Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma recalled that actor Shah Rukh Khan messaged him introducing himself after he said he didn’t know him. As per the news agency ANI, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said that he didn’t know Shah Rukh but ‘know film stars of my time’. Talking about the actor’s message, the CM added that Shah Rukh wanted to talk with him. (Also Read | Shah Rukh Khan surprises fans outside Mannat, greets them with his signature pose; fans hail ‘last of the stars’)
Recently, the CM had said, “who is Shahrukh Khan? I don’t know anything about him or his film Pathaan”. He was responding to queries by reporters about the violent protest by activists, who held a demonstration in front of a theatre in Narengi last week, where the actor’s film Pathaan is slated to be screened.
As quoted by the news agency ANI, the Assam CM said on Monday, “I know film stars of my time. I didn’t know Shah Rukh. He sent a message and introduced himself- ‘I’m Shah Rukh Khan. I want to speak to you’. I didn’t have time then. So later at 2 am, we spoke and I told him that there’ll be no disturbance in Assam (regarding movie Pathaan).”
The Assam CM had said that Shah Rukh talked to him over the phone early on Sunday and expressed concern over a protest against Pathaan in Guwahati. He had assured the actor that his government will enquire about the demonstration against the movie and ensure that “no such untoward incidents” would occur again. “Bollywood actor Shri @iamsrk called me and we talked today morning at 2 am. He expressed concern about an incident in Guwahati during screening of his film. I assured him that it’s duty of state govt to maintain law & order. We’ll enquire and ensure no such untoward incidents,” CM Sarma said on Twitter.
Pathaan has been facing a backlash from a few groups for showing Deepika Padukone in a saffron bikini in the song Besharam Rang. A section of the people has demanded a ban on the film and also held protests across the country.
Pathaan, which has been directed by Siddharth Anand, will be released on January 25. The film is a part of Aditya Chopra’s ambitious spy universe. Apart from Shah Rukh, the film also stars Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Dimple Kapadia, and Ashutosh Rana in pivotal roles. It is set to release in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.
Guneet Monga on The Elephant Whisperers at Oscars: ‘Absolutely surreal’
After backing Rayka Zehtabchi’s Period. End of Sentence, Guneet Monga finds herself once again heading to the Oscars. In 2019, Period. End of Sentence won the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) and now the producer’s latest project The Elephant Whisperers is competing in the same category at the 95th Academy Awards. (Also read: Guneet Monga and Sunny Kapoor tie the knot as per Sikh rituals, twin in blue. See pics)
Guneet, who is also a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in the producers’ branch, spoke to Hindustan Times about the incredible honour and working with Karthiki Gonsalves, the first-time filmmaker behind the documentary short. She also gave a run-down on the busy month and a half ahead as she works to make sure that voters get to watch the film ahead of the final voting period from March 2 – 7. The awards ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on March 12. Excerpts below:
Congratulations on the Oscar nomination. Now that you have had time to process it, what does this second nomination mean?
It’s absolutely surreal. Just so grateful, more than anything else. I actually got married and booked my honeymoon in places where I had no network. I was actually eight hours delayed to even find out that we were even shortlisted. First the shortlist came to me as a beautiful, gorgeous surprise. I’m so grateful to be nominated and be amongst the top five in the world. Let’s see if we make it to the top.
Additionally, this year India has two other nominations as well with All That Breathes and RRR. Is this a hopeful sign going forward for Indian filmmaking?
I think this is our diversity at its best. It’s really a display of our strengths in cinema. With RRR, it is the epitome of a commercial film and also in the Telugu language. And then there is this documentary in Kattuanayakan made by a Tamil woman, first-time female filmmaker and me, who is Hindi-based. And then there is All That Breathes. It’s just a whole spectrum of who we are.
How did this project first come to your notice and how did you get on board as producer?
Kartiki, my director, discovered the story about the spiritual bond [between man and animal] and shot there for a while, and made a trailer. [She] took that trailer to the Netflix team. The documentary team at that time was the Singapore team and from there, the Netflix team brought it to me, if I would consider producing it as I was on the journey of Period. End of Sentence. It was amazing to collaborate again with Netflix. When I met Kartiki, it was incredible to see a female filmmaker with such ideas and so driven. I wanted to do everything to support her and nurture this film. And once I came on board, the film officially got greenlight.
When the rushes of the film started to come to you, what were you noticing about the story?
Vérité documentary is difficult. We had 450 hours of footage. Every day shooting in the wild, there’s definitely a certain schedule. Vérité is just that you’re following real life people. Over the years, you really discover the story. It can’t happen overnight, so I’m so grateful to be on this journey with a studio like Netflix that has the global experience that allowed this breathing space for this film to unfold. I mean, who knew Raghu would be taken away? Or Ammu would come in? We could put together this story and their life like that.
I really think it’s like putting a hoarding on the moon. So people are experiencing The Elephant Whisperers, talking about it, and writing to us. There’s DMs on Instagram and mails coming to us directly. It’s really heartening that people are discovering the film. I think I’m at a stage in life where I really want to have beautiful journeys together with filmmakers. That means a lot to me. And I’ve had the most incredible time collaborating with Kartiki.
Regarding Oscar campaigns, you’ve been doing this now for a few years also as you’ve taken other films to the Academy. What have you learnt and what are your plans for The Elephant Whisperers?
