Achieving immortality through good cinema – The Navhind Times

Danuska Da Gama I NT BUZZ

Miransha Naik looks like a teenage boy studying in college, or perhaps the more clichd guy who is enjoying his life. Looks are deceptive, but, on a serious note he is thoroughly enjoying his life, doing what he is most passionate about: making films and is very successful at it.

Juze had its world premiere at the Hong Kong international film festival and will soon have the European premiere at Karlovy Vary Film Festival which will be held from June 30 to July 8, 2017 in Czech Republic. An India-France-Netherlands co-production, the film reveals harsh social undercurrents in Goa, set around exploited migrant workers and their abusive employer cum land lord.

For Miransha, it is teamwork which is paying off and much more, for it is a Konkani film thats getting worldwide exposure. It was in November 2015 that Miransha while talking to NT BUZZ had said: Oddly we are of the belief that the only way for Konkani cinema or projects like this to be financially and commercially viable is to have a strong international (universal) appeal. It is vital for films to do good business outside India so that we do not have to compromise on quality for the sake of money.

Excerpts from an interview

Q: Youve been globetrotting various international film festivals with your debut film Juze. From the time you conceptualised the film until now, can you describe the various feelings, exciting parts and milestones of this journey for us.

Though there are lots of different feelings and exciting parts right from writing, to shooting to finally seeing the film on the big screen, the one Id like to share is when we were sitting among the audience in Hong Kong and hearing them clap for you after watching the film. Most of the filmmakers achieve that but I bet to each and everyone it is the most memorable one as the Hong Kong Film Festival is considered to be among the top 10 globally.

Q: How important was it for you to make this film; more so because its an unconventional story that is so different from the Goa perceived?

When I decided to make the movie I wasnt really thinking of anything and thats the integrity of this film. I just wanted to tell a story which excited me and was very sure it would be interesting for others too.

Q: Im sure the glory surrounded with Juze wont fade off so soon. But for a filmmaker who has a benchmark set now, whats next?

I already have my next script ready, which was part of the Three Rivers script lab in Italy last year. Its about a forced marriage where the husband cant get over the fact that his wife is not a virgin. There are a few producers who are trying to push the project and if all goes according to the plan, we will start shooting early October.

Q: Youve been described by some of your actors, as a one of a kind of a film director, whose thought process and vision is exceptional. What is it like when youre on the set? What do you look for?

I have made two short films Ram and Shezari before the feature film Juze. After every shoot, when I sit back and think about the times I have spent on the set, most of the times I feel very proud but at the same time theres slight guilt too. Proud, because I end up delivering a decent product and guilt is because I become this very cruel, selfish and a very insensitive person to each and everything, except the film. But, Ive always been blessed with a great team, especially the actors, who worked long hours in difficult conditions, got physically hurt and still gave me the shots I wanted for the film.

Q: What is your philosophy in life that influences your work or is a reflection of what you deeply believe in? How do you try to subvert, rebel or deliberately showcase something?

The sole purpose of filmmaking for me is to tell an engaging story. I never ever deliberately incorporate anything even in a single scene at the cost of flow of the film. If the philosophy I believe in belongs in the screenplay, the plot or the characters will make its own way for it.

Q: How have your roots influenced your art?

They say most of the good stories come from your personal experience and observations. All the stories Ive written have come from my surroundings. Even the happiest of the places would have darkest dramas hidden. I like to capture the entertainment, which are not always laughs and happy endings.

Q: While majority of an audience goes to watch a film for entertainment, there are also those who prefer serious, parallel cinema. As a film director what kind of films do you wish to make and how would you like to engage the audience differently?

As I said before entertainment for me is not only comedy or thriller or a beautiful love story. As far as you have the audience hooked to the story and the characters long after theyve left the cinema halls, the filmmaker has achieved immortality. Thats the kind of cinema I like and would prefer to make.

As a film director, if given a choice what would you prefer freedom or respect?

Freedom!

Q: And why?

The one who doesnt have freedom wont have respect and artists have to have respect.

Q: What makes a great film for you? Any particular qualities that make a film better for you?

The one loved by the audience. Not every film is made for the masses. Even if you have a niche market, the audiences still have to like your film. A good story acted well makes it better, while the rest is a bonus.

