Filmmaker Karan Johar will deliver a masterclass at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM).
Mitu Bhowmick Lange, the fest's director, said: "We are extremely honoured and glad to have Karan Johar be part of our festival this year. He is one of the most reputed filmmakers in India and is such a loved personality.
“We here in Melbourne and people of the city are looking forward for his masterclass which he will be delivering as part of the festival this year."
The 45-year-old director, who has helmed films like ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...’, ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’ and ‘My Name Is Khan’, will deliver a special masterclass on 'How to direct a big Bollywood dream'. People across all cities in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji Island are expected to attend the fest.
This year, IFFM has diversity as its central theme. It will showcase over 60 films -- indie and short included - in 20 different languages from 10th to 22nd August. The films from India will include 30 Australian premieres.
Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma describes graphic dialogue and nudity in Bollywood
“… guns and thighs are the symbols of power and sex.”
Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma, who has used graphic dialogues and nudity in his debut digital web series "Guns and Thighs", based on the Mumbai underworld, says he has used the freedom offered by the new age entertainment platform.
Justifying the bold scenes in the trailer, he says they are not purely intended to titillate the audience.
Asked if the trailer, which has drawn attention, was a well-planned strategy to titillate, Varma said: "Titillating is a very relative world. At times, a character or a situation can titillate someone (and lead him/her) to watch the show.
"So you cannot specify what is exactly the element of titillation in the viewers' mind. Yes, the story of the web series has age restrictions, as it is adult content, but when an audience is clicking on the link to watch an episode, from the name itself they get an idea of the subject matter. Therefore, there is no element of surprise."
Varma pointed out how "anything that is restricted to adults is either violence or sex".
"In fact, that is the rule of our censor board as well.
“My point is, we are living in a world with people of different choices and sensibilities, where if you, as an individual, do not want to watch something, don't (watch it), but don't force others to do the same. Let them celebrate their choice as well. That is what freedom of choice and expression is about."
Known for making Bollywood crime thrillers on the underworld – ‘Company’, ‘Ab Tak Chhappan’ and ‘D’ to name some - Varma has once again explored the genre in the web series, which is set between 1995 and 2005.
"I think the genre always does not matter, but the storytelling does. Yes, this web series is on the Mumbai underworld, but the style of narration, imagery, characters, situations... these are very different," added the filmmaker.
Explaining the title, he said: "You see… guns and thighs are the symbols of power and sex.
In politics, mostly, radical decisions are taken under the influence of power and sex.
"On the other hand, as I always say, my prime interest in filmmaking has come from Amitabh Bachchan's gun and Zeenat Aman's thighs... so now you know that the title is apt. It's very symbolic."
The National Award-winning filmmaker is exploring the digital platform for the first time, and sees its advantages.
"More than anything else, it is the creative freedom that we get on web series. There is no time limit of two hours that I have to compress my thought (into), keeping the interval and duration of a film in mind.
"I have also taken liberty on that."
Asked why he decided to show a woman nude and not a man, he quipped: "Maybe as a man, I do not want to see a man's nude body. I think a woman (filmmaker) would like to do that. However, I believe a woman's body is more beautiful than a man's."
Alankrita Shrivastavas directorial ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’, produced by renowned filmmaker Prakash Jha, will get its European premiere at the prestigious Stockholm International Film Festival in November.
The film features in the Spotlight section, which has a special contemporary theme every year. This year’s theme is “Identity”. The other films in this section include Bertrand Bonello’s ‘Nocturama’, Mahmoud Sabbagh’s ‘Barakah Meets Baraka’ and Garth Davis’s ‘Lion’.
Jha said in a statement: “The Stockholm festival is very prestigious and the fact that ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ will be playing in the Spotlight section with the theme of Identity, just reinforces how global, contemporary and relevant the film is.”
Shrivastava shared that across the world, issues of identity, especially for women, are becoming “increasingly urgent”.
“It means that the complexity of female desire that the film explores has a universal resonance in today’s times,” added the director.
‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ stars Konkona Sen Sharma and Ratna Pathak. Ratna feels the film’s theme and emotions are instantly relatable and that is its strength. She said: “Women’s identities are complex, and that’s the central theme of our film.”
INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER: Nishad Chaughule produced a film which went on to win an Academy Award in the Student Foreign Language Film category
Leeds graduate filmmaker wins gong
Mumbai-born Nishad Choughule, a graduate filmmaker from Leeds Beckett University has won the Alumni of the Year Award in the Professional Achievement category at the prestigious Education UK Alumni Awards in India.
Nishad Chaughule, who studied MA Filmmaking and graduated in 2013, was presented with his award by the Mayor of London and Baroness Amos at a high profile ceremony in New Delhi, where he fought off stiff competition from hundreds of applicants and two other shortlisted candidates from The University of Cambridge and University of Cardiff.
Nishad is an independent filmmaker and producer who produced a film whilst studying which went on to win an Academy Award in the Student Foreign Language Film category.
He produced the short film 'Border Patrol' with his fellow students while studying in Leeds.
The students’ short film was shot in Germany and tells a story of two German border force officers, Karl and Franz, who, whilst working on patrol on the Austrian border of Germany, come across a dead body hanging in the woods. To avoid the aggravation and paperwork that would follow the discovery of the dead body, they dump it on the other side of the border so that they can enjoy a football match between the two countries that evening.
In his acceptance speech at the awards, Nishad said that his UK education gave him life skills and he is grateful for the friends and contacts he made during his time at Leeds which greatly opened up his mind and enabled him to become a better storyteller and filmmaker.
Nishad also thanked his tutors at Leeds Beckett University the Leeds Beckett team in India team for their support.
