Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

A Rebuilding Phase for Independent Film

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2010 at 8:58 AM

The filming of “East Fifth Bliss” with Michael C. Hall, center. The independent film has a budget of less than $2 million.

Courtesy of The New York Times


Only five years ago, the center of the still thriving independent film universe lay behind the green doors of a converted TriBeCa warehouse from which the Weinstein brothers, Bob and Harvey, ran Miramax Films.

With their possible deal — negotiations continued through last week — to join investors in reacquiring Miramax, which they left in 2005, the Weinsteins are again in the middle of something.

But it is not the business they once ruled.

For more than a decade, the indie film movement centered in New York flourished, at times almost eclipsing the output of the mainstream Hollywood studios in terms of impact and accolades. But the financial collapse and the credit crisis had a deep impact on all of the movie world, which has responded with fewer expensive releases and safer bets.

And that new austerity has decimated the indie film business, ending with the collapse or downsizing of distributors like New Line Cinema, Picturehouse, Warner Independent Pictures, ThinkFilm and Miramax, all in the last few years.

“The world is different now,” Richard Abramowitz, a new-wave film distributor, said last week. While he expressed regard for the Weinsteins, he said of the possible Miramax purchase, “I don’t see it as the kind of game-changer it might have been a few years ago. And I’ll probably get chased down the street for saying that.”

There are, however, signs of life. The struggling indie scene is getting a boost from fleet-footed, penny-pinching guerrilla operations that are trying to resuscitate the business by spending less on production, much less on marketing and embracing all forms of distribution, including the local art house and the laptop.

A result has been a flush of energy reminiscent of early days in the 1990s dot-com boom, with a touch of old-fashioned indie-film spirit thrown in.

“It reminds me of the early years of Miramax, where you had to be disciplined,” Harvey Weinstein said. He declined in an interview on Friday to discuss his attempt to buy Miramax in partnership with the investor Ronald W. Burkle.

Indie experiments are being closely watched in the business because what happens in Hollywood often first happens in New York City. While many in Los Angeles continue to struggle with the studio system and the emerging intricacies of 3-D, New York has locked on a different challenge: how to wring even the tiniest profit from that enormous investment in smaller movies.

According to Mr. Weinstein and others, the New York-centered independent film world faltered largely because companies, flush with cash from a DVD boom that has since played out, put too much money behind too many films for an audience that was never large enough to absorb them in theaters.

At his own Weinstein Company, said Mr. Weinstein, the best model for an era of diminished expectations is “A Single Man.”

That film, written and directed by Tom Ford, took in only $9 million at the domestic box office. But the Weinstein Company acquired the rights for far less and held its promotions in check, rather than spending heavily to chase an audience, and Oscars, as it might have done only two or three years ago. Mr. Weinstein said the film would yield a return both for his company and for its producers.

Independent distributors that survived the great shakeout include Focus Features, a Universal Studios unit that is anchored in Manhattan, and Sony Pictures Classics, a specialty film label based in New York that has consistently released about 20 movies a year with a staff of just 25. Along with the survivors, there are some newly established companies, like Apparition.

For many of these companies, austerity is a given, and that means looking at digital distribution.

At Tribeca Enterprises, a sponsor of its namesake festival, the chief creative officer, Geoffrey Gilmore, in March joined the company’s co-founder Jane Rosenthal and others to announce a new distribution unit focused on video-on-demand — where the dollars are small, but the potential audience is vast.

Already, Rainbow Media, which operates IFC Entertainment, is feeding about 120 films a year to cable television systems, while perhaps 50 of those movies are shown in one or more theaters. The company, led by Joshua Sapan, also operates an independent theater complex.

Producers cannot recoup their investment from the marginal payout from on-demand showings, but a run on IFC’s channels or those of other services brings recognition that helps increasingly entrepreneurial filmmakers make money on DVDs — from foreign release, sales to airlines and, often, at screenings for political, religious or other groups, often with appearances by the writer, director and cast.

“The business is coming back smarter,” said Marian Koltai-Levine, a veteran of Fine Line and Picturehouse, who is now a marketing and distribution adviser through Zipline Entertainment. Zipline is one of the so-called garage companies run by alumni of the studios.

Geoffrey Gilmore and Jane Rosenthal of Tribeca Enterprises, which started a video-on-demand unit.

Mr. Abramowitz’s company, Abramorama, handles about 20 films a year, on marketing and budgets that are counted more often in tens of thousands of dollars than in tens of millions. Ten days ago, he helped the Producers Distribution Agency, a new company started by John Sloss, the past master at placing films like “Napoleon Dynamite” and “Tadpole” to older-style indies like Miramax, to bypass the big players by releasing a movie, “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” directly to a handful of theaters.

