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Venetian Rhapsody

Friday, September 21, 2018

A standing ovation for Soni and accolades for Tumbbad at the 75th Venice Film Festival... Ronita Torcato has more

Sohum Shah’s fantasy flick Tumbbad became the first ever Indian film ever to open the Venice International Film Festival's Film Critics Week,and  garnered  accolades from critics. The Film Critics Week is a separate segment running parallel to  the Venice Film Festival, which is the world's oldest and turned 75 this year. The main festival featured nine films by first time directors from across the globe.

Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, a black-and-white drama drawn from the director’s memories of his Mexican childhood in the early 1970s marks his return to Spanish-language filmmaking. It won the  Festival’s coveted Golden Lion.

This is the first movie from Netflix to win a top award at a major festival, and the second movie in a row from a Mexican filmmaker to win here. Last year, Guillermo del Toro’s Golden Lion winner, The Shape Of Water, bagged Best Picture Oscar. Del Toro returned to Venice as Jury President  this year.

The Best actor award  was bagged by Willem Dafoe for his bravura performance as the ill-fated Dutch Master Vincent Van Gogh during the artist’s artistically brilliant but mad final period in Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate.

The Critics Week section's artistic director, Giona Nazzaro, lauded out of competition Tumbbad, a 19th-century-set film adapted from an Indian folktale by co-directors Rai Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad, as "a thrilling rollercoster ride that questions the roots of human greed while providing entertainment of the purest kind. Fantasy, action, frights, and scares: Tumbbad has it all. Don’t miss it!". Tumbbad is set to release in India on 12 October in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.

Ivan Ayr's debut Hindi film Soni is the only Indian feature to be officially selected at Venice where it received a standing ovation at its world premiere. Competing in the Orizzonti (Horizons) section, the film spotlights the experiences of a Delhi policewoman, and probes the politics of gender. The cast includes Geetika Vidya and Saloni Batra. Soni was among five films at the Work in Progress Lab of the 2017 Film Bazaar, held alongside the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa. There, it won the Facebook Award for Best Project and Prasad DI Award for the Best Film In ‘Film Bazaar Recommends’ section. Writer-director Ayr's  short film, Quest For A Different Outcome, had won Best Film award at the 2015 San Jose Short Film Festival.

Venice's Horizons is similar to Cannes' Un Certain Regard, and explores the “aesthetic and expressive trends in world cinema”. Soni competed with 18 other movies from across the world at the Festival which kicked off with Damien Chazelle's Ryan Gosling starrer, First Man, and was like in the past few years, full of Oscar hopefuls.This year, Venice had some  Netflix originals – the streaming giant that was excluded from  competition in Cannes this year because of its refusal to accede to French theatres  which  impose a three-year gap between a film’s theatrical opening and its video on demand (VOD) services. Netflix prefers  simultaneous release and pulled out of Cannes which had offered a slot to  Cuaron’s Roma.

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Aries (Mar 21 - Apr 20)You are likely to remain careful and watchful today, foretells Ganesha. And because you'll be invited to parties and other social events, your enthusiasm will remain buoyant. You will also strike the right balance between business and pleasure, says Ganesha.
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