Monday, May 23, 2016

POOR COW

DIRECTED BY KEN LOACH


STARRING CAROL WHITE, JOHN BINDON AND TERENCE STAMP

RESTORED AND BACK IN CINEMAS THIS SUMMER


SPECIAL PREVIEW SCREENING ON JUNE 23 AT THE BARBICAN IN CINEMAS ON JUNE 24

ON DVD, BLU-RAY & EST ON JULY 25


STUDIOCANAL and The Independent Cinema Office are delighted to announce that a newly restored version of Ken Loach’s classic 1967 feature debut, POOR COW, will return to cinemas nationwide from June 24.

Following on from his hard-hitting work in television, including Cathy Come Home and Up the JunctionPOOR COW brought Loach’s unique, uncompromising style to a big screen audience and helped kick start a new movement in social realist filmmaking. Ken Loach has gone on to direct countless highly acclaimed films that include Kes and Sweet Sixteen. He has won numerous awards including the Palme d’Or for The Wind That Shakes the Barley and both the BAFTA and BFI Fellowship Awards.

To mark the release of the new restoration, a special preview screening of the seminal British New Wave drama will take place at The Barbican on June 23. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with one of the stars of the film, Terence Stamp, alongside author Nell Dunn who wrote the novel that she adapted for the screen with Ken Loach. The film will then be available on DVD and Blu-ray from July 25 on the Vintage Classics label, including
Brand new extras.

In a gritty 1960s London, Joy (Carol White – Cathy Come Home) is a young mother who is forced to fend for herself when her brutal and uncaring husband, Tom (John Bindon – Barry Lyndon, Get Carter), is put in jail. The film follows Joy as she searches for a glimpse of happiness, when she comes into contact with Tom's seemingly caring associate Dave (Terence Stamp, Far from the Madding Crowd, The Limey) whilst raising her son alone in squalid circumstances.

DVD & BLU-RAY EXTRAS

• New interview with Terence Stamp
• 
New interview with Nell Dunn
• Archive interview with Carol White TBC
• 
Poor Cow & The British New Wave featurette • More TBC

Poor Cow is part of the ‘Vintage Classics collection’ – showcasing iconic British films, all fully restored and featuring brand new extra content: www.facebook.com/vintageclassicsfilm
The Digital Film restoration was funded by STUDIOCANAL in collaboration with the BFI’s Unlocking Film Heritage programme (awarding funds from the National Lottery).

CLANGERS MESSAGE FOR PLANET EARTH REVEALED IN A VIDEO NARRATED BY MICHAEL PALIN

GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR CLANGER
NEW CLANGERS SERIES LAUNCHES WITH POP UP EXPERIENCE ‘CALL THE CLANGERS’ IN BATTLE BRIDGE PLACE, KING’S CROSS N1C


The Clangers sent a message to Planet Earth…

This weekend, families in King’s Cross N1C were able ‘Call the Clangers’ via a pop-up pink knitted London phone box with a phone line straight through to pre-schooler’s favourite little blue planet.

Infamous UK yarnstormer Deadly Knitshade (Lauren O’Farrell) and crafter Teasemade (Sami Teasdale) created a Clangers phone box cosy, and the art installation magically transformed a traditional red London phone box into a Clangers experience, where families heard the loveable, pink, mouse-like creatures whistle a mysterious message to the world.

The pop up experience was installed at Battle Bridge Place, the gateway to King’s Cross and St Pancras International stations.

Children and parents could approach the phone box and ‘Call the Clangers’. Via a special pink phone they were put through to the international space exchange, then introduced to the Clangers by show narrator Michael Palin so they could guess the message that Tiny ‘whistled’ to them.

The Clangers costume characters were on hand to keep children and families entertained with dances, stickers and activity sheets.

The message was revealed via Clangers’ social media channels @helloclangers and facebook.com/officialclangers in a video narrated by Michael Palin.

Coolabi Group’s multi-award winning pre-school animated series Clangers returns to CBeebies from Monday 23rd May at 6pm with 24 x 11-minute brand new episodes about the loveable, pink, mouse-like creatures who communicate in whistles and eat soup from their little blue planet’s soup wells.

