Friday, October 22, 2010

MAMI kicks off to a good start

MAMI's 12th Mumbai Film Festival began yesterday amidst much fanfare with some well known names in the film fraternity turning up for the inaugural event. 

Even though the Bollywood quotient was missing, Filmmaker Shyam Benegal, who is also part of the jury, was one of the early birds followed by the likes of Director Ramesh Sippy and wife Kiran Juneja, newbie filmmaker Ayan Mukherjee, Manoj Kumar, actor Ranvir Shorey, director-turned-producer Kunal Kohli and actress Minissha Lamba, choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant and TV actors Bhawna and Shobha Khote.

Showcasing cinema from 59 countries, David Fincher's "The Social Network" was the opening film at this eight-day fest. The Festival will feature the world premiere of five movies - three from India and one each from Denmark and France - and confer the International Lifetime Achievement Award on three-time Academy award winner Oliver Stone. 

The Indian films to premiere at the festival are Biju Kumar's "The Way Home", Sudhish Kamath's "Good Night Good Morning" and debutant K.M. Kamal's "Alif". The Danish film, "Above the Street Below the Water" that is directed by Charlotte Sieling and Director duo Jonas Pariente and Mathias Mangin's French documentary "Next Year in Mumbai" will also be screened.

Screened at nine screens across Mumbai, MAMI this year includes 215 feature films, 15 documentaries and 24 short films; it also has a 49-film Japanese retrospective, including five in the competition section. Supported by the government of Maharashtra, Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) is a Reliance Big Entertainment initiative and has over Rs.1 crore in prize money.

Sundeep Malani’s Jo Jo Laali at the American Film Market in Santa Monica for worldwide sales

Los Angeles Distributor Quantum Releasing has acquired worldwide rights to Sundeep Malani’s “heartwrenching lullaby” JO JO LAALI starring Kalpana Pandit, Akash Hora, and Shrey Tejani.

“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to represent this touching story to buyers worldwide,” said Quantum Director of Acquisitions Robert Ramirez. “It’s got heart, and charm, and a very unique flavor.” Quantum will launch worldwide sales at the American Film Market in Santa Monica on March 4th.

The film is the story of a classical dancer single mother who discovers that her 4 year old son born of a love affair has AIDS transmitted by her from mother to son. The agony of her heartwrenching loss is portrayed through music and dance and the film ends on a note of positivity with a strong message for society in this gripping emotional drama.

Those looking to acquire Licensing rights can direct their inquiries to David Suarez, Quantum’s COO and Director of Distribution, at

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

India's answer to Broadway : Zangoora - A live musical fantasy

This is India's answer to Broadway!! Produced by Wizcraft International Entertainment & Apra Group “Zangoora - The Gypsy Prince” will be the first of its kind long running Bollywood musical which will be exclusively staged at The Nautanki Mahal, only at the Kingdom of Dreams, Gurgaon, India. Introducing a brand new genre of entertainment where storytelling & bollywood style song & Dance meet stage craft and technical wizardry like never seen before.

Starring Hussain Kuwajerwala, Kashmira Irani, Gauahar Khan, Sadanand Patil and others, the story of Zangoora is a fantasy tale set in the fictional Kingdom of Shaktishila. It's a classic story of good versus evil as a gypsy boy Zangoora makes his journey to his true destiny of being a prince. A love triangle emerges between Zangoora, princess Sonali and a feisty gypsy girl Laachi.

Strung together with all time favorite Bollywood songs, the show boasts of the biggest of Bollywood music of the last 3 decades interwoven into a Bollywood potboiler storyline that explores a larger than life world - full of magic, music, dance, colour and all things Bollywood. 

In a world class theater Nautanki Mahal that is enhanced by sound, light, video, animation, special effects, aerial choreography, stunt, magic and much much more, Zangoora will take the audience through a cinematic theatrical experience live on stage that is sure to dazzle. Romance, drama, action, magic and scintillating performances and foot tapping music promises to enthrall audiences like never before.

