After enchanting movie buffs during its tenure, the most enthralling film festival Jio MAMI 19thMumbai Film Festival with Star gears up for its closure with the screening ofOmertaby Hansal Mehta today at PVR ICON. The red carpet was attended by Hansal Mehta, Rajkummar Rao, Kiran Rao and many more.Hansal Mehta and Rajkummar Rao come together yet again after delivering critically acclaimed films like Shahid, Citylights, and Aligarh with this new venture.Omertawas premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) which captures the bloody trail of British-born terrorist Omar Sheikh who plotted the 2002 kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. It is Hansal Mehta’s second film that is screened at TIFF afterShahid.Hansal Mehta, Director, Omertais a recipient of the National Film Award for Best Direction in the year 2013 forShahid.He started his career in the television industry and later ventured into movies withJayate(1999).The suave director-actor duo cast their spells yet again at the finale screening of MAMI Film Festival.Rajkummar Rao said, “Hansal Mehta and I are very delighted and humbled that we get to screen our film at the closing of MAMI Film Festival. It has been a very exciting project to work on. What better platform than MAMI for its premiere.”
October 18, 2017 04:43 IST
Movie: The Song Of ScorpionsCast: Golshifteh Farahani, Irrfan Khan, Waheeda RahmanRating: 4 StarsDirector: Anup SinghThe Song of Scorpions is the story of a girl called Nooran who has healing powers through which she can chant mantras and songs to cure people who are bitten by Scorpions. She learns this from her grandmother Zubaida, an incredible character played by veteran actress Waheeda Rahman. The Song Of Scorpions is a revenge drama where Nooran loses everything she has in life, only to realise that the man who loves her has some dark secrets.PerformancesPersian actress Golshifteh Farahani is the soul of the movie. Nooran’s character is so beautifully and vividly written, that Golshifteh infuses life into her like she is actually Nooran. In a scene where she comes out of her room after countless days in a devastated state, she picks up every packet of food to smell if it has not gone bad. She finally finds one and eats like an animal, sitting beside a wall as she weeps. If she doesn’t move you here, nothing will. In another one, she licks of salt from Irrfan's face to seduce him and surrender herself to him as a wife, which is incredibly enacted.Golshifteh is so powerful in the movie that she steals Irrfan Khan’s thunder, even though he is absolutely perfect as Aadam, the camel herder.Waheeda Rahman is a pleasant treat to watch in the film, and she reminds youngsters with her performance, giving a glimpse into how spectacular she has already been in her magnificent career. She has also made her singing debate with Anup Singh’s directorial.Child artist Sara Arjun as Aadam’s daughter brings a much needed balance in an intense movie with her innocence.And the credit of this movie goes to…The Song of Scorpions is one of this rare movies where every technician and crew member has had a lot to contribute. You cannot attribute all the credit to the director or actor. The R&D team deserves a bow, and production design manager Rakesh Yadav breathtakingly captures the feel of a deserted life. Costume designers Divya and Nidhi Gambhir have miraculously researched in desert households by borrowing clothes and fabric to recreate a realistic and authentic life in a desert. The camera work is a delight for all cinema lovers, which makes this movie a journey where you leave a part of yourself with Nooran.To watch or not?If you have a thing for cinematic spectacles and artistic narratives, go for it! This movie might come as a little slow paced film for masala movie entertainers, but for once you can give it a shot and try living through the experience of The Song Of Scorpions and enter the world of Nooran. If you’re one of those film fanatics who dig deep into song lyrics and feel it, this movie’s folklore will give you goosebumps. You might not come out singing the song of scorpions at the end, but you’ll at least hum it.
