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Friday, October 19, 2012

14th Mumbai Film Festival starts with a bang: Silver Linings Playbook screened

The atmosphere was almost contagious with enthusiasm at the city’s most eagerly awaited cultural event as the vivacious Sridevi performed the ceremonial tradition of lighting a lamp along with Shyam Benegal, Chairman and Trustees of Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) to mark the auspicious occasion of commencement of the 14th Mumbai Film Festival, presented by Reliance Entertainment and American Express.

Tina Ambani conferred acclaimed director, producer, writer and actor from the People’s Republic of China Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers, Hero, Curse of The Golden Flower, Raise the Red Lantern) the Lifetime achievement Award for Foreign Film Personalities.

“The 14th Mumbai Festival is an initiative truly close to my heart and a very special connection to my cinematic roots”, said Tina Ambani, the chief initiator of the festival who was accompanied to the event by Anil Ambani.

“I have always believed that cinema is a bridge between cultures”, said Yimou upon receiving the honor, “I thank MAMI for appreciating my efforts and acknowledging my small contribution towards cinema”, he signed off with utmost modesty.

The Opening Function also saw the introduction and felicitation of the jury members of International Competition, India Gold 2012, Celebrate Age and Dimensions Mumbai.  “We look forward to another year of bringing superlative global cinema to our patrons and promoting budding talent at the festival”, commented Mr. Srinivasan Narayanan, Festival Director, 14th Mumbai Film Festival on the occasion.

The function continued with Actor Anil Kapoor calling on stage Anupam Kher, whose critically acclaimed comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbookkick started the cinematic reverie for this 8 day long festival. The film is directed by David O Russell and stars Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro. The evening was made even more special as Bradley Cooper’s special message was played out in which he regretted his absence and wished luck for film’s India premiere.

Speaking on the occasion Anupam Kher said, “I have always endeavored to make films with passion and I am glad to have been provided with an opportunity to work with such amazing co-actors”

The Opening Function’s red carpet and movie screening witnessed an eclectic gathering of filmmakers, renowned litterateurs, cinephiles and scribes, including Jaya Bachchan, Manisha Koirala, Leander Paes, Shobhaa & Dilip De, Ila Arun, Kirron Kher, Rahul Bose, Ranvir Shorey, Milind Soman, Shahana Goswami, R. Balki with wife & filmmaker Gauri Shinde,  Pritish Nandy, Sridhar Raghavan, Sanjay & Ambika Suri, Dibakar Banerjee and Hansal Mehta among others. The celebratory fervor continued at the Trident, Nariman Point.
Brought in with great pomp and aplomb, the first day of the 14th Mumbai Film Festival set pace for the week-long cinematic extravaganza that promises to feature the finest works of cinematic genius from a stellar lineup of over 200 films.

The 14th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival is scheduled from the 18th – 25th October, 2012 at National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) & Inox, Nariman Point, Liberty Cinemas, Marine Lines as the main festival venues and Cinemax, Andheri and Cinemax Sion as the satellite venues.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sridevi to light the ceremonial lamp at Mumbai Film Festival..


The MAMI authorities have announced that vivacious superstar Sridevi will light the ceremonial lamp to mark the auspicious occasion on October 18, 2012 at the opening ceremony of the city’s most eagerly awaited cultural event, the 14th Mumbai Film Festival, presented by Reliance Entertainment and American Express and organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image.

After the ceremonial lighting of the lamp, the film festival will showcase critically acclaimed comedy-drama film “Silver Linings Playbook” that will also have its India premiere. The event will also witness the presence of stars such as Anupam Kher, Anil Kapoor, Javed Akhtar, Jaya Bachchan, Atul Aghnihotri, Sriram Raghvan, Anees Bazmi, Anubhav Sinha, Ranvir Shorey, Sanjay Suri, Abhinay Deo and several others


Late Superstar Rajesh Khanna’s ARADHANA at the 14 Mumbai Film Festival


The forthcoming edition of the city’s most eagerly awaited cultural event, the 14th Mumbai Film Festival, presented by Reliance Entertainment and American Express and organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image, is poised to pay homage to Indian cinema’s first “Superstar”, Hindi film legend Rajesh Khanna by dedicating a special segment to screen one of the late star’s most memorable films Aradhana.

Directed by Shakti Samanta in 1969, the film featured Rajesh Khanna paired against Sharmila Tagore. The film’s screening is scheduled to be held Godrej theatre at NCPA on on 21st October at 1.15 p.m.Apart from Rajesh Khanna, the festival is also paying homage to Dara Singh by screening his movie Samson directed by Nanabhai Bhatt and to A K Hangal by screening his movie Dattak directed by Gul Bahar Singh. Both will be screened at the Godrej theatre on 23rdOctober at 1.15 p.m. and on 20th October at 4.00 pm respectively.

The stellar lineup of over 230 films from around the world constitutes a mélange of classic and contemporary cinema with special segments dedicated to French, Italian and Afghan cinema. The festival will also host a special event segment to mark the centenary year of Indian cinema by screening a handpicked list of silent films accompanied by melodies from a live orchestra. The festival also endeavors to serve as a platform to showcase the works of young, talented and progressive filmmakers.

The 14th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival is scheduled from the 18th - 25th October, 2012 at National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) & Inox, Nariman Point, Liberty Cinemas, Marine Lines as the main festival venues and Cinemax, Andheri and Cinemax, Sion as the satellite venues.
 
