MMBA, A Specialized MBA for the Media Industry

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A career in Media and Entertainment is indeed very promising. Want to know why?

  • Over the next five years, the industry is poised to grow at an average annual growth rate of 11-12%​
  • By 2022, total employment across the industry is expected to be 6-6.5 million from the estimated 3.5-4 million in 2017.

With ​myriad emerging options​ and career tracks​ to choose from; like ​Over The Top (OTT), ​Print Media,​ Out of Home (OOH), Animation, VFX, Film Business, Music Industry, TV Broadcasting,​ Publishing, Online Media and other electronic media – the Media ​+​ ​Entertainment domain is a multitude of opportunities for professionals ​and potential aspirants.

What some of the industry professionals have to say about how a specialized MBA in Media and Entertainment, makes all the difference!

Shobu Yarlagadda, Producer of Bahubali:
The industry is evolving rapidly, the way we produce films and the way we manage and market films is changing very fast. And there is a need for people with good management skills, good strategy and good communication skills. Students with an MMBA background will be an ideal choice for a production office like ours.

Akkineni Nagarjuna, Film star:
Entertainment business management in India has been unorganized for the most part. As the business is growing more and more diverse; studios, production companies and media companies are experiencing a serious skill gap. This results in the increase in demand for trained professionals. To meet this demand, a MMBA program, a unique inter-disciplinary program, spanning across both business and media is the solution. MMBA graduates master the conventional business subjects as well as media and entertainment subjects, a winning combo, which makes them, survive and succeed in the fast growing media industry.

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Jeffery Hardy, Founder of Film Profit, Hollywood:
I think business side of the business is obviously what I focus my life on. The business side of business is what makes everything run well. You can’t just think about only the creative side. You have to do good production, you have to have them well managed, you have to do good distribution, you have to look for every opportunity in the market place, you have to manage it well, manage relationships with distributors, exhibitors, with everyone.

More people need to focus on it because we need people who can run good productions, who can run good distribution companies and really understand this business, not just from a creative point-of-view or personal desire point-of-view, but from a business point-of-view; only they will make the business work well.

Kandaswamy Bharathan, Producer of Roja:
The Indian film, media and entertainment industry has witnessed remarkable transformation in the last 5 years. This industry has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 12% per annum as compared to India’s national GDP growth of about 7.5 % per annum. What this means is that there is a huge demand for trained creative technical and management professionals in this fast growing industry.

Smitha Sasidaran, Programming Head, Fever 94.3 FM:
The entertainment industry is really vast, be it radio, music, film, fine arts; so I think there is a great opportunity for everyone in this field. To sell creativity, now you have convergents of different media. Selling creativity is the biggest challenge and if it is academically taught, then the industry is more than happy to welcome them.

Understanding who are your stakeholders and consumers is very important; if you don’t understand that, then you are missing out on many opportunities. So, a specialized academic program is definitely helpful.

Kishore Kedari, Business Development, International Distribution, Arka Media Works:
MBA schools prepare the students in understanding the business, process as well as the organization structure of the industry. We need a specialization to an extent where we are offering courses exclusive to each and every aspect of film production. MMBA is not only going to give a broader prospective of the production, but also the business aspects related to the media and entertainment.

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Top Reasons to Apply:

  • Pursue a unique course that will fast-track you into the film, TV and other emerging+allied creative industries.
  • Practice and undertake production inside a Live studio environment in the heart of Hyderabad.
  • Produce a ‘Graduate Film’ and gain complete work experience (internship project) at a major media firm.
  • Study the course that is designed and delivered by top industry experts from Indian and global industries.
  • Participate in a series of Film Markets, Film Festivals, Industry Conferences, Master Classes and Guest Lectures.
  • ​Partner with business leaders, experts and entrepreneurs providing an endless pool of potential associates/producers and employers.
  • Profit from the MoU between AISFM & JNTU-Hyderabad, a first of its kind University and Industry Collaborative Program, leading to our certified professional post-graduate degree, MMBA.

Want to know more about our unique MMBA course in detail, watch our MMBA FB Panel Discussion: https://goo.gl/pUQrhc

Want a quick overview of what MMBA is, watch this MMBA Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfmbBWQyLbY

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Brief Profile of the author: MNVVK Chaitanya
In his current role, MNVVK Chaitanya provisions academic advisory by means of curriculum design, development and delivery for the MMBA course. In addition to undertaking teaching, industry interface and project supervision; all aimed at creating an India based research plus teaching agenda in media & entertainment business and management areas.
In the immediate past, at KSK Energy Group, he conceptualized and implemented twenty different OD, talent management, leadership, employee engagement and policy designinterventions. ​

Source Credits: According to the report published by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) titled ‘Media & Entertainment: The Nucleus of India’s Creative Economy—Unleashing the Talent Tsunami to Drive Growth.’

