NFDC classics like Salaam Bombay, Mammo, Gaman, Mirch Masala, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro, Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan, Naseem, Raghu Romeo and Dharavi to be screened at the two alternative venues like Harkat Studios and G5A from 15 July-15 August, 2017. NFDC India collaborates with 92.7 Big FM and 1018mb for their outreach initiative, ‘Film Aaj Kal Screenings and Conversations’ will build film communities and empower the viewer.

NFDC India is coming up with its Cinema Outreach Initiative, Film Aaj Kal, a radio show as well as the Ground Activation event – Film Aaj Kal Screenings and Conversations to build film communities and empower the viewer. 

As part of the 360-degree initiative, NFDC collaborates with 92.7 Big FM for a weekly radio show named, ‘Film Aaj Kal’ on Cinema Education and Awareness program which has the filmmakers discussing about the classics, bringing these films back to the fore. The ground activation event is ‘Film Aaj Kal Screenings & Conversations’ – in which the very films will be screened from 15th July to 15th August 2017. The exhibition partners are Harkat Studios in Aram Nagar and G5A Centre for Contemporary Culture at Lower Parel and the online booking partner is 1018mb.

Film Aaj Kal is not just about exploring alternative audiences. It’s also about exploring alternate spaces, alternate distribution platforms, and booking and communication platforms. The radio show that plays on Sundays on 92.7 Big FM  is hosted by a hugely popular star RJ and cinephile, Siddharth Mishra and is designed as a series of conversations between filmmakers discussing about the NFDC classics evoking a renewed interest in the films.

One of the episodes showcased, Gaman & Taxi No. 9211 as films that look at Mumbai through the eyes of a cab driver – both from different eras, in varied styles, addressing different class issues as well – but with an underlying subtext of the immigrant. Another episode was around Salaam Bombay and Chameli – Mira Nair and Sudhir Mishra chatted about the way they approached the Brothel and the Underbelly story.​

This idea is to bring together the community to watch films together and then talk cinema over 1 glass of Nimbu paani, 1 cup of tea/coffee or those chutney sandwiches! Film Aaj Kal Screenings and Conversations gives not just the viewers but also the discerning filmmaker & cineaste alike to explore alternate film destinations and also actively engage in conversations around cinema – and not just limit those discussions to a Master-Class or a workshop.

The schedule for the event has been as under. 

Venue – Harkat Studios

  • ​15 July​, Sat ​- 7.00 pm – Opening Session & Screening of Om Dar-B-Dar
  • 16 July, Sun – 4.00 PM – Mammo
  • 21 July – Fri – 7.00 PM – Dharavi
  • 22 July – Sat – 12.00 PM – Salaam Bombay
  • 22 July – Sat – 4.00 PM – Gaman
  • 22 July – Sat – 7.30 PM – Mirch Masala
  • 23 July – Sun – 4.00 PM – Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron
  • 30 July – Sun – 12.00 PM – Raghu Romeo

Venue – G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture

  • 29 July – 4.00 PM – 

Inauguration of the Saeed Akhtar Mirza Retrospective And screening of the Opening Film (TBD)

  • ​30 July – 12.00 PM – Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb dastaan
  • 30 July – 4.00 PM – Naseem
  • 30 July – 6.00 PM – Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro

Care has been taken to choose exhibition partners – very consciously these are alternate exhibition spaces – not the traditional theatres with the hugely expensive box office. For its important that the Indie find alternate screening spaces to ensure maximum accessibility and connect with the viewers its seeks.

Harkat Studios is a boutique arts studio and a co-working space in the bustling area of Aram Nagar, Andheri West. Harkat has collaborated with numerous brands including Unilever, Walt Disney, UTV, Fox Star Studio (to name a few) to create innovative video content. The studio also hosts live performances, screenings, workshops etc. and has been a popular center for arts and artists coming from the indie space.

G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture is a not-for profit organization which houses a Blackbox and hosts a range of events and programmes including but not limited to Screenings, Theatre performances, exhibitions and Launch Events. G5A has endeavored to and has slowly emerged as important alternate venue in the Town area of Mumbai as a community space for artists and professionals to work around. G5A. has come aboard as the online booking partner for the event. The idea for the portal evolved from the phenomenon of ‘Four-eyed Monsters’, a 2005 US film which became a financial success and a cult-classic by its innovative distribution strategy of an audience demanding a screening. A film gets screened at a certain city if enough audience pledge viewership for the film.

Keeping with the concept of community-based screenings and keeping with the times technologically, is an online ticket booking portal which enables users to create and schedule screenings of films of their choice from the site’s extensive catalogue of films and make available to other like-minded audience to attend.

Once the screenings secure a given audience capacity, 1018mb facilitates the screening – thus giving audiences an opportunity to treat themselves to a theatrical experience of classics outside of the festival space. In the case of NFDC, this has led to almost a revival of sorts for classics like Mirch Masala, Om Dar-B-Dar and particularly JaaneBhi Do Yaaron which has screened at multiple venues across the country in the past six months – all based on audience demand

I wish the organizers a great success in their endeavor.

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