Thursday, March 31, 2016

THE 14th ANNUAL INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF LOS ANGELES ANNOUNCES 2016 DISTINGUISHED JURY MEMBERS

THE 14th ANNUAL INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF LOS ANGELES ANNOUNCES 2016 DISTINGUISHED JURY MEMBERS
Festival adds tribute to legendary director Bimal Roy with screening of SUJATA, a passholder only screening of THE TIGER HUNTER, a community screening of KHOYA, and a Filmmaker Roundtable.
LOS ANGELES, CA (March 31, 2016) – The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles(IFFLA), running April 6-10 at ArcLight Hollywood, announced today its 2016 distinguished jury. The festival also announced the addition of a tribute to legendary director Bimal Roy with a screening of his beloved SUJATA, a passholder only screening of THE TIGER HUNTER, and a community screening of KHOYA.
IFFLA will also host a Filmmaker Roundtable with all feature directors in attendance, moderated by Sundance Film Festival Senior Programmer, John Nein.
Tickets and passes to all screenings, galas and the Filmmaker Roundtable are available at www.indianfilmfestival.org.
The 2016 narrative film jurors are: filmmaker 
Shonali Bose (MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW, AMU); Features Editor at Variety, Shalini Dore; and international consultant to independent filmmakers and film festivals, Alesia Weston.
Judging the short films are actor Rizwan Manji (NBC’S OUTSOURCED, Jim Jarmusch’s upcoming PATERSON), documentary filmmaker Laura Nix (THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING), and film director and editor Aldo Velasco (CHITTAGONG).
The Awards Ceremony will take place on April 10 at the festival’s Closing Night, prior to the North American premiere of Anu Menon’s WAITING, starring Naseeruddin Shah and Kalki Koechlin. Menon and Koechlin will be in attendance.
Three exciting films have been added to the festival’s already impressive lineup, all screening on Sunday, April 10: a restored version of the classic film SUJATA, provided by the National Film Archive of India,will screen as a tribute to one of Indian cinema’s finest directors, Bimal Roy, on the 50 anniversary of his death; a passholder only screening of filmmaker Lena Khan’s feature debut THE TIGER HUNTER, a colorful recreation of the 1970s with a boisterous comic spirit that aims equally for the heart and the funny bone, with a stellar cast that includes Danny Pudi, Rizwan Manji, Jon Heder, and Iqbal Theba; and a community screening of KHOYA, Sami Khan’s story of one man’s search for his family in India.
“With the recent explosion of Independent cinema gaining momentum, a new generation of filmmakers and talent now have a voice; this new wave cinema is drawing both audience and box office attention,” said Ivan Rana of Zee Cinema, the festival’s presenting sponsor. “Zee Network recognizes this space and continues to support both filmmakers and festivals across North America. We are proud to be associated with IFFLA in its 14th year and look forward to a great festival.”
Filmmaker Roundtable will be presented on Saturday, April 9 at 12:00PMcelebrating the record number of feature directors attending IFFLA this year. Senior Programmer at the Sundance Film Festival, John Nein, will moderate a discussion with the directors about the current state of independent filmmaking in India.
Filmmakers and talent attending IFFLA this year include: the producer of the festival’s opening night film ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES, Gaurav Dhingra, as well as stars of the film Sarah Jane Dias, Anushka Manchanda, Sandhya Mridul, Rajashri Balwant Deshpande, and Pavleen Gujral; the star and the director of closing night film WAITING, Kalki Koechlin and Anu Menon; the star of KOYA, Rupak Ginn; the director of ALIGARH, Hansal Mehta; the director of UMRIKA, Prashant Nair; the director of BRAHMAN NAMAN, Q; the director of CRD, Kranti Kanade, the director of ISLAND CITY, Ruchika Oberoi; the director of KOTHANODI, Bhaskar Hazarika; the director of PARCHED, Leena Yadav; and the director of VISAARANAI, Vetri Maaran.
Tickets and Passes 
The 14th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) runs April 6-10 at ArcLight Hollywood located at 6360 W. Sunset Blvd between Vine and Ivar. Tickets and passes are now available at www.indianfilmfestival.orgFor more information please visitwww.indianfilmfestival.org or follow us on Twitter (@iffla).
About IFFLA
Now in its 14th year, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) is a nonprofit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora.
The five-day festival is the premiere platform for the latest in cutting-edge global Indian cinema and bridges the gap between the two largest entertainment industries in the world – Hollywood and India. The festival will showcase more than 25 films from the Indian filmmaking community across the globe, host the highly anticipated Opening and Closing red carpet Galas, and the Closing Awards ceremony.

