'S Durga' will be screened for IFFI jury on Monday

A scene from S Durga Movie
November 26, 2017 05:08 PM

PANAJI: After days of delay, the IFFI's Indian Panorama jury will view the controversial film 'S Durga' on Monday evening, a jury member said on Sunday.

"We have been informed by IFFI that the film will be screened at 6 p.m. on Monday," the jury member said on the condition of anonymity. The screening for the 10-member jury will be held at the festival grounds in Panaji.

Mumbai-based director and screenwriter Ruchi Narain also confirmed the screening of the film for the jury. "We have been informed about the screening details by IFFI," she told IANS.

The Sanal Kumar Sasidharan film was dropped from the screening schedule of the 48th International Film Festival of India, along with another film 'Nude', triggering controversy.

Three members, including the head of the jury panel Sujoy Ghosh, have resigned from their position in protest against the dropping of the two films, while six jury members have written to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry raising concerns over the dropping, after they were cleared by the festival jury.

After Sasidharan petitioned the Kerala High Court, the court directed IFFI to screen the film at the festival, after a censored version of the movie was screened for the jury.

An appeal by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to stay the court direction was also rejected by the High Court on Friday.


India stunned by Sridevi's death

February 25, 2018 06:01 PM

MUMBAI: Veteran actress Sridevi, 54, passed away in Dubai, plunging the entire country into a pall of gloom as her fans and admirers expressed shock and disbelief. The actress breathed her last on Saturday night at around 11 p.m. She was rushed to the nearby Rashid Hospital but pronounced dead on admission.

Her body is expected to be flown to Mumbai via a special chartered flight on Sunday evening for the last rites but the timings were not confirmed yet, according to official sources.  Sridevi was in Dubai to attend the marriage function of actress Sonam Kapoor's cousin Mohit Marwah, along with husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter Khushi.

She exuded elegance in her appearances -- photos and videos that were now being shared on social media as her "last".  Confirming the news of her death, Sridevi's brother-in-law and actor Sanjay Kapoor, told IANS: "Yes, it is true."

The Indian Embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Indian Consulate in Dubai were assisting the family to expedite the process to bringing her body to India as soon as possible.

The actress is remembered for her performance is some of the iconic Bollywood films like "Mr. India", "Nagina", "Sadma", "ChalBaaz", "Chandni", "Khuda Gawah", among many others in different Indian languages.

The Padma Shri recipient, who made a comeback to Bollywood in 2012 with "English Vinglish" after a long break of 15 years, was last seen in "Mom" in 2017.

Apparently having a premonition, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan and Sridevi's co-star in half a dozen films, including "Khuda Gawah" had tweeted at 1.15 am on Sunday: "I don't know, but I feel a strange sense of unease."

The untimely death of the veteran actress has left the country shocked. President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi mourned her demise.

"Shocked to hear of passing of movie star Sridevi. She has left millions of fans heartbroken," Kovind tweeted.

Modi also took to Twitter, saying: "Saddened by the untimely demise of noted actor Sridevi. She was a veteran of the film industry, whose long career included diverse roles and memorable performances."

Southern movie stars and politicians Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan also expressed disbelief.

"I'm shocked and very disturbed. I've lost a dear friend and the industry has lost a true legend. My heart goes out to her family and friends. I feel the pain with them. Sridevi, you will be missed," tweeted Rajinikanth, who featured with her in the memorable "ChaalBaaz".

Kamal Haasan, her co-star from "Sadma" -- one of her most evocative performances -- said: "Have witnessed Sridevi's life from an adolescent teenager to the magnificent lady she became. Her stardom was well deserved. Many happy moments with her flash through my mind including the last time I met her. Sadma's lullaby haunts me now. We'll miss her."

Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, who has sung for Sridevi in 20 films including "Chaand Kaa Tukdaa", "Khuda Gawah", "Lamhe", "Chandni", "Nazrana" and "Himmatwala", had no words to express her shock.

"Yakeen nahi ho raha ki itni choti umar mein Sridevi chali gayi. Kya kahun kuch samajh mein nahi aa raha hai. Boney Kapoor aur unki do betiyon ke dukh mein main shamil hun. (I can't believe that Sridevi died so early, she was too young. I don't know what to say. Condolences to Boney Kapoor and the daughters)," she tweeted.

Her "Mom" co-star Nawazuddin Siddiqui wrote: "It's a heartbreaking news, can't even imagine in the worst of my dreams - World losses the best performer."

Superstar Aamir Khan was "saddened by the untimely and tragic passing away of Srideviji". He said he has "always been an admirer of the grace and dignity with which she conducted herself".

While veteran filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt was "jolted" by the news of her sudden death, Sunny Deol, who has worked with her in films like "Sultanat", "ChaalBaaz" and "Ram-Avtar", said he is "going to miss her".

Showbiz queen Ekta Kapoor tweeted: "The strongest women have the weakest hearts sometimes."

Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur said "with Sridevi gone an era is over".

"Like life turning a new chapter. A beautiful story just ended. An amazing spirit just vanished leaving us with amazing love, memories, and incredible grief," he tweeted.


Bollywood actress Sridevi died of cardiac arrest

February 25, 2018 08:16 AM

MUMBAI: Veteran actress Sridevi has passed away, a family member said. She was 54. The actress, who was in Dubai for a family function, reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest. Confirming the news of her death, Sridevi's brother-in-law and actor Sanjay Kapoor, told IANS: "Yes, it is true."

Sanjay, however, could not reveal more details as he was on his way to Dubai.

Sridevi was in Dubai to attend the marriage function of actress Sonam Kapoor's cousin Mohit Marwah, along with husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter Khushi Kapoor.

Sridevi has known for her performance is some of the iconic films like "Mr India", "Nagina", "Sadma", "Chaalbaaz", "Chandni" among many others. The Padma Shri recipient was last seen in "Mom" in 2017.

The news of death came as a shock for everyone in the film industry.

Here is what some of the Bollywood personalities tweeted:

Nimrat Kaur: "Absolutely devastated to hear about the passing of #Sridevi. What a dark black terrible moment in time. Gutted."

Sushmita Sen tweeted: "I just heard Ma'am Sridevi passed away due to a massive cardiac arrest. I am in shock...can't stop crying..."

Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted: "Unbelievable Shocking & Heartbreaking to hear about the demise of #Sridevi, one of the talented Actress of Indian Cinema. Prayers and strength to the family. #OmShanti"

Priyanka Chopra: "I have no words. Condolences to everyone who loved #Sridevi . A dark day. RIP."

Punjabi Cinema

'Sat Shri Akaal England’ will be a roller-coaster ride of emotions and laughter- Ammy Virk

December 05, 2017 04:32 PM

JALANDHAR: When we hear name ‘Ammy Virk’ the first thought comes to our mind is a man who redefined success in his own style. Initiating his career with a single track to the most promising debut actor of the year this ‘young superstar’ of Pollywood came a long way. Continuing his successful streak with movies like ‘Nikka Zaildar’ series, ‘Bambukaat’, ‘Angrez’, ‘Ardaas’ ‘Ammy Virk’ is going to add another feather to his crown with comedy caper ‘Sat Shri Akaal England’ opposite gorgeous ‘Monica Gill’.
Basically, the movie is all about a man who wants to go England and how he fulfills his dream and the struggles he has to face during this journey is the crux of the story. Apart from ‘Ammy Virk’and ‘Monica Gill’, ‘Sardar Sohi’ and ‘Karamjeet Anmol’ are also there to showcase their talent. The movie’s direction, screenplay, story are done by ‘Vikram Pradhan’. This movie is produced under the ‘Aegis of Kuausmedia Entertainment’, ‘Sizzling Productions’ in collaboration with ‘Mahi Productions’ and Executive Producer ‘Sridevi Shetty Wagh’.The melodious music is composed by very talented ‘Jatinder Shah’ who also gave his inputs in the background score. Music is released by ‘Saga Music’
The songs are penned down by ‘Vinder Nathu Majra’, ‘Maninder Kailey’, ‘Harman’ and ‘Happy Raikoti’. ‘Karamjeet Anmol’, ‘Ammy Virk’, ‘Nooran Sisters’, ‘Gurlez Akhtar’, ‘Gurshabad’ lend their voices to the songs.
Asked about the experience ‘Ammy Virk’ stated, “Although I have already worked with comedy projects but the USP of ‘Sat Shri Akaal England’ is that in this all jokes and punches come so naturally that we didn’t have to put any additional effort. I am sure audience will also feel the same and immediately connects to the characters.”
‘Monica Gill’said, “I always take new role as a challenge. I am really thankful to “Vikram Sir” for choosing me. We all worked very hard and I hope people will see it and love it.”
Director of the film ‘Vikram Pradhan’ is quite excited about his Pollywood inning. He said,” filmmaking is all about team effort. And working with the whole team is an amazing experience especially with ‘Ammy Ji’.”
‘Sagoon Wagh’ the producer of the film who earlier handled various projects in Bollywood with ‘Amitabh Bachchan’, ‘Sanjay Dutt’ and produced films like ‘Jodi no. 1’, ‘Kurukshetra’, and ‘Virrudh’ etc. On this occasion he said,“I always wanted to do different projects in Pollywood and I am sure people will love the chemistry between ‘Ammy Virk’and ‘Monica Gill’. This movie will definitely give a new meaning to comedy in Punjab.
The worldwide movie is distributed by ‘Munish Sahni’s’ company ‘Omjee Group’. The movie will hit the theatres on 8th of December.   


Rakishly good looking actor who became India's first international star

Shashi Kapoor
December 05, 2017 06:25 AM

The youngest of the famous Kapoor brothers of Bollywood, he did not have their one defining and enduring cinematic image -- Raj's simple, honest 'tramp' in the Charlie Chaplin tradition or Shammi's Elvis-like jiving, rebellious 'playboy' persona.

Shashi Kapoor, however, surpassed both in sheer variety of acting. Be it romantic heroes, 'common man' roles, decadent princes, aging poets and even angels, he brought the same charm and intensity to all of them.

Though among his first appearances onscreen were as a young Raj Kapoor in his elder borther's directorial debut "Aag" and the more acclaimed "Awara", his first lead role was a Hindu fanatic in Yash Chopra's bold "Dharmputra" (1961).

This happened to be one-off as Shashi, with his copybook good looks, rakish smile, infectious charm, toothy grin and languid drawl, was more suitable as a lover-boy who always got the girl. In this avatar, he once even pipped Amitabh Bachchan -- in "Kabhie Kabhie".

He was also famous as a reasonable foil to the smoldering angry man in a number of films and it was in one of these roles where he once spoke the four most iconic and immortal words in Bollywood's history - "Mere paas Ma hai" in "Deewar".

Born on March 18, 1938 in the then Calcutta to Prithviraj Kapoor and Ramsarn 'Rama' Devi, Balbir Raj 'Shashi' Kapoor not only straddled commercial and 'art' cinema, but also became India's first international star, starring in several acclaimed Ivory-Merchant films among others.

In these he was not only cast in predictable roles -- a decadent nawab ("Heat and Dust"), a prince-turned-ascetic ("Siddhartha") or a devious local notable (in "The Deceivers", opposite Pierce Brosnan) -- but also in more realistic, nuanced ones -- a lower middle-class teacher ("The Householder"), a flamboyant Bollywood star ("Bombay Talkies"), a narrator to Mohammad Ali Jinnah's life ("Jinnah") and a poet in the twilight of life and reputation ("Muhafiz"/"In Custody").

But Shashi Kapoor, for all his international prowess, was also a major player in Bollywood with appearances in 148 films between 1945 and 1998, in which he was the sole hero in 61 and a lead hero in 53 multi starrers, supporting actor in 21, did 7 guest appearances and did four roles as a child artiste (including the two RK films).

