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7 Islands Film Festival - 2012

Film

Firaaq (India)

Director

Nandita Das

Timeline: 101 minutes

About The Film

Firaaq focuses on a handful of ordinary characters whose lives are changed irreparably by the riots. A fictionalised account of true stories set one month after the horrific communal riots of Gujarat in 2002. These stories interconnect occasionally in a manner that makes it clear that victims, perpetrators and silent observes are all connected somehow. Director Nandita Das steers away from political overtones, choosing instead to tell a dramatic story about everyday people and the repercussions of violence. Interestingly, you don't actually see any incidents of violence in Firaaq, but its aftermath can be felt throughout the film, in the fear, anguish, loss and anger felt by those left in its wake.

About The Director

Nandita Das (born 7 November 1969) is an award-winning Indian film actress and director. As an actress, she is known for her performances in Fire (1996), Earth (1998), Bawandar (2000), Kannathil Muthamittal(2002) and Aamaar Bhuvan (2002). As a director, she is known for her directorial debut Firaaq (2008), which has won a number of national and international awards. She has been awarded the Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France for her work. Nandita Das was the first Indian to be inducted into their International Women's Forum's hall of fame. Das was born in New Delhi to noted Indian painter, Jatin Das, an Oriya Hindu kayastha, and a Gujarati Jain mother named Varsha who is a writer.

She went to Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Lodhi Estate in New Delhi. She received her bachelor's degree in Geography from Miranda House (University of Delhi) and

 
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Film

Ramchand Pakistani (Pakistan)

Director

Mehreen Jabbar


Timeline: 103 Minutes

About The Film

A triumphant story based on true events that occured during the brisk of war tension between Indian and Pakistan in the early 90's

The story revolves around a pakistani hindu dalit family living in a village by the border. Everything falls apart when the kidaccidentally crosses border whereby his father follows him across the nation's border and ends up being detained in Indian jail as a suspect and finds no way out for years. At the same time, champa (Nandita Das) Plays a vital role as the mother and wife of those characters. She waits for her family to come back home.

About The Director

Mehreen Jabbar (Urdu: م‍ﮩرين جبار ) (b. December 29, 1971), is a noted Pakistani film-maker and television director/producer. Mehreen is the daughter of well known media-person and businessman Javed Jabbar, she was born in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.

After receiving a B.A. from St. Joseph's College in Karachi, Mehreen went abroad to the USA in order to study film and completed a two year program at University of California Los Angeles in 1993, with a Film, Television and Video certificate, and returned to Pakistan to direct and produced drama series/serials under the banner of TasVeer Productions, almost all of which were critically acclaimed by the Pakistani press. Mehreen has been a member of the Central Board of Film Censors in Karachi, a founding member of WAR (War Against Rape), the Kara Film Festival in Karachi, and has also served as a juror at the Leeds International Film Festival. Recently she was the Artistic Director and Directing Mentor at the Maisha Film Lab in Uganda, a non profit film lab founded by director Mira Nair. Mehreen currently resides in New York City

 
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Film

Son of a lion (Australia-Pakistan)

Director

Benjamin Gilmour

Timeline: 92 Minutes

About The Film

Son of a lion is a 2007 Australian-Pakistani drama film set in Darra adam khel, in pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The film tells the story of Niaz Afridi (Niaz Khan Shinwari), a Pashtun boy who wants to go to school instead of carrying on the family business of manufacturing firearms. The director, Benjamin Gilmour, is an Australian former paramedic; Son of a lion is his first film. It was filmed in the area around Darra with the co-operation of local residents. The actors are local non-professionals, and much of the dialogue is improvised. It has received generally positive reviews.

About The Director

Benjamin Gilmour is a writer and filmmaker, director of the film ‘Son of a Lion’ (2008) and author of the book ‘Warrior Poets’ (Pier 9), published in the same year.
He is a regular contributor to magazines and newspapers, a guest speaker on issues relating to Pakistan, and a degree-qualified ambulance paramedic with worldwide experience.
He is based in Sydney, Australia, where he lives with his wife Kaspia and daughter Paloma.

 
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Film

Color Blind (U.S.A)

Director

Pamela Peak

Timeline: 56 minutes

About The Film

In an attempt to overcome a heavy mid-life tragedy, producer/director Pamela Peak goes on a quest in 2003 to find her unusually close grade school classmates from 1960’s who were scattered to the winds at twelve years old following the violence of Detroit Race Riots. Color Blind is a story that started out as a personal quest by one woman became a story shared by millions. Color blind revives our “Childhood hearts” and reminds us all of the valuable truth we felt as kids: That we are all a part of one human family!

