Banaras, A Mystic Love Story

Banaras is not a destination its a journey of our lives. If you go to watch this movie for a ready-made solution or only to "kill" two hours, you may get disappointed. Banaras is aimed to create a thirst for something one is generally uncomfortable to explore.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Banaras screened at 37th IFFI Goa

Banaras Screened at Kala Academy, 37th IFFI GOA
1600 strong audience enthralled,

29th November, Goa

Long before the show was scheduled a long queue formed at the entrance of the venue. Pankuj and I were invited on the stage before the show for a short address.

And as the titles began, there grew an absolute silence.

More than 60 to 70 members of the security and other administrative staff of the Kala Academy could not be kept away from the magic of Banaras as they chose to stand at the back of the auditorium.

Big no of people met us after the show and thanked us for making such a meaningful cinema.

Festival pictures would be posted in a while.

Monday, November 20, 2006

IFFI from November 23 Goa:

IFFI from November 23 Goa:

The ten-day event will screen a total of 40 Indian films, 20 features and 20 non-features.

The Tamil film Srigaram by Sharada Ramanathan, Sonam by upcoming filmmaker Ahsan Muzid and Monpa will represent India in the Asian, African and Latin-American competition.

Mridul Toolsidas’ and Vinay Subramaniam’s Missed Call will open the Panorama section which has five Malayalam films that include Jessi’s Thanmatra, Eakantham by Madhu Kaithapuram, Biju’s Saira, Nottam by Sashi Paravoor and Drishtantham by MP Sukumaran Nair.

There are three Tamil entries—Sringaram, Aadumkoothu and Dhavamai Dhavamirunthu. K Sathyanarayan’s Hope is the only Telugu entry and Girish Kasaravalli’s Nayi Neralu the lone representative of Kannada cinema.

Also on show will be Assamese director Manju Borah’s historical film Joymoti and three Marathi films—Bayo by Gajendra Ahire, Chitra Palekar’s Maati Maay and Sumitra Bhave’s and Sunil Sukthankar’s Badha.

The Hindi films to be screened are Pankuj Parashar’s Banaras: A Mystic Love Story, Corporate by Madhur Bhandarkar and Rituparno Ghosh’s Hindi-Bengali bi-lingual Dosar.

Chairperson of the jury for the feature film section, Saeed Akhtar Mirza announced selection of just 20 films from the 102 seen. Other members of the jury are Aditi Deshpande, Pulak Gogoi, George Mathew, Vasanth SM and U Radhakrisnan.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Success,... where art thou?

When I was giving the talk at the Colchester, someone asked me a question:

“LC, you seem to have achieved so much success and yet it looks as if you are seeking something. Can you explain?”

A similar question has been asked me by a no. of media persons during the last one year.


I don’t believe I am successful because I am still chasing it. To me success is not fame, money or power. I founded Nihilent not because I was not “successful” in my earlier jobs, but because I dream of creating a company where people are not treated like robots, where people are not treated like slaves, where life is balanced with work, where customers are an extension of the company, where fraternity rules, where associates love to be there and where learning, innovation and excellence is a part of the DNA.

I don't believe I am successful just because I could make a film on Banaras. The mission yet remains. Though, I feel happy and enthused when I learn that “Banaras” made some difference to some few people’s lives, I yet seek to spread the message of compassion to many more… all of humanity.

There are so many things I yet, want to do.

I want to master making music. I want to write songs. I want to learn photography. I want to learn painting. I want to establish children’s school where the right values are taught to them right from the beginning, where love and not hatred is learnt. I want so many more things………

Success still evades me and that’s why I live..... and with so many passions. When I become successful my reason to live would be gone…. I would be enlightened. There would be no more deaths, no more births and no more life.

Until that success, to keep trying is my destiny.

And that is the truth.... Simple.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Making of Banaras, at the Colchester College

My talk at the Colchester College, UK on the 6th Nov 'o6

It was a cold and foggy but dry evening that we traveled to the oldest city of UK. Colchester has a population of 150,000 and at one time used to be the capital of Romans.

The event was organized by the Chartered Management Institute, a professional body of distinguished professional managers and was hosted by Colchester College.

The evening program was around my talk on the “Making of Banaras”.

I talked about the genesis of the movie, my connections with Banaras and shared with the audience the intricacies of film making including the contributions of various departments. I went to great lengths to explain the contributions of lighting and cameraman, art director, costume designer, sound recording, background music and the actors.

They all wanted to know about my experience of dealing with the big actors which went in great details. I had no idea that so many foreigners were interested so much in film making.

Jay Pandya, who had just seen the movie along with his full family shared with the audience as to how his grand mother, generally an ardent critic of bollywood masala films loved every moment of Banaras and the whole family was in tears in the end. One could easily see the impact of Banaras on his face.

A section of the audience

In the end, as the president would share with me later, the audience gave its longest ovation, ever given to any such event in their history.

I am extremely grateful to Anton, the president of Chartered Management Institute for the opportunity to share my experience of making Banaras.

During the trip a copy of the movie was presented to the earl of Edinburgh in person.

The movie has also been officially invited to be exhibited during the Wichwick music festival in Cheltanam during ’07.