Monday, December 29, 2008


From this year onwards, SIGNS will be THE INDIAN FESTIVAL OF FEATURES AND NON-FEATURES, showcasing the best among independent, experimental and innovative attempts in film/ Video media from India.
SIGNS includes a national level competition for feature films. Films made in any format - video, digital or film - are eligible to participate in the competition. Apart from awards for categories like the best feature, short feature, non- feature and cinema of resistance, there will be another award for the best experimental work - cinema experimenta - from this year. The last two awards are irrespective of the category.
One of the prestigious gallery sections of the festival will be dedicated to video art from India and abroad.
SIGNS also showcases selected animation films, advertisements and spot films in different gallery sections.

1. Best Feature
(Duration 70 minutes or above)
Prize money: Rs 1 lakh

2. Best Documentary
Prize money: Rs 25,000/-

3. Best Short Feature
(Duration less than 70 minutes)
Prize money: Rs 25,000/-

4. " Cinema of Resistance"

(Award for the best film/video on subjects like state oppression, human rights violation, environmental issues
or any other matter that suppresses the human spirit, especially in the areas
Like gender equality, social/cultural identity etc)
Prize money : Rs25,000/-

5.the best experimental work – "cinema experimenta"
(Award for the best experimental attempt that expands the horizons of the medium, both aesthetically and technically.)
Prize money: Rs25, 000/-

All awards carry a Certificate of Merit and a memento.


All Features made after 1st Jan 2008 and
non features /short features made after 1st January 2007

Films submitted for previous editions of SIGNS/ JA awards are not eligible.

70 minutes or above for features,
less than 70 minutes for Short Features and
no time limit for documentaries.

Language: Any language with English subtitle or dubbed in English.


Last date for submission of applications : 5th JANUARY 2009
(along with a DVD copy and entry fee of Rs.2000/- for features and
Rs.500/-for non/ short features)

Intimation of selection : 20th JANUARY 2009

Final submission of selected films : 5th February 2009

Selection procedure
A preview committee of filmmakers, critics and technicians will short-list the entries, for screening before the award Jury.
Besides the films chosen for the Competition section, selected films will be screened in Focus, the non-Competitive section.

Format for final submission
The films must be submitted in DV/Mini DV or 35mm format.

How to Apply
Application forms are available from:

Federation of Film Societies of India.
Kalabhavan, Vazhuthacaud
Thiruvananthapuram – 695 014, Keralam.
E-mail :
or can be downloaded from

Duly filled applications should reach the above address on or before
5th JANUARY 2009 accompanied by the following:

a. A copy of the film in DVD format
b. Necessary demand draft in favour of
Federation of Film Societies of India, payable at
Thiruvananthapuram. (Non refundable)
c. Brief synopsis of the film/documentary
d. Three stills from the film/documentary
e. Brief biography of the Director
f. Two photographs of the Director

more info can be had from
Federation of Film Societies of India
Kerala Sub Region
Kalabhavan, Vazhuthacad
tel:0471 2321953, mob:+91 9446748294,
+91 9447401822,+91 9946089946.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mexican film"Parque Via,won the top prize of 13th edition of International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK)

Mexican film-maker Enrique Rivero , won the top prize of International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), the Golden Crow Pheasant Award known as Suvarna Chakoram and a cash prize of Rs. 1,000,000/- (about US$20,000), for his film "Parque Via,". The Spanish-born director Rivero follows Beto,the care taker. Beto, who has isolated himself in the empty house where he used to work as a servant, with his contacts limited to only two people... All days of Beto's life are same.In his mornings, the alarm rings at the same time; he takes a bath, eats his breakfast and gets to work. He cleans the house, cuts the lawn and irons his white suits. The routine of it doesn't seem to bother the old man .With the house up for sale Beto -- who has developed a fear of the world outside -- is confronted with the dilemma of leaving or finding a way to remain in his self-imposed prison .With the house up for sale Beto -- who has developed a fear of the world outside -- is confronted with the dilemma of leaving or finding a way to remain in his self-imposed prison .. The film earlier won the top prize of Switzerland's Locarno Film Festival . Fourteen films from Asia, Africa and Latin America have competed for the Golden and Silver Crow Pheasant Awards known as Suvarna /Rajatha Chakoram.. "My Marlon and Brando", directed by Huseyin Karabey from Turkey, which was chosen as the best debut film also got a 'Rajatha Chakoram' (Silver Pheasant). Sri Lankan film "Machan" directed by Uberto Pasolini won the audience award . The prize for the best Malayalam debut film instituted by director Mira Nair went to "Manjadikkuru" (Red seed from a tree) by Anjali Menon. The FIPRESCI jury selected "Postcards from Leningrad" as the best film and "Manjadikkuru" as the best Malayalam film. Special jury prizes were awarded to Nandita Das' for her debut film "Firaaq" and "Yellow House", an Algeria-France co-production directed by Amor Hakkar. The NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Film Centre) award went to "My Marlon and Brando". Culture Minister M A Baby, Culture Ministe presented the main jury awards.the award function started with the concert of soofi singer Zilla khan .Theere was a bharathanatyam performance based on Vallathol poem after the award presentation function followed by the screening of the film "Parque Via,"

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Third annual National Short and Documentary Film Festival 2009 organised by Karimnagar Film Society

The Third annual National Short and Documentary Film Festival 2009 organised by Karimnagar Film Society.The Third annual National Short and Documentary Film Festival 2009 organised by Karimnagar Film Society (affiliated to FFSI) seeks documentaries, short films of any length and format for the festival scheduled from February 14-19 at Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh.Festival consists of two sections one competitive section for the India Roller Awards and the second one is the non-competitive festival of 3rd National Short and Documentary Film Festival 2009.In the competitive section two India Roller Awards for the short and documentary films separately.first prize carries Rs.10,000=00(Rupees ten thousand),a Memento and a citation and second prize Rs5000=00 (Rupees five thousand) ,Memento and a citation. The deadline is 31 December 2008.Also visit for further details:

