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‘ Sita Ramam’ cleared for release in UAE

Meanwhile, the film, which has opened to good reviews, has so far grossed a sum of Rs 33 crore worldwide, its makers announced on Wednesday…reports Asian Lite News

Director Hanu Raghavapudi’s romantic entertainer ‘Sita Ramam’, featuring Dulquer Salmaan and Mrunal Thakur in the lead, has been cleared for release in the United Arab Emirates.

The film, which released in other parts of the world on August 5, was re-censored in the UAE and will now hit screens there on August 11.

Meanwhile, the film, which has opened to good reviews, has so far grossed a sum of Rs 33 crore worldwide, its makers announced on Wednesday.

‘Sita Ramam’, a beautiful love story set against the backdrop of a war in 1965, has Dulquer Salmaan playing the character of Lieutenant Ram, an orphan, serving the nation in snow-clad mesmerising terrains and gleaming lakes of Kashmir.

Pairing with Dulquer is Mrunal Thakur as Sita Mahalakshmi, the lead actress of the film, along with Rashmika Mandanna in an impressive role.

The film also features actress Rashmika Mandanna as Afreen, a Pakistan national who loathes India.

ALSO READ-‘Highway’ to have direct OTT release

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‘Highway’ to have direct OTT release

Talking about the film, director K V Guhan said, “Post the first wave of Covid, there was an unprecedented change in the film industry…reports Asian Lite News

Well-known cinematographer and director K V Guhan’s much-awaited psychological thriller, ‘Highway’, featuring Anand Deverakonda in the lead, will directly release on the OTT platform Aha on August 19.

The psychological thriller will also feature Sayami Kher and Manasa along with Abhishek Banerjee in a never-before-seen role.

Directed and written by K.V. Guhan and produced by Venkat Talari, the film is a psychological thriller about a photographer Vishnu (Anand Deverakonda) who falls in love with Tulasi (Manasa). When everything is going great, a serial killer kidnaps his lady love. What happens then is what ‘Highway’ is all about.

Talking about the film, director K V Guhan said, “Post the first wave of Covid, there was an unprecedented change in the film industry. At the same time, we were all connected to world content, irrespective of languages. There was a massive opening for concept films, new experiments, and novel thoughts. That’s when I narrated this idea to Anand and Abhishek, and being explorers themselves, they said ‘yes’.”

“The more you get into the story, the more it brings out the different shades of characters,” says Guhan, who adds that every twist and turn in this film will be new.

ALSO READ-Tamannah joins Bollywood dance competition at IFFM as judge

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Tamannah joins Bollywood dance competition at IFFM as judge

IFFM will be taking place, physically and virtually, from August 12-20, 2022. After the pandemic, this is the first time it has come with its physical event, since 2020 and 2021 was done virtually…reports Asian Lite News

Actress Tamannaah Bhatia, a classically trained dancer whose dancing skills are well known, will be one of the judges at the Bollywood dance competition that is to take place as part of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM). Dancers from Fiji, Australia and New Zealand among others will be taking part in this competition, which the IFFM has been organising over the years. The idea of it was born after seeing the fondness for Bollywood dance across the globe. The organisers have been getting registrations from across the globe for this competition.

The actor will be joined by the present Miss Australia, Miss Kristen Wright, in co-judging the competition. “I have been a dancer all my life. Bollywood dance is something that I grew up with and our movie industry shows such a versatile culture it is even reflected in our dance choreographies. We all know Bollywood has a fan following beyond India. And what makes this competition so special is people from across the globe are coming to take part in this competition,” says Tamannaah. She also adds, “I am really thankful to IFFM for giving me this opportunity to be part of this competition.

“The 13th edition of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) 2022 programme was officially launched by festival director Mitu Bhowmick Lange at the Indian Consulate of Melbourne. Mitu says, “Indian movies have always had a huge fan following in Australia. The country is a powerhouse of talent and has given some of the most extremely talented artists in the world. Bollywood music and dance is an independent genre in itself and people are just waiting for a platform to express their talent and are providing that platform. And this time, we have got Tamannaah to judge the competition and she is a part of Bollywood and Southern India film industries. She has a huge following. It will be a treat for her fans to see her in person.”

