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Thursday, August 21, 2014

F&TV World's "Model of the Week" has two promising faces this week...

This week's Male model is "Sogat Banerjee" from Bangalore. A Model on the Block, Sogat is interested in acting, modelling as well as walking on the ramp. A fresh bundle of talent to watch out for, Sogat has already walked the ramp in his college and is now keen to do it professionally for renowned designers. He is keenly looking forward to do meaty roles and add substance to any role given to him. He is looking for that one chance to experiment with variety.

Shruti Kulshreshtha who features as our Female Model in this section is an aspiring model cum actress from Bangalore. Having worked her way in some amateur projects, she is well versed with dancing skills and wants to hone her skills in acting as well. Keen to do Ads, films, serials, as well as walking on the ramp, this 5.5 feet tall girl is a surprise package of talent to watch out for. We at FTV wish both Sogat & Shruti - all the best in their careers and wish them a fabulous future..

In case, you would like to be featured on this “Model of the week” page in our series, mail your portfolios with your contact details on studiofilmcafe@gmail.com. And ya, no need to get disappointed if you don't find yourself in the coming week. Who knows, it might be your turn next... Cheers!!

Ranbir Kapoor joins Saavn as creative partner in unique collaboration

Saavn, the world’s leader in digital streaming for Indian music, is announcing today a first-of-its-kind partnership with Bollywood actor, Ranbir Kapoor. The well-known actor is joining the Saavn team as a creative collaborator in a capacity that is far beyond the conventional celebrity brand endorsements that are seen frequently in India. Kapoor will work side-by-side with the Saavn team on consumer marketing ideation and production, business development and content. The partnership has initially materialized in the form of a new commercial campaign featuring a 30 second television spot, billboards and theatrical ads. Kapoor provided a significant amount of input on the creative for the campaign, and the TV commercial was written by Vasan Bala, who is the screenwriter for Kapoor’s new film, Bombay Velvet, alongside Sneha Mehta and Teddy Stern of Saavn.

“I’ve been using Saavn for years now, so it’s exciting to be working with the team on a deeper level. I’ll be helping to guide the brand, influence programming, connect with the next generation of music listeners and ultimately help build the best music product in India, and potentially the world,” Kapoor said. “And this is only the beginning. I look forward to being involved in a more business-centric capacity in the near future.”

Kapoor first met the New York-based Saavn founders Paramdeep Singh (Executive Chairman), Rishi Malhotra (CEO), and Vin Bhat (President and Chief Strategy Officer), in 2012. Early discussions for a partnership quickly ensued, and the framework for an intricate collaboration was designed over several meetings in New York and Mumbai.

“It felt right from the beginning. Everyone involved in this partnership is truly passionate about the product, but there’s also a very human connection here, as well,” Singh said. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome such a grounded yet creative-minded individual into our family. Our collaboration with Ranbir represents an evolution in the way technology companies and artists work together in India. And that bridge between art and digital is at the very heart of what we want to accomplish at Saavn.”

Saavn released a sneak-peek of its alliance with Kapoor in its “Here’s to the Music” campaign that went live earlier this year. The commercial campaign being announced today was produced by Golden Gaddi Films, the ad production house of Guneet Monga who is the producer of The Lunchbox. The 30-second ad can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKFqtQn_6zw.

The digital music company, which boasts a catalog of almost 2 million tracks from both Indian and U.S. record labels, will be rolling out a suite of new consumer-facing products and partnerships over the next couple of months, in which Kapoor’s input and ideation will play a major role. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Thought for Today: Sunday Musings


Sufi ROARs : A honest confession from Aaran Chaudhary

Winner of the Glad Rags Megamodel Manhunt 2010, Aaran Chaudhary was a mariner (served as navigation officer on commercial vessels worldwide, almost 122 countries including troubled waters of Iraq,Persian Gulf, S.Korea, Somalia & other African Nations) till he decided to quit and serve his passion and dream of joining the modeling and film industry. And Roar - Tigers of the Sunderbans happened to him post his Ek Tha Tiger.

