Toronto, 21 September 2009 – ROAD MOVIE, Dev Benegal’s love letter to cinema received a standing ovation at its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on 18 September.
The adventure drama stars Abhay Deol as a young man who drives an antique Chevy with two old film projectors across the Indian highway discovering love, life and laughter along the way. Deol is supported by fine performances from Tannishtha Chatterjee (Brick Lane, Shadows of Time) and Satish Kaushik (Brick Lane, Ram Lakhan) and newcomer Mohammed Faisal Usmani.
Cinemaphotographer, Michel Amathieu crafted the distinct and sumptuous look of the open road against the epic desert landscape of the Kutch region in Gujarat and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. Anne Seibel (The Devil Wears Prada, Marie Antoinette) handled production design and Michael Brook composed the beautiful score (Into the Wild, An Inconvenient Truth).
ROAD MOVIE was the only Indian feature to be invited as a special presentation to the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival and its glowing reception from public audiences point the film towards international recognition and success. In 2006 the ROAD MOVIE script was officially selected by Cinefondation in Cannes for feature development.
Dev Benegal’s first feature presentation English, August (1994) was hailed as a landmark in contemporary Indian cinema and ignited a wave of independent Indian filmmaking. His second feature presentation Split Wide Open (1999) premiered at the Venice International Film Festival.
Indian Films-Studio 18 produce distinct Indian feature films with global appeal for international audiences. ROAD, MOVIE is being sold internationally by Fortissimo Film Sales, their first Hindi language title.
With over 100 films from over 40 different countries, the festival runs from Wednesday, October 14 till Thursday, 29 October.
Below you’ll find a list of Afro-Centric films at the festival. Highlights include:
Precious which is being hailed as this years Slumdog Millionaire having recently won at the Toronto Film Festival. A strong pick for the Best Supporting Actress & Adapted Screenplay Awards at next years Oscars.
A documentary on the life of music legend Bill Withers called Still Bill
2009 London Film Festival in Full
Min Ye (Tell Me Who You Are)
Mugabe & The White African
L’Absence (The Absence)
Behind The Rainbow
Les Feux de Mansaré (Fire of Mansare)
Click here to see the “This Is It” trailer.
Click here to browse Michael Jackson DVDs on the Kush online store.
Fans worldwide will have the opportunity to celebrate the global launch of Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT when Sony Pictures Entertainment hosts over 25 global premieres, with more than 15 of those coordinated simultaneously around the world, on Tuesday October 27.
Simultaneous with the LA Premiere at 6.00pm Tuesday October 27, the London Premiere will take place at 1am Wednesday October 28 at the Odeon Cinema Leicester Square.
Following the London Premiere event, UK audiences will be able to see the highly anticipated film for the first time when the film opens to the public from 4.00am on Wednesday October 28.
Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT will be in cinemas worldwide for a limited two-week run beginning Wednesday October 28.
Tickets will go on sale worldwide to the general public this coming Sunday September 27. UK audiences will be able to book tickets at cinemas nationwide from 12.01am.
The surprise sci fi hit of the summer, District 9 is being pummelled from all directions. Not because it isn’t a well made film (it is) but because it treads on dangerous ground with its analogies of Apartheid South Africa.
Some Nigerians have been complaining that the film represents them as gansgters, prostitutes and arms dealers. One person even set up a Facebook petition against the film – you can view that here.
But Nigerian Guardian columnist Tola Onanuga had this to say:
“District 9 is neither racist nor xenophobic. South African director Neill Blomkamp has made an astonishingly thought-provoking and intelligent film that in turn assumes intelligent thinking from his audience. By refusing to shy away from the uncomfortable truth that racism will always exist, Blomkamp is forcing us to challenge our own perceptions about race and equality. He makes it clear the Nigerians are no better or worse than their white (or alien) counterparts, creating an unsettling sort of equality among the characters. And while the film may occasionally play on clumsy racial stereotypes, it also encourages us to challenge them. As Peter Bradshaw observes in his review, the film “encourages the audience to ask questions the movie is uninterested in answering”.
Andrew Rule of The first Post has found another angle to attack the film from and brands the film nothing but “an awesome showcase for the South African arms industry”. This one is well worth reading and he actually has a point – read about it here.
So what do you think? Comment below and let us have your thoughts.
The BBC has announced that Idris Elba will star in a new 6 part TV drama called ‘Luther’.
Idris will play John Luther, who according to the BBC press office is “a near-genius murder detective whose brilliant mind can’t always save him from the dangerous violence of his passions”.
Elba said: “He’s a challenging and exciting character because he’s so complex.
“While he’s capable of great kindness and loyalty, sometimes he steps over the edge of madness – simmering with anger and rage.”
The show will be scripted by Neil Cross, who was the lead writer on the last two series of Spooks which starred another black British star in David Oyelowu.
Idris had criticised the UK TV scene back in May when he told The Guardian:
“Unlike here, in the US there are lead roles for black actors. That’s why I went to America – to get the lead roles that I wouldn’t here.”
