Independent Production Roundup

ANUP KURIAN’S debut feature “Manasarovar” is India’s official entry in the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival Oct. 31. The London fest will be the official premiere of “Manasarovar,” which has screened for award juries and picked up India’s top two national awards for first-time directors, the Aravindan Puraskaram and the Gollapudi Srinivas.

“Manasarovar” is a love story shot across India’s sprawling landscape. “I have traveled extensively in India, so I knew places which were incredibly beautiful and unspoiled,” Kurian said. Three of the Subcontinent’s heavy hitters star: Neha Dubey (“Monsoon Wedding,”) two-time national award-winner Atul Kulkarni, and TV sensation Zafar Karachiwala.

“I bought a 16mm camera from Ebay, then sold the camera after the shooting to raise finances for post- production,” said Kurian, an e-commerce consultant here since 2001 who self-financed the $30,000 budget. “Manasarovar” was shot in sync sound, a rarity in India, where films tend to be entirely post-dubbed.

This is the second film from Visual Possibility, the production company Kurian founded with Satish Menon, director of the internationally-acclaimed India- set 2003 feature “Bhavum: Emotions of Being.” Call 773/814-1388 or see

JOHN BOROWSKI’S feature documentary “H.H. Holmes: America’s First Serial Killer” screens Thursday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. at Screamfest Horror Film Festival, Loews Universal Studios Cinema, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, Cal. Borowski will attend. See or

THE MOVIESIDE HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR screens horror and comedy shorts including work by Guy Maddin, Z Film Fest director Usama Alshaibi, Split Pillow executive director Jason Stephens, and Movieside director Rusty Nails. Saturday, Oct. 24, 8 p.m.-2 a.m., Darkroom, 2210 W. Chicago Ave. See

JEFF SPITZ’S doc “The Return of Navajo Boy,” about an enigmatic postcard model reuniting with his long-lost family, won second place at the First International Cultural Film Symposium in Montana. “Navajo Boy” will screen at the Newberry Library’s American Society of Ethnohistory conference Oct. 31, and will be the featured film at the Arizona State Museum’s Native Eyes event Nov. 12. Spitz teaches at Columbia College.

BIRD’S-EYE MEDIA, INC. hosts auditions for the urban dance drama “For Steppers Only,” Saturday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Higher Ground Community Church, 415 Saginaw Ave., Calumet City. Shooting begins in November. See

DIRECT FROM HOLLYWOOD hosts the Insider’s Guide to Independent Film Production, Saturday-Sunday Nov. 13-14, 8:45 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel, 2875 N. Milwaukee, Northbrook. $249 through Nov. 5, $274 thereafter. See

ERIK L. WILSON of Sphinx Productions is in pre-pro on the serial killer short “Amy Walker” for production in May. Email

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