Thursday, May 30, 2013

Anup Jalota sings a new tune with Chaitannya Swami...!

Bhajan Samrat Anup Jalota has added a new dimension to his melodious career spanning over decades. This Padmashri winner has now joined hands with Chaitannya Swami to produce two rib-tickling situational comedies Boyss Toh Boyss Hain and Pakauu.

Based on the complex yet amusing life of four boisterous young friends Boyss Toh Boyss Hain is a comic take on love, life and their brush with the law that eventually makes for a happy ending. The film’s producer Chaitannya Swamy has clarified that while the film is bold, it’s not vulgar. The audience can enjoy it with their families.

Slated for a 28th June release, BTBH stars the talented Rajkumar Yadav (of Kai Po Che & Ragini MMS fame) besides Dhruv Ganesh, Anshuman Jha, Divya Dutta, Manu Rishi Chadha and debutant Aarya Kumar and directed by Amit Vats. 

Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh dies of a heart attack

Award winning Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh passed away in Kolkata with heart attack said to be the reason of his death.

Born on August 31, 1963 in Kolkata, he fast rose on to become one of the reputed film makers in Bengal as well in India. Winner of multiple National Awards and several acclaimed international awards, he is one of the few directors in India to have worked with the entire Bachchan clan - right from Amitabh Bachchan  (The Last Lear) to Jaya Bachchan (Sunglass) to Abhishek (Antar Mahal) to Aishwarya (Chokher Bali). Aishwarya also worked with him in his Hindi venture “Raincoat” with Ajay Devgun. Sunglass is the only film that is yet to be released  as it had some distribution issues.

Rituparno Ghosh came to prominence with his 1994 film 'Unishe April'. The iconic filmmaker enthralled audiences with his celluloid gems and gave Bengali cinema a new language in the post-Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen era. He brought back discerning Bengali film audience back to cinema houses with his gems namely Unishe April, Dahan, Titli, Bariwali, Dosar, Nauka Dubi and others. 

Rituparno Ghosh was also a gay icon who lived his life in his own terms in recent years, often dressing boldly to boast his effeminate bearing. Of late, he had even started donning the hat of an actor and acted with Indraneil Sengupta in “Aarekti Premer Golpo” (Another Love Story) and with Deepti Naval in “Memories in March”. His last released film was Chitrangada where he also acted essaying the role of a gay dancer. He also hosted two celebrity chat shows, namely 'Ebong Rituporno' and 'Ghosh & Co'. 

One of the most innovative Bengali filmmakers in recent times, he had recently roped in director Sujoy Ghosh (Kahaani) in his Bengali film 'Satyanweshi' in which Sujoy is playing Byomkesh Bakshi. May his soul rest in peace.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

After announcing New dates for the festival comes a New Re-designed LISFF 2013 website...

The organizing team of Lakecity International Short Film Festival (LISFF) has released the latest version of its website, featuring a new and enhanced homepage sporting an animated interface.

The website's new avatar is an assortment of content and services using the contemporary grid layout that is "visually rich". Each unit of the grid features the best of the films that have made its way to the festival till now. Each page has poster designs of the best films coupled with the festival’s own design on the theme “Let’s go BIG with shorts” giving it a more interactive and image-friendly appearance.

“The re-design represents a reinvention for the way filmmakers think and decide about the festival,” says Ankit Tandon, Festival Programmer - LISFF. “Featuring 12 heads, the new website offers a wide assortment from across sections ranging from About us to Vision to Awards to Submission and including special sections on Contests as well as Press that has Press Releases for the Media. It is also coupled with videos on the festival featuring the festival’s theme song “Bhopal me Bharat Darshan hai” on lyrics by Prabhat Mishra and specially composed by Sourabh Chatterjee, a promising Music Director,” added Ankit.

"The Indian short films and documentary film makers are constantly accessing the internet to reach out to various film festivals on various types of mobile devices, whether at home or on the go. As a result, this transition required us to take a fresh and innovative view of how our users are likely to interact with our website," Mohan Das, Festival Director, LISFF 2013 said.

“Our new graphical interface is a step towards making it easy for those who have little time to go through each section. Also, with a growing segment of users who access websites from tablet and mobiles, we wanted to give them a big and colourful picture of the festival keeping in tune with our theme line “Let’s go BIG with shorts “. We believe, the steps we've taken will enhance the overall user experience with the content and imagery they would desire to see on the screen during the festival. This in turn is going to give them the added impetus needed to push themselves to the cinema halls during the festival for a wonderful cinematic experience," he added.

Darbhanga International Film Festival Chairman already starts ground work for 2014 festival

With around seven months to go, the head honchos at Darbhanga Film Club (DFC) who are also the organizers of Darbhanga International Film Festival (DIFF) have already started with the ground work for the 2014 festival. With already their new video uploaded on site as well as having announced the submissions for the 2014 festival, the chairman of the festival and the other heads have started working on their strategy not only to promote the film festival, but also to make it known far and wide.

Recently Meraj Siddiqui, the chairman of the festival met Magsaysay award winner Social activist Dr. Sandeep Panday at Lucknow inviting him to the festival as well as giving his voice to Darbhanga International Film Festival. “I was feeling very glad and at the same time elated when I met Dr. Sandeep Pandeyji. When I went to meet him, I was wondering how the meeting would go. However, he was appreciating my social campaign through films and media at Darbhanga, and that’s the best support I could have ever wished for,” Meraj Said. “He was very happy to know about film festival and promised me for his presence at 2nd DIFF 2014,” added Meraj.

Dr. Sandeep Pandey was awarded the Magsaysay Award in the "Emergent Leadership" category for his initiatives to support education for poor children in India by tapping the resources of Indians abroad. While still a graduate student in the US, Pandey with two of his friends founded Asha for Education, which in the decade since has raised over a million dollars for education projects in India. After a brief period as a university instructor, Sandeep Pandey decided to devote his energies entirely to his activist causes.

At the Asha Ashram in Lalpur, near Lucknow, he has created a learning enivironment where students live and study among working communities of artisans and learn trades in addition to their R's. The ashram works to overcome caste barriers that dalits face, publicizes official corruption in the local areas, and develops appropriate technologies for the rural region. Asha's work, begun in the United States, is now buttressed by a growing Indian network as well.

