Saturday, September 19, 2009

Contributor Testimonial - Garima Singh

Here's what Garima Singh had to say about "how she got to know about Megha and what made her contribute"


The unconventional has always attracted me. I like experimenting...part of a reason why I am a scientist, professionally. I liked most of the Onir's films. WIth some people you know that they are different and they are there to make a difference. In present days world, with internet all around and much information overload, all kinds of boundaries have disappeared. So everyone knows everything or at least has access to it. But there are always people who look at the same things differently and never mind trying their best anyway.

It was not too long back that I sent a friend request to Onir on facebook, as a part of one of my mission to get in touch with inspiring and creative people throught the world. Soon I got to know about his latest project series I AM. Or may be it was the other way round but I felt welcomed as he added me on his facebook. It was great to be in touch with him and even better if in some way I could have been involved with one of his films. I do have hobbies of writing and documentary film making, but mostly for fun, never thought of making them my profession for myriads of reason. I thought at least this is a great opportunity to be a part of a creative project and a person's endeavors with experimentation for a cause. I was ready to be involved in any of them because I personally liked all of them.

Talking specifically about Megha, I feel it is a great subject in present day's situation. I could not get time initially to visit the Kashmir valley and later on couldn't get a chance to visit the place that has been so much disturbed for so many years. A few months back I watched a documentary by Sarah Singh "The Sky Below", that she had made by visiting and interviewing common people and officials in India, Pak and Kashmir. This movie was screened at Cornell and Sarah had come down for the panel discussions. I admired the way she presented the people's story. It was amazing to see the love in their hearts, the agony that they had been through and all they want now is peace. No one wants millitants or millitary. They just want to get back to the normal life. This part of the story you could never get from the news channels, politicians or the army officials. The part that she showed in her one and a half hour documentary showed how the lives of people are interconnected yet it is such a helpless state to be in.

In Onir's words : " We cannot forget. As long as we keep pushing these under the carpet, being silent and fending for ourselves and our mundane lives, we will not evolve. The fractured society that is will continue to divide us."

It is so true. The matter is too close to my heart even when I have never visited the land and I regret not visiting it after the situation went bad as much as I regret not visiting it before the situation went bad.
MEGHA points to the situation that none amongst us would like to be in, yet we keep mum. Now is the time to make difference in ways we can. I guess movies even when they cannot bring out social revolution, can certainly affect the mindset of the common people who still have movies and television as one of the most and may be only way of entertainment in India.

This was a piece of my thinking with disclaimer that it is not intended to hurt anyone's philosophies, ideas or agenda.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thanks Lalit Koul for contributing and co-owning Megha

Just wanted to update you all that we've got another contribution from Massachusetts's Lalit Koul. Lalit's contribution falls in the Rs 5,000 - Rs 25,000 category.

Thanks a lot Lalit for believing in us and coming forward to show support.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Radhika Apte on Abhimanyu

Till now we've shared testimonials from 'I AM' team members so this will our first testimonial from the film cast.

Here's what Radhika Apte had to say



Everyday we keep on hearing about cases in which children are treated in the most insensitive way possible. And even though we've almost completed a decade in the 21st century, cases like these make me wonder whether as a nation we have done enough for these innocent souls, who are in fact our future. We talk a lot about the new face of India, but there are many children today who have to bear the brunt of cruel situations and consequently they unwillingly fall prey to the harsh treatment meted out to them by people who are more powerful. It's a very disturbing thought, and I am really glad that Onir decided to make a film based around that. We know how he has handled sensitive topics earlier, and 'I Am Abhimanyu' is no different. The film will not only present a beautiful human story, but it will compel you to think about the situation. And I say this because it made me think so. There is lot of heart in this film, and that is what we intended to bring out too - a lot of heart. Working with Onir and Sanjay Suri was a great experience, and more importantly, it was a wonderful journey, which is what makes this film very special. I would like everyone to watch this film, and I am sure you will experience the same.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

An Ode to Megha

Guys,

Mr Dalip Langoo is a Vocalist/Music Composer and Lyricist from Kashmir and has shared with us a Poem he wrote for "Megha". Here's what he had to say

I came to know about the project from face book. The wonderful promo attracted attention of many supporting the project financially and I could not stop myself expressing my feelings and being an artiste I penned down a poem that I recorded also for your group I M. MY best wishes are with you and we will be eagerly waiting for the sucess of the project of you all.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thanks Dave Datta for contributing and co-owning Megha

Seems like co-owning multiple short films is the new trend. Yes, going by our last few contributions we are happy to share that increasingly more people are contributing for more than one short films from I AM.

Earlier we had Valentina Erath from Vienna who co-owns 3 short films and Sandhya Suri Hiyaa Israni from Nigeria who co-owns 2 short films and now its Dave Datta from US who already is a co-producer for Abhimanyu and has now contributed in the 1 Lakh + category to become Co-Producer of Megha.

Thanks a lot Dave Datta for believing in us and coming forward to show support.

To become a co-owner write to us at iamthefilms@gmail.com

Why Megha? - Urmi

Urmi Juvekar is the writer for Megha (fourth film in the Series 'I AM')

The trouble with ideas is that you never know where they will take you.

One of those Café Coffee Day afternoons, catching up with Onir. As usual, he is oscillating between being gung-ho about his films and depressed about life. He mentions that maybe it is high time I do one of the stories for the "I AM" series. Yes, well, sure, why not? What do you want me write?

