One of the most feel-good films of 2007 was Namastey London. Starring Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif, it touched viewer’s hearts and was appreciated for the performances, message and the songs. For a long time, it was said that the sequel to the film will be made. However, a few years ago, it became clear that Akshay Kumar won’t be featuring in the sequel which was titled Namastey England. It then came to light that the title of the sequel was to be changed as well since both Vipul Shah and Akshay Kumar had jointly registered the said title. To avoid any possible problems, Vipul Shah had reportedly renamed his film to Namastey Canada.
However, the film has now gone back to its original title of Namastey England. When contacted, Vipul Shah said without going much into detail that, “The film was always titled Namastey England. In between, we had considered calling it Namastey Canada. But now we have gone back to Namastey England.” He then added, “The film goes on floors in January 2018 and it would release on December 7, 2018.”
Namastey England stars Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra. Both of them interestingly are currently working on one more project – Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar – directed by Dibakar Banerjee. As soon as they wrap up this flick, they’ll start working on Namastey England. Arjun Kapoor’s debut film Ishaqzaade too starred Parineeti Chopra as his leading lady.
The advance bookings for the mega action entertainer of the year, Tiger Zinda Hai, are opening this Sunday. Exhibitors and online ticket platforms are bullish on the Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif high octane festive entertainer and they expect a rush from fans and audiences to starting buying out tickets.
“The anticipation for Tiger Zinda Hai is sky high. Salman Khan is back to doing what he does best and there is incredible excitement among audiences to see their favourite deliver a power-packed entertainer. Trade expects the film to record an outstanding day one and lifetime and they are opening advance bookings this Sunday for audiences,” reveals a trade source.
“There is huge expectation from Tiger Zinda Hai. The trailer was mind-blowing and the songs have become huge chartbusters increasing the excitement among consumers. Audiences haven’t seen a big scale entertainer for a while now and they are hungry for a good film. Tiger Zinda Hai has ticked all the right boxes and by the look of it, the film will finally bring cheer within trade also,” the informer reveals.
When contacted, YRF spokesperson confirmed that Tiger Zinda Hai advance bookings are indeed opening this Sunday. The edge-of-the-seat entertainer is set to release next Friday, December 22.
Aamir Khan is a superstar with a difference. The superstar was one of the first ones to literally go under the skin of his character and prep for months altogether for his character. Today it’s a norm for most of the actors to do so and it was Aamir Khan who was its pioneer. He took risky by making films on unconventional topics. But he worked hard to ensure that it had enough entertainment value for the audiences.
And now, the superstar is all set to surprise audiences once again. A few days ago, we had reported that the superstar is all set to spend the next decade of his career on a franchise which will stretch into several films, all produced by and starring Aamir Khan. Aamir wants to be so dedicated to this project that he even reportedly opted out of Rakesh Sharma biopic titled Salute. And now it has to come light that this ten-year-long project for which Aamir Khan is ready to dedicate an entire decade is none other than the epic Mahabharat!
As per reports, Aamir Khan will finish the shoot of Thugs of Hindostan and start work on this mythological film series. Like always, the superstar wants to be involved in all stages of development and would produce all the films in this series. And not just that, he’ll even direct eventually. The first film of this series of films would however be directed by Advait Chandan, who recently directed the much-loved Diwali release Secret Superstar for Aamir Khan Productions. Reportedly, Aamir Khan will also be acting in these films and he wishes to play the role of Lord Krishna. But Karan also remains his favourite character. It remains to be seen now who are the other actors in the film and when does the superstar go on floor with this ambitious project.
Aamir Khan right now is only working on Thugs of Hindostan. It co-stars Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh. It is directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya and releases on Diwali 2018.
Bollywood actresses look their absolute best on screen and even during public events. This makes a lot of people insecure and even jealous and they often wonder how it is possible for these beauties to look so good everytime. Well now Raveena Tandon is going to help a lot of girls in this regard.
The actress who ruled the 90s has started her own beauty blog, popularly called vlog, and it’s called Beauty Talkies With Ravz. The videos are less than a minute long through which she shares her beauty secrets with her followers. Till now, she has uploaded two videos and the response has been great. She said that she got the idea of starting a beauty vlog after she was asked to do so by a lot of fans. She said that these fans have always loved her and the vlog is a chance to reciprocate their love. She will be addressing skin concerns and would take up all the queries which she gets about beauty.
Many assumed that Raveena Tandon will recommend high-end skincare products that would be too expensive for the common man. But Raveena Tandon assures that she will only suggests home remedies to her fans. Also, the tips that she will give will be easy to follow.
As of now, the plan is to upload a video every Wednesday. Depending on the response by her followers and also her busy schedule, she will decide the frequency of the segment. She also intends to take this initiative ahead by having interactive sessions with her fans in the near future.
On the film front, Raveena Tandon does very few films nowadays. But this year, she was seen in two films - Ashtar Sayed's Maatr and Onir's Shab.
Looks like 2017 is the year where fringe groups have been emerging as victorious. Earlier, it was the Sri Rajput Karni Sena who demanded a ban on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s much awaited period drama Padmavati. The group felt that the film distorts Rajput history. The revolution they sparked became so strong that the chief ministers of as many as five states had to publicly announce they won’t let Padmavati to release in their provinces. The makers of the film too pushed the release indefinitely.
And now, a pro-Kannada group has managed to win in their fight over Sunny Leone’s event in Bengaluru. The sizzling actress was all set to perform at an event called ‘Sunny Night in Bengaluru NYE 2018’ at White Orchid Convention Center. But an organization called Rakshana Vedike Yuva Sene protested and said that Sunny Leone is not aware of the Kannada culture and that they don’t want the culture to be disrupted by barely clad women performing amidst an audience. Yesterday, they came out on the streets and threatened mass suicide if the organizers go ahead with the show. Fearing that the matter might go out of hand, Karnataka home minister R Ramalinga Reddy said that they have denied permission to this event. He said that there’s a fear of law and order problems and moreover, the decision is in sync with the directions of Karnataka high court in a molestation case reported in Bengaluru last year on New Year’s Eve, which shocked the country.
