Imtiaz, Zoya and more – T2B, Day 1

So, Day 1 of Ticket 2 Bollywood now over.  Madhur Bhandarkar was unable to be there, but sent a video apology.

Some 100 or so people – actors, writers, and those hoping to be – turned out for the event at the Chatwal family’s Dream Downtown hotel.

Anuraadha%20sm Imtiaz, Zoya and more   T2B, Day 1

Screenwriter Anuraadha Tewari (Fashion, Heroine) gave an overview of the history of film in India, likening the cinema hall’s place in Indian lives to what the tribal fire once was.  She mentioned during this session that Dadasaheb Phalke was credited with introducing the idea of time-lapse photography (news to me!).

Nandana Sen participated in an afternoon session, entering hurriedly after commuting down from a writing course up at Columbia University.

Nandana%20sm Imtiaz, Zoya and more   T2B, Day 1

In Imtiaz Ali’s morning session, about getting into Hindi cinema even though he had no godfathers in the industry and came from Jamshedpur (which he referred to as a small town), I was struck by how so much of his early struggle seemed to tie in with an obsession to get married, something which always surprises me in India, as most menfolk over on my side of the globe can only be induced into it (marriage, not the Hindi film biz), when prompted with the pointy end of a pitchfork.  But he was very jocular and self-effacing, bringing to mind a younger and hipper Columbo.

Imtiaz%20sm Imtiaz, Zoya and more   T2B, Day 1

And in the afternoon, Zoya Akhtar talked about being in the Hindi film industry, as someone who’s grown up in that milieu, thanks to her famous parents and brother.  She enthused about working with ensemble casts (“They’re delish!”) and her collaborative process writing with Reema Kagti (“We talk for weeks about the film and the characters then start putting it down.”)

More tomorrow after Day 2…


Ticket 2 Bollywood

T2B Postcard%20500 Ticket 2 Bollywood

When I first heard about Ticket 2 Bollywood: Beyond the Song and Dance, a weekend conference taking place in NYC next month (at $300 per person), and which is advertised as including the participation of Zoya Akhtar, Imtiaz Ali and Madhur Bhandarkar in a series of panels and classes about the “new” Hindi film biz over the course of two days, my first thought was “Ya, sure.”

I pictured past advents I’d been to that had touted the participation of X or Y actor, and after hoards of fans were assembled, said celeb was wafted by the squealing crowds the way a saint’s relic gets zipped past the faithful before any of the unwashed can put a hand on it, and then it’s gone.

But no, upon further inquiry, I was assured that this will indeed be a serious endeavor, and yes, all three of the big-name directors and screenplay writer Anuraadha Tewari will hunker down for the duration and actively participate in the full programme of panels and individual sessions.  Knowing that, my interest is certainly piqued, especially to hear what Zoya Akhtar has to say.

So, here are the details:

Dates:  October 6 & 7 2012

Location:   Dream Downtown hotel on West 16th Street

Main participants:

Madhur Bhandarkar: National Award-winner for Best Director for Traffic Signal and director of National Award-winning movies Chandni Bar, Page 3, and Fashion. At the end of September, Bhandarkar is releasing the much-discussed movie, Heroine.

Imtiaz Ali: Nominated for Best Director for recent super hit Rockstar and 2007’s Jab We Met. Ali also directed Love Aaj Kal and Socha Na Tha. Most recently, Ali wrote the script for Cocktail.

Zoya Akhtar: FilmFare Award for Best Director for Zindagi Na Milege Dobara. Also directed Luck by Chance and writer of soon-to-be-released Taalash.

Anuraadha Tewari: script writer of Fashion, Jail, and soon-to-be-released Heroine.

To register, go here.