Tag Archive: Bollywood

Varun Dhawan to have his world-first wax figure at Madame Tussauds

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Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan is ready for a red-carpet entry to Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. Visitors can get up close with the first youngest Indian Bollywood superstar in 2018 at the famed attraction at The Peak.

Varun Dhawan made his acting debut in the 2012 romantic comedy Student of the Year and received nomination of Best Male Debut on The Filmfare Awards.

Starring in ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ and ‘ABCD 2’, he began to create and garner more attention. In 2015, Varun won his first IIFA (International Indian Film Academy) Awards for Best Performance in a Comic Role for his performance as Seenu in ‘Main Tera Hero’ and has been nominated for Best Actor for his role in ‘Badlapur’ in 2016.

Recently, Varun Dhawan was invited by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be part of Swachh Bharat Mission, a campaign by the Indian Government on urban sanitation, and on promotion tour for his latest movie, ‘Judwaa 2’.

Varun's figure will be the world-first figure in Madame Tussauds history. "It was a great experience to work with Madame Tussauds and I am so excited to get my wax figure in Hong Kong!” commented Varun.

A group of skilled Madame Tussauds sculpting team specially travelled to Mumbai to meet Varun and conduct a detailed sitting process. More than 200 measurements were taken, the team also matched the hair and eye colour of the actor. Varun also worked closely with the team and kept sharing his ideas on the pose of the figure.

Jenny You, General Manager of Madame Tussauds Hong Kong said: "Varun Dhawan is one of the most requested figures and we are delighted to be partnering with this Bollywood great actor.

“Hong Kong is a multicultural metropolis which makes us a unique brand. Visitors can meet both Hollywood, Asian and also Bollywood stars here at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong.

“The worldwide popularity of Bollywood films makes people in Hong Kong increasingly embrace Bollywood culture. As the first youngest Indian Bollywood actor to be waxed, we are confident that Varun's figure will bring visitors an all-new experience."

Varun Dhawan will be the fourth Indian figure to join Madame Tussauds Hong Kong with Mahatma Gandhi, Narendra Modi and Amitabh Bachchan, currently on display. Varun will unveil his figure in Hong Kong early next year.

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Sonam Kapoor: “Cat fight talks outdated!”

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Actress Sonam Kapoor is livid over gossip around an alleged 'cat fight' on the sets of her film ‘Veere Di Wedding’, which features an ensemble of actresses including Kareena Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhasker and Shikha Talsania.

Sonam's reaction came following a 'blind item' posted by an entertainment portal.

In a Twitter post, Sonam wrote: "Dear websites, you can put out as many 'blind items' (aka gossip you were too lazy to fact-check) as you like pitting women against each other. It may get you clicks but it won't be the truth. Must you insist on shoving this tired patriarchal concept of women cat fighting into our film (which is not about a road trip) as if grown, intelligent women have nothing better to do.

"We will continue to be actual friends and try and make a kick-ass movie and prove that women can work with each other, get along and have a blast. Because we can, we are and we will continue to. And on schedule. Please keep in mind how outdated, irresponsible, and harmful your narrative is and frustrating for a culture of women who actually want to work together.

"There is no place for it anymore. Sincerely, The cast and crew of 'Veere Di Wedding'."

Produced by Rhea Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor, the film's first schedule was wrapped in Delhi. It is directed by Shashanka Ghosh.

Sonam and Rhea's father and veteran actor Anil Kapoor also shot down the gossip item.

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On Virat Kohli’s wish list: Learn Rubic’s Cube technique from Aamir Khan

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Virat Kohli, the world's best batsman and captain of the world's top Test and ODI teams, wants to learn the Rubic's Cube from Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan.

The two had recently appeared in a show for a private television network. Kohli, the India captain, later tweeted to say he needed to learn the techniques of solving the complicated Rubic's Cube puzzle from the ace actor.

Kohli has been in sensational form this year and is the leading run-getter in one-day internationals in 2017.

The 28-year-old has also led his team with panache. India have won ODI series against England, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Australia besides making it to the final of the Champions Trophy.

India have also been unbeatable in Test cricket, having defeated Australia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Kohli, who became the only batsman to hammer double hundreds in four successive Test series last year, will next lead India against New Zealand in a limited-overs series.

Aamir, who delivered a hit with his last movie 'Dangal', will next feature in a movie titled 'Secret Superstar'.

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Mayor of London set to rub shoulders with Bollywood celebs

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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is expected to meet leading figures in India’s phenomenally successful Bollywood film industry during his visit to India and Pakistan later this year.

In what will be the first time a Mayor of London has visited both countries, Khan will meet senior politicians, business leaders and city chiefs in six major cities on a six-day mission to strengthen their economic and cultural ties with London.

The Mayor will visit Mumbai, Delhi and Amritsar in India, before heading to Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi in Pakistan on a trip that will take place towards the end of the year. Sadiq is the first major British politician to embark on a trade mission to both countries in recent times.

Sadiq’s primary goal is to promote the ‘London is Open’ campaign as the theme of his first official visit to both countries.

He will proclaim that London remains the world’s number-one destination for business, investment, talent and ideas during a series of high-profile events and meetings. And he will seek to demonstrate that, despite the EU Referendum vote, London continues to welcome people from across the world to work, study or visit.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “As someone whose grandparents were born in India, and whose parents moved to London from Pakistan, I feel a deep affinity for the subcontinent.

"But what excites me most about this trip is that I know it can deliver real benefits for Londoners. Benefits in terms of business and trade, jobs and investment, and in terms of cultural and technological exchange.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s grandparents were born in India

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s grandparents were born in India

 

“This is a really important mission as there are so many areas in which London can work with its counterparts across India and Pakistan. Not only in business but in tackling some of the biggest challenges we all face – such as air pollution and climate change.

“I am passionate about showing that my city will always be open to engaging with partners from around the world, and I look forward to strengthening the bonds between London and our friends in India and Pakistan later this year.”

The itinerary for the Mayor’s visit is still being finalised but in both India and Pakistan he will meet with senior politicians, business leaders, artists, investors and entrepreneurs to discuss common areas of interest and opportunities to work together.

The Mayor will be accompanied by his Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal

The Mayor will be accompanied by his Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal

 

The Mayor will be accompanied by his Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal and a packed agenda in both countries is expected to include discussions on business and investment, regeneration opportunities, visas and major events.

Between 2005 and 2016 the UK was the second largest destination for Indian investment and 44 per cent of the fastest growing Indian companies now have a base in London.

Sadiq is expected to meet leading figures in India’s phenomenally successful Bollywood film industry as well as representatives from the tech, education and sports sectors. In 2017, the UK and India have been celebrating a bilateral year of cultural exchange. A major programme of cultural events and activities in India have been organised by the British Council, and a similar programme in the UK organised by the Government of India.

A delegation of business leaders taking part in the Mayor’s International Business Programme will also meet up with Sadiq in Mumbai before they move onto Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Bilateral trade between the UK and Pakistan is valued at £2bn, and in 2015 five Pakistani companies were listed on the London Stock Exchange with a combined market value of £10.5bn. As a sign of an improving economy, in May Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) reclassified Pakistan as an emerging market from frontier market status, driving a bullish trend in the Pakistan Stock Exchange. With a national population of 207 million and a fast-growing middle class, more than 100 British businesses are doing business in Pakistan to make the most of the massive opportunities

Only two cities in the world provide more investment in Pakistan than the capital and major London businesses operating in the country include Ernst & Young and Standard Chartered.

Key events attended by Sadiq are expected to involve figures from the Pakistani cultural, sporting and financial sectors. The Mayor will also be accompanied by a group of senior business executives from the capital who are looking for trade deals or investment opportunities there. To mark the 70th Independence Anniversary of Pakistan, the Pakistan High Commission in London have commissioned ‘Emerging Pakistan’, a year-long campaign that showcases Pakistani culture, its landscape and people.

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Hrithik breaks silence on Kangana row

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“There are 3,000 one-sided mails which either I have sent to myself or the woman in question has sent to me. The Cyber Crime department can prove or disprove either story, in just a few days. Towards that purpose, I have surrendered all my devices including laptops/phones which are still lying with the Cyber Cell, but Kangana has refused to do so.” Hrithik Roshan.

Actor Hrithik Roshan has broken his silence on the dragging row with actress Kangana Ranaut, saying he has never met her privately and asked how two “high-profile celebrities” could have had a seven-year passionate affair without any evidence.

Hrithik, son of veteran actor-filmmaker Rakesh Roshan, said: “Just like a nagging health issue sometimes ignored can turn malignant, this situation for me has unfortunately turned malignant.

“The truth is, I have never met the lady in question one-on-one in my entire life.

“Yes, we have worked together, but there has been no meeting in private. That’s the truth,” he said. He added he was “not fighting against an allegation of an affair”.

“I’m in fact protecting myself from something far more serious, sensitive and destructive than that,” Hrithik said in a statement.

The row began last year when Kangana hinted at Hrithik being her “ex-boyfriend”.

She said in an interview that she fails to understand “why exes do silly things to get your attention”.

The actress lodged a legal complaint against Hrithik for “misusing” the confidential emails and photographs of the time when they were together.

Hrithik later filed a complaint with the cybercrime cell, claiming an imposter had been emailing Kangana from a bogus email ID, pretending to be him.

The mud-slinging has continued till date, with Kangana and her sister constantly accusing Hrithik.

The “Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai” star questioned: “An alleged seven-year long, passionate affair between two high profile celebrities with no trail left behind.

“No evidence, no paparazzi pictures, no witnesses, not even a memento in possession like a selfie taken at the alleged engagement which is claimed to have happened in Paris in January 2014. Nothing that constitutes an exchange or any sort of proof of a romantic relationship.

“Yet we want to believe the other party because the rhetoric is — why would a girl lie.”

Hrithik also refuted talk of an alleged engagement with Kangana in Paris.

“My passport details show no travel outside the country in January 2014, which is the date that this alleged engagement supposedly took place. In Paris.

“The only so-called proof presented of this alleged ‘relationship’ was a photoshopped picture in the media. This was immediately exposed, the very next day by friends including my ex-wife.”

Hrithik was married to Sussanne Khan, with whom he has two sons. They separated in 2014.

The actor says the investigation regarding the emails is on.

“There are 3,000 one-sided mails which either I have sent to myself or the woman in question has sent to me. The Cyber Crime department can prove or disprove either story, in just a few days. Towards that purpose, I have surrendered all my devices including laptops/phones which are still lying with the Cyber Cell, but the other party has refused to do so.

“This is not, and I repeat, not a lovers spat. I humbly request people to stop labelling it as one and, for a second, try and see it for what it really is.

“I have been harassed by this for four years and the well meaning and probably necessary social bias toward women has deemed me helpless in defending myself.

“I’m not here to accuse or judge anyone, but it’s time I defend the truth because when truth suffers the collective consciousness of society suffers. Civilization suffers. Closer to home, families suffer. Children suffer.”

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Fun in Halifax: Couples only Bollywood Nights prove hugely successful

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“We decided on a couples only event, because there has been trouble in the past where young men have started fights and this is something that we want to avoid.”

A new style night out has hit Halifax and has gone down a success following its debut in September.

The night is promoted to couples only to enjoy a Bollywood themed night, runs on the first Monday of every month at The Nut House (Bar Rouge, Fusion and Panacea) in Silver Street.

Following the success of their debut event in September, they’re looking forward to the next event on Monday 2nd October.

