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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

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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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Sexual abuse is everywhere in the world, says Radhika

The actress believes that one should know how to say 'No'

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Radhika Apte's view on sexual abuse
Bollywood actress Radhika Apte says that sexual abuse is not only in B-town but in every part of the society. Wikimedia Commons

– Durga Chakravarty

Actress Radhika Apte feels that sexual abuse does not only exist in the world of showbiz but takes place in every alternate household.

“Sexual abuse takes place in every alternate household. So it’s not a part of just the film industry. You have so much child abuse, domestic abuse everywhere in the world, including India,” Radhika told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

She says it exists in “every field and household at some level or the other and that it all needs to be eliminated”.

Sexual abuse does not target just women, stresses Radhika.

“It’s also towards men, little boys and everybody. People exploit their power at every level.”

Radhika asserted that this needed to change.

“I think it starts from us putting our foot down and saying ‘no’ to things, however big your ambition is. You need to be brave about it, believe in your own talent, say ‘no’ and start speaking up because if one person speaks up, nobody is going to listen to him or her. But if 10 people do, then others would (listen to them),” she said.

The “Phobia” actress, who will be seen mentoring budding filmmakers in MTV’s upcoming digital show “Fame-istan”, says there has to be a more organised platform for people to work.

“There has to be more professional platforms as well as rules in place which is slowly happening.”

Sexual abuse has been a topic of debate in Bollywood and Hollywood. Prominent names from the entertainment industry are discussing how men in power take advantage of women in exchange for taking forward their dreams.

The sexual harassment saga started when a media house published a story in October revealing numerous accusations of sexual abuse against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

But why are no names taken in the case of casting couch in Bollywood?

“Because of fear, because people who have great ambitions are afraid. They think of what will happen to them if they take somebody’s name who has so much power. That’s what I am saying. Everybody has to speak up,” she added.

Radhika ventured into Bollywood in 2005 with “Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi!” and since then has explored genres like thriller, drama and adult comedy with films like “Rakht Charitra”, “Shor in the City”, “Badlapur”, “Parched” and “Hunterrr”.

Was it a conscious decision to act less in commercial entertainers?

Radhika said: “Nothing like that. You have to choose from the work that you have. You can’t say that ‘I want that’ if that’s not been offered to you. So, whatever is offered to you, you choose from that. You make your choice whatever you feel is going to be more challenging or something that inspires you or excites you.”

She says she makes her choices in the “spur of the moment” with whatever she feels intuitively. “I am not a very big planner.” (IANS)

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Indian short film ‘The School Bag’ based on 2014 Peshawar School Attack Wins ‘Best Short Film Award’ in Montreal

The film recreates events that happened in Peshawar in December 2014 when terrorists mowed down hundreds of school children.

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Rasika Dugal in a still from 'The School Bag'. Youtube

New Delhi, November 6, 2017 : Indian short film “The School Bag”, which tells a story based in Pakistan, has won the Best Short Film Award at the South Asian Film Festival of Montreal (SAFFM), says director Dheeraj Jindal.

“While making the film, each member of the team literally put their heart and soul and we didn’t know what will happen with the film. For many people, I included, it was the first experience working on a short film. So it’s a great feeling when your debut work gets international recognition,” Jindal told IANS.

SAFFM concluded on Sunday.

The movie’s plot is based in Peshawar and tells a story about the relationship between a mother and her seven-year-old son who wants a new school bag on his birthday, but fate has something else in store for him.

The film recreates events that happened in Peshawar in December 2014 when terrorists mowed down hundreds of school children.

Actress Rasika Dugal plays the mother in the short film.

Jindal, who is from Delhi, is happy that short films are getting visibility.

“In India, now there are platforms that are supporting and funding short films and because of that the quality of the films have drastically improved. The acclaimed actors have also started working in them as there are many good stories which don’t need to be long but can be as impacting as a feature film.

“Therefore, short films are becoming a serious business, which is going to grow further,” he said. (IANS)

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‘It is time to see the world through a Feminist Gaze’, says Shabana Azmi

Jio MAMI hosted a brunch to discuss and inspire women equality and quality films, which was graced by Manisha Koirala, Shabana Azmi, Kiran Rao, Anupama Chopra, Sayani Gupta, Kriti Sanon, Neha Dhupia and many more

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Shabana Azmi
Shabana Azmi. Wikimedia

Mumbai, October 17, 2017: Veteran actress Shabana Azmi on Monday said it is the time people started seeing the world through a “feminine gaze”.

The pro-equality actress was speaking at “#F for Freedom MAMI” segment of Jio MAMI 19th Mumbai Film Festival.

“I am very delighted that MAMI this year is concentrating on making women’s work more visible. I think it is high time that we started to see the world through feminine gaze,” she said.

Jio MAMI hosted a brunch to discuss and inspire women equality and quality films, which was graced by Manisha Koirala, Shabana Azmi, Kiran Rao, Anupama Chopra, Sayani Gupta, Kriti Sanon, Neha Dhupia and many more.

ALSO READ Divya Khosla Kumar wishes to make ‘Women Oriented Films’ now

Manisha Koirala, who has been vocal about gender equality, said she was happy that JIO MAMI is recognizing women’s contribution.

“Tumhari Sulu” actress Neha Dhupia said that things aren’t changing but with a little initiative, things will change in coming times. “Just because there is a women-centric film after 30-40 others release, everyone feels that things are changing but they are not changing just yet.”

Kiran Rao, the lady behind the initiative, expressed that main objective was to inspire women and get them in mainstream cinema, either in front or behind.

“The initiative was started two years ago, to inspire females to be part of the film industry, not just tell their stories. We want females to join film industry as writers, actors, technicians, creative arts and camera persons as this will improve the condition of women,” said Kiran.

Film critic Anupama Chopra said that the issue of equality in the film was not just limited to Bollywood, “it is rampant everywhere”. (IANS)