MARA PICTURES RELEASES THE POOL IN THE UNITED KINGDOM JANUARY 2010
Bottom Line: A deceptively simple, deeply moving gem of a film
Mara Pictures, an independent theatrical distribution company, is releasing the Indian-American co-production feature The Pool in cinemas across the United Kingdom on January 31st, 2010.
The Pool is the story of Venkatesh, a room boy working at a hotel in Goa, who sees from his perch in a mango tree a luxuriant garden and shimmering pool hidden behind a wall. In making whatever efforts he can to better himself, Venkatesh offers his services to the wealthy owner of the home. Not content to simply dream about a different life, Venkatesh is inquisitive about the inhabitants of the home-indeed about the world around him-and his curiosity changes the shape of his future.
The film is co-written and directed by Chris Smith, who won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at Sundance Film Festival in 1999 for American Movie. “I read the story by Randy Russell titled The Pool and it was one of those things that just stood out and stayed with me as we were researching and looking at different projects,” says Smith. “The story was actually set in Iowa – but the more I thought about it, it seemed like it could be adapted to the world I experienced in Panjim, Goa. I had helped shoot a film in Goa several years ago and the whole endeavour had a big impact on me creatively. I thought it would be a great place to come back and film if it ever made sense setting or story wise.”
The critically acclaimed film stars Indian cinema legend Nana Patekar and Ayesha Mohan as well as two local boys, Venkatesh Chavan and Jhangir Bhadshah, who were selected to play versions of themselves. Lending the story buoyancy is the soundtrack’s judicious use of music recorded in Mumbai’s only remaining analog studio, under the helm of retired Bollywood arranger Kersi Lord. The Pool received the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and was selected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York as one of the Best Films of the Year alongside The Dark Knight, Slumdog Millionaire, Milk, Iron Man and Wall-E.
“We shot the film for the big screen – shooting on 35mm and choosing to use many wide shots that allow you to take in the rich environment,” elaborates Smith. “I’m thrilled that The Pool is releasing theatrically in the UK. It connects with audiences and I am delighted that they will be able to see it on the big screen. We’ve had extended runs in the US and Canada theatrically and it has been great working with Mara Pictures to bring it to a new theatrical home.”
‘It’s hard to think of a more welcome piece of American filmmaking.’
– Time Out NY
‘Uplifting without a drop of sap, the tale of a boy’s obsession with a glittering swimming pool and how it changes four lives offers numerous pleasures and one of the most satisfying and resonant conclusions to be seen in recent cinema.’
–Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
‘Extraordinary! Sneaks up on you and stays with you long after you’ve left the theater.’
-Liz Braun, Toronto Sun
‘Few have gone as far, or achieved such impressive results, as Chris Smith in The Pool.’
–Michael Hardy, Boston Globe
Screening Venues and Dates:
Cornerhouse, Manchester: January 31st
Apollo Cinema with Asia House, London with Director Q&A: February 3rd www.asiahouse.org
Watermans, London: February 5th-11th www.watermans.org.uk
Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle: March 4th www.starandshadow.org.uk
Rich Mix, London: Summer 2010 www.richmix.org.uk
Additional Screening dates and venues TBA
For further information please contact:
Sanam Hasan, Head of Marketing and Public Relations, Mara Pictures
Roopa Saini, Head of Acquisitions, Mara Pictures
Marketing and Public Relations
© BRWC 2010.
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