Tag Archives: India

Arjun Kapoor to highlight India’s role at The Globals Goals Citizen Festival

Arjun Image-Prasad NaikGlobal Citizen Festival kick-starts the Global Goals campaign to reach 7 billion people in 7 days following the agreement of the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development

One of India’s leading “young guns” film actors and Global Goals campaign international champion, Arjun Kapoor, will be participating at this year’s Global Citizen Festival in Central Park New York, today on Saturday 26th September, as an Indian Ambassador for the event.

The annual Global Citizen Festival, organised by the Global Poverty Project, is a free, action-rewarded, and advocacy driven music festival with a live audience of 60,000 people, where fans engage with social and economic development issues in order to win tickets. Hosted by Stephen Colbert, Hugh Jackman, Salma Hayek Pinault, Kerry Washington and Olivia Wilde, Arjun will join an esteemed lineup of talent, which includes performances by Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran.  The Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, President of the World Bank Jim Kim, and various Heads of Government, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, were guests of honor at last year’s event.

Announced guests for this year’s event includes UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon; Bill and Melinda Gates; World Bank Group President Dr Jim Yong Kim;

United States Vice President Joe Biden; United States First Lady Michelle Obama; Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg; Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven;Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel;  and the Prime Minister of Malta,Joseph Muscat.

Following his advocacy and focused effort as the ambassador of WWF India, Arjun’s impact with youth and his popularity made him a natural choice for the Global Citizen Festival and Global Goals campaign.  The multifaceted actor will provide remarks at the event to showcase the progress India has made over recent decades, as well as highlight the challenges that remain, including India’s sanitation challenge.

The Global Citizen Festival will kick start the Global Goals campaign which aims to reach 7 billion people in 7 days with news of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (26 September – 2 October 2015). Conceived by renowned filmmaker and founder of Comic Relief Richard Curtis for the United Nations, the Global Goals campaign is supported by a variety of existing campaigns, including Project Everyone, action/2015 and Global Citizen. This unprecedented effort – which exists to both make the goals famous and push for their full implementation – will culminate on 25 September at the UN when 193 world leaders will adopt The Global Goals, a series of 17 ambitious targets to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change for everyone by 2030.

With India being the world’s youngest country and with more than half of its population being under the age of 25, the youth has been a driving force behind many social movements in recent years, with the ability to create positive change. Arjun’s presence will support in spreading awareness of the Global Goals far and wide with Indian youth to inspire positive action. 

A one-hour TV spectacle live from the Global Citizen Festival stage will be curated by Richard Curtis and Chris Martin (Coldplay) and will be shown on VH1 in India on 28th September 2015. The event will also be streamed live atwww.youtube.com/globalcitizen

Katrina Kaif sizzles in ‘Afghan Jalebi’ from ‘Phantom’

UTV Motion Pictures has released the promotional song Afghan Jalebi from their upcoming film, Phantom. Picturised on Katrina, composed by Pritam and sung by Pakistani singer Syed Asrar Shah, the video also features Qazi Touqeer of Fame Gurukul fame, who lip-syncs the song while praising Katrina’s allure. Amitabh Bhattacharya, yet again justifies his lyrics as Katrina definitely looks much more than an Afghan Jalebi in this one! 

Watch the video here: 

Synopsis: Phantom is a political thriller set in the volatile climate that exists in South Asia. Constant terror attacks against India have left the Indian people feeling vulnerable and angry. The Indian government and security agencies are helpless as the masterminds of the attacks are out of reach. When an infiltrator with plans to attack India is caught, the Head of India’s security agency and his team take matters into their own hands. The film follows the protagonist Daniyal, whose journey to seek justice takes him to India, Europe, America and the volatile Middle East. Local assets in various countries help Daniyal, including Nawaz Mistry who works for an American security agency. Daniyal and Nawaz are drawn into a battle of wits with a shrewd and ruthless enemy. With the enemy hot on their heels, Daniyal and Nawaz against all odds try and finish the job they had set out to do. Along the way they find out that in a mission like this there is always a price to pay, in this case a very personal price.

Trailer & Synopsis: Katrina Kaif & Saif Ali Khan in ‘PHANTOM’

UTV Motion Pictures and Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment have released the first trailer of Phantom starring Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif and directed by Kabir Khan. The film releases in UK cinemas on 28th August 2015.

Trailer Launch Phantom

Trailer Launch8

Phantom is a political thriller set in the volatile climate that exists in South Asia. Constant terror attacks against India have left the Indian people feeling vulnerable and angry. The Indian government and security agencies are helpless as the masterminds of the attacks are out of reach. When an infiltrator with plans to attack India is caught, the Head of India’s security agency and his team take matters into their own hands.

