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‘Hindu Talibans of today are vociferous, liberal voice drowned’: Director Aparna Sen

“When I started making films there was a great sense of joy and there was no limit to creativity, today there is a sense of fear,” was how Aparna Sen described the mood in the nation today.

The actor-turned-director was at Nila Theatre in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday to deliver the G Aravindan Memorial Lecture.

Speaking of G Aravindan, Aparna said the unusual structure of his films and the daring to depart from conventional filmmaking made him a director who grew with time.
See full article at The News Minute »

Sgiff: Movie Legend Waheeda Rehman Lauds Contemporary Indian Cinema

Sgiff: Movie Legend Waheeda Rehman Lauds Contemporary Indian Cinema
Waheeda Rehman, the 79-year-old grande dame of Indian cinema who has worked with most of the legendary filmmakers of her country during her 62-year career is very complimentary about the kind of films being made today.

“All kinds of stories are being today,” Rehman said. “Back in the day, films used to be formulaic. There was a hero, heroine and a villain, and there would be a cabaret number thrown in for good measure. I got very bored and began looking for different roles.”

Rehman was speaking at an In Conversation event for “The Song of Scorpions” that showed as a special presentation at the Singapore International Film Festival on Friday. Other speakers included director Anup Singh and producers Shahaf Peled and Saskia Vischer.

The roles Rehman chose were in films that are considered classics in the annals of Indian cinema. She worked with Guru Dutt in “Pyaasa” (1957) and “Kaagaz Ke Phool” (1959), Satyajit Ray in “Abhijaan” (1962), Basu Bhattacharya
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Aparna Sen on her secret appearance in Konkana’s directorial debut

Aparna Sen on her secret appearance in Konkana’s directorial debut
Konkona Sen Sharma’s A Death In The Gunj is about secrets and whispers that hover over our lives and lies that are dormant in the family history. And one family secret that Konkona and her distinguished mother filmmaker Aparna Sen share, is that Aparna has made a quiet non-visible guest appearance in her daughter’s directorial debut. That’s right. Aparna Sen is in Konkona’s much-lauded ARead More

The post Aparna Sen on her secret appearance in Konkana’s directorial debut appeared first on Bollywood Hungama.
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Women in Cannes

Women in Cannes
Anna Serner, Filminstitutet. Foto: Fredrik Sandberg/ScanpixAnna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute (Sfi) has been leading the way for gender equality on a global scale for at least the past five years and has become a sort of godmother to all the woman striving and thriving in Cannes.

She not only encouraged the collection of statistics of women filmmakers in Sweden and abroad which could then be used to calculate public funding to create parity but as been the preeminent global lobbyist. In 2016, 64% of the Sfi’s production funding when to female directors which means that from 2013–2016, Sfi funding was 50% female and 50% male. In 2017 the Sfi funding is expecte to be 40% for female directors.

50/50 by 2020 — Global Reach was held in Cannes for the second year, hosted by Sfi, Wift Nordic and the Marche and included talk with such filmmakers a Agnieszka Holland and Jessica Hausner, a presentation by
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

How Female Filmmakers Are Transforming Indian Cinema

How Female Filmmakers Are Transforming Indian Cinema
As women directors and executives in Hollywood continue the fight for fair representation in the film business, female filmmakers a world away in India are waging a similar campaign in the face of their own country’s deeply entrenched patriarchy.

Across the wildly diverse landscape of Indian cinema — spanning countless genres and nearly a dozen languages — women filmmakers are challenging the status quo, be it at the art house, regional cinema or from within mainstream Bollywood.

Indian filmmaking history, of course, has numerous examples of standout female directors, such as veterans Aparna Sen (1981’s 36 Chowringhee Lane) and Sai...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Cannes: 10 Indian Filmmakers That Should Be on the Festival’s Radar

Cannes: 10 Indian Filmmakers That Should Be on the Festival’s Radar
When the Cannes Film Festival unveiled its 2017 Official Selection, the lack of a single title by an Indian director marked the second year running that the biggest film industry in the world has been unrepresented in the main lineup (the last Indian movie in the Official Selection was Neeraj Ghaywan’s “Masaan” in 2015’s Un Certain Regard section).

