Madras Cafe


John Abraham has been gradually morphing into a major player in Bollywood. He is juggling his cards right with a mix of commercially viable films and independent ones. As a first time producer he hit gold with Vicky Donor.

Madras Cafe looks like a movie you don’t want to miss.

Besides John, the movie stars the Sri Lankan beauty Jacqueline Fernandez from Housefull2  and Nargis Fakhri, who we remember from Rockstar. Critics didn’t, but I liked her.

Madras Cafe is directed by  Shoojit Sircar. (Vicky Donor)

hits the theaters August 23rd.

 

Lootera, enchanted.


Get ready for some arresting, beautifully filmed images and songs that will melt your heart away.

Sonakshi Sinha has never been more charming and Ranveer Singh makes us fall in love with him all over again in Lootera.

Not only does the movie take place in 1953, it gives you the feeling  you are watching a movie of that era. It flows easy and gently through the first half, a romantic lullaby. It picks up drama and temporarily pace, only to level out again. The last quarter is quiet and introspective. No great Dabanggs here. Inner turmoils. A tale of redemption, of love conquers all and makes wrongs right.

The movie is set in West Bengal and captures the essence of Bengali films. It reminded my of the quietness of deep mountain lakes. You jolt a stone and it will create gentle ripples on the surface whilst it cuts through the deep waters, never to touch bottom.

Sonakshi Sinha graces each frame with her quintessentially Indian beauty. She conjures images of goddesses. As if somebody rubbed an oil-lamp, releasing a genie. She is greeting you from old paintings of a bygone era.  Sonaskhi is so beautiful you want to freeze time to keep her that way forever. I will always want to see her draped in colorful saris, not in skimpy Kareena outfits. The role of Pakhi was written for her.  I was glad to hear that she quit her agent over the refusal to take part in “Welcome.”  She is a character actress like Vidya Balan, a powerhouse, wasted on dumbed down movies. She should be weighing carefully her roles and remain true to herself.

Ranveer Singh plays his character Varun with depth and complexity.  Not to say I was surprised. I loved his nonchalance, energy and charisma  in Band Baaja Barat. This role as Varun,brings out a new side to him, the turmoiled, torn, emotionally charged.  Ranveer reminded me of Ralph Fiennes in The English patient, when he opened the door of his room to Pakhi. Or Ruldolfo Valentino in The Sheik. I bet every woman’s heart stood still for a moment.  This movie is heartbreakingly beautiful. I savored each minutet. Maybe it’s also the nostalgia of going back in time, before computers, before cell phones. A movie without the gadgets of our time felt so good all for sudden. Life seemed so different then.

If you want to spoil it for yourself, read all the reviews and storyline upfront. Or don’t ready anything about it and let the movie do its magic.

In a nutshell, a young archeologist, Varun Shrivastav (Ranveer Singh), comes with a friend  to excavate a temple site situated on grounds of a local Zamindar. He gains his trust and confidence of the kind Zamindar’s , whose most valuable asset is his daughter Pakhi (Sonakshi Sinha). Her feeble health is of great concern to him. From the first encounter  Pakhi feels increasingly drawn to  Varun and falls under his spell.  He is not what he seems to be though and things take an ugly turn.

If you are a guy, who loves action movies, don’t watch this movie. If you suffer from attention deficit disorder, don’t watch this movie. If you haven’t slept in days, bring a comfort pillow.

It’s a good date movie, if you want to reach out to the woman of your dreams. You might get lucky.

Writer/director Vikramaditya Motwane is a filmmaker after my heart. He has shown his talent with Udaan and DevD. He has worked on Devdas (2002) as associate director, as the choreographer in Water (2005)  and it must have inspired him. This movie is ripe with the tone and color of those two films, but Lootera is his masterwork.

I hope the movie makes it to the Oscar’s.

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, a Bollywood quilt


Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani or formerly known as….

