Monday, December 26, 2022

IKSFF 2023 slated to happen from January 10-15, 2023

Seeking to impress the cinephiles with a myriad of shorts and documentaries from the best of creative minds across the globe, the 3rd edition of International Kolkata Short Film Festival is all set to happen from 10th - 15th January 2023. A hybrid event where selected short films, documentaries and music videos will be screened both online and offline, it will culminate on 15th January with a glittering Awards function.

Presented by Aei Shomay, the Bengali newsjournal by the Times Group, the International Kolkata Short Film Festival is one sought-after festival that the makers and the audiences are keenly looking forward to. The 6-day long festival organised by Eventizer in the City of Joy is all set to feature international documentaries, short fiction and non-fiction, animation as well as music videos. The festival will also have a physical screening followed by an award ceremony on 15th January 2023 at Rotary Sadan, Kolkata.

According to an official of the IKSFF, 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, Philippines, Norway, South Africa, Hungary, Switzerland, Russian Federation, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Portugal, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE, UK and the USA. They include #Zuni, First Second Chance, #Kataai, Kosha Mangsho, Her Canvas, Chatim Fuler Kotha, #Entrapment, The Last Rain, The Horse from Heaven, Last Day Off, Panchvis, Interview, Stars, Jacob and the Quisling, The Ripple, Tasalli Se, Gray, Medea, On/Off, Kingdom, Speechless and Taam to name a few.

Helmed by Festival Chairman- Sourav Charkraborty, Festival Director- Saswati Guha Charkraborty and Executive Director- Manas Banerjee, some of the renowned names from the industry are on jury. They include include Celladin Gasimov from Azerbaijan, Prof. Dr. Mohan Das, Rajeev Shankar Gohil, Usha Deshpande, Soumitra Dostidar, Sandipan Roy, Nabarun Bose and Arghya Kama Mitra, all from India. The Festival’s Advisory Committee include renowned names like Arjun Gourisaria, Jaya Seal Ghosh, Mohan Das, Pandit Mallar Ghosh & Sagnik Chatterjee.

While the last edition saw Eminent Personalities like Monami Ghosh, Tathagata Mukherjee, Pandit Bickram Ghosh, Sujoy Prasad Chatterjee, Jaya Seal Ghosh, Saheb Chatterjee, Bidipta Chakraborty, Riingo Banerjee, Arghyakamal Mitra, Remoo and others; this edition will also see some eminent personalities from Tollywood and Bollywood as well to honour award winning film makers for their work and to celebrate their talent.

For more details, log on to

Friday, December 23, 2022

JioSaavn captures India’s listening habits with “Best of 2022”

JioSaavn, India’s leading music and audio-streaming service, has mapped the latest trends in audio streaming from the country to find audiences' most  favorite playlists, artists and podcasts. This was achieved by analyzing the data on the platform between December 2021 and November 2022. The outcome revealed some interesting facts about our audiences from across India. 

With JioSaavn’s wide reach and extensive catalog, listeners from all over India tuned in to their favorite content mostly from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (constituting 45% of the total streams). While maximum streams were observed to have been on Saturdays, most popular genres were - Bollywood, Duet, Desi-indie, Telugu film and Devotional. Audiences also explored Desi Hip Hop and Kollywood genres, qualifying them to be on the top charts. 

In addition to Hindi and English - Telugu (2 Bn+ streams), Punjabi (1 BN+ streams), Bhojpuri (850 Mn+ streams), Tamil (900 Mn+ streams) and Kannada (900 Mn+ streams) were some of the most popular languages among our 100 Mn+ listeners. Users from across the country also streamed Haryanvi (300 Mn+ streams), Bengali (270 Mn+ streams) and Marathi (250 Mn+ streams) music. 

Favorite hits from across these languages gained maximum streams on the platform. While ‘Kalaavathi’ from Sarkaru Vaari Paata,‘Tillu Anna DJ Pedithe’ from DJ Tillu and ‘Mehbooba’ from KGF: Chapter 2 were in the top three for Telugu music, songs like ‘Bullet Song’ from The Warriorr, ‘Komuram Bheemudo’ from RRR and ‘Halamithi Habibo’ from Beast also made it to the top list. 

