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Blessy directorial, Prithviraj-starrer ‘The Goat Life’ trailer released

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Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 9 (IANS) The trailer of the much awaited ‘The Goat Life’ by award winning director Blessy has been finally released.

Starring upcoming superstar Prithviraj, the film has been billed as a visual spectacle.

Speaking about the film, Blessy said: “‘The Goat Life’ is the greatest survival adventure ever, simply because something as unbelievable as that actually happened to someone.

“Truth has never been stranger than fiction. Actually the tagline for the novel from which the movie is adapted from itself is ‘lives we have not lived are all myths for us’. It has been a decade, but I only spent half the time Richard Attenborough spent making Gandhi, it’s not a big deal,” said Blessy.

Sharing his experience, Prithviraj said: “It’s been a long journey and not an easy one; after a decade long wait, the audience gets to watch the fruit of our hard work and turmoil.”

“From Covid Days to today, ‘The Goat Life’ has been an unexpected and an unforgettable journey. It has been an honour to be a part of Blessy sir’s vision and watch a maestro like A. R. Rahman bring music to life. ‘The Goat Life’ is more than just a movie for us, it’s a story that has touched our hearts and will stay with us forever. We hope the audience feels the same,” said Prithviraj.

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The movie is based on the novel ‘Aadujeevitham’, one of the most popular best sellers in Malayalam literary world, which has been translated in 12 languages, including foreign languages.

Penned by noted writer Benyamin, it tells the true story of the life of a young man Najeeb, who in the early 90s, migrates from the lush green shores of Kerala in search of the fortunes abroad.

Produced by Visual Romance, ‘The Goat Life’ also features Hollywood actor Jimmy Jean-Louis, Indian actors like Amala Paul and K.R. Gokul, along with renowned Arab actors such as Talib al Balushi and Rik Aby in pivotal roles.

The stunning visuals of the film have been shot by K. S. Sunil and edited by A. Sreekar Prasad.

Being shot in multiple countries around the world, the film is the biggest-ever venture in the Malayalam film industry, setting new benchmarks in production standards, storytelling, and acting prowess.

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–IANS

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Anasuya Sengupta scripts history, becomes first Indian to win top acting award at Cannes

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Cannes, May 25 (IANS) Anasuya Sengupta became the first Indian to win a top acting award at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday night.

The little-known actress who has worked mainly as a production designer in Mumbai and lives in Goa, took home the Best Actress award at the Un Certain Regard segment of the festival.

Sengupta won the award for her gritty role in Bulgarian director Constantin Bojanov’s film, ‘The Shameless’, which also features well-known actress Mita Vashist on its star cast. The film was shot over a month and half in India and Nepal.

Bojanov, an award-winning director, incidentally, is Anasuya’s Facebook friend. He caught her by surprise when one day out of the blue he asked her to send an audition tape. That was the start of the Jadavpur University graduate’s acting career.

The previous credits of the Kolkata-born debutante actress include being the production designer of Srijit Mukherjee’s ‘Forget Me Not’ in Netflix’s 2021 Satyajit Ray anthology and ‘Masaba Masaba’. She plays Renuka, a vagabond seeking refuge in a northern Indian community of sex workers after fleeing from Delhi on being charged with murder.

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The film’s story centres around Renuka’s illicit love affair with a teenager named Devika, played by Omara Shetty, who’s initially sheltered from entering sex work because of her physical ailments, but not for long.

Receiving the award, a “shaking” Anasuya dedicated it to “the queer community and other marginalised communities for so bravely fighting a fight they really shouldn’t have to”.

Her voice shaking with emotion, and drawing repeated cheers and applause, she ended her short acceptance speech by saying, “We don’t need to be colonised to know how very, very pathetic colonisers are.”

–IANS

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12-minute Cannes ovation for Iranian film that earned its maker 8-year jail term

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Cannes, May 24 (IANS) ‘The Seed of the Sacred Fig’, Iranian dissident director Mohammad Rasoulof’s latest film, for which he received an eight-year prison sentence back home, got a rapturous 12-minute standing ovation at its Cannes Film Festival premiere on Friday, says ‘Variety’.

Rasoulof risked his life by appearing at the film’s premiere as he fled Iran for Europe on May 13 to avoid going to prison.

The only prominent member of the film’s star cast who was with Rasoulof on the red carpet was Golshifteh Farahani, who was seen with Irrfan Khan in the Swiss-French-Singaporean Rajasthani film, ‘The Song of Scorpions’, premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in 2017.

There was undeniable applause as the credits of Rasoulof’s film began to roll (it is ‘Variety’ policy, though, to begin timing standing ovations once the house lights come up). Rasoulof got teary and waved enthusiastically to the balcony.

Ali Abbasi, director of fellow competition title ‘The Apprentice’, stood next to Rasoulof and encouraged the crowd to keep clapping — not that they needed it, as their cheers just got louder and louder.

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There was even a sign in the audience that read ‘Femme! Vie! Liberté!’ (‘Woman! Life! Freedom!’), the slogan for solidarity with Iranian women who are demanding their fundamental rights.

The ecstatic response to and political weight of ‘The Seed of the Sacred Fig’ has cemented its status as a frontrunner for the festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or, according to ‘Variety’.

On the red carpet, Rasoulof, who has previously served prison time in Iran, held up images of stars Soheila Golestani and Missagh Zareh, who were unable to leave Iran for the premiere.

