‘Allama’ Nominated as Indian Entry for ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal

The Director of the film ‘SULTAN’ Ali Abbas Zafar at the Red Carpet, during the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2016), in Panaji, Goa on November 24, 2016.

‘Allama’ Nominated as Indian Entry for ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal 

At 47th IFFI, ‘Allama’, a film by the national award winning director T.S. Nagabharana, about the journey of a 12th century metaphysician, will compete for the International Council for Film, Television and Audio-visual Communication (ICFT) UNESCO Gandhi Medal.

ICFT Paris in collaboration with UNESCO will award the film that best reflects the Gandhi ideals of peace, tolerance and non-violence, a prestigious Gandhi Medal and Certificate. This competition section shall have eight films including ‘Allama’ that will compete to receive the prestigious ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal. Other films that will compete in this section are ‘A Real Vermeer’, ‘Beluga’, ‘Cold of Kalandar’, ‘Exiled’, ‘Harmonia’, ‘The Apology’ and ‘The Family: Dementia’.

‘Allama’ is a film about 12th century metaphysician, a son of a temple dancer who embarks on a quest for knowledge and answers to his four core sentiments, yearning, and obsession – Maddales, failures and self-realisation. When he evolves and becomes “Prabhu”, a master of monotheistic and non-dualistic philosopher, he begins to question many core values in his ideal world where he can foresee violence and advices people to find solace and departs on his final journey to become one with nature and a true spirit.


Two Indian Films to Compete with 13 Foreign Films in International Competetion Section of 47th IFFI

‘Ishti’, a film focussing on stigmas of Indian society; and ‘Sahaj Paather Gappo’ (Colours of Innocence), a film that reflects the struggles of a family challenged by situations, will compete in the International Competition section of the 47thInternational Film Festival of India. The names of these two Indian films were announced by the Directorate of Film Festivals.

The 13 other films were announced at a press conference on November 1st, 2016 in New Delhi. The International Competition section has 15 films from across the globe, including these 2 films from the Indian Panorama section.

‘Ishti’ is a Sanskrit film, set in the mid-twentieth century Kerala, where young Namboothiri Brahmins successfully challenge the orthodox, patriarchal traditions of their community. ‘Ishti’, a Sanskrit word, means the search for oneself, yaga, etc.

‘Sahaj Paather Gappo’ (Colours of Innocence)is a film directed by Manas Mukul Pal, which reflects the struggles of a family going through tough times, the early maturity of kids and the sacrifice of their wills, by focussing on a story of two brothers.

These films will be judged by an esteemed jury and awards will be presented to the Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor-Male, Best Actor-Female and a Special Jury Award.

The films competing under this section are ‘According to Her’, ‘Daughter’, ‘House of Others’, ‘I, Olga Hepnarova’, ‘Mellow Mud’, ‘Nelly’, ‘Personal Affairs’, ‘Rauf’, ‘Scarred Hearts’, ‘The Last Family’, ‘The Long Night of Francisco Sanctis’, ‘The Throne’, ‘The Student’, ‘Ishti’ and ‘Sahaj Paather Gappo.


47th IFFI creates history-First Film Festival to use Barco Projection technology

Aiming to offer superior image quality to the audience, the 47th edition of International Film Festival of India shall use Barco’s laser projection technology for the first time. Living up to its nature of setting standards for film festivals in the country, IFFI becomes the first film festival in India to introduce new trend by using this breakthrough technology. All films at 47th IFFI are being screened using this technology.

Barco’s laser phosphor digital projector model ‘DP2K-20CLP’ offers a range of benefits including considerable cost-savings and enhanced viewing experience, while allowing simple operations for projection. Instead of using the regular lamp based light source that degrades rapidly, DP2K-20CLP’ works with blue laser technology, where colours are generated through the phosphor wheel.

Barco India is excited to work with IFFI as the technical partner, as this opportunity has enabled to showcase new technology and will offer dynamic visual display. The audience at IFFI is going to enjoy the screenings projected by DP2K-20CLP.

The ultra - clear image quality of the model used in IFFI 2016 delivers high and uniform contrast. This laser phosphor projector offers a resolution of 2048x1080 pixels and is compatible with most of the 3D systems. The unique cooling system of DP2K-20CLP and 30,000 hours lifetime at 50% light output, together make the projector cost effective.


‘Like Cotton Twines’ is an attempt to give Voice and Identity to Women in Ghana: -Leila Djansi

The team of the critically acclaimed Ghanaian film, ‘Like Cotton Twines’, interacted with the media at the IFFI, 2016 in Goa today.

The film, a social drama set in a remote Ghanaian village, is about a 14 year-old Ghanian girl, Tuigi who is supposed to become a Trokosi, a social practice prevalent in tribal communities of Ghana where young girls have to become slaves to the gods as a part of an appeasement of sins committed by their family members.

The film depicts an African-American volunteer, Micah Brown who is teaching in Tuigi’s village, struggling with history, the Church and the State, to give Tuigi a life outside tradition.

