Archive for April, 2014

humaramovie-pvr-short-film-competitionWHAT: HumaraMovie, in association with PVR Cinemas, announces the first ever, Pan India Short Film Festival. The participants will get a chance to showcase their work not only on Humaramovie platforms but also in a PVR theatre.

HOW: 

The highlights of the competition are as follows –

– Open to filmmakers/ creative artists all across India
– Filmmakers will be guided through every step. They will have access to a script consultant,  as well as guides for production and editing
– Participants will have access to acclaimed filmmakers as mentors. The mentors are Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane, Anand Gandhi, Imtiaz Ali
– The selected participants will have their films screened in PVR as well as on HumaraMovie platforms

PRIZE MONEY
– The winner will get prize money of Rs. 1,00,000.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: 

  • Filmmakers should submit an already existing film, along with a short 150 word bio about themselves.
  • On the basis of the bio and the submitted film a preliminary shortlist will be made
  • The shortlisted candidates will be given a topic on which they have to submit screenplays.
  • Based on the screenplays we will further shortlist candidates who will then have to make the feature film.
  • There is no restriction on the genre of the film.
  • The duration of the short film should not exceed 15 minutes inclusive of opening and end credits
  • The contestants will be guided at every stage and will have access to script analysts as well as a mentor
  • The final films that the contestants submit will be screened in PVR (post going through a DCP and censor)
  • The screenings will be open for all and the winners will be decided by audience vote.

 

DEADLINE: 1 May, 2014

DETAILS: To know more about the schedule of the competition, rules and regulations, and how to submit, click here.

Killa

WHAT : A discussion with Indian filmmakers whose films were selected for the Berlin Film Festival 2014. The conversation will include short clips from the selected films, and will be moderated by the Berlin Film Festival’s India Consultant Meenakshi Shedde.

WHEN : Friday, April 25, 6.30 pm

WHERE : Galerie Max Mueller, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, K Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai 400001.​​ Tel.: +91 22 2202 7542​

​​PANEL : The participants include directors Avinash Arun, Pushpendra Singh and Kush Badhwar; producers Alan McAlex and Sanjay Shah. Directors Jessica Sadana and Samarth Dixit, as well as Rajeev Masand, Entertainment Editor and Film Critic, CNN-IBN, will participate via video clips.

– Killa (The Fort) directed by Avinash Arun, Generation section: Winner, Crystal Bear for Best Film, Generation K-plus section for children. Debut feature. A superb coming-of-age story of young Chinu, whose mother keeps getting transferred, and making peace with the past.

– Alan McAlex of Jar Pictures (with co-founder Ajay G. Rai), has produced/co-produced Killa, Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur 1 and 2, which were at Cannes, and Liar’s Dice, which was at Sundance.

– Lajwanti (The Honour Keeper) directed by Pushpendra Singh (Forum section): Debut feature. A poetic, avant garde Rajasthani love story, between a village woman in a veil and a man obsessed with pigeons.

– Blood Earth directed by Kush Badhwar (Forum Expanded section): The film explores the political resistance of the adivasis in Odisha against a mining venture, through the perspective of their songs, music, noise and silence. Badhwar belongs to the collective Word Sound Power.

– Sanjay Shah: Creative Producer, participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus. His films include Miss Lovely, which was at Cannes. Former Supervising Producer at NFDC, he organized the Co-Production Market at its Film Bazaar last year.

– Jessica Sadana and Samarth Dixit, co-directors of Prabhat Pheri (Journey of Prabhat), Forum section. Debut feature. A fascinating documentary-myth of the FTII campus, previously owned by the Prabhat Film Company Studio, replete with stories of a director reborn as a snake.

– Rajeev Masand, Entertainment Editor and Film Critic, CNN-IBN: he has extensively covered the Berlinale.

– Meenakshi Shedde, India Consultant to the Berlin Film Festival: An independent film festival consultant and film curator, she has curated for festivals worldwide, including Locarno, Toronto (TIFF Bell Lightbox) and Busan. She won the National Award for Best Film Critic.

