Best French Suspense Thrillers of all time (10+1list)

Best French Suspense Thrillers of all time

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best French Suspense Thrillers of all time – and that includes the classics, the definitives, the masterpieces and only the immortals of French cinema that simply refuse to fade away with time!

They are edgy, classy and full of intense drama; the plots twist and the tension builds up, till the suspense is revealed. All internationally acclaimed cinemas made by some of the most famous French directors of the time.

Hold on to your seats folks, let the fun begin!

10. This Man Must Die (1969)

Que la bête meure (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImsAaCwoG0g

French-Suspense-ThrillersOne of the best from French director Claude Chabrol where a father is obsessed with revenge as he recently lost her daughter in a hit-and-run accident. But then, unfortunately he gets too involved with the lives of the culprits!

A complicated and intense portrayal of human nature with brilliant performances.

A few other thrillers from the same director are La Cérémonie (1995), Le Boucher (1970) and Violette (1978).

9. Diva (1981)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS2t2Noglac

French-Suspense-ThrillersDirected by Jean-Jacques Beineix, this is the story of a handful of characters – an opera fan, a thief, a cop, a couple of hit men and a philosopher, all entangled in a murder plot that they cannot escape from.

A visually stunning thriller with some brilliant chasing sequences that needs much more attention from film buffs all across the world.

8. Le Jour se Leve (1939)

Le jour se lève (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlLqSYt3EdM

French-Suspense-ThrillersA man commits a murder and locks himself up in his apartment, going through his head the events that led him into the terrible crime in the first place.

Shot beautifully in black and white, directed by Marcel Carnéone of the pioneers of Poetic realism film movement of the 1930s, this is undoubtedly one of his best work.

7. Purple Noon (1960)

Plein soleil (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWnvLNTzt-k

French-Suspense-ThrillersHave you seen The Talented Mr. Ripley starring Matt Damon and Jude Law?

Well, this film is the first adaptation from the same novel written by Patricia Highsmith, brilliantly directed by René Clément.

Enigmatic Alain Delon portrays the role of the versatile Mr.Ripley and his performance is outstanding!

6. Eyes Without a Face (1960)

Les yeux sans visage (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEjrg-L8lvs

French-Suspense-ThrillersA talented surgeon wants to give her disfigured daughter a new face but his methods of attempting face transplantation are rather unconventional, I mean it involves things like kidnapping and murder!

Directed by Georges Franju, this is one brilliant emotional thriller that evokes a haunting effect, more like an unforgettable nightmare!

5. Shoot the Piano Player (1960)

Tirez sur le pianiste (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjd6Eg9APAs

French-Suspense-ThrillersA classic thriller, the second feature directed by acclaimed auteur François Truffaut.

A piano player who gets mixed up in some dangerous business and now his life is in danger!

The film though not very commercially successful when released, is considered far ahead of its time by many critics and has a huge cult following over the years, a must watch!

4. Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euB6PWW6tcI

French-Suspense-ThrillersA calculated murder, a mistress and then misfortune! Does the concept of perfect murder exists in real? No matter how much planning and precaution one takes there always remains the factor of ‘unpredictability’!

Directed by renowned Louis Malle, this one is a superb thriller that takes it slow and yet very engaging with the many twists and turns that keeps you guessing till the end.

3. Rififi (1955)

Du rififi chez les hommes (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVRiC5ysSLk

French-Suspense-ThrillersA spectacular tale of a group of jewel thieves who carefully plan out their next heist and execute it with enough precision – but can they pull it off till the end without any glitch?

The level of suspense in the film is absolutely intense and almost romantically dangerous. Directed by Jules Dassin, he won the best director for this one at the Cannes Film Festival that year!

2. Le Samouraï (1967)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmWt0l7hX8k

French-Suspense-ThrillersA professional hitman, a cool perfectionist gets into trouble as he’s seen by witnesses while committing a murder. But then he wants to prove his alibi and the real trouble begins!

With Alain Delon playing the sleek hitman and the master of French Suspense Thriller Jean-Pierre Melville as the director, this one is definitely the coolest films in this list.

A few other thrillers from the same director are Bob le Flambeur (1956), Le Doulos (1962), Army of Shadows (1969) and Le Cercle Rouge (1970).

1. Diabolique (1955)

Les diaboliques (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzbGtjtfZwA

French-Suspense-ThrillersThe wife and the mistress plans to murder a sadistic man and succeeds, but then the two women doesn’t have much chance of relief as they are rattled by some strange events!

Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, a cult classic cult, undoubtedly the best French suspense thriller with a superb plot and certainly the best twist in the tale!

A few other thrillers from the same director are The Wages of Fear (1953) and Le Corbeau (1943).

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. Pickpocket (1959)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCZhSPwIZEg

French-Suspense-ThrillersThe story of a man whose hobby/profession is to pick pockets; a thief, but then also an independent man who wants to express himself through an unusually dangerous profession!

Directed by Robert Bresson and brilliantly performed by Martin LaSalle, technically a classic crime drama but then, it scores much above than most of its so called contemporary French Suspense Thrillers!  

Similar Interest: Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

Similar Interest: Best Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times

Similar Interest: Best South Korean Thrillers of recent times

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.imdb.com, ebay.tumblr.comwww.criterion.comwww.moviesteve.com, thelowdownunder.comen.unifrance.orgwww.zomboscloset.com.

Best South Korean Thrillers of recent times (20+1list)

Best South Korean Thrillers of recent times.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Today’s list consists of only the Best South Korean Thrillers since this country seems to be specializing on this particular genre for some time now.

Memories of a murder posterIn-spite of suffering long periods of political censorship in the past South Korean film industry has evolved and produced numerous quality cinema that have achieved immense international acclaim!

The new-age South Korean directors have given some of the best suspense thrillers of our times. Be it the theme of the infamous gang war films or the merciless serial killer movies or the classic police-gangster action dramas or else the ever-popular gruesome revenge sagas – you name it and they have delivered it to perfection.

Statutory warning: Most of these South Korean Thrillers are not meant for kids to watch. The realistic approach of these intense thrillers often get too violent even for the taste of most adult-audiences. So watch these graphic (often gory) films at your own risk.

Enough said … let the fun begin!

20. Don’t Cry, Mommy (2012)

Don keu-ra-i ma-mi (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrTkEMXDPdw

South Korean ThrillersA rape of a young girl that eventually leads into her suicide, but will the rapists (being minors) get their desired punishments?

When the judgment of the law ends up favoring the three juveniles, the mother of the girl decides to take things in her own hands.

Directed by Yong-han Kim, this is one perfect revenge drama. 

19. The Suspect (2013)

Yong-eui-ja (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ctw3o_tv_k

South Korean ThrillersAbandoned during a mission and on the run, his wife and daughter murdered, this is a tale of a field agent in North Korea who is all set to take revenge on them who has destroyed his life.

Directed by Shin-yeon Won. an action pact drama where the central character’s only goal is to have his vengeance and finish the treacherous game of double cross and deceit.

18. Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time (2012)

Bumchoiwaui junjaeng: Nabbeunnomdeul jeonsungshidae (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPRFKk3gYBE

South Korean ThrillersA corrupt customs official who was about to get fired randomly gets associated with a vicious gangster and becomes the most powerful crime partner of the town!

