Tag Archives: BOLLYWOOD

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Bollywood mindset has to change’ – Esha Gupta talks about pay gap in the industry

Esha GuptaEsha Gupta entered Bollywood a few years after she was crowned Miss India International in 2007. After appearing in Bollywood films like Total Dhaamal and Rustom, Gupta has become a household name in India.

The 33-year-old actress and self-confessed Arsenal fan was recently at the centre of a controversy, when she shared racist remarks about Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi on her Instagram account. She apologised for the remark but the story was already picked up by every British tabloid.

Moving on from the incident, she has been focusing on her upcoming web series and during a tête-à-tête with BollyNewsUK she opened up about her work and more.

You’re selective with the projects you do in Bollywood. What do you look for in films?
It has to be either a full on commercial film or a great story. If actors start considering films as a ‘business’ then the passion vanishes.

Web series have become a hit in India – is that something that interests you especially since you can reach a global audience with the content?
We need to change with time. I believe web will take over India in a few years as it has more to offer and diverse content for everyone. Personally, all of the shows I watch are online and I’m going to be working on a web series soon too.

You have portrayed various roles: what kind of characters excite you the most?
I absolutely love era films. Rustom was set in the 60s and Badshaho was 70s. I’d love to do more era films as love the feel of such film.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv_sB9tH6_d/

There is still a huge gender pay gap worldwide in every field, although it has been improving for women in some sectors. Bollywood still has to catch up. What’s your take on this issue?
The fact that we are still discussing it, means it still exists. In my own case, I see how actors who’ve done lesser work and fewer films than me, getting paid more. In our industry, men have been given an image of being powerful like everything is riding on their shoulders. This mind set in Bollywood needs to stop now.

India is often in the news for some the crimes that people commit. You are playing a crime branch officer in your next film. How did you prepare for the role? Was it difficult to get in/out of character?
I had to learn a Haryanvi accent for my role. I’ve had extensive training for so that it seems natural. The body language was one thing I had to work on as well.

What else can we expect from you now?
I’m really excited about my web series now.

Jacqueline Fernandez becomes global brand ambassador of Colorbar 

One of the most renowned and commercially successful actresses in Bollywood, Jacqueline Fernandez becomes the first ever Brand Ambassador of Colorbar. 

Jacequeline Fernandez is not only a sought-after name in films but the actress is also popular in the brand circuit.  Owing to immense popularity and huge fan base across quarters, the actress is not only on a rising demand for brands nationally but has left her mark on a global map as well.

Donned in a yellow suit, blending it perfectly with red lip stick and infectitious smile, the actress looked stunning as she graced Taj Lands End Bandra as the Global Brand Ambassador of Colorbar.

With her successful art of work in Bollywood, the actress has reached the pinnacle in the brand circuit and is among the top choices amongst brands. Jacqueline Fernandez who is very selective while associating with brands, the actress chooses brands that go in sync with her thinking. Being a supporter of animal friendly products, the actress chooses her brands very carefully.

The actress will next be seen in UK cinemas in 20th Century Fox’s DRIVE with Sushant Singh Rajput.

Interview: Ali Zafar talks about #TeefaInTrouble

Ahead of the release of action-comedy, Teefa in Trouble, lead star Ali Zafar made a grand appearance in the UK after two exhilarating days in Dubai, interacting with fans and well wishers during several public appearances as part of the Teefa UK Takeover.

Ali sat down with BollyNewsUK Editor Sunny Malik to talk about his Pakistani film debut, setting up his production house and how he didn’t start working in Pakistan just because of the ban in India…

How has the transition from Indian cinema to Pakistani films been for you and how did the film happen?
Well, I would say it was almost like magic. When a film has to come about, it makes room for itself and everything just falls in place at the right time. I wanted to play a part in rebuilding Pakistani cinema and the industry. While I was working in India for all those years, I was always hoping and wishing for our industry in Pakistan tom attain a similar level and standard. I wanted to see content coming out of Pakistan of international caliber. Unfortunately, mostly we fell short of it over the years. This is an attempt to get there, break barriers and set benchmarks. I want to play a part in rebuilding the industry. With this, I want to give the industry and everyone around the globe a film that they would be proud of.

We’ve seen you in a lot of rom-com films in Bollywood. Teefa in Trouble has a lot of action too. Was that something you’ve always wanted to do?
I’ve always been an athlete and sportsman in addition to a huge action buff. I’ve always wanted to do action in the past but never got the chance to do it. My director, Ahsan Rahim, loves action too and we’d often discuss comic books and action films. We both wanted do action sequences in the film that have never been seen before in Pakistani cinema. I trained for about two-three months in mixed martial arts.

You’ve co-written the story with your younger brother and director. What kind of input did you bring to the script?
It was a very interesting and cosy process. We locked ourselves in my basement studio for seven days. I had already written the first draft by then but in those seven days we came up with the first draft of screenplay and dialogues. Our wavelength was very similar as Ahsan directed my first music video ‘Channo’. We’ve always wanted to do our first film together. My younger brother Daniyal studied film making in New York. We took his input as well, which was a fun process altogether.

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You’ve not just written the film and acted in it but are also producing it under your home production studio that you’ve set up. How did that happen?
If you want to do something but can’t get it through someone else, then you have to do it yourself. The dream was to have my own production house to make films and music. This is the most expensive film to come out of Pakistan. I’ve received immense love from my fans I believe that you have to pay back somehow. This is my way of giving back. The idea was never to make money but make that one film that is avant-garde in many ways.

Is it not risky putting your own money behind the most expensive Pakistani film ever?
I did not want any creative interference, which is why I didn’t just get someone else to produce the film. My first music video was also made from my own money. There is a word in Urdu “barkat” (blessing). The money earned by “barkat”, which is hard-earned, has something else to it. I also didn’t want to be dependent on anyone. I also felt that no one else would’ve been willing to take such a big risk financially. However, I believe you can only achieve great success by taking great risks. If you play it big, hopefully, you are rewarded big too.

Some people may accuse you of using Pakistani cinema simply because of the blanket ban of Pakistani actors in Bollywood as you’ve previously never worked in Pakistani films before…
My studio was set up about two years ago and the process of writing the film started approximately five ears ago. The idea first came to me while I was filming for Chashme Badoor in Goa around 2013. It all into fell into place much later. It’s not like I started thinking about doing something in Pakistan only after what happened in India.

