[PAST/ ARCHIVE] New Indian Art Film: I Love My India by Tejal Shah & Let the Wind Blow - 16th Oct 2009



VENUE: 649 Commercial Road, Limehouse, London ELW
TRAVEL: 1 minute outside Limehouse DLR/ train - (2 stops from Bank)

The film will be preceded by a short 
I LOVE MY INDIA by Tejal Shah
shot in the aftermath of the Gujarat Muslim Genocide

Buses: D3, 15, 135

Hava Aney Dey
(Let the Wind Blow)
A film by Partho Sen-Gupta
Hindi/35mm/93 minutes 

Best Film Award (Durban International Film Festival) 
Best Film - BBC Audience Award (Commonwealth Film Festival)
Special Jury Mention Firebirds Award (Hong Kong International Film Festival)

At the height of nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan, eighteen-year-old student Arjun and his best friend Chabia, a garage mechanic, are restless. Privileged lifestyles are within their sight but out of reach, and the two are tempted to apply for work in the Persian Gulf, where wages are high. Chabia is generally resigned to his fate, but Arjun must weigh the value of finishing college and a cerebral career against the mere pursuit
of money. Conflicted over his choices and overwhelmed by the nihilistic atmosphere of the nuclear standoff, Arjun seeks the company of a privileged young woman. Sen-Gupta alludes to the Bhagavad Gita and Krishna’s counsel to Arjuna, as Arjun is forced to consider the philosophical, and possibly tragic, ramifications of his indecision. 

New Indian Art Film:

Short: “I Love My India” by Tejal Shah (2004)


Tejal Shah (b. 1979) is a visual artist working with video, photography and installation. Her work, like herself, is feminist, queer and political. She has exhibited widely in museums, galleries and film festivals including, Tate Modern (London), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Brooklyn Museum (New York) and National Gallery of Modern Art (Bombay). She works out of her laptop and Bombay city. The video I Love My India, 2003, which focuses on the ignorance and lack of understanding of the genocide against the Muslim minority in Gujarat in 2002. She recently featured as part of the exhibition Indian Superhighway at the Serpentine Gallery.

About the video: Single channel video, 10 min, colour, sound, 2003

This video is set against the backdrop of genocide against the minority Indian Muslim community in the state of Gujarat (starting Feb 2002). It takes place one year after the genocide at a popular public recreational site, that of the balloon target shooting stall. The text I LOVE MY INDIA acts as a catalyst, an interface screen within the visual space, through which larger concepts of religion, national identity, self and community are mitigated. It’s a performative intervention set within the recreational and violent gestures of the everyday, while drawing comments on the world’s largest democracy. The varied responses reveal a sense of loss, of a perceived nationhood and a love for home.

Critic Nancy Adajania writes about the work, “Using the opinion poll format to satirise the idea of a general understanding of social and political injustices, the artist subjects the practice of electoral democracy in India to critique, by employing the metaphor of random target practice. The notion of play as a ludic intervention phrased in a political context permeates this work.”


Website: www.tejals.com


Feature: Hava Aney Dey
(Let the Wind Blow)

Awards: Best Film Award (Durban International Film Festival)BBC Audience Award (Commonwealth Film Festival)Special Jury Mention (Hong Kong International Film Festival)






Interesting Facts:


The Indian Film Censor Board refused to give it a release certificate without a long list of sound and picture cuts reducing about 20 minutes of the film. The director refused to accept the censor decision, as it would destroy the film with the abrupt cuts and sound mutes. The film was never released in India.

The film was also never officially screened in India as it was pulled out at the last minute (despite the selection by the festival) from the Cinefan film festival in New Delhi in 2005 by the Censors. Indian Film-makers, artists, writers opposed to censorship continue to fight for the freedom to express themselves.

Tannishtha Chatterjee, the lead actress in the film, is also the star of Brick Lane (2007), the film adaptation of Monica Ali's best selling novel of the same name.





About the Director

Website: www.sen-gupta.netBorn in Mumbai (Bombay), on 2 September, 1965. Partho Sen Gupta has been working in cinema since the age of seventeen, starting his career as an apprentice in the Art department, in the studios of "Bollywood" in Mumbai. He worked with an Indian Art director Bijon Dasgupta on the sets of big budget commercial Hindi films like Sagar and Mr. India among others.

After having spent a few years and finishing his apprenticeship he became Assistant Art director. In 1988, he worked on his first film as Art director or Production designer, an Indian art movie called Main Zinda Hoon (I am Alive) directed by Sudhir Mishra. He then set up his design studio working on numerous advertising films and Art movies, designing sets and specializing in real-time SFX. He won the Best Art Director Award in 1989. He also worked as Production designer on the French film Nocturne Indien directed by Alain Corneau shot in Mumbai.

In 1993, he was selected to do a 2 month summer workshop at FEMIS, the French film institute in Paris. During the workshop he directed his first short film La Derniere… based on Samuel Beckett's radio play - Krapp's Last Tape. He was then was awarded a three and a half year full scholarship to study film direction at the same school.

During the film school years, he made four short fiction films Le Cochon, La Partition, Trajet Discontinu, and La Petite Souris which took him to different European film festivals and won awards.

After graduation in 1996/97, he decided to live between the two cities, Paris and Mumbai, and started writing his first feature film screenplay based in India called Hava Aney Dey (Let the Wind Blow) which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2004.

He was invited by the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 as a part of a group of promising young film-makers by the Cinéfondation. In 2005, he made a documentary film The Way of Beauty on the Indo-fusion group Shakti which was released on the DVD in May 2006.

He is currently working on his second feature film project Fallen Hero (produced by Independent Movies LTD)..

Arunoday - The Sunrise, a new film project by Partho Sen-Gupta was selected among the 30 projects at the 11th Pusan promotion Plan (3 to 6 October 2008


Further Other Asias Events:


Other Asias is a Pan-Asian arts movement based in London, Lahore, and Dhaka.


REDO PAKISTAN at ENTER 09– Watermans Arts Centre

October 17th – December 1st

Private View: October 21st 6.30pm


The newspaper REDO PAKISTAN will be given away free daily with a new video essay by Hamja Ahsan. Hamja was selected for this showcase for the best new Arts & Media graduates of South Asian origin. Flyers available today. All welcome.


More details: https://www.watermans.org.uk/exhibitions/


Twitter: twitter.com/OtherAsias

Website: www.otherasias.com

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