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Special Review: Shakespeare Wallah

  • Bollyspice
Shashi Kapoor as “Sanju” (left) and Felicity Kendal as “Lizzie Buckingham” (right) in Shakespeare Wallah

directed by James Ivory Courtesy of the Cohen Film Collection

One evening in India, a troupe of travelling players, the Buckingham Company, finds themselves stranded after one of their vehicles breaks down. They are eventually rescued by Sanju (Shashi Kapoor), who is immediately smitten with Lizzie Buckingham (Felicity Kendal) the actress daughter of the troupe’s owners, Tony (Geoffrey Kendal) and Carla (Laura Liddel).

It’s easy to see why Sanju would be drawn to Lizzie – apart from what she represents (as white, as English) – Felicity Kendal, in her first film role, is luminous and lovely, her acting breathtaking in moments – her freshness as an actor often stands in contrast to the staid, traditional performances of her parents.

The Buckinghams and their rag-tag group of players travel India performing the works of Shakespeare, as they have done for many years,
See full article at Bollyspice »

The 1965 Shashi Kapoor starrer Shakespeare Wallah is getting a 4K Restoration Rerelease this November

  • Bollyspice
Starring Shashi Kapoor, Madhur Jaffrey, and Felicity Kendal, with original music by Satyajit Ray, Merchant Ivory’s 1965 Shakespeare Wallah will be rereleased in an incredible 4K restoration in New York at Quad Cinemas on November 10th.

Cohen Media Group has announced the brand new 4K scan and restoration from the original camera negative and magnetic soundtrack, and featuring a new 5.1 audio mix from the stereo 35mm mags, all approved by director James Ivory.

The incredible Shakespeare Wallah was the feature film that really put Merchant Ivory Productions on the international movie map, winning them great critical acclaim and now recognized as a classic. Starring Shashi Kapoor, Madhur Jaffrey, and a young Felicity Kendal, the film’s inspiration lies in the real-life adventures of Ms. Kendal’s family as a traveling theater group in India during the final days of English colonial rule. The ‘Buckingham Players’ try to uphold British tradition
See full article at Bollyspice »

Legendary Book Editor Judith Jones, Who Brought Us Julia Child and The Diary of Anne Frank, Dies at 93

  • PEOPLE.com
Judith Jones, the editor who changed the world of at-home cooking with her discovery of Julia Child, recovered Anne Frank’s diary from a reject pile, and edited the works of cookbook and literary giants alike, passed away on Wednesday.

According to her stepdaughter, Bronwyn Dunne, her death was the result of complications from Alzheimer’s. Jones died at home in Walden, Vt. at the age of 93.

More than five decades in the publishing industry resulted in a culinary legacy — a distinct change from the rather unexciting cuisine she grew up eating. Born on March 10, 1994, in Vermont, Jones wrote in her 2007 memoir,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Saeed Jaffrey, ‘Gandhi’ Actor, Dies at 86

Saeed Jaffrey, ‘Gandhi’ Actor, Dies at 86
Saeed Jaffrey, who starred in such epic films as “Gandhi” as well as TV series like “The Jewel in the Crown,” died Nov. 14 after suffering a brain hemorrhage in London, according to Jaffrey Associates. He was 86.

Besides “Gandhi,” Jaffrey was cast in a slew of films like “A Passage to India” and “The Man Who Would Be King.” He won a Bafta nomination for his role as Nasser in “My Beautiful Launderette.”

Born in Punjab, India, Jaffrey started out in theater and also worked at All India Radio. At one point he even did publicity for the Indian government’s tourism department. He studied at the Royal School of Drama in the U.K. and then earned a second degree at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

But it was as the Nawab of Mirat in Granada TV’s “Jewel in the Crown” that Jaffrey made his mark, following it
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Legendary actor Saeed Jaffrey dies by Jennie Kermode - 2015-11-16 11:30:48

Saeed Jaffrey in My Beautiful Laundrette

Titles like Ram Teri Ganga Maili and Shatranj Ke Khiladi made him one of India's greatest screen star, but Saeed Jaffrey was also beloved of British viewers, starring in classics like A Passage To India, My Beautiful Laundrette and Gandhi. Now he has died at the age of 86.

A Punjabi actor who got an early break in Z-Cars, Jaffrey got his first big screen role in James Ivory's British-Indian co-production The Guru in 1969. He would later appear in TV series The Advetures Of Black Beauty, Gangsters, Tandoori Nights and Coronation Street. The first Indian to receive an OBE, he also won praise for his work in radio and theatre, taking his theatre company across the Us to perform Shakespeare plays.

Jaffrey is survived by his daughters Meera, Zia, and actress Sakina Jaffrey, from his marriage to actress and writer Madhur Jaffrey, which ended in 1965. His death was.
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Veteran Indian actor Saeed Jaffrey Dead at 86

  • Variety - Film News
Veteran Indian actor Saeed Jaffrey Dead at 86
Saeed Jaffrey, one of India’s most beloved actors, who also had a long career in the U.K., died on Sunday. He was 86.

News of his death was announced by his niece Shaheen Aggarwaal. It was greeted by messages of condolence from the film industry and politicians alike.

