THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA’S “INCREDIBLE INDIA” 2013 CAMPAIGN, DIRECTED BY PRAKASH VARMA AND PRODUCED BY NIRVANA FILMS.
NEW YORK MAGAZINE COVER SHOT OF STORM SANDY BY IWAN BAAN VIA FASHION COPIOUS.
“Mrs. Vreeland’s own voice — that fabled mix of polished sophistication and street jargon — tells much of the story, coupled with insights and anecdotes from colleagues and friends like Andy Warhol, Diane Sawyer, Manolo Blahnik and Veruschka. First-time director Immordino Vreeland enlisted the talents of Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt and Frédéric Tcheng, the critically-acclaimed editors of “Valentino: The Last Emperor.” Together they crafted hundreds of hours of archival footage, interviews, photography, graphics, animation and other visual and musical devices into a seamless collage that is already being touted as a living work of art.”
READ MORE ABOUT THE FILM ON DIANAVREELAND.COM
DIANNE VREELAND THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL, IN THEATRES SEPTEMBER 21ST 2012.
IN ANTICIPATION OF THE 2012 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVVAL, ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST ASKED THREE PROMINENT TORONTIANS FOR THEIR FAVORITE SPOTS AROUND THE CITY. READ IT HERE.
In Part 2 of this interview, Bailey discusses how to change the future of Hindi cinema, which up-and-coming Indian stars to look out for and why Indian women in film have it so tough. Look out for Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Vidya Balan and Frida Pinto. If you missed Part 1, find it here.
You’ve been coming to India at least once a year — sometimes up to three times a year — for almost a decade now. Where are your favorite spots in Bombay?
Bombay’s a city that I know mostly from the hotel that I’m in, the places I go to see movies and the places that the people in the movie business take me. So that’s essentially how I get to know the place.
I like Bandra a lot. It feels like a very cosmopolitan part of the city and I know that so much of the movie world is there. I like that there can be major movie stars’ homes, like Shah Rukh Khan’s, that are just a part of the hubbub of the city — they’re not big, fenced off areas like in LA.
When I was first going, I would take the auto rickshaws and the train between Churchgate and up north and it was great! It was a fun way to discover the city. I don’t do that anymore but I’m glad that I started that way. I still like the life on the street in the city — street food on Marine Drive and all of those great things, it’s fun.
You’ve seen countless films from India — any favorites?
Lagaan is a film that I think is great and it’s epic and it’s very long but I was fully engaged the whole time. I remember it played at the festival in 2001 in the year of 9/11 so there was a very dramatic connection to that film.
I remember going out to a theatre in Scarborough to see Devdas when it came out. It was a big experience to see that with a south Asian audience in a suburban Toronto theatre.
Dhobi Ghat is a film that’s not exactly a Bollywood movie but a film that I feel a very strong personal connection to because I was lucky enough to see it fairly early on and be drawn into a conversation about the film with Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao and saw it before it was completed. I was able to present the world premiere here in Toronto [at TIFF 2010] and really felt connected to that film and to those filmmakers because I knew they were trying to do something different, really unique, that they hadn’t done before. They were really trying to make a film that meant a lot to them personally and reflected something of the city that they live in. I think they showed Bombay, in that season especially, so well, really beautifully – you almost got a palpable feel of what it’s like to live in that heat in monsoon season. I love that about the film.
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW ON THE HUFFINGTON POST.
The first thing I see as I walk into a boardroom in the TIFF Bell Lightbox to interview Cameron Bailey is a framed black and white photo of Aamir Khan andKiran Rao, taken when they were in Toronto for the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival to premiere their film Dhobi Ghat. This brief glimpse into the past is an appropriate entre into my discussion with Bailey, the man responsible for bringing Indian film to the festival and the man who chose to spotlight Mumbai in TIFF 2012′s City to City Programme. Dhobi Ghat was also the first film at TIFF I ever reviewed, the first Indian film I ever saw in Toronto and marks the point in time when I had just begun to plan my move to Mumbai. This year, coming back to TIFF from India, feels like I’ve come full circle.
Bailey first started covering south Asian programming nearly a decade ago and visits India at least once a year, sometimes up to three different times. He speaks passionately about India’s film history, traditions, actors, directors and producers. When I asked Anupama Chopra, a well-respected film critic and author based in Mumbai, why she thinks Bailey is such a great champion of Indian film, she’s succinct: “he gets it.” She elaborates, “He gets that it has such a huge emotional connect with Indians everywhere, he gets how much power there is, he gets how important these stars are to a billion people around the world, he understands the strength and he appreciates the movies.”
It’s clear that Bailey truly does appreciate the movies, that it’s “not just about the numbers,” says Chopra. He also understands the enormous shift that’s happening in Indian cinema right now, which is why he chose Mumbai for this year’s City to City Programme.
Read on to learn more about City to City, what’s changing in the Indian film community and for a few hints at which Indian films may premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW ON THE HUFFINGTON POST.
