Mr Mohan Siroya veteran journalist and friend sent me this exclusive on his experience and comments of the IFFI GOA 2010, to be published on Sachiniti.
A DETAILED ANALYTICAL REPORT FROM MOHAN SIROYA
A DETAILED ANALYTICAL REPORT FROM MOHAN SIROYA
A COMEDY OF ERRORS AND MIS-MANAGEMENT GALORE, LACK OF FESTIVAL SPIRIT AND INFERIOR QUALITY OF SELECTED FILMS FOR “CINEMA OF THE WORLD” OBSERVED FROM START TO FINISH
IFFI 2009 -Goa perhaps had come out of teething troubles as it was better organized with large number of quality films. So this year the expectations were high about the fest ,but what the delegates and media saw was a complete chaos till first 3 days .
- As per long standing practice of the fest, directorate used to screen a few shows of foreign films two days prior to inauguration day for the press/media to enable them to taste the palate before hand to build up arousal .This year those who reported earlier had to cool their heels in disappointment as no shows were kept. On the prior day of inauguration, of course there were screenings BUT ALL OF INDIAN PANORAMA films. None cared to inform before hand or afterwards why?
- Boards were put prominently debarring carrying of any food and “beverage” inside auditorium. Funnily the security staff continued to include our own “Warm water bottles” as beverage. I had asked the CM and Festival Director in the first press conference as to what security risk , a senior citizen carrying his /her own warm water bottle will pose besides denying a normal human facility, the CM had agreed that it should be allowed and accordingly had told the Director . Unfortunately the security was an authority unto itself being 3 tier viz; CISF ,local police and theatre guards with zero co-0rdination. Festival Directorate and the local sponsors – Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) supposed to provide facilitation of infrastructure appeared to be at loggerheads with all other coordinating agencies. Even co-ordination lacked between the media centre (managed by PIB),directorate and the CEO of ESG- Goa. ESG CEO promised many things for facilitation and comforts but very few were fulfilled. Because there was a facility for a daily delegate , local children or those less than 18 years even got registered and attended although legally they can not view “A” or uncensored festival films.
- First organizers decided to open computerized ticketing only on the morning of first day of fest(23rd). Delegates and media had to protest since the screenings were scheduled at 9 a.m. Then the booking started earlier day on 22 nd( before inauguration) but neither the printed Schedule with film code no. nor the film catalogues were available . By evening only the Indian Panorama Films catalogue was made available sans cinema of the world catalogue . Hence for the first two days, we had to select the films to watch only on “Guess”. A few of the media persons could not get the catalogue even after 3 days because of shortage and lack of communication. DFF , who was responsible for that could not explain the delay. Less said the better about the “Incomplete Info” in the World Cinema catalogue. There was neither any film indexing for convenience nor any credit/award details were mentioned about the films which can reflect on the quality of films. Compared to this shoddy and delayed work, the catalogue of Indian Panorama films was much better in all respects.
- The eating facility within the festival complex ( INOX, Old Goa Medical college compound and Maquinez screens bldg., lacked eating facilities/stalls woefully, especially for the vegetarians who had no snacks ,lunch or dinner available except the sand witch or the BURGER made available by the Café Coffee Day stall ,but at a high cost. THANKS TO THE MEDIA CENTRE FOR HAVING A FREE FACILITY OF TEA/COFFEE AND BISCUIT/CAKES IN THE MEDIA CENTRE-COURTESY “THE LALIT” ( Hotel) The reason given by the CEO ESG FOR NOT HAVING SUCH STALLS were mainly of earning high RENT revenue for the space for those who can supply affordable veg. items in the premises. Even the hitherto existing two vegetarian pantries which used to provide home made affordable veg. items were denied the space this year because of their inability to pay. Well, in that case why the ESG/Government of Goa not subsidize at least these two outlets for the sake and convenience of vegetarian delegates? Since the tea/coffee at the Café was unaffordable to all ( Rs. 40-50), on heavy public demand, an affordable local stall was allowed to operate to provide tea in Rs. 10 and Coffee in Rs. 15.
Because of the absence of Veg. dinner facility many had to miss the late night shows as in the Panji Market outside ,all restaurants used to shut by 10 p.m. Opposed to this the King Fisher stall inside compound used to provide plenty of BEER at mere Rs. 25. Surprisingly for first two days, one pantry stall was providing BEER free .However, all the staff of DFF and ESG had a separate earmarked facility for lunch and dinner exclusively for them.