Master Class with Veteran Film Writer Akella

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Master classes are always looked forward to, by our students. For it is the value that the master class setup brings; all students benefit from the master’s comments on a subject and get expert advice, while still learning the finer nuances of their art. They also help students network and plan their future career development.

This time it was a Master Class by the veteran and versatile creative artist and film writer, Akella Venkata Suryanarayana, popularly known as ‘Akella’; who is a film writer, film director, TV writer, TV director, stage writer, stage actor and director.

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Akella has written more than 200 short stories in all leading Telugu magazines and many of his stories were translated into various Indian languages. He has also written more than 30 novels and he was credited with “Yuva Magazine Chakrapani” award, “Visala Andhra” award, “Vijaya Monthly” award and “Andhra Prabha Novel” award. His most outstanding novel “Dharmo Rakshathi Rakshithaha” was translated into French. The celebrity drama writer has written more than 40 plays, playlets and traditional plays (Padya Natakam). His theatre plays won 13 State Nandi awards.

The Master Class was attended by great enthusiasm by our Acting and Fundamentals of Film Direction (Telugu) students. Interacting with the students, the writer-director spoke at length about the importance of a story, screenplay and dialogues. He laid emphasis on the importance of characterisation, behaviour, body language and emotions for actors and how it is essential to read books to gain more knowledge and perspective.

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Bala Raj (Dean, Academics), who was present on the occasion, also shared his valuable inputs about the film industry and the importance of hard work and dedication to one’s craft.

The Master Class offered our creative and motivated students an opportunity to gain valuable insights into the working of the writing and directing fields of the film and television industry.

Things You Didn’t Know About The Minions!

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Minions, minions everywhere! The minions of Despicable Me have become so popular that it spawned its very own movie. You see them everywhere, all over social media feeds, T-shirts, toys, you name it!

Playing a lead role in the movies is Pierre Coffin, the director, who voiced all the hundreds of minions in the movie. There are so many minions serving Gru in the Despicable Me movies that it would be impossible to actually stop and count each individual one. But, if you had to, you would find out that there are actually 899 minions. This is just one of the facts packed into this article!

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Here are some interesting facts that you may not have known about Minions. We expose Gru’s mischievous, fun-loving, goggled little helpers and the secrets behind their creation. Read on to find out facts that you most likely never knew about Kevin, Bob, Stuart and the rest of their banana loving, overall-wearing crew.

