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Gabhricha Paus (The Damned Rain) selected in Cannes Cinnephilles, Festival De Cannes 2011

In Red Hot Carpets on May 4, 2011 at 7:42 PM

Gabhricha Paus is selected as a part of Cannes Cinephiles, Screens Junior section, in which 8-10 movies are selected in competition for a young audience, because they develop themes or depict worlds that may constitute for these young people some thought. The jury, composed of a class ‘cinema’ College Gerard Philipe de Cannes, will determine the outcome of the event, a work they wish to study in class. There will be 2 or 3 public screenings of Gabhricha Paus in this section. Other movies in this section are from all over the world including movies from France, Italy, Israel to name a few. Gabhricha Paus will be presented with French subtitles.

Other than the documentary about Indian films by Shekhar Kapur, I believe this is the only Indian film with a presence in Cannes this year.

Cannes Cinéphiles (Cannes film Enthusiasts) is an event organised by Cannes Cinéma and the Festival de Cannes to provide public screenings from the Official Selection, as well as films from the parallel sections.

Further information can be found on http://www.cannes-cinema.com (One would need to use google translate to get this page in English)

Congrats to the entire team!

Avatar and The Hurt Locker Score Nine Each

In Red Hot Carpets on February 2, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Courtesy of ScreenDaily

There were few surprises in the nominations announcement for the 82nd Academy Awards on February 2, with Avatar and The Hurt Locker taking nine nominations apiece.

Jeremy Renner’s best actor nomination for The Hurt Locker was perhaps the main surprise in acting categories, while Cameron’s omission in the original screenplay category was notable.

Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds took eight nominations including best picture, director and screenplay, while Jason Reitman’s Up In The Air took six including best picture, director, screenplay, actor for George Clooney and two in the supporting actress category for Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick.

Meanwhile, the ten best picture field only saw a couple of surprise omissions ­ Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, Star Trek and Nine among them ­and perhaps one surprise inclusion in the Coen Brothers’ A Serious Man, which also won a screenplay nod for the oft-celebrated siblings.

As expected, Pixar’s Up became only the second animated feature to score a best picture nomination (the first since Beauty And The Beast in 1991) and the first to secure picture and animated feature nominations. Up was also nominated in screenplay and score categories.

Lee Daniels’ Precious: Based On The Novel ‘Push’ By Sapphire also got nominations in lead categories ­best picture and director for Daniels, best screenplay, actress for Gabourey Sidibe and supporting actress for Mo’Nique. Precious had a tally of six nominations, also named in the editing category.

Acting favourites Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart and Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side sailed through to nominations in their respective categories, and The Blind Side also scored a best picture nod.

Meryl Streep, meanwhile, won her 13th best actress nomination and her 16th in total for playing Julia Child in Julie & Julia.

In the foreign language category, the year’s big winners The White Ribbon from Germany and A Prophet from France both got through alongside Ajami from Israel, The Milk Of Sorrow from Peru and The Secret In Their Eyes from Argentina. Sony Pictures Classics has US rights to three of them – The White Ribbon, A Prophet and The Secret In Their Eyes.

European talent scored highly. UK producers Finola Dywer and Amanda Posey were nominated for An Education which also won a nomination for lead actress Carey Mulligan and screenwriter Nick Hornby.

Helen Mirren scored her fourth Oscar nomination for The Last Station, Colin Firth his first for A Single Man, Germany’s Christoph Waltz his first in the supporting actor category for Inglourious Basterds ­ – for which he is runaway favourite to win  -­ and Spain’s Penelope Cruz received her third for Nine.

Meanwhile, Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Ianucci and Tony Roche won an adapted screenplay nod for UK comedy In The Loop, which was released in the US by IFC Films. Austrian cinematographer Christian Berger was also nominated for his black and white work on The White Ribbon.

Tomm Moore’s Irish animated film The Secret Of Kells was a surprise entry in the best animated feature category alongside Disney heavyweights Up and The Princess And The Frog, Coraline and Fantastic Mr Fox. Kells knocked out other studio movies such as Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and Monsters Vs Aliens.

Veteran Canadian actor Christopher Plummer scored his first Oscar nomination for playing Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station.

Kathryn Bigelow, director of The Hurt Locker becomes only the fourth woman in Oscar history to be nominated in the best director category. Having won the DGA prize last weekend, she could easily become the first to win.

Ironically Peter Jackson was nominated as a producer of best picture nominee District 9 directed by Niell Blomkamp; his own film The Lovely Bones took only one nomination for Stanley Tucci’s supporting performance.

In the documentary category, favourites The Cove and Food Inc were nominated alongside Burma VJ, the Danish film from Anders Ostergaard, Rebecca Camissa’s Which Way Home, which is a Mexico/US co-production, and Judith Erlich and Rick Goldsmith’s The Most Dangerous Man In The World: Daniel Ellsberg And The Pentagon Papers.

