Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Great news coming from the ongoing International Film Festival Rotterdam. Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s film Sexy Durga has won the top award (Hivos Tiger Award) at the main competition section of the fest.

The Hivos Tiger Award is the festival’s flagship competition. This year, eight new films competed for the coveted Hivos Tiger Competition award, which is accompanied by a €40.000 cash prize. The jury admired the film Sexy Durga : “For its daring and resourceful approach in creating a mood of constant tension, providing an insight into multi-layered power dynamics of gender, class and authority.”

Trailer

Official Synopsis

Goddess or whore? Two extreme views of women intermingle in this largely improvised spine-chiller. During a nocturnal ride, a young woman and her lover encounter a cross-section of Indian male society. What starts out as an attempt to escape descends into a journey through hell – from which no escape is possible.

This ominous road movie about two lovers on the run is interspersed with footage of a Hindu festival in the southern Indian province of Kerala. Men dance ecstatically, walk across red-hot coals and push metal skewers through their faces. Some are hauled into the air on metal hooks stuck through the skin of their backs and thighs, dangling above the crowd like the mythical eagle Garuda. All in honour of Kali, embodiment of the rage of the mother goddess, Durga. Her likeness – four arms bearing her weapons and a severed head – is carried through the village in procession.

Durga is also the name of a young woman trying in the dead of night to take a train to a far-off destination with her lover, Kabeer. First they have to reach the station, for which they depend on the kindness of strangers. But the help offered to them quickly takes on dubious forms; the police are too involved in their own business and the isolation of the night completes the oppressive atmosphere.

Sanal Kumar Sasidharan made his previous feature film, An Off-Day Game, without a script; for Sexy Durga he even dispensed with a pre-set narrative. Here, he investigates how obsessiveness and worship can quickly degenerate in a patriarchal society into a mentality of oppression and abuse of power.

Director

After completing studies in Zoology and Law, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan (1977, India) started work as a lawyer. As a film fanatic, he used his network to found Kazhcha Film Forum, a crowdfunding platform for the production of independent films. This provided a financial basis to make his own films. Kumar Sasidharan’s short and feature films have received many awards in international film festivals.

Filmography

Wonder World (2001, short), Parole (2008, short), Frog (2012, short), Oraalppokkam/Six Feet Height (2014), Ozhivudivasathe Kali/An Off-Day Game (2015), Sexy Durga (2017)

 

Honoured and so happy to receive the National Film Award yesterday. Here’s the picture for you to like!

GS

This is the image that filmmaker Gurvinder Singh posted on his FB with a status update. A post with such black humour, we couldn’t resist the urge to share it with our readers.

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 9.28.55 PM.png

Gurvinder’s film Chauthi Koot was awarded the National Award for Best Punjabi Film, and the citation reads as follows –  ‘Effectively captures the sense of fear psychosis and tension during the times of insurgency in Punjab’. The Rajat Kamal Award includes cash prize of Rs 1,00,000/- each to the Producer and Director. He refused the award as a mark of protest for the choices the jury made, especially for Baahubali winning the Best Film Award. We had written about it earlier. Though he made it clear that his producer friend will accept the Producer’s award.

Recently, he shared another anecdote on his FB questioning the choice of National Film Awards jury.

Accosted by a young man dressed smartly in a black suit at the Kayseri bus station helping us book a bus to Ortahisar in Cappadocia, the land of magical landscapes and cave homes where Nuri Bilge Ceylan shot “The Winter Sleep”, we drink Turkish tea to kill time as he tries to communicate with us jovially in his bare knowledge of English, sometimes with the help of ‘Google Translate’ on his mobile. Once he knows we are from India, the topic veers towards Indian movies. He tells us that Indian movies are very popular in Turkey and they like the songs and dances. This after a woman in a shop in Istanbul had said she loves Paro, but cannot remember her name as its too difficult to pronounce. Aishwarya Rai, we told her. Yes yes, she nodded enthusiastically. And after a man in the same market had proudly proclaimed to us that he is Shah Rukh Khan’s father!

Now the young man at the Kayseri bus station asks us if we have seen ‘Baahubali’? My jaw drops. Sunayana laughs. We ask him whether he likes the movie? Then he goes on to type something on his mobile in Turkish on Google Translate. It gets translated into English as ‘nonsense’! We all laugh and I heave a sigh of relief. To reiterate, he says its crazy and stupid.

This ‘nonsense’ will be awarded the Best Indian Film of 2015 at the National Film Awards tomorrow. Hats off to the esteemed jury for this remarkable selection.

