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Posts Tagged ‘harishchandrachi factory

December 29, 2009 12:38:18 PM IST

Bollywood Trade News Network

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Backed by the success of 3 of the genre defining blockbusters of 2009 – KAMINEY, WAKE UP SID and DEV.D, UTV Motion Pictures announced an aggressive line up of 4 films for the period of January – March 2010.

The slate for 2010 kicks off with CHANCE PE DANCE, which has been directed by Ken Ghosh and stars Shahid Kapoor, as the talented and passionate Sameer with a never-say-die attitude and Genelia, as a beautiful and spirited choreographer, Tina. The film will have a worldwide release on 15th January.

HARISHCHANDRACHI FACTORY, India’s official entry to the Oscars this year, will hit the screens on 22nd January. This acclaimed Marathi film directed by Paresh Mokashi is a UTV production, co-produced with Paprika Media and Mayasabha. The film has also been screened for the BAFTA and Golden Globe juries, apart from various other film festivals.

PETER GAYA KAAM SE, a fast-paced action adventure movie with a romantic twist, is directed by John Owen. Starring Rajeev Khandelwal and Lekha Washington, this film is about Peter, a football crazy motorcycle taxi rider, who decides to turn his back on Goa and quit his job – until his sleazy loan shark boss Bosco persuades him to do one last job – the job that will change his life forever. The film is scheduled for a March 2010 release.

PAAN SINGH TOMAR, the true epic journey of a talented runner who turned into a rebel, has been directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia. It stars Irrfan Khan and Mahie Gill, and will be released in March 2010.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO, UTV Motion Pictures said, “While 2009 has been a low year for the film industry in general, we released some interesting films which etched themselves in the minds of the audience. DEV.D, KAMINEY and WAKE UP SID created new benchmarks for what can now be perceived as commercial cinema. Our slate for 2010 promises to be a very entertaining mix and we are very excited to be bringing audiences such a wide array of interesting cinema.”

The much-anticipated releases by UTV in 2010 include Prakash Jha’s RAAJNEETI, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s GUZAARISH, Anees Bazmee’s THANK YOU, Rajkumar Gupta’s NO ONE KILLED JESSICA, Vishal Bhardwaj’s EK BATAA SAAT, Aamir Khan Productions’ DELHI BELLY and PEEPLI LIVE.


Posted on: December 18, 2009

Paresh Mokashi screened Harishchandrachi Factory at various American universities when he visited the country recently

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 18, 2009)

Last month, while Paresh Mokashi was in the US to check his film Harishchandrachi Factory’s prospects at the Oscars, he got a chance to screen the biopic on the father of Indian cinema, Dadasaheb Phalke, at the Smithsonian University in Washington, followed by another screening at the University Of Southern California.

“These two major screenings were followed by other smaller screenings in schools and universities. I was completely floored by the American curiosity about Dadasaheb Phalke,” says Mokashi.

Paresh Mokashi

Mokashi, who is happy with the response he is getting to his film, says, “The Americans had vaguely heard of the father of Indian cinema. But not many of them were familiar with our films. To my surprise, they responded to my Marathi film on Phalke without language barriers. They laughed at the right places, cried at the right places and held their peace when needed.”

But for the India release of Harishchandrachi Factory on January 22, Mokashi is gearing up for a dubbed Hindi version. He reveals, “I know the flavour of the dialogue will be lost in translation. But the important thing is to take the film to a wider audience. I’d rather have Phalke speak in Hindi than restrict his views to a Marathi-speaking audience.”

Mokashi refuses to see the Oscars as a reason to lobby. He denies having any interaction with the judges and says, “The process of selection for the nomination is done in utmost secrecy. I wasn’t supposed to meet any member of the Oscar committee or jury. I just submitted the film for their viewing and left.”

On the way back from Los Angeles, he stopped in London to submit Harishchandrachi Factory for the BAFTA (the British Academy Of Film & Television Arts) too. “Now I’ll go back only if I’m nominated for the Oscars or the BAFTA,” promises Mokashi.

Harishchandrachi Factory
Media screening of Marathi film Harishchandrachi Factory goes haywire at the NCPA yesterday evening

By Abhijit Sathe (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 17, 2009)


Harishchandrachi Factory



Vijaya Mehta

The screening of the much-talked about Oscar-nominated Harishchandrachi Factory at the Marathi Film Festival went for a toss at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) yesterday evening.

A huge crowd had gathered outside NCPA as a media interaction was scheduled for 6pm, followed by the screening of the film at 6.30pm. But the event did not happen as scheduled. There was a lot of unexplained chaos and confusion about the event. Finally, when the film started at 7pm, half the people from the media were not allowed inside the auditorium to watch the film.