When we got shortlisted, the only [requirement] is that you submit your film to a certain festival. Certain festivals are Oscar-qualifying festivals. After that, you get a qualification tag, you submit to the Academy and then hopefully you get shortlisted. Post the shortlist, only the documentary film branch voters can vote for a nomination. So now that the nomination has happened, my plan is to get to LA and start working closely with the US team of Netflix and do the campaign. We will do a bunch of screenings, interviews, conversations, spreading the word of The Elephant Whisperers because now in this round, the whole Academy votes.
So it’s more than 9,000 people voting globally. How do you reach them? How do you make sure they’ve seen your film? Netflix is a huge boom in that journey because people have Netflix and it’s easy to watch. There’s also the Academy Screening Room. But the next one month and a half is just outreach, press and making sure more voters experience the film. Everything adds up and if they are curious, they read about the film and that’s when they get to know some of our journey. Hopefully, vote for it and hopefully we win.
In the last couple of years, Indian documentaries, both short and feature, have managed to make a mark for themselves at film festivals and amongst international critics. To what do you attribute this welcome growth for documentaries?
They need more support, more funding, more structure. I feel like as a format, it’s starting… It’s more like a testimony of some incredible filmmakers that we have in our country. With international platforms coming in and actually opening up the market for documentaries to be consumed also by regular people who are so used to fiction storytelling, I think it is just the start of an incredible time ahead.
Athiya Shetty, KL Rahul spotted on dinner date for first time after wedding | Bollywood
Athiya Shetty and KL Rahul made their first public appearance as a married couple on Monday, days after they had briefly posed for the paparazzi on their wedding day. The two were seen in casuals at a Bandra restaurant and paused for a moment to pose for the photographers before getting into their car. Also read: Suniel Shetty, Athiya Shetty, KL Rahul dance their hearts out in pics from mehendi ceremony, Krishna Shroff also spotted
A paparazzo shared a video from Monday night on Instagram. It shows Athiya in a printed blue and brown shirt and denims and Rahul in a white tee and blue denims. Athiya is seen asking the photographers to step back as she paused for a moment to pose with Rahul with a big smile on her face.
Athiya and KL Rahul tied the knot at Suniel Shetty’s Khandala farmhouse last week. She was in a neutral-toned embroidered lehenga with polki jewellery while Rahul was in an off-white sherwani. They stepped out of the venue after the wedding ceremony to pose for the paparazzi waiting outside. Before them, Suniel and son Ahan Shetty greeted the media and distributed sweet boxes to the photographers.
The wedding was an intimate affair with only few friends and close family members in attendance. Suniel has said he will be hosting a wedding reception in some time.
Neither Athiya nor Rahul confirmed their relationship or the wedding date until the D-day. They announced their wedding by sharing pictures from the ceremony on Instagram with the caption, “In your light, I learn how to love…” Today, with our most loved ones, we got married in the home that’s given us immense joy and serenity. With a heart full of gratitude and love, we seek your blessings on this journey of togetherness.”
Athiya, 30, daughter of actor Suniel Shetty and Mana Shetty, made her Bollywood debut with 2015 film Hero. Since then, she has appeared in two more films including Mubarakan with Arjun Kapoor and Motichoor Chaknachoor with Nawazuddin Siddiqui. KL Rahul, 30, is currently the vice-captain of the Indian cricket team in test cricket.
Priyanka Chopra finally shows Malti’s face, fans say ‘looking like daddy’ | Bollywood
Priyanka Chopra has finally revealed the face of her baby girl, Malti Marie Chopra Jonas. She attended an event where the Jonas Brothers, including her husband Nick Jonas, unveiled their Hollywood Walk of Fame star. Priyanka was seated in the front row with Malti in her arms. The kid looked cute in a cream outfit and a matching hairband. She also wore tiny ear studs. Priyanka shared a picture and a video from the event on Instagram in which Malti’s face can be seen clearly. Also read: Priyanka Chopra goes high on bling as she decks up for a bash, clicks closet selfie
Sharing the picture and video on Instagram, Priyanka wrote, “So proud of you my love! Congratulations @jonasbrothers.” The picture shows the three Jonas Brothers standing with their Walk of Fame certificates on the stage while Priyanka and Malti are seen watching them from among the audience.
The video shows Priyanka playing with Malti who also got a shoutout from Nick Jonas. He said, “To my beautiful wife, you are the calm in the crazy, the rock in the storm and I love being married to you. It is the greatest gift. And I love being a parent with you.” Waving to Malti, he said, “Malti Marie, hi there, I can’t wait to come back here in 15 years and embarrass you in front of your friends.”
Priyanka and Nick’s fans were elated on seeing Malti’s face for the first time. A fan wrote in reaction to the post, “Awww got to see baby Malti M for first time! (Nazar utaarlu (let me ward off the evil eye).” Another wrote, “Can see you cute baby.” One more fan wrote, “Your daughter is just beautiful! So amazing for her to be there!” Many also found her resembling Nick. A person commented, “OMG your daughter is the DNA of your husband!” Another wrote, “omg we see her face now. She is nick whole face.” One more fan said, “Finally got that glimpse..looking like daddy as the first child always does..I reckon.”
Priyanka and Nick welcomed Malti via surrogacy. She recently turned one. The family of three lives in their plush Los Angeles home. Till now, Priyanka shared several glimpses of the baby but always with her face hidden with a heart emoji.
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