Friday, May 31, 2024

Gulshan Devaiah, Anurag Kashyap starring in Disney+ Hotstar's new action-drama series 'Bad Cop'

~ I have created a lot of characters that are gore, quirky, dark and many more things but it was difficult for me to be Kazbe, who is someone who doesn’t think too much before doing anything, he just does it. He is a dreadful, eccentric, nefarious and a quintessential villain ~

Streaming service Disney+ Hotstar on Friday announced Bad Cop, an action-drama series headlined by actor Gulshan Devaiah and filmmaker Anurag Kashyap. Described as a classic cop vs villain story with a lot of twists and turns, the show is the first fictional series from Fremantle India, known for producing reality shows such as “India's Got Talent” and “Indian Idol”.

Written by Rensil D’Silva, ‘Bad Cop’ is directed by Aditya Datt and stars Devaiah as Karan, a fierce cop, trying to chase down Kazbe (Kashyap), a villain more powerful and deadly than him and simultaneously managing his personal relationships. It also features Harleen Sethi, Saurabh Sachdeva and Aishwarya Sushmita in pivotal roles.

“I have created a lot of characters that are gore, quirky, dark and many more things but believe it or not it was difficult for me to be one. Kazbe is someone who doesn’t think too much before doing anything, he just does it. He is a dreadful, eccentric, nefarious and a quintessential villain. I had to bite into the intricacies of this character and make it my own. Being directed by Aditya Datt was a great experience and collaborating with partners like Disney+ Hotstar and Fremantle India was incredible,” Kashyap said in a statement.

Devaiah said the new show is an “out-and-out entertainer” that gave him a chance to play a “massy-entertaining kind of cop”. “The action was a bit tough, particularly the running, which challenged me because I’m not used to doing action and I’m not physically built for it. Overall, it was fun working with Fremantle India and Disney+ Hotstar. Moreover, it was enjoyable to perform with Anurag, who had only directed and produced my films earlier, but it was fun to do scenes and action with him.

“It was a great moment for me because I never expected to be acting with him. I’m curious to see how people will enjoy my version of a filmy cop. Hopefully, it’s fun for the viewers as well, so I’m very eager to know their reactions,” he added.

Aparshakti Khurana and Savi Kahlon pour their hearts into ‘Zaroor’, a soulful journey of love, loss and letting go

~ Penned and composed by Savi Kahlon with soothing vocals of Aparkshakti Khurana, ‘Zaroor’ beautifully embraces the bittersweet symphony of memories ~

Multi-talented Aparshakti Khurana and emerging artist Savi Kahlon, join forces to release their latest love ballad, Zaroor. Set to tug at heartstrings and wrapped in layers of emotions, ‘Zaroor’ explores the intricate journey of letting go and embracing new beginnings.

Zaroor, the soulful ballad, penned and composed by Savi Kahlon and backed by the soothing vocals of Aparkshakti Khurana, beautifully embraces the bittersweet symphony of memories, giving the courage to find yourself again. Captivating audiences with its raw and compassionate narrative, this track explores the complexities of human emotion with finesse and authenticity.

Reflecting on the collaboration, singer-actor, Aparshakti Khurana shares, “Working on Zaroor has been a different and a fulfilling experience. Savi Paaji’s lyrics and composition hit home, allowing me to explore new dimensions as an artist. From the very first moment I heard the composition, I felt an instant connection. With Zaroor I am sure you’ll feel every note of this heartfelt harmony that we have created.”

Renowned for his viral track, Apa Fer Milaangey, Savi Kahlon expressed, “Creating Zaroor with Apar Paaji has been a whirlwind of emotions. His soulful vocals have elevated the feel of this track. We have created something that speaks to everyone who’s ever had to say goodbye to the past. Zaroor is our way of saying, ‘Hey, it’s okay, you have the courage to move on’.

With its emotive storytelling and soothing melody, get ready to feel every note, every word, as the artists pour their hearts into ‘Zaroor’.

Skechers signs footballer Sunil Chhetri as brand ambassador

~ Legendary Indian national football team captain is competing in Skechers football boots ~

Skechers, The Comfort Technology Company, announces that it is taking the pitch with Indian National Football Team captain Sunil Chhetri by signing the legendary forward as a Skechers ambassador to compete in Skechers football boots and appear in marketing campaigns for the brand. 

Sunil Chhetri said, “I am delighted to join forces with Skechers, a brand that is always innovating to achieve excellence. As someone who understands the importance of building and promoting sports in this country, I am excited to collaborate with a brand that empowers individuals to unlock their full potential, both on and off the field. I love the Skechers Football boots, and I look forward to helping players and fans across the country discover how amazing this brand will be for our sport.”

Welcoming the sportsman to its team of ambassadors, Rahul Vira, CEO, Skechers Asia Pvt. Ltd, said, “We are thrilled that Sunil Chhetri is joining Team Skechers in India. Chhetri’s best-in-class commitment perfectly aligns with our brand values, making him the ideal ambassador to represent our dedication to building sports and performance in the country. Off the field, his influence resonates with those who strive for greatness in all aspects of their lives. On the pitch, he represents what is great about Indian football, and will be a great asset to the brand when we launch Skechers Football in India later this year. Currently, Chhetri is wearing innovative Skechers Football boots on field, featuring our signature comfort and performance technologies.”

Sunil Chhetri stands as one of the most distinguished names in the world of football, renowned for his exceptional skill, dedication, and leadership both on and off the field. As the captain of the Indian National Football Team, he holds the all-time record in India and is fourth place globally for goals scored in international matches with 94. Chhetri has won numerous accolades, both for club and country, including the AIFF Player of the Year seven times, the Arjuna Award in 2011 and the Padma Shri in 2019. His teams have won the AFC Challenge Cup in 2008; SAFF Championship 2011, 2015, 2021 and 2023; Nehru Cup in 2007, 2009 and 2012; and the Intercontinental Cup in 2018 and 2023.

Chhetri joins the Skechers team of athletes competing in the brand’s performance footwear that includes cricket sensation Ishan Kishan; elite footballers including Harry Kane, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Anthony Elanga; NBA stars Julius Randle and Terance Mann; Major League Baseball players including Clayton Kershaw, Aaron Nola and Brendan Donovan; golfers Matt Fitzpatrick and Brooke Henderson; and pickleball pros Tyson McGuffin and Catherine Parenteau.