TOPIC : The Berlin Film Festival, also known as Berlinale, is considered one of the top international film festivals in theworld today. It has also selected far more Indian films than any other A-list festival over the years—includingfeatures, documentaries, short and experimental films. This year was exceptional, as the Berlinale selected a record 12 Indian films, including international films by directors of Indian origin. This reflects the exciting vitality of Indian cinema today, as well as its young talent: three directors, who were selected by Berlin for their first feature films, are still in their 20s. The Marathi film Killa won the Crystal Bear! What was it like, being at the Berlin Film Festival? How did the audience respond? Could this mean an international career? These are some of the questions that will be discussed.

Director of Final Solution, Rakesh Sharma claims so. This is what he shared on his Facebook –

A Short Film About Lying

Spent last evening and today speaking to a range of journalists. Despite telling everyone that all documents are in public realm, it is painful to read reportage full of inaccuracies or partial quotes and misquotes.

Kher is yet to accept he lied on Times Now and CNN-IBN. He is yet to apologise to all the viewers.

His tweets and press statements keep shifting the terrain – he speaks of “agendas”, “pseudo seculars” etc – but is yet to accept that he lied blatantly. He is also tweeting links to my audience Q & A in 2013 in his defence.

So, I decided to compile this short film – so you can see it all for yourself.

#finalsolution
@rakeshfilm

Strangely, Anupam Kher has been tweeting the same video link and sticking to his claim.

If you have been living in some other planet and are completely clueless about it, here’s his earlier post –

Stop lying, Mr Anupam Kher!

It has been brought to my notice that Mr Anupam Kher, ex-Chairman, CBFC has been making patently false claims about the sequence of events surrounding the ban on my film Final Solution (on the Gujarat 2002 carnage) during his tenure. It seems that on Times Now (April 16) and CNN-IBN (April 17), Mr Kher, while engaging in debates with Anand Patwardhan, said:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7kdkfZ0SsQ (Rajdeep’s show)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZv_KGzsW-w (Arnab’s show)

a. The film was ‘cleared’ while the BJP (NDA) was still the ruling party.
b. He was personally responsible for ‘clearing’ the film.
c. His actions filled me with immense gratitude

Mr Kher seems to be suffering either from serious memory lapses or is indulging in his age-old affliction of ‘creativitis’, merrily distorting and falsifying facts to score points in a live TV debate.

On CNN IBN he says that I sent him an “sms saying I want to touch your feet for your magnanimity”. Anupam Kher either has verbal diarrhoea or the Alzheimmers or both. Such a remark also belies his feudal mindset, where he perhaps saw himself as the King of the Censor Board and expected his subjects to fall at his feet. And for what – for him to finally perform his constitutionally mandated functions, ie, just doing his job, without bias, fear or favour?

On the same show, he says he cleared the film during the BJP’s tenure. A blatant lie. The special committee headed by well-known film-maker Shyam Benegal met on Oct 7, 2004. BJP/ NDA had lost the polls; UPA had been in power for 4-5 months. Here is a report datelined Oct 8, 2004, ie, the next day:
http://infochangeindia.org/film-forum/news-a-views/final-solution-cleared-by-indian-censors-finally.html

Even though his various claims are too ridiculous to be dignified with any response, I do so in the interests of setting the record straight.

(All documents can be seen here)

Details-at-a-glance:

1. Final Solution was submitted to the CBFC in March-April 2004, while the NDA was in power.

2. Right from the start, CBFC tried to harass the film-maker by raising all sorts of objections concerning the submission of the application itself (eg, ‘improper’ binding of the script, typefaces etc).

3. Ever since its international premiere at the Berlin International film festival on Feb 5, 2004, the film started getting invitations to several filmfests as well as many awards. At Berlinale itself, the film got 2 awards, including the Staudte Award (now known as Golden Bear for Best Debut), which has never gone to a documentary before or ever since.

