Archive for June, 2011

WHAT: Asia Society India Centre announces the launch of the New Voices Fellowship for Screenwriters (NVFS), a program to identify and support a group of six talented independent screenwriters to develop their feature film scripts by working in a dynamic and innovative environment with guidance from eminent filmmakers and screenwriters.

Time Warner is the Founding Sponsor of the New Voices Fellowship for Screenwriters.

FELLOWSHIP: Through an open application process, six screenwriters from across India will be selected for a year-long Fellowship that will provide a creative platform to explore new ideas.

Each participating Fellow will receive:

 – A stipend of Rs.1,00,000

– Regular mentoring from noted screenwriters/directors toward the completion of a feature script

– Two week-long intensive workshops led by industry professionals and with active participation from peers in a learning community

– Recommendations on developing contacts and approaches to taking their scripts to the next phase — developing strategies and approaches to finding producers, directors, distributors, festivals, etc.

ELIGIBILITY : Indian Nationals residing in India, 18 years and above, are eligible to apply.

The Fellowship is open to Indian nationals residing in India who have written one full-length script that has been registered with the Film Writers Association (FWA).

SCHEDULE: Open for Applications – 1st July – 31st August 15th Sept, 2011

Announcement of 12 shortlisted applicants – 20th October, 2011

Interviews of 12 shortlisted applicants – 8th November, 2011

Announcement of 6 Fellows – 8th November, 2011

First residential screenplay workshop in Mumbai  -9th – 13th November, 2011

Second residential screenplay workshop in Mumbai -May 2012 (Dates TBC)

Closing Ceremony -June 2012 (Dates TBC)

STIPEND : The Fellows will receive a stipend of Rs.1,00,000. 50% of the money will be released at the beginning, 25% on completion of five months and the remaining 25% on successful completion of the Fellowship.

ADVISORY COUNCIL & MENTORS : Anjum Rajabali,  Jaideep Sahni, Dev Benegal, Saket Chaudhary, Sriram Raghavan, Ashwini Malik and Vinay Shukla.

To know more about the rules and regulations, click here.

POTD : The Tree Of Life – NO REFUND

Posted: June 24, 2011 by moifightclub in cinema, POTD
Tags: ,

Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life is soon going to get a theatrical release in India. All thanks to PVR. And so, here’s something that you must know and remember if you are clueless about the film. If you know about the film, am sure you are all set to book your tickets.

This was put oustide an arthouse theater in Stamford.

(PS – We should have something like this for No Smoking. Right? Bipasha Basu’s item number has got nothing to do with the film. You can enjoy it on your tv too 😉

Tip – Auteurmark/Aseem Chhabra

Not sure why but I was expecting a Harmony kind of show. Remember that musical show on Sony/Set Max? But Coke Studio at MTv went to the other extreme and started without any warm-up. It opened with a jugalbandi pitching a bollywood/popular name with a folk (unknown) singer and followed the same pattern for the entire show.  And there was more jazz with every possible camera angle covered and fast cuts to show that they have it all. What i missed was thehraav. Leave the camera angles and cuts outside the music, let the singers do the jazz. Introduce the singers to us with solo numbers. Give that slow warm-up, let us absorb and then built the tempo with jugalbandi. At least that’s the pattern which every music or anything that’s musical, follows. Also, can we please have subtitles for the songs in other languages. Some of us are insane when it comes to lyrics.

Aha, that’s just the intro. This post is by Rohit, for whom music is lifeline and whose middle name these days is Coke Studio. I don’t know anyone who follows it with so much passion and enthusiasm. Don’t think even MTV was so excited about the show as Rohit was. Read on..

This is not a review. It can never be.

This is a chance to showcase an opinion. If you have one, please use the ‘comment’ box. Would love to hear it.

Being one who drives the car from a longer route because the favorite song hasn’t ended yet, it was a blessing when I came across Coke Studio Pakistan last year.

Any new sound from Pakistan has an extra oomph attached to it, and this is quite accentuated by the fact that our filmmakers have been using the Pakistani artists in our films a lot.

The first thing which struck me about the Coke Studio was its setting. A small but cozy arrangement of musicians with latest (And most of the times traditional) musical instruments weaved nicely in the presence of the vocal performer. The second was the lighting. Dull but not sad, and at times, the spotlight on the vocal lead. Looks like a concert, sounds like a studio, I thought to myself.

Then exploring began.

Most of the songs in Coke Studio Pakistan centered around Punjabi/Arabic/Urdu or a combination of these. That’s not entirely, is it? The artist set had a collective feel to it. You had folk singers from Balochistan and then you had new age ‘rockstars’ like Atif Aslam and Ali Zafar. Less popular guys with the popular ones did make a lot of impact (especiallly if you hear the likes of Season 1 rendition of Ali zafar’s allah hu along with Tufail Ahmed).

