VIDEO: FILMMAKER DAVID LOWERY ON “A GHOST STORY”

We sat down with filmmaker David Lowery to talk about his  new film A Ghost Story. Lowery wrote, directed and edited the film.

At first blush the film appears to be about a ghost that haunts its old home. But, the film stays with you long after you have seen and prompts thoughts about the cycle of life, rebirth, memories, home, passage of time and love. These are questions that we typically shove to a forgotten corner of our minds and seldom think about them A Ghost Story left me wondering about what is life, and what is your role in the world.

How did Lowery get the idea for writing the script for this unusual film that evokes strong memories of love life, history, time and home? Was he inspired by Steven Spielberg’s ET? Or was it the children’s book on ghost that he read as a child? Tune in to hear Lowery share what inspired him to write A Ghost Story, and what he learnt from it.

A Ghost Story stars Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara and others. The film releases wide in the US on July 28, 2017.

This interview was aired on TV in the US.

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VIDEO: SFFILM’S NOAH COWAN

We sat down with Noah Cowan, Executive Director of SFFILM to find out about their long-term strategic direction and what it means to be a film institute in San Francisco. In early 2017 they changed their name to SFFILM from San Francisco Film Society.

SFFILM has year around programs and works with various organizations to help promote films,filmmakers, artist development and outreach programs for students. They host an annual international film festival, provide grants and support artists, and work with high schools to educate students on how to read films and apply them in learning other subjects. SFFILM has one of the biggest grant making programs for commercial films and were instrumental in the making of Patti Cake$, Fruitvale Station, Beasts of Southern Wild and other films says Cowan.

We are not a standalone entity but are part of the San Francisco Bay area fabric points out Cowan. They work with various organizations like San Francisco MoMa, San Francisco Opera, Pacific Archives and others. It is essential to connect with the technological change in cinema and evolve with the community points out Cowan. Earlier this year they introduced an online screening room and a mobile app for their members.

Cowan joined SFFILM in 2014 and prior to that he spent many years at the Toronto Film Festival.

This interview was aired on TV in the US.

You can watch our weekly TV show in the US. Here is a list of TV stations that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel and podcasts where we feature new interviews.

VIDEO: JAMES IVORY ON FILMS, ISMAIL MERCHANT AND INDIA

We sat down with director James Ivory to talk about growing up on the west coast, arts, films, Ismail Merchant, Ruth Prawar Jhabvala, Satyajit Ray and India. Ivory also shares some of his favorite films from his childhood days.

Ivory was born in Berkeley, grew up Oregon and every year they visited San Francisco Bay area to spend time with their extended family. He studied architecture and fine arts at the University or Oregon and filmmaking at University of Southern California (USC). At USC he made a short film called Venice: Themes of Variations. His second short film The Sword and the Flute was inspired by Indian miniature paintings that he first saw in an art gallery in San Francisco. It was this film that led to his interest and connection in India and also his first meeting with Ismail Merchant.

In 1961 Ivory and  Merchant formed the Merchant Ivory Productions. Around this time they also started their collaboration with writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. The trio made award-winning films like Shakespeare Wallah, Heat and Dust, A Room With A View, Howard’s End, The Remains of the Day and others.

This interview was recorded at the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival, where his film Maurice was screened.

This interview was aired on TV in the US.

You can watch our weekly TV show in the US. Here is a list of TV stations that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel and podcast where we feature new interviews.

VIDEO: DIRECTOR JAMES IVORY ON INDIA, SAEED JAFFREY AND ISMAIL MERCHANT

We caught up with director James Ivory at this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival, where his film Maurice was screened. This is a highlight of a longer upcoming interview. In this clip Ivory shares how his interest in India developed and the first documentary he made on India called The Sword and the FluteIt was through this documentary that he came to meet actor Saeed Jaffrey and Ismail Merchant.

Ivory and his filmmaking partner Ismail Merchant through their Merchant Ivory Productions have made nearly 40 feature films. While neither Ivory nor Merchant have won an Oscar for their work as director or producer, their films have won them a handful of Oscars. Their repertoire of films include Howard’s End, Maurice, Heat and Dust, A Room With A View, Mr & Mrs Bridges, The Householder and others.

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VIDEO: FILMMAKER AMIT MADHESHIYA ON THE CINEMA TRAVELLERS, WALTER MURCH & FILMS

Filmmakers Amit Madheshiya and Shirley Abraham’s award-winning documentary The Cinema Travellers shows you a different side of India’s love for films. The duo takes you on a magical ride around the small villages and towns outside of Mumbai (Bombay), India’ entertainment capital, which is home to Bollywood film industry. What we get to see in the film is a dedicated band of cinema travellers or dream merchants who show films to an audience that gets to see 35mm films about once a year.What you see is a whole different world – an analog world filled with old 35mm films and 35mm projectors and the films are screened in pitched tents.

We sat down to speak with Madheshiya during the 2017 San Francisco International Film Festival. Madheshiya and Abraham produced, directed and co-wrote their debut film that took them nearly 8 years to make. Both had to learn a lot about filmmaking and how to edit the film. Madheshiya shares that he learnt a lot by reading Academy Award winner Walter Murch’s (The Godfather) books and watching his films.  The films’ cinematography is the one that hooks you into the film and we wanted to find out how Madheshiya shot the film and what kind of camera he used. We also find out how he developed an interest in photography and about his mentor in his boarding school in Nainital, India. Tune in to find out about the making of The Cinema Travellers.