Saeed Jaffrey was a multifaceted actor whose flair & versatility will always be remembered. Deepest condolences on his passing away,” wrote Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter.

Jaffrey appeared in some 200 movies and TV shows over a long career. International titles included “Gandhi,” “The Man Who Would Be King” and “A Passage to India,” but also featured in classic Indian films including Satyajit Ray’s “The Chess Players.”

His much appreciated Bollywood performances include turns in Shekhar Kapur’s debut “Masoom”, Raj Kapoor’s “Ram Teri Ganga Maili”, Sai Paranjpye’s “Chashme Buddoor” and Indra Kumar’s “Dil”.

“Goodbye dear Sayeed.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

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

  • Bollyspice
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 »

Ma-Yi Produces First South Asian-American playwright with Soldier X

  • Bollyspice
The award-winning, nationally-renowned Ma-Yi Theater Company – one of the country’s leading producers of new works for the stage by Asian-American writers – will continue its 2014-15 season this spring with the world premiere of Soldier X by Rehana Lew Mirza, with preview performances set to begin March 24 prior to an official opening night on March 31 at Here (145 Sixth Avenue, enter on Dominick Street, one block south of Spring) in NYC. Soldier X is directed by Lucie Tiberghien.

Soldier X follows a young biracial social worker, Monica, who falls for a returning veteran, Jay, and the subsequent love triangle that ensues when he decides he is in love with his fallen buddy’s Muslim sister. The play tallies the emotional scars inflicted on our young men and women returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. How exactly do you rejoin a society that remains as conflicted about its wars as it is
See full article at Bollyspice »

Om Puri honoured at the Museum Of The Moving Image

Om Puri honoured at the Museum Of The Moving Image
Om Puri has returned from the screening rejuvenated as an actor. At the prestigious Museum Of The Moving Image in New York, Om was honoured with a tribute and a lecture on his oeuvre on August 3. Says Om Puri, "During the discussion they showed clippings of my films. I felt honoured and well, appreciated. Madhur Jaffrey introduced me at the Museum. It all added up to a feeling of great satisfaction within me." Om Puri is enjoying the rave reviews he is getting. "The kind of appreciation I have received for The Hundred Foot Journey has resurrected my faith in me as an actor. I haven't been getting too many good offers at home. The Hundred Foot Journey came to me at a time when I had hit rock-bottom in terms of the offers in India and also in my personal life. It was a part of an isolated homeless
See full article at BollywoodHungama »

Om Puri to be Honored at Special Preview Screening of his new film The Hundred-Foot Journey

  • Bollyspice
Om Puri (b. 1950), the prolific and internationally renowned Indian actor will appear at Museum of the Moving Image on Sunday, August 3, for a conversation about his career moderated by actress and writer Madhur Jaffrey. The tribute program, presented with clips of Puri’s finest performances, will be followed by a preview screening of The Hundred-Hoot Journey, in which he co-stars with Helen Mirren.

Om Puri is one of India’s most celebrated actors. He won his first Indian National Film Award for his performance in Ardh Satya. Since then, he has starred in both mainstream and arthouse Indian films including Ardh Satya (1982), Mirch Masala (1987), Dharavi (1992), Maachis (1996), and A.K. 47 (2004), as well as international projects such as the critically acclaimed Gandhi (1982), City of Joy (1992), Wolf (1994), Brothers in Trouble (1995), The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), East is East (1999), Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), and West is West (2010). He recently starred in Don 2 (2011), Farhan Akhtar’s record-breaking Bollywood epic.
See full article at Bollyspice »

The 12th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles: April 8-13, 2014

This year the 12th edition of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (Iffla) includes a lineup of narrative and documentary features and short films. The impressive program reflects the rich diversity of Indian cinema, as well as the future of Indian filmmaking, with cutting-edge filmmakers and emerging voices bringing their acclaimed films to Los Angeles.

The festival is widely recognized as the premiere showcase of groundbreaking Indian cinema globally. Iffla will run April 8-13 at ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles, the festival’s home since its inception. Jadoo, an exploration of family bonds amidst two feuding brothers’ restaurants in England, will screen as the festival’s Closing Night Gala. The film is written and directed by Iffla alum Amit Gupta, and first premiered at the 2013 Berlinale. It features a wonderful ensemble cast that includes Kulvinder Ghir, Amara Karan, Harish Patel, Tom Mison, and Madhur Jaffrey. As previously announced, Iffla will open with Jeffrey D. Brown’s Sold, produced by Jane Charles and executive produced by Emma Thompson.

Iffla 2014 wil l present more than 33 films, including three world premieres, six North American premieres, six U.S. premieres, and 16 Los Angeles premieres. The films feature 10 different languages, from Hindi to Marathi, to Russian to Bengali. Additionally, Iffla supports American, Australian, British, Canadian, and European diaspora filmmakers from nine different countries telling their stories.

“I'm thrilled and proud that Iffla's line-up this year includes an especially diverse range of cinematic experiences, covering many regions of India and the diaspora,” said Iffla’s Artistic Director Jasmine Jaisinghani. "We would like to thank our Programming Advisor in India, Uma Da Cunha, for helping our programming team source some of these exceptional films."