An alumni of FTII, Gurvinder is one of the most promising and fearless young filmmaking talent in the current generation. Chauthi Koot (The Fourth Direction) premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2015. His debut feature film, Anhe Ghorey De Daan, was selected to premiere at Venice International Film Festival. And it bagged 3 National Film Awards – For Direction, Cinematography, and for Best Punjabi Film.

And as long as Singh’s fearless sense of (black) humour is intact, we will always be cheering for him.

Like every year, the Directorate Of Film Festivals is organising the screening of the films which won the National Awards this year. And some of these films won’t even release in the capital.

Delhi, don’t miss them. And the best part – all the films will be shown with English subtitles.

Date : The screenings will run from 5th May to 17th May, 2016. All the films will have English subtitles.

Venue : Sri Fort Auditorium II, New Delhi

Entry : Free. On first come basis. Just carry a I-card

Our recco : Chauthi Koot, Duranto, Kothanodi, Visaaranai, Masaan, Katyar Kaljat Ghusli, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Talvar, Margarita With A Straw, Sairat, Piku, Thithi.

The screening schedule is enclosed in the pic.

NFA screening schedule

There is a nice little picture of Roger Ebert (or Ebert saab, as we call him) which keeps getting featured. He is looking into the camera with his head turned, smiling, holding the Sun-Times newspaper in his hand. It has the headline, Our Ebert Won Pultizer. It’s one of those images that stays with your for eternity. That “Our” in the headline puts such a strong sense of pride and belonging. If you haven’t seen the image, click here. And that’s the inspiration for our header too.

Masaan has been doing the festival rounds since its premiere at Cannes. And it has also been bagging a lot of awards, again starting from Cannes. But National Awards has its own charm and it feels like a perfect homecoming. Neeraj Ghaywan won the Swarna Kamal for Best Debut Film Of A Director. And Varun Grover won the award for Best Lyrics, for Dum Laga Ke Haisha’s Moh moh ke dhaage. Here are some pics from the D-day.

(click on any pic to enlarge and  start the slide show)

UPDATE – Here’s some more update from our Masaan boys. Both Neeraj Ghaywan and Varun Grover have decided to donate their cash prize towards relief work for farmers. All in their tweets.

 

Radhika Apte

Good news has come from the ongoing Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Radhika Apte has bagged the Best Actress Award in International Narrative Feature section for her performance in Anurag Kashyap’s Clean Shaven.

The award was given by Jean Reno. And here’s the Jury comment on her performance :

“This award goes to an actress who has conveyed bravery and emotional depth in different relationships around her. A contemporary story that breaks through established culture.”

For complete list of winners, click here.

‘Madly’ is an international anthology of short films exploring love in all its permutations. Directed by Gael García Bernal, Mia Wasikowska, Sebastian Silva, Anurag Kashyap, Sion Sono and Natasha Khan, the six stories in Madly portray contemporary love in all its glorious, sad, ecstatic, empowering, and erotic manifestations.

Tribeca Film Fest will run till 24th May, 2016.

To watch Madly’s trailer, go here and click on the play button.

More about ‘Madly’ from Tribeca

Madly explores love in all its permutations in six short films from a vibrant group of filmmakers representing Japan, Argentina, the UK, the US, India, and Australia. All forms of love are on display in this anthology. And all manners of feelings expressed from jubilance to depression are done so strongly. In Afterbirth, actress Mia Wasikowska goes behind the camera to tell the story of a young mother’s postpartum struggles; Gael García Bernal explores how pregnancy affects one couple’s already ambivalent relationship in Love of My Life; and ghosts of past relationships are resurrected in Natasha Khan’s I Do. These stories of love never shy away from taboo either: Sion Sono’s Love of Love delves into underground sex clubs in Japan, and Anurag Kashyap’s Clean Shaven uncovers the social relevance of a woman’s pubic hair. Love can even be delightfully irreverent at moments, Dance Dance Dance from Sebastian Silva features an eye-roll from Jesus. Madly, after all, is a contemporary portrait of love in all its glorious, sad, ecstatic, empowering, and erotic manifestations.

 

i201632803

The 63rd National Film Awards were announced recently, and then we read all the reports in various newspapers and sites. Strangely, they all sounded the same without any homework, or didn’t even give any extra information other than what the official press release says. So we were forced to step in, do some homework, and BOOM!

Since we strongly believe that any award always say more about the jury and less about the film, we had to figure out this jury panel which went with Baahubali as the Best Film. A decision which was criticised strongly by many. In an era when most prestigious film awards brag about their strong jury, two desi jury panels are still kept as a secret – National Film Awards and the jury which selects India’s entry to Oscar Foreign Language Film. Strange. Why? We are scared of being answerable for making bad choices?

