Friday, April 13, 2012

“The Forlorn” to open IISFF on Sunday featuring Iconic Bengali actor and Dadasaheb Phalke Award Winner Soumitra Chatterjee

Slated to be the biggest event in North East India, the First Imphal International Short Film Festival 2012 that is all scheduled to open its doors this Sunday April 15 at Rupmahal Theatre, Imphal, Manipur has finally announced its opening film at the festival. Directed by Saptaswa Basu - The Forlorn - that has Iconic Bengali actor and Dadasaheb Phalke Award Winner Soumitra Chatterjee in a lead role will open the festival on Sunday.

Directed by Saptaswa Basu, “The Forlorn”, is a psychological thriller centering around a young woman who, after moving into a new apartment, stumbles upon the previous tenant's diary. This former occupant, a parapsychology researcher, is dead. She becomes obsessed with the diary. Her behaviour becomes increasingly erratic; she sees hallucinations and is tormented by the feeling of being stared at even when she is alone. Soumitra Chatterjee plays the role of a senior psychiatrist who helps his junior Saswata Chatterjee (who recently was seen with Vidya Balan in Kahaani, where he played a simple looking scary contract killer Bob Biswas) deal with the same. Also featuring Rini Ghosh in the female lead, this High Definition digital short film deals with both parapsychology and psychological issues but this is obviously not a supernatural film. 

“Besides working in award winning films of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Tapan Sinha, Chatterje encourages short film makers,” says Director Saptaswa Basu whose was insistent that Chatterjee can only play the part of the psychologist perfectly. “It was a rigorous process, convincing Chatterjee to take on the role. He is a very busy person and is also very choosy about the roles he is playing," says Basu. "I met him with my mum… I introduced myself; I said I am going to do this kind of a film and it is very important for you to work with me because the character only suits you."

This film was premiered at the 8th Kolkata Short Film Festival (International) on 8th December, 2011. This is the first short film in which Saswata Chatterjee has acted in and shared screen space together with Soumitra Chatterjee after a very long time. 

According to Mohen Naorem, the festival director, “We were keenly looking forward to have Dadasaheb Phalke Award Winner Soumitra Chatterjee amongst us to motivate young film makers across the global platform on the opening day of the festival. However, he wouldn’t be able to make his presence at the festival due to his pre-commitments. He has however, wished the festival all success.”

A four day cultural event will mark this prestigious festival. Outstanding 40 domestic films and 10 International films has been received for the screenings like Open Doors by Ashish Pandey, Brian's Gandhi by Ram J Saravanan, Maut Ka Kunwa by Sumant Bapurao Mali from Mumbai, LOC-A Playground by Atul Kumar Sharma from Mumbai, Bengali film Swapno Satyakam by Tomal Chakraborti, Tamil film Sathish Chandrasekaran B.E., MBA by Sathish Chandrasekaran, Malayalam film "Sabdarekha" by Nirmal S, Samvedanam by Methil Komalankutty from Dubai, Iranian film The Bare Foot Leader Zohreh Zamani.

Organized and promoted by “Legend Studio Manipur and Action for Social Advancement (ASA) Manipur” with the support of Film Forum Manipur. IISFF 2012 will witness great short films from around the world.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Eros International's Kishore Lulla and Sundance Institute's Michelle Satter and Alesia Weston to be honoured today

The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) will be honouring Eros International Head Kishore Lulla and Sundance Institute's Michelle Satter and Alesia Weston at their prestigious 5th Annual Industry Leadership Awards (ILA). Kishore Lulla, Group Executive Chairman of Eros International, the largest fully integrated film and Entertainment Company in India, has been instrumental in spearheading the growth of Eros International Group. Since the 1980's he has expanded the company's presence in the UK, USA, Europe, Middle East, Australia, Fiji, and other international markets. He is a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and also a board member of the University of California, Los Angeles Film School (UCLA). In 2010 Lulla and his family created the Eros Foundation to aid in children's education in the poorest regions throughout India.

"It is an honor for IFFLA to bestow its highest accolades to such distinguished executives of the entertainment community. They were selected for their vision, leadership, and unique contributions to the educational, business, and creative arenas not only related to Indian cinema, but the film community as a whole," says IFFLA Board member Noel De Souza. "In addition we are thrilled that three of Hollywood's most highly regarded talents join us for the 2012 Industry Seminar. We cannot wait for them to share their inspiring stories while enlightening and encouraging the fledgling filmmakers in our audience," adds De Souza.

