Imran Khan BKB se pehle

 Imran Khan BKB se pehle

Just a few days prior to the November 26 release of Break Ke Baad, Imran Khan sat down for a press conference at Reliance Big Pictures Manhattan offices, together with BKB’s Associate Producer, Vicky Bahri.   Imran took great care to repeat each person’s name after they introduced themselves before asking their questions.

He was refreshingly frank about the roles he gets offered (as a baby-faced 27-year-old), his working relationship with his famous uncle (Aamir Khan) and his thoughts on possible Hollywood roles.   For the amount of media attention he receives, he’s remarkably unaffected.

 Imran Khan BKB se pehle

Q: How did you get on board for this film?

IK: I initially turned it down after I read the script.   I was halfway through I Hate Luv Storys when Danish (the director) came back with a new script.   This character has a lot in common with my character from Jaane Tu “¦ Ya Jaane Na, he’s a grown-up version.

Q: What draws you to do a film?

IK: Three things bring me to a film:   the script, the director and a producer who’ll support the director, not interfere and also who won’t forget the project.

Q: What was it like working with Deepika?

IK:   I didn’t really know her before, but since she’s become a close friend.   She cares very deeply about her work.   She always wants to do better in each film.   It pushes you to try harder and it makes you look better on screen.

Q: (to Vicky Bahri):   How is it co-producing with Kunal (Kohli)?

We all have directorial backgrounds and we look at film from that perspective, so we can help the director because we know where he’s coming from.     And these guys worked really hard.   We had a grinding schedule in Mauritius, with  4am/5am wake-up calls.

Q: Why are you here in NY and NJ to promote this film?

[Read more...]

Imran Khan in NY/NJ Sunday

break%20ke%20baad%20market%20sml Imran Khan in NY/NJ Sunday

As part of the lead-up to the November 24 release of his new romcom, Break Ke Baad, twentysomething heartthrob Imran Khan will be making the rounds in the tri-state area this weekend.   (yes, that’s right, we get the film before they do in India.)

For people who want to catch a glimpse of him in person can find him at the two BIG Cinemas chain theaters in New Jersey this Sunday, November 14th.   He’ll be stopping at both the Columbia Park 12 theater in North Bergen and the Movie City 8 theater in Edison.   You can read more about how to book tickets for the appearances here.

Later in the day, he’ll be moving on to Fords, NJ for a dinner engagement at Royal Alberts Hall.

And here’s the trailer for the movie:

MIAAC 2010 red carpet photos

 MIAAC 2010 red carpet photos

Sendhil Ramamurthy, one of the stars of Shor

 Star-studded opening of the 10th Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council film festival.

 MIAAC 2010 red carpet photos

Tusshar Kapoor, star of Shor (and Diwali hit Golmaal 3)

 MIAAC 2010 red carpet photos

The team from Shor ("Noise"), opening film of MIAAC

The non-desi photographers behind the velvet rope furiously scribbled the names the of the people gliding by them, while the rest of the pack gave them the lo-down on who was who.   Tusshar Kapoor got out of his car one reporter said “He’s very big back in India” and upon his TV mogul sister Ekta’s appearance, someone else added “And she’s huge over there!”  

 MIAAC 2010 red carpet photos

Tusshar Kapoor with his sister Ekta, who produced Shor

Samrat Chakrabarti, who is clearly in the lead for the title of busiest NY-based actor was on  the SAIFF red carpet  less than two weeks ago, then over  at the  Rome Film Festival, and now back here.   He has also appeared as Irrfan Khan’s son in the latest season of HBO’s In Treatment.

 MIAAC 2010 red carpet photos

Samrat Chakrabarti, starring in Ajay Naidu's Ashes

Samrat is at MIAAC for his work in Ashes, the directorial debut of his Loins of Punjab Presents co-star Ajay Naidu.   A frequent Twitterati, Samrat gave his phone to one of the photographers and asked them to snap his picture, for Tweeting purposes.   Not only an actor, Samrat is also an accomplished musician and has done the score for the documentary Natvar Bhavsar: Poetics of Color, also appearing at this year’s MIAAC.

Mr. Naidu soon followed him on the red carpet, and after much greeting and embracing of friends, he worked his way down the line of photographers.   Ajay can also be seen  in this season of the HBO series Bored to Death.

 MIAAC 2010 red carpet photos

Ajay Naidu, actor and now director, whose Ashes debuts Friday night

Sarita Choudhury, who caught everyone’s eye in Mira Nair’s Mississippi Masala and Kama Sutra,  saw her director arrive at the theater and rushed over to swoop her up in a big hug.