‘Dhokha’ by Arijit Singh topped the Hindi chart while ‘As It Was’ by Harry Styles made it to the top of the English Chartbuster playlist. ‘Kesariya’, ‘Maiyya Mainu’, ‘Kuch Baatein’ and ‘Tumse Pyaar Karke’ were among other popular Hindi songs. Indian artists like Badshah and Armaan Malik made it to the Top 5 of the English Chartbusters playlist with hits like ‘Voodoo’ and ‘You’. Other songs on the list included ‘Calm Down’ by Rema and Selena Gomez and ‘Light Switch’ by Charlie Puth. 

The Punjabi music list was dominated by Sidhu Moose Wala, with chart busting songs like ‘Levels’ and ‘The Last Ride’. Other artists on the list were - A.P. Dhillon, Gurnam Bhullar, Shubh and B.Praak and top songs included -Never Fold, Pasoori and Beliya. Punjabi music playlists like ‘Let’s Play - Sidhu Moose Wala’ and ‘Punjabi Chartbusters’ were also widely popular among audiences.

Anirudh Ravichander ruled Tamil charts with hits like ‘Arabic Kuthu’, ‘Megham Karukatha’, ‘Vikram (Title Track’), ‘Jalabulanjangu’ and ‘Pathala Pathala’. Accompanying him on the list were - Jonita Gandhi, Dhanush, Rokesh and Kamaal Hasan. Meanwhile top songs on the Kannada playlist included songs like ‘Singara Siriye’, ‘Jagave Nenu Gelathiye’, ‘Varaha Roopam Daiva Va Rishtam’, ‘Ra Ra Rakkamma’ and ‘Belakina Kavithe’. 

Haryanvi artists like G.D. Kaur and Masoom Sharma made the nation groove to songs like ‘Chand’ and ‘Gypsy’. Bhojpuri music also made waves across India with songs like ‘Le Le Aayi Coca Cola’ and ‘Nathuniya’ by Khesari Lal Yadav. 

Storytelling podcasts were the most popular among listeners in 2022, followed by genres like Religion & Spirituality, Culture & Arts and Music. ‘Dil Mein Ho Tum - Romantic Audiobook By Monika Patidar’ was the most streamed podcast on the platform followed by The Stories of Mahabharata, Jai Bajrangi, Kabir ke Dohe and Shri Krishna Amritvani. 

The collected data reflected that while audiences enjoyed their personal preferences when it came to music, they also regularly tuned into popular weekly charts showcasing an inclination towards exploring trending music. Similarly, hit singles like ‘Kesariya’, ‘Dhokha’, ‘Calm Down’ and ‘You’ were the most popular JioTunes this year. 

Founded in 2007, JioSaavn is South Asia’s leading audio streaming service with over 100 MN + monthly active users (MAUs), listening to a vast catalogue of music and podcasts comprising 80 million+ tracks in 16 languages. The JioSaavn users enjoy their favourite music and podcasts on various platforms spanning smartphones (Android, iOS), JioPhones and web, available in twelve different language interfaces. Its premium paid subscription “JioSaavn Pro” gives customers access to 100% ads-free music listening, unlimited downloads, superior audio quality, and more.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

DaMENSCH takes Moment Marketing to PVR

Taking moment marketing a step further, DaMENSCH, the D2C premium menswear brand has stepped up the game by taking the conversation on conscious living beyond the regular social media banter to the big screen. Mapping the opportunity of the launch of one of the most awaited movies of the year- Avatar: The Way of Water, DaMENSCH conceptualized and executed its ad which talks about its conscious fashion which recycles plastic to make polos because polos look good in a polo avatar, not in the bottom of the ocean. 

In today's day and age where people are bombarded with advertisements more than ever before, it is imperative to break the clutter by curating content that matches the pulse of the brand. If moment marketing is all about being at the right place at the right time, then this seems to be a masterclass at it. The 15-seconder that inspires the conscious young generation to choose FASHION THAT THINKS has been coordinated to leverage the larger conversation that the movie is driving on consciousness. 

Talking about this move, Deepti Karthik, Senior Vice President, Marketing, DaMENSCH, said “Moment marketing is about capturing a topical content and driving the brand message effectively. We believe the conscious fashion narrative that DaMENSCH has been driving gets leveraged even more effectively when combined with the impact of the mindset that one is in while watching a movie like Avatar- the way of water. 

2700 Ltrs of water is how much one saves when they choose to buy a DaMENSCH bamboo vest, 50% less energy gets consumed because we use high IQ dyes and 4 fewer plastic bottles go to ocean when we recycle them to make our polos.” 

DaMENSCH is constantly in pursuit of innovating men’s essential wear. In the pursuit of a world, where everyone’s potential is unlocked to do more, every single day. Started in 2018, DaMENSCH is a D2C brand that caters to the men’s premium essential wear fashion segment in India. DaMENSCH envisions to become a lifestyle brand that will become an integral part of every global Indian’s wardrobe. Every product designed by DaMENSCH Product lab, from innerwear to loungewear is infused with innovation never seen before. 

The brand is driven by a purpose to make the world a better place, by doing more every day, for the customers and nature. DaMENSCH is committed to earth-friendly and slow fashion, as reflected in its packaging made of corn and paper that’s 100% biodegradable.

If you haven't yet seen the ad, you can watch it here...

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Turtlemint flags-off ‘Green Ride 2.0’ - with fitness icon Milind Soman

Turtlemint, India’s leading Insurtech platform has collaborated with Actor, Model and Fitness icon Milind Soman, for the ‘Green Ride 2.0 – Ek Pehal Swacch Hawa ki or’ initiative. Under this initiative, Milind embarks on a 1000 + km journey from Mumbai to Bangalore on a bicycle, to educate and raise awareness about air pollution and the importance of using eco-friendly modes of transport. 

The Green Ride is being organized to spread awareness about the importance of cleaner air and encourage people to adopt sustainable modes of transport. Turtlemint is one of the sponsors for Green Ride 2.0 event.  Milind commenced the ride on December 19th from Mumbai, took a pit stop at Turtlemint’s office and will pass through Pune, Bengaluru, Mysuru, concluding his ride in Mangalore on December 26th. Turtlemint is India’s largest platform, offering multiple insurance products to customers through its network of 2.5 Lakh+ advisors across India and encourages customers to live an insured and healthy life. 

Commenting on the event, Mr. Anand Prabhudesai, Co-Founder, Turtlemint said, "There are millions of people who look up to Milind Soman as the epitome of health and fitness and for the various initiatives he is a part of. We are excited to partner with Milind Soman for Green Ride 2.0, which aims to educate people about being fit and choosing sustainability every day. We hope that this initiative reaches out to millions of people and they resonate with the cause like we do.” 

Mr. Milind Soman, Actor, Supermodel said, “Green Ride 2.0 is an endeavour to promote sustainability, and the importance of cleaner, greener air.  With the success of Green Ride last year, we aim to make the Green Ride 2.0 a bigger success with the involvement of youth, resulting in broader social impact. I will continue to champion for this cause and other important ones through more such initiatives in the future. We a grateful to partner with Turtlemint who have come onboard with us to support this cause.” 

Founded in 2015 by Dhirendra Mahayavanshi and Anand Prabhudesai, Turtlemint has created a wide network of 250,000+ digital partners and empowered them with the right set of digital tools that enables them to provide insurance policies to their customers. Turtlemint has raised close to USD 190 million from marquee investors Jungle Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Amansa Capital, Sequoia Capital India, GGV Capital, Vitruvian Partners, Marshall Wace American Family Ventures, MassMutual Ventures , SIG , Blume Ventures, Dream Incubator and Trifecta Capital & adding.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

The ICA Lifetime Achievement Award conferred to legendary director Saeed Mirza

Director of the popular TV serials Nukkad (Street Corner) and Intezaar (Wait) and the maker of notable parallel films such as Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho!, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai, Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro and Naseem which won two National Film Awards in 1996, Screenwriter and director Saeed Akhtar Mirza was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at ICA - International Cultural Artifact Film Festival. Though the Award was declared for the year 2020, it was conferred on him today by the ICA Team members including Festival Director Amandeep Singh, Founder Amarnath Singh, Milind Champanerkar, Dr. Ajay Doke, Subodh and Chairman Jury Prof. Dr. Mohan Das. 

