Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Muthoottu Mini's thought-provoking commercial makes Millions of Views in Record time!

India's leading NBFC Muthoottu Mini Financiers Limited’s powerful portrayal of a woman protagonist in its latest commercial has taken the internet by storm and has got the netizens talking about it.

With over 2 million views in youtube itself (Malayalam and Hindi) and counting, the newly launched commercial film's storyline centering around a confident young woman rocking the social status-quo is driving conversations on social media.

Helmed by award-winning director Martin Prakkat and magnificently captured by celebrated cinematographer Jomon T. John, this masterpiece was shot at some of the most picturesque locales in Ladakh. The duo, true to their reputation, has brilliantly articulated and captured the controlled emotions of the protagonist, her sly suitor's expectations and the bonding she shares with her open-minded progressive father, sans cliched theatrics or verbatim.

The strategically thought ad brings the essence of women to focus, not conforming to expectations, or letting barriers to their dreams, get in the way – as mirrored by a soul-stirring drive through the limitless expanse of the Ladakh.

The film goes on to establish a strong message that no dreams are beyond a woman's reach if she is focused, has strong convictions backed by a like-minded and progressive-thinking partner. This storytelling perfectly aligns with the brand Muthoottu Mini's slogan - Standing by you, always.

Speaking at the sidelines of the launch of the new commercial, Mr. Mathew Muthoottu, Managing Director, Muthoottu Mini Financiers Limited said, “we are thrilled and ecstatic at the overwhelming response to our new commercial which encourages women to dream and calls for shattering cultural stereotyping of women. The film makes a bold attempt to dispel outdated societal myths still in vogue and the need to bring-in a paradigm shift in our attitude towards women. Being a socially responsible company, with strong values, we are extremely proud in rooting for a socially relevant cause. Time has come to address challenges faced by women and stress on the importance of increased participation of women in mainstream activities, be it socio-cultural-politico-economical. We urge women of today to dream, stay financially independent and go places. Rest assured, we, the Muthoottu Mini, will stand by you always"

If you haven't yet watched the ad, watch it here...



Bengal's current Covid situation forces organisers to postpone 27th Kolkata International Film Festival

The 27th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival, which was slated for January 7-14, has been postponed. The next date of the festival will be shared soon said the KIFF organising team. However, it was only yesterday, the organizing committee had announced that the 27th edition of the KIFF will go on albeit with a 50% capacity in cinema halls and a virtual inauguration ceremony. However, due to the current surge in Covid-19 cases across Bengal, especially in Kolkata, the festival has been postponed temporarily. 

The decision was announced by the West Bengal government through a statement. A number of Tollywood personalities attached to the organizing committee have tested positive over the past few days and the Covid-19 situation in Bengal is in quite an alarming state right now. While filmmaker Raj Chakraborty, the chairperson of 27th KIFF, had tested positive for Covid-19 for the second time, Actor Parambrata Chattopadhyay, chairperson of KIFF's short and documentary section has also tested positive as he revealed on social media. 

However, it was only on Tuesday, West Bengal Minister of State for Culture Indranil Sen had told the media that 10 venues across the city will host this year's film festival with a 50% occupancy. But now, after assessing the current situation the state government and the KIFF organizing committee have decided to cancel it for the time being. The ten venues which were supposed to screen the films were Nandan's three halls, Rabindra Sadan, Sisir Mancha, Nazrul Tirtha, Rabindra Okakura Bhavan, Chalachitra Satabarsha Bhavan, and the Kolkata Information Centre Conference Hall. A total of 161 films, including 46 Indian and 41 foreign films, were supposed to be screened during the 8-day film festival. 

When contacted KIFF officials said, “After assessing the present Covid situation of the State and taking into consideration the possibility of further contamination of Covid among the cine lovers and citizens and also owing to the fact that a number of cine personalities attached to film festival committee and many others have been affected by Covid, State Government, upon careful consideration to the safety of the citizens have decided to temporarily postpone the 27th Kolkata International Film Festival scheduled to be held between 7-14 January, 2022. Next date of the Festival will be communicated in due course.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee was supposed to inaugurate the film festival virtually from the Nabanna auditorium. Satyajit Ray's Aranyer Din Ratri was scheduled to be the opening film this year. 


International Kolkata Short Film Festival shifted to March 2022

With the 3rd wave of Covid Guidelines in force by the West Bengal Government,  most of the film screening events are either being postponed or are being conducted online. It was but natural of Evevntizer - the organisers of International Kolkata Short Film Festival to follow suit. However, the team has instead decided to postpone the event than conclude it online. Seeking to impress the cinephiles with a myriad of shorts and documentaries from the best of creative minds across the globe, the 2nd edition of International Kolkata Short Film Festival is one sought after festival that the makers and the audiences are keenly looking forward to.