The episodes follow Major, Mother, Small, Tiny and Granny Clanger on a whole host of new adventures. The Clangers are joined by friends old and new as they explore their little blue planet, stumbling upon un-discovered caves and tunnels, finding new places to practice music, knit a jumper and play.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

MAJOR PRIVATE ART FILM COLLECTION IS FREE TO VIEW ONLINE FROM TODAY



* Unparalleled international private collection of films on art and architecture becomes free to view online for one week from today

* Birthday gift to the art world by private collector Anthony Roland who turns 80 today

East Sussex, UK. Every one of more than 400 films in The Roland Collection - one of the world's largest and most significant private collections of films on art, architecture and writing - is now free to view online for the next seven days, starting today, at http://www.rolandcollection.tv .

The collection of more than 400 films, many of them international award winners, has been gathered and catalogued by art dealer and film maker Anthony Roland over a period of 55 years. It has long been used by American and European universities, museums and other institutions as an important resource for art education and appreciation, and it is a boon for creative writing courses, but it has never been so freely available to absolutely everyone.

Collector and curator Anthony Roland said: "My collection features film documentaries and creative film explorations of history's great western artists from virtually every period, pre-civilisation to post-modern times, along with educational pieces on artistic techniques, art appreciation and conservation.

"It also includes films on modern architecture and, a hidden gem for writers, interviews with116 different authors talking about their writing and their craft. All together, the Roland Collection is the assembled genius of 230 film directors from 25 countries and is my life's work."

He added: "Lovers and students of art, architecture and writing will not find these films on YouTube, Netflix or any other platform. They are a private collection which until today has only been available to view for a fee. Today is my 80th birthday and I would like the world to celebrate it with me by being able to stream all 400 plus films for free, for the coming week."

Sculptor Henry Moore said of the Anthony Roland's collection, in The Times, "that it required the enterprise and courage of one individual to bring such a concept into being is a matter for amazement".

Free streaming access is provided until the end of 24 May 2016.

The Call Up


Written and Directed by Charles BarkerThe Call Up is produced by Matthew James Wilkinson (Gateway 6, SLR, Kaleidoscope) of Stigma FilmsJohn Giwa-Amu (The Machine, The Silent Storm, Little White Lies) of Red & Black Films and executive produced by Alan Martin (The Machine, Stone of Destiny, Darklands). Max Deacon (Into the Storm, Hatfields & McCoys) leads an ensemble cast, joined by exciting up-and-coming talent, including Morfydd Clark (Love & Friendship, Madame Bovary, A Poet in New York), Ali Cook (Kajaki, The Anomaly, The Messenger), Parker Sawyers (Zero Dark Thirty, Parkside With You, Monsters: Dark Continent), Tom Benedict Knight (Dracula UntoldHoudini), Boris Ler (Death in Sarajevo, In the Land of Blood and Honey), newcomer Douggie McMeekin and Adriana Randall.

Other executive producers include Richard Holmes (Eden Lake) and Marzipan Productions, Isabelle Georgeaux (Resistance, Jadoo and Keeping Rosy) of Pont Neuf Productions acts as Co-Producer and is part-funded through Creative England’s West Midlands Production Fund.

The Call Up follows a group of elite online gamers when they each receive a mysterious invitation to trial a state-of-the-art virtual reality video game. It’s a dream come true and impossible to resist.

Arriving at the test site, the group step into hi-tech gear and prepare for a revolutionary, next-level gaming experience that brings modern warfare to life with frightening realism. At first it’s a unique and exhilarating experience.  But what starts out like a dream encounter with cutting edge technology quickly takes a turn for the sinister.

Writer/Director Charles Barker said: “I've always been fascinated by the potential for technology to create worlds as real and powerful as our own. But as VR becomes ever more developed, more accessible I also have a fear. How dangerous could this be in the wrong hands?”

For further information please visit:

Monday, May 16, 2016

All aboard with Thomas & Friends™ as new film hits cinema screens for ‘The Great Race’ weekend in May


 Thomas & Friends is back with a new feature length adventure, including a line-up of 13 magnificent new international engines, steaming in to cinemas nationwide for a special weekend of screenings on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of May.