Indian cinema has never been a complete non-entity at Cannes; ever since Chetan Anand won top honors with “Neecha Nagar” at the inaugural festival in 1946, Indian filmmakers have enjoyed some degree of exposure at Cannes, in or out of competition. In the last decade alone, screenings have included features and shorts from close to 30 Indian filmmakers, including Vikramaditya Motwani, who wowed audiences with “Udaan”; Ritesh Batra with his Grand Golden Rail-winning “The Lunchbox”; and Anurag Kashyap, whose “Ugly,” “Gangs of Wasseypur” and “Raman Raghav 2.0” all opened to applause at various Directors’ Fortnights.
See full article at Indiewire »

“Shabana Azmi’s Dolon In Sonata Will Stay With You For A Very Long Time” – Subhash K Jha Review

Sonata

Starring Shabana Azmi, Aparna Sen, Lilette Dubey

Directed by Aparna Sen

Except for one of the women landing up with a black eye and another making a shocking announcement at the end of this enchanting chamber piece—a sort of Beethoven for the sexually impaired—nothing really ‘happens’ in the 90-minute celluloid discourse on post-menopausal sexuality and other related topics on how to be a woman past her prime, without guilt and the accompanying crimes.

A lot of the recriminations and remonstrations that are thrown back and forth between Shabana Azmi and Aparna Sen are selfconsciously stagey, like two people, two women, who have been so close to one another for such a long time that they can afford to ‘act’ in front of one another without the risk of being misconstrued or causing permanent damage to their mutual relationship.

The fact that Shabana and Aparna have been friends
See full article at Bollyspice »

Toronto Film Review: ‘A Death in the Gunj’

Toronto Film Review: ‘A Death in the Gunj’
Shot in the once utopian, now decaying Anglo-Indian community of McCluskiegunj, brittle, late 1970s-set “A Death in the Gunj” tells the story of a sensitive university student unraveling while on a week-long vacation with a crowd of cocksure relatives and family friends. The indie drama is perhaps of greatest interest as the feature writing-directing debut of actress Konkona Sensharma (“Mr. and Mrs. Iyer,” “Omkara,” “Life in a Metro”), daughter of the revered actress-writer-director Aparna Sen, and will resonate most with locals and Indian expats who can appreciate the nuances related to class and family position that outsiders might not catch. After opening the Mumbai fest in October, “Gunj” should segue to further fest play.

Making the eight-hour drive from “Cal” — short for Calcutta — to the gracious home of Auntie (Tanuja Mukherjee) and Uncle (Om Puri) in the Gunj in Bihar province are their controlling son Nandu (Gulshan Devaiah), his attractive
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Shabana Azmi to sing for Aparna Sens Sonata

Shabana Azmi to sing for Aparna Sens Sonata
While it is not new for a veteran like Shabana Azmi to follow the path of unconventional and parallel cinema, the actress has decided to go out-of-the-box yet again for Aparna Sen's Sonata. Shabana will be singing two Rabindranath Tagore classics for the upcoming film.

Shabana Azmi will be reviving the songs 'Aaji jharer raate' and 'Sokhi andhare' for the film. Revealing that she was terrified about it, she was all praises for her hubby and renowned poet and writer Javed Akhtar as well as her friend and filmmaker Aparna Sen whom she fondly addresses as Rina for encouraging her to sing. In fact, Shabana also expressed her gratitude towards her coach Sharoni Sen who helped her get the nuances right whilst singing the classics. Also mentioning about the role she plays in Sonata, the actress added that her character Dolon is funny, warm, demonstrative and volatile.

Based on Mahesh Eklunchwar's play Sonata,
See full article at BollywoodHungama »

Konkona Sen Sharma: “It’s a great honour for A Death in the Gunj to be chosen for Tiff”

Piers Handling, CEO and Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, announced the first round of titles premiering in the Galas and Special Presentations programmes of the 41st Toronto International Film Festival. Tucked in amongst all the announcements was the news that the film A Death in the Gunj, the directorial debut of Konkona Sen Sharma (daughter of acclaimed Bengali actor/writer/director Aparna Sen, and a fine actress in her own right), would be having its World Premiere at this year’s festival.

Sen Sharma describes her film as “… a human drama, a story of a family from Kolkata visiting retired parents settled in McCluskiegunj over a span of seven days.” She added that the film “revolves around the character Shyamal Chatterjee (Vikrant Massey), known as Shutu, a shy student who uses a road trip to the old
See full article at Bollyspice »

Shekhar Kapur, Women Pioneers, and cool indie films to feature at The London Indian Film Festival schedule at BFI Southbank

Europe’s Largest South Asian Film Event, the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival, now into year seven, returns to London, from 14 – 24 July and we can’t wait! We have a sneak peek into what will be playing at BFI Southbank.