The film follows the protagonist Daniyal, whose journey to seek justice takes him to India, Europe, America and the volatile Middle East. Local assets in various countries help Daniyal, including Nawaz Mistry who works for an American security agency. Daniyal and Nawaz are drawn into a battle of wits with a shrewd and ruthless enemy. With the enemy hot on their heels, Daniyal and Nawaz against all odds try and finish the job they had set out to do. Along the way they find out that in a mission like this there is always a price to pay, in this case a very personal price.

Phantom UK Release


                                          Phantom UK Phantom UK

YRF to release ‘Titli’ in India on 16th October

TitliAfter shocking and amazing a worldwide audience and winning several accolades and awards at festivals, Kanu Behl’s directorial debut Titli, produced by Dibakar Banerjeeand Yash Raj Films will release in India on October 16, 2015.

Titli received rave reviews when it first screened at the 2014 Cannes International Film Festival where it was the official selection in the Un Certain Regard section, and has since then travelled to 22 international film festivals, winning 8 awards and has opened to immense box office success in France and Germany. And now Titli is all set to hit the Indian theatres this October!

The film stars Ranvir Shorey (in a never seen before role), Amit Sial and introduces Shashank Arora.

In the badlands of Delhi’s dystopic underbelly, Titli, the youngest member of a violent car-jacking brotherhood plots a desperate bid to escape the ‘family’ business. His struggle to do so is countered at each stage by his indignant brothers, who finally try marrying him off to ‘settle’ him. Titli, finds an unlikely ally in his new wife, caught though she is in her own web of warped reality and dysfunctional dreams. They form a strange, beneficial partnership, only to confront their inability to escape the bindings of their family roots. But is escape, the same as freedom?

DSC Prize for South Asian Literature Announces Shortlist

KekiDaruwallaProfWortonThe world’s literati gathered at the historic London School of Economics and Political Science on recently, as the prestigious shortlist for the fifth annual DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015 was announced.

Making the esteemed shortlist is a dynamic mix of new and established writers as well as a translated work. This year’s shortlist of five features two authors of Indian origin – Jhumpa Lahiri (The Lowland – Vintage Books/Random House, India) and renowned Indian poet and one of the foremost Urdu theorists Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (The Mirror of Beauty – Penguin Books, India); Pakistani authors Bilal Tanweer (The Scatter Here is Too Great – Vintage Books/Random House, India) and Kamila Shamsie (A God in Every Stone – Bloomsbury, India); and Sri Lankan born British  writer Romesh Gunesekera (Noontide Toll – Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, India) completed the respected shortlist.

The shortlist was announced by an international five member jury panel that comprised: Keki Daruwalla, Indian writer and poet (Chair of the Jury); John Freeman, author, literary critic and former editor of Granta; Maithree Wickramasinghe, a professor of English at the University of Kelaniya Sri Lanka and the University of Sussex and an expert on gender studies; Michael Worton, Emeritus Professor at University College London, who has written extensively on modern literature and art; and Razi Ahmed, founding director of the annual, not-for-profit Lahore Literary Festival.  After intense reflection over the longlist comprising 10 books, out of a total pool of 75 initial entries, the jury selected the shortlist for this esteemed international award.

Keki Daruwalla, Chair of the DSC Prize Jury said: ‘It was a difficult task to zero in on a shortlist from an enjoyable, if formidable longlist. There were two first novels as well as novels by established writers and a translation. There were moments of great beauty in the multiple narratives and the jury was impressed by the deep structure of each book and the way characters were developed. 

All the novelists engaged with rich, historical and experimental traditions of storytelling. The landscape in all the novels was quintessentially South Asian. The jury was glad to find that the plots were uniformly organic and the writers did not succumb to formulaic writing. Most of the novels grappled with the socio-political realities on the ground. All of them did so in ways that were moving, challenging, and thought-provoking.” 

The US $50,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature was co-founded in 2010 by mother-son duo Mrs. Surina Narula MBE and Mr. Manhad Narula. With an innate passion for literature and the creative arts, Mrs. Surina Narula MBE is a highly-renowned charity patron, with over twenty years experience in creating and spearheading the strategic development of some of the world’s largest charities,  including PLAN International, International Childcare Trust and Hope for Children.  Mrs. Narula is also an accomplished entrepreneur, working in the family business, the DSC Group, an international conglomerate focused on real estate, construction, infrastructure and retail. Mrs. Narula was responsible for spearheading the launch of Ebony, India’s first department store. In 2008, Mrs. Narula was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her charitable works in India.

