NYC Premiere of The Golden Pen: Watch 24-minute NY TV news show

A lot has happened since the Toronto premiere of The Golden Pen… it was premiered in New York City under the auspices of the Foreign Policy Association at Scandinavia House.

 

The event drew a near packed house with a lot of media. For me the highlight was being on stage with my brother, Sarwar Kashmeri and answering questions, some of them from Americans and South Asians who knew Aghajani Kashmeri, our father, personally.

Then there were reporters such as Renee Lobo, who put together a brilliant 24-minute special on her TV show called The Renee Lobo report that airs in several parts of the United States.

TUNE IN FOLKS: The Golden Pen’s TV premiere in Ontario and Western Canada on May 20 and 27

It’s finally here, the moment we have all been waiting for: The Golden Pen’s Canadian TV premiere:

  • OMNI-2 in Ontario on Sunday, May 20 at 9 p.m. in English;
  • OMNI-2 in Ontario on Sunday, May 27 at 9 p.m. in Hindi/Urdu;
  • OMNI Alberta Sunday, May 27 at 9 p.m. (played in most of Western Canada except B.C.);
  • OMNI B.C. on Sunday, May 27 at 10 p.m.

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As we mentioned earlier, The Golden Pen was selected to premiere at Toronto’s ReelWorld Film Festival on April 13 (the video above with Zuhair Kashmeri introducing the documentary was from the premiere); won a runners-up in the short documentary category at the Winter 2012 Asians on Film Festival in West Hollywood; and has its New York premiere on June 6, 2012, hosted by the prestigious Foreign Policy Association in Manhattan.

This has been an amazing journey for me, much as it was an amazing journey for my father, from his hometown of Lucknow, India (not Lucknow, Ontario) to Toronto, Canada.

Enjoy and after you watch the doc, please return here to http://thegoldenpen.ca, leave your comments or e-mail us.

 

The Golden Pen to Premiere at the 12th Annual ReelWorld Film Festival

That’s right ladies and gentleman, The Golden Pen has been accepted to the 2012 ReelWorld Film Festival, which will be happening in Toronto April 11-15th. You can catch our Canadian premiere on April 13 at the Famous Players Canada Square Cinema. The making of The Golden Pen has been an incredible journey, and after almost two years, we couldn’t be more excited to share our film with you. CLICK ME to buy tickets for the premiere, which are $10 each; $5 for seniors and students..

For the still uninitiated, The Golden Pen is about the life of Aghajani Kashmeri and unfolds through the stories told by his descendants and a historian in Lucknow.  In Mumbai, the heart of Bollywood, the film picks up with footage from his films, interviews Bollywood actors such as the late Shammi Kapoor and Joy Mukherjee, and the veteran sweetheart of early Bollywood, Nimmi. Others such as Amin Sayani of the radio show that could make or break movies, Binaca Geet Mala or hit parade, reminisce about a man who entertained six generations of Indians, and was a celebrity who lost much of his wealth on the racetrack before finally moving to Toronto late in life.

In the upcoming weeks, we are looking to use this site and our Facebook page as platforms to share more information about the film and the incredible life of Aghajani Kashmeri, so if that is something you’re interested in please join us on Facebook or check back here regularly.

Finally, we sincerely hope that you can join us April 13th in Toronto as we celebrate Aghajani Kashmeri, a man who lived to make movies, with a cinematic tribute told with the deepest admiration by those that knew him best. If you cannot make it, stay tuned for our upcoming Television premiere on Omni-TV and other screening opportunities as they are announced.

Click here to read the full press release.

An Interview With Aghajani Kashmeri Reveals the Source of the Golden Pen’s Title

Our one-hour documentary on legendary film writer AGHAJANI KASHMERI has been officially titled THE GOLDEN PEN — Following the footsteps of a Bollywood scriptwriter — The previous working title was Bollywood or Bust.

 

The Golden Pen - documentary on the life of Aghajani Kashmeri

THE GOLDEN PEN is being produced with funding from OMNI-TV under its independent producers program. It will be aired later in 2011, exclusively on OMNI-TV in Canada for one year. We have begun to market the documentary in India, England, America and other parts of the world.

The title, The Golden Pen, is taken from the last interview that Aghajani Kashmeri gave in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, in March 1991. The journalist was the veteran writer, Rafique Baghdadi. It was published in Mumbai Daily, Mid-Day, and we reproduce it below. Continue reading

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