How do we take the Indian M&E industry to a true B2C business? How do we get 200 million people to pay Rs 1,500 rupees a month (Rs 18,000 per annum) to consume media and entertainment. Overall, collectively as an industry figure out how and what are the maths that can get us to that consumption. That, I think is a game changer for what we want to do
Intellectual property and franchisees: Overall, there is a dearth of what we can do when we look at a massive scale where we can scale up content that spans almost every aspect of the verticals. Today, it is no longer TV and movies. The entire new media is a large space we should look at. From that perspective how do we necessarily do that is critical.
BROADBAND, THE GAME CHANGER
To me personally, Broadband is a complete game changer for this country. It is not going to takeaway anything from this country. There are a fair amount of few naysayers who think that broadband will be coming and television will be out. Broadcasting for the next two decades, given the overall consumption patterns, given the rural penetration and given the overall habits is here to stay. Broadband is going to augment this. To me the interesting part about broadband not only after the technological ones of able to consume what, when and how is the fact that Indian DNA to pay for content is fresh. It is a fresh start mindset when we look at broadband. Nobody is going to pay Rs 6 from Rs 5 to watch CNBC channel in cable. But everybody is willing to pay Rs 100 for an app on broadband for that same channel consumption. Personally, I do believe today in India bandwidth is going to be more valuable than oil. If that is the investment that we can make we have got be hitch our court on that ride as we go forward.
I have to say overall, that in terms of creativity we do have a long way to go. We have seen that kind of creativity in the last twenty years. If you look at Television, some soaps have gone to segmentation of reality and most of them are license and formatted shows. Look at any and every aspect of our business and if you look at comparing anywhere else in the world where growth triggering happens is really when the creativity has gone to the absolute next level of growth.
Events and ground events has tremendous amount of scope. I call it experiential entertainment. Genuinely in our country given our lack of infrastructure in most Indian cities to get out of the city or to do anything else or spend your money on anything else other than being a couch potato is almost negligible because there is anything out there. The appeal for us with a little bit of infrastructure and little bit of creativity to experiential entertainment is going to be an extremely promising one to trigger growth. And, that’s a pure B2C model. It is not advertising dependent and it is not piracy dependent. Because, you cannot pirate it.
Education is a realm of many aspects and outside of the media and entertainment business. But, in India compared to most other markets a combination of education with people who understand this business best. Today in India outside of the infrastructure and getting people to schools is really how we teach them. As content creators and platform operators we know that better than most people. If there is a way we can harness education and entertainment and make it edutainment there is a tremendous opportunity.
We cannot underestimate the power of rural India. It looks like the bottom leg of the 600 million people but with the absolute resurgence of entrepreneurship in this country , with the resurgence of land and the wealth creation that the rural land will create combined with agriculture which is going through its next revolution we are going to find a lot more spending power in those places than never before.
Leaving his fans asking for more after his last film ‘Dhadak’, actor Ishaan Khatter is now gearing up for his next release ‘A Suitable Boy’, this time on the OTT platform. Directed by Mira Nair and based on Vikram Seth’s sweeping tale of four families set in the post-Partition era, the film will be streamed on Netflix.
Ishaan plays playsMaan, a politician’s son (Kapoor), smitten by a courtesan Saeeda Bai (Tabu). “‘A Suitable Boy’ has been an enriching experience and I’m ever so excited for people to see it. Maan is one of the most interesting characters I’ve read and portraying him on screen has been a delight,” Ishaan said in a statement.
Described as a panoramic tale charting the fortunes of four large families, the story is set in the North India of 1951, the same time the country was carving out its own identity as an independent nation and was about to go to the polls for its first democratic general election.
A Suitable Boy is among the 17 new films and series teased by Netlfix in their latest sizzle reel.