This event will be held at their official home - the award-winning cocktail and bar environment, with international DJ Pete Van Wilder playing the most popular Bollywood and Bhangra music.

The club features three floors to cater for different needs.

The top floor is a place to go and relax and chill, the middle floor is a social area to go and talk to fellow couples with a Bollywood blockbuster music theme, while the ground floor is a dancefloor.

The events feature Indian snacks which are provided as part of the service, while there are Bollywood dancers to entertain the couples. A Bollywood guest appearance is also on the cards, with a popular actress who is on the DaBangg tour with Salman Khan.

DJ Pete Van Wilder spoke to Asian Express about and gave some background detail about the event he said:” We saw a niche in the market, and there was a lack of Asian centered nights.

“I was approached through a mutual friend about creating a Bollywood night in Halifax, we decided to go big and see how it went.

“After a lot of market research, we decided that Monday nights would be the best for us as Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights are all well established in Halifax.”

The club’s internationally acclaimed DJ went on to give detail on the night itself and what happens he explained: “The night starts off at The Nut House which is like a pre-bar with free entry it is a place where people can go and relax.

“We decided on a couples only event, because there has been trouble in the past where young men have started fights and this is something that we want to avoid. We want to be a place where you can bring your families and enjoy your night.”

The resident DJ then discussed the thinking behind their couples only Bollywood themed nights and what they will offer the public, he explained: “Bollywood nights in other cities have had their problems with lads making girls uncomfortable.

“We will specialise in Bollywood and Pop music, we will have competitions to win free drinks.

“The main event is held at Bar Rouge which is set up with a Bollywood theme and Indian food. At the next event there will be Bollywood dancers from Bradford University – we’re trying to make it as fun as possible. There are also potential celebrity appearances lined up in the coming months.”

The debut event was a success on the first Monday of September and Pete Van Wilder told us how this went and what to expect moving forward, he said: “The debut event we decided to give free entry to everyone and the 2nd of October it will be the same again, with food and Bollywood dancing.

“The debut was a massive success with over 200 people throughout the night, with people mingling and dancing.

“It was not just Asian people, there were Caucasian couples and Chinese couples enjoying the night, it is for everybody, for anyone who wants to enjoy Bollywood nights.”

It was then discussed what the long-term future of the event is Van Wilder said: “The plan is to establish a base in Halifax, and for it to grow with good reputation.

“We will also be specialising in Birthdays with booths and champagne aiming to make the night special.”

Pete Van Wilder added: “In the Asian community, people they tend to work Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Monday is often a day off for the Asian community.

“What we want is a good pleasant environment, where people and women feel safe and cater for the LGBT community. I received an email from a transgender individual and all couples are welcome to come for a good night. Everyone is equal.

“We will have a strong door team who will not allow groups of people in they think will cause trouble. Our appeal is to everyone as we just want everyone to have a good time in a safe and comfortable environment.

“Our first night was trouble free, there were no incidents and everyone had a fantastic time, single males and large groups of males get turned away as that’s not what we are about.

Entry is free from 5pm when they open their doors. From 10pm this moves to £6 then from 12pm it increases to £8.

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Farhan Akhtar wins Asian Achiever’s Award

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London, UK – The winners of the influential 17th annual Asian Achievers Awards were celebrated amid a ray of Bollywood stars, glittering celebrities and high profile dignitaries on Friday September 22ndat London's Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane. Winners include, Bollywood star Farhan Akhtar for International Personality of the Year (Male); Playwright Tanika Gupta MBE for Achievement in Media; Surinder Arora for Business Person of the Year; with the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Lord Indarjit Singh CBE, for his immense achievements and contribution to harmonising race relations in Britain.

Hosted by Bollywood singer, actress and model, Raageshwari and former Eastenders star actor Nitin Ganatra, the awards saw over £155,000 raised for charity partner, Akshaya Patra, which works to eradicate classroom hunger and facilitate childhood education by serving freshly cooked, nourishing lunches to 1.6 million school children across India every day. The event also highlighted the great strides made in the fields of Media, Art and Culture.

Mr. CB Patel, Publisher/Editor, ABPL Group says: "It brings me great pleasure to congratulate all the winners, and of course the nominees, of the Asian Achievers Awards, in another outstanding year of celebrating excellence in our community. In the past 17 years that we have been holding our awards, South Asian achievement in Britain has evolved tremendously and we now have role models in every arena, who are inspirations for the generations who are to follow."

Bhawini Singh, CEO Akshaya Patra said: "'Akshaya' is unlimited and 'Patra' is path, the path that never runs out and that's what we intend to do every day as we serve millions of meals a day"

Farhan Akhtar, winner of the International Personality of the Year Award, said: "Thank you very, very much for this award, it's very kind."

Tanika Gupta MBE, winner of the Achievement in Media Award, said: "I just want to say thank you very much. What's really important about this award and this evening, is that within the mainstream, people like myself – writers - don't usually get recognized. So it's fantastic to get this recognition from my community – finally."

Since launching, The Asian Achievers Awards has helped to raise millions of pounds for various charities and this year, the chosen charity partner is the Akshaya Patra Foundation, which works to eradicate classroom hunger and facilitate childhood education by serving freshly cooked, nourishing lunches to 1.6 million school children across India every day. The Asian Achievers Awards is proud to announce EY, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, as its headline sponsor. Also sponsoring are Shanti Hospitality and Edwardian Hotels, with Colors TV on board as Media Partner.

 


 

ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2017 WINNERS

Professional of the Year
Fayyaz Afzal OBE

Sports Personality of the Year
Sivakumar Ramasamy

Achievement in Arts & Culture
Amrit Kaur Lohia

Achievement in Community Service
Saba Nasim BEM

Uniformed & Civil services
Kulbir Pasricha

Entrepreneur of the Year
Gi Fernando MBE

Woman of the Year
Jagdeep Rai

Achievement in Media
Tanika Gupta MBE

Business Person of the Year
Surinder Arora

Lifetime Achievement Award
Lord Indarjit Singh CBE

International Businessperson of the Year

Biren Sasmal

International Personality of the Year
Farhan Akhtar

 


 

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A “satisfied” Sonam Kapoor

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Actress Sonam Kapoor, who will start shooting for ‘Veere Di Wedding’, says she has had a creatively satisfying year so far.

"This year has been amazing for me creatively. Working on 'PadMan', Sanjay Dutt biopic and now ending it with 'Veere Di Wedding',” she said.

“Can't wait for you guys to see all these films! Lots of love to all who have supported me and have helped me through my journey," she added.

The actress, whose performance in ‘Neerja’ was widely applauded, is looking forward to a fruitful time in the future too.

"Next year is gonna be even more awesome with all these movies releasing and me starting some exciting new projects," added Sonam, who said she is obsessed with Jessica Biel's ‘The Sinner’.

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Bobby Deol: “I don’t look back at the low phase of my life

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Bobby Deol became an overnight star with his debut film "Barsaat" in 1995, but his stardom faded gradually with Bollywood placing its bets on a new crop of actors and experimenting with different stories. The actor says everyone goes through ups and downs, and that he doesn't want to spend his time thinking about the past.

At the moment, Bobby is in a very "happy phase" and is not afraid of failures. He says his fans still want to see him on the silver screen and so he is eager to move forward on a positive note.

"After my last film, I was just not interested in subjects that were offered to me. I didn't want to pick anything, and my last film didn't do well. So, I was just waiting for something nice to come my way. I was trying to work on myself, improve myself and reinvent myself," he said.

"Reinventing is just a term used in our industry. It is basically getting oneself in the right frame of mind and being positive and then just trying to move forward," he added.

After the failure of ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana 2’, Bobby had a guest appearance in ‘Singh Saab the Great’ in 2013.

The mention of his break from the silver screen makes Bobby reflect on how he fought his battles.

"Between this, I went through a phase where I was totally disappointed, low in life with nothing going my way. I fought those battles and came out of it. I don't look back at all that negativity and the low phase of my life. I am happy just thinking that things will work.

"I have 'Poster Boys' and I am doing 'Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se'. So, things are moving forward and one has to be positive," he added.

Bobby will be back on the big screen after almost four years with ‘Poster Boys’ – a film about three men who are shocked to find their photos being used as part of a vasectomy campaign. The film also stars Sunny Deol and Shreyas Talpade.

The actor said: "I know that people still love me and still want to see me in movies. It requires me to move forward. You never know which is the right movie. You just have to look for the subject and work."

After a successful debut, the son of veteran actor Dharmendra experimented with his craft, and picked varied projects - from love stories to thrillers to hard-core action films.

The father-of-two said setbacks make one stronger.

"I cannot be philosophical about it or anything. I am just saying that everybody goes through ups and downs. You have to be brave enough to face them and fight it... No one around you can help you unless you help yourself. That makes you stronger."

The "Apne" actor also said that he wished he was "more positive and more focused in my life earlier" than he is at present.

"I wish I was like that but I can't change that. I don't want to cry about how I was and how I should I have been."

At the moment, he wants to work in good movies.

"I want to work every day of my life. My ambition in life is to always keep moving and for that you really have to work hard and look after yourself."

"I am in a very happy phase in my life in my mind. Even if I have failures when I work, it won't push me back like it used to earlier, because I just want to move forward and my ambition in life is to just keep moving forward," Bobby concluded.

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Big B to take on role of slum soccer founder Vijay Barse

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After playing a Bal Thackeray doppelganger in Ram Gopal Varmas 'Sarkar' series, it is time for the indefatigable Amitabh Bachchan to play yet another real-life character.

In the film, directed by Nagaraj Manjules yet to get a title, Big B plays Vijay Barse who more than a decade ago, established the Nagpur based NGO Slum Soccers, which helps slum kids find their bearings through the game of football.

Though he is more than happy to speak about his adulation for Bachchan, Manjule is reluctant to talk about the project he will start shooting with the megastar in October.

"Let's just say, it is based on a real-life character. But the way I've written the part and the film, it moves very far away from the original source," he said.

Manjule has been writing his new Bachchan film for a good two years.

"And before that I was researching on the subject. I don't mind spending time on my script. I spent a good eight years on the script of Sairat. I wrote it with only Bachchan Saab in mind. I've been his fan from childhood.

"I grew up copying his clothes, speech and mannerisms from Majboor and Deewaar. I'd go to school with my shirt tied like Bachchan Saab in 'Deewaar' and get severely reprimanded by my teachers. But the punishment had no effect on me. I'd still do it," he said.

Manjule, a self-confessed Bachchan bhakt, says when he met Bachchan he was somehow able to control his adulation.

"I don't know how but I managed to remain calm, restrained and dignified. I actually wanted to jump out of my seat and dance around him. But I narrated my script in an even tone. I am happy I did that. I didn't want to come across as just a fan. Of course I am a fan for lifetime. And someday when I complete my film with him I'll tell him how much effort it took me to not gush and rave when I met him for the first time," he said.

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Madhuri: “Bringing on Priyanka is perfect”

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Bollywood's dancing diva Madhuri Dixit Nene was surprised when she got to know about the development of a series based on her. She says getting Indian actress Priyanka Chopra on board as an executive producer is a right step.

"I was pleasantly surprised when Sri Rao said he wanted to do a series inspired by my life in America," Madhuri said in a statement.

The story would follow how Madhuri settles down with her bi-cultural family and tries to bring her colourful lifestyle to an otherwise dull town.

In reality, Madhuri had taken a break from showbiz when she married Sriram Nene (Ram), who was based in US back then and shifted to Denver from Mumbai to start a family. The mother-of-two sons returned to showbiz around five years ago, and continues to be one of the most charming beauties in the Hindi film industry.

