Tag Archives: Kiran Rao

5 women directors who made it big in Kollywood

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Srivatsan

Lately, women directors in Kollywood are making it big. In a male-chauvinistic industry such as Kollywood, women directors have never ceased to amaze the audience with a solid content. While filmmakers like Reema Kagti, Zoya Akhtar, Gauri Shinde and Kiran Rao have carved a niche for themselves in Bollywood, women taking over the reins of direction is still a norm in Tamil cinema. However, we too have some maverick female filmmakers who left an imperishable mark among the audience.

Despite being a terrific actor, Suhasini Mani Ratnam is a great screenwriter. Suhasini made her directorial debut with Indira, which is probably the most underrated film and was a box-office disaster upon release. However, it received a cult status for its modern theme. The protagonist of the film is a woman who single-handedly strives to overcome the caste system in her village, and one has to give it to Suhasini Maniratnam for having carved an innocent but an impactful character in Indira. Apart from Indira, Suhasini has worked in Mani Ratnam’s Raavanan/ Raavan (2010). According to Mani Ratnam, it was Suhasini who wrote half of the former’s anthology political drama Aayutha Ezhuthu/ Yuva (2004).

Bankrolled by ace-filmmaker Gautham Menon, Veppam narrates a set of events from the slum areas of Chennai, showcasing characters and their struggles. Veppam, on many levels, is an unusual subject which one wouldn’t expect from a woman, especially in this genre (gritty thriller). Veppam had everything to hold the audience’s eyes- romance, drama and violence. However, the film failed to create the impact that of Selvaraghavan’s Pudhupettai (2006) or Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s Aaranya Kaandam (2010). Be it the screenplay or the dialogues, Anjana Ali Khan has to be credited for the amount of detailing that went unnoticed.

Lately, women directors in Kollywood are making it big. In a male-chauvinistic industry such as Kollywood, women directors have never ceased to amaze the audience with a solid content. While filmmakers like Reema Kagti, Zoya Akhtar, Gauri Shinde and Kiran Rao have carved a niche for themselves in Bollywood, women taking over the reins of direction is still a norm in Tamil cinema. However, we too have some maverick female filmmakers who left an imperishable mark among the audience.

Suhasini Mani Ratnam’s Indira (1995)

Despite being a terrific actor, Suhasini Mani Ratnam is a great screenwriter. Suhasini made her directorial debut with Indira, which is probably the most underrated film and was a box-office disaster upon release. However, it received a cult status for its modern theme. The protagonist of the film is a woman who single-handedly strives to overcome the caste system in her village, and one has to give it to Suhasini Maniratnam for having carved an innocent but an impactful character in Indira. Apart from Indira, Suhasini has worked in Mani Ratnam’s Raavanan/ Raavan (2010). According to Mani Ratnam, it was Suhasini who wrote half of the former’s anthology political drama Aayutha Ezhuthu/ Yuva (2004).

Anjana Ali Khan’s Veppam (2011)

Bankrolled by ace-filmmaker Gautham Menon, Veppam narrates a set of events from the slum areas of Chennai, showcasing characters and their struggles. Veppam, on many levels, is an unusual subject which one wouldn’t expect from a woman, especially in this genre (gritty thriller). Veppam had everything to hold the audience’s eyes- romance, drama and violence. However, the film failed to create the impact that of Selvaraghavan’s Pudhupettai (2006) or Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s Aaranya Kaandam (2010). Be it the screenplay or the dialogues, Anjana Ali Khan has to be credited for the amount of detailing that went unnoticed.

Aishwaryaa’s 3 (2011) and Soundarya’s Kochadaiiyaan (2014)

After working as an erstwhile assistant director to Selvaraghavan, Aishwaryaa R ventured into direction. Her first feature film 3, which had her husband Dhanush playing the lead role, opened to mixed reviews from the audience. However, the song ‘Why This Kolaveri Di’ was a rage upon release.

Lately, women directors in Kollywood are making it big. In a male-chauvinistic industry such as Kollywood, women directors have never ceased to amaze the audience with a solid content. While filmmakers like Reema Kagti, Zoya Akhtar, Gauri Shinde and Kiran Rao have carved a niche for themselves in Bollywood, women taking over the reins of direction is still a norm in Tamil cinema. However, we too have some maverick female filmmakers who left an imperishable mark among the audience.

Soundarya too didn’t have a rock solid debut. Despite working with superstar Rajinikanth in Kochadaiiyaan, the film failed to create the Rajini magic at the box office. Now, both Aishwaryaa and Soundarya are working on their respective feature films.

Lakshmy Ramakrishnan’s Aarohanam (2012) and Ammani (2016)

After making her acting debut in the Malayalam industry, Lakshmy Ramakrishnan proved her mettle in director Mysskin’s Yudham Sei (2011). Aarohanam was her first directorial venture which tells the story of Nirmala, the breadwinner of the family who goes missing just two days before her daughter’s wedding. Aarohanam was widely lauded for the director’s treatment of the characters and Viji Chandrasekhar’s performance. Lakshmy Ramakrishnan’s recent film Ammani too opened to rave reviews from the critics.

Sudha Kongara’s Irudhi Suttru/ Saala Khadoos (2016)

Sudha Kongara, who associate director for seven years with Mani Ratnam, made her directorial debut with the Tamil film Drohi (2010). However, it was R Madhavan’s Irudhi Suttru which gave Sudha the much-needed breakthrough in the industry. Irudhi Suttru tells the story of Prabhu Selvaraj (Madhavan), a boxer, is ignored by the boxing association. He tries to accomplish his dream by training Madhi, a fish-seller and an amateur fighter. As the film also marked the return of Madhavan, Irudhi Suttru was an instant hit and the film has now been selected to premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Also, the list becomes incomplete without Gayathri, whose dark comedy Va Quarter Cutting (2010) has earned a cult among the fans of neo-noir genre.

(Source: http://www.indiatoday.intoday)

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Jio Mami Mumbai Film Festival draws NGO’s ire for screening Pakistani classic

A complaint has been registered at Amboli police station against the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star, where a Pakistani film will be screened later this month.

The Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star, which will begin from 20 October, will showcase the 1959 Pakistani film titled Jago Hua Savera, directed by AJ Kardar. The film is being screened in the fest’s ‘Restored Classics’ section, which is headed by Dhobi Ghat director Kiran Rao.

Prithvi Mhaske, who filed the complaint on Saturday, told IANS: “We have filed a complaint at Amboli police station against MAMI film festival which has plans to showcase a Pakistani film at the festival. Our intentions are very clear. We will protest against the festival if they showcase this film. We will be protesting outside Infinity Mall, where the event is taking place.”

Mhaske is the president of Sangharsh Foundation, an NGO in Mumbai.

In his letter to the police, Mhaske said: “The organisers of this event are more likely to flare outrage among people by screening this Pakistani film in their festival. This will just not be acceptable as it will give rise to more tension among the people. Moreover, IMPPA has also decided to ban Pakistani actors from working in Bollywood and also almost all single screen theatres have decided to boycott movies of Pakistani actors. So, why (are) the organisers of the Mumbai Film Festival pouring so much love towards Pakistani actors?”

Mhaske also told PTI, “If the organisers do not stop the film’s screening, my workers will stall (it).”

Senior PI with the Amboli Police Station Bharat Gaikwad said that he had received the complain from Mhaske, and had “summoned both the parties to go into the merits of the application”.

Over 180 films from 54 countries, including features, documentaries, short films are to be showcased at the Mumbai Film Festival.

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-9-58-00-amJago Hua Savera (Day Shall Dawn) depicts life in a small fishing village in East Bengal (now Bangladesh; then part of Pakistan). It was written by the poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, and recently restored, with a screening at the Cannes Film Festival.

After the 18 September terrorist attack at the Uri army camp, relations between India and Pakistan have been strained. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had issued an ultimatum to Pakistani artistes to leave India and said the party would not let their movies release in India.

