Posts Tagged ‘SAIFF’

The first look of the film X is out.

The film will open the South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) which runs from Nov 18-23, 2014. Interestingly, it’s 1 film with 11 segments directed by 11 filmmakers. The directorial bunch includes Sudhish Kamath (Good Night | Good Morning), Q (Gandu), Nalan Kumarasamy (Soodhu Kavvum), Suparn Verma (Aatma, Ek Haseena Ek Khiladi), Raja Sen, Sandeep Mohan (Love Wrinkle-Free), Pratim Gupta (Paanch Adhyay), Hemant Gaba (Shuttlecock Boys), Abhinav Shiv Tiwari Sankhnaad (Oass), Anu Menon (London Paris New York), and Rajshree Ojha (Aisha, Chaurahen). And this includes 3 film reviewers. If you don’t like the film, well, you get the drift.

 Check out the first trailer of the film. And scroll down for detailed synopsis, cast & credits.

Official Synopsis :

Is man meant to stick to one woman? Is film meant to conform to one genre?

X is a one-of-its-kind film because eleven Indian filmmakers with disparate styles of filmmaking have come together to make different parts of the same film. In strikingly different styles as a bridge between the various cinemas of India. Mainstream, Arthouse, Popular, Underground, Regional and Global – all at the same time. NOT an anthology but a single story.

The story of K (Rajat Kapoor), a filmmaker with a mid life crisis, who meets a mysterious young girl (Aditi Chengappa) who reminds him of his first girlfriend at first, and subsequently, of every woman in his life. Who is she? Is she real or imaginary? A stalker or a ghost? His past catching up or a character from the script he is writing?

Each episode, directed by a different filmmaker (since every woman/story required a different genre) unravels the role of a different woman in his life. Every woman is different and through the lens of different filmmakers, X hopes to explore the role women play in shaping our lives.

What is it that makes us tick or stop? What is it that keeps us anchored or free falling? What is it that makes us move or let go? Are we products of our past or present? What is that X factor that defines who we are?

X Cast & Crew

Cast: Aditi Chengappa, Bidita Bag, Gabriella Schmidt, Huma Qureshi, Neha Mahajan, Parno Mitra, Pia Bajpai, Pooja Ruparel, Radhika Apte, Richa Shukla, Rii Sen and Swara Bhaskar with Anshuman Jha and Rajat Kapoor

Directed by: Abhinav Shiv Tiwari, Anu Menon, Hemant Gaba, Nalan Kumarasamy, Pratim D Gupta, Q, Raja Sen, Rajshree Ojha, Sandeep Mohan, Sudhish Kamath and Suparn Verma

Written by: Abhinav Shiv Tiwari, Anu Menon, Hemant Gaba, Pratim D Gupta, Q, Raja Sen, Rajshree Ojha, Sandeep Mohan, Sudhish Kamath, Suparn Verma and Thiagarajan Kumararaja

Directors of Photography: Anuj Dhawan, Aseem Bajaj, Dinesh Krishnan, Gairik Sarkar, Katyayani Mudholkar, Maeve O Connell, Q, Ravi K Chandran, Sandeep Mohan, Siddhartha Nuni, Sidharth Kay and Viraj Sinh Gohil

Edited by: Sreekar Prasad, Vijay Prabakaran, Vijay Venkataramanan, Biplab Goswami, Gairik Sarkar, Dhritiman Das, Shreyas Beltangdy, Ankit Srivastava, Ninaad Khanolkar

Post Production Management & Grading: Siddharth Meer

Sound Mix: Gita Gurappa

Lyrics: Pratyush Prakash & Raja Sen

Music: Maitreya

Additional Screenplay: Thiagarajan Kumararaja

Executive Producers: Shiladitya Bora & Sudhish Kamath

Produced by: Manish Mundra

Yes, yes, yes, we know. For a change we’re behaving like the incestous bollywoodwaalas and promoting someone who is a good friend and who also happens to be a punju 😛 (but unlike them, we know our boy man is zooper talented). Kabir Chowdhary dabbled in theater and arts in Chandigarh before making a one minute short film called Dolly (click here to see it) which won the Gold PFCOne award ( one minute film festival). He was an intern on the sets of DevD, and for those who claim to have seen the film many times, let’s see if you can figure out which scene in the film gave a tribute/promotion/plugin to his short film.

He later moved on to direct more short films like Pour, this low budget spunky music video here, a black humored clay news spoof  ‘Balbir News on Nithari Killings and worked on the art department for films like Wake up Sid, Aisha, and now going independent art director with Midnight’s Children.

He’s directed a 43 minute short film ‘Good morning’ which played at SAIFF film festival NY and won the grand jury award for best short. Our verdict? A trippy ride with some lovely visuals and performances. Pretty good sound design and music too. Nitpick – a few minutes long but still engaging. Do watch it if you get a chance.
Click on the play button to check out the trailer and if it looks interesting, scroll down to know more about the film. Over to Kabir.

Good morning is a psychological drama that explores the obsessions and insecurities of a married man who is completely dedicated to his wife. His world is shattered one day when he discovers his wife in bed with another man.

What happens next is diabolical, cold and shocking.

When viewing a film I have directed, my mind always wanders to what I was thinking when I was making it.

Which I guess is a very normal thing to ponder over for anyone who has been a part of a film project.

However, with Good Morning, all I can think about every time I watch it, is what an utter explosion it was for all of us working on it.

It was a guttural, visceral spewing of all our collective emotions, it was like I had lit a firecracker and burst it in my own hand.

The original script of Good Morning was 60 pages long and was written by me about 5 years ago, but we only got down to making it after I recently fractured my hand.

There was little activity in Chandigarh (my hometown), I was utterly bored, but brimming with a sense of purpose when my friend and the editor (Sakshi Bhatia) suggested, we rework the 60 page script and do a 10 minute film (which ended up to be 45 minutes running).

The 10 minute script, unlike the final film was written like an absurd comedy, it had extensive dialogue written in rhyme and was layered with a lot of nonsensical humor and a few sexually explicit scenes which were all later slashed out of the film.

Because once the casting process started it became very difficult for us to find an actress in Chandigarh who was willing to get naked! We did meet a lady who came all the way from a hill station about 3 hours away, and asked for 8000 rupees for the nudity involved. Without wanting to spend so much, we finally gave up this extensive search and decided to ask my cousin (Sukhmani, the actress in my earlier film Dolly) without giving her a copy of the script – and figured we will deal with the sex scenes when we shoot them! (we finally worked our way around the sex and made it suggestive, because we were obviously not going to shoot my sister naked!!!!)

Manish Kumar (Sunny) and Emanuel Singh (The Suit) who have both been trained at the NSD readily agreed to be a part of the film and were told that they were incharge of leading the actress (as she was unaware) and surprise her with their actions!

Our aim was to make a very small film on the I-phone, but the cast in flesh, blood and training was too exciting to keep it low quality, which is when my dear friend Rahat came down from Kashmir with his Canon 5-d and we were finally all set to start shooting.

Having been around conventional film sets with my work as an art director, I developed a sincere disdain to the long and arduous process of filmmaking, I feel boxed in and bored and genuinely feel that it drains the spontaneity out of everyone on set!

On our own film I wanted everyone to be themselves and have fun working! I also wanted to shoot without any prior rehearsal or deciding the location of the scene. And once the emotional quotient of the film was explained to the actors, they were made to let go of themselves completely as everyone was allowed only 1 take as I didn’t want anything to look remotely mechanical or well rehearsed!

Everything in this film for me was relying on the trust with the actors and the environment that the scene took place.

The actors were allowed to be themselves and bring themselves fully, without any penalty. So if our actor was a drinker or a hash smoker, within takes we would let him smoke or drink and come and get naked on a railway track, or dance wildly in the meat market with eels and a chicken!

And on the day of the climax, keeping up with our traditions, everyone got sloshed, ! (barring Rahat, the camera person, who literally had to focus!) and it was getting almost impossible to manage a room full of drunks (being a little drunk myself!)

As is, with a bunch of spontaneous crazy and creative people working together, it was four days of relentless chaos that was created and captured. The shooting process was a coming together of palpable energies stemming from being confrontational and disruptive to the real spaces and people we were around, but it seemed like everyone’s energies, even a crowd that collected(wondering what the hell was wrong with the actor and paying no attention to the camera!) was working in tandem to create this piece of work. it was a fulfilling, satisfying and mildly exhausting journey for everyone involved!

With this film, we have tried to carefully assemble a lot of nonsense, all held together by an element of no reason. There are no particular reasons why this film was made, its not trying to make any strong points, but it is more an emotional journey, a very personal piece of work that has fuelled within us the fire and the longing to stay true to ourselves and the film that is being created, we want to allow ourselves to be able to let go of ourselves and still be restrained and most of all make the experience for everyone involved, personal, therefore memorable and hopefully will be the same for the people who get to watch it!

The film is 45 minutes long and was made on a budget of Rs 25,000, with a crew of just 3 people and it was shot over a period of four days in Chandigarh.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Facebook page of the film is here.

The film also won the Grand Jury Prize for best Narrative short at SAIFF and is currently doing the festival rounds.

There’s at least one film in each one of us. For those of us who make it our vocation (not profession) there are many. Debutante director Sandeep Mohan’s done with his first. Indie, short, sweet and with a home-grown, quirky sense of humour, ‘Love, Wrinkle-free’ played at MAMI yesterday. And plays again tomorrow, 20th Oct at 12.45 pm, Cinemax, Sion.

The film is about a middle-aged couple struggling with middle-age issues. The passing of youth, the wilting of relationships under the dryness of everyday living. The excitement of finding new love and all that it affirms about oneself. Well, it’s not half as serious as all this sounds, but lightly touches all these ‘deeper’ strains with a certain idiosyncrasy. Then there are crooks and fools in love making the capering continuously ticklish.

Watch the trailer to get a glimpse of what I am saying.

“Love, Wrinkle-free” trailer from Sandeep Mohan on Vimeo.

We rant enough about how difficult it is to make any movie, leave alone the one you want to make. Sandeep found that out first hand too and then simply decided to drop everything and make his films one way or the other. No he didn’t rob a bank. He simply, “Spent close to a year trying to raise funds – made couple of wrong moves. Learned and moved on.”

To finally find funding. “Giju John and Kamal Shah came along to help. Giju is a childhood friend. Totally trusted me. We managed to rope in close to 30 more friends (in a crowd funding of sorts!) to put in whatever they could.” It not only sounds difficult but we all know how much passion and conviction is required to convince someone to part with pennies for a film. Film! A form which has been reduced to little more than nautanki these days. Why would anyone bother with it unless the ones making it had ‘it’ in them to want to go beyond?

The film took two years to evolve from idea to image. The script was fleshed out over a period of 3-4 months. And the film completed within 22 days, within schedule, fully shot in Goa. Extended reading sessions happened with each one of them. And from there on the experienced folks took off well. As said here, “The film boasts of some good performances from the ensemble!

Sandeep’s pre-prod office and editing studio was his own house. “So in essence this is a Vikhroli West movie as opposed to an Andheri west movie” he jests.

Cutting costs was of course, primary. No AD for entire post-production. But ensured actors were well-taken care of. “We gave the actors whatever we could. But once they realised what we were attempting, they became part of this journey, and it was smooth going.”

Indie, from start-to-finish and not just for the sake of it. That’s refreshing. Independent not only in thought but action. Not only what it creates but how. A healthy mix of both is probably the whopping leap our cinema needs to take.

This route was and wasn’t a choice for Sandeep. If you want to do something you got to get out there and find ways to do it. He had no choice but that and hence willingly made that choice.

It all evolved after my father passed away 3 years back. His death taught me that we are not here for ever. I could just conk off one day complaining that I never made a movie. So went ahead, worked hard, didn’t complain, respected actors and crew members, restrained myself even when I got angry at times, and grew as a human being and as a filmmaker through this last 2 years.”

Every such film is a labour of love, some maybe more than the others. What matters in the end is the intention and effort. The applause then, becomes so much more sweeter.

In Sandeep’s words – “The film truly represents the indie spirit – and I hope more such films get made – the idea being not to wait for anyone to come and help me, but to go ahead and do it.

MAMI is the World Fest Premiere of Love, Wrinkle-free. After that, it is SAIFF in New York where the film is scheduled to be screened on the 11th of November. Meanwhile, for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, catch it on 20th Oct at 12.45 pm Cinemax Sion.

Let’s show some love to the spirit of indie cinema.

Fatema Kagalwala

raat_gayi_baat_gayiThe Gang is back! Dhen tedaaan! Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey, Neha Dhupia & Saurabh Shukla! Plus Irawati Harshe (we luv her!), Anu Menon (Miss Lolakutty), Navneet Nishan & Dalip Tahil! The film is produced by Pritish Nandy Communications and directed by Saurabh Shukla. The films that he directed earlier like Chehra & Mudda are forgettable to say the least! But this time it looks different.

The film recently bagged the Best Film Award at HBO’s New York South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) , 2009.

Take a look at the first official trailer of Raat Gayi Baat Gayi.

And here is the story/plot/synopsis of the film….

3 couples. An 8 year old marriage and a 1 night stand to end all others. Raat Gayi Baat Gayi catches Rahul (Rajat Kapoor) waking up on a very heavily hung-over morning with his wife Mitali’s (Iravati Harshe) constant cribbing. Whilst her voice crashes through his head he remembers snatches of a conversation he had the previous night, at a party, with a stunning young woman, Sophia (Neha Dhupia). As he blinks through his thoughts he stumbles on the fact that one thing led to another and Sophia and he got drunk, talked a lot and finally ended up in bed making crazy love to each other—or did they?

The end of the night remains hazy. What’s worse is that Mitali just can’t seem to keep it together around him—she’s livid, she’s upset, she’s not telling him why—all rolled into one and Rahul keeps thinking back to the previous night and wondering if she caught a whiff of what happened the previous night with Sophia.

As Rahul chases his night for answers, his friends Saxena (Dalip Tahil) and Amit (Vinay Pathak) are suffering through their own marital crises! Driven to his wits end Rahul realizes he must seek Sophia out to restore his sanity!