Sri Rao, a New York-based writer for shows like 'General Hospital: Night Shift', will pen the pilot and executive produce the series, as will Madhuri's husband.

The 'Dil Toh Pagal Hai' actress added: "As Ram and I chatted with Sri, the story evolved and Mark Gordon Productions came on board, wanting to produce it. Bringing on Priyanka was perfect in that she had experience with the landscape."

Priyanka currently stars on American show 'Quantico', which is going into its third season. Earlier this year, she made her Hollywood debut with 'Baywatch', and she is now shooting for romantic comedy 'Isn't It Romantic' with Liam Hemsworth.

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Action-packed heist movie ‘Baadshaho’ set for UK release

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Superstar Ajay Devgn is set to take screens by storm in his latest release ‘Baadshaho’, which releases across the UK on 1st September.

The film’s feature songs ‘Mere Rashke Qamar' resung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has garnered a whopping 60 million hits on YouTube prior to the film’s release date.

The action-packed heist movie, ‘Baadshaho’ sees Ajay Devgn join forces with Emraan Hashmi, Esha Gupta, Sanjay Mishra and Vidyut Jammwal, along with the stunning Ileana D’Cruz. Directed by Milan Luthria, the era of mid 70’s India is all set to be perfectly recreated.

Considering Ajay, Emraan and Milan have teamed up earlier and given us the blockbuster 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbai' in the past, we can't wait for them to recreate the magic in 'Baadshaho' yet again.

Set during Indira Gandhi’s ‘Emergency’ era of 1975, against the backdrop of huge political and social unrest across the country, ‘Baadshaho’ transports us to Rani Gitanjali’s (Ileana D’Cruz) palace in Jaipur, which is raided for gold and she is arrested for withholding it without declaration. The government seizes the gold and decides to transfer it via road to Delhi in a truck with confident and cocky police officer Singh (Vidyut Jammwal), in charge of the whole operation.

The rollercoaster journey that ensues between Jaipur and Delhi takes us on a thrilling adventure filled with obstacles, secrets and revelations… and of course, a burgeoning love story, between Devgn and Cruz.

Tanishk Bagchi has masterfully mixed the traditional and modern versions seamlessly, and with additional lyrics by Manoj Muntashi, Mere Rashke Qamar is a truly beautiful reworking of a classic and perfectly complements the storyline of the gripping new film.

Baadshaho starring Ajay Devgn, Ileana D’Cruz, Emraan Hashmi, Esha Gupta, Sanjay Mishra and Vidyut Jammwal will be released nationwide.

 


 

‘Mere Rashke Qamar' - song of the year

The much anticipated first song ‘Mere Rashke Qamar', originally sung by the legendary Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, has been recreated by Nusrat’s greatest living legacy, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and music composer Tanishk Bagchi. The accompanying video tells the story of the blossoming romance between an ordinary man and the heir of a royal Rajasthani family.

 


 

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Baba Ramdev makes Bollywood debut

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Yoga guru Baba Ramdev has come on board to promote the upcoming Bollywood film ‘Yeh Hai India’, starring Gavie Chahal and Deana Uppal. He will also be seen in the film’s song Saiyan Saiyan.

Talking about Yeh Hai India, Baba Ramdev said: “India has the capability to lead the entire world. This change in India has been showcased in the film ‘Yeh Hai India’. Hence after a lot of thinking, I’ve taken a decision to strongly support this film and I also expect every citizen of India to support such films.”

“The country that has a population of millions. A country where Vedas were discovered. Few people around the world have a wrong perspective about this country. India is no more just a country of snake charmers,” added Baba Ramdev.

Meanwhile, the director of the film Lom Harsh is grateful to Baba Ramdev for his support. “I’m really thankful to Babaji who’s lent his full fledged support to my film. We couldn’t have had a better public ambassador for our film,” said Lom.

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Dilip Kumar discharged from hospital

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Actor Dilip Kumar has been discharged from Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital where he was being treated for dehydration and kidney malfunction.

The 94-year-old actor was pictured outside the hospital in a wheelchair, accompanied by wife Saira Banu in a red sari.

Entrepreneur Faisal Farooqui, who is a friend of the family, and hospital authorities have been providing regular medical bulletins on Dilip Kumar's health. Doctors recently said he was improving greatly but needed to remain in the Intensive Care Unit or ICU.

Saira Banu also used Dilip Kumar's Twitter to thank their team of doctors and fans who sent in their best wishes.

Dilip Kumar has made several visits to hospital in the last three years with a variety of ailments. In December, he celebrated his birthday in hospital, where he was being treated for fever and a swollen leg.

Dilip Kumar was born Mohammad Yusuf Khan and his six-decade career is studded with acclaimed classics such as Madhumati, Devdas, Mughal-e-Azam, Ganga Jamuna, Ram Aur Shyam and Naya Daur. He is well-known for playing tragic heroes in films like Andaz, Baabul, Mela, Deedar and Jogan. He was last seen in 1998 film Qila.

His many awards include the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award, which he received in 2015. He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 1991 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994. He also shares the record for most Filmfare Best Actor wins - eight - with Shah Rukh Khan.

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Bipasha: Getting married felt like preparing for film

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Actress Bipasha Basu says when she tied the knot with actor Karan Singh Grover last year, it felt like she was preparing for a film.

“A wedding is an amalgamation of curated ideas and the checklist is endless.

“When I got married, it felt like I was prepping for another film to be honest," said Bipasha, who has played a bride in films like ‘Raaz’, ‘Race’ and ‘Barsaat..

"Now, it has been such a wonderful journey together," she added.

Bipasha Basu-Karan Singh Grover are fondly called as the monkey lovers and often share pictures on their social networking pages. They're each other's travel buddies, gym buddies and much more.

Well we must admit, these two never fail to give us relationship goals!

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THE BLACK PRINCE, DUNKIRK AND SPIDERMAN REIGN THE TOP 10 UK BOX OFFICE

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The International Biopic on the Last King of Punjab, Maharajah Duleep Singh, claims the 9th spot in the UK Box Office Charts

The international film biopic on the poignant life story of the last King of Punjab – Maharajah Duleep Singh – also known as THE BLACK PRINCE, which released theatrically worldwide on the 21st of July 2017, has raked in a cult following and phenomenal response globally, debuting at number 9 in the UK Box charts.

THE BLACK PRINCE entered the coveted Top 10 UK Box Office chart, joining other cinematic hits such as Dunkirk, Despicable Me 3, War for the Planet of the Apes and Spiderman - Homecoming. The film, which features a strong Indian narrative, successfully fended off competition from Bollywood’s Munna Michael, outperforming the box office records internationally including in Australia, United Kingdom, North America and New Zealand.

THE BLACK PRINCE has been appreciated by audiences worldwide, who for the first time witnessed the personal account of one of India’s greatest kings and his lifelong struggle to reclaim his rightful kingdom back from the British, the very people who had brought him to the UK and annexed the Kohinoor Diamond. The film also carefully captures Maharajah Duleep Singh’s fragile relationship with Queen Victoria who was Godmother to his children.

Produced by Brillstein Entertainment (Academy Award winning film 12 Years A Slave), THE BLACK PRINCE is written and directed by Hollywood filmmaker Kavi Raz and filmed widely across the UK and India. Acclaimed singer-poet Satinder Sartaaj marked his acting debut in THE BLACK PRINCE, essaying the character of Maharajah Duleep Singh with eloquence. He is joined by an esteemed cast of acting stalwarts including Jason Flemyng (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch) as Dr. Login, the foster parent for the Maharajah, English stage, screen actress Amanda Root (The Iron Lady), who portrays the bold role of Queen Victoria; and veteran actress Shabana Azmi (City of Joy) as Rani Jindan, the exiled King’s mother. The film also features Keith Duffy, David Essex OBE, Canadian actor Rup Magon and Sophie Stevens in supporting roles.

The Black Prince is on general release in cinemas internationally.

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Bollywood celebs ‘proud’ of Indian women’s cricket team

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Bollywood celebrities, including Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar say they are "proud" of the Indian women's cricket team for their good game at the ICC Women's World Cup final at Lord's in London.

Though India lost by nine runs after looking good for major part of their 229-run chase, celebrities have shown their love, support and admiration for the team.

Here's what they tweeted:

Amitabh Bachchan: Until you lose, you shall never know the joy of victory! Well played ladies. Bhartiya Nari Zindabad!

Akshay Kumar: Even broken hearts can laugh! These women have started a revolution and I couldn't be more proud.

Priyanka Chopra: Well played women in blue. It's been an incredible journey and you will always be an inspiration for girls across India.

Shahid Kapoor: This team has woken us all up to women's cricket in India. Great game girls. Almost had it. Proud.

Shah Rukh Khan: I wish I was there to give the lovely ladies a hug. Be proud girls. We have achieved greatness today. BCCI women, you've made all Indians proud.

Shraddha Kapoor: It's okay team India. You girls made it to the finals! That in itself is such a proud moment. Womens' World Cup 2017. Girl power all the way.

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Anoop Doogy Dog! Move over Snoop there’s new talent on the international music circuit carrying Bradford blood-line

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GOUNDBREAKER: 11-year-old Anoop Singh, son of Manjeet Ral and Nindy Kaur is set for his debut on the music scene

GOUNDBREAKER: 11-year-old Anoop Singh, son of Manjeet Ral and Nindy Kaur is set for his debut on the music scene

 

Bradford's much-loved globally successful RDB has just announced the debut of its next generation of musical genius.

Anoop Singh, 11-year-old son of RDB's Manjeet Ral and Nindy Kaur is launching himself as a singer in the music industry with his first solo single featuring Toronto-bred rapper Humble The Poet and India's much loved rapper Raftaar.

Titled 'You Can't Stop This Party' the anthem is inspired by desi hiphop and British Punjabi vibes, with video shot at a number of locations across the world including Canada, Bombay, South of France and Los Angeles.

Canadian-born Anoop has penned much of the lyrics himself and becomes the first child to make a professional video in the Punjabi Urban Pop industry featuring some of the biggest artists from one side of the globe to the other.

The music video has been directed by renowned Birdi and Manj Musik, while mum Nindy – an iconic Punjabi female music artist herself, has styled the entire video.

Young Noopsta says: "I am very fortunate to have parents who have been in the music business for over three decades now.

"I always dreamt of being a musician since childhood but I wanted to first train professionally as a singer before taking the big leap, so I am learning tabla and keyboard in school as well as from my dad.

"I love producing beats on my laptop in my pre-production studio at home and writing melodies– I've been doing it for as long as I can remember."

Having influenced Bollywood A-lister Akshay Kumar to title his hit film 'Singh Is Bling', the youngster with parents both at the helm of the Punjabi music industry has had the privilege of meeting T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Shilpa Shetty, Bipasha Basu and other Bollywood biggies.

The 11-year-old also reveals that he has a couple of Bollywood tracks in the pipeline later this year.

With Manj and Nindy travelling all around the world for work, Anoop has shown an immense ability to adapt to whatever is thrown at him and yet keep up with schooling.

Proud dad Manj says: "Sometimes he impresses me with what he comes out with and both me and Nindy push him to be as creative as he wants. He has even started his own Youtube channel making blogs etc., which we highly encourage as the future is now digital.

"As much as we push him to do all his music and blogs we make sure he is always on top of his studies, and keeping him up-to-date with his school work as its very important to us.