The 14th Mumbai Film Festival, presented by Reliance Entertainment and American Express, is organized by Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) - a body comprised of Indian film industry stalwarts, which was founded in 1997 by late filmmaker Shri Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Noted filmmaker Shri Shyam Benegal heads the body that consists of film directors including: Yash Chopra, Sudhir Mishra, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, renowned actresses Shabana Azmi and Jaya Bachchan, actor-director Amol Palekar and Farhan Akhtar and Amit Khanna, Chairman of Reliance Big Entertainment as Trustees.

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Competition Segment at 14th Mumbai Film Festival to promote National talent


The city’s most eagerly awaited cultural event, the 14th Mumbai Film Festival, presented by Reliance Entertainment and American Express and organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image, continues its tradition of offering talented filmmakers with a platform to showcase their talent. In its latest endeavor to support and promote skilled filmmakers, the festival has announced a unique accolade, the Reliance Media Works CreaTech (Creativity & Technology) Award, in its most recently introduced competition category the India Gold 2012 segment.

Introduced as an initiative to recognize & encourage individuals/directors/production houses that have applied futuristic/innovative technology and creativity to convert their visualizations into reality with excellence within competitive budgetary frameworks, the recipient of this award will receive a special voucher which will entitle him/her to experience and utilize the resources Reliance Media Works service solutions such as shooting studios, camera setup & lighting equipments, Digital Labs, mastering studios, promos editing labs, TV commercials, film restoration facilities, conversion, or VFX or any other services as offered by RMWL for a value up to Rs.1 lakh, within a period of 1 year, i.e. until October 2013.

The ‘India Gold 2012’ section will see 13 Indian language films by debutante directors competing for Golden Gateway trophy plus cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh for the Best Film and Silver Gateway trophy plus cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh for Second Best Film in addition to the Reliance Media Works CreaTech (Creativity & Technology) Award. The competition will be judged by an all international jury of film technicians & professionals.

Films for this section are invited by the chairman of MAMI Mr. Shyam Benegal and aim to feature the best crop of the Indian films produced in India and provide them a with platform for promotion internationally. The 14th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival promises to screen a stellar lineup of over between the 18th – 25th October, 2012 at National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) & Inox, Nariman Point, Liberty Cinemas, Marine Lines as the main festival venues and Cinemax, Andheri and Cinemax Sion as the satellite venues.


14th Mumbai Film Festival showcases local talent with Dimensions Mumbai



In addition to the stellar lineup of over 200 movies set to be screened at the city’s most eagerly awaited cultural event, the 14th Mumbai Film Festival, presented by Reliance Entertainment and American Express and organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image, promises to offer a platform to showcase young and talented Mumbai based filmmakers in a competition segment titled Dimensions Mumbai. A brain child of veteran actor and a distinguished Trustee of MAMI Mrs. Jaya Bachchan, Dimensions Mumbai is a short film competition open to young Mumbaikars below the age of 25 years and features short films of less than five minutes in duration made in any format and depicting any aspect of life in Mumbai.

Harmony by director Abhiraj Rajadhyaksha portrays the harmony demonstrated by different cultures that exist in Mumbai and describes how they respond to situations of crisis and tackle it to rise above hate in the end.

Errol Peter Marks’ film Kaarwaa chronicles the journey of the illustrious city of Mumbai, spanning from the year 1820 to 2012 and portraying all the joys and sorrows this city has experienced.

Director Shriya Pilgaonkar has adopted a very novel approach towards Dresswala, a film tracing the evolution of Indian cinema through the costumes of Maganlal Dresswala, one of the oldest and most prominent costume designer houses in the country.

Mumbai, A Long Live Local by budding director Abhishek U. Masurkar narrates the tale of the city that never sleeps from the perspective of the underlying busy night life that many have not seen or experienced by residents of the city.

Director Sudhanshu Prakash Sawant’s Aankhon Dekha Haal is a metaphor for the story of Mumbai and the State assembly shown through a couple watching the news of the state assembly catching fire on TV, while their son enjoys a pornographic book under the pretense of studying, while slyly keeping an eye on his parents and how the consequences that follow eventually lead him to burn the magazine.

Bombay Kulfi by Vaibhav Hiwase is an inspiring story about a child who with excitement about his little world in his shop and a unique interest in doing odd jobs sells ice-cream in this multi-coloured city. The film highlights the boy’s fascination by the vibrant sound of gully- cricket, the local dialect depicting different shades of the city and its young, unbeatable soul.

Director Nitin Rane’s film Mumbai Geometry is literally about the differently shaped objects found around that help construct the geometry of this magnificent Mumbai.

Aspiring director and student of Mass Media, Vaibhav S. Dhandha’s film Mumbai Healing is about the atrocities faced by Mumbai. It shows in a very abstract manner (with the use of visual effects) what Mumbai has faced as a city with regards to violence and terrorism and what Mumbai has in itself to survive all this and come up even stronger therefore making it one of the greatest cities in the world.

Hero directed by Mandar Dewalkar celebrates the lives of the unsung icons of Mumbai and pays tribute to the hero within every human being.

Aayega Ek Sunday by Ensia Mirza tells the story of one day in the life of Krishna, a chaiwala in Mumbai who works throughout the week in anticipation of a Sunday, a day which is meant to enjoy life as he feels like.

Abhijeet Bhimrao Gaikwad’s Dreams..... Under Construction displays the stark reality about the ever-expanding city of Mumbai where almost everyone dreams of having a home in one of the tall skyscrapers that are multiplying every day and almost choking the city. The film gives one keen insights into how apathetic people have become towards those who toil and help them fulfill their dreams. The underlying premise of the question the film asks is: Do we ever consider that an ordinary mason who strives hard to build our dreams might have some of his own dreams that remain unconstructed?