We met one of the jury member from the South panel, and he spilled out all the beans.  So here’s more on this year’s jury and the selection process. All the inside dope. #JanhitMeJaari

– At first stage, 5 regional panels were formed with 5 jury members in each panel. Every panel represented one region – like one for North, West, East each, and 2 for South as it has too many languages in which films are made. If North panel was responsible for shortlisting films/talent from Hindi, Punjabi, Haryanvi films, West panel was responsible for Marathi/Gujrati/Konkani language films, and East panel was responsible for Bengali/Oriya/Mizo/Manipuri and others.

– These 5 panels watched all the films which were submitted and shortlisted names in each category. These names were then sent to the Central panel.

– After the first phase of shortlisting was done, 1 member from each panel moved to the Central Panel. So that’s 5 members in Central Panel. 6 more members including the Jury Chairman Ramesh Sippy  joined the panel making it a panel of 11-member jury.

– So who were these 11 members who took the final call?

  1. Ramesh Sippy
  2. Satish Kaushik
  3. Munin Barua (from Assam)
  4. K Vasu (Andhra Pradesh)
  5. S R Leela (Karnataka)
  6. Shyamaprasad (Kerala)

– The 5 members who came from 5 regional panels are as follows

      7. Dharam Gulati (South panel)

      8. Gyan Sahay (East panel)

      9. Sanjib Datta (North panel)

     10. Gangai Amaran (West panel)

      11. John Mathew Matthan (South panel)

– When we asked how come Hindi/bollywood films bagged a whopping 22 out of 32 awards in main categories? The jury member said that it’s the case of old joke of Railway Ministry. Earlier they used to joke that from whichever state the Minister comes from, all the new trains start going towards the same state. It seems to be the same case this time. Look at the 11-member panel. More than half are from bollywood, and 2 senior strong members were there who dictated almost every choice. Rest were just yes-men. And that’s why some weird process was followed in the Central panel.

– The jury member told us that he was informed about the strict rules and regulations which clearly state that if you have any close relatives in the running, you shouldn’t be part of the jury. Now, Gangai Amaran is Ilaiyraaja’s real brother. And Ilaiyraaja won the award for the Best Background music in Tharai Thappattai. Hmmm. Either our jury member was misinformed or such rules don’t exist. Enlighten us please.

– In one of the acting category, the final choice that was made was not even recommended by any of the panel. The choices that were given was discarded by the Jury Chairman and he proposed a new name, and strongly struck to it. The chairman discarded one of the proposed names (who is easily one of country’s best actor) saying he is not in lead role in the film. When one of the members pointed out that by the same logic, the name that he is proposing is also not in lead role, the argument was dismissed blatantly.

-Similarly, in another acting category, the Chairman proposed a new name out of the blue and decided that she should win when her name was not recommended by any panel.

– The voting happened in only 2 categories.

– A film which got unanimous rave reviews (nationally and internationally) when it released, had got strong recommendation in 4 categories (debut, screenplay, best supporting and special jury). But none of them were considered. There was an unwritten rule that nothing will go to this film as one of the producers of the film had made headlines when he returned his previous National Award.

– Another film which had a great production design (for its period setting) and was close contender for best production design as it was strongly recommended by the first panel,  it was also dismissed because of same reason – the director was part of #awardwapsi gang.

– The Central panel went with the recommendation of regional panels for best film in various languages except for Hindi and English language.

– For Best Hindi language film, two two names that were proposed by first panel were discarded as one of the Jury member proposed a new name and strongly stood for it. The joke in the Central panel was the theme of the film must have resonated with the jury member as he has similar features like one of the film’s lead.

– An actress was in running for Special Jury Award for an unreleased film. But since she had voiced her opinion strongly about a recent news event, and had even written about it, her name was quickly dropped.

– A major talent who is not really pro government, has bagged an award this year. The jury member said there was no chance that he was going to win. Luckily, there was hardly any good submission in the category. And his work was exemplary in that category. So they had no choice but to award him. Last time when his film bagged few awards, his name was put in the “to be watched” list.

For complete list of National Film Awards, click here.

– Team mFC

UPDATE – As pointed out by @atlasdanced, it seems  Gangai Amaran has clarified that he abstained from voting when Ilayraja’s work was discussed. One more report here. Anyone has more clarity on the rule and the process?

Since many of you are still struggling to get the complete list of National Film Awards, 2015, here we are. Sharing the complete list – features, shorts, docus, book and best film critic.

If you cant read the small font, use zoom in/out feature on the lower tab.