Posts Tagged ‘PVR’

humaramovie-pvr-short-film-competitionWHAT: HumaraMovie, in association with PVR Cinemas, announces the first ever, Pan India Short Film Festival. The participants will get a chance to showcase their work not only on Humaramovie platforms but also in a PVR theatre.

HOW: 

The highlights of the competition are as follows –

– Open to filmmakers/ creative artists all across India
– Filmmakers will be guided through every step. They will have access to a script consultant,  as well as guides for production and editing
– Participants will have access to acclaimed filmmakers as mentors. The mentors are Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane, Anand Gandhi, Imtiaz Ali
– The selected participants will have their films screened in PVR as well as on HumaraMovie platforms

PRIZE MONEY
– The winner will get prize money of Rs. 1,00,000.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: 

  • Filmmakers should submit an already existing film, along with a short 150 word bio about themselves.
  • On the basis of the bio and the submitted film a preliminary shortlist will be made
  • The shortlisted candidates will be given a topic on which they have to submit screenplays.
  • Based on the screenplays we will further shortlist candidates who will then have to make the feature film.
  • There is no restriction on the genre of the film.
  • The duration of the short film should not exceed 15 minutes inclusive of opening and end credits
  • The contestants will be guided at every stage and will have access to script analysts as well as a mentor
  • The final films that the contestants submit will be screened in PVR (post going through a DCP and censor)
  • The screenings will be open for all and the winners will be decided by audience vote.

 

DEADLINE: 1 May, 2014

DETAILS: To know more about the schedule of the competition, rules and regulations, and how to submit, click here.

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Kamal Swaroop’s Om-Dar-Ba-Dar can be called a cult film in its truest sense. And that too underground one. Because most people have heard about it but have not seen it. Finally, here’s the good news. The film has been digitally restored and PVR Directors Rare is going to release it on 17th January, 2014. So all of you who have so far only heard about it, here’s the chance to watch it on big screen. The film stars Anita Kanwar, Aditya Lakhia, Lalit Tiwari, and Gopi Desai.

The restored print was screened recently at Rome Film Festival. An avant-garde work, this is much more than a film. It’s like an installation collage art which uses various elements – from history to mythology, and politics to philosophy, to create a fascinating new world on screen. And he made brass band cool much before Anurag re-discovered it in Dev D.

With the release of Ship Of Theseus, we are not only debating its merit (here and here) but another conversation has started on social media – about ticket prices. Why is it so expensive? Should indie tickets be less expensive? Is it even possible? Well, we do believe that if a film is great, it’s worth the ticket price. But if you are still bothered about the price, here’s Shiladitya Bora on why it isn’t so easy to control ticket prices.

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To be brutally honest, no one (and that includes me as well) genuinely knows what is the best way to distribute an Indian Indie in India. The revival of Indian Independent film industry has just started and it is currently in a very nascent stage. We all are experimenting and trying to identify the best case scenario factoring all the constraints (read quality of the film, limited appeal, limited marketing budget and resources etc). There is no one single formula applicable for all Indies and each film requires a customized plan. While owning theatres/ screens (like in case of PVR) helps a bit to screen indie content; other distributor(non cinema owners) mostly rely on relationships built over years with programmers and cinema chains to be able to screen indies.

Whenever an indie releases we see people starting endless debates on the social media platforms with respect to shows, show-timings, ticket prices etc. In order to make the most out of these debates it is of pivotal importance to first have our basics right.

1. So who actually decides how many shows to be allocated to an indie and in which theatres?

For an indie releasing on a Friday, on the preceding Monday the distributor send show requests (wish list in terms of cities, theatres, number of shows, show timings) to the programming teams of various cinema chains. The concerned programming teams then works out a tentative showcasing plan based on factors like the number of films releasing on that particular Friday, performance of last week releases, expected target audience of the film, past performance of similar indies etc. This tentative schedule is then shared with Cinema Operations Team for final approval.

Cinema Operations – Each theatre is managed by a cinema manager who has a target to achieve in terms of number of admits, ATP (average ticket price), SPH (sales per head) – a daily target, weekly target, monthly target, quarterly target and annual target. The career of a cinema manager is directly proportional to these targets and hence all his/her efforts are focused on optimizing the same.

Statistics show that the performance of Indian Indies is abysmally poor in all the three parameters – admits, ATP and SPH and hence not many cinema managers are keen on showcasing Indies at his/her property. So if we want Indies to be released in as many theatres as possible, we need to make the people who run the cinemas confident about the product and this is possible only when a few Indies start performing.

So we come to the next big question on ticket pricing.

2. How is ticket pricing decided?

Every cinema has to operate within price bands pre-approved by the government and no theatre can sell tickets below the lowest price band. The best thing an indie distributor can do is to request the respective cinemas to run the film on the lowest price band and it’s at the discretion of the individual cinemas/ Operations to agree to the request or not.

