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“Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Manto taps into every feeling and mood of his complex erudite character” – Subhash K Jha Review

Manto

Directed by Nandita Das

Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Rasika Duggal,Tahir Raj Bhasin.

Jaane wohkaise log the jinke pyar ko pyar mila….Echoing the disenchantment of a post-Nehruvian generation trapped between Partition and modernization, Guru Dutt in Pyaasa epitomized the poet’s disenchanment with a world he never asked for.Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaye toh kya hai?

Saadat Haasan Manto was poet posing as a prose writer. He thought and responded to social stimuli like a true poet, When his best friend Shyam (the matinee idol of the 1940s who died young after falling off a horse) blurts out that during the post-Partition communal riots he would have killed any Muslim, including Manto, Manto knew it was time to quit India.

When Nandita Das’s Saadat Haasan Manto leaves Mumbai for Lahore, the film and the protagonist falls into a melanlcholic, meditative mood mourning the passing of an
See full article at Bollyspice »

Indian Film Festival of Melbourne: Fahadh, Keerthy among Best Actor nominees

CinemaWhile Fahadh has been nominated for ‘Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum’, Keerthy has been nominated for her performance in ‘Mahanati’.Digital NativeDigital NativeThe Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (Iffm) is scheduled to take place from August 10 - 22. On the jury are Simi Garewal, Nikkhil Advani, Sue Maslin, Jill Bilcock, Andrew Anastasios and Geoffrey Wright who will be selecting winners under these categories – Best Film, Best Indie Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Supporting Role and Best Director. A majority of the films competing for the awards are from Bollywood, such as Padman, Hichki, Padmaavat, Sanju, Secret Superstar and Raazi. Two Tollywood films, Mahanati and Rangasthalam, are also in the competition for the Best Film award. The nominees for the Best Actor award are Ranbir Kapoor (Sanju), Varun Dhawan (October), Fahadh Faasil (Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum), Ranveer Singh (Padmaavat), Akshay Kumar (Padman), Manoj Bajpayee (In the Shadows), Soumitra Chatterjee (Mayurakshi) and Shahid Kapoor (Padmaavat). The heroines vying for the Best Actress award are Keerthy Suresh (Mahanati), Rani Mukerji (Hichki), Vidya Balan (Tumhari Sulu), Deepika Padukone (Padmaavat), Alia Bhatt (Raazi), Bhanita Das (Village Rockstars), Tillotama Shome (Sir) and Zaira Wasim (Secret Superstar). In the Best Director category, the nominations are Rajkumar Hirani (Sanju), Shoojit Sircar (October), R Balki (Padman), Siddharth P Malhotra (Hichki), Advait Chandan (Secret Superstar), Dipesh Jain (In the Shadows), Ere Gowda (Balekempa), Suresh Triveni (Tumhari Sulu), Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Padmaavat), Rima Das (Village Rockstars), Meghna Gulzar (Raazi), Tabrez Noorani (Love Sonia) and Rohena Gera (Sir). Samantha Akkineni has been nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for her performance in Mahanati. A galaxy of stars, including Freida Pinto, Rani Mukerji, Vicky Kaushal, Ram Charan, Richa Chadha, Rajkumar Hirani, Ali Fazal, Simi Garewal and Malaika Arora, will attend this year’s Iffm. Legendary actors Shashi Kapoor and Sridevi, who passed away recently, will be honoured with special screenings of their iconic films Siddhartha and Chandni, respectively. Also read: Marathon hearing on Section 377 concludes, Sc reserves verdict (Content provided by Digital Native)
See full article at The News Minute »

Cannes Film Festival: ‘Sir’

  • Variety
Cannes Film Festival: ‘Sir’
Gently suggestive and mostly confined to richly detailed interiors, the contempo Mumbai-set “Sir” recalls Tran Ahn-hung’s “The Scent of Green Papaya” for its depiction of a furtive love blossoming between an upper-crust architect and his widowed domestic helper. Yet rather than reiterating Tran’s nostalgic fetishization of the docile Asian woman, tyro writer-director Rohena Gera emphasizes the female protagonist’s dignified struggle for self-sufficiency. Still a Cinderella tale of sorts, the film nonetheless gains gravity for its insight into Indian social rigidities that tether both impoverished villagers and well-heeled urbanites.

