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Posts Tagged ‘Santosh Sivan’

Bipasha’s ‘Lamhaa,’ banned in the UAE

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

By Shilpa Jamkhandikar

MUMBAI — A new Bollywood film that puts the spotlight on the Kashmir issue has been banned in the United Arab Emirates, the director of the film said.

“Lamhaa,” which opens in Indian cinemas on Friday, is a thriller set in the strife-torn Himalayan region at the heart of hostility between India and Pakistan.

“If anyone should have a problem with the content of the film, it should be India or Pakistan, how is the UAE concerned?” the film’s director Rahul Dholakia said.

Separatists in Kashmir began an insurgency against Indian rule in 1989 — a movement almost immediately backed by Pakistan — and since then tens of thousands of people have been killed.

Most fighters want all of Kashmir to become part of Pakistan but many ordinary Kashmiris want independence from both India and Pakistan.

But Dholakia, whose earlier film “Parzania” dealt with the Gujarat riots and their aftermath, said he did not think “Lamhaa” is controversial.

“My film talks about the basic problems of the Kashmiri people, which is a crisis of identity, the armed forces and of course the problem of the Kashmiri Pandits who live in Jammu,” he said.

The director said he spent a lot of time researching the film, interviewing prominent politicians and common people but it was still difficult to make a film that would be unbiased.

“Lamhaa,” which stars Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu and Anupam Kher has been in the making for three years and focuses on the “ground realities” in Kashmir.

In the past, several films have been shot in the region and dealt with the problem of insurgency but haven’t found much success at the boxoffice.

Both Santosh Sivan’s “Tahaan” and Piyush Mehra’s “Sikander” had children as protagonists while Dholakia’s film revolves around a former army official.

Welcome to 2010 Karaveners!

In Uncategorized on February 2, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Hot on the heels of a fantastic 2009 FilmKaravan is thrilled to share with you our many exciting projects for 2010. But first, a recap of 2009…

We kick-started last year with the premiere of Anurag Kashyap’s DEV D at the Museum of Modern Art, co-hosted by the film’s star, Abhay Deol. The film then went on to play top-tier festivals, including the Venice Film Festival. In April, we celebrated our two-year anniversary and launched the Karavan Kollective distribution project to give audiences access to quality South-Asian independent cinema on portals such as Netflix, Amazon, Indiepix and Reframe. Next, we released Nina Paley’s award-winning and visually sumptuous SITA SINGS THE BLUES, a DVD which has surpassed even our own expectations in sales and rentals. In mid November, we released the AIDS JaaGO DVD at a fundraiser where we brought together film luminaries such as Mira Nair, Shabana Azmi, Rahul Bose, Sanjay Suri and Tannishtha Chatterjee, to speak up for AIDS awareness in a viral video that we produced to commemorate World AIDS Day.

Finally, at the end of the year, we launched FK’s production division with our first short film, GRANT ST. SHAVING CO. shot entirely in New York City over three days. The shoot was a tremendous success, and we expect the film to be completed by March in time for festivals. We are currently raising finishing funds to complete post-production on the film. You can check out a sneak-peek and help us with a tax-deductible donation of as little as $5 if you’d like.

Twenty Ten also finds us attached to produce several feature-films at different stages of development, and as always, we will be looking for new and exciting projects to take on.

In April 2010, we will be releasing the heartwarming film, SUPERMEN OF MALEGAON theatrically, on DVD and TV. Showcased in June at the MoMA’s New India festival, it is a remarkable film that salutes the spirit of filmmaking and embodies a fanatical love for the movies. Read more about it here.

We invite you to SIGN-UP to receive the latest updates in our quarterly NEWSLETTER on www.filmkaravan.com, follow our BLOG at https://flixmatrix.wordpress.com/, and become a FAN on Facebook.

Thank you for your continued support and here’s wishing you great things in the new year!

The FilmKaravan Team

Raima Sen Ready to Give Back to Society!

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2010 at 6:31 PM

Courtesy OneIndia

Raima Sen is excited about her small cameo in Mira Nair’s latest film ‘Aids Jaago”, which is a compilation of four films directed to bring about AIDS awareness amongst the masses. Besides Mira, the other three directors who have made the four films package are Santosh Sivan, Farhan Akhtar and Vishal Bharadwaj. Informs Raima,“I have acted in the short film called ‘Migration” for Mira Nair. It has been made to spread awareness on Aids.”

Raima adds, “I am ready to pay back to the society what it has given me. I readily agreed to be a vehicle to spread awareness of Aids which should be the concern of every citizen today in our country if we have to build an aware nation tomorrow. Mira has cast me with Shiny Ahuja in the film. I play Shiney’s rural wife while Sameera Reddy plays the frustrated wife of Irffan Khan who passes on the disease to Shiney. I have also done a short film for Ruchi Narayan who had directed ‘Kal”. It is a part of the series on the city of Mumbai for ‘Mumbai Ten’ for Sahara One.”

Looking back at her career, Raima feels that she could do a lot more of meaningful films. “I feel that it is getting better every year. I have learnt a lot. Had I done many commercial films in the beginning of my career, who knows, Aparna did may not have even considered me for her films? I could very well have done some six silly commercial projects and then burnt out myself as an actress.”

Raima is frank enough to confess that there are movies which she wants to do desperately but she does not get them at all. She adds, “There are movies which are offered to me but I do not want to be a part of them. As an actor, I make it a point to just rely on my instinct. I want to be here in the film industry for at least the next ten years.”

Raima says that post films like ‘Honey Moon Travels Private Limited” and ‘Manorma Six Feet Under”, she is happy that she is getting a lot of offers from Hindi filmmakers though earlier she was doing a lot of Bengali films. “As an actor; I feel that it is very important to do all kinds of roles instead of restricting yourself to one genre. I concede that ‘Choker Bali” projected me as a simple girl. You will see me as a simple girl even in ‘Japanese Wife.”

So what”s her role in ‘Japanese Wife” like? Pat comes the reply, ” Like in ‘Choker Bali”, I am playing a challenging role which needed me to apply less of make up. In ‘Japanese Wife” I have been teamed opposite Rahul Bose. I play the role of a young widow with an eight year old son in ‘Japanese Wife”. It is being made in English and Bengali with Aparna Sen as the director. To prepare myself for the role, I did an extensive fifteen days workshop with Aparnadi. Besides the fact that it is a challenging role, it was an exhilarating experience to work under her direction.”

Raima adds. “Japanese Wife” will be my fourth film with Rahul Bose. I have worked with Rahul in ‘Khela” directed by Parto with Manisha Koirala and Prosenjeet and am doing a guest appearance in ‘Sunglass”, with Rahul Bose. Konkana Sen Sharma is playing the main lead in the film. ‘Sunglass” is being directed by Rituparno Ghosh. ‘Khela” is a film within a film. I play a costume designer

in the film in which Prosenjeet plays the director. I had also acted with Rahul in the Bengali film ‘Anuranon.”

Raima is, after a long time, geared up to show her versatility as an actress by taking up a comic role with Tushar Kapoor. Says Raima, “Sachin Yardi who had written ‘Kya Kool Hai Hum” is directing the film for Balaji Telefilms with Tushar and me in the lead. It is not a sequel to ‘Kya Kool Hai Hum.”

Raima is also acting in a cameo role in Mani Shankar’s Mukhbir. “The thing that I can divulge at this moment is that I am just doing a guest appearance in Mani Shankar’s Mukhbir in which my co-star is Sameer Dattani. It is a character driven film which also has Om Puri in a stellar role.”

Raima is now glad that people have stopped comparing her with either her mother Moon Moon Sen or for that matter her sister Riya Sen. “Though no producer has thought of casting me with my mother as yet, Riya and I were cast together in Ajay Sinha’s ‘Bachelor”. It is sad that the film may not be able to see the light of the day for reasons best known to Ajaiji and the producer,” Raima quips sadly.

Which among her films does Raima think are her best five? She replies. “Among the films in which I have acted till date , I think the best five are ‘Choker Bali”, ‘Nishi Japon” directed by Satyajit Ray’s son Sandeep Ray, Pradeep Sarkar’s ‘Parineeta”, Aparna Sen’s ‘Japanese Wife” and ‘Manorama Six Feet Under.”

Wear Your Heart on World AIDS Day 2009

In In Your Face on December 1, 2009 at 2:48 PM

On November 10, 2009 a half-dozen film luminaries filtered through a subterranean room at Pranna Restaurant to voice a heartfelt video message for listeners around the globe on World AIDS Day.

