New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): Indian Women Rising, a cinema collective founded by Ekta Kapoor, Guneet Monga, Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, and Ruchikaa Kapoor Sheikh is collaborating with ‘Educate Girls USA’, an NGO founded by Safeena Husain to raise funds for the two young leads Rani and Renu Kumari from the Oscar-contending short film ‘Bittu’.
The collaboration also received the support of Global icon Priyanka Chopra Jonas who gave a shout-out to the fundraiser event, standing in solidarity with the right to education for the young girls.
Priyanka said, “Bittu is moving, raw and real. It takes a devasting incident and presents it from a unique perspective. As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to help give it the attention it deserves. It’s a great example of how women supporting women can make anything possible and the Indian Women Rising Collective is proof of that and I can’t wait to see what they do next.”
She added, “Cinema the world over needs more women to bring their voices, stories, and perspectives to the fore and this is one step in that direction. This fundraiser will help these 2 amazing young girls, Rani and Renu Kumari continue their education and pursue all the dreams and ambitions they have for themselves and I hope that many will come forward to help make this a reality.”
The fundraiser is scheduled for today and will be moderated by digital sensation and content creator Prajakta Koli, who was seen in the recently-released Netflix show ‘Mismatched’.
Commenting on it, Prajakta said, “It is my absolute pleasure that I get to be associated with a beautiful piece of art like Bittu at whatever capacity. I have so much love for Guneet, Tahira, and Ekta for always telling stories that touch your heart in ways unknown. Also, getting shortlisted for the academy is a tremendous feat and I am so proud of how content is evolving in our country.”
While the fundraiser will prominently emphasise the importance of girls’ education, it also aims to raise awareness about its related advantages on the overall development of the girl child, including confidence, health, and hygiene, her agency to decision making and empowerment.
Directed by Karishma Dev Dube, ‘Bittu’ is based on a true story and tells the tale of a close friendship between two girls, eclipsed by an accidental poisoning at school. From casting real children amongst the valleys of the Himalayas to shooting against the backdrop of the mountains, the film offers a visually aesthetic as well as an authentic experience to its viewers.
The film has garnered critical acclaim and recognition for its distinct cinematography and poignant storytelling. The movie’s strength also lies in its unconventional casting. The central characters of Bittu and Chand are played by first-time performers, who were cast from the local community in Uttarakhand where the film was shot.
Elaborating more on this Karishma, said, “This film exists because of the unforgettable performances of Rani Kumari and Renu Kumari. Without our two young leads, Bittu would never have the life span it currently does, representing India on global platforms such as the Academy and the Director’s Guild Of America.”
She added, “Regardless of their challenging circumstances, these little girls were consummate professionals, keeping up with the rigor of film production. When you watch this film, you will not be able to deny the fact that Rani and Renu deserve everything, or at the very least, a shot at life that provides opportunities that can help sharpen the irrefutable talent that already exists in them.”
Speaking on the fundraiser event to support the education of the lead actors of the film, Karishma said, “Today, Rani and Renu like many other children, struggle to stay in class. They are coming from a migrant laborer community who are especially hard hit during the pandemic.”
She further said, “I am so grateful for Educate Girls and Indian Women Rising, who have come together to help us change the lives of these two incredible children and their families. If we can give them the life they deserve, then it would be the best thing we have achieved with this film.”
Indian Women Rising in a joint statement shared, “Bittu is a special film and the two girls are its very soul. The performances of Rani and Renu in the film proved that each child is gifted and just needs an opportunity to flourish. We are thrilled to collaborate with Educate Girls USA and raise funds to secure the education and overall development of Rani and Renu. Education is the basic right of every child and it is our humble effort to bring a tangible change in the lives of these two talented girls.”
Safeena Husain, Founder of Educate Girls USA, said, “Children need to get equal opportunities to access quality education. With this collaboration, we are trying to bring the vital importance of investing in girls’ education to the forefront.”
