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Ronita Torcato

A little chit, a little chat, a little bit of this & that;meaning news, views & lotsa reviews from an independent journo based in Bombay aka Mumbai



 Argentinian director Pablo Cesor, whose Argentine-Benin co-production Orillas delves into the subject of the people of African descent in Buenos Aires says Argentinians have for long been in denial about the African presence. I wanted to tackle the subject of social justice."
Next on the agenda is a film on Rabindranath Tagore and his Latin American connections.
Mr Cesor says he became interested in the subject after an interaction with the Indian Ambassador to Argentina, which Tagore toured extensively in 1924.
Few know that Tagore was invited by the government of Peru to attend the 'Centennial Celebrations' of its independence. but health complications prevented him from extensively touring the host country or Mexico, whose diplomat poet and winner of the 1990 Nobel, Octavio Paz would assert that Latin America had been powerfully influenced by Tagore.
In Argentina, Tagore established a close friendship with the Argentine writer, publisher and feminist Victoria Ocampo who lasted over  17 years ( till he died) .  Tagore called her Vijaya and dedicated to her  his book of poems, Purabi, in 1925.
Cesar says the central character  of the film will be an academic who visits Shantiniketan. "My film will spotlight the influence of Tagore's ideas on education on Latin America. It may be noted that Costa Rica applied much of Tagore's thinking to its educational system.

Independent film-maker Philip Cox's third feature-documentary "The Bengali Detective"   was acquired by Fox Searchlight at Sundance earlier this year.  Set in Kolkata, the film tells  the story of a paunchy private detective who chases criminals… and when he has the time, he pursues dreams of stardom.
Romanian director Alexandru Maftei whose debut feature Hello How Are You"  is bittersweet romantic comedy is now  at work on his next film which will be based on the novella "Domnişoara Christina ("Miss Christina) by Mircea Eliade,a renowned writer, historian of religion,philosopher, and professor  with a fluent command of five languages  and a reading knowledge of three others (Hebrew, Persian, and Sanskrit)
Responding to a query, he said, " Hollywood usually makes shallow entertainers but movies can make people laugh and feel good and think."
Aditya Assarat, Director of Hi So said Thai film was preoccupied with "comedy,ghosts and horror, reflecting the public's tastes."

 Razi Shawadeh, lead actor of  Sameh Zoabi's award winning Man Without a Cell Phone said the film was a realistic account of life in Israel/Palestine.  The Nazareth born,Toronto-based Israeli Arab told this correspondent that he is friends with Israeli film-makers, and was glad to meet them at IFFI. He said Israeli film-makers "feel guilty about the mistreatment of Palestinians" and cited Amos Gitai and Avi Mugrabi as among those who criticise the Israeli  government in their work.

Japanese film-maker Shinju Sano talked about The First Rains in Spring which he co-directed and wrote  the film with Erlan Nurmuhambetov, who was second director for Tulpan which  won the Golden Peacock award at the 39th IFFI.  The theme of reincarnation in The First Rains of Spring will resonate with Indian audiences.

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About Ronita Torcato

Torcato Agnela Ronita
An incomplete round-up of movie news, features & views from an independent journo & (dare I say it:-) film critic in Mumbai



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