Although it was noticed that at least two rows were empty and reserved, no one was seated there. When the media persons asked about why the seats were empty, filmmaker and director, NCPA, Vijaya Mehta had no answer.

Finally, they had to arrange for another screening to accommodate the crowd waiting outside NCPA. However, the second screening took two hours to begin and by then the chaos and confusion had already dimmed their spirits.

By Minty Tejpal (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 24, 2009)

Harishchandrachi Factory, the Marathi feature film that is India’s nomination for the next Oscar awards, is a delightful little gem of a movie, which seems to have emerged against all odds. The period film is directed by a new writer-director, it has no stars, an obviously tight budget with zero frills, but it does have a powerful story told with a spirit, exuberant enough to make it a winner, regardless of whether the foreign experts judge it so or not. The only bad news, if that is, the film is only going to release in India next year, so that’s a pity. However, as my mummy said, good things in life are worth waiting for.

As you may be aware, Harishchandrachi Factory is the inspired story of the pioneering Dadasaheb Phalke, who made India’s first ever motion picture, and is thus considered the father of Indian cinema- Bollywood ka baap. The story starts in the year 1911, a distant time when another Raj was still ruling India, and Mumbai was yet called Bombay, whether the new Raj likes it or not. We meet the quirky Dundiraj Govind Phalke, a middle aged father of two boys, who is jobless after abruptly stopping his printing press business following a quarrel with his partner. He has since dabbled in various failed jobs, and right now he is playing a corny magician to a bunch of school kids, using his elder son as part of the act. A magician with a stage name of Kelpha, the reverse of Phalke! Absolutely delightful.

One day, Phalke stumbles onto a roadside tent displaying a new attraction. Curious, he goes inside to check – and ends up seeing a moving picture being transmitted on a white curtain. Like the rest of the small audience, he is absolutely transfixed by the seeming magic. Remember, it’s an era when cinema was yet unheard of, while common people were scared to even pose for a still photograph, since a camera was rumored to steal one’s very soul. Undeterred, Phalke decides to make his very own movie. Doubted by his friends and brother, but ably supported by his strong wife, Phalke proceeds on his quixotic journey to make India’s first motion picture. In the bargain he sells his belongings, recruits his friends and family as cast and crew, even travels to London to learn the craft and finally returns to direct his movie titled, Harishchandra.

The film is full of unique special moments and each of the ensemble cast, specially the wife (Vibhavari) and two kids do an absolutely stellar job. Paresh Mokashi follows the Bicycle Thief style of minimal storytelling and uses simple elements to create a period feel. This is no lavish costume period drama, but instead a story smartly told with minimal props, like a tramcar, horse buggy along with superb music (Anand Modak) which really sets the early 1900s mood. Harishchandrachi Factory also has a very strong touch of Chaplinesque humor, specially the dialogueless montage sequences. But where the director triumphs, is in keeping the tone of the film light and breezy, from dialogue to performances. There is no moralising or great vision to be seen, and instead the film is treated like a mad journey.

The very character of Phalke, superbly played by actor Nandu Madhav, has a charming, child like curiosity, and doesn’t even seem to take himself seriously. Purists may disagree with this oddball depiction of Phalke, but it sure makes for great cinema. After a few years of controversial Oscar nominations from India, finally, here is a film that no one should argue with. Hopefully.

A WINNER ALREADY: A still from the film
… and this time, it’s a Marathi film that’s taking India global


Marathi writer-director Paresh Mokashi, is one happy man. And why not, his debut film, Harishchandrachi Factory
is India’s official selection for the 82nd Academy Awards. It’s an honour of course, for which Paresh has UTV, Paprika Media and Mayasabha Productions to thank for. UTV whose Rang De Basanti got nominated for the BAFTAs and Taare Zameen Par for the Oscars, will see that this film too, gains global recognition. They have kicked off an aggressive campaign, will target the international media and have extensive screenings in Los Angeles in October and November.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO of UTV Motion Pictures, said, “The Academy recognises films with unusual themes. A little over 90 minutes, HCF has the ability to reach out to international audiences in a grammar of film-making they are conversant with.”

His thoughts are echoed by Vikas Bahl, Chief Creative Officer, UTV Motion Pictures. “We are proud to be bringing worldwide audience a film that tells the story of the birth of film-making in India — the world’s most prolific film producing nation,” he said.

Paresh, who through HCF presented the incredible journey of Dadasaheb Phalke to make India’s very first motion picture,

Raja Harishchandra, said, “What better than to have
one’s debut film about the making of India’s debut film! My search for the subject of my film was over when I first read the adventures of Dadasaheb Phalke. Selection to the Oscars is a very sweet surprise and now I’m hoping for the best.”

According to Smiti Kanodia, Founder & Chairperson of Paprika Media Pvt. Ltd., they were gung-ho about co-producing the film after hearing Paresh’s narration. “It captures the essence of Dadasaheb’s character and showcases fine performances by the actors, music composer and those behind the camera.”

No one in recent years has won more awards than UTV — from Rang De Basanti to Jodhaa Akbar, from Fashion
to Life in a Metro, from Khosla ka Ghosla to A Wednesday, from Mumbai Meri Jaan to Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and from Welcome to Sajjanpur to Dev. D. And now, they have yet another winner on their hands.



September-end period is crucial as it’s the time when the film to be sent to the Oscars is announced. 2 years back, a controversy had erupted when Eklavya was sent to the Oscars. Last year’s choice was unanimous-Taare Zameen Par. However, this year, it was difficult to predict which film will ultimately be selected as none of the flicks (at least the Hindi ones) were ‘typical Oscar material’. But The Film Federation of India nominated an unknown upcoming Marathi flick, Harishchandrachi Factory (Harishchandra’s Factory) as India’s official entry to the Oscars.

Although none of the mediapersons and audience has seen Harishchandrachi Factory (HF), the decision has impressed almost everyone. It is a period flick which throws light on Dadasaheb Phalke’s experience while making the first feature film of India, Raja Harishchandra, in 1913! With such an excellent plot, there are high chances that the film will indeed impress everyone when it releases in theatres.

The director of the film, Paresh Mokashi, is obviously happy to see that his genuine efforts have bore fruit. He had wrote the script of the film way back in 2005 but failed to find a financer till 2008. Then, he sold his flat so as to raise money for the film. Kudos to such passionate people who are willing to go to any lengths to fulfill their dream!

HF even managed to beat Bollywood biggies like New York, Kaminey, Dev D, Delhi-6, ‘What’s Your Raashee?’ and the Marathi biggie Mi Shivaji Raje Bhosale Boltoy to become India’s Oscar entry. Anyways, some of these Bollywood films were well made but didn’t deserved to be in Oscars. Even if any of these films was nominated, it would have failed to reach the final 5. Let’s hope HF succeeds at the Oscars!

P.S.: UTV is in talks for acquiring the rights of the film.

(Info derived from articles of Times of India and Mumbai Mirror)


There has been considerable hype surrounding the 3rd biggie of the season, ‘What’s Your Raashee?’ (WYR). Directed by Jodhaa Akbar and Lagaan director Ashutosh Gowariker and starring Priyanka Chopra and Harman Baweja, WYR is based on the novel Kimball Ravenswood by Shri Madhu Rye (why hasn’t anyone reviewed the book on MS?). The novelty of the film is Priyanka essaying 12 different characters. Although the film can and should take a good opening, what can go against it is its length. The film’s duration is around 3hrs 30mins which is too long for a romantic comedy. Also, single screens are going to exhibit only 3 shows in a day which may take a toll in its BO collections. Let’s hope the film succeeds in engrossing the audiences completely in its entire 200+ mins duration!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/bafipomro/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk67

He sold his house to fund his dream project, now he is in talks with UTV to sell its rights…Theatre artiste Paresh Mokashi, director of India’s Oscar entry Harishchandrachi Factory, on turning passion into action
By Vishwas Kulkarni (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 22, 2009)

Mokashi standing in the centre with his team; (below) a still from the film

For 40-year-old Paresh Mokashi, it has been a long journey to acclaim and a filmic vehicle finding a shelter — currently it is the modest office of Indian Magic Eye Pvt. Ltd at Matunga that is managing Harishchandrachi Factory. Yet, in 2005, when he first discovered the enigma of Dadasaheb Phalke, India’s first filmmaker who produced Raja Harishchandra in 1913, little did he know that it would take him through a rollercoaster ride of despair and unending hope and eventual acclaim. The film has beaten some Bollywood biggies to become India’s official entry to the Oscars.

“I had not worked as an assistant director with some hot shot Bollywood film director, as is the norm to climb the ladder in tinsel town. I was an autodidact who had imbibed whatever I could from World Cinema DVDs. And then there was the fascinating story of the legend himself. The more I read up on him, the more charged up I got.”

So fired up was Mokashi with the man that he wrote his screenplay in 15 days. Then came the tough part: getting the cash to produce this. “I was done with my screenplay in early 2005. By the end of 2008, I was hadn’t found a financier. Soon we began to hear of people doing projects with Dadasaheb Phalke as the subject. I felt a compulsive sense of entitlement given that I had been so impassioned by the man. So I decided to take my fate in my own hands.”

Mokashi sold his flat to finance the film, but he is quick to dismiss this as a cliché that has been plaguing him.

“Please let’s not talk about this; it’s become the only factor that the Press goes on about, and a lot of salient features about this amazing product are lost in the haze of this gamble. More importantly, it was a friendly deal with a colleague of mine,” he says.

The production did indeed begin after finances had been secured and the film officially began. “I think to follow your dreams you have to take that plunge. Or it never happens. My cast and crew followed me blindly. It was so wonderful to see that level of trust. At 3.5 crores, it’s the most expensive Marathi film ever made. That we haven’t cut corners comes across. For instance, we had a five-day schedule in London, where Phalke went to buy a Williamson camera. The historical dockyard of Chatham was opened for the first time for a film shoot for our film!” says Mokashi.

Thus over an eight-month schedule the film was produced, and its makers are presently in talks with UTV over a possible acquisition deal.

For actor Nandu Madhav, conjuring an idea of playing the filmic pioneer turned out to be quite a blast. “I needed references to the body language of the times, of the man himself. When Dadasaheb Phalke first started to test his camera, he got his wife to shoot him. So I had these experimental film clippings where Dadasaheb Phalke was posing and pretending to act! It was fantastic reference material. Then there was the question of language itself, which at the turn of the century is somewhat different from the Marathi we speak today. There were terms, for instance, such as ‘Eh heh ray!’ that are not in use anymore.”

For lead actress Vibhawari Deshpande, who essayed the role of Saraswatibai Phalke, it proved to be a postmodern exercise in feminism itself. “The character I was playing was extremely simple, extremely real. But she was a pioneering prototype of modernity, well before the idea of a ‘modern’ Indian woman had emerged. The experience was nothing short of electric. Here was a woman taking up the camera in 1912. Coming from theatre, with over 15 years of stage expertise and three Marathi films behind her, did help.

But what helped most was Paresh Mokashi’s passion. We’ve all known each other’s struggles for over a decade. So this film was not a regular film; there was a lot at stake for all of us. It was a collective enterprise that had a rare camaraderie and a cosmic magic attached to it from the word go. I had to give it my all.” Did she shoot in London? “I missed that foreign outdoors number. But you see, when Dadasaheb Phalke went to England to acquire that camera, Saraswatibai was nine months pregnant. It would have been shamelessly inauthentic for me to pull that off!”

Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; September 22, 2009)

Once again a Marathi film has made it as India’s entry to the Oscar this year. Paresh Mokashi’s Harishchandrachi Factory, a biopic on Dadasaheb Phalke, was unanimously chosen by the Film Federation of India’s jury on Sunday.

Jury chairperson Asha Parekh said, “Twelve films were nominated, but the jury unanimously voted for this film, which is about the making of the country’s first motion picture.’’ Mokashi added, “ It is on the making of Phalke’s film and goes up to his third one. It does not cover his entire life.’’

Executive producer Shrirang Godbole said, “ We will meet the FFI and decide the strategy for the film’s publicity. It is scheduled to released by the year-end. Sandeep Sawant’s Shwaas (2004) was the last Marathi film to be chosen as India’s Oscar entry. It’s producers raised funds to promote the film, but it failed to clear the first round of nominations in the Foreign Language category.

Other films in the running included Dev D, Dilli 6, Fashion, New York, Mee Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy, Kaminey and the unreleased What’s Your Raashee?. The only offering from the south was T Hariharan’s Malayalam film Pazhassi Raja starring Mamoothy.

Kabir Khan, director of New York said, “I am glad a regional film has been selected. It will be really interesting to see the making of the first motion picture of India.”

Paresh Mokashi’s Marathi film Harishchandrachi Factory makes it to the Oscars
By PTI (September 21, 2009)

Harishchandrachi Factory

Writer and Director Paresh Mokashi’s Marathi film Harishchandrachi Factory has been selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars in the Foreign Film Category. The nomination was announced by The Film Federation of India which was headed by Asha Parekh. The film’s prints for the Oscars will have to be submitted before October 1.

Harishchandrachi Factory has won several international awards and honours. It was selected from 15 other films which included Bollywood films New York and Delhi 6. The two-hour-long film is based on Dadasaheb Phalke’s experience while making Raja Harishchandra in 1913. It was the first Indian feature film.

The film starring eminent Marathi theatre artistes was completed in December last year. It will be released in India shortly.