Tag Archives: Mumbai

Eros joins hands with Russian film distribution company Central Partnership

Posted by Larry Gleeson
By Guarav Laghate

MUMBAI: Indian film studio Eros International has entered into a strategic partnership with Russian distribution and production company Central Partnership (CP) – an affiliate screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-7-21-01-amof Gazprom Media Holding – to promote and distribute Indian and Russian content across multiple platforms in both countries.

This association includes exploitation via licensing of intellectual property rights owned by each party in their respective markets and distribution of film projects for both

India and Russia, opening up the market for the two companies to explore new geographies.

As part of the deal, CP will dub films from Eros’ film library in Russian language enabling the company to cater to a much larger audience in Russia and can further utilise the dubbed content on its digital platform, Eros Now, to reach out to a wider audience in Russia.

jyoti-deshpande_rg_7056_090615043512Jyoti Deshpande, group CEO Eros International, said, “India and Russia have historically always enjoyed a strong and strategic relationship. With our entry into the Russian market, we continue to build our strong global position and are delighted to take the lead in associating with Central Partnership.”She added, “Russia’s domestic market potential is promising and coupled with the rise in digital consumption by local audiences, we see a huge opportunity in exploiting exciting, unique and high-quality content together to reach audiences across the two Diasporas.”

With the growth of satellite pay TV in Russia, there is an increased demand for premium digital and television content. This alliance, Eros said, will pave the way for CP to showcase extensive repository of Bollywood films from the Eros library on pay TV.

CP will also approach free TV channels to explore showcasing of Indian titles, while Eros will distribute CP media assets on Indian television.

This collaboration will also enable the launch of Eros Now, the on-demand OTT digital platform of Eros, in Russia and CIS. CP will showcase Eros Now’s VOD content on digital distribution network RUFORM through Rutube (web video streaming service targeted in Russia) while Eros will facilitate featuring Russian content on Eros Now.

Pavel Stepanov, CEO, Central Partnership, added, “Our strategic partnership with Eros is a big step for both companies in their international expansion, since content from India is now underrepresented in Russia and vice-versa. Our plan is to benefit from both companies’ leading positions in domestic markets to change this layout. Moreover, historically India and Russia have been close, and we expect this collaboration to flourish in the light of the current political climate.”

Pak classic Jago Hua Savera is a true gem that wowed Cannes

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Gautaman Bhaskaran

One of the classics at Cannes Film Festival in May was AJ Kardar’s 1959 black and white movie, Jago Hua Savera (Day Shall Dawn).

The film, which was to be screened as part of the Restored Classics Section of Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival starting October 20, has been dropped.

Made in 1959 in what was then East Bengal, Kardar’s work was to have screened at Mumbai. But the prevailing political climate has not allowed this.


In a section titled, Restored Classics — which has become quite a hit at Cannes since it was introduced some years ago and which has seen the works of some Indian masters like Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen figuring — Jago Hua Savera was described as a gem.

Be that as it may, Jago Hua Savera is a haunting piece of celluloid that was also Pakistan’s first ever submission to the Foreign Language Oscars. The year was 1960. A moving story of fishermen in East Pakistan, the movie traces their weaknesses and strengths — clearly underlying their never-say-die spirit in the face of a hostile nature and prowling man-eating tigers.A Cannes brochure said: “By many standards, life in these far flung tiny villages is dull and monotonous, yet, for the people who live there, life is full of trials and turbulence. This is the story of the people of the river to hunt for fish. This is the story of one such man, of many such men, each aspiring to own their own boat.” The simple folk had a simple aspiration – to own a fishing boat, but caught in a web of loans, they lost even before they began their fight. The big sharks were too powerful for these small fish.

After all these years, what strikes as truly remarkable about Jago Hua Savera was its truly international crew and cast. The revolutionary Pakistani poet, Faiz Ahmad, wrote the screenplay and even penned lyrics for this quasi-documentary fiction, while a German-born British cameraman, Walter Lassally, caught the fantastic rural scenes with a kind of unforgettable magic. He used the Arriflex camera with superb dexterity to capture a set of rank amateur actors as they went about their mundane lives on the banks of Meghna. The style was true realism.