Darbhanga International Film Festival (DIFF) is the first ever International Film Festival at Mithilanchal in Darbhanga district which is the cultural capital of Bihar & core heart of Mithilanchal. Providing a forum and a place for promotion of DIFF at our home event in Bhopal, the organizers of DIFF and Darbhanga Film Club (DFC) have grand plans for their 2014 event and make it a huge success.

Needless to add, DIFF will be also touring country-wide with the festival inviting film makers to send their entries as well as make their presence at the festival. Here’s wishing the organisers tons of luck!

Jehangir Jani's "Urmi" on transgenders gets Best Indian Short Narrative film award at Kashish 2013

As Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival came to a close on 26th, it was time to hand out the awards to the winners. As Indian makers are not too much filming in this LGBT sections, the Best Narrative Feature Film at the 4th Kashish Film Festival went to Morgan directed by Michael Akers from the USA. The award, which has a cash prize of Rs 30,000 sponsored by actor Anupam Kher, was handed out at the closing ceremony of the festival on Sunday evening. “We thank the festival for its amazing work in helping to bring film’s such as ours to the audiences who desperately need it,’’ said Akers.

The Best Indian Short Narrative film award was won by Urmi directed by Jehangir Jani. The award was given by filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi. Jehangir Jani's 10-minute short film, Urmi, highlights the plight of a transgender in the city and urges society to be more inclusive.

Another film “Hide and Seek” (Chuppan Chupai) on the transgender community that came from Pakistan won the Best Documentary Feature award. The film directed by Sadat Munir and Saad Khan is one of the first films that focus on the lives of the gay and transgender community in Pakistan. While the duo is skeptical about getting public screenings of this film in Pakistan, albeit they are happy that it not only got screened in India, especially Mumbai, but also got an award. “Here in Mumbai and India, the picture of LGBTIQ acceptance is not the same as elsewhere in South Asia,” said Saadat Munir.

The Best Documentary Short Film award went to the Cambodian film “Two Girls against the Rain” directed by Sopheak Sao. The Best International Short Narrative Film Award went to Polaroid Girl directed by April Maxey from the USA.

Actor Crystal Arnette won the first Kashish Best Actor award, instituted by Kher and his acting school Actor Prepares.

The Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker was shared by two young directors Manva Naik for her film “Dopehri” and Rohan Kanawade for “The Lonely Walls” (EktyaBhinti).

The awards were judged by an international jury panel comprising filmmaker Aruna Raje Patil, Bollywood actor and model Simone Singh, theatre director Quasar Thakore Padamsee, author and poet Jerry Pinto and Iris Prize director Berwyn Rowlands.

Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, since its inception in 2010, has provided a platform for screening LGBT films from India and around the world in a mainstream space.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Actor Amit Sadh unveils VR Surat’s Festival Park in the presence of thousands of Surtis

Thousands of Surtis celebrated like never before at the city’s newest and finest concert venue - Festival Park at VR Surat, Gujarat’s first and Surat’s only world-class integrated retail city centre & community lifestyle destination, Virtuous Retail’s inaugural Flagship Center in India, VR Surat played host on the weekend of 25-26 May to a special inaugural Music Concert at the Festival Park; ‘live’ IPL Final cricket match screening at the 40-ft screen at Magdalla Plaza; gourmet delicacies at Streat in true Surti tradition and much more for the entire family!

Cheered by thousands, actor Amit Sadh of ‘Kai Po Che’ film fame unveiled a commemorative map of Surat that will serve as a permanent backdrop for cultural events and festivals. He also released a special song titled ‘We Are Surat’ specially composed and presented ‘live’ by internationally acclaimed singer Raghav Sachar and Gujarat’s own Shruti Pathak as a tribute to the city. The musical extravaganza also witnessed scintillating performances by X-Factor winners Sajda Sisters and Sid Goma – The Black Sufis of Gujarat.

(In the Photo from Left to Right-Mr Anupam Yog, Marketing Director, Virtuous Retail, Raghav Sachar, Shruti Pathak and Amit Sadh unveiling the concert venue – Festival Park at VR Surat)

Mr. Anupam Yog, Marketing Director, Virtuous Retail, said, “VR Surat achieved a first by getting popular youth icon and actor Amit Sadh to unveil the Festival Park as well as the ‘We Are Surat’ song & youth anthem. It appeared as if ‘Chalo Surat’ theme for ‘Cconcert’, ‘Cricket’ and ‘Cuisine’ resonated across Surat for the most happening event in town – total ‘Jalso’- for the Festival Park Music Concert and Madness Medo grand finale. While connecting communities and consumers, VR Surat is slated to emerge as a major tourist attraction and destination – creating areas for various community activities – paying homage to the city’s glorious maritime, cuisine and craftsmanship history.”

Sprawling across 6 lakh sq. feet, packed with unique outdoor and indoor experiences, and anchored by Shoppers Stop, Westside and INOX, VR Surat’s Phase I opening witnesses the launch of over 70 brands, many of which will be debuting in Surat and Gujarat. With the Festival Park and the Magdalla Plaza, VR Surat has unveiled most of the branded retail concepts such as ‘I Love Dumas Square’, ‘Streat’, ‘The Runway’ and ‘Center Court’.

VR Surat opened its doors to the general public with two special art initiatives – ‘Dumas Art Project’ and ‘Jal Tapi’. Nationally acclaimed theatre personality Yazdi N. Karanjia joined hands with VR Surat as Cultural Ambassador and endorsed Virtuous Retail’s ‘Connecting Communities’ initiatives to put Surat on the global tourism map. Internationally renowned artiste Paresh Maity unveiled ‘Jal Tapi’ - a life-sized boat installation created using the actual sailing vessel or ‘Hodhi’ that won the city’s annual Magdalla Boat Race in 2013. Dumas Art Project at VR Surat features the iconic red sign ‘I Love Dumas Square’, and a 240-foot mural titled ‘Streat’; the installations celebrate Surat’s rich heritage and culture. The Project will also host a wonderful collection of 15 art installations over the summer.

