Thursday, September 18, 2014

20 must watch movies at 5th Jagran Film Festival, Mumbai

The 5th edition of Jagran Film Festival has become bigger and better. Travelling to 16 cities across 7 states, the festival has now reached to Mumbai. To be held from 22nd September, 2014 to 28th September, 2014 at PVR Andheri and Cinemax Versova, JFF is the country’s only travelling film festival that covers the largest geographical area.

JFF stands committed to the cause of spreading culture of cinema appreciation to audiences across India.The 5th Jagran Film Festival, Mumbai 2014, showcases several national and international short and feature films across genres.

While all these films are best in their respective genres, the festival has shortlisted the top 20 highly recommended films to look forward:

FAREWELL TO THE MOON directed by Dick Tuinder : The film, which premièred at the Rotterdam Film Festival, is an engaging delve into a much derided era – bright swirling wallpaper, men with beards, women in pant suits etc – largely observed by 12 year-old Duch (Ward Jansen), who watches his family falling apart during the long hot summer of 1972.

BREAK LOOSE (Russian) directed by Aleksey Uchital: Is an explosive crime drama about the violent rivalry that erupts when an elite police operative falls for a gangster’s moll.

THE GAMBLER (Lithuania) directed by Ignas Jonynas: The Gambler is a story about a team of emergency medics who develop a highly successful and lucrative game involving betting on when patients are going to die, and basing the odds on complex and arcane analyses of the medical information to which they have access.

SUPERNOVA (Dutch) Directed by Tamar van den Dop:  The film is an adaptation of the Flemish novel ‘Mijnvaderzegtdatwijlevens redden’ by Do van Ranst. Supernova tells about a family that lives in a sharp turn, right before a half-finished bridge. It is a desolate area where there is nothing to do, apart from some motorists crashing into the house. Meis is 15, struggling with existence, sexuality and dreams and aspiring to a grand and stirring life, but all that happens is the passing of the time.

DEATH & TANYA (Japanese): directed by Taishi Shiode: Grim reapers become human when they cry, but when one takes over a human body, he encounters a woman who causes all sorts of disasters. This grim reaper only became human to eat hamburgers. It creates a new kind of cinematic groove that takes its story both humorously and seriously, and moves at a fast pace with one incident quickly following another.

COWBOYS (Croatian) directed by Tomislav Mrsic: Cowboys is about theatre director Sasha returns from the big city to his home town where he is offered to re-start the neglected local theatre. The problem is that the city does not have any actors. After they advertise auditions for a new show, five very interesting candidates show up.  Their only common ground in the field of culture is the Western genre – so the director and his new ensemble decide to stage a Western.

A PATRIOTIC MAN (Finnish) directed by Arto Halonen: The film is based on true events from the 1970’s and already covered by Halonen in his documentary When Heroes Lie (2011). In the 1970’s the Finnish national ski team included a person who, due to his exceptional blood-type, functioned as a living blood supply.

BABERS TALE (Filipino) directed by Jun Robles Lana: Set in a remote province at the onset of Martial law in the early 1970s, the story revolves around the free-spirited and newly widowed Marilou who inherits their town’s only barbershop from her husband - a business that has been passed down by generations of men in her husband’s family. Having no other means to support herself, she musters the courage to run the barbershop, a traditionally male trade.

TO KILL A MAN (Spanish) directed by Alejandro Fernandez: A story of a family man, tormented by neighbourhood thugs, who resorts to unseemly measures when the authorities that fail him. A grand jury prizewinner at Sundance, this hard-edged pic should travel in Spanish-speaking markets, though a muted approach to violent subject matter will limit its arthouse-crossover potential.

TAKAO DANCER (Mandarin) directed by Wenshing Ho, Ouchal Hwang: Yi, Chi and Kong have been inseparable since childhood. Chi and Kong promise to bring Yi sunken treasure from a shipwreck, but find themselves trapped under water. Yearning for a new life in the big city, Kong devises a plan involving all of them――to rob his father for the cash required for their escape.  Again, the plan goes awry. Nine years later finds Kong and Yi established in the big city, soon to be married. Chi, a fugitive since the botched theft, re-emerges on their wedding day.