"Anoop travels with us when we are on the road and has home education arranged by his Canadian school while we are on the go. He's not a slacker and sits exams back in Canada every year.

"Nindy has raised him well to make sure he is kind down to earth and always a well-mannered child. We are so proud of him... and we thank god every day!"

Having grown up around musicians the young talent's hobbies, besides gaming like a normal 11-year-old - Spiderman and Ironman being big favourites, are drawing.

Manj adds: "His uncle Aman who goes by the name Inquisitive is a worldwide renown artist and inspires Anoop a lot," says Manj.

"Anoop's hand in drawing and being creative on paper has been there from the start - as I used to love drawing as a child too.

"Now with inspirations like INK Cha Cha Ji he is taking his painting and drawing skills very serious."


 

Noopsta’s ‘You Can’t Stop This Party’ will be released worldwide on the Manj Musik Youtube Channel, AK Projects and One Digital Entertainment platforms on 1st August 2017.

 


 

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‘Kamli’: British Asian bollywood singer Tripet Garielle releases new romantic anthem

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British born Bollywood singer Tripet Garielle has some good news in store for her fans as she announces the release of her brand new single ‘Kamli’.

The song oozes with passion and would be a treat for the romantics is flagged as the love track of the year.

Tripet Garielle recognised for her soulful voice has been making strides into the Bollywood music by rendering hits like the upbeat, urban-flavoured ‘Aa Vee Jaa’ and ‘Saathiya’ with ‘Wo Pal’ being her career-defining track that released in 2015.

The new single ‘Kamli’ is produced by one of the world’s most renowned Dubai-based music composers Atif Ali who has worked with the likes of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Pritam, Salim –Suleiman and many more.

“I am really excited to share the news that my new single ‘Kamli’ is out now! It’s got a heavy Bollywood flavour and it makes me fall in love every time.

“With ‘Kamli’ I want to take my listeners into another world where they see, touch and feel the emotion of love. And I know for certain my fans are waiting for this song and when they hear it, they will love it. I literally had butterflies when I recorded ‘Kamli’. I feel it first, and then I record it,” says Tripet Garielle.

Referred as ‘Voice of Love’, Tripet draws her inspiration from western singers Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey. But her greatest musical influences are Lata Mangeshkar and Shreya Ghoshal when it comes to singing in the language of Bollywood.

“Just because I’m born and brought up in the west doesn’t mean I don’t belong in the east. Singing in Hindi is not just a dream but a desire to achieve my dreams to sing in a language I cannot speak but I admire so much,” reveals Tripet Garielle.

Crossing over multiple genres such as Dance, Acoustic, Ambient Lounge, Romantic, and Sufi Rock, Tripet has managed to garner a strong fan base in a short span of time. Now with the release of ‘Kamli’, she looks forward to kicking off a new chapter in her career.

Now with six singles and four music videos to her credit, she is also preparing to launch her Debut Album later this year. For now, get ready to beat the heat this summer with the soulful voice of Tripet Garielle in her latest single ‘Kamli’.

Apart from a career in music, Tripet is actively involved in social causes. Coming from an underprivileged family background and having faced hardships in her early life, Tripet is on a mission to support the orphans and empower women through the #GirlPower project that supports girl orphans across Mumbai in India.

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Nawazuddin Siddiqui nervous doing intimate scenes

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Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who has shot for lovemaking scenes for the first time in his upcoming film ‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’, says he was very conscious and nervous during the filming.

Talking about the steamy shots, Nawazuddin said: “Yes, I have done intimate scenes for the first time, so I was quite nervous to do such scenes.

“You feel good and nervous at the same time…

“It’s not that fun when you are doing a scene… you focus on the scene and not on other things.”

Known for his realistic acting for which he has been lauded film after film, Nawazuddin also said he prefers playing characters with grey shades.

“I do not like a character that is either an extreme villain or a hero; but I think that as time goes by, things are changing. These days, even heroes are playing characters with grey shades because I believe grey characters are more real - there are bad and good characteristics in all of us,” said the actor, who is very conscious abut his choice of role.

Directed by Kushan Nandy, ‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’ is a rustic drama featuring Bidita Bag, Jatin Goswami and Divya Dutta with a release date in August.

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Sajal Aly: “Bollywood was never my dream”

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Pakistani actress Sajal Aly, who played a rape survivor in her Bollywood debut ‘Mom’, says she had never dreamed of acting in the Indian film industry.

Speaking about her role as 'Arya' in the Sridevi-starrer, Sajal said: "It was definitely a challenging role... I mean any character you play, you have to really commit to it and kind of naturally become like that, at least that's how I function.

"I think the most challenging part was performing with Sridevi ma'am. Like my very first scene in the movie is me sitting at a dining table across from her and misbehaving with her - it was terrifying!

"We had to shoot in Georgia and it was freezing cold... so yeah, that was pretty tough too," Sajal said.

Sajal said: "Bollywood was never my dream, in all honesty. I was happy working in Pakistan and that was not something I was working towards, but this story moved me.

"I always knew that if I worked in Bollywood, I have certain limitations and boundaries that I would not want to cross and this movie was about a sensitive topic, everything was handled so tastefully."

The actress is all praise for her co-star Sridevi, who plays her mother in the movie. "She's just the sweetest person. Even now, she keeps calling me and reminding me that I'm in her thoughts."

Sajal said she has three film contracts with Boney Kapoor, Sridevi's husband and a producer in Bollywood.

"But now I don't know what's in the near future. They handed me the complete package on a silver platter: a meaty character, an excellent cast, the best of the best and for that, I'm forever grateful...

"Everyone's sending me messages telling me they're proud of me, it's just the best feeling, knowing everyone appreciates your work, including critics from across the border."

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Sonam Kapoor: “Behind the camera experience helps”

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She started as an assistant director on the sets of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's ‘Black’ in 2005 and then ventured into the world of acting with the filmmaker's romantic drama ‘Saawariya’. Actress Sonam Kapoor says her behind-the-camera experience helps her in understanding the concept of filmmaking better.

Asked if her behind-the-camera experience has helped her, Sonam said: "Yes, of course it helps being an assistant director, understanding the patterns, cameras, lights. That helps a lot, especially. The process of filmmaking is not making a play where it's about the actor.

"It is a collaboration. It's about everybody else also."

The 32-year-old actress says the experience helped her for the film ‘Neerja’, for which she earned a special mention at India’s National Film Awards.

"It helped me especially with 'Neerja' actually... you have to know your cameras, angles, you need to have a fantastic memory. I still remember doing 45-minutes of dialogues and action was tough," she said.

Sonam is currently busy filming R. Balki's upcoming film ‘Padman’ opposite Akshay Kumar. She will also be seen in the film ‘Veere Di Wedding’ which also features Kareena Kapoor Khan and Swara Bhasker.

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Ranbir Kapoor: “I’ve to do some manly roles”

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Ranbir Kapoor, who will be seen as a school boy in the forthcoming film ‘Jagga Jasoos’, says since he will turn 35 soon, he needs to do some "manly" roles from now on.

In the Anurag Basu directorial, Ranbir's character studies in school and is in search of his missing father.

Talking about it, the ‘Wake Up Sid’ star said in a statement: "It's very important that every artiste keeps the child-like thing, but I think this is my last year.

“I can't be a child again. I have to do some manly roles as I'm turning 35 this year. So this one's the last or else I'll keep performing coming-of-age in my every film."

Disney and Pictureshuru Production's ‘Jagga Jasoos’ is set to release on July 14. It also stars Katrina Kaif.

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The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star

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The enchanting new Baby Ganesh agency novel sees Inspector Chopra and his elephant sidekick investigating the dark side of Bollywood

Mumbai thrives on extravagant spectacles and larger-than-life characters but even in the city of dreams, there is no guarantee of a happy ending.

Rising star and incorrigible playboy Vikram Verma has disappeared, leaving his latest film in jeopardy.

Hired by Verma's formidable mother to find him, Inspector Chopra and his sidekick, baby elephant Ganesha, embark on a journey deep into the world's most flamboyant movie industry.

As they uncover feuding stars, failed investments and death threats, it seems that many people have a motive for wanting Verma out of the picture.  

And yet, as Chopra has long suspected, in Bollywood the truth is often stranger than fiction.

Author Vaseem Khan was born in London but subsequently worked in Mumbai for ten years, falling in love with the city, the country and the people.

He is married and lives in London with his wife, whilst working at University College London in their Department of Security and Crime Science where he is astonished on a daily basis by the way modern science is being employed to tackle crime.

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Soha Ali Khan’s debut book to launch in December

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Actress Soha Ali Khan, who is expecting her first child with husband Kunal Kemmu, is turning author with "The Perils Of Being Moderately Famous". She says the book will be out in December.

"My first book, 'The Perils Of Being Moderately Famous', coming out in December 2017! @PenguinIndia @penguinrandom," Soha tweeted.

An accompanying set of images with her post tell that the book is in the non-fiction space, and will have personal essays in which Soha has recorded some of her poignant moments.

The book features her life fom growing up as a modern day princess to her days at college to starting her career as a management associate and then to her life as a film celebrity.

"The book also throws light on the various idiosyncrasies of those she calls the 'more famous' members of her family," reads one line.

Soha is the daughter of veteran actress Sharmila Tagore and the late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, the ninth nawab of Pataudi. Her brother is popular actor Saif Ali Khan, and they also have a sister named Saba Ali Khan.

Recently Soha has been using her pregnancy period to catch up on some books.

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CINEMA: THIS WEEK – “Despicable Me 3″

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Cast: Kristen Wiig, Jenny Slate, Steve Carell

Director: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin, Eric Guillon

Genre: Animation

Cert: U

Release Date: 30/06/2017

 

The team who brought you Despicable Me and the biggest animated hits of 2013 and 2015, Despicable Me 2 and Minions, returns to continue the adventures of Gru, Lucy, their adorable daughters- Margo, Edith and Agnes - and the Minions. Despicable Me 3, directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, co-directed by Eric Guillon, and written by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio, will be released in theaters in summer 2017. The animated film is produced by Illumination’s Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy, and executive produced by Chris Renaud. Joining Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig in Despicable Me 3 is Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award winner Trey Parker, co-creator of Comedy Central’s global phenomenon South Park and the Broadway smash The Book of Mormon. Parker voices the role of villain Balthazar Bratt, a former child star who’s grown up to become obsessed with the character he played in the ‘80s, and proves to be Gru’s most formidable nemesis to date.

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CINEMA: THIS WEEK – “All Eyez on Me”

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Cast: Demetrius Shipp Jr., Danai Gurira, Kat Graham

Director: Benny Boom

Cert: 15

Genre: Drama

Release Date: 30/06/2017

 

All Eyez on Me tells the true and untold story of prolific rapper, actor, poet and activist Tupac Shakur. The film follows Shakur from his early days in New York City to his evolution into being one of the world’s most recognised and influential voices before his untimely death at the age of 25. Against all odds, Shakur’s raw talent, powerful lyrics and revolutionary mind-set propelled him into becoming a cultural icon whose legacy continues to grow long after his passing.

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If Anupam wished he were Robert De Niro, he wouldn’t be happy

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Anupam Kher talks about his incredible meeting with Robert De Niro but admitted that if he wished he were Robert De Niro, he wouldn't be happy.

Speaking at a forum, the actor and social activist said: "Best thing is being yourself and yoga's contribution is to be yourself and find happiness.

“For those in public performances, life can be hard if they left their happiness in the hands of others, seeking acceptance from the audiences,” he said, “but if they looked within themselves for acceptance, they would find happiness.”

