Thursday, August 19, 2021

Salaam Bombay Foundation partners with ace photo journalists on World Photography Day

Salaam Bombay Foundation (SBF) dedicated World Photography Day 2021 to those frontline warriors we call photo journalists, for their service to the world during these Covid times.  The occasion also emphasized the potential of photo journalism as a vocation through an exhibition, a webinar and a masterclass.

Ahead of World Photography Day, five eminent photo journalists as mentors conducted a series of workshops on the technical aspects of capturing the right image and creating a photo essay of the same. Lessons were imparted on various techniques and features like portraits, skylight, landscape and black and white photography. The students were also acquainted with the working style of photo journalists.  The outcome of 30 photo essays, clicked and created on the students’ mobiles, were physically displayed at the Education Department, Triveni Sangam BMC School Building, Curry Road.  The event titled “Exposed: Newstories Thru’ A Lens”, was attended by chief guests Mr. Raja Tadvi, Education Officer, BMC Education Department and Ms. Sandhya Doshi, Chairperson, Education Committee, BMC.  Also appreciating the students’ talent was Mr. Dinkar Pawar, Principal, Art Department, BMC Education Department.

Chief guest Ms. Sandhya Doshi, Chairperson, Education Committee, BMC, while inaugurating the exhibition, said, “Salaam Bombay Foundation’s work is commendable. It has been 19 years and they have achieved what no other institution has. We have seen a remarkable and visible difference in BMC students, especially the art they have created. SBF has polished their students' skills, especially in photography. They not only clicked the photos but also collected information regarding it. After seeing today's exhibition, I realized they have given a lot of attention to detail while clicking these pictures. Their thoughts and emotions were visible through their photos, and I want to salute their thoughts. SBF has executed this exhibition beautifully”.

The webinar on 19th August featured keynote speaker Mr. Dinkar Pawar, Principal, Art Department, BMC Education Department.  A panel discussion focusing on photo journalism as a career for resource-challenged youth was the focus among panelists including renowned photographer Mr. Ritesh Uttamchandani, Ms. Jeroo Mullah, Visiting Faculty of Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai, and documentary photographer Mr. Indrajit Khambe, each one contributing from personal and professional experience. The webinar was followed by a masterclass by a renowned photo journalist.

Sharing his experience, Omkar Jadhav, Alumnus, Salaam Bombay Media Academy said, “The workshops with photojournalists were very enriching. This is the first time I had exposure to photo journalism as a career. The mentors also spoke to us about the working style of a photo journalist, on-ground challenges and the opportunities. My learning has not been compromised due to the lockdown thanks to SBF”.

Speaking about the initiative, Ms Rajashree Kadam- Vice President - Projects (Arts & Media), Salaam Bombay Foundation “Even though Covid-19 has challenged the organisation of events, knowledge-imparting workshops and seminars. SBF is committed to creating an environment conducive to learning despite this.  Through virtual exhibitions, workshops and a masterclass like these, we are able to combine both theory with practise and keep our students engaged. There is no reason for them to lag behind their more privileged counterparts.”

In the Media Academy, the underprivileged students from municipal schools are trained in journalism, photography, print production, digital production and creative design. This helps them develop soft-skills, writing and interpersonal skills while improving their confidence and self–image. The Academy also introduces students to Media related careers, and provides them with the right platforms to showcase their skills.

During the pandemic, the Media Academy in-class modules were converted into a digital format to suit the requirements of the new normal.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Netizens think Lara Dutta is unrecognisable as Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in BellBottom. Even we think so...

Akshay Kumar and Vaani Kapoor have launched the trailer of their much-hyped film Bell Bottom in a Delhi cinema hall attended by the cast and makers of the film. The trailer launch also marked the reopening of theatres, and this will be one of the first Hindi films to release in cinemas post Covid second wave. 

While Akshay Kumar will be seen as a spy, who leads a covert operation to rescue 220 hostages from a hijacked plane, it is Lara Dutta who is garnering more reviews in the role of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. At the trailer launch, Lara Dutta asked the media to find her in it. When most couldn’t find her, she added” “I'm playing Mrs Indira Gandhi in the film. That's me. As you all know that the film deals with a hijack situation that happened during her tenure. Given the dramatic events that were unfolding, she was somebody who was extremely centred and not really prone to any dramatics. So it was important to portray her in that form. I had a great time. There was a lot of homework and research that went behind it. But it was an opportunity of a lifetime and I'm thankful for it.” 

However, those who have seen Supriya Karnik in the recently released Main Mulayam will vouch that Supriya looked more like Mrs. Gandhi unlike Lara Dutta who doesn’t even come close. And yeah, she is unrecognisable as Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in Bell Bottom. Even we think so.