IFFM will be taking place, physically and virtually, from August 12-20, 2022. After the pandemic, this is the first time it has come with its physical event, since 2020 and 2021 was done virtually. It is one of the biggest Indian film festivals that takes place outside of India and is also the only Indian film festival backed by the Australian government. The film festival will showcase more than 100 critically acclaimed movies. Some of the movies that are lined up for this year’s festival are the upcoming Aamir Khan-starrer ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’, Taapsee Pannu’s ‘Dobaaraa’ and the critically acclaimed ‘Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui’.

The event will be hosting some of the big names of Bollywood like Abhishek Bachchan, Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Vaani Kapoor to name a few.

ALSO READ-‘It’s fun to experiment with roles’

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‘Ariyippu’ gets great response at Locarno Film Festival

“The huge round of applause from the audience when the movie ended and the appreciation during the question and answer (session) was just more than what dreams are made of!!!”…reports Asian Lite News

The team of director Mahesh Narayanan’s Malayalam film, ‘Ariyippu’, featuring actors Kunchacko Boban and Divya Prabha in the lead is thrilled with the reception their film has got at the Locarno Film Festival where it premiered.

Taking to Instagram, actor Kunchacko Boban posted pictures of the team at the festival and said: “Officially Yours at the Film Festival Locarno! Thank you for all the adulations, positive reviews and accolades still pouring in for ‘Ariyippu’. We had given our 100 per cent for this movie. And the feeling is just surreal when you feel vibes amongst the audience. Thank you once again Giona Nazzaro for being so generous with your positive opinions and exemplary conduct of the festival.”

A day earlier, the actor had put out another post in which he said: “When Malayalam roared at the 75th Locarno International Film Festival. ‘Ariyippu’ had its world premiere as the opening movie in the competition segment today in Locarno Film Festival before a packed house of nearly 2500 people from all across the world.”

“The huge round of applause from the audience when the movie ended and the appreciation during the question and answer (session) was just more than what dreams are made of!!!”

“Thank you Mahesh for being what you have been throughout my life. Shebin for being a wonderful producer, partner and pal. Divya for the outstanding performer and whacky friend. Sanuchettan for the life-breathing visuals. Jothish for being our go-to-man.”

An amazing ensemble of the finest actors Lovleen Misra, Danish Husain, Kannan Arunachalam, Faisal Malikaand the entire team of ‘Ariyippu’ for giving their best for this movie.

“We did it internationally dears. And may this be just the beginning of many more greater things God willing!! Thank you Giona Nazzaro for selecting our movie and showering words of praise,making some fantastic arrangements and coordinating such a spectacular opening show. Bandhu Prasad for facilitating the whole process for our movie going global.”

ALSO READ-‘Poikkal Kuthirai’: A deep dad-daughter bond film that works in parts

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Tabu steps out in traditional weaves on Handloom day

The event was organised by Telangana’s Department of Handlooms & Textiles, and the Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society (TSCO)…reports Asian Lite News

Handloom Industry in the Telangana state occupies a unique place in the country for its exclusive art and artifacts of handloom weavers. On National Handlooms Day, actress Tabu took to the ramp to showcase Telangana handloom textiles.

The fashion show was an ensemble comprising more than 50 sarees and garments made from the textiles that are woven in Telangana. The showstopper was Tabu, who draped a traditional gharara with a short kurta and dupatta.

In all, 26 models including 21 females and five men walked the ramp at the ‘Amogham’ event presented by award-winning textiles designer Gaurang Shah, to highlight the breadth and diversity that Telangana has to offer to the world.

The event was organised by Telangana’s Department of Handlooms & Textiles, and the Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society (TSCO).

Models sashayed in vibrant Ikkats from Pochampally and Puttapaka, elegant gadwals, and lustrous fabrics from Narayanpet among other local fabrics. The cheriyal paintings done on fabrics in the form of a lehenga were an absolute classic.

The tassels using handcrafted etikoppaka toys, are specialty of the State. The richness of handwoven chiffon, khadi, and Kota were also presented exquisitely. Each fabric on display was developed on the looms of Telangana, giving the weavers work for year-round production.

