Archive for the ‘cinema’ Category

Two nights in a row I read news of people I loved and admired re-admitted to hospital because their debilitating disease desired so. Two nights in a row I went to sleep asking and avoiding the terrible question, what if…? Two nights in a row I did not know I would wake up to the ‘what if’ coming true. They are stars, after all, they will be fine. And ultimately everyone has to die, they will too, but not now, not like this, I kept telling myself. But they did. I just didn’t know it would feel like this, so personal even words are saying I will give into the moment and stay silent.

Irrfan was my present, Rishi was my past, not everyone has such a glorious history; only those who share it will know. Between them they encompassed the art and commerce of the mostly silly Bollywood which both simply elevated by their sheer presence. Or even a smile. Where do I go look for them now?

1_cUmxsUCihx0fDqvyNf1e9Q

The last time I felt this unnervingly devastated wasn’t yesterday, when I heard about Irrfan. The shared pain on my echo chamber of social media was so loud and deep, it somehow put my pain in convalescence. Irrfan was our present, how dare they take him away, everyone was screaming in unison. Even the ones who are generally rational and stoic about these matters. It was too deeply personal for everyone including myself, his leaving us, but in that collective heartbreak I found some solace to tide over the very, very unfair blow life and death had thrown at me, at all of us.

But with Rishi it feels like a family member has gone away and I am sitting and weeping away unable to wrap my head around what the hell is so devastating about this. The last time I felt this unnervingly devastated without understanding why was when Rajesh Khanna left us. I wasn’t even an ardent fan, just really liked him in everything he had done pre-80’s, everything that I keep hanging onto till date. I wrote about it here. I was mourning an entire era and my childhood he took away with him, making the present unrecognisable. I am sitting and mourning that again as Rishi takes away with him whatever was left of it.

But why am I weeping like a family member has passed on, Chintuji would you know? You, who with that chocolate boy innocence and lover-boy impishness never let me stay depressed for long? All I had to do was play one of your songs, mostly with RD and sing along ‘Hoga tumse pyaara kaun’ as though I meant it for you. I didn’t tell anyone but I did. You, whose manic energy uplifted everything and everyone around you in whatever dismal setting of a film you were placed in? It didn’t matter, your settings, coz whenever you were on screen it was like, ‘tere chehre se nazar nahi hathti nazare hum kya dekhe?’ You, who were so criminally under-rated despite coming from the First Family of Bollywood and being its best lover boy onscreen? When he received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 for 25 yrs in the industry, I learnt the last Filmfare he received was in 1974, for his debut Bobby. That is how criminally under-rated he was and I decided to love him a little more from my end even though by then he was a pudgier version of himself, not the perfect lover boy Rishi of my dreams, but still with the same charisma, same charm, same exuberance, same enthusiasm for life.

rishikapoorw

The most attractive thing about Rishi Kapoor was not his smile, or looks, it was his enthusiasm for life that showed through in every performance. It was infectious, like how. Perhaps, that’s why when depressed all I cared to do was put on one of his songs with Neetu that RD had strung together, and live off that enthusiasm vicariously. Ek main aur ek tu, dono mile is tarah, ke he invariably put life back into my soul that was ready to give up. I still have those songs to go back to but I don’t have you anymore Rishi, and right now I am at a sheer loss what to do about that…

He was the only Bollywood celebrity I followed on Twitter for a long time, not even SRK. Twitter is such an extension of Bollywood PR it is really boring to keep buying those lies even our celebs themselves are not convinced about. But not Rishi, he was real. Fuck, he was real even in that jungle called Twitter and unabashedly so. Taking in all the hate and disdain with the same love he accepted our love. And that infectious enthusiasm for life. ‘I am ready to get back to acting,’ didn’t he say as soon as he was back from that 11-month long stint of treatment abroad? Where do I look for him now?

He was so, so, so good in his second innings. Sometimes, I thought, even better than in his prime. Perhaps, it was about the roles he got and the sincerity with which he performed them. And the accolades kept coming in, finally Filmfare was recognising him too. And he had so much more to give, and I was hungry to take. From the refreshingly honest portrayal of a Bollywood producer in Luck, by chance, to that loud, hammy, vile antagonist of Agneepath, to the cute, vulnerable, authentically middle-class father and husband of Do Dooni Chaar and more, he simply seemed to be this fountainhead of performance that kept giving. Put him in any role and all you had to say at the end of it was, waah, Chintuji, waah! With all heart and smiles. Who will I say that to now?

I feel extremely silly, and adolescent and naïve banging away at my keyboard trying to understand from where is this despair arising. The first time I felt it was with Shammi Kapoor and I have never been able to hear the Rockstar tune he performed without flinching ever since. Next was when Devsaab left us, the man we thought would go on and on living (and making films) even after we stop. He was my first love, I wrote about him here. Then Rajesh Khanna, then Shashi – that other breathtakingly beautiful Kapoor only comparable with his nephew Rishi. And then there was Sri…never mind. She was a piece of all our hearts. Sometimes, I think I will never accept she isn’t around anymore, I don’t, I won’t, I can’t.