Tunes by Madhura G Mahajan lends a ear to the interesting tunes playing amidst the chaos in the city running-against-time.

Director Bakhtiyar Peerzada’s film The Essence of Mumbai captures the true colors and essence of Mumbai through the eyes of the common man as he goes about his daily life. From a taxi-driver to a cotton-candy seller to a street urchin, despite the responsibilities of survival and innumerable other tensions on their minds, all of them maintain a smile plastered on their faces.

Aajoba by Nihit S Mhatre focuses on the lives of senior citizens who are breathing under the dark shadows of the bustling city of Mumbai. Today is not an ordinary day for an ordinary 65-year-old man. He is expecting more monthly phone calls or yearly visits from his loved ones than he usually gets on that single day. Do his wishes come true?

Director Ashish Manohar Naik’s film Dreamweaver is about nineteen-year-old Rohit who lives alone in this city of dreams and works as a cobbler to earn money for his education. While working, he observes some men with a corporate demeanor who come to a tea stall next to his shop. He is attracted by their lifestyle and is inspired by them. He too has a dream. Situations make him envision himself as an achiever sometimes, and occasionally, as a loser. This twisted state of mind is cleared when he meets someone who indirectly inspires him to think positively.

Aath Aana, a film by director Devarsh A. Thaker narrates the story of an innocent child trying to find the meaning and value of a 50 paise coin that is now shunned by the people of this perpetual, teeming city, which was once the reason for its rapture.

IF by budding filmmaker Zeeshaan Ali Siddiqui relates the life of Shaan, an aspiring filmmaker, the only son and apple of his mother’s eye who meets with a train accident while on his way to meet a film producer. Lying brutally injured on the tracks, he gives his life a second thought.

Local, a film by director Bharat Suresh Pawar accounts the life of a newly married couple who try to foster their romance amidst the noisy cacophony of the city slums and the Mumbai local trains.


Diector Mandar Kokamkar’s film Do Rupaye Ka Pen brings to life the story of a pen that costs a mere Rs. 2/-. The protagonist the pen, is always teased by the fellow pens in the shop. He believes he’ll have to stay in this shop forever as everyone prefers buying costlier pens. One day, a poor school boy appears and asks to buy him. The pen, disgusted about being bought by a poor boy, decides to run away from his master but realizes that he is wrong as his owner considers him very important, and then helps the young boy to succeed.

Mumbai by director Vedanti Chandrakant Dani tells the story of a girl who is brought to Mumbai from her village by a rich family who enrolls her at school, but exploit her as domestic labour. She escapes from the house at midnight and experiences the dark side of Mumbai.

Director Ajay Singh’s film Safar is about a student from Mumbai, who is stuck in his daily routine and has lost his temper because of the shallowness that the city offers. Remaining indifferent yet concerned, this film takes you through his thoughts and emotions.

BSNL by director Chinmay Nagesh Dalvi describes the struggle for survival in Mumbai. Balu, a Maharashtrian and Shikha a Punjabi are busy discussing their future when they are interrupted by  a couple from rural Maharashtra who shares the same thread of struggle to live in this city, but only with a different perspective towards life.

Director Sagar Kolte’s film Maooli describes how every new man coming to this city overcomes the challenges in his path and makes his whole day successful. One such man boards a local train and is tormented by the crowd and a group of bhajan singers. He suffers this quietly, also dealing with his own personal problems. Soon, he finds himself adjusting to the environment around as he starts to feel comfortable.

Ek Artist Ki Maut by Rahul Pandey adopts an interesting narrative by a deserted house about its former resident, a writer who was killed in a bomb blast.

Introduced to mark the 10th Anniversary of MAMI, Dimensions Mumbai provides young filmmakers with a chance to reach out to film buffs and offers the audience new vistas to a city which dreams and breathes cinema. The competition segment will be judged by an eminent panel comprising of Pune based ace filmmaker Unmesh Kulkarni (Jury President), acclaimed actor Sanjay Suri, multi talented animator, filmmaker and theatre actress Gitanjali Rao and renowned filmmaker Reema Kagti.

The festival will also host special event segments dedicated to French, Italian and Afghan cinema as well as silent films accompanied by a live orchestra, and provide attendees with an opportunity to be audience to panel discussions and participate in workshops conducted at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) by cinematic luminaries from around the globe.

The 14th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival is scheduled from the 18th – 25th October, 2012 at National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) & Inox, Nariman Point, Liberty Cinemas, Marine Lines as the main festival venues and Cinemax, Andheri and Cinemax Sion as the satellite venues.

For further details about the festival, please log onto: to www.mumbaifilmfest.com/Mami/index_v2.php?page=home

Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest 2012


Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest makes its third appearance at NCPA from October 31 to November 4. The festival, now considered one of India’s two best literary festivals, is even bigger and more ambitious this year, with over 100 participants, as many as 30 of them from overseas. The star attraction is undoubtedly Sir Vidia S. Naipaul, the Literature Nobel Prize winner, who will be presented the Landmark Lifetime Achievement Award at the Tata on the 31stevening.

