Posts Tagged ‘Oscar’

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Vetrimaaran’s Tamil film Visaranai has been selected as India’s official entry for Oscars Foreign Language Film category. The Film Federation Of India (FFI) made the announcement on Thursday. About 29 films were in the running which included Udta Punjab, Umrika, Thithi, Sairat, Neerja, Dhanak, and Nil Battey Sannata.

Produced by Dhanush’s Wunderbar Productions, the film is based on M. Chandrakumar’s novel Lock Up. Based on lives of four migrant workers who are accused of a crime they never committed, Visaranai shows these migrant workers from Tamil Nadu being picked on by the police in Guntur. It premiered at the Venice Film Festival, and later on, it won three National Awards.

About 60 countries have already submitted their entries for the next year’s foreign-language Oscar. The deadline for submission is Oct. 3, 2016. The nominations for the 89th Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 24.

Court

Finally, the Film Federation Of India Jury has made a choice that most people will agree with. The FFI has been getting lot of criticism in the last few years for their weird choices. When it comes to picking films for Oscar, it’s not only about the best film, but also about the right film – one which has made international noise, got some awards, got rave reviews, local subject with global appeal (glo-cal), and little bit of desi exotica that white Academy members can watch and get. And Chaitanya Tamhane’s debut feature Court ticks all the right boxes.

Court premiered at Venice Film Festival where it picked up two important awards, a rare achievement for a desi film/filmmaker. The film went to complete a dream festival run and also picked up the top prize at Mumbai Film Festival.

The film was picked up by 16 member jury of FFI which was headed by Amol Palekar. The other films which were in running included Masaan, PK, Haider, Kaakaa Muttai, Haider.

The kind of spotlight an Oscar win brings, in the last few years, this section has become the toughest one with some of the best films from across the world. 53 films have been officially entered in this year’s foreign-language Oscar race so far. The number is expected to go 80 plus. The first shortlist will be out in January next year.

All the best to Chaitanya Tamhane and his ‘Court’ team!

 

In our Sunday Shorts, today we are featuring Whiplash. The short film which was the pitch for the feature by the same title. This is also directed by Damien Chazelle.

Based on his own experiences, Damien wrote the script and it made to Black List of 2012. He then turned his script for feature length film into a short film script. The short was screened at Sundance Film Festival, got rave reviews, won the Short Film Jury Award, and the feature got funding as well.

Made in less than $5millon budget, and shot in just 19 days, the film went on to bag three Oscar Awards this years.

Click here to read a feature on Damien’s journey to the Oscars with Whiplash, his second feature film.

Tip – ShortFilmWindow

Who wakes up at 5:30 am on a monday morning? We do. Why? Because to rephrase Godfather’s opening line, we believe in America Scorsese. So we will have faith in anything as long as Scorsese has respect for it.

It might be Foreign Awards for Hollywood films but it also attracts some of the best talents from across the world. Look at the two top filmmakers this year – Mexican Alfonso Cuaron and Brit director Steve McQueen. And its great fun to see some of your favourite directos, writers, DoPs, actors, singers all at one place, and sometimes they do some really ridiculous stuff which makes it great fun.

So what made this monday morning fun? Well, you know the winners by now. All the usual suspects, more or less. Click here for the full list. And if you are still wondering why are we so serious about it, well, scroll down to Cate Blanchett’s acceptance speech. The answer is in the second line.

If you were not mad enough to wake up so early, here’s the list of our Top Six Monday-Morning-Madness-Moments which made the show great fun.

1. Benedict Cumberbatch photobombs U2 on red carpet. Ovaries blast for Cumber-bitches.

BC

2. Ellen goes for the selfie of the year/decade

And the result was this

3. Brad Pitt handing out plates for Pizza. You are not going to see this sight in a long long time

4. Cate Blanchett’s perfect Oscar acceptance speech making all the valid points with grace and humour

 

5. What do you do when you make a film after 7 years and win 2 Oscars at one go? You first test them for Gravity.

Alfonso Cuaron

5. And, finally, the jump of the year – Steve McQueen. After 12 Years A Slave bagged the Oscar for the Best film

Steve McQueen

So what was your favourite madness moment? Do post in the comments section.