Main Mulayam is a 2021 Indian Hindi-language biographical film showcasing the political journey of Mulayam Singh Yadav. Produced by Meena Sethi Mondal, it stars Amyth Sethi, Govind Namdeo, Mukesh Tiwari, Prakash Belawadi, Supriya Karnik, Sayaji Shinde, Rajkumar Kanojia, Zarina Wahab, Anupam Shyam, and Mimoh Chakraborty.

Olympic spirit at Mobile Premier League

As the world is engrossed in the sporting spectacle that is the Tokyo 2020 OIympics, India’s largest esports and gaming platform, Mobile Premier League has started an employee engagement programme centred around the Games.

MPL Sports Foundation, the community arm of Mobile Premier League (MPL), is the Principal Partner of the Indian OIympic Association (IOA).

As MPL Sports Foundation began a nationwide movement to mobilise a billion plus Indian to become fans for the Indian Olympic team, MPL decided to use this moment to let its people soak in the Olympic spirit.

A virtual Olympics is being held by MPL for its 800 strong workforce, ending on 8th August, the last day of the Olympics.

In a true democratic spirit, a voting exercise was conducted to vote in the favourite events. Expectedly, an esports tournament was the overwhelming crowd favourite as the top choice. The events that will be part of the internal Olympics include 5K virtual run and a 20K virtual cycling. The very active group of runners and cyclists at MPL ensured that these two events remained centre stage.

Looks like exciting times at MPL even as the team remains mostly virtual owing to covid restrictions.

Katie Riccio Puris to head global brand and creative of TikTok

TikTok - the leading destination for short-form mobile video app 
promoted Katie Riccio Puris to head of global brand and creative, according to her LinkedIn post. She takes on the role after serving as TikTok’s MD and global head of business marketing for over a year, where she helped launch TikTok’s creative lab, TikTok for Business and led B2B marketing strategy for the platform.

In her LinkedIn post, Puris wrote: “We are still at the early days of building our global brand and delivering the kind of creative work that is uniquely TikTok. I am so grateful for the teams who have guided the path so far and am so excited to join this exceptional group of creatives on this amazing journey ahead of us.” 

With global offices including Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo; over the last year, TikTok has grown to more than 689 million TikTok users internationally and is valued at an estimated $50 billion. Puris will lead B2C marketing for the platform and report to Nick Tran, head of global marketing at TikTok.

Will Roberts wins Best Dramatic Actor in “Signal” at Vegas Film Festival

Will Roberts, lead actor in the Diogo Morgado film, Signal, won Best Dramatic Actor at X World Short Film Festival this last week at the Action on Film Festival in Las Vegas. This is Will Roberts' second Best Actor award for the film Signal. The Will Roberts-NewsBlaze partnership on writing, editing and video production began in 2007 and continues strong today. 

“Will Roberts is a long-time partner to NewsBlaze, a living tour de force whose ingenuity and ability to see the future helps drive projects forward from one success to another,” said Alan Gray, NewsBlaze CEO. “We knew back in 2007 that we were great partners for each other, and we are over the moon to see him excelling in film.” 

Originally Will was slated to receive this Best Actor award last year, however, because of Covid the festival did not happen in person and was moved to in-person in 2021 at the X World Short Film Festival in Las Vegas. 

“It was great to see people back in theaters and the energy in the theater was high that night as awards were given out.” Will Roberts said. 

An actor and a skilled voice talent, providing the high-quality voice-over for online and radio commercials, Will Roberts has been an SAG actor for 37 years. As a professional cowboy, Will is a Guinness World Record Gun Spinner, a whip artist and trick roping expert, with a variety of other talents, including clowning and dancing. Will was an on-air FOX Kids host for 7 years in Northern California and performed on the Las Vegas strip with the renowned Cirque du Soleil in "Viva Elvis." Most recently Will appeared on the Ellen show as the dancing Dad. Will's recent TV and films include "Lucifer," "Amazon," "The West and the Ruthless," Disney's "ABCD2" shot in India, and "Ibot," a feature film in distribution in China.

Monday, August 2, 2021

From acting to direction and now as Lyricist, Abhijit Sinha comes a long way

“Talent only shines when you explore it beyond your comfort zone as you never know what destiny has planned to offer for your efforts,” says actor-director Abhijit Sinha who has come a long way from working with many multinational giants to debuting as a Lyricist with his maiden song Wo Pal. But he is “excited” about all that life has currently to offer. 

After proving his mettle in acting and direction and winning numerous awards for his acting and direction prowess in International film festivals across the globe, Abhijit recently debuted as a lyricist with Wo Pal. Teaming up with another bunch of talented individuals for this song, it was only amidst lockdown that he found his calling in writing poetry  and lyrics. Well known music duo Swanand Purandare and Niranjan Jhaveri has given music along with a new upcoming and promising singer Hridraj Roy who has lent his soulful voice for the song. He is a talent to watch out for.

