Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘rahul dholakia

On Monday evening, filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh was mistaken for Bengali actress Rituparna Sengupta by the organisers of the 40th International Film Festival in Goa

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 02, 2009)


Filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh might have lost oodles of weight and started dressing up as a woman but that still didn’t prepare him enough to unflappably face the latest confusion where he was mistaken for a Bengali actress.

The embarrassing incident happened on Monday evening in Goa, where Rituparno, whose sexual orientation has been under the scanner for some time now, was attending the 40th International Film Festival. He had to attend a function to announce the making of a survey-based book compiling the best Indian films of all times, T 20. Being a jury member and a renowned filmmaker, Rituparno was dressed in his finery. He wore a chic black suit, flaming red scarf and oversized sunglasses, looking in his own words, ‘very European’. All was well till he was taken to a seat marked for Bengali actress Rituparna Sengupta. That’s when the filmmaker realised that he had been mistaken for a woman. Riya Sen was seated next to actress Rituparna Sengupta’s chair, making it clear that the seats were meant for the starlets.

Things then got worse. Ritu’s other colleagues on the jury, for the book T 20, were all given VIP space at the event while Rituparno was expected to sit with the starlets.

Rituparna Sengupta Rituparno Ghosh


Confirming the incident, Rituparno insists that the ghastly confusion of identity at the festival had nothing to do with the way he dresses. He says, “I am used to being mistaken for Rituparna Sengupta, even in Kolkata. When I was directing her in Dahan, people would wonder who the director was and who the actress was.”

Recalling the mortifying incident, the filmmaker laughs and says he can now see the humorous side of the gaffe. “But it wasn’t funny that evening. It wasn’t so much the fact that I was mistaken for Rituparna Sengupta that offended me. I certainly didn’t mind sharing a seat next to Riya. What really got me worked up was the fact that the other members on the T 20 jury, Vishal Bhardwaj, Madhur Bhandarkar and Rahul Dholakia and some renowned regional directors (Nagesh Kukunoor who was also on the jury didn’t turn up) were all given a VIP enclave. That really was offensive,” adds Ritu.

As a result, Ritu refused to sit on the seat marked for Rituparna Sengupta and remained standing until he was made to sit with his fellow jury members. Ritu says, “It was Riya who helped sort out the matter. I insisted that all the jury members including the regional directors like me, should all be seated together. That’s what protocol demanded.”

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VALLEY OF HOPE: A still from Zero Bridge, in which Tariq Tapa cast ordinary Kashmiris
Does Zero Bridge, the first Kashmiri film to be made in 39 years, hold out hope for a revival of the arts in the troubled valley?

Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; November 15, 2009)

Kashmir, the breathtaking beauty of which has served as a backdrop for innumerable Bollywood romances, never really spawned a thriving film industry of its own: the last Kashmiri film, made in 1969, was Mehanzraat, starring Kashmiri actor Omar Ama. But now, after the long silence, comes Zero Bridge, a film by a Kashmiri NRI from New York, Tariq Tapa.

Twenty-four-year-old Tariq, born to a Kashmiri father and Jewish mother, landed in Srinagar with zero finance and a shooting kit packed into just one suitcase. “I decided to make a film in Kashmir because I found that no outside voice accurately captured the daily life of the average Kashmiri,’’ he says when asked what compelled him to come so far away
to make a film. “I thought a movie introducing the lives of a few Kashmiri citizens and their daily hopes and fears would reveal them more intimately than the usual western documentaries on the Kashmir situation or Bollywood films which only use it as an exotic backdrop. I want my film to make a statement and hope it starts a debate on Kashmir.’’

Tariq was a one-man unit and had to use a news channel’s permission to shoot his film in Srinagar. He mobilised ordinary Kashmiris to be part of Zero Bridge, including collegians who came for the audition. “There is so much talent here,’’ he says. “People want to be part of cinema but there is simply no encouragement from the state. Most of the cinema halls in Kashmir are now army bunkers.’’

Indeed, most aspiring artistes from Kashmir have had to leave their home state to fulfil their creative urges elsewhere, and despair of the arts ever flourishing in their home state. Dr Amit Wanchoo, a Kashmiri Pandit, faced a lot of resistance when he started his rock band, Immersion, in 1999. “From the kind of crowd our shows pull in, it’s obvious that Kashmir is an entertainment-hungry state, but there is certainly no political will to promote art, cinema and music in the state,’’ he says. “They don’t even provide security for shows. One has to perform at one’s own risk.’’

Film-maker Ashok Pandit, who made a Hindi film on Kashmir, points out that given the complete lack of infrastructure, it is impossible for Kashmiri cinema to grow. “There is no cinema, television is banned and no funds are made available to those interested in film-making,’’ he says. Pandit has been trying very hard to push the state government to encourage at least television serials but finds it extremely reluctant.

The climate of fear is also a factor a factor to reckon with. A source from Jammu & Kashmir tourism reveals that of the eight cinema halls in Srinagar, four have been converted into army bunkers. The remaining ones are perpetually guarded by the army but audiences are nervous about walking into them because of the constant attacks by militant groups who are anti-cinema to boot. “Given this fear and the general deprivation, the locals are more concerned about making ends meet rather than expressing their creative instincts,’’ says Pandit.

Bollywood has been filling up the state’s exchequer in the past, but more and more separatist groups are against Hindi film-makers shooting in Kashmir. Last year, Rahul Dholakia commenced his film Lamha, allegedly based on the lives of Muslim separatist leaders, Syed Ali Shah Geelani of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Shahidul Islam, a former insurgent commander, and Dukhtaran-e-Millat leader Asiya Andrabi, the Kashmiri women’s morality brigade so committed to Kashmiri separatism that her sons are already pledged as martyrs to the cause. The shooting in the Valley ran into rough weather when Andrabi took offence to Bipasha Basu playing her character and Geelani, Islam and others became wary.

Says Anil Raina, a Kashmiri journalist who introduced Dholakia to the separatists, “They conveyed to Dholakia that they were against the film. They were afraid that his realistic style of film-making would portray them negatively and it would go against their efforts. I had to intervene and convince them otherwise. At my behest, Dholakia changed many characters in the film. As I played a central part in getting the film on track, I didn’t want anything to go against us. After all, I have to live here with my mother and don’t wish to be slaughtered at the hands of the separatists.’’
The actress breathed her last yesterday at a suburban hospital

By Kunal M Shah and Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 11, 2009)


Simple Kapadia, Dimple Kapadia’s younger sister, is no more. She breathed her last yesterday afternoon in a hospital at Andheri.

The former actress-turned-costume designer had been undergoing treatment at various hospitals since the last few years. It is believed that she was suffering from cancer but the family was always tightlipped about it.

A source says, “The family was under terrible stress because of Simple’s illness. They never spoke about it then and they will not speak about it even now.”

Director Rahul Dholakia, who was present at the hospital when Simple breathed her last, says, “My friend is no more. I really can’t talk.”

A family friend says, “Akshay Kumar (Dimple’s son-in-law) is returning from Baramati, where he is shooting for Priyadarshan’s next film.”

Simple began her career when she was 18. She made her debut in 1977 with Anurodh, where she was paired opposite her brother-in-law Rajesh Khanna. Later, she worked in Hum Rahe Na Hum, Tumhare Bina, Jeevan Dhaara, Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai, Dulha Bikta Hai, Naseeb, Shakka, Lootmaar, Man Pasand, Ahsaas, Rehguzar, Chakravuyha and Pyar Ke Do Pal. She quit acting in 1986 after Pyar Ke Do Pal. Later in 1994, she worked as a costume designer for Rudaali and won a National award for it.

dbh

WHAT’S YOUR CHOICE-WANTED OR ‘DIL BOLE HADIPPA!’?

After a very disastrous dry period, here comes the biggest season of biggies ever! From tomorrow till the last week of December 2009, we are going to get at least one biggie every Friday and some Fridays are going to be  clogged with 3-4 big films. The season will start with two fresh and interesting films, Wanted and ‘Dil Bole Hadippa!’ (DBH).

Let’s talk about DBH first. This Rani Mukherjee starrer somehow reminds me of Rani’s Laaga Chunari Mein Daag which was similarly released during Ramzan Id in 2007 just like DBH. What’s more, both the movies are of Yash Raj Films! DBH is a very important film for Rani who off late has given a spate of flops. DBH is the best chance to prove that she’s still the best. If this film flopped, she may have to bid goodbye to films forever. Coincidentally, Rani was at a similar juncture during the release of Saathiya. She had given a lot of flops in a row and she had pinned all her hopes on Saathiya. In fact she was determined that if Saathiya doesn’t work, she’ll quit acting. Fortunately, Saathiya clicked big time with the audiences and Rani was appreciated by everyone for her performance. Fast forward to present-the situation is just the same!

What really impressed me about DBH is its marketing strategy. When the shooting of the film began, no one got a hint about Shahid’s presence in the film. The stills of the film that were released more than a year back featured only Rani. But it was during Diwali last year that pictures of Shahid Kapoor and Rani were released which revealed that Shahid also stars in the film! This was a shock for many-after all, who would have imagined Shahid and Rani as a Jodi? But the news of this unusual pairing really made many curious about this film. People who were earlier denouncing this film as ‘yet another flop of YRF’ began to view this film differently in Shahid’s presence.

If the film turns out well and gets good reports, there’s no stopping it. The promos have impressed many and the songs have also become a rage. The film is bound to take a good opening, even though it has a strong competition (Wanted). However, there is a possibility that the film may turn out to be damp squib if Director Anurag Singh failed to handle Rani’s double act well. But the fact that the film is so crucial for Rani and that Shahid is also a part of the film gives an indication that the film may turn out to be good! Let’s hope so!

Wanted

And regarding Wanted, I am somehow more excited about it than DBH! A remake of a Tamil superhit Pokkiri (which starred Asin), Wanted seems like a dhamakedaar entertainer. I happened to read some portions of Pokkiri’s story on Wikipedia and it gave me a strong gut feeling that Wanted may really turn out to be a great film. Salman’s popularity will once again soar if the film works, considering that Salman is the solo actor in the film. However, what can go against the film is its ‘A’ certificate. I was shocked big time when I learnt about this. What was also shocking is that producer Boney Kapoor accepted the adult certification, knowing that it may prevent Wanted from becoming a blockbuster. Again, let’s hope for the best!

Two mast films are releasing tomorrow. Do let me know which film interests you more!
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LAMHAA PROMO ROCKS!

lamhaa

Finally, the promo of my most awaited film of 2009, Lamhaa is out! Directed by National Award winner Rahul Dholakia (of Parzania fame) and starring Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu and Kunal Kapoor, Lamhaa promises to show the real Kashmir which is never been told in any film till date. The film is also shot in places where no film has even been shot such as Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid. The promo of the film lives upto my expectations and it seems it may turn out be a very impactful film. Check out the promo HERE…dont miss!

Cast: SANJAY DUTT, BIPASHA BASU, KUNAL KAPOOR, YASHPAL SHARMA, VIPIN SHARMA

Producer: BUNTY WALIA

Director: RAHUL DHOLAKIA

Sanjay Dutt’s refusal to grow a beard for Lamhaa and reluctance to give more dates leaves producer Bunty Walia with no choice but to do away with the actor’s additional scenes
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 28, 2009)

Bunty Walia

Bunty Walia, who had categorically stated not too long ago that he needs Sanjay Dutt for an additional four-five days to complete his forthcoming film Lamhaa, has now decided to release the film without shooting those portions with the actor. Moreover, Bunty and Sanjay are not even spending too much time together as they used to earlier. The evening drink and gupshup sessions at Sanjay’s Bandra residence are all a thing of the past.

The story goes that Bunty wanted Sanjay Dutt to grow a full beard once again to shoot for the additional portions but Sanju, who had shaved off his beard for his look in other films, was in no mood to grow it again to suit Bunty’s schedule. Even though Bunty initially waited for a long time and repeatedly coaxed Sanjay to shoot the pending portions, he got tired of waiting and eventually decided to do away with the additional portions to be shot with Sanjay.

The reason why Bunty can’t wait any longer is that he has borrowed a lot of money and has also sold a few of his cars to meet the budget of Lamhaa. Any further delay would be a bad financial decision.

Rahul Dholakia, director of Lamhaa, said, “We finished Sanjay Dutt’s portions in January. We are now editing the film.”

Bunty claimed that Sanjay was gracious enough to ask him if he wanted him to grow the beard again. He also claimed that Sanjay and he have not had a fall out. However, he did not deny that he seldom spends time with Sanjay these days. He said, “Sanjay has been busy shooting for the past six months all over the world. Where is the time to spend with him? Also, he is off drinks now. You want me to land up in somebody’s house and force him to drink?”

Sanjay Dutt

“I had a feeling that we need Sanju for a couple of extra days to shoot for Lamhaa but Rahul proved me wrong. Recently, Rahul came back from the US and I checked with him. He has seen the scenes shot for the film and he doesn’t require any dates from Sanjay. Whatever we had shot with Sanjay for 40 days earlier is enough for the film. Besides, I am a stand alone producer who doesn’t have any corporate backing for Lamhaa. My money has come from the bank for which I am paying heavy interest. I can’t wait any longer,” added Bunty.

Lamhaa

Lamhaa2

Cast: SANJAY DUTT, BIPASHA BASU, KUNAL KAPOOR, SHERNAZ PATEL

Producer: BUNTY WALIA

Director: RAHUL DHOLAKIA

Source: BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM