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Radhika Apte says artistes need good support system for MeToo movement to work in Bollywood

Actor Radhika Apte says to bring #MeToo movement to Indian entertainment industry the artistes need to have a good support system.

The 33-year-old actor said not only women but men also need to “come out of their fears” and share their stories of harassment and sexual abuse. “The main cause is power game. Be it religious, sexual or economical- it happens everywhere. Nobody wants to lose their power…

Radhika Apte. Image from Facebook

This is a grey area. We need to have a good support system and come out of our fears. Well, not just women but men too are harassed in our industry,” Apte said during a session at the India Today Mind Rocks 2018.

The Ghoul actor also shared her #MeToo moment at the event.

“I can share one incident that happened recently, I had actually hurt my back. We did the shoot and I was heading back to my room with another guy who was in the same lift. He was part of the film but we had not spoken much. He said that, ‘Let me know if you need me in the middle of the night for help, I can come and give your back a rub.’

“But the good part was that the atmosphere on the sets was so easy and comfortable, I told the filmmakers and they had a meeting with him in person.

Then I came to know that the culture that he comes from is such that he didn’t realise that he made me uncomfortable with that statement. However, later he never made me feel uncomfortable and apologised,” she revealed.

The #MeToo movement began with allegations of sexual harassment and rape against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and triggered a global movement. It eventually led to structural changes in Hollywood and the launch of the Time’s Up campaign.

Aamir Khan reveals he will never become a politician: I am scared of politics, want to entertain people

He maybe vocal about social issues like water conservation, but Aamir Khan said on 16 September that he has no plans to join politics. The 53-year-old Bollywood actor said he is “scared” of the idea and believes he can be a better influence through his films.

“I don’t want to be a politician. I am not meant for that. I am a communicator. I am not interested in politics… I am also scared of politics. Who isn’t? So, I stay away. I am a creative person. Politics is not my thing. I want to entertain people. I feel I will be able to do more as a creative person than as a politician,” Aamir said during a session at NDTV’s special youth conclave ‘YUVA’.

aamir

The actor has been extensively working towards water crisis for the past three years in Maharashtra through his Paani Foundation, which aims at imparting knowledge at the grassroots level in the state about water conservation and watershed management. Aamir said the issue of water scarcity can be countered only when the “people own the problem”.

“They have to be the solution. It has to be a people’s movement… Our approach has always been very inclusive. We want more and more people to join the cause,” he added. The actor believes it is the lifestyle of the people which is responsible for the degradation of the environment.

“We need to give up cellphones, TV sets, give up watching movies, computers etc… the lifestyle is such that we are using so many resources. To survive we need to re-devise our lifestyle.” Aamir said it is easy for the public to blame the government for its woes, but things cannot get better without the participation of the citizens.

“It’s easy for us to blame the government. Maharashtra government has made a lot of efforts to hit back the problem… As citizens, we should question our government. They are answerable to us. But change only happens when we become part of the solution,” he added. Aamir will next be seen in Thugs of Hindostan, which also features Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh.

Jalebi trailer hints at the heart-wrenching love story of Rhea Chakraborty, Varun Sobti

The official trailer of Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt’s Vishesh Films venture Jalebi was released on 9 September. Rhea Chakraborty plays a career-oriented woman who falls in love with a Delhi tour guide played by debutant Varun Sobti.

Varun Sobti and Rhea Chakraborty in a still from Jalebi. YouTube

Pushpdeep Bhardwaj has directed the upcoming romantic drama and co-written it with Kausar Munir. Jalebi will release in cinemas on 12 October.

They eventually marry but have a falling out due to a conflict in priorities. While Sobti’s character wants to live with his family and the ancestral house, she wants to move out and pursue her career goals. She meets him years later, on a train, only to find that he has another wife, played by Digangana Suryavanshi who has starred in TV shows like Qubool Hai, Veera and reality show Bigg Boss.

The trailer progresses to a mellow romantic track. It was previously reported that Jalebi will feature prominent musicians like Jeet Ganguly, Tanishk Bagchi, KK, Arijit Singh, Shreya Ghoshal, and Shilpa Rao. Vishesh Films has been known for creating movies with successful soundtracks like Aashiqui 2, Raaz, Murder, and Jannat. Lyrics of the songs have been penned by Rashmi Virag, Prashant Ingole, Manoj Kumarnath, Arafat Mehmood and  Kunal Verma.

Pushpdeep Bhardwaj has directed the upcoming romantic drama and co-written it with Kausar Munir. Jalebi will release in cinemas on 12 October.

Singer Sona Mohapatra forays into reality TV with Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, to judge show alongside Shekhar Ravjiani

Singer Sona Mohapatra, who recently released her fourth single ‘Ghane Badra’ under the project Lal Pari Mastani, has signed up as a judge for the forthcoming season of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa.

File image of Sona Mohapatra

Apart from Mohapatra, the judges’ panel will comprise of singer-composer Shekhar Ravjiani. The third judge is yet to be finalised as talks are still on with composer Amaal Mallik.

In a statement to Mumbai Mirror, Sona Mohapatra said that the she is proud to be a part of a show that germinated on Indian soil.“I am making my foray into TV as a judge and I am proud that in the era of ‘Make In India’, this pioneering show is an original and successful Indian concept. I hope to bring in a fresh perspective to India’s longest running and most credible music show, which boasts of such superstar discoveries as Shreya Ghoshal,” Sona told the publication.

Sona Mohapatra further stated that her perspective will be a new one since she will speak from not only the point of view of a female judge but also from that of a live stage performer.

While the singer has ventured into a number of musical genres from the semi-classical ‘Jiya Lage Na’ from Talaash to romantic ballads like ‘Ambarsariya’ from Fukrey, she revealed to Mumbai Mirror that she will be looking for versatility in the contestants, where their renditions bound to be a combination of soul, authenticity and well-honed craft.

Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar to reportedly begin shoot for Shonali Bose’s The Sky Is Pink in August

After opting out of Salman Khan’s Bharat, Priyanka Chopra is reportedly set to begin shoot for Margarita With A Straw director Shonali Bose’s The Sky Is Pink. While her impending wedding to Nick Jonas seems like the reason for her exit from the Ali Abbas Zafar-directed film, she has not opted out of other commitments.

Priyanka Chopra at the OScars 2016. Image from Facebook/Fashion Designing India

A source close to the team of The Sky Is Pink told Deccan Chronicle, “Priyanka Chopra starts shooting for our film from August 8 onwards, in Mumbai. If she were planning to get married soon, she would have informed us by now. She was supposed to join Salman Khan’s Bharat shoot in the second week of August. The plan was to shoot for both films simultaneously.” Another source revealed that her reported wedding to Jonas is not the reason for quitting Bharat, the shoot for which is already underway.

The Sky Is Pink stars Farhan Akhtar and Dangal actress Zaira Wasim in leading roles. Although there is no official word of confirmation, reports in the media suggest that Chopra and Akhtar will play parents to Wasim, who will essay the role of Aisha Chaudhary, a motivational speaker born with immune deficiency disorder.

Kiara Advani likely to star opposite Sidharth Malhotra in Karan Johar-produced Vikram Batra biopic

Kiara Advani reportedly joins Sidharth Malhotra in the Karan Johar-produced biopic on Kargil war hero Vikram Batra.

Bollywood Hungama revealed that the actress, who was last seen in Karan’s segment of Netflix’s Lust Stories, has been roped in to play Sidharth’s love interest in the film which will be directed by Vishnu Varadhan.

Kiara Advani (L) and Sidharth Malhotra. Image via Twitter

Mulk first look poster: Taapsee Pannu turns defence lawyer in Anubhav Sinha’s courtroom drama

The first look posters of Anubhav Sinha’s upcoming film Mulk are out and they mark Taapsee Pannu’s return to the courtroom after her 2016 film, Pink. The posters also introduce us to Murad Ali Mohammed (played by Rishi Kapoor) who is the accused. Pannu, an accomplished defence lawyer presents his case in the court.

Earlier reports have suggested that Kapoor’s character is wrongly accused of a terror act due to his religion and Taapsee, who happens to be from the same family, comes to his rescue. Prateik Babbar is also reported to be a part of the drama but has not made an appearance in the posters yet.

Sinha, who had last written the screenplay of Juhi Chawla and Madhuri Dixit-Nene-starrer Gulaab Gang, is marking his return to direction with Mulk. He had last helmed Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor’s 2011 superhero film Ra.One.

Mulk will reportedly be set in Varanasi which happens to be the director’s hometown and also the first time he is exploring the city on camera. The film is slated for a 3 August release.

Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra-starrer Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar to now release on 1 March, 2019

Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra-starrer Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar will now release on 1 March, 2019. The Dibakar Banerjee-directed thriller was earlier slated to release on 3 August, 2018. The film will see Arjun as a Haryanvi cop and Parineeti as an ambitious corporate. Their paths cross after a dramatic turn of events. The two actors are coming together for the first time in six years since debuting together in Yash Raj Films’ Ishaqzaade.

Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor in Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar. Image via Facebook

Speaking about Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, Banerjee says, “I feel this is my first film all over again, at least in terms of the excitement with the material. Sandeep and Pinky bring to screen the two Indias that are forever clashing. I want the audience not to lose a second of that. We finished the shoot one month late because of the intense weather conditions on the Indo-Nepal border. I don’t want Sandeep and Pinky to be shortchanged on edit time. YRF agreed with my request and so we are pressing on together to the new date. 2019 is when India chooses its future. I’m looking forward to release in that year and choose mine.”

Arjun and Parineeti are also shooting for Namaste England currently which is expected to release during the Dussehra weekend. Therefore, the move to release Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar next year is a conscious effort to let the viewers separate the two movies from each other.

Ali Fazal and Richa Chadha to play lead roles in upcoming rom-com, an indie project set in India and the US

Ali Fazal and Richa Chadha, who have been dating in real life, are all set to star opposite each other on the big screen in an upcoming project, according to a report by DNA.

The two actors have been roped in to play the lead roles in an upcoming romantic-comedy movie which will be directed by an LA-based filmmaker, according to the report in DNA. The discussions for Ali Fazal and Richa Chadha to star in the as-of-yet untitled project were going on for sometime, but the project was finalised last week when both the actors were holidaying in Switzerland.

Ali Fazal and Richa Chadha/Image from Twitter.

Ali Fazal and Richa Chadha have shared screen space before in Fukrey and Fukrey Returns, but this will be the first time that the two will be paired opposite each other. A source is quoted by DNA saying, “Richa and Ali met the filmmaker in Geneva last week and locked all the details. A romantic-dramedy, it’s an indie project set in India and the US. The shooting of the yet-to-be-titled film will start in September.”

The DNA report also mentions that the two actors started dating last year in September during the making of Fukrey Returns. Since then, the two have gone on several holidays together, and early this year Ali Fazal was accompanied by Richa Chadha to Venice for the world premiere of his Hollywood film Victoria & Abdul.

Amoli: Kamal Haasan, Vidya Balan, Rajkummar Rao lend voice to documentary on sexual exploitation

Actors Kamal Haasan, Vidya Balan, Rajkummar Rao, Puneeth Rajkumar and Jisshu Sengupta have lent their voice to Amoli: Priceless, a digital documentary on commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Produced by Culture Machine, the documentary on the deep-seated and well-organised criminal industry will release on Monday in seven languages on YouTube and Facebook. It spotlights different forms of exploitation and the constant need that feeds the demand for this business.

A promo for Amoli: Priceless. Image via Twitter

The film is narrated in four chapters — Mol (price), Maya (illusion), Manthan (internal conflict) and Mukti (liberation).

“Fundamentally, the objective is to dissuade men from buying sex from children,” Sameer Pitalwalla, CEO and Co-Founder, Culture Machine Media Pvt Ltd, said in a statement. “We believe that a combination of fear and stigma is what will deter men in the short-to-medium term. This can only materialise through unequivocal political commitment, proactive law enforcement and strict and swift justice. We want to magnify awareness about this issue through Amoli, and consequently, mobilise the general public to demand our police, judiciary and government to address the issue.”

The 30-minute film is directed by acclaimed documentary filmmakers and National Award winners Jasmine Kaur Roy and Avinash Roy, with music by Tajdar Junaid.

Though shot in Hindi, dubbed-versions of Amoli are available in Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, Kannada and English. It has been strung together through stories of survivors who have been through the horrors of commercial sexual exploitation.