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Top IFFI Picks: Another Round, Mehrunisa, Wife of A Spy

admin   January 7, 2021

The 51st International Film Festival of India will open with the Indian premiere of the Denmark film Druk internationally known as Another Round  directed by Thomas Vinterberg.

The Danish nominee  for the Best International Film at the Oscars will be screened on January 16 after the formal inaugural of IFFI in Goa. Another Round, Vinterberg’s 110 minute film is a sobering comedy about aging, alcoholism, and friendship between men.

IFFI will also have the World Premier of Sandeep Kumar directed Mehrunisa as a mid-fest film.

The closing film at IFFI will be the India Premier of the historical drama ‘Wife of a Spy’ by Kiyoshi Kurosawa on 24th January. The Japanese film bagged Silver Lion for Best Director at Venice International Film Festival.

IFFI will take place in hybrid format from January 16-24 with social distanced physical screening, digital screenings, press conferences and industry talks. A  total of 224 films from across the globe will be screened during IFFI. This includes 21 non-feature films and 26 feature films under the Indian Panorama films section.

 Another Round, Top Oscar 2021 Foreign Film Contender

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj8Jmz_srDg&feature=emb_logo

Starring Mads Mikkelsen, Lars Ranthe, Magnus Millang and Thomas Bo Larsen, Another Round won Best Film – the first time a Danish film has won that category in the European Film Awards .

Mikkelsen won the Best European Actor award for his portrayal of lead character Martin, a school teacher who sets out to test a theory that he will improve his life by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in his blood.

Vinterberg, won the Best European Director award and the Best European Script along with Tobias Lindholm.

Another Round was produced  with support from Film i Väst (SE), Danish Film Institute (DK), TV2 Denmark (DK), Eurimages, Netherlands Film Fund (NL), Swedish Film Institute (SE), Netherlands Film Production Incentive (NL) and Creative Europe MEDIA programme.  TrustNordisk is the sales agent of Another Round.

Vinterberg has previously made himself known for films such as Festen (1998) which won the Cannes Film Festival’s jury award and was nominated for Palme d’Or and Golden Globe, Submarino (2010), Jakten (2012) which was nominated for an Oscar and Kollektivet (2016) which was in the main competition in Berlinale.

Mehrunisa, lead role played by 87-year old Farrukh Jaffar

Starring Farrukh Jaffar (Umarao Jaan, Swades, Peepli Live, Sultan, Secret Superstar, Photograph, Gulabo Sitabo), Tulika Baneejee and Ankita Dubey, Mehrunisa directed by  India-born Austrian filmmaker Sandeep Kumar narrates the story of a woman’s lifelong dream.

“To achieve her lifelong dream, an 80 year old actress takes on the male-dominated Indian film industry, and unwillingly becomes a leading advocate for women’s rights,” reads the brief synopsis of the film.

The entire film was shot in and around Lucknow for 25 days with a three-member Austrian crew and all-Lucknow based actors and support crew members.

Wife of a Spy, Venice Film Festival Winner

Cult Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, best known for his forays into horror and the supernatural, tackles wartime Japan.

Starring Yu Aoi and Issei Takahashi, Wife of a Spy (Spy no Tsuma) follows the story of a couple in 1940 in the city of Kobe before the outbreak of World War II. A man accidentally stumbles upon a state secret and tries to bring it to light, while his wife takes action to ensure his safety.

Kurosawa got recognition and fame internationally with his 1997 horror-thriller Cure. In 2015, Kurosawa received the best director Award in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival. Tokyo Sonata won the jury prize in Un Certain Regard in 2008.

 


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The New Oscar Award Date April 25, 2021

admin   June 27, 2020

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ABC Television Network has announced the 93rd Oscars ceremony will move to Sunday, April 25, 2021, as a result of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19.

The 93rd Oscars will be held on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network and in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

“For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring, and entertaining us during the darkest of times. They certainly have this year. Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control,” said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “This coming Oscars and the opening of our new museum will mark an historic moment, gathering movie fans around the world to unite through cinema.”

“We find ourselves in uncharted territory this year and will continue to work with our partners at the Academy to ensure next year’s show is a safe and celebratory event that also captures the excitement of the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures,” said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment.

Industry veterans remembered that in 1938 Oscar Ceremony was pushed back because of flooding in Los Angeles; In 1968, it was delayed by a couple of days following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And in 1981, it was put off for a day after President Ronald Reagan was shot in Washington D.C.

