Posts tagged ‘Ingili’

AND THE WINNER IS…

I have no explanation for my absence except that I have been away from publishing any posts here for one year, two months, three weeks and four days. That’s four hundred and forty nine days.

The night of April 29th, 2014, ILSHA MALDIVES FILM AWARDS 2014 was held at revamped Olympus Cinema. The little film called INGILI (Finger) which Ravee Farooq, Hussain Munavvaru and I produced and released on May 16th, 2013 was nominated in 14 categories. It was behind DHILAKANI (Fire Sparks) written by me, leading the awards with 16 nominations.

INGILI which barely managed to break even its budget commercially ran away with most of the awards including BEST PICTURE. Here’s the list of awards that INGILI bagged that night.

BEST PICTURE

BEST DIRECTOR

BEST ACTOR

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

BEST SCREENPLAY

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

BEST MUSIC

BEST SOUND EDITING

BEST SOUND MIXING

BEST ART DIRECTION

BEST NEWCOMER ACTOR (MALE)

DHILAKANI took BEST ACTRESS and BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS awards. It was an added joy for me since DHILAKANI which was thrashed critically, most of the heavy criticism targeted at the role of the leading actress. Most felt she was portrayed like a loose canon. But for me I saw a terrific character arc in the role delivered with composure by none other than superstar, Niuma Mohamed. It was her third consecutive best actress award. Awesome!

Sadly, I watched the whole show from Colombo.

Cheers!

INGILI TRAILER AND THE FINAL TEST SCREENING

Last night we concluded the test screening of INGILI (Finger). Our selected guests were veteran filmmaker Mohamed Hilmy from whom I have learnt a lot on making films, Mohamed Munthasir aka Munco who is a renowned theatre actor/writer/director/producer and finally Ahmed Shakeeb who is a film producer and owner of film studio, Movie Maldives.

After the show, Munco tweeted, ‘Attended a preview night of INGILI tonight, I enjoyed it and the effort was good. Like the flow and feel. Hope to watch it in theatres soon. Thanx for the invitation guys.’

Later Hilmy on his facebook status updated, ‘Last night I attended the preview of short film INGILI (finger) I would say it is a good gamble which will give confidence to new thinking & experimental films. I congratulate Ravi & Mahdi. Keep going, my best wishers are with you.’

On behalf of INGILI production team, our sincere gratitude goes to Hilmy, Munco and Shakeeb.

Based on the constructive feedback of last night, Ravee did few trimmings here and there this evening. The film looks better now, much better!

The shooting of Traphic Jam music video is getting a bit delayed due to their busy schedule. And if we can’t shoot it before 23rd of this month, then we have to wrap it up during the first week of March. The official premier of the film is scheduled for 9th March.

As promised, below is a link to the new trailer of INGILI aired on Filmy Udhares of TVM on 8th February 2013. Your comments are most welcomed.

http://youtu.be/VNDSwpaNilE

Cheers!

A WORKING TITLE AND A NEW TRAILER

A brand new trailer of INGILI (Finger) is all set to be released on February 8th 2013 on TVM’s Filmee Udhares. This trailer will feature the promotional song, Ingili performed by Traphic Jam especially for the film. This song marks the band’s first song for any Dhivehi film. As for the new trailer, it looks terrific and is aimed at youth. I sincerely hope that this trailer will restore their faith in Dhivehi cinema. Fingers crossed.

In other news, the opening title sequence of INGILI was completed last night. CGI maestro, Ahmed Shinan was commissioned to do the task which director Ravee has already seen and concluded as simply awesome. I will get to see the sequence on Saturday.

Also staying with INGILI, producer Munavvaru and I will be having a meeting on Saturday with an important person who helped the production greatly to discuss the preparation of premiering INGILI. Most of the details are still under wraps so I won’t be talking much on this topic. But one thing I can reveal is this. A date has been set for the premiere. I will go more into the details once the date is made official with the release of the new trailer. What’s the point in talking about it afterwards, I guess.

