Lake City International Film Festival 2019

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Rajula – A Himalayan painting on celluloid...


Imagine bards in the hilly region of Kumaon, Uttarakhand, sing and enact the love story of a brave, ingenious girl and a charismatic king. Or if one has grown up in the lap of Himalayas in Uttarakhand, they are sure to have grown up hearing and listening to the 700 years old folk tale of Rajula-Malushahi by their grandmothers over those cold sultry winter nights. The story is passed on by word of mouth for over 10 centuries from one generation to another. However, a folk tale is just not a story weaved to put kids to sleep. The sheer power of these folk tales lies in the wondrous co-existence of fantasy with reality. It effortlessly merges into one's stream of consciousness thereby shaping their world, as it shows their struggle and how these folk heroes dealt with odds and evens in similar situations and circumstances. This is what director Nitin Tewari attempted to decipher in his debut film "Rajula - A tale from Himalays" as he weaves a story in the backdrop of modern day exigencies that threaten the survival of this precious piece of Indian folklore.

The film is a wondrous attempt to portray the story of Rajula-Malushahi - a charming folk tale of Kumaon through a romantic narrative of the hero Ravi (Karan Sharma) and the girl Bhawna (Ashima Pandey) he befriends in Kumaon valley. Given that the film doesn't have any known face to make it a seller (except for Hemant Pandey who is playing "Puran Mama" in the film) the film is painted on a big canvas with myriad personal experiences and emotions, as the story flows wonderfully incorporating the traditions and the wonderful landscape that the region has to offer. What shines through this film is the epic ballad narrated interspersed through the personal emotions of Ravi, including his parental duty (especially getting his mother her long lost respect in his Nanaji's family) and his personal love.

While the film is rich in elements and suspense, simplicity and elegance characterise this film. The trickiest part was the choice of treatment to the subject. The director integrated the story with the beautiful landscapes of Uttarakhand making them a part or character in the story than just scenery. The use of vibrant, colourful imagery and profound yet simple storytelling, use of old classical cinema style, simple block and pan shots in most of the film were adopted as measures, giving it a realistic visual appeal. The film has shaped brilliantly and depicts an excellent picture of the Land of Gods - Uttarakhand that is known for its natural beauty and the breathtaking sights around the Himalayas, the Bhabhar and the Terai as it paints a rich canvas on celluloid.

However, the USP of the film is its narration and the excellent depiction of the Himalayan flora and fauna, the lifestyle and culture of the people of the region. Also worth noting in this film is the sheer artistic richness of the story and the folk songs that are woven in the storyline. The sheer power of the Jaagar Geet and the use of the Uttarakhandi language (Kumaoni and Garhwali) flows effortlessly in the film. The director has made a good attempt to use it in the films' wondrous narrative that oscillates between fantasy and reality as it mirrors the existing reality with the surrealism of folklore amidst the muti-ethnic character of life in Kumaon.


In conclusion, this is a wonderful attempt to revive an ancient story through the narrative of a feature film for those unknown of this folklore. Except for a few technical glitches and a bit of the rapid uneasy camera work, t
he lead actor Karan Sharma who has a theatrical background has done a good job and carries the entire film on his shoulders. Supporting him is the leading lady Ashima Pandey, Anil Ghildiyal (Elder mama), Hemant Pandey and the locals who also doubled as actors for the film. But the sync doesn't fall out of place and gives you a feeling of being there, seen that. I congratulate Nitin Tewari for keeping the soul of the Kumaon region alive by retelling and bringing on screen this beautiful folk tale without losing its soul. Watch it for an experience.

For those who are keen for a peek into the storyline, here it is..

A tribute to both the women of India and the holy land of Uttarakhand, Rajula digs deep into the psyche of love and dedication of a woman. It talks about the changing dynamics in her different relationships when she falls in love, be it with her father or brother or her lover. This love story explores the strength of a woman and the choices and sacrifices she must make to achieve her love.

Ravi, while searching for a unique love story for his new documentary film project, stumbles upon a riveting mythical story of Rajula-Malushahi, a 700 years old folk tale of Uttarakhand. With more than 50 different versions of the story available, no one seems to exactly know what really happened and he decides to dig deeper and explore it further.


Just then he is invited by his uncle, Puran Mama (His mother’s younger brother) for Jaagar, a traditional ceremony of calling the spirits of Gods, being held at his Nanaji (His mother’s father)’s village home. Ravi is reluctant to go as his Nanaji’s family had always treated his mother (who is now deceased) as an outcast after she ran away with Ravi’s father. He is well aware of the hatred his elder uncle, Mathura Mama has in his heart forhis mother, even 25 years after she left their house. Puran Mama convinces him, telling him that time is going to heal everything.

Ravi decides to go to Uttarakhand for his documentary film and pays a short visit first to his Nanaji’s Village. But things take a very ugly turn, when during the Jaagar it is revealed that Ravi’s deceased Nanaji is in unrest after his death and that the gods are unhappy with the whole family. Ravi’s mother is accused by Mathura Mama of being the real reason behind all the miseries and problems the family has been suffering from.

Ravi snaps all his ties with his Nanaji’s family and starts his research on Rajula Malushahi. While researching, he meets, Bhawna and falls in love with her. But she, fearing a backlash from her family on choosing someone not from her caste, resists his love. Ravi confronts her and breaks all his ties with her and leaves in anger.


He continues his research on Rajula Malushahi and discovers the real bond between Rajula and her father, Sunpati. Ravi gets an uneasy feeling about how a father like Sunpati could be so cruel to her daughter that he killed her lover, Malushahi as depicted in most of the versions of the story. And just when his mind starts cluttering with all the doubts and confusions about his mother, Bhawna & Rajula his life suddenly takes a new turn and one by one he starts getting all his answers.


.....specially contributed by Mohan Das

Friday, October 18, 2013

After direction, Jugal Hansraj gets back to acting - this time on television though - To star in Yeh Hai Aashiqui

The popular child actor, who was first seen in Masoom, grew up to play 'Sameer' in the Yash Chopra biggie, Mohabbatein along with Shah Rukh Khan will soon be seen on Yeh Hai Aashiqui. The actor who was last seen in Madhuri Dixit's Aaja Nachle, has been roped in to play a significant character on bindass' much talked about show. Yeh Hai Aashiqui, the show that chronicles stunning real life stories, has once again astonished its audiences and will portray a beautiful love story presenting the chocolate boy, Jugal Hansraj.

Talking about his character in Yeh Hai Aashiqui, Jugal said, “I’m really excited to be apart of Yeh Hai Aashiqui since I’ll be facing the camera after a while now. I’ve been behind the camera and directing films for sometime. So I decided to take it up because it’s a very popular show among the young audiences. The love story I’m doing is really nice and my character, which is of a Badminton coach, is Besides this talented actor, Vikrant Massey will be seen as the show host on Yeh Hai Aashiqui.

Do not miss Jugal Hansraj's comeback. Watch Yeh Hai Aashiqui on 27th Ocotber at 7 pm only on bindass

Young Guns of Bollywood dare to bare on zoOm!

Ever felt Aditya Kapoor’s wit and smile was his key to success or Arjun Kapoor’s strong rugged persona makes him the star we all know him to be? Starting 21st October 2013, now get to know them a whole lot better on an exciting and sensational new show-Genext, the future of Bollywood only on zoOm, India’s No. 1 Bollywood Channel.

Be it the chocolate boy Varun Dhawan or the snazzy but sweet Aliya Bhatt, zoOm gets these young guns of Bollywood talking. Opening up the Pandora’s Box, GenNext is all set to spice up the room with the actors talking about their personal and professional lives in a no holds barred conversation! Right from their first crush to their first dialogue, from the food they relish to the music that’s made them groove, the school scams to their crazy fans, the show is designed to enthrall every Bollywood buff!

That’s not all! The half-hour show every Monday at 8pm will also have tit-bits from the people closest to these young stars. Yes, that’s right! Get to know all the gossip and mischievous stories from their family and peers as well!

The first episode of the show will feature none other than the one who took the nation by storm with Paani da raang. Set your date with the wonder boy of Bollywood Ayushman Khuranna this Monday at 8:00pm. Did you know this hunk was ridiculed by a cabbie who believed that Ayushman didn’t have what it takes to be an actor in Bollywood! We know of Guru Dakshina that is offered by a disciple to his mentor as a mark of respect. However, Ayushman is the very first disciple who got a Shishya Dakshina from his mentor John Abraham! Catch him as he reveals all this and a lot more. Hear what his friends, colleagues, brother and director Shoojit Sircar have to say about this talented actor-singer-lyrist!

Tune into to Genext, The future of Bollywood starting 21st October, 2013, every Monday @ 8 pm only on zoOm – India’s No. 1 Bollywood channel.

Rajkumar Yadav to star in Yeh Hai Aashiqui’s upcoming episode to promote SHAHID with Prabhleen

Yeh Hai Aashiqui, the show that never ceases to surprise it’s audiences with unconventional love stories and a star-studded cast every week, goes a level higher this time. The latest addition to this list is the critically acclaimed actor Rajkumar Yadav, who will be seen playing the role of a lawyer just like in his upcoming movie Shahid. The actor will be accompanied by his co-star, Prabhleen, who will be seen in the episode playing a critical role. The episode which will feature a story about a couple which bears similarity to Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma starrer Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, will have Shakti Arora and Anupriya Kapoorin the lead roles.

Talking about his experienceon Yeh Hai Aashiqui, Rajkumar said, “It was a fantastic experience. I had a great time with everyone in the team. It is such a great team and they actually made my job easier. I have seen few episodes of Yeh Hai Aashiqui and it is phenomenal. The kind of work they are doing and the stories they are showing is very different. “

Rajkumar Yadav who has essayed impactful characters in films like Kai Po Che, Shaitan, Ragini MMS, Love Sex aur Dhokha and many more, is all set for his upcoming movie Shahid which traces the story of a slain human rights activist and lawyer.

Along with Rajkumar and Prabhleen’s presence on the show, Yeh Hai Aashiqui will see popular actor, Vikrant Massey as the show host. Watch Rajkumar Yadav and Prabhleen on bindass’ show Yeh Hai Aashiqui at 7pm on 20th October, 2013 only on bindass.

15th Mumbai Film Festival commences with grandeur : Costa Gavras and Kamal Haasan conferred lifetime achievement awards

The excitement was palpable as the Emcee welcomed Srinivasan Narayanan, festival director of the 15th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival presented by Reliance Entertainment and organized by Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI). Introducing the 8 day film lovers delight he said, “The Mumbai Film Festival has become an integral part of this city’s culture. For these 8 days, the city breathes cinema. We are pleased that such distinguished personalities have accepted our invitation to partake in the 15th edition and join in celebrating the best of world Cinema”

Applause continued to echo through the auditorium as Shyam Benegal, Chairman, MAMI was invited on stage to address the gathering. It only stopped once the revered Benegal began to speak. “Without taking much time, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all our guests. I would also like to thank and Mrs. Ambani for their continued support to the Mumbai Film Festival. ”

Ceremony and tradition have always adorned the Film Festival. Shyam Benegal was joined by MAMI trustees, Amit Khanna, Ambassador France, Spanish Director and the guest of honour, acclaimed actor Sonakshi Sinha as they lit the lamp, kick starting the festival on an auspicious note. However, it was strange that honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan was not invited for the lamp lighting ceremony.

The impressive list of guests continued to be unveiled as the esteemed Jury members of the four competition categories: International Competition, Dimensions Mumbai, Harmony Celebrate Age and India Gold 2013 were introduced. Present at the event were jury members Bruce Beresford, Siddiq Barmark, Deepa Mehta, Waris Hussein, Roger Garcia, Asghar Farhadi, Konkona Sen Sharma amongst others.

The evening moved ahead with the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award, which was bestowed on French auteur Costas Gavras by Benegal and national award winning actor/ director Kamal Haasan by the honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan.
Costa Gavras was eloquent as he praised the Film Fest, “I’m happy to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mumbai Film Festival. It is wonderful to see Indian cinema has a large local audience watching the films. I wish the Film Festival the best of luck and hope there are people who attend the various events.”

Kamal Haasan in his soft spoken manner addressed the audience, “There never was a method to my acting. I simply had great teachers, some of whom are present here tonight. I respect them a lot. Festivals have also taught me a lot and I am humbled to have received this honour. I thank the Mumbai Film Festival for promoting talent such as myself.”

Speaking on the occasion and offering the festival his support, honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan said, “The state of Maharashtra supports and will continue to support this festival. I have been a huge fan of Gavras and Kamal Haasan. Mumbaikars are in for a great week ahead and my best of wishes to the 15th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival and happy viewing.”

The other celebrities spotted at the event were Tisca Chopra, Divya Dutta, Konkona Sen Sharma, Divya Dutta, Ramesh Sippy, Vikramaditya Motwane, Nandita Das and many more.

Heralding the upcoming outstanding lineup of films, the opening film The Butler, directed by Lee Daniels, starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey and John Cusack, captivated everyone in the audience.

The organizers, MAMI, ensured day 1 was the perfect curtain raiser. With over 200 films from 65 countries, including special tributes to Yash Chopra, Rituparno Ghosh, Pran; master-classes by industry veterans in the coming days, the 15th Mumbai Film Festival promises to be a grand event for all cinema aficionados.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pick up the best screenwriting skills at a special workshop at the 15th Mumbai Film Festival

If you’ve always marveled at the wonders of cinema and wished you too could create compelling stories, do mark mid-October in your calendar right away. The 15th Mumbai Film Festival in association with Equinox Europe is conducting a two-day workshop on the 14th and 15th of October at the conference room of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Andheri.

On the agenda are pitching, screen writing and script development, i.e. skills to take your budding film career forward. The workshop will be conducted by the Chair of the Melbourne International Film Festival and eminent script advisor Claire Dobbin along with James Hart, producer and screen-writer having worked with some of the top studios of the world.

Dobbin, who is conducting the first day’s activities has been at the heart of script writing workshops in Australia & New Zealand and has been a guest lecturer at the Abu Dhabi Film festival. As the Senior Script Executive at the Australian Film Commission (AFC), she bettered many Australian films with her touch, such as Road to Nhill, Small Treasures and Mallboy.

The second day’s writing guru has written/produced Hook, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Muppet Treasure Island, Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life among others. ‘Never grow up, never give up’ is Hart's way of life which comes through in the animated feature, EPIC in which he is co-writer and the Executive Producer.

Beginning at 9.30 am on Monday the 14th, Claire and Jim will listen to idea pitches and give their feedback. By noon, they will delve into the world of screenwriting and script development. Stretching till 4 pm with a lunch break in between the session will discuss themes, concept lines, structure and characters. And of course, there’s question hour from 4.15 – 5:00 pm.

Day 2 begins with the screening of Bram Stoker's Dracula followed by lunch. Post this, James Hart will begin 'deconstructing Dracula' and discuss the finer nuances of script writing. Armed with their new found knowledge, participants will get to pitch ideas once more. The whirlwind workshop will wind up at 5 pm and is open to all film writing and cinema enthusiasts.

To register, visit:  http://www.mumbaifilmfest.org/index.php?page=workshop

Angry Bird Chocolates launched first time in India by The Cocoa Trees

Singapore based brand, The Cocoa Trees has recently introduced internationally renowned Fazer Angry Birds Chocolates first time in India to its vast range of chocolates for its Indian audience. The Angry birds and the pigs have now turned into sweets, lollipops and chewing gums.

The Cocoa Trees have launched Fazer Angry Bird Sweets, Lollipops, Chocolate Eggs and Chewing gums into the market.

Angry Bird Lollipop: Super popular Fazer Angry Birds have now wrapped themselves in lollipop costumes. The three fruity flavoured, groovy looking lollipops have a sudden surprise hidden inside. Once you’ve enjoyed the great taste long enough the piquant powder fills your mouth. Three birdilicious flavours have only natural colours and flavourings. The Angry Bird Lollipops are available in three flavours strawberry, pear and cola at Rs.290 for 120gm.


Angry Bird Chewing Gum: The super popular Fazer Angry Birds are now also chewing gums! Tooth-friendly chewing gums come in four flavours, summer, strawberry and cool, refreshing eucalyptus at Rs.495 for 70 gm.

Angry Bird Chocolate Eggs: Fazer Angry Birds Surprise Eggs are really big milk chocolate eggs with surprises in every chocolate egg at Rs. 795 for 100 gm.

Angry Bird Candy Bags: Fazer Angry Bird Candy Bags contains 5 unique characters and shapes, from strawberry Red Bird, to the crunchy and chewy caramel eggs. The whole amount of bird energy has bounced into the candy bag. The colourful and tangy birds taste like familiar strawberry, spiky lime, delightful orange, wild berries, and punchy cola with a fresh lemon filling at Rs. 190 for 120 gm.

Fazer Angry Bird Collection is now available at all The Cocoa Trees outlets at Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Goa

‘The Fifth Estate’ announced as the Closing Film of the 15th Mumbai Film Festival

As the city’s most eagerly awaited cultural event, the 15th Mumbai Film Festival, organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image draws closer, it has been revealed that this edition of the festival will conclude with the screening of ‘The Fifth Estate” as its Closing Film, a dramatic thriller directed by Bill Condon.

 The Fifth Estate is a dramatic thriller based on real events that reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century's most fiercely debated organization. The film is co-produced by DreamWorks and Participant Media and opened the  Toronto International Film Festival 2013.

The story begins as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) team up to become underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. On a shoestring, they create a platform that allows whistle-blowers to anonymously leak covert data, shining a light on the dark recesses of government secrets and corporate crimes. Soon, they are breaking more hard news than the world's most legendary media organizations combined. But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, they battle each other and a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society-and what are the costs of exposing them.

The festival promises to feature a lineup of over 200 movies from 65 countries and  has announced new initiatives as part of the Mumbai Film Mart (Filmy Room and India Project Room) and a brand new Experimental film section to the festival.

The 15th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival will be held from the 17th - 24th October, 2013 at Liberty  Cinemas and Metro Cinema as the main festival venues and Cinemax, Andheri as the satellite venue.

The Spiciest Bollywood News show on TV now gets Spicier! Catch Sonam Kapoor on the sets of Planet Bollywood News for a steamy new revelation

In a Bollywood crazy nation like ours, a constant and almost insatiable craving for some controversial scoops or insider updates on what’s happening in the off-screen lives of stars we worship or even despise, is quite the usual thing. And when it comes to choosing a destination that can be relied upon to fulfill this eternal craving, only the spiciest one can make the cut. With its sensational revelations and tongue-in-cheek commentary, Planet Bollywood News has consistently been the no. 1 choice of the viewers.

Acknowledging this support from its loyal fans, the show is taking the next step towards whetting their appetite for Bollywood News with the launch of a new avatar! Starting Wed, Oct 9th, Planet Bollywood News will be airing full one hour episodes every Monday to Friday, 7 pm to 8 pm. It’s a definite promise to ‘hit the spot’ as the show prepares to bring you more in-depth coverage, break more sensational secrets and steamy stories in an hour like no show has done before!

Its not just the fans of Bollywood, but celebrities too who follow the show closely. Congratulating zoOm and the Planet Bollywood team, Bollywood’s deadly diva Sonam Kapoor said – “The show is very entertaining and informative. Whether I am in town or out travelling to remote places for shoots, this is one show that always keeps me updated about all that’s happening in the industry.” Well its not just Sonam who follows this shows for her regular dose of Bollywood, but her grandmother too! She further quips: “My grandmother hears stuff about me on this show and calls me up to ask whether it really happened or not.” Sonam would be gracing the launch of the new format on Wednesday. Known for being a fashionista, a fine actress and one who speaks her mind and makes the most quotable quotes, Planet Bollywood News could not have hoped for a more glamorously sensational guest to grace the launch of its new format. As the show braces to press the restart button on 9th October, with Sonam around, we are assured that it is going to be a blast!

Starting 9th October, tune into Planet Bollywood News every Monday-Friday 7 pm to 8 pm only on zoOm – India’s No. 1 Bollywood Channel. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Celeberate Navratri with modern and international twist with acclaimed singer musician Raghav Sachar’s unique ‘Glam Garba’ @ VR Surat

This Navratri, VR Surat, an integrated community-oriented premium Lifestyle Shopping Center, will play host to Glam Garba, an exclusive invite-only event only for VR Surat shoppers. The event is a two-day Garba celebration on October 11th and 12th that gives the traditional dance and festivities a modern and international twist. VR Surat collaborated with acclaimed musician, performer and VR Surat Music Ambassador Raghav Sachar to conceptualise and create this unique event. Westside, Global Desi and AND are ‘Style Partners’  for the event. VR Surat is running a ‘Shop the Look’ campaign for Glam Garba to drive the season’s latest fashion trends.

Speaking on behalf of VR Surat, Mr. Paresh Mishra, Director of Operations- Western Region, Virtuous Retail said “We are very excited as we mark the Phase II Retail Launch of VR Surat with ‘Glam Garba’ on the occasion of Navratri. Surat is a cosmopolitan city with strong cultural roots, and we are delighted to take the idea of Garba global through this unique event. We believe this new format will attract diverse audiences and broaden the festival’s participation across communities."

“It is my absolute pleasure to present ‘Glam Garba’ at VR Surat. The concept in itself will attract the youth to enjoy Navratri in a new avatar. There will be Bollywood, Spanish, Brazilian, House and Electronic dance music mixed with traditional Garba songs. The Runway at VR Surat gives me an opportunity to transform the Center into a Night Club and present something truly unique for Surtis. So put your sticks together... For Glam Garba!” said Raghav Sachar who will perform along with Sonu Kakkar, DJ Akbar Sami, DJ A-Myth and Jankee, at VR Surat on the 11th and 12th of October.

Established in 2007, Virtuous Retail (VR) is an institutionally owned developer-operator of community-oriented premium Lifestyle Shopping Centres in India’s top cities. Virtuous Retail’s pan-India portfolio includes prime city centre locations in Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Surat and Kolkata making it the leading platform of quality retail real estate in one of the world’s most attractive consumer markets for organized retail.

Raghav Sachar is an Indian singer, music director, and musician, who has the distinction of playing over 33 musical instruments. A graduate of the internationally acclaimed Monash University and Conservatory in Australia, Raghav started his musical journey at the age of four. With over 100 songs, and 2000 shows to his credit, Raghav is a prolific and much-loved performer, who has also sung for movies, and released 12 albums, of which eight were for his own label.

Bollywood finds a new found fan in Kelly Rowland: X Factor USA’ Season 3 judge is all praise for Indian movies and Punjabi music

Indian music and Indian cinema has been receiving worldwide recognition lately with more and more Indian artists carving a niche for themselves on the international scene. Hence, it is no surprise that former Destiny’s Child and global singing sensation Kelly Rowland is all praises for Bollywood and Punjabi music in particular. The new judge of The X Factor USA, which currently airs on BIG CBS LOVE, recently spoke about ‘Bhangra’ and desi movies amongst other things.
 
On the topic of Bollywood movies, the singer-turned-actress surprisingly revealed, “I watch Bollywood films, I mean I love Bollywood films! They are some of the best films. How detailed they are, how much fun they are, how much color there is and how there’s so much going on, it’s just really entertaining.” So does she herself being a part of the Indian film industry in the near future? To this the ‘Commando’ singer excitedly replies, “That would be very cool!”

Next up, she talks about her area of expertise – music - and reveals that Punjabi music has grown on her. Commenting on the Punjabi tracks she had recently heard she adds, “Across the board it’s like jamming. If I hear this, I will start dancing, that’s fun! I don’t know what the lyrics say but whatever it is it has a nice little swing to it. I love the beats in between”, she says.

By the looks of it Indian fans might just catch a Honey Singh style chart topper from the Grammy- Award winning artist. While we wait for an awesome collaboration and an impressive Bollywood debut, we can catch her as the new judge on The X Factor USA Season 3, every weekend exclusively on BIG CBS LOVE.

Don’t miss ‘The X Factor Season 3 every Saturday and Sunday at 9 PM, exclusively on BIG CBS Love.

Bhaji in Problem - trailer launched with Ranbir Kapoor starrer Besharam

The wait for the Official Trailer release of the biggest Punjabi Blockbuster of the year, ‘Bhaji in Problem’ ended today with Grazing Goat Pictures launching the much awaited trailer amidst great reception and laughter.

‘Bhaji in Problem’ is Grazing Goat Picture’s second regional film production after the poignant Marathi film ’72 Miles Ek Pravas’ which was directed by National Award Winning Director, the Late Rajiv Patil of Jogwa fame. With ‘Bhaji in Problem’, Akshay Kumar and Ashvini Yardi are all set to give their audiences a comical relief with their latest regional venture, a Punjabi heart warmer called ‘Bhaji in Problem’.

Soon after the trailer was launched with Besharam's release, audiences were found tweeting and describing the trailer as hilarious and expressing their eagerness to watch the film. Some people also called it the ‘Dhamaka’ trailer, re-instating the fact that the film indeed looks as a promising blockbuster for all Punjabi and Comedy film buffs.

The film is the story of Gurpreet Ghuggi who plays the character of Sundeep Cheema, juggling between two wives. His life ends up in a complete chaos with the entry of Gippy Grewal who plays Jeeta and falls in love with Preet played by Ragini Khanna. In this comedy of errors of epic proportions, both sides know the deepest and the most intimate secrets of the other, which each wants to protect at any cost and holds it over the other's head. The film is a budding laugh riot and as one hilarious situation unfolds after another, the film only gets more interesting and engaging.

‘Bhaji in Problem’ stars some of Punjab’s most reputed stars Gippy Grewal and Gurpreet Ghuggi who are joined by Sasural Ghenda Phool’s Suhana Raghini Khanna, and veteran actor Om Puri as central characters. The film is directed by Smeep Kang who has delivered successful hits such as Carry on Jatta and Lucky Di Unlucky Story. The film also sees cricketer Harbajan Singh make a friendly appearance along with producer Akshay Kumar, who a Punjabi himself, having an extended appearance.

Honing in on the huge success of their first film venture, OMG: Oh My God, and their first Marathi film, the critically acclaimed 72 Miles Ek Pravas, Akshay Kumar and Ashvini Yardi have further spearheaded the popularisation of regional cinema with ‘Bhaji in Problem’. In speaking about the trailer launch, Ashvini Yardi said: “After the release of the Teaser Trailer last month, we received a great response and tweets from fans to push the official trailer release to an earlier date. People have been appreciating and loving the trailer and are very much looking forward to watch the film when it releases on the 15th of November.

I as a viewer am not very fluent with my Punjabi but still had a great laugh watching the trailer. Similarly, I can assure you that you don’t necessarily have to know Punjabi to understand and enjoy this film. It will surely tickle your funny bone and is a film to be enjoyed with the entire family.”

Spearheading investment into quality, subject-driven, film-making, Grazing Goat Pictures is taking Indian cinema to new heights with a range of innovative and fresh projects. Renowned for thought-provoking, unique and emotive film making across boundaries and genres, Grazing Goat Pictures delves deep to bring the audience films that are cutting edge and high-concept, resonating with multiple audiences domestically and across shores.

Bhaji in Problem releases on the 15th November 2013.

The talent is better when Simon’s not there - says Demi Lovato on The X Factor USA, Season 3 on BIG CBS Love

When it comes to reality shows, it’s not only the talent that keeps the audiences entertained, but the disagreements amongst the judges also keep the excitement alive. There couldn’t be a better example of this than the infamous bitter sweet relationship between Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato. On a recent episode of X Factor USA, season 3 currently being aired on BIG CBS LOVE, Demi pulled a fast one on Simon’s habit of always being late for the shoot and how the best of talent seems to be taking the stage when he’s not around.

During one of the recent auditions Simon was running late for the shoot and the team decided to commence with the auditions without him. That’s when one of the best performances of the season happened on stage! Demi couldn’t help raving about the performance and she quipped “It’s just me or is the talent better when Simon’s not there.” Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio couldn’t agree more with her, leaving Simon embarrassed in front of the ladies. She was also heard telling Simon, “You know what Simon - I think you may have just learnt your lesson, never to be late again.”

With the final round of auditions in progress and the aspiring contestants being whittled down to the top 40 by the discerning judges, get ready as your favorite contestants prepare to face the most nerve-wrecking task of performing for live audiences.

Don’t miss this exciting episode of the X Factor USA Season 3, Saturday, October 05, 2013 at 9 PM exclusively on BIG CBS Love.

Beauty, Inside and Out! Jean-Claude Biguine India and Insia Lacewalla announce the Celebrity Garage Sale

Bargains Galore! Jean-Claude Biguine India, the premium French salon & spa in association with F&B consultant and curator, Insia Lacewalla announce the celebrity garage sale. With contributions from the city’s most stylish personalities including Soha Ali Khan, Shruthi Hassan, Shibani Dandekar, Amrita Puri, Juhi Pande, Simone Singh, Gaurav Kapur, Ankur Tewari, Sophie Choudhry, Eijaz Khan, Hazel Keech, Pallavi Sharda, Archana Walavelkar and more.

Scheduled to take place on Sunday, October 6, 2013, this sale will offer everything under the sun - choose from books, gently-used clothing, accessories, home utility and quirky products, all available under one roof at a throwaway prices. The proceeds from this sale will go to Atma, a non-governmental organization (NGO) working to improve the quality of education for underprivileged children and young adults by providing consultancy services, training and skilled volunteers to partner charities.