To be held at the ultimate entertainment and leisure destination, sprawling across acres of land, ideally located at the apex of the golden triangle of Jaipur, Agra and Delhi, at the magnificent Kingdom of Dreams. Here, the carnival that is India is distilled into one iconic destination. This fabulous Kingdom brings to life a blend of India's art, culture, heritage, craft, cuisine and performing art...all with the technological wizardry of today. Nautanki Mahal: showcasing an extravagant cinematic and theatrical musical. Culture Gully: an elaborate culture, arts, crafts and food boulevard. Showshaa Theatre: a fabulous, colourful drama marquee spotlighting Indian mythology productions, a mock wedding show and the great Indian talent circus. iifa Buzz: a glamorous Bollywood themed cafe. This is a destination in itself which is capturing the imagination of the world. Get ready for this century’s most novel tourist destination: Kingdom of Dreams.

However to get the worlds first cinematic theatrical experience in a never-before-seen extravaganza is also not that easy or cheap. The pricing for the different class starts at Rs. 6000/- (Platinum Class), Diamond Class: Rs. 3500/, Gold Class: Rs. 2500/-, Silver Class: Rs. 1500/- and finally the Bronze Class which is priced at a mere Rs. 1000/- But considering that the best talents from the world of Bollywood, Television and Theater feature in this show in a stunning, electrifying on-stage spectacle, it’s a price worth paying for once in a life time. So get going!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Can two different censor boards react to tag lines differently?

The RGV directed much-talked, much-hyped two-part trilingual ‘Rakta Charitra’ has landed into another controversy. This time, for mentioning quotes from the Epic, ‘Mahabharata.’ The film was recently in the news all over media for having gotten a trouble with the censors for its alleged tagline on its posters which have the quote 'Pratheekarame Parama Sopanam - Maha Bharatam' (Revenge is the purest emotion – Mahabharata).

It seems the censor board in Hyderabad objected to this and asked the producers of the film, Cinergy and RGV to remove this supposed taglines with a reference to the Mahabharata as there is no proof to support these statements. Also, it is learnt that few Hindu Organizations are also against this. 

The tag lines are still in the publicity promotion of the movie in Mumbai despite the producer Sheetal Talwar having made claims that they had to remove the lines from the posters. It seems that the demand was made at the regional level and hence the changes don’t reflect here in the Hindi version of the movie. Does it mean that the Mahabharata is different in Hindi and Telegu? But the question is, “Can two different censor boards have two different versions?” It’s a really funny world out there…

Ram Gopal Varma is trying out something new with Rakta Charitra. The film that is told in two parts will be releasing within three weeks of the other and is based on the life of slain Andhra Pradesh politician Paritala Ravi. The first part opens on Oct 22 and the second part is slated for release on Nov 19.

Third Eye Asian Film Festival to be held in Mumbai immediately after MAMI

The 9th Third Eye Asian Film Festival will be held in Mumbai from October 29 to November 4. The opening of this festival is scheduled immediately the day next after MAMI ends. Festival director Sudhir Nandgaonkar said the festival will showcase 80 films and 50 short films from Asian countries will be screened across theatres in south and central Mumbai and in the suburban Andheri.

This year, unlike Manoj Kumar who will be felicitated with the Lifetime Achievement Award at MAMI, acclaimed Bollywood director Shyam Benegal will be felicitated with the Asian Film Culture award. The award honours the achievements of Asian directors, and is given each year to the master of Asian cinema. At the same time six films by Mrinal Sen would be screened this year under the Asian Masters section, mentioned Sudhir Nandgaonkar. The opening film of the festival however is the ‘Son of Babylon’, an Iraqi film which won the Best Movie Award at the Karlovyvary International Film Festival in July this year.

Shyam Benegal
The Asian Film Festival aims to establish interaction between the Asian Film fraternity and create a dialogue with the West. The Festival Program includes the following sections:

Spectrum Asia: Contemporary Asian films will be showcased in this section to capture the cinematic trends in Asian countries.

First / Second Film Competition: The Festival is starting a competition of the first or second film made by an Asian director. An International Jury will award the best film with a trophy and a cash prize of US$ 2,000.