VR Surat has the following first-of-their kind branded concepts…
• Streat – local and international food, Surti culinary destination with an international twist
• Festival Park – Outdoor space designed for events, music concerts, festivals and expos.
• Magdalla Plaza – Outdoor event space designed for community and large scale events showcasing the local art craft
• Dumas Square – premium space for cafes, public art events and exhibitions
• The Runway – a chic venue for lifestyle promotions surrounded by high end fashion brands; Equipped with the latest infrastructure - Audio Video systems & digital screens
• The Arc – Dedicated space for luxury retail; Bespoke designer wear, jewellery, wedding planning, spa, salon, travel, HNI banking, etc. targeting the upscale wedding market
• Food Box - The 12-kitchen food court with an 8-screen multiplex and a gold class lounge; also a view of the Magdalla village
• Center Court - The heart of the Center designed to cater for premium brand launches; indoor space devoted to launches of high end brands and promotions
• Skydeck – Upscale rooftop venue for private events, weddings and celebrations

Level 3 will have Food Box - The Food Court, Multiplex, Entertainment, Restaurants, and Utilities
Level 2 will have The Arc Free Play - Fashion, Womens Wear, Designer Wear, Spa & Salon, and Fine Dining
Level G+1 will have The Runway, Center Court, the Anchors (Shoppers Stop), Premium International Brands Casual Apparel Footwear
Level Zero or Ground will have Streat, Magdalla Plaza, I Love Dumas Square, Restaurants & Cafes, Art & Culture, Valet Parking. Basement parking for around 500 cars is also available.

Virtuous Retail is an institutionally-owned developer and operator of premium, community-oriented lifestyle shopping centres in India’s top cities. Established in 2007, Virtuous Retail’s pan-India portfolio includes prime city centre locations in Surat, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata. This makes Virtous Retail the leading platform of quality real estate for organized retail in one of the world’s most attractive consumer markets. Aimed at the prosperous and discerning Indian consumer, Virtuous Retail’s lifestyle shopping centres are tailored specifically to be retail, food and entertainment destinations with a strong regional connect. 

Mana Shetty, Parthiv Gohil & Virat Kohli felicitated by P. Chidambaram at Dena Bank Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Hon. Union Finance Minister Shri P. Chidambaram graced the platinum jubilee celebrations of Dena Bank, India’s Trusted Family Bank, as the Bank celebrated 75 years of Banking Excellence since it was founded by late Shri Pranlal Devkaran Nanjee. Dena Bank’s Chairman & Managing Director Shri Ashwani Kumar and Executive Director Shri A. K. Dutt welcomed the Union Finance Minister and a host of luminaries from the world of banking and finance - Hon. Union Minister of State for Finance Shri Namo Narain Meena; Shri Rajiv Takru, Secretary, Dept. of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance; RBI Dy. Governor Shri H. R. Khan; CMDs and EDs of other Banks; retired CMDs, EDs of Dena Bank; Members of Founders family; and senior officials from  Govt. and Reserve Bank of India; distinguished clients and well wishers.

On the occasion, Hon. Finance Minister launched Dena Bank Travel Card, Dena Bank Gift Card, Dena Bank Fixed Deposits thru' online banking, Dena Help - Dena Bank Grievance Redressal and Service System and free Dena Bank App (Application) for smartphones and tablets. He also announced that Dena Bank has adopted 32 drought affected villages and provided 101 drinking water storage tanks in Aurangabad and Nashik districts of Maharashtra as well as donated 100 wheelchairs for the benefit of physically handicapped to the Indian Red Cross Society, KEM Hospital, Tata Memorial Hospital, Sir JJ Group of Hospitals (Grant Medical) and Jai Vakeel School for Children with Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities.

On behalf of Dena Bank, Hon. Finance Minister felicitated Smt. Jyoti Sanghvi and Shri Nirmal Nanjee from the founder’s family; Dr. Anil Kakodkar, eminent heart surgeon Dr. Ramakant Panda, Monisha (Mana) Shetty (Actor Sunil Shetty’s wife), cricketer Virat Kohli, playback singer Parthiv Gohil and Lt. Commander Abhilash Tomy the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe solo non-stop in 150 days.

Addressing the distinguished gathering, Shri Ashwani Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director, Dena Bank, said, “Dena Bank is proud to complete 75 years of glorious service to the Nation and our customers and the presence of Hon. Union Finance Minister, Hon. Union Minister of State, Finance Secretary, RBI Dy. Governor and other distinguished dignitaries on this momentous occasion adds grace and value to our celebrations. On this occasion, we reaffirm our commitment to excellence in service and to our stakeholders through our ‘Dena Hai to Bharosa Hai’ ethos.”

During the Platinum Jubilee year, Dena Bank achieved the following historical milestones: Registered highest net profit of Rs. 810 crore in FY 12-13; Recommended the highest ever dividend of 47%; Became a mid-sized Bank by crossing a business mix of Rs.1.50 lakh crore.

On the occasion, Hon. Finance Minister Shri P. Chidambaram said, “On behalf of the Government of India, let me compliment Dena Bank on completion of 75 years and this is truly a long time in the lifetime of an institution. I congratulate all the members of the Dena Bank family for their achievements and it’s a matter of pride to have over 1.5 crore account holders and cross the Rs. 1.63 lakh crore business mark! I also urge the Dena Bank family to move ahead with greater vigour and stronger steps towards the centenary mark. I’m happy that Dena Bank has launched several new products and programmes to spread financial literacy and channelize savings.”

“Dena Bank is committed to corporate social responsibility and as a part of this, the Bank is providing free medical insurance of Rs. 30,000/- each to farmers’ family members of our Kissan Credit Card holders benefitting more than 2.25 lakh families. We have earmarked a sum of approx. Rs. 8 crore for this initiative.  We are also providing scholarship for primary and secondary education to the girl child of economically weaker section. The Bank has been constantly making endeavours to quicken the pace of rural development by enlarging the flow of credit to the priority sector, particularly Agriculture and MSME. In the area of Financial Inclusion and Direct Benefit Transfer, the Bank has actively engaged itself. In our Platinum Jubilee year, we have undertaken a number of CSR initiatives such as Health Check-up Camps, Blood Donation Camps, etc., all over India,” said Shri Kumar in his speech.

