Archive for the ‘pics’ Category

Sonali Cable was on our radar because it was selected for Mahindra Sundance Screenwriters Lab in 2012. It’s the debut film of Charudutt Acharya who has been writing for the small screen for a long time.

His bio from Mahindra site – Charudutt Acharya is an award winning writer of Indian TV drama shows like Haqeeqat, Kagaar, Jassi Jaise koi Nahin, Siddhanth, Rajuben &Crime Patrol. He has also co-written Hindi feature films Dum Maro Dum & Vaastushastra. Charudutt is a graduate of FTII, Pune and Royal Holloway, London.

FIRST LOOK OF SONALI CABLE 001FIRST LOOK OF SONALI CABLE 002

 

About the film (from release) –

SCIL (Super Cassettes Industries Limited), Ramesh Sippy Entertainment and NextGen Entertainment announces the release of their film ‘Sonali Cable’ on 3rd January 2014.

Sonali Cable is a ‘David versus Goliath’ story, in the thick of the cable internet turf war in Mumbai. An ordinary girl puts her love, life and survival at stake, when she and her ragtag team come in the way of the expansion plans of India’s largest corporation. The film wants to establish the growing corporate crushing small businesses without any scope for co existence.

The film is written and directed by debutant Charudutt Acharya with an ensemble cast that includes Rhea Chakraborty, Ali Fazal, Swanand Kirkire and Raghav Juyal (aka Crockroaxz), supported by accomplished veterans Smita Jayakar and Anupam Kher.

The film features a varied soundtrack showcasing the talents of Devi Shri Prasad, Ankit Tiwari, Mikey McCleary and Falak, with lyrics by Kausar Munir.

For those who have been curious about Ritesh Batra’s Dabba, we have got the first look of the film. Here are some of the stills from the film which look really impressive. We do also have all the cast, credit and official synopsis details.

The film will have its international premiere at Cannes Festival in International Critics Week section.

(Click on any image to start the slide show in hi-res)

Though Nawaz was also in Paan Singh Tomar, but it looks like this film finally brings together two of the finest actors of our generation in full fledged roles. And is Irrfan Khan in Namesake avatar again? Bring it on!

Official Synopsis

A mistaken delivery in Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects a young housewife to an old man in the dusk of his life as they build a fantasy world together through notes in the lunchbox. Gradually, this fantasy threatens to overwhelm their reality.

Mumbai, a city of miracles.

One of Mumbai’s miracles is Mumbai’s Dabbawallahs – a community of 5000 dabba (lunchbox) deliverymen. It is a hereditary profession. Every morning the Dabbawallahs deliver hot meals from the kitchens of housewives to the offices of their husbands, and then return the empty lunchboxes back to the homes in the afternoon. For 120 years they have provided Mumbaikars with a taste of home in the office. They navigate through the overcrowded local trains and chaotic streets – that often have a namesake or more than one name. The Dabbahwallahs are illiterate, and instead rely on a complex coding system of colors and symbols to deliver dabbas in the labyrinth that is Mumbai. Harvard University analyzed their delivery system, concluding that just 1 in 8 million lunchboxes is ever delivered to the wrong address. Dabba is the story of that one lunchbox.

A mistakenly delivered lunchbox connects a housewife, Ila Singh, to Saajan Thomas, a lonely man in the dusk of his life. Ila lives in Dadar, the conservative middle class Hindu enclave. And Saajan lives in Ranwar village, Bandra, an old Christian neighborhood that is threatened by the new high rises in Mumbai. Very soon Saajan will retire and bid goodbye to a Mumbai that has crushed his dreams, took away his loved ones one by one, and turned his hair white. Just then Ila comes into his life. In the big city, that crushes dreams and recycles them every day, both find a dream to hold on to. Ila begins a fantastical affair with a mystery suitor, pouring her heart into cooking meals for him. And Saajan looks forward to lunch box deliveries from a mystery woman every day. They exchange notes via the lunchbox and create a fantasy life. As the lunchbox goes back and forth, this fantasy becomes so elaborate that it threatens to overwhelm their reality. The characters of The Lunchbox exist on the line between the Mumbai of reality and the Mumbai of fantasy.

The Lunchbox is the story of the life we dream of versus the life we live in, and of the courage it takes to turn out fantasies into reality.

Credits

director: Ritesh Batra
screenplay: Ritesh Batra
cinematography: Michael Simmonds
editing: John Lyons
sound: Michael Kaczmarek
production design: Shruti Gupte
music: Max Richter

Cast:
Irrfan Khan
Nimrat Kaur
Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Denzil Smith
Bharati Achrekar
Nakul Vaid
Yashvi Puneet Nagar
Lillete Dubey
Sada (Dabbawala)

The film is produced by Sikhya Entertainment (India), Dar Motion Pictures (India), and co-produced by National Film Development Corporation (India), ASAP Films (France) and Roh Films (Germany).