The CBFC responded by sending two legal notices to the film-maker on matters outside its purview (customs and foreign exchange related violations for international film festival screenings). The CBFC was formally advised that it had no jurisdiction and these notices were malafide.

4. After many representations to CBFC, an Examining Committee was finally convened on July 30, 2004 where the film was denied certifications and thus ‘banned’. Their exact ruling text can be found on the URL above.

5. Apprehending such a possibility, we had requested 2 independent journalists (The Telegraph and Mid-Day) to unobtrusively be present at CBFC (with an asstt director) to observe the entire process. The committee took less than 3 hours to watch the film, hold extensive discussions and then draft a ruling citing all relevant legal provisions therein. The problem: The film was over 3.5 hours long! Both the journalists published details of this sham the next day. I personally wrote to Mr Kher at CBFC on Aug 4, 2004 (letter available on URL above).

6. By this time, at the centre, a UPA government was sworn in following NDA’s defeat in the national elections. I now approached Mr Jaipal Reddy, Minister for I & B, urging him to invoke a rarely-used provision of the Cinematograph Act, to overturn the CBFC’s partisan ruling. (letter on URL above). In subsequent meetings with him and senior officers of the Ministry, I also demanded stringent action against the CBFC personnel involved in illegal and malfide actions.

7. Following serious protests by the documentary film-makers fraternity, and after the Ministry’s own internal inquiries into the episode, Regional Officer Mr Singla was reverted to his parent cadre, permanently removed from the CBFC. Assistant RO Amitabh Sharma was transferred from CBFC, Mumbai to CBFC, Cuttack. As this action was being finalized in Delhi, Mr Kher saw the writing on the wall.

8. He called me and urged me to re-apply; I declined on the grounds that the CBFC had never seen the film in its entirety. Applying to a Revising Committee was tantamount to sanctifying the illegal and partisan proceedings of the earlier committee. One he failed to have me re-apply, Mr Kher took a suo moto decision to convene a special committee, headed by the noted director Shyam Benegal, which cleared the film without a single cut.

9. 4-5 days after this, Mr Kher was summarily sacked by the Government of India. He accused ‘documentary film-makers’ of orchestrating his removal, strangely claiming credit for clearing my film, while attacking me for my lack of ‘gratitude’. At the time, I rebutted all his claims, even calling his regime one of the worst tenures in the history of CBFC (reported extensively by all leading newspapers in mid Oct, 2004).

I am deeply shocked to find that Mr Kher is once again claiming credit for ‘clearing’ my film in his TV studio discussions! Factually speaking, Mr Kher and his coterie of partisan officers first harassed me, while refusing to schedule the film for a CBFC panel screening. When they finally did so, it was done with utter malintent, hurrying the ban on the film. Mr Kher is believed to have personally called up the Police Commissioner, Bangalore to prevent a public screening of my film as the curtain raiser to the Films for Freedom Festival in Bangalore on July 29, 2004, a day before the CBFC ‘banned’ the film.

If Mr Kher’s conduct as Chairman, CBFC was less than professional and even partisan, his behavior now defies credulity. His rightwing beliefs are too well-documented to bear repetition here. His association with Panun Kashmir and his proximity to the BJP too have been in public realm. His attempts to present himself as some sort of champion of free speech as the CBFC chairman amount to sheer duplicity and dishonesty.

I’d, in fact, prefer him to resort to the truth and proudly claim his role in preventing public screenings of my film as well as denying it a censor certificate through a carefully-planned drama on July 30, 2004.

I have placed all relevant documents in the public realm. Mr Anupam Kher is welcome to prove that he cleared the film during the BJP/NDA regime.

Incidentally, Final Solution was not the only film to get ‘stuck’! Other Gujarat-related films too faced assorted problems. Here is a report from Aug 22, 2004, when Mr Kher was Chairman, CBFC. http://www.telegraphindia.com/1040822/asp/look/story_3631619.asp

True Love Story

After Titli, one more Indian film is going to Cannes this year. Gitanjali Rao’s 19 min animation short film True Love Story has been selected for Canes Critics Week.

