Friday, December 31, 2021

UV Films Guthlee to premiere at 27th Kolkata International Film Festival

Debutante filmmaker Ishrat R Khan's feature film Guthlee Ladoo has made it to the prestigious 27th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF). To be held between January 7 to 14 Guthlee Ladoo will be screened on January 8th & 13th in the Competition on Indian Languages section. The first ever Bundeli language film to go to any film festival, Ishrat Khan is elated over his film’s entry into KIFF and feels proud to represent Bundelkhand and especially Bundeli language in a festival that’s acclaimed internationally. “This is my debut film and I am happy that Guthlee has made its way to the KIFF this year.”

Ishrat started his innings assisting renowned director like Anees Bazmee with whom he graduated from 1st Ad to the associate director in a span of time. Some of the movies that he assisted Anees includes Welcome Back, Thank You, No Problem, Welcome, Sandwich, No Entry and Deewangee.  Later he went on to associate with Raaj Shaandilyaa for Dream Girl,  Prerna Wadhawan for Ishqeria and Amberdeep Singh for Lahoriye.

However it’s quite unnatural of someone to venture into such a hard hitting domain about the state of education and the caste system in rural India in today's age when he has majorly been involved with comedies. Normally anyone would have preferred doing something that they have mastered in, but Ishrat not only chose to be different but also preferred dealing in a subject that was not the mainstream language - Hindi. Ishrat says, “I understand that’s how anyone would have done it. However, I wanted my debut to stand out on the marquee. We are premiering it at KIFF and plans are afoot to take it to Cannes and other major festivals across the globe including NYIFF, Toronto, London and others.”

With over 20 years of experience in Bollywood, Ishrat Khan is considered one of the most efficient film makers of this era. His attention to detail, thorough pre-production & clear vision sets him apart, which can be seen in Guthlee. With a simple to seem storyline, the film is multi-layered. It’s about Guthlee, the son of a poor sweeper, has a dream - to go to school. But the major obstacle is his caste. A headmaster is sympathetic to him but powerless against caste discrimination. When they develop an unspoken bond, Guthlee's dream sees hope.

Speaking about the film, Ishrat says, “Guthlee is a film that speaks volumes about the state of education and the caste system in rural India in today's age. Of course there have been massive improvements in this respect by the government, but still there are untold stories that highlight the plight of the lower caste people and their inability to get education for their children. This film is an attempt to bring this matter to the forefront. It's a story of a small boy, son of a low caste sweeper, who wants to go to school. The film has been treated realistically, so as to make the viewer’s feel the rustic reality of a north Indian village. The film does not try to portray any of the higher caste people in a negative light, it's not an attempt to antagonize, but rather to make people think about the fact that something that is so easy for us to provide to our children - a school education - can remain an unfulfilled dream for so many deserving children just because they belong to low castes.”

Produced by Pradeep Rangwani under the banner of UV Films, Guthlee Ladoo features an ensemble cast that includes Sanjay Mishra, Subrat Dutta, Kalyanee Mulay and Dhanay Seth in the titular role. The film has been shot by Anil Akki and edited by Steven H. Bernard. Amar Mohile has provided the background score for the movie.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Sunfeast All Rounder celebrates the ‘Greatest All Rounders’ of all time with Bollywood movie ‘83

Sunfeast All Rounder, the thin chatpata potato biscuit brand launched by ITC in the cracker biscuits category, has unveiled its latest co-branded TVC. The brand has collaborated with Reliance Entertainment to create a co-branded campaign with the new Ranveer Singh starrer, ‘83’. The new ad film draws parallels between the inspirational all-rounder team that won the 1983 World Cup, and the winning combination of potato and masala that is the new Sunfeast All Rounder potato biscuit. The ad film has been released in Hindi.

The co-branded TV commercial acknowledges the Greatest All Rounders of all times and his winning spirit which led to India winning its first World Cup title. Creating an analogy between sports and snacking product, the 20 second ad film opens with a scene from the movie trailer highlighting the confidence and passion of a cricket player who steps out onto the ground not just to play but to win. It underlines how the perfect blend of the quest to win and extraordinary skills makes a player a true all-rounder. Building on the same thought, the ad film then showcases how Sunfeast All Rounder is also an all-rounder in a similar vein: a thin, crunchy, chatpata potato biscuit that offers a flavourful twist to every snacking occasion. The ad film concludes with the co-branded visual of Sunfeast All Rounder and the all-rounder team of ’83, encouraging the audience to celebrate the greatest all-rounders this season. 

Commenting on the brand’s new campaign for the North and West India, Mr. Ali Harris Shere, Chief Operating Officer, Biscuits & Cakes Cluster, Foods Division, ITC Limited said, “We are delighted to partner with Reliance Entertainment to relive India’s historic 1983 cricket World Cup win. 83 reminds us of an iconic event that is deeply entrenched in the collective memory of Indians. The World Cup victory was a turning point for India’s sporting culture and played a pivotal role in shaping the cricket landscape in the nation. The movie celebrates the mix of drive, conviction and competence that made the Indian cricket team of 83 the greatest all-rounders of all times. Sunfeast All Rounder, as a brand, resonates with these core values and reaches out to billions of cricket enthusiasts and film fanatics to celebrate the all-rounders this season.”

Sameer Chopra, Head of Marketing, Reliance Entertainment said, “We are delighted to collaborate with Sunfeast All Rounder and launch a campaign that resonates seamlessly with both the movie and the brand. 83’s concept is in line with the core brand proposition of celebrating the All-Rounders. We hope the latest TVC helps us reach out to a wider audience and together we can help the nation relive the story of that momentous triumph."

The new TVC that went live on 24th December will be promoted across platforms including social media, TV and YouTube to strengthen the brand’s visibility and bring the brand closer to its consumers. 

Reliance Entertainment and Phantom Films present 83, a Kabir Khan Films Production. The film is produced by Deepika Padukone, Kabir Khan, Vishnu Vardhan Induri, Sajid Nadiadwala, Sheetal Vinod Talwar, Reliance Entertainment and 83 Film Ltd. 83 is directed by Kabir Khan. A Reliance Entertainment and PVR Pictures release on 24th December 2021 in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.

For those who haven't yet seen the TVC, here it is...



Flickerfest is thrilled to announce its 2022 festival programme which will see 30 World Premieres and 65 Australian Premieres across its Academy Qualifying Australian, Documentary and International competitions featuring over 109 inspiring, creative and beautiful crafted shorts from Australia and the world, and a further 110 films featuring across Flickerfest showcase sessions, all selected from over 3,200 entries.

Flickerfest is Australia’s largest short film competition dedicated to showcasing the very best short films from Australia and around the world from live action to documentaries and animation. This year Flickerfest will screen 57 Australian films across the Best of Australian Competition, 39 International films across the Best of International Competition and 13 Documentaries across the Best of Documentary Competition.

Year on year, entries for Flickerfest continue to increase; a testimony to the fact that Flickerfest is one of the world’s leading and most respected platforms for short film. From this large entry field only around 200 of the very best, most creative and inspiring shorts will be screened at the Festival, across 16 competitive programmes and four showcase programmes.

The shorts in competition at Flickerfest are fiercely vying for a number of prestigious, Academy® Qualifying prizes including:

  • The Flickerfest Award for Best International Short Film
  • The Yoram Gross Award for Best International Animation
  • The Panasonic Lumix Award for Best Australian Short Film
  • The Flickerfest Award for Best Documentary

Plus a host of other hotly contested prizes, which recognise the various craft areas inherent in making a great short film including the SAE FlickerUp National School Student and Youth competition for filmmakers under 18 and the Rainbow Shorts Competition featuring the best LGBTQI+ films from at home and around the world.

Flickerfest is also home to the ever popular short film showcases including:

FLiCKERKIDS, short films suitable for children aged 6-12 years and the young at heart

SHORT LAUGHS, the comedy programme that will have you in stitches

LOVE BITES, films about love and relationships

BEST OF INDIGENOUS SHORTS, shining a spotlight on the incredible indigenous talent featured from across our 2022 festival programmes.

The 2022 Australian programme will include some incredibly masterful and creative short films. Highlights include the world premiere of the quirky black space comedy The Home Team starring comedy legend Paul McDermott and acclaimed actress Tara Morice Strictly Ballroom, The world premiere of black comedy Stonefish written by well-known Australian Actor, George Pullar and directed by acclaimed actress and first time director Megan Smart, known for her most recent role in miniseries Wakefield (2021) and Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021).

The NSW premiere of the moving and intimate sibling drama You Me Before And After starring Yael Stone Orange Is The New Black) and Emily Barclay Mr In Between, Glitch, Baby Teeth the Australian premiere of award winning Australian feature director Alex Proyas’ Dark City, I Robot highly creative and masterful short film Mask Of The Evil Apparition.

Highlights Of The International Programme at Flickerfest 2022, all celebrating their Australian premieres include A Few Miles South where acclaimed actors Toby Jones and Ivanno Jeremiah comprise a very memorable double act in this delightfully macabre tale of two taciturn travellers on a wintry expedition that takes a desperate turn. Cannes Palme d’Or winner 2021 All The Crows In The World, a unique look at nightlife and coming of age by Hong Kong Filmmaker Yi Tang. TIFF Award winning Canadian animation The Shamans Apprentice by First Nations director Zacharious Kunuk Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner that see a young Shaman face her first test and the delightful and heartwarming UK film Roy where a reclusive widower Roy passes his days cold calling strangers until a chance meeting with a young women Cara, see an unlikely friendship forged. Starring BAFTA winner David Bradbury Broadchurch, Harry Potter and Oscar winner Rachel Shenton The Silent Child, Hollyoaks.

Launching on the 21st January with a highlights screening followed by an exclusive after party, Flickerfest’s not to be missed ten day event will present some of the world’s best short films from Australia and the world on the big screen, showcasing some of the most innovative, provocative and widely entertaining short films the world has to offer. Bringing them to the relaxed and iconic environment of Bondi Beach this summer in partnership with Waverley Council, in a bespoke festival garden complete with outdoor lawn cinema, The Famous Spiegeltent indoor cinema and a panoramic beachside bar. Running through to the 30th January culminating in a prestigious awards presentation and closing night celebration.

Following the Bondi season, Flickerfest hits the road for a massive, 8-month, national tour of the very best films from the festival. The tour will reach 45+ metro and regional venues across all states, bringing the joy of Flickerfest to the rest of the country!

Flickerfest has been a major launching pad for some of Australia’s and the world’s most celebrated filmmakers. For further information visit: www.flickerfest.com.au

Sunday, December 26, 2021

10 films make it to 27th KIFF competition section on Indian Language

Ten Indian language films have been selected for the competition section of the 27th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival to be organised by the organized by the West Bengal Film Centre under the West Bengal Government. The annual film festival will be held from January 7-14, 2022 in Kolkata, India. 

Some of the films chosen by selection team include Guthlee Ladoo by debutante director Ishrat R Khan on caste discrimination. Guthlee, is the son of a poor manual scavenger who has a dream - to go to school. But his major obstacle is his caste. A headmaster is sympathetic to him but powerless against caste discrimination. When they develop an unspoken bond, Guthlee's dream sees hope. This is the first ever Bundeli film to reach out to any international film festival. 

The other films include Nishiddho, directed by Tara Ramanujan, Kashmiri film Be Ches Ne Veth (I'm Not The River Jhelum) directed by Prabha Chandra, Adieu Godard directed by Amartya Bhattacharyya, Raakh directed by Rajesh Chavan, MindGame directed by Rajesh Touchriver, Prapti (Receipt) directed by Anuraag Pati, Dhulo Bali Katha (The Museum Of Relationships) directed by Biplab Bandyopadhyay, Taya (By Her) directed by G Prabha and Noi directed by Reema Borah will be the Indian language films to feature in the competition section this year. 

The Kolkata Film Festival which was started in the year 1995 was the culmination of a film society movement that drew its inspiration from the masters of Bengali Cinema - Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen and others. With the TMC coming to power in 2011, the budget of the festival was increased and it now offers one of the highest cash awards for filmmakers. While the Best Film takes home a cash prize of Rs. 51 lakh shared equally between the Director and Producer, the director is also given the Golden Royal Bengal Tiger and a certificate in addition to the cash component. Producer gets a certificate in addition to the cash component. The Best Director cash prize is equivalent to Rs. 21 lakh plus the Golden Royal Bengal Tiger and a certificate in addition to the cash component. Of late, the festival has also started drawing stars from Bollywood including Shahrukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan along with well-known names from Bengali cinema who have also been regulars.

The 25th Shanghai International Film Festival Calls for Entries

The 25th Shanghai International Film Festival will be held from June 10th to June 19th, 2022. Call for entries worldwide has opened from December 15th, 2021. Online submissions are available at www.siff.com for Golden Goblet Award and International Film Panorama. The submission deadline is March 31st, 2022.

The feature-length films including fiction, documentary and / or animation films that meet the following conditions are eligible for Main Competition of Golden Goblet Award:

1) Film that has been completed in the country of origin after June 1st, 2021.

2) Film that has not been selected in an international section (competitive or not) of other FIAPF-accredited non-specialized competitive film festivals before SIFF; Film that has not been released commercially other than their country of origin.

3) World premiere or International premiere is preferred.

4) The minimum running time is 70 minutes.

5) Format: DCP

However to compete to the Asian New Talent of Golden Goblet Award, the films should meet these following criterias:

1Film which is one of the first two long fiction films directed by a Director of Asian nationality or Asian origin is eligible to apply for Best Film Award.

2Director of Asian nationality, the competition film directed by whom is one of his/her first two long fiction films is eligible to apply for Best Director Award.

