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Global Themes with an Indian Outlook – Future of Indian Cinema December 26, 2007

Posted by humsafar in global themes, IFFK, Indian cinema, Jabbar Patel, Naseeruddin Shah, P.T.Kunjumohammed, queer films, sridhar rangayan.
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International Film Festival of Kerala 2007
Sridhar Rangayan with Naseeruddin Shah & Dr.Jabbar Patel

Global Themes with an Indian Outlook – Future of Indian Cinema
Report: Roseliz Francis

‘Contemporary Indian Cinema – Challenges and Prospects’ was the theme of the second edition of the Open Forum of the 12-IFFK. the panelists were veteran Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah, noted Filmmakers Jabbar Patel, P.T.Kunjumohammed and Sridhar Rangayan, and the moderator was Unnikrishnan B.

Naseeruddin Shah felt that the conundrum of what exactly is ‘Indian’ was the real bone of contention. He stated that contemporary Indian cinema was synonymous with Bollywood and this was not a positive trend. While the films from the other regions of India were isolated he predicted that the fascination with these clichéd ‘song and dance sequences’ would soon die out.

Noted filmmaker Jabbar Patel opined that it was the content of Indian cinema accessible to the world that should be focused on. he added it was the onus of the upcoming filmmakers to create meaningful cinema as against mainstream Bollywood cinema. he said that ‘Middle Cinema’ will continue the new wave generated by parallel cinema earlier on. Parallel cinema lacked genres while gaining expertise on specific themes. Middle cinema will transcend these limitations.

Sridhar Rangayan gave an overview on the struggles of ‘underground’/’queer’ film makers to deal with contemporary themes. Though the digital trends were a boon, he said production and distribution expenses and censorship have curtailed the wings of the new age Indian film makers.

P.T.Kunjumuhammed said how it is an inferior mindset that has caused many a regional film not reaching a global audience.

Source: Official Bulletin for IFFK 2007, Dec 10.

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Cinema of / at the Margins December 26, 2007

Posted by humsafar in Cinema of / at the Margins, economics, Horace Ove, Miguel Littin, P.T.Kunjumohammed, Politics, race, religion, sexuality, sridhar rangayan.
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International Film Festival of Kerala 2007

Sridhar Rangayan with Chilean filmmaker Miguel Littin

It’s time to state propositions to break the infernal walls that marginalize
Report: Roseliz Francis

Politics, race, religion, economics, sexuality and regional differences; it was a kaleidoscope of images on marginalization that came from the panel of the first seminar of the 12th IFFK held at Hotel Horizon on ‘Cinema of / at the Margins’. The illustrious panel consisted of Chilean filmmaker Miguel Littin, UK based filmmaker Horace Ove, Indian filmmakers P.T.Kunjumohammed and Sridhar Rangayan and film critic V.C.Harris.

An animated debate to define ‘who’ or ‘what’ is marginalized created a vivacious ambience. Miguel Littin said it was necessary to locate the center to be able to define the margins. Speaking of Latin American Cinema he said that there were several constraints on independent and woman filmmakers. he spoke about the dynamics of economics in cinema from third world countries. the fact that only six to seven films were produced in a country like Chile was attributed to the limited access to technology and the constraints in raising funds to produce and distribute films, which are also effected by the political resolutions of a state. He highlighted that it was the access to resources like capital and technology that sought immediate attention. he said that the cultural ambassadors of a country should facilitate an open market for cinema sans censorship. he envisioned a platform where the Latin American filmmakers shared a platform with Italian, French and Third world counterparts to emancipate the marginalized. He said it was “time to state propositions to break the infernal walls that marginalize”.

Sridhar Rangayan, director of ’68 Pages’, voiced the subjugation of the ‘Queer’ filmmakers, who are themselves marginalized. He said that it was not the number, but the content of films that mattered. Though India produced over 1000 films a year, they fail to give a voice to the marginalized. He was talking of the homosexuals and transsexuals in particular. He added that the language of cinema today has to adhere to certain stereotypes to appeal to the masses. This adherence led to these oppressive classes being doubly stigmatized. He added that transgender characters were carved out in films only for dramatic conveniences and not for emancipating them. He criticized popular cinema like ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ for ridiculing homosexuality but was highly appreciative of the Malayalam movie ‘Sancharam’, ‘My Brother Nikhil’ and ‘Fire’ for breaking conventions in portraying such issues. His was a clarion call for filmmakers to “make cinema rooted in reality and to make the marginalized more visible”.

P.T.Kunjumohammed said it was his brief stint in Dubai in the early 70s that inspired him to defend his culture through his films as a defiance of the then existing European standards in cinema. In his ‘Pardesi’ he has tried to inculcate the singular voices of many who are marginalized.

Horace Ove, an independent filmmaker based in UK, opined that making independent films is not easy. All those who are ready to experiment should collaborate to form an autonomous film movement which could depict the political and social issues of the marginalized world over.

