Archive for the ‘film’ Category

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

“NARI TERI YAHI KAHANI TO #BoreMatKarYaar”

A SCREENWRITING WORKSHOP BY PAROMITA VOHRA ON GENDER SENSITISATION

Feminist ideas always show up as an exception in Hindi films – or most films for that matter. It is crisis, revolution, morality play around themes of rape, dowry, divorce, revenge, victimhood or heroism. But does a feminist film always come waving a flag? Or can we imagine it more interestingly, more true to life, more humorous and sexy with more smarts and heart? Could Hindi Masala RomCom be more feminist than a film about feminism? Are songs and beauty, love and interiority full of feminist possibility (Yes!)? Can we write different female characters without writing different male characters? Can we re-conceptualise ‘issue-based films’? In other words – can we imagine an effortless feminism? One that is part of every kind of film?

Paromita Vohra is a writer & a filmmaker whose work mixes fiction and non-fiction to explore themes of urban life, popular culture, love, desire and gender. Her films as writer include the internationally released feature Khamosh Pani/Silent Waters and as well as the play Ishqiya Dharavi Ishtyle. She is the founder and Creative Director of Agents of Ishq (a unique digital project about sex & love in India)

Date: November 15th, 2018 (Thursday) Time: 05:30 PM

Venue: SWA Office, 201 – 204, Richa Building, Plot No. B – 29, Off New Link Road, Opposite Citi Mall, Andheri (West) Mumbai

NOTE: Only for SWA members. To attend, RSVP by sending an email to contact@swaindia.org Limited seats (for first 45 members only – On ‘First Come, First Served’ basis).

Details: www.swaindia.org/blog/gender-sensitisation-workshop-by-paromita-vohra/

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.

Come November 21st, and fans of Danis Tanovic can watch his much awaited and controversial film Tigers, on Zee’s online streaming platform ZEE5.

The film, based on a real life story, stars Emraan Hashmi, where he plays a Pakistani salesman Syed Aamir Raza, who is fighting a company (allegedly Nestle) whose baby formula is killing infants. The starcast of the film includes Adil Hussain, Supriya Pathak, Danny Huston and Satyadeep Mishra. Allegedly, Nestle paid the makers of the film not to release the film in theatres.

It’s produced by Guneet Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment, and is ZEE5’s first original Hindi film. It premiered at TIFF 2015.

Tanovic has directed films like Death in Sarajevo, Hell, Triage, and No Man’s Land – which won him an Academy Award in 2002.

The hype, the excitement, the wait ends today.
Sriram Raghavan’s Andhadhun releases. And everyone is eager to watch it to know the answers to the questions the trailer raised.

Meanwhile, why not give a viewing to the short that is supposed to have given Sriram Raghavan the core idea of the movie?

Here’s French short The Piano Tuner, by Olivier Treiner.


While we gawk over the intense trailer of Tumbbad that was dropped yesterday, there are rave reviews for the film from the largest genre specific film festival in the US, Fantastic Fest.


‘Tumbbad’ Review: A Striking Artistic Display of the Catastrophic Temptations of Fate
– Matt Donato on SlashFilm

Tumbbad bridges gaps between different worlds – India and any viewer’s homeland – through a common language: storytelling. Costumes and cityscapes may be unfamiliar, but Hastar’s terrifying chase sequences require no translation when it comes to horror appreciation. Mad creature-feature designs, Academy-worthy blends of color and pristine optical packaging, despicable character work meant to provoke heartlessness traded for materialistic grandiosity – Tumbbad is a full genre package seasoned with a pungent foreign kick. A welcoming breed of horror that transcends barrier, creeds, and beliefs.

Fantastic Fest 2018: TUMBBAD Review – Fantasy Folk Horror That Drips With Atmosphere – Jonathan Barkan on Dread Central

Never really a scary film, Tumbbad is more focused on the horror of human behavior than it is on creaking doors and the terror of what lurks in the dark.

Fantastic Fest Interview: Tumbbad Brings Horror to India – Adesh Prasad’s interview in The Austin Chronicle

Fantastic Fest 2018: Adesh Prasad and Jesper Kyd talk “Tumbbad” – co-writer and co-director, Adesh Prasad, and the film’s composer, Jesper Kyd, in an interview with Jackie Ruth in ShuffleOnline

Fantastic Fest 2018: ‘Tumbbad’ is a Feast of Mythology, Greed and Effective Horror – Trey Hilburn III on iHorror.com

It’s rare that something comes together as well as the trifecta of score, direction and scope does, but Tumbbad manages to create something really special, while making sure to keep things nice and horrifying along the way.

