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Movie Theatres Opening In Maharashtra from October 22, Trade and Industry Reacts

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Ajai Rai (producer): “As a producer I could wholly empathize with my ilk which was waiting bated breath for  theatres in Maharashtra to re-open. Movies being released excluding Maharashtra was like excluding the Taj Mahal from Agra. Made no sense. Thanks to Uday Thackerayji for finally doing the needful. We can start breathing again.”

Sharad Kelkar(actor):  “This is great news for all us Maharashtrians. We are all movie lovers. For me watching  movies in theatres is the only way to really enjoy films. I have a few releases pending. Hopefully they will reach theatres now. We all are waiting to watch Rohit Shetty’s Sooryavanshi in theatres. So this is great new for Diwali. All thanks to Udhav Thackeray Sir. He has taken a big step and one that is beneficial to our film industry. And thanks to Rohit Shetty Sir and Jayantilal Gadha Sir who went and met and Uddhav Thackeray Sir and convinced him. Looking forward to going back into the theatre.”

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Taran Adarsh (Trade Expert): “Wonderful development. The revival of the film business has begun. Maharashtra alone contributes 35% of all India business and the reopening of cinemas has rejuvenated all, the production, distribution and exhibition sectors. With Sooryavanshi arriving this Diwali, expect more announcements in the coming days.”

Suneel Darshan (Producer-Director): “With aggressive dual vaccination in Maharashtra, the cautious & calculated reopening of the Cinema screens will invite a positive response only if the Exhibition sector woos the audiences with attractive Movies in consensus with the Production sector & avoids the high-handed authoritative approach, leading to a win-win situation for all parties… This will now lead to pan-India releases of the big-budget movies that are awaiting the unlocking.”

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Girish Johar (Producer, Trade Expert): “This is really great news. I am personally very upbeat and gung-ho about this. So happy that this Diwali  the box-office will celebrate with films. With a cautious approach the audiences will also come back, faster vaccination will boost the consumers’ confidence and the overall machinery will start to roll  again. Hope and pray that like the South and Punjabi box-office Hindi films too will churn out good numbers and with the help of English films and local language films…the business cycle of movie starts again.”

Atul Mohan (Trade Expert): “Fantastic news finally. We all were waiting impatiently for this. Because we all know in the trade that unless Mumbai and Maharashtra opens up, business of Hindi films and Hollywood films is bound to be impacted and no producer would want to take risk of ignoring this big market. We have seen how the collections of recent releases were affected due to closure of theatres in Maharashtra, and that was the reason why no other film announced its release date. Also with the opening of cinemas comes the big news of Sooryavanshi releasing, a perfect film to attract audience back to the cinemas.”

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Anees Bazmee (Director):  “I think it was much needed. Since the government has controlled the pandemic situation very well in Maharashtra this seems like a good next step toward normalcy. Finally many of my director and producer friends projects can be out now in theatres which many people have been waiting for, including my own, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2.”

Amod Mehra (Trade Expert):  “Keeping fingers crossed.22 Oct is still nearly 4 weeks away.. God willing if things don’t deteriorate then the film industry will see happy days here again.”

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Anand Pandit (Producer):  “It is absolutely wonderful news that cinemas will be reopening in Maharashtra ahead of Diwali. We have been waiting for this and I am glad that the Govt in its wisdom and decided to reopen theatres. Yes, it will be a big screen Diwali and hopefully will be a blockbuster one. The industry needs this revival and given that Maharashtra is one of the biggest markets, we hope to see the return of audiences to the theatres. What better time to start than Diwali! I honestly don’t see too many clashes given that the industry understands that the return of audiences might be slow and it would be best to avoid a situation where the audiences worth get divided.”

Shaailesh R Singh (Producer):  “It’s good news for producers, exhibitors and audiences. We  have all been  waiting  for  this.”

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Akshay Rathi (Exhibitor):  “It’s come a bit late . But we are  all very happy that movie theatres in Maharashtra  and Mumbai are now being allowed to operate  again. Maharashtra contributes  a sizeable chunk  to the  box-office collections. Therefore releasing films in India  excluding Maharashtra was unfeasible for most  producers. With this announcement, Sooryavanshi has already been scheduled  for Diwali. And I’m sure we will see many more release announcement soon. We  should  be  thankful to  all the producers, exhibitors and the audience who  waited patiently  for  the magic  of the  movies to be  revived.”

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Why On  Earth Is Sushmita Sen Smoking A Cigar In Aarya’s First  Look?

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Aarya

Season 3  of Aarya is being shot as  you read this, and naturally Sushmita Sen is  super-kicked about it, so kicked that she has put  out a  video where she is seen  in the  best Lady Boss version of herself.

Alarmingly, she is seen puffing away at a  cigar, to  complete her Badass Lady Boss image.

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 There was a  time when women smoking  cigarettes  in Hindi cinema signaled vampishness. If a female actor was  shown smoking it meant she had evil designs  over the  hero, and life in general.