The full line up of the festival, which will be announced in June promises a schedule of some of the most prestigious and audacious new independent films from South Asia, and if the BFI Southbank schedule is anything to go by, this year, the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival will certainly live up to its reputation of showcasing the most cutting edge films from across the Indian subcontinent.

The meticulously curated sessions with BFI Southbank include some spectacular talks by top talent including South Indian and Bollywood superstar Kamal Haasan, who gives a rare Screen Talk, and Director Shekhar Kapur, most famous for his multiple top tier award winning “Elizabeth” films,
See full article at Bollyspice »

The New York Indian Film Festival announces full lineup for the 16th Annual Film Festival

The New York Indian Film Festival (Nyiff) announced the full lineup last night for their 16th year of celebrating independent, art house, alternate, and diaspora films from/about/connected to the Indian subcontinent (May 7 – May 14). Dedicated to bringing these films to a New York audience, the festival will feature 40 screenings (35 narrative, 5 documentary) –all seen for the first time in New York City. In addition, the festival will also feature five programs of short films.

The festival highlights various cinemas of India’s different regions. All the films are subtitled in English and some of the languages this year include Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telegu, Assamese, Haryanavi and Urdu. This year’s festival will feature a couple of sidebars –Nfdc restored first films of filmmakers and a three-generations sidebar, films of Bimal Roy, Basu Bhattacharya and Aditya Bhattacharya.

The festival’s film lineup includes 2016 National Award winners A Far Afternoon,
See full article at Bollyspice »

Kalpana Lajmi is seriously ailing and forgotten by her fraternity

She was the queen of all she surveyed. Kalpana Lajmi was the director to watch out for, the most promising female director since Aparna Sen, when Ek Pal and then Rudaali stormed the festivals and even made a neat profit. Today, at 62, Kalpana is isolated and in desperate need of financial aid for a serious kidney ailment. Kalpana, who used up all her savings to look after her mentor and companion Bhupen Hazarika in his dying days, is isolated and all but forgotten. Shockingly, the bio-pic on slain actress Priya Rajvansh which Kalpana was supposed to direct, has quietly passed on to another director. A sure sign that the film industry has forgotten her. In this hour of need, only a few close friends Neena Gupta, Ila Arun and Soni Razdan are there by Kalpana's side. In fact, Soni, we came to know, is trying to organize a regular fund
See full article at BollywoodHungama »

Manoj Bajpayee’s Depiction Of Human Desolation in ‘Aligarh’ Is The Best Since Jennifer Kapoor In ’36 Chowringhee Lane’

In the acutely thought-provoking Aligarh, which is about a homosexual man’s right to privacy, Manoj Bajpayee, playing the disgraced professor Srinivas Ramchandra Siras, sits alone in his dingy one-bedroom professor’s quarter, with a drink in hand and a Lata Mangeshkar song by his side.

In the semi-darkness, in a room lit by dim hope, Srinivas listens to the Melody Queen’s ‘Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjha Pyaar Ke Qaabil Mujhe’, that timeless Madan Mohan composition from the film Anpadh. The song plays on a rickety portable sound machine. But its sound resonates across the professor’s silent universe, like a melodic meteor cutting through a sky of solitude.

It’s a life-defining moment. Director Hansal Mehta holds the unflinchingly intimate camera (Satya Nagpaul’s lensing is lucid, leisurely and lingering) with ruthless resilience on his protagonist Manoj Bajpai’s face. For a good 5-7 minutes we see Bajpai
See full article at Bollyspice »

After Wazir Bejoy Nambiars next a web series for Eros

After Wazir Bejoy Nambiars next a web series for Eros
Wazir has opened to a heartening response and its director Bejoy Nambiar is very happy. The reviews have been mixed but Bejoy is unperturbed. "That's how it has always been with my films. I am told the box office numbers are good. And that's what counts."

Just before Wazir released Bejoy married his steady girlfriend Sheetal Menon.

And life couldn't look any better for this director of dark urban tales. Interestingly Sheetal figured in the cast of Bejoy's first two films Shaitaan and David but not in Wazir. "That's because she got busy with wedding plans," says the newly-married filmmaker who has already moved on to his new project.