This partnership marks another milestone for Skechers India as it continues to innovate and redefine the brand’s portfolio for sports in the country. With Sunil Chhetri at the forefront competing in Skechers Football boots, it reaffirms its commitment to championing performance and enabling individuals to embrace every challenge with confidence. Skechers Football boots are currently available in Europe and the United States and will be rolling out to India in August 2024.

The latest Skechers Performance and lifestyle footwear for men and women are available at as well as Skechers retail stores throughout India.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Simran Choudhary's latest release “Chori” sparks emotion with its narrative of secrecy & love

~ Everyone has experienced the thrill of secret love and it hits differently, Chori is just that says Simran Choudhary ~

Simran Choudhary, sets flames in the Indian pop music scene with her next single, Chori. Recounting the thrills of a secret love, this track takes listeners on a melodious journey through the feelings of seduction and desire. With its soul-stirring melodies 'Chori' promises to leave lasting impressions on audiences worldwide.

Brought to life through Simran’s ethereal voice and poignant lyrics by Raja, the track is a collaborative effort with Simran Choudhary and Raja composing the music, and Aden producing the soundscape. The track’s bittersweet melody and delicate arrangement perfectly complements Simran’s storytelling, creating an experience that is both intimate and powerful. After receiving great critical acclaim for the Folkin Rani EP and Ni Bhabi, with each verse of ‘Chori’, Simran paints vivid imagery of a hidden romance, where time stands still. It’s the kind of song that stays with you long after it’s over.

Talking enthusiastically on the release, singer-performer Simran Choudhary shares, “Everyone has experienced the thrill of secret love and it hits differently, Chori is just that. The track captures those magical moments hidden from the world but that is deeply felt. Creating this song was a deeply emotional journey. After working with expressive, folk-inspired elements, with this track I’m embarking on an exciting new journey, exploring uncharted musical territories and experimenting with innovative sounds, and I hope the listeners feel the same thrill and intensity that I experienced while creating this song.”

Listen to “Chori” by Simran Choudhary here:

Beyond Bollywood: NYIFF 2024 explores the rich tapestry of Indian Cinema

~ NYIFF 2024 delves into the multifaceted realm of Indian cinema and celebrates the illustrious legacy of Shabana Azmi with a retrospective tribute ~

The New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF), North America's longest-running festival dedicated to Indian cinema, announces its 24th edition program, brimming with bold narratives, captivating documentaries, and insightful shorts. Brimming with bold narratives, captivating documentaries, and insightful shorts, NYIFF 2024 promises a captivating exploration of modern Indian filmmaking from May 31st to June 2nd, 2024, at Village East by Angelika in New York City.

This year's festival boasts a rich selection of 49 films, encompassing features, documentaries, and shorts, in 12 Indian languages and even Sinhalese and Arabic. From thought-provoking dramas like ‘Dear Jassi’ by celebrated Indian American director Tarsem Singh to the poignant ‘Paradise,’ a Sri Lankan drama presented by the legendary Mani Ratnam's Madras Talkies, NYIFF 2024 offers a kaleidoscope of cultural experiences.

The festival shines a spotlight on the brilliance of Indian actresses. The legendary Shabana Azmi, celebrating her 50th year in cinema, will attend a special event featuring a screening of her iconic film ‘Fire’ followed by a conversation with filmmaker Mira Nair. Ms. Azmi will delve into her remarkable journey, from her groundbreaking debut in Shyam Benegal's ‘Ankur,’ to her trailblazing roles that have earned her five National Film Awards and international accolades Additionally, captivating performances by Sanya Malhotra (Mrs.), Rajshri Deshpande (Privacy), and Tannishtha Chatterjee (Yellow Bus) promise to enthrall audiences.

NYIFF 2024 presents a compelling platform for established directors like Umesh Kulkarni (U=Me) and Srijit Mukherji (Padatik) alongside the works of exciting new voices like Pooja Kaul (The Umesh Chronicles) and Wendy Bednarz (Yellow Bus).

“I have been associated with the New York Indian Film Festival since its inception and I am heartened by the progress it has made over the years in leaps and bounds. I am happy that my 50th year is being celebrated at the NYIFF and I look forward to it,” Ms. Azmi said.

“NYIFF is a must-watch event for anyone interested in Indian cinema and its growing impact on global cinema. It offers a unique opportunity to explore and appreciate the diverse cinematic voices emerging from India today,” said Dr. Nirmal Mattoo, Chairman of the Indo-American Arts Council, the organization that presents the film festival.

“We aim to truly underscore the NYIFF commitment to diversity and cultural representation in film,” said Aseem Chhabra, NYIFF Festival Director. “This year, we will feature films in 12 languages spoken in India: Assamese, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oria, Punjabi, Tamil. Two films also feature Sinhalese and Arabic languages. All films will have English subtitles.”

“I am thrilled to present the lineup for this year's New York Indian Film Festival. Our selection of films not only epitomizes the artistic brilliance we champion but also mirrors the vibrant narratives we strive to share with our community. This year, the amalgamation of cultural richness, outstanding narratives, and stellar performances is poised to make this edition of the festival unparalleled in its appeal,” said Poonam Khubani IAAC Board Member.

NYIFF recognizes the power of cinema as a tool for social change. Shabana Azmi, a champion for social activism, exemplifies this spirit. The festival fosters cultural understanding and celebrates the vibrant Indian diaspora community in North America.

Join NYIFF 2024 for an immersive journey into the heart of contemporary Indian cinema. Witness the power of storytelling, celebrate artistic excellence, and discover the depth and vibrancy of Indian culture.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Muthoot Group announces Shah Rukh Khan as New Brand Ambassador

With Shah Rukh Khan as their new brand ambassador, Muthoot Group moves towards heralding a future where financial inclusion is within reach for all ~

Muthoot Pappachan Group (MPG), a 137-year-old leading business conglomerate in India, popularly known as Muthoot Blue announces Shah Rukh Khan as its brand ambassador. This strategic collaboration represents a significant milestone for MPG, reinforcing its brand presence and a new way of connecting with a diverse audience across India. Muthoot Pappachan Group is the promoter of India’s leading NBFCs including Muthoot FinCorp Limited, Muthoot Microfin Limited, Muthoot Capital Services Limited and Muthoot Housing Finance Company Limited.

This collaboration demonstrates MPG's outlook and firm dedication to fostering the country’s financial growth and aspirations. Shah Rukh Khan's iconic status further magnifies this narrative, resonating with customers across all age groups, while inspiring them to dream big.

Mr. Thomas John Muthoot, Chairman of the Muthoot Pappachan Group, expressed his enthusiasm about Shah Rukh Khan joining their team. “It's a significant milestone for us,” he said. “Shah Rukh doesn't just bring his star power—he also embodies the humility and self-made success that align with our core values." He continued, "Shah Rukh Khan’s journey mirrors our commitment to making services accessible at various touchpoints across our companies, reinforcing our mission to empower the common man across the nation. His life story perfectly illustrates the power of dreaming big and realizing those dreams.”

Shaji Varghese, CEO of Muthoot FinCorp Limited said “Shah Rukh Khan represents more than just fame; he embodies humility and self-made triumph. He connects with our target audience as an ordinary individual who dreamed big and turned his dreams into reality.”

In his role as the group's brand ambassador, Shah Rukh Khan will be seen in MPG’s campaigns across multiple channels, promoting their services. These campaigns aim to showcase a range of financial products and services, echoing the group’s commitment towards revolutionizing access and streamlining convenience for all.

Shah Rukh Khan said, “Joining the esteemed Muthoot Pappachan Group as their brand ambassador is an exciting step. With a century-long legacy, MPG has immensely contributed to India's financial landscape. I look forward to inspiring individuals across the country to dream big as MPG turns those dreams into reality, with their easily accessible bouquet of products.”

As Muthoot Pappachan Group moves towards heralding a future where financial inclusion is within reach for all, having Shah Rukh Khan as their new brand ambassador plays a significant role in achieving this milestone. 

Siddharth Anand & Saif Ali Khan come together in 'Jewel Thief- The Red Sun Chapter'

Filmmaker Siddharth Anand has set the internet abuzz with his recent social media revelation ~

The upcoming project of filmmaker-producer Siddharth Anand and actor Saif Ali Khan is titled Jewel Thief - The Red Sun Chapter. Anand is producing the film with wife, Mamta Anand under their banner Marfix Pictures and also stars the talented Jaideep Ahlawat in a pivotal role.

Touted to be a heist drama, the film is being directed by Robbie Grewal and reportedly centres around a gripping battle between Saif Ali Khan's and Jaideep Ahlawat's characters. Currently, the cast and crew, including Siddharth Anand, Mamta Anand, Saif Ali Khan, and Robbie Grewal, are busy shooting in Budapest.

Announcing the title and the news of the collaboration on his Instagram handle by uploading the post featuring him alongside Khan with a caption: "Back on set with my first hero! How can nothing change!" "Jewel Thief- The Red Sun Chapter" reunites Anand and Khan after 17 years. The duo previously collaborated on "Salaam Namaste" (2005) and '"Ta Ra Rum Pum" (2007). Anand's last release was "Fighter", starring Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone and Anil Kapoor in the lead.

This project marks Robbie Grewal’s first collaboration with Saif Ali Khan, although Saif and Siddharth have previously worked together on two films. ‘Jewel Thief- The Red Sun Chapter’ is set to be a direct-to-digital release, promising an edge-of-the-seat experience that will be accessible to audiences worldwide.

Subhadra Mahajan's 'Second Chance' heading to Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Subhadra Mahajan's 'Second Chance' is the only Indian film to make a cut in the 58th Karlovy Vary’s official competition ~

Second Chance by debutante director Subhadra Mahajan will have its world premiere at the 58th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival under the Proxima Competition segment. Mahajan, known for co-writing 2015's "Angry Indian Goddesses" with director Pan Nalin, has also penned the film's story inspired by personal experiences.

According to a press release, "Second Chance" follows the story of a young woman who after experiencing the first major trauma of her young life, retreats to her family summer home in the Himalayas where time, nature and unlikely friendships help her heal. The film, inspired by Mahajan's personal experiences, follows a young woman's healing journey in the Himalayas. Shot in the Pir Panjal range of the filmmaker's native state of Himachal Pradesh, the black-and-white film is in English, Hindi and Kullavi languages.

Subhadra Mahajan has depicted human relationships in great detail in her film 'Second Chance'. The story of her film is woven around 'Mia'. Disappointed after a painful incident, she comes to stay with her family in the snow-covered Himalayas in search of peace. There she meets the caretaker of the house. What happens next has been shown very beautifully by Subhadra Mahajan. The film shows how the main character gives her life a second chance.

“'My intention as the writer-director is to have the audiences witness a tale set in a part of the world they have never seen before, but with an emotional crux that they can relate to, and leave renewed with the faith at their own personal 'Second Chances' in life,”' Mahajan said in a statement. Produced by Shyam Bora with co-producers Bhaskar Hazarika, Sidharth Meer and Naren Chandavarkar, Mahajan hopes that her film will be appreciated at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

Netflix sets June 14 premiere of 'Maharaj', debut of Aamir Khan's son Junaid

~ Aamir Khan's son Junaid is set to make his acting debut with 'Maharaj'. On May 29, the release date of the film was announced ~

Now for some exciting news! Aamir Khan's son Junaid Khan stepping into the world of acting is sure to draw attention. Junaid Khan who is all set to make his acting debut with Maharaj will premiere on Netflix on June 14. Other than Junaid, the film also stars Jaideep Ahlawat and Shalini Pandey with Sharvari Wagh in a guest appearance. On May 29, the makers of the upcoming film released the first look poster on Instagram, along with the release date.

"Maharaj" seems to be delving into some intriguing themes, particularly focusing on Karsandas Mulji's acts of bravery. The combination of Netflix and Yash Raj Films promises a quality production, and it's exciting to see Junaid Khan stepping into the spotlight with his acting debut. A story based on a libel case with a lot of drama and suspense is set in 1862, a time when there were only three universities in India. The film's official logline reads, “Rabindranath Tagore is a year old and the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 continues to fan the flames of independence. Against all odds, one man takes a courageous stand in a landmark legal battle, a true story that’s now come to light in Maharaj - more than 160 years later."