The Indian Motion Picture Producers Association passed a resolution banning Pakistanis from working in films being made in India as they were upset that many Pakistani artistes did not condemn the incident.

In retaliation, some Pakistani theatre chain owners banned the screening of Indian films.

(Source: http://www.firstpost.com)

MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL CELEBRATES INNOVATION IN FILMMAKING WITH THE LAUNCH OF THE NEW MEDIUM

Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star introduces new programming this year called The New Medium. This section will feature the best in innovative filmmaking by scouring the living history of cinema – from its inception to the contemporary moment.
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The New Medium is formulated and programmed by artist, Shaina Anand who is co-founder of the artist studio CAMP, and the Indian Cinema Foundation. These films will be screened throughout the festival, between 20th to 27th October, 2016. The New Medium will bring together works that have shaped and transcended the language of cinema in both form and content. Powerful and relevant at the time they were made, they remain transformative as experiences. These movies challenge the preconceptions of standard methods of filmmaking.
Speaking about The New Medium, curator and artist Shaina Anand said, “This programme is not just about experimental avant-garde cinema. The moving image has a very short historical life. Its only 125 years old and its form and language is far from exhausted. Some of the films we present here are canons. Others are cult classics, known only in small circles. Here you will find assemblage, agitprop, a film about a film, an essay film, a reenactment, a faux documentary, a music video, a science fiction fantasy, a TV-series, a collectively-authored film, a pure formal interactive experience, and even one of the longest films ever made! The New Medium invites the audience to experience first- hand these remarkable trajectories from the chronicles of cinema.”
The New Medium opens with the restored version of Dziga Vertov’s audacious Man with the Movie Camera that was made in 1929. In2014, Sight and Sound Magazine named it as the greatest documentary of all time. The film will be accompanied by a live score performed by the Vitaly Tkachuk Quartet joining us from Ukraine.
Among the 14 titles that will screen throughout the festival is Uday Shankar’s fantastical dance film, Kalpana (1948) restored by the World Cinema Foundation, Mani Kaul’s unseen mini-series “Ahamaq” (Idiot), and an iconic work of expanded cinema, the two-screen Light Music (1975) by Lis Rhodes that will be installed inside the cinema hall.
Jio MAMI with Star, Festival Chairperson, Kiran Rao said, “We are truly excited to present this new section -my personal favourite section! – which showcases some of the more bold and seminal experiments in filmmaking. I hope film lovers will take this opportunity to experience works like the newly restored Man with a Movie Camera accompanied by live music, and Lav Diaz’ Evolution of a Filipino Family, among others.”
The 14 movies that will be featured as part of The New Medium are:
Man with A Movie Camera
Directed by Dziga Vertov (RUSSIA 1929)
Accompanied by live music from the Vitaly Tkachuk Quartet
Kalpana
Directed by Uday Shankar (INDIA 1948)
For a first (and only) film by a dancer who also plays the lead role, Kalpana shows an amazing grasp of cinematic form. Uday Shankar‟s accurate compositions and use of movement within them are breathtakingly original. Here dance is not a mere addition to the other attractions of the film but it is integrated into the very fabric of what is
almost a new cinematic form.
Now!
Directed by Santiago Alvarez (CUBA 1965)
Preceding the music video genre by 20 years, and made mostly with still photographs, it is a visceral and haunting document of racism and police brutality in the United States.
Far from Vietnam
Directed by Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Agnès Varda, Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker and Alain Resnais (FRANCE 1967)
Seven of French cinemas greats come together to collectively author this film. Passionately critical and self-critical, and as bold in form as it is in rhetoric, the film is a milestone in political documentary and in the French cinema.
Vampir Cuadecuc
Directed by Pere Portabella (SPAIN 1971)
A parasitical film. A cult classic. Christopher Lee lends his features to another vampire, General Franco, hoping to hasten his end in this political fable.
