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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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Deepika flaunts her baby bump in black bodycon dress at ‘Kalki 2898 AD’ event

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Mumbai, June 19 (IANS) Bollywood star Deepika Padukone, who is expecting her first child with her husband Ranveer Singh, flaunted her baby bump at a media event for her upcoming film ‘Kalki 2898 AD’ on Wednesday.

The actress, who wore a black bodycon dress, attended the event with legendary actors Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Haasan, along with Telugu stars Prabhas and Rana Daggubati.

The actress also shared an anecdote from the sets of ‘Kalki 2898 AD’, saying the highlight of the day during the filming was what was going to come from Prabhas’ home for lunch. The food from his place came in like a catering service. And anyone who knows Prabhas knows that he feeds from the heart, she said.

Big B recollected his first thought after director Nag Ashwin narrated the script of ‘Kalki 2898 AD’ to him.

The actor said he told himself, “What the hell is Nag Ashwin drinking?”

Big B also said he was enamoured by Nag Ashwin’s grand vision and his conviction to bring this film to life.

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Kamal Haasan, who plays a negative character in the film, explained why he likes playing characters with shades of grey.

“Villains get to do all the good things in the film which really excite me as an actor,” he said.

Produced by Vyjayanthi Movies, ‘Kalki 2898 AD’ is set to hit the screens on June 27.

–IANS

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Mohanlal elected unopposed as President of actors body AMMA for second term

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Kochi, June 19 (IANS) Superstar Mohanlal has been elected unopposed as the President of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) for a second term of three years.

His election came after the last date of withdrawal of nominations ended Tuesday.

Upcoming star Unni Mukundan was also elected unopposed as the Treasurer of the AMMA.

However, elections will be held for the posts of the General Secretary, two Vice Presidents, and the Joint Secretary.

Edavela Babu, who has been the General Secretary of the AMMA for a while, opted out this time, and popular character actor Siddique sought to succeed him. But Kuku Paramaseshweran and Unni Shivapal also entered the fray. For the two Vice President’s posts, there are three candidates – veteran actor Jagdish, Manju Pillai, and Jayan Cherthala.

Likewise, Baburaj and Anoop Chandran are in the race for the Joint Secretary’s post.

The elections will be held alongside the Annual General Body Meeting to be held here on June 30.

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Meanwhile, according to sources, a nomination for the post of President was filed by a panel led by Paramaseshweran, but this was withdrawn at the last moment, enabling Mohanlal to get elected unopposed.

The AMMA has 506 members, of which around 120 get a monthly dole of Rs 5,000 each. Anyone not drawing the monthly pension is eligible to contest for the various posts starting from the President to that of a member of its Committee.

–IANS

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Sri Lankan film with Malayalam stars shows hell can be next door to 'Paradise'

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New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) As Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage’s award-winning film ‘Paradise’, featuring Malayalam star Roshan Mathew and Darshana Rajendran in the lead roles, is set to be released in India on June 28, he is excited that finally, the general public will get to see it.

The movie set in the backdrop of Sri Lanka’s 2022 economic, and which won the Kim Jiseok Award for Best Film at the Busan Film Festival, is being presented by Mani Ratnam’s production and distribution house, Madras Talkies.

‘Paradise’ revolves around a visiting Indian couple — Amritha (Darshana Rajendran), a video blogger, and her film-producer husband Keshav (Roshan Mathew) — who arrive in the economic crisis-wracked but picturesque Sri Lanka to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary and experience a ‘Ramayana tour’.

A robbery in their bungalow jettison their plan, for they lose their mobile phones and laptops.

When they approach the local cop, Sergeant Bandara, and put pressure on him to act fast, he produces three unemployed men as suspects, and Keshav identifies them as culprits, even though their faces were covered during the robbery.

One of the suspects lands in hospital after police torture and ultimately dies. The couple are forced to confine themselves to the bungalow and that is when they realise how far they had moved away from each other. While Amrita cherishes the beautiful surroundings, Keshav, with a permanent frown, gets increasingly frustrated and cannot digest how she is so ‘unaffected’.

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The climax sees people from the village of the dead suspect attack the bungalow. Keshav and Amrita are forced to defend themselves. What transpires in the end — the force of ‘Sita’ — is bound to shock the viewer. The director maintains that “personal is political and vice versa”, hence the backdrop of the economic crisis.

A certain stillness envelops the film, its story, and treatment, making it truly very ‘international’. “Yes, the movie has been loved by the critics, but now comes the real challenge — will we be able to communicate what we want to the general public? And do not forget, we will be up against some big-ticket films,” Vithanage, for whom Chennai is a second home, told IANS.

Considering it is the first time that a Sri Lankan director’s film is getting a worldwide release, it is also an Indian film produced by Newton Cinema and the languages spoken in it include English, Malayalam, Tamil, Sinhala, and Hindi.

“Though the territory is Sri Lanka, it is an Indian movie,” the director reaffirmed.

Admitting he has been nurtured and groomed by Indian cinema, with the post-production of his films always going to Indian labs, not to mention working with Indian technicians for the past 27 years, Vithanage, who is considered one of the pioneers of the third generation

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of Sri Lankan cinema, has directed eight feature films and won 30 major national and international awards, besides enjoying commercial success.

“I think this is a natural step, working with Indian actors in Indian languages,” Vithanage said. “This story could not have happened to a European couple.”

Stressing that even while the two countries are distinct in many ways, they are deeply connected by history and culture.

