The folks over at Mela have launched a new initiative they're calling "First Day, First Show" - essentially they're giving access to new theatrical releases to customers of the Mela service. Mela has already given its users access to a couple of new releases this year -- both Puja Jatinder Bedi’s Ghost and Sudish Kamath’s Good Night Good Morning were made available on Mela's various platforms (set-top box, Roku and iPad app), but Mela is officially launching this initiative tomorrow, with a release I've been dying to see: Rajshree Ojha's Chaurahen (Crossroads):
To quote from the press release (because I'm too busy squeeing and jumping up and down to edit this into my own words):
"Chaurahen (Crossroads), a film directed by Rajshree Ojha, who previously directed Aisha, in addition to two other popular specialty projects, boasts an impressive ensemble cast that includes Soha Ali Khan, Victor Banerjee, veteran Bollywood actress Zeenat Aman, and Kiera Chaplin, granddaughter of the silent film superstar Charlie Chaplin. The film is an adaptation of short stories by celebrated author Nirmal Verma. Ojha describes the three vignettes that comprise Chaurahen as “snippets of collected photographs, bringing together similar disconnected people trying to find their path.” Originally completed in 2007, Chaurahen went on to screen at 11 international film festivals before securing theatrical distribution in India by PVR Cinema and global online distribution by Mela."
I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am both about this venture from Mela and for the opportunity to see Chaurahen -- not only tomorrow, but AT ALL. Far too many films don't make it to theatres over here, as my constant whinging about not being able to see Paan Singh Tomar would attest to. Mela gave me chance to see Good Night Good Morning, too -- a film that's turned out to be one of my favorites so far this year. Piracy of films is a huge problem and a huge headache for the industry, and by giving film fans opportunities to see films, Mela and the filmmakers and distributors who are working with them are ensuring that we get to see these films, legally, and help them spread the word about their work.
So a huge, huge thank you to Mela for this initiative, and to Rajshree Ohja for taking a chance on them with her film -- this fan in Southern Ontario can hardly wait until tomorrow to see it!
Edited to add: Soha Ali Khan has done a promo for the film - I am counting the hours until tomorrow!