Space is The Place
Directed by Johan Coney (USA 1974)
Science fiction, blaxploitation, cosmic free jazz and radical race politics combine when the legendary Jazz musician Sun Ra returns to earth in his music-powered space ship to battle for the future of the black race and offer an ‘alter-destiny’ to those who would join him.
Chhatrabhang
Directed by Nina Shivdasani Rovshen (INDIA 1976)
With a simple narrative that unravels in a direct yet poetic manner, Chhatrabhang‟ explores the caste dynamics of a drought stricken villagein rural India.
Light Music
Directed by Lis Rhodes (UK 1975)
The space between the two screens turns the beams into airy sculptural forms consisting of light, shadow and smoke, which encourages the viewer to move around the room. This in turns destroys conventional film watching codes and turns the film into a collective practice where the audience is expected to intervene into the work and thus, become the
performer. 16 mm Black and White 2 screen projection, with sound and fog. In
collaboration with British Council Mumbai, with technical support from Max Meuller Bhavan, Delhi. Lis Rhodes ‘Light Music’ can be described but only in order to be experienced. We present this iconic work of expanded cinema inside the cinema as part of The New Mediums programming.
Agraaharathil Kazhuthai
Directed by John Abraham (INDIA 1977)
Made as a satire on the Brahminical bigotry and superstition, the surreal narrative style makes excellent use of repetitions for comic effect.
Evolution of a Filipino Family
Directed by Lav Diaz (PHILIPINES 2004)
A special film and an especially long film. Watch the first independent film of the prolific and mutl-award winning Pillipino auteur Lav Diaz. Ten years in the making, and just as long. Follows the adventures of a family against the backdrop of the social and political developments in Marcos regime’s state of siege in the Philippines between 1971-1987.
Ahmaq
Directed by Mani Kaul (INDIA 1991)
Mani Kaul explores Dostoevsky’s novel faithfully following the original plot transposed into a scathing depiction of a feudal elite, largely bypassed by history, located in Bombay and Goa. The unedited mini-series presented back to back as a four-hour film. To discuss the film and how it was to work with Mani Kaul, we bring together key members of Kaul’s original cast and crew. They are:
Piyush Shah: Cinematographer, alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India
·
Vikram Joglekar: Sound artist, musician, alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India
·
Meeta Vasisht: Actor, alumna of National School of Drama
·
Lalitha Krishna: Editor of all of Kaul’s films in the middle period, beginning with
Before My Eyes, and including The Cloud Door, Nazar, Siddheshwari and Ahamaq.
·
Ashish Rajadhyaksha: Film theorist and historian
·
D. Wood: multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and educator
Ming of Harlem
Directed by Philip Warnell (UK 2014)
The film explores the relations between Antoine (a US citizen), Ming (400 pound Bengal tiger), and Al (a 7-foot long American alligator) and the high-rise dwelling they shared, presenting portraits of each of them as embedded in ethically fraught community and political concerns, accompanied by philosopher and collaborator Jean-Luc Nancy’s responses to their inter-species rapport in poetic form.
Goodbye to Language
Directed by Jean Luc Godard (FRANCE 2014)
Godard‟s Experimental 3-D film plays with the conventions of stereo vision using custom made DIY rigs.
Parallel I-IV
Directed by Harun Farocki (GERMANY 2014)
Tracing the evolution of video game graphics, the series continues the late filmmaker’s long-standing investigation into the rise of calculable, actionable images possessing a relationship to reality very different than that of the cinema before them.
Jio MAMI with Star VISION 2016
The Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star is an inclusive movie feast. We showcase the latest cutting-edge, independent, cinema-art house fare alongside genre movies from Bollywood and Hollywood and cult international movies. We offer the best of world cinema to the people of Mumbai and we offer the best of Indian cinema to the world. The festival
is run by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image popularly known as MAMI. This is a space where we revel in the sheer pleasure of cinema, the joy it gives us and how much it enhances our lives. The goal is to nurture and ignite a passion for movies. We want Jio MAMI with Star to be shorthand for excellence in cinema.