The original story came from West Bengal’s Manik Bandhopadhyay, the lead actor, Tripti Mitra, too. She was a member of the Indian People’s Theatre Association. And Indian music director, Timir Baran, co-composed along with Pakistan’s producer-composer Nauman Taseer. Shanti Chatterjee, an assistant of Satyajit, was also part of the crew. And one can see Ray’s influence in Kardar’s work.

Cut to present. The movie was restored with the help of the Nauman Taseer Foundation. Picture and the Deluxe Restoration in London. Taseer had been the financial backbone of Jago Hua Savera in its original avatar. Now his son, Anjum, took it upon himself to reconstruct a long-forgotten classic. He dug up the prints from France, London and Karachi, screened them at festivals like the Three Continents at Nantes (France) and New York, before he got restoration teams to work on the film, a painstaking job.

When the digitally-remastered movie was shown at Cannes, Faiz’s daughter and celebrated poet now living in Lahore, Salima Hashmi, had tears welling up, and she called the experience “emotional”. Understandably so. For, her father was in jail — as part of the anti-Communist crackdown by Pakistan’s General Ayub Khan — when Jago Hua Savera premiered in London. The movie went on to win a Gold at the 1959 Moscow Film Festival, and nothing was heard of it after that. Till it re-emerged as a brand new print at Cannes.

And Kardar’s life like that of the fishermen in the film ran parallel to the sea and the surf and the sand. He initially worked as a sailor and then went to London to study cinema. His first dabble with the megaphone was Jago Hua Savera.

In an important way, Kardar’s brilliant piece of creativity was a turning point in not only the cinematic fortunes of East Bengal — which really had no money for the arts and was always subjugated culturally by the rich and powerful West Pakistan — but also that of the country as a whole. After the 1947 partition of the Indian sub-continent, the thriving film industry in Lahore shifted to what was then Bombay. Talent migrated, and Bombay became Maya Nagari, while the movie industry in Lahore floundered and perished. Jago Hua Savera came as a whiff of fresh air, injecting oxygen into Pakistan’s business of cinema. But the glory was not allowed to last by Pakistan’s military rulers, who saw a threat — real or imagined — in the emergence of cinema in their eastern wing, which boasted of several men of letters.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the number of films produced annually in Pakistan is well under 20, while India churns out about 1300. After, Jago Hua Savera, Pakistan did not submit anything for the Oscars till 1963 (Ghunghat). It was a long gap after that — till 2013, when the country sent Zinda Bhag.

Jago Hua Savera was a landmark work all right, and it is a pity that it will not be screened at Mumbai Film Festival.


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


Dasho Karma W Penjor, Hon’ble Secretary of Ministry of Information and Communications, Bhutan to lead a nine-member delegation to the Mumbai Film Festival. Jio MAMI with Star Film Festival, in its latest edition, will play host to a 9-member contingent from Bhutan. A versatile team comprising of important members of Department of Information and Media and members from the Bhutan Film Association will represent ‘The Land of the Thunder Dragon’ at the Festival. The objective of this invitation is to help enhance film industry in Bhutan and to engage with film makers, producers and directors to build-up collaborative arrangement and long-term professional working relationships.

Read more here..

Bhutan will also be represented at the festival by Khyentse Norbu’s newest film, ‘Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait’. It will be screened as part of the World Cinema category. In this Buddhist-themed, intriguing Bhutanese drama, a group of people don masks and come together in the woods for fifteen days of liberating and transgressive anonymity.


‘Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait’ by Khyentse Norbu

Khyentse Norbu is a Bhutanese Buddhist teacher and filmmaker who received worldwide fame in 1999 with his first film, ‘The Cup’.

The Jio MAMI with Star Film Festival has grown strongly with the collaboration from movie fanatics in Southeast Asia and Western filmmakers. It has an excellent mix of award-winning directors, emerging film-makers, experimental shorts, and documentaries. The festival will provide an opportunity for Bhutan to highlight the imaginative work of its filmmakers and resonating performances of its actors.

15oct_anupamachopra-01Festival Director, Jio MAMI with Star Film Festival, Anupama Chopra said, “Bhutan is one of my favorite places on the planet and it gives me great pleasure to have the Bhutanese delegation at our festival.  It’s an honor for us.  I hope this is the beginning of an enduring cultural exchange.”