According to the Festival Chairman Sourav Chakraborty, "Due to the development of the 3rd wave of COVID-19 Pandemic, and the restrictions imposed by the Government of West Bengal; we, with our responsibility towards the state and due to the lack of a festive environment have postponed all the events of the International Kolkata Short Film Festival 2022. While the online screening of the Short Films has been rescheduled from 5th March to 12th March, the Physical Screening and Award Ceremony has been rescheduled to 13th March 2022."

A hybrid festival organised by Eventizer, the festival will flag off with online screening on its website from 5th March to 12th March, 2022. The week-long fete will feature international documentaries, short fiction and non-fiction, animation as well as public service films. As decided, the festival will also have a physical screening followed by an award ceremony on 13th March 2022 at Rotary Sadan, Kolkata. 

According to an official of the IKSFF, the hybrid event is being conducted keeping in mind the Covid protocols and in adherence of the same. However, with so many wonderful films by talented young makers making its way to the festival, the authorities also planned to have a one day closing program with the Awards presentation to honour them for their work and to celebrate their talent. 

The online event will be a paid event, for the audiences to watch all the selected films at their own sweet time from the comforts of their home. “It will be one of the major cultural showcases for audiences from any part of the globe as they would no longer need to be physically available to savour the best of films showcased at the festival,” confirmed the source. 

Some of the films that are officially selected this year have come all the way from Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE, UK and the USA. They include Ek Achchi Naukri, Dining Table, Basanthi, Soch, Le Fantome du Cinema, Dugga Dugga, The Lounge, Aanshik, Corona Cuckoo, The Gift, Belle ele en Acadie, Ora, Last Poem, Warrant, Retribution and many others. 

For more details, log on to https://iksff.eventizer.co.in/

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Sandesh Gour flags off 2022 with three interesting Web Series

Sandesh Gour, who has been a part of films and television shows like ‘Mann Kee Awaaz Pratigya’, ‘Saraswati Chandra’, ‘Shapath’, and ‘Badi Dooooor Se Aaye Hai’, is gearing up to play a protagonist in the upcoming web series ‘Atrangi Ishq’, ‘Scar’ and ‘Free Ka Bunglow’. 

Speaking about his debut on the digital platform, the actor says: “I’m glad to start my new year with three big and interesting projects. In all the projects I’m playing the protagonist. ‘Atrangi Ishq’ and ‘SCAR’ are youth dramas and ‘Free Ka Bunglow’ is a sitcom. I’m making my debut on digital platform and I’m really excited about it. I feel 2021 is ending on a great point for me and 2022 might be turning point of my life.” 

Talking about his roles in 'Atrangi Ishq', Sandesh shares that he is playing Kabir who’s lazy, a dictator and a possessive guy. He is an orphan and lives with his friend and it is scheduled to release in February. In 'Scar', he’s essaying Siddharth, an aspiring actor who is not only passionately dedicated to his career but is also an innocent cute chap. ‘Free ka Bunglow’ is a comedy of errors and the audience will love my comic timings in sure.”

Here's wishing this young actor loads of luck and a very Happy New Year


Friday, December 31, 2021

UV Films Guthlee to premiere at 27th Kolkata International Film Festival

Debutante filmmaker Ishrat R Khan's feature film Guthlee Ladoo has made it to the prestigious 27th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF). To be held between January 7 to 14 Guthlee Ladoo will be screened on January 8th & 13th in the Competition on Indian Languages section. The first ever Bundeli language film to go to any film festival, Ishrat Khan is elated over his film’s entry into KIFF and feels proud to represent Bundelkhand and especially Bundeli language in a festival that’s acclaimed internationally. “This is my debut film and I am happy that Guthlee has made its way to the KIFF this year.”

Ishrat started his innings assisting renowned director like Anees Bazmee with whom he graduated from 1st Ad to the associate director in a span of time. Some of the movies that he assisted Anees includes Welcome Back, Thank You, No Problem, Welcome, Sandwich, No Entry and Deewangee.  Later he went on to associate with Raaj Shaandilyaa for Dream Girl,  Prerna Wadhawan for Ishqeria and Amberdeep Singh for Lahoriye.

However it’s quite unnatural of someone to venture into such a hard hitting domain about the state of education and the caste system in rural India in today's age when he has majorly been involved with comedies. Normally anyone would have preferred doing something that they have mastered in, but Ishrat not only chose to be different but also preferred dealing in a subject that was not the mainstream language - Hindi. Ishrat says, “I understand that’s how anyone would have done it. However, I wanted my debut to stand out on the marquee. We are premiering it at KIFF and plans are afoot to take it to Cannes and other major festivals across the globe including NYIFF, Toronto, London and others.”

