DIRECTOR ALANKRITA SHRIVASTAVA WHOSE FILM ‘LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA’ IS DENIED, SAYS CENSOR’s DECISION REFLECTS SILENCING OF ALTERNATIVE VIEWS:

Director Alankrita Shrivastava, whose movie ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’, has been denied certification by India’s censor board, says the decision reflects a systematic silencing of an alternative view.   “Personally, I am quite offended by their decision because it reflects systematic silencing of an alternative view. They are trying to tell that women should keep quiet, they need not tell their stories, no need to express how women feel about themselves, and only thing needs to be expressed how man sees women,” Shrivastava said.   “It is quite ironic that the censor board of India feels that they need to refuse certification for this film. I think it reflects badly on them that they termed the film pornographic, to use it as some sort of justification,” added the director.   The movie revolves around four women – a burqa-clad college girl, a young beautician, a mother of three and a 55-year-old widow – who rediscover their sexuality. According to the censor board, the film is laced with sexual scenes and abusive words.   “There is something awfully wrong in the way the censor board in India is functioning. Obviously they have no idea, how to watch a film or interpret a film, they have no idea of gender dynamics, politics of representation, context of the gaze, alternative narratives.”   “It seems to me that they have this popular mainstream narrow male gaze, which is represented in mainstream cinema,” Shrivastava added.   ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ stars an impressive ensemble of actors, which includes Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak, Aahana Kumra, Plabita Borthakur, Sushant Singh, Vikrant Massey, Shashank Arora, Vaibbhav Tatwawdi and Jagat Singh Solanki. The Times of  India : 22nd. Mar,17

ACTRESS RICHA CHADHA SAID HINDI FILM INDUSTRY DID NOT CONSIDER HER GOOD LOOKING BECAUSE OF HER SKIN COLOR AND BODY TYPE :

Actress Richa Chadha says the Hindi film industry didn’t consider her good looking because of her skin colour and body type.   “For the longest time, for most of the industry, I was not good looking. I was good looking only for my mom and dad, because I was dusky, didn’t have a model-like figure.”   Asked if there is a difference between the approach of male and female directors, Richa says her myth burst soon while working with Mira Nair.   “My third big job in life was to work with Mira Nair to assist in a short film, which hasn’t been released yet. I observed how she walked into the set and commended respect without ever raising her voice.”   “It was a bustling crew which would often fall silent, not out of fear but respect… I saw this woman director, who could be my friend, could also be maternal towards me and I learnt so much from that. It’s fun to work with good director, irrespective of gender.”   Actress Tannishtha Chatterjee, who has featured in several award-winning films, helmed by both male and female directors, says the issue isn’t gender specific.   “It’s very individual. It’s not gender specific at all. You can have a very insensitive female director and a very sensitive male director. It’s not gender specific.”   Tannishtha believes much of the gender divide in the country can be addressed and solved if the films start showcasing female characters differently.   “I feel the narrative at large in our society will only change through pop culture. It is a space where people grow up with those ideas and images. In our country, film is a huge pop culture and the change should come from there. Tell stories where you represent women differently,” Tannishtha says.The Times of India : 22nd. Mar,17

ACTRESS ALIA BHATT DOES NOT WANT TO BE KNOWN AS JUST AN ACTRESS ONLY :

Actress Alia Bhatt says would like to have multiple dimensions to her personality rather than being known as just an actress.   “I don’t want to be known as an actor. I have told this to my mother many times that I need to have layers to my personality. Whether it is producing something on TV, singing, social work or anything. So, I always wanted to have something which is not about me but about others,” Alia told.   Post the success of ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ there were reports that Alia will take a six month break but Alia says she is going on a short holiday.   “I am not going on a big holiday or break. I am going away for eight-ten days and that’s ok… So, I will learn things that I don’t get time to do like sing, dance, cook and spend time with my cat.”  The actress in collaboration with a game developer, today launched her own experiential game ‘Alia Bhatt: Star Life’.   “I can’t play games that frustrate me. I need the game to calm me down. I have played farmville and candy crush. I have a hectic life so I want to play games to relax.”   When it comes to playing games with her father Mahesh Bhatt, Alia is too competitive and wants to win every game that she plays.   “I am a competitive person and when I am competing with my father, we both make sure we win.”  The Times of  India : 22nd. Mar,17

ACTRESS-PRODUCER TWINKLE KHANNA IS HAPPY TO BE A PART OF FILM ‘PADMAN’ :

