- This event is over. However, time travel possible through our Audio & Video!
Film screenings followed by a conversation with the filmmaker Rafeeq Ellias and Anuja Ghosalkar.
English | 45 mins
Rashid Irani once owned a traditional Irani restaurant, the kind that were invariably at the city’s busiest crossroads and are now fast disappearing. But over the decades, Rashid’s heart beat firmly at twenty four frames per second as he traversed many worlds, re-living Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Werner Herzog, Abbas Kiarostami and more; along with books on cinema and poetry.
This is a film about him, his cafe, his neighbourhood and a world of erasure, accelerating in the time of covid. A dedicated bachelor who ‘lived life vicariously through movies’, RIP, Rashid Irani.
Legend of Fat Mama
English | 23 mins
The sad-happy story of the Chinese community in Calcutta, a nostalgic journey in search of a woman who once made the most delicious noodles in the city’s Chinatown.
Many stories intersect in the film: thriving street food, disappearing family-run eateries, mahjong clubs, a Chinese printing press that has closed down, another that ‘hand writes’ the newspapers every morning, and the first all-woman dragon dance group preparing for the Chinese New Year.
There is pain and hurt too, at the treatment the Chinese received in the aftermath of the Indo-China war, causing many of them to migrate to Canada and elsewhere.
But there is generosity and hope, in the spirit of the New Year; besides the ever-binding ties of tandoori chicken and Hindi cinema!
What Man, Joe!
English | 36 mins
It’s the story of an East Indian Christian musician, Joe Vessoaker, and the musically rich neighborhood of Bandra in Mumbai.
The Vessoakers have traditionally been fishermen and musicians at funerals over generations; Joe is perhaps the last among them.
But Joe also plays at every other occasion possible. At church at mass (several in a day); teaching at school and home, playing in the tiny by lanes of Bandra in Mumbai, India; at birthdays, weddings and pre-nuptials.
A deeply religious man, childlike in his simplicity, Joe lives and breathes his trumpet every waking minute of the day, which invariably begins at 5 am and lasts well into the night.
An insightful film about a musician, his neighborhood and his faith.
In collaboration with:
Rafeeq Ellias is a photographer and filmmaker who has lived and worked in Japan for several years. With over 40 awards to his credit, including an Emmy Award for a series of UNICEF TV commercials as well as two National Awards and an Asian Broadcast Award for his BBC-documentary, The Legend of Fat Mama.
As a cinematographer and director, he has made several documentaries; two of which focus on the Chinese-Indian community and draw attention to the aftermath of the 1962 India-China war. His other films include one on the Kumbh Mela for Britain’s Channel Four; a film for PSBT on Mumbai as a film city; two films for Microsoft on India’s unique ability to create software engineers; What Man, Joe, a warm, human portrait of a funeral musician and a tribute to a musically-talented community, which won a best film award in Kerala. His most recent film If Memory Serves Me Right has been screened in nine festivals around the world and won “Best Cinematography Award” at MIFF 2022 and the “Satyajit Ray Gold Award” at SASFF 2022 in Kolkata.
Anuja Ghosalkar is the founder of Drama Queen a documentary theatre company, evolving a unique form of performance in India since 2015. Her multi-disciplinary practice focuses on little histories, archival lapses and blurring the hierarchies between audience and performer—to extend the idea of theatre to create audacious work. Iterations around form and process, modes of media, technologies, Virtual Reality, sites, reclaiming narratives on gender and intimacy are critical to her performance making and pedagogy.
Her performances and workshops have been programmed by metaLab at Harvard, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, HAU Berlin, Hong Kong University, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Sophiensale, Serendipity Arts Festival, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Museum of Art and Photography, CSMVS, Forum Transregionale –ZMO. She has performed with Gob Squad Collective, Grass Stage. In her past avatar she was a cinema lecturer for the graduate program in Mass Communications for a decade in multiple Bombay colleges. She has been a film researcher, curator and programmer for film festivals like Made By Women, Experimenta and the Tri-Continental Human Rights festival. As guest faculty across art institutes, she leads practice-based pedagogy and has written on film and performance for publications like Outlook India, Forum Modernes Theater, Routledge, Nang Magazine, Hakara, Arthart, Sage’s Bioscope South Asia.