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Independent

BUFF 2017 British Urban Film Festival Cannes News Conference set for Friday 26 May

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Memo to all journalists, film critics, bloggers and other accredited attendees of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.   London, 21/05/2017 For immediate release: The British Urban Film Festival invites you to attend the BUFF 2017 Cannes Press Conference on Friday 26 May, 10.00am - 12noon, at the Hotel Amarante Cannes (Matisse Room). The address is 78, Boulevard Carnot, 06400 Cannes, France. Speaking at the press conference will be BUFF CEO and founder Emmanuel Anyi...

Hindi Medium, Review by Siraj Syed: Admission only to the affluent and fluent

Hindi Medium, Review by Siraj Syed: Admission only to the affluent and fluent If you want to get your child admitted in any one of the top five schools in New Delhi, you have to be affluent, fluent (in English) and live a life-style typified by Western influences. This is the premise of Hindi Medium, releasing this week in Mumbai cinemas. What happens if you have an intelligent daughter, are a couple that speaks Hindi, and have lots of money, not Westernised, and live in the crowded Chandni ...

The Sense of an Ending, Review by Siraj Syed: Sensible transition from novel to film

The Sense of an Ending, Review by Siraj Syed: Sensible transition from novel to film Many a times, tragic-romantic novels that get made into films tend to be laboured and over ‘textualised’. Not so the The Sense of an Ending. Indian director Ritesh Batra keeps this British film largely simple and lets his actors carry it forward, which works well. A simple story with a tragic and profound undercurrent of regret, the film does not have too much to offer, but gets its basics right. ...

On the Kindness of Strangers

There is another White House, an iconic apartment-house opened in  1936,and now a listed building, in bustling Marylebone, close to Regent's Park in the centre of London, and opposite the site of the Diorama, a fore-runner of cinema, which employed candle-light on huge paintings, with audiences literally moved around a flexible,arena-like space.Adjacent in Albany Street was another celebrated Victorian attraction, the Colosseum, constructed in the  1820s to house &qu...

Curtain up on Iron Curtain films!

Almost in defiance of the impending gloom of Brexit, London continues to host a plethora of European film events, national film-weeks and a variety of cultural cinematic gatherings, screenings and mini-festivals, sometimes on Embassy premises or in other non-cinema venues. Currently, on one of the capital's smartest streets in merry Marylebone, and more or less opposite the ever-busy  entrance to one of London's film-starriest hostelries, the Chiltern Firehouse, is a most unusua...

Movie memories, by Siraj Syed—Bowling for Columbine (2002): Gun lobbies and gun hobbies

Movie memories, by Siraj Syed—Bowling for Columbine (2002): Gun lobbies and gun hobbies America has the highest rate of gun-related deaths and some critics of the gun culture refer to the gun lobby as gun nuts. Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11) pegs this docu-feature as an investigative, analytical account of the Columbine school massacre and derives its title from the story that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold—the two students responsible for the Columbine High School massacre—...

Script session Festival Du Cannes

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Atlanticmedia are holding a script session at The Festival Du Cannes this season.  A daily course guarateed to bring out the best of your creative juices with a screenplay ready to roll hotly tipped from this academy awarding winning writer. pls contact Lindka for more information.   ...

Mantostaan, Review by Siraj Syed: Quadruple fiction, laboured narration

Mantostaan, Review by Siraj Syed: Quadruple fiction, laboured narration Mantostaan is a parallel compilation of four short stories by outstanding writer, late Saadat Hassan Manto. Manto was a short story writer who wrote in the Urdu language, in addition to being a film and radio scriptwriter, and a journalist. For a brief period in the late forties, he worked in the script department of the legendary studio, Bombay Talkies. Born in undivided India, he returned to what was now Pakistan, and d...

“The Promise”= A film about how ancient and modern worlds can coexist in order to make wines and people who make them happy ?