It was a great start for me in Fashion Industry after I won Glagrags Megamodel Manhunt (Mr India title),& was titled' Best Male Model On Ramp' IN 2010, & Represented India at International Manhunt claiming more titles, But aim was to make a mark in Film Industry. It was the usual hardship and struggle like others and I was completely unnoticed till the time when I was offered an Audition Script. And guess what, I got short-listed too. It was precisely during May'2012 and for ROAR. This was the time when I first heard about "Roar-The Tigers Of Sunderbans". I went through three rounds of auditions in total and then, had a narration by Director Mr Kamal Sadanah. Since, I was seated with the few shortlisted ones, I was really happy about it. But after the narration, the main question on my mind was not 'whether I will do ROAR or not', instead, it was 'whether they will take me onboard or not'. Apart from looking for a big break as a fresher, after narration, I was deeply convinced that this is a hell of a Script and this is certainly going to be Dream Launch for any Newcomer.

Kamal Sir was always on a move - in & out of Mumbai, for script development, and so, I didn't had any confirmation. The very thought whether I was Dropped from the project actually used to make me feel low. Because, frankly speaking, it’s very rare to find good projects, looking for Fresh-Faces. No one trusts you when you are new and just like others, even me too was badly looking for that one single chance to prove that I am also worth something.

Finally, in September'2012, Kamal sir gave me the confirmation that I have been selected to play One of the Prime Character "SUFI" and that our workshops will be starting soon. My joy knew no bounds. It was a Dream Come True moment for me. And My Journey with "ROAR – THE TIGERS OF SUDERBANS" began.

The Preparation & Approach towards characters seemed very promising from day one coz of our dedicated workshops for Script & Action.But still, I was confused that what I am supposed to do to be SUFI of "ROAR" ,and hesitatingly I asked Kamal Sir "Sir, what am I supposed to do to be Sufi, how exactly have you imagined him in your script?" And he smiled & replied "Aaran, you are SUFI, that's why you are here. Don't try to be anyone, just be yourself."

We were told that whole team will be shooting at real locations i.e; deep-dense Forests,absolutely in mid of No-where and to be working efficiently there,we have to go through regress physical training. It was no-random jungle location. It was THE SUNDERBANS - The largest mangrove forest - The largest Delta of the world. The home of Royal Bengal Tigers. Apart from being isolated from social life, cell phones and internet, we were going to encounter Real situations having Wild animals, tigers, crocodiles, snakes, dangerous insects and last but not the least, severe dehydrating conditions. So Prior to leaving, we had undergone all sort of trainings required for action, script and acting performance under Alan Amin Sir, ShifuJi & Bhatia Sir. Our whole team got along very well during this whole process, and things became very smooth for everyone because of the mutual co-operation. And finally, 13th Nov' 2013 (Diwali morning), we all left for the Sunderbans.

I have always been into adventures though out my whole life - even the fact that I was a contestant of Khatron Ke Khiladi before doing this. But this time, for me, it was not an adventure trip at all or a sight seeing trip to the Biggest Delta of the World. It was purely WORK for me and My First Big Step towards My New life & New Career. This was My that One Chance, I wanted badly.

Still I want to share the most beautiful thing about Sunderbans that is the early morning time. I am an early riser and I like my morning to be very quiet and peaceful, with no one around .The Sunderbans mornings were simply Mesmerizing for me, like as in Ashram or in the mid of the Mountains.

Till the time one doesn't see the movie ROAR, you wont realize the hard work and whole Team's great efforts, kind of locations we worked in, and all other things that are so well covered, shown and explained in the Making Of Roar. Undoubtedly, the whole team managed this almost impossible feat. It was indeed a very different shoot in the Sunderbans where everyone of us were so passionately involved in the maing and everyone was balancing their act amazingly throughout the rough course of Sunderbans Schedule.

I would also like to share that my only source of inspiration throughout this entire Roar journey, was my director Mr Kamal Sadanah. He actually lives his life on these lines. "Dont waste your time doing whatever, but once you decide what to do, then, put your life into it". I can never forget his dedication, and the extent of commitment he has gone for his One Single Dream "Roar- Tigers of the Sunderbans".

Along with the two close friends, our Producer Mr Abis Rizvi, who had invested so much on his common dream "Roar" with Director Mr Kamal Sadanah, we all, of course expect a huge success coz we so so much believe in it. And apart from the individual careers associated, and the kind of huge money involved in making this project, I want Roar to be a Success story and a benchmark, so that, tomorrow big Production houses can trust New talents and 'Any New comer from Nowhere' coming to Mumbai with Big Dreams, can say to Our Film Industry that "Yes, you can bet upon me."
Thank You Abis Rizvi Sir & Thank You Kamal Sadanah Sir.
And it was an honor to work with you Michael Watson Sir.