FEATURES JURY
SHONALI BOSEShonali Bose is a filmmaker and writer, born and brought up in India. Her debut feature,Amu, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, followed by TIFF and won the FIPRESCI and two National Awards. Penguin published her novel - Amu - which was based on her film. Her second feature, Margarita, with a Straw has won 32 international awards including the NETPAC Jury Award for Best Asian Film at its world premier in TIFF, and the Sundance Mahindra Global Filmmaker Award at Sundance. The film has played in 140 international film festivals, and opens in US theaters in May.
SHALINI DOREShalini Dore, news features editor at Variety, has been with the bible of show business for almost two decades. She loves films, and grew up with not only Bollywood films but those of other Indian languages, particularly Tamil. At Variety, Dore has branched out from writing and editing about Indian entertainment to media from other countries. She loves film festivals and, besides IFFLA, has attended the Palm Springs and Cannes film festivals.
ALESIA WESTONAlesia Weston is an international consultant to independent filmmakers and film festivals. During her decade as head of Sundance Institute’s year-round International Feature Film Program, she spearheaded the Screenwriters Labs in the Middle East, India, Turkey, Israel and South Africa, as well as the Sundance /Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award. In 2012, Weston was appointed Executive Director of the Jerusalem Cinematheque, Jerusalem Film Festival and Israel Film Archives and led both the 2012-2013 festivals. The same year, along with Michelle Satter, she was honored with IFFLA’s Industry Leadership Award.


SHORTS JURY
RIZWAN MANJIRizwan Manji is best known for playing scheming assistant manager Rajiv in NBC’s OUTSOURCED. The sitcom was the first of its kind: based in India, with a predominantly Indian cast. This year, Rizwan will be seen in Jim Jarmusch's PATERSON with Adam Driver, and Drake Doremus' EQUALS, a futuristic love story set in a world where emotions have been eradicated.
LAURA NIXLaura Nix directed THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING (Toronto Film Festival 2014, Berlinale 2015). Her other feature directing credits include the documentaries THE LIGHT IN HER EYES (IDFA premiere, POV broadcast), WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT: THE STORY OF HEDWIG, and the award-winning fiction film THE POLITICS OF FUR. Nix’s nonfiction work has appeared on HBO, IFC, New York Times Op-Docs, Planet Green, and the History Channel.
ALDO VELASCOAldo Velasco is a filmmaker and playwright born in Guadalajara, Mexico and currently living in Los Angeles. His short films have screened at Sundance, SXSW and the Los Angeles Film Festival, among others. He is the editor of CHITTAGONG, the opening night film of IFFLA 2012 directed by Bedabrata Pain, and is currently preparing to direct his first feature GOD LOVES STU.


ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMING
SUJATAA Tribute to Bimal RoySUNDAY, APRIL 10, 12:30PMIndia / 1960 / 161 min / Blu-ray / Hindi
Director: Bimal Roy
2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of one of Indian cinema’s finest directors, Bimal Roy. To mark the occasion, IFFLA is proud to present a restored version of one of Roy’s most beloved classics.
As they celebrate the first birthday of their daughter Rama, men from a local village bring a baby girl to the home of government engineer Upendra and his wife Charu. The baby’s parents were “untouchables” and both died from cholera, leaving the girl an orphan with no one willing to take her in. Being of high Brahmin castes, Upendra and Charu reluctantly agree to take in the baby and eventually give her a name: Sujata.
In a powerful portrayal and denunciation of the caste discrimination that destroyed so many lives, Roy tells a story about real people struggling with social expectations, bigotry and the feelings of love and compassion that bind us together. Showcasing memorable performances by Sunil Dutt and Nutan, with moving music by composer S.D. Burman, SUJATA premiered at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival. Along with celebrating the new wave of Indian filmmakers, IFFLA is honored to pay tribute to a classic of Indian cinema.

KHOYA
Community ScreeningSUNDAY, APRIL 10, 11:00AMIndia, Canada / 2015 / 82 min / DCP / English and Hindi
U.S. Premiere
Director: Sami Khan
Rog Moreau lives anonymously and aimlessly in a small town in Ontario. When his adopted mother unexpectedly dies, Rog loses his last tie to his Canadian upbringing and identity. Realizing he is dangerously spiraling, Rog decides to travel thousands of miles away to India to find the birth family that gave him up for adoption nearly thirty years earlier. His arrival is jarring, however, when he steps off the plane into the crowded sweaty streets of Mumbai and is confronted by his own foreignness in a strange, new land.
While eager to be reunited with his family, complications immediately threaten Rog’s search; a Catholic orphanage reveals his documents are forgeries. More desperate than ever, Rog sets out on a quest heading into Madhya Pradesh -- the impoverished, rural heartland of India -- to find the one local official who can help him solve the mystery surrounding his adoption. Rog’s journey takes him into the dark alleys, dusty roads and cramped train cars of India’s underclass as he tries to connect the threads of his own story. Ultimately he is pushed to his physical and emotional breaking point, forced to confront the ghosts that have been haunting him his entire life. Only then is he able to discover the truth.


THE TIGER HUNTERPassholders Only ScreeningSUNDAY, APRIL 10, 3:45PMUSA / 2015 / 93 min / DCP / English
Director: Lena Khan
Writer-director Lena Khan’s debut feature boasts a stellar cast, a colorful recreation of the 1970s and a boisterous comic spirit that aims equally for the heart and the funny bone. In this wholly original take on the immigrant experience, the incomparable Danny Pudi stars as Sami Malik, a young Indian who travels to 1970s Chicago to become an engineer. He’s determinedto land a lucrative career in order to live up to the legacy of his late father—a legendary tiger hunter. However, Sami finds that success in America doesn’t come easy. When his job falls through, he takes a low-paying gig in the company basement and joins a gang of oddball friends in hopes of convincing his childhood sweetheart that he’s far more successful than he truly is... or perhaps ever could be.
Khan deftly conducts her ensemble in a story that finds huge laughs and pointed commentary on the treatment of immigrants in the American work force. Along with a star turn by Pudi– who earns leading man status with effortless charm – the film’s gifted cast includes scene- stealing performances from IFFLA alum Rizwan Manji (MISS INDIA AMERICA), NAPOLEON DYNAMITE’s Jon Heder, Glee’s Iqbal Theba and many, many more.


