Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Q and Umesh Kulkarni – two daring film-making voices from two different corners of the country, and whose films we always look forward to. And this time both of them seem to be trying something new which they haven’t done before. Q’s film is called Ludo and Umesh’s film is Highway Ek Selfir Aarpaar.

Q has directed the film with Nikon.

LUDO

Trailer :

Official Synopsis :

Four desperate teenagers. A night of sexy mayhem. The big city. Or so the plan goes, until a series of misadventures later, Babai, Pele, Ria and Payal end up in a locked shopping mall in the dead of the night. Alone at last… until an old couple appears out of nowhere with a piece of folded leather and a glass container with two dice made of bone. A game. Simple, but deadly. They call it Ludo. A game defiled by a young couple centuries ago. An unbreakable curse, a living board, eons of bloodbath spanning the subcontinent. A game that has reached this city. Not just monsters, but prisoners of fate. Immortal lovers existing under a curse that will not die. They live within the game. Blood must spill. Bone must shatter. Beware the rattle of the Ludo dice.

Cast & Crew

Rii, Tillotama Shome, Kamalika Banerjee, Joyraj Bhattacharya, Ananya Biswas, Murari Mukherjee, Ronodeep Bose, Soumendra Bhattacharya, Subholina Sen.

Directed By: Nikon, Q (Qaushiq Mukherjee)
Produced By: Celine Loop, Nandini Mansinghka, Q (Qaushiq Mukherjee), Tilak Sarkar
Screenplay : Nikon, Surojit Sen
Story Writer :Nikon, Q (Qaushiq Mukherjee)
Production Company(S) : Overdose Joint, Idyabooster, Starfire Movies

HIGHWAY

Trailer :

Official Synopsis

Highway is a film of that escape which all of us yearn for. It is an attempt to see our own reflections in today’s time.

Cast :
Girish Kulkarni, Huma Qureshi, Tisca Chopra, Renuka Shahane Rana, Vidyadhar Joshi, Mukta Barve, Sunil Barve, Mayur Khandge, Shrikant Yadav, Kishore Chaugule, Kishor Kadam, Vrishali Kulkarni, Purva Pawar

Titli

Finally, Kanu Behl’s much acclaimed directorial debut, Titli has a release date – October 16th, 2015. Produced by Aditya Chopra and Dibakar Banerjee, the film had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival’s Un certain regard section in 2014. Since then, the film has been doing the fest rounds.

Cast and Crew

Cast – Ranveer Shorey, Amit Sial and introducing Shashank Arora

Directed by: Kanu Behl
Produced by: Dibakar Banerjee and Yashraj Films
Music by: Karan Gour
Written by: Sharat Katariya & Kanu Behl

Official Synopsis

In the badlands of Delhi’s dystopic underbelly, Titli, the youngest member of a violent car-jacking brotherhood plots a desperate bid to escape the ‘family’ business. His struggle to do so is countered at each stage by his indignant brothers, who finally try marrying him off to ‘settle’ him. Titli, finds an unlikely ally in his new wife, caught though she is in her own web of warped reality and dysfunctional dreams. They form a strange, beneficial partnership, only to confront their inability to escape the bindings of their family roots. But is escape, the same as freedom?

For more details about the film, click here.

Today is the Day 6 of students strike at FTII against Gajendra Chauhan’s nomination. And here’s another great thing about the strike – the writing is now on the wall, literally. Have a look.

(Click on any pic to start the slide show)

(click on any pic to start the slide show)

(Disclaimer – This is an expression of an individual student and in no way is representation of FTII’s official position)

Dear Mr Chauhan,

I am choosing to address you personally after listening to you respond on several TV news debates about the recent opposition against your appointment as Chairman at FTII. I am a student of FTII and part of the protest.

