ICFF celebrates Italian Oscar winners from GreenBook and Life is Beautiful

— Highlights of the bold 2019 lineup!

Film lovers can expect another glamorous, star-studded Italian Contemporary Film Festival across Canada this June, with more movies and guest stars than ever, including writer and producer of the 2019 Best Picture Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, and renowned Italian composer, Nicola Piovani, winner of the 1999 Oscar for Best Original Score for Life is Beautiful.

Among the many stars arriving from Italy for this year’s festival are Ezio Greggio, Claudio Gubitosi, Luca Barbareschi, Fabio De Luigi and Piera Detassis.

The Italian Contemporary Film Festival, presented by IC Savings and in affiliation with Fare Cinema, announced the lineup for its 8th edition at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto today. The 2019 program features 128 diverse and acclaimed films, including dozens of shorts and documentaries, totalling more than 190 screenings across the country – its largest and most ambitious program to date, which will see no shortage of star power.

Guests of the 2019 festival will include Nick Vallelonga, writer and producer of the 2019 Academy Award-winning film for Best Picture and Best Screenplay, Green Book; world-renowned Italian composer Nicola Piovani, winner of the 1999 Oscar for Best Original Score for Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella); Continue reading “ICFF celebrates Italian Oscar winners from GreenBook and Life is Beautiful”

Andhadhun to release in China as ‘Piano Player’

Andhadhun, a film that got the audiences, industry and even the critics raving, can easily be called the ‘Best Film of the year 2018. After winning accolades in India, the film is now set for a big opening in China soon. Produced by Viacom18 Motion PicturesMatchbox Pictures, Andhadhun is directed by India’s king of neo noir cinema, Sriram Raghavan. The film has been distributed internationally by Eros International.

Ajit Andhare, COO, Viacom18 Studios, says, “I am happy to announce that Viacom18 Studios has secured its maiden release in China and that too with our favourite film Andhadhun. I am very excited about our film’s prospect at the China box office and celebrating what is a major first for the studio.”

The film titled ‘Piano Player’ for the Chinese audiences is also the first China release for maverick director, Sriram Raghavan. He says, “I am super thrilled that Andhadhun is releasing in China. Ten years back, on a visit to China, I walked into a Beijing Cafe and was zapped to see Nasir Husain’s CARAVAN playing on a big screen. Dubbed in Chinese except for the songs. I was told the film was the favourite Indian film of that generation. I am curious how the Chinese audience responds to our musical thriller.”

Viacom18 Studios along with Eros International has now partnered with Tang Media Partners to release this quirky thriller in China.

Andhadhun starring Tabu, Ayushmann Khurrana and Radhika Apte opened to rave reviews in India on October 5th, 2019.

Continue reading “Andhadhun to release in China as ‘Piano Player’”

Kesari trailer out now. Megastar Akshay Kumar Starrer Showcases ‘The Story Of The Bravest Battle Ever Fought’

The much awaited trailer for Kesari is out and has left audiences enthralled. After sharing glimpses of the battle of Saragarhi in three teasers that were released last week, the trailer, which is packed with action, drama and emotion gives audiences an insight into the bravest battle ever fought. 

The Kesari trailer begins with Akshay Kumar saying, “A Britisher, once told me, I am a slave and only cowards are born in India. Today is the day to give him a reply.” Just a few seconds later, the viewers can see thousands of Afghan soldiers running towards Akshay’s character Havildar Ishar Singh, the leader of the Sikh regiment. The trailer then takes the audience into the middle of the epic battle of Saragarhi. All who experience the trailer for ‘Kesari’ will be left with the urge to find out how these 21 brave Sikh soldiers fought against 10,000 Afghan soldiers to safeguard their land from invasion.

Akshay Kumar looks convincing as a leader of the Sikh soldiers, who can be seen roaring like lions in the midst of combat with weapons in their hands and rage in their eyes. The trailer captivates and fascinates with fearsome action scenes, spectacular sword fighting techniques, and intense dialogues. The trailer also introduces the female lead of the film Parineeti Chopra, who is filled with pride as Akshay Kumar heads for the battle.

The background score, action scenes and rugged avatar of megastar Akshay Kumar will surely leave movie lovers wanting more. Continue reading “Kesari trailer out now. Megastar Akshay Kumar Starrer Showcases ‘The Story Of The Bravest Battle Ever Fought’”

AKSHAY KUMAR & ROHIT SHETTY TO COME TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ‘SOORYAVANSHI’

Akshay Kumar and Rohit Shetty are teaming up for the first time. Another cop franchise from the Singham and Simmba director, the new film, titled Sooryavanshi, will feature the megastar Akshay Kumar as an ATS (Anti-Terrorist Squad) officer.

