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Showing posts from February, 2006

Australian Premiere A Stone Throw

The screening of A Stone Throw went well, I'm pleased to report. Really smoothly. We had 100 invitees and maybe the same number who came to see "Little Fish". Mum did the tickets and Dad opened the beer and wines - and helped me with the Coles platters.

Mostly, everyone liked the film.

The kids who were in it loved it (of course) and I was happy to see the odd tear being shed by one or two of the adult actors. How weird is that? They're obviously over the idea of seeing themselves onscreen. I don't think I'd have the objectivity if I was an actor - to actually enjoy the film I was in. Maybe only the best actors were crying - as self-consciousness and narcissism are the enemies of good performance (according to Stanislavski) . . .

To me, the film looked good. It still feels a bit like a series of cuts, sounds and images, but it went over well. I didn't notice many of the mistakes and all had a great time. Sort of.

Hosts never have much fun at parties.

Next stop…

"A Stone Throw" screens with "Little Fish"

OK. I've made about 100 phone calls. Nobody RSVPs these days, so I figured I'd save catering money by actually calling people. So far, about 120 people - cast, crew and associates - are coming to the premiere. We're having it at FTI's Fremantle Outdoor Film Festival.

We have a beer sponsor:
Advance Multimedia and Animation
in association with
Cave Pictures.

Micro-brewery beer. No preservatives.

I'd link to Cave, but they don't have a website just yet (I know because I'm doing it).

Should be fun.

Around 300 stubbies. 2 varieties. Red & white wine. 5 Coles platters and my mum and dad doing beer, wine and door entry.

I'm pretty nervous, but also looking forward to it. To the feedback. To the negative feedback in particular. I'm a bit over claps and kisses. We filmmakers need to accept criticism. If we're to move forward. I welcome it in constructive form. There's nothing more useless than, "That was a great film." But you gotta be polite…

Mumbai Madness continues . . .

Hello. I'm back in Perth.

The 9th Mumbai International Film Festival 2006 is very over, but it will return in 2008 (they hold it bi-annually) and Bombay still exists in my head. A Stone Throw didn't win anything, but will be premiered here in Fremantle, this Friday 24th at the FTI's Fremantle Outdoor Film Festival. 7.30pm screening followed by Little Fish and 6.30pm for crew drinks.

So why is this BLOG entry entitled, Mumbai Madness?

Mumbai (Bombay) Madness:

After getting off the plane, I developed an annoying cough. My girl told me I smelt like human faeces and refused to kiss me until I showered and bathed for at least 2 days.

When I finally got back to my (home office) desk, there was a pile of work waiting for me.
Hours and hours of tutoring Usability and Web I.T. at Curtin University
Making 2 x short films with tweenies and teenagers at The Filmbites Film SchoolSeveral websites to do (at least 3) and
A whole host of film-related projects that I'm not at liberty to talk a…

Mumbai International Film Festival 2006

Unfortunately, A Stone Throw didn't win anything . . . *sniff* :(

Most of the international films that won prizes at the Mumbai International Film Festival 2006 had India as the subject / backdrop - or they were made by ex-pat Indians living abroad - or they had an Indian actor - or they were films made by filmmakers who had served on previous years' MIFF judging panels.

I'm not being too cynical. That is just the way these things go. I'd be naive to think differently. In fact, I was surprised that our little 10 minute film, A Stone Throw had been included at all. It was one of only a few non-Indian inspired films.

Having said that, a ScreenWest-funded documentary about the rebel army in Aceh won the judges hearts.

The Black Road, directed by William Nessen and produced by Andrew Ogilvie, was absolutely brilliant and easily deserved to win. In fact, William risked his life making the film. He filmed alongside the Indonesian army as they attacked Aceh - and he also filmed …

Bollywood party, baby iceblock, Mumbai police!!!

I met the lady who coined the term, Bollywood. Janet Fine is a freelance journalist for magazines like Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. After living 20+ years in Mumbai, I think Aussies make some kind of sense to her.

She invited us all to a strange, glitzy party - hosted by a famous Italian chef.

No place in Mumbai is particularly impressive, so when I got out of the car and stepped into a muddy, dirty roadway, I was surprised. We were on the doorstep of the famous downtown Bollywood restaurant, Olive.

Photographers and videographers pumped flashes and lights at model-like actors. Watching the Bollywood films which play every night on TV here (there are literally thousands of them) shows just how skilled these people are. They're not using Stanislavski, Adler or Meisner - they are more like expert dancers with fantastic co-ordination and lip-synching skills. It's a different style of acting. They are more than simply models.

I recognised nobody and ordered a Tom Collins. Fello…

Not the only white guy in Mumbai

Hi readers . . . and hi Mum! ;)

I've been watching some pretty heart-wrenching documentaries here at the Mumbai Film Festival. Watching docos seems to be a fast track to learning about the world. Many documentaries have an Indian element, but a couple stood out. I tend to make friends with the people who make films I like, so I'm pleased to say that Rajdeep Randhawa is now a close and personal friend of mine.

Rajdeep made a 47 minute documentary called, "Ek Tha Lal Pari." Shot mostly cinema verite, it documents the problematic relationship between a eunuch and her lover. It's an on and off relationship, but the two are still very much in love and have lived together for 20 years! In India, eunuchs live in enclaves. They are ostricised by society, but also revered and considered to have many spiritual powers. So they earn money by performing special rituals at marriages, births, deaths etc. It is a special honour to be blessed by a eunuch. To cross one would result …

9th Mumbai International Film Festival

Well, I'm truly settled in now. The festival has started. Documentaries, short films and animation. Great stuff. Finally found a good net place to post my BLOGs. I'm sure there are millions of readers.

The Mumbai International Film Festival is pretty cool. The Indian docos are nicely controversial and the short films are very entertaining. One short film, "Ryan" was inspiringly brilliant! It was a mind-blowing animation about a guy having trouble hanging on to his creative edge as he grew into his 40s. Not sure why that one was so appealing ;).

I'm learning about India by a mixture of sitting in an air-conditioned cinema and walking the streets. The roads are really dangerous because of the traffic. There doesn't seem to be a system of rules. The whole city is all a little random in terms of the overall organisation. I don't know how the festival organisers have managed to pull anything together.

As I was warned, India has a public service problem similar to…

Mumbai madness

Okay, so I've arrived in Mumbai for what people call the Mumbai experience.

It looks absolutely gorgeous from the plane, at night. I could see fireworks bursting in the sky below and little campfires everywhere. In fact the whole of India seemed to be peppered with lights - not like Australia at all.

But then the plane landed!

Basically, I'm in the world's biggest shanty town.

We got off and had to walk over the tarmac because airport staff were on strike. The papers are all aglow about how efficient things are here and how the government is doing so well. Hmm. Looks to me like the place doesn't have a government.

My first Mumbai night reminded me of Bali (admittedly, the only other place I've been outside Australia). Everything is rundown, disorganised . . .filthy. The taxi driver got lost, the hotelier hadn't received my booking and I've yet to hear from the festival organisers - the same ones who tout the Mumbai International film Festival as being the most o…

Kuala Lumpur on nothing at all

I woke up this morning at 5am. There was some guy on a super loud speaker chanting right outside my hotel room. I opened the curtains to a huge mosque. The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Shah mosque . . . 142.3 metres high! The chanting and wailing was punctuated with short speeches - religious, I assume.

Discovered that there are two types of police here. Normal, state police and Islamic police! Their job is to enforce Islamic law for Muslims. Things such as drinking alcohol and not facing Mecca at certain times (such as 5am!) are fineable offences. But, as a little bird told me - it's not the fine, but the loss of face which really hurts.

Malaysian Airlines is a bit of fun. Not a moment goes by without a piece of food or beer being shoved into your hands. The guy next to me ordered two beers!

Very friendly people here. Not at all pushy.

Saw half a report on TV that Mumbai Airport technicians are on strike. I've been told to make sure that the taxi driver keeps his windows closed (despi…

Bags are packed

Had my shots, got my digestion drugs and I'm about to cut my latest podcast with Michael Bond and upload it before I go on a filmmaker's trip to Mumbai. Thanks to ScreenWest, the Mumbai Film Festival organisers and the Lotteries Commission of WA, I'm on my way.I'm not a big traveller, so have no idea what to expect.
What a fiasco to get Visas, medical shots and organise hotels, transfers, insurance and flights etc. Stressful stuff. I guess people who travel a lot get it all the time. I suppose you develop a knack. Anyone travel to a festival? Post a comment. Please!?
I've charged up my MP3 player with The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" - supposedly influenced by their own trip to India back in the 70s. I've also got Elvis Costello's "Watching the Detectives", Godley and Creme's "An Englishman in New York" and Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street" to keep me company. Those guys will be my teddy bears. Now I know w…