These included such evergreen hits such as B.R. Chopra's "Waqt" (where he again happened to be the youngest brother to flamboyant elder siblings Raj Kumar and Sunil Dutt), "Jab Jab Phool Khile" opposite Nanda, the madcap "Pyar Kiya Jaa" -- which happend to be among the funniest movies made in Bollywood, "Haseena Maan Jayegi" opposite Babita, who later became his sister-in-law and mother of Karishma and Kareena, "Fakira", "Kaala Patthar" -- where he held his own against Amitabh and Shatrughan Sinha, "Do Aur Do Paanch", "Silsila", "Shaan", "Namak Halaal" and "New Delhi Times", where he played a crusading newspaper editor.

Then, there were some grey roles in films like "Roti Kapada Aur Makaan", "Satyam Shivam Sundaram", "Kalyug" -- a contemporary retelling of the Mahabharata in which his character is named Karan, and is totally like his mythological namesake, including in the manner of death.

This was still not the entirety of Shashi Kapoor's contribution.

In 1980, he started his own film company, using his Bollywood earnings into making films with the likes of Shyam Bengal and Aparna Sen. These included gems like "36 Chowringee Lane", which saw his wife, veteran theatre actor Jennifer Kendall as an aging teacher in a changing, oblivious world, "Junoon", "Vijeta" -- a paean to the Indian Air Force -- "Utsav" and "Kalyug".

He also had acclaimed performances in some of them, particularly the 1857 revolt drama "Junoon" where it takes a stern Naseeruddin Shah to remind him of his duty.

His contribution was recognised with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement award in 2010 and the highest accolade -- the Dadasahab Phalke Award in 2015.

In his life too, he played several roles -- a member of an already famous film clan, marrying into another performance-inclined family -- the Kendalls, but after difficult romance with Jennifer Kendall -- India's first international star, arguably, the most handsome Hindi film actor of that period, a producer who backed some of the best independent movies in India in the 1970s and 1980s, a theatre enthusiast, the family man who did all he could to support his household, even if it meant acting in a few rather terrible (but well-paying) movies, as recent biographer Aseem Chabbra maintains.

A star definitely, he was above all he was an eminently likeable star as all his contemporaries and co-stars attest willingly. And that is ultimately what's important.


Junglee Pictures sign Sanya Malhotra opposite Ayushmann Khurrana for Badhaai Ho

Sanya Malhotra
December 02, 2017 03:10 PM

MUMBAI: Dangal girl Sanya Malhotra, who recently wrapped up work on Ritesh Batra's Photographer in Mumbai, has been signed on to play the female lead opposite Ayushmann Khurrana.

Badhaai Ho will be directed by Amit Sharma, who has helmed over a 1000 ad films, including the one on Google Reunion, and a short film for Kashmir tourism, and made his feature film debut with the Arjun Kapoor-Sonakshi Sinha-starrer Tevar in 2015. It is a coming-of-age story of a family as it grapples with some unexpected news and focusses on the impact of the news on the family and how the members deal with it in their own way.

Sanya, who had faced the camera for the first time with Dangal, says she is curious about new experiences as an actor and is keen to showcase her dancing skills with the new film. The film rolls towards January-end in Delhi with a three-month schedule.

Indian Politics

'Modi Ka Gaon' movie on Indian Prime Minister cleared for release

Poster of film Modi Ka GaON
November 24, 2017 01:00 PM

MUMBAI:  Eight months after it was denied a censor certificate on various grounds, the producers of the Hindi feature film "Modi Ka Gaon", loosely inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's development agenda, has finally cleared all hurdles for release.

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) informed the producer, Suresh K. Jha, on Wedneday that the film has been approved and 'sealed' prior to the certificate, paving the way for its exhibition.

"This is a major victory for us. All the objectionable points raised by the CBFC have been crushed by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT). Now we plan for it to hit the screens all over India by mid-December," an elated Jha told IANS.

Last February, then CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani had refused to certify the film on various grounds and asked Jha to get a NOC from the PMO and Election Commission of India before it could get a censor certificate.

Nihalani's reluctance stemmed from the ongoing assembly elections in some states at that time, the resemblance of the main character to Modi, references to Pakistan's Uri attacks, news-speeches related to the Prime Minister and a character named 'Pappu' Bihari featuring in the film

Unfazed by the unprecedented demands, Jha wrote to the PMO seeking the NOC to comply with the CBFC requirements, but there was no response.

Finally, he moved the FCAT challenging the CBFC order. The Tribunal viewed the film in July before delivering its detailed verdict last month.

In its October 12 order, the FCAT said that there are ano statutory basis or justifiable requirements for getting NOC from PMO and ECI.

"The requirement to obtain NOC from the PMO, since either references are made to the PM or a character is portrayed as the PM, have no legal basis or foundation," the FCAT said.

"The statutory responsibility for certification of films is cast upon the CBFC Board under the Cinematograph Acta (It) cannot be delegated to different statutory authorities, departments or individuals," the order added.

It noted Jha's contentions that though the film has been inspired by Modi's zeal, development plans and strategies, the scenes in the film are imaginary and not reproductions of any actual events.

The FCAT also considered Jha's plea that 'Pappu' is a baby's pet/nick name in many parts of India and later it supercedes the child's given name. Also, in the past, there have been instances like Bollywood film number "Pappu Can't Dance Saala" and an advertisement 'Pappu Pass Ho Gaya'.

After the FCAT ruling, 'Modi Ka Gaon' again went to the CBFC for the viewing and certification process, after which it has finally decided to give its green signal for public exhibition.

"Although it is not a biopic on Modi, throughout our film, we represent the working of our PM, his dream of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Smart India and Digital India," Jha explained.

On the Modi look-alike, he said when the film is about Modi's development agenda and vision of transforming India, how can it be portrayed with somebody else who does not resemble him.

Nevertheless, he has now removed the references like 'Pappu' and direct references to the Uri attack and the Prime Minister in sync with the CBFC's requirements.

Mumbai businessman Vikas Mahante enacts the main character of Modi. Television actors Chandramani M. and Zeba A. portray the other important roles in the 135-minute-long film, directed by Tushar A. Goel.

It was shot last year extensively on locales in Mumbai, Patna and Darbhanga, detailing the Prime Minister's aim of transforming all rural and urban centres into Smart Villages and Smart Cities.

The music for the film is directed by Manojanand Choudhary. It has seven songs. The all-India release was scheduled from Uttar Pradesh , said Jha.

After all the hiccups, Jha has directly blamed Nihalani "for the bad politics created and the losses" suffered by him on account of the huge delays in releasing the film and hinted he might claim damages from the ex-CBFC chief.

"We are trying our best to release the film by mid-December and hope we succeed in our endeavor," Jha concluded.


Capt Amarinder Singh condemns threats to heroine and director of Padmavati

November 21, 2017 11:26 PM

CHANDIGARH:  Rejecting suggestions of supporting a ban on the movie 'Padmavati', Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has decried attempts by some vested interests to misinterpret his statement on the issue.

He had neither supported a ban on the movie nor backed those issuing threats to the actors and crew of Padmavati, said the Chief Minister, calling for restraint amid the volatility prevailing on the issue.

The Chief Minister made it clear that he was totally opposed to the threats being issued by certain hardline elements to the actors and directors of the film but reiterated that anyone feeling hurt by distortion of historical facts had the right to peaceful agitation. A distinction needs to be drawn between threats and protests, he added.

“How can I seek or support a ban on the movie when I have not even watched it,” asked Captain Amarinder, refuting the unfounded conclusions that had been drawn from his statement in which he had on Monday said if there had been any attempt to distort history then protests against the same were justified.

Nobody can be denied the right to disagree with others and protest peacefully in a civilised and democratic system, but nobody (neither an individual nor an organisation) has the right to threatens someone with whom he/she does not agree on any issue, said the Chief Minister. “I totally condemn all people who are issuing threats and expect the law to take its course against them,” he said, adding that any attempt to vitiate the country’s peace and disturb its harmony needs to be dealt with effectively.

In his statement on Monday, Captain Amarinder had said that as a military historian, who had studied history and even been to Chittoor, he felt that distortion of historical facts was unacceptable. Cinematic license did not give anyone the right to twist historical facts, he had further said, adding that protests were a justified recourse in a democratic system.

New Cinema

SC clears decks for release of 'An Insignificant Man' film based on Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
November 16, 2017 03:36 PM

NEW DELHI:  Filmmakers and writers should be allowed to enjoy freedom of speech and expression and there can't be curbs put on this, the Supreme Court said on Thursday as it rejected a petition seeking to block the release of film 'An Insignificant Man' based on Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.

The film will be screened in cinema halls on Friday as scheduled, with the Supreme Court ruling.

Rejecting the plea by Nachiketa Walhakar seeking to restrain the release of the film, the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said: "Courts should be extremely slow in passing restrain order" as there can't be curbs on the freedom of speech and expression.

Saying that filmmakers and writers should be allowed to enjoy freedom of speech and expression, the court said that all creative people have the right to enjoy their works in production of films and dramas.

Petitioner Walhakar had allegedly thrown ink on Kejriwal in 2013. He told the court that the video of that incident was being shown as part of promotion of the film.


Showbiz going through moment of reckoning: Supermodel Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshami Super Model
November 12, 2017 05:39 PM

NEW DELHI: Charges of sexual harassment is what links Hollywood biggies Ben Affleck, Brett Ratner, Charlie Sheen, Dustin Hoffman, Harvey Weinstein, James Toback and Kevin Spacey these days. Indian-born supermodel Padma Lakshmi hopes things will change after several women have opened up, but says only "time will tell".

The entertainment industry -- be it Hollywood or Bollywood -- is going through its moment of reckoning in the wake of reports of sexual abuse coming in from all quarters. It all started with numerous women coming forward to allege that Hollywood mogul Weinstein used his position to harass them.

Padma Lakshmi, who is also a TV host, producer and cookbook author, appreciates that people are speaking up.

Will it bring a change?

"Yes, I do (think so). I think it will be in stages, but I do think it will (change things) when people are talking (about it)," Padma Lakshmi told IANS over phone from the US.

"The number of people that have come out about it is how things (will change for) all women and in all industries. I am hoping that it will allow for a change. Time will tell," she added.

Tracing her roots to Madras (now Chennai), Padma Lakshmi's tryst with glamour started when she stepped on the ramp and acquired the tag of a supermodel. She has worked in Europe and the US.

She then explored the world in front of the camera and as a writer.

Padma Lakshmi, who was once married to British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, has featured in "Wasteland", "Pirates: Blood Brothers", "Boom" and "The Mistress of Spices".

Along with adding a glamour quotient to the kitchen world with TV show "Top Chef", Padma Lakshmi is also an executive producer of the show, which is aired in India on AXN.

Her book of achievements is filled with notes like an Emmy nomination for "Top Chef"; an award-winning cookbook titled "Easy Exotic" and an eponymous company; a home decor line; and a memoir "Love, Loss, and What We Ate".

Amid the glitterati, the mother of one also does her bit for society by getting associated with awareness initiatives promoting women's health.

Reflecting on her journey, she said: "I am very happy to see many more Indian faces on TV and in the art and in publishing... It was hard to be an immigrant in the 1970s and 1980s. I am lucky that I managed to somehow find a place for myself. It is not like that I had a grand plan.

"There was no guarantee that I would be successful."

What's on her plate at the moment?

"This year, I have been trying to spend more time with my daughter (Krishna Thea Lakshmi-Dell). Last year, I was writing books and was kind of exhausted. I have a lot of travel this year too, so I am in a pretty take-it-easy (mood)."