The reasons for the scenario in which the Indian couple are pushed were manifold.

“As a filmmaker, I also want to bring forth my politics,” Vithanage said. “One must remember that politics does not confine itself only to elections. It comes into play in a marriage and in other interpersonal relationships. The larger politics of the economic crisis could creep into institutions such as marriage. These two are interconnected, not separate.”

While on the subject of politics, Vithanage said reconciliation between the Sinhalese and the Tamils in his country “remains a distant mirage”. And he should know, having made three films on one of the bloodiest civil wars in the world (between the Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE) — ‘August Sun’, ‘Death on a Full Moon Day’, which was the subject of a full-on censorship war, and ‘With You, Without You’.

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“Yes, we have shown the need for reconciliation in the three films, but there’s an absence of it on the ground,” Vithanage said. “Let us not forget that reconciliation is a political situation and to achieve it, political steps are paramount. There need to be solid political solutions. Artistes do not have the power for political solutions. They can only amplify the need for them.”

Immersed in theatre since childhood, this Sri Lankan director admits that the art form has been instrumental in shaping him as a filmmaker. He says that besides other things, it has taught him how to work with actors and bring out something that is not from his own experience or of the actors’.

“In a way, we try to bring forth a certain truth, an exercise that can be enigmatic. My understanding of how difficult the craft of acting is comes from theatre,” the director explained, adding that he expects nothing but spontaneity from his movie actors.

Presently working on a script (in Hindi) based on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s ‘The Gambler’, to be shot in Sri Lanka, Vithanage looks up to several Indian directors from diverse generations. “Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Ritwik Ghatak, Shyam Benegal, Anurag Kashyap and Gurvinder Singh are some of them,” he concluded.

–IANS

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Star cast of 'Udne Ki Aasha' thank fans as show completes 100 episodes

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Mumbai, June 19 (IANS) The lead actors of ‘Udne Ki Aasha’– Kanwar Dhillon and Neha Harsora — have expressed their excitement as the show completed the 100-episode milestone, saying “it speaks volumes about our content”.

Kanwar, who plays Sachin in the show, said: “It feels great that the show has completed 100 episodes. And you know what’s even more special? Since its launch just one week before the IPL, the show has managed to make its way to the top-five chart and consistently stayed there. I think that speaks volumes about our content and the connection the show has with the audience.”

“With time, I’m sure it’s going to rise even higher. And touch wood, the numbers speak for themselves. The love we are getting from the audience speaks for itself. I hope that just like we’ve completed 100 episodes, we will go on to complete 500 and then 1,000 episodes,” he added.

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Neha, who plays Sailee in the show, said: “It’s amazing that we have completed 100 episodes. I’m really happy that everyone on the set and off it is enjoying the show. Personally, it fills me with joy to be a part of this project. The production team is thrilled as well since this is their first show.”

Producer Rahul Kumar Tewary also expressed his delight at the achievement, emphasising the dedication and passion invested by the entire team.

“This is a reflection of the collective effort and commitment of everyone involved in ‘Udne Ki Aasha’. This is just the beginning and we have a long way to go. Kanwar and Neha have brought their characters to life with sincerity and conviction, contributing significantly to the show’s success,” he said.

Produced by Rahul Kumar Tewary in collaboration with Rolling Tales Production, ‘Udne Ki Aasha’ airs on Star Plus at 9 p.m.

–IANS

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As US lawmakers meet the Dalai Lama, upcoming film narrates story of Tibetan resistance

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Mumbai, June 19 (IANS) At a time when Tibet is in the news because of the meeting of US lawmakers with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, noted Tibetan filmmaker has announced the release of his upcoming film, ‘Four Rivers Six Ranges’, which promises to narrate the lesser-known story of Tibetan resistance and resilience.

The film, made by Tibetan refugees in India, the US, Canada and Nepal, sheds light on the journey of the Tibetan resistance group, 4R6R, which successfully escorted the Dalai Lama, avoiding the long arm of China’s People’s Liberation Army, to the Indian border on March 26, 1959.

Shenpenn Khymsar, a renowned Tibetan filmmaker, musician, and activist, who has helmed the film, has a history of using his art to highlight the Tibetan cause.

The announcement coincided with the visit by a US Congressional delegation led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, and which included former Speaker Nancy Pelosi. They met the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala on Wednesday.

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The delegation’s visit highlighted the ongoing international interest and support for the cause of Tibetan autonomy and the human rights situation in the region.

The historical narrative of the Dalai Lama’s escape, depicted in Khymsar’s film, is not just a tale of the past, but a poignant reminder of the enduring struggle for freedom and justice of the Tibetan people.

That the struggle does not seem to have an easy resolution is evident from China’s warning that it would take “resolute measures” if President Joe Biden signs the bipartisan Resolve Tibet Act passed by the US Congress. The Act seeks to enhance US support for Tibet and promote a dialogue between the People’s Republic of China and the Dalai Lama for a peaceful resolution of the long-standing dispute between the two.

Khymsar’s film, according to a press note, draws from his deep personal commitment to Tibetan culture and his experiences while growing up in exile. With ‘Four Rivers Six Ranges’, Khymsar aims to bring the untold stories of ordinary Tibetans on to the global stage.

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Incidentally, Shenpenn Khymsar’s co-producer is Dorjee Wangdi Dewatshang, whose father, Kunga Samten, was one of the warriors of Chushi Gangdruk (Four Rivers Six Ranges).

–IANS

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