Talking about the making of the film, Ms. Leila Djansi, the Ghanaian-American Director, said that the story, based on her experiences from different countries, has been close to her heart for more than 20 years and has taken over 8 years in its making. The crew had to face a lot of difficulties during the production that ranged from social stigmatization to financial hurdles. The film seeks to give a voice and identity to the oppressed women around the world, specifically in Ghana, she added.

‘Like Cotton Twines’, has won the top prize for the Narrative Feature at the recently concluded Savannah Film Festival.

Ms. Djansi is a critically acclaimed Ghanaian-American filmmaker who began her career in Ghana at the early age of 19. Her directorial debut in 2009 netted an unprecedented 11 nominations at the African Academy Awards, winning the special Jury Award for Overall Best Film, as well as the BAFTA/LA Choice Award at the Pan African film.

Replying to a question on the prevalence of racism in Ghana, Ms. Akofa Djankui, one of the Producers, said that the social evil of racism is still prevalent in Ghana and she hopes that cinema will help educating people to rise above such practices that are a baggage of the colonial past.

Adding to this, Ms. Whitney Valcin, the other Producer, noted that racism has been prevalent even in America for decades now. ‘We are progressing but still have a long way to go and hope that our movies reach out to maximum number of people and bring in a significant change in the way they think’, she added.


Indian Panorama Directors meet the Press

“Memories of Forgotten War” documents memories of 29 World War II Veterans: Utpal Borpujari

‘Chaukat’ is about self imposed shackles of Traditions: Umesh Mohan Bagade

“Edpa Kana” revolves round Casteism and Conversions: Niranjan Kumar Kujur

In the ‘Meet the Directors of Indian Panorama series, Non-Feature  filmmakers, Utpal Borpujari of  “Memories of Forgotten War”, Umesh Mohan Bagade,   Director of  Film ‘Chaukat’  (‘Frames’)  and Niranjan Kumar Kujur Director of ‘Edpa Kana’,  met the press here in Goa today.

Interacting with media Utpal Borpujari,  Director of  ‘Memories of a Forgotten war’ said that the film is a documentary about the memories of people from the states of Nagaland and Manipur, who fought and witnessed the World War II. This film is based on war, yet is an anti-war film, as it shows that even the soldiers have feelings for their enemies and were just fighting on orders, and not for their personal reasons.

The crew of the film interviewed 29 war veterans across the globe and it was quite a tough task because most of the soldiers from the war had passed away or were not in a condition to talk. Further the Director added that the youngest interviewee was 92 year old and the oldest was 96.

Talking about the bombings in Nagaland and Manipur during the World War II, he added that the people were simply the victims of circumstances, while they had no connection with the cause of the war.

Utpal Borpujari wrote extensively on areas like culture, literature and politics, before turning a scriptwriter and filmmaker.

Director of the film ‘Chaukat’, Umesh Mohan Bagade while addressing the media said that his film is all about Human values and the mind-set of humans bound itself in the shackles of traditions and beliefs. His film show that a woman, who earlier refrains herself from feeding the nomad because of the prayers she had to offer, later on realises that the nomad needs the food rather than the deity to whom she was offering the food in first place.

Umesh Mohan Bagade has worked on 5 short film projects, 20 TVC projects as a writer and director.

Umesh Mohan Bagade’s current profile mostly revolves around concept writing, direction and the beauty of conveying a story through audio-visuals.

Interacting with media Shri Niranjan Kumar Kujur, the Director of ‘“Edpa Kana” Said his film portrays a very common issue of various states. He said that the story of his film revolves around the issue of casteism and religion conversions, sensitive topics to deal with. Belonging to a tribal community and observing these issues closely in tribal as well as mainstream civilizations, he made a film upon it, describing the dilemma of people going through such issues. The film is based on a true love story, where the couple are from same tribe and different religions, trying to convert each other.

Edpa Kana is about Ashok, the main protagonist who is caught between the dual realities of orthodox village life and his progressive city life as he struggles to speak his mind.

Niranjan Kumar Kujur graduated in Cinema with a diploma in Direction and Screenplay Writing from SRFT Institute, Kolkata.

While answering a question, all three directors together spoke about how art and cinema are not the only factors to bring change in the society, but they do play a key role in addressing the society at large with the problems the world is facing. Furthermore, Niranjan said that cinema can only show you the way, but you have to walk down the road by yourself, to bring the change in yourself.


‘Accessible Films’ Section for The Visually-Impaired Opens With Screening of GANDHI

First of its kind initiative in India in collaboration with Saksham NGO and UNESCO

Three films viz., Gandhi, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Dhanak are screened at the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) for children with disabilities through audio-description under the Accessible India Campaign (Sugayama Bharat Abhiyan). This was done in collaboration with UNESCO and Saksham NGO.  Saksham, a Delhi based NGO, established in 2003 by Shri Dipendra Manocha & Smt Rummy Seth, had audio described the Accessible films screened at IFFI.