Thomas & Friends: The Great Race sees Thomas wishing he could represent Sodor at the Great Railway Show, which is taking place on the mainland. But the bigger engines just laugh at him and say he's not big, strong or fast enough to compete with the best engines from around the world. Thomas is up against international competition from a host of new engines including Raul of Brazil, Yong Bao of China, Ivan of Russia and the brightly decorated engine from India, Ashima, (voiced by Tina Desai), but he is determined to find a way - even when his plans all go wrong and the devious Diesel threatens his chances to compete. This exciting international musical adventure - where friendship always wins the race - promises to delight children and families across the world.

Following its recent and highly publicised real-life restoration, cinema-goers will be able to see the animated version of The Flying Scotsman in the film. 

Mattel. HiT and distributor National Amusements UK Ltd are excited to bring Thomas & Friends The Great Race to over 300 cinemas across the UK & Ireland for a special weekend of screenings. The film will continue to be shown in selected cinemas from May 23rd through half term and into the summer.

To view the trailer, find participating cinemas and to book tickets visit:
www.thomasgreatrace.com



About Thomas & Friends™

Thomas the Tank Engine™ was created over 70 years ago by a British clergyman, the Rev W Awdry, as a storybook for his son. That story quickly grew to become the award-winning global brand franchise it is today, enjoyed by families in more than 150 territories and in over 40 languages across multiple touch-points and formats, including: 400+ original TV shows; 11 feature-length films; 14 websites in nine languages; apps; toys (ranked number one property in the pre-school toys category in the UK and Australia and number two in the US); consumer products; publishing; live attractions and much more. Thomas & Friends has scooped prestigious accolades including a Parent’s Choice Award, a Webby and a Licensing Award for Best Classic Licensed Property. 

The famous and cheeky No.1 blue engine and his friends invite children to enter a world of imagination through the tracks of a train. Together, the children and engines embark on timeless adventures while experiencing valuable yet fun life lessons of discovery, friendship and cooperation. Thomas & Friends™ is viewable on more than 30 world-class broadcasters including PBS KIDS® in the US, Super RTL in Germany, and on Five’s Milkshake! and Nick Jr. in the UK. 

Downloadable episodes are available through iTunes and on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/thomasandfriends . 

For more information about the wonderful world of Thomas & Friends, please visit www.thomasandfriends.com, facebook.com/thomasandfriends and Twitter @ThomasFriends   

About Mattel


The Mattel family of companies (Nasdaq: MAT) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. At: www.mattel.com, www.facebook.com/mattel or www.twitter.com/mattel

About National Amusements

National Amusements, Inc., is a world leader in the motion picture exhibition industry operating in more than 940 screens in the US, UK, Brazil and Argentina. 

Thursday, May 05, 2016

ALAN WHICKER COLLECTION DONATED TO BFI NATIONAL ARCHIVE

The BFI National Archive is pleased to announce that it has received the archives of pioneering investigative TV journalist, Alan Whicker, donated by Valerie Kleeman, Whicker’s World Foundation. The collection contains meticulous records of one of the most enduring and influential careers in British television history, spanning the late 1950s into the 21st century.

This is an extensive and significant donation covering the entire career of a world-renowned broadcaster, and represents a unique insight into the production methods of a master documentarian. Alan Whicker’s name is a by-word for brilliantly crafted and revealing studies of people and places, whether exploring behind the scenes of the Miss World competition, interviewing Papa Doc in Haiti, or exposing the lifestyles of the hippies of San Francisco, with an enquiring mind and a sceptical tone. This unlikely figure, clad in Gucci tie and blazer, found his way into the nation’s hearts as he went where his audience was unlikely to follow.

The meticulously kept Alan Whicker archive spans the years 1938-2014. It includes a school report from 1938, documents relating to his war career and letters, photographs, extensive production files, audience reports, interview notes and questions (including Whicker’s hand-annotated question cards) and transcripts of every TV programme he made, along with some, as yet, unidentified films. The archive gives an insider’s view of some of the key events, social trends and personalities of the 20th century, while fully documenting the changing world of television reportage across more than five decades.

