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Satyajit Ray

MIFF 2020: “Why can’t we appreciate off-camera sounds?”—B. Lenin

MIFF 2020: “Why can’t we appreciate off-camera sounds?”—B. Lenin Son of legendary director-editor A. Bhimsingh, B. Lenin started his editing career at the age of 18, in 1965. But guess what he wanted to become as a young boy? A projectionist! Why? Read on. “I am one of eight siblings and saw very little of my father as a child, because he used to work around twenty hours a day. When he came home, sometimes at 4 am, I would ask my mother who this man was. We ch...

IFFI 50: MIFF 2020 to offer Rs. 10 lakh as prize to best film

IFFI 50: MIFF 2020 to offer Rs. 10 lakh as prize to best film Festival Director, Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF as it is known globally), Mrs. Smita Vats Sharma called for the widest and biggest participation of film-makers and film lovers, for the 16th edition of the oldest and largest film festival for non-feature films in South Asia. Addressing a press conference at the golden jubilee edition of the International Film Festival of India, Mrs. Sharma, who is also the Director Gener...

IFFI 50: Ceremonial closing

IFFI 50: Ceremonial closing As the sun set over the river Mandovi in Goa, on the 28th of November, 2019, the 50th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) rolled out the red carpet for the closing ceremony. The spectacular, star studded closing ceremony brought the nine day festivities of 200 odd screenings, master classes, in-conversation sessions, and more, to a fitting climax. Gracing the valedictory ceremony, Babul Supriyo, Union Minister of State for Environment, Fores...

IFFI 50, III: 50th festival since 1952

IFFI 50, III: 50th festival since 1952 Started way back in 1952, the first ever IFFI was organised by the Films Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, with the patronage of the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. This was also the first International Film Festival held anywhere in Asia. It inspired many budding talents to become film-makers, especially the film Bicycle Thieves, which remains a classic 70 years later. Seen in the picture, r...

Shoplifters, Review: Only those who cannot study at home need to go to school

Shoplifters, Review: Only those cannot study at home need to go to school Through many decades, albeit once in a while, a Japanese film comes up in the rich tradition of Frank Capra, Vittorio De Sica, Satyajit Ray, Ritwick Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, and the better films of Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Back in the 30s, 40s and 50s, in the days of Yasujirō Ozu and Mikio Naruse, it was called neo-realistic cinema. Most of these films were made with non-star casts, on shoe-string budgets, had realistic styles...

Ahaa Re (The Two Lovers/Oh, Look at You), Review: Castle of love on bedrock of food

Ahaa Re (The Two Lovers/Oh, Look at You), Review: Castle of love on bedrock of food When you want to make a film about love, lost and found, romance, sublime and selfless, it is a good idea not to include components like villains, fights, item songs, crude comedy, sexual overtones and foul language. So what do you fill your screenplay with? How about conflicts and disparities, of many hues and various proportions? And food? Yes, food. Well if you are a foodie, and a romantic foodie, then why ...

The Valley, Review: A suicide, a steep cliff, the sea and a gun

The Valley, Review: A suicide, a steep cliff, the sea and a gun Silicon it is. And IT. The Valley story is told from the perspective of an Indian family. It is placed in the present, or the not too distant past. The Valley follows the slice of life, realistic style of narration and strikes a chord frequently. In English, it features Indian, Pakistani and American actors, with only one easily identifiable name that Indians will relate too. Yet, it is recommended viewing. The film retraces eve...

MIFF 2018, XIX: Pierre Assouline

MIFF 2018, XIX: Pierre Assouline ...

16th Third Eye Asian Film Festival: IX

16th Third Eye Asian Film Festival: IX Biler Diary, Cyanide and Jana Aranya. A Bengali film about a boarding school based on Hindu religious values, an Iranian political thriller about the period immediately preceding the Islamic revolution and a raved work of the master, Satyajit Ray—these were the last feature films I saw at the 16th Third Eye Asian Film Festival, Mumbai. The festival was organised in December 2017 by the Asian Film Foundation and P.L. Deshpande Maharashtra Kala Acad...

IFFI Goa 2017, XII: Winners’ List, and a few regrets

IFFI Goa 2017, XII: Winners’ List, and a few regrets It was an evening of regret. At the closing ceremony of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which concluded in Panaji, Goa on November 28, six films/directors made it to the top, of which I had seen only 30% of one, the only one to win two prizes. Why I did not see the others, and why only 30% of a particular one will be explained below. But first, the LIST. Films  (In absentia) 1. Morocco-born French Directo...

Siraj Syed’s IFFI 2016 diary, V: And the Oscar for restoring classics goes to…AMPAS!

Siraj Syed’s IFFI 2016 diary, V: And the Oscar for restoring classics goes to…AMPAS! American body Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is best known for presenting the annual awards, which are characterised by a figurine called the Oscar. Though that is the face of the academy, it does much more service to the cause of both American and international cinema than most people would imagine, including holding an annual student Oscars. At the Black Box of Panaji&rsqu...

Pawn Sacrifice, Review: Check this out, Mate

In the only Urdu/Hindi film he ever made, Indian cinema’s Bengali language grandmaster Satyajit Ray used chess as a metaphor, setting it against the backdrop of the crumbling Navabi rule over Avadh (Lucknow), and its imminent take-over by the British East India company. It was simply called Shatranj Ke Khilari (The Chess Players). Another chess film, a 30-minute short made in 1988, was called Queen Sacrifice. The present film manages with just a pawn sacrifice! Two feature-length recent ...

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