Speaking about the unveiling of the shortlist, Ms Surina Narula MBE said: ‘We are delighted that the event has been so well received. After several months of careful deliberation by our eminent Jury, they have whittled down the impressive longlist to just five fantastic books, all written by exceptional and gifted authors. The depth, creativity and unique narrative of each novel is indeed both impressive and inspirational in turn.”

She added: ‘It is the aim of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature to promote the rich diversity of this genre in all its myriad forms, as well as to nurture new writing talent and to acknowledge some of the literary world’s greatest, established writers, who continue to light the way for others to follow in their mighty footsteps.’

Since its inception in 2010, the DSC Prize has significantly impacted and drawn the focus of the world towards South Asian literature and the authors writing about this region. The coveted prize of US $50,000 is presented to the winning author who could be from any ethnicity or nationality provided they write about South Asia and its people. Writing in regional languages is also encouraged and the prize money is equally shared between the author and the translator in case a translated entry wins. Previous winners have included exciting authors such as: HM Naqvi from Pakistan (Homeboy), Shehan Karunatilaka from Sri Lanka (Chinaman), Jeet Thayil from India (Narcopolis) andCyrus Mistry from India (Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer).

The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015 will be awarded at the renowned Jaipur Literature Festival on 22nd January 2015, from the shortlist unveiled at the LSE. Notable guests from previous festivals include Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra and the Queen of Bhutan.


Haider wins People’s Choice Award at the Rome Film Festival

Haider produced by UTV Motion Pictures and VB Pictures which had its Italian premiere at the prestigious Rome Film Festival on 24th October, won the ‘People’s Choice Award’ in the Mondo Genre (World Genre) announced today. Out of the 7 films that featured under this genre, Haider was the only Asian film selected across the globe.

This is the first time that an Indian film wins the Audience Award in a non-specialized (non-focused on Asian Cinema) wide-ranging international festival. After winning hearts across India, the movie continues to woo audiences across the globe. Winning the ‘People’s Choice Award’ is truly prestigious as it’s one of the most unbiased awards since its chosen by the audiences and Haider was clearly the choice of the people. This is a huge honour for the Film as well as the country.

Haider at Rome Film Festival (2)

The Mondo Genre had a selection of feature films of young or already successful directors this year and the festival gave priority to film that are world premieres. The movies selected were from countries like Italy, USA, Brazil and France.

Along with Haider other films selected at the festival included films like Gone Girl by David Fincher starring Ben Affleck, The Knick by Steven Soderbergh starring Clive Owen, Black and White by Mike Binder starting Kevin Costner, Still Alice by Richard Glatzer starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart and Alec Baldwin, Night Crawler by Dan Gilroy starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jia Zhangke, UN Gars De Fenyang by Walter Salles,Time Out of Mine by Oren Moverman starring Richard Gere, Stonehearst Asylum by Richard Anderson starring Kate Beckinsale and Ben Kingsley among several others.

In the past the ‘People’s Choice Award’ at The Rome Film Festival was won ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ in 2013 and ‘The Motel Life’ in 2012.

“This is a huge achievement for the film and a matter of pride for India. Haider has been awarded with the Peoples choice award in the ‘Mondo genre’ of the Rome Film Festival. It truly affirms our belief that good cinema can transcend boundaries and this award puts Haider on the global map. After the overwhelming wave of appreciation in India now Haider embarks on it’s global journey with this feat,” says Amrita Pandey, VP & Head of Marketing and Distribution – Studios,
Disney India.

Haider is a classic Shakespearean tale retold with Kashmir in India as its backdrop, it’s a story that we would like to take to the world and to get this award now is a proud moment for the entire team of Haider,” says Director Vishal Bhardwaj.

“I am fortunate to get a chance to be a part of this breakthrough movie, it was one of the most difficult roles for me and I am ecstatic with the positive reviews and audience feedback Haider has received. It’s a moment of immense pride that the movie has got this award at the festival, ” says Shahid Kapoor who plays the role of Haider.

Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, Haider is a modern-day adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, set in the backdrop of the beautiful Kashmir and stars Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Tabu, Kay Kay Menon and Irrfan. The movie saw a worldwide release on Oct 2nd, 2014 and with this movie the much-admired filmmaker completes his Shakespearean trilogy.

Haider at Rome Film Festival (1)

Kangana Ranaut to make an appearance at the Pratham UK Gala Ball

Kangana Ranaut (2)Bollywood’s ‘Queen’ is all set to descend into London this weekend to make a special appearance at the Pratham UK gala ball on October 4th at the Natural History Museum. 

Pratham UK, a charity aimed at eradicating illiteracy among disadvantaged children in India, have already raised more than £5 million, its India counterpart has helped over 35 million disadvantaged children to read. There are still over 100 million children that remain illiterate across India.

