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Bombay 70 director Disha Noyonika Rindani reveals why she couldn’t be a part of Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy

Disha Noyonika Rindani’s Bombay 70 had won the first prize at the Mumbai Film Festival four years back for presenting the real-life story of the original Gully Boy Naved Shaikh a.k.a Naezy the Baa

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From the chaotic streets of Kurla in Mumbai, also known as Bombay 70 emerged a boy Nawed Shaikh popularly known as Naezy. He changed the course of rap culture in India. His journey inspired budding filmmaker, Disha Noyonika Rindani, who four years ago made the short film Bombay 70 on his life. The film went on to win at the Mumbai Film Festival, bringing the spotlight on Naezy. In a candid chat with Cine Blitz, the filmmaker talks about Bombay 70 and more…

When did the idea of making a short film about Naezy come to your mind?

I was 21 then. I had dropped out from college, because I wanted to make films and I was not getting to learn anything on those lines. Mumbai Film Festival has a category for under-25 filmmakers called Mumbai Dimensions’, for which you are supposed to make a five minute short film about Mumbai. So I started researching and I had heard a song titled Aafat sung by Naezy, which was composed and sung by him. I could relate to him.

 

How did you approach Naezy?

I identified him and reached out to him on Facebook that was the period in which he had just started getting attention. By then he had two to three songs to his credit. The videos were very amateur, but in those few song the independent spirit was evident and his lyrics and the rap were very powerful. When I approached him, he was clueless and sceptical about what sort of a film will I make? So I began with being friends with him and I made sure that the language isn’t a barrier between us. Wo bhale Urdu me likhta ho, par uski soch bilkul modern hai.

How was the process of making the film?

Naezy agreed to the project. I remember it was the month of Ramadan and he was on the 40-days fasting. Due to this we used to hardly get two hours to talk to him every day. We shot for two days and made a five-minute film which went on to win the first prize at the Mumbai Film Festival. With the prize money, we shot a bit more and extended the film to 10-minutes. After a year of winning at the Mumbai Film Festival I released the extended film in 2014.

 

How difficult was it to make the film?

The place is called Rambachan Chawl in Kurla and Bombay 70 is a prominent Muslim locality. They all are very friendly people, but at the same time they are very private as well. So they were cautious at first. But then I was a 21-year-old young girl then, so it became easier for me to make them believe that I am making a film on this boy who is very talented.

How was Naezy reacting to all this?

At the beginning he was not sure about the project. He used to say that he is just an artist with no connection to films. I just told him that your story makes you unique and people should know it.

What inspired you the most about him?

When I started the research I got to know that there weren’t many rappers in our country. Nawed being a Muslim boy opted to do this, even though it is considered haraam in the Muslim religion and isn’t accepted. Divine was another rapper with him, but he was a Christian and Christianity doesn’t stop you from pursuing it. Nawed was not allowed to take this up as a career.

What did you think about Gully Boy?

I know Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti (filmmakers) had watched the film and I also knew they were making a film on rap culture. I wanted to work with them and I knew Zoya is making a film on Nawed, so I shared that I was interested in working with her. I am a screenwriter myself. I helped them out with some footage I had, but later lost touch due to my prior commitments.

 What next?

I am writing another feature film which I hope gets produced by someone. I was also a co-writer with Konkona Sensharma in the 2016 film The Death in The Gunj. So that’s been my journey.

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Usha Jadhav on Smita Patil comparisons: Usha Jadhav: No matter whoever you compare me with, I will do it my way

While talking about her new film Firebrand, actress Usha Jadhav got candid about being comapred to Smita Patil and of that has pressurised her in any way

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After playing minor roles in Bollywood films like Traffic Signal, Do Paise Ki Dhoop Chaar Aane Ki Baarish and few more, Usha Jadhav rose to fame because of her Marathi film Dhag. It released in 2012 and fetched Usha her first National Award for best actress in a leading role. And now the 31-year-old, who has featured in many short films as well, is back with yet another interesting project. Her Marathi film Firebrand is releasing today, February 22, on Netflix. So as she gears up to wow the audience with her act, Usha talks exclusively with Cine Blitz about her craft, how she ended up doing Firebrand and much more.

What made you choose Firebrand?
Aruna Raje, she is the very first reason I said yes to this film. My stories are very different. Arunaji and I know each other ever since I received the National Award in 2013. Arunaji was the head of the jury for the short film section. So we know each other from that time. She had a thought in the beginning because she is also the writer of the film. She called me, we met, and she shared this idea and said, “if you are okay with doing it, I will start writing.” I said yes and she began writing the screenplay. She used to write a portion and then show me and this went on till she completed writing it. So basically this role was written for me, it wasn’t that I had the script on the very first meeting. I said yes and then it was written with me in her mind.

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What was the brief for the character?
The thought was she is a lawyer, this has happened with her, how she dealt with the situation and how she overcame that trauma. I was involved in the character from the very beginning. And Arunaji herself is a very strong lady, she has seen a lot in her life. I have gone through a lot in my life too. So we discussed all these things, shared stories and the way she shared her experience, you just need to absorb everything. So that helped me a lot to prepare.

While a lot of films around woman empowerment are being made, what unique take do you think Firebrand has to offer?
When any crime against women happens, we discuss what should be the punishment for the accused. We say the person should be hanged or locked up or we come up with many other ideas but no one thinks about the rehabilitation of that woman who has gone through an ordeal. Both men and women suffer from the psychological trauma and we need to think how they can come out of it. We put masks on our faces and go out pretending everything is okay, but no, it is always there inside them. How should we overcome that is what Firebrand is all about.