Just like their films, and their eras they evaporated, taking with them everything that was special about growing up even in the dead, dank 80’s. And I am left screaming at the heavens at the injustice of it all. It was only films, after all, some would say. They were mere actors, others would say. They were only dream sellers and tricksters of your imagination, many would say. Yes, but then why did they stick so close to reality? Why did they inform life so dearly like it depended on them and their smiles, their styles, their guiles? If they were only dreams, is this how dreams always end? Taking away all those parts of your childhood that you thought would live on despite yourself?

But then, as you find out, they don’t. Those parts go where your beloved heroes and heroines go. And perhaps, it is better that way, they were meant to be together, they will be safe. As for us, who have been left behind, without our pasts and without all those who kept the past breathing long after it was gone, ‘we will always have Paris’. Long live, Irrfan, long live Rishi, and long live all the heroes and heroines taken away from us. I feel more anger than love right now, but as they say, anger is nothing but love that has no place to go so here is hoping all of them are feeling the love wanting to reach them. I have fused my past, my childhood, various parts of my identity and some of my best memories with you and sent them along to keep you safe and remind you that you will be loved always.

And that you will live forever. Wherever you go, we will always have Paris. I will meet you there.

Fatema Kagalwala

The well-intentioned, naïve, and dangerous smugness of Thappad.

New-age urban-liberal-feminist Bollywood is where women’s issues go to die.

Domestic Violence has been ‘dealt with’ in a popular Hindi film last weekend. How Thappad depicts it, what solution it suggests, is now part of the popular imagination. Tick. One more issue has been covered. No other film on this topic will be made for a long time. I think this is why the male dominated industry is now ‘allowing’, facilitating this new wave of ‘women oriented’ films – they are confident of the superficiality with which the issues will be ‘dealt with’. After all, this superficiality is made possible only by the mediocrity that they fathered and propagated.

The trailer promises it to be about You. Who ‘me’? Yes, there are common experiences as women, but surely, the writer is aware that even gendered values are determined by class, caste locations?

Writers’ lack of understanding of political and historical reality, the inadequate representations are often defended by the fraternity from any discourse by saying “This is the story we choose to tell.”

But wait a minute, you have made it for public consumption. You are saying it is the story of Indian women. But, it is Amrita’s story.

Amrita who is constructed as an emotional, vulnerable girl, and presented as a physically attractive, fragile body. A commodified domestic woman created by capitalist patriarchy is copied on to her page by a woman script writer.

Thereby, deleting the ‘inspiration’ part of the project.

This characterization, instead of empowering, makes a woman viewer feel inadequate. Not even one slap. See/this pretty girl does not take shit.

Unlike you.

The film does not show how to resist/protect against/survive violence, but shows that certain women do not have to take even a fraction of what is part of your everyday life.

One has learnt not to question the absence of say, a Muslim woman, or a middle-class working mother, but in a film about a slap – about a violation of physical self – surely one could also see a different kind of body, one not so fragile face?

Films in a popular space cannot shirk from the responsibility of varied representation.
If the film ignores difference, THE OTHER CAN NEVER BE REPRESENTED.

One token subplot – the only way the character and the writer can access the other half- enter, the domestic help!

The writer deigns to take a disdainful look at lower socio-economic class household. A working class couple that performs underpaid hard labour, and has complex, shared, survival strategies to feed their children is not granted any intelligence or grace in their marital intimacy by the film. The violence among the poor is shown as meaningless, crude, repetitive, almost comic as opposed to a one-time, almost accidental incident, but one that leaves the heroine’s vulnerable face with a permanently hurt and traumatized expression.

I remember that other domestic help (played by Ms. Hattangady) in Arth (1982. Dir: Mahesh Bhatt). This woman is also a victim of domestic violence. But the situation is problematized by her material struggle for a better future for her daughter – “English medium school”, a life unlike her mother’s. The violence is reversed when the Bai kills her husband – brought about by the unforgivable act of stealing the money that she has been saving for her daughter’s school admission.

In Thappad, in a beautiful conversation with her mother-in-law, Amrita suggests that the older lady start cooking classes. Something to keep the old lady engaged I suppose – closest the film comes to talk of a job from our protagonist.

Amrita, who, with a full time domestic help,and the whole day left to her after the cuteness of the morning routine, did only one hour work in her neighbor/friend’s house in the entire day!

Materialist feminism though, is not touched upon by the new urban feminist film projects because materialism feminism questions, along with patriarchy, also capitalism.

Which, is not allowed, I suppose, because the urban liberal feminist projects, are themselves, a part of capitalist production and distribution structures.

But if not livelihood struggle, surely sexuality can be allowed? Thappad does not attempt to question any of the sexuality issues that surround intimate partner violence.

In Thappad, not for a moment do we see sexual desire between Amrita and Vikram. The love she feels for him, does she miss him at night? Adult, sexual love – not the rather corny list of domestic tasks – feeding parathas at the car, handing him his wallet etc – that poor Amu has done for the family out of love! Love, as in love between two young people who are in an intimate co-habitation? Is there a moment, in all those days of separation when she is conflicted between anger and desire, or both simultaneously?
For example, what would the writer of Thappad say if I put it to her, that there is an interplay of fear, hurt and desire in marriages fraught with violence?

No, not because ‘those women have no choice’ in contrast to the repeatedly asserted ‘choice’ that the urban upper class artists seem to have, or because the women are masochistic(this is another malady that’s going around – this quick pseudo-psychological labelling of complex social phenomenon), which they are not.