- The media centre, including the use of IT facility, Press conferences and or “The Lalit” Cafeteria free facility were only meant for media Persons , but many delegates used frequently resulting inconvenience and delay for media persons due to lack of enforcement. On protest, only a printed sticker was pasted on the entrance door of Media Centre and Press hall that this facility is only meant for media and not delegates. But that could not deter the unauthorized entry and use by delegates. However, PIB assured that it will ensure “strict check”next year.
- Transportation in between the Kala Academy and Inox- hotels/party venues to and fro were in complete mess. Only 4 cabs were available to commute between the KA and Inox but on show timings ,they were not available at the required location due to lack of clear instructions and co-ordination. In ESG ,no one could answer or was responsible for co-ordination as to the timing and departure venues of the buses to and fro hotel/party locations. Delegates had to run from pillar to post and then somehow manage.
- Although the 61 Countries participated , overall, the
quality of latest films (2010) for the “Cinema of the
World” section was not up to the mark. For the first 5
days screening schedule had only 28 latest films in
this section and they were also below International
quality . Second leg of screenings did have
better quality films, appreciated and won
laurels Internationally. Many screening slots
remained vacant for some difficulty in getting the
prints in time for some reason .That reduced the
number of films screened from expected 450 to 300
in 11 auditoriums in festival complex and in city.
However, another aspect of this resulted in “lack of
overall film passion” as many delegates had left
during the fest . So in spite of 8500 registered
delegates, there was hardly in difficulty in getting a
seat in auditoriums.
- While the opening film “ WEST IS WEST (UK)” was
not bad ,the choice of closing film “ The Princess of
Montpensier” ( France) was not worthy of that
Honor. Cynics even opined that instead ,other
Internationally acclaimed latest films like Roman
Polanski’s “Ghost Writer” (USA) or Abbas
Kiarostami’s “Certified Copy” ( Iran- France)
could have been better choices.
Similarly although it was an laudable move to
celebrate centenary of such stalwart artistes like
Motilal, Fearless Nadia , K L saigal ,thespian actor
Ashok Kumar , Raja Paranjpe etc.; selection of
screening of their film was not a good choice. Even
in the press conference commemorating the
memory of great actor Ashok Kumar , nephew Amit
Kumar and Grand daughter Anooradha had
lamented that instead of “Bandini”, better tribute
could have been by screening of his film
“Aashirvad” for which he had won the National award. Similarly Nadia’s popular film “Hunterwali” could have been more apt than the Screened film “Diamond Queen”. Motilal’s film “Mr Sampat” could have been much better than “Anaari” .
- Last but not the least , the biggest disappointment
And waste of National money was in the FLOP NFDC
arranged and sponsored “FILM BAZAAR”. Absence of any effective marketing or deals of purchase or sell of films coupled with poor participation by foreign filmmakers or distributors made the entire show mundane. There were invited media persons covering many events but the inept and partial PR agency could not even satisfy them. There was a blatant discrimination in giving KITS or allowing to share the Lunch. Reports indicated that there was an array of vehicles waiting to transport the delegates/media persons to the Hosted dinner ,but number of users fell short to use this transport facility.
HOWEVER, THE ABOVE DEGATIVE POINTS DO NOT MEAN THAT ALL WAS BAD WITH THIS 41 ST EDITION OF IFFI. THE POSITVE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FESTIVAL CAN BE SUMMARIZED AS:
- BETTER QUALITY OF FILMS OF WORLD CINEMA IN 2nd half, albeit few. Thanks to the Fest Director and Jt. Director.
- Selection of Panorama films was better than the films of World Cinema OVERALL.
- NFAI INITIATIVE OF HAVING EXHIBITION OF RARE POSTER OF FILMS OF BYGONE ERA ALONGWITH ALL Dada Saheb Phalke Award winners was an unique ensemble.
- “Dancing Feets” , a rare display and live performances and talks by India’s renowned classical dancers who are still the jewels in representing our rare heritage (Courtesy Films Division)
- Screening of FIVE restored rare print classics of Indian Cinema namely B & W films “ Parwana” ( K L Saigal 1947) “ Baishe Shravan” ( Bengali- Mrinal Sen-1960) “Rojulu Marai” ( Telugu- Waheeda Rahman- 1955),”Ashok Kumar” ( Raja Chandrashekhar- Tamil- 1941 ) and “Marthanda Varma”( Silent film of P V Rao –1931 ) courtesy NFAI.
- MASTER CLASSES : Conducted by stalwarts of Indian Film Industry . Notable were Academy Award winner Rasul Pookutty on Sound Magic, Srinivas Mohan on Special Effects and Boman Irani on Evolutaion of Comedy.
- For the first time in Goa, Media persons had a
Separate entrance gate for “Inaugural and Closing Functions” enabling them to have hassle free access. Good move.
- Selection of Retrospective personalities and their films , Country Focus , Homage , Cannes Kaleidoscope 2010, Inspiration films section etc. added variety to the fair.
- Large presence of Indian Film Celebrities ,Technicians, Glamour and Film Makers in Inaugural/closing functions and during the fest screenings, including their felicitations was commendable.
- TRIBUTE FILM SECTION, which had covered almost all artistes departed during the year with their good films screened.
Indian Premiere films “ Nauka Doobi” directed by Rituparno Ghosh and produced by Mukta Arts ( Subhash Ghai) and Amol Palekar’s “Dhoosar”
OPENING AND CLOSING CEREMONIES
Opening Ceremony –serene and colourful
For a change ,the fest was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Railways Mamta Bannerji, who regaled the gathering with her short but witty repartee in presence of The Chief Minister of Goa, Digambar Kamat, Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting C M Jatua . Bollywood was represented by the Ace film maker Yash Chopra as Chief Guest and actors Ajay Devgan and Raima Sen as Guests of Honour. Function hosts were actors Aftab Shivdasani and graceful Gracy Singh. Other film celebrities spotted were Nana Patekar, Chunkey Pande, Ananth Mhadevan
Subhash Ghai , Sanjay Suri , Phalke Awardee D Rama Naidu , Madhur Bhandarkar ,Anurag Kashyap , Avtar Bhogal amongst others.
COMPOSITION OF JURY
For International and Competition films: Chairperson: Jerzy Antzcak ( Poland/ USA), Olivier Pere (France/ Locarno) , Mick Molloy (Australia), Sturla Gunnarson (Canda) and Revathy Menon from India
For Indian Panorama Feature film Jury was headed by N Chandra and Non- Feature film jury head was Siddharth Kak from India
The Cultural item presented by the local group was indeed very entertaining and did justice to Indian Classical dance forms with
Appropriate musical support.
Opening Film was “ WEST IS WEST” (U K) directed by Andy de Emmony. Before the movie, entire cast of the film .( except leading man Om Puri) including Indian actors Vijay Raaz and Ila Arun ,was presented on the stage. The film said to be a second part of Trilogy ,first being “East Is East”, and the third in planning process.
This was also Ok but not as colourful and impressive as was the Opening. The only star attraction as Chief Guest was dashing Saif Ali Khan . Keynote address was given by the Union State Ministr of Information and Broadcasting C M Jatua in presence of the Chief Minister of Goa. Starlets Arjun Bajwa and Neetu Chandra just fitted in as Anchors. Actress Gracy Singh presented a medley of dance ensembles representing various cultures of India but in the form of dances as earlier performed in films. Thus it was reduced to a mere Record Dance. However, the saving grace was aesthetic performances by Gracy Singh herself accompanied by tastefully dressed dancers ,to avoid the
Garishness and skimpiness of such filmy dances.
However, the proceedings were enlivened when a few known personalities were felicitated for their quality contribution to cinema viz: Rajkumar Hirani, Manoj Bajpai, Prosenjit Chatterji ,
Arjun Ramphal, Padmapriya etc..
SELECTION OF AWARD WINNING FILMS BY JURY
1 Golden Peacock for best film with Rs. 40 lakhs cash
( divided equally between producer and director) was
Conferred on the Bangla film “MONER MANUSH”
DIRECTED BY GAUTAM GHOSH .
Producers are from India Gautam Kundu and Habibur Rahman
Khan from Bangladesh. The film stars Prosenjit Chatterji and
Raisul Islam Azad. It tells the story of Lalan Faqeer and his
teacher ; how they strived to forge the religious unity in the
Bengal of yesteryear . In citation the jury commended “It’s
compassionate portrayal of love in the world of hate.” Writer-
director , choreographer, cinematographer Gautam Ghosh
termed this award victory as “An endorsement of tolerance”
2. Denmark’s Susanne Bier bagged the Silver Peacock
award as the best director with a cash prize of Rs. 15
lakhs for her film “ IN A BETTER WORLD”
The film indeed was an absorbing and moving account of
managing complex human emotions. The lives of two Danish
families cross each other and an extra ordinary but risky
relationship comes into bud. But loneliness, sorrow and
frailty lie in wait . Soon friendship transforms into a
dangerous alliance in which the life is at stake. But goodness
and love prevails over evil and the world looks better.