Her earlier short film Printed Rainbow premiered in the same section of Cannes in 2006 and had won three awards. She was also on the jury of Critics Week Short films in 2011.

In her words, True Love Story is a journey through the seductive, treacherous streets of Bombay. In a city soaked in Bollywood dreams, it moves from the fantastical to the viscerally real. True Love Story is a painted ode to romance.

main-titli

Time to say we told you so. Here – where we wrote that we are going to hear a lot about Kanu Behl’s Titli in the coming days. And much before anyone else, it was our Varun Grover who saw the film at Goa’s Film Bazaar, wrote about it’s brilliance and predicted that the film has all the potential to travel far. He got this one bang right.

So here’s the big news – Kanu Behl’s debut feature Titli has been selected for this year’s Cannes and will premiere in Un Certain Regard section.

Produced by Dibakar Banerjee Productions and Yash Raj Films, Titli features Ranvir Shorey, Amit Sial and newcomer Shashank Arora in lead roles. And here’s the official synopsis of the film –

In the badlands of Delhi’s dystopic underbelly, Titli, the youngest member of a violent car-jacking brotherhood plots a desperate bid to escape the ‘family’ business.
His struggle to do so is countered at each stage by his indignant brothers, who finally try marrying him off to ‘settle’ him.

Titli, finds an unlikely ally in his new wife, caught though she is in her own web of warped reality and dysfunctional dreams. They form a strange, beneficial partnership, only to confront their inability to escape the bindings of their family roots.  But is escape, the same as freedom?

Kanu is an almunus of SRFTI, worked with Dibakar Banerjee on Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, and co-wrote Love, Sex Aur Dhokha.

Vikramaditya Motwane’s Udaan and Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely had premiered in the same section of Cannes.

And this is what Varun Grover wrote about the film in our year-end post

The best Indian film I saw this year, and hopefully the whole of world will see soon, is Kanu Behl’s ‘Titli’. Seeing it on a desktop computer in IFFI, Goa’s ‘viewing room’ should be counted as an underwhelming, far from ideal setting, and still, this very dark very funny very depressing dastaavez on patriarchy BLEW ME AWAY like nothing this year. Stunning is the word. Breathless is another. Writing so sharp (Kanu Behl and Sharat Kataria co-wrote it) and performances so bang-on, not to mention excellent edgy-gritty cinematography (Siddharth Dewan), this is our best bet for world cinema honors next year.

NaM0

With the NaMo-mania hitting the roof (see pic, via @psemophile), Bollywood has done something which it has never done before – Taken a political stand. Some 60 film personalities which includes many well-known directors, actors, screenwriters, editors, producers and lyricists have come together to make an appeal to the voters. Though it doesn’t spell out the NaMo-word but it’s quite evident what they are saying. Do read.

APPEAL TO INDIAN VOTERS

Dear Fellow-Indians,

The best thing about our country is its cultural diversity, its pluralism – the co-existence of a number of religions and ethnicities over centuries, and hence the blooming of multiple streams of intellectual and artistic thought. And, this has been possible only because Indian society has prided itself on being essentially secular in character, rejecting communal hatred, embracing tolerance.

Today, that very sense of India is vulnerable. The need of the hour is to protect our country’s secular foundation. Undoubtedly, corruption and governance are important issues, but we will have to vigilantly work out ways of holding our government accountable to that. However, one thing is clear: India’s secular character is not negotiable! Not now, not ever.

As Indian citizens who love our motherland, we appeal to you to vote for the secular party, which is most likely to win in your constituency.

Jai Hind!