The contingent will comprise of:

  1. Mr. Dasho Karma W Penjor- The Honorable Secretary of Ministry of Information and Communications
  2. Mr. Thinley Dorji- Librarian, Department of Information and Media
  3. Mr. Phub Wangdi- Assistant Information and Media, Department of Information and Media

And members from the Bhutan Film Association:

  1. Mr. Tashi Gyeltshen- Filmmaker
  2. Mr. Thukten Yeshi- Film Writer & Director/ Consultant
  3. Mr. Pema Rinzin- Filmmaker, Sound Designer, Editor, Cinematographer & Archer
  4. Mr. Chencho Dorji- Actor/Producer
  5. Ms. Tsokye Tsomo Karchung- Actor
  6. Ms. Lhaki Dolma- Actor, writer


(Sources: http://www.dumkhum.com, http://www.mumbaifilmfestival.com0

Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star Full Schedule is Out

With the Opening of 18th Mami Mumbai Film Festival with Star beginning in just a few days, the full schedule is out!

Stay tuned! More to follow….


(Source: Mumbai Film Festival Press Office)


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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.


The AFI DOCS Interview: TRAIN SURFERS Director Adrien Cothier

June 21, 2016

In Adrien Cothier’s short film TRAIN SURFERS, thrill-seeking young men tempt fate doing stunts on Mumbai’s high-speed trains. AFI spoke to director Adrien Cothier ahead of the film’s AFI DOCS premiere. He is a New York-based filmmaker who cut his teeth working on the set of Wes Anderson’s FANTASTIC MR. FOX.


Adrien Cothier on Twitter: “Very proud to have TRAIN SURFERS premiere at this year’s @AFIDOCS festival. <3 https://t.co/aeK67ooI4X&#8221;


What led you to documentary filmmaking?

My background is in narrative filmmaking and advertising. In both, I always try to recreate a certain reality whereas in documentaries, you have to use reality in order to create a narrative. This organic creative process led me to docs. There is definitely something pure about a documentary. The goal with TRAIN SURFERS was not to make a commercial film, clearly, but rather, to expose a certain truth about the world we live in.

What inspired you to tell this story?

I was finishing my first semester of grad school and had decided that I needed to get out of my comfort zone and explore a part of the world I had never seen. India seemed like a perfect mix of spiritual and adventurous journey. While I was researching where to go, I ended up on a viral video of a “train surfer” in Mumbai. I had never seen anything like it. It was a strange mix of absolute beauty and danger. I instantly called my friend and producer. I told him that if there’s a chance we can meet somebody like this, we had to document it, no matter the cost. That’s how it all started.

How did you find your subjects?

It wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be. I started researching local news stories of teenagers getting arrested for train-surfing. The more I accumulated information, the closer I came to understanding that this phenomenon happened in a few specific areas of Mumbai. Then, I hired a local translator in order to get in touch with the surfers in case we encountered them. After two days of waiting in train stations, we saw a teenager on the roof of a speeding train. We chased him down and convinced him to let us meet him again with his friends. The next day we went to visit him in his home.

What was a particular obstacle you faced while making the film?

Filming on the trains or outside the tracks is completely forbidden in India. I think this phobia came from the terrorist attacks in south Mumbai in 2008. Since then the police have been extremely weary, especially with tourists like myself. We had to hide the camera as much as we could and shoot without any permits. At the end, I think that our gorilla approach gave us incredible footage in which the audience can really feel taken on a forbidden ride in the world of the kids.

What do you want audiences to walk away with after screening your film?

I’d like them to realize that all around world, the exact same human dynamics are happening but under very different social circumstances. Whether in the rugged outskirts of Mumbai, these kids are in many ways behaving in the same way that New York kids would. In this way it’s a story about friendship and I’d like people to feel it. But I cannot deny that it’s also a story about how being trapped in a life of poverty with very few chances of changing your life and how this will impact the decisions you make as a young person.

Why do you think Washington, DC, is a valuable location to screen your film?

This doc is definitely not political but its intrinsic message deals with the notions of freedom, poverty and the pursuit of happiness, which to me are clear American values emanating from the declaration of independence displayed in DC.

TRAIN SURFERS plays before the feature film VISITOR’S DAY on Thursday, June 23 and Sunday, June 26. Buy tickets here.

(Source: American Film Institute Magazine/AFI Blog)