On Sunday, which was Father's Day, Kher had lunch with his actor idol De Niro before coming to the UN to inaugurate the light show of 'asanas'.

Kher tweeted about their get-together: "When God Of Acting Robert De Niro invites you for lunch on Fathers Day to his house, you can't eat, because your heart is in your mouth."

They had both acted together in the 2012 movie, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’.

Recalling his attempts to break into movies, Kher joked that in those days an actor's hairstyle mattered the most in Bollywood, putting him at a disadvantage.

His first encounter with the movie world was as a yoga teacher to big Bollywood figures and he had hoped that when he had them in a state of complete relaxation after a yoga workout, he would make a successful pitch, he said.

He tried it on Yash Chopra. When he had the legendary director-producer floating in a relaxed state in the 'shavasana' pose, he gently told him that besides being a yoga teacher, he was also an actor, Kher said.

But Chopra told him not to come from the next day onwards, he recalled.

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Sridevi: I still feel like a newcomer

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It's been 50 years since actress Sridevi started acting and she says she stills feels like a newcomer before the release of her film.

Having made her acting debut at the age of three, the 53-year-old star awaits the release of her latest film 'Mom'.

"I don't even realise it's been 50 years. Even today, I still feel like a newcomer before the release of my film," Sridevi said.

'Mom', has been described Sri Devi as “a simple, emotional family drama".

"As a mother of two daughters, I could relate with the story so well. I was moved by story when I heard it. It's a very important film for teenagers and even for mothers," she said, adding she didn't really plan to do this project.

"After 'English Vinglish', I got busy with my daughters. I really didn't plan to do more films. I have never planned things. When Boney (Kapoor) told me a line of the story, it really got me excited. It took nearly two years to develop the story and start this project," she said.

Last seen onscreen in 2015 Tamil fantasy film 'Puli', Sridevi said she is still open to work in the industry.

The film also stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a key role.

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CINEMA: THIS WEEK – “Transformers: The Last Knight”

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Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Gemma Chan, Anthony Hopkins

Director: Michael Bay

Genre: Action/Adventure

Cert: 12A

Release Date: 23/06/2017

Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Now, it's up to the unlikely alliance of Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), Bumblebee, an English lord (Anthony Hopkins) and an Oxford professor (Laura Haddock) to save the world.

 

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Titillate is a very relative word

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Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma describes graphic dialogue and nudity in Bollywood

“… guns and thighs are the symbols of power and sex.”

Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma, who has used graphic dialogues and nudity in his debut digital web series "Guns and Thighs", based on the Mumbai underworld, says he has used the freedom offered by the new age entertainment platform.

Justifying the bold scenes in the trailer, he says they are not purely intended to titillate the audience.

Asked if the trailer, which has drawn attention, was a well-planned strategy to titillate, Varma said: "Titillating is a very relative world. At times, a character or a situation can titillate someone (and lead him/her) to watch the show.

"So you cannot specify what is exactly the element of titillation in the viewers' mind. Yes, the story of the web series has age restrictions, as it is adult content, but when an audience is clicking on the link to watch an episode, from the name itself they get an idea of the subject matter. Therefore, there is no element of surprise."

Varma pointed out how "anything that is restricted to adults is either violence or sex".

"In fact, that is the rule of our censor board as well.

“My point is, we are living in a world with people of different choices and sensibilities, where if you, as an individual, do not want to watch something, don't (watch it), but don't force others to do the same. Let them celebrate their choice as well. That is what freedom of choice and expression is about."

Known for making Bollywood crime thrillers on the underworld – ‘Company’, ‘Ab Tak Chhappan’ and ‘D’ to name some - Varma has once again explored the genre in the web series, which is set between 1995 and 2005.

"I think the genre always does not matter, but the storytelling does. Yes, this web series is on the Mumbai underworld, but the style of narration, imagery, characters, situations... these are very different," added the filmmaker.

Explaining the title, he said: "You see… guns and thighs are the symbols of power and sex.

In politics, mostly, radical decisions are taken under the influence of power and sex.

"On the other hand, as I always say, my prime interest in filmmaking has come from Amitabh Bachchan's gun and Zeenat Aman's thighs... so now you know that the title is apt. It's very symbolic."

The National Award-winning filmmaker is exploring the digital platform for the first time, and sees its advantages.

"More than anything else, it is the creative freedom that we get on web series. There is no time limit of two hours that I have to compress my thought (into), keeping the interval and duration of a film in mind.

"I have also taken liberty on that."

Asked why he decided to show a woman nude and not a man, he quipped: "Maybe as a man, I do not want to see a man's nude body. I think a woman (filmmaker) would like to do that. However, I believe a woman's body is more beautiful than a man's."

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TUBELIGHT: Makers of Salman Khan starrer hope for Pakistan release

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The makers of Salman Khan’s ‘Tubelight’ are hopeful that the movie gets a release in Pakistan, where the Bollywood superstar enjoys huge popularity. Directed by Kabir Khan, the film dwells on the 1962 border conflict between India and China

According to the buzz in film circuits, ‘Tubelight’, set in the backdrop of the India-China war of 1962, might not release around Eid in Pakistan.

Amar Butala, Chief Operating Officer, Salman Khan Films, and co-producer of Tubelight, said in a statement: “Salman has a huge following in Pakistan, which has only grown with the positive messaging on ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’. We hope to release ‘Tubelight’ in Pakistan as well, and our efforts continue in that direction, but we respect the law of the land and judiciary if they decide otherwise.”

According to sources in Pakistan, the distributor for the film is still to be finalised.

“There are limited screens and most of them committed for Eid programming.

“It’s totally untrue that ‘Tubelight’ is banned in Pakistan. In fact, it remains a much awaited film,” said Satish Anand, a key distributor of Indian films in Pakistan.

The two local movies scheduled for an Eid release in Pakistan are ‘Yalgaar’ and ‘Shor Sharaba’. Even Pakistan’s Central Board of Film Censors chief Mobasher Hasan said, “It’s the distributor’s choice to import any foreign film.”

But is there scope for ‘Tubelight’ in Pakistan after Eid? “Yes, if it clears the censor,” Anand said, adding, “Mind you, it will be available online, and cable all the same.”

His hint was towards the “huge problem” of piracy that Indian films continue to face across the border, but efforts from the side of film’s producer to take Salman’s film to Pakistan are still on. Butala added, “Salman Khan Films is committed to taking ‘Tubelight’ to markets across the globe with our overseas distributors Yash Raj Films.”

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New York gets ready for Bollywood storm!

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18th edition of IIFA festival all set for the grandest celebration of Indian film, music, fashion and dance

The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) has announced the 18th edition of the most spectacular celebration of Indian Cinema worldwide that will be hosted in the city of New York, from 13th – 15th July 2017 this year!

The IFA Awards are among the most coveted and highly anticipated award celebration that honours the very best of Indian Cinema with the highest level of achievement seen through the glamorous IIFA statuette.

To reveal some of the exciting details about the upcoming IIFA Awards, Bollywood’s superstar Salman Khan was joined by leading ladies Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt at the official IIFA press conference in Mumbai today at Taj Lands End.

Commenting via video link, Salman Khan said: “It always feels great to be a part of the IIFA Movement and I look forward to the 2017 IIFA Awards.”

Katrina Kaif added: “I’m really excited and looking forward to performing at the IIFA Awards this year.

“It is such a great platform that not only showcases the celebration of cinema globally, but also it’s a great opportunity for us to reach out to our fans worldwide. I am excited that this year, it is happening in one of my favourite cities – New York!”

Speaking about her debut performance at IIFA, Alia Bhatt shared: “I am very excited to be a part of IIFA 2017, as this is going to be my debut at the IIFA Festival after five years in the industry.

“I am super excited that IIFA is being held in the beautiful city of New York. IIFA is all about togetherness and the celebration of the Indian cinema globally and I eagerly look forward to this celebration.”

IIFA Rocks has always been a star-studded affair with a mélange of glitz, glamour and star power. It is a celebrated global event that has been growing each year.

This year, IIFA Rocks will celebrate 25 years of A. R. Rahman in the industry. The show is set to feature a never seen before medley of musicians that includes Diljit Dosanjh, Benny Dayal, Javed Ali, Neeti Mohan, Jonita Gandhi and Haricharan Seshadri. IIFA Rocks will be hosted by the charismatic duo Riteish Deshmukh and Manish Paul.

The highly anticipated  award ceremony will witness stunning performances from Bollywood megastars such as Salman Khan, Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif, Shahid Kapoor, Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon, to name a few. The host is the uber-talented Karan Johar.

The popular category nominations are available for the global audience to participate in the voting process and will be open till 18th June 2017.  The final winners of the IIFA Awards are revealed on the night of the Awards ceremony. The results are surrounded by secrecy and the credibility of the voting process is one of the key parameters of this prestigious award.

Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt Ltd, known for pioneering many extravagant and mesmerizing events in India and across the world, conceptualized IIFA 17 years ago, by the creative genius of the trio of masterminds - Andre Timmins, Viraf Sarkari and Sabbas Joseph.

The vision was to celebrate Indian cinema outside India; and IIFA (International Indian Film Academy) the flagship brand is the accomplishment of that dream.

IIFA is dedicated to building bridges across cinema, businesses, communities and nations, creating everyone’s dream: “One People. One World”. The journey over these past 17 years has seen the brand evolve from a one night affair to a weekend, which celebrates and hosts various events and activities related to cinema, business, culture, music and fashion. Hosting a variety of events during the weekend IIFA helps bring together a global community of people from all walks of life.

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Kriti Sanon and Shushant Singh Rajput with crackling on-screen chemistry

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Meet Shiv (Sushant Singh Rajput) and Saira (Kriti Sanon), two seemingly ordinary individuals, going about their lives until their paths cross and they realise that they belong to one another.

Unaware of a connection that was forged over several hundred years ago, Shiv and Saira are inexplicably drawn to each other and have a beautiful and hilarious relationship in very little time.

Shiv is a laugh a minute and unknowingly brings so much sunshine into her life that Saira feels this is too good to be true. Until, of course, the third angle to their relationship emerges in the form of Zakir Merchant, a billionaire who goes all out to woo the beautiful yet strikingly down-to-earth Saira.

From this point on, her life takes a turn that changes everything about her destiny. A prophecy looms large over the destinies of Shiv, Zak and Saira in this life too.

Will they manage to break this cursed cycle? Will destiny repeat itself?  Will the lovers reunite or will they meet the same fate? Who does Saira belong to in this life… Zak or Shiv?

Kriti spoke about her character in Raabta. “My character believes in reincarnation. When we meet someone we either get a good or bad vibe and that is maybe because there is some connection and I do believe in this.”

The film’s songs have already proved incredibly popular and are creating a great buzz and air of expectancy for the film itself. The song ‘Ik Vaari’ and the title song ‘Raabta’ which feature the stunning Deepika Padukone have crossed more than 20 million views on YouTube.

Produced by Homi Adajania, Bhushan Kumar and Dinesh Vijan, ‘Raabta’ releases nationwide on 9th June 2017.

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The Black Prince: Historic biopic based on the true story of the last King of Punjab spotlights his relationship with Queen Victoria

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The Black Prince’ is poised to create a wave of intrigue in India and the UK as the story touches upon the historically significant and priceless Kohinoor diamond, which was purportedly gifted by a young 13-year-old Maharajah Duleep Singh to Queen Victoria in a ceremony held in 1850, at Buckingham Palace, London

 


 

The award-winning historic film biopic on the poignant life story of the last King of Punjab – Maharajah Duleep Singh – also known as ‘The Black Prince’, will now release in cinemas on 21st July 2017 as it expands its international release across new territories.

