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Doc NYC 2017 Women Directors: Meet Geeta Gandbhir — “Armed With Faith”

“Armed With Faith”

Geeta Gandbhir is a prolific director, editor, and producer. She has co-directed numerous award-winning films, including “I Am Evidence,” “Prison Dogs,” “Remembering the Artist, Robert De Niro, Sr.” and “A Journey of A Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers.” She is also currently co-directing and co-producing a “Conversation on Race” series with The New York Times Op-Docs.

“Armed With Faith” will premiere at the 2017 Doc NYC film festival on November 12. The film is co-directed by Asad Faruqi.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Gg: After 9/11, Pakistan, which is an American ally in the global war on terror, is plagued by both homegrown and international terrorism. The small yet heroic Pakistani Bomb Disposal Unit is on the frontline of defense defusing bombs, navigating land mines, and grappling with suicide bombers, all while dealing with financial hardship and familial pressure. Harrowing and suspenseful, “Armed With Faith” takes us on the ground with this dedicated squad of men who risk their own lives every day for their country.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Gg: Asad Faruqi brought this story to me in 2014. We were working together on a film that Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and I were directing, and he showed me some footage he had shot. I was immediately impressed by the men of the Kpk Bomb Disposal Unit — their bravery, wisdom, and empathy.

Sharmeen’s and my work is often vested in challenging false, harmful structural and systemic narratives that keep us isolated from each other as human beings and world citizens, and I felt strongly that the stories of these men, who face death every day to protect their communities and homeland, would resonate with a global audience.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Gg: I hope people leave with a greater empathy for the struggle of the people of northern Pakistan and their fight to curb extremism, and the understanding and that we all play a part in their successes or failures. I hope people leave with a strong narrative that serves as a counterpoint to the racist, xenophobic, anti- Muslim sentiments and legislation espoused by our current government.

I also hope they leave with a renewed sense that all human beings, no matter where they live and what religion they practice, ultimately want and deserve the same things — peace, security, dignity, and a hopeful future for their children. I also hope they leave with a sense having been deeply moved by a powerful film!

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Gg: The logistics were challenging as the film was shot in northern Pakistan. Also, finding translators for the various languages spoken was not so easy.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Gg: We received a grant from the Idfa/Bertha Brit Doc Journalism Fund and we were also funded by the Independent Television Service (Itvs) — and we are so grateful to them for their support.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Doc NYC?

Gg: It means the world! I am a Doc NYC alumni and this is one of my favorite festivals. This is one of the few Us festivals that truly embraces diversity and international films — the curation is superb. It’s also just wonderful for all the hometown folks to have a chance to attend and celebrate. We feel lucky and honored to be part Doc NYC’s vision.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Gg: The best was that each film has its place in the world. There is a festival and a distribution outlet for every film.

The worst advice: Pay yourself later. That never happens!

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Gg: Demand for yourself what a white, male colleague would demand. If you accept less, you will be given less.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Gg: This is an impossible question! As of recent I liked “The Cinema Travellers” by Shirley Abraham (and Amit Madheshiya), Kirsten Johnson’s “Cameraperson,” Smriti Mundhra and Sarita Khurana’s “A Suitable Girl,” and Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s “One of Us.” Those are only some that I can think of right now.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Gg: I am optimistic. I do see change coming. However, we cannot stop making noise about it — we can’t rest. The patriarchy won’t shift on it’s own. We have stay loud and in everyone’s face until there is equality and dignity for everyone in our industry.

Doc NYC 2017 Women Directors: Meet Geeta Gandbhir — “Armed With Faith” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Sliff 2017 Review – The Cinema Travellers

The Cinema Travellers screens Friday, November 3rd at 7:30pm at Webster University’s Browning Auditorium (8274 Big Bend Blvd., St. Louis, Mo 63119) as part of this year’s St. Louis International Film Festival. This is a Free event.

This Cannes prize-winner takes viewers on a journey with the traveling cinemas of India, which bring the wonder of the movies to faraway villages annually. Seven decades on, as their lorries and cinema projectors crumble and film reels become scarce, these mobile movie purveyors find that their audiences are being increasingly lured away by slick digital technology. “The Cinema Travellers” accompanies a shrewd exhibitor, a benevolent showman, and a maverick projector mechanic who bear a beautiful burden — to keep the last traveling cinemas of the world running. Variety raves: “If the cinema is magic, then the nomadic projectionists and technicians of ‘The Cinema Travelers’ are its Oz-like wizards, roaming the rural Indian
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Race, Religion, Immigration: 5 New Documentaries That Capture Our Divided Times — Nyff

  • Indiewire
Race, Religion, Immigration: 5 New Documentaries That Capture Our Divided Times — Nyff
The following essay was produced as part of the 2017 Nyff Critics Academy, a workshop for aspiring film critics that took place during the 55th edition of the New York Film Festival.