Interest in wine and wine making has always fascinated humanity since olden times. However, this fascination has taken a completely new turn in contemporary times especially in an international market governed by numerous socio-economic concerns. This is one reason why there is always room for news as well as ‘works of art’ about anything related to wine. One can quote China's acquisition of 100 Bordeaux chateaux as a recent example. It can be stated that Asia’s dominance...

Movie memories, by Siraj Syed—Fahrenheit 9/11(2004): Burning topics

Movie memories, by Siraj Syed—Fahrenheit 9/11(2004): Burning topics Fahrenheit 9/11 was released on DVD and VHS videotape on October 5, 2004, which is when I must have acquired my copy. Within a few days, the film broke records for the highest-selling documentary ever. About two million copies were sold/rented on the first day. A companion book too was released, The Official Fahrenheit 9/11 Reader, containing the complete screenplay, maker Michael Moore's sources, audience e-mails ...

Maatr (The Mother) uncensored, Review by Siraj Syed: She will kill at will

Maatr (The Mother) uncensored, Review by Siraj Syed: She will kill at will Lead actress Raveena Tandon told the media that, in Maatr, “We have just shown 10 percent of what a woman has to deal with when such a thing happens with her.” ‘Such a thing’ that she was referring to is gang rape. Sure enough, the film landed in trouble before the Central Board of Film Certification (CFBC), the Indian body that has to approve every film before it is released. I have had privile...

Félicité, Review by Siraj Syed: Cinema réalité

Félicité, Review by Siraj Syed: Cinema réalité Challenging forms and formats, genres and categories, Félicité agitates your mind by showing too much of some things and too little of other elements. It begins as an indictment of the colonial legacy in Congo but ends up becoming a slave to its repetitive shot-taking and sombre imagery. Too much is promised and just about much is delivered. Nevertheless, Félicité is going to be talked about...

IIFBoston 2017 Pre-fest: It Stays With You

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The tag line for Independent Film Festival Boston 2017 is “It Stays With You”.  In my case, that is certainly true.  You’ll see what I mean in a bit.  First, some back story. A year ago Sunday, I was in the latter stages of moving.  My then-landlord was… not the best at maintenance, to be charitable.  The house was near the beach, which meant you had to keep an eye on the wood weathering from the salt air.  The front door threshold had been...

There is still time to get in on the action at Tribeca

This year's Tribeca Film Festival is another a great opportunity to see some great films, join some exciting discussions about movies, and even to rub shoulder with some of your favorite celebrities. Photos © Mustafa Önder   The Festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. With strong roo...

INJURY TIME | Drama Short Film Released (shot on ARRI ALEXA)

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INJURY TIME traverses the dying minutes of a soccer manager’s desperate struggle to win The Game on his own terms. This gripping, high concept thriller is told in real-time in one continuous shot.   <iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1-dQcTA5e-M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>   Jack Sheridan - Director Julie Byrne - Producer Jennifer Jones - Producer  ...

Postcards from Blighty

        Not only the not-so-very United Kingdom is facing crises of identity and culture-clashes currently, in the months apres-BREXIT and avant the various elections looming across Europe, but the cinema itself seems to be going thr...

Despair, Exclusive first-ever review, by Siraj Syed: Performances dispel the gloom in this psycho thriller

Despair, Exclusive first-ever review, by Siraj Syed: Performances dispel the gloom in this psycho thriller Being humane can cost you dear could be one take away from the indie psychological thriller, Despair. Disjointed families and obsession can kill, as had been demonstrated by so many films of yore, and this could have been one more for the record, had it not been for the other take away: sympathy and empathy are the cornerstones of love, and even if you have to pay a heavy price for nurtu...

LEDIS | Comedy Short Film (2016)

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Eva and Berenice live in Rome and fight every day with the chaos of the city, the precarious works and loves. Berenice has finally met Cristiano and seems happily in love. Eva however is plagued by men but can never find the right one.  Today is Sunday, and the LEDIS are coming back from a brunch, where EVA met the usually play boy who wanted to impress her, obviously without success. Berenice is convinced that it's the fault of Eve because she seriusly influenced from physical a...