For many days, we discuss various settings and come up with nothing. I am happy. Have you ever met a writer excited about writing? Then he drops a bombshell, actually make it two. The proposed date for shooting and hmmm write a story about two women. I stare at him in complete disbelief.

I don't remember when we started talking about Kashmiri Pandits. I am an educated urban Indian woman and like most of my ilk, I know precious little about what happened to them. I know a lot more about what is happening in Kashmir right now-have read the Human Watch issue about Kashmir. But Pandits? I am not too sure if I want to get into it. I do not want to point fingers at any other community but mine. I don't want to seem biased.

The best thing about writing fiction is, it frees me from taking sides. I get to write only about people caught in the crossfire, people like me for whom most of the time, the world makes no sense at all.

I discuss the basic idea. There isn't much to discuss. Of course, Onir wants it to be about two women. So one becomes a Kashmiri Pandit visiting her house after years of living in exile and the other one a Kashmiri Muslim who has stayed back to witness the mayhem.

I have always wondered about departures, forced or voluntary. We all have experienced them sometimes in life. I have never been sure if departures are bad. I mean, it is only when you leave you have a chance of arriving somewhere, of making something of yourself, of starting afresh, creating a new you. What scares me the most is never having a chance to leave

Megha just wrote itself. I handed over the script to Onir and forgot all about it. Responses started pouring in to the AV on Facebook. They shook me up. There were too many Meghas and Rubinas out in the world and they were watching us, expecting to break the long silence inflicted on them. I was particularly moved by a piece titled 'My Mother's 22 rooms'.

After that came the trip to Kashmir and Megha became a person of flesh and blood. She stared accusingly at me from the nameplates of crumbling houses. When people leave homes, houses die. Kashmir is littered with their carcasses.

The paradise is lost- lost to those who have left and lost to those who stayed behind.

Sanjay is with us. He is stoic- checking for permissions for shootings, arranging accomodations yet, memories keep flooding him and I begin to see Srinagar through his eyes. It was nothing like what it is now, wrapped in barbed wire twice over. Sanjay does not let on much. He doesn't speak of what happened unless asked a direct question I am afraid to ask. I do not want to know. Do not tell me how you ran away leaving everything that you ever had to save your lives. It is unfair I keep saying to myselftoo unfair.

Onir and I spend sleepless nights discussing the reasons for this silence; the absence of 24/7 news channels to make it a breaking news, power struggle between the Center and State, ego hassles between the governor and the chief minister, lack of international support Are we making a list of reasons or excuses?

The only conclusion we reach is that someone benefited from this silence. Who?

I do not want to be an activist- do not want to belong to a camp lest you label me and not want to hear what I have to say. We always do that. Listen to Megha and Rubina's story and be not afraid to tell yours.

My only hope right now is that Megha breaks this silence. After all what is truth unless, you speak it aloud.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thanks Sandhya Israni and Erath Valentina for contributing and co-owning Megha

Hi Friends,

Just wanted to update you all that we've got another round of contribution from Vienna's Erath Valentina and Sandhya Suri Hiyaa Israni from Nigeria for Megha.

Valentina and Sandhya have previously contributed to Abhimanyu and Omar: Read their testimonials:

Thanks a lot Valentina and Sandhya for believing in us and coming forward to show support.

You can checkout the entire co-owners list here: http://iamabhimanyu.blogspot.com/2009/09/i-am-co-owners-list.html

To become a co-owner write to us at iamthefilms@gmail.com

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Say 'I AM'




Join us by sending a small clip of yourself saying 'I AM' and we'll put it up here
email your clips to abhimanyu.anticlockfilms@gmail.com

I AM: Co-Producers List

I AM: Co-ProducersList

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Quote: Misquote

In case like me you were also wondering what Rahul Bose really meant when he was quoted
'I want article 377 to become a law' in his recent interview with DNA, think no further.

Rahul has been MISQUOTED by the journalist from DNA. Rahul DOES NOT want article 377 to become a law. His stand is that it should be scrapped.

Thanks !!

Monday, September 7, 2009

'I AM' Logo

Hi Guys,

Wanted to share with you the shiny new logo we've got for the film (I AM). Check it out and share how you find it

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Contributor Testimonial - Rahul Razdan

Here's what Rahul Razdan had to say about "how he got to know about Megha and what made him contribute"

Heard about the "I am Megha" project from a fellow Kashmiri. Was instantly attracted to the story as this is one of the rare movie that tells the story of the forgotten community of Kashmiri Pandits. I have a firm belief that Onir and Sanjay will do justice to the story.
The concept of "I Am" in itself is wonderful. In today's times we really need some meaningful cinema that highlights the various evils of the society and spreads awareness about the same. Kudos to Onir, Sanjay, and team to take a lead in this direction.
I am proud to be a part of this project. I feel happy to be able to conttribute a penny towards a good cause.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Volunteer Testimonial - Arati

We shared with you all about Perception Managers joining Team "IAM". Let's also hear it from Arati on how she got involved with the project.