Lulla commented, "The past few years we have witnessed an emerging popularity of Indian cinema outside of the Country. Eros is proud of its role in bringing this culture, its creativity, and energy to audiences worldwide. IFFLA has been a major component in elevating the presence of Indian cinema in the US, especially within the entertainment industry, and to be recognized by such a prestigious festival is truly an honor."

Michelle Satter is the founding director of the Sundance Institute's Feature Film Program. As part of the Leadership Team, Satter has been one of the chief architects of the Institute's programs since 1981. Through the Feature Film Program, a year-round program of Lab residencies, artist granting and the project support continuum, she has supported the ground-breaking and award-winning filmmakers Benh Zeitlin (BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD), Sean Durkin (MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE), Kimberly Peirce (BOYS DON'T CRY), John Cameron Mitchell (HEDWIG and the ANGRY INCH), Quentin Tarantino (RESERVOIR DOGS), Paul T. Anderson (HARD EIGHT) and Darren Aronofsky (REQUIEM FOR A DREAM), among many others. Satter was responsible for establishing the Institute's international initiatives in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. Most recently, Satter along with Alesia Weston developed Sundance Institute's multi-faceted collaboration with Mahindra, which includes the annual Sundance Institute Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award and the Mumbai Mantra/Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab in India. She has served on the Boards of the Independent Feature Project, MAISHA, and Equinoxe.

Alesia Weston leads the international work of Sundance Institute's year-round Feature Film Program. She oversees the Sundance/NHK Award, the Sundance Institute/Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award and selects international filmmakers for the Institute's Screenwriters and Directors Labs (Andrea Arnold with Red Road, Hany Abu Assad with Paradise Now and So Yong Kim with Treeless Mountain).

Under her leadership, the International program has worked to build infrastructure in other regions to support filmmakers locally. Through Sundance's Middle East Film Initiative, she's worked closely with the Royal Film Commission of Jordan to establish RAWI Middle East Screenwriters Lab, now in its 8th year. Additionally, she spearheaded and led the Sundance in Tel Aviv and Sundance in Istanbul Screenwriters Labs. Weston initiated and along with Michelle Satter, developed Sundance Institute's multi-faceted collaboration with Mahindra which just launched the first Mumbai Mantra/Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab in India.

She is part of the core team at Sundance working on Film Forward: Advancing Cultural dialogue, a partnership between the Institute and the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. She serves on the Advisory Board of TorinoFilmLab and the Jerusalem International Lab.

Filmmaker and journalist Ahmed Lateef will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's ceremony. Originally from India, he began his film career in California in 1951. Since the late sixties, Lateef has been a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Films Editor's Union (IATSE Local 776), and the Directors Guild of America.

To be presented at a Gala Luncheon today on Thursday, April 12, 2012, at the world famous House of Blues Los Angeles, the Awards will be presented by Teri Schwartz, Dean, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Noel De Souza, HFPA & SAG member, screenwriter Howard Rodman, and David White, National Director, Screen Actors Guild. Critically acclaimed composer/vocalist/double violinist Gingger Shankar will perform excerpts of the multi-media performance piece, "Himalaya Song" which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

IFFLA also announced this year's Industry Seminar "Aiming High: The Personal Journeys of Three Indian-American Industry Leaders". The panelists are Universal Television Production Head Bela Bajaria, and producers Sunil Perkash (SALT) and Adi Shankar (THE GREY). The seminar will be moderated by actor (Royal Pains, Friends with Benefits, The Namesake) and IFFLA board member Rupak Ginn.

SUNIL PERKASH is an independent producer whose credits include Disney's smash hit Enchanted (Executive Producer), which grossed 340 million worldwide; the supernatural thriller Pre-monition (Producer), starring Sandra Bullock and Julian McMahon, for Tri-Star Pictures; and the New Line Cinema romantic comedy Blast from the Past (Executive Producer), starring Brendan Fraser and Alicia Silverstone. He most recently produced the blockbuster SALT starring Angelina Jolie, which grossed 300 million worldwide. He is currently developing a sequel to Salt at Columbia pictures, as well as Timeless at Relativity Media with Phillip Noyce set to Direct and Liam Hemsworth to star.

BELA BAJARIA, a veteran network and cable television executive, was named Executive Vice President, Universal Television in August 2011. Bajaria, oversees creative programming for one of the country's largest and most successful television studios, which is responsible for such hit series as "30 Rock," "The Office," "Parks and Recreation," "House," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Parenthood." In addition, the studio produces such new series as "Smash," "Grimm," "Whitney," "Up All Night," "Bent" and "Best Friends Forever."

ADI SHANKAR, co-founder and co-chairman of boutique movie studio 1984 Private Defense Contractors, has quickly made a name for himself by producing a string of studio-level, filmmaker-driven action movies. These include last year's acclaimed Machine Gun Preacher, and the Liam Neeson-starrer The Grey, which opened number one at the US box office this past January. Shankar's upcoming 2012 releases include the long-awaited Judge Dredd reboot, Dredd, and Andrew Dominik's Cogan’s Trade, starring Brad Pitt.

The Industry Seminar will take place Sunday, April 15th, 11:30 a.m., at ArcLight Hollywood. For the uninformed, the Industry Leadership Awards first premiered at IFFLA in 2008. The Awards were created to recognize the achievements of industry executives who have had a substantial and personal impact on the creation and distribution of Indian themed content globally and have led the expansion of the entertainment and media industry in India. 

The First Imphal International Short Film Festival 2012 to open this Sunday

Slated to be the biggest event in North East India, the First Imphal International Short Film Festival 2012 is all scheduled to open its doors this Sunday April 15 at Rupmahal Theatre, Imphal, Manipur.

The edition that was proposed to happen in December 2011 had to be rescheduled due to 10th Manipur Legislative Assembly Election. Organized and promoted by “Legend Studio Manipur and Action for Social Advancement (ASA) Manipur” with the support of Film Forum Manipur. IISFF 2012 will witness great short films from around the world. More than 100 short films around the world will be screened and we will have few retrospect sections of well known filmmakers.

According to Mohen Naorem, the festival director, “Our mission to organize such festival is to encourage indie filmmakers and the budding talents to make meaningful cinema. Films pay a significant role to educate, inspire and promote the pertinent issues that confront the region. And Manipur is a culturally rich place on the North Eastern region of India, bordering Myanmar and one of the emerging markets for South East Asian nations through the Look East policy.”

He added: “The Festival will showcases the global cinema to a larger audience and also an opportunity to acquaint the region, its people and its glorious history. We will be organising another Film festival called "North East India Film Festival in 2012".” The organiser hopes that such festivals will give a chance to explore the hidden talents of the region and as well encourage participating filmmakers to enjoy the regional theme and look forward to issues which would be shared for a better future.”

A four day cultural event will mark this prestigious festival.  Outstanding 40  domestic films and 10 International films has been received for the screenings like Open Doors by Ashish Pandey, Brian's Gandhi by Ram J Saravanan, Maut Ka Kunwa by Sumant Bapurao Mali from Mumbai, 
LOC-A Playground by Atul Kumar Sharma from Mumbai, Bengali film Swapno Satyakam by Tomal Chakraborti, Tamil film Sathish Chandrasekaran B.E., MBA by Sathish Chandrasekaran, Malayalam film "Sabdarekha" by Nirmal S, Samvedanam by Methil Komalankutty from Dubai, Iranian film The Bare Foot Leader Zohreh Zamani.

These films will compete in 9 categories: Best Short Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Editor, Best music director, Three Special Mention. Eleven prizes are instituted which is the highest for any short film festival in the world. The Imphal Film Festival endeavors to present a program of films that will entertain, enlighten and educate the audience.

Mohen Naorem concludes: “We are dedicated to supporting evolving filmmakers by providing a forum to showcase their artistic vision. This is your festival, come and share your work with the audience having a rich cultural heritage of more than 5000 years.”

As the countdown begins, the Imphal Film Festival organising committee formally declared the shortlisted films that will be screened at the festival.

