April 23, 2008

short film screening


Four short films by
a Kochi-based documentary maker and cinematographer,
Victims,’ (154 seconds),
Teacherless Classrooms,’ (174 seconds),
When Boundaries Disappear,’ (161 seconds)
‘Prey and Hunter,’ (45 seconds) -
will be screened at 6.00 p.m. ,
at cochin media school, near south over bridge, s.a.road, ernakulam.

April 19, 2008

60th anniversary of 'Nirmala'

The 60th anniversary of 'Nirmala,' the first Malayalam film produced in Kerala by a Malayali producer, will be celebrated under the auspices of the Cochin Film Society on Sunday, April 20, 2008. The venue will be the Roof Top Auditorium of the Bharat Tourist Home, Ernakulam. The meeting will start at 3 p.m.

Culture and Education Minister M.A.Baby will inaugurate the function, organised jointly with the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy. Cochin Corporation Mayor Prof. Mercy Williams will preside over the function. The Minister will honour four artistes who were associated with the film. They are, Smt. Baby Joseph, who was the heroine of the film as well as the daughter-in-law of Chevalier P.J.Cherian, the producer, (her husband Joseph Cherian was the hero), Sri.T.K.Govinda Rao, who was the lead playback singer, Smt. Vimala B.Varma, actress and playback singer and Smt. Gracy Davis, another actress.

Innocent, noted actor and president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA), will be the chief guest at the function. Felicitations will be made by K.Chandran Pillai MP, Jose Thettayil MLA, M.C.Josephine, chairperson, GCDA, Adv. E.M.Sunil Kumar, Town Planning Standing Committee chairperson, writer K.L.Mohana Varma and film critic M.C.Raj Narayan.


April 09, 2008

kite runner/trailor

The Kite Runner
Directed by Marc Forster
Produced by William Horberg, Walter Parkes, Rebecca Yeldham, E.Bennett Walsh, Laurie Macdonald
Written by Khaled Hosseini (novel)
David Benioff (screenplay)
Music by Alberto Iglesias
Cinematography Roberto Schaefer
Editing by Matt Chesse
Running time 128 min.
Country USA
Language Persian / English

Khalid Abdalla - Amir as adult
Zekeria Ebrahimi - Amir as a child
Ali Dinesh - Sohrab
Homayoun Ershadi - Baba
Atossa Leoni - Soraya
Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada - Hassan as a child
Nasser Memarzia - Zaman
Shaun Toub - Rahim Khan
Saïd Taghmaoui - Farid, the driver/guide
Henri Ramsey - family member (graduation)
Qadir Farookh - General Taheri
Sayed Jafar Masihullah Gharibzada - Omar (best competing kite flyer)
(The three boys were aged 11 and 12 at the time of the filming)

'The Kite Runner,' is a film directed by Marc Forster, based on a novel with the same title written by Khaled Hosseini, an American novelist and physician of Afghan origin. A 2007 film, 'The Kite Runner,' was nominated for the Academy Awards.

A bilingual film in English and Dari Persian (the official name of the Persian language spoken in Afghanistan) with English subtitles, 'The Kite Runner,' tells the story of Amir, a boy from a well-to-do Kabul family and the sense of guilt that haunts him throughout his life for having betrayed Hassan, his childhood friend and the son of his father's servant. The story is set amidst the most turbulent events in Afghanistan's recent past, beginning with the fall of the monarchy following the Soviet invation in the Seventies, the mass exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the USA and the rise of the Taliban.

Amir and Hassan are inseparable boyhood friends, notwithstanding the social difference between them. However, as the country falls into political turmoil, Amir leaves the country with his father, leaving Hassan and his family behind. Shortly before that, Amir and Hassan had landed in trouble following a confrontation with Assef, a local bully. Hassan had fallen a victim of sexual molestation by Assef while trying to retain a kite he had retrieved for Amir. (Kite fighting was a popular pastime of Afghan children, in which opponents try to cut the strings of each other's kites which will be coated with a mixture of crushed glass and glue and Hassan was the 'kite runner' for Amir who brought back the fallen kites).

