There's a new kid on the indie distribution playground, and Philadelphia's Artsploitation Films is wasting no time in setting up a formidable stable of fantastic films.
First up is the Earth-shaking debut narrative feature from Bengali enfant terrible, Q (Kaushik Mukherjee). Gandu
is a film that we've been passionately supporting since the very first trailer appeared in advance of the South Asian International Film Festival in 2010, and Artsploitation's December 11th DVD release marks the first commercial release of the film with English subs anywhere in the world. The film was previously released via BIldstorung in Germany, but they were contractually forbidden from including English content presumably because this deal was in the works. I've only ever seen it via sketchy festival screener to prepare for my SAIFF 2010 review (available below), and I'm excited to see a proper version of the film that continues to melt my brain 2 years after its world premiere.
Artsploitation's release will not only feature the director's cut of the film that is so explicit that it has never played in any official capacity in India, but also some exclusive extra content straight from Q's bag of tricks. There is footage from Gandu
's European premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2011, a behind the scenes featurette, a music video, and an exclusive interview and essay with Q from Artsploitation acquisitions director, Travis Crawford.
As exciting as that release is to me, there is a ton more great news on the way from Artsploitation in the acquisitions department. Not only do they have Gandu
, but they've also picked up NYAFF hit, Hard Romanticker
, Fantastic Fest 2012 award winners Combat Girls
and Vanishing Waves
, and several other edgy festival favorites for US home video release. Combat Girls
was one of my top five favorite films of Fantastic Fest this year, and I'm glad to see a company with some cojones take it on and hopefully help it make a mark on the US market.
For a company so young, Artsploitation is really taking it to the street, laying down the law, and kicking ass and taking names! The early pre-order link for Gandu
is below, please, do yourself a favor and order a copy, this movie is absolutely mind-bending!
Check out the press release below:
ARTSPLOITATION FILMS DEBUTS WITH GANDU
New Film Distribution Company Dedicated to Edgy International Titles Releases Acclaimed Independent Indian Film that Is Banned in India
Available December 11 on DVD and VOD
LOS ANGELES -- (October 4, 2012) -- Artsploitation Films, an ascendant American film distribution company, fulfills the promise it made earlier this year to bring edgy international movies to North American audiences with its debut release, GANDU.
Directed by Bengali filmmaker "Q" (Kaushik Mukherjee), this independent Indian film is a deliriously frantic, music-infused look at one poor young man and his dreams of becoming a rap star. GANDU (Hindi slang for "asshole") is a bold and entertaining example of new Indian filmmaking that, ironically, is banned in India.
"When I started the label, I wasn't sure exactly what kinds of titles I'd try to acquire. Then I saw Gandu," recalls Raymond Murray, president of Artsploitation Films. "I left the theater thinking this is exactly the kind of film Artsploitation should champion: edgy, strange, exciting, sexy and controversial. It's international, it's drama, it's an art film, it's a hyperventilating genre film."
On December 11, Artsploitation Films will release GANDU on DVD and VOD
GANDU had its international premiere in 2010 at the South Asian International Film Festival in New York City, where it won the Jury Award (Runner-Up) for Best Film. The following year, Q earned the award for Best New Director at the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival. One of the most widely internationally screened South Asian films in recent years, GANDU appeared at film festivals in Berlin, Rome, Istanbul, Amsterdam, London, Helsinki, Singapore, Croatia and South Africa.
International reviews have praised the film: "A highly transgressive, visually spectacular assault on the senses" (Time Out London); "...Bengali thrash-metal rap musical Gandu grabs auds by the throat and gradually works its way down" (Variety); "Bold, energetic and by turns both deliberately vulgar and sharply incisive...a film that straddles a heretofore unnoticed line between Danny Boyle's Trainspotting and Gaspar Noe's Enter The Void" (Twitch).
Travis Crawford, an acquisitions consultant for Artsploitation Films, discusses GANDU's fiercely anti-Bollywood attitude in the package's liner notes: "The film isn't just a rebellion against 'Bollywood' cliché, but rather an explosion of cinematic anarchy directed at the pedestrian nature of all of contemporary world filmmaking."
For more information regarding GANDU, please contact Christoph Buerger at 323.512.3710 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Raymond Murray: Murray is the co-founder of TLA Entertainment Group and its president/CEO since its inception in 1981. Over the years, the company has operated art house cinemas and later, award-winning video stores in New York City and Philadelphia. Today, the company runs www.tlavideo.com, one of the country's largest online DVD/VOD sales sites. Murray also founded and continues to be the Artistic Director of Philadelphia QFest and was Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Film Festival (2001-10). In 2000, Murray and partners launched TLA Releasing, a film distribution company that released films in North America. The company expanded its focus with the launch of the genre-focused Danger After Dark label in 2003. In 2004 it opened an office in London and expanded operations in the UK. Prominent releases include Suicide Club, Latter Days, Death of a Dynasty, Another Gay Movie, The Trip, Adam and Steve and Sleeper Cell.
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