Program highlights include: the North American premiere of Anurag Kashyap’s latest, Ugly an intense, masterfully directed psychological thriller that premiered in the 2013 Director’s Fortnight section of Cannes; Liar's Dice, the remarkable directorial debut of South Indian actress Geetu Mohandas that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival; Anup Singh’s latest feature Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost, starring Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire), winner of Netpac Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Dioraphte Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam; the Audience Award winner at the 2013 Slamdance Film Festival Hank and Asha , an exploratory, romantic look at two people bonding in the digital age by newcomer James E. Duff; Nagraj Manjule’s Fandry, a highly praised debut feature for its multilayered emotion and realism on the subject of caste discrimination; Brahmin Bulls starring Roshan Seth (Gandhi, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Mississippi Masala) and Sendhil Ramamurthy (Beauty and the Beast, Heroes) as an estranged father and son unexpectedly brought together to confront the family’s past; and Siddharth, a nuanced look at a family whose son goes missing, by lauded Canadian director and Iffla alum Richie Mehta (Amal).

The festival's feature documentary competition includes an eclectic mix of films from established and upcoming filmmakers that consider India's unique traditions and dynamic future. The films include: the world premiere of

The Auction House , an intimate and funny look at two brothers trying to keep their anachronistic family business going in the digital age; festival favorite Powerless, which depicts intense struggles over electricity in a mid-size Indian city; Faith Connections, Iffla alum Pan Nalin's beautiful and rare look at the Kumbh Mela; and the National Award-winning Shepherds of Paradise, about an arduous, mountainous trek through an animal drive in the Kashmiri winter.

The Bollywood by Night series returns this year with Bombay Talkies and Monsoon Shootout. Premiering at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, Bombay Talkies is a quartet of short films that celebrates 100 years of Indian cinema. The omnibus film features work by four of India’s most exciting contemporary directors: Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, and Anurag Kashyap, as well as a stellar cast that includes Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukerji, and Katrina Kaif. Monsoon Shoutout is a thrilling debut by Iffla alum writer/director Amit Kumar about how a split-second decision made by a rookie police officer has rippling effects in his life and the lives of those around him.

The shorts competition showcases a diverse selection of 15 films that include narrative, documentary, experimental, and animated works. Highlights of this year’s program include Academy Award® shortlisted Kush; Sundance award winner Love.Love.Love.; and the world premiere of acclaimed director Umesh Kulkarni’s The Fly.

Festival Passes and Gala tickets are currently on sale at the festival's website.

For more information, please visit:

Website: www.indianfilmfestival.org.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ indianfilmfestival

Twitter: https://twitter.com /iffla

Tumblr: http://indianfilmfestival.tumblr.com/

About Iffla

Now in its 12th 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.

Opening Night Gala

Sold

Los Angeles Premiere

USA/2014/97min

Director: Jeffrey D. Brown

Producer: Jane Charles

Executive Producer: Emma Thompson

Screenwriters: Joseph Kwong, Jeffrey D. Brown

Composer: John McDowell, Sammy Chand, Salim & Sulaiman Merchant

Cast: Susmita Mukherjee, Seema Biswas, Tillotama Shome, Niyar Saikia, Priyanka Bose, Ankur Vikal, Parambrata Chatterjee, Gillian Anderson, David Arquette

Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Jeffrey D. Brown adapts Patricia McCormick’s novel Sold – a National Book Award finalist – into a vivid, harrowing and inspiring story of a young girl’s resilience in the face of unspeakable cruelty.

Closing Night

Jadoo

Los Angeles Premiere

UK/2013/84 mins

Director: Amit Gupta

Producers: Amanda Faber, Isabelle Georgeaux, Richard Holmes, Nikki Parrott

Screenwriter: Amit Gupta

Composer: Stephen Warbeck

Cast: Kulvinder Ghir, Amara Karan, Harish Patel, Tom Mison, Madhur Jaffrey

Set in Leicester, England, Amit Gupta’s culinary comedy charts the chaos that ensues when young Shalini gets engaged to her longtime boyfriend Mark. The fact that Mark is not Indian is the least of Shalini’s concerns. Her father Raja and uncle Jagi have been at war for years. After a legendary falling out that caused them to close their family restaurant, each man opened his own establishment – directly across the street from one another! Shalini’s dream wedding would see both men put aside their differences and prepare the feast together, but resentment runs deep and neither man can hear mention of the other’s name without a spike in blood pressure. Both the prospect of disappointing their beloved Shalini and the threat of a new, hip restaurant opening in the area force Raja and Jagi to work together – but for how long? In this uproariously funny and heartfelt exploration of family bonds, shared history and gastronomic perfection, Gupta’s cast is endlessly appealing. Plus, there’s enough mouth-watering Indian food on display to have your stomach growling before the credits roll.

