Monday, January 24, 2011

Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi passes away in Pune

Legendary classical singer Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, a true music maestro breathed his last today at 8 am in Pune's Sahyandri Hospital. He was 89 and would have gone into another year on Februray 4. Born in the town of Gadag in the northern part of Karnataka in 1922, Pandit Joshi was a musical marvel, who lifted the listeners to a divine experience with his singing. Having received his training from Pandit Sawai Gandharva of Kirana Gharana, Pandit Joshi moved to Mumbai in 1943 and worked as a Radio Artist. He gave his first live performance at the age of 19 and cut his debut album at the age of 22 - an album on devotional songs in Kannada and Hindi that still doesn’t stop to make waves.

Bhimsen's music has been hailed by both the critics and the masses with his performances marked by spontaneity and accurate notes, but his specialisation came in for ragas most popularly Shuddha Kalyan, Miyan Ki Todi and Darbari raga. But the newer generation remembers Pandit Joshi more popularly for his much hyped rendition on Mile Sur Mera Tumhara – a video on national integration which made even the normal people aware of his singing capabilities and how especially classical music can be a music to any ears. Apart from the classical music Joshi has even sung for several films - like Basant Bahar with Manna Dey and Birbal My Brother with Pandit Jasraj, Tansen and Ankahee. His passing away is an irreplaceable loss. May god rest his soul in peace.. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

19-year-old Anjali Shetty Crowned 'Hyssna Miss Daijiworld-2010'

The wait is over, and the result is out! After days of excitement, suspense and speculation, 19-year-old Anjali Shetty was crowned 'Hyssna Miss Daijiworld-2010'. The immensely popular 'Hyssna Miss Daijiworld' contest, organised by on account of its 10th anniversary had generated enormous interest among audience worldwide, with more than 1200 entries flooding in and later registering a record 99,601 online votes. Anjali Shetty, a BBM student of SDM College, Mangalore, was not only the unanimous choice of the panel of judges, but she also grabbed the maximum number of votes, with as many as 26,267 voters deciding in her favour. Anjali is the daughter of Anil and Jayasheela Shetty residing in Kadri, Mangalore. In fact Anjali has a famous brother in Bollywood - Sundeep Malani - who's Shayad is all set to release soon.

20-year-old Rashmi Gratia Rebello, a final year student from KMC, Manipal, has been adjudged the first runner-up with 14,990 votes online, and she was also the second choice of the panel of judges. Rashmi is the daughter of Ronald and Gladys Rebello. 24-year-old Monica Priyanka D'Souza, who hails from Taccode Moodbidri, but currently residing in Mumbai, has finished a close third after giving some tough competition to the first runner-up Rashmi, bagging 13,922 votes. Priyanka is the daughter of Peter and Pauline D'Souza of Taccode parish, Moodbidri. A holder of BA degree in psychology, she works for Hirnandani group, Mumbai.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Celeb Speak: How did the year 2010 go for them and what are they looking forward in 2011..

It has been a sort of roller coaster ride for everyone this year. And when it comes to celebrities, each had been through good and bad times. Some did well and many just struggled to keep afloat. But comparatively, 2010 was more fruitful than 2009, many claimed. As all get ready to ring in the new year in their own style and elan, Films & TV spoke to quite a few of them and tried to know how the year 2010 was for them and what they are expecting in 2011. However, we at F&TV on purpose kept the biggies out as they are covered in all the magazines and sites across. We tried to get onto the promising ones and who are sure to score a century in 2011.

So here’s raising a toast to their talent. Lets see what they have to say about it…

Sudeep Das
Co-Producer of Bhojpuri Film “Saawariya I Love You”
The year has been “so far so good”. I have attained a new high this year as it marks my entry into the world of cinema as a co-producer with Bhojpuri films, though. But will soon be foraying into Hindi also. We are also looking into the prospect of short films that would give us due recognition for our efforts. As for Ringing in this New Year, I have been waiting for a good time to take a break. No party scene for me as it  continues throughout the year. Rather I would take this opportunity to chill and relax at home and slow down  things and slow motion into the New Year.

