Monday, October 17, 2011

The star movie of Sunday was undoubtedly George Clooney’s ‘The Ides of March’ at the Mumbai Film Festival

Kalpana Pandit of Jaanleva fame..
The fourth day of the 13th Mumbai Film Festival continued to enthrall cinema buffs. Unprecedented numbers of film goers and cinema enthusiasts thronged the cinemas. Accompanying the audience for the movie screenings were celebrities such as Ashutosh Gowarikar,  Sundeep Malani, Mohan Das, Vishal Bharadwaj, Shabana Azmi, Makarand Deshpande, Kartik Tiwari, Rajat Barmecha, Kalpana Pandit, Anand Tiwari, Divya Dutta, Sakshi Tanwar, Raj Zutshi, Brijesh Hirjee, Pravesh Rana, singer Rekha Bharadwaj, Onir, Satish Kaushik, Irawati Harshe and Aly Khan amongst many others.

The star movie of the day was undoubtedly George Clooney’s The Ides of March which once again saw unprecedented numbers of audiences queue up for it.

The star cast of ‘Stanley Ka Dabba’, which was screened at the festival were also present. In attendance were Raj Zutshi, Divya Dutta, Divya Jagdale and the magnificent kids. However, Amole Gupte was nowhere seen. The surprise announcement of the film winning the best actor award at Children Young Audience SCHLINGEL made here left them all overwhelmed. 

The Stanley Ka Dabba group..
Divya Dutta shared how all of them learned from the kids and lived their childhood again. She said, “It was like going to school again. When I asked Amole to give me a script he gave me a 4th std text book to read.” Raj added, “Stanley for me is very organic. It has crossed borders. Great works come out of constraint and restrain”.

The open forum discussion for the day was on ‘Is there room for Independent Cinema today’ that saw noted producers Madhu Mantena, Sunil Doshi, Director Aijaz Khan and Film Curator Ian Birnie discuss the increasing demand for independent cinema. Madhu Mantena explained that there are actors and talent who are receptive of working with independent producers. He said, “The biggest stumbling block is the talent that we are working with, fail to understand independent producers. We have not collaborated well with each other. The role of a producer is often not more than a financer.”

Sunil Doshi producer of movies such as ‘Bheja Fry’, ‘Mixed Doubles’ to name a few, added light on the system. He said, “I have not lost a single penny on any movies that I have produced. There is definitely space for independent cinema to co-exist. It’s crucial to have your budgeting in place and also involve as many team members as possible from the scripting stage itself.”

Kalpana Pandit with Mohan Das and Sundeep Malani..
However Madhu Mantena as a big producer with projects like Ghajini, Rann, Jhootha hi Sahi, Rakta Charitra, Mausam and others frankly would not even know the problems faced by independent producers as he must not have faced any. Rather, he was a wrong choice to be even on the dias as even his foray into regional cinema with Aparna Sen’s The Japanese Wife was made at a budget of 9 crores as was reported that time. Coming to Sunil Doshi, well, this man must have made low budgets with Bheja Fry and Mixed Doubles. But given his excellent contacts, he must not have faced problems recovering his money which new producers face. In all, this was one forum that didn’t really serve any purpose compared to the preceeding days.

Saakshi Tanwar..
The evening saw Makarand Deshpande and his team address the audience and press at the Festival. Director of Miss Sundari which was screened, he said, “I have portrayed death auspiciously in my film. I make films to put life into them. Cinema is a medium to express”. Directors Jabbar Patel and Girish Kasaravalli’s National Award winning movies Saamna and Ghatashraddha were also screened today under the Indian retrospective section.

Furthermore seen at the festival’s Mumbai Film Mart were Saakshi Tanwar and Anand Tiwari whose film ‘Bawra Mann’ and ‘O Re Manvaa’ was showcased. In attendance at the Mart were the representatives of all major Production houses. A staggering hundred meetings took place today at the mart and over thousand odd meeting requests were put forward. In the two days over 300 meetings have been carried out. Nishit Desai and associates’ team of legal experts were present at the Mart offering free legal consultations.

The fourth day was yet again power packed with glitz, glamour and the best of world cinema. The Mumbai Festival’s growing popularity was validated this day too. 

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