The ICA Lifetime Achievement Award is conferred to a talented film maker who have made a their mark in the industry with a purposeful film with a strong social message. The award consists of a memento, a copy of the Indian Constitution, a shawl and a cash cheque of Rupees Eleven Thousand. Noted director Sagar Sarhadi who directed Bazar with Smita Patil and Naseeruddin Shah was the recipient of the award in 2019.

Saeed Akhtar Mirza started his career as a documentary film maker in 1976, graduating to films with the acclaimed Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan (1978), about the frustrations of an idealistic youth caught in the trap of a feudal money culture. It won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie for the year. This was followed by Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai (1980), about an angry youth, in search of his class and ethnic identifications. This too won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie. Next in this series of his based on the urban middle class, came his satire on the Indian judicial system, Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho! (1984), an old couple which struggles for years in their legal case that runs for years under a corrupt judiciary, in nexus with real-estate developer. Set in the urban ‘middle class’, his film chronicled their struggles and search of identity in a rapidly changing landscape and economic conditions. Then finally in his angst-ridden movies came, Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro (1989), starring Pawan Malhotra, an archetypal Muslim youth caught in the circle of crime and recrimination, and their collective state amidst growing communalism, ghetto mentality, and a search for an ethnic identity which does not clash with a national identity.

Meanwhile, he directed and produced popular TV serials Nukkad (Street Corner) (1986) and Intezaar (Wait) (1988), the first was set in lower middle class of various communities, which meet at a street corner in Mumbai suburb, shared their struggle of everyday survival in a harsh world, and was a big hit. He has lectured widely on Indian cinema at universities in India and The US. He contributes regularly to Indian newspapers and magazines on current political debates and through film reviews.

His last film Naseem was released way in 1995 set in collapsing secular structure post Babri Masjid demolition era. The film was featured in Avijit Ghosh's book, 40 Retakes, Bollywood Classics you May Have Missed. After that as he put it, "The demolition of the Babri Masjid was the last straw. Naseem was almost like an epitaph. After the film, I had really nothing to say. I needed to regain my faith and retain my sanity. So I decided to travel around India and document it on a video camera". Subsequently he devoted his time to travelling, writing and making documentaries. Later started on his autobiographical work,[6] finally released in 2008, as his maiden novel named Ammi: Letter to a Democratic Mother which is about the memories of his mother who died in 1990 and a series of vignettes comprising Sufi fables, childhood memories.

Saeed Akhtar Mirza is the life member of International Film And Television Club of Asian Academy of Film & Television. Currently he is making film, Ek Tho Chance.

Deepsense Digital & Walkaroo launched the #GuessKaroo campaign starring Aamir Khan

Deepsense Digital partnering with their Indian homegrown footwear client Walkaroo had launched a social media campaign coined #GuessKaroo. The campaign featured renowned celebrity, Aamir Khan who is Bollywood’s Perfectionist.  

Deepsense Digital won the mandate for Walkaroo in the last quarter of 2021 and launched their much-awaited campaign. The campaign execution was to create hype around the TVC, create a buzz by asking the users to answer the right options, and drive the users to the TVC on YouTube. 

The way TVCs were shot conveys the brand's purpose in a way that people can relate to. The TVC with its elements of quirkiness had a huge upside potential of going viral when combined with the right strategy. To create hype around the TVC, the brand created a buzz by asking the users to answer the right options and driving the users to the TVC on YouTube. It gave the impression of direct participation of the public and having a say in what Aamir spoke in the TVC scenes. People can #GuessKaroo on what the actor will enact in the following scenes through this promotion. 

Winners of the campaign were gratified with Walkaroo coupon codes and answers were revealed by playing the full TVC on the pages. 