Nitin Chandra
Director of  “Deswa” - The first Bhojpuri film to go to IFFI showcase section
2010 was one the most important year of my life. I made my first feature fiction project and have great expectations. The pledge to bring world class quality into bhojpuri cinema got fulfilled this year. Whole year went in DESWA, My film. I learnt a lot and unlearned also few things. Met new people, made new friends. New year, for me will be quite with my siblings (Bollywood Actress Neetu Chandra is his sister) and mother, cooking food, watching TV. No late night parties for me.

Girish Nagpal
Theatre & Film Actor
This year has marked my foray into the world of Cinema. I have just signed my first Hindi Feature Film “Strings of Passion” to be directed by Sanghamitra Chaudhari. It’s a dream come true for any actor to debut with a stalwart actor like Zeenat Aman who also is my all time favourite. My co-stars in this film are Shubh Mukherjee, Raj Zutshi, Vaishalee Thakkar and Amit Sarkar. Though this is Sanghamitraji's first hindi venture, the storyline she has chosen for her debut in Bollywood is sure to catapult her into the league of good directors. And its my gut feeling that this film will be the talked about film in 2011, given a wonderful storyline. Though I am not a party animal, but I will be rocking this New Year at Shiro’s in New Delhi before starting shoot from mid January in Kolkata.

Aryan Adityo
Director of the First internet based serial RunnBhumii 
It was a cool year. Very adventurous.. Have been a quest through the journey. Spent the whole year in preparation and production of the first internet based serial RunnBhumii..  so this yeah was the RunnBhumii year! With an electic mix of good and bad times, I just didnt realise when this year passed by. Well planning to begin the New Year with a party with the Delhi metro station kids... I love having fun with them.

Amit Verma
Film & Television Actor
201 was a year of realisation, growth and perseverence for me. Have tried to give my best output and my audience have also loved me in some of the roles. But I personally think I have still miles to go. In 2011, Im hoping to meet my dreams and expectations workwise and personally

Sanghamitra Chaudhari
A reputed Director of Bengali Films now marking her foray into Bollywood 
2010 was good, but not as much as I expected. My films are lined up for release. Shortage of theaters and infinite numbers of movies being made have jammed the pathway for ventilation. Other than film nothing excites me, nor depresses my mood. So rest every thing (bad or good) are at their own place, uninterrupted and thus I am untouched and as cool as ever.

Ringing in the New Year? Hey! that’s a cool question. 2011 has a brilliant approach. 2 is my head, 0 is my body and 11 are my legs. I will definitely double my leg-work to achieve more so that I can train, involve and entertain more people with whatever little I create. My first Hindi Venture, "Strings of Passion" is starting in Jan, 2011.. I need blessing from all of you. I expect more support from you guys and wish all the readers an extraordinary new year that had never ever come before.

Rishi Bhutani
It was fabulous experience after delivering Bolo Raam, my debut film and driving it into the theatres. Feel blessed to have worked with Stalwarts like Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri who are an institutions by themselves. Not to forget Padmini ji. I polished myself in that movieand now im ready for the next one. Working on a new project. 2010 brought to me a lot of happiness. As for ringing in the new year, it went on ringing all over my head with my friends and family. The New year started on a very good note and I hope it will be like that through out. I Want to do a lot of good projects and aim to deliver class performance with the best of directors. I understand, all actors aim for the same, but Im working hard to achieve it. And I will...

Saikat Das
This year has been the most happening for me. Did a Bengali film “Phire Ashboi”. Other than that did a mega serial 'Kon Kanoner Phool' and doing 'Khona' as lead. Looking forward for some good projects in 2011and talks are going on for a feature film also. And if luck favours, will soon be signing a Hindi feature film and also will be doing a short film for the International Film Festivals that is sure to make the nation sit up and take notice. Till then, cheers!!

Sundeep Malani
Director of Feature and Short Films
2010 was a very much successful year for me personally and professionally. There were lots of films that I had been involved in, scripting and directing, short and feature. The prominent one being Jo Jo Laali, which crossed the seven seas and made a name in the International Platform and was raved by critics too for its theme. Besides that, I had shot a couple of short films Shaayad, Moments, Hum Tum Aur Loan. My other film Woh 5 Din got complete.

I AM looking forward for a successful 2011 with many films on the kitty. As mentioned in this sentence, Onir's I AM is a film that I am looking forward too (I have been an assistant), Hello India will also release in April, Besides my Shaayad will go to a Film Festival and I am starting a new feature film this March. So keeping my fingers crossed.

Subhankar Bhowmik
Producer of Bengali Films
Year 2010 was quite well for me, we have made two commercial films with big casting which will be released in between January to March 2011. I learnt a lot from the year 2010, met new people & got some good friends like Mohan Das of Eon Films (Mumbai), and visited some nice places. And I am also looking forward for a better year 2011 than 2010, and we are going to start our new project from mid of Jan 2011. And I am also planning to debut myself as Commercial Film Director in Bengali film Industry. So I am eagerly waiting to see what are the surprises are waiting for me on 2011...

Drronn Mukherjee
It was an eventful year for me as ''The Bhoot of Rose Ville'' got released and got good reviews... excited... Keeping my fingers crossed to cater good movies in the coming year meeting up the expectations of my viewers...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Alliance Française de Bombay to hold Film Festival “Cannes in Mumbai” from tomorrow...

A fine selection of Indian films that have participated at the Cannes festival in France over the past few years will be showcased in Mumbai for your viewing pleasure! To top it off, it will be a wonderful opportunity for all to meet with the directors and actors of the critically acclaimed films all week long and to hear their take on their vision and experiences at CannesThe selected feature films and short films imbued with originality have been acclaimed both nationally and internationally. They add a distinctive edge to the vibrant spectrum of Indian Cinema that is imperative to experience. The round table discussion to held at the end of the week is very much awaited as talented figures in the world of Indian Cinema will converge to discuss  cinema - Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Sudhir Mishra to name a few.

To be held at Alliance Française auditorium, Mumbai from 10th January 2011 each dat at 6:30 pm, the festival will culminate on 14th January. The repertoire includes movies like A Very Very Silent Film by Manish Jha, Udaan by Vikramaditya Motwane, Tetris by Anirban Datta, Salaam Bombay! by Mira Nair, Khoj by Tridib Poddar, Chinese Whispers by Raka Dutta, Piravi by Shaji N Karun, Printed Rainbow by Gitanjali Rao, Dosar by Rituparno Ghosh and Marana Simhasanam by Murali Nair. It’s a wonderful opportunity to not only see the acclaimed films, but also to meet the directors and partake in the joys of these cinematic achievements. A great beginning to the year for Indian Cinema indeed!

Some good films to watch out for: 

Dosar (2006 / Bengali)
Rituparno Ghosh’s “Dosar” revolves around Kaushik (Prasenjit Chatterjee) and Kaberi (Konkona Sen Sharma), a happy couple until a car accident takes away Mita, Kaushik’s mistress, and leaves Kaushik injured and grieving. Mita, the mother of a little boy and living with her husband, was Kaushik’s colleague. This revelation leaves Kaberi shattered. Kaushik successfully moves on with life leaving Mita behind and tries his best to repair the severely wounded relationship with his wife. Another couple in the film, Brinda (Pallavi Chatterjee) and Bobby (Parambrata Chatterjee), are also engaged in an extramarital relation. While Bobby is a bachelor, Brinda, quite older than Bobby, is unhappily married. They and Kaberi do group theatre together. Brinda-Bobby comes to a crossroads when Brinda becomes pregnant and Bobby is not sure whether the child is his or Brinda’s husband’s. However, he does not turn back and stands by Brinda in sorting out her issues. Kaberi often threatens divorce but ultimately is overpowered by the wife in her and cannot resist fulfilling her duties towards her husband at the time of crisis. On the other hand, Kaushik is also caught in his own predicament. The physical and mental trauma caused by the accident is portrayed with great skill and subtlety by Prosenjit. He has to not only come to terms with the loss of a loved one but is faced with the daunting task of winning back his wife's trust.

Salaam Bombay (1988 / Hindi)
Mira Nair’s much acclaimed flm “Salaam Bombay” is the story of Krishna who, fed up of being continuously bullied by his elder brother, sets fire to his brother's motor-bike. Angered, his mom takes him to Apollo Circus and asks him to earn Rs. 500/- and then come back home. He finds employment with the circus but one day the Circus packs up and leaves. Alone, with nowhere to turn to, and unable to find the Rs. 500/- to repay his mother, he decides to travel to the nearest big city – Mumbai (Bombay). Upon his arrival in Mumbai (Bombay), he is robbed of all his meager possessions. He follows the thieves, and befriends them. He ends up in Mumbai (Bombay)'s notorious red-light area of Falkland Road near Grant Road Railway Station. One of the thieves, Chillum, also a drug pusher and addict, helps Krishna get a job at a tea stall "Grant Road Tea Stall". Krishna gets a new name "Chai Pau", and learns to live with it. His goal is to get the Rs.500/- and return home to his mother. Krishna soon finds out that saving money with his surroundings and the people near him is next to impossible. To make matters worse, he has a crush on a young prostitute, Sola Saal. He sets fire to her room and attempts to elope with her but in vain. This gets him a severe beating, and he also loses his job. He works odd jobs to feed himself, and look after Chillum, who cannot live without his drugs. He and his pals also rob an elderly Parsi man of his belongings by breaking into his house in broad daylight. One night while returning home, he and several of his friends are apprehended by the police, and taken to a juvenile home. But this detention was not to last very long as Krishna escapes and goes back to his world - the world of drug-pushers, pimps, prostitutes, and nurture his dream of someday going back to his mother. Good performances by Nana Patekar, Anita Kanwar and Raghuvir Yadav.

Khoj (In Search) (2001 / Bengali / 26 mins)
Khoj starts with a man who goes looking for his friend who disappeared ten years ago. Only his mother survives alone in the house. In this search the protagonist travels through a spectrum of life - he meets people, he meets mountains, rivers. What exactly happens with him, what metamorphosis goes within him, which is what you can experience through the visual storytelling.

Chinese Whispers (2007)
In our daily life, we might come across certain characters we don´t know. Despite not knowing these characters, they become a part of the larger mise-en-scene of life. This film is about two such characters. A man and a woman. In an urban space, they have only met as strangers, and till the end they remain so, as they grow steadily towards alienation from their surroundings. They share the same space, that is the city, but they have their own set of problems to deal with. Coming closer and closer to their own crisis, they start growing comfortable in their respective existence. Wonderful scintillating performances by Momm Bhattacharya, Sudip Sengupta, Trina Nileena Banerjee and Yuvraj Dheer.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Enjoy Life to the fullest - "Har pal yahan ji bhar jio, jo ye sama... Kal Ho Na Ho", says Saikat Das

Films & TV editorial team caught up with actor Saikat Das in Kolkata recently. An Avid photographer and a software professional, Saikat who started off with modeling to walking on the ramp for Lakme, lives life in zest. From modeling to ramp to serial to films, he is forging his way ahead. Not the one to plan his life meticulously, he is far from being shy. Waiting eagerly for his first film “Phire Ashboi” to release and gauge the audience reactions to his style of acting, he is also keen to start shoot for a short film “Breaking the Silence” based on a very bold theme. At the same time, he wants to ride miles ahead with his acting skills by playing amazing characters.

Films & TV World: Did you always aspire to be a model and actor? Can you elaborate a bit on your work profile and your background?
Saikat Das: Not really. Being a Software professional, I never ever thought that I will ever do acting or modelling. I never had a background in acting as I have never acted in school, college even in 'local functions'. But two years back it just suddenly happened. One of my fashion photographer friends Sayantan Sarkar convinced me to do a portfolio. After that I sent those pics to a few agencies and within a week I got calls and did some advertising shoots for them. This led further and advertising offers started pouring in from prestigious companies like Simoco mobile, Aircel, Berger Paints, AMEX, Blackberry, ABP and the list goes on.

Just the way my modelling career took off, my acting career also took off suddenly. I was asked to call a production house by this friend Sayantan again and when I met them, they offered me a very important role in a mega Bengali serial 'Bou Kotha Kao' which became so popular that till date people call me by my character  name 'Tamal'. This role got me another Bengali serial offer for 'Ichhe Dana' as one of the lead, and that too within a month of my starting my acting career. Then gradually all others serials came along like, Sasuri Zindabad, Probahini e shamay, Kon kanoner phool etc. I am so lucky that within a short span of time I got the opportunity to work with great directors and actors. Right now I am doing a lead role in “Khona” in Zee Bangla. There are many more to come.

Films & TV: You have done some good assignments on the ramp too.
Saikat: Oh yes. Again I am lucky in this too. I have no formal education neither for modelling nor for acting still I have managed to do good work. I have done many good shows on the Ramp but most importantly I did Kolkata Couture fashion week. It was great experience working with so many big name designers. I hope to get a chance to work in Lakme fashion Week next year. I just love to walk on the ramp. The instant applause is what sets the adrenaline pushing to do good job.

Films & TV: From a model to an actor, how did the transition take place?
Saikat: It was just a natural progression from modeling to acting. As I had to be coaxed and convinced that I could deliver in the field of modeling, same went in for my acting capabilities. I am really honoured to feel that it was others who saw that spark and potential in me and convinced me that I can surely act or as I said earlier can walk the ramp. As I love to challenge myself, I just took these assignments to test check my own capabilities. The audiences and my directors liked what I delivered and I just stayed on. But yes, I know I am still in the learning process and I keep on upgrading myself to deliver my best performance. As for modeling, I will continue as its also what you can say my first love.

Films & TV: From serials to now films. What’s next on the anvil?
Saikat: I am doing serials but definitely, the big screen is what gives you more thrills. I would lie if I said I am not looking to do more films. As of now, I have just done one film and it gave me enormous satisfaction which I did not get from serials. Its not that challenging roles are now written in serials. Rather, given their format, they are bound and even though they might wish to, they just have to offer what the audiences want. As for me, I am getting offers for films but don’t really want to jump at whatever I get. Hopefully in 2011, I will do couple of good films.  

Films & TV: How was your experience working in “Phire Ashboi”. What’s your character?
Saikat: It was great experience! Not only as it is my first film but also got the opportunity to work with so many renowned actors like Manoj Mitra, Dwijen Bandopadhay, Roma Prasad Banik, Arijit Choudhury etc. who are supposed to be the pillars of Tollywood. I still cant forget the fact that that Roma Prasad Banik (Roma da, as we fondly called him) is no more with us. He gave me valuable inputs and tips when we were in Burdwan on an outdoor shoot for the film. I play a good honest cop in this film. It has very positive shades. Though im not throughout in the film but have a very important role.

Films & TV: Heard you have been signed for a short film on a bold subject for film festivals.
Saikat: Well, yes. It’s a short film entitled “Breaking the Silence” and will be directed by Mohan Das of Eon Films, Mumbai. He is my friend for some years and he narrated me the story one day. I was not convinced that I would be able to do this. But Mohan explained what he was seeking out of me for the character and also how he would like to shoot the scenes. It was only then that I was convinced. And yes, it’s in my psyche that I like to push myself to the limits and try something that’s a real challenge. I am really looking forward to work in this project. We are yet to work on the shooting schedule and dates are yet to be finalized.

Films & TV: Given the fact that Tollywood doesn’t accept new comers and it’s a long struggle. What’s your take on this?
Saikat: It’s not true. Just look at today’s scenario. There are so many new comers (including me) who are working in different serials as lead and characters. Same can be said even of films. But yes sometimes there are some lobbyists who take only their known people. But I think that’s fair enough as they are comfortable working with those actors. One cannot really question their take on this. For me I have never faced this and as I told you, I was lucky enough to have never struggled in that sense. But yes, getting a good project and working in a good film in the real sense, is yet to come. So that struggle continues.

Films & TV: In case you are offered to choose your dream role, what role would you go for? What are your future plans?

Saikat: Ahhhhh, very difficult. There are so many. Every time I see a good movie I think if I could play this kind of a role. But right now the role that comes in my mind first is that of Aamir Khan’s in 'Rang de Basanti'. I have never ever in my wildest dream thought that I will be a part of this glamour industry. Now in two years I have done so many things. Naturally, not aware what awaits me in the next two years. I have never ever planned for my future. I am happy whatever way I am. Enjoying my life, living it fullest... ' Har pal yahan ji bhar jio ... jo ye sama... kal ho na ho' :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Entertainment aur Film Promotion ke liye kuch bhi karega…

The marketing team of UTV is resorting to every available creative (read cheap) idea to bring in the audiences and make the film “No One Killed Jessica” a hit. Right from Rani Mukherjee doing a Shashtaang Namaskaar on a satellite channel to cracking cases on CID to doing a MOCK KISS (a la lesbian style) with Vidya Balan exclusively on Zoom, they have done it all. However the icing on the cake is the start of the “Thappad Helpline” to complain about eve teasing, harassment and other issues, which they claim to, have an astounding response. According to reports, they have been receiving 5000 calls a day, which in itself is staggering but totally unbelievable.

Rahul Dahel, who shot as the Gym Instructor
However, as far as our reports go, the team has shot a couple of MOCK thappad promo which will be aired on all the channels. Two thappad promos were shot which is to be aired from tomorrow on all chanells. One of the thappad promo was designed on a producer asking an upcoming starlet / actress to “compromise” for getting a role. And the second was that of a gym instructor feeling the female members in the guise of getting them do the workouts in the right manner. Both the thappad promo were shot recently.

The gym promo that was shot at a suburban gym had the instructor touching the female members at all inappropriate places in the guise of helping them do their workouts in the right manner. Harassed by such behaviour, one of such members calls on the “Thapad Helpline” and complains about the harassment meted out daily at the gym. Vidya Balan and Rani Mukherjee then ask this female to go ahead and allow the gym instructor to do what he wants, but not before equipping her with a spy camera that shoots all the instructor's antics. Later the female confronts the instructor and asks him what has he been trying to do. The instructor abuses her and in this melee enters Vidya Balan and Rani Mukherjee as the screen characters and take the instructor to task, not before the instructor getting a “Thappad” for his act. The gym instructor’s role was enacted by an upcoming star Rahul Dahel who is soon making his foray into serials and films as a lead character.

Wow! Kongrats, Rani & Vidya and the entire creative team for the promotion idea for the film! The idea is far too creative but not a real hard task to implement, if done actually. So, instead of doing these MOCK drills, if you guys could actually start such a helpline and could take the eve teasers and harassers to task, it would really be an achievement. And where else, but in the Capital where Jessica was killed in full view of everyone, where females are not safe. But alas! In this country, nothing will be done to stop such crimes. But Entertainment and Film promotion ke liye kuch bhi karega…

Dabangg is still ruling hot! Wins 5 awards by Aaj Tak

A great way to start the New Year!! 2010's Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha starrer ‘Dabangg’ is still ruling hot all over. After having wooing the audiences, it is now wooing the judges all over. At the recently held Aaj Tak Awards, Dabangg has won five out of six awards organized by new channel Aaj Tak. According to Arbaaz Khan, the film’s producer, Aaj TaK presented the first awards of 2011, and Dabangg has won 5 out of 6 Awards. 

“We win best actor, film, director, song (Munni) and debut actress,” said Arbaaz who also mentioned that at the first Big Star Entertainment Awards held recently, the film won five out of seven awards in the main categories such as best film, best actor, best director, best entertaining song (obviously Munni Badnaam Hui) and best male singer Rahat Ali for Tere Mast Mast Do Nain. This one surely is the most watched film of 2010, and Sheila ki Jawani also couldn’t entice them all.