Other than A Suitable Boy, Khatter has romantic action thriller KhaaliPeeli with Ananya Pandey. After debuting with Majid Majidi’s Beyond The Clouds, Ishaan made a mainstream foray with Dhadak. He has got another film in the pipeline, PhoneBhoot with Katrina Kaif and Siddhant Chaturvedi.
Besides, Ishaan is excited about another biggie in the kitty. Khatter is all set to play Brigadier Balaram Singh Mehta, who played an important part in the 1971 war against Pakistan that eventually led to the creation of Bangladesh. Titled Pippa, the upcoming movie is being produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Sidharth Roy Kapur while Raja Krishna Menon will don the director’s hat for the film based on Brigadier Mehta’s book, The Burning Chaffees.
Talking about the project, Ishaan tweeted, “I’m exhilarated to be a part of a film of such magnitude and importance, and getting a chance to play the role of the suave and spirited tank commander, Brig Mehta is a true privilege. I’m honoured by the faith shown in me by Ronnie sir, Siddharth sir and Raja sir and I’m looking forward to the exciting experience of Pippa.”
The two-film-old actor recently talked about being labelled as Shahid’s brother despite making a place for himself in the audience’s hearts. In an interview, he said that he understands the entire discourse but he doesn’t mind ‘being recognised as his (Shahid’s) brother.’
Ishaan added that he has got to learn a lot from his brother and he feels that he’s fortunate he could always have someone to share his experiences with and guide him in the industry. “I do not feel irked by the fact that I am often recognised as his brother. I came into the public eye at a young age of 15 and have been associated with him since then. That image has lived longer than the independent actor that I am now,” he said.
Talking about the film, Siddharth Roy Kapur said: “While the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 is widely documented, one of its less-known chapters is the covert operation that became the Battle of Garibpur, which played a significant part in India’s eventual victory. This is the war that is often heralded as the only ‘just war’ in history because it was fought to save human lives and free a nation.”
To this, Ronnie Screwvala added: “The story of the 45th Squadron led by Captain Balram Mehta is one that needs to be told to this generation. This film is a visual celebration of not only India’s valour but also the sharp strategy shown by us in 1971 along with our alliance with Bangladesh, all seen through the eyes of the Mehta family and their stirring internal and external conflicts.”
THE MEDIA GURU AMIT KHANNA: poet, lyricist, writer, filmmaker and historian
RONNIE SCREWVALA Entrepreneur & Co Founder & Chairman – upGrad
“Amit has ridden the lows and the highs of an industry, and that is what makes him the maverick he is. To say he has seen it all would be an understatement as his career and contribution to Media, News & Journalism as well as Entertainment has been deep and long. At all times Amit has been the voice of reason, always looking at the long-term picture and many times has placed the Industry growth higher than his own personal plans. An Encyclopedia is a reservoir of knowledge, history and a Leader is one who walks the talk and Amit exemplifies both”
SHYAM BENEGAL Noted Film Director and Screenwriter
“Amit Khanna is a living encyclopedia of Indian Cinema. For most part of his career he has been a practising Film Producer and Production Executive with leading film production companies in India. During his nonworking hours he runs International Film Festivals of high repute and freely offers help and support to film appreciation communities. All in all, he is an enormous asset to both the Cinema Industry as well as to cineastes of our country. Best of all, I can count him among my good and reliable friends”
KARAN JOHAR Producer and Director
“He is a treasure trove of experience of the media and entertainment business ….his thoughts have been exceptionally visionary ….grab this as soon as you can! the veteran AMIT KHANNA has a book coming out!”