Another much sought after prize is the Tata First Book Award. Who will be the five nominations? Who will win the prize? The Long List is already out. The Short List will be revealed just before the LitFest, while the winner will be announced on the very last day of the festival. The decision for the first book rests heavily on the shoulders of an eminent jury of authors, writers and publishers, viz, , Editor Dileep Padgaonkar, social commentator Santosh Desai,  author Siddharth Dhanvant Shangvi, CEO Landmark, Ashutosh Pandey and  author and Festival Director, Literature Live! Anil Dharker

The five days of the festival are absolutely packed with one session more interesting than the other, so that it will be difficult for members to decide which one to attend, and which one to leave out. Naseeruddin Shah and Astad Deboo will perform, as will foreign participants with performances much acclaimed abroad but not seen in India.

Each day will be an intellectual smorgasbord of events ranging from engaging panel discussions, book launches, open house conversations with eminent authors, publishers and literary agents, poetry readings and straight talks. The last is a new addition in terms of sessions where giants in their fields, people like, Faramerz Dabhoiwala whose book The Origins of Sex has been making waves in the West. Scott Carney is one of the world’s leading investigative journalists and his recent book exposes the dark side of trafficking in human organs. Also expected at the festival is eminent American psychologist James Fallon, whose study of the minds of psychopaths and dictators is considered a seminal work in the field. Also present will be Professor Juliet Mitchell of Cambridge University whose psycho-analytical studies of feminism and sibling rivalry are landmarks in their fields.

Amongst the many brilliant minds who will be speakers and panelists will be Shashi Tharoor whose just released book Pax Indica is an engaging study of India’s foreign relations, the ever-engaging Shobhaa De, Ashok Banker whose new book marks a surprising change from his mythological series. Many leading poets from India (Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, Ranjit Hoskote, Gieve Patel, Arundhati Subramaniam), will read along with established English poets, (Glynn Maxwell and Ruth Padel). Making a rare public appearance will be Marianne Pearl (whose book about her slain husband Daniel Pearl was made into the film A Mighty Heart). Lending a spiritual heft to the festival will be Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev, while Pakistani writers (Mohd Hanif, Moni Mohsin) will present their views from across the border.  Also participating will be writers from Australia, Canada and Slovenia. 

This year Literature Live! has added the Godrej Theatre to accommodate spillover audience from The Experimental Theatre. This means that people who do not find seating at The Experimental will be able to watch the same event at the same time, comfortably on a large screen at The Godrej Theatre. Similarly, extending the scope and scale this year, Literature Live! will also have a string of exciting sessions at The Little Theatre which will run concurrently with those at The Experimental Theatre.

The evening performances promise a wonderful marriage between literature and performance. These performances which will take place at the Tata Theatre will   have an impressive lineup of acts from both India and abroad. While Astad Deboo and his troupe’s acclaimed rendition of Tagore’s poems will mark the finale of the festival, there will be many other exciting shows every evening. Like Shakespeare R&B by London based group, Akala which presents Shakespeare in hip hop style.  Chris Larner’s poignant play, An Instinct for Kindness about euthanasia will bring to Mumbai a production which earned rave reviews in London. Our own Naseeruddin Shah will put together a project which he has dreamed about for long: a rich enactment of Vikram Seth’s poems from The Beastly Tales and stories about James Thurber’s dogs.

There’s more. During the festival, Literatue Live! will stage a series of performances at various venues, like Martin Kiszko’s Green Poems for a Blue Planet, delighting children and adults alike,  Inua Ellams, one of the world’s best known performance poets. To cap it all, there will be a performance of Hayavadana, Girish Karnad’s iconic classic in the round at the open-air Chauraha, which promises to be a unique experience, especially because the playwright himself will be present.

This year for the first time Literature Live! has introduced  a series of workshops on different subjects:  like food and travel writing, poetry, fiction, memoirs and other subjects. To bring in the future generation of literature lovers, workshops are also planned for children.

As with every literature festival, one of the highlights lies in informal meetings with writers and with author signings. Many opportunities for these interactions will be available during the festival, while Landmark will ensure that current and earlier books of participating writers will be available for sale at special book shops at The Tata and The Experimental theatres.

There’s a unique opportunity for aspiring writers to share prime space with published authors this year by participating in a Facebook LitLive My Story competition. All participants have to do is submit an original work of literature which could be a short story, essay, poem or any other kind of work. Three winners, chosen by an eminent panel of authors will get a chance to read to out their work at the festival.

As in the past, entry to the festival will be free and on a first come first served basis. Last year’s experience shows that if you want to ensure that you will get a seat, it’s best to come as early as possible.

More details about entry and schedules can be checked on the festival webs www.litlive.in and Facebook: www.facebook.com/litlive 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Spain’s official Oscar Entry ‘Blancanieves’ is Closing Film at Mumbai Film Festival


As the city’s most eagerly awaited cultural event, the 14th Mumbai Film Festival, presented by Reliance Entertainment and American Express and organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image draws closer, it has been revealed that this edition of the festival will conclude with the screening of Blancanieves as its Closing Film, a 2012 black-and-white silent Spanish drama film directed by Spanish auteur Pablo Berger.

The film is the official Spanish entry for the Best Foreign Language film at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013. Having premiered at the prestigious Toronto festival, the film won the Special Jury Prize and an ex-aequo Best Actress "Silver Shell" Award for Macarena García at the 2012 San Sebastián International Film Festival. Mumbai Film Festival is the third only film festival where the film is set to be showcased. 

Having earned praise at the two international film festivals, Blancanieves is set in a romantic vision of 1920’s Andalusia and depicts the original story in a new and culturally specific context. The film inspires a strong sense of cinematic nostalgia and has been rumored to be a tribute to 1920’s European silent films, liberally mixing humor and melodrama.