3Actor/Actress of Asian nationality, whose competition film is one of the first two long fiction films in which he/she plays starring role, is eligible to apply for Best Actor /Actress Award.

4Script Writer of Asian nationality, the competition film written by whom is one of his/her first two long fiction films, is eligible to apply for Best Script Writer Award.

5Cinematographer of Asian nationality, the competition film shot by whom is one of his/her first two long fiction films, is eligible to apply for Best Cinematographer Award.

6All films applying for Asian New Talent of Golden Goblet Award must be completed in the country of origin after June 1, 2021.

7) The minimum running time is 70 minutes.

8) Format: DCP

Short films competing for Golden Goblet Award should meet these following criteria’s:

1) Film that has been completed in the country of origin after June 1st, 2021.

2) Film is defined as an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits.

3) Film must not be exhibited publicly or distributed anywhere in any nontheatrical form before the Festival. Nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution includes but is not limited to: Broadcast and cable television; PPV/VOD; DVD distribution; Internet transmission.

4) All films must be submitted in a standard theatrical exhibition aspect ratio.

5) All eligible motion pictures must be publicly exhibited by means of unencrypted DCP, or in a 24- or 48-frame progressive scan Digital Cinema format with a minimum projector resolution of 2048 by 1080 pixels, image compression (if used) conforming to JPEG 2000; and image and sound file formats suitable for exhibition in commercial Digital Cinema sites.

To learn more about regulations for entries of the 25th Shanghai International Film Festival, please visit SIFF official website www.siff.com and refer to related columns.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi makes it to the Berlinale Special among others

The Berlinale Special makes a strong impression by virtue of its variety of forms as well as its multifaceted programme. Additionally, it also creates space for reflection upon current topics or history, and the Berlinale Special Galas exude lustre and glamour. So far, seven films have been invited. 

“The pandemic has created distances - not only between people but also the way we see the world. Amongst the 2022 selection are films shot during the pandemic, reflecting on how it feels to be disconnected from others. It is with this first batch of films that we want to highlight the power of cinema as a tool that connects people, places and times ahead“, says the Artistic Director of the Berlinale, Carlo Chatrian. 

Whether through the ice of Greenland or among sex workers fighting for their rights in a small city in India or into the dark past of Germany, in the mind of a unique self-made woman, or even in the fantastic world hidden in the branches under an old, grand oak tree, the films selected in Berlinale Special pay tribute to exceptional human beings and to the harsh, yet always surprising world we are living in. They do so through the talented and incredible actors: famous, rising or yet to be discovered who carry the stories and will enchant the audience with their presence. 

This year Berlinale Special Gala includes Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Gangubai Kathiawadi starring Alia Bhatt and Ajay Devgn. Having its World premiere at the festival, Gangubai Kathiawadi is a biographical crime drama film about the life of Gangubai Kothewali, a young girl sold into prostitution by her suitor Ramnik Lal, and how she becomes the madam of a brothel in Kamathipura. Loosely based on a true story, on the book Mafia Queens of Mumbai written by S. Hussain Zaidi, the film depicts the rise of a simple girl from Kathiawad who had no choice but to embrace the ways of destiny and swing it in her favour. 

Gangubai Kathiawadi is pitted against Peter Flinth’s Against the Ice, Laurent Larivière’s À propos de Joan (About Joan), Der Passfälscher (The Forger) by Maggie Peren, Le chêne (Heart of Oak) by Laurent Charbonnier and Michel Seydoux, 1341 Framim Mehamatzlema Shel Micha Bar-Am (1341 Frames of Love and War) by Ran Tal and Nothing Lasts Forever by Jason Kohn.

Sony Zee Merge: Plans to deliver premium content with a robust consumer experience across platforms

Sony Pictures Networks (SPNI) and Zee Entertainment (ZEEL) announced that they have signed definitive agreements to merge ZEEL with and into SPNI and combine their linear networks, digital assets, production operations and program libraries. The agreements follow the conclusion of an exclusive negotiation period during which ZEEL and SPNI conducted mutual due diligence. After closing, the new combined company will be publicly listed in India. The closing of the transaction is subject to certain customary closing conditions, including regulatory, shareholder, and third-party approvals.

Mr. Punit Goenka will lead the combined company as its Managing Director & CEO. The majority of the board of directors of the combined company will be nominated by the Sony Group and will include the current SPNI Managing Director and CEO, Mr. N.P. Singh. On closing, Mr. Singh will assume a broader executive position at SPE as Chairman, Sony Pictures India (a division of SPE) reporting to Mr. Ravi Ahuja, SPE’s Chairman of Global Television Studios and SPE Corporate Development.

The combination of ZEEL and SPNI is expected to achieve business synergies and given their relative strengths in scripted, factual and sports programming, respective distribution footprints across India and iconic entertainment brands, the combined company should be well-positioned to meet the growing consumer demand for premium content across entertainment touchpoints and platforms. The seamless blend of rich expertise in content creation, deep consumer insights and success across entertainment genres is expected to drive the combined company’s ability to accrue higher shareholder value. Under the stewardship of the Sony Group, a global leader in consumer technologies, gaming and entertainment, the combined company is expected to be able to better compete with the world’s largest streaming players.

As part of the definitive agreements, the promoters (founders) of ZEEL have agreed to limit the equity that they may own in the combined company to 20% of its outstanding shares. This construct does not provide the promoters (founders) of ZEEL any pre-emptive or other rights to acquire equity of the combined company from the Sony Group, the combined company or any other party. Any shares purchased by the promoters (founders) of ZEEL, must be in compliance with all applicable laws including any pricing guidelines.

Commenting on this development, Mr. Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. said, “It is a significant milestone for all of us, as two leading media & entertainment companies join hands to drive the next era of entertainment filled with immense opportunities. The combined company will create a comprehensive entertainment business, enabling us to serve our consumers with wider content choices across platforms. I am immensely grateful to the teams at ZEEL, SPE and SPNI for their efforts, that swiftly led us to this point within the stipulated timelines. This merger presents a significant opportunity to jointly take the businesses to the next level and drive substantial growth in the global arena. I look forward to working with the guidance of the esteemed members of the combined company’s board to unlock the potential of this merger, and I wish N.P. Singh all the best in his new role at SPE. His contribution to the Indian media & entertainment industry has been invaluable. I am most certain that our collective wisdom, rich experience and expertise will lead to a more value accretive and exciting company for our shareholders and employees, and a more engaging one for our customers and partners.”

“Today marks an important step in our efforts to bring together some of the strongest leadership teams, content creators, and film libraries in the media business to create extraordinary entertainment and value for Indian consumers,” said Mr. Ravi Ahuja, SPE’s Chairman of Global Television Studios and SPE Corporate Development. “I want to thank Punit and his team at ZEEL and the small army of people at SPE and SPNI who have worked so hard to get us to this point. I especially want to thank N.P. Singh, who presented us with the idea to explore this merger well over a year ago. N.P. has done extraordinary work building SPNI to what it is today, and we look forward to continuing our work with him in his new role after closing.”

MD & CEO, SPNI, Mr. N.P. Singh, added, “This merger will create a company that’s best in class and will redefine the contours of the media and entertainment industry. As a representative of SPE on the Board of the new merged company, it will be my endeavour to provide strategic guidance and support to the company’s operating team in achieving our vision. I am also excited at the opportunity of being appointed, Chairman, Sony Pictures India, to oversee SPE’s investments and craft a wider footprint for Sony in India.”

Celebrating diverse voices, Lakecity International Film Festival goes virtual..

The potential threat of a Covid-19 third wave has forced the organizers of Lakecity International Film Festival (LCIFF) to go virtual this year because of the health concerns amid the pandemic. With the virus still going strong and the government in its attempt to control has led either to a shutdown of public events, or limiting gatherings to a bare minimum, the scene is the same at many events across the country including some top notch Film festivals. Either they have gone virtual or have postponed it to a further date. “Even we at LCIFF are no different. Our team has decided to not hold a physical event this year,” confirmed the Festival Director, Mahua Mazumdar. 

“Challenges keep evolving as you move into different stages. Encountering new experiences on an endlessly changing horizon, the LCIFF has now become a beautiful mosaic of a collective spirit and energy, thereby celebrating the films, the artists, and the makers behind it,” said Festival Chairperson Mohan Das. Quoting Edward de Bono, he concluded: “Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. As LCIFF moves into its 9th year, it is indeed a new experience. Completing a decade next year, the 2022 edition will see the screening being conducted - both online and offline - A Hybrid Festival, which is definitely going to be the new norm in future.” 

“Our film makers have welcomed the move to go digital as it will usher in a new way of showcasing films when allowing audiences to experience films at a festival is not like as it used to be earlier,” said Ishaan Banerjee, official spokesperson of the festival. “The Awards will be declared on Christmas 25th December and we request film makers to log on to www.lakecityfilmfest.com to check their winning entries. It will also be simultaneously posted on our social media accounts as well as on FilmFreeway,” concluded Ishaan.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Euronics signs Hrithik Roshan as Brand Ambassador

Euronics is the largest selling public washroom automation accessory brand in India. Founded in 2002, the brand focused on offering great innovative products & services. Following years of experience in the industry and garnering a trusted position, Euronics now has signed Indian Superstar Hrithik Roshan as their brand ambassador. Hrithik would be the face of the brand’s campaigns for the upcoming year. The campaign introduces a range of sanitary ware aimed at an evolved audience base demanding high quality, new age accessories and equipment to foster health and hygiene. In sync with the core idea of providing a new line of products catering to a post-pandemic society, Euronics roped in Hrithik Roshan as their ambassador - for the Superstar resonates with Indian masses, as an advocate for health and fitness. Hrithik over the years has emerged as a trusted figure, associated with quality in the scope of his work, an attribute Euronics swears by, with their products too.

On this momentous occasion, Mr. Viknesh Jain, CEO, and MD of Euronics said, “We are excited to partner with Hrithik Roshan for our brand campaign that targets the segment of the audience who is more aware and makes a conscious choice of upholding their health and safety. This is the area where our Brand ethos coincides with that of Mr. Hrithik, we both strive to work in the public interest. His body of work that encompasses versatility and evolution, that is very much in line with how we operate. We both listen to our audience and aim to deliver results in tandem with global standards. The fact that he is an icon, whose lifestyle is aspirational for families and individuals pan India, is a bonus.”

Speaking about the brand and the new partnership, Mr. Hrithik Roshan said, “The pandemic has taught us a lot, and maintaining health and hygiene is not just an option, but a way of life now. As an ambassador, my decision to associate with Euronics comes from a personal capacity. I prioritize the well-being of my family and all my associates, and Euronics solves my sanitation concerns. With automation and innovation, Euronics has developed products that can assist an individual, while upgrading their standard of living. In the end, we all want the best for our houses and personal spaces, and for this reason, I choose Euronics.”

In the last year, the brand has launched a new line of Covid Prevention Accessories. This addition has been a significant contributor to their sales. This collection contains a range of Automatic Accessories, such as Automatic Hand Sanitizer Dispensers, Hand Sanitizer Panels, Automatic Soap Dispensers, Sensor Taps, WC & Urinal Sensors & Hand Dryers.

Euronics is the largest selling public washroom automation accessory brand in India. Founded in 2002, the brand focused on offering great innovative products & services. The idea was to capture the white space provided offered in the public washroom automation accessories segment by the fast-growing Indian IT and hospitality Sector.

With over 20+ PAN India offices, 200,000+ customers & 300+ strong workforce, Euronics products are being used by over 100000 companies across India. In India, Euronics is a preferred brand to almost every fortune 500 company & leading Indian corporations.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Submissions closing for International Kolkata Short Film Festival

Have you sent your film to the 2nd edition of the International Kolkata Short Film Festival? If not, do it now as the submission closes on 15th December 2021.

Just two weeks after the 27th Kolkata International Film Festival concludes, it’s time for Kolkata cinephiles to enjoy some more good shorts and documentaries in the City of Joy.

Seeking to impress the cinephiles with a myriad of shorts and documentaries from the best of creative minds across the globe, the 2nd edition of International Kolkata Short Film Festival will kick start from 22nd January 2022. A hybrid festival organised by Eventizer, the festival will flag off with online screening on its website from 22nd to 29th January 2022. The week-long fete will feature international documentaries, short fiction and non-fiction, animation as well as public service films. However, the festival will also have a physical screening followed by an award ceremony on 30th January 2022 at Rotary Sadan, Kolkata. 

According to an official of the IKSFF, the hybrid event is being conducted keeping in mind the Covid protocols and in adherence of the same. However, with so many wonderful films by talented young makers making its way to the festival, the authorities also planned to have a one day closing program with the Awards presentation to honour them for their work and to celebrate their talent. 

The online event will be a paid event, for the audiences to watch all the selected films at their own sweet time from the comforts of their home. “It will be one of the major cultural showcases for audiences from any part of the globe as they would no longer need to be physically available to savour the best of films showcased at the festival,” confirmed the source. 

Some of the films that are officially selected this year have come all the way from Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE, UK and the USA. They include Soch, Le Fantome du Cinema, Dugga Dugga, The Lounge, Aanshik, Corona Cuckoo, The Gift, Belle ele en Acadie, Ora, Last Poem, Warrant, Retribution and many others. 

