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Shashi Kapoor gone? What a huge loss!

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 16:06:25 +0000

Shashi Kapoor gone? What a huge loss! Nine years ago, the Pune International Film Festival honoured Shashi Kapoor with a Life-time Achievement Award. He had already suffered a stroke and could only mumble, yet his presence lit up the auditorium. I felt privileged to have contributed his profile to the official brochure of the festival, but a tear ran down my cheek as he was given the award. As the news of his passing away came in an hour ago, I felt deeply distraught. We had worked together in two films (Mr. Romeo and Koi Jeeta Koi Haara) and I had compèred a couple of shows where he was the Chief Guest. During a long break while we were shooting for Mr. Romeo, he took me to the ramshackle canteen of Filmistan Studios and narrated the story of Sidhhartha, the English film he was doing with Simi. (Shashi on the extreme left, the author on the  extreme right) There have been few gentlemen in the Mumbai film industry; he was one, for sure. And he had a memory that could only be equalled by say a Hrishikesh Mukherjee. He often asked me why did I not start an acting and broadcasting school of my own, instead of lecturing and conducting workshops all over Mumbai and Pune, and I, in turn, asked him why did he not continue making films as producer, never mind acting. He laughed and replied, “All my films were huge flops. Junoon barely brought back the investment. After shutting shop, I spent more than ten years acting in insignificant films to repay the creditors. Surely, I must be the worst producer in the world…and you want me to get back into production? Have a heart!” We laughed about it. Today, I am crying. He survived some ten years of serious illness and was almost 80 when he died. For Shashi Kapoor, the original boy-hero, 100 would have been early. So much more to remember, so much more to say. For the moment, let me just mourn. Here is what I wrote for the PIFF brochure, nine years ago. Actor-producer Shashi Kapoor (born Balbir Raj Kapoor) doesn’t act any more. He doesn’t produce films any more. But his contribution to Indian cinema has been immense and highly praiseworthy. One of the three Kapoor brothers, he belongs to what is popularly called the first family of Hindi filmdom. (The other two brothers being Raj, deceased, and Shamsher ‘Shammi’ Raj Kapoor, still active). Innocent, boy-next-door looks, a rare, sensitive screen persona and a desire to make off-beat, meaningful films, have been the essence of his personality. Born on 18th March 1938 in Kolkata, 70 year-old Shashi Kapoor spent fifty active years in filmdom and acted in over 200 films, before calling it a day, in 1998. It was in Papa Prithviraj Kapoor’s Prithvi Theatres’ production of the classic Shakuntala that he made his stage debut, aged six. When big brother (Ranbir) Raj Kapoor turned director, he found him the ideal choice to play young Raj in Aag and Awara. Some thirty years later, Raj was to cast him in the lead, opposite Zeenat Aman, in Satyam Shivam Sundaram. Shashi, on his part, paid tribute to the memory of his late father ‘Papajee’, by building an amphitheatre auditorium, and naming it Prithvi Theatre, now managed by his daughter Sanjana, who, along with brothers Karan and Kunal, dabbled in acting, but gave it up soon. Stage had already become a passion with teenager Shashi. Giving up academic studies, he joined Joseph Kendall’s touring drama troupe Shakespeareana, toured India, Pakistan and Malaysia, and married Kendall’s daughter, Jennifer, in 1958. Twenty years later, Jennifer was to become the moving spirit behind Prithvi Theatre and to play a lovable character in 36 Chowringhee Lane, which Shashi produced and Aparna Sen directed. In the early 60s, the adult Shashi bagged central roles in Dharamputra and Char Diwari, playing intense, emotional characters. In spite of some highly successful films like Jab Jab Phool Khile, Aamne Saamne and Hasina Maan Jayegi, he finally hit big time with films like Sharmeelee, Aa Gale Lag Jaa and Chor Machaye Shor. Besides several solo hits, Shashi played one of the main roles i[...]

VR Oscar to Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s virtual reality installation, “CARNE y ARENA"

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 12:34:07 +0000


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The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Wednesday (October 25) to present a Special Award – an Oscar® statuette – to director Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s virtual reality installation, “CARNE y ARENA (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible),” in recognition of a visionary and powerful experience in storytelling.

“The Governors of the Academy are proud to present a special Oscar to ‘CARNE y ARENA,’ in which Alejandro Iñárritu and his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki have opened for us new doors of cinematic perception,” said Academy President John Bailey. “‘CARNE y ARENA,’ Iñárritu’s multimedia art and cinema experience, is a deeply emotional and physically immersive venture into the world of migrants crossing the desert of the American southwest in early dawn light. More than even a creative breakthrough in the still emerging form of virtual reality, it viscerally connects us to the hot-button political and social realities of the U.S.-Mexico border.”