The writer- director Susanne has given us a lesson in how
to tackle and mould the boundless energy in our
adolescents. The two boys who played the central
characters have given an amazing performance.
Indeed an award deserving film .
- In the newly introduced categories of best actor and
actress, winners were Guven Kirac for the film “The
Crossing”(Turkey) and Magdalena Boczarska for the
film “Little Rose”(Poland) respectively. Award
consisted of a Silver Peacock and cash of Rs. 10 lakh
4. Special Jury prize : This consisted of Silver peacock
and total cash prize of Rs. 15 lakhs . Shared by two
films – “ Just another Love Story” ( India) director
Kaushik Ganguly and “Boy” ( New Zealand) director
Taika Waititi . Citation for the first film said “ It is
chosen for tackling of the difficult theme of
Homosexuality which is being talked about only
behind closed doors”. Citation for “Boy’ said “ Was
rewarded for its depiction of the compelling issues as
seen by the eyes of a young boy”
Thus a total prize money of Rs. 90/- lakhs was given
away Which is equal to 12 th MAMI FESTIVAL and
touted as the highest aggregated prizes amongst all
other film festivals.
Goa’s young Jury audience chose Nila Madhab
Panda’s film “I AM KALAM” as the best film from
amongst the Indian Panorama films. This award,
being sponsored by a private publication house,
it will be presented later this month in Goa.
( Hush Hush comments from film critics heard “ We wish the
Jury choice of competition film for the top prize, could have
been better, although it is honor for India after 20 years in
Having finished the formal and official part of the festival, now is the time to give glimpses of other GOOD FILMS of the World or of Indian Panorama besides the above award winning films.
WEST IS WEST ( UK)
This was the opening film of the fest and a sequel to the critically acclaimed earlier film of Om Puri “East Is East”.
Film now shows the diminished Khan family to be as dysfunctional as ever. Khan’s( Om Puri ) Youngest son Sajid ( Aqib Khan)is now 15 . But he regards himself as “English” whereas his classmates Continue to tease and ill treat him; resulting in his raucous rebellion actions inviting frequent re-primands from his School authorities. As a last resort , father Khan brings him to his first wife ( Ila Arun) and abandoned family in the village in Pakistan. First Sajid finds the people and environment very strange for him and he feels like a fish out of water. But gradually he develops a liking to the place and relatives. That delays the return of Khan to Manchester. Troubled by his absence, his British wife Ella( Linda Bisset) makes an entry on the scene causing a lot of consternation o other family members. She is ,however, successful in sorting out
The mess, past and present.
Film is directed by Andy de Emmony from the screenplay of Ayub Khan Din. Pace of the film is slack and precious little happens to excite the viewers. Such struggles for “Identity
Crisis” is no more a new ideas now.
HEART BEATS ( Finland)
This film was a competition entry written and directed by Saara Cantell. Film inter-woven a story of seven women and seven choices . Throughout the film deals with encounters and making choices, in interesting manner . Each woman has a specific wish and choice of her own, but then they falter , making wrong choices. However, everyone of them comes to notice that ,if one plays the cards well, a single encounter with a chance can change the life.
All seven women characters emote well and director is successful in what she wanted to communicate.
NORTEADO ( Mexico)
Another interesting film from the competition , written and directed by Rigoberto Perezcano. The film sensitively deals with the travails and tribulations of poor Mexicans who wish to cross the border with the land of dreams America. Young Andr’es reaches the Mexican border to cross into the United States. In each attempt, he discovers a new angle of troubled humans in the village Tijuana , which has almost adopted him. He confronts with the new characters and their spirit for survival against all odds similar to what he had left behind. In Tijuana
He meets and befriends Cata, Ela and Assensio who give him a
new identity to look for.
A well made and feel good film with beautiful cinematography by Alejandro Cantu. Flawless direction.