Husain added, “It is the best investment the world can make as it positively impacts 9 sustainable development goals, including health, nutrition, employment, even climate change. This investment also helps break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, patriarchy, and illiteracy as an educated girl is more than twice as likely to educate her children.”
The 93rd Academy Awards announced the shortlists in nine categories nearly a month back and ‘Bittu’ made it to the Live Action Short Film shortlist.
Competing amongst 174 films from across the globe, ‘Bittu’ qualified for the top 10 after the first round of voting and will now be subjected to the votes of members of the short films and animation branch to determine the nominees. (ANI)
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JANHVI JOINS VIRAL ‘UP’ CHALLENGE, FLAUNTS HER DANCING SKILLS
NEW DELHI: Bollywood actor Janhvi Kapoor, who is currently holidaying in Maldives, on Monday joined the viral ‘Up’ challenge bandwagon and shared a video flaunting her killer dance moves. Janhvi took to her Instagram handle and shared a video dancing to the hit Cardi B song, along with the caption, “Missing the Filmfare stage so the poolside will have to do for now.” In the video, the ‘Gunjan Saxena’ actor, while dressed in a white top and blue denim could be seen matching steps with her friend, who was dressed in a blue bikini, paired with colourful yellow and pink pants. The duo was dancing next to a swimming pool, where they delivered an energetic performance on the upbeat song.
On the work front, Janhvi was last seen in ‘Roohi’, produced by Dinesh Vijan and Mrighdeep Singh Lamba. The film also starred Rajkummar Rao and Varun Sharma.
The horror-comedy became the first film to arrive in theatres after the government allowed cinema halls nationwide to operate at full capacity from February 1 with safety protocols put in place.
LOCKDOWN DOESN’T MEAN GIVING UP ON FITNESS: KAREENA
NEW DELHI: New mom Kareena Kapoor shared an inspiring post on Instagram, giving importance on the necessity to stay fit during the lockdown. On Sunday, the 40-year-old actress shared a photograph which showed that she walked 5,605 steps (5.11 km) within a few hours.
Kareena’s fitness mantra was loud and clear: “Lockdown doesn›t mean giving up,» she wrote in her caption. Kareena›s sister-in-law Saba Ali Khan commented on her post. She wrote: “Motivation… Now to try movement! Wish me luck! LOL. Stay safe and fit.”
Kareena and Saif Ali Khan welcomed a son on 21 February. “We have been blessed with a baby boy. Mom and baby are safe and healthy. Thank you to our well-wishers for their love and support,” Saif said in a statement.
Kareena and Saif married in 2012 after dating for a few years. They announced their second pregnancy last August. They are co-stars of films like Omkara, Agent Vinod, Kurbaan and Tashan. The actress announced her pregnancy memoir titled The Kareena Kapoor Khan Pregnancy Bible, on Taimur’s fourth birthday in December last year.
KANGANA RANAUT CELEBRATES PARENTS’ WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
NEW DELHI: Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut, on Monday, celebrated her parents’ wedding anniversary by sharing a picture of them on her social media and narrating the story of how they met.
The ‘Queen’ actor took to her Twitter handle and shared a rare throwback picture of her parents from their wedding day along with a heartfelt note that read, “Today is the wedding anniversary of my parents, growing up they lied to us that it was a conventional arranged marriage it’s only much later nani told us they had a raging affair, papa saw mom at a bus stand returning from college, took that bus every day till she noticed him.”
Narrating her parents, Asha Ranaut and Amardeep Ranaut’s love story, in a subsequent tweet she elaborated, “Papa saw mom at a bus stand returning from college, took that bus every day till she noticed him. When papa sent proposal, Nana ji (grandfather) brutally rejected cos papa didn’t have good reputation. Nana had selected a groom with government job for mom. She was his favourite and lovingly called her Guddi but mom fought all odds and convinced Nana. Thanks for that, happy anniversary.”
HUMA QURESHI RECALLS FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH ZACK SNYDER
NEW DELHI: Bollywood star Huma Qureshi, who will soon be making her Hollywood debut with the upcoming movie ‘Army of the Dead’, recently recalled her first encounter with the film’s director Zack Snyder.
