Tag: IFFM Film Club

Feminism is my worldview, I love writing also: Malayalam Director Anjali Menon

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 12 September: “It’s a part of who I am. It emerges. That’s my worldview.” says Anjali Menon, India’s National Award-winning Malayalam film Director Anjali Menon. She was answering to a question about her being a feminist at an IFFM Film Club interview cum interaction organized by the IFFM-2020 today.

Anjali Menon’s directional ventures include Kerala Café (2009), Manjadikuru (2012), Ustad Hotel (2012- Scriptwriter only), Bangalore Days (2014) among others. The grown-up in the UAE, a graduate of the London Film School, she lives in Bangalore.

Answering to a question about her blogs and short stories by South Asia Times (SAT), Anjali said, “I am a lazy writer but enjoy writing. It’s a question of word counts and a lot to learn. It’s a rich process to project one’s worldview.

It’s my great aspiration to write more and more.”

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Replying to Rajeev Masand’s question about women in direction, she says, “The film industry is not the most representative in this regard. The perception they working there is negative.

A study on five film industries has been done on this subject and we know discrimination exists.

Also, once money comes gender goes away, but one has to see how women work. If you have to swim against the current, then you have to be a good swimmer.”

About her bias for family subjects she says, “The family is the molecule of society. It’s great playing ground. From within, I like family subjects.

Even dysfunctional families as a subject are more interesting.”

She answered many questions from Rajeev Masand and the participants. A few points that emerged:

- I am much more concerned about the subject;
- Hindi mainstream cinema is differently made but happy to work in Hindi;
- Streaming of movies has made them more accessible & regional movies have space.

The IFFM Film Club interaction with Anjali Menon saw more than 100 people participating including the Malayali diaspora in Australia. Big participation from other communities and cinema lovers gave the Zoom event a big boost to the popularity of the International Film Festival of India -2020 in its virtual presentation.

For more info- iffm.com.au

IFFM Film Club: Rajeev Masand to interview Vidya Balan followed by Q-A

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 27 July: Former brand ambassador of the IFFM and leading film actress Vidya Balan whose new movie ‘Shakuntala Devi’, is releasing on Amazon Prime on 31 July, will be interviewed by Rajeev Masand for the IFFM Film Club on Wednesday 29 July. The live streaming event on Zoom will have a Q-A session after the interview.

This is the fourth streaming event of the IFFM Film Club. In the three earlier events Soojit Sircar and Ronnie Lahiri (First), Aparna Sen (second), and Anurag Kayshap were interviewed by Rajeev Masand.

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Vidya Balan in Shakuntala Devi

Vidya’s latest Shakuntala Devi premiering on Amazon Prime Video also stars Sanya Malhotra, Amit Sadh, and Jisshu. Sengupta. The Hindi movie is directed and written by Anu Menon and produced by Sony Pictures Networks India and Vikram Malhotra under his banner Abundantia Entertainment.

The biopic is based on the life of exemplary mathematician Shakuntala Devi known as the ‘Human Computer’ with Vidya playing her role. The movie is being released on OTT because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The time of the event will be soon announced and registrations can be done at – info@mindblowingfilms.com

Cinema needs to reflect the truth of the times: Aparna Sen

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Photo: SAT

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 5 July 2020: Cinema needs to reflect the truth of the times, says Aparna Sen India’s leading cinema actress and director. She was answering questions by Rajeev Masand during a zoom interview, for the IFFM Film Club, Melbourne.

Aparna’s 2019 Bengali movie ‘Ghewre Barey Aaj’ (Home and the World) is loosely based on slain journalist Gauri Lankesh, a triangle story of a Hindu nationalist professor, a Dalit girl and her liberal editor husband. The background is India’s current political climate.

Answering to Rajeev Masand’s questions, Aparna detailed her story writing in school and development as an actor, writer, and director over the years.

” Times have now changed and I feel worried about the lack of harmony in India. Hindus, Muslims, and others fought together for the independence of the country.

My idea of India is under threat and telling the story of an individual in the context of the times is important,” she says.

On a question by SAT about the role of a film person when the idea of India is under threat, she says, actually, it is up to the filmmaker and their conscience. There are people who are afraid to speak. It’s important to reflect the times.”

IFFM-2020 Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange appreciated all participants and Aparana Sen’s participation in the web interaction conducted by Rajeev Masand and hoped Aparna will be in Australia for the next International Film Festival of Melbourne.

The magic of cinema will never fade away: Shoojit Sircar & Ronnie Lahiri

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Photo- MBF

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 18 June 2020: Director Shoojit Sarkar and Producer Ronnie Lahairi whose Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurana starrer is making global waves on the streaming service Amazon Prime, remain committed to the magic of cinema which they feel will never fade away.

The two cinema icons were recently participating in the inaugural IFFM Film Club on Zoom organized by the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2020, and hosted by Rajeev Masand. Their film Gulabo Sitabo is one of the first mainstream Indian movies to release exclusively on a streaming service.

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Rajeev Masand, Mitu Bhowmick Lange, Shoojit Sircar & Ronnie Lahiri. Photos- MBF

Answering to a question by SAT Editor, Neeraj Nanda, Saoojit Sarkar said, “The magic of cinema will never fade away. When the lockdown opens up, it is normal human behavior to watch something at a stadium, a tennis match, cricket or a movie in a cinema. This because human behavior is to come together and cinema magic will remain.”

“And, of course, streaming services being a new evolution will co-exist with cinema, he said.

Ronnie Lahari said, “We are a community of people and enjoy when we are with a lot of people. That’s not happening when you are watching on a streaming service. These are unrepresented times and we took a decision to release Gulabo Sitabi on the basis of the current situation.”

“It’s not that all our films will be on streaming services. As soon as the lockout opens I will be happy to release my next film on the big screen where everyone can watch it together,” he said.

The IFFM Film Club interview and interaction with Saoojit Sarkar & Ronnie Lahari event on zoom on the eve of the release of Gulabo Sitabo attracted massive participation from across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Host Rajeev Masand’s penetrating questions and interesting questions from participants added to the glory of the unusual but lively and informative interaction. Kudos to IFFM CEO Mitu Bhowmick Lange and the Mind Blowing Films team for this exceptional digital experience. SEE FULL VIDEO BELOW: