Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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Aha. It feels so good to write this post. And since Indian media is still busy covering gowns at Cannes, we feel like shouting out from rooftop that our Neeraj Ghaywan has bagged not one, but two-fucking-awards at Cannes! The first one is the FIPRESCI Award, which is given by the International Federation Of Film Critics. For other winners, click here.

The next win is in the Un Certain Regard section in which Masaan premiered and was in competition. The film won the Special Jury prize for Debut films/Promising Future (Prix de l’avenir). It shared the award with Ida Panahandeh’s Nahid. Click here for the video. For complete list of winners, click here.

Earlier, the film had received a standing ovation after its first screening. Click here for the video and all the pics. To check out film’s trailer and premiere pics, click here. And to know more about the film, its synopsis, cast & crew, click here.

(PS – whatever you think of Bombay Velvet, Anurag Kashyap still remains the best film school in India. Here is one more proof)

It seems like another good year for desi indies at Cannes. Two films have been selected in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival this year, and interestingly, both the films are Indo-French productions. Masaan (Fly Away Solo) is directed by our own Neeraj Ghaywan and written by Varun Grover. Both are editors and contributors at moiFightClub.

The second film is Gurvinder Singh’s Chauthi Koot.

Here are the details –

MASAAN (Fly Away Solo)

Synopsis

Four lives intersect along the Ganges – a lower-caste boy in hopeless love, a daughter ridden with guilt of a sexual encounter ending in a tragedy, a hapless father with a fading morality, and a spirited child yearning for a family, long to escape the moral constructs of a small-town.

Neeraj Ghaywan had won the Global Filmmaker Award at Mahindra Sundance 2014 for Masaan, and was also part of the prestigious Mahindra Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab (Now Dhrishyam Sundance Lab).

The film is an Indo-French co-production produced by Manish Mundra, Macassar Productions, Phantom Films, Sikhya Entertainment, Arte France Cinema and Pathé productions.

Cast

Richa Chadda, Sanjay Mishra, Vicky Kaushal, Shweta Tripathi, Vineet Kumar, Pankaj Tripathi, Bhupesh Singh, Bhagwan Tiwari, Satya Kam Anand and Nikhil Sahani.

Crew

Director : Neeraj Ghaywan

Writer : Varun Grover

Editor : Nitin Baid
DoP: Avinash Arun Dhaware
Songs composed by: Indian Ocean
Background score: Bruno Coulais
Sound: Sanjay Maurya, Allwin Rego & Gilles Benardeau
Casting Director: Mukesh Chhabra
Costume: Shruti Kapoor
Production Design: Ranjit Singh
First Assistant Director: Karuna Dutt
Co-produced by: Dipa De Motwane

Associate Producers: Ranjan Singh and Rati Shankar Tripathi.

Chauthi Koot

Chauthi Koot (Fourth Direction), Gurvinder Singh’s second movie after Anhe Ghore Da Daan, is based on two short stories by Punjabi writer Waryam Singh Sandhu. Chauthi Koot has been co-produced by Kartikeya Singh and Sunil Doshi in India, and Catherine Dussart in France. The film is about the state-sponsored crimes of the 1980s and the resistance movement it spawned.

After Mahindra’s Mumbai Mantra ended their tenure with Sundance, Producer Manish Mundra’s company Drishyam has tied up with them to bring the first edition of Drishyam-Sundance Screenwriters Lab. What Mahindra could not do – convert the scripts into films, hopefully Drishyam will be able to do. Otherwise just selecting the scripts and mentoring them becomes useless if there is no funding for such scripts.

Sundance Institute and Drishyam have announced the 7 scripts selected for this year’s lab which will run from April 12-16. The Lab supports emerging filmmakers in India, as part of the Institute’s sustained commitment to international artists, which in the last 25 years has included programs in Brazil, Mexico, Jordan, Turkey, Japan, Israel and Central Europe.

The projects and fellows selected for the 2015 Drishyam | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab are:

Geetu MohandasGeetu Mohandas / Mulakoya

From the Lakshadweep Islands of the Arabian Sea, a young boy sets off on an adventure to the mainland in order to find his older brother.

Geetu Mohandas’ debut feature Liar’s Dice, premiered in competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Liar’s Dice has currently played 35 film festivals and won 5 international awards for best film and 2 National Awards, the highest honor in India. It was also the official Indian entry for the 2015 Oscars. Mohandas, along with filmmaker Rajeev Ravi, formed  the production company Unplugged in 2009, which produced her short film, Kelkkunnundo? The film premiered at Rotterdam International film festival and won 3 International awards for Best International Short Film and the National Award for the Best actor in India.

