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  • In association with KASHISH Mumbai International Film Festival 2015

MUMBAI: Gallery Beyond in association with KASHISH Mumbai International Film Festival 2015 will host a month-long art show – The 377191 Wall.  238 artists have come together to express their solidarity with the fundamental right of freedom to speech and expression & the freedom to choose whom to love. While Article 19 (1) (a) protects the freedom to speech and expression, section 377 of the IPC is a law that criminalises same sex relationships. The group show of 271 mixed media works reflect on both these issues and will run for a month between May 23 – June 27, 2015 at Gallery Beyond. It will coincide with the sixth edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival to be held between May 27-31, 2015.

"Why 377191? Because Freedom to choose opens up the mind to ways of growth in any field, more so in art and culture. We come from a lineage where arts and culture had no boundaries. We have enough tangible history to uphold it whether it is the sculpture at Khajuraho or our Mythologies,’’ said Vibhuraj Kapoor, owner of Gallery Beyond, who has also curated the show. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the artworks will go as fundraising for KASHISH 2015.

The 271 mixed-media works, including those by prominent artists Lalitha Lajmi, Brinda C Miller, Baiju Parthan, Anju Dhodiya, Kahini Arte Merchant, Mehli Gobhai, Sharmishta Ray and Sudarshan Shetty. Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India guarantees every citizen the fundamental right to free speech and expression. Over the years this freedom has faced the onslaught of diktats, the moral police and vigilantes. 

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalises same sex relationships, taking away from a person their right to choose love. The law affects not just the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community but everyone who believes in personal choices of sexual and gender expression.

The artists have come together to express their solidarity with the fundamental right to express and the freedom to choose. At a time when art and culture is being stifled by censorship and diktats, artists and activists have united to voice their opinion on freedom, equality and dignity. The group show of 271 mixed media works are also a timely reminder that the Constitution protects the ``right to free speech and expression.

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CANNES: Aishwarya Rai Bachhan, the green eyed Bollywood Queen, entered into a clap noisy full house FICCI Indian Pavilion at Cannes International Film Festival, after walking the red carpet. The beautifully located Indian pavilion turned into a full house stadium as soon as the news broke of Aishwarya making an appearance at the venue. In addition to the Indian participants at Cannes, the media fraternity from France and the rest of the world also thronged the Indian Pavilion.

Aishwarya entered the pavilion wearing a big broad smile along with a beautifully designed maroon outfit reminding of the days when she was awarded with the Miss Universe title rebounding with a much deserving answer to all the critics who have been criticizing and trying to prove for the beauty to have lost the charm after covering the journey from Miss to Mrs.

The beautiful actress accompanied by Sanjay gupta spent some time in the pavilion and used the platform and the environment to the best possible for the promotion of her upcoming film Jazbaa, interacting with the media and answering questions about the film, which is directed by Sanjay Gupta starring Aishwarya Rai Bachhan  in the lead role with Irfan Khan, Shabana Azmi and Anupam Kher in supporting roles. The film gets Aishwarya back into the Bollywood after 5 years and is expected to be released in October this year.

The film is a remake of the 2007 South Korean movie, Seven Days. The celebrity spoke about Jazbaa and promised the film to be worth a watch and praise deserving. She wished luck to all the participants from the nation and expressed her happiness over the huge participation from the Indian cinema that Cannes 2015 has witnessed.

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Cannes film festival is known amongst the most important film festivals in the world and film fraternity from the whole world attends it. Different people participate in the festival for different reasons best suited to them, but one can see the charm of the whole film world gathered at one place. From producers to directors to artists, Cannes displays a foot fall of all the film associated people to showcase and market themselves and their work.

Cannes 2015 shows the presence of a lot of talent from the Indian Film Industry primarily known as Bollywood. The FICCI Indian Pavillion is being occupied with the Indian talent throughout and some of the prominent faces seen are Sudhir Mishra, Nandita Das and a special appearance of Aishwarya Rai expected later today. Katrina Kaif and Sonam Kapoor in addition to Aishwarya Rai walked the Famous Red Carpet here at Cannes.

Interestingly a lot of young Indian talent has a presence here at Cannes festival this year and to mention the Los Angeles based budding director/ producer Aditya J. Patwardan is marketing his documentary film making talent and London based producer Rajan Patel is here for his upcoming film "Feast of Varanasi" to be released early next year. The feast is to be a perfect mix of emotions and the Indian culture and the unfortunate attached with it, said Rajan.

The most interesting part of the Indian Pavillion looks to be the presence of the trailer on the screens of 31st October, the film based on the subject never attempted before, the aftermath of the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The film makers maintained a distance from the subject for 3 decades untill a first time producer Harry Sachdeva decided to take a daring leap into the Bollywood by taking on one of the darkest part of the Indian History and make a film based on a real life story.

31st October 1984 is a chapter of our history that every Indian is ashamed of and the simple reason of attempting the subject is to do my bit of putting the real picture of the history in front of the world, so that the audience understands the ill effects of such unfortunate incidents. If the subject would have been taken up before, there's a possibility that India wouldn't have witnessed the pogroms which it did in last 3 decades, without naming, mentioned Harry Sachdeva in his exclusive interview with us.

When asked about the main force behind his daring act of choosing the subject to start his career in Bollywood, taking into consideration the factors attached with the fate of his career because of the Subject, the very confident Mr. Sachdeva answers with a smile on his face," the subject is as close to my heart as every educated Indian's, but the only difference is that I, without thinking of the commercial perspective of the film, thought of doing a good ethical act to initiate my career with, and being a Sikh myself, I thought to pay homage to the innocent martyrs of the pogrom by means of this film and to the nation by providing an eye opener to desist from such activities and illuminate their minds with love and not hatred.

On the whole the crux that could be made after attending the festival is that, in addition to the films which are being screened in the festival this year, there is a lot more of participation from India, which proves the improvement and the emerging of the Indian Cinema in today's world.