Sunday, November 30, 2014

Shaina NC donates mosquito repellent blankets to needy children

Spokesperson and treasurer BJP (Maharashtra) and social activist Shaina N C played Lady Santa to the children from Akshar Gyaan a month early. The charming politician distributed mosquito repellent blankets among underprivileged children at the Ashok High School in Girgaum today evening.

The city reports almost 700 cases of Dengue with almost 20 lives lost due to the dreaded illness. The malaria count is almost ten times more, say municipal authorities. To add their might to the efforts by the BMC to prevent these epidemics, Nidra Home – makers of Mos-Quit-O, the mosquito repellent blanket – gifted their mosquito repellent blankets to needy and underprivileged children through the Giants Group Chowpatty.

At the event Shaina N C gently quizzed the children about mosquito borne illnesses and talked about how sanitation and hygiene can prevent serious illnesses. She said, “There has been a steep rise in the numbers of dengue and malaria. I have observed that young children, often without access to clean amenities and hygienic surroundings, are most vulnerable. This is a small step on our behalf to safeguard the city’s children. However, a much larger committed effort is needed to combat health issues in our city. At this point, creating awareness about mosquito prevention is most crucial.”

Shaina went on to distribute the blankets to an enthusiastic bunch of kids while chatting to them about their good habits.

The directors of Nidra Home, makers of Mos-Quit-O, Shreya and Kasturi Poddar were elated to interact with the children and went on to take a group selfie with them. After the event, Shreya said, “Nobody is safe from Dengue and malaria. Research suggests that even two inches of water, in a puddle or in a potted plant, is enough for a Dengue mosquito to lay eggs. This means preventing dengue is impossible without a foolproof method of repelling mosquitoes inside every home.”

Mos-Quit-O is an innovative mosquito repellent blanket which is free of odour and side effects. According to the most stringent World Health Organisation standards, Mos-Quit-O blanket has been deemed 100 percent effective as a repellent even after 50 washes, and perfectly safe for infants and toddlers.  So if you wash it once a month, Mos-Quit-O proves effective for more than four years.

This initiative is aimed at giving away mosquito repellent blankets through Akshar Gyaan, an NGO committed to education and improving the lives of children from underprivileged backgrounds.
Join us in fighting mosquitoes. Down with Dengue.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature : 5 Shortlisted Authors in Contention for the Coveted Prize

The world’s literati gathered at the historic London School of Economics and Political Science on Thursday, 27th November, as the prestigious shortlist for the fifth annual DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015 was announced.

Making the esteemed shortlist is a dynamic mix of new and established writers as well as a translated work. This year’s shortlist of five features two authors of Indian origin - Jhumpa Lahiri (The Lowland - Vintage Books/Random House, India) and renowned Indian poet and one of the foremost Urdu theorists Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (The Mirror of Beauty - Penguin Books, India); Pakistani authors Bilal Tanweer (The Scatter Here is Too Great - Vintage Books/Random House, India), Kamila Shamsie (A God in Every Stone - Bloomsbury, India); and Sri Lankan born British  writer Romesh Gunesekera (Noontide Toll - Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, India) completed the respected shortlist.

The shortlist was announced by an international five member jury panel that comprised: Keki Daruwalla, Indian writer and poet (Chair of the Jury); John Freeman, author, literary critic and former editor of Granta; Maithree Wickramasinghe, a professor of English at the University of Kelaniya Sri Lanka and the University of Sussex and an expert on gender studies; Michael Worton, Emeritus Professor at University College London, who has written extensively on modern literature and art; and Razi Ahmed, founding director of the annual, not-for-profit Lahore Literary Festival.  After intense reflection over the longlist comprising 10 books, out of a total pool of 75 initial entries, the jury selected the shortlist for this esteemed international award.

Keki Daruwalla, Chair of the DSC Prize Jury said: ‘It was a difficult task to zero in on a shortlist from an enjoyable, if formidable longlist. There were two first novels as well as novels by established writers and a translation. There were moments of great beauty in the multiple narratives and the jury was impressed by the deep structure of each book and the way characters were developed. All the novelists engaged with rich, historical and experimental traditions of storytelling. The landscape in all the novels was quintessentially South Asian. The jury was glad to find that the plots were uniformly organic and the writers did not succumb to formulaic writing. Most of the novels grappled with the socio-political realities on the ground. All of them did so in ways that were moving, challenging, and thought-provoking.’

The US $50,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature was co-founded in 2010 by mother-son duo Mrs. Surina Narula MBE and Mr. Manhad Narula. With an innate passion for literature and the creative arts, Mrs. Surina Narula MBE is a highly-renowned charity patron, with over twenty years experience in creating and spearheading the strategic development of some of the world’s largest charities,  including PLAN International, International Childcare Trust and Hope for Children.  Mrs. Narula is also an accomplished entrepreneur, working in the family business, the DSC Group, an international conglomerate focused on real estate, construction, infrastructure and retail. Mrs. Narula was responsible for spearheading the launch of Ebony, India’s first department store. In 2008, Mrs. Narula was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her charitable works in India.