Carmen (Macarena Garcia) is a beautiful young woman with a childhood tormented by her terrible stepmother, Encarna (Maribel Verdu). Running from her past, Carmen, will undertake an exciting journey accompanied by her new friends: a troupe of dwarves Toreros. An original vision of a classic tale, it is set in the south of Spain in the 20's, full of adventure, excitement and humor. With a surprise ending, in Blancanieves we discover that life is not like in the stories.


The festival promises to feature a lineup of over 230 movies with special event segments dedicated to French, Italian, Afghan and Indian cinema as well as silent films accompanied by a live orchestra. The 14th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival will be held from the 18th – 25th October, 2012 atNational Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) & Inox, Nariman Point, Liberty Cinemas, Marine Lines as the main festival venues and Cinemax, Andheri and Cinemax Sion as the satellite venues.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

India’s Prime Icon all set for India premiere today on BIG CBS Prime and Bloomberg TV India


BIG CBS Prime, part of India’s No. 1 English Entertainment Network BIG CBS Networks, will premier on Indian television on October 12, 2012 and will air each Friday and Saturday night at 9:30pm. Twenty names from the most talked about and iconic personalities of India have been shortlisted as the Top 20 contenders for the privileged title of India’s Prime Icon. The show will be dual cast on BIG CBS Prime and Bloomberg and has as partners Seagram’s 100 Pipers, as the presenting sponsors for the show while MTS, one of the leading telecom brands in India have come on board as the associate sponsors.

The show will chronicle the lives of some of India’s biggest names spanning various fields and professions and takes you up-close and personal with an exclusive look into the lives of these eminent personalities. The contenders for India’s Prime Icon include names like Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar, Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan amongst others. Also on the show to provide their expert views will be an esteemed panel of opinion leaders which include Indian lyricist and screenwriter Prasoon Joshi, noted ad man Suhel Seth and celebrated columnist Malvika Sangghvi. The trio will feature on the show as Opinion Leaders to help the viewers select India’s Prime Icon.

Prasoon made his debut as film lyricist with Rajkumar Santoshi's Lajja, and this soon led to other films like Rang De Basanti and Taare Zameen Par. Prasoon’s association with some of the biggest names from the Indian film industry will see him offering a plethora of information about our favorite icons. Adman, actor, lobbyist, news TV pundit, marketing guru, Suhel Seth is all that and much more. Outspoken and highly opinionated his opinions are frank and honest and his upfront demeanor ensures an unbiased view. A columnist for numerous Indian newspapers, Malvika Sangghvi was once described by The New York Times as ‘a chronicler for social mores’. Malvika began her career in 1978 and went on to become a part of the founding team that launched one of Mumbai’s leading publications.

The background and knowledge of these imminent personalities have made people sit up and take notice of them. And now this remarkable trio will come together on India’s Prime Icon to help audiences select their most cherished idol.

Speaking of the show, Anand Chakravarthy, Business Head, BIG CBS Networks said, “India’s boasts of some of the most inspirational personalities who are considered role models to many. Apart from bringing India the best international content, BIG CBS Prime has constantly been bringing quality home grown shows like India’s Prime Icon, India’s Sexiest Bachelor and more, which have resonated excellently with audiences. India’s Prime Icon is an innovative concept, which has not been explored in the past and has been designed to offer a unique opportunity for Indian viewers to connect with their favourite idols.”

With the crème de la crème of the Indian political, film and sporting worlds on the contenders list vying for the coveted title, India’s Prime Icon will surely be an engaging watch.

Tune in to India’s Prime Icon, starting October 12 at 9.30 pm only on BIG CBS Prime and Bloomberg TV India.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Top 20 Films at 14th Mumbai Film Festival : Surely not to be missed..


The anticipation among movie buffs is becoming more intense as the city’s most eagerly awaited cultural event, the 14th Mumbai Film Festival, presented by Reliance Entertainment and American Express and organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image draws closer.  The festival promises to feature a stellar lineup of over 200 movies with special event segments dedicated to French, Italian, Afghan and Indian cinema as well as silent films accompanied by a live orchestra. Here’s a list of Top 20 Movies that every attending cinemaphile must watch:

Love (Amour) is a 2012 French-language drama film written and directed by legendary filmmaker Michael Haneke. It narrates the story of an octogenarian couple Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant), both cultivated, retired music teachers whose bond of love is severely tested when one day Anne suffers a stroke which paralyses her on one side of the body and confines her to their Paris apartment. Co-produced by companies in Austria, France, and Germany, the film was screened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Palme d'Or making it Haneke’s second in a span of three years, The White Ribbon winning him the first in 2009. The film has also been selected as the Austrian entry for the Best Foreign Language film at the 85th Academy Awards.

Rust and Bone (De rouille et d'os), is a 2012 French-Belgian film based on a short story collection of the same name written by Craig Davidson. It tells the story of an unemployed, destitute single father who falls in love with a killer whale trainer and how their relationship and personalities evolve as they face adversities with each other’s support. Directed by two-time Cannes Film Festival award winner (Best Screenplay in 1996 with A Self-Made Hero and Grand Prize in 2009 for A Prophet) Jacques Audiard, the film received rave reviews when it competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and won the Golden Swan for Best Film at the Cabourg Romantic Film Festival 2012.

Acclaimed Canadian writer/director/actress Sarah Polley weaves together a beautifully assembled tapestry of home movies, interviews, and narration in Stories We Tell to examine the repercussions of long-held family secrets finally coming to light, allowing the audience to reflect on each of their own family histories, both real and fabricated.

