Posts Tagged ‘Anup Singh’

Ritesh Batra’s new film, Our Souls at Night, will have its world premiere at Venice International Film Festival in an out-of-competition slot. The film stars Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. Both the actors will also be honored with Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement at the 74th edition of the fest.

Based on the novel by Kent Haruf and adapted for screen by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, Our Souls At Night is set in Colorado, and begins when Addie Moore (Fonda) pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor Louis Waters (Redford). Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town, they’d been neighbors for decades but had little contact. Netflix is launching the film globally next year. (via Deadline)

The fest will run from Aug. 30 till Sept. 9, 2017

The Song of Scorpions directed by Anup Singh, starring Irrfan Khan and Golshifteh Farahani will have its world première at Locarno Film Festival. The festival is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.

The Song of Scorpions is a story of twisted love, revenge and the redemptive power of a song. Nooran, carefree and defiantly independent, is a tribal woman learning the ancient art of healing from her grandmother, a revered scorpion-singer. When Aadam, a camel trader in the Rajasthan desert, hears her sing, he falls desperately in love. But even before they can get to know each other better, Nooran is poisoned by a brutal treachery that sets her on a perilous journey to avenge herself and find her song.

The Locarno Film Festival runs from Aug. 2-12, 2017.

qissa_01

We at mFC have been vocal supporter of Anup Singh’s Punjabi film Qissa. We not only loved and recommended the film, but we put it in our mFC’s Must-Watch list also. So it was bit shocking to us when he was accused of not crediting the original source of the story. A Facebook post by theatre actor and co-founder of Why Loiter? Mumbai, Neha Singh, has gone viral in the last few days. We are copy-pasting the post here –

It’s disappointing that the makers of the film Qissa forgot to give credit to the marvelous Rajasthani writer Vijaydan Detha on whose short story ‘Dohri Zindagi‘ the film is based. Vijaydan Detha (1926-2013) is a par excellent Indian writer who wrote in Rajasthani and on whose stories filmmakers Mani Kaul (Duvidha), Amol Palekar (Paheli) and Prakash Jha (Parinati) have made films. Dohri Zindagi is a story of a man who raises his daughter like a boy, hides the fact that she is a girl from everyone is the village and then marries her off to another girl. When the bride realizes her husband is a woman, she is devastated, but she decides to stick with her. Both of them run away, while the villagers try to kill them, and a ghost comes as their saviour. When the girl that was raised as a boy pleads with the ghost to turn her into a man, he does so. As soon as the girl turns into a boy, she tries raping the wife.

It is unfortunate that the credit wasn’t given, because the filmmakers are depriving the young audiences in getting acquainted with this literary stalwart. When I went to see the film, the young film buffs sitting besides me exclaimed ‘what a concept’, ‘how revolutionary’, without knowing that this story was written by a simple Rajasthani writer in a village many decades ago. Vijaydan Detha is a Padma Shri and Sahitya Academy award recipient as was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 2011. He wrote over 1300 poems and over 300 short stories. His works have been translated in Hindi and English but its a pity hardly anyone knows about him. But everyone knows about Chetan Bhagat.

The original post is here.

Anup Singh has now clarified his stand on this credit controversy in another Facebook post. This is his post –

Anyone who has seen Qissa must feel the intimate, personal nature of the tale. It’s a thing difficult for me to mention, but please keep in mind that I grew up a Sikh in Africa. The long hair and the frail body of a teenaged boy in a culture unfamiliar with Sikhism often led, as you might imagine, to traumatic experiences. And surrounding that, the refugee tales of my grandfather of lost relatives, of old ghosts coming alive in the telling — these are the real secret threads of Qissa.

It’s always wondrous how these little threads of a personal lived experience, the tales of our forefathers lead us to weave stories that evoke and dialogue with other intense experiences become tales in other cultures. There are African tales of girls living as men, there are similar Egyptian and Moroccan and Turkish tales. And tales in Spain …

Qissa is my childhood, my response to the violence of our time, my putting the ghosts of my grandfather and other relatives to rest.

Please do not reduce our imagination to a single reading or a single tale. We are all many tales, many possibilities.

You can read the post on FB here.

Anup Singh’s Qissa is finally releasing in India. It’s a limited release in 5 cities with just a few shows. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see the release details. But here’s the good news – even if you are not in any of the 5 cities or you are outside India, you can watch it on VoD. Click here to go to NFDC’s VoD link and enjoy the film. The film is in Punjabi with English subtitles.

