Archive for October, 2018

The official selection of projects for National Film Development Corporation’s Film Bazaar Co-Production Market 2018 has been announced. This year, 20 projects have been selected to participate in the Market. After the success of Open Pitch in previous editions, this year again the selected filmmakers will be pitching their projects to a curated audience of national and international producers, financiers and sales agents.

The selected projects for 2018 are –
A Home Far Away | English, Spanish | India, France, USA
Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Mohsen Makhmalbaf is known as one of the most influential filmmakers and founders of the new wave of Iranian cinema in the world. His films like Salam Cinema, A Moment of Innocence, Gabbeh, Kandahar and The President have been widely well received across the globe and have brought him over 50 international awards from the prestigious film festivals like Cannes Film Festival and Venice International Film Festival.
Producer: Sanjay Bhattacharjee, Sitting Duck Pictures
Sanjay Bhattacharjee is a UCLA alumni with 20 years’ production experience and has been a producer on projects like Frozen (Toronto International Film Festival, 2007), Manorama Six Feet Under and Amu (Berlinale Forum and FIPRESCI Critics’ Award, 2005). Sanjay is currently producing an adaptation of Paul Theroux’s novel The Elephanta Suite, co-written by Sooni Taraporevala, starring Brendan Fraser, in partnership with Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Producer: Mauktik Kulkarni, Mauktik Productions Pvt Ltd
Mauktik Kulkarni has more than 10 years of experience in fund-raising and project management. He has co-produced and executive produced Riding On A Sunbeam, a unique travel film directed by Brahmanand Singh and edited by Irene Dhar Malik, both national award winners. The film A Home Far Away is based on his solo, 8000 km bike trip in South America and the memoir A Ghost of Che authored by him.
Producer: Charlotte Uzu, Les Films d’Ici
Since 2003, Charlotte Uzu has been developing international films for Les Films d’Ici and structures financing with co-producers worldwide. Her filmography as a producer includes projects like- Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman), Aurélie Dupont (Cédric Klapisch), Louis XV, The Black Sun (Thierry Binisti), An Opera Season (Richard Copans), Marilyn, Last Sessions (Patrick Jeudy), Clint Eastwood, A Life in Film (Michel Henry Wilson), Cerro Bayo (Victoria Galardi), Operation Libertad (Nicolas Wadimoff) and 3000 Nights (Mai Masri)

A New Prophet | Bengali, English | Bangladesh, USA
Director: Rezwan Shahriar Sumit
Sumit’s first docudrama City Life, earned him a place at the Berlinale Talents 2008 as an up-and-coming director. His short films have premiered at Copenhagen International Children’s Film Festival, Sarasota and New York Film Festival; and have been acquired by MUBI, VPRO, ASPiRE TV for worldwide distribution. Sumit’s first feature The Salt in Our Waters was awarded Bangladesh’s National Film Grant, France’s CNC and a writing grant by Spike Lee Film Production. He is also a Cannes-IEFTA Global Film Expression alumni. A New Prophet was awarded with the Sloan Foundation Production Grant in 2017.
Producer: Lilian Mehrel
Lilian Mehrel is a writer, director, and multimedia artist. Her work in immersive storytelling has premiered at Tribeca’s Interactive Playground, Google Daydream: Immersive Films Program and at the Tribeca Immigration Co/Lab: AR narrative exhibit in 2016. She is also a Google Tilt Brush artist. Lillian is also the recipient of awards like IFP Marcie Bloom Fellowship 2016-17, Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans in 2013, Sloan Foundation (The Loneliest, 2017), Nancy Malone Directing Award, 2015 and Kodak Student Film Award nomination.

Amar Colony | Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali | India
Director & Producer: Siddharth Chauhan, Secret Corridor Pictures
Siddharth is an independent filmmaker from Shimla. He founded Secret Corridor Pictures with the aim of working with the local talent in his home town Shimla. He has won the Satyajit Ray Award at London Indian Film Festival for his short film Papa in 2017. His latest short film Pashi premiered at Rhode Island Film Festival and was recently reviewed by Indie Shorts Magazine as the Best Indian Short Film of 2018.

Bend in the Coffin | Sinhalese | Sri Lanka
Director: Ilango Ramanathan
Ilango’s short film Silent Tears has traveled to 27 International Festivals and won 19 Awards and was screened at Locarno Open Doors 2017. A graduate from the Rockport College USA, he has participated in Asian Film Academy and Berlinale Talents. He has directed several social awareness commercials for child abuse, autism, and heart and cancer awareness for organizations like UNICEF. His debut feature Scent of a Dead Body is currently under production.
Producer: Hiranya Perera, Silent Frames Productions (Pvt) Ltd
Hiranya started out as the producer of Good Morning Sri Lanka – MTV. As the youngest woman director-producer, she has directed TV commercials for Stein Studios, while also taking care of the end-to-end production. She started own production house, Silent Frames Productions where she produced her first short film, Silent Tears directed by Ilango Ramanathan. She continues to produce TV commercials and films in Sri Lanka. Her first feature project Scent of a Dead Body is currently under production.

Bichal Sal (Rapture) | Garo | India, China
Director: Dominic Sangma
A graduate from Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, India his diploma film titled Rong’Kuchak (Echoes) won the National Student Film Award for Best Short Film in 2014 and Special Mention in Ca ‘Foscari Short Film Festival, Venice 2015. His debut feature film MA•AMA, an Indo-China Production was presented at the Film Bazaar Work-in-Progress Lab 2017 and will premiere at the International Competition section of MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2018.
Producer: Jiangshang Xu, Anna Films
Jianshang Xu graduated from the Directing Department of Beijing Film Academy, China. Her Diploma short film Void had its world premiere at Busan International Film Festival 2018. MA•AMA was her first international co-production feature with Indian director Dominic Sangma. Rapture is her second feature film.
Currently, she is pursuing course in producing at Busan Asian Film School, Korea.

Fairy Flower Miles | Hindi, Bhojpuri | India
Director: Balaka Ghosh
Balaka Ghosh is a filmmaker based in Kolkata, India. Her film The Vehicle with The Soul Of A Man has traveled to 30 international film festivals. Her documentary Footprints in the Desert, co-produced by NHK Japan and funded by AND-DMZ fund, premiered at Busan International Film Festival 2014. Two of her fiction scripts have been awarded in Asia Pacific Screen Lab, Australia (2014) & Asian Cinema Fund, Korea (The Fog Catchers, 2017). In the past, her projects have received funding from IDFA, AND-DMZ Fund, Doordarshan, IDFA-Bertha fund, Films Division, IGNCA(GoI), NHK Japan, Banff Mountain Culture, and Al Jazeera.
Producer: Kumud Ranjan, Next Story Communication Pvt. Ltd
Kumud Ranjan has been a producer and cinematographer of feature length films produced by NHK Japan, IDFA Bertha fund, Al Jazeera English, BANFF Mountain Culture, BIFF AND-DMZ. In the past, he has worked as a video journalist with multinational television channels. He is producing an experimental short fiction Love in The Time of Acid Rains which was pitched at The Palace Film Festival, Bulgaria.