Firaaq -Nandita Das' debut in IFFK competition

Nandita Das is known to film enthusiasts for her performances in films like Fire, Earth, Bawander,Nalu Pennungal(four women ) and many other . She had in her credit over 30 feature films, in different languages, most of them have been shown in a number of international film festivals and have won her critical acclaim. She was a member of the jury at the Cannes IFF in 2005 and at the Karlovy Vary IFF in 2007. Firaaq is her directorial debut .The story is set over a 24-hour period, one month after the carnage that took place in Gujarat, India in 2002. This sectarian violence killed more than 3000 Muslims, hundreds of thousands were made homeless and the number of women raped is still unknown. The filmtraces the emotional journeys of ordinary people– somewhowere victims, some perpetrators and some who chose to watch silently. A middle class housewife closes the door on a victimand struggles to overcome her guilt. A bunch of youngmen having suffered the violence, seek revenge to fight their helplessness and anger. A boy desperately searches for hismissing father, having lost the rest of his family in the riots. A saintly musician clings on to his idealism, despite all the violence in the city, until an incident shakes his faith.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Usthad mesmerized IFFK delegates

It is a very rare experience to the delegates of an international film festival to witness a live performance of a maestro in connection with the screening of a film about him. It happened in the IFFFK today . Pandit Shivkumar Sharma , the renowned Sandoor legend stole the hearts of thousands of music lovers in the Nisagangdhi Auditoium here by performing two famous Hindusthani Ragas in Sandoor , the magic instrument with 100 strings. He started his concert in Rag Vachaspathi followed by Rag Pahadi with a new composition. He was accompanied in Tabla by Ramkumar Mishra and in Shruti by Haridas. The film Andardwani a celluloid ode to Pandit Sharma himself-his music and his life-by the accomplished director Jabbar Patel is being screened in the 13th edition of International Film Festival of Kerala .

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Glittering Start for IFFK 2008

The 13th edition of International film festival of Kerala (IFFK 2008) was inaugurated by V.S Achuthananthan, Chief Minister of Kerala, by lighting the traditional lamp ,in the presence of M.A Baby, Minister for Culture ,O.N.V Kurup, well known poet of Malayalam, K. R Vijaya,actor of yester years, Jayan Babu, Mayor of the city, Karen Shakhnazarov, Director from Russia, Dr. Venu, Cultural Secretary, Sivankutty, Member of Legislative Assembly, K.R Mohanan, Chairman Chalachitra Academy, Dr K. S Sreekumar , Executive Director of IFFK. Folkore Academy performed cultural programme, followed by the inaugural Palestinian film "Laila's Birthday" directed by Rashid Masharawi. A packed auditorium, including film enthusiasts, media persons and delegates from India and abroad witnessed the inaugural function . The ceremony paid homage to the martyrs who killed in the terrorist attack in Mumbai last month by lighting candles and recital of a poem written by the renowned poet O.N.V.Kurup.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

'Laila's Birthday' directed by Rashid Masharawi is the opening film in the 13th IFFK

Palestinian director Rashid Masharawi's 'Laila's Birthday' will be the opening film in the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), which is scheduled to begin from December 12. Rashid Masharawi was born and raised in the Shati refugee camp, Gaza Strip, and is a self-taught filmmaker. In 1996 he founded the Cinema Production and Distribution Center (CPC), which offers workshops to young Palestinian filmmakers. The CPC also initiated the Mobile Cinema Project, which brings screenings to refugee camps. His credits as director include Curfew(93), Haifa (96), Ticket to Jerusalem (02), En directe de Palestine (02), Arafat, mon frère (05), Attente (05) and Laila's Birthday(08).
Life in an occupied territory is never easy. Director Rashid Masharawi, concentrates his focus on a single day, crafting a cynical comedy about a father, his daughter and the disorder all around them. It is the morning of his daughter's birthday. Abu Laila has promised to bring home a birthday cake to celebrate, but first he has to make it through the day. He sets out with his briefcase and steps into a taxi – which he drives. This is just the first of many incongruities. Abu Laila must explain time after time during his day, “I'm a judge, but actually I'm a taxi driver.” An esteemed member of the judiciary, he was invited to practise in Palestine, but bureaucracy has kept him from gaining his papers. So he supports his family by driving a taxi.It's not the humiliation that drives him crazy, it's the chaos. Abu Laila is a functionary. He is adamant that passengers fasten their seat belts. He insists on no smoking. He refuses passengers who jump into his cab with AK-47s slung over their shoulders. With his thin moustache and watery eyes, Mohamed Bakri has a dour, proper face built for comedy. He looks like Buster Keaton and moves through the dusty, ramshackle setting with the fastidiousness of Chaplin's Little Tramp. In fact, silent comedy may be one of the strongest influences in Laila's Birthday, even if it is a mobile phone that sets off one of the film's best chain of gags. Masharawi embeds the politics of his context under the surface. True, Abu Laila must endure armed clients, bomb scares and raging arguments about occupation, but mainly he just wants everyone to behave. When at last he makes it home and is asked how his day was, the payoff is just perfect.

Fourteen films Competing from the Third World in International Film Festival of Kerala 2008

Fourteen films from Asia, Africa and Latin America are competing for the the Golden Crow Pheasant Award known as Suvarna Chakoram and a cash prize of Rs. 1,000,000/- (about US$20,000) to the best feature film to be shared equally by the director and the producer ,the Silver Crow Pheasant Award known as Rajata Chakoram and a cash prize of Rs. 300,000/- (about US$6,000) to the best director. There are other awards like Best Debut Film Award of Rajata Chakoram and a cash prize of Rs. 200,000/- (about US$ 4,000) to the best debut director ,Audience Prize ,Rajata Chakoram and cash prize of Rs. 100,000 (about US$ 2,000) to the Director of the most popular film voted by the festival delegates. A FIPRESCI Award for the best film chosen by the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique and another FIPRESCI Award for the Best Malayalam Cinema The competition section is restricted to films produced in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Netpac award goes to the best film in the competition section from Asia and also a Netpac Award for the Best Malayalam Film .. The impressive list from various countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America set to adorn the competition section are, 'Dreams of Dust', 'Farewell Gulsary', 'Firaaq', 'Gulabi Talkies', 'Hafez', 'Machan', 'My Marlon and Brando', 'Parque Vie', 'Postcards from Leningrad', 'Refugee', 'The Photograph', 'The Yellow House', 'The Imprints' and 'Castles in the Air'.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

145 Eminent Personalities as Guests in the 13th IFFK

145 prominent film personalities from around the world are attending the 13th Internationalal Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK 2008) according to the Festival Directorate. This include some of the worlds leading Film Distribution Companies like Celluliod Dreams, Pioniwa films, C.K.Productions, Pyramide , Palador Films, PVR Films and NDTV. Amos Gitai, Idrissa Ouedrago, Shakhnazarov Karen, Kehtan Mehta, Subash Gai are among the directors from 23 countries . Fernando Birri , celebrated Latin American Director and K.R.Vijaya , known Indian actor of yester years will be the Guests of hounor for the Inaugural ceremony . Most of the directors of competition section will also be on the guest list. Indians presence in the guests line up include Girish Kasaravelli, K.P.Kumaran, M.G.Sasi and Nandhitha Das .. Representatives of Ten International Film Festivals will also attend the fest

Thursday, December 4, 2008

"The Secret of the Grain" bagged Prix FIPRESCI

- The 21st European Film Awards - Critics' Award 2008
- “The Secret of the Grain" directed by Abdellatif Kechiche bagged Prix
The European Film Academy, EFA Productions, and the International Federation of Film Critics FIPRESCI have announced that the European Film Academy Critics' Award 2008 — Prix FIPRESCI goes to Abdellatif Kechiche for "The Secret of the Grain" ("La graine et le mulet").
As FIPRESCI's Hassouna Mansouri, Director of the Department for African Affairs, explains, "giving this year's prize to Abdellatif Kechiche, the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) recognises an author in the purest and simplest meaning of the word. The award not only pays tribute to all those filmmakers who are often marginalised because of their origins, but above all recognises the talent of those who are committed to a different and independent cinema; those who stand against the war machines and their grip on the industry of the image. With low-budget films - which are nonetheless difficult to finance - Kechiche is involved in a struggle which brings together classic texts like those of Marivaux with the young 'beurs' of Nice, the city where he grew up."The award will be presented during the 21st European Film Awards Ceremony on 6 December, 2008, in Copenhagen.


Golden Peacock for the Kazakhstan film 'Tulpan'

-Director Ergei Dvortsevoy wins both Golden & Silver peacock
-Special Jury award goes to Sri Lankan actor Malini Fonseka

The 39th International Film Festival of India (2008) concluded with the screening of Iranian film 'The Song of the Sparrows', directed by Majid Majidi. The closing ceremony started with a minute of silence in memory of victims of recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai .Director Sergei Dvortsevoy bagged the best film award with the Golden Peacock and a cash award of 40 lakh for the Kazakhstan film 'Tulpan'. The Silver Peacock and a cash award of Rs. 15 also bagged by Sergei Dvortsevoy being choosen as the Most Promising Director.. Tulpan is a cinematic triumph that pulls us in a world where man can live in peace with nature said the citation. Dvortsevoy thanked the audience for sharing his very Kazakh but universal story. He said films cannot change the world but they can change people and people can change the world.The Special Jury Award has gone to Sri Lankan actress Malini Fonseka whose film 'Akasa Kusum' featured in the Competition Section. The winner was presented a Silver Peacock, a cash prize of Rs. 15 lakh and a certificate. Fonseka said that her film was an India Sri Lanka co-production and the time has come for a closer relationship between the two countries. She also hoped for peace and happiness everywhere in these troubled times.
Five Member competition jury was headed by the noted Director from Hong Kong Mr. Peter Chan. Other members of the jury are Mr. Marco Mueller (Venice), Ms. Niki Karimi (Iran), Mr. Lav Diaz (Philippines) and Ms. Tabassum Hashmi (Tabu- India). Two Indian entries S. Priyadarshan's Tamil film Kanchivaram and Ramesh Laxman More's acclaimed Marathi film Mahasatta were in the competition section among 13 other films chosen from Bangladesh, Russia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Iran, the Philippines, Argentina, China and Japan. Chief Guest at the closing ceremony was noted Film Actor Shri Kamal Hasan. Mr Hasan said that despite setbacks and dark moments normal life must go on. He congratulated the organizer for putting together such a rich collection of movies. Shri Digambar Kamat ,Chief Minister of Goa in his remarks said that IFFI 2008 was a landmark event. He said that Government of Goa is keen to develop the State as a hub of entertainment industry. He said that additional multiplexes and other facilities are being created in in the state.
The Jury Chairperson Mr Peter Chan said that the Jury process took them to the various cultures from the all the corners of globe. Decision was not easy but it was unanimous , said the eminent director. Festival Director Shri S M Khan thanked all the individuals and organizations associated with the Festival for putting together a grand extravaganza. Joint Secretary (Films), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting ,Shri V.B.Pyarelal said that the Festival gave us an opportunity to experience the visual interpretation of the various facets of life. He said that the occupancy remained very high throughout the Festival as compared to last year. 83 Indian movies including 47 in the Indian Panorama were screened. As Indian Panorama was screened twice there were total of 130 screening of Indian films under seven different segments. Besides the section Indian Panorama wherein 26 Feature and 21 Non Feature films were screened, Centenary tributes were paid to Bimal Roy, Devika Rani and L V Prasad. Under the Lifetime Classics, Dilip Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, B. Saroja Devi and Tapan Sinha were screened. G. P. Sippy, B. R. Chopra, F. C. Mehra, Jayshree Gadkar, Raghuvaran, Mahendra Kapoor, Jeeva, Sridhar, Vijay Tendulkar and Nabendu Ghosh were paid tribute under Homage section. A talk by Ms. Kishwar Desai on 'Devika Rani and Himanshu Rai: Globalization of early Indian Cinema' was delivered. Taj Mahal: A Celluloid Journey screened four films based on Taj Mahal to showcase the monument. There was a section to commemorate 75 years of Kannada Cinema. Treasure from the National Film Archives were also showcased at the Festival.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Golden Lamp Tree Award at IFFI ,2008

Nicolas Provost’s Plot Point (Belgium) received Golden Lamp Tree Award at first ever Exhibition-cum-business platform for Short Films ,Short Film Center of Entertaintment society of Goa. Geetika Narang’s Good Night, a story of retired engineer who has decided to start his life afresh, got Silver Lamp Tree. Gabriel Brennen’ L’Ecrivain/The Writer received Special Jury Award. Spanish Director Albert Bayona’s short film Monday to Friday bagged Vasudha Award for the best short film on environmental issues.

