Indie Movie ‘Katiyabaaz’ Gets Rave Reviews At Mumbai Film Fest

slide4Mumbai: (IANS) Indie documentary `Katiyabaaz`, about Kanpur`s battle for electricity, gave the Mumbai Film Festival audiences a slice of modern-day life in the city now plagued by the worst power crisis. The movie not just entertained, but also left viewers inspired.

Directed by Deepti Kakkar and Farhad Mustafa, `Katiyabaaz` played to a houseful screen of 293 seats in Metro cinema Monday. A satirical yet inspiring take on the electricity scenario in Kanpur, `Katiyabaaz` impressed audiences with its documentary style narrative laced with a quirky presentation.

The film highlights the lack of electricity in Kanpur, where its residents spend most of their time stealing power since they can`t afford it. “It`s very rare to see such a wonderful documentary on a burning issue. It`s an eye-opener and reminds us of the country we live in and how it`s divided on the basis of power, politics and poverty. It was equally hilarious and that kept me engaged throughout,” Ravi Mishra, who commended the effort of the filmmakers, said.

Featuring a cast of real life actors, the film was spearheaded by its protagonist Loha Singh, who steals power for a living. “I think he (Loha Singh) was simply brilliant. I think he was apt for the role because he tried to be as natural as he could be and that precisely worked in his favour,” added Ravi.

“Katiyabaaz” doesn`t merely highlight the power issue in Kanpur, but intelligently focuses on the battle between the government and the underprivileged people. Festival patron Reema Khanna said it`s one of the best documentaries she has watched in a long while.

“It`s a daring documentary and I have not come across anything like it in the recent past. I think the use of occasional humour helped to overlook the controversial content of the film,” Reema said. The directors, who received a standing ovation, later answered questions posed by the audiences following the movie`s screening.

Answering one of the questions about the challenges associated with the film, Deepti said: “For every independent filmmaker, funding is the biggest problem. I remember most of our crew survived on only biscuits and glucose for most days of the film`s shoot.”

“Even though we struggled to find funds, we somehow managed to find funders from nine countries except India. It saddens us that it`s an Indian film, but we couldn`t get any fund from India? I hope all that changes soon,” added Deepti.

At the ongoing Mumbai Film Festival, `Katiyabaaz` is one of the films in India Gold competition section. The film has already been screened in over 20 film festivals across the globe.

‘Big B’ Gives A Speech In Hindi At Cannes

imagesNew Delhi: (IANS) It was a “historic moment” for Amitabh Bachchan to be invited to open the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival with his “The Great Gatsby” co-star Leonardo DiCaprio. Big B made the experience more special by addressing the audience in his mother tongue Hindi.

“Truly a historic moment for me, but immensely historic and honourable for the Indian film industry, a fraternity that I am and shall always be most proud of,” Bollywood Amitabh posted on his blog The Cannes extravaganza celebrates 100 years of Indian cinema this year, and Amitabh was there also for the premiere of his Hollywood debut movie ‘The Great Gatsby’. The 70-year-old veteran was truly delighted at the importance given to him at the fest.

It was an “emotional” experience, he shared on Twitter. “The honour and respect meted out by Cannes, incredible. Announcing suddenly for Leonardo DiCaprio and myself to open the festival. With the entire world film fraternity at Cannes, applauding and welcoming our presence, treating us like royalty … it`s emotional.

“For a complete alien in the midst of Cannes to be acknowledged, is the proudest moment for me as an Indian. Acknowledging Cannes in recognising 100 years of Indian cinema, it was absolutely imperative for me to address, in my mother tongue,” posted Big B.

He shared how the “director of Cannes (was) delighted to hear the `music of the Hindi language` spoken” as “it brought in the universality of the occasion”. Big B also loved watching “The Great Gatsby”, directed by Baz Luhrmann.

“I loved `The Great Gatsby` better the second time … understood the nuances, the words, the pathos and energy,” he added.

The actor plays Meyer Wolfsheim in the $125 million 3D project, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald`s novel of the same name.


Movie Fest To Celebrate Yash Chopra’s Work Begins

Photo Courtesy: Indian Express
Photo Courtesy: Indian Express

New Delhi: (IANS) He`s known as the King of Romance, thanks to his romantic sagas like “Kabhi Kabhie”, “Silsila” and “Lamhe” and Valentine`s Day is an apt time to pay tribute to Yash Chopra. PVR cinemas has organised a week-long tribute to the late filmmaker, starting Friday, when romantic blockbusters made by him will be screened.

“It gives me immense pleasure to offer our audience a romantic mix of movies to celebrate the most romantic day of the year – The Valentine`s Day,” Gautam Dutta, COO, PVR Ltd said in a statement.

“With love being a luxury commodity in today`s era, I feel ecstatic to have Valentine`s week at PVR cinemas, offering a stupendous mix of romantic movies by Yash Chopra, who was considered to be the King of Romance. We intend to satiate appetite of our movie aficionados for every occasion and hence bring to them a movie bonanza for celebrating as well as spreading love,” he added.

The films to be showcased are “Kabhi Kabhie”, “Silsila”, “Chandni”, “Lamhe”, “Darr”, “Veer-Zaara”, and “Jab Tak Hai Jaan”. The festival is being organised at the PVR multiplexes in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat, Chandigarh and Ludhiana.