The material will be stored at the BFI National Archive’s paper store at Berkhamsted where it joins over 600 named collections from individuals such as producers Michael Balcon, David Puttnam and Betty Box, directors including David Lean, Joseph Losey, Michael Powell, Carol Reed, Mike Hodges, Muriel Box and Derek Jarman, writers such as Emeric Pressburger, Janet Green and Trevor Griffiths, and documentary filmmakers such as Humphrey Jennings, Derek Armstrong and Michael Orrom. Among the most recent additions to the collection are the archives of Ken Loach, Alan Parker, Jenny Beavan, Richard Lester, Karel Reisz, Jack Clayton and Halas & Batchelor. The Whicker papers will be able to be consulted by researchers and students of television history once cataloguing is fully completed.

Robin Baker, Head Curator, BFI National Archive said, “This is a major collection that gives us a unique insight into one of the great figures of 20th century television. Alan Whicker was a household name, famed for his daring and insightful investigations of people from all walks of life, from close to home and around the globe. His standards were meticulously high and his programmes set a benchmark for longform television documentary. The Alan Whicker collection is a very generous and important donation from Valerie Kleeman of the Whicker’s World Foundation, for which we are extremely grateful. We’re delighted that Whicker’s papers are now part of the national collection of film and television. “

Valerie Kleeman, Whicker’s partner in life and work for over 40 years and founder of the Whicker’s World Foundation said, “The Whicker’s World archive is now where it belongs – in the safekeeping of the BFI – where, I hope, its content will be of help and guidance to generations to come.

The 90 boxes, carefully curated by archivist Catherine Kirby, contain an intimate and personal take on the last half of the 20th century. Beginning with a letter informing him he has passed his School Certificate and continuing throughout his life in the Army Film and Photographic Unit, journalism and television, Alan Whicker observed both the light and the shadows of life.

Often he witnessed history in the making: war trials in Strasbourg, race riots in Alabama. He had access to the unaccessible: dictators, witch doctors, cults – and even the occasional royal. ‘Whicker’s World’ covered everything from bullfighting and the first gay weddings to the horrors of Papa Doc’s Haiti, always with intelligence, often with humour.

Whicker wrote and filmed what he saw, he had no preconceived ideas, no axe to grind. His motivation was to stimulate, to interest, to entertain…..and to allow viewers to come to their own conclusions.

The archive contains 60 years of carefully documented work: transcripts, notes, diaries and photographs, a lifetime of watching the world through thoughtful, quizzical eyes.”


Alan Whicker CBE (1921-2013) was a renowned journalist, broadcaster and television presenter. During the Second World War he joined the Army Film and Photo Unit, and by the 1950s he was working as a foreign correspondent for a Fleet Street agency, and then as a broadcaster for BBC Radio. In 1957 he was spotted by producer Alasdair Milne (later Director-General of the BBC) who gave him a regular ‘Whicker’s World’ slot on the ground breaking Tonight programme. This paved the way for the longer format Whicker's World which began in 1965 and ran for 40 years on the BBC and ITV.

His reportage spanned the globe and covered a huge range of subjects which reflect all aspects of 20th century culture, politics and history. These include race relations, gay marriage, gun culture, bullfighting, haute couture and interviews with significant (and often controversial) figures of the 20th century, for example, Francois Duvalier (‘Papa Doc’), the notorious Haitian dictator, and oil billionaire John Paul Getty. At the height of his popularity Whicker’s programmes commanded audiences of 15 million people. Whicker's work was also significant in terms of style and format, for example, he was an early pioneer of the 'blue light' programme, a format that is now well-established and perennially popular (shadowing police in their daily and nightly duties). Alan Whicker is a significant cultural figure and a household name for a whole generation. He won many awards during his career including the BAFTA Richard Dimbleby Award and the Screenwriters’ Guild Best Documentary Script (in 1963). His legacy lives on through the Whicker's World Foundation which supports new documentary talent.

About the BFI
The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:
  • Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
  • Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
  • Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK - investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
  • Promoting British film and talent to the world 
  • Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences

The BFI is a Government arm’s-length body and distributor of Lottery funds for film. The BFI serves a public role which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of film in the UK. It delivers this role:
  • As the UK-wide organisation for film, a charity core funded by Government
  • By providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK
  • By working with partners to advance the position of film in the UK.

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.

The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger.

About the BFI National Archive
The BFI National Archive was founded in 1935 and has grown to become the one of the largest and most important collections of film and television in the world with over 180,000 films and 750,000 television programmes. For over 80 years the BFI has been an international leader in film preservation and guardian of Britain’s unparalleled film and TV heritage. The BFI is an innovator in presenting films to audiences in new and dynamic ways, from cinemas to film festivals, outdoor events to online video-on-demand. At the heart of all its activities is the BFI’s central aim to ensure that everyone in the UK has access to the widest possible range of film and their own film heritage.
That heritage includes all time great British directors Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean and Powell and Pressburger; and the rich vein of documentary filmmaking, in which Britain led the world, including the lyrical work of Humphrey Jennings. The archive also boasts a significant collection of filmmakers’ papers as well as extensive stills, posters and production and costume designs along with original scripts, press books and related ephemera.
Expert teams undertake the time-consuming and complex task of restoring films at the BFI John Paul Getty Jr Conservation Centre in Hertfordshire. The BFI’s most precious film materials are kept in optimum conditions in the world-leading Master Film Store in Warwickshire.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Air Lift

AIRLIFT, stars Indian superstar Akshay Kumar (also producer) and Nimrat Kaur who stars in The Lunchbox and Homeland. The film is releases worldwide on 22nd January (internationally).

AIRLIFT is based on the true life story of Kuwaiti-Indian businessman Ranjit Katyal (played by Akshay Kumar) who orchestrated the largest human evacuation in history - he safely evacuated over 170,000 Indians who were airlifted using 488 Air India flights in just 59 days  from Kuwait through to India via Iraq and Jordan during the Gulf War.

Due to India's political alliance with Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, the incident was muzzled by the media and finds no mentions in text books.

Director:           Raja Krishna Menon
Presenters:       Gulshan Kumar and Hari Om Bhatia, in association with Abundantia and Emmay Entertainment
Producers:       Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Nikkhil Advani, Aruna Bhatia, Monisha Advani, Madhu G Bhojwani and Vikram Malhotra
Banners:          T-Series, Emmay Entertainment, Cape of Good Films & Abundantia Entertainment
Distributor:       Internationally by B4U Network
Music:              Amaal Mallik, Ankit Tiwari
Genre:              Thriller, Drama
Cast:                Akshay Kumar, Nimrat Kaur, Kumud Mishra, Purab Kohli, Inaamul Haq and Prakash Belawadi

Friday, November 27, 2015

arte.tv

Fancy watching something cultural for the weekend? Take a look at the brand new English-subtitled free on demand offer by Arte!
Arte - the Franco-German channel of culture and leading European producer of quality documentaries, news and info magazines, short films, drama, music TV and more launched last week (17th Nov 2015) a brand new online TV offer with English and Spanish subtitled programmes available to anyone with an internet connection in the UK and worldwide at www.arte.tv/en and www.arte.tv/es. Take a look at our pick of the week below;
Paris-Berlin: Destinies Intertwined - four part mini-series (click on titles to watch)
The capital cities of France and Germany have developed throughout three tumultuous centuries of history; a fruitful rivalry between two fascinating cities. The series narrates, in four episodes, the evolution of the two capitals: a fascinating duel that results in two opposing models, neither possible without the other. Admiring or critical, an example or a contrast, neither city can ever be indifferent to the other.
Produced by Frédéric Wilner, the series offers a stunning bird's eye view of the two cities whilst offering a detailed look at their entangled roots. Since the 1700s, five wars have been fought between Paris and Berlin. Each defeat has only increased each side's hunger to overcome the opponent. The competition has proven to be a driving force for innovation and creativity on both sides, catalysing the development of new cityscapes.
Political and social events have left their mark on architecture and urbanism. This ambitious series charts that history through the stories of these two unique cities.
Episode One: Brothers and Foes - In 1650, París had 350,000 inhabitants, and Berlín barely 15,000. This first episode is the story of a fascination: the fascination that drives a small city called Berlin to look towards the prestigious city of Paris for inspiration.
Episode Two: The Race to Modernity - In 1806, Napoleon's troops enter Berlin. The French occupation increases Prussian nationalism, but also causes a dramatic modernisation of the kingdom and its capital. By 1870, Berlin is nipping at Paris' heels - but following a very different urban model.
Episode Three: Face to Face - France suffers a terrible humiliation in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles; the conqueror is now the conquered. This third episode recounts the transformation of Berlin, now an imperial capital, while Paris gradually revives the notoriety of yesteryear…
Episode Four: The Shock - After World War One, Paris was able to rise from the ashes, but Berlin continued to suffer the aftermath. The situation is soon made far worse by Hitler's madness and envy.
Further programmes to enjoy online at www.arte.tv/en
A selection of documentaries (culture, history, society, science, geopolitics, exploration and investigation): Climate Special, Paris-Berlin Destinies Intertwined, Europe of Writers
ARTE's flagship magazine shows: Tracks, Arte Reportage, Metropolis
Also featuring: Mapping the World, Square, FutureMag, Yourope, Vox Pop, Xenius, Street Philosophy, the BiTS web magazine and more.
Live recordings from shows on the ARTE Concert platform: world music, theatre, opera, pop, rock, jazz or dance.
ARTE in English and ARTE en español are available online and feature subtitled versions - in English and Spanish respectively - of a selection of 600 hours of fact-based European programmes, excluding the channel's newscasts, drama and films. This selection of programmes will encompass ARTE's flagship magazine shows, including web programmes, a large number of documentaries embodying the channel's editorial line, and live recordings of performances. An average of 11 to 12 hours of new programmes will go online each week, for 7 to 90 days.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival

The 17th edition of India’s biggest film festival, the 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival in association with the STAR India, announced its stellar program line-up which includes new programming sections, special screenings and events. Taking place from October 29th to November 5th in Mumbai, the film festival celebrates the diversity of Indian and international cinema, showcasing the latest cutting-edge independent projects, avant-garde art house films, alongside genre offerings from Bollywood and Hollywood, with a focus on international cult movies.

The festival's presenting sponsor is Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL) and Associate Sponsor Partner STAR IndiaMrs Nita M. Ambani, Founder & Chairperson, Reliance Foundation has been announced as Co-Chair, Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) along with Chairperson Kiran RaoThe Festival Director is renowned writer and film critic, Anupama Chopra.

Other members of the new Board of Trustees of MAMI are Filmmakers Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar, Karan Johar, Vishal Bharadwaj, Vikramaditya Motwane, Dibakar Banerjee, Actors Riteish Deshmukh and Deepika Padukone, Mr. Anand Mahindra, Chairman & MD, The Mahindra Group, Mr. Ajay Bijli, Chairman and MD, PVR Ltd, Mr. Siddharth Roy Kapur, MD, Disney and Mr. Manish Mundra, Founder and CEO, Drishyam Films. These eminent personalities, outstanding achievers in their respective fields, are bringing together their expertise and experience to give Mumbai and India a bigger, better and even more exciting 17th edition of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.

Starting May 15th when the call for entries was announced, the 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival received an unprecedented number of entries of movies this year. The selection committee, programmers and curators selected the best films and have taken a decision to screen nearly 190 films in feature/documentary/short films categories.

Speaking about the return of the festival, Kiran Rao, Chairperson, 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival in association with Star India said: “We are thrilled to announce that Jio MAMI 2015 will present, two Excellence in Cinema awards – one to an international personality and the other to an Indian. I’m also kicked to announce that our international Excellence in Cinema award will be given to the iconic Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai who has created landmark films and won laurels around the globe including two Palme D’Or nominations. Our Indian Excellence in Cinema award will be given to two legendary screenwriters who changed the course of Indian cinema and created several classics – they are none other than Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar. We are also introducing a special section called ‘Half Ticket’ for kids, which will have an exciting slate of children films from around the world.”

Mrs Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson, Reliance Foundation & Co-Chair, MAMI Board of Trustees, said, “I am honoured with the appointment and the faith that the MAMI Board of Trustees has reposed in me. I thank them for inviting me to be a part of this movement that will showcase the best of Indian and world cinema. Jio MAMI deserves to be recognized as one of the best film festivals in the world. We are convinced that Jio will have a lot to do with films, and films will have a lot to do with Jio.”