Glimpses of his character have already been seen in the end credits of the Ranveer Singh-starrer Simmba and the blockbuster director also announced that the action drama will release later this year. Perfect way to get the fans excited!

Before starting filming for Sooryavanshi, the Gold actor has pending shoot for two films — Mission Mangal and Good News. Filming for the super cop action-drama Sooryavanshi is likely to commence this year.

Both Rohit Shettyand Akshay Kumar are known to finish their projects in record time. So, it won’t be surprising if their maiden collaboration is also ready in time for a release this year.

 Akshay Kumar will be next seen in Kesari in March. He also has the fourth installment of comedy franchise Housefull in the pipeline.

Rohit Shetty’s Simmba, which stars Ranveer Singh in the title role, has a special appearance by Ajay Devgn in his Bajirao Singham avatar. In addition, there was another guest appearance, just when it seemed like the end credits will start rolling, Akshay Kumar’s voice boomed. Continue reading “AKSHAY KUMAR & ROHIT SHETTY TO COME TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ‘SOORYAVANSHI’”

“I am worth something. I have value. I am equal. I am limitless.”–Jennifer Lopez

JENNIFER LOPEZ’S new music video for her latest single LIMITLESS, from the film Second Act, will be premiering directly to her over 9.9 million YouTubesubscribers via YouTube.  Fans will be able to join Jennifer Lopez for a live Q&A five minutes prior to the video launch and will then have the opportunity to watch the video premiere together as a community. Featuring a colorful cast of women battling the forces of nature to eventually create their own storm, the message of the video, according to Lopez, is for women everywhere to say: “I am worth something. I have value. I am equal. I am limitless.”

The newest visual is the multiplatinum-selling recording artist, actress, producer and entertainer’s first-ever time directing and features her daughter Emme. “Limitless” showcases Lopez’s instantly recognizable show-stopping voice and undeniable charisma and was penned by award-winning singer, songwriter and producer SIA to encapsulate the film’s powerful message – the only thing stopping you is you.
LIMITLESS is available everywhere now via Sony Music Masterworks – get it HERE.
The global icon first performed the song at the American Music Awards, delivering a powerful and passionate rendition on stage. USA Today wrote, “Jennifer Lopez’s 2018 AMA performance brought the house down,” whileBillboard described it as “soaring and impactful.” Continue reading ““I am worth something. I have value. I am equal. I am limitless.”–Jennifer Lopez”

‘Roobha’ – She’s enchanting…and then she dances!

The 18th Reelworld Film Festival will feature the film ‘Roobha’ as their opening night Gala on October 9th.  The evening will include a cocktail reception, the Toronto premiere of opening feature film ROOBHA, and an engaging Q&A with director LENIN M. SIVAM and special guests. 

Speaking  an exclusive interview with the director Lenin Sivam says it is “. A raw multi-layered look into feelings that many don’t understand. A relationship develops between an older Sri Lankan man and a young woman. He’s… married, with children, and she’s… a trans-woman. Yes, it’s complicated, but it’s also a beautifully thoughtful portrayal of what we all want… to love and be loved.”​

Roobha weaves a unique romantic tale that deals with the complexities of personality and gender identity within the South-Asian community. Roobha, a trans-woman, struggles to make a living in Toronto after she is ostracized by her family. Her chance encounter with a family man, Anthony, leads to a beautiful romance. However, their blissful existence is short lived as their families soon discover their relationship.

When asked if the passing of the Bill 377 recently would make a difference in how the film is perceived, Lenin says that certainly, it would have a positive impact. He is excited about the film being one of the feature presentations in an upcoming Film Festival in India as well. The LGBT community in India  is currently rejoicing and celebrating their victory and the timing of this film couldn’t have been more perfect.

It is a taboo subject among the South Asians, and they are not ready to accept this and the film will aim to tell a beautiful love story, so that there’s more acceptance. The director says that we need to accept our transgender members for who they are with open arms. He hopes that the film can at least initiate a meaningful dialogue. Continue reading “‘Roobha’ – She’s enchanting…and then she dances!”

Jhalki: Tale of a Tireless Sparrow

Today, One in every Seven child is a laborer. Over 200 million children between ages five and fourteen work worldwide, as some kind of laborer or the other.

Jhalki … a moving tale of lost Childhood, is a lyrical story of the search of a 9 year-old girl for her 7 year-old brother against the backdrop of bonded child labor in the carpet weaving factories of India. This compelling film takes you through a bedtime folk story and by the time you wake up, you may want to be part of a huge revolution that can impact 200 million children worldwide.