Smt Rummy Seth said that the audio description gives a person who is visually impaired a true sense of what is happening on screen. She had a personal experience which inspired her to take up the project of accessible films. She further added that their journey towards inclusiveness of the visually impaired to cultural experiences was given a big boost by this film festival.  Saksham has already audio-described over 22 films, documentaries and children’s content in their cache and are trying to rope in other big banners to make entertainment completely inclusive. They are also trying to have inbuilt audio-description tracks for films’ theatre release unlike a DVD release months after the film is out.

Shri Dipendra Manocha further added that the concept of audio described content has been well established internationally. Now they wanted to bring change and scale up their effort in India. However, there is a long way to go as they want every movie in every theatre to become ‘Accessible’.

Shri Vijay Raghavan, Programme head of Culture, UNESCO said that his organisation has mandate in culture especially ensuring cultural diversity through accessibility to a cultural life. The idea was to promote the acceptability of accessibility.  UNESCO Delhi has also been working to improve access to culture for persons with disabilities through its initiatives like accessible museums and heritage sites, accessible content, art education, as well as a dance curriculum for the visually impaired.

Shri Taha Haaziq, Officer on Special Duty, Directorate of Social Welfare, Government of Goa said that they are extremely excited to be a part of IFFI for the first time. There is great involvement of people who are visually impaired in the ‘Accessible Films’ section. They were hoping to have collaboration with other like-minded institutes in the future.

Preservation of Indian Films can be enhanced through Collaborative Efforts with AMPAS

At the 47th International Film Festival of India, Mr. Sid Ganis, Former President of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and American Motion Picture Executive and Producer and Ms. Tessa Idlewine, the Preservationist at the AMPAS addressed the Press conference in Goa today. Mr. Sid Ganis said that the Academy has been developing a very close relationship with the Indian Film makers and with Goa through the International Film Festival of India. In the past few years, the Academy is getting to know Indian Celebrities and Film makers and wanting to enhance and expand their relationship with Indian Film Industry. He further added that the Academy is not just an Academy for America or Hollywood alone, but about Film makers and artists across the world.

At the 47th IFFI, Mr. Ganis has conducted a special workshop on 'Foreign Language Film Selection for Oscar Awards by AMPAS. Mr. Sid Ganis had a distinguished career in Hollywood as an executive at major studios including Sony Pictures, Lucasfilm, Warner Bros. and Paramount and produced films such as Big Daddy, Deuce Bigalow, Mr. Deeds, The Master of Disguise, Akeelah and the Bee.

Ms. Tessa Idlewine, the Preservationist at the AMPAS described about the criteria, how a film is being selected for preserving, saying that firstly the preference is given to the Oscar nominated films and that is not all. Apart from the Oscar nominated films, the ones which are unique, important and decaying are also preserved. Out of the 37 films under the project, 21 have been restored successfully. Commenting over the preservation of the work of Satyajit Ray, Tessa said that the AMPAS is working continuously to save the artwork of the maestro and has saved his trilogy ‘Apu’, where the negatives of the films were almost burnt. At the 47th IFFI, she has held a workshop on Restoration of Satyajit Ray Preservation Project.

Mr. Senthil Rajan, Director Directorate of Film Festival told media that National Film Achieves of India (NFAI) and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) will have more collaboration to preserve, conserve and restore more number of Indian Films in future. Mr. Sid Ganis, the Former President at AMPAS and Ms. Tessa Idlewine, currently Preservationist at AMPAS further discussed about the 25 year old Active Preservation Program that started in 1991 and has 4 full time Preservationists. They also talked about the Academy vaults and the 92,000 film titles stored in them.


‘In Conversation With’

‘Red Carpet Events of the Evening – 24th November’

At the event ‘In Conversation With’, filmmaker Jayaraj from Kerala elaborated the challenges that regional films face in order to make them commercially popular at IFFI. He said that regional films should be technically brilliant to compete in the film industry. He mentioned that the biggest problem faced by regional films is that they are not released in theatres. Jayaraj's inspiration has always come from masters like Satyajit Ray with Pather Panchali being one of his favourites.

Mr. Jayaraj also touched upon the pre-production journey of his latest release 'Veeram' which is an adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'. He said, "Veeram has been my dream project and making a film with new comers was a challenge as I love to experiment and do not focus on box office success".

Text Box:                               Photo Credits: Areeb AnwarJayaraj has directed movies like Kannaki (2002), Ottall (2015), Kaliyattam (1997) - an adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello which won him the National Film Award for Best Direction. The session was moderated by Mayank Shekhar, a journalist, film critic and an author.

rector of the Kannada movie Harikatha Prasanga, Ananya Kasaravalli walked the red carpet with her crew at the 47th IFFI.

The movie follows the story and life of a Yakshagana artist who is popular for his portrayal of female roles but later committed suicide.

‘Allama’ Nominated as Indian Entry for ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal ‘Allama’ Nominated as Indian Entry for ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 10:06 AM Rating: 5

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