Saturday, January 19, 2013

Chennai International Documentary and Short Film Festival 2013, 25,26,27 January

Chennai International Documentary and Short Film Festival 2013
25,26,27 January; Book Point, Anna Salai, Chennai; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Jointly organised by MARUPAKKAM (a media activist group), Padapetti (a film magazine), Book Point (a book store).
Inauguration: 25 January 2013; 10 a.m.; Book Point
Chief Guests: B.Lenin (filmmaker, editor), George Kutty (critic, activist, writer)
Inaugural film:
Dir:Yaasib Vazquez; Mexico; 29 min; 2011; Spanish
Yuban is about the transformation of a Zapotecan community. It portraits the longing for a set of principles that are about to die and the effort the people make to keep their culture alive.
Chennai International Documentary & Short Film Festival 2013
Closing ceremony
27 January 2013; 4 pm; Book Point
Chief guests:
V.Arasu (writer), Maruthu (painter), Chezhiyan (cinematographer)
Closing film:
Jai Bhim Comrade
Dir: Anand Patwardhan; 180 min; 2012; Marathi with Tamil subtitles
In 1997 a statue of Dr.Ambedkar in a Dalit colony in Mumbai was desecrated with footwear. As angry residents gathered, police opened fire killing 10. Vilas Ghogre, a leftist poet, hung himself in protest.
Jai Bhim Comrade shot over 14 years, follows the poetry and music of people like Vilas marks a subaltern tradition of reason that from the days of Buddha, has fought superstition and religious bigotry.

Special features of the festival:
*Around 30 films will be screened under the following sections:
1)     International Films
2)     Rest of India
3)     Films from Tamilnadu

*Screening timings: 10 a.m. to 1 pm; 4 pm to 8 pm

*Interaction with filmmakers and technicians:
Every day 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm
25 Jan: Sound and Documentary
Speakers: Rohini (filmmaker, actor), Aasaan Nambi (sound recordist)
26 Jan: Camera and Documentary
Speakers: Sunny Joseph (cinematographer), Someetharan (filmmaker)
27 Jan: Editing and Documentary
Speakers: Arun Mozhi (filmmaker); Amudhan R.P. (filmmaker)

Coordination team:
Amudhan R.P.; R.R.Srinivasan; Senthil Nathan; Adavi Murali; Kutti Revathi; Someetharan; Aravind Kumar; Kumarakurubaran

All are welcome!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fire in the Blood, English International Documentary film, Sundance Special, Johnson Thomas

Fire in the Blood, Johnson Thomas, Docimentary, Sundance film Festival 2013

Fire in the Blood, a feature-length documentary film produced by Sparkwater India, Mumbai, has been selected for the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, to be held January 17-23 in Park City, Utah, USA, and thus nominated for the coveted Grand Jury Prize. It is a unique achievement for an Indian film to be selected for this competitive section at what is considered to be the world's leading showcase for independent cinema.

"Sundance is the world's most prestigious platform for independent and documentary films, so for our first feature-length production to be selected is a truly immense honour", said Writer/Director/Producer Dylan Mohan Gray. "This, to the best of our knowledge, is the first documentary film of international scale and scope to come out of India, and to be chosen for the World Cinema Documentary Competition and nominated for the Grand Jury Prize out of a massive pool of submissions from talented filmmakers everywhere is extremely encouraging in terms of the future prospects for this film", he added.

Sundance received a record 12,146 submissions this year, among which were over 4000 feature-length films. From these, just 12 U.S. and 12 international films were selected for competition.

"Whenever anyone asks me what Fire in the Blood is all about, I always say it's about the crime of the century. I felt totally compelled to make this film because the historian in me first could not believe, and then could not accept that there was not a single film or even book in circulation which told this endlessly fascinating and important story," said Gray. "Sundance is the biggest and best possible stage for films like this, and I am immensely grateful that the festival selectors shared our view that this is a story the world absolutely needs to know about. And, without giving too much away, I'm certain that the hugely positive leadership role played by India and Indians in turning this story from one of unspeakable horror into one of hope and resurrection will be a great source of inspiration and pride for audiences in this country and beyond."

"Getting a film selected for the Sundance Film Festival is an immense honour and a tremendous achievement for Dylan, who has spent five years making this film" said Executive Producer Christopher Hird of Dartmouth Films in London (The End of the Line, Black Gold, The Flaw and John Pilger's The War You Don't See), adding "Sundance is the festival which sets the agenda for independent film for the rest of the year and so I confidently expect that Fire in the Blood will be seen around the world and have a noticeable impact on public attitudes and public policy, as well as telling an important contemporary story about India."

Fire in the Blood will be released in Picturehouse and other select cinemas around the UK and Ireland on February 22nd, 2013, in partnership with Dartmouth Films. This will be an unprecedented British theatrical release for an Indian independent or documentary film.

Theatrical release in India is tentatively planned for April 5th, 2013.


An intricate tale of 'medicine, monopoly and malice', Fire in the Blood tells the story of how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments aggressively blocked access to low-cost AIDS drugs for the countries of Africa and the global south in the years after 1996 – causing ten million or more unnecessary deaths – and the improbable group of people who decided to fight back.