Produced by Brillstein Entertainment Partners (Academy Award winning film 12 Years A Slave), ‘The Black Prince’ is a period drama written and directed by Hollywood filmmaker Kavi Raz and filmed widely across the UK and India.

It carefully captures the tragic, yet fascinating true story and legacy of Maharajah Duleep Singh, providing a visual narrative of one of India’s most noble kings, and his fragile relationship with, Queen Victoria, who was Godmother to his children.

Acclaimed singer-poet Satinder Sartaaj marks his acting debut in film essaying the character of Maharajah Duleep Singh with eloquence. He is joined by an esteemed cast of acting stalwarts including Jason Flemyng (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch) as Dr. Login, the foster parent for the Maharajah, English stage, screen actress Amanda Root (The Iron Lady), who portrays the bold role of Queen Victoria; and veteran actress Shabana Azmi (City of Joy) as Rani Jindan, the exiled King’s mother.

The film also features Keith Duffy, David Essex OBE, Canadian actor Rup Magon and Sophie Stevens in supporting roles.

In anticipation of its worldwide release, ‘The Black Prince’ has won several awards including the award for Best Drama Feature at the LA Film Awards, the Special Jury Remi Award at the 50th Annual WorldFest International Film Festival in Houston, and the Best Male Debut Award for Satinder Sartaaj at the London Independent Film Festival.

In recognition of the exciting response and interest the film has received from festivals, the film has garnered interest from a range of new territories including Singapore, Kenya, the U.A.E and Germany in addition to the UK, India, USA.

As the last King of Punjab, ‘The Black Prince’ chronicles Maharajah Duleep Singh's lifelong struggle and daring journey of self-discovery in order to reclaim his identity, his faith, and the Kingdom that was rightfully his. This ultimately leads him to meeting his mother after 13 years of her being in exile.

‘The Black Prince’ spotlights Queen Victoria’s cordial relationship with Maharajah Duleep Singh, as he begins adjusting and embracing the English culture he was drawn to at the age of 15.

The film also sheds light into his upbringing as an aristocrat in the UK who converts to Christianity under the influence of his foster parents, but later longs to return to his

Kingdom, mother and roots. His character, as it evolves is torn between two contrasting cultures – his royal ancestry from the Kingdom of Punjab as its last King, set against his upbringing in the UK as he embarks in a new journey of exile, away from his mother.

‘The Black Prince’ is poised to create a wave of intrigue in India and the UK as the story touches upon the historically significant and priceless Kohinoor diamond, which was purportedly gifted by a young 13-year-old Maharajah Duleep Singh to Queen Victoria in a ceremony held in 1850, at Buckingham Palace, London.

The Black Prince releases internationally in cinemas on 21st July 2017.

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She’s such a badass

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Priyanka Chopra rocks it in Baywatch as her role was  re-written after originally set for male villian

Priyanka Chopra, one of Bollywood’s rare females who’s ventured into mainstream TV and cinema, will soon be sizzling on screens as the formidable opponent for Dwayne Johnson in upcoming movie ‘Baywatch’.

The 34-year-old former Miss World takes centre stage as ‘Victoria Leeds’ in the adaptation of the 90s hit TV show Baywatch, but it’s been revealed that her character was originally written for a male actor.

In the film, Priyanka is up against The Rock and Zac Efron who play two lifeguards with the responsibility of protecting Baywatch from the evil real estate tycoon/drug kingpin ‘Victoria Leeds’.

Baywatch’ film director Seth Gordon, said while looking for the person fitting the ‘baddie role’, he met Chopra for the first time over Skype and realised that he loved the idea of Dwayne going up against a female antagonist.

Gordon confesses that after the video call with Priyanka, he realised that the role originally penned for a male, needed to be rewritten to portray a female who could psychologically outsmart Mitch Buchanan (Dwayne Johnson’s character) and take advantage of all that male ego stuff.

And we can tell you – Priyanka’s done it like a ‘Don’!

Now, Priyanka Chopra is up there on the wall alongside Signourey Weaver (Alien), Jessica Chastain (Interstellar) and Angelina Jolie (Salt), as one of a handful of women who have been given roles in movies originally meant for men.

In ‘Baywatch’ -  Victoria Leeds is using the Flordian beach, where Johnson’s character Mitch Buchanan is the lifeguard in charge, as a way of smuggling drugs into the country.

Priyanka commented: “Victoria Leeds is a woman in a man’s world, and she’s not just a random woman with money - she’s self-made.

“This is not just drugs and money for her, it’s power. That’s the cause.’
Zac Efron stars as Matt Brody, originally played by French actor David Charvel, and taking on Pamela Anderson’s character CJ Parker is Kelly Rohrbach. Playing Summer Quinn, once played by Nicole Eggert, is Alexandra Daddari, while Mitch Buchanan was a role made famous by David Hasselhoff. The film releases in cinemas on 29th May.

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Miss Meena and the Masala Queens

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Play about lesbian and gay community to uncover untold stories of men who choose a female persona

A play about British Asian drag queens – ‘Miss Meena & the Masala Queens’ begins is tour this week, which has been complied after speaking to British Asian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals.

Rifco and Watford Palace Theatre in association with Warwick Arts Centre have uncovered the untold stories of men who choose a female persona.

The drama follows Miss Meena, a once famous drag queen who’s career has washed up and he's struggling to keep his nightclub open.

Behind the sparkling costumes and big Bollywood style lip-sync dance numbers ‘Miss Meena & the Masala Queens’ will reveal a very human story about the meaning of family.

The cast includes Raj Ghatak as Miss Meena, Ali Ariaie as Kabir and Ranjeet, Harvey Dhadda as Preetho, Nicholas Prasad as Shaan, Jamie Zubairi as Munni and following Laila The Musical, Vedi Roy returns to the Rifco stage as Pinky.

The play is written by Harvey Virdi, directed by Pravesh Kumar, design is by Libby Watson, lighting design is by Mark Dymock, composer, sound and video designer is Niraj Chag and movement director and drag stylist is Andy Kumar who is better known as VJ Andy.

‘Miss Meena & the Masala Queens’ opens at Watford Palace Theatre on 5th May 2017 before touring to Warwick Arts Centre - Coventry, Greenwich Theatre - London, Theatre Royal Windsor, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and West Yorkshire Playhouse - Leeds.

Website: www.rifcoarts.com/shows/miss-meena-the-masala-queens

 


 

Tour Dates

Watford Palace Theatre

5 - 13 May

Box Office: 01923 225671

www.watfordpalacetheatre.co.uk

Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry

16 - 20 May

Box Office: 024 7652 4524

www.warwickartscentre.co.uk

Greenwich Theatre, London

24 – 27 May

Box Office: 0208 858 7755

www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk

Theatre Royal Windsor

30 May – 3 June

Box Office: 01753 853 888

www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

NST Campus, Southampton

6 - 10 June

Box Office: 023 8067 1771

www.nstheatres.co.uk

West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

13 - 17 June

Box Office: 0113 213 7700

www.wyp.org.uk

 


 

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PRIYANKA CHOPRA SIZZLES IN NEW TRAILER FOR BAYWATCH

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Bollywood superstar and US primetime TV action heroine Priyanka Chopra steals the scenes as the sultry but sinister Victoria Leeds in the latest trailer for one the year’s most anticipated action-comedy movie Baywatch, in cinemas on Monday 29th May 2017.
 
The brand new trailer sees Priyanka sizzle on screen in the film as the villainous Victoria Leeds, adversary to heroic lifeguards Mitch Buchanan (played by Dwayne Johnson) and Matt Brody (played by Zac Efron).

Priyanka and Dwayne Johnson took to social media to engage in cheeky banter – here’s Priyanka’s reply to Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) when he tweeted the trailer:

The trailer shows a battle of egos between Buchanan and Brody before they must battle together to save the bay from a criminal plot masterminded by the antagonistic Victoria Leeds.
 
 Fans of Priyanka will be surprised and entertained by her new role alongside Johnson and Efron. Directed by Seth Gordon, Baywatch also stars a host of talent including Alexandra Daddario, Jon Bass, Kelly Rohrbach and Ilfenesh Hadera.

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Bringing back the Bollywood: Glittering musical dance-theatre extravaganza returns to Belgrade Theatre

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Following huge success in 2016, the Belgrade Theatre is welcoming back the smash-hit show Bring On The Bollywood to its B2 auditorium this May, in a new production with Phizzical and Vivacity Key Theatre.

Created by Samir Bhamra, the master of authentic Bollywood inspired work, Bring On The Bollywood is a Bollywood dance-theatre extravaganza. Bringing a festival of colour and Bollywood magic in a major new production, Bring On The Bollywood brings audiences new and old together for this delightfully romantic riot of Anglo-Indian exuberance.

Having lived in London for 14 years, Dr. Katrina Pawar is summoned to her ancestral home, the shabby and un-chic Lakshman Villa, for her younger brother’s wedding. Sensing an opportunity to finally make a match for their last unmarried child during the festivities, Katrina’s parents search for a potential suitor for their quick-witted and resolute daughter. As the good-looking Bollywood film director Amit arrives at Lakshman Villa, along with his newly eligible British personal assistant Ronny, Katrina must navigate the true course of love between East and West.

Inspired by classic Indian cinema, Bring On The Bollywood also revels in the shared dramatic heritage between the UK and India, as well as contemporary British Asian influences.

Samir Bhamra said: “Bollywood is widely perceived to be a low-brow art-form that requires no skill. Not only is it - in my experience - the hardest art form to crack, but it shares more than people realise with the classical Western arts.

“Bollywood would not exist if it were not for Shakespeare being presented in British India, and soon adapted into local languages for the wider communities. Both traditions teach us valuable lessons about people and life, and that's why they continue to connect so well.”

Bring On the Bollywood is directed by Artistic Director of Phizzical, Samir Bhamra, a multi-disciplinary artist and producer. In addition to his role as creative director of the London Asian Film Festival, Samir delivered three large scale performances during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He developed his skills at the National Theatre and was seconded to the Royal Shakespeare Company working the World Shakespeare Festival. He is also a controversial judge on Just Bollywood – the UKs leading inter-University dance competition since its inception three years ago.

Continuing the Bollywood theme at the Belgrade this spring, the theatre will also be running Bollywood Dance Classes starting on 29 April and running on Saturdays until 24 June. This will be an opportunity for people of with all levels of experience and ability to learn some Bollywood moves to impress on the dancefloor!

The classes will be run by Sneha Singh, a dance performer and teacher. Sneha spent five years training in Bollywood Dance with Shiamak Davar's Dance Academy (SDIPA) in India and three years in England training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Contemporary Dance. She has choreographed shows for Chester and Warrington City Councils and as well as performing in the Belgrade Mela, has run workshops with Wolverhampton University, Sanjhi Indian Association, City College Coventry and for Shoot Festival.

Sneha said, "What I love about, and what keeps bringing me back to Bollywood is, that it has an element of fun and storytelling to it. At the end of learning a routine, you don't just learn the moves and have a fantastic workout, but you've devised a piece - a performance! The music always helps to brighten your mood, and encourages everyone, irrespective of abilities to join in!”