Q: Also, what is it that you like and dislike most about Indian cinema and the same about world cinema?

Though I prefer serious kind of cinema, I also enjoy Bollywood very much. Every now and then there are good commercial films made in Bollywood, which I dont miss out watching. As for parallel cinema, India is doing really well especially in last few years. Unfortunately for me thats not the case with America. They used to make movies, now they make McDonalds. Very rarely you get to see a good movie coming out from Hollywood studios but when it comes to a technically rich film, I dont think theres any match to them.

One nation, which has been consistently making good films, is Iran, and Im a big fan of Iranian cinema. On the other hand Europe is home for art house cinema.

Q: Lets go back to the choice of you becoming a film maker how easy or difficult was it when you decided on the choice of career?

My love for watching movies and the urge to tell stories got me into filmmaking. Its a constant struggle but when I see a millionaire, businessman, or any professional head I never envy them.

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Achieving immortality through good cinema – The Navhind Times

MetroWest Business Briefs for June 16, 2017 – MetroWest Daily News

RTN Federal holds Walk Home for the Homeless

Nearly 200 walkers, volunteers and staff participated in RTN Federal Credit Unions seventh annual Walk Home for the Homeless. The 5K walk events took place simultaneously in three locations Danvers Rail Trail, Dorchester Park and Waltham Common. Each walk began with an opening program featuring remarks from local officials, and senior executives from the credit union and the coalition. Walk Home funds are collected through the RTN GoodWorks Foundation and donated to help homeless teens and families in Danvers, Dorchester and Waltham, and support the work of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless. RTN has raised more $140,000 since the inception of Walk Home in 2011. With these funds, 367 children have received a new bed of their own through A Bed for Every Child, 15,568 articles of clothing have been distributed to homeless youth through the Teen Closet and 720 new t-shirts, sweatshirts and weather outerwear has filled the Teen Closet.

Legislative Breakfast announced

The Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce will hold the Legislative Breakfast from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. June 21 at the Charles F. Minney VFW Post 3329, 16 S. Main St., Millbury. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers. To register: administrator@blackstonevalley.org 508-234-9090.

Womens Empowerment Luncheon announced

The Womens Empowerment Luncheon featuring Carol Ann Morse will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at 110 Grill, 171 Commonwealth Road, Wayland. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for nonmembters. Morses journey to creating the Jarfette Jacket Scarf began when she was just 4, learning how to sew on a single treadle machine. Frustrated to find something to cover her arms whilst wearing a sleeveless dress, she designed a jacket scarf so she would have sleeves. On a whim, she inserted one sleeve into the other and realized that the jacket scarf could convert into 9 styles. When she added magnetic buttons to keep it in place, the 9 style, patent pending, Jarfette jacket scarf was born. Morse will share her personal story of entrepreneurship with the MetroWest Chamber Women’s Empowerment group.

Northborough Crossing to host Cinema Under the Stars

Those interested can enjoy free family-friendly features at Northborough Crossing, 9012 Shops Way, with the centers Summertime Cinema Under the Stars on June 16, July 14 and Aug. 25, with interactive activities starting at 6 p.m. and feature films at sunset (8:15 p.m. on June 16 and July 14; and 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 25). Recent releases will include everything superheros to animation. For information: http://northboroughcrossing.com.

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MetroWest Business Briefs for June 16, 2017 – MetroWest Daily News

Bright Blue Gorilla Travel the World Making Musically-Minded Art House Films – OC Weekly

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Image from Mr. Rudolpho’s Jubilee

Image courtesy of Bright Blue Gorilla

Robyn Rosenkrantz and Michael Glover are the consummate traveling art machine. For nearly 30 years, they have been traveling the world as Bright Blue Gorilla, performing concerts, showcasing their independent films, selling their CDs and DVDs, and maintaining their operation with the aid of the people theyve met along the way. As Bright Blue Gorilla, they have produced a dozen CDs, six feature films, and theyve just returned to L.A. to continue a tour they started in Europe three months ago.

