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Esther David- Writing, arts and sculpture blended in a fusion.

Esther David, the writer who broke the conservative walls of barriers through her first book, ‘The Walled City’ is now an eminent figure in the Indian Literature. The impeccable writer is also a good artist and sculptor, and she has completed Fine Arts and Art History Courses from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. Most of her books portray subjects in the back drop of Bene Israelis, and this fetched her International readers as well. Esther in a recent talk with All Lights Film Magazine expressed her aspirations in literature and she also commented about her selection as a jury member in the upcoming ‘Heritage Film Festival 2014’.

Question 01: You wrote your first novel, ‘The Walled City’ at age of 46. How did you identify the writer who lives within yourself at that age?

Answer :  I studied art at the Faculty of fine arts at Vadodara. The university campus gave me a tremendous exposure to visual arts, folk arts,  literature, cinema, music, dance and theatre. And, I wrote a page everyday in my diary on anything that I fancied and made sketches. During this period, I saw as many films as possible; specially Satyajit Ray. It was not part of the syllabus and the Apu trilogy and Jalsaghar have been turning points of my life, where I had vaguely created my own world of forms, words, images.

But, much before that, at the age of seven, I had already created my own literary world, in the library of our ancestral house in the walled city, the only child of working parents, the library was my keeper. Here, I had three story tellers feeding my imagination,  the library where I read all that I was not allowed to read and which I did not understand. The library gave me a heritage of all arts. My grandmother gave me family stories, as I lay in her lap and Mani, the cook, regaled me with folk tales and city stories, as I lay wrapped in her sari which was full of flavours of garlic, curries and a fertile imagination.

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Ashoke Chatterjee: An Exclusive Talk

Ashoke Chatterjee, the former executive director of National Institute of Design (NID) is leading a busy schedule even in this retirement life. He along with late Prof Ravi Matthai triggered the much acclaimed ‘Jawaja Project’, and it gave new hopes and lives for many people in Rajasthan. As per Ashoke, handicrafts industry is the second largest source of employment in India, but it remains miles away from the limelight. In a recent interview with All Lights Film Magazine, Ashoke expressed his views on Indian Handicraft Industry, and he also shared his experiences as a jury member at the ‘Heritage Film Festival, 2014.  

Question 01: You are such an unquestionable name in the craft development sector, and you have immense experience in this arena. Tell us some unforgettable experiences in this journey blended with Indian arts and crafts.

Answer : There have been many, and to choose is difficult. These include the journey of the Artisans Alliance of Jawaja through 4 decades, the amazing achievements of Kala Raksha under the leadership of Judy Frater and Prakash Biwani and of the Khatri family in Kutch, and the wonderful outpouring of work by young artisans through efforts of the Crafts Council of India and others. The contributions by NID and other young designers has been enormous, and over many barriers and challenges. 

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Titus Kreyenberg: A Producer with Unimaginable Foresight

It all happened in 2004 when Titus Kreyenberg, an experienced executive producer founded his own production company named Unafilm. The company is now one of the top notch names in German Entertainment sector, and Titus is the think tank behind many impeccable ventures which shook the International Film Festival circuit. He has proved his Midas touch in all areas of filmmaking which includes features and documentaries, both in National and International levels. In an exclusive interview with All Lights Film Magazine, Titus shared his experiences of his lifetime for our esteemed readers. 

Question 01: It was a journey which started a decade back, and now, you are one among the unquestionable names in the International Film Festival Circuit. How do you feel now? 

It was only last year that I realized what I have achieved with unafilm.  It was very early in the morning after the premiere of HELI in Cannes.  I hadn’t slept much and I was late for a meeting, rushing down the Croisette.I said to myself, slow down, you just had a film in competition in Cannes!  It is alright to be two minutes late for once!  So I walked a bit slower and went through all the films that I have produced. It was a nice moment. 

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An Interview with Girish Malik

Question 01: How do you feel now when 'Jal' aims something big in the Academy Award Red Carpet? 

Girish Malik:  I am excited, hopeful and nervous.  I believe JAL is a film that should go wider. It’s an idea that was nurtured over many years. And also took a comparatively longer time to make the film. It’s been an uphill task as there are no big names attached with this film in any department. Most of the technical team, direction department, DOP, Sound designer and even our production company and the producers were either newcomers or with not much experience. That is also probably the reason why the film has struggled to catch the attention of people and the media. But I have also received a lot of very touching response from people who have seen the film. 

Question 02: Jal portrays a complex story of love, emotions and relations. What compelled you to handle such a complex subject in your directorial venture? 

Girish Malik: I have been living with the idea of JAL for a very long time, almost 10 years. What started as an idea for a documentary about migratory birds and the environmental factors affecting them evolved in to a human story over the years. Kutch is known to have the largest breeding ground for Flamingos in Asia and it is also home to many other species of migratory birds. I made many visits to Kutch for my research and over the years got really fascinated with the place and the people living there, these nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes that keep moving yet call this hostile desert home, pretty much like the flamingos. Water scarcity again is a global issue that is also what these people are facing. This world was very interesting for me and with this fascinating backdrop I started to tell a story about these people. I felt so close and so motivated to tell this story and to showcase this world that I never thought of it as a very complex subject that I probably should not have attempted as my first film. 

Question 03: The movie is entirely shot in the Rann of Kutch, and the cinematographer has succeeded in making this film a visual treat. How valuable was Sunita Radia's contribution in making this movie? 

Girish Malik:  Kutch is an absolutely surreal place. There was a certain vision I had for how this film should look. And I was very sure that I did not want a DOP who came with pre-conceived notions. Jal is Sunita’s second film as an independent cinematographer though I had earlier worked with her when she was assisting, Binod Pradhan. She was very open and enthusiastic and gave me exactly what I wanted. She is also very hard working and a very positive energy on the sets. The shooting conditions were very harsh and still she was always upbeat and raring to go. With somebody who was not as enthusiastic as her, it would have been extremely tough to even finish the shoot in such tough conditions. She just made it very easy. 

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The 'Unending Story' of Struggle - A Chat with MRUNALINI BHOSALE

Film making is an art, and filmmakers are artists who weave reel life dreams. Some filmmakers enter the industry to fulfill their passion, while some others will make films for a good cause. Mrunalini Bhosale falls in the second genre,and she is the one who made a purposeful attempt to enter the film industry to make socially relevant movies. Her directorial debut 'Kapus Kondyachi Goshta' is aiming high to mark its presence in the global film world, and it is undoubtedly the most appreciated Marathi movie in the recent times. In a talk with All Lights Film Magazine, Mrunalini opened up about her journey from a documentary maker to a filmmaker.

'Kapus Kondyachi Goshta', your directorial debut isliterally setting a new wave in the Marathi Film World. What is this movie all about? And for our English readers, would you mind translating the name of your movie?

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