 

Yours

Imtiaz Ali (Writer-Director: Highway, Jab We Met)

Vishal Bhardwaj (Writer-Director: Omkara, Maqbool)

Govind Nihalani (Director: Tamas, Ardh Satya)

Saeed Mirza (Director: Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai)

Zoya Akhtar (Writer-Director: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara)

Anand Patwardhan (Documentary Film-maker: Jai Bhim Comrade)

Vijay Krishna Acharya ‘Victor’ (Director: Dhoom 3)

Kabir Khan (Director: Ek Tha Tiger)

Kundan Shah (Director: Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro)

Nandita Das (Director-Actress: Firaaq, Fire)

Hansal Mehta (Director: Shahid)

Anjum Rajabali (Writer: Raajneeti, Satyagraha)

Akshat Verma (Writer: Delhi Belly)

Shubha Mudgal (Singer-Musician)

Anusha Rizvi (Filmmaker: Peepli Live)

Swara Bhaskar (Actor: Raanjhana, Tanu Weds Manu)

Aditi Rao Hydari (Actor: Murder 3, Rockstar)

Pubali Chaudhuri (Writer: Kai Po Che, Rock On!!)

Mahesh Bhatt (Director-Producer: Saaraansh, Jannat)

Anil Mehta (Cinematographer: Lagaan, Jab Tak Hai Jaan)

Saket Chaudhary (Writer-Director: Shaadi Ke Side Effects)

Rakesh Sharma (Documentary Film-maker: Final Solution)

Vinay Shukla (Writer-Director: Godmother)

Robin Bhatt (Writer: Chennai Express, Krish 3)

Aneesh Pradhan (Tabla Maestro)

Sanjay Chhel (Writer: Rangeela, Yes Boss)

Sameer Anjan (Lyricist: Dhoom 3, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai)

Imteyaz Husain (Writer: Parinda)

Rajesh Dubey (TV Writer: Balika Vadhu)

Vinod Ranganath (TV Writer: Shanti, Swaabhiman)

Jalees Sherwani (Lyricist: Dabang)

Danish Javed (Lyricist and Poet)

Amitabh Shukla (Film Editor: Chak De India)

Sukant Panigrahi (Art Director)

Surabhi Sharma (Documentary Film-maker)

Anusha Khan (Producer)

Bishwadeep Chatterjee (Sound Designer: 3 Idiots)

C.K. Muraleedharan (Cinematographer: 3 Idiots)

Dr. Manasee Palshikar (Screenwriter-Teacher)

Jyoti Dogra (Actor)

Joy Sengupta (Actor)

Kauser Munir (Lyricist: Dhoom 3)

Mazahir Rahim (Screenwriter)

Nishant Radhakrishnan (Film Editor: Satyamev Jayate)

Preety Ali (Producer)

Priyanka Borpujari (Screenwriter)

Rajashree (Writer-Filmmaker)

Manjushree Abhinav (Novelist-Filmmaker)

Prayas Abhinav (Artist-Teacher)

Ruchika Oberoi (Film-maker)

Rukmini Sen (Screenwriter and TV Journalist)

Sameera Iyengar (Theatre activist)

Sharad Tripathi (Screenwriter)

Shivani Tibrewala Chand (Playwright)

Simantini Dhuru (Filmmaker-Activist)

Sona Jain (Film-maker)

Tushar Gandhi (Activist)

Teesta Setalvaad (Activist)

Javed Anand (Activist)

After releasing digitally restored classics like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Salaam Bombay, Chashme Buddoor and Om Dar B Dar, PVR is releasing Satyajit Ray’s timeless classic Mahanagar (The Big City) on 18th April, 2014, under its PVR Director’s Rare banner.

The movie will release with English subtitles across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Ahmedabad. Mahanagar has been digitally restored by The RDB Organization under the leadership of Mr. Kamal Bansal.

Mahanagar was originally released in 1963 and Satyajit Ray won the Silver Bear at the 14th Berlin International Film Festival for it in 1964.

Whether you’ve seen it before or not, this is one unmissable big-screen event. Here are some good articles to bookmark and read on the this timeless and universal classic:

And finally, here’s the original illustrated poster by Ray himself followed by a fan made poster by Jahan Bakshi:

 

Mahanagar poster (1)

new1