And who is surprised? Well, i guess esteemed members of the FFI jury who selected it as India’s entry for the Foreign Language Oscar and some other gyaani journalists who were fighting for it. This blog has always been critical about the film’s selection as a wrong choice. So i guess we are not surprised here at least.

So who all made it to the shortlist? The following 9 films.

– Belgium, “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” Felix van Groeningen, director;

– Bosnia and Herzegovina, “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker,” Danis Tanovic, director;

– Cambodia, “The Missing Picture,” Rithy Panh, director;

– Denmark, “The Hunt,” Thomas Vinterberg, director;

– Germany, “Two Lives,” Georg Maas, director;

– Hong Kong, “The Grandmaster,” Wong Kar-wai, director;

– Hungary, “The Notebook,” Janos Szasz, director;

– Italy, “The Great Beauty,” Paolo Sorrentino, director;

– Palestine, “Omar,” Hany Abu-Assad, director.

And do you guys spot a familiar name there? Danis Tanovic. He is one of the co-producers of The Lunchbox who had proudly said that if I could give my place to The Lunchbox, I would give it. His film was selected as Bosnian entry for the same.

I guess FFI Jury members and some of the journalists understand the Oscar game plan better than Oscar winner Tanovic.

To quote a report, “You just blew it,” he said about India’s chance at the Oscar.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 live action short films will advance in the voting process for the 86th Academy Awards. 120 films  had qualified in the category.

And Shubhashish Bhutiani’s short film Kush is in the shortlist.

The film features Sonika Chopra, Shayaan Sameer and Anil Sharma in the lead. The film had also won the Orizzonti Award For The Best Short film at Venice Fest.
Kush

Synopsis
Inspired by a true story, Kush takes place in 1984, surrounding Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Anti-Sikh riots erupt throughout the country. A teacher traveling back from a field trip with her class of 10-year-old students now struggles to protect Kush, the only Sikh student in the class, from the growing violence around him.

Trailer

– Film’s FB page is here.

– To know more about the filmmaker and its making, you can read the director’s interview here.

– The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting.  Now the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will select 3-5 nominees from among the 10 titles on the shortlist.

– The 86th Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 16, 2014.

– Here’s the complete list of Top 10 shortlisted film (in alphabetical order)

– “Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me),” Esteban Crespo, director (Producciones Africanauan)

– “Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything),” Xavier Legrand, director, and Alexandre Gavras, producer (KG Productions)

– “Dva (Two),” Mickey Nedimovic, director, and Henner Besuch, director of photography (Filoufilm Dani Barsch)

– “Helium,” Anders Walter, director, and Kim Magnusson, producer (M & M Productions)

– “Kush,” Shubhashish Bhutiani, director (Red Carpet Moving Pictures)

– “Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?),” Selma Vilhunen, director, and Kirsikka Saari, screenwriter (Tuffi Films)

– “Record/Play,” Jesse Atlas, director, and Thom Fennessey, executive producer (Collaboration Factory)

– “Throat Song,” Miranda de Pencier, director (Northwood Productions)

– “Tiger Boy,” Gabriele Mainetti, director (Goon Films)

– “The Voorman Problem,” Mark Gill, director, and Baldwin Li, producer (Honlodge Productions)

And here’s the latest one, and hopefully, the closing chapter in the ongoing Oscar controversy. Ritesh Batra, director of The Lunchbox, has replied to the FFI letter.

Dear Sir,
I just received your letter. Many industry stalwarts have made comments similar to mine but you sent the letter to me, a debutant filmmaker, but I am honoured and proud to speak for my film and team. If an apology is what you demand, you have it. Both you and the jury have my wholehearted apology.

There was no intent to hurt anyone, but rather to participate in the vigorous debate that this decision ignited in the public domain.

I sincerely hope that the annual reactions to our Academy selections from the national press, and this year from even the international press, prompt a new policy for the selection. Sir, please use your good offices to give us a transparent, objective process with a public and not a secret jury. It is a direct and humble request, not a criticism.

I have moved on from this debate to focus on more productive pursuits and I would encourage everyone to do the same. With much respect for your tough job.

Ritesh

Ritesh Batra

Writer/Director

@riteshbatra on Twitter

http://www.riteshbatra.com