Btw, Michael Simmonds? The DoP of Ramin Bahrani’s films? Chop Shop, Man Push Cart, Goodbye Solo and Plastic Bag. That’s a great talent to have on board.

To know more about the film and the filmmaker, click here to read his interview on DearCinema.

Director

Ritesh Batra is a writer/director based in Mumbai and New York. In 2009, Batra was selected for the Sundance Writers and Directors labs for his feature project “The Story of Ram”. He was also named the Sundance Time Warner Storytelling Fellow and an Annenburg Fellow. He was part of the Graduate Film Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, from which he dropped out in 2010. His short films have been presented in many international film festivals and fine arts venues. His recent short “Café Regular, Cairo” was featured in the 2012 Inter- national Film Festival of Rotterdam and 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. His upcoming short ‘The State of Siege’ is currently in post-production.

His feature screenplay THE LUNCHBOX was part of the 2011 Binger-NFDC Screenwriting Lab, it won an Honorable Mention from the Jury at the 2012 edition of the Cinemart at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam and was part of the Berlinale Talent Project Market.

(Cast/credit/synopsis/Director’s bio taken from various co-producers’ site)

Ashok Mehta RIP

Posted: August 15, 2012 by moifightclub in bollywood, pics, RIP
Tags: , ,

Thanks for all those films and everlasting images, sir.

From the melancholy mood of 36, Chowringhee Lane to aridness of Bandit Queen, and from nostalgia-soaked Ijazzat to razzmatazz of bollywood, Ashok Mehta captured it all gorgeously and gave us memories to cherish. They not only pleased the eyes but touched the souls as well – that was some magic with camera!

And for a change, he’s in front of the camera in the following pics. Captured by Amit Ashar.

(PS – The pics were first posted here)

Thanks to TIFF, few stills of Hansal Mehta‘s new film Shahid is finally online. Also, the official synopsis and the cast and crew list. The film is going to have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in its “City To City” programme where “Mumbai” is in focus this year.

The stills look stark and powerful and creates a deadly mood. And now the official synopsis of the film…

Shahid is the remarkable true story of slain human rights activist and lawyer Shahid Azmi, who was killed in 2010 by unidentified assailants in his office. From attempting to become a terrorist, to being wrongly imprisoned under a draconian anti-terrorism law, to becoming a champion of human rights (particularly of the Muslim minorities in India), Shahid traces the inspiring personal journey of a boy who became an unlikely messiah for human rights, while following the rise of communal violence in India. This story of an impoverished Muslim struggling to come to terms with injustice and inequality, whilerising above his circumstances is an inspiring testament to the human spirit. Starring Raj Kumar, Prabhleen Sandhu and Baljinder Kaur.

And here’s the cast and crew list…

Director: Hansal Mehta

Language: Hindi

Runtime: 123 minutes

Exec. Producer: Jai Mehta, Kunal Rohra

Producer: Sunil Bohra, Shailesh Singh, Guneet Monga and Anurag Kashyap

Production Co: Bohra Bros Pvt. Ltd. and Anurag Kashyap Films Pvt. Ltd.

Principal Cast: Raj Kumar, Prabhleen Sandhu, Baljinder Kaur, Tigmanshu Dhulia, K K Menon, Yusuf Husain, Prabal Panjabi, Vinod Rawat, Vipin Sharma, Shalini Vatsa, Paritosh Sand, Pavan Kumar, Vivek Ghamande, Akash Sinha, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, Mukesh Chhabra

Screenplay: Sameer Gautam Singh, Apurva Asrani, Hansal Mehta

Cinematographer: Anuj Dhawan

Editor: Apurva Asrani

Sound: Mandar Kulkarni

Prod. Designer: Rabiul Sarkar

– To know more updates about the film, you can follow its FB page here.

Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist is making all the right noises. First came the announcement that it will have it open the 69th Venice International Film Festival with its world premiere. And today it was announced that the film will have its gala at the Toronto International Film Festival as well.

It’s an adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s acclaimed book by the same name. It stars Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, Martin Donovan, Om Puri and Shabana Azmi. It has been adapted by William Wheeler, with the screen story by Mohsin Hamid, and Ami Boghani, has cinematography of Declan Quinn, production design by Michael Carlin, costumes by Arjun Bhasin and edited by Shimit Amin. The music includes both the old and new Pakistani sounds with the iconoclastic Michael Andrews scoring and a new original song by Peter Gabriel.