The 47-year-old added: "Then next year I will start thinking about what book I want to work on. I don't really talk about a project until it is finished."

Music and Song

Karan Oberoi recreates the old classic with a romancesual, erotic approach

Karan Oberoi’s re-creation of ‘Chaudhvin Ka Chand’ song release
November 11, 2017 02:44 PM

MUMBAI: Time and again, singers and musicians have come up to play with one of the hit numbers of 60s Chaudavin ka Chand. The inescapable charm of this old classic manages to allure the audience everytime.
Karan Oberoi, who recently released ‘Retronica’- a 15 songs album, also introduced a refreshing version of this classic. The idea was to give the old orchestration a fillip by adding a modern touch without losing the essence of the melody. Karan has not only produced the music along with his acoustic 5 member band, but has also written the narrative of the video.
Throwing light on the making of this epic number, Karan says, “The idea was to create a storyline and a narrative structure like the good old days of indie pop, when a lot of thought and effort went into producing the right kind of visuals to enhance and amplify the music.
 The video follows the story of a young girl who has been a huge fan of Karan Oberoi from his band of boys days and dreams about meeting him one day. Luck worked in her favour as she gets an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the actor. A sensual scene is being shot.  Enamoured by the scenario, she fantasizes about being intimate with him. For her, he represents the Chaudavin ka Chand of her life!  As the dream ends she realises that she is all alone on the set. As she walks out, she notices a door ajar and Karan sitting there in his makeup room, wearing kurta pyjama and sipping tea from the saucer! As their eyes meet, he shyly wishes her Namaste! A complete study in contrast to how she had been fantasising about him. Disappointed she walks away as the reel world came across so different from the real world. She goes back to letting him live only in her dreams!
“Chaudavin ka Chand’s video is a sensual take on the old classic, with a more modern, slightly erotic approach. The underlying theme is about alter egos and how our entertainment industry is like a beautiful bubble, where what you see is not necessarily, how it actually is. The depiction is far removed from realities,” adds Karan.
Considering it to be one of the most difficult songs to recreate, model turned actor says, “owing to the cult status of the song and the beautiful picturization in the original version, it was very difficult to bring out something that justifies the standards of this classic. After a long jamming session, we came up with something that sounded just right to the ears and hence went ahead to produce it! There was a similar apprehension regarding the video as well. I just wrote a story after listening to the song a couple of times, and later shared it with my director who quite liked it.
Since music has always been his first love, Oberoi never compromises for anything he is not sure about.  Even in this case, as soon as he got the first cut of the video, he preferably showed it around to all his women friends to get their point of view because of the intimacy involved!
“The last thing I want is for it to be offensive to my friends as they have always been and will be my core audience! I want the video to be romantic, sensual, erotic and dreamy, and not sleazy, objectifying or off-putting!  It's only after I was reassured that they all unanimously loved it, is when I went and finalized the cut,” mentions Karan, who is looking forward to the release.
The song was out on the Karan Oberoi’s YouTube channel on November 7 and being well received by the audience till now.

Punjabi Cinema

AAP supports 'banned' film 'Ik Onkar'

Ik Onkar Movie banned by Indian Government
November 09, 2017 09:39 PM

NEW DELHI:  Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders on Thursday slammed the censor bodies and supported the controversial Punjabi film "Ik Onkar", which has been "banned" for release in India for "provoking communal disharmony".

Alka Lamba, Somnath Bharti, Jarnail Singh and Avtar Singh were present at an event where they flayed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), with Lamba accusing the censor board of corruption.

Produced by Talwinder Singh 'Musafer' and directed by Aviral Raj Sharma, "Ik Onkar" features Gajendra Chauhan, Sukhdeep Singh, Harpreet Singh Pita and Megha Sharma. The film focuses on various issues like drug abuse, rapes and farmer suicides in Punjab.

"Our party never went to Punjab to win the elections. By winning the elections, we wanted to stop the drugs issue there. Even if we have lost, our fight against drugs is still on," Lamba said.

"Censor board thinks that a film like this will create disturbance in the society, but I believe, and I am clearly accusing, that somewhere there is a big corruption inside the censor board itself because by showing this kind of film, the business of drug dealers gets disturbed," she added.

Shot across various locations in Punjab, Delhi and Maharashtra in 2015, "Ik Onkar" was sent to the CBFC for certification in 2016. After being denied any certificate, the makers later approached the FCAT earlier this year, which also didn't work out in their favour.

"In the last two-and-a-half years, I have got nine FIRs filed against me while fighting with drug dealers," Somnath Bharti said.

"The Indian government somehow wants to divert people's mind from all issues in society -- no jobs, no education, no better environment. So, how will you keep the people busy? They do this by selling drugs.

"We are living under a visionless government. All small and big institutions are working under the Central government. I feel sad that a film like this has been banned from screening in India."

Talwinder Singh said "Ik Onkar", which is his maiden production, doesn't disrespect any community.

"Through this film, we are bridging a gap between the two communities -- Hindu and Sikh. We have not disrespected any community. The CBFC didn't even ask for any cuts. They just said 'the film provokes communal disharmony'," Talwinder told IANS.

"The FCAT also gave the same reason to us. Somewhere I found it biased and choking us and our freedom of speech," he added.

Aviral Raj Sharma, who made his directorial debut with the film, said that the makers took help from the AAP to get "political support".

"All these leaders are in our relations, that's why we requested them to come and support us. We showed the film to them and they found nothing wrong in it. Somewhere, the truth is that the film was banned under political pressure. That why we took political support from them. The film is influenced from real life, but has fictional characters," Sharma told IANS.

The makers are now planning to move the Delhi High Court and demand the CBFC reconsider the film.

"We have already got approvals from censor board of the US, Canada and Australia. We will release the film soon in these countries, but this is an Indian film. So, releasing it in India is our motive. We will soon go to Delhi High Court and demand censor board to reconsider our film," Talwinder said.