FILMMAKER ROUNDTABLESATURDAY, APRIL 9, 12:00PMWith a record number feature directors in attendance this year, we’re taking the opportunity to bring them all together to discuss the state of independent Indian cinema. Moderated by John Nein, Senior Programmer at the Sundance Film Festival, these directors will discuss the difficulties of producing independent content in India, how the filmmaking landscape has improved for filmmakers in the last few years, the challenges ahead and more. This is a rare and exciting opportunity to see the elite of India’s filmmaking community in one room – an event not to be missed!
MODERATED BY:
John Nein, Senior Programmer, Sundance Film Festival
John Nein is a Senior Programmer at the Sundance Film Festival, where he has worked since 2001, dealing extensively with narrative films, the international program and the festival’s panels and conversations. He curates the Institute’s film preservation initiative, the Sundance Collection at UCLA. Outside of Sundance, he is the curator of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ Lost & Found at the Movies cinema culture series.


FILMMAKERS IN ATTENDANCE:Bhaskar Hazarika, director, KOTHANODI
Kranti Kanade, director, CRD
Sami Khan, director, KHOYA
Vetri Maaran, director, VISAARANAI
Hansal Mehta, director, ALIGARH
Anu Menon, WAITING
Prashant Nair, director, UMRIKA
Ruchika Oberoi, director, ISLAND CITY
Q, director, BRAHMAN NAMAN
Leena Yadav, director, PARCHED

SONY DEVELOPS THE WORLD’S FIRST GHOST-CATCHING DEVICE

SONY DEVELOPS THE WORLD’S FIRST GHOST-CATCHING DEVICE
- The Proton PackTM will be the first of its kind to capture ectoplasmic matter –


Tokyo, Japan, April 1, 2016 - Sony Corporation ("Sony") announced today that it has successfully perfected the Proton PackTM(#protonpack), a product designed to capture content from a parallel dimension.

The Proton PackTM is equipped with a state-of-the-art, miniaturized superconducting synchrotron, which accelerates injected protons from a hydrogen plasma cell. Superconducting temperatures are maintained by a liquid helium reservoir, and an active cryocooler ensures that operational time vastly exceeds that available from a cryogen dewar alone. Adaptive beam-steering technology guides the proton beam to an ergonomic wand, which doubles as a beam-halo tuning cavity to provide maximum down-range accuracy. The backpack form factor allows built-in psychokinetic grounding to the user’s spinal column, eliminating spectral noise feedback loops.

In development for over 30 years, the Proton PackTM benefits from the newest innovations from Sony Corporation’s acclaimed products. Weighing 6.66 kilograms/14.68 pounds, the Proton PackTM incorporates the same STAMINA Mode featured in Sony Mobile Communications’ latest XperiaTM smartphones, allowing its user to keep the battery going longer. The Proton PackTMintegrates the same super slow motion capture capability as Sony’s Cyber-shot RX series premium compact cameras, allowing users to capture the matter in 960 frames-per-second high frame rates and accurately record the movement of its target. Its embedded Sony 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector allows users to view captured matter in real time. Near Field Communications technology will make it possible to connect the Proton PackTM wirelessly to other Sony products such as BRAVIA® televisions and XperiaTM smartphones to view, forward, and share entities, redefining the terms image capture and screen grab.  The Proton PackTM is water and slime-proof.

Engineers at Sony Corporation developed the 2016 Proton PackTM in collaboration with nuclear engineer and munitions expert Dr. Jillian Holtzmann.  Sony President and CEO Kazuo Hirai commented “The perfection of the Proton PackTM, long a dream of the world’s greatest engineers since first pioneered by Dr. Egon Spengler of Columbia University, is an example of Sony’s relentless pursuit of innovation. It absolutely delivers the wow factor that is so important to our company mission.”

The Proton PackTM will appear in the U.S. and in India on July 15, 2016.

Kaustav Narayan Niyogi debuts… four times over with Cabaret

Kaustav Narayan Niyogi debuts… four times over with Cabaret

The music of the Fisheye Network Productions' ‘CABARET’ directed by Kaustav Narayan Niyogi is being appreciated.
But then adman turned filmmaker Kaustav Narayan Niyogi who debuts as a writer-director with the film Cabaret is holding many more portfolios as a debutant. They include being the lyricist as well the music composer of the film.