Shortlisted Indian Entries
  1. THE TIGERS, THEY’RE ALL DEAD  --- Surekha Sengupta
  2. KHULE DARWAAZE (OPEN DOORS)  --- Ashish Pandey
  3. MAA-E-RI –a lyrical conversation with Mother Nature  --- Parvez Khan
  4. GULCHERRY (FROLIC)  --- Rajesh Sarkar
  5. SWAPNA  BHANGUR      --- Rajeev Mishra
  6. BRIAN’S GANDHI   --- Ram J Saravanan
  7. 3 PORTRAITS OF MOTHER INDIA  --- Md. Feroz Qureshi
  8. HOPE  by Abhijit Purohit
  9. ITS OK  --- Sweta Puri
  10. KHWAAB --- Anadi Athaley
  11. COFFEE MERI JAAN  --- Gaurav Panjwami
  12. CHAPTER: LOVE --- Ashish Rampal & Samarth Garg
  13. MY MAMMA’S MILK  --- JayaPrakash P Koroth
  14. 100% SUGARFREE --- Amol Jadhav
  15. EKTI  CHOTO CHOBI (A SHORT FILM)  --- Bulbul Chakraborti
  17. KHARA KARODPATI --- Piyush Thakur
  18. MOBILE JOB --- Mohen Naorem
  19. KAMERA --- Nijo Jonson
  20. MAUT KA KUNWA --- Sumant Bapurao Mali
  21. SWAPNO SATYAKAM --- Tomal Chakraborti
  22. SATHISH CHANDRASEKARAN B.E., MBA --- Sathish Chandrasekaran
  23. SABDAREKHA ---Nirmal S.
  24. NISAPTHAM --- Hari Prasad M
  25. LAADAM --- Sandeep Pampally
  26. MUSIC OF THE BROOM --- Sajin Babu T.A.
  27. TAN --- Maibam Bankim
  28. THE JOURNEY --- Tharun Bhascker Dhassyam
  29. THE METHOD --- Tharun Bhascker Dhassyam
  30. FULLSTOP --- Vivek Muralidharan
  31. PAARAASAKTHI --- Aarthi Mangala J.M.
  32. VAAZHKAI --- R. Nandha Kumar
  33. THE FAKE'RS --- Ghanshyam Bhatt
  34. MRITYU ROG --- Partha Paul
  35. SWECHA --- Uday Gurrala   

Shortlisted International Entries
  1. THE CORTEGE – Spanish Film by Marina Seresesky
  2. DOLLS FACTORY – Spanish Film by Jainme Bartolome
  3. WHEN IT RAINS – Spanish Film by Liz Lobato
  4. IMAGINARY FRIEND PRACTICAL MANUAL –Spanish Film by Ciro Altabas
  6. SAMVEDANAM- Methil Komalankutty from Dubai
  7. POINT OF VIEW- Syed Raihan ul Islam from Bangladesh.
  8. VESTED LIFE -  Shomir Faruk from Bangladesh.
  9. CHARAK POOJA -  Shahuduzzaman
As most of films are on transit, due to delay in courier services, the organizing committee are awaiting for a few more films whose entries have already reached them before the scheduled deadline. The final list will be announced on 13th April 2012. The organizing committee has requested filmmakers whose films are not included in the initial list to wait for the final list. Meanwhile, they take this opportunity to invite one and all to the festival and ensure it is a grand success.

LA premier of Prashant’ Nair’s “Delhi in a Day” to be screened on 14th

After the prestigious screening of “Chittagong” by Bedabrata Pain yesterday, Prashant’ Nair’s “Delhi in a Day” is scheduled to be screened on Saturday 14th April. The film which was screened at the MAMI (Mumbai International Film Festival) in October and also at the Houston Indian Film Festival will now be screened at this prestigious IFFLA (International Film Festival of Los Angeles).

Directed by Prashant’ Nair, this film is about a typical, rich Delhi household which includes six domestic helpers, and how the arrival of a ‘foreign’ guest brings out the real human beings in this happy-go-lucky bunch. It is also about stereotypes and prejudices, not only in India but also about India. You find the gang amusing although it is difficult to connect with them on a personal level as there are so many characters. But you definitely fall in love with some of them, like Rohini, the vivacious maid, the wise and witty grandfather, and Jasper, the foreign visitor.