Filmmakers who have not yet submitted their wonderful films at the festival can now do so. The Late Deadline closes on 15th December 2021. You can submit your short films through Film Freeway or log on to their website for more details.

https://filmfreeway.com/internationalkolkatashortfilmfestival

https://iksff.eventizer.co.in/


Academy Award® Winner Jaime Ray Newman to Executive Produce Ala Kachuu (Take and Run)

Producer of the 2019 Oscar-Winning Live Action Short Film 'Skin' Jaime Ray Newman has boarded Maria Brendle's short 'Ala Kachuu' ('Take and Run'), distributed by Salaud Morisset, as an Executive Producer.

'Even in 2021, to be born female in much of the world means giving up your essential rights as a human being. Maria Brendle's film is a cry to action and I hope not only the Academy takes notice, but world leaders and decision makers. 51% of the human population deserves better. I am honoured to join forces with Maria and her team of artists to support this vital film' states Newman.

'Ala Kachuu' depicts the Kyrgyz tradition of bride-kidnapping, after which the film is named. The synopsis reads, 'A young Kyrgyz woman is kidnapped and forced to marry. A drama about the desire for freedom in the clutches of a tradition.'

Although the custom is prohibited by law in Kyrgyzstan it is still widespread in other regions of the world under the guise of tradition. 'My aim was to depict its usual course of events, but with a strong character who has the courage to stand up for herself" explains Brendle.

Jaime Ray Newman, who gained acclaim as an actress in high-profile film and television projects including Hulu's acclaimed miniseries, 'Dopesick', 'Little Fires Everywhere', 2020, and leads in upcoming 'Time Traveler's Wife' for HBO, and 'Grendel' for Netflix, is equally known for her work producing projects with social impact at their core, including 'Skin' which won the Oscar® for Best Live Action Short Film in 2019 and the feature film 'Skin' directed by Guy Nattiv which premiered at 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

The award-winning Swiss director Maria Brendle graduated from Zurich University of the Arts and the renowned Drehbuchwerkstatt Munich. She works with a focus on women issues. Nadine Lüchinger & Flavio Gerber from the Swiss Company Filmgerberei co-produced Ala Kachuu.

The film has won over 40 awards worldwide and has already been shown at the Oscar® qualifying festivals 11th BronzeLens Film Festival, 45th Cleveland International Film Festival (Audience Choice Award for Best Short), 16th HollyShorts Film Festival and the 38th Flickers' Rhode Island Film Festival (Marlyn Manson Award 1st prize).

François Morisset, founder and managing director of sales agency Salaud Morisset (Skin, The Letter Room) is spearheading the worldwide distribution of Ala Kachuu.

'At Salaud Morisset we see many, many films that tell important stories. Those that stand out are the ones that simultaneously uplift and inspire the viewer. Alaa Kachuu, with the powerful female characters at its centre, achieves just that and we are immensely proud to be working with Maria Brendle to share the story of Ala Kachuu with the world'.

On the awards side, Joshua Jason Public Relations is honored and thrilled to represent this fantastic film during the Oscar®Arace for live action short this year and happy to be championing this tremendously important story.

Shark Beauty announces collaboration with Rising Venezuelan Singer-songwriter Sarai

LatinX singer-songwriter, Sarai, represents a new generation of fearless music artists who serve as a voice and champion not only for Latina women, but to uplift all women around the world. Sarai is partnering with Shark Beauty to help women of all backgrounds and walks of life feel empowered and be the best, authentic version of themselves. Shark recently broke into the hair care space with the launch of the Shark HyperAIR Hair Dryer and IQ Stylers, and with the help of self-care tools like these, women can consistently bring power to their hair so they feel fabulous, confident and empowered.

"I'm extremely excited to partner with Shark Beauty to help women feel empowered and celebrate their authentic selves," said LatinX singer-songwriter Sarai. "Helping women feel confident in their own skin is something I aspire to share through my music and Shark Beauty is committed to representing accessible and diverse beauty for all women. With self-care tools like the Shark HyperAIR and IQ Stylers, women are able to consistently bring out their confidence, feel empowered and bring power to their hair."

The Shark HyperAIR delivers premium air power and next-generation intelligence for an easy, healthy hair-care experience. Its HyperAIR IQ Technology intelligently combines high-velocity heated air and ionized air for ultra-fast drying, no heat damage, and styles that last. Consumers can also attach any of four IQ Stylers - IQ 2-in-1 Concentrator, IQ Styling Brush, IQ Curl-defining Diffuser and IQ AirWave - and Shark will automatically set the heat & airflow setting for you, taking out the guesswork from styling. As you dry and style, Shark increases smoothness and shine, and decreases frizz and flyaways (vs. air drying).

The partnership kicks off on December 10th with the launch of "De Lao a Lao," Sarai's latest single, which continues to celebrate the message of empowering women. If you haven't seen it yet, you can catch it here..

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Omicron threat forces Shunyatam International Film Festival to go online


One of the upcoming and sought after film festivals, Shunyatam International Film Festival that was to be conducted on December 18th has decidedly planned to go low-key, private fashion, and streaming to a select audience of jury and industry professionals rather than running screenings due to the Omicron virus threat.

With Mumbai banning large gatherings due to the Omicron virus threat, the organisers of the Shunyatam International Film Festival, now in its 3rd year, have planned to conduct the same online. However, the public may be invited to screenings from this year's festival at a later date, once everything settles down as they have always prided themselves on running screenings that are open to an enthusiastic public.

As today marked the deadline for film makers to submit their films for the awards and selection, meaning the selection committee now have a complete slate of contenders. Most of the films competing for the awards start with the tried and true. With a few heavyweights joining the bandwagon, this year’s race features a dense field packed with titles that have already proven themselves at various other international film festivals across the globe or are a remarkably new entry but showing immense potential in film making. While some of them may make you sit up and take notice, others are sure to generate attention. And these come not only from respected award winning directors but also debutant film makers.

Some of the films that are selected in the feature film category include Reaching to the Stars by Aarti Agarwal from Singapore, Swan Flydu by Wang Zuofu from China, The Lady by Fabrizio Guarducci from Italy, She Q by Tomoaki Yanai from Japan, Bundelkhandi film Guthlee by Ishrat Khan starring Sanjay Mishra and Chhatisgarhi film Baliphool: Welcome to Bastar by Punit Sonkar, both from India.

The Shorts and Documentary film category has some very good choices that include multiple award winner Anuj Bharadwaj’s Ek Achchi Naukri, Javier Otero’s Perpetual Loop from Spain, Marty Madden’s Funeral Queen and Kostiantyn Mishchenko’s #deepIndia from the USA, Michaël Rué’s Deliverance from Switzerland, Anna Girbau’s Cleaning the Planet Earth from Spain, Rebekkah Hilgraves’ Do No Harm  from the United States and Petri Puroaho’s We Sock from Finland that has made it to the selection list.

Dining Table by Dheerendra Dwivedi that recently won the Best Debut Director award at Ayodhya Film Festival along with Sachin Jain’s Un Chantier d'Amour - A Scaffolding of Love, Tahura Khan’s Rang Kaavya (Color Poetry), Jayesh Apte’s Anvesh - a documentary on Architect Sanjay Patil, Sweta Kumar Dash’s The Healing Touch and Dr. Mansoor Showghi Yezdi's Khaaneh Be Doosh & Cafe Irani Chai as also made it to the selection list from India.