Gaurang said “Every art we have curated and showcased is not only timeless body of work from Telangana but also timeless creatives. My endeavour through such events, and multiple projects in the state has enabled common people, with no relation to textiles, to learn to weave.”

“Women, who are passionate about learning and working have been encouraged to sit on a loom and learn the Jamdani technique.”

ALSO READ-Tabu To Take Part in Toronto Film Fest

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‘It’s fun to experiment with roles’

‘Tehran’ is inspired by true events and the actress has already started working on the second schedule of the film…reports Asian Lite News

Former Miss World and actress Manushi Chhillar, who recently made her debut with the period film ‘Samrat Prithviraj’, has been cast opposite John Abraham for the film ‘Tehran’.

The actress feels grateful that she is getting to portray different roles that allow her to explore more as an actor and showcase her acting credentials to people.

‘Tehran’ is inspired by true events and the actress has already started working on the second schedule of the film.

Shedding light on the film’s progress, she said in a statement, “Yes, I have started the second schedule of my film ‘Tehran’ with John Abraham.”

She shared that getting to experiment and taking up diverse roles in the early phase of her career brings in a certain validation to her, “‘Tehran’ is a project that I’m extremely excited about as it not only gives me a chance to present myself in a new avatar but will also allow me to learn and grow as an actor, given the role I have in the film.”

The film is being produced by Dinesh Vijan of Maddock Films, who has been “hugely supportive” towards Manushi, as she is still getting acquainted with the world of cinema.

“It was really heart-warming to receive so much love after my first look from Tehran dropped. It’s fun to experiment with roles and I hope I get to challenge myself even more”, the actress added.

A Maddock Films production in association with Bake My Cake Films, ‘Tehran’ has been directed by Arun Gopalan, written by Ritesh Shah and Ashish Prakash Verma, produced by Dinesh Vijan, Shobhna Yadav and Sandeep Leyzell

Bags beauty endorsement

Manushi Chhillar recently made her foray into Bollywood opposite actor Akshay Kumar in Samrat Prithviraj.
The aspiring actress has another feather to her cap as she’s named the new face of Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Serum. “I am a long-standing admirer of the Estee Lauder brand, and especially their Advanced Night Repair serum. Being the face of this iconic product feels wonderful,” said Manushi,”I was introduced to the Advanced Night Repair a few years ago and I would definitely call it a skin care must have.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Manushi to the Estee Lauder India family as the new face of Advanced Night Repair,” said Rohan Vaziralli, General Manager, Estee Lauder Companies India. “In addition to her passion for all things beauty, we were drawn to Manushi’s values and dedication to helping others. She reflects our brand’s commitment to women’s advancement and know she will deeply connect with our consumers across India.”

The campaign will highlight Manushi’s passion for skincare and highlight Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Multi-Recovery Complex, which combines the power of seven serums into one to hydrate, smooth fine lines, even out skin tone, strengthen and firm skin, impart radiance, and contain antioxidants.

The campaign, which launches this month and will be promoted on digital and social media platforms throughout India, is her first collaboration with a cosmetics company.

ALSO READ-Manushi joins team ‘Tehran’

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Dulquer: Thank you for making me feel like your own

‘Kannulu Kannulu Dochayente’ and ‘Kurup’ were dubbed films, yet the love you gave to those films is something I’ll never forget…says DQ

Actor Dulquer Salmaan, whose latest movie ‘Sita Ramam’ hit the screens, shared that he cried on the day of the film’s release because he was “so overwhelmed with the film and how people were accepting it”.

Taking to social media to express his gratitude to the Telugu audience, he wrote: “To the wonderful Telugu audience, my first ever film that was dubbed in Telugu and released was ‘OK Bangaram’. Thanks to Mani sir, you all took a chance on me and gave me immense love in my first outing.

“Then, Nagi and Vyjayanthi gave me the opportunity to play Gemini in ‘Mahanati’ and even though it had grey shades, the love and respect I got for the role and film was unlike anything I expected. ‘Ammadi’ became a permanent part of my life wherever I went.”