The song Paani Paani from the film Cabaret is rocking the charts at the moment with the sensuous Richa Chadha who plays the lead in the film sets the water afire in a tastefully made song, choreographed by Bosco.
Pooja Bhatt who incidentally has her first ever ‘item’ song as a filmmaker in the film, begs to differ on the word item. “It is a money song. It will make money to the makers and hence it is in the film,” she says, clearly emphasizing the need for the moolah to run the choolah!
The song Paani Paani sung by Sunidhi Chauhan has music by Kaustav Narayan Niyogi and Munish Makhija with lyrics by Niyogi as well.The film’s trailer has already crossed 3.6 million views and the just launched Paani Paani vide has touched 2 lakh views

Best Animated Frames (BAF) Awards felicitate professionals from the fields of Animation, Visual Effects & Gaming

Best Animated Frames (BAF) Awards felicitate professionals from
the fields of Animation, Visual Effects & Gaming 
MUMBAI, 31 March 2016: The Best Animated Frames (BAF) Awards was started in 2004 by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to recognize and honour students and professionals in the field of Animation. This first ever Animation Awards in India grew over the years to encompass awards not only in Animation, but also in the VFX and Gaming fields. The contest now receives top-notch entries from across the globe.

The 12th edition of BAF Awards was organized last night in Mumbai for which entries were received in various categories of Animation, Visual Effects & Gaming.

FICCI BAF AWARDS 2016
 WINNERS LIST
CATEGORY                                ENTRANT                                                     ENTRY TITLE

 Animated Short Film - Student [International] Debanjan Nandy, NFTS Chhaya 
SPECIAL JURY AWARD [Animated Short Film - Student] Animation School, Communication University of China Desire Door 
Animated Short Film - Student [Indian] Debanjan Nandy, NFTS Chhaya 

Animated Promos [International] Framestore Sainsburys Mogs Christmas Calamity
 Animated Promos [Indian] Turtle In Motion Studios P Limited The Shonku Diaries-A Unicorn 

Adventure Animated Ad Film [Indian] Studio Eeksaurus Productions Pvt. Ltd. Rajasthan Tourism Logo 
Animated Short Film - Professional [International] Saptarshi Dey Save Little Shelley 

Animated Short Film - Professional [Indian] Nishant Bahukhandi Yellow 
SPECIAL JURY AWARD [Animated Short Film - Professional] Tulir | Girgit Studios Tickles and Hugs
 Animated TV Episode [Indian] Bluepixels Animation Studios Pvt Ltd Ande Pirki 

Animated Film [Direct-to-DVD (Home Video) / Telefilms] [Indian] Turner International India Pvt. Ltd Lights, camera, Roll No 21 - Kris in Bollywood 

Animated Feature Film [Theatrical Release] [Indian] Green Gold Animation Pvt Ltd Chhota Bheem Himalayan Adventure

Open Category [Animation] ITG-Morph - India Today Group Morph Information Technologies So Sorry
 Mobile and Tablet Game [International] Glu Mobile Terminator Genysis Guardian 
Mobile and Tablet Game [Indian] Glu Mobile Terminator Genysis Guardian 
PC and Console Game [International] Ubisoft Just Dance 

FICCI BAF AWARDS 2016 WINNERS LIST CATEGORY ENTRANT ENTRY TITLE
 FICCI BAF AWARDS 2016 WINNERS LIST
 PC and Console Game [Indian] DSK Green Ice Games DGU 
Student Game [Indian] Rubika Supinfogame Hakunas Fire 

VFX in a Short Film - Student [International] ArtFx Korser

 VFX in a Commercial [International] Framestore Sainsburys Mogs Christmas Calamity 

VFX in a Commercial [Indian] Guliver Films | Tata Elxsi Visual Computing Labs Ltd Afterlife Series
 E03 VFX in a TV Episode [Indian] Contiloe Pictures Pvt ltd Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat 

VFX in a Motion Picture [International] Image Engine | BOT VFX Chappie
 VFX in a Motion Picture [Indian] Arka Mediaworks P Ltd Baahubali-The Beginning 
VFX Shot of the Year [Indian] Yash Raj Films | Prana Studios Detective Byomkesh Bakshy

CRITICS AWARDS

New Entry Animation GEC  Chhoti Anandi - Sphereorigins Multivision Pvt. Ltd

New Entry Kids Network  Shiva - Nickelodeon

Series of the year   Bandbudh Aur Budbak - Zee Q

Case study of the year Real Cricket game - Nautilus Mobile

Special Contribution to the AVGC Industry  P Jayakumar   &  Nina Jaipuria & Team
reveal

India needs an Act to regulate kids’ content; provide parenting guidelines Essential for broadcasters and kids content creators to develop content that balances education and entertainment

India needs an Act to regulate kids’ content; provide parenting guidelines
Essential for broadcasters and kids content creators to develop content that balances education and entertainment

MUMBAI, 31 March 2016: To develop and improve the mind set of citizens it was of utmost importance that children were exposed to responsible entertainment and education. Right kind of education was more important than Right to Education. Children consists one-third of India’s population, hence it becomes critical for broadcasters and content creators to develop content which adds value and balances education and entertainment. Therefore, India needs an Act that regulates and monitors the content viewed by children as they are the future citizens of the country. The Act should also provide parenting guidelines.