Oh come on, don’t tell me you have never hummed Billie Holidays’ “My man don’t love me” ha ha!

Jokes apart, if those women are masochist, so are all of us, every time we are engaged in consensual lovemaking in our beautiful relationships of equality, for heterosexual intercourse is violent in the very nature of the act.

What if there is, really a connection between sexual desire and violence in not only the minds, but also real lives of some victims/resistors/surviors of intimate partner violence.

Violence as an experience, seemed to me to represent a point of intersection, of trajectories of hurt, touch, love, fear, hunger, and shame.” (On Bodily Love and Hurt, V. Geetha – A Question of Silence: The Sexual Economies of Modern India (ed. Janaki Nair, Mary E John)

Not just desire, but the hurt body itself does not disturb the pretty visuals. There are of course, to be no visibly broken/bruised parts – the main thing is the just-one-slap of course – but not even a slightly swollen face, or in the praised performance, perhaps just the feeling of her tooth with her own tongue while speaking in the post-slap scenes, or reaching out to close her ear – as people who have just been slapped tend to do, due to injury to the tympanic membrane – the ear drum. Nothing. Just the hurt expression, and the almost infantile insistence, repeated ad nauseum beginning at the trailers – Can’t hit. No fractures (not literally, darlings) to the impeccable appearance.

The violence almost not-there, and so the punishment.

“If she charges you with domestic violence, you will be in jail”

Not to worry, Vikram, the script will not put you in jail. Jail is to be filled with certain communities, certain classes- even the possibility of you, well-heeled you going there has never been dreamt by the script.

After the Love Actually kind of showing how everyone ended up, there is an emotional poem.
Supposed to be empowering, it in fact valorizes paternal protectionism. Amrita begins her single life, in a new flat, but under the nurturance and support of her father, and will now fulfill the dreams that father once had for her.

I remember the last scene of again, Arth (1982. Dir: Mahesh Bhatt) where Pooja (Ms. Azmi) lifts up her adopted daughter – a girl who, like Pooja, is an orphan. Pooja is beginning a new life, now taking responsibility for the life and future of another person.

Amrita, on the other hand, makes a point.


Nadi (Dr. Manasee Palshikar) has done her M.A (Gender, Culture and Development) from the Pune university, and has completed the course in Screenplay Writing from FTII, Pune.

Screenshot 2018-12-22 at 4.20.58 PM.pngYou can find old year round ups non filmi here – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

  • If you don’t want to waste time reading (you know because blogging is dead), scroll down straight to the playlist.
  • The post is filled with links and you must check out few of them especially where I am talking about Namit Das.
  • The selection here is what I came across as new albums came out and/or when someone shared something with me. The flip side of being permanently absent from social media is – losing out on good music reccos. Please feel free to add your reccos because I know that there is a lot that I have missed…or not.
  • If you want to have a quick look at the list here it is:
Song Album Singers
1 Hass ho gaya Sahotas Sahotas
2 Jigar mein dard Namit das Namit das + Anurag shankar
3 Jaantha tha Sanam puri Sanam revolution
4 Bawra Sahil Samuel Naalayak band
5 Marz Yellow diary Yellow diary
6 Tum ur main he to hain Zaraasa Pavan Gaikwad
7 Gaddi Zero to infinity Raftaar
8 May or Sheeda Young desi Young desi
9 Insaan Alif Alif
10 Sapne jeete hain Harpreet unplugged Harpreet
11 Baalkada
Coke Studio 11
Nagma, Lucky and Jimmy Khan
12 rap hai sara Lyari U.G. + Young Desi
13 wah jo kalaam Asrar, Shamu bai and Vishnu
14 Ya kareem Bridge of dreams Shubha mudgal
15 The awakening Live at the Amarrass desert festival Lakha khan
16 Mess Cold/Mess Prateek kuhad
17 Marijuana Shamoon ismail Shamoon ismail

Hass ho gaya Sahotas, remember them? Band of brothers who shot to prominence in early 1990s when ATN TV channel used to play music. Though I couldn’t find their ‘original’ music video of this song, I am happy that I could find them and put them on the list. Simple, non autotuned, a bit off note here and there and insanely enjoyable.

Jigar mein dard – Anurag Shanker and Namit DasI have written about the duo earlier this year as well. You have got to hear them live to know what dimension they bring to our dying ‘non-filmi-non shouting – non bollywoodlike’ genre. Namit’s alaap refuse to leave me to this day. As far as this song goes, well, hear it and feel yourself. With people like Namit on the scene, I do feel there would be a part resurgence of Ghazal or Ghazal like joy.

Jaanta tha – Sanam Puri and the gang – I know this came in 2015 but I heard it thanks to the album that came out this year. Beautiful, 90s-sque pop album grammar of this album,  wonderful experience.

Baawra – Nalayak band – I know Sahil Samuel came out with this song in 2017 but I didn’t come across it then, largely because they released a set of songs this year as an album and that is when I got a hold of it. It turned out to be a good outing and even though I found the lyrics to be a bit of a let down, I loved the sound of the band.

Marz – Yellow diary – Thanks to someone pointing me to Sony youtube channel earlier this year, I came across this explosive song. Though the follow up of this song with the album titled izaafa, wasn’t as good as the song Marz, I would love to see what Yellow diary does next. Do see and hear the the song. You won’t regret it. Word.