Although you aren’t working in Bollywood anymore, their biggest studio is releasing your film internationally…
My film is very entertaining with comedy, action, romance etc. but it also has a very important message in it. I feel my work should also engage people to think about certain things in life since the world has become very materialistic. I believe a mutual admiration and trust was earned after I worked with Yash Raj Films on a few projects. I had actually discussed my ideas with Aditya Chopra quite a few times. YRF’s reaction was very flattering once they saw the content. Then it just happened and we partnered up. I had envisioned my film with the same people that are now involved in it and Yash Raj Films were one of them. When magic is meant to happen, it just happens.

Directed by Ahsan Rahim and starring, written and produced by Ali Zafar himself, Teefa in Trouble will be released in cinemas globally on 20th July 2018, distributed in UK cinemas by Yash Raj Films.

 

Kajol unveils ‘Helicopter Eela’ poster in London

The effervescent and delightful Kajol returns to the silver screen this September in a new role… as an overbearing and somewhat controlling mother!

Helicopter Eela, starring Kajol in the lead role with award-winning youngster Riddhi Sen as Vivan, her teenage son, is the story of Eela, an aspiring playback singer and single mother.

Kajol in London
Kajol unveils the first poster in London at Courthouse Hotel, Great Marlborough St.

She has given up all her dreams to raise her only son. But now her baby son ‘Vivan’ is all grown up and being a typical young millennial, doesn’t want his mother’s life to revolve around him. But being an overprotective mother, Eela has other ideas and joins her son’s college to spend more time with him! Unfortunately, her plans backfire and she suffers a backlash from Vivan for invading his privacy.

Kajol jetted in to London on Friday 13th July to reveal the official poster of her forthcoming film. The poster shows Kajol as a puppeteer, trying to control her son with the puppet strings…

Talking about her role in the film, Kajol says: “As a mother, I felt a real connection with Eela’s character.  She loves her son unconditionally and has built her life around him. But as he grows up, she finds herself becoming more and more dispensable. She has also put her life and dreams on hold, like so many mother’s do. This is a life situation that so many women face once their kids grow up. And, one that I will inevitably face is, what do I do now? How do I hold on to my baby? In a way, Helicopter Eela is a coming of age film, more for Eela rather than it is for her son!”

Helicopter Eela

Directed by Pradeep Sarkar who has become synonymous with female-centric characters in films such as Parineeti, Laga Chunri Mein Daag and Mardani, Kajol is in safe hands and Helicopter Eela is sure to be a hit with fans across the world.

Director Pradeep Sarkar says: “The story of Helicopter Eela will make you fall in love with this mother son duo!  Hope the audience enjoys the film as much as we enjoyed making it.”

Helicopter Eela is produced by Ajay Devgn, Dhaval Jayantilal Gada and Aksshay Jayantilal Gada, with music by Amit Trivedi.

Producer Mr Jayantilal Gada says;” The journey of the mother and son in the film is extremely relatable. We are glad to bring this story to the audience. The team of powerhouse talent (Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Pradeep Sarkar and Amit Trivedi) is here and have delivered a great product.”

Ajay Devgn who is producing this slice-of-life film says: “I was drawn to the story of this loving but difficult relationship between a mother and son. The script told a beautiful story, of a journey that all parents face, but it is especially true and unique to mothers and their sons. The characters played by Kajol and Riddhi Sen are extremely strong and they will have an astonishing connect with the audience across the globe.” 

Helicopter Eela releases in UK cinemas on 14th September 2018 by Eros International.

Interview: Salman Khan talks about ‘Race 3’

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan is celebrating Eid worldwide with fans through his newest blockbuster, Race 3, in cinemas from today.
Although the film is part of the Race franchise, it has been completely overhauled, courtesy Khan. 
 
Like the last two films, the film is high on action, stunts and twists & turns along with a huge cast. Anil Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez are back too, but playing new characters. The newest addition to the franchise include Saqib Salim, Freddy Daruwala, Daisy Shah and Bobby Deol.
 
Another notable change, besides Saif Ali Khan not being in the film, is that directorial duo Abbas-Mustan have been replaced by Remo D’Souza, who has directed the hit ABCD franchise. 

 

Speaking to Sunny Malik, the 52-year-old actor opened up about why the script needed to change, why a soundtrack of the film is so important and much more…

The Race franchise was associated with Saif Ali Khan and Abbas-Mustan. Since you’ve come on board, it has all changed. How did all come about?
I don’t think Abbas-Mustan were a part of the film by the time I came on board to play the lead character. Remo D’Souza was already supposed to direct the third film in the franchise when I was approached. I really liked the script and the genre but I wasn’t sure of it. I was just not convinced whether I can fit into the character. I’ve been a part of films like Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and Race is a completely different genre for me. We had several discussions and we changed it into a family film. Once, we made the necessary changes, we got our cast together. 

4. Ingenious Choice of Actors
 
Why make the changes at all when the franchise was quite successful?
It’s a completely new film with new characters. I basically want children to come and watch the film. Anil Kapoor and Jacqueline were a part of the previous films but they are not playing the same characters anymore. The original movies were meant for an older audience. I wanted the film to appeal to all audiences including families.  

How was your experience filming for Race 3? 
I had a great time and really enjoyed being a part of it. I also got a chance to work with my friends Anil Kapoor and Bobby Deol. We filmed in Abu Dhabi and the local government was extremely supportive and helpful throughout our schedule. The most important part for me was that I liked the script. It’s basically become a Hum Aapke Hain Kaun where the family don’t get along for reasons that are correct in their head. The film has really funny moments but keeps you engrossed as well. It has action, drama, comedy, a lot of style and a big budget which is visible. We needed to make Race 3 bigger because Race and Race 2 were made on a large scale and we just had to make a product that is loved up by the audience. Jacqueline and Daisy worked really hard on the movie too and performed some incredible stunts.