LITTLE ROSE ( Poland)
This competition film from Poland , written and directed by Jan Kidawa – Blonski skillfully depicting how the Polish secret service
Men used attractive young sexy girls as spies to unearth the hidden sympathizers of Naazi –Jews. The film keeps
Viewers spellbound and entertains with quick happenings. Young
Attractive mistress of an Agent of Communist Security service, motivates his mistress ( Actress Magdalena) and gives her a code name “Little Rose” for spying on a dissident Writer- Professor. But the lady falls in love with the very man she is
out to trap. This story, thus becomes an “Emotional story’ of a
Director –writer Jan Kidawa gave enough teethes to the
Characters to emote and bite. Actress Magdalena did play an attractive- sexy spy brillilantly ,which rightfully fetched her the
Best actress award for her role as the ‘Little Rose”. Her lover
secret agent Andrzej Seweryn has also given a sensitive portrayal as a “loser” ,sign of defeat and anguish.
GANGOR ( Italy/India)
Directed and scripted by the Italian Director Italo Spinelli based on a story of renowned Indian author Dgyanpith and Magsaysay awards winner Mahasweta Devi. film has a message not only to sensitize the public against the atrocities perpetrated on Tribals of India but also a lesson to learn for the MEDIA to become discerning in separating a sexually sensitive public display and the essence of physical and human exploitation ,to avoid main issue becoming a mere voyeuristic sensation to make matter worse for the victim or the crusading journalist.The story deals with the internal trauma of a liberal urbane photo- journalist Upen ( Adil Hussain) who is sent to cover the atrocities and exploitation faced by the tribals of Purulia district in West Bengal. Instead of extensively covering how the forests are destroyed in our rampant urge for industrialization hunger for grabbing land or the tribal women being raped or sexually exploited ; the journo just gets attracted by a tribal woman called Gangor . He clicks her photograph with her face down the open full boobs while she is feeding her child. The sensation hungry media bosses prominently prints the open feeding boobs of the woman ; which unfortunately attracts the sex hungry official and unofficial machinery to turn the woman into a prostitute, belching out lines gyrating “Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai” Repentant Upen wanted to help the woman to get rehabilitated but by then it was too late.
Film is an Indo-Italian joint venture and has already bagged an award in International festival of Rome. Director Spinelli has sensitively directed the movie capturing the Indian spirit. The pivotal roles of Gangor and Upen are competently played by actors Priyanka Bose and Adil Hussain respectively. A lively performance as a fiery social worker came from Tillotama Shome.
BLACK HEAVEN ( France)
This film is written and directed by Gilles Marchand .Had a unique theme of fiction mixed with reality, illusion and VFX. Gaspard and Marion are lovers enjoying summer . One day Gasper meets Audrey ,who is beautiful, poisonous and lives a double life in an online game called called Black Hole where she is known as Sam. Now Gaspard’s life a more somber path. During game, Audrey attracts victims and seduces them to commit suicide in real life. Creating an Avatar which is miles away from him , Gaspard creeps further into Black Hole setting on a search for Sam. But he finds another terrible truth.
The film keeps tempo from beginning to end and actors keep our interest intact with their lively performances.
THE GHOST WRITER ( FRANCE/GERMANY/UK)
This is another masterpiece from Roman Polanski. A ghost writer has landed a lucrative contract to write the memoirs of Adam Lang , former U K Prime Minister.Lang is now retired to USA. He lives in an island luxury isolated premises compete with security and secretarial staff. Soon, Adam Lang gets embroiled in a major scandal with International ramifications, that reveals how far he was ready to go in order to nurture U Ks special relationship with USA. But before this controversy had started and he had closed the deal with publisher , the ghost writer gets unmistakable signs that the turgid draft he is tasked to put into shape inexplicably constitutes highly sensitive material.
Once again, we see an unshaken mastery and directorial touch of the master on the film ,although he was under house arrest in Switzerland during the making of this film ,for an alleged offence committed in USA. Very enlightening piece of cinematic art. Actor Pierce Brosnon gave a commendable performance.
LOVE ME NO MORE ( France)
The film was screened in Retrospective section of Jean Becker- the renowned French writer- director. This is 2008 film but screened first time in India. The film narrates a story which is a pinnacle of safeguarding the loved ones from tragic trauma till the end. Antoine is married to Cecile and has two children. His is lovable but having an discreet affair with another lady Marion. One day his life turns upside down with a news of a terminal disease. He wants to keep that secret from everyone. He sells his share in the company and starts dismantling everything he has built up. His wife accuses him of an affair. On his birth day he gets some drawings from his kids, but he comes out hard on them. In the surprise party , he even throws his friends out and insults. After a showdown with wife Cecile, he leaves home .Everyone known to him thinks ,he has gone mad .But what is truth is anybody’s guess.
Jean Becker scripted and directed this film from a novel written by Francois d’ Epenoux.
YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STANGER ( Spain)
This is the latest film from the controversial actor –film maker Woody Allen. Here he has followed the Shakespeare’s “Life is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. Film has usual trappings, a carefully woven fabric of human relationships, his comic stereotypes and sexy dumb blondes. One of them is our own Freida Pinto . The film is a merry go round of double crossings and multi-affairs indulged in by both sexes, whether couples or lovers.. There are too many characters in the film including Anthony Hopkins and Gemma Jones. But each one is just adequate.
This is not a brilliant film from Woody, but his treatment, supple Screenplay and crisp dialogues make the audience feel good.
( Shortly going to be commercially released in India )
CERTIFIED COPY ( Iran, France/Italy)
Iranian Master Abbas Kiarostami has made this 2010 film in France and Italy. First this was premiered in Cannes 2010 fest, where the best actress award was conferred on Juliette Binoche as leading lady of the film . Thereafter, the film officially participated in other International festivals, including our Mumbai Film Festival and everywhere it had earned accolades.
James Miller ( William Shimell ) is a writer . While promoting his book “Certifed Copy” , he propagated a theory that there is no reason why a reproduction of any work of art has less value than the original. It is only our perception of its value that changes it. A lady, simply called SHE ( Juliette Binoche) is present in the room. While leaving, she just passes on he number to the author. He calls her and they spend a day together . This man and this woman who just met, are playing at being a couple. They pretend so well as if they have already become a couple of 15 years standing. They had come earlier to that place and had also played the similar scene , as other couples make love in that place called Tuscany. They invent their own love story. No one can say whether the relationship they share is real or illusion? Original or Copy ?
Needles to say that the Writer- director Abbas , Juliette and William ,all excelled in their respective work to make this a memorable film .
A SCREAMING MAN ( France/Belgium/Chad)
The writer –director is Mahmat—Saleh Haroun .This is his third feature film .It was premiered in the Cannes festival 10 , where it won a Jury Prize in competition section. Thereafter, the film was an official selection for other International Film Festivals including Indian MAMI and now IFFI.
This is moving and heart wrenching story of a man Adam , a former swimming champion , employed in his favorite job as a pool attendant at a posh hotel in the strife torn modern Chad.In the same hotel his young son Abdel was also employed. When the management got changed, they found Adam ( 60 yrs) too old for the job , replaced his young son in his place and transferred Adam as a mere gate attendant. He felt humiliated as the job was below his dignity and the “aura” he had earned as a swimming champion. He left the job inn desperation. Same time the District Chief wanted him either pay monetary contribution to the war fund of the state or volunteer any young chap for an army job. Financially he was broke , so his son Abdel got drafted for the war duty. Because of this, Adam was called back to get his post as Pool attendant again. Though he felt happy, his conscience was biting him that because of him his young son had to put his life in danger as a fighter soldier. When Adam got grievously injured during active war, he was sent back home . There he could get his lover too who was expecting his child. Now, Adam confides to Abdel that how he was responsible for the ills of the family and the drafting of Abdel for army.
All throughout, the film retains a fast pace with flowing narrative
Actor Emil Abosollo M’bo essayed his role brilliantly as Adam expressing joys, sorrows and guilt pangs when required.
NAUKA DOOBI ( India—Bengali)
The film was show cased as Indian Premiere and turned out to be an outstanding film from the veteran Script- writer ,director
Rituparno Ghosh based on a short story of Rabindranath Tagore showing India of 1920.The producer is Mukta Arts Ltd. Of Subhash Ghai.
“Nauka Doobi” is a brilliant example of how an old period story can be turned into a relevant film even in today’s times by a skilled script writer, adaptor and director . Young talented law student Ramesh ( Apratim Dhar) and his friend’s sister Hemnalini (Raima Sen) are in intense love in Kolkata. But this is nipped in the bud by his fathering the village and he getting emotionally carried by the pleas of a widow to marry her daughter Susheela ( Riya Sen) on compassionate grounds.