Directed by Siddharth P Malhotra, ‘Maharaj’ is about Karsandas Mulji, a journalist and social reformer, who was a pioneering advocate for women’s rights and social reform. A student at Elphinstone College in Mumbai and a protégé of the scholar-leader Dadabhai Naoroji, he wrote on widow remarriage, stood up for the oppressed, and sowed the seeds of reform in society.

Based on true events - Maharaj is releasing on 14 June, only on Netflix showcasing the fight for the truth between a powerful man and a fearless journalist.

Malayalam film director Omar Lulu faces rape charges, police launch probe

~ Seems Malayalam filmmaker Omar Lulu who recently revealed his new film's title as Bad Boyz with actors Rahman and Dhyan Sreenivasan, has taken the title of his film a bit too seriously  ~

Kerala police have registered a rape case against Malayalam film director Omar Lulu based on a complaint filed by a woman. An officer of the Ernakulam Rural police said on Tuesday that an investigation has been launched after registering an FIR against the director based on the complaint of the woman, reportedly a young actor.

He said the complaint was received by the Kochi City police commissioner, and after the FIR was lodged, the case was transferred to the Nedumbassery police station under the Ernakulam rural police, as the crime was committed under its jurisdiction.

Lulu has been charged under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 376 (Punishment for rape), the official said. The police refused to disclose further details of the case. Lulu has not reacted to the developments.

Omar Lulu was recently in the news for dropping a new poster and revealing the title for his new film, with actors Rahman and Dhyan Sreenivasan, the shooting of which is currently in progress. With story and direction by Omar, the makers have announced the film's title as Bad Boyz.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

‘Hierarchy’ Trailer teases a dark scandal and social upheaval at Jooshin High School

~ Directed by Bae Hyeon-jin, all seven episodes of 'Hierarchy' will begin streaming from June 7 only on Netflix ~ 

“I killed someone...” The chilling opener for the Hierarchy trailer sets the tone for a series wrapped in mystery and scandal. As news of a student’s death becomes public, tension grows and secrets slowly begin to unravel.

At Jooshin High School, the air is thick with privilege and hidden agendas. This elite playground is ruled by school queen Jung Jae-i (Roh Jeong-eui) and her boyfriend, Kim Ri-an (Kim Jae-won), known as the king. Their reign is unchallenged until Kang Ha (Lee Chae-min), a scholarship student with a vendetta, transfers in. Driven by revenge, his presence begins to disrupt the intricate web of relationships at the top. Alongside them, Yoon He-ra (Chi Hae-won) and Lee Woo-jin (Lee Won-jeong) complete the circle of exclusive students who govern the school.

As the school dynamics are meant to mirror the world of grown-ups, director Bae Hyeon-jin emphasizes the effort put into creating the world of Hierarchy. “Jooshin High School takes pride in its established order, which has never been challenged. We meticulously worked on the details of each space, like the designs, textures, and lighting. We also used structural elements to serve as metaphors about the characters’ circumstances, from the old building, which embodies the school’s pride and traditions, to the staircases, which represent the hierarchy at Jooshin.”

The trailer also captures the tension-filled conflict between Ri-an and Kang Ha while teasing a shake-up in the school’s social order as Jae-i tells Ri-an she wants to break up. What chaos will this cause in their tightly-knit group?

Blending romance with mystery, where every relationship comes at a cost, this series features a cast of rising young stars who are set to make up the next generation of K-drama stars.

Will Kang Ha find the justice he seeks? Find out when Hierarchy premieres on June 7, only on Netflix. You can watch the trailer here...

Monday, May 27, 2024

Hungama Digital Media announces strategic partnership with VUZ to revolutionize digital entertainment in India

~ This partnership aims to deliver unparalleled immersive social experiences and exclusive content to millions of Indian users ~

Hungama Digital Media, a leading digital entertainment company in Asia, is excited to announce its strategic partnership with VUZ, a pioneering immersive video platform. This collaboration is set to redefine digital entertainment and social interaction, reaching a combined audience of over 200 million users globally.

Hungama’s extensive influence in the Indian digital entertainment landscape provides a unique opportunity to integrate VUZ’s cutting-edge immersive technologies. This partnership will offer Indian users access to exclusive events and experiences, bringing them closer to the glamour of The Oscars, Hollywood premieres, NBA, Formula 1, LaLiga, and major regional concerts. Additionally, it will feature original content from top-tier creators and celebrities, offering unparalleled engagement and entertainment.

Hungama’s established partnerships with telecommunications companies across India will be crucial in integrating VUZ’s platform seamlessly. This integration is anticipated to significantly increase reach and growth for both companies, offering Indian users access to a diverse array of events, including cultural festivals, music concerts, and exclusive behind-the-scenes content from the entertainment industry.

With Hungama's support, VUZ will be able to curate compelling local content from these events, forging stronger connections between creators and their audiences in India. This will enrich the overall user experience and foster deeper engagement with the platform.

Echoing the shared enthusiasm for this promising venture, Siddhartha Roy, CEO, Hungama Digital Media, articulated his vision for the partnership with VUZ, highlighting the transformative impact it is poised to have on the entertainment landscape. He remarked, “We couldn't be more excited about teaming up with VUZ, as it represents a significant leap forward in our commitment to delivering entertainment experiences to our users. By combining VUZ's immersive technology with Hungama's vast reach & content, we're revolutionizing how people experience entertainment in Asia, Africa and the Middle East Together, we aim to create a seamless, immersive experience that will set a new benchmark in the industry and drive the future of entertainment.”

Speaking about the partnership, Khaled Zaatarah, Founder of VUZ, expressed enthusiasm about the collaborative opportunities ahead, saying, “We are delighted to join forces with Hungama, a trailblazer in the digital entertainment domain. This partnership not only amplifies our reach but also reinforces our commitment to delivering unparalleled immersive experiences to users across Asia and Africa. Together, we are poised to reshape the landscape of social interaction and content consumption.”

