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Escaype Live, trailer launch and press meet: Two Sidhharths, one JJ, many escaype artistes

Escaype Live, trailer launch and press meet: Two Sidhharths, one JJ and many escaype artistes Disney + Hotstar, one of a handful of leading OTT platforms, has formulated what it calls the “biggest social thriller of the year”. They have named it Escaype Live and it is described as “the most relevant story of current times.” Created and directed by Siddharth Kumar Tewary, it took three years to make, against an estimated six months, and will release only on Disney+ Hot...

RIFF 08, 2022, 14: Synopses of films screened, Part II

RIFF 08, 2022, 14: Synopses of films screened, Part II (24) Film Name : Chhipkali Director : Koushik Kar Beyond our materialistic world, there lies an unexplored dimension, where a series of incidents occur but they surpass our conscious mind. Based on this context, our story revolves around an interrogative conversation between a detective and a suspect regarding a murder case. This story challenges our conscious mindset, outlook towards the perceptible world, our society, its norms and th...

RIFF 08, 2022, 13: Synopses of films screened, Part I

RIFF 08, 2022, 13: Synopses of films screened, Part I (1) Film Name: It Gets in Your Blood Director : Ed Hartman “It Gets in Your Blood” is a short documentary by Ed Hartman. The film is about Richard Lyford, a filmmaker who made 9 films before he was 20-years-old, worked for Disney on Fantasia, Dumbo, and Pinocchio, and went on to direct an Academy Award-winning documentary. In spite of all of this, very few know who he is, or why he is important to filmmaking, today. (2) Film...

TIPS redoes Rahman’s Rangeela hit, Mangta hai kya, with new music video

TIPS redoes Rahman’s Rangeela hit, Mangta hai kya, with new music video It was a new venue for me, though not very far from my house. Located high above a leading footwear brand showroom on Linking Road, Santa Cruz, Bombay Adda (hangout) is a cosy place, just right for the size of the turnout on April 22. The occasion was the launch of the reprised version of A.R. Rahman’s hit from the film Rangeela, released 27 years ago, by TIPS Music, the company that had released the Rangeela ...

Jersey, Review: Down and out, yet 300 not out

Jersey, Review: Down and out, yet 300 not out A loser making it big in sports is the stuff that many films have been made on. This one tries to be different. Imagine a cricketer who quit the game years ago, is dead broke, and his government job has landed him under suspension. You can bet that he will make a comeback and reach a new zenith, however, it does not quite happen the way you might anticipate. Yes, his return to the game is a major twist, but the giant of a twist is reserved for the...

Operation Romeo, Review: Regaining consciousness and recharging consciences

Operation Romeo, Review: Regaining consciousness and recharging consciences When Neeraj Pandey, of A Wednesday fame, is co-producing a film, and it is titled Operation Romeo, you expect a taut thriller of the terrorist/spy genre. But Operation Romeo takes the ‘Operation’ part of its title to mean a set of planned moves by an individual, bereft of any spy/terrorist inclinations, though there is a crime of sorts involved, and some scenes do go for your jugular. ‘Romeo’ i...

Never Kiss Your Best Friend, 2: Day of the pun, family fun, and well begun is half done

Never Kiss Your Best Friend, 2: Day of the pun, family fun, and well begun is half done Four members of the cast of this ZEE5 OTT web series were present at the Taj Imperial Hotel, Mumbai, on 11 April, and another two joined through a video link, to be grilled by anchor Siddharth Kannan about the series, their roles, and their interactions during the making. They were joined by the director, and the five then fielded questions from the good media turnout. Nakuul Mehta, Anya Singh, Karan Wahi,...

Gajab Thai Gayo!, Review: Study in a Gujarati medium school, you could win Rs. 25 lakh

Gajab Thai Gayo!, Review: Study in a Gujarati medium school, you could win Rs. 25 lakh Defying any form of classification, Gujarati language film Gajab Thai Gayo! (It’s a Calamity, though calamity is perhaps too strong a translation of Gajab) moves in so many different directions that you end up failing to appreciate its novelty and path-breaking tracks. What appears to be a film on science-fiction constantly hammers the triple messages, that India and Indians have made huge contributio...

