Thursday December 14, 2017

Ramanujan biopic to be screened at TIFF

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photo credit: www.hinduhistory.info

Toronto: ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’, a biopic on Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, will get a gala opening at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Thursday. The tickets for the much-anticipated film are said to have been sold out already.

photo credit: www.amazon.co.uk
photo credit: www.amazon.co.uk

Written and directed by Matthew Brown, the movie features Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel and actress Devika Bhise.

It follows Ramanujan (Dev Patel) from his humble roots in Madras- where opportunities for someone of Ramanujan’s abilities are few- to Cambridge University, where the young prodigy’s visionary theories attract the attention of English mathematician GH Hardy (Jeremy Irons).

Ramanujan’s contributions to the Number Theory, Continued Fractions and Infinite Series revolutionised the field of mathematics. Devika, who plays Ramanujan’s wife in the film, found the role very challenging.

“In her time, it would have taken her a lot of courage to send her husband to Cambridge knowing that it would be hard on her life. What inspired me was to know how ahead of her time she was. It was challenging to get the complexity of her character across,” Devika said in a statement. Born and raised in Manhattan, Devika is an accomplished actress, Bharatanatyam dancer, Hindustani classical vocalist and jazz vocalist.

‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ will also be the opening gala film at the 11th edition of Zurich film festival which will be held on September 24.

(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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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)

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Mark Zuckerberg in tears after watching Ramanujan Biopic, Pledges to create Ramanujan Foundation

Mark Zuckerberg and Sunder Pichai and various other people have joined hand to make a foundation of the name of Great Mathematician, 'Srinivasa Ramanujan'

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Ramanujan ( in the centre) at Cambridge. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  • The film was named “The Man Who Knew Infinity” and is directed by Matthew Brown
  • The film will release in India on 29th April
  • Mark Zuckerberg and Sunder Pichai and various other people have joined hand to make a foundation of the name of Great Mathematician, ‘Srinivasa Ramanujan’

Mark Zuckerberg

Yuri Milner a Russian billionaire and founder held a private screening of a biopic on the Great ‘Indian Mathematician’ Srinivasa Ramanujan’ at Silicon Valley in Los Atlos.  The film was named “The Man Who Knew Infinity” and is directed by Matthew Brown.

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Ramanujan is known for his achievements in mathematics like Hardy Ramanujan number, Ramanujan Theta function, Ramanujan constant, Ramanujan Conjecture and Ramanujan prime. The scientist was awarded with Padma Vibhushan, Padamshri and many others.

Indian Mathematician 'Srinivasa Ramanujan' (Source: Wikimedia commons)
Indian Mathematician ‘Srinivasa Ramanujan’ Image Source: Wikimedia commons

The screening of the biopic was attended not only by Mark Zuckerberg (CEO and chairman Facebook), but also by Sergey Brin (founder of Google), Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google) and Brenden Iribe (Oculus VR CEO) and around fifty more people.

All those who were present at the screening were found in tears. All were watching the movie deeply at a dinner on Weekends in Silicon Valley. The film was on the life of Ramanujan who was born in Tamil Nadu, his struggles in village to all the mathematic discoveries and to the never fading fame in England.

CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg (Reuters)
CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg (Reuters)

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The film was set in year 1913, and the role of Srinivasa Ramanujan was played by Dev Patel, a shipping clerk of 25 years of age and a genius who was thrown out of the college due to his unique way of solving things and understanding them and separate way to study the subject.

Although Ramanujan has no formal training of Math, he had contributed a lot to fractions, number system, infinite theories and number theories. Unfortunately Ramanujan died in 1920 when he was just 32 years old.

The film also includes other stars like Stephen Fry, Arundhati Nag, Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones and Devika Bhise. The film will release in India on 29th April.

Moreover, Mark Zuckerberg and Sunder Pichai and various other people have joined hands to make a foundation of the name of Great Mathematician, ‘Srinivasa Ramanujan’ to pay a tribute to the legendary mathematician.

-prepared by Aparna Gupta, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter @writetoaparna99

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5 responses to “Mark Zuckerberg in tears after watching Ramanujan Biopic, Pledges to create Ramanujan Foundation”

  1. Tears? Come on man! 50 people found teared? Don’t you guys find this ridiculous?

  2. Ramanujan is an inspiration for budding mathematician and a biopic on him will be of use to all the mathematics lover.

  3. Great minds never grew from ordinary circumstances. Through their resolve and unwavering determination, they rose to new heights. It is no wonder that the great minds of this century ended up in tears after watching the biopic.

  4. Ramanujan was a great mathematician. An inspiration to many, his research is still followed all over the world