Saturday October 21, 2017

Every man should watch ‘Parched’ to know what a woman goes through: Surveen Chawla

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: Every man should watch the film “Parched” to understand the inner struggle of women, says actress Surveen Chawla.

Surveen_Chawla

The Leena Yadav-directorial “Parched” will be premiering at the 40th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and screened in the Special Presentation Section of the film festival on Sunday.

“Every man should watch the film. It is very important, so that they understand the kind of inner struggle that women go through. Women in urban India also go through the same journey of emotions, just the reasons are different,” Surveen told IANS over phone.

The film is set in rural India, and closely follows the lives of three ordinary women who begin to break free from centuries-old traditions to discover themselves.

The “Hate Story 2” actress shared that her male friends and the men of the film crew were touched by the subject as well.

“Women understand what they go through, but men definitely need to know what we go through. Even my male friends and cast… when we saw the film before the copies were sent, were touched and when men give such reaction, it says a lot… it was rather overwhelming,” she said.

The film also features actors Tannishtha Chatterjee, Radhika Apte and Lehar Khan in key roles. “Parched” has been jointly produced by Ajay Devgn, Aseem Bajaj, Gulab Singh and Rohan Jagdale.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Movies at Toronto International Film Festival will increase audience’s excitement, raise debates on burning issues

Many of the films at Toronto International Film Festival will talk about relevant topics like equality in Hollywood, politics in Washington

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Sally Hawkins, left, and Octavia Spencer in a scene from
Sally Hawkins, left, and Octavia Spencer in a scene from "The Shape of Water." The movie premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival. VOA
  • “The Battle of the sexes” starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell talks about issue of gender equality- in both pay disparity and directing opportunity
  • It’s a great thing for the filmmakers to have what is usually a pretty film-oriented, film-loving audience
  • The filmmakers say they are expecting a variety of opinions in any one audience at Toronto International Film Festival

New York, USA, September 7, 2017: Few institutions in cinema can match the teeming, overwhelming Toronto International Film Festival as a conversation-starting force. It simply has a lot of movies worth talking about.

And this year, many of the films that will parade down at Toronto International Film Festival’s red carpets will hope to shift the dialogue not just in terms of awards buzz, but in other directions, too: equality in Hollywood; politics in Washington; even about nature of the movies, themselves. At TIFF, expect debate.

That’s what the filmmakers behind “The Battle of the Sexes,” one of the anticipated films heading to Toronto International Film Festival in the coming days, are hoping for. After the festival opens today with another tennis movie, the rivalry drama “Borg/McEnroe,” at Toronto International Film Festival with Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (the directing duo who helmed 2006’s “Little Miss Sunshine”) will premiere their drama about the 1973 showdown between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

The movie, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, holds obvious parallels for a movie industry with its own issues of gender equality, in both pay disparity and directing opportunity. For others, it will recall issues that dominated last year’s U.S. presidential campaign. But “Battle of the Sexes” may surprise moviegoers in its broad sympathies on both sides of the net.

“The one thing we didn’t want to have happened was this polarizing political document,” said Dayton. “Right now, there’s enough of that in the world. We wanted to tell a more personal story and keep it from becoming too binary.”

The filmmakers say they are expecting “a variety of opinions in any one audience” at Toronto International Film Festival.

“It’s really the best way to release a film, at a festival like Telluride or Toronto,” said Faris. “It’s a great way to get the word out about a film. It’s a great thing for the filmmakers to have what is usually a pretty film-oriented, film-loving audience. It gives you hope that they’re still out there.”

Actress Priyanka Chopra, left, chats with the director and CEO of TIFF Piers Handling at the TIFF Soiree, an annual fundraiser and celebratory kick-off for the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Sept. 6, 2017, in Toronto
Actress Priyanka Chopra, left, chats with the director and CEO of TIFF Piers Handling at the TIFF Soiree, an annual fundraiser and celebratory kick-off for the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Sept. 6, 2017, in Toronto. VOA

The Toronto International Film Festival comes right on the heels of the Venice and Telluride festivals, but the size and scope of Toronto have long made it the centerpiece of the fall movie season. It’s where much of the coming awards season gets handicapped, debated and solidified. It’s also a significant market for new films, and this year several intriguing films — “I, Tonya,” with Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding, and “Hostiles,” a brutal Western with Christian Bale — are on the block.