The LGBT category has some of the finest films that made it to the selection. These include Dominik Wojciech Krawiecki & Patrycja Planik’s feature film Faggots from Switzerland, short film Bakshobondi by Siddhartha Saha from India, Inside Out by Adam Taylor from the United States, Why Do You Love Me by Director Xia Mu from China, Thank you for being a friend by Anup Thapa from Australia and Ek Aids Wali Love Story by Siddharth Soham from India.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Sony Pictures Television announces acquisition of Award-Winning production company Bad Wolf

Sony Pictures Television (“SPT”) recently announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Cardiff-based production company Bad Wolf Ltd, the award-winning production company behind some of the most ambitious and globally-acclaimed dramas in recent years, including His Dark Materials (HBO/BBC), A Discovery Of Witches (Sky), Industry (HBO/BBC), The Night Of (HBO) and I Hate Suzie (Sky). The deal also includes the Wolf Studios Wales sound stage facility in Cardiff and Bad Wolf’s 30% stake in Bad Wolf America LLC.

The majority stake investment in Bad Wolf is in keeping with SPT’s strategy of expanding its production portfolio and increasing its volume of high-quality IP in recent years. This has included entering children’s programming by acquiring Silvergate Media in December 2019, broadening the company’s capability in sports and live entertainment production with the investment in Whisper Films in February 2020, and moving further into premium scripted with the acquisition of Sex Education producer, Eleven, in June 2020.

Ravi Ahuja, Chairman, Global Television Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment Corporate Development, said, “We are thrilled to add Bad Wolf to our already incredibly strong portfolio of drama producers in the UK. The business is evolving as audiences everywhere become more attuned to content produced outside of their own cultures. This deal not only speaks to the high quality of talent we are proud to work with but also to our aim to create and deliver the most outstanding UK drama programs to the world.”

Wayne Garvie, President, International Production, Sony Pictures Television, said, “In the blink of an eye, Bad Wolf has established itself as one of the world’s most admired drama producers. The quality of work, breadth of imagination and boundless ambition make it one of the great emerging production houses of our time. Jane and her team have built a tremendous business and established Wales as the home of some of the most fantastic tales of the age and now we aim to help them build still further. We are honoured that they have chosen us as their partner for the next stage of their exhilarating adventure.”

Jane Tranter, Founder, Bad Wolf, says “The last five years since launching Bad Wolf have been a hugely rewarding experience as, with the support of Access Entertainment, Sky, and HBO, we built a production infrastructure and a creative community based out of Wolf Studios Wales that could compete with any TV production in the world. Sony Pictures Television share our vision for the company going forward, and their immediate understanding and belief in the ethos of Bad Wolf make them the perfect partners for our future.  With a forward-looking, global corporation like Sony investing in the future of Bad Wolf and Wales it gives us the ability to reach even greater heights in the years to come.”

Recently named as production company of the year at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Bad Wolf was founded in 2015 by Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner to create ground-breaking and ambitious drama for the global TV marketplace, coupled with a firm commitment to cement Wales’ reputation as a centre of excellence for the creative industries.  From its headquarters in Cardiff, South Wales, the company has built an international reputation as one of the foremost independent production companies in the UK. In 2019 Bad Wolf received the top accolade of fastest growing business in Wales at the Fast Growth 50 Awards, as well as fastest growing creative firm and fastest growing business in Cardiff. In just over five years, the company has produced more than 50 hours of high-quality drama for broadcasters and networks including HBO, BBC, AMC Networks and Sky. Ten seasons of returning programming have achieved global recognition with over 100 nominations and 34 awards won at BAFTA, BAFTA Cymru, RTS, Emmy, Edinburgh TV Festival and the Golden Globe Awards.

Bad Wolf America (BWA) was formally set up as a separate US based sister-company in 2019 and Bad Wolf has a 30% stake in BWA. Based in Los Angeles and run by Julie Gardner, Bad Wolf America was founded to create ambitious, imaginative and relevant content for the US and global TV markets.

In the last five years Bad Wolf has brought many of the world’s most renowned producers, directors and actors to Wales to collaborate on ground-breaking TV productions.  The company has created approximately 2,500 jobs and spent £121 million on local suppliers between 2015 and 2020. This has run in parallel with a firm commitment to the creative sector in Wales to build and strengthen the growing creative community through wide-ranging partnerships and training initiatives.

Enjoying a strong partnership and launched with support from Welsh Government, Bad Wolf has also founded Wolf Studios Wales, a world-class production facility in Cardiff, and Screen Alliance Wales, an education and training organisation. Screen Alliance Wales has engaged with emerging talent to grow, nurture and build skills across the creative industries and has engaged with 20,000 people since 2018.

Friday, December 10, 2021

New Film ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They've Been Taught) to Make World Premiere at 2022 Sundance Film Festival

Today the Sundance Film Festival announced that ᎤᏕᏲᏅ , a new documentary short film by Brit Hensel with Keli Gonzales, is an official selection in the 2022 festival. According to the Sundance Institute, Hensel is the first woman who is a citizen of Cherokee Nation to direct an official selection at the festival. The film's world premiere will be held in-person in January 2022 in Park City, Utah, as well as online from January 20th – 30th. ᎤᏕᏲᏅ "Udeyonv" (pronounced oo-de-yo-NUH) is one of seven films from season one of Reciprocity Project, a co-production of Nia Tero and Upstander Project.

ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They've Been Taught) explores expressions of reciprocity in the Cherokee world, brought to life through a story told by an elder and first language speaker. The film circles the intersection of tradition, language, land, and a commitment to maintaining balance. 

"It is important to us that ᎤᏕᏲᏅ includes the perspectives of western and eastern Giduwa (Cherokee) people. Although our communities are separated by distance, our collaboration on this film offers a balanced perspective of what reciprocity means to our people and how it's actualized in our lives," said Hensel, who is a 4th World Media Lab Fellow, a 2022 Tulsa Artist Fellow, and works on the series Reservation Dogs on FX.

The film is already garnering high praise. "Brit Hensel weaves a tender and beautiful portrait of quiet yet necessary teachings that connect notions of land, home, and family, and shows us the ways in which the everyday is built upon layers of memories of the past, the joys of the present, and the hopes for the future," said Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians), an acclaimed filmmaker.

ᎤᏕᏲᏅ  was created in collaboration with independent artists from both Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, filmed in North Carolina and Oklahoma, and produced by Taylor Hensel (Cherokee, who is also Brit's sister), Adam Mazo, Kavita Pillay, and Tracy Rector as part of Reciprocity Project, which seeks to embrace the value of reciprocity through Indigenous perspectives through storytelling, film, podcasts, and other creative mediums. The ultimate goal of Reciprocity Project is to create a paradigm shift that reframes our relationships to the Earth, other living beings, and one another. 

