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‘It is time to see the world through a Feminist Gaze’, says Shabana Azmi

Jio MAMI hosted a brunch to discuss and inspire women equality and quality films, which was graced by Manisha Koirala, Shabana Azmi, Kiran Rao, Anupama Chopra, Sayani Gupta, Kriti Sanon, Neha Dhupia and many more

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Shabana Azmi
Shabana Azmi. Wikimedia

Mumbai, October 17, 2017: Veteran actress Shabana Azmi on Monday said it is the time people started seeing the world through a “feminine gaze”.

The pro-equality actress was speaking at “#F for Freedom MAMI” segment of Jio MAMI 19th Mumbai Film Festival.

“I am very delighted that MAMI this year is concentrating on making women’s work more visible. I think it is high time that we started to see the world through feminine gaze,” she said.

Jio MAMI hosted a brunch to discuss and inspire women equality and quality films, which was graced by Manisha Koirala, Shabana Azmi, Kiran Rao, Anupama Chopra, Sayani Gupta, Kriti Sanon, Neha Dhupia and many more.

ALSO READ Divya Khosla Kumar wishes to make ‘Women Oriented Films’ now

Manisha Koirala, who has been vocal about gender equality, said she was happy that JIO MAMI is recognizing women’s contribution.

“Tumhari Sulu” actress Neha Dhupia said that things aren’t changing but with a little initiative, things will change in coming times. “Just because there is a women-centric film after 30-40 others release, everyone feels that things are changing but they are not changing just yet.”

Kiran Rao, the lady behind the initiative, expressed that main objective was to inspire women and get them in mainstream cinema, either in front or behind.

“The initiative was started two years ago, to inspire females to be part of the film industry, not just tell their stories. We want females to join film industry as writers, actors, technicians, creative arts and camera persons as this will improve the condition of women,” said Kiran.

Film critic Anupama Chopra said that the issue of equality in the film was not just limited to Bollywood, “it is rampant everywhere”. (IANS)

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Divya Khosla Kumar wishes to make ‘Women Oriented Films’ now

The filmmaker has previously made films like "Yaariyan" and "Sanam Re"

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Divya Khosla Kumar. Wikimedia
Divya Khosla Kumar. Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 16, 2017 : Filmmaker Divya Khosla Kumar, who has made films like “Yaariyan” and “Sanam Re”, says she would love to make women oriented films as women are now in every field and doing wonders.

“I would love to if I get an amazing script,” said Divya. However, when it comes to actress, she feels that choice is completely dependent on character.

“I don’t have actress or actor in mind as I feel character gives you definition of whom you should cast,” said the filmmaker was set to walk the runway as a showstopper for designer Charu Parashar at Amazon India Fashion Week (AIFW) Spring- Summer 2018 on Sunday.

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Parashar will showcase a collection titled ‘Immortelle’ that derives inspiration from the Victorian glass house through its lush flora and fauna and the undying spirit of a woman.

Talking about the designer, Divya Khosla Kumar said: “The cloth has fitted me so beautifully I like the concept as it showcases women undying spirit. Women work so hard. I think it is time to pay homage to them as they never give up and this is what the line celebrates.”

Talking about how the role of women has changed in the film industry, she says, “Initially it was very male dominated and there were hardly any women director but now women have entered everywhere and they are making their mark. I think its more to do with talent than differentiating on gender.” (IANS)

 

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‘Didn’t Want to be an Actor at first’ : ‘Baahubali’ Star Prabhas Gets Candid in a new interview

After "Baahubali" becoming a phenomenon, Prabhas admits that fear of failure with upcoming projects looms large

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Prabhas
Actor Prabhas attained global fame with the "Baahubali" film franchise. Wikimedia

Hyderabad, October 8, 2017 : Prabhas always thought he was too shy to emote in front of the camera, and had planned a career in the hospitality sector. But not only did he enter showbiz, but attained global fame with the “Baahubali” film franchise. The actor says he still gets conscious at public events — and is learning the art of handling stardom.

“I am still shy when I go to interviews. I want a lot of people to come and watch my film but I can’t face (that many) people,” Prabhas told IANS in a candid interview.

“After being in the industry for 13-14 years now, I still don’t know how to handle stardom. My fans feel bad that their hero doesn’t come out so much. I’m better than before, and trying to improve,” he added.

