Archive for the ‘Q & A’ Category

Sin Nombre, True Detective, Beasts Of No Nation – These three titles on a cv are enough to impress anyone, even the ones who are difficult to please. Thanks to Mumbai Film Festival, filmmaker Cary Fukunaga is one of the guests at the fest this year. Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar was in conversation with him. We are hoping that the video will be out soon. Till then here are some interesting notes from the session of CARYFUCKYEAH! (the way we like to say it)

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As most of us at mFC have been busy watching back to back films at the Mumbai Film Festival, none of us could manage to attend the 2-day Movie Mela. But thanks to Suchin Mehrotra, all is not gone. He attended the Day 2 of the mela and here’s a post on the same.

(click on any pic to start the slide show)

What’s particularly interesting about the Jio MAMI film festival as against other global film festivals, is how it showcases facets of world cinema and indie cinema, but also merges this with a celebration of mainstream Hindi cinema. The Movie Mela is an example of the latter and described as ‘India’s only movie carnival’. I chose to attend day 2 of the Mela, given I found it had the more appealing line-up of events; however I was also really aware of the full day of film watching being sacrificed.

Session 1: Virtual Reality and Filmmaking

A fascinating session hosted by the charismatic Shakun Batra on virtual reality and its implications and applications to storytelling, featuring panelists Gabo Arora – creative director at the UN, filmmaker Anand Gandhi and Raja Koduri – the man behind the VFX of the gargantuan Baahubali. The discussion explored what exactly virtual reality is and the opportunities it offers the world of filmmaking, with words and phrases like ‘immersive’ and ‘you-are-physically-in-the-story’ being frequently thrown around. Although the panel repeatedly proclaimed, almost matter-of-factly, that VR is a game-changer and the definitive future of filmmaking, I remain unconvinced given the same was said years ago about IMAX and 3D, the hype behind which eventually fizzled out. However, this is still no-doubt a fascinating new dimension to the medium of cinema, and definitely one which all film buffs should be aware of. In fact, most Hollywood studios are investing in a VR arm of some sort, with big names likes Steven Spielberg said to be toying with the medium in their future projects.

Gabo Arora’s presence on the panel was for both his renowned VR films like Clouds Over Sidra, as well as his insight on the implications of VR on the humanitarian field. Research conducted on the effectiveness of charity donation collectors who randomly approach people on the street for a donation, found that only 1 in 12 ever receive funds. However, by giving each of these collectors a VR headset which allowed them to show a short film such as Clouds Over Sidra to passersby, the chances of receiving a donation almost doubled. Simply put, people were more generous when given a visual experience of the very conditions they were being asked to help change. Arora also announced live at the panel that the UN would be picking up Gandhi’s VR production, Cost of Coal, and including it in their distribution network, making it India’s first ever VR studio acquisition. Aside from this, Gandhi made a wonderful appeal to one and all asking for anyone who has a meaningful story to tell using VR, should just walk into his company’s Mumbai office to pitch ideas, and if they connect with it, they will provide all the necessary tools and infrastructure to go out and make the film.

However, as interesting as the possibilities of VR may be, the session went on for far too long, with a far greater focus on technology than filmmaking, and proved largely exhausting by the end. Suffice to say, I was strongly craving the feeling of a movie theatre by this point.

Session 2: Short film premier: Ouch by Neeraj Pandey

Ouch – the aptly titled comedy, starring Pooja Chopra and Manoj Bajpayee – who is fast becoming the face of the Indian short film, proved to be a fun little film which hinges on Bajpayee’s great comic timing and keeps you chuckling. Apart from some overpowering music and the slightly stretched narrative, it’s a refreshing change to the recent slew of short films made by mainstream filmmakers. However, I couldn’t help but feel this didn’t qualify to be it’s own standalone session considering the film could be viewed on Youtube at a later stage. (It was released on Youtube later the same day).

 

Session 3: Director’s panel – In conversation with Zoya Akhtar, Vishal Bhardwaj, Gauri Shinde, Shoojit Sarcar and Rohit Shetty

Undoubtedly the session that made the entire day worth it and how! A pure cinematic delight that had me giddy with excitement. Hosted by Anupama Chopra and Rajeev Masand, it was an enjoyable mix of focus on the movies and filmmaking, as much as it was on the more light-hearted aspects of personal experiences. The delightful discussion covered their behaviours and demeanor on set, their attitude towards stress, their relationship with failure as well as their approach to dealing with actors.  A few excerpts and fun facts from the session:

When asked what the best advice on filmmaking she ever received, Zoya Akhtar recalled something Mira Nair (whom she has assisted in the past) had told her about three things to never forget –

  1. Always be true to the story you are telling
  2. Never let go of your femininity in an effort to be the boss. You can wear  a skirt and lipstick and still be the boss
  3. Never hook up with your actors.

