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Juhi Parmar on generation gap: 'Life used to move at slower pace, kids felt at ease'

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Mumbai, April 12 (IANS) Juhi Parmar, who portrays ‘Neerja’, a soft-hearted but stern mother, in family drama ‘Yeh Meri Family’ season three, has emphasised upon the significance of growing up in the 90s, and what children of today are missing out on.

The latest season is set in the spring of 1995 and talks about the life of the Awasthi family as they bring back the story of a typical Indian household.

Juhi said: “In the past, spending hours sitting together and engaging in casual conversations used to be a delightful experience among friends and kids. However, nowadays, even if they sit for just 10 minutes, they feel the need for distraction, such as their phones or music, as they easily become bored.”

The actress, who is known for her work in ‘Shaheen’, further shared: “They constantly look for something to keep themselves engaged, which was not the case with children in the past. Life used to move at a slower pace, and even kids felt at ease. Unfortunately, that sense of tranquility seems to be missing now, as children are always searching for more ways to occupy themselves.”

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Narrated through the lens of 11-year-old Rishi, ‘Yeh Meri Family 3’ also features Anngad Raaj, Hetal Gada, and Rajesh Kumar in pivotal roles.

‘Yeh Meri Family Season 3’ is streaming on Amazon MiniTv.

–IANS

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Parul Gulati plays aspiring actress who leverages social media in ‘Blue Tick’

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Mumbai, May 28 (IANS) Actress Parul Gulati, who will be starring in the upcoming social media show ‘Blue Tick’, shared that she portrays the role of an aspiring actress who leverages social media to propel her dreams.

Parul is known for her work in ‘P.O.W. – Bandi Yuddh Ke’, ‘Made in Heaven’, and ‘Selection Day’.

‘Blue Tick’ is directed by Shubham Singh and delves into the captivating journey of Pallavi Pahuja, portrayed by Parul, a determined young woman hailing from South Delhi with dreams of stardom.

The series is shot against the backdrop of Delhi and unfolds a tale of ambition, resilience, and the price of fame.

Sharing insights into her character, Parul revealed, “Embarking on the role of Pallavi Pahuja in ‘Blue Tick’ has been a deeply fulfilling experience for me. Pallavi represents the quintessential modern aspirant, leveraging social media as a platform to propel her dreams forward. Delving into her complexities, aspirations, and the intricate dynamics of virtual validation versus real-world success has been both a challenge and a privilege.”

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She further mentioned that through this character, she had the opportunity to explore the nuances of ambition, resilience, and the ever-evolving landscape of social media influence.

“I’m excited for audiences to join me on this captivating journey as we unravel the highs, lows, and ultimately, the pursuit of the coveted blue tick,” she added.

The show also stars Siddharth Nigam.

A source closer to the show expressed, “With ‘Blue Tick,’ we aim to delve into the intricate nuances of contemporary aspirations and the evolving landscape of social media. Parul Gulati’s portrayal of Pallavi Pahuja adds depth and authenticity to the narrative, making it a compelling watch for audiences of all ages.”

The show is produced by Folklore Films.

–IANS

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Screening at Cannes ACID means I must continue making responsible cinema: Maisam Ali

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New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) He says when one moves physically to another place, it is not just the body that displaces. And when one comes back, he may suddenly become an ‘outsider’.

Questions of identity and the ‘insider-outsider’ dilemma have always fascinated Ladakhi filmmaker Maisam Ali, whose debut feature film ‘In Retreat’ is the first ever Indian film to be screened in Cannes’ ACID sidebar where 14 filmmakers viewed several hundred movies and decided on nine from different countries for the category.

Shot during winters in Ladakh, and mostly at night, the film revolves around the protagonist (played by Harish Khanna), now in his 50s, who returns home to Ladakh. Having missed his brother’s funeral, he lingers at the threshold of his old home, maybe to delay one more night of his arrival.

The idea of the film emerged from an incident he “witnessed or heard” when he was around 12 years old. Someone had come back to his hometown (Ladakh) after a long time and was trying to make small talk with people around.

“Everyone said he was so polite… it left me very sad for him. This has always stayed with me. You know I do not even remember if I had seen the man or just heard about him. But this very glimpse, a snippet of a memory played on me. All I knew was that I had to make the film on what transpired/ did not with him,” this 35-year-old tells IANS.

