OTT brought freshness in terms of content and talents: Rajesh Jais - The Daily Guardian
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OTT brought freshness in terms of content and talents: Rajesh Jais

Uday Pratap Singh

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NEW DELHI: Versatile actor Rajesh Jais, who was recently seen in SonyLiv’s Scam 1992, Pataal Lok and Panchayat on Amazon Prime, spoke about the year 2020, lockdown learning, previous works being released, OTT boom and expectations from 2021. He has been seen playing notable roles in  Raazi, Why Cheat India, Airlift, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. Recently seen in Kiara Advani-starrer Indoo ki Jawani, Inside edge 3 and Gormint on Amazon Prime and is currently shooting for Chhori with Nusrat Bharucha and Mita Vashishtha.

Q. When you look back at the year gone by, how was 2020 for you?

A. 2020 started on a good note. I was quite busy in the initial months, had returned from abroad after finishing one project, shifted to a new house and the lockdown was declared. Still, no work has been done at the new home so, managing with basics. The pandemic was unprecedented for everyone. People got caught unaware in an uncharted situation ever. It is worse than a traditional war where conflict area and the enemy is visible and marked but Corona is omnipresent. So scary it is that human-social chemistry is disconnected so badly that never in civil history it has been examined. Kids are debarred from school, friends and playgrounds, sitting home all day consumed in the digital/virtual world is a pathetic phase going on and on.

Q. What was the lockdown learning for you?

A. Prepare for unforeseen situations and circumstances in terms of finance, health, loved ones, food, habits and hygiene.

Q. What did you miss the most doing this year and why?

A.Work, get-togethers, eating out, vagabondism and incidentally, the pleasure it all has makes you feel liberated.

Q. Professionally, how was the year for you?

A. I was working quite decently till the lockdown started but after that, till November it was big zero. The call was mine though not to work or go out despite occasionally getting work-related calls. But then how long can you keep sitting at home? My few previous works got released in this period:  Indu ki Jawani ,Fastey Fasaatey, Scam 1992, Pataal Lok and Panchayat and Mahindra Tech ad.

Q. What was the lowest moment for you this year?

A. The lowest moments were the visuals of the exodus of migrant labour and their misery. It was a shame for this civil human society at large, I just can’t get over it. The polity, administration and system, all should be questioned for this heinous outcome of our so-called social welfare system.

Q. What was the best moment for you this year?

A. Having spent massive time with family, not friends as they also became untouchable these days (laughs). Watching favourite films, listening to music and some readings.

Q. What do you believe will change in the entertainment industry after this year?

A. A lot will change. Film formats should suit the economics. So-called star system will be scrutinised based on the business in ‘No Theatre Release Regime’. Web series one after another taking centre stage winking at big-ticket films that are struggling to get audiences. None of the films worked on OTTs these days even though they were forced to release on OTT, some courtesy to waves against nepotism too and an open challenge being thrown by the OTTs.

Q. How do you see the OTT boom in India? Do you believe the digital medium is here to stay and how will it change things for you?

A. It brought a much needed new era with lots of freshness in terms of content and talents of all the faculties of film making. A plethora of extremely talented producers, directors, writers, technicians and actors emerged or got limelight simply because of their sheer talent along with many seasoned veteran actors. Cheap internet data, international competitiveness, tech at par and intent to come out from the obsolete system has catapulted the new wind of OTTs. Only a few top-notch can survive in this rat race.

Q. What is your New Year’s resolution?

A. ‘Man proposes, God disposes’ I can’t make a resolution, as we all have seen by now – who are we to decide. Not a single astrologer in this entire world could see Coronavirus coming (laughs), they are the next to be tabled in the news channels for questioning. Jokes apart remain calm and composed, self-control, hygiene, discipline and remain a responsible citizen is the need of the hour, so be it.

Q. What are your hopes as you look forward to 2021?

A. Hoping to get rid of Coronavirus first, rest will pop up naturally. The entire human race is fed up of this pandemic. It pushed back our civilisation a few decades. I can’t see more loss of lives, means, jobs and misery it brought. So, praying to get it stopped as soon as possible.

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Lifestyle & Entertainment

KARTIK AARYAN TO FEATURE IN LOVE STORY ‘SATYANARAYAN KI KATHA’

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B ollywood actor Kartik Aaryan, on Wednesday, announced the details of his new film. Taking to Instagram, Kartik revealed that he has bagged a role in ‘Satyanarayan Ki Katha’, which will be helmed by Sameer Vidwans. Fans have become super excited after knowing about Kartik’s new film. “Congratulations. Cannot wait for this one,” a user wrote. “Wow. All the best champ,” another one commented.

The forthcoming movie will be produced by Sajid Nadiadwala in collaboration with Namah Pictures. Speaking more about the upcoming project, Kartik said, “I have been wanting to work with Sajid sir for sometime now, I couldn’t have asked for a better collaboration. ‘Satyanarayan Ki Katha’ is a musical love saga which brings together a powerhouse of people who are National award-winning names.”

‘Satyanarayan Ki Katha’ is all set to go on floors towards the end of this year. Nadiadwala also spoke about the upcoming project and said, “’Satyanarayan Ki Katha’ has been a visionary project for me. We, at Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment are excited to collaborate with Namah Pictures, national award-winning Director Sameer Vidwans and very talented Kartik Aaryan for this one.” “This will be our first time working with Kartik and he brings a new energy to the project, altogether. ‘Satyanarayan Ki Katha’ makes for a script that calls for this perfect union and we are looking forward to bringing this ultimate love story to the audience,” Nadiadwala added. ‘Satyanarayan Ki Katha’ is touted to be an epic love story that will bring Kartik in the lead after ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama’ franchise, ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’, and ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’.

While Kartik’s previous ventures too were in the romantic space, we will see the actor bring a narrative that has not been explored before with this one. The film promises to be an unforgettable love story. Apart from ‘Satyanarayan Ki Katha’, Kartik will also be seen in ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ and ‘Dhamaka’.

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VIDYA BALAN GETS CANDID ON REAL-LIFE LIONESSES

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MUMBAI: Vidya Balan, who is currently basking in praise after the release of her action-thriller movie ‘Sherni’, says she thinks every woman is a lioness in real life, much like the character she played in the film. “Every woman is a ‘Sherni’. A few of them are bold and badass; while others are introverted just like Vidya Vincent, but does that make them inferior? I think they have the ability to do the right tasks in the right ways— even if that makes her liable for punishment”, says Vidya in a conversation with ANI. The actor essays the character of Vidya Vincent- an upright forest officer, who powers through the brutal beasts of social barriers set by the patriarchal society and the lackadaisical attitudes within her department.

“Vincent gets a transfer in the movie but she continues to work with honestly! So, I think every woman is a ‘Sherni’,” says Vidya on the fictional story which is about the journey of a forest officer who strives for balance in a world of man-animal conflict. The actor also shared that she was excited to sign the Amit V. Masurkar directed film because of the concept that the movie will be shot in a jungle. “Amit didn’t have the script when he came to me, he just narrated to me the plot and the concept of the film and I was so impressed by the very fact that it will be shot in a real jungle,” says the 42-year-old actor. The movie showcases Vidya’s incredible journey, set in a world full of quirky yet relatable characters, as she navigates through her marriage with her rather unusual job, all this while trying to resolve the man-animal conflict. The movie also has an eclectic mix of actors like Sharad Saxena, Mukul Chaddha, Vijay Raaz, Ila Arun, Brijendra Kala and Neeraj Kabi in key roles. On a related note, Vidya also shared her excitement on the trailer launch of the movie earlier, and said, “The film deals with a sensitive topic that touches upon respect, mutual understanding, and co-existence, not just between man-animal, but between humans as well. It gives me immense joy to bring this unique character and story to the global audience through Amazon Prime Video and hope to engage them in unexpected ways,” she says. Directed by Amit Masurkar of ‘Newton’ fame, the film will premiere on Amazon Prime Video. Produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Vikram Malhotra and Amit Masukar, the film was released on Amazon Prime Video on June 18, across the globe in 240 plus countries.

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AYUSHMANN KHURRANA RECALLS HIS COLLEGE DAYS

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NEW DELHI: It must be a nostalgic Wednesday for actor Ayushmann Khurrana as he went back in time and shared his college memories on social media.“(Circa 2006) Baat hai Panjab University ke hut number 14 ki. Muskan hai befikra everyday routine ki baat hai. Mass comm dept ki purani building ke peeche samosa aur chai. University ka most famous guy fir bhi quite shy,” he wrote on Instagram, adding a picture of him from his college days. In the image, Ayushmann can be seen sporting a beard.

Ayushman’s throwback picture caught the attention of social media users. “Hahahaha. You look so different in this image,” a user commented. “Dreamboy,” another user quipped.For the unversed, Ayushmann had studied mass communication at Chandigarh’s Panjab University.Meanwhile, on the film front, Ayushmann will be seen in films ‘Anek’ and ‘Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui’.

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RAM KAMAL’S ‘BROKEN FRAME’ SELECTED AT MADRID IMAGINEINDIA FILM FESTIVAL

Rohit Roy and Ritabhari-starrer film will be competing with world cinema this September in Spain.

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Author-turned-filmmaker Ram Kamal Mukherjee’s next Hindi venture Broken Frame is all set to travel to Madrid for ImagineIndia IFF Madrid 2021. The film is based on Mukherjee’s short story collection Long Island Iced Tea. The film brings two celebrated actors Rohit Bose Roy and Ritabhari Chakraborty as an on screen couple for the first time. Talking exclusively about the selection, Festival Director Qazi Abdur Rahim from Spain says, “After watching Ram Kamal’s Broken Frame, I remember Don Quixote’s famous quote, ‘Love and desire are two different things; not everything that is loved is desired nor everything that is desired is loved’. Director Ram Kamal beautifully evolves in his latest film around similar thoughts.

Wonderfully shot by Modhura Palit, the film sees Ritabhari Chakraborty as a gorgeous Moushumi as she melts you down with her heartwarming performance to those who demand quality in cinema. Broken Frames will be shown in the Competitive Section for Shorts at Imagineindia IFF Madrid 2021.” Produced under the banner of Assorted Motion Pictures and GeeDee Productions the film is produced by Aritra Das, Sarbani Mukherjee and Gaurav Daga. Speaking about the selection, lead actor Rohit Bose Roy says, “I am over the moon that our labour of love, Broken Frame has been selected at the prestigious festival. To be showcased amongst other jewels of cinema is in itself an achievement to be proud of. I have known Ram Kamal as a journalist, author and editor of a reputed magazine. Now I am fortunate enough to know him as a passionate filmmaker also.”

Ram Kamal will be scoring hat trick at Madrid, with Broken Frame, as his earlier films Season’s Greetings and Rickshawala were also selected at the prestigious film festival. “I am extremely happy to know that my Hindi film Broken Frame will be competing with cinemas across the globe. I am excited that our cinema is creating that impact worldwide. I guess as a filmmaker I feel proud to represent my own country on a global platform and hope I can do that everytime I attempt to make a movie. I am grateful to Mr Qazi Abdur Rahim and Spanish jury members for accepting our film.”

Producer Aritra Das and Gaurav Daga says, “We are extremely happy and honoured that our cinema will be sharing a platform with world cinema. Our director Ram Kamal is talking about a subject that is so contemporary and relevant amongst youth and married couples. This is a subject that anyone can relate to and react to.” The screenplay and dialogues are written by Sameer Satija, while the music is composed by Shhailendra Kkumar and 9Emotions (Dhrubo Siddharth).

Leading lady Ritabhari Chakraborty shares her emotional journey with the film. “I am on cloud nine, because Madrid is a prestigious festival and our film will be competing with cinemas from various parts of this world. Dada (Ram Kamal) made such a beautiful film that every woman and even men would relate. I have come from a broken family, I have seen what my mother had to go through. While playing Moushumi in the film, I felt that I am going through the same emotions that probably my mom went through. This film will always be very close to my heart.”

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AMYRA DASTUR PROVIDES COVID RELIEF TO THE DISTRESSED

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Amyra Dastur believes in giving back to the society by doing some good and noble deeds. Amyra Dastur says “We should pay attention to small NGOs and do our research while helping COVID stricken people & families.” Bollywood actress, Amyra Dastur has always been known to voice her opinion in subjects that matter and are relevant. This time is no different.

The Tandav actress has surely been doing her bit by providing aid during this pandemic which has affected and displaced millions of Indians. COVID-19 has deeply affected the world and uprooted several families, adversely affecting their health and financial status. The Mumbai based starlet decided to initiate her own CSR activities by stepping up and lending a hand to the families in need. Instead of simply donating money to notable NGOs, Amyra has been doing her research and helping those who have no shelter or support from these big charitable organisations.

She has been tapping small scale NGOs who are not privy to big donations and helping them gather funds and attention to feed those families who have no source of income to put food on their tables on a daily basis. She also has been assisting those households who have more mouths to feed, in other words, families with lots of children. Amyra Dastur spoke to The Daily Guardian and told us about her noble cause towards the society. “3,200 rupees is all it takes to feed a family of 4 for as long as one month! I urge everybody to help and donate in any way they can to these families but to also carry out their homework and help those NGOs who are working on a small scale without a well known face or corporate backing” said Amyra.

She further adds “The smaller NGOs are the ones who need donations and they’re often overlooked because they aren’t as well promoted or as popular as the bigger NGOs but I know for a fact that the small ones make the biggest impact. We should pay attention to small NGOs and do our research while helping COVID stricken people & families. Our efforts pooled together will surely make a difference to the world in the long run” Amyra feels it is also her responsibility to shed light on households who have lost their main income earners due to the pandemic among others who are in need. She’s managed to send food to 30 families.

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DID YOU KNOW THALAPATHY VIJAY IS A BIG TIGER SHROFF FAN?

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MUMBAI: Kollywood superstar Thalapathy Vijay, who celebrated his 47th birthday on 22 June, is a big Tiger Shroff fan. This was revealed a day before his birthday by when a few celebrities like Keerthy Suresh, Anirudh, and Malavika Mohanan gathered on Clubhouse to recall their fond memories with the superstar. During their chat, organised to celebrate Vijay’s birthday, Malavika revealed that Vijay is a big fan of Tiger. 

The ‘Master’ actress revealed, “We had gone to watch the film together as a crew. During the intro scene of Tiger, Vijay got visibly excited and cheered for him shouting, ‘Thalaiva!’ Not many people get to see this fun side of him. He later mentioned to her that he likes the young actor.” Tiger’s father Jackie Shroff has shared screen space with Vijay in 2019’s blockbuster ‘Bigil’. He played a baddie in the film. 

This is quite an interesting revelation about Vijay and we can’t wait to see him work with Tiger.

Meanwhile, Vijay will be seen in director Nelson Dilipkumar’s film titled ‘Beast’. Its first look and title were released recently. Keerthy Suresh, Dhanush and many other actors praised the first look of ‘Beast’ oozing style and swag. 

The film also stars Pooja Hegde, Yogi Babu, Shine Tom Chacko, VTV Ganesh, and Aparna Das. The music is composed by Anirudh Ravichander and the film is backed by Sun Pictures. 

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