Hon. Minister of State for Finance Shri Namo Narain Meena added, “I’m glad that Dena Bank is taking steps in the direction of financial literacy, which is high priority means to address inclusive growth. I’m glad Dena Bank is one amongst the PSU baks helping the Government in its Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) initiative. Each bank has space to grow and Dena Bank will find its own niche in banking. I’m sure that the staff and officials of Dena Bank will continue to serve customers with dedication and dynamism.”

“We realize that there is a need to change given the changes in the banking environment. The consumer demographics are changing with continued growth in share of young working population. Multiple advancements in the field of technology are being leveraged by institutions to create differentiated positions. The industry is also going to see much more competition with entry of multiple new banks.  In this context, we have initiated steps towards revisiting our business model and processes to keep pace with times. To this end, the Bank has made significant investments in technology,” Shri Kumar added.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Driven Voice: There is more to this engaging youngster than meets the eye.

You may not know his name yet, but Prajoth D’sa is on the cusp of great things. A young and talented singer with a good melodious voice, there is more to this engaging engineer than meets the eye. His charismatic personality clubbed with his energetic, infectious and soulful voice tells many a story with depth, maturity and passion. During the course of the interview (after permission from his producers), we get to hear his Bollywood debut song “Aahatein teri mere dil mein” and we can bet for sure that this romantic tune is sure to catch on fast. As we hear more of his soulful songs that pack a punch and compliment his voice, we can feel the raw emotion and energy coming through. Mesmerized with his voice, we throw a volley of questions to find out a little more about his life, his music and passion that this singer answers with ease and a dimpled smile on his face. See what Prajoth has to say about his Bollywood innings, his first love and his favourite singers. Here is a rendezvous with Prajoth:

Films & TV World: Did you always want to become a singer? How did your musical journey begin?
Prajoth D’sa: Yes! I always wanted to. I have sung and played music since childhood. Hailing from a Catholic family from Mangalore, I started singing and playing music at the church choir. Later I was offered a couple of albums which gained recognition for my talent and I was offered to sing for some of the leading composers back at my place which helped me grow as a singer. Since then I have had a good fortune to work with some amazing songwriters and artists in my hometown as well as in the Kannada film industry, perform at their concerts, made television appearances, written and composed songs and had the opportunity to meet endless number of inspiring people along the way and looking forward for more with "Kuch Alagsa".

FTV: When you decided to take up music as your career, how did you plan to go about it?
Prajoth: I cannot find words to describe how or when it happened to me. Music has always been a part of me. I'm a Software Engineer by profession and a Singer by passion. At one stage, juggling both became a daunting task. That is when the idea of having a studio setup at home occured to me. This helped me a lot to make best use of my leisure. I believe, if you want to be a singer or a musician especially a professional one, it is important to devote ample time towards training yourself in music and this gave me just what I needed.

FTV: So how did Kuch Alagsa happen?
Prajoth: I met Mohan Das of Eon Films and we were discussing about our projects. He told me about Kuch Alagsa and I liked the concept very much. It was something out of the box. He was looking for an appealing song for the movie and that's how "Aahatein Teri" was born.

FTV: You come from a place which is steeped in Carnatic Music. How did you perfect your Urdu diction for this song “Aahatein teri mere dil mein”?
Prajoth: Yes that's true! Regional music and culture has always been close to my heart. I listen to all kind of music. I always wanted to groom myself as a multi-lingual singer. Bollywood recently saw a huge influence of Urdu usage. Urdu is well known for its poetic beauty. It goes well with integration of words together with ease. I found this very fascinating and began digging for more and more words and their meanings. That helped me frame the right feelings and diction I wanted to have in the song "Aahatein Teri".

FTV: Have you had any role models?
Prajoth: I have always been an admirer of legendary Kishore Kumarji and Mohammed Rafiji and their immortal songs. Sonu Nigam and KK also being my all time favourites.

FTV: What do you feel about remixes?
Prajoth: I personally like remixes. After all it's 'Music'. It is like the same wine in a different bottle. I would say remixes are just another way of projecting music in a way that is more appealing to the younger generation. In simple words, more catchy and entertaining.

FTV: What do you feel about music reality shows and music talent hunts? Never tried?
Prajoth: Musical talent hunts/shows are flooding the TV screens today. I think it is definitely a great platform to showcase talent and gives the right exposure required for people to make a career in music. It's like a gateway to fame and success. No, I never tried any.

FTV: Do you think musical talent hunt shows help contestants to get a foothold in playback singing?
Prajoth: Hmmm... partially yes. Even for those who don't make it to the top, there is hope. There is no dearth of exposure today. But sadly, most of the winners of such shows have not made much headway after the initial breaks that came their way.

FTV: Recently you have sung for a Kannada film too. Tell us something about that song.
Prajoth: Yes I did. It's a patho song that comes at the climax of the movie. It's something different from what I've sung so far. Playback is always a great experience. You will have to get the right feel out of the song.

FTV: Tell us something about your upcoming projects?
Prajoth: I have enough projects lined up right now including a couple of albums and movies. There is also a Kannada movie set to release for which I have done a playback and of course "Aahatein Teri" which is my debut Bollywood feat. Hopefully people will like my work.

FTV: What is the present day music scene like?
Prajoth: It is evident that music is an integral part of Indian cinema. There are various new trends in the music industry today. There has been lot of experimenting and fusions. There is ample opportunity to think out of the box. As I said earlier, there is no dearth of opportunity for the talents in the industry. It is a competitive industry and the competition has definitely grown fierce in the present day scenario. Everyone is trying to come up with something new and innovative. That's actually a good sign for the industry's growth.