Film critic Dr.V.C.Harris spoke of marginalization at various levels. he spoke of the dominance of Hollywood films at the universal level; Bollywood being synonymous with Indian Cinema where regional cinema is marginalized and within regional films the upper hand that popular films have over parallel cinema. he also echoed Littin when he expressed “the need to establish a center to identify the margins”.

A counter statement from a participant that margins no longer existed in cinema today took the discussion to the next level. However, all the panelists held that though anybody can make films today, the crux of the predicament lies in the reach of these films to a global audience.

Source: Official Bulletin of IFFK 2007, Dec.10

Kerala fest pictures December 25, 2007

Posted by humsafar in 68 pages, IFFK, International Film Festival of Kerala.
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A mosaic of pics from the 12th International Film festival of Kerala where 68 Pages was screened.

Film India Worldwide Nov 2007-Jan 2008 December 22, 2007

Posted by humsafar in Film India Worldwide, Gulabi Aaina, Indian festival films, Solaris Pictures, sridhar rangayan, Uma Da Cunha, Yours Emotionally.
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We are pleased and honoured to be part of the exclusive selection of films collated by the magazine Film India Worldwide in their section Festival Touchstone (page 21)

Text Excerpt :
68 Pages
Sridhar Rangayan
Selected for the 2007 Kerala festival, this digital film depicts individual stories of pain recorded in HIV/AIDS counsellor Mansi’s diary. After a broken love affair, the career-minded Mansi joins a community health centre where her clients include gay and trans-gendered men. She also works alongside sex workers and IDU users at a leading psychiatrist’s clinic and the local municipal hospital. Based on reflections of true-life incidents and characters, the film’s concept was born within these communities with the help of NGOs working with them.
Mansi’s recorded stories deal with five HIV positive persons from different high risk groups, gay, transgender, sex worker and drug user, whose lives change dramatically when they learn of their status. the 90-minute film’s cast includes Mouli Ganguly, Joy Sengupta, Zafar Karachiwala, Jayati Bhatia, Uday Sonawane and Abhay Kulkarni. Co-scripted by Vivek Anand and Sridhar Rangayan, its cinematography is by Shubransu Das and music by xen@bob – the fusing of two music groups Nexus and Band of Boys.
The film is produced by The Humsafar Trust, (since 1994 this male sexual health agency has provided diagnostic, counselling and treatment facilities to people from the gay and transgender communities) in association with Solaris Pictures. Director Rangayan, a graduate of IIT-Mumbai, has directed / scripted award winning films, among them the notable Gulabi Aaina, a film on Indian transsexuals and Yours Emotionally! a queer journey through India. Managing to combine advocacy and entertainment in his films, Rangayan runs Solaris Pictures in partnership with Saagar Gupta.

World Premiere of ’68 Pages’ @ International Film Festival of Kerala December 3, 2007

Posted by humsafar in 68 pages, International Film Festival of Kerala, Kalabhavan, Kerala, Shree Theater, Trivandrum.
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World Premiere of ’68 Pages’ at the International Film Festival of Kerala, Trivandrum on December 9th.

The film screens again on December 13th.

The show timings are:
Sunday 9 December, 11.30am at KalaBhavan
Thursday 13 december, 3.00pm at Shree Theatre

Festival website: http://www.keralafilm.com/

Wolds AIDS Day screenings of 68 Pages December 1, 2007

Posted by humsafar in Alliance de Francaise, Jai Hind College, Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation, Khalsa College, Mithibhai College, St. Pious College, Thane Engineering College.
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Film ’68 Pages’ is screening across more than 10 venues in the coming fortnight to mark the World AIDS Day. The schedule is as below :

68 Pages Schedule for 1st to 15th December 2007
Friday, 30th November 2007
Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai
06:00PM – 09:00PM
For: Counselors of Gujarat SACS

Saturday, 01st December 2007
Alliance de Francaise, New Delhi
4.30pm – 6.30pm
For: Donor Agencies and various stakeholders

Saturday, 01st December 2007
SNDT University , Mumbai
02:00PM – 04:00PM
For: Students of SNDT University

Tuesday, 04th December 2007
Khalsa College, Mumbai
02:00PM – 05:00PM
For: Students of Khalsa

Wednesday, 05th December 2007
Mithibhai College, Mumbai
03:00PM – 06:00PM
For: Students of Mithibai

Thursday, 06th December 2007
Jai Hind College, Mumbai
03:00PM – 06:00PM
For: Students of Jaihind

Friday, 07th December 2007
The Humsafar Trust Vakola DIC, Mumbai
06:30PM – 09:00PM
For: MSM and TG Population

Saturday, 08th December 2007
Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) Auditorium, Thane
06:00PM – 08:30PM
For: Municipal Corporation officials

Wednesday, 12th December 2007
Thane Engineering College Auditorium, Thane
02:00PM – 05:00PM
For: Students of Thane Engineering College

Thursday, 13th December 2007
St. Pius College Auditorium, Mumbai
02.00PM – 05.00PM
For: Senior Citizens of Mumbai