We are re-posting an old recco post on the film. Don’t miss it- it’s a must-watch and has made it to our mFC Recco List.

Qissa

If the header of the post seems loaded, you will be surprised more when you watch the film. Yes, there’s gender-bending, it’s genre-bending, and a ghostly tale. Add partition, identity crisis, sexuality, female foeticide, sibling rivalry. It’s a baffling cocktail that you have never tasted before.

The ghostly part might be considered a spoiler, but since the film’s title already tells you that, am not sure if it should be counted as one. The film is titled “Qissa – The Tale Of A Lonely Ghost”. I think that’s a smart choice to let the audience know what they are getting into, and be prepared for it. On a similar tangent, it was a mistake which Talaash makers did by not getting the spoiler out.

Varun Grover saw the film at TIFF where it premiered, and reccoed it in a post here – “A film based on partition, in Punjabi, starring Irrfan and Tillotama Shome and Rasika Duggal and Tisca Chopra! I was already sold. And though it deals with partition in a more symbolic, metaphoric, allegorical way – I was moved immensely by it. Many friends had issues with the logic and amount of suspension of disbelief it demands (basic premise of a father who brings up his daughter as a son without letting anybody else know is a bit of a stretch, yes) – but it still managed to disturb and involve me probably because of the magic realism zone it enters in the 2nd half. And also because of Rasika and Tillotama’s terrific performances. Probably it’s only me but I think the film gives a solid theory on why Punjab has the maximum cases of female foeticide/infanticide. (Qissa won the NETPAC Award at TIFF)”

So i was already prepared for it. But i had no clue that it will be such a fascinating ride. The film starts with a voice-over that feels like a folktale. But it soon jumps into the reality of partition and ethnic cleansing which forms its backdrop. In the aftermath of partition, Umber Singh (Irrfan Khan) is forced to move to Punjab with his family. A loss of identity, roots and that place you call home. Do you ever get that back?

And from the politics of the land the film moves to gender politics. Having already three daughters, Irrfan forces the forth daughter to grow up like a son. The gender identity part is strange and you might question its believability factor. But i have always felt that never let the truth (or logic/reason/whatever you call it) come in the way of a great story telling. Let the filmmaker be your guiding torch in this new dark room that you have never entered. Just hold his hand tightly and enjoy the ride. Leave him only if he trips over something. In that dark room, the only thing that matters is the conviction with which the filmmaker guides you, and how much are you willing to trust him. I live to enjoy this cheap thrill, and trust me, most of the times the experience has been rewarding. It’s easy to spot the ones who know their craft and can direct. Qissa is one such dark room which you have never entered. It’s strange, it’s weird, it’s unique. You need that torch and that trust. So as you buy into the premise of its gender politics, you realise that this strange tale is becoming weird, and you keep wondering where it will end up.

Then comes the magic realism bit which wraps up the story and completes the circle. The sudden tonal shift feels slightly jerky but it’s a minor quibble in an otherwise brilliant film. Anup Singh captures the sights and sounds of the land beautifully. The arid landscape, the rustic rituals, the folksy sound, and the dialect of the region, there’s not a single false note in Qissa. Backed by strong acting talents – Irrfan Khan, Tilottama Shome, Rasika Dugal and Tisca Chopra, they manage to pull off this difficult film with much ease. Describing anything more of the film will spoil the fun for you.

Qissa is an audacious film, and all credit must go to Anup Singh for stepping into this rare territory which we hardly explore, and for delivering such a brilliant film. This is the reason why it might alienate some audience too. You are not sure how to tackle this film. So remember the dark room and hold that torch. You will be fine. Don’t miss this one. It’s rare to find such a gem. Because it’s rare to find a desi filmmaker who takes such an untrodden path.

@NotSoSnob

Qissa

film bazaar2

– Early buzz on Kanu Behl’s Titli : Titli is the most stunning, daring, solid Indian film i have seen this year. Nothing like Indian cinema has seen ever…not a single wrong frame. Too depressing and suffocating at times…but man, this MUST go international. Animal kingdom ka baap hai! And all actors just at their career best roles. (via a friend who saw it). Titli is produced by Dibakar Banerjee and Aditya Chopra. To know more about the film, click here.