BOBBY BEDI Producer
“Amit is a very knowledgeable and generous friend, always willing to share knowledge and advice. His book will become seminal reading. He is rare because his talent spans the creative, the intellectual and the commercial world”
SAM BALSARA Founder, Chairman and MD of Madison World
“I have known Amit Khanna for over 35 years as a leading figure in the entertainment industry traversing all its forms like Film or Music and all its aspects whether it is Direction, Production or Writing. Whilst, he has retired from active working life, he continues to promote the cause of the Industry and has become a vociferous commentator on what the future lies for the Entertainment Industry”
SHABANA AZMI Noted Indian Actress
“Amit Khanna has always been ahead of the time – a pioneer in the true sense of the word. He was the first person who told me that the computer (which was then as big as a small room) will become tiny enough to hold in the hand, and that the Gaming Industry will take over all forms of entertainments. His Television Company – Plus Channel – gave the Industry at least 80 percent of the talent that rules the roost today. As the head of Reliance Entertainment, he cracked a partnership with Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks and made Hollywood realise that India is a big player. A voracious reader with an enviable memory, he is bilingual in a way few are. All of this holds him in good stead when he puts pen to paper. His song written for Basu Chatterjee’s Swami, “Pal bhar mein yeh kya ho gaya…” continues to have one of the highest recall values of songs picturised on me. He is my go-to person when I want an Urdu poem translated into English or when I need information about the business side of Media and Entertainment industry. I am looking forward to reading his new book at the earliest”
ARJUN APPADURAI Goddard Professor in Media, Culture and Communication, New York University
“Amit Khanna is one of a kind. No one has had such a variety of involvements with the world of Indian media as he: lyricist, poet, producer, critic, industry advocate, media industry leader. What is most remarkable is that Amit is also a scholar and thinker who knows the history of Indian media better than most and is also the sharpest student of its future. He is a renaissance man, whom I am proud to celebrate and to have as a friend”
SUDHIR MISHRA Director
“He is one of the most visionary persons I have ever met. All that is happening in the media space today the private channels, niche audience demanding their own content, the rise of internet and the social media – Amit had predicted it in the 80s and the 90s. He is a brilliant man. An accomplished lyricist, he is also a screenplay writer, dialogue writer, director, and producer. Nobody was making a film with me after Dharavi when Shiv Sena, but Amit helped me and re-established my career. So, I owe it to him for what I am today. I cherish that there is somebody who is watching my back. In his book, I am looking forward to what he is going to say about the future. I think it will be very useful for the younger generation to read it. I think it should be a compulsory reading in all film schools. I think it should be there in every library, along with the digital edition. He is a rare man. I am privileged to have him as an elder brother almost”
NAJEEB JUNG Former Lieutenant Governor of Delhi
“Amit is a rare genius. Having known him from school, I am aware of his vast talents that he has repeatedly displayed over the 40 years in the Bombay film industry. His association with Dev Anand and Navketan Films is a stuff of legend. His film producing abilities, talent in writing high quality poetry and film songs, his grasp and understanding of the mechanics of the film industry exhibit his brilliance. I am a proud recipient of his affection and friendship”
SURESH JINDAL Producer and Filmmaker
“Amit is one of my earliest friends in the industry. He is a remarkable person. He is a man of many talents. He is a multifaceted person and very low profile. I have known Amit for a long time and he is a very sincere friend. He is always there when you need him. I just wish his book does phenomenally well. He has been a guiding force of the industry. When he started Plus Channel, he started it overnight. He sold everything he had. He is that kind of a person. He is a risk taker. He is a man of great vision”
LAURE KALTENBACH Chairman and co-founder of CreativeTech
“Amit Khanna is a man who keeps on surprising. When the adventure of the Forum d’Avignon (international think-tank and meetings on the links between culture, economy and innovation) was in its infancy, he agreed to become its part. We hardly knew about each other but his curiosity, interest for other cultures and sharing helped forge links that have lasted over 10 years. The values of constancy, fidelity and transmission of knowledge and friendships are beautiful lessons to share throughout the world. This energy will never end”