Actress-producer Twinkle Khanna says her upcoming film ‘Padman’ will encourage people to talk about things like menstruation and sanitary napkins, which are still considered taboo in Indian society.  ‘Padman’ is based on life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, who invented first low-cost sanitary napkins in the country.   “It (shoot) is going very well and Mr Muruganantham was also there. It’s a wonderful project. It’s a film which will bring awareness about something which has so far been cloaked and shamed and I am very happy to be a part of the film,” Twinkle told.   ‘Padman’ stars Akshay Kumar as Murugunathan, while Radhika Apte plays his wife in the movie.   Actress Sonam Kapoor will also be seen in a special role in the film to be directed by R Balki.The Time of  India : 22nd. Mar,17

“I AM NOT A REPLICA OF ANYONE” : SAYS ACTRESS KAVITA VERMA

Actress Kavita Verma portrays the character of Palak in writer-director Manish Harishankar’s upcoming film ‘Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laaddoo Deewana’, which stars Akshara Haasan, Vivaan Shah and Gurmeet Choudhary. Describing this T P Aggarwal and Rahul Aggarwal production as a romantic drama, she says, “It’s about discovering the comic side of tragedy and knowing that one man’s loss is another man’s gain. Gurmeet and my characters get involved in the lives of Laali (Akshara) and Laaddoo (Vivaan) and it’s all about who finds and who loses love in the end. There are some brilliant comic moments too as talented actors like Darshan Jariwala, Saurabh Shukla and Sanjay Mishra are also a part of the film. Palak is a dreamer and likes to be loved. She is larger than life, bubbly but extremely human and vulnerable as well.”   Coming from a theatre background, Kavitta is drawn to roles that are a good blend of glamour and substance. An avid reader, who quotes Paulo Coelho and Shakespeare effortlessly, she is sporting enough to take comparisons with Rakhi Sawant with a pinch of salt. When asked about it, she explains, “It’s very saddening for an actor as everyone is unique. Someone said I resemble Jacqueline Fernandez as well but I am not a replica of anyone. I want people to accept me as who I am. I don’t think I resemble Rakhi Sawant either, physically or otherwise. I am 5’7 and quite well-read!”   Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laaddoo Deewana, produced by Star Entertainment Worldwide Pvt Ltd, releases on April 7.   The Times of India : 21st. Mar,17

PAKISTANI PM NAWAZ SHARIF CLAIMED THAT FORMER MILITARY RULER MUSHARRAF OFFERED HIM AN ‘UNDERHANDED’ DEAL TO FORM JOINT GOVT. IN 2008:

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has claimed that former military ruler General (Retd.) Pervez Musharraf had offered him an “underhanded” deal to form a joint government in 2008.  Speaking at a meeting of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) parliamentary committee on Tuesday, Sharif said: “Musharraf wanted a secret deal with me in 2007,” reports the Dawn.  Sharif’s government was toppled by General Musharraf, then the Army Chief, through a coup in 1999 following which many members of the Sharif family including the Prime Minister were forced into exile in Saudi Arabia, where they remained until their return to Pakistan in November 2007.  Sharif said that Musharraf was willing to meet him and made several attempts to do so in the past.”But I declined,” he added.  He said that his family did not want to leave their motherland, but were forced into exile by the military dictator.  The Prime Minister noted that the former president was now facing a similar fate and had left the country in disgrace.  “Now, Musharraf is willing to return to the country, but he cannot,” he said.  However, Sharif’s assertions were disputed by former Musharraf aide and All-Pakistan Muslim League member Ahmed Raza Kasuri. “I have been working with Gen Musharraf for a long time and I have never heard any such thing,” he said. Rediff.com : 22nd. Mar,17

FORMER SWEETHEARTS SALMAN KHAN & KATRINA KAIF ARE BACK TOGETHER IN FILM ‘TIGER ZINDA HAI’ :

The former sweethearts Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif are back together, in a manner of speaking, with their film, Tiger Zinda Hai.   Salman’s impishly tweeted this image, saying, @BeingSalmanKhan  BACK TOGETHER , IN TIGER ZINDA HAI.  Director Ali Abbas Zafar has been shooting Tiger Zinda Hai in the picturesque locales of Tyrol in Austria.   The film is a sequel to their 2012 hit film Ek Tha Tiger, which centered on the life of an Indian spy of RAW (Salman), code-named Tiger, who falls in love with a Pakistani spy from ISI (Katrina) during an investigation and how Tigers ideology and principles change over time. Rediff.com : 22nd. Mar,17