But most eyes will be on the gala premieres of the fall’s biggest films at Toronto International Film Festival, including Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing,” Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” George Clooney’s “Suburbicon,” and maybe the most explosive movie of the season, Darren Aronofsky’s mystery-shrouded allegorical thriller “mother!”

It can be a competitive landscape, with dozens of daily movie premieres and their respective parties, all trying to stand out. But several first-time directors may end up stealing the spotlight at Toronto International Film Festival. Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” will sail into Toronto on waves of rave reviews from Telluride. Aaron Sorkin, arguably the top screenwriter in Hollywood for two decades, will present his directorial debut, “Molly’s Game.”

Sorkin didn’t initially anticipate he’d direct his script. But he became, he says, obsessed with the story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), the former elite skier who was indicted for running a high-stakes poker game in Los Angeles. It’s a potentially career-redefining movie for Sorkin — and he’s appropriately anxious.

“I’d feel the same way if we were launching it in Wyoming. I’m nervous because other than test audiences, this will be the first time people see it,” said Sorkin. “The Toronto Film Festival is a very prestigious place to debut a film, so I’m aware of the company I’m in and what’s expected in the movie. It will be up to others to decide if it delivered.”

“The Disaster Artist” poses a similar turning point for its star and director, James Franco. It’s about the making of what’s widely considered one of the worst movies ever made — the cult favorite “The Room,” by Tommy Wiseau. Franco, who plays Wiseau, considers it a new step for him as a filmmaker and says the film’s parody is laced with affection.

“The characters are outsiders. They are weirdos,” said Franco. “But everybody can relate to having a dream and trying to break into this incredibly hard business.”

The film will premiere to a surely raucous audience at a midnight screening. Franco, who first saw “The Room” with an especially excitable Vancouver audience, expects it to be the perfect debut for his film: “Canadians know how to do ‘The Room.”’

“The Disaster Artist,” which A24 will release in December, might give TIFF what “La La Land” did last year — a happily escapist movie about Hollywood. Other films will tackle less comic real-life tales, including Angelina Jolie’s searing Cambodia drama “First They Killed My Father,” the Winston Churchill biopic “Darkest Hour,” with Gary Oldman; and the documentary “The Final Year,” about the last year of Barack Obama’s administration.

Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the festival, said Trump’s presidency “was not a factor in the films we selected,” though he expects it to color the reception of many.

“Some of them will be received with the current political climate in mind,” said Bailey. “One of the things I think you learn from films like (the Watergate drama) ‘Mark Felt’ and (the Ted Kennedy drama) ‘Chappaquiddick’ and others that we have here is that the process of politics is not a pretty one. It involves a lot of conflicted motives, shall we say.”

And who better to make sense of the current political landscape than Armando Iannucci (“Veep,” “The Thick of It”), the master of rapid-fire political farce. In his second feature film, “The Death of Stalin,” he travels back to 1950s Russia only to find an expectedly timely tale of the madcap machinations of political power.

“It is bizarre, isn’t it? When I started showing it to people in January and February earlier this year, people said it resonated with Trump and Putin and fake news,” said Iannucci. “It is about autocracy. It is about what happens when democracy falls apart and one person decides everything. I’m kind of glad it does resonate now. But am I pleased?” (VOA)

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Singapore South Asian Film Festival 2017 to Celebrate South Asian Films This September

The SGSAIFF 2017 will be an amalgamation of exciting new voices and stories which richly bring out the culture of the South Asian countries.

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Singapore South Asian Film Festival
The Singapore South Asian Film Festival aims to establish closer ties between the global city of Singapore and the rapidly-developing countries of South Asia (representative image) Wikimedia
  • Singapore South Asian Films Festival to be held from September 1 to 10
  • The festival aims to support budding film-makers and promote the diversity and richness of the South Asian Diaspora through films
  • Various feature films, short films, and documentaries will compete and be showcased at the event

Singapore, August 25, 2017: The inaugural Singapore South Asian Film Festival (SGSAIF) will present movie fanatics in Singapore with a first-of-its-kind chance to experience the diversity of South Asian cultures on screen. With an impressive package of feature films, short films and documentaries, the festival which will begin from September 1 in Singapore, aims to pack a lot into ten days.