Actor in a Leading Role

Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

Actor in a Supporting Role

Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Actress in a Leading Role

Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Actress in a Supporting Role

Penélope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick, Up In The Air
Mo’Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire

Animated Feature Film

Coraline, Henry Selick
Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson
The Princess and the Frog, John Musker and Ron Clements
The Secret of Kells, Tomm Moore
Up, Pete Docter

Art Direction

Avatar, Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
Nine, Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
Sherlock Holmes, Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
The Young Victoria, Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

Cinematography

Avatar, Mauro Fiore
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Bruno Delbonnel
The Hurt Locker, Barry Ackroyd
Inglourious Basterds, Robert Richardson
The White Ribbon Christian Berger

Costume Design

Bright Star Janet Patterson
Coco before Chanel Catherine Leterrier
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Monique Prudhomme
Nine Colleen Atwood
The Young Victoria Sandy Powell

Directing

James Cameron, Avatar
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air

Documentary (Feature)

Burma VJ, Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller
The Cove Nominees to be determined
Food, Inc. Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
Which Way Home Rebecca Cammisa

Documentary (Short Subject)

China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner, Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant, Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
Music by Prudence Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
Rabbit à la Berlin Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

Film Editing

Avatar, Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
District 9, Julian Clarke
The Hurt Locker, Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
Inglourious Basterds, Sally Menke
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire Joe Klotz

Foreign Language Film

Ajami, Israel
The Secret In Their Eyes, Argentina
The Milk of Sorrow Peru
A Prophet, France
The White Ribbon, Germany

Makeup

Il Divo, Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
Star Trek, Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
The Young Victoria Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

Music (Original Score)

Avatar James Horner
Fantastic Mr. Fox Alexandre Desplat
The Hurt Locker Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
Sherlock Holmes, Hans Zimmer
Up, Michael Giacchino

Music (Original Song)

Almost There from The Princess and the Frog, Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Down in New Orleans from The Princess and the Frog, Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Loin de Paname from Paris 36, Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
Take It All, from Nine, Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart) from Crazy Heart, Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Best Picture

Avatar James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
The Blind Side Nominees to be determined
District 9, Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
An Education Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
The Hurt Locker, Nominees to be determined
Inglourious Basterds, Lawrence Bender, Producer
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
A Serious Man Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
Up Jonas Rivera, Producer
Up in the Air Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Short Film (Animated)

French Roast, Fabrice O. Joubert
Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty, Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell
The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte) Javier Recio Gracia
Logorama, Nicolas Schmerkin
A Matter of Loaf and Death, Nick Park

Short Film (Live Action)

The Door, Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
Instead of Abracadabra, Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström
Kavi, Gregg Helvey
Miracle Fish Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
The New Tenants,Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Sound Editing

Avatar Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
The Hurt Locker Paul N.J. Ottosson
Inglourious Basterds, Wylie Stateman
Star Trek, Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
Up, Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Sound Mixing

Avatar, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
The Hurt Locker, Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
Inglourious Basterds, Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
Star Trek, Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Visual Effects

Avatar, Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
District 9, Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
Star Trek, Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

District 9, Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
An Education, Screenplay by Nick Hornby
In the Loop Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
Up in the Air, Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Writing (Original Screenplay)

The Hurt Locker, Written by Mark Boal
Inglourious Basterds, Written by Quentin Tarantino
The Messenger, Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
A Serious Man, Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Up, Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

CNNgo’s people who mattered the most in India last year

In Red Hot Carpets on January 7, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Courtesy of CNNgo

By Udita Jhunjhunwala

While much of the world battled against the recession this year, India corrected, but didn’t falter. Indeed, there was even time for a general election that resulted in a thumping win for the United Progressive Alliance, victories in sports other than cricket, a successful moon mission and a new generation coming to power in Bollywood.

Much of the year was of course cast in the shadow of the horrific terrorist attacks in Mumbai late last year. 2009 also certainly saw no less corruption, nepotism and corporate scandal than previous years. But 2009 was about role models stepping up to show the rest that India has a central place in the world. Here are the ‘who’ and also the ‘what’ that propelled India this year.

In conversation with Dilip Mehta

In Red Hot Carpets on October 16, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Photo journalist-turned-director Dilip Mehta talks to tabloid! about his debut film Cooking With Stella

By Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Staff Reporter
Published: 17:45 October 11, 2009

Cooking With Stella is about petty theft, says Dilip Mehta.
Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Photo journalist-turned-director Dilip Mehta talks to tabloid! about his debut film Cooking With Stella

It’s a big night for you. What’s on your mind?

Right now, my back is killing me. And I can’t focus on much else. But seriously, the Middle East has got a large expatriate population. It will be fascinating to watch how people accept my film. Will they be politically correct and say, “What’s the movie really about?” or will they pull an ostrich syndrome act and say, “This doesn’t happen in our neighbourhood.”

How would you categorise Cooking With Stella?

Cooking With Stella is about petty theft. There is a Stella in every one of us and there is a Stella in every Indian household. There is nothing detrimental about it. I am not trying to be didactic. It’s an issue-driven film and we have dealt with it lightly. Look at it this way, it’s set in a country where there is a Mercedes and a cow parked side by side.