Each little patch of this quilt reminded me of some other Bollywood movies. or respectively reversing situations not to get blamed for plagiarism. I got caught in some vague deja-vus, reminiscent moments of Barfi, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Jab We Met and a gazillion revamped Bollywood cliches.. Plus: we  were  looking for hints about the REAL relationship between Deepika and Ranbir, the actors, not actees. We are curious, of course. Or, at least, I am. To a certain degree. After what transpired on the Koffee with Karan episode…

Hey, good news, you can take Grandma and Grandpa to see Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. They might object to the excessive alcohol consumption (they will need to complain about something, all right?) but there is no nudity nor smoking (hence no prior obligatory 10min graphic lung cancer commercial) and the screen kiss between Ranbir and Deepika won’t make anybody’s cherry pop by a mile.

In this charming coming of age saga, because charming it is, some people know what they want to do when they grow up, some don’t. Luckily for us, Ranbir, sorry, Bunny,  likes to travel. Deepika plays the studious pre-med Naina, who nobody notices because she is oh so shy. After graduating high school, the otherwise bookish Naina spontaneously decides to join a group of friends,  Aditi  (played by wild thing Kalki Koechlin) and Avi, (played by BW’s new hunk Aditya Roy Kapoor), and of course playboy Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor)  on a trek to Manali. Tip for Bunny: If you intend to hike mountains, preferably leave your 2feetx 2feet photo album behind. Bunny has his handy,  even on the peak of the highest mountain. It made me think, why not bring a sofa?

Well, guys, I don’t want to give too much away. See for yourself how high school dreams and first loves turn out eight years later. It’s an easygoing feel-good romance, with some great locations, fantastic backdrops which make you want to explore more of India’s treasures rather than travel abroad.

This movie has no great highs or great lows, other than mountain peaks and valleys, but the performances are fresh and alluring.

One thing that ticked me off and I need to get it off my chest:: We don’t get the pleasure watching Deepika practicing medicine, as the most accomplished member of the group. Eight years later she has a medical degree, but still sits at home watching TV? The camera follows Bunny’s cam through the second half of the movie..

Ayan Mukerjii, the director, who directed also Wake Up, Sid, is first and second counsin of Kajol and Rani Mukerji. And I bet even they would have liked to see a little bit more focus on the heroine’s accomplishment. But hey, I understand, you can’t drag guys into a movie where the heroine is the success story. Let’s dumb her down to manageable size.

But then calling the protagonist Bunny… ? I don’t know anymore what message this movie sends :-p nor what happened to the ghosts on the mountain and why they didn’t show up to stir a little drama for special effects

.

The Future (hopefully) Toh Bright Hai Ji – for Sanjay Amar.


 

Future Toh Bright Hai Ji is a refreshing Indian slapstick comedy of the sort I would like to see more of. It’s listed as drama, inexplicably. Okay, satire maybe, but drama? I had the best time watching this movie. It was funny and uplifting.

Aamir Bashir as Ajay and Sonal Sehgal as Sonia kill it as a struggling writer and  B starlet in an Indian Soap, two Kashmir ex-pats who dream of making it in Bollywood.

Married four years and tired of living in a crappy apartment in a crappy section of Mumbai with work opportunities going nowhere, an incidental visit to an astrologer who promises them a turnaround of their lives within seven days, we follow the young couple through the maze of bureaucracy and the threat of the underworld and more. This movie becomes a rollercoast ride through urban culture and the spontaneity of Aamir Bashir’s and Sonal Sehgal’s acting just brings it home what it means to be small timers in Mumbai’s bubbling entertainment industry. “Think Big, not Small” says the agent to Ajay as she is rejecting his script. This might be a small independent film but it shines pretty bright for its size.

Future Toh Bright Hai Ji is a great ensemble effort. It’s loaded with personable characters that stay with you. Not to be missed.

I put my money on Sanjay Amar, the writer/ director of this refreshing tale. If he is dreaming big, he might very well be on his way :-) If you enjoy Indian new wave cinema, you are going to enjoy this one.