Perception Managers has had a long term association with Onir's movies from Bas ek pal to Sorry Bhai & now I Am. It's a priviledge to work with Onir once again on I AM which addresses issues that concern and affect each one of in some way. Onir's sensitive and delicate handling of My Brother Nikhil is been seen and appreciated not just in India but globally. We wish Onir, Sanjay Suri & the entire team Good Luck and look forward to great association on this project.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sunayana Kumari Joins Team 'I AM'

Hey Everyone,

Wanted to share with you all about Sunayana Kumari, another new joinee to the team "I AM". Here's what Sunayana had to say about how it all happened for her


A brief conversation with actor Rahul Bose (no, unfortunately he’s not a ‘friend’, as a lot of you might presume) led me to this gig. “So you’ve studied journalism and now you want to work in films?” – he quizzed me rather skeptically over the phone. After listening to me answer in the affirmative, he told me that he’d call me as soon as something came up. While I was expecting to receive this ‘call’ by sometime next year, my phone which lay next to me began to buzz his name again in a matter of seconds. Once he was on the line, he wasted no time and asked if I would like to assist in Onir’s latest project. “Onir, as in the director of My Brother Nikhil?!” came my inapt response to that query. From my shrill tone it became fairly obvious to both of us that I would only be too glad to work on this project.

I was scheduled to meet Onir for an interview on the 27th of July, which was a Monday. Sunday night therefore was spent going over blogs dedicated to this latest venture by Anticlock Films. As I sat on my bed reading about the series of shorts and learning that while meant to entertain they were also based on significant issues in our society, my excitement level began to soar. I remembered the uncharacteristic, emotionally charged speech I had made to my parents in a bid to let them allow me to work in films. I had said to them that eventually I’d make films that were politically and socially conscious and hence noble and hence they should let me and so on and so forth…. But here I was about to do just that in my very first assignment. Yes, I consider my self lucky.

Luckier still because I am part of the best team ever. The team comprises of individuals who are sophisticated in their knowledge of film making, kind to me and above all, a lot of fun. The Omar shoot has been a great learning experience and I can’t wait to start work on the remaining shorts

Thursday, August 27, 2009

WHY MEGHA ?


In the beginning there was chaos, and nothing but chaos… and I stepped into the chaos looking for an answer….


I remember from the time I was in school in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, Kashmir was the place my mother always wanted to come to… a place of romance and beauty…. Years passed by… we never made it to Kashmir … and then the unrest… but now the dream that lay dormant in her was a living dream in me. I was looking for an excuse to visit this place…


About a year and half back I read the story of a successful Kashmiri Model in Bangladesh. One fine day he was arrested as a suspect RAW agent. After 40 days in prison he was deported to India. On arrival at the Delhi airport he was arrested as an ISI agent and kept in Tihar for three months. He was released because of lack of evidence, but not given a clean chit. The contradiction in the whole episode excited me….


clip_image002.jpg
He flew down to Mumbai and I met him. There was the man – once a model, now a suspect, a man with a broken nose, a limp and a few scars standing in front of me. Over the next few days we spoke and I realized that his story is not what I wanted to make a film on, but it started the process of another story in me. His conversations with me raised many questions in me. These were fragmented thoughts, scattered images and half spoken words.


Then I decided that I had to go…. On the 14th of October 2007, I was driving out of Srinagar airport-“WELCOME TO PARADISE” the sign board read… and all around it were bunkers, armored vehicles, barbered wires and army men. I heaved a sigh -Paradise indeed! This was the paradox that was to become a part of my sight and sound over the next few days. We drove straight to Azaan’s (my friend and guide) house. This would be my abode for the next few days as the family absolutely refused to let me stay in a hotel. I am glad that I did not insist. This was the first time I was living with a Muslim family. And the experience was most enriching. So many misconceptions, so many apprehensions – all destroyed over the next days as I ate, slept, chatted, and discovered Srinagar with Azaan and his family.


Once back in my Versova flat I try and give shape to my story but I realize that now it is perhaps more fragmented, scattered because that is what I feel about Kashmir… The shape is shapeless.

Images, images…. The magnificent Chinar trees, the cold fresh air, the extremely polluted and dirty Dal lake, the piercing looks of the army Jawans, PTV blaring everywhere, Café Arabica, Boulevard road, The posh new cottages, the burnt Habakadal with its memories of migrant Hindus, the beautiful woodwork that adorned ceilings, doors windows etc, the magnificent Dastgir sahab, the absolutely adorable kids( what was striking is how kids seem to roam around so freely in groups without any fear), the pony tailed today’s fashionable kashmiri boys, the colourfully dressed beautiful confident kashmiri women, the nun chai(salt tea), the food( I was eating all the time), The lonely army jawan, the wandering shepherds….


The day I was supposed to return back home I took a long walk up the mountain road… and at one point where it overlooked the whole city I sat down. I felt immensely sad – sad for the valley caught in this conflict of two nations, sad for this valley where trees were disappearing, heritage structures falling apart and ugly new malls coming up. Sad for the jawan whom I was trying to photograph when he stopped me ‘mera naukri jayega( I will loose my job)… paanch minute baitkar bath hi karloh( why don’t you chat with me for five minutes)”. I sat with him as he spoke about his home in the far west, about being unloved and unwanted by the local people, about being on the brink of death all the time, about a desire to speak to someone other than his colleagues.


I smiled as I thought of the young Kashmiri girls who refused to believe that I was a director, and thought that they were far better looking than the Bollywood actresses.At the same time I felt uneasy when I saw the look many of them had when a group of pretty kashmiri women passed them. I thought how I would feel if I had to pass by a man with a gun every ten minutes….I would not be happy. I know it is much more complex, but this is definitely not it! They were not complaining because things are much better now, and they have accepted this as a part of their lives…. Would I be able to do that- I am afraid not, because they also represent memories of torture, abduction, rape and death.