The outcome of this campaign was a huge success, as it reached multiple people which helped us in mass consumer engagement and brand credibility. During the Facebook, Instagram and YouTube promotions, the company invested Rs 1 Lakh and gained an impressive ROI, and overall Facebook & Instagram achieved impressions of 24,17,521.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

UV Films Guthlee premieres at Kolkata & Cameroon together

Debutante filmmaker Ishrat R Khan's feature film Guthlee Ladoo has made it to the prestigious 27th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF). Premiered on April 26th at Nandan, Kolkat; Guthlee Ladoo is screened in the Indian Language Competition 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. Same time, I'm elated that Guthlee is also being premiered at Cameroon International Film Festival on the same dates.

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 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.

An exciting range of haute couture makeup lip liner and filler by Manish Malhotra

Indulge in the world of hues to partner your impeccable style, with the launch of Lip Liner and Filler from Manish Malhotra Beauty exclusively by MyGlamm. Draw the line between the usual and the opulent, and let your lips make a statement. No matter who you are beneath it all -pick your pair and pout it out for the world to see your true colours with the new Manish Malhotra Lip Liners and Fillers. Manish Malhotra Haute Couture Makeup Collection, exclusively by MyGlamm brings you a little bit of couture for everyday glamour carefully curated with India's leading fashion designer, Manish Malhotra. 

From bold to basic, glamm to the goddess and more - pick the shade that defines you. In 5 sumptuous shades that perfectly compliment the classic, beloved and bestselling Hi-Shine Lipsticks, Get a luxuriously plump, show-stopping pout in one stroke with Manish Malhotra Beauty Lip Liner & Filler. It is an ultra-hydrating, high-definition lip contour, enriched with hyaluronic acid, argan oil and vitamin B5. It is intensely pigmented with a creamy matte finish. It doesn’t smudge and lasts from dusk to dawn and gives a 3D effect to lips. Skip the bleed and pair up with your favourite Manish Malhotra Hi-Shine Lipstick to steal the show.  

Outline your lips with gilded ease starting from your cupid’s bow to the outer corners of your lips. Fill them up and smack your lips together and get ready to flaunt the fuller-looking pout. The Manish Malhotra Lip liners and fillers are vegan, paraben and sulphate free, gluten and alcohol-free keeping intact the creamy texture, blendable with no residue of feathering. Make a statement now with these amazing smudge-proof, ultra-precise lip liners and fillers.

Available at the Manish Malhotra Flagship Stores - Mumbai , Delhi and Hyderabad, the shade descriptions are:

  • Fierce Red is a terracotta red shade that looks great on the Indian skin tone.
  • Blush Romance is the perfect nude pink colour. A must-have for all lipstick lovers.
  • Red Ruse is a deep red shade that’ll help you take the centre stage.
  • Mocha Magic is a medium-toned brown shade. Perfect for the no-makeup makeup look.
  • Cabernet Kiss is a deep plum (or marsala) shade to bring out the bold and beautiful in you

Friday, February 25, 2022

Anurag Kashyap emphasizes the significance of how Ayurveda helps your mind, body, and soul

There’s nothing like a wellness vacation to detox, unwind and rejuvenate and trust Anurag Kashyap to do just that. Anurag stated that he had a very unpleasant lockdown in 2020 & 2021. He faced a lot of health issues and also had to go through an angioplasty. He had weight issues due to improper diet and routine, and to reset he took 15 days of unwinding wellness and relaxing at Atmantan Wellness Centre, making the most of their wellness offerings and doctor-prescribed therapies for his complete holistic well-being. 

Wishing to attain ultimate relaxation, Anurag was seen engaging in clean-eating, experiencing a complete detox-led diet, and therapies/treatments to attain his wellness objective. Known to create the best wellness experience for their customers, the doctors and wellness staff at Atmantan ensured that Anurag was well taken care of and as expected left on an extremely happy note looking forward to coming back for a longer stay. 

