Archive for July, 2012

Produced by NFDC and directed by debutant Gurvinder Singh, Punjabi film Anhey Ghorhey Da Daan (Alms for a Blind Horse) will be released by PVR Director’s Rare on August 10.

It will have theatrical release in Delhi, Mumbai, Jalandhar, Chandigarh and Ludhiana.

Anhey Ghorhey Da Daan was selected in the Orizzonti Section (which showcases ‘New Trends in World Cinema’) of Venice International Film festival, 2011. After this the film was showcased at the 55th British Film Institute, London Film Festival, and the Busan International Film Festival. The film won the Special Jury Mention and the Black Pearl Trophy at the 5th Abu Dhabi Film Festival and the Special Jury Award at the International Film Festival, Rotterdam for its lyrical and scenic narration.

It also bagged three National Awards – for Best Direction, Cinematography and for Best Feature Film in Punjabi.

And here’s the official synopsis…

On a foggy winter morning a family in a village in Punjab wakes up to the news of the demolition of a house on the outskirts of the village. The father, a silent sympathizer, joins the community in demand for justice for the affected family. The same day his son Melu, a cycle-rickshaw puller rickshaw puller in the city, is participating in a strike by his union. Injured and alienated, Melu spends the day quietly resting and hesitantly drinks with friends in the night as they debate the meaning of their existence.

Cycling through the city streets, Melu feels lost and wonders where to go and what to do. Back in the village, his mother feels humiliated at the treatment meted out by the landlords in whose fields she works. Gunshots are heard in the night and the village is tense. It’s the night of the lunar eclipse. A man wanders asking for the traditional alms while Father decides to visit the city with a friend, even as his daughter Dayalo walks through the village streets in the night.

Anhey Ghorhey Da Daan speaks about the margins where the socially repressed and exploited have been conveniently cast away. This is also a film about the signs of simmering fire and about cleft tongues that want to rise in unison, about the possibility of inchoate desire and the first cry of love.

And the Director’s comment…

The human face is a landscape. The lived reality of the face reflects time: endured, lived and suffered. Cinema unravels time through the movement in space. The visible evokes the invisible through relationships, contexts, gestures, and conflicts. There is the immediate invisible, off screen: the image confronting sound, space confronting space, time confronting time. Then there is the larger cosmic invisible, devoid of cause and effect paradigm, layered through centuries.

Anhey Ghorhey Da Daan tries to evoke the effect of years of subordination of the struggling classes reflected in the macrocosm of events spinning beyond their control. It’s about silent witnesses devoid of power to change or influence the course of destiny, about the invisible violence of power equation and simmering discontent reflected on their faces.

The cast & crew list…

Cast: Mal Singh, Samuel John, Serbjeet Kaur, Dharminder Kaur, Emmanuel Singh, Kulwinder Kaur, Lakha Singh, Gurvinder Makhna

Script & Direction: Gurvinder Singh

Story: Gurdial Singh (based on the novel of the same name)

Dialogues: Gurdial Singh, Jasdeep Singh

Music: Catherine Lamb

Camera: Satya Rai Nagpaul

Sound: Mandar Kulkarni

Editing: Ujjwal Chandra

Production Design: Pankaj Dhimaan

Line Producer: Kartikeya Narayan Singh

Executive Producers: Neena Lath Gupta & Vikramjit Roy

Creative Producer: Mani Kaul

Producer: National Film Development Corporation Limited

Yes, you read it right. Local, Kung-Fu, Rs 95,000, martial arts and a comedy! So over to the film’s lead actor, writer and director Kenny Basumatary, who tells us more about it. The trailer of the film is also attached. Have a look and give your feedback in the comments section.

Ten or eleven years ago, I went to Siri Fort Auditorium to watch Paanch. Anurag Kashyap, Kay Kay Menon and Tejaswini Kolhapuri were present, and I could see that Anurag was visibly thrilled about the first public screening of his debut film. Now, in 2012, my debut film, Local Kung Fu, is being premiered at the same place, and to add to all the excitement, in the same category as Anurag’s own Gangs of Wasseypur 2. I’m thrilled to bits!

We shot Local Kung Fu on a budget of Rs 95,000, inclusive of a Canon 550D, a 55-250mm lens, a Rode VideoMic and various shooting and fighting paraphernalia.

I think that for getting somewhere, one needs to reach the Bohot ho gaya *$#&@# point. One needs to be really tired of waiting for things to happen, and then go out and bloody well make ‘em happen. I reached my first Bohot ho gaya point towards the end of the Sankalan Script Lab, when my script Ek Plate Kung Fu might have made it from the top 6 to the top 3 were it not that a nice little film called Chandni Chowk To China came out and made a mess of things. But never mind that.

