IFFI, 2016

‘Red Carpet Events of the Day – 23rd November’
The cast and crew of the 2015 movie ‘Mantra’ walked the red carpet at IFFI, 2016 today before the screening of the movie. The Director of the movie, Nicholas Kharkongor has worked in theatre and films for nearly 20 years. ‘Mantra’ is his debut film. The lead actors of the movie Rajat Kapoor & Kalki Koechlin (Pic 1) along with the production team also graced the carpet.


The movie is set in 2004 against the changing landscape of India. It tells the story of a family fighting a losing battle against a multinational that has taken over the market.




The movie ‘Randu Kurippukal’ was screened in Goa today. The young Director of the movie, Gireesh Kumar K walked the red carpet before the screening. He is doing his Post Graduation from the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, India.
The movie asks the society to reflect on the plight of old people neglected by their own children.  
The movies were screened in the Indian Panorama section of IFFI.

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‘India In a Day’ Documentary by Richie Mehta released on YouTube today
Costumes in Films not only reflects upon the fashion but also influences it: Ms. Rosalie Varda 

Richie Mehta, a Canadian film director of Indian origin showcased his documentary ‘India In a Day’ at the 47th International Film Festival of India and it is released today on YouTube. The documentary supported by Google India, is his fourth project and special for having crowd-sourced all of its footage. The team received over thousands of entries of footage shot by Indian citizens reflecting a day in their lives. Mr Mehta spoke today about the creative process involved behind producing the documentary at the Press Conference in IFFI, Goa.

Richie Mehta said that in the last fifteen years he has spent six months every year in India. His life experiences in India acted as a source of inspiration for him which made him come back again and again to India. His earlier two movies ‘Amal’ and ‘Siddharth’ were shot in Delhi. He further added that there was a stylistic change in the way documentaries were being directed. There was an amalgamation of fiction with reality and though there has been continuous experimentation with this medium, the most important thing was to catch hold of the basic sentiment.




Richie Mehta said that a filmmaker has to constantly fight to capture the attention of the audience. In doing so, the value of script has remained unchanged and is very important to filmmaking. To this, Ms. Rosalie Varda also added that, a good script can make a good movie or a bad movie but a bad script will always do a bad movie.

Ms. Rosalie Varda, a French Costume designer for film theatre and opera, emphasised on the importance of costume for films whether it’s a long feature film or a short. It is the first thing that people observe when they see the characters in the film and how they look like. Sharing her experience as a costume designer, she told that it is desirable to reinvent costumes & fashion specific for the story in collaboration with the Director, which she found as the most interesting part of the job.

She added that films not only reflect fashion as found on streets or in society in the present but at times it is also influenced by films, as fashion is a dynamic and ever evolving with time. Ms Varda, who has been the designer at the Cannes for over ten years, also conducted a special Master Class session today on Costume designing at the Maquinez, Panjim, Goa.

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“Memories of a Forgotten War “ Remembering the Battles of Kohima and Imphal
Utpal Borpujari’s documentary ‘Memories of a Forgotten War’ that was screened as part of Indian Panorama at IFFI 2016 today is a rich account of the decisive battles fought  in the North East in 1944. The 109 minute  feature-length documentary film seeks to tell the tales of valor of those soldiers and of the locals who participated or witnessed those battles.  “ It is a film that deals with the subject not as a military one but as one that impacted the lives of many individuals in many ways “ says Borpujari. The film has been produced by Defence Analyst Subimal Bhattacharya.