October 15, 2017 10:31 IST
A couple of mad, crazy and creative friends got together to make a movie, and that’s how Kundan Shah’s Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro happened. Remembering the late filmmaker Kundan Shah and actor Om Puri, the 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival held a special screening of his cult classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro.The audience consisted of people who were have either lost count of the number of times they’ve watched the movie or were watching it for the first time. In both cases, the claps, cheers and laughs were in unison. The magic of this movie was evident when elders and youngsters had the same reaction at every moment in proper sync, which proved yet again that it is a cult classic.The movie starred some of the veterans of Indian cinema, including Neena Gupta. Satish Shah, Satish Kaushik. Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapur, Deepak Qazir, and filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra.MAMI went one step ahead and tried to bring together the cast and crew of the movie post the screening for a Q&A. JBDY’s co-writer Sudhir Mishra, dialogue writer Ranjit Kapoor, actor Satish Kaushik and actor & production controller Vidhu Vinod Chopra got together to go down memory lane. The team also hummed the tune of a song that was written for Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro and told Kundan Shah’s favourite word was ‘No’. In an hour long conversation, they reminisced the smallest and the biggest details of the film and disclosed a lot of unknown facts about the movie, some of which are hilarious.Vidhu Vinod Chopra did many roles in the movieHe played the role of Dushasan for free and many other cameos to save the cost. The reason I did many roles in the film is that I could not afford actors,” said Vinod.Here’s how#VidhuVinodChopragot the role of Dushasan in#kundanshah’s#JaaneBhiDoYaaro#JioMAMIwithStar2017pic.twitter.com/g6I2MS1TUM— Desimartini (@DMmovies)October 15, 2017Anupam Kher had also shot for his role that later got axed at the editing tableCo-writer Sudhir Mishra told the audience that he and Kundan went to Juhu beach where they told Anupam that his role was removed from the movie.Kundan Shah had to cut down the movie from 8 hours to 4 and finally 3.5!He got so emerged in writing 45 minute long scenes with great passion, that even after a lot of editing, he ended up shooting 8 hours which were finally brought down to about 3.5.Om Puri had never read the script of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro!He realised that it’s a great story when he was shooting the iconic Mahabharata scene. He only had a vague idea of the story.The names of the lead characters are actually taken in a playful way from Sudhir Mishra and Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s names.The lead characters Ravi Baswani and Naseeruddin Shah were named Sudhir and Vinod Chopra respectively in the movie, which was a playful decision taken by the team during the making.If you realise, JBDY is social issue, done through humourVidhu explained that the lead characters are fighting corruption and injustice at every level, but with some incredibly intelligently written comic moments throughout the film.You cannot recreate a Jaane Bhi Do YaaroBoth Vinod and Sudhir established that what Kundan made back then, was his work in that era. What Vinod made in Munnbhai in his time was his work at that point of time. There’s no debate on recreating a classic. Satish Kaushik also supported this fact that they all were raw back then, almost empty stomach so what got made into a movie cannot be refilled again.A Mercedes banged Vidhu’s Austin (car) during the makingThe Mercedes was in fact more damaged, but Vidhu demanded money from the person who owned the Merc, because his Austin was way more expensive.The cast and crew had no idea that they were making something so iconicTelling how they never got a slightest hint that this movie will be so big, Vinod Chopra explained, “In 3 Idiots for instance, Abhijaat Joshi called me from Ahmedabad - ‘Sir picture hit ho gayi hai’ Maine kaha, haan hit hogayi hai. Par kitni badi hit hogayi hai? He said ‘Bahot badi hit ho gayi hai.’ He imagined all the big hits and said, ‘Sabse badi hit hogayi hai.’ There was a long pause and then he said, ‘Likhte waqt to pata hi nahi chal raha tha’. To hum ko nahi pata chalta, our chalna bhi nahin chahiye. Jab aapko pata chalne laga na, to aapka cinema corrupt ho jayega.”Vidhu also added, that, “The moment you start thinking of putting SRK, Salman Khan and Aamir in 3 Idiots 2, thats the day I’ll die.” as he spoke about calculative investments as a producer in the fraternity.Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro has been such a huge inspiration for India's comic directors, that time and again they've tried to orchestrate systematic chaos in movies like Kundan Shah, but none of them have been able to come close.Watch the entire discussion here:
October 15, 2017 09:19 IST
After its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Britain-India co-production "The Hungry", had its Asia premiere at the Jio MAMI 19th Mumbai Film Festival with Star.The special premiere was attended by Director Bornila Chatterjee, Naseeruddin Shah, Tisca Chopra, Sayani Gupta, Zoya Hussain and Neeraj Kabi to name a few.Bornila Chatterjee’s The Hungry is based on Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. The film follows Tulsi (Tisca Chopra), who is set to wed Sunny (Arjun Gupta), the son of a ruthless corporate tycoon named Tathagat Ahuja (brilliantly played by legendary Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah). At a New Year's Eve party he is hosting, Ahuja recruits Tulsi's promising younger son, Ankur, to participate in a business deal. During the meeting Ankur makes a grave mistake, the deal is spoiled, and he is killed.This event sets off a flurry of violence and murder, much of it initiated by Tulsi, seeking revenge for the brutal murder of her son. As her wedding approaches, Tulsi must decide how much more she is willing to lose in order to see her plans through to the very end.
October 15, 2017 07:58 IST
Jio MAMI 19th Mumbai Film Festival with Star launched MAMI's new initiative - the first online platform for curated Indian content: MAMI Movie Mandi at the JW Marriott, Juhu.One of MAMI’s core focus areas as an academy is to bolster filmmakers in India through platforms that enable conversations with the global film fraternity. As an online platform, MAMI Movie Mandi will connect Indian Filmmakers to buyers, agents, festivals across the world and increase discoverability and visibility for Indian films, thus bridging the gap between filmmaking and film sales. Film markets are platforms for revenue, recognition and discovery for independent films. MAMI decided to create this platform online to ensure that geography doesn’t come in the way of discovery of Indian films and talent.MAMI Chairperson Kiran Rao, introduced the initiative and declared it open to the world.The platform was in development for last one year and had a soft launch in April 2017 when the team started inviting filmmakers to experience it and create their film pitches. The platform currently hosts pitches for completed feature films seeking international distribution and festival placement opportunities. Developed with utmost focus on user-friendliness, it is a secure, completely free of cost and curated space. A filmmaker can register for free and create a film pitch for their project which will essentially include a trailer, film stills, synopsis, filmmaker's profile, festival premiere status available, rights and territories being pitched amongst many other details. The platform currently hosts pitches of around 100 independent films from across the country vying for the attention of festival programmers and distributors.Buyers, festival programmers from across the world have started registering on the platform and browsing through the film pitches. The platform is enabled with comprehensive and useful filters like rights available, territories available to genre and year of completion, that allow a programmer or buyer to easily sift through the pitches and narrow down the search to their area of interest. The platform comes with an in-built messaging system, that allows a buyer to connect directly with the filmmakers when they find a pitch interesting. The platform has been gaining steady interest from buyers and programmers as it allows them to get a curated overview of upcoming Indian films from their location anywhere in the world.The evening was attended by all the programmed filmmakers of the 19th edition of the festival, who felt immensely hopeful about the future of the platform given the kind of opportunities it will create.MAMI is focused on building the platform further to be and all-encompassing space which will host projects in various stages of completion - right from script pitches seeking producers to work-in-progress projects seeking gap-finance.Jio MAMI with Star, Creative Director, Smriti Kiran said, “Distribution and Discoverability of content and key areas of concern for the filmmaking community. Setting the ball rolling on an entity like MAMI Movie Mandi, which is a first ever platform exclusively for curated Indian content, what we are trying to do is to get the world to discover Indian cinema beyond the 20 or 30 films that do the festival circuit or get discovered. We’ve got big plans for this platform. We want to move from finished films to works in progress, web content, manuscripts and books that people should discover from India to convert into any kind of audio-visual content. I hope, we can make a difference with this concept that we have set into motion.”Apart from the MAMI leadership team, Chairperson Kiran Rao, Festival Director Anupama Chopra, Creative Director Smriti Kiran, some of the key guests and industry members to ring in the launch were - Filmmaker John Madden (also the Head of the International Competition Jury at the festival), Cameron Bailey (Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival), Michael Lerman (Artistic Director of the Palm Spring International film festival), Grainne Humphreys (Artistic Director - Dublin International Film Festival), Mark Adams (Artistic Director, Edinburgh Film Festival), Actor Celina Jade, Filmmaker Clio Bernard (also the Head of the India Gold Jury at the festival), Film Critic Stephanie Zacharek, Filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Neeraj Ghaywan, Film Distributor - Mehelli Modi, Actor Adil Hussain and Screenwriter Varun Grover.The evening was a rousing success with filmmakers, talent and festival directors from around the world. The guests shared their thoughts on this initiative by MAMI.TIFF Artistic Director, Cameron Bailey said, “India produces hundreds of films every year and dozens of films that could travel the world, if we only knew about them. This initiative at MAMI is a terrific one as it will allow people to look for films from India to find them all in one place. The hard part for a festival programmed buying for international distribution is just trying to sift through the hundreds of films and if you don’t have the contact you can’t find those films so anything that helps the international industry to find Indian cinema is a great step forward, and I am glad that MAMI is doing that.”Film Distributor, Mehelli Modi said, "As times get more and more difficult for distribution, theatrical distribution will become harder for serious cinema. I think, this online platform