Cast & Crew

Cast

  1. Aamir Bashir
  2. Sonal Sehgal
  3. Asrani
  4. Satish Kaushik
  5. Vipin Sharma
  6. Delnaaz Irani

Directors

  1. Sanjay Amar

Producers

  1. Rama Mehrotra

Writers

  1. Sanjay Amar

2013 NY Indian Film Festival from April 30- May 4th


New York Indian Film Festival 2012
13th Annual NEW YORK INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL
April 30 – May 4, 2013

SCREENING SCHEDULE

DEKH TAMASHA DEKH

DEKH TAMASHA DEKH

Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 6:00 pm, Skirball Center for Performing Arts.
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Dekh Tamasha Dekh
Directed by Feroze Abbas Khan.
India 2012, 108 Minutes, Hindi with English Subtitles.
World Premiere
Cast: Satish Kaushik, Tanvi Azmi, Vinay Jain, Sharad Ponkshe, Ganesh Yadav, Apoorva Arora, Alok Rajwade
.

The story revolves around the search for the religious identity of a poor man crushed under the weight of a politican’s hoarding. A social and political satire, the film explores the impossible India, where bizarre is normal.

Feroz Abbas Khan Director’s Bio: At the forefront of Indian theatre today, Feroz Abbas Khan is recognized as much for exploring new forms, as for bringing Hindi theatre, mainstream recognition. In a career spanning more than two decades, he has directed some of India’s finest acting talent, both from stage and cinema. In line with a belief, that any pursuit of excellence, must go parallel to continued relevant social contribution; Feroz Abbas Khan’s theatre company has been silently but significantly associated with various committed social organizations; supporting and helping them raise funds and awareness. As the first Festival Director of the prestigious Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai, the throbbing hub of the young, the talented and the restless; Feroz, along with the late Jennifer Kapoor spearheaded the International Prithvi Theatre Festival.


Pune 52 Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 6:00 pm, Theatre 1 at Tribeca Cinemas.
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Pune 52
Directed by Nikhil Mahajan.
India, 2012, Feature Film, 121 Minutes, Hindi with English subtitles.
United States Premiere
Cast- Girish Kulkarni, Kiran Karmarkar, Sai Tamhankar, Sonali Kulkarni
.

The life of a private detective undergoes a dramatic change when he takes up a case that is deeply personal and highly complex. Set in the year 1992, against the backdrop of the finance reform policy that spiraled the Indian Middle Class in a tizzy of consumerism, reforming everything, including their relationships, PUNE 52 is an heartbreaking love story blended in a edge of the seat thriller.

Nikhil Mahajan Director’s Bio: Nikhil Mahajan is a graduate in film direction from The International Film School Sydney, Australia, and comes from an academically inclined Middle class family. Growing up on Bollywood cinema, making films was possibly the only thing that Nikhil could imagine himself doing. Pune 52 is Nikhil’s first film.


the_only_real_game Thursday, May 1, 2013, 4:00 pm, Theatre 2 at Tribeca Cinemas.
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The Only Real Game
Directed by Mirra Bank.
India, 2012, Documentary, 82 Minutes, English and Manipuri with Subtitles.
World Premiere.

The movie explores the power of baseball for people in a troubled, distant place. The small, once princely state of Manipur in embattled northeast India, counters gun violence, poverty, corruption, drug traffic, and HIV/AIDS with its surprising passion for our National Pastime. Manipur, which shares a porous border with Burma, joined the Indian Union under pressure in 1949, triggering a corrosive separatist conflict that continues to this day. For decades baseball has delivered release from daily struggles and a dream for healing this wounded society, as well as a way to connect to the wider world.This dream moves toward reality when First Pitch, a small group of baseball-loving New Yorkers, and two Major League Baseball Envoy coaches, join Manipuri men, women and children to “Play Ball.”

Mirra Bank Director’s Bio: Mirra Bank directs film and theater. Her previous feature documentary, “Last Dance”, was short-listed for an Academy Award. Her innovative nonfiction feature, “Nobody’s Girls”, was a PBS primetime special; and her groundbreaking indie feature enormous changes premiered at Sundance, followed by a critically praised theatrical release. Bank has been honored with awards and production support from, among others: Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, NY State Council on the Arts, NY Foundation for the Arts, American Film Institute. Her films have premiered at festivals worldwide, including Edinburgh, NY Film Festival, Chicago, Seattle, Hawaii, AFI, Silverdocs, Final Frame, London, and Palm Springs.