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VIDEO: ROBERT BYRNE OF SAN FRANCISCO SILENT FILM FESTIVAL

Meet Robert Byrne, President, Board of Directors of San Francisco Silent Film Festival, film restorer and engineer. We sat dow to talk about how he developed his passion for silent films, the legacy of silent films and his work in restoring silent films. We also find out why Byrne switched his major from film and theatre to computer science. After working as an engineer for many years, he went back to pursuing his primary passion in films.

Many films were destroyed or lost over the decades. But every now and then a lost print will surface like the 1916 on Sherlock Holmes starring William Gillette. Byrne was involved in the restoration of this iconic  film since Gillette is the one who created that memorable get-up for Holmes through his stage play, which later on became a silent film. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle approved of Gillette’s stage play on Holmes. That long coat,  curved pipe and the deerstalker hat are creations of Gillette points out Byrne.

Every June the San Francisco Silent Film Festival takes place where they showcase silent films from around the world. The festival recreates the silent film era experience complete with live music by well-known orchestras. This year the San Francisco Silent Film Festival runs from June 1 through June 4, 2017 at the Castro Theatre.

You can watch our weekly TV show in the US. Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel and podcast where every week we feature new interviews.

VIDEO: FILMMAKER JAMES GRAY ON “THE LOST CITY OF Z”

We caught up with filmmaker James Gray to talk about his new film The Lost City of Z. Gray was in San Francisco to attend the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival. We spoke to Gray about why Brad Pitt sent him the novel and how he got attached to the project and what did he learn from making the film.

The Lost City of Z is based on David Grann’s best-selling novel by the same name. Gray wrote, directed and co-produced the film that was largely shot in Columbia, South America.  This is a true story about an early 20th British explorer Lt. Colonel Percy Fawcett, who was convinced there was a lost civilization in the Amazon. Finding that lost city became Fawett’s magificient obsession and over a course of 20 odd years he made multiple trips to South America in search of the city. He was convinced he had found the remnants of an ancient civilization, but he had a hard time convincing others of his finding.

The film stars Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller, Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland among others.

The Lost City of Z  releases in the San Francisco March 10, 2017.

  • Title: THE LOST CITY OF Z
  • Running Time: 150 minutes
  • Status: Releases April 21, 2017
  • Country:USA
  • GENRE: DRAMA

This interview aired on TV in the US. Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our  YouTube channel and podcast where every week we feature new interviews.

 

VIDEO: NOAH COWAN OF SFFILM ON 60th SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Noah Cowan of SFFILM shares what is in store for the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival, the oldest film festival in the US. The festival runs from April 5th to April 19th 2017 in San Francisco and Berkeley.

This year’s festival features over 180 films. And, for the first time the festival will honor a Bollywood star. Well-known Bollywood start Shah Rukh Khan will be in town on April 14th.

For tickets and information go to SFFILM’s website.

This interview aired on TV in the USA. Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our weekly TV show. You can subscribe to our  YouTube channel and podcast where every week we feature new interviews.

VIDEO: NIKI CARO ON THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE, JESSICA CHASTAIN & ANDRIJ PAREKH

Director Niki Caro talks about her new film The Zookeeper’s Wife, Jessica Chastain and Andrij Parekh, who is the director of photography for the film.

The Zookeeper’s Wife is set in Warsaw, Poland during WW-II.  The film is based on a true story on how the husband and wife team of Antonina Zabinski (Jessica Chastain)  and  Dr. Jan Zabinski (Johan Heldenbergh),  devoted their time in saving humans and animals from the Nazis.

Caro’s next project is Disney’s Mulan.

  • Title: THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE
  • Running Time: 126 minutes
  • Status: Film Released on March 31, 207 in SF Bay area
  • Country: USA
  • GENRE: DRAMA

This interview aired on TV in the USA. Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our weekly TV show. You can subscribe to our  YouTube channel and podcast where every week we feature new interviews.

VIDEO: FILMMAKER RITESH BATRA ON THE MAKING OF “THE SENSE OF AN ENDING”

We caught up with filmmaker Ritesh Batra in San Francisco to talk about the making of his film The Sense of An Ending (2017), his next film project with Robert Redford & Jane Fonda and his favorite Bollywood films. Batra shares what it was like to adapt the British novel to a film and work with an all-English cast. This is his second feature film. His first picture was  The Lunchbox, an  award-winning film set in Mumbai, India.

The Sense of An Ending is based on Julian Payne’s on his award-winning novel by the same name. Jim Broadbent plays the central character in this coming-of-age film of an older person set in England. The film has a nuanced and quiet quality about it. It is a story about the intersection of memory and growing old. Charlotte Rampling, Harriet Walter, Michelle Dockerty (Downtown Abbey) and others act in this film.

Batra also shares some of his favorite Bollywood films that he watched growing up in Mumbai, India.

The Sense of An Ending releases March 17, 2017 in San Francisco.

This interview aired on TV in the US. You can watch our weekly TV show in the US. Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. Do subscribe to our  YouTube channel and podcast where every week we feature new interviews