A Hero, Review: On the see-saw of truth and lies

A Hero, Review: On the see-saw of truth and lies Out on parole, a jailbird becomes a hero overnight, without lifting a finger. It wouldn’t be much of a story if it ended there, and it doesn’t. There are twists and turns, quite like a suspense thriller, only here there is no murder nor any serious crime committed. That’s the operative word. Serious. Is lying a crime? Is repeated lying a serious crime? Is lying to garnish a truth a very serious crime? Iranian master Asghar Far...

Attack-Part 1, Review: Dawn of a new Ira

Attack-Part 1, Review: Dawn of a new Ira Ira is the new Artificial Intelligence set-up, inspired by Alexa, that is implanted in a soldier who has been paralysed as a result of a bullet wound, converting him into a cyborg. That concept was milked over years in Hollywood films like The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Genisys (2015), and Terminator: Dark Fate (2019). Then there was the Universal Soldier series, Universal...

Jalsa, Review: The feisty anchor, their devoted maid, her teenaged daughter and a ghastly accident

Jalsa, Review: The feisty anchor, their devoted maid, her teenaged daughter and a ghastly accident If there was a contest for the most misleading film names, Jalsa (celebration) would stand a good chance of making it to the top, with the title emanating from the last few minutes, having no connection to the two hours that have gone before it. And though the film is being touted as an Amazon Prime Original Film, with T-Series and Abundantia as production partners, why did I get the feel throug...

Bachchan Paandey, Review: Gangsters are best played by real-life gangsters

Bachchan Paandey, Review: Gangsters are best played by real-life gangsters Why would you choose a name like Bachchan Pandey, unless you thought you could cash-in on the franchises called Amitabh Bachchan (name of a real life actor) and Chulbul Pandey (name of a reel-life character, played in several movies by Salman Khan)? Point is, does a superstar himself, like Akshay Kumar, who plays the title role, need these props? Leaving the Paandey behind, ‘Bachchan’ is made to speak some ...

RIFF 08, 2022, 07: Third and final list of selected films released

RIFF 08, 2022, 07: Third and final list of selected films released The Third and the final list of the officially selected films to be shown at the 8th Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF) was released this week. It includes Student Hindi short film Riddle, Directed and Produced by Umang Patel, Rajasthani Short Film Mhari Pyari Baisa, Directed and Produced by Narpat Singh Gaur, Hindi short film Tooti Chappal, Directed and Produced by Kuldeep Vyas, two Hindi Music Video Albums by Kunal...

Radhe Shyam, Review: Goodness gracious, how flirtatious!

Radhe Shyam, Review: Goodness gracious, how flirtatious! At its core, Radhe Shyam rakes-up an interesting debate, between destiny and those exceptions who surmount their pre-ordained destiny, and, in some cases, defy it. For destiny, read ‘predictions based on palmistry’. And yet, it tilts the balance strongly in favour of destiny, putting forth emphatically the theory that 99% of us cannot escape what has been written on our palms. Had this been the track that the screenplay deve...

Parallel Mothers, Review: Swapped babies and a Spanish history lesson from the Master

Parallel Mothers, Review: Swapped babies and a Spanish history lesson from the Master Expectations suddenly rise when the name Pedro Almodóvar is mentioned. One regrets having missed the screening at IFFI, November 2021, but then Impact Films, Mumbai, of Ashwani Sharma, acquires distribution rights of Parallel Mothers, for India, and holds a press screening at Soho, in Juhu, Bombay, a small but exotic theatre, fixes its release on 11 March 2022, and invites you to catch-up on what you ...

RATMA Film Festival in West Yorkshire, England interviews James W. Hawk - award-winning filmmaker and author

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Spring is almost in the air, the pandemic could possibly be coming to an end soon, and a film festival in the U.K interviewed me about my filmmaking and writing. What's not to love about that? Gareth James, Marcus Gregg, and LJ, the managers of the RATMA film Festival in West Yorkshire, England, interviewed James W. Hawk, award-winning filmmaker and author via Zoom. The RATMA Film Festival is in its tenth year. The interview covers Hawk's filmmaking and writing background and experience...