DILIP CHENOY Secretary General, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
“Amit Khanna is a man of action for the Indian M&E industry. He visualized the convergence of media, telecom, IT and venture capitalists way back in late 90s. His yeoman service and leadership to the M&E sector has created thousands of jobs and made subsequent generations take up media as a career. No doubt, his new book “Words, Sounds, Images” will guide us to prepare for a bright M&E future”
LEENA JAISANI Assistant Secretary General, FICCI
“Mr Amit Khanna is undoubtedly not just a guru to me but to the industry… He was the only person who understood numbers of M & E and its importance. The first and many reports of the industry was brought out due to the deep insights and understanding that he shared so generously… as the first co-chair of the media and entertainment committee he was a guiding light for all the work we accomplished. To me personally, he is a true mentor and guide. He is a standalone university of media and entertainment”
SUPRAN SEN Secretary General, Film Federation of India
“I first met Amitji in IMPPA office in 1975-76. I was IMPPA’s Secretary and some dispute was on with regard to titles Despardesh applied by Navketan and Des Videsh booked by another producer. The title registration committee headed by late Shri P N Arora rejected Despardesh on the ground of similarity with Des Videsh. Amitji very softly explained to me that there was no similarity between the titles as Pardesh could be within the country but Videsh meant a foreign country. Ultimately Despardesh was registered in favour of Navketan. My actual journey commenced with him when I joined All India Film Producers Council, Film Federation of India and later Film Producers Guild of India. He was a very dynamic person and believed in prompt actions. He was a hard task master but erudite and hence I enjoyed his bossing. At his insistence, Film Federation of India joined FIAPF. He always forced me to ensure that the organisation took active part in film festivals and major film events. During his tenure as President of Guild, we were part of many delegations in India and abroad, including London, Cannes, Tokyo, Los Angeles et al.. I have been visiting Cannes for the last 27 years but as part of Guild delegation under him in Cannes was the most enjoyable. The dinner hosted by Guild still remains unparalleled. Once, I had to be hospitalised, Amit Khanna helped, and now I got my second life to live. I have been eagerly awaiting to read his book as I have to learn many more things from him”
“Amit Ji has been a great source of information and inspiration for many in the M&E industry. He’s a great lyricist and a man of vision. Always driven by his own style, he brought all of us together under the “E – Entertainment Alliance” umbrella. His ability to delve deep into a subject and enlighten the industry with possible future trends was simply amazing. He was one of the few Indian industry researchers who could clearly see the mobile growth and content play through hand-held devices early on. I wish him all the best for the launch of his much awaited book”
ARVIND RAJAGOPAL Author and Professor of Media Studies, New York University
“Amit Khanna is a legendary figure in India’s media and entertainment industry, someone who can provide a historical perspective on its growth and evolution. As a widely-read and much travelled person, he can also offer astute comparisons drawn from across the world to understand what has been happening in the Indian scene”
DR.S.RAGHUNATH Professor of Strategy, IIM Bangalore
“Amit Khanna ji is one of those media and entertainment industry icons whose significance exceeds popular familiarity with his work. His insights and language ensure his contributions are still appreciated for their contemporary outlook and observations. If you look long enough with sufficient determination through his prodigious output, you will find valuable commentary on the current trends in the M&E industry”
KAVERI BAMZAI Author and Journalist
“There are three most remarkable aspects to Amit Khanna. One, his ability to gather talented people around him and mentor them. The professionals at Plus Channel were some of the best in their fields at the time, whether it as in writing or directing or broadcasting. Two, he’s always been ahead of the curve. Plus Channel was one of the first corporate production houses in the country which started the idea of producing a series of movies in a year, and though it eventually folded up, it set the stage for an organised future. And last, he saw the opportunity in globalised filmmaking and as chairman of Reliance Entertainment inked a far reaching agreement with Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks. Through it all he has remained a poet, a lyricist, a raconteur and a storyteller who carries the core of the film industry deep within his heart”
