STRINGS-bound by faith

A Travelouge love story.90min,35mm,1:1.85 aspect ratio,Dolby Digital,Colour,English/Hindi.2006.INDIA.

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Location: bombay, India

Son of a soldier, I was born in Sultanganj in Bhagalpur district, Bihar. My childhood days were spent in an earthy rural life. I was deeply inspired by the rich folk culture of Buddha’s own land, Bihar. Right from the beginning, I Grew up with real images of Melas, Ramleelas, Bahuripiyas, incredible rituals, strong religious milieu and the vibrant Mithila Art. Natural calamities like flood and drought gifted unforgettable images. Changing seasons of rural life on the bank of river Ganga matured into a sense of poetry and language. Wonder years passed chasing steam trains that passed through the fields of my native village. Listening to radio programs made for defense personals was my only window to the outside world. With such a treasure of inspirational experiences a story teller evolved. I am a practicing film maker in Bombay today.

On the name of religion dozens of Hindu hermits in saffron robes angrily burned the CDs and posters of 'Strings'.

Hindu hermits burn the effigy of Sanjay Jha, the director of Bollywood film Strings, during a protest in Allahabad, India, Monday, July 17, 2006.

Friday, October 27, 2006

mise- en- scene of independant cinema in india

My blogger friend Michael made my morning by informing the DVD overseas release of my film -STRINGS.[ thank you Michael ]

This was awaited news from 'HMV-Sa Re Ga Ma' people but it seems they are still busy with their yearly festival holidays.
In the process of making this DVD master i had to go through the same grind of power and politics of, 'buying and selling marketing stratergies' etc, etc... Again as an independent film maker,I was reminded severely that my film has no 'STARS' and takers etc...

When we did this DVD agreement with HMV,it was always clear that mastering will be done in my supervision. First they told me it will be done in Madras,later i was informed by my partner producer to check the mastering done at a very small studio in Mumbai itself with no proper adequate equipments and skills.I found the work was a complete disaster-
[A.] they had no clue about the subtitles,they just couldn't follow any dialogues and in the 'Mantra'[OM] poem words were not only copied literally but also words were missing from what was rendered forget the translations.It was all inspite of me giving them a DVD copy of the film which i had made for the CANNES and other film festivals which had correct subtitles...
[B.] they had used wipes of graphical 'OM' symbol between the chapters in DVD-I had a big objection to it because this was never an idea right from conceptualisation of the film to bring any religious symbols into it.In fact i am suffering in theatrical releases till date because of a PIL lodged by Sadhus of Allahabad on one poem used by me in the film which has word 'OM'...
[C.] due to the absence of a proper converter used in changing the telecine of the film from PAL to NTSCE for mastering DVD the pigmentations of the colour of the film was drastically distorted.
When i expressed my objections to HMV they made me feel guilty for having made a film without a star and sadly my partner producer got sold to this very CLICHE idea of film making and came in the way. so we lost a lot of time and days in debate.later in pressure of the D-line from the corporate desk they released my DVD with the same disasterous mistakes harming the film and violating my rights as a writer,producer and director of the film.

I felt very hurt and disturbed,never thought that passion could be crushed.I was alone in this fight.When i gave them an ultimatum of going into legal disputes they stopped the process of printing[as they claimed] and i hope so. But by the time they had released 2000 copies of the DVD's for the domestic market,they also ended up creating a lot of misunderstanding between me and my partner.
Later on a very compromising note i went to do my DVD mastering at shemaroo on my own. Completed the work by paying ourselves.HMV did take the new master from us but i am not sure which version is where...
and i don't know the accountability of those 1999 copies released earlier [i have one which i bought from the local shop in a mall]
Hope they have released the correct version with meaningful subttitles and without any religious signs in the index of the DVD.

This film took me three years to come to this stage and we have yet to recover our money.



Blogger michael said...

sad story to read.
you don't know any store which sells it but its such expensive postal service there (as much as the dvd costs i should pay for the postal service)?

me and some other want to see this movie :)

9:59 AM  
Blogger sanjay jha said...

nameste michael,
i think if we wait for a week or two we can get the dvd in other stores too,anyways pls mail me your postal address i will try and send you a copy of my film,i just want to find out if the right version has come out...

6:39 PM  
Blogger Dr@ma Div@ said...

i want the dvd... hihi *wink*

9:10 PM  
Blogger sanjay jha said...

nameste drama diva,
thank you for dropping in after long time
come to india for the dvd...hihi*wink-wink*.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Dawn....सेहर said...

No idea of this and I have not seen this movie...will try sometime
Thanks for visiting my blog, do come again

4:33 PM  
Blogger sanjay jha said...

nameste dawn,
thank you for dropping in,
happy blogging-

6:30 PM  
Blogger Id it is said...

I'll definitely want to see this film, and possibly review it too. Would Blockbuster be carrying this movie any time soon, or is there any possibility that the film may be screened in or around NY city?
In the meanwhile, good luck.

4:52 PM  
Blogger sanjay jha said...

nameste id
thank you for dropping in,DVD release will be very soon,and you can review it then,will look forward to your reviews
warm regards

10:55 PM  
Blogger Serena said...

Namaste! I linked you ;-) Link me back!! Dying to watch 'Strings' - the university where I've been studying is in the middle of nowhere so I haven't had a chance to see it yet, but I'm sure it's fantastic. Don't let people get you down, Serena ps:love all your blogs.. glad our paths crossed!

3:43 AM  
Blogger sanjay jha said...

nameste serena,
thank you for linking me,it feels good and i like to be in blogosphere...

6:47 AM  
Blogger sanjay jha said...

PS-serena you are linked in 'Strings-bound by faith'

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dont find it in any shop available in europe and the states. damn.

8:28 PM  
Blogger sanjay jha said...

Nameste michael
its sad and frustrating to not be able to send you a copy of my film,but i will keep my promise and i am trying to organise a private copy to send it to you,please wait by then,warm regards,cheers

10:29 PM  

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