Golden Lamp Tree Award, carrying a cash price of Rs 5 lakh went to Provost’s 15 minutes of seemingly random succession of shots of Manhattan sidewalks. The film questions of boundaries between reality and fiction by merely suggesting cinematic narrative codes(tension curve, climax, plot point) but ultimately leaves the mystery unrevealed. The second award to Good Night carry cash prize of Rs 3 Lakh and Special Jury award carries the cash award of Rs two lakh.
Vasudha Award a replica of Goddess Gajalaxmi in her abode at Valpoi, Sattari in Goa. Depicting Jal Water Jamin Land and Jungle. The trophy is designed by Gurudas M Kamat the regional coordinator of the Indian Documentary Producers Associations. Bayona’s film an audiovisual about the environment change and human interference in landscape by alien elements.
Giving away the awards Shri Pratap Singh Rane congratulated the winners and congratulated IFFI and ESG for taking this valuable initiative. CEO ESG Manoj Shrivastava called it a fulfillment of long pending desire of short filmmakers in the country. Noted Filmmaker and president of IDPA Janu Barua said that the selection was a tough task and hoped that the platform like Short Film Center will give the short films a platform to flourish. Festival Director Shri S .M .Khan also spoke on the occasion..

Kamal Hassan The Guest Of Honour of IFFI Closing Ceremony

39th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will conclude today with a simple closing ceremony in which the noted actor Kamal Hassan will be the Chief Guest and the screening of Iranian film "Song of Sparrows" of well known filmmaker Majid Majidi. Goa is hosting this prestigious festival of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting ,Govt. of India for the fifth consecutive year. The festival was inaugurated by Rekha ,the known actor of yester years on November 22 with Peter Chan's "The Warlords" being the opening film. About 225 films from 40 countries were screened during the period. Though the Mumbai terror attacks cast a shadow over the prestigious festival . The IFFI passed off in a peaceful manner but not without controversies.The screening of M F Husain's documentary "Through the Eyes of a Painter" was deferred following threats by some Hinduata organisations but was finally shown after the film fraternity raised objections .As many as 15 films from the competition section are competing for the coveted Golden Peacock. An international jury headed by Peter Chan is entrusted with this task.. The silver peacock will go to the Best Director and the Best Debut Director. The number of delegates increased from 4,000 to 6,000 this year.The retrospective of Aki Kaurismaki was the main attraction of the fest. Indian Panorama section comprising 26 feature films and 19 non-features. A team of dedicated officials from the Directorate of Film Festival under the leadership of Sh.Pyarelal Joint Secretary in the I&B Ministry , Shri S.M Khan Festival Director ,supported by Shanker Mohan ,senior Deputy Director and Sajith ,Deputy Director devoted their days and nights .The unstinted support of Press Information Bureau ,Photo Division officials helped the DFF to make the festival a success.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Satyajit Ray is among my five favourite directors-John Landis

“I have great affection for Indian public who are great movie-going public”, said the American filmmaker John Landis. He told that Satyajit Ray is among his five favourite directors and his Apu Trilogy was an accomplished piece of art. The director remarked that filmmaking is a craft which in the hands of certain practitioners is lifted to the level of art. He said that in the current system where international conglomerates control the movie making, it is becoming increasingly difficult to experiment. This is evident in heavy reliance on remakes as the management of these big conglomerates is interested in the box office performance in the first few days. ‘Films are 105 years or so old and always it had been film industry or film business…. This has implications for freedom of filmmakers’, the director said. John Landis began his career in the mailroom of 20th Century Fox Studios. With enduring comedies such Kentucky Fried Movie (1977), National Lampoon's Animal House (1978), The Blues Brothers (1980), Trading Places (1983), Spies Like Us (1985), Three Amigos! (1987) and Coming to America (1988), Landis has directed some of the most popular blockbusters of all time. His horror film An American Werewolf in London (1981) enjoys a multigenerational fan following. In 1983, Landis reinvented the concept of music videos with Michael Jackson's Thriller. He has been the executive producer and director of many television series. In 2004, Landis produced and directed Slasher, a feature documentary following a veteran used car salesman, and in 2007, Mr. Warmth, The Don Rickles Project, honouring the career of the famed 'rat pack' comedian Don Rickles which premiered on HBO. Landis was honored with the Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Government in 1985. In February, 2009, the Cinemathéque Français in Paris will honour Landis with a comprehensive career retrospective.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Adaptation is not literal translation but a tribute to author: Adoor

Adoor Gopalakrishnan film maker of repute said that he grew up reading Thakazhi Sivasankar Pillai and his latest film, Oru Pennum Randaanum, an Indian Panorama entry as well as his last film ‘Naalu Pennungal’ are based on short stories by the author. ‘These film can be seen as my tribute to the author I grew up reading’, said Adoor. He informed that Oru Pennum Randaanum, his 11th offering is slated for international premier at Dubai International Film Festival. The filmmaker told that apart from Thakazhi Sivasankar Pillai, who was a great influence on his literary tastes, he has used the works of Vaikom Muhammad Basheer and Paul Zacharia in his films. ‘I do not believe in literal translation ultimately filmmaker’s interpretation will be there but final product is a praise to author’ said the director.On being asked about the films he liked in the festival, Adoor Gopalakrishnan pointed out Persopolis, Waltz with Bashir and the retrospective of Wong Kar Wai and Aki Karuismaki. Among Indian films he saw Girish Kasaravalli’s Gulabi Talkies which he found to be a good movie. ‘People, especially students of cinema should see the retrospectives. They should not go by the year of production. A good film is always contemporary and has so much to offer’ said the master.
Adoor Gopalakrishnan deeply appreciated the projection quality at IFFI-Goa. On being asked about the selection process of the movies in the film festivals world over, Adoor said that professional should be involved in the process of selection.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Global economic slowdown affects film festivals.

