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Cinema Urbanism: A session on understanding cities in cinema

April 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Date: Friday, April 30, 2010
Time
: 7.00 p.m

Venue: Siddhartha Hall, Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan, 3, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi

CITIES, real or imaginary, have always been integral to cinema, as the stage where its stories play out. The urban spaces in cinema are not just a backdrop to the narrative, but a part of it. Films understand and capture these spaces in a manner more intense and perceptible than architects and urban planners.

Through three evenings, the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan and arch i platform invite you to a journey through a range of urban spaces and a progression of time periods. In this process the audience will be guided by film experts, who will engage with them, by raising critical questions and presenting new perspectives. CU is not just a screening but an attempt to put architecture and cinema in dialogue.

THE FORMAT of the session will be a discussion or an open dialogue between the expert and the audience. Through various film clips, the experts will discuss a particular aspect of cities and architecture in cinema.

All three experts for the three evenings have varying fields of study and interest. They include a film maker, theorist on film studies and an architect. Consequently, the audience will also be eclectic, ranging from architects to photographers, film makers, or simply film enthusiasts.

Session ONE

Date: 30 April, 7pm
Speaker : Ms. Ranjani Mazumdar

Title : Cinematic City – An introduction to understanding cities in cinema

About the speaker: She is not only an Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at the School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University but also an independent film maker and author of the book “Bombay Cinema, An Archive of the City.

Session TWO
Date: 7 May, 7pm
Speaker : Mr. Aftab Jalia
Title : Nothing comes out of Nothing – Fantasy, Utopia and Dystopia


About the speaker:
He is an alumnus of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Beyond his interests in contemporary architecture, he is an ardent observer of parallel graphic expression – including comics, movies and architecture.

Session THREE
Date: 14 May, 7pm
Speaker : Ms. Ein Lall

Title : Rural Virgin, Urban Whore – The Great Indian Divide


About the speaker:

She has used the video documentary to celebrate the unique strength and creativity of women and has directed several films which have participated in various international film festivals.

For details please contact 011 – 23471112/10.

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Satyajit Ray Film Festival: Taj Enlighten Film Society

April 29, 2010 Leave a comment

The information and content has not been written by the author, but has been pasted here, with permission from the official sources, to spread the news to as many people possible for the upcoming event.

Taj Enlighten Film Society presents the “Satyajit Ray Festival”

‘Satyajit Ray Festival’ will be held at Cinemax, Metro Big Cinemas and NCPA 2nd May –16 th May, 2010. Presented by Brooke Bond Taj Mahal

26th April 2010, Mumbai: The Taj Enlighten Film Society presents “The Satyajit Ray Festival”, a festival showcasing films, of the great master, of an icon that changed the face of World cinema. Beginning 2nd May 2010, which is the 89th birth anniversary of the filmmaker the society will screen Ray’s films namely Agantuk (The Stranger), Jalsaghar (The Music Room) and Charulata (The Lonely Wife) every Sunday at 10am at Cinemax, Metro Big Cinemas and NCPA. Presented by Brooke Bond Taj Mahal, the festival will recreate Ray’s magic on the silver screen for all the filmmaker’s fans and film enthusiasts. Directors of various backgrounds from across the country will discuss his outstanding contribution to the world of cinema after every film.

Pranav Ashar, President of the Taj Enlighten Film Society said, “Since we began our film society, we have had many requests to do a Satyajit Ray film festival. We have never received such a response immediately after announcing a festival. After this overwhelming response, we are already planning to extend and enhance the experience of the festival by adding the famous Apu TrilogyPather Panchali (Song of the Little Road), Aparajito (The Unvanquished) and Apur Sansar (The World of Apu).”

Speaking on the occasion, Arun Srinivas, Category Head – Beverages, HUL said, “Our association with Enlighten Film Society resonates our spirit of excellence. We at Taj Enlighten Society offer a platform to the best in the world of cinema.”

The Satyajit Ray Film Festival, which is set to take place in Mumabi From May 2nd to 16th May, 2010, will be a landmark celebration of the history movies, presented in a way that only Enlighten can, with major events, celebrity appearances, panel discussions and more. The festival will also provide movie fans a rare opportunity to experience some of cinema’s greatest works as they were meant to be seen – on the big screen. Enlighten will announce additional special events, guests and programming in the weeks and months ahead.