I mentioned in my recent post, PILLOW TALK about my newest writing gig that was re-outlined with my wife, well, guess what? I have given it a working title as LOABEEGE AGU (Price of Love). Two days ago I have started rewriting it. I’ve already completed 18 scenes and the rewritten part looks rock solid than the draft.

Meanwhile the draft was based on a real incident which was witnessed by the producer who commissioned me to write it, the re-write has a similar plot but is based on an incident happened to a cousin of my wife. So the re-write is going to be very different. And oh that reminds me, I have a major scene to write. Please excuse me from this post, for now.

Cheers!

CALCULATING INGILI (FINGER)

Late yesterday evening, the three producers of INGILI (Finger) met with an entrepreneur at West Park to discuss if he was interested in the theatrical and DVD distribution of the film. Unlike any other meeting we have had so far, this meeting contained numerical figures and calculations, I mean lots of both. I think we must have had spent about 45 or more minutes with the calculators of our smart phones.

To be honest, at first I was lost, thanks to my impressive mathematic skills when I was in school. The teachers ran out of starts and gave me full moons. Anyway, after a lot of explanation, I did start to understand the mathematical work outs. We wrapped up the meeting with this entrepreneur showing strong signs of, well, drumrolls, taking up the distribution. Fingers crossed.

In this meeting we have also agreed to fast track INGILI for a February premiere. Yay! We do have an agreed date but it will be made official somewhere in early February. Finally! But before that, we still have so much work to do. Producer/ director Ravee will be coming up with a schedule to shoot the music video of the song aptly titled ‘INGILI’ performed especially for the film by Traphic Jam, the most popular heavy metal band in Maldives. This music video will be used in the end credits of the film.

A night ago, Ravee invited a popular music couple for a test screening of INGILI. Their feedback has really raised our spirits. They never expected the film to be entertaining. Both of them agreed the film never had a dull moment despite the story taking place in one location with just two actors. The husband who is both a good critique and an ardent Dhivehi film lover said that INGILI is the best Dhivehi film he has seen so far. Whoops! I’m getting lifted from my chair…

Cheers!

PLAY SCHOOL, A PREVIEW AND THIS IS A PROMISE

Yesterday I completed the final episode of the last five episodes I was commissioned to write of VAUDHEKEY MIEE (THIS IS A PROMISE), the thirteen episodes television series that’s being directed by Abdul Fatthaah which was started airing on TVM few weeks back.

I’m collaborating with Fatthaah at writing a serial or anything for that matter after almost five long years since the popular series HINITHUNVELAASHEY KALAA (SMILE, YOU). And it feels good to be writing couple of episodes for him once again. And I’m still aware of his style and craft. The current serial is very much his cup of tea and I have given him enough scenes he can direct even with his eyes closed.

In the last five episodes, I tried as much as I can to tie up the loose ends of the first eight episodes he had written. He wanted the final episode to be a real tearjerker and I have created so many situations where the actors can cry themselves so much that if need be, they can dry up their tear glands by the time the serial ends and long after the end credits roll.

Fatthaah has already read the four episodes and confirmed them good. As long as he’s happy, I’m happy.

Last Friday night, the producers of INGILI, they are in no particular order, Ravee, Munavvaru and myself held a preview of the film for selected guests. After the show was over, we all had a good chat and listened to their feedback. Ravee was busy taking notes. Most of the feedback was positive and they all enjoyed the film which was restricted to a small hut with just two actors for the entire duration of the movie. Everyone praised the lively conversation of the two actors.

The very next day director Ravee made corrections to the final edit based on the very constructive comments given by the selected guests.

The three producers met yesterday to discuss on the final preparation of the movie. The main agenda was negotiating with a high profile studio for theatrical and DVD distribution of the film. The owner of this studio was eager to make a deal and will give us an answer inside this week.

We are hoping to release INGILI on February.

I have left the best for the last. As parents, the most exciting thing that happened to my wife and I were taking our son to school for the first time. The academic year started on January 14th and as the day drew closer, we were dreading the thought of taking him to school. It was an unexplainable fear that was creeping inside both of us ever since we enrolled him. But my son was feeling quite the opposite. He was very eager to start his very first play school.