  • What exactly is the ‘Minionese’ language? Well, it is actually a mash up of multiple languages and not just gibberish. Some languages featured are English, French, Spanish, Hebrew, Spanish, German, Filipino and Italian. Most o the words that they say actually are names of foods in different languages.
  • The minions developed their eclectic language because they are ‘supposed’ to be an ancient and prehistoric race that has served various masters from around the world for centuries.
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  • Some words in the minion language are taken from Bahasa Indonesia. For example, “kemari” and “terima kasih” mean “come here” and “thank you,”
  • A minion from one of the movie’s early trailers says, “C’est banana. Miam miam!” after picking up a banana. That’s French for “It’s a banana. Yummy!”
  • Kevin frequently uses the phrase “se pa la.” It’s also a Spanish expression that means “who knows.” The minions also say “gracias,” which means “thank you” in Spanish. Interestingly enough, the minions say “thank you” in multiple languages throughout the movie.
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  • A sign that says “Abbey Road” is a reference to The Beatles’ 1969 album, Abbey Road. The album’s artwork is also referenced when the minions walk across the street.
  • Sandra Bullock generally plays a nice role in her movies, but this is the first movie that she’s depicted as a villain. She is the voice of Scarlett Overkill.
  • The movie is set in 1968, or 42 years BG, which means “Before Gru.” What happened in 2010? The first Despicable Me was released, when the minions made their debut.
  • In order to sound a lot more accurately like how Mr. Perkins would normally sound, Will Arnett put on weight! Talk about dedication!
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  • In this scene from The Lorax, if you look closely, you’ll find a minion inside a junk drawer!
  • Did you know that the number Gru used to contact Lucy is actually a real phone number?
  • Look closely at Gru’s collection of paintings and you will see that there are a lot of famous paintings in his collection! These paintings were most likely obtained by stealing, back when he was still a bad guy. Some of the paintings in his house include The Mona Lisa and A Starry Night.
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  • The minions were supposed to be the same size as humans or even bigger, but due to budget issues, they had to scrap the idea and create smaller versions of what was planned. This turned out better for them as the little minions were a huge hit!
  • Sleepy Kittens story in the movie that Gru was forced to read for the kids as they go to sleep became very popular and the same book was turned into a real children’s story that was published around the world.
  • As seen is the first movie, Gru’s speed dial list had the names Dave and Stuart, two of his minion workers.
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  • Following the immense success and gigantic popularity of the two-eyed and one-eyed creatures, a spin off movie was made for the minions and the latest one Despicable Me 3 released in 2017.
  • The minions’ design was inspired by the Jawas from Star Wars and the Oompa Loompas from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
  • All the minions are male and have been given standard English-style names. Dave, Carl, Kevin, Steve, Phil, Jerry, Tim, Bob, Lance, Stuart and Norbert are just a handful of the ones that have been mentioned by name.
  • Stuart, Kevin and Bob, the three main minions featured in the new film, were designed to resemble the traits of Gru’s daughters, Edith, Margot and Agnes.
  • Purple equals bad, yellow equals good. Evil Minions are purple because purple and yellow are opposite to each other on the colour spectrum. Yes, here good and evil minions are literally exact opposites. Evil minions were inspired by old Looney Toons cartoons where Tweety Bird would drink a potion and turn into a monster.
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  • The minions were designed to have only five different hairstyle options, one of which is completely bald and every tall Minion has the same sprouty hairdo.
  • The directors originally had created minions to help make Gru more likeable for audiences and surround him with childishness and incompetence.
  • Minions only have three fingers packed into those little black gloves.
  • Despite several hundred minions existing, there are only about 48 possible design combinations of height, build, hair, and eyes of the minions.
  • Unlike most evil masterminds, Gru genuinely likes the minions, shows appreciation for their work and somehow knows every one by name.

Oscars Nominations for 2017

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Come January and the entire entertainment fraternity, of course with fans included, around the world eagerly await the Academy Awards. Interest levels are high and it reaches a crescendo up to its telecast in February, when millions of movie lovers worldwide tune in to watch the glamorous ceremony.

Considered the highest form of recognition, The Academy Awards or ‘Oscars’, recognizes excellence in cinematic achievements. Did you know that the awards ceremony was first broadcast to radio in 1930 and televised for the first time in 1953 making it the oldest entertainment awards ceremony in the world.

The much-awaited and coveted list of nominees for the Oscars 2017 is finally out! La La Land is the leading contender for the 89th Academy Awards with a record-equalling 14 nominations. This includes nominations in each of the big four categories: Best Picture, Best Director for Damian Chazelle, Best Actress for Emma Stone and Best Actor for Ryan Gosling. Only All About Eve and Titanic have been nominated as many times in the past.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Los Angeles on February 22. Check out the list of nominations in the popular categories below. Who do you think will win?

Best Picture

Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell Or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester By The Sea
Moonlight

Best Director

Denis Villenueve – Arrival
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Damian Chazelle – La La Land
Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
Kenneth Lonegan – Manchester By The Sea

Best Actor

Casey Affleck – Manchester By The Sea
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – Fences

Best Actress

Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Ruth Negga – Loving
Natalie Portman – Jackie
Emma Stone – La La Land
Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Supporting Actor  

Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Jeff Bridges – Hell Or High Water
Lucas Hedges – Manchester By The Sea
Dev Patel – Lion
Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis – Fences
Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Nicole Kidman – Lion
Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams – Manchester By The Sea

Original Screenplay

Hell Or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester By The Sea
20th Century Women

Original Score

Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

Animated Feature

Kubo
Moana
My Life As A Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Best Foreign Language Film

Land Of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Tanna
Toni Erdmann

“It was a dream come true to see myself on the big screen”

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“A dream come true to see myself on the big screen for the very first time,” says she excitedly talking about the short film that is garnering more hits by the day on Youtube. Tanya Joshi, a BFA student from AISFM, is slowly but surely trying to create her own space in the celluloid world. One first step towards that is her stint with the short film Amrutha 96.4 FM. Talking about it all is Tanya here!