This year, the Toronto International Film Festival celebrates Mumbai in its City to City Programme, which will spotlight ten filmmakers who are living and working in our bustling metropolis. Cameron Bailey, the co-director of TIFF, is the man responsible for bringing Indian programming to the internationally respected film festival and clearly has a soft spot for the city and its film community. We spoke to Bailey about India’s new generation of filmmakers, the rise of Anurag Kashyap and what we can expect from the subcontinent at the glitzy 37th edition, which will take place from Thursday, September 6 to Sunday, September 16 this year. Edited excerpts:
Tell us about the City to City Program.
We started the program four years ago with Tel Aviv, then Istanbul and last year we did Buenos Aires and this year Mumbai. In every case I was looking for cities that are at turning points. The cities themselves are fascinating and have rich histories—that’s what we’re looking for. We’ve never had a city with such a strong film tradition as Mumbai or as much production or as wide a range of filmmaking, from the most commercial cinema to some incredible avant garde work and documentary work. And I’ve never had as much to choose from; there’s more happening in filmmaking in Bombay than anywhere else in the world.
Because I’ve been programming the city [Mumbai] for a long time, I think I was able to find the right moment, in the sense that there’s a really important shift happening right now. I feel so lucky that we chose it this year. What’s happening with the rise of the incredibly rich, independent film work coming out of Mumbai, is that there’s a new generation that is fully versed in Bollywood but they’re not of Bollywood, they’re not making Bollywood movies at all.
I liken it to the late 1980s and early 1990s in the US when suddenly you had this New York independent wave—Spike Lee, Hal Hartley, John Sayles and others who were making films that were fully American but they weren’t Hollywood movies, at all. And suddenly there was an audience that grew up with those films and a new film language around it and I think exactly that is happening in India right now.
When do you think that change started to happen in India? Did you feel it?
You began to feel it, yeah. There’s always been a very strong art cinema in India but this is something else. I think what changed is when you began to see filmmakers who had independent sensibilities, who were a little more adventurous in terms of the forms of their films but were still working with a commercial film language.
When Madhur Bhandarkar began to make films like Fashion, when A Wednesday came out, then of course with the rise of Anurag Kashyap—I think it really exploded. I think he and Dibakar Banerjee have really been at the forefront, partly because they are so bold as filmmakers. They’re really audacious, they know both the international art-house film language as well as the Bollywood language, intimately. And they’re so prolific, they’re making lots and lots of movies so you get the acceleration of this new wave.
It seemed like Anurag Kashyap needed international attention before India would give it to him.
Yeah, it’s unfortunate but not surprising. That’s always the way. India’s not alone in this. Certainly in Canada, we know this as well. When your own filmmakers, your own artists are celebrated abroad, it gives them validation that they will never get at home. It’s the way of the world.
I was glad to see him at Cannes, Gangs of Wasseypur is epic. It’s amazing. It’s both an epic gangster story, in the tradition of Goodfellas, The Godfather or Once Upon A Time in Americabut it’s also got something to say to Indians, specifically about the way society works. Although it’s set in the criminal milieu there’s obviously echoes of other elements. I’m going to leave that to Indians to decide what it’s really about.
READ MY FULL INTERVIEW WITH CAMERON BAILEY ON MUMBAI BOSS.
Read the Daniel Pillai’s full interview with me on Two Mangoes here.
Malini Agarwal is without a doubt, India’s most famous blogger; an independent, effervescent young woman who has turned a hobby into a business, desire into reality and a whole lot of passion and hard work into an enormously successful brand.
Based out of Bombay, a pulsating city that’s home to illustrious Bollywood stars, powerful industry titans and a very shiny glitterati, MissMalini.com shares the latest on film, celebrities, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment to eager readers all over the world. Though the blog is focused on India, there is growing coverage of international trends, events and celebrities — all updated throughout the day, every day. Interviews with the hottest stars, reviews of the latest films and reports from the most stylish runways — Agarwal and her team cover everything that’s hot.
Read the full article on The Huffington Post here
The Huffington Post article on Malini Agarwal on MissMalini.com here
“Streep has not cared about anything she has done in a long time as much as this, she says. “Because the material embedded in it is a lot of what I’ve been thinking about. The themes in the film, which I don’t feel like underlining, have interested me for a while. And you never see these subjects covered in films normally, and so that was very thrilling.” What subjects? I ask, picking up my underlining pen—women? Power? “Women and power and diminishment of power and loss of power,” she says. “And reconciliation with your life when you come to a point when you’ve lived most of it and it’s behind you. I have always liked and been intrigued by older people, and the idea that behind them lives every human trauma, drama, glory, jokes, love.” She was close to her grandmother, and remembers her saying that her husband, Streep’s grandfather, would be out playing golf when the school-board elections would come up. “My grandmother didn’t give a damn about politics, but she really cared who was going to be on the school board, and she would go out, interrupt him on the eighth hole, and give him a piece of paper with the names of the candidates on it and tell him who to vote for—but she was not allowed to vote. She was not allowed to vote for dogcatcher in her town, never mind president. Never mind imagine being president.”
She has played so many roles in the 35 years of her movie career. She never was an ingenue; when her first film came out, in 1977 (Julia, with Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave), she was 28. In the eighties, the era of Reaganomics and Thatcherism, she made huge movies in a Babel of accents and dialects: The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Sophie’s Choice, Silkwood, Out of Africa, A Cry in the Dark. In 1989, she turned 40. “I remember turning to my husband and saying, ‘Well, what should we do? Because it’s over.’ ” The following year, she received three offers to play witches in different movies. She saw the subtext pretty clearly: “Once women passed childbearing age they could only be seen as grotesque on some level.” But with The Bridges of Madison County (1995) she captured “the audience that were my girls, that I knew they’d get it if we could get the movie made,” hence Dancing at Lughnasa and One True Thing, which were also about “women whose usefulness had passed.” And her last five years saw hit follow hit: The Devil Wears Prada, Mamma Mia!, Julie & Julia, It’s Complicated. That last film, she says, “in the period of Silkwood, could never have been made, with a 60-year-old actress deciding between her ex-husband and another man. With a 40-year-old actress it would never have been made.”
Now she’s 62, playing Margaret Thatcher—from 49 to 85—and the cover star ofVogue. She has such a big laugh bubbling under her serene expression that it finally bursts out as I duck around the o word: “I was joking with the ladies earlier,” she said (when they were having their picture taken). “And I told them I was probably the oldest person ever to be on the cover of Vogue.””
Read Vicki Wood’s full interview with Meryl Streep on Vogue.com and in Vogue’s January 2012 issue, coming soon.
Excerpts taken from Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address. RIP Steve Jobs, 1955-2011.
“…you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
“…for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Read the full transcript here.
It was a sunny spring day in Toronto when I first met Veronica Chail — all dressed up from the OMNI studio to meet me for coffee at a Starbucks on the funky Queen Street strip — but idyllic atmosphere aside, we had something very serious to discuss: IIFA 2011. Little did I know that a masala style chat about one of the world’s biggest award shows would offer me a window into the life of a young woman carving her own path in the media landscape and proving that stereotypes are meant to be broken and glass ceilings shattered.
What began as a collaboration for IIFA became a real friendship and I was lucky to learn about Chail’s passion, courage of conviction and dedication to giving back. She’s had success as a producer, news writer and reporter, and most recently, as the very talented host of Bollywood Boulevard — yet has always found time to volunteer with charities and organizations with genuine interest and commitment. Outraged by the shameful blind eye to human trafficking she’s witnessed, particularly at home in Canada, Chail has recently set up an anti-human trafficking organization to create awareness, spread knowledge and ultimately find solutions to end this horrible practice. No small feat with only 24 hours in a day.
In a very short time spent with this media maven it was clear to me that there’s absolutely no stopping her — the sky’s the limit — and after reading the interview below I’m sure you’ll feel the same.
NEW YORK, United States — “For me, it was a business from day one; I did it as a job,” said the ambitious Swedish style blogger Elin Kling, recalling how she first began blogging professionally for Stockholm-based media site Stureplan, back in 2007. “In Sweden, every third girl is running a blog,” said Kling. Indeed, in a country ranked first in the world by the World Economic Forum in its use of computing and communications technology, a staggering 39 percent of young women (aged 16-25) write or have written a blog, according to an annual report by Sweden’s World Internet Institute. “If you do it, you need to do it 100 percent,” explained Kling. “And to do that, I had to make a business of it.”
Read the full article on Business of Fashion here.
After being escorted down a long winding hallway I entered the hotel’s banquet room to the ebullient sound of Hindi music and stomping feet, where dance king Shiamak Davar was rehearsing with his dancers and Bollywood actor Bobby Deol for the 2011 International Indian Film Academy Awards in Toronto. Anyone who knows anything about Bollywood knows that dance is an absolutely integral part of film and the IIFA Awards are no exception; Davar has been called upon to choreograph the stage show for 11 consecutive years simply because he’s the best.
Life hasn’t always been easy for Davar. Over two decades ago when he first started his school with seven students, traditional values and binding stereotypes in India provoked enormous backlash and harsh criticism. “Everyone made fun of me, they said ‘you’ll never make it, it’s an effeminate thing, it’s disgusting, you shouldn’t do this,’” Davar told me he, yet he had the strength and vision to pursue his dreams amidst the condemnation. His female students were maligned as well for their tight dance clothes and passionate dance moves, told they were crazy and would never be able to marry.
Ironically, it’s thanks to one of Davar’s first female dance students that he broke into film and forever changed dance in the Bollywood film industry. Gauri Khan, then girlfriend and future wife of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, was a student of Davar’s and Khan would often be at the studio to pick her up from dance class. At the time Khan was working on a film with the legendary Indian filmmaker Yash Chopra and approached Davar to come on board. Chopra told Davar “we want your different style, we want your freshness, we want your unique style” and when Dil To Pagal Hai released, it included the banner “Introducing Shiamak Davar.” And the rest, they say, is history. Davar won the National Film Award for Best Choreography and was credited with changing the style of dance in Bollywood. The exposure was “unbelievable’ said Davar, whose career has continued to soar since.