Girls Will Be Girls | English, Hindi | India
Director: Shuchi Talati
Shuchi Talati is an alumnus of the American Film Institute and recipient of the Women in Film endowment. She just finished story producing the first season of WYATT CENAC’S Problem Areas for HBO on policing in America. Her tenth short film, Mae and Ash was an official selection at the Atlanta Film Festival, Palm Beach International Film Festival, and WAMM Film Festival. She is collaborating with an all-woman team to develop her first feature film, Girls Will Be Girls.
Producer: Richa Chadha, Kamli Pictures
Richa Chadha is an actor, writer, and producer known for her work in films like Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur (premiered at Director’s Fortnight, Cannes 2012 and won her a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress), the anthology film Words with Gods by Mira Nair (Venice International Film Festival, 2014) and Masaan, an Indo-French Co-Production (Un Certain Regard – Cannes Film Festival, 2015). Richa produced her first short film Khoon Aali Chithi in 2017. She is committed to developing content that challenges in the male gaze in media production.

Hangdan | Assamese | India
Director & Producer: Jaicheng Jai Dohutia, Mayamara Production
Jaicheng Dohutia is a filmmaker from Assam, India. He directed and produced his debut feature film Haanduk (The Hidden Corner) which was part of Film Bazaar Work-In-Progress Lab, 2015. The film went on to bag the Jury Grand Prize at 18th MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2016, Best Feature Film in Moran at 64th National Film Awards 2016, NETPAC Award for Best Asian film at All Light International Film Festival 2017 and Best Film at 7th Assam State Awards 2018.

Hinterland | Hindi | India
Director: Rahil Ahmed Patel
Rahil Ahmed Patel has been the second unit director on Abhishek Chaubey’s upcoming film Sonchiriya and Zoya Akhtar’s Amazon Prime Series Made in Heaven. Having worked with Abhishek Chaubey and Vishal Bhardwaj, his credits as a 1st Assistant Director include films like Dedh Ishqiya (2014), Udta Punjab (2016), Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola (2013) and 7 Khoon Maaf (2011).
Producer: Abhishek Chaubey, MacGuffin Pictures LLP
Abhishek Chaubey is the co-founder of MacGuffin pictures that has recently produced A Death in the Gunj (2017) and the upcoming Sonchiriya. As a director, he has helmed critically acclaimed films like Udta Punjab (2016), Dedh Ishqiya (2014) and Ishqiya (2010). He was also the creative producer on the film Ek thi Daayan (2013). Abhishek’s writing repertoire includes such acclaimed films as Omkara (2006) for which he won Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue Writing, and Kaminey (2009).
Producer: Honey Trehan, MacGuffin Pictures LLP
Co-founder of MacGuffin Pictures, Honey Trehan is the co-producer of A Death in The Gunj (2017) and upcoming Sonchiriya. He was the creative producer on Talvar (2015) and associate creative producer on Chittagong (2013). His filmography includes such films as Maqbool (2003), Omkara (2006), 7 Khoon Maaf (2011), Talvar (2015) and Udta Punjab (2016).

In the Belly of a Tiger | Hindi | India
Director: Jatla Siddartha
Jatla Siddartha is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India and the Asian Film Academy, Busan. His first short film, The Artist premiered at Busan International Film Festival in 2012 while his debut feature Love and Shukla had its world premiere at Busan International Film Festival 2017. The film traveled to more than 30 festivals worldwide and won NETPAC Award at Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival. He has also been awarded Busan Script Development Fund (Asian Cinema Fund) 2018 for In The Belly of a Tiger.
Producer: Amanda Mooney, Momo Films
Amanda Mooney is an associate creative director and filmmaker based in Mumbai. Her recent work includes Love and Shukla (NETPAC Award, World premiere, Busan International Film Festival), Belongings (2017), and In the Belly of Tiger (Busan Script Development Fund). She is also currently producing and directing a documentary on the DACA generation in post-Trump America, Hermosa Puerta Grande.

Kho – Kho | Malayalam | India
Director & Producer: Rahul Riji Nair, First Print Studios
Rahul Riji Nair founded the production company First Print Studios under which he made his debut feature film as a writer-director, Ottamuri Velicham (Light in the Room). The film won him several state awards including Best Feature Film in 2017 and World Premiered at the New York Indian Film Festival 2018. The film also won the German Star of India Award for Best Feature film at the Indian Film Festival of Stuttgart, 2018. The film also premiered at the India Gold Competition Section of MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2018.

Little Thomas | Hindi, Konkani, English | India
Director: Kaushal Oza
Kaushal Oza is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India, and has won National Awards for his two short films, Vaishnav Jan Toh and Afterglow. Afterglow was also India’s Official entry to the South-Asian Film Festival of SAARC, where it won the Special Jury Award in 2013. Little Thomas was developed at the NFDC Children’s Screenwriters’ Lab 2016.
Producer: Shaan Vyas, Awe Studios
Shaan Vyas worked as a producer with Sikhya Entertainment and successfully produced films like The Lunchbox, Masaan, Zubaan and Dear Dad, during his tenure there. He recently produced the BFI partnered Indo-British horror Darkness Visible and Aasha the Street Dog with Cinestaan International. His new production outfit Awe Studios, aims to empower filmmakers with a unique voice and vision and take them to the world.

Lonak (The Dark Year) | Hindi | India
Director & Producer: Sange Dorjee Thongdok, TNT Films
Sange Dorjee is an alumnus of Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institution. His debut feature film Crossing Bridges was the first feature film in Sherdukpen dialect of Arunanchal Pradesh. It also won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Sherdukpen in 2013. In 2016, he was selected for the Berlinale Talent Campus. Under his production banner TNT Films, he directed and shot The Nest, a documentary film which won the Best North-East Film award at Woodpecker International film festival. The Nest also won Best Film and Cinematography awards at the 5th National Documentary and Short Film Festival. His second feature film River Song has been produced by Jar Pictures, Mumbai.

Reshma Shera | Hindi | India
Director: Megha Ramaswamy
Megha Ramaswamy’s two films, Newborns (2014) and Bunny (2015), both had their world premieres at TIFF, and traveled to various Indian and international festivals. Her short film The Last Music Store won the audience Best Documentary award at South Asian International Film Festival, USA. She also has her own production banner, Missfit Films. Megha also co-hosts CAUSE EFFECT, a platform that produces cause related content and outreach programs and is a beneficiary of the prestigious Chicken & Egg grant for women filmmakers.
Currently, she is working on the final stages of her debut feature set in her own whimsical version of Mumbai – The Odds.
Producer: Alan McAlex, JAR Pictures
Alan started his journey assisting top cinematographers in the country but soon identified his passion for production. He has line produced critically acclaimed independent films like Frozen (TIFF 2007), Ocean of an Old Man (Busan 2008), Autumn (TIFF 2010), Peepli Live (Sundance 2010) and Patang (Berlinale ’11). He cofounded JAR Pictures, a versatile production company steadily gaining hold in the Indian film industry and produced successful films like Gangs of Wasseypur (Director’s Fortnight, Cannes 2012), Liar’s Dice (Sundance 2014 and India’s official entry to Oscars 2014) and Killa (Berlinale 2014 – Crystal Bear Winner) while helming the line production of cinematic achievements like Dangal and Talvar as an Executive Producer.