Shot on four continents and including contributions from global figures such as Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu and Joseph Stiglitz, Fire in the Blood is the never-before-told true story of the remarkable coalition which came together to stop 'the Crime of the Century' and save millions of lives in the process.

As the film makes clear, however, this story is by no means over. With dramatic past victories having given way to serious setbacks engineered far from public view, the real fight for access to life-saving medicine is almost certainly just beginning.


In the late 1990s and early 2000s Western governments and pharmaceutical companies blocked low-cost antiretroviral drugs from reaching AIDS-stricken Africa and other parts of the global south, causing 10 million or more unnecessary deaths. This is the untold true story of the improbable group of people who decided to fight back.


The untold true story of how an unlikely group of people took on giant pharmaceutical companies and major Western governments to stop 'the Crime of the Century' and save millions of lives.


Trained as a historian, Mumbai-based Indian-Canadian filmmaker Dylan Mohan Gray has worked as first assistant director and second unit director on feature films in over two dozen countries with numerous leading directors including Fatih Akin, Peter Greenaway, Paul Greengrass, Deepa Mehta and Mira Nair.

Fire in the Blood is his first feature-length film as writer/director.


WEBSITE: (go to PRESS tab for clips, production notes and high-res stills)




Tuesday, January 1, 2013

S J Foundation Award for Dr Vijay Bhatkar

S J Foundation Award for Dr Vijay Bhatkar

It gives me an immense pleasure in announcing that Dr Vijay Bhatkar has been conferred with the prestigious Sitaram Jindal Foundation Award” ('SJF Prize-2012"), for his outstanding work in the field of ‘Science, Technology & Environment’. Last year the same award was conferred upon Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. The prize money is of Rs. One Crore. Award was presented in New Delhi on Dec 3, 2012.
The Jindal awards have been instituted to accolade exceptional service by individuals or organizations for the welfare of Indian citizens in the country. It is expected that the recognition garnered by the Jindal awardees will catalyze their efforts towards social benefit.
Dr. Bhatkar, The Father of Indian Supercomputers and a catalyst in developing India’s supercomputer Param, is the Chairman of our Group Company “Education to Home” – ETH in Pune, an ISO 9001:2000 certified company with ERP based ICT technology. It’s a honor to have Dr. Bhatkar as part of Siva Group family.
Dr Bhatkar is one of the most acclaimed and decorated scientists of India in terms of national and international awards, fellowships of professional societies and public recognitions including Padmashri & Maharashtra Bhushan Awards, the highest recognitions of Government of India and Government of Maharashtra, respectively. He has authored and edited 11 books and over 80 research and technical papers in the field of supercomputing, artificial intelligence, distributed computer control, optimal control and education technology as well as in science and philosophy.
Recently, Dr Bhatkar has been appointed chairman of the board of governors of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, as announced by the office of the President of India.



~ Morgan Spurlock to Direct Behind-the-Scenes Film, Which TriStar Pictures will release on August 30, 2013
(Labor Day Weekend) ~

Los Angeles – Sony Pictures announced today that it’s making a 3D film showcasing London-based global music sensation One Direction. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) will direct the film, which TriStar Pictures will release on August 30, 2013 (Labor Day weekend).

"This is an incredible opportunity and an amazing moment in time for the band,” said director/producer Spurlock.  “To capture this journey and share it with audiences around the world will be an epic undertaking that I am proud to be a part of."

Simon Cowell said “I’m delighted we’re making this film and Morgan is the perfect person to give that access-all-areas, behind-the-scenes look into what it’s like to be One Direction today. What the band have achieved is incredible, they and their fans have made history around the world – this is for them”

Spurlock emerged in 2004 with his Academy Award®-nominated feature Super Size Me, in which he subjected himself to eating only at McDonald’s for 30 days. He has since gone on to produce other acclaimed documentary features such as Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, and Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope, as well as non-fiction TV series including FX’s 30 Days and CNN’s upcoming Inside Man.  He was nominated for an Emmy Award and Writers Guild Award in 2010 for the Fox TV Special The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3-D! On Ice!

One Direction – Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson – were discovered by Simon Cowell on the U.K.’s “The X Factor” in 2010. The band quickly gained a following to become one of the competition’s all-time most popular acts, finishing in the final three and garnering a gigantic and loyal fanbase along the way. In March 2012, One Direction’s debut album, “Up All Night,” made U.S. history, as it was the first time a U.K. group’s debut album entered the U.S. Billboard 200 chart at No. 1. The band has sold over 13 million records worldwide. Today, One Direction released their sophomore album, “Take Me Home,” which includes the No. 1 single, “Live While We’re Young.”

Morgan Spurlock, Ben Winston, Simon Cowell, and Adam Milano will produce the film.  Executive Producers will be Richard Griffiths, Harry Magee, Will Bloomfield, Matthew Galkin, Jeremy Chilnick and Doug Merrifield. Hannah Minghella, President of Production for Columbia Pictures, and Lauren Abrahams, Vice President of Production for Columbia Pictures, will oversee production for the studio.

Follow @1D3Dmovie on Twitter for exclusive updates about the movie.  The official movie account on Twitter will announce news using the hashtag #1D3Dmovie.


About Sony Pictures:
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in 159 countries. For additional information, go to

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