Posts Tagged ‘Berlin’


WHAT : A discussion with Indian filmmakers whose films were selected for the Berlin Film Festival 2014. The conversation will include short clips from the selected films, and will be moderated by the Berlin Film Festival’s India Consultant Meenakshi Shedde.

WHEN : Friday, April 25, 6.30 pm

WHERE : Galerie Max Mueller, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, K Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai 400001.​​ Tel.: +91 22 2202 7542​

​​PANEL : The participants include directors Avinash Arun, Pushpendra Singh and Kush Badhwar; producers Alan McAlex and Sanjay Shah. Directors Jessica Sadana and Samarth Dixit, as well as Rajeev Masand, Entertainment Editor and Film Critic, CNN-IBN, will participate via video clips.

– Killa (The Fort) directed by Avinash Arun, Generation section: Winner, Crystal Bear for Best Film, Generation K-plus section for children. Debut feature. A superb coming-of-age story of young Chinu, whose mother keeps getting transferred, and making peace with the past.

– Alan McAlex of Jar Pictures (with co-founder Ajay G. Rai), has produced/co-produced Killa, Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur 1 and 2, which were at Cannes, and Liar’s Dice, which was at Sundance.

– Lajwanti (The Honour Keeper) directed by Pushpendra Singh (Forum section): Debut feature. A poetic, avant garde Rajasthani love story, between a village woman in a veil and a man obsessed with pigeons.

– Blood Earth directed by Kush Badhwar (Forum Expanded section): The film explores the political resistance of the adivasis in Odisha against a mining venture, through the perspective of their songs, music, noise and silence. Badhwar belongs to the collective Word Sound Power.

– Sanjay Shah: Creative Producer, participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus. His films include Miss Lovely, which was at Cannes. Former Supervising Producer at NFDC, he organized the Co-Production Market at its Film Bazaar last year.

– Jessica Sadana and Samarth Dixit, co-directors of Prabhat Pheri (Journey of Prabhat), Forum section. Debut feature. A fascinating documentary-myth of the FTII campus, previously owned by the Prabhat Film Company Studio, replete with stories of a director reborn as a snake.

– Rajeev Masand, Entertainment Editor and Film Critic, CNN-IBN: he has extensively covered the Berlinale.

– Meenakshi Shedde, India Consultant to the Berlin Film Festival: An independent film festival consultant and film curator, she has curated for festivals worldwide, including Locarno, Toronto (TIFF Bell Lightbox) and Busan. She won the National Award for Best Film Critic.

TOPIC : The Berlin Film Festival, also known as Berlinale, is considered one of the top international film festivals in theworld today. It has also selected far more Indian films than any other A-list festival over the years—includingfeatures, documentaries, short and experimental films. This year was exceptional, as the Berlinale selected a record 12 Indian films, including international films by directors of Indian origin. This reflects the exciting vitality of Indian cinema today, as well as its young talent: three directors, who were selected by Berlin for their first feature films, are still in their 20s. The Marathi film Killa won the Crystal Bear! What was it like, being at the Berlin Film Festival? How did the audience respond? Could this mean an international career? These are some of the questions that will be discussed.


Fahad Mustafa and Deepti Kakkar’s documentary Katiyabaaz (Powerless) was selected for Berlin and Tribeca Film Festival. The film will have its screening at this year’s Mumbai Film Festival. Ahead of the fest, it has got a new trailer. Have a look.

The song in the trailer is sung by Indian Ocean and is written by Varun Grover who is also a regular contributor to this blog.

About the film :

In Kanpur, India, Loha Singh is the local robin-hood, stealing electricity so that homes and businesses could function normally in the face of day-long power-cuts. Meanwhile, the first female chief of the electricity supply company has vowed to rid the town of illegal connections and increase supply. In a summer of crisis, sparks will fly.

Description :

Powerless is a documentary film about the electrical supply shortage in an industrial suburb of Kanpur, India. The story unfurls along miles of tangled copper wires which mirror the diabolical complexity which unfolds in several towns and cities across the country. A picture emerges of a modern dystopia encompassing urban decay and desperation due to the lack of electricity. Underlying the localized crisis in Kanpur is the glaring energy poverty in India, where a third of the population is often without power and the rest grapple with frequent power-cuts that dictate their own terms. Powerless points to the universal need for dependable electrical power while exploring this theme in one of the world’s most ascendant economies.

– To know more about the film, click here to go to its official website.

– To read the Hollywood Reporter’s review of the film from Berlin fest, click here.

always-being-born-recipient-of-dadasaheb-phalke-award-mrinal-sen-a-memoir-275x275-imad96etkbdskjezRecently I watched a documentary film where Mrinal Sen is quoted. Mrinal Sen? It left me wondering when was the last time I heard his name. Honestly, not sure. In which discussion? Well, really not sure. We talk so much about world cinema, but we rarely get to hear the desi names beyond the few obvious ones.

People like us, who could easily be branded as the fest-fuckers, are bigger culprits. Even before fests became kind of cool for kids here, Sen had been there, done that. Apart from many other international awards, his Kharij was in Cannes Official Competition and bagged the Jury Prize in 1983. His another film Akaler Shandhaney (In Search Of A Famine) was in cometition at Berlin Fest where it bagged the Silver Bear in 1981, and at Venice Film Festival, Ek Din Achanak got an Honourable Mention. Do watch the films if you haven’t.