Run by the British Council, the Education UK Alumni Awards highlight the outstanding achievements of international alumni who have studied in the UK, showcasing the benefits of a high-quality UK education through inspiring alumni success stories, and the positive impact they bring back to their community and country.
Since completing his master’s degree, Nishad has been involved in a whole host of different film projects in Europe, Russia and India, including a project with BBC films. He now works at an independent film studio in Mumbai.
Filmmaker Rohit Shetty has dismissed speculations that his remake of Subash Ghai’s 1989 blockbuster starring Jackie Shroff and Anil Kapoor was in trouble.
It had been speculated that the eagerly-announced remake by Karan Johar is in jeopardy due to the recent box office disappointment of Shah Rukh Khan starrer ‘Dilwale’, which was produced by Rohit and SRK’s wife Gauri Khan. ‘Dilwale’ released December last year and had marked the reunion of SRK and Kajol, but was pitted against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period love saga ‘Bajirao Mastani’, which did much better.
Shah Rukh’s disappointment with ‘Dilwale’ triggered rumours debate on rift between SRK and Rohit Shetty and news on both passing the buck on others for the failure of ‘Dilwale’ started circulating.
Then whispers began that Rohit’s ‘Ram Lakhan’ remake might not happen.
But Rohit Shetty has confirmed that work on the scripting is on. Recently he publically opened up on the status of his forthcoming projects and reportedly said: “I have two scripts right now. One is ‘Golmaal 4’, which I think people are waiting for me to start, the other is a ‘Ram Lakhan’ remake with Karan Johar”.
Filmmaker Abhishek Kapoor, who roped in Tabu to play a prominent role in 'Fitoor', says she is a director's dream.
Veteran actress Rekha was initially roped in to play the character of Begum in 'Fitoor', but she walked out of the project in May 2015 and the role went to Tabu.
"Tabu is one of the few actresses who can mould herself according to the character. She is a dream for a director," Kapoor told reporters in a group interview.
"She never looks into mirror or monitor and always trusts the crew on sets.
“I am thankful to Tabu who stepped in at the last moment and got into the skin of the character within three to four days," added the filmmaker. Kapoor, who has widely shot 'Fitoor' in Kashmir, says he was very clear that he wanted to shoot this film in that state.
"Many people told me not to shoot in Kashmir and gave me the option to shoot either in Himachal or abroad, but Kashmir has a different beauty altogether. Dal Lake in Kashmir is something I can't take it away from the film. I was adamant I will make my film in Kashmir," said Kapoor.
The movie is an adaptation of Charles Dickens classic novel "Great Expectations" and will have Katrina Kaif playing Firdaus while Aditya Kapoor will portray the character of Noor. The film also stars Aditi Rao Hydari, Lara Dutta and Rahul Bhatt.
TRUMPING TRUMP: Michael Moore is not impressed by the Republican presidential candidate
American filmmaker and social-political activist Michael Moore has written to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, criticising him on his recent anti-Muslim statements and his call to ‘ban all Muslims from coming to the United States’.
In the letter, which he posted to his personal website, he wrote: “We are all Muslim. Just as we are all Mexican, we are all Catholic and Jewish and white and black and every shade in between.
“We are all children of God (or nature or whatever you believe in), part of the human family, and nothing you say or do can change that fact one iota.”
He continued: “If you don't like living by these American rules, then you need to go to the time-out room in any one of your Towers, sit there, and think about what you've said....We are all Muslim, deal with it.”
During his campaign trail, Trump called for a ‘total and complete’ block on all Muslims entering the US and an end to Muslim immigration into the country.
Trump - the current frontrunner among Republican candidates seeking the party nomination for the presidency of the United States - is a man who is not afraid to voice his views.
Speaking previously, he said: “Our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”
In the letter, Moore reminded Trump that the US today is no longer a country of ‘angry white guys’; that supporters have become more diverse and that ‘fortunately’ the US no longer looks like Trump or his supporters.
Addressing Trump, Moore continued: “Here's a statistic that is going to make your hair spin: 81 percent of the electorate who will pick the president next year are either female, people of colour, or young people between the ages of 18 and 35... In other words, not you [or] the people who want you leading their country.”
Moore went on to say that he was raised to believe in equality of people as brothers and sisters, regardless of race, colour and religion.
Moore is known for his documentary films that criticise the war in Iraq, US gun laws, globalisation and the US healthcare system.
He is a multi-award winner, and has received an Academy Award for ‘Bowling for Columbine’ - the 2002 film that explored what happened during the Columbine high school massacre in Colorado.
For the first time Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will be teaming up with perfectionist Aamir Khan, according to whispers.
It’s going round that they’ve both been roped in by ace filmmaker Karan Johar.
Previously, everytime Karan had approached Ash to star in his film, things didn’t work.
Karan is close to the Bachchan family and possibility is high that Ash might sign her next film with Dharma productions. According to a close source, Ash has finally given her nod to the Dhrama film but there has been no such official confirmation.
A source has been quoted as saying: "Aishwarya has never worked with Dharma Productions - a film company founded by Karan Johar’s father – Yash Johar and now run by Karan.
“She was supposed to do ‘Dostana’, but at the time she felt that the audiences would not accept her walking away with another man (Bobby Deol) when Abhishek was courting her in the film.”
The source revealed that Karan Johar has offered a film to Ash with Aamir in the lead.
Aamir and Aishwarya have never been together except for one scene in Dharmesh Darshan's ‘Mela’.
Karan always updates his fans about his forthcoming film and announce the cast and the crew on the social networking sites but he has shared nothing about this piece of news till now.
Aishwarya also hinted in an interview that apart from ‘Jazbaa’, she has given her nod to few more movies.
Well, wee are sure that Aishwarya and Aamir’s pairing will take the silver screen by storm.