‘Kannulu Kannulu Dochayente’ and ‘Kurup’ were dubbed films, yet the love you gave to those films is something I’ll never forget. When Swapna and Hanu approached me with ‘Sita Ramam’, I knew I was in safe hands. I knew we would be delivering a quality film and I want to always do only those straight Telugu films that will be unique and pathbreaking.

“The film is a combined effort of so many artistes and talents and crew and it became as beautiful as it is because of everyone involved. I cried on the day of the release because I was so overwhelmed with the film and how people were accepting the film.

“The love you’re showing all of us be it Hanu, Mrunal, Rashmika, Sumanth Anna, Vishal, PS Vinod sir and myself, isn’t something we can explain in words. Thank you to the cinema loving audience of Telugu. Thank you to the biggest believers in the art of cinema. Thank you for making me feel like your own.

“Yours Lovingly, Ram (Dulquer Salmaan).”

ALSO READ-Actor Dulquer Prefers Work More Than Stardom

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‘Poikkal Kuthirai’: A deep dad-daughter bond film that works in parts

The film is interesting in parts. Poikkal Kuthirai gets off to a slow start, with incidents being showcased to highlight the deep dad-daughter bond…reports Asian Lite News

Director: Santhosh P Jayakumar; Cast: Prabhu Deva, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Raiza Wilson, Prakash Raj, Baby Aazhiya, Jegan, Shaam, John Kokken, Releasing in Theatres; Run time: 118 minutes (Rating: ***)

Director Santhosh P Jayakumar’s ‘Poikkal Kuthirai’ is a proper commercial entertainer that banks bigs on the father-daughter sentiment. The film also has a nice little investigative track that makes the story interesting and engaging.

The story, for all practical purposes, can be dismissed as being a run-of-the-mill kind, if it were not for the fact that the protagonist is a physically-challenged man of limited means facing an incredibly difficult challenge that requires quite a bit of physical effort to overcome it. Synopsis:

Kathiravan (played by Prabhu Deva), an amputee with a single leg, is a very content man whose world revolves around his young daughter Magizh (Baby Aazhiya). With his wife having passed away, Kathiravan’s priority is to ensure that his daughter gets a good education as per his late wife’s wish.

Life is peaceful until one day, his daughter collapses on stage during a performance in school. He learns that she has a medical condition that will require a surgery that will cost him a huge sum of money. When Kathiravan runs out of options, his father (Prakash Raj), who is in prison, suggests that he kidnap the young daughter of a big industrialist Rudra(Varalaxmi Sarathkumar) and demand money. A reluctant Kathiravan begins to monitor Rudra’s child’s movements in a bid to save his ailing child. However, just when he is about to kidnap the child, a dramatic development occurs that leaves not just Rudra but also Kathiravan shocked…

The film is interesting in parts. Poikkal Kuthirai gets off to a slow start, with incidents being showcased to highlight the deep dad-daughter bond.

The film starts picking up pace only after it becomes evident that Kathiravan’s child is fighting for her life and the man has no money. However, an unnecessary episode involving a non-governmental organisation swindling money again brings down the pace of the film.

It starts regaining the lost pace with more significant developments. By the time the first half ends, the story has you paying attention. In fact, Santhosh ends the first half with a flourish, raising a very interesting question that piques your curiosity. The second half is full of twists and turns and keeps you fairly engaged.

The film has some laudable performances. Prabhu Deva has to be given credit for the phenomenal effort he’s made to play a one-legged character. Playing a one-legged person means shifting your entire body weight onto just one leg. Standing on one leg for a considerable period of time by itself can be a challenge. But Prabhu Deva seems to have not just stood but danced and fought on one leg, an incredibly demanding effort. For pulling off this challenge in a magnificent fashion, Prabhu Deva wins brownie points.

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar’s performance as always is impressive. In fact, she seems to have worked on her dialogue delivery as well. While in the past, she is known to have rattled off her lines, she speaks at a reasonably decent pace in this film, adding so much more value to her performance.

John Kokken as Varalaxmi’s husband and comedian Jegan deliver neat performances. Actors Shaam and Raiza Wilson don’t have much to do in the film. Baby Aazhiya, who plays Prabhu Deva’s daughter in the film, is adorable.

D Imman’s background score is just about okay. The film has a couple of peppy songs that seem to have thrilled the masses.

Despite a good story and an interesting manner of narration, the film leaves you feeling bored occasionally. This boredom could have been avoided had the editor of the film been ruthless in her job.

Santhosh Jayakumar’s ‘Poikkal Kuthirai’ is a mixed bag. In other words, it is a film that works in parts.

ALSO READ-‘Song from ‘Brahmastra’ emanates an impeccable, positive energy’

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Vijay Sethupati bags Best Actor Award at Indo-French Int’l Film Festival

Only a week ago, the film had won a Gold medal at the Tokyo Film Awards this year…reports Asian Lite News

Actor Vijay Sethupathi has won the Best Actor Award at the Indo-French International Film Festival for his performance in director Seenu Ramasamy’s critically acclaimed Tamil entertainer, ‘Maamanithan’.

The film has also won the award for Best Picture.

Taking to Twitter to make the announcement, director Seenu Ramasamy said, “Congratulations Vijay Sethupathi for Best Actor and Yuvan Shankar Raja for Best Picture. Thank you, Indo-French International Film Festival.”

Interestingly, the film, which had garnered huge praise from various quarters soon after its release, had ace director Shankar calling it a ‘realistic classic’. Shankar had even said that Vijay Sethupathi’s brilliant performance in the film deserved a National Award.

Only a week ago, the film had won a Gold medal at the Tokyo Film Awards this year.

‘Maamanithan’ won the gold in the Best Asian Film category, while Takahiro Kawabe’s ‘Love Song at 5 pm’ won the silver and Mart Bira’s ‘Nomadic Doctor’ took the bronze at the Tokyo Film Awards.

The story of ‘Maamanithan’ is about a simple man who longs to provide good education to his children by getting them admitted to a private school. To increase his income, he enters into a deal with a real estate developer and in the process gets conned. The problems he faces are what the film is all about.

ALSO READ-Effective ways to make your dream trip

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‘Song from ‘Brahmastra’ emanates an impeccable, positive energy’

The song is pivotal to Shiva’s character development in the film and does absolute justice to the concept of ‘Love, Light and Fire’…reports Asian Lite News

After receiving huge traction on social media and positive response to the ‘Kesariya’ song, the makers of the mythological-fantasy film ‘Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva’, released the second song from the album on Monday.

Titled ‘Deva Deva’, the song exudes spirituality and a distinctly upbeat rhythm. It has been sung by Arijit Singh and Jonita Gandhi. The song encapsulates the magical moment in the film where Shiva, played by Ranbir, finds the power within.

Talking about his experience of the song, the Bollywood star shared: “I thoroughly enjoyed the song, and could relate to it on so many levels personally. Pritam Da, Arijit, Amitabh, and Ayan have put in a lot of effort to create this masterpiece. The song makes one feel spiritually powerful with a rare ease, and I hope everyone feels and enjoys it as much as I did.”

The lyrics of the song have a unique blend of love and devotion as Shiva, the protagonist discovers his abilities of fire. The song is pivotal to Shiva’s character development in the film and does absolute justice to the concept of ‘Love, Light and Fire’.

Sharing his experience of recording the song, playback singer Arijit said in a statement: “It has been an absolute pleasure to voice ‘Deva Deva’. The song emanates an impeccable, positive energy that will certainly resonate with everyone. I’m really excited about it. I hope the audience enjoys it to the fullest.”

The song has been composed by Pritam Chakraborty with lyrics penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya. The two powerhouse artistes have collaborated earlier at a number of occasions and have delivered steady hits; case in point, ‘Dangal’, ‘Kalank’ and ‘Jagga Jasoos’.

Sharing his experience on composing the track, Pritam said: “‘Brahmastra’s’ album has made me think aloud in terms of bringing in spiritual elements within a song. With ‘Deva Deva’, we have modernised the music, while keeping classical and devotional elements prominently. This spiritual song gives an otherworldly experience, and it was honestly enlightening to create it. I hope it’s a treat for everyone.”

The song is available to stream on YouTube and across all audio streaming platforms.

Produced by Star Studios, Dharma Productions, Prime Focus and Starlight Pictures, ‘Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva’ will release theatrically on September 9 in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.

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