Tum aur main he to hain – Pavan Gaikwad – A simple album albeit too short had this lovely little gem..Do check it out.

GaddiRaftaar and Deep Kalsi – The space is filled with below average clowns who think wearing oversized clothes and having misogynistic lyrics in a song is enough. Raftaar is miles ahead of all of them in terms of talent and thank God for it. I loved his album Zero to infinity and especially this song did me in. It has a lovely little tribute to Babu mann as well.

May or Sheeda – Young Desi – This is a Punjabi rap that I discovered through a dearest bud in Pakistan. This is rap song. This is savage funny. Young desi is so kewl! Fun fact – somewhere in the song, this appears on screen ‘1947 was more injurious thank alcohol or smoking’. *Mic drop*

Alif – The find of this year for me. Though I cannot get over Katyo Chukho, I suggest you check his channel right away and Yes, do check out the song(?) in the playlist.
Sapne Jeete hain – Harpreet – Though it was still not as beautifully sung as he is capable of, this quiet little song of Harpreet penned by Dr. Shiv Bahadur Singh Bhadauria has remained a favourite of mine since last 3 years and thankfully now I can speak about it, openly.

CokeStudio 11 – Though we shared a playlist of our picks of this season earlier this year hereBaalkada, Rap hai sara and Waah jo kalaam refuse to leave my playlist and that is why I have included these 3 lovely songs in the playlist as well. Whatever happened to CokeStudio India at MTV (Remember Imran khan was the brand ambassador for it? Hahaha!)

Ya kareem – from Bridge of dreams – is a hauntingly beautiful song and though largely Shubha mudgal and the team has been embarassing in the whole album, this beauty stands out. It is not available on Youtube and if you want to listen to a portion of it, may be try iTunes or click on this link. 

Live at Amarrass desert festival – Yet another beautiful album that I discovered thanks to Amazon music.My favorite remains the awakening with which the album opens. It is done by Lakha khan sahab and boy does it pierce your heart..!

Mess – Prateek Kuhad – Of course the visuals play a large part in yours truly loving this song, (even the taxi seat cover adds to the mood). My heart is a mess…Prateek Kuhad you beauty and a big up to everyone associated with the song, in any capacity and what a way to end the year. Fantastic time to be alive and of course to die. May be check the live version at amazon music...it doesnt have that glass crackling vibrancy to it but a good enough vibe to accompany you as you cry slowly, alone.

Marijuana – Shamoon Ismail – Explore his channel, I implore you. His work is plain brilliance and buzz has it, we will see him in the next season of a popular music movement. This song here is one for long drives and for closed rooms where you find yourself, sitting with half finished chai, a cigarette you threw too soon, a longread article you promised you will read tonight…Listen on, you crazy people and till then remember – Toon jivain marijuana, Koe davay na drama, Chaliay baar tenu mein naal le ke jawan, Toon jivain marijuana, Tethoon jalay zamana,  Jaande loki nae jeray tera fasana

A Few Quick points and useless gyaan:

  • 2018 was an excellent film year and like someone said, it took 3-4 years of hard work and writing for everyone to find better stories and excellent execution of 2018. Let us hope our music scene (film and non film) is also where film making was 3-4 years ago.
  • Yes, I love Ali Sethi and it kills me to see Bollywood lifting songs that Ali has been re-imagining and Ayushman-khurana-ising it. Guess which one has more ‘views’? One example here and for the second one, search ‘kithay naina na jodi’.
  • If you are one of those who don’t get jealous of other people,  do not devoid yourself from what Shivani and Chhaya are doing. Check out their channel here. Check from oldest to current songs, there is just so much happiness and effort here with a bit of character progression as well. I hope Bollywood doesn’t corrupt them. I cannot run in the gym without the music they handpick for their dances. You have no idea how good their videos are. Real hardcore workout, real happiness, not sitting on sorry ass and making opinions about things on social media in a bid to get a job with those you ‘hate’. Hit it! brrrruah!
  • I hope non film songs (and not those by mainstream record companies) get a suitable outlet to come out with more songs. I am sad by what has happened in this area so far.

Quick useless gyaan:

  • If you are looking at non apple, sweat proof, bluetooth earphones, do not consider BOSE soundsport – they have a huge issue of battery drain. Don’t consider the skull candy SB wireless 2, they are not sweatproof.
  • If you are looking for good headphones and can do without noise cancellation, please pick V-Moda Crossfade Bluetooth 1. Do not pick the ‘latest’ model (BT CrossFade 2), their sound is not as good as the earlier model, though BT Crossfade 2 are more portable. If you are a confirmist and don’t want to invest in ‘weird’ design of V-Moda, then please stay happy with your QC35 Bose and some such. Fun fact – it is not about ‘design’ stupid!
  • If you are looking at buying a good sound dock, consider looking at these before making a choice –  Devialet Gold Phantom and Marshall Woburn.

Here is the Non film playlist and below that, the dinchak playlist. Happy new year!

Dinchak kyunki – badhaaiyan tere ot nu tere pot nu tere baaaap bantey got nu! 