Some Little Shreds of Memory | Hindi | India, Germany
Director & Producer: Karan Talwar
Karan Talwar is the co-founder of Harkat Studios, an arts studio based in Mumbai and Berlin. He has directed many short documentary stories and experimental films as part of his work at Harkat. Karan has also curated exhibits like The Museum of Ordinary Objects and In the mood for Melancholia, where he worked with material memory and experiential storytelling. With a multi-disciplinary background, he matches ideas with mediums and his work ranges from conceptual installations to filmmaking. He has assisted filmmaker Prakash Jha on projects like Raajneeti, Satyagraha, Chakravyuh, and Aarakshan.
Producer: Michaela Talwar, Harkat Studios U.G.
Michaela Strobel is a producer, journalist, filmmaker, marketing consultant and co-founder of Harkat Studios. She has worked as an international correspondent for ZDF in Brussels and concept developer and strategist for public and private TV channels. She has produced a variety of original and marketing content for companies like Netflix, Fox Star Studios and Disney.

Swan Song | English, Hindi, Black Mountain Monpa, Dzongkha or Bhutanese | India, Bhutan
Director: Vandana Kataria
Vandana Kataria graduated from the National Institute of Design and went on to direct numerous commercials, music videos, and corporate films. She has worked as a Production Designer on feature films like Detective Byomkesh Bakshy (2015), Shanghai (2012), and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008). In 2016, she was selected for the Berlinale Talent Campus. She made her debut as a writer and director with Noblemen produced by Saregama India Limited. Presently, she is engaged in the pre-production of her next film with RSVP.
Producer: Milan Agarwal, Tulsea
Milan Agarwal is the content development and strategist at Tulsea, which is a strategic talent and content management company. Tulsea has produced films like Sulemani Keeda (2014) and a national award winning short film Tamaash (2013). The company also has an unparalleled roster of filmmaking talents, including writers like Juhi Chaturvedi (October, Piku, Vicky Donor), Sudip Sharma (Udta Punjab, NH-10), Akshat Verma (Kaalakaandi, Delhi Belly), and Varun Grover (Masaan, Sacred Games) to directors like Vikramaditya Motwane (Trapped, Udaan, Lootera, Sacred Games), Navdeep Singh (NH-10), and Alankrita Shrivastava (Lipstick Under My Burkha).

Tito-Mitho (Bitter-Sweet) | Nepali | India
Director: Tribeny Rai
Tribeny Rai is an independent filmmaker from Sikkim, India. An alumnus of Satyajit Ray film and Television Institute, she has worked with Prasar Bharati, Doordarshan Kendra Gangtok on a series of documentary films based on women empowerment. Her debut short film Yathawat (As It Is) premiered at the International Film Festival of India 2015 (Goa), Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (KIMFF), and Kolkata International
Film Festival. Her experimental film For Children Only won the Best Sound Design award at National Student Film Awards 2015. In 2015, she was selected as a film fellow for Dharamshala International Film Festival Fellowship Programme and in 2016, she attended the 8th VGIK International Summer School held in Russia as the only Indian representative.
Producer- Geeta Rai, Dalley Khorsani Productions
Geeta Rai is a school teacher by profession and a film enthusiast by choice. She is actively involved in social works aiming to empower women of villages financially and socially. She has produced three films namely-Memory of A Heart (screened at 13th IAWRT Asian Women Film Festival under the Artists’ Film and Video section), Daughter, and Sikkim Soccer Girls all directed by Tribeny Rai.

Three Mothers | Tamil, French | India, France
Director: Chezhiyan Ramalingam
Chezhiyan Ramalingam is a filmmaker and cinematographer who primarily works in the Tamil film industry. He won the Best Cinematography Award at London International Filmmaker Festival (LIFF) for the film Vagabond (Paradesi) in 2013. His debut feature film To Let won Best Indian film award in Kolkata International film festival and National Award for Best Regional film. He is also an acclaimed author of a series of books about cinema titled Ulaga Cinema (World Cinema) in Tamil.
Producer: Prema Chezhiyan, La cinema
Prema Chezhiyan is a professional music scholar, teacher and book publisher. After completing her higher studies from Trinity London Music College, she published ten volumes of books about Western Music theory in Tamil. The books got best publisher award from Ananda Vikatan 2011. Her first movie as a producer, To Let got her the National Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil.

Ullozhukku (Undercurrent) | Malayalam | India
Director: Christo Tomy
Christo Tomy, an alumnus of Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, India is an independent filmmaker from Kerala, India. His short films Kamuki (Sweetheart) and Kanyaka (Virgin) won him National Awards for Best Direction (2016) and Best Debut Film (2014), respectively. He was selected for the 9th International Students Film Camp in Serbia, and the documentary he made there titled Apart, was listed as the second best work in the TV Story category at INTERFER – International Media Festival, Apatin, Serbia (2015). Undercurrent was also a part of the NFDC Screenwriters’ Lab, 2017.
Producer: Geetu Mohandas, Collective Phase One
Geetu Mohandas’s debut short film Are you listening? premiered at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2010. Her debut feature film Liar’s Dice, premiered in competition section at the Sundance Film Festival 2013 and was India’s official entry for the 87th Academy Awards. The film also won Best Actress and Best Cinematography awards at the 61st National Awards. She is an integral part of Collective Phase One, which was formed to create an alternative path in filmmaking. They have produced many acclaimed films like Rajeev Ravi’s Njan Steve Lopez, Kamal K. M’s I.D., among many others.

VR Peon | Hindi | India
Director: Kabir Mehta
Kabir Mehta’s first film a docu-fiction short film Sadhu In Bombay had its North American premiere at Slamdance Film Festival and won the award for Best Narrative Film at the 55th Ann Arbor Film Festival. His first feature length project BUDDHA.mov, a docu-fiction hybrid, had its world premiere at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2017 in the First Features Competition and will have its Indian premiere at MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2018.
Producer: Homi Adajania, Maddock Films
Homi Adajania is a writer and Indian film director of critically and commercially successful films like Being Cyrus, Cocktail, and Finding Fanny. Maddock Films, founded by Dinesh Vijan, is one of the prominent production houses in the Indian Film Industry with a wide slate of films including Love Aaj Kal, Cocktail, Badlapur, Hindi Medium and Stree recently. The core belief at Maddock is to make films which are both heavy on content as well as commercially viable and entertaining films. With an interesting slate of upcoming films, Maddock Films plans to continue creating memorable and exciting films for Indian & International audiences.

Cold War

The Best Director award winner at Cannes 2018, Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War is an epic love saga, in a 4:3 aspect ratio, where a man and a woman begin a tumultuous relationship in the ruins of post world war Poland. The film, as revealed in the end, is inspired and an ode to Pawlikowski’s parents and their love story. For me, this is Pawlikowski’s version of La La Land, and a triumphantly stronger version of it where the couple goes through 15 years of Cold War where they not only cross geographical territories, but also musical ones. Watching this at Regal, moved me into a Sahir Ludhyanvi mood. 

In 1949, while conducting auditions for a Polish folk troupe, Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) is smitten by Zula (Joanna Kulig, earlier seen in Pawlikowski’s stunning Oscar winner Ida), a village girl who could sing extremely well, and is unapologetic in acknowledging her involvement in her father’s murder too. Soon, the ensemble is formed, with Wiktor helming it, and a romance kickstarts,  helmed by Zula’s temperament. This temperamental couple (almost like America and Russia, although more romantically involved) in the cold backdrop, dance their way through this melancholic ballad across thousands of nights, meeting and separating from each other in Berlin, Yugoslavia, and even, Paris. 

The narrative shuffles from highs and low of the relationships, like the tides of the sea, into a melancholic end, almost like the sad ballad which moves from polish folk to French jazz, ultimately ending into a defeating silence. At just 89 minutes, Pawlikowski is completely in control of this epic, where the music allows poetic contemplation upon the carefully designed frames.

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Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Bi Gan gives a surreally hypnotic trip, which is a treat to watch, and an equally amusing trip to write about. Divided into two parts, this film’s first half is in 2D, exploring in no linear fashion, the loss and sadness of the protagonist; the second half of the film is a dreamy sequence, shot in a single take, and to be viewed in 3D. Watching this film is like entering into a local jadugar’s tent, you know everything is unreal, but you are still amazed at the countless possibilities. 

In the first half of the film, I was suspended into a semi lull stage, almost hypnotically following Wong Kar Wai styled sequences between the protagonist and the woman. These stylish sequences are often cut to show us the protagonist pondering poetically over life. Such atmospheric blend is sure to put one into drowsy state, and just when my eyes had completely surrendered to the protagonist, he entered a porn theatre and asked me to wear my 3D glasses with him, leading me into an almost hour long sequence. This part, shot in a surreal fashion, is a single take where the protagonist goes through phenomenal spaces like an old hallway of pool tables, a rustic room of slot machines, and an old touring karaoke van setup. One of the most beautiful portions of this long take is the bizarrely slow ropeway sequence which gives us a wider understanding of the space. Bi Gan shows signs of becoming an auteur, because this plotless film is so ambitious and yet strange. For instance, another sequence of the second half has a kid who promises to help the protagonist only if he can defeat him in Ping Pong -the ping pong game ends in a conversation on memories and time, which is extremely elusive.

Watching this film is a hallucinating experience, I would be unapologetic in saying that this was almost like lucid dreaming. Accompanied by a mesmerising cinematography and mesmerising soundscape, Long Day’s Journey into Night makes every other film playing at Mumbai Film Festival fall short in ambition and execution. However, everything at the end is only transitory.

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Non-Fiction

I am not amongst those who can resist an Oliver Assayas film, especially if it also happens to star the greatest of all time Juliette Binoche. Oliver Assayas has been one of the popular favourites at MAMI, with both Clouds of Sils Maria, and Personal Shopper receiving brilliant response. These earlier films were atmospheric thrillers which tackled contemporary themes, however, his latest Non-Fiction is like a warm evening embrace for writers and their contemporary issues. The mehfil of conversations which the lead characters create is a delightful watch.

Alain and Leonard, a writer and a publisher, are overwhelmed by the radical digitalisation of the publishing world. Deaf to the desires of their wives, they struggle to find their place in a society whose locks they can no longer key into. Twitter and Instagram seem to be new literary platforms, and books are no longer in vogue, however e-books are selling like pancakes, and audiobooks recited by celebrity stars are even more in demand. All the four characters are dealing with the change in times, in their own particular manner. They however, share their frustration while hustling through these changes. 

Using dialogues as verbal duels; references of Michael Haneke, Bergman, and even, Star Wars; and the gorgeous performance of Juliette Binoche; Oliver Assayas delivers a scintillating and thought provokingly beautiful Non-Fiction, which although simple in treatment, is ambitious in digging undiscovered depths of philosophy. Almost like a Woody Allen dialogue based tango, Non-Fiction treats heavy questions in a breezy manner, resulting into a sweet, funny, philosophical, and cheerful drama. It is easy to fall short of words while describing Non-Fiction, because all the lines in Non-Fiction are such literary gems, you might have to watch it twice to get the eloquent delight created here.

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Harsh Desai

Rafiki
Kenya’s brave film ‘Rafiki’ reminds us, how the struggles in the ghettos, across the world are the same. They use even the smallest speck of dust to convert it into a burst of bubble gum colours. To be pulsing with colour, even when daily struggles in the ghetto keep getting tougher, is such a solid statement.

Despite the political rivalry between their families, Kena and Ziki resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blooms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety. We have seen such films before, however, the Afro-pop visuals and the mesmerising soundscape, makes the Nairobian neighbourhood look like a garden blooming with flowers, buzzing with life beings, and Kena and Ziki, like lost bees, finding each other. However, this is no garden, there is no privacy here, all the clothes are strung between the apartments, everyone knows what’s happening behind closed doors. Kena hangs out with Blacksta at the local cafe but is strongly attracted towards Ziki, who happens to belong the family of her father’s political rival.

Kena’s exploration of her sexuality while the church, the neighbourhood, her mother, and, even her liberal minded father, are against her accepting this queer identity is worth cheering for. However, amidst all this chaos, in an abandoned camper van, Kena and Ziki spend time with each other, creating a peaceful, pure, and silent space where some of the best shot sexually tense moments happen. It is hard to believe that this is Wanuri Kahiu’s first attempt, because he seems to be in complete control of this film, steering the narrative with such great choice of visuals.

Some moments in the film are raw, gritty, and pure, allowing the viewers to get nostalgic about the first time they felt someone’s touch. To jump between socio-political scenes which are melodramatic and unoriginal, and intersperse them with fleetingly beautiful moments between Kena and Ziki, are definitely a strong achievement of the film. To those who have felt love or pain (both are equally beautiful and important), a dialogue in the film, “I wish we could go to a place where we could feel real” will hit you right where it hurts.

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One Cut of the Dead
There are so many innovative films already made in the zombie comedy space, one might easily feel, every possible plot in the genre has been easily exhausted. However, Shinichiro Ueda brings a fresh revival to this sub-genre, just like how Edgar Wright did, with ‘Shaun of the Dead’ a few years ago. And while doing this, in all sincerity, we get a terrific Japanese film which does not have a single dull moment, from the word go. We have always known that film-making can be chaotic, however, making a single take zombie comedy is an absolute madness.

There are two parts to the film, one is a low budget long take zombie comedy about a filmmaker trying to make a zombie comedy (Yes! Meta Stuff), and the other one is the entire madness about how the film came to be made. A frustrated director Higurashi who aspires for a stronger connection with his daughter, and has a wife who had to stop acting as she makes her role too seriously and ends up method acting newer unscripted parts. To make matters worst for him, Higurashi is given a makeshift team of actors and crew, forming a sort of a filmmaking unit which can be easily compared to Bhuvan’s cricket team in Lagaan. And just like in the latter, the screening venue of One Cut of the Dead also transformed into an euphoric stadium, cheering and clapping at every alternate scene upon the earnestness of Higurashi’s unit and the resulting madness. The portions involving Higurashi’s wife who takes up the role of the make up person in the film at the last minute, are an absolute riot.

