Newsmakers – By Jyothi Venkatesh


Prem Chopra
Prem Chopra

Prem Chopra  plays the role of Shaukat Ali Mirza Karachiwale who is a veteran Urdu writer and philosopher in Keshhav Panneriy’s ‘Jeena Isi KaNaam Hai’. The veteran actor will be seen in a never-seen-before avatar in the film. When director Keshhav Panneriy narrated the script to Premsaab, he was awed by the pictures and awards which the legendary actor had won in his career. The director asked Premji, if the team could use his actual pictures to decorate his onscreen office rather than creating new ones, so that the scene looks real and authentic. To the surprise of Keshhav, he immediately agreed to the same. Prem Chopra shared almost 50 pictures including the one pic in which he was receiving an award from the then President of India GyaniZail Singh. Produced by Purnima Mead of Bibia Films, the film is directed by Keshhav Panneriy which also marks his directorial debut. Starring Arbaaz Khan, Ashutosh Rana, Prem Chopra, Supriya Pathak, ManjariFadnis and HimanshKohli, ‘Jeena Isi KaNaam Hai’ is slated to release in January 2017. The director reveals that all the awards, pictures and accolades which will be seen in Prem Chopra’s on screen office have been awarded to him in real life.


Abhay Deol
Abhay Deol

Abhay Deol is the recent celebrity to join the image-sharing site Instagram. The actor posted 3 pictures one after other captioning it “A little late to the @instagram party but I’ve been busy painting” The actor, who has accounts in other social networking sites including twitter and Facebook, so far posted three pictures of his painting showcasing another side of the talented Deol which not many knew of. Abhay is an avid painter and the when the three pictures are viewed together, it displays a full grown Human lying down. The picture has been beautifully drawn and painted by him, it’s something which not many people know and with him joining Instagram his fans can get to know him better. Abhay was last seen in ‘Happy Bhaag Jayegi’ and since then has been busy reading various scripts and has zeroed in on a few which would be announced soon. 


Arjun Rampal
Arjun Rampal

It was nothing short of an uphill task when 9 celebrities decided to scale the unchartered Siachen Glacier on August 15th. For Arjun Rampal, Salute Siachen, the groundbreaking initiative by Eros Now proved to be a cathartic experience. The actor who was part of India’s first ever celebrity expedition got a first-hand opportunity to carry the goodwill and gratitude of an entire nation to Siachen. Arjun Rampal says, “Salute Siachen has been a life changing experience for me. The power of nature. The solitude a person feels. The sacrifices our soldiers make. The conditions they live under. This initiative by Eros Now has been so satisfying as we got to thank and embrace our brave soldiers who gave us a glimpse into their lives. At the same time, they allowed me to launch my campaign for my foundation to beat cancer.” The 20-day expedition that commenced from Leh as a tribute to the Indian army saw Arjun Rampal, Arunoday Singh, sports personalities – cricketer Rudra Pratap Singh and hockey player Yuvraj Walmiki, TV heartthrob Rannvijay Singha with Namrata Gujaran, Hasan Zaidi, Shlok Sharma and Sonnalli Seygall participate in an arduous journey to salute the courage of our soldiers who man the posts there in conditions of extreme adversity.


Bharti Singh
Bharti Singh

JOY Cosmetics, India’s home-grown Personal Care brand having presence in SAARC Countries, has appointed Stand-up Comedian Bharti Singh as the brand ambassador for JOY Honey & Almonds Nourishing body lotion. Sunil Agrawal, Chairman, Ratnasagar Herbals Pvt. Ltd explains, “We believe that each and every woman is naturally beautiful, in other words – Beautiful By Nature.  Not merely on the surface but also deep within just as nature made her and intended her to be. We at JOY are happy to have Bharti Singh on board. An overweighed women endorsing a Body lotion, is quite a jerk apparently but it’s a seamless integration for our Brand, because we believe that with all the imperfection a woman is beautiful as nature made her.” Bharti Sin­­­­­­­­gh explains, “As a child I have always been plump and I have lived with this all through my life. When Joy Cosmetics approached me, I felt it was a prank but fell in love with the whole story. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of the TVC shoot, something which was a very first for me. In the past there were products like ghee, truck, atta etc which was offered to me but endorsing a body lotion has been a welcome change”. The concept, story & script of this TVC was developed by Poulomi Roy Head Brand & Communication (Marketing Consultant). Says Paulomi, “Choosing Bharti was a well thought through process and we are happy because she believed in the story and she went her extra length to support this campaign”.


The first call that came from Neeraj Pandey himself had me most excited and dancing through the day. I have always wanted to work with, so there was no way I would have let this opportunity pass me then the added pressure was to perform to the best of my ability. It wasn’t easy knowing the fact that Manoj Bajpayee and I would be sharing screen space with, and film would be directed by Neeraj Pandey. Although a short , I knew and was determined to do my best, cold feet and nervous at first but then you tell yourself this is not the time to be nervous it’s time to prove yourself , exactly what I had told myself before the Miss India pageant. The few days of workshop and shoot itself had me in complete awe of him the way he thinks is what makes him who he is. He guided me through the process there was so much to learn from him and I tried to soak in as much as I could. Manoj Bajpayee although a senior and a seasoned actor made me feel at ease, passion for the craft and dedication is what shines through him. I feel extremely fortunate to have worked with such stalwarts in my career. At the moment everyone’s positive reaction to the film is what’s keeping me happy and beaming with joy.


Chairman and Managing Director of T-Series Bhushan Kumar has announced his new organizational structure. Under the new structure, Film Production will be looked after by Priya Gupta and Shiv Chanana, Music acquisition will be looked after by Vinod Bhanushali and Shiv Chanana.The above structural changes have been made post the exit of Ajay Kapoor from the organization. Ajay worked along with Bhushan Kumar on music acquisition and the legal function and was a co-producer on the past T-Series films like Bhootnath Returns, Roy and All Is Well to name a few.T-Series has now taken a giant leap in film production. Some of the upcoming films in 2017 are Raabta (Directed by Dinesh Vijan starring Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon), Baadshaho (Directed by Milan Luthria starring Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Vidyut Jammwal, Ileana D’Cruz and Esha Gupta), Chef (Directed by Raja Menon starring Saif Ali Khan), Simran (Directed by Hansal Mehta starring Kangana Ranaut), Noor (Directed by Sunhil Sippy starring Sonakshi Sinha), Hindi Medium (Directed by Saket Choudhary starring Irrfan Khan), Takadum (Directed by Homi Adajania starring Sushant Singh Rajput and Parineeti Chopra) to name a few. 


The first trailer for Lipstick Under My Burkha released online . Directed by Alankrita Shrivastava and produced by Prakash Jha, the film stars Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur in lead roles along with Sushant Singh, Vikrant Massey, Shashank Arora, Vaibbhav Tatwawdi and Jagat Singh Solanki.The film follows four feisty women, from the bustling by lanes of old Bhopal, secretly chasing their dreams and rebelling in small ways against the conventional identities they are boxed in. Lipstick Under My Burkha explores the many shades of female desire.“As women we often have secret dreams, nurtured by the pulpy romantic fantasies that we discover through films, books, songs and things we see around us. But there is a deeper desire that is perhaps inherent in our very beings. That is what I have tried to explore through the film,” says director Alankrita Shrivastava. Producer Prakash Jha adds: “There is love and sex, romance and heartbreak, ambition and passion. But most of all, the film is about the small dreams of these four women, who are trapped in the claustrophobia of their lives. In the dichotomy between tradition and modernity, what happens to female desire and how long can it be contained? This story was so compelling that I knew it had to be made.” Konkona says: “It is rare to get to work on a film that explores what women want, and does so with lightness, humour and colour. I am looking forward to everyone watching it!”


Shillpi Sharma is celebrating Diwali at home, in Dholpur, Rajasthan, which is a few hours’ drive from Jaipur. Shillpi’s father was a well known politician of the area and the family is respected all over Rajasthan. Shillpi Sharma has been a well known face in Bollywood having made her debut opposite Sunny Deol in Jo Bole So Nihaal & most recently seen in films like Heroine. Shillpi is the first actress turned Dj who has been ranked in the top 5 BDM (Bollywood Dance Music) DJs’ in India.


Rohit Pathak is riding high on the success of his career. The actor is glad that good work is finally coming his way. Rohit Pathak who impressed one and all with the power packed performance in the film Khel Toh Ab Shuru Hoga and recently completed the shooting of Phantom Films. The actor has roped in director Gautam Singh’s next project. This film is inspired by the true story of village in Jharkhand, India, A village kept secret for centuries receives a visitor at long last and finds the course of its destiny changed forever. Rohit Pathak who plays antagonist in the film, said, “When Gautam Singh narrated me the story of this film at that  moment I decided to work on this film as it was a true story which had a very strong message for the masses. I’m very excited to work on the film and eagerly waiting for the shoot to start.” Rohit Pathak was last seen in Raja Natwarlaal, Jannat, Jannat 2, Mickey Virus, Jal, Mithya, Once Upon A Time in Mumbai and Khel Toh Ab Shuru Hoga


The video song HUTUTUTU was released recently. This a T-Series single song made by Lalabhai Suratwala & Shivam Suratwala.Present on this occasion were actress Shrishti Sharma (film ‘Monsoon’ fame), Tanisha from south known for her music album ‘Sawaal 18 Crore….’ Shivam had a hard crush on music since childhood, he had training from his guru Pankaj Vora, later on in future his family friend and guide Jeet Ganguly inspired him to become singer and composer himself. Shivam composed his first song for Arman Mallick, and with help and support from T-series and Sonu Srivastava he had this opportunity of making, writing, composing, singing and acting for this album “HUTUTU..TU…”. Also Shivam will be seen very soon as leading hero and singer in feature film Pooja. “HUTUTU..TU…” has Shivam Suratwala & Poonam Pandey in main roles, whereas singers are Shivam Suratwala & Amit Mishra, with rap and music by Shivam Suratwala, lyrics by Lalabhai Suratwala, Shivam Suratwala. The video has been directed by Ashish Panda.


Rakesh Roshan
Rakesh Roshan

In their initial years as filmmakers, Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor titled most of their productions with ‘K’. While they are no longer partial to the alphabet, one filmmaker who has stuck to it for nearly 30 years is Rakesh Roshan. The light-eyed actor forayed into production with hits like Aap Ke Deewane and Kaamchor. When he was making Jaag Utha Insan, a fan wrote to him suggesting he should title his movies with K. The filmmaker didn’t pay heed and Jaag Utha Insan as well as his following production, Bhagwan Dada, didn’t do well at the box office. That’s when he revisited the fan’s letter which pointed out how some of his biggest hits were films that began with K like Khoobsurat, Kaamchor, Khel Khel Mein, Khatta Meeta and Khandaan. After Khudgarz became a super hit, Roshan decided to stick to his lucky mascot. The success of most of his films, like Khoon Bhari Maang, Kala Bazaar, Kishen Kanhaiya, Khel, Karan Arjun, Koyla, Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, Koi Mil Gaya, Krrish and Krrish 3 has further consolidated his belief. The filmmaker is now set for his next production, Kaabil, helmed by Sanjay Gupta and slated for release on January 26, 2017. Roshan says, “All these films I made comfortably, without any problems. Plus most of these films worked for me. Even though King Uncle didn’t fare as well as expected, I enjoyed making it. Considering that most of the K films worked, I thought, why not stick to this alphabet.”The filmmaker reveals that he has registered over 50 titles with K. “I won’t make all those films. That’s for Hrithik to decide which he wants to make,” he says. Interestingly, Roshan also retains the title Kainaat, which had registered for the Salman Khan-Shah Rukh Khan starrer, which he re-titled Karan-Arjun. He also had the title Kal Kisne Dekha, which he happily gave to Vashu Bhagnani for his Jackky Bhagnani film.


Alia Bhatt visited the women self defense centre for their graduation day .Akshay Kumar, Alia Bhatt and Aditya Thackeray were present for the graduation day of the women of the academy.  During the event one of the women spoke about domestic violence and how she faces it for so many years and how now she can self defend herself coz of the academy.  While she was narrating the story both Alia and Akshay got emotional and teary eyed. 


Farah Khan
Farah Khan

Farah Khan, tweeted in support of the Nargis Dutt Memorial Charitable trust’s campaign to transform Sonave – a tribal village located just 2 hours from Mumbai that has 19th century infrastructure & amenities. The objective of the campaign is to raise 5.1L INR to build toilets for tribal children studying in schools there. The current school has just 2 toilets for 200 kids and poses a huge health & hygiene issue. The crowdfunding campaign has already raised 1.55L INR of its goal of 5.1L INR. She tweeted & appealed to people and her 3.5 MN followers to support this campaign by funding this on – a Bangalore based crowdfunding campaign. Farah Khan showed her belief in crowdfunding this cause that aims to join hands with the common man to bring better infrastructure to remote village. Sonave has a population of 3000. This village did not have electricity till 2 years ago! The facilities and infrastructure in Sonave are nonexistent and the tribals here have no sustainable income to uplift them from this state of backwardness. The village & schools have limited sanitation facilities.  This is leading to drop outs, low attendance, hygiene issues etc. among the students. Priya Dutt from the Nargis Dutt Foundation said “While for some people, good sanitation is taken for granted, there are many who face immense challenges to even have access to them on a daily basis. Children are the bedrock of our nation & going to school for them should be a joy. I would urge everyone to share and support this campaign to transform Sonave & the schools there. “ 


The newest Kapoor on the block ,Harshvardhan Kapoor, walked away with rave reviews for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Mirzya and will next be seen in Vikramaditya Motwane’s Bhavesh Joshi.The Gen-X star who is currently shooting for the film, will take a day off this week as former Arsenal player Thierry Daniel Henry will be special guest ,at a football game in the city.Henry who spent eight years at Arsenal and was the club’s all-time record goal scorer and the record goalscorer for France, will be in Mumbai for a brand association. As part of the initiative, Harsh has been invited to be part of a football game, where a team of Bollywood celebrities will play against a team of young student football enthusiasts from Arsenal school.  


Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Nawazuddin Siddiqui joins hands with producer Viki Rajani yet again and after Munna Michael has now been signed for NextGen Films’ Chandamama Door Ke. Directed by Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan, India’s first space odyssey starring Sushant Singh Rajput in the lead , will see Nawaz essay the role of an astronaut. Says producer Viki Rajani, ” Sushant and Nawaz both play astronauts ,who are part of a team whose mission brings the country together. It has been a pleasure associating with Nawazuddin Siddiqui on Munna Michael. He is a talented and versatile actor and I look forward to working with him again on Chandamama Door Ke”. Confirmed Nawazuddin Siddiqui, “It’s a fantastic script and a concept which has never been done before . I was really impressed with the director who has worked on this for years . I am really excited to be playing the role of an astronaut in India’s journey to the moon “. Chandamama Door Ke is scheduled to go on floors early next year and will release Jan 26,2018.


Gurmeet Choudhary was pleasantly surprised by the sweet gesture of his fans when he was shooting for his forthcoming thriller, Wajah Tum Ho, in the exotic locales of Georgia recently.Knowing that the suave actor was shooting at the outskirts of Georgia, his fans thronged in huge numbers to catch a glimpse of their favourite actor. Since the shoot schedule was getting delayed, the talented actor promised his fans that he would interact with them once he’s free. And being a man of his word, Gurmeet not just interacted with them but also had lunch with them and later clicked selfies. Gurmeet says, “It was an amazing experience interacting with the fans. I was deeply moved by their love and affection”.


Kriti Kharbanda, who made a stellar debut with Vikram Bhatt’s successful horror franchise Raaz Reboot, is currently stationed in London shooting for her next project, Atithii Iin London, directed by Ashwini Dhir. For the first time, the gorgeous actress will be seen sharing the screen space with Kartik Aaryan along with veteran actors including Paresh Rawal and Tanvi Azmi. Interestingly, we stumbled upon few on-location pictures featuring Kriti and her co-star Tanvi Azmi spending some quality time on the sets. After finishing the Mumbai schedule, the makers of the family entertainer moved to London for the second schedule. Atithii Iin London is a unique modern love story with new characters and setting. Kartik’s character and his girlfriend are living together in London when Paresh Rawal’s character and his wife barges into their home which offers the audience plenty of laughs.


Director and producer Maneesh Singh has signed on Tara Singh for the Tamil remake of Baghban. The 6-film deal has been signed by Vrindaavan Films, Maneesh Singh and Tara Singh.The remake is a big budget project and both Vrindaavan Films and Maneesh Singh would be investing nearly Rs 125 crore in it. Tara Singh said that she was thrilled to be part of the six-film deal . Tara will play the first lead in this Tamil project which will be dubbed in Hindi and other Indian languages. It is an unofficial adaptation of the 1937 movie “Make Way for Tomorrow” and many scenes and the plot were inspired from the 1954 Marathi movie Oon Paoos and 1958 Kannada film School Master. It has similar theme as the Hindi film avtaar. This film was remade in Kannada as Ee Bandhana in 2007 starring Vishnuvardhan and Jaya Pradha in the leads. Singh had earlier announced a film on the life of Pakistani social media sensation Qandeel Baloch, but was denied a visa by the Pakistani Government to shoot in Multan – the native village where Baloch lived. Qandeel Baloch was killed by her brothers in a case of honour killing, after she allegedly shot for a raunchy music video, which went viral in Pakistan. Her death shocked the world and the international media went berserk with the story of a young and energetic life lost due to such barbaric social practices such as honour killing.The film titled “Ghairat” to be directed by Singh, was completely shelved after hostilities broke out between India and Pakistan following the Uri attack and the Indian armies surgical strikes at terrorist camps in PoK.