Learn more ᎤᏕᏲᏅ and the other Reciprocity Project films at reciprocity.org.

Monks on Mission: A Reality-Based Film wins Best Documentary Award at Ayodhya Film Festival

A thought provoking short film, ‘Monks on Mission’ made by seven monks at Iskcon Gurugram under the guidance of temple president Rambhadra Das, has won the Best Documentary Award (Runner-Up) at the 15th Ayodhya Film Festival (AYOFF) end November. 

Monks on Mission is a reality-based film on why and how monks delivered food in deadly Covid 2nd wave. The life of monks is all about decreasing their personal needs and increasing service to God and humanity. But one day they had to choose between service and their life. 

The 11-minute film is written and conceptualized by monk Padasevan Bhakta Das, directed by HG Rambhadra Das, President, Iskcon Gurugram, and the editing, shooting, and sound design was done by Pankaj Shyam, who was a Freelance Graphic Designer before becoming a monk. A total of seven monks - Aradhya Gaur Das (lead), Sri Nitai Das, Sevya Giridhari Das, Parmatama Hari Das, Rakesh Roshan, and Rahul Jhanghu, along with Padasevan in a small role - have acted in the film. Padasevana Bhakta Das has not only acted in it but is the scriptwriter of this wonderful film. In charge of the communications department of Iskcon Gurugram, he also shared a number of behind the scene information with us.

Life of monks is all about decreasing their personal needs and increasing service to God and humanity. But one day they had to choose between service and their life. If they decide to go out for service, they could get Covid infected, as the 2nd Covid wave ravaged through India. Getting infected would also mean not even receiving a hospital bed and for sure losing life while gasping for oxygen. But, if they decide not to serve, thousands in their city will be at high risk. Did they perform their duty or step back? This exciting film, based on real events, and based on the Covid-aid program, it portrays how a group of devotees helped the desperate Covid-affected families in getting meals every day. 

”I had an interest in representing Krishna consciousness in a visually appealing format.” says Padasevana who is also a graduate in Mechanical and Automation Engineering from Delhi. “But these covid times made us realise that even this service could be taken across to people to encourage them, to motivate them to serve people."

"However, this wasn't an easy task. There were many challenges we faced. Our temple is a very new one, so we don't have many resources. And in spite of that, we, the Brahmacharis here, decided that we should go ahead, and help the people of Gurugram in these difficult times. Initially we did not think of doing a short film or a documentary on the same. We were just shooting randomly for uploading videos on YouTube. It was however the idea of Rambhadra Das (the director) to make a short film instead of releasing small videos on YouTube,” he adds. 

However this effort has borne fruits and has won the Best Documentary Award (Runner-Up) at Ayodhya Film Festival. It also won the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 24th monthly season of Tagore International Film Festival (TIFF) in early July. It was also a Finalist at Haryana International Cult Film Festival.

“We also intend to come up with many more short films, which are for devotees and non-devotees alike,” Padasevana clarifies. “We wish to make films for a very broad audience. We want to take them out to people who may never come across a book of Prabhupada or who may never come to sit in a Bhagavatam class or who may never get associated with devotees,” he concluded.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Funny & Heartwarming, Netflix's Christmas RomCom “Single All The Way Review” is winning hearts


Netflix’s Christmas offering ‘Single All the Way’ is a 2021 Canadian Christmas romantic comedy film directed by Michael Mayer and written by Chad Hodge. 
 With an underlying theme of love and acceptance, ‘Single All The Way’ blossoms into a funny, delightful, and heartwarming romcom gift for all.

The plot follows a young gay man (Michael Urie) who convinces his best friend (Philemon Chambers) to pretend to be his boyfriend when he goes home for Christmas, only to be set up on a blind date by his mother (Kathy Najimy). Luke Macfarlane, Barry Bostwick, Jennifer Robertson, and Jennifer Coolidge also star.

The film was released by Netflix on December 2, 2021. Critics praised the film's depiction of gay characters in an everyday setting, but criticized the script's usage of tropes common to the Christmas romantic comedy film genre.

The plot revolves around Peter, a social media strategist living in Los Angeles, who is tired of his entire family asking him about his single status each year when he visits them for the holidays. He is excited to bring his new boyfriend Tim to New Hampshire to meet them, until he finds out that Tim is married when Tim's wife hires Peter's best friend and roommate Nick as a freelance handyman. Devastated, Peter convinces Nick to travel to New Hampshire with him and pretend that they are dating. Before they can announce their fake relationship, Peter's mother Carole tells him that she has arranged a blind date between Peter and her spinning instructor James. Peter reluctantly agrees with encouragement from Carole and Nick.

The rest of Peter's family arrive: his father Harold, his sisters Lisa and Ashleigh and their respective families, and his aunt Sandy, who directs the annual children's Christmas pageant. Harold privately tells Nick that he has always thought that he and Peter would be perfect for each other, and that Peter seems happiest when he is with Nick. Meanwhile, Peter goes on several dates with James, including buying a Christmas tree and a day of skiing. They enjoy themselves, though Peter repeatedly brings up Nick in conversation and he begins to feel torn between spending his limited time with James versus his family. He tells Nick that he is considering moving back to New Hampshire, to Nick's dismay.

Peter's boss calls him to tell him that they are abandoning their latest advertising campaign and instructs Peter to develop a new campaign, featuring "real people" instead of models, within the next day. Harold, who is trying to get Peter and Nick to spend more time together, suggests photographing Nick; though Nick is initially reluctant, the photoshoot is a success. Lisa's daughters, Sofia and Daniela, are also rooting for Peter and Nick to get together. They force Nick to admit to himself that he is in love with Peter, and they later pretend to fall asleep in Peter's bed so that he has to share Nick's bed. The next day, Sofia and Daniela talk to Peter who tells them that he has feelings for Nick but is afraid to risk their friendship. Aunt Sandy's Christmas pageant is a success thanks to the help of Peter and Nick.

Afterwards, Nick confesses his feelings to Peter, who is still fearful that a relationship could put their friendship in jeopardy. He tells Nick that he has decided to move back home. As Peter heads to the bar with James to celebrate the pageant's success, Nick packs his bags and prepares to return to Los Angeles, but takes on one more handyman job of re-painting a shop whose owner is retiring. James tells Peter that they are not a match for each other and that Peter belongs with Nick. Peter rushes home to find Nick gone. He sees Nick's rental car at the shop, and Nick tells him that he has paid the first six months of the shop's rent as a Christmas present to Peter, who has always wanted to open a plant store. Peter finally tells Nick that he is in love with him, and they share a kiss. On Christmas Day, they announce that they are dating and plan to move to New Hampshire together, to the delight of Peter's entire family.

If you haven't had a chance to stream it yet, do it now for the funniest and most heartwarming movie this Christmas.. Catch the trailer if you still harbour doubts..



