Archive for the ‘Film Festival’ 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.

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.

Jafar Panahi’s 3 Faces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters

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

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

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

Jean-Luc Godard’s The Image Book

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

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Harsh Desai

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Btw, Bebaak means fearless.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Supposed to greatly divide audiences. About modern sexuality

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

    Delightful modern rom-com

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

    Only Indian film in the International Competition

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

    Colombia’s entry for the Oscars

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

    Iceland’s entry for the Oscars

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

    Mexico’s entry to the Oscars

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

    South Korea’s entry to the Oscars

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

    Spain’s entry to the Oscars

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

    Sweden’s entry to the Oscars

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

    Uruguay’s entry to the Oscars

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

    Documentary on Kailash Satyarthi

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

    African American detective infiltrates a KKK conspiracy

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

    Musical Horror

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

    Claire’s first English feature

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

    Horror-comedy about a cursed dress in a departmental store

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

    Would be out on Amazon US on October 12

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

    Already released in the US

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

    Western anthology written by the Coen brothers

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

    Already released in the US

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

    First woman to win Direction award at Locarno

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

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

    Already released in the US

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

    Opening Film

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

We have all been witness to the recent outpourings from various women in entertainment, media and film industry and other walks of life about their experiences with men crossing the line, taking liberties with their personal space and sexual harassment. This is being called India’s #MeToo movement, some people have also coined the hashtag #MeTooIndia for it. What started with Tanushree Dutta’s allegation of Nana Patekar, and then accounts of incidents about stand-up comic Utsav Chakraborty, soon snowballed and was used as a platform to expose behaviour of many people in comedy, media, films – almost the entire AIB gang, Chetan Bhagat, Vikas Behl (and in this connection Anurag Kashyap), and Rajat Kapoor amongst others, for their behaviour with women assistants, journalists and colleagues. And even how people who were made aware of these incidents in the past chose to not do anything about them.

MAMI being a well-known festival and academy has shown support for the movement through their social handles.

The content of the note is:

We as an Academy (MAMI) strongly support the #MeToo movement. In light of recent developments, we have decided to drop the following films from our line up – AIB’s Chintu Ka Birthday and Rajat Kapoor’s Kadakh. We want to use this opportunity to open up the conversation and find solutions to harassment and sexual misconduct in the workplace. Starting with this edition of the festival, we would like to unite the community to find positive and constructive ways to deal with it.

This is definitely big news for women safety and consent, at least for the entertainment industry!


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.