In addition to his prison sentence, adds ‘Variety’, Iranian authorities had been pressuring him to pull ‘The Seed of the Sacred Fig’ from Cannes and harassing the film’s producers and actors. In an interview with ‘Variety’ on Thursday, Rasoulof said that Golestani has been arrested by Iranian security services.

–IANS

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Effusive praise for 'All We Imagine As Light' raises Payal Kapadia's Palme d'Or hopes

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New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) “Will this ‘magical’ ode to nocturnal Mumbai win the Palme d’Or?”

The question asked by the BBC’s reviewer, Nicholas Barber, after watching Payal Kapadia’s debut feature film, ‘All We Imagine As Light’, must have been uppermost in the minds of an audience that gave the film’s cast and crew an eight-minute standing ovation.

In the Cannes tradition, the longer the applause, the better the chances of the film returning home with a trophy. The longest applause thus far at the festival has been for nine minutes and 30 seconds for the Italian auteur Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘Parthenope’, where Gary Oldman plays the American writer John Cheever.

In a video now circulating of the moment after the film’s screening, in fact, shows one of the cast members, Hridu Haroon, asking, “The applause has been going on for too long. Shouldn’t it stop?”

The video shows the cast members soaking in their eight minutes of fame and hugging each other heartily, unable to contain their joy.

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Kani Kusruti, whom viewers outside Kerala know better for playing the private secretary of Huma Qureshi’s character in the OTT series ‘Maharani’, followed in the footsteps of Cate Blanchett and Leila Bekhri and showed her solidarity for the Palestinian people’s struggle, flaunting her watermelon clutch and flashing a ‘V’ sign.

The colours of the watermelon — deep green and red — are those of the Palestinian flag.

As noted by News Minute, the watermelon became a symbol of Palestinian resistance in 1967 after Israel militarily seized control of the West Bank and Gaza, and annexed East Jerusalem. And to circumvent the Israeli government’s ban on the Palestinian flag being displayed anywhere in Gaza and the West Bank, people started using watermelons.

Chhaya Kadam, another cast member who has become everyone’s favourite railway platform feminist after her stellar performance in ‘Laapataa Ladies’, sported an oversized ‘nath’ on her nose as a tribute to the traditions of her home state Maharashtra.

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The BBC, meanwhile, does not stint on its praise for the film and goes on to note: “Given that the Competition jury is chaired by Greta Gerwig, and this warm, female-led film resembles her own work in certain ways, ‘All We Imagine as Light’ could well be a winner when the Festival’s prizes are announced on Saturday evening.”

And it predicts with a degree of certainty: “Whether Kapadia takes home a trophy or not, ‘All We Imagine As Light’ is bound to be one of those international films that break out of the art-house festival circuit and into cinemas and hearts everywhere.”

Payal Kapadia is no stranger to Cannes glory. In 2021, her documentary feature, ‘A Night of Knowing Nothing’, won the L’Oeil d’Or, an award given every year since 2015 to the best in the category. Now, it’s the Palme d’Or that beckons. Will she come back home with it?

–IANS

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Tejasswi Prakash sizzles in golden shimmery dress, wet hair and glossy makeup

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Mumbai, May 24 (IANS) The winner of ‘Bigg Boss 15’, Tejasswi Prakash, set Instagram on fire on Friday with a video of her photoshoot in a shimmery golden strappy dress, wet hair, and glossy makeup.

The ‘Naagin 6’ actress dropped a Reel on Instagram in which she can be seen posing sensually in a golden dress. The look was accentuated by glam makeup — pink glossy lips, winged eyeliner, and highlighted face.

She opted for a wet hairstyle, keeping her tresses open. The look was rounded off with golden earrings.

“When the days are made of colour, I choose the golden hour,” Tejasswi captioned the post.

Tejasswi is known for her work in ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi 10′, Karn Sangini’, and ‘Pehredaar Piya Ki’, among others.

–IANS

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Sakshi Pradhan found shooting for traumatic scenes in 'Qaatil Haseena' 'mentally exhausting'

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Mumbai, May 24 (IANS) Actress Sakshi Pradhan, who plays Shanaya, a relentless killer, in the upcoming film ‘Qaatil Haseena’, has shared that shooting for the traumatic scenes in the movie was tough and mentally exhausting for her.

Talking about the challenges she faced while portraying Shanaya, Sakshi, who was part of ‘Bigg Boss 4’, said: “Some of the emotional scenes, where my character reflects on the past trauma, were mentally exhausting. Tapping into those deep emotions while maintaining the authenticity of the character was a real challenge.”

“I did my homework before I entered the set, as much as I could in the limited time. I was uncomfortable at the start, but we did every scene with the point of view that the film should look authentic, and every scene has a meaning. The kissing scene in the film was more about expressing love than lust,” she added.

In the film, Sakshi plays a complex and multifaceted individual.

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“On the surface, they might appear calm and composed, but underneath lies a burning desire for revenge. This character has experienced a significant trauma or betrayal, which fuels her quest for justice. It’s a character driven by emotion, and a relentless pursuit of retribution, making her both captivating and unpredictable,” said Sakshi, who also starred in the TV show ‘Naagin 3’.

On how she prepared for the film, the ‘Ragini MMS: Returns’ actress said: “To be honest, I had very little time to prepare. I was cast three days before the shooting started, so for two days, while I was reading the script, I got involved in a deep dive into the character’s psyche and motivations. My experience of being in the acting field for 13 years helped me get into Shanaya’s character and catch the details of her inner wants.”

The murder mystery also starring Sharon Panday and Vikram Sakhalkar is set to release on ALTT on May 31.

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–IANS

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