Best Short Film Competition: Many aspiring young directors and film school students in Asia are making digital short fiction films. The 6th Asian Film Festival is organizing a Short Fiction Film Competition. An International Jury will award the best film with a trophy and a cash prize of US$ 1,000.

A retrospective of past award winners: An international spotlight of various award-winning Asian films that got top honors at global film festivals.

Focus on One Asian Country: A package of six to seven films will be screened showcasing the trends in cinema in that country.

Retro: Tributes will be paid to Indian and Asian directors by organizing retrospectives of their films.

Asian Film Culture Award: The award will honor the achievements of Asian directors who remain unknown to general cinema fans in India. The award will be presented to recognize the achievement of the film director in popularizing Asian cinema and artistic achievement in cinematography. The award will be presented to the winner during the Asian Film Festival's opening ceremony.

Manoj Kumar to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at MAMI

The 12th Mumbai Film Festival has gotten bigger and better than its previous editions. To be held from October 21 to 28 and organized by MAMI (Mumbai Academy of Moving Image) in association with Reliance Big Entertainment Ltd, MAMI will be felicitating the most loved patriotic hero of Bollywood, Manoj Kumar with the Lifetime Achievement Award this year. The world of Bollywood best knows him as Manoj 'Bharat' Kumar for his patriotic roles and exceptional work in films like Upkar, Purab Aur Paschim, Roti Kapda aur Makaan and Kranti. 

In the past, the legendary actor-director has been bestowed with awards such as the Padma Shri Award, Phalke Ratna Award, Best Director Award, Best Actor Award and many more for his exceptional contribution to Indian Cinema. But this year, the 12th Mumbai Film Festival takes a proud step towards honouring Manoj Kumar with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his valuable contribution.

An award winning actor who has been awarded many a times in his career - the extremely talented and soft-spoken Manoj Kumar was born with a birth name of Harikishen Goswami in Abbottabad, a town of the North-West Frontier Province, now in Pakistan. As a youth he was very much inclined to Bollywood superstar Dilip Kumar, and later took on Dilip Saab’s screen name of Manoj Kumar from the film `Shabnam`. The Indian audiences have showered their love and appreciation on him for all his characters.

Just like his characters that he played on screen, the soft-spoken Manoj Kumar continues to stay in everyone's heart and this award is MAMI's humble way to refresh his remarkable journey. Speaking about this honour Manoj Kumar said, "I am happy to receive this award. It's as important as an Oscar."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Eon Films next venture is a crossover...

Social networking has attracted an unprecedented number of youngsters and teens of which atleast each have an Orkut profile or are on Facebook or MySpace. And many of the youngsters have registered themselves on all the sites including YouTube and Social networkers shape their identity with these sites, essentially broadcasting their public image around the world. But it's not all fun and games online. It is also about speed dating and networking in real time.

As more and more people are indulging in this form of a "hook up”, little do they realize the hidden dangers associated with them. While trying to make a beeline for blind dates and avoiding the cost factor, many forget how costly it can actually prove as it not only risks their credentials, their emotions, their family life but also their physical and mental state.

Containing every ingredient that sets it apart from conventional films, Log-In - Aa Jeele Zaraa… is an electrifying story of today’s genX caught in a web of situations - a plot that has electrifying disclosures at every turn - is fast paced, and not at all superficial in its treatment with exceptionally skilful, high tension, gripping emotional drama with a profound moral debate at its heart. The film is in Bengali and in Hinglish but the producer of the film Mohan Das feels that it will appeal to all audiences as the subject is very fresh and of todays times. "It is a very sweet, youngish, contemporary film where both the leads have enough scope to prove their histrionics in the field of acting, and is sure to set a trend as a thorough multiplex kinda movie with superb technical and treatment values," revealed Mohan Das.

"It has a social message too," reveals the director Sanjiban Nath. "The story revolves around the instant connectivity among genX in the virtual world at the log of a button. It is also about speed dating, networking and social connectivity that brings virtual characters face-to-face in the real world. The story further delves not only into what happens in today’s virtual world but also especially on what happens when characters in the virtual world meet in the world of real and realize that not all what is revealed in the virtual world can be as real as it can get," he added.

Dev Benegal to judge short films at Mumbai film fest

Dev Benegal of 'English August' and the recent "Road - the movie" fame has been roped in to judge the entries in the short film section of the 12th Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) starting Oct 21 to 28 and organized by MAMI (Mumbai Academy of Moving Image) in association with Reliance Big Entertainment Ltd. Aimed at the youth (of Mumbai) under 25, the new section called Dimensions Mumbai includes films on the maximum city by aspiring directors. Besides Benegal, it will also be judged by Bishaka Dutta, Brahmanand S. Singh, Ashim Ahluwalia and Manish Acharya.

Organised by the Mumbai-based writer-editor-director; Bishaka Datta is a journalist; Brahmanand S. Singh is known for making a National Award-winning documentary on legendary composer R.D. Burman called ' PanchamUnmixed: Muje Chalte Jana Hai. Ashim Ahluwalia is a screenwriter-filmmaker with credits like 'John & Jane' and upcoming Hindi film 'Miss Lovely'; while Manish Acharya is known for his comedy 'Loins of Punjab Presents'.

The five experts will select top 20 films from the received entries that will be screened at the gala. Apart from short fiction, the competition is also open to documentary and animation films. The winner and the runner-up in the Dimensions Mumbai section will receive Silver Gateway trophies and cash prizes of Rs. 100,000 and Rs. 50,000, respectively.

Friday, October 15, 2010

"Jo Jo Laali... a heart wrenching lullaby" acquired by Quantum for worldwide distribution

Former journalist and filmmaker Sundeep Malani's “Jo Jo Laali... Heart Rendering Lullaby” - a 40 minute short film, has received not only rave reviews from those who have managed to see the film, but is now picked up by QUANTUM, a Hollywood Production House, to release the film across the world. This short film has created a lof of noise as it is scheduled to be showcased at a number of film festivals around India.

Shot completely in the city of Mumbai, the film is based on the relationship of a mother and child who are both affected by the AIDS virus. While the names are unknown to most people who are unfamiliar with South cinema, it stars Kalpana Pandit of Moksh and Gajagamini fame. She is not only the lead actress but has also produced this film. She is sharing screen space along with Akash Hora and the young Shrey Tejani who will steal the audiences hearts for sure. The highlights of the film include a Tandav dance similar to the one seen in Chandni by Sridevi who happens to be the director’s favorite actress. The dance is a dedication from the director to Sridevi.

The film is in Hindi, Kannada and in English but Sundeep says “it will appeal to audiences irrespective of the language. Those who have had the privilege to see the film cannot stop gushing over this heart wrenching story which not only deals with an issue that is normally seen as a taboo but is frowned upon in India.”

New comer music directors Ricky Tej and Ameya Naik have done a wonderful job as the music is also praise worthy. The film’s music is actually a "blend of classical and western", and does remind of the fusion music composed by Ananda Shankar. Talking about how the movie’s title came about, Sundeep reveals that majorly all mothers sing Jo Jo Laali, a famous lullaby, which even his mother did to him as a child. And this was how the title came about.

A renowned director in South India whose films are often seen making much noise at the box office down south, Malani has also pitched in with Onir in his upcoming “I AM series”. Though being associated with Onir, one might try to find an uncanny similarity to Onir’s My Brother Nikhil, Sundeep is convinced that his Jo Jo is very different because the main protagonist is a young boy who innocently infects the dreaded disease.

Having created a lot of noise and also receiving a lot of accolades, Suneep is looking forward to send his film to the National Awards next year in the short film category. And who knows, the film that has managed to create quite an impact and awareness might enthuse the jury on the panel as well.

Poster of 3rd Global Film Festival 2010 released

The first poster of 3rd Global Film Festival, Noida 2010 was released recently amidst much fanfare at the glittering function at Noida Film City in the presence of complete organizing committee of the festival prepared by the team of Asian School of Graphics and Animation.