What made you choose an upstairs-downstairs comedy like Cooking With Stella?

There is something terribly wrong when people have travelled to the moon and back, but we still have people serving us. The word “servant” should be erased from our lexicon.

Bombay Summer, India’s eye-opening Indie flick

In Red Hot Carpets on October 16, 2009 at 11:35 AM

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Courtesy of gulfnews.com

By Manjusha Radhakrishnan

India’s latest indie flick Bombay Summer is an eye-opener which deals with the rapidly changing society of the bustling city.

The stars and director of the new film, Bombay Summer, strutted the MEIFF red carpet in style on Saturday night, bringing the best of serious Indian cinema. tabloid! got a chance to chat with both budding actress Tannishtha Chatterjee and indie filmmaker Joseph Mathew about their exposé of Bombay’s past and present.

In conversation with director Joseph Mathew

How would you describe Bombay Summer?

It captures India in a state of flux where urban India is dealing with rapid changes.

The film is a voice for the young people in India and many find it an eye-opening experience.

They might be surprised to learn that there are nightclubs in India and that youngsters do drink.

Would you change the title of the movie Bombay Summer to Mumbai Summer — if political activists make an issue about it?

No. The movie is a tribute to the city. The movie is about a city that is undergoing change. It’s about the city’s past.

Has recession affected indie filmmakers such as you?

It’s been a tough year. As you know, getting your film distributed is like the holy grail. It is now harder to produce a film. We are in a limbo right now and hopefully things will turn around.

In fact, Bombay Summer was produced by an Middle Eastern investor. But he wishes to remain anonymous.

Did you know?

Mathew says he will consider Bollywood musicals if it’s done his way.

“Bollywood has become so formulaic. There are more than a billion stories to be told, it is hard to do something fresh in Indian cinema. But filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap and Vishal Bharadwaj are making a difference.”

Gritty cinema

Bombay Summer could not have been more aptly titled.The city of Mumbai is captured in all its gritty glory transporting you back to a time when Mumbai was still the bustling Bombay.

It is a tale of the lives and loves of three friends, set against the back-drop of the vibrant metropolis. Entertaining as a whole, the movie proceeds at a languorous pace and takes time to flesh out its characters — Tannishtha Chatterjee (a Mumbai-bred career girl called Geeta), Jatin Goswami (an artist and drug dealer called Madan) and Samrat Chakrabarti (a rich struggling writer called Jaidev).

The shift in the friendship dynamics — when Geeta transfers her affection from her boyfriend Jaidev to artist Madan — is subtly captured.

Although there were moments when things could move at a faster pace, you leave the theatre feeling nostalgic about its characters and, more importantly, Mumbai.

In conversation with Tannishtha Chatterjee

You know her as Naznin from the critically acclaimed British film Brick Lane.

Will we ever see an art-house actor like you in a commercial Bollywood venture?

Of late, Bollywood has a tradition of typecasting actresses. It’s becoming increasingly male-dominated. Hopefully the trend of women playing key roles will return. The day it does, I will consider a commercial Bollywood venture. There was a time when actresses like Nargis, Madhuri Dixit and Kajol used to carry a film on their own shoulders. But that was some time ago.

You were in the movie adaptation of Monica Ali’s Brick Lane. How tough was it to play the multi-layered Bangladeshi immigrant Naznin?

It comes with the good and the bad. It is good that a book gives you an understanding of a character but the readers expect a lot from the movie. But fortunately, I was able to pull it off.

Who is an actor that you admire?

Daniel Day-Lewis. I met him in 2007 at the film festival; at first I didn’t recognise him with the beard and the hat and he had no starry entourage with him. He is one of the few actors who can look different in every movie, he can transform into a different personality each time. Personally, I look for roles that are different from one another, Naznin [in Brick Lane] is the exact opposite of Geeta in Bombay Summer.

ABCL’s ‘Vihir’ sole Indian film in Pusan competition

In Red Hot Carpets on October 12, 2009 at 11:23 PM

vihir

Courtesy of The Times of India

By Chitra Nair

PUNE: In a proud moment for the Marathi film industry, the Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL)-produced first Marathi film Vihir’, is all set to have its world premiere at South Korea’s Pusan festival that begins on October 9 followed by the London film festival on October 15.

Interestingly, the film has also been selected for the competitive category and is the only Indian film to have been selected for the honour this year. Vihir’ is ABCL’s first Marathi venture and is directed by Umesh Kulkarni of Valu’ fame. The film has also been selected for the world cinema competitive category at the London film festival.

The TOI had reported about ABCL’s entry into the Marathi film industry in a report dated June 20 last year. Amitabh Bachchan had confirmed the same on his blog a day later and had called Umesh Kulkarni a “a renowned and decorated director”. “In the past, too, I have encouraged good film makers.