The Jakarta International Film Fest ( JIFFEST ) has decided to slash the festival days from ten days to five due to the global recession . It the fest originally planned from Dec 5th to -14 is changed from 5th to 9th. 10th edition of JIFFEST, this year set to include a retrospective titled '10 Years of Indonesian Film Revival.' This will feature hits "Sherina's Adventure" (Petualangan Sherina) "What's up Love?" (Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?) and chiller "Jelangkung." This festival‘s funding sources were from foreign benefactors, with revenues from ticket sales , a smaller amount of government funding and local commercial partners. The increased cost of film rentals and the cost of venue rentals forced the festival authorities to cut short the festival days. The festival’s opening film will be Coen brothers' "Burn After Reading" and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona is planned to be the closing night film." "Happy-Go-Lucky," "Flame & Citron" from Denmark, French mega-hit "Bienvenue Chez les Ch'tis" and Oscar hopefuls from The Netherlands ("Dunya & Desie,") Jordan ("Captain Abu Raed") and Iran ("Songs of Sparrows.") are other film included in the programme basket

Film Bazaar opens on the sidelines of IFFI-Goa, 2008

A Film Bazaar has been organized by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) at Marriott Resort in Goa from November 26-29, on the sidelines of IFFI-Goa-2008. The Film Bazaar aims at creating opportunities for networking and business for producers, filmmakers and distributors from across the world. Bigger and better than the previous years, this year the Bazaar offers much more to the delegates and the participants. Among others, the Film Bazaar provides an interactive platform to promote co-production market by facilitating collaboration among potential domestic and international partners in the realms of production and distribution. Fifteen pre-selected film projects and ten documentary projects, a new feature to be introduced this year will be presented at Bazaar. “Film Bazaar is a co-production and distribution market for feature and non-feature films that reflects the diversity of India, that tell unseen and unheard stories… the core of the bazaar, apart from the beauty of Goa, are these projects that are looking for finance and sales”, said Ms Nina Lath Gupta, Managing Director of NFDC.Among the 10 non-feature films at the co-production market are Mike Pandey’s film on global disappearance of bees, Nitin K’s Gang of 7 and Preeti Mankar’s Mad about IIT-JEE. 15 Feature films in the co-production market include Indra Sinha’s Booker nominated novel ‘Animal People’ by English Director Michael Anderson. Samuel Kartikeya, a Tamil/Hindi bilingual about a vigilante whose goal is to cleanse society from evil. In addition, a screenwriting workshop will be organized by Binger Filmlab, an Amsterdam based international feature film development centre under the mentorship of global film makers to promote Indian talents. Mentors for the programme are Philippa Campbell, Sooni Taraporevala, Franz Rodenkirchen and Udayan Prasad. Eight scripts have been selected for the workshop. A Film Conclave will also be held in association with “Screen International” to conduct panel discussion and round tables on global trends in the industry and scope of partnering with India.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

M.F Hussain’s documentary deferred in the festival due to Hinduata pressure

Films Division ,Govt of India yielded the pressure of Hinduata organisations and decided not to screen the documentary of renowned painter M F Husain in the 39th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here. 'Through the Eyes of a Painter', about Hussain's experience in Rajasthan, was a part of Information and Broadcasting Ministry's Films Division's 'Framing Time section', scheduled to be screened today.Hindu parivar organisations 'Sanatan Sanstha' and 'Hindu Janajagruti Samiti' (HJS) had objected to the screening of the documentary, citing that there were several cases pending against Hussain in India.. This documentary film, which won the prestigious Golden Bear award at the Berlin film festival

Monday, November 24, 2008

‘Low Culture’ took some time to develop but gradually the preservation of cinema has acquired a mainstream acceptance”

Film Heritage Section of the 39th International Film Festival of India was opened with the screening of the restored version of Max Ophuls’ ‘Lola Montes’. Highlighting the work, the theme this year for the Heritage Section is “Women!”. Other films in the Section are ‘Cluny Brown’ (Ernst Lubitsch), ‘Subarnarekha’ (Ritwik Ghatak), ‘Floating Clouds’ (Mikio Naruse), ‘Loulou’ (Maurice Pialat), ‘My Life to Live’ (Jean-Luc Godard), ‘The Women’ (George Cukor) and ‘Imitation of Life’ (Douglas Sirk). Jean-Francois Rauger, Director of Programming from Cinematheque francaise did the introduction for the Section. Severine Wemaere, Managing Director of Thomson Foundation was also present on the occasion.Film Heritage Section in the IFFI is entirely dedicated to worldwide film heritage, representing significant cultural and historical documents as well as treasures of inspiration for future cinematic creations. For the 2nd edition and since 2007, this new Section is made with and as part of the International Film Festival of Goa and directed by Thomson Foundation for Film & Television Heritage with Cinematheque francaise and with the support of Film & TV Office of French Embassy in India and with Film & Television Institute of India.
Earlier, in a press conference Jean-Francois Rauger said that the idea of cinema as a art form and the notion of preservation of this perceived ‘Low Culture’ took some time to develop but gradually the preservation of cinema has acquired a mainstream acceptance. Ms. Wemaere said that Lola Montes is our best ambassador. There are many movies, which are not accessible but should be available and our endeavour is to sensitize and promote awareness among the audience and the people involved in cinema about the importance of restoring and preserving film heritage, she added. At the press conference prominent film maker Mani Kaul said that a deep cultural change is required to accept the idea of physical preservation of art forms like cinema. On the theme “Women!”, Mani Kaul said that our cultural civilizational evolution has been dominated a masculine sensibility and it will be interesting to see the changes brought about by women taking charge of the various aspects. Under the Section, there will be a workshop on restoration project of Lola Montes and the seminar on Women and Cinema, Women in Cinema. Film Heritage Section in the IFFI is entirely dedicated to worldwide film heritage, representing significant cultural and historical documents as well as treasures of inspiration for future cinematic creations. For the 2nd edition and since 2007, this new Section is made with and as part of the International Film Festival of Goa and directed by Thomson Foundation for Film & Television Heritage with Cinematheque francaise and with the support of Film & TV Office of French Embassy in India and with Film & Television Institute of India.