He was in top form when he got ready. He was dancing and smiling and teasing with his cousin who was a year older and was starting junior nursery at the same school. The story was completely different once he entered his class. He started weeping. Infact all the kids were crying. The play school was more appropriate to be called the crying school. The whole of last week he went to school, well, he cried in the class. But with each day, he’s adjusting himself to his class, his teachers and his classmates. And he cries a lot less now.

So before I start to weep a tear or two, I say Cheers!

SEASON FINALE AND A TEST SCREENING

The finale of season two of television series SPARTACUS ends with a rip-roaring conclusion with promise of more blood and carnage in season three. I mean, would the senate of Rome keep quiet after what Spartacus and his warriors did to Glaber and his legion? Spartacus even killed Varinius, another decorated praetor? Spartacus’ final words of the last episode were, ‘Let Rome sends their legions. We will face them. And see all follow Glaber in death.’

Liam McIntyre shines as Spartacus, the strategic leader who leads his ill-fated warriors to victory when all hope is lost as they find themselves trapped on top of the Vesuvius volcano, to where they fled when they were outnumbered by Glaber and his legion. Spartacus’ final speech to his disheartened warriors was stirring. He delivered it with aplomb, just as a true leader would.

‘The Romans hold numbers far outweighing our own. Yet they have revealed time and again fatal flaw. That they believe the Roman way is the only one. Just as they believe that there is only one way to leave this mountain. We shall teach them that we forge our own paths. And nothing in this world is impossible, when heart and mind are put towards it. Brace rope, let us begin a lesson forever remembered. The sound will mask descent. The gods bless us with good fortune. Free men create their own. We are all gods this night. And the Romans shall feel our wrath.’

Andy Whitfield would be smiling as Liam bravely took over the reins of the series after his untimely death.

Though the season ended on a triumphant note, it was sad to see Mira die as she was one of the bravest female characters I have seen on both TV and screen. If Lieutenant Ellen L. Ripley was for Aliens or Sarah Connors was for Terminator, Mira was for Spartacus. Though not realized by Spartacus, Mira played a huge role in shaping his destiny. I still believe that Mira was the reason Spartacus became a true leader. In the final battle he probably found strength when Mira was killed. He sure is a man who fought for the women in his life.

Mira may have died, but to see Naevia fought so bravely against Ashur was an elation even though the final beheading was a little bit overly graphic. But I was rooting for her. Naevia was another strong female character who would not succumb to the evil that men have done to her or the tragic circumstances that occurred in her life. To see her stand up on her feet even that symbolically in a sword fight with the man who undid her is something to be treasured. With her powerful reply to Ashur when he degrades her infront of Crixus and her fellow warriors, I wanted to finish him off too. I may have liked his evilness but at that point I really cursed him.

‘My death will not heal the scars you bear. Nor erase of my **bleep** inside of her, or all those that followed,’ Ashur attacks Naevia with ill words.

‘No. It will not. But it is a **bleep** start,’ cries Naevia. Rest is Ashur’s history.

The series has left me like someone possessed. I’m a true fan now. The series has toppled FRIENDS from my favorite TV series list after staying on top since 1994. I can’t wait to see the third season of Spartacus which starts next month.

To fill the void left by Spartacus, my wife and I started watching GAME OF THRONES last night. Many of our kin and friends recommended it. My wife did watch the first two episodes of the first season. I don’t really know what happened after couple of minutes into the first episode.

Ravee and I met at L’Aquila this evening. Ravee will be getting the final audio files of INGILI (Finger) from Mohamed Ikram, composer and sound designer of the film tonight. We are planning to have a test screening next week with limited invitees. Ravee has already booked a place. I’m excited to hear the comments on our first experimental movie.

Cheers!