Like Rima Das (“Village Rockstars”), Gera is a female Indian director making her mark celebrating women’s empowerment against dire economic odds. Like Das’, her direction exudes a simple grace that transcends local issues. The Indian-French co-production could bank on sales agent MK2 to put it in festivals and art-house European theaters. With films like “Ilo Ilo” and “Sunday
See full article at Variety »

‘Sir’ Director Rohena Gera On Pushing Boundaries As A Female Filmmaker: “I’ve Had To Work Very Independently” – Cannes Studio

At Cannes Critics’ Week, Sir examines the meeting of two worlds as privileged Mumbai businessman Ashwin (Vivek Gomber) falls in love with his live-in maid Ratna (Tillotama Shome). Told from her point of view, we see Ratna experiencing a new and modern empowerment, as she strives to escape both the pitfalls of the old-fashioned village life that condemned her as a young widow, and a potentially damaging affair with her employer.

For writer/ director Rohena Gera, Ratna’s drive to succeed was the vital center of the story of a changing society. “It was really about these two worlds,” she said during an interview at Deadline’s Cannes studio. “In a way, maybe she does represent the old world because she comes from a village, but to me what’s interesting is that actually it’s not that predictable. She’s not a victim. She’s actually somebody who’s dynamic.
See full article at Deadline »

Sir review – sexual tension brews in Mumbai

Social taboos and the status of women form the focus of a delicately observed drama about the relationship between a wealthy man and his maid

The Indian screenwriter and documentary director Rohena Gera makes her fiction feature debut with this thoughtful and heartfelt drama she has written and directed, showing here at Cannes in the Critics’ Week sidebar. It’s a love story that slides a bit towards sentimentality and photo-love unreality in its final act, away from the strongly and plausibly rooted situation we had started out with – but the performances are likable and persuasive enough, particularly the female lead.

Tillotama Shome (whose screen credits include Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding) plays Ratka, a young woman from a remote village who has come to Mumbai to be the live-in maid to a wealthy newly married couple in their handsome apartment. She has been allowed this relative freedom because she
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Cannes: Watch Exclusive Clip From Camera D’Or Contender ‘Sir’

  • Variety
Variety has been given an exclusive clip from “Sir,” a contender for the Camera D’Or at Cannes. Rohena Gera’s debut feature film, which is playing in Critics’ Week, stars Tillotama Shome, best known for her portrayal of Alice in Mira Nair’s “Monsoon Wedding.”

“Sir” is a love story set against the backdrop of the class divide in India. It is “a modern-day Cinderella story with an edge, presenting a side of Mumbai that is rarely seen in cinema and tying in with strong themes of female independence,” according to a statement.

The film centers on Ratna, who works as domestic live-in help with Ashwin, a man from a wealthy family. “Although Ashwin seems to have it all, Ratna can sense that he has given up on his dreams and is somewhat lost,” the film’s synopsis states. “On the other hand, Ratna who seems to have nothing,
See full article at Variety »