“Two years ago when a Marathi film was selected for the Oscars and the maker did not have the money to go to the USA, we made a substantial monetary contribution so that he could travel and fulfil his obligations in presenting his film to the Academy,” he had written in his blog on June 21, 2008.

Speaking to the TOI here on Friday, Umesh accepted that he knew the expectations from the film would be huge being his first directorial project after his much acclaimed Valu’ and also the first ABCL-produced Marathi film. “I know the audience expects a lot, but I would request the audience to look at both Valu and Vihir’ differently. While Valu’ had a humorous edge to it, Vihir’ is of the serious genre,” he said.

A film that revolves around the lives of two adolescent boys, Sameer and Nachiket, aged 14 years and 15 years, played by Madan Deodhar and Alok Rajwade, respectively, the film speaks of the questions life raises before them. The film also features Mohan Agashe, Renuka Daftardar, Girish Kulkarni, Jyoti Subhash, Amruta Subhash, Sulabha Deshapnde and Ashwini Giri. “The script has been written by Girsih Kulkarni and Sati Bhave, and has been shot in Pune, Satara and Wai. The story is like a game of hide-and-seek about life that these boys face and is shot from their perspective,” said Umesh.

So how involved was Amitabh Bachchan in the making of the film? “He was involved in all the discussions we had regarding the film. But Jaya Bachchan has a larger connection to the film since it was she who had told me during a meeting at our alma-mater, the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), that she would like for us to work together. She had appreciated Valu’ a lot then,” recalled Umesh.

One of the writers and actors of the film, Girish Kulkarni called the film an enriching learning experience. “I’m an outspoken person by nature and so, writing about a topic that had so may layers to it was difficult, but it has turned out well and we are satisfied. Working with Umesh is always great and having worked with him earlier too, we know now what the other is thinking without having to say it. We complement each other,” he smiled.

As for working under the ABCL banner, Girish said that it was a dream come true. “I met Jayaji a few times and she guided us without interfering in the film making process. Both Amitabhji and Jayaji saw the film and they are very happy with it. It is what they were looking for a different film with a different story,” he added. Adding to it, Umesh, too, said that they were given free rein by the ABCL. “There was no interference on their behalf whatsoever,” he said.

The other writer Sati Bhave calls the scrip introspective’. “It is about the sensitivity and the innocence that adolescents have which disappears later on in life. The title of the film Vihir’ too is suggestive of the film’s script. It is indicative of how people who are stuck in life are similar to those in wells and looking up at the sky above. At the same time it is also about the fearless plunge that we make in life,” she said. There is also a straightforward reference to the well, Bhave added, since one of the boys drowns in it.

PNC Films at SAIFF

In Red Hot Carpets on October 9, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Shishir Chhetri October 9 at 6:22am

Raat-Gayi-Baat-GayiThe prestigious South Asian International Film Festival in New York, to be held between October 28th to Nov 3rd will have a red carpet premiere for an Indian feature, Fatso!, a romcom from the house of by Pritish Nandy Communications. A romantic comedy, Fatso is director Rajat Kapoor’s fourth film, after Raghu Romeo, Mixed Doubles and Mithya, all of them critically acclaimed. Fatso will be releasing globally in January while Raat Gayi Baat Gayi will be releasing worldwide on December 11.

PNC’s Raat Gayi Baat Gayi will also be screened at SAIFF in the competitions category. Producer Pritish Nandy and directors Rajat Kapoor and Saurabh Shukla will attend the event in New York as special invitees of the festival and joining them on the red carpet will be members of the film’s ensemble cast, Ranvir Shorey, Gul Panag, Purab Kohli, Gunjan Bakshi and Neel Bhopalan.

For more info visit www.saiff.org

The 60th Berlin International Film Festival

In Red Hot Carpets on October 7, 2009 at 12:14 AM

Important Dates

berlinale- logo_small

October 29, 2009 –  Deadline for project submissions to the 7th Berlinale Co-Production Market

October 30, 2009 – Deadline for film entries for the festival (feature length films)

November 16, 2009 – Deadline for film entries for the festival (short films)

December 15, 2009 – Application deadline for accreditations

For more information visit berlinale.de

Aladin opens SAIFF

In Red Hot Carpets on October 5, 2009 at 10:30 PM

200full-aladin

Get your tickets now for the grand Opening Night of SAIFF 2009

From the land of myths and legends – India – comes a fantasy adventure for the entire family. Directed by Sujoy Ghosh, ‘Aladin’ is a modern re-imagining of the classic tale of ‘Aladin and The Magic Lamp’. Aladin Chatterjee (Riteish Deshmukh) lives in the city of Khwaish, an orphan who has been bullied since childhood by Kasim and his gang. But his life changes when Jasmine (Jacquiline Fernandes) gives him a magic lamp – because it lets loose the genie Genius (Amitabh Bachchan). Desperate to grant him 3 wishes and seek the end of his contract with the Magic Lamp, the rock-star Genius makes Aladin’s life difficult until the real threat looms on the horizon : the ex-genie Ringmaster (Sanjay Dutt). Why does Ringmaster want to kill Aladin? What is the dark secret about Aladin’s past that Genius is carrying? And what is Aladin’s destiny?