The police department is still to get an official confirmation from the home department regarding the denial of permission for ‘Sunny Night in Bengaluru NYE 2018’. The organizers, The Team Creations, too said that they haven’t received any official communication from the police. They’ll wait for it before making a final decision. They maintained that their event is meant for family audiences and will have Sunny Leone dancing on a Kannada song.
Kangana Ranaut is undoubtedly one of those who has made it big in the industry on her own, without any backing and has risen to the challenge and carved out a niche for herself. She is not only inspiring youngsters in India, but also has become a global icon of sorts.
Kangana Ranaut has recently been invited to be a keynote series speaker at Harvard Business School for India Conference 2018 held annually where topics like Changing Entertainment Landscapes in India and ‘Disrupting the India Mainstream Cinema’ would be discussed. The theme of the conference this year is ‘Disrupting Innovations in India’.
The conference has a strong legacy of bringing together government officials, business leaders, academics, lawyers, artists, athletes, philanthropists and many other leaders to meaningfully discuss key issues, solutions and opportunities in the context of India's path to global leadership. In the past, India Conference has been host to prolific personalities like Amartya Sen, Omar Abdullah, Chanda Kochhar and P. Chidambaram to name a few.
On the work front, Kangana Ranaut is busy shooting for Manikarnika- The Queen of Jhansi in which she is essaying the role of Rani Lakshmibai. Directed by Krish, it is slated to release on April 27, 2018.
We’ve done it again – not made it into the shortlist of Best Foreign Film For the Oscars. Year after year, we keep missing out on getting anywhere close to actually winning it.
The film’s team is feeling far from defeated. Supran Sen, the Secretary-General of the Film Frederation Of India which selects the film to go to the Oscars each year, says, “Yes I am aware we’ve been eliminated. Very sad! We were quite hopeful considering all the appreciation we had received. But it’s fine. Newton is a film we’re all proud of.”
The film’s director Amit Masurkar says, “The foreign film category is like the Olympics. We're competing with the best in the world, so it's extremely tough. The response from Academy members to Newton was very positive and we're grateful to everyone who supported us on this journey. The experience has enriched us and has encouraged me to push my limits each time I make a new film.”
Anjali Patil who plays a pivotal role in Newton says, “I feel the film had done more than just being in or out of Oscar entry. All the screenings we had in US and all over the world struck genuine chords with people. And the way it excelled back home in every strata of society is way more important. So it doesn’t really make me sad at all. A film comes with its destiny and performs, there is bigger force more than mine or your desires.”
Pankaj Tripathi who had an exceptional year with Gurgaon, Fukrey Returns and Newton is just happy they made the film they wanted to. “Dil se banayi hui film hai. Yahan tak pahunchi, logon ne dekha, entire world ne saraha, itna kya kam hai? (it is a film made from the heart, isn’t it enough that the world loved it?).
The very versatile scene stealer Deepak Dobriyal who habitally did a Nawazuddin Siddiqui on all the male stars, is enjoying his new success after Hindi Medium. Says Deepak, “The film changed my image as a comic actor. As the father of an economically challenged family desperate to see his son go to an angrezi-medium school, I got a chance to stop being funny. The biggest compliment I’ve received is that I made audiences cry in Hindi Medium. During a year of box office setbacks, I am proud to say our film has made substantial profits.”
Deepak now wants to retrieve, rescue and release his mentor Kundan Shah’s short film Hero which was shot live on a railway station in Mumbai for 7 days.
“It was the most challenging performance of my career. Everyday for a week Kundan Shah and I would descend on platform no 5 of Goregaon station, and I’d be told to do my own thing. Everyone passing-by stared at me performing all kinds of weird stunts and antics. By the third day even the tea seller on the platform knew me. We just shot live without worrying about the results,” recalls Deepak.
The actor remembers the experience and the director with much pleasure. “Kundan Sir was my brother, my mentor. He would unabashedly hold my hand and we’d take long walks together. When we shot this short film, we were like two boys on a rampage doing whatever came to our minds. Kundan Sir wanted me in his last film P Se PM Tak. But I was unable to do it. He is gone and my film with him remains unreleased. I am trying my best to get it released, if not for my sake and then Kundan’s sake.”
Right now Deepak is excited about Akshat Verma’s Kaalakaandi where he along with Vijay Raaz play two gangsters. Says Deepak excitedly, “We play two greedy gangsters and we had a ball shooting together. Vijay Raaz is my neighbour. We’d travel together every day to the shooting discussing how to interpret the day’s scenes. The fact that Vijay is such a talented co-actor definitely helped me give my best.”
What was a very special evening celebrating the great Raj Kapoor’s 93rd death anniversary turned out to be an ugly evening, thanks to Raj Saab’s son Rishi Kapoor who is by now a known and acknowledged party pooper.
The venue was the ITC Maurya in Delhi. The occasion was the release of a book ‘Raj Kapoor: The One & Only Showman’ that the Great Showman’s five children Randhir, Rishi, Rajiv, Rima and Ritu had put together for the occasion. All went well until Rishi Kapoor decided (once again) to throw a temper tantrum when he spotted some journalists at the venue.
An eyewitness at the venue relates the incident, “The journalists were present on invitation from the organizers of the event. And still we saw Mr Rishi Kapoor ordering them out, much to embarrassment of the hosts who tried to reason with him. But Mr Kapoor was beyond reason. He wanted the journalists to be thrown out. The hotel staff had no choice but to comply. We are given to understand that this is not the first time Mr Kapoor has thrown a tantrum at the same venue.”
