Goan Cinema Pushes Boundaries

Big Banner Entertainment and Media LLP achieves a milestone with its latest production #MOG! premiering at IFFI along with films to be previewed at the NFDC Film Bazaar

#MOG!, a Big Banner Entertainment and Media LLP production directed by Nilesh Malkar and featuring Bharath and Nakshatra Medhekar, is an unconventional romantic film set to premiere on November 26, 2023 as part of the Special Goan section at this year’s International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

“When #MOG! was first pitched to us by Nilesh Malkar, the writer and director, it was a very challenging project, because the idea was to make the film in multiple languages using cast from various parts of India as well as the best talent from Goa,” shares Jojo D’Souza, filmmaker and Creative Head at Big Banner Entertainment, who was an integral part of the editing and post-production team.

With the primary aim of creating a film with marketability in both Goa and the South, the Director roped in Bharath, a very affable and popular Tamil star, and Nakshatra Medhekar from Mumbai. Subsequently, some of the finest actors from Goa, including Manoj Joshi, Salil Naik, Varsha Usgaonkar, and Prince Jacob with the support of Nikhil Dhadve, Devrishi Malhotra, Zenelyn Afonso, Spirit, and others, and the active participation from Deepak Bandekar, Producer; Chandan Bandekar, Co-Producer and Deepa A. Bandekar, Presenter, during the post-production phase – everything fell perfectly into place.

The #MOG! team, keeping in mind the festival deadlines, worked hard tying together all efforts to ready the film. Following a 30-day shoot schedule, the Director sat with the editing team, Rajkumari and Jojo, completing the final cut of the film in a record 35 days. Music Director, Denis Vallaban, then crafted a robust sound score which was complemented by live foley (the reproduction of everyday sound effects added to films) and sound work done by Taran D’Souza, while the visuals were beautifully captured by Shinjini Paul, Director of Photography (DoP). The team also successfully obtained certification from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

“My role began with coordinating with Rajkumari D’Souza, Executive Producer. The entire film was ready in less than 4 months, including songs in four languages, live foley, dubs, re-edits, Digital Intermediate (DI) and colour grading, effects, titles and subtitles. The whole post-production was carried out at our own studio—Big Banner Entertainment and Media LLP,” shares Jojo.

“The film #MOG! is not your typical romance story,” asserts Jojo. The story revolves around Celina, a bubbly spit-fire Goan baker’s daughter, and Lionel, who returns from Canada to sell his restaurant and cafe after the death of his estranged father. The film also harbours a deep dark secret that shatters Celina when it comes to light. “The film carries a strong message for women and families,” the filmmaker shares.

This year, Big Banner Entertainment is participating, with a majority of its core team, in the NFDC Film Bazaar, aiming to showcase its content and technical capabilities on a global scale. The production house has 2 other films, along with #MOG!, being previewed at the NFDC Film Bazaar – Market Screening.

“Our presence at this year’s IFFI includes three of our films in the Market Screening. We have been collectively pitching this content, new content as well as our studio services, our team and our equipment which is at par with the best in the industry, to select distributors and content acquisition firms,” shares Deepak Bandekar, Founder-CEO, Big Banner Entertainment & Media LLP.

“We have a European-friendly film Pedru Poder (Peter the Baker), along with our premiere film #MOG! (#LOVE) which we will later release in a few more languages, and our Bollywood film Ishq Tera, which will be shown in English as Broken Love,” reveals Jojo.

Apart from being a huge accomplishment for the team at Big Banner Entertainment, this achievement also stands as a remarkable milestone for the Goan film industry due to the fact that this marks a pioneering endeavour for a Goan production house. “We at Big Banner have created the best infrastructure for filmmaking in Goa, equivalent to the best studios in the world. We want Goa to grow not just as a film shooting destination but as a one-stop destination for film-making,” expresses Bandekar.

“Our whole purpose of participating is to also let Goan producers know that we are technically capable of producing complete content including web series, features, and music videos, right up to getting the CBFC certificate in hand,” states Jojo.

“Parallel to the IFFI, the film has also been submitted to the Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale), for an international premiere,” adds Jojo, proud of what #MOG! has achieved

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