Uday Shankar, CEO, STAR India said, “Star India believes in content that inspires a billion imaginations and moves the nation forward and MAMI is all about celebrating the joy of cinema. By supporting this festival we want to do our bit to fuel imagination that we all know has the power to change the world.”

Announcing the stellar program line-up for the festival, Anupama Chopra, Festival Director, 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival said, “We are here because of the generosity of many people.  Foremost among them is Jio and our associate sponsor – STAR India. And I also want to thank our third partner – the Government of Maharashtra. Our aim is to create a movie-soaked week in which you can see the best of Indian and international cinema. We want to foster a cultural exchange, enable conversations and shape a cinematic sensibility.”

For more information on MAMI and the upcoming 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival scheduled to be held from 29th October- 5th November 2015, visit: www.mumbaifilmfestival.com The film screenings will take place at PVR Juhu, PVR Citi Mall, Andheri, PVR LP, Phoenix Mills, PVR Ghatkopar and Regal-Colaba. To attend, viewers can register online at http://in.bookmyshow.com/mami/ or visit registration counters at the festival venues listed above.

SUPERSTAR SALMAN KHAN GOES BACK TO HIS ROMANTIC ROOTS FOR RAJSHRI PRODUCTIONS FAMILY DRAMA PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO



Releasing this Diwali on 12 November 2015

India’s leading man Salman Khan will resume his popular mantle of romantic hero in the eagerly anticipated family drama Prem Ratan Dhan Payoreleasing internationally on 12th November 2015 through Fox Star Studios. The film sees the coming together, after over a decade, of Salman Khan and legendary film studio Rajshri Productionsas they collaborate once again for an enchanting story of family values, love and morality.

Director Sooraj R. Barjatya pens the story and screenplay of the film featuring an esteemed cast comprising: Salman Khan, Bollywood darling Sonam Kapoor (Ranjhana, Aisha), Neil Nitin Mukesh (New York) and Anupam Kher (Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Baby, The Silver Linings Playbook), amongst others. The beautiful, melodic musical score is by popular songwriter and vocalist Himesh Reshammiya together with Sanjoy Chowdhury.

Salman Khan, who rose to prominence as Indian cinema’s favourite romantic screen icon in such Rajshri Productions mega hits as Maine Pyar Kiya, Hum Aapke Hain Koun and Hum Saath Saath Hain, will again assume the role of the ‘Prem’, a character that historically places the institution of family and familial relationships at the epicentre of his life.

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo tells the story of Prem ‘Dilwala’, a happy go lucky man who does ‘Ramleelas’ (stage plays based on Lord Rama) in Ayodhya, India. He knows all the Shlokas (Vedic songs) by heart and the purity of the scriptures resonates in all his pranks and fun. All that he earns, he donates to a charitable fund which is run by Princess Maithili. He is enchanted by the simplicity of her nature, her leading a normal life and yet being brave enough to save people in the middle of floods, and sets out to meet her. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is about Prem’s journey to meet Princess Maithili and the purity of the bond that they share. The film represents the unconditional love that all families must have for each other.

This Diwali, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo promises a grandiose tale that sets the scene perfectly for an opulent, dreamy and spell-binding, feel-good family drama, to captivate the hearts of cinema-goers the world over.

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo releases internationally on 12th November 2015 through Fox Star Studios.

The First Annual UK Web Festival: UK Web Fest Sunday 25th October 2015

The First Annual UK Web Festival: UK Web Fest Sunday 25th October 2015

Reviewed by Gail Spencer

Setting the scene, the first UK Web Festival showcasing the best of the series that shake and move on digital platforms, was given its theatrical outing at The Prince Charles Cinema in the heart of London's West End.  This little and much loved theatre historically has been the home of the cult, the brave and Avant Guard for the best part of a quarter century, if not longer. More recently screening all nighters of varying directors and actors of note, it is the best place to show an all day event devoted to the new and up and coming. The fest is to showcase in other cities across the UK and Northern Ireland, 69 in total.  A brave and noble - as well as potentially exhausting ambition. 