Strangely, Rishi Kapoor keeps getting into confrontational situations with the media at every opportunity. No herculean investigative powers are required to figure out that he is not comfortable with the presence of the press when he is around. So elementary, why call mediapersons to humiliate them?
Also, dear Mr Rishi Kapoor, we enjoy your frank-speak and sharp tongue-lash. But to abuse press persons only because they cannot retaliate is not a very Kapoor thing to do.
Siddharth Roy Kapur has signed director Vinil Mathew and screenwriter Sudip Sharma for his next film to be produced under the Roy Kapur Films banner. Vinil Mathew is a renowned ad filmmaker who made his feature film debut with the acclaimed new-age romance, Hasee Toh Phasee. Sudip Sharma is the acclaimed writer of NH10 and Udta Punjab, and is widely acknowledged as one of the foremost screenwriters in the country.
Siddharth Roy Kapur confirmed the news, “Yes, we will be collaborating with Vinil and Sudip on a unique and exciting subject that our team has been developing for many months. The film is based on true events involving piracy on the Somalian high seas and is told through the eyes of a young Indian merchant navy officer, who has to navigate through unimaginably perilous circumstances, while dealing with huge personal challenges. It is a thrilling, dramatic and emotional journey, and we couldn’t have asked for a better director than Vinil Mathew to tell this story. Vinil’s work in advertising is amongst the most accomplished I have ever seen. He has a unique ability to move you emotionally and to draw you into a narrative within the span of less than a minute. To have Sudip on board as screenwriter for the film is a huge advantage, as he unfailingly creates memorable characters, inhabits them in authentic worlds, and in the process creates strong conflicts and riveting drama.”
When Siddharth Roy Kapur first heard the true story of merchant navy officer Audumbar Bhoi whose ship and crew was attacked by Somalian pirates, he was gripped and immediately felt that this was an incredibly unique and above all, an inspiring human story that needed to be told on the big screen. Vinil Mathew said, “I have immense respect for Siddharth and his creative vision which is evident in the films he has produced over the past decade. I have been looking forward to working with him and when Siddharth shared this story with me, I instinctively knew I had to be associated with the film as it had all the right ingredients of emotion, drama and thrill. I am thrilled about our collaboration and I’m sure it will be a great experience. We hope to give the audiences a truly special film."
Sudip Sharma said “I am normally wary of writing commissioned scripts for producers, but Sid gives you a lot of creative freedom and lets you do your thing. I wrote a film for Disney when Sid was there. It never got made, but we’ve been meaning to work again with each other since. And when he pitched this story to me, I just jumped at it because it has the potential to be a tense hostage drama cum survival story, and lets you explore Somalia and maritime piracy, a world hitherto unseen in Hindi films.”
Over the past few months, Vinil and Sudip have conducted intensive research on the Indian merchant navy life, as well as on the Somali piracy problem and its impact on the many Indian families that have been affected by it. It is anticipated that the film will go on the floors in the second half of 2018.
Roy Kapur Films has various other noteworthy film projects in the pipeline, including a biopic on Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian in space, written by Anjum Rajabali and to be directed by Mahesh Mathai; Dangal director Nitesh Tiwari’s next film, based on the book “How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-Founded a Million Dollar Company", Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan director R S Prasanna’s next film, and a film based on the true story of Vijendra Singh Rathore, the heroic Alwar-based truck driver who found his wife after a 19 month-long search in the aftermath of the Uttarakhand flash floods.
In addition to producing films, Roy Kapur Films has marked its foray into digital media by entering into a landmark multi-year partnership with Reliance Jio to produce original video content including digital series and Made-for-Jio films for millions of Jio subscribers across India.
Siddharth Roy Kapur is the eminent producer of several critically acclaimed and commercially successful films like Dangal, ABCD - Any Body Can Dance - 2, Haider, Barfi and Kai Po Che. He has founded his own production company Roy Kapur Films earlier this year after a long and successful stint at Disney and UTV. He is also the President of the Producers Guild of India and was recently named as one of Variety’s Top 500 influential people in entertainment globally, amongst only 12 Indians to feature on this list.
It looks like the censor certificate for Sanjay Bhansali’s Padmavati would elude the film, for some time longer at least. Sources close to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) say plans for the Censor Board to finally view Padmavati this week have been put off. The reason, according to sources, is the dispute over the disclaimer mentioned in the application for censor certification by the Padmavati producers which has raised many new questions.
Says a source close to the CBFC, “We can’t disclose details. But the new disclaimer on the application form of Padmavati has created a whole new debate as to how the film needs to be viewed and certified. At the moment we can only reveal that it is a complicated process that requires experts to intervene.”
With these complications further impeding the process of censor certification, it seems unlikely that Padmavati will be released in the near future.
Just last week, we had reported how Sunny Leone is all set to perform in an exciting New Year’s bash in Bengaluru called 'Sunny Night in Bengaluru NYE 2018'. When a pro-Kannada group called Rakshana Vedike Yuva Sene found out about it, they began their protest. The activists reportedly claim that the show is an assault on their culture and raised objection to Sunny performing at this event. The protests have gone to the extent of burning effigies and pictures of the actress as the organization has been demanding a cancellation of the show. At that point, the president of the group, R. Harish recently expressed his displeasure over the show stating that Sunny Leone is not aware of the Kannada culture and that he doesn’t want the culture to be disrupted by barely clad women performing amidst an audience.
Looks like Rakshana Vedike Yuva Sene has decided to take their protest on a next level. In order to garner publicity and ensure everyone takes them serious, the fringe group has now threatened to commit mass suicide if Sunny Leone performs on stage. R. Harish, said that they are against Sunny Leone wearing skimpy clothes. He added that if she wears a saree and then performs, then it’s fine for her. Since Sunny Leone doesn’t have a ‘good past’ (obviously referring to her stint as a porn actress), he feels that society shouldn’t be encouraging such people.
The organizers of the show however have made it clear that their event is meant for family audiences and will have Sunny Leone dancing on a Kannada song. They added that they are Kannadigas and have kept the programme based on the Bengaluru’s culture. They then added that Sunny Leone got offers from a lot of cities and they all offered her good money. But she agreed to come to Bengaluru since it’s one of her favourite places. Hence, the organizers are unable to understand the fuss created by Rakshana Vedike Yuva Sene.
Christmas-New Year’s season is round the corner. In The West, it is celebrated in a good way and it’s also the time when people go back to their hometowns to meet their loved ones. Priyanka Chopra, who has almost shifted her base to USA, is also following suit. Over the weekend, she is expected to be back in Mumbai. Reportedly, it won’t be all rest for her as she’s going to do ad shoots and also, she’ll be taking care of her responsibility as a producer. And if reports are to believed, she’ll be performing on ‘Zee Cine Awards’ and she’s going to charge a mind boggling Rs. 4-5 crores for just a five minute appearance!
But besides her professional commitments, there’s more on the itinerary of Priyanka Chopra. She will be addressing a gathering of 1,500 youngsters in Delhi on December 26 and she’ll talk there as the UNICEF Global Goodwill ambassador. The event in question is ‘The Penguin Annual Lecture’ where she will deliver an inspirational talk on 'Breaking the Glass Ceiling, Chasing a Dream'. ‘The Penguin Annual Lecture’ is in its 11th edition. In the past, famous personalities like The Dalai Lama, Amartya Sen, Amitabh Bachchan, Dan Brown, Ruskin Bond etc have addressed at this respected platform.
Once she’s done with this commitment, Priyanka Chopra will be heading to her hometown of Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. She will be awarded an honorary certificate at St. Maria Goretti, where she studied. As a child, Priyanka Chopra has shifted to many places like Leh, Delhi, Chandigarh, Ambala, Lucknow etc but she has a strong emotional connect with Bareilly and considers it her hometown. From Bareilly, she will take off for a five-day vacation with her family and friends on New Year’s Eve at an undisclosed location.
On the work front, Priyanka Chopra is working on the third season of ‘Quantico’. She’ll appear in two Hollywood films that would release in 2018 – A Kid Like Jake and Isn’t It Romantic.
Gradually turning into a fashion force to reckon with, Athiya Shetty has been approached by a popular fashion label to launch her own clothing line for youngsters. Ever since her debut, the gorgeous actress has been in news for her chic sartorial choices. Evidently a believer of ‘less is more’, Athiya has donned interesting sequins, cold shoulder tops, a mix of stripes and clothes with striking Indo-western elements, while making some of the most stunning red carpet appearances. With a huge following among the college-going youth, it is hardly a surprise that a clothing line has reached out to her.
A source close to a fashion label informs, “According to the label, Athiya is known for her fashion sensibilities. She is a hit when it comes to red carpet appearances and nails the high street fashion. So, after meetings with the brand, the young actor also shared her creative inputs and the kind of audience who follow her. Now, the team will revert to the actor with the final plan. The actor is quite excited about starting a new venture and is glad to be a part of the initiative.”
Commenting on the same Athiya says, “Yes, I have been approached to launch my own clothing line. I am looking forward to it and will soon make an official announcement.”
Back on the work front, post her debut in the 2015 film Hero, Athiya Shetty who was last seen in the Anil Kapoor – Arjun Kapoor starrer Mubarakan that released earlier this year is yet to announce her next venture.
There was a lot of cheer when Newton was selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars. After all, it was a film that had a great word of mouth and even did well commercially. But the race to Oscars is never easy. After all, almost 90 countries had sent a film each, in the Best Foreign Language Film category, out of which 9 get shortlisted in the first round. Almost every time, our Indian films never reach the top 9. And this year too, history has repeated. Newton has lost in the Oscar race.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Thursday announced the list of nine films that have made it to the semi-final list and Newton is nowhere to be seen. These nine films are A Fantastic Woman (Chile), In The Fade (Germany), On Body and Soul (Hungary), Foxtrot (Israel), The Insult (Lebanon), Loveless (Russia), Felicite (Senegal), The Wound (South Africa) and The Square (Sweden). The final nominations for all categories of the 90th Academy Awards will be announced on January 23. The main Oscars ceremony, meanwhile, will be held on March 4 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Till now, only three Indian films have reached the final list of Nominations in the Best Foreign Language Film category: Nargis-Sunil Dutt’s classic Mother India, Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay and the cult period sports drama Lagaan, starring Aamir Khan.
Newton starred Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Anjali Patil and Raghubir Yadav. It talked about an honest government officer who is sent to a remote Naxal-infested village in Chhatisgarh during the election time. His quest to conduct free and fair polls leads to hilarious and shocking consequences. It was directed by Amit Masurkar and coincidentally, it released on the same day when it was announced that its India’s official selection for the Oscars. This gave the film’s collections a huge boost.
Christmas and New Years are around the corner and world over; this is the time when holiday season kicks in and how. A lot of people travel back to their hometown to celebrate the festive season with their near and dear ones. Priyanka Chopra, currently working in the West, will also be returning back to India to spend quality time with her family. But this won’t be her usual visit in between her work assignment in the States. Priyanka is all set to create history in this visit.
If reports are to believed, then she is all set to perform at the upcoming ‘Zee Cine Awards’ and believe it or not, she will paid almost Rs 4-5 crore for a mere five minute performance! That comes out to around Rs 1 crore per minute! Reportedly, she is in much in demand and when Priyanka Chopra’s team quoted this steep price, the award organizers did not even negotiate! After all, Priyanka Chopra’s performance would one of the biggest attractions of ‘Zee Cine Awards’ as she’d be performing on the home turf after almost two years. The last time she performed was for the Producer Guild’s Awards in 2016. The actress is expected to dance to a medley of her songs.
Priyanka Chopra is expected to land in Mumbai over the weekend. She’ll then immediately start rehearsing for ‘Zee Cine Awards’ and also take out time for her ad shoots and other commitments. The awards ceremony will be held on December 19. Besides Priyanka Chopra, Shahid Kapoor and Jacqueline Fernandez will also be performing. Rohit Shetty is going to host for the first time ever.
On the work front, Priyanka Chopra is currently working on the third season of her hit TV show ‘Quantico’. She hasn’t signed a Bollywood film yet and her last Hindi film release was Jai GangaaJal.
When it was unveiled that Salman Khan’s younger sister Arpita is set to marry the handsome hunk Aayush Sharma, there was speculation whether he’ll be joining films too. And sure enough, news began trickling in soon that the dashing man is all set to be launched in Bollywood, by none other than Salman Khan himself. Yesterday, Salman surprised everyone by suddenly unveiling the title of the film at a time when people expected him to take about nothing but his upcoming biggie, Tiger Zinda Hai. Aayush Sharma’s debut film has been titled Loveratri. The film will be directed by Abhiraj Minawala, who also makes his debut with this film.
Abhiraj Minawala has assisted in the 2016 blockbuster Sultan, which featured Salman Khan in the leading role. Aayush Sharma was a frequent visitor on the sets of this film and that’s where both met. This was also the time when he came across a simple, honest yet strong story by Niren Bhatt, a significant writer in Gujarati film and theatre industry, based in Baroda. Abhiraj then started working with this writer on the screenplay and dialogues. He then realized that Aayush would be the perfect fit for the role of the leading actor. He took Salman Khan’s permission on whether he can audition his brother-in-law and the superstar readily agreed. By the end of the script reading, Abhiraj Minawala understood that he has found his leading man. Salman Khan too liked the concept of the film and decided to even produce it.
Loveratri is the story of a Gujarati boy who falls in love with a girl while dancing the garba during the colourful festive season of Navratri. The shoot will kick off in Baroda and Ahmedabad in February 2018. For the role, Aayush Sharma is undergoing language training as the debutant director doesn’t want him to get the accent wrong. Moreover, he’s taking dance classes as well as he needs to master garba. Once he perfects the move, Abhiraj Minawala will start filming.
The hunt for the female lead is still underway.
Sports biopics are in vogue in Bollywood. After the super success of films like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Mary Kom and M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story, now one more biopic is on the anvil – Soorma. It is based on the life of acclaimed hockey player Sandeep Singh and is expected to be a film to watch out for in 2018. Sandeep Singh is obviously aware of this biopic and is turning no stone unturned to make sure it works big time.
It has now come to light that Sandeep Singh, known world over for the fastest drag flick, is helping director Shaad Ali in directing the crucial hockey scenes. And not just Sandeep, even his brother Bikramjit Singh, who played an important role in his journey as a hockey player, will help in executing these scenes on the field. The brothers together would ensure that the postures, body language and other such aspects of the actors essaying hockey players are convincing and authentic.
Shaad Ali revealed that he’s thankful for the contribution by Sandeep Singh and Bikramjit Singh. He said that they have taken away the whole pressure of directing the hockey scenes off his back. Shaad can play hockey well but he stated that choreographing the field sequences and then directing them simultaneously is a different ball game altogether. So right now, Shaad looks into the technicalities of filming a scene and the brothers would ensure the players would get their act right on the field. He signed off by saying that they are his ‘Ram Lakhan’ and his two ‘anmol ratans’.
Soorma stars Diljit Dosanjh as Sandeep Singh along with Taapsee Pannu and Angad Bedi. Interestingly, Bikramjit Singh will also be seen acting in the film but he’ll essay a Pakistani hockey player. It is expected to release in India on June 29, 2018.
Never short of words, former CBFC chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani feels I & B minister Smriti Irani is barking up the wrong tree by banning condom ads. “It is not condoms but paan masala that is killing people. Children seeing condom ads is not going to kill them. But being encouraged to take gutka and paan masala by Bollywood role models is definitely damaging to the nation’s health,” says Nihalani.
He singles out Akshay Kumar for special censure. “Akshay has a very clean image. He is seen as a hero of the masses. Then why is he promoting a brand of paan masala? Others like Govinda and even the actor who played James Bond (Pierce Brosnon) are promoting what is a proven agent for cancer. If this is not detrimental to national health, what is? Condoms? Ms Smriti Irani needs to focus better on the dos and don’ts.”
Shockingly Nihalani reveals that the broadcasting of alcohol and paan masala ads in illegal and unconstitutional. “Law forbids the CBFC from granting certification to paan masala and alcohol ads. Therefore the ads for these products being broadcast are illegal. Actors who are part of such ads should know they’re participating in an illegal activity.”
Nihalani says he wrote repeatedly to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting about these ‘banned’ ads. “But I got no response from them. It’s very strange that Smritiji is going after condoms and not the real enemy. While Nitish Kumar is advocating nationwide prohibition, national television is selling paan masala to the nation.”
There are several hero-director pairs that create fireworks in Bollywood. In recent times, the ones that come in memory instantly are Shah Rukh Khan-Karan Johar, Ajay Devgn-Rohit Shetty, Akshay Kumar-Neeraj Pandey etc. In that same league, one can also add the names of Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Anurag Kashyap. Both have known each other since ages and have worked in several films together. It’s thanks to Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs Of Wasseypur that Nawazuddin Siddiqui got a chance to prove that he can rock as a lead actor as well.
And now, for Anurag Kashyap’s upcoming film Mukkabaaz, Nawazuddin Siddiqui has been roped in for a special appearance. The ‘lucky charm’ of the director will appear in the song ‘Mushkil Hai Apna Mel Priye’. Anurag Kashyap revealed that for the shoot of the song, Nawazuddin Siddiqui flew down to Bareilly for a day, shot the whole night and then left the next day. He said that the talented actor doesn’t dance as such but will show a few moves. Anurag Kashyap admitted that he loves Nawazuddin Siddiqui a lot and that he’s ready to do anything for me.
In the now-withdrawn autobiography ‘An Ordinary Life’, Nawazuddin Siddiqui has spoken highly of his equation with Anurag Kashyap. He narrated that Anurag was the casting director in Shool and he got the actor on board for a one-scene role of a waiter. Later, he made an impact in a cameo in Anurag’s Black Friday. Both were to work together in Gulaal, but due to internal politics, that couldn’t happen. But Anurag Kashyap compensated by getting him to perform on the song ‘Emotional Atyachar’ in Dev D. Talking about ‘Mushkil Hai Apna Mel Priye’, Anurag revealed that it’s written by BJP Minister of State Sunil Jogi. It was written 17 years ago and Anurag asked Sunil if he could use his song as it defines the unequal love story shown in the film. But the song was upgraded to suit the present times.
Mukkabaaz stars Vineet Kumar Singh, Zoya Hussain and Jimmy Sheirgill and is all set to release on January 12, 2018.
Sunny Deol has done action-packed, intense films but most of his films have been family-friendly and showcased him in a positive light. Hence, the industry, fans and trade were shocked when the trailer of Mohalla Assi was unveiled two years ago. It showed Sunny Deol mouthing expletives which is unlike what audiences have seen him doing since the start of his career in the early 80s. And there were scenes of Sunny Deol talking to Lord Shiva in his dream and the latter abusing him. The Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) feared that such sequences in the film can lead to major controversies.
The makers then went to the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal, which also denied certification to Mohalla Assi in November 2016. The reason given was the same – there was a fear that the film would hurt religious sentiments as it talks about the cultural degradation that is threatening present-day Varanasi. But now the makers of the film finally have a reason to smile. The Delhi High Court has pulled up the CBFC for the cuts issued by them and also for not giving the film censor certificate in time. It directed the CBFC to award an ‘A’ certificate in a week. Moreover, it also turned down 9 of the 10 cuts proposed by the CBFC. With the Censor hurdle being passed, Mohalla Assi can be expected to release in early 2018.
Mohalla Assi also stars Sakshi Tanwar and is directed by Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi. The box office prospects of the film have been affected a bit as the film got leaked way back in mid-2015. Talking about the way the film was stuck at the CBFC for so many years, Sunny Deol had said in many interviews that he was pained by it. He also added that it’s a reflection of the sad times that we live in. He signed off by saying that he and the makers of the film are not going to give up on the film. And looks like their efforts and patience have paid off.
Superstar Salman Khan, who ventured into production few years ago, gave a platform to newbies Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty with Hero. Now, Salman Khan is all set to launch another actor and it is none other than his brother-in-law Aayush Sharma, Arpita Khan Sharma’s husband.
Finally, the makers have made the official announcement. Salman Khan has announced his 5th venture titled Loveratri starring Aayush Sharma. Loveratri is produced by Salman under his banner name Salman Khan Films
Salman Khan took to his social media handle and tweeted, "Feeling very happy to announce @SKFilmsOfficial productions ka 5th venture #Loveratri introducing @aaysharma directed by Abhiraj Minawala. More details soon"
Loveratri will mark the debut of Aayush Sharma in Bollywood. The female lead for the film is yet to be finalized. Directed by Abhiraj Minawala, it will be also his directorial debut with the film. The film will soon go on floors and the lead actress will be finalized soon as well.
Ayushmann Khurrana has been a poster boy for slice of life films. The actor has delivered huge super-hits with feel-good content cinema like Vicky Donor, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan. The versatile actor is now set to explore the thriller genre through Sriram Raghavan’s untitled next in which he plays a blind piano player and show audiences his action avatar.
“Ayushmann will be seen doing gritty, realistic action in this film. He plays a blind piano player who gets caught in the middle of a crisis and he would need to fend for himself and escape the situation. Since he is a blind man, he cannot do illogical action that we see in our movies. It will be extremely real, gritty and believable,” reveals a source.
The informer adds, “Ayushmann has jumped off the first floor of the building without harness and without protection on the ground. There is a technique to pull this off without getting hurt and he practiced it and perfected the shot to a T. There are several chase sequences that Ayushmann will pull off, a couple of very realistic hand-to-hand action sequences. Sriram is clear that it has to be convincing to audiences that a person with disability can pull off these sequences and not come across as macho, stereotyped Bollywood action sequences that are mostly unbelievable. Ayushmann has got a taste of action for the first time and he is loving it.”
When contacted, Ayushmann Khurrana confirms the story saying, “This is the first film in which I’m doing some very realistic action and it has been a great experience for me. I’m loving the rush of doing these sequences. They are extremely real. The highlight has to be me jumping off from the first floor of the building without harness or any protection on the ground. I did the shot in just one take and thankfully I didn’t get hurt! I’m looking forward to pulling off the other action sequences in the film. It’s going to be a good high.”
The movie also stars Tabu and is being co-produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Matchbox Pictures.
Since last month, there has been a fear over films not getting timely releases thanks to new Censor diktat that the film has to be submitted 69 days in advance. Most of the films are generally submitted to the office of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) just two or three weeks before. As a result, the release of lot of movies like Justice League (only the Hindi verion), Firangi, Tera Intezaar etc got delayed.
There was a fear, albeit from a small section of media and moviegoers, that due to this rule, Tiger Zinda Hai, the last biggie of 2017, might also get affected. But it seems the CBFC has relaxed this rule as it would lead to a lot of film releases getting postponed resulting in a disastrous domino effect. And now it has come to light that Tiger Zinda Hai has been seen by the CBFC members and has even been given a certificate on December 14. The examining committee, if reports are to be believed, have issued a U/A certificate. But there have been two audio cuts and a visual cut. As per sources, a scene where a nurse is being kicked is deleted and two abuses have been silenced or maybe replaced. The duration of the film is 2 hours 41 minutes.
Tiger Zinda Hai stars Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif and is the sequel to the 2012 blockbuster Ek Tha Tiger, featuring the same actors. While the first part was directed by Kabir Khan, Tiger Zinda Hai is helmed by Ali Abbas Zafar, who also directed Salman in last year’s 300-crore-grosser Sultan. The film is inspired from the real-life incident of 46 nurses being taken hostage by the terrorist group ISIS in Iraq in 2014. It’s shot in amazing locales of UAE and Germany and its trailer has met with a great response. The film is expected to have the biggest opening for a Hindi film in 2017. Moreover, it’s releasing in the beneficial Christmas period and hence, its opening weekend can also be the biggest ever for Bollywood film ever.
Rohit Shetty likes to don many hats at one go. He’s primarily a director, known for making blockbuster films. At the same time, he also designs the action scenes in the film, which always turn out to be the highlight. A few years ago, he turned producer. In between, he’s also been hosting the adventurous reality show ‘Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi’ and is now going to judge ‘India’s Next Superstars’ with Karan Johar.
And now, he’ll be adding a new feather in his cap. He’s all set to host the upcoming edition of Zee Cine Awards. He’ll be the main host and it is expected to be quite entertaining. After all, Rohit is known for his one-liners and comic timing. Moreover, he taking a dig at other actors would also be alright as he is friends with almost all the leading stars. Not to forget, he understands the pulse of the audience, going by his envious track record as a director. Therefore, one can expect some great jokes mouthed by him that’s sure to resonate with the audiences. What’s more, he’ll be joined the very popular stand-up comic Sunil Grover. Both are hence expected to bring the house down.
On the film direction front, Rohit Shetty just delivered the biggest Bollywood blockbuster of 2017, Golmaal Again. He’s now all set to begin work on the official Hindi remake of Temper, titled Simmba. It stars Ranveer Singh and will release on December 28, 2018. This action comedy will be co-produced by him along with Karan Johar and Reliance Entertainment.
Filmmaker Neeraj Pandey will be unveiling the first look of his upcoming crime drama Aiyaary starring Sidharth Malhotra and Manoj Bajpayee on Vijay Diwas, 16th December 2017. Vijay Diwas is celebrated on 16th December every year as it marks the victory over Pakistan in the Indo-Pakistan war in 1971, which resulted in the formation of Bangladesh.
Aiyaary, which revolves around two army officers, will aptly unveil its first look on the celebratory day of the army. The film portrays Sidharth Malhotra as an army officer sharing a mentor-protégé bond with Manoj Bajpayee. The film which is set against the backdrop of army officials wanted to underline the importance of Vijay Diwas and hence opted for the day in order to unveil the first look.
Neeraj Pandey, who has constantly expressed his love for the nation through his films, has taken yet another opportunity to bank upon important dates for his film's content. The filmmaker will not only unveil the first look on Vijay Diwas but will also release the film on Republic Day.
The filmmaker said, "Vijay Diwas is a very significant day for the military troops of the country. It's a tribute to the martyrs who laid down their lives for the victory of India in 1971. We thought what better day than this to release the poster of our film, Aiyaary. We dedicate it to our military troops and their brave families."
With films like Special 26, Baby, Rustom amongst others, the filmmaker has paid tribute to the uniform officials of the nation that serve its public. Aiyaary will yet again be an ode to army officials.
Those who have read and seen Soha Ali Khan's interviews will be aware that she has a great sense of humour and is very good with words. Hence, it was no surprise that she decided to pen her own book, titled 'The Perils of Being Moderately Famous'. Some of the excerpts from this book were out and it made it clear that Soha is all set to impress with her new innings as an author/
Finally, on Tuesday December 12, the book was launched in a grand event attended by Soha's family members - mother Sharmila Tagore, brother Saif Ali Khan, sister-in-law Kareena Kapoor Khan, husband Kunal Kemmu and sister Saba Ali Khan. All of them had some interesting anecdotes to share about the author in the house. But Kareena Kapoor Khan's lovely words took the cake and it even left Soha Ali Khan teary eyed.
Kareena Kapoor Khan surprised everyone by saying that Soha is one of those rare persons in her life who she finds intimidating. She said, "I rarely get intimidated by people, but if there's one person who I find intimidating, it's Soha. I am in awe of her. I am pretty nervous whenever I am dining with Saif and Soha. I feel like I am never going to understand their conversation. If Kunal can't follow it, there's no way I can, but she has always been so polite. She will ask me, 'What's up? Did you buy anything? What's the gossip?' I wonder if that's how the conversation with me is going to be like forever (laughs). I feel small and vain whenever I am around her, but we've found our way now. If there's anyone in the family who we all turn to if Amma (Sharmila) is all worked up and fired up, it's Soha. She is one person who can control any situation. I truly believe that she is the torchbearer of this family, she is the grounding on which all of us stand. The way she compassionately took care of her father, when he was ailing... even I am a daughter and I don't think I could have done what she did. That alone, in my eyes, makes her a solid woman. She is the brightest in the family."
On the film front, Soha Ali Khan was last seen in the long-delayed film 31st October, co-starring Vir Das. In the same year, 2016, she essayed a supporting part in Sunny Deol-starrer Ghayal Once Again. Last year, she also announced that she and Kunal Kemmu have got into film production and are making a biopic on the reputed veteran Ram Jethmalani. This year, they faced a legal issue after a producer, Raj Khan, claimed that it was he who had rights to make a film on Ram Jethmalani. Ram Jethmalani's son, senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, however rubbished these allegations and nothing much was known about this case after that.