Feature Films

Before My Eyes (Ankhon Dekhi)

Los Angeles Premiere

India/2013/107min

Director: Rajat Kapoor Producer: Manish Mundra

Screenwriter: Rajat Kapoor

Cast: Sanjay Sanjay Mishra, Seema Pahwa, Rajat Kapoor, Taranjeet, Maya Sarao

Celebrated writer, director, and actor Rajat Kapoor (Midnight’s Children, Monsoon Wedding, Mixed Doubles, Mithya) paints an offbeat yet thought-provoking portrait of domestic life in modern day Delhi when an incident prompts head of the family Bauji to reject anything he himself has not experienced, much to the exasperation of his extended family but to the delight of his newfound philosopher disciples. Balancing the comical and the existential, both Bauji and the film ask the basic question, ‘Can you know truth without true experience?’

Brahmin Bulls

Los Angeles Premiere

USA/96min/2013

Director: Mahesh Pailoor

Producer: Yoshinobu Tsuji

Screenwriters: Anu Pradhan, Mahesh Pailoor

Cast: Sendhil Ramamurthy, Roshan Seth, Mary Steenburgen, Justin Bartha, Cassidy Freeman, Monica Raymund, Michael Lerner

Mahesh Pailoor's tender, funny, and touching debut tells the story of estranged father and son Ashok and Sid, who reunite at Sid's Los Angeles home when Ashok arrives unexpectedly. Each man is keeping secrets from one another, and when the truth is revealed, parent and child must work even harder to close the rift between them.

Fandry

North American Premiere

India/2013/103min

Director: Nagraj Manjule

Producers: Vivek Kajaria, Nilesh Navalakha

Screenwriter: Nagraj Manjule

Cast: Kishor Kadam, Chhaya Kadam, Somnath Awghade, Suraj Pawar, Rajshree Kharat, Sakshi Vyavhare, Aishvarya Shinde, Nagraj Manjule

Marathi poet Nagraj Manjule's impressive debut feature tells the story of Jabya, a Dalit boy, and his family's struggle against daily prejudice in their Maharashtra village. Jabya's carefree childhood desires and antics are soon stifled by his family's "untouchable" status, and the film's gradual transformation into an insightful and damning look at caste discrimination builds from a murmur to a defiant roar. Refusing to reduce his Dalit characters to victims – most explicitly at the film's explosive conclusion - Manjule's socially reflective film has received critical acclaim in India.

Hank and Asha

Los Angeles Premiere

USA/2013/73min

Director: James E. Duff

Producers: James E. Duff, Julia Morrison

Screenwriters: James E. Duff, Julia Morrison

Cast: Mahira Kakkar, Andrew Pastides

James E. Duff's feature directorial debut, the Audience Award winner at the 2013 Slamdance Film Festival, is an endearing tale of a long-distance connection in the digital age. Hank and Asha, two aspiring filmmakers separated by an ocean, connect with one another through video messages and quickly find themselves heading towards romance. That is, until Asha reveals some surprising news. Duff has created a captivating ode to the new possibilities open to us now that the world's gotten smaller.

Liar's Dice

Los Angeles Premiere

India/2013/104min

Director: Geetu Mohandas

Producers: Alan McAlex, Ajay G. Rai

Screenwriter: Geetu Mohandas

Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Geetanjali Thapa, Manya Gupta

Established actress Geetu Mohandas steps behind the lens for her bracing directorial debut. A woman named Kamala and her daughter journey from their remote Himalayan village to Delhi in search of Kamala's missing husband. They find a guide in an unfriendly wanderer whose interest may lie more in his personal gain than in any help he can offer them. Beautifully shot by Rajeev Ravi (Gangs of Wasseypur), Mohandas' film evokes a hazardous world where answers may never be clear and a helping hand always comes at a price.

Phoring

North American Premiere

India/2013/128min

Director: Indranil Roychowdhury

Producers: Anasua Roychowdury, Sugata Bal

Screenwriters: Indranil Roychowdhury, Sugata Sinha

Cast: Akash Adhikary, Sohini Sarkar, Sourav Basak, Ritwick Charaborty, Shankar Debnath, Senjuti Roymukherjee

Indranil Roychowdhury's stunning feature debut is an evocative, unpredictable tale of confused adolescence in a struggling North Bengal town. Phoring, an imaginative adolescent boy, and his beautiful new teacher Doel form a close friendship that soon arouses doubt and suspicion when Doel's presence in the town is revealed to have less-than-noble origins. Roychowdhury accomplishes a tricky feat with his first film by luring us with the promise of an inspirational teacher-student story before ultimately delivering a much more complex and truthful account of the joys and pains of growing up.

Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost (2013)

Los Angeles Premiere Germany-India-Netherlands/2013/109min

Director: Anup Singh

Producers: Bero Beyer, Johannes Rexin, Bettina Brokemper, Thierry Lenouvel

Screenwriter: Anup Singh, Madhuja Mukherjee

Cast: Irrfan Khan, Tisca Chopra, Tillotama Shome, Rasika Dugal

Set in 1940s Punjab, Anup Singh’s latest feature Qissa details the aftermath of the Indo-Pakistan Partition through the experiences of one Sikh family, headed by Umber (Irrfan Khan). Following the family’s forceful displacement from their village, Umber’s desire for a male heir is stronger than ever. When his wife gives birth to their fourth daughter, Kanwar, Umber makes the fateful decision to raise her as a boy. This tragic choice ends up dividing the family in violent ways, and provokes a series of increasingly unsettling situations for Kanwar as she grows up. While in a sense a ghost story, the source of pain and suffering is all too real.