Indian delegation to push regional cinema at Cannes

FilmsAssamese film "Village Rockstars", Malayalam film "Bhayanakam", Bengali movie "Nagarkirtan", and "Sinjar" will be showcased at the festival's India Pavilion.IANSPoster of 'Village Rockstar' By Radhika Bhirani  National Award-winning films from Assam, Kerala, West Bengal and Lakshadweep will represent India's regional cinema prowess at the 71st Cannes Film Festival where a delegation led by Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani will push for their distribution and exhibition in the global market. The prestigious film jamboree, where Nandita Das' "Manto" and Rohena Gera's "Sir" are in separate competition sections, will get under way in the French Riviera on Tuesday. Assamese film "Village Rockstars", Malayalam film "Bhayanakam", Bengali movie "Nagarkirtan", and "Sinjar", a film from Lakshadweep made in the Jasari language, will be showcased at the festival's India Pavilion, organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting along with Ficci. "With a strong Indian delegation at the festival, we are positive that the world will see the diversity of our cinema and the exceptional cinematic talent our country possesses," Leena Jaisani, Assistant Secretary General, Ficci, told Ians. Irani, who has been persistent in drawing attention to the need to celebrate the country's regional cinema, will inaugurate the India Pavilion on Wednesday. The other delegates will include Ashok Kumar Parmar, Joint Secretary (Films), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting; Vinod K. Jacob, Joint Secretary, (Ed), Ministry of External Affairs; Censor Board Chairperson Prasoon Joshi, Censor Board member Vani Tripathi Tikoo, filmmakers Shaji N. Karun, Jahnu Barua and Bharat Bala, as well as actress Parvathy. Tikoo feels the domestic boundaries within Indian cinema need to go. "It's either good or bad cinema. The thrust has to be on Indian cinema as good narratives are coming from every region," Tikoo told Ians, adding that it's high time that as one of the largest film producing nations in the world, "we start respecting our cinema". She rued how films from languages other than Hindi find relevance within India after gaining "olive branches", referring to the laurel wreaths that movies flaunt after touring international film festivals. "It should be the reverse," averred Tikoo, who said the idea behind taking such titles to Cannes -- "the largest film market" -- is to ease the struggle a bit for films which have fantastic narratives, but find it hard to get the right exhibition platform. Bala, known for patriotic videos like "Vande Mataram" and "Jana Gana Mana", pointed out that in the last several years, most Indian films which have got a positioning at foreign fests are regional titles. "With the presence at Cannes Film Festival, the idea is to get them into the market, find a larger distribution stream and to work on existing co-production treaties," Bala told Ians. He agreed that the distribution mechanism for regional cinema isn't great within India itself, but said things are changing due to streaming platforms like Amazon and Netflix, which have enabled their global reach. Actress Rasika Dugal, who will be in Cannes for "Manto", finds it a great initiative. "There's a lot of beautiful work happening in films in different parts of India which we don't hear about... We either get to see it at a film festival or through a friend... So, I think it's high time it gets a push," Rasika told Ians. The films apart, the delegation's focus will be on leveraging co-productions with the countries with which India has co-production treaties, along with the other potential countries, promote ease of film shooting in India and position the International Film Festival of India (Iffi) at festival circuits. The India Pavilion will also see the launch of "T for Tajmahal", poster of "Bhonsle" by actor Manoj Bajpayee and producer Devashish Makhija, and actor Dhanush-starrer Indo-French co-production "The Extraordinary Journey Of Fakir". At the main fest, two women filmmakers' projects from India have made it to competition sections. Das' Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer "Manto" is in the Un Certain Regard Section, while Gera's "Sir" is in the Cannes Critics' Week sidebar. On the red carpet too, there will be women power galore as Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut, Huma Qureshi and Mallika Sherawat will be seen walking the red carpet for various brand endorsements, while actors like Rasika and Tillotama Shome will represent their movies. (Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at radhika.b@ians.in )    
See full article at The News Minute »

Cannes Critics' Week unveils 2018 selection

Cannes Critics' Week unveils 2018 selection
Wildlife, directed by Paul Dano and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan will open the selection.

Cannes Critics’ Week, devoted to first and second features as well as shorts, has unveiled the line-up of its 57th edition, running May 9-17.

Wildlife, the directing debut of Paul Dano and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan, will open the selection. The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and is based on the novel by Richard Ford.

The closing film is Guy, Alex Lutz’s second feature, a “caustic and endearing” comedy about a once famous entertainer.

All seven competition films are by European filmmakers.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Match Factory picks up Anup Singh's 'The Song Of Scorpions'

  • ScreenDaily
Match Factory picks up Anup Singh's 'The Song Of Scorpions'
Exclusive: Rajasthan-set drama will receive its world premiere at the upcoming Locarno film festival.

The Match Factory has picked up international rights to Anup Singh’s third film, The Song Of Scorpions, which will receive its world premiere in a Piazza Grande screening at the upcoming Locarno film festival.

Starring Golshifteh Farahani and Irrfan Khan, the film follows a carefree, independent tribal woman who is learning the ancient art of healing from her grandmother, a revered scorpion-singer.