Renowned Danish director Thomas Vinterberg returned to his trademark brand of intense cinema with The Hunt, a film about the life of Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen), a primary school teacher accused of sexual inappropriateness and the situation escalates out of control. The film takes a close look at how family and community, supposedly the bulwarks against chaos and unhappiness, can turn in on themselves through group hysteria and remorseless anti-logic.

Having premiered in competition for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, Cosmopolis a film by David Cronenberg, tells the story of billionaire asset manager Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) who trudges slowly across Manhattan in his stretch limousine that he uses as his office while on his way to his preferred barber, and how his day devolves into an odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart.

The Angels' Share a British comedy-drama film directed by Ken Loach tells the story of a young father who narrowly avoids a prison sentence and is determined to turn over a new leaf, discovering a route to his life he aspires when he and his friends from the same community payback group visit a whisky distillery. Starring Paul Brannigan, John Henshaw, William Ruane, Gary Maitland, Jasmin Riggins, and Siobhan Reilly, the film won the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival 2012 and was nominated for the Palme d’Or.

A masterpiece by Cristian Mungiu, Romania’s first Director to be awarded the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, Beyond The Hills (Dupa Dealuri) is a drama film centered on the friendship between two young women who grew up in the same orphanage; one has found refuge at a convent in Romania and refuses to leave with her friend, who now lives in Germany. The film starring Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where Mungiu won the award for Best Screenplay, and Flutur and Stratan shared the award for Best Actress. It has been selected as the Romanian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards.

On the Road (Sur la route) is a 2012 film adaptation of the Jack Kerouac cult classic novel of the same name directed by Walter Salles narrates the story of Sal Paradise, a struggling young writer whose life is shaken following the death of his father and ultimately redefined when he embarks upon a journey across America with his friend and hero, Dean Moriarty, a free-spirited, fearless, traveler and mystic and his girlfriend Marylou. Boasting of executive production by Francis Ford Coppola, the film was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2012 and for the Official Competition Award at the Sidney Film Festival 2012.

A prominent figure in the contemporary Iranian cinema, Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami takes another trip abroad to explore the depths of unrequited desire in the Japanese language drama, Like Someone in Love. The film trails the life of a young Japanese woman Akiko (Rin Takanashi) who finances her studies through prostitution and her enchanting affair (of sorts) with a retired, elderly sociologist, Takashi (Tadashi Okuno).  A play between what’s seen, what’s heard and what’s really happening becomes the modus operandi for their relationship, and the film constantly toys with the expectations of both its characters and the audience, transforming a classic three-way tale of mistaken identities into something much more mysterious and troubling.

Privileged with a special jury mention at Cannes Film Festival where it was screened in the Un Certain Regard Section, Children of Sarajevo (Djeca) is a 2012 Bosnian drama film written, produced and directed by former Cannes Critics Week Grand Prix award recipient, Aida Begic. The film follows the lives of orphans of the 90’s Bosnian war, Rahima (Marija Pikic) a Muslim woman who after her crime-prone adolescent years has found solace in Islam and works long hours in a restaurant kitchen to provide for her teenage brother Nedim (Ismir Gagula) who lives with her, but is drifting into bad ways. Set in the present-day city, the film conveys a sense of tension and fear, echoes, and re-echoes, of the terrible detonations that have not entirely died away. The film won two awards, Best Actress and Cineuropa Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival 2012 and is the official Bosnian entry for the Best Foreign Language film at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013.

Credited as one of the founding fathers of French New Wave and still creating cinematic magic at the ripe age of 90 with his latest film You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet is veteran French – German film maker Alain Resnais. Nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2012, the film is based on two plays by Jean Anouilh. The film’s protagonist Antoine d’Anthac gathers together all his friends who have appeared over the years in his play ‘Eurydice’. These actors watch a recording of the work performed by a young acting company, La Compagnie de la Colombe. During the screening, Antoine’s friends are so overwhelmed by their memories of the play that they start performing it together, despite no longer being the appropriate age for their various roles.

Ace Filipino film director Brillante Mendoza presents yet another riveting drama film with Captive, a film recreating the 2001 kidnapping and torturous life of hostages during their 377 day ordeal, focusing on Therese Burgeoine (Isabelle Huppert), a Christian missionary, by the Abu Sayyaf. The multi-national production was nominated for the Golden Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival 2012.

Me and You (Io e Te) the latest film by Italian cinematic genius and maker of cinematic gems such as Last Tango in Paris, The Last Emperor, Little Buddha, Besieged, The Conformist goes to establish that Bernardo Bertolucci is still a force to reckon with.  The film is the story of an introvert teenager Lorenzo (Jacopo Olmo Antinori), a disturbed 14-year-old boy who hates school, and whose mother Arianna (Sonia Bergamasco) sends him to a psychotherapist and is relieved when Lorenzo shows an interest in going on a week's skiing trip organized by his school. Instead of getting on the bus, Lorenzo sneaks back and hides out in the house's manky basement to which he has the separate entrance key, glad of the chance to be on his own for a week but is horrified when his twenty something half-sister, Olivia (Tea Falco) shows up, needing a place to stay. During their week long confinement in the basement, Olivia fascinates and horrifies Lorenzo with her attitude problem, her smack addiction, her artistic aspirations, and some dark hints about her (and Lorenzo's) father.

In competition for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival, Outrage Beyond is a 2012 Japanese yakuza film directed by Takeshi Kitano and sequel of Kitano's 2010 film Outrage. The film accounts the struggle between the Sanno of the East and Hanabishi of the West when the police launches a full-scale crackdown on organized crime and ignites a national yakuza struggle.

Based on a play by Raul Brandão, Gebo And The Shadow (Gebo et l’ombre) is a film by Manoel de Oliveira, who at 103 is the oldest active filmmaker in the world. Set in the late 19th century, the film is about an honoured but poor patriarch who sacrifices himself to protect his fugitive son. With a film career that began in the 1920s, the celebrated Portuguese filmmaker has won 43 awards and 23 nominations at film festivals across the globe and been at the helm of films such as Voyage to the Beginning of the World (1997), Os Canibais(1988), La Lettre (1999), Je Rentre à la Maison (2001) and the Magic Mirror (2005).

Exiled from his homeland, Iranian New Wave director Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s film The Gardener explores how different generations view religion and peace. Filmed in Israel in collaboration with his son Maysam, the film adopts an experimental approach of both father and son conversing while filming each other.

Writer-Director Olivier Assayas’ French drama film Something in the Air (Après mai) will enthrall audiences with its depiction of Paris in the early 1970s. The movie narrates the story of a young high school student completely swept up in the political and creative effervescence at the time and the oscillation of his beliefs between radical commitment to the leftist cause and the pursuit of more personal aspirations, a conundrum not understood by his girlfriend or schoolmates. The film was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival where Assayas won the Osella for Best Screenplay.

Blancanieves a film by Spanish director, publicist and professor of management at NYFA (New York Film Academy) Pablo Berger chronicles the story of Carmen, a beautiful young woman with a childhood tormented by her terrible stepmother, Encarna. Running from her past, Carmen, will undertake an exciting journey accompanied by her new friends: a troupe of dwarves Toreros. The film is the official Spanish entry for the Best Foreign Language film at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013.

Having competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival 2012, Renoir by distinguished filmmaker Gilles Bourdos is about the twilight years of illustrious painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir who is tormented by the loss of his wife, the pains of arthritic old age and the terrible news that his son Jean has been wounded in action. But when a young girl miraculously enters his world, the old painter is filled with a new, wholly unexpected energy.

Alex de la Iglesia returns with As Luck Would Have It, yet another darkly comic exercise in capricious causality about an out-of-work publicist Roberto Goméz (José Mota) who suffers an accident looks to sell the exclusive interview rights to the highest bidder in an attempt to provide for his family. The film also features Mexican screen scorcher Salma Hayek.

The 14th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival will be held from the 18th – 25th October, 2012 at National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) & Inox, Nariman Point, Liberty Cinemas, Marine Lines as the main festival venues and Cinemax, Andheri and Cinemax Sion as the satellite venues.

The 14th Mumbai Film Festival, presented by Reliance Entertainment and American Express, is organized by Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) - a body comprised of Indian film industry stalwarts, which was founded in 1997 by late filmmaker Shri Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Noted filmmaker Shri Shyam Benegal heads the body that consists of film directors including: Yash Chopra, Sudhir Mishra, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, renowned actresses Shabana Azmi and Jaya Bachchan, actor-director Amol Palekar and Farhan Akhtar and Amit Khanna, Chairman of Reliance Big Entertainment as Trustees.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Enigma of Mr. Bachchan unveiled! Suhel Seth reveals unknown facts about the legend


The most definitive show on Indian television that attempts to decide India’s most India’s Prime Icon is out with the list of its Top 20 contenders who will soon be vying for the privileged title. Adman and media personality Suhel Seth, who is part of an esteemed panel of opinion leaders will discuss the Top 20 contenders on the show and give his insights to help India decide its favorite icon. And one of the biggest names on the list is that of the legendary Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. India’s Prime Icon premieres on October 12 and will be dualcast on BIG CBS Prime and Bloomberg TV. So what does Suhel Seth have to say about Bollywood’s biggest superstar on the show?

Speaking on the charismatic actor and most successful Indian television host ever, Suhel Seth says, “He is always the quintessential gentleman, I am yet to see him in a suit without a double cuffed shirt! He is a brand on his own, yet is humble and ethical.” The ‘angry young man’ of Hindi cinema, Amitabh Bachchan is widely regarded as the greatest and most influential actor in the history of Indian cinema. His magnetic personality, deep voice and unfathomable aura have earned him millions of fans all over the globe. With such an illustrious Bollywood career and innumerable box-office hits, Mr. Bachchan is without a doubt one of the top contenders for the title of India’s Prime Icon.

So will India select Amitabh Bachchan as its most cherished idol? And what does Suhel Seth have to say about the other contenders? Stay tuned to find out more.

Catch India’s Prime Icon as it premieres on October 12, only on BIG CBS Prime and Bloomberg TV.

14th Mumbai Film Festival to feature workshops by cinematic legends


In addition to the stellar lineup of over 200 movies set to be screened at the city’s most eagerly awaited cultural event, the 14th Mumbai Film Festival, presented by Reliance Entertainment and American Express and organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image, promises to offer attendees with an opportunity to be audience to panel discussions and participate in workshops conducted at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) by cinematic luminaries from around the globe.

The most enthusiastically anticipated workshop at the festival is the two-day Pitching Screenwriting and Script Development Masterclass which will commence on Wednesday, 17th October, 2012 with a panel discussion on pitching. Participants will benefit from invaluable inputs on the subject provided by Claire Dobbin, script consultant and chair of the Melbourne International Film Festival, renowned scriptwriter David Maggee and special guests such as successful Indian film producers Madhu Mantena (Ghajini) and Guneet Monga (Gangs of Wasseypur) as well as illustrious Indian film director  Dev Benegal. This session will be followed by a seminar on How to Approach the Rewrite by Claire Dobbin.

Brillante Mendoza
The subsequent session on Thursday, 18th October, 2012  will begin with a presentation by David Maggee, scriptwriter of films such as Life of Pi and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day about his masterpiece Finding Neverland followed by a dissection of the developmental process of the film. The workshop will conclude with an illuminating seminar with Claire Dobbin and celebrated Australian film producer Robyn Kershaw on how to pitch in a way that turns a no to yes, an integral part of filmmaking and knowledge that is imperative for aspiring filmmakers in Final Pitches. The sessions on both days are scheduled at the K. R. Cama Institute, Opp. Lions Gate, Fort, between 10 am & 5 pm.

Science fiction movie buffs attending the festival on Saturday, 20th October, 2012 will be ecstatic about the 2 - 3 pm segment featuring an open forum discussion between Gary Kurtz, legendary producer of epic Hollywood films such as Star Wars and The Steal and Anubhav Sinha, acclaimed Indian director of 2011 science fiction superhero blockbuster Ra.One, about the similarities and differences in execution from Eastern and Western points of view in the making of science fiction films.

This edition of the Mumbai Film Festival will also witness the country’s first open forum Panel Discussion on the current state of film preservation and the challenges facing archives in future world of diminishing financial resources and rapidly evolving technologies between 1 & 2.30 pm on Sunday, 21st October, 2012. The session will involve eminent guests representing World Cinema Foundation, Film Foundation, Twentieth Century Fox Archives and Academy Film Archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as other highly distinguished members of the international cinematic fraternity. The session will be moderated by Ian Birnie, US Representative at the Mumbai Film Festival and Director of the Film Department at the Los Angeles County Museum.

Other workshops at the festival include the Masterclass in "Concept to Script to Film Production" conducted on Sunday, 21st October, 2012 between 3 & 5 pm by ace Filipino film director Brillante Mendoza and moderated by respected German film critic Daniel Kothenschulte, who will also groom the collegians selected for ‘Mumbai Young Critics’ in another segment. 

A special segment organised by WIFT (Women in Film & Television) will see veteran actor Jaya Bachchan conduct a Masterclass in Acting on Monday, 22nd October between 3 & 5 pm. The Masterclass in Creative Production will be conducted by Gary Kurtz between 3 & 5 pm on Wednesday, 24th October, 2012 and moderated by seasoned film producer Julian Alcantara who will also moderate the Masterclass in Direction conducted by noted director Andy Tennant of ‘Fool’s Gold’, ‘Hitch’ and ‘Anna and the King’ fame on Thursday, 25th October, 2012 between 2 & 4 pm.

The 3 - 5 pm segment on Wednesday, 24th October, 2012 will showcase Italian cinema in a seminar moderated by prominent Indian film critic Aruna Vasudev.

Scheduled from the 18th - 25th October, 2012 at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), the 14th Mumbai Film Festival, presented by Reliance Entertainment and American Express, is organized by Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) - a body comprised of Indian film industry stalwarts, which was founded in 1997 by late filmmaker Shri Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Noted filmmaker Shri Shyam Benegal heads the body that consists of film directors including: Yash Chopra, Sudhir Mishra, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, renowned actresses Shabana Azmi and Jaya Bachchan, actor-director Amol Palekar and Farhan Akhtar and Amit Khanna, Chairman of Reliance Big Entertainment as Trustees.

Call on 91-22-4016 8223 / +91-22-4016 8221

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

American Idol to be simulcast on BIG CBS Prime, Love and Spark


After giving to India some of the biggest global shows like America’s Got Talent and The X Factor, the BIG CBS Networks now brings to India the latest season of the pioneering singing reality television show American Idol – season 11. In keeping with the simulcast formula, which has worked with some of the Network’s biggest titles, it will simulcast the show across its 3 Channel bouquet - BIG CBS Prime, Love and Spark. American Idol - season 11 launches on 15th October 2012 - and the show airs from Monday to Thursday at 9:00pm, across all 3 channels.

One of the most successful shows in the history of American television, American Idol returns for its 11th season with its elite panel of judges which includes the iconic songwriter and voice of Aerosmith Steven Tyler, glamorous singer-actress Jennifer Lopez and Grammy award winning producer Randy Jackson. The jury’s brilliant chemistry and the caliber of the talent on the show promises to make it an entertaining watch! The show will be hosted by popular American television host and producer Ryan Seacrest. With the upwardly mobile Indian seeking more and more global content, the show promises to generate some excellent excitement amongst audiences in India!

American Idol has become a recognized springboard for launching the career of many artists as bona fide stars and has produced chart-topping singers like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry. The show searches for the next big singing sensation and will feature talented contestants selected from thousands of aspiring singers during auditions across the U.S to help them make their dreams come true.

Talking about the show, Anand Chakravarthy, Business Head, BIG CBS Networks said, “This show, once again, is in keeping with our endeavor of offering the latest-freshest-hottest of global entertainment to India. American Idol the pioneer of all singing reality television shows, promises to generate excitement on television amongst the relevant audiences. We are happy to be offering audiences with exciting content while offering marketers the perfect platform to reach their audiences with maximum return.”
                                                                                               
With America’s Got Talent already on air on BIG CBS Prime, Love and Spark followed by The X Factor, which is airing concurrent to the US and creating some huge excitement in India, and American Idol scheduled to premier on October 15 at 9pm, viewers are in for a complete treat this festive season…

Stay tuned in to India’s No. 1 English Entertainment Network… BIG CBS! 

Horlicks