Friday, April 15, 2005

A Labour of Love

Passionate & haunting

By Ashanti OMkar

32 year old Anup Kurian from Kottayam, Kerala (the South Indian state) defines his true passion for film making by taking major financial risks, but thoroughly enjoying the journey along the way, from India to USA to UK, by creating his movie ‘Manasarovar’, an intriguing story of love and it’s idiosyncrasies, which crosses the great Indian urban/rural divide, an extraordinary story that is said to end before it begins!

Anup shares his highly educated background and how he got started in films: “Academically I am a B.Sc Chemistry then Masters in Computer Applications (MCA) and after working for a few months in Bombay I went to FTII in 1996 - Film and TV Institute of India, Pune - probably the best school in Asia to learn filmmaking. It is quite difficult to get admissions as there are only 8 seats for each discipline - I studied Film and TV Production. During film school I realised the only way to make a film which is true to your convictions and conscience is to finance it yourself or with your close friends. So, I went to US as a software engineer (MCA) in 1999 and worked until 2002 saving enough to do a low budget film. In early 2002, I quit my job, bought a 16MM camera from EBAY. I wanted to shoot my film with sync sound (allowing for precisely synchronized lips with film dialogue, as opposed to dubbing, which is commonly used in Indian movies) and as silent cameras are very expensive to hire in India, the plan was invest in a camera, shoot the film and later sell the camera. So we shot our film, and sold the camera to a friend and bought sound monitors from EBAY to do sound post production. The whole filmmaking we cut corners at without losing final quality. Then, I started writing scripts - the first two scripts were bad - but early 2003, I wrote "Manasarover" - an out of the blue idea with 3 characters, a goat, a parrot and an elephant - an unusual love story and the first draft itself looked good.”

He goes on “It is a general rule of thumb you need at least a year to write a good script - but my co-producer Mathan (also the Art Director) agreed and we had minimum cash to finance it ourselves. Talking about cost cutting, the main scenes of "Manasarovar" happened in 3 days - the reason: you need to buy only 3 pairs of costumes.”

When it came to casting, blending rural with urban India and working within strict budget, he gratefully reminisces: “Fortunately the actors - who are big name stars in India – Atul Kulkarni is the male lead and a twice national award winner – agreed to work for 10% of his normal fee and a percent of profits and the same with Neha Dubey (famous through Monsoon Wedding) and Zafar Karachiwala. Atul is a rural Maharashtrian - like his character Ravi Roy - a rural Keralite. Neha is an urban cosmopolitan Indian woman - like her character Malathy Chandran. So they were sort of playing themselves. One way to look at "Manasarovar" is as a story where rural India meets urban India. In my experience rural India is much more comfortable with urban India than vice versa.”

The main aspect, cinematography, which features lavish locales in beautiful visual settings, came to him in the form of: “My classmates from FTII, who got behind the camera - Viswamangal Kitsu as cinematographer, Gissy Michael as sound designer, Unni Vijayan as editor - and for all of us it became our first feature film. So "Manasarovar" is a debut film for everyone except the actors. We shot the film in about 30 locations throughout India - in the Central plains/Deccan plateau of Maharashtra and city of Pune, South part of Kerala and North in Dharamsala (where Dalailama lives – the final five minutes of the film happen there). We travelled in second class trains (even the actors joined us, it was the first time Neha who usually flies travelled by train) all over India. The shooting took 5 months.”

Musically, he surfed the internet, to find a match that was both unusual and again, worked in a ‘money friendly’ fashion : “I had heard of an Irish band called Random - - and they allowed me to use their songs in Manasarovar - the theme song is "Falling Through The Clouds". I was also helped along the way by a few friends of mine in Chicago - David Prahl, Lisa Stanislwaski (a singer, who had a hit single in US in 1995 with "I believe the rain") who came back from retirement to write 2 songs for “Manasarover”, and her husband Craig Leininger, who composed the music for Manasarover.”

Anup hit many hurdles in going on with his project and shares with us: “Once the film was completed in 2004 February I had no money left to live and returned to US and started working, but, in March 2004, a jury headed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan (Satyajit Ray called Adoor his successor) selected “Manasarover” as the best debut film for Aravindan Puraskaram - a highly respected prize instituted on the memory of G Aravindan - a famous filmmaker in Kerala.” He proudly states: “We beat popular Indian films and other art house fare.”

Awards galore, his labour of love was proving it’s worth, while helping clear his mounting debts: “In 2004 June a jury headed by Kamal Hassan - the popular actor/director selected "Manasarovar" for the "Gollapudi Srinivas National Award" - instituted on the memory of Gollapudi Srinivas who died in accident during the shoot of his first film - for the best debut film in India - our small film beat all the big name hits in India. The award also had a cash prize of $3500 - which helped in clearing some debts. I returned to India to collect the second award. While in India, around the 3rd week in August 2004, we got confirmation that the prestigious ‘London Film Festival’ picked "Manasarover" as the only Indian film in World Cinema Section. It was Adoor who recommended the film to Cary Sawhney - curator for Asian films at British Film Instititute. Immediately after this, a jury headed by Shaji N Karun - the director of "PIRAVI" - one of the most respected filmmakers in India selected the film as the "Opening Film of Indian Panorama" for ‘International Film Festival of India’. Indian Panorama is a prestigious event showcasing the best films in India for that year. Then in January 2005 “Manasarover” was picked as the ‘Best Film’ at the "International Film Festival of Mumbai". Atul Kulkarni also got the "Special Jury Prize" for his performance. We had only one screening in Mumbai. The theater capacity was 200 but about 300 crammed into all the available spaces and almost 100 had to be turned back. Two weeks ago, the biggest and best film festival in Japan – ‘Fukuoka International Film Festival’ picked “Manasarover” and I plan to go to Japan in September to try and get the film released there.”

On his trip to London, for the film festival, obviously a memorable and very important trip for him, he conveys: “In October 2004, three of us from the team, Mathan - co-producer/art-director, our executive producer Shruthi and I came to London for the "London Film Festival" (we took a loan for flight tickets and stayed in a hostel for 10 pounds a day - luckily LFF paid for the hostel) and our screenings were sold out. The last screening on the last day of the festival, Joe Mirza of Bollywood Films told us he will take the film to theaters in UK.”

This has now led to the latest screenings of the movie, which are reaching Scotland and London, he tells us: “So the UK theater run of "Manasarovar" started in the 1st week of February 2005 in Glasgow Film Theater, Scotland, then went to Dundee and it is now showing at Watermans and later at Tricycle on Sat 19th- Sun 20th March. Hopefully we should get more bookings on other cities in UK. We are going city by city as for a small film like ‘Manasarover’ as a bigger release is not economically viable. Bigger films cannot take this mode of distribution since if the word goes out the film is bad, it will hurt the sales and overall box office collection.”

On his plans for the future, he tells of his hopes for the future of Indian cinema: “We are planning a similar Indian release in April. The film is proving to be a path breaking Indian film and if it does well in Indian theaters the way people's approach films in India will change.”

Manasarovar (India/English/90Min)

Manasarovar Website

Zafar Karachiwala as George Nair
Neha Dubey as Malathy Chandran (Daughter of Lillette Dubey – both Mother and Daughter whose acting credits include the acclaimed Monsoon Wedding)
Atul Kulkarni as Ravi Roy


- Best Film and Special Jury Prize, International Film Festival of Mumbai,
- Fukuoka International Film Festival, Fukuoka, Japan, 2005
- Official Selection - London Film Festival 2004
- Opening Film, Indian Panorama, International Film Festival of India, Goa,
- Aravindan Puraskaram for Best Debut Director in India
- Gollapudi Srinivas National Award for Best Debut Director in India


Blogger dwainbrinick4203 said...

='Brand New News Fr0m The Timber Industry!!'=

========Latest Profile==========
Energy & Asset Technology, Inc. (EGTY)
Current Price $0.15

Recognize this undiscovered gem which is poised to jump!!

Please read the following Announcement in its Entierty and
Consider the Possibilities�
Watch this One to Trad,e!

Because, EGTY has secured the global rights to market
genetically enhanced fast growing, hard-wood trees!

EGTY trading volume is beginning to surge with landslide Announcement.
The value of this Stoc,k appears poised for growth! This one will not
remain on the ground floor for long.

KEEP READING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


-Energy and Asset Technology, Inc. (EGTY) owns a global license to market
the genetically enhanced Global Cedar growth trees, with plans to
REVOLUTIONIZE the forest-timber industry.

These newly enhanced Globa| Cedar trees require only 9-12 years of growth
before they can be harvested for lumber, whereas worldwide growth time for
lumber is 30-50 years.

Other than growing at an astonishing rate, the Global Cedar has a number
of other benefits. Its natural elements make it resistant to termites, and
the lack of oils and sap found in the wood make it resistant to forest fire,
ensuring higher returns on investments.
he wood is very lightweight and strong, lighter than Poplar and over twice
as strong as Balsa, which makes it great for construction. It also has
the unique ability to regrow itself from the stump, minimizing the land and
time to replant and develop new root systems.

Based on current resources and agreements, EGTY projects revenues of $140
Million with an approximate profit margin of 40% for each 9-year cycle. With
anticipated growth, EGTY is expected to challenge Deltic Timber Corp. during
its initial 9-year cycle.

Deltic Timber Corp. currently trades at over $38.00 a share with about $153
Million in revenues. As the reputation and demand for the Global Cedar tree
continues to grow around the world EGTY believes additional multi-million
dollar agreements will be forthcoming. The Global Cedar nursery has produced
about 100,000 infant plants and is developing a production growth target of
250,000 infant plants per month.

Energy and Asset Technology is currently in negotiations with land and business
owners in New Zealand, Greece and Malaysia regarding the purchase of their popular
and profitable fast growing infant tree plants. Inquiries from the governments of
Brazil and Ecuador are also being evaluated.


The examples above show the Awesome, Earning Potential of little
known Companies That Explode onto Investor�s Radar Screens.
This s-t0ck will not be a Secret for long. Then You May Feel the Desire to Act Right
Now! And Please Watch This One Trade!!


All statements made are our express opinion only and should be treated as such.
We may own, take position and sell any securities mentioned at any time. Any
statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions,
goals, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, object'ives, assumptions or
future events or perfo'rmance are not
statements of historical fact and may be
"forward,|ooking statements." forward,|ooking statements are based on expectations,
estimates and projections at the time the statements are made that involve a number
of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or events to differ
materially from those presently anticipated. This newsletter was paid $3,000 from
third party (IR Marketing). Forward,|ooking statements in this action may be identified
through the use of words such as: "pr0jects", "f0resee", "expects". in compliance with
Se'ction 17. {b), we disclose the holding of EGTY shares prior to the publication of
this report. Be aware of an inherent conflict of interest resulting from such holdings
due to our intent to profit from the liquidation of these shares. Shar,es may be sold
at any time, even after positive statements have been made regarding the above company.
Since we own shares, there is an inherent conflict of interest in our statements and
opinions. Readers of this publication are cautioned not
to place undue reliance on
forward,|ooking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and expectations
involving various risks and uncertainties that could cause results to differ materially
from those set forth in the forward- looking statements. This is not solicitation to
buy or sell st-0cks, this text is or informational purpose only and you should seek
professional advice from registered financial advisor before you do anything related
with buying or selling st0ck-s, penny st'0cks are very high risk and you can lose your
entire inves,tment.

4:17 AM  
Blogger douglas77katerina said...

Earn between $14.37 & $48.99 per resume writing sold, depending on the type of resume & your affiliate level. Resume Writing is our best-selling service. Click Here for more information.

3:32 AM  
Blogger edwardfisher01564000 said...

I read over your blog, and i found it inquisitive, you may find My Blog interesting. So please Click Here To Read My Blog

6:34 AM  
Blogger johnmarks44845793 said...

Get any Desired College Degree, In less then 2 weeks.

Call this number now 24 hours a day 7 days a week (413) 208-3069

Get these Degrees NOW!!!

"BA", "BSc", "MA", "MSc", "MBA", "PHD",

Get everything within 2 weeks.
100% verifiable, this is a real deal

Act now you owe it to your future.

(413) 208-3069 call now 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i did a little research after you told me about your "thing", and if you want a way to make more money using your your blog you can enter this site: link. bye.

8:34 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home