Speaking about the unveiling of the shortlist, Ms Surina Narula MBE said: ‘We are delighted that the event has been so well received. After several months of careful deliberation by our eminent Jury, they have whittled down the impressive longlist to just five fantastic books, all written by exceptional and gifted authors. The depth, creativity and unique narrative of each novel is indeed both impressive and inspirational in turn.”

She added: ‘It is the aim of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature to promote the rich diversity of this genre in all its myriad forms, as well as to nurture new writing talent and to acknowledge some of the literary world’s greatest, established writers, who continue to light the way for others to follow in their mighty footsteps.’

Since its inception in 2010, the DSC Prize has significantly impacted and drawn the focus of the world towards South Asian literature and the authors writing about this region. The coveted prize of US $50,000 is presented to the winning author who could be from any ethnicity or nationality provided they write about South Asia and its people. Writing in regional languages is also encouraged and the prize money is equally shared between the author and the translator in case a translated entry wins. Previous winners have included exciting authors such as: HM Naqvi from Pakistan (Homeboy), Shehan Karunatilaka from Sri Lanka (Chinaman), Jeet Thayil from India (Narcopolis) and Cyrus Mistry from India (Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer).

The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015 will be awarded at the renowned Jaipur Literature Festival on 22nd January 2015, from the shortlist unveiled at the LSE. Notable guests from previous festivals include Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra and the Queen of Bhutan.

Top 5 reasons to watch The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1', the most awaited movie of the year released in the Indian theatres today and we are so amped!  The third installment of the blockbuster The Hunger Games series that released last week in the international markets had the biggest opening of the year with US $ 123 Million at the weekend box office.

The story now accelerates to new, exhilarating levels as the futuristic chronicle of Katniss Everdeen enters into a new realm. The Games may have been obliterated for good, but the fight to survive is about to intensify. Faced with the most daunting odds - and watched by the eyes of a hopeful nation - Katniss must put into motion courage, strength and empowerment against the all-powerful Capitol. There’s going to be loss, violence, and betrayal at every turn. Here, we list down 5 top reasons why you need to watch this movie this weekend!

Jennifer Lawrence
A strong female lead that you’re both rooting for and worried about. Our Katniss who is shell-shocked from the last Hunger Games, still recovering from lost love and nightmares, and now she’s being thrown into war again! Panem is a war zone and Katniss reluctantly takes on the role of Mockingjay and becomes the symbol of the revolution. Lawrence seamlessly displays the conflicting emotions and embodies this complex character to perfection.

Philip Seymour Hoffman
The film is dedicated in the loving memory of Philip Seymour Hoffman who played Plutarch Heavensbee.  He plays a pivotal part in the movie and takes his role to new depths. The actor died of a drug overdose while the final two films were still in production. Hoffman’s performance is worth watching.

Effie Trinket makes a welcome appearance
While Elizabeth Banks' flamboyant character is not in the 3rd book, producers took creative liberty and beefed up her role.  Effie has a new look and provides a levity and comic relief to a dark and moody masterpiece.

Julianne Moore as President Coin
It doesn't matter what she is doing, it's inevitable that all her fans will always love her. In Mockingjay Part 1, Ms. Moore takes on the role of District 13’s President Alma Coin, the leader of the rebellion against the Capitol. Her execution of the powerful character is flawless and compelling.

Stunning Visuals
The movie is an absolute visual delight. The special effects and atmospherics make for a very good view. The flamboyance and futuristic gadgets of the Capitol and the District 13’s austere atmosphere is well crafted and filmed.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Films & TV World to launch Calendar 2015 to commemorate its 5th Anniversary

Come January 2015 and we will be completing 5 wonderful years when we launched this portal - Films & TV World - for you. We are not only thrilled but all set to usher in our 5th Anniversary in a wonderful way. And we want to make this a memorable occasion for you too….

To commemorate our 5th Anniversary, we are launching the Films & TV World Calendar 2015 to promote and give break to fresh faces that are looking to make a mark in the industry. Through this calendar, models and actors can view their milestones in a traditional calendar layout.

So get ready for this golden chance - a once in a year offer absolutely FREE… However, this golden opportunity is only for 12 Best of the Best Models.

To be a part of this special venture, mail your 3 best pictures in high resolution (Original Size) to latest by 15th December 2014. Only the best will be selected – so send your best entries.

And ya, do mention that the Films & TV World can use the pictures in their Calendar 2015 and the pics are copyright free and not copyrighted by any photographers, stylists, makeup artists, graphic designers and printer for their efforts.

So looking forward to your wonderful entries. Hurry up!!

Why is Mona Singh behaving like Jashodaben?

Heavy work schedule is not something that is new to an actor, especially one with a television background. But Mona Singh has experienced so much of 'promotion work' in the last month that she is amazed at the amount of work one has to put into promotions of one's movie.

"We started the promotions of ZED PLUS in the last week of October and are still travelling," reveals the actress who has (within the span of three weeks) along with the cast, made it to Bhopal, Jaipur, Pushkar, Ajmer Sharif, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chandigarh and Haryana. "We have attended press conferences in all these places and what has amazed me the most is the warmth I have received from the journalists and the people," smiles Mona.

Throwing light on the hectic schedule, Mona says, "I'm enjoying the process a lot as this is the first time that I am a part of movie promotions. It's not easy to take early morning flights every day, in and out of cities, but the process is so amazing that one forgets about being tired."

