Friday, June 29, 2012

Manipur's 'Great Uprising' to come alive on screen

The bloody protest in Manipur that resulted in the infamous June 18 massacre in 2001, also known as the Great June Uprising, will soon come alive on screen. Young filmmaker Mohen Naorem, who is making a documentary on the event, says his aim is to create awareness among youngsters so that they don`t forget the past.

The 50-minute documentary titled ‘The Uprising’ is not only a tribute to the 18 people who had laid down their lives for the cause of Manipur`s integrity in 2001 but also to make the younger generation aware about the historical event.

"Eleven years on, who remembers those brave Manipuris? Can someone from the younger generation tell me the name of one hero who was killed in the Great June uprising? I doubt. Only the family members remember their loved ones, who sacrificed their lives for the integrity of Manipur, their motherland," Naorem, the producer and director of the documentary, told reporters.

"We are planning to use the real video footage of the 2001 incident collected from various sources," he said, adding that he is planning to release the film by August.

On June 18, 2001, Manipur witnessed the biggest mass uprising when about 50,000 people came out to the streets opposing the centre`s decision to extend the ceasefire with the militant National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) to areas in the state.

The Manipuris saw the move as the beginning of an attempt to slice territory out of their state to be handed over to Nagaland as part of the NSCN-IM`s demand for a Greater Nagaland. (The NSCN-IM is led by Isak Chisi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah). The protestors also torched the Manipur assembly building, the chief minister`s office, the speaker`s residence and other government establishments. A total of 18 protestors - a woman, three minors and 14 young men - were killed and many others were injured that day when the security forces eventually opened fire to quell the frenzied mob.

A massive civil disobedience movement followed and state capital Imphal was under curfew for nearly a month until July 24 when the then prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, announced that the ceasefire with the NSCN (IM) would once again be restricted only to Nagaland, as had been the case ever since it first came into force on Aug 1, 1997.

Every year, thousands of people gather around the memorial built in memory of the bravehearts at Kekrupat, located at the northern side of historical Kangla Fort, and take a pledge together to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur at any cost.

"Ten years have already passed after the historic day. We have been observing the day as Integrity Day every year after 2001. However, mere observance of the day is not sufficient," said Naorem, adding that his aim is to document the event for the coming generations of Manipuris.

"We want to teach the coming generation about the supreme sacrifice made by those 18 innocent people. If we could not keep a proper record, their contributions would be lost to history. We are not against any particular community or the government. The sole purpose of this documentary is to pay a tribute to those noble souls who were much ahead of us in sacrificing for the motherland," he added.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Designer JJ Valaya unfolds his Royal Roots on ‘I Love Style powered by KARMIK’ only on BIG CBS Love

This week on I Love Style powered by Karmik, India's elite designer, JJ Valaya who is known for his ability to combine clothes and constant experimentation will feature on the show as the fashion mentor. His exquisite creations that juxtapose elements of grandeur & exquisite craftsmanship and Western & Indian silhouettes are a trademark. On I Love Style powered by Karmik, on BIG CBS Love, this week, this stylish trendsetter will also showcase some of his KARMIK creations to the style hungry viewers.

Veteran designer JJ Valaya hails from the royal city of Jodhpur and that is why royal and opulent inspirations can be seen in all his collections. His latest collection which got standing ovation at the Grand Finale of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week was inspired from his recent travel to Turkey and the royal opulence there.

The year 2012 is a special one for JJ Valaya as it marks his completion of 2 decades in the Indian Fashion Industry. Mr. Valaya has had many muses from around the world who swear by his designs. These include everyone from the Monarchs of the Middle East to Bollywood actresses. His latest muse Kangana Ranaut has already appointed him for her Trousseau Couture, whenever she marries, that is.

And besides this couture expedition, he is even more excited to be associated with KARMIK – where his clothes will be worn by women across the country. As he puts in his own words, “With Karmik, a person for whom designer-wear is an aspiration will be able to buy one and a person who is a notch higher will be very comfortable buying several instead of one. So you are going to be really attracting two different segments of the market and putting them on a very similar sort of a platform. You are really looking at a brand propagating Indian designer clothes at a level which is much higher than anything which is done before.”

He will be featured in a special segment KARMIK stylicious for five days Mon-Fri starting 25th June….

The other segments on the show also have jewelry for the bride by Alpana Gujral, daughter of the famous painter Satish Gujral. Her exclusive pieces carry her artistic stamp in each piece. There’s also Rajeev Arora’s Amrapali design. The real jewelry is inspired by the royal gharanas. This is not it, for the fashion conscious---great branded footwear and hand bags and lots more in the episode.

So catch the Couture Maharaja JJ Valaya, this week, Monday to Friday at 10 pm on I Love Style powered by Karmik only on BIG CBS Love.

Kings of Leon “Live at O2” rock concert

Kings of Leon have a background so exorbitant in rock mythology that it almost sounds made up. Their “Live at the O2 London, England” performance left a mark on one and all, and BIG CBS Spark is now giving you a chance to relive their concert on Saturday & Sunday, June 30 & July 1 at 8.00 p.m.

The performance given by the Kings of Leon was so phenomenal that it was released a year later as a DVD, the band’s first. The ‘Live at the O2’ concert consists of a 22-song set selected from all four of the band's albums. The track list includes their super-hit songs like ‘Notion’, ‘Be Somebody’ and ‘Fans’.

The band's retro-chic look and blend of Southern boogie and gritty garage rock was a complete sell-out to over 18,000 fans who attended the concert at London’s O2 Arena.

Two days of fun, frolic and music; two days of entertainment, head-banging and music; two days of one helluva event and of course, music! BIG CBS Spark will air this concert over two days and give you the chance to enjoy the songs of these hairy rebels.

Watch as the three Follow ill brothers cast their magic with their resplendent music and their never-ending spirit on stage as they play some of their classic numbers, leaving the crowd wanting more.

So if you missed this concert in London, fear not! Tune in to BIG CBS Spark over the weekend and turn your living room in to the O2 concert arena and watch the Kings of Leon performing some of their best songs, Live!

Catch the Kings of Leon Live at the O2 on Saturday & Sunday, June 30 & July at 8.00 p.m. only on BIG CBS Spark.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Salt & Light is ready to rock on with music by Stone Soup Soldiers from Denver, US

A Bollywood anthology film, Salt & Light is a unique and innovative attempt by Eon Films to provide Indian audiences with a realistic film which interweaves five short stories into one film. It is not that this kinda attempt has not been tried before in Bollywood. “Yes, a few tried it and even we did ‘Daughters of this Century” way back in 1999. But then all other films including our own were directed by one director. So there was no novelty in it. However, Salt & Light stands a bit different from the other anthology Indian films as 5 different directors will be directing each part, albeit all tied up in one story. The scripting has been done as in a feature film format and in no way would the audience feel they are watching short films strung together, ” said Mohan Das, CEO, Eon Films.

Salt and light are metaphors used by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, one of the main teachings of Jesus on morality and discipleship. This metaphor in Matthew has a direct reference to the theme of the film based on male exploitation and victimization. Just as the saltiness cannot be restored in salt if its lost  - same goes to say about our male protagonists whose lives won’t be the same again. Yet after that very dark night, the morning ray of hope is sure to instill a new meaning for them to live and go on with it. This film is about the shiny days beyond those dark nights in the male protagonists lives.

“To talk of the title track being composed by Mike Paul Hughes, let me first say - Mike is a Good Samaritan and a dear friend. I came to know him through Facebook and am very happy that he has agreed to do the title track for this film,” says Mohan. “We wanted a very heavy rock metal kind of music which is actually his forte. What I heard from the rough scratch he mailed me, I was very happy and am sure the final will be mind blowing. The recording is being done at Colarado, Denver (US) today and I wish him and his team “Stone Soup Soldiers” all the best,” added Mohan.

