IndoGerman Filmweek / English Info

14/07-20/07 Farhan Akhtar („Don 2“) is exclusively coming to IndoGerman Filmweek 2016
Meet & Greet and panel “The New Bollywood” with Farhan Akhtar on 16/07

The director, actor, singer and producer Farhan Akhtar (“Don 2”) is the star of the IndoGerman Film Week, which is being held in the Babylon cinema from July 14th to 20th. In a way Akhtar is returning to Berlin because he had shot the action sequel “Don 2” with Shahrukh Khan in a leading role in 2010 in Berlin. It happened to be the first Bollywood movie ever which had been shot in Berlin – with huge press coverage. That year, “Don 2” was the most successful Bollywood movie overseas.

During the festival the fans will have the opportunity to see eight of his films and meet the star Farhan Akhtar personally on Saturday, 16th July: for the panel “The New Bollywood” at 7 pm, for the premiere of the German subtitled version of his movie “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” at 9 pm and at the following Meet & Greet. Farhan Akhtar plays the role of Milkha Singh in “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” the Olympic athlete who became famous under the nickname of “The Flying Sikh”.

Farhan Akhtar (*1974 in Mumbai) is part of a family, which is deeply rooted in the Indian Film Industry and represent the new Indian cinema. His father Javed Akhtar is a scriptwriter and songwriter (“Don”, “Lagaan: Once upon a Time in India”, “Slumdog Millionaire”) whose family is famous for Urdu poets for generations.

In 2008 Akhtar made his debut as an actor in singer in “Rock On”. His sister Zoya Akhtar is a director and screenwriter. Together with her he has directed a number of films. At the festival “Luck by Chance” (2009 directorial debut of Zoya Akhtar, actor and producer: Farhan Akhtar) and the comedies “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” (You will not get another life, 2011) and “Dil Dhadakne Do” (Let the heart beat, 2015) can be seen. Another outstanding film is “Talaash: The Answer Lies Within” (2012, Zoya: writer; Farhan: producer and dialogues), a deep psychological and symbolic thriller. There is also a Germany premiere during the IndoGerman Film Week: the thriller “Wazir” starring Farhan Akhtar and the big Amitabh Bachchan in lead roles which had premiered in India in January.

The Indian Express wrote about Bachchan, the “Shahenshah”, the king of kings of Bollywood: „There are actors, there are stars, and superstars… And there is Amitabh Bachchan.“ This can be experienced in the IndoGerman Film Week opening film “Te3n” (Hindi: three), a whodunit-thriller, which was recently launched in India on June 10th. Here Bachchan is seen in a role of a 70 years old grandfather who starts investigating the abduction and murder of his granddaughter which had happened eight years ago himself because a similar crime has happened.

The festival will open with a gala ceremony in the presence of Indian Ambassador to Germany his excellency Mr. Gurjit Singh followed by a screening of the higly regarded and expected „TE3N“ starring Amitabh Bachchan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Furthermore there are Germany premieres of „Tanu weds Manu returns“, „Aligarh“, “Manjhi – The Mountain Man” and “Margeritha with a straw” on the agenda. And there is a silent film on Saturday at midnight. It is a German-Indian coproduction called “Shiraz – Das Grabmal einer großen Liebe” which revolves around the creation of the Taj Mahal.

On Saturday morning, 16th of July four team of students are playing the team of the Indian Embassy in the Street Cricket Cup. Meeting is at 9:30am in front of the Babylon. The framework program is organized by AMIKAL e.V. .

Festival organizer Stephan Ottenbruch: “The Indian film industry has been in transition for about seven years – a younger generation from leading Bollywood families, like Farhan Akhtar and his sister Zoya Akhtar and Bollywood stars like Aamir Khan directed and produced films without songs and dance, opted for the production of genre cinema, following the Western-style instead of the usual Bollywood-Masala (genre mix) style. Some of these “New Bollywood” films, such as the “Indian Sixth Sense-film” “Talaash” have been ahead of time and sort of too avant-garde, to be successful in the mainstream business. However, these films have been received enthusiastically by the wealthy middle-class since they clearly stand out pleasantly in regards of quality against the unimaginative mainstream blockbusters.”

—- The festival organizer STEPHAN OTTENBRUCH is available for interviews. Please also contact him for interview requests for Farhan Akhtar.

Stephan Ottenbruch is TV producer of 44 episodes of “Kookaburra – Der Comedy Club” (Sat1, director: Dietrich Brüggemann). For a German-Indian cinema project he first visited Mumbai and has ever since been fascinated by the film city. He established the IndoGerman Initiative in 2011 and then the IndoGerman Film Week in 2013 and is since then curating the weekly IndoGerman Filmdinner at yearly IndoGerman Filmweek at Babylon as well as consulting several Initiatives to build bridges in the media business between India and Germany.

—- We gladly provide film photos as well as a small number of complimentary tickets for online and radio promotion.

Information: http://www.babylonberlin.de/indogermanfilmdinner.htm

Venue: Babylon, Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 30, 10178 Berlin
Public Transport: Subway and Tram Stations Rosa Luxemburg Platz or Alexanderplatz