Museum of Moving Images on anvil

Museum of Moving Images on anvil

Films Division looks for new avenues to popularise documentaries .Films Division is exploring new vistas to popularise the documentary films in India. A policy is being worked out to market the films made by the Division for the larger audience. New mediums like mobile phones, television and festivals are being considered. This was informed by the Shri Kuldeep Sinha, Chief Producer of Films Division in a press conference here today. Keeping in mind the disinclination of the theatre owners to show the Films Division documentaries, the Division has expanded the ambit of its partners including NGOs, social activists and Government departments. In the recent past, the Films Division has organized 300 such documentary festivals, giving a fillip to the cinema culture in remote places including Jammu & Kashmir and the North Eastern States, the Chief Producer informed .The Films Division has also opened an International Digital Archives for Short Films with a cache of 10,000 films. The Division aims to procure films nationally and internationally for the archives. The research and reference center at the Division is working to help the scholars in their research in the field.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

‘New Dreams, New Directions’

Shri Anand Sharma, the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting and External Affairs has assured all help and assistance to boost media and entertainment industry in the country, which he described as not only entertaining but also educating in social life and employment generating. Shri Sharma was speaking at the inaugural function of the day long ‘ India – The Big Picture’ Conference organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries in Panaji today. was the theme of the Conference.

The Minister said that the country has bountiful creative and technological talent available, and can become hub for outsourcing as well as making and exporting original animation films to other parts of the world. He said, the Government has liberalized the policy with regard to foreign direct investment and expressed hope that the foreign companies will take the benefit of this in ever-greater numbers to usher in new models that will lead to greater cooperation and greater profitability. The initiatives taken in this direction has already started yielding results, he added.

The Minister also announced plans to set up a National Centre of Excellence for gaming, animation and visual effects and a Moving Image Museum at Mumbai. There are also plans for upgrading the Films and TV Institute of India, Pune and adding new streams of courses to meet the demand in new emerging areas, the Minister mentioned. The National Film Archives of India too is being upgraded for preserving classic films.

Shri Sharma described cinema industry as most powerful unifying bond amongst Indians, which he said also has the potential of bringing together various cultures and peoples of the world and can ultimately help development of tourism sector of the country. The Minister stressed on evolving plans for utilizing natural beauty of the country for promoting the country as shooting destination of the world.

The Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Digamber V. Kamat while speaking on the occasion said that the brand name of Goa for international film festivals is fast catching up and Government will leave no stone unturned to establish it further. He said that an ideal location for establishing world class infrastructure for shooting, where film people from all over the world can come is being identified in Goa . He dwelt at large upon Goa ’s contribution to film industry in the country. Shri J. P. Singh, Chief Secretary of Goa , and Shri P. F. XD’lima, Past chairman, CII Goa also spoke. Shri V.B. Pyarelal, Joint Secretary and Smt. Sangeeta Singh, Director Ministry of Information & Broadcasting also attended the Conference as panelists among others.

The Conference deliberated upon New Revenue Streams –Merchandising & Theatre Chains, New Media and developing New Markets. Earlier, Smt. Sushma Singh, Secretary (I&B), described the film industry as the fastest growing sector of Indian economy. Smt. Singh said that the Government has already formulated policy on IPTV and policy on Mobile TV is under active consideration of the Government. Government is keenly observing technological advancement in the entertainment sector and the policy on convergence and regulations aimed at developing new models of entertainment will also be formulated taking the industry in confidence. Third phase of FM radio is also on the cards, she said

Indian Panorama at IFFI – 2008 inaugurated

Shri Anand Sharma , Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting and External Affairs, inaugurated the Indian Panorama segment in the ongoing international film festival of India 2008 in the presence of Shri Digambar V. Kamat Chief Minister of Goa,. In his remarks, Shri Sharma said that the Indian Panorama is just not about bollywood films but it brings to the fore the quality films produced in different languages and in different socio-cultural settings. Opening this section with the screening of Tripura film ‘Yarwng’ in Kokborok this year is indicative of this fact. The Minister complimented Shri Joseph Pulinthanath and his team for giving this master piece to the Indian cinema.
Infact Fr.Joseph Pulinthanath is from Anikkad near Kottayam and serving the DonBosco Society in Tripura under Gauhati province.He is the Director in charge of cultural activities of the society.Fr K.J Joseph ,Director of the Donbosco Centre has produced this film.He is from K.J Joseph,and leading female actor Ms Meena have also been presented.
Shri Sharma said that Indian Panorama is an important part of IFFI, which brings together film makers and film lovers from different parts of the country. The films in Indian Panorama reflect rich cultural heritage and ethos of India and presents multi-cultural and multi-linguistic facets of Indian society. He appealed to the Indian film fraternity, both engaged in feature and non-feature film making, to ensure that richness of Indian culture is ensured and sustained through their works. While keeping pace with technological advancements they should remain rooted and connected with the richness of Indian tradition, the Minister added.

The Minister appreciated the role of juries for Feature and Non-Feature Sections for the selection of films, which offered a kaleidoscopic view of diverse Indian culture. In all, 47 films will be screened in Indian panorama. Of these, 26 are Feature and 21 Non-Feature Films

The members of feature and non-feature film jury were felicitated on the occasion. Shri K. N. T. Sastry and Shri Anjan Bose, respective chairpersons of feature and non-feature film jury introduced other jury members to the gathering and mentioned that they collectively endeavoured to present a bouquet of good cinema that have come up from different parts of the country which could be presented before the international audience as well as at festivals abroad.

Chief Minister of Goa emphasized that the festival has taken off smoothly and efforts have been made to ensure that the delegates enjoy the feast of cinema from the world, which this festival offers over ten days from now.

The cast and crew of both opening feature and non-feature films were introduced by the respective Directors viz. Shri Joseph Pulinthanath and Shri K. R. Manoj. The non-feature film began with the screening of ‘Memories, Movement and a Machine’, which walks us through the memory lane of 16 MM film days.

Noted Producer & Director, Subash Ghai, actor Randhir Kapoor and actress Tisca Chopra from India and Khatera Yousufi from Afghanistan were among other important film personalities to grace the Inaugural of Indian Panorama.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Highlights of the 39th IFFI 2008

The Cinema of the World section basket of the IFFI has 65 films from more than 40 countries . In the Film India Worldwide segment of the International programming, Tandoori Love (Switzerland), Death without Consent (USA), Barah Aana and Chaurasta – Cross Roads of Love (India) will be presented. A specialized competition for feature films from Asia, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Africa is being organized. Two Indian entries — S. Priyadarshan’s Tamil film “Kanchivaram” and Ramesh Laxman More’s acclaimed Marathi film “Mahasatta” — have been selected in the “competition” section among 13 other films chosen from Bangladesh, Russia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Iran, Philippines, Argentina, China and Japan.
The Country Focus this year contain films from Russia, Switzerland and Iran. The Foreign Retrospectives are on films of Aki Kaurusmaki (Finland), John Landis (USA) and Wong Kar Wai (Hong Kong). 8 restored heritage film classics are there in the Film Heritage – Thematic “Women” section. Besides there will be a special tribute to Niki Karimi, he mentioned.
The Indian programming at IFFI - 2008 would be under seven different segments with screening of 83 films. Besides the section Indian Panorama wherein 26 Feature and 21 Non Feature films will be screened. The Indian programming would have Retrospective of Legendary Director Bimal Roy and L.V. Prasad. Udayer Pathe, Devdas, Bandini, Gautama the Buddha, Remembering of Bimal Roy and Do Bigha Zamin will be screened in Retrospective on centenary of Bimal Roy. Other Retrospective on legendary Director and Producer L. V. Prasad on his birth centenary will have the screening of Dadi Maa and Ek Duje ke Liye.
Under the Lifetime Classics, Mughle- A - Azam of Dilip Kumar, Hum Aapke Hai Kaun & Dil Ek Mandir of eminent singer Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar, Anbe Vaa and Kittur Channamma of eminent Kannada Actress B. Saroja Devi and Kabuliwala of Tapan Sinha will be screened. G. P. Sippy, B. R. Chopra, F. C. Mehra, Jayshree Gadkar, Raghuvaran, Mahendra Kapoor, Jeeva, Sridhar, Vijay Tendulkar and Nabendu Ghosh will be paid tribute under Homage section.

39th IFFI lighted up with glitz and glamour

The 39th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-08) got underway today in a colourful and star studded function at Kala Academy , Panaji, Goa. The inaugural ceremony was simple but elegant.The legendary bollywood Actress of yester years, Rekha inaugurated the Festival by lighting the ceremonial lamp in the august presence of Shri Anand Sharma , Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting and External Affairs, Dr. S. S. Sidhu the Governor of Goa, , Shri Digambar V. Kamat and the Chief Minister of Goa,. The inaugural lamp was lit with the assistance of Telugu Actress of Goan origin Illina D.Cruz. Amrita Rao, an upcoming Actress was the host and Master of the opening ceremony. Shri Pratap Singh Rane , Speaker of the Goan Assembly, , Shri Tony Rodrigues , Panjim Mayor, Randhir Kapur, Sachin, Tabu and Tisca Chopra. The Jury members of Competition Section headed by chairman Peter Chan and other jury members Mr. Marco Mueller, Ms. Niki Karimi, Mr. Lav Diaz and Ms. Tabassum Hashmi were felicitated during the Inaugural Function

Shri Anand Sharma said on the occasion that as the curtain rises from 39th edition of the festival, it brings together the film professionals from India and abroad at one platform to recognize the excellence in cinema, and creativity and dedication of hundreds of people who are involved in making films. The Minister said, cinema is a powerful medium of connecting people within the society, the nation and the continent. The journey of Indian cinema, which is almost a century old manifest how Indian cinema and its makers were deeply rooted in the reality of their time and displayed the same in their works. Shri Sharma further mentioned, films are powerful way of conveying a message and have great ability of influencing masses and imposes a great responsibility on everyone associated with the film industry to look at how to use the power of cinema to do good for society through the portrayal of attitudes that help in building tolerant and harmonious societies. He assured the film fraternity of all possible support from the Government that would lead to promotion of good cinema.
The Governor of Goa, Dr. S.S. Sidhu said that the good cinema reflects economic, cultural and social reality of the time.The Chief Minister, Shri Kamat while speaking on the occasion said that such international film festivals provide a platform for close interaction between Indian and international film makers, artistes, students of cinema etc. In her address, Smt. Sushma Singh, Secretary (I&B) mentioned that the International film Festival is one of the flagship programmes of the Ministry. The confluence of cinema from all over the world at IFFI’s platform is crucial for the development of good cinema in this part of the globe. Secretary (I&B) further added that the increase in the number of delegates from 4000 last year to over 6000 is a testimony of growing popularity of our film festival.Shri S.M. Khan, the Festival Director announced that in the section of the Cinema of the World, 65 films from more than 40 countries will be screened.

‘ Warlords ‘ ,the opening film in the 39th IFFI

International Film Festival of India commences its 39th edition with the screening of the Hongkong film in mandarin language , ‘Warlords’, directed by Peter Ho-Sun Chan. It is a period film set in 19th centuary. The suffering of the 430 million Chinese people under the corrupt rule of the Qing dynasty set the stage for the Taiping Rebellion. During the chaos of the decade long civil war, 50 million people died from either hunger or battle. In the fall of 1870, General Pang stands high atop the city walls fully attired in governor's robes. Peering down upon the site of his inauguration, he is filled with dreams and ambition. Pang has taken a path of no return; had he chosen differently, he might have been one of the heroes to later overthrow the corrupt Qing imperial regime and establish a new China. He could have changed the course of history……But two bandits and a woman have changed the course of his life - helping him achieve his goal, but ultimately causing his demise. The two bandits are his sworn blood brothers: Zhao Er-Hu and Jiang Wu-Yang. The woman who comes between them is Zhao's wife Lian. Peter Chan has been quoted as saying that the film, mounted on an epic scale and marked by spectacular battle scenes and great visuals, was influenced by the late Chang Cheh's 1973 film The Blood Brothers, but also that it was not a remake.This film won awards/screened in London, San Francisco International film festivals.other crew and cast include Cinematography: Arthur Wong,Editor: Wenders Li ,Music: Chan Kwong Wing, Peter Kam, Chatchai Pongprapaphan ,Cast: Jet Li (Gen Pang), Andy Lau (Zhao Er-Hu), Takeshi Kaneshiro (Jiang Wu-Yang), Xu Jinglei (Lian).peter ho-sun chan is also the jury chairman in this festival

Friday, November 21, 2008

Rich presence of Malayalam films and Malayalee directors in 39th IFFI

Twenty six feature films and 20 non-feature have been included in the Indian Panorama section of the 39th International Film Festival of India. Adoor Gopalakrishnan's 'Oru Pennum Randu Aanum' , K.P. Kumaran's 'Aakashagopuram' Jayaraj's 'Gulmohar', M. Mohan's 'Katha Parayumbol', T.V. Chandran's 'Vilapangalkappuram', , M.G. Sasi's 'Adayalangal', and Priyanandanan's 'Pulijanmam' are the Malayalam films selected for the Indian panorama .'Pulijanmam', the winner of best feature film at the 54th National Film Awards, has been given an automatic entry. Malayalee director Priyadarshan's Tamil film 'Kanchivaram' and Kokoborok (Manipuri) film Yarwng directed by Joseph Pulinthanath –another malayalee director- have been selected for this section. 'Kanchivaram' is also included in the competition and Yarwng as the opening film of the Indian Panorama. Two Malayalam documentaries, namely K.R. Manoj's Memories, Movement and a Machine and Jayaraj's Vellapokkathil have also been included in the non-feature film category ,making malayalee directors number to eleven.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Panaji is ready to host 39th International film festival of India

Panaji , Goa is all set to host the 39th International Film Festival of India .The prestigious IFFI will begin on Nov 22 and continue up to 2nd of December. Rekha ,the famous actor of yester years will be the chief guest at the opening ceremony while Kamal Hassan will be the chief guest of closing ceremony. The festival is being jointly organised by the Directorate of film festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India and the State Government of Goa and the Indian Film Industry.
A total of 15 films from across the world will be featured for competition section which include: Kanachivaram (India-Tamil-Director Priyadarsan) and Mahasatta (India-Marathi-Director R.L More), The Red Spot (Japan/Germany), My Mother’s Tears (Argentina/Germany), Rupantor (Transformation) (Bangladesh), The Song of Sparrows (Iran), Tulpan (Kazakhstan), The Shaft (China), Pensil (Malaysia), Ploning (Philippines), Akasa Kusum (Sri Lanka), The Coffin (Thailand) etc. Peter Chan,Director, Marco Mueller, Venice Film Festival director ,Niki Karimi, Iranian actress , Lav Diaz ,Filipino director and Tabu , Indian actress are the jury members.In the homage section of this edition of the fest the films of G.P.Sippy, B.R.Chopra, F.C.Mehra, Jayashree Gadkar, Raghuvaran, Mahendra Kapoor Jeeva, Sridhar, Vijay Tendulkar and Nabendu Ghosh. There will also be a special tribute to Peter Chan, and Iranian actress and movie director Niki Karimi. Death Without Consent (USA), Barah Aana and Chaurasta-Cross Roads of Love (India), Tandoori Love (Switzerland) are included in the Film India Worldwide section . Films of Aki Kaurismaki (Finland), John Landis (USA) and Wong Kar Wai (Hong Kong) will be screened in the foreign Retrospective . Governor of Goa, S.S Siddhu, the Chief Minister, Digamber Kamath and the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Anand Sharma will also attend the inaugural function of the festival

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Indian Panorama Inagural feature film IFFI 2008


Kokborok/95 minutes/35 mm/colours


Sukurai (Sushil Debbarma) learns that his wife Karmati (Meena Debbarma) had been the lover of his jhum companion Wakirai (Nirmal Jamatia). He demands an explanation. Karmati tells him that she and Wakirai were to be married but, on the night before, the newly built dam submerged the village and separated them forever.Karmati’s village Bolombasa was lost when the twin river Raima and Saima overflew their banks. Many families like hers had to bid farewell to their way of life, shift to higher planes and depend on jhum for subsistence.Karmati’s father Chokdri (Amulya Ratan Jamatia) had got hurt when soldiers destroyed their house the night before her marriage to Wakirai. It left him with a wound on his head and a hurt pride. Robbed of his zest for life, he succumbed to death.For the village Ochai priest (Manohari Jamatia), laden with an ailing wife, the harrowing times are a test of faith. When he moves out he takes along his sick wife but leaves behind the mantras and materials of his profession. Perhaps he has forgotten them, perhaps not…Wakirai now tells Sukurai that his large joint family, too, had moved out of the village. Sukurai, himself a victim of the catastrophe that drove people from the fertile valley to the hills, understands the twists of destiny. He decides his wife must meet the one she’d intended to marry. But when Karmati goes in search of Wakirai, he is taken aback. Will Wakirai ruffle the smooth sailing boat of Karmati and Sakurai’s life?


The multilingual director from Tripura, Joseph Pulinthanath (42) shot into limelight with Mathia (The Bangle). The first film in the tribal language of Kokborok, it won the debut director a National award for its sensitive handling of a potent theme: witch hunting in the interior pockets of the land. Yarwng focuses on another practice peculiar to the North Eastern hills, that of jhum cultivation. After graduating in English from the North Eastern Hill University, Pulinthanath did his Master’s degree in Theology, also in Shillong. He completed his film studies and film appreciation courses in Delhi and FTII, Pune.

Cast & Credits

Producer : Sampari Pictures

Director, Screenplay : Joseph Pulinthanath

Camera : Kannan

Editing : Sasi menon

Music : Bikash Roy Debbarma

Cast : Meena Debbarma, Nirmal Jamatia


Sampari Pictures

Don Bosco Centre

Bishramganj 799103


Tel: 09436126649/09436123473

Indian Panorama IFFI-2008

List of Films selected for Indian Panorama of International Film Festival of India – 2008
















































































































*As per Clause 8.6 of Indian Panorama Regulations, this Best feature Film of 54th National Film Awards gets direct entry into Indian Panorama 2008.




























































































* direct entry into Indian Panorama 2008.