The film is ready to go on floors with its first story “Crossroadz” in Mumbai starring Avalok Nagpal, Satyam, Soumya Basuthakur, Arunima Jha, Bibin Babu and others. The other four stories are conveniently planned to shoot at all four corners (Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore) and the final in the heartland of India - yeah in Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh). The starcast also includes Sangita Sonali, Shaan Roy, Abhishek Biswas, Vilas Rajput and S Venkatesh in pivotal roles.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Raymond crowns Phani Kumar from Hyderabad, winner at the Grand Finale of its Model Hunt

Raymond, India’s leading textile and apparel brand crowned Mr. Phani Kumar the proud winner of its novel Model Hunt staged exclusively on the popular online platform, Facebook, as a tribute to the new-age online savvy Indian male. The eagerly awaited Grand Finale of the Raymond Model Hunt was held at the Raymond flagship store, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai at a gala evening ceremony.

Raymond Model Hunt Winner Phani Kumar
with Judge Marc Robinson and Runner Up Sandeep Gaikwad
A picture of calm poise, Phani Kumar said he felt extremely honoured to be the winner of the Raymond Complete Man title.  “When I left Hyderabad for the Grand Finale in Mumbai, I was confident, but had a bout of nerves when I saw the tough competition I had to face from the nine other finalists. It is a dream achievement to have made it as the winner, in Mumbai”

The winner, Phani Kumar from Hyderabad and the runner-up Sandeep Gaikwad from Mumbai were selected after intensely competitive elimination rounds including the Indian and the western wear rounds. The winners have the unique opportunity of being a part of the memorable and timeless history of Raymond.

Hosted by Karishma Kotak, the Grand Finale was the culmination of a three month-long activity on Facebook, wherein model aspirants from across India expressed their interest in participating in Raymond’s first ever model hunt. Having received around 200 serious contestants’ profiles, the 10 finalists were short-listed basis set parameters covering physical and intellectual attributes, in addition to their understanding of Raymond as a brand and its qualities. The candidates’ fitment into the brand and values philosophy was a key parameter in deciding the 10 finalists for the Raymond Model Hunt.

The evening of June 13, 2012 witnessed the 10 finalists from across Maharashtra, MP, AP, Punjab, Delhi and Karnataka walk the ramp in the presence of judges - Supermodel and Choreographer Marc Robinson and Advertising veteran N. Sangeetha.

The 10 finalists have, in addition to various other rounds of competition also made videos on “what it means to be a gentleman today” as part of the short listing process. The finalists were groomed and choreographed by Marc. Marc had this to say about the two winners- “Phani is sensitive, his smile and warmth touch your soul, while Sandeep exudes a cosmopolitan, macho personality. Together, they are a perfect blend of the Raymond Complete Man”.

Aniruddha Deshmukh, President – Textiles, Raymond Limited, said, “This is the first time that the iconic brand has conceptualised a unique platform Raymond for young aspiring models across India to make a mark and achieve their dreams in the world of men’s fashion. It was a conscious decision to run the Raymond Model Hunt exclusively on Facebook, as a tribute to the new-age social media friendly Indian male. That this model hunt has attracted the attention of India’s youth is encouraging, as we plan to expand Raymond’s presence in the social media significantly in the future. Following this activity, the Raymond Facebook Page today has over two lakh fans.”

The Raymond Complete Man, conceived two decades back is a timeless campaign appealing to audiences at any given point of time. Even as Raymond’s contemporary collections evolve with the times, the brand still caters to the different faces of 'The Complete Man'. The Raymond Complete Man crown has redefined the careers of several Indian models such as Keith Sequeira, Parvesh Rana, Rajneesh Duggal, Deepak Bajwa, Inder Bajwa and Anuj Sachdev who have climbed the peaks of popularity in the world of fashion and films.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Nawazuddin Siddiqui signs new movie for astronomical sum

Yes, Nawazuddin Siddiqui the fiery implosive actor who lately made a resounding impact as an intelligence officer in Kahaani, is going places. On the anvil is his bunch of films which has catapulted him to fame on the international circuit as well. Yes! Right in his films from Patang to Miss Lovely to Gangs Of Wasseypur, he is seen everywhere on the festival circuit from the Ebertfest to the Cannes film festival. But that doesn’t say he is only a serious art house actor as his next commercial is also set to release soon. Yes, he will be seen in a pivotal role in Talaash with Aamir Khan.