Tragedy begets tragedy. And in 2017, the global infrastructure’s threshold for human suffering seems to be testing its limits: environmental catastrophes are ravaging the Global South, refugees are fleeing war and persecution only to be met with xenophobic policies. Yet, in the shadow of the 24/7 news cycle, keeping up with current events can prove challenging. As the landscape for film exhibition follows technology’s rapid adaptation, offering new ways to watch movies outside of the traditional theater experience, the role of a film festival continues its evolution: extending its cinematic influence over the industry and the audience, and if lucky, offering a platform that can push the culture forward.

There’s no other place one can better witness that
See full article at Indiewire »

Ashutosh Gowariker Honored and A Billion Colour Story Wins Audience Award at London Indian Film Festival

  • Bollyspice
The fabulous Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival in London and Birmingham, is UK and Europe’s largest platform of independent cinema from the Indian subcontinent. The brilliant London festival has closed but the amazing movies continue in Birmingham until July 2nd.

The festival has grown significantly in stature and reputation, with pan-Indian and Indian sub continental cinema in several languages, all subtitled in English, Bsl (British Sign Language) incorporated in some talks, and this year attracted major award winning films including Newton, Hotel Salvation and The Cinema Travellers, as well as world premieres like the Tamil comedy, Ticket – The Movie.

Festival executive and programming director Cary Rajinder Sawhney said: “It is wonderful that the festival continues to lead the debate and not simply reflect the changing shape of Indian cinema; from this year’s Indian virtual reality showcases to bringing carefully curated important new talent to the world stage
See full article at Bollyspice »

Liff Short Take Special Reviews: What to see at London Indian Film Festival

  • Bollyspice
This year’s London Indian Film Festival boasts an incredible selection of film viewing over the next week. Not sure what to choose? Here are a few bite sized mini-reviews to whet your appetite.

The Cinema Travellers — directed by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya

Last year I had the pleasure of screening the Liff 2016 presentation of the Bengali film Cinemawala, which presented a fictional view of the decline of the traditional Indian cinema hall in the face of changing technology and an ever growing market in pirated films. This year, Liff 2017 presents the documentary The Cinema Travellers, directed by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya, which touches on a similar theme: the decline of travelling film projectors and their operators, again in face of a changing technological landscape.

The film made a stunning debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016 and has gone on to screen to enthusiastic and appreciate audiences
See full article at Bollyspice »

London Indian Film Festival Showcases Cutting Edge Independent Indian Films

  • Bollyspice
As we told you the renowned London Indian Film Festival is back for another year with a new and exciting selection of fabulous cutting-edge films that reaffirm the festival’s position as the ‘punk-rock of Indian cinema’. With films that range from subjects covering stories of gangsters, comedy themes, horror elements, thrillers, immigration and diaspora issues, environment, economics, religion, politics, and the lives of Indian royalty this year’s festival that runs from 22-29 June is not to be missed.

Check out this totally cool trailer (created by Parag Sankhe) to get an idea for what is in store for you! It has some amazing clips of the films that you must see!

The Black Prince opens the festival on 22nd June at the BFI Southbank with the red carpet premiere of the historical epic. The screening will also include a Q and A with the cast and director. Directed by Kavi Raz,
See full article at Bollyspice »

Springtime in L.A.: Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles

Springtime in L.A.: Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles
It’s over but it opened L.A.’s newest spring season of unlimited international film screenings all over the city throughout the month of April and into Cannes.

The 15th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (Iffla) opened with “Lipstick Under My Burkha” and its impressive ensemble cast of Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur in a dramatic, but irreverent and vibrant film about women and faith. The film premiered at the Tokyo Film Festival 2016 and has been lighting up the festival circuit, including just winning the Audience Award at the Glasgow Film Festival. Director Alankrita Shrivastava is confirmed to attend and additional talent to be confirmed.