Siddharth

Los Angeles Premiere

Canada-India/2013/96min

Director: Richie Mehta

Producers: David Miller, Steven N. Bray

Screenwriter: Richie Mehta

Cast: Rajesh Tailang, Tannishtha Chatterjee

A celebrated Iffla alum, Canadian director Richie Mehta returns to the festival with a heartbreaking story of parents Mahendra and Suman, whose son goes missing after being sent to work 200 miles north of Delhi. Carried by powerful yet restrained performances from Rajesh Tailang and Tannishtha Chatterjee as the parents, Mehta and cast capture the dignity of those facing the unthinkable. Mehta's chance encounter with a man searching for his lost son alerted him to the underreported plight of the families of 44,000 children estimated missing in India every year.

Ugly

North American Premiere

India/2013/128mins/Dcp

Director: Anurag Kashyap

Writer: Anurag Kashyap

Producers: Vikas Bahl, Madhu Mantena, Vikramaditya Motwane, Vivek Rangachari, Arun Rangachari

Cast: Rahul Bhatt, Ronit Roy, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Anshika Shrivastava

When ten-year-old Kali disappears from her father Rahul's car on the busy streets of Mumbai, the events that follow quickly spiral out of control and plunge into a morass of corruption and violence. Rahul and Kali's mother, Shalini, are divorced. Shalini is now married to Shoumik, the local police chief. When Shoumik learns that his stepdaughter is missing, he and Rahul clash in a breathless race to find the girl. With intricate plotting and vivid characterizations, Iffla alum Anurag Kashyap fashions a story that's sure to keep the heart racing.

Writers (Sulemani Keeda)

North American Premiere

India/2013/90min

Director: Amit V Masurkar

Writer: Amit V Masurkar

Producer: Datta Dave

Cast: Naveen Kasturia, Mayank Tewari, Aditi Vasudev and Karan Mirchandani

Writing partners Dulal and Mainak dream of shaking up Bollywood in director Amit Masurkar's slacker comedy. The two young men take a job from the wealthy, oddball son of a famous B-movie producer, but soon fear they're on the path to selling out. Masurkar's film captures the creative spirit of Andheri West, a Mumbai suburb where writers, directors, and actors come from all over India with the dream of working in the film industry, and is a sweet taste of things to come from the new "hindie" cinema.

Documentary Features

The Auction House: A Tale of Two Brothers

World Premiere

UK/2014/85min

Director: Ed Owles

Producers: Ed Owles, Giovanna Stopponi

The auction houses of Kolkata used to be where the rich and famous found the right high-end objects to decorate their homes. Today, the family-owned Russell Exchange is the last, and oldest, one to remain in India. Director Ed Owles follows two brothers, with the older brother moving back to Kolkata from London with hopes of using his Western business acumen to bring the Exchange into the 21st century. However, in a country radically transformed by technology and a rising youth culture, it may already be too late.

Faith Connections

Los Angeles Premiere

France-India/2013/115min/Dcp

Director: Pan Nalin

Producers: Raphaël Berdugo, Gaurav Dhingra, Pan Nalin, Virginie Lacombe

Every three years, Hindus gather at one of four rotating sites for Kumbh Mela, a religious celebration of faith and devotion marked by bathing in the sacred waters of the Ganges. With 100 million people at the 2013 Kumbh Mela, the pilgrimage is said to be the largest gathering on the planet. Iffla alum Pan Nalin crafts a moving and unique view of the mass gathering and presents unique stories of how individuals came to be there to share in the belief of the divine.

Powerless (Katiyabaaz)

Los Angeles Premiere

India/2013/82min

Director: Fahad Mustafa and Deepti Kakkar

Producers: Fahad Mustafa, Deepti Kakkar, Judy Tam, Leopold Koegler

Screenwriter: Fahad Mustafa

In Kanpur, a city of three million that has seen better days, one of the only ways for many residents to get electricity is to steal it. Co-directors Fahad Mustafa and Deepti Kakkar focus their attention on the likes of pirate engineers like Loha Singh and first female CEO at the local power authority Ritu Maheshwari. Coupled with beautiful photography of the intricately tied together powerlines of the city and a pulsating original score, they present a unique documentary about current-day India and its future battles over limited resources.

Shepherds of Paradise

U.S. Premiere

India/2013/50min

Director/Producer/Screenwriter/Cinematographer/Editor: Raja Shabir Khan

Composer: Bilal Iran

Nomadic herder Gafoor has to lead his large flock of goats, sheep, cows and horses across Jammu all the way to Kashmir so they can graze. Director Raja Shabir Khan presents lives few have ever seen, let alone lived, with simple beauty and real terror in a film that has won major National Awards in India. A cinematic wonder that must be seen to truly understand, Shepherds of Paradise is a testament of the power of film to transport us to other lands and experiences.