Zaira Wasim, Dangal and Secret Superstar actress, has been in headlines recently after an alleged harassment in a flight. The teen actor was traveling on the Vistara flight from Delhi to Mumbai when she said that a passenger sitting behind her put his feet on her armrest.
In the Instagram live video, Zaira Wasim narrated the ordeal after deboarding the flight and broke down several times during the live session. Since then, the accused man was arrested by Mumbai Police. Although the industry members are supporting Zaira, the actress received tremendous backlash for the same.
Coming down heavily on the trolls against Zaira Wasim who spoke about a man harassing her on a flight, Kangana Ranaut said we should encourage women and not judge them when they speak about harassment. “The backlash this young girl is getting is so upsetting. Instead of lauding a girl for speaking up, people are judging and questioning her, "added Kangana at an event held to launch Shobhaa De's book.
While there has been an enormous amount of support from sections of public and Zaira Wasim’s colleagues from the industry, there has also been a constant criticism against her reaction to the apparent incident and doubts have been raised at the authenticity of her claims.
When asked if she is scared to get into controversies for speaking out, Kangana Ranaut said, “If I don’t talk, someone else will. It is not that if I don’t talk and act like an ostrich, no one will bring it to notice. I have always had options (to let things go) but I won’t succumb to that.”
Further elaborating, she added, “The intention is never to be disliked. There might be a wrong impression of me for taking a stand today but maybe 10-14 years down the line, I know I will be respected for my stand and my convictions, if not loved.”
According to the recent reports, the person who was arrested for molesting actress Zaira Wasim has been sent to judicial custody until December 22. The defendant has filed a bail plea which will be heard on December 15.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui whose extremely bright career hit a sleeping dog recently when his kiss-and-tell memoirs raised a stink, seems to have gone into the deep end. Determined to keep out of the public eye on the advice of his team and lawyers, Nawazuddin has decided not to promote his latest release, director Amit Kumar serial-killer thriller Monsoon Shootout in which he plays an axe-wielding serial killer.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui, on the lookout for an image clean-up, has decided to stay away from all negativity, and that includes negative roles. Says a source, “Nawaz now wants to stop playing dark scummy characters of rapists, serial killers, and other anti-social elements that he has been playing with habitual expertise since the beginning of his career. His focus at the moment is on cleaning up his image on and off screen. Manto, director Nandita Das’ biopic on the Urdu poet-writer Sadat Hassan Manto is a big move ahead for Nawazuddin in portraying heroes rather than outcastes. His entire focus at the moment is on playing and promoting Manto. Monsoon Shootout is an old commitment. The film was completed three years ago. As far as Nawazuddin Siddiqui is concerned, he’s done with Monsoon Shootout long ago.”
However the producers of Monsoon Shootout have another story to tell. “By this logic, the artistes of Pakeezah must have stayed away from all publicity since the film took twenty years to complete,” says a source close to Monsoon Shootout.
Neeraj Vora, the man who made us laugh on screen and off it too, is no more. Vora, who came into his own as the writer of Ram Gopal Varma’s Rangeela & Daud and also made a big impact playing comic roles in films like Akele Hum Akele Tum, Daud, Satya and Welcome Back, besides directing Phir Hera Pheri, passed away early morning on Thursday, December 14.
Producer Firoz Nadiadwala, who had been looking after the ailing Vora for more than a year, informed this writer of Vora’s demise, “He passed away at 4 am on Thursday. I’ve lost the battle to save my brother and friend from death. His health had improved so much. But it deteriorated suddenly on Friday. He had to be out into hospital. But it was no use. We lost him.”
For the past one year, Firoz had been looking after all the medical expenses of comatose filmmaker Neeraj Vora who fell ill and was given up for almost-dead by the doctors until Firoz stepped in.
Since that fateful day, Neeraj Vora occupied a special room in Firoz’s bungalow where the ailing writer-director was attended by a fleet of medical experts, nurses, dieticians and well-wishers.
Reluctant to talk about his astonishingly noble deed, Firoz says, “It was one year on 19 October since I got Neeraj to my home in Mumbai from AIIMS in Delhi where the doctors had declared he would be dead in a few hours. Quite frankly, I don’t know what powers made me do what I did. I couldn’t leave him to die. He had nobody to look after him. Neeraj did have a brother. But he was financially incapable of shouldering the responsibility. I had known Neeraj for 12 years. We’ve worked together in several films and we’ve shared a close bonding. How could I leave him there to die? How would I’ve lived with myself if I had been so callous?”
Firoz still recalls that fateful day when he decided to step in and save his friend’s life. “As I said the doctors at AIMS had given up on him. I don’t know what got into me. I immediately hired an air ambulance to bring Neeraj from Delhi to Mumbai. I have to confess my heart was in my mouth. If Neeraj had passed away during that journey from Delhi to Mumbai, or even after landing I’d have been in serious legal and moral trouble. Luckily God was on my side. He willed that Neeraj live and I be the tool to save his life. I sincerely believe we are all instruments of God brought to earth to do HIS will.”
Neeraj was slowly recovering under Firoz’s care. “I had set aside a room in my house for him. That was his home for the past year. The room has pictures of his parents. His father, a classical musician, used to play an instrument called the Veena. We had that music playing in his room. We had the Hanuman Chalisa recited for him…All that was familiar to Neeraj was there for him. Plus there were four attendants—two each for the day and night shifts—to look after him round the clock, a dietician, neuro-surgeons, a cook who lives closeby and cooks all the special food that Neeraj has to be fed through his stomach….Under all this care, Neeraj was slowly recovering. And now, he is gone.”
Firoz feels all his efforts to save his friend has gone to waste. “I lost Neeraj. I was so sure he would recover fully. But God willed otherwise. We are now giving a proper send-off with pooja and rituals. The cremation is at the Santacruz cremation at 4pm today.”