 

Raj Rishi MoreRaj Rishi More / Pirates

Amidst the economic downturn, a young illustrator struggles to balance supporting his struggling family with his dream of becoming a professional cartoonist.

Raj Rishi More started his film career as an assistant director on RiteshBatra’s Sundance Institute-supported The Lunchbox (winner of Grand Golden Rail, Cannes Film Festival 2013, nominated for BAFTA 2015). He worked as First Assistant Director to RiteshBatra on his short Masterchef, a commission by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Currently Raj is working with RiteshBatra on the feature film Khoya, while developing Pirates, his first feature as director.

 

Atanu MukherjeeAtanu Mukherjee / Unknown Faces

When eighteen year old Dhruv returns home from boarding school, eager to reunite with his family and friends, he instead finds that his father has disappeared after a bankruptcy scandal. While his mother attempts to protect him from discovering his family’s hardships, Dhruv decides to find his father himself.

Atanu Mukherjee is an alumnus of Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute Kolkata. He has worked as Editor on four feature films: Achal (The Stagnant), Blemished Light, Shortcut Safari and Monsoon Shootout, the last of which premiered at Cannes in 2013. He has directed the documentary My House Is Not So Far, and has also written, directed and edited short films Ekanko (The Monologue), The Gatekeeper and Stray Dogs, which won Best Short Film at the 2014  Cinema City Film Festival in Serbiaand was a part of the 2014International Documentary And Short Film Festival in Kerala. Most recently, he participated in the 2015 Berlinale Talents Program.

 

Tenzing & Ritu against wallRitu Sarin & Tenzing Sonam / The Sweet Requiem

A young Tibetan woman living in exile in New Delhi unexpectedly sees the man she holds responsible for her father’s murder on a high Himalayan pass. Long-suppressed memories of her traumatic escape from Tibet are reignited and she is propelled on an obsessive search for reconciliation and closure.

Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam have been making films on Tibetan subjects for more than 20 years. Through their work they have attempted to document, question and reflect on the issues of exile and cultural identity that confront the Tibetan diaspora. Working through their film company, White Crane Films, they have produced and directed several documentaries, including: The Reincarnation of Khensur Rinpoche (1991); The Trials of Telo Rinpoche (1993); A Stranger in My Native Land (1997); and The Shadow Circus: The CIA in Tibet (1998). In 2005, they completed a dramatic feature film, Dreaming Lhasa. The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom. Ritu and Tenzing are married and have two children.

 

 Sandhya SuriSandhya Suri / Santosh

When a widow receives a “compassionate assignment” and assumes her husband’s former role as a police investigator, she confronts a brutal case of gang rape of a young woman.

After graduating with a first class honours degree in Mathematics and German, Sandhya Suri received a scholarship to study documentary at The National Film and Television School. Her graduation film “SAFAR” was shown at a number of international film festivals, receiving the Jury’s special mention at Cinema du Reel and the award for Best Short Film at the British Film Institute’s Imagine Asia festival. Currently based in London, she has lived in Germany, India and Japan and worked on documentary projects in Africa, South America and Polynesia. In 2005 she directed I for India, her first feature length documentary, which played at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and won Best Documentary at the Asian Festival of First Films.

 

Anay Tarnekar headshotAnay Tarnekar / Untitled Tiger Project

In southwest China, animal trader Jin, struggling to support his family, works in the potentially lucrative but illegal private market of young male tigers. In central India, former poacher Raghav now works at a small reserve where he protects the wildlife. Their two stories converge with the appearance of a new pair of tigers on the reserve.

A mechanical engineer turned filmmaker, AnayTarnekar has worn several hats as a writer, director, producer, editor and director of photography. In 2002 he moved to the US to pursue a Masters degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University. After graduating, he co-produced and edited a documentary calledCachao: Uno Mas that premiered on the multiple Emmy-winning PBS series, American Masters. He is currently producing the TV interview series Hollywood Masters, which examines the careers of filmmakers including Alfonso Cuaron, David O. Russell, Michael Mann, Sean Penn and Clint Eastwood. Anay is also an amateur painter and wildlife photographer.

 

Dnyanesh ZotingDnyanesh Zoting / The Monster

When a young girl’s father goes missing while on a documentary film shoot in a tribal village, she and her mother go to the jungle to find him, relying on clues from the Raakshasfairytale in order to find him.

DnyaneshZoting assisted Satish Manvaron the Marathi film The Damned Rain. He is presently assisting film director Satish Manvar as co-writer for the Hubert Bals funded film projectWhat’s Your Religion?Zoting holds a degree in video-production from the University Of Pune.

– The Lab is a five-day writer’s workshop that gives independent screenwriters the opportunity to work intensively on their feature film scripts in an environment that encourages innovation and creative risk-taking. The Lab is centered around one-on-one story sessions with the creative advisors. Screenwriting fellows engage in an artistically rigorous process that offers lessons in craft, a fresh perspective on their work and a platform to fully realize their material.

– Creative advisors for this year’s Lab represent a diverse mix of Indian and international filmmakers, including: Srdan Golubovic (Circles), Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers), Rose Troche (The Safety of Objects, The L Word), Habib Faisal (Do Dooni Char), Sriram Raghavan (Badlapur, Ek Haseena Thi), Shridhar Raghavan (YennaiArindaal) and Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou, Talk To Me).

 

WWI-FWA Workshop 2015

WHAT : 5-Day Screenwriting Workshop

by Anjum Rajabali

and

Vishal Bhardwaj (Haider) , Sriram Raghavan (Badlapur), Jaideep Sahni (Chak De India), Juhi Chaturvedi (Vicky Donor), Ritesh Batra (Lunch Box), Vikramaditya Motwane (Udaan, Producer: Queen), Shridhar Raghavan (Dum Maro Dum), Akshat Verma (Delhi Belly), Sharat Kataria (Dum Laga Ke Haisha), Anand Gandhi (Ship of Theseus), Navdeep Singh (Director: NH-10), Sudip Sharma (NH-10)

WHEN : April 29 – May 3, 2015

WHERE  : At Whistling Woods, Film city, Goregaon (East), Mumbai – 65

Presented by Whistling Woods
(in association with FWA & Living Bridge Pune)

WORKSHOP : The last few years have marked the beginning of an exciting era for Indian screenwriters! More films are breaking the conventional mold, based on bold scripts. Badlapur, Udaan, Haider, Dum Lagaa Ke Haisha, Queen, The Lunch Box, Vicky Donor, Ship of Theseus, Delhi Belly, Chak de India, NH-10.. the list goes on. What’s more, the audience is welcoming these with pleasure.

Gradually but steadily, the scriptwriter seems to be moving centre-stage!

This workshop will not only cover all the basics of the screenwriting craft, encouraging you to develop competence as a screenwriter, but also expose you to how these stalwarts let their imagination fly with conviction. So, here’s your best chance to learn, via rich interactive sessions with writers who are redefining Indian screenwriting today!

WORKSHOP INSTRUCTOR: Anjum Rajabali (Drohkaal, Ghulam, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Raajneeti): Heads the screenwriting departments at Whistling Woods Mumbai and FTII Pune, and is an activist with FWA. Conducts screenwriting workshops, and script labs and fellowships for screenwriters.

FEE: For FWA members: Rs. 7500/- (Inclusive of taxes, tea/coffee, lunch)
For non-FWA members: Rs. 10000/- (Inclusive of taxes, tea/coffee, lunch)
*If you wish to become an FWA member, please visit www.fwa.co.in

REGISTER : To register for the workshop, please call 30916003 or email: kanchi.parikh@whistlingwoods.net

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Here’s the good new for film buffs. If you missed Chaitanya Tamhane’s much acclaimed debut feature, Court, at Mumbai Film Festival, you can catch it in theatres now. The film is all set to release on April 17th, 2015.

A new terrific trailer of the film is out too. Have a look.

It’s been doing the fest rounds for quite some time and bagged some of the international prestigious awards at Venice and other fests. At the recently announced National Awards, the film has been adjudged the Best Feature Film. For a debut feature filmmaker, this is a dream run and it can’t get better than this.