SADNESS

My wife and I are already sad that the second season of television series, Spartacus titled Spartacus Vengeance is drawing to what looks to be an epic conclusion. We’re left with only four more episodes to watch. But we seek consolation from knowing that the third season is just around the corner that kick starts next year around late January, that’s next month. And also next month starts my favourite reality show, American Idol season 12. Amongst the judging panel for the new season has Mariah Carey. I don’t think I can ever stop my eyes from getting glued… on the screen, I mean.

Just as I expected, with each episode of the second season of SPARTACUS, Liam McIntyre who now plays the title character is beginning to sink his teeth into his character as he slices, dices and cuts Romans into bits and pieces as he fights for the freedom of slaves and his vendetta to kill Glaber. And Liam also gets to make out with Mira, every time in slo-mo with warm lighting. In my opinion it’s Mira who is transforming Liam into a man to fill the shoes left by Andy Whitfield as Spartacus.

The fifth episode is an edge-of-your-seat thriller as Spartacus, and his fighters ravage the coliseum to free Crixus, Oenomaus and Rhaskos from execution. We were literally on the edge of our seat. At one point, I had to stop my wife from jumping into the screen to aide Spartacus.

Also, one thing I noticed from season two is that in almost every episode I have seen so far, Spartacus gives a repetitious speech to inspire his few in numbers ill-fated freedom fighters. If only there’s a little build-up to these speeches. But his speeches on slavery and freedom would give The Great Emancipator a smile.

The episodes I have watched so far continues to explore more on other characters and their plight that are becoming more interesting and important. Crixus’ character at times seems to take over the role of the protagonist as his cause to find Naevia moves the narrative forward in every direction and even after reuniting with her confronts unexpected hurdles as he keeps fighting them. Doesn’t that sound more like a protagonist?

And then there’s my Lucretia whose evil planning made the Romans and people of Capua believe that she is divine. Jupiter will be laughing. But to see her and Ashur part ways have made me worrisome. They were such a great evil pairing. But I have a feeling Lucretia will have more surprises for Ashur under her sleeve. Look what she did to Quintus’ father, Titus in the six-part prequel.

Leaving blood and gore aside, the producers of INGILI (Finger) which includes Ravee, Munavvaru and I have set our focus on releasing the film as soon as possible. The completion of colour grading has been fast-tracked. We have even thought of releasing the film in the island of K. Gulhi first. The film was shot entirely in that island. We have also thought of either donating the ticket sales of the shows in K. Gulhi to its people or give them shows for free of charge. But we’re just brooding over these options presently.

I leave for now. I got to support Arsenal as they play this very moment against West Brom. Luckily Arsenal is leading by a goal scored by Arteta from the spot.

Cheers!

OF LILY AND VENGEANCE

Since first of this month, I have been out of town and on vacation with my family, thus my short absence from posting anything at all. It was a well spent three nights at Lily Beach Resort and Spa, thanks to my sister for taking us with her. Her job at the mentioned resort’s main office comes with such rewarding benefits. A career change did cross my mind fleetingly. But I’m sure I’d be fired the very next day for spending too much time away from my job, most probably typing out my next screenplay under the shades of the coconut palms at the fringe of the long stretch of white sandy pristine beach that gets caressed slowly by the soothing waves generated from the crystal clear blue sea, with the help of the wind that is. And then there’s my pina colada by my side, which of course is non-alcoholic. Brownie points I do seek.

During the entire trip when my son was walking on anything but the sand which was like the whole resort had a full infrastructure of sandy roads and beach all around except for the wooden deck of the open air restaurants and the room we stayed in, I was busy shooting with my Nokia N8. And at times I shot while carrying my son who I knew wanted to give me some tips on handling the camera but then decided it was best to do it when he grows up and when I’m too old and unable to refute him. He had that look, you know? Anyway, I will be compiling a music video of this trip just like the one I did when my family including my sister’s took a trip to Island Hideaway in August this year. All in all I always do a music video of all my family trips.

Soon after we returned home on Tuesday, I met with Ravee at L’Aquila that evening. But before we sat down for a coffee, we met actor and editor, Abdulla Muaz and reconfirmed his commitment to do the color grading of INGILI (Finger). He asked us to drop the film’s project at his studio at our earliest.