With over 20 years of experience in Bollywood, Ishrat Khan is considered one of the most efficient film makers of this era. His attention to detail, thorough pre-production & clear vision sets him apart, which can be seen in Guthlee. With a simple to seem storyline, the film is multi-layered. It’s about Guthlee, the son of a poor sweeper, has a dream - to go to school. But the major obstacle is his caste. A headmaster is sympathetic to him but powerless against caste discrimination. When they develop an unspoken bond, Guthlee's dream sees hope.

Speaking about the film, Ishrat says, “Guthlee is a film that speaks volumes about the state of education and the caste system in rural India in today's age. Of course there have been massive improvements in this respect by the government, but still there are untold stories that highlight the plight of the lower caste people and their inability to get education for their children. This film is an attempt to bring this matter to the forefront. It's a story of a small boy, son of a low caste sweeper, who wants to go to school. The film has been treated realistically, so as to make the viewer’s feel the rustic reality of a north Indian village. The film does not try to portray any of the higher caste people in a negative light, it's not an attempt to antagonize, but rather to make people think about the fact that something that is so easy for us to provide to our children - a school education - can remain an unfulfilled dream for so many deserving children just because they belong to low castes.”

Produced by Pradeep Rangwani under the banner of UV Films, Guthlee Ladoo features an ensemble cast that includes Sanjay Mishra, Subrat Dutta, Kalyanee Mulay and Dhanay Seth in the titular role. The film has been shot by Anil Akki and edited by Steven H. Bernard. Amar Mohile has provided the background score for the movie.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Sunfeast All Rounder celebrates the ‘Greatest All Rounders’ of all time with Bollywood movie ‘83

Sunfeast All Rounder, the thin chatpata potato biscuit brand launched by ITC in the cracker biscuits category, has unveiled its latest co-branded TVC. The brand has collaborated with Reliance Entertainment to create a co-branded campaign with the new Ranveer Singh starrer, ‘83’. The new ad film draws parallels between the inspirational all-rounder team that won the 1983 World Cup, and the winning combination of potato and masala that is the new Sunfeast All Rounder potato biscuit. The ad film has been released in Hindi.

The co-branded TV commercial acknowledges the Greatest All Rounders of all times and his winning spirit which led to India winning its first World Cup title. Creating an analogy between sports and snacking product, the 20 second ad film opens with a scene from the movie trailer highlighting the confidence and passion of a cricket player who steps out onto the ground not just to play but to win. It underlines how the perfect blend of the quest to win and extraordinary skills makes a player a true all-rounder. Building on the same thought, the ad film then showcases how Sunfeast All Rounder is also an all-rounder in a similar vein: a thin, crunchy, chatpata potato biscuit that offers a flavourful twist to every snacking occasion. The ad film concludes with the co-branded visual of Sunfeast All Rounder and the all-rounder team of ’83, encouraging the audience to celebrate the greatest all-rounders this season. 

Commenting on the brand’s new campaign for the North and West India, Mr. Ali Harris Shere, Chief Operating Officer, Biscuits & Cakes Cluster, Foods Division, ITC Limited said, “We are delighted to partner with Reliance Entertainment to relive India’s historic 1983 cricket World Cup win. 83 reminds us of an iconic event that is deeply entrenched in the collective memory of Indians. The World Cup victory was a turning point for India’s sporting culture and played a pivotal role in shaping the cricket landscape in the nation. The movie celebrates the mix of drive, conviction and competence that made the Indian cricket team of 83 the greatest all-rounders of all times. Sunfeast All Rounder, as a brand, resonates with these core values and reaches out to billions of cricket enthusiasts and film fanatics to celebrate the all-rounders this season.”

Sameer Chopra, Head of Marketing, Reliance Entertainment said, “We are delighted to collaborate with Sunfeast All Rounder and launch a campaign that resonates seamlessly with both the movie and the brand. 83’s concept is in line with the core brand proposition of celebrating the All-Rounders. We hope the latest TVC helps us reach out to a wider audience and together we can help the nation relive the story of that momentous triumph."

The new TVC that went live on 24th December will be promoted across platforms including social media, TV and YouTube to strengthen the brand’s visibility and bring the brand closer to its consumers. 

Reliance Entertainment and Phantom Films present 83, a Kabir Khan Films Production. The film is produced by Deepika Padukone, Kabir Khan, Vishnu Vardhan Induri, Sajid Nadiadwala, Sheetal Vinod Talwar, Reliance Entertainment and 83 Film Ltd. 83 is directed by Kabir Khan. A Reliance Entertainment and PVR Pictures release on 24th December 2021 in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.