Few new stills of the film are online now and here’s the slideshow of the same…

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If you haven’t read the book, here’s the official synopsis from the Venice Festival’s website…

Student demonstrations are raging in Lahore, as young Pakistani professor Changez Khan and a journalist, Bobby Lincoln, share a cup of tea and conversation. Princeton-educated Changez tells Lincoln of his past as a brilliant business analyst on Wall Street. He talks of the glittering future that lay before him and the beautiful and sophisticated Erica whom he was set to share that future with.

But then 9/11 changes everything. Attitudes shift dramatically – his very name and face rendering him suspect. Returning to his homeland and the family to whom he is very close, he takes up a post as lecturer at the local university, a hotbed of radicalism and the new militant academia.

The collegial pretense of the meeting in a Lahore teahouse, between Lincoln and Changez, slowly gives way to why the unlikely pair has gathered on a summer day – another professor has been kidnapped by extremists, and the clock is ticking toward a deadline for his execution. Changez’s family is being harassed and is in real danger. Bobby is there to listen, with an agenda of his own. Taking us through the culturally rich and beguiling worlds of New York, Lahore and Istanbul, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is an exploration of prejudice and the phenomenon of globalization that is both exhilirating and deeply unsettling.

Copying designs of foreign movie posters to make hindi film posters is nothing new. It’s a thin line between “reference”and “plagiarism”. Also, there are some very standard poses when it comes to designing posters. Well, that doesn’t justify anything but click here and here for very interesting links on movie posters.

Click on the slide show and see what we mean by “One Pose, Many Posters”. First one is Heroine’s new poster, then the cover of Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi’s book The Lost Flamingoes Of Bombay, then poster of Romance and Cigarettes and the last one is promotion pic of Mariah Carey.

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Blame it on that thing called life, we have been bit irregular with that other thing called cinema, and so the updates have been missing. Here’s a fresh start with a new film called Prague.

Prague is the directorial debut of Ashish Shukla. And since Ashish is a good friend, we might be bit biased. But that doesn’t take away anything from his talent and his previous works which we have seen and loved. And hopefully you all will agree soon. Here’s the first look of Prague – an interesting poster and some stills from the film.

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And here’s the official synopsis….

A city with a history of heritage, myth and superstition. A passionate architect with hang ups and delusions about love and life. A Czech gypsy girl looking for her identity and love. Add to that a mean friend you can’t get away with and can’t trust. And a left out- left over of someone who isn’t really there but doesn’t leave you alone. All of them come together, interfering, manipulating, coaxing and torturing each other as their search for peace, freedom and love continues.

This film is a psychological thrilling ride which takes you to the darkest corners of your mind, the shut down alleys of your soul and the graveyard of your heart.

– It stars Chandan Roy Sanyal, Arfi Lamba, Mayank Kumar, Sonia Bindra, Elena Kazan, Lucien Zell & Vaibhav Suman.

– Interestingly, it’s the debut feature for most of them which includes the Producer, Director, DP, Composer, Cast (Arfi Lamba, Sonia Bindra, Mayank Kumar), Costume Designer, Production designer.

Other credits and details are as follows….

Title : PRAGUE

Language : Hindi/ Czech/ English

Duration : 105mins

Genre : Psychological Drama, Romance

Songs : Background Scores/ OST

Shooting Locales : Prague/ Mumbai/ New Delhi

Produced by : Rohit Khaitan, Sunil Pathare

Executive Producer : Bombay Berlin Film Production

Cinematographer : Udaysingh Mohite

Editor : Meghna Manchanda Sen

Sound : Sanjay Chaturvedi

Music : Atif Afzal, Daniela Fojtu (Czech original Score)

Lyrics : Varun Grover

Concept : Rohit Khaitan

Story  : Ashish R. Shukla

Screenplay & Dialogues : Sumit Saxena & Ashish R. Shukla

Additional Screenplay : Akshendra Mishra & Vijay Verma

Director : Ashish R. Shukla

– The film will have its world premiere in the “Indian Competition” section of the Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival. For more details, click here and here.

Ah, finally. The way Viacom18, the producer of Gangs of Wasseypur, was reluctant to share even on location images of the film after the Cannes announcement, we were thinking if they were going to lay some golden eggs.

The trailer, poster and the official synopsis of the film is finally out. Let’s go one by one. First, the trailer.

Loot, coal mines, volatile people in volatile land, zindagi ka ek-e maksad – badla, jail, chop shop, Tishu, Bihar ke lala, cuss words, Richa attacking the same man who has been killing everyone, sex, goggles-wala-pyaar, dhoom-dhaam, more cuss words, more earthy and punchy dialogues, more abuses and some more dhaam-dhaam. And everything is inherited! E toh poora ka poora dabang haiabki badke Kashyap ki baari.