The obvious reaction was – Man! when are they coming to India? With the excessive incredible India overdose, I thought it would be amazing to see the various sounds we have in our beautiful country going at it with the popular guys to begin with.

Then I went to Coke Studio India sets.

Of course the expectations I had were at least 20 feet above the sky. There was a lot of positivity flowing in the air with artists trying variations to get it right…and the when they got it right, they tried to better it.

But why are they singing Bollywood numbers?

Especially when I heard Benny Dayal and Suzanne singing ‘kanchi rey kanchi rey’, I thought am I missing something? One reason that I could decipher was that they are changing the treatment of the song and giving the audience a familiar song to chew upon as they try to capture the mind space of the populists (because the other loyalists are already in place). The second and the final reason which came to my mind was that may be they will attempt to fuse a folk song and its ‘commercial’ counterpart in one composition and give us a hang of it.

This was proven right when the India version premiered with the folk and commercial composition interwoven in a beautiful ‘O mahi rey‘ by the folk singer (Mano) and Shaan (who should stop swaying on the mic with a smile. When you are ‘passionate’ you don’t get a smile…you just ‘be’)

Coke Studio at MTV

Of course there were hits and misses.

Am not sure why the lighting was going (at times) mad like it was a dance floor, and some camera movements (especially in the otherwise brilliant Tochi Raina and Magati song) had me confused.

Shankar mahadevan and Khagen Gogoi couldn’t touch me as yet. KK and Sabri brothers did strike a chord and that’s largely due to the fact that they were singing an old classic (chadhta suraj). Watching KK, I couldn’t help but feel that he is too ‘aware’ of his surroundings. Nope! not done. The only thing the coke studio in Pakistan singers/performers are aware is the microphone in front and NOTHING else.

Tochi, Kailash Kher, Chinnaponu, Bondu and Harshdeep Kaur managed to hit the right chord because none of these guys were aware of how their videos would come across when millions of fans would see it on youtube. Yes. That is passion. Hope we get to see that more in the forthcoming episodes…

Criticism

Coke Studio at MTV happened. Then loads of variations of the same happened tonight. People came out with loaded guns to shoot and tear it apart.

Let me try and organise my thoughts before ‘judging’ (Indian Idol isshtyle! by the way last I saw Abhijit sawant, he was doing comedy for a living. This is besides the point)

Criticism 1. Lot of bollywood influence – Hmm. This is true. I guess the endeavor is towards presenting us with the sound of our country from every nook and corner, and to mingle it with someone who is well known (bolly singers, I tell u!) and that’s not entirely bad. At least now we can bash the bolly singers better because they have their regional/folk contemporaries performing right next to them? The show opened with Shaan. But was it just Shaan? Who was singing along with him? Don’t google it. Also, when you are googling, ask yourself if you would have waited to see Coke Studio at MTV had there been 2 unknown singers going at it? (Remember the Pakistani Coke Studio had 2-3 familiar singers who were termed ‘besura‘ in India?)

Criticism 2 – Horrendous lighting, bad camera angels – Hmmm. This I will agree to. The exquisite performance by Tochi Raina (And Magathi, I guess) & Kailash Kher (with the tamil singer) was particularly spoiled by wayward camera movement and dinchak lighting.

Criticism 3 – A wanna be show – Hmmm. Aren’t we going on an overkill by expecting a little too much and benchmarking the first one hour episode against a show which is in it’s 3rd year? All of us spoiled Maggi when we first prepared, no? Anyway.

Criticism 4 – Couldn’t touch the soul – I guess it will continue to be this way for sometime. We are enamored by, and look forward to a lot of ‘Allah hu‘ like songs from Indian version from the first day. What is obviously clear is that Coke Studio at MTV will first premier all the ‘sounds’ from all parts of country (along with a popular voice) and then run a riot of ‘placing’ and ‘innovating’ within these genres more effectively.

It is a first step and I don’t say that Coke Studio at MTV is ‘Holier than thou’. We need to be a little patient and am sure that the Indian version will give us more reasons to smile than to crib about.

By the way my favorite from the night were Tochi Raina’s Mera yaar basenda mere wich and Harshdeep Kaur’s Hoo.

Wait a second! The above songs resemble (in theme and treatment) with the Coke Studio Pakistan version. Isn’t it?

May be that’s why….

(PS – And how do you explain this?)

Rohit blogs at http://almostareview.wordpress.com/

If you are not familiar with Umesh Kulkarni’s cinema (features and shorts), you surely are missing something. And you also don’t have the right to crib about the state of the Indian cinema.