– Kanu Behl’s Titli also won the DI Award for the Best Work-in-Progress Lab Project. The DI Award sponsors the completion of the Digital Intermediate process at Prasad Labs.

– New York-based BGP Film has picked up the North American rights of Gyan Correa’s film The Good Road.

– Abhay Deol will star in the UK-set thriller, Bounty Hunter, to be directed by brothers Sunandan and Yugesh Walia. They will also co-produce the film rough their UK-based production company Endboard Productions.

– Q to make English-language debut with Brahman Naman, to be produced by Steve Barron’s UK-based Riley Productions.  Set in Bangalore in the 1980s, the film is a comedy about a 17-year-old who tops his class but also has whisky addiction, filthy mouth and a porn collection. Q’s Kolkata-based production company Overdose Joint will co-produce.

– France’s ASAP Films to produce Rajesh Jala’s The Spark (Chingari). It was selected for NFDC Screenwriters’ Lab and Co-production Market. The script also won the Incredible India award at Film Bazaar. The Award comes with a cash price of Rs. 1 mn for the best project in the Co-Production Market and is presented by the Ministry of Tourism.

– Ashim Ahluwalia’s film Miss Lovely is set to release in India in January 2014. This will be done through the start-up theatrical distributor Easel Films and Eagle Movies.

– Guneet Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment has announced two new films – Amit Kumar’s Give Me Blood and Vasan Bala’s Side Hero.

– Nikhil Mahajan (of Pune 52) has announced his new film Dainik which will star Rajkummar Rao (Yes, RajKumar Yadav is now Rao). DAR Motion Pictures, IME Motion Pictures and Nikhil Mahajan’s Blue Drop Films will co-produce Marathi action adventure Baji, starring Shreyas Talpade.

– Varun Grover’s film Maa Bhagwatiya IIT Coaching will be produced by Nikhil Mahajan. The script was selected for Screenwriters Lab.

– DAR Motion Pictures, IME Motion Pictures will co-produce Nikhil Mahajan’s Marathi Superhero film Baji starring Shreyas Talpade.

– After Qissa, filmmaker Anup Singh is working on adapting UK author Paul Pickering’s novel Over The Rainbow. The film will be produced by Switzerland-based Saskia Vischer Productions.

– Channel 4 has picked up four titles – The Good Road, Sulemani Keeda, Fandry and B.A. Pass.

(Via various News sources)

Qissa-Movie-Starring-Irrfan-KhanIf the header of the post seems loaded, you will be surprised more when you watch the film. Yes, there’s gender-bending, it’s genre-bending, and a ghostly tale. Add partition, identity crisis, sexuality, female foeticide, sibling rivalry. It’s a baffling cocktail that you have never tasted before.

The ghostly part might be considered a spoiler, but since the film’s title already tells you that, am not sure if it should be counted as one. The film is titled “Qissa – The Tale Of A Lonely Ghost”. I think that’s a smart choice to let the audience know what they are getting into, and be prepared for it. On a similar tangent, it was a mistake which Talaash makers did by not getting the spoiler out.

Varun Grover saw the film at TIFF where it premiered, and reccoed it in a post here – “A film based on partition, in Punjabi, starring Irrfan and Tillotama Shome and Rasika Duggal and Tisca Chopra! I was already sold. And though it deals with partition in a more symbolic, metaphoric, allegorical way – I was moved immensely by it. Many friends had issues with the logic and amount of suspension of disbelief it demands (basic premise of a father who brings up his daughter as a son without letting anybody else know is a bit of a stretch, yes) – but it still managed to disturb and involve me probably because of the magic realism zone it enters in the 2nd half. And also because of Rasika and Tillotama’s terrific performances. Probably it’s only me but I think the film gives a solid theory on why Punjab has the maximum cases of female foeticide/infanticide. (Qissa won the NETPAC Award at TIFF)”

So i was already prepared for it. But i had no clue that it will be such a fascinating ride. The film starts with a voice-over that feels like a folktale. But it soon jumps into the reality of partition and ethnic cleansing which forms its backdrop. In the aftermath of partition, Umber Singh (Irrfan Khan) is forced to move to Punjab with his family. A loss of identity, roots and that place you call home. Do you ever get that back?

