BREAKING NEWS

Superstar Sunny Deol to introduce Utkarsh Sharma at grand wrap-up party of Anil Sharma’s Genius

Genius is also Anil Sharma’s fastest film shot in a record period of time

By Manishaa R

Superstar Sunny Deol who has collaborated with Anil Sharma on four successful films would be officially introducing the lead pair of his forthcoming film, Genius, Utkarsh Sharma and Ishita, at the grand wrap up party of the film to be held today. The famed filmmaker who is also celebrating his birthday today, is excitedly looking forward to the event considering the close bond he has shared with Sunny Deol over the years, “Sunny is an inherent part of my life, not just my films.  His love and blessings are always there with me. There would be no one better than Sunny to officially introduce my son, Utkarsh. Moreover, Utkarsh had played his on-screen son as a child artist in Gadar-Ek Prem Katha. Besides him, Dharamji (Dharmendra) and Bobby (Bobby Deol) are family to us. Sunny would be introducing Utkarsh and Tara Singh of Gadar would be introducing Jeete of Gadar,” Sharma said. There is also speculation that the veteran actor will be making a very special appearance in Genius but Anil Sharma does not want to speak about it yet, “I would rather speak about this at the right time,” he averred.

“There would be no one better than Sunny to officially introduce my son Utkarsh. Moreover, Utkarsh had played his on-screen son as a child artist in Gadar-Ek Prem Katha”

Genius is also one of Anil Sharma’s fastest films shot in a record period of time, despite its huge scale. The veteran director, who has to his credit some of the biggest films from Hukumat and Elan-E-Jung to Gadar-Ek Prem Katha to The Hero: Love Story Of A Spy, started shooting for the film on October 5 and wrapped up the shooting of the film in less than five months on February 28, “This is the shortest period of time I have completed a film despite mounting it on a huge canvas and shooting it in more than 12 outdoor locations. I guess it was possible because I had worked on the script for more than two years and prepared myself thoroughly on every aspect of the film,” Sharma confirmed adding that the biggest factor that made this possible was the fact that he was working with new actors, “It is an entirely different ball-game when you are working with stars,” he said.

“This is the shortest period of time I have completed a film despite mounting it on a huge canvas and shooting it in more than 12 outdoor locations”

Sharma further admitted that Genius was not massively budgeted unlike his previous films, all of which were budgeted on an extraordinary scale, “The film is no doubt a very big one as one would expect but the budget is not the same as my earlier star-studded films. The perception is that Anil Sharma makes big films and this one is his son’s debut so it would be even bigger. It certainly is a big film despite all the budgetary constraints.” Sharma revealed.

He added he wanted Utkarsh to be hailed as the hero of the audiences after the film, “I want Utkarsh to be the hero of audiences across all genres and streams. I have always made films for the universal audiences be it Gadar, Hero, Singh Saab-The Great, Hukumat, Apne or Ab Tumhare Hawale Waan Sathiyon. Genius also confirms to this aspect,” he said, adding that Ishita was the perfect new-find to be launched opposite Utkarsh, “She exudes innocence apart from her radiating beauty.  This film will take her places,” Sharma added.

“I want Utkarsh to be the hero of audiences across all genres and streams”

The story of Genius revolves around an intelligent young boy who gives a new dimension to established scientific norms with his innovative thinking and fights his battles with his intellect, “I came across this thought three years ago. The one-line story about this is ‘Dil Ki Ladaai Dimaag Se’. The head and heart are eternally in conflict but real love can win only when the head takes the initiative to solve the problems of the heart. That’s how the story was born,” Anil Sharma said.  Genius is scheduled for a grand release on August 24 this year.

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BREAKING NEWS

Sridevi was the real star in the male hegemony of Hindi cinema, says Oscar winning sound designer Resul Pookutty

Acclaimed Oscar winning sound designer Resul Pookutty says it was the Academy Members’ collective wish to acknowledge the huge talent of Sridevi and Shashi Kapoor in the world of cinema

 By Manishaa R

Renowned Oscar winning sound designer Resul Pookutty has described the tribute paid to Sridevi in the ‘In Memoriam’ section as a true acknowledgment of her global impact as an actor, “She was a real star among all the male hegemony of Hindi cinema. It truly represents her global presence as an entertainer. It is indeed a great gesture on the part of the Academy to pay tribute to Sridevi and Shashi Kapoor,” Pookutty said.

The veteran sound technician who is also a voting member of the Academy of Motion Pictures, further described it as one of the most befitting gestures of the Academy to recognize the talent of the two great actors, “Both Sridevi and Shashi Kapoor were great entertainers who enthralled audiences the world over with their magnificent talent…It was our collective wish as Academy members to include their talented life to be recognized…it also makes the Academy more diverse when it recognizes such huge talent from neighbouring countries,” he said.

It may be recalled that Twitter was abuzz with celebrities from the Indian film industry and emotionally overwhelmed fans when Sridevi and Shashi Kapoor were paid a homage at the 90th Academy Awards alongside several other global legends including James Bond fame Roger Moore, King of comedy, Jerry Lewis, French star Jeanne Moreau, Bela Lugosi actor Martin Landau, popular actor, Harry Dean Stanton and The Silence Of The Lambs director, Jonathan Demme among others.

Among the earliest who took to Twitter to thank the Academy were choreographer-director Farah Khan, “Teary eyed to see #Sridevi being featured in the Oscars IN MEMORIUM,” she said.

Veteran actor, Rishi Kapoor who had co-starred with Sridevi in one of the best-known classic Chandni, tweeted, “Oscars. Thank you for remembering Shashi Kapoor and Sridevi. Thrilled to see the name Raj Kapoor as the executive producer of the show. We are on the threshold of world cinema!”

Actor Varun Dhawan’s twitter handle read, “So amazing to see the #Oscars pay respect to #shashikapoor and #sridevi #Oscar90.”

Director Kunal Kohli tweeted, “Proud and teary eyed moment for us all to see a tribute being paid to #Sridevi & #ShashiKapoor at the #Oscars.”

Well-known casting director, Mukesh Chhabra, wrote, “How lovely to see the #Oscars pay respect to #srideviBkapoor and #ShashiKapoor.”

On the other hand, singer and actor, Sophie Choudry wrote, “Thank you #Oscars for paying tribute to #Sridevi & #ShashiKapoor tonight amongst the many incredible global artists we lost this last year #Oscars2018.”

However it was Anna MM Vetticad-writer and author of ‘The Adventures of an Intrepid Film Critic’ that truly underscored the sentiment, “Call me a sentimental fool if you will, but I always wait for the #Oscars In Memoriam section. I knew #ShashiKapoor would be remembered at today’s ceremony because he has worked abroad, but they also honoured #Sridevi today and that meant a lot. A big hug to @TheAcademy,” her tweet read.

Earlier, actress Priyanka Chopra, who is a global icon in her own right, had paid an emotionally stirring tribute to Sridevi in an article penned by her for Time Magazine, in which she said, “Sridevi leaves behind a legacy that will live beyond us all, a legacy built on the foundation of pure dedication, talent, hard work and a sprinkle of fairy dust that was showered on her by the Gods! She was my childhood and one of the big reasons I became an actor,” she wrote.

On the other hand, Google CEO, Sundar Pichai in an emotional tribute had earlier tweeted, “Her performance in Sadma was one of my favourites and have special memories of watching Sridevi with my family. She was a pioneer and an inspiration to so many of us. So very sorry for your tragic loss and may she RIP.”

 

BOX-OFFICE NEWS

Baahubali 2 in Japan: Prabhas starrer to be released in uncut extended version after box-office success of international version

By Manishaa R

After the overwhelming box-office response to the international cut version of Baahubali 2 at the Japan box-office,  local distributor Twin Co is now planning to release the original uncut version that was released in India

Baahubali-The Conclusion seems to be unstoppable in Japan.  Bowled over by the visual grandeur, action and story-telling of the epic saga, the Japanese audiences continue to patronize the film in full force, with theatres running to packed capacity after eight weeks. Looking at the overwhelming response, the Japanese distributor Twin Co is now planning to release the extended uncut version (2 hours 50 minutes) for the audiences. Kishore Kedari, Business Manager, Arka Media Works, confirmed that the decision is underway in keeping with the huge demand from Japanese audiences, “The audiences in Japan loved the international cut version of Baahubali-The Conclusion but they were so overwhelmed by the film that they are now eager to see the extended uncut version that was released in India. Twin Co is likely to release the extended version shortly in view of the huge fan-base the film has created,” Kedari revealed.

The audiences in Japan loved the international cut version of Baahubali-The Conclusion but they were so overwhelmed by the film that they are now eager to see the extended uncut version that was released in India- Kishore Kedari, Business Head, Arka Media Works

According to producer, Shobu Yarlagadda, it is the word of mouth publicity that has worked tremendously for the film in Japan, “It started off on a modest note but the collections recorded a sharp rise in the following weeks as the word of mouth spread around. I am told that the audiences there loved the scale of the film, the action and the music,” Yarlagadda said.

Meanwhile, Arka Media and the Japanese distributors are also looking at taking the Baahubali franchise to a new level, “The audiences are glued to the Baahubali franchise and Prabhas’ character in the film. We have got amazing fan art from the Japanese audiences and we keep acknowledging it on our social media accounts. They are also pitching in their own indigenous look. The fandom and patronage for the franchise is so big that there would be other avenues of taking the franchise ahead in Japan,” Kedari revealed, adding that the film was now heading for the $1million mark at the Japanese box-office. Moreover Prabhas has now become a huge sensation among the Japanese audiences, “Wherever the film releases, Prabhas becomes a sensation but he is trending in Japan in a big way. He is the Baahubali and people there find him absolutely adorable,” Kedari quipped.

 

BOX-OFFICE NEWS

YRF readies for massive Russia release of Tiger Zinda Hai after assessing huge potential for Salman Khan starrers

By Manishaa R

We are looking at Tiger Zinda Hai receiving a huge response in Russia, says Avtar Panesar, International Distribution Head, Yash Raj Films

The Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer, Tiger Zinda Hai, which set the box-office on fire in India, will be the first Hindi movie to have the widest ever release in Russia in an unprecedented 70 prints. According to Avtar Panesar, Vice President, International Operations, Yash Raj Films, the decision to line up a massive Russia release was made after assessing the huge potential for Salman Khan starrers in the otherwise untapped market in Russia, “Last year, we decided to test new waters and released Sultan across a few screens in Russia. The movie received a phenomenal response from audiences. That’s when we decided to up the ante with Tiger Zinda Hai,” Panesar revealed.

Yashraj is counting on the film receiving an exceptional response in Russia, “The response to the trailer has been excellent and we believe the movie will be loved by audiences across Russia. Also the movie has been dubbed in Russian and will release with the voiceovers, so it can connect excellently with the native people there,” Panesar said.

With Russia, Yash Raj Films is now set to explore the second phase of the film’s international business in non-traditional markets. “The movie has done fantastic business in Phase 1 in the traditional markets. Phase II begins with Russia and we are hoping the movie connects universally with non-Indian diaspora,” Panesar added.

“Last year, we decided to test new waters and released Sultan across a few screens in Russia. The movie received a phenomenal response from audiences” – Avtar Panesar, Vice President, International Operations, Yash Raj Films

It may be recalled that Ali Abbas Zafar’s spy action thriller starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, received an outstanding response in the overseas market. The film also succeeded in creating new records at the box-office, making Salman Khan only the second actor (after Aamir Khan) with three movies reaching the Rs 500 cr mark ($78 million) at the global box-office. The film also made it as the sixth highest Hindi grosser of all time.

BREAKING NEWS

Miss World Manushi Chillar shares her excitement about her BWAP project at Miss India 2018 audition launch

Manushi Chillar is glad that her ‘Beauty with A Purpose’ initiative is supported by the Miss World organisation

After travelling across the country as a part of their Beauty with a Purpose (BWAP) Tour, Miss World Organisation and six continental winners came together with Miss India Organization to celebrate the 55 years of legacy of fbb COLORS Femina Miss India 2018 at Carnival Cinemas, Imax Wadala. The chief guests included none other than the scintillating Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar , Chairman & CEO Miss World Julia Morley, Miss World Europe – Stephanie Jayne HILL (from England), Miss World Americas – Alma Andrea MEZA CARMONA (From Mexico), Miss World Africa – Magline JERUTO (From Kenya),Miss World Asia – Ha Eun KIM (From Korea), Miss World Caribbean – Solange Johnson SINCLAIR (From Jamaica), Miss World Oceania – Annie Diana EVANS (From New Zealand) and Miss World 2016  Stephanie Del Valle.

Manushi spoke how she felt elated and excited about her BWAP project on menstrual hygiene was being supported by the Miss World Organisation and the fact that it had started with her home country India. She recalled her journey about how it was Stephanie who had crowned her at Miss India as well as Miss World pageant and also gave advice to all those contestants who are aspiring to be Miss India.

The press conference began in a unique way with 30 school kids of Muktangan School with 30 state names on their T shirts and Tiara on head start with the National anthem as this year again the pageant will explore potential talent in all 30 states of India (including Delhi), selecting one ambassador who will represent their state at the National Finals. This year the mentors include Neha Dhupia (North Zone), Pooja Chopra (East zone), Pooja Hegde (West zone) and Rakul Preet Singh (South Zone).

Speaking on the occasion Rohit Gopakumar, COO, Miss India Organisation said, “2017 saw Miss Haryana Manushi Chhillar winning the fbb Colors Miss India pageant and she went forth to win the coveted Miss World Title for India after 17 years. Region to Nation to World has been a seamless journey for Manushi with the Miss India platform. We at Miss India last year infused our nation’s rich cultural and social diversity which gave the event a fillip in terms of reach and participation.”

The auditions for Miss India 2018 commenced on 9th February with Andhra Pradesh auditions happening at Vizag. The top three contestants from every state will proceed to the State’s Zonal crowning ceremony which will be held in Bangalore (South Zone) on 24th February, 2018, Kolkata (East Zone) on 22nd March, 2018, Delhi (North Zone) on 12th April, 2018 and Pune (West Zone) on 13th May, 2018 where one deserving girl will get a chance to represent her state at the Grand Finale in Mumbai.

 

 

 

BREAKING NEWS

Kick 2: Salman Khan to play a double role in this hugely anticipated sequel?

Sources reveal that the sequel to Kick, which created a riot at the box-office in 2014, may see Salman Khan playing a double role with the younger character taking on bigger challenges

By Manishaa R

The much-talked about Kick sequel which has been confirmed for a Christmas 2019 release, will witness Salman Khan back as the ‘Devil’ but with a new twist to the tale.  According to sources, the superstar is likely to essay a double role of a father and son, with the story taking a 20-year leap on the lines of the Ravi Teja starrer, Kick 2.  Sources also reveal that the younger Salman in the film may have new traits to his character which make him a formidable threat to all his enemies, who try to challenge him.  Apparently both Sajid and Salman, who was in the know of the script since the past two years, kept improvising on it, after which it was recently finalized.

The much-talked about Kick sequel which has been confirmed for a Christmas 2019 release, will witness Salman Khan back as the ‘Devil’ but with a new twist to the tale

More interestingly, Sajid Nadiadwala is said to have once again roped in the original Kick writer Rajat Aroraa, who was instrumental in regaling the audiences with some of his memorable dialogues in the film. Apparently both Aroraa and Sajid Nadiadwala had been working exhaustively on the script of Kick 2 for the past two years, giving a new edge to the story that will now showcase Salman Khan in a role that will be high on both emotion and action.

In one of his earlier interviews post the phenomenal success of Kick, Sajid had said that one of the reasons for Kick being a huge success was the equation he shared with Salman and the way he understood him, “I felt that all the small things that people enjoyed in the film were because I knew Salman but definitely those numbers could not have been achieved without him,” he had said. In another media interaction he had confessed how it was a huge responsibility to work with Salman considering the hysteria among his fans and his huge fan base.

In a media interaction post the success of Kick, Sajid Nadiadwala  had confessed how it was a huge responsibility to work with Salman considering the mass hysteria he commanded among his fans

It is a known fact that Salman Khan and Sajid Nadiadwala have been thick friends for more than two decades since they first collaborated for the 1996 film Jeet, after which they gave several hits together like Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi. It was Salman who inspired Sajid to make his directorial debut with the action comedy Kick, which went on to make history at the box-office and had the unique distinction of being Salman’s first film to enter the Rs 200 cr club. It is a little-known fact that it was Sajid Nadiadwala who gifted the title rights of Bharat-the upcoming epic film to be directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, to Salman Khan when he and his brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri felt that it would be the only apt title for the film.

BREAKING NEWS

Padman to head for a massive solo release, exhibitors welcome decision

By Manishaa R

With Akshay Kumar’s mass-following and the socially relevant subject of Padman, it is only imperative to have a huge release, say exhibitors

With Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyaary now being deferred to February 16, Padman is said to be heading for a massive solo release across India in a good number of screens. The decision has been welcomed by exhibitors some of whom were in a dilemma about allocating screens to Padman and Aiyaary in the face of rising demand for Padmaavat, which is growing on the audiences in its second week.

Well-known distributor and exhibitor Akshaye Rathi, who has screens across Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, feels that it advantage Padman, which deserves a good number of screens in keeping with Akshay Kumar’s mass-following and the subject, “Padman is a subject that calls for serious endorsement not just in the Indian markets but over the world. Also Akshay Kumar shares a great connect with the masses. His films certainly deserve a wide release. When you are dabbling with a subject that is socially relevant, it is only imperative for it to have a huge release,” Rathi says.

According to distributor-exhibitor Rajesh Thadani the decision to postpone Aiyaary by a week, will not work just for Padman but for Aiyaary too, “The clash between the two films would have affected both due to the limited number of screens. Also Padmaavat is performing very well so the decision is good for everyone concerned. It will now be interesting to watch how the screens are divided between Padmaavat and Padman,” Thadani says.

Aiyaary should not be underestimated says exhibitor Akshaye Rathi

Would Aiyaary have changed the equation for Padman, apart from the number of screens? According to Rathi, the potential of Aiyaary cannot be overlooked for the simple reason that it has the formidable name of Neeraj Pandey as director, “Neeraj Pandey is among the few directors who has time and again succeeded in making entertaining and engaging films.  Knowing that he is the man behind Aiyaary, it would be incorrect to underestimate the possibility of the film,” Rathi avers. On the other hand, Rathi feels that Akshay Kumar’s films invariably make a mark at the box-office irrespective of the competition, “Akshay Kumar is among the few stars in the industry who has consistently delivered box-office success. Almost every film he does is made on a moderate budget and assures a definite lifetime business of a minimum Rs 100 cr.  It doesn’t matter whether his films have a solo release,” Rathi states.

“We want Padman to reach to the maximum number of audiences,” says producer Prernaa Arora

Meanwhile the pre-release curiosity for Padman has reached a new high with celebrities from Aamir Khan to Varun Dhawan, Anushka Shetty, Alia Bhatt and others, taking on the #Padmanchallenge and endorsing the message of the film. According to producer Prernaa Arora, there is a positive buzz surrounding the release of the film not just in India but the international market too, “It is now a global film after it was spoken about in Oxford Union, the world’s most prestigious debating society. We want it to reach the maximum number of audiences. Also it is the boldest film ever and kudos to Akshay sir for that. He has never shied away from taking up films with socially relevant issues, be it Toilet Ek Prem Katha earlier or Padman now. He is the true hero of the masses,” she says.

As of now Sony Pictures is said to be lining up a huge release for Padman in the range of 2800-3000 screens, “Sony pictures is an international studio that has solid clout in the Indian and international market. It will go the extra mile to ensure that the film gets an extraordinary release,” Rathi says.