Though an Indian, Prashant Nair was extensively traveled and stayed mostly out of India during his growing up years. The film, Delhi In A Day, is his first brush with making a Hindi movie. Interestingly, he is not very well conversant with Hindi, yet when it came to film making, he has gone ahead and has made a film in that language. “In a way, its like coming to your roots” opines Prashant when asked at the MAMI festival what made him do a Hindi film. "Although I have lived in Paris and other parts of the world all my life, I have always been fascinated by India - its mysticism, tradition and culture. And I wanted to weave a story around this country. That is how the plot of Delhi In A Day germinated." He also spoke about his experiences of shooting the film in Delhi – the Nation’s Capital. “It was a memorable experience for me, and a lot of people asked me if Delhi could be captured in a day? My answer to them was - Certainly not! But, as I said, I have tried to show all I could,” said Prashant.

The film brings Jasper, a young idealistic Brit to Delhi who comes to find the 'real' India. Instead he is planted in the home of the uptight Ghambir family who fancy themselves the highest elite. A budding artist, Jasper is drawn to make a portrait of the beautiful Rohini, making her feel important and self-aware. But when Jasper's money goes missing, his sentiments and naiveté take a drastic turn. His questioning turns the entire fragility and balance of the home upside down as assumptions are made and fingers are pointed.

Though this is not a nonsensical comedy, its punches are amusing. Contrary to perception, Delhi In A Day is not a dark comedy but it does have a message: Who says you have to make cheesy films to make people laugh? This dark romantic comedy echoes the finest of a Jane Austin style understanding and humor of the class of politics in today’s India. The film won the Audience Choice Award at the Houston Indian Film Festival.

The film stars Lee Williams, Lillete Dubey, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Anjali Patil, Vidya Bhushan & Victor Bannerjee.  Its original music score by the brilliant Mathias Duplessy sets the mood just right. This film offers some beautiful shots and neat cinematography. And, finally, Prashant Nair has roped in some amazing talent from the National School of Drama and the performances are not disappointing.

Kalpana Pandit at IFFLA in Los Angeles to promote her latest film Jaanleva 555

Film Actress and House of Pandit CEO/ Producer Kalpana Pandit walked the prestigious red carpet at the 10th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) last evening to attend the world premiere of Dr. Bedabrata Pain's “Chittagong" on the glamorous opening night of the renowned film festival.

She also promoted her upcoming Hindi Feature Film Jaanleva 555 on the red carpet which will hit screens worldwide later this year. Directed by Sandeep Malani and produced by House of Pandit, this mystical romantic thriller set in the exotic jungle locales of India has the unique dedication of pledging a percentage of its profits to a critical medical cause in the rural hospitals of India. 

The film has 13 chartbusting musical numbers composed by seven fresh talents from India and America and five key dance numbers have been choreographed by Longinus Fernandes of "Slumdog Millionaire" fame. The film introduces a brand new leading man, supermodel Abrar Zahoor to the Hindi Film Industry. Jaanleva 555 also has American actor Cliff Janke, Akash Hora, Willy Manchanda, Ranjeet Jha, Mann Hora, Shona Chabra, Anant Vijay Joshi and Mohammed Vaseem in supporting roles.

Kalpana watched " Chittagong" in the presence of the august cast & crew of the film at the Arclight Hollywood and stated that intense, touching and spirited independent films such as these need to be brought to light worldwide and IFFLA is doing a marvellous job in that direction. New filmmakers from India are getting a globally highlighted platform through IFFLA to showcase their talent".   

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

India’s No. 1 english entertainment network now boasts of a reach to 42.5 million house-holds

Close on heels to closing distribution deals for BIG CBS Prime and Love, the BIG CBS Network which is the JV between Reliance Broadcast Network and CBS Studios International inks the distribution deal for the third channel BIG CBS Spark on Asia’s largest DTH provider - Dish TV. Positioned as the ultimate music destination, BIG CBS Spark offers the huge 12.5 million subscriber base of Dish TV, access to the best music mix from the international and Indian market spread across genres. 

BIG CBS Spark, targeted at the youth audiences and catering to their entertainment requirements is loaded with music and peppered with hit shows like the Cheaters, Maximum Exposure, Smash Cuts, Oblivious and Real TV. On Dish TV, it is available on channel number 449. 

This deal takes the total reach of the BIG CBS Channels to a strong 42.5 million house-holds making sure it reaches its international English entertainment content to its relevant target audiences in India. 

With excellent synergies coming into play, the deal helps both businesses benefit with the digitization reform which is in the anvil.