The 3rd Global Film Festival Noida 2010 has been fixed for 12th to 14th November 2010 at Noida Film City, the fastest growing film city of the World Large number of international organizations have started sending their consent to be part of this festival. The festival will consist of International Cinema, Short film Corner, Seminars, workshops, exhibitions, film market, launchings, releases etc.

Many world film organisations like the Indo Nigerian Film Association, Indo Peru Cultural and film Association, Indo Wales Creative Forum, World Religious Parliament, Global Yog Alliance, Indo Turkmenistan Cultural forum, Motion Picture Association of Bhutan, Indo Sudan Cultural Forum, Universal Peace Federation, Shanthigiri Ashram, Mahatma Gandhi Forum and others have joined hands to make this event a grand success.

“I am honored to be the part of 3rd GFF Noida 2010 which has emerged as the first and the biggest film event of the city. I on behalf of Rotary International assure you the full cooperation from Rotary International” said Asit Mittal renowned builder, social worker, film maker and Governor of Rotary International while confirming his support to GFF and releasing the of Poster.

“I take the honor in inviting Asit Mittal to join the organizing committee of 3rd Global Film Festival 2010. With his joining we will be able to invite the members of 126 Rotary International Clubs of Delhi NCR.” said Sandeep Marwah President of Global Film Festival.

“We have finalized 30 events in three days from 12th to 14th November for 3rd GFF 2010” said R.K.Singh Festival Director. “We are going to inform all the million members of Rotary International in 180 countries of the World” said Latika Sahani chairperson Reception Committee.

“I am thankful to all the international organizations for joining 3rd Global Film Festival 2010. With the international organizations coming in, the level of GFF has gone up. Not only many more people can take the advantage of GFF but it will also encourage the people of the entertainment industry.” added Sandeep Marwah President of the festival and Marwah Studios as well.

Aaft is the first ten best film schools of the world.attracting students from 77 countries of the world.offering 40 media courses from 3 months to three years.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Much Awaited " Saawariya I Love You" in Bihar theatres on Chhath...

The much awaited Bhojpuri family entertainer SAAWARIYA I LOVE YOU from Eon Films is coming to the Cinema Halls in Bihar and Jharkhand from 15th October. Presented by Mohan Das and produced by Shambhu Pandey under the banner of Shambhu Pandey Productions, this film is sure to be the flavour of the season as the hit pair of Damini - Vinnay Anand and Rani Chatterjee are once again coming together in the lead roles.

Co-produced by Sudeep Das, this film has all the ingredients of a complete entertainer with 11 songs, 7 fight sequences, romance, family drama and rib-tickling comedy set on a lavish scale. The film has good romantic songs penned by Pyarelal Yadav, Phanindra Rao and Arvind Tiwari which is put to music by Aman Shlok.

If Seema Singh’s colourful performance will enthrall the audience in her glamorous and intense sexciting item number, Mandira’s racy mujra in kathak style will make the audiences remember their lost loved ones. To add opulence and grandeur to the Mujra as was in the days of the rajahs and maharajas, the producers have spent lavishly to film this mujra aesthetically on a well designed haveli which will remind the Bhojpuri audiences of Bollywood mujras a-la Pakeezah style. It is sure to set new standards of film entertainment in Bhojpuri industry as the songs are efficiently captured in a brilliant framework by ace cameraman Pramod Pandey and editing is by Jitendra Singh Jeetu.

Directed by Rampal Singh with a supporting cast that includes Divya Dwivedi, Gorav Ghai, Deepak Dubey, Neeraj Bharadwaj, Mehnaz Shroff, Pari Singhania, Akhilesh Kumar and Aly Khan, Saawariya I Love You promises to be a movie experience that will bring the issue of widow remarriage once again to the fore. Containing every ingredient that sets it apart from conventional Bhojpuri Films, Saawariya I Love You is an electrifying story of a woman caught in a web of situations - a plot that has electrifying disclosures at every turn - is fast paced, and not at all superficial in its treatment with exceptionally skilful, high tension, gripping emotional drama with a profound moral debate at its heart.