After marriage while returning , his boat gets capsized because of storm. When awakened, he finds himself and one bride at the shore. He brings her home to Kolkata thinking that she is his While his love flame Hemnalini ,being hearbroken goes to Kashi to heel her wounds, Ramesh escapes from scandle by going to Gorakhpur. In Kashi , Hemnalini meets a Dr. Nalainaksha ( Prosenjit Chatterji ) and they both start a mutual admiration process. Meanwhile , Kamla comes to know from a newspaper advertisement that she is not wife of Ramesh and drowns herself in Ganga. She was saved and brought to Kashi where she lands up in Dr. Nalinaksh’s house. In the end, all realize that what had happened was just a quirk of fate to make a happy ending.
The interest in the film was enlivened by the powerful performances aided by a tight script. Kudos for Subhash Ghai for backing a regional film of high merit.
NOW A FEW GEMS FROM INDIAN PANORAMA
MEE SINDHUTAI SAPKAL
This film opened the Panorama section, scripted and directed by actor –director Ananth Mahadevan. Film is an inspiration to all, how to survive and reach to the pinnacle of social service even if one is less educated and a woman. The film traces a true story of Sindhutai Sapkal , who dramatically rewrites her destiny. Sindhutai was married at 12 to a 30 year old man. She was abandoned by all following a false accusation of infidelity. While committing suicide , she notices a tree which ,though axed, gives shelter. Moved, she sets out a new towards dignity, setting up 5 orphanages ; goes to San Jose USA to give speeches for raising funds . When her aging husband turns up at the orphanage, she graciously adopts him too.
The film’s deep humanism in the face of injustice and humiliation gives is it an universal resonance.
The main caste as Sindhutai, enacted by Tejaswini Pandit is the hallmark of this film
This is the story of four men who make music together as INDIAN OCEAN in a contemporary India where commercial concerns are overriding . This is in documentary form. Based in Delhi , Indian Ocean is one of the most significant bans today, surviving for 16 years even after doing path breaking, timeless, musical creation outside mainstream quietly with integrity. Viewers traverse with their music in three ways—in concert with all their stage finery, a casual performance in their own neighborhood and raw improvisations from their rehearsal room.
This was directed and written by Jaideep varma with music of Indian Ocean, thriving in this music dead industry.
Produced by Reliance Big Pictures , scripted, Music and directed by ace Benagli director Rituparno Ghosh, film is a blend of Intellectual spontaneity , human interactions and emoting powers.
Aniket is a senior celebrity film maker of Bengal , happily married to Deepti ,his one time actress and young son aspiring to be a film maker. Young Shikha, an aspiring actress enters in their lives as a new heroine of Aniket’s film. Deepti coaches her to perfection. Unwittingly, Shikha reminds Aniket of young Deepti .Aniket falls in love with her . As a revenge, Deepti begins to shape son Apratim’s career as a film maker to his own father.
Writer –director Rituparno gives the subject a sensitive treatment at intellectual level and emotional intricacies of human relationships .
Mamata Shankar as an actress and choreographer along with Jisshu Sengupta have given a magnificent account.
I AM KALAM ( Hindi )
This is an inspring example of a “Chota Cinema” . Directed by Nila Madhab Panda, the film deals with aspirations of a boy called Chhotu. When people asked his real name , he can’t answer but realization dawns on him that he has to find a new identity for himself to put him above the thousands of Chhotu’s. He starts working at a food joint as skivvy. He dreams that he too can rise in life as the India’s former president Abdul Kalam rose from a poor kid selling news papers. He strikes a chord with the Price Ranvijay who becomes his Godfather to make him realize his dreams.
The film won an Audience Choice award in the fest.
MEANINGFUL NON-FEATURE FILMS
“ Aval (Tamil) written by Nishad and directed by Prasanth Kumar deals with an issue of FEMALE INFANTICIDE.
“Incurable India”( Hindi) is scripted and directed by Umesh Aggarwal. Produced on behalf of Public Service Broadcasting Trust , the documentary is an heart wrenching account of how woe fully India lacks the Health Services not only in countryside but even in mega cities like Delhi.
“MR INDIA”( Manipuri) is an inspiring account of a man who wins a title of “Mr. India” for maintaining his body muscles in spite of he being diagnosed as HIV positive ( AIDS). This is produced and directed by Haobam Paban Kumar.
THE POSTMAN ( Tamil)
Till the advent of hi-tech communication services; in Indian villages the Postman used to be an integral part of social framework and used to act as a moderator between the villagers and outside world sharing their joys and sorrows.
Scripted and directed by B Manohar, this film has won 2009 National Film award as the best non-feature film .