Jhund, Review: Every Jhunderdog has his day

Jhund, Review: Every Jhunderdog has his day Literally translated, Jhund means herd. Only in this case, the reference is to a group of young slum-dwelling, smoking, drinking ragamuffins, who are also petty criminals, but are transformed into a high class football team, thanks to the efforts of a neighbouring school-teacher, who is about to retire. The film is many films in one and can be seen from several perspectives, each of which would be a valid point of ‘view’. But at its core...

Open for film submissions! International Thai Film Festival 2022 (ITFF2022)

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Submit your film to the International Thai Film Festival 2022 via FilmFreeway: https://filmfreeway.com/thaifilmfest or via FestHome: https://festhome.com/f/3906 International Thai Film Festival [International Film & Entertainment Industry Awards of Thailand] welcomes short film, animation, feature film and music video submissions from anywhere in the world, accepting productions in all styles and genres. ITFF Website: https://www.thaifilmfestival.com ITFF on Facebook: https://www.f...

Gangubai Kathiawadi, Review: Guess what is the oldest profession in the world, and meet its President

Gangubai Kathiawadi, Review: Guess what is the oldest profession in the world, and meet its President Gangubai, a variation of Ganga, is the most common name of Maharashtrian maid-servants in Mumbai. Ganga becoming Gangu is quite normal, while the Bai here refers to her designation as maid. An engaging film was made in 2013, with the maid as the central character, only it was spelt phonetically more correct, Gangoobai. In other parts of the country, Bai could mean a courtesan, a classical sin...

Love Hostel, Review: Khaps, cops, corpses, more corpses and still more corpses

Love Hostel, Review: Khaps, cops, corpses, more corpses and still more corpses It’s not about a hostel. But it is about love. And the price that has to be paid for falling in love with someone who follows another religion. Killings spread through the film like a pandemic caused by a particularly deadly virus strain, ‘LH Covid 22’. The makers could run a contest with the big question: How many people are killed in the film? The prize could be four tickets for the film, so tha...

Pondicherry, Review: Enough icing, but the cherry is missing

Pondicherry, Review: Enough icing, but the cherry is missing Marathi language Indian film Pondicherry is like a French patisserie (it used to be a French colony), with some delectable pastries to savour. It uses the relatively unknown locale quite well, and incorporates tastes of various other languages, besides Marathi: Hindi, Punjabi-accented Hindi, English, Tamil and French. It also uses characters from the ages of 7 to 70, to be really democratic in its story-telling. Having set the base ...

Maeya Film new production “ Tibetan Horse”is filming in China.

Tibetan Horse, a large-scale ethnic theme film produced by Maeya Films, held a grand launching ceremony in the Gannan Tibetan area a few days ago. The film is directed by young director Jade Li and starred by Cooper Budan, a famous Chinese minority actor. Maeya Films joined hands with Qinghai Mantanhong Culture Media Co., Ltd., Xining Baita Art and Culture Communication Co., Ltd., Sichuan Miding Media Co., Ltd., and Qinghai Linshui Media Co., Ltd. to co-produce the film.   Cooper Budan,...

Submissions open now on FilmFreeway

Mirror Mountain Film Festival is now open for submissions on FilmFreeway! We’re looking for shorts, medium-length films and features in all genres, including drama, comedy, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, documentary, animation, experimental, music video, dance film and more. For the first time ever, we’re also welcoming submissions of interactive media pieces for exhibition in our festival lounge. If you’re an independent filmmaker with a unique creative voice, then submit your wor...

Pyar Mein Thoda Twist, Review: A sack-full of emptiness

Pyar Mein Thoda Twist, Review: A sack-full of emptiness A lot of action in the film Pyar Mein Thoda Twist takes place inside a bound sack. It is marked, Lena Hae Lena Hae (have to take, have to take) Brand, and it twists alright. No, not because it is haunted, but because it holds a man captive. This man is supposed to be Mr. Wanted, a dangerous criminal, whose capture carries a reward of Rs. 2 million. While the sack changes hands and locations several times, being stolen or ‘kidnapped...

2021 festival filmmaker Q&A livestream

Filmmakers from around the world participated in a livestreamed Q&A session during our 2021 festival.

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