Lipstick Under My Burkha

Iffla concluded on April 9 with a red carpet and gala that featured the Los Angeles premiere of Shubhashish Bhutiani’s “Hotel Salvation” starring Adil Hussain who was in attendance, as well as the
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Indian Film Fest La 2017 Review: The Cinema Travellers, Captures a Moment of Transition and Rebirth

Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya's The Cinema Travellers is a love letter to an age quickly coming to a close in India and around the world. Once upon a time in India, the only way that the small remote villages would be able to see a movie on a big screen was when the travelling carnivals brought along their portable cinemas run out of the back of a truck. These travellers brought magic to the small towns and villages of rural India in which building a full time cinema hall would be unsustainable. The Cinema Travellers follows a couple of these old-timey purveyors of celluloid magic on what could be their last journeys through the Indian countryside as the world and time conspire against them....

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

San Francisco Presents Cinema as a Catalyst for Bridging Cultures

A preview of this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival.The Cinema Travellers

With nationalism on the rise there is a palpable hunger for art than connects nations and peoples. No art form bridges cultural divides like film. The programmers at the San Francisco International Film Festival (rechristened “Sffilm”) have always taken on this mission with enthusiasm and a keen eye for quality. Sffilm celebrates its 60th birthday this year and is the longest running film festival in the Americas. It is precisely this year’s slate of foreign films that poignantly illustrate the capacity of cinema to speak universally.

A perfect example is the extraordinary The Cinema Travelers — Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya’s indescribable real-life ride-along with the travelling tent theaters of India, alive but struggling in the most remote of remote corners of that huge country for more than 70 years.

In focusing on two tent cinema operators and their milieu, on
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

'Diamond Island', 'Lady Of The Lake' scoop top prizes in Mumbai

  • ScreenDaily
Other winners included Ralitza Petrova’s Godless and The Narrow Path, directed by Satish Babusenan and Santosh Babusenan.

Davy Chou’s Diamond Island won the Golden Gateway Award in Mumbai Film Festival’s international competition, while Haobam Paban Kumar’ Lady Of The Lake scooped the same honour in India Gold.

Diamond Island, a co-production between Cambodia, France and three other countries, received its world premiere in Critics Week at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and premiered in Cambodia this week. Lady Of The Lake, a Manipuri-language drama about fishermen being driven from their homes, recently premiered at Busan.

Other winners in Mumbai’s international competition included Bulgarian filmmaker Ralitza Petrova’s Godless, which took the Silver Gateway Award, and Mexican director Natalia Almada’s Everything Else, which took the Jury Grand Prize. Special mentions went to Alba, directed by Ecuador’s Macarena Arias, and UK-Peruvian drama When Two Worlds Collide.

In the India
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Film Festival Roundup: AFI Fest Adds ‘La La Land’ Gala, London Awards Kelly Reichardt’s ‘Certain Women’ and More

  • Indiewire
Film Festival Roundup: AFI Fest Adds ‘La La Land’ Gala, London Awards Kelly Reichardt’s ‘Certain Women’ and More
Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.

Full Lineup Announcements

– “3-D Auteurs,” a 19-day, 34-film festival spotlighting stereoscopic movies by some of history’s most distinguished directors, will run at Film Forum November 11 – 29. The festival spans 3-D’s earliest days (including some turn-of-the-century films by pioneer Georges Méliès) to the present, and represents virtually every genre, including Westerns, Film Noir, and Science Fiction. Hollywood’s first big 3-D craze (sometimes called 3-D’s “golden era”), intended to offset the threat of television, came in the early 1950s, with such movies as Hitchcock’s “Dial M For Murder,” André De Toth’s “House of Wax” and Jack Arnold’s “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (all included in the series).

Hollywood produced roughly 50 movies in the process from 1952 to 1954, before fizzling out and being overtaken by
See full article at Indiewire »

Nyff 2016 – Five Films You Need To Keep An Eye Out For Out Of This Year’s Superb Nyff Lineup

  • CriterionCast
As this year’s New York Film Festival nears its conclusion, it’s time to look at and take stock of numerous aspects of the film landscape. A cavalcade of films hit the Big Apple for the prestigious festival, be it world premieres or pictures already seen at high ranking festivals like Cannes or even Berlin, hoping to either gain a new foothold in the growing awards season, or make an impact with critics and audiences. Opening for the first time ever with a documentary (Ava DuVernay’s superlative 13th), this is a historic year for the festival, and with that comes one of the most interesting lineups in years. But what about the films below even this radar? What about the films you may not see heat up the trades or make waves on hashtag Film Twitter? If you’re looking for the hidden gems from this year’s lineup,
See full article at CriterionCast »

The Jio Mami with Star unveils its programming line-up for 2016

  • Bollyspice
The Jio Mami Mumbai Film Festival with Star is less than a month away from offering the city a movie extravaganza unlike any other. In its 18th edition, the festival announced its stellar line-up for the year at its annual press conference held on Thursday, 29th September in Mumbai. The festival is set to kick off on 20th October. The press conference began with the announcement of the festival’s new brand identity.

Jio Mami with Star, Festival Co-Chairperson, Kiran Rao said, “It’s been a very exciting year for the Academy. Firstly, we are now a year around presence. We launched the Mami Film Club in May with a conversation between Sir Ian McKellen and Aamir. We’ve followed that up with India premieres of films such as Brahman Naman and India in a Day. The Academy is committed to bringing you great film content and conversations not just
See full article at Bollyspice »

Gomes, Erdem to head Mumbai film fest juries

  • ScreenDaily
Gomes, Erdem to head Mumbai film fest juries
Miguel Gomes [pictured] and Reha Erdem to head international competition and India Gold juries, respectively; fest also unveils line-up and Jia Zhangke award.

Portuguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes (Arabian Nights) is heading the jury for the international competition at this year’s Mumbai Film Festival, while Turkish director Reha Erdem will preside over the jury for the India Gold section.

Gomes will be joined by filmmakers Tala Hadid and Anurag Kashyap, producer Christine Vachon and Hot Docs president Chris McDonald. Titles selected for the International Competition for first-time filmmakers include Israeli filmmaker Elite Zexer’s Sand Storm and Diamond Island, from French-Cambodian filmmaker Davy Chou (see full line-up below).

Erdem recently won the Special Orizzonti Jury Prize at Venice for Big Big World. He will be joined on the India Gold jury by composer Mychael Danna (Life Of Pi), Hong Kong director Yonfan (Peony Pavilion), Polish director Tomasz Wasilewski (United States Of Love) and critic Stephanie Zacharek.

The festival
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Mumbai Festival to Honor China’s Jia Zhangke, India’s Sai Paranjpye

Mumbai Festival to Honor China’s Jia Zhangke, India’s Sai Paranjpye
The 18th Mami Mumbai Film Festival will honor Chinese auteur Jia Zhangke and Indian filmmaker Sai Paranjpye with ‘Excellence in Cinema’ awards.

The festival that runs Oct. 20-27 will open with actor Konkona Sen Sharma’s directorial debut “A Death in the Gunj” that bowed at Toronto and will play in Busan.

Two new gender-based awards have been instituted. In partnership with Oxfam India, the best Indian film on gender equality carries a cash prize of $15,000 (INR1 million.) The best Indian female filmmaker award has a cash prize of $22,500 (Inr 1.5 million.)

Films in the ‘India Gold’ competition strand include Rohit Mittal’s “Autohead,” Manas Mukul Pal’s “Colours of Innocence,” Haoban Paban Kumar’s “Lady of the Lake,” Alankrita Shrivastava’s “Lipstick Under My Burkha,” Sushanshu Saria’s “Loev,” Prithvi Konanur’s “Railway Children,” Saumyananda Sahi’s “Remembering Kurdi,” Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya’s “The Cinema Travellers,” Jaicheng Jai Dohutia’s “The Hidden Corner,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Nyff 2016: 7 New Documentaries To See at The Festival

  • Indiewire
Nyff 2016: 7 New Documentaries To See at The Festival
The New York Film Festival kicks off this week, sending us straight into the second half of a very busy fall festival season. In preparation for the festival, we’re rolling out a series of previews to point you in the direction of all the movies you have to see (or at least, all the movies you have to start anticipating right now). Today, some highlights of the always-robust documentary slate.

“Bright Lights”

Chronicling the often-fraught — but always loving — relationship between Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens’ “Bright Lights” is intimate and affectionate in a way that few documentaries can be. Our own David Ehrlich reviewed the film out of Cannes, where he wrote: “The film is strikingly open from the start, as an opening flurry of home video footage from Fisher’s childhood hints at the degree of access that has been granted to co-directors Fisher Stevens and Alexis Bloom.
See full article at Indiewire »

'A Quiet Dream', 'The Dark Wind' bookend Busan 2016

  • ScreenDaily
Festival will open with the world premiere of Zhang Lu’s Korean film A Quiet Dream.