Anurag took to Atmantans social media and said in his experience. “I went through this daily process starting early in the morning with Kriya, following with massages, yoga, swimming, walking up to the mountains, it's a beautiful climate here and clean air.  I have not just lost 6 to 7 kilos but my whole body has reset. I am fresh and energetic and I am looking forward to work and I am back to where I was before the lockdown happened. And it's all because of this place and it's been a magical experience. The service is incredible, the food is delicious and you learn to eat correct portions. You learn alot about your body, what to do and what not to do. There are so many things we are not aware of living our hectic lives that I have discovered and found out here. And I hope to follow through. This has been a beautiful experience at Atmantan and I recommend and think that everybody should seriously do one of these health retreats where you go through Ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy and a healthy diet. It really changes your system, head to toe." 

Atmantan is one of India’s most luxurious wellness centers and is proving to be the most convenient and approachable getaway destination due to its location in Mulshi, only a 3-hour drive from Mumbai. A 42-acre property, it sits atop a crystal hill & overlooks the pristine Mulshi Lake. Its land bestows healing frequencies to all on it and this complements perfectly with the wellness the guests seek here. Atmantan is an integrated wellness destination and is one of India’s most luxurious and result-oriented wellness centers that provides lifestyle enhancement, disease reversal, and result-oriented transformations to all its guests. ‘Atmantan’ in its name and essence is the holistic amalgamation of Atma (soul), mana (mind) & tann (body).

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Muthoottu Mini's thought-provoking commercial makes Millions of Views in Record time!

India's leading NBFC Muthoottu Mini Financiers Limited’s powerful portrayal of a woman protagonist in its latest commercial has taken the internet by storm and has got the netizens talking about it.

With over 2 million views in youtube itself (Malayalam and Hindi) and counting, the newly launched commercial film's storyline centering around a confident young woman rocking the social status-quo is driving conversations on social media.

Helmed by award-winning director Martin Prakkat and magnificently captured by celebrated cinematographer Jomon T. John, this masterpiece was shot at some of the most picturesque locales in Ladakh. The duo, true to their reputation, has brilliantly articulated and captured the controlled emotions of the protagonist, her sly suitor's expectations and the bonding she shares with her open-minded progressive father, sans cliched theatrics or verbatim.

The strategically thought ad brings the essence of women to focus, not conforming to expectations, or letting barriers to their dreams, get in the way – as mirrored by a soul-stirring drive through the limitless expanse of the Ladakh.

The film goes on to establish a strong message that no dreams are beyond a woman's reach if she is focused, has strong convictions backed by a like-minded and progressive-thinking partner. This storytelling perfectly aligns with the brand Muthoottu Mini's slogan - Standing by you, always.

Speaking at the sidelines of the launch of the new commercial, Mr. Mathew Muthoottu, Managing Director, Muthoottu Mini Financiers Limited said, “we are thrilled and ecstatic at the overwhelming response to our new commercial which encourages women to dream and calls for shattering cultural stereotyping of women. The film makes a bold attempt to dispel outdated societal myths still in vogue and the need to bring-in a paradigm shift in our attitude towards women. Being a socially responsible company, with strong values, we are extremely proud in rooting for a socially relevant cause. Time has come to address challenges faced by women and stress on the importance of increased participation of women in mainstream activities, be it socio-cultural-politico-economical. We urge women of today to dream, stay financially independent and go places. Rest assured, we, the Muthoottu Mini, will stand by you always"

If you haven't yet watched the ad, watch it here...

Bengal's current Covid situation forces organisers to postpone 27th Kolkata International Film Festival

The 27th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival, which was slated for January 7-14, has been postponed. The next date of the festival will be shared soon said the KIFF organising team. However, it was only yesterday, the organizing committee had announced that the 27th edition of the KIFF will go on albeit with a 50% capacity in cinema halls and a virtual inauguration ceremony. However, due to the current surge in Covid-19 cases across Bengal, especially in Kolkata, the festival has been postponed temporarily. 

