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Theatre Stalwarts Makarand Deshpande, Lilette Dubey, Victor Bannerjee remember Tom Alter

Theatre Stalwarts Makarand Deshpande, Lilette Dubey, Victor Bannerjee remember Tom Alter
Makarand Despande: “I feel Tom is like Luigi Pirandello’s Henry IV, an actor who fell from the horse and remained Henry for rest of his life. Tom for me fell into being a good man, a great soul who just not only played this difficult part all his life with courage and simplicity but dissolved hisRead More

The post Theatre Stalwarts Makarand Deshpande, Lilette Dubey, Victor Bannerjee remember Tom Alter appeared first on Bollywood Hungama.
See full article at BollywoodHungama »

Scoop: Will Akshay Kumar play Narendra Modi?

Scoop: Will Akshay Kumar play Narendra Modi?
Not Paresh Rawal, not Anupam Kher….The buzz in the political quarters of Delhi is that Akshay Kumar, the Mr Clean of the entertainment business, is all set to play the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Earlier there were strong possibilities of Paresh Rawal, Anupam Kher and even Victor Bannerjee playing Narendra Modi. “But the kind ofRead More

The post Scoop: Will Akshay Kumar play Narendra Modi? appeared first on Bollywood Hungama.
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Amazon, Cinestaan team up for indie Indian films

  • ScreenDaily
Amazon, Cinestaan team up for indie Indian films
Exclusive: Amazon has exclusive streaming rights to films like The Land Of The Gods and A Death In The Gunj.

Amazon has announced a long-term alliance with Cinestaan Film Company through its sales arm C International Sales for the exclusive distribution of independent Indian films.

The first batch of the titles includes The Land Of The Gods (Dev Bhoomi), A Death In The Gunj and The Hungry. The films will be streamed exclusively on Amazon Prime Video India after their theatrical release.

Rohit Khattar, chairman of India and UK-based boutique studio Cinestaan Group said, “In our quest to champion independent Indian films, we have been trying to figure out various ways to effectively distribute films which face the usual conundrum of high P&A and other costs. Amazon Prime Video has presented a much needed option.”

Nitesh Kripalani, director and country head of Amazon Prime Video India said, “Our alliance with Cinestaan is to build our selection
See full article at ScreenDaily »

The Ascent of Om Puri

  • MUBI
Om Puri, the veteran of Indian cinema who died on Friday morning at age 66 of an unexpected heart attack, received two National Film Awards, the highest honor an actor can receive in India. The awards are not without their controversies, as one may suspect from awards that are doled out by the national government of India. They have sometimes been accused of favoring Hindi-language films at the expense of regional cinema. As far as Indian awards bodies go, though, the National Film Awards exhibit remarkably prudent taste more often than not. The first of Puri’s National Awards was for Arohan (The Ascending Scale, 1982), by director Shyam Benegal, while the second came for Govind Nihalani’s Ardh Satya (Half Truth, 1983). In the days since Puri’s death, there has been justified focus on his work in Ardh Satya. It gave Puri one of his most definitive roles, and the film
See full article at MUBI »

Afm: C International debuts with 'Death In The Gunj' and 'Land Of The Gods'

  • ScreenDaily
Afm: C International debuts with 'Death In The Gunj' and 'Land Of The Gods'
Exclusive: Indian boutique studio is at Afm for the first time this year.

C International Sales, the UK-based sales arm of Indian boutique studio Cinestaan Film Company, is making its Afm debut with a slate including A Death In The Gunj and The Land Of The Gods.

Konkona Sen Sharma’s A Death In The Gunj, which premiered at Toronto, is backed by indie production house Studioz Idrream. Directed by Serbia’s Goran Paskalijevic, The Land Of The Gods (Dev Bhoomi) stars India’s Victor Banerjee.

Headed by former 6 Sales chief Marina Fuentes, C International focuses on films with a connection to India and handles both acquisitions and Cinestaan productions. The company is also selling Cinestaan’s Mirzya, directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, for non-Indian diaspora territories.

“Launching C International Sales as independent Indian storytelling grows and the appetite for these stories escalates around the world is a fantastic opportunity,” said Fuentes
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Toronto Film Review: ‘Land of the Gods’ (Dev Bhoomi)

Toronto Film Review: ‘Land of the Gods’ (Dev Bhoomi)
The Himalayas provide a spectacular backdrop, but the human drama in the foreground is a bit flat in “Land of the Gods.” Goran Paskaljevic’s first non-Serbian-focused film, since the Irish “How Harry Became a Tree” 15 years ago, is a collaboration with star/co-writer Victor Banerjee set in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand (until recently known as Uttaranchal). The magnificent locations add to the movie’s intriguing, meditative atmosphere. Yet this tale of a prodigal son’s return after four decades’ exile ekes out its modest narrative mysteries in awfully slow-moving fashion, en route to a resolution that is not particularly surprising or powerful.

