The Golden Pen wins Honorable Mention at Asians on Film Festival in West Hollywood

Asians on Film Festival logo

The golden pen has been awarded an Honourable Mention as the runners up in the Best Short – Documentary Category at the Asians on film festival in west hollywood, california. The first place went to Merde! which was directed by Earl McDaniel III.

The announcement was made barely three days after The Golden Pen was premiered on Friday, April 13, before a packed audience at the ReelWorld Film Festival in Toronto. A full video report of the premiere and an animated Q&A will be on this site shortly.

The tremendous reception at the premiere was way beyond our expectations. We were graced with directors such as Shakun Batra, whose Bollywood movie Ek Main aur Ek Tu, was also premiered at the festival. And now we have been showered with recognition from a well-know West Coast festival that specializes in a certain genre of films.  This sort of recognition would have  been impossible but for the team involved in filming and putting together The Golden Pen.

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COMING SOON: A FULL VIDEO OF THE GOLDEN PEN’S TORONTO PREMIERE AND AN ANIMATED Q&A.

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Production Journal: Lucknow

LUCKNOW, INDIA – The residents of Wazir Gunj, an old ‘mohalla’ or neighbourhood, rose up to lend a helping hand in the digital rebirth of the late Bollywood scriptwriter, Aghajani Kashmeri. And it was quite an experience, talking to the children and grandchildren of the friends my Babba played with. (SEE SLIDESHOW BELOW AND LISTEN TO THE MELODIOUS VOICE OF LUCKNOW’S LEGENDARY GHAZAL SINGER, THE LATE BEGUM AKHTAR)

After all, he was one of their own, who rose to capture the No. 1 spot in the world’s largest movie industry as a screenplay, dialogue and storywriter. And here we were, myself, Howard Bernstein (my co-producer and co-writer), his wife Lani Selick (our director), Tony Wannamaker (the director of photography), assisted by Samal Prashant from New Delhi, recreating the early life of Babba.

Filming the Aghajani Kashmeri documentary in Lucknow, India - The Golden Pen team

The Golden Pen documentary team in Lucknow’s Sarovar Portico

He was born at 9 Wazir Gunj. The original home still stands, an open courtyard surrounded by living quarters, a terrace up top running all the way around. All the houses connect to each other through the terrace. You could in fact, jump from one terrace to another and make your way around the old mohalla. Babba did, he writes in his autobiography, Sahar Honé Tak.

SLIDESHOW OF THE LUCKNOW SHOOTING

On one occasion, as a youngster, he and some friends found an opening in the roof of a nearby home from where they peeped at a newlywed couple enjoying their first night. Babba told me years later that he never forgot the nuptial conversation! And would reproduce those dialogues in one of his movies, with crfitics acclaiming the scene as one of the most realistic pieces of scriptwriting. Continue reading