I remembered my walk through Habakalal, trying hard to control my tears as I stood before the house of a Hindu friend who had to migrate after the militants murdered a family member. I remembered all the stories he had told me about the house, about the chinar outside his house, about the bridge across the river on the way to his school, about the loud speaker blaring in the night asking the kafir’s (Hindu’s) to leave…. About the house with eighteen rooms… so many memories.


Later in the night in the privacy of my room I wept… wept for all those people who lost their homes, live lives in refugee camps and who have the right to this “paradise”. I remembered my home- in Bhutan, remembered how we had to leave because of political unrest, how it affected my mothers health for good, remember our car pulling away from the house of my childhood, remember the students from my dad’s school standing on both the sides of the road and throwing rose petals on our car… and my dad’s face, unflinching, strong, trying hard to control his tears waving to the kids says a good bye to the school and house he built 25 years ago.

Memories jumble, emotions erupt, images intermingle…. And I know the script is beginning, the film that I have to make- a film set in kashmir, about the loss of identity, loss of home, of history, of fear, of hope and despair….That is perhaps where the germ of MEGHA started. I started working on a script on Kashmir with Merle Kroger called THE FACE…. But somewhere the story of the dual loss was disappearing.

As we started the “I AM” series I thought that it would be maybe the right platform to start the process. I spoke to my friend and writer URMI JUVEKAR (writer Oye Lucky Lucky Oye) about the concept. She readily agreed to write the film.


Working together with Urmi has been again something that both of us have been trying for a while …. And somehow it never happened after 1994….Fifteen years later it is happening now. … MEGHA was born……

This is a film that tells the story of the paradox that is Kashmir. The story of 300,000 migrants, who have lost their home and identity. This is the story of a population stuck in a conflict situation where nothing moves.

This is the story of two friends MEGHA and RUBINA which reflect the two sides of the same coin…..


CAST


jc 1 Manisha 1 abhimanyu 2[1]


We at ANTICLOCK FILMS offer you an opportunity to be a part of a process of the making of a film, to

be a part owner of a film. You can do this my contributing monetarily for the making of the film. To that end, we’ve established four different ways to help:

· Rs 1000 to Rs 5000 – Students category. Acknowledgement on the website and the end credits.

(Treated as donation)

· Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000 – Acknowledgements in the end credits( Treated as donation/pledge)

· Rs 25,000 to Rs 100,000 – Return of your contribution at the time of the final film release and

acknowledgement in the end credits

· Rs 100,000 to Rs 15,00,000 – Acknowledgements in the beginning titles of the film and

proportionate share in the profits.

Total budget of each short film is – Rs 30,000,00 (Rupees thirty lacs)

Funds in Place by Anticlock Films – Rs 15,000,00 (Rupees fifteen lacs)


Please spread word and help support a film that wants to make a difference. Thank you.


· Contact: anticlockfilms@gmail.com

· Amar : +91 98337 48111


Connect

· Facebook: http://facebook.com/iammegha

· Twitter: http://twitter.com/iamthefilms

· Website coming soon : www.iamthefilms.com

· Cheques to be made for Anticlock films and sent to :

181 PARIKH BUNGALOW

FIRST FLOOR

ARAM NAGAR II

J.P.ROAD VERSOVA

ANDHERI WEST

MUMBAI 4000 61

INDIA


DIRECTED BY ONIR

PRODUCED BY SANJAY SURI AND ONIR

WRITTEN BY URMI JUVEKAR

DOP : ARVIND KANNABIRAN

EDITOR: IRENE DHAR

SOUND DESIGN : ARUN NAMBIAR

MUSIC : AMIT TRIVEDI


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bianca Saldanha Joins Team 'I AM'

Hey Guys,

Hope you are doing good.

In the mad rush of work we missed updating you about another member that joined team 'I AM', but better late than never.






Here's what Bianca had to say about how she got involved

I came to Bombay just 10 days before I joined Anticlock films and all the while I was playing safe trying to look for editing gigs. A lot of people I met from the industry discouraged me from looking for work on a film production set saying I wouldn’t be able to pull it off due to the hard work and long hours. I don’t know if they were being sexist or plain nice, but having just graduated from film school, I was no stranger to working the graveyard shift. Weekends were always few and far between. I once worked non-stop for 37 hours on my student film, doing what I love, while never letting anything weigh me down.

And so in my pursuit of achieving my goals, an aunt of mine got me in touch with her best friend – Aunt Indu (Purab Kohli’s mother) – who is a friend of Onir’s. She forwarded a copy of my resumé to Onir and I ended up meeting him at his office the following day. A script reading, a few discussions with Amar and Onir, and I was on. I joined the “Abhimanyu” bandwagon just 10 days before we went into production, and what a ride it has been since then! All of this took a while to sink in but I think it actually hit me on my first day on the sets of Abhimanyu when I was seeing what I had been dreaming of for the longest time. And that is being on set - of a film in the making; of dreams materializing.

I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be selected to be part of this team and their projects. No, I’m not about to lay it on thick, but all I will say is during the entire time of my study in Toronto, the only hindi film I actually sought out to buy and watch was Sorry Bhai!, and only because it was made by Onir. Well, you didn’t know that Onir, but I guess, now u do!

What with the Abhimanyu shoot just being wrapped up, and Omar almost close on the heels, all I can say is that working with Onir, Sanjay Suri and everyone else at Anticlock films has been my most amazing work experience by far! And with Megha, Afia and Rudra left to round off this 5 short film series, I’m only looking forward to making more memories!