However, on that fateful day, Amir did nothing (or could not do) anything to save the honour of his best friend and this guilt followed him to his life in the USA. Finally, years later, he returns to an Afghanistan now under the Taliban, to save Soharab, the son of his once-best friend, Hassan, who is already dead.

Though most of the film is set in Afghanistan, the film was mostly shot in China, due to the political turmoil of Afghanistan.

60th anniversary of 'Nirmala'

The 60th anniversary of 'Nirmala,' the first Malayalam film to be made in Kerala and the second Malayalam talkie, is being observed in 2008. The film, produced by Chevalier P.J.Cherian hailing from Njarakkal near Ernakulam, holds credit to more 'firsts' in the history of Malayalam cinema. It was the first film in which playback singing was introduced in Malayalam. P.J.Cherian's son Joseph Cherian and daughter-in-law Baby Joseph were cast in the lead roles.

Directed by P.V.Krishna Iyer, the film had lyrics penned by the great poet G.Sankara Kurup and music composed by E.I.Warrier.

The Cochin Film Society will organise a seminar to mark the 60th anniversary of 'Nirmala,' on Sunday, April 20, 2008 at 3 p.m. The Minister for Culture and Education, M.A.Baby, will inaugurate the seminar.

Venue of the Seminar will be the BHARAT TOURIST HOME, near Rajendra Maidan, D.H.Road, Ernakulam.



April 06, 2008

Salata Baladi

Salata Baladi ســلطة بـلدي

Screening on Thursday, April 24, 2008
Venue: Cochin Media School, near South Over Bridge, Ernakulam.
Time: 6.15 p.m.


Golden Conch award for best Long Documentary - Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) 2008, Special Prize from the International Critics Jury Fipresci - MIFF 2008- 'Outstanding Documentary' Noor Award at the The Arab Film Festival San Francisco.

21st century Egypt, spurred by the rallying cries of a global clash of civilizations, risks drowning in a xenophobic frenzy. Mary, a grandmother, and her daughter (the filmmaker) join efforts to give Mary's grandson, Nabeel, a glimpse into possible alternatives: the family's 100-year history of mixed marriages. Like many Egyptians, after a century sprinkled with multiple immigrations, a few conversions and a few mixed marriages, Nabeel is a mix of Egyptian, Italian, Palestinian and Lebanese with some Russian, Caucasian, Turk and Spanish; from his Moslem, Christian and Jewish descendants he inherits a track record embracing Socialism, Fascism, Communism, Nationalism, Feminism and Pacifism.

But as the grandmother weaves her way through the family fairy tales, she bumps into her own fears and the continued silence shrouding one branch of the family grows distressingly louder. In an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people dispossessed by the creation of the Jewish State of Israel in 1948, Mary has been boycotting her Egyptian Jewish family in Israel for 55 long years. Inspired by the telling of her own stories and the fresh perspectives her 10-year-old grandson brings to them, she and her loving, eclectic circle engage in the breaking of arguably one of the most vicious taboos in modern Egypt.

"It struck me that our history is contained in the homes we live in, that we are shaped by the ability of these simple structures to resist being defiled." (Achmat Dangor, Kafka's Curse).

The original inspiration for this film was simple enough: a love for my family's stories and a wish to share them. It was a story telling project. The energy that eventually propelled me into this adventure was more complicated. I saw my octogenarian mother aging and my 10-year-old nephew growing up under a shadow of satellite dishes and a rising clamor about some inevitable clash of civilizations. And a mixture of hope and fear overtook me. My mother's stories, woven across the 20th century, confound any straightforward understanding of the historical events during which they were played out and are almost always an exception to the reductive homogeneity with which we are taught to view 'History.'

In my family, religions and cultures get married when they appear to be divorcing in the global arena. In a world where my family's identities are being squeezed into irreconcilable positions, I needed to document my history before I became apologetic about it and the myth of its extinction was realized. But as my mother told her stories, I discovered that the film could not simply be a reclaiming of our treasured past: we found ourselves colliding with pockets of denial and silence. Without confronting the taboos of our present, my mother's stories were reduced to self indulgence and nostalgia. And so my story telling film became a witness to a new story still in the making -- a story about my family's efforts to once more climb the wall that unjustly insists on separating our principles from our humanity.