A camel trader in the Rajasthan desert hears her sing and falls in love, but before they get to know each other, she is poisoned by a treachery that sets her on a perilous journey to avenge herself and find her song.

Produced by Swiss production company Feather Light Films, founded by Saskia Vischer and Shahaf Peled, and Michel Merkt’s Monaco-based Knm, the Swiss-French-Singapore co-production also stars Waheeda Rehman, Shashank Arora and Tillotama Shome.

It was produced
See full article at ScreenDaily »

“A Death in The Gunj: Konkona’s Remarkable Directorial Debut” – A Subhash K Jha Review

A Death In The Gunj

Starring Vikrant Massey, Kalki Koechlin, Ranvir Shorey, Gulshan Devaiah, Tillotama Shome, Om Puri, Tanuja

Written & Directed by Konkona Sen Sharma

It’s hard to define the mood of unrehearsed foreboding and a vague sense of doom that is built into Konkona Sen Sharma’s fragile yet ferocious family-on-a-disastrous-hillstation-holiday film.

If one didn’t know better, one would classify A Death In The Gunj as a whodunit. An Agatha Christie novel condensed into two hours of layered crisp crunchy but seemingly pointless conversations where families on a lazy vacation talk nonsense, play silly games evoking dead spirits (please!) while kids and pets run around in the large crumbling family home as the house-help grumbles about the sudden surge in domestic responsibilities.

It’s a familiar scenario for a tense exploration of fissures and fractures in the joint-family system. Satyajit Ray’s Aranyar Din Ratri, more recently
See full article at Bollyspice »

Trailer & Teaser Poster: Konkana Sen Sharma’s directorial debut A Death In The Gunj

MacGuffin Pictures and Studioz IDrream join production brings to you the trailer of A Death in the Gunj which was released today. This will mark the directorial debut of the wonderfully talented Konkona Sen Sharma.

A Death In The Gunj which is based on true events got lauded at various international film festivals and the teaser poster of the film was also released recently. The film is an atmospheric thriller which is set in 1979 at McCluskieganj, near Ranchi and stars Vikrant Massey, Gulshan Devaiah, Kalki Koechlin, Ranvir Shorey, Tillotama Shome, Jim Sarbh, Tanuja and Late Om Puri.

The movie is slated to release on 2nd June this year.

Check out the trailer and teaser poster right here!
See full article at Bollyspice »

Hindi Medium Has The Potential To Crack The Baahubali Code By Subhash K Jha movie review

Starring: Irrfan, Saba Qamar, Deepak Dobriyal

Directed by Saket Chowdhary

Irrfan Khan was last seen taking on corrupt forces in Madaari. He is back , this time to question the educational system in our country whereby children are inducted into posh English-medium schools only after a ridiculous amount of time money and energy is invested into ensuring the child’s future.

Irrfan + Social Issue, bound to work. He is known to be a thinking actor with very definite views of politics and culture.

The trauma that parents face is here alchemized into something smile-inducing and heartwarming, something quite magical in its ability to hit us where it hurts the most without damaging our sense of self-worth. Not that director Saket Choudhary trivializes the pain of parenting as it crosses the hurdles of schooling protocol.

Saket’s earlier two films the delightful Pyar Ke Side Effects and the equally delightful follow-up Shaadi Ke Side Effects
See full article at Bollyspice »

And the best director at New York Indian Film Festival goes to Konkona Sensharma

The prestigious New York Indian Film Festival (Nyiff) has declared debutante director Konkona Sensharma the best director for her film A Death In The Gunj

While all of us in India are eagerly awaiting to see Konkona Sensharma’s directorial debut A Death In The Gunj starring Vikrant Massey, Tillotama Shome, Gulshan Devaiah, Om Puri, Kalki Koechlin, Ranvir Shorey, Tanuja, Jim Sarbh and others, the film was recently invited to be showcased at the New York Indian Film Festival. Nyiff has been known for spreading awareness about India and its people through cinema since 2001. While the film was widely appreciated at the Nyiff, Konkona Sensharma won the award for the best director – a humongous encourage for any debutant!

