The Playground directed by Edreace Purmul

The Playground directed by Edreace Purmul

Film synopsis: A New-Ancient thought-provoking thriller: Five vastly separate inner-city lives struggle against their limitations in an interlocking story assembled by a dark orchestrator. All five characters play their hand in an obscure playground they find themselves in. As answers begin to unravel, so does their sanity…

Review written by Shirley Rodriguez

This film presents us with 5 characters and several themed chapters in which they are facing various struggles, and not all is what it seems. Although the movie opens with a scene in an actual school playground, the true playground we discover is the world itself and its inhabitants. Within this playground are humans destroying themselves and each other. The destructive elements include lying, cheating, murder and deception for evil gains without regard for others. Faith and religion are questioned when times are difficult, but that is when it is needed most for those who choose to believe.

There is a married couple struggling to maintain their marriage, a young priest questioning if he has what is necessary to fulfill his calling, a homeless man tempted by outward riches while searching for substance and faith within himself, and a blindly ambitious businessman looking to attain and display wealth at all costs regardless of how ill-gotten they are. Their stories are interwoven and there are secondary characters who influence the main characters further complicating their situations.

Each of them are tested and their choices like a domino effect ultimately lead them to their ends. We see unquestionably outright destructive behaviors, but the more frequent incremental and seemingly harmless actions lead to ultimately similar if not more dreadful consequences. They are caught up in fear, insecurity and doubts in faith.

There is a lot of running away physically and spiritually in this film, but no one can run away from themselves. The human struggle is universal and personal at once. We can identify with a spiritual force of choice guiding our actions but it does not exempt us from any responsibility. You believe what you choose to. If it changes something in you in either direction, reassess yourself and where you stand. No one else can make those decisions for you in anything, including your faith.

Posted in Film Reviews, etc.

Khelna Bati (My Toy World), written and directed by Diganta Dey

Khelna Bati (My Toy World) is a short animated film done in chuckimation genre Which is also India’s first chuckimation film on stop motion animation. Recently this film was Officially Selected in 6th Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival 2016 in Delhi will screen on 30th April. Khelna Bati (My Toy World) is officially selected in Momentum Experimental Art Festival on 2nd April 2016 premiere at Kolkata in India. Festival details: http://littlei.in/momentum/

Language-Bengali
Direction & Story-Diganta Dey
Producer-Koushik Bhattacharjee
Cinematography-Arkajyoti Ganguly
Music & Sound-Kaushik Roy (Paw) & M.H.R
Edit & Effects-Smrijeet Ghosh
Production-Teammate Workers

Film Synopsis- There was a country which had no name. All countrymen lived together happily.One Day a ‘Civilized Human’ country came to know about them & also about their petroleum power. They captured the place but another human country attacked on them for that petroleum.’Gollu’ a countryman appealed to stop the war but died by a bullet at last.

Director Biography – Diganta Dey was born on 9th May 1994 in a small villege ‘Tufanganj’ in Coochbehar district of West Bengal. From class 9 he started writing short stories. After schooling he came to Kolkata for pursuing higher studies at the age of 18. From this time he started film making without proper film training & made short films by his own student film production ‘Teammate Workers’.

Director Filmography- 3 Seeds of My Life (2014) Short Docu Fiction; The Silent Wheel (2014) Experimental Short

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Ratchet & Clank, directed by Kevin Munroe and Jericca Cleland

Based on the Popular Play Station Game, An Adventure Suitable For Younger Kids. Ratchet & Clank tells the story of two unlikely heroes as they struggle to stop a vile alien named Chairman Drek from destroying every planet in the Solana Galaxy. When the two stumble upon a dangerous weapon capable of destroying entire planets, they must join forces with a team of colorful heroes called The Galactic Rangers in order to save the galaxy. Along the way they’ll learn about heroism, friendship, and the importance of discovering one’s own identity.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Abigail Zoe L. and Ryan R. review the film.

Ratchet & Clank
By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 8

Interviews with cast & crew:
embed code:

Ratchet & Clank
Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Posted in Film Reviews, etc.

