Archive for the ‘News’ Category


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:

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.

The 2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival 2018 (Sg.SAIFF) will open with actor-director Nandita Das’ Manto which stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the titular role as Sadat Hassan Manto and follows the most tumultuous years and times in the life of the famed writer and of the two countries he inhabits — India and Pakistan.

The 2nd edition of the festival held from 5th to 14th October 2018 in Singapore will commence with an opening ceremony on 5th October at Carnival Cinema and close on 13th October at Resorts World Sentosa will also include the awards ceremony.

The film was chosen for the prestigious Un Certain Regard section at Cannes 2018 and features an impressive ensemble of actors including Rasika Duggal, Rajshri Deshpande, Rishi Kapoor and Paresh Rawal. The screening at SGSAIFF 2018 marks the film’s South East Asian premiere and will be attended by Nandita Das.

Das who will be presenting the film at the festival says, “We are delighted to screen Manto as the opening film at SGSAIFF. Manto was very much a South Asian writer. But unlike the Europeans, we South Asians do not own this identity, despite many cultural and social similarities amongst the countries in the region. Therefore, it is important to support such festivals that celebrate cinema from the Subcontinent. Last year, SGSAIFF screened a film I acted in, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai as the opening film, which is yet to be released. I was unfortunately unable to make it. So, I very much look forward to attending it this year.”

Abhayanand Singh, Chairperson of SGSAIFF, whose association with Nandita Das started with Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai, the film co-produced by his production company, Muvizz says, “It’s a great honour to open the 2nd edition of SGSAIFF with one of the most important Indian films of this year, MANTO. We are happy that Nandita Das accepted our invitation to come and present the film at the festival.”

The SGSAIFF 2018 lineup which will be announced shortly includes an interesting mix of features, documentaries and shorts which includes titles from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan.

About The South Asian Singapore Film Festival

Singapore South Asian International Film Festival (Sg.SAIFF) is devoted to a greater appreciation of South Asian cinema and culture. The festival seeks to support emerging filmmakers, open a fertile space for dialogue and collaborations within the industry, and most significantly share with the audience of Singapore the diverse and complex experiences of South Asia through the intimate storytelling medium of cinema.

With the impetus to effectively channel the expansion of South Asian cinema beyond the subcontinent and engage with a wider spectrum of audience. Singapore with its sizable population of South Asian descent, is a natural choice for this purpose. Supported by the Singapore Indian High Commission(IHC), the festival is a landmark initiative to serve as a cultural gateway between the global city of Singapore and the developing nations of South Asia.

Singapore, being the gateway of Asia, only enhances the potential of the festival to emerge as the melting pot of diverse cultures using cinema as a medium.

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The Dharamshala International Film Festival is pleased to announce the DIFF Film Fellows Programme 2018. The Film Fellows initiative, which saw its inception in 2014, aims to encourage and develop filmmaking talent in the Indian Himalayan regions by offering mentorship opportunities with established filmmakers.

This year, the programme will focus specifically on filmmakers from Himachal Pradesh.

The programme will provide a much-needed opportunity to budding filmmakers from Himachal Pradesh who would otherwise have limited or no access to these resources. Five young filmmakers from the HP region will be selected and invited to attend DIFF, participate in its various events, and benefit from one-on-one mentorship sessions with established filmmakers.

Previous DIFF Film Fellows have come from across the Himalayan region, from Ladakh all the way to Arunachal Pradesh, and are now engaged in various stages of their filmmaking career.

Siddharth Chauhan, last year’s film fellow from Himachal Pradesh, and the director of Pashi (2017) says: “DIFF Film Fellows Programme was a break I desperately needed in my life and career. Surrounded by beautiful mountains, young people and the amazing two mentors (filmmakers Gurvinder Singh and Kesang Tseten) I got to learn and unlearn so many facets of filmmaking.”

The deadline for applying to this programme is 24 September 2018. Applicants must be between 18-45 years of age and hold bonafide Himachali certificates.

A jury made up of eminent filmmakers will review all applicants and the final selection of the five fellows will be announced by 1st October 2018.

Rules & Regulations
  1. The DIFF Film Fellows programme accepts applications from aspiring Film Directors.
  2. Applicants must be in the age group 18 to 45.
  3. Applicants must be from Himachal Pradesh.
  4. Applicants must submit a completed entry form together with a link to a short film they have directed.
  5. Films submitted must be shorter than 20 minutes in duration but may include excerpts from longer films. In the latter instance, please do not send the full film.
  6. Films can be submitted as a link on Vimeo, YouTube, etc.
  7. Non-English-language film must be subtitled in English.
  8. Films may be of any genre: fiction; documentary; experimental; animation; etc.
  9. A panel of industry professionals will judge the entries and their decision will be final.
  10. The application deadline is 24th September 2018.
  11. Successful applicants will be notified by 1st October 2018.

To apply for the fourth DIFF Film Fellows Programme, please download the application form below and send your completed application to info@diff.co.in and programmingassistant@diff.co.in by 24th September 2018.

Subject Line: DIFF Film Fellows Application.

DIFF FILM FELLOWS PROGRAMME ENTRY FORM

More details: DIFF Film Fellows

Ivan Ayr’s debut film Soni, which is making its world premiere at the 75th Venice Film Festival under the Orizzonti Competition category just released its first look poster and trailer.

It is the only Indian feature to compete at the festival.

Summary of the film

Soni, a young policewoman in Delhi, and her superintendent, Kalpana, have collectively taken on a growing crisis of violent crimes against women. However, their alliance suffers a major setback when Soni is transferred out for alleged misconduct on duty.

Soni had won the Facebook Award for Best ‘Work-In-Progress’ Project and Prasad DI Award for the Best Film In ‘Film Bazaar Recommends’ section at NFDC Film Bazaar 2017.

The film has a running time of 97 minutes and features newcomers Geetika Vidya Ohlyan and Saloni Batra in lead roles. The producers are Kimsi Singh and Kartikeya Narayan Singh, whose previous credits include the 2015 Cannes Un Certain Regard Selection Chauthi Koot.

The 7th edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival, in association with the Paddy & Joan Leigh Fermor Arts Fund, announces the launch of the Dharamshala PJLF Editing Workshop 2018.

The Editing Workshop will be mentored by Internationally renowned editor Jacques Comets, editor and Artistic Director of the International Film Festival of Kerala Bina Paul, and Producer and Script & Editing Mentor Olivia Stewart.

Eligibility

The application for the workshop is only open to Director/Editor teams who are working closely together as equal collaborators on the edit of an Indian-language (including in English) feature film.

The film can be at any stage between rough-cut and fine cut and should be at least 90 minutes long. Indian-language films will need to have English subtitles.

Submission process

The following information must be submitted to: diffeditingworkshop@gmail.com

  1. Name of Director
  2. Address, email and mobile number of Director
  3. Short filmography of Director
  4. Name of Editor
  5. Address, email and mobile number of Editor
  6. Short filmography of Editor
  7. Short synopsis of film (max 200 words)
  8. Short statement outlining the reasons why Director and Editor want to enter their film for the Editing Workshop (max 200 words)
  9. Link to rough cut/fine cut with English subtitles

Submission deadline: 22 September 2018.
The decision of the Selection Committee will be final.
Two teams of director & editor will be given a chance to screen their film, receive feedback from a team of experienced film professionals and have two follow-up sessions working with the Editing Mentor on revising their cut and/or concentrating on particular sequences in their film.

Application Deadline & Dates

Applications are open from 23 August 2018 and the submission deadline is 22 September. The two selected projects will be announced on 8 October.

The two selected Director/Editor teams will be invited to come to Dharamshala for seven days from 29 October to 4 November. All their expenses including travel and stay will be covered by the workshop.

Editing Workshop Mentors: Bina Paul and Olivia Stewart
Editing Mentor: Jacques Comets
Selection Committee: Umesh Kulkarni, Bina Paul and Tenzing Sonam

Ritu Sarin + Tenzing Sonam

More details: http://diff.co.in/dharamshala-pjlf-editing-workshop-2018/

NFDC Film Bazaar 2018 is calling for entries for the Viewing Room and the Work-in-Progress (WIP) Lab.

– Film Bazaar will be held from November 20-24, 2018 at the Goa Marriott Resort.

– The Early Bird Deadline for submissions is August 31, 2018, which will offer a discount on the submission fees. The last date for submission of completed applications is September 14th 2018.

WIP Lab

– Submissions are invited for the WIP Fiction lab.

– Up to five projects in their rough-cut stage will be selected to be presented to a panel of international film experts for their feedback.

– Feature-length fiction films of any genre in the rough-cut stage are invited to apply to the WIP lab.

Viewing Room

The Viewing Room will present films seeking finishing funds, world sales, distribution partners and film festivals to investors, world sales agents and film festival programmers attending the film bazaar. Here, films are viewed on individual computer terminals in private booths via a specially designed software which allows the users to contact the director or producer of the film via email.

– Films (fiction/documentary) of all genres and lengths in rough or final cut are invited to apply to the Viewing Room.

– Feature length films in the rough cut are eligible to apply to both WIP lab and Viewing Room.

– Short films can also be submitted to the Viewing Room, which will be showcased in a category called Short Films.

– For application form and other details, click here.

The films that were a part of the previous Work-in-Progress Labs at Film Bazaar have had their world premieres at leading international film festivals and some have even gone on to enjoy a successful theatrical run. These include Raam Reddy’s Thithi, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s Nil Battey Sannata, Kanu Behl’s Titli, Avinash Arun’s Killa, Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely, Anand Gandhi’s Ship of Theseus, Ajay Bahl’s BA Pass, Ere Gowda’s Balekampa, Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha, Dipesh Jain’s Gali Guleiyan.