On Working with Bejoy Nambiar on Taish and More: Actor Ankur Rathee Speaks

Actor Ankur Rathee who is currently geared up for his next big release, Taish excitedly recounts his experience shooting with Bejoy Nambiar. Rathee will be playing the role of a British Indian young man who discovers a secret about his fiancé amidst the chaos of their own wedding. Add to their precarious situation an emotionally tumultuous family and you get the revenge drama that is Taish.

Recalling how he bagged the role, Ankur said, “I got a call from Karan Mally and Nandini Shrikent, who recently cast me in Thappad. Bejoy liked my audition and asked to meet, but a few days prior I badly sprained my ankle playing basketball, ironically, with Jim Sarbh who had to carry me off the court! I remember limping my way into Bejoy’s office and awkwardly sitting with my crutches. He narrated the film and his enthusiasm was infectious. I felt transported.”


Ankur describes working with Bejoy Nambiar a dream come true. He said, “Bejoy gives a lot of creative liberty to his actors which is refreshing. It made us feel like it was just as much our story to tell as it was his. I remember there was one scene where Pulkit Samrat, Jim Sarbh, and I started improvising and building little moments that weren’t in the script. We just kept playing off of each other and Bejoy kept rolling. He would encourage that kind of experimentation, but also knew when to help us reel it back. His trust in us fed into our faith in him“.

Recently Ankur gave memorable performances in Thappad, Four More Shots Please, Undekhi, and Made in Heaven. The actor has worked with renowned directors like Bejoy Nambiar, Anubhav Sinha, and now Nagesh Kuknor on his next. Ankur said, “Whenever I’m mesmerized by a film I always tell myself ‘I want to work with this director’. You say that enough times and you end up with a wish list of filmmakers that have really pushed the boundaries of Indian cinema. I’m so grateful to God that as my career progresses, one by one I’m checking off directors from my wish list.”

The actor is currently busy shooting for Nagesh Kukunoor’s next and promoting Taish which is due to release on 29th October. Also in the pipeline is Rishi Deshpande’s much-awaited Marathi film, ‘Nirmal En Route’ which stars Ankur Rathee as the male lead actor.    

Ali and me share a Libran connection says, Mirzapur Actress Harshita Gaur

Harshita Shekhar Gaur who’s super thrilled with the views and feedback the trailer of Mirzapur 2 is receiving, spoke about her offline bond with her on-screen brother Ali Fazal. The trailer of the much-awaited show Mirzapur season 2 is out, launched at a virtual press conference. Harshita, who plays Dimpy, Guddu Bhaiya’s (Ali Fazal) and Bablu Bhaiya’s (Vikrant Massey), sister in the crime thriller Mirzapur revealed that the on-screen brother-sister duo have actually developed a sibling bond in real life as well. Continue reading “Ali and me share a Libran connection says, Mirzapur Actress Harshita Gaur”

I will always go where work takes me and remain open minded!: In Conversation with Actor Aneesha Joshi

A trained dancer and actor, Aneesha Joshi has worked in films like Simran and Padmaavat in the past, before getting noticed in Iram Parveen Bilal‘s international film, “I’ll Meet You There” which is currently doing the film festival round. Here’s an excerpt of a conversation we had with her recently.

Tell us about your upcoming movie ‘I’ll Meet You There’ ? How was it working with Parveen Bilal?

I was lucky enough to book the role of “I’ll meet you there” through a self tape audition that I did from Mumbai! I have a fantastic agent in Los Angeles who really made sure they saw my tape!The genre of this film is a lovely coming of age drama that highlights the trials and lessons of finding the balance between one’s cultural expectations and dreams. The character of Sarah was lovely. She’s the anchor to her more courageous and brave friend Dua, who is on a mission to uncover more of her mysterious past. To prepare for the role I spoke at length with the director before rolling and kept an open dialogue with my co actors to leave moments of discovery throughout! My experience of shooting for I’ll Meet You There was wonderful. It was so inspiring to be among South Asian women in Hollywood, all representing our culture proudly and through such nuanced performances.

You have worked as an assistant makeup artist for the short film ‘100: The Tribute’! Tell us about your journey from being a make-up artist to playing a lead actor in Duane Adler’s ‘Heartbeats’? 

My job as a makeup artist during 100: the tribute (directed by Raashi Desai and Siddhi Sundar) was a very fun experience. I was still studying at BU at the time and went down to New Jersey to assist! My sister was the lead actress of the film so it felt very close to home, creative, and collaborative!

You are a trained classical dancer! Is there any upcoming song cover you are working on next?

Classical dance is an art form extremely close to my heart. I have been training in various forms since the age of 4! I’m always on the hunt for fun songs to cover, when the right one inspires me I’ll be sure to shoot it!

You work with both the industries don’t you find it hectic and how do you manage to get through it?

The world is growing increasingly small these days. I have some great role models who have managed to navigate working in both India and America with so much finesse. I will always go where work takes me and remain open minded! A little sense of adventure is what makes life worth living after all!

What is your take on nepotism?

Nepotism is a hot topic in India of late. While I understand both sides of the argument, I’m a firm believer that no matter what, talent eventually prevails. A newcomer with no industry connections shouldn’t be axed from conversations if they have the talent! Unfortunately star children are under a tremendous amount of scrutiny which can also be difficult to navigate. If studios and producers are fair and partial, we might however see a wider variety of performers in leading roles.

Upcoming projects you’re working on?

I have a few exciting projects coming up that I’m unfortunately unable to comment on, hoping to get back to work on them as soon as the state of emergency is lifted, as I’m sure many of us are!

“It was an honour to direct Terence Lewis Sir”, says Dancer-choreographer Saurabh Prajapati

Bollywood’s youngest dance director and choreographer Saurabh Prajapti, who has worked with some of the biggest names in Bollywood, recently directed a music video called ‘Tu hai toh’ starring Terence Lewis and Digangana Suryavanshi , sung by Ash King and Palak Muchhal, composed by Palaash Muchhal on Pal Musics YouTube channel.  Saurabh’s journey with dance started at a very young age and by 15 he had graduated in dance, learning from various international choreographers. Post which, Saurabh joined Terrance Lewis’s dance academy for a bit and then started working independently as a choreographer and dance director.

Continue reading ““It was an honour to direct Terence Lewis Sir”, says Dancer-choreographer Saurabh Prajapati”

An Actor Speaks: In Conversation with Shriyam Bhagnani

Belonging to an active film family, which includes uncle Vashu Bhagnani (producer), cousins Jacky Bhagnani (actor-producer) & Deepshikha Deshmukh (producer), it was no surprise that Shriyam Bhagani also decided to make a mark for herself in the world of cinema. But she chose to chart her own path as an actor, beginning by getting herself trained by veteran acting coach, Barry John. After doing small but interesting character roles in films like Baaghi 2 & Batti Gul Meter Chalu, she’s now all set to be seen in some interesting projects. Here’s an excerpt from a conversation with Shriyam Bhagani-

Continue reading “An Actor Speaks: In Conversation with Shriyam Bhagnani”

Aneesha Joshi excited for the release of her International project ‘I’ll Meet You There’

Actress Aneesha Joshi is looking forward to the release of her International project ‘I’ll Meet You There’. Written and directed by Iram Parveen Bilal, the film is a domestic drama set in a Pakistani immigrant community in Chicago. The movie premiered in the narrative competition of the SXSW Festival, Texas and received very positive feedback.

Aneesha plays the role of Sara in the film who is a conservative Muslim girl who holds onto her ideals despite her peers progressive attitudes. Speaking about her role, Aneesha said, “When I read the script, I was instantly drawn to the role of Sara as I could relate to the struggle of balancing identity and culture while growing up in the West. The pressures of living up to your family expectations and standards of success can often be stressful. I’ll meet you there is a lovely depiction of a coming of age story and celebration of culture and what it means to understand one’s dreams.”

 

Aneesha lends support on screen to Nikita Tewani and had a lovely time doing so.  Speaking about her experience of working with a global team, the actress said, “I have had an amazing time collaborating with Parveen Bilal and the entire cast and crew. We received great feedback at one of the biggest film festivals in the US- SXSW and I am genuinely excited for its release now. Also the diaspora showcased in the film is really interesting with their own set of challenges, I learnt a lot, not just as a performer but also as a person”.
The 1 hr 30 minute long drama is about a Muslim cop who goes undercover at his estranged father’s mosque while his daughter hides her passion for a forbidden dance, uncovering a shocking family secret. The film is slated to release worldwide on a leading digital platform.
Aneesha Joshi is known for her work as a lead actor in Duane Adler’s ‘Heartbeats’. She was also seen in ‘Simran’  and ‘Padmavat’ in character roles.

Continue reading “Aneesha Joshi excited for the release of her International project ‘I’ll Meet You There’”

Mansi Bagla & renowned film-maker G.Ashok under the banner ‘Mini Films’ purchase rights of three superhit South films for Bollywood Remake

 Mansi will be also making her directorial debut, with G. Ashok as the producer.

Mansi Bagla & renowned film-maker G. Ashok have collaborated together under the banner of Mini Films and have purchased rights of three superhit South Indian films for Hindi Remakes. These films have already had a proven track record in the South markets and will now be remade into Hindi features. As per sources, the preparation has begun and these films will be on floor as soon as possible. This news comes as a pleasant surprise for the Industry as the ongoing pandemic has pushed the entertainment into a lull.Continue reading “Mansi Bagla & renowned film-maker G.Ashok under the banner ‘Mini Films’ purchase rights of three superhit South films for Bollywood Remake”

The more I read the script, the more I came to love her: In Conversation with Actor Serena Walia

Serena Walia is an Indian film actor and stage actor best known for her unconventional character choices. After graduating, Serena took up a corporate job but quickly realized that it was her calling to be a performer. She worked as an intern with Manav Kaul’s group for one and a half years, going on to then start playing parts in Mamtaz Bhai Patangwale, Swanand Kirkire’s Ao Saathi Sapna Dekhein, Akvarious’ Peter Pan and many other noted plays. sold out theatre productions including A Kind Of True Story with Actor’s Cult and Unselfed with The Company Theatre, Orphans by Dennis Kelly, Open Cast with Kumud Mishra’s D for Drama. Continue reading “The more I read the script, the more I came to love her: In Conversation with Actor Serena Walia”

Mohanlal: From Narendran to Kunjali Marakkar IV, a Journey to be Admired

With all of us being confined to our homes for nearly 2 months or so, all thanks to the Covid-19 outbreak, we have seen our lives getting altered in ways that we had never anticipated and looked forward to. I have been someone who generally preferred the experience of watching movies in cinemas, not getting lured by the abundant content (films, web-series and much more) available on the numerous OTT/digital platforms that we have access to. Every few months I would ponder over trying to embrace the OTT platforms, but kept delaying the inevitable, only for this lockdown to finally bring in the transition in my case. So thus, I have been getting my daily fix of entertainment at home in the last couple of months, watching film after film, series after series. And in this process, I also watched Ranjith’s Drama (2018), a rare Mohanlal film in recent times that I had missed watching in a theatre.Continue reading “Mohanlal: From Narendran to Kunjali Marakkar IV, a Journey to be Admired”