So, was it a childhood dream coming true? “Yes, definitely especially coming from a family who is nowhere related to the film industry. It seems more like a fairy tale, but I still have a long way to go. I really look forward to working in films soon. I personally feel that being in AISFM, I have got all these opportunities. The first ever acting project I did was in Annapurna (the music video), then I got this short film Amrutha 96.4 FM. Since then I have never looked back,” she says.

Recollecting how it came by her way, she says “Well, after the music video I started working with a lot of college students in Annapurna. I worked in their semester-end projects. People in college did notice my interest in acting and a lot of students referred my name to independent filmmakers in Hyderabad. Then out of the blue, I got a call from Kishan Katta (Director of Amrutha 96.4 FM). We sat down to read the script, I loved it and so I decided to do this project.”

How does she feel, after the star status it has achieved? “Ha-ha…Wow star status. I think it’s too early to say that I have achieved a star status. I still have a long way to go. But yes I am very happy that few people do know me in Hyderabad because of my acting. I would really thank AISFM for that. I got a lot of exposure because of this college. So I would still say that it’s way too early to say the star status thing. But I am grateful that at such an early age I have started my journey as an actor,” she goes on to say knowing it’s a hard way ahead.

Learning a new language was just one of the things she learnt whilst the making of the short film. Says she, “The only set back that I faced was that this short film was in Telugu, so I really had to learn the language. Also it was for the first time that I was working with an unknown crew. So it took a while for me to understand how things work here.”

Other projects she has been involved with so far are with her seniors’ projects like Pheli Supari, AISFM music video, In Love Dubara, Sales Girl, Lakshman Rekha (The Unwritten Law)  and she has now started doing dubsmashes, which have become quite popular on Instagram.

So, what’s next on the plate? “I am getting calls for many short films, but at the moment I am trying not to take up too many projects in hand as I am in the final year of my degree (BFA in Film & Media). I have taken some time off to work on myself, to make myself ready for the film industry. I am only focusing on myself and the final year of college. If I get a really good project in hand then I would consider doing it,” she says.

Talking about the whole experience of performing, she says, “The whole experience of working in Amrutha 96.4 FM was mind blowing. The shooting of this project was so much fun, as the character Jenny is always hyper and bubbly. That’s how I am in real life as well, so I was able to relate to the character. Before the movie released on YouTube there was a special screening in Prasad’s theatre. So that was a dream come true to see myself on the big screen for the very first time. It recently crossed one lakh views on YouTube. Hence, I am extremely grateful that I am in AISFM because of which I got so many opportunities and I am pretty sure that once I graduate from this prestigious institution, I will have a beautiful journey to look forward to.”

Check out the teaser of the short film http://bit.ly/2bitbxx and the short film itself here

Dialog about dialogues!

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Dialogue is one of the most important elements in a screenplay, for countless reasons. While great dialogue will not automatically make your script golden, weak dialogue will definitely pull down your script. It will not be an understatement to say that dialogue is the fastest and most overt indicator of a writer’s voice and craft.

When we recall our favourite movie, one of the first things we think of is the moments we love, especially the dialogues. Who can forget the iconic Kitne aadmi the from Sholay or Ja Simran ja, jile aapni zindagi from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge! There are some dialogues that we love and some we hate, which is why you have get it right. Want to know more about how to write fabulous dialogues, read on!

Listen to what’s around you
Listen to people very carefully, what they are saying and what they are not saying with equal interest. The world is full of dialogues, if you can hear them. We tend to think of dialogue as back and forth between speakers. But when you listen, you realize that people talk over each other constantly and rarely finish a thought completely.

Dialogue reveals
Dialogue reveals what characters hide, what people try to conceal. Since you are writing the character, you become the characters you are writing. You hear it in your head as you write it. The best thing you can do is sit with your actors, do a dry run and make adjustments according to the requirements of the character or the actor.

Flow of your dialogue
Figure out the flow, the how, the when, the why and it will be words in the right order. Movie conversations mostly involve exchange of information (“the fingerprints match”). Figure out how the characters would tell each other the information. Well written dialogue subtly gives the facts, while badly written dialogue tends to give information in every direction.

Write the draft
You might come up with some punch lines the first time, but for the rest of the dialogues, it is best to write the first draft of a scene, without any punctuation. Next step is to write the final version, when you have the blueprint for the scene. Read each line aloud, over and over again, fine tuning it as you go, with better words.

Characters listening or speaking?
Once you have the scene finished, read the lines again to make sure the characters are not just speaking because they have to. Sometimes, they might just need to listen and sometimes just nod or express without dialogue. Write these finer nuances in it too to highlight the key dialogues.