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How was it working with everyone on the sets?
Out of everyone, I have huge respect for Rajeshwari (Rajeshwari Sachdev) who plays the second most important character in the film. She is a fantastic actor and a fantastic human being. It was a great experience working with her and she deserves more.

You are known for your roles in Dhag, Rahasya and Thanks Maa. Do you think you are approached for a certain type of roles or is it your choice?
You know people start imagining you in a certain type of roles, maybe serious or comedy. In my case, I choose my roles. If I don’t like anything, I straight away say no.

You have been compared to the yesteryear actress Smita Patil. Does that put pressure on you?
I don’t feel pressurised by it in any way. No matter whoever you compare me with, I know I am Usha Jadhav and I will do it in my way. But it is a great compliment to get. I am happy in my own space and I want to do better than what I have already done. I am happy if I deliver whatever my director expects from me. Everything else doesn’t affect me because a lot of that is people’s perception and I don’t have do the catharsis about what people think. I take all the compliments and I am happy without really stretching it more.

What do you think about the shift from the big screen to the OTT platform?
I think it is a great shift. What happened with Firebrand is that, initially, Netflix was not on board. So when they came on board later, it was actually a nice thing. It’s a Marathi film, and then considering the fight for theatres and not getting ample amount of screens and also the business now is just over a weekend these days. So without stressing about those things, this is a nice opportunity for Firebrand to reach to the world audience. Because our story is general and not just India bound, this can happen with anyone in any country.

What do you think about Purple Pebble Pictures concentrating on regional cinema?

It’s a great initiative by Priyanka Chopra and her mother Madhu Chopra to produce regional cinema. It’s actually great to see someone like her, who is at the peak of her career, supporting good content needless of the language it is in.

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Who do you hold as an inspiration?

My parents are my biggest inspiration. Whatever I have is all their blessings. My father has his own great journey, he was a military man, and he wanted to learn music. Though he was in the military, he learnt music. So that explains where all the art in me comes from. My mother had her own story, so they are inspirational for me.

Tell us about your future projects?

I am working on a biopic directed by Anant Mahadevan which I cannot talk much about right now. Also, there is a very interesting Spanish film that I am doing in which I am playing the main protagonist and is directed by Alejandro Cortés. I have learned Spanish for the same.

 

 

 

 

 

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Vicky Kaushal girlfriend, father, Instagram – the Uri actor answers Google’s most-searched questions! Watch exclusive video

Vicky Kaushal played Google Autocomplete with CineBlitz and here’s what he had to say about the most searched question about him on the web…

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Vicky Kaushal is one of the hottest properties in Bollywood. The handsome hunk has delivered some fabulous performances, most recently in Uri: The Surgical Strike. His fan following and popularity has grown by a huge margin, making him one of the most-searched celebrities on Google. But we were curious to know what do people want to know about Vicky Kaushal. We checked out the most-searched questions about him on the web. And we were surprised to know that people wanted to know a host of things about him. From his girlfriend to his father, his role in Sanju and Uri. We put forth the exact same questions to Vicky in a fun Google autocomplete segment and here’s what he had to say!

Vicky has been reportedly dating actress Harleen Sethi. While he has been pretty secretive about it, he has hinted at being committed on numerous occasions. Talking about his girlfriend, Vicky revealed to us exclusively, “It is a very personal thing for me.” He continued blushing about it as he answered the next question which was about his father Sham Kaushal. The actor even mentioned how it was a privilege for his name to be associated with a film like Sanju, describing his character as a lanky with ‘champu‘ (nerdy) hair. He even revealed that Instagram is his most used application. Check out all his revelations in our exclusive video interview with the Uri actor right here.

On the professional front, Vicky is riding high on the success of Uri: The Surgical Strike. The film has made more than Rs 225 crore at the domestic box office till now. He is currently shooting for a horror comedy thriller, which also reportedly stars Bhumi Pednekar. He also has Takht and a few other films lined up. In the meantime, stay tuned to CineBlitz as we get you more Bollywood news, updates and gossip right here.

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Vicky Kaushal was a FLOP show on his first date? The actor makes a shocking revelation – watch video

Vicky Kaushal revealed to CineBlitz all his firsts and you will be surprised to hear what he had to say…

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Vicky Kaushal is India’s current national crush. After stellar performances in Raazi, Sanju, Lust Stories and Uri: The Surgical Strike, the engineer-turned-actor has stolen everyone’s hearts. Girls are crushing over him and he seems like he’d be the perfect boyfriend too. His confidence, his charm, his hot bod, the way he treats people and his performances surely make him one of the most-eligible bachelors. But let us tell you that Vicky was not always so confident. In fact, the Uri actor himself reveals that he was a flop show on his first date. Yes, we aren’t kidding.

We made Vicky reveal his firsts to us. During the game segment, when asked about his first date, he told us exclusively, “It was during my junior college and I was such a flop show. I didn’t know how a date is supposed to be! I remember, we had gone for a cold coffee date. But I didn’t know what to say, didn’t know what to do. It was weird.” Apart from his first date, Vicky also mentioned about his first job, his first memory of Bollywood, first crush, first girlfriend, first kiss, among other things. Check out our exclusive video interview with the Uri actor to know all his surprising revelations!

On the work front, Vicky is currently working on an untitled horror-comedy thriller, which also reportedly stars Bhumi Pednekar. He is currently on top of his game with back-to-back hits and Uri: The Surgical Strike earning in excess of Rs 225 crore at the domestic box office. With several interesting films lined up, stay tuned to CineBlitz as we get you all the news and updates about Vicky Kaushal right here.

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