The unassuming NSD trained actor from a small village in Uttar Pradesh who has got a jampacked year ahead is now signed for a NRI production. Playing second lead to none other than Irfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui was signed for an astronomical 40 Lakhs confirmed an insider. The film which is totally kept under wraps starts shooting soon at various locations in London. An actor to be watched for, Nawazuddin has just completed shooting for a road movie Liar, Dice with Malayalam actress-filmmaker Geetu Mohandas and is also doing Anurag Kashyap's assistant Shlok Sharma’s film. 

Nawazuddin is all set to be seen as a dreaded gangster in Amit Kumar's Monsoon Shootout which has Tannistha Chatterjee, Vijay Verma and others. He had earlier done Amit Kumar's short film The Bypass way back in 2003 which won rave reviews at various international film festivals.

Mohan Kapur walks out of Zero Line : The Journey to Wagah

Mohan Kapur who was recently seen as a minister being seduced by the leading lady Paoli Dam in Vikram Bhatt’s erotica thriller “Hate Story” was all gung ho about playing a jihadi fundamentalist in Amar Chitra Productions “Zero Line: The journey to Wagah”. Directed by debutante Gagan Puri, “Zero Line: The journey to Wagah” is based on the director’s own novel “Black Night: The Journey to Wagah Border” based on Indo-Pak relations as well as throws some startling revelations on Bhagat Singh’s life.

Mohan who was always keen to experiment with his looks was all keen to do this role as he felt this role would give him something new to experiment with, said an official on condition of anonymity. He was supposed to be playing a beardie jihadi fundamentalist who indoctrinates young guys in the name of Jihad and doesn’t mind issuing orders to kill if they found anyone who didn’t toe their line.

The shoot is going on at various locations at Nagpur with Manjot Singh, Brijendra Kala, Rehan Tamta and others. However, this being an entirely new production house, mismanagements reigned supreme as neither the contracts were signed nor the travel arrangements made in time. Frustrated by these turn of events, Mohan Kapur eventually walked out of this production at the last moment.

The film has songs by Jaaved Ali and its music is composed by Raj Verma. Apart from Manjot Singh, Nidhi Jha, Brijendra Kala, Rehan Tamta and Sandeep Mishra, the film has Nandita Puri and Deepti Naval in pivotal roles. 

Isha Sharvani supports Hanjer’s ‘Keep City Clean & Green’ initiative for motorists on World Environment Day

On the occasion of World Environment Day, Hanjer Bio-Tech Energies (Hanjer), a unique player and innovator in the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management business, conducted a special community awareness initiative - ‘Keep Your City Clean & Green’ - for motorists in Mumbai, urging them to dispose waste responsibly only in garbage bags and keep the city, clean, green and waste free.

Popular Bollywood Actress Isha Sharvani lent support to Hanjer’s initiative by communicating the ‘Dispose waste only in garbage bags’ message and later by distributing special Hanjer garbage bags to motorists at the busy CST traffic signal. She appealed to motorists to appeal to refrain from littering and dispose waste responsibly. Hanjer also conducted a day long free distribution of special garbage bags at all prominent traffic signals across the City.

Dr. Irfan Furniturewala, Director, Hanjer Biotech Energies, said, “We are very happy that actress Isha Sharvani has expressed  support for Hanjer’s ‘Kachra Sirf Dabbe Mein Daalo’ campaign, specially targeting motorists, on the occasion of World Environment Day. With population growth and affluence leading to a quantum growth in waste generation, there is a need for each citizen to dispose waste responsibly and help keep Mumbai clean, green and waste free. We will also reach out to a wider audience in Mumbai through our ‘Trash Bash’ events at select malls, over the coming months.”

Actress Isha Sharvani added, “Hanjer’s objective is to awaken the conscience within every citizen and make each one believe that change starts with a single person- you. I appeal to citizens that these simple efforts from citizens can help keep the city cleaner and greener providing for a better quality of life. I am glad to support Hanjer’s Clean Green initiative on the occasion of World Environment Day and every citizen must pledge to contribute towards keeping the City clean & green.” 

Critically acclaimed American Supernatural Drama series ‘Medium’ for the first time in India on BIG CBS LOVE from today

BIG CBS LOVE, the Diva Destination, is all set to launch critically acclaimed American Supernatural Drama series ‘Medium’ for the first time in India. The new series will hit the Indian TV screens from today June 11 at 9pm from Monday to Friday.

Medium is a drama inspired by the real-life story of Allison Dubois, an extraordinary young wife and mother who, since childhood, has struggled to make sense of her dreams and visions of dead people.The series stars Emmy Award winning actress Patricia Arquette, who will portray the role of Allison Dubois. On the show Patricia will play the role of a wife and mother of three who is trying to understand her natural intuition about people and her ability to communicate with the dead. Allison works as a consultant to District Attorney Manuel Devalos, where she uses her abilities to solve brutal and horrible crimes that puzzle Phoenix police and others within the criminal justice system. Hollywood actor Jack Weber has played her husband’s role on the show. Allison’s daughters Ariel, Bridgette and Marie all have inherited their mother's abilities to see the past and future events in their dreams.

This show launches in keeping with the impending digitization supporting campaign from Reliance Broadcast Network called - ‘Choose Your Set-Top-Box Wisely’, designed to increase awareness and empower consumers with adequate information to make the right choice while choosing their set top boxes while parallely enabling operators to build their brand equity. Reliance Broadcast Network has seven robust and well crafted channels and is ready to benefit from the digital wave.

Grand Finale of India’s first novel Raymond Model Hunt on Facebook on June 13, 2012

Raymond, India’s iconic textile & apparel brand has staged a unique model hunt exclusively on the popular online platform, Facebook, as a tribute to the new-age online savvy Indian male. The eagerly awaited Grand Finale of the Raymond Model Hunt for the ‘The Complete Man’ will be held on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, at the Raymond flagship store, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai.

The winner will be selected after intensely competitive elimination rounds including the Indian and the western wear rounds. He will not only have the unique opportunity of being a part of the memorable and timeless history of the brand but also will get featured in the advertising / promotional collaterals for Raymond. The 10 finalists are from across geographies of India including Maharashtra, MP, AP, Punjab, Delhi & Karnataka.

Judged by Supermodel and Choreographer Marc Robinson and Advertising veteran Sangeetha Swamy, the Raymond Model Hunt Grand Finale will have a ‘By Invitation’ guest list.

The Raymond Complete Man campaign was conceived two decades back and is a timeless one appealing to audiences at any given point of time. The Complete Man is caring, sensitive and places a huge premium on relationships and epitomises a fine blend of qualities such as Trust, Excellence and Quality. Even as Raymond contemporary collections evolve with the times, the brand still caters to the different faces of 'The Complete Man'. The Raymond Complete Man crown has redefined the careers of several Indian models such as Keith Sequeira, Parvesh Rana, Rajniesh Duggal, Deepak Bajwa, Inder Bajwa and Anuj Sachdev who have climbed the peaks of popularity in the world of fashion and films.

Today, Raymond has the distinction of being the world's largest integrated producers of worsted suiting fabrics. As an integrated player, we provide end-to-end fabric solutions right from manufacturing worsted, woollen and linen fabrics to creating suits, trousers and apparel. Its consistent focus on cutting-edge research and technology has resulted in pioneering new products which have set new benchmarks in the worsted suiting industry in India. Raymond has the distinction of producing the finest suiting in the world using super fine wool from 80s to 250s count and blending the same with superfine polyester and other specialty fibres, like Cashmere, Angora, Alpaca, Pure Silk, Linen etc. It produces nearly 20,000 designs and colours of suiting fabric that have found their way in over 55 countries including the European Union, USA, Canada, Japan and Australia among others.