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‘3 Idiots’ Director Rajkumar Hirani Accused of Sexual Harassment

  • Variety
‘3 Idiots’ Director Rajkumar Hirani Accused of Sexual Harassment
Updated: Rajkumar Hirani, one of India’s most successful filmmakers, has been accused of sexual harassment. His accuser is a woman assistant director who worked on Hirani’s 2018 blockbuster “Sanju.”

Hirani has denied all accusations. The alleged harassment took place during the post production process of “Sanju.” The film was released in June 2018 and grossed $83 million worldwide. It has six nominations at the upcoming Asian Film Awards, including a best director selection for Hirani.

After initially speaking through his lawyer, Hirani issued a media statement on Sunday: “I was completely shocked when these allegations were brought to my notice about two months back. I had suggested immediately that it is essential to take this matter to any committee or any legal body. The complainant has chosen to go to the media instead. I want to very strongly state that this is a false, malicious and mischievous story being spread with
See full article at Variety »

Top actor posts pictures with his ex-wife!

Hrithik Roshan is one of the top most actors in the Bollywood Industry. He is currently working on the film Super 30 directed by Vikas Bahl, and an untitled film with Siddharth Anand. His performance in his previous films - Mohenjodaro and Kaabil were appreciated.

He took to Instagram to post a picture of his ex-wife Sussanne Khan, and their 2 kids. Along with the picture, he posted a heartfelt caption that read: 

"hrithikroshanHere is Sussanne , my closest friend ( also my ex wife) capturing a moment with me and our boys.

.

A moment in itself.

....

Will ‘Me Too’ allegations against Nawazuddin finally sink ‘Sacred Games’ on Netflix?

OpinionThe decision Netflix takes now could also be a litmus test for what the ‘Me Too’ movement has truly meant for the Indian entertainment industry.Ramanathan S.Just as the dust around anonymous allegations of sexual harassment against its writer Varun Grover was settling down, season 2 of Sacred Games, the runway-hit Indian original on global streaming platform Netflix, is now facing yet another challenge – the recent allegations of abuse and harassment against one of its lead actors, Nawazuddin Siddiqui. On November 9, Bengaluru-based journalist Sandhya Menon tweeted out an account written by former Miss India Niharika Singh on her experiences of abuse and harassment in the film industry. Niharika alleges that Nawazuddin Siddiqui coerced her into a relationship, and also turned abusive later. When she broke it off with Nawazuddin and did not reciprocate to his multiple attempts to initiate a physical relationship once again, the actor spread false stories about
See full article at The News Minute »

Bollywood taken by storm by the #MeToo movement

Last year, the #MeToo-movement started in Hollywood after producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment by several women. The most asked question back then was: When will Bollywood start it’s #MeToo movement? Now, almost a year later it’s Bollywood’s turn.

Just recently Tanushree Dutta took it upon herself to speak up about an incident that happened on the sets of the film Horn Ok Pleasss about ten years ago. She told her story in 2008 but wasn’t taken seriously. Nobody supported her. Today various actresses expressed their support to her. This has led to an explosion of stories by women who were sexually harassed by men in the film industry.

Nobody saw this tsunami of stories coming.

Social Media, especially Twitter exploded. Several celebrities have now been accused of sexual harassment. These celebs include Nana Patekar, Vikas Bahl, Subhash Ghai, Sajid Khan, Chetan Bhagat, Rajat Kapoor,
See full article at Bollyspice »

#MeToo in Bollywood: Netflix Moves Ahead with 'Sacred Games' Second Season After Investigation

Netflix is moving ahead with the second season of its debut Indian original series, Sacred Games, following an independent investigation by the company regarding sexual misconduct allegations against two members connected with the show.

In a statement Tuesday, Netflix said: "After an independent investigation, the results helped inform Netflix’s decision to continue with Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap on season two of Sacred Games. We continue to collaborate with our production partners to ensure and maintain a safe and respectful working environment."

Earlier this month, Vikas Bahl, one of the co-founders of Phantom Films, which co-produced Sacred ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

#MeToo: Bollywood Takes Steps to Curb Sexual Harassment

  • Variety
With fresh allegations of sexual harassment emerging daily from all departments in Bollywood, industry bodies, including the Producers Guild of India, the Screen Writers Association, and the Cine & TV Artists Association, have set up committees to probe the harassment issue.

Pgi members have been asked to implement India’s Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013, if they hadn’t done so already. Specialized agencies will conduct workshops on best practices.