Having paid a talkative cabbie to drive him far into the mountains, Rahul (Banerjee) abandons his ride seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Though he’s carrying only an overnight bag, he has no apparent intention of returning to civilization — after crossing a pedestrian bridge over a gorge,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Tiff 2016. Correspondences #9

  • MUBI
MoonlightDear Danny,As I type this final entry in a state of literal suspension—aboard my flight home, between a rainy Canadian morning and a muggy Californian afternoon—I begin to wonder whether my festival choices were too safe. I read your takes on experimental works with pleasure, as well as a hint of envy toward your adventurousness. My sole excursion this year into Wavelengths territory was Sergei Loznitsa’s Austerlitz, which I admired more than you. Concentration-camp tourism understandably dismays the sober director of My Joy, yet there’s a mordant edge to his unbroken views of visitors, including teeming long-shots that resemble Jacques Tati frames. People amble through these zones of unspeakable suffering as if at a particularly prosaic mall, guides barely hang on to their groups’ attention (“Folks, could you not eat in here, please?”), knowledge is shaky and selfie-sticks are ubiquitous. Still, I thought Loznitsa’s
See full article at MUBI »

Multi-starrer film ‘Fever’ Set to Hit the Screens in UK on 5th August 2016

Multi-starrer suspense thriller Fever starring Rajeev Khandelwal, Gauahar Khan, British actress Gemma Atkinson, Bond girl Caterina Murino, Victor Banerjee and Ankita Makwana, will send a chill down your spine on Friday 5th August, 2016. The film is being released through Blue Sapphire Films in the UK.

The action-packed teaser of the movie has already created suspense among the audience and the breath-taking locales of Switzerland in the film is set to further woo them. The film is written and directed by Rajeev Jhaveri, produced by Ravi Agrawal, Mahesh Balekundri, Ajay Chabbria, Rajath Manjunath and co-produced by Karan Devgan. The spine chiller is a production of Niche Film Farm & Jaya Sapthagiris Productions in association with Plus Entertainment Pvt Ltd & ICM entertainment Pvt Ltd.

The film is based on protagonist Armin Salem played by Rajeev Khandelwal (Aamir and Shaitan fame) who struggles to regain his identity after an accident. Over the course, he
See full article at Bollyspice »

Serbian Auteur Goran Paskaljevic to Shoot ‘My Name Is Mohamed’ in Italy (Exclusive)

Serbian Auteur Goran Paskaljevic to Shoot ‘My Name Is Mohamed’ in Italy (Exclusive)
Serbian auteur Goran Paskaljevic, whose latest film is Indo-Serbian co-production “Dev Bhoomi,” is set to shoot refugee-themed “My Name Is Mohamed,” which will be set entirely in Italy.

Paskaljevic has been scouting locations in the city of Viterbo, in the central Lazio region, which has one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval districts.

“Mohamed” is centered around an 8-year-old Syrian refugee runaway boy, who comes under the care of a woman who had lost a son. She becomes obsessed with transforming the boy into her late son.

“This is not another classical story about refugees. I am more interested in the question of the assimilation (or not) of those poor people coming from a very different culture and religion,” Paskaljevic said.

The production is being mounted by Rome-based indie Cinedea, which co-produced the Argentinian boxing melodrama “Sangre en La Boca.” The pic will tap into Rome Lazio Film Commission incentives.

Dev Bhoomi,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Unfreedom Interview with Bhavani Lee

The controversial film Unfreedom has now released in New York and Los Angeles, as well as on national digital platforms such as iTunes. Directed by Raj Amit Kumar, the film explores subjects that rock the boat…especially so in India.

Consequently, the country went as far as banning it.

Following two story lines of same-sex love in India and terrorism in the USA, discrimination and violence are prised gruesomely out in the open.

Unfreedom stars Victor Banerjee, Bhanu Uday, Bhavani Lee, Preeti Gupta, Seema Rahmani, Ankur Vikal, Samrat Chakrabarti and Adil Hussain.

Aashi Gahlot at BollySpice interviewed actress Bhavani Lee, who plays the part of spunky bisexual Sakhi Taylor.