FTV: Your Top 10 Bollywood favourite songs of all times.
Prajoth: on the scale of 1 to 10, I would rate this way:
1. Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas
2. Dil Ke Jharoke
3. Pukarta Chala Hoon Main
4. Kaho Na Pyaar Hai
5. Kal Ho Naa Ho
6. Tu Mile Dil Khile
7. Chookar Mere Mann Ko
8. Dil Kya Kare
9. Roja Jaaneman
10. Dil Ko Tumse Pyaar Hua

As we wind this interview, we carry his “Aahatein teri mere dil mein” in our hearts that tells a moving and evolving story inspired by a sense of isolation and despondency giving a romantic feel to this song. As we move on to our next interview, we wish him all the best as he continues on his new journey ahead...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dream Theatre in partnership with Carving Dreams acquires official licensing rights for Krrish 3 & Kid Krrish

The superhero series ‘Krrish’ is surely among the top of the list of successful Bollywood film franchises with global appeal. This Diwali, fans will look forward to the release of Krrish 3. To also leverage the popularity of the Film Kraft Production, four animated film sequels are being planned along with Cartoon Network and Toonz Animation.

This further opens up merchandising opportunities for Mumbai’s brand management and licensing enterprise Dream Theatre Pvt Ltd which has bagged the official licensing and merchandising rights for both the movie and the series in India. With Krrish 3, Dream Theatre’s portfolio, which includes global phenomenon such as Angry Birds, DreamWorks, Power Rangers, Warner Bros, WWE, gets a local flavor.

Dream Theatre will be working in partnership with Hrithik Roshan’s talent management agency Carving Dreams on these two projects to ensure that the brand extensions are consistent with brand Krrish.
Beginning with Koi Mil Gaya in 2003 and Krrish (2006), the sci-fi property about the adventures of ‘Krishna’ (Krrish) and his special powers has caught the attention of children and young adults across the country.

With Kid Krrish, the first of the four animated sequels premiering on July 14, 2013 on Cartoon Network and the Hrithik Roshan starrer Krrish 3 gearing up for a mega release in Diwali, the stage is set for a spiked demand for the superhero-branded merchandise.

Mr. Jiggy George, CEO and Founder, Dream Theatre Pvt. Ltd. offered, “It’s a proud occasion for us to tie up with Mr. RakeshRoshan’s creation of Krrish: India’s most successful superhero franchise. We are excited to partner on both the movie and the animation series and the latter, will allow to extend the excitement for the brand. We at Dream Theatre have a successful track-record with managing International superhero and boy action genre and we are excited to extend this learning now on Krrish.”

"With Krrish 3 and Kid Krrish we have extended our portfolio to become the Marketing Consultants of the much awaited film of the year and it indeed was a pleasure to bring together Dream Theatre Pvt. Ltd and Filmkraft Productions to create Unique and Innovative merchandise for brand Krrish. I am positive that this association will take the entire concept of merchandising to the next level by bringing some exciting products in the market", states Mr. Afsar Zaidi, CEO, Carving Dreams.

Director of the film series and Chairman of Filmkraft Productions, Mr. Rakesh Roshan too is elated at this association. ““It will be a decade this year since the franchise began with Koi…Mil Gaya and it is quite momentous for its hero to be seen again in a new avatar in Krrish 3 this Diwali. The folks at Dream Theatre are more than capable to take brand Krrish forward, with unique merchandising concepts which will help keep the superhero alive in the hearts and minds of young fans.”

Dream Theatre is an Entertainment Company that uses the power of licensing to create content, build new brands, and represent companies on syndication, licensing and merchandising thereby creating delightful experiences for its audience. Dream Theatre represents Warner Bros, Rovio for Angry Birds, DreamWorks Animation, World Wrestling Entertainment, Saban Brands for Power Rangers Samurai, Sanrio for Mr. Men and Little Miss and the Discovery Enterprises portfolio for Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, Discovery Expedition, LA Ink, Miami Ink and American Chopper.

Established in 2005, Carving Dreams is India’s leading talent management & Entertainment Company and lines of business include: Talent Management, Brand Consulting, Live Events and Content Production and Below The Line (‘BTL’) Activations.

Maitreya Realtors launches 1st ever IGBC Gold pre-certified green project “Maitreya Greens”: Project inaugurated by Sri Devi and Boney Kapoor

The celebrity duo booked the flat on the inauguration day being the first customer of 10 acre property Maitreya Greens, and, performed the opening ceremony in the presence of Actor Milind Gunaji and CMD of Maitreya Group Ms. Varsha M. Satpalkar ~

The city of Nashik is fast developing as a dynamic city with an ideal blend of ancient and modern touches; it is ranked as the 4th fastest growing city in India and 16th in the world; known for its forts, temples, IT, industries, fruits and education. Adding another feather in Nashik’s cap is Maitreya Realtors, a multi- faceted organization in the realty sector that has launched a 10 acre property for commercial and residential purposes called Maitreya Greens, an eco- friendly green housing project in Upper Nashik.  Maitreya Greens project is the 1st ever IGBC Gold precertified green project in Pathardi, Upper Nashik.

The project was inaugurated on a warm Sunday at Pathardi after an auspicious bhoomi pooja ceremony by renowned Actor Ms. Sridevi Kapoor and celebrated film producer Mr. Boney Kapoor along with the Actor Mr. Milind Gunaji. Following the pooja, Ms. Varsha M. Satpalkar, the CMD of Maitreya Group presented the illustrious couple of Sridevi and Boney Kapoor keys to a spectacular flat they booked at the new property in exchange for a cheque on stage.

MaitreyaGreens caters to the young urban upwardly mobile middle class, looking for an affordable luxury holiday home or a second home; as well as individuals wanting to relocate to Nashik looking for opportunities in the flourishing city. The project caters to those individuals looking for an alternative choice to live a comfortable and healthy life in green and peaceful surroundings while having educational and career opportunities in close proximity. The project consists of 6 residential towers, each with 14 floors consisting of 2 and 2.5 BHK apartments, constructed from eco-friendly materials and modern construction technologies.