Given how difficult it is to acquire funding for features, the short, or the web series may well be the chosen format for new directors to make their mark and this was an eclectic mix chosen from all over the world.  Unusually presented by a professional compere, unheard of and hitherto not experienced in any festival attended by this writer, this cut the strands nicely into segments which made the day travel painlessly, the norm is the opposite. The series episodes were selected by those submitted, and from the point of view of the viewer, of those screened - like with any other screenings, it is important to note the talent among the submissions. The question hanging in the air is if this format and mode of delivery is going to be any the fairer or accessible to new talent than the feature presentation put across via traditional means. Download to Own and Video On Demand have been with us for some time: more appealing as ways and means to the technical - phone obsessed generation. What came across loud and clear is that this is a youth market. 

Some of the offerings however were very aware of the historic mores of genre in presenting parodies of that gone before: The Pantsless Detective (USA) using the imagery, style and language of old school noir, the delightful and very funny Big Shots Series (France) left the horror and comic genres in tatters literally with the silhouette animations of the well loved franchises tearing each other apart. More of this would be more than welcome and the best of that on offer gave rise to the notion that to move forward, web series directors and storytellers should still look back. Surprisingly, given the values and tastes of the youth market, the horror as drama was not present.

2020: The Series was a Science Fiction par excellence with a technophobic tale of Cronenbergian proportions: the future has us all wearing contact lenses with our immediate selves dealing with virtual choices in social media pointing fingers into space 'liking' and 'choosing' at random. ELBA - Napoleon's Legacy mixed the Sci-fi with the historic, unsurprisingly from Italy. Cam Girls (USA) was creepy, as was the intent in depicting the dark side of web cam based voyeurism: the internet based dating covered in the funny How to be Gay with the voyeurism here - the audience sharing the fly on the wall mockumentary. Cupid - a UK outing was a skit on the speed date, mocking the despairing and the desperate. Wannabes acutely satirised the world of the am dram student - the lead in this instance 'Felicity' displaying a richly self aware performance in depicting the poor duck acutely devoid of self awareness. 

The stand outs of the day were four pieces that had the potential, qualities and style to be taken seriously in the vein of narrative, acting, structure and pace. The Invisible Man (USA) was very self knowing in its homage to the 1950s outings of the same name. Brought into a modern context but with all the hysteria of the era from whence it came, the central and supporting characters were engaging and funny. This could hold its own as a series - though The Film Lab (Aust) works in the same way as did the incredibly wonderful season of geek depictions on testing urban myths, scientifically.  This was less of a series than a couple of teasing set pieces posing questions on film questions (such as can directors work better with a beard), comes out of the same school of thought that poses 'do men who look like Kenny Rogers make better Dads? This would be the cult item and could and should be run as cinema ads in the 'Don't' mock trailer style given to us via the cine literacy of Tarrantino for the Grindhouse Double Bill. The First Musketeer (UK/France) was an historic drama with evident thought love and care, not to mention high production values and all of the usual needs of plush historic drama were on show with a credits list that ran nearly as long as the short. The narrative was tight and dialogue delivered with an eye on period but without a hint of stilt.

The finest in terms of doing its genre service and giving a nod to the past, was 'Wallflowers.' Post Friends the plight of the singleton in the city may appear to have no further territory to cover, though the bed hopping ways, the pathos and the ineptitude of those seeking solace comes in a timely fashion to cinema goers in the wake of The Lobster a drama where we - the loner and the lonely are placed in the context of a group forced to couple. The story with Wallflowers though follows in much the same dramatic context as did the 'Dear John' series shown in the 1980s, with Ralph Bates playing the lead at a singles support group getting together at a community centre for a weekly pep talk by a deranged leader. In secret the singles couple and in doing so fail to embrace their singledom in the way the mentor dictates, the acts of wanton defiance though being more that than out of genuine love and need for it. Wallflowers was pitch perfect in showing, and doing just what is says on the tin, providing a good look at those who are not asked to dance and does so with quality, style and class. 

Of the items chosen here, the plush and satisfying First Musketeer won an award for best UK web series, Wannabes, and 2020 were chosen also, so it would appear though this is a new area for most reviewers……a new judgment criteria isn't necessarily needed.  The first UK Web Fest is a breath of fresh air, with a look towards new talent and the heart and brains to give it a needed platform.