Women's Day special

Priyanka is a firm believer of women empowerment, says Madhu Chopra

Madhu Chopra talks about why Priyanka endorses woman power and her decision to work with women directors  

By Manishaa R

In a recent interview for the February edition of Harper’s Bazaar, Priyanka Chopra had voiced her opinion on feminism, women’s rights and why it was important for women to make their own choices in life, “Feminism is women standing up for themselves and saying ‘Give me the freedom to make my own choices without judging me.’”

The actress who scripted her own success story on the international arena said that women were entitled to take decisions without being questioned for them, “It is not superiority. It is not hating or berating men. It is just saying, ‘Let me make my decisions without shaming me or trolling me. Give me those opportunities that men have enjoyed for such a long time,’” the actress said. “The way I see it feminism stands for my choice to live my life without being judged.”

According to Priyanka’s mother Madhu Chopra, Priyanka was always confident about her choices in life and she firmly supported her in all her decisions, “Priyanka is the kind who has always been determined, strong and someone who knew what she wanted in life. Being a mama’s daughter, I have always supported her in all her endeavours because I know her foundation is very strong. She has always had my full support in whatever decisions she takes,” she said.

What she liked about Priyanka was the fact that she never took her decisions impulsively, “She is not impulsive about her decisions-she takes a call and owns the responsibility for better or for worse. She has always owned the responsibility for her decisions. If something went wrong, I would always be there but I told her never to be afraid to make a call,” Chopra recalled.

“Priyanka is eager to reach out to all those talented women out there and give them the right platform for their talent”- Madhu Chopra

Apparently it was this thought process of helping women find their own identity that has prompted Madhu and Priyanka Chopra to explore working with more and more women directors for their production banner, Purple Pebble Pictures. According to Madhu Chopra, the actress is a firm believer of women empowerment, “Given a choice Priyanka would love to work with all woman directors. Being a self-made woman, she is eager to reach out to all those talented women out there and give them the right platform for their talent,” Chopra revealed.

Chopra also spoke about Priyanka’s woman-centric team in India and Hollywood, “Her entire team consists of women. She believes that girls are more dedicated and career-driven. They are much more resilient and strong,” she said.



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.”



#PriyankaChopra collaborates with “Firebrand” director Aruna Raje for her next Marathi production

It looks like Priyanka Chopra has some great plans lined up in the New Year. To start with the actress has announced her next Marathi production under her banner, Purple Pebble Pictures. Titled Firebrand, the film will be directed by National Award winning writer and director Aruna Raje, a firebrand director herself, best known for her 1988 Hema Malini starrer, Rihahee. The film will also mark Raje’s foray into Marathi cinema. This will be the third Marathi film from Priyanka’s banner, Purple Pebble Pictures, the last being the Marathi comedy Kaay Re Rascala. However it was her award-winning Marathi production, Ventilator that made headlines with the way it was acclaimed by both the national and the international audiences.

Raje in a statement revealed that the film was a take on relationships, “Firebrand is a contemporary story about relationships and the highs and lows people deal with in their lives,” she said, adding that she was delighted to collaborate with the team of Priyanka Chopra and Madhu Chopra, “I am glad that Priyanka Chopra and Dr Madhu Chopra are focussing on regional cinema and backing unusual and good subjects in an endeavour to create meaningful cinema,” she said.
Firebrand boasts of a formidable cast of veteran actors from Marathi cinema including Usha Jadhav, Girish Kulkarni, Sachin Khedekar and Rajeshwari Sachdev. While Usha Jadhav will be seen playing the role of a successful lawyer Sunanda Raut, Girish Kulkarni will essay the role of her husband Madhav Patkar, an architect by profession. Sachin Khedekar and Rajeshwari Sachdev play a couple in the movie which is high on drama.

Priyanka’s mother, Dr Madhu Chopra, described it as s subject with high emotional values, which was also evident in the banner’s award-winning film, Ventilator, “The general acceptance from the family audience for Ventilator has once again reinstated my faith in backing scripts with high emotional values, interesting characters and are entertaining at the same time.”

Last year Priyanka Chopra had announced three regional children films all with women directors to be produced under her banner. The actress  had later said that the decision had everything to do with the fact that she wanted to hail woman power and talent.

The collaboration between Priyanka and Madhu Chopra and Aruna Raje, would be interesting considering that Aruna Raje has always celebrated woman power on screen and Priyanka Chopra besides establishing her distinct identity as an international icon, has always encouraged talented woman directors for her production house. Last year the actress had made headlines when she announced three regional children films all with women directors to be produced by her banner. Priyanka had later said that the decision had everything to do with the fact that she wanted to hail woman power and talent.