DaMENSCH collaborates with MensXP for its digital edition featuring Kartik Aryan

Premium Men’s Fashion brand DaMENSCH collaborated with MenXP on their Digital Magazine Cover for the December edition which featured Kartik Aaryan sporting apparel from the brand’s Better Basics Collection. 

The collaboration featured Kartik Aryan getting comfortable in DaMENSCH Better Basics Tshirts and Hoodies. The idea behind the collaboration was to connect with young adults and spread the idea of comfortable and sustainable clothing that goes along with DaMENSCH’s Better Basics Collection. Kartik Aaryan has continuously stood out for his work over the years and has received various recognitions and undoubtedly that’s the reason behind his tremendous fan base.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

WIN X AAZOL panel discussion: On bolstering home-grown brands, small businesses and women entrepreneurs paving way for thoughtful leadership

WIN took forward the conversation on bolstering home-grown brands, small businesses and women entrepreneurs paving way for thoughtful leadership, in collaboration with Aazol Ventures Pvt. Ltd., presenting an exceptional panel discussion with some of India’s renowned female changemakers and trailblazers.

An in-depth, live discussion took place across platforms, a panel comprising of Harpreet Suri – renowned mom-blogger and influencer, Mrs. India mentor; in addition to Apurva Purohit – leading Businesswoman, author, Founder: Aazol Ventures Pvt. Ltd., - Amrita Chowdhury - a business strategist, engineer & innovator; Meghna Ghai Puri – Educationalist, President of Whistling Woods Organization; Mansi Zaveri – Actor, Podcaster, Founder of Kids Stop Press; Kanisha Malhotra – Entrepreneur, Actor, Influencer and Filmmaker;  and Stuti Jalan - Founder of Women Inspiring Network. The discussion was aimed at taking forward the conversation on the growing prominence of home-grown brands. The live session was cross streamed on Thoughtful Leadership and Entrepreneurship with Aazol, which has garnered more than 15,300 views across platforms.

Leveraging the influence of key note speakers such as Kanisha Malhotra with over 3.7mn followers, Mansi Zaveri with 190K followers, Whistling Woods 157K followers and Amrita Chowdhary with 22K followers, the session effectively engaged their followers and boosted awareness amongst thought leaders and a younger demographic.

Apurva Purohit, founder of Aazol stated, “I think the pandemic resulted in a lot of inequality in the system between the haves and have nots, between rural and urban, between educated and non-educated, between men and women. So, I think any person who lives in fairness. Has to really reflect that what can I do? And we have been so blessed in the resources that we have got and, in the experience, we’ve got, the education we’ve got. It is our job. It is our job to create impact, how do we create impact? Whether it is for one person or whether it is for hundred women or a million women.  I think our company came in at that moment where we realise that rural India’s stressed. So, we have tied up with self-help groups to buy some incredible food products that they are making all over rural Maharashtra and bring it to urban consumers. From the urban consumer end, I think the need that the pandemic sort of hit upon was a need for more healthy living, mindful living, eating local and again whatever is happening in climate change. One of the big messages ah the universe is throwing at all of us is how do we live a more sustainable life and local cuisine which is healthier, more sustainable in terms of the farming and also is fulfilling the, the inequality that that that is existing by ensuring that income goes to rural self-help groups. I think that was really the thought that ah the vision of Azul was born with.”

Women are great agents of change, especially in leadership positions. They lead with compassion, unwavering sense of intuition and meticulous organization. They bring in far-reaching benefits of diversity and gender parity in leadership and decision-making environments.

The default gender of leadership is male. Women entrepreneurs in India often do not want to label themselves as ‘women leaders’ but they are the need of the hour. We need to establish women leadership, we need to show that we are better leaders, we need others to know of our presence. We do not need to compete but we need to show that, if she can, then so can I. Collaborate to help each of us to grow. We need to end the notion that women are against women when in reality women are more than happy to help each other. Women entrepreneurs in world share the same experience when it comes to their skills. Women's entrepreneurship and leadership skills are always questioned and the only way out of this it by joining hands and walking together.

Both the discussions were essentially conducted, in an effort to celebrate home-grown brands, small business and business owners, and the very spirit and essence of female entrepreneurship and the future of enterprising, aspiring women looking to take the entrepreneurial plunge. The symposiums aimed to give some refreshing new outlooks and stances with respect to how today’s leading changemakers view the electrifying and absolutely empowering wave of female entrepreneurship across the country. The sessions also shed light on matters, such as key motivators for small business-owners, bringing back cultural nostalgia with domestic brands, contributing factors to promising growth in the number of female entrepreneurs, essence of women entrepreneurship in the society, valuable insights for individuals looking to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship, etc. Each panellist brought forth a unique perspective to the table.

Amrita Chowdhury, talked about how progress does not happen by being balanced. As women expectations on us are far harsher, we are expected to balance everything. It is okay to accept a little imbalance in life. Accept you need to be unbalanced in few aspects of your life. All you need to show is impact, and impact is the product of growth, so demand impact.

Kanisha Malhotra shared her experience of building a brand “As an influencer, earlier, I used to just concentrate on my content. But since the pandemic I have also come up with ideas of my own business and everything. So social media in a way has been a really big support for all of us. Specially the small businesses and entrepreneurs because, I didn’t have a website to start with. So, I started making content, I started putting things on my Instagram handle or Facebook handle. So that’s where I started getting orders. So now also Facebook so many groups which you know really help you grow as a as an entrepreneur.”

Entrepreneur, educationalist and director, Meghna Ghai Puri shared about her journey, saying that, “I think believing in yourself is so important. I think a lot of women do not believe in their own potential. It may seem so difficult to actually put into action. But, please believe in yourself, have the courage to face ups and downs.”

Renowned mom blogger, content creator and Mrs. India mentor, Harpreet Suri, stated that, “I come from a very conservative family. I never thought that I would be able to do something worthwhile in life. However, I changed the game, and chose to become the heroine of my own life.”

Sharing an interesting story from her life, Mansi Zaveri told mothers to feel guilty about their choices, “So, you know one day, my husband and I were putting the kids to bed. It’s a ritual that we never let go. And we just asked both my girls so what you want to do when you grow up? Just as bed time conversation, and they said we want to run Kidstoppress. And my husband said nobody wants to do what daddy is doing. They like no, you know your job is very boring and we want to run. And trust me, all the guilt that I pent up over all of the years, the days that I am feeling like I am the worst mom, just flew into thin air. I just think that I can say, dude, I have, I am building a legacy business, right? So, it’s, it’s these small joys, right?”

Stuti Jalan, founder of Women Inspiring Network, stated that "The role of Women entrepreneurs in the nation’s economic development is inevitable. Women are willingly taking up business and contributing to the nation’s growth. Their role needs to be increasingly recognized and wholehearted steps need to be taken to promote women entrepreneurship.”