline is 24th September 2018.
  11. Successful applicants will be notified by 1st October 2018.

To apply for the fourth DIFF Film Fellows Programme, please download the application form below and send your completed application to info@diff.co.in and programmingassistant@diff.co.in by 24th September 2018.

Subject Line: DIFF Film Fellows Application.

DIFF FILM FELLOWS PROGRAMME ENTRY FORM

More details: DIFF Film Fellows

Anurag Kashyap is back, this time with a love story, teaming up with Aanand L Rai as producer. Manmarziyaan is going to premiere at the TIFF 18. While we keep wondering about the actual release date (21, 14, or 7th September?), why don’t you read the review from Rohwit below, while listening to the official playlist?

Mast ali has a voice which sounds aptly familiar yet fresh, filmi punjabbbi songs wise. In Fyar he has been credited along with Vicky Kaushal and Sikandar Kahlon. I love the way song starts and credit to Amit Trivedi for smartly manipulating the pace of the song and even though the difference between ‘Pya’ and ‘Fya’ is not super easy to understand when you hear it, the song is just spot on. I didn’t care much about the rap part but it didn’t disturb my Foncentration.

Daryaa has ‘udaan types (Yes i am looking at you ‘hooo oo oo oo’) meeting Punjabi love’ sound which works like a charm. I have always been at pains to see Shahid Mallya not getting the kind of uptake that he deserves. He sounds madly in love and it sets the emotion of the song perfectly. Ammy Virk sounds powerful yet quite hurt and because of him, the song soars, pity his name doesn’t appear in the youtube song title credits till the time this was written. What a delight it is to hear Amit’s ‘hoo ooo oo’ template complimenting Virk’s passionate singing and spilling emotions like two glasses brimming with wine falling to the ground. There is also an unplugged version of this song sung by Deveshi Sahgal. It has a headstrong sound which I absolutely loved along with the super Guitar play of the always dependable Sanjoy Das. Deveshi’s singing is fearless and it would be silly to compare her version with the other version because, well the other version is not unplugged to begin with. In fact, with the ‘Udaan type hoo ooo oo’ missing from the song, this version sounds rather fresh! Super like!

Jazim Sharma and Harshdeep Kaur are heard in Grey wala shade, a song that revels in mischief. The tune is intimate and lyrics are delightfully naughty. Jazim‘s voice has a soothing effect and it is a pleasant change to hear Harshdeep in a simple song. Jazim and Harshdeep Kaur team up again in an Esraj rich Choch Ladhiyaan. I love what Amit has done with the tune of this song and to me, this could easily be the most layered composition of the album. The near classical arrangement is more essential than decorative. Being someone who understands ghazal gayaki closely, Jazim uses all the thehraav in his rendition and is a delight to the senses. Harshdeep Kaur is again in top form and sounds even more playful due to absolute crazy lyrics by the magician Shellee, Bande andar, paigambar…naache!

Dhayaanchand shines because of its lovely tune structure. Vijay Yamla, Nikhita Gandhi, Amit Trivedi & Suhas Sawant are pretty good in the song yet my favorite parts are those with Amit‘s voice. On a related dhinchak note – Tumbi, Tumba, Been, Dhadd & Bugdu by Vijay Yamla and Dhol by Kukki Jogi are composition’s heart and soul. A song that is definitely going in my dinchak 2018 playlist.

Omkar Dhumal has made several appearances in good and not so good songs this year so far. Here, his Shehnai is used brilliantly by Amit Trivedi. I was almost not looking forward to the song because of Jyoti Nooran’s name. Of late, her songs are one note, one character, unwelcoming and filled with unnecessary ‘See I can do so many alaaps’. I can confirm that she is super steady in this song. Along with Romy, she holds your attention in the serious Hallaa. Don’t miss the faint Shehnai and those lovely backup vocalists especially towards the end of the song…a brilliant touch by Amit Trivedi.

Shahid Mallya & Jonita Gandhi sing Sachchi Mohabbat very well, a song that bitterly regrets love that ‘could have been’, a love where they could have celebrated ‘Them being them?’. The wordplay in this song is deceptively simple and credit to Amit Trivedi for keeping the tune light in spite of two geniuses at play here. I am of course referring to Arshad Khan (On Israj) and Omkar Dhumal (On Shehnai).

Jaisi teri Marzee is a little ‘Tujhe yaad na meri aayi‘ in its character and it is not a bad thing. I liked the fact that rather than presenting a track as ‘title song’, they have used the said phrase to name it. Did I like the song? Yes. Would i listen to it again? No. Harshdip Kaur is pitch perfect and Bhanu Pratap Singh sounds fresh and promising. Still, I found this to be a ‘credit rolling’ song and not very ‘playlist durable’

Bijlee giregi has Devenderpal Singh, Babu Haabi, Sikander Kahlon & Vaishali Sardana in top form. At the risk of sounding repetitive, I absolutely love Shellee and what he has done here. There is not a comma (let alone a word) that feels force inserted. Bhasudi, durachari, cutie pie nahi kutti pie hai, Vayusena ka vimaan, missile waali…I can go on and on. The tune structure flirts with my other favorite song from the year – Teri pappi le lu from ‘Veere di wedding’. That said, I am already conflicted whether this song should go in the dinchak 2018 playlist from this album instead of Dhayanchand?* Anyway, I love the song and extra points for NOT using Badshaah for the rap portion in this (or any song for that matter). Fun fact – If you have a heart rate monitor, you will see your heartbeats take off like a rocket in this song. Trust me, I checked.

Meenal Jain, Yashita Sharma, Yashika Sikka, Rani Kaur, Anita Gandharva, Meghna Mishra & Vaishnavi Mishra are heard in Kundali. Predictably, the song is high tempo with a good thump. Yet again, Shellee’s lyrics shine (Sunnn pyari simran, jaa ji le apna jeevan!). I didn’t dislike the song but I would not go looking for this one in the playlist.

I don’t want to jinx it but this year has been relatively better than last couple of years in terms of film music. Still, I was yet to come across a devilishly delicious album. Last week I came across one that was truly 5 star stuff yet it didn’t ‘bite’ enough. May be because that is a pretty straight forward love story and because Mannmarziyaan is ‘complicated’ and handled by Anurag Kahsyap, the search ended with Manmarziyaan. I am confident that the album will outlast the film for years to come.

Of course it is Anurag Kashyap‘s collaboration with Amit Trivedi. Of course they have delivered, big time. Still, I think the most critical factor of this blockbuster album is Shellee. His lyrics truly walk in beauty. Not once do you feel the lyrics are dumbed down so that junta doesn’t dismiss the album as being ‘too punjabi’. I just hope the film is worthy of the lyrics and music it has got. Actually, I don’t care about the film at all. I am just happy Anurag and Amit have got back to their winning ways and given us an album that we can listen to in our little cocoons and forget the world.

How’s the album?

Filmi Hindustaan jaise…Chhaye Gurdass maan jaise

Rohwit

*Of course I will use Bijlee Giregi in the playlist. Hashtag Girl power.