Maitreya Greens uses green housing technologies which make use of the ambient natural resources such as light and air to power devices, recycling and reusing water in a systematic planned manner, leading to reduced energy consumption and saving on the operating and maintenance costs. The external amenities amidst lush sprawling landscaped terrain includes a clubhouse, amphitheatre, jogging track, swimming pool, gymnasium, yoga temple, children’s play area, basketball court and an acupressure pathway; these amenities provide a serene and peaceful atmosphere to rest the mind and body. Enhanced security systems are provided such as security cabins at the entrance and exit points along with door video phones for complete peace of mind. Being an eco- friendly green housing project, Maitreya Greens provides facilities such as rain water harvesting, a vermi-compost pit, solar water heater and a garbage shaft to enable the residents to live a holistic lifestyle.

Speaking on this auspicious occasion, Ms. Varsha M. Satpalkar, CMD of Maitreya Group said,” We graciously thank Ms. Sri Devi Kapoor, Mr. Boney Kapoor and Mr. Milind Gunaji along with everyone who attended our event. As a company, it has been our aim to provide value and raise the standard of living of the people and we are very proud of launching our one of a kind project in the beautiful city of Nashik, leveraging our capabilities to build a green commercial and housing project. I am confident about the feedback on our project and look forward to the same. ”

Commenting on the event, Ms. Sridevi Kapoor said, “It was an honor and a pleasure to be invited to launch the MaitreyaGreens project. Projects such as these are close to my heart, they are helpful to sustain the environment and curb unnecessary wastage. I will be looking forward to coming and staying at my flat at greens, immersing myself in its natural environs.”

Maitreya Realtors started in 1998 from humble beginnings, and is currently a multi- faceted organization in the realty sector with a presence in more than nine states across India. The realty organization is well known in its sector for providing several housing and commercial projects in a multitude of Indian cities such as Pune, Aurangabad, Vasai, Baroda, Dhule, Jalgaon and Sangli; as well as commercial projects in Mumbai, Sangli and Kolhapur.

The project is marketed by Disha Direct, a leading organization in real estate marketing.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Lakecity International Short Film Festival ties hands with Bengal Web Fair 2013 to promote its fest in Kolkata

After successful tie ups with Cortokino Short Film Festival, Fundamental 2013, Imphal International Short Film Festival (IISFF) and Darbhanga International Film Festival (DIFF), Lakecity International Short Film Festival has now tied hands with Bengal Web Fair 2013. To be held on 8th June at Bharatiyam Cultural Complex (EZCC) at Salt Lake, Kolkata, this web fair includes a Short Film  & Documentary Festival combined with Photo Contest.

This event is organized by Desham and Asmania who have been trying its best to hold up the talents of Bengali writers who do not get opportunities to publish their writings, stories, poems, features, etc. Asmania always tried to touch the hearts of all, through the web media. Last year Asmania organized the Kolkata Web Utsav - a web fair that featured the upcoming need and importance of online portals and magazines in the society. Different web magazines throughout the city participated in it. Student’s documentaries, short animated films, photography and feature writing competition, tech quiz and seminars were also simultaneously held. It was most probably the first fair of its kind to be held in India.

This year Asmania along with Desham is organizing Bengal Web Fair, a wider scope for the web world. More number of web magazines will be joining hands together this time. The event is going to take place at Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC), Salt Lake on 8th June, 11 am onwards. Live Canvas Painting and Band Performances, Documentaries and Short Films screening, Photography competition, etc. will be held together. In the evening there will be special guest artist performances by Anjan Dutt  & Neel Dutt  and Parama Bandyopadhyay.

“Providing a forum and a place for promotion of LISFF in Kolkata, this tie up will provide the platform to promote LISFF in Kolkata - the cultural destination of India. Kolkata which has given us stalwarts like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha and the like in the field of cinema, is also a major hub of short film makers. It will indeed be a great experience to interact and invite the short film makers to Bhopal and LISFF,” says Mahua Mazumdar, Festival Co-ordinator.

Quoting on this tie up, Manas Banerjee from Bengal Web Fair says, “It’s a great honour for us to go for a strategic tie up with LISFF this year who will be using this platform to promote their festival here. We are going to use this set-up for exchange of ideas and information amongst the short film makers as well as help LISFF in gaining extra mileage through this tie-up. The best part however is that the winning entry at our festival gets a direct entry to LISFF as a wild card entry. This is going to be an extra bonus to our participants and winners as well.”

According to Ankit Tandon, Festival Programmer - LISSF 2013, “The LISFF 2013 to be held from August 29 to September 1st in Bhopal will be a happening ground to budding film makers who are attending the Bengal Web Fair and reach out to a wider audience. The festival has even received Oscar award winning film ‘Curfew’ by Shawn Christensen, Cannes entry films including Ria by Abhishek Talukdar, Mombatti by Puneet Prakash as well as short films that have Bollywood actors including Nawazuddin Siddique, Manjot Singh, Zeenat Aman and others.”

Open to filmmakers of all ages, films of all genres under 30 minutes in length are accepted as submissions at the LISFF festival. They include action movies, animations, fantasy, drama, science fiction, comedy, cartoons, documentaries and experimental movies. The festival is organized by Eon Films in conjunction with O.M. Filmz and co-ordinated by Aura Events.

DVK continues stride into entertainment world through strategic partnership with NDTV good times’ UK launch

DVK, a high-growth boutique private equity and commodity trading company, continues its march into the exciting world of global entertainment as it teamed up with India’s primetime health, fitness and lifestyle English-language channel, NDTV Good Times for its UK launch. The glitzy bash took place at the uber-chic venue The Courtyard at 51 Buckingham Gate Hotel, on Thursday, 23rd May 2013.

The evening was hosted by the stylish Ambika Anand and the UK’s most prominent corporate heads, advertisers and celebrities were in attendance to celebrate the ‘Good Times’, including the CEO of Hero Honda, Mr Munjal, SBI Regional Head-UK Mr Mahapatra and Virgin Media Director of Content and Acquisition Emma Jones.

The event featured a surprise and impromptu performance by the King of Bollywood disco Bappi Lahiri and a LIVE cookery session with one of India’s leading chefs Manish Mehrotra who was also the winner of the ground-breaking reality series, Foodistan. The evening concluded with a scintillating flash mob dance performance.