The film derives it’s authenticity not from the crazy plot, or from the genius single take, but it derives the same from brilliantly carved characters, played by little known actors, who are misfits bound to make mistakes, and the fact that they still survive and make their film is what makes the film an absolute masterpiece in this sub-genre. This is one of my best comedy movie viewing experience in years. On other thoughts, this film is not just a zombie comedy, it is an ultimate ode to the madness, efforts, and love which goes behind making a film. Every film is like giving birth to a new baby, and it is crazier when the baby is a zombie comedy.

There is another show at PVR Mulund Audi 6 on 31st October at 1930 Hours.

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Border
Yorgos Lanthimos meets David Cronenberg in this mind bending debut feature from Sweden, which also happens to be Sweden’s official Oscar entry. The protagonist, customs officer Tina can sniff guilt, shame, and other such feelings out of anyone who is hiding something. As a viewer, all you can sniff for a long time is just the weirdness. However, this weirdness is not abstract, it’s indeed thrilling, and gives you complete viewing satisfaction towards the end. This offbeat work shocks you in the most surreal and elegant manner possible.

Tina’s extraordinary ability to sniff things at the customs, is challenged, when Yore, a strangely similar and suspicious looking person, arrives at the customs. Tina is suspicious, but finds nothing, and ends up developing a strange fondness towards Yore. Their fondness evolves over time and they are in a relationship, which is raw, intense, and, emotional. However, the film never stops focusing upon developing Tina’s character arc, and then it slowly becomes wow but what the fuck film!

Once into the film, the meticulous detailing and layers, reveal itself with such elegance, that it makes you question larger concepts through this abstract beauty which is shot beautifully, in a wooden house of a secluded forest. The entire landscape plays an essential character in the film giving us a great visual and mental treat.

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Harsh Desai

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I have loved Zohaib Kazi’s work for a while now and that is why I was over the moon to hear that he is going to be on the driving seat for season 11. He has anyway been associated till season 6. The buzz started with CokeStudio Explorer that featured 4 songs with varied artists and barring the last song, everything felt nice, solid and quite trippy. After explorer ended, curtain was raised on the season opener song and in came Hum Dekhenge. I loved it then and I love it now. The artist line up was just way too tempting and too good to be true. Anyway, I won’t go on and on episode-wise as you can find it here. Our picks from this season are as under:

Baalkada The way this song started made me soar like an airplane. Naghma & Lucky were fantastic! Jimmy Khan’s presence works like a balm. The gamut of genres that CokeStudio Pakistan has touched should be a case study to those who ‘do music’ in our country as well. We need to just look at the arc of emotions CokeStudio Pakistan has chosen. Arey mujhse pooch lo yaar, I will make an excel sheet for you containing those details and I will lend my time for free to you. At least touch some other genres, Dear Indian music movements!?

Rap hai sara -. The way this song has been done, it has raised the swag factor of CokeStudio in multiples. All the boys ran a riot in the studio. I last smirked at someone’s entry when Bohemia entered the studio in ‘Kandyari dhal Geet’. Young desi has bettered it. If this song was a part of a concert in a big stadium, this song would have EVERYONE take their shirts off and throw them on the stage. Lyari underground is a revealation and I loved their part as well. Confession – I prefer watching this song that hearing it and trust me, I have watched it way too much, super super stuff! (ande waala burger reference here)

Rashamama – Zarsanga makes a dashing entry to the studio and aided with Khumariyaan and a superb Babar ali khanna, she holds your attention and makes you sway with the absolute magical track. Yet another song that widens the arc of the genres which CokeStudio Pakistan explores with every passing season. Zarsanga is plain brilliance on display and her woi allah! calls are a hoot! The song then pauses and what is possibly the best moment in asserting Cokestudio Pakistan’s swag (watch how the camera pans, the music that accompanies the angle from roughly at 3:07 mins to 3:14 mins to know what I mean), Gul Panra gives her interpretation of the song. Her part is more contemporary and filled with modern arrangement which doesn’t feel bad (or wrong) either.

Nami danamChand tara orchestra, under the guidance of Omran Shafique gave us this gem. There was too much happening in terms of lighting and not in a good way. Barring that, this song soared. They should have named the song Raqs-e-bismil. I have a positive bias to Chand tara orchestra because of their name and sound. Before this season, I didn’t know about them. It is very very good to see old cokestudio musicians take the lead in inducting new artists. Like Babar has done in last few songs and my heartthrob Omran has done here…What a fantastic, liberating song! Me raqsam Me raqsam…indeed

Jind mahiya – A slow, almost reggae like pace mixed with obvious habibi influence is what catches your attention from the first second in the song. Shuja Haider’s composition is as free flowing as his singing and even though in the BTS video, he insisted it is a chichora song, the song comes across as adorable and way too catchy. This is like ‘rockstar’ without self deprecating tone and peppered with innocence. This is exactly the kind of execution that I was waiting for since the season started. The houseband played up perfectly and there was nothing over the top and surprisingly, the song sounds very well produced. Lest I forget, the dholak play from Babar added just the right amount of nasha. Easily, the first song of the season that I loved without any ‘if’ or ‘but’. Thumbs up!

Ya QurbanKhumariyaan boys made me go mad. I absolutely loved what they have done here. The song, the dance, the vibe, the happiness that dripped from their soul via their song and instruments…this is vintage CokeStudio Pakistan, this is what we wait for when CokeStudio Pakistan announces a new season. You can make half talented musicians stand and ‘fuse’ their work like there is no tomorrow, but it takes a special khaalis presentation like this to blow your mind away. How about those maddening whistles? Everything, just about everything is top notch here. Not a note wrong, excellently done boys! Fun bit – check out the Game of Thrones opening credits done by the boys here – Game of Thrones Main Theme (Cover) by Khumariyaan

Balaghal ula Be Kamalihi – When she sings, Lord hears. Simple. These are Gulzar’s words but ring in true everytime I see (holding both ears as I say her name) Her Highness Abida Parveen. There is really nothing that comes to mind when I try to analyse this song because this here is not a track, it is devotion finding its way to our souls. A magnificent presentation. Please explore it.

Wah jo kalaam – Penned by Asrar and along with him, Shamu Bai and Vishnu played a riot of colors and beauty in what is one of the best songs in all of 11 years of the studio in Pakistan. I have always had a bit of a problem with Shamu’s pitch but here, Asrar has used that to the track’s advantage. With zero accompaniment from the studio houseband, this beautiful song hits your core being like a bolt of lighting. Talking of Zero accompainment from houseband, I suspect Shamu bai was using her own Harmonium and Vishnu was using his own Dholak. The melodious strum and humming from Asrar in the beginning reminds you of all the good things that music and all of us have lost over the years. There seems to be zero innocence of ‘being’ these days in anything. For a moment, let us all just remind ourselves of this powerhouse called Asrar who has a lot that is yet to be exploited by the popular scene. Don’t you love his ‘wah wah’ in the song? A pucca performer. Do check his ‘Gaddiye’ as well, if you have time. I get a strong feeling that Vishnu will, in the years to come, make more appearances in the studio. What a brilliant command this lad has…especially the way he picked up Hyder hyder part. This is the song that, everytime when it ends, leaves me weeping. Kudos to the producers for letting this song be.

