Posts Tagged ‘Panaji’
Panaji, Nov 25 (IANS) A fascination for India and a cultural attraction towards the country made Academy Award−winning Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier to set a part of her new film in India.
Interacting with mediapersons at the 43rd International Film Festival of India here Sunday, Susanne said her 2006 film “After The Wedding” had a part of the plot set in India, where the protagonist lived and managed an orphanage.
“I’ve always had a fascination with India. I’ve been reading a lot of Indian literature. India is culturally influential in ways you may not realise. Besides history, there is a much more substantial influence.
“So having to make my character live outside of Denmark, India became the place naturally,” said the 52−year−old, adding that it was “important to somehow educate, tell the audience to embrace the multicultural world”.
“After The Wedding”, being screened at the film festival, stars Mads Mikkelsen, a Danish actor known for his role as a poker−playing villain in the James Bond film “Casino Royale”.
Bier’s film “In a Better World” won an Oscar for the Best Foreign Film last year.
She said her interest was not about movies per say but about storytelling. “For me, movies are the best tool for doing that.”
Bier said several producers had approached her to make a movie based in India, but she was cautious because she was not fully aware of the land and not confident to tell a story about a country and its people.
But she said she was working on a film that might open in India.
“It is a romantic comedy which has a serious element. It deals with the theme of cancer,” she said, adding that to familiarise herself with Indian cinema, she would buy a bagful of DVDs.
Bier also drew an unlikely parallel between filmmaking and architecture, adding that her interest in architecture was the reason why she became a filmmaker.
“While doing architecture you deal with houses and I became increasingly interested in the people who inhabit these houses. Training in architecture has been a great help with being a film director, because the blueprint of a building is really like a script and it does teach you a certain discipline while shooting a movie,” she said.
Panaji, Nov 25 (IANS) For kids “violence is okay, but love is not” is a condescending double standard that plagues most Indian censors, says director Sudhir Mishra.
Speaking during an interactive session at the ongoing 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Mishra said the outlook of Indian censors needed to be re−looked at, especially when it comes to issuing censor certificates.
“Kids are allowed to watch violence but not intimate scenes because such scenes are ‘adult’ in nature. How does any of this make sense,” Mishra asked.
The director, who has crafted several critically acclaimed films like “Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi”, “Dharavi”, “Chameli”, etc., also said that several of his films had intimate scenes over which he had to wrangle with the censor board for clearance.
“My film (‘Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi’) was called an adult film by the censors. I believe, even school children should be made to see critically acclaimed films like these, because there is so much to learn about an age,” he said.
Panaji, Nov 24 (IANS) Taking a dig at the numerous Bollywood awards, actor Abhay Deol said Saturday that most awards are either rigged or actors attend them because they are paid for their presence.
“Talk to any actor off record and he will tell you, you either go because you are winning an award or you go because you are getting paid. Otherwise, you don’t go,” Abhay said during an interactive session at the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here.
“In that case, pay me and I’ll perform. If you tell me you are awarding talent, then no. It is just an exercise in appeasing those you have worked with or appeasing those you want to work with,” he said candidly.
He recalled an instance from 2009 when his movie “Dev D”, a radical take on the iconic “Devdas” film, rocked the theatres, and despite an electrifying and a well−appreciated performance, Abhay was not nominated for any awards.
“I was promoting ‘Road, Movie’ at the time the Filmfare Awards were happening, and no one wanted to talk to me about ‘Road…’. The entire press wanted to know why I wasn’t selected for an award. And I said, ‘It was a family fare. If you are part of the family, then you will get it.’ And I stick by that,” Abhay said.
“The validation that I might be doing something right is the fact that I didn’t get the award,” he joked.
Panaji, Nov 24 (IANS) Actor Abhay Deol may just have to play the lead role in his first home production because of monetary constraints.
“I’m making baby steps in production… Being a first time producer, I won’t get a big−time star to work in those films. So I have to put myself in the film because of money constraints,” Abhay said.
The Bollywood actor spoke about it during an interactive session Saturday at the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here.
Known as one of Bollywood’s more circumspect and reluctant stars, Abhay also said that he would rope in the big actors if his debut film, which he is attempting, does well.