The decision was announced by the West Bengal government through a statement. A number of Tollywood personalities attached to the organizing committee have tested positive over the past few days and the Covid-19 situation in Bengal is in quite an alarming state right now. While filmmaker Raj Chakraborty, the chairperson of 27th KIFF, had tested positive for Covid-19 for the second time, Actor Parambrata Chattopadhyay, chairperson of KIFF's short and documentary section has also tested positive as he revealed on social media. 

However, it was only on Tuesday, West Bengal Minister of State for Culture Indranil Sen had told the media that 10 venues across the city will host this year's film festival with a 50% occupancy. But now, after assessing the current situation the state government and the KIFF organizing committee have decided to cancel it for the time being. The ten venues which were supposed to screen the films were Nandan's three halls, Rabindra Sadan, Sisir Mancha, Nazrul Tirtha, Rabindra Okakura Bhavan, Chalachitra Satabarsha Bhavan, and the Kolkata Information Centre Conference Hall. A total of 161 films, including 46 Indian and 41 foreign films, were supposed to be screened during the 8-day film festival. 

When contacted KIFF officials said, “After assessing the present Covid situation of the State and taking into consideration the possibility of further contamination of Covid among the cine lovers and citizens and also owing to the fact that a number of cine personalities attached to film festival committee and many others have been affected by Covid, State Government, upon careful consideration to the safety of the citizens have decided to temporarily postpone the 27th Kolkata International Film Festival scheduled to be held between 7-14 January, 2022. Next date of the Festival will be communicated in due course.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee was supposed to inaugurate the film festival virtually from the Nabanna auditorium. Satyajit Ray's Aranyer Din Ratri was scheduled to be the opening film this year. 

International Kolkata Short Film Festival shifted to March 2022

With the 3rd wave of Covid Guidelines in force by the West Bengal Government,  most of the film screening events are either being postponed or are being conducted online. It was but natural of Evevntizer - the organisers of International Kolkata Short Film Festival to follow suit. However, the team has instead decided to postpone the event than conclude it online. 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 is one sought after festival that the makers and the audiences are keenly looking forward to.

According to the Festival Chairman Sourav Chakraborty, "Due to the development of the 3rd wave of COVID-19 Pandemic, and the restrictions imposed by the Government of West Bengal; we, with our responsibility towards the state and due to the lack of a festive environment have postponed all the events of the International Kolkata Short Film Festival 2022. While the online screening of the Short Films has been rescheduled from 5th March to 12th March, the Physical Screening and Award Ceremony has been rescheduled to 13th March 2022."

A hybrid festival organised by Eventizer, the festival will flag off with online screening on its website from 5th March to 12th March, 2022. The week-long fete will feature international documentaries, short fiction and non-fiction, animation as well as public service films. As decided, the festival will also have a physical screening followed by an award ceremony on 13th March 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 Ek Achchi Naukri, Dining Table, Basanthi, 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. 

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Saturday, January 1, 2022

Sandesh Gour flags off 2022 with three interesting Web Series

Sandesh Gour, who has been a part of films and television shows like ‘Mann Kee Awaaz Pratigya’, ‘Saraswati Chandra’, ‘Shapath’, and ‘Badi Dooooor Se Aaye Hai’, is gearing up to play a protagonist in the upcoming web series ‘Atrangi Ishq’, ‘Scar’ and ‘Free Ka Bunglow’. 

Speaking about his debut on the digital platform, the actor says: “I’m glad to start my new year with three big and interesting projects. In all the projects I’m playing the protagonist. ‘Atrangi Ishq’ and ‘SCAR’ are youth dramas and ‘Free Ka Bunglow’ is a sitcom. I’m making my debut on digital platform and I’m really excited about it. I feel 2021 is ending on a great point for me and 2022 might be turning point of my life.” 

Talking about his roles in 'Atrangi Ishq', Sandesh shares that he is playing Kabir who’s lazy, a dictator and a possessive guy. He is an orphan and lives with his friend and it is scheduled to release in February. In 'Scar', he’s essaying Siddharth, an aspiring actor who is not only passionately dedicated to his career but is also an innocent cute chap. ‘Free ka Bunglow’ is a comedy of errors and the audience will love my comic timings in sure.”

Here's wishing this young actor loads of luck and a very Happy New Year