RAMESH SHARMA Filmmaker
“Amit Khanna came to limelight in the Hindi film industry as someone related to Dev Anand. But it was as a lyrics writer that he made his reputation. This love for poetry and curiosity about the developments in the film industry made him a prophet of his time and a man ahead of the trends. We used to attend the FICCI and Producers Guild meetings with policymakers in Delhi to discuss the setting up of an independent body, a sort of OFCOM or FCC, to regulate the electronic and TV industry. Amit’s was always a disruptive voice. He was convinced it was only a matter of years before digital media would take over and content would be delivered through the internet. His argument, therefore, was that the government policies or censorship would never be able to keep pace with the changes taking place in technology. When you see the speed with which social media has grown in India, the digital streaming platforms that is making both TV and cinema halls obsolete, you realise how much of a true media prophet he is. A remarkably prescient mind who understands entertainment media like few do in India”
BIREN GHOSE Country Head, Technicolor India
“Amit Khanna has always been ahead of his time. He has spoken not only about where the media and entertainment industry is but where it should be. He made me realize from the earliest times when I met him that he was at an altitude in his thinking that talked of future states. Many people in the industry – in film and television – have seen him as a great mentor. In a fragmented industry that had resisted change for years, he was constantly a part of several forums that tried to make others see the potential in themselves, in the economy and the power of content as consumerism spread across India and its global diaspora. I met Amit in several platforms and saw that his value lay in his ability to visualize what others could not see – to think beyond the self imposed boundaries and risk averseness of many of our industry’s individual content creators, producers and distributors and to continuously evangelize the opportunity in media’s convergence between technology and creativity. He was always trying to suggest that the industry navigates a new course by embracing the digital and used every occasion to spread that mantra. Players like Disney-Star, Sony-Viacom, Zee & Reliance have now shown how his prognosis about scale and value is being realized The lag between his prophesies and what we see unfolding in the market today underscores his visionary ability. The greatest good one can do for another is not just to share your rich ideas but to help others curate their own. Through this book Amit will no doubt continue to inspire and provoke thinking about the Indian entertainment industry as he has done in person across so many instances and platforms”
India’s ‘fabulous four’ in the 44th Toronto International Film Festival represent exciting and distinct cinematic voices. These films, three of which will be world premiering in TIFF, have compelling stories, employing methods that stem from unique sensibilities. At one end is the story of a real-life urban couple learning life lessons from a terminally ill but spirited daughter (Shonali Bose’s The Sky is Pink) and at the other a tale of a buffalo that escapes from its butcher-owner and sparks a frenzy in a small town in Kerala (Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Jallikattu), The other two Indian films present divergent takes on Mumbai: Gitanjali Rao’s animated feature Bombay Rose and Geetu Mohandas’ gritty yet life-affirming drama Moothon (The Elder One).
It is a strong year in TIFF for Indian female directors. Three of the titles in this quartet have been directed by women. That apart, Priyanka Chopra, who toplines the cast of The Sky is Pink, is one of the four Indian ambassadors of TIFF’s ‘Share Her Journey’ campaign, which is aimed at promoting gender parity in the movie industry both in front of and behind the camera. The other three are filmmakers Mira Nair, Deepa Mehta and Rima Das. Das’s last two films (Village Rockstars and Bulbul Can Sing) premiered in TIFF. She will be attending the festival this year too, to take part in the campaign launched in 2017, the year she debuted here.
THE SKY IS PINK by Shonali Bose
Cast: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Farhan Akhtar, Zaira Wasim, Rohit Saraf Producer(s): Ronnie Screwvala, Siddharth Roy Kapur
Shonali Bose’s The Sky is Pink, which also features Farhan Akhtar and Zaira Wasim in stellar roles, is part of the festival’s Gala Presentations. Bose is a TIFF veteran. Each of the three films that she has helmed has screened in North America’s premier festival.The Sky is Pink is scheduled for release on October 11, a month after its world premiere in TIFF on September 13.
The poignant film portrays 25 years in the life of a married couple whose relationship is depicted from the perspective of their just-deceased teenage daughter. It is inspired by the tragic true story of Aisha Chaudhary, who was diagnosed with severe immune-deficiency and had to battle through every day of her life for survival. But even as she counted her days, she never stopped living in the moment. She became a motivational speaker and wrote a book that was published a day before her death.
Bose’s first two films, Amu (2005) and Margarita with a Straw (2015), both critically acclaimed cinematic essays drawn from real life, also played in Toronto.
India | 2019 | Hindi WORLD PREMIERE 134 minutes
Director | Shonali Bose
Cinematography | Kartik Vijay, Nick Cooke, Andrew Litt, Andre Menezes, Ravi Varman
Editing | Manas Mittal
Executive Producers | Nilesh Maniyar, Deepak Gawade, John Penotti, Michael Hogan, Robert Friedland
Production Companies | Roy Kapur Films, RSVP, Ivanhoe Pictures, Purple Pebble Pictures
At the other end of the India’s TIFF spectrum this year is Gitanjali Rao, a globally celebrated animation filmmaker who has carved her own niche in a nation where animated films are not only rare but are also usually seen as entertainment meant only for children. She employs the medium to tell complex, layered stories about her city and its people, especially those who need to retreat into dream worlds to escape the soul-destroying urban grind that they must inevitably undergo on a day-to-day basis.
Rao’s first feature, Bombay Rose, which has made TIFF’s Contemporary World Cinema cut, arrives in Toronto from Venice, where it was the opening film of the Critics Week. The film looks at street-dwellers who live on the margins of the megapolis. “I have always wanted to tell stories,” Rao says in her director’s note, “about the unsung heroes who live and love in Mumbai, never become success stories, yet their struggle for survival makes heroes out of them.” Bombay Rose is composed of frame-by-frame painted animation, a painstaking process that took all of two years.
Bombay Rose is only the second Indian animation film to screen in TIFF. In 2103, Shilpa Ranade’s Goopy Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya made it to the festival programme.
India, United Kingdom, Qatar, France, 2019 | Hindi NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE 93 minutes
Production Companies | Cinestaan Film Company, Les Films d’Ici
Animation Studio | Paperboat
Production Designer | Rupali Gatti
Screenplay | Gitanjali Rao
Sound | P.M. Satheesh
MOOTHON by Geetu Mohandas
Cast: Nivin Pauly, Sobhita Dhulipala, Shashank Arora Producer(s): Anurag Kashyap, Vinod Kumar, Ajay G. Rai, Alan McAlex
Mumbai also plays a key role in actress-turned-filmmaker Geetu Mohandas’ Malayalam-Hindi bilingual film, Moothon (The Elder One), which revolves around a 14-year-old Lakshadweep island boy, Mulla, who travels at great personal risk to the bustling city to look for his big brother, Akbar, armed only with a phone number. The film follows the parallel arcs of the two siblings while it focuses on the hope and despair that they have to grapple with in a city where life can be rough when the guards are down.
Although Mohandas is a TIFF first-timer, her maiden feature, Liar’s Dice (2013), had premiered in the Sundance Film Festival and was India’s official nomination for the Oscars.
Moothon, which has Nivin Pauly, Sobhita Dhulipala and Shashank Arora in key onscreen roles, is co-produced by Anurag Kashyap, who has also penned the Hindi dialogues of the film. For Kashyap, TIFF is a bit of an annual ritual. His last two films, Mukkabaaz and Manmarziyaan, were both in the festival.
India | 2019 Malayalam, Hindi WORLD PREMIERE 110 minutes
Director | Geetu Mohandas
Cinematography | Rajeev Ravi
Editing | Ajithkumar B., Kiran Das
Production Companies | JAR Pictures, Mini Studio
Production Designer | Abid T. P.
Screenplay | Geetu Mohandas
Sound | Kunal Sharma
Original Score | Sagar Desai
JALLIKATTU by Lijo Jose Pellissery
Cast: Antony Varghese, Vinayakan, Sabumon Abdusamad Producer(s): O. Thomas Panicker
Lijo Jose Pellissery, one of the most exciting flag-bearers of the new Malayalam cinema, is in this year’s lineup with Jallikattu, based on a short story, Maoist, written by S. Hareesh. The maker of Angamaly Diaries and Ee.Ma.Yau focusses on a butcher’s buffalo that flees from his owner’s clutches on the eve of its planned slaughter. As the people of the town in Kerala’s Idukki district set out to recapture the animal, dormant animosities bubble to the surface and unleash unsettling violence. Like his previous two film, Lijo’s new outing blends heady energy with an unwavering sense of formal cinematic proportion.
Jallikattu – the title is derived from the ancient Tamil bull-running tradition that has sparked much debate in recent times – allows for a deep dive into the heart of a politically volatile state that, pretty much like the people in the story that the film narrates – are increasingly being divided along destructively emotive lines.
Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar starring The Sky is Pink will have its world premiere in the Gala Section at the 44th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) beginning September 5. The Sky is Pink is directed by Shonali Bose and is based on the story of motivatioal speaker Aisha Chaudhary who had been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis.
Toronto International Film Festival is the only International festival which has picked the maximum number of Indian films for screening in official selections.
The film is produced by Priyanka Chopra, Ronnie Screwvala and Sidddharth Roy Kapur. The Sky is Pink is one of the 18 Galas announced by TIFF on Tuesday. Dangal actress Zaira Wasim, who quit acting, plays the role of Aisha Chaudhary. Rohit Saraf is also a part of the starcast. Ronnie Screwvala produced Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota (The Man Who Feels No Pain) directed by Vasan Bala won the People’s Choice prize for best Midnight Madness section at the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival 2018.
The synopis of the film in the TIFF website states the following: A recently deceased teenage daughter narrates the story of her mother and father’s poignant, affecting, and inspiring romance, in this unexpectedly humorous love story from Shonali Bose, inspired by late Indian author Aisha Chaudhary and her family.
“What I love about India is that, it is the world’s most film passionate country in the world. You can talk to anyone in this country and everyone has got an opinion about films. This is not the case anywhere in the world. This is the cultural norm,” stated Cameron Bailiey, Co-Head of Toronto International Film Festival to Pickle during his Mumbai trip last year. Single handedly, Cameron Bailey has managed to get over 50 Indian filmmakers to showcase their work in global markets after screening their films in Toronto.
Shonali Bose’s Margarita With A Straw was selected in Toronto in 2014. The film Margarita With A Straw was a bittersweet drama about a woman with cerebral palsy. Shonali Bose has ploughed a lonely furrow as a filmmaker. Her debut feature, Amu, released in 2005, homed in on individuals affected by the 1984 anti-Sikhriots. She co-wrote Bedabrata Pain’s critically acclaimed Chittagong (2012), a dramatization of a significant chapter in India’s freedom struggle. For Margarita With A Straw, Bose cast Kalki Koechlin in a role that called for absolute commitment of time and energy. For both the director and the lead actress, the film has been unqualified artistic triumph.
Priyanka Chopra returns to Bollywood after three years and she was seen last in Jai Gangaajaal.The Sky is Pink is also Priyanka Chopra’s first Indian film project after she headed for Hollywood in 2016. Priyanka Chopra was the Guest of Honour at TIFF Soiree in 2017– a fund raiser in support of “Share Her Journey” campaign to support female voices in the cinema industries. Priyanka Chopra discussed about her career in and outside of the film industry during an onstage conversation moderated by Cameron Bailey.
Priyanka Chopra starring Mary Kom, directed by Omung Kumar was screened in Toronto in Special Presentations Section in 2014. Priyanka played India’s leading sporting icon in lead role as the gutsy boxer from the North East Indian state who rose from humble beginnings to the pinnacle in the world of women’s boxing.
Ronnie Screwvala produced Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota (The Man Who Feels No Pain) directed by Vasan Bala won the People’s Choice prize for best Midnight Madness section at the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival 2018.
Vasan Bala’s Bollywood-infused action film beat out the first runner-up David Gordon Green’s highly anticipated Halloween and second runner-up Sam Levinson’s Assassination Nation. “I feel like a unicorn,” Vasan Bala said on stage in his thank-you speech receiving the award.
Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota is a Bollywood-infused action film that tells the story of a young man – quite literally born with the ability to feel no pain – who strikes out on a quest to vanquish 100 foes. The young man develops a skill to learn martial arts to fight criminals. In the film, Vasan Bala’s hero was born with the medical condition known as “congenital insensitivity to pain” (CIP).
The lead stars of the film are Abhimanyu Dassani and Radhika Madan. The films is slated for Indian release on November 23, 2018. Abhimanyu Dassani is actress Bhagyashree’s son. Bhagyashree made her debut opposite Salman Khan in Maine Pyar Kiya (directed by Sooraj Barjatia).
Abhimanyu fights alongside rising star Radhika Madan, a fearless warrior determined to rehabilitate the honour of her one-legged karate master, Manni, who is — as one tends to be in any good martial-arts epic — caught in a gang war with his psychotic twin brother, Jimmy (Gulshan Devaiah in a remarkable dual performance, one half of which seems to be channelling Nicholas Cage circa 1997). Dassani and Madan have delightful chemistry, both in the film’s numerous inventive brawls and the requisite musical set pieces. Madan in particular shines in a progressive subplot that brims with subversive relevance.
The Man Who Feels No Pain is an action-packed ode to a generation raised on the punches of Bruce Lee, the kicks of Jackie Chan, and the dance moves of Chiranjeevi, says Peter Kuplowsky.
The film was screened in the Midnight Madness section of the Toronto International Film Festival where movies in action, horror, shock and fantasy genre are placed. Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota was the first Indian film to have got selected in the Midnight Madness section of TIFF.
Vasan Bala’s film was dicovered by TIFF Artiistic Driector Cameron Bailey when he was scouting for Indian film picks in July for TIFF.
Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota is the second film from Bala, whose directorial debut was Peddlers (2012) which was selectred at the Critics Weeks Section at the Cannes Film Festival. It was praised when it got screended at TIFF in 2012.
Days after deciding to quit Salman Khan’s upcoming Bharat barely 10 days before it was to hit the floors, Priyanka Chopra has announced to co-produce and star in ‘The Sky Is Pink’, a film based on the real-life story of a Delhi-based motivational speaker who died at the age of 18 due to a medical condition.
Priyanka posted a photo of the team on Twitter with a caption reading: “So excited about today..Some stories just need to be told. In the spirit of Aisha Chaudhary and her incredible parents Aditi and Niren we bring you our super special project The Sky Is Pink. Going on floors today!”
The Sky Is Pink will co-star Farhan Akhtar and Zaira Wasim and will be directed by Shonali Bose of Margarita With A Straw fame. Priyanaka will co-produce the film with Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur.
Zaira Wasim will be playing Aisha Chaudhary, who despite being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 13 went on to become a motivational speaker and writer before she passed away 5 years later. It has also been learned that Priyanka and Farhan Akhtar will be playing Chaudhary’s parents.
While the shooting of the move began on Wednesday in Mumbai, it will also be shot in Delhi, London and the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.
After Priyanka decided to quit Bharat it led to several media speculations, as the actor said that she wouldn’t like to share with public the reasons for her end moment decision to call it off.
Following her success in American network drama Quantico, Priyanka will be seen in Isn’t It Romantic with Liam Hemsworth, which is slated for next year release. The actress has also bagged the female lead opposite Chris Pratt in Universal’s Cowboy Ninja Viking.