The multi-award winning entrepreneur and Founder of DVK, Deepak Kuntawala, described as a ‘financial alchemist’ for the creative wizardry and unique innovation that he applies to the remit of private equity investment and commodity trading, pledged his support for the newest addition to India’s premier TV network NDTV in the UK. A key sponsor of the event, Deepak participated in a Q&A to discuss the company’s forthcoming projects in partnership with the entertainment industry, which include the financing of two Hollywood movies with the producer of Rocky and Bill Charter and an upcoming collaboration with the Hollywood legend, Al Pacino.

He said: ‘This is a very exciting time for international entertainment, and DVK is thrilled to be a sponsor at this pivotal event launch. We have implemented a structured finance deal that encompasses the burgeoning entertainment market and with the set-up of our new film and entertainment fund, we are in the process of putting together financing strategies for Hollywood films. Partnering with NDTV Good Times was indeed a natural collaboration. These are certainly “good times” for DVK, NDTV and the entertainment industry.’

Deepak also spoke about DVK’s title sponsorship of the European premiere of An Evening with Pacino, taking place at the London Palladium on the 2nd of June 2013, through DVK’s film and entertainment fund, which will be governed by a leading international law firm Mishcon De Reya and structured by the world’s largest professional services firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

Deepak’s guest of honour at the event was the Vice President of Somaliland, H.E. Abdirahman Abdillahi Ismali, and Somaliland Minister of National Planning Dr. Saad Shire who addressed the esteemed guests, saying: ‘I am pleased and honoured to attend this event. I wish NDTV much success.’

The Vice President highlighted the vast investment opportunities that exist in Somaliland, and encouraged people to avail of these lucrative and interesting opportunities, particularly in the sectors of agriculture, tourism and infrastructure. This follows DVK’s launch of the $1bn USD DVK Africa Development Fund, which will deliver, manage and structure strategic Pan-Africa  investment opportunities, such as in Somalia, the newly created Somaliland, Kenya, and Malawi. This would be across Aviation, Global Commodities, PPP Infrastructure and Real Estate, including access to exclusive mandates.

NDTV Good Times was originally launched in the UK on the Virgin platform in December 2012 to a great reception. However, last night was a chance for the NDTV Good Times team to thank and celebrate with all their supporters in the UK

Smeeta Chakrabarti, CEO, NDTV Lifestyle said, “We are delighted to be launching the channel in partnership with DVK. This evening marks the start of a new journey for Good Times, in the UK. We are very proud to bring innovative lifestyle programming, which has found great success in India, to Indian audiences in the UK and excited about the good times ahead.”

Call for Entries: Darbanga International Film Festival (DIFF) 2014

The Darbhanga Film Club (DFC) is accepting submissions for the second edition of the Darbanga International Film Festival (DIFF) 2014 edition. A grand event at Darbhanga City by Darbhanga Film Club, the Darbhanga International Film Festival explores the cultural & society changing thematic films of India & abroad based on different topics which can easily demonstrate the social, economic and political and other issues and its probable solutions.

The festival will be hosting a range of feature films - both Indian and World Cinema in the main slate as well as short films and documentaries simultaneously. As most of the short & documentary films are not shown on the big screen of theaters, DIFF is a grand platform for short fiction and documentary as well with good social messages from all regions of India & abroad.

“After a successful DIFF 2013 in February, It’s a great honour for us at DIFF and DFC to invite submissions for the festival once again for feature films, short films as well as documentaries for our 2014 edition,” said Meraj Siddiqui, the chairman of the festival. “We’re also pleased to announce that we had talks with quite a few film makers who have agreed to participate not only by sending their films to the festival but also make themselves present in the screenings of their films - either in person or virtually. It’s a indeed an unique opportunity for Darbhanga film audiences.”

DIFF also aims to promote and explore the culture of Mithila as well as Maithili Films. Apart from bhojpuri there are several films in languages like Maghi, Angika, Maithili and Bajjika which has not significant popularity but exist. The film festival is focusing at promotion of films of all languages of Bihar as well as Maithili Cinema to boost the art, culture and economic development of Regional Cinema and Maithili Cinema of Bihar.

“I attended this festival with my Strings of Passion in the competitive section and emerged a winner with not one but 3 Awards in a row. As a producer of genre films, I can assure you that there is no other organization in Bihar which has taken on these objectives with the degree of passion and commitment as DFC. I wish them all the best in their future endeavours. And yea, for sure my film will be competing once again in the 2014 fest,” says Sanghamitra Chaudhuri, film maker & director from Kolkata.

The Darbhanga International Film Festival is created to encourage and promote the work of indie film makers from all regions and especially from Darbhanga which is one of the most important districts of North Bihar situated in the very heart of Mithilanchal. Mithilanchal/Mithila Region, a proposed state of India is presently spread along 30 districts of Bihar & Jharkhand States. Darbhanga is the capital of Mithilanchal as well as the cultural capital of Bihar.

For more information about the festival and how to submit your film, log on to

Friday, May 24, 2013

A new star looms high on the horizon: Sandesh Gour

A year or so ago, people barely knew this young lad Sandesh Gour  from Nagpur who is seen in Sanjay Leela Bhasali's show "Saraswati Chandra" on Star Plus. Apart from one hunk of an actor Gautam Rode who is playing the lead, the second good looking guy in the serial is Sandesh who has been getting a lot of fan following - especially from the girls. From being a nobody to a celebrity, Sandesh is now enjoying his baby steps to stardom even as he is trying to come to terms with his new found star status. In the midst of overseeing the biggest difference in his life vis-à-vis the chaos, the fans, and the reception, he removed time from his hectic schedule to get candid with Films & TV World editor Siddharth Soham over a cup of coffee and cookies.