Scammerhead, written and directed by Dan Zukovic

Synopsis: A Global Film Noir with dark comic elements about Silas Breece, a legendarily unorthodox business hustler who travels the world seeking capitol from bizarre investors,mobsters and government officials for a series of increasingly elaborate projects.

Scammerhead was written and directed by Cult indie film director Dan Zukovic (The Last Big Thing), and produced by Jeremy Dyson, Brendan Keown and Mitch Mayer (Dark Arc).

Scammerhead had it’s World Premiere in the Main Competition at the 2014 Montreal World Film Festival, the only FIAPF endorsed competition festival in North America (http://www.ffm-montreal.org/en/317-en_scammerhead.html), and was nominated for the Prix des Ameriques. It recently won “Best Narrative Feature” at the Berkeley Film Festival, as well as the Trenton Film Festival, and the “Visionary Award” at the Lake Champlain Int’l Film Festival. The film continues on the festival circuit, and willbe playing Mexico’s Cine Pobre Film Festival in May.

An ambitious Global Film Noir with dark comic elements, Scammerhead was shot for over 7 years in numerous international locations, including New York, Chicago, London, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington DC, Memphis, Liverpool, Cleveland, Paris, Berlin, Rome, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Havana, Tokyo, Mexico City, Elba Island and Alcatraz Island. It features one of the final performances of legendary Hollywood character actor Alex Rocco (The Godfather, The Friends Of Eddie Coyle), as well as performances by other legendary Hollywood character actors Bruce Glover (Chinatown, Diamonds Are Forever), and Duane Whitaker (Pulp Fiction).

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scammerhead/492649894163215
Twitter: https://twitter.com/scammerhead

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

The Playground, written and directed by Edreace Purmul

The Playground, Winner, Best Feature at the San Diego Film Awards 2016.

Film synopsis
A New-Ancient thought-provoking thriller: Five vastly separate inner-city lives struggle against their limitations in an interlocking story assembled by a dark orchestrator. All five characters play their hand in an obscure playground they find themselves in. As answers begin to unravel, so does their sanity…

Film featurette:

Visit the website: http://www.theplaygroundfilm.com

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Comic Fingers directed by Aneek Chaudhuri

SYNOPSIS
Comic Fingers is based on the cartoonist, KV GAUTAM and his contributions to cartoon art form in India. Beside this, the film involves a great level of World Cinema experimentation, not used anywhere in world. The film includes the usage of three colors of the Indian Flag as contextual settings, hence, the chromatic background keeps in accordance the flag colors at appropriate moments.

THEME
KV Gautam is one of the cartoonists who is still pursuing his political satires in the age of hypocrisy when BRUTUS is always there to criticize him and we all know that Brutus is an honorable man. Moreover, the film comments on Indian cartoon form that is beyond Disney, MGM, SUKUMAR RAY, RK LAXMAN AND CHARLIE HEBDO.

Watch the trailers for Comic Fingers:

TRAILER 1

TRAILER 2

INTERVIEW

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

The Bandit, directed by Jesse Moss

The following is from an e-mail interview we did with legendary actor Burt Reynolds about the new documentary, The Bandit, an inside view of the friendship between Mr. Reynolds and stuntman extraordinaire and Smokey and the Bandit director Hal Needham. Thanks to Todd Vittum for coordinating this exclusive interview.

Mike Fishman for IndependentFilmNow: How did Burt Reynolds and Hal Needham meet? What drew them to become such close lifelong friends?

Burt Reynolds: We met on the set of Have Gun Will Travel. He was doubling Dick Boone and was already in demand on many shows. I was on the studio lot and doing Riverboat but my day was short so I would see what some of the other shows were doing. Later he doubled me on my show.

IndependentFilmNow: How did Hal come to direct Smokey and the Bandit? Did he write it specifically for Burt?

Burt Reynolds: He didn’t say that but I think he did. It was the studio that told him if you can get your roomie, we can do it.

IndependentFilmNow: What was the most challenging stunt you and Hal devised?

Burt Reynolds: The car canon in McQ – it was supposed to flip over twice – Hal used too much black powder and it flipped more than a dozen times.

IndependentFilmNow: Where did the idea for the film The Bandit come from? Was director Jesse Moss (The Overnighters, Full Battle Rattle, Speedo) involved from the start?

Burt Reynolds: He’s big in the documentary world – it was his idea from the start. I opened up my archives and did a few days of interviews and we just got along so well. He’s a good one!

IndependentFilmNow: Are there any screenings coming up (Note: The Bandit screened in March to enthusiastic crowds at SXSW)?

Burt Reynolds: We’re showing the film at Nashville, San Francisco and a few other festivals.

Follow The Bandit.

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Eggs and Soldiers, written and directed by Imelda O’Reilly

Synopsis: Eggs and Soldiers: A single Irish Dad forgets to buy the tree on Christmas Eve. Ned the older son’s humanity is challenged as he risks everything to have his younger brother Marco experience a real Irish Christmas.

Eggs and Soldiers is about broken people trying to stay alive in a broken system. Nobody is perfect and everyone in one way or another has different sets of issues.

The title comes from a food game from Ireland and England where you cut the bread to look like soldiers and then dip the soldiers in the egg. It was to help get children to eat their food. I have been developing this project and in terms of visual references I used Gary Oldman’s Nil By Mouth as a starting point. We used a lot of long lenses to create the world of the characters. The tone of the film has a rugged and gritty feel to it. We shot mostly in Washington Heights in New York City. The colors in the world were muted greys and browns.

Christian wants his younger son Marco who is biracial to experience a real Irish Christmas. He buys Selection Boxes, Christmas Crackers and plum pudding which is what a typical Irish Christmas would be like back in Ireland. Christian even manages to mess that up when he forgets to buy the tree and bring it home. Christian drinks himself out of despair to alleviate the constant haunting of this displacement and the struggles of being a single parent.

During the fight sequence we used a hand held camera to show the destabilization of Ned’s world. The series does include evocative visual angles, vibrant use of shadow and light with cinematography that alternates between tranquil and edgy. Christian is living on the edge and I wanted the camera to emulate this edginess.

Director’s Artist Statement
As a writer and filmmaker I play with the borders between my relationships to reality, mystery and tension. The act of seeing and how story unfolds in the narrative. I am chasing subconscious thoughts that inform imagination and behavior and how they intertwine.

My intention is to engage viewers, lure them into a world on the surface that appears joyful but underneath I create a subtext that destabilizes the viewer using words and images as counterpoint in aesthetic and tone. When I work I begin with words but then delve deeper into images. Wallace Stevens says, “the poem is the cry of its occasion.” Poems have always been blue prints for me, in poems time is condensed and moments have more clarity. Later on when I am editing the footage I have another opportunity to reshape my ideas.

As a child growing up in Catholic Ireland I spent a lot of time climbing trees and dreaming myself out of the countryside. I invented stories and characters shaping a fictional universe they could inhabit. It is this transcendental space that drew me into a point of creating my own work process and practice. I believe creating is a form of meditation. Imelda O’Reilly.

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Dark Passages, web series

Dark Passages, the Web Series, is an anthology type series similiar to the old Twillight Zone.
Each webisode is approximately 10 minutes long with a different strange and bizarre tale from filmmakers around the world. We are preparing to launch Season 2 but the first Season is avaliable at:
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1xaJLni_O34Z5rDFsY_bOA
Website: http://darkpassages0011.wix.com/dark-passages
Facebook Page: Dark Passages the web Series

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Interview with filmmaker Aneek Chaudhuri

1. Charles Abraham: Aneek Chaudhuri, do you truly believe that happiness in life is impossible?
Ans. I might be the most optimistic person on earth while saying this, but indeed my perspective on life is quite different. No, I believe happiness in life is extremely possible and one deserves to be happy. When I see people around me earning humongous bucks and yet they sleep off the day with gloom faces, I feel pity. I mean that’s what they aimed to be, to be successful, to earn huge and lead a happy life. But, to me life is not about money at all; moreover, I believe that more a person would be inclined toward money, the less happy he/she would be in life. My childhood was not a delicious cupcake, but I always sensed a ray of hope.

2. I think it’s safe to say that most people would disagree.
Ans. I think almost everyone today will oppose this, but ones who are reading this will actually think of life to be quite easier.

3. What are your views on love?
Ans. I am quite neutral about love, as for me my creation is my love. Now giving a personified form of the same, if a person actually fits into the character, I would prefer to fall in love with the person. I mean, here I mean the platonic bond between me and the girl. So, for me it’s no inertia that I should be in love with a girl, it’s something more than a compulsion and my films are based on similar themes where the protagonist actually craves for a platonic bond rather than getting sexually attracted to someone.

4. To say, if you need to choose Cinema over your girl, whom would you choose?
Ans. Of course Cinema! See, both have their own places in life, but Cinema is immortal for me or something that corresponds my life-span and my Cinema will die along with me and is set to accompany me even after death; not the same with a girl. However, I can also prove to a good lover.

5. Now, let’s come to the person as a director. Aneek, you have been involved with movies based on sexuality, homosexuality etc. So, what made you choose such subjects?
Ans. Not on homosexuality, but my movies made in the recent past, were based on identifying sexuality and its realization. Well, I am a straight guy, but was put to think by the relative nature of being homosexuals. There are friends, who are homosexuals by nature, and according to them it is quite normal (I think the same); however, there are persons who may have been in bed with the same sex partner and hence, was confused about their sexual orientation. My movie that got screened at an International Fest, Embrace deals with the same and the design is based on Salvador Dali’s The Great Masturbator. Hence, I derived that one can also be bi-sexual and that’s nothing but the overpowering of feminine nature in a person over its masculine part. I choose subjects as a chapter of realization and make others do the same through my films.

6. What inspires you to make films?
Ans. Life is a great inspiration in choosing films. Cinema is not a tiring business for me at all, it’s all about an enjoyment of life to its zenith. I do not go to social clubs, but Cinema provides me with the same intoxication. Isn’t that enough to inspire someone?

7. Aneek, I also came to know that you have made a feature length movie Cinema Bid Adieu. The name itself is quite interesting; please give your take.
Ans. No, actually I am working on a project that would help to nullify the usage of language from Cinema and starting with Bengali Cinema, I want to achieve it at a global platform. Cinema Bid Adieu is the first project and is almost complete now to be screened. It deals with the context of Lumiere Brothers’ Arrival of a train and combining it with the content of ‘Shrinking nature of war’. In this, I have defined how the crisis is slowly getting at a micro-level and in future, it will be applied to sustain you on earth. Quite tough to establish my opinion that quick in India though, but I will not accept quick turn comments.

8.Would you ever act in any film, or your film?
Ans. Not in my film, though! But if I ever get the opportunity to play the role of a lunatic character, or an artist (not the usual kind), or someone who is not me then it would be nice to play such a role, It would be a challenger for me and it had been a dream for me to play such roles. In my film, I would prefer to stay behind the camera.

9. You are quite young to be a filmmaker. Do you face problems in instructing people or any kind of barrier?
Ans. Well, my thoughts are quite matured, so there’s no barrier in making films.

10. Will you take a retirement from films?
Ans. Not until my death! This is the thing which I enjoy, the day I will leave making films, I will live my part of life; hence, that symbolizes death. I have lots to gain and lots to bring to India. I feel energetic, and I can even stand out there holding the film camera, in 45 degrees in summer and capture event, I can lie down the ground in winters, and I can craft a film, even if am just out of OT. It’s out of the question of retiring from films.

11. Aneek, before leaving, some words for aspiring filmmakers.
Ans. Enjoy your work, and don’t always treat Cinema as a commercial venture for revenues. Cheers!

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Recent Posts
Recent Comments
Archives
Categories
Meta