As Hungama and VUZ embark on this transformative journey, they remain dedicated to driving innovation, fostering creativity, and enriching the digital experiences of users across India. This partnership signifies a new era of entertainment, setting the stage for the future of immersive digital content.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Simiran Kaur Dhadli is back with her latest single “Dupatta Drill”

~ A celebration of culture and tradition blended with confidence and swag, Dupatta Drill resonates with a mix of ancestral Punjabi and Haryanvi beats ~

The unstoppable Simiran Kaur Dhadli, from Punjab, also known as The Woman King returns to her throne in the hip hop realm as she drops a new banger “Dupatta Drill.” Combined with the hints of Punjabi and Haryanvi twists, this fierce track celebrates her Jaatni swag in all its glory. Showcasing Simiran's undeniable strength and courage, the electrifying beats leave an indelible impression on the audience.

Featuring the charming Pranjal Dahiya in the music video along with Simiran, the throbbing rhythm of “Dupatta Drill '' carves a lasting impression. Pulsating with captivating enthusiasm with the masterful lyricism of Rawme Hooda. Produced by the talented Stanley Christ, the track exceptionally portrays the vision of Honey Virk, whose direction brings together a fusion of traditional and hip-hop styles.

Sharing her excitement on the release, singer-performer Simiran Kaur Dhadli shared, “This song is a deeply personal celebration of my culture and tradition blended with confidence and swag. Dupatta Drill has allowed me to explore my roots through a mix of ancestral Punjabi and Haryanvi beats. I can’t wait for the listeners to enjoy the track and to celebrate love.”

Friday, May 24, 2024

Joko Anwar's Nightmares and Daydreams explores a hidden world within our own

An otherworldly universe awaits in Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams, premiering on June 14 on Netflix. Flashing a series of bizarre and intriguing events, the trailer sparks curiosity about the existence of an alternate reality filled with supernatural beings on Earth ~

Indonesian filmmaker Joko Anwar, known internationally for stylish and gory horror, has a supernatural thriller series on the way for Netflix. Joko Anwar’s Nightmares & Daydreams is a supernatural thriller series that shows there isn’t necessarily a rational explanation behind every occurrence. Unfolding over seven episodes, ‘Nightmares and Daydreams’ presents a different story and a new set of actors in each instalment. Viewers can anticipate discovering strange phenomena with each episode, leading up to a big showdown in the finale.

Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams chronicles the journey of a group of ordinary people trying to save humanity from those who wish to take over the world. The story is told across seven episodes, each spotlighting a key character dealing with extraordinary events that span from 1985 to 2024. While seemingly random, these peculiar incidents are interconnected, offering insights into the origins of our world and the looming threats to humanity.

This series marks the first collaboration between Netflix and the prolific filmmaker, paving the way for a new genre in Indonesian cinema: sci-fi supernatural. Speaking of the series, Anwar said: “This new universe will be guided by key characters played by prominent Indonesian actors, including Ario Bayu, Fachry Albar, Marissa Anita, and more. “This series explores the sci-fi supernatural genre, which is new in our national film industry. Inspired by my curiosity and fascination with alien stories, I dug deep into the intriguing concept of aliens that might not be far from us. The series has distinct elements to it and I cannot wait to present it to viewers,”

Crafted in the supernatural sci-fi genre, Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams stands as the first of its kind in Indonesian cinema. “While the series is rooted in the science-fiction genre, we’ve ensured its accessibility to our local audience,” Anwar explains, noting that each episode begins with elements familiar to Indonesian viewers.

What secrets about humanity will be revealed? Discover the answers in Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams, premiering June 14, only on Netflix.

Punjabi Sensation Shahat Gill drops her latest single 'OG', a fusion of swagger and style

Creating waves in the Punjabi music scene with bangers like Hulaare and Pagal Ay, glamorous pop star Shahat Gill, ignites fire with her latest single, ‘OG’! As the name goes OG, it’s a full-blown celebration of street smarts and magnetic charisma with playful wordplay and fiery delivery. A sure shot adrenaline track straight to your playlist!

Penned and composed by the talented and creative duo Kaptaan (Taranjeet Singh, Manpreet Singh) and produced by N Vee, OG captivates listeners with its energetic beats and dynamic lyrics. Shahat Gill's got the mic, and she's not holding back. With slick rhymes and hooks, she paints a picture of swagger and confidence about her love interest. The banger track seamlessly combines traditional Punjabi elements with modern beats, feeling both familiar and groundbreaking!

Sharing thoughts on her recent release OG, singer Shahat Gill shares, “First of all I would like to thank the audience for all the love for Hulaare and Pagal Ay. With my latest single OG, I wanted to create a track that encourages the listeners to own your vibe, rock it with charm and be the OG you are! This track is a vibe and I am excited to share it with the audience. I hope all you guys continue to shower your love as you have supported me through my journey! 

Get ready to turn up the volume, groove to the infectious beats and immerse yourself in a world of swagger and style with Shahat Gill’s OG. 

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Tech Mahindra partners with Fuji TV to produce content globally

~ Tech Mahindra, The IT Company introduced a partnership with Fuji TV to produce content globally by combining Fuji’s content with Tech Mahindra's technology services ~

Tech Mahindra, a leading global provider of technology consulting and digital solutions to enterprises across industries, announced a strategic partnership with Fuji TV, the leading broadcaster in Japan. As part of the partnership, both organizations will co-develop and produce content across genres for the global entertainment industry.

The partnership between Tech Mahindra and Japan's Fuji TV to produce content globally reflects a strategic collaboration aimed at leveraging each company's strengths in technology and media respectively. Tech Mahindra's expertise in technology and digital services combined with Fuji TV's experience and influence in the media industry could lead to the creation of innovative and compelling content that resonates with audiences worldwide. This collaboration also demonstrates the increasing importance of international partnerships in the entertainment industry to meet the evolving demands of global audiences. It will be intriguing to see the type of content they produce and how successful their collaboration proves to be in the global market.

The partnership aims to drive significant growth in rapidly expanding content markets such as India, where niche content genres, including Anime and Korean dramas, are rapidly gaining popularity. It will combine Fuji TV’s original content with Tech Mahindra's localization and animation services. Additionally, Tech Mahindra will help Fuji TV license Indian content IP (Intellectual Property) and leverage its animation expertise to create fresh and captivating Japanese content for a global audience.

The collaboration between Tech Mahindra and Fuji TV appears to be a comprehensive partnership aimed at not only producing content but also ensuring its successful adaptation and distribution in new markets. By assisting Fuji TV in localizing its content for the Indian audience through services like dubbing, subtitling, and animation, Tech Mahindra is facilitating cultural accessibility and engagement. Moreover, Tech Mahindra's support in licensing Fuji TV's content to OTT and PayTV platforms in India and Japan underscores their commitment to maximizing the reach and impact of the content. This partnership exemplifies the importance of cross-cultural collaboration and adaptation in the global entertainment landscape.

Referring to this strategic partnership, Toru Ota, Executive Vice President of Fuji Television Network, has stated “The goal is to not only expand business in the Indian market but also to create innovative content that has the potential for global reach.”

Harshvendra Soin who is the President of Asia Pacific and Japan Business at Tech Mahindra has also expressed that “We have partnered with Fuji TV to bring their content library in various local languages to Indian audiences. This also marks a significant milestone in Tech Mahindra's growth strategy and strengthens our position in the media and entertainment industry. We see great potential in developing IPs catering to the Indian, Japanese, and other major content markets.”

This partnership between Fuji TV and Tech Mahindra marks an exciting development in the Indian entertainment market. By joining forces, both companies are strategically positioning themselves to capitalize on the rapidly growing demand for content in India and beyond. Overall, this partnership not only aims to expand business opportunities in the Indian market but also to create content with global appeal, reflecting the dynamic and interconnected nature of the modern entertainment industry.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

100th Anniversary of the "Crime of the Century" Leopold and Loeb Film to be Premiered

~ The Crime of the Century brings depth and nuance to the dramatic retelling of a story that shocked the nation exactly a century ago ~

On the 100th anniversary of the "Crime of the Century" of the infamous Leopold and Loeb crime. Great Uncles and Our Gang Productions is thrilled to announce the premiere of their new film, American Criminals directed by Aaron Warr. Based on the New York Times best seller book Life Plus 99 Years. The film is set to premiere in Chicago Illinois on the 100th anniversary today.

American Criminals stars Hollywood veteran Robert Donovan, Village People icon Randy Jones, network star Doug Wilson, Graziano Pinna, Paolina Cimino Bing Brazeau and Jake Schory in the leading roles of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, respectively. This ensemble's cast brings depth and nuance to the dramatic retelling of a story that shocked the nation exactly one hundred years ago.

May 21, 1924, Nathan Leopold, and Richard Loeb, two wealthy university students from Chicago, kidnapped and murdered 14 year old Bobby Franks. American Criminals focuses on this pivotal moment in American history through the lens of cinema, and raises questions about morality, justice, and the human psyche.

Indai, Apai, Darah (Mother, Father, Blood) will make its world premiere on May 25, 2024, at the Mountain Film Festival

~ A young girl growing up in the Indigenous-held forests of central Borneo follows ancient connections to earn the gift of a story – her People's 1973 fight to preserve their lands amid rampant deforestation ~

Indai, Apai, Darah (Mother, Father, Blood) is thrilled to announce its official selection at the prestigious Mountain Film Festival, which will be held between May 23 and 27 in Telluride, Colorado. Directed by Kynan Tegar (Dayak Iban), the film takes place in the Indonesian village of Sungai Utik, where elders of the Dayak Iban people have been able to repel extractive companies and protect the surrounding forests. The production is part of a series of films created by the Wayfinders Circle– a global network of Indigenous guardians who protect their lands, waters, and territories and are dedicated to sharing the transformative potential of Indigenous lifeways.

“Indai, Apai, Darah serves as my love letter to the village that raised not only me but also my father, his father, and countless generations before. The title itself derives from a cherished quote by my grandfather: 'The land is our mother, the forest our father, and the river our blood.' This quote perfectly encapsulates the philosophy that guides our way of life in Sungai Utik,” says the director, Kynan Tegar, who is a 19-year-old photographer and filmmaker from the Dayak Iban tribe of the island of Borneo, Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Tegar grew up in and around the traditional longhouse of his village of Sungai Utik, where he learned directly from the elders, their wisdom and values, their stories of resistance in the face of encroaching deforestation, and the threats to their way of life. Picking up his first camera as an inquisitive twelve-year-old, he discovered the power of visual storytelling to communicate and change lives.

“Mass deforestation persists despite all efforts, and the future of the Indigenous Peoples who call these places home remains uncertain. With this film, I hope to have captured the beauty of their resilience and to provide the rest of the world with a glimpse into my perspective – that of a child from this community,” he concludes.

The film is a co-production between the Wayfinders Circle conveners (Nia Tero, Pawanka Fund, the World Union of Indigenous Spiritual Practitioners) and the Dayak Iban Sungai Utik. The film is part of the Indigenous Storytellers Shorts program at Mountainfilm. You can attend the world premiere in person on May 25th at 9:15 AM. A second screening will take place on Sunday, May 26th, at 2:45 PM. Tickets can be purchased online.

Kartik Aaryan, appears in a New Out-of-This-World Avatar for Sony Sports Network’s UEFA EURO 2024 campaign film

~ The film showcases how the UEFA EUROs, the biggest football festival of 2024 is attracting fans from planets beyond Earth ~

30 days ahead of UEFA EURO 2024, the biggest football festival of the year, Sony Sports Network has launched its blockbuster campaign Universe Ka Sabse Bada Football Festival of 2024 featuring their brand ambassador for football, Bollywood sensation Kartik Aaryan. The champion can be seen assuming a dual role in the enthralling campaign film which raises the bar of anticipation for the quadrennial tournament.

The campaign film which is high on visual effects encapsulates the level of enthusiasm of fans for UEFA EURO 2024 and provides a glimpse of what ‘the biggest footballing event of the universe’ will bring to the table. The film is a visual delight on Indian television and features Kartik Aaryan, who for the first time dons the avatar of an alien from the outer space, intrigued by the celebrations on Earth and decides to join the festival of football. The alien finds his identical self in a human form. The duo then joins hands along with thousands of other fans to celebrate their favourite European teams and players participating in the tournament.

A continental spectacle, UEFA EURO 2024 is one of the most eagerly-awaited sporting events of the year. The competition will feature 8 out of the top 10 FIFA-ranked countries including reigning champions Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, England, Netherlands and Croatia vying for the coveted title. Undoubtedly, the best players and coaches, not just in Europe but across the world will be seen in action as international football takes over the mantle from club football for a month. Fan favourites Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane, Thomas Mueller, Virgil van Dijk, Luka Modric and others will don their national colours, showcase their magic on the pitch and aim for the ultimate prize.

The campaign by Sony Sports Network paves way for an exciting month for football fans as the countdown begins for UEFA EURO 2024. Stay tuned for more on the “Universe Ka Sabse Bada Football Festival of 2024” campaign on Sony Sports Network.

Rajesh Kaul, Chief Revenue Officer - Distribution & International Business and Head - Sports Business, Sony Pictures Networks India says, "UEFA EURO is widely celebrated as one of the biggest football tournaments in the world and we are thrilled to collaborate with Kartik Aaryan, our Brand Ambassador for Football on Sony Sports Network, on this extraordinary campaign for this tournament. This kind of a film with a high-end scale and special effects for a football tournament has never been seen by Indian audiences with Kartik Aaryan at the helm of it. The film resonates the excitement for the continental spectacle and captures the emotions of the football fans further reaffirming Sony Sports Network’s commitment to bringing the best experience to our viewers.”

"It’s a pleasure to be associated with Sony Sports Network for this amazing campaign for the UEFA EURO which is the biggest footballing event of 2024. Being a football fan, this campaign is particularly close to my heart. I really enjoyed playing an alien for the first time in my life and for this spectacular campaign. The countdown begins for UEFA EURO 2024 which is going to be a fantastic experience for all audiences in India,” added Kartik Aaryan, Bollywood Superstar & Brand Ambassador for Football on Sony Sports Network.

Sony Sports Network is the official broadcaster for UEFA EURO 2024 in India. Watch the drama unfold from 15th June, LIVE on Sony Sports Ten 2 SD & HD, Sony Sports Ten 3 SD & HD, Sony Sports Ten 4 SD & HD, Sony Ten 5 SD & HD.

Here's exclusive insights into Celebrated Cricketer Smriti Mandhana’s life in Femina’s May 2024 Issue

~ I think I’ve always loved cricket, (and) like any other kid, I loved batting more than (the rest of) the game... ~

From a nine-year-old enthused about the sport to becoming one of India’s most celebrated cricketers, Smriti Mandhana’s story is an inspiration. In the May 2024 edition of Femina, Smriti candidly reflects on the challenges she has faced, her unwavering dedication to the sport, and the dreams that continue to drive her forward. In the Cover Story, the sportsperson fondly recalls the day she was able to fulfill her promise to buy a house for her family, expressing gratitude that her beloved sport, cricket, made it possible. Despite her incredible success, she comes across as grounded and focused. Whether hitting a century or walking out for zero, she is known to maintain a stoic demeanour, though the last few years have taught her to be empathetic towards the young team members she leads and mentors.

Reflecting on her passion for cricket, Smriti shares, “I think I’ve always loved cricket, (and) like any other kid, I loved batting more than (the rest of) the game. I understood later, of course, that there is a lot more to cricket than just batting but, as a kid, I would just hit a hanging ball or play gully cricket.”

Speaking about her family, she reveals, “We come from a very humble background. Today, when I see my parents happy and the life that they’re living, I feel happy about everything that has come with cricket.”

She adds that she has gleaned life lessons from the game: “The best part about cricket is that it is a great leveller; you always start from zero. Whether you score a hundred or you have a bad match today, tomorrow you just start from the bottom again. Take that lesson to every aspect of life and you will know what to do next.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Saregama's Young Stars Pragati, Maahi, and Arjun make India proud at Cannes 2024

~ Arjun Tanwar, Pragati Nagpal, Shaan, and Maahi @ Cannes 2024 ~

Renowned Bollywood singer Shaan, who has captivated audiences for decades, made his Cannes debut this year along with his son Maahi who is a part of the Saregama trio talents- Maahi, Arjun, and Pragati at Cannes 2024. This marks a significant milestone as these young artists showcased India’s rich musical heritage on an international stage.

On May 17th, the trio will deliver another captivating performance at the Bharat Pavilion, further solidifying their global presence. Adding to the star power, the legendary Shaan will grace the stage to introduce the trio, setting the scene for a dynamic and unforgettable show.

Expressing his excitement, Shaan said, "I am incredibly proud to introduce Pragati, Maahi, and Arjun at the Cannes Film Festival 2024. These young talents embody the future of Indian music. Their performance at the Bharat Parv event hosted at the Hotel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes left the audience spellbound! Such a proud moment for these young talents to represent India. Their hard work and passion will undoubtedly captivate the global audience. It’s an honor to support their journey on this international stage."

With their unique blend of Indian roots and Gen Z flair, Pragati, Maahi, and Arjun are ready to shine at Cannes, proving that the future of Indian music is brighter than ever. Shaan’s backing not only adds to their star power but also highlights the next generation of Indian music talent ready to make their mark globally.

Berite Labelle, new muse of Balmain, confirms her presence at the Cannes Film Festival

~ A singular personality, and sublime beauty, to meet in Cannes and a career to definitely follow! ~

Top model and actress Berite Labelle, face of the new Balmain Hair campaign, has just arrived on the Croisette for the 2024 Film Festival. This spectacular beauty was chosen by Balmain to embody the French house's new global campaign, marking the 50th anniversary of the haircare range.

Her career as a model does not prevent her from pursuing her goals in the cinema. Berite's lifelong dream of becoming an actress has come true since moving to the United States in 2019, after earning a partial scholarship to the Conservatory program at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. She is currently pursuing her modeling and acting career and shooting her first feature film in Romania.