What do you think?Is there a dearth of lead roles for black actors on British television?
This is the first in a series of weekly profiles of black British actors and directors on Kush Blog and we’ve got a cracker for you in the massive character of Adewale Akinnouoye-Agbaje.
Born in Islington (behind the fire station on Upper Street to be exact), Adewale has a degree in Law from Kings College London, is fluent in English, Italian, Swahili and Yoruba (his parent’s Nigerian dialect) and is now a bona-fide Hollywood star.
Known to his friends in London as ‘Triple A’ (for obvious reasons), Adewale began his acting career in Dawn Penn’s 1994 classic music video ‘No No No’ (below, sorry track only, couldn’t find the video).
But it’s his portrayal of the character of Mr Eko in HBOs smash hit drama Lost that made his name, no bias here but he was our favourite character in that show. Here’s a clip from Lost.
‘Triple A’s’ brilliant performances in Lost have now led to his recent central role in Paramount Pictures’ high budget action movie GI Joe: Rise of The Cobra. Check out the trailer for that below, looks like a great Sunday afternoon trip to the movies to us.
And here’s Adewale talking about it and how he’s got to where he is, really interesting, be sure to watch this (apart from the patronising reporter).
Finally, you can catch a funny interview with Adewale talking about how he convinced the director of GI Joe to let his character be British and shout “bloody hell” a lot – read it here.
Big respect Adewale – you worked hard, did well for yourself and entertained us along the way. Keep it up, we want more.
UK Produced ‘Skin’ starring Sophie Okonedo to open in the UK next Friday (24th July). See the trailer here.
Produced by UK based Elysian Films and starring UK born actress Sophie Okonedo, ‘Skin’ is a portrayal of the remarkable life of Sandra Laing, a dark skinned girl born to Afrikaan parents in South Africa during the Apartheid era. Intriguingly, Okonedo’s own upbringing was not too dissimilar to Laing’s
“What interests me is that I’ve been brought up in a white family, and, being black myself, I can really relate to that side of it – questioning your heritage and where you’re from; asking, “Is this really my parent?” Particularly when you’re young, and everyone says, “That can’t be your mum.” Nowadays everyone’s mixed race, it’s not such a big deal, but in the 70s when I was growing up it was more unusual. I used to say, “Mum, am I adopted?” So I can really relate to that – knowing something’s not quite right but not being quite sure what it is. My mother’s Jewish, so my family is Jewish, and it was hard to believe this young girl with a huge afro had a Jewish mum. But nowadays, anything goes.”
Sophie Okonedo was talking to The Guardian and you can read the rest of the interview here.
Watch the trailer to Skin below. If anyone has seen it already and would like to submit a review to be published on Kush Blog, get in touch.
Rare and revealing 17 year old audio interviews with Michael Jackson and family – hear them here on Kush Blog
Kush was recently contacted by Chris Cardell to tell us about a documentary that he produced 17 years ago on the life of Michael Jackson. We were so impressed that we decided to publish the first two parts of the documentary here.
Chris spent several months tracking Michael Jackson’s life, interviewing everyone from his family to his schoolteacher and the documentary also featured a very rare and fascinating interview with Michael Jackson himself.
So listen to the first two parts right here on Kush Blog (below). You can link with Chris at http://twitter.com/chriscardell. And don’t forget to check out Kush Online Store to browse our Michael Jackson DVDs too.
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI8UoO-SbUw Part 1
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M6Q7cRO-kg&NR=1 Part 2
If you want to hear the remaining 11 parts to the documentary, click here and when you come to the end of one part just click on the next one.
Here you can find all the latest topical news from within the black film industry both in the UK and globally.
Kush has been operating for 10 years now; and we are leaders in the field of independent film Marketing/PR & Exhibition, so in this weekly blog space we will be doing provocative, revealing & educational interviews with independent filmmakers with an emphasis on the UK market.
You can also catch up with the opinionated views of our confidential black film ghost guest writers, who won’t be afraid to tell it like it is….
Above all else, this is your space!
Please do engage in the debate and comment on what you read here and if you’re interested in being a guest blogger, please get in touch.
Marlon Palmer of Kush Films says “its about time black filmmakers here in the UK stood up to be counted, we have a voice, but currently it cannot be heard, I say lets make it be heard by standing as one, the UK film industry should be inclusive of all filmmakers, but if this continues not to be the case, can we not create opportunities of our own by coming together and creating an industry of own?
When our black brothers & sisters in the United states were excluded from mainstream industry what did they do? They created their own industry, which proved successful until segregation was eradicated, and many forgot the power of doing for oneself and their community.
Kush refuses to walk around with our hand out begging for ‘controlled support’ when we have the knowledge and will to do things for ourselves, thus, as we have been doing for 10 years and will continue to do so, as long as we prosper as a business providing this much-needed service.”
We need your help to get the debate about the direction of black British cinema off the ground and if that’s going to happen, you all need to be a part of it.
So let your voices be heard, have your say!
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