A new dawn

The 1988 post-modernist avant garde film, Om-Dar-Ba-Dar, directed by auteur filmmaker Kamal Swaroop and produced by National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) is in news again. Digitally restored by NFDC, the film will be showcased at the forthcoming Rome Film Festival this November. A cult film, Om-Dar-Ba-Dar, stars Anita Kanwar, Aditya Lakhia, and Gopi Desai in lead roles with screenplay by Kamal Swaroop, dialogues by Kuku and music by Rajat Dholakia. Swaroop, who assisted Mani Kaul, Saeed Mirza and Richard Attenborough, before branching out, was known for his fiercely independent streak.

The film, which never made it to theatres, is about a young boy Om. As Om rides a bicycle, scissor legged, Swaroop takes on the frightening, beautiful energy of adolescence to joyfully shake open the landscapes of his own childhood, unearthing and mixing politics with mythology and techno music with biology.

Commenting on the selection Swaroop, said, “I am very happy to have Om-Dar-Ba-Dar make a comeback, now in its restored version, reaching out to newer audiences. It’s an honour that the film will be a part of the well-attended Rome Film Festival and I am hoping that the people attending it love and enjoy every bit of the film thoroughly.”

The film will be a part of Cinema XXI section celebrating 100 years of Indian Cinema.

Hazel wins the race

After announcing a competition for the selection of the girl for a special dance number in Kaanchi, director Subhash Ghai has zeroed in on Hazel to do the needful. Hazel, whose full name is Hazel Crowney, is one of those foreign models who have been trying to have a career in Bollywood.

Active since 2004, in that sense she is a contemporary of Katrina Kaif, the British model with Moroccan parentage could easily fit into an Indian character. She started her innings as an actor with films like Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar and A Flat but when her acting career refused to take off she switched to dance and now she is known more for her dancing skills.

The last being Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaraa. Neeta Lulla has designed her costume and Ganesh Acharya has choreographed the song. Hazel says, “I feel very privileged to have been selected for the song. Shooting with Subhash Ghai was the best working experience of my life.”

Sonu, the great!

It was anticipated for a long time but one didn’t know that singer Sonu Nigam will pick a Sunny Deol film to turn to composing. But then he has always surprised with his choices. When people thought that composing is an obvious choice for the talented singer, he tried to explore his acting talent first. Anyway, the song is out and it is the title track of Sunny Deol’s much-anticipated film Singh Saab The Great, where he has joined hands with director Anil Sharma once again. For the record, he has already contributed some compositions for Girish Malik’s offbeat film Jal. With the film doing the festival circuit, it is pretty certain Singh Saheb will hit the box office first. Written by Kumaar, the song has a rich Punjabi flavour and is sung by Sonu and his sister Teesha Nigam. And it doesn’t seem to be a one-off career move for Sonu because the buzz is that he has been signed for Prahlad Kakkar’s directorial debut starring Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai.

Time to get animated!

To generate more interest in International Children’s Film Festival India, the organisers have added ‘International Animation Competition’ in the upcoming 18th edition of the festival in November. The animation category will showcase the best animated children’s film from all around the globe. The competition section consists of four categories including International Live Action, Shorts and Little Directors where international and national films will compete for the prestigious Golden Elephant Trophies.

IIT professor Shilpa Ranade’s Goopi Gawaiyya Bagha Bajaiyya produced by Children’s Film Society India and Arnab Chawdhury’s Arjun will also feature in International Animation Competition.

Goopi Gawaiyya Bagha Bajaiyya, which is an adaption of Bengali writer Upendrakishore Raychowdhuri’s Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne will also be the inaugural film of the festival. “The Golden Elephant received almost 300 Animation features and shorts from over 45 countries across the world. Receiving such a large amount of animated feature films from all around the globe with magnificent animation quality, the festival authorities wanted to do justice to the incredible animation features by dedicating an exclusive competition section at the festival,” says Shravan Kumar, Festival Director and CEO, CFSI.