Bring on the Bollywood runs in the B2 auditorium at the Belgrade Theatre from Saturday 6th - Saturday 13th May. Tickets are available now priced from £15 by calling the Belgrade Box Office team on 024 7655 3055 or online at www.belgrade.co.uk.

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“Party Non-Stop” say Dr Zeus and Jasmine Sandlas

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Award-winning music producer Baljit Singh Padam AKA Dr Zeus is no stranger to success with his blow-up tracks including ‘Baby Doll’, ‘Kangna’, ‘Lovely’ and ‘Don’t Be Shy’, just to name a few.

Today Dr. Zeus has dropped his next anthem ‘Party Non Stop’ featuring his vocals for the first time along with the sensational singer Jasmine Sandlas and rapper Ikka Drops.

Dr. Zeus has infused the rustic vocals of Jasmine Sandlas and the swag of rapper Ikka over a slick beat tuning it into a contemporary club banger that’s set to become this summer’s PARTY anthem!

Dr. Zeus added: “I’m so excited to finally reveal this amazing track we’ve been working on.

“Jasmine’s voice and Ikka’s rap adds a perfect edge and character to the track with the uplifting beats.

“We had a great time shooting the video with Evelyn Sharma and I’m hoping it becomes this generation’s dance party song.”

Directed by upcoming film maker Arif khan, the enthralling music video for the track features the gorgeous Bollywood actress Evelyn Sharma who’s seen partying on a playful night of nonstop fun, dance and entertainment against the backdrop of the song’s infectious rhythm.

From a warehouse to a party by the pool, the video also features Dr. Zeus, Jasmine Sandlas and Ikka and is a vibrant piece of work that elevates the song further!

Known as one of the most influential artist in the Punjabi Music scene, Dr. Zeus has achieved huge success in his long and illustrious career. He gained stardom in India in late 2003 with his hit song ‘Kangna’ following which he has become a popular name all over the world.

Starting in 1999, Dr. Zeus produced the remix album ‘Pure Garage – Sue My Ass’ before following up with ‘Death Jamm’ series of mixes. Throughout his 18-year long recording career, Dr. Zeus has released more than thirty anthems, each of his tracks offering a constantly evolving sound.

‘Party Non Stop’ is available across all digital platforms Worldwide exclusively on EMI Records India.

“It’s great to have Dr Zeus on board, he’s done some incredible work in the past and we instantly fell in love with this track when we heard it,” says Mohit Suri.

“Combining his influences from his Punjabi background with urban and pop music, the track will definitely appeal to a wider audience.”

Devraj Sanyal Managing Director and CEO, Universal Music Group, India and South Asia commented: “I’m super proud to release this phenomenal track from our very own EMI records India with the uber-talented UK based producer Dr Zeus.

“The collaborative effort between Zeus, Jasmine Sandlas and Ikka is surely going to be a chart-topper this summer. Our partner Mohit Suri has been an instrumental part of this whole journey with us & we’re elated to finally reveal this summer’s party anthem.”

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Crowned King of Music

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Badshah smashes his way to the top of the Bollywood charts by unleashing of his next anthem amassing 27-million-views in a week

Badshah, the runaway success behind many songs over the last few years, is back with a bang on a unique and avant-garde track - ‘Mercy’.

With a growing trajectory of fan base on Spotify from key markets like US, UK, Canada and Malaysia, Badshah’s music consistently champions the airwaves.

From being the first music video ever to be shot in the O2 Arena, London to the grandeur getting further accelerated by a Boeing in the backdrop, ‘Mercy’ bears the hallmarks and cool vibes that are quintessentially Badshah.

The gorgeous dancer and actress Lauren Gotllieb is seen swaying on Badshah’s beats and together they look nothing less than electrifying.

The single’s infectious rhythm and electronic influences hint at the album being comprising all of the elements of Badshah’s inimitable style.

Released by his label, Sony Music, the song characterises a much-needed pivot with a modern sound and club pop that is perfectly tailored to the party scene.

‘Mercy’ marks the first release from his forthcoming album O.N.E.

“‘Mercy’ is something I took really long to create, I needed to get the right sound and mix,” says Badshah.

“The millennials now want new and different music every time, something that sticks with them. I have been able to do that successfully with my last single and I hope this time too my fans give me as much love.”

While the label along with the artist has been working on the album for sometime, they collectively believe that, with Badshah, every release is ambitious.

“Badshah’s acclaimed hook writing is at its peak on the album O.N.E and ‘Mercy’ is one glittering element of the same,” says Sanujeet Bhujabal, Marketing Director, Sony Music India.

“We are following a high-reach strategy using properties and platforms having high eyeballs and effectiveness for a global reach.

“The objective is to reach out to everyone and also get new fans hooked onto the song.”

He further adds, “We are extremely excited to release the first of many hits this year by Badshah and together we promise to make it a year of some great dancing and singing!”

O.N.E will be Badshah’s first pop album and will feature six to eight songs. The second single is scheduled for mid-year release while the entire album will release by year-end.

 


Exclusive ONE-ON-ONE with Badshah

Tell us about the song? When did you think of it?

The song is called Mercy and I began writing this sometime last year. I did put it out to my fans earlier to get their feedback on what they thought of it.

Why is it called Mercy?

The song is about how a girl and a guy who meet at a club and from there on sparks fly and they fall for each other. I am basically asking the girl to have “mercy on me” as she is super-gorgeous.

Where has the song been shot?

It’s been shot at London’s immensely popular 02 Arena and on a Boeing. The weather was just not conducive when we shot this which was sometime in December. I had this idea at the beginning when I was working on this song and when I had my first chat with Ben Peters (video director) he totally understood my vision. It was an amazing experience shooting there and I really hope my fans like it.

This song is a total party track; did you create this keeping the same in mind?

Mercy as a song is what you want it to be, it could be a party track that gets you to get up and dance, it could be a romantic song, the song that you sing to your girl or even a song for a long drive.

Tell us about your album

O.N.E. – Original Never Ends is an endeavor by myself and my label to give my fans originals. It’s been long since I have released something on my own. My last was DJ Waley Babu, which is still getting played at clubs and parties and since then my fans have been consistently asking me for new music. O.N.E. is an intention to give them exactly that. I am where I am because of them and therefore I believe an entire album with my originals is my way of thanking them.

How many songs will you release prior to releasing the album O.N.E.?

There will be a second single mid year and the album by the end of the year.

What is the sound for the album O.N.E.?

The sound has electronic influences and will have array of genres.

How many songs will the album have?

Mercy is the first in a series of songs and videos that we will be releasing throughout 2017. Prior to the album we will have one or two more while the album will have around six-eight songs.

Will all the songs be party songs?

No, it will have different genres. From party, love ballad to progressive and dance.

Are we going to see any collaboration?

There is a huge possibility but nothing has been finalized yet.

Will any of these songs feature in Bollywood films?

Why not, if any producer wants the sound, I will be happy to work along.

Will you approach Dharma Productions with this song?

(Laughs) Karan Johar has been extremely supportive and I would love to work with him.

Your last release is with Sonkashi Sinha for the film Noor – out in cinemas on 21st April, will we see more such collaboration?

Yes though I can’t talk about it much now but it will happen.

Any Bollywood projects you are working on?

There are a few in the pipeline, God has been good, and my work is getting appreciated.


 

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From Bolton to Bollywood! Stunning ex-accountant trades in book keeping for blockbusters

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WORKING HARD: Tina in costume, on set and in action

WORKING HARD: Tina in costume, on set and in action

 

The idea of upping sticks and moving across the world, alone, in pursuit of one’s dreams might sound like a terrifying, daunting and downright impossible task. But there was nothing that was going to stop one high-achiever from reaching her goals, even if it meant leaving everything and everyone she knew behind, to work hard for what she wanted.

British Asian Tina Phillip, a qualified accountant from Bolton, Greater Manchester, achieved an honours degree in Maths from the University of Manchester, later qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (ACA) and working for global accountancy and audit firm, Grant Thornton.

Whilst this is an incredibly impressive CV in itself, conquering the world of finance just wasn’t enough for Tina and throughout her time as an accountant, Tina was part of Contact Theatre in Manchester.

She took part in several plays, which allowed her to hone her acting skills and expand on her passions for performing.

This taste of the spotlight was enough to make Tina realise a life in accountancy wasn’t for her, and she soon moved to Bollywood to pursue her dreams of a career in acting.

In an incredible act of determination, after a long struggle of two and a half years, time spent completely on her own with no one in this very competitive field to support her, she finally secured a lead role in ‘Ek Aastha Aisi Bhee’ on the huge Indian network, Star Plus.

The show is about a young, innocent and honest girl called Aastha, played by Tina, who believes in the goodness of the heart over the godliness of rituals and traditions.  This is her first launch as a lead serial artist and as one of the few British Asians to make it through the Indian television fraternity, it’s an amazing accomplishment for someone who has already achieved so much, so young.

 


 

Two Minutes with Tina Phillip

Speaking exclusively to Asian Express, Tina gave us her top tips for anyone in her position who may want to leave life in the UK behind to pursue a career in Bollywood.

  • Be an actor for the right reasons. Not for the fame or the money. If you're passionate about acting that will come through in your auditions. Have a burning fire within you for the craft. 
  • Don't be afraid to follow your dreams. In fact you should chase them! One of my favourite quotes is: "Don't be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try!" - Michael Jordan. If anything it'll be a learning experience one that you could smile and tell your grandkids about someday
  • Be prepared to go out of your comfort zone and go through a lot of sacrifices. Like they say no pain no gain! 12-14 hours of shooting every day is the norm here with sometimes only 2 days off in a month. 
  • It’s good to have a back up option - I thank my parents that they've always told me to put my education first and I knew I could always go back to working as an auditor. Moreover, people respect the fact that this is a choice of career rather than a means of earning a few bucks
  • Lastly before I left for Mumbai, my dad only said one thing to me - "Don't become a slave to your desire" Know your worth and only take up projects that you believe in. 

 


 

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CINEMA: THIS WEEK – “Phillauri”

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Star Cast: Anushka Sharma, Diljit Dosanjh, Suraj Sharma, Mehreen Pirzada

Director: Anshai Lal

Genre: Romance/Comedy

Release Date: 24/03/2017

Phillauri highlights the extraordinary concept of Manglik through the romantic comedy genre, tackling the subject matter with both sensitive humour and gentle pathos.

In Indian astrology, a person bornManglik is believed to be inauspicious for marriage, causing discord and tension in a relationship and leading to severe disharmony and tragedy, possibly death.

If two mangliks marry, the negative effects are believed to cancel each other out.

Phillauri presents this theme through a witty and intelligently crafted narrative, with colourful and rustic charm.

The film is a family entertainer, where Anushka plays a friendly ghost from the past, whose love story with Diljit unfolds on the backdrop of a present day Punjabi wedding.

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Mubarakan kicks off London schedule

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Cast and Director meet with media on location at Sheraton Park Lane

Saturday 11th March 2017, London, UK - Sony Pictures Networks Productions, a division of Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd (SPN), have started shooting for their upcoming Bollywood film, Mubarakan, in London. The cast includes Anil Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz and Athiya Shetty and they will be shooting in and around the England for around 50 days. As an exclusive first, the cast and director met with media at a fun-filled interaction on location amid the grandiose of Sheraton Park Lane, Mayfair.

At the Press Conference hosted by British Asian actor, Ameet Chana, the cast and director, shared their experiences of their ongoing shoot in London as part of a star-studded and fun-loving ensemble.