Ask her what was the one common question she was put forth by journalists all over, and the actress says, "Everywhere I went I was asked the same question unanimously; why am I so choosy about my work? I liked the fact that the media wants to see more of me."

For Mona, however, 'Less is more'. "I don't believe in quantity but quality of work. Years later, when I look back, I should be proud of the cinema I have been a part of," she says.

Looking back is what Mona is doing nowadays, what with Jashodaben, wife of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also looking back every time she steps out, wondering what her security is all about! ZED PLUS releases this Friday, and actually Mona is looking forward!

Naseeruddin Shah’s book “And Then One Day - A Memoir” launched by Shyam Benegal

Literature Live! Evenings and Penguin India in association with NCPA presented an evening with author Naseeruddin Shah in conversation with Anil Dharker at the launch of his memoir's 'And then one day' by Shyam Benegal at Experimental theatre, NCPA.

Naseeruddin Shah has been an actor in films since 1975, and an actor–director–teacher in theatre almost as long, having played the lead in over two hundred feature films and more than sixty professional theatre productions, both in India and abroad. A first-time writer, he is passionate about playing and watching tennis, cricket and movies, in that order. The recipient of numerous awards which he neither treasures nor cares to mention, he lives in Mumbai with his wife, Ratna, their three children and a cat.

Naseeruddin Shah commented at the book launch, "I made my dear ones read the book and my wife found it really hilarious and entertaining. My book talks about my entire journey from getting into theatre to struggles, hardships, love, family, and friends. I think I would not be writing a second part of the book as this includes everything of my life."

And Then One Day tells a compelling tale, written with rare honesty and consummate elegance, leavened with tongue-in-cheek humour. There are moving portraits of family members, darkly funny accounts of his school days, and vivid cameos of directors and actors he has worked with, among them Ebrahim Alkazi, Shyam Benegal, Girish Karnad, Om Puri and Shabana Azmi. The accounts of his struggle to earn a living through acting, his experiments with the craft, his love affairs, his early marriage, his successes and failures are narrated with remarkable frankness and objective self-assessment. Brimming with delightful anecdotes as well as poignant, often painful revelations, this book is a tour de force, destined to become a classic of the genre.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thespo 16 to host numerous workshops at the festival: Now at Prithvi Theatre & Sitara Studio

The 16th edition of Thespo, the annual drama festival for theatre-wallahs below the age of 25, is back. Taking place from 15th to 21st December 2014, the festival is centered on the theme ‘Plug-In to the Tamasha’. Along with providing a stage for today’s young theatre wallahs, the festival also believes in nurturing their craft and expanding their knowledge through its numerous workshops.

Playing Comedy: A fun workshop on The Art of Comic Timing by Imran Rasheed
When: Monday, 15th December’2014 and Tuesday 16th December’2014, 10 AM – 2PM at Prithvi House

Magic Hour: Arghya Lahiri has worked in the theatre for over fifteen years, primarily as a Lighting Designer and Director will host a workshop that will cover lighting theory, standard lamps and accessories, their uses and the range of their ability, lighting systems and rigs, and approaches to designing and executing light plans. The aim is to arrive at a greater understanding and appreciation of a lighting designer’s role within the theatre.
When: Monday, 15th December 2014, 10 AM - 8 PM, Prithvi House

Workshop by Mahesh Dattani: Mahesh Dattani is a playwright, stage director and film maker will host a workshop on the aesthetics of writing and acting in Indian English. Every aspect of theatre contains scope for artistic choices, including language. The workshop will explore the choices available to playwrights who choose to write dialogue.
When: Tuesday, 16th December 2014, 2 PM - 5 PM, Prithvi House

Collaborative Writing Workshops: A half-day workshop for writers and performers exploring how we can use each other’s skills to create texts for performance. We will use short writing exercises, stolen quotes and stupid games to create our writing. This is not about being precious; it’s not even about being good – it’s about finding ways to begin writing, to stop being scared of it and to look at it as a collaborative practice rather than something that exists only within the writer-director-actor set-up. Rachel Clerke is a UK based maker of performances, writings, drawings and films.
When: Tuesday, 16th December 2014, 10 AM - 1 PM, Prithvi House

Out of the box: In a toilet, on a bench, up some stairs. This workshop will be an introduction to creating movement and sound for unconventional performance spaces. Using acapella soundscapes and movement in unusual settings, we'll look at how to tell stories without speaking; breaking the boundaries of traditional theatre set ups and exploring what we can do outside of a black box studio. The workshop is by Josephine Joy, a professional performer and deviser working in the UK. She has a background in dance and acapella singing.
When: Wednesday, 17th December 2014, 10 AM - 1 PM, Prithvi House

Understanding Music for Theatre: Kaizad Gherda who is grade 8 western classical pianist trained from the Royal School of Music will conduct a workshop on the general uses of music, it's styles, themes and scales of performance in various types of productions, and how it can be the most adaptive member of your cast. This workshop will also teach to start thinking and developing a particular chain of thought while composing for a production.
When: Wednesday, 17th December 2014 and Thursday, 18th December 2014, 2 PM - 5 PM, Prithvi House.