The film, an eccentric documentary by the elusive street artist Banksy, took in about $391,000 in its first 10 days. Much of that was attracted by a low-cost Web campaign that drew young viewers so new to indie film that a disproportionate number arrived on Friday evening, thinking the movie, like a Banksy prank, was a one-night event.

The attention surrounding the opening was enough to mark “Exit” as a potential winner. The trick will be to expand the theater audience without spending heavily on newspaper ads, a major expense for indie films in the past.

Producers who routinely spent $12 million on a film five years ago are now being advised by Mr. Sloss and others to keep their budgets to a third of that.

Thus, “East Fifth Bliss,” a romance directed by Michael Knowles, spent last week shooting in New York, with a budget of less than $2 million, a substantial boost from the state’s tax incentive program, and a cast that includes Lucy Liu (“Charlie’s Angels”) and Michael C. Hall (“Six Feet Under”).

For Sri Rao, a one-time Booz Allen Hamilton business consultant who now writes, produces and hopes to direct films from his base in New York and another in Philadelphia, a scaled-down indie world is simply a better place for low-cost operators like him to thrive.

“The independent film landscape is so different than it was, this is not the heyday of the ’90s,” said Mr. Rao. His Sri & Company has made a pair of Bollywood-style films, the second of which, “Badmaash Company,” is scheduled for release by Yash Raj Films of India next month.

Mr. Rao’s company is lean enough that it has no office at all unless a film is in production.

“It’s an overhead-free world,” he said.

‘Anything For You’ Opening April 23 & Premiering in New Jersey!

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2010 at 9:18 PM

An Indian American doctor’s feelings are entangled between his wife, whom he’s committed to and an American girl, who wants him back at any cost. How the doctor gets out of this turmoil forms the main plot of ‘Anything for You’.

The Anything For You premiere will take place at BIG Cinemas Columbia Park 12 in North Bergen, NJ.Sam Ghosh along with other members of the cast and crew, will be there at 7:30pm for Meet & Greet. THE SHOW TIME IS 8:45PM.

Get your tickets now at http://www.bigcinemas.com or http://www.movietickets.com for the 8:45pm show!  Tickets are $9. Students $6.50. Senior Citizens $5.  We have the biggest theater in the house with 294 seats, so if you don’t buy your tickets in advance, don’t worry.  Just come through.

Anything For You is directed by Anand Alagappan and is starring Sam Ghosh, Pooja Kumar, Juliana Fine, Diana Cherkas, & Aaron Mathias.  The trailer is at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDGtQAgVWhY


To purchase your tickets, please visit http://www.bigcinemas.com or http://www.movietickets.com.

New Jersey

North Bergen – Big Cinemas Columbia Park 12, 3125 Kennedy Blvd., North Bergen, NJ 07047
Fri 04/23/2010 2:00PM 4:20PM 6:30PM 8:45PM*
Sat 04/24/2010 2:00PM 4:20PM 6:30PM 8:45PM
Sun 04/25/2010 2:00PM 4:20PM 6:30PM 8:45PM
Mon 04/26/2010 2:00PM 4:20PM 6:30PM 8:45PM
Tue 04/27/2010 2:00PM 4:20PM 6:30PM 8:45PM
Wed 04/28/2010 2:00PM 4:20PM 6:30PM 8:45PM ($5 TICKETS!!!)
Thu 04/29/2010 2:00PM 4:20PM 6:30PM 8:45PM

New Jersey
Edison – Big Cinemas Movie City 8, 1655 Oak Tree Road, Edison, NJ 08820
Fri 04/23/2010 5:00PM 7:30PM 9:45PM
Sat 04/24/2010 4:30PM 6:45PM 9:00PM 11:15PM
Sun 04/25/2010 5:30PM 7:45PM
Mon 04/26/2010 5:15PM 7:30PM
Tue 04/27/2010 5:15PM 7:30PM
Wed 04/28/2010 5:15PM 7:30PM ($5 TICKETS!!!)
Thu 04/29/2010 5:15PM 7:30PM

