His first fiction feature film, The Forest (www.theforestmovie.com), is a thriller with an ecological message, a chilling tale of a man-eating leopard set in the jungles of North India. The Forest is the third release under PVR Cinema’s ‘Director’s Rare’ series and will hit Indian screens on 11th of May 2012. The film premiered at Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose in February 2009, and had its market premiere at Cannes Market ‘09.
Dr. Vijay Mallya presents, an Alipur Films production of ‘The Forest’ by Oscar nominated director Ashvin Kumar. PVR’s Rare initiative releases third movie under its banner on Friday the 11th of May Oscar Nominated film short-film ‘Little Terrorist’ will also feature as a double-bill April 28th, 2012: Dr. Vijay Mallya, PVR Director’s Rare initiative and Alipur Films brings an ecological thriller – The Forest. The film directed by Academy Award nominee Ashvin Kumar, starring Jaaved Jafferi, Nandana Sen and Ankur Vikal.
It’s is the story of a vacationing couple disturbed by the arrival of the wife’s ex-lover, opening wounds that are best left unhealed; yet, unknown to them their troubles have only begun. They are being hunted by a leopard that has turned man-eater due to a failed poaching attempt, and it will stop at nothing to satisfy its hunger.
True to life, for more than a 150 people are killed in leopard or tiger attacks in India every year due to mounting poaching and encroachment on our dwindling wilderness. Unable to hunt their natural prey, such animals find it easier to hunt human beings and become man-eaters. The film is about a wounded leopard, whose only choice for survival is to hunt humans and is inspired by Jim Corbett’s man-eater tales as one who has lived through such attacks...
In ‘The Forest’, a couple from a big city are on vacation in the Indian jungle to sort out a troubled marriage when they run into the wife's ex-lover. As husband and lover lock horns for the woman, primitive instincts find voice in the wilderness and they become blind to signs of a lurking presence. A starving leopard has been shot by poachers and can’t hunt his normal prey. Desperate for a kill he turns on the weakest animal in the jungle - man. In a night of terror, survival will depend on outwitting a formidable hunter of the wild, a perfect killer who has become so accustomed to hunting man that he's begun to think like us...
Ashvin Kumar’s Oscar nominated short film Little Terrorist will also be released along with The Forest. The film is about a twelve year old Pakistani Muslim boy who mistakenly crosses the mine-field strewn border into India and finds an unusual ally - Bhola, a Hindu school teacher who must find a way of hiding him from Indian soldiers looking for the ‘terrorist’ who crossed over - www.little-terrorist.com
The director, Ashvin Kumar, says, “FINALLY! The Forest has been lost in the woods for five years and it’s been a heart-breaking journey. There can’t be a more humbling and educating experience than winning an Oscar nomination, producing your first feature film, then being turned down at every door in Bombay for its distribution and release.
But thanks to those rejections my journey, in the intervening years, saw me making a kids film ‘Dazed in Doon’ (the most uplifting experience of my life, then needlessly banned and
under litigation now with the Doon School); and, with Jaaved Jaffery as producer, Inshallah, football and Inshallah, Kashmir films, which gave me the chance to be with some of the most courageous and generous people I have had the privilege of knowing. Seeing their world, their struggles put certainly rendered my woes relatively insignificant and changed my outlook on life.
I was convinced that The Forest would never release in a conventional way in India. I was waiting for a time when a forward-thinking distributor would collaborate on a platform release i.e. a release that is not expecting to make all its money in two days. That distributor turned out to be PVR, who are known to be a first-mover in our industry.
I think we are witnessing a coming-of-age for Indian cinema. That day, when a network of alternative theatres will run independent cinema, is not far. The Forest has been a coming-of-age for me, and I am delighted to be a small part of this bold new experiment. Commendations to Mr. Sanjeev Bijli and Mr. Shiladitya Bora for creating this space – I hope audiences will vindicate our stand and come out in droves to see The Forest and celebrate this new way of releasing independent cinema! ”
The Forest, along with Little Terrorist will release in PVR cinemas at Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Gurgaon, Chennai, Chandigarh, Raipur, Indore and Lucknow through the PVR Director’s Rare banner.