Busan International Film Festival (Biff) on Tuesday unveiled its line-up, set to open with the world premiere of Zhang Lu’s Korean film A Quiet Dream.

Running October 6-15, the 21st Biff will screen a total of 301 films from 69 countries with 96 world premieres and 27 international premieres. The festival will close with the international premiere of Iraq-Germany-Qatar co-production The Dark Wind, directed by Hussein Hassan (Narcissus Blossom).

Festival director Kang Soo-youn said of A Quiet Dream: “It’s a film that people who like films and people who make films can’t help but like.”

The latest from Korean-Chinese director Zhang Lu (Dooman River, Grain In Ear), A Quiet Dream stars Han Ye-ri (Haemoo) as a young woman caring for her comatose father while running a bar and being wooed by three men.

Young Korean indie directors Yang Ikjune, Yoon Jong-bin
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Busan reveals 2016 lineup

  • ScreenDaily
Festival will open with the world premiere of Zhang Lu’s Korean film A Quiet Dream.

Busan International Film Festival (Biff) on Tuesday unveiled its line-up, set to open with the world premiere of Zhang Lu’s Korean film A Quiet Dream.

Running Oct 6-15, the 21st Biff will screen a total of 301 films from 69 countries with 96 world premieres and 27 international premieres. The festival will close with the international premiere of Iraq-Germany-Qatar co-production The Dark Wind, directed by Hussein Hassan (Narcissus Blossom).

Festival director Kang Soo-youn said of A Quiet Dream: “It’s a film that people who like films and people who make films can’t help but like.”

The latest from Korean-Chinese director Zhang Lu (Dooman River, Grain In Ear), A Quiet Dream stars Han Ye-ri (Haemoo) as a young woman caring for her comatose father while running a bar and being wooed by three men. Young Korean indie directors Yang Ikjune, Yoon Jong-bin
See full article at ScreenDaily »

New York Film Festival Announces 2016 Documentary Lineup, Including New Films by Errol Morris and Steve James

  • Indiewire
New York Film Festival Announces 2016 Documentary Lineup, Including New Films by Errol Morris and Steve James
The Film Society of Lincoln Center today announced the complete Spotlight on Documentary lineup for the 54th New York Film Festival, which begins on September 30 and ends on October 16. Among the more prominent selections are “Hoop Dreams” director Steve James’ “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” and Errol Morris’ “The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography,” among others; already announced titles for this year’s edition of Nyff, the 54th, include Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea,” Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann” and Kelly Reichardt’s “Certain Women.” Find the full list of documentaries below.

Read More: Nyff Reveals Main Slate of 2016 Titles, Including ‘Manchester By the Sea,’ ‘Paterson’ and ‘Personal Shopper’

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” (Steve James)

“The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography” (Errol Morris)

“Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds” (Alexis Bloom & Fisher Stevens)

The Cinema Travellers” (Shirley Abraham & Amit Madheshiya”)

“Dawson City: Frozen Times” (Bill Morrison)

“Hissen Habré,
See full article at Indiewire »

Tiff Rounds Out Slate With ‘Blair Witch,’ ‘Free Fire,’ ‘The Bad Batch’ and Many More

  • Indiewire
Tiff Rounds Out Slate With ‘Blair Witch,’ ‘Free Fire,’ ‘The Bad Batch’ and Many More
The Toronto International Film Festival has nearly completed its slate announcement this year — expect a few stragglers to be announced in the coming days, but this is about the size of it — rounding out its lineup with today’s announcement of its Docs, Midnight Madness, Vanguard and Tiff Cinematheque picks. And what a group this is, including plenty of returning favorites and some very exciting new names.

Tiff’s Docs section features a collection of works from award-winning directors including Steve James, Raoul Peck, Errol Morris and Werner Herzog. Leonardo DiCaprio even pops up for a “rousing call to action on climate change” in “The Turning Point,” made in collaboration with Academy Award winner Fisher Stevens and already picked up by National Geographic.

Read More: Tiff Reveals First Slate of 2016 Titles, Including ‘Magnificent Seven,’ ‘American Honey,’ ‘La La Land’ and ‘Birth of A Nation’

The beloved Midnight Madness section offers
See full article at Indiewire »
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