Rohit Shetty was in full form and stole the show with his frank and direct answers. Although I don’t hold his brand of cinema in very esteem at all, I couldn’t help but respect the man for his honesty which included stating that ‘Golmaal 2 was a crap film’, ‘The villain in Singham 2 just didn’t work’, and admitting that he didn’t think much of Dilwale particularly because of the love story arc between SRK and Kajol which let the film down.

A few fun facts:

  • Shoojit Sarcar has special-made Darjeeling tea that is specifically plucked and delivered from Darjeeling for him which he sips on all day on set
  • Zoya Akhtar’s one golden rule on her sets is “strictly no littering” to ensure the crew respect all the locations they shoot at.
  • Vishal Bhardwaj maintains that none of his films have ever set the box office on fire or even gone onto make money, which is just startling to consider! He said the most any film has ever managed is recovering its money.
  • None of the directors claim to drink coffee which was a particularly shocking revelation given how stressful a job of a director is, and more so given how much caffeine I had to ingest just to be able to make it to the event and hear them speak.

Session 4: In conversation with Shahid Kapoor

Although it is in no way an easy task to follow up a panel discussion featuring some of the exciting filmmakers in the country, Shahid Kapoor’s session proved to be equally as engaging, largely down to how candid the actor was about his career. He openly discussed how the majority of his films aren’t ‘good films’ as such, and how he’s really come into his own in the last few years and is clear about the kinds of films he wants to be a part of. It was ultimately hard not to be charmed and I’m certainly excited to see what the reinvigorated actor offers up with his future projects. He is next to be seen in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Rangoon followed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati.

Overall the Mela proved to be fine day for any cinephile that helped provide a much-needed dose of variety to the festival proceedings!

(Suchin Mehrotra is a freelance writer and critic, who left the corporate world to pursue his love of cinema because he watched one too many films for his own good. He is based out of Bombay and can be reached at @suchin545)

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Abhishek Chaubey’s Udta Punjab has been topic of much discussion, both pre and post-release. Navjot Gulati and Mihir Desai got the director-writer duo to talk about the film in a post-screening session.

Do watch.

 

We had announced about the Tamasha Post Screening Q an A with Imtiaz Ali here. Thanks to our friends at FilterCopy, the entire Q and A is online now. Apologies for the bad sound as we had to do the session in open area this time. Use headphones or speakers.

Like always, Imtiaz was quite candid about his thoughts and our criticism about the film. Also, the high point was a bunch of us saying “Hiiii” to A R Rahman on Imtiaz’s phone.

Tamasha : Post-Screening Q & A With Imtiaz Ali

Posted: November 29, 2015 by moifightclub in bollywood, News, Q & A
Tags: , ,

Imtiaz Ali

Imtiaz Ali is one of those rare directors who is not afraid to take questions post-release. And we have always been very happy to take the initiative and make it happen. Thanks to Anurag Kashyap, what started it with Imtiaz’s Rockstar, we have managed to do with many other films. And directors have been very co-operative about it. Now, we are back to another new film by Imtiaz Ali, Tamasha. Going by reviews, FB posts and tweets, seems like this film has polarised people. That’s always interesting for a film.

Navjot Gulati has taken the initiative to get Imtiaz Ali for Tamasha post-screening Q and A. Here are the details –

Venue – PVR Icon, Infinity Mall (which was Cinemax Versova earlier)

Day/Date – Monday (30th November, 2015)

Time – After the 6pm show.

So do book your tickets, and wait after the film is over. For those of you who have already seen the film, or for some reason you can’t come for the screening but want to attend only the Q and A, do tweet to Navjot at the earliest and inform him. He is making the list and will get you in.

Come, we will have fun!

It’s always a great pleasure to hear the great directors. But it’s a pity that in our country we don’t have too many such events where one gets to hear the directors. And even if it happens, one hardly records the conversation.

At this year’s London Indian Film Festival, filmmaker Mani Ratnam was in conversation with director Peter Webber. And thankfully, they have recorded it too. So here’s the VOTD.

Doyle

Legendary cinematographer Christopher Doyle is at Mumbai Film Festival this year. He screened his film Hong Kong Trilogy, and did a Masterclass as well.

Doyle is a complete performing artiste. And it’s great fun to watch him talk. As expected, he was in his true colours in both the Q and A, and the Masterclass. In his session, he showed clips and videos while he talked about his art, craft, life, and inspiration. As the security guys at the theatre kept panicking, Doyle didn’t give a fuck (with liberal use of the word in every second sentence) as he kept guzzling his beer.

Here are some of the interesting quotes from his Masterclass. The tweets are embedded, you don’t need to click the links. Just wait and let them load to see the text, or refresh.

(DivingBATB – The Diving Bell And The Butterfly. Blue is Derek Jarman’s film. HPotter – Harry Potter. WKW – Wong Kar-wai)

And here are some quotes from his post-screening Q and A of Hong Kong Trilogy.