Speak the Speech by Shernaz Patel: We actors love the sound of our voices, don't we?! Booming voices fill the stage after all. But in truth our job is to serve the text that we have been communicate someone else's words and emotions to an audience. This workshop will focus on the actor's relationship with the we can unravel the meaning of not just our lines but also what lies behind these lines and what lies between them.
When: Thursday, 18th December 2014, 10 AM – 2 PM, Prithvi House

Acting In A Musical: Alyque Padamsee to talk about the making and re-making of the musical spectacle Jesus Christ Superstar, how the production has retained its entertainment quotient and is a story worth telling even four decades later. Learn the intricacies of a genre of theatre that has not been experimented to its full potential in India. Joining him will be Karla Singh, the associate director of Jesus Christ Superstar.
When: Friday, 19th December 2014, 2 PM - 5 PM, Prithvi House

The Actor’s Tool Box: An acting workshop created exclusively for theatre artists. Designed for actors, emerging and established, to discover, explore and maintain their talents using tools and techniques that Glenn has developed over his 28 years as a working artist together with Kyla's training at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York.
When: Saturday, 20th December 2014, 10 AM – 5 PM, Sitara Studio

A Musical Rebellion: Catch Lok Shahir Sambhaji Bhagat in all his glory talking ever so passionately about music and theatre. Described to be the voice of millions, a political soothsayer, rebel and a man of astonishing talent, Sambhaji Bhagat's infectious energy manages to captivate his audience and engage them in a musical dialogue. Join him as he recounts the history of protest theatre in India, in his energetic style! Lok Shahir Sambhaji Bhagat dons many hats. He is a folk poet who believes that power grows out of music. Through his songs he speaks of the many misgivings of society and the oppressive nature of the society we live in. He teaches in a school in suburban Maharashtra and along with his troupe performs in the slums of Mumbai.
When:  Saturday, 20th December 2014, 2 PM – 5 PM, Prithvi House

An Actor’s Foundation: Aspirants can also look out for ‘An Actor’s Foundation’, which offers a peek into an actor’s inner emotional life and how to effectively wield the instrument of body movement under the guidance of Jeffery Goldberg, faculty member at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, The School of Visual Arts, and Fordham University.
When: Sunday, 21st December 2014, 10 AM - 1 PM, Sitara Studio

Playing With Masks: Our facial expressions are the windows of our soul: a give-away into our feelings. But what happens when these basic tools are hidden? Come explore the world of masks with Puja Swarup that enables for interesting experiences, allowing one to be in the moment and making the most of it. Find a character and its story through different masks like the silent mask and the half mask and get a feel of the level of energy the actor needs to maintain to keep the mask alive. Puja Sarup, a trained theatre actress from Mumbai University who has worked world over with various theatre companies and directors.
When: Sunday, 21st December 2014, 2 PM - 5 PM, Sitara Studio

Creating a Make-Believe World: A two-day workshop for anyone who has a passion to create and an imagination that knows no boundaries. A man of many talents, Vivek Jadhav will walk us through the meandering streets and markets of Mumbai that serve as an inspiration to his acclaimed work as a stage designer followed by a session of how to apply ideas to create a whole new world on stage that not only aids the craft of story telling but takes it to a whole new level.
When: Sunday, 21st December 2014, 10 AM – 5 PM, Prithvi House.

With such an all-rounded medley of workshops, Thespo 16 is no less than a week-long crash course in Theatre School. Organized by QTP, under the aegis of Theatre Group Bombay, it will be taking place in two venues this year: the iconic Prithvi Theatre, which has been the home of Thespo since 2008, and Sitara Studio, the city’s latest indie cultural space that used to stage Marathi plays back in the 1970s.

For workshop registrations please contact: 9769145101. For information on the complete schedule of events, ticket prices, etc., please visit

Big Magic ropes in gorgeous Mouni Roy in Uff! Yeh Nadaniyaan

Big Magic, India’s one stop destination for Humour brings forth yet another chapata week for all its viewers.  Leaving no stone unturned to provide best entertainment possible; Big Magic ropes in one of the biggest names from the television industry Mouni Roy for Uff! YehNadaniyaan. The celebrity led episode on Uff! YehNadaniyaan will go on air on 26th November at 8pm.

As per the track on Uff! YehNadaniyaan, there is a commotion in the house with regards to the 6 degree theory. To resolve the issues and prove the theory, TV actress Mouni will play a cameo which will leave an interesting twist for the audiences. Will the commotion end? What is the conclusion of the 6 degree theory?

Featuring some of the best in comedy and television entertainment, Uff! YehNadaniyaan revolves around the Verma family whose conversations and situations promise to keep viewers in splits. Catch the star studded humorous episodes this wednesday, 26th November, 8 pm, only on Big Magic

Monday, November 24, 2014

Asha Bhosle lends voice to Marathi film Gurukul; sings lavani

Legendary singer Asha Bhosle recently recorded a Lavani for Marathi film Gurukul, written and directed by Rommel Rodrigues. Ashji said she was happy doing this song and it’s not a typical Kolhapuri masala lavani but is a different kind of song. The song has been written by Mary Kom lyricist Prashant Ingole and the music has been composed by Sanjay Raj Gaurinandan. The film is under shooting and is expected to wind up by the last week of December 2015.