CUT - Drama Short Film (2016)

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A barber who recently retired from injure wants to rejoin, only finding his shop is taken over as a vintage salon by his son.     Muqing Li - Director Muqing Li - Writer Muqing Li - Producer Steve T. Bartlett - Key Cast Brandon Tyler Jones - Key Cast Tony Yan - Original Music   Genres: Drama Country of Origin: United States Completion Date: September 20, 2016 Film Language: English Camera: RED Epic   ...

Aamir, Nasir, Tahir, Tariq, Mansoor, Amjad: Movies, Masti, Modernity, Flashback 10: Aamir

Aamir, Nasir, Tahir, Tariq, Mansoor, Amjad: Movies, Masti, Modernity, Flashback 10: Aamir To remind you, Aamir is indeed Aamir Khan, Amjad is definitely Gabbar Singh, and the triple M above is to acknowledge that it was Akshay Manwani’s biographical book on the cinema of Nasir Hussain that got me delving into the period of about 15 years, when I interacted with the Hussain Khans (first five) and the bare Khan (last, but the most imposing personality). Actually, Mansoor did not use his m...

Mirza Juuliet, Review by Siraj Syed: ‘Sex peer’ or Shakespeare

Mirza Juuliet, Review by Siraj Syed: ‘Sex peer’ or Shakespeare Six timeless tales of doomed love continue to enjoy tremendous popularity in India, even in the 21st century: Laila-Majnu, Shirin-Farhad, Sohni-Mahiwal, Heer-Ranjha, Mirza-Sahibaa and Romeo and Juliet. Of these, five are Indian or from the sub-continent and only Shakespeare’s R&J makes it from the foreign category. India had its own Shakespeare, named Agha Hashr Kashmiri, who in the period 1920s-50s, transla...

Blue Mountains, Review by Siraj Syed: Colourless Molehills

Blue Mountains, Review by Siraj Syed: Colourless Molehills Used as a metaphor for distance, apparently unattainable goals, the Blue Mountains of the title prove as elusive and illusory as the real ones the makers project on screen. Lots of colour, lots of singing, lots of dancing, lots of melodrama, and lots of snow do not help Blue Mountains attain any height. Instead, we find ourselves in a cave, at best, or, rather, a gorge. Som (Yatharth Rastogi), a hill-town boy, and part of a gang of f...

The Roswell SciFi Film Festival 2017!

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Submit your Short or Feature length film! Roswell SciFi Film Festival 2017 The ROSWELL SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY Film Festival is the only film making festival dedicated to bringing artist's visions of the universe to the UFO capital of the world. It provides a venue for independent SCI-FI/FANTASY filmmakers to get their films screened as well as network with some of the best independent short and feature-length genre filmmakers in the world. ...

Colossal, Review by Siraj Syed: Loss all

Colossal, Review by Siraj Syed: Loss all Colossal loses big on two counts: It appears to have several allegorical, illusionary hidden agendas, and it goes about framing them in minimalistic, over-simplified montage. There is always a grave risk in making a socio-political commentary using metaphors like video games and giant monsters/robots, and the risk involves alienating (pun intended) both classes of audiences—the superhero aficionados, and the intelligentsia film-goers. Colossal no...

Mukti Bhawan review, by Siraj Syed: Pulsating, Soulful, Lively tale, of Death

Mukti Bhawan review, by Siraj Syed: Pulsating, Soulful, Lively tale, of Death Mukti is Hindi for release or detachment, and Bhawan is home or mansion. Don’t wait too long after Mukti Bhawan is released in the nearest mansion (cinema hall). And do yourself a favour: Don’t die till you have seen this film about death. A sublime blend of realism and metaphor, Mukti Bhawan is ostensibly the tale of an old man who wants to move to the ‘dying quarters’ in the city of Banara...
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