1. Salman Khan's Eidi

Each song released is composed by a different music director. That is very similar as to how soundtracks are made in Hollywood.
I’ve used multiple music directors in the past too. Sometimes one music director manages to provide you with a complete soundtrack like Himesh Reshammiya did for Tere Naam. There have been instances with my films where Sajid-Wajid directed the music but we got Himesh to do one song, which went on to become a super hit. There are so many great music directors who’ve made some great songs. I like to keep them aside and use them in films where they best fit into. This way I have a couple of options. I believe that there should be about six songs in a film and all of them should be blockbuster tracks. It doesn’t make sense to me for example, if you have three mediocre songs in a film, that would mean 15 minutes where the audience is getting bored. The film starts dipping too. It’s bad for the final product which is why we have to be really careful with songs these days. Another example is Agneepath, starring Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra and the hit song Chikni Chameli in the film. The song featuring Katrina Kaif comes in towards the end of the film but it created more excitement for the audience at the cinema, building up to the climax. Even our promotional strategy is based on our soundtrack. We want people to like the songs and audiences tend to come and watch movies with good songs in it. 
 

Race 3 is also the first in the franchise to be co-produced by the lead actor. Why is that important for you?
If you truly believe in a film, then why not produce it and work towards creating the best out of it? We are producing Loveratri with Ayyush Sharma and Warina Hussain, which was extensively filmed in London. We’ve also just announced a film with Zaheer Iqbal, the son of my childhood friend with a really nice script that we’ve finalised. 

 Salman and Jacqueline Heeriye
 
 
Race 3, a Yash Raj Films release, is out in UK cinemas from today.

Interview: “We’ve never played it safe” – Kartik Aaryan talks about ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’

Bollywood actor Kartik Aaryan will be seen on British cinema screens once again with his new bromance film Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety.

The 27-year-old actor made his acting debut with the iconic buddy film Pyaar Ka Punchnama in 2011 and is becoming the undisputed king of bromance comedies in Hindi cinema.

Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety also stars Nushrat Bharucha & Sunny Singh and is directed & written by Luv Ranjan Story – Luv Ranjan. The film is produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Luv Ranjan, Ankur Garg under T-Series and LUV Films.

In this chat, Kartik Aaryan opens up to BollyNewsUK about the his new film, social media, the UK market, his future film choices and much more…

Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety is your third theatrical UK release. How important is the overseas market for you?
I would personally love to get good numbers in from the overseas territories. I’ve always wanted to be an actor with a worldwide reach. It’s always been an ambition to reach a worldwide audience through my movies. It’s become the trend among a few people, that the domestic box office is the only important one as of now.
I feel the opposite. I believe all markets are equally important, whether domestic or overseas. The worldwide box office is important for an actor and the producer to recover costs and to make the film profitable. Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety is my biggest release till date, be it in India or overseas in terms of number of screens in the UK, US and other countries. The UK audience has always been important to us and they love our films. I want to capture it all. I’ve been promoting the film so much that I’ve forgotten where I was two days ago. We are also doing promotions for the UK out of India to create awareness for the film.

Social Media has changed the game to create awareness for movies. Do you only use social media for promotional uses or is it a personal medium for you to connect to fans around the globe?
I personally love Twitter, Instagram and interacting with fans from all over the world. It’s a booming phenomenon everywhere. It’s become much easier to connect with everyone. I don’t use Twitter or Instagram just because I’ve got to promote a film. I just love to connect with people. It’s helping me out perfectly as I don’t need any other portal to convey what I feel or what I want to say.

Sonu Ki Titu Ki Sweety Kartik Aaryan

It hasn’t been measurable if Social Media trends translate into box office success though…
I believe social media is only used to create awareness of the film coming out. You need to have relatable and good content in the film to make it work. I believe, however much you promote the film, it won’t work if the content isn’t good enough for your target audience.

The Bollywood UK market is still dominated by family films or films starring superstars. With Sonu Ki Titu Ki Sweety, you have abusive slang language in Hindi even in the trailer. Do you not feel that may alienate a large chunk of the audience?
Kartik AaryanThe unique selling point for my previous films has always been the relatability factor of the characters and story. Pyaar Ka Punchanama & Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 only worked because the audience related to the content. Even the tremendous response to the trailer of Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety is due to the connect that the audience feels to the content. We’re also sure about our target audience which is the youth, whether at home or abroad. I’ve always been able to connect with them through my movies. The main reason behind using those words in the film is not because we feel we must use them, but because of the characters we portray. It is the language young people use in India. It’s not done for effect. I guess, we can’t cheat our young audiences either to appeal to another audience if we don’t use those words. It would not fit right as everyone know that these words are used by the younger generation and quite casually to be honest. It’s considered normal. Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety is also very different from my previous films as it doesn’t just revolve around boyfriend/girlfriend relationships but a is step ahead with the focus being on marriage. There is an important part played by the family in the film. Alok Nath, who played memorable father characters in multiple Hindi films, is a part of the film along with many other talented actors portraying the roles of aunts and uncles. Since the story revolves around marriage and family, the abusive language is most likely not going to affect anything. We’ve never played it safe and dint want to do it with this one either.

Sonu Ki Titu Ki Sweety Chote Chote

You have British singers Zack Knight and Jasmin Walia’s track Bom Diggy in the soundtrack as well. The song was released last year and is now a part of your film too. How did that come about?
The song is used in the introduction of our characters, right in the beginning of the film. I’ve always loved Zack Knight’s music. I really liked the song when it came out and used to listen to it all the time. I actually suggested the track for the introduction to my producer and he found it to be the perfect song too.

What kind of movies do you want to be a part of moving forward?
My basic criteria is to be reletable to the audience. Some choices will work and some wont but I will always stand by them. I want to do movies that cater to the youth, that’s a conscious decision. I need something young and fresh. If Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety works, further doors will open for similar roles and for the work I want to do. People call me the first bromance hero and I love that. It gives me a universal acceptance as these scenarios are not limited to Indians. I would love to try certain anti-hero roles somewhere down to line but not right now.

Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety opens in UK cinemas nationwide on 23rd February 2018.

sonu-ke-titu-ki-sweety.jpg

 

Alia & Shahid launch ‘Gulaabo’ from ‘Shaandar’

Actors Alia Bhatt and Shahid Kapoor launched the first song from their upcoming movie, Shaandar, recently at an event in Mumbai.
Check out the song and photos from the launch here:

Gulaabo - Launch - Alia Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor, 20th Century Fox, Shaandar, Canvas International (6)

Gulaabo - Launch - Alia Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor, 20th Century Fox, Shaandar, Canvas International (5)

Gulaabo - Launch - Alia Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor, 20th Century Fox, Shaandar, Canvas International (1)

Gulaabo - Launch - Alia Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor, 20th Century Fox, Shaandar, Canvas International (2)

Fox Star Studios invites audiences to witness 2015’s most awaited Bollywood romantic comedy, Shaandaar, releasing on 22nd October, presented by Dharma Productions and Phantom Films.

Gulaabo - Launch - Alia Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor, 20th Century Fox, Shaandar, Canvas International (3)

Competition: Win Dr. Cabbie Audio CDs!

DR. CABBIE UK ReleaseBollyNewsUK is giving away 10 audio CDs of the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Eros International’s next release, Dr. Cabbie, produced by Salman Khan Being Human Productions. 

Dr. Cabbie stars Vinay Virmani, Kunal Nayyar, Adrienne Palicki and Isabelle Kaif and is set to release in UK cinemas on Friday, 28th November 2014.

Synopsis: An unemployed doctor turned cab driver becomes a local hero when he converts his taxi into a mobile clinic. Dr. Cabbie is the heart warming journey of a young Indian Doctor who immigrates to Canada with the selfless ambition of healing others while beginning a new life in the land of opportunity.
Dr. Cabbie discovers his true purpose and true love when he embarks upon this journey of a doctor turned cabbie. The film is produced by FirstTake Entertainment and Caramel Films , presented by Salman Khan Being Human [SKBH] Productions and directed by one of Canada’s most acclaimed Directors’, Jean-Francois Poulliot (La Grande Seduction). 

To win an audio CD of the Dr. Cabbie original motion picture soundtrack, answer the following question and fill out your details below:

 This competition is now closed!

Closing date for entries is 18:00, 27th November 2014 in Great Britain.
The winner will be contacted via e-mail.

This competition is only open to UK residents.

Kareena Kapoor Khan visits Madame Tussauds London

Kareena Kapoor Madame Tussauds LondonAward winning Bollywood actress, Kareena Kapoor Khan, recently visited her staggeringly lifelike wax figure at Madame Tussauds London and gave its glamorous new look her seal of approval after donating a stunning new outfit. The figure has undergone a dazzling restyle and now wears a beautiful red sari with gold waist detailing and jewellery inspired by the outfit worn by Kareena in the film Ra.One while performing the song ‘Chammak Chalo’. Fans can visit Kareena’s figure for a limited time this summer, before it returns to Madame Tussauds Blackpool in the Autumn.

On seeing her redressed wax figure, Khan said: “The sari looks really pretty, really spectacular – and I always think that the figure’s eyes are just like mine.”

She added, “I wanted my fans to see my figure in an outfit that was known and loved from one of my films, and my favourite outfit to wear out is a sari, so I jumped at the chance to redress my Madame Tussauds figure in one. This is a moment I’ll treasure forever.”

Kareena’s figure was originally launched wearing a striking black outfit with silver jewelled embillishment. The actress gave our creative team a sitting in Mumbai, where they took hundreds of precise measurements and reference photographs, and was closely involved in styling the overall look of her figure. In all, the figure took the talented team four months to complete at a cost of £150,000.

Fans can visit Kareena’s redressed figure in our incredibly popular Bollywood area, alongside four other major names in Indian cinema – Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Hrithik Roshan and Amitabh Bachchan. The world famous attraction recently gave fans the opprtunity to choose which female Bollywood star (between Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone) will be honoured with a wax figure next year via an online public poll, and will announce the results soon.

Cinema Listing: ‘Kick’ releases in Germany

UTV Motion Pictures is releasing its highly anticipated co-production Kick in selected German cinemas through a local distributor. The film will release there in Hindi with English subtitles.

Kick stars Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Randeep Hooda and Nawazuddin Siddiqui among others.

KICK UK Release (2)

Check out the cinema listing here:

Munich: Saturday 26th July at 14:30 & 20:30

Sunday 27th July  at 14:30

Sunday 3rd August at 14:30 | Kino Neues Rottmann| Rottmannstr. 15, 80333 München

Stuttgart: Saturday 26th July um 20:00 | Cinemaxx Bosch Areal| Robert-Bosch-Platz 1, 70174 Stuttgart

Düsseldorf:  Sunday 27th July at 11:00 | Atelier Kino| Graf-Adolf-Str. 47, 40210 Düsseldorf-Innenstadt

Essen: Sunday 27th July at 17:00 | Cinemaxx| Berliner Platz 4/5, 45127 Essen

Offenbach: Sunday 27th July at 17:00 & 20:00 | Cinemaxx| Berlinerstr. 210, 63067 Offenbach

Hamburg: Monday 28th July at 17:00 & 20:15 | UCI MUNDSBURG| Hamburgerstr. 1-15, 22083 HH

Berlin: Tuesday 29th July at 20:00 | UCI Friedrichshain| Landsberger Allee 52, 10249 Berlin

Cologne: Wednesday 30th July at 20:15 | UCI Kino Hürth Park| Theresienhöhe, 50354 Hürth

 

Watch the trailer here:

 

First Look: Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor in ‘2 States’

The first teaser poster of 2 States starring Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor has been released today.

2 STATES - UK Release

2 States is produced by Karan Johar and Sajid Nadiawala under Dharma Productions and Sajid Nadiawala Productions respectively. Directed by Abhishek Varman, the film is based on the best selling novel by Chetan Bhagat.

The trailer of the film will be launched by Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala, Chetan Bhagat, Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor on 28th February in Mumbai. 

Disney UTV will release the film in UK cinemas on 18 April, 2014.

Interview: Saif Ali Khan talks about ‘Bullett Raja’

The Nawab of Bollywood Saif Ali Khan spends a lot of his time in the British capital for holidays and film shoots. Just recently, the 43-year-old actor was filming for Sajid Khan’s upcoming comedy flick Humshakals in London and Portsmouth.

Khan met up with Bollywood reporter Sunny Malik at the UK headquarters of 20th Century Fox after a long day of shooting with co-stars Riteish Deshmukh and Tamanna here in London.