Fremont – Big Cinemas Fremont 7, 39160 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Fremont, CA 94538
Fri 04/23/2010 3:35PM 5:45PM 8:05PM 10:15PM
Sat 04/24/2010 12:15PM 2:15PM 4:15PM 6:15PM 8:15PM 10:15PM
Sun 04/25/2010 12:15PM 2:15PM 4:15PM 6:15PM 8:15PM
Mon 04/26/2010 4:35PM 7:30PM
Tue 04/27/2010 4:35PM 7:30PM
Wed 04/28/2010 4:35PM 7:30PM
Thu 04/29/2010 4:35PM 7:30PM

Niles – Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5, 9180 West Golf Road, Niles, IL 60714
Fri 04/23/2010 2:00PM 4:30PM 6:30PM 8:30PM 10:30PM
Sat 04/24/2010 2:00PM 4:30PM 6:30PM 8:30PM 10:30PM
Sun 04/25/2010 2:00PM 4:30PM 6:30PM 8:30PM
Mon 04/26/2010 2:00PM 4:30PM 6:30PM 8:30PM
Tue 04/27/2010 2:00PM 4:30PM 6:30PM 8:30PM
Wed 04/28/2010 2:00PM 4:30PM 6:30PM 8:30PM
Thu 04/29/2010 2:00PM 4:30PM 6:30PM 8:30PM

Novi – Big Cinemas Novi Town Center 8, 26085 Town Center Dr, Novi, MI 48375
Fri 04/23/2010 5:00PM 7:00PM 9:00PM 10:55PM
Sat 04/24/2010 5:00PM 7:00PM 9:00PM 10:55PM
Sun 04/25/2010 5:00PM 7:00PM 9:00PM
Mon 04/26/2010 5:00PM 7:00PM 9:00PM
Tue 04/27/2010 5:00PM 7:00PM 9:00PM
Wed 04/28/2010 5:00PM 7:00PM 9:00PM ($5 TICKETS!!!)
Thu 04/29/2010 5:00PM 7:00PM 9:00PM

If you’re coming from New York City, the North Bergen location is a 15 minute trip via bus or car.


(by bus – $2.55): from Port Authority Bus Terminal, take Bus 127 (Union City – Ridgefield) to JFK Blvd & 32nd St or Bus 153 (Fort Lee Express) to JFK Blvd & 35th Street. Walk West on JFK Blvd. with the McDonalds on your right. BIG Cinemas Columbia Park 12 will be under the Columbia Park Center mall. For further instructions, please visit http://www.njtransit.com.
(by car): from the Lincoln tunnel, take the exit toward Kennedy Blvd. Turn right at John F. Kennedy Blvd. Make a U-turn at 32nd St./County Road 691/Hackensack Plank Rd. BIG Cinemas Columbia Park 12 will be on the right.

Meet ‘Udaan’ director Vikramaditya Motwane

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Vikramaditya Motwane on His Udaan to Cannes article

Courtesy of Dear Cinema

Debutant director Vikramaditya Motwane’s “Udaan” is the first Indian film to find a place in the official selection of the prestigious Cannes film festival after 2003, when Murli Nair’s “Arimpara ” was selected in the Un Certain Regard section of the festival. Bikas Mishra spoke to the director who’s still busy getting his first print made.

What is the film Udaan all about?

Udaan is a coming of age story of a teenage boy who returns to his home town of Jamshedpur after being left at a boarding school for 8 years by his father. It’s his journey of becoming a man.

Where did the film begin? Is it inspired from your own life?

As with all films, it’s partly inspired from my life, partly from the life of other people I know, books, movies, the world around you, and mostly from the desire to tell a good story.

How long you’ve been working on the project? It seems that another producer walked out in the middle and it got delayed, if you can share some information on this?

I wrote this film at the end of 2003. Tried to get it made in 2004 and 2005 with different producers but it fell apart each time for various reasons.

So I finally started writing other films (Goal and Dev.D) and started working on another project that was to be produced by Nikhil Advani. (For the record, Nikhil was never supposed to produce Udaan.)

That project also fell apart after working on it for a year or so. Then Anurag stepped in with an offer to produce Udaan. And I took it up. Since there was always a real desire to make Udaan as my first film, in the end I’m glad it worked out that way.

How did Anurag come into the picture? And how is he as a producer?

Anurag and me have known each other since we worked on the original ‘Water’ shoot in Varanasi together. He had read the original draft in 2003 and quipped then that only he will produce this film. He eventually turned out to be right, but it’s been a long time coming.

Anurag and his friend Sanjay Singh raised the finance for the film and they’ve both been great producers. Having Anurag on board helped me get the cast together that we wanted. And I’ve had the freedom to make the film I want without any interference from anyone. It’s a low budget film, so it wasn’t easy to make. But for a director making his debut, it’s been an ideal situation creatively.

Please tell us a little about yourself. Where do you belong, where did you grow up and your journey to becoming a filmmaker.

I’ve lived in Bombay all my life except for a few years early on where our family also lived in Nasik.

I had originally wanted to be an engineer and work in the family business. But in around 1993, my mother (my parents were divorced and my mother had been working as a production manager for a documentary film maker) produced a television show called ‘Teen Talk’ and I was a production assistant on that. I really liked the process of shooting and editing and just creating something, so I  became an assistant director. From TV I jumped into features by assisting Sanjay Bhansali on Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and then Devdas.

How is the transition from a writer to a director?

I was always trained to be a director, so the transition was actually to train myself to write. Which seemed to be a very hard thing to do initially but turns out that if you have a story to tell, it will happen quite naturally.

So, now onwards are you going to write only your films or you want to continue collaborating with others?

Both. Since I’ve waited this long to make a film, I already have a bank of scripts ready that I’ve written. But collaborating with others gives your own writing a fresh perspective, and in the end always makes the script better.

Did Cannes selection come as a surprise or were you informed beforehand?

Complete surprise. We sent the film expecting nothing.

‘Udaan’ Takes Flight!

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 at 10:29 PM
It’s in the Cannes: 16 movies line up for coveted prizes
Courtesy of Digital Journal
By Andrew John
Full details of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival – to be held from May 12 to 23 – have been announced, with 16 movies competing for top prizes.
It’s the 63rd festival – it began in 1946 – and among the films this year are Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Mike Leigh’s Another Year, Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and Doug Liman’s political drama Fair Game. Leigh’s Secrets & Lies scooped the top Cannes prize in 1996, which, last year, was won by Michael Haneke for The White Ribbon. Stone’s film is a sequel to his 1987 movie, Wall Street, which starred Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen. Douglas reprises his role of Gordon Gekko for the new movie, which also stars Shia LeBeouf (Transformers) and Carey Mulligan (Never Let Me Go). Mulligan – who is currently dating LeBeouf – is a British actor fast rising in Hollywood. In 2007, she starred opposite David Tennant in an award-winning episode of Doctor Who titled Blink, by Steven Moffat, before going on to win a BAFTA for her part in the 2009 film An Education. Other films in the running for the prestigious Palm d’Or prize are Mathieu Amalric’s Tournée and Alejandro Gonzales Innaritu’s Biutiful. The Croisette will also host world premieres of Stephen Frears’s graphic-novel adaptation of Tamara Drewe, starring Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace), and Hideo Nakata’s Chatroom, starring Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass). In 2009, Johnson starred, to great acclaim, as a young John Lennon in Sam Taylor-Wood’s Nowhere Boy. The two became engaged in October 2009 and Taylor-Wood is expecting their first child. Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe (Gladiator) will screen out of competition as the opening-night film, and the full line-up can be found by visiting the Cannes website. Meanwhile, a movie by Vikramaditya Motwane, Udaan, has the honour of being the only Indian film to be shown at this year’s event. The Bollywood movie – which is set in Jamshedpur in Bihar, and features the well-kown Indian actors Ronit Roy (Pankh) and Ram Kapoor (Zee TV) – is produced by Anurag Kashyap (Gulaal) and Sanjay Singh (Khamoshh… Khauff Ki Raat). It will be screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the festival. Motwane, who has previously worked as an assistant to the director Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Saawariya), co-wrote 2009’s Dev D, starring Abhay Deol.

The Finish Line & How We Are Going to Get There

In Payal Sethi, Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 2:54 PM

The finish line & how we are going to get there

The world of independent film today is a challenging landscape. Traditional methods of distribution give way to newer digital avenues, forcing us to constantly innovate new ways to obtain funding and locate audiences.  It is also an exciting one. As the recent victories of films such as Precious and The Hurt Locker at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards have proved, films that begin as independent, unassuming ventures can in fact prevail over mainstream blockbusters; they stand as confirmations that lower budgets and riskier subject matter deserve no less than 3-D effects and crowd-pleasing stories.

At FilmKaravan, we have always resolved to support and believe in such films, those that may not use technology as groundbreaking, but are just as visionary in their stories and messages; films like Sita Sings the Blues, the AIDS Jaago, and Supermen of Malegaon (coming in April). In upholding our mission to champion inspiring and courageous projects, we are excited to announce our first home production – a short film called Grant St. Shaving Co., written and directed by our very own Payal Sethi.  We are currently in the midst of post-production but we NEED YOUR HELP to complete the film.

Grant St. Shaving Co. is the story of Vimal, an elderly Indian widower who journeys through New York to replace an antique razor given to him by his late wife on their first anniversary trip to the city. Along the way he relives his memories of their trip and stumbles upon a moment that he shared with her so many years ago, which softens his strained relationship with his daughter | 15 mins, RED camera, Narrative Film | watch the teaser now! (password: payal321)

At once poignant and uplifting, the film embodies our taste for refreshing, honest cinema, and we are eager to bring it to you this Summer.

Over the last few years , we have grown to count on your support for our events and programs. We are requesting your philanthropic endorsement again through a tax deductible donation that will be used to bring the film to fruition and send it off on a world-festival voyage. While any amount, even as little as $10, is of great help, below are some recommended levels of donation with great incentives to match.
Levels of Donation:

* $25   Pre-buy Film DVD
* $50 “Special Thanks” credit on film
* Barter for FilmKaravan banner ad space: 1 week – $100; 1 month – $350
* $1500 Associate Producer Credit
* $2500 Executive Producer Credit

Our deadline to raise $5000 is May 30, 2010.
HERE to donate now.


‘Road, Movie’ first Hindi film to go to Tribeca: Abhay Deol

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2010 at 5:04 PM

Courtesy of Real Bollywood

New Delhi, March 4 – Having already traversed the world festival circuit in places such as Berlin, Tokyo, Toronto and Doha, Abhay Deol’s ‘Road, Movie’ has been selected for the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. The movie is the first Hindi movie to go to the fest, said the actor.

‘The New York Times has confirmed that we are also in for the Tribeca Film Festival, New York. It’s the first Hindi movie to be selected there,’ said Abhay.

‘Of all the movies, it’s the first time that a foreign film has been selected there,’ said producer Susan B.Landau.

Co-produced by Ross Katz and Landau, the 95-minute Indo-American film has been directed by Dev Benegal. It also stars Tannishtha Chatterjee, Satish Kaushik and debutant Mohammed Faizal Usmani.

Abhay and Landau were in the capital Thursday evening with Usmani to promote the film at the PVR Anupam, Saket. The meet was followed by a special screening of the movie for underprivileged kids organised by the Salaam Balak Trust.

Founded in 2002 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in response to the Sep 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre, the annual New York festival begins April 21 and will run until May 2.


Bollywood and Anime in America: Saturday and Sunday (April 17th and 18th) at the American Museum of Natural History, NYC

In Uncategorized on April 11, 2010 at 9:42 AM

It’s free with museum admission! Check out the website for more info. Here’s the line-up! Look out for the Sunday panel including our dear friend, Aseem Chhabra.

This program is presented in conjunction with the Museum exhibition Traveling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World. The ancient Silk Road’s trading routes promoted the exchange of ideas, arts, and goods among different peoples. In that spirit, this April Global Weekends continues to highlight contemporary cultural influences from varying perspectives.

Much like the ancient Silk Road, today’s social media promotes cultural exchange. One instructive example of such global exchange is the spread of India’s Bollywood films and Japanese anime throughout the world. Discover and experience how and why these forms have been quickly embraced by American pop culture.

SATURDAY, APRIL 17 — noon – 5:30pm
Kaufmann Theater
ChakDe! India

Kaufmann Theater, first floor
Directed by Shimit Amin and produced by Aditya Chopra. 2007 152 min.
Hindi with English subtitles
Directed by a new voice, this film was a critical and a box-office success in India and also among the South Asian diaspora. It tells the story of a Muslim field hockey player who is forced to quit the sport for political reasons but makes a comeback as coach for the Indian women’s national team. The players compete in an international tournament by overcoming their diverse backgrounds and by learning to use everything life hurls at them. It’s a story about second chances in life, honesty, sincerity, and integrity in realizing one’s dream. Screening followed by a discussion.
This film is rated PG.
ChakDe! India

©Yash Raj Films
Bollywood Axion (BAX)

Kaufmann Theater, first floor
The BAX Dance Company, with artistic director Pooja Narang, performs a fun and colorful mix of popular high energy Bollywood dances. The company has worked with Slumdog Millionaire choreographer Longinus Fernandes and performed at the 2009 Latin Grammy Awards in addition to appearing in The Accidental Husband and on CBS’s “Early Show.” Bollywood Axion

Courtesy of Bollywood Axion
Anime feature film:
Yona Yona Penguin

Kaufmann Theater, first floor
Directed by Rintaro, 2009
87 min.
Japanese with English subtitles
The U.S. premiere of a fantasy adventure directed by internationally renown auteur Rintaro features Coco, an adventurous little girl who is obsessed with penguins. One night, Coco receives an invitation, and what awaits her is an encounter with a world she has never seen before. The film was featured at the 66th Venice International Film Festival. Yona Yona Penguin

©2009 Rintaro + Madhouse, “Yona Yona, Penguin” Film Partners + DFP
Sunday, April 18 — noon – 5:30pm
Linder and Kaufmann Theaters
Anime feature film:
Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers

Kaufmann Theater, first floor
Directed by Tomoki Kyoda, 2009.
115 min.
English dubbed
Based on the popular TV anime series “Eureka Seven,” this film tells the story of Renton and his love Eureka. For almost half a century, mankind has battled a mysterious organism from space called “EIZO.” In 2054, the young soldier Renton boards a fighter aircraft and heads for the battlefield with one goal: to rescue his childhood friend, Eureka, who was kidnapped eight years ago. This film is rated PG-13. Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers

©2009 BONES/Project EUREKA MOVIE All Rights Reserved

Bride & Prejudice

©Miramax Films
Re/Making of American Pop Culture

Linder Theater, first floor
In a cross-cultural conversation on Bollywood and anime, Aseem Chhabra, independent Bollywood film critic; Dr. Madhulika Khandelwal, director of the Asian American Center, Queens College; Taeko Baba, president of event media company, New York-Tokyo; and Roland Kelts, author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S., share their perspectives on these forms in American pop culture.
Bride & Prejudice

Kaufmann Theater, first floor
Directed by Gurinder Chadha, India, 2005.
112 min.
Gurinder Chadha of Bend it Like Beckham directs an English-language Bollywood-style musical. The film stars a host of Bollywood actors including former Miss World Aishwarya Rai. This modern musical retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice is a story of one girl’s unlikely search for love interspersed with a swirl of music, dance, and comic misunderstanding. Screening followed by discussion. This film is rated PG-13.
12:30 – 5:00pm, Hall of Birds of the World and Grand Gallery
Bollywood Dance Workshops
12:30 and 2:00pm

Hall of Birds of the World
second floor
Experience and learn the lively Bollywood film dance movements with Pooja Narang, choreographer and founder of Bollywood Axion. Pooja Narang

Courtesy of Bollywood Axion
Anime Galleria
1:00 – 5:00 pm

Grand Gallery, first floor
The Anime Galleria will feature an Anime Trailer Marathon that includes a collection of 2009/2010 titles by anime distributors including Aniplex and FUNimation; video games Monster Hunter Tri! by Capcom, Astro Boy by D3P, and Ponyo to the Rescue by Disney Interactive; popular manga provided by VIZ Media, TOKYOPOP, and others; a rare collection of original Astroboy tin toys from the 1960s from Toy Tokyo; a demo on how to make figures by Gundam Planet; introducing ATAKU.TV for the ability to view anime on mobile phones; and the opportunity to create anime yourself with computer software.
3:30 pm
Grand Gallery, first floor
Enjoy a live performance by Shing02, hip hop rapper best known for Samurai Champloo’s opening song.

Shing02; from new york tokyo on Vimeo.

For details, call 212-769-5315

Download Event Flyer (.pdf)

The Anime in America program is co-presented with the event media company New York-Tokyo. Shing02 program is presented, in part, by lam_group_logo.

The Global Weekends series is free with suggested Museum admission. Neither tickets nor reservations are required. Seating is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

It is recommended that you arrive with plenty of time to enter the Museum and locate the program spaces. For further information, call the Museum’s Department of Education on weekdays at 212-769-5315 from 9 am to 5 pm.

The parking garage is open during Museum hours; enter from West 81st Street. For public transportation, call 212-769-5100.

All programs are subject to change.

Support for Global Weekends is made possible, in part, by the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc., the Tolan Family,
and the family of Frederick H. Leonhardt.

Hollywood Tries to Block Market for Movie Bets

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Gregg Matthews for the NYT

Courtesy of The New York Times

By Michael Cieply and Joseph Plambeck

LOS ANGELES — In a show of solidarity, many of the film industry’s major players, and some sympathetic lawmakers, have aligned in an 11th-hour push to block new financial instruments that would allow traders to swap contracts tied to box-office results.

A coalition led by the Motion Picture Association of America was expected to file by Thursday comments that would urge the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to reject a request by Veriana Networks to create a market for film futures contracts. Some of Hollywood’s largest labor unions and professional organizations will back the M.P.A.A.’s push.

Among those who spent the week coordinating their objections were the Directors Guild of America, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and the Independent Film and Television Alliance. The M.P.A.A. represents the major film studios, including 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios, Walt Disney Studios and Warner Brothers.

The expected comments will address the first of four approvals that would allow Veriana Networks and a separate exchange run by Cantor Fitzgerald to begin making markets in the contracts.

Over the last two weeks, California’s two senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, sent the commission a joint letter urging caution in approving the contracts. Representatives Lamar Smith of Texas, Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia and Henry A. Waxman of California sent similar letters.

Both the Cantor futures exchange and Veriana Networks would allow investors to buy or sell — or “short” — contracts based on a movie’s box-office receipts, in essence betting on how well a film will do when released in theaters. On the proposed Cantor exchange, for example, contracts would trade at $1 for every $1 million a movie is expected to bring in at the domestic box office during its first few weeks in theaters. If a contract is bought for $100 and the movie grosses $110 million, the trader makes $10. If another investor shorts the movie, selling the $100 contract, that investor loses $10.

The Veriana exchange would be open only to institutional investors, while the Cantor exchange would be open to anyone.

“I don’t know of any major representative in our sector that is supporting it,” Bob Pisano, the M.P.A.A.’s president, said on Wednesday.

While the industry’s opposing comments were not yet final on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Pisano and others said they were expected to cite a host of potential problems. Those include the risk of market manipulation in the rumor-fueled film world, conflicts of interest among studio employees and myriad contractors who might bet with or against their own films, the possibility that box-office performance would be hurt by short-sellers, difficulty in getting or holding screens for films if trading activity indicated weakness and the need for costly internal monitoring to block insider trades.

Among the potential abuses, the studios contend, is that a speculator might leak an early version of a film to the Internet and then profit from its subsequent poor performance at the box office.

A final ruling from the commission on Veriana’s exchange is expected on Friday. Cantor expects to get its approval by April 20, and the company is so confident that it has been allowing customers to add money to their accounts since March 15.

Both companies say they remain hopeful that the applications will be approved.

“If they want an open dialogue, we’re happy to do that and happy to restart the approval of the product,” said Rob Swagger, Veriana’s chief executive.

Richard Jaycobs, the president of the Cantor Exchange, said he had been meeting with film investors since the movie association sent a letter last month objecting to the exchanges. Mr. Jaycobs said the exchanges would help bring more transparency to the business.

Both Cantor and Veriana say that their exchanges are intended to give Hollywood investors a way to mitigate their risks. If a distributor has second thoughts about a movie, the company could short it on the exchange.

But Mr. Pisano said he had been assured that none of the major film companies intended to use the contracts for hedging.

Mr. Pisano acknowledged that the industry and its allies had been slow to respond to what they now considered a major threat.

He said his organization customarily monitored action by the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, but did not look closely at commodities regulation and focused on the new contracts only after reading recent media reports about them.

In a letter responding to the movie association’s earlier objections, Mr. Jaycobs wrote that Cantor had approached the M.P.A.A. multiple times since March 2009 to discuss the exchange. Except for an acknowledgment of the contact, the association gave no “substantive response or objection” until the letter last month, Mr. Jaycobs wrote.

IFFLA Line-Up Announced

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 11:09 AM
And Here’s the List Folks… Check Out the IFFLA Website to purchase tickets or for more details!

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

07:30 PM
COOKING WITH STELLA – ArcLight Hollywood
Canada/2009/103min/35mm LA Premiere

Director: Dilip Mehta

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

07:00 PM

SHORTS PROGRAM 1 – ArcLight Hollywood

07:30 PM

India/2009/96min/35mm US Premiere

Director: Paresh Mokashi

09:15 PM

ROAD, MOVIE – ArcLight Hollywood
India/2009/Digibeta/Sneak Peak

Director: Dev Benegal

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

07:00 PM

FATSO – ArcLight Hollywood
India/2009/105min/35mm LA Premiere

Director: Rajat Kapoor

SHORTS PROGRAM 2 – ArcLight Hollywood

09:00 PM
Bollywood By Night
KAMINEY – ArcLight Hollywood

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj

09:30 PM

India-UK/2009/79min/Digibeta LA Premiere

Director: Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

07:15 PM

MAD, SAD & BAD – ArcLight Hollywood

Director: Avie Luthra

09:00 PM
Bollywood By Night
3 IDIOTS – ArcLight Hollywood

Director: Raj Kumar Hirani

09:15 PM
Double Doc Program
NERO’S GUESTS – ArcLight Hollywood
India/2009/56min/Beta SP US Premiere