His father is famous producer Uppalapati Surya Narayana Raju and his uncle Krishnam Raju Uppalapati has also made a name in Telugu cinema.

Many would have thought that his family’s film roots would lead him naturally into the film industry. But that was not the case.

Prabhas says he had denied his family’s suggestion to try his luck in the field, and that he still can’t put a finger on what made him change his mind.

“My uncle is an actor, my dad is a producer, so they asked me if I was interested, and I was like ‘How can someone act in front of so many people with lights and emote’. I used to feel shy… My parents asked me once or twice (about the decision to be an actor) and I said that it is impossible.

“I had thought I will do some business because I am lazy and I can’t do jobs. I had thought that maybe I will go into hotel business because our family loves food. And north Indian food is very famous in Hyderabad.”

So what changed his mind?

“This is what I remember, (though I) actually don’t know what happened inside my mind. One day I was watching my uncle’s film directed by Bapu. I imagined myself in my uncle’s character… Then I think it slowly started somewhere.”

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Prabhas, who started his career with Telugu film “Eeshwar” in 2002, says he faced a hard time making his family believe about his newfound acting ambition.

“One day, I told my friend that I want to act, and he didn’t believe me… He believed me after at least 10 days. And now he is the producer of ‘Saaho’.”

He made his place in the southern film industry with projects like “Raghavendra”, “Barish: The Season of Love”, “Varsham”, “Jeene Nahin Doonga”, “Chatrapathi”, “Yogi”, “Rebel” and “Pournami”.

But his role as Amarendra Baahubali and Mahendra Baahubali from the “Baahubali” universe changed the whole game for him, and made him popular both in India and around the world.

Filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli put together a story about the battle for control of an ancient kingdom between two brothers in two parts — with dance, music, emotion and drama.

The first part “Baahubali: The Beginning” came out in 2015 and the second “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” was released earlier this year. The second instalment will have its TV premiere on Sony MAX on Sunday.

ALSO READ Interview with Bhumi Pednekar: Heroines No More a Mere Tool of Glamour

After “Baahubali” becoming a phenomenon, Prabhas admits that fear of failure with upcoming projects looms large.

“Fear of failure is definitely there for every film. It was present for ‘Baahubali’; then, after the first part, it was there for the second part. Now, there are so many expectations and audience wants to see something else… Fear is there, but what we can do is believe in something and try to make it.”

On the film front, Prabhas is busy with “Saaho”, which will mark Shraddha Kapoor’s Telugu debut. The film is being shot simultaneously in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. He also has a period love story in his kitty. (IANS)

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UN Brings the World Together to Fight Violence Against Women and Girls; 1 in Every 3 Women Currently Face Gender-based Oppression Globally

A third of all women experience violence at some point in their lives, and that figure is twice as high in some countries, according to the United Nations

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Violence against women
Head of U.N. Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka speaks on stage at WE Day U.N. at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, in New York City (VOA)

United Nations, September 21, 2017 : World leaders meeting at the United Nations on Wednesday launched a half-billion-dollar effort to end violence against women and girls, a crime suffered by 1 in 3 in their lifetimes.

The effort will fund anti-violence programs that promote prevention, bolster government policies and provide women and girls with improved access to services”, organizers said.

It will take particular aim at all categories of violence against women- human trafficking, femicide and family violence.

A third of all women experience violence at some point in their lives, and that figure is twice as high in some countries, according to the United Nations.

“Gender-based violence is the most dehumanizing form of gender oppression. It exists in every society, in every country rich and poor, in every religion and in every culture,” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, head of U.N. Women, said as the United Nations held its annual General Assembly.

“If there was anything that was ever universal, it is gender inequality and the violence that it breeds against women,” she said.

In other forms of violence against women and girls, more than 700 million women worldwide were married before they were 18, and at least 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries, according to U.N. figures.

The initiative of 500 million euros (US$595 million) was launched by the U.N. and the European Union, which is its main contributor, organizers said.

“The initiative has great power,” said Ashley Judd, a Hollywood actress and goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) who participated in Wednesday’s announcement.

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“There are already so many effective, research-based, data-driven programs,” Judd told the Thomson Reuters Foundation ahead of the announcement. “Financing for existing programs is a beautiful thing.

“It also makes an incredibly powerful statement to show that the world is increasingly cohesive around stopping gender-based violence,” she said. (VOA)