Bianca Saldanha

Monday, August 17, 2009

Anticlock Films Presents - Team OMAR

I AM OMAR

Featuring
Rahul Bose
Abhimanyu Singh
Arjun Mathur (as Omar)

Banner: Anticlock Films
Producers: Sanjay Suri and Onir
Director: Onir
Cinematographer: Arvind Kannabiran
Story Screen Play: Merle Kroeger and Onir
Dialogues: Ashwini Malik
Music: Vivek Philip
Playback Singer: Karthik
Lyrics: Amitabh Varma
Editing: Irene Dhar Malik
Sound Design: Arun Nambiar
Engineer: Sameer C
Art Director: Sujith Sawant
Still Photography: Thulasi Kakkat
Make up Director: Elton Fernandez
Costume Designs: Manish Malhotra
Publicity Design: Siddharth Dutta
Graphics: Sidharth Meer
Asst Directors: Amar Kaushik, Sundeep Malani, Akhil Chaudhary, Archis Achrekar, Bianca Saldanha, Kumari Sunayna, Sumith Arora
Assistant Cameraman: Reddy, Vidushi Tiwari
Online Marketing: Mayank Dhingra
Making of Omar: Rajeev Kohli
Production Manager: Mohan Joshi
Production Assistant: Rakesh Jain, Rajesh Patel, Lalith
PR and Promotion: Arati Salgaonkar (Perception Managers)

So how do you find Omar's cast ?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I AM NewsLetter

Hello Guys,

This post is to announce that we plan to start a newsletter for 'I AM' films. This newsletter will be used to share all the latest about five short films before they are put on the web. So the newsletter subscribers get to hear it all before rest of the world.

Also, this newsletter will give you the chances to stay connected more tightly/closely with the team and fans. You can share your feedback and help us do a good job

If you'd like to subscribe to the newsletter, drop an email to abhimanyu.anticlockfilms@gmail.com

Thanks

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Perception Managers" joins team "I Am"

We tread in a lane where many have refrained. "I Am" touches upon untold issues that are pertinent and relate to the present. The right medium, the right meaning, in the right concoctions needs to be administered to the world that bridges the gap between "real reelism" and the absolute ground truth.

We are happy to welcome a team that believes in Bridging The Perception : Reality Gap. Welcome ARATI SALGAONKAR , CEO - Perception Managers for volunteering to manage the Public Relations and Promotions of "I Am".

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Required a Software Developer Intern

Guys,

This goes out to all the software guys. We at Anticlock Films Pvt Ltd are looking to hire a software developer intern or a fresher. It will be a permanent job based out of our Mumbai Office(with provision for work from home occassionaly). The job role would be to help us code a few new websites and maintain the existing ones. So if you are a fresher software engineer looking for a job that doesn't suck, here's the opportunity for you. You'll get to work on interesting projects and have the company of great film guys, the likes of Onir and Sanjay Suri.

Those interested can write to us at abhimanyu DOT anticlockfilms AT gmail DOT com

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Amar Weds Nalini

Guys,

We've got a great news from Abhimanyu Camp. Amar Kaushik our first AD and Onir's close pal has tied the knot with his long time sweetheart Nalini in her home town Jabalpur on 5th. This is indeed a very special week for Amar who also celebrated his birthday on the 4th.

Amar and Nalini have been dating each other for a good ten years before they exchanged their vows. Amar who was accompanying Onir for AFIA's recee in Delhi, left for home with just a day in hand before the wedding and that's not it, the poor err dedicated guy will be back to work on Monday for OMAR's pre-production.

Many congratulation to both Amar and Nalini on behalf of the entire team of 'I AM' films and wishing them a happy and prosperous life ahead.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Making of Abhimanyu - IV

Casting for Kids!

Onir needed 4 kids for the film of different ages to play the younger versions of Abhimanyu. And he was interested in casting local Bangalore talents for the kid’s role, with the condition that the kids should speak Hindi fluently. What next? Destination – Nalini Ratnam! She handles the artist management in Bangalore.
Well, when Nalini and Onir met, there was this positiveness from both the side, both got the feeling that – things would work out for the best.
Yep! Onir narrated the subject to Nalini and she understood what Onir wanted. Immediately she put up a list of photographs on her laptop – that Onir had to chose upon. Could see the sparkle in Onir’s eye, as he could visualize his Abhimanyu’s amongst those kids.
One o one for the different ages, Nalini later sent the pics to Onir and he later short listed a few of them.
That’s when, Onir had some relief in adjusting his budget, coz if the kids were brought from Mumbai, then the parents had to be accompanied as well, and then their stay, their to and fro.. would add up to the budget.
Having kids here in Bangalore, worked out in favor for Onir.
What next, Onir and the DOP left back to Mumbai to return back to Bangalore soon.

Meantime, the kids which were shortlisted from Nalini Ratnam, were auditioned with their script lines given to them. As many as 10 kids and a few teens were auditioned, sent it to Onir and from there came the Result – These are the right choice, Baby.. Ahaa!

More on Nalini Ratnam and the Kids in the next....(to be continued)

Sundeep Malani

Looking for a FLAT in Delhi, Any Sponsors ?

Hello Guys,

Here's another chance for you to be a part of "I AM" films. We plan to start shooting AFIA in late August/September and we'll be needing a flat for shooting in Delhi for a couple of days. If you want to be a part of a film for social cause, here's the opportunity for you.

