Ajita Suchitra Veera’s debut full- length feature, Ballad Of Rustom, is on the Reminder’s List of 289
films in the best film category at the
Oscars. But that is not the only reason
why she has our attention.
It is because this little-known Indian
filmmaker is making an Oscars journey
for the second time.
She did this in 2003 when her student
film, Notes On Her, was India’s official
entry in the shorts section and competed
in the Honorary Foreign Film Category.
Ajita, who grew up on World Cinema
classics, studied at the Film and
Television Institute of India and always
wanted to make the kind of films she
loved watching. She tells Deccan
Chronicle, ‘It’s an interesting achievement as this is a shortlist of last year’s
best films, and it’s not the honorary foreign films category where Indian films
Ballad Of Rustom is the story of a
young man from a small town with no
higher education but a vivid imagination
and a scientific disposition — his travels,
his encounters, his love.
Shot in 35 mm, a rarity for independent
filmmakers in our digital times, Ajita
submitted the film to the Academy independently. And whether or not her gamble pays off — which we will know when
the nominations are announced January
16 — this is one filmmaker that we will
be watching out for.
The Big Bang kickoff
The Big Bang Theory cast and crew — Kunal Nayyar, front and center — accept the Favorite Network TV Comedy award at the 40th Annual People’s Choice Awards in
Los Angeles, January 8, kicking off the award season and our ever enjoyable desi spotting.
Also among the winners were the Archie Panjabi starrer The Good Wife in the Favorite Network Drama Category and the Sarita Choudhury-starrer Homeland in the
Favorite Premium Cable Show category.
Economists Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya have been vocal supporters of Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate for India.
At the height of his very public argument with Nobel Laureate
Amartya Sen last year, Bhagwati, professor of economics and
law at Columbia University, had told India Abroad (August 2,
2013) how Modi is “totally corruption-free” and how much he
admired the Gujarat chief minister’s development model for the
Bhagwati and Panagariya, the Bhagwati Professor of
Economics at Columbia University, have now taken umbrage to
The Economist’s story — ‘Would Modi save India or wreck it?’
(December 14, 2013) — which explores what works for and
against the politician.
In a joint letter to the magazine, they write, ‘You said that Mr
Modi refuses to atone for a “pogrom” against Muslims in
Gujarat, where he is chief minister. But what you call a pogrom
was in fact a “communal riot” in 2002 in which a quarter of the
people killed were Hindus — 170 of them from bullets fired by
the police. By contrast, the more numerous 1984 killing of Sikhs
after Indira Gandhi’s assassination was indeed a pogrom, direct-
ed exclusively at the Sikhs. With not a single charge against Mr
Modi standing up to the SIT’s (Special Investigation Team)
scrutiny, it is absurd to ask him to atone.’
This one certainly falls into the storm-in-a-teacup realm. Mindy Kaling’s Elle cover for February — a head shot in black and white, which we think is glam and different, just like Mindy — has been slammed as racist and
The cover has come under fire because it is the only one of its kind among the
four fronts featuring Allison Williams, Amy Poehler and Zooey Deschanel.
Mindy’s fellow funny ladies of television are pictured in Elle’s typical 3/4th
length and in full color.
Jezbel noted, ‘This isn’t the first time that Elle has depicted women who are
larger than your average cover model in ways that obscure their bodies from
view. They recently came under fire for a cover featuring Melissa McCarthy
hidden by a coat and another of Gabourey Sidibe in tight closeup.’
USA Today accused the magazine of hacking Mindy off at the chest while some
readers tweeted their anger at Elle.
Mindy quickly defused the situation, in less than 140 characters: ‘I love my
The Mindy way
@ELLEmagazine cover. It made me feel glamorous & cool. And if anyone wants
to see more of my body, go on thirteen dates with me.’
Is it any wonder that we adore her?
In Modi’s defense
The savvy Mindy Kaling also tweeted, ‘Wishing for more skin on my @ELLEmagazine cover?Chris
Messina & I are naked on a brand new #themindyproject tonight, ya pervs! 930/830 FOX.’
Ajita’s second Oscar run
COURTES Y: WW W. AJI TASUCHI TRAVEERA. COM
January 17, 2014