emb1

NFDC Screenwriters’ Lab, a 2-part workshop is designed to prepare screenwriters’ with original Indian stories for working with the international filmmaking market place. It aims at improving a completed screenplay in its final stages and to increase the international marketability of the same.

ELIGIBILITY
  • Open only for Indian citizens residing in India
  • Open only for feature length fiction films
HOW TO APPLY
  • Create a MyFilmBazaar Account.
  • Use this ID to access the online application form.
  • The Regular Deadline for applications is 3 March 2017 (6 pm IST).
  • The Extended Deadline for applications is 13 March 2017 (6 pm IST).
  • Applications will not be considered complete till the payment has been processed.
  • Email/hardcopy applications will not be accepted.
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS
Before you begin, please make sure you have the following:

  • Logline
  • Short Synopsis (500 – 600 words)
  • Writer’s Statement (500 words)
  • Updated Bio

In addition, you have the option of submitting either

  • Full Screenplay

OR

  • Story Synopsis (6 -10 pages | 12 point font, single spaced, 1” margin)
  • First 20 pages of the Screenplay ( in industry accepted format)

Shortlisted applicants will be called for an interview, either in person or on Skype (in the month of April)

DATES FOR THE LAB
  • Session 1 – end of May 2017
  • Session 2 – 6 weeks after Session 1 concludes
  • Session 3 – 8 weeks after Session 2 concludes
  • 20 – 24 Nov, 2017 – Film Bazaar
FEE
  • INR 3000 for applications submitted on or before the Regular Deadline, 3 March 2017 (6 PM IST).
  • INR 5000 for applications submitted after the Regular Deadline from 4 March to 13 March 2017 (6 PM IST).
CONTACT
  • For further clarifications, write to screenwriters-lab@filmbazaarindia.com.
  • For more details, and to apply, click here.

the-unreserved

While watching Garath Davis’ film Lion last week, i was wondering why we don’t shoot the Indian Railways the way these firangi directors capture it in their films. Remember the thrilling sequence with the kid hanging upside down in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire? Till 80s, we were still portraying the trains in our films. But now it’s limited to occasional chaiyya chaiyya or tap tap tippa.

And here comes an entire film set in our railways. Three friends – Samarth Mahajan, Rajat Bhargava, and Omkar Divekar embarked on a train journey covering a distance of about 25,000 km over a period of 17 days. They documented their stories on twitter too (click the thread embedded in post). Almost after a year, all these stories have turned into a film.

Here’s the trailer of the film

The film will be available online from 15th Feb.

Exclusive preview to biggest and deepest Hindi film number of 2017.
(And it’s only February now!)

Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to and rate some of the best songs of 2016 (more about it in a different post). The one thing that struck me about lyrics of many songs was the rampant fake Sufism, faux Punjabiyat and false soulfulness running through them. There seems to be a random Sufi song generator app that lyricists have got their paws on.

This has prompted me to pen my own blockbuster Hindi film song for 2017. I mean, why not? I too have no talent.

This song’s got everything: Amir Khushro, Surdas (why not?), Peer Meher Ali Shah (for the undivided Punjab diaspora), Rahim (Why Kabir everytime?) and Surdas again (making up years of neglect). I have written the song below in Devanagari and provided some context to the lyrics to give you a sense of the ‘depth’ of this song.

This is the song that 2017 has been waiting for. Please spread this far and wide and help me turn into a Hindi film lyricist. 2017 will be poorer without this.

My wishlist for this blockbuster:

Composer: Pritam or anyone who needs a hit
Singers: Arijit Singh, Kavita Seth, Nooran Sisters, Mame Khan, Jasleen Royal, Benny Dayal, Shillong Choir
Picturised on: Ranbeer Kapoor /Salman Khan / Siddharth Malhotra with Alia Bhatt / Deepika / Kangana Ranaut chipping in. Though I won’t mind Chunky Pandey singing this in Sajid Khan’s next
Situation: Heartbreak song that plays randomly through the movie in surprising upbeat fashion. The Surdas elements play out to hiphop beats at nightclubs

अरब यार तोरी बसंत मनायो
सदा रखिए लाल गुलाल
हज़रत ख्वाजा संग खेलिए धमाल
खेलिए धमाल, धमाल, धमाल

The song starts off with Amir Khushro’s lines thereby immediately establishing its depth. Plus, we get Khwaja which is necessary. And, most importantly, a hook – dhamaal, dhamaal. It can’t get better. Wait, it can if you get Mame Khan Manganiyar to start this in a full-throated way.

