Tag Archives: FEATURED

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

Testimony of Ana (Sachin Dheeraj) India

Testimony of Ana
Sachin Dheeraj
India. 2020. 24 min

Anaben Pawar is an elderly tribal woman accused of witchcraft in rural India. Through Ana,s story, we delve into a deep-rooted culture of patriarchy and examine one of the most monstrous attacks on women,s bodies in modern India: the witch hunt.

SACHIN DHEERAJ

Sachin is an engineer turned filmmaker from India. He is currently studying and practicing film at The University of Texas at Austin as part of their MFA program in Film & Media Production. His short documentary “The Bubbleman” premiered at SXSW Denius Longhorn Showcase in 2019 and has played at many festivals, including in the 22nd Annual Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, 2020 Edition of Cinequest Festival & the 13th Annual Lone Star Film Festival in the USA.

He also attended the Summer Filmmaking Initiation workshop at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Artsin Prague(FAMU), the Czech Republic. He strives to tell stories that demand an urgent conversation and seeks to engage with people, places, and communities that are slowly disappearing. Through cinema, he aims to affirm their existence by preserving their lives and memories.

He is a recipient of the prestigious President’s Award for Global Learning for his upcoming UNTITLED VR THESIS FILM. He is also a recipient of the Austin Film Society Grant & a nominee of the Kodak Cinematography Grant for his pre-thesis film, TESTIMONY OF ANA.

DIRECTOR,S NOTE

Ten years back, during my undergraduate studies in Gujarat, I first came across the term “Witch-Hunting.” I read that “a mob killed an old woman forfeasting on people’ssouls” in a local newspaper. I was probably too young at that time to conceive what I read. However, that story etched itself at the back of my mind. Three years ago, I again came across an article about “Witch-Hunting.” But this time, I wanted to do something about it. Especially after all the filmmaking resources that I knew I had at my disposal.

So I decided to go to Gujarat again to do some fieldwork. I met with some journalists and social justice lawyers who got me in touch with Ana, one of the only few survivors of “Witch-Hunt” attacks in rural Gujarat. When they briefed me about what the villagers did to her, I was shocked and couldn’t stop thinking about it. There were a few news articles that covered her story in 2017. I still was on the fence about whether I should make a film about her or not. Questions like “Who am Ito tell herstory?” and “Why am Ientitled to makethisfilm?” kept bothering me.

But once I met her in person, I was struck by how fearless and strong her voice is. I felt those news articles weren’t enough. I felt people needed to hear her voice. Those questions started to fade away, and there was a sense of urgency that crept up on me, and just a single question emerged, “IfI don’t tell herstory, then who will?” She was hesitant to tell her story first, so I had to show up every day at her house until I gained her trust. Slowly she agreed to have a conversation with me. I had to only work with her memories because the incident happened in 2017.

So I decided to reconstruct them through a lyrical assemblage. My goal in reconstructing these memories is to present to people the evidence of what happened to Ana and revive among generations to come to the memory of her resistance that today is in danger of being erased. Preserving this memory is essential. My project aims to make Ana’s story be heard without any hesitation or fear. I hope that this one story will speak on behalf of a lot of unheard and oppressed voices.

POSTER

CONTACT

msd1729@gmail.com

Pedro Hernández, Jury President at Imagineindia 2021

Pedro Hernández Santos, founder and producer at Aquí y Allí Films, an independent production company founded in 2010, begins his cinematographic career betting on auteur cinema with international potential, paying special attention to new talents.

With his first production, “Here And There” (2011), he won, together with Antonio Méndez Esparza, the Grand Prix de la Semaine de la Critic at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. In 2014 he won the Golden and Silver Shell at San Sebastian Film Festival for “Magical Girl” and in 2016 he was appointed as the Spanish representative in Producers on the Move (European Film Promotion).

“Life & Nothing More” (2017) was awarded with the John Cassavetes Award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards and was the first spanish producer who won this award.

Recently, he has produced two debuts: ”Boi” (2019) by Jorge M. Fontana, which was acquired by Netflix worldwide and “The Queen of the Lizards” (2020) from the promising filmmakers Burnin’ Percebes. His first documentary film, “Courtroom 3H” (2020), competed in San Sebastián International Film Festival.

This 2021, he prepares “Mantícora” (Carlos Vermut), “Madrid is it” (Antonio Méndez Esparza) and will premiere “Counting Sheep”, José Corral Llorente’s debut film, starring Eneko Sagardoy, Natalia de Molina and Juan Grandinetti.

He is currently developing Pau Teixidor, Sonia Méndez, Jorge M. Fontana and Burnin ’Percebes next projects.

NHA Mila (Denise Fernandes) Portugal, Switzerland

NHA Mila
Denise Fernandes
Portugal / Switzerland. 2020. 18 min

After 14 years away from her homeland, Salomé is forced to return to Cape Verde to see her dying brother. During her stopover at Lisbon airport, Águeda a cleaning lady recognizes Salomé as “Mila”, her childhood friend. Águeda invites Salomé to leave the airport and spend the stopover at her home, with the women of her family. The neighborhood transports her on a spiritual journey, whose destination unfurls a painful bond with her homeland.

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Letter of Foregiveness (Alina Serban) Romania

Letter of Forgiveness
Alina Serban
Romania. 2020. 15 min

In the household of a wealthy Romanian noblewoman in 1855, Maria, a Roma-Gipsy slave, fights to obtain freedom for her son Dinca. Based on a true story of a Roma mother and son whose life changed the course of Romanian history by bringing about the abolition of slavery sooner. Part of a future full-length project, the short film presents a day in the household in which Maria and her son, Dinca, serve as slaves. As important guests arrive for dinner and all the slaves are making preparations, Maria and her son see this day as a chance to take a step to change their fate.

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Chitrangada Satarupa, Jury Member at Imagineindia 2021

Born and brought up in a family of academicians and artists the inclination towards arts happened at a very early age. Association with theatre happened since 2010 from her hometown Calcutta with the eminent Bengali theatrician Bratya Basu. After moving to Bombay in 2013 got actively involved with many theatre productions directed by the stalwarts Manav Kaul, Makarand Deshpande and many more.
The first appearance on the national platform happened with stories by Rabindranath Tagore directed by Anurag Basu, as the protagonist of one of the episodes.

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Mandi (Shyam Benegal)

Mandi
Shyam Benegal
India. 1983. 160 min
Cast : Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah

This classic film is based on a classic Urdu short story ‘Aanandi’ by Pakistani writer Ghulam Abbas. It deals with a brothel at the heart of a city, in an area that some politicians want for its prime locality. They rally up against the brothel and its inhabitants in the name of morality, and soon everyone in the area jumps on the bandwagon. The politicians offer to put up an alternative residence for the prostitutes, only this place is miles away, isolated from the city. The madam of the house has no choice but to comply, but by the end things take a (logical) turn for the better. After all, men will be men.

In her words (Annie Zaidi)

In her words
Annie Zaidi
India.  2015.  42 min.

The Film traces the historical and social journeys of Indian women’s lives as revealed through the literature they created in every era. The story of how women lived, and their march towards freedom and self-definition was not officially documented. However, through the verses of nuns, bhakti devotee rebels, folk songs, verses written by courtesans, amateur anthropologists, the memoirs of activists, and modern literature, we witness the oppressions and aspirations of Indian womanhood over two millenia. The film traces these changes through the translators, publishers, historians, and contemporary writers and readers who are pushing towards a more gender equal society.