BARBARIANS (Serbia) directed by Ivan Ikic: Luka, a troubled teenager on the verge of adulthood, lives in Mladenovac, a ruined ex-industrial town on the brinks of Belgrade, where, with his best friend Flash, he is a leader of local football club fans. During an unannounced visit by the social worker, Luka is faced with a family secret that his father, who was believed to have disappeared in Kosovo conflicts, is in fact alive and asking for him. Torn between family issues, the pressure of his ongoing parole and affection to a girl he can't have, Luka looses his temper and breaks the leg of the local club's top player. He is now under pursuit from people who seek revenge because of their ruined investment and even friends from his group take distance.

THE MAN OF THE CROWD (Portuguese) directed by Marcelo Gomez: The Man of the Crowd is a 2013 Brazilian drama film directed by Marcelo Gomes based on the short story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. It was entirely shot in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais with a budget of R$1.8 million

BAD HAIR (Spanish) directed by Mariana Rondon: Junior is nine years old and has "bad hair." He wants to straighten his hair for his yearbook picture so he can look like a fashionable pop singer. This elicits a tidal wave of homophonic panic in his hard-working mother, who finds it increasingly difficult to tolerate Junior’s fixation with his looks. The more he tries to look sharp to make his mother love him, the more she rejects him. Eventually, he is cornered, faced with a painful decision.
REVIVAL (Czech Republic) directed by Alice Nellis: Four mates, four stories and four different reasons to revive a band long extinct – money, nostalgia for lost fame, the need to help a friend, and fear of infirmity, illness and death.

GRAND ILLUSION (La Grande Illusion) directed by Jean Renoir: The story concerns class relationships among a small group of French officers who are prisoners of war during World War I and are plotting an escape. The perspective of the film is generously humanistic to its characters of various nationalities. It is regarded by critics and film historians as one of the masterpieces of French cinema and among the greatest films ever made.

LA FRANCE directed by Serge Bozon: In France in the darkest days of the Great War Camille receives an alarming letter from her soldier boyfriend. Disguising herself as a man she sets off to try and find him. As she lives near the Western Front she hooks up with a passing group of French soldiers without too much trouble. But there's something a bit odd about these stragglers, and it's not just their habit of bursting into song at every opportunity.

JULES and JIM (Jules et Jim) directed by François Truffaut: During the First World War, Camille, a young woman whose husband is away fighting at the front, receives a short letter of break-up from him. Distraught, she decides to join him, but is driven back by the rule of the time which forbids women to move around alone. She has no other recourse than to dress herself up as a man so as to be able to take to the road on foot.

DO BIGHA ZAMEEN directed by Bimal Roy: A small Bengali landowner and his young son are in danger when their two-acre farmland where they live is in danger of being taken over by a local zamindar (feudal lord) for failure to pay for mounting debits. They move to Calcutta where the father tries making a living as a rickshaw puller while his wife joins him but falls ill which threatens everything they have going to try to save their ancestorial home.

KERELA VERMA PAZHASSI RAJA directed by Hariharan: Pazhassi Raja is a monumental film, one that will be treasured for years to come. It is a gutsy and outstanding film from the masters, a movie that goes beyond the message. Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja narrates a truly fascinating epoch in India's history. It's a film that inspires us to be grateful for all those who gave their lives to make our country free.

BANDINI directed by Bimal Roy: During the British Raj of the 1930s, a prison-doctor falls in love with a convict who eventually reveals the story of her past and her connection to a freedom fighter. The film is based on a Bengali novel Tamasi by Jarasandha (Charu chandra Chakrabarti), a former jail superintendent who spent much of his career as a jailor in Northern Bengal, and wrote many fictional versions of his experiences.

Registration Details: (Entry to the festival is on First Come First Serve Basis)
1. PVR Cinemas, Citi Mall, Survey No. 41, Andheri Link Road, Andheri (West), Mumbai 53
2. Cinemax, Infiniti Mall, New Link Road, Versova, Andheri (West), Mumbai 53
Date: 22nd September’2014 to 28th September’2014

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