"Ashaji's golden melodious voice has given a outstanding treatment to the lavani that we have in the film, which has been set in a very apt situation and is not just a filler," said Rommel.

The film is based on the theme of politicization of higher education in Maharashra,  and the importance of human values with education should be imparted to students of higher education. Certain things which are done only in school like start with prayer are practiced in Gurukul. People specifically send their children to Guukul only because only in Gurukul along with education, ethics and values of human life is taught.

The film revolves around six three ex-students, (three boys and three girls) of Gurukul a big campus college based in the outskirts of city in a town called Raanjangaon and the central character of the film is the Guruji of the college. The three boys and girls are now settled in lives as leading lawyer, ceo and businessmen.

The central character of the film is the principal (Kulguru) of the college who is fondly called as Guruji who believes guiding the students without using harsh methods, he never punishes the students the usual way. For example when one student is caught copying he sends him to the VIP guest house and treats him, after some hours he gets self-realisation of his mistake and he vows never to repeat his mistake.

Post interval we see that one politician has captured Gurukul by fraud means forging paper and pained by all this Guruji has left the college and gone somewhere which no one knows. The three students then take a vow to search and bring back the guruji, along with social movement to expose the politician. The climax takes a dramatic turn and even the politician repents and reforms in the end.

Endemol’s Lagori wins the Viewers Choice Award for Best Serial of the Year

Endemol India produced Lagori ….Maitri Returns which airs on Star Pravah every Monday to Friday at 9pm, has been named the Best Serial of the year at the Viewer’s choice MMW ( Gaurav awards.  Popular actress Anuja Sathe-Gokhale who reprises the role of Urmila was awarded the Best Actress award in the viewer’s choice television category.

Lagori Maitri Return, the fun filled emotional roller coaster ride of friends Mukta, Poorva, Rujuta, Urmila and Dhanashree has received immense love and support from fans. The story line with the twists and truths of their life and friendship in the Marathi daily soap which started in February 2014, has already struck the right cord with its audiences and recently also completed 250 episodes on Star Pravaah

Commenting on the recent awards and the completion of the 250th episode of Lagori Maitri Returns, Abhishek Rege, COO - Television, Endemol India, said “Lagori Maitri Returns has touched a chord with the audiences especially a younger demographic who identify with the story and the characters. The serial through these 250 episodes has weaved a touching tale of friendship and bonds which has left a lasting impression on the minds of the viewers. This love has been vindicated with the show receiving the Viewer’s Choice MMW award.”

Mr. Anand Chavan Marathi Business Head, Endemol India, added “The recognition and the response the show is receiving is very gratifying. The storyline resonates with the audiences own life experiences, and further lends to the popularity of the show.  We hope that with continuing support from Star Pravah team and the cast and crew, the show continues reaching new highs.”

Stay tuned to the most popular girl gang on television On Star Pravah from Monday to Saturday – Prime Time 9 PM.

Record number of Bikers meet for India Bike Week’s Tri City Chai &Pakoda Ride

The Tri city edition of Chai and Pakoda ride which had riders join in from the city of Pune, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Beed& Mumbai created a record of sorts as over 250 bikers and pillion riders came together at 7 am on a Sunday morning to be a part of the amazing brotherhood that is the bikers of India. IBW’s ‘Chai &Pakoda’ ride started from a suburban location in Pune to popular chai &pakoda joint VithalKamats on the Ahmednagar-Pune road situated about 100 kms from Pune and once on the highway, it was like a river of liquid fire that went as far as the eye could see.

Chai and Pakoda rides are organised to bring bikers together regardless of the machine they ride. From Pulsars to Harley-Davidson’s to KTM’s to Triumphs, riders from the 5 cities powered up their hobby motorcycles out to join and meet like-minded people, enjoy a good breakfast and celebrate this amazing year and the friends that they made along the way. The organizers also made the format all the more interesting with Biker Games like Coolest Looking Biker, Best Looking Bike, Oldest Bike, Safest Biker, Arm Wrestling and more. The biggest club turnout wasGreaseballs from Ahmednagar.

Commenting on the astonishing response to this year’s Tri City edition of Chai &Pakoda ride Martin da Costa, CEO of 70 EMG said “It’s great to see the enthusiasm with which the biking community from Pune and other cities has received this ride. The primary reason to organize Chai and Pakoda rides is to gather people in a community regardless of what they ride. And taking this thought forward we have created one of India’s biggest ever Festivals –India Bike week, which is one of the biggest gathering for hard core bikers, fans of the two wheeler way of living, travellers and India’s many music and Festival Fans. It’s going to be a great party, and we’re already working with the hundreds of Bike Clubs in India, as well as international Bikers, brands, customizers, bike and accessory manufacturers, and musicians to make this an amazing weekend. It’ll be a one hell of a ride!”

Another highpoint this year was the announcement on “IBW Sweepstakes” wherein festival goers who buy their festival tickets online on a specific date stand a chance to win exciting prizes like subscriptions to AutocarIndia, Rynox Jackets, Go Pro cameras, Casio watches, AGV helmets and much more. Sweepstakes will be done every three weeks and the next onesare announced for 25th Nov, 16th Dec, 31st Dec, 21st Jan & 11-14th Feb.