In addition to the above there is a regular pricing and a blockbuster pricing. Blockbuster pricing is applicable during weeks of tentpole/ big releases and in case an indie is releasing in a week with a tentpole film, blockbuster pricing is applicable to the indie as well in most cases.

We are trying to work out a special discounted price band for Indies released through Director’s Rare.

Another solution can be government waiving off the E.Tax for Indies but for that we need clear cut guidelines to define a film as an independent film.

 3. At PVR Director’s Cut, Vasant Kunj, Delhi, the ticket price of an Indie is above Rs. 1000. Why?

First of all I would like to clarify that PVR Director’s Cut and PVR Director’s Rare are 2 different things. PVR Director’s Cut is a super luxury premium theatre located at Vasant Kunj, New Delhi where as PVR Director’s Rare is a banner for theatrical distribution/ showcasing of niche content.

Director’s Cut being a premium theatre, not only Indies but every film is at a premium price. This is like the Business class of an airline and we have a dedicated clientele for this property.

Now the question is if Director’s Cut is a premium property, what is the point of releasing an Indie there?

There are a few reasons for the same.

First it has always been a struggle to get screens for an Indie in Delhi as most of the multiplexes in Delhi have 3-5 screens which is not enough when compared to the number of films releasing in a particular week unlike that in Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune etc.

In PVR Director’s Cut, there is one dedicated auditorium for showing alternate content and hence we always get a show there. And I have always believed that it is better to release the film in Director’s Cut rather than not releasing the film in Delhi at all. In most of the cases we release the film simultaneously in PVR MGF Mall/ PVR Ambience Mall etc, which are regular priced cinemas.

Also if we analyze the total box office earnings of an indie in most cases (not all), a major percentage of the collections is from PVR Director’s Cut. This is because the producer’s earnings on a ticket of Director’s Cut after tax are almost 3-4 times as compared to a regular cinema.

4. In Delhi, the spread of theatres for Indies are mostly limited to South Delhi. Why is this so?

We have to understand one thing that when a film is released, there is a cost attached to it.  For releasing a film in one show in one theatre, the total expense on content comes to around INR 18000 per property per week ( INR 14000 Virtual print fee + 12.3% tax + INR 2000 for cloning and cargo). For a producer to recover this cost on content, we need net box office sale of close to INR 40-45000 for that particular property. So as of now it is really not a very good decision to release such niche content in theatres other than in South Delhi. May be in future once the market matures, we will be able to spread the reach all over Delhi NCR.

All said and done we must rejoice on the fact that this is perhaps one of the best phases to  be in for an Indian Indie filmmaker and the future will be better.

A few observations/ suggestions which may be useful for aspiring Independent filmmakers.

Make a kickass Indie. There is no substitute to that. No amount of support, gyaan, strategy, patronizing, social media buzz can save a bad/mediocre indie. Do not compare with Rowdy Rathores of the world because that industry works on a completely different dynamics.

When you are planning an indie, in case you do not have access to marketing and distribution budget of around INR 1.5-2 crores, the production cost of your indie should not exceed a few lakhs at any cost. But is it possible to make a good film with such minimal amount? Read about Karan Gour’s KSHAY, which I consider as a classic case study of a successful Indian Indie.

Do not try to do everything yourself. Not every one of us is a Robert Rodriguez. I know we have budget constraints but it is always better to rope in professionals wherever possible and do pay them a fee (whatever best you can afford). Know your weak spots. For e.g if you are not very good at writing, it is always advisable to hire a screen writer to write the screenplay for you. You will find many talented screenwriters willing to help you out. Roping in professionals will definitely help in raising the quality of the final output.

Once you have made a good film, invest some money in hiring a good intelligent publicist who will help with creating the much required aura around the film. Rope in a good designer and get some good artwork ready. Invest in a professional promo editor. These are few small things but if done properly will go a long way in packaging the film well which in turn may yield better results during distribution phase.

(Shiladitaya Bora manages PVR Director’s Rare and has been actively involved with the theatrical distribution of more than 30 independent films)

Pic Courtesy 1 / 2

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कल चश्मे-बद्दूर देखी. असली वाली. सई परांजपे, फारुक शेख, राकेश बेदी, रवि बासवानी, विनोद नागपाल, सईद जाफरी, और (बे-इन्तहा सुन्दर) दीप्ति नवल वाली. दिल, दिमाग, और सिगरेट वाली. और इतना मज़ा आया जितना पिछले कई सालों में किसी हिंदी कॉमेडी फिल्म में नहीं आया.

बहुत से लोग कहेंगे वो इसलिए क्योंकि ये ईमानदारी से बनायी हुयी सीधी-सादी फिल्म है. लेकिन मेरे हिसाब से इसमें सिर्फ ईमानदारी, सादगी, और nostalgia जैसे कारण उठाकर फिल्म की तारीफ़ करना ज्यादती है. फिल्म में भर भर के craft और writing का जादू है. बहुत ही progressive, contemporary, और smart film है.  2013 में भी. फिल्म का पहला सीन ही – जिसमें एक जलती सिगरेट एक हाथ से दूसरे हाथ से एक पाँव का सफ़र करते हुए तीनों लड़कों को सिंगल टेक में introduce करती है – मेरे लिए हिंदी सिनेमा के इतिहास के सबसे शानदार opening scenes में से एक है. यहाँ से आप सई परांजपे की absurd, intelligent दुनिया में कदम रखते हैं. इस दुनिया में एक अत्यंत शास्त्रीय गीत (काली घोड़ी द्वार खड़ी) एक अत्यंत western visual (लड़की को impress करने के लिए पूरे स्टाइल से अपनी काली मोटरसाइकल पर आता हुआ लड़का) के साथ gel हो जाता है, हीरो-हीरोइन पार्क में बैठकर फिल्मों का मज़ाक उड़ाते हैं कि उनमें हीरो हीरोइन पार्क में गाना कैसे गा लेते हैं और कोई उन्हें टोकता भी नहीं और अगले ही सीन में खुद पार्क में गाना गाते हैं और अंत में टोके जाते हैं, और अरस्तु-ग़ालिब-औरंगजेब संवादों में ऐसी जगहों पर आते हैं कि अगर आपने इतिहास ठीक से पढ़ा है तो आपको सिर्फ इसी बात से ख़ुशी हो जायेगी कि अरस्तु-ग़ालिब-औरंगजेब की जिंदगियों का निचोड़ किसी हिंदी कॉमेडी फिल्म में भी हुआ था.

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बड़े परदे पर देखने से ढेरों नए details भी मिले. लड़कों के कमरे में लगे पोस्टर्स में शबाना आज़मी और सुलक्षना पंडित (सई की पिछली फिल्म ‘स्पर्श’ में सुलक्षना ने शबाना के लिए २ गाने गाये थे), मद्रासी रेस्तौरेंट में सचमुच की तमिल बोलने वाला वेटर, बाईक हमेशा फारूक शेख की किक से ही क्यों स्टार्ट होती है इसका कारण, दीप्ति नवल की आँखों की असली गहराई, और सिगरेट के लहराते धुएं का फिल्म में एक पूरा किरदार होना. ऐसा कहा जा सकता है कि उस कमरे में तीन नहीं, चार दोस्त रहते थे. और एक आज की हालत जहां फिल्म में कोई किरदार अपने सपने के third level पे भी सिगरेट पीने की सोचे तो सेंसर बोर्ड की कुत्तापने से भरी वाहियात warning स्क्रीन पे तैरने लगती है, चश्मे-बद्दूर में सिगरेट का इतना खुला इस्तेमाल अपने आप में एक full-fledged reason है फिल्म देखने का.

लेकिन बात चली है चश्मे-बद्दूर की तो मुझे याद आई मिहिर पांड्या की शानदार किताब ‘शहर और सिनेमा – वाया दिल्ली’ (वाणी प्रकाशन), जिसमें मेरा सबसे पसंदीदा चैप्टर इसी फिल्म पर है. इस किताब पर बहुत दिनों से कुछ लिखने की सोच रहा था. आधा अधूरा लिखा भी है जो अब नीचे चिपकाने जा रहा हूँ. और साथ ही में है इसी किताब से लिया हुआ पूरा लेख चश्मे बद्दूर पर जिसमें मिहिर चश्मे-बद्दूर को ढूंढते ढूंढते तालकटोरा गार्डन तक गए (जहां की टूटी-फ्रूटी खा खा कर फिल्म में फारूक शेख और दीप्ति नवल को प्यार हो जाता है और जहां का वेटर दिबाकर बनर्जी की ओये लक्की लक्की ओये के वेटर का पुरखा लगता है) और एक नयी ही कहानी ढूंढ कर लाये इस फिल्म को समझने की.

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(मिहिर की किताब ‘शहर और सिनेमा वाया दिल्ली’ पर मेरा छोटा लेख)

शहर, सिनेमा, और उन्हें देखने वाला

मुझे ठीक से नहीं पता कि उन्होंने ये क्यों किया लेकिन हाल ही में मेरे पापा ने मुझे कुछ पुरानी तस्वीरें भेजीं. अखबार में फुटबॉलर फर्नांडो टोरेज़ की अपने बच्चे को गोद में उठा कर फुटबॉल खेलते फोटो आई थी. उसको देख कर पापा को मुझे कुछ पुरानी तस्वीरें भेजने का मन किया. इनमें से एक है जिसमें उन्होंने मुझे लगभग उसी तरह से उठाया हुआ है जैसे टोरेज़ ने अपने बच्चे को उठाया है. एक में ४ साल का मैं अपने हिमाचली घर के आंगन में उदास सा खड़ा हूँ. आधी धूप, आधी छाँव के बीच.

इन्हीं तस्वीरों के बीच एक तस्वीर अजब सी है. यह सुंदरनगर (ज़िला मंडी, हिमाचल) की बहुत ऊंचाई से, शायद आसपास की किसी पहाड़ी से, ली गयी फोटो है. फोटो के पीछे उसके खींचे जाने का साल १९७८ लिखा है. इसमें पेड़, सड़क, मंदिर, गुरुद्वारा, सरकारी क्वार्टर, और सामने वाला पहाड़ दिख रहा है. और एक जगह एक गोदाम जैसी दिखने वाली बिल्डिंग के आगे एक पैन से हरा क्रॉस का निशान लगा हुआ है. यह निशान भी १९७८ में ही लगाया गया है. यह निशान वही पिक्चर हॉल है जहाँ मैंने अपनी ज़िंदगी की पहली फिल्में देखीं थी. यह अध-पीली तस्वीर, जिसे किन्हीं इमोशनल कारणों से पापा ने अब तक संभाल कर रखा था अब मुझ तक आ गयी. यह तस्वीर अब मुझे गूगल पर आज का सुंदरनगर ढूँढने पर मजबूर करती है. मैं ढूँढता हूँ और किस्मत से लगभग वैसी ही एक पहाड़ी से ली हुई आज की तस्वीर मिल भी जाती है. लेकिन मन नहीं भरता. अब यही तस्वीर मुझे वापस सुंदरनगर लेकर जायेगी, ऐसा लगता है. १९८५ में सुंदरनगर छोड़ने के बाद पहली बार. जल्द ही.

शहरों से हमारा रिश्ता ऐसा ही होता है. हम उनमें रहते हैं लेकिन उनके छूट जाने के बाद वो हम में रहने लगते हैं. मैंने कहीं पढ़ा था हमें सबसे ज़्यादा सपने १२ से २२ की उमर के बीच के अनुभवों के आते हैं. मतलब छोटे शहर/कसबे छोड़कर आए लोग ज़िंदगी भर बड़े शहरों में रहते हुए उन्हीं पुरानी जगहों के सपने देखते रहते हैं. या कहें तो आधी ज़िंदगी फिर भी उन्हीं जगहों में बिताते हैं. बस वो ज़िंदगी नींद में होती है इसलिए नॉन-लीनियर और कम वैल्यू की होती है. अपनी नयी किताब, ‘शहर और सिनेमा – वाया दिल्ली’ के लिए मिहिर पांड्या ने भी बार बार दिल्ली छोड़ी और फिर वापस उसमें लौटे. दिल्ली से सीधी जुड़ी एक-एक हिंदी फिल्म के ज़रिये शहर में घुसे और निकले. इस किताब में ऐसा उन्होंने १६ बार किया. शहर के रास्ते सिनेमा को देखा और सिनेमा के रास्ते शहर को.

किताब पढते हुए आप देख सकते हैं मिहिर को अपने नॉर्थ-कैम्पस के बरसाती-नुमा घर को ताला मारकर बाहर निकलते हुए. सड़क पर चलते-चलते हर जगह की एक मैंटल तस्वीर खींचते हुए और उस तस्वीर को किसी फिल्म में ढूंढते हुए. आप देख सकते हैं गुडगाँव तरफ के खाली मैदानों में बन रहे नए रिहायशी इलाकों से गुज़रते मिहिर को ‘खोसला का घोंसला’ याद करते हुए. आप देख सकते हैं मिहिर को आइवरी मर्चेंट की ‘हाउसहोल्डर’ में जंतर-मंतर का सीन आते ही कूद पड़ते हुए. मिहिर ने फिल्म में जंतर-मंतर पर फिल्माए गए इस सीन का गहरा symbolism खोजा है. फिल्म में एक जगह पर हमारा हिन्दुस्तानी हीरो जंतर-मंतर में जौगिंग करते हुए एक अमेरिकी बंदे से टकरा जाता है. देश अभी-अभी आज़ाद हुआ है. माहौल नयी उम्मीद का है. दोनों में बात शुरू हो जाती है. हीरो (शशि कपूर) अमेरिकी बंदे अर्नेस्ट को बता रहा है कि आज़ादी के बाद हम कितने आधुनिक हो गए हैं. और अमेरिकी है कि आधुनिकता को भाव दिए बिना हमारे अनंत-ज्ञान, योग, आध्यात्म की तारीफ़ किये जा रहा है. मिहिर का कहना है कि यह सीन जंतर-मंतर की वजह से जादुई हो जाता है क्योंकि – “दिल्ली के ऐन हृदय में बसे जंतर-मंतर को आधुनिकता और परंपरा का सबसे सुन्दर प्रतीक कहा जा सकता है.” और निर्देशक ने “इस विरोधाभासी आदान-प्रदान के लिए” ही ऐसी जगह पर सीन रखा है.

फिर आप देख सकते हैं मिहिर को राजघाट और इण्डिया गेट और संसद भवन और राष्ट्रपति भवन और चांदनी चौक और सरोजिनी नगर और पीतमपुरा को जोड़कर दिल्ली की एक बड़ी तस्वीर बनाते हुए. और उस तस्वीर से दिल्ली के दो बड़े विभाजन – दिल्ली की सत्ता (“काट कलेजा दिल्ली”, “पिछड़े-पिछड़े कह कर हमको खूब उडाये खिल्ली, दिल्ली” वाली सत्ता) और रोज़मर्रा (“सिंगल है कि बैचलर”, “मसकली” वाला रोज़मर्रा) को अलग-अलग फिल्मों के आधार पर छाँटते हुए. आप देख सकते हैं देर रात अपने कम्प्युटर पर अपने गैर-दिल्ली दोस्तों से बतियाते हुए भी मिहिर के अंदर चलते ‘शहर’ को. किताब की भूमिका में ही मिहिर ने लिखा है:

“मैं एक रात आभासी संजाल पर मुम्बई की कुछ आकाशीय तस्वीरें लगाता हूँ. अचानक पहली बारिश पर कविता लिखने वाली एक लड़की जवाब में लिखती है कि यह दुनिया का सबसे शानदार शहर है. मैं रवि वासुदेवन का कहा उसके लिखे के नीचे उतारता हूँ, “बच्चन की देह मुम्बई की लम्बवत रेखाओं के वास्तु से एकमेक हो जाती है.” लड़की चुहल करती है जवाब में, “फिर शाहरुख को कैसे एक्सप्लेन करेंगे?” मैं जानता हूँ, लड़की इन नायकों पर नहीं, उस ऊँची महत्वाकांक्षाओं वाले महानगर पर फ़िदा है. कहती है, “ये शहर नहीं, फलसफा है.””

“यहाँ से शहर को देखो”

मिहिर के ही लिखे एक पुराने लेख (जयदीप वर्मा की ‘हल्ला’ पर) का शीर्षक है – यहाँ से शहर को देखो. यह इस किताब का unused title भी कहा जा सकता है. किताब का हर निबंध एक नई रोशनी में दिल्ली दिखाता है. लेकिन चमत्कार सिर्फ इतना ही नहीं है. मेरे हिसाब से असली उपलब्धि यह है कि किताब दिल्ली के ज़रिये हमारे सिनेमा को भी परखती है. जैसे कि ‘सत्ता का शहर’ हिस्से के एक निबंध, जो कि शिमित अमीन की ‘चक दे इण्डिया’ पर है, में मिहिर दिल्ली के elitist bent को फिल्म में भी देखते हैं और एक झटके में ही इस National Integration Film का खोखलापन सामने ला पटकते हैं.

मिहिर के अनुसार ‘चक दे इण्डिया’ में “दिल्ली के आसपास के इलाकों और ‘ऊँचे’ बैकग्राउंड से आई लड़कियाँ ही फ़िल्म के केन्द्र में हैं. दिल्ली के लिए हाशिए पर रहने वाले इलाकों को जगह तो दी गयी है लेकिन पूरी फ़िल्म में वे किरदार हाशिए पर ही रहे हैं.”

यह एक नयी चाबी है. यह चाबी बिना दिल्ली, दिल्ली की पॉलिटिक्स, और उस पॉलिटिक्स का काइयाँपन जाने नहीं लगेगी. और ऐसी चाबियों से उन्होंने लगभग हर निबंध में शहर-और-सिनेमा के नए ताले खोले हैं.

जैसा कि मैंने कहा मिहिर ने किताब को दो बड़े हिस्सों में बाँटा है. दिल्ली को सत्ता का शहर (६ फिल्में, जिनमें ‘हज़ारों ख्वाहिशें ऐसी’ और ‘रंग दे बसंती’ शामिल है) और रोज़मर्रा का शहर (१० फिल्में जिनमें ‘ओए लक्की..’, ‘डेल्ही बेली’ और ‘तेरे घर के सामने’ शामिल है) कह कर दो अलग नज़रियों से देखा है. हर फ़िल्म पर निबंध ७ से १० पेज का है और हर निबंध दिल्ली और सिनेमा पर ढेर सारे keen observations से भरा-पूरा है.

इसी किताब का चश्मे-बद्दूर वाला लेख आपकी नज़र हो रहा है.  फिल्म देखकर इसे पढ़ें या इसे पढ़कर फिल्म देखें….दोनों मामलों में आपकी ही जीत होगी.

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चश्मे बद्दूर पर मिहिर का लेख:

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वरुण ग्रोवर 

(Also, many thanks and congratulations to Shiladitya Bora of PVR Director’s Rare for putting his time and passion behind the re-release of such classics.)

Indian cinema turns 100 this year. And there’s a great film currently playing in the theatres which celebrates this magic of cinema. It’s a small film which you might not have heard about because it has no ads on tv, no chartbuster songs on radio and no hoardings to boast about. The film is Supermen Of Malegaon (SoM). And indian cinema can’t get a better homage than this documentary made by Faiza Ahmad Khan.

The film has been doing the festival rounds since last few years. But good or bad, we don’t watch docus in theatres. We don’t even release them to give it a chance. Thanks to PVR Directors Rare, SoM has got a limited release across few PVR properties. Make sure you watch it. And if you have any doubts, we are giving you not one or two, but 50 reasons to watch it. And since “crowd-funding” for indie films is in vogue these days, we crowd-funded this post to go with the same spirit.

Do watch and do contribute your reason in the comments section. Will start with mine.

1. Because Vijay and Ravi can finally move on. Mere paas ma nahi, cinema hai! It has one of the best, unrehearsed and unscripted scene between two brothers – one consumed by the addiction called cinema and the other……well, watch it. Poignant.

2. If you watch or love or make cinema and you miss SoM in theatres, you’d miss the cinema equivalent of finding the G-spot – @varungrover

3. Because 1hr of supermen of malegaon is more fun than 2hrs of Spiderman – @ronyd

4. Because even Brando would be appreciative of Jor-El and the ‘method’ here – @krnx

5. Because it blurs the line between fiction & docu. It was more entertaining than a commercial Hindi feature –  @ghaywan

6. Because SoM doesn’t sell itself on sympathy like the recent “indie” filmmaking fad – @auteurmark

7. Because these people have not collaborated on the film : Samir, Sajid, Bhansali, Shetty, Bellary, Ekta, RGV, Bhatts, Kohlis, Kapoors – @mihirfadnavis

8. Because it’s a better (hate the term but…) Love Letter to Cinema than ‘The Artist’ or ‘Hugo’ could ever be… @jahanbakshi

9. You’ll laugh a lot, being fully aware that there’s a lot of grimness in the tale as well. Its a unique feeling   @RangbadluGirgit

10. ‘Pairon ki bediyaa khwabo ko bandhe nahi re..’ Madhyam ki garibi sabse badi prerna kaise banti hai @koripaati

11. See Pic

12. Why else do we watch films ? To get entertained ! And entertained you shall be !! – @z_maahir

13. Location is not Switzerland and the lead would not look like a million bucks even with plastic surgeries STILL SoM is Beautiful – @humHeroine

14. Superman with a 24″ waist. A costume that involves rubber chappals. A film that is inspired and inspiring – @ashish_mehta_

15. Because it celebrates the simple human notion that if you are passionate about something then no one can stop you. There is always a way around. Always. Equipments, technology, know-how, resources etc just don’t matter. As long as you want it badly enough – @ghantaguy

16. You should watch SOM because it will make you pick up a camera and shoot – @varunvarghese

17. Bolchaal mein itne achhey Urdu shabd bahut dinon baad sun-ne ko miley – Rakhi (on FB)

18. That cinema by all other names would still be magical! – Suhel Banerjee (on FB)

19. Kyuki bhai ise ‘naa dekhne ka’ ek bhi reason nahi hai ! Puneet Sharma (on FB)

20. Which was the last film you saw that you wished you could see more of? – @gyandeep4a

21. For one poem Chand. Just that is worth the ticket money – @shubhas

22. Because it gets over in about an hour and you won’t get bored. Forget all the irony and the film about a film business blah blah – Swati Trivedi

23. Kyuki aisi filme dekhkar khud se ye sawaal poochhne ka man karta hai…. Ab to bahana banaane chhod de, ja aur kuch man ka bana !!!! Puneet Sharma (on FB)

24. It makes us feel that good filmmakers still exist. Faisal Numan (FB)

25. See pic

26. The one reason that counts – it is paisaa vasool – Vinay Jain (FB)

27. Simple. Because its one of the best films you will see this year –  Anant Raina (FB)

28. Because it makes you smile. The passion for Cinema in India is equivalent to religion. This 60 minute beauty inspires everyone to do something even if you cannot afford it – Abhinav Bhatt (on FB)

29. kyonki yehi Cine-Maa hai!! – Nitin Baid (FB)

30. “Life is full of sorrow, so it is very important to dream. No one should ever stop dreaming,” says the narrator of #Supermen of Malegaon, the funniest, sweetest movie I have seen in a long time. The writer in the movie says things like “Most of the films you see is only 20% output. Imagine being a writer and having to live with 80% of the angst. It’s hard. But it doesn’t stop you.” In an age of multi-crore promotion budgets for glitz, here is an honest movie with a soul, a story of dreams and passion, a movie that you won’t see ads and promos of, as they have no money for them. It’s playing at PVR Juhu at 6.20 pm. I am going back for the lines. Who is coming? – Lalita Iyer (FB)

31. Because tragedy brings out the best comedy – @ronyd 

32. Because it completes the Unique distinction of having watched Superman, Spiderman and Batman in the same year – @nitinnair81

33. Because its a RICH film made by POOR people which you get to see in a POSH theater for CHEAP price. Rs 110. Pvr Juhu. 6.20pm – @navjotalive

34. Because despite it being a documentary avoids all the docu cliches and still becomes accessible for just about every man jack who likes movies – @mihirfadnavis

35. See pic

36. Have you ever seen a superman wearing naadewala kachha and slippers, and ppl wiping their face with his red cape? @thepuccacritic

37. Because, in fact more than Hazanavicius’ film, Supermen Of Malegaon could actually be called ‘The Artist’ and *earn* that title – @jahanbakshi

38. As a filmmaker, it made me want to get out and start shooting my first. Thoroughly inspiring! @ghaywan

39. Not everyday you see a film where the hero is flying on one hand and paddling on a float in the river the next min @HumHeroine

40. FUN ke beyond, sach aur jhoot se pare , ek khula maidan hai.. Superman Of Malegaon tumhe waha milega @AmritaThavrani

41. Well, one reason is definitely that writer, Farokh. He had more personality than half the film industry combined –  @pradeep_smenon

42. Because it really does take supermen only to make films – Malhar Salil (on FB)

43. Because if you believe in your dreams, it can happen. Passion for cinema = SoM = Simply Superb!!  – Himanshu Vora

44. Without a VO, the film is spoken from the residents’ pov which makes it experiential than being a hawk eyed narrative – @ghaywan

45. Because some guy in a small town made his film Undaunted by BO, ratings, festivals,100crs or twitter trends. And that’s rare – Vasan Bala

46. Because it’s the best rated film of the year. See pic

47. The writter in Supermen ka Malegaon, Hamid Faroghi – Kya bhaari awaaz aur kya personality, jab bhi koi baat kehte the toh har baat me ek gehri baat hoti thi! – Yogesh Dube (on FB)

48. It just made me extremely happy and uplifted. Not even hint of manipulation, morality or design. They just let it be..the protagonists just do their thing only because they love doing it, not to prove anything. Only complain was it ended too soon – Apan Singhal

49. Because it celebrates that aspect of a film which most of the people have just a surface-level idea of – filmmaking itself. – Gyandeep Pattnayak (on FB)

And here’s the most important reason…

50. To support PVR director’s Rare so that it can continue to bring more such quality cinema to you – @ShiladityaBora

So what’s your reason for not watching it?

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Last time when we met Imtiaz Ali to discuss Rockstar, there were many conspiracies and accusations. But since some of you appreciated our effort, we thought let’s try it again. This time it was done in a bit formal way. Film was Paan Singh Tomar, guests were Tigmanshu Dhulia (Director) and Sanjay Chouhan (Writer). Location – PVR, Juhu.

To get more time for Q & A, PVR helped us by cutting down the time for commercials, making the interval much shorter and delaying the next show by few minutes. But even then we could hardly manage some 20minutes of interaction. Because even the next show was housefull and people were getting desperate to get in. So we quickly wrapped it up and went outside. Aha, back to the stairs. And a filmmaker really needs a cigarette in his hand to open up. Watch the two videos and you will get what i am saying.

I saw the film on friday morning with just 15 people in the theater. And then i saw it again on wednesday night. This time it was a housefull show. A good film finding its audience is a great feeling.

And many thanks to Anurag Kashyap, Shiladitya Bora and PVR Cinemas for making it possible.

Pics – Priyanka Jain

Videos – Sumit Purohit and Manu Warrier. Edit – Sumit Purohit.

And here are pointers to some priceless gems –

00:47 – I needed an actor who could give me more than just his dates.

03:33 – Hum log ab mombatti na uthayein, bandook utha le.

04:25 – Koi research fund karne ke liye tayyar hi nahi tha.

04:40 – Actually yeh picture Vikas Behl ke wajah se huyee hai………..aaj us aadmi ko (credit) nikal diya hai unhone.

05:45 – Mad woman in the mayhem – Boss, yeh main karoonga. (Jo Shekhar Kapoor ke film se kat gaya tha.)

07:03 – Irrfan ne apne paise aadhe kar diye. Maine apne paise aadhe kar diye.

08:22 – Meri kisi picture me itne zyada darshak nahi aaye hain.

11:20 – Hum sabse galtiyaan ho jaati hai.

13:20 – Aapke sanskaar bolte hain yaar.

18:16 – Is society me hero kahan hai yaar?

20:13 – Aaj bhi duno cheeks me ched hai uske, woh zinda hai.

And if you enjoyed the first part of the video, you must watch the second part of the video.

We were bit clueless about how to approach this film. Sudhish Kamath is a good friend and that means we will do whatever we can to support the release of the film and make it more visible. But how good or bad the film is – that’s a completely different question where friendship has no space. You can be our best friend and make the worst film that we will not endorse publicly. And you might be the biggest dodooth* in the town and deliver the best film which we will happily endorse. Also, to be honest and fair with your friends’ films is quite a difficult task. And while we were in this dharam-sankat, Shubhodeep offered to review it. We were more than happy to share the burden. This is his second post here. To read the first one, click here.

Read on.