Needed: A Flat with modern furniture in an upmarket area in Delhi around 23rd September. Prefarably a bit messy bachelor/student apartment.

If you or someone you know would like to offer your/their flat for the same, please get in touch with us at abhimanyu.anticlockfilms@gmail.com

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Making of ABHIMANYU - III

Reece again!

So, as the Production Manager was not upto the mark, our DOP got someone whom he knew to help us around in getting some good locations and also help in the shooting process. And, Pradeep Belawadi, the theater person came into the picture. He showed us some huge houses/bungalows in the outskirts of the city and couple of other locations. But I guess... yet, the right and the exact look which Onir wanted were not yet viewed by his eye. And then, through some contacts of Onir and Arvind, came across Archna Balan, who was very much vibrant and read Onir's eye. His view, his vision.. was very clear to Archna. She did show a bungalow at Koramangala to us.. which was exactly what Onir had it in his mind.
Lemme add here that - If not for this Bungalow that finally got selected/shot.. I m sure Onir wouldn't have been happy much as he had expected it to be.
So, we locked upon the house at Koramangala.
Also got the Shankara Foundation at Kanakapura Road.
I could have my friend Ricky Kej give his editing Studio for the shoot.
We zeroed on a Discotheque at Brigade Road too.

And what Onir liked the most, was the Coffee shop... the one at the heart of the city @ MG Road.. Koshy's which he was very keen upon. But unfortunately, with whatever sources we used, met the proprietor and also tried all the influences.. Koshy could not be part of the Abhimanyu shoot. Instead, it was Mohan Joshi (Anticlock Films) who tried his charm and his way of speech to convince the Manager of the Coffee Day at Brigade Road to shoot by paying them their rentals.

The Reece finally was all locked with Onir finding his proper locations.
With being finalized as the locations, Onir then moved on to hunt for his starcast.. The important characters in the film - The child artists. And that's when; we got Nalini Ratnam at our rescue.

…to be continued

Sundeep Malani

Saturday, August 1, 2009

4 BILLI'S ,4 KIDS , 3 AMAZING LADIES AND THE SINGER IN THE ADJOINING BATHROOM.

On the 16th morning I boarded the GO airways flight from Mumbai to Bangalore. Another film was about to be born.... I AM ABHIMANYU would be a part of a series of short stories that would form my fourth feature film I AM. Yet it felt like as if one was starting all over again, but maybe that’s what’s exciting about film making, you start all over again for every film you make, discover new unexplored bits of yourself and thus you are born again.16th all day I spent along visiting cats. We saw somewhere about 38 cats to finally zero down on 3 . One trained cat was supposed to come from Mumbai. I remember the jet black kutten Sambhunath ... so endearing that we immediately wanted him. And then there was Lady... a beautiful proud furry cat. This is where I met the amazing couple Yashmin and her husband. They take care of about two dozen cats and they offered to help us by bringing them over to the set and being with them all thru the day.


After that I was with another wonderful lady Nalini Ratnam who had shortlisted kids for me. This was not easy, especially to explain to a child of 6 that it’s a film about child sexual abuse. But surprisingly all the parents were extremely supportive of film.Next morning as I entered the bathroom in my hotel I was greeted with loud singing from the adjoining bathroom and I froze. That is one thing I cannot handle. I was feeling embarrassed as I called my Bangalore line producer to rescue me. Well she is the third amazing lady in this city. Archana Balan was there with a smile on her face that said “ You should have listened to me in the first place”. She took us to this place called SU CASA at Indiranagar. And that is where the entire team was till the end of the shoot. And thanks to her for this and many more that i retained my sanity.


The making of I AM ABHIMANYU is anyway an unique experience for me, maybe for everyone involved. 7 CO PRODUCERS/ 34 CO- OWNERS from 17 cities across the world, more than 30 volunteers in form of cast and crew made this film a reality. There is so much energy behind this film that I think i have felt so motivated after a very long time. I am stressed and yet i could not ask for more. To have the confidence of so many people is overwhelming. MY friend DOP Arvind Kannabiran joined me on the 18th along with the 24x7 ready and helpfull first AD of mine AMAR. From the 18th to the 20th we were revisiting the locations/ planning out the shots/finalising the kids and the cats for the shoot and sorting out other production details.

I knew this would not be an easy shoot as it was the first for many of the crew involved..... but then the ship had cast sail and we had to make it to the shore.I cannot write down what I felt during the five days of shoot. Glimpses of memories come and that’s what I will pen down...my scattered thoughts. Maybe it’s too soon. Maybe it’s too many thoughts. Maybe I am already worrying about Omar and AFIA.I remember how the first day we had planned to shoot a relatively easy sequence on the terrace garden - A song and a scene.

The first thing that went wrong is that Lady refused to behave lady like. I think so many people, the lights and the noise just unnerved her. After a couple of hours I resigned to the thought that I will have to shoot the sequence minus the cat. I would rewrite the film by deleting the cats. Arvind looks said “Fool I warned you from day one, not in a small budget film with so much of time constrain”. And to add to salt to the injury the cats were super friendly with Arvind.So Lady left and we started shooting “bhojhase se....”. But then the clouds and the sun decided to be play full and keep playing hide and seek. It was frustrating how in the middle of the shot suddenly the clouds would appear and we would have to stop. Time and stock was running. We took a quick decision. Let’s start shooting what we planned to shoot the next day.... some intense scenes. Thankfully Radhika and Sanjay being seasoned across I was not so worried about them getting into something so intense the first day.

