Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Where's Sandra? telecast

Paromita Vohra, filmmaker, screenwriter and friend, gave me a mild scolding in Mumbai the other day, the context being that reviewers are not paying adequate attention to independent/alternative cinema and instead going on about the new developments (overstated, in her opinion) taking place within the mainstream. I plead guilty; in weak defence, my official beat continues to be literature - apart from a couple of infrequent film columns I write for newspapers, and the sometime review for Tehelka - and for a long time watching movies, much less writing about them, has been done on very limited time. Seeking out low-profile films (and hoping that some of them will be good enough to justify the time and energy spent - something that doesn't always happen at festivals like Cinefan) just hasn't been much of an option lately.

Still, it's always a pleasure to discover alternative treasures wherever available, and what better place to start than one of Paromita's own films. Her short documentary Where's Sandra? - a snappy look at the "Sandra from Bandra" stereotype - is being telecast on NDTV 24x7's new Documentary 24x7 slot on Thursday, Feb 14 at 9.30 PM and on Sunday, Feb 17 at 1.30 PM. Do look out for it, and for future telecasts on this slot, which will hopefully help dispel the fallacy that the words "boring" and "documentary" belong together.

(More on Where's Sandra? here)


  1. Sounds interesting. Wish I could have watched it. One thing is a little unclear to me though. It is termed as a documentary but some of the shots look like the people on screen are acting and there is also a 'cast' section in the site you provided.

  2. Why are Bongs so bloody partisan in their outlook towards other Bongs? Only writing by other Bongs is good. Only films made by Bongs are worth watching. Only food cooked in Calcutta, that filthy sewer of a city, is worth eating. Only Bongs can write, despite the truth that there isn't ONE decent Bong writer on the planet today. And yes, Bongs simply MUST write in English, becosh bongoli ishn't goodh enof phor dhogs ebhen. This would be ridiculous if it wasn't so comical :)

  3. I wonder who is the anonymous person above me and if he has ever read Tagore and Seth amongst other Bengali writers.

    There isn't ONE decent Bong writer on the planet today. I've heard a lot of generalizations, but this one made me fall off my chair LMAO!

    Never mind that. Since you were at Kala Ghoda, you could've easily savoured a host of wonderful documentaries at Gallery Beyond. I especially loved Regen and The Tempest.

  4. ArSENik: those shots are fun insets that break the narrative at little intervals. It's not a "pure documentary" in that sense.

    Abhinav: don't feed trolls. Their comments are meant to be read, enjoyed and forgotten.

  5. hello, i love reading ur blog. its become sort of my news page. thank you for writing about sandra from bandra and informing the schedule of telecast. gottu watch it and enjoyed it too. thanks.

  6. I heard a lot about Paromita Vohra's Q2P but never got to watch it, and Sandra sounds great too - but can you ask her how someone outside India gets to watch these documentaries? Can they be viewed/streamed online? I caught a snippet of Q2P once and it looked fantastic.

  7. Supriya: thanks - but do take time out and read as well, if only for the comments!

    SP: will check with Paromita.

  8. Wah! Jai Jai.. if only my mild scoldings always worked so well and also were timed this well..

    Am I allowed to answer people's questions on your blog? Who knows - but:
    Arsenik: It is a documentary - but it's not all pure actuality footage. Documentaries today don't restrict themselves to verite material alone but respond to the reality, both overt and (as per the filmmaker's perception) more interior and half expressed, using all sorts of forms,mixing fiction and non-fiction. So the "acted" bits are songs that sort of recreate the stereotype etc. - if you do see the film online at the link in Jai's post and have any questions in this regard am more than happy to engage.

    SP- No, the other films aren't online. But if you're in North America they can be ordered from my distributor - vtape -

    Jai - thank you for writing about the film. May you write about many such more ;) you nice person you. I will now go see what you have to say about Akbar-Jodha.

  9. Thanks Paromita - am not in North America, but the Middle East. Will be back in India in a month or two and hope to catch your documentaries on TV then!