Bollywood By Night

Bombay Talkies

North American Premiere

India/117min/2013

Directors: Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap

Producers: Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Guneet Monga

Screenwriters: Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti, Anurag Kashyap

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan , Rani Mukerji, Katrina Kaif, Randeep Hooda, Saqib Saleem, Nawazuddin Siddiqui

A quartet of short films directed by four of India’s most exciting contemporary filmmakers celebrates 100 years of Indian cinema in this omnibus film. Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap crafts a tale of ordinary people whose love of movies profoundly alters the course of their lives. Each story beautifully captures how lovers of cinema can’t help but carry that fascination into their day-to-day life. Haven’t we all wished, at one time or another, that our lives were more like a film?

Monsoon Shootout

Los Angeles Premiere

India-uk-Netherlands/2013/88min

Director: Amit Kumar

Producers: Trevor Ingman, Guneet Monga, Martijn De Grunt

Screenwriter: Amit Kumar

Cast: Vijay Varma, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Geetanjali Thapa

A split-second decision made by a rookie police officer propels writer/director Amit Kumar’s debut feature, which fascinatingly splinters into three separate, equally pulse-pounding scenarios. In a secluded alley drenched in the pouring rain, principled cop Adi aims his gun at Shiva, a vicious gangster on the run. What Adi decides to do next will reverberate throughout his personal and professional life in ways he could never imagine. Kumar thus explores the ripple effect our choices have, and how we unknowingly alter the lives of those around us.

Shorts

Aarti

Shorts Program 2

World Premiere

USA/2013/4min

Director: David Walter Lech

Producer: Terrie Samundra

A hypnotic look into the nightly “ceremony of light” ritual in a Hindu temple in Sheikhupur, Punjab.

Alchemy

Shorts Program 2

U.S. Premiere

India/2013/5min

Directors: Pranay Patwardhan, Shivangi Ranawat, Janmeet Singh

Producer: Pritesh Varia

A bold and vibrant song to the intricate fabric of modern day India, a kaleidoscope of voices, colors and traditions.

Bhiwani Junction

Shorts Program 1

Los Angeles Premiere

USA/2013/18min

Director: Abhi Singh

Producer: Abhi Singh

A poignant documentary portrait of Himanshu, a 12-year old boxer, whose formidable commitment to the sport makes his lofty dreams to become an Olympic champion appear well within reach.

Black Rock (Kaatal)

Shorts Program 1

U.S. Premiere

India/2012/22min

Director: Vikrant Pawar

Producer: Film and Television Institute of India

Two young lovers spend one last afternoon together. A beautiful meditation on the ephemeral nature of young love that has won three of India’s National Film Awards.

The Fly (Makhi)

Shorts Program 2

World Premiere

India/2013/31min

Director: Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni

Producer: Film and Television Institute of India

Employed as a Fly Killer in an upscale restaurant, Pipal must ensure a fly-free environment by smacking dead the flies that buzz over the patrons’ heads. When a nearby drainage is closed and the source of the fly infestation eradicated, Pipal must find a way to produce enough live flies to save his job, in this delightfully absurdist commentary on urban India’s emerging work culture.

Beloved (Humsafar)

Shorts Program 2

U.S. Premiere

India/2012/6min

Directors/Writers: Swapnil Awate, Laura Erbacher

Producer: Dsk Supinfocom

A sweeping single shot takes us on the breathtaking animated journey of two lovers and their eternal pursuit of harmony.

Jaya

Shorts Program 2

USA/2013/19min

Director: Puja Maewal

Producer: Puja Maewal

Young Jaya is able to survive the gruesome gang life in the unforgiving streets of Mumbai by posing as a boy. When she meets a wealthy businessman who looks like he could be the father who abandoned her, she sets out to reclaim her identity, in this engrossing drama that was shortlisted for a Student Academy Award®.

Kush

Shorts Program 1

India/2013/25min

Director: Shubhashish Bhutiani

Producer: Shubhashish Bhutiani

A bus full of schoolchildren boisterously makes its way back from a field trip when the news of Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her Sikh bodyguards breaks. As violence quickly erupts across the country, Kush, the only Sikh student in the class, must find a way to escape the unquenchable fury of retribution, in this gripping drama that was shortlisted for an Academy Award®.

Little Gypsy (Kachho Gadulo)

Shorts Program 1

Los Angeles Premiere

India/2012/6min

Directors: Saptesh Chaubal, Pranay Patwardhan, Shivangi Ranawat

Producer: D.S.K. Supinfocom

Inspired by the folk traditions of various parts of India, this stunning animated film sweeps us into a mythical journey that celebrates the power of play and imagination.

Love.Love.Love.

Shorts Program 2

Los Angeles Premiere

Russian Federation/2013/12min

Director: Sandhya Daisy Sundaram

Producers: Tanya Petrik, Guillaume Protsenko

An intimate ode to the wondrous force of love, as it takes new shapes and forms through the endless Russian winters. Love. Love.Love. won the Short Film Special Jury Award for Non-Fiction at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Outpost

Shorts Program 1

U.S. Premiere

India-usa/2013/17min

Director: Shiva Shankar Bajpai

Producer: Aditi Anand

In the barren desert of the India-Pakistan border, two lone army guards on the opposite sides of the line yearn for booze, mosquito repellent and some human contact, in this humorous glimpse into the absurdity of rigid immaterial divides.