Memories of a Forgotten War chronicles the events when Japanese troops advanced on British India from Burma, but were pushed back by the Allied forces in the Battles of Kohima and Imphal.  More than 1.60 lakh people died during the war, including the soldiers on either side.
Remnants of Japan's failed campaign still remain strewn across towns and hills of Manipur and Nagaland. The region is an open air museum and the locals have preserved the objects like mortars, guns, aircraft parts, bells etc in their own way.  
Borpujari’s rich account packs interviews with war veterans and the locals who experienced the conflict. Most of the war veterans are aged over 90 years and are based in UK and Japan. In one of the poignant interviews, a British War veteran recalls sucking of a piece of rock salt.  . "We had plenty of water but no salt. We were dying for salt. Then a local villager gave us a piece of rock salt. Each one of us, British, Indian  and Gurkha, sucked on the rock and passed it on. The war ended all possible differences among us” he says

The conversations also focus on the role of the Indian National Army led by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, which was fighting on the Japanese side. “On the one hand, you have the Japanese worshipping Netaji in the Runkoji temple in Tokyo and there is the other point of view of the British soldier who says that it is sad that the INA was fighting Indian soldiers,” says Borpujari.
The film employs informal interview format giving a feel of someone narrating his experience or a story.  The filmmaker’s treatment of the Japanese war veterans is also fair minded.
All in all, the film provides a new insight into that part of history, that deals with World War II  It is story coming from the mouth of those who participated in it or were affected by it.

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Master Class with Costume Designer Rosalie Varda
While addressing a gathering at the ‘Master class’ organized at the IFFI,2016 in Goa today,  French costume designer Rosalie Varda shared her experience  in the world of film making. Referring to French films in her presentation, Ms.Varda explained that costume designer has to enter in the mind of film maker to understand requirement of costumes in the movie.
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According to Ms.Varda, Costumes make a character come alive and add a sense to a visual story. Furthermore she said that a designer should be aware of space and time of the story for its authenticity. She said that costume designer works like a painter in the movie and also explained about choice of colours. She showed various examples of her designs with details in the presentation.  The session was moderated by Aseem Chhabra, a freelance writer based in New York
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Films communicate on an Emotional Level and bring about a change in the way people think: Rajko Grlic
The Croatian filmmaker, Rajko Grlic, met the media at the 47th IFFI, 2016 in Goa today. His Film ‘The Constitution’, was screened at the Film Festival.  The filmmaker was invited by the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) to the IFFI to deliver a Master Class Lecture on Film Making. He is a recipient of numerous awards like Golden Arena for Best Director, Tokyo Grand Prix. His film Bravo Maestro has been nominated for Palme d’OR in the Cannes Film Festival.



While addressing the press conference at the IFFI, said that according to him, films cannot bring a change in the society, but they are made to build a strong connect with the audiences and communicate an important message at an emotional level.

Responding to a question regarding the impact of films on the society, Mr. Grlic said that he makes a film only when he wants to tell a story and if his work brings about a change in a few people around the world, then it is more than good for that one film.

Commenting on the difference between art and commercial cinema, Mr. Grlic said that he believes that there are no categorizations, because everyone is trying to tell their story and the way a story is being told and the reason why it is told brings the difference.

The Director believes that every film needs an audience and it is the beauty of the story that attracts the audience. Furthermore, he added that Croatian language is spoken by a very small population, so it is very hard to commercialize Croatian films across the globe. 

Speaking on his film, ‘The Constitution’, Rajko added that it was his 12th feature film and was opened 2 months back in Montreal and is currently screening in 8 European countries with a great audience response. The film is a love story about hatred of four people who live in the same building, but never talk till certain conditions arise that compel them to communicate.

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'Restoration of Satyajit Ray Preservation project’: A Workshop by Tessa Idlewine
The Workshop on Restoration of Satyajit Ray Preservation Project was held by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) at Kala Academy in IFFI 2016 today. The workshop was presented by Ms Tessa Idlewine, Short Film Preservationist at AMPAS. The workshop highlighted the challenges involved in the task of restoring films. Ms Idlewine mentioned they have been able to restore and preserve 21 of Satyajit Ray's films in the time span of 20 years. 