Speaking on the development, Salil Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer, Dish TV, said, “Dish TV being the pioneer and market leader in DTH industry has now the bouquet of Big CBS channels for all its valuable customers. We are proud to extend our partnership to the entire BIG CBS Bouquet – BIG CBS Prime, Spark and Love to our 12.5 million subscribers; Dish TV endeavors to bring entertainment at par best in terms of quality content, we hope that our alliance will mutually benefit each other.”

Speaking on the alliance, Vishal Rally, Business Head, BIG CBS Networks said, “We are happy to have the BIG CBS Channel Network on Dish TV. This is part of our continued endeavor to reach the world-class content from India’s No. 1 English Entertainment Network - BIG CBS’s stable to audiences seeking English entertainment in India.”

This alliance complements Reliance Broadcast Networks’ recent campaign called ‘Choose Your Set-Top-Box Wisely’, designed to increase awareness and empower consumers with adequate information to make the right choice while choosing their set top boxes, while parallely enabling operators to build their brand equity. Reliance Broadcast Network has a robust well crafted 7 channel and is ready to maximize from the digital wave.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bedabrata Pain's "Chittagong" to open Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles

With what promises to be its most ambitious slate yet, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles has announced its impressive 2012 lineup. 33 features, documentaries, and short films will be screened from filmmakers throughout the world including Canada, Italy, India, Germany, South Africa, UK, and the U.S. Among the offerings are three world premieres, nine U.S. premieres and twelve Los Angeles premieres. This is a banner year for the festival as it celebrates its 10th anniversary, running April 10-15 at ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles, the home of IFFLA since its very first year.

"We look back on our first decade with a sense of exhilaration and pride. From the very beginning, our mission was to establish a film festival that would not only pave the way for a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture in the U.S., but also serve as the portal between the two largest entertainment industries in the world-- the U.S. and India. Today, IFFLA stands as the barometer of Indian cinema worldwide and has become the gateway to India in Hollywood. I look forward to the next decade with zeal and I anticipate what IFFLA's board and staff will be able to achieve as the dialogue between these two film industries continues to flourish and content is being created," Christina Marouda, IFFLA's founder stated.

IFFLA programmer Stacey Marbrey noted, "now that we are in the centennial of Indian cinema, we have found that the medium has reached a global crossroad. From traditional to masala to neo-realism, this year IFFLA has seen an amazing breadth of submissions. We painstakingly choose films that represent the full spectrum of the diaspora and are very excited to introduce artists whose voices will be heard for years to come."

Opening and closing night red-carpet galas showcase the first feature works of two directors, Bedabrata Pain and Prashant Bhargava. Opening night is the world premiere of Bedabrata Pain's drama "Chittagong" and stars award-winning actor Manoj Bajpayee The film is set against the backdrop of 1930's British-occupied Chittagong on the brink of a youth led revolution, and tells the story of 14-year-old Jhunka who comes of age as he is faced with the ultimate questions of sacrifice, love, and the quest for true freedom.

Closing night's festivities will begin with the screening of director Prashant Bhargava's richly woven award-winning drama Patang that tells the story of Delhi businessman Jayesh and his daughter as they journey back to his childhood home in Ahmedabad for a family reunion during India's largest kite festival. Under the kaleidoscope of colorful kite-filled skies, a Pandora's box of family drama and past conflict is exposed. Patang has become a festival favorite playing to sold-out audiences worldwide and is making its Los Angeles premiere at IFFLA.

Among the eight feature films screening will be India's 2011 official submission in the Oscar™ foreign language category, Salim Ahmed's poetic drama Adaminte Makan Abu (Abu, Son of Adam). US premieres include Rajan Khosa's critically acclaimed Gattu which won a special mention this year at the 62nd Berlinale for capturing the ironies, the complexities and the vitality of India, and Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni's inspirational satire Deool (The Temple).
Documentaries include the world premiere of Ruchika Muchhala and Faiza Khan's fascinating look into Indian society with The Great Indian Marriage Bazaar and the US premiere of Raffaele Brunetti's Mother India which intertwines four distinct stories about India's booming fertility industry. Back by popular demand are two shorts programs consisting of 13 films, including the world premiere of Anirban Roy's Aaspordha (Audacity).