Starting with his FTII diploma film Girni (which bagged three National Awards), Umesh has been constantly making shorts between his features. Here’s Three Of Us, the film which bagged two National Awards ( in Non-fiction category) last year – one for direction and another for cinematography.

We are quite late on this one. And we are still a divided house. The reactions have been quite extreme. Sample some – Like it for what it is, What the F really – Anurag Kashyap Films is rehashing Anurag Kashyap films, it’s in amateurish territories, What a freakin’ headache, he is definitely exciting and with more content to back might make something really noteworthy, Major Hype Overkill, it is an unfortunate coincidence; we seem to have learnt the style to narrate at exactly the same time when we have forgotten what to narrate, all said and done…I loved Khoya Khoya Chaand. And the debate is still going strong.

So, here’s a post on Shaitan by Kenny Basumatary. He is actor, writer, director, and Kung Fu  can easily be his middle name. And yeah, he is music composer and lyricist too. Now even a published author…woosh!

And since there’s no good film at the theaters this friday, do check out Shaitan.

(SPOILER CAUTION: Preferably read this piece only if you have watched the film.)

 A maniac drives his vehicle at murderous speeds, weaving in and out of traffic and nearly hitting you and several other pedestrians and vehicles. You feel like shouting, or maybe you actually do shout, “Abbe saale marega #*&$% k$ *&#$^!!!!”

 In my opinion, Shaitan is that very shout. It’s a warning that says “This is what’ll happen to you, assholes!” to all those irresponsible kids who drive like saare raaste unke pitashree ke hain.

 I frequently see kids, especially on bikes, driving like they think they’re in Dhoom 3 and all the other people on the road are stunt drivers meant to give them way. It’s hardly surprising that accidents caused by such retarded jerks are on the rise. A few weeks ago I read of an 80 year old man who was hit and killed by a biker trying to race. Last month, a friend’s roommate was hit by another overspeeding kid on a bike. She was literally thrown some distance away, and couldn’t stand up or hear properly for two days – luckily she’s healed now. I was quite happy to hear that the sonofabitch who’d rammed into her was hauled off to the police station.

I toyed for a while with the idea of writing a film about the kind of serious consequences that can happen because of stupid deluded kids who think they’re becoming John Abraham by racing on public roads. In my film, two kids would be racing and get into a serious accident. One visual I had in my mind was one of them – helmetless, of course – flying through the air, and then his face – somewhere around the nose and upper lip – would crash into the footpath and shatter in extreme slow motion a la the crash scene in Death Proof. And then a truck would run over his skull and there’d be a loud popping sound – wait, I think I’m getting carried away here.

I’d have focused on the second kid getting grievously injured and having to spend a year in bed without being able to pee or crap on his own, and maybe even losing a limb or becoming unrecognizably disfigured. I’m sure many of us know of such cases. A college friend of mine drove his bike drunk at night and crashed into an electric pole. He needed months of physiotherapy to walk properly again. Another friend’s kid brother was pillion riding while his friend was playing the hero, with the result that the kid brother was the one who ended up in bed for months. A very talented chap who could play guitar very fast also drove his car very fast, and one fine night he crashed and not only landed in a very serious state in hospital, but worse, landed his friends in hospital as well.

My intentions would have been to scare irresponsible drivers so shitless than they’d never race even in their nightmares. Just like one would show people Requiem for a Dream to forever scare them off drugs, this film, if it had ever gotten made, would scare people off racing herogiri.

But now Bejoy Nambiar’s already made that film. And done an excellent job of it. I haven’t personally asked him what his intention was while telling this story, but I suspect it’s what I said at the beginning – a warning – “This could happen to you, assholes!”

Various friends have said that one doesn’t really care much for Shaitan’s characters, and they’re trying to be too cool, but I think that’s exactly the point – we’re not supposed to care for these characters, at least not KC or Dash. I, for one, relished all the trouble that they deservedly got into – KC getting slapped, for example. (“Aur maaro saale ko!”)

I wasn’t excited by the trailer at all – it looked like the film was trying too hard to be hip and cool – highlighting supposedly the most scandalous bits – a girl-girl hardly-there kiss, girls buying condoms, very violent violence, but the moment the accident happened, I was won over. Okay! So that’s what this film is about! It’s not about youngsters trying to be too cool and hip; it’s about youngsters trying to be too cool and hip and consequently getting into shitloads of trouble. Good. I like it.

This isn’t a review of the film, but I must say, I loved almost everything about it – the acting, the dialog, the shots, music, editing. I was a little surprised that absolutely no time was spent on the accident victim’s family, but that would probably be a different revenge film altogether. Even the divorce subplot was dispensable, but the divorce court scene made it worthwhile.

Rajeev Khandelwal was perfect. I would actually like to see another film with this same character – I felt Inspector Mathur was the real-world equivalent of Chulbul Pandey.

Shaitan isn’t easy to watch (unless you’re used to the levels of violence in, say, Chan-Woo Park’s Vengeance trilogy). Some bits are quite violent – do not take your kids along. But I would say the violence is essential to drive home the point the film makes. It’s worth a watch. High production values don’t automatically mean a film is mainstream crap and low production values don’t necessarily mean a film isn’t non-mainstream crap, and vice versa.

Like us, do you also belong to the Royal Club Of Cribbing because you have access to the best of world cinema but not our desi regional films? Current status – Aarrrrgghh. Reason – Aaranya Kaandam has released in Mumbai but without any subtitles. So, here’s something to cheer about. And the best part, Government is doing it. And it’s FREE. So, STFU and go grab a seat soon.

WHAT : Directorate of Film Festivals ia is organizing ‘National Film Festival 2011’ in Delhi. The festival will screen all National Award winning films of 2010. The Awards were announced last month and would be presented soon.

NUMBERS : Out of 161 Feature films and 114 non-feature films that came as entry, 42 films (23 feature & 19 non-feature) have won Rajat Kamal or Swarna Kamal.

FESTIVAL : The opening film in the feature category is Dabangg and Pistulya in the non-feature group.

DATES :  The festival will begin from 17th June and will end on 16th July 2011.

PLACE : Films will be screened at Siri Fort Auditorium only on weekends! Entry to this festival is absolutely FREE but seats are available on first come first serve basis. So plan your coming weekends with a toast to Indian Cinema!

Opening Films :  At 5:30 pm, 17th June 2011(Friday)

**PISTULYA   –  Dir: Nagraj Manjule. Marathi, Telugu/ Digital/15min/EST. Best Debut Director & Special Mention Award

DABANGG – Dir: Abhinav Kashyap. Hindi/35mm/127min/EST. Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment

DATE : 18.06.2011 / Saturday

10:30am

**GERM –  Dir: Snehal R. Nair.  Hindi/35mm/24min/EST. Best Non-feature Film & Best Editing

BETTADA JEEVA –  Dir: P. Sheshadri. Kannada/35mm/114min/EST. Best Film on Environment Conservation & Special Mention Award

02:00 pm

**SHYAM RAAT SEHER ( A ) – Dir: Arunima Sharma Hindi/35mm/23min. Best Direction & Best Cinematography

HEJJEGALU – Dir: P.R. Ramadas Naidu. Kannada/35mm/103min/EST. Best Children’s Film

05:00 pm

**ADVAITHAM – Dir: Pradeep Maadugula. Telugu/Digital/27min. Best Educational Film

PUTTAKKANA HIGHWAY – Dir: B. Suresha. Kannada/35mm/116min/EST.  Best Kannada Film

19.06.2011 // Sunday

10:30 am

**NILAMADHABA – Dir: Dilip Patnaik. English/Digital/52min/EST. Best Biographical Film

JETUKA PATOR DARE – Dir: Jadumoni Dutta. Assamese/35mm/90min/EST.  Best Assamese Film

02:00 pm

AMI AADU – Dir: Somnath Gupta. Bengali/35mm/121min/EST. Best Bengali Film

05:00pm

MONER MANUSH – Dir: Goutam Ghose. Bengali/35mm/158min/EST. Best Film on National Integration & Best Make-up Artist

25.06.2011// Saturday

10:30am

**BOXING LADIES – Dir: Anusha Nandakumar. Hindi/Digital/26min/EST. Best Film on Sports

CHITRASUTRAM ( A ) – Dir: Vipin Vijay. Malayalam/35mm/104min/EST. Best Audiography ( Sound Design)

02:00pm

**IRON IS HOT – Dir: Biju Toppo & Meghnath Bhattacharjee. English/Digital/35min/EST. Best Environment Film

ADAMINTE MAKAN ABU – Dir: Salim Ahamed. Malayalam/Digital/113min. Best Feature Film, Best Actor, Best Cinematographer & Best Music Direction (Background score)

05:00pm

**KAL 15 AUGUST DUKAN BAND RAHEGI ( A ) – Dir: Prateek Vats. Hindi/35mm/11min/EST. Best Short Fiction Film

VEETTILEKKULLA VAZHI – Dir: Dr Biju. Malayalam/35mm/95min/EST. Best Malayalam Film

