Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Sam will play again!
Back in March 2015, we remember the long queues snaking around the Jehangir Art Gallery, all the way out onto the Kala Ghoda traffic island, considering this diarist was among the countless loyal patrons who wanted to make that one last pilgrimage to Cafe Samovar before it shut down.

Usha Khanna with daughters, Malavika Sangghvi (left) and Devieka Bhojwani in So Long Sam
Usha Khanna with daughters, Malavika Sangghvi (left) and Devieka Bhojwani in So Long Sam

Almost a year after the iconic cultural landmark closed, a documentary pays ode to the nostalgia-tinted space. Titled So Long Sam, helmed by director Dipika Sharma and produced by Aditi Anand of Little Red Car Films, the short has been selected for Mumbai International Film Festival (February 29 to March 3), which will mark its debut screening.

A photograph of MF Husain with Usha Khanna that is part of the documentary
A photograph of MF Husain with Usha Khanna that is part of the documentary

“Initially, we had only planned to record the last four days of the café functioning as a way to document the love it received. However, it organically grew into a documentary,” shares Anand. The film has interviews (one even by the founder, Usha Khanna), fond memories and old-time photographs.

She’s got the punch

Pic/Satej Shinde
Pic/Satej Shinde

Ritika Singh, a full-time boxer, takes a breather during a promotional event at a Bandra five-star. For an upcoming film, she plays the female lead. Also in the frame is R Madhavan (in shades).

Pune gets filmy
Film buffs, it’s time to head to neighbouring Pune, as the Government of Maharashtra and Pune Film Foundation have announced the 14th edition of Pune International Film Festival.

Set to take place from January 14 to 21, the theme for this edition is ‘Sports and cinema bringing the world together’. The event has received 986 film entries from over 104 countries and will have over 200 movie screenings. Check www.maharashtratourism.gov.in.

When the nut fell!

Invites for events come in all shapes and sizes. Look what landed in our office yesterday. It did cool things off a bit for sure.

Queen Mary for Shabana
Should old acquaintances be forgot and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintances be forgot and the days of auld lang syne... that is not so for actor Shabana Azmi, who stars in an upcoming film, Chalk ‘n Duster slated for a January 15 release. Shabana studied at the well-known, over 125 year-old Queen Mary School (QMS) near Opera House.

Actor Shabana Azmi took a walk down memory lane some years ago when she visited Queen Mary School
Actor Shabana Azmi took a walk down memory lane some years ago when she visited Queen Mary School

We learn that the extremely proud Queen Marian has asked ex-students to share the trailer of the film on social media. Queen Marians, many from Shabana’s batch itself, others from elsewhere will no doubt watch Chalk ‘n’ Duster with interest and wonder if they can detect a little bit of QMS in that movie, thanks to Shabana, who may dig into a treasure trove of experiences and memories and bring it alive on screen.

Cast from the past
An exhibition of vintage photographs by JH Thakker at Mumbai Kamalnayan Bajaj Special Exhibition Gallery at Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum on Sunday.

Pic/Sameer Markande
Pic/Sameer Markande

Founder of the iconic India Photo Studio, Thakker’s portraits created a public image of Bombay’s film industry in the 1950s and 1960s.

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