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SXSW 2020 Pilot Showcase Just Launched on Vimeo

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Okay, Lockdown Folks, here's a fun thing to do with your endless free time - watch SXSW 2020 Pilot Showcase on Vimeo! Los Angeles, CA: In the wake of the cancelled 2020 SXSW Film Festival, a fascinating group of nominated filmmakers from the Episodic Pilot Competition are launching a ‘SXSW 2020 Pilot Showcase’ on Vimeo, a streaming event to preview a diversity led (more than half LGBT content and creators) se...

"TO beta VANVERDEN AND BACK" FREE e-COPY PROMOTION

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I’m doing a FREE COPY promotion for one of my short stories , TO beta VANVERDEN AND BACK on Amazon. You can get a free copy per the schedule listed below. There is no obligation, but I would appreciate a review. Thank you.   Clyde Phillips, the producer and writer of the award winning T.V. series DEXTER has given my work the highest rating which is 5 stars.   This story is soft science fiction and there are no super heroes nor laser...

Hollywood Just4Shorts Short Film Awards and Screenplay Competition

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Hollywood Just4Shorts provides industry exposure for independent short films and short screenplays, with awards that qualify for IMDb award listings. Submissions of independently produced short films and unproduced short scripts are now accepted for the current round. Submit now at: https://filmfreeway.com/Just4ShortsFilmScreenplayCompetition ...

Robibaar, Review: Sad, sombre, somnolent, sepulchral Sunday

Robibaar, Review: Sad, sombre, somnolent, sepulchral Sunday It is a Sunday. Not an ordinary Sunday, an eventful Sunday. For the female protagonist, it begins like any ordinary Sunday, a deceptively ordinary Sunday. Except for a strange dream that wakes her up, everything else seems like every Sunday. Till she goes to the neighbourhood café, for her routine breakfast. For the male protagonist, this Sunday could be the most important day in fifteen years, and it all begins when he walks ...

Social Realism in the German countryside: Nackte Tiere (Naked Animals) at Berlinale

(Michelangelo Fortuzzi, Marie Tragousti © Czar Film) by LINDSAY R. BELLINGER You shouldn't be fooled by the film's title Nackte Tiere (Naked Animals), as Melanie Waelde's debut feature has little to do with nudity although there is one bathroom scene that reveals a little skin. The naked refers more to the raw and wild yet delicate look into the life of five German teenagers, all of them attending school somewhere in the Brandenburg c...

MORE OF OUR FILMS AT FESTIVALS

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We have had more films being screened at festivals. "MISSING PERSON" was a semi-finalist at the Waco Family and Faith Film Festival. "THE SATURN MISSION", "VERDICT", and "THE UNFORGIVEN" were Official Selections at the Lift Off at Pinewood Studios. "THE SATURN MISSION" and "PLUS AND MINUS CREATION" are Official Selections at the CT15 Film Festival. Its good stuff.   ...

Angrezi Medium, Review: Crazy Tedium

Angrezi Medium, Review: Crazy Tedium Three years ago, Maddock Films gave us a slice-of-life entertainer called Hindi Medium. ‘Medium’ here referred to the language, the medium of instruction in school education. It was just passably humorous yet proved more popular than expected, garnering a few awards as well. A follow-up went into development soon afterwards, repeating its lead actor Irrfan Khan. Though still to recover completely, Irrfan is back in Maddock’s Angrezi (Engl...

Film review: Todos os mortos /All The Dead Ones

(Mawusi Tulani, Agyei Augusto, © Hélène Louvart/Dezenove Som e Imagens) Written by Victor Santana  In the act of telling a story, the process of narrative can influence and change how one relates and deals with the happenings in time. A great narrative has the power to overcome the circumstances of time and bridge the gap of space between the moment when someone is listening or telling a story and the timeless realm where a story is taking place.   ...