Film Jhalki: Tale of a Tireless Sparrow has just been completed and starts its International journey now, ready for Festivals, World Sales & and other movement-based collaborations. It releases in India in February 2019. It has been produced by Brahmanand S Siingh & Annand Chavan, co-produced by Vinayak Gawande & Jayesh Parekh & co-directed by Tanvi Jain.

Here’s an interview with the filmmaker, Brahmanand S Siingh:

What were the casting challenges of getting the lead child actors? How was it to cast for Kailash Satyarthi?

Jhalki had to be a firebrand 11 year old, pre-puberty girl, so that was a big challenge … To find someone who could carry the film on her fragile shoulders. Continue reading “Jhalki: Tale of a Tireless Sparrow”

TIFF: Festival Street promises four jam-packed days of free activities

FESTIVAL STREET TO IGNITE TORONTO WITH WOMEN’S RALLY, FREE  SCREENINGS, AND MUSICAL PERFORMANCES

Back for its fifth instalment, the excitement and fun of the Toronto International Film Festival  pours out from the theatres onto Festival Street and all the way up to the rooftop of TIFF Bell Lightbox. On  opening weekend, September 6 to 9, King Street West between Peter Street and University Avenue will  transform into the TIFF street party.     “The excitement of Festival is something we want to share with the entire city,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic  Director of TIFF. “Festival Street is where everyone can enjoy and experience the excitement of the Festival  and its celebration of film. Free screenings, great musical performances, and the impactful Share Her Journey  Rally are just some of the highlights you can expect — and we invite everyone to join us.”

Stand up for change with TIFF on the morning of Saturday, September 8 for the Share Her Journey Rally. All  who want to see and be part of real change in the film industry are invited to join the action down on John  Street at the Slaight Music Stage at 10am. Continue reading “TIFF: Festival Street promises four jam-packed days of free activities”

Movie Matters! Media Meet @ Mayura!

At a press conference on Monday, March 26th, Punjabi film stars Gippy  Grewal and Roshan Prince spoke about the making of a biopic film ‘Subedar Joginder Singh’ which releases April 6th.

Hosted by Y Media Group, the President and CEO, Mr. Yudhvir Jaiswal, welcomed everyone in attendance with warmth and graciousness.

The film is inspired by the life of the Subedar who fought the Chinese during the Indo-Chinese war of 1962.  The movie is a saga of his dedication and devotion towards serving the country. He led his troops till he got wounded and subsequently died in Chinese captivity. He displayed such exemplary and unprecedented courage that the Indian Government honored him with the country’s highest wartime gallantry award – Param Vir Chakra posthumously.

The makers have delved into the past to showcase happenings and episodes of his life, most realistically. The movie has been shot in extreme weather conditions of Suratgarh, where the mercury soared to a melting level, and it has been filmed in the bone-chilling climate of Drass, Kargil where the temperature drops below freezing point! A major part of the film has been shot at a height of 14000 feet; the terrain was so insurmountable that it took the cast and crew hours of driving followed by a strenuous vertical trek to reach actual shoot location. Seven Colors Motion Picture Pvt. Ltd has produced the venture.

Both the actors   expressed immense happiness and excitement about being a part of this film, which is a highly anticipated one. With 4 million views of the teaser on YouTube already, this film is set to break ground for Pollywood and its push into the mainstream film industry.

Asked about the filming process, Mr. Grewal, who was seen in the Farhan Akhtar starrer Lucknow Central (2017), said that it was very tough. They had to weather rough conditions, undergo physical changes like putting on weight, losing weight and such. Continue reading “Movie Matters! Media Meet @ Mayura!”

Kuumba Festival at Harbourfront Centre Celebrates Black History Month

Annual Black History Month festival takes on vital issues facing Toronto’s Black community through dialogue, photography and film, comedy, a spectacular vogue ball and more.
Each February, communities across the country take part in events to honour and explore the heritage, traditions and culture of Black Canadians. While Black History celebrations may originate in the 1970s, it was not until December 1995 that Canada officially recognized Black History Month. Twenty-three years ago, this first Canada-wide Black History Month was commemorated in Toronto with the inauguration of Harbourfront Centre’s Kuumba Festival. The longest-running Black History Month celebration in Toronto, the Kuumba Festival takes its name from the Swahili word for “creativity”, a component that is central to Harbourfront Centre’s long-standing commitment to providing relevant artistic, cultural, educational and recreational experiences.
“The history of the Black community is one of resistance, resilience, social justice, freedom, hope and love, and for some Canadians that history is still a part of their everyday life,” explains Laura McLeod. “Our goal is that Kuumba 2018 will continue the festival’s legacy as a forum for challenging perceptions, shaping conversations and providing learning opportunities designed to strengthen our understanding and appreciation for our fellow Canadians”.

Continue reading “Kuumba Festival at Harbourfront Centre Celebrates Black History Month”