Finis~

Mukkabaaz-2018-Full-Movie-Free-Download-720p

 

In the last 5 years, 2018 was easily the best when it came to film music. It was also the year in which the drip irrigation music release technique (‘release one song when you want and let them wait for the album’) was at its peak(?). At the time this post is getting baked, albums for the music release of Simmba (to be released on 28 December) and Zero (To be released in 3 days) are yet to hit the music listeners. So Boo you makers! for being so insecure and under-confident about music. I hope some sense penetrates your nonsensical surround sound system you cover yourself with, filled with Yes-men and favour seekers (who can also make a playlist for you, I hear). I have so much to say but I guess we should just get down to the business end now.

We have picked  one song per album, a rule I wish I could go around but am thankful it exists. Do suggest your favourites which aren’t on the list for I am sure I have missed some gems. Also, there is a separate Dinchak playlist that would be tagged along with the non film music post.

If you are in no mood to read, just scroll down to play the embedded playlist.

If you just want to have a quick look at the list, here you go.

No. Song Singer Lyrics Music
1 Adhura Main Deepak Thakur Vineet Kumar Singh Vineet Kumar Singh
2 Aaj Se teri Arijit Singh Kausar Munir Amit Trivedi
3 Binte Dil Arijit Singh A M Turaz Sanjay Leela Bhansali
4 Lae Dooba Sunidhi Chauhan Manoj Muntashir Rochak Kohli
5 Lo Safar Shuru Jubin Nautiyal Sayeed Quadri Mithoon
6
Shraddha Mishra
Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Sandesh Shandilya
Papon
7 Ae Watan Arijit Singh Gulzar Shankar ehsaan loy
8 ishq di baajiyan Diljit Dosanjh Gulzar Shankar ehsaan loy
9 Saansein Prateek Kuhad Prateek Kuhad Prateek Kuhad
10 Tera fitoor Arijit Singh Kumaar Himesh Reshammiya
11
Jonita Gandhi
Irshad Kamil
Niladri Kumar
Arijit Singh
12
Ammy Virk
Shellee
Amit Trivedi
Shahid Mallaya
13 Har Har Gange Arijit Singh Siddharth-Garima Sachet-Parampara
14 Naina Banjare Arijit Singh Gulzar Vishal Bhardwaj
15 Wo Ladki Arijit Singh Jaideep Sahni Amit Trivedi
16 Mere naam tu Abhay Jodhpurkar Irshad Kamil Ajay Atul

 

Adhura main – Being a fan of Deepak’s Harmonium accompanied voice since humnee ke chhori ke, it was easy to love this earthy song with emotions spilling all over the senses. Vineet, the composer and lyricist, has summarised the entire struggle in this fabulous song. You cannot listen to this song on repeat, that is how devastating it is.

Aaj se teri – Endearing, melodious, rich, simple and filled with love.

Binte dil – Though I am madly in love with Nainowaale ne and Ghoomar, I just couldn’t get beyond this mad mad song that has everything and a little more. Of course the song is composed and written very well, but for me, the refreshing whiff is Arijit‘s effortless singing. Those who tell you they loved Ranveer Singh because of ‘khali bali’, are actually thinking of this song. Yep.

Lae dooba – A song filled with Shiv Kumar Batalvi‘s mainu tera shabaab lae baitha vibe, Lae dooba gave us Sunidhi Chauhan the way we are almost forgetting she can touch your soul.

Lo safar shuru ho gaya – When Mithoon composes happy romantic songs without the Aashiqui-sque familiarity, such pleasant songs emerge and boy what a delight they are!

Raat yun dil mein – The first duet I liked this year. I dislike romantic songs but when Faiz is done right, it feels…Jaise beemar ko…bewajah qaraar aaye..The song cures you of ailments you didn’t know you had.

Ae watan  – A song in 2018 that celebrates ‘desh prem‘ subtly, a rare event these days. Pahuchu mein jahan bhi meri buniyaad rahe tu. Though towards the end of the song, I felt like I am listening to the end notes of ‘Noor e khuda’, it only made me love the song more.

Ishq di baajiyan – Though I didn’t enjoy the backup vocalists going a bit too hard on ‘door na jaa’, S.E.L.’s masterstroke of using Shankar Mahadevan‘s voice smartly did me in. Though it is the least ‘repeated’ song this year amongst all here, how can you not fall for Diljit Dosanjh’s charming voice?

Saansein – Main apne hee mann ka hausla hu, Hai soya jahan par mein jaga hu..Main peeli seher ka nasha hu…Main madhosh tha..ab main yahan hu. Prateek Kuhad, you beauty!

Tera fitoor – There is always time for an old fashioned, non autotuned fantastically composed romantic song from Himesh Reshamaiyya isn’t it? I don’t care how the video is, I love this song a bit too much for my own good I guess. Arijit Singh, are you human?

Ahista Ahista – Laila Majnu, the album delighted me in ways that A.R. Rahman’s albums used to. There is too much to thank this album for and I choose Ahista Ahista for the playlist. Irshad Kamil has penned easily the best film song of the year here. Doori ye kam hee na ho, main neendo mein bhi chal raha. Truly a song worth dying for.

Daryaa Mannmarziyaan was no Dev D, still it came dangerously close and broke everything that came its way this year. Both versions of this song are super good, still I feel the rush much more thanks to Ammy Virk‘s version. I could write pages about the way Ammy makes me soar. Most importantly, don’t forget – Shellee.