The next Bohot ho gaya point came when a wannabe producer/hero with negligible fighting skills came to my uncle, who teaches martial arts, wanting him to act in his film. I said okay, that’s it! If this chap can try to make a martial arts film, what on earth’s stopping me! By then we had already made about a dozen shorts, including 5-6 fight videos, and we’d gained a reasonable amount of knowledge and confidence about choreographing, shooting and editing fights.

I made a list of resources: which family members and friends were good actors, which of uncle’s students were good fighters and could get bashed up convincingly as well, which places we could stage our fights in without too much trouble and whose homes we could use as locations. We wove all these into a compact little script. It’s rather surprising now when I look back – that all those ideas and possibilities I’d written down have been distilled into a seemingly simple plot. At the time, I was wondering how on earth we could bind all these strands together.

And one more thing I’ve realized is that we really do try to do too much in our first efforts. The script was 90 pages, in anticipation of a 100-105 minute film, but the addition of a few really good improvisations and the duration of the fights took the initial run time to about 2 hours 10 min. After lots of cutting and whittling and showing friends, I’ve boiled it down to 92 minutes.

When we started out, we were just thinking of an online release. Thanks to the encouragement of friends, we’re now looking at the possibility of a theatrical run as well. Hopefully, things will work out just fine. For now, excitement and nervousness are building up as I head for Osian’s.

(Local Kung Fu is having its World Premiere at Osian’s Cinefan on Saturday 28th July at 10 AM. Entry is free, but to avoid the last-minute rush, one should register online)

– For more info on the film, visit its Facebook page here.

How many times can you make the same film?

Or at least with the same template?

Only Madhur Bhandarkar can answer that question.

But one thing is for sure – Deja vu should really be Madhur Bhandarkar’s middle name.

And looks like his latest film “Heroine” is not going to be any different.

It started with a tweet by Mihir Fadnavis.

And then came the trailer of the film.

So does it follow the Bhandarkarism theory of filmmaking? You don’t need a high IQ to figure that out. But will there be any surprises? Are we missing anything? Or as DrDang pointed out in his tweet..

So no gays in the trailer so far. what else is missing?

Here’s the contest. You have to guess the story of Heroine. At least the main plot points. What happens next? The one who can guess the maximum number of plot points, will be the winner. We are not sure about the prize now but hopefully it will be something good for sure. If nothing, let’s play for cheap thrills! Because not everyday you get to apply the Theory Of Bhandarkarism. Just remember – every frame (of trailer) counts!

Post your answers in the comments section. We will declare the winner the day the film releases.

It’s been raining trailers and how! We are adding two new interesting trailers to the list. First one is Ang Lee’s Life Of Pi. Based on the book of the same name by Yann Martel. It has Irrfan Khan (Older Pi), Tabu (Pi’s mother), debutant Suraj Sharma (Piscine Molitor ‘Pi’ Patel) and Adil Hussain (Pi’s father) in lead roles. Here’s the trailer which released today.

What’s wrong with the first 1min? Looks fake and poorly done. Rest of it looks magical. And Royal Bengal Tiger Mister Parker looks scary and delicious. There was a great buzz for its 3D at Cinema Con. We are waiting and how. In Ang Lee, we trust.

Click here to read the unofficial synopsis if you haven’t read the book.

The makers of Prague have just released the first teaser of the film. It really doesn’t say anything about the film but gives you its mood – Trippy is the keyword here. Click on the play button and enjoy.

Directed by debutant Ashish R Shukla, it stars Chandan Roy Sanyal, Arfi Lamba, Mayank Kumar, Sonia Bindra, Elena Kazan, Lucien Zell & Vaibhav Suman.

To know more about the film, click here.

 

With the announcement of its world premiere at TIFF, the official website of Midnight’s Children has also been launched. Click here to go to the site.

Though the trailer is not out yet, four clips of the film have been uploaded. Click on the play button and enjoy.

1. Killing fields

2. Emerald meets the General –  starts with General Zulfikar arriving at Sinai family residence

3. Tell me a poem – Amina and Nadir chatting in her parent’s basement

4. Saleem and Parvati kissing

The film stars stars Satya Bhabha, Shahana Goswami, Shabana Azmi, Soha Ali Khan, Darsheel Safary, Rajat Kapoor, Seema Biswas, Shriya Saran, Siddharth, Ronit Roy, Rahul Bose, Samrat Chakrabarti, Sarita Choudhury, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Anupam Kher, Anita Majumdar and Zaib Shaikh.