The celebrity garage sale will be held at Jean-Claude Biguine Salon & Spa, Bandra rooftop from 4 to 9 pm. So, be there and buy a whole range of stuff from the coolest celebrities in town on October 6, 2013 at the Rooftop, Jean-Claude Biguine Salon & Spa at 68, Chapel Road, Bandra, Mumbai.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rakesh Roshan & Hrithik Roshan launch official Krrish 3 merchandise

The expectations and buzz were high - and one of the biggest merchandise launches of this year did not disappoint anyone, as Bollywood’s heartthrob actor Hrithik Roshan launched the official Krrish 3 collection at hotel JW Marriot in Mumbai. The country’s only superhero franchise, through its retail products, promises to touch new heights in the licensing industry.

Krrish 3 is the latest chapter in the superhero franchise created by film maker Rakesh Roshan, and stars Priyanka Chopra, Vivek Oberoi and Kangana Ranaut besides Hrithik Roshan. With Krrish 3 releasing soon, the potential for merchandise sales is stupendous.

The official merchandise, in a deal facilitated by Mumbai based licensing firm Dream Theatre includes a wide range of products across various categories. The prime attractions are the action figures of Krrish, Kaal and Kaya; kids’ apparel, school supplies, impulse toys such as frisbees and Yo-Yos, skates, ride-ons and publishing which includes activity and colouring books. Additionally, there are food products (candies, confectionery, noodles), home decor items and accessories such as pendants and cufflinks. The prices of these begin from Rs 99 and go up to Rs. 3499. The film also has consumer promotions with leading brands like Kelloggs Chocos, Cadbury Bournvita and Del Monte.

The sheer breadth of this merchandising deal makes it one of the most unique and exciting ventures of the year, that will wow children and youth alike with its attractive merchandise. The Krrish 3 licensed products range is the outcome of Dream Theatre working with Carving Dreams to ensure the brand extensions are consistent with the brand Krrish 3.

Krrish 3’s distinctive merchandise is targeted at children and youth. The range comprises more than 150 products and will be available at 5000+ chain stores, stand alone stores and on leading E-commerce sites. The franchise bears the attributes of fun, family, teamwork, friendship, adventure and action and the license programme leverages the same values across the range.

Krrish 3 will be released in multiple languages pan India and worldwide with screened at approximately 4,000 screens in India in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

Enjoy a devotional start to the day with BIG Magic Bihar & Jharkhand from 7th October

In Indian culture and diaspora where over 30,000 Gods co-exist, all good things begin with acknowledging the presence of this supreme power and reiterating an unwavering faith in His guidance. Moreover, in the Hindi Heartland, spirituality and devotion hold a special place in the hearts of adults and children alike. Celebrating this culture, BIG MAGIC Bihar and Jharkhand now ensures that viewers have a great start to their day by tuning in to the channel! With 5 new shows marking an exciting revamp of the morning slot, viewers can now enjoy devotional programming on their favorite channel with content ranging from devotional songs, musical recitals of Holy Scriptures, astrology, pilgrimage and mythology starting 30th September, 2013!

The greatest and holiest of Hindu scriptures emphasizes the importance of Bhakti towards God. Viewers can start their day with Bhagwad at 6am where verses from the Holy Scripture will be presented as musical recitals. Viewers can then shop for spiritual products in the Teleshopping slot at 7am. Hindus have immense belief in astrology – to gain a scientific explanation to the ancient science of prediction, viewers can tune in to Grehnakshatra Aur Aap at 8am. Renowned astrological scholars Reena Kapoor and Astro Pandit Ramesh Bhojraj Dwivedi educate viewers about the calculations of the Planetary Movements that affects our life. Thereafter, viewers can enjoy devotional songs in Bhakti Sagar at 8.30am. India’s rich mythological past comes alive with numerous places of religious importance in Bihar and Jharkhand. Tour these mystic marvels with Yatra Express at 9.30am. The devotional band ends with the wonderful story of one of the favourite Hindu Gods - Lord Krishna. Catch the mythological story of the 8th avatar of Lord Vishnu in Jai Shri Krishna starting 10am.

Commenting on the renewed programming, Mr. Sunil Kumaran, Business Head, Big Magic Bihar and Jharkhand said, “Big Magic Bihar and Jharkhand has been the No.1 channel in the region and we seek to consolidate our position by introducing brand new programming in the morning slot. We are confident viewers will enjoy their devotional mornings with us.”

Richfeel honors Cancer survivors at the ‘Look Good Feel Better - TheRichfeel Cancer Initiative’

Richfeel Trichology, India’s leading trichology chain which provides holistic solutions for hair, beauty and body care needs held the ‘Look Good Feel Better-The Richfeel Cancer Initiative’in celebration of those who have survived. The participants united on 1st October, 2013 at the Nanavati Auditorium in the symbolic event to prove that life after cancer is meaningful, fruitful and inspirational.

Gracing the righteous cause with their presence were Ms. PriyaDutt, Member of Parliament and Trustee of NargisDutt Memorial Charitable, world’s leading Trichologists and the pioneer of Trichology in India, Dr. Apoorva Shah and Dr. Sonal Shah, the Founders of Richfeel, and Mr. Mickey Mehta, India's leading Holistic Health Guru. Through its Look Good Feel Better program, Richfeel pledged to enrich the lives of the cancer patients and provide them a newfound confidence, while recognizing those who have supported them all the way.

Richfeel showcased the valiant survival stories of the cancer patients and generate funds for the righteous cause of providing subsidized or free medication, to treat the hair loss associated with the disease.

PriyaDutt, Member of Parliament and Trustee of NargisDutt Memorial Charitable,was requested to share few words about the occasion, said,“This occasion is a great initiative to salute those brave people who have won this battle of life bravely. We congratulate all awardees.”

Commenting on the event, DrApoorva Shah, Founder of Richfeel, world’s leading trichologist and the pioneer of Trichology in India, said,”Cancer patients lose their hope and dignity after they come to know that they are suffering from Cancer but through this kind of events we are helping them to give their strength and dignity back.”

On this occasion, Mickey Mehtasaid, “It is a noble cause for what Richfeel as an organization is working.It is never difficult to manage any disease but you should be stronger enough to handle disease and its consequences and also to head a good life ahead.”