The festival will kick start with the film “Agantuk” Satyajit Ray’s last film after which he won the Honorary Oscar. “A graceful comedy made in a serene, classical style… we can still hear in its message the voice of a great artist!” stated The New Yorker.

This will be followed by the screening of “Jalsaghar”, which is considered one the best works of Ray by many. Charulata the winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival next which will mark the end of the first part of the the satyajit ray film festival. The Apu Triology will be screened in the second part of the festival on June 28th, 29th and 30th with panel discussions and social events.

The Film Festival Pass: Rs.500:
Includes all films at the festival and attendance to the extended film festival in June.

Full Half Yearly Access :Rs. 1200:
Attendance at all Taj Enlighten Film Society screenings for six months including the Satyajit Ray Film Festival.

Full Yearly Access :Rs. 1500:
Attendance at all Taj Enlighten Film Society screenings for one full year including the Satyajit Ray Film Festival and also including panel discussions, social events.

For memberships visit www.enlighten.co.in or call 02242141414

SCHEDULE FOR Satyajit Ray Festival

Cinemax Versova (10am)
2nd May-Agantuk
9th May-Jalsagar
16th May-Charulata

Metro Big Cinemas (10am)
2nd May- Jalsagar
9th May- Charulata
16th May- Agantuk

The Extended Satyajit Ray Festival – Back to back for 3 days in the month of June – The Apu Triology at the National Centre of Performing Arts (NCPA).
28th June- Pather Panchali
29th- June-Aparajito
30th-June-Apur Sansar

For more information, contact:
Tanvi Shah
Enlighten Film Society
Office-02242141414
Mobile: +91 9870090105
Email: tanvishah@enlighten.co.in

Out of the Box: An article in Mid-Day, Mumbai!

April 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Out of the box

Source: Mid-Day, Mumbai

By: Paromita Vohra

Date: 2010-04-25

Place: Mumbai

At a film screening earlier this week, an auditorium full of people settled down to watch a short and a documentary about courtship and marriage. The short film, featured two kisses that had stuck in the maw of the censor board (who finally gave it an A certificate) and some discussion ensued about whether this made sense to the audience or not — were the kisses prurient? Should U certified films not contain such intimacies for fear of corrupting families (why ask how families are produced in the first place, baba, what indecency!)?

Suddenly a perky young man plaintively asked “But how come there was there no homosexual kissing?” A minute of perplexed silence — it was a film about a man proposing to a woman two weeks before her wedding to another man. Even two years ago people would have been uncomfortable at best, censorious at worst — not saying the question was “bad” but that it was “silly” — which is so often liberal people’s pompous way of avoiding talk of sex. However, very quickly the audience understood that the unfortunate chap had perhaps thought he was attending a queer film festival that was to kickstart at the same venue two days later and he was helpfully and kindly enlightened. He lapsed into his seat resigned and watched the next film with dark glasses on, maybe to ensure that none of his cooler friends recognised him in this primarily heterosexual audience — which is perfectly understandable.

Within one month the city has hosted two queer film festivals — Queer Nazariya in early April and the ongoing Kashish Queer Film Fest. Kashish is a tempting array of the political, the romantic, the issue-based and the whimsical from around the world — putting on an equal footing, unlike most film festivals in the country, documentaries, shorts, features, campaigns and music videos. The programming messes with both, the strict political categories of how sexuality is understood, and the way the market and the government divide art forms into creative hierarchies.

If only this form-free continuum could enter our public and personal understanding of sexuality too. In a superb interview, Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh while discussing his acting turn in a film as a transgender performer said: Section 377 has created a polarity between homosexuals and heterosexuals. It doesn’t deal with the entire matrix of sexualities in between these two polars — that’s where androgyny lies.”