FTV: You have done a negative lead in a Chhattisgarhi film “Daai” as well a lead actor in a South movie. Tell us something about it.
Sandesh:  After completing my part in "Mann Ki Aawaz-Pratigya" on Star Plus. I went to Nagpur (my hometown) for a sabbatical. My friends informed me of an audition for a Chhattisgarhi film DAAI. Though, I was not keen but on my friends insistence I gave the auditions and was selected. The film went on to become one of the biggest hits in Chhattisgarhi cinema in recent times. Also, I  am highly nostalgic about it as it was my 1st movie experience. After that, I got a call from a South based production house for a movies' look test. You will be shocked to know that the film was in Telegu language. For a lark, I auditioned and got selected. Though it was very tough speaking that language, I enjoyed shooting for it.

FTV: It seems you are more into regional cinema than Hindi.
Sandesh: In fact even I was a bit wondering that instead of bollywood, here I was doing regional films. But, if you see the trend, quite a few of our super stars have worked down south before moving base to Hindi and Bollywood. Look at Anil Kapoor, Sonu Sood and others. I don’t regret doing language films. In fact, I am also open to doing Bengali, Marathi and other languages too.

FTV: You are also seen on television in Saraswati Chandra at present and many other serials in the past.
Sandesh: Yes! It’s all due to Lord Shiva’s (Bholenath) blessings. Actually my whole family is devout Shivaite bhakts. Last year my whole family including me went for lord’s darshan at Amarnath. My father harboured a dream to see me do a major role in a big TV show. He prayed to Lord Shiva and Shivji actually answered his prayers. I auditioned for Sanjay Leela Bhasali's show "Saraswati Chandra". I kept my fingers crossed and was not thinking of it at all. But one fine day I got a Call from Channel that I was selected for the show. You wouldn’t believe it - it happened on Maha Shivratri. When I got the news, there were tears in my eyes. I was on the top of the world that time. I immediately called my parents to give them this good news. Just told them that Bholenath accepted your prayers and I got a role in big show on Star Plus.

FTV: Films or Television. What do you prefer doing more?
Sandesh: Of course films, I love to do movies! But today both the mediums are inter-connected. Both have respected place in heart of audience. Both give Name, Fame & of course Money.

FTV: How is the experience of working in a film vis-à-vis that of a serial.
Sandesh: Films shape an actor and sketch his character well. Naturally, the actors get more time to prepare on the characters and give it an edge. But as serials don't have too much time, they expect the best from their actors and wish good craft in less time. Working for the last 3 years in both the mediums, I can say that now I am able to manage both of the mediums well. But be whatever the medium, I want to give the best to my fans and the audiences. But on a personal scale, the movie experience is always good.

FTV: Saraswati Chandra has suddenly placed you at the centre of a substantial stardom. How are you coping with the mobs, fans and stalkers?
Sandesh: Yes, It gave me little bit of fan following on FB, Twitter and the like. And I am not only getting some fan calls but even related to work. Thanks to my parents and Lord Shiva for giving me the platform and get me noticed in the glamour world. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. I want the industry and my fans to know me and my hard work through acting. That will be the perfect stardom for me. In short, I can only say that I’m simply in love with my acting.

FTV: How different is a Sanjay Leela Bhansali production from others?
Sandesh: All productions houses today are professional. But depending on the budgets allocated to certain projects, some production houses can offer to have lavish, stylish sets coupled with the best of treatment to its actors and stars. SLB’s Saraswati Chandra has the most expensive set in the TV World today. It’s absolutely beautifully designed, with lavish art and decoration to give it a perfect look. It reminds one of the lavish sets of Devdas. Since the production is lavish, they also lavishly care for the artists and crew members. I would also like to mention specially about our director Mr. Arvind Babbal sir. He is one of the best directors I have come across in the television fraternity. Under his tutelage, I have learnt a lot about the fine tunings of an actor as was needed for my character Nirav in Saraswati Chandra.

FTV:  These days experimentation plays a major role in a feature film. Are you ready to experiment?
Sandesh: Yes, I love to perform. Even I’m waiting to act something different which is very much diametrically different from my real life character. It always gives new experience and fame too.

FTV: After a deaf and mute Barfi, Ranbir Kapoor is ready to do a full monty. Would you dare experiment something bold and / or that drastic?
Sandesh: Why not! Being an Actor I would love to act different characters and play different roles without being stereo typed. But I would love to play roles like that of Amitabh Bachchan Sir & Shahrukh Khan.

FTV: It’s rumored that you are doing Eon Films next venture. Do throw some light on it.
Sandesh: Yes, I share a good rapport with Mohan Das Sir of Eon Films who believe in me and my talent. We are going to start work on a project soon. That’s all I can say for now. I am sorry, I am bound. I cannot talk anything now about my role or the character. But you will get to know soon.

FTV: Tell us a bit about your personal life.
Sandesh: My real life character is like the character of Kareena Kapoor Khan in "Jab We Met”. Just like her, even I also live in my dream world always. I am chirpy, talkative and very bindaas. Coming to my family, my dad and my mom are very close to me. Whatever I'm today, it’s all because of them. My Dad is my idol and he supports me in whatever I want to do. This unconditional love of his always gives me the strength and confidence to perform well and excel. In fact, he even helped me get my diction right in Chhatisgarhi language as well as hone my acting skills for Daai. But like Ranbir Kapoor, I am a typical mumma's  Boy.

FTV: What's in your DVD collection? Hollywood & Bollywood - your favourite films.
Sandesh: Bollywood is my Love. My love for Bollywood will never die. I have a big collection of Bollywood movies majorly, but I also do watch Hollywood movies with my brother Ashwin once or twice in a week.

FTV: Who’s your favourite actor / actress? If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
Sandesh: Shri Amitabh Bachchan Sir and Anushka Sharma - I just like her so much. My wish is to meet only Anushka Ji... I wanna propose her (Laughs).

FTV: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?
Sandesh: Water, Hanuman Chalisa and a Big Photo of Bholenathji.

FTV: I thought you would like to get stranded with Anushka Sharma. Anyways. Finally, what are your future plans?
Sandesh: To Work in Movies.
I wanna be an Actor like "Aamir Khan",
I wanna do my business like "Shahrukh Khan".
I wanna stardom like "Salman Khan".
I wanna be a one man show like "Amitabh Bachchan"

With these dreams, the dreamer Sandesh Gour signed off. We at Films & TV World wish him all the best....