‘Look Good Feel Better-The Richfeel Cancer Initiative’ is an Initiative by Richfeel on behalf of Menaxiben Shah &Rekhaben Shah Memorial Trust.

Focus on Spanish delegation at Mumbai Film Mart

With a reputation of being the platform for opening up new non-traditional markets for Indian cinema, the Mumbai Film Mart (MFM), held during the Mumbai Film Festival, is all set to further fuel the business of films.MFM 2013 will be held at Vivanta by Taj President, Cuffe Parade, Colaba from 18th - 20th October, 2013.

Among the numerous initiatives being launched this year, the MFM is proud to welcome and host the official Spanish Delegation for co-productions with a delegation from the Spanish Federation of Producers (FAPAE) along with senior decision makers from the Spanish Ministry, Tourism and Film Commission.

As a Founder Trustee of MAMI, ex-President of the Film & Television Producers Guild of India and ex-Chairman of Reliance Entertainment, Amit Khanna shared, "As we move towards a global cinema, co-production and collaborative cinema achieve a huge significance. Spain and India share a passion for cinema and make natural partners to work together in the field of cinema & TV for mutual advantage"

Indian Producers, Directors, Investors and Film Commissions who may have projects they wish to develop and co-produce in Spain or if keen on co-producing the official delegation's projects set in India, are invited to register for the Mumbai Film Mart and attend a special presentation on the 18th October followed by one-to-one meetings over the next two days at the MFM.

Speaking on the same, Srinivasan Narayanan, Festival Director, Mumbai Film Festival says “Our aim with this initiative is to foster greater cultural and cinematic ties with Spain through an exchange of ideas between the visiting Spanish Producers and Film Commissioners with their Indian counterparts”.

Additionally, registered MFM delegates will have the opportunity to promote, meet and interact with leading global buyers, broadcasters, exhibitors, festival programmers, producers and sales agents amongst others. As an added advantage, MFM delegates can submit DVDs of up to four projects to 'The Filmy Room', an exclusive viewing facility accessible to the invited guests and buyers of the MFM.

England Cricketer and Youth Icon Monty Panesar Pledges His Support for The Unity of Faiths Foundation

London stood united last weekend when a series of events brought individuals from all backgrounds together, as world sport, religious and political leaders joined hands to pledge their support for the launch of The Unity of Faiths Foundation (TUFF), a UK based non-profit, secular organisation that recognises the importance of inter-community dialogue and acceptance as the bedrock of community cohesion and understanding.

A response to the increased dissonance, cultural and religious divide that has estranged communities, nationally and globally, TUFF, acknowledged by President Barack Obama and HRH The Queen, was launched with the mission to UNITE people and communities through the common factor of Faith, irrespective of religious belief, cultural or social backgrounds, and to subsequently create a more stable, tolerant and cooperative future for all.

In attendance were an array of dignitaries and public figures, including: the equivalent of the Sikh Pope who was in Britain for his first public visit, Akal Takth Jathedaar ji, Giani Gurbachan Singh ji Golden Temple Amritsar, India, Mr M N Khrisnamani, President of the Bar Association – Supreme Court of India, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdel Salam Mraish Former Grand Mufti, Palestine, and Master Venerable Ji Xiu, Senior Master Buddhist Monk from China.

A unique ‘Torch of Unity’ procession began on Friday 27th September 2013, featuring 100 young adults from London schools, travelling on open-top Unity buses through Southall. The event reflected TUFF’s 2013 focus on Youth, the core belief being that in order to sow the seeds of respect and mutual understanding for each other early, it is vital to connect with the younger generation - the ‘voices of tomorrow’.

During the lighting of the Torch of Unity, Dr Sheik Ramzy, Chair of the Muslim Council of Britain said: ‘This is a unique and special organisation to bring every culture together all over the world. Let’s be united forever.’ Mr M N Krishnamani echoed this when he said: ‘Unity and variety is the creation of God.’ The former Grand Mufti of Palestine, Sheikh Abdel Salam Mraish said: ‘Everybody must be true to each other. I am proud to be with such a young group of people who are embracing unity of faiths.”

Following the torch ceremony, audiences were captivated by a series of keynote addresses by several VIPs who had flown to London especially for the launch. The event commenced with a welcome by TUFF’s Founders Ms. Anna Prior, a former art dealer from Mayfair and Dr. Shamender Talwar, a Social Psychologist from West London.

Dr. Shamender Talwar said: “Unity of Faiths is a journey we all need to be a part of. During the first festival three years ago we were surprised how positive the reaction was from the general public. We had postmen, fireman, lawyers and doctors all turn up and celebrate unity in the community. Six weeks later the London riots began and Southall, which was one of the areas considered to be hit hardest was not affected.  The festival grew from 8,000 to 25,000 which is testament to the fact that communities endorse the principles of TUFF.”

Anna echoed this with, “We have lost love and care and we need to nurture it with action in the community - this is vital to achieving unity. Let’s do it together, understand and respect each other’s backgrounds in a multi-cultural Britain”.

Mr G.S. Malhi, a successful entrepreneur from Southall, also joined Anna and Dr Talwar on their Unity mission. He said: “From a young age, I have had a passion for oneness. What Anna and Dr Talwar were trying to do resonated with what I felt. Unity to me means togetherness, when we are not left out and not forgotten.”
Commenting on humanity, Akal Takth Jathedaar ji, Giani Gurbachan Singh Ii, said, “We may have advanced in the world in all ways of life but we are still far away from being united as humans. To achieve unity of faiths we need to first have an understanding of each other, and then we must allow each other the freedom to practice our own religions in peace.”

Speaking on the occasion, the Mayor of Ealing Councillor Dhindsa, commented, “Southall is known as a very multicultural town, we have mosques, temples and churches all within 100 meters of each other. The organisers couldn’t have chosen a better location to celebrate unity between different cultures.”
Reverend Derek Barnes said: “The message I want to get across is that we are all talking about one uniting factor, that sense of love. Whatever costumes we wear, underneath we are all the same, we need to break out of the traditions that we have been limited by and say to one another, we all share that unity of love.”