B. A. Pass Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:00 pm, Theatre 2 at Tribeca Cinemas.
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B.A. PASS
Directed by Ajay Bahl.
India, 2012, 100 Minutes, Feature Film, Hindi with English subtitles.
New York Premiere.
Cast- Shilpa Shukla, Rajesh Sharma, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Geeta Sharma, Shadab Kamal
.

A young small town boy moves to Delhi to stay with his aunt and finish his college. Soon a mysterious married woman seduces him known to him as Sarika ‘Aunty’. Set amidst the neon-lit by lanes of Delhi’s Paharganj unfolds an erotic human drama between the two. A relationship based on lust, lies and deceit is forged. As the young boy gets more and more entrenched into his surroundings he discovers a city that thrives on corrupting even the most naive and innocent.

Ajay Bahl Director’s Bio: Ajay Bahl grew up in the city of Delhi and was a state level cricketer in his teen years, disillusioned by the corruption in sport he meandered into many different vocations before chancing upon a book on filmmaking at a friend’s house. He is a high school drop-out and a self-taught filmmaker, he began his career in the advertising industry in the year 2005, always more interested in narrative fiction he started his film production company Tonga Talkies in the year 2010 and after reading Mohan Sikka’s short story titled “The Railway Aunty” in the anthology “Delhi Noir”- HarperCollins 2010, Ajay acquired rights to make it into a feature which is now titled “B.A Pass”. It is his first narrative feature.


Much Ado About Knotting Thursday, May 2, 2013, 4:00 pm, Theatre 1 at Tribeca Cinemas.
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Much Ado About Knotting
Directed by Geetika Narang Abbasi and Anandana Kapur.
India, 2012, Short Film, 55 Minutes, English and Hindi.
World Premiere.

Born into a society obsessed with marriages, a young girl, a not-so-young man and an NRI (Non-Resident Indian) couple are compelled by tradition to look for matches via classifieds, matchmaking bureaus and websites. Confronted with innumerable criteria that determine who is acceptable and who isn’t, they question themselves and their choices. As they introspect, the melee of the matchmaking industry continues. At every turn, there are service providers who are ready to snoop, style and solicit potentials on their behalf. People are searching for the ideal one endlessly and the oft-heard question is – When are you getting married? Much Ado About Knotting is a lighthearted chronicle of this very predicament that almost every Indian faces.

Geetika Narang Abbasi Director’s Bio: Born and brought up in Delhi, India, Geetika Narang Abbasi pursued advertising after completing her graduation in English Literature from Delhi University. Soon, her love for films led her to the field of filmmaking. Having worked on various genres of filmmaking, from documentaries to TV commercials, she ventured into independent filmmaking with her first short fiction, the multiple award-winning Good Night (2008). Subsequently, she has edited and directed several documentaries that have been recognized and showcased nationally as well as internationally. Her next venture is a film about cross-border marriages between Indians and Pakistanis.

Anandana Kapur Anandana Kapur is an independent filmmaker and social scientist based out of New Delhi, India. She has previously worked in broadcast television and is a published author on Media, Art and Gender. As part of a cultural diversity initiative she holds lectures on Cinema and Culture for exchange students from US, Canada and Europe. Anandana is also a wiki-educator and her latest works include a group exhibition on Re-envisioning in Nicosia, Cyprus and the critically acclaimed and award-winning documentary The Great Indian Jugaad (2009). Anandana likes to travel, photograph and collect folklore. She is currently working on a film on grass roots innovation in India.


Much Ado About Knotting Center Piece Movie, Thursday, May 2, 2013, Tribeca Cinemas.
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Shahid
Directed by Hansal Mehta.
India, 2012, Feature Film, 123 Minutes, Hindi with English Subtitles.
New York Premiere.
Cast- Raj Kumar Yadav, PrabhleenSandhu, BaljinderKaur, Tigmanshu Dhulia, KK Menon.

“Shahid” traces the true story of slain human rights activist and lawyer ShahidAzmi. In the backdrop of communal violence that was unleashed on the city of Mumbai since 1993 we see a remarkable tale unfold. From attempting to become a terrorist to being wrongly imprisoned under a draconian anti-terrorism law to becoming a criminal lawyer Shahid traces the inspiring personal journey of a boy who became an unlikely messiah for human rights while following the rise of communal violence in India. The story of an impoverished Muslim struggling to come to terms with injustice, inequality and rising above his circumstances is an inspiring testament to the human spirit.

Hansal Director’s Bio: Hansal made his debut with Jayate (Victory, 1998), a languid tale on the Indian judiciary, medical malpractice and ordinary human lives in the city of Bombay. This was followed by the dark, tragic and funny DilPe Mat Le Yaar (Don’t Take It To Heart, 2000), a film that reflected Hansal’s concern for the increasingly marginalized immigrants in the city of Bombay. This film (and Hansal) ran into trouble with intolerant political parties in Bombay because of an innocuous section of dialog. Shahid (2012) is the result of this soul-searching mission and a return to roots for Hansal. Shahid is a deeply personal story that reflects Hansal’s anger and concern towards religious/class based/racial intolerance around the world.


Hansa Thursday, May 2, 2013, 4:00 pm, Theatre 2 at Tribeca Cinemas.
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Hansa
Directed by Manav Kaul.
India, 2012, Short Film, 88 Minutes, Hindi with English subtitles.
United States Premiere.
Cast- Kumud Mishra, Abhay Joshi, Trimala Adhikari, Bhushan Borgaonkar, Ghanshyam Lalsa, Ashish Pathode, Suraj Negi, Yogesh Kabadwal and Saurabh Nayyar.

The movie revolves around a little boy, Hansa and his sister, Cheeku. Their father has mysteriously disappeared while the mother is pregnant and about to deliver. Their father disappeared with outstanding loans and now it is left to young Cheeku has to prevent her house from getting sold and is at the receiving end of a powerful villager’s lecherous advances while little Hansa is too restless and distracted to pay attention to all the trouble his sister is facing. For Hansa his troubles revolve around a small red tennis ball which has got entangled in a huge inaccessible tree, a five rupee coin stolen from a local bully and all the travails of a boy and his closest friend Raku playing hokey from school and asking the time.

Manav Kaul Director’s Bio: Manav Kaul started his theatre career in Bhopal in the year 1994. He came to Mumbai in the year 2002 & along with a few friends formed “ARANYA Theatre Group” in 2004. The promise he showed as a young playwright with his first play ‘ShakkarKePaanchDaane’ in 2004 wasn’t misplaced.Manav is 37 years old & has written & directed 10 critically acclaimed plays in the last 8 years. His plays have been invited to most of the prestigious festivals in India & have been translated into English, Marathi & Bengali. Four of his plays have won awards at META (Mahindra excellence in theatre awards).


Jadoo Friday, May 3, 2013, 4:00 pm, Theatre 2 at Tribeca Cinemas.
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Jadoo
Directed by Amit Gupta.
India 2012, Feature Film, English and Hindi.
United States Premiere.
Cast- Amara Karan, Harish Patel, Kulvinder Ghir, Tom Mison, Madhur Jaffrey.

Two brothers, both wonderful chefs, fall out catastrophically. At the climax of their dispute they rip the family recipe book in half – one brother gets the starters and the other gets the main courses. They set up rival restaurants, across the road from each other, and spend the next twenty years trying to out-do each other. Neither brother will admit it but they both know they are not entirely successful in the ‘other half’ of the menu. It takes a daughter to reunite them. She is planning her marriage and is determined that they will both cook together. But can the men bury the hatchet?