 Sushmita being Sushmita, a cigarette won’t do. A  cigar it is, to go with her formidable image. The last Bollywood actor I saw smoking a cigar  on screen was Premnath in the 1970s. Back then so  many  people didn’t die of cancer  by smoking.

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 These are  different far more dangerous  and deadly times.

Sushmita is an iconic  actor.She  needs to be more careful about the image  she projects . Smoking  a  cigar doesn’t  enhance a woman’s(or a  man’s) muscle power. Nor does it make her look cool.

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About shooting for the third season of Aarya  Sushmita says, “Aarya is synonymous with my name.  I have lived as Aarya for two whole seasons and the love received by the audiences has only encouraged me to do more. Walking on the sets of Aarya Season 3 makes me feel at home and gives me  a sense of empowerment. I’m grateful to the entire team at Disney+ Hotstar, Ram Madhvani Films and Endemol Shine India for the vision of creating Aarya and taking it to newer heights with every season.”

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Shah Rukh, Deepika, John Will Meet The Media  On Monday At 4 pm(But There’s  A Catch)

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Pathaan

Pathaan has effectually discredited the  efficacy  of media interactions to promote  a  film. The  film’s lead actors Shah Rukh  Khan, Deepika Padukone  and John Abraham did not conduct any  press or portal interviews  to  promote the  film.

And  yet Pathaan  is  a blockbuster.

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 This  weekend  the Pathaan producer Aditya  Chopra  of  Yash Raj Films  took a call on behalf  of  the Pathaan team  to do one media  meet at the Taj Land’s End in Mumbai  on Monday January 30 at 4 pm.

The  three principal actors  and  director Siddharth Malhotra  will address  the  media.

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 But  here’s the catch: the media will not be allowed to ask any questions. There will be no  Q& A s or  one-on-one  interactions.This  basically means that the  Pathaan  team will  have an opportunity to  say what it wants  to the media. But the  media will have no say.

Make what  you will of this  one-way traffic.

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A  source close  to Yash Raj informs  me that this is  the   pattern  regarding the media that  Yash Raj will follow for  future  releases: no  press meets  no promotional  engagements.

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Fake Projects of Pathaan Director Being Planted In Media

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Pathaan

Siddharth Anand Denies Considering  Any Project With  Deepak Mukut

A  word of caution to those marketing and publicity wizkids  who think  it’s okay to  plant fake stories  on (fake) projects  with the Pathaan director.

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 It is  not.

Such baseless announcements  are meant only to  raise  the equity  of the  producers  with whom Siddharth   Anand’s name is  linked. One  such  producer whose name  has cropped up after the  spectacular success of  Pathaan is  Deepak Mukut.

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There were  reports  everywhere that Siddharth Anand’s next would  be with Mukut.

Turned out to be a false rumour.

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A  source in the  know informs, “Siddharth now has to complete Fighter  starring Hrithik Roshan and  Deepika Padukone  for Yash Raj.Then  he  is   committed to direct the sequel to War 2 for  Yash Raj films.  They will then start  work on the  next film in the Pathaan  franchise. There is no scope  or  room for any outside  projects  for Siddharth Anand. So every announcement  that  you read of a  new film  to be  directed by Siddharth Anand  for an  outside  producer is likely to  be  a hundred  percent fake.”

When I asked Siddharth Anand  about the  supposed project  with  producer Deepak Mukut he promptly replied,  “NOT AT ALL.”

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Pink Director’s Next  Featuring Yami As A Crime Reporter To Stream From February 16

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Yami

Anniruddha Roy  Chowdhury whose  Pink  featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu was one of  the  most important  films of  2016, is all set to  release his  next  Hindi film.

Entitled LostAnniruddha’s film , based on true  events, will see Yami Gautam Dhar(that’s  what the actress calls herself after her marriage)  as a crime journalist. LOST is an emotional social thriller that represents a higher quest, a search for lost values of empathy and integrity.

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Inspired by true events, Lost is a story of a bright young woman crime reporter in her relentless search for the truth behind the sudden disappearance of a young theatre activist.

Lost

Lost

Says Aniruddha  “The shoot of LOST has been an incredible journey. I have been eager for the release of our hard-worked venture. The film is a realistic highlight of media in a social context and I am sure that it will give the audience a compelling watch. I am curious about its release and see the responses it shall get. I hope they will welcome it with open hearts.”

Yami Gautam Dhar  who plays  the lead  of  the  crime reporter  says,   “I can’t be happier and more proud of the film’s selection for the opening night at CSAFF. I feel like its one that the people will connect to and will be the one that you cannot miss, especially in the current age and time. I have loved playing this role because it was such a special experience, it allowed me to explore so many layers of emotions as an actor and the entire team has worked really hard on it. I genuinely cannot wait for the film’s release, especially to see the reactions of the audience to it.”

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The crime investigation  drama boasts a stellar cast. Along with Yami, the film will feature Pankaj Kapur, Rahul Khanna, and an ensemble of younger talent, including Neil Bhoopalam, Pia Bajpai, and Tushar Pandey, in pivotal roles.

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