Lee is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York. She is also a Kathak dancer with the iconic Pt. Birju Maharaj as one of her gurus. Bhavani toured the world with Cirque du soleil and has done various theatre productions,
See full article at Bollyspice »

Victor Banerjee talks about the controversial film Unfreedom

Banned in India, the controversial new motion picture Unfreedom releases in the United States this Friday, May 29, in theaters in New York and Los Angeles as well as on nationwide digital platforms such as iTunes.

Award-winning actor Victor Banerjee stars in this bold new film and sat down for a candid talk about his role as “Fareed,” a liberal Muslim scholar who actively speaks out against terrorists that use the Muslim faith as a cover for their immoral actions.

How were you first approached for this project and what made you want to take on this role?

An Assamese Director, Bidyut Kataki, whose feature film “As the River Flows”, I had worked in, was a friend of Aftab’s, I think, and sent him my contact details. Raj then had the guts to send me his gut-wrenching script. It was the sort of script that only a fool would turn down and,
See full article at Bollyspice »

Unfreedom | Review

Raj Amit Kumar's Unfreedom is a remarkably ambitious film featuring two parallel narratives concurrently set in New York and New Delhi that unflinchingly contend with gender and ethnic identity. A fundamentalist Muslim, Mohammed Husain (Bhanu Uday), arrives in New York City to assassinate a peaceful Muslim academic, Fareed (Victor Banerjee); meanwhile, in New Delhi, Leela (Preeti Gupta), a closeted lesbian Muslim decides to kidnap her bisexual lover, Sakhi (Bhavani Lee), in a halfhearted attempt to marry her.
See full article at SmellsLikeScreenSpirit »

Unfreedom Reduces Muslim Life to Violence and Bigotry

Unfreedom Reduces Muslim Life to Violence and Bigotry
Though it starts off as a cautiously optimistic conversion narrative, the pseudo-progressive, banned-in-India Lgbt drama Unfreedom quickly devolves into an absurdly pessimistic provocation. The film's bifurcated plot initially concerns two Muslims whose lifestyles are reluctantly defined by their families' fundamentalist beliefs: While Leela (Preeti Gupta) defies her intolerant father by publicly coming out with partner Sakhi (Bhavani Lee), Husain (Bhanu Uday) follows in his terrorist brother's footsteps by agreeing to kidnap and film the execution of Fareed (Victor Banerjee), an anti-extremist public speaker. Both characters' faith is tested by religious trial, but neither protagonist gets to decide his or her own fate. During maudlin childhood flashback...
See full article at Village Voice »

Unfreedom Movie Review

Unfreedom: Blemished Light –“It’s the choice we make when we are the most cornered in life that defines who we are.”

Raj Amit Kumar’s “Unfreedom” is a hard-hitting portrayal of the complexity being human. Powerful and well made, the film consists of superb performances.

This film will make you squirm with anger, disgust and shock towards the inhuman society we live in. To “hate” however is never simple.

The film portrays acts of inhumanity yet it also delves into the psyche of why? Why do people choose to commit acts of horror. Hating becomes impossible as it becomes clear that the perpetrator is actually an unhealed victim. Nevertheless, we all have a choice and Unfreedom emphasises the consequence of choice.

The film explores the lives of two different characters, Leela (Preeti Gupta) in Delhi and Husain (Bhanu Uday) in New York City.

Leela is a lesbian who
See full article at Bollyspice »

Unfreedom – Trailer and Poster Premiere

The controversial new film Unfreedom has unveiled its first theatrical trailer. Banned in India and featuring an ensemble cast including Victor Banerjee, the provocative film will be released uncut in U.S. theaters on May 29.

Unfreedom juxtaposes two powerful and unflinching contemporary stories about religious fundamentalism and intolerance. Shifting between New York and New Delhi, one tale follows a Muslim terrorist who kidnaps a liberal Muslim scholar in order to silence him, while the other charts the travails of a young woman whose devout father tries to force her into an arranged marriage, which she resists because she is secretly in love with another woman. The four characters come face to face with gruesome acts of violence in battles of identity, sexuality, religion, love, and family.

Written and directed by Kumar, the film stars Victor Banerjee (A Passage to India, Meherjaan), Bhanu Uday (Monsoon), Bhavani Lee, Preeti Gupta, Seema Rahmani (Good Night Good Morning,
See full article at Bollyspice »

Unfreedom – India’s Banned Movie

When a film is “banned” by the Censor Board of Film Certification, you know you are onto something. Well, that is exactly the case with Raj Amit Kumar’s film Unfreedom.

Homosexuality.

Islam.

Thinking outside of convention.

Unfreedom breaks all the “rules”.

The film follows two different lives, the storyline pivoting on a female same-sex relationship and the dangers of religious extremism.