James Bond To Be Felicitated By Oscars

skyfall-poster02Los Angeles: (IANS)  James Bond will be honoured at the Oscars ceremony following the success of ‘Skyfall’, the latest film in the franchise. The 85th Academy Awards will also pay a tribute to the Bond movie franchise, which is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, reports

“We are very happy to include a special sequence on our show saluting the Bond films on their 50th birthday. Starting with `Dr. No` back in 1962, the 007 movies have become the longest-running motion picture franchise in history and a beloved global phenomenon,” said show producer Craig Zadan.

‘Skyfall’ is expected to pick up a handful of nods when the Oscar nominations are announced Thursday. Former Bond star Timothy Dalton feels ‘Skyfall’, the most successful Bond movie ever, is worthy of serious consideration in a number of categories.In a recent interview, Daniel Craig`s predecessor insisted the latest blockbuster is “right at the forefront” of modern cinema.

In the past, only two spy series won Oscars — 1964 release ‘Goldfinger’ won the best sound effects trophy, while its follow-up ‘Thunderball’ got the best special visual effects award. “It is absolutely time for Bond to get proper attention at the Oscars. On almost every level, this Bond movie is right at the forefront of what cinema is capable of.

“It is an absolutely modern James Bond, a movie truly of its time. Daniel Craig is fantastic and it feels very real. I thought the film was fabulous,” said Dalton.

‘Skyfall’ has become the first Bond film to earn more than $1 billion at the global box office.

‘Life of Pi’ To Be Screened As ‘Opening Film’ At IFFI

 (PTI)Life of Pi, a gripping tale of a boy, who is adrift at sea on a lifeboat with a tiger will be the opening film at the 43rd International Film Festival of India, scheduled to be held in Goa next month. The film will be premiering on November 20 while the closing film will be Mira Nair’s political thriller The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Shankar Mohan, Director of IFFI, told reporters here.

“We are in the 100th year of cinema…for us opening and closing films have always been important. We were looking for films that have deep Indian connect. And these two films had it,” he said. The film tells the story of a boy who is left in the sea in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger after his family drowns in a shipwreck.

Starring Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Adil Hussain and debutant Suraj Sharma it releases in 3D on November 23. “Tabu and Irrfan will be present during the premiere but Lee won’t be there as he is not in India. We are happy to have the actors at the festival” we share good relations with them,” Mr. Mohan said.

Silent Films Catch Cinegoers Attention At Mumbai Film Fest

Mumbai: (IANS) Eleven silent films from the 1920s, including `Raja Harishchandra` and `Sati Savitri`, were screened Wednesday at the 14th Mumbai Film Festival. One film, `A Throw Of Dice`, was accompanied by a live orchestra.

“The highlight this year was restored silent films. `Throw Of Dice` was screened with a live orchestra. It was an 80-minute film and it was outstanding,” Swati Rohatgi, a film enthusiast, told reporters. To mark 100 years of Indian cinema, four films of Dadasaheb Phalke — “Kaliya Mardan” (1919), “Shri Krishna Janma” (1918), “Lanka Dahan” (1917) and “Raja Harishchandra” (1913) — were screened.

The other films were Baburao Painter`s “Sati Savitri” (1927) and “Murlivala” (1927), Kalipada Das`s “Jamai Babu” (1931), G.P. Pawar`s “Diler Jigar” (1931), P.V. Rao`s “Marthand Varma”(1931) and Franz Osten`s “Shiraz” (1929) and “A Throw Of Dice” (1929).

“It was a great idea to screen silent films. The festival should show more silent films,” said writer-journalist Ranjib Mazumder.

Oz Cricket Comedy To Premiere On Mumbai Film Festival

A still from ‘Save Your Legs’

Mumbai: (IANS) ‘Save Your Legs!’, an Australian feature film around the theme of cricket, is set for its India premiere at the Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) Sunday. Filmed in Melbourne, Kolkata, Varanasi and Mumbai, ‘Save Your Legs!’ is a comedy inspired by true events. It tells the story of Teddy Brown, a 30-something man whose life revolves around his mates and their local Melbourne cricket club.

As his mates confront their middle-age challenges, Teddy faces the prospect of his cricket club coming apart, so he pitches an audacious three-match tour of India and a mission to meet cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. The film is being screened as part of Oz Fest, an Australian cultural festival staged in India.

Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese hopes “Indians come to understand more about Australia” through the film. “The film shows us what we have in common, from cricket to comedy, to great friendships and films,” he said in a statement. The premiere will be attended by special guests from Australia and Bollywood, including actress and Oz Fest Ambassador Pallavi Sharda.

Pallavi will be joined by fellow Oz Fest Ambassadors, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris of Australian Masterchef fame, and Cricket Australia`s National Indigenous cricket team and the cast and crew on the red carpet.

“With its cast including talent from Australia and India, the film is a perfect example of the ties between the two countries that I have experienced both growing up in Australia and living in India,” said Pallavi. “Save Your Legs!`, is directed by Boyd Hicklin, produced by Robyn Kershaw and Nick Batzias and written by Brendan Cowell.

Another Australian film, ‘The Sapphires’, inspired by true story of four singers from a remote Aboriginal mission who entertained American troops during the Vietnam War, will also be screened for the first time in India at the MFF.