Har har gange – The most intense yet calm song of the year. Off late, We seem to hardly get spirituality right in Hindi films, let alone music. This is a beautiful exception. Tera karm hee hai jo sang tere hee jaaye. No intellectualising, just a simple message, delivered simply. Arijit singh, I love you.

Naina Banjare – I was so tempted to put the title song here, still this mad song took the better of me. Giri re giri babua, beech bajaare. Did you notice Arijit call Naina as Nahena…?

Wo ladki – The overarching tune, magnificent composition, irresistible singing and what atmosphere! Amit Trivedi, the dominator of the year!

Mere Naam tu – The only reason I have not put any song of Dhadak is because even the title song (which wasn’t as embarrassing as other ‘dubbed’ songs) had the stamp of Ajay Atul and you could predict the pace and sound of the song. This one however, has a ‘Jaadu teri nazar’ madness and that with the confident Abhay Jodhpurkar on the microphone is just too difficult to put away. Lastly and most importantly, Irshad Kamil. Yep.

P.S. – I feel compelled to mention a few more things here.

Genres that Hindi film music touched this year which I absolutely loved:

Friendship – Tera yaar hu main from Sonu ke Titu ki Sweety – If that horrible qawwali detour wouldn’t have existed in the song, this would have made it on the list above. Still, a good addition to the genre.

Sensuous done right –  Mujhe Chaand pe le chalo – A.R. Rahman misses a lot and hits far too few off late. Nikita Gandhi and Irshad Kamil ensured this one is a hit and boy does it stay hit! (With No-hea Kakkar-isation of every song these days, it is difficult to extract real emotions from the barrage of autotune-ness these days…and this is why, Mujhe chaand pe le chalo feels even more delicious).

Inquilaab – Azaad Kar – The film had other gems as well but somehow it was reassuring to hear a wistful Swanand Kirkire pay tribute to times we are living in.

Me, as I am – Tere jaisa tu hai – I love the song but for occasional shrillness. What I absolutely love are the opening lines. Hear them again if you cannot recall them.

Kashmir – Katyo Chukho – It would have been unfair to ‘trap’ this song in the main list above. This is the best song I have heard this year and this is a song for which I would always be thankful to the makers of Laila Majnu. They gave me Alif. A song to live by and die to. It is what Channa vey wanted to and what Agar tum saath ho was.

Infinite Joy (a.k.a. Bitiya rani) – I cried all 3 times that I saw the song on screen. Yep, this one. What brilliant work by Sunny Bawra-Inder Bawra, Kumaar and of course Shubha Mudgal.

2018 – One of the most difficult years to make this playlist and am glad it was so.

 

Screenplays form the starting point for most great dramatic films. This shapes the perspective from which all other filmmaking flows. All of the tender romance, terrifying action and memorable lines begin at the screenwriter’s desk. Would you want to learn the craft from a master craftsman?

Screenwriting structure:
Find out whether you should go with a simple ‘beginning-middle-end’? Or would you rather play with multiple timelines?

Synopsis and log-lines:
Learn how to write a logline apt for conveying the entire essence of your screenplay, and how long or short it should be.

Plot:
Essence of your story relies on how well you organize its core events. Learn how to manage the heart of your screenplay from someone who has been there and done that.

Formula:
Find out how do the experts write their way to successful stories. Learn the mantra of the industry professionals.

Plot Twists:
Could your plot-twist be abstract, and still be plausible? Learn how to make your plot twist impactful.

Dialogue Writing:
Know the dos and don’ts of writing dialogues, and how to make them believable and compelling.

Storyboard:
How to begin about converting your words into visual language? Learn the basics for crisp storyboarding.

About the Facilitator
A former reporter, Mumbai based columnist and screenwriter, Mayank Tewari rose to fame with Newton, his second feature as a screenwriter following his debut Ragini MMS in 2011. If you are an avid film buff, you may have read that Newton is India’s official entry to the Oscars in 2018.

Venue
The District – Bungalow No. 96
Jankidevi School Rd, Versova, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400061, India

Booking
on Insider.in

The Sundance Institute has announced the showcase of new independent feature films selected across all categories for the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, to be held in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort, from January 24 to February 3, 2019.

Ritesh Batra’s Photograph has been selected for the festival and is having its World Premiere there. Ritesh has directed and written the screenplay of the film, and the producers are Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino and Anish Savjani.

Synopsis
Two lives intersect in Mumbai and go along together. A struggling street photographer, pressured to marry by his grandmother, convinces a shy stranger to pose as his fiancée. The pair develops a connection that transforms them in ways that they could not expect.

The film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqi and Sanya Malhotra.

Danis Tanovic’s controversial film Tigers is getting a worldwide digital release on ZEE5 on 21st of this month.

The trailer of the film was dropped some time back. Do take a look.