Dates also have shifted for the Academy Awards eligibility period, submission deadlines and related awards season events. The eligibility period for Academy Awards consideration has been extended beyond the standard December 31 deadline: a feature film must now have a qualifying release date between January 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021. The submission deadline for specialty categories (Animated Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, International Feature Film, Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film) is December 1, 2020. The submission deadline for general entry categories, including Best Picture, Original Score and Original Song, is now January 15, 2021. Visit oscars.org/rules for the complete 93rd Academy Awards rules, revised with these dates and deadlines.

During this time, it has become necessary to make exceptional changes to the Academy’s standard annual awards schedule. The intent going forward is to ultimately return to awarding excellence for films released in the January-December calendar year. Future eligibility windows and the Oscar show date for 2022 will be announced at a later date.

Academy key dates for the 2020/2021 Oscar season are as follows:

  • Preliminary voting begins Monday, February 1, 2021
  • Preliminary voting ends Friday, February 5, 2021
  • Oscar Shortlists Announcement Tuesday, February 9, 2021
  • Nominations voting begins Friday, March 5, 2021
  • Nominations voting ends Wednesday, March 10, 2021
  • Oscar Nominations Announcement Monday, March 15, 2021
  • Oscar Nominees Luncheon Thursday April 15, 2021
  • Finals voting begins Thursday April 15, 2021
  • Museum Gala Saturday, April 17, 2021
  • Finals voting ends Tuesday, April 20, 2021
  • Oscars Oscar Sunday, April 25, 2021

Plenty in Store in 2020

admin   February 22, 2020

IFFI is thrilled that Bong Joon-ho’s South Korean film Parasite, which had its India Premiere at IFFI Goa 2019, won multiple Oscars for Best Picture, screenplay and director. Now, IFFI is scouting for films from masters of the craft at Berlinale

The preparations for 51st edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) have begun in full swing. IFFI’s Golden Jubilee edition will be remembered for a long time for a string of things- from honouring film industry legends Rajinikanth to Amitabh Bachchan and high profile International Jury for Competition Films.

The India delegation at the ongoing 70th Berlin International Film festival is led by Ms. TCA Kalyani, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and other senior members. Chaitanya Prasad, IFFI festival director is also at Berlinale 2020 to find films, collaborate with festival heads and extend invitation to filmmakers and industry professionals to attend IFFI

IFFI 2020 is being planned as exciting as that of the Golden Jubilee Edition. It will be as wide-ranging and bigger as its last year edition. IFFI 2020 will celebrate 100 years of India’s legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray. The 9-day cinematic feast will embrace the works of a wide variety of filmmakers across the world with masterclasses, knowledge series and Film Bazaar.

IFFI is thrilled that Bong Joon-ho’s South Korean film Parasite which had its India Premiere at IFFI Goa 2019 won multiple Oscars for Best Picture, screenplay, director.

At Berlinale, IFFI is meeting up with film executives, sales agents, festival heads to collaborate and looking at curating another edition of fabulous films from across the globe. IFFI will also have knowledge sessions, master classes and open forum besides festival films. Asia’s oldest event of its kind, IFFI still holds on to its preeminent position as a showcase of cinematic excellence. It has over the years witnessed numerous alterations in character, nomenclature, location, dates and duration. Through it all, it has remained steadfast in its emphasis on showcasing the diversity of Indian cinema as well as in its commitment to the celebration of excellence across moviemaking genres.

Over the past two and a half decades, several other international film festivals have sprung up across India, notably in Kolkata, Kerala and Mumbai, and they all contribute meaningfully to the collective task of taking quality cinema to people weaned principally on a staple diet of star-driven, song and dance extravaganzas. But IFFI continues to retain its preeminent position owing to its size, scope and vintage.

Not just in the Indian context but also in relation to the other major Asian film festivals, IFFI matters. And this is despite all the inevitable ups and downs that it has seen over the years.

All the other major Asian festivals – Tokyo, Busan and Shanghai – are of far more recent origin and therefore lack the history that is associated with IFFI. IFFI hands out prize money to the tune of US$ 200,000. The winner of the Golden Peacock for the best film takes home $80,000. That apart, the best director and the Special Jury Prize winner bag $30,000 each, while the two acting prizes come with a cash component of $20,000 each.

IFFI also confers two Lifetime Achievement Awards – one to an international film personality, the other to an Indian great. The moves to push IFFI up a few notches have unfolded since the coastal state of Goa became its permanent venue in 2004. IFFI now has a far more settled feel than ever before, with each improvement in terms of infrastructure and programming initiatives adding value to both the event and the location.

On the programming side, IFFI not only unveils the best films from around the multilingual country with the aim of providing a glimpse of the sheer range and dynamism of Indian cinema, it also puts together a remarkable slate of brand new world cinema titles.