Leading studio, Yash Raj Films has terminated the services of Ashish Patil, who was VP of brand partnerships and talent management, and business and creative head of youth division Y-Films, after accusations against him. Celebrity management agency, Kwan has asked founder Anirban Blah to step aside and is redistributing his stake in the company to the other partners. The producers of “Housefull 4” have replaced director Sajid Khan with “Housefull 3” director Farhad Samji. Filmmaker, Vinta Nanda has filed
See full article at Variety »

First look of 'Queen' south remakes to have simultaneous release on Oct 19

CinemaThe four remakes will reportedly also have a simultaneous release.Digital NativeBollywood film Queen was not only commercial success at the box office but also earned its lead actor Kangana Ranaut the National Award for Best Actor for her performance in it. Following this success, Queen is being remade in all the four south Indian languages – Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. According a latest updates, the first look poster of all the four remakes will be out on October 19th to coincide with the Vijayadasami festival. The four remakes will reportedly also have a simultaneous release. The Kannada version has Parul Yadav reprising the role done by Kangana Ranaut, while in Malayalam it is Manjima Mohan. In the Telugu remake, it is Tammannah Bhatia and in Tamil, it is Kajal Agarwal in the lead. According to reports, the directors of all these remakes have made some changes to the script
See full article at The News Minute »

Bollywood’s Expanding #MeToo Movement Hits Productions

  • Variety
The #MeToo movement arrived late in India. But it is a juggernaut that is here to stay, and is having a measurable effect on production.

Aamir Khan Productions is to withdraw from a film where one of the filmmakers is accused of harassment in a 2014 case that is currently sub-judice. “This is an opportunity for the film industry to introspect and take concrete steps towards change,” actor/producer Aamir Khan and producer Kiran Rao tweeted in a joint statement. “For far too long women have borne the brunt of sexual exploitation. It has to stop.”

The movement kicked off with actress Tanushree Dutta accusing veteran actor Nana Patekar of harassment on the sets of “Horn ‘Ok’ Pleasss” in 2008, an allegation she made then and again last week. This was followed by harassment allegations against Phantom Films founding partner Vikas Bahl by an employee. That led to the dissolution of the company.
See full article at Variety »

Me Too: "I was lucky to have had women who slapped me"

Anurag Kashyap is one of the most popular directors in the Indian film industry. He was associated with the now defunct Phantom productions, but that got dissolved after sexual harrassment allegations were made against Vikas Bahl, who was also one of the partners in the production. 

Manmarziyaan director Anurag, has now stepped down from the post of the director of one of India's most popular film festivals. He took to Twitter to post a series of tweets, where he clarified his stance on the recent Me Too Movement.

"In the light of the current events , I have decided to...

Popular director allegedly accused in MeToo Movement - Hrithik Roshan's bold statement

India's MeToo movement is garnering attention and vital importance on the social media with many shocking and dark incidents coming out to the light.

Popular director Vikas Bahl, who is known for his film Queen, was one of those names to come out that shook the whole industry. He was one of the partners of Phantom Films, along with director Anurag Kashyap, director Vikramaditya Motwane, and Madhu Mantena.

Post these allegations, Anurag and Vikramaditya dissolved their production banner, Phantom Films. However, Vikas has neither denied nor apologized on this issue and his word is awaited.

Meanwhile, the 47 year...

Mumbai Festival Drops Two Films Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Filmmakers

As Bollywood grapples with the fallout from sexual assault allegations against director Vikas Bahl, the Mumbai Film Festival announced late Monday that it was dropping two films from the upcoming festival's lineup over allegations of sexual misconduct against the filmmakers.

Rajat Kapoor's Kadakh and Chintu Ka Birthday, produced by the comedy collective All India Bakchod (Aib), have been removed from the lineup by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images, the fest's organizers. The event is set to run Oct. 25-Nov. 1.

"We as an Academy (Mami) strongly support the #MeToo movement," the festival organizers said in a ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Actor Rajat Kapoor Apologizes On Twitter Following Harassment Claims As Bollywood Feels The #MeToo Force

  • Deadline
Actor Rajat Kapoor Apologizes On Twitter Following Harassment Claims As Bollywood Feels The #MeToo Force
Actor, writer and director Rajat Kapoor is the latest star caught up in the wave of #MeToo allegations sweeping the Indian biz.

The Monsoon Wedding star, who had a supporting role in ITV series The Good Karma Hospital, has taken to Twitter to apologize following allegations from multiple women of improper conduct. Among complainants is a journalist who says that during a 2007 interview Kapoor badgered her with questions such as “Are you as sexy as you sound?” and “Tell me your vital stats.”

“I am sorry from the bottom of my heart – and sad that I was the cause of this hurt to another human being,” Kapoor said on the social media platform.

I am sorry from the bottom of my heart- and sad that I was the cause of this hurt

to another human being.

If there is one thing more important to me than even my work,

it
See full article at Deadline »

Bollywood’s #MeToo Uprising Engulfs Rajat Kapoor

  • Variety
Bollywood’s #MeToo Uprising Engulfs Rajat Kapoor
Leading Indian actor and director, Rajat Kapoor (“Ankhon Dekhi”) is the latest man caught up in the wave of sexual misbehavior allegations that has been swept Bollywood in recent days. Kapoor, who was accused of inappropriate behavior with three separate women, has apologized on Twitter.

“All my life I have tried to be a decent man, to do the right thing. If however, I have slipped and through my actions or words caused pain or hurt or trauma to absolutely anybody, please accept my apology,” Kapoor tweeted.