which starts from helping the filmmakers to make the film to the point of distributing the film, the Mandi will become absolutely essential.”Actress and International Competition jury member Celina Jade said, “MANDI is a great online platform to network with people from all around the world – Hollywood, Bollywood and Chinawood. I think, it’s a platform that everyone should experience."Director, Neeraj Ghaywan commented on how this helps filmmakers in India, “I am a filmmaker from India and I want the world to watch my films to get shortlisted for film festivals and MAMI Movie Mandi becomes a one-stop solution catering to every need of your film. This platform puts the film out there so film festivals, producers and agents from around the world can log on to your film, read the synopsis, watch the trailer and it totally kills the geographical boundaries as it doesn’t require for you to be there personally.”Screenwriter, Varun Grover spoke about the opportunity it gives young people in India, "It’s a great initiative and it’s high time we did something like this and I am not surprised that MAMI took the initiative to do this because this is the most progressive and the most keyed-in festival in India right now. It’s a great opportunity for young people everywhere in India who want to pitch their films to producers around the world.”Curator for the Half Ticket section at the festival Samina Mishra, “It’s a really exciting initiative because it helps one find out about the individual work that is being made otherwise it’s usually word-of-mouth. We don’t really have a real platform that exists to be able to figure out and you have to wait till a film gets done, gets a buzz or when somebody writes about it, you only come to know then.”Actor, Adil Hussain, “I feel that it is a dawn of filmmakers, distributors and producers to come together to discover and to hunt down new films which are generally not available and which will be difficult to find and if they are really interested in looking for films which are interesting and made by young talents of India.”
October 15, 2017 07:52 IST
The binge watching internet audience in India is primarily divided into two sides. Netflix and chill people or Hotstar & Amazon Prime Video. While Netflix is an ocean of original TV series and concepts along with tastefully curated international movies, one cannot deny the ease of access and navigation in Amazon Prime Video. Hotstar of course is a bank of all Indian and international soap operas along with movies which is attracting users.Anupama Chopra interacted with Erik Barmack, VP of Netflix International Originals and their conversation revealed a lot of things we were inquisitive about. One of them is the competition against Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video.Explaining how completion doesn’t affect Netflix, he said, “We’re sort or more intrinsically motivated about how do we find great programming and present that to the world than how we size up. Reality in this world is that people are going to choose lots of different sources and that is okay.”Erik Barmack tells us why he feels Sacred Games based on Vikram Chandra's book, can travel across the world like@netflix's other shows.pic.twitter.com/cIQy8fQX4c— JioMAMIwithStar (@MumbaiFilmFest)October 13, 2017Erik also added that, "When we think about our Indian strategy, we also think about the Indian diaspora."Erik Barmack also told why he feels Sacred Games based on Vikram Chandra's book, can travel across the world like other shows on Netflix. "It's more important to have shows with high impact, rather than having large volumes,” he signed off.
October 14, 2017 12:10 IST
Large Short Films by Royal Stag Barrel Select at MAMI opened up with four new short films this year and one of the best films among them was Massan’s director Neeraj Ghaywan’s ‘Juice’.An incredibly amazing concept by Neeraj stars Shefali Shah in the lead. She plays a housewife who quit her job to run the household, while her husband loves to hang out with his friends at home and host dinners.The story centres around the fact that women always stay in the kitchen without fan or coolers as they toil to cook tons of food for family dinners, while men happily sink in the couch and have conversations.While ‘Juice’ will release in November on the internet, Desimartini caught up for a quick chat at MAMI with Neeraj and Shefali to give us an insight into the concept of Juice.“Silence speaks louder than any of the words. She’s just sitting and claiming the position of male entitlement. She’s simmering inside. She’s our medium to observe the world. People think that it’s about a small town phenomena, it happens in progressive households,” explains Ghaywan who also told us that this story comes from his real life experiences with relatives and friends.How Shefali’s character stands up for herself is something to watch out for! She says, “It’s not about one upmanship. It’s just about being on the same plane. It’s not about feminism.”While Ghaywan insists that stories like ‘Juice' actually happen for real around us, he also says, “Women are themselves perpetrators of patriarchy.” which the short film reflects.Two concepts by LSF are definitely going to blow your mind this year because both Chhuri (starring Tisca Chorpa & Anurag Kashyap) and Juice are a surreal representation of women and their much needed empowerment with an incredibly scintillate approach to direction.