Director, Anees Bazmee, explained how he always comes back to writing comedy, because it is the hardest thing to get right. He added that he always takes his writing seriously and never laughs at his own jokes during the writing process.

Speaking about working alongside a supporting cast of local talent in the film, actress Athiya Shetty said, “Working with English people is not that different from working with people in Bombay, but everyone has something different to offer,” adding that it is “happy families” on set.

When asked about filming at Europe’s largest Sikh temple, actress Ileana D’Cruz said she was impressed by the sheer scale of Gravesend Gurdwara, saying that “Even the drive there is lovely!”

When asked about the theme of the film, actor Arjun Kapoor expressed that “This scenario could happen to any British Asian family” and elaborated on the universal theme of “younger generations respecting older generations” and “family values counting for a lot, in things like marriage.” He added that the British Asian talent involved in the film should garner “an honest connection from the audience.”

When asked about the strong synergy between UK and the Hindi film industry, actor Anil Kapoor spoke about the “Long history between Great Britain and India,” adding that both nations are “trying to understand each other more.” He explained that Mubarakan is a “story about British Asians,” but he hopes that “everyone will be able to enjoy it.” Mr. Kapoor conveyed that he has “been very lucky in the choice of scripts” he has been offered throughout his career and that he loves working with the “very real, very situational scripts” offered by Anees Bazmee.

When asked about the choice between commercial movies and movies with a strong message, Arjun Kapoor said that this film “is not branded with one issue, but as you leave the movie there is a thought planted in your head,” adding that it is important for films to “present [issues] in a way that is not heavy on you.” He added, “There is a message in there for those who want to take one away.”

The film which is a family comedy, will be directed by none other than ace director Anees Bazmee. Anees’s last film Welcome Back was a major hit and also starred Anil Kapoor. Prior to that, Anees had directed the Salman Khan blockbuster Ready. With Mubarakan this ‘Triple A’ Jodi of Anees, Anil and Arjun is all set to have the audiences entertained with comedy that will have them rolling in laughter. Anees will make sure that the ‘chacha-bhatija jodi’ replicate the same camaraderie that they share in real life on screen too.

Mubarakan is a laugh riot with lot of confusion, laughter, love, egos and emotions.

Mubarakan is produced by Sony Pictures Networks Productions and Ashwin Varde & Murad Khetani’s Cine1 Studios and is slated for a worldwide release on 28th July 2017 release.

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CINEMA: THIS WEEK – “Badrinath Ki Dulhania”

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Star Cast: Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Gauahar Khan, Mohit Marwah, Namit Shah

Director: Shashank Khaitan

Genre: Drama

Release Date: 10/03/2017

Produced by Karan Johar and Fox Star Studios, ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ is billed as a romantic comedy drama.

The sequel to the vastly popular ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’, this new film is a hardcore “desi romance” which takes fans on a roller coaster ride of emotions from fun, love and laughter to heartbreak, angst and tears.

Starring India’s next-gen superstars Varun Dhawan as Badrinath Bansal and Alia Bhatt as Vaidehi Trivedi, who both belong to small towns; but their mindset about gender roles in society and about life in general are diametrically opposite.

There’s a clash of ideologies, a struggle to overcome circumstances and pressures of their small-town families.

Audiences will watch them lock horns and melt hearts in a film that is more than just your average ‘boy meets girl’ love story.

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Raising the ‘Bar’: Akshay Kumar’s ‘Jolly’ LL.B 2

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Akshay Kumar, Huma Qureshi, Saurabh Shukla and Annu Kapoor starrer wins case, hearts and mind!

Akshay Kumar’s much anticipated courtroom entertainer ‘Jolly LL.B 2’ has won hearts of fans, audiences and critics alike.

With strong performances throughout the film and Akshay Kumar playing the character of a lawyer for the first time he emerges triumphant on screen.

Set against the backdrop of the erstwhile city of the Royals, ‘Jolly LL.B 2’ is a satire about an underdog – an advocate called Jolly (Akshay Kumar) who attempts to catapult himself to the top of the legal food chain.

Anarchy, mayhem and underhandedness, all expressed through wit and a vein of humour, form the cornerstones of this courtroom tale.

Akshay Kumar is seen buttressing his legal arguments with rhetorics necessary to establish his case, many of which will become signature dialogues.

Read our up-close interview with Akshay Kumar

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Up close with Akshay Kumar

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What inspires you?

A seat means you get one more chance, one more year, to play the fame Game; but seats have to be earned on this bus - and the price of a ticket is, simply, success. I need to be careful and work very hard to get a seat on that bus. A new set of movies will release every year, and I will be tested all over again, but my seat is ensured only if I have done well every single year. I don't want to live without success. I will not be able to accept it if I am no longer a part of this industry. But that also means I have to keep striving.

Tell us about your character in Jolly LLB 2

I have never played a character like this; it's the first time I am playing a fully-fledged lawyer role. This film has been my desire because ever since I was small, my dad used to tell me stories about Akbar and
Birbal. Birbal was very smart and Akbar always tried to put him in trouble and always pushed him to the limits of testing his knowledge. When Subhash Kapoor narrated the script and I heard about the cases in the film, it reminded me about Birbal, so I was looking forward to play this role.

Are there any underlying messages in the film?

In these films there is always a struggle between good and evil but this film is also very much about principles and morals. In particular, it is about never compromising on those values for the sake of a quick buck. There is a lot more that happens in the film which does shine a spotlight on the wider social issues.

What roles do you prefer playing?

2016 was an interesting year from a creative perspective, as I had the chance to experiment with different genres and different roles, from playing characters based on true stories in ‘Rustom’ and ‘Airlift’ to a more comedic one in ‘Housefull 3’. Variety in the kind of roles I take always helps! It keeps me on my toes. I am very conscious about the scripts that I choose and it is true that I do want to be challenged in that part so from that perspective I do try to mix it up, versatility is a career saver in this kind of industry. But it is a largely a coincidence that 2016 had such a mix of roles if I am honest as I can never really control the kind of films that come my way.

Has the way in which you choose your films changed?

It's always been about the script for me - how it makes me feel. I ask myself if I can connect with what I'm reading, and is this a film I would like to see. Most importantly, I ask if I feel this will appeal to the fans, and meet their expectations as well as the expectations of the wider audience. I use to fixate a lot on action and comedy, but I feel the audience is more accepting of heavier films now hence I feel I have the freedom to expand my horizons.

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Bhupi Pabla debuts with Sufi song

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Born in Punjab and brought up in the UK Bhupi Pabla, with her powerful voice and confidence she is ready to make a bang in the music industry with her upcoming projects.

Graduating with BSc (Hon) Business Information Systems, Bhupi has performed in front of Bollywood legends such as Javed Akhtar, Anu Malik and Anupam Kher as a finalist of Indian Idol 3, followed by performances on Brit Asia Superstar, Miss India UK.

This talented young singer’s career is just growing from strength to strength.

Her debut track (a Sufi song), which is produced and written by her guru and legendary music composer Baldev Mastana has just been released worldwide. The video has been shot in India by the infamous Sandeep Sharma who recently filmed Satinder Sartaaj' , Hazaarey Wala Munda.

Bhupi began her vocal training from Surinder Singh Saund and Sanchita Pal where she has performed with Sampad South Asian Arts, Symphony Hall and at Surdhwani Societies Annual Social Events.

Bhupi is now under training with her teacher, composer and writer Baldev Mastana who has worked with singers from Kuldip Manak, Asha Bhosle, Hans Raj Hans and many more. Baldev Mastana gave the Punjabi industry hits like Nachna Pia by Kuldip Manak, Ashiqan Di Kahdi Zindgi by Hans Raj Hans and Nachdi Nu by Balwinder Safri.

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CINEMA: THIS WEEK – “Running Shaadi”

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Star Cast: Arsh Bajwa, Brijendra Kala, Tapsee Pannu

Director: Amit Roy

Genre: Romance

Release date: 17/02/2017

It tells the story of Ram Bharose (Amit Sadh) and his friend Sarabjeet Sidhaana aka Cyberjeet (Arsh Bajwa), who set up a website to help love struck couples in the city of Amritsar defy their families’ marriage orders and elope together.

Taapsee Pannu, who plays Nimmi, the female lead, says the reason the role appealed to her was because the character is almost similar to her.

She says that although she didn’t have to step too far outside her comfort zone to play Nimmi, she learnt a lot from the experience. "The characters in the film are very real. That’s where the humour comes from – not from funny lines, but from these very real characters that everyone can identify with."

Although the movie is a light-hearted romantic comedy, Pannu concedes that the issues it addresses are a serious matter for many people.

"Arranged marriage is an issue that affects a lot of people in this country," she says. "It sometimes seems like couples have to think about everything except their own feelings when they get married. They have to think about their religion, their caste, their family, society – and the last question seems to be ‘do you actually want to marry this person?’"

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JOLLY LLB.2: Akshay Kumar raises the “bar” in new flick

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Akshay Kumar, Huma Qureshi, Saurabh Shukla and Annu Kapoor starrer wins case, hearts and mind!

Akshay Kumar’s much anticipated courtroom entertainer Jolly LL.B 2 is out in cinemas Friday 10th February, and has already won hearts of fans, audience and critics alike.

With strong performances throughout the film and Akshay Kumar playing the character of a lawyer for the first time, he emerges triumphant on screen.

Set against the backdrop of the erstwhile city of the Royals, Jolly LL.B 2 is a satire about an underdog - Advocate Jolly (Akshay Kumar) attempting to catapult himself to the top of the legal food chain.

Anarchy, mayhem and underhandedness, all expressed through wit and a vein of humour, form the cornerstones of this courtroom tale.

Akshay Kumar is seen buttressing his legal arguments with rhetoric’s necessary to establish his case, many of which will become signature dialogues.
Inspired by true events it’s the story of Jagdishwar Mishra, aka Jolly, a hustler by nature, who survives by fighting petty cases and using every tactic under the sun to make a quick buck and earn a decent living.


Some reactions from Bollywood

Anil Kapoor (@AnilKapoor) ”Fighting for what is right in his own unique style! Court is now in session! @akshaykumar”

Hrithik Roshan (@iHrithik) tweeted, “This man is on a roll! Thoroughly enjoyed this jolly. Congrats to the team that pulled this off in 33 days! Fantastic!”

Sidharth Malhotra (@S1dharthM),” Thoroughly enjoyed #JollyLLB2 Entertaining court room drama with a relevant story kudos to bro @akshaykumar n director @subkapoor must catch”

Rakesh Roshan (@RakeshRoshan_N) ,”@akshaykumar know for a fact #JollyLLB2 will be a huge hit because u are a true entertainer and honest. All the best!”

Sajid Khan (@SimplySajidK),”Yes, yes, it is much better than part one (which itself was damn good).. one of the most earnest performances of @akshaykumar.way to go sundi”


 

Andleeb Hanif, Managing Editor for Asian Express received a bit of a surprise from Akhay Kumar when he sent her a special quirky version of his movie poster. She says: “Akshay Kumar is so very switched on with how to win hearts of both the public and the global press. It’s such a rarity to see an A-list Bollywood celebrity so down-to-earth and connected with his fans. Can’t wait to see the film now.”

Andleeb Hanif, Managing Editor for Asian Express received a bit of a surprise from Akhay Kumar when he sent her a special quirky version of his movie poster. She says: “Akshay Kumar is so very switched on with how to win hearts of both the public and the global press. It’s such a rarity to see an A-list Bollywood celebrity so down-to-earth and connected with his fans. Can’t wait to see the film now.”

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