Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mollywood stars at a mega event

A two-day mega event held recently in the Mumbai was a starry affair. Celebs from all fields attended the do and some even performed at the function.

Bollywood star Mithun Chakraborty, who was to inaugurate the event, could not make it; instead actor Dileep did the honours. Innocent, Hibi Eden, Manjari and Mayor Tony Chammany were spotted at the inaugural function, which saw filmmaker B Unnikrishnan co-ordinating the event. Dance and music shows followed; Shobhana's dance on the second day being the highlight at the do.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Indian Film Industry becomes 100 years old in Juky

Indian cinema is celebrating its 100 years of existence  The film Industry in Mumbai celebrates the 100th birthday while South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce (SIFCC) plans a three-day event to celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema, starting July 12, according to report in News track India

Prominent personalities were also honoured as ‘People of the Year 2013’ at an event held recently at the FICCI auditorium in the New Delhi. Veteran actress Shabana Azmi, cinematographer Santosh Sivan, actor-director-choreographer Prabhu Deva, Assamese filmmaker Jahnu Barua, wildlife photographer and documentary filmmaker Mike Pandey and film editor Sreekar Prasad were among those awarded. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari, the chief guest for the event, gave away the honours.

Shabana, azmi said, “I have often thought of what my life would be if I wasn’t doing cinema. Indian cinema completing a 100 years is a landmark and I am but a small part of it."

Sreekar Prasad, who has edited over 500 films in more than 15 languages, dedicated the honour to all the editors of Indian film industry. Filmmaker Jahnu Barua, who is currently working on Har Pal, said that filmmaking needs to be looked at not just as a business, but a mission to safeguard the cause of humanity. “Filmmaking is like a nuclear power. If used properly, it can immensely help mankind. And if misused, it can destroy many minds,” said Barua. Bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor was thrilled to share this honour with some of the greatest names from the industry. He shared, “These celebrations commemorate the remarkable journey of Indian cinema from the first film created in 1913. My great grandfather, Prithviraj Kapoor, was part of these pioneering years of cinema and I am honoured to follow in his footsteps.” Another luminary of Indian cinema actress Tabu said, “According to me, the real box office king or queen is a good film and a good script. I am glad to have been chosen for this recognition out of so many talented artists over so many years of Indian cinema.”

Members of the film chamber of the four south Indian states, along with hundreds of film personalities from other industries, will join hands in the celebration. "We are planning to make this an august event. It's a proud moment for Indian cinema and we should all be fortunate to be present to celebrate this moment. 100 artists from four south Indian film industries will be honoured during the course of the event,"  said C. Kalyan, President, SIFCC told IANS. "The artists will be handpicked by a jury comprising members from the respective state's film chamber.

Filmmaker K. Balachander will preside over the jury committee to select artists from Tamil film industry," he added. The chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are likely attend the inauguration. "We will felicitate all those who have made a difference in the Indian film industry. We are also planning to hold workshops on filmmaking along with so many other activities across all three days.

We will also invite our honourable President Pranab Mukherjee along with the chief ministers of all the four states," he added. The shooting of all Tamil films will be suspended to facilitate smooth organization of the events.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Direction is Shakeela’s new role

Shakeela got a chance to play a role in the soft-porn film, Playgirls, in 1994 in which reigning sex queen Silk Smitha was the heroine. In one scene, Shakeela had to only wear a towel and do a love-making scene. Then Smitha would enter the room, catch Shakeela in the act, and give her a slap. Before the scene could be shot, an anxious Shakeela kept asking Smitha about the slap. Smitha repeatedly said, “Don’t worry, I will only pretend that I am slapping you.”
However, when the shooting took place, Smitha gave an actual slap. A shocked Shakeela burst into tears and ran away from the set at AVM studios in Chennai. For three days she stayed away. Then the producer went to her home and told the youngster that Smitha wanted to say sorry. When Shakeela reached the set, Smitha gave a box of chocolates, and hugged her.
“Smitha told me that since I was new to acting, I probably would not know how to cry,” says Shakeela. “And since I was skimpily dressed, I would feel uncomfortable in front of the crew. So, in order to finish the shoot in one take, she slapped me. But till today, my heart is not convinced by her answer. I have been puzzled by her behaviour.” Could she have been jealous at the rise of a new competitor? “I don’t know,” says Shakeela.
Incidentally, Smitha committed suicide on September 23, 1996.
It is 2013. Shakeela, who has lost more than 20 kg, is relaxing in her hotel room at Kochi, after a day’s shooting for her latest Malayalam film, Neelakurinji Poothu, in which she is acting as well as being the director. The story is about a single mother bringing up a girl. The producer is Jaffer Kanjirapally, who has done 19 films with her. “I made a lot of money, thanks to Shakeela,” he says. “Now I am trying my luck again.”
As for Shakeela, she wanted to do something different. “To try new things like direction will help me grow as an actor,” she says. But it has been an up and down career.
For a time, from the nineties to 2000, Shakeela’s soft-porn Malayalam films were a rage in Kerala. Her film, Kinnarathumbikal, became a huge hit. She shakes her head and says, “How did this film do well? It had one of the worst background music I have heard: some scratchy remixes of Michael Jackson songs. I was wearing a blouse and a lungi. There were only two hot scenes. In one I am having a bath in a stream and, in another I make love to an older man.”
Nevertheless, the public were enamoured. Later, the films were dubbed into many other Indian languages and could also be seen in places like Nepal and Bangladesh. But once the Censor Board clamped down on the films, Shakeela’s career came to a sudden halt.
“I had been working for two years without a gap,” she says. “And when I got a break, I was so happy. For a month I was eating and relaxing. Then it became very boring. I learned cooking and passed the time by playing games on Play Station. For two years, I did not get any roles.”
Her break came when she got a comic role in Telugu director Theja’s Jeyam in 2002. Thereafter, she did similar roles in Tamil and Kannada films. However, the old request to wear revealing clothes kept cropping up. “Immediately I will say, ‘Is this a Malayalam film?’, and shut them up,” says Shakeela, with a smile.