Double treat for movie buffs in Auckland

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Venkat Raman
Auckland, July 14, 2021

‘Azar’ and ‘Abhinetri’ at Victoria Theatre, Auckland on September 11, 2021

Film enthusiasts can expect an evening of quality entertainment as two films, both made in Auckland, make their way to the big screen during Spring.

‘Azar,’ an adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ will debut at Victoria Theatre in Davenport in North Shore at 5.30 pm on Saturday, September 11, 2021.

‘Abhinetri,’ a short film of 13 minutes will also be shown at the same venue.

Awards and accolades

Produced and presented by Euphoria Entertainment Inc, a South Asian Performing Arts Group, ‘Abhinetri’ has earned national and international acclaim.

The film, raising awareness on the evils of family violence, was chosen as the Best Film and Best Women’s Film as well as earning the Best Actress Award for Swastika Ganguly at the Tagore International Film Festival of India last year. She won a similar award for this film at the Cotswold International Film Festival, England.

Among the other festivals at which ‘Abhinetri’ won recognition include Virgin Spring Fest, India (Best Short Film), Singapore International Film Festival (Best Film for Women) and London International Monthly Film Festival (Honourable Mention).  

The film was a finalist at the Kosice International Art Film Festival, Eastern Europe and Athens International Art Film Festival, Greece and semi-finalist at the Sweden Film Awards and Best Indie Film Awards.

‘Abhinetri’ was also on the Official Selection List of Golden Short Film Festival (Rome), Istanbul Film Awards, Eastern Europe Film Festival, Lift-Off Sessions and Hollywood Gold Awards.

About Azar

Set in Kashmir, Azar is a modern adaptation of William Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy, 
‘Macbeth’ revolves around a couple’s rise to power through love, passion, betrayal and murder, ultimately leading to the premise of the Kargil Conflict between India and Pakistan.

The film opens with a narrator mentioning the long-forgotten but relevant to the conflict that left more than 1000 people dead in the Kashmir Valley.

This is the story of the unfathomable love and passion between two people and their soaring ambitions and aspirations, which move towards betrayal and murder.

‘Azar’ depicts the Kashmir insurgency in the 1990s and the ‘Ikwan Movement’ supported by the Indian Army. The Ikwanis were former militants who changed loyalties and became instruments of anti-insurgency operations in the Valley.

Azar and Basheer, two powerful Ikwani leaders and the righthand men of Abbaji, the de factor Ruler of the Poonch District of Kashmir. He was also an important figure in Jammu and Kashmir politics.

Even as they are rejoicing their victory, Azar and Basheer are perplexed by a prophecy of a ‘Jinnat,’ who hails Azar as the ‘Future Wazir’ and ultimately the ‘Bettaj Badshah’ of the earthly Paradise.

Fuelled by Azar’s beloved wife Yasmin’s ambition and passion, the film depicts how Azar fulfils the prophecy but loses everything to his greed.

About ‘Abhinetri’

‘Abhinetri’ (The memoirs of an actress) is an ode to all the strong women across the globe who have survived domestic violence and abuse at some point of time in their lives or are still enduring the pain. The film is loosely based on the life of Mrinalini Shome a reputed theatre actress from Calcutta and her journey from rags to riches, from slum to the high risers, to fame and stardom and eventually her heart-wrenching story of going into complete oblivion following a series of traumatic incidents that scarred her for life.

About Euphoria Entertainment  

Established in Auckland in 2017 by Swastika Ganguly, Anirban Datta and Bikram Banerjee, the initiative shares their join vision for promoting quality acting and film production. Among the other stalwarts of this enterprise are Preeta Vyas, Devdutt Paranjape, Amit Rathod, Shaival Chakravarty and Gaurav Sawant. 

Last year (2020), Euphoria Entertainment received the ‘Best Lockdown-themed Film’ for its inhouse production ‘Amigo 1.0’ at the Shoestring Film Challenge 2020 (New Zealand) and made it to the Official Selection at FTC Talents Online Film Awards (Bollywood Actor Suniel Shetty’s Production House) under the categories of Best Actress (Swastika) and Best Story/ Screenplay (Anirban). It also won the ‘Best Short Film shot on Mobile Phone’ Award at the Istanbul Film Festival, 2020.

‘Belladonna,’ the first short film of the Company won the ‘Best Actress Award’ for Swastika and ‘best Short Film- Crime’ for producer Anirban.

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