IFFI also hosts many retrospectives, tributes, master classes and special sections, which enhance the variety and depth of the event. The master classes have emerged as a highlight of the festival, especially for film school students who converge in Goa during the ten-day event.

India’s first international film festival was organized within five years of the nation attaining Independence. It was a non-competitive event held in 1952 in Bombay (Now Mumbai). A special feature of the inaugural function was the screening of the first film screened in India in 1896 by the Lumiere brothers. Frank Capra was part of the American delegation that attended the festival.

Six decades on, IFFI continues to provide a useful platform to young Indian filmmakers who work outside the mainstream distribution and exhibition system and in languages that do not have access to the pan-Indian market that Hindi cinema has.

The Indian Panorama, a section that is made up of both features and nonfeatures, opens global avenues for films made by veterans and newcomers alike.

IFFI now has a permanent home in Goa. The coastal state has benefitted appreciably from the shift. Its cinema has received a huge fillip in the decade and a half that Panaji has hosted IFFI. Filmmakers in the coastal state have been increasingly making their mark on the national and international stage.


Toronto International Film Festival: All Set for a Gala Show

admin   September 2, 2018

The Toronto International Film Festival 2018 takes off at a bright note with the best lineups – auteur and films that would be the centre of attraction at Oscars – Damien Chazelle’s First Man, Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk and Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born.

On the heels of their six-time Academy Award-winning smash, La La Land, Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. A visceral, first-person account, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie will explore the sacrifices and the cost of one of the most dangerous missions in history.

Director Barry Jenkin’s If Beale Street Could Talk is an ambitious follow-up to Moonlight adapts James Baldwin’s poignant novel about a woman fighting to free her falsely accused husband from prison before the birth of their child.

Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut A Star is Born tells the story of a seasoned musician who discovers — and falls in love with — a struggling artist. But, even as her career takes off, he fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.

Roma, Director: Alfonso Cuaron

For the first time, Toronto will begin with the debut of a Netflix’s small screen film Outlaw King by David Mackenzie for a big gala opener.

In total, TIFF will be screening streaming gaint Netflix’s eight features, among them Alfonso Cuarón’s ROMA and Paul Greengrass’s 22 July. While Roma is  the new semi-autobiographical film from Academy Award-winning director Cuarón, Paul Greengrass’s film recounts the true story of the aftermath of Norway’s deadliest terrorist attack on July 22, 2011, when 77 people were killed in a far-right extremist bomb attack in Oslo.

TIFF will close with “Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy,” Justin Kelly’s true-life drama.

The fest will be screening the most anticipated films directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, Olivier Assayas, Claire Denis, Amma Asante and Hong Sang-soo, among others.

In tune with times, TIFF 2018 will also feature women centric films – Nicole Kidman in Destroyer, Patricia Clarkson in Out of Blue and Lady Gaga in A Star is Born.

The 43rd edition of the fest will also feature the Felix van Groeningen’s “Beautiful Boy”,  Xavier Dolan’s “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan” and Steve McQueen’s star-studded thriller “Widows”.

TIFF’s lineup for the 2018 Masters programme, comprises 11 daring new films by acclaimed, established auteurs with remarkable bodies of work. With projects that reflect on history, focus on personal introspection, and take a critical look at society, this year’s programme proves that innovation in storytelling is not exclusive to newer generations of filmmakers.

Outlaw King, Director: David Mackenzie

Included in the 2018 Masters lineup are new works by three acclaimed European directors that unwaveringly address contemporary adversities: the debut of the single-installment version of Italian maestro Paolo Sorrentino’s corrosive comedy, Loro, which stars Toni Servillo as infamous politician Silvio Berlusconi; legendary French-Swiss auteur Jean-Luc Godard’s The Image Book, winner of the inaugural 2018 Special Palme d’Or at Cannes; and German director Christian Petzold’s daring Transit, an adaptation of Anna Seghers’ World War II novel set in an era resembling the present day, which offers subtle and timely reflections on rootlessness and exile.

Chinese pioneer Jia Zhang-ke will introduce his largest production to date, Ash Is Purest White, a look at the rapid evolution of Chinese capitalist society explored through the romance between two mismatched people, while veteran Japanese director Shinya Tsukamoto will present Killing, an ambitious samurai genre film set in mid-19th century Japan.

TIFF has selected 46 breakout films from 50 international storytellers as part of its 2018 Discovery lineup, marking a record year for the programme. Hailing from 37 different countries, these promising new filmmakers present works that explore identity, complex portraits of women, and the youth as they struggle to navigate a fragile world.