IBW in its 3rd season has clearly won the confidence of sponsor brands, which is clearly seen through its additional sponsors: Bike manufacturers Triumph Motorcycles, DSK Bennili and Piaggio which will be represented by all 3 of its brands – Aprilla, Moto Guzzi& Vespa are all on board for the 2015 season. In addition, brands like brands like Zippo, Wrangler, Jameson& Red Bull have also confirmed their participation.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

He’s unconventional like Irrfan Khan and Irrfan's terrific acting impacts him the most

When Saheem Khan arrived for our conversation at the Bru CafĂ©, Lokhandwala, the first thing that came to my mind is “He’s unconventional.” But despite his unfailing politeness, you get a sense of how he much likes to tease and play with people's reactions. What subtly comes across is his determination in his approach to acting and his take on the characters, his steeliness is obviously what keeps him going, an understanding that the work would come if he applied himself in a way that made sense to him (stardom in a big way is yet to arrive on this actor). This is Saheem Khan for you - who have done episodics in Savdhan India, Crime Petrol as well as Sony Television’s long-running show CID. Apart from these, Saheem Khan has also done ‘Chehra - The Unknown Mask’in the lead. He has just finished shoot of another film ‘Prakastha’ that is directed by Jagmohan Kapoor who have written hit films like Nagina, Nigahen, Banjaran, Sansaar, etc. ‘Prakastha’ is scheduled to release in the June of 2015.

Speaking about his career sipping coffee, he also tells us why Irrfan Khan is his role model, the challenges one faces in the industry like nepotism and casting couch (he is quick to say that he has been lucky to get roles without the conventional glitches one faces), his favourite film being 3 Idiots, and watching movie, reading books and listening to music as well as acting brings joy in his life.

Films & TV World: So Saheem tell us more about you as a person and an actor.
Saheem Khan: Well, frankly speaking - this 'About me' thing could be answered best by the people who know me. However I would like to point out my USP's here and those are, being workaholic, and work being my first priority, maintaining relationship both professionally and personally and I’m a die-hard romantic by heart. I was born in a businessman family and my mother is a housewife, I have three sisters and four brothers. Basically we are three blood brothers, but my friend Hasrat Ali is more like a brother to me and that's why we always count on him as our fourth brother.

Since childhood, films have always attracted me and stretched its hand towards me. And one fine day, to fulfill my dream to be an actor I boarded the train for Mumbai. That was 7 years back in 2007. Now I am 25 and I am much more mature than what I was earlier. After reaching Mumbai, the need and the will to survive made me take up work in a telecom firm as a marketing manager. However I continued participating in theater groups and also worked as a junior artist. And one day lady luck smiled on me and here I am today, sitting with you for an interview.

FTV: What drew you to Acting
SK: Irfan Khan's terrific acting and styling sense impacted me the most. In a way, his acting was instrumental in me choosing acting as a profession. Though others find Bachchan saab or SRK their ideology, I like Irrfan’s natural style as his acting is not imbibed by anyone. He is more interested in opening the doors of his performance in a film, with his naturalism. While people at times find him stuck in one style, I still find him design a performance in terms of the size of the character. And not only in Bollywood with his superlative performances in ‘The Lunchbox’ or ‘Paan Singh Tomar’, his acting has been met with appreciation even in Hollywood with the biggest of Directors and even Oscar winning ones. That is the beauty of his acting. And just like him, I too would like to stick to my beliefs and my natural style.

FTV: How has your family supported you?
I never wanted monetary support from my family, so leaving that part the other most important thing a person especially an actor needs is moral support and that my family gave hugely.

FTV: How did you get involved in the profession you are today?
SK: Mine is just one of the same creation stories of modern Bollywood. I always dreamt of being an actor and one fine day to fulfill my dream to be an actor I boarded the train for Mumbai. I always knew I wanted to be an actor. I just knew. Acting to me has always been a way of getting exposed to ideas that had never been presented to me. It was always on the list of career options as I was growing up. Though I didn’t know much about the workings of Bollywood or the television industry, and without any godfather here, my family was a bit hesitant at the start. But I wanted to see it, I wanted to be here. Then it occurred to me, that unless I am here and face it, my career opportunity just wouldn’t start. And I decided - I'll go to it. So simple. But it had never occurred to me that it would be an uphill task too. After reaching Mumbai, to survive I started working in a telecom firm as a marketing manager. However I continued participating in theater groups and also worked as a junior artist. But once I got my break, I quit my job as a marketing professional and plunged fully into this. Since then it’s no looking back.

FTV: Who do you dream of working with and why?
SK: Irrfan Khan and Armir Khan; they have shown versatility in acting and I wish to learn from them. A good performance demands equal commitment from all the actors acting in it and working with experienced actors helps you learn many nuances on the job making it easier. When you are working with senior actors you know what is needed of a scene and how to give the best to it. Irrfan Khan and Armir Khan are two versatile actors and I always cherish their style of acting and keep imbibing their nuances, though in my own way instead of blatantly copying and stereotyping.