Trapezing on the edge of grimness, this very personal film with almost a poetic treatment dwelling on ‘belonging’ has much to do with the director’s lived experience, who was born in Iran where his father had gone to work.

“I came back to Ladakh after a few years. Of course, my parents and relatives are from here. But my great-grandfathers were traders who would travel with animals to China, Central Asia, Amritsar and Kashmir. Guess the question of ‘belonging’ is deep in my DNA,” he smiles.

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A qualified engineer, Ali was part of the group assigned to make a film at college. “It was a very amateur one, and we did not know anything. However, writing dialogues was a thoroughly enjoyable process. There was an intense pull towards the medium. Also, I was watching a lot of films during that time, and did theatre, and I knew that this was my true calling. I was never a good engineering student, but back then the time I was born, it was not so ‘fashionable’ to follow your passion,” he smiles.

Ali, who enrolled at FTII two years after completing his engineering degree (“after wandering around”) stresses that it was more than filmmaking that he learnt there. Adding that it was a place where he found his voice, he says craft is not something he looks forward to.

“One can learn the techniques in six months. But, a school must help you find your expression. Anyone can learn the technicalities, however, at the end of the day, you have to know why you are doing what you are.”

Interestingly, the film stays away from the tourist gaze, avoiding wide-angle shots of Ladakh’s stunning landscape. Instead, the viewer is pushed into labyrinths, closed alleyways, tiny cafes, and the very mundane.

“As filmmakers, we are always in search of the real experience. But then, the real always escapes us, and we are constantly striving to capture it. So, when you are making a personal film, it is paramount to stay away from postcard images. As an artist, I felt that was not my reality,” he opines.

However, he does capture the almost surrealistic Ladakhi nights where the texture of light changes during peak winters. The director feels it was important to shoot during those hours.

“The story demanded it. I arrived at a certain plot, where I felt the lead actor was ‘in the night’, as he did not want to be seen. Nights can be long, and you do not have to worry about the consequences of the day. Under the sun, the mainstream society rules, it is only during the night that someone like my lead character can be present, and at the same time absent,” says Ali, who is director Payal Kapadia’s batchmate, the first Indian to win the Grand Prix for her film ‘All We Imagine As Light’.

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Although nothing ‘grand’ takes place in the film, and many things are left unanswered, it is tough to get distracted while watching ‘In Retreat’. The filmmaker asserts he has never been interested in plot-chasing narratives, but believes in offering a complete experience.

“The atmospherics must precipitate a feeling that a lot of things are happening, or maybe nothing is. That makes a movie more universal.”

Influenced by works of directors like Robert Bresson, Yasujiro Ozu and Abbas Kiarostami, he feels that for all these masters, an ideal film is one where one can celebrate life by looking at the simple and natural, and not running behind a fantasy.

“Such films have always excited me. The whole discourse of realism around cinema has always been fascinating, like Andrei Tarkovsky said – ‘People go to watch films in search of lost time’.”

Made on a shoestring budget, Ali’s batchmates from the film school worked without a fee for his movie. Remembering his excitement when he got a video call from Cannes ACID, he says: “It was not easy for the jury to select this film considering it is so unconventional, and the audiences nowadays want more palatable cinema. But I am glad a space exists for fragile movies.”

While Ali may not want to make ‘boxed’ films on political issues, the going on in his native land do disturb him. Talk to him about engineer and innovator Sonam Wangchuk’s recent 21-day strike and he says that when Ladakh was part of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir, they enjoyed a fair amount of autonomy.

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“Owing to red-tapism and bureaucratic lethargy, we wanted the territory to be a Union Territory. The whole idea was that people would be free to make their own decisions. But the reverse has happened. In fact, we have gone backwards. The decision-makers should be from here. There was a Hill Council before that would make important decisions, and people trusted them. Yes, we are getting a lot of funds now, but then that is not everything.”

Concerned about unregulated tourism, he feels that the place cannot become another Goa. “The locals understand that there is a paucity of water and many other resources. Those who visit do not. There has to be a system in place so that the fragile ecosystem is not disturbed,” he hopes.

Hoping to get an opportunity to release the film in India, even if it is on an OTT platform, he feels there is an audience for such movies in the country.

“It is just that somebody has to devise an out-of-the-box distribution channel for such movies. And yes, I am looking forward to showing the film in Ladakh and hearing what they have to say about it. Some may not like it, but at least there will be a discussion. Remember, I did not make it as a complete insider. A filmmaker goes to the other side, behind the camera to gaze from the outside.”