Presence

Shorts Program 2

U.S. Premiere

India/2012/17min

Directors: Ekta Mittal, Yashaswini Raghunandan

Producers: Ekta Mittal, Yashaswini Raghunandan

Long days and nights spent within the bellies of the rising structural beasts that rapidly transform the city of Bangalore bring on visions of ghosts that speak of the construction workers’ memories, longings and fears, in this haunting meditation on the migrant experience.

Skin Deep

Screens with Writers

U.S. Premiere

India/2013/20min

Director: Hardik Mehta

Producers: Devang Bhavsar, Niraj Kothari

Sanjay and Sushma plan to elope to escape a looming arranged marriage. They are in love and their future together shines bright and perfect and filled with possibility--that is, as long as an extra piece of skin that complicates their sex life gets fixed in what should be a routine medical procedure. But Mumbai’s electricity gods have other plans in store for them.

Small Yellow Field (Tau Seru)

Shorts Program 1

Los Angeles Premiere

Australia-India/2013/8min

Director: Rodd Rathjen

Producer: Rodd Rathjen

In the remote vastness of the Himalayas, a young nomad's curiosity lies beyond the horizon. This stunningly photographed film made its world premiere at Cannes Critics’ Week.

The Puppet (Tamaash)

Screens with Shepherds Of Paradise

Los Angeles Premiere

India/2013/32min

Directors: Devanshu Singh, Satyanshu Singh

Producers: Datta Dave, Chaitanya Hegde, Omar Nissar Paul, Devanshu Singh, Satyanshu Singh

A mysterious puppet offers young Anzar the chance to escape his father’s relentless punishments over his poor school grades by granting him the power to inflict misfortune on his nemesis, his brilliant classmate, Sadat. However, his newfound peace is short-lived as Sadat falls severely ill and Anzar comes to realize that the puppet’s powers are spiraling out of his control
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles to showcase Bombay Talkies, Ugly and More

  • Bollyspice
From April 8th to the 11th, Indian films will once again be showcased in the Us at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (Iffla). In its 12th year, Iffla boasts an incredible lineup of fabulous films that reflects the rich diversity of Indian cinema. Iffla’s Artistic Director Jasmine Jaisinghani says, “I’m thrilled and proud that Iffla’s line-up this year includes an especially diverse range of cinematic experiences, covering many regions of India and the diaspora.”

Iffla 2014 presents 33 films that include feature films, documentaries and shorts. The festival will have three world premieres, six North American premieres, six U.S. premieres, and 16 Los Angeles premieres. The films feature 10 different languages, from Hindi to Marathi, to Russian to Bengali. Additionally, Iffla supports American, Australian, British, Canadian, and European diaspora filmmakers from nine different countries telling their stories.

Bollywood will be well represented with three outstanding films all showing during the festival’s run.
See full article at Bollyspice »

Jadoo to close Iffla

  • ScreenDaily
Iffla alum Amit Gupta’s film will close the 12th Indian Film Festival Of Los Angeles (Iffla) set to run in Hollywood from April 8-13.

Kulvinder Ghir, Amara Karan, Harish Patel, Tom Mison and Madhur Jaffrey star in Jadoo, which premiered in Berlin.

As previously announced, Iffla will open with Jeffrey D Brown’s Sold, on which Emma Thompson serves as executive producer.

All in all Iffla 2014 will screen 33 films including three world premieres, six North American premieres, six Us premieres and 16 Los Angeles premieres.

“I’m thrilled and proud that Iffla’s line-up this year includes an especially diverse range of cinematic experiences, covering many regions of India and the diaspora,” said Iffla artistic director Jasmine Jaisinghani.

“We would like to thank our programming advisor in India, Uma Da Cunha, for helping our programming team source some of these exceptional films.”

Programme highlights include the North American premiere of Anurag Kashyap’s psychothriller Ugly, Sundance premiere
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Iacc’s 14th Annual New York Indian Film Festival in May will spotlight Gurinder Chadha’s films!

  • Bollyspice
The Indo-American Arts Council (Iaac) continues its annual tradition with its signature program of the year and announced that the 14th Annual New York Indian Film Festival, the oldest and most prestigious film festival for Indian cinema in North America, will be held May 5 – May 10, 2014 in New York City. Nyiff will kick off its six day long festivities with a star-studded Opening Night red carpet premiere, which will take place at the Skirball Center for Performing Arts. Festival screenings, centerpiece, retrospectives and special events will take place throughout the week at the Village East Cinemas (2nd Ave @12th St NYC), with the Closing Night selection to be followed by the annual awards ceremony and after-party at Skirball Center for Performing Arts. Final film selections will be announced by early April with tickets going on sale on April 15.