Later, in conversation with director Vishal Bhardwaj, Abhay said his role as a south Indian bureaucrat in Dibakar Banerjee’s “Shanghai” was the most difficult role he has essayed yet. And he says it was due to the distinct accent he had to cultivate.
“It was a south Indian accent and we traditionally have an infrastructure of accent training factors in our country, we don’t have professionals. So even during breaks, I would speak with that accent, and have to keep in mind the accent, and the emotion and the scene and the motive,” he said.
Panaji, Nov 24 (IANS) India as an emerging market for surrogate mothers, is now the theme of an upcoming Polish film.
Two Polish filmmakers, who are in Goa for the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), told IANS that they were on the lookout for a joint India−Polish production for a movie about surrogacy and the laws of the land, which sometimes makes it trying for parents of children born through the practice.
Surrogacy involves roping in of a surrogate mother, who literally rents her womb for child bearing.
“We are planning to shoot our film ‘Re: Poland’ sometime in 2013,” said Roman Jedrkowiak, project manager and producer of the film.
Jedrkowiak said that the film revolved around a childless Polish couple, who travel to India to have a baby through surrogacy. They get their child, but it is when they need to travel back with the baby that the laws of both countries make it an excruciating experience for them.
“Their trials start after they have the baby. The film explores the subject of surrogacy, in juxtaposition with the seemingly inadequate laws which are in place,” Wojciech Lepianka, the film’s scriptwriter, said.
India is said to be one of the most sought after countries in the world, where childless parents as well as gay couples come relatively cheaper surrogacy procedures.
Recent studies reveal that a regular surrogacy programme costs $15,000, which is around a fifth of the cost in the US.
“What we are looking out for in India is a local partnership. There is a significant portion of the film which needs to be shot in this country. We are scouting around,” said Jedrkowiak.
Panaji, Nov 23 (IANS) Cash crunch and inability to convince producers about novel plots are the big hurdles young filmmakers in the country are facing, said a group of directors attending the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here Friday.
Speaking about their fears during an open interaction among filmmakers and delegates, successful young directors Gauri Shinde, Onir and Umesh Kulkarni said despite advances made by the film industry, the formula phenomenon still haunted most youngsters who offered interesting stories and narratives.
Gauri Shinde’s Sridevi−starrer “English Vinglish” might have been a hit, but she said she had too had to struggle.
“When I started out, I didn’t think it would be an uphill task. I just went with my belief. But I then saw that people were not convinced. There was an unknown female debutant director, a yesteryear women in the lead, no hero, no item number, no conventional formula of Hindi cinema. I couldn’t at first understand their hesitance,” she said.
Shinde was not a nobody even though her husband, R. Balki, is one of Mumbai’s leading ad men and director of Amitabh Bachchan−starrers “Cheeni Kum” and “Paa”.
Still, Shinde said, it did not spare her the chore of making rounds of film distributors’ offices.
Asked about the relationship of money with cinema, Gauri said: “It is important to make money and to return money. Filmmaking is not an indulgence by itself or at the other person’s cost.”
Onir, known for his innovative marketing strategies for promoting his films, recalled an episode where a producer asked him to reorient his lead character to a bisexual to “enhance” the fortunes of “My Brother, Nikhil”.
“My films come from a space where we want to question certain aspects of life. These are films of a kind that require patronage. So the basic idea cannot change. For example, with ‘My Brother Nikhil’, it was impossible to get finance. I was asked to change the character and make him bisexual,” Onir said.
He said the movie came to a fruition only because “all the actors worked for free” and mega production house Yash Raj Films distributed it.
The film was based on the real life story of a gay man in Goa, one of India’s first recorded HIV fatalities.
“The problem lies little with making the film. But after you are done with it, what do you do? I think there should be a space created for independent cinema, for free−thinking cinema,” he said.
Umesh Kulkarni, a Marathi director and alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India, known for films such as “Valu” (The Seed Bull), “Vihir” (The Well) and “Deul” (Temple), said Marathi films neither had proper distributors or buyers. But one had to make films to ensure that they went to the people.
“After borrowing money from friends and relatives we completed the film. The Marathi film industry doesn’t have distribution or buyers, but luckily my film was properly released in theatres and ran for six months,” he said.
Panaji, Nov 23 (IANS) This anecdote surely has the makings of one more Rajini joke, to add to one of the many which have had the country in splits off and on.
Life is so tough for young filmmakers, that even the legendary Rajinikanth’s daughter Aishwarya is finding it difficult to push her films in the Hindi−speaking market, despite her father’s pedigree and the power of the “Kolaveri Di” song, which rocked the youtube charts, “viralling” through the country and the world.
Speaking about the travails of young filmmakers in India at the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Aishwarya said she found it difficult to market her Tamil and Telugu films in Hindi because of affordability factors.
“I approached satellite TV channels, but according to the law, a movie has to have a multiplex release to then premiere on TV. So even with my family background and the fact that the song I was associated with ‘Kolaveri Di’ went viral on the Internet, I struggle to spread my film,” said Aishwarya, who’s married to southern star Dhanush.
A video of Tamil−English song “Kolaveri Di” from the film “3″, sung by Dhanush in a recording studio, went viral making it one of the most popular music videos of the decade.
Aishwarya, who already has three films to her credit, said her Tamil and Telugu films could not be marketed in Hindi because she could not afford it, even with her “background and family status”.
And like her father, she claimed that the films she made were to entertain people in order to make them “forget their sorrows”.
“People have the right to be entertained well and we have to give them something worthwhile,” she said.
Panaji, Nov 22 (IANS) And you blamed Bollywood for consistently seeking ‘inspiration’ from Hollywood −− a Polish film now has a Bollywood−like number and filmmaker Jakub Tarkowski is unabashed in his debt to the Mumbai−based film industry for similar inspiration.
Tarkowski, one of the three directors of the Polish film “George The Hedgehog” was in Goa to attend the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI). He also said that he was overwhelmed by the host city and the choice of films on offer at the event.
“In our movie, we made a musical sequence that was inspired by Bollywood,” Tarkowski told IANS, while speaking about his film, which is based on comic book strips. Its plot involves two neo Nazis and a scientist who club their talents together.
The musical sequence is complete with the ‘thumkas’ and ‘jhatkas’ found in Bollywood films.
Tomasz Lesniak, one of the three co−directors of the film, who is also in Goa, drew a parallel in the element of exaggeration in animation films and Bollywood cinema. As animation specialists, that was one of the reasons why they shared an affinity with Hindi cinema.
“We wanted to exaggerate some things in our movie in a similar way. Maybe that is why we can relate to Bollywood movies,” Tomasz, also known as Tom said.
What else tickles Tom’s ‘Bollywood bone’, is the far−fetched action sequences, where actors often fly, swing, gyrate, kick and leap unrealistically in the action sequences, and often almost immediately break into a song and dance sequence.
“I like the exaggeration. Any action scene is 10 times more intense than other movies. Every actor is singing in the movie in the song. It is very exotic for me. I like it,” Tom said, adding that although he had watched several films, he did not recall names.
In fact, the director duo said that like in Bollywood films, in animation too exaggeration rules the roost, where a character’s expressions have to be doubled or tripled.
“There is a rule in comic and animation that if you want to present an emotion, you have to make it double to be understood. So the similar thing happens in Bollywood, but with actors,” he said.
Commenting on Goa and the host city Panaji, Tarkowski said: “We are looking forward to watch movies here, the selection is interesting.”
Panaji, Nov 22 (IANS) Kabir Bedi, the imposing, baritone voice of Indian cinema and stage, almost tempered the tone of the newly introduced ‘chai and chat’ session at the ongoing 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) with a frank admission that acting in Indian theatre does not “pay my bills”.
It was almost as if long known friends were pouring out their cup of woes and anxieties, over a cup of tea.
The actor pointed to an almost symbiotic relationship between theatre, television and films and said that every genre was as essential as the other, in the life of an actor.
“Theatre is done largely for the love of the craft. Television makes you famous. And films immortalize you. That’s the relationship between the three,” Bedi said at the session titled “Cinema and Theatre parallel or opposing genres”.
“I am essentially someone who comes from the theatre. I love the theatre. Unfortunately, theatre doesn’t pay the bills. Only in theatre abroad, I get a wage,” Bedi said, adding that it was his love for the medium of theatre which forced him to turn back and dabble in it.
“Theatre has always been a fountainhead for ideas, both for cinema and television,” he said.
“Each technology has its own uniqueness and its own effect. ‘Life of Pi’ is an example. It is a classic example of pure cinema. One cannot do in theatre or TV what Ang Lee did in ‘Life of Pi’. Television’s greatest ticket is immediacy, and long−running stories. There can be no duplication of either,” Bedi said, giving his due to non−theatre mediums of performance.
Celebrated character actor and the darling of the multiplex audiences, Vinay Pathak said that independent filmmakers in India have a long way to go.
“Making a film is not enough. What needs to be done is spreading the film,” Pathak said.
Theatre actor Dhritiman Chatterjee said that the actor’s greatest satisfaction is on stage and establishing a connect with the live audience in the first few minutes.
“As an actor, your greatest satisfaction is on stage. That contact with the audience. Knowing (that) in the first five minutes whether you are making a connection with the audience or not, whether its working or not. That electrifying feeling you don’t get in cinema,” said Chatterjee, who has worked with some of the great filmmakers in Bengali cinema, namely Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Aparna Sen.
Panaji, Nov 21 (IANS) The BJP is more keen on promoting alcohol than the Congress party in the state, women’s rights activists alleged here Wednesday, criticising the ruling party’s decision to allow more alcohol vendors during the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
Bailancho Saad, a leading women’s rights group, would be protesting the government’s “spirited” move in close proximity of the film festival venue Sunday, in defiance of a “no−assembly law” laid down by the police.
“We thought the Congress government alone was supportive of the sale of alcohol, but the BJP seems to love it even more. They have even made alcohol available from 9 a.m. instead of 11 a.m., which was the time set for earlier film festivals,” Bailancho Saad convenor Sabina Martins said.
Even the Children’s Park near the festival venue has not been spared from alcohol stalls, she said.
“Liquor outlets are in Children’s Park (Mahaveer Park) where the Kingfisher village is set up and an INOX courtyard, besides outside art gallery and in the football stadium. At this rate, alcohol would be available in the secretariat complex also,” Martins said.
Martins also said that a representation had been made to the state excise commissioner to cancel temporary liquor licenses.
“IFFI is a film festival, not an alcohol festival. Consumption of alcohol is not a prerequisite to watching a movie. No other film festival in India ensures supply of alcohol to viewers to enjoy films,” Martins said.
A spokesperson for the festival said the Directorate of Film Festivals had no stake in the allotment of temporary licences for alcohol vendors and that “it has been going on since the festival moved to Goa in 2004. There is nothing unusual about this”.
The 10−day film festival began Nov 20.
Panaji, Nov 21 (IANS) Ajmal Kasab’s hanging at Pune’s Yerawada Jail was appropriate and was carried out after “every level of judiciary examined it”, union minister Manish Tewari said here Wednesday.
“The hanging was appropriate. It was done after every level of judiciary examined it,” said Tewari, who is minister of state for information and broadcasting with independent charge.
He added that the execution, which was carried out in secrecy, had nothing to do with the winter session of parliament beginning Thursday.
Tewari was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event organised on the occasion of the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
The minister, however, shied away from commenting on the issue related to the hanging of Afzal Guru, convicted for his role in the December 2001 attack on Parliament House.
“This is not the appropriate time for it. When the right time comes, we can comment,” Tewari said.
Panaji, Nov 20 (IANS) A new section celebrating Asian spiritualism through cinema has been launched with the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) that got off to a rousing start here Tuesday.
Films like “The Buddha, Light of Asia”, “Samsara”, “Mystic Iran: The Unseen World”, “The Burmese Harp” and “The Great Pilgrim” will be screened under this section titled Soul of Asia: Cinema and Mysticism.
“The vision is to screen India premieres of films made on themes of Asian philosophies and philosophers, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Zen, Confucianism, Sufism and other ancient mystic and ascetic traditions of Asia,” said the information and broadcasting ministry.
Included in the section is the acclaimed Chinese film, “Confucius”, directed by Hu Mei.