Directed by Jong-bin Yun, this one is a pure gangster flick with lots of twists and turns in the storyline. And it’s also about friendship and rivalry, loyalty and betrayal, respect and (of course) murder!   

17. Hwayi: A Monster Boy (2013)

Hwa-i: Goi-mool-eul sam-kin a-i (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EODuG-0Y9E

South Korean ThrillersA boy raised by five criminals (all fathers), who finally goes in search for the truth as he was forced to take part in a killing spree.

Directed by Joon-Hwan Jang, a brilliant film that needs to be much more popular to the thriller-fans all across the world.

Graphic violence is an essential part of the film, so you be prepared.

16. A Hard Day (2014)

Kkeut-kka-ji-gan-da (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r1lJuk4EjA

South Korean ThrillersA homicide detective kills a man in a car accident, and desperately tries to hide the body and he succeeds too … well almost.

Soon he is threatened by some mysterious guy who seems to have witnessed everything and knows all about it!

Directed by Seong-hoon Kim, a very well crafted thriller indeed.

15. Bedevilled (2010)

Kim Bok-nam salinsageonui jeonmal (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG2bObtGlsI

South Korean ThrillersAs Eleanor Roosevelt once said ‘A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.’

Directed by Cheol-soo Jang, this is the story of a woman living in an isolated island, who is abused and tortured in every possible way until one day she decides to avenge upon her tormentors! Extreme violence, disturbingly real and gory, and yet highly engaging.

14. The Terror Live (2013)

Deu tae-ro ra-i-beu (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om2BFo4c4QQ

South Korean ThrillersAn exclusive live broadcast with a terrorist is the only way for a news anchor to claim his top position back, but then how far is he ready to sacrifice to get what he wants?

Directed by Byung-woo Kim, an underrated thriller shot almost entirely in one room (the radio station), giving the impression of real time and a sense of claustrophobia. A combination of superb acting and intense drama.

13. Breathless (2008)

Ddongpari (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zzcGQkuTs4

South Korean ThrillersNot exactly a thriller in it’s true sense, but definitely one of the most brutal Korean crime drama of recent times.

A story of a touching friendship between a heartless loan shark and a troubled young school girl.

Directed by Ik-joon Yang, a brilliantly emotional film, much underrated as it deserves a lot more attention and appreciation.

12. A Dirty Carnival (2006)

Biyeolhan geori (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWtiC1JFRnE

South Korean ThrillersThis one is an action pact film portraying the life of the gangsters from a dangerously uncomfortable perspective.

Directed by Ha Yoo, this is the story of a man’s realization of the his capabilities and more importantly his own limitations; a fine crime drama that reveals the merciless world of crime and criminals from very close proximity.

11. Montage (2013)

Mong-ta-joo (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kV5Hom6_GxE

South Korean Thrillers15 years ago a crime was committed, a kidnap, and a mother lost her child forever.

And now, the crime is being repeated, another kidnap, same style – but this time can they stop the crime and tackle the kidnapper?

Directed by Geun-seop Jeong, a perfect thriller that turns out into a deadly game of wits.

10. Cold Eyes (2013)

Gam-si-ja-deul (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH15-Aj57fc

South Korean ThrillersThe police surveillance team with their latest techno gadgets clashes with a team of ruthless bank robbers who seems to be unstoppable in their mission.

Directed by Ui-seok Jo and Byung-seo Kim, this is a high voltage suspense drama that ensures to quicken your pulse till the end.

This Korean thriller was one of the biggest box office hit of the year!

9. New World (2013)

Sinsegye (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rln9Hx_wPFw

South Korean ThrillersThe police with the help of an undercover agent tries to take on the dangerous mafia but then certain unexpected twists completely turns the rules of the game.

A complex and gripping storyline, brilliant acting and the element of suspense intact till the very end.

Directed by Hoon-jung Park, this is South Korean thriller at its best.

8. Pieta (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MebVzBdz0OI

South Korean ThrillersA loan shark who leads a brutal and violent life encounters a strange woman who claims to be his long lost mother.

Directed by Ki-duk Kim, a unique film that revolves around a son taking revenge on his so-called mother because she has abandoned him in his childhood! 

A mother and son film with so many layers of emotions, never seen before.

7. The Man from Nowhere (2010)

Ajeossi (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38rPoGSr19U

South Korean Thrillers

A pawn shop owner who prefers to keep to himself befriends a little girl from the neighborhood.

And when this girl’s life is in danger this man from nowhere makes it his business to rescue his little friend from the ruthless gangsters.

Directed by Jeong-beom Lee, a gritty fast paced emotional tale told in great style.

6. The Yellow Sea (2010)

Hwanghae (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoyKIBiCb7Y

South Korean Thrillers

Directed by Hong-jin Na, this is the story of a poor taxi driver who is sent across the sea to kill someone. But instead of killing his target he starts searching for his wife!

A dangerous mistake that almost costed his life.

A tale of extreme vengeance; some of the action moments in this film are legendary even in Korean standards!

5. A Bittersweet Life (2005)

Dalkomhan insaeng (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6Kcns8MujA

South Korean Thrillers

A gangster’s sweet life turns bitter when he refuses to follow his boss’s orders. But then, an ego clash with the dangerous mafia boss can surely cost you much, may be your happiness if not your life!

Directed by Jee-woon Kim, a classy film shot beautifully, crisp script and great performance by everyone. One of the best gangster movies I have seen till date.

4. Mother (2009)

Madeo (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qcxml0xeFlI

South Korean ThrillersDirected by Joon Ho Bong, this is an incredible story of a mother’s retribution.

When a mentally retarded boy is suspected of murder, his mother takes upon the task to find the real killer. Her maternal instinct to protect her child takes her to the ultimate level of desperation.

Powerful performances and a brilliant piece of story telling.

Another brilliant thriller from the same director is Memories of Murder (2003) – Salinui chueok (original title).

3. I Saw the Devil (2010)

Ang-ma-reul bo-at-da (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwWgp1bqVwE

South Korean ThrillersA deadly game of vengeance between a secret agent and a serial killer is being played through out the film. But who will be the winner?

Insanely violent and graphic, a story of a psychopath being chased and tormented by an equally demented cop.

Directed by Jee-woon Kim, this thriller is so full of obsession, hatred and revenge.

2. The Chaser (2008)

Chugyeogja (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ai0GambXj-s

South Korean ThrillersA detective turned pimp tries to trace his call girls who seem to vanish into thin air. Is there one particular client who may be responsible for their sudden disappearances?

Directed by Hong-jin Na, this gruesome thriller has some of the most extreme moments of tension and violence – terrific storyline and exceptionally natural acting. The best Korean thriller ever made till date!

1. Oldboy (2003)

Oldeuboi (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HkjrJ6IK5E

South Korean ThrillersAnd now, the most popular South Korean film ever made, included in the all time best 100 films list in IMDb!

A man has been kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, but why? Will he be released someday?

A unique and disturbing tale, directed by Chan-wook Park, full of violence and extreme vengeance.

Along with Oldboy, don’t you forget to check out the other two films of Chan-wook Park‘s Vengeance Trilogy, that also includes Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005).

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. The Housemaid (1960)

Hanyo (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40u9lEHrMa8

South Korean ThrillersA man in an illicit relationship with his housemaid eventually complexes his married life a bit too much for any scope of peaceful resolution.

Directed by Ki-young Kim, this is one of the most artistic film in this list, very well dramatized and superlative performances.

A classic South Korean thriller, that has not aged even after so many decades.

Similar Interest: Best Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times

Similar Interest: Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.comwww.impawards.comasianwiki.comwww.koreanfilm.or.kr.

Best Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times (20+1list)

Best Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times.

written by Souranath Banerjee

It seems that the Spanish film-makers/story-tellers have mastered the ‘art of suspense‘ for quite some time now. Be it the sudden moment of panic or the slow built tension, the latest Spanish thrillers Spanish-thrillersare gaining popularity worldwide for their out-of-the-box concepts and precise execution that guarantees a certain adrenaline rush for the audience!

Intriguing storyline combined with powerful acting and clever direction are the traits of these superbly successful Spanish-language suspense-thrillers that promises to keep you guessing till the end.

And here, I have chosen some of the Best Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times and hope you have the thrill of your life watching them!

20. The Fury of a Patient Man (2016)

Tarde para la ira (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUs3snEcQNA

spanish-thrillersA patient man with vengeance in his heart is all set to accomplish a mission; he seems cool and compassionate outwardly but grief has made him brutal and merciless. And also a murderer!

Directed by Raúl Arévalo, this is an all in all revenge flick that has its share of intense violent moments and an overall suspense that looms over the audience and succeeds in making us pretty uncomfortable.

19. At the End of the Tunnel (2016)

Al final del túnel (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPc0SQyD-ac

spanish-thrillersA relatively underrated Spanish thriller that revolves around a paraplegic computer engineer who finds himself involved in the midst of a ruthless gang who have taken shelter right next door, planning to rob the bank.

Directed by Rodrigo Grande, this thriller is a decent blend of suspense and emotions, trust and deceit, and also the basic human need to survive out of any situation.

18. The Bar (2017)

El bar (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTazqyeYg3Y

spanish-thrillersA surprisingly engaging thriller that tells the story of an assorted group of people (all strangers) trapped inside a bar, who seem to be turning against each other in their desperate attempt to survive.

Directed by Álex de la Iglesia, the film is a decent study of human behavior, thrilling and full of plot twists perfectly punctuated by occasional comic moments.

17. May God Save Us (2016)

Que Dios nos perdone (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ywx8kAviZA

spanish-thrillersSet in Madrid , summer of 2011 at the time of 15M (anti-austerity movement in Spain), and also the time of Pope’s arrival; two Police Inspectors are desperate to stop a series of murders and catch what appears to be a serial killer on the loose.

Directed by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, a crazy rollercoaster ride of a thrilling yet violent chase that ultimately reveals the true natures of the detectives as well.

16. The Night of the Sunflowers (2006)

La noche de los girasoles (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnUuVOJHiLo

spanish-thrillersSet in a small village of Spain where a virgin cave have been discovered and is been explored by a crew from the Geology Department. But then a sudden act of violence sparks a series of unexpected events that turns everyones lives upside down.

Directed by Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo, a suspense thriller with a superb non-linear plot that reveals itself in a slow pace; often violent yet very entertaining.

15. The Hidden Face (2011)

La cara oculta (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afJ1h3Esoqo

spanish-thrillers

The sudden disappearance of a Spanish orchestra conductor’s girlfriend leads to an unusual investigation with no satisfactory results; the perfect mystery with a twisted plot and an unexpected ending.

Director Andrés Baiz does set the mood for a perfect suspense thriller but then again better acting could have improved the audience experience to another level.

14. Killing Words (2003)

Palabras encadenadas (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehuB-DsMM0Y

spanish-thrillersA Word Game has to be played between a kidnapped victim (gagged and bound to a chair) and her deranged psychotic kidnapper, and the rules are simple enough – if she wins he will let her go but ‘if you lose, I’ll scoop out your eyes with a spoon. Pop!’

Directed by Laura Mañá, this is one innovative thriller with a superb script that guarantees many unpredictable twists and turns.

13. Marshland (2014)

La isla mínima (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Fpk3Lnc638

spanish-thrillers

A classic serial killer case that has been investigated by a team of two homicide detectives who are of complete contrast in their nature and character. 

Directed by Alberto Rodríguez, this thrilling drama is set in the backdrop of the marshlands – a highly entertaining and engaging crime drama shot beautifully along with the different moods of nature.

12. Burnt Money (2000)

Plata quemada (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUJVhhhiCps

spanish-thrillersSet in Argentina in 1965, this one is based on the true story that involves a ruthless bank robbery and a passionate gay romance!

Three men become permanent fugitives after robbing a bank but can they enjoy their loot and live the lives they fantasized?

Directed by Marcelo Piñeyro, an emotional take on the most infamous robbery in Buenos Aires.

11. Magical Girl (2014)

La niña de fuego (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V65u_XN0uq8

spanish-thrillersA dad who wants to fulfill his dying daughter’s last wishes; a psychologically disturbed girl who will go to any length to save her marriage – and these stories are connected in more ways than you can imagine!

Directed by Carlos Vermut, a superb neo-noir (again much underrated) that has the capacity to capture the attention of the audience till the last frame.

10. Julia’s Eyes (2010)

Los ojos de Julia (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0ImiRLFlSs

spanish-thrillers

A woman named Julia (Belén Rueda) who is slowly loosing her eyesight starts investigating her sister’s death which is believed to be a suicide (until proved otherwise).

Directed by Guillem Morales, this one has a thrilling first half that completely gets you and an unexpected ending that will keep you in the edge. A crime mystery totally worth your time.

9. The Aura (2005)

El aura (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2Vrnp9knJY

spanish-thrillers

Planning a perfect crime is never easy but for a taxidermist with a gifted memory nothing seems impossible. But will he succeed in his articulate scheme till the very end?

Directed by Fabián Bielinsky and brilliant performance by Ricardo Darín, this film is a unique thriller, slow paced and moody, with very distinctive atmospherics that so perfectly blends with the plot.

8.The Uninvited Guest (2004)

El habitante incierto (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQWN6L-gttc

spanish-thrillers

A story about the mysterious disappearance of a stranger who comes into an architect’s house to use the telephone. Is he hiding somewhere inside the house or is it all just a fragment of his imagination?

Directed by Guillem Morales this film will certainly give you the creeps specially when you are alone at your own place. Is there someone else with you in the house?

7.The Body (2012)

El cuerpo (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyE5LnY3dT0

spanish-thrillers

‘Every death is a homicide until proven otherwise’ but then how can you prove a crime if the body disappears?

The body of a femme fatale mysteriously goes missing from the morgue and thus there begins a search for it. Brilliantly directed by Oriol Paulo, a clever script well complemented by decent performances, and then a few unexpected twists in the plot makes it a must watch thriller.

6. Thesis (1996)

Tesis (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RfdjNHrrvI

spanish-thrillersA young student at a film school in Madrid while researching for her thesis on ‘violence in films’ finds a snuff video where a girl is tortured until death. Can the identity of the girl be traced? And who made the snuff video?

Directed by Alejandro Amenábar, this is one of the most popular Spanish thriller across the world and indeed a very cleverly made film as well.

 

5. The Invisible Guest (2016)

Contratiempo (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epCg2RbyF80

spanish-thrillersA young successful businessman faces the charge of killing his lover but his shrewd lawyer wants him to tell his side of the story in details so that she can get him out of this mess.

Directed by Oriol Paulo, certainly the best Spanish thriller of recent times. It has all the basic ingredients of a murder mystery along with superb performances and some brilliant plot twists!

 

4. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

El secreto de sus ojos (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFF8wXGF9Yw

spanish-thrillers

A retired legal counselor who is haunted by his past unsolved cases (and also his love life) writes a novel which he expects will help him solve all his issues. 

Juan José Campanella‘s flawless direction and Ricardo Darín‘s powerful performance makes this one an Oscar winning film and a truly memorable experience. It won as the Best Foreign Language Film of the Year! 

3. Sleep Tight (2011)

Mientras duermes (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHzUJWogDIs

spanish-thrillers

Have you ever met a psychotic person who cannot bear to see other people’s happiness? And do you think you are safe from such a man in the comfort of your home? Think again!

A gripping tale dominated by awesome performances by Luis Tosar and Marta Etura

Directed by Jaume Balagueró, this is undoubtedly the most creepy film ever made. 

2. Nine Queens (2000)

Nueve reinas (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9Les56e22c

spanish-thrillers

The film revolves around a few con artists who try to hustle and swindle their way out of every situation and almost get away with it too. Almost. 

Directed by Fabián Bielinsky and such brilliant performances by Ricardo Darín and Gastón Pauls; probably the most popular and twisted Spanish thriller till date and certainly the most entertaining one too!

1. The Skin I Live In (2011)

La piel que habito (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EolQSTTTpI4

spanish-thrillers

From one of my all time favorite director Pedro Almodóvar comes a terrific thriller – a mastefully written mysterious and innovative plot that revolves around a plastic surgeon and his muse. 

Philosophical and yet very much real, a film about power, obsession and revenge.

Superb performance by Antonio BanderasElena AnayaJan Cornet

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. Wild Tales (2014)

Relatos salvajes (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUnXv6R2HI8

Spanish thrillersAn anthology with six brilliant individual short films, all of which having the common theme of retribution and vengeance!

(Click for Review)

Directed by Damián Szifrón, starring some of the best Spanish actors, each of these stories are stretched to their extreme possibilities and yet they seem to be believable enough!

Similar Interest: Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.imdb.com.

Best of World Cinema 2017 so far (10+1list)

Best of World Cinema 2017 so far.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Film-lovers take a deep breath – relax. It’s flashback time!

Midway through the year, here is a list of movies from all across the world, made by globally acclaimed directors, actors and the best technicians, visually stunning, exquisite story-telling and that too from all varied genres!

Best of World Cinema 2017 so far – let the fun begin!

10. Away

Language: English

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CGCkYKRq2U

Best-World-Cinema-2017The north English seaside town of Blackpool as the backdrop, this one is an emotional tale of two very contrasting souls (different both in age and in their mentality) and then of course their unlikely friendship!

Directed by David Blair, and tremendous performances by Juno Temple and Timothy Spall.

A heart wrenching British drama, underrated as it deserves much more praise and attention.

9. Heartstone

Hjartasteinn (original title) Language: Icelandic

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9Tcw-_SrcA

Best-World-Cinema-2017A classic ‘coming of age’ story of a group of children enjoying their summer holidays in a remote fishing village of Iceland – their friendships, their affairs, their sexual orientations, all twisted and tangled together.

Directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson, this movie is superbly arty yet realistic and the characters and their confusions are so well executed.

8. Land of Mine

Under sandet (original title) 

Language: German, Danish, English

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Kao3t0NBMU

Best-World-Cinema-2017After the defeat of Germany, a group of teenage German prisoners of war have been assigned the deadly task of clearing the Danish West Coast, removing thousands of land mines under the strict watch of a Danish Sergeant.

Directed by Martin Zandvliet, amazing plot, superb performances and full of suspense – a film so thrilling and yet so very emotional. A must watch!

7. Lost in Paris

Paris pieds nus (original title) Language: French, English

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1uT5mWbpdI

Best-World-Cinema-2017A girl visits Paris in search of her Aunt but then she is lost and soon in company of a weird homeless man who is in love with her!

Directed and acted by Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, and not to forget Emmanuelle Riva and Pierre Richard – such performances!

Slapstick with a hint of fantasy, but overall a thoroughly entertaining comedy – an absolute laugh riot!

6. Raw

Grave (original title) Language: French

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvZ6nB3cl1w

Best-World-Cinema-2017What happens when a young staunch vegetarian girl is forced to taste meat for the first time – she gets hooked to it, her repulsion turns into an addiction!

Garance Marillier and Ella Rumpf – brilliantly realistic performances.

Directed by Julia Ducournau, this is a film that doesn’t shy away from gore, blood or violent cannibalistic scenes. NOT for the soft-hearted.

5. Toni Erdmann

Language: German, English, Romanian

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0uwi5EPnpA

Best-World-Cinema-2017A father’s practical jokes are often too much for his busy daughter to handle. And yet the bond between them is exceptional!

Directed by Maren Ade, one of those unique films that takes comedy into a different level – subtle yet outrageous!

Top notch performances by Sandra Hüller and Peter Simonischek – the best father-daughter drama of recent times.

4. After the Storm

Umi yori mo mada fukaku (original title)

Language: Japanese

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPW8QJ4N5PE

Best-World-Cinema-2017A soulful story of a man struggling to collect the pieces of his life as he desperately attempts to move back with his ex-wife and young son. Will there be happiness after the storm?

From the brilliant Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda, a perfect combination of emotions and humour. Believable characters, natural performances and the simple yet blissful story-telling is what makes the film so very special!

3. Neruda

 Language: Spanish, French

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neUwXV_cSwM

Best-World-Cinema-2017An unconventional biographical take on the life of the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who was being hunted in his own country for being accused as a Communist!

(Click for Review)

Directed by Pablo Larraín, masterfully enacted by Gael García Bernal and Luis Gnecco – a sublime experience as poetry blends into Cinema!

2. The Salesman

Forushande (original title) Language: Persian, English.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHHZjuQB3zU

Best-World-Cinema-2017From the acclaimed Iranian writer/director Asghar Farhadi comes a unique revenge drama where a man seeks justice and retribution after his wife faces an assault from an unknown invader.

(Click for Review)

Exceptional performances from Taraneh Alidoosti and Shahab Hosseini, as by the end the film questions the real meaning of ‘Justice being served’. This Iranian film won the Oscar as the ‘Best Foreign Language Film of the Year’!

  1. Okja

Language: English, Korean, Spanish

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nhz9ctHR0k

Best-World-Cinema-2017On the surface this is a simple story of the friendship between a young girl (Seo-Hyun Ahnand her pet Okja – an oversized pig. But then this movie is so much more complex and layered, and very much socially relevant for today’s world.

Tilda Swinton, Paul DanoJake Gyllenhaal all at their best. From the acclaimed South Korean director Joon-ho Bong, probably the most powerful film of this year that makes a statement of it’s own!

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. My Life as a Zucchini

Ma vie de Courgette (original title) Language: French

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nRwYWVxjRU

Best-World-Cinema-2017The sweet emotional story revolves around a young boy who after losing his mother goes to a foster home and meets the other orphans – and his life changes forever!

Directed by Claude Barras, this heart touching stop motion animated feature was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and also the official submission from Switzerland at the Oscars last year!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.imdb.com.

Best Offbeat Indian Cinema of recent times (10+1 list)

Best Offbeat Indian Cinema of recent times

written by Souranath Banerjee

Offbeat Indian Cinema, huh?

The term ‘offbeat’ generally conveys a certain idea of non-commercial, arty, not-for-the-masses kind of movies; those
intellectual films which almost invariably wouldn’t do much business in the box office but will probably travel around several festivals and Offbeat-Indian-Cinemasurvive exclusively on the blessings of a handful of niche audience and critics.

Well, that more or less covers everything except for the most essential fact, that most often these so-called ‘offbeat’ films are the real trendsetters, so unique and revolutionary in their treatment and storytelling that they are responsible for the evolution of meaningful Cinema around the globe!

And this particular list of Offbeat Indian Cinema (many are in regional languages), although some of them might have been lost in the popcorn-culture a tad too quickly for my personal discomfort, but then again, all of these films are undoubtedly the most important Indian Cinema of our recent times!

Here we go! (Listed according to their year of release)

10. Ankhon Dekhi (2013)

Language: Hindi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3yKUHI2mE4

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaRevolves around a simple yet philosophical concept of a man’s belief, as he decides to believe only what he sees with his eyes!

Brilliantly written, directed and acted by Rajat Kapoor, the film that succeeds in recognising the true talent of performer Sanjay Mishra.

And most importantly this movie sets the stage for one of the most prominent Indian producer of today – Manish Mundra,  who in the following years have given us such brilliant films like MasaanDhanakWaiting and Newton.

9. Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost (2013)

Language: Punjabi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pAByInA4kM

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaAn uniquely metaphorical film based on the post-partition era of India and Pakistan. A Sikh desperate for a male heir, but then when his fourth daughter is born, he declares her to be a boy and obsessively brings her up in the same fashion!

The first collaboration between director Anup Singh and actor Irrfan Khan which resulted in such a brilliant piece of story telling and powerful acting.

Tillotama ShomeTisca Chopra and Rasika Dugal – absolute brilliant performances by all!

8. The Lunchbox (2013)

Dabba (original title), Language: Hindi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK3R0rvnlPs

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaWritten and directed by Ritesh Batra, this film is essentially a love story between an unhappy housewife and a middle-aged man, and they depend on the Mumbai’s famous ‘dabba’ delivery system to share their delicious little love-notes.

Probably the most commercially popular in this list, this unique love affair is crisp, real and yet as romantic as a fantasy.

The performances of Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui makes the movie a true memorable experience.

7. Ottaal (2014)

Language: Malayalam

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNuJPc8u8WM

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaVisually the most eye-pleasing film in the list; a soulful story of a little boy and his grandfather and their beautiful fishing village somewhere in the backwaters of Kerala. But then there is ‘The Trap’ that awaits.

Superb direction by Jayaraaj, the story adopted from Anton Chekhov’s story Vanka.

The songs, the water, the innocence of the village – and the beauty of nature captured by M.J. Radhakrishnan in the most cinematic way ever!

6. Court (2014)

Language: Marathi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sc8z7zav9A

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaWritten and directed by Chaitanya Tamhane, the film which won the National Award (Golden Lotus Award) and was the official entry from India for the Oscars 2016! 

(Click for Review)

The film is a sarcastic take on the Indian dysfunctional legal system that revolves around a folk-singer’s prosecution!

A script so powerful and so confidently executed, superb performances, the most unique court-room drama ever made.

5. Asha Jaoar Majhe (2014)

Language: Bengali

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFObwB9TAwc

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaLabour of Love, winner of two National Awards and many International ones, probably the most sensitive and poetic film in this list.

(Click for the review)

Directed by Aditya Vikram Sengupta, the story of a married couple who yearns to meet and spend time together but couldn’t because of their work timings. The best thing that happened to the Bengali Industry in the recent times!

4. Visaaranai (2015)

Language: Tamil

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mnzK2KIz9U

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaDirected by Vetrimaaran, this was India’s official entry for the Oscars last year!

Based on a true story, four state-immigrants who experience the tragic police brutality as they were forcefully arrested, illegally detained, tortured and threatened to admit crimes of which they have no knowledge whatsoever!

Dark, gritty and dangerously realistic, the movie emphasises on the corruption of the Indian police department and the helplessness of the common man.

3. Chauthi Koot (2015)

Language: Panjabi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFS-ETnMSw4

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaMid 1980s, politically turbulent Punjab being the backdrop, the film focuses on one particular family that (like most of the other Punjabi families of the time) gets crushed in-between the Indian Army and Sikh separatists.

Brilliantly written and directed by Gurvinder Singh, (his debut film being Anhey gorhey da daan), this movie brilliantly portrays the agitation and terror of the innocents of that era.

2. Thithi (2015)

Language: Kannada

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_NltD4Stv4

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaA man, 101-year-old – dies. His sons and their sons and their family (the next three generations) prepare for his funeral, after the customary eleven days. The film is based on their actions and reactions over the old man’s death.

Smooth flowing, realistic and immensely engaging; a story of a seemingly every-day village life but told with such conviction.

Superb direction given by Raam Reddy, impactful performances, winning multiple awards – probably the best film in the list!

  1. Aligarh (2015)

Language: Hindi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JezwsQKpXuU

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaBased on a true story of Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a professor who taught Marathi at Aligarh Muslim University, and was suspended from his job because of his sexual orientation!

(Film Review)

Masterfully directed by Hansal Mehta and such powerful performances by Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao.

Manoj Bajpayee (according to me) deserved the National Award for his role as Professor Siras.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Kaul (2016)

Language: Marathi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsR8pclAW1Y

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaWritten and directed by Vasudev Keluskar, this film is one of a kind – experimental, surrealistic, mysterious and stunningly visual!

The tale of a village school teacher who tries to maintain his sanity when assigned with an incredible responsibility that might change the fate of our universe!

Exceptionally well edited, shot in style playing with lights and shadows, sold performances – overall an exceptionally courageous example of story telling!

A few names of Offbeat Indian Cinema which are deserves the applause are Shahid (2012), Ship of Theseus (2012), Titli (2014), Killa (2014), Margarita with a Straw (2014), Talvar (2015), Haraamkhor (2015), Hotel Salvation (2016) and Trapped (2017).

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017 so far (10+1list)

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017 so far

written by Souranath Banerjee

Film-lovers take a deep breath – relax. It’s flashback time!

The first half of this year gone in a wink and yet it has been a busy half-a-dozen months for us, the dedicated movie-buffs.