Find out more in this swashbuckling fantasy adventure film from Eros Entertainment and Boundscript Motion Pictures.

Independent South Asian Film Festival (Tasveer) – Oct 2-4

In Red Hot Carpets on October 1, 2009 at 10:49 AM

poster_elephant_mediumWelcome to our 6th annual festival!

Join us for the Independent South Asian Film Festival (ISAFF), a celebration of the best independent films from the South Asian diaspora. This year’s festival runs from October 2nd through October 4th, and represents a diverse selection of films from many genres.

** NOTE: There have been many schedule changes. Please confirm all times on our calendar before making plans.

The festival is organized by Tasveer, a grassroots, community-based organization that is committed to bringing independent progressive films from South Asia and the South Asian Diaspora to the Pacific Northwest.

Our opening night film is The Damned Rain (Gabricha Paus), a hauntingly beautiful tale about farmer suicides in India. Our closing night film is The Living Ghost, the story of a tribal community whose lives are disrupted by modernization. Other highlights include: I Can’t Think Straight, an edgy comedy starring Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth, and Supermen of Malegaon, a hilarious documentary capturing a small-town filmmaker who overcomes a myriad of unseen challenges.

View full schedule

What FK loves – How about kids?!
Babes in arms welcome in the movie theater. Kids Play Room also available for children over 1yr to be dropped off. Tips are appreciated! Note: we have trained babysitters and volunteers, however, this is not licensed childcare room.

‘Dev.D’ Delights at 66th Venice Film Festival

In E. Nina Rothe, Red Hot Carpets on September 30, 2009 at 12:40 PM

by E. Nina Rothe

If it wasn’t fantastic enough that our beloved Anurag Kashyap was chosen to be on the jury at La Biennale 66th Venice Film Festival – it is an honor bestowed only upon the best of the best! – then the proverbial icing on the cake was his film ‘Dev.D’ getting screened out of competition there.

The stars came out to sparkle, with nearly the full film cast in attendance. Kalki Koelchin looked as radiant and pretty, as only she can, in the color of the moment, a sage satin gown. Mahi Gill dazzled in a white and gold sari, while Kashyap and Dev star himself Abhay Deol both wore what looked like matching and dashing tuxedoes.

But the evening could not possibly be the complete success it ended up to be without the presence of that fabulous Greek chorus of Delhi, the dancing brothers trio of The Twilight Players. If the song ‘Pardesi’ is deeply etched in my sense memory it is certainly to their amazing grace, elegance and generosity of spirit.

So, I leave you with some latest news on fantastic filmmaker Kashyap himself. He and Danny Boyle have decided to collaborate on the project ‘Bombay Velvet’ which is going to be directed by AK and produced by DB. The film is also rumored to star Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan and is a project close to AK’s heart. With those four names, I foresee a big success and lines to see the movie that will last through the first 100 days straight! OK, official Ajnabee prediction, you can quote me on it!

So, let me leave you with some special thanks going out to the dashing Sinbad Phgura who was so kind to provide the exclusive shot above, which in turn inspired this post. As always, he is an endless source of inspiration! Thanks!! To find out more about Sinbad Phgura and the Twilight Players, read my interview with him on Chic Today. Rock On!!

Images courtesy ©2009 Sinbad Phgura

Phalke to attend Oscars

In Red Hot Carpets on September 28, 2009 at 12:47 PM
paresh_mokashi_20091005As the end credits of Harishchandrachi Factory (Harishchandra’s Factory) roll, the only question that strikes you is: Why did no one ever think of making a film on this subject before? The story of the birth of the world’s largest film industry is a riveting one, and debutant director Paresh Mokashi does it ample justice. His Marathi film, on the making of Dadasaheb Phalke’s Raja Harishchandra—India’s first film—is entertaining, absorbing and affecting to the core; truly worthy of its selection as the Indian entry at this year’s Oscars.“We know Phalke as the father of Indian cinema, the guy  after whom the country’s most prestigious film award was named,” says Mokashi, but, as he points out, we know little else. His affectionate tribute to the man who, with 95 movies and 26 short films to his credit, laid the foundation of our booming film industry, more than fills the void.

“We want to see our historical figures portrayed seriously. Gandhi never has a sense of humour.”

Mokashi portrays Phalke in all his complexity, focusing on his life between 1911—when he was first introduced to motion pictures—and 1913, when Raja Harishchandra was released. Phalke, the film tells us, got hooked to cinema after a show at Picture Palace, and captures his fascination for it rather tellingly, in a single shot. While the audience is busy watching the film, Phalke is shown with his back to the screen trying to figure out how images are being projected onto the screen. He does everything he can to learn the craft—from selling off household goods to almost losing his sight. Driven, obstinate and dogged, he brings a Williamson camera home from London, where he goes to learn filmmaking. And then uses it to shoot a film on the growth of a pea plant, which wins him investors for his maiden feature.Craft apart, Mokashi’s Phalke also seems to have a prescient understanding of the medium’s potential. He makes a strong case for India courting cinema, warning if it doesn’t, “The country will lose a profitable business.” And he seems to know all about the power of marketing, offering, as he does, nine-yard saris to winners of a “lucky” Harishchandra movie ticket!

Lead actor Nandu Madhav’s Phalke is mad yet utterly loveable; a refreshingly buoyant portrayal of a cinema veteran usually associated with staid sobriety. “We have an obsession with portraying our historical figures seriously. Gandhi had a sharp sense of humour but we never want to show that,” says Mokashi. Phalke’s family is just as winsome. His wife Saraswati, who gamely tries her  hand at cinematography, and his two good-natured, playful boys stick with him in his endeavours, despite financial ups and downs.


A scene from Harishchandrachi Factory

A light-hearted spirit permeates the entire film; the scenes dealing with the shooting of Raja Harishchandra are especially hilarious. Phalke can’t find women willing to act; even prostitutes are offended by his offer of roles. Much humour is generated as Phalke is compelled to pick actors off the streets, and force men to play women by shaving off moustaches and donning saris. On an outdoor shoot, he has to convince the police that his cast consists of actors, not thieves. And he advises his actors to tell anyone who doesn’t know what cinema is that they work in a factory. Thus, the title.

Mokashi’s film is straight and simple and a trifle old-fashioned; the director, who is primarily a theatre person, prefers to avoid what he calls the “larger than life” approach of Bollywood and Hollywood. To an eye attuned to the zip and energy of contemporary cinema, Mokashi’s shots might seem static and stagy. But not his layered narrative, which skilfully weaves in the politics of the times.

A neighbour jokes with Phalke that the British will banish him to Mandalay, like Tilak, for stealing their cinema business. But it’s not just business: Mokashi’s film makes it clear that Phalke’s choice of subject is a political act—his films have to reflect Indian culture and sensibility. Shortly after Raja Harishchandra releases, we are told Tilak is out of prison and a world war has begun. And Phalke? Well, he is on to making Bhasmasur Mohini and Satyavan Savitri.

Abhay Deol picks up the Breakthrough Talent Award at GQ

In Red Hot Carpets on September 28, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Abhay-Deol-GQ

From Saif and Kareena to the Bachchans, from Katrina Kaif to Karan Johar, it was a starry starry night on Sunday evening in Mumbai where celebrities from every field including Bollywood turned up in large numbers for an award ceremony for a leading men’s magazine. They walked in hand in hand and walked out with an award each. It’s not everyday that Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor make public appearances like this. But even before their latest film Qurbaan has hit the big screen, the couple are lapping up honours together.

normal_Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan at GQ Man of the Year Awards in Mumbai on 27th Sep 2009 (12)

Bollywood’s hit couple clearly stole the thunder from most other stars present at the GQ awards.”Saif has won GQ Man of the year and I think he truly deserves it,” said Kareena, towhich Saif replied, “For me at the moment Kareena is my Man of the Year.” Kareena Kapoor also won the Women of the Year award. She said, “Being called Woman of the year is a lot different from receiving a film award. It’s a great honour.”

Next best in line was Big B and family in all their style and glory. Amitabh Bachchan, who received the Lifetime Achievement award said, “Well, now I’ll have to make more space to fit in yet another award.” But for some of the younger stars just being appreciated meant a lot. Abhay Deol who picked up the Breakthrough Talent title.

Here’s the complete list of winners too…

Writer of the year  – Neel Mukherjee
Artist of the year  – Atul Dodiya
Designer of the year – Rajesh Pratap Singh
Breakthrough Talent of the year  – Abhay Deol
Excellence of the year – Vishal Bharadwaj
TV Personality of the year – Sreenivasan Jain
Businessman of the year – Aditya Puri
Excellence of the year – Kareena Kapoor
Outstanding Achievement of the year – Irrfan Khan
Sportsman of the year – Leander Paes
Excellence of the year – Karan Johar
Inspiration of the year – Shashi Tharoor
Ultimate GQ Man of the year – Saif Ali Khan
Global Indian of the year – Dr. Rajendra Pachauri
Woman of the year – Katrina Kaif
Young Leader of the year – Omar Abdullah
Lifetime Achievement of the year – Amitabh Bachchan

Line-up: MIAAC Film Festival 2009

In Red Hot Carpets on September 24, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Tahaan

Courtesy of MIAAC Film Festival

* NOV 11th: AASIF MANDVI, NASEERUDDIN SHAH AND MADHUR JAFFREY HEADLINE “TODAY’S SPECIAL” THE OPENING FILM AT THE PARIS THEATRE

*NOV 13th: VIJAY AMRITRAJ TO PRESENT SATOSH SIVAN’S FILM “TAHAAN’ SET IN KASHMIR AS FESTIVAL CENTERPIECE AT THE SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN

* NOV 15th: SHARMILA TAGORE AND APARNA SEN STAR FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE CLOSING NIGHT FILM, “THE ENDLESS WAIT (ANTAHEEN)” AT WALTER READE THEATRE, LINCOLN CENTER

New York, NY September 17th, 2009: The Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council (MIAAC) Film Festival announces the Opening, Closing & Centerpiece Films for its 9th Annual Festival in New York City.