Improve dialogue
Similar to writing a story, many a times, the best way to improve dialogue is to cut it. After the draft is complete, let it be for a couple of days; then revisit it and if a piece of information is not important, cut it out. Develop the cut instinct. There might be instances where there is a scene with 10 lines of dialogue, and you cut it to five lines, then the five liner becomes two lines, and yet again the two lines might end up with zero lines.

Tight screen dialogue
Screen dialogue is different from real-life dialogue, which is often uninteresting for an outsider, and contains small talk. Whereas screen dialogue is tight, interesting and engaging while being realistic and authentic. So, keep your dialogue interesting, engaging and tight. If you want your screenplay to click, keep your dialogue interesting, engaging and tight, which comes with effort and a good amount of rewriting.

Include conflict where needed
Include as much drama and conflict as possible as it keeps audiences engaged and makes them wonder what’s going to happen next.

Read every line out loud, and ask yourself whether that line is realistic for that character at that time. See if it could be made any tighter. Make sure every character has a distinct voice, since most scripts have multiple characters. Every scene exists for a reason, so be sure that what you’re doing is writing out the scenes that are integral to telling your story.

Effective dialogue
Effective dialogue is not an exact reproduction of real-life speech but rather a condensed form that cuts out verbiage while retaining the flavor of authentic, natural speech. Good dialogue imitates the natural rhythms of everyday speech; it contains nuances, overtones and original turns of phrase that bring out the individual personalities of characters.

  • Do you need dialogue in every scene?
  • Do characters have to use words to respond to a question?
  • Do characters have to have something to say in response to every comment or situation?

The answer is No!

So what is the Purpose of Dialogue?

  • To reveal character
  • To move the story forward

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Sometimes only dialogue can expose the real motivations and secrets of a character in all their complexity. It’s especially effective when it exposes the character in an entirely new way from what we as an audience expect. We use dialogue to establish relationships.

  • Dialogue reflects feelings and attitudes.
  • There may be subtext. What is really being said?
  • Direct dialogue drives people apart: “You’re always late!” Indirect dialogue draws people together: “I know you had to help your sister before you could come.”
  • Conflict in dialogue can reveal information.
  • Dialogue should move the story forward & serve the plot.

The mood of the story

  • The type of dialogue must be appropriate for the genre of that specific film. Set the tone and style of the story right away. This is especially important in comedy, so that we know that it’s all right to laugh.
  • Good dialogue has a beat, a rhythm, and a melody. It’s affected by time, place, the weather, and so much more. It’s intangible like mist, and it depends on your characters and who they are, their relationships, the situation, and the genre.

Writing Dialogue

  • Sometimes you might to set up the story in the first few words of dialogue.
  • From the start, keep in mind your final end point, and build the dialogue toward the climax.
  • Write less than you think you need. See and hear it as you write. Act it out in character.
  • See who is dominating the scene, shifting dominance and apex.

Every word should have a purpose
Consider:
Chinatown: Jake Gittes is relaying an off – color joke to his male employees. The joke is not important, what is important is Mrs. Mulwray is listening without Jake’s knowledge. The dialogue purpose is to cause an awkward moment and put Jake off-guard.

In Pulp Fiction, Jules gives his opinion of hamburgers. He is not trying to instruct the young men in the apartment about beef patties, he is making it clear that he is the most dangerous, unpredictable and powerful person in the room.

Making dialogue sound natural

  • Use contractions (“don’t”, “shouldn’t”, “can’t”) unless a character is very stuffy or speaking in a very formal context.
  • Let characters break off sentences, or speak in phrases rather than sentences. (You might think of these as verb less sentences, they’re great for dialogue.)
  • Have characters interrupt one another.
  • Use the occasional “um” or “er”, if a character is being particularly hesitant.

Dramatic Dialogue
Find the character’s voice.

  • How your character speaks will bring him or her to life. The dialogue you construct for your characters needs to be specific. Let the dialogue help clarify characters.
  • What area of the world is the character from?
  • Is he foreign? Local?
  • What part of the country is he/she from?
  • Use of colloquial (not formal or literary used on ordinary or familiar conversation) slang can reveal roots of character.

What is the educational level of the character?

  • Big words or small words?
  • Grammar?
  • Syntax?
  • Malapropisms (the mistaken use of words in place of a similar-sounding one. Often with unintentionally amusing effect.)
  • Understanding of the world.
  • Ability to make their point of view.

What is the personality of the character?

