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New Jersey Indian International Film Festival concludes on a high

Vikas Khanna’s The Last Color wins big at the festival

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The second edition of the New Jersey Indian International Film Festival ( NJIIFF) ended on a high with almost a full house at the closing ceremony of the festival that was held at the Regal Hadley Theatre at South Plainfield in New Jersey. The two-day festival that screened about 49 films from 12 countries including short, feature and documentary had some interesting winners.  In the short film section actor Anil Charnjeett won for his performance in Living Idle and Kirti Kulhari of Pink fame for her stunning performance in the film Maya.

Rahul Yadav was awarded the best director for his short film 9+1=1. The film deals with the subject of silent killer carbon monoxide. Filmmaker Vikram Razdan’s film Life is Short which was also the opening film at the festival won the best short film award at the festival. Razdan dedicated his awards to  Indians living outside the country and bonding so beautifully and especially through potent platforms like NJIIFF.  Chef Vikas Khanna’s directorial venture The Last Color won two awards at the festival. Khanna was awarded the best director for the film and the best actress was given to Asqa Siddiqui. The actress shared the award with Tanishka Vishe for her performance in Vardaniya.

An entry from El Salvador had its share of win with the actor of the film  The Path of Shadows Leandro Sanchez Arauz getting the best actor award for his performance in the drama that revolves around a professor. Seema Biswas starrer film Abode won the best feature film. Directed by Jaya  Jose Raj CL  the film is about a mother whose children leave and go away from her. Michael Genz’s documentary Mni Wiconi: Water is Life on climate change was awarded the best documentary film.

Festival Director Hemant Pandya was very overwhelmed by the kind of support he got from the filmmakers who participated in the festival. He said, “I am going to make sure that NJIIFF will get bigger and even better with each passing year. I am thankful to all the filmmakers and the people of New Jersey for supporting the festival.’’ The biggest boost to the festival was the top media barons of New Jersey Sudhir Parikh of Parikh Worldwide Media & ITV- Gold and HR Shah of TV Asia who promised to continue their support to the festival. Parikh who was impressed with the quality of the short films that were showcased at NJIIFF, announced that his channel ITV-Gold will soon be starting a short film slot in association with NJIIFF to play all short films that keep looking for platforms to show their films.

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Bollywood & TV series shooting to resume

Maharashtra allows film and TV shows to restart shooting and post production but with riders

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The Maharashtra Government has allowed the Media and Entertainment industry to return to work but with some important riders that include only 33 percent crew members of a set.

According to the GR issued by the state government  there will be a ceiling on the actors entourage.The actors have been asked to wait in their vehicles and avoid sitting in the common area of the set.

Though there is no instructions on reduction of main cast, but the crew is to be kept minimum and all crew members have to follow social distancing and wearing of masks and gloves on sets.

There is an indication to avoid hair and makeup of secondary artistes.

But PPE suit will be mandatory while doing hair and makeup for principal cast. Staggered lunch breaks, sanitation and temperature checks before entering the set and last but not the least no audience on reality show till the scare of COVID 19 persists : these are some of the stringent norms laid down by the government.

Produxer JD Majethia said, “We had a virtual meeting with Uddhav Thackeray ji last week. He promised to do his best for the entertainment industry. And here we are, shooting set to restart even before we imagined! The industry cannot thank you enough sir. The wait for fresh content is about to end.”

Let us know in the comment section below and stay tuned to CineBLitz for updates on this front as well as other Bollywood news. https://cineblitz.in/

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It’s hard to ignore the truth of migrants on streets: Sobhita Dhulipala

Sobhita who turns 28 today expresses her concern about the migrants.

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Made in Heaven actor Sobhita Dhulipala who turns 28 today says she has never been a fan of elaborate birthday celebrations. ”This birthday will be an intimate affair. I’m going to cook a dish which my mum used to cook when I was a child. I’ll also read some poetry and listen to jazz music,” she adds.

 Talking about the current situation, she says, “In this situation of Lockdown it has made us realise how fortunate we are — we just have to stay at home to protect ourselves, more so when we look at the situation of migrants in the country”

“It is just so hard to ignore the truth on the streets. It’s very convenient to forget how privileged we all are, because obviously we always tend to look at what we don’t have, and we aspire towards it, feeling ‘shit we are stuck at this point in our lives, itna karna hai, I have to earn this’. You forget the people who have so little!”

Expressing her helplessness on the plight of migrant workers, she says, “I think this whole migrant crisis is heartbreaking. I read about the lady who dies on the train, and the child walked around her body trying to wake her up. It was heart-wrenching.”

Let us know in the comment section below and stay tuned to CineBLitz for updates on this front as well as other Bollywood news. https://cineblitz.in/

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Digangana Suryavanshi shoots ad-film with mega-star Akshay Kumar

The former Bigg Boss-9 housemate shot Dollar wear-the- change commercial just before the lockdown was announced

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By Chaitanya  Padukone

The former Bigg Boss-9 housemate shot Dollar wear-the- change commercial just before the lockdown was announced

Popular TV star-turned- Bollywood-actress Digangana Suryavanshi, who has this unique record of  two of her debut Hindi movies ‘Jalebi’ and ‘FryDay’  releasing on the same day, seemed to be in an upbeat  euphoric mood.

Despite the ongoing stay-at-home confinement’  That’s because the ‘Dollar’ consumer product ad-commercial which she shot with mega-star Akshay Kumar is now out and is being widely appreciated  by  viewers.   Shares the articulate Digangana, speaking exclusively to CineBlitz,, “Working with Akshay Kumar -Sir was truly amazing. Fortunately, we had shot this ad film a few days before the lockdown. And what’s really amusing and amazing to me is that in the ad I am referred to as the ‘Princess’, which also happens to be the name that my fans fondly gave me. So, there’s that special element to it.

She further says, “In fact it’s my first ad film, and I’m so glad that it was with none other than Akshay-sir . who is known for his consistent super-hit box-office success records,  that too experimenting with diverse contrasting lead roles,  What a charismatic presence. Yet he is so extremely grounded. I’d love to work with him again, in a Hindi movie. Hopefully very soon,’’she smiles.

Since optimistic Digangana has experienced the ‘Bigg Boss-9’ spacious house and garden-area confinement few years ago, she was apparently aware, as to how to creatively reconcile with a ‘lockdown’ situation. .Minus the volatile showdown conflicts, of course. Elaborates the style-savvy ‘Hippi’ actress, “Although the reason for social lockdown is absolutely unfortunate, I think it’s given us all a lot of time to introspect. I’ve always been a creative person, and since I’m getting time being off shoots right now, Am investing my time in catching up with my hobbies. I haven’t had the time to paint since a long time, and now that I do, I’ve created quite a few classy artworks. Am exploring my musical side as well.Even written stories and a song about Covid-19 and expressed my outlook on the current situation. Spending lots of ‘quality-time’ conversing with both my parents at home and on cell-phone with my outstation relatives,” shares Digangana. The actress who has been working in  Southside big-banner regional movies, last year, is now discreetly gearing up to also feature in her fourth Hindi movie with a top-male star, very soon.

( The writer Chaitanya Padukone is an eminent Sr. film-journalist &  author of book R D Burmania )

Let us know in the comment section below and stay tuned to CineBLitz for updates on this front as well as other Bollywood news. https://cineblitz.in/

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