About The Director

Pamela Peak is an award-winning writer, producer and director.

In 2010 Peak was awarded the prestigious State History Award for Media by the Historical Society of Michigan, for her exemplary work in documenting Michigan's role in the Northern Russian Expedition in Voices of a Never Ending Dawn.

Hall Of Fame

  • Winner- Best Documentary- Gloria International Film Festival
  • Winner- Best Documentary- Garden State Film Festival
  • Official Selection-Palm Beach International Film Festival 2005
  • Official Selection- International Black film Festival 2005
  • Official Selection- Big Bear Lake Film Festival 2005
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Film

Angels Die in the Soil (Iran)

Director

Babak Amini

Timeline: 30 minutes

About The Film

The film is on the theme of Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) And what happened in Iraq’s Kurdish Region. On the border of Iraq, Kurdishtan and Iraq, a headstrong young woman who survived Saddam’s chemical warfare attacks during the Iran/Iraq war encounters an American soldier who’s been shot and left for dead by his terrorist captors.

About The Director

Babak Amin Tafreshi (born in 1978 in Tehran, Iran) is an Iranian amateur astronomer, photographer, and science journalist. He is the creator and director of The World At Night (TWAN), an international program in which photographers from around the world capture images of night skies as seen above notable landmarks of the planet. He is also a member of the board of advisors of Astronomers Without Borders[3] and a project coordinator for the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009).

In 2009, he won the Lennart Nilsson Award for best scientific photography, in joint with NASA's Cassini Imaging Director Carolyn Porco

Hall Of Fame

  • Volvo Grand Award- Venice International Film Festival
  • Winner-Cinema Without borders Best international Film Award
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Film

Sita Sings The Blues (U.S.A)

Director

Nina Paley

Timeline: 82 Minutes

About The Film

Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband movies to India, then dumps her by E-mail. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in their beautifully animated interpretation of the Indian Epic Ramayana. Set to the 1920’s Jazz vocals of Annette
Hanshaw, Sita sings the blues earns the tagline as “The Greatest Break-up story ever told”.

About The Director

Nina Paley (born May 3, 1968) is an American cartoonist, animator and free culture activist.

She directed the animated feature film Sita Sings the Blues. She was the artist and often the writer of comic strips Nina's Adventures and Fluff, but most of her recent work has been in animation. Her early short films include Fetch!, The Stork and The Wit & Wisdom of Cancer

Paley was born in Urbana, Illinois, to Hiram and Jean Paley. Her father was a mathematics professor at the University of Illinois and was mayor of Urbana, where they resided, for a term in the early 1970s.

Hall Of Fame

  • Berlinale, Feb '08 (Special Mention, Gen-14+),
  • Germany Avignon, June '08 ("Prix Tournage" for Best American Feature Film),
  • ranceAthens Int'l Film Festival, Sept '08 (Best Script Award), GreeceOttawa
  • nternational Animation Festival, Sept '08 (Honorable Mention for Best Animated Feature)
  • Canada Leeds International Film Festival, Nov '08 (Golden Owl Competition - Special Mention),
  • UK Starz Denver Film Festival, Nov '08 (Fox 31 Emerging Filmmaker Award), CO, USA
  • Santa Fe Film Festival, Dec '08 (Best Animation), NM, USA
  • Les Nuits Magiques, Dec '08 (Audience Award for Best Feature Film), Begles, France, 2008.
  • Boulder International Film Festival, Feb '09 (Best Animated Film), CO, USA
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Film

Final Solution (India)

Director

Rakesh Sharma

Timeline: 109 Minutes

About The Film

Final Solution is a documentary of the politics of hate. Set in Gujarat during the period of Feb/March 2002- July 2003 there are 2 parts in this film, part 1 is PRIDE And GENOCIDE and the part 2 is THE HATE MANDATE. Part 1 deals with carnage and its immediate aftermath.

Part 2 documents the poll campaign during the assembly elections in Gujarat in late 2002. It records in detail the exploitation of the Godhra incident by the right-wing propaganda machinery for electoral gains. The film studies and documents the situation months after the elections to find shocking faults, separations in schools, formal calls for economic boycott of Moslems and continuing acts of Violence.

About The Director

Rakesh Sharma was born in 1949 in Patiala, Punjab, India in a hindu gaur brahmin family and was schooled at Kendriya Vidyalaya Tirumalagiri, Secunderabad Hyderabad. He joined the NDA as an Air Force cadet in July 1966. He was commissioned into the Indian Air Force as a Pilot Officer in 1970. In 1971 operations against Pakistan, he flew various missions in his MIG aircraft with distinction.

Hall Of Fame

  • Wolfgang Staudte Award & Special Jury Award (Netpac), Berlin International Film Festival
  • Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Documentary, HongKong International Film Festival
  • Silver Dhow (Best Doc category), Zanzibar International Film Festival
  • Best Feature-Length Documentary, Big MiniDV (USA)
  • Special Jury Mention, Munich Dokfest
  • Nominated for the prestigious Grierson Award (UK)
  • Special Award by NRIs for a Secular and Harmonious India (NRI-SAHI), NY-NJ,
  • USA Censorship Film Award in March 2005
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Film

Children Of Leningradsky (Poland)

Director

Andrzej Celinski And Hannka Polak

Timeline: 35 minutes

About The Film

Since the fall of the Iron curtain an estimated four million children have found themselves living on the streets in the former countries  of the Soviet Union. The makers of the documentary focused on a community of homeless children living hand to mouth in the Moscow train station Leningradsky. It portrays a life of fleeting possibilities and danger.

About The Director

Andrzej Celinski
Andrzej Celinski was born in Cracow Poland June 28, 1961. 
He graduated the State Theater Academy in Cracow where he has got diploma at Actors Faculty (1984.)

Andrzej has produced and directed several documentary films in Poland; "Grey" about the art of photography, "Crazy World" which focused on young people creating experimental films and participating in a film contest, and "Time for Theater" about new trends in polisch theater.

 

 

Hanna Polak
In 2002 Hanna began her studies in the Cinematography division of The Cinematography School of Moscow. In 2004 Hanna completed work on her first independent short film on the life of legendary filmmaker Albert Maysles entitled, Al. Al first opened at the Documentary Film Festival in Krakow, Poland, where Albert Maysles received his Life-Time Achievement Award

Hall Of Fame

  • Nomination-Best Documentary (Short Subject) Academy Awards 2004
  • Nomination- Best Documentary (Short Subject) IDA Awards 2005
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Film

Being Osama (Canada)

Director

Mahmoud Kaabour

Timeline:

41 minutes


About The Film

Being Osama is an award winning documentary which speaks about the daily lives of 6 Montreal Arab men and the changes that wobble around them after the 9/11 tragedy just because of their Good name, Osama. It tries to showcase the share of experience by these 6 six men coming from 6 different social backgrounds pointing towards the same unusual hurdle which sees no solution.

About The Director

Mahmoud Kaabour (born March 11, 1979) is a multi award-winning filmmaker, writer, and lecturer from Beirut

Mahmoud graduated with distinction from the Mel Oppenheim School of Cinema in Montreal, after which he pursued a documentary focus at the National Film Board of Canada and the newsroom at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.He is the founder and managing director of Veritas Films, a UAE based company that specializes in the creation and production of non-fiction content. His commercial work includes directing tailor-made documentaries, including multiple films for The Ministry of Presidential Affairs and The Executive Affairs Authority in Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, Dubai Investments and Dubai Holding subsidiaries.

Hall Of Fame

  • Best Documentary- University Film and Video Conference
  • Best Documentary-Big Muddy Film Festival
  • Best Documentary (Aurora Award)-Canadian National Youth Film Festival
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Film

February One (U.S.A)

Director

Tom Vickers And Daniel Black Smith

Timeline: 61 minutes

About The Film

February One is a documentary that focuses on the four friends who initiated the Greensboro sit-in movement, thereby jumpstarting a wave of civil rights direct action protests across the South. Using dramatic reenactments, ethnographic interviews, photo stills and archival footage, this Video Dialog film explores the intensely personal motives behind Ezell Blair, Jr. (Jibreel Khazan), Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond collective decision to sit-in at a downtown Woolworth's lunch counter, and the enormous public impact this decision would have on the civil rights movement.

About The Director

Rebecca Cerese is an award winning filmmaker who graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a degree in Communications and English. She has worked for Video Dialog Inc. for 9 years, working on various videos for non-profit organizations, like the Ford Foundation. Many of these videos document educational reform initiatives in inner city areas, through programs such as GEAR UP and Project GRAD. Her first documentary is entitled February One.

Hall Of Fame

  • Award Winner- Global Peace Film Festival
  • Award Winner- River Run Film Festival
  • Official Selection IFP Market Festival
  • Official Selection –Telluride Indie Fest
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Film

Truth about tigers (India)

Director

Shekhar Dattatri

Timeline: 40 minutes

About The Film

The tiger, India’s National Animal, is disappearing at an alarming rate from our forests.  Government estimates reveal that there may be fewer than 1500 left.  Why have India’s tigers declined so drastically?  What exactly are the problems facing their conservation?  And are there any solutions to the crisis?  These and many other questions are answered succinctly in ‘The Truth about Tigers’, an educational documentary by award-winning wildlife and conservation filmmaker, Shekar Dattatri.  The film also provides useful pointers on how ordinary citizens can contribute towards saving the tiger.

About The Director

Shekar Dattatri's lifelong fascination with wildlife began at the age of 13, when he joined the famous Madras Snake Park as a student-volunteer. This led to photography and, later, to wildlife filmmaking. His first film, 'A Cooperative for Snake Catchers', won the National Award in 1987 for Best Scientific Film. His next two documentaries were also National Award winners.

His film 'Silent Valley – An Indian Rainforest', completed in 1991, also won several international awards, including a Special Jury Award at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in America, a top honor at the Sondrio International Film Festival on Parks and Protected Areas and Best Nature Film Award at the Tokyo Earthvision Festival. The same year, he was awarded an Inlaks Scholarship to spend eight months working with Oxford Scientific Films in the UK – at the time, one the foremost companies in the world producing natural history and science programmes for television.

 
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Film

The Home Song Stories (Australia)

Director

Tony Ayres

Timeline: 103 minutes

About The Film

The story of a glamorous Hong Kong nightclub singer and her struggle to survive in Australia with her two children. Based on real events this is an epic tale of love, betrayal and hidden secrets that spans continents and decades.

About The Director

Tony Ayres (born 16 July 1961) is a Chinese-born Australian screenwriter and director. He is most notable for his award-winning films Walking on Water and The Home Song Stories.

Ayres was born in Macau, China. His mother was a nightclub singer who committed suicide in 1972, when Ayres was 11 years old. Before her death, his mother married an Australian sailor and migrated with her family to Perth, Western Australia in 1964. Ayres' stepfather died of a heart attack three years after the death of his wife, and two days before he was due to remarry. Ayres and his older sister briefly lived with their stepfather's former fiancee, before being placed in the care of Ayres' history teacher. They then moved to Canberra, Australian Capital Territory with their guardian, whom Ayres' sister later married. Ayres' 2007 film The Home Song Stories is loosely based on this early period of his life.

Ayres studied photography and printmaking at the Australian National University in Canberra, before working as an exhibition curator. He later completed postgraduate studies in film and video at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Victoria.

Hall Of Fame

  • 8 wins – Best Director, Best Actress (Joan Chen), Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Original Music Score, Best Production Design and Best Costume Designer – Australian Film Institute Awards 
  • Australia's Entry for Best Foreign Film Oscar 
  • Best Actress (Joan Chen) – Torino Film Festival 
  • Best Actress (Joan Chen) – Asia Pacific Screen Awards 
  • Golden Orchid for Best Narrative Film - Hawaii Film Festival 
  • FIPRESCI Prize — Brisbane Film Festival 
  • Screenplay Prize – New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards 
  • Winner, Best Original Script – Australian Writers Guild Awards 
  • Winner, Best Director, Best Actor (Joel Lok), Best Actress (Joan Chen), Best Cinematography,
  • Winner, Best Actress (Joan Chen), Best Script, Best Cinematography - Australian Film Critics’ Awards 
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Film

Midshot (India)

Director

Rambhul Singh, Sanjay Bharadwaj

Timeline: 44 minutes

About The Film

An experiment with truth is about the travails of a director, Ram Bhardwaj who tries to unravel the assassination of his deal, Mahatma Gandhi.  He starts making a film called G2 which explores the Gandhi – Godse ideological divide.  The film, while still in the making, to the director’s dismay becomes a subject of controversy and the distorted projection of it even leads to communal riots.  Meanwhile pressure mounts on the director buy vested interests to ideologically slant the film.  How the movie on Gandhi then becomes an experiment with truth in his own life and makes him search for answers in his inner self, is what the movie is all about.

About The Director

Rambhul Singh is a Film director from India & was born in Meerut, U.P, on 26 June 1980. He has done M.A in Film & T.V. Production & MBA-Media Management. In the last two years, he has directed a number of short films, documentaries, corporate films and Music videos for various clients and has also been taking film lectures at the university level. He is currently working on pre-production of his first feature film.

Hall Of Fame

  • Awarded as the Best film in the Shoot at Site Film Festival at New Delhi, 2005
  • Best Edited Film, Twilight Film Festival-07
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Film

Not in my name (U.K)

Director

Marcus Relton

Timeline: 41 minutes

About The Film

The film explains the background to the attack on Afghanistan, charts the growth of anti‑war movement and offers a chilling insight into the dangers of US imperialism which country will the US attack next? Who are the REAL terrorists?

About The Director

Filmmaker and journalist, specialising in investigative current affairs, observational and authored documentaries with experience as staff reporter on local and regional newspapers and casual reporting experience on national newspapers.

 
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Film

Concrete Steel & Paint

Director

Cindy Burstein and Tony Heriza

Timeline: 55 Mins

About The Film

When men in a Pennsylvania state prison join with victims of crime to create a mural about healing, their views on punishment, remorse, and forgiveness collide. Finding consensus is not easy – but as the participants move through the creative process, mistrust gives way to surprising moments of human contact and common purpose.

This complex story raises important questions about crime, justice and reconciliation–and dramatically illustrates how art can facilitate dialogue about difficult issues.

About The Director

Cindy Burstein is an award winning independent producer and media outreach professional. Following a career in community organizing, she received her MFA from Rutgers University to pursue the use of documentary film as a tool for social change, dialogue and civic engagement.  In addition to producing and directing, she also works with other independent filmmakers to develop public engagement initiatives for theatrical releases, broadcast premieres and educational distribution. For ten years, she served as the Philadelphia Regional Outreach Coordinator for the Independent Television Service Community Cinema Program -- a groundbreaking public education and civic engagement initiative featuring free monthly screenings of films from the Emmy Award-winning series Independent Lens. She is a 2010 recipient of the Leeway Transformation Award, a fellowship which recognizes women artists who are engaged in social change.

 
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Film

Whispering Embers (Israel)

Director

Ali Nassar

Timeline:

90 minutes

About The Film

The movie is a love story, a love triangle, staged in an Arabic village in northern Israel, and in the city of Akko, near the Mediterranean Sea. The film takes us through a journey in the life of its hero, Jamal. A thirty something man, facing the deterioration of everything he has ever believed in. The political party, Islam, and more important, traditional family life. He leaves his home to look for answers. Through a novel he has left behind, his wife learns his secrets, his confusion and disappointments and his secret love to Layla, an out going, rules breaking woman. At the pick of the story, crazed by the chaos in his head Jamal sees him self as the legendary Arab hero of the middle ages, savior of the Islamic nation Salah A din, as he challenges Richard (the Lion heart) Laila's lover, to a bizarre duel. Is it a duel over a woman, or maybe over the holy land?

About The Director

This is Writer - director Ali Nassar's fourth full length film )"The milky way", " "In the 9th month", "The baby sitter"), making him the most productive Palestinian director. Born and still a member of the community in the village of Arab'e in the northern mountains of the galilee, Nassar, a graduate of the Moscow Film Institute, has never been afraid of discussing his politics on screen. Revered as a braves and candid director, he has always had a criticizing an unique outlook on the Arabic world. About its costumes, beliefs and ways of life that have been deeply implemented into it by a long and harsh history. Now, once again, Nassar is taking apart his own people, facing them with his mirror of questions, demanding that they would look into themselves for answers. Politics, Religion, Love - all are being questioned in this film. The movie features two strong, independent and minded women as the Uncanny to the Arab world, these women lead, they are not led. A true depiction of changes as they happen in today's Arab society.

Hall Of Fame

  • Best Actor – Best Musical Score at Mostra de Valencia, 2008
  • Official Selection at- Cairo International Film Festival
  • 2008 Valencia Film Festival
  • World Competition at World Film Festival Montreal , 2008
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Film

Toba Tek Singh (India)

Director

Humaayun N A Peerzaada

Timeline: 40 minutes

About The Film

Toba Tek Singh – One man two countries.  A Rift. No Man’s Land”  Adapted from the classic story by well known urdu writer Sadat Hasan Manto.  Three years after the after math of partition, the governments of India and Pakistan decided to exchange lunatics from their asylums, the same way they had exchanged civilians.  It tells “Bishan Singh” an old inmate of a lunatic asylum, who is also called by the name of his village in Punjab : “Toba Tek Singh”.  In the story, No one seems to know whether Toba Tek Singh belongs in India or Pakistan, and his insanity becomes a mirror that reveals the fundamental absurdity of maps and nations.

About The Director

Humayun is a model and actor, though lately he is not busy into these two medias.  He is focusing more on photography and also learning editing.  He has produced and directed two short films both mainly on the subject of peace i.e Dreamers of Peace -  A film on peace & Humanity & Toba Tek Singh – A sadat hasan Manto, script where lunatics give a message of love, peace & humanity.  Both the films are on universal peace, brotherhood and humanity.  His aim as a Film Maker, is to keep making films of peace and to keep spreading and propagate this message  to people who care.

 
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