And from the politics of the land the film moves to gender politics. Having already three daughters, Irrfan forces the forth daughter to grow up like a son. The gender identity part is strange and you might question its believability factor. But i have always felt that never let the truth (or logic/reason/whatever you call it) come in the way of a great story telling. Let the filmmaker be your guiding torch in this new dark room that you have never entered. Just hold his hand tightly and enjoy the ride. Leave him only if he trips over something. In that dark room, the only thing that matters is the conviction with which the filmmaker guides you, and how much are you willing to trust him. I live to enjoy this cheap thrill, and trust me, most of the times the experience has been rewarding. It’s easy to spot the ones who know their craft and can direct. Qissa is one such dark room which you have never entered. It’s strange, it’s weird, it’s unique. You need that torch and that trust. So as you buy into the premise of its gender politics, you realise that this strange tale is becoming weird, and you keep wondering where it will end up.

Then comes the magic realism bit which wraps up the story and completes the circle. The sudden tonal shift feels slightly jerky but it’s a minor quibble in an otherwise brilliant film. Anup Singh captures the sights and sounds of the land beautifully. The arid landscape, the rustic rituals, the folksy sound, and the dialect of the region, there’s not a single false note in Qissa. Backed by strong acting talents – Irrfan Khan, Tilottama Shome, Rasika Dugal and Tisca Chopra, they manage to pull off this difficult film with much ease. Describing anything more of the film will spoil the fun for you.

Qissa is an audacious film, and all credit must go to Anup Singh for stepping into this rare territory which we hardly explore, and for delivering such a brilliant film. This is the reason why it might alienate some audience too. You are not sure how to tackle this film. So remember the dark room and hold that torch. You will be fine. Don’t miss this one. It’s rare to find such a gem. Because it’s rare to find a desi filmmaker who takes such an untrodden path.

So far I have seen only two films in India Gold section of Mumbai Film Festival, but i wouldn’t be surprised if Qissa walks away with the top prize.

@cilemasnob

(ps – It also reminded me of a strong Peruvian film, Undertow which was a strange mix of a ghostly tale and gay love story. Do watch this one too if you haven’t seen)

qissa_01

Toronto International Film Festival has come to an end, and has announced the winners  for this year.

Here’s the good news – An Indian co-production, Anup Singh’s Qissa has bagged the NETPAC Award at this year’s fest. The film stars Irrfan Khan, Tillotama Shome, Rasika Dugal and Tisca Chopra. This Punjabi film is written by Anup Singh and Madhuja Mukherjee. And here’s what the official release says –

As selected by a jury from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema, the NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere goes to Anup Singh’s Qissa. Jury members include Jay Jeon (Korea), Intishal Al Timimi (Abu Dhabi) and Freddie Wong (Hong Kong). The jury remarked: “The NETPAC Award for the best Asian film at Festival 2013 goes to Qissa, directed by Anup Singh, for its sensitive portrayal of the issues of identity and displacement that affect people not only in India, but in all parts of the world and for brilliance of cinematic craft and the choice of metaphor that has been employed to tell a moving story that is bound to provoke thoughts, spark debate and give its viewers an intense experience.

TRAILER

TIFF NOTE & SYNOPSIS

Set amidst the ethnic cleansing and general chaos that accompanied India’s partition in 1947, this sweeping drama stars Irrfan Khan — also appearing at the Festival in The Lunchbox — as a Sikh attempting to forge a new life for his family while keeping their true identities a secret from their community.

Beautiful, timeless, and touching the deepest of human impulses, Qissa carries the spirit of a great folk tale. Although it’s set in a particular time and place — the Punjab region that straddles India and Pakistan in the years immediately after partition — it is both deeper and broader than any one moment. As this eerie family drama progresses, it cuts to the heart of eternal desires for honour, empathy, and love.

One of India’s best actors, Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi, Festival premiere The Lunchbox, and a feature guest in this year’s Mavericks programme) plays Umber Singh, a Sikh uprooted by the religious violence that came with partition in 1947. He and his family move to a safer locale, and it is here that the story takes a remarkable turn. Having already fathered daughters, Singh now wants a son. When his next child is born he celebrates his wish come true, but there is one problem: the baby is in fact a girl.