Back to Sen, and we have a new segment – Just A Page. The film reminded me of his memoir, Always Being Born. I had read it long back. As soon as i came back home, i took out the book and read few pages. Ironically, even at the risk of it being used to poke fun at me for obvious reasons (by friends and well-wishers mostly), am going to quote a page from this book. Quite a terrific one. Do read.

Suddenly, from behind a boulder on which I was seated, appeared a boy, hardly ten, the external anatomy giving the appearance of a beggar. He stood before me, but unlike a hungry beggar, his eyes were bright. I smiled and he smiled back. I pulled out a ten-rupee note, quite a fat amount in those days, and gave it to him. He could not believe that the amount was meant for him. I drew him close, patted him on the shoulder and gave him the push with a smile. The boy ran away with the money, looked back from a distance, his eyes beaming, and disappeared. Instantly, I felt I was a different man altogether. I sprang to my feet and, with nobody around, i shouted at the top of my voice and in ecstasy uttered a few Bengali words, Dekh-re Shala’ra, Kemon Aami Nirbaashan’e Aachhi! (Look bastards, I’m an exile here!) And there was nobody around. Bengali, for the first time in last three days, because it was Greek in Jhansi. Could there be a streak of madness in me? Or, to quote Jacques Tati or getting a kick from Chaplin, Inspired Nonsense?

I, then, returned to my hotel, shut myself up in my small room and moved towards the tall mirror. Standing before the mirror, I could see myself from top to toe, head to foot. Watching me, I enjoyed looking at “it”. As I looked deep into the eyes of my ‘double’, I wanted to see more of ‘it’, the whole of ‘it’. Without caring to behave myself, I made a violent move to strip myself.

There stood my ‘double’, stark naked, face to face with me. Was the look menancing? The double’s? Or mine? I did not remember. I remembered the ‘talk’ I had with ‘him’. I said, hugely intrigued:

There you are, Mr Mrinal Sen, one who read a lot on cinema, wrote substantially on its aesthetics and made frantic efforts to impress others! Now, here you are, Mr Sen, a dawai-walla (medicine-seller), who once wanted to be a filmmaker! Didn’t you, Mr Sen, manage to hook a money-backer and finally backed out for fear of making  lousy film? Oh, no! Serve your bosses well, rot here and try to get an increment. To feel bored is not your business, you cannot afford it, can you?

So saying, I made faces, muttered words in languages I know, then giggled and laughed and made all kinds of absurd gestures and finally, unable to control myself, I cried. Cried like a child. All alone in a hotel room in Jhansi!

After three days, I sent a long telegram to the management in Bombay and I resigned.

You can order the book from Flipkart here.

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And that’s what you call a perfect timing! Dhobi Ghat, pitched as a first art house film from Aamir Khan Productions, released on Friday, and now the announcement that Aamir Khan will be one the jury of Berlin International Film festival 2011. It’s among the top five International film festivals worldwide and to be on the jury is quite an honour.

The seven-member jury will be headed by Italian-American actress Isabella Rossellini and the festival will run from 10th to 20th February, 2011. The other jury members include Australian film producer Jan Chapman, German actress Nina Hoss, Canadian film-maker Guy Maddin, British costume designer Sandy Powell and Iranian director Jafar Panahi.  But Panahi’s place on the jury will be left symbolically empty.

The competition section includes 22 films, 16 of which will be competing for the awards. In addition there will be two special screenings: In solidarity with the convicted Iranian director Jafar Panahi, his film Offside will be presented on February 11, the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. Also, the European premiere of Werner Herzog’s 3D documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams will be shown as a special screening in the Berlinale Palast.

The international jury will decide the following prizes –

– The Golden Bear for the Best Film (awarded to the film’s producer)

– The Jury Grand Prix (Silver Bear)

– The Award for Best Director (Silver Bear)

– The Award for Best Actress (Silver Bear)

– The Award for Best Actor (Silver Bear)

– The Award for Best Script (Silver Bear)

– The Award for an Outstanding Artistic Achievement in the categories camera, editing, score, costumes or set design (Silver Bear)

– The Alfred Bauer Prize – in memory of the festival founder – for a feature film that broadens the horizons of the art of filmmaking.

Berlin Fest will also have three films from India in Panorama section. To quote from the official release…

On a grand scale Vishal Bhardwaj tells of an intimidating female character who moves between the religions and their male proponents in 7 Khoon Maaf (7 Sins Forgiven), while young director Q has angry young men set out – unfiltered and raw – to find a place for themselves in the world in his film debut Gandu (Asshole): “Words are burning inside us. Rap is a way to say them.” British filmmaker Phil Cox lets viewers experience the city of Calcutta up close in The Bengali Detective: it takes you to the darkest corners of the metropolis with private detectives whose businesses are booming because the police can no longer be trusted.

Filmmaker Prashant Bhargava’s feature Patang (The Kite) has also been selected to be screened as part of the 41st Forum in this year’s Festival.

And Dear Aamir,

If you still haven’t been able to understand Memento, we are more than willing to offer our services. Do let us know. And we also hope that you don’t talk about Ghajini there. Be careful. Or you might end up getting caught, like it happened with Bipasha Basu recently.

Team FC