Thursday, February 22, 2007



Monday, 26 Feb, 7 pm - An epic documentary on Bob Dylan

Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road, Mumbai 400049. Tel:
2614 9546

VIKALP: Films for Freedom announces a monthly documentary series in
collaboration with Prithvi. Our inaugural show, as an exception, will
begin at 7 pm on Monday the 26th of February with Martin Scorsese's
epic tribute to Bob Dylan, 'No Direction Home'. From March, screenings
will revert to the Prithvi Annexe next door at 7 pm on the last Sunday
of each month. Information on these will be posted on

NO DIRECTION HOME/Directed by Martin Scorsese (USA) / 207 mins

An epic documentary that spawns the politically charged folk ballads
that came to embody the very spirit of the turbulent 1960s ("The Times
They are a-Changin") and the stream-of-consciousness litanies that
irrevocably changed the face of rock music ("Like a Rolling Stone").
Director Martin Scorsese crafts an unprecedented exploration of the
musician's creative process. The film is the first ever film biography
of the enigmatic, near-reclusive Dylan, who grants Scorsese his first
full-length interview in 20 years for a startlingly intimate and
endlessly revealing portrait. The interview is supplemented with a
wealth of archival footage that includes personal home movies from his
childhood in Minnesota; unreleased interviews with colleagues Allen
Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Maria Muldaur; and rare live
performances of classics like "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Mr.
Tambourine Man." The result is a richly visual cinematic testament to
the life and work of one of the greatest and most influential artists
of the 20th century.

Also showing, three Indian short films/music videos.

Vande Mataram/ Directed by Amudhan R.P. / 5 mins

An alternate music video offering a unique perspective on pop patriotism.

America , America / Directed by K.P. Sasi / 5 mins

A satirical but severe indictment of America's role in escalating
world conflict.

Images You Didn't See/Directed by Anand Patwardhan / 5 mins

A music video that interprets images gleaned from the internet that
either never appear in the mainstream media, or whose import is masked
behind a velvet curtain of global infotainment.


VIKALP: Films for Freedom

The History: In recent years we have seen riotous mobs burn books,
destroy paintings, attack artists, tear down cinemas, rip apart
ancient manuscripts and make a mockery of all our constitutional
safeguards. The state itself has institutionalized censorship through
its Central Board of Film Certification and its counterpart in the
world of theatre. Documentary filmmakers have specially borne the
brunt of censorship. As the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF)
2004 approached, the then government knew that many films on the
Gujarat carnage exposing the ruling party's complicity could embarrass
it on an international stage. Overnight a new clause was introduced
stating that while foreign films remained exempt, all Indian films
would require a censor certificate. Even as over 275 filmmakers united
and threatened to boycott MIFF, official censorship was withdrawn, but
a dubious backdoor selection procedure excluded some of the best new
Indian films dealing with subjects like communalism, caste, gender,
sexuality and the environment.

The best way to fight back was to screen the 'rejected' films. So
VIKALP: Films for Freedom was born. Many filmmakers whose films were
selected for MIFF withdrew their work to screen them at VIKALP.
Girish Karnad stepped down from the MIFF jury. Filmmakers pooled in
their resources and found a perfect venue right across from MIFF at
Bhupesh Gupta Bhawan, whose solidarity was unconditional and whose
hall came free. Acoustic problems were overcome by curtains and
mattresses. Volunteers poured in and the buzz was electric. Despite
word of mouth publicity we had packed houses every day. VIKALP opened
with an excerpt from Sadaat Hasan Manto's ' Safed Jhoot', an
indictment of censorship and hypocrisy, performed by Jamil Khan,
directed by Naseeruddin Shah. From this high, we never came down. For
6 days rapt audiences saw and debated over 50 films and participated
in panel discussions on censorship. Across the street every official
MIFF bulletin and meeting denounced VIKALP and swore innocence to the
charge of censorship. But we were getting across. From juries to
filmmakers and audience members, the ranks of the disbelievers kept
growing - as they must. For an assault on freedom of expression does
not affect filmmakers alone. It is an assault on democracy itself.

The Present: Following this breakthrough we continue to do monthly
screenings at Bhupesh Gupta Bhawan. This success has led to
collaborations with other venues like Aavishkar in Mahim and Readers
Shop in Santa Cruz for monthly screenings. Film-makers in Delhi and
Bangalore organize regular screenings in their respective cities.
Selections of 'Vikalp' films have traveled to other parts of the
country and occasionally to other parts of the world. Now we begin a
new collaboration from March 2007 to do screenings at Prithvi, Juhu,
on the last Sunday of each month at 7 PM.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jeevika: South Asia Documentary Festival, which began in 2003, aims at capturing the livelihood challenges faced by the rural and urban poor and bringing it to the attention of current and future policy makers. Over the years, Jeevika has been successful in advocating for the cause of numerous entry-level entrepreneurs - rickshaw pullers, street vendors, prostitutes, child labour, farmers and forest-dwellers.

The premier event of the festival to be held at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi will be the awards ceremony from 20-23rd July 2007, which will culminate four days of screening for the top films. The last date for the submitting the entries is May 31, 2007

In addition as part of the festival tour, the award-winning films will travel and be screened in premier schools and colleges in over 20 states in India and other organisations working on livelihood issues as well as in our South Asian neighbours.

Over the years, Jeevika has become an increasingly popular and news-worthy event as well as an important catalyst for positive social change. The Film-makers whose films have been showcased in the past include Rakesh Sharma (of the Final Solution fame), Sanjay Barnela (Turf Wars) and Shohini Ghosh (Tales of the Night Fairies).

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