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On the podium

After four days of walking, talking, pitching, selling, breathing movies, NFDC’s Film Bazaar festival saw a clutch of winners announced
in Goa.

Over 1,300 delegates from all over the world attended the Film Bazaar and more than 200 films were screened.

Out of these, winners this year were Kanwal Sethi’s feature film Once Again, Kabir Mehta’s experimental docu-fiction Buddhagram, Ridham Janve’s Pahadi language film The Gold-Laden Sheep and the Sacred Mountain and Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s much talked about Malayalam film Sexy Durga. Look out for these films at a cinema near you in the next year or two!

AR on VR

The Film Bazaar event in Goa last week provided a focused showcase for Virtual Reality (VR) films and technology.

One of the biggest proponents of this new entertainment tech in India is composer A R Rahman, who came to Goa to share his enthusiasm for VR.

When asked how he came to sample it, he recounted an incident in Los Angeles where someone said, “AR have you tried VR?” and that’s how his love for this medium began.

“What I like most about VR is that it is immersive, and the emotional connection,” said Rahman, adding, “What I like is not the technology, but how close it is to reality. You may not be able to go to the North Pole, but you can experience what it must be like.”

Rahman was speaking on a panel titled Crafting the Live-in-VR experience: Meeting of Technology and Art. He felt dance, music and other art forms are best suited to the VR experience.

“I especially like nature films and stills,” said the Oscar winner.

However, he did caution its use by gamers and children. Rahman’s Vande Mataram ‘Live-in-VR Experience’ screened at Film Bazaar, was shot on 4K Stereoscopic, chronicling Rahman’s tribute concert to M S Subbulakshmi performed at the United Nations in New York, USA, in August this year.

Accolades galore

As we enter awards season in India, Manoj Bajpayee has already bagged the coveted Best Actor narrowly award at the 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

Held in Brisbane, Australia, these are the region’s biggest awards with actors from all Asia-Pacific countries in competition.

Bajpayee won the award for his performance as Professor Siras in Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh. It’s been quite a year for Bajpayee and there’s still much more to come. Not only did he deliver one of the finest performances of his career in Aligarh, but he also excelled in short films and signed up a couple of interesting offbeat movies.Among them is Rukh. Directed by Atnu Mukherjee, this is a drama about a father-son relationship, as tragedy strikes the life of 18-year-old Dhruv.

The film also stars Adarsh Gourav, Smita Tambe and Kumud Mishra. Bajpayee is also putting his might behind Devashish Makhija’s Bhonsale, a film about a about a cop aching to get his job back even in the face of retirement, failing health and socio-political issues that threaten to disrupt life in the chawl where he lives.

Bajpayee had previously featured in Makhija’s short film, Taandav, which was about a cop. The short was like a study for the proposed feature.

Besides this, Bajpayee will also be seen in the international film Love Sonia, in which he says he essays “one the deadliest characters I have played so far”. Sounds intriguing!

Sairat goes South

There has been more than a murmur about a Bollywood remake of the hit Marathi film Sairat, but producers of Nagraj Manjule’s second Marathi feature film say the deal is not yet done.

However, the teenage love story is set for remakes in multiple Indian languages including Punjabi and four South Indian languages.

While the Punjabi remake, which is being directed by Pankaj Batra, begins shooting in December, the Kannada remake is already underway and features Sairat actress Rinku Rajguru reprising her role as the upper caste teenager who falls in love with a lower caste boy.

Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam versions are also on the cards. But the Bollywood version is the one that’s likely to be the most high profile.

Udita Jhunjhunwala

 

 

 

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