Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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The 4th Indian Screenwriters Conference

SO NEAR, SO FAR: DO OUR STORIES REFLECT INDIA’S REALITY?

The Film Writers Association is back with its biggest, most prestigious and popular event for Indian Screenwriters.

Date : August 3-4, 2016
Venue : St. Andrews Auditorium, Bandra West
To register :  Click here

A quick summary of sessions

1. THE FEMININE FACTOR
Are female actors getting better roles now? Is our audience comfortable only with stereotypical women characters? Are we ready to have a more realistic gender equation on screen?

2. SERIAL KILLERS
Does our current TV content reflect our times and society? Why are we stuck in some unchangeable grooves? What is the way out?

3. WRITERS & PRODUCERS: PARTNERS OR ADVERSARIES?
Writers feel they are undervalued while producers complain of lack of quality scripts. How can this relationship be made more collaborative, more mutual, and more productive for both?

4. LITTLE BIG FILMS
Small films, driven by strong scripts and the passion of the filmmakers, are increasingly ending up as surprise successes. What is the scope and future of such efforts?

5. DECODING THE DIGITAL
The exodus of producers & studios is moving towards the web. What is the business of web entertainment like? Is the Internet answer to our creative and economic issues?

6. THE BUSINESS OF TV WRITING
The leverage of the TV writer is growing; it appears, with him/her turning into a producer. Is this the model for all TV writers to move towards?

– Reputed journalist and Ramon Magsaysay awardee, P. Sainath will deliver the keynote address, while the renowned poet Ashok Vajpeyi will be the Chief-Guest.

– Confirmations are streaming in from the invited speakers, panelists and special guests, including Javed Akhtar, Gulzar, Siddharth Roy-Kapur, Ronnie Screwvala, Gaurav Banerjee (Star), Anooj Kapoor (SAB TV), Ritesh Sidhwani, Jaideep Sahni, Sriram Raghavan, Vishal Bhardwaj, Danish Khan (Sony), Ravina Kohli (Epic), Juhi Chaturvedi, Rajat Kapoor, Hansal Mehta, Jayesh Patil, Aatish Kapadia, Purnendu Shekhar, Shridhar Raghavan, Nagraj Manjule, Neeraj Ghaywan, Sonali Jaffer, Shashi Mittal, Varun Grover, Himanshu Sharma, Sudip Sharma, Saurabh Tiwari, Biswapati Sarkar and many more writers, writer-directors, and producers.

– On August 3, Dastangoi performance from 6:30 – 8:00 PM

– Click here, here and here to read some of our previous coverage of the conference.

 

DIFF

Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) 2016 invites submissions for the 3rd DIFF Film Fellows Programme – a Himalayan Filmmakers’ Lab that aims to develop filmmaking talent across India’s Himalayan regions.

– The residential programme features mentorship sessions, screenings of the best of contemporary independent cinema, masterclasses by visiting filmmakers and industry professionals, and panel discussions on contemporary filmmaking.

– This year, the mentorship sessions will focus on ‘The journey from idea to script in documentary filmmaking’, ‘Alternative forms of expression in documentaries’, ‘Producing a fiction short’, ‘Choices in constructing a narrative’, ‘Producing a short in anticipation of making a feature’.

Eligibility 

The DIFF Film Fellows Programme is open to aspiring directors from any of the following regions: Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarkhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and the hill regions of West Bengal and Assam.

– DIFF is searching for film directors who are interested in polishing their skills and increasing the impact and reach of their work.

– Applicants must have made a least one film — a short or feature — and be aged between 18 and 30.

(Please refer to the DIFF Film Fellows Rules and Regulations for more detailed information)

How to Apply  

– Applicants should submit the duly completed Application Form (no application fee) with a film they have directed. A jury of three film professionals will review the applicants’ films, essays and notes on future projects, and select five DIFF fellows.

– Selected candidates must be able to attend all workshop sessions and participate in festival screenings and events.

– The application aorm is available on the website.

Application Deadline 

– Applications must be submitted by 16 August 2016. They may be sent by email to info@diff.co.in (please mention <DIFF Film Fellows 2016 – Application>, in the subject line).

– Successful candidates will be notified by 19 September 2016.

Where and When Mentorship sessions: 1–3 November 2016. Festival screenings and events: 3–6 November 2016. Venue House of Peace and Dialogue, Upper TCV, Dharamshala.

Fellowship Inclusions – The programme will cover train fares (two-tier AC) and food and lodging for the duration of the workshops and festival (1–6 November 2016).

– To know more about the DIFF Film Fellowship Program, please click here.

 

writingNFDC India has selected six projects for the 10th Edition of NFDC Film Bazaar Screenwriters’ Lab.

The Screenwriters’ Lab is part of NFDC Labs’ ongoing initiative to develop original voices and stories from India. The selected participants work with mentors to explore their stories in one-on-one as well as group sessions and master classes. Aimed at domestic as well as international markets, the projects will be pitched to producers and investors in a specially designed session during Film Bazaar 2016. Like the last two years, this edition of the lab will continue its collaboration with Sarajevo International Film Festival.

– The selected projects include scripts in various regional languages, a Tamil script, Heart and Soul; two Malayalam scripts – Spirogyra and The Ward; a Bengali script, The Gift; a Punjabi script, Unresolved; and Hindi script, Time To Go.

Details of the scripts and writers –

1.  Heart and Soul (Tamil)

Hari Hara Sudhan is a Direction & Screenwriting student of Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute. Before joining film school, Hari trained under Balu Mahendra in Chennai.

2.  Spirogyra (Malayalam)

Abhilash Vijayan is an emerging filmmaker whose short film Dwand (The Dual) and short documentary That Elephant From the Bridge have won several national and international awards, apart from travelling to several international festivals. Abhilash holds a post-graduate Diploma in Direction and Screenplay Writing from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.

3.  The Gift (Bengali)

Tamal Sen studied Direction and Screenplay writing from the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata. His graduation film, Still Voices won the Special Prize at the 58th Columbus International Film & Video Festival USA, and won an Honourable Mention at the Los Angeles Reel Film Festival 2010, among many others.

4.  The Ward (Malayalam)

Kris Rajan has worked as an editor on two-time academy award nominee John Sayles’ latest feature, Go For Sisters. His short films have screened at numerous international film festivals. Kris has been a researcher, writer, and editor on numerous commissioned and independent feature documentaries. He studied Film Directing at New York University’s Film program, where he was awarded the sole “Technisphere Award” for outstanding creative achievement.

5.  Time To Go (Hindi)

Mansi Jain is a writer – director who has recently co-written and associate directed Moh Maya Money, a crime drama. Her short film Lunch Lady was in official selection at many major film festivals. 42nd and Bombay, her short film screenplay, was awarded the prestigious $10,000 grant by Panavision at Columbia University Film Festival 2015. Mansi has also assisted Rajat Kapoor on Ankhon Dekhi (Before My Eyes, 2013). Currently she is a thesis year MFA screenwriting-directing candidate at Columbia University.

6.  Unresolved (Punjabi)

Vikram Singh is a writer – director who has recently written and director a comedy feature for children.He has worked with India’s largest advertising agencies, producing and directing commercials for some of India’s biggest brands. In 2001 Vikram moved to Mumbai and joined UTV in their ADs division as a director of commercials and corporate videos. Since then he has written several scripts on spec.

The mentors of the script labs are…

  1. Antoine Le Bos

Antoine Le Bos is a French screenwriter and script-consultant, with more than 25 feature scripts delivered under contract as a writer or co-writer, and the experience of over a hundred feature projects followed as a consultant. He has worked as a consultant for the Moulin d’Andé (CECI, France), tutoring their 2005, 2006 and 2007 rewriting sessions, as well as European Short Pitch 2007 to 2010 sessions, and taught screenwriting at Brest University. He won the Gan Foundation Prize as a writer in 2005 for a feature film project called La Vague Noire.

Antoine has been a tutor and consultant for Script&Pitch Workshops and Torino Film Lab since 2007, as well as for Interchange in 2009, 2010, 2011. In 2007, Antoine Le Bos became Artistic Director of Le Groupe Ouest, European centre for film creation in Brittany (France), and recently co-created the Cross-Channel Film Lab between France and Great Britain.

2. Urmi Juvekar

Urmi Juvekar was actively involved in theatre since her early years. She then moved on to working in a television production house to make non-fiction programmes while writing her first feature film, Darmiyaan, which released in 1998. Since then, she has written seven films including Oye Lucky, Lucky Oyeand I AM – both winners of the National Award for Best Film – and has made three documentaries, of which Shillong Chamber Choir and the Little Home School was shown in IDFA, Amsterdam in 2008.

After working as a creative producer with the critically acclaimed and commercially successful film, Love, Sex Aur Dhokha, Urmi adapted the famous Greek novel Z by Vassilis Vassilikos for her next film, Shanghai. Her latest film is Detective Byomkesh Bakshi. An alumnus of the Binger Film Lab, Urmi has also been involved with NFDC since 2011 as a consultant for Film Bazaar and script labs.

3. Romain Compingt

Romain Compingt is the youngest graduate of CEEA – the Conservatoire Européen d’écriture Audiovisuelle, where he is now a teacher. Populaire(directed by Régis Roinsard), his first feature film as screenwriter, has been released worldwide and has been nominated for five César awards.

Romain has co-written Divines, directed by Houda Benyamina, which won the Caméra d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2016. Known for bringing sensibility to a wide range of characters and for his strength in structure, Romain has also worked as a script doctor in the film La Fille De Brest, by Emmanuelle Bercot, which is set for release at the end of 2016.

 

Some exciting news for film buffs. Mumbai Academy Of Moving Image (MAMI) which runs the Mumbai Film Festival, has now opened a Film Club. And here’s the best part – the registration is absolutely free. Not only that, the film club membership will also give you 10% discount on the MAMI registration fees. So do it now! Click here to go to registration page.