FilmKaravan presents Mira Nair, Shabana Azmi, Rahul Bose, Sanjay Suri & Tannishtha Chatterjee in a video directed by Shruti Riya Ganguly.  We urge you to give a moment of your day today to the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The chain must keep growing. Its really simple. Pass this video on to your friends, families, co-workers via email or Facebook and help grow a viral movement to raise awareness.

Be the light!

Find this video and others on our Youtube channel

Finding the Good in the Bad

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Courtesy of Popculture Divas

By E. Nina Rothe

Because of the colder weather, shorter days and gloomier light in NYC these days, I’ve been thinking more and more about serious issues. It often happens to me in the fall, I retreat inside and therefore inward too. Apart from experiencing a mild case of SAD each winter — I recently wrote a post about this year’s more serious bout with it on my blog — lots of heavy world causes and lofty ideas begin inhabiting my
mind, distracted only by the upcoming holidays and some miscellaneous winter events.
Most of you are certainly aware that World AIDS Day is on the 1st of December of every year

and takes place around the globe, with various ‘celebrations’ and observances which vary from open-air gatherings, to marches and parties thrown by the best and brightest celebrities of films, music and sports. While I always knew the day was there, I never fully participated, other than perhaps wearing my red ribbon for 24 hours, or buying a (RED) t-shirt at the Gap… This year, a project close to my heart brought new meaning and passion to this incredibly important world health cause and gave me the push necessary to begin understanding this crisis from a very personal viewpoint.

The first case of HIV was detected in India in 1986 and at last count, in 2008, it was estimated that around 2.3 million people are living with the disease there. Of those numbers, 39% are women and 3.9% are children. Although it seems that the disease is no longer progressing as quickly as it once was, it is still a widespread plague and education is the only way to fight it. Education in a country which is mostly rural based with a population that relies on word-of-mouth and pop culture – such as movies and TV – for information. OK, so far so good, right?! Well it would be if it were not for all those pesky morality laws and censor boards, which regulate who and how people can kiss on screen and what can be spoken about on the air. Hence, loads of misconceptions and myths persist about AIDS and HIV, causing the disease to continue spreading, with a slight slowdown in recent times, but at an alarming rate nonetheless. When we figure that the country of India holds ONE FOURTH of the world’s population, the idea of a monstrous disease like AIDS spreading at all is very scary.
Enter Mira Nair and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2007 Ms. Nair introduced the audience of the Indo-American Arts Council film festival in NYC to the film ‘AIDS JaaGO’ – meaning AIDS Awake – a collection of four short films by four of the most beloved filmmakers in modern Indian cinema. The shorts were meant to be played in multiplexes throughout India before the main films, to illuminate and educate the common folks about the disease. While the film received a lot of media attention and the individual shorts played constantly on Indian TV, it is with the very recent release of the DVD – a fabulous release party was organized at a downtown Indian eatery NYC by distributing company FilmKaravan, just this past week – that the film finally has found an international voice. BTW, it’s now available through Amazon and for rent on Netflix. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it. It’s informative, but more than that, it’s a wonderful piece (pieces!) of filmmaking.
Briefly, the four stories are ‘Positive’ by Farhan Akhtar – he is well respected as both a director and an actor, and is even on the verge of becoming a rockstar in India! – a film dealing with the effects of AIDS on the adult son of a man who appears to have brought the disease on himself… ‘Blood Brothers’ by Vishal Bhardwaj – he is best known as the Indian filmmaker who reworked the Shakespeare tragedies of ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Othello’ to great audience and critical success – which deals with medical mistakes and how horrible the results can be. Then there is ‘Prarambha’ (The Beginning) by South Indian director and cinematographer Santosh Sivan, which is a touching insight into just who the youngest victims of the disease are; and finally Nair’s own ‘Migration’ a film that touches on infidelity and how far and wide the disease is able to travel, truly, in its migration…
The films are all individually poignant but collectively momentous, with the wonderful actors featured – all read like a who’s-who of Indian superstars and supertalents – and great format. Though short in time, each one is a complete and indepth story about relationships and human mistakes. Those kinds of mistakes that I can imagine having made in college or could have happened to my own best friend.
I highly recommend watching the films and now that I own a copy, I find it great to be able to refer to it from time to time. Just in time for World AIDS Day!