Newton Wins Jury Prize For Best Film At The 41st Hong Kong Film Festival

 Produced by Manish Mundra and directed by Amit V Masurkar, Newton has won the Jury Prize for the Best Film at the 41st  Hong Kong Film Festival 2017. The film had its Asia Premiere at the festival where it was screened in the Young Cinema Competition category.

The jury awarded the film “For the intelligent and human presentation of a political situation in a country. The film balances the humour, disillusion and – against all odds – a steadfast belief in the meaning of democracy”

Thrilled with the audience and jury response to his film, Director Amit V Masurkar says, “We are delighted to win the Jury Prize at the 41st Hong Kong International Film Festival! It’s one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in Asia and will help us get an audience in that part of the world”. Newton is Amit V Masurkar’s second film after the sleeper hit, Sulemani Keeda in 2014. Continue reading “Newton Wins Jury Prize For Best Film At The 41st Hong Kong Film Festival”

The Best of Indian Cinema in 2015: A Perspective

2015 has been an interesting year overall for Indian Cinema, there have been a lot of films across languages which appealed to both the audience and critics alike. Writers and filmmakers seem to have shown their willingness to explore a variety of topics, often surprising people in the process. As for Hindi Cinema it was a decent if not an excellent year and there were quite a few interesting developments observed. There were some good Hindi films in the first half of 2015 including Baby, Badlapur, Dum Lagake Haisha, NH10, Piku, Tanu Weds Manu Returns etc. This clearly indicated that variety was key and that even a big star like Akshay Kumar was keen to try out meaningful films within the commercial boundary. The third quarter of the year was dominated by two biggies, Baahubali and Bajrangi Bhaijaan, while thankfully a relatively smaller film like Masaan also got noticed. Baahubali’s success in Hindi is unprecedented, as no dubbed film has performed anywhere close to how Baahubali has performed in Hindi. It will be interesting to see if this remains an exception to the norm or whether there will be more such films to follow. The last quarter of the year saw some interesting films like Talvar, Titli and Bajirao Mastani, while the success of Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 took everyone by surprise. SRK showed that he definitely is good at marketing, but that alone can’t change the quality of a film like Dilwale. Sooraj Barjatya returned after a long hiatus with Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, which despite having Salman Khan in a dual role, didn’t do as well as expected.Continue reading “The Best of Indian Cinema in 2015: A Perspective”

Ghosts of Ganga and the Dazzling Display of Death in Masaan

When I try to paint a picture of the Ganga in my mind, I mostly imagine a pristine river with the rising Sun at the horizon. That’s how we all have been conditioned to imagine the holy river. Ganga stands for purity, tranquility and piousness; a river that may have been abundantly polluted over the centuries but, as per the millions’ belief and reverence, still holds the magical power to purify the polluted. Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan paints such a contrasting picture of the holy river and its mythical home –Varanasi that it shakes your conscience and unravels the ghosts that lie quietly somewhere deep inside the river bed.Continue reading “Ghosts of Ganga and the Dazzling Display of Death in Masaan”

In Conversation with Neeraj Ghaywan: On the Making of ‘Masaan’ and More

Neeraj Ghaywan, an engineer and an MBA, moved on from his corporate career in 2010 to pursue filmmaking. He has assisted renowned filmmaker Anurag Kashyap on the two-part film, Gangs of Wasseypur and was the second unit director for Ugly. He has also made two short films The Epiphany and Shor, the winner of the Grand Jury Awards at three international film festivals in New York, LA and London. However, at this point of time, he is best known for the man who gave us “Masaan” – the film that won FIPRESCI prize (International Jury of Film Critics prize for the Un Certain Regard section) and the Promising Future prize in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes, 2015.

Here’s the excerpt of the conversation I shared with him on Masaan and more…(Spoiler Alert-note the conversation includes some heavy spoilers,so ideally it is advisable to read this if you have already seen the film)Continue reading “In Conversation with Neeraj Ghaywan: On the Making of ‘Masaan’ and More”

In Conversation with Richa Chadda: On Masaan and More

For a person who regaled us with her performance in her debut film (Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye) and kept enthralling us with each of her performance since, Masaan’s success is just another feather in Richa Chadda’s already crowded Cap!

On behalf of MAM I had a chat with her recently about the film, her journey and what can we expect from her from here on.Continue reading “In Conversation with Richa Chadda: On Masaan and More”

In Conversation with Avinash Arun: On Killa, Masaan and More

Avinash Arun is a Director – Cinematographer from Maharashtra, India. Born in the textile town Solapur in 1985 in a middle class Maharashtrian family, he started assisting in FTII Diploma films at the age of 16. He eventually graduated in Cinematography from FTII in 2011. In 2010, his school project “The Light and Her Shadows” won him the cinematography award in Kodak film school Competition. His diploma film “Allah Is Great” was the official entry from India for Student Oscars. It also won several awards including the National award in 2012. Avinash has worked on “Kai Po Che!” (Berlinale Panorama section 2012), Deool (National Award winner 2011). Killa is his first feature film as director. He is also the cinematographer on this film. KILLA won the Crystal Bear for the Best Film awarded by the Children’s Jury in Generation Kplus section at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival. He has recently shot MASAAN, the double award winner at Cannes and Ajay Devgn and Tabu starrer DRISHYAM.

Given below are excerpts from a conversation with Avinash Arun that MAM had recently.Continue reading “In Conversation with Avinash Arun: On Killa, Masaan and More”

Masaan: Poetic Closures

As human beings, I find it impossible for us to not seek closure. In every aspect of our life, there is a desire to connect all the dots and conclude. Without conclusions, we hang free, unable to move forward or finish a part of our life, a relationship or even a simple task. The greatest of closures is death which guarantees flight from every open problem. Masaan or crematorium is the home for the ultimate closure. Neeraj Ghaywan’s debut feature, deals with life in a small town – Benares; through two tales. It is about love, heartbreak, morality, casteism, small town modernity and also about closure.Continue reading “Masaan: Poetic Closures”

Masaan Movie Review: From the Heartland with a lot of Heart

If you are a movie buff then it’s highly unlikely that you’ve not heard of Neeraj Ghaywan and his debut film Masaan which has released today, after all the film has been in the news right from the very beginning. Be it for winning the 2014 Sundance Institute/Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award or much later for making it as an official entry to Cannes this year under the Un Certain Regard section where it even won a couple of awards, Masaan or (Fly Away Solo as it was called earlier) has been making the right kind of moves everywhere, not everything by design of course. It isn’t often that a filmmaker manages to make his debut with all these aspects. Added to it is the fact that the film has an impressive cast and crew and is supported by producers who make things matter. So eventually it won’t be surprising when you hear people interested in knowing if Masaan deserved all this and if Neeraj Ghaywan has made a convincing debut, after all its to do with human nature.Continue reading “Masaan Movie Review: From the Heartland with a lot of Heart”

In Conversation with Shweta Tripathi: On Acting in Masaan and More

Shweta Tripathi is an Indian actor best known for playing the role of Zenia Khan in the Disney Channel Original Series Kya Mast Hai Life. She also acted in an ad of Tata Sky download and McDonald’s and most recently Tata Tea and Kinley. Her first feature film ‘Haraamkhor’ opposite Nawazuddin Siddqui has been selected for at the Opening Gala at IFFLA. She plays one of the protagonists, Shaalu Gupta, in Masaan.

Following is the excerpt of the interview between Shweta and the MadAboutMoviez team, when they caught up to discuss Masaan, her life and career plans.Continue reading “In Conversation with Shweta Tripathi: On Acting in Masaan and More”