While he is at an early stage of developing his next movie, which will have a “bit of Ladakh” and also travel to other places including Kashmir, Ali says, “For me, it is important not to be overwhelmed by all the chatter around my debut and ensure that I continue making responsible cinema.”

–IANS

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Anushka Sen offers a peek into her shoot day in Bangkok; drops pic munching chips

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Mumbai, May 28 (IANS) Actress Anushka Sen on Tuesday shared glimpses from her visit to Bangkok, Thailand, as the diva is in the vibrant city shooting for her upcoming project.

Taking to Instagram, Anushka, who enjoys 39.2 million followers, shared a series of photos, where we can see her wearing a breezy half sleeves magenta pink colour dress, with a sweetheart neckline and a thigh-high slit in between.

She has opted for a no-makeup look and tied her hair in a messy bun. Anushka accessorised the look with black sunglasses and white sneakers.

The ‘Jhansi Ki Rani’ fame diva can be seen munching upon some chips.

The post is captioned as: “Shoot day in Bangkok”.

On the work front, she was last seen in the web series ‘Dil Dosti Dilemma’ in which Anushka portrayed the role of Asmara. Directed by Debbie Rao and produced by Jahanara Bhargava and Seema Mohapatra, the show also stars Shishir Sharma, Mahesh Thakur, and Priyanshu Chatterjee.

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Anushka has also featured in web show ‘Crashh’, and music video ‘Teri Aadat 2’. She also participated in ‘Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 11’

–IANS

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Vineet Choudhary shares touching story of meeting elderly fan on 'Karmadhikari Shanidev' set

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Mumbai, May 28 (IANS) Actor Vineet Kumar Choudhary has recounted an incident where an elderly fan expressed her heartfelt desire to visit the set of his show “Karmadhikari Shanidev” all the way from Delhi.

Vineet, who plays Shanidev in the mythological show, recalled the elderly fan’s encounter, and said: “Recently, while shooting for ‘Karmadhikari Shanidev’ I received a special surprise from a very sweet fan on the set. An elderly fan had come with her son all the way from Delhi just to meet me.”

“During a conversation with her, she expressed her belief that I am not just an actor but a medium through which she could spiritually connect with Shanidev. She insisted that her journey was not just to meet me but to immerse herself in the divine energy that my portrayal of Shanidev conveyed. Hearing that completely amazed me,” he shared.

Vineet said portraying characters like Shanidev is unique because people build a divine connection with you through your character.

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“I was deeply touched by the elderly fan’s belief and the realisation that I am more than just an actor in the eyes of audiences, is inexpressible,” he added.

‘Karmadhikari Shanidev’ airs Monday to Saturday at 8:30 pm on Shemaroo TV.

–IANS

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Comedians Gaurav More, Kaveri Priyam, Inder Sahani team up for 'AI Film' gag

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Mumbai, May 28 (IANS) Ace comedians Gaurav More, Kaveri Priyam, Inder Sahani, and Ashish Shirke have teamed up for the hilarious skit called ‘A.I. Film’ in the upcoming episode of ‘Madness Machayenge-India Ko Hasayenge’.

Gaurav plays a dashing hero who is eager to film romantic scenes with the witty heroine, essayed by Kaveri. However, the heroine leaves the hero in the middle of the shoot, causing chaos on set.

Inder, who plays the quick-thinking director, comes up with an ingenious solution: he convinces the hero to shoot the romantic scene with his bodyguard, hilariously portrayed by Ashish. The catch here is that he will then use A.I. tools to swap the bodyguard with the heroine in post-production.

The sight of Gaurav, as the hero, attempting to shoot romantic scenes with his burly bodyguard leaves everyone in stitches.

Talking about his upcoming act, Inder said: “I’m thrilled about our upcoming gag where I get to play the director in this hilarious ‘A.I. Film’ skit. It was an absolute blast working with Gaurav, Kaveri, and Ashish Ji — each of them brought such incredible energy and comedic timing to the set.”

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“We’re not just aiming for laughs; we’re also paying homage to the fascinating world of A.I. innovation in a fun and creative way,” added Inder.

The show will welcome Neelam Kothari.

‘Madness Machayenge’ airs at 9:30 pm on Sony.

–IANS

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