Tessa Idlewine, an inventory film archivist at Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences elaborated the commendable efforts undertaken by AMPAS to restore, conserve and preserve Satyajit Ray’s films. Ms. Idlewine has specialized in film handling, film identification, cataloguing, film archiving, preservation and conservation. The session was moderated by Shivendra Dungarpur, an Indian Filmmaker, producer, film archivist and restorer himself. 
Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is a professional honorary organization with the stated goal of advancing the art and sciences of motion pictures. 

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‘Harikatha Prasanga’ to compete for Centenary Award for Best Debut Feature of a Director at 47th IFFI
Harikatha Prasanga’(Chronicles of Hari), is a film by Ananya Kasaravalli about the life of a famous Yakshagana artist Hairschandra.The film will compete for the coveted Centenary Award for Best Debut Feature of a Director at the 47thIFFI. Under this section, 7 films including ‘Chronicles of Hari’ will compete to receive the prestigious Silver Peacock, along with a certificate and cash prize of Rs.10, 00,000.The film is being screened tomorrow.
Harikatha Prasanga is a film, set in a coastal town of southern India and narrates the story of a Yakshagana artist Hari who has gained extreme popularity portraying female roles. The story of Hari’s life unfolds through different perspectives captured in three episodes across four audio-visual interviews conducted by filmmakers Sharmila and Sundar, primarily interested in investigating and documenting on his whereabouts.
‘Centenary Award for Best Debut Feature of a Director’ is a new initiative by the Directorate of Film Festivals to recognize and encourage the young talents across the world. Under this section, the other 6 competing films are ‘One Week and a Day’, ‘Rara’, ‘Tramontane’, ‘Two Birds, One Stone’, ‘Wolf and Sheep’ and ‘Wrath’ and ‘Chronicles of Hari’.

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Indian Panorama Directors meet the Press

‘Kaadu Pookkunna Neram’ treats issue of Maoism from Humanistic point of view: Dr Biju

Subjects and Story are not unique, Treatment and Style is: Nishant Roy Bombarde
Dr Biju,Director of Malyalam Feature Film ‘Kaadu Pookkunna Neram’ meaning ‘When the Woods Bloom’ and Shri Nishant Roy Bombarde, Director of Marathi Non-Feature Film “Daaravtha” meaning “Dahleej” met the press in Goa today.
Briefing the media Dr. Biju said ‘Kaadu Pookkunna Neram’ is a political film being based on controversial issue of Maoism; `.People get framed and labelled as Maoist in Kerala and this film deals with this issue in a sensitive way. Of his six films, this is the fourth film to be screened under Indian Panorama section of the 47th IFFI, he added. The film will be released in the January next year. He plans to dub it in different languages, as people from a number of countries are able to relate with this film.
‘Kaadu Pookkunna Neram’ is about a police man who arrests a suspected Maoist woman in a forest. But he lost the way out from the forest. Thus, both the hunter and the hunted are stranded in the thick forest. Power, Crime, Man, Woman, the Hunter, the Hunted... all such equations change utterly and are no more what they used to be.
Interacting with media Nishant Roy Bombarde, the Director of ‘Daaravtha’ described that the story of his film portrays the relationship of an adolescent son and his mother, where the son is exploring his sexuality in a patriarchal society. The film explores the parallel journey of a mother and a son in their quest to find their own self. This film is not a biopic, but on a very common sensitive issue that numerous people go through and .. Responding to a question he said, Marathi films have always touched the sensitive issues bordering with social issues. There can’t be any unique story or subject in such a long journey of human existence but the way you tell the story or treat the subject matters and makes it unique.
Nishant has written, directed and produced the film all by himself. Daaravtha’ has won several awards, including the National Award for Best Debut Director
‘Daaravtha’ is about an adolescent Pankaj who is discovering his sexuality. Torn between a patriarchal Indian upbringing full of gender stereotypes and his natural urge to identify with the opposite gender, he finds an opportunity to express his desires within the bounds of cultural ethos.

IFFI, 2016 IFFI, 2016 Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 6:27 AM Rating: 5

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