Featuring Deepashu Pathania and Aditi Dhadich and released on Dulset Records, Wo Pal reminds one of the 90s Indie-Pop era, which the team is keen to revive again through their songs. One of the best romantic Indie-Pop number of this season, this beautifully conceptualized video is also directed by Sinha. Talking about the indie music scene, Abhijit says “During pandemic with the popularity of a multitude of audio streaming platforms, people have started listening to all sorts of music and indie music also received a lot of acceptance. As for penning the lyrics, it was an amazing, incredible experience. But if I'm being honest, during the pandemic we were all singing something positive and uplifting at this time. And the words of Wo Pal just started flowing in.”

Despite the rave reviews that he has garnered for the songs, Abhijit makes it clear that he does not want to pursue song-writing as a full-time career, but only as an outlet for his creativity. “My heart and soul lies in acting and direction,” he said. So here’s wishing Abhijit and team All the Best for the song. In case you haven’t watched it, here you go..

Twitter angry on Anu Malik : Says he deserves Olympic gold medal for plagiarism

The ongoing Tokyo Olympics is much in the news not only for India starting its innings by Mirabai Chanu getting home a medal but also for Anu Malik. Now one might wonder what Anu Malik has got to do with Tokyo Olympics. Not directly but yea he is in the news for all the wrong (or is it right) reasons.

Yesterday 1st August Israeli gymnast Artem Dolgopyat made history when he won the gold medal for the floor exercise in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Israel's first Isreal's first Olympics gymnastics gold. After he was presented his medal, the country's national anthem - Hatikvah - was played in his country’s honour. Immediately, music lovers realised that the anthem sounded similar to the Ajay Devgn starrer Diljale's song Mera Mulk Mera Desh. And Twitteratis had a field day as they accused Anu Malik of plagiarising Israel's national anthem for a Bollywood song.

Anu Malik you copied Israeli’s national anthem music & composed Mera desh, Mera mulk Mera yeh watan. Anu Malik need an Olympic gold medal for plagiarism,” a tweet read while another read “Anu Malik just simply didn't copy Israel national anthem in 1996 film Diljale song. It needs years or research and analysis to find out which country isn't going to win medals for years. Visionary man.”

Meanwhile, this isn't the only case of plagiarism in Bollywood that has come to light recently. Last week, Twitter users noted that the song Zaalima Coca Cola from Bhuj: The Pride of India, starring Nora Fatehi, sounded similar to a Pakistani song sung by Noor Jehan for Chan Te Soorma.

After Bappi Lahiri, Anu Malik has been often ostracised for plagiarising music followed by Preetam. Songs like Kaho Na Kaho, Dil Mera Churaya Kyun, Nasha Ye Pyar Ka Nasha Hai and Neend Churaya Mera are some of the songs that mostly know has been lifted from International tunes.  However, very few are aware that Anu has even gone to the extent of lifting a popular Baluchi language song that was created as the election campaign song of Benazir Bhutto. Yeah, you read it right. He simply recreated the music and had a chart buster on his hands. The song Julie Julie Johny Ka Dil Tumpe Aaya Julie sung by him and Kavita Krishnamoorthy for Jeete Hain Shaan Se is actually a rip off of Benazir Bhutto’s election campaign song.

Showcasing emerging directors to championing films from non-mainstream cinema, EIFF leads the way

Now in its third edition, the Everest International Film Festival (EIFF) is the second-largest festival in the Bengali-speaking state of West Bengal. It comes only second to the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) which is govt. organised. Over 2 days each winter in the month of January at the foothills of the Himalayas, Siliguri - the "Gateway of Northeast India" also becomes the gateway for the greatest discoveries and the year’s most anticipated movies. The EIFF facilitates exchange between upcoming directors, established filmmakers, the film industry and the general public. 

Before Corona could devastate the world in 2020, the EIFF was able with great success to implement a physical and comprehensive 65-film programme, attracting a lot of  viewers including film makers, artists, celebrities and media workers from across the entire country. The 3rd edition will take place once again from January 15 to 16th, 2022 with some of the year’s most anticipated releases including the world-premiere screening as well as the Asian and Indian premieres. 

Last year, the festival opened with Suvendu Raj Ghosh’s biographical film “Main Mulayam” showcasing the life and journey of the founder-patron of the Samajwadi Party Mulayam Singh Yadav. Produced by Meena Sethi Mondal, Amyth Sethi portrayed the legendary politician showing an uncanny resemblance in his character as a farmer’s son and a wrestler. With a super cast including Govind Namdeo, Mukesh Tiwari, Sayaji Shinde, Zarina Wahab and Mimoh Chakraborty, Supriya Karnik as Indira Gandhi was the one to watch out for. The film was attended with the starcast, the writer Rashid Iqbal and the producer Meena Sethi Mondal, “It was the perfect opening film and an ideal programming choice. On one hand, it combined the entertainment value of mainstream auteur cinema with the standards to which our gala section is committed, on the other hand, it marks a new dawn of biographies, one that is able to reflect who they are in an entertaining and intelligent manner,” explained Festival Director Sanjay Verma (Saajan).