Shifting between New York and Delhi, one story explores the kidnapping of a liberal Muslim scholar by a Muslim terrorist. The other story dives into a woman’s journey -a woman secretly in love with another woman. She faces the challenges of this love when she refuses an arranged marriage set up by her religious father.

Classified as “too controversial” for release in India, the film will release in North American theatres on the 29th of May 2015 and simultaneously on digital channels via Film Buff.

The juxtaposition of
See full article at Bollyspice »

Banned in India, Unfreedom to Release in Us via Dark Frames

Dark Frames, a new distribution company dedicated to bringing high-quality, non-Bollywood Indian films to North American and international audiences through theatrical and digital channels, will release its first title, Unfreedom, on May 29, it was announced today by Dark Frames’ founder, Raj Amit Kumar. Veteran film marketer and distributor Mark Urman of Paladin is partnering with Dark Frames to lead the marketing and distribution of its release slate. Dark Frames will also partner with Film Buff to distribute Unfreedom at the same time on Cable VOD and other digital platforms.

Unfreedom juxtaposes two powerful and unflinching contemporary stories about religious fundamentalism and intolerance. Shifting between New York and New Delhi, one tale follows a Muslim terrorist who kidnaps a liberal Muslim scholar in order to silence him, while the other charts the travails of a young woman whose devout father tries to force her into an arranged marriage, which she resists
See full article at Bollyspice »

‘Court’ Judged Best Film at Mumbai Festival

‘Court’ Judged Best Film at Mumbai Festival
Court” has won best film, plus awards for director Chaitanya Tamhane and a special jury mention for its ensemble cast at the 16th Mumbai Film Festival’s international competition.

Mexican film “Gueros,” directed by Alonso Ruiz Palacios, won the grand jury prize. Martin Loizillion won actor for the French film “Fever” and Liron Ben-Shlush actress for Israeli film “Next to Her.” Tat Radcliffe won the cinematography award for U.K. film “’71”.

In the Indian categories, “Chauranga,” directed by Bikas Ranjan Mishra, won best film. “Killa,” directed by Avinash Arun, won second-best film and the special jury award for its ensemble cast. Disha Rindani’s “Mumbai 70” won the best short film award.

The festival, running Oct. 14-21, was on the brink of closure six weeks ago after a deal with previous sponsors ended but was saved thanks to financial contributions from several key industry figures. One of them, filmmaker Aamir Khan,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Serbian Director Goran Paskaljevic to make “Dev Bhoomi” in India with Victor Banerjee

Serbian Director Goran Paskaljevic to make “Dev Bhoomi” in India with Victor Banerjee
Goran Paskaljevic

After Bosnian director Danis Tanović’s (Tiger), it’s Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic who will film his next feature in India. Paskaljevic, who is heading the India Gold jury at 16th Mumbai Film Festival, announced his latest Dev Bhoomi starring Victor Banerjee on Sunday.

Dev Bhoomi will be the first ever Indo-Serbian co-production.

The film explores the homecoming of a 65 year old man, Rahul, who, when he discovers he is going blind, decides to return from England to his village in Garhwal, in India, to take one last look at the world he ran away from, 40 years ago. Produced by Milan Markovic, the film will be entirely shot in Uttarakhand in March-April 2015. The director with his team has been travelling to Dehradun and nearby places in Uttarakhand for scouting locations.

Goran said in a press conference: “Dev Bhoomi is a story of simple dramatic structure, tense inside, without a lot of external effects,
See full article at DearCinema.com »

Paskaljevic to direct Dev Bhoomi

  • ScreenDaily
Paskaljevic to direct Dev Bhoomi
Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic is planning to shoot Indo-Serbian co-production Dev Bhoomi, starring Victor Banerjee, in India next March.

Produced by Milan Markovic, the film will be entirely shot in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand in March-April 2015. Serbia’s Nova Film will co-produce with India’s Shinar Entertainment and the UK’s H.W. Buffalo & Co.

The story follows a 65-year-old man, Rahul, who decides to return from England to his village in Garhwal, Uttarakhand when he discovers he is going blind, to take one last look at the world he left 40 years ago.

Paskaljevic is currently serving on the India Gold jury of the on-going Mumbai Film Festival. His credits include Cabaret Balkan (1998), Honeymoons (2009) and When Day Breaks (2012).

Banerjee is known to international audiences for his roles in David Lean’s A Passage To India and has also worked with Roman Polanski, James Ivory, Shyam Benegal and Satyajit Ray.

“Dev Bhoomi
See full article at ScreenDaily »
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