The guy introduces himself as Turia to the girl. I wonder aloud what the name means. Indeed, whether it means anything at all. A couple of minutes later, the girl says: “What kind of a name is Turia?” I grin and prepare myself for their night-long conversation.

Sudhish Kamath’s Good Night Good Morning is that kind of a movie. Shot in gorgeous black and white (curiously under-produced at a couple of spots) it surprises, amuses and frequently offers situations and dialogue that resonate with déjà vu. All this in accompaniment to a jazz soundtrack that sweeps across the movie and infuses it with much life.

The story straddles New Year in New York: a time usually defined by merriment and debauchery. Neither element is present as this story begins. He is a hopeless romantic unable to get over a broken relationship. She is, at least on the exterior, a cynic who doesn’t believe in relationships. They both have troubled pasts. Both of them appear to be in need of comforting company. We’ve met both characters before in reel as well as real life; nevertheless, the two occupy these comfortably stereotypical characters with an unexpectedly invigorating freshness. He drunk dials her number while riding in a car with three sloshed friends. What follows is an engaging and witty conversation that almost anyone will identify with. I’m certain the movie had snatches of conversations that I’ve actually had verbatim in “real” life. Love, losing love, the oft-perceived hopelessness and uselessness of relationships, are sensitively articulated in the movie. It’s easy to lose yourself in a melee of your own ruminations once you start thinking with them.

As the movie progressed, I became acutely aware of the two writers at work, weaving their words on a fabric so tenuous as to not exist at all. Writing near-endless lines of dialogue, interspersed with little or no action, can be a forbidding task. Not only have Shilpa Rathnam and Sudhish Kamath managed to veer away from schmaltz, they’ve done a telling job of keeping the pace of conversation mostly even. I remember reading that the screenplay of Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset (which, along with Before Sunrise, is perhaps the best “conversation movie” of the past two decades and is indeed referenced in GNGM as well) were largely written by the two leads, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, who drew on their “real” lives for parts of the story. I might be grossly overstating my case but the writing in GNGM seems to suggest that Messrs Kamath and Rathnam share an affectionate camaraderie that has helped them produce a truly well-written script. The chemistry of their writing shines through in the virtual chemistry of the protagonists.

The only real gripe, and a minor one at that, I have with the movie is that it could so easily have been even more relatable and enjoyable had the writers (and director) chosen to do it Hindi (or even Tamil). Indeed, half-way through the movie I was dreaming up a gloriously fun Hindi movie on the lines of GNGM. Even though the dialogues and situation were overwhelmingly familiar, I found it hard to find any sense of belonging to the boroughs of New York. Perhaps because this is a film by an Indian filmmaker I really pined to see a more “accessible” movie as far as the setting was concerned. Of course, choosing what to make and where is a decision that is best left to the filmmaker, but I feel this movie could have stayed indie and yet explored a more Indian setting precisely because it had the potential to be quite a successful entertainer for the masses.

However, back to the movie. Conversation flows freely in GNGM. The lines are incisive and intelligent – sometimes a bit too intelligent – but never over-smart. That is one of the most enduring virtues of the film. Apart from a few moments that fall prey to kitsch, the dialogues sparkle with vim and wit, throwing in memorable lines now and then: “Long-distance success stories are a work of fiction my boy”. “Stories are meant to be simple.” When the dialogues become laborious, the action cleverly changes to the antics of Turia’s three inebriated companions in the car. It’s curious however that the best lines seem to have been reserved (by design or chance) for Seema Rehmani who occupies, with glorious vitality, a character that has been done to death.

Ms Rehmani does a star turn, outshining her male counterpart and keeps us interested in the movie till the end. Manu Narayan is reliably consistent, and even remarkably good at places, but I wish the script had more for hm. Raja Sen and gang exhibit much promise initially but are eventually let down by the script. They’re efficient in the beginning – with Mr Sen turning in a few sharp lines accompanied by epic expressions magnified by his magnificent tache – but seem to dwindle in importance and utility as the story progresses. Ultimately, their tomfoolery becomes mildly irritating in a movie that stands out due to its consistently winsome glow.

GNGM is not a movie that will make you froth at the mouth with amazement or feel giddy with euphoria. Indeed, that is perhaps its most becoming virtue. It neither wallows in conceit nor lays claim to greatness. Instead, like the rising warmth of a hot cup of coffee, its fingertips will lovingly graze your skin like that of a soulmate and that sensation will linger many hours after you’ve watched it. And like the tender glow of a winter sun descending into the fog, it will lure you into cosying up to it again on a rainy day.

I’m eagerly waiting for that day.

Shubhodeep Pal

The film has been released by PVR Cinemas and is currently showing in Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Chennai.

(PS – If you still haven’t read Sudhish’s now famous rant (The Truth About Films : Ungrateful. F***ing. Bitches), click here.

(PS2 – Karan Johar reviewed the film for Rediff as Raja Sen makes his on screen debut in this one. Click here)

(*doodoth = dodo + ch**th the word has been devised for that rare tribe)