The gala which is going to be dotted with celebrities and A-listers from the Asian community will feature a special performance from Bollywood’s hottest new singer Kanika Kapoor.

Kanika who has recently been appointed as the ambassador for the charity said: “This cause is very close to my heart.  By performing at the gala, if I can make a difference in even one child’s life, it’s a huge deal for me”.

Kangana who is excited to be part of such a fabulous cause will support at the live auction on the night by encouraging donors to bid on some special goodies.

Roy Martins, Chairman, Pratham UK said: We are delighted to have such talented young stars like Kangana and Kanika join us to at our annual fundraiser, a little help goes a long way in igniting young minds”.


‘Holiday’ has a successful opening weekend

Reliance Entertainment’s Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty Set For Success After Promising Opening Weekend At Global Box Office

Akshay Kumar & Sonakshi Sinha - HolidayBollywood icon Akshay Kumar’s latest film release Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty, which has set a precedent by being released in several new territories for the first time, is set to soar high at global box offices after accumulating very promising opening weekend collections, and garnering a host of positive reviews. The film has already entered the ‘Highest Grossers of 2014’ list and performed well in territories including the UK, USA, Canada, the Middle East, The Far East and Australia. In the South of India too, the film has performed very well, hailing a feather in the cap for its Tamil director A.R. Murugadoss.

Following its opening weekend, the film has amassed impressive Box Office takings of 41.32 Cr. in India alone, whilst in the UAE-GCC, the film got off to a superb start, taking 2.11 Cr. which is the highest ever single day gross for Akshay Kumar in this region. In the UK, the film is also performing very well, despite being 15 certificate release. Holiday also surpassed the overall collections of Amitabh Bachchan’s Bhoothnath Returns which stood at 37.50 crores and Yaariyaan which had a collection of 40 crores at the domestic box office.

Renowned film critic Taran Adarsh described Holiday as a ‘slick action-thriller that keeps you engrossed, enthralled and captivated all through, thanks to its fascinating premise and a watertight, razor-sharp screenplay’, whilst Times of India proclaimed the ‘Core plot to be compelling and finely directed, describing Akshay’s stunts as ‘jaw-dropping’.

Other positive reviews saw Holiday being praised as a thought-provoking, incisive and different type of action thriller film. Subhash K Jha from IANS gave the film 5 stars out of 5 and said: ‘Akshay’s character’s basic argument that terrorism can only be countered when the counter-terrorists are as fearless about losing their lives as the terrorists, is put forward with such gusto and conviction, we really can’t argue with the plot premise.’ He added: ‘the last farewell song, an ode to the dedication and sacrifices of Indian soldiers, will leave you moist eyed. This is Akshay’s most engaging entertainer in recent times.’

Mohar Basu from Koimoi said: ‘Don’t miss Holiday for the sheer fun of watching a film that wins solely for its delicious brutish action.’ He added: ‘Don’t miss this one for the reckless headlong roller coaster ride it holds for you.
Holiday is mostly a delectable film, with Akshay’s superfluous action sequences beguiling you to watch the film.’

Holiday 2The plot of this gripping film is quite unprecedented in Indian cinema and the reality and rawness of the script is evident from the start of the film. Akshay Kumar essays the role of Virat Bakshi, a military officer who is on holiday with his battalion in his bustling home city of Mumbai. However, unbeknown to his fellow officers, Virat is also an undercover Secret Defence Intelligence Agent, masterly skilled and trained in covert anti-terror intelligence operations. Whilst on a family visit to Mumbai, Virat is caught up in a gruesome terror attack.

The film truly captures the reality of the issues the world is currently facing today and has most certainly caught the attention of the India, where people have been hanging garlands on the film posters in honour of the Akshay Kumar’s engaging performance. The Bollywood icon has also spoken of how he fully submerged himself into this raw, gritty role from which he learned a huge amount around the notion of sleeper cells, the role they have played in terrorist attacks and the importance of cleaning them up to safeguard populations. Co-star Sonakshi Sinha, who plays love interest Nisha adds a glamourous female touch to the film and sets the screen alight with her feisty role as a boxer.

Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty is in cinemas nationwide. Released by Reliance Entertainment

Spotted: Priyanka Chopra at ‘Exotic’ Launch

Indian film actress and global recording artist Priyanka Chopra recently launched the video of her second international single, Exotic – featuring Pitbull, in Mumbai.

The gorgeous superstar launched the music video in Mumbai at Hard Rock Cafe. Watch the video of the launch here:


Check out some photos here:

Copyright: Raindrop Media

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Photos: Raindrop Media