Last year, Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt-starrer Bollywood film "Udta Punjab", which focused on the drug problem in Punjab, was given 89 cuts by the CBFC but was cleared by the High Court later with one cut.

Film Festivals

Adil Hussain's 'Mukti Bhawan' opens Dharamsala film festival

A scene from Mukti Bhawan
November 02, 2017 11:15 PM

DHARAMSHALA: With a picturesque venue between the lush green mountains of Mcleodganj here, the sixth edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) opened with critically-acclaimed actor Adil Hussain's "Mukti Bhawan" to a full house.

Taking place at Tibetan Children's Village here, cinema lovers hailing from Himachal Pradesh, different parts of India and some from different parts of the globe, flocked to watch the opening film directed by National Award winner Shubhashish Bhutiani with Adil present at Hermann Gmeiner auditorium,A on Thursday.

Before the screening began, DIFF opened with a Tibetan song sung by children from the school aged 10-16.

Adil also introduced the audience to Barry John, a well known theatre director and teacher of talents like Adil, Shah Rukh Khan and Manoj Bajpayee among others, who was sitting among them.

"Mukti Bhawan" is based on the tale of a 77-year-old man, who wakes from a strange nightmare convinced that his time is up and that he must go to Varanasi to die and gain salvation.

About his experience on filming for a subject of death, Adil said: "We have to die at some point no matter who we are or where we are and is the only inevitable fact...Going to Varanasi for the coming was very enlightening for me because I actually walked around the burning bodies. That sort of fortified my belief in death."

The four-day long extravaganza, will also have film screenings at the city's new multiplex with two auditoriums at Gold Cinemas in Lower Dharamsala.

The offbeat film fest is organised by filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam.

There will also be a special screening of the critically acclaimed "A Death in the Gunj", which will be presented by director Konkona Sen Sharma.

The line-up also includes two award-winning documentaries -- Kirsten Johnson's "Cameraperson" and Rahul Jain's "Machines".

Other films screening here include" Newton ", "Turup", "What Will People Say", "Ajji" and "Heidi", among others.

The festival will end on November 5 with Rima Das' "Village Rockstar" as the closing film.

Punjabi Cinema

‘Sardar Mohammad', starring Tarsem Jassar will take love of mother and son to another level

Sardar Mohammad star cast at Golden Temple Amritsar
November 01, 2017 01:09 PM

AMRITSAR: Religion has been always a talked topic in our nation. From fights on religion to unions on religion, we have seen it all. Whenever films are made on religions, they always played a big eye opener to society and easily sway masses in a good way. After the humungous success of Rabb Da Radio, Tarsem Jassar and the team is back with one more heart touching film “Sardar Mohammad’.  This movie will depict the story of the man who believes in, Unity in diversity. The film is based on true incidents.

Tarsem Jassar will be seen playing the protagonist in the film and also, the whole story, screenplay and dialogues are jotted down by multi-talented Tarsem Jassar. His versatility will be seen in the movie, which will add spunk to the film.  Mandy Takkar played the female lead in the movie. While other stellar star cast includes Karamjit Anmol, Sardar Sohi, Rana Jang Bahadur, Neeta Mohindra, Rahul Jungral, Manjit Singh, Harshjot Kaur & Neetu Pandher.  The film is directed by Harry Bhatti. Songs of the movie are beautifully sung by Tarsem Jassar and Kulbir Jhinger. Music is given by R Guru. The lyrics are been written by Tarsem Jassar, Kulbir Jhinjer & Narinder Bath. The trailer of the movie and all songs will be available on youtube channel of White Hill Music.

Recently, star cast of film ‘Sardar Mohammad’ visited the holy city Amritsar to seek the blessings at Golden Temple.
Tarsem Jassar quoted,” It was fantastic experience shooting for ‘Sardar Mohammad’.  I think this movie will break all the barriers of religion and give people a new definition of love. I am nervous but also excited for ‘Sardar Mohammad’. I hope the audience will give the same love to this film, the way they gave to my first movie.”

Producer Manpreet Johal said, ‘We’re quite optimistic about this movie. I and my team are trying to bring some variant films which make us different from the regular entertainment industry.  ‘Sardar Mohammad’ will leave a positive impact on people and also I hope Tarsem  Jassar’s versatile work will be loved by everyone’.

Director Harry Bhatti, “Our first film got an overwhelming response.  Working with this team again was indeed an enriching experience for me. The vibe of the set was so good and we had a great time while filming ‘Sardar Mohammad’.  I am confident about the fact that people are going to love Tarsem’s craft and such storyline.”

The movie is distributed by Munish Sahni’s company ‘Omjee Group’ in India and Overseas it’s distributed by White Hill Studios. The film is produced by Manpreet Johal and Vehli Janta Productions. The movie will hit screens on 3rd November 2017.


Actress Dominique Huetts sues Weinstein's company for sexual assault

Actress Dominique Huetts
October 25, 2017 01:28 PM

LOS ANGELES : Actress Dominique Huett has accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and sued his company.

In her lawsuit filed here on Tuesday, Huett claimed she first met Weinstein at the bar of a hotel in Beverly Hills in November 2010. She says the producer told her he could help with her acting career and asked to see her breasts, saying it would benefit her career if she didn't have implants, reports people.com.

The court documents claim Weinstein asked Huett to come up to his room for what he said would be a business meeting before disappearing into the bathroom and returning in only a robe.

Next, she says in the documents, he began demanding a massage, which she performed for him after some initial back-and-forth. Weinstein asked if he could perform oral sex on her and would not take "no" for an answer.

She claims the producer then offered her a role on Project Runway.

Huett's lawsuit targets The Weinstein Company because she claims that prior to the 2010 incident, the company "had actual knowledge of Weinstein's repeated acts of sexual misconduct with women".

In particular, the suit claims The Weinstein Company (TWC) was "aware of Weinstein's pattern of using his power to coerce and force young actresses to engage in sexual acts with him".

Huett's attorney Jeff Herman said: "This lawsuit is about putting the casting couch on trial."

The producer has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 50 women since The New York Times and The New Yorker documented decades of alleged abuse in detailed profiles this month.


Not just one Harvey Weinstein: Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra
October 20, 2017 04:32 PM
LOS ANGELES: Actress Priyanka Chopra says people like controversial Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein are present across the world.
Priyanka slammed Weinstein and spoke about women empowerment at the 2017 Marie Claire Power Trip earlier this week, reports marieclaire.com.
Asked whether there's a Harvey Weinstein in India, Priyanka said: "I don't think there is and I don't think there is only a Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood. I think there will be a lot more stories that will come up.
"That happens not just in India, but all over the world. It's the power of men trying to take away the power of women. It's about feeling powerful and macho."
Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment or abuse by more than three dozen women, including several top actresses including Gwyneth Paltrow, Cara Delevingne, Lupita Nyong'o and Angelina Jolie.
"We watch the news and look for things that will be positive and that the world will be in a better place. But the reality is, the world is not. It's not just about sexuality. It's not about sex. It's about power," Priyanka said.
The former Miss World also spoke against the "big boys' club" and said because of it women are scared that a misstep might put them at risk of losing a role.
"It's an isolating feeling. The easiest thing to take away from a woman is her work," she said.
Priyanka, known in the US for "Quantico", added: "So what if I'm in heels?. So what if I wear a dress? We've been told our femininity is our weakness, but it is not. We can be compassionate. We can be tough. When you open your mouth, you deliver."

Alia Bhat hopes for long journey in Bollywood

Punjab Newsline Network
Alia Bhatt
October 19, 2017 01:13 PM

MUMBAI: Karan Johar's directorial ""Student of the Year" completed five years on Thursday and actress Alia Bhatt, who made her debut in Bollywood with this 2012 released film, hopes for a long journey in showbiz.

Alia, daughter of ace filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and actress Soni Razdan, thanked the makers of the film and her fans on Twitter.

"Thank you for all the love! It's been such a journey, but hopefully it shall be a long one. So grateful. Promise to always work hard," Alia tweeed.

"Love you Karan Johar, my father, my friend... Thank you for making this day happen! Couldn't have asked for a better opening to my story.

"And to the best boys ever! Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan (male leads of the film). So happy we started off together and were totally clueless together. Love you both," she added.

Karan also took to the micro-blogging site and wrote: "Five years of 'Student of the Year'. A film that gave me three solid life long relationships! Alia, Sidharth and Varun."


All-time Blockbuster Amar Akbar Anthony screened at 19th Mumbai Film Festival a huge success

Punjab Newsline Network
October 18, 2017 04:36 PM

MUMBAI: The 1977 cult classic Amar Akbar Anthony directed by Manmohan Desai recently completed 40 years of its release.  A fully restored version of this super hit comedy film was selected and screened at Jio MAMI 19th Film Festival with Star under the “Restored Classics” Section.

Amar Akbar Anthony was the biggest blockbuster of that year and it featured Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Shabana Azmi and Parveen Babi.

As negative right holders of Amar Akbar Anthony, Shemaroo Entertainment made all possible efforts to restore the old negative and digitalise the same. The company made sure that the aesthetics of the film and its original look were retained without compromising on the quality during the process.

Mr. Hiren Gada, Director of Shemaroo said, “We are extremely delighted that our film Amar Akbar Anthony got selected and screened at Jio MAMI 19th Film Festival. Shemaroo, as a company always strives to reinvent itself with times. We were able to restore this iconic film and made the digitised version available. Fans across all ages now have an opportunity to enjoy this movie on the big screen and digitally.”

Ms. Smriti Kiran, Creative Director, Mumbai Academy of Moving Image said, “It was an honor and a privilege to screen ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ at the Mumbai Film Festival as part of our Restored Classics section in the year of its 40th anniversary. Jio MAMI with Star is a strong supporter of preserving the past and celebrating the joy that cinema brings and ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ is a milestone that should be watched by generations to come."  

Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival With Star is an initiative and event with a goal to nurture and ignite a passion for movies. The festival is run by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image popularly known as MAMI.

Keeping the goal in mind, the classic comedy AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY got screened at PVR ICON Mumbai on17th October at 6 pm. The ever so graceful Shabana Azmi shared her memories about the film before the screening. Several other celebrities like Screenplay writer Prayag Raj, director Manmohan Desai’s son Ketan Desai, associate director of the film Anil Nagrath & legendary singer Mohd. Rafi’s daughter Yasmin also graced the event.

The screening was indeed a star studded affair and everyone was happy to walk down the lanes of nostalgia and relive the era of Amar Akbar Anthony. Viewers of all age groups adored this cult classic on the silver screen once again but this time with wider warmer hearts.

New Cinema

White Hill owners Gunbir Singh Sidhu and Manmord Sidhu now produces first Hindi Short film

A scene from short film Bodh
October 18, 2017 12:54 PM

CHANDIGARH: Cinema in India is achieving new heights in terms of bold concepts, advanced technologies and creativity. The range of Short Films is wider now as compared to the last decade. Also, regional cinema is creating quite a buzz in India, precisely Punjabi Cinema. It is one of the regional cinemas which has beaten all the norms of regional cinema and is making it big.

It won’t be an overstatement to say that 'White Hill' has a major contribution in what Punjabi Cinema has achieved today.
White Hill Studios owners Gunbir Singh Sidhu and Manmord Sidhu entered the industry in 2012 with the highly acclaimed film Jatt and Juliet and marked the fact that they are here to stay.
After this there was no looking back for them and they took Punjabi Cinema to great heights. White Hill Studios’ vision of entertainment has been served in a perfect way to the audience and their Songs, Films and Short Films have been accepted by cine-goers with open arms. White Hill’s projects have always struck the right chord.
After 18 short films, White Hill is here with a Hindi Short Film 'Bodh - A Journey Within' for the first time. Bodh will be out on 6th November at White Hill’s official YouTube Channel.

The story revolves around a Deputy Commissioner, Sushil who rediscovers himself after facing oppression and Casteism in the past by a goon "Chajju". He gets surrounded by the same things again only to realize that it was always he who had all the stigmas stuck in the head. The story depicts the emotional complications and the existence of estranged relationship. It makes an attempt to curb them and move towards a progressive way of living.


Hema shares 'warm' relation with stepson Sunny

Punjab Newsline Network
Hema Malini
October 17, 2017 01:51 PM

MUMBAI:  Veteran actress Hema Malini says she shares a "beautiful relation" with her stepson Sunny Deol. After her 2015 accident, Sunny was the first to visit and take care of her.

During the launch of her biography "Beyond The Dream Girl", written by Ram Kamal Mukherjee, unveiled by Deepika Paduone, Hema shared one of the unspoken chapters of her life -- her relationship with her stepsons.

She said: "Everyone wonders what kind of a relation we (she and Sunny) are having. It is very beautiful and cordial. Whenever it is necessary he (Sunny) is always there, along with Dharamji, especially when this accident happened."

She also added: "He (Sunny) was the first person to come to see me at home and he saw that the right doctor was there for the stitches that were done on my face.

"I was really taken aback to see him showing so much interest. That shows what kind of a relationship we are having."

While Deepika and Hema had an interactive session where both shared how their journey was similar and yet different, given the fact that they were set in separate times in a ever changing film industry, according to Hema.

"Deepika is a really talented and hardworking actress but she is also fortunate to work with a director like Sanjay Leela Bhansali who has a grand budget to make a grand film like 'Padmavati' and 'Bajirao Mastani'.

"In my time, I did 'Meera' and 'Raziya Sultana', where the producer had zero budgets and my remuneration was Rs 2,000."

After unveiling the cover of the book, the actress received a series of video messages from iconic actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Jitendra, Shatrughan Sinha on her birthday and for the launch.

At the event, Deepika read out a letter by Pamela Chopra, wife of late filmmaker Yash Chopra, where she wrote: "You are pristine and in your long career, you always showed grace and dignity, something very few actresses have."

Hema's husband Dharmendra recited poetry for her on a video message. The actress' daughter Esha Deol was present at the event along with her husband.

Published by Harper Collins Publishers India, the forward of the book "Beyond The Dream Girl" has been written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


No firecracker sale in Delhi-NCR this Diwali: SC

October 09, 2017 11:12 PM

Punjab Newsline Network
New Delhi, Oct.9-: The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that there will be no sale of firecrackers in Delhi and National Capital Region during Diwali, as it restored a November 2016 order banning the sale and stocking of firecrackers there.

A bench of Justice A.K. Sikri, Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Ashok Bhushan, while restoring last November's order, said: "We are of the view that the order suspending the licences should be given one chance to test itself in order to find out as to whether there would be positive effect of this suspension, particularly during Diwali period."

However, the court said that the September 12 order lifting the ban on the sale and stocking of firecrackers in Delhi NCR will be back into effect from November 1.

Pointing to the adverse impact of the bursting of the fire crackers that is witnessed year after year, Justice Sikri, speaking for the bench, said: "The air quality deteriorates abysmally and alarmingly and the city chokes thereby, it leads to closing the schools and the authorities are compelled to take various measures on emergent basis, when faced with 'health emergency' situation."

This very situation, the court said, had occurred on the very next morning after Diwali in the year 2016 and "resulted in passing the order dated November 11, 2016".

"This order prevailed during the year but the impact and effect of this order remains to be tested on Diwali days," the judgment said.

Going by these considerations, the court said: "We are of the opinion that the judgment dated September 12, 2017 passed by this Court should be made effective only from November 01, 2017."

Making it clear that though it was not tweaking with the various directions issued by September 12 judgment, the court said that the affect of September 12 order "would not be given effect during this Diwali, and, therefore, we are making it effective only from November 1".

It said that all the temporary licences that police had issued in pursuance to September 12 order stand suspended forthwith "so that there is no further sale of the crackers in Delhi and NCR".

Further orders in this behalf can be passed on assessing the situation that would emerge after this Diwali season, it added.

Referring to the arguments by fire cracker sellers that the contribution of fire crackers to the worsening of the air quality was negligible and there were other contributing factors, the court said: "On the contrary, we have the direct evidence of deterioration of air quality at alarming levels, which happens every year."

"... , burning of these fire crackers during Diwali in 2016 had shot up PM (particulate matter) levels by three times, making Delhi the worst city in the world, insofar as air pollution is concerned. Direct and immediate cause thereof was burning of crackers during Diwali", it said.

Referring to various campaigns "So No to Crackers" and the virtual consensus in the society that crackers should not be burnt during Diwali, which can be celebrated with equal fervour by various other means as well, the court said: "Irony is that when causes are brought in the court, there is resistance from certain quarters."

Pointing to "adequate statutory provisions" which can be invoked to "ban the sale of these crackers", it said, "It is one of the functions of the judges, in a democracy, to bridge the gap between law and the society. Here, fortunately, there is no such gap and the Court is only become facilitator in invoking the law to fulfil the need of the society".

Referring to the hearing of the matter by Delhi High Court 20 years back, the court said that the stand taken by the "CPCB at that time was the same which was taken before this Court when Orders dated November 11, 2016 or September 12, 2017 were passed. CPCB, therefore, has been consistent in its stand."

Taking a dim view of the petitioner referring to two-decade-old proceedings before the high court, the court said was not a "healthy practice" and they "denounce the same and place on record our strongest condemnation".

"We are leaving the matter at that simply because of the reason that insofar as present petition is concerned it has raised a very important public cause and it needs serious and adequate consideration," it said.

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