What do these lines mean?
Just focus on dhamaal.

दिल इज़्तिरार, दिल इज़्तिरार,
है बेक़रार, है बेक़रार,
मुंतज़िर है तेरा, तू है मेरा,
चाँद को डाले जेब में, घूमे दर-ब-दर,
सब को नकार, ख़ुद को नकार
Now we get into my original song writing territory. What I have done, cleverly, is to bring some heavy-lifting Urdu words that rhyme. Look up their meaning on the web since I too didn’t know them till this morning. But they all make sense. Then, I swerve into Gulzar territory by putting the “Chaand” in the “Jeb” and round it up with a self destructive idiom (Khud Ko Nakaar). We will have Arijit Singh sing these lines in his usual short-of-breath, deep in pain but soul-less way. I can almost picture Ranbir Kapoor running the streets of London, colliding with assorted NRIs while these words ring away in the background.

दिल मचाये यह बवाल, यह बवाल
ख्वाजा संग खेलिए धमाल, धमाल

This is to be sung in chorus by Shillong Choir. See, the value of picking that dhamaal hook!

हरी ना मिले माइ जनम, ऐसे ही लाग्यो जान
जोवति मघ बासर निसि, जात जुग समान
चात्रिग पिक बचन सषी, सुने न परत कान

Ladies and Gentlemen, behold! Surdas makes an entry into Hindi film songs with these words of ‘birah’. Kavita Seth to sing this while Alia Bhatt is downing tequila shots at a LA bar.

यह वस्ल मेरा कब से मुसलसल,
बेबाक़ आरज़ू मेरी कब हो मुकम्मल,
तुझ से कुरबत चाहे, तेरा सुकून चाहे,
दिल की दराज़ में है रखे ख़ाक तेरे प्यार के,
सीने में है उठाए दर्द-ए-सकल

Back to my original lyrics territory! These lines are actually quite good. Benny Dayal can sing them normally and then do a little rap jig with them.

किथे मेहेर अली, किथे तेरी सना,
ग़ुस्ताख़ अँखियाँ किथे जा अदियाँ,
अज सिक मित्रां दी वधेरिए,
क्यूँ दिलरी उदास घनेरिए?

Pir Meher Ali Shah comes in to play now. The theme is separation as it has been through the song. But this could be interpreted as separation from the motherland at the diaspora level. The punjabiyat of the lines make them perfect for Nooran sisters to croon their hearts out.

लकीरों से कर चला हूँ मैं शिकायत,
सरफिरा मलँग हूँ ना मानु मैं हिदायत,
(ज्यों नाचत कठपुतरी, करम नचावत गात,
अपने हाथ रहीम ज्यों, नहीं अपने हाथ)
उड़ गया है परिंदा बाग़बान छोड़के,
हाथों से अपनी क़िस्मतों की ज़ंजीरें तोड़के,
ख़ुद की कही को कर चला हूँ मैं रवायत

Again, my original lines but in Amitabh Bhattacharya (AB) mould this time. Because my aim in life is to be poor man’s AB. There is enough parinde, baaghban etc to fool you into believing this is AB.

But note my subversion. In between (in brackets) I have incorporated a Rahim doha. Just to maintain the cosmic balance from overuse of Kabir dohas. That doha is perfect for Jasleen Royal to sing in a breathless, hurtful manner. All other AB like lines are perfect for Arijit Singh to cry his heart out.

जा दिन तें नैननी अंतर भय
अनुदिन मुश बाढ़ी अति बारि
मनहु सूर है सुभग सरोवर
उमगि चले मरजाद उदारि

Back to the criminally neglected Surdas with Benny Dayal this time rapping on them. Alia Bhatt tequila shots continue unabated.

दिल मचाये यह बवाल, यह बवाल
ख्वाजा संग खेलिए धमाल, धमाल

Close the song out with unlimited repeat of these lines; all building into a crescendo of the kind that will have you imagine Sufi dervishes whirling away like Hrithik Roshan in Jodhaa Akbar. Bring back Mame Khan for this.

There you have it. The perfect 2017 blockbuster number.

I have put the whole song together below for you to consume in how God meant it to be consumed.

अरब यार तोरी बसंत मनायो
सदा रखिए लाल गुलाल
हज़रत ख्वाजा संग खेलिए धमाल
खेलिए धमाल, धमाल, धमाल

दिल इज़्तिरार, दिल इज़्तिरार,
है बेक़रार, है बेक़रार,
मुंतज़िर है तेरा, तू है मेरा,
चाँद को डाले जेब में, घूमे दर-ब-दर,
सब को नकार, ख़ुद को नकार

दिल मचाये यह बवाल, यह बवाल
ख्वाजा संग खेलिए धमाल, धमाल

हरी ना मिले माइ जनम, ऐसे ही लाग्यो जान
जोवति मघ बासर निसि, जात जुग समान
चात्रिग पिक बचन सषी, सुने न परत कान

यह वस्ल मेरा कब से मुसलसल,
बेबाक़ आरज़ू मेरी कब हो मुकम्मल,
तुझ से कुरबत चाहे, तेरा सुकून चाहे,
दिल की दराज़ में है रखे ख़ाक तेरे प्यार के,
सीने में है उठाए दर्द-ए-सकल

किथे मेहेर अली, किथे तेरी सना,
ग़ुस्ताख़ अँखियाँ किथे जा अदियाँ,
अज सिक मित्रां दी वधेरिए,
क्यूँ दिलरी उदास घनेरिए?

लकीरों से कर चला हूँ मैं शिकायत,
सरफिरा मलँग हूँ ना मानु मैं हिदायत,
(ज्यों नाचत कठपुतरी, करम नचावत गात,
अपने हाथ रहीम ज्यों, नहीं अपने हाथ)
उड़ गया है परिंदा बाग़बान छोड़के,
हाथों से अपनी क़िस्मतों की ज़ंजीरें तोड़के,
ख़ुद की कही को कर चला हूँ मैं रवायत

जा दिन तें नैननी अंतर भय
अनुदिन मुश बाढ़ी अति बारि
मनहु सूर है सुभग सरोवर
उमगि चले मरजाद उदारि

दिल मचाये यह बवाल, यह बवाल
ख्वाजा संग खेलिए धमाल, धमाल

– Subrat Mohanty

Great news coming from the ongoing International Film Festival Rotterdam. Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s film Sexy Durga has won the top award (Hivos Tiger Award) at the main competition section of the fest.

The Hivos Tiger Award is the festival’s flagship competition. This year, eight new films competed for the coveted Hivos Tiger Competition award, which is accompanied by a €40.000 cash prize. The jury admired the film Sexy Durga : “For its daring and resourceful approach in creating a mood of constant tension, providing an insight into multi-layered power dynamics of gender, class and authority.”

Trailer

Official Synopsis

Goddess or whore? Two extreme views of women intermingle in this largely improvised spine-chiller. During a nocturnal ride, a young woman and her lover encounter a cross-section of Indian male society. What starts out as an attempt to escape descends into a journey through hell – from which no escape is possible.

This ominous road movie about two lovers on the run is interspersed with footage of a Hindu festival in the southern Indian province of Kerala. Men dance ecstatically, walk across red-hot coals and push metal skewers through their faces. Some are hauled into the air on metal hooks stuck through the skin of their backs and thighs, dangling above the crowd like the mythical eagle Garuda. All in honour of Kali, embodiment of the rage of the mother goddess, Durga. Her likeness – four arms bearing her weapons and a severed head – is carried through the village in procession.

Durga is also the name of a young woman trying in the dead of night to take a train to a far-off destination with her lover, Kabeer. First they have to reach the station, for which they depend on the kindness of strangers. But the help offered to them quickly takes on dubious forms; the police are too involved in their own business and the isolation of the night completes the oppressive atmosphere.

Sanal Kumar Sasidharan made his previous feature film, An Off-Day Game, without a script; for Sexy Durga he even dispensed with a pre-set narrative. Here, he investigates how obsessiveness and worship can quickly degenerate in a patriarchal society into a mentality of oppression and abuse of power.

Director

After completing studies in Zoology and Law, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan (1977, India) started work as a lawyer. As a film fanatic, he used his network to found Kazhcha Film Forum, a crowdfunding platform for the production of independent films. This provided a financial basis to make his own films. Kumar Sasidharan’s short and feature films have received many awards in international film festivals.

Filmography

Wonder World (2001, short), Parole (2008, short), Frog (2012, short), Oraalppokkam/Six Feet Height (2014), Ozhivudivasathe Kali/An Off-Day Game (2015), Sexy Durga (2017)

 

Remembering Om Puri

Posted: January 20, 2017 by moifightclub in cinema, Gods of Cinema, RIP
Tags: , , , ,

Om Puri

CINTAA, IMPPA and IFTDA, the three film bodies recently organised a memorial event for Om Puri where his friends and fans from the film industry got together and shared their memories.

Varun Grover was there and managed to record some of it. Do check out the playlist. It has Rakesh Bedi, Satish Kaushik, Neena Gupta and Johnny Lever talking about their memories of the actor.

newton-poster-a-rgb-2500px

More good news coming from Berlin International Film Festival. Two more Indian features have been selected for this year’s edition.

Amit V Masurkar’s sophomore feature Newton is all set to make its World Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. The Drishyam Films produced feature will be screened in the ‘Forum’ section of the Berlinale which features ‘avant-garde, experimental works, political reportage and yet-to-be-discovered cinematic landscapes’.

Newton was part of the Co-Production Market (CPM) at Film Bazaar, 2015 and also one of the Film Bazaar Recommends titles at Film Bazaar 2016. The film stars Rajkummar Rao in the title role and is a sharp political black comedy that takes place on an election day in Central India. Rajkummar Rao plays Newton, a rookie clerk on election duty in a conflict-ridden jungle of Chhattisgarh, who tries his best to conduct free and fair voting despite the apathy of security forces and the looming fear of an attack by Maoist rebels. The supporting cast includes Anjali Patil, Pankaj Tripathi and Raghubir Yadav. 

lady of the lake

The second film, Haobam Paban Kumar’s Manipuri film Loktak Lairembee (Lade Of The Lake) is also selected in the same ‘Forum’ section of the fest. The film has been doing the fest rounds for quite some time now and was also the winner of top prize in the India Gold section of Mumbai Film Festival.

Haobam has 5 National Film Awards and 5 Indian Panorama Selections to his credit. The film Loktak Lairembee (Lady of the lake) is his debut fiction feature film.

Here’s the official synopsis of the film –

Loktak Lake is a unique ecosystem where fishermen lived in huts built on floating biomasses. In 2011, the authorities, in the name of protecting serenity of the ecosystem, burnt down the huts leaving thousands of fishermen homeless. Tomba, one of the victims, lives with a harrowing nightmare of looming displacement since then. He is haunted by seamless fear of further intervention of authorities that would make him homeless forever. Confined in his makeshift hut, Tomba senses the spirit of evil around, while his wife Thambalsang works hard to make their living. One fine morning Tomba accidentally finds a gun hidden within the biomass. He marvels with the gun as his power of self-protection. He transforms himself to an assertive man who is looking for an appropriate offense. One day, an old lady who mysteriously wanders in the lake, knocks at his door in the middle of the night. Fearful Tomba, anticipating the lady as the spirit of all evils, chases her and commits an unintended crime.

Trailer

Filmmaker Amar Kaushik’s short film, Aaba has been selected for 67th Berlin International Film Festival which will run from 9-19th February, 2017. The film will premiere in the Generation Kplus category of the fest.

Interestingly, Amar’s mother, Shashi Kaushik has written the story. It revolves around an orphan girl who comes across the news of her grandfather reaching the terminal stages of lung cancer. As the grandfather (Aaba) starts counting his days, the family faces unexpected turns.

The film has been shot in the picturesque valley of Arunachal Pradesh. Aaba is produced by Raj Kumar Gupta and Mitul Dikshit, and co-produced by Onir and Alison Welly.

Earlier, Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair’s Ottaal, Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dhanak, and Avinash Arun’s Killa have premiered in the same category of the fest.

Click here to read about the shooting experience of Aaba.