This is a vital thought that touches everyone’s intimate selves. While years of activism have finally made it possible to talk about gay-ness and bisexuality, there is a fear it may remain in a separated, though vocal discussion space. But right now, heterosexuality is perhaps the most unthinkingly boxed up of all. Between the moral police and a fake sense of freedom that comes from belonging to a “normal” or mainstream identity, we hardly raise questions about the sexual and erotic nature of heterosexual experience; Couple-dom and monogamy, single only till married, seem to be the only sexual choices we discuss — we hardly talk about the many ways of being straight sexual beings that are actually practised by people. We allow a censor board to tell us we cannot watch a kiss, that wonderful open quotation mark of desire, for fear of obscenity corrupting us. As if the market dictated ideas of plastic love, conformist gym-made bodies and the salacious eye of reality television had not corrupted and distorted our relationship with a most human part of ourselves.

Hopefully the Cinematograph Act will take off its dark glasses soon. Meanwhile, we must keep searching for a more fluid art, more porous definitions through which to celebrate our many ways of living and desiring in this world.

Paromita Vohra is an award-winning Mumbai-based filmmaker, writer, teacher and curator working with fiction and non-fiction. She runs Devi Pictures production company. Reach her at www.parodevi.com

Festival Diary: Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Fest 2010: Dearcinema.com

April 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Source: Dearcinema.com

Submitted by Ameya Bahulekar on 23 April 2010 – 12:03am | 0 Comments

The lights went off in the awaiting theatre room. The seat number on the ticket didn’t matter as people sat wherever they liked. To my left was a male couple, holding hands and waiting for the movie to start. To my right was a female couple also holding hands and waiting anxiously for the movie to begin. The row in front of me had a big bunch of guys not really bothered about the movie but who were, none the less, happy to be together.

It was the first day of the ‘Kashish’ Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. The venue was PVR cinemas in Juhu. The documentaries dominated the lineup. The theme was, as we all know, LGBT movies. From documentaries of a queer photographer to exploring the artistic side of “alternative” gender artists, the product on screen was quite intriguing. And the (mostly queer) audience received the movies well.

‘Speak up! Its not your fault’ was another documentary which had quite the punch. Dealing with issues related to child abuse and homosexuality in the society. The other movies like ‘Bomgay’, ‘Surviving Sabu’, and ‘Assume Nothing’ were some movies talking about various social issues faced by many queer people. There was a section called ‘of perceptions and personas’ which had documentaries of people dressing up or impersonating the members of the opposite sex. ‘Me as He’ was one which talked about dragkings i.e. females who dress up as males and perform on stage and entertain. Similarly, ‘Dorian: a picture’ talked about the life of Rick Colantino, a female impersonator who starred in movies like ‘Sheman.’ ‘Get happy’ too was in the same league talking about the life of Mark Payne, and his early childhood days where he used to dress up like pop divas like Liza Minnelli and Barbra Streisand and perform to his friends.

One of the most hilarious musicals was ‘Fruit Fly’ the story of a Filipina performance artist on a quest to find her maternal parents. The people she meets and the simple way the plot is carried out was a joy to watch. The songs too were funny with a pinch of bold and adult humour. The theatre was thundering with laughter.

As the evening progressed and a lot of movies were seen, it was clear that queer people now have a voice and a platform to put forth their arguments. As spreading awareness and talking about issues these people face was the motive of the festival, they are heading straight towards their goal. But if only people open up to such worlds, there can be a common plane of understanding. As a form of cinema and art, these are just expressions. But they hold a great value when it comes to our living environment at large. It’s a start and so far so good. Who knows what will be next. Section 377, are you listening?

Queer celebration at film festival in Mumbai: DNA-Mumbai

April 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Source: DNA- India, Mumbai edition

An article by: Namita Handa / DNA

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mumbai: Tinsel town has witnessed and hosted many film festivals, but the one starting today is a class apart. Kashish – Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, starts from April 22 to April 25, promises four days of queer celebration across many platforms of artistic expression.

For the very first time Kashish will make its entry into the world of multiplexes. The films will be screened at two venues – Alliance Française, Marine Lines and PVR in Juhu.

There are 110 films that will be screened across 25 countries. Festival director Kashish, Sridhar Rangayan said, “From India alone there are 25 films. You might consider it a small number, but India is the second largest representative; there are 33 films from the United States, the highest representative. I thought not many queer films were made in India.”