Directed By: Danis Tanovic
Produced By: Prashita Chaudhary, Kshitij Chaudhary, Guneet Monga, Anurag Kashyap, Andy Paterson, Cat Villers, Cedomir Kolar and Marc Baschet
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Geetanjali, Adil Hussain & Danny Huston
Sceenplay: Danis Tanovic & Andy Paterson
Music: JAM8
DOP: Erol Zubcevic
Editor: Prerna Saigal
Sound Designer: Anthony B Jayaruban
Production designer: Rachna Rastogi & K.K. Muralidharan
Costume Designer: Niharika Bhasin khan
Casting: Seher Latif, CSA
Line Producer: Vishal Bajaj

Netflix concluded its inaugural content event in Asia, “See What’s Next: Asia” with a celebration of the company’s rapidly growing diverse content slate in India. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and chief content officer Ted Sarandos joined performers and creators from India to announce eight original films and a new original series. The showcase also included updates on four Indian original series that were previously announced.

“We celebrate India today with an incredible line-up of original films and series that are right now filming across India. This line-up cuts across genres from horror to fantasy and in locations from Leh to Mumbai. The breadth of stories with its local settings and complex characters is incredible and we can’t wait for people to discover and fall in love with them,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix.

The “Celebrating India” session at the event saw media and influencers from 11 countries across Asia witness the breadth and depth of Netflix Indian Originals. The updates on four original series include:

  • A trailer for Rajma Chawal, a humorous family drama set in Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, which is set to release globally on Netflix on November 30, 2018. Rishi Kapoor, Amyra Dastur, Aparshakti Khurana and Anirudh Tanwar act in the film, directed by Leena Yadav.
  • A teaser trailer for Selection Day, a series based on Aravind Adiga’s book of the same name. Produced by Anil Kapoor Film Company and Seven Stories Ltd, Selection Day is a coming-of-age drama about two brothers who are raised by their strict, obsessive father to be star cricket players.
  • The cast of upcoming series Baahubali: Before the Beginning, with Mrunal Thakur as Sivagami, Rahul Bose as Skandadasa, Atul Kulkarni, Vaquar Shaikh, Jameel Khan, Siddharth Arora and Anup Soni.
  • The cast of Leila, a dystopian fiction series produced by Deepa Mehta, including Huma Qureshi in the title role and Siddharth Suryanarayan.

Netflix rounded off these updates with the announcement of a new original series:

Typewriter is about a haunted house and a haunted book that stir the imagination of a group of young, wannabe ghost hunters, and a dog, determined to capture the ghost that plagues the notorious home in their neighbourhood in Goa. When a new family and their captivating daughter move into the haunted home, the crew finds it difficult to balance the demands of school and chores with the renewed urgency to capture the neighbourhood ghost before it is too late.

Underlining its investment in original films in India, Netflix unveiled eight new original Indian films spanning genres and involving the best of established and new Indian talent:

Chopsticks is about an under-confident but talented girl, sidestepped at every stage of her life, who seeks out an enigmatic con to help recover her stolen car from a goat-loving, crazy Mumbai gangster. In the process, she finds her confidence and place in the sun. Along with Mithila Palkar who won hearts in Netflix series Little Things 02, Abhay Deol and Vijay Raaz will act in the film. Chopsticks is produced by Ashvini Yardi of Vineyard Productions and directed by Sachin Yardi.

Bulbul, produced by Anushka Sharma and Karnesh Sharma’s Clean Slate Films, is a period piece set in a vibrant atmosphere amidst age-old beliefs and superstitions. Satya and his brother’s child bride, Bulbul, were inseparable until he was sent to England for his education. On his return, he finds Bulbul has been abandoned by his brother and now lives a solitary existence as the enigmatic lady-of-the-palace, dedicating herself to the welfare of the people. But their ancestral village is plagued by mysterious deaths and stories of a haunting by a woman who lives in the trees. Satya must find the truth behind the lore and save his village from the evil “chudail with the inverted feet”.

Upstarts is a bromance about three college graduates from small-town India, captivated by the startup mania sweeping the country. As they enter the rollercoaster startup ecosystem of big dreams, big money and bigger sharks, they are faced with a big choice – their dreams, or their friendship. Directed by Udai Singh Pawar, Upstarts is produced by Raja Menon, Janani Ravichandran and Jawahar Sharma of Bandra West Productions. This film is supported by real-life heroes from the startup world in Bengaluru.

Cobalt Blue, based on the best-selling novel of the same name, is the story of a brother and sister who fall in love with the same man, and how a traditional Marathi family is shattered by the ensuing events. This story brings out the pain and the beauty of forbidden love, and is written and directed by Sachin Kundalkar.

15th August, produced by Madhuri Dixit, is set in a Mumbai chawl, and follows the course of a single day as its residents prepare for the flag-hoisting ceremony. This Marathi film is about the struggles of middle-class India and in a soaring climax, it is about how love sets us free.

Music Teacher, directed by Sarthak Dasgupta, is a story about an emotionally troubled music teacher, essayed by Manav Kaul, who gets a chance to come to terms with his bitterness with an estranged student, now a renowned celebrity singer of Bollywood. The music teacher vows to get back everything he lost in the past risking all his achievements in the present day.

Hotel Mumbai tells the astonishing true story of the victims and survivors of the devastating attacks on Mumbai in 2008. The film directed by Anthony Maras stars Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher, Jason Isaacs. This film is available on Netflix in the SAARC region only.

Firebrand, directed by Aruna Raje and produced by Priyanka Chopra, Firebrand is a Marathi Film that follows a successful lawyer, a sexual assault victim played by Usha Jadhav, as she tackles difficult family cases while also dealing with intimacy issues in her own marriage. Girish Kulkarni essays the role of her husband Madhav Patkar, an architect by profession. Sachin Khedekar and Rajeshwari Sachdev play a couple in the movie which is high on drama.

About Netflix

Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with 130 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

Roma

Alfonso Cuaron’s latest will be discussed for weeks after release, for it’s ability to create conversations about family, employment, womanhood, relationships, ethnicity, culture, revolutions, politics, and, even dog poop. Roma will certainly develop religious followers across a period of time, especially because of it’s shot like an epic period drama but in fellini style, although not as surreal as the latter -Thanks for bringing fellini back. Cuaron’s latest is definitely his best work, although one can always argue otherwise.

Roma, being Cuaron’s semi autobiographical work takes us through the lives of two women who raised him, the young domestic worker, Cleo; and the mother of four, Sofia. Both these women have been abandoned by men, sketching out to grow into flawed, strong, and memorable characters. The narrative then follows Cleo’s journey into an unexpected pregnancy, and Sofia’s journey after her husband absconds away in the name of work.

roma

Roma starts with a scene of the floor being cleaned, and ends up at the sky. This film puts Alfonso Cuaron right up there with the likes of Fellini, Satyajit Ray, and Truffaut, who have made such epic semi autobiographical work from their childhood memories. Some of the sweeping pan shots of 360 degree need to be watched to believe, they look gorgeous on the big screen -why is this a Netflix film! Also, another achievement on the film would be the immersive sound design which takes you right into Mexico.

It would be criminal to not mention the breathtaking scene towards the end at a family holiday on the beach. The scene of Cleo and the kids in the sea is one of the best monochromatic scenes ever seen. This dripping with love, water, and, dog-poop poetry by Cuaron on his childhood memories and the women who shaped him is a must watch, his work is more empathetic than the people he is compared with earlier in this write up.


Climax 

Climax can easily be said to be Gasper Noe’s comeback. If not for the hype, I would’ve easily resisted watching another film by Gasper Noe, a filmmaker who has which always relied upon sensationalism, provocativeness, and intensely shocking narratives and visuals. His latest is more shocking and more deranged, but this time, his antics work in the favour of the story.

A troupe of young dancers have gathered in an old school building’s empty rehearsal hall for a party, which hits high notes of dance in the beginning but ends up hitting horrifying notes of a bad acid trip, which at some points you wish would get over earlier. Such is the horrifying portrayal of a young dance troupe’s party which quickly goes downhill.

image-w856

Noe’s comeback is innovative in its fixation of treating this as a dance film, even when people are dying of drug overdose. This is a break from Noe’s sexual obsession and stays true to his vision, the camera work accompanies the dance styles sequences as the camera flips and sweeps at so many occasions, as if the camera is also dancing on acid with the troupe. The visuals are so mesmerising that you end up sincerely watching even the horrifying ones towards the latter half. Gasper Noe is an important filmmaker because he gives us a break from the usual cinematic diet, providing visceral, stunning, and bold images of a young dance group, mostly women suffering from a bad trip of LSD. A strong mention for the kickass innovation, Gasper Noe has done with the credit sequences, randomly popping up in the film.

 

Woman at War

Weapons, check! Strategy, check! And of course a live band to accompany the warrior, check! This surreal Icelandic film, although conventional, has much to offer and enjoy. This political-musical-comedy is a terrific watch, where some dry Icelandic humour and absurd characters, spice up the otherwise conventional tale.

Halla, a middle aged choir director, has a secret mission, to bring down the heavy industrialisation in Iceland, using nothing but a bow and an arrow. Alongside, she has even written a new manifesto which is sent flying across the town as leaflets, found an accomplice in her long lost cousin, and, has gotten her application to adopt a girl child accepted in Ukraine. One cannot resist to stand by Halla’s strong resilience, whose living room has posters of Gandhi and Mandela.

womanatwar_1

This local Icelandic Robin Hood’s character is fleshed out extremely well, allowing the viewer to accompany her in this tough adventure, amidst stunning locations of Iceland, which are magically shot in the film, allowing the rural and rustic Iceland to grow into it’s own character for the film. The vibrantly offbeat mood of the narrative is accompanied brilliantly with the live band playing some eclectic music to support Halla. The weirdly placed jokes (deadpan humour style), like the one on Vikings, are sure to leave you in splits.

 

Touch Me Not

Romanian film ‘Touch Me Not’ raises questions about body, sexuality, and intimacy, in the most dishonest and non-intimate manner. This film has admirers who have awarded it the Golden Bear at Berlin, however, failed to raise any interest for me. The film manages to blend fiction with reality seamlessly, but ends up exploring more themes than it can handle. The strange relationship humans have with their bodies could have been a strong subject, this however is a huge missed opportunity.

Laura Benson is Laura, who appears in dialogue scenes with the director, discussing her issues with voyeurism. Christian Bayerlein is a man with spinal muscular dystrophy who wants to challenge body-image preconceptions. Tomas Lemarquis is looking at comparable ideas. It is all heading towards the sex club. The scenes featuring Christian, narrating his perception about beauty and touch are some of the only watchable parts of the film. The rest of the affair is extremely naive, petty, and radical to an extent that it can be an attempt of narcissistic filmmaking.

donottouch-750x400
Harsh Desai

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.