Tag: Melbourne

IFFM-2021: Ghar Ka Pata (Home Address), English, Kashmiri, Hindi – Anyone who is displaced will try to reconnect…

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 30 August 2021: On the last day of the IFFM-2021 Online film festival, I saw ‘Ghar Ka Pata’(Home address) which has dialogues in English, Kashmiri, and Hindi. It’s emotional, human, and very personal. The daughter of Pran and Nancy Jalali, Madhulika Jalali has made this documentary trying to search and reconnect to their lost home in Srinagar’s Rainawari area. The Jalali’s fled Kashmir at the height of Kashmir’s separatist insurgency fearing for their life. Madhulika was then six years old and now after 24 years she and her family are here searching for their lost home. Lots of research, visits to Srinagar, and talking to relatives took four years.

There were many unanswered questions, beautiful nostalgic memories, lost friends, and neighbors. Visits to Srinagar become revealing. With her mother, Madhulika is able to trace the Rainawari area and the camera takes us to the Muslim neighbor who was her father’s good friend. Even a local shopkeeper remembers the Jalali family. The emotional meeting with the neighbor reflects how strong human bonds can be despite an adverse toxic ambiance. The scene of the neighbor’s wife embracing Madhulika’s mother and crying is heart-breaking. “Your husband (Mr. Jalali) was my brother”, she says sobbing.

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Frame by frame the camera moves around casually as the mother and daughter are shown the area where their abandoned home was. The neighbor says, “This is your home and I always told your father to sell it to me if he desires.” And, is saddened to know his friend is no more. Humanity seems to erase politics and religion. Is it emotion or years of exile have healed the wounds?

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The documentary uses family photographs and interviews with relatives who talk of their past in Kashmir. People are now spread out in India, Canada, and England. Madhulika has a photograph that shows a part of the home she was looking for. No doubt, anyone who sees this film will feel the humanness of people separated by politics and faith. But the love for one’s land remains strong. The fact human-made barriers come to naught is evident in the film.
‘Ghar Ka Pata’ is Madhulika and the Jalali family’s personal space. But can we separate ourselves from this story? Madhulika makes us think and think. This was one of the best I saw at the IFFM-2021.

I give this film 4 and a half stars out of 5.

Director: Madhulika Jalali
Run time: 67 mins | Recommended Certificate: 12A
Language: Hindi, Kashmiri, English with English subtitles | Year: 2020 | Country: India

IFFM-2021 Awards : Best movie – Soorarai Pottru, Best Actor Suriya Shivakumar, Best Indie Film – Fire In The Mountains & Best Directror Anurag Basu

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 20 August 2021: The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2021 (IFFM-2021) online awards today saw Soorarai Pottru (Tamil) getting the best movie award, Best Actor award went to Suriya Shivakumar, Best Indi Film award went to Fire In The Mountains, Best FDirector Award went to Anurag Basu for Lodo, the winner of the Equality In Cinema (Feature) went to God On The Balcony and the Equality in Cinema (Feature) award went to The Great Indian Kitchen, Winner of the Equality In Cinema (Short) went to Sheer Qorma.

The winner of the Best Performance Female (Feature) went to Vidya Balan for Sherni, Destiny in Cinema award went to Pankaj Tripathi, the award for the Best Web Series went to Mirzapur S2, winner for the Best Performance Female (Series) went to Samantha Akkineni for THe Family mMan S2, the winner for the Best Performance Male (Series) went to Manoj Vajpayee for The Family Man S2, Best Documentary award went to Shut Up Sona among other awards.

The 12 edition of the IFFM is on till 30 August 2021 online and so were the awards were given away through Zoom online for the first time in a glittering event attended by more than 230 participants including award winners.

The Festival honored the centenary of India’s iconic Filmmaker and director Satyajit Ray by showing his 10 movies kicking off with Mahanagar (1963).

Awards were also announced for the Short Film Festival by judges Director Onir and actress Richa Chadha.

Most of the awardees joined the online awards event and talked about their movies. There was also an online media conference at the end of the event.

The festival movies to be shown in cinema halls across Melbourne could not happen because of the COVID-19 lockdown and are likely to be shown when the lockdown is lifted. New dates will be announced accordingly.

The Governor of Victoria and Ministers Jason Wood, Luke Donnellan, and IFFM Director Mitu Bhowmick participated in the event.

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IFFM-2021 QUICK REVIEW: No Beloved, Urdu

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 19 August 2021: Ehsaan is a tea seller in Krishna Nagar, Lahore. He has many clients. His routine is disrupted by 2 youngsters who frequent his shop. He serves them tea observing something between them. They seem to be intimate. This disturbs him mentally. One day he pushes them out of the shop. So, what is troubling him? The short film’s theme becomes obvious. The tea seller is confronting something he is no more in. In the end, as he is seeing a photograph of himself and another man. Memories are short, but some memories never go away. Good cinematic effort. Well done.

Name- No beloved
Language- Urdu
Country- Pakistan
Duration- 8 minutes
Cast- Ahsen Murad, Waleed Sajid, Aliyan Ali
Director- Salman Alam Khan

IFFM-2021 QUICK REVIEW – Faree (Dhivehi) : Entangled in emotional suffering

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 17 August 2021: This movie’s story from the Maldives, could be anyone’s from any country. A single mother entangled in a day-to-day struggle grapples with tough emotional issues. The never-ending routine with her son, mother, and the separated husband’s attempts towards a reconciliation, make her life stressful and confused. The hubby, a drug addict, longs for his son and pleads he will improve. But emotional wounds are a big hurdle. An outlet seems to be emerging. This B/W movie is a focus on a woman’s suffering in a dysfunctional relationship. It also says something else- men also suffer.

NAME- Faree, MA 15+
Duration- 97 minutes
Language- Dhivehi
Country- Maldives
Cast- Nuzuhath Shuaib, Ravee Farooq, Yaafi Mohamed Hameed, Fauziyya Hassan, Aishath Thasneema, Mohamed Yunan
Director- Ahmed Hisham Saeed

IFFM-2021 QUICK REVIEW: Boroxun (Songs for Rain), Assamese

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 17 August 2021: People in an Assamese fishing village have no rain and the river almost dries up. The village economy is shattered. The traditional villagers try out an age-old method – marrying frogs. But, the rain fails to come. The village priest suggests the ritual of marrying two men. A very old man (Mohan) and Benga, (means a fool in Assamese) a young man known for his silly acts are married for the rains. This changes the situation for Bengi, who is always messing up with Benga. The film shows how superstition grips a community in an adverse natural situation. The film was shot in Jogduar, in Teak, Jorhat. The rural landscape is breathtaking. It’s slow but engrossing. I give it – 4 out of 5 stars.

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Name- Boroxun (Songs of Tain), 2021, MA15+
Duration- 86 minutes
Language- Assamese (English Subtitles)
Country- India
Cast- Deep Jyoti Kalita, Bina Patangia, Maitri Das
Director- Krrishna Kt. Borah