Amit Gupta Director’s Bio: Amit directed Resistance starring Andrea Riseborough and Michael Sheen it was his debut feature film. Sharon Morgan won the BAFTA Cymru award for Best Actress and Amit has been nominated for the Best First Film award by the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain. Amit’s last play, Campaign, was part of the epic Great Game at the Tricycle Theatre and was nominated for a 2010 Olivier Award. After the acclaimed run in London, The Great Game toured some of the most prestigious theatres in the US including: The Shakespeare in Washington, The Guthrie in Minneapolis, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and The Public in New York. In February 2010 the play was performed for The Pentagon.


Investment Friday, May 3, 2013, 9:00 pm, Theatre 2 at Tribeca Cinemas.
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Investment
Directed by Ratnakar Matkari.
India 2012, Feature Film, 122 Minutes, Marathi with English Subtitles.
United States Premiere.
Cast- Praharsh Naik, Sanjay Mone, Sulabha Deshpande, Supriya Vinod, Tushar Dalvi.

Investment is a realistic, socially relevant and hard hitting film for the urban audience that can identify with its characters and the nature of the issues dealt within. The protagonists are a couple striving for greater ambitions, eager to move into a higher class of society, but at the cost of their social values. Their 12 year old son is being nurtured to become a politician, as the couple believes politics offers lucrative opportunities of growth, power and finance. The bratty son believes in always getting what he wants and his shocking involvement in a crime brings forth the changing face of today’s society and its uncertain future. It won The National Award for best Marathi Film in 2012.

Ratnakar Ramkrushna Matkari Director’s Bio: Ratnakar Ramkrushna Matkari is a Marathi writer, a movie and play producer/director, and a self-taught artist from Maharashtra, India.


When Hari Got Married Friday, May 4, 2013, 12:00 pm, Theatre 1 at Tribeca Cinemas.
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When Hari Got Married
Directed by Tenzing Sonam, RituSarin.
United Kingdom, India, Norway, Documentary, 2012, 75 Minutes, English with Foreign Subtitles.
United States Premiere.

When Hari, a small-town taxi driver, has an arranged marriage to a girl he has never met, the result is an intimate and humorous look at the changes taking place in India as modernity and globalization meet age-old traditions and customs.

Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam Director’s Bio: 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, cultural identity and political aspiration 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, executive produced by Jeremy Thomas and Richard Gere.


LISTEN AMAYA Friday, May 4, 2013, 12:00 pm, Theatre 2 at Tribeca Cinemas.
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Listen Amaya
Directed by Avinash Kumar Singh.
India, 2012, Feature Film, 108 Minutes, Hindi with English Subtitles.
New York Premiere.
Cast- Farouque Shaikh, Deepti Naval, Swara Bhaskar, Amala Akkineni, Siddhant Karnick, Vidya Bhushan, Viren Basoya

Listen Amaya is a modern, young, contemporary film about relationships, family dynamics, about pre-conceptions and about priorities. Book a coffee, is an offbeat library cum coffee shop. It is owned and run by LeelaKrishnamoorthy, a middle aged widow. She herself is as interesting and free spirited as the café she runs! Amaya, Leela’s only child is a firebrand 22 year-old writer; quick witted, confident and open-minded. They adore each other as only mother daughter can. Into this mix, is thrown JayantSinha. A 60 year old retired photographer, who continues his chosen profession as a hobby today. He is passionate about people and the memories they create; he is also a great friend to Amaya Krishnamoorthy, with whom he decides to co-author a coffee table book, titled Memories…of The Busy Bazaar. The Busy Bazaar as a title has its own story and adds a subtle but intriguing undercurrent to the narrative woven around it.

Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam Director’s Bio: Avinash started in Television in 1998, as a researcher. Albeit a very keen researcher! With a natural flair for writing, it led to many opportunities behind the camera(s) and then in front of the same. Being an anchor on channels such as the BBC and Star, whet his appetite, but also showed Avinash where his heart truly lay.Having seen both sides of the coin, Avinash then began to write and direct. Setting up a production house with his wife, along with a small but extremely talented group of individuals, Turtle on a Hammock Films grew in stature and capabilities with the work that came out of their stables, across channels such as Discovery and numerous other clients. Avinash’s directorial debut, a fantastic drama, set in urban Delhi with a stellar cast is now released theatrically across India, to great critical and public acclaim.