This was stated by eminent media and entertainment industry veterans at a session on ‘India needs a kids content Act’ on day two of FICCI FRAMES. The kids programming in India needs customization and original content. An effective Act will ensure the largest kids population that India has gets the right content, education through entertainment and save the Indian cultural values and ethos by bringing in the right balance between the foreign content and Indian content.

Mr. Subhash Ghai, Film Maker, said for children to grow as real architects of the nation it was essential that they received extensive and in-depth knowledge about their culture and values. He pointed out that the state of education in India was mediocre and there were many great Indian stories that could be explored for creating content for kids.

Mr. M Srinivasan, Founder, GEAR Education, said that the personality of child develops in the first 10 years and it becomes essential that they were exposed to quality content. Hence, some regulations were needed to ensure that kids received quality exposure. He added that a comprehensive guideline for parents was also needed as the ambience of a child created his/her character.   

Mr. Rajiv Chilaka, Creator of Chhota Bheem, said that there were 630 million kids below the age of 16years in India and kids’ content creators needed to add value to their properties. He suggested that to reach kids in the rural areas, there was a need for a dedicated channel like Doordarshan Kids as these regions may not have access to cable TV.

Mr. Mukesh Khanna, Chairman, CFSI, said that non-Indian content was being viewed by children as producers were scared to make products for kids as they were bound to lose money. Therefore, a regulation was needed that could encourage producers to develop original content for kids.

Citing the example of the film Baahubali, Mr. Nishith Takia, Producer, Delhi Safari, said that Indiancontent can be successful. Today children have lost respect for their own culture   and the need was to promote kids content which was rich in Indian values. He added that kids must be taught to value their heritage and they should not be ashamed of their roots.

Ms. Nina Jaipuria, EVP & GM Sonic & Nickelodeon India, Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd., said that when Viacom ventured into the kids segment, 100 per cent content was from overseas but today almost 65 per cent content was Indian. She added that with digitization sharper segmentation has taking place which is helping in reaching more kids as well.

The moderator of the session was Mr. Ashish Kulkarni, Chairman, FICCI Animation & Gaming Forum.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Reliance's initial investment in jio is Rs -150000cr says Mukesh Ambani - At FICCI FRAMES

Reliance’s initial investment in Jio is Rs 150,000 cr, says Mukesh Ambani Posted on: 31/03/2016 01:14 AM   TelevisionPost Team MUMBAI: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani has said that the company will be initially investing Rs 150,000 crore in its ambitious telecom project Reliance Jio, making it the world’s largest start-up. “Jio is one of the largest transformational greenfield initiatives in the world with an initial investment of over Rs 150,000 crore. This is really the world’s biggest start-up,” Ambani said during his address at the FICCI Frames 2016, where he was the guest of honour. In 2014, Ambani had called Jio a Rs 70,000 crore initiative. In July 2015, the company had outlined an investment plan of Rs 100,000 crore leading up to its launch in December, which was later pushed to 2016. He noted that the Indian media and entertainment (M&E) industry is set to touch $100 billion in the coming decade. It has grown nine times to $18 billion today from $2 billion in 2004. Ambani stated that the world is at the beginning of a digital revolution, with everything from entertainment, commerce, healthcare to education going digital. India, Ambani said, cannot afford to be left behind in this digital race. But there is a long way to go from here as India is ranked 150th in the mobile internet rankings out of 230 countries. Ambani expects India to be among the top 10 of mobile internet rankings with the launch of Jio. This will be achieved through four key interventions—coverage, quality, quantity and affordability. He pointed out that the coverage of mobile broadband in India is only about 15–20 per cent. With Jio, Ambani expects this number to shoot up to 90% from Day 1, with rest of the industry contributing 20 per cent coverage. “Jio will start services with 70% coverage of India from Day 1,” he said. Referring to quality, he said that Jio mobile broadband will offer speeds that are about 40–80 times faster than the current average speeds. He also feels that Jio will fuel the quantity of data consumption in the country from 0.15 GB per month to a capacity of 10 GB per month for every user. “Jio’s network is engineered to provide capacity of 10 GB per month for every user,” he said. On the affordability front, he said that Jio will significantly up the quantity, quality and coverage for broadband internet while lowering the cost to the user. “With these four interventions, India will leapfrog into being among the top 10 of the digital revolution sweeping across the world,” he asserted. Ambani contended that Jio is not only a telecom network but also an ecosystem. This ecosystem consists of devices, broadband networks, powerful applications and services, distributed to every doorstep in India. He also revealed that Jio’s media offerings will include the most comprehensive libraries and programming of recorded and live music, sports, live and catch-up television, movies and events. Calling upon the industry to co-create with Jio, Ambani said that India will become a powerhouse in the world of digital media and entertainment, and will lead in the new tele-media world if the industry comes together. Jio and Jio-enabled Indians, he said, will create a whole new digital economy, which will bring growth, empowerment, employment and prosperity for the country. Five major trends Ambani also outlined five major trends that are going to shape the digital world in future. Firstly, he said that the world is undergoing a tectonic shift from the spoken and the written word to the visual world. He feels that images and videos will rule in the digital world with the video being the new voice. Secondly, digital technology is exponential while human beings are linear. Any exponential change will create large opportunities and embracing the change will reap rich dividends for everyone. Thirdly, the world is graduating to a tele-media world. Earlier, telecommunication, media and entertainment, television and broadcasting were considered separate industries. However, with the emergence of mobile broadband, the telecom/ICT and various media sectors are converging. “We all are part of the tele-media future. The rules of the game have changed. The model will shift from ownership to digital access, and the user’s focus has shifted from downloading to streaming. The traffic in this world is not linear or one way—it will be interactive. From monologues it will be all about conversations. From copyright to usage rights and more importantly from paying with cash to paying with attention,” he said. Fourth, he predicted that abundance of choice, distribution and content will be a global trend. This kind of abundance will make intelligent analytics the need of the hour. He also said data is the new oil, and intelligent data is the new petrol. Extreme abundance will also lead to scarcity of context, happiness and purpose of life. According to him, anything and anyone who can address this scarcity will be a winner. “And this media and entertainment industry is well-positioned to address the twin issues of abundance and scarcity,” he averred. Lastly, he stated that the true power of technology is its ability to make human life better. The future, he said, belongs to creative empathisers, pattern recognisers and meaning-makers. Also read: Govt not satisfied with BARC ratings system, says Ravi Shankar Prasad Indian TV broadcasting industry is witnessing tectonic shifts, says Uday Shankar JB Perrette outlines Discovery’s focus areas to grow the India biz M&E industry to grow at 14.3% CAGR to reach Rs 2,260 bn by 2020: FICCI KPMG M&E companies need to focus on original content for digital success Kids content is big play on digital platforms BRICS pubcasters need to share, co-produce content for growth