 MIAAC 2010 red carpet photos

Actor Sarita Choudhury and her director Mira Nair

Actor, author (more here) and chef, Madhur Jaffrey  tried to slip into the theater with all the other festival-goers, but was coaxed onto the red carpet.

 MIAAC 2010 red carpet photos

Mira Nair, Madhur Jaffrey and Sarita Choudhury

If one were to look for  six degrees of separation between  Nandana Sen and Ajay Naidu, they wouldn’t have to go too far, as Ms. Sen played the muse Sugandha in Ketan Mehta’s Rang Rasiya the biopic of artist Raja Ravi Varma, to whom  Mr. Naidu is related.   (If  Ms. Sen had turned around,  you would see a thin gold chain encircling her waist.)

 MIAAC 2010 red carpet photos

Nandana Sen

After a while, one photographer  remarked “Now, if I can just get Padma Lakshmi, I could go home.”   (She did eventually appear.)

UPDATED: Trio of Indian film fests in NY/NJ

SAIFF 2010 Keyart UPDATED: Trio of Indian film fests in NY/NJ

It’s that time of the year again.

Three Indian film festivals in the NY/NJ area overlap and bump into each other over the space of the next two and a half weeks.

One the one hand, it’s a glorious excess of riches, with the likes of Anurag Kashyap and Mani Ratnam gracing us with their presence and their most recent films, along with a slew of first-timers and up-and-comers anxiously exhibiting their newborns for all to judge.

On the other hand, would it kill the organizers to space things out a little bit?

In short, here are the dates and locations:

SAIFF (South Asian International Film Festival): Oct 27 – Nov 2, NYC

NJISACF (NJ Independent South Asian CineFest): Oct 29-30, Edison

MIAAC (Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council): Nov 10 -14, NYC

It would seem to make more sense to not have all three piled up on top of each other.   For example, SAIFF started off with a bang last night, hosting Kashyap’s That Girl in Yellow Boots for its US debut.   NJISACF is on this weekend, and it has moved from its former home on the Rutgers campus to the Reliance BIG Cinema multiplex on the Ground Zero of all things desi in New Jersey: Oak Tree Road.

njisacf logo1.thumbnail UPDATED: Trio of Indian film fests in NY/NJ

It’s a great festival.   Two years ago, the National Award winner and big fave of mine, Prakash Raj, was there to present Priyadarshan’s Kanchivaram (for which the director too won a National Award) and last year the big name in attendance was Adoor Gopalakrishnan.   This year too, the line-up looks fascinating (e.g. Archie Panjabi in Yasmin) and there is a special focus on women.   But I fear it will be overshadowed to a large extent by SAIFF.

Just imagine if these two film fests were on at different times.   With some better publicity for NJISACF (and specific helpful info for Manhattanites on how to get to Edison), festival-goers could be encouraged to arrive there early enough to enjoy the multitude of shops and eateries up and down Oak Tree Road before adjourning to the cinema.   Local merchants could get involved, maybe offer discounts to festival attendees.

miaac10 logo%202 UPDATED: Trio of Indian film fests in NY/NJ

Then, with only a few days’ gap after SAIFF ends, MIAAC commences.   And by the way, how great is it that this city can support not one, but three, festivals (including Engendered iView) devoted to South Asian film and for so many years?   (MIAAC is 10 years old, SAIFF, seven.) We truly are fortunate.

Now, just imagine if one of these festivals took place a few months earlier, say, during the sweltering days of July, or even better, August, in a wonderful cinematic lead-up to the annual Independence Day hoopla?   So many Indian film people travel to the US for promotional events at that time anyway.   If there were a space of months rather than days between these two film fests, we movie lovers would get a bit of a breather, with time to absorb and talk up all the great movies we’ve seen, and there wouldn’t be such a cannibalization of films and audiences, plus the actors and directors who attend.

UPDATE 10/Nov/2010:   Am happy to see that the WSJ is making similar observations about the fall film traffic jam.

And now, smack in the middle of MIAAC, young hunk Imran Khan arrives with his producer Kunal Kohli to promote their film Break ke Baad, which opens in the US on Thanksgiving Eve.

One bit of good news is that MIAAC is moving to May 9 – 14 next year.

The oldest of the South Asian film festivals will take up residence for its duration at Lincoln Center, being the first to make use of the new facilities after all that ongoing construction.

Happy Diwali!

 Happy Diwali!

...or Deepavali, whichever floats your boat

Irrfan Khan @ SAIFF

 Irrfan Khan @ SAIFF

Irrfan Khan during the q & a after Paan Singh Tomar

Paan Singh Tomar, the UTV film based on a true story and starring Irrfan Khan and Mahi Gill, was the SAIFF centrepiece film, screened last night.   Mr. Khan was moving and funny and earnest in the role.   More later.