That was a good decision because things started moving. Soon the clouds cleared and Sambhunath had arrived. We started shooting the song again with him. At the end of the day we completed more than what we had planned. That’s why they say that sometimes crisis is most productive.The second day was relatively peaceful. And we were happy that despite all the odds we completed what we were supposed to complete on time.

Day three started with us setting up a sequence with the boy Zubin, Anurag ans Shenaz. I was all excited to work with Anurag. It amazing how he drops the garb of a film maker so easily. I was touched how both Shenarz and Anurag refused any token money for the film. I knew this was perhaps a special film for Anurag as he is a survivor.As we started shooting we realised that a worse replay of Day one was happening. The ”TRAINED” cat from Mumbai just refused to behave. The poor animal must have been treated so badly by its owner that he seemed totally traumatised. The minute any of us picked him up he scratched and panicked. Of course there was Yashmin immediately offering her help, trying to pacify the cat and then finally getting us another kitten. But by then the clouds and sun decided to start playing with us once again.We put the scene on hold and shifted inside to shoot the scene with Dristh( 7yrs ol) and Anurag. It was supposed to be a rather intense scene. But somehow the angrier Anurag looked the more Dristh Laughed. He just could not keep a straight face. And if u scolded him a lil he burst into tears and my heart would no let me use that mode to make him act.After a couple of hours we abandoned the scene. We rushed outdoor( As the sky had cleared) to shoot the scene with Zubin. By then Yasmin had got another sweet kitten for us.Later we decided to shoot some other scenes that day while I re planned how to shoot with Dristh. Actually it was my mistake. I should have anyway scheduled some easier scenes first.... that’s how we finally managed to move on and finally complete the abandoned scene next day. By then he was much more relaxed and we worked the shots in a way were we could cheat a bit.

Fourth day worked was fun. The boy who acted as 17 year old Abhimanyu was a boy with a rather intense and sensitive face. Maybe a talent I would like to groom. Radhika, Sanjay Anurag and Shenarz provided the in between much needed relief of gossip and fun.

Day five Rahul Bose joined us for the shoot at the Brigade road Coffee Day along with Sanjay and Arry Dabbas( a model in Bangalore) and later Kannada actress Pooja Gandhi shot with us for a scene at night club.As the last shoot got canned I looked at Arvind and Sanjay. We had done it again. ... after My Brother Nikhil once again we were working together, under similar budget constraints. But at the end of it we were smiling. That’s the magic of seeing a film take shape.... and thanks to all the amazing people on Face Book, our entire crew of volunteers and others who made this possible.This is the beginning of a possible alternate way of film making for independent cinema in India.... Now the journey begins for Omar......

-Onir

CASTING OPPURTUNITIES: AFIA

Hi Guys,

We've got an interesting opportunity for Delhi/Kashmir based actors for Onir's upcoming short film "AFIA", which is third short film in the five film series. Here are the requirements, those interested should get in touch ASAP as Onir would be in Delhi tomorrow and might just meet the actors.

  • Boy(19-23)... Fluent in english n hindi/ has to be Kashmiri/ boyish/ profile of character... works in a call centre.
  • Boy(24-27).... Lanky kashmiri/ bony/ deep set eyes/ can look haggard/ fragile.. ex- millitant/ suffering from Trauma.
  • Swiss/German man(45-55), heads an NGO/ suave/enigmatic/ attractive
  • Lady(25-28) delhi girl/ works in switzerland with an NGO/ sophisticated...mother of 4 year old/well educated and well spoken in Hindi n English.

If you or any one you know fits the bill, write to us on abhimanyu.anticlockfilms@gmail.com

The Making of Abhimanyu – II


Recce

And then, Onir decided to come down to Bangalore to have a look at the locations. Also his production Manager from Mumbai Mohan Joshi (working for Anticlock Films) came along.
In Bangalore, we needed a production Manager to help us getting permissions and finding locations. Although my trusted manager, Krishna (who worked with me for all my earlier films) wasn’t in town and was shooting at Vizag, he recommended someone at the last hour. Well, it’s a different story altogether that the person was slow in his work and was not punctual and not getting us into the right direction. And to add to it, blame on the Bangalore traffic, the day went slow, things got delayed and end of the day, did not achieve anything. And the locations which Onir saw, wasn’t upto the mark.

Let me add here that: Onir is actually so punctual in his casting that, even the house, the background, the block that he decides has to match to his expectations. Such a perfectionist, one need to learn a lot for him. Every thing in his movie, irrespective of the stars, his locations and the block that he decides is a character in the film. That’s why Onir films are actually ‘different’ from the regular mainstream cinema.

Getting back to Recce, not much happened on the first day, and then the second day we left early morning to a far off place, outskirts of Bangalore to find a field and a lake beside. Although it was a good long ride with fresh air in the early morning, the end result was not in favor of Onir. Hmm.. It definitely striked to my mind that, I did not do a right thing in getting a good production manager (I was in fact, calling my manager at Vizag giving him complaints about this local manager).

Joining us that day was the DOP – Arvind Kannabiran who flew down to have a look at the locations. (Its another incident that I need to mention here – but will keep it on hold for another day – exclusive).

So, we doubled with Onir, Kannabiran, Myself, Mohan & the local manager rounding about Bangalore from place to place… hunting for the locations, finding out the exact directions of the place, and wasting our time. That’s when, Kannabiran and Onir came to a conclusion – we have to find someone else immediately, and to our rescue we found someone else, in contacts through Arvind Kannabiran.

…. To be continued


Sundeep Malani


For all those who need to know:
Recce (pronounced "recky") is a military term that has been borrowed by media production in the United Kingdom, derived from "reconnoiter" (the verb form of "reconnaissance"). It is a pre-filming visit to a location to work out its suitability for shooting, including access to necessary facilities and assessment of any potential lighting or sound issues.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The making of Abhimanyu!

Location Hunting!

Lemme start this diary on the making of Abhimanyu, with the initial beginning - the Location Hunting in Bangalore. When Onir decided that he will make Abhimanyu in Bangalore, he told me his requirements of the locations (that goes with the script). As I was based in Bangalore, it was easier for me to get hold of locations - And as the script demanded a few of them including two houses, cafe day, studio and a disc, I was on the move to get hold of them.
Easier to get them, had the photos clicked of the locations and sent it to Onir. I had sent lots of photos of different bungalows that was needed. Hmm... to be very frank, Onir did not like most of them and zeroed in a few to have a look when he comes down for Recce.
So, I got ready to show him two bungalows, three different houses, two editing studios, discos/pubs amongst others.

.....to be continued

Sundeep Malani

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Birthday wishes for Rahul Bose from a Fan

Hi Rahul,

1st of all a very very happy (belated) B'day. Wish you all the success and luck in the coming year. Also appreciate the fact that you are part of "Abhimanyu" now, I was any how excited about the film since the day Onir shared the Idea with his FB friends.... but honestly the excitement got doubled when I got to know that you are gona be part of the project.... really looking forward to your work and the film itself.... Thought i somehow refrain myself from quoting "I am a big fan" kinda statement, but when it comes to people like you I have to say I admire your work and the persona you carry.... keep it up.. hope i can meet you sometime and exchange few words......

Take care, have a gr8 year ahead... God Bless..

Regards

Saurangshu Kanunjna

Bangaloreans gets Branded!

Abhimanyu! It can be your child. It can be you.
Yep. Everyone wanted to get a share of Abhimanyu as everyone loves him. Want to caress him, want to shower their love, blessings on him. Want to own him.
And Bangalore and Bangaloreans got a chance to be with him and own him too!

Abhimanyu got branded by the following names, who have got themselves in some or the other way associated to the project. And as they have done so, Anticlock Films team, Onir and Sanjay Suri thanks all of them, for their whole hearted support.

* Nalini Rathnam for helping in getting the kids, and letting her place for Auditioning
* Archna Balan and her team of Bottle Films (Murali and Nikhil) for taking care of the shoot and voluntarily being the Online Producers.
* Yasmine Claire and Jayaprakash Satyamurthy for lending their cats to be showcased in the film.
* Abhishek Dhar for giving his car for the entire shooting schedule.
* Rreshma Malani for designing costume for Pooja Gandhi.
* Silver R Malani for giving his cycle, toys and kids props for the shoot.
* Ricky Kej for letting us shoot at his Music Editing Studio.
* Viren Khanna for getting in his hi profile guests to be part of the shoot at the Disco Lounge
* Actress Pooja Gandhi for voluntarily accepting the role and being a part of the cause.
* Model Arry Dabas for doing a cameo in the film voluntarily
* Gurudas Kamath, Shylaja Hegde, Ananth Narayan for renting their place for the shoot and lending their full support.
* Press & Media for covering the shooting report.

And all ye Bangaloreans

Thanks
On Behalf of Anticlock Films & Abhimanyu,
Sundeep Malani
www.facebook.com/sundeepmalani

Monday, July 27, 2009

Abhi-ban(galore)yu Times!


Abhimanyu caught in the Act!

The starcast comprising of Sanjay Suri, Rahul Bose, Radhika Apte, Shernaz Patil and Pooja Gandhi have been photoshot and articled by Bangalore Times.
Director Onirban and his team were in the city shooting for the short film ABHIMANYU. BT got a sneak peek.

A few days ago, director Onirban and his trusted cinematographer Arvind Kannabiran were in the vity, scouting for locations to shoot his short film Abhimanyu. "At 25 minutes run time, Abhimanyu will be shot entirely in Bangalore", Onirban had said then. Though some of the preferred locations didnt work out, the filmmaker was soon back with his cast and crew, filming across the city over five days.
"We first shot at a house in Koramangala for a very important sequence in the film. As the film deals with child abuse, it was imperative that the central character returns to his roots and confronts people about what happened in his childhood. So we had Sanjay Suri, who plays Abhimanyu, come back to his childhood home with a pal (played by Radhika Apte) to speak to his mother (Shernaz Patel) about his childhood," explains Onir.
These events in his formative years make Abhimanyu non committal in relationships, explains Sanjay. "Abhimanyu witnesses several traumatic events in his childhood, even losing people close to him, and that eventually makes his approach ambiguous towards relationships," he elaborates. Hence the significance of the little black kitten in the Koramangala shoot. "The cat is a big symbol in the film, the idea being that Abhimanyu is like a cat who likes attention, but has no concept of loyalty," explains Onir.
As the settings changed between Indiranagar, Kanakapura Road and Brigade Road, director Anurag Kashyap, actor Rahul Bose and Pooja Gandhi joined the action. "I play Jai, a techie from Bangalore and an old pal of Abhimanyu and my scenes in the film are about a chance meeting with a friend and the lingering remnants of attraction between us." says Rahul, whose character also plays a central role in a subsequent short-film to be made - OMAR.