But why is the text font so bland? Bad font always bores me.

As far as the trailer goes, this is as mainstream as it can be. But i think the trailer serves more masala than the film will offer. Might be wrong. But Kashyap without his indulgences? Jiyo o Bihar ke lala. The trailer doesn’t tell you much about the film but it gives the ambiance and the mood of the film and tells you what to expect – you connect the dots. And if you can’t, scroll down for the synopsis.

My fav bit – Pankaj Tripathy. Bahut-e kamaal ke actor hai. Agle Yashpal Sharma hai jo hame bahut-ey pasand hai.

Now, the poster.

Superb art work. Like the colours and the treatment. But why such a bad finish? The film posters on the right and left hand side looks so weird. As if at the last moment they asked some intern to put two posters. Just doesn’t gel with the rest.

And now the official synopsis…

Towards the end of colonial India, Shahid Khan loots the British trains, impersonating the legendary Sultana Daku. Now outcast, Shahid becomes a worker at Ramadhir Singh’s colliery, only to spur a revenge battle that passes on to generations. At the turn of the decade, Shahid’s son, the philandering Sardar Khan vows to get his father’s honor back, becoming the most feared man of Wasseypur. In contemporary times, the weed addicted grandson, Faizal Khan, wakes up to this vengeance that his family has inherited. Staying true to its real life influences, the film explores this revenge saga through the socio-political dynamic in erstwhile Bihar (North India), in the coal and scrap trade mafia of Wasseypur, through the imprudence of a place obsessed with mainstream ‘Bollywood’ cinema.

The film stars Manoj Bajpai, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Jaideep Ahlawat, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Aditya Kumar, Reemma Sen, Richa Chadda, Huma Qureshi, Piyush Mishra and Syed Zeeshan Qadri.

I am not sure how and where to start this post. Still too excited about the news. But let’s get the news first. Vasan Balan‘s debut feature Peddlers has been selected to premiere at Cannes International Critics’ Week. Yay! And since this is his first feature, it’s also going to compete for Camera D’Or. Every year only seven films are selected for Critics’ week and this year Peddlers is one of them.

To quote the official synopsis, Peddlers – A ghost town, Mumbai, inhabited by millions. A lady on a mission, a man living a lie, an aimless drifter. They collide. Some collisions are of consequence, some not, either ways the city moves on.

And here’s the cast and credit list..

Director : Vasan Bala
Screenplay : Vasan Bala
Cinematography : Siddharth Diwan
Editing : Prerna Saigal
Sound : Anthony B.J. Ruban
Music : Karan Kulkarni

Cast: Gulshan Devaiah, Siddharth Mennon, Kriti Malhotra, Nimrat Kaur, Murari Kumar, Sagai Raj, Megh Pant, Nishikant Kamat, Neeraj Ghaywan and Anubhuti Kashyap.

And here are some stills from the film..

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And now the news bit is over, i am going to write and behave like Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

It seems like yesterday. Vasan pinged me on gmail and then shared some pics. I said, wow, this guy looks like Andrew Garfield. Vasan – fuck, you got it so bang on.  I have been telling all about the Garfield thing. When it comes to cinema, this wasn’t the first time we were on the same page instantly. May be that’s why we bonded so well since we first bumped into each other at a blogging site called passionforcinema. Now it’s dead. Me, him and Kartik Krishnan – it’s been quite a love-hate equation between the three of us since last few years. Except participating in an orgy, i guess we have shared everything else.

And as i sit down to write this post and look back now, i know why i feel so bloody happy for him. Not sure when was the last time i was so happy for someone else. May be because i know how his sweat smells.

By bollywood rule book, Peddlers wasn’t a dream launch. There was no fancy announcement, no articles in newspapers, no big stars to talk about. No posters were designed and no title was thought about. He had assisted Anurag Kashyap for long and was back after  assisting Michael Winterbottom on Trishna. He was getting restless to make his movie but Kashyap wasn’t exactly sure about the script. One script out, another came in, that also went out and he wrote a third one. This went on for some time and then he decided to go ahead and prove it to himself. Whatever happens, he was going to direct. It was going to be a true “indie”. On behalf of Kashyap, Guneet Monga produced it by raising funds from everyone possible. Low budget, low on resources, cast friends and family members, everything on “jugaad“. Come what may, he had to make this film. To prove it to himself, to Kashyap, to us and to people around him.