Director's masterclass with Neeraj Pandey, Film Maker at FRAMES

Not quite the master class. More of a Q&A regarding #neerajPandey's humble beginnings in Bollywood and consequent rise as one of the foremost and unique film creator's  in the commercial cinema space.



The Blueberry Hunt

The Blueberry Hunt 

The Blueberry Hunt Thriller/Drama. India. 






Storyline...A man with an unknown identity grows highly potent marijuana in his remote estate bordering the jungles in Kerala as a last chance to get rich. As his precious crop gets ready for harvest his life turns upside down. 

A highly anticipated feature film in India, 
​'​
The Blueberry Hunt
​'​
 has Naseeruddin Shah portraying the title role of a man with many names.  Naseeruddin Shah's performance in The Blueberry Hunt will be considered as one of the greatest performances in his storied career, as well as a textbook example on how a master actor portrays a character where we do not know any of the characters back-story or history.
​A​
ahana Kumra who is making a debut with The Blueberry Hunt is Naseeruddin Shah's student. One of the highlights of the film is how Aahana Kumra and Naseeruddin Shah brings to life the dynamics of acting into screen, from teacher - student days to performers on the screen. Aahana also performed as the daughter of Amitabh Bachchan in the TV series YUDH and is now playing Agent Trisha, the main protagonist in the hit TV series Agent Raghav. 

The background score of the film has been done by the brothers Paresh and Naresh Kamath, who are the members of the band KAILASA, of Kailash Kher. This is also a debut film for Paresh and Naresh. 

The Blueberry Hunt also introduces the Nagaland music group Cultural Vibrants https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWon10yzjTA in cinema. 

The Blueberry Hunt is the second feature film of Writer / Director  Anup Kurian. His first film “Manasarovar” in 2005 won all the Best Debut Director Prizes in India, the best film prize at International Film Festival Mumbai, selected to more than 20 international festivals, and was screened at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC as a representative film of early 21st century Indian cinema. Both 'Manasarovar' and 'The Blueberry Hunt'  are Produced under the banner Visual Possibility.

Characters of the film speak in many Indian languages reflecting the diversity of the country - English, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Marathi. 120 mins. Certified U/A (Indian censor board.) Subtitled in English. This is the debut feature film for many of the cast and crew...Aahana Kumra, Malayalee actors Vinay Fortt (a major star in Kerala), PJ Unnikrishnan, PT Manoj - Best Theater Actor at Kerala State awards. 

The film is promoted and marketed in a unique manner. There is a graphic novel based on the story of the film which is published a few pages a week on FB.

Exclusive and premium content is the key to succeed in digital world

Exclusive and premium content is the key to succeed in digital world

MUMBAI, 30 March 2016: Exclusive and premium content is the key to succeed in the digital world. India was fast moving towards digitization but monetizing digital content was still a challenge for stakeholders. The key players in the sector were now engaging the audience to grab a bigger share of the digital market.   

This was the shared view of Mr. Aroon Purie, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, The India Today Group; Mr. Arthur Bastings, President and Managing Director, Discovery Asia-Pacific; Mr. Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18; Mr. Siddharth Roy Kapur, Managing Director, Disney India; Mr. Vikram Chandra, Executive Director & CEO, NDTV Group and Mr. Neeraj Roy, CEO, Hungama, in a session on ‘Change or Perish:  Surviving the Digital Divide’ at the 17th edition of FICCI FRAMES.

Mr. Purie said that there was a need for improvement in analytics of consumer behaviour in media to create relevant and quality content. The fundamentals have remained same for digital which was content needs to be exclusive. He added that today organisations do not have a choice and need to adopt digital given that the number of consumers of the medium was humungous.