“Qissa” is originally an Arabic word meaning folk tale. Both the word and the idea migrated from the Gulf into the Punjab, still connected by the ancient oral narratives handed down in communal settings. Working within this tradition, director Anup Singh gives his film both the grand themes and elemental emotions of classic storytelling. As Umber’s daughter is raised as a boy, the characters are propelled with greater and greater urgency towards their inevitable fates.

Part of a new generation of directors with feet firmly planted in India and far beyond, Singh has delivered a film immediately accessible to anyone sensitive to the conflicts that drive classic stories: fear versus hubris, individual need versus social codes. Qissa is a Punjabi story for the whole world.

DIRECTOR

Anup Singh was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He has written film reviews for Sight & Sound, directed Indian television, and consulted for BBC Two. His features as director are The Name of a River (02) and Qissa (13).

CAST & CREW

Director: Anup Singh

Countries: Germany / India / Netherlands / France

Year: 2013

Language: Punjabi

Runtime: 109 minutes

Rating: 14A

Producer: Johannes Rexin, Bettina Brokemper

Production Co.: Heimatfilm, National Film Development Corporation of India, Augustus Film, Ciné-Sud Promotion

Principal Cast: Irrfan Khan, Tillotama Shome, Rasika Dugal, Tisca Chopra

Screenplay: Anup Singh, Madhuja Mukherjee

Cinematographer: Sebastian Edschmid

Editor: Bernd Euscher

Sound: Peter Flamman

Music: Béatrice Thiriet

Prod. Designer: Tim Pannen

Int. Sales Agent: The Match Factory

qissa_01

Anup Singh’s Qissa will have its premiere at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival. The film stars Irrfan Khan, Tillotama Shome, Rasika Dugal and Tisca Chopra. This Punjabi film is written by Anup Singh and Madhuja Mukherjee.

The first look trailer of the film is just out.

TIFF Note and Synopsis

Set amidst the ethnic cleansing and general chaos that accompanied India’s partition in 1947, this sweeping drama stars Irrfan Khan — also appearing at the Festival in The Lunchbox — as a Sikh attempting to forge a new life for his family while keeping their true identities a secret from their community.

Beautiful, timeless, and touching the deepest of human impulses, Qissa carries the spirit of a great folk tale. Although it’s set in a particular time and place — the Punjab region that straddles India and Pakistan in the years immediately after partition — it is both deeper and broader than any one moment. As this eerie family drama progresses, it cuts to the heart of eternal desires for honour, empathy, and love.

One of India’s best actors, Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi, Festival premiere The Lunchbox, and a feature guest in this year’s Mavericks programme) plays Umber Singh, a Sikh uprooted by the religious violence that came with partition in 1947. He and his family move to a safer locale, and it is here that the story takes a remarkable turn. Having already fathered daughters, Singh now wants a son. When his next child is born he celebrates his wish come true, but there is one problem: the baby is in fact a girl.

“Qissa” is originally an Arabic word meaning folk tale. Both the word and the idea migrated from the Gulf into the Punjab, still connected by the ancient oral narratives handed down in communal settings. Working within this tradition, director Anup Singh gives his film both the grand themes and elemental emotions of classic storytelling. As Umber’s daughter is raised as a boy, the characters are propelled with greater and greater urgency towards their inevitable fates.

Part of a new generation of directors with feet firmly planted in India and far beyond, Singh has delivered a film immediately accessible to anyone sensitive to the conflicts that drive classic stories: fear versus hubris, individual need versus social codes. Qissa is a Punjabi story for the whole world.

Director : Anup Singh

Anup Singh was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He has written film reviews for Sight & Sound, directed Indian television, and consulted for BBC Two. His features as director are The Name of a River (02) and Qissa (13).

Cast and Crew

Director: Anup Singh

Countries: Germany / India / Netherlands / France

Year: 2013

Language: Punjabi

Runtime: 109 minutes

Rating: 14A

Producer: Johannes Rexin, Bettina Brokemper

Production Co.: Heimatfilm, National Film Development Corporation of India, Augustus Film, Ciné-Sud Promotion

Principal Cast: Irrfan Khan, Tillotama Shome, Rasika Dugal, Tisca Chopra Screenplay: Anup Singh, Madhuja Mukherjee

Cinematographer: Sebastian Edschmid

Editor: Bernd Euscher

Sound: Peter Flamman

Music: Béatrice Thiriet

Prod. Designer: Tim Pannen

Int. Sales Agent: The Match Factory