All posts by imagineindia

Caged Birds (Oliver Rihs) Switzerland, Germany. Official Section

Caged Birds
Oliver Rihs
Switzerland, Germany. 2019. 118 min

For sure a notorious criminal, but also a Robin Hood-like figure, and a Swiss counter-culture icon: Walter Stürm. The man was the king of prison-breaks in the country, managing no less than 8 times to flee Swiss prison between 1974 and 1995, while – strangely enough – maintaining a sense of anarchic humour throughout. One time, fleeing the prison around Easter in 1981, he left a note saying: „Searching for easter eggs, Stürm”.

The prize he paid for his not-to-typical-swiss catch-me-if-you-can-personality were years of solitaire confinement, drawing the attention of the left-wing political scene in Switzerland and Germany. An idealistic lawyer, Barbara Hug, sees her chance to use his popularity to reform a Swiss penal system. In their common fate this drama finds its core.

OLIVER RIHS

Oliver Rihs grew up near Lake Zurich in Switzerland, and worked for several years as an advertising graphic designer, care assistant for the elderly and punk rock singer, until he discovered the medium of film for himself. This followed to experimental video art works, documentary TV reports for Swiss television (SF1), music clips and first short films.

Since 1999, Rihs has been living in Berlin, realizing mainly cinema movies as a director. Parallel he founded the Berlin Film Production Company Port-au-Prince Film & Kultur Produktion GmbH in 2007, and accompanied feature film projects as a creative producer and co-writer.

The introduction of the successful cult comedy SCHWARZE SCHAFE (BLACK SHEEP) in Germany, has given Rihs the reputation of one of the most gifted comedy directors in the country.

In Switzerland, he is known primarily through his hit movie ACHTUNG, FERTIG, WK! (ATTENTION, READY, OMMM!)

FILMOGRAPHY

1999 FREMDE DA DRAUSSEN (short fiction)

2000 RICCARD (Drama / GAFF Productions)

2001 LILIEN (short fiction / arsen film)

2002 BROMBEERCHEN (Feature Film / Fama Film AG)

2006 BLACK SHEEP (Feature Film / OliwoodProductions / Koboi film)

2010 DATING LANZELOT (8-part comedy webisode for the German Telekom)

2011 DATING LANZELOT (feature film version of the webisode for Pro7)

2013 READY, STEADY, OMMM! (Feature Film / 92 Minutes / Zodiac Pictures AG)

AWARDS

  • Award for Best Swiss advertising film director EDI (Spot LOVE / Zurich Film Foundation)
  • Best Short Film Locarno International Film Festival (LILIEN)
  • MDR Director’s Award (SCHWARZE SCHAFE)
  • New German Cinema Price Filmfestival Hof (SCHWARZE SCHAFE)
  • Studio Babelsberg producer price (SCHWARZE SCHAFE)
  • The most successful Swiss Film Prize 2013 Succes Zurich (ACHTUNG, FERTIG, WK!)

CONTACT

rsehr@arri.de

Separation of Lovers (Ashokan Moorthy) India. SRFTI

Separation of Lovers
Ashokan Moorthy
India. 2020. 23 min

In a fishing village of southern India, a cyclone devastates the men at sea, claiming hundreds of lives. While the rest of the village mourns their demise, a young woman goes against all odds in belief that her loved one is on his way back to her.

ASHOKAN MOORTHY

Ashokan Moorthy is a filmmaker who studied direction and screenplay writing at Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata and currently working on his feature film.

CONTACT

fro.srfti@gmail.com

Bulbul (Binod Paudel) Nepal

Bulbul
Binod Paudel
Nepal. 2019. 120 min

Ranakala is sustaining her life as a tempo driver based in Kathmandu. She has hidden unfulfilled desires of love and lust within her. It has been six years since her husband went to a gulf country and not sending money and didn’t return back too. This leaves Ranakala the responsibility of her old and paralyzed father-in-law and their daughter.

In the midst of her disappointing life, Chopendra, 29 makes an entry. With time, he gets closer to her by helping her get passengers and making her laugh through his typical dialect and wit. Initially, she refrains herself. However, he makes continuous efforts to win her. Eventually love bubbles from the corner of her heart and they are in a relationship.
However, does Ranakala and Chopendra’s dreams turn out into reality? Will they start a new life together? These secrets, twists, and turns in the story make ‘Bulbul’ unique and engaging.

BINOD PAUDEL

Binod Paudel was born on 1978 in Kapilbastu,Nepal. He is Nepal based film maker and one of the pioneer of presenting Academic studies in film making in Nepal. He runs a film school as CEO/PRINCIPAL , which is only film college of Nepal that offers bachelor degree in film studies affiliated with Tribhuvan University. The students of this college are creating new wave in Nepal. He has done his Bachelor degree in Film studies from same college and got Master degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the Trinitity saint David University, UK.

He is writer of very critically acclaimed movie ‘SAANGHURO’ that received numerous awards such as National Award/Critics Award and SAARC Film festival best fiction from jury. SAANGHURO was the only movie, broadcasted in UK’s most popular channel – CHANNAL 4. He is honored with best writer of the year by Nepal president – Ram Baran Yadav in 2013 National Award and Critics society of Nepal from the same film.

His first feature film ‘BULBUL’ as a writer and Director released on Feb 15, 2019 in all over Nepal. It collected best responses from audience and Media so far. It is regarded as ‘Top film of the year’ (Nepali year 2077) by many National publications. Many film critics and film scholars regarded ‘BULBUL’ as poetic realism that tells the psychology of present society through intense characters.

POSTER

CONTACT

awakenfilmfactory@gmail.com

Bridge (Kripal Kalita) India

Bridge
Kripal Kalita
India. 2020. 87 min

The Bridge is a colorful canvas of an unusual struggle and empowerment of a teenage girl residing at the bank of a tributary of the river Brahmaputra.
The mighty river Brahmaputra of India and it’s tributaries every year floods out many villages and ruins their cultivation. Still the people love the river and it’s green valley. Without a small bridge over its tributary how troublesome and hard their lives become only they can feel & understand.
Every year after floods they start a new life again with a great ray of hope and expectations. Through this film an attempt has been made to draw the attention towards the agony of the people losing everything every year & the daily troubles and hindrances faced in the development of the helpless, poor, honest and simple people residing in the interior parts of the green valley.

KRIPAL KALITA

Kripal Kalita is a film Director, started his career with video production Agnibristi. He has directed 12 Short films and 15 television Serials. He has earned several awards for his films like Red to Black, Megh The Cloud and JAAPI The roof of Assam. Recently Kripal Kalita won Special Mention Award at lnternational Film Festival Of lndia,lFFI-2020. Bridge is his first feature film. He is a graded actor in AIR and a stage director-actor.

DIRECTOR,S NOTE

Bridge shows the struggles faced by a young girl who never gives up on life despite her poverty stricken condition & the annual disastrous floods ruining everything.

PRESS REVIEW

CONTACT

kripalkalita1976@gmail.com

Pilibhit (Ashutosh Chaturvedi, Pankaj Mavchi) India

Pilibhit (The Yellow Wall)
Ashutosh Chaturvedi, Pankaj Mavchi
India. 2020. 23 min

Inspired from true stories, Siraj, a righteous, impoverished flute maker, resides at the edge of the forests of Pilibhit, North India, where man eating tigers thrive. His mounting livelihood pressures and tragedies corner him to take a drastic measure that threatens to tear down his values and a loved one.

ASHUTOSH CHATURVEDI / PANKAJ MAVCHI

Ashutosh Chaturvedi completed his Masters in Mass Communication in 2001 from Pune, India. He has worked in various creative capacities in television productions and pursued Hindi theatre. He later joined Sony Entertainment Network India.

Having grown up in different parts of India, Pankaj Mavchi finished his MBA and pursued a corporate job at Sony Entertainment Network India.

To pursue their passion for film making both quit their jobs and co-founded their production company, The House of Story. They have written Hindi daily soaps for television. They have written, produced and directed their first short film Pilibhit and recently finished writing their first feature film which they look forward to direct in the coming year.

DIRECTOR,S NOTE

At what point does one give up? Consu med in our life, when we came across the stories of man – animal conflict along with economic hardships faced by the people in the region of Pilibhit, it did shock us. But gradually it compelled us to examine what nudges the people into a corner until they crumble under its weight. How a person’s downward spiraling circumstances triggers helplessness, loss of control and eventually drains out his dignity, humanity, and will to fightback. What he ends up sacrificing to survive is much deeper than what’s apparent on surface. Even though the film is set in a region far away from our city life, it made us realize how eerily similar our own responses to hardships are.

POSTER

CONTACT

ashutosh@thehouseofstory.in

Café by The Highway (Xiaofan Shi) China. Official Section

Café by The Highway
Xiaofan Shi
China. 2021. 108 min

Three years ago, a girl named Yuanfang Han left home because of her father’s slap in the face. She found a job as a barista in Shanghai. Three years later, heartbroken, she returns to her hometown Baima and becomes a highway toll station collector. But the monotonous life in her hometown contrasts with Yuanfang’s desire for adventure. Yuanfang begins to miss the good old days when she made coffee in the city. One day, she and her colleague Da Li find an abandoned space capsule by the highway. They make coffee in the wild space capsule, dreaming of life in a big city in the distance.

SHI XIAOFAN

Shi Xiaofan is currently one of China’s top visual artist. He has worked as an exclusive photographer and short film director for luxury fashion clients such as Vogue, Dior and Louis Vuitton. He has directed numerous TV commercials and personal video art pieces for museums and galleries. His photography work is part of the collection at Beijing UCCA, European House of Photography and various museums in the United States and France. His first short film A PARISIAN MOVIE released in 2011 receives high praises from the audience. CAFÉ BY THE HIGHWAY is his first full-length feature film.

DIRECTOR,S NOTE

I have driven to West China for a long trip many times. Every night, when passing by the toll station, I would meet those collectors who were waiting by themselves. And they would look at me, the stranger, carefully, listening to the music in my car, then have a polite wave goodbye. They are the loneliest persons I have ever seen. They are forgotten and they imagine their own journey. But they fascinated me. If movies can make a dream, I want to give them a miracle, just in one night, because I want to help them escape reality.

POSTER

CONTACT

jie.zhang@moovei.com

House of Cards (Sudipto Roy) India

House of Cards
Sudipto Roy
India. 2020. 46 min

House of Cards revolves around the life of Sujata, a simple housewife stuck with her husband during the lockdown. This is the story of her world her home and her search, for her “self”. Will she be able to find what she is looking for?

SUDIPTO ROY

Writer, Journalist, and independent filmmaker, Sudipto Roy developed a keen passion for filmmaking that is hard to leave. He aspires to profess and practice visual storytelling with an amicable blend of fiction, non-fiction, mainstream, and arthouse content.

Roy’s debut feature film, Kia and Cosmos was released in 2019 in India, the USA, GCC countries and later released on Netflix. The film garnered prominent international acclaim from festivals in Cannes, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, Glasgow, New York and got featured in national as well as international cine magazines.

Roy’s recent works include the web film The Cabin Guard, streaming on Hoichoi, MX Player, Airtel Digital, and Vodafone Play. Other featurettes such as Tasher Ghawr and a part of an anthology, Paanchphoron Season 2, and named as Afternoon Audition are also streaming on Hoichoi, MX Player, Airtel Digital, Vodafone Play.

POSTER

CONTACT

kialistens@gmail.com

Swopnodanay (Golam Rabbany Biplob) Bangladesh

Swopnodanay
Golam Rabbany Biplob
Bangladesh. 2007. 88 min

Mid-thirtees young man Fazlu. People call him “Kabiraj” (Rural Herbal Physician). Actually who is not a physician but only a canvasser (paddler). Fazlu and his 10 years old son Ratan sell ointments and allied harbal medicines in the village weekly markets by canvassing the virtues of the products. One evening Fazlu returns home with a second-hand trouser with a number of pockets for his son Ratan. His wife finds some foreign currency notes in its pocket while she was washing the trouser. They think that these currency notes to be of great value and huge money, but they are ignorent of how to exchange them. They seek help from Fazlu’s childhood friend Siraj. To encash the currency notes Fazlu and Siraj ride a ram shakle motor bike round one part to another part of the rugged Barendra Bhumi. Greed and high ambitions begin to allure them. Centering these currency notes three of them start to dream and imagine. One after another their dormant desires and deceptions begin to creep up and that changes the relationships among them.

GOLAM RABBANY BIPLOB

Golam Rabbany BIPLOB was born in 1974 in Naogaon, a district of northern part of Bangladesh. His love for cinema has earned him an international reputation as a leading cine-club activist and film festival organizer. He was the Founder-Director of the International Film Festival Bangladesh and former Secretary-General and presently serving as Vice President of the International Federation of Film Societies (IFFS / FICC), the global umbrella of cine-clubs. He has been serving as a member of Board of Directors of Federation of Motion Picture Producers Association in Asia Pacific since 2005 and presently serving as Secretary General.

He received Best Director Award at Asian New Talent Competition at 10th Shanghai International Film Festival, 2007 and “Silver Peacock” Award at 38th International Film Festival of India-GOA, 2007 for his debut film SWOPNODANAY (On the Wings of Dreams) and Best Film Award at 8th Third Eye Asian Film Festival, Mumbai-India, 2009 for his second film BRITTER BAIREY (Beyond the Circle). Both of his films were nominated for Bangladesh Submission to Foreign Language Competition Awards (Oscar) for “OSCAR”.

AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS

Best Director Award, Asian New Talent Competition, 10th Shanghai International Film Festival, 2007 for “On the Wings of Dreams.

“Silver Peacock” Award at 38th International Film Festival of India-GOA, 2007, for “On the Wings of Dreams.

Best Film, 8th Third Eye Asian Film Festival, Mumbai-India, 2009, for “Beyond the Circle”.

CONTACT

golamrbiplob@gmail.com

Television (Mostofa Sarwar Farooki) Bangladesh

Television
Mostofa Sarwar Farooki
Bangladesh. 2012. 106 min

As a leader of the local community, Chairman Amin bans every kind of image in his water- locked village in rural Bangladesh since he considers it to be UN-ISLAMIC. He even goes on to claim that imagination is also sinful since it gives one the license to infiltrate into any prohibited territory. But change is a desperate wind that is difficult to resist by shutting the window. The tension between this traditional window and modern wind grows to such an extent that it starts to leave a ripple effect on the lives of a group of typically colorful, eccentric, and emotional people living in that village. But at the very end of the film, Television, which he hated so much, comes to the rescue and helps Chairman Amin reach a transcendental state where he and his God are unified. A new twist to the story makes him embrace IMAGE and IMAGINATION.

MOSTOFA SARWAR FAROOKI

Mostofa Sarwar Farooki could be the next South-East Asian filmmaker to break out”, The Hollywood Reporter wrote in the review of his film Television. Variety’s Jay Weissberg wrote, “Mostofa Sarwar Farooki is a key exemplar of Bangladeshi new wave cinema movement” and Variety’s Chief Asia Film Critic Maggie Lee wrote “Mostofa Sarwar Farooki proves he’s a singular voice in Bangladeshi cinema” in the review his film No Bed Of Roses.

His fourth feature Television was the closing film of Busan festival and won Grand Jury Prize in Asia Pacific Screen Award 2013 in addition to 5 more international awards from Dubai, Jogja-Indonesia, Asiatica-Roma, and Kolkata. Ant Story was his fifth feature and got nominated for Golden Goblet Awards and Muhr Asia-Africa Awards.It is also in competition for Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2014, Singapore IFF 2014, and Kerala IFF 2014.

His sixth feature titled “Doob” (No Bed of Roses in English) featuring Irrfan Khan (Life of Pie, Lunchbox), Nusrat Imrose Tisha (Television, Third Person Singular) and others, won Kommersant Jury Prize at Moscow International Film Festival. The film got rave reviews and critical acclaim. It was Bangladesh’s entry to the 91st Oscars.

DIRECTOR,S NOTE

I was born and brought up in a very conservative middle class Muslim family. We never had a television set in our house just because my parents used to consider it to be un-Islamic. We had to sneak in to other houses to catch a glimpse of the magic box. My parents always used to stand against any kind of image. Their fight against image first got a big shake when they were asked to take photographs in order to go for Hajj- Muslim pilgrimage in Mekkah. But this is not an issue of the yesteryears. With all the technological development taking place across the country, this perception is also co-existing in the backward areas of the society.

AWARDS

  • Closing film in Busan International Film Festival 2012 (world premiere)
  • Winner, Jury Grand Prize, Asia Pacific Screen Award, 2013.
  • Nominated, Best Film, Asia Pacific Screen Award, 2013.
  • Nominated, Best Screenplay, Asia Pacific Screen Award, 2013.
  • Winner, City of Rome award (jury) for best Asian Feature Film, Asiatica 2013, Rome-Italy.
  • Winner, Best Feature Film, Audience Award, Asiatica 2013, Rome-Italy.
  • Winner, Golden Hanuman Award, Jogja Asian Film Festival, 2013
  • Winner NETPAC award Kolkata International Film Festival, 2013
  • Winner, Special Mention Award, Muhr AsiaAfrica, Dubai International Film Festival 2012
  • Bangladesh’s submission to 86th Academy award foreign language category.

POSTER

CONTACT

chabialfilms@gmail.com

Jalal,s Story (Abu Shahed Emon) Bangladesh

Jalal,s Story
Abu Shahed Emon
Bangladesh. 2014. 120 min

Like Moses on the Nile, an infant floats along the river, adopted in turn by Miraj, Karim, Sajib, each who abandon the boy at various stages of his life. From innocent to gangster, Jalal’s journey proves he is truly a child of the river.

The first story begins with Miraj, who rescues an abandoned baby from the river and raises him, calling him Jalal. However, after a series of misfortunes the villagers considered the baby to be a curse on their village. Poor Miraj has to abandon the baby yet back in the river again.

The second story starts off with the nine-year-old Jalal who lives as a dependent of a large landowner, Karim, who desperately needs a baby to keep up his prestige informant of the villagers. As time passed by Karim’s Newly married wife was unable to conceive and eventually Jalal was bizarrely considered as a cause of the couple’s infertility problem, by the clever Shaman hired by Karim. Jalal was thrown back in the river again.

In the third story we see Nineteen-year-old Jalal works under a gang leader and budding politician named Sajib, who has kidnapped and impregnated Shila. He makes Jalal keep an eye on her, but Shila dies during childbirth. Afraid that this child would affect his reputation and influence the result of the upcoming election, Sajib orders Jalal to throw the baby in the river.
These three stories strangely connect and flow together as one. Through these uniquely linked stories, Abu Shahed Emon tackles a lot of social issues in Bangladesh including superstition, politically motivated corruption and women’s rights.

ABU SHAHED EMON

Abu Shahed Emon is a young Bangladeshi independent filmmaker, who graduated in Psychology from the University of Dhaka. His interest in filmmaking stems from his active involvement in the Dhaka University Film Society Movement, which later on led him to make several short films, documentaries and TV fictions, which have been acclaimed both at home, and abroad. In 2007, Emon studied Communication and Photography at University of Wisconsin.

In 2011, Emon received the prestigious Asian Cinema Fund (ACF) provided by the Busan International Film Festival for his project ‘The Tale of a Policeman’. The Asian Project Market (APM) later on selected the same project, 2011 where the Goteborg International Film Festival (GIFF) awarded it as one of the “Best Pitching” project. ‘The Tale of a Policeman’ also made it to the top 20 projects list by the Beijing International Film Festival 2012’s film market and was a runner up in the International Pitching Competition.

Emon’s short film, The Container, was selected in the 17th Busan International Film Festival, 2012. The Container was also awarded the BFC&SHOCS Scholarship Fund for finalizing its completion. Emon has recently completed his debut feature film project, Jalal’s Story, which was selected in the 19th Busan International Film Festival 2014. . This debut feature has also been selected by the Bangladeshi Oscar committee for representing Bangladesh in the 88th Academy Awards in the foreign language film Category in 2016.

Awards:

  1. 19th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) 2014

Winner – Asian Cinema Fund (ACF) For Post-Production 2014

2. 7th Jaipur International Film Festival 2015, India 

Winner – Best Debut Director

3. 19th AVANCA International Film Festival 2015, Portugal

Winner- Best Feature Film and Best Actor Mosharraf Karim

4. 20th Kerala International Film Festival 2015, India

Winner- Silver Crow Pheasant Award for Best Debut Director

5. 12th Dhaka International Film Festival 2016, Bangladesh

Winner-Special Jury Mention for Best Directing

6 Best Cinematography & Best Original Score, SAARC Film Festival 2016

POSTER

CONTACT

shahedemon@gmail.com