Luddi hai jamaalo – The studio always has an ace up its sleeves when it comes to re-imagining old film songs. I can’t say the same about non film songs and yes I am still sore with the wounds of Hawa Hawa. In Luddi Hai Jamalo the studio has shown how the old songs are to be touched up. The way they have added violins and the opening la la la is exactly what they should have touched up Hawa Hawa. Here, Humaira Arshad and Ali Sethi have done a decent job of sticking to the song yet adding their touch. I absolutely loved the way the sound has been managed, it sounds so fresh yet vintage. The last minute or so where the song really accelerates doesn’t feel out of sync or mood. I didn’t feel anything outstanding about Humaira’s part but I was blown away by Ali Sethi. Can this man do any wrong? I really don’t think so. If I were a ruler with a kingdom, I would have relinquished all to this man just for his ‘Howaan tathon paray Kyon mera dil daray, Chad kay duniya saari, Teray tay kyon waray’ part in the song. I am not kidding.

Aurangzeb – by Mughal-e-funk is quite an interesting track for the simple reason that it explores a genre within a genre. Presenting Aurangzeb‘s reign and conflicts via instrumental is totally a new way to present instrumental tracks. The houseband and especially Babar ali Khanna really came together to touch up Mughal-e-funk‘s exciting presentation in the studio. Excellent Sitar, Superlative Harmonium and a solid backup vocalist sound…what’s not to like? (I know, the lighting..! still…I liked this track)

Ko ko korina – I am from Lucknow and one of the reasons I love CokeStudio Pakistan is that they showcase the music from their region which I may not have come across earlier. Personally speaking, while growing up, I was more intrested in exploring Umar Sharif’s plays and swaying on Hawa Hawa than anything else. So when I saw CokeStudio reimagine what they have posted as ‘infamous’ Ko Ko Korina, I was hearing it for the first time. I know I will lose a lot of friends here but I didn’t find this song bad at all. I in fact liked how the studio, in a rare display of self control, conducted the song with the right amount of mischief and melody. No, I didn’t find Ahad Raza Mir or Momina Mustehsan out of tune. I would still say that Momina was struggling in Antras but largely lovely lovely song. I then went and checked the original song and well, I could still not get myself to dislike this re-imagination. I am just raving mad at the studio for what they did with Hawa Hawa. One might argue, that my grouse with Hawa Hawa‘s re-imagination is because unlike Ko Ko Korina, I have grown up with Hawa Hawa, so I am not as emotionally invested with Ko ko as I am with Hawa Hawa. I will disagree to that train of thought for the simple reason that Ko Ko Korina‘s re-imagination didn’t take any unneccesary turns and the pace and treatment was upbeat (what a lovely guitar – keyboard play by Rufus and Momo by the way!), Whereas the Hawa Hawa reimagination was half hearted, sounded dead on arrival and took that unnecessary tirbal turn which still haunts me at night. So there, that is my take. I liked Ko Ko Korina! Someone please join me and let us petition the studio to re-re-imagine Hawa Hawa?

In addition to the above:

  • Shikwa/Jawab e shikwa – was so good till Natasha baig’s part. To me she has been the find of the season. Still, the usually dependable Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad Qawwal put me off this time and I couldn’t bring myself to repeat the song just because of them and this applies to their self absorbed ‘piya ghar aaya’ as well. Sad.
  • Runaway – would have been much better with just Krewella.
  • I absolutely loved the first 3 mins of dil hai pakistani
  • I disliked the way Main iraada came together. That was cacophony and largely due to excessive artists and over the top audio mixing
  • I liked Dastan-e-moomal rano but couldn’t sit through the whole of it on repeated listening. I like the subtle presentation of the song.
  • Illallah was so good but was let down by poor lyrics and somehow ‘aaja piya tori yaad satave’ sounded like a mifit with the mood of the song. Hear the first 2 odd mins of the song though to see what this song could have been.
  • I disliked the uncertainity about ‘will this be a 3 song or 4 song episode’. Nope don’t play with that. Please.

Some of the best music memories that I have since the last 10 odd years are attributed to CokeStudio Pakistan. Some of the most aggressive views that have popped up in my head have been a result of poor imitation of CokeStudio 11 by other movements in and outside Pakistan, CokeStudio at MTV for one. What happens when the movement you have come to love starts showing signs of becoming a bad parody of itself? That is exactly what happened with the season 11 and it pains me to write this because in my books, even when CokeStudio Pakistan is bad, it is miles ahead of garbage that is masquerading as ‘music movement’ in and around the subcontinent. Make no mistake, it is not just Season 11 that has disappointed. The downward spiral has continued since Rohail has departed and the only exception to that has been the superbly Season 8. Though I would not write off Zohaib and Ali Hamza, I would like a little bit of ‘pause’ in the execution. Everything need not be over the top, extra experimental and please slow down those maddening lights. Lastly, please don’t play around with melody and defile it like you have done with Hawa Hawa this year. Ever.

Love from India

P.S. – Bhaga ke le jaunga Ali Sethi ko main ek din, dekhta reh jayea Pakistan aur dekhta reh jayega India. Yep.

P.S.2. – Please fire whoever has been in charge of audio mixing this season.

Image and video courtesy – CokeStudio.com.pk – You can download all songs for free from here.

Jafar Panahi’s 3 Faces

In Northwest Iran, the rural valleys have their own laws, much like the rest of the country. On a narrow mountain road, two cars cannot pass at the same time, and a honking duel decides who gets to go first. Such is Panahi’s work, with his sharp observation, resulting into socio-politically ripe metaphors and some delicate humour. Unlike his previous metafictional works in This is not a film, Closed Curtains, and Taxi; 3 Faces is more distant and tries to cover a larger canvas. However, Panahi’s work continues to remain pensive and his defiance seems to be getting stronger with every new film.

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A suicide video of Marziyeh (an aspiring young actress), leads Behnaaz (a popular actress, playing herself) and Panahi into the Iranian valleys, in search of the truth. The three women, Behnaaz, Marziyeh (playing herself), and, Shahrazade dominate and steer the narrative in a world dominated by men. The fact that we never see Shahrazade, acts like a fitting metaphorical tribute to all the women, especially the female actors in Iran, who are not valued in Iran – they are ’empty headed’ or ‘entertainers’.

The Kiarostami styled shots are probably the best shots in a Panahi film till date, almost as if Panahi has set Amin and his camera free in rebellion. The carefully crafted screenplay, with the dialogues, either dipped in humour, or in political subtext create an absolute winner. Although this is no match to Taxi, 3 Faces is still a powerful statement from Panahi, kindness and compassion even when his expression is beaten down to the ground. It would be apt to end my fanboy thoights on Panahi’s 3 Faces with a verse from Maya Angelou, which fits in so apt for Panahi and his work;

“The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.”
Zhang Yimou’s Shadow

Zhang Yimou’s previous work was trashed away as a mere shadow of his three decade long filmography. However, Shadow is Zhang’s roaring return to form with only monochromic visuals.

The film description says that the film is set during the period of the Three Kingdoms (220-280 A.D.), and features an exiled king and his people, who develop a plot to regain control of their land. The events are told from the points of view of the king, his sister, his commander, the women trapped in the royal palace and a common citizen. However, Zhang approaches this Chinese legend with sensuousness, silence, and style, to deliver us with a visually epic film. While achieving this, Zhang also pays a tribute to the beautiful Chinese art of Ink painting.

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Some of the elements, scene blocking, and visuals in the film are oddly satisfying and stunning, even making up for the not-so-satisfying character arcs -the Chinese zither reverberating in the palace hall, the palace hall painted in ink with peace sermons becoming the centre stage for violent fights, a splash of blood painting the monochrome red, and of course, the umbrellas. I have always been fascinated with the way filmmakers have used umbrellas as a device in action sequences, for case in point, Kamal Hassan using one in Anbe Sivam and Rajinikanth using one in Kaala. However, never has anyone used the umbrella better than Zhang, all the sequences involving the umbrella need to be seen to be believed, the visuals are purely stunning. A special mention to action designer Dee Dee who makes some of the most violent duels in the film look like a visual treat to watch. If you’re at the festival to watch something you have never seen before, Shadows needs to be on your list.

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters

A family tied by blood always shares a strong bond. Kore-eda however, observes and shows us otherwise. When it comes to relationship dramas, Kore-eda is a master craftsman and we see his craft in top form here. This bittersweet slice of life drama unfolds like magic, you can never anticipate what the next scene holds.

After one of their shoplifting exercises, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Every scene involving Osamu’s wife or the little girl are beyond magic. Osamu’s wife played by Sakura Ando (From Love Exposure) gives a great performance, her eyes revealing all her emotions effortlessly, making us reflect and ponder upon her questions including the strongest one, “Isn’t the bond stronger when you choose your own family?”

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This film offers an immersive portrait of a dysfunctional family of shoplifters where everyday banter seem like dialogues out of a beautiful novel. These lines and relationships slowly start growing into puzzle pieces waiting to blow you over in the final act. Kore-eda’s brilliance lies in his deep understanding and empathy towards the characters and the various shades and secrets which they carry, and these shades unfold in such effortless manner that you will never realise when the stakes for the final act were doubled.

Jean-Luc Godard’s The Image Book

How does one write about a film from late peirod Godard? Is this film even accessible for people who haven’t studied Godard? Maybe not. Although, his intentions in the film are very clear; to use old footage and visuals and layer it with his political commentary, sprinkling it with an absurd musical treatment. The result is another idiosyncratic Godard film, meant only for his devotees. Although, I enjoyed a segment which was about train travel and had some wonderful images of random flowers which bloom on railroads, which of course was a larger statement. Watch it only if you want to read Godard’s mind.

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Harsh Desai

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Sounds offensive no? But it’s a fact that you are acting like bhakts and here’s why.

Illogical
Do you know bhakts are supposed to be illogical? Shazia has rationally pointed out all the holes in your decision here so there isn’t much to say there. But your response? Well, it is stupider than Modi’s logic for climate change. (Look it up here ) We thought you wanted to open a conversation, your response shows you don’t even know where to begin. No communication, no valid reason presented to her. Why? Is it too much to ask you to think critically? If yes, then you are no better than bhakts and all the talk of independent cinema and artists voices is baloney. If no, then think.

Herd mentality
If you can think you will know you are jumping on a bandwagon without really standing up for anything. Just like bhakts keep shouting ‘hindu khatre mein hain’ at every given opportunity without knowing jackshit about what Hindu means. Or Hindustan for that matter. Just because everyone is high on moral outrage you are high on it too. Sorry, this way your voice and stand becomes more irrelevant than you think. But oh, I forgot you cannot think. For yourselves.

Righteousness
Are you a film festival or a Khap Panchayat? I smell so much self-congratulatory pride in your actions and statements. Why? Suddenly you have become all righteous and in the weird most way possible. Oxfam is Ok with you, Lars Von Trier is Ok with you but Bebaak is not. Even after all mentions of the co-producer in question have been removed. And yet, his involvement in other projects go unnoticed. Really now? Who made you the Sarpanch of the me too movement? And a patriarchal one that too.

Convenience
Bhakts have no identity of their own, they derive it from their idols. By taking a stand that is as pointless as it is stupid, you seem to be trying to latch on to the identity of the me too movement because you have none of your own (you can’t have an identity if you can’t think for yourself, btw) Your decision seems to be a strictly PR exercise to keep a good, clean, progressive image in public. A ‘show’ to display you are on the ‘right’ side. That is what patriarchy has done all along. Are you any better? Doesn’t look like to me.

Sense of ownership
Have you noticed bhakts demanding India be exactly the way they wish to be? Have you noticed that all who don’t fall in line are summarily lynched and removed from the system? Do you really think the me too movement is simply about arbitrarily disconnecting those who don’t agree with you? Not only have you denied Shazia a fair hearing, your responses show you wish to have no conversation about it because you seem to know what you are doing is right. Somehow that is enough and Shazia has no place or say in the matter. Wonderful. I thought only bhakts did that. The me too movement, is not yours alone to decide what to do with it. Just like India does not belong to the bhakts alone.

Entitlement
The me too movement is a variety of things for all of us, women and men alike, small and big alike. For some it is about speaking up, for some remaining silent, for some taking action, for some backing off. But for all of this to have happened, women and men alike, have taken individual stands. They have made difficult choices. They have lost friends, reputations and careers among other things, to ensure we finally call out hypocrisy and entitlement. Your stand reeks of both to me, hypocrisy and entitlement. Will you call yourself out? Guess, that would be bad for PR. If you won’t you don’t stand in solidarity with the movement because the one thing it has taught us all is where we all are complicit in the system. But you seem to be a system unto yourself and an ill-thought out one at that. Doesn’t it remind of you something called the bhakt behavior?

Any answers to all of the above? If not, try watching Bebaak again, you may still have a copy. May help you develop a brain. And a spine.

Btw, Bebaak means fearless.

Fatema Kagalwala
A very disappointed film fan who also happens to be a feminist.

Arati Raval-Pandey is a huge Mumbai Film Festival fan and religiously prepares her to-watch list every year.

This year too, she has prepared a pool of the most recommended films that she has collated after reading numerous lists and articles on the web.

She is also one of the oldest readers of MFC, and thus decided to share the exploits of her research with all of us this time.

The only disclaimer is that, like all lists, it is a qualitative opinion of various film lovers. A lot of films that people are looking forward to, won’t be here. It’s no Bible – just a reference for those who have little time to know what are the films with most buzz.