Mohamed Ikram, music composer and sound designer of INGILI joined us while Ravee and I were having coffee. Ikram didn’t order a coffee though. He went for some kind of newly promoted fruit juice in a can.

Last night, my wife and I started watching the second season of SPARTACUS titled SPARTACUS: VENGEANCE. We didn’t mind filling our eyes with blood, gore and sex straightaway. Without those elements, there’s no SPARTACUS. Speaking of whom, we felt that Liam McIntyre as the replacement of Andy Whitfield looked too young like in the very first episode Mira tries to put some sense into his thick skull by telling him that they needed a leader not some angry boy who can barely piss without splashing everyone. That sums up our new Spartacus. But I have faith in Liam and I’m sure he’d make Andy proud as he will set his feet firmly on the character as the season progresses.

I guess for the very reason, the first two episodes of the second season which I have seen so far were crafted wisely, as the narrative of both episodes delves deeply into other characters especially Glaber and Oenomaus respectively.

And then there’s Lucretia. I almost sprung out of my seat to see her returned and give enough reasons for my wife to frown. Her appearance really was a joyous surprise. She’s like a phoenix to be reborn from the ashes. And to see Ashur reappear as well at the end of the second episode felt that the much needed evil is once again restored. And to realize that he and Lucretia are scheming together mean that everyone around them are in for a real treat. Can’t wait to find out what they are up to.

Cheers!

71 BC

How come I was unaware of SPARTACUS, the boldest TV series I’m watching at present which was aired 2 years ago? It’s shameful not to know anything about it for someone who boasts on having considerable knowledge in films, and more shameful at a time when internet is readily available and for someone who everyday updates himself with Hollywood news instead of having a morning coffee. Twenty something years ago, when internet was inter-what, I kept myself updated by subscribing to US magazine, PREMIERE and Australian magazine, MOVIE. I had a huge stack of both these magazines which kept piling with each month. Many years later I was on crossroads. I was left with no choice but to throw them all when storage space was desperately required for storing, well, more important things. I was in tears that day. And getting over the depression that followed was unbearable.

Okay back to SPARTACUS. To think about it, now I know why I never really heard about it. Firstly, it happened to be a TV series and secondly, like I mentioned in one of my recent post that I’m not much of a TV series fan. All these added up to absence of my knowledge on it. The only two series I completed watching was TWIN PEAKS and FRIENDS. Hopefully soon, SPARTACUS will be listed as the third which is also my best. Sorry FRIENDS.

Umar, a popular local DJ who is also my brother-in-law was repeatedly asking my wife and I to watch SPARTACUS for quite some time. But I never really cared because it so happened to be, yes, a TV series. But he didn’t give up. He kept asking us to watch just one episode and then we can decide on watching the rest of the seasons. I know there was no harm in watching just one episode but I still never cared. When I’m not in the mood to watch anything, usually mood of my wife follows suit. Dozing off is a different matter as long as I’m beside her.

Anyway, a month back, Umar came with his external HDD and saved both seasons and the six-part prequel of SPARTACUS in to my laptop. But I still never gave a thought on watching. Then one night while I was deleting old files to make space for the HDD, I came across the folder that Umar saved the series. I right clicked on the folder and checked how much space it was using. I thought 14.7 GB was just too much for a series I wasn’t going to watch, ever. I deleted it immediately.

Later that night, for no reason I just happened to check SPARTACUS from IMDB. Went through the storyline and some of the reviews and yet remained unconvinced. Then I played the trailer of the second season and my pupils dilated frantically. Then my jaw dropped. By the time the trailer was over, I was about to drool. Suddenly I came to senses. Quickly, I double clicked the recycle bin, right clicked on the folder and restored what was going to entertain my wife and me completely.

We have completed first season of SPARTACUS and last night finished the six-part prequel which was supposedly made to give time for Andy Whitfield who plays the titular character in season one to recover when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. But sadly Andy passed away on September 11, 2011.