26 films are set to compete for the Best Feature Film, Best Documentary Film and Best Short Film at the fiesta which will be held from September 1 to 10.

The festival will have world premiers and screenings of over 35 feature films, short films, and documentaries from the Indian, Sri Lankan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal film industry. Additionally special screenings from Singapore will also make it to the choicest list of films.

Brilliant masterpieces from the film industries of South Asia have made it to the special screenings’ list. These films include,

  • Leena Yadav’s ‘Parched’
  • Afghani director Siddiq Barmak’s ‘Osama’, which was the recipient of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film
  • Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s ‘Once Again’
  • And the critically acclaimed ‘A Yellow Bird’ by Singaporean director K. Rajagopal

ALSO READ: Search Indian film festival Indian Film Festival to be hosted by Poland in October 2017

Apart from showcasing films, SGSAIFF will also hold workshops, master classes, panel discussions, and music performances. Apart from them, the event will also felicitate distinguished personalities from the industry for their outstanding contribution to cinema.

According to a report by IANS, the festival will also honor lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar with the South Asian Literary Award and his actress-wife Shabana Azmi with the South Asian Woman of the Year Award. Actor Abhay Deol will also be felicitated with the South Asian Icon of the Year Award.

Singapore South Asian Film Festival
Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi will also be felicitated at the event. Wikimedia

The festival is being organized by a global streaming service for world independent films called Muvizz, with aid from the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore and the High Commission of India in Singapore.

Abhayanand Singh, the Festival Chairman believes the Singapore South Asian Film Festival will be a landmark initiative, which will bring together quality South Asian cinema to Singapore for the first time. According to him, the aim of the festival is “to make a big impact and become a significant cultural gateway in the years to come,” he said, as mentioned in a report by PTI.

The gala, to be concluded on September 10, will also celebrate and host the red-carpet premier of the Nandita Das and Manav Kaul starrer Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyu Aata Hai, which has been directed by Soumitra Ranade.

The impact of cinema is not unknown. Tapping on this powerful medium, SGSAIFF aims to establish closer ties between Singapore and the fast-developing South Asian countries.

According to a report by IANS, the Artist Director of SGSAIFF, Amit Aggarwal believes the real challenge while selecting films for the festival was the creation of a program that could reflect the rich culture of South Asia. To him, the festival is a reflection of a program that is “truthful to the exciting new voices and stories which richly bring out the complexities of South Asia.”


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Theatre Artists and Writers from India and Pakistan pay tributes to Actor Om Puri in Toronto

Saini also criticised the Pakistani media for spreading rumours about the cause of the death of the actor.

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Om Puri, Twitter

Toronto, Jan 25, 2017: A large number of theatre artists and writers from India and Pakistan paid rich tributes to actor Om Puri here.

They recalled his deep association with Toronto as some of Om Puri’s English movies such as “Such a Long Journey” and “West is West” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Rajinder Saini, who founded the Punjabi International Film Academy Awards in 2012 and who was a personal friend of the actor, recalled how Om Puri offered him support for the start of the festival in Toronto.

“Om Puri was a true friend indeed as he went out of his way to make the first Punjabi film festival a success. He always stayed with our family whenever he was in Toronto,” said Saini.

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He recalled his last long chat with Om Puri on the phone after the actor’s TV remarks on Indian soldiers created a major controversy.

“In a friendly (way), I scolded him for creating unnecessary controversies. He was gracious enough to admit his mistake and he went to give Rs 10 lakh to the widow of the soldier,” recalled Saini.

Saini also criticised the Pakistani media for spreading rumours about the cause of the death of the actor.

Pakistani writer Tahir Gora paid his tributes to Om Puri by describing as an artist who transcended boundaries.

Some of the speakers, who knew Om Puri since his days as a struggling theatre artist in Patiala, said he was the first-ever Indian actor to make it to Hollywood from theatre.

“He had a booming voice and his earthy Punjabi touched us,” said one of the speakers.

Om Puri’s first wife Seema Kapoor also sent a video message to the gathering. (IANS)