Cast & Crew

Cast: Vira Sathidar, Vivek Gomber, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Pradeep Joshi, Usha Bane
Directed by: Chaitanya Tamhane
Produced by: Zoo Entertainment
World Sales: Memento Film International – Artscope

Official Synopsis:

A sewerage worker’s dead body is found inside a manhole in Mumbai. An ageing folk singer is tried in court on charges of abetment of suicide. He is accused of performing an inflammatory song which might have incited the worker to commit the act. As the trial unfolds, the personal lives of the lawyers and the judge involved in the case are observed outside the court.

qissa_01

We at mFC have been vocal supporter of Anup Singh’s Punjabi film Qissa. We not only loved and recommended the film, but we put it in our mFC’s Must-Watch list also. So it was bit shocking to us when he was accused of not crediting the original source of the story. A Facebook post by theatre actor and co-founder of Why Loiter? Mumbai, Neha Singh, has gone viral in the last few days. We are copy-pasting the post here –

It’s disappointing that the makers of the film Qissa forgot to give credit to the marvelous Rajasthani writer Vijaydan Detha on whose short story ‘Dohri Zindagi‘ the film is based. Vijaydan Detha (1926-2013) is a par excellent Indian writer who wrote in Rajasthani and on whose stories filmmakers Mani Kaul (Duvidha), Amol Palekar (Paheli) and Prakash Jha (Parinati) have made films. Dohri Zindagi is a story of a man who raises his daughter like a boy, hides the fact that she is a girl from everyone is the village and then marries her off to another girl. When the bride realizes her husband is a woman, she is devastated, but she decides to stick with her. Both of them run away, while the villagers try to kill them, and a ghost comes as their saviour. When the girl that was raised as a boy pleads with the ghost to turn her into a man, he does so. As soon as the girl turns into a boy, she tries raping the wife.

It is unfortunate that the credit wasn’t given, because the filmmakers are depriving the young audiences in getting acquainted with this literary stalwart. When I went to see the film, the young film buffs sitting besides me exclaimed ‘what a concept’, ‘how revolutionary’, without knowing that this story was written by a simple Rajasthani writer in a village many decades ago. Vijaydan Detha is a Padma Shri and Sahitya Academy award recipient as was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 2011. He wrote over 1300 poems and over 300 short stories. His works have been translated in Hindi and English but its a pity hardly anyone knows about him. But everyone knows about Chetan Bhagat.

The original post is here.

Anup Singh has now clarified his stand on this credit controversy in another Facebook post. This is his post –

Anyone who has seen Qissa must feel the intimate, personal nature of the tale. It’s a thing difficult for me to mention, but please keep in mind that I grew up a Sikh in Africa. The long hair and the frail body of a teenaged boy in a culture unfamiliar with Sikhism often led, as you might imagine, to traumatic experiences. And surrounding that, the refugee tales of my grandfather of lost relatives, of old ghosts coming alive in the telling — these are the real secret threads of Qissa.

It’s always wondrous how these little threads of a personal lived experience, the tales of our forefathers lead us to weave stories that evoke and dialogue with other intense experiences become tales in other cultures. There are African tales of girls living as men, there are similar Egyptian and Moroccan and Turkish tales. And tales in Spain …

Qissa is my childhood, my response to the violence of our time, my putting the ghosts of my grandfather and other relatives to rest.

Please do not reduce our imagination to a single reading or a single tale. We are all many tales, many possibilities.

You can read the post on FB here.

screenwriting-215x300WHAT : Manish Mundra’s film production company, Drishyam, in partnership with Sundance Institute, is organising Drishyam – Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab 2015 to be held in Goa April 12-16.

The Drishyam Sundance Screenwriters Lab will provide an opportunity for writers to develop their work under the guidance of accomplished international advisors in an environment that encourages storytelling at the highest level. Srinivasan Narayanan, the former Festival Director of Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI) will be heading this initiative in India.

The Lab is inviting applications as part of its Open Submission Process.

LAST DATE :

The deadline for submission of scripts is March 5, 2015.

ELIGIBILITY :

– The Lab is for filmmakers making their first or second narrative feature;

– Co-writers, writer/directors, or writer/director teams will be considered, and the scripts should be independent in terms of story and spirit, and also in terms of budget.

LANGUAGE :

The film can be in any Indian language. However, for the lab, the screenplay should be submitted in English only.

APPLICATION:

– In order to apply, filmmakers must submit a complete draft of a screenplay as well as supporting materials (cover letter, artistic statement, bio, synopsis, and directing sample if applicable).

– There is no word limit or format requirements.

– Directing sample, if any, should be submitted as an online link

– Send complete application docket to drishyamsundancelab@sundance.org

CONTACT :

– For any queries/doubts, do write to – drishyamsundancelab@sundance.org. Or you can check their FB page here.

So happy writing!