For those who haven't yet seen the TVC, here it is...



Flickerfest is thrilled to announce its 2022 festival programme which will see 30 World Premieres and 65 Australian Premieres across its Academy Qualifying Australian, Documentary and International competitions featuring over 109 inspiring, creative and beautiful crafted shorts from Australia and the world, and a further 110 films featuring across Flickerfest showcase sessions, all selected from over 3,200 entries.

Flickerfest is Australia’s largest short film competition dedicated to showcasing the very best short films from Australia and around the world from live action to documentaries and animation. This year Flickerfest will screen 57 Australian films across the Best of Australian Competition, 39 International films across the Best of International Competition and 13 Documentaries across the Best of Documentary Competition.

Year on year, entries for Flickerfest continue to increase; a testimony to the fact that Flickerfest is one of the world’s leading and most respected platforms for short film. From this large entry field only around 200 of the very best, most creative and inspiring shorts will be screened at the Festival, across 16 competitive programmes and four showcase programmes.

The shorts in competition at Flickerfest are fiercely vying for a number of prestigious, Academy® Qualifying prizes including:

  • The Flickerfest Award for Best International Short Film
  • The Yoram Gross Award for Best International Animation
  • The Panasonic Lumix Award for Best Australian Short Film
  • The Flickerfest Award for Best Documentary

Plus a host of other hotly contested prizes, which recognise the various craft areas inherent in making a great short film including the SAE FlickerUp National School Student and Youth competition for filmmakers under 18 and the Rainbow Shorts Competition featuring the best LGBTQI+ films from at home and around the world.

Flickerfest is also home to the ever popular short film showcases including:

FLiCKERKIDS, short films suitable for children aged 6-12 years and the young at heart

SHORT LAUGHS, the comedy programme that will have you in stitches

LOVE BITES, films about love and relationships

BEST OF INDIGENOUS SHORTS, shining a spotlight on the incredible indigenous talent featured from across our 2022 festival programmes.

The 2022 Australian programme will include some incredibly masterful and creative short films. Highlights include the world premiere of the quirky black space comedy The Home Team starring comedy legend Paul McDermott and acclaimed actress Tara Morice Strictly Ballroom, The world premiere of black comedy Stonefish written by well-known Australian Actor, George Pullar and directed by acclaimed actress and first time director Megan Smart, known for her most recent role in miniseries Wakefield (2021) and Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021).

The NSW premiere of the moving and intimate sibling drama You Me Before And After starring Yael Stone Orange Is The New Black) and Emily Barclay Mr In Between, Glitch, Baby Teeth the Australian premiere of award winning Australian feature director Alex Proyas’ Dark City, I Robot highly creative and masterful short film Mask Of The Evil Apparition.

Highlights Of The International Programme at Flickerfest 2022, all celebrating their Australian premieres include A Few Miles South where acclaimed actors Toby Jones and Ivanno Jeremiah comprise a very memorable double act in this delightfully macabre tale of two taciturn travellers on a wintry expedition that takes a desperate turn. Cannes Palme d’Or winner 2021 All The Crows In The World, a unique look at nightlife and coming of age by Hong Kong Filmmaker Yi Tang. TIFF Award winning Canadian animation The Shamans Apprentice by First Nations director Zacharious Kunuk Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner that see a young Shaman face her first test and the delightful and heartwarming UK film Roy where a reclusive widower Roy passes his days cold calling strangers until a chance meeting with a young women Cara, see an unlikely friendship forged. Starring BAFTA winner David Bradbury Broadchurch, Harry Potter and Oscar winner Rachel Shenton The Silent Child, Hollyoaks.

Launching on the 21st January with a highlights screening followed by an exclusive after party, Flickerfest’s not to be missed ten day event will present some of the world’s best short films from Australia and the world on the big screen, showcasing some of the most innovative, provocative and widely entertaining short films the world has to offer. Bringing them to the relaxed and iconic environment of Bondi Beach this summer in partnership with Waverley Council, in a bespoke festival garden complete with outdoor lawn cinema, The Famous Spiegeltent indoor cinema and a panoramic beachside bar. Running through to the 30th January culminating in a prestigious awards presentation and closing night celebration.

Following the Bondi season, Flickerfest hits the road for a massive, 8-month, national tour of the very best films from the festival. The tour will reach 45+ metro and regional venues across all states, bringing the joy of Flickerfest to the rest of the country!

Flickerfest has been a major launching pad for some of Australia’s and the world’s most celebrated filmmakers. For further information visit: www.flickerfest.com.au