5 items from 2016
From renowned producer Ajay Devgn to Oscar-winner Director of Photography Russell Carpenter, Leena Yadav’s multi-award winning ‘Parched’ boasts of an impressive line-up of the biggest names not just in Bollywood but Hollywood too. Now with the multi-award winning film set to storm theatres here, the men behind the film’s worldwide success talk about their association with it.
B-Town’s ace star and the film’s producer Ajay Devgn says, “In Parched the four women face their own battles, but the reality is that it’s not their struggle alone. We all know women and men like them in our real lives. Parched had set out to tell the story of every such individual and I’m thrilled and proud of its beautiful journey – reaching out to people across strata and ages. Films like these need to be made and I’m proud of being a part of Parched. »
- Press Releases
Written & Directed by Leena Yadav
Long after Parched played out its poignant plot, I kept thinking about the four women at the forefront of Leena Yadav’s sparkling saga of patriarchal tyranny. The enduring grief and the brief bouts of buoyancy that Rani (Tannishtha Chatterjee), Lajjo (Radhika Apte), Bijlee (Surveen Chawla) and Janaki (Lehar Khan) carry with themselves, lingers in our hearts and minds long after the last frame of Leena’s luminous work dies down.
The film is shot with such inescapable beauty by Russell Carpenter (who moves with fluent fecundity from the soggy sappiness of Titanic to the parched desertscape of this walloping work on women’s empowerment) that you fear for the inner lives of the characters. Would their emotional existence be able to withstand the sheer extraneous splendor of the storytelling?
The answer, my friend, is blowing passionately in the winds. »
- Subhash K Jha
Leena Yadav’s Parched, produced by Ajay Devgn, will release on Sept 23rd, 2016. The film will release in India after a successful release in seven countries including France, Belgium, Netherlands, USA, Mexico, Spain and Colombia.
Ajay Devgn, Producer, says: “‘Parched’ is about the small battles that woman must fight to win the big war. Films like ‘Parched’ need to be made, seen, and discussed. Then maybe along the way we can correct some of the many wrongs that women have suffered since eternity.” Parched is about a rural Indian village called Ujhaas, where three ordinary women begin to break free from century-old traditions that have kept them locked in servitude.
Parched is one of the most highly awarded film internationally in recent times with almost 18 awards including the first ever ‘Impact Award’ at Stockholm International Film Festival. Other awards include – Audience Award (Best Film) and Jury Award (Best Actress for »
- Press Releases
Gravitas has set an Oct. 7 date for release in theaters and on demand. Benjamin Cox is directing from his own script.
Tveit portrays a man who quits his job and breaks up with his girlfriend (Abby Elliott) on the same day, but begins to wonder if he’s made a mistake after a quick dip in the dark waters of the New York City dating pool. With no job and no love, he’s forced to go on a journey of self-discovery so intense that he begins to suffer from surreal hallucinations, flashbacks and fantasies.
“We set out to make a smart, »
- Dave McNary
Leena Yadav is finally making the film she wants to. The Hindi filmmaker’s “Parched” opens June 17 in select theaters in the Bay Area, L.A., and New York through Wolfe Releasing, which will also release it on home entertainment platforms later this summer after the theatrical run.
Starring Tannishtha Chatterjee, Surveen Chawla, and Radhika Apte the film, with a screenplay by Yadav, revolves around three women in a remote village who break free from century-old traditions that have kept them locked in servitude.
“It started because I wanted to make ‘Sex in the Village.’ Tannishtha, who plays Rani in the film, and I had been planning on doing something together,” Yadav said. Chatterjee told Yadav about the women she met while on location shooting “Road Movie” and “Jal.” They were curious about her sex life. “I told her, ‘We think we are progressive, but we have so many layers when we talk about sex.’ ”
After writing her script she sent it out to filmmaker friends across the world who responded with their own stories rather than critiques. “That’s when we realized, ‘Let’s make a really good film that we can take across the world.’ ”
But finding funding was close to impossible, she said. “I have no heroes, Tannishtha is not well known, not in India. Right now Radhika is coming up.”
So her husband, cinematographer Aseem Bajaj, said he would be the producer and help get her film made. “And he made the most difficult promise,” she said.
Before “Parched,” Yadav had written and directed 2005’s “Shabd” and 2010’s “Teen Patti” and directed a telepic. But with Bollywood bold-faced name Ajay Devgn offering seed money to the project they were able to find two investors who helped put up some money, while the couple invested everything they had.
The next challenge was to find a village for the location shoot. This turned out to be pretty difficult as village leaders didn’t want the filmmakers there. Yadav said she was told, “Our women will get corrupt looking at you.” Finally they found a village in Rajasthan that was deserted for all but two months of the year. About 60% of the huts were dilapidated, but the production fixed them up so the shoots could proceed.
“Foreigners come and click much more interesting photos of India,” Yadav said. “I told Russell, ‘I want to celebrate the beauty of these women. I’m not making a dark, depressing film.’ ”
The shoot, which began in January 2014, took a while as they had to stop and start, depending on funding. But Yadav is pleased with the end result. “Parched” played at the Toronto festival last fall and has been on the film festival circuit since. It will open the London Indian Film Festival in October.
Seville Intl. has sold the film in several territories including France, where it sold more than 120,00 tickets, Benelux, Mexico, Russia, and Colombia. The film has not yet opened in India, but she is in talks with distributors and hopes something will work out so it can open in July or August.
“Once in a lifetime I had to do something like this, but it’s very difficult,” Yadav said. “I can only do this again after five or 10 years.”
- Shalini Dore
5 items from 2016
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