"It's web-series for ErosNow. There will be 12 short films, all unrelated, but each with a spin at the end," reveals Bejoy who has also done an hour-long film in and Indo-Pak omnibus produced by Shiija Kejriwal on behalf of the Zee channel.
See full article at BollywoodHungama »

Nikkhil Advani produces and directs his 6th film Guddu Engiineer

Noted Bollywood personality, Nikkhil Advani is currently shooting for his upcoming film Guddu Engiineer in the beautiful locales of Varanasi at the Ganga River. Presented by Emmay Entertainment, Guddu Engiineer is a short film marking Nikkhil Advani’s 6th movie as a producer. The director revealed, “The film is part of a project in which five directors from India and Pakistan are making short films. Among the Indian directors, there’s Tigmanshu Dhulia, Aparna Sen, Ketan Mehta and Bejoy Nambiar apart from me.”

Guddu Engiineer will connect with the masses unlike what directors have been doing today. He said, “We think that our world begins and ends in Mumbai. The western influence on Hindi film industry has led to a wide gap between the filmmakers and masses. We are not able to give them films like ‘Purab Aur Paschim’. Today films for the masses are being made out of laziness.
See full article at Bollyspice »

Kalki Koechlin to star in Konkana Sen Sharmas directorial debut

Kalki Koechlin to star in Konkana Sen Sharmas directorial debut
Known for some of the most powerful performances, actress Konkana Sen Sharma now decided to don the director's hat and follow the footsteps of her mother Aparna Sen. The actress is all set to make a Hinglish film titled Death at the Ganj starring Kalki Koechlin and Vikrant Massey.

Kalki who was seen in the film Ek Thi Daayan along with Konkana, revealed that she will be playing a 34 year old Anglo-Indian woman in Konkana's upcoming thriller. She also mentioned that the film in question will be based in the 70s and will have Kalki draping a saree as well as sporting a lot of winter clothes. Though not much, Kalki will also be seen speaking a few dialogues in Bengali and she will soon be starting preparations for the same. She also added that casting director Atul Mongia will be kick starting with workshops for the entire cast of the film this month.
See full article at BollywoodHungama »

Liff Special Movie Review: Saari Raat

On a stormy evening, a married couple (Konkona Sen Sharma and Rittwik Chakraborty) on vacation takes refuge from the rain in a house filled with ruin and clutter. There they discover an old man (Anjan Dutt), alone, who makes them tea and kichdi and insists they stay for the night – in fact, he insists that the rain will not let up, and they will be unable to leave. What transpires is an evening filled with poetry and puzzles, magic, philosophy, and perhaps a little menace.

National Award winning director Aparna Sen returns to the festival circuit with her first film in Hindi, though she hasn’t strayed far from her Bengali roots, choosing to adapt a play by noted Bengali playwright Badal Sircar (the play’s original poetry has been translated into Hindi by respected screenwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar). A tale told in half light and flickering shadows, the
See full article at Bollyspice »

Preview of the films at this years London Indian Film Festival

The festival returns this month for its sixth edition. Every year Liff aims to bring audiences some of the very best new Indian independent cinema, which includes features, documentaries and short films by both acclaimed and emerging filmmakers. This year’s line up promises to leave you entertained, informed, thought provoking and even in some cases leaving a screen shocked.

We now present the films that will be screened at this prestigious festival

Umrika | Opening Night | UK Premiere | cert 12A

Hindi with English subtitles | 98 min | India 2015 | Dir. Prashant Nair | with: Suraj Sharma, Tony Revolori, Adil Hussain, Smita Tambe, Prateik Babbar.

This year’s Sundance Audience Award winner is an uplifting, rights of passage tale about two brothers from a small village who have dreams of making it big in Umrika (America). Udai (Pratiek Babbar) is the eldest and adored by his hard-working mum. He leaves their hamlet on a bullock
See full article at Bollyspice »

Vishal Bhardwaj’s Shakespearean Trilogy to be showcased at next week’s New York Indian Film Festival

The New York Indian Film Festival (Nyiff), which opens next week on May 4th, will showcase a series of special screenings of Vishal Bhardwaj’s brilliant Shakespeare Trilogy Maqbool, Omkara, and Haider. If that wasn’t cool enough, after each screening there will be a discussion with Bhardwaj, who will not only talk about the film but take the audience on journey of his career in Hindi film and music.

The first of the trilogy Maqbool (2003), starring Irfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapoor, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah was based on Macbeth, while 2006’s Omkara, based on Othello, starred Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Kareena Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma, Bipasha Basu, Naseeruddin Shah then there was his latest film, Haider, his version of Hamlet, that starred Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Shraddha Kapoor, Kay Kay Menon, Irfan Khan. Each of the epic films have received national and international acclaim as well as a huge fan following.
See full article at Bollyspice »
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