All the films screened highlight gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters and stories, exploring the diverse realities, complexities, joys and sorrows that make up their experiences in India and across the world.

Rangayan admits that it was a challenge to convince authorities to let the films be screened at the multiplex. “These films talk and deal with serious issues. We are not here to provide titillation, and neither are we trying to sensationalise the movies,” Rangayan said.

Kashish comprises feature films, documentary and even short films. The films they received were short-listed by a self-appointed selection committee.

The committee was very particular about the kind of films they selected. “We don’t want to hurt the Indian sensibility. We had to discard 30 films for various reasons,” Rangayan said. The selected films were submitted to the Indian Broadcast Ministry for their approval.

EnGAYging Lives and Speak Up! It’s Not Your Fault, the former being on homosexuality and the latter on child sexual abuse are documentaries made by students from the social communication media department of Sophia polytechnic.

The festival has received an overwhelming response. Around 700 people registered to watch the film, but the seating capacity is only for 200.

Dry Days: An article on the ‘Groundwater Up Project’

April 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Source : Time Out Delhi ISSUE 2 Friday, April 16, 2010

A new documentary dives head-on into Delhi’s water crisis, reports Uday Bhatia

Delhi’s water problems have, to varying degrees, become part of most of our lives, so much so that we’ve accepted them as routine. The unevenness of supply, the getting up at six in the morning to fill the tank, the Delhi Jal Board tankers surrounded by warring women and children – there’s nothing new about any of this, and very few Delhiites believe there is anything they can do about it. It is this attitude of resignation that the makers of Groundwater Up, Tarini Manchanda, Katie Gillett and Moriah Mason, want to see evaporate.

Groundwater Up is only 36 minutes long, yet it covers a surprising amount of ground in that time. It begins in upscale south Delhi and proceeds from there to document the havoc that water shortages wreak across the different social strata. The movie is essentially light on its feet, but the prognosis is ultimately bleak; water has become, and will remain for some time, the next civil flashpoint. The sickeningly dirty banks of the Yamuna make an appearance before the scene shifts to the Tehri and Renuka dams, sources identified for providing Delhi water in the future. The film takes on some gravity as it interviews villagers whose homes have been sacrificed to provide water to people hundreds of miles away who want to hose their driveways clean and own private pools. One of the testimonies is particularly touching, as an old woman wryly remarks, “When people ask us where we’re from, now we just say we are the one who live in the lake.”

The filmmakers insist Groundwater Up isn’t a crusade against mismanagement, but rather an effort to understand and simplify a knotty issue. By examining different solutions, such as rainwater harvesting, rejuvenating traditional water systems and de-silting the Surajkund lakes, and chronicling more symbolic efforts like cleaning up the Yamuna banks and organising concerts for awareness, the film makes a brave attempt to end on an optimistic note. Reality may prove to be a tougher taskmaster, but in the meantime, this breezy, informative little film is an appropriate introduction to Delhi’s growing thirst.

Groundwater Up will be screened on Thur Apr 29.

For details, contact the makers at groundwaterup@gmail.com.

‘Arzoo’ showing in Patna – Videofest @ Ravibharati / 1st May 2010

April 27, 2010 Leave a comment

The documentary film  ARZOO will be showing in Ravi Bharati Bihar Low Cost Videofest, Patna

Arzoo

Director: Shashi Ghosh Gupta

English (subtitled), 26 min, 2008, India

‘Arzoo’ is the story of Sulekha Ali, a young Muslim woman who is compelled by circumstances to go live in the Shah Alam refugee camp in Ahmedabad, for six months post Gujarat communal riots of 2002. There she works as a volunteer and soon discovers emotional wounds that lie buried below the surface. Her interaction at Shah Alam with the children creates a longing within her to heal and nurture. After leaving the camp Sulekha decides to continue with her work and thus Arzoo Education & Activity Centre, synonymous with her own desires, is born. The film depicts the struggle and resilience of a young woman fighting for her beliefs, against all odds.

Date:    1st May, 2010

Venue: Ravi Bharati Auditorium, Seva Kendra Campus, Kurji, P.O., Sadaquat Ashram, Patna 800010

To order copies of the film, write to us at: underconstruction@magiclanternfoundation.org