  1. Touch Me Not
    Director: Adina Pintilie
    Language / Country: Romanian
    Festival: Golden Bear – Berlin

    Supposed to greatly divide audiences. About modern sexuality

  2. The Heiresses
    Director: Marcelo Martinessi
    Country: Paraguay
    Festival: Best Actress – Berlin
  3. Reza
    Director: Alireza Motamedi
    Language / Country: Persian

    Delightful modern rom-com

  4. Manta Ray
    Director: Phuttiphong Aroonpheng
    Language / Country: Thai
    Festival: Venice Horizon
  5. Azougue Nazare
    Director: Tiago Melo
    Language / Country: Spanish
    Festival: Bright Future – Rotterdam
  6. And Breathe Normally
    Director: Issold Uggadottir
    Language / Country: Icelandic
    Festival: Direction – Sundance
  7. Ma.Ama
    Director: Dominic Sangma
    Country: India

    Only Indian film in the International Competition

  8. Birds of Passage
    Director: Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego
    Language / Country: Spanish

    Colombia’s entry for the Oscars

  9. Woman at War
    Director: Benedikt Erlingsson
    Language / Country: Icelandic

    Iceland’s entry for the Oscars

  10. Shoplifters
    Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
    Language / Country: Japanese
    Festival: Palm D’or – Cannes
  11. Supa Modo
    Director: Likarion Wainaina
    Country: Kenya
    Festival: Crystal Bear – Berlin
  12. Roma
    Director: Alfonso Cuaron
    Language / Country: Spanish
    Festival: Golden Lion – Venice

    Mexico’s entry to the Oscars

  13. Cold War
    Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
    Language / Country: Polish
    Festival: Best Director – Cannes
  14. Burning
    Director: Lee Chang-dong
    Language / Country: Korean
    Festival: FIPRESCI – Cannes

    South Korea’s entry to the Oscars

  15. Champions
    Director: Javier Fesser
    Language / Country: Spanish

    Spain’s entry to the Oscars

  16. Border
    Director: Ali Abbasi
    Language / Country: Swedish
    Festival: Un Certain Regard – Winner

    Sweden’s entry to the Oscars

  17. The Wild Pear Tree
    Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
    Language / Country: Turkish
  18. A 12 Year Night
    Director: Alvaro Brechner
    Language / Country: Uruguay
    Festival: Venice, San Sebastian

    Uruguay’s entry to the Oscars

  19. The Miseducation of Cameron Post
    Director: Desiree Akhavan
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: US Dramatic Grand Jury – Sundance
  20. Nancy
    Director: Christina Choe
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: Sundance – Screenwriting Award
  21. Kailash
    Director: Derek Doneen
    Language / Country: Hindi / English
    Festival: Doc. Jury Prize – Sundance

    Documentary on Kailash Satyarthi

  22. Three Identical Strangers
    Director: Tim Wardle
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: Sp. Jury for Storytelling – Sundance
  23. Matangi Maya M.I.A.
    Director: Steve Loveridge
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: World Cinema Doc – Sundance
  24. Mug
    Director: Malgorzata Szumowska
    Language / Country: Polish
    Festival: Grand Jury Prize – Berlin
  25. In the Aisles
    Director: Thomas Stuber
    Language / Country: German
    Festival: Ecumenical Jury – Berlin
  26. The Day I Lost My Shadow
    Director: Soudade Kaadan
    Language / Country: Arabic
    Festival: Lion of the Future – Venice
  27. BlacKkKlansman
    Director: Spike Lee
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: Competed for Palm d’Or; Won Grand Prix

    African American detective infiltrates a KKK conspiracy

  28. 3 Faces
    Director: Jafar Panahi
    Language / Country: Persian
    Festival: Best Screenplay – Cannes
  29. The Image Book
    Director: Godard
    Language / Country: French
    Festival: Special Palm d’Or – Cannes
  30. Diamantino
    Director: Gabriel A, Daniel S.
    Language / Country: Portuguese
    Festival: Nespresso Grand Prize – Cannes
  31. Climax
    Director: Gasper Noe
    Language / Country: French / English
    Festival: Director’s Fortnight – Cannes

    Musical Horror

  32. Samouni Road
    Director: Stefano Savona
    Language / Country: Italian
    Festival: Documentary Award – Cannes
  33. Widows
    Director: Steve McQueen
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: TIFF, Closing Film at MFF
  34. Shadow
    Director: Zhang Yimou
    Country: Chinese
    Festival: Venice, TIFF
  35. The House That Jack Built
    Director: Lars Von Trier
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: Cannes
  36. Season of the Devil
    Director: Lav Diaz
    Country: Philippines
    Festival: Berlin – Competition
  37. Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot
    Director: Gus Van Sant
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: Sundance
  38. High Life
    Director: Claire Denis
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: TIFF

    Claire’s first English feature

  39. First Reformed
    Director: Paul Schrader
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: Venice – Competition
  40. Ash is Purest White
    Director: Jia Zhangke
    Country: Chinese
    Festival: Competed for Palm d’Or
  41. Non Fiction
    Director: Oliver Assayas
    Language / Country: French
    Festival: Venice – Competition
  42. Our Time
    Director: Carlos Reygadas
    Language / Country: Spanish
    Festival: Venice – Competition
  43. In Fabric
    Director: Peter Strickland
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: TIFF, London FF

    Horror-comedy about a cursed dress in a departmental store

  44. Grass
    Director: Sang-Soo Hong
    Language / Country: Korean
    Festival:
  45. Hotel by the River
    Director: Sang-Soo Hong
    Language / Country: Korean
    Festival: TIFF
  46. Colette
    Director: Wash Westmoreland
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: Sundance, London FF
  47. Beautiful Boy
    Director: Felix Van Groeningen
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: TIFF

    Would be out on Amazon US on October 12

  48. Vision
    Director: Naomi Kawase
    Language / Country: Japanese
    Festival: TIFF
  49. A Tramway in Jerusalem
    Director: Amos Gitai
    Country: Israel
  50. Maya
    Director: Mia Hansen-Love
    Language / Country: French / English
    Festival: TIFF – Special Presentations
  51. Fahrenheit 11/9
    Director: Michael Moore
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: TIFF

    Already released in the US

  52. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
    Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: Venice – Best Screenplay

    Western anthology written by the Coen brothers

  53. Sorry to Bother You
    Director: Boots Riley
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: Sundance

    Already released in the US

  54. Too Late To Die Young
    Director: Dominga Sotomayor
    Language / Country: Spanish
    Festival: Locarno – Best Direction

    First woman to win Direction award at Locarno

  55. Thunder Road
    Director: Jim Cummings
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: Grand Jury – SXSW
  56. In My Room
    Director: Ulrich Kohler
    Language / Country: German
    Festival: Un Certain Regard
  57. Wildlife
    Director: Paul Dano
    Language / Country: English
    Festival: Critics Week – Opening Film
  58. Transit
    Director: Christian Petzold
    Language / Country: German
    Festival: Berlin

  59. Dhappa
    Director: Nipun Dharmadhikari
    Language: Marathi
  60. Tesoros
    Director: Maria Novaro
    Language / Country: Spanish
    Festival: Berlin
  61. Balekempa
    Director: Ere Gowda
    Language: Kannada
    Festival: IFFR – FIPRESCI
  62. Soni
    Director: Ivan Ayr
    Language: Hindi
    Festival: Venice
  63. Leave No Trace
    Director: Debra Granik
    Language: English
    Festival: Sundance

    Already released in the US

  64. Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota
    Director: Vasan Bala
    Language: Hindi
    Festival: TIFF

    Opening Film

  65. Long Days Journey Into Night
    Director: Bi Gan
    Language: Guizhou Dialect
    Festival: Cannes – Un Certain Regard