Winning laurels at such a prestigious platform sure might have been a fantastic moment for the actor-turned-director. Congratulating his talented director, producer Ashish Bhatnagar said, “We are all extremely happy for Konkona’s big win.
See full article at Bollyspice »

Springtime in L.A.: Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles

Springtime in L.A.: Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles
It’s over but it opened L.A.’s newest spring season of unlimited international film screenings all over the city throughout the month of April and into Cannes.

The 15th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (Iffla) opened with “Lipstick Under My Burkha” and its impressive ensemble cast of Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur in a dramatic, but irreverent and vibrant film about women and faith. The film premiered at the Tokyo Film Festival 2016 and has been lighting up the festival circuit, including just winning the Audience Award at the Glasgow Film Festival. Director Alankrita Shrivastava is confirmed to attend and additional talent to be confirmed.

Lipstick Under My Burkha

Iffla concluded on April 9 with a red carpet and gala that featured the Los Angeles premiere of Shubhashish Bhutiani’s “Hotel Salvation” starring Adil Hussain who was in attendance, as well as the
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Jio Mami 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star Day Five Wrap Up

Day Five at the Jio Mami 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star saw some great sessions for film as well as television audiences.

Starting from the Oxfam and Jio Mami with Star Women in Film Brunch at Jw Marriot saw some powerful like Mami Chairperson, Kiran Rao, Oxfam head, Nisha Agarwal, Konkana SenSharma, Richa Chaddha, Poonam Dhillon, Ekta Kapoor, Leena Yadav, Deborah Young, Maanvi Gagroo, Nidhi Singh and more.

Oxfam discussed Women and Films with Oxfam Head, Nisha Agarwal, Christine Vachon, Leena Yadav, Rucha Pathak, Tala Hadid, Vibha Bakshi, Tillotama Shome and moderator Rahul BoseThe discussion covered topics like the portrayal of women in Indian cinema and how it affects the way we portray their roles in our society.

Television Vertical screened the world premiere of ‘P.O.W.’ The panel included Primetime Emmy Winner Cary Fukunaga, Gideon Raff, Gaurav Banerjee and Nikkhil Advani in conversation with Nikhil Taneja about
See full article at Bollyspice »

Jio Mami 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star opens with Indian film – A Death in the Gunj

The Jio Mami Mumbai Film Festival with Star gears up to open its 18th edition with Konkona Sensharma’s directorial debut film, A Death in the Gunj. The opening film will be screened on 21st October, 2016. The film has garnered critical acclaim internationally and has recently been screened at the 41st Toronto Film Festival.

A Death in the Gunj marks a double debut for Konkona Sensharma – as director and screenplay writer. Shot at various locations in McCluskiegunj, Jharkhand, the film is a coming-of-age story, set in the 1970s. The film revolves around a family vacation and is based on true events which are meticulously captured by Sensharma. The film is said to have been wrapped up in six weeks in March 2016.

Konkona Sensharma said,” I’m truly excited and honored that Aditg will be the opening film at Mami! It is the city of my work and where the film
See full article at Bollyspice »

Budhia’s Story Must Be Seen By Every Indian – Subhash K Jha reviews ‘Budhia Singh Born To Run’

Starring Manoj Bajpai, Mayur Patole, Tillotama Shome

Written & Directed by Soumendra Padhi

Watching the extreme poverty of wunder-kid Budhia Singh’s life in this brave and profoundly moving biopic, I felt rich and privileged.

Cinema that can elevate your spirit while depicting the tragic loss of youth and innocence in the midst of abject deprivation is a rare exception and eminently welcome. Ergo, a standing ovation for debutant director Soumendra Padhi’s bluntly brilliant biopic. It may not brag of the brio that dazzles us in Dishoom or the swag that makes Salman the Sultan of the box office.

But by God, Budhia Singh – Born To Run spreads sunshine in the viewer’s heart. Its notably pronounced mood of transparency lends to the narrative a sense of unadorned directness. And yet this film is not a dry documentary on am exceptional child from Odisha who ran (and he ran, and ran…
See full article at Bollyspice »

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 »
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