Closing the event, Pareena Swarup, the Honorable Secretary of the Supreme Court Bar Association in India said: ‘When you were born you were born with faith, you had faith in your mother and father, you had faith in your home, you had faith in your country. You should have faith in every soul because if you are out in the street and something goes terribly wrong, you must have faith in the people around you to help you with your troubles. Believe in each other, believe in every human being no matter what race, what age and what gender.’

Speaking via Skype from New Delhi, India, the event featured a surprise interaction between the young adults and Vikas Swarup, diplomat and author of international bestseller Q & A, adapted into the multi-BAFTA and Academy Award winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Vikas Swarup said: “This is an incredible initiative bringing us all together for the common celebration of our shared humanity”.

Some of the questions posed to Vikas Swarup by the young adults included “Why do religions argue with each other?” He replied with: “Because all of us believe we have a monopoly on what is deemed as the truth. It is only when we accept that truth is not one but has many forms will we develop harmony and live together. In Jainism there is a term, conditional regulation, which states that one should never make an absolute statement since we have only grasped one path and not the whole.”

When asked “What does faith mean to you”, he replied saying: “Faith is an important part of human existence as we all need to believe in something. Whether this is within us or in others.”

The poignant video promoting the work of TUFF was unveiled to the audience exclusively, featuring the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich, recent war crimes, extracts of petitions towards the Delhi gang rape case and the London riots, reinforcing the necessity of TUFF’s vision.

The landmark event concluded the third annual Unity of Faith Festival on Sunday 29th September 2013, with tens of thousands present. The festival provided London's multi-cultural community from all backgrounds and age groups, an opportunity to connect, break the barriers of misunderstanding and prejudice against a backdrop of free entertainment, food, drinks and social engagement. The festival built up a groundswell of support to the message of UNITY, creating ‘Awareness’  to the concept of having FAITH in each other.

Youth icon and England bowler Monty Panesar joined hands with the unity team, interacting with groups of people who had congregated to see the cricketer. Commenting on the atmosphere at the Festival, Monty Panesar said: “Thank you for your positive energy and kind words. I hope to inspire the youth of the next generation”

The Festival featured an eclectic array of entertainers and performances from young children to adults, from lion dancers to operatic performances, showcasing the diversity that TUFF aims to promote.

Shazahn Padamsee to visit first Seychelles India Day, will be seen wearing Mayyur R Girotra outfit

For the first time, Seychelles announces INDIA day, which is to be held on for 3 days i.e   4-6th October, 2013. For this great International event they approached quintessential designer Mayyur R Girotra, who has been chosen as the official designer, considering his par experience and excellence in the fashion industry. He will be styling and has designed outfit for Gorgeous Shazahn Padamsee.

Commenting on his Red Carpet look, Designer Mayyur Girotra says “Shazahn has a great body and a good fashion sense. She can pull off herself quite well. She will be dressed in a Cocktail Saree for red carpet and I want to give her a Indian feel but make her look very edgy at the same time.

As it is summer time in that part of the world we will be playing more with the light fabrics keeping the weather in mind.” The designer will also be styling and designing outfits for the stunning Anjana Sukhani, Miss India Universe- Ushoshi Sen, Actor- R Madhavan and Chef Sanjeev Kapoor.

Adding to the excitement of being chose as a official designer he says, “It’s such a pleasure to be chosen as the official designer for such a big International platform. I feel Honoured and grateful that the jury loved my work and made me a part of this event. As well as I am proud that we are great global in true sense. This is first time in the history of Seychelles that they are having India Day and I am a part of it.” The Designer was also the part of Lakme Fashion Week Exhibition this year – August 2013.

Cricket First, for these gentlemen!

Cricket First, launched a few weeks ago, is slowly gaining momentum. Spear-headed by the dynamic Vice President of the Mumbai Cricket Association, Vijay Patil, along with men with proven credentials standing by his side, like Nadim Memon, Mayank Khandwala and Iqbal Shaikh, they met the voters of Thane recently.

Commending the work done by these four, former cricketer Nilesh Kulkarni urged the voters to ensure that they come in majority along with cricketers Atul Ranade and ex-Test cricketer Abey Kuruvilla who are contesting the elections for the first time. "Cricketers know what the need of the hour is," he said. "If this group comes in a majority, then only will they be able to make a difference for cricket at the grassroots level and implement all what they want to."

On Friday, Cricket First had a well-attended meeting of corporate and other sector members who play and represent Office Cricket. Stressing the need for ensuring more involvement of cricketers at this level Vijay Patil stressed that MCA needs to look into this very important aspect and promised the members full support if they are voted.

Ranji Cricketer Atul Ranade, who is contesting the election for the first time, stated that "Bosses should be involved in the game. Then only will the interest trickle down to increasing the sports quota in the company." Ranade was of the idea that a special tournament should be created for them where they will get to play either at the Wankhede or D Y Patil Stadium under floodlights." 
To this, a member from a corporate requested the Cricket First team to ensure that they give a minimum of two passes to director level people from Corporates for important international cricket matches.

ACP (Retd) Iqbal Shaikh focused on the many hardships faced by people who come from other states on work deputation or for studies and are not able to play because of the 'Domicile status'. "We need to look into these aspects at all states," he stressed. "Why should someone lose a chance to keep in touch with cricket because of this,?" he asked.

Nadim Memon, who is known to turn a barren land into a green top was of the opinion that the huge money (over Rs 25 lakh) spent on the court case with Professor Ratnakar Shetty was a criminal waste. "That same money could be used for the betterment of maidans in Mumbai," he lamented.

"Sometimes I want to do so much, but there is only so much I can do because funds are not allocated. We have detailed a plan keeping all this in mind," he said. "Give us a chance and we will show you what Mumbai Cricket Association can do for Mumbai, its cricketers and the game," added Nadim.

A big first for this team is that their treasurer Mayank Khandwala has done what the MCA has not achieved in the last 20 years. He has finished the accounting and auditing much before the AGM scheduled for October 18, 2013.

We want to give back to the game is what they signed off by saying.