The club launched with the Ian McKellen Masterclass. Now, it’s going to have another exciting event on Monday, 27th June – the premiere of Q’s latest film Brahman Naman. Written by Naman Ramachandran and co-produced by Celine Loop and Steve Barron, the film will be available globally starting 7 th July 2016 as a Netflix original film.

Brahman Naman stars Shashank Arora as the lead character with Tanmay Dhanania and Chaitanya Varad as his sidekicks. The cast also includes Vaiswath Shankar, Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy and Sid Mallya. Well-regarded internationally as one of India’s most vital and provocative indie filmmakers, Q’s latest cinematic cocktail is a nerdy sex comedy.

The screening will be followed by a Q and A with Q. Don’t miss it.

The pic attached tells you what you need to do to attend the screening.

Social Media Follow Up Announcement

 

Udta Punjab

The issue of Udta Punjab’s censorship came up for hearing in Bombay High Court today. A bench headed by Justice S C Dharmadhikari was hearing a petition filed by Phantom Films. What happened next is popularly known as Hulk-smash. Check out the tweets.

HC indicates that it will set aside 12 cuts and will allow Udta Punjab to release with just 1 cut. The order will be pronounced on Monday, June 12th.

But going by the tweets, let’s just say #JaiJusticeDharmadhikari

anurag--300x300So after taking a hard stand with censorship, the trolls are out there creating diversion from the issue with blatant lies and accusations. Since I can not put up this post on Twitter, am writing it here.

I have had run ins with censor many times. First was Paanch which everyone still believes was banned by censors. The truth is the film was cleared by revising committee after a few cuts and two disclaimers, and the same version , the cleared one is available on the net.

Black Friday was cleared uncut by censors but were blocked by the court as the case was under trial. Finally Justice Sabharwal cleared the film for exhibition in two years from when it was blocked even before the verdict was out. A lot of film stayed intact except some references to Shiv Sena that were cut out under pressure.

Gulaal was never caught up in any censor issue, the film had few references muted in one dialogue. It was stuck in production. Most of the lists the trolls are floating on the net of a million cuts on every film are lists of cuts made for TV of the adult films.

Ugly was never stuck with censor board, it was cleared. We decided to push the film to fight the health ministry on anti-smoking logo. It was our decision to fight the then government and we lost the case, in Court. Film came out intact.

Water was not allowed to shoot at all and that was not during the UPA government, and that’s when first time I met Mr. Jaitley and was an admirer of his since. But in all the battles, I never felt that I was being silenced or blackmailed into doing something against my will. All those battles were a fair fight of belief systems, all those fights were not being lost, not knowing what’s going on. All those battles we knew who and what the enemy was, be it a person, a thought or just the understanding of the board.

This one is different. This was blackmail, this has been a wall of lies. We got the official letter in a day after going to press and immediately after the first hearing of the court. We have a signed acknowledgement from Mr. Nihalani’s office dated yesterday 7 th June, which requests him to give us the official copy. So him saying he gave the letter on Monday is a lie and proof of all his lies. Him pressurising us to delay release, and accepting cuts is and was a thought through strategy. His accusing me of taking money from AAP is not just a lie, is a diversion from the real issue to make the fight for a filmmaker’s right into a political battle. And in this he is being helped by all the trolls to make sure that the real issue somewhere is lost in the political blame game.

So I request to not get involved in any rumour mongering and let us stick to the real honest issue of freedom of expression, and free thought, and, our rights as film makers versus the censorship. No, I am not a member of AAP or Congress, nor do I associate with any other political party. I have made more films without a fees than anyone else and I don’t take money that is not earned from anyone. Thank you.

– Anurag Kashyap

Leela Samson, the ex-chairperson of Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) wrote this post on her Facebook. And it’s going viral, for all the right reasons. We thought that it’s important for more people to read it. So we are sharing it here.

Udta Punjab – a film made by some of the country’s boldest and finest industrywalas! Yet another film and its slaughter at the hands of the CBFC – that is made into a national news item and flogged to death with opinions intended to fan more debate and endless hours of controversy. Have we not had enough? Enough opportunity to talk to each other, to debate the issues of certification and its down-face – censorship.

There are 3 parties involved. That’s already one too many. It should be just the industry and what should be an empathetic CBFC board. The board exists because cinema exists and is a critics art form, a creative platform for debate on the life we live.

But who appoints the Board? The members of the Viewing and Reviewing committees? The Ministry.

Who dictates which officials will be placed in Mumbai? The Ministry.

Who makes policy? The Ministry.

Who runs the Film Festivals? The Ministry.

Who sets up an Enquiry committee as was just done? The Ministry.

The point Anurag, is that the industry ought to know by now that this act of certification should be transferred to an internal body within the industry. Self regulation is the only regulation that should exist! This goes for every individual as well. Those who do not like it, should not see it.

Turn the switch off for heavens sake!

Art is not compulsory.

Get together.

Fight for it. It’s the good fight.

Everything else, boards, committees – they are a sham!

This is dhool in our eyes. Kuch nahin hoga.

I know you won’t see this Anurag, as we are not Facebook friends.