Thursday, January 31, 2013

Amitabh Bachchan honored as the first ever India’s Prime Icon

After chronicling the inspirational lives of some of India’s most illustrious names in a quest to give India its true role-model, BIG CBS Prime’s definitive show India’s Prime Icon has revealed the one name that will perpetually be remembered as an Icon in the real sense. An exclusive home-grown property by BIG CBS Prime, India’s Prime Icon saw the coming together of some of the nation’s most awe-inspiring and influential personalities spanning various professions like sports, entertainment and politics. Ending all debate, viewers have chosen the enigmatic superstar Mr. Amitabh Bachchan as the first ever winner of India’s Prime Icon on BIG CBS Prime.

The legendary actor was felicitated India’s Prime Icon at the grand finale event of the show by the divas of today Priyanka Chopra and Anushka Sharma, who together conferred the prestigious title on the luminary. This was followed by a special tribute by writer and critic Bhawana Somaaya who has compiled a Dictionary on Bachchan - the first in the history of Indian cinema titled Amitabh Lexicon, with the unveiling of the book and a special audio visual paying tribute to the Icon.

Bollywood’s biggest superstar, Mr. Bachchan, has revolutionised Hindi cinema with his iconic blockbusters like Deewar, Don and Zanjeer. His unassuming nature, hard work and inimitable style are the very qualities that have earned him the status of a legend, a demi-god and of course India’s Prime Icon.

India’s Prime Icon brought together the crème de la crème of the Indian political, film, television and sporting worlds like Sachin Tendulkar, Narendra Modi, A.R Rahman, Aamir Khan, and Shah Rukh Khan amongst others. The competition was intense and fans from across the nation voted for their favourite Icons with the help of insights from lyricist Prasoon Joshi, celebrated columnist Malvika Sanghvvi and adman Suhel Seth who served as Opinion Leaders on the show. Based on audiences’ votes Mr. Amitabh Bachchan emerged as the clear winner, hence walking away with the coveted title.

Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Anand Chakravarthy, Business Head - BIG CBS Networks said, “We couldn’t have asked for a better grand finale to the show, with the most deserving, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, being conferred the title of the India’s first ever Prime Icon. Epitomizing the word Icon, we are happy that India has selected the most commendable Icon. We are thankful to our partners Pernod Ricard and Samsung Galaxy for partnering with us on this innovation.”

Actor Randhir Kapoor releases Shemaroo’s 101 Silver Screen Stars: First-of-its-kind 4-DVD Gift Pack

Actor Randhir Kapoor, who represents the ‘First Family of Bollywood’, launched the first copy of Shemaroo’s first-of-its-kind Golden Jubilee Year Offering - 101 Silver Screen Stars - an Audio-Visual treat on the life journey of 101 popular Hindi film heroes and heroines encapsulated in 4 DVDs of over 750 minutes each of non-stop Bollywood nostalgia. In the 101st year of Indian Cinema, the must-have for every film lover is not merely a compilation but a well-researched Collector’s Edition with interesting anecdotes as well as more than 550 song clips and 101 main songs.

The pack also includes a very glamorous Filmy Diary consisting of some very interesting film artworks and facts tracing 100 Years of Cinema on each page complements the 4 DVD Gift Pack. The first promo of the product was also played for the 1,000 strong audiences attending the event. It will not be an exaggeration to call 101 Silver Screen Stars a mini encyclopedia on Bollywood, as the memorable life journeys of 101 Stars (51 Heroines & 50 Heroes) are covered along with their popular songs.

Mr. Hiren Gada, Director, Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd., said, “Shemaroo Entertainment proudly presents 101 Silver Screen Stars for its audience. This is our Golden Jubilee Year Offering for all lovers of Hindi Cinema - be it the Senior citizens, the middle aged or the Youngsters representing the Gen Next. It is a musical celebration and tribute to 101 all-time superstars who have adorned the Silver Screen with their magnificent presence. One can rediscover their favorite stars with flashbacks of their Life journeys and cinematic moments. There is something for everyone in this unique product which is the first of its kind on Video.”

Founded in 1962, Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd is among the eminent Filmed Entertainment “Content House” in the country with activities ranging across Content Ownership, Aggregation and Distribution. The Shemaroo brand is today synonymous with quality entertainment in the Indian entertainment eco system. Shemaroo is engaged in the distribution of content for satellite channels, physical formats and emerging technologies like the Mobile, Internet, Broadband, IPTV and DTH among others. With its partnership with the major telecom operators in India, Shemaroo is one of the forefront players of the digital age. The company has also tied up with many content providers across the country. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Subhash Ghai's Mishti is actually Indrani Chakraborty and not a debutante : Has done Hindi Film "Strings of Passion"

Subhash Ghai has put all speculations to rest about the heroine of his new film “Kaanchi” on his birthday. He introduced his heroine Mishti (which means sweet in Bengali) whom he selected from 240 girls that had auditioned for the role. Mishti who hails from Kolkata is debuting in Hindi with this film according to mentor Subhash Ghai.