“CARNE y ARENA,” currently on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Fondazione Prada in Milan, and Tlatelolco Cultural Center in Mexico City, is a collaboration between Iñárritu, Lubezki, producer Mary Parent, Legendary Entertainment, Fondazione Prada, ILMxLAB, and Emerson Collective. Katie Calhoon executive produced.

In recognition of this achievement, an Oscar will be presented to “CARNE y ARENA” at the Academy’s 9th Annual Governors Awards on Saturday, November 11, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®.

17 student winners from colleges and universities around the world to be honored at the 44th Student Academy Awards®

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 18:49:22 +0000

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tonight honored 17 student winners from colleges and universities around the world at the 44th Student Academy Awards® ceremony, held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal awards were announced and presented by actors Amber Tamblyn and Andy Serkis, producer DeVon Franklin and director Jennifer Yuh Nelson.

The 2017 Student Academy Award winners are:

Alternative (Domestic Film Schools)

Gold: “Opera of Cruelty,” Max R. A. Fedore, New York University

Animation (Domestic Film Schools)

Gold: “In a Heartbeat,” Beth David and Esteban Bravo, Ringling College of Art and Design

Silver: “Cradle,” Devon Manney, University of Southern California

Bronze: “E-delivery,” Young Gul Cho, School of Visual Arts

Documentary (Domestic Film Schools)

Gold: “Hale,” Brad Bailey, University of California, Berkeley

Silver: “On Pointe,” Priscilla Thompson and Joy Jihyun Jeong, Columbia University

Bronze: “One Way Home,” Qingzi Fan, New York University

Narrative (Domestic Film Schools)

Gold: “My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr., New York University

Silver: “Mammoth,” Ariel Heller, University of Southern California

Bronze: “Who's Who in Mycology,” Marie Dvorakova, New York University

Narrative (International Film Schools)

Gold: “Watu Wote,” Katja Benrath, Hamburg Media School

Silver: “Facing Mecca,” Jan-Eric Mack, Zurich University of the Arts

Bronze: “When Grey Is a Colour,” Marit Weerheijm, Netherlands Film Academy

Animation (International Film Schools)

Gold: “Life Smartphone,” Chenglin Xie, China Central Academy of Fine Arts (China)

Documentary (International Film Schools)

Gold: “Galamsey,” Johannes Preuss, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg (Germany)

New this year, the competition was expanded to allow two options for students at international film schools to submit their films. In addition to CILECT-member schools submitting one student film per international film school category, international students may now enter films that qualify through film festivals recognized by the Student Academy Awards Executive Committee.

Tom Alter: Actor, Cricketer, Urdu lover and Caucasian

Sun, 01 Oct 2017 13:19:32 +0000

Tom Alter: Actor, Cricketer, Urdu lover and Caucasian Unlikely combination of professions and hobbies for a man named Thomas Beach Alter, who hailed from a family of American missionaries. His acting abilities were never in doubt, and the barest accent betrayed his ethnicity. But his skin and hair distinguished him from other Indian co-actors quite noticeably, and he had to be content with parts showing him as a British colonial or modern day baddie. There were occasions when he was made to sport a wig, to help him appear more credible as an Indian. But there was little they could do about his skin. In a manifestation of deep irony, Tom Alter contracted skin cancer and had a thumb surgically removed last year. His pink skin was showing some signs of the malaise when I last met him in November 2016, at Goa, but I confess I did not realise the seriousness of his ailment. Stage-4 skin cancer claimed him on 29th September. Reports had been appearing about his illness for a whole year. Some shows of plays, wherein he was playing the main roles, had to be either cancelled or performed without him. How I missed these reports is a question that will haunt me for a very long time. At the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, he was there to conduct an acting workshop, and I was delighted to meet him. Appearing somewhat tired and haggard, he was still his warm self. His scraggly looks were nothing unusual, what with his dishevelled grey hair, beard and moustache. There was a press conference which he attended, along with other workshop conductors from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, Tom’s alma mater, where he bagged top honours in acting. From the press ranks, I egged him on to talk about his experiences of Urdu-Hindi, considering he was American. “Don’t abuse me. I am not American. I was born in India, so was my father. It was my grandfather who came to India from America.” I hastened to clarify that I was referring to his Caucasian ethnicity and not nationality. He grinned, “I was just pulling your leg,” and went on to give an elaborate answer. Later, I dropped in at the workshop for a couple of minutes and he introduced me to some of the participants. That was the last time we spoke. Forgive me Tom. I did not know you were seriously ill this last one year, though I should have. I did not spend any time with you in the last ten months, and the loss is entirely mine. When I learnt about the gravity of your illness two weeks ago, you were already in the Intensive Care Unit of Saifee Hospital, Mumbai, and visitors were not allowed. Next I heard was that you had passed on. Now, I can only shed tears, and rue my ignorance. Destiny has not been kind to me, and it was destined that you will leave this world without a final goodbye from me, leaving me some fond memories, memories that are very dear but that do not do full justice to the warmth, humility, simplicity and greatness that you embodied. We met socially, many times, during the 70s, 80s and early 90s, and I often wrote about his work. I was a drama critic, and he had founded a theatre group, along with Naseeruddin Shah and Benjamin Gilani. Later, I was editing a magazine called TV&Video World, while he was acting in many TV serials. Subsequently, I was offered an assignment to handle the public relations for the afternoon edition of a block-buster serial, Junoon, wherein he had a major role, as gangster Keshav Kalsi. And then I was the voice over that gave the recap of the previous episode in the Zee TV marathon, Tara, featuring Tom. I also read with keen interest Tom’s writings on cricket, marvelled at the fact that he played cricket himself and was even a coach. Besides, he co-ordinated a film industry cricket team that played/practiced regularly on a suburban ground. Acting in all media—films, TV, theatre and stage—and playing cricket were common passions between us. Whereas Tom developed a fascination for cinema after seeing Aradhana, my f[...]

The ''Jaeger-LeCoultre Prize to Latin Cinema'' goes to Paz Vega

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 12:00:32 +0000

Jaeger-LeCoultre honours its commitment to the San Sebastian Film Festival and awards, together with the Festival, the ''Jaeger-LeCoultre Prize to Latin Cinema'' to Paz Vega The Spanish actress has worked with filmmakers including Julio Medem, Pedro Almodóvar, Frank Miller, Danis Tanovic and the Taviani brothers, among others         Jaeger-LeCoultre is proud to sponsor, for the sixth consecutive year, the San Sebastian Film Festival, in support of the many who contribute day after day to creating and staging cinematographic art. Luxury watchmaking and cinema share common values: both are about creating dreams and a sense of fascination through aesthetics and technical mastery. Jaeger-LeCoultre relies on the talent of its many craftsmen to create exceptional timepieces, just as cinema relies on writers, directors, filmmakers, actors and technicians to produce unique works. These are two worlds imbued with the same creative spirit. This year, the famed ‘Grande Maison of the Vallée de Joux’ is further cementing its presence at the festival by hosting the second edition of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Prize to Latin Cinema, which honours an outstanding figure in Latin cinema. In this second edition, the award will go to the internationally acclaimed Spanish actress Paz Vega. It will be presented at a gala to be held on September 23 at the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, as part of the San Sebastian Film Festival. For the San Sebastian Film Festival itself, the award -which in its inaugural edition went to the actor, director and producer Gael García Bernal- marks a new milestone in the festival’s relationship with the Latin world; it tightens even further its bonds with Latin cinematography, while highlighting the value of its filmmakers’ creations. Throughout the festival, Jaeger-LeCoultre will have a VIP Lounge at the Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, to welcome friends of the Maison and prominent figures from the world of cinema. In addition, on this occasion, following the Jaeger-LeCoultre Prize to Latin Cinema award gala, the company will be hosting a party to commemorate Latin cinema. The party is expected to be attended by a number of renowned actors, together with guests linked to the world of cinema. Likewise, the Jaeger-LeCoultre VIP Lounge will also provide the setting for further developing the partnership between Jaeger-LeCoultre and Fundación Aladina. On this occasion, Jaeger-LeCoultre is supporting the foundation in a new project to help 20 youngsters have a very special experience at a new children’s camp -Dynamo Camp, in Italy- which Fundación Aladina began to work with in the summer of 2017. Such camps offer an unforgettable experience for the seriously ill children who visit them, helping them to rebuild their self-esteem and fully recharge their batteries in their ongoing battle with cancer, all under discreet but close medical supervision. Thanks to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s support for Fundación Aladina, every summer, an ever-growing number of Spanish infants and adolescents with cancer can attend these camps at no expense. Acclaimed major international actress Paz Vega has starred in dozens of films in Europe, the USA and Latin America. After her debut role as Laura for six seasons of Siete vidas (Seven Lives, Telecinco), one of Spain's longest running sitcoms, the Seville-born actress made her leap to the silver screen, attracting the attention of European audiences in 2001 on winning the Goya for Best New Actress and the prestigious Chopard Trophy for Female Revelation of the Year at the Cannes International Film Festival for her role as Lucía in Julio Medem’s Lucía y el sexo (Sex and Lucia). Also in 2001, Paz starred in Sólo mia (Only Mine) by Javier Balaguer and was nominated for yet another Goya, this time for Best Actress, marking a milestone in the history of the respected Spanish awards for being the first time an actress had been nominated twice for differen[...]

