This week has been a big one for Sanjay Leela Bhansali, whose latest film ‘Bajirao Mastani’ just completed 100 successful days in cinemas, and won him his very first National Film Award (for Best Director) on Wednesday 30th March.
What makes Bhansali’s win twice as special? “My mother always prayed that I should get one and here I get it. Her prayers are answered,” said the director. “Her happiness means a lot to me.”
Along with this, ‘Bajirao Mastani’ has also earned awards for Tanvi Azmi (Best Supporting Actress), Remo D’Souza (Best Choreography, ‘Deewani Mastani’), Best Production Design, Best Re-Recordist and Best Cinematography.
Bhansali celebrated his big moment at Mumbai restaurant The Korner House not just with mother Leela Bhansali, but also sister Bela Segal, and his best friends from Bollywood.
There to party with him were stars who have worked with him in the past, including Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan and Ranveer Singh along with Jacqueline Fernandez, Anupama and Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Athiya and Suniel Shetty, Sooraj Pancholi, Simi Garewal, Rekha, Huma Qureshi and Aditi Rao Hydari. Though Priyanka Chopra couldn’t join in, her mother Madhu Chopra made it a point to stop by and congratulate the Bhansalis.
Actor John Abraham and director Nishikant Kamat have been friends for years but the two will go head to head onscreen in the upcoming ‘Rocky Handsome’.
The film, set in Goa, Mumbai, Pune and Seychelles, traces the journey of a man who goes on a rampage when the only person he cares about (a little girl) is kidnapped. Nishikant, who has directed the action thriller, also plays the antagonist — a Goan ganglord, Kevin Pereira.
His assistant directors believed that, since he knew the script inside out, he was the right choice for the role. Asked about it, Nishikant says, "I'm confident in front of the camera, but acting and directing simultaneously can be scary."
Talking about his friend, director and now co-actor's look and performance, John Abraham says: "When I learnt that Nishi would play the villain, I was quite excited. When I saw him getting out of his vanity van on the day of the shoot, sporting a baldpate and suit, I thought he looked mean. You need a strong bad guy to stand up against Rocky Handsome and he is the man to watch out for."
There is good news for those who longed to see maverick director Mahesh Bhatt in action again.
The director, who is known to adapt his own life experiences on silver screen in form of landmark films like 'Arth', 'Daddy', 'Zakhm' and 'Woh Lamhe', Bhatt is all set to direct another movie on the lines of' Daddy'.
The latest project will see Pooja Bhatt playing the role of an alcoholic mother. "I'm making a film on alcoholic celebrity star mother who is at the sunset hour of her life and has a child too, to care for. Pooja will play the lead in the movie," Bhatt revealed.
Interestingly, it was Bhatt who had launched Pooja Bhatt's career by directing her in 'Daddy' in 1989. Bhatt also directed her in critically acclaimed film - 'Zakhm' - in 1999, which was incidentally the last movie he directed some 15 years ago.
"I was thrilled when Bhatt saab narrated the script to me and asked if I would be interested in doing the lead role,” says Pooja.
“It was really very kind of him to think of me while planning the script.”
As Bradford once again bids to retain its Curry Capital crown for a record-breaking fourth consecutive year, one award-winning restaurant in the city is leading the way in serving up authentic Indian cuisine.
After six weeks of refurbishment work earlier this year, Cafe Zoya reopened their doors to the public just after Ramadan, bringing new looks and new tastes to diners across the city.
Replacing their whole interior dining space with a fresh, vintage design, the new environment provides the perfect space to dine in style, with natural light complimenting the new vintage lighting.
From the restaurant to the onsite sweet and dessert centre, Cafe Zoya is as visually captive as the food is delicious as sumptuous menus offer up the finest dishes to all visitors.
Director, Mr Lukman, known to all as ‘Lucky’ explained why the restaurant decided it was time to ‘make a change’ and remain at the forefront of Bradford’s ever-blossoming curry industry.
“It had been three years since our last refurbishment and with the ever changing desires of our customers, we decided it was time once again to give back to the diners,” he said.
“Leeds Road has become famous as the new Bradford Curry Mile and we are very proud to take our place on this historic road and act as a stalwart for the whole community.
“Ever since Uncle Akbar Mughal founded this restaurant, we have prided ourselves on serving only the finest foods and desserts and thanks to our amazing team of chefs and waiting staff, we continue to live by these principles today.”
Cafe Zoya’s expansive sweet centre boasts dozens of traditional Asian sweets as well as desserts from around the world.
Still freshly prepared by hand every day, in the same way Mr Mughal did 50 years ago, the sweets have earned a reputation of their own throughout the years and are now presented in their new look surroundings.
“We have all types of people come down to Cafe Zoya, from politicians to sports people and our loyal customer base,” Mr Lukman added. “The one thing everybody has in common is their love of our desserts.
“No matter who walks through our doors, we treat everybody with the utmost care and it is our staff at the end of the day who have earned us our success.”
In recent months, Cafe Zoya has expanded into new territories with the opening of their onsite banqueting suite.
With the ability to cater for up to 200 guests at a time, the spacious area has all the facilities, from AV systems to projection screens, ablution facilities and prayer rooms, making it the ideal location for your special event.
With plans to expand into new cities across the country in the near future, it seems the words, and tastes, of Cafe Zoya will be on every person’s lips for a long time to come.