Our Bureau New York
Angry Indian Goddesses director Pan Nalin’s latest feature Last Film Show (Gujarati Title: Chhello Show) has been selected for the milestone 20th edition of Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca film festival, as the opening film of the prestigious ‘spotlight’ section, the organizers announced today. The Gujarati-language Last Film Show, set in a remote rural village of Saurashtra will have its premiere in New York at an “iconic outdoor venue in the heart of the city”.
Cara Cusumano, Festival Director, Tribeca Film Festival was quoted saying “As the first major film festival of 2021 to be back in-person and the centerpiece of the reopening of the arts in New York, we couldn’t think of a more perfect film than THE LAST FILM SHOW to set the table for the Tribeca Festival this year as the kickoff to our Spotlight program. This transportive film epitomizes everything we have been missing for the last year in its celebration of the magic and community of the big-screen movie-going experience.”
Pan Nalin’s earlier films such as “Samsara” (2001), Valley of Flowers (2006), and Angry Indian Goddesses (2016) have been screened and awarded at festivals such as Toronto International Film Festival, Rome, Sundance, Locarno, AFI, Melbourne and have been distributed worldwide by giant studios such as Miramax (now Disney), Toho (Japan), Universal (Canada) to name the few.
When contacted, Daniel Marquet Head of International Sales Orange Studio said “The whole Orange Studio team is extremely proud to handle international sales for LAST FILM SHOW. We are delighted to present the film to a North American audience and market for its live worldwide premiere at Tribeca Film Festival. Pan Nalin’s film is a love letter to the magic of cinema and the profound impact its unique, humble yet powerful combination of imagination, celluloid, and light have had to people all over the world since the birth of filmmaking. After a year of isolation and coping with digital content and relationships, LAST FILM SHOW is the perfect human and cinematic experience to celebrate the return to physical film festivals and screenings.”
Last Film Show (Chhello Show) written and directed by Nalin has been produced by Dheer Momaya’s Jugaad Motion Pictures, Belgium’s Stranger 88, and Monsoon Films and is presented by Chhello Show LLP, which has its head office in Amreli. It will be marketed and sold worldwide by France’s renowned Orange Studio. The film introduces performances by 6 young boys from different indigenous tribes communities of Gujarat such as Bharwad, Rabari, Koli, Mer, Maldhari, and Siddis.
Last Film Show is an ode to cinema, according to an official synopsis “After watching a movie at Galaxy Cinema, SAMAY’s life turns upside down as he passionately falls in love with films. But Samay’s father discovers his nine-year-old son’s ‘immoral’ obsession; he beats him up and warns him to stay away from the ‘filthy’ world of films. But the magic of movies rides high on Samay’s mind. While sneaking into Galaxy Cinema, Samay’s path crosses with FAZAL, the projectionist. They strike a deal; Samay will let him eat his lunchbox, in return, Fazal will let him watch movies. In no time their food-for-films deal turns into an endearing friendship. But little do they know soon they’ll be forced to make heartbreaking choices…”
Pan Nalin said in a press release – “This news brings immense joy to me, and to my cast and crew who gave everything they have, through these difficult and testing times to make Chhello Show. We could not have asked for more because Tribeca is a true temple of storytellers where masters have gathered and shared the stage with so many filmmakers. Last Film Show (Chhello Show) premiering at Tribeca is not only great news for Gujarati Cinema but also for Indian Cinema; It is perfect timing, and we all need this because the new era of piped-in entertainment is here where cinema is just ‘content’, net is flix, box is office, foot is fall, and phone is smart. So, I’m happy that Last Film Show (Chhello Show) is the movie to invite spectators back to the theaters.”
Dheer Momaya, recently featured in Forbes 30u30 list, whose earlier productions have been screened at Busan/the British Film Institute and have been distributed by Netflix said in a press statement “after a year of urban isolation and virtual events, we’re super excited to premiere at an in-person festival, and have audiences experience the film on a huge 40-foot screen in spectacular outdoor venues of New York city. Considering the theme of our film, there could not be a better festival and celebration. This local story is universal in its emotion and theme, and it is certainly destined for a worldwide audience who have been craving for something filled with joy, nature, innocence, freshness and hope. The feel-good factor of LFS will certainly put a smile on spectator’s faces.”
Amidst the many uncertainties for the global cinema business Robert Deniro was quoted saying “As New York emerges from the shadow of COVID-19, it seems just right to bring people together again in person for our 20th-anniversary festival”. This is great news for cinema lovers as well as the global film distribution system.
Set against the backdrop of the disappearance of 35mm celluloid film and India’s unique single-screen culture; Last Film Show (Chhello Show) also acts as nostalgic musing, for when a single screen cinema was the place where people would come and escape their daily lives through a communal yet personal transformative entertainment experience.
Frederic Boyer, Artistic Director of Tribeca Film Festival commented on the selection – “With “Last Film Show”, director Pan Nalin wonderfully celebrates our return to projected films with this homage to the masters of cinema. This joyful reminder of what we love about movies, though the eyes of a young boy, is a pure delight. Pan Nalin’s latest offering, Last Film Show (Chhello Show), is supposed to be a real feast for the eyes and soul. Being the first of its kind for Gujarati cinema, the film has been made by a top-notch Indian and international crew. With cinematographer Swapnil Sonawane (Newton, Sacred Games, AK vs AK…), casting director Dilip Shankar (Bhaag Milkhs Bhaag, Life of Pi, Academy Award Winner), a French music composer from Hollywood who has scored more than 100 movies, Cyril Morin, French Sound Designer Gilles Bernadeau and colorist Kevin Le Dortz (‘Mustang‘, Academy Award Nominated), British-Portuguese Make-up artist Sara Menitra (Cats, Zeus, His House..). With the massive global effort which has gone into the production, we dare not expect anything less than a cinematic spectacle.