About Director’s Rare Film Banner
PVR Director’s Rare is the recently launched alternative programming initiative of PVR Cinemas to support the theatrical release of critically acclaimed, small independent films. Hardcore film buffs will no longer have to choose between catching world cinema masterpieces on a small screen or waiting for once a year festivals to bring the latest independent films to theatres.
Director’s Rare will be regularly bringing award winning and critically acclaimed films from across the globe to the discerning audience. It includes masterpieces of iconic filmmakers as well as latest films from the film festival circuit.
The films are carefully handpicked by PVR’s expert curators. In a given week the audience can watch a much admired classic or a relatively lesser known gem. These selected films will be highly content driven, engaging and entertaining & will be showcased at PVR Director's Cut and at selected PVR Cinemas pan India.
About The Forest : www.theforestmovie.com
The Forest was shot near Jim Corbett National Park and Bandavgarh National Park. The wildlife photography was done by award winning wildlife film makers Rajesh and Naresh Bedi. As a producer, Ashvin has brought together financiers from all over the world to his projects. The Forest, is his debut feature film, it has Dr Vijay Mallya as its presenter and financier, among a consortium of others. The costumes in The Forest were designed by designer Ritu Kumar under her LABEL collection. Ashvin has worked with an international crew who have stayed with him through the productions of Little Terrorist and Road to Ladakh. The Forest boasts the talents of a Swiss director of photography, a French production designer and an English sound designer. Not to mention superb SFX (Special Effects) designers and animal wranglers from France and a VFX (visual effects) team from Canada.
About Ashvin Kumar: www.ashvinkumar.com & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashvin_Kumar
The youngest Indian writer/director with an Academy Award Oscar® nomination, Ashvin is also the first Indian to be nominated at the European Film Academy with his film ‘Little Terrorist’, official selections to over 150 film festivals, winning top awards in 25 of them, including the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) LA.
His first documentary film produced by Jaaved Jaffery is a touching human story set in Kashmir - Inshallah Football (awards at Dubai, Pusan, Mumbai and official selection in Chicago among others) recently won the National Award after having initially being banned by the Government of India. www.inshallahfootball.com & http://www.facebook.com/ inshallahfootball
Ashvin wrote and directed the fictional feature, Dazed in Doon, as a participatory project where children from The Doon School took up key roles among the cast and crew. The film was banned by the school, and remains unreleased.
The sequel to Inshallah Football, also produced by Jaaved Jaffery, called Inshallah Kashmir (http://www.facebook.com/inshallahkashmir) was released online on 26th January, 2012 – on the Indian Republic day to reach out to as many people as possible. The film got over fifty thousand views in under a week along with a hundreds of comments - positive and negative - sparking off conversations and debates on Kashmir, censorship and freedom of speech. A seven minute clip of the same film can be found here : http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=nUnZGnZZVws
About PVR Ltd. PVR is one of the largest and most premium film entertainment companies in India. PVR currently operates a cinema circuit consisting of 158 screens spread over 20 key cities in India. PVR’s service offerings include low-cost multi-screen cinemas that offer superior ambience and high hygiene standards for consumers in Tier II cities; branded as ‘PVR Talkies’ at one end of spectrum. On the other hand, PVR has launched the premium brand of multiplexes called "PVR Premiere" which includes Gold Class Cinemas that caters to the esteemed urban consumers with facilities like fully recliner seats, personalized menu, lounge areas, and many such services. PVR also operates a film distribution and production business through its subsidiary, PVR Pictures, which is involved in production of films across genres and distribution of Indian and international films across India. It also operates a bowling business PVR BluO, internationally a well established bowling brand, in partnership with Major Cineplex Group, a leading provider of lifestyle entertainment in Thailand. BluO brings fashion bowling to Indian consumers, who have long aspired for lifestyle entertainment.