– To quote from the official release, here’s the synopsis….

“Born in the hour of India’s freedom. Handcuffed to history.”

Midnight’s Children is an epic film from Oscar-nominated director Deepa Mehta, based on the Booker Prize winning novel by Salman Rushdie. At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India proclaims independence from Great Britain, two newborn babies are switched by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. Saleem Sinai, the illegitimate son of a poor woman, and Shiva, the offspring of a wealthy couple, are fated to live the destiny meant for each other. Their lives become mysteriously intertwined and are inextricably linked to India’s whirlwind journey of triumphs and disasters.

From the unlikely romance of Saleem’s grandparents to the birth of his own son, Midnight’s Children is a journey at once sweeping in scope and yet intimate in tone. Hopeful, comic and magical – the film conjures images and characters as rich and unforgettable as India herself.

Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist is making all the right noises. First came the announcement that it will have it open the 69th Venice International Film Festival with its world premiere. And today it was announced that the film will have its gala at the Toronto International Film Festival as well.

It’s an adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s acclaimed book by the same name. It stars Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, Martin Donovan, Om Puri and Shabana Azmi. It has been adapted by William Wheeler, with the screen story by Mohsin Hamid, and Ami Boghani, has cinematography of Declan Quinn, production design by Michael Carlin, costumes by Arjun Bhasin and edited by Shimit Amin. The music includes both the old and new Pakistani sounds with the iconoclastic Michael Andrews scoring and a new original song by Peter Gabriel.

Few new stills of the film are online now and here’s the slideshow of the same…

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If you haven’t read the book, here’s the official synopsis from the Venice Festival’s website…

Student demonstrations are raging in Lahore, as young Pakistani professor Changez Khan and a journalist, Bobby Lincoln, share a cup of tea and conversation. Princeton-educated Changez tells Lincoln of his past as a brilliant business analyst on Wall Street. He talks of the glittering future that lay before him and the beautiful and sophisticated Erica whom he was set to share that future with.

But then 9/11 changes everything. Attitudes shift dramatically – his very name and face rendering him suspect. Returning to his homeland and the family to whom he is very close, he takes up a post as lecturer at the local university, a hotbed of radicalism and the new militant academia.

The collegial pretense of the meeting in a Lahore teahouse, between Lincoln and Changez, slowly gives way to why the unlikely pair has gathered on a summer day – another professor has been kidnapped by extremists, and the clock is ticking toward a deadline for his execution. Changez’s family is being harassed and is in real danger. Bobby is there to listen, with an agenda of his own. Taking us through the culturally rich and beguiling worlds of New York, Lahore and Istanbul, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is an exploration of prejudice and the phenomenon of globalization that is both exhilirating and deeply unsettling.

So what’s common between all three? Desi connect and all female directors. Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) unveiled it’s official selection list for this year. And here are more details about these three films.

One of the most anticipated films of the year is Deepa Mehta’s adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children. It stars Satya Bhabha, Shahana Goswami, Rajat Kapoor, Seema Biswas, Shriya Saran, Siddharth, Ronit Roy, Rahul Bose, Anita Majumdar and Zaib Shaikh. The 148-minute long film has a screenplay by Rushdie himself. And here are some new stills. Click on one of the pics to view the slide show and make the images bigger.

To quote from the TIFF page…

Spanning decades and generations, celebrated Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta’s highly anticipated adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize®–winning novel is an engrossing allegorical fantasy in which children born on the cusp of India’s independence from Britain are endowed with strange, magical abilities.

If Deepa Mehta is here, can Mira Nair be far behind? She is also ready with her new film – an adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s acclaimed book, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The principal cast includes Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber and Nelsan Ellis. The film is also opening the Venice Film Festival.

To quote from the TIFF page…

Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber and Kate Hudson co-star in this adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s international best-selling novel, about a young Pakistani man (Riz Ahmed) whose pursuit of corporate success on Wall Street leads him on a strange path back to the world he had left behind.

And the third film which is completely desi is debutant Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglish starring Sridevi, Adil Hussain, Mehdi Nebbou and Priya Anand. To quote from the official release…

Legendary Indian actress Sridevi returns to the screen after a fifteen-year absence in this funny and touching story about an Indian woman who struggles to learn the English language in order to help provide for her family.

But fest insider tells us that isn’t all. There’s more to come in TIFF 2012! We will keep you posted about all the Desi connect.