When we first heard about your appointment we knew little about you except those of us who had grown up on ‘Mahabharata’ the B.R. Chopra serial. We then began to look for more information to get to know your background and work profile. When we did, we saw a huge anomaly in your body of work and the very principles and aesthetic, FTII stands for. We began to smell a rat. Given your political affiliations and given the fact that the ruling party is becoming notorious for making completely irrational and high-handed appointments since it has come to power, it was clear to us you were meant to be a puppet of the Government and chosen despite your capabilities and inspite of your body of work. The protest wasn’t against you personally, coz we never knew you or about you. You, as we saw, are unfit for the job (reasons below) but more important than that this is a strike against the increasing interference of the ruling party to drive their agenda throughout the country without considering the principles of democracies and those of the said institutions. I think, this may satisfy the ‘surprise’ you felt when you heard about the protest before even you joining. This protest was not about you, Mr Chauhan as an individual. This may also satisfy a certain insecurity you may have, going by your own admission of you being a ‘chhota aadmi’, of depriving you of your chance to shine and become ‘big’. (Given your political affiliations I am sure you will receive a much better post, as you again by your admission iterated, that, ‘If you had to use your political power than why FTII, why not a big and more important post?’ I hope you see the contradictions here, Mr Chauhan. First you say give me a chance to progress, then you imply FTII isn’t that important a place to progress with. Strange.)

Now it is comments like these that compel me to write this letter. Because, now that we have heard you speak, we know you better and now that we know you we are dead sure you are wrong for this post. Before I tell you why you are wrong, let me educate you a bit about FTII and what this institution means to cinema as well. On the way you may learn something about cinema too, because as you may not be aware, ‘Khuli Khidki’ isn’t exactly cinema.

What FTII stands for –

  • Freedom of thought – We are allowed, encouraged and groomed to think independently to understand the world around us and our own art without any agendas, something I don’t see many institutions that can boast of. We are also taught to respect each other’s opinions as artists. Do you see yourself being able to encourage that?
  • Freedom of speech – We are allowed, encouraged and groomed to express our independent opinions without fear of repercussions, disturbing the status quo or upsetting power equations. This, you may not know, is a very important constitutional right of every citizen of India and the cornerstone of democracy which the ruling party you are associated with is trying to systematically euthanize.
  • Individuality and unbridled self-expression – FTII grooms students as individual artists above their technical domain, constantly keeping in mind that it is the person who creates and not technology. We are pushed to develop and express ourselves through our art for constant evolution irrespective of our specialisations. Having said that, FTII produces the best technical experts the industry has, on a yearly basis too.
  • Justice and fairness in all areas to all sections of society based on the philosophical principles of the Socialist Democracy we are. FTII has always stood for equality and justice for all irrespective of class, creed or gender and this has shown in the films it produces. Cinema, you see, is a wonderful tool of mass communication and if it can be used for propagating ideas of equality and justice, then why not?! These ideas don’t go down very well with your political party unfortunately and that is worrisome for us.
  • Only film institute in India to have a global perspective on cinema as a pure aesthetic medium without any mercenary considerations. It is an art form and it is upheld as one here, without compromises. Cinema here is taught from the lessons and learnings of world greats by people who understand it as an art-form, to students who want to become artists not assembly line film-makers. This requires a certain bent of mind and commitment to cinematic arts. Do you think you have it?
  • The only film institute in India that considers cinema as a vehicle as much of self-expression as much as a mirror to the society we live in. Cinema, for us, cannot be divorced from a personal voice and the socio-political context within which we live. Cinema, for us is about comment and expression not distribution and titillation. Do you understand this distinction?

Now you may say, you will uphold all these principles. Fine, we may consider your earnestness to get your ‘chance’ but what about the fact that one must understand these principles to execute them? Your body of work and now more importantly, your responses, clearly show you don’t. If you still don’t get it, let me tell you why you are wrong for this post –

  • You have no connection whatsoever with FTII to understand this space. You are not an alumnus nor have you worked or associated professionally with students or artists from here. I doubt you have even visited this place ever. You may say you will learn on the job, but Sir we aren’t talking about hiring an intern. YOU are supposed to be guiding US, deciding our future. Without knowing what this place is all about, how will you?
  • You have nothing in your body of work that shows any kind of affiliation to the philosophy or aesthetics of cinema we practice here. If you haven’t studied or practiced then you don’t understand, you see. Then how will you show us the way ahead? How will you approve, disapprove and draft policies, make decisions, appoint people to take our learning forward in the way it should be done?
  • You have nothing else in your body of work to show any kind of inclination to arts and aesthetics, or an intellectual or questioning bent of mind. This especially, is disastrous for both of us. You may not know, but the key ingredient in learning and teaching, especially of arts and aesthetics is a constantly questioning mind.
  • And because of these three points above, your political affiliation troubles us a lot. Because a fourth standard student can see why you are not fit for this post but the Government of India has handed it to you on a platter. Hence, even if you are sincere this very lack of understanding can easily make you a pawn in the hands of the Govt to push their decisions on to the institution. In that case, for your own peace of mind and job security with your bosses I think this could be unhealthy for you. Why would you want a job where you can’t prove your own mettle as you so badly seem to want to do? Please seriously re-consider and withdraw.
  • If we talk of pure heritage, the post of the Chairman has been held by the following – (Please google them if you don’t know of them and you will know more about why you are wrong for this place.)

Adoor Gopalkrishnan – Director, writer and producer, FTII alumnus and 16 National Awards, Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke awardee. (The last, you may not know, is the highest honour conferred in the field of cinema.) If awards don’t cut it for you, it doesn’t for some of us either, then maybe the fact that he started the ‘New Cinema’ movement in Kerala that synthesized the mainstream and so-called art cinema for a wider appreciation of cinema as an artform.

Shyam Benegal – Director, writer, faculty at FTII before he became the Chairman twice. 12 National Awards, Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan and the Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. His films have been nominated at Cannes, Berlin and Moscow in competition sections. But more importantly he was a huge influence and constituent of the parallel cinema movement in India which changed the shape of cinema forever.

Girish Karnad – Actor, director, writer, playwright, recipient of 9 National Awards, Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan, Sahitya Akademi and Janpeeth Award (highest literary honour of India). He marked the blooming and maturing of Kannada literature in the sixties.

U.R.Ananthamurthy – Novelist, playwright, poet and literary critic, Padma Bhushan, Sahitya Akademi, Jnanpeeth awardee. Finalist of the Man Booker prize. He had no association with cinema and we protested his appointment too despite holding his body of work and the power of his intellect in high regard.

Saeed Mirza – Director, writer, novelist, producer, FTII alumnus, 3 National Awards winner and a very important film-maker whose films gave impetus and shape to the parallel cinema movement of the 70’s.

And now some GK about FTII in the last decade, actually just last two years is enough. I wouldn’t have taken the pain but I read you mention somewhere that Rajkumar Hirani was the last film-maker of reckoning FTII produced. Not so long ago, in 2009, ‘Vihir‘, a terrific Marathi film was chosen at Berlin in the competition section and it was made by an FTII alumnus. Last year, in 2014,‘Killa’, a Marathi film has won the Crystal Bear at Berlin. And you know, the director was a cinematography student here, by the way. He also shot ‘Masaan’ which won two awards at Cannes this year. Yes, two. And to talk mainstream, he has also shot the soon-to-release Ajay Devgan starrer ‘Drishyam’, and this guy is hardly in his early thirties. Another film in competition this year at Cannes was ‘Chauthi Kooth’, made by another FTII alumnus. For God’s sake our diploma films have been selected in competition at Berlin this year, ‘Kamakshi’ being a case in point. Oh by the way, ‘Chitrashala’, another short film selected at Berlin this year is made by Amit Dutta, an FTII alumnus again, and an avant-garde and important film-maker of our times.

(If you can, please note how your reference points are so mainstream that you are not even aware of the wonderful and important work FTII alumni have been doing and which have even made recent headlines.)

I can go on, Sir. But I think I have explained myself in so much detail that you must have got the point. And in case you didn’t, it proves once again why you just aren’t right for this post. Apologies but we can do little about that except protest until you step down.

Thank you

Most Sincerely

An FTII student

Call For Entries

We all know that Mumbai Film Festival struggled with sponsorship last year. But it also managed to get the best desi films in recent years – with Court winning the International Competition, and Chauranga and Killa making mark in Indian categories. The International Competitive section for debut features always attract good films because of the big prize money it has.

So if you made a film, what are you waiting for. Mumbai Film Festival is waiting for it.

Click here to go to the official website of the festival, get all the details and submit your entries.

CHIh3D1UAAABvo2

New Logo/Title Sponsor

MAMI also recently unveiled its new logo – a dash of red all over. And the best part is it has got Reliance Jio as title sponsor for the next 5 years. Great! One big hurdle cleared. Now get us the best films!

New Board

The festival has a new board in place now. Film critic and author Anupama Chopra is the new Festival Director and filmmaker Kiran Rao is the new chairperson. Karan Johar, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Ajay Bijli, Manish Mundra are on board too and were present during the unveiling of the new logo. Anurag Kashyap, Farhan Akhtar, Vikramaditya Motwane, Riteish Deshmukh, Deepika Padukone and Anand Mahindra are also associated with the fest.

MAMI

The fest will run from 29th October to 5th November this year.

Call-pic-1500px-1024x682

WHAT : Experimenta – the International festival of moving image art in India seeks artists’ films and videos that challenge popular and conventional modes of cinema. Abstract to obscure compositions that extend the parameters of the mediums of film are welcome.

Preview copies must be submitted for selection purposes.

DURATION : All lengths of film are considered. Please submit entries as soon as possible. 
 
DEADLINE : The deadline for receipt of submissions is 1st August 2015
 
Please note, the festival programme will be finalised by October 2015, by which time only those whose works are selected will be informed.
 
FEST DATE : EXPERIMENTA is a curated film festival, and will be held from November 25thNovember 29th 2015 in Bangalore India.
 
CONTACT : For further inquiries, clarifications and background on Experimenta India please visit www.experimenta.in or email experimentaindia1@gmail.com

CHWPljGUcAARBuD

When the Finance Minister (who also happens to be the current I&B minister) announced that FTII (Film And Television Institute Of India) will be made into an ‘Institute of National Importance’, Students hoped that concrete and substantial measures will be taken to grant more autonomy to the Institute and upgrade academic and physical infrastructure. The first step in that direction would have been to appoint a Chairman of highest artistic attitude, one whose values are in sync with the vision and ethos of the Institute. Instead, bypassing all academic and Institute requirements, the ministry has appointed Mr Gajendra Chauhan who lacks academic, administrative and artistic credentials in the field of Art and Film education. He has no significant contribution/ work to even qualify as a footnote or a passing reference in the history of Indian cinema and television.

Some of the eminent personalities who have been FTII chairman in the past includes Mrinal Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan , Shyam Benegal, U.R Anantha Murty, Saeed Akthar Mirza and many more. These people have been either Alumni of FTII or have had experience in serious Film practice or other Art forms. Their experience in their chosen field of work has brought in a vision to the functioning of FTII. This decision of the Ministry to appoint Mr. Chauhan is not only undesired but also brings the whole process of appointment into question. FTII is a premier institute respected throughout the world for producing internationally reputed Film makers, Film Academicians and Independent Artists. We the students of FTII believe that such an appointment will not only undermine the relevance of the post but also set a wrong precedence for the future. We must never forget that FTII is a cultural hub that provides film education to students of different socioeconomic backgrounds from different parts of the country.

It is extremely sad that the government rather than enhancing the stature of many premiere institutes of the country has constantly tried to undermine the autonomy of these institutes by appointing partisan people with no merit. We see this decision in the light of continuing policies of the government to curb voices of all liberal and progressive art Institutions.

Unlike NFDC and CBFC where government has also meddled with the appointments, FTII is not going to take the bait. We strongly condemn the appointment of the new Chairman. We propose to the ministry to reconsider its appointment and also relook at the process of constituting the FTII society and its members.

Until further clarity surfaces from the I&B Ministry, we continue to standby our demands and mark our protest with a call for a strike.

We request all concerned citizens, artists, writers, performers, film makers, activists and alumnus of FTII to take notice and support our cause.

Harishankar Nachimuthu
President
Students’ Association, FTII
ftiistudentsbody@gmail.com,
http://ftiistudentsbody.blogspot.com

CHXXR3wUMAA3dty