Filmistan Closing Night Movie, Friday, May 4, 2013, 6:00 pm at Skirball Center for Performing Arts.
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Filmistan
Directed by Nitin Kakkar.
India 2012, 117 Minutes, Hindi with English Subtitles.
United States Premiere.
Cast- Sharib Hashmi, Kumud Mishra, Gopal Datt, Inaamulhaq

This National Award winning movie is set in Mumbai where, affable Bollywood buff and wanna-be-actor Sunny, who works as an assistant director, fantasizes on becoming a heart-throb star. However, at every audition he is summarily thrown out. Undeterred, he goes with an American crew to remote areas in Rajasthan to work on a documentary. One day an Islamic terrorist group kidnaps him for the American crew-member. Sunny finds himself on enemy border amidst guns and pathani-clad guards, who decide to keep him hostage until they locate their original target. The house in which he is confined belongs to a Pakistani, whose trade stems from pirated Hindi films, which he brings back every time he crosses the border. Soon, the two factions realize that they share a human and cultural bond. The film shows how cinema can be the universal panacea for co-existence.

Nitin Kakkar Director’s Bio: Born in Mumbai to a photographer father in 1975, NitinKakkar grew up on a staple diet of Bollywood. After gaining experience as an assistant director for Hindi movies, NitinKakkar made his directorial debut with the award-winning short film BLACK FREEDOM (2004). Since then, he has worked on a number of television projects including. ‘FILMISTAAN’ is his debut Feature film. It received a Special Jury Mention during its World Premiere at the Busan International Film Festival and embarking on its international tour, the film won him Best Debut Director at the International Film Festival of Kerala and Jaipur International Film Festival.

The Indo-American Arts Council is a 501 ©3 not-for-profit secular arts organization passionately dedicated to promoting, showcasing and building an awareness of artists of Indian origin in the performing arts, visual arts, literary arts and folk arts. For information please visit www.iaac.us. All contributions to the IAAC are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.

Indo-American Arts Council Inc. 517 East 87th St, Suite 1B, New York, NY 10128. Phone: 212 594 3685. Web: www.iaac.us

Satyagraha and Prakash Jha: Bollywood’s voice of conscience


satyagraha-movie-wallpaper-2013
For his new film Satyagraha (which means literally zeal for truth and refers to a non-violent, gandhi-esque type of resistence), Prakash Jha isn’t only constructing a whole filmi city in Bhopal, where he has rented a couple of acres for the whole duration of the shoot, he also gives extensive workshops to locals, who will be acting in his film. The use of local actors always conveys the feel of authenticity to his movies, a raw energy that permeates every facet of his films.
He has roped in some mega stars as his protagonists in Satyagraha: Amitabh Bachchan (who had starred in Jha’s Aarakshan) , Ajay Devgan (Apaharan, Rajneeti) , Kareena Kapoor,  and Arjun Rampal (Rajneeti, Chakravyuh)

Zeal for truth, this could be Prakash Jha’s red thread common to all his socio-politically charged movies. Sometimes I wonder why men like him aren’t in government positions, then again, not everyone wants to swim with sharks).

 

Find out more about him on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prakash_Jha

 

 

 

Spielberg coming to India: what’s for dinner?


 

who can forget the immortal scene of

 

but didn’t Kate  look lovely in that jewelry? I wonder if she got to keep it…

 

Ladies, eat your heart out!    :-)

 

but with our vegetarian Amitabh Bachchan presiding during this visit of Grandmaster Spielberg, I am sure the menu looked somewhat different.

 

237852,xcitefun-vegetables-shape-10

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g292/nickjt/TFP%20Misc%202/crazy-potatoes-vegetables2.jpg

funny-watermelon

 

Also, the elite guests consisted this time of 60 Indian filmmakers. Talk wasn’t about lost treasures but about future possibilities of collaboration.

ndtv article:

Steven Spielberg’s India: Benaras to Mumbai, 30 years apart

ibnlive:

61 directors meet Steven Spielberg in Mumbai. Can you identify them?