Roadside Dokumentarfilm on the Road

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:18:28 +0000


EFA will honour Aleksandr Sokurov onthe 30TH EFA Awards Ceremony

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 12:57:40 +0000

  On the occasion of this year's 30th European Film Awards (EFAs) and in recognition of a unique contribution to the world of film, the European Film Academy takes great pleasure in presenting Aleksandr Sokurov with the LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for his outstanding work in the field of directing, dramaturgy and cinematography. Having first graduated in History, Aleksandr Sokurov started out making various TV films and documentaries and then studied at the Soviet Union's famous VGIK film school. All films created by Sokurov during the Soviet period were banned in the USSR. One of his first feature-length films, MOURNFUL UNCONCERN, was in competition at the Berlinale in 1987, and in the same year his film THE LONELY VOICE OF MAN, his 1978 debut which was prohibited in the USSR, won the Locarno Bronze Leopard and the FIPRESCI Award at the Moscow IFF. When the very first EFAs were celebrated in what was then West-Berlin in 1988, he was nominated with DAYS OF ECLIPSE in the category "Best Young Film". He was again nominated for the EFAs in 2001 with ELEGY OF A VOYAGE, this time in the category "European Documentary". His epic MOTHER AND SON premiered at the 1997 Moscow IFF and received various awards, among them the Vatican’s Tertium Millennium Award. The film was followed by FATHER AND SON, the second part of the still not completed trilogy which won the FIPRESCI Award in Cannes in 2003. Aleksandr Sokurov’s tetralogy on the effects of power was also recognised across Europe and the world: The first one, MOLOCH, about Hitler, was in competition in Cannes in 1999, awarded for the Best Screenplay, and also EFA-nominated. The second, TAURUS, about Lenin, where Sokurov was also director of photography, again premiered in Cannes in 2001, and received the Russian NIKA Awards for Best Film, Director and Cinematographer. The third, THE SUN (2005), about the Japanese Emperor Hirohito – again with Sokurov as cinematographer, was in competition in Berlin and received the Russian NIKA Award for Best Screenplay. Finally, the film FAUST received the Golden Lion in Venice in 2011, the Ecumenical Jury Prize and the NIKA for Best Film. He stunned film-lovers and critics alike with his 2002 Cannes entry RUSSIAN ARK which was filmed in a single shot. The film was EFA-nominated and won the NIKAs for production and costume design. Sokurov was also awarded the Robert Bresson Award in Venice and the Vittorio De Sica Award. Meanwhile, he keeps filming documentaries in Russia - a recurring theme in these being the military world of the former USSR. From 2011 until 2016 he taught Cinema at the Kabardino-Balkarian State University in the North Caucasus where he opened his workshop for young filmmakers from the region. For several years, his foundation “Example of Intonation” has been identifying talented young people, collecting funds, and launching films of new directors. As a respected public figure, he also created “Sokurov’s Group for the Protection of the Cultural and Historical Image of Russian Cities”. In 2015, he presented in competition at the Venice IFF FRANCOFONIA, his film about the French Louvre during the Nazi occupation, awarded with the Fedeora Award and the Fondazione Mimmo Rotella Award. As a writer and director, Aleksandr Sokurov continues to be an important and inspirational voice in Russian and European cinema, not just artistically but also through his courageous commitment for the freedom of speech and artistic expression and humanistic values. He will be an honorary guest at the 30th European Film Awards Ceremony on 9 December in Berlin - streamed live on   [...]

Venice Festival Homage to Mr. Abbas Kiarostami- 76 Minutes & 15 Seconds with Abbas Kiarostami

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 21:28:02 +0000

The 73rd Venice International Film Festival has dedicated this edition of the Festival to Mr. Abbas Kiarostami and this Homage will include two short films by Mr. Kiarostami, "24 Frames" and "Take Me Home" as well as a very brand new documentary by Seifollah Samadian (documentary filmmaker and photographer of ABC Africa and Five), "76 Minutes & 15 Seconds with Abbas Kiarostami". This is a Portrait of an artist, whose exceptional approach to Art and Life, defined him as one of the most ardent admirers of life itself.The leading aim of this documentary is to share 76 minutes and 15 seconds of undiscovered moments of Abbas Kiarostami’s life and work, in commemoration of his 76 years and 15 days of creative journey.The shots of this documentary are selected out of hundreds of hours of footage , filmed during 25 years of friendship, inside and outside Iran in various occasions: film festivals, photo exhibitions, photography sessions, artistic events, workshops and some unique moments of his daily life.


I hope those who are attending Venice could go to the screening of our film:


31 August, Sala Darsena, 16:00 PM

31 August, Palabiennale, 22:00 PM

01 September, Palabiennale, 08:30 AM

Call for entries in 11th Cyprus International Film Festival "Golden Aphrodite"

Tue, 10 May 2016 00:20:42 +0000

Call for film entries in 11th Cyprus International Film Festival "The Best of the First!!!" All genres are accepted for films produced the last 36 months. Shorts > 20 minutes Feature > 120 minutes   Έναρξη Υποβολής Ταινιών στο 11ο Διεθνές Φεστιβάλ Κινηματογράφου Κύπρου - ΚΛΑΚΕΤΑ ΠΡΩΤΗ!" Όλα τα είδη ταινιών είναι αποδεκτά που η παραγωγή τους έχει ολοκληρωθεί τους 36 τελευταίους μήνες. Μικρού μήκους > 20' [...]

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IFF Panama 2016 special guests

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 18:49:29 +0000

    As with every edition of the International Film Festival of Panama, IFF Panama 2016 will host a select group of prominent representatives from the global film industry. Between April 7thand 13th, audiences will be able to interact with our guests through post-screening discussions, seminars, workshops, lectures and panels.   Lucía BoséLucía Bosé will be the guest of honor at IFF Panama’s fifth edition. Bosé’s impressive career, which includes collaborations with great directors such as Michelangelo Antonioni, Luis Buñuel, Juan Antonio Bardem, and Giuseppe De Santis, among others. Bosé will be recognized at a special gala featuring participation from writer Boris Izaguirre, the great Spanish actress Marisa Paredes,  the director of the National Film Archive of Spain Chema Prado, and Lucía Bosé’s own son – also a renowned actor and singer – Miguel Bosé.    Three of Lucía Bosé’s most important films (Death of a Cyclist, Story of a Love Affair, and No Peace Under the Olive Tree) will be featured in special screenings in honor of the admired Italian actress. IFF Panama will also screen, in a special presentation, High Heels (directed by Pedro Almodóvarand starring Marisa Paredes and Miguel Bosé).   Édgar Ramírez Venezuelan actor Édgar Ramírez, star of the August-premiering Panamanian film Hands of Stone, will be present at IFF Panama’s screening of the filmFrom Afar; Lorenzo Vigas’ impressive debut and winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival 2015, of which Ramírez is executive producer. He will also attend gala ceremonies, public seminars and discussions.   Damián Alcázar The ever-prominent Mexican actor Damián Alcázar will also visit IFF Panama to represent two films in which he stars: Magallanes, the directorial debut from Peruvian actor/director Salvador del Solar, and The Thin Yellow Line, also a debut effort, from director Celso R. García, who will also be visiting from Mexico.   Nicolas Jaar The Chilean-American composer Nicolas Jaar will attend the fifth edition to present the film Dheepan (winner of the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015), for which he created the musical score. Jaar will offer an extended Q&A session following the screening of Dheepan.   Javier Ruiz CalderaJavier Ruiz Caldera, director of many popular and satirical Spanish spoofs, will visit IFF Panama to present his film Spy Time. Two of his other films,Ghost Graduation and Three Many Weddings, won the Copa Airlines Audience Award for best film (fiction) at IFF Panama’s 2012 and 2013 editions, respectively.   Patricio Guzmán Master documentary filmmaker Patricio Guzmán will also visit Panama, primordially to conduct his "Documentary Seminar" for IFF-accredited film industry members. The Chilean filmmaker, recognized as one of the best documentary filmmakers in the world, will share the keys to development of a documentary over four days, followed by a screening of his new feature filmThe Pearl Button, which premiered in Berlin. This cultural event will mark abefore-and-after for lovers of the seventh art in Panama.   Kabir Khan Among filmmakers included in our international showcase section, Kabir Khanand Amar Butala -- the director and producer of the epic feature filmBrother Bhaijaan, respectively -- will visit us from India. GrímurHákonarson, director of the stunning Rams -- winner of the "Un Certain Regard" award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015 -- will visit us fromIceland.   Guido Bilbao We will also have special guests taking part in the "Stories of C[...]