26.06.2011 // Sunday

10:30 am

**THE ZELIANGRONGS – Dir: Ronel Haobam. Manipuri,English/ Digital/52min/. Special Mention Award

I AM KALAM – Dir: Neel Madhab Panda. Hindi/35mm/87min/EST. Best Child Artist

02:00 pm

**HEART TO HEART – Dir: Bachaspati Mayum Sunzu. Manipuri, English/Digital/37min/EST. Best Science and Technology Film

**LEAVING HOME – Dir: Jaideep Verma. English/Digital/115min/EST. Best Arts and Culture Film

05:00pm

**EK ROPA DHAN – Dir: Biju Toppo & Meghnath Bhattacharjee. Hindi/Digital/26min/ Best Promotional Film

MEE SINDHUTAI SAPKAL – Dir: Ananth Narayan Mahadevan. Marathi/35mm/105min. Special Jury Award, Best Male Playback Singer, Best Screenplay (Adapted) & Best Dialogues

02.07.2011 // Saturday

10:30 am

CHAMPIONS – Dir: Ramesh More. Marathi/35mm/118min/EST. Best Film on Social Issues & Best Child Artist

02:00pm

MALA AAI VHHAYCHAY – Dir: Samruddhi Porey. Marathi/35mm/115min/EST. Best Marathi Film

05:00pm

BABOO BAND BAAJA – Dir: Rajesh Pinjani. Marathi/35mm/127min/EST.  Best Debut Film, Best Actress & Best Child Artist

03.07.2011 // Sunday

10:30am

MYNAA – Dir: Prabhu Solomon. Tamil/35mm/143min/EST. Best Supporting Actor

02:00 pm

AADUKALAM – Dir: Vetrimaran. Tamil/35mm/152min/EST. Best Direction, Best Actor, Best Screenplay(Original), Best Editing, Best Choreography & Special Mention Award

05:00pm

ENTHIRAN – Dir: S. Shankar. Tamil/35mm/165min/EST. Best Production Design & Best Special Effects

09.07.2011 //Saturday

10:30am

NAMMA GRAMAM – Dir: Mohan Sharma. Tamil/35mm/131min/EST. Best Supporting Actress & Best Costume Design

02:00pm

THENMERKKU PARUVAKKATRU – Dir: Seenu Ramasamy. Tamil/35mm/125min/EST. Best Tamil Film, Best Actress & Best Lyrics

05:00pm

MEMORIES IN MARCH – Dir: Sanjoy Nag. English/35mm/104min. Best English Film

10.07.2011 //Sunday

10:30am

**OTTAYAL (One Woman: Alone) – Dir: Shiny Jacob Benjamin. Malayalam/Digital/70min/EST. Special Mention Award

**JOHAR WELCOME TO OUR WORLD – Dir: Nilanjan Bhattacharya. Hindi, English/Digital/58min/EST. Best Narration (Writing)

02:00pm

**A PESTERING JOURNEY – Dir: K.R. Manoj. Malayalam, Punjabi, Hindi, English, Tulu/Digital/66min/EST. Best Investigative Film & Best Audiography

**KABIRA KHADA BAZAAR MEIN – Dir: Shabnam Virmani. Hindi/Digital/94min/EST. Special Jury Award

05:00 pm

ISHQIYA ( A ) – Dir: Abhishek Chaubey. Hindi/35mm/116min. Best Female Playback Singer, Best Audiography ( Location Sound recordist & Re-recordist of the final mixed track) & Best Music Director( Songs)

16.07.2011 // Saturday

10:30 am

**UNDERSTANDING TRAFFICKING ( A ) – Dir: Ananya Chakraborti. Bengali, Hindi, English/ Digital/87min/EST. Best Film on Social Issues

02:00pm

**SONGS OF MASHANGVA – Dir: Oinam Doren. Tangkhul, Manipuri, English/ Digital/62min/EST. Best Ethnographic Film

**LOVE IN INDIA ( A ) – Dir: Kaushik Mukherjee. Bengali, English/Digital/90min. Best Film on Family values

05:00pm

DO DOONI CHAR – Dir: Habib Faisal. Hindi/35mm/118min. Best Hindi Film

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

– ** Non- feature films

– All Non-English and Non- Hindi Films carry English Subtitles.

– Entry is free, on first-come-first-served basis.

– Management has the right to reserve some seats in each show

– Programme subject to Change

– Handbags, helmets, camera’s, eatables etc. are not permitted inside Auditorium

(PS – Can we please have something in Mumbai also?)                

In which Aarakshan gets a fultoo popcorn treatment…check it out…

The film is directed by Prakash Jha and stars Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Manoj Bajpayee and Prateik.