(An excerpt from Roar - Tigers of the Sunderbans)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mumbai Mantra to nurture 100 storytellers: Calling for entries from aspiring writers

Mumbai Mantra has announced their new initiative – The Mumbai Mantra CineRise Screenwriting Programme reaching out to '100 Storytellers A Year' for which the submission date is August 20th.

After a successful three-year association with the Sundance Institute, Mumbai Mantra continues its mission to nurture and nourish the creative eco system that it has built over last three years and to reach out to many more storytellers nationwide. Through its new initiative, Mumbai Mantra would be offering support to Indian screenwriters to help them write, polish and pitch their scripts to potential producers, financiers, distributors, sales agents, film festival programmers and curators at the Pitch Event. The program calls out to all the aspiring writers from <insert city name> to send in their scripts to participate in a golden opportunity which will convert their dreams into reality.

Rohit Khattar, Chairman, Mumbai Mantra said, “Our mission at Mumbai Mantra is to provide a springboard for writers which will help them take their scripts to the screen. We want to reach across to every storyteller with a dream. These screenplays (and even those that do not get selected as finalists), shall be part of the CineRise Script Bank and may still get attention from Producers in the future. India is a land of stories and we would like to provide a platform to these stories so that they can travel and cut across barriers.”

With distinguished screenwriter and academic Anjum Rajabali as its Convenor, the Mumbai Mantra CineRise Screenwriting Programme is a detailed step-by-step process of nurturing, which will have 8 defined stages of creative intervention.  The Programme invites applications from enthusiastic and determined Indian screenwriters from any part of the world. The programme is also open to non-resident Indians and even those with mixed Indian parentage.

Says Anjum Rajabali, "Indian screenwriting is in an exciting phase right now, and poised to take a leap to another level. Young aspirants are coming up with very promising work. By giving a much-needed boost to their efforts, this programme will help create an eco-system where all kinds of cinemas can co-exist.”

Says Aparna Purohit, Head – Creative Initiatives, Mumbai Mantra, “To provide comprehensive support to the writers, a 2-day screenwriting workshop will be held in different cities across the country. Among the submitted applications, 100 stories will be selected for the workshop out of which the finalists will come in for intensive interactions with experienced writers and directors at the workshop. The selected participants can choose the Center closest to their homes.”
The first day of the workshop will be open to EVERY enthusiast (for a nominal fee), including applicants who did not get selected in top 100. Those selected (in the top 100) will be invited to attend and shall not be required to pay any fees. The workshop will be an intensive introduction to screenwriting where some valuable lessons about the craft will be imparted. It will help participants understand the creative tools required to be able to create a robust screenplay. Those who do NOT make it to the top 100 this year can therefore use this guidance to apply to the programme next year. 

After the workshop, these 100 screenwriters shall have 2 months to submit the first draft of their screenplays basis which the final selections will be made. 12 to 15 deserving screenplays will make it to the final selection. These screenplays will be sent to the Mentors and other experts, for detailed evaluation and notes. The Mentors will be leading film Screenwriters and Directors.

After receiving notes from the Mentors, the writers will have 1 more month to send in the second drafts of their screenplays. Post this; the finalists will be invited to a 5-day workshop at a Resort destination. Here, the screenwriters will have 4-5 exhaustive one-on-ones with the Mentors, who will be renowned writers and directors from the Indian as well as the International film Industry.

Using the notes from the workshop the writers will revise their screenplays and turn in their third draft, in readiness for an S2S event (From Script to Screen). This draft will then be pitched to studio heads, independent producers, directors, financiers, distributors, film festival directors & curators at the Pitch Event to be held in Mumbai. This is one of the highlights of the programme.

Adds Aparna Purohit, “The last three years have been a great learning experience but our journey has only just begun. Our mission is to create a platform where new, independent voices in cinema are not stifled. This new programme is a step forward from our last initiative.”

Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd, the Media & Entertainment vertical of the Mahindra Group, is actively evaluating opportunities in content and infrastructure in the domestic as well as international media and entertainment space.

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