Georgis Grigorakis & Argyris Pandazaras dig into Digger at Berlinale

(Georgis Grigorakis, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Vangelis Mourikis, Argyris Pandazaras © Berlinale 2020)   by Lindsay R. Bellinger "I saw a poster in the train station here (Berlin) about the environmental crisis being the next Berlin Wall. And I think that this is what the film is about."  ~ Georgis Grigorakis The Greek film Digger from director Georgis Grigorakis won the Art Cinema Award on Saturday, the 29th of February, which was awarded by the Int...

River Mermaid

Har Kisse Ke Hisse Kaamyaab, Review: Many parts, many holes, no whole, no soul

Har Kisse Ke Hisse Kaamyaab, Review: Many parts, many holes, no whole, no soul In one scene of Har Kisse Ke Hisse Kaamyaab, the protagonist, an actor who goes under the screen name of Sudheer, cannot get his lines right, because he has not had a swig of his favourite brew, and gives retake after retake. We see him do seven/eight retakes, after which, mercifully, the film-maker goes into a montage, with only music, after which it is revealed that he had given as many as 32 retakes. Mercifully,...

Guns of Banaras, Review: Where are the bullets?

Guns of Banaras, Review: Where are the bullets? When Nathalia Kaur, who was born Nathalia Pinheiro Felipe Martins, in Brazil, appears in the credit titles as the lead actress in probably her first Hindi heroine assignment, and Karann Nathh, son of producer and star-secretary ‘Rikku’ Rakeshnath, 37, who had worked in Yeh Dil Aashiqana, Ssshhh... and Tera Kya Hoga Johnny, makes a come-back after 12 years, your curiosity is aroused. It is further fuelled by the belief that this must ...

Thappad, Review: This slap is going to cost you dear

Thappad, Review: This slap is going to cost you dear A simple, significant, timely and relevant story line might be too thin to stretch into a full-length movie. Having settled for such a plot, the options would include spreading the narrative thinly across the pages of a tight screenplay, or padding it up with sub-plots and characters that might not be vital to the theme. Thappad (Slap) opts for the latter choice, and, in the process, dilutes its impact. What emerges is a well-made film that...

Bhoot, the Haunted Ship-Part I, Review: Scares are scarce

Bhoot, the Haunted Ship-Part I, Review: Scares are scarce Considering the negligible number of ghost stories being made in India, Bhoot, the Haunted Ship-Part I, made by names Dharma and ZEE, would have been a film to look forward to. It turns-up with a mixed bag, offering more mix than bag. Firstly, the title is a giveaway, for we already know that there is going to be a ship and that it will be haunted. Secondly, the film plays totally safe, in catering to both kinds of audiences—thos...

Shukranu-Hui Emotion ki Nasbandi, Review: Tale of forced sterilisations lacks potency

Shukranu-Hui Emotion ki Nasbandi, Review: Tale of forced sterilisations lacks potency In modern Indian history, the Internal Emergency, proclaimed in 1975 and in place for about two years, is regarded as a highly controversial phase. During this period, buses and trains ran on time, attendance in government establishments increased astronomically, corruption was all but eliminated and prices of a host of essential commodities were controlled. But all this was accompanied by curbs on freedom o...

Love Aaj Kal 2020, Review: 141 minutes of messy, moronic, melodramatic mishmash

Love Aaj Kal 2020, Review: 141 minutes of messy, moronic, melodramatic mishmash What do you do when that elusive commodity called plot decides to stay clear of your net? You dig into your archives and find a film that you think lends itself to building a sequel. You also pay a visit to the Hollywood classic which helped you spawn another set of two films, the first a charmer, the second that should have been much warmer. And so, from the stable that gave us Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kal 2009 and J...

Malang, Review: Why knot when you cannot unknot?

Malang, Review: Why knot when you cannot unknot? Six cops, a serial cop killer, a wandering maiden, a Swedish female drug peddler and a sexually starved wife form the core dramatis personae of Malang, a crime-vendetta-whodunit tale that comes with a misleading title. Malang can mean many things, all of them associated with detached, saintly, carefree, Sufi and seer type individuals, often seen as wandering minstrels. You will have to test the elasticity of your imagination in order to co-rela...

MIFF 2020, Open Forum 2: “Viewers are willing to pay for docu content”

MIFF 2020, Open Forum 2: “Viewers are willing to pay for docu content” Documentaries rarely provide investment returns, let alone earning profits. But that is about to change, or has it changed already? This was discussed on Day 2 of the Open Forum, organised by the Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA), under the topic, ‘Generating Avenues and Creating Revenues.’ Moderated by Ravi Iyer (Executive Committee Member, IDPA), the panel consisted of Manika ...

MIFF 2020, Twin Press Conferences: Son Rise and Shevanti

MIFF 2020, Twin Press Conferences: Son Rise and Shevanti Two film units held a joint press conference at MIFF on the 29th of January, representing the films Son Rise and Shevanti. Both films were the first two to be screened earlier in the National Competition Section. Vibha Bakshi, director of Son Rise, described her film as dealing with social empowerment and about ordinary men doing extraordinary things. It is dedicated to the incredible people of Haryana and is not about men v/s women. R...

Kaanchli—Life in a Slough, Review: Slough and unsteady loses the race

Kaanchli—Life in a Slough, Review: Slough and unsteady loses the race Probably the only thing going for Kaanchli is the fact that it is based on a Vijaydan ‘Bijji’ Detha story. Detha inspired the films Duvidha (directed by Mani Kaul), which was remade as Paheli (Amol Palekar), Charandas Chor (Habeeb Tanveer), Lajwanti (Pushpendra Singh) and Parinati (Prakash Jha). The much decorated author died in 2013, after writing some 800 short stories, all in Rajasthani, often translate...

Jai Mummy Di, Review: Absence of substance

Jai Mummy Di, Review: Absence of substance Two middle-aged women hate each other for reasons unknown to their spouses and their children. One of them as two sons and the other has a daughter. In a modern day, pretentious comic re-working of Romeo and Juliet, the elder son of one of them and the daughter of the other are madly in love with each other, a fact that they have kept secret from their parents. Jai Mummy Di is for audiences who find this premise and its manifestations really funny, a...

Bunker, Review: Half-baked war debunker

Bunker, Review: Half-baked war debunker You have to concede that the premise is brave. The makers describe Bunker as India’s first anti-war film, and it is being released at a time when war mongers are itching for all out military action against Pakistan. Laudable and lofty ambitions, however, seldom translate into cinematic excellence, and we have one more case in point. Skeletal and simplistic, Bunker fails to grow beyond its own line of control. Lieutenant Vikram Singh is the lone s...

Tanhaji-The Unsung Warrior, Review: Leap of faith

Tanhaji-The Unsung Warrior, Review: Leap of faith High on spectacle and CGI, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is a 3D extravaganza that taps nationalistic fervour, digging into history, and re-tracing a glorious chapter from the life and times of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.  Patriotism is not a recent ideal, and the 17th century is fairly recent for a country that was home to the Indus Valley Civilisation. Generous liberties are taken with the story, as is the norm in biopics, either to fill...

Chhapaak, Review: Aesthetic and prosthetic

Chhapaak, Review: Aesthetic and prosthetic Laxmi Agarwal had acid thrown on her face and body in 2005. She survived, and lived to identify the attackers. What’s more, she succeeded in getting amendments made in the Indian Penal Code that recognise acid attacks as a separate category, and increasing the maximum penalty for the crime from seven years to ten years. India’s Supreme Court also ruled that the sale of acid should be regulated. So why has Meghna Gulzar made a film on her ...

New Amazon Prime series remembers The Forgotten Army

New Amazon Prime series remembers The Forgotten Army While Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was leading a non-violent agitation against India’s British rulers, Netaji Subhashchandra Bose headed an army, the Indian National Army (INA/Azad Hind Fauj) outside India, an army that battled colonial forces on the Singapore-Thailand-Myanmar route and reached India’s North-Eastern Border, near Imphal, before being pushed back and defeated. Bose himself is reported to have died in an air...

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