October 14, 2017 11:38 IST
The 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival is in full swing like every year, and one of the best line ups in this movie carnival was the screening of 4 Large Short Films by Royal Stag Barrel Select in association with India’s amazing directors and actors. ‘Chhuri’ is one of the best short films out of the 4!What should a woman do when she knows her husband is cheating on her? Chhuri is the most amazing short film in this line up of Large Short Films whose climax has a wonderful twist!The cast includes Tisca Chopra, director Anurag Kashyap, and Hate Story fame actress Surveen Chawla.Churn is a real life storyDirector Mansi revealed that this is intact a real life story of her friend whose husband was cheating on her, and what the woman does after that, is what Mansi and Tisca have developed to co-write the script and screenplay. Tisca says it’s almost a follow up of her last LSF Chutney that has over 120 Million views on YouTube.“I was petrified to kiss Surveen”Anurag, who plays the husband of Tisca gets involved with Surveen and they have a sensual making out scene too. Anurag said, “I was petrified to kiss Surveen.” Tisca also revealed that once he was onboard for this short film, he said he’d have to seek his girlfriend’s permission to do this steamy scene.Survey and Anurag became siblings after thatJokingly Anurag spoke about how these scenes can turn out to be and he said, “I’m sorry if I get an erection. I’m sorry if I don’t get an erection.” But something opened up for him after that and he agreed that unlike his two minutes of making out, his actors go through a lot. Quite funnily, Surveen added, “We became siblings after that extremely uncomfortable scene.”On casting AnuragTisca discussed how she was unsure if Anurag would agree to give dates for Chhuri but she and Mansi always thought that if there’s a manly man in the industry, it has to be Anurag Kashyap. He gave a day to them and confessed that standing around in boxers in front of a large crew of women all day was quite an experience for him. “I paid the price for what the men have done to women in the industry,” he said.Chhuri is yet to release online, and we must say that it can easily be as popular as Chutney was last year!
October 14, 2017 11:31 IST
On the eve of Mumbai Film Festival 2017, Anupama Chopra and Smriti Kiran reveal their thoughts and journey behind the success of Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.Anupama says, “It’s an exclusive festival and it has everything for a Bollywood buff to a cinema lover and everything in between. Nobody can say I’ll be bored.There’s a huge hunger for all kinds of movies.”Smriti Kiran Creative Director, Mumbai Film Festival says, “There are two things that work in our favour. First of all we don’t belong to this space. We are lovers of films. I have a background in TV, I’ve been a creative director and producer. Anu is an author and film critic, so one thing that we brought was perspective from other sides of the trenches.”“Because we didn’t know how to do this, like in terms of how to run a film festival and how this ecosystem operates, because we’ve always covered film festivals, we were very open to learning and listening to people. We knew it’s a non profit, but we also knew that it needs to be run with passion and professional proficiency. If you don’t do that then you never move the needle.” she adds.Smriti funnily explained that the problem that Indians have is that most of them are very romantic, and love the pyaaz aur roti kha lenge concept.Cinema lovers have a huge advantage because Smriti says, “People don’t have to queue up for hours and tire themselves to watch a movie. That can be made easy. We had to earn he confidence of people who come for the festival.”Every year, Anupama and Smriti take all the feedback and logistically evaluate what can be improvised and incorporated into the festival. The 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival starts tomorrow, from 12 - 18 October with a tastefully designed line up of movie screenings from across the world, giving a platform to many people to showcase their talent.
October 11, 2017 06:26 IST
Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt were in conversation with Karan Johar at the 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival recently and both of them were asked about their favourite actor and actress. Quite contrary to what any fan would think, both Alia and Ranbir gave some surprising answers.Ranbir Kapoorrevealed that hisfavourite actor is Ranveer Singh!Yes, you read that right and he also added that he's dying towatch Padmavati. His favourite actress is Alia Bhatt, which we think he said because he's working on Ayan Mukherjee's next with her. His favourite director is Karan Johar who was sitting right across the table.Alia too revealed that her favourite actor is Ranbir Kapoor (reciprocating the same affection), favourite actress Deepika Padukone and favourite director Karan Johar.Karan didn't miss a chance to enjoy the fact that both Ranveer and Deepika's names were mentioned together.
October 10, 2017 04:37 IST
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