Of course, Andy Whitfield will remain the heart and soul of the series. My wife would nod her head countless times though I can do with just one on the same fact. But John Hannah as Quintus Lentulus Batiatus almost steals the show as the main antagonist of  season one but surprisingly plays the protagonist of the six-part prequel.

Then there’s Lucretia, wife of Quintus, played to perfection by Lucy Lawless. I must confess that she’s my most favorite character of the first season and the six-part prequel. And in the fifth part of the prequel when Titus, dying father of Quintus asks Lucretia if she’s not the serpent he had thought her to be, her reply would even give shivers to Jupiter. For me it’s the defining moment of her character. From there it was understandable who she really is. Then again who wouldn’t be like her to elevate someone she loves more than life itself. I’m going to sorely miss her in the second season.

From 71 BC to 21st century, last night the three producers of INGILI (Finger), that’s Hussain Munavvaru, Ravee Farooq and I met at L’Aquila. Now that the music score and sound design are almost done, the only remaining post production work is color grading. We have decided to give that task including mastering to Abdulla Muaz who also happened to be one of the only two characters of the film. Yes, he is a brilliant editor who has won best editor at the last Maldives Film Awards held in July this year. And his post production work is remarkable too. He has already agreed verbally.

The releasing of DHILAKANI (Fire Sparks) teaser trailer was delayed to complete the musical installment of its director Hussain Munavvaru’s beloved franchise, KUDAFOOLHU. Ravee who was assigned to produce all the promotional videos of DHILAKANI had to take over the editing of KUDAFOOLHU which has been officially announced for a next week release.

Though Ravee is busy with several works, he’s started storyboarding of EMME MANZAREH (Just One Scene). Hopefully I can sit with him to discuss the storyboard at the end of December.

Well, that’s all for now. I decapitate this post with my rudis until another update. I-am-Spartacus!

Cheers!

I AM SPARTACUS

I am Spartacus! Not really. But those were the powerful words yelled by, yes, Spartacus, the man himself after stylishly and not to mention bloodily disposing six Thracians at the end of episode seven of season one. If I were to deliver the same line, to start with, I wouldn’t have survived a second stepping into the sand and sandal period he was in. The blood and the violence are just too much my single packed belly can take.

Even if the violence was removed, still my existence there would be futile. With all the sex Spartacus gets to perform and watch, no way I’m going to sleep on the couch and sign divorce papers the very next day. Like Spartacus feels about his long lost love and reuniting with her, I couldn’t imagine my life without my family. I’m not going to do anything to hurt them. In short quick cuts with muffled laughter and really emotional music, I am seeing moments I spend with my beloved wife and my son. They are all that I hold dear in my life. So unlike Spartacus making a mistake of going to war even when his wife begged him to stay in the pilot episode, I’m going to stay as myself with my family. End credits roll with sweeping music.

Now, what was that all about? Looks like I’ve been pretty hooked into this series. Addicted would be a better word to describe my new few found love in Spartacus. With each episode, the plot twists and turns unexpectedly and the layers of all the characters keeps peeling off. But this thought of Andy Whitfield’s demise still haunts me. I’m going to miss him once season one ends. But somehow I will continue watching and finish what he started.

Moving from reel life to real life, the teaser trailer of DHILAKANI (Fire Sparks) is shaping up very coolly. I have no right to speak more on this. Director Hussain Munavvaru is also working on animating the title. To do this, he commissioned visual effects expert, Ahmed Shinan. Last night, I saw a rough preview and I must say Shinan has really brought life and meaning to what the title suggests with fire sparks surging out from the enflamed letters, DHILAKANI. Simply awesome!

In the meantime director Ravee Farooq is busy finalizing the score and sound design of INGILI (Finger) with music composer Mohamed Ikram. Hopefully in no time, they will wrap up everything.  A new trailer is on the way.

That’s all I have for now. Can’t wait for tonight to watch the eighth episode of Spartacus. I may not be him but in my imagination I am him. So hear me scream, I-AM-SPARTACUS. Cough! Cough!

Cheers!