  • Violent? Meek? (Quiet, gentle) Timid? (Showing a lack of courage) Insecure? Proud? Egotistical?
  • Finds humor in every situation?
  • Chip on his shoulder?
  • Seduces with every word?

Dialogue is also about attitude. Characters with sunny dispositions may find the silver lining on every storm cloud. Characters who view the world as a dark and menacing place will find words, images and ideas to reflect that.

10 Films For March: The best films you missed in 2014

Each month we countdown 10 films that are worth pulling out for a rewatch. This month, we look that some of the best films from 2014 that you probably didn’t see.

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Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler
The first of two Jake Gyllenhaal film on our list! The film explores the sleazy world of US tabloid journalism where TV networks compete for gory and exploitative footage of crimes and accidents. Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, a ruthless, self-delusional sociopath who finds success as a freelance video journalist when he crosses the line between capturing and creating crime footage.

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Leviathan

Leviathan
Kolya, a small-town Russian car mechanic, struggles to keep his family house from the land-grabbing plans of a corrupt local mayor. He is up against an endless list of challenges – the corrupt government, the useless legal system and even his own friends and family. The world weighs down on him – is it really worth the fight?

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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Somewhat lost in the noise of The Lego Movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Big Hero 6, this was by far the best animated film of 2014. The film offers breathtaking, hand-drawn animation from the legendary Studio Ghibli, and a heartbreaking story of what it means to grow old.
A childless bamboo cutter discovers a tiny girl inside a bamboo plant. He and his wife raise her as their daughter, however she grows and ages much faster than other children. Determined to give her a comfortable life, they move to a city and try to prepare her for marriage.
This film will be loved by the whole family. You can catch it in the original Japanese with subtitles, but the English version, with voices from Chloe Grace Moretz, James Caan is great.

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Blue Ruin

Blue Ruin
A gritty thriller wrapped up in lyrical visual poetry. This is what you hope to end up with when a talented cinematographer turns director – carefully composed frames with layers of meaning.
A homeless man wants vengeance when his parents’ killer is released from prison. However his bungled assassination attempt drags him and his estranged family into danger.  There is wonderful black humor in watching a ‘non-hero’ character trying to be an action star.

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Locke

Locke
An 80 minute feature film, with one on-screen character (Tom Hardy) as he drives his car from Birmingham to London, in real time. The action takes place through the phone calls he makes, to his wife, to his mistress and to the construction project that he is supposed to be supervising.

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A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
For a world, hopefully tired of glossy Twilight vampires, 2014 gave us two fresh vampire flicks: Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, and Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.
We caught A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night at the Mumbai Film Festival and were blown away by this ‘Iranian vampire western’. Light on story but huge on mood, we follow a lonely vampire girl as she skateboards around her crime-ridden Iranian city, stalking her prey.
Will she find love, or forever dance alone under her mirrorball?

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The Drop

The Drop
An understated crime drama that serves as a vehicle for two of our favourite actors: James Gandolfini and Tom Hardy.  Throw in a story by one of our favourite writers – Denis Lehane, the scribe of Mystic River, Shutter Island, Gone Baby Gone and parts of The Wire and Boardwalk – and you just know that this is going to be great.
Small but expansive, simple yet gripping, and highly worth a watch.

Force Majeure

Force Majeure

Force Majeure
The best films often have a simple premise that really makes us think. Picture the perfect family on a vacation – a loving father, mother and kids. When a disaster strikes, the father panics and saves himself, leaving his family behind. Everyone is fine, except that they are not really. Can the father rebuild the relationship with his family?
This is a hilarious and wickedly dry black comedy from Swedish writer-director Ruben Ostlund.

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Enemy

Enemy
This is one of those films that takes a couple of watches to really understand everything that went on.
Jake Gyllenhaal is a bored, uninspired professor. He spots an actor who looks exactly like him in a film. As he tries to meet his doppleganger, his life begins to unravel.
Menacing, eerie and surreal, this film was too arty for the mainstream box office but will be a rewarding watch and rewatch for lovers of great cinema. The final image is probably the scariest twist of any film in 2014.

Starred Up

Starred Up

Starred Up
A gripping British prison drama. A young man – violent and unpredictable – is transferred from juvenile to adult prison. He wears this as a mark of pride, the fact that he grew up in ‘the system’, and sets out to further his tough reputation.
His father, a life-term prisoner, is determined to see that his son doesn’t follow in his shoes.
There’s a great appearance by Rupert Friend (Quinn from Homeland) as a prison psychologist who wants to give the inmates another chance.

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