FTV: What’s your view on the new wave cinema and films of today?
SK: Earlier it was mandatory that the actor/actress should be good looking but in new wave or smart cinema, the ability of acting matters the most. For example Nawazuddin Siddique played the main lead in the critically acclaimed 'Miss Lovely'. And it went on to become a big hit. Also ‘The Lunchbox’ was a master piece in film making and acting. I find my calling there. Having said this, I am also open to the typical Bollywood commercial films. I have just finished shoot of ‘Prakastha’ directed by Jagmohan Kapoor who have written hit films like Nagina, Nigahen, Banjaran, Sansaar, etc. Right now my film ‘Power of Money’ is on floors and in the meanwhile I have signed another Hindi film and one Telegu film. Being an actor you are also expected to do stuff that works - even I have done music videos that may not appease to many.

However I still remember my first achievement - it was in the year 2008 when I was offered 'Bhavar' on DD Urdu as second lead. This led to getting my major breakthrough in ‘Chehra - The Unknown Mask’ that released last year. Since then, its only way forward for me.

FTV: And what was it like collaborating with director Amit Jha in the recent episode of Crime Patrol?
SK: I love what Amit Jha sir does with the genre. I’ve wanted to work with him for a long time because of his unique sensibility and also the fact that he won the Best Director Award for Crime Petrol. He’s got a wonderful way of looking at the world and I think real humanity comes out of this work and all of his works. He’s interested in the characters within that genre and what I love is the kind of tone and it’s something that is constantly going on within his storytelling. It always feels natural as well, which is something I love. I like to put everything of myself into my work and he does as well, making it great fun to collaborate with him every day.

FTV: What would you like to tell someone who is thinking about joining the profession?
SK: I understand that most of the newcomers are drawn to this field in their quest for fame, without really understanding the hard work one has to put up and live with its consequences. But if you have made a mind to jump into the fray, put in a lot of hard work, patience and concentration no matter what the situation. Another important thing is 'money' - it makes your struggle easy. So before jumping headlong, try and search within to know if this industry is really your calling. And if it is, focus on it to achieve it and you will surely reach your destination.

FTV: Anything else you wish to share about yourself that I may have missed.
SK: I remember having read Brad Pitt’s interview somewhere where he mentioned: "I have very few friends. I have a handful of close friends and I have my family and I haven't known life to be any happier. I'm making things. I just haven't known life to be any happier." In short, I would like to rephrase this: I have very few yet close to my heart friends. And I have my family who has always stood by me at all times and I owe all whatever I have achieved due to them. And I’m really happy to have them all along with me. Period!”

Here's the video of his album 'Piya Saath Nahi' that showcases his acting prowess..

We at Films & TV World wish him all the best..!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Natalie Dormer sportingly partially shaved her own hair for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Natalie Dormer, the 32 year old English actress has been in the news recently for her half shaved look for the upcoming movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. Natalie plays Cressida, the hot young media-savvy rebel who makes “propos,” a mix of viral advertising, on-the-fly news clips and inspirational messages that are the only way for the rebels to communicate to the outside world.

The actress who had to buzz the left side of her head for the role was very nervous about shaving half her head, but once she had done the deed she felt surprisingly free. The actress felt empowered after shaving her long locks and the half shaved head gives a very edgier look and shows the rebel in her.

Makeup department head Ve Neill says, “Since Natalie was coming off Game Of Thrones, we really wanted to give her a completely different look than people were used to.” In the book she is described as having a shaved head and being tattooed with green vines, which could mean a number of different things, so we began to explore from there.”

Ultimately, Dormer sportingly partially shaved her own hair on one side. “Natalie was kind of freaked out about the hair at first, but then she said, ‘You know what?  I’m rocking it.’  And she did,” muses Neill.

About her look Natalie feels, “We all felt that shaving just half the head was more Capitol -- funkier, edgier, and it gave insight into Cressida’s personality.”

At the recently held world premier Natalie said, “So much of female identity is bound up in our hair. It was fascinating to explore my idea of what makes me physically attractive. I felt empowered.”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, the third in the global blockbuster Hunger Games film franchise, releases in India on November 28, 2014.

Mantra`s Piya Behrupiya the only Indian entrant at the Whuzen Festival China

The very talented actor, RJ, anchor and TV presenter Mantra was a part of Wuhzen Theatre Festival, China. He plays the role of Andrew Aguecheek/Sebastian in 'Piya Behrupiya', a Hindi interpretation of Shakespeare's famous literary work Twelfth Night.Piya Behrupiya happened to be the only entry from India at the prestigious Wuzhen Festival China.

Apart from being a part of multiple National festivals and winning various awards, Mantra has also performed in the Shakespeare Globe Theatre festival, London 2012. Currently, he`s hosting Family Antakshri on Sab TV with the famous Anu Kapoor. The play, 'Piya Behrupiya’ is produced by The Company Theater and next they perform in the Paris theatre festival, February 2015.

Follow your Pride and let go of the Prejudice with Halla Bol Season 2

One cannot deny that female stereotypes are deeply embedded in every society. From dress codes to career choices, the dos’ and don’ts section of the big fat Indian rule book for women never falls short of norms. But it’s time to break the silence and raise your voice with youth entertainment channel bindass’ iconic show ‘Halla Bol’ which is all set to return for a second outing this November. bindass, which has established itself as the enabler of purposive action, will bring inspiring stories of women who have dared to dream , dared to say no and dared to defy convention.