Kapoor followed up with another tweet that said: “I am sorry from the bottom of my heart- and sad that I was the cause of this hurt to another human being. If there is one thing more important to me than even my wife, it is to be a good human being. And I have tried to be that person. And now, I will try harder.
See full article at Variety »

Bollywood Director Vikas Bahl Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Phantom Films Dissolved

In what is being seen as the beginning of Bollywood's #MeToo moment, Indian director Vikas Bahl has been accused of sexual misconduct.

The allegations, which were detailed in a Huffington Post story published on Saturday, came soon after the dissolution of Phantom Films, the edgy production company behind two-part epic Gangs of Wasseypur and Netflix's first Indian series Sacred Games which Bahl co-founded with fellow directors Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and producer Madhu Mantena. 

In the HuffPost story, an unnamed former female employee of Phantom, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was sexually assaulted by Bahl in 2015 after ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Anurag Kashyap and Partners Dissolve India’s Phantom Films Collective

  • Variety
Anurag Kashyap and Partners Dissolve India’s Phantom Films Collective
Celebrated Indian filmmaker Anurag Kashyap (“Gangs of Wasseypur”) and his partners, the directors and producers Vikramaditya Motwane (“Bhavesh Joshi Superhero”) Vikas Bahl (“Queen”) and producer Madhu Mantena (“Trapped”), have dissolved their seven-year partnership at Phantom Films.

Phantom recently produced the series “Sacred Games” for Netflix, with Motwane as showrunner; he also co-directed with Kashyap. Motwane was recently announced as showrunner for the show’s second season, with Kashyap and Neeraj Ghaywan as co-directors. It is not immediately clear how the Phantom dissolution will affect the fate of “Sacred Games.”

Kashyap is a familiar figure at Busan with several of his films showcased at the festival. He served on the New Currents jury in 2015.

Phantom was formed in 2011 as a collective of like-minded filmmakers. Phantom’s debut production was 2013’s “Lootera,” directed by Motwane. Bahl’s “Queen” was a breakout feminist hit in 2013 and Kashyap’s “Ugly” was a Cannes selection the same year.
See full article at Variety »

First Look: Hrithik Roshan In and as Anand Kumar in Super 30

Hrithik Roshan has unveiled the first look posters of his upcoming film Super 30, inspired by the life story of genius mathematician Anand Kumar and his students.

The actor shared a series of posters of Super 30. In the film, Hrithik, who has an uncanny resemblance to Anand Kumar, plays a maths wizard from Bihar, who created the programme Super 30, coaching children from underprivileged communities in Patna to crack the elite Iit examination.

In the first poster, a stern looking Hrithik Roshan’s tight shot dominates the poster, with the words, “Ab Raja Ka Beta Raja Nahin Banega…Ab Raja Wahi Banega Jo Haqdaar Hoga!,” written on it.

Plus check out these other two cool looks!

Set to release in January of next year, the film is directed by Vikas Bahl and also stars Mrunal Thakur and Amit Sadh.

Stay tuned for more!
See full article at Bollyspice »

Shahid Kapoor’s Tranformation

Shahid Kapoor seems to have undergone change especially when it comes to his on-screen persona between his last outing R…Rajkumar and his upcoming Haider.

Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider, adaptation of Hamlet, has seen Shahid’s transform himself completely to get into the skin of his character for which he is getting appreciation from the industry. Director Vikas Bahl says, “It’s wonderful to see how he gets into the skin of the character and constantly surprises us. Wanting to see him play Haider now.” Futher director-producer Karan Johar adds, “The film looks engaging and power-packed with drama and intrigue. It also appears to be Shahid’s best celluloid work.” From the first look of the film, it generated incredible grip online and on social networking sites

The actor is now being asked on how he got into the skin of his character, so much so that while he was
See full article at Bollyspice »

In Pictures: It’s a wrap for the team of Bombay Velvet!

The team of Bombay Velvet came together for the celebration of their last day of shoot. The film has been largely shot at Sri Lanka, and the last schedule was shot in Mumbai. Present at the party were Vijay Singh, Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, Karan Johar, Ranbir Kapoor, Vikram Aditya Motwane.

The team had worn a special shirt and the cake to had 28th November imprinted on it which highlights the release date of the film.

The film will cast Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma as the main leads, with Karan Johar taking on a negative role. Intrigued? We So are!

Check out some exclusive pictures from the party!

In Pictures: It’s a wrap for the team of Bombay Velvet! is a post from: BollySpice

The post In Pictures: It’s a wrap for the team of Bombay Velvet! appeared first on BollySpice.
See full article at Bollyspice »

'Bombay Velvet' announces November 28 as new release date

'Bombay Velvet' announces November 28 as new release date
New Delhi, April 18: 'Bombay Velvet' had its wrap up party with its entire team including Karan Johar, Ranbir Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap and Vikas Bahl in Mumbai recently, where they also announced November 28 as the new release date for the film.

On the occasion, actor Ranbir Kapoor, who plays the lead in the film said, "I think Anurag Kashyap has made this film with lot of hard work since it has been his dream from 9 years. And it will be fair for him if a wider audience come and see the film because he has made an entertaining and engaging the film."

The film was earlier clashing with the release of Rajkumar Hirani's.
See full article at RealBollywood »

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
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