Apart from producer and actor Sohum Shah, the film also stars Jyoti Malshe, Dhundhiraj Prabhakar Jogalekar, Anita Date and Deepak Damle, and is releasing in India on October 12th.


While we all wait for Rima Das’ Village Rockstars’ theatrical release, there is more good news for the film and its fans.

Village Rockstars has been selected as India’s official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars.

The 12-member selection committee of the Film Federation of India, led by Kannada producer-director Rajendra Babu, announced the decision after watching 28 entries, which included Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi, R Balki’s Padman, Shoojit Sircar’s October, Dipesh Jain’s Gali Guleiyan, Nila Madhab Panda’s Halka, Siddharth Malhotra’s Hichki, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, Tabrez Noorani’s Love Sonia, Ashwin Nag’s Savitri biopic Mahanati, Ravi Jadhav’s Nude, Chezhiyan’s To-let, Rahi Barve’s Tumbbad, Sukumar’s Rangasthalam, Rahul Bhole and Vinit Kanojia’s Reva and Deb Medhekar’s Kabuliwala adaptation Bioscopewala.

The director-cinematographer-editor-producer Rima Das says, “I have been waiting for this day and praying! Luckily, I got this news in my village at Chhayagaon, Assam (I arrived last night) I am glad that I am with my family and the cast of the film. Otherwise, a news like this, if you are alone in some far off land, could put you off the balance! Although I have been jumping around uncontrollably and creating all sorts of a nuisance. I still can’t believe that our film is India’s Oscar entry. I am pinching myself, screaming shouting with joy.”

She adds, “We are totally overwhelmed by the announcement that Village Rockstars is India’s official entry to Oscar this year. I am so grateful to the selection committee for believing in our film.”

The film which had its World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival and India Premiere at Mumbai Film Festival 2018 has screened in more than 70 prestigious international and national film festivals and won 44 awards including 4 National Awards (Best Feature, Best Editing, Audiography and Child Artist).

It was an official selection at Film Bazaar Recommends (at NFDC Film Bazaar 2016), 2017 Marche du Film (Cannes) Work-In-Progress, San Sebastian International Film Festival 2017.

Until now only three Indian films have made it till the last round and were, as a result, nominated in the foreign language film category at the Oscars – Mehboob Khan’s Mother India (1957), Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay! (1988), and Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan (2001).

The 91st Academy Awards is scheduled to be held on February 24, 2019.

Here’s Rima Das sharing her joy on Twitter:


(Photo by Aditya Varma. You’ll want to keep an eye on this talented fella.)

After touring film festivals the world over, Nandita Das’ eponymous film on Saadat Hasan Manto releases in theatres today. While we are excited to watch it, and hear from others about how they like it, here’s something from someone who has worked on the film.

Anubhav Dasgupta had posted this on his Facebook page initially, and we thought it’d be a fit here at MFC. Anubhav has worked on Manto’s post-production.

Over to Anubhav:

In the summer of 2017, I was doing nothing. I’d practically severed ties with everyone I knew and I wasn’t close enough with my Whistling Woods friends to really hang out with them. Consumed by ennui and the buzzing background noise of clinical depression, I barely acted or reacted to anything that was happening around me. The fact that I had topped my batch earlier in the year did nothing to stir my spirits. I was just pretty fucking down, man, and I recognised that as a problem. I got an email about a senior student asking for an additional editor and one of my professors had recommended me, impressed as he was by my work throughout the first quarter of the editing course. Having little else to do, I jumped on it.

Shashwat Gandhi and Yugshrestha Karpatne had adapted Saadat Hasan Manto’s sweet and quietly devastating tale of child prostitution, Dus Rupay, as Five Hundred Rupees for their final year diploma film. Their original editor had begun working with Subhash Ghai but their lovely film remained unfinished so I stepped in to help them complete it. I didn’t think much of Manto back then. I was exposed to his work by a few adaptations fellow colleagues had done and I was quite turned off by the use of schlock and horror. Male perspectives presented his stories as nothing but lust and violence and relied less on the depth and empathy Manto brought to his characters than the violent twists and lurid storytelling. Having avoided Manto because of these misrepresentations, Manto’s stories remained unread. I thought that Five Hundred Rupees would be the end of my sojourn with Manto but I was wrong. I don’t know what forces were in play, but Manto found his way into my life once again.

The work I did on Five Hundred Rupees would lead me to a chance meeting and that chance meeting would lead to a WhatsApp message asking whether I would like to assist on a feature film. It was being directed by a reputed woman filmmaker and starred one of my favourite actors, so I replied, “Yeah sure, why not?” and didn’t hear back from them.

A few weeks later, I was at a crosswords store, browsing their Indian fiction section, shifting aside the usual Durjoy Dutta and Chetan Bhagat schlock to find a copy of Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy. I took it in my hands, leafed through it and balked at the price point. As I carefully slid it back into its spot, I noticed a book with an orange cover right next to it. I pulled it out, Bitter Fruit — A Collection of Short Stories by Saadat Hasan Manto, and just looked at it for a bit. At that same instant, my phone rang and someone asked me if I could make it to Bandra in a few hours. School was out, so I answered in the affirmative. Then I had lunch and set off to Bandra on a Sunday. And that’s how my Manto journey began.

I joined in as an edit intern, late in the film’s post-production stage. It was pretty much complete but Nandita Das wanted to cut it down a little more and needed someone who could carry out the necessary exports as the film neared completion. Manto had a small in-house team — initially just me and her assistant Riya — and I found myself taking up more responsibility than I’d anticipated. And through the film Manto, Manto the man and the writer was revealed to me. The film peeled away the layers of grime and violence and revealed the true core of Manto’s stories: empathy, even for the cruellest and the worst, and a terrible sadness at the things that men do. His works and writings became a prism through which I processed my own feelings about the state of the world, the division and the cruelty that men have succumbed to, the blatant permission to commit cruelty that the current rulers seem to have signed off on. The film, too, is in part Nandita’s response to our times. I’ve seen it nearly a hundred times now as a result of my work and each viewing reveals a new detail, a new perspective, evident of the fact that the film was made with a lot of love and passion. Some days I’m moved by it, some days I’m ambivalent. I’ve been moved to tears by it just the one time, but maybe the first time will do it for you. It’s a good film with great scenes, two of which remain my favourite scenes from any film this year.

In some way, because of the coincidences, and especially of Manto leading me to Manto, I believe I was meant to work on this, for my own selfish self-improvement if nothing else. I’ve come in contact with some of the most talented and eminent people in the course of this journey, Sneha Khanwalker, Avani Rai, Tahir Bhasin, Resul Pookutty, Nawazuddin, Rasika Dugal, Kartik Vijay, Manto’s daughters Nuzhat and Nusrat, Nasreen Munni Kabir, Ashok Kumar’s daughter Bharti, Cameron Bailey, just to name a few. This has been one of the more fulfilling experiences of my life so far and I think I’m not the only person who has been changed by working on Manto. It was a special experience for everyone involved.

In becoming an inextricable part of my life Saadat Hasan Manto has achieved his ultimate revenge on me, someone who was militantly ignorant of his works, who went out of his way to avoid Manto. I cannot escape him now, and I’m glad to join the ranks as a Manto fan.

All I’ll say is, I’m proud to have worked on this film, to have worked on a film that I quite like, featuring some of my favourite actors, Neeraj Kabi, Rajshree Deshpande, Nawazuddin, and more, and a film that couldn’t be any more relevant, when the people in power have decided that they do not like what we say and want to rule through paranoia and phantom enemies. Please watch it tomorrow, I can’t assure you that you’ll like it, but I’m sure you will feel the passion and love that has gone into every frame of the film. I would like to thank everyone who was instrumental in making this happen, the people I know, the people I don’t and the people who I have come to know through this film.

Here’s to many more.

Please watch Manto. Out in theaters in this Friday. It’s been made with a lot of love, reverence and passion.

Anubhav Dasgupta

Filmmaker Rima Das’ National Award winning film Village Rockstars is slated for a Pan-India theatrical release on 28th September, 2018.

The film will be released through VKAAO, a joint venture of PVR Pictures and Bookmyshow in metros cities of India and in more than 30 screens in Assam through Kamakhya Films.

Village Rockstars is the story of Dhunu, a girl who grows up in poverty and learns to fend for herself. However, that does not prevent her from following her dream of forming a rock band and owning a guitar someday. Most of the cast members of the film are non-actors including Rima Das’ niece Bhanita who plays Dhunu and the other kids who hail from Das’ native village in Assam.

The film which had its World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival and India Premiere at Mumbai Film Festival 2018 has screened in more than 70 prestigious international and national film festivals and won 44 awards including 4 National Awards (Best Feature, Best Editing, Audiography and Child Artist)

It was an official selection at Film Bazaar Recommends (at NFDC Film Bazaar 2016), 2017 Marche du Film (Cannes) Work-In-Progress, San Sebastian International Film Festival 2017

Rima Das’ debut film as a writer-director-producer, Man with Binoculars (Antardrishti) premiered at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2016. Village Rockstars, her second feature, premiered at Toronto International Film Festival 2017 under Discovery Section. Bulbul Can Sing made its World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival 2018 and will make its South Asia Premiere at the prestigious 23rd Busan International Film Festival 2018.