Yes! bindass' popular show Halla Bol's is coming to enthrall the viewers once again. The much acclaimed show’s second innings ‘Halla Bol's Second Season’ was launched amidst great fan fare in Delhi yesterday clubbing it with an event of felicitating great women achievers at a special gathering. Joining the show host and popular actor, Karan Tacker, were three women achievers from different walks of life who broke the convention and made a mark in their respective fields:
The 24 year old Mamta Rawat is a trained mountaineer from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, who saved over a 500 lives during the flash floods of Uttarakhand on her own. She had no official badge, no uniform, no map, no government order or logistical support
Rajani Pandit, the first woman private investigator in the country; this 47 year old started the work at a young age in 1983 and had spent more than 25 years in the profession. She was the first lady detective who mounted towards eminence
Mamta Devi, a trained bodybuilder, is the first and only Indian to win a medal in the World body building championship, making the country proud in international platform.

These achievers spoke about their journey, trial and tribulations. Also present at the event was a female graffiti artist, Samita Chatterjee who created special graffiti art to honor these successful women.

With 26 solid episodes, Halla Bol Season 2 will shed light on the prejudices that have become a harsh reality in our society and tend to pre-define women. Exploring the trials and tribulations of the fairer sex, the show will go on to illustrate how strength and self confidence go a long way and why it is imperative not to stay silent about any injustice. Through these stories the show will take up relevant issues such as women empowerment, lack of respect for women’s abilities and choices and low self-esteem among women. From young Pakistani girls who refused to give up on their musical dreams to a pregnant woman who dared to walk out of an abusive marriage, these wonderful tales of sheer courage aim to not only create awareness but also inspire millions.

Resuming his role as the ‘host with the most’, popular television personality Karan Tacker will take audiences through the emotional journeys and triumphs of the characters. With a successful stint on prime-time television, Karan is a household name and will further establish a strong connect with the audiences.

Walt Disney studios debuts trailer for “Cinderella”

Walt Disney Studios debuts the trailer for “Cinderella” on Wednesday, November 19, 2014.  A live-action feature inspired by the classic fairy tale, “Cinderella” brings to life the timeless images from Disney’s 1950 animated masterpiece as fully-realized characters in a visually-dazzling spectacle for a whole new generation.

The trailer will introduce audiences to Lily James (“Downton Abbey”) in the iconic role of Cinderella, a beautiful young woman with a gentle spirit who, despite the cruelty and abuse she is subjected to from her stepmother and her daughters, continues to remain positive and steadfast, as well as the first images of Oscar winner Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”) as the wicked stepmother, Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”) as the dashing, intelligent and thoughtful Prince, and the one-of-a-kind glass slipper. The slipper was designed by three-time Academy Award®-winning costume designer Sandy Powell (“The Aviator”) and produced by Swarovski, and is a magnificent work of art.

The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella (James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother (Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.” She will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an apprentice at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit (Madden). Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand, and a kindly beggar woman (two-time Oscar® nominee Helena Bonham Carter) steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin and a few mice, changes Cinderella’s life forever.

Directed by Academy Award nominee Kenneth Branagh (“Thor,” “Hamlet”), “Cinderella” is produced by Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Elysium”), Allison Shearmur (“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I”) and David Barron (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”) with Tim Lewis (“Goldeneye”) serving as executive producer. The screenplay is by Chris Weitz (“About a Boy,” “The Golden Compass”).

“Cinderella” will be released through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on March 13, 2015.  You can watch the trailor here....

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Saheem Khan to feature in Sony TV's Crime Patrol

Actor Saheem Khan who has done episodics in Savdhan India, CID & Crime Petrol will yet again be seen in an engrossing story in Sony Entertainment Television’s long-running crime real issue based show Crime Patrol. Apart from these, Saheem Khan has also done ‘Chehra - The Unknown Mask’in the lead. He has just finished shoot of another film ‘Prakastha’ that is directed by Jagmohan Kapoor who have written hit films like Nagina, Nigahen, Banjaran, Sansaar, etc. ‘Prakastha’ is scheduled to release in the June of 2015.

Saheem has done more than 14 stories as lead in Crime Petrol and is once again going to lead the current episode to be telecast on 22nd & 23rd November. Speaking about his role, Saheem says, “I have done many stories earlier, but this one will always be close to my heart as this time I got to work with Amit Jha sir who got the Best Director Award for Crime Petrol. I was always looking forward to work under his direction and in a way, my dream has come true. Also, I have learnt quite a bit of nuances working with Amit Sir.”

Speaking about the storyline to Films & TV World, Saheem says, “It is the story of Ajit and Priti who are in love with each other. Ajit basically is a small time petty criminal and when Priti’s parents come to know about their affair, they send her to her uncle's place. Her uncle gets her admitted in a local college where one guy constantly keeps on harassing and eve-teasing her. Also her uncle has ulterior motives and has evil intentions on Priti. When Priti realizes this, she calls up Ajit and informs him. What happens next forms the crux of the story.”

Meanwhile, Saheem is completing his latest film “Power of Money” and is looking forward to do more intense author backed roles and is keenly looking forward to sign such a film. Meanwhile, as the search for a good script continues, he keeps doing episodics in Savdhan India (he has done more than 28 stories) and other serials as that doesn't tie him up totally and he can take up any good offers that come his way. We at Films & TV World wish him all the best.