This year’s festival will feature a Spotlight on British filmmaker Gurinder Chadha
See full article at Bollyspice »

Jadoo Review

  • HeyUGuys
First things first, do not go into this film on an empty stomach, because you will be distracted by the dishes on display. Go into it thinking part self-exposition story, part Indian cuisine lesson, on behalf of the writer-director Amit Gupta (who gave us wartime drama Resistance back in 2011). Gupta’s second feature Jadoo has a little too many ingredients that spoil the overall product – in fact it’s a little overcooked, without going into caricature, and often undercooked when it comes to some basic story facts. That said it’s very hard not to enjoy the sweet centre it offers too.

Brilliant chefs but rival Indian brothers Raja (Harish Patel) and younger Jagi (Kulvinder Ghir) fell out years before when a family recipe was sold off, and have not spoken since, even though they each own identically named restaurants on opposite sides of the road in Leicester’s ‘Golden Mile’. The trouble is,
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Exclusive: New Poster for British-Asian Comedy Jadoo

  • HeyUGuys
Making its world debut out in Berlin back in the spring, Jadoo is just a few weeks away from arriving on our shores, and has its sights on becoming the best British-Asian comedy since Four Lions.

With its 6th September release date on our shores very much on the horizon, we’ve exclusively got the film’s new poster to share, which will hopefully be arriving on the Underground and in bus shelters soon.

Jadoo, in cinemas, 6th Sept, is a British-made film set in Leicester, and tells the story of two brothers, Raja (Harish PatelRun Fatboy Run) and Jagi (Kulvinder GhirBend it Like Beckham). Both wonderful chefs, who fall out so catastrophically that in the climax of their dispute they rip the family recipe book in half: one brother gets the starters and the other gets the main courses. They set up rival restaurants, on opposite sides
See full article at HeyUGuys »

A Late Quartet – review

Fine performances enliven a moving drama about a group of classical musicians whose uneasy harmony is put at risk by illness

Musical groups, coming together, working harmoniously, splitting up, reuniting, provide one of the great metaphors for human activity. In the cinema we encounter them in such different forms as the real-life bandleaders Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey feuding and going their different ways in The Fabulous Dorseys; Bing Crosby's inner-city priest reforming delinquents as a choir in Going My Way; Fellini's allegorical Orchestra Rehearsal presenting Italy as a musical rabble that can only function when submitting to a firm conductor; or Dustin Hoffman's recent Quartet, which sees elderly singers burying old differences to recreate their celebrated quartet from Rigoletto.

A Late Quartet, written and directed by the American documentarian Yaron Silberman, is a major contribution to this continuing cycle. A subtle, intelligent picture with a suitably resonant title,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Game of Thrones – a beginner's guide

Not sure who's fighting who about what? Catch up with the Westeros power struggle here

Among the many strangers to personal daintiness in Game of Thrones is a character called Shagga son of Dolf. In another drama, Austin Powers for instance, the principals would giggle over the name with which Mr and Mrs Dolf cursed their firstborn, but Game of Thrones doesn't roll that way. It's played overwhelmingly straight, as if the merest chuckle would bring down the whole carefully assembled fantasy medieval edifice. Of 257 named characters, only a handful dare shoot up an ironic eyebrow, fewer dally in high camp. This isn't The Princess Bride. So forget Shagga, titter ye not and consider the (serious face) …

Geopolitical context

Remember that episode of Borgen where they spent an hour that you'll never get back on the power plays over the election of Denmark's next EU commissioner? Game of Thrones is more complicated,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Iaac’s 13th Annual New York Indian Film Festival: Nyiff announces 2013 Festival dates

  • Bollyspice
The Indo-American Arts Council (Iaac) continues its annual tradition of film excellence with its signature program of the year and announced today that the 13th Annual New York Indian Film Festival, the oldest and most prestigious film festival for Indian cinema in North America, will be held Tuesday, April 30 to Saturday, May 4 in New York City.

The New York Indian Film Festival will kick off its week-long festivities with a star-studded Opening Night red carpet premiere, which will take place at a prestigious new opening venue for the Festival, the Skirball Center for Performing Arts.

Festival screenings will take place throughout the week at Tribeca Cinemas, with the Closing Night selection to be followed by the annual awards ceremony and after-party at the Skirball Center for Performing Arts.

Nyiff’s selection committee, led by Film Festival Director and noted film journalist Aseem Chhabra, will consider submissions for narrative and documentary features and shorts.
See full article at Bollyspice »

Food's latest hot trend: leftovers

Our modern obsession with beautiful food – and reliance on ready meals when short of time – has led to huge waste. Is it time to put leftovers back on the table?

It's half past three and lunch is drawing to a close. The long dining room of 32 Great Queen Street in London's Covent Garden is three-quarters empty, with just a few diners left drinking coffee or finishing off bottles of wine. One large, noisy party at the end, nearest the open-plan kitchen remains, as the restaurant staff sit down at last to feed themselves.

The meal is freshly cooked, but often put together from leftovers. Staff meals are made from cuts of meat or bits of veg that haven't found a spot on this week's menu. Chef Tom Norrington-Davies makes a point of using things up: when his London restaurant opened five years ago, with its deliberately unfancy decor, sparse furnishings and reasonable prices,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »
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