Tomorrow, Bright Blue Gorilla will be appearing at The Frida Cinema, where they will perform a concert, screen their latest film, Mr. Rudolphos Jubilee, and conduct a Q&A session following the films screening. In advance of their appearance, the Weekly had a chance to catch up with Rosenkrantz and Glover to talk about their filmmaking model, shooting in Europe on a shoestring budget, and what audiences can expect to experience at one of their shows.

OC Weekly (Scott Feinblatt): To what extent have you guys shifted your focus from music production to film production, or is it all just sort of wound up together as your creative output?

Michael Glover: It definitely goes together. We still do a lot of music because of the movies. Every movie we have quite a lot of songs in it; for example, in this new film Mr. Rudolpho’s Jubilee, we’re the Greek chorus in the film. I wrote us in as that, and we’re sort of telling the story to the audience through song, throughout the movie…and then there’s always the incidental music and all kinds of things, so there’s quite a lot of music still.

Robyn Rosenkrantz: With this movie, we have a soundtrack as well, that we sell at the shows because there was so much music in the movie.

Mr. Rudolpho’s Jubilee was made with the participation of 300 artists from 36 countries. How did you corral that many artists from so many different places to collaborate with you?

Glover: Well, we’ve been touring for 27 years, starting as musicians, then in the past 10 or 12 years with movies, we have met so many great people over the years that it’s not hard to get a great collection of artists.

Rosenkrantz: Yeah, it’s so easy to meet new people when you travel, and especially when you’re doing shows…and there are so many talented artists in so many different countries, and every couple years we try to bring ’em all together [to do] a film together.

Michael Glover and Robyn Rosenkrantz of Bright Blue Gorilla.

Photo courtesy of Bright Blue Gorilla

To what extent is it a fully funded project that you get investors for versus grabbing your resources and your friends and making a movie?

Glover: We’ve noticed for us, since we’re a touring act, that we’ve reached a level with it sort of like sharecropping. We make enough money on every movie to make another movie. That’s kind of how it works.

Rosenkrantz: It’s a lifestyle. [laughs]

Glover: You make your crop, you sell it, and you make enough to proceed for the next crop. It’s kind of at that level, so it’s not excessively profitable, but we make enough to pay for the movie we just made and to make another one. So it’s self-perpetuating, which was really the most important thing to me, as the director (I write ’em and direct ’em). I had an idea when we first started that it has to be repeatable; it has to be a repeatable formula because I’ve met so many directors that have just done one picture and just been so burned out by it and so destroyed by that process that they never make another one.

Rosenkrantz: [Also, regarding funding] we really work as an artist collective, where everybody will get a percent of the profits of the film. It was kind of a neat way to work because everybody was there because they wanted to be, and they believed in the story. That really creates an inspiring and fun atmosphere on set; I mean, everybody works really hard, but we have a lot of laughs on set[all] the money really goes to feeding people and the equipment, so that’s kind of how we do it. Everybody’s really coming together because they believe in art.

Glover: Even our movie star we had a German movie star, Christiane Paul she also just joined the collective and was a part of it in that way. I was reading a book right before I wrote this script, about D.W. Griffith; it’s a nice book by Lillian [Gish], and she talks about how everybody on the set, in the early days these are the first commercial films made and everybody on the set got $5 a day. Everybody. The actors, the actresses, the camera guy. It was like this egalitarian thing, and he didn’t differentiate between the main actress and, like, waiter guy walking behind her. I thought that was kind of interesting; she said there was really a great attitude on the set. Everybody felt like they were equals and they really just wanted to make a special thing. So I try to create some modern version of that. That’s why we did the collective.

Sounds like a fun production model; where does it go from there?

Glover: We take the movie on tour to cinemas. We play 40, 50, 60, 100 cinemas over the course of a year, and also, in between the cinemas, we do like pop-up screenings at people’s houses. We really try to just generate as much income back from the movie ourselves, as we can. That’s what we did before we got a distributor, and now weve had a distributor for the past two films. That’s helped a lot because now we have a team of people that are also trying to make money with the movie; they’re out there looking for deals and TV things, and airline stuff and all this sort of thing.

Yeah, I was going to ask about distribution. I saw that your previous film, Go with Le Flo is on Netflix. Through what other channels can your work be seen?

Rosenkrantz: The distributor we’re working with, Under the Milky Way, they’re real experts in iTunes and Amazon, you know the whole VoD [Video on Demand], that’s really their specialty. So, it’s pretty neat, you can actually see our films worldwide now, which is kind of neat for low-budget, indie filmmaking that it’s actually getting seen. Most filmmakers, you know, the only way to get your film seen is through film festivals, but since we’re also a band, as Michael was saying: “You know what, let’s take our movies on tour just like we did with our CDs, and we’ll play shows; and we’ll sell our CDs and DVDs at the shows. One of our fans in Holland is the manager of a very cool art house cinema. He kind of came up with the idea: “Hey you guys, why don’t you show your movie at our cinema and come play a concert?” And that was from our very first movie, six movies ago. So it was pretty neat that he opened the doors to us, and we’ve been doing it that way ever since.

You shot this film in Germany and Italy. How difficult is it to go from country to country and make a film?

Rosenkrantz: This film was especially a challenge. I always say to Michael, “Write the script like you have money, and you just write the story you want. We’re gonna figure out some version of how to shoot this picture. And so, he wrote it to take place at a villa the opening of the movie and I’m like, oh my gosh, now we’ve got to find a villa. But we ended up through a friend in Florence, actually a musician, an incredible guitar player, [meeting] a lady that owned a villa. So we went to visit her; she didn’t speak any English just Italian and [our friend] translated. She loved the spirit of how we made the movies, so she said, “Sure you can shoot at the villa. In fact, you can shoot in my private garden.” Michael and I were able to stay at the villa and have our base there, but I had to find a place to put up the 14 actors and crew, and it was amazing; our assistant director in Italy, she went online and she ended up finding this incredible villa that slept 14 people, I think 20 minutes away, or a half-hour drive away…

Glover: There’s a lot of villas in Tuscany!

Rosenkrantz: There’s a lot of villas! And it was only 200 Euro a night [about $225]. The guy gave us a great deal.

Glover: Fourteen people.

Rosenkrantz: Fourteen people! So they were able to stay at this other villa, which was amazing. Then two of our hair and make-up people, and our assistant camera, they drove the equipment truck. They said, “Yeah we’ll take a road trip from Berlin to Italy. It sounds exciting!

Glover: They were nice, very young, excited people just out of film school and out of make-up school, and they were like: “We want a road trip!” So they thought! They jumped in the van in Berlin looking all perky and happy, and then we met them three days later on the other side, and they dragged themselves out of the van like people that had been through war. It was great!

To what extent is there film commission, paperwork, or is all of that off when we get to rural villas and things like that?

Glover: You still have to make a lot of arrangements like that. You have to be smart; you can’t just run off and be an idiot, but there’s a lot of places that are film friendly. Basically, as long as there are no public safety issues, you can shoot in a lot of places. But there are exceptions, and you always have to be aware of: “What is the situation, and what am I getting into, and what do I need?” We were able to get an artist visa for a year, for Robyn and I, in Berlin so that we could be there and shoot. That was very helpful. That’s something that is available to people; it’s a great thing that the Germans do. It’s a lot easier for an American to get it in Berlin because they still think back to us fondly because we did that Berlin airlift all those years ago we really kind of saved the city at a certain point. So they’ve got a soft spot in their hearts for Americans, is what I’ve been told. And it was very easy for us to get that visa, so we did that, and then the rest of it: you decide what shot it is, what you’re doing, we’d talk to local people, we’d talk to the film people and say “What do we need? What do we have to do?” And you do what you’ve gotta do.

How do American audiences respond to your work versus European audiences?

Glover: The Americans seem to like our stuff. Now I’m talking about a special audience; I’m talking about cinema lovers, the people that would go to an art house cinema. They seem to really get what we’re doing because we’re referencing other genres and other films, in a way, in the work; there’s also an American sense of humor. Even though we spent most of the past 27 years living in Europe, when I write this stuff, it’s still sort of got an American tempo and an American comedy aesthetic, so they seem to understand the form. Also, a lot of the film is in a foreign language. This one has a lot in English, but it’s also in German and Italian, and that gives it a kind of fun art film feel to it (with those scenes that are subtitled and that are in their original language). So, we’ve had good response here, and the Europeans also…frankly, it’s played well everywhere. It’s not for everyone; it’s not an Action film, it’s not a Horror film. It’s sort of a light-hearted genre mix of a bunch of different styles, but I think the redeeming qualities of the movie are that it’s a fairly complex story, so it keeps your attention and also it’s got a sweetness to it and a nice vibe. One comment we’ve gotten from every country is they’re really happy to take a break from all the heavy darkness that they’re experiencing in daily life, now, with all the strange news that we’re getting all the time. [Theyre happy] just going to this make-believe world where people are kind to each other and where everything works out.

Are there any particulars youd like to share with OC Weekly readers regarding your show at The Frida Cinema?

Glover: Basically, at the show we’re going to play a short concert before the film; we always do that because we love to connect with the audience that way, and there will be a question and answer after. We usually have a pretty lively question and answer session.

Rosenkrantz: Sometimes we even do singalongs! It’s a lot of fun!

Glover: Tell [your readers] to warm up their voices before they show up.

Rosenkrantz: [laughing] Also, if they come to the show, they can actually enter a contest to win a part in our next film.

Glover: We’ve been doing that lately. The “You can be a star contest” we call it. We take four people randomly from the list, and put them in the film somewhere. It’s just a fun way to involve people.

So you’re shooting the next one in America?

Glover: Well, partly. It’s basically sort of an espionage comedy; sort of a spy comedy, and it’s going to be shot all around the world, including America. How I’m going to do that on the budget we have, I don’t know, but we’re figuring that out!

Sounds like you might have to resort to some guerrilla filmmaking!

Rosenkrantz: Totally guerrilla filmmaking!

Glover: Bright Blue guerrilla filmmaking!

Rosenkrantz: Also, if you can’t make the Frida Cinema, we’re going to do the Bowers Museum, August 19th. Otherwise we’re doing pop-up cinema and house concerts, so we’d love people to connect with us through our website all of our shows are on our website!

For information about Bright Blue Gorilla’s tour, visit their website.

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Bright Blue Gorilla Travel the World Making Musically-Minded Art House Films – OC Weekly

Halfway to Aura Fest 2018 @The Space Station at Starlandia Supply and Sulfur Studios – Connect Savannah.com

If your ears are still ringing out in nostalgia for Aura Fest, not to worry: the great team behind the day-long fest is back! Get your fix at Halfway to Aura Fest, a mini-fest in the heart of Starland District.

Saturdays lineup features a mix of touring and local talent across a variety of rock genres.

Baton Rouge band To Speak Of Wolves creates driving rock/hardcore; they most recently released an EP, New Bones, via Cardigan Records.

Orlando band Makari, who find inspiration in artists like Circa Survive, Two Door Cinema Club, and Beach House, create progressive rock with ex-VersaEmerge and Decoder vocalist Spencer Pearson delivering soaring, melodic choruses.

Henrietta, a Savannah favorite, head up from Orlando to share their experimental indie. Pick up a copy of their latest release, Paper Wings, released in April on Animal Style Records.

Atlanta progressive rock/metal outfit Icaria are due to release a debut album, Transcendent, this month on Cardigan Records.

Savannah boys Between Symmetries are always a treat to see live; local gigs are a bit of a rare occurrence for the band these days, so catch em while you can.

Savannahs HOTPLATE just released an album, Any Surface Can Be Your Death Bed. As heavy and unusual as ever, the instrumental release is one complete song, clocking in at 22:24, and was recorded at The Garage Savannah by Matt Collett and Colin Motlagh. Leave it to HOTPLATE to create a winding, immersive thing of such intensity.

Savannah emo/melodic hardcore four-piece Amor///Exitium round out the bill along with oh sweet apathy, a Savannah-based emoviolence two-piece.

Moes Southwest Grill and Jennies Treats on the Street will be on site with snacks, and The Wormhole will give 10 percent off their bar and food with an Aura Fest wristband.

Saturday, June 10, 6 p.m., all-ages, $10 advance via brownpapertickets.com, $12 day-of

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Halfway to Aura Fest 2018 @The Space Station at Starlandia Supply and Sulfur Studios – Connect Savannah.com