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  1. The 64th National Film Awards have been announced and our favourites from 2016 seem to have fared brilliantly. ‘Neerja’ has won the national award for the best Hindi film of 2016 and deservedly so. Based on Neerja Bhanot, the woman who single-handedly took on terrorists to save the lives of 359 passengers onboard the flight of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, the film was a fitting tribute to the woman who sacrificed her life for others. © Fox Star Studios The heroic flight attendant who died fighting terrorists was all of 22, a girl with aspirations like most other girls. What set her apart was the decision she took, the decision to risk her life to save the lives of hundreds of others. Posthumously honoured with the Ashok Chakra, she was a role model for thousands of her fellow countrymen. The film ‘Neerja’ was a brilliantly made film, directed by Ram Madhvani, while Sonam Kapoor pulled off the role with much responsibility. © NH Studios While ‘Neerja’ won the best Hindi film national award, Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Pink’ bagged the national award for the Best Film On Social Issue. A very important film, ‘Pink’ made a powerful case for consent in a country where rapes are justified as little mistakes boys make. © Walt Disney Studios Zaira Wasim, the 16-year-old actress who plays Babita Phogat in ‘Dangal’, also won the national award for the best supporting actress. Winning a national award for your first film is a huge achievement and we’re sure the young girl is elated.
  2. A couple of weeks back, Pixar released the first trailer for ‘Coco’, an upcoming animated movie inspired by Día de Muertos or the Day of the Dead. ‘Coco’ will follow Miguel, a 12-year old boy who dreams of becoming a musician, even though his family has a generation-old ban on music. Accompanied by a dog called Dante, Miguel ends up in the Land Of The Dead, desperate to prove his talent. Now, Pixar has released a short film to introduce us to the cute and really hungry doggie Dante, who is basically Miguel’s sidekick. Called ‘Dante’s Lunch’, this short comes from Lee Unkrich, who also directed ‘Toy Story 3’, and it serves as an early animation test for Unkrich’s team. © YouTube He loved how it turned out so much that he wanted to share it “as a little appetizer until the movie comes out.” © YouTube With the movie being set in Mexico, it’s appropriate that Dante is a Xolo, a Mexican hairless dog that’s the country’s national canine. Xolos are genetically prone to losing teeth, that usually results in their tongues lolling out of their mouths, so the creators also wanted to incorporate that into the character. © YouTube “We thought we would kind of embrace that and make it part of Dante’s character,” Unkrich explained. “So his tongue is almost its own character, separate from him.” © YouTube A Pixar short has become an essential for every feature film and this one is a little too adorable. Even though we have to wait a few months for this exciting movie, by the looks of it, it’ll be well worth the wait.
  3. We are all waiting for Sanjay Dutt’s biopic which is being directed by Rajkumar Hirani and has Ranbir Kapoor playing the lead. The actor has been working hard to get into the skin of the character. From binge-watching 250 hours of Sanjay Dutt tapes to following a rigorous diet and exercise plan, Ranbir is leaving no stone unturned to master Sanju Baba’s personality. © Twitter And now the rest of the cast for the biopic has been revealed and it looks the perfect mix. Karishma Tanna As Madhuri Dixit © Facebook Sanjay Dutt’s love affair with Madhuri was what love tales are written about. It is believed that the two actors were thinking marriage but Sanjay’s jail term ruined a perfect romance. It is being speculated that Karishma Tanna will play Madhuri but the producers are still hush about it. Paresh Rawal As Sunil Dutt © Twitter, YouTube One of the most versatile veteran actors of Bollywood, Paresh Rawal will play the role of Sunil Dutt, Sanjay Dutt’a father. Dia Mirza As Manyata Dutt © Facebook, Twitter The former beauty queen and actor Dia Mirza is believed to have been finalized for the role of Sanjay’s wife Maanyata Dutt, although it hasn’t been officially confirmed. Manisha Koirala As Nargis Dutt © Facebook, Youtube After a long hiatus from the film industry, actor Manisha Koirala will be seen making her comeback as Nargis Dutt in Sanjay Dutt’s biopic. Talking about the role, she said, “To play her is a great honour. She is a legendary figure, no matter how forward we go, or whatever, her name would always be remembered, she would always be tagged as a legendary actor. She is a historical figure of the Bollywood industry. People remember her for films.” Sonam Kapoor As Tina Munim © Youtube, Instagram Reel-life romance turning into real-life romance is not new in the film industry. Sanjay Dutta and Tina Munim’s chemistry in the film ‘Rocky’ turned into real-life romance which lived for a short period of time. Actress Sonam Kapoor is likely to play the part, although it is believed that her character will be a generic representation of the women Sanjay Dutt dated at that point of time in his career. Anushka Sharma As Sanjay’s Lawyer Satish Maneshinde © Twitter, TOI Satish Maneshinde was a well-known lawyer who was Sanjay’s lawyer in the 1993 Bombay blast case, and Anushka Sharma has been roped in to play the role. The gender reversal makes it more interesting and we are curious to see this one. Sanjay Dutt’s personal life has been as eventful as his filmy career. From romantic affairs to being convicted in the Bombay blast case for which Sanjay Dutt spent a considerable time in jail, his life has had much going on. It is very rare in Bollywood that biopics of actors who are still active in the industry are made, and it makes things even more interesting. The film will be released end of December 2017 and we can’t wait for this one.
  4. Not that the guy ever needed reasons to be popular among the ladies, but since the past few days now, Kunal Kapoor is all the women are talking about. In the spotlight. A post shared by Kunal Kapoor (@kunalkkapoor) on Feb 21, 2016 at 8:25pm PST With even the most established stars like Aamir and Salman transforming their bodies to add authenticity to the roles they play, Kunal Kapoor couldn’t be far behind, of course. The actor bagged the role of a warrior Chandu Chekavar in the period film ‘Veeram’ sometime ago and since then, has been dedicatedly working on his physique. The results are here and they’ll blow your mind! 6 months, 23 days, 12 hours and 232 protein shakes later! #transform pic.twitter.com/FyGurpCrhK — kunal kapoor (@kapoorkkunal) March 15, 2017 Kunal Kapoor was last seen in Alia Bhatt’s ‘Dear Zindagi’ but little did we know he’d throw in such a big surprise for us! His first look from the film is also out and he sure looks menacing. Spurned in love. Coming for revenge on the 24th of Feb #chanduchekavar @VeeramOfficial pic.twitter.com/MXaszDiFFm — kunal kapoor (@kapoorkkunal) February 8, 2017 His Instagram feed is proof enough that the last 6 months have been strenuous AF for him! Crouching tiger #gettingstronger A post shared by Kunal Kapoor (@kunalkkapoor) on Apr 30, 2016 at 9:28pm PDT He’s been working out regularly and the results are definitely showing. I'm starting with the man in the mirror! A post shared by Kunal Kapoor (@kunalkkapoor) on Apr 24, 2016 at 8:06am PDT Given how much discipline it takes to transform oneself physically, we applaud Kunal Kapoor’s effort and hope ‘Veeram’ does well at the box office!
  5. Central Board Of Film Certification refused to certify Prakash Jha’s film ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ deeming it unfit for the Indian audiences. A film on women embracing their sexuality is apparently taboo because that’s obviously a right reserved by only men. How else would patriarchy live long? © Prakash Jha Productions “The story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are contanious sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society, hence film refused under guidelines (sic).” The CBFC issued a ridiculous justification. With more and more filmmakers coming to the fore to narrate the female perspective – a voice that has been silenced for decades, on celluloid and off it, it’s even more appalling to see the Indian Censor Board using all its power to fight the revolution. © Prakash Jha Productions But well, good cinema finds its audience. And that’s exactly what happened at the 10th Annual CinemAsia Amsterdam Film Festival. People showered Alankrita Shrivastava’s ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ with so much love, it won the Audience award for the Best Feature Film. That’s not even all. The film has already won the prestigious Glasgow Film Festival Audience Award for the Best Feature Film, the Spirit of Asia Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival, the Oxfam Award for the Best Film on Gender Equality at the Mumbai Film Festival. Besides being an absolute honour for the cast and crew of the film, this latest win at the CinemAsia Film festival also serves as a stark reminder that the film is a much needed social commentary our country needs to watch. Are you listening, Pahlaj Nihalani? © Prakash Jha Productions ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ may not hit the theatres anytime soon but it’s creating a stir all over the world in all its capacity. The film starring Ratna Pathak Shah and Konkana Sen Sharma is about women and everything the society doesn’t want you to know about them. Here’s to another win, Team Lipstick Under My Burkha. Your voice shall be heard, one way or the other.
  6. Last year in November, we saw pictures from Deepika Padukone’s look test for Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi’s next ‘ Beyond The Clouds’, an International set in India which went completely viral. Rumor has it, many reports were made that Deepika Padukone will be the leading lady of the film but nothing was ever confirmed. Later Deepika was rejected and many reports claimed that it was because of the PR drive and photo leak, well we know how enthusiastic DP’s PR can be! While the list of rumors kept increasing, there was no confirmation from the production houses for the same, where as it was claimed that the makers were looking for a fresh face and Deepika Padukone was never called on board for the film (but the look test, um!) . © Instagram After all the conjecture and rumors doing the rounds, the film has finally got its leading lady and she is definitely a breath of fresh air. Malavika Mohanan, daughter of renowned cinematographer KU Mohanan, will be seen making her debut in Majid Majidi’s next opposite Shahid Kapoor’s brother Ishaan Khattar. The shooting has already started in Mumbai and the makers are really happy with their decision, and I think so are we, right? We can’t wait to see the duo together! Well, here are a few pictures to introduce the beauty to you: #throwback A post shared by Malavika Mohanan (@malavikamohanan_) on Mar 10, 2017 at 3:59am PST A post shared by Malavika Mohanan (@malavikamohanan_) on Feb 18, 2017 at 10:43pm PST #throwback to one more snap from the commercial we shot for Mathrubhumi's 'Yatra' magazine! Can't wait for it to release! Of all the ads I've done so far, this one is my favourite❤️ A post shared by Malavika Mohanan (@malavikamohanan_) on Dec 5, 2016 at 7:41am PST Major reminiscing happening. Gotta do another blog post soon! ??‍♀️ A post shared by Malavika Mohanan (@malavikamohanan_) on Nov 23, 2016 at 9:50pm PST One of my favourite ones till date :) A post shared by Malavika Mohanan (@malavikamohanan_) on Nov 23, 2016 at 5:04am PST the blue city? Photo by my favourite @venu_maitri A post shared by Malavika Mohanan (@malavikamohanan_) on Nov 14, 2016 at 7:03am PST A post shared by Malavika Mohanan (@malavikamohanan_) on Aug 22, 2016 at 7:52am PDT
  7. The last time Sridevi signed a film, she delivered one of the best performances of her career. The film was ‘English Vinglish’ and it was an important lesson in feminism. © Twitter Few years later, Sridevi is all geared up with her next film called ‘Mom’ and we’re quite excited to see how this one rolls out. Directed by Ravi Udyawar, the plotline has been kept under wraps so far but if the poster is anything to go by, Sridevi would be playing a housewife and a mother yet again, much like ‘English Vinglish’. When a woman is challenged... Here's presenting the first look of MOM. #MOMFirstLook pic.twitter.com/taaJBeDH1d — SRIDEVI BONEY KAPOOR (@SrideviBKapoor) March 14, 2017 The film also marks the comeback of the underrated yet super talented Akshaye Khanna who’s always surpassed our expectations with his performances. The film will also feature Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a cameo and that’s another reason to look forward to ‘Mom’!
  8. Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the self proclaimed prodigy who has been entertaining his followers with his movies, has been basking in the glory of his recent movie ‘Hind Ka Napak Ko Jawab: MSG Lion Heart 2’, which was loved by his fans. © Twitter However, if you thought he would rest for a while then you are wrong. He has already executed the plan for his next movie and announced it on Twitter. It is a comedy film called ‘Jattu Engineer’. Immensely pleased 2 share that upcoming film #JattuEngineer inauguration ceremony commenced yesterday Coming 2 amuse U wid gales of laughter pic.twitter.com/9m4eqmH9jH — Dr.GURMEET RAM RAHIM (@Gurmeetramrahim) March 8, 2017 He explained the concept of the movie in detail also. Knowing MSG, this too shall have his personal touch!
  9. Freedom of speech is very subjective in our country. You are allowed to speak your heart out as long as you are not speaking against the country, against the army, against a religion, and against homosexuality. You can get away with throwing bricks at a crowd, you can get away with giving rape threats online, you can get away with poor *** jokes and sleazy innuendoes of bananas as dicks on a movie poster (remember ‘Kya Kool Hain Hum’), but dare you talk about same-*** love. It makes our conservatives uncomfortable. The Censor Board’s last reject reeks of this hypocrite selective conservatism. CBFC has denied a clearance certificate to a Malayalam movie titled ‘Ka Bodyscapes’ which revolves around homosexuality. The reason given out was that the film was “glorifying the subject of gay and homosexual relationship". © YouTube The film’s director Jayan Cherian posted the letter sent by CFBC: The text of the letter reads: "The second Revising Committee felt that the film is glorifying the subject of gay and homosexual relationship, nudity accentuating vital parts of male body (in paintings) in closed shots in the whole movie. The film is explicit of scene offending Hindu sensibilities depicting vulgarity and obscenity through the movie. The religion of 'Hindu' is portrayed in a derogatory manner especially Lord Hanuman (shown in a poor light as gay) which may cause law and order problem in the society. The film contains posters depicting homosexuality throughout the movie and derogatory remarks against women. Abusive language is used in most of the places and also a female Muslim character is shown masturbating. The film has references to Hindu organisations indirectly which is unwarranted." Very recently, it was the film ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ that was denied a certificate by the Censor Board for being too ‘lady-oriented’ and having ‘contanious sexual scenes’. It turns out we were more progressive in the 1st and 2nd century AD when the Khajurao Temples, that explore homosexuality in its myriad forms, were built. Or during the time when the much celebrated ancient Indian text ‘Kama Sutra’, which is the ultimate guidebook for ***, was written. © Twitter We wonder how Mr Nihalani would react if the Kama Sutra was a film and came to him for approval. It would have never seen the light of the day we think. Would our so-called moralists also go demolish the ancient architectural heritage that is Khajurao Temples? Seems like we are heading back to the dark ages.
  10. Looks like 2017 is going to be Rajkummar Rao’s year all the way. Everyone’s raving about the brilliant trailer of his next film ‘Trapped’ in which he plays a man who gets locked inside his own house. And now we hear, he’s done the nation proud by earning a standing ovation at the Berlin Film Festival for his second upcoming project ‘Newton’. © Twitter ‘Newton’ also won the International Federation Of Art Cinemas competition at the Film Festival. The jury was so impressed by the film, they didn’t know any better way to express themselves than giving the film a standing ovation! “This exceptional film within the rich and varied Forum selection deals with the various issues of democracy and fight for it during the elections in India. Its modular portrayal of Indian culture, the dark humour and ironic approach as well as positive use of typical cliches in Indian society gives NEWTON a unique form and style which will delight audiences in art house cinemas all over the world,” the jury said. Well, looks like good cinema always finds its way to the top shelves!
  11. We’ve waited 4 long years for Vikramaditya Motwane to direct another film and man, the wait seems to be totally worth it. The trailer of his new film ‘Trapped’ has left us completely bowled over. It’s edgy, it’s grab-onto-the-edge-of-your-seat thrilling and very, very scary. The one thing we really can’t get over is how drastically different this film looks from Motwane’s last directorial venture ‘Lootera’. His versatility as a filmmaker is beyond brilliant. Rajkumar Rao has carved a niche for himself with his immense body of work and here, he lives up to all of it and how! The background score is gripping AF and the trailer is going to leave you with a LOT of questions. This really is the best movie trailer we’ve seen in a long time! Take a bow, Vikramaditya Motwane.
  12. Back in the day, Bollywood was filled with multi-hero movies and it was very common to see two or more superstars together on the screen. But this trend seems to have died down. Maybe it’s because of the financial aspect as getting two big actors is just not possible due to their high fees or maybe it’s because the established actors don’t want to share screen space. But it seems like that this is all about to change. It is reported that both Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan are up for a two-hero film, and in fact they have even discussed this possibility. A source said, “They have found a great script which is perfect and they both have lead roles.” Both Akshay and Hrithik have been socialising together for a while now, and complimenting each other on their respective films on social media. Even though they clashed together at the box-office, with ‘Rustom’ and ‘Mohenjodaro’ releasing the same week, there was still no love lost between them. © Twitter Akshay in an interview confirmed, “I am open to doing a two hero film. In fact, I have been approached for one and I am considering it.” When asked about any ego clashes and insecurities? “Why should I care about all that? If there are more actors, I will have to do less work to do in the film, so it’s good for me in a way,” he added. Hrithik, too, in an interview with AFTERhrs, hinted at the same. “I am open to the idea. I would love to do a film with another actor friend. In fact, I have had a word with some of my colleagues in the industry. We were discussing and planning to do a two-hero film. So let’s see what happens. It’s only about finding the right script that does justice to both actors.” Well, here’s hoping that this project actually happens and we get to see Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan on the big screen together soon!
  13. Yet another masterpiece from ‘Terribly Tiny Talkies’. Directed by Surya Balakrishnan, this short film featuring Anupam Kher, Natasha Rastogi and the wonderfully talented kids, Abhimanyu and Stuti is the best thing on the internet this Valentine’s Day. ‘Kheer’ isn’t your usual story. It’s the lingering feeling of an innocent thing called love – a love that knows no age, a love that happens in the unlikeliest of situations, a love that’s hard to fathom but effortless to feel. Veteran Anupam Kher is pitch perfect as an old man who cooks ‘Kheer’ for his grandchildren. Natasha Rastogi is a revelation, to say the least. She’s so effortless and fluid, it’s difficult not to fall in love with her charm. The child actors seem surprisingly nuanced for their age. This ‘Kheer’ will really make you want to fall in love this Valentine's Day.
  14. Bollywood is finally coming of age, with filmmakers pushing the envelope with their projects, addressing subjects that are only spoken of in hushed tones. And, it was high time someone made a film representing the LGBTQ community. Cut to January 2017, when Sonam Kapoor unveiled the trailer of ‘Sisak’, India’s first silent LGBTQ film. It was a pleasant surprise to see the internet embrace it whole heartedly and start a conversation around it. The film has garnered praise from all over the country and is not-so-slowly making its way to renowned film festivals, all over the world. A lot is being written about ‘Sisak’ and it was only fair to have a conversation with director Faraz Mariam Arif Ansari, about how his life has changed post the ‘Sisak’ trailer release and his take on being a proud gay man in India. Congratulations on all the love and appreciation that has come your way through 'Sisak'. I'm sure it'd be difficult to say, but how does it really feel? I truly think when you make something with all your heart and soul and half of your life savings (haha!) it is only very kind of the universe to give back and so generously, at that. It is truly very overwhelming and humbling. It makes me realize that if you do stick around and don't ever give up, miracles do happen. Also, it makes me think that people are SO HUNGRY for good cinema that is not the usual naach-gaana. They want soulful, heartfelt stories. I am just so glad that I made ‘Sisak’. When you wake up every morning with at least 5 messages from closeted people from the most interior parts of our country, thanking you because the trailer has given them courage, strength and the will to go out and be themselves, I think, that is my true victory. © Faraz Ansari Given the homophobic Indian context, a movie on the LGBT community isn’t the most viable option, clearly, in terms of public support and box office numbers. What really inspired you to make ‘Sisak’ and how long have you been working on this project for? I wrote ‘Sisak’ in the winter of 2013 when the Supreme Court went back on section 377 and an entire section of the population was declared as criminals for loving. It took me three long years to gather the courage and wisdom to make ‘Sisak’. It was to address this homophobia and fear that nestles in the hearts and minds of people, for they know no better. I mean, what can truly be wrong in two people loving each other with mutual consent, right? There are bigger demons that we should be fighting together. I have made ‘Sisak’ for the people, to reach out to them and show them a love that is like all other loves. The fact that it happens between two men doesn’t change a thing. Love is love. Tell us something we don’t already know about ‘Sisak’. How did Jitin and Dhruv become a part of the film? The casting process of ‘Sisak’ was the most taxing. Most actors are so used to a script with dialogue while auditioning. But here, all they had to do was sit and read a book and at some point, look at someone who is staring at them. After rejecting more than 300, I was reconsidering making ‘Sisak’. Until I auditioned Jitin Gulatin and Dhruv Singhal. They surrendered to my brief and I was extremely surprised to see them give life to the kind of cinema I believe in – slice-of-life. The workshops with the homosexual community brought in a lot of gravity to their performances. © Faraz Ansari I read somewhere you were discouraged by a lot of people for taking up this project. One trailer and everyone is talking about ‘Sisak’. Are you surprised or did you always know it’ll be the talking point? If I have to be very honest with you, I did expect a good response but I did not expect what is currently happening with ‘Sisak’. Everyone is talking about it. Perhaps, it is the most talked about short film ever without any big names or sponsors attached with it. ‘Sisak’ has found its own wings. That makes me immensely proud and also, it is a very humbling experience. I mean, I set out to make a film that nobody believed in except my cast & crew. I made it with my own life savings and crowdfunding. Look where it’s headed! What really makes you feel so strongly about the LGBT community? Is there an agenda or are you just trying to tell a story without any agenda? Cinema is single-handedly responsible for the way most of us dress, to the way we talk, to the way we react and most importantly, the way we THINK. The LGBTQI+ community has suffered immensely. We’ve been burnt like witches, thrown out of our homes, disowned by family, killed by people whom we caused no harm to. We’ve been detested and laughed at. There is every reason for me to make films not just for entertainment but to bring about a solid change. I want to make it mainstream so that reaches even the innermost corners of the world. I feel it is time to get on center-stage and start talking. We’ve lingered far too long in the shadows. © Faraz Ansari You’ve been vocal and unapologetic about your identity. But do you think people tend to assume one’s sexual orientation just because he/she is associated with a film with LGBTQ community? No one questioned Ang Lee about his sexuality when he made ‘Brokeback Mountain’, no? I feel that assumptions of any sort are dangerous. Yes, people do think that. ‘Oh, he’s made a gay film so he must definitely be gay’. But does any of that really matter? No. As long as you know what you are doing, why you are doing it and have your heart, head and soul in place, the rest will eventually fall in place. Doesn’t that matter the most? Tell us about the contributions of heterosexual artists in this film so we can bust that myth right away! More than half of my crew is heterosexual and my entire cast is made of two straight men. Sexual preferences and film-making have nothing to do with each other really. I mean, I can be a carpenter and be gay and I can be a fashion stylist and be straight. We have come too far too be caught up in these silly roles that one wants the world to adhere to. I know many straight men who are effeminate and many gay men who’d pass as ‘straight’. Sexuality & gender is all fluid and that’s the beauty of it all. © Faraz Ansari Would you like to share any instances of homophobia from your personal life? It’s constant. From being teased in school to being laughed at just yesterday while walking down the street – homophobia never ends. But then, I know many who suffer way more. People have lost lives because of their sexual preferences. Some have been pushed down from their terraces, some have been found lying in the sewers. Some have been shot in the face and left to rot on the highway and some have never been loved. I can’t compare any of what I have been through to that. But yes, it is scarring and hurtful and should stop. Was the film fraternity supportive of this film? Did you sense any kind of apprehension in Indian actors to play gay characters on screen? I am still waiting for a reply from this super famous (closeted?) homosexual filmmaker who I had reached out to, to help me promote the film. That kind of sums it up, no? Before Jitin and Dhruv, there were two fairly known actors who had agreed to act in the film but backed out just before we started shooting. They didn’t want to play homosexual men because they wanted a ‘successful’ Bollywood career ahead. But then, at the same time, there is also Sonam Kapoor, the Fairy Godmother of ‘Sisak’ who presented the trailer of the film to the world. I will always be indebted to her generosity. © Faraz Ansari 'Sisak' is unconventional in every way. First, it's about two gay men. Second, it's a silent film. What's the idea behind making a silent film? Is it a metaphor? And more importantly, how much of a task was it to tell a story without using words? Why silent? Well, other than being a social comment on the state of the LGBTQI community in India, it’s the dire need to be heard. I had so much to say that words were falling short. I feel, words are poor comforters. People need to feel what you are feeling. ‘Sisak’ has been immensely difficult to make - no permissions, no budgets, just heart and the will to make something beautiful. All these years of discrimination and plain ignorance has led to this ridiculous notion that a gay man isn't really a man. As a proud gay man yourself, what do you have to say about that? I remember, I met a bi-curious man once who wanted to have *** with me. We went out for a date and then, he asked me the most ridiculous question, "Do you have a dick?" I remember, I spat my coffee over his face and laughed so hard that I literally had to rush to pee. I mean, how ridiculous is that? Yes, I am a man. Yes, I have a *****. And yes, I am gay. I am a man who loves a man. That ignorance is bliss is a lie. People need to be spoken to, only because they don't know. © Faraz Ansari What's the most heartwarming piece of appreciation that has come your way so far? Oh God, this is truly an endless list. I wake up every morning to be surprised and overwhelmed with all the appreciation and love. But if I have to truly nail it down to one, it was this one time when a woman my mother’s age walked up to me, holding a newspaper with my interview on it. She gave me this wonderful hug and thanked me for doing something so courageous. She made me FaceTime with her son and his husband. After that, she invited me over for dinner and told me how she was going to lose her own son once and how it had taken her years to accept him and now, when she had, she was only proud of him. She hugged me and wept when I showed her the first 5 minutes of the film. What do you have to say about the gay caricatures we see in mainstream films today? The portrayal of homosexuals in Bollywood has been very unkind and stupidly stereotypical. What is more sickening is that homosexual filmmakers have themselves gone ahead and stereotyped gay men even further by portraying them as wife snatchers, effeminate queens or men who dress in drag. And this only comes from a lack of knowledge, perhaps fear and self-loathing because some of them are closeted homosexuals themselves. © Faraz Ansari Not every film's success can be marked by box office numbers. How would you like to measure the success of 'Sisak'? I am doing three interviews a day on an average. So, a dialogue has already started. I think, in opening a healthy dialogue and educating people is where ‘Sisak's’ success lies and that has already begun! If you could give one piece of advice to Bollywood directors and actors, what would it be? Please start making films that truly matter and they needn't be so called parallel cinema or art cinema or whatever the term is. Cinema can be both entertaining and life-changing at the same time and that is what I am going to be making. The entire budget of ‘Sisak’ was 1/100th of the cost of a song from a big Bollywood production. The entire budget of my feature film called ‘Ravivar’ which a social-political satire that has a homosexual protagonist is 1/10th of the cost of a song from a big Bollywood production. I want Ranbir Kapoor to play the lead in ‘Ravivar’ and Amitabh Bachchan to play Ranbir's father. Karan Johar, are you listening? © Faraz Ansari If you haven’t watched the trailer of ‘Sisak’ yet, watch it now!
  15. We’ve seen them in the very cute advertisements for Make My Trip. Besides that, the two haven’t starred opposite each other in a movie yet. Considering they are both hot property in Bollywood right now, the pairing would be explosive, we think. © Twitter And the gods of Bollywood have taken notice. The duo is all set to star in Zoya Akhtar’s next movie ‘Gully Boy’, which is based on the Mumbai’s underground hip-hop scene. Excel Entertainment confirmed the news on Twitter. Things are about to heat up . @RanveerOfficial and @aliaa08 pair up for @excelmovies #GullyBoy. https://t.co/DNANQOr69z pic.twitter.com/aXDFzmxKcg — Excel Entertainment (@excelmovies) February 8, 2017 According to a report by PTI, the movie is based on the lives of street rappers from Mumbai’s chawls and ghettos. Mumbai-based rapper Naezy, whose life has inspired the film, was reported saying, "Ranveer also listens to hip-hop. He knows what real hip-hop is. We spoke to him and he is also very excited regarding this. He will enjoy this (role) too […] He was rapping like me. He listens to all our music. He is a very versatile actor. He can be a Bajirao and a rapper too," he said. It is expected that Ranveer will play a rapper in the movie. © YouTube Zoya Akhtar too has been doing research for the film, being the perfectionist director that she is. Naezy spoke about Zoya visited their locality and even saw the artists perform to get a better idea of how the street rapping world functions. That’s not all. If rumours are to be believed, the film might also have Ranbir Kapoor and Varun Dhawan. Can’t wait to see Ranveer, Alia, Ranbir and Varun rapping together! It’ll be a long wait since the shooting of the film starts in November though.
  16. Masala films may rule the box office but thanks to the internet, lesser known filmmakers aren’t going unnoticed either. Quality cinema finally seems to be getting its due, maybe not in terms of money but definitely through worldwide recognition. Filmmakers from across the country who may not be backed by the biggest production banners are being seen and heard and most importantly, applauded by connoisseurs of filmmaking not just in our country, but world over. © YouTube One such film from our country is creating waves in international film festivals and we couldn’t be prouder. Called ‘Sexy Durga’, this film by a young Malayalam director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan is the first Indian film ever to win the prestigious Hivor Tiger Award at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam. Director Sasidharan has won a whopping amount of Rs 29 lakhs as prize money. “The movie won for its daring and resourceful approach in creating a mood of constant tension. The particular use of camera and acting give a sense of immediacy and momentum, while providing an insight into multi-layered power dynamics of gender, class and authority," the Rotterdam jury said. © YouTube And whoever thought that a good film needs a big budget, ‘Sexy Durga’ was shot in 20 days! ‘Sexy Durga’ is about a road journey featuring a man and a woman and aims to highlight how the same men who worship Goddess Durga turn into monsters at night. The theme is strong and the cinematography looks brilliant. Check out the trailer here! It’s time we show our support to filmmakers who are bringing something new to the table, pushing the envelope with every project. Here’s wishing the best of luck to the entire team of ‘Sexy Durga’.
  17. Bollywood seems to finally be coming of age and we couldn’t be prouder. The masala films may continue to dominate the box office but what numbers can’t, quality cinema can – move, sensitize, enlighten and most importantly, represent. Written and directed by Faraz Arif Ansari, ‘Sisak’ is officially India’s first silent LGBTQ film and that in itself is one big milestone, regardless of how the film does at theatres. Sonam Kapoor just unveiled the first trailer of the film and it promises some cinematic shots even in the mundane Mumbai local. The story seems to revolve around two strangers who meet in a train every night and even though the train is shown to be empty, one can sense the hovering eyes of society. It’s too early to say how good the film would be, but just the fact that Bollywood finally has its first silent gay film deserves a round of applause. Here’s wishing the team of ‘Sisak’ the best of luck with this.
  18. Nitesh Tiwari’s Aamir Khan starrer wrestling movie ‘Dangal’ which was released this Christmas has officially broken records and become Bollywood’s highest grosser of all times. This record was previously held by Aamir Khan’s own movie ‘PK’ and before that it belonged to ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan.’ © Facebook Aamir Khan is of course no stranger to breaking such records as his ‘Ghajini’ was the first Bollywood film to cross Rs 100 cr and ‘3 Idiots’ was the first to cross Rs 200 cr whereas his PK was the one that created Rs 300 crore-club and was subsequently followed by Salman khan’s 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' and 'Sultan'. © Facebook Now, if we talk numbers, the movie has collected Rs 31.79 crore domestically over its third weekend, taking its box office business to a total of Rs 345.3 core whereas 'PK' had earned Rs 340.8 crore in its lifetime. The film was released across 4,300 screens in India and about 1,000 screens overseas. © Facebook ‘Dangal’ is the story of the struggle of wrestler and Olympic coach Mahavir Singh Phogat and his daughters Gita and Babita Phogat who have internationally won gold as well as bronze for India in wrestling. Even before releasing, the movie was highly acclaimed by critics and celebrities alike and soon after its release it was highly appreciated by the Indian audience as well. People went ahead to call it the best film of the decade. Just saw DANGAL...haven't seen a better film in a decade......speechless!!!! — Karan Johar (@karanjohar) October 9, 2016 Some even called it the film of the century. #Dangal reviews are excellent..May be best ever for any Bollywood film..that's y It's called "Best film of the century". pic.twitter.com/9537EKGPfT — Taran Adarsh (@taran_adaarsh) December 21, 2016 Kudos to team ‘Dangal’ on this record…it was well deserved.
  19. Here’s some news, all you Salman Khan fans, that will definitely take you by surprise! After earning the title of ‘Sultan’ of Bollywood with his last film, looks like Salman Khan has decided to experiment with his on screen image! © YRF Remo D’Souza has roped in Bhai in for his next venture. Yes, you guessed it right, a dance film. Salman Khan would be playing a trained dancer in the film and while that’s as exciting as it is scary, that’s not even the big news! Salman Khan would be seen playing a father to a 13-year-old girl in the film. The film revolves around an ageing dancer and his daughter. "In my next, I'm playing the father to a 13-year-old girl. It's a film about dancing. Like the Hollywood Step Up franchise. I'm going to be a properly trained dancer. You know how painful that is? But I've always believed that effortless hard work should be seen on-screen," Salman revealed recently. © BCCL Given how predictable Salman Khan’s choice of roles is, this project does come as a surprise. The last time Salman Khan played a father was 18 years ago in ‘Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai’, just FYI. © YouTube Salman Khan’s dance moves, however much eccentric they may look, have always been iconic, be it ‘O O Jaane Jana’ from ‘Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’ to ‘Hudd Hudd Dabangg’. And now with Remo D’Souza’s expertise in dancing, we’re really looking forward to watching Salman Khan get professional dancing right! © YouTube “Salman listens to the choreographer, then, goes ahead and does his own steps, so it's going to be a lot of lessons for him this time," this piece of information shared by a source close to the makers of the film worries us a bit though, to be honest. Looks like this one’s either going to be a blockbuster or a major disappointment!
  20. The biggest project of 2018 has already been announced and it’s got all Bollywood fans really excited. The three most influential names in the business – Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan and Karan Johar – and one big budget film. What more could we ask for! Salman Khan and Karan Johar have announced their first venture together as producers and Khiladi Akshay Kumar has been roped in to play the lead! Joining hands on a project where @akshaykumar is the hero and will be co produced by @karanjohar and #SKF https://t.co/1EXQ7Yjpdw — Salman Khan (@BeingSalmanKhan) January 2, 2017 Even Akshay Kumar tweeted about the news and gave his fans a pleasant surprise to look forward to in 2018! Coming together for a film produced by friends, @BeingSalmanKhan and @karanjohar, starring me! Out in 2018. pic.twitter.com/aOyfZS4p94 — Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) January 2, 2017 Given that Karan Johar and Salman Khan are producing it, we’re expecting a lot of action and of course, some larger than life cinema!
  21. Hankook Mirae, a Korean company that has been working hard to develop a life-sized mech that actually works. You might remember the Matrix or the Avatar where humans could pilot mech robots. Well, our dreams have come true as Hollywood SFX veteran posted a video of a mech robot that actually works. © Vitaly Bulgarov The machine is 13-feet-tall, and weighs around 1.3-ton and can be piloted by a human much like in science fiction movies. It was made so that humans can work in extreme conditions where they cannot go unprotected. However, it will not be used in rescue missions yet since it requires a power source that is portable. Human-machine interface and arm motion test! "METHOD-2" large manned robot project for which I had a pleasure to make the design. Very fortunate to be part of the incredible Hankook Mirae Technology team. (previously posted as Korea Future Technology since "Hankook" means "South Korea" in Korean Language and "Mirae" means "Future")team. #hankookmiraetechnology #koreafuturetechnology #industrialdesign #robot #mech A video posted by Vitaly Bulgarov (@vitalybulgarov) on Dec 15, 2016 at 3:12pm PST You can see that the Mech suit, which might look straight out of ‘Avatar’, mirrors the movement of the pilot’s arms. Vitaly Bulgarov, who has worked on movies like ‘Robocop’, ‘Transformers’ and ‘Terminator’, created the mech suit. According to Bulgorov, the short-term goal requires them to develop a platform for such robots where it can be used for industrial applications. They can also mount the Mech on a larger wheeled base, which can be used as a power source in rough terrains. © Vitaly Bulgarov You can watch the Mech suit walk right here: And here is another video where you can see Bulgarov controlling the Mech suit’s arms:
  22. India’s independence from British rule was a hard-fought battle. The most painful and yet the most historic event in the country’s past was the time of independence, that was marred by the bloody partition that tore apart a nation forever. Talented filmmaker Gurinder Chadha of ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ and ‘Bride And Prejudice’ fame is back with what looks like a historical masterpiece. © YouTube The trailer of her film ‘Viceroy’s House’ is out and it gives one a glimpse into those last moments before Independence, when the country was brimming with excitement and fervor. The film focuses on the last viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten (played by celebrated actor Hugh Bonneville), and the turmoil and politics that went on in his palatial house that saw a barrage of Indian and British leaders scampering back and forth. © YouTube What happens when an empire ends? What happens when a nation is born? How did the India-Pak partition actually happen to come about? Looks like Gurinder Chadha’s ‘Viceroy’s House’ has answers to many questions. With actors like Om Puri and Huma Qureshi decorating the star cast, the film looks promising. Releasing in March 2017, this one’s going to be worth the wait.
  23. He wowed us with his sensitive and realistic portrayal of a love story blossoming in the lanes of Mumbai. With the dabbawallas as the unsuspecting catalysts, the unconventional love story of a neglected housewife and a middle-aged man managed to bring a smile to our faces. © UTV Motion Pictures And now the man is back with the trailer of his next film, a British short film titled ‘The Sense Of An Ending’. Based on the Man-Booker-winning novel with the same name by Julian Barnes, the story is about the life of four friends in school and oscillates between the present and the past, questioning the role memories play in our perception of reality. © Youtube The star cast is promising with actors like Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling and Emily Mortimer in the lead roles. The movie is scheduled to be released on 2nd March, 2017. Have you read the book yet?! Check out the trailer:
  24. A war film that leaves a lasting impact is not a yearly occurrence, that’s for sure. The recent ones were good but in no way great or close to being a masterpiece. Thanks to the bar set by the likes of 'Saving Private Ryan', 'Black Hawk Down', 'Apocalypse Now' and 'Tthe Hurt Locker,' fans will not settle for anything less for a silver screen war-time spectacle. Next year, Christopher Nolan’s war epic, ‘Dunkirk’ will be released. We checked out the trailer and trust us, it’s already a classic. The movie is based around the real-life miracle evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France over ten bloody days of agony, during World War 2. With over 400,000 men stranded, the Dunkirk evacuation is one of the biggest and the bloodiest in the history of war. Tom Hardy and One Direction heartthrob, Harry Styles lead the star cast. Check out the trailer and marvel at all the action.
  25. Looks like Bollywood is finally testing new territories. Dharma Productions is making India’s first ever war-at-sea film and we’re really very excited to see how this turns out to. The film is called ‘The Ghazi Attack’ and even though not much has been revealed about the film, its not hard to tell that the film is based on the sinking of PNS Ghazi, a Pakistan submarine during the Indo-Pak war in 1971. Karan Johar recently made the announcement and we must say it’s something we’re really looking forward to. Dharma Productions is proud to partner with AA films for The Ghazi Attack - India's first war-at-sea film! @dharmamovies @RanaDaggubati pic.twitter.com/4ugwmV3w6c — Karan Johar (@karanjohar) December 4, 2016 Until now, the film had been kept a secret. The media had zero clue about this venture and with the launch of the first poster, Karan Johar even revealed the film’s release date. It’s February 17th! That’s just two months away! The film stars Rana Daggubati and Taapsee Pannu in pivotal roles. The film will track down the mysterious sinking of PNS Ghazi and Rana Daggubati will be playing a naval officer who survives 18 days underwater with his team. Taapsee Pannu will be essaying the role of a refugee. © BCCL The film has been directed by debutante Sankalp Reddy and it is being said the film might also be partially based on his own book ‘Blue Fish’. There are a lot of good reasons to wait for this one. Let’s hope Indian cinema gets it right this time!
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