Mr. Bastings said that in the digital sector, the players were still looking for a way to drive the emerging medium. The business plans were still evolving. He added that the consumption measurement system of television was bad and there was a need for a better and more reliable method.

Mr. Vats said that on the digital platform it was easier to measure and gauge the number of actual users, track the content consumption and pattern of consumer behaviour in comparison to traditional media like television, where the consumer behaviour was based on a small sample of consumers.

Speaking on the relevance of the big screen in the era of emerging digital platforms, Mr. Kapur said that cinema was being consumed on small screens but big screens will continue to exist. However, the type of content will play a critical role while audience will decide to choose a medium to watch a movie.  

Mr. Chandra said that with a correct mind set it was possible to monetize digital content. It must be realized that online was a separate entity. Content must be created keeping in mind the consumption behaviour which can be measured by analysing the number of site visits and preferences of consumers.  

Mr. Roy said that the digital platform was on the cusp of a transformation which would be driven by innovative content, technology and distribution and monetization. He added that micro payment was the future as digital consumption was increasing and micro transactions were taking place.   

The session was moderated by Mr. Pranjal Sharma, ‎Editorial and Knowledge Advisor - ‎The Outstanding Speakers' Bureau.

Filmy Bytes

 ''Aakhri Sauda -The Last Deal'' all set to release on 22nd April


       Writer -director Sandeep Kumar's suspense film ''Aakhri Sauda- The Last Deal'' is passed by Censor with A certificate and it set to be released on 22nd April.. The film is produced under the banner of Silver 9 Movies and it is produced by Mukesh Malhotra and Padmakar Athawale and it stars Zuber K Khan, Tanvi Arora, Aaryan Chopra, Sonia Bajwa, Soni Jha, and Ruhi Singh with Mushtaq Khan, Ehsan Khan, Prithvi Zutsi, Nirmal, Dev Malhotra, Anil Nagrath, Kailash Kaushik and Pentali Sen in an item song.Music by Raja Ali, cinematography by Rajendra Sharma, choreography by Raju and Shabana, art by Amrik Singh, editing by Krishna and action by Yusuf are the other major credits of the film.


                      ''Shraap'' shooting in progress at Tawang

            The start to finish shooting of Neelam Sharma Entertainment's maiden venture ''Shraap'' is currently in progress at picturesque locals of Tawang in eastern India. The film is produced by Neelam Sharma and co-produced by Sanjay Sharma and it is written and directed by Faisal Saif. The film stars Rajpal Yadav, Kavita Radheshyam, Dev Sharma, Aman Verma, Anjan Srivastav, Amita Nagia, Nishant Pandey, Puneet Vashishth, Naseer Abdulla, Anupam Shyam and Aryan Vaid. Well known Kannad star Mythriya Gowda is also being introduced in the film.Lyrics by Atiya Sayyed,  music by Shibani Kashyap and Altaf Sayyed, cinematography by Sharath Kumar G and editing
 by Ashutosh Anand Verma are the other major credits of the film.

                                            PUNJABI FILM

                          Ratan Aulakh to direct ''Mitti De Mehak''

Ratan Aulakh has been signed to write and direct ''Mitti De Mehak''.The film is being produced under the banner of United Entertainment Group and this action love story based film will be shot at Mumbai, Amritsar, Chandigarh and England. The cast and credits of the film is under finalisation and  for it the music will be scored by Indian and British music directors.

National Centre of Excellence and film facilitation office for media and Entertainment industry in the offing: Ravi Shankar Prasad 17th edition of FICCI FRAMES gets under way

National Centre of Excellence and film facilitation office for media and Entertainment industry in the offing: Ravi Shankar Prasad
17th edition of FICCI FRAMES gets under way

MUMBAI, 30 March 2016: India’s talent combined with the power of Information Technology would act as a springboard to launch India into the big league, said Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications & Information Technology, while inaugurating the 17th edition of FICCI FRAMES on the theme ‘Change or Perish – The Year of Digital’.

Mr. Prasad said that the Government of India recognized the importance and relevance of promoting media and entertainment industry. Hence, visa processes were being eased for film shootings. Besides the National Centre of Excellence was coming up for the media and entertainment industry and a new film facilitation office was also being set up. He added that a new category in National Film Awards - Most Film Friendly State – has been introduced to felicitate the state that provides greater access to the film industry.

The Minister said that for the government campaigns like Make in India, Skill India, Digital India and Smart Cities, digital was the foundation. He added that to bridge the digital divide in the country, there was a need for empowering India digitally.

Mr. Prasad said that India should create content for global consumption and deliver outstanding content quality. He suggested that the epic stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata should be taken to the world via quality film making. He added that existing TV ranking system was not very reliable, therefore there was a need for a structured, fair and reasonable system to allow creation of quality content.

On the occasion, Mr. Prasad along with the other dignitaries released the FICCI-KPMG Report, ‘The Future: Now Streaming’.

