Thursday, September 2, 2021

Cotton City Excellence Kala Gaurav Awards hosted at Holiday Inn, Mumbai

The third edition of the Cotton City International Film Festival on Sunday awarded the Cotton City Excellence Kala Gaurav Awards to dignitaries and luminaries from all walks of life including the field of Indian Films & Television. Started in 2019, the award recognizes talents in various spheres including literature, music, films, social work, education, medicine, environment & climate networking and sustainability efforts. The awards were presented to people who have showcased amazing talent in their respective fields and have made a mark for themselves. 

A signature program of the Cotton City International Film Festival, the glittering Cotton City Excellence Awards function was held at Hotel Holiday Inn Mumbai following valid covid protocols. While inaugurating the 3rd Cotton City International Film Festival in association with the Cotton City Excellence Awards, Festival Director & CEO Prashant Mankar expressed his inability to hold the function on a much bigger scale as envisaged due to the Maharastra government norms for combatting Covid. While he did sound a bit low on the same, but he expressed his happiness that public health is of utmost priority and that they cannot jeopardise the health of others. He also maintained that “We could honour these dignitaries by sending out their trophies by courier and avoid the function. But receiving an award in person is a great feeling as it gives the awardees an opportunity to share their stories of success and encourage others to strive for the best.” 

While renowned singer Vaishali Samant received the Cotton City Excellence Kala Gaurav Award for excellence in singing, renowned actor Krishna Bhatt received for his excellence in acting. An alumni of the National School of Drama, Krishna Bhatt is known for his wide portrayl of characters on films and television, especially the role of Eliza in Lapataganj. Music Composer Rahul B Seth was revered for his Music Video ‘Hum Hain Naari Shakti’ on women power that was released on International Women’s Day and sung by the talented Vaishali Samant. Actress Seema Bhatt received the Kala Gaurav Award for her excellence in acting histrionics. 

On the film festival front, while Arfi Lamba received the Best Actor Short (Jury) Award for his role in the short film S(he), Rajpal Yadav received the Best Actor Award for Safaibaaz - the Scavenger in which he plays a manual scavenger. Renuka Shahane was bestowed with the Best Actress award for the short film Silent Ties. While the Best Actor (Short) went to Sanjay Kapoor for the short film Bedhab (Odd), the Best Short Film went to Vanita Omung Kumar for Ave Maria, the Best Social Film (Feature) to ‘Safaibaaz the Scavenger’ directed by Dr. Avneesh Singh and Best Actress Short (Jury) to Lin Laishram for ‘Ave Maria’ again. Sujoy Mukherjee won the Best Director Award (Short) for his film Zindagi Anmol Hai. The Best Short Film (Jury) award went to Ek Achchi Naukri directed by Anuj Bhardwaj while its actor Pulkit Makol took home the Certificate for the Best Actor. 

Addressing the august gathering, Festival Head & Chairman Jury Prof. Dr. Mohan Das said, “Many trained talented artistes and professionals go unrecognised. The Cotton City Excellence Kala Gaurav Award is definitely a motivation to such really talented and trained people and honour them for their wonderful work. Honouring them on a platform like Cotton City Excellence Kala Gaurav Award puts them and especially their work in the limelight as they go on with their lives doing something that they are really happy doing. The reason we wanted to conduct this awards function, no matter how small, is to honour such dignitaries for the fruit of the work that they had all put in and celebrate the little joys with them.”

“Agreed this was a very small function, but it also made me feel like a family function where all get to know each other and interact in a friendly manner, unlike the glitter of the big awards function. Yes, the Cotton City awardees are a part of the Cotton City family. Having said this, we wanted to conduct this programme in a responsible manner, following all the protocols to keep everyone safe. With a plan to go global, the next Cotton City Excellence Kala Gaurav Awards will be happening sometime in March 2022 either in Dubai or Bangkok,” concluded Prashant Mankar.

SHOCKING: Bigg Boss 13 winner Sidharth Shukla passes away

Popular television and film actor as well as Bigg Boss 13 winner passed away on Thursday. He suffered a massive heart attack in the morning, it is learnt. Best known for his role in the popular TV show Balika Vadhu, Sidharth Shukla was just 40. 

The winner of Bigg Boss 13, Sidharth Shukla was a popular face of showbiz and has been a part of films like Humpty Sharma Ke Dulhania. Sidharth started his acting career with a lead role in the 2008 show Babul Ka Aangann Chootey Na. Known for his roles in daily soaps such as Balika Vadhu and Dil Se Dil Tak and Ekta Kapoor's Broken But Beautiful 3. He was also popular for his stints in reality shows such as Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 6, Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 7 and Bigg Boss 13 where he emerged as winner. He also hosted Savdhaan India for some time as well as India's Got Talent. He recently appeared on reality shows Bigg Boss OTT and Dance Deewane 3 with Shehnaaz Gill.

According to Cooper Hospital officials where he was brought in, it seems he suffered a massive heart attack in the morning. He is survived by his mother and two sisters. A true Mumbaite with family roots in Prayagraj (Allahabad), he completed his schooling from St. Xavier's High School, Fort and later graduated in Interior designing from Rachana Sansad.

Zee Digital is striding towards the top position amongst internet websites

Zee Digital has started inching towards the top position amongst top internet websites like Amazon, google and Facebook by coming in the sixth position ahead of its several other Indian competitors. In the month of July 2021, India’s most diversified digital publishing group- Zee Digital achieved another milestone by reaching 244 million unique visitors maintaining its second position in the news and information category, as per Comscore. 

Mr. Abhishek Nigam, Chief Operating Officer- Digital, Zee Media Corporation Limited said that the achievement is an affirmation of the quality content and the hard work put by the team at Zee Digital. “Every month we’re aiming for a new milestone. This would motivate our team further to keep pushing ourselves to achieve excellence. We would strive to better ourselves with content with widespread appeal and will continue to grow in the same manner,” he said. 

Mr Nigam stated that overall the group has registered growth of 1.5 times between the months of January and July 2021. “The other digital assets of Zee Media, also have achieved extensive growth. reported a Y-o-Y growth of 2.3x, grew by 3.6x, grew by 3.7x and grew by 2.9x contributing to Zee Digital’s growth,” he pointed out. 

Further, in absolute terms, Zee News Hindi reached 75.8 million unique visitors, Zee News English reached 55.2 million, reached 100.2 million and reached 27.1million mark. 

Zee Digital comprises of 31 websites, 20 brands across 12 languages with viewers across digital replicas of the Zee Media’s 14 linear news channels along with websites such as,,, and