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Dramatic super-hero/heroine movies, hilarious comedies, nail-bitting thrillers, romantic dramas, kickass action flicks, even musicals – you name it and Hollywood have delivered!

The list of the Best Hollywood Movies of 2017 so far is right here but then I must admit (with a heavy heart) that this list is pretty heavy on VFX rather than movies with less cumputer-graphics and more of real-world stories.

But anyways, here we go – remember – only the best!

10. Beauty and the Beast

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3Nl_TCQXuw

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Once more an adaptation of the popular fairy tale (again by Disney), where the beast and the beauty fall in love but can they live happily ever after?

Directed by Bill Condon, the classic musical narrated through a series of brilliantly choreographed dance and song sequences.

Starring Emma WatsonDan Stevens, Luke Evans, but I think the casting choices for the voices of the enchanted people-turned-objects/furnitures are much better!

9. War for the Planet of the Apes

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDBFrQvfGlQ

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017The ape-trilogy has finally reached an epic conclusion. (But that doesn’t mean ‘no’ to a future 4th).

(Review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes)

Directed by Matt Reeves, this one is all about the grand battle between Caesar (the ape leader) and Colonel (the human army leader) and their battle for supremacy.

Thanks to Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson for giving us such an emotional experience.

8. John Wick: Chapter 2

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGk2EfbD_Ps

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Keanu Reeves is back as John Wick, the man whose car and dog you better don’t mess with! 

This is the second instalment of the superb 2014 action thriller John Wick, and this time it’s even more raw, brutal and action packed.

Directed by Chad Stahelski, this is the savage saga of what happens when you put a bounty on John Wick’s head!

7. The Big Sick

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF14JJkOrSI

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017A Pakistani muslim guy and a white American girl couldn’t help but fall for each other but would their families put aside the cultural barriers and accept their love?

Directed by Michael Showaltera unique rom-com that manages to address pretty serious issues but always with adequate humour.

Writer/actor Kumail Nanjiani is superb along with his on-screen love Zoe Kazan.

6. Baby Driver

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9YZw_X5UzQ

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Every successful heist ends with a thrilling car chase and Baby, the young getaway driver is there to guarantee your safety!

Super cool performances by Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon HammEiza GonzálezLily James and finally Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey stealing the show.

Directed by Edgar Wright, a crime drama intertwined with classy soundtracks – racy and stylish.

5. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0D3AOldjMU

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017A seemingly ordinary high school student in New York City struggles with his new super-powers – Peter Parker learns to control his alter ego – the Spider-Man. And his mentor is none other than Tony Stark (the Iron Man)!

Directed by Jon Watts, with Tom Holland in the lead along with Michael Keaton and Robert Downey Jr. this Spidy-franchise is the best thing that happened to Spider Man for a long time!

4. Wonder Woman

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSB4wGIdDwo

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Desperate to save the world from all the darkness and evil, here comes the invincible warrior princess of the Amazons – ‘Wonder Woman’ to us mere mortals!

Sexy and gorgeous Gal Gadot is THE reason to watch this film, but then also, not to forget Chris Pine and the overall amazing VFX!

Directed by Patty Jenkins, this DC comic based super-heroine film is visually spectacular, a perfect combination of action, humour and entertainment.

3. Song to Song

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL0FYUpXuoo

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017An euphoric moment for all Cinema-lovers – Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael FassbenderNatalie PortmanCate Blanchett – all in one movie and that too directed by Terrence Malick!

The plot revolves around love triangles, affairs, betrayals and heart breaks, all happening in the backdrop of the eccentric music scene in Texas.

Dreamy camera movements and powerful performances – a typical Terrence Mallik experience!

2. Logan 

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbug3zTm3Ws

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Hugh Jackman‘s swan song as his famous ‘Wolverine’ character from the X-Men series comes to an epic conclusion.

Directed by James Mangold, intense, violent, edgy and emotional – a gripping story and spectacular performances is what makes the film so special.

Then again young Dafne Keen and old Patrick Stewart gives the movie the vitality that it deserved. 

  1. Get Out

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzfpyUB60YY

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017It’s ‘meet-the-parents’ time for a young African American who is in relationship with a white girl. Well, the white folks seem to be pretty friendly – or are they?

Suffocatingly intense, both Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams has given great natural performances.

Directed by Jordan Peele, a very intriguing thriller that also seems to make a very important social statement even in today’s world.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. The LEGO Batman Movie

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZSQTVdF3QM

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Does Batman live in Bruce Wayne’s basement or Wayne lives in Batman’s attic? Anyways ‘Vigilantes don’t have bedtimes’ remember?

What happens when Batman doesn’t get invited to Superman’s house-party? And did you know that ‘Iron Man sucks.’ is the password for the Bat-Cave?

Directed by Chris McKaythe ultimate bat-crazy experience – absolutely hilarious, witty and a laugh riot. And of course brilliantly ‘legoed’, i mean animated!

A few other films that didn’t make the list but are worth your time: SplitTheir FinestThe Zookeeper’s WifeThe Lost City of Z, T2 Trainspotting and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival – 147 films from across 45 countries!

KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival

written by Souranath Banerjee

Founded in 2010, and now voted as one of the Top 5 LGBT Film Festival in the world, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is South Asia’s biggest queer film festival and the only LGBT film festival in India to be held in a mainstream theater.

KASHISH MIQFF 2017 is held over 5 days at two venues, at Liberty Cinema and Alliance Francaise in South Mumbai. Held between May KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival24-May 28, 2017, it is the first Indian LGBT festival to be held with approval by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India.

Delegate Registrations are open on Book My Show https://in.bookmyshow.com/festival/mumbai-international-queer-film-festival

THEME of KASHISH 2017 : ‘Diverse, One’ 

The theme of KASHISH 2017 explores the diversity of the LGBTQ communities. The diverse shades of the rainbow remind us that as people we are all different and we are all unique. In the fight for an equal society, basic human rights and against laws that criminalize and discriminate, it is our shared values that bring us together. We are strongest when we come together, when we embrace one another’s uniqueness and celebrate our differences. We are Diverse, We are One.

KASHISH 2017 will have South Asia’s largest prize money for LGBTQ films – 147 films from 45 countries competing for total cash award of Rs.2.20 lakhs.

KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film FestivalThe 8th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival this year will feature the largest prize money for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer films in South Asia. Around 43 of the 147 films that will be screened at the festival will compete in the eight competition categories for a total cash award of Rs 2.20 lakhs. The prize money will be sponsored by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares, Whistling Woods International, Shri K.F. Patil Charitable Trust, Wadia Movietone and Lotus Visual.

“It gives us immense pleasure to announce an increased bouquet of cash awards at KASHISH 2017,” said Sridhar Rangayan, Festival Director. “We have been really trying hard to up the value we bring to the independent filmmakers who put in so much of effort to make LGBTQ films across the world. We are truly delighted by the support we have received from individuals and organizations to nurture talent. KASHISH is happy to spread rainbow sunshine among the film making community,” said Rangayan.

The highest award at KASHISH, Best Narrative Feature (Rs. 30,000) as well as well as those for Best Indian Short Film (Rs 20,000) and KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film FestivalActor in a Leading Role (Rs 15,000) are sponsored by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares.

“I am heartened to see KASHISH growing year by year, providing a fantastic platform for independent queer cinema, bringing together films and offering a bridge to many cultures around the world. Actor Prepares is committed to nurturing talent and we are delighted to continue our support, for the fourth year, to three of the awards at the festival. I wish the festival even greater success,” said acclaimed actor Anupam Kher.

A newly introduced award this year is for the Best Student Short film with a cash award of Rs 15,000 sponsored by film school Whistling Woods International. LGBTQ short films made by students of film and media schools will compete for this award.

“Whistling Woods International is proud to continue its association with KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, a wonderful initiative that encourages aspiring filmmakers to come forward and spread awareness about the LGBT community, sensitively and artistically. KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film FestivalLove is universal and it is fantastic to have a festival that celebrates love from the point of view of the individuals belonging to the LGBT community. We need more platforms like this, which not only promotes cinema but also unearths some truly unique talents every year. This year, we have taken our association further by sponsoring the Best Student Film Award. It adds another layer to our objective of partnering with KASHISH, which is to encourage young students to express themselves through the power of cinema. Like every year, we look forward to a positive response, and would like to convey our best wishes to the students,” said Meghna Ghai Puri, President, Whistling Woods International

Two competition categories this year will have cash awards – K.F.Patil Unity in Diversity Award for Best Documentary Feature (Rs.15,000) and K.F.Patil Unity in Diversity Award for Best Documentary Short – Rs.10,000. The cash awards are  sponsored by K.F.Patil Charitable Trust.

KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival“Discrimination is a human man-made phenomenon and it is against the very principle of nature which celebrates diversity. Unfortunately society does not and every voice that calls for freedom and inclusivity is important. KASHISH is one such voice standing for freedom and acceptance for a group of people all over the world who have been marginalised simply because of their sexual orientation. The K.F. Patil Charitable Trust which stands for Unity in Diversity is proud to associate with KASHISH which through the medium of a film festival informs, educates and shares with people the agonies and ecstasies of these people. The documentary awards instituted by the Trust are a token of our appreciation for Kashish and for the filmmakers to carry the message forward to thousands of people,” said National award winning filmmaker Arunaraje Patil, who is the Chairperson of Shri K.F. Patil Charitable Trust.

The Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker was KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festivalinstituted in memory of Riyad Wadia, who made the country’s first gay film – BomGay. The cash award of Rs 15,000 is sponsored by Wadia Movietone.  “Encouraging new and young filmmakers was something my late brother Riyad Wadia always used to do, and this award in his name at the KASHISH  symbolizes some of the help and support he provided so many during his all too brief life.  Wadia Movietone remains proud to be associated with Kashish and we look forward to many years together,” said Roy Wadia, who heads Wadia Movietone.

The QDrishti Film Grant returns for the second year to KASHISH. It is an artistic grant to support and promote independent filmmakers based in India making LGBTQ themed films. Short Narrative or Documentary Films made by India-based filmmakers compete for this honour that gives Rs 1 lakh grant to the chosen film maker to make their next LGBTQ themed film. The chosen filmmaker will be mentored by noted filmmaker Aruna Raje and actor and theatre person Shernaz Patel.

“With the rise in global intolerance and violence against minorities, it is paramount for sexual minorities to have a safe space to voice their views. We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with KASHISH in KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festivalannouncing this year’s QDrishti grant with a joint vision of providing a safe platform for film makers who challenge us to celebrate our differences,” said Lotus Visual that has sponsored the grant. 

The competition categories and the films competing are as follows:

Narrative Features: 4 films: Apricot Groves, Glory and Grace, Play The Devil, AWOL

Documentary Features: 4 films: Storm-Drenched Minds, In Love As In Live, Transitioning : Transgender Children, No Dress Code Required.

Documentary Short: 6 films: Single Men, Naked Wheels, Still Burning, A Doll’s Eyes, Across Gender, Lands of Lost Content

International Narrative Short: 17 films: Dive, Java, Transmission, You Deserve Everything, No Way to Paradise, A Meal With Dad, Ladybug, Home, Ariel, The Devil is in the Details, Stay, In The Mirror, Scar Tissue, Lily, Rink, Princess, Superheroes

Indian Narrative Short: 7 films: Aarsa, Wajood, Shehenaiiya, Maacher Jhol, Chudala, Devi, Sisak

Riyad Wadia Award: 8 films: The 6th Element, Shehenaiiya, Wajood, Maacher Jhol, Chudala, Devi, Sisak, Tremors

QDrishti Film Grant: 8 films: The 6th Element, Shehenaiiya, Wajood, Maacher Jhol, Chudala, Devi, Sisak, Naked Wheels

Student Short: 12 films: Lethe, The Tiger’s Fight, Flora, Still Devout, Stumbling Out, Heart Station, Tremors, Beautiful Figure, Alfa, Dawn, The Dam, The Other Side

Crowdfunding for KASHISH 2017

For the fifth year in a row, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival will be raising funds through crowdfunding. The global campaign to raise funds was launched on India’s leading crowdfunding portal –

Wishberry:https://www.wishberry.in/campaign/kashish-2017-diverse-one/

The target for this year is to raise Rs 3 lakhs, which will partly fund the festival expenses including theatre and equipment rentals. To KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festivalfurther deepen its engagement and provide a platform for Indian filmmakers who make films on LGBT themes, KASHISH 2017 crowdfunding campaign will also use part of the funds raised for a scholarship for selected filmmakers from outside Mumbai to come to the film festival and interact with the audience, film making fraternity and showcase their films.

Content and Photo courtesy: KASHISH MIQFF Team.

Village Rockstars – a film by Rima Das all set for Cannes!

Village Rockstars – a film by Rima Das all set for Cannes!

written by Souranath Banerjee

Rima Das, a filmmaker from Assam based in Mumbai, whose debut film ‘Man with the Binoculars‘ had been screened and appreciated last year in numerous film festivals across the globe, including Tallinn Black NightsCannes (market screening) and Mumbai Film Village RockstarsFestival; and this year Rima is back with her second feature called Village Rockstars.

Village Rockstars – shot, directed and produced by Rima Das without any professional help as such; her cousin being her chief assistant and the young enthusiastic actors from the village playing their parts – being Rockstars!

“I was shooting Man with the Binoculars, which was my first feature film, and I discovered these children and villagers celebrating life [while] living in deprivation. It made me realize what I was missing in Mumbai even surrounded with all this technology,” said Das in an interview with Asia Times.

The film is centred around a 10-year-old young village girl, Dhunu, who has grown up in deprivation, as she learns to fend for herself in the hostile surroundings while nurturing her dream to own a guitar Village Rockstarsand eventually forming a band with some local boys, the official ‘Village Rockstars!’.

Dhunu, however, has to fight gender stereotypes on what a local girl should do amid poverty and other hostile conditions.

“She (Dhunu) considers herself as capable as boys in a patriarchal society. She was brought up by a non-conformist mother who gave her full freedom of expression,” Rima said.

Like Dhunu, girls in the village where Rima is from, face a lot of restrictions due to their gender specially post puberty.

Village Rockstars“The way they are living their lives make them rockstars. They are the real rockstars to me,” Rima said with enthusiasm.

Village Rockstars got shortlisted among the eight films selected in the Work-In-Progress Lab at the 15th Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum, a great platform which aims at helping filmmakers secure post-production funding, sales agents and film festival support.

The festival’s collaboration with Festival de Cannes to present the “Hong Kong Goes to Cannes” programme assures Village Rockstars’s official selection for the 2017 Marche du Film (Cannes), Village Rockstarsa festival that celebrates its 70th birthday, from May 17 to 28 this year.

Currently being edited in Rome by French editor Jacques Comet, Village Rockstars is all set to enthral us with it’s brilliant storytelling and captivating visuals.

Congratulations Rima Das!

Similar Interest: In Conversation with Rima Das as her film ‘Man with the Binoculars’ premieres at the Tallinn Black Nights Festival today!

Content and Photo courtesy: Rima Das.

Mukti Bhawan (2016)

Mukti Bhawan Review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A movie that probes into the psychology of death, but then also, it’s so full of life!

My Ratings: 4.2/5

Nowadays most of the Hindi films released can deftly be categorised to the limit of some particular genre, and easily conjecturable to a Mukti-Bhawan-poster3certain theme or message or even the complete lack of it!

But then once in a while a few unique films emerge (fortunately) which dare to defy such generalisations, and restrict themselves from spoon-feeding the audience with ponderous morals in-between ceaseless cheesy histrionics.

Yes, Mukti Bhawan is one such film that cannot be bound into one specific keynote, it has to be experienced on the whole, much like an opera, or like life and death!

When 77-year-old retired school-teacher Dayashanker Sharma (Lalit Behl) senses his life’s extremity (the hint being a curious recurring dream), it becomes obligatory for his son Rajiv (Adil Hussain) to comply (though grudgingly) with his old man’s somewhat odd request – an immediate visit to the holy city of Varanasi.

Varanasi, the essential and well utilised backdrop of the film, ordained by the sacred Ganges the ancient Indian city that Mukti-Bhawan-poster4epitomises spiritualism and divinity. And aged Dayashanker believes that death in this holy city can be his ticket to eternal salvation – an escape from the inevitable cycle of life and death!   

And thus, to the surprise of the rest of the family that includes Daya’s daughter-in-law Lata (Geetanjali Kulkarni) and Daya’s grand-daughter Sunita (Palomi Ghosh), Daya and Rajiv, the father-son duo leaves for Varanasi. They finally check in at an aptly named hotel called Mukti Bhawan or Hotel Salvation; where numerous people from all across India come and wait for their death, a tradition to achieve Moksha!

Director Shubhashish Bhutiani, who has also written the script along with Asad Hussain, has ingeniously explored the intricacy of human emotions on the face of death in his film. The script, the situations, the Mukti-Bhawan-posterdialogues, the relations are simply subtle yet so profound!  

UNESCO jury has already awarded the XXIIIrd prix “Enrico Fulchignoni” to the young debutant director and at the Venice Film Festival, the world premier of Mukti Bhawan, the film was cherished by the audience with a stupendous standing ovation after the screening!

Then again, the film is specially blessed with actors who are of such supreme control of their skills.

 Adil Hussain, just within a decade have become one of the finest actors of our country, made his presence felt in acclaimed movies like English VinglishLife of PiParchedSunrise; but in this particular film his performance excels like never before. No wonder he won a Special Mention from the National Award Jury this year!

And of course, the veteran TV and theatre actor Lalit Behl, this being his second film (after Titli) has played his pivotal part with such immense Mukti-Bhawan-poster2commitment, so brilliantly natural and believable!

And then, renowned actress Geetanjali Kulkarni, young and effortless Palomi GhoshNavnindra Behl as the sweet and smiling widow and Anil K. Rastogi as the weird manager of the hotel – all have given their best and are very much responsible for the success of the film!

Mukti Bhawan may be a statement on life and death or it may simply be a very precise discectomy of human relations; I hope you will decide yourself once you watch it.

Mark my words, this is a Cinema that shouldn’t be missed! 

Poster courtesy: facebook.com/muktibhawan

Trapped (2017)

Trapped Review

written by Souranath Banerjee

Up above the sky so high, invisible to the world, you cry, whisper and sigh!   

My Ratings: 4.1/5

When was the last time you were in a spot where there was no food and water – like literally – ultimate survival crisis – and you have to hunt animals for food and go ‘Morarji-Desai’ for your drink?

I know what you will say – that such extreme situations are only for the celluloid; like the shipwrecked Tom Hanks in Cast Away, marooned in an island with no company other than the mute round-faced Wilson; then there was this young James Franco who accidentally put his leg in-between some boulders and sat stuck Trapped-Poster-5alone for 127 Hours. I think WALL·E also did a decent job, forlorned up in the space – but then, he didn’t get much hungry or thirsty, if you know what I mean!

Now what if someone gets ‘trapped’ in an apartment, an ordinary flat in a multystored and otherwise uninhabited building, right in the middle of the concrete urban jungle (say around Mumbai’s Prabhadevi area); cooped up for days, without food, water, phone or electricity, entirely cut off from the outer world – with a birds-eye view of the entire city but still invisible to everyone!

This is exactly what happened to Shaurya (Rajkummar Rao), when he by a twist of fate gets locked inside an apartment in a high-rise, without any hope of ever getting rescued!

Trapped-Poster-1And the most scary part in the film comes from the sensation that it can actually happen to any of us so called ‘city-people’ out here!

Salute to the writers Amit Joshi and Hardik Mehta for such a brilliant idea and script. And then what a marvellous ‘jugalbandhi’ from director Vikramaditya Motwane and performer Rajkummar Rao!

National Award winning actor Rajkummar Rao was outstanding in the film. The combination of Rao’s boy-next-door looks and his brilliant portrayal of someone desperate for survival is what makes the film so real.

And for director Mr.Motwane, with only one character to tell his story, that too pinned in one location, he still managed to successfully Trapped-Poster-3grasp the attention of the audience till the very end!

Another very interesting human psychology portrayed in the film is that, when someone is in the brink of possible extinction, it is the general human tendency to discover an unfamiliar longing for some of the most banal things in their lives.

For example in the film, Shaurya trapped for days, often hallucinating from stress and malnourishment, never desired or yearned for anything particularly unique or remarkable. Rather he wished to relive those regular day to day events; his journey to the office in those overcrowded Mumbai local trains packed with sweaty co-passengers, those crammed up buses with irritating conductors, a simple plate of pav-bhaji with a dash of butter on top – in the time of an inevitable Trapped-Poster-4catastrophe the most ordinary things from our life become so special and desirable!

Geetanjali Thapa, in the short role as the love of Shaurya’s life was commendable, though honestly I thought her character wasn’t really required in the film other than the simple incentive for Shaurya to hunt for a place.

Siddharth Diwan‘s cinematography makes the film look very real while Nitin Baid‘s editing keeps it crisp and to the point. Alokananda Dasgupta‘s music works well, very subtle and used only when required. 

I just thank God, Shaurya has musophobia (fear of rats) and not vertigo (fear of heights), or else, it would have all gone down pretty worse!

Poster courtesy: www.moviescut.com