However, not many might be aware that Mishti (as she is fondly called at home) is originally Indrani Chakraborty and is actually not making her debut. Rather she is starring in the Hindi Film "Strings of Passion" directed by Sanghamitra Chaudhuri which is already complete and due for release. This film that stars Zeenat Aman, Shubh Mukherjee, Indrani Halder, Avalok Nagpal, Paru Gambhir, Rajesh Sharma, Amit Trishaan Sarkar and Sangita Sonali is at present doing the rounds of festivals. And she is known by her official name - Indrani Chakraborty in it. In fact, not many know that it was in Sanghamitra Chaudhuri’s Bengali Film "Bidehir Khonje Rabindranath" that Indrani Chakraborty (now renamed Mishti - her sweet name at home) debuted in 2 years back. 

Indrani Chakrabotry aka Mishti meanwhile has also done a Bengali Movie with Prosenjit where she is playing her daughter and should hit the screens by April 2013.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Toyota Launches a T-20 Cricket Tournament encouraging University Cricket in India

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd.  (TKM) today launched Toyota University Cricket Championship (TUCC), a T-20 cricketing series to encourage cricket at the university level in India. TUCC will see eight Indian universities contest each other for the title of Toyota University Cricket Championship 2013. TUCC which is a joint initiative is supported by New Delhi Television (NDTV), The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and The Ministry of Human Resource Department.

Present on the occasion of the launch were many important guests and dignitaries including Superstar Shah Rukh Khan along with Mr. Sandeep Singh, DMD and COO, Marketing & Commercial, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Mr. Hidehisa Nagae, Executive Managing Coordinator- Director, CR & Marketing, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Dr. Prannoy Roy, Founder and Executive Co-Chairperson of NDTV and Dr. S. N. Puri, President, AIU.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sandeep Singh, DMD and COO, TKM said, “Toyota University Cricket Championship is a special project for us and we are very glad to encourage and promote university level cricket in India. Toyota’s foray into this new venture is in line with our global philosophy of creating a sense of ‘WAKU DOKI’, which in Japanese means ‘excitement, joy and fun.’

With the help of our partners NDTV, we have planned a very aggressive marketing campaign for TUCC which will entail a blitz of promotion and BTL activities starting today till the 17th of February and a number of contests and other attractions from February 17th till the 10th of March, 2013. We will also run very exciting contests for the young participants from the audience who will be eligible to win a brand new Toyota Etios Liva. We will also gift a Toyota Etios to the man of the series,” continued Mr. Singh.

The eight university teams will be split into two groups of four teams each and each team will play each other once in the group across various cities in India. These eight teams will be mentored by renowned cricketers who will also act as team ambassadors for individual teams. Special camps will be held for the teams where they will be trained by their respective mentors.

TUCC aims to reach out to more than two hundred Universities and twenty lakh students across the country through interactive on ground activities across colleges and universities. The matches will also be followed by a carnival with LIVE musical performances by some of India’s great artists, great food and engaging on-ground contests.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

"Stories from the New Queer India" to be released in the presence of Nandita Das on 9th January

India’s most awaited LGBT anthology, after 2009 Delhi High Court Ruling on section 377, Out! Stories from the New Queer India, published by Queer Ink and edited by Ms. Minal Hajratwala, is finally here. Fascinating narratives told by 30 writers from all walks of life, who consider the dominant theme to be close to their hearts have contributed their works.

Over two years on, Queer Ink has grown to be a unique web retailer providing accessibility to queer books, films and art and now moved to being a publisher and promoter of LGBTI Indian literature with their first book Out! Stories from the New Queer India.

Ms. Minal Hajratwala, the author of the award winning book Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents. Along with being a journalist, Minal is also a well known writing coach and the editor of Out! Stories from the New Queer India. Stories cover a range of genres and issues that concern Lesbian, Gay,Bi-sexual, Trans (LGBT) India. Contributors in the book include published writers Karuna Ezara Parikh, Sandip Roy, R.Raj Roy, Dibyajyoti Sarma, Sunny Singh, Kama Spice, Anisha Sridhar, Arun Mirchandani and a vibrant group of emerging writers.

In Bengalaru, a law student falls in love as the nation’s highest courts decide whether his love is legitimate. In Mumbai, a film star and a parent discuss their own journeys of "coming out" as advocates of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movement. In rural Kerala, two girls row a small boat and feel their hearts opening. Some of the other themes that are covered in this anthology are of regret, values, relationships, love and the various steps people in love take just to be together and accepted in this society where homosexuals still find themselves to be a minority in this homogeneous society.

Concluding the anthology is a dialogue between Nandita Das and Chitra Palekar who openly talk about LGBT lives that have affected them and helped them grow into advocates for this community.