Saif Ali Khan’s latest film Bullett Raja is distributed by 20th Century Fox in the UK and coproduced by its Indian arm Fox Star Studios. Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, Bullett Raja sees Saif Ali Khan essay the role of Raja Mishra, a commoner who gets transformed into Bullett Raja – a notorious, care-a-damn attitude gangster. The action comedy also stars Sonakshi Sinha, Jimmy Shergil, Vidyuth Jamwal, Chunkey Pandey, Gulshan Grover, Ravi Kishan and Raj Babbar. 

Congratulations on your first ₹  100 crore film Race 2. Has your perception of the ‘100 crore club’ changed now that you are a part of it?
Now it’s all about the ₹ 200 crore club right?

 

Saif Ali Khan in London at 20th Century Fox UK headquarters So it doesn’t matter to you?
It does matter. The idea is to make a lot of money. It makes you a ‘star’ when your films do really well at the box office and earn ₹ 150 crores or ₹ 200 crores. It sounds good. People invest in you and you make sure that the films make money. It’s the business of our films.

 

You are in London for Humshakals. How has the filming been so far?
I think Humshakals is the most commercial movie that I am doing. The kind of songs and comedy that we have in the film made me feel that I’m finally doing a film which has something for everybody, which is important. I mean, Cocktail was lovely but it wasn’t for everyone. Some people may find it a little highbrow and urban. India is a simple and poor country. Our people like happiness, comedy and dances in movies. It’s nice to play such a role in Humshakals.

 

Your next release is Bullett Raja. What is the film about?
It’s an action movie. It’s a story of two friends who inadvertently, of course, have to end into a life of crime. But not just crime, it’s more of a political hit man kind of crime. It is set in UP where it’s almost legally acceptable that a minister will go around beating people.

 

Saif Ali Khan in London at 20th Century Fox UK headquarters
Saif Ali Khan in London at 20th Century Fox UK headquarters

Bullett Raja is being distributed by 20th Century Fox in UK cinemas. Do you think that having such a renowned and well-known distributor will help the film in terms of reaching out to newer audiences or do you think that just depends on the content of your film?
No, I think distribution is extremely important. I think the fact that they are connected so well in that amazing way and have that reputation is a plus for them. A lot of people are trying to enter the Indian market without understanding it. But the films that Fox is acquiring for production and distribution have a high chance of being successful. Someone is choosing the films correctly. America and India have different cultures. There is no connection. There is also no possibility that an executive from ‘X’ company will really understand anything. The best offer they will give you is that ‘We have a library of so many movies. Why don’t you remake one for us?’ That’s not really useful.

 

You usually team up with Eros International for your own productions. They recently started the trend of Indian movies in Russia again with your production ‘Cocktail’. Do you get involved in the distribution aspect of films that you are not producing like Bullett Raja?
No I don’t. I also think that one should work with lots people. I just work on the philosophy of not putting all your eggs in one basket. Hopefully some other people know what they are doing.

 

How was your experience working with your director Tigmanshu Dhulia?
It was really good. He is a very sensible guy. Something about him reminds me of Sunny Deol, not as a person but because of the kind of films he makes and likes. I think he was even involved in his production house. He likes films like Gaddar but at the same time he has an artistic side and makes films like Paan Singh Tomar. Actually, instead of calling him artistic I should call him good as a he is a good filmmaker. But I would like to nudge him into making more of a commercial movie. He took a tough character in Bullett Raja and made him funny. I mean my character is scared of flying, is charming and naughty with the girl. He is a great friend, has tremendous heroic qualities like bravery and loyalty but is on the bad side of the law.

Saif Ali Khan in London at 20th Century Fox UK headquarters It’s also a fresh pairing with Sonakshi Sinha for you after a long time. Was that a conscious decision?
Variety is certainly the spice of life in terms of movies. It feels great. How stupid of me not to have worked with different actresses earlier. My pairing with Deepika is great and successful but dancing with Tamanna for Humshakals was fantastic and really cool. We were doing some really great steps and I really thought that it was brilliant. Even for Bullet Raja, Sonakshi has had very successful films but is very down to earth. When you speak to her, you feel like she is someone you have gone to school with, generations apart (laughs).

 

Does that bother you when people say that you are 40+?
No, because I feel that I’m looking better, at least on most days I don’t know about today, than ever. When you are on top of your game, it doesn’t bother you. But when you aren’t it, will probably start worrying you. When you look in the mirror and you see too many lines and if someone points that out to you, you will feel bad. I feel that forty is the new thirty.

 

_DSC5068 - Copy - CopyI still enjoy your movies from the 90’s.
I am better now, I think. I do watch them and I think that I did work hard on them. I was watching something the other day where I was hanging off a bridge or something. It was Yaar Gaddar and I was hanging off the Navashima Docks Bridge. Then I had a rat song where I had a rat in my pant. I had to pull it out and say ‘Dekho Mera Chuha’.

 

What sets your film apart from similar genre films like Dabangg and Rowdy Rathore?
Our film is actually not unlike Dabangg rather than Rowdy Rathore. That is a crazy take on a cop and this is a rather entertaining take on a Mafia guy. It’s not normal for a Mafia guy to behave like my character does. There is also a bit of a western vibe to it because it’s set in that environment. It’s much more entertaining than it should be in that sense.

 

Bullett Raja is released in UK cinemas this Friday, 29th November 2013.

Spotted: Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh and Tamannaah in London

Actors Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh and Tamannaah filmed scenes for their upcoming film Humshakals at Hyde Park Corner in London earlier today. 

Directed by Sajid Khan, Humshakals is produced by Vashu Bhagnani and also stars Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta.

Check out the photos here:

Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Tamanaah in London , Humshakals (2)

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Photos: UK Launch of ‘Besharam’

Kapoor Screen Icons Ranbir, Rishi and Neetu Host Exclusive Press Conference To Launch Besharam in the UK

 

Two generations of the iconic Kapoor acting dynasty were in the UK on Thursday, 19th September 2013 for the official launch of their new family entertainer film Besharam, which releases on 2nd October 2013 through Reliance Entertainment.

A co-production between and Movie Temple and Reliance Entertainment, hearthrob son and Indian Cinema’s iconic leading man Ranbir Kapoor was joined by his famous real-life parents Rishi [Kapoor] and Neetu [Kapoor] as the ‘Kapoor Khandan’ came together for a fun and candid press conference. Besharam marks the first time that all three Kapoor family members have acted together on the big screen.

The spacious hall was hushed in anticipation as the three Bollywood superstars made their grand entrance to a frenzy of flashblubs and applause. Taking their seats together with lead actress in the film Pallavi Sharda and Sanjeev Lamba, CEO, Reliance Entertainment, Mahesh Ramanathan, COO, Reliance Entertainment and Himanshu Mehra, partner at Movie Temple, proceedings commenced with a special viewing of the item song featuring Ranbir, Rishi and Neetu, Chal Hand Uthake Nachche.

The media were then treated to a special welcome from the man himself Ranbir, who said: ‘I am delighted to be here in the UK. This visit is even more special this time as I finally have my parents with me. Besharam is very much a family entertainer, so it is fitting that I should come with my father and mother.’

The floor was then opened up for a lively question and answer session. With the interest garnered by the fact that the Kapoor clan have acted together for the first time, the media asked the trio questions about how it felt to act together, to which Ranbir said: ‘It feels great. Both my parents are an inspiration to me. My father and mother are fabulous actors and my father has been passionate about his craft for over 40 years. I have learnt so much from both of them.’

Neetu Kapoor added: ‘For me, I took on this role in Besharam for two reasons. Firstly, it was a very unique script and concept, and secondly I could act with my family. It was nice, it felt secure and I was in my comfort zone.’

Attention then turned to beautiful leading lady Pallavi Sharda. The Indo-Australian actress spoke of her association with the Bollywood industry and of how Bollywood is perceived by the Indian community in Australia. ‘When I was growing up I was fascinated by Bollywood. I used to wear a Bindi on my forehead whenever I went out. I love Bollywood; it formed a big part of my identity when I was growing up in Australia. Australian Indians really identify with Bollywood as it acts as a way for them to connect with their roots. Indian Cinema is increasingly more cross-over nowadays in the type of films that are being made.’

She added: ‘I have had a great time working on this film. The Kapoors have been very welcoming to me during the making of this film. I had a great time.’

When asked about the key messaging behind Besharam, Ranbir Kapoor said: ‘Beshram is not about embarrassing anybody. Besharam is an attitude. It’s about listening and following your heart.’

Speaking about the evolving of the Indian film market, Rishi Kapoor said: ‘We are evolving by each film. We are making technically better films. Few films offer a message to society.’

In response to a question on what Mr Sanjeev Lamba, CEO of Reliance Entertainment’s expectations are from Besharam, he said: “Reliance Entertainment distributes and produces both Hollywood and Bollywood movies. With a strategic global outreach, our films are going over 65 – 70 countries. Besharam is a movie for all. Besharam being the most commercial family entertainer, we want it to be liked by all.”

Mr Mahesh Ramanathan, COO of Reliance Entertainment added: ‘There are 200 countries in the world. And Bollywood has gone only to 35 countries of the South Asian population. There are wonderful markets who are on the lookout for Bollywood. It is about taking the infrastructure, funding people with passion, to take the films to various markets. Reliance has one of the biggest distribution structures from India.’

Speaking about his involvement in the production, Himanshu Mehra, Partner at Movie Temple said: “I was part of Abhinav’s team with Dabbang. We realised that we could form a company and work together. We then approached to Ranbir Kapoor and Neetu Ji with the script and went ahead with Besharam. Our like mindedness has helped us work in unison.”

 

Exclusive Photos by Hayat Khan for BollyNewsUK:

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Interview: Harish Patel talks about ‘Jadoo’

Radiator_Girls00142April 07, 2012.jpgJadoo is a British-made film set in Leicester, and tells the story of two brothers, Raja (Harish Patel – Run Fatboy Run) and Jagi (Kulvinder Ghir – Bend it Like Beckham). Both are wonderful chefs, who fall out so catastrophically that in the climax of their dispute they rip the family recipe book in half: one brother gets the starters and the other gets the main courses. They set up rival restaurants, on opposite sides of the Belgrave Road in Leicester; one cooking starters and the other main courses, and refuse to talk to one another.

A delicious foodie-comedy, Jadoo’s secret ingredient is a delightful romantic twist, which sees Raja’s daughter Shalini (Amara Karan – The Darjeeling Limited), attempt to get the brothers talking again. She hatches a plan and asks them to work together to cook her a perfect Indian wedding banquet…but will she succeed?

In this interview, Harish Patel talks about the film and his character:

Can you talk about your character Raja?
He’s the older brother who, in his younger days, had to give a lot to his younger brother – from his cricket bat to his toys. As a child he never liked it, in fact. No child likes it actually. I’m an older brother; there’re three of us and I’m the middle one, so I had to listen to the elder one and give in to the younger one. This role is very close to me. I don’t have to act, in fact, for this role.

How did you get the part of Raja?
I’d been told to do the wrong part so I didn’t accept it. However the producers thought I’d said no to the part of Raja so I received a letter from one of the producers, Richard, asking me to please accept it. It was such a beautiful letter he sent me and it made me feel wanted. Yes, yes I was wanted for this role. This is what an actor wants, you know.

How do you prepare for a role?
I believe in a script. I tell my juniors also, I read a script at least a hundred times, whether it’s a play, film or TV. I keep reading the script until they’re no longer in front of my eyes. If it’s a well written script you can get all your answers about the character from it. Jadoo is one of those scripts.

Harish Patel

Why do you think people should go and see Jadoo?
People should go and see this film so that they will communicate. If there’re any family problems or misunderstandings between your relatives, go and see this film and next time communicate. Talk to them. Otherwise nobody talks to each other and the problem remains. It doesn’t get solved. With this film, you should go and see it so your problems are solved forever.

Why was it so important that director Amit Gupta shot Jadoo in Leicester?
There is aroma and smell of Leicester in the script. No other location would have been perfect. Filming Jadoo in Leicester is being right place at the right time with right people.

What was it like working with director Amit Gupta?
He’s great. So calm, quiet and he’ll explain what he wants in hardly two or three words. He’ll just say give me this. Very, very good, you know. Excellent director!

What was it like working with Amara Karan?
She’s playing my daughter who wants her uncle to be invited to her wedding, which is the major problem for me. In this film I have more interaction with her. It was very good. Great learning from her also. She would correct my dictions, which I am thankful to her for. The fun is in the script. Not my Indian English being pronounced wrong. That is not the intention. So she would always correct me.

What do you like to cook?
To tell you frankly, I make starters only. Sandwiches, toasties, I’m very good at that. In fact, in Mumbai also when my children were young, when they came back from school I would prepare for them sandwiches and samosas and I would present them in a very interesting way.

Harish PatelHow did you get into acting?
When I was seven years old our family members in the village used to preform for ten days in the light of festival. It’s a religious thing. No female actor can take part in it because it is a religious thing. So I started my career playing a female Goddess. There’s a crowd of around seven thousand people and you have to preform and sing without a mic. There was also no electricity in my village at that time so we were preforming with gaslights, you know. That’s how I started.

Do you enjoy singing?
Yes of course. I do love to sing. I’m a bathroom singer, a good bathroom singer.

How do you stay so happy and positive on set?
The secret is very simple really. I’m one of those privileged people whose hobby has become their profession. I love camera. I like to be on sets and I like to preform. This is what my life is. I’d like to die with my makeup on. Today is actually my off day and I hate off days. Even at home in Mumbai, if I’m not filming for a few days or a week, nobody comes near me. I’m miserable. I’m the worst person in the world. So when I’m working I’m happy.

Jadoo releases in UK cinemas on 6th September 2013. 

‘Prague’ team get together for a recording of a song

Shyamli Kholgade, Elena KazanOne of the songs of the film Prague ‘Kap Kap Kap’ which is originally sung and written by a Czeck artist is translated in hindi by lyricist Varun Grover. The hindi song was recorded yesterday, June 3rd by Shalmali Kolgade.

Along with her present were Atif Afzal, the music director, producer Rohit Khaitan and director of the film Ashish Shukla. The song is picturised on the lead actress of the film Elena Kazan who was also the part of the recording. it is pictuirised on two situations and notes- Happy as well as sad moments in the film.

Prague is a psychological thriller which also features Chandan Roy Sanyal, Arfi Lamba, Mayank Kumar and Sonia Bindra and is slated to release on 26th July in India.

Interview: “Happiness is only real when shared with someone” – Ranbir Kapoor

Ranbir in London - Yeh Jawaani Hai DeewaniBollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor was in London recently to promote his latest release, Karan Johar’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. The young award-winning actor teamed up with Johar’s production house, Dharma Productions and with director Ayan Mukherji again after the success of Wake Up Sid (2009).

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani also unites the Kapoor lad with his ex-girlfriend Deepika Padukone on-screen after Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008). The film also stars Aditya Roy Kapur ( Aashiqui 2) and Kalki Koechlin. 

In the film, Ranbir Kapoor plays the character of Bunny who is charming and fun-loving, full of spirit and an indomitable spirit of adventure. He rejects mediocrity and longs to leave his life at home behind to travel, see the world and embrace the freedom of being unattached.

Audiences will see Ranbir as Bunny grow from a young student full of unconventional ambitions to a hard-working videographer on a travel show, chasing and concretizing his dreams. He embraces a modern value system and wants to be answerable to no one but himself.

In Conversation with Bollywood Reporter Sunny Malik, Ranbir Kapoor talks about the film and much more…

You came to London last time to promote Barfi! and had just wrapped up the schedule of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani in France. How does it feel like to actually be promoting the film here now?
It is really strange as for my last release Barfi!, I kick-started the promotions in London and now I have started the promotions of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani here. I hope the love I get for this film will be similar. I am really excited as it is my second time collaborating with my most favourite person in the world, Ayan Mukherji. I have immense belief in him as a person and filmmaker. I am really excited that we collaborated on a movie like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani.

How was your experience playing the character of Bunny after doing different roles in Rockstar and Barfi! ?Ranbir in London - YJHD
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
was a really hard film for me because I had played characters in Rockstar and Barfi! and it is easy for an actor to hide behind characters. They have certain nuisances – the way they walk and talk. In Barfi! I didn’t even speak and I feel those characters are easier to play. Now when you have somebody who is real in an urban and contemporary setting, there is so much of yourself that you have to put out there. It has to be organic and moment to moment. I feel that it’s very tricky as it’s hard to, in some ways, reflect your own personality onto a character. However, I feel if the film and my performance are appreciated, all credit must go to Ayan. He did so much of work for me as an actor and I will always be grateful for that.

Ayan Mukherji had you in mind while writing the story but could you picture yourself playing the role when you first read the script?
Ayan is a dear friend of mine and because of that, he wrote a lot of me into the film. My character is a detached boy who has this desire of wandering around the world, meet people and see different cultures. The story is basically of him coming of age. The simple philosophy of the film is that happiness is only real when it’s shared with someone or with people around you. I think it’s a beautiful philosophy to make a film on.

Ayan also said that he wrote the character of Naila Talwar keeping Deepika Padukone in mind. But you said in an interview, before Deepika was announced as the heroine, that Katrina Kaif is starring the in the film. What happened?
I don’t know what happened at that time. There are certain dates of actors that keep fluctuating and I was under the impression that he was talking to Katrina to do the film. I wasn’t aware that Ayan had written the character keeping Deepika in mind. He had not shared that with me. I am very glad though that I collaborated with Deepika. This is the perfect film for us to do together after Bachna Ae Haseeno. I have closely followed her career and have seen all her films. To see her growth as an actor and to see her success is just amazing. I had a wonderful time working with her.

There was some criticism to the trailer as fans said that one could make out the story of the film from the three-minute footage. Was that bothering you?
We have very carefully tried to blend entertainment with the kind of films that Ayan, the director, believes in. You have to do that to get the audience into theatres. You have to add a little bit of glamour and so called poppy culture. But at heart, the film is very unadulterated and very new. It is one of the newest films I have worked in and I am not saying that because it’s coming out now. I don’t have a reference to this film. It’s not like Bachna Ae Haseeno or Deepika’s Love Aaj Kal. Yes, the setting is contemporary and urban but that is the only similarity. The characters and nuances and the dynamics between all of the characters, all of that is very new. It’s very heart-warming. I feel that if the heart of a film is in the right place and there is warmth, then that’s what really matters.

Ranbir promotes Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani in London

Your character, Bunny, travels a lot in the film. Is it easy for you as an actor to travel all around the world?
My work makes me travel a lot. But besides work, I am quite lazy and if I have a few days off, I will just travel to London or New York. My job takes me to such wonderful places like Barfi! took me to Darjeeling, Rockstar took me to Prague and I shot in Delhi for a very long time. For Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani I went to Manali, Kashmir, Paris and Udaipur. I am really grateful to the kind of places my job takes me to.

You also shot with Madhuri Dixit for a special song, Ghagra.
Well, I love Madhuri. She broke my heart when she got married (laughs). The opportunity I had to work with her completes me as an actor. As the director is a dear friend, I bribed him into letting me kiss her on the cheek (laughs). It was inspiring to see her at work.

The film was supposed to release in January, then it was postponed to March and now it’s releasing on 31st May. Why were there delays?
I always believe whenever you give a film a deadline to release on a particular date, you kill the movie. A film is a piece of art. It needs to evolve and then there is editing, background music and that takes time. Sometimes you say that a film is coming out a certain date but then there are some production issues like what the correct release date is and what other films are releasing at that time. We want everyone to see the film and sometimes delays are in nobody’s hands. Sometimes you are fortunate that you get a correct release date and I think, 31st May is a great date since the IPL (Indian Premiere League) is over and most colleges have holidays. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is a movie that families will enjoy.

Everyone is going gaga over your Badtameez Dil dance moves. The music has also become very popular…
The composer, Pritam is really instrumental in the success of so many movies nowadays. He is just such a great musician. He provides so much entertainment and joy through his songs. Badtameez Dil has a swing dance and the choreographer, Remo wanted to try something new. Even the hip thrusting move, even though it was simple, was catchy and that’s what matters. People said that we are trying to emulate Shammi Kapoor. Just because I am from his family people saw the similarities. The concept of the song was that we are all getting old and we all will get old at some point in our life and let’s just enjoy our youth before that. It’s a cocktail party song and the re-entry of the character Bunny in all his friends’ life. He is just trying to infuse some laughter into people’s life.

Ranbir Kapoor in London - Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

Jacqueline recently confirmed that you are doing a film, Roy, with her…
Yes, it’s directed by a childhood friend of mine. I am not the lead in the film. It stars Arjun Rampal and Jacqueline Fernandez. I have a very interesting character role and I am really looking forward to it. I will start shooting for it by the end of the year. I hope that my friend, Vicky, makes a good film.

She said that she is a big fan of yours and looks forward to learning a lot from you…
I think she is just pulling my leg (laughs).

Everyone from the film industry keeps praising you. How does that feel?
I don’t take it in because I don’t believe it. I am still struggling as an actor, inside my head. I have so much to learn from people. I can’t really be content with so much love coming my way. I have to shut it out at some point. It feels great at that moment but then you just have to switch off and focus on what you are doing.

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani opens in UK cinemas on 31st May 2013.

 

Shortcut Romeo premiered at Cannes Film Festival

Ameesha CannesSusi Ganesh’s Shortcut Romeo was premiered at Cannes Film Festival in the non-competition section yesterday. This film will always hold special memories for the Tamil director.

Shortcut Romeo, is a remake of Susi Ganesh’s Tamil film, Thiruttu Payale, which was a commercial success and a box office hit. Thiruttu Payale, won Susi Ganesh the Tamil Nadu state’s Best Film award in 2006.

“It is a great opportunity for me to showcase Bollywood cinema to an international audience when we are celebrating 100 Years of Indian Cinema across the world,” said Ganesh prior to leaving for Cannes.

While the core of the story from Thiruttu Payale has been retained in the Bollywood version, Susi Ganesh said that he has made some changes, like adding more nuances to the characters and given them more screen space in Hindi.

Shortcut Romeo features Neil Nitin Mukesh, Ameesha Patel and Puja Gupta which slated to release on 21st June, 2013.

‘Ugly’ receives a standing ovation at Cannes

Rahul Bhat and Anurag KashyapRahul Bhat was excited to walk the Red Carpet as his latest movie Ugly was screened at Cannes 2013.

The talented actor, who plays the lead in Anurag Kashyup directorial venture after Gangs of Wasseypur, is also the surprise element of the movie. The film was screened on 19th May at the prestigious film festival and even received a standing ovation. Not only did the movie receive a great response; but Rahul Bhat too, was appreciated for his mind blowing performance.

A source close to Rahul Bhat says, “Rahul has been on cloud 9 ever since the screening and the subsequent response he got at Cannes.”

Rahul Bhat says, “The feeling has still not sunk in and it still feels like a dream.” Produced by DAR Motion Pictures and Phantom, the movie has already garnered a lot of media attention and has become one of the most awaited releases of the year

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to join Beyoncé and Madonna at London concert

© Instagram/bachchan

Bollywood royalty Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will join international singing stars Madonna and Beyonce at a mega charity concert in London next month.

Rai, who will be joined by actor husband Abhishek Bachchan in the British capital, has been confirmed as a celebrity presenter at the Chime for Change event on 1st June aimed at raising funds and awareness for women’s rights and empowerment around the world.

“I am really happy that so many amazing artists and presenters have come together to support Chime For Change. Our goal is to have a great time together while we unite and strengthen the voices of girls and women around the world,” said Beyoncé , concert director and co-founder of Chime for Change.

In a world first, each ticket buyer will personally be able to choose which of the many projects Chime For Change supports will receive their ticket money.

The Sound of Change Live concert itself at Twickenham Stadium has been underwritten by international luxury fashion brand Gucci and is guaranteed to fund at least 120 projects supporting girls and women globally.

“Sixty per cent of the children in the world not in school are girls! Two-thirds of the world’s illiterate are women! I do not accept this. We need to change this and we will change this,” said Madonna, who will not be performing but is one of the celebrity presenters alongside Indian actresses Rai and Freida Pinto.

Well-known UK promoter Harvey Goldsmith, behind some of the world’s biggest global charity concerts such as Live Aid and Live 8, will produce the four-hour concert.

“We are thrilled that these amazing people are giving their time and support. The stature of our artists and presenters proves just how important this campaign is and we hope that the concert will galvanise the public to support the many important projects,” he said.