During a recent special panel on YouTube, which hosted the female star cast of the upcoming Netflix movie, Huma, an avid admirer of Snyder recalled meeting him for the first time and said, “He was wearing a white shirt and had his camera on and I am like the white shirt is going to get dirty.” She recollected that it was a dream come true opportunity for Huma when while visiting the US, she gave an audition for some other work but instead got a chance to work with the legend himself.
Snyders ‘Army of the Dead’ takes place following a zombie outbreak that leaves Las Vegas in ruins and walled off from the rest of the world. When Scott Ward, a former zombie war hero, who is now flipping burgers on the outskirts of the town he now calls home is approached by casino boss Bly Tanaka, with the ultimate proposition to break into the zombie-infested quarantined zone and retrieve USD 200 million, that is sitting in a vault beneath the strip before the city is nuked by the government in 32 hours.
BHUMI TURNS ‘COVID WARRIOR’, OFFERS HELP TO THOSE IN ‘GENUINE NEED’
NEW DELHI: After recently recovering from the novel coronavirus, Bollywood star Bhumi Pednekar on Monday took up the mantle of a “COVID warrior” and extended support to her fans and followers on social media.
The ‘Bala’ actor took to her Instagram handle and asked her fans to DM her if they are in genuine need of medical supply. Sharing a statement Bhumi wrote, “#COVIDWARRIOR Dear All, As we move into the second wave of COVID-19 across India, I have created a highlight where I will be identifying resources to enable facilitation & access to medical supplies, plasma request and donors as the case may be.”
She asked fans to support her and continued, “While I am trying my level best to verify the numbers/contacts which are shared with me on a rampant & daily basis, there might be some numbers which may turn out to be fake. In the event that you find any information here not helpful/fake, please do let me know & I will immediately remove the same.”
Instilling the people with hope, she added, “This initiative is my small contribution to the huge battle that lies ahead to us. Please be patient & don’t lose hope! We’re in this together. Love, Bhumi.”
Bhumi had tested positive for COVID-19 on April 5 and was under home quarantine until she finally tested negative on April 17. The second wave has infected many people, and the number of positive cases has been rapidly rising.
IT’S A SCHEDULE WRAP FOR KRITI SANON FOR ‘BHEDIYA’
NEW DELHI: Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan, on Monday, announced Kriti Sanon’s schedule wrap for their upcoming horror-comedy flick ‘Bhediya’ while bidding adieu to the Ziro shooting set of the movie.
Varun hopped on to his Instagram handle and shared two adorable BTS pictures featuring him with Kriti at the exquisite location of their shoot set. While the first picture sees the lead hero holding her heroine on his back, the second one shows them flashing their big smiles for the camera. To address Kriti, Varun used the lyric of the song ‘Kya lagti hai haye Rabba’ from 1998 Govinda’s rom-com film ‘Dulhe Raja’ in the caption.
Continuing with it, he added, “Bahut maaza ayaa apka saath @kritisanon (Had a lot of fun with you) #wolfpack. It’s a sched wrap for kriti on #BHEDIYA as we say bye to ziro. Will miss you both”.
The horror-comedy drama ‘Bhediya’ will mark the ‘Badlapur’ star and ‘Heropanti’ star’s third collaboration with each other after sharing screen spaces in 2015 rom-com ‘Dilwale’ and 2019 ‘Kalank’.
The film which went on floors earlier in March at Arunachal Pradesh will bring together the dynamic duo of producer Dinesh Vijan and director Amar Kaushik, who also helmed the 2018 blockbuster movie ‘Stree’.
Starring Kriti Sanon, Varun Dhawan, Abhishek Banerjee, and Deepak Dobriyal, the story is written by National Award Winner, Niren Bhatt who also wrote intriguing scripts for ‘Bala’, ‘Made In China’, ‘Wrong Side Raju’. The film is slated to release in cinemas on April 14, 2022.
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