Now based in the Switzerland, she is above all a woman of the world: Berite was born in Tiraspol, Moldova. At four years old, she moved to Bosnia and then Germany before landing in Geneva, Switzerland, at six years old. A lifelong lover of languages, she is fluent in Russian, French and English, with a working knowledge of Spanish, Italian and Arabic.

This talent for communicating in multiple dialects is a trait shared with her late father, Moise Neroum Ngadande, who spoke seven languages and was originally from Chad, Africa. His work traveling the globe for the United Nations sparked her own sense of adventure.

Ms Labelle will also have some very exciting entrepreneurial pursuits to be unveiled in 2025  that include but are not limited to a T.V. and Film Production Company named HARD Productions LLC with her business partner out of Los Angeles.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Durban FilmMart celebrates 30 years of democracy in South Africa

~ DFM harnessing the power of cinema for transformation under the theme “African Visions Unleashed: From Disruption to Accountability” ~

The Durban FilmMart Institute (DFMI) presents the 15th edition of its flagship event, Durban FilmMart (DFM), under the theme “African Visions Unleashed: From Disruption to Accountability,” which will take place in Durban from 19-22 July 2024. As South Africa celebrates 30 years of democracy this year, the Durban FilmMart 2024 edition embraces three decades of legacy and transformation. DFM has been instrumental in shaping discussions about the South African film industry, and over its 15-year existence, it has fostered a symbiotic relationship between filmmakers and the wider industry. Promoting 30 years of democracy, the DFM 2024 programme will feature a series of “SA In Focus” sessions, as well as the DFM Access Programme, exploring the South African film industry’s development, challenges, and aspirations.

As Magdalene Reddy, Director of the Durban FilmMart Institute, expresses, “Celebrating 30 years of democracy in South Africa at DFM means reflecting on the multiplicity of opportunities our democracy has created for local filmmakers. As we look back on the progress made – from creativity and resilience to strategic thinking – our democracy has not only provided access to platforms but has also opened doors to diverse storytelling, enabling filmmakers to tackle bold and disruptive narratives. This year’s “SA In Focus” programme illustrates the amazing industry access availability to South African filmmakers by highlighting key industry bodies that have shaped our cinematic landscape. Looking forward, we aim to foster an industry that is more inclusive, diverse, and globally competitive. Our democracy has given us a stage, and it is up to us to fill it with stories that resonate, challenge, and inspire.”

SA in Focus Sessions at DFM: The State of the South African Audio-Visual Industry
The event’s “SA In Focus” programme starts with a comprehensive look at the state of the South African audio-visual industry. This panel will assess initiatives by film commissions and key industry institutions that continue to shape South Africa as a pillar of the global film industry. By bringing together representatives from different facets of the industry, the discussion aims to provide a holistic understanding of the current landscape while exploring strategies to foster growth and innovation.

Regulating The Production Sector – A Roadmap to Fair Working Conditions
Amid a dynamic and creative production environment, the Film/TV production sector remains largely unregulated. The panel led by the South African Guild of Actors (SAGA) will tackle this issue head-on, focusing on a roadmap to establish fair working conditions across the production sector. Technical crew, writers, editors, and background actors all play a crucial role in production, yet remain vulnerable to exploitative working conditions and pay rates. This session seeks to explore viable solutions to ensure fair treatment and sustainable livelihoods for all creative practitioners.

The Business of Storytelling: Envisioning a New African Business Model
Navigating the business side of storytelling is essential in the ever-changing film and television production landscape. This panel, hosted by the Writers Guild of South Africa (WGSA), will delve into the business of storytelling, focusing on envisioning a new African business model. As many writers find themselves wearing multiple hats (writer/producer, writer/director, writer/showrunner), they must balance creativity with business acumen. Panelilsts will discuss strategies for choosing the right platform, whether traditional broadcasting, streaming, or digital, and ensuring writers are not excluded from revenue sharing in their projects.

30 Years and Counting: The Evolution of Women’s Portrayal on Screen
Presented in partnership with Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT), this panel will explore the journey of women’s representation in film and television over the past 30 years. From early portrayals to contemporary progress and challenges, the discussion will highlight the role of film and TV in shaping perceptions of gender and identity while emphasising ongoing efforts toward greater inclusivity and representation.

Growth Strategies for the Animation Industries of the African Continent
The animation industry is gaining momentum across Africa. This panel, led by Animation SA, brings together industry representatives to discuss regional and continental growth strategies. Properly implemented growth strategies are vital in identifying enablers, mitigating risks, and ensuring return on investment. Social responsibility remains critical, as marginalised communities must also benefit from these strategies to participate in the animation industry.

Harnessing Cultural Diversity for International Distribution
South Africa’s rich cultural diversity presents a unique opportunity to showcase diverse narratives on a global stage. This panel, led by the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO), will explore the strategies, challenges, and successes involved in international distribution while embracing the representation of South African culture. Representatives from leading production companies, distribution agencies, and film commissions will share insights into global market trends, audience preferences, and the role of cultural authenticity in international reception.

Actionable Futures: Crafting a Roadmap for Accessible Archives in South Africa
Presented in partnership with the Documentary Filmmakers Association (DFA), this panel is the final installment of a 3-part series spanning the Joburg Film Festival and Encounters. It will tackle the critical challenges and aspirations confronting the South African documentary film community, focusing on the hurdles of obtaining archival material. By bringing together key stakeholders, the session aims to foster dialogue and develop solutions that will ensure accessible and affordable archive usage.

The Last 30 Years: Pioneers and Disruptors & The Way Forward
Reflecting on the last 30 years of democracy and our audiovisual industry, this panel by the Independent Black Filmmakers Collective (IBFC) will offer insights into the ideas and actions that propel the industry forward. With a conversation centred around creativity, transformation, and the importance of cultural and creative industries, the discussion will explore the IBFC’s role in nurturing the next generation of filmmakers and what the next 30 years hold.

Looking forward, DFM 2024 will emphasise opportunities and accountability in the South African film industry, ensuring that filmmakers can utilise a diverse range of resources and networks. The programme builds on previous themes like “African Constellations” (2023) and “Revolution/Evolution: Changing the Narrative” (2022), which both explored the expansive potential of African cinema and its capacity to thrive globally.

Early Bird registration for participation is now open until 31 May. For more information and to register, please visit our website: