Posts Tagged ‘Nandita Das’

The 2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival 2018 (Sg.SAIFF) will open with actor-director Nandita Das’ Manto which stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the titular role as Sadat Hassan Manto and follows the most tumultuous years and times in the life of the famed writer and of the two countries he inhabits — India and Pakistan.

The 2nd edition of the festival held from 5th to 14th October 2018 in Singapore will commence with an opening ceremony on 5th October at Carnival Cinema and close on 13th October at Resorts World Sentosa will also include the awards ceremony.

The film was chosen for the prestigious Un Certain Regard section at Cannes 2018 and features an impressive ensemble of actors including Rasika Duggal, Rajshri Deshpande, Rishi Kapoor and Paresh Rawal. The screening at SGSAIFF 2018 marks the film’s South East Asian premiere and will be attended by Nandita Das.

Das who will be presenting the film at the festival says, “We are delighted to screen Manto as the opening film at SGSAIFF. Manto was very much a South Asian writer. But unlike the Europeans, we South Asians do not own this identity, despite many cultural and social similarities amongst the countries in the region. Therefore, it is important to support such festivals that celebrate cinema from the Subcontinent. Last year, SGSAIFF screened a film I acted in, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai as the opening film, which is yet to be released. I was unfortunately unable to make it. So, I very much look forward to attending it this year.”

Abhayanand Singh, Chairperson of SGSAIFF, whose association with Nandita Das started with Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai, the film co-produced by his production company, Muvizz says, “It’s a great honour to open the 2nd edition of SGSAIFF with one of the most important Indian films of this year, MANTO. We are happy that Nandita Das accepted our invitation to come and present the film at the festival.”

The SGSAIFF 2018 lineup which will be announced shortly includes an interesting mix of features, documentaries and shorts which includes titles from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan.

About The South Asian Singapore Film Festival

Singapore South Asian International Film Festival (Sg.SAIFF) is devoted to a greater appreciation of South Asian cinema and culture. The festival seeks to support emerging filmmakers, open a fertile space for dialogue and collaborations within the industry, and most significantly share with the audience of Singapore the diverse and complex experiences of South Asia through the intimate storytelling medium of cinema.

With the impetus to effectively channel the expansion of South Asian cinema beyond the subcontinent and engage with a wider spectrum of audience. Singapore with its sizable population of South Asian descent, is a natural choice for this purpose. Supported by the Singapore Indian High Commission(IHC), the festival is a landmark initiative to serve as a cultural gateway between the global city of Singapore and the developing nations of South Asia.

Singapore, being the gateway of Asia, only enhances the potential of the festival to emerge as the melting pot of diverse cultures using cinema as a medium.

Cannes

Cannes Film Festival has just announced its official selection list. And as expected not too many Indian films at fest this year.

As part of tribute to 100 years of Indian Cinema, Bombay Talkies will have its Gala premiere at the fest. It’s a collection of four short films directed by Dibakar Banerjee, Anurag Kashyap, Karan Johar and Zoya Akhtar.

Another selection is Amit Kumar’s Monsoon Shootout which is in Midnight Screenings section. It stars Vijay Varma, Nawazuddin Siddiqi, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Neeraj Kabi, Geetanjali Thapa.

And here’s the official synopsis – A rookie cop faces a suspected gangster in a dead-end alley and has to decide whether to shoot or not to shoot. Three separate scenarios explore the impact of his decision on other people’s lives.

Amit had earlier directed a terrific short called Bypass which won many awards. Click here and here to watch the film in two parts.

Also, Indian actor and director Nandita Das is part of the CineFoundation and Short Film Jury.

To read the complete list, click here.

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.

DEKH TAMASHA DEKH

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

CHENU

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.

OONGA

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

FILMISTAAN

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

FIREFLIES

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

The first trailer of Onir’s I Am is out. It stars Juhi Chawla, Manisha Koirala, Nandita Das, Rahul Bose, Sanjay Suri, Purab Kohli, Abhimanyu Singh, Arjun Mathur, Shernaz Patel, Radhika Apte, Anurag Basu and Anurag Kashyap.

To quote from the official release, I AM is about people with fractured lives held together by unbroken dreams.

Click on the play button to watch the trailer..

And here is the official synopsis…

I AM is about issues and dilemmas that bruise the modern Indian society. Unraveling and exploring these tribulations, the film unfolds many a tale of individuals struggling to find their identity, and uphold their dignity in a world that is callous, cold and unsympathetic.
Shot in four different cities across India, I AM is a fusion of stories where the protagonists share a common dream – a desire to regain their lives, to regain an identity which has been taken away from them.

I AM AFIA is the story of a single woman who feels her identity will be made whole through the singularly feminine experience of motherhood. Unable to trust or even wait for a man, she is frustrated by a society that demands a “husband” to have a child. Thus her search is defined – does motherhood necessarily require the burden of a man?

I AM MEGHA is a story of two friends – a Kashmiri Pandit woman and a Muslim woman – separated by conflict.  Against the backdrop of the ethnic cleansing in Kashmir in early 90’s, this story tells of loss of home and identity. If your own home rejects you, where do you go and where are you “from”?

I AM ABHIMANYU is the story of a broken man, with a proud mask. Abhimanyu is trapped by the demons of his past, a past of sexual abuse. To move forward he must first go back, into a world where hi childhood was stolen from him.

I AM OMAR is a horrific tale of sexual discrimination; blackmail and prejudice is part of the torrid fabric. It reveals how the police use Article 377 (law under Indian Penal code which criminalizes homosexuality) to harass and blackmail gay men. In the current climate of media sensationalism, perhaps this story gains even more poignancy.

And having seen the film, we definitely recco this one. Our favourites – Afia and Megha. You don’t need a Lamhaa to know the Kashmir story, you can do it in a much simpler and better way, and without all the dhoom-dhaam-dhadaap. Megha proves that.

Afia is a story about unique friendship between two strangers. Nandita Das and Purab Kohli bring  such a natural charm to it, and bet you never knew that Anurag Basu can act too. Do watch.

Click here to know more about the film.