Director: Deepa Bhatia

Double Doc Program
BABIES MADE IN INDIA – ArcLight Hollywood
India/2009/52min/Beta SP US Premiere

Director: Stephanie Lebrun, Philippe Levassur

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

02:00 PM

SHORTS PROGRAM 1 – ArcLight Hollywood

04:15 PM

RASPBERRY MAGIC – ArcLight Hollywood

Director: Leena Penharkar

06:30 PM

THE WELL (Vihir) – ArcLight Hollywood
India/2009/115min/35mm US Premiere

Director: Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni

09:00 PM
Bollywood By Night
ASHES TO ASHES (Raakh Redux) – ArcLight Hollywood

Director: Aditya Bhattacharya

09:30 PM
Double Doc Program
SEARCHING 4 SANDEEP – ArcLight Hollywood
Australia/2007/56min/Beta SP

Director: Poppy Stockell

Double Doc Program
WOMAN REBEL – ArcLight Hollywood
Nepal-India/2009/36min/Digibeta World Premiere

Director: Kiran Deol

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

01:00 PM

SHORTS PROGRAM 2 – ArcLight Hollywood

02:00 PM

THE MAN BEYOND THE BRIDGE (Paltadacho Munis) – ArcLight Hollywood
India/2009/96min/35mm LA Premiere

Director: Laxmikant Shetgaonkar

03:00 PM

AT MY DOORSTEP – ArcLight Hollywood
India/2009/70min/Digibeta US Premiere

Director: Nishtha Jain

USA/2009/11min/Beta SP

Director: Anjoo Khosla

07:00 PM
THE WAITING CITY – ArcLight Hollywood

Director: Claire McCarthy

Gurinder’s Latest Romp through Madcap

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2010 at 9:28 PM

Courtesy Indiewire

Director: Gurinder Chadha

Writer: Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges

Cast: Shabana Azmi, Goldy Notay, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Sally Hawkins, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Shaheen Khan, Jimi Mistry, Zoe Wanamaker

Country: UK

Synopsis: With nods to Frank Capra, ghost stories, murder mysteries, and screwball comedies, Gurinder Chadha whips up an irreverent caper about the pressures on Indian women to tie the knot. Set in West London (Bend It Like Beckham territory), the film centers on Mrs. Sethi, a doting Punjabi mother obsessively seeking a suitor for her appealing, but (heaven forbid!) rapidly aging, daughter, Roopie. When a string of curious murders involving poisonous curries and chapati dough begins to rattle the neighborhood, things really start to heat up. As detectives and ghosts trample through the Sethi household, Roopie’s love life gets an injection of excitement, too. Nothing in this supernatural escapade is as it seems as spicy truths unspool and fate takes its madcap course. A top-notch cast, including celebrated Indian actress Shabana Azmi, sexy Sendhil Ramamurthy, and a zany Sally Hawkins, breathe life into Chadha’s clever tale about appreciating what’s right under our noses—with a little help from the Hereafter.

Here’s another bit from Trailer Addict:

From the director of Bend it Like Beckham and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging comes this year’s new romantic comedy, It’s A Wonderful Afterlife, in which an Indian mum’s match-making efforts turn deadly when she tries to marry off her daughter.

In this killer comedy, Mrs Sethi can’t bear the thought of her daughter being alone and unhappy. When she can no longer stomach the rudeness of families who refuse her daughter, she takes matters into her own hands with the only way she knows… Suddenly a police hunt begins for a serial murderer who cooks a killer curry but will her daughter find love before the police come knocking on their door? It’s A Wonderful Afterlife is a comic feast which takes the phrase ‘I could murder a curry’ to hysterical new heights.

Directed by Gurinder Chadha. The screenplay is by Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges and it centered on an Indian mother who takes her obsession with marriage into the world of serial murder. It was filmed primarily in English, with some Hindi and Punjabi dialogue.

Filming began in London on 28th March 2009. Chadha’s previous work includes Bhaji On The Beach, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, Bride & Prejudice and Bend It Like Beckham. Billed as My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Shaun Of The Dead, It’s A Wonderful Afterlife will be produced and directed by the BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated Chadha, and she has also written the screenplay with writing partner and husband, Paul Mayeda Berges.

The protagonist is played by the newcomer, Goldy Notay. She will be joined by the Shabana Azmi (Fire, Godmother, Arth, Madame Sousatzka), Shaheen Khan (Bend It Like Beckham), and Sendhil Ramamurthy from Heroes.