In honor of its 10th year, the festival is bringing back three of its past award winners as part of a 10th Anniversary Retrospective. Throughout 2011 the festival asked the public to vote online for their favorite film from the past decade. The films that received the most votes and selected by the public to be screened in the retrospective are past Jury Award winners for Best Narrative Feature Udaan (2011) and Black Friday (2005) as well as Audience Choice Award winner for Best Feature Loins of Punjab Presents (2008).

Also returning is the crowd pleasing Bollywood by Night sidebar which includes the highly anticipated Agent Vinod directed by Sriram Raghavan and starring Bollywood superstars Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor and Abhinay Deo's Delhi Belly produced by acclaimed Indian actor/director/producer Aamir Khan.

Wells Fargo returns for the seventh year as one of the fest's main sponsors and this year IFFLA welcomes new corporate sponsor Turkish Airlines.

Now in its 10th year, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) is a nonprofit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films, honoring entertainment industry business executives and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora. For more information:

ArcLight Cinemas, created by Pacific Theatres, represents an evolution in the movie going experience. ArcLight Cinemas with locations in Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, Pasadena and El Segundo offers an unprecedented combination of technology, amenities, comfort, and customer service. Facilities include the historic Cinerama Dome (only at the Hollywood location) and state-of-the-art "black box" auditoriums as well as a cafß bar and a cinema-focused gift shop. Tickets can be purchased online without a fee and printed at home and at the theaters' automated ticketing kiosks. For more information about ArcLight visit

People freaking out on Teri Meri Kahaani trailer

The trailer of this Shahid-Priyanka starrer Teri Meri Kahaani has become the talked about subject as soon as it was released. We bring the same to you all. This Shahid-Priyanka starrer is seen in three different avatars over three time periods - 1910, 1960 & 2012. Lets hope after the debacle of Mausam, this film brings in a fresh weather for Shahid.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

FTII signs MoUs for foreign exchange programmes

The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has signed MoUs with leading film schools in Europe, that will facilitate a greater number of student and faculty exchange programmes in the coming months. "Efforts are on to streamline exchange programmes and research-based activities for our students. We will also foresee a larger number of foreign students visiting FTII throughout the year," said Sarah Cyriac, coordinator of outreach and research at FTII.

MoUs with the prestigious EIC TV or National Film and Television school, Cuba and FAMU in Prague have already come through. "These are two upcoming opportunities wherein these film institutes have agreed to accept faculty and students for an exchange programme from FTII in the latter half of this year," Cyriac said.

"Currently, 12 MoUs are active with FTII and four new were added recently to the list. We hope to add ten new MoUs this year. These MoUs are meant to help us and partner institutes fill academic gaps in our respective curricula and effect content contributions and academic practices, too," Cyriac said.

A MoU with Art University College of Bournemouth in UK will be signed very soon. Also, a MoU signed with Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia, late last month will provide FTII access to this institute's content.

"QUT is an institute devoted to modern media practices. So the exchange programmes with them will help FTII give a boost to areas like new media, research and animation. We also have access to all their content and use it at FTII, especially for developing our foundation course," she added.

The exchange programmes will cover students from courses like cinematography, sound, editing, direction, acting, art direction and production design, scriptwriting, animation, film appreciation and research. Funds are being worked out for these programmes. FTII chairman, Saeed Mirza and director, DJ Narain, recently met with members from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, for the very purpose.

"We have requested a budget of around Rs 7 to 8 crores for the next five years for FTII's outreach, innovation and research-based programmes. The chairman and I will be attending the Cilect Congress, a conference of worldwide cinema institutions, in Cape Town late-April, to network with potential partners for our exchange programmes," Narain said.

In early February, the FTII faculty met together and developed a list of 50 new potential partners in the form of film institutions worldwide, to partner with. "The FTII had conducted exchange programmes based on MoUs in the past, but on an ad hoc basis. Now, we have identified some of the best film schools and universities from all over the world for exchanges and efforts are on to pursue MoUs with them," Narain said.

Research-based exchanges are also on the cards. A research-based MoU with the University of Tubingen, Germany will be signed by the FTII sometime this September. "This will facilitate faculty and student exchanges for research-based methodology. In the absence of full-fledged research facilities at FTII, we receive proposals from various institutes who have students interested in spending time in India doing film-related research. FTII provides them this base to do that research and also nominates supervisors for them," Cyriac said.