I went to meet him the day before he was starting his shoot. He looked tired, almost dead. I hugged him, and prayed that he doesn’t fall sick during the shoot. He has a record of falling sick while ADing on films and we always used to joke about it. I had read the script and really liked it too. Was confident about his direction after seeing the two shorts he had directed. Not saying this because he is dear friend. Harsh truth has never been a barrier between our friendship. We have ripped apart each others work many a times in the past. As always, me and KK argued with Kashyap too. Why can’t he see what we are seeing? As always, he also argued, gave his reasons and it was a dead end.

The shooting got over and we saw the rough cut. I wasn’t expecting something like this. This was a new language – minimal approach to filmmaking, if i can call it so. Hadn’t seen something like this in any desi debut film. Everything was pitch perfect except his jeera rice indulgence. I thought if nothing happens, at least this is a great CV to have. Kashyap saw the film and he loved it. And to give credit where it’s due – he publicly announced on twitter that Vasan has proved him wrong. We were relieved. As the inside joke goes, Rahul aur Anjali me phir dosti ho gayee.

By that time we all were getting too excited about it – what can be done to this, where should he send it, the usual gyaan gurus that we all are. Kashyap assured everyone that he really loved it, he means it and he is hoping for the best for this one. He told us to wait, the best will happen soon.

And then, it did happen.

CANNES!

For so much blood, sweat and tears, what else does a filmmaker want?

And once you look at the names in the Critics’ Weeks archives, you realise what it means. Bernardo Bertolucci, Jean Eustache, Otar Iosseliani, Ken Loach, Wong Kar Wai, Jacques Audiard and Arnaud Desplechin to name a few. Or just look at some of the features selected last year – Las Acacias, The Slut, Snowtown, Take Shelter.

Add Vasan Bala and Peddlers to the list now. It can’t get bigger than this for a film where money and resources hardly mattered. Passion and sweat was all that counted – of his and people around him. Because without expecting anything, there are many (cast & crew) who made this film happen as their only motivation was “this is Vasan’s film, this has to be done”. Blame it on his friendship and good will.

And google cache is going to mark it. Because it’s history now.

Cheers, Vasan. ( It’s time to return the favour – don’t you forget to get me a Cannes T-shirt :-))

( PS – And as i have said always, here’s the best film school in this country ——-> @ankash1009)

(PS1 – For more info about Critics week selection, click here.)

(PS2 – Click here to read an interview of Vasan Bala on DearCinema and click here for an interview by Mihir Fadnavis.)

What we know – Ashim Ahluwalia’s debut feature Miss Lovely is going to Cannes in Un Certain Regard section this year. The film is set in Bombay’s B/C grade film industry and it stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Niharika Singh and Anil George.

What we don’t know – what does the film look like? No stills/clips/trailer available on the net so far. What’s it all about?

And so we have got it all. The official synopsis and some stills from the film.

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

Bombay, 1988. Vicky and Sonu are brothers and partners in crime. They produce “C” grade films in the lower depths of Bollywood – lurid horror films, erotic bandit pictures, sleazy social dramas. From a humid one-hour hotel, amidst spilled whisky and bouts of womanizing, Vicky churns out illicit titles like “Dolly Darling” and “Lady James Bond” for India’s small-town picture houses. He leaves the donkey-work to Sonu, his withdrawn, dim-witted younger sibling, who often cleans up after him.

Returning exhausted from a sales trip peddling erotic reels in the hinterland, Sonu encounters a mysterious girl on the train and is drawn to her fragile beauty. She’s only just arrived in Bombay and her vulnerability soothes his own sense of despair. Her name is Pinky and she appears to be a struggling actress.

Vicky dismisses the girl as a gullible piece of flesh but Sonu is desperate, bewitched by Pinky’s silent radiance. He knows that only she can save him; make his emptiness disappear.

As the seasons change, Sonu begins to resent his hard-edged brother. He no longer wants toslave for Vicky’s lawless operation and decides to make a film of his own, with Pinky in the lead. A double debut – producer and star. It’s a reckless, nihilistic venture with no story and no crew in place. But he has a title – the film will be called ‘Miss Lovely’ and Sonu will do whatever it takes to make it.

But nothing is what it seems in this garish underworld of shifting alliances, double dealing, and quivering flesh. Out on the streets three years later, Sonu realizes that his whole world has turned upside down.

A baroque tale of betrayal and doomed love, the animal instincts of the struggling actress prove to be the most cutthroat of all. As paranoia and violence spiral out of control, brother turns on brother, and blood spills like water. Sonu, now alone and abandoned, aimlessly wanders the streets, junkyards and film studios, aching for one last glimpse of Pinky.

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Click here to read an interview of Ashim on the making of Miss Lovely.