Following hot on the success of the 2008 festival, which saw a stellar line up of films and talent including the NY premiere of Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire,” this year’s opening film is “Today’s Special.” Directed by David Kaplan, the film is written by and stars Comedy Central star Aasif Mandvi; accompanied by renowned Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah as well as author and actor Madhur Jaffrey.

Tennis celebrity and media executive Vijay Amritraj will present Santosh Sivan’s “Tahaan”, set in Kashmir, as the prestigious Festival Centerpiece.

The festival this year packs a bang with the closing film “Antaheen – The Endless Wait” starring two film luminaries discovered by Satyajit Ray – Sharmila Tagore and Aparna Sen – both of whom will attend this U.S. premiere at the Walter Reade Theatre, Lincoln Center.

MIACC 09 will run from November 11-15, 2009 and all public screenings will be at the Quad Cinemas, New York City. MIAAC Film Festival once again sets the stage for some of the most highly anticipated films of the year. Presented by the Indo-American Arts Council in collaboration with the Mahindra Group, MIAAC showcases the best of Indian cinema from India and the Diaspora.

Opening film “Today’s Special” is a heart warming food comedy based in New York with Aasif Mandvi sharing the spotlight with Naseeruddin Shah and Madhur Jaffrey. Aasif Mandvi who also co-wrote the film says, “I am very excited that my film ‘Today’s Special’ has been invited to open this year’s MIAAC Film Festival. It’s an honor to be in the company of the films and filmmakers who make up this year’s festival.  Having had a relationship with the Indo-American Arts Council for some years now, it’s exciting to see not only how they have grown over the last decade, but how their support and promotion of the work of the Indian American artist has never been distracted.”

The centerpiece film is Santosh Sivan’s film “Tahaan” and is about the adventures of a little boy and his pet donkey in militant Kashmir. It has won myriad accolades at international film festivals and will celebrate its NY Premiere at the MIAAC Film Festival.

Closing film “Antaheen – The Endless Wait” by director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury brings Satyajit Ray’s two actresses’ – Sharmila Tagore and Aparna Sen together on screen for the first time. Set in modern day Kolkatta, the film crisscrosses between the loves, passions and relationships of these two actresses.

These three films represent the festival’s focus, genres, and themes – from independent films to Diaspora artists; from New York to the new Global India; from social concern to romantic comedy. Celebrities who will represent these three films at the festival include the entire New York cast of ‘Today’s Special’ led by Aasif Mandvi, Naseeruddin Shah and Madhur Jaffrey; Santosh Sivan, Vijay Amritraj, Aparna Sen, Sharmila Tagore, Kalyan Roy and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury. MIAAC 09 will announce the complete lineup of films, programming and celebrities in the first week of October.

“I am thrilled that ‘Today’s Special’ will open MIAAC 09″, says Aroon Shivdasani, Executive Director of the IAAC. “We have seen the film grow from its play reading to its staging with Aasif Mandvi, a long time friend and family member of IAAC. We are thrilled to see its development into film and delighted to present a New York film set in our phenomenal diverse city- home of the MIAAC Film Festival.”

Tickets for 2009 Festival

Tickets prices will be $15 general admission; $12 IAAC members & students w/ID.
Public screenings of the films will be at the Quad Cinemas.

Nov 11th: MIAAC 09 Opening Night Film: TODAY’S SPECIAL

Directed by David Kaplan.
US, 2009, RT. 90 mins. NY Premiere.

Inspired by Aasif Mandvi’s Obie Award winning play Sakina’s Restaurant, “Today’s Special” is a heartwarming food comedy set in New York City. Samir (Aasif Mandvi) is a Sous Chef who dreams of being Head Chef of his boss’s hot new restaurant. After being passed over for the promotion, he abruptly quits and hatches plans to go to France and study under a legendary Chef. But when his estranged father, Hakim (Harish Patel), has a heart attack, Samir’s life takes a detour back to his parents home in Jackson Heights, Queens, where he takes over the failing family business: Tandoori Palace. With one foot out the door, Samir must come to terms with the loss of his older brother a few years back, and the sadness that engulfs his parents.

Luckily, his paths cross with Akbar (Naseeruddin Shah): a taxi driver, former chef in Mumbai, and irrepressible raconteur who lives in the moment, breaks conventions, and inspires Samir to embrace life, save Tandoori Palace, and his family along the way

Nov 13th: MIAAC 09 Festival Centerpiece: TAHAAN
Presented by Vijay Amritraj.
Written and Directed by Santosh SivanIndia, 2008, 105 min. Hindi with English subtitles

Tahaan lives with his family in the Kashmir valley. The eight-year-old’s father has been missing for over three years. The local moneylender takes away the family’s assets including Tahaan’s pet donkey, Birbal. The boy is determined to bring Birbal back home but is told that an old man (played by Anupam Kher) bought the donkey. Tahaan goes in search of the old man but finds he has to do a teenager he meets a favor to get Birbal back. Director Sivan, who had previously shot Mani Rathnam’s Roja in Kashmir, developed his fable-like screenplay after reading a story in an Indian newspaper. With Purav Bhandara, Anupam Kher, Rahul Bose, Rahul Khanna, Victor Banerjee. Santosh Sivan and Vijay Amritraj in person.

Nov 15th: MIAAC 09 Closing Night Film: THE ENDLESS WAIT (ANTAHEEN)
Story and Direction by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury.
India, 2009, 120 min. In Bengali with English subtitles. NY Premiere

A new Kolkata glitters to life, all intelligence and smooth surfaces, as loves, passions, and relationships crisscross in a shifting web brought to the screen. Abhik, a police officer, loses faith in the real relationships and seeks solace in the virtual world where he develops an online relationship with Brinda, a journalist. Ranjan and Paromita, an older estranged couple, become the bridge between the two younger lovers, nursing as they do their own separation and tenderness. The Endless Wait brings to the screen some sterling performances, including Satyajit Ray’s legendary discoveries, Sharmila Tagore and Aparna Sen, in their first film together. Also with Rahul Bose, Kalyan Roy. Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Aparna Sen, Kalyan Roy and Sharmila Tagore in person.

The Air in Telluride

In Aseem Chhabra, Red Hot Carpets on September 23, 2009 at 12:17 AM

by Aseem Chhabra

telluride-aseem1

The summer is finally over, but for movie lovers it is sign of hope and excitement, since it is also the beginning of the fall film festival season. And heralding the season is the Telluride Film Festival — held each year over the Labor Day weekend. There are world and North American premieres before the films make it to bigger and flashier events in Toronto and New York, revivals of classics and even lost silent treasures. Last year the Telluride audience was the first in the world to see Slumdog Millionaire.

It is a spectacular setting to see films – the pristine San Juan mountain range in Colorado, a former mining town, where Butch Cassidy first robbed a bank and Tom Cruise makes a home. Cruise has never been spotted in the town during the festival, but there was enough star power at this year’s event – from Viggo Mortensen and the French legend Anouk Aimée (both honored at tributes to their careers), Nicolas Cage, directors Alexander Payne and Jason Reitman, and the radiant Helen Mirren.

Nicholas cage and Jason Reitman on a panel

Nicholas Cage and Jason Reitman on a panel

In the recent years Indian cinema and film personalities have received the rightfully deserved recognition at Telluride. Shyam Benegal and Om Puri have been saluted with tributes to their careers, and in 2001 Salman Rushdie was a guest programmer at the festival. And the festival has shown films ranging from The Namesake, Firaaq, and The Mystic Masseur to classics like .

This year the festival picked up veteran Bengali director Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s new film Window. A quiet, poetic film Window follows the journey of a young man who buys a new window for his rural high school only to find his good intentions ridiculed and rejected. The film has an ironic tone, but the supporting cast is uneven and somewhat theatrical and that defeats Dasgupta’s efforts.

Aseem Chhabra at the Telluride Film Festival

Aseem Chhabra at the Telluride Film Festival

There were two other films with the South Asian flavor. France’s Rachid Bouchareb has directed a heart-wrenching film — London River, a story of two strangers, a British mother and a French African father, searching for their children, lost in the aftermath of the 2005 London bombings, caused by immigrants of Pakistani origin. Brenda Blethyn is terrific in the role of a clueless mother who over the course of the film learns so much about her missing daughter’s life.

And finally we saw an oddly constructed, rambling Australian documentary The Miscreants of Taliwood, in which the filmmaker George Gittoes travels through the Taliban-controlled parts of Pakistan as he explores the regions so-called film industry. The actors he meets are crude performers and their films are very amateurish and uninteresting. The Miscreants of Taliwood is very disappointing and certainly not festival material.

Dev D’s Italian Intervention

In Payal Sethi, Red Hot Carpets on September 9, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Abhay-Deol-and-Mahi-Gill-at-66th-Venice-Film-FestivalWe’re gutted that we couldn’t personally make it out on the red carpet at the 66th Venice Film Festival (2-12 Sep), but felt very well represented by the fresh faced cast of Anurag Kashyap’s 2009 hit DEV D. Kashyap served on the main jury this year, along with cine greats such as Ang Lee, although his films (Gulaal being the second, but not our favorite)  screened out of competition. That’s one small step for Kash, and a giant leap for Indian cinema.