These are the lives of queer Indians today: poignant, gripping and occasionally even hilarious. Through their original and unforgettable stories, penned by the community’s master storytellers as well as emerging writers, Out! Stories from the New Queer India offers a glimpse beyond the closet doors - and into the lives and dreams of India’s most misunderstood minority.
The book is available on and all Crossword outlets across the India at a reasonable price of Rs. 350/-

Queer is a unique web retailer providing accessibility to books, films and art that share the queer experience, all at affordable prices. Queer Ink also organizes events to for to discuss and/or perform the queer word. Headquartered in Mumbai and by virtue of being an eclectic centre for queer culture activity, Queer Ink has grown to be active in events such as pride parades and literature festivals. Besides, it also holds writers’ workshops and book-readers interactions regularly.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ritesh Deshmukh’s Marathi film ‘Balak Palak’ to pioneer India’s first multi locational interactive Virtual Premier powered by UFO Moviez and Valuable Edutainment

Traditionally a film’s premiere has usually been hosted with the cast & crew in attendance, in closed door affairs with the invitees being from the film fraternity itself. For the first time virtual premieres are being held, with the cast & crew in attendance on the big screen, in multiple locations, with audiences being the cinema going public.
History will be created in the world of cinema in the New Year! For the first time ever, UFO Moviez, the world’s largest satellite delivered digital cinema network, along with Valuable Edutainment, will pioneer the interactive ‘Virtual Premier’ of Actor-Producer Ritesh Deshmukh’s new Marathi film ‘Balak Palak’ (BP) at UFO digital theatres in 5 different locations (Mumbai, Thane, Nalasopara, Pune and Latur) at the same time. 

UFO & Valuable Edutainment’s unique technology, will enable audiences watching the Preview show of ‘Balak Palak’ on Thursday, January 3, 2013, at Sona Gold in Borivali East, Fun Fiesta in Nalasopara, Gold Digital in Thane West, Prabhat in Pune and Big Rama theatre in Latur, to get a chance to interact with Ritesh Deshmukh on the big screen in front of them at the same time. In fact, audiences in each of these UFO digital theatres will also witness the cinegoers located in the other theatres in different cities asking questions. Ritesh Deshmukh along with co producers Uttung Hitendra Thakur and Ravi Jadhav, who is also the director of the film, music directors Vishal – Shekhar, and the children of Balak Palak, will all be stationed at the Valuable Edutainment central studio, to watch and interact with the audiences in all UFO digital theatres at the same time. The session is expected to last an hour followed by the screening of the film.

Actor-producer Ritesh Deshmukh says, “I am overjoyed that ‘Balak Palak’, a sensitive drama that will help parents realize how important it is to communicate transparently with your child, will create history with the first-of-its-kind Virtual Premier facilitated by UFO Moviez & Valuable Edutainment. Marathi films have created a mark throughout the world and with this unique technology, they will unite Marathi film going audiences in remote locations. I’m confident that Balak Palak will not only break box office records but also enter many books of record with this unique feat.”

Sanjay Gaikwad, Managing Director, UFO Moviez India & Valuable Edutainment, adds, “In a fitting tribute to the 100th year of Indian cinema, a home-grown company, UFO Moviez, will show the world how it is possible to unite film lovers in different locations of this large country with popular film personalities at the same time. UFO Moviez, which is already a world leader, will now demonstrate how its unique satellite technology will help the aam admi achieve the impossible. We are happy to provide our technology to Ritesh Deshmukh for starting a new trend in mainstream cinema with Balak Palak and hope that the film breaks box office records.”

"We wanted to have new kind of beginning to the Indian cinema as it has completed 100 years. Through the movie Balak Palak (BP) we have made an attempt to voice the subtle message of sex education to children by their parents. BP team along with UFO digital cinema jointly came forward for the path breaking concept of Virtual premier to be held in 5 cities at one time and create a history in Indian cinema," said Mr. Ravi Jadhav, Director & Co-Producer, BP (Balak-Palak).

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Uttung Thakur, Producer, BP (Balak-Palak), said, "The Indian cinema is witnessing first ever virtual premier of the movie, starting from BP (Balak-Palak)  we hope that we could reach maximum number of people through virtual premier and convey the message on sex education to the society. By talking about this taboo subject to the audience we feel that the communication gap between parents and children would get filled up and they will freely talk with each other on the sensitive subject like sex."

UFO Moviez, the world’s largest satellite delivered digital cinema network, has revolutionized the way films are distributed and exhibited throughout India.  Presently, UFO has a base of 3,124 digital screens (including 139 3D screens), spread in 1,300 cities in 25 states and 6 union territories of India. UFO has so far released 5,326 films in 30 languages and has conducted over 13.3 million shows till date.

Valuable Edutainment’s offering Edubeam is a satellite based distance learning solution which eliminates time & distance constraints and facilitates interactive exchange of information between a central studio and multiple remote locations. Edubeam’s virtual classrooms can reach out to remote locations simultaneously & in real time facilitating flow of information between expert in the central studio & students in the remote locations in a unique interactive environment. Edubeam is currently successfully operating 80 MCGM schools which are connected to two central studios with daily lectures being delivered in a fully interactive environment. It is slated to be launched across various universities, schools & coaching classes in India.