Posts Tagged ‘Manjeet Singh’

Most probably you haven’t heard about any of these titles mentioned in the header of the post. But they seem to be interesting films, and hopefully we will get to hear more about them in the coming months. So here’s the official synopsis of all these films.


Away from any media attention, Feroze Abbas Khan has completed his next film titled Dekh Tamasha Dekh. He had earlier directed Gandhi, My Father.

Synopsis : The story revolves around the search for the religious identity of a poor man crushed under the weight of a politican’s hoarding. A social and political satire, the film explores the impossible India, where bizarre is normal.

Directed by Feroze Abbas Khan.
India 2012, 108 Minutes, Hindi with English subtitles.
Cast: Satish Kaushik, Tanvi Azmi, Vinay Jain, Sharad Ponkshe, Ganesh Yadav, Apoorva Arora, Alok Rajwade


Manjeet Singh’s directorial debut Mumbai Cha Raja did a good round of film fests and now he is working on his next film titled Chenu. It has been selected for the 9th edition of L’Atelier organized by the Cinéfondation of the Cannes Film Festival.

Synopsis : Chenu, a low caste Dalit boy living in rural North India, is drawn into an ongoing war between the extremely violent leftist “Naxal” militia and the fascist landlords’ gang. One day his younger sister Chano’s fingers are chopped off by landlord Teer Singh for plucking mustard leaves from his farm. When Chenu’s family is denied justice, the Naxals come to their rescue. They huntdown Teer Singh forcing him to take refuge under the protection of Bhagwan Sing, the leader of a landlord gang who has just cremated a cart full of dead relatives killed by the Naxals. The Naxals then involve Chenu in their operations and he comes to know where their weapons are hidden. When physically beaten by the rich village kids for playing on their turf, Chenu learns to fire a handgun himself. Meanwhile Bhagwan Singh, in thirst of revenge, consolidates other landlord gangs to form a powerful private army. A bloody cycle of violence unleashes, engulfing Chenu’s innocence while setting him on the cours of his own journey.


I have been hearing about Devashish Makhija for a long time. Good to know that he is ready with his debut feature.

Synopsis : Little Oonga missed his village school trip to the faraway big city Lohabad to see a play called ‘Ramayan’. Unable to handle the pressure of being the only kid around who has not seen the fantastic warrior-king ‘Rama’, Oonga runs away. He goes on a perilous journey across forest, river, mountains and roads – bigger than any he’s ever seen, and valleys lain to waste by the mining industry… until he reaches the large, cold, chaotic, blinding city. When he emerges from the play he believes he has become Rama! But he is now returning not to the warm confines of his little village, but to a battlefield where the ‘company’ will do anything to take the adivasi’s land away from them. Only, Oonga doesn’t know it yet.

Directed by Devashish Makhija.
India, 2012, Feature Film, 98 Minutes, Hindi and Oriya with English subtitles.
Cast – Alyy Khan, Anand Tiwari, Nandita Das, Priyanka Bose, Salim Kumar, Seema Biswas, Vipin Sharma


Filmistaan22012 was a good year for Bollywood. But beating all those films, Nitin Kakkar’s debut feature Filmistaan bagged the National Award for the Best Feature Film in Hindi Language. And if you read the synopsis, you might know why. It sounds delicious.

Synopsis : This National Award winning movie is set in Mumbai where, affable Bollywood buff and wanna-be-actor Sunny, who works as an assistant director, fantasizes on becoming a heart-throb star. However, at every audition he is summarily thrown out. Undeterred, he goes with an American crew to remote areas in Rajasthan to work on a documentary. One day an Islamic terrorist group kidnaps him for the American crew-member. Sunny finds himself on enemy border amidst guns and pathani-clad guards, who decide to keep him hostage until they locate their original target. The house in which he is confined belongs to a Pakistani, whose trade stems from pirated Hindi films, which he brings back every time he crosses the border. Soon, the two factions realize that they share a human and cultural bond. The film shows how cinema can be the universal panacea for co-existence.

Directed by Nitin Kakkar.
India 2012, 117 Minutes, Hindi with English subtitles.
Cast – Sharib Hashmi, Kumud Mishra, Gopal Datt, Inaamulhaq


Synopsis : ‘Fireflies’ is the story of two estranged brothers – Shiv and Rana. Shiv, a successful banker, lives in the superficial glitter of corporate Bombay. The younger brother, Rana, is a law school dropout who lives by the day. Though worldly experiences and illusions briefly illuminate the brothers’ journeys, a tragedy that befell them fifteen years earlier seems destined to repeat itself, just in new incarnations. Flames suddenly extinguish again, in an eerie heartbeat. The journey ahead echoing with voices and visions from the past, and the magic realism of the years gone by, beckons the brothers to find each other again. And the picture in the puzzle that was scattered so long ago. Fireflies come out in the night, just to light up the darkness. They live as long as the glow lasts. Even if it is a lifetime, being lived in a day.

Directed by Sabal Singh Shekhawat.
India, 2012, 102 Minutes, Hindi & English.
Cast – Arjun Mathur, Monica Dogra, Rahul Khanna, Shivani Ghai, Aadya Bedi

Two festival news updates.

Manjeet Singh’s next feature Chenu has been selected for the 9th edition of L’Atelier organized by the Cinéfondation of the Cannes Film Festival. 15 projects from 14 countries have been selected for 2013 edition of L’Atelier which invites directors/producers to meet potential partners during the Festival. So far, out of 126 projects presented over the last eight years, 83 have been completed and 29 are currently in pre-production. From May 17 to 23, L’Atelier will arrange meetings with the directors for film industry professionals interested in investing in their projects.

DearCinema has more info on the film – Chenu is the story of a young dalit boy in the northern Ganges belt. He is drawn into ongoing war between the naxals and upper caste militia, when his younger sister’s fingers are chopped for plucking mustard leaves from a landlord’s field. The script explores various factions existing in the northern Ganges belt and delves into the humiliating lives of the underprivileged dalits.

Manjeet Singh’s directorial debut Mumbai Cha Raja premiered at TIFF and have been doing the fest rounds since then. Last year Shivajee Chandrabhushan’s project The Untold Tale was selected for L’Atelier.


Tribeca Film festival has released the list of 12 documentaries that will premiere at the fest and will compete in the World Documentary competition section. Fahad Mustafa and Deepti Kakkar’s Powerless, which recently premiered at the Berlin Film festival, will have its North American premiere at Tribeca. Here’s the official synopsis from the Tribeca release..

Would you risk your life to flip a switch? In Kanpur, India, putting oneself in harm’s way to deliver electrical power is all too common. Powerless sheds light on the opposing corners of this political ring, from an electrical Robin Hood tapping wires for neighbors to the myopic utility company whose failure to understand economics forces it deeper into financial disarray. This vibrant exposé gives a whole new meaning to the words “power struggle.” In English, Hindi with subtitles.

To know more about the film, watch its trailer/teaser and for its credit roll, click here.

The 2013 film selection includes feature films from 30 different countries, including 53 World Premieres, 7 International Premieres, 15 North American Premieres, 6 U.S. Premieres and 8 New York Premieres. A total of 113 directors will present feature works at the Festival, with 35 of these filmmakers marking their feature directorial debuts. Among these directors, 26 are women. The 2013 film slate was chosen from a total of 6005 submissions.

Toronto International Film Festival’s focus in this year’s ‘City To City’ program is Mumbai and its showing Manjeet Singh’s Mumbai Cha Raja (The King of Mumbai), Anand Gandhi’s Ship of Theseus, Mohit Takalkar’s The Bright Day, Hansal Mehta’s Shahid along with Anurag Kashyap’s two-parter Gangs of Wasseypur, Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely, Habib Faisal’s Ishaqzaade, Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai and Vasan Bala’s Peddlers.

TIFF has made the presser video online where are all the directors were present and they talk about various subjects – festival, female directors, reviews, bollywood vs indies, changing film making scenario,

16:50 onward – On reviews. Waah, Vasan!

19:80 onward – Ha! Good try, Mr Habib Faisal to defend the regressive Ishaqzaade.

39:15 – Balaji took bits and pieces from Miss Lovely and made The Dirty Picture – Ashim Ahluwalia.

40:15 – If you send a script like this, i will file a criminal complaint with the police.

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Manjeet Singh’s debut feature Maumbai Cha Raja has been selected to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in its “City To City”program where “Mumbai” is the focus this year. But the film is yet to be completed. And Manjeet is looking for funds to complete the film.

– TIFF website describes the film as “A young boy comes of age in a Mumbai slum while dealing with his long-suffering mother and violent father, in this gently observational portrait crafted in the tradition of the great neorealist classics.”

– And here’s the detailed official synopsis of the film…

Rahul is a misunderstood and troubled adolescent who lives in the slums bordering the nouveau riche areas of Northern Mumbai with his alcoholic father, ahrd working mother and a kid brother. He hangs out with his balloon seller streetwise younger friend, Arbaaz.

Set during the grand festival devoted to Lord Ganesha over the last two days when huge idols of the elephant headed God are taken in procession to the beach for immersion. Rahul has to handle the chaos in his life amidst the chaos of the colorful and vibrant festival.

It’s a peep into the lives of kids living in the slums of Mumbai. A tribute to their spirit of finding joy in trivial things and living life to the fullest.

– Click on the play button to watch the trailer

The film also bagged the Prasad Award in Work in Progress Lab at Film Bazaar 2011. And was also selected for Producer’s Lab in Cinemart at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam 2012.

– You can contribute between Rs 2000 to Rs 300,000 for its completion. To know more about the film and to make contribution, click here.

Toronto International Film festival (TIFF) has announced 10 Indian films in its “City to City” segment where the focus this year is Mumbai.

Out of the selected ten films, four film will have its world premiere at TIFF. These four are Manjeet Singh’s Mumbai Cha Raja (The King of Mumbai), Anand Gandhi’s Ship of Theseus, Mohit Takalkar’s The Bright Day and Hansal Mehta’s Shahid. The other six includes Anurag Kashyap’s two-parter Gangs of Wasseypur, Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely, Habib Faisal’s Ishaqzaade, Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai and Vasan Bala’s Peddlers.

Since we have been covering Gangs Of Wasseypur, Miss Lovely, Peddlers, Ishaqzaade and Sanghai extensively, we are going to put out the info about the rest of the films now.

—> Shahid. Director : Hansal Mehta

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.

—> Mumbai’s King (Mumbai Cha Raja). Director : Manjeet Singh

Rahul roams the streets with his balloon-seller friend Arbaaz. These two kids escape the grim realities of their lives by gambling, roasting stolen potatoes, stealing an auto rickshaw for a joyride, and chasing girls. But soon Rahul has to “take care” of his violent father, who has forced him to live on streets. Starring Rahul Bairagi, Arbaaz Khan and Tejas Parvatkar.

—> Ship of Theseus. Director : Anand Gandhi

For Poster, Stills and Official synopsis of the film, click here.

—> The Bright Day. Director : Mohit Takalkar

Yearning for meaning in his life, a coddled young man abandons his girlfriend and family to set out on a spiritual quest across India. Shot with sophisticated DSLR cameras and reflecting a new passion for personal filmmaking, The Bright Day finds images to chart a soul’s progress.

Katha Centre for Film Studies : Curatorial Project Film Festival (Weekend Screenings from 18th Feb to 17th March)

Curatorial Project Film Festival is a part of the workshops on Film Curatorial Practices organized by Katha Centre for Film Studies and supported by India Foundation for the Arts.

– All film screenings are followed by discussions around films and the curatorial idea. The film screenings and discussions are open to all. No registration, no tickets required – just reach the venue and join us!


1. A bit of I, A bit of Me –  Curated by Afrah Shafiq.

Date : 24th and 25th Feb, 2012

Location : Edward Theatre, Kalbadevi and Whistling Woods International, Film City, Goregaon East, respectively

The programme includes a collection of documentary work that is in one way or the other a cinematic rendition of the self. These subjective truths with generous doses of reality, explore the practice where the filmmaker chooses to face the camera and implicate themselves in their own work and the teller becomes inseparable from what is being told.

Desperately Seeking Helen (Eisha Marjara, 81min, Canada)-  3:15pm, 24 Feb, Edward Theatre| 3:45pm, 25 Feb, Whistling Woods International

The Beaches of Agnes (Agnes Vards, 110min, France) – 5:00pm, 24 Feb, Edward Theatre| 10:15am, 25 Feb, Whistling Woods International

Summer in my veins (Nish Saran, 41min, India) 7pm, 24 Feb, Edward Theatre| 5:30pm, 25 Feb, Whistling Woods International

Unlimited Girls (Paromita Vohra, 94min, India) – 12:15pm, 25 Feb, Whistling Woods International

2. Emerging Voices of Indian Cinema – Curated by Manjeet Singh.

Unreleased Independent Feature films / Short films / Animation films. An attempt to probe into the challenges and delights of filmmaking

Date – 3rd March, 2012

Venue – Whistling Woods International, Film City, Goregaon East

Alms of a blind horse (Gurvinder Singh, 90min, India) – 10:15am

VideoKaran (Jagannathan Krishnan, 73min, India) – 12:00 noon

Hawa Anne De (Partho Sen Gupta, 93min, India) – 3:00pm

Carnival (Madhuja Mukherjee, 61min, India) – 4:45pm

3. Sonic Silences, Soundscape and Cinema – Curated by Geetha B.

The programme explores varied ways in which silence is used in films and the complexity of silence both in a philosophical and acoustic sense.

Date : 10th Mar, 2012

Venue : Whistling Woods International, Film City, Goregaon East

2001 A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 142min, USA ) – 10:30am

In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar Wai, 98min, Hong Kong) – 1:45pm

Satantango  (Bela Tarr, 60min, Hungary) – Selections from the film – 3:30pm

Siddheshwari (Mani Kaul, 123min, India) – 5:15pm

4. Food and Cinema –  Curated by Atika Chohan.

The programme looks at the centrality of food as  recurrent film theme and how imperative a tool it is to explore society, culture, tradition, race, displacement, immigration, current socio-economic concerns and politics; and further, since food-films marry cinematics and rhetoric so engagingly that it finds an instant  receptivity amongst both the lay and initiated audience.

Date : 17th March, 2012

Venue : Whistling Woods International, Film City, Goregaon East

The Cook the Thief his Wife her lover  (Peter Greenaway, 95min, France-UK)  –  10:15am

Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 118min, USA) – 12:00 noon

My Dinner with Andre (Louis Malle, 110min, USA) – 3:15pm

Eat Drink Man Woman (Ang Lee, 124min, Taiwan) – 5:15pm

– In case of any query, tweet to @kathaCFS or @svetlana25 or you can write to

– **Please note that screening times are subject to change in case of certain unavoidable situations.