Posts Tagged ‘Shabana Azmi’

Check out this video of “I AM,” maker Onir and his fundraising tactics!

In Uncategorized on May 1, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Onir, director of ‘My Brother Nikhil,’ is back with a new film, ‘I AM,’ a compilation of 4 stories that deal with homosexuality, child abuse, and politics. The film features Sanjay Suri, Rahul Bose, Nandita Das, Shabana Azmi, Juhi Chawla, Boman Irani, Sharman Joshi and Manisha Koirala among others and has approximately 400 owners and co-producers. Check out how here!

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.

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

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!

Out of the box

In Aseem Chhabra on November 14, 2009 at 9:45 PM


Courtesy of Pune Mirror

By Aseem Chhabra

Last week Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar walked in the Pranna Restaurant in New York City and cameras and all eyes turned towards them.

The intellectual couple of Bollywood was there to mark the DVD release of AIDS JaaGO — four short films, produced by Mira Nair and funded by Avahan and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The party was hosted by a New York-based film company FilmKaravan, which is managing the DVD rights of the film.

The 2007 AIDS JaaGO collection, featured works by four filmmakers — Nair (Migration), Vishal Bhardwaj (Blood Brothers), Santosh Sivan (Parambha) and Farhan Akhtar (Positive).  Azmi played a supporting role in Akhtar’s Positive, along with Boman Irani and Arjun Mathur.

Walking into mezzanine section of the restaurant, Azmi and Akhtar posed for photographers, spoke briefly with TV reporters, mingled with friends and admirers, and then settled down with appetizers and drinks in one section of the restaurant.

Nair was already there, as was her Mississippi Masala star Sarita Choudhury.  And both were stopping to meet admirers.  Also present were a few other Bollywood celebrities — Sanjay Suri, Rahul Bose and Tannishtha Chatterjee.

FilmKaravan was started by two New Yorkers —Pooja Kohli Taneja and Payal Sethi around the time of the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.  It was a unique and a groundbreaking effort by two young friends who were bringing together years of film experience.

Taneja had worked as the managing director at Independent Film Project and was also the previous director of the Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival.  Sethi had worked with Nair on films ranging from Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair and The Namesake and also managed industry relations at the Tribeca and Hamptons Film Festivals.

It was only a matter of time that they would merge their collective talents to connect South Asian filmmakers and also to provide platform for films from the subcontinent, that despite critical acclaim and film festival successes, never make it to theaters.

Speaking about the DVD release of AIDS JaaGO, Nair said,  “Since our launch on World AIDS Day 2007, these four films have been seen by millions of people all over the world — in film festivals, on television, and online.  I am thrilled to partner with FilmKaravan so that the films can reach more new audiences. Infection rates in India are still climbing and it is imperative that we continue this dialogue.”

AIDS JaaGO is FilmKaravan’s second DVD release.  Earlier this year they also held a similar party to mark the DVD release of Sita Sings the Blues – a full length animated film combing a feminist take on the Ramayana with jazz music from the 1920s.

The filmmaker Nina Paley – a big supporter of free culture had already given access to viewers to download the film at no cost from her site.  But FilmKaravan facilitated the DVD distribution of Sita Sings the Blues through Amazon.com and Netflix – the online film rental store, which has seen a phenomenal success in the US.

And FilmKaravan’s work does not end there.  There are plans to bring other films through digital channels of distribution, under the umbrella of Karavan Kollective.  And early next year the group plans to arrange the theatrical distribution of Faiza Ahmed Khan’s documentary Supermen of Malegaon.

The film was shown at the Museum of Modern Art’s The New India festival this summer and recently played at the 3rd I South Asian Film Festival in San Francisco.  But the critically acclaimed film could have easily been lost in the competitive world of art house distribution.

As Taneja explained, the plan is to build audience  “Most people don’t have the access or stamina to watch 50 films a week at film festivals,” she said, adding that FilmKaravan would sift through the lot and provide limited, but critical and artistically successful films to its supporters.

A couple of hours later the AIDS JaaGO launch party was in full swing.  Nair took a break from meeting people and sat down to eat in a private room at Pranna.  And she was joined there by Chatterjee and her Bombay Summer director Joseph Mathew Varghese.