Mr. Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries Ltd., said that India was poised to become a $100 billion industry in the coming decade but still ranked 150th in access to internet and mobile. He added that this would soon change with the coming of Reliance Jio, which is one of the largest greenfield digital start up in the world. Jio would enable India to rank among the top 10 countries in mobile access with its enhanced coverage, service quality, data quantity and capacity and affordability.

Mr. Ambani said that Jio will start its coverage with 75% population when it is rolled out later this year and will go up to 90% by 2017. He added that currently only 15-20% population is covered. With Reliance Jio browsing speeds will also be enhanced by up to 40-80%.

Mr. Uday Shankar, Chairman, FICCI Media & Entertainment Committee & CEO, Star India,said that Star’s mobile app Hotstar became a pioneering app which had 5 crore downloads. 
This exhibited that the digital consumption was voracious and there was a need to be creative to encourage new content for the emerging digital platforms. 

Mr. Shankar said that India cannot remain in a state of denial as the world was changing and it was time India adopted and embraced digitisation. Power of stories will remain and breaking away from the traditional media, the digital media was making way for new stories.  He added that talent and technology was not bound by geography any more.

Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, said that this year delegations from almost 20 countries were participating in FICCI FRAMES. The flagship event of FICCI in the media and entertainment sector was in its 17th year and has been moving ahead with the support from the government.

The vote of thanks was presented by Mr. Ramesh Sippy, Co-Chairman, FICCI Media & Entertainment Committee.

Also present on the dais were Mr. Francis Gurry, Director General, WIPO; Mr. J B Perrette, President, Discovery Networks International and Ms. Aditi Rao Hydari, Film Personality.

Richa Chadha in 'Cabaret'

Displaying Paani Paani Clean.jpg

Indian LGBT film wins National Award Sridhar Rangayan & LGBT community rejoice as ‘Breaking Free’ wins National Award for Best Editing

Indian LGBT film wins National Award
Sridhar Rangayan & LGBT community rejoice as ‘Breaking Free’ wins National Award for Best Editing




Sridhar Rangayan’s documentary film Breaking Free that highlights the impact and implications of Sec 377 on the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community won the National Award for Best Editing at the 63rd National Awards announced yesterday. Editor Pravin Angre and Sridhar Rangayan said they are overjoyed that the film shot over 7 years with more than 400 hours of footage that was cut into a tight 82 mins film, was recognized by the jury with a citation ‘an orchestrated cuts and curves to depict the hardship of the oppressed’.

“This is a big victory for Indian LGBT community itself, as our film is a truthful, honest film that exposes the brutality of the law, police and government in victimizing gay and transgender persons using Sec 377”, said Rangayan who has managed to weave together testimonials from persons actually booked under Sec 377 and who have been raped and tortured, “Breaking Free is an eye-opener and hope the Supreme Court, government and general public see this film so they know why this law has to go. Pravin and I feel that award sends the right message that excellence in cinema is recognized irrespective of the issues it raises”.



Produced by Solaris Pictures and directed by Rangayan, Breaking Free, since its premiere at the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film festival in May 2015, to a tearful standing ovation, has traveled to more than 15 international film festivals. It has been selected to be part of the government’s prestigious Indian Panorama 2015 and also screened at IFFI, Goa.

“The film doesn’t sugarcoat the issues or mask it to make it mainstream; it doesn’t hold back any punches. That’s why the recognition is all the more sweet for us, and for the LGBT community who see it as their own film”, said Rangayan who is overwhelmed by hundreds of messages pouring in from all over the world.

While one audience member from the LGBT community wrote emotionally, “Pointing out the ills of Section 377, this movie is not just a movie, but a journey. A journey of realization, a journey towards the dark side that the ‘miniscule minority’ faces”; another exclaimed excitedly, “OMG OMG... What a glorious moment for team Breaking Freeas well as entire LGBTQ community! For us this is more than a film, and it's such a special feeling that the film is getting appreciated by the most credible awards in our country”. 

Gulshan Grover, Alok Nath, Baba Sehgal, Chunkey Pandey at the Grand Launch of Viacom18’s VOOT

Gulshan Grover, Alok Nath, Baba Sehgal, Chunkey Pandey at the Grand Launch of Viacom18’s VOOT




Viacom18 launched its brand new VOD platform- VOOT with much grandeur and pomp last night (29th March) at a suburban hotel in Mumbai. VOOT is Vaicom18’s maiden venture into the digital platform which was launched by Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18 and Gaurav Gandhi, COO, Viacom18 Digital Ventures.





 VOOT will have an array of quirky and hilarious shows like Sinskari- a sex chat show by Alok Nath, Badman- Gulshan Grover’s webmovie in which he relaunches himself in Bollywood as the Hero, Soadies- a rip off of popular reality show Roadies led by Baba Sehgal, Chinese Bhassad- a comedy web series starring Naveen Polishetty written byRaahil Qaazi and Saurabh Tewari. 




The entire cast of all the shows was present along with veteran actor Chunkey Pandey who will be seen in Badman along with Gulshan Grover. Duo Raghu Ram and Rajiv Laxman were also seen at the gala event posing with the Sanskari Babuji(Alok Nath) who are the producers of the show- Sinskari. 







The night culminated on a high note with interesting photo opportunities and VOOT’s promise to provide unhindered entertainment to its audience.