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A Golden globe winner, an Oscar winner and an acclaimed French producer praise for Rahat Kazmi’s Lihaaf, before its world premiere

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It is a great moment for International filmmaker Rahat Kazmi and his team as his film Lihaaf is attracting legendary filmmakers and producers from all over the world.

As we all know, Rahat Kazmi along with Oscar winner Marc Baschet had recently announced in Cannes 2019 that their film, Lihaaf would premiere as the closing film at the 16th Indian Film Festival Stuttgart in July 2019.

Now, Rahat Kazmi has revealed that even before his film’s premiere at Stuttgart, he has received another invitation from IndoGerman films, Stephan Ottenbruch for premiering Lihaaf in Berlin.

Rahat Kazmi is glad to receive the invitation. He expressed, “It’s an honour to receive an invitation from him and we are excited about it. Besides, we have also been called to premiere in US, Mexico, Singapore and Europe. It’s a joyous moment for the team.”

Not only this, the famous French film producer, François d’Artemare (nominated for Polish Academy Award for Best Film) too reached out to Rahat Kazmi and poured words of appreciation. After watching the film at a personal screening arranged by the team, François d’Artemare appreciated the hardwork of the actors, giving special emphasis to the beautiful light and strong plot. He also approached the actress Sonal Sehgal on social media and appreciated her role in the film.
Rahat Kazmi is quite delightful on receiving golden words of appreciation from internationally acclaimed personalities. Sharing his happiness, he said, “We are nevertheless overwhelmed with the kind of response we are getting from all over the world. We were aware of the impact even before we started shooting the movie. No denying the fact, it’s one of the greatest works of Ismat Chughtai. So, once, during our research and visit to the author’s family, her grandson, Ashish Sawhny said that now the family’s respect is on your shoulders. We felt so responsible as we knew that many renowned filmmakers had tried to get the copyright too but we were the lucky ones to receive it.”
Apart from these all personalities, Rahat Kazmi has also received words of appreciation and encouragement from Siddiq Barmak, a Golden Globe-winner Afghan film director and producer. Rahat Kazmi got an opportunity to interact with Siddiq Barmak during a film festival in Singapore. Thereafter, Rahat Kazmi arranged a special screening for him in Singapore itself. After watching, Siddiq Barmak lauded the film saying, “It can be one of the best films of the year due to its plot and the immense effort of the team.”
Rahat Kazmi says, “We were happy to receive appreciation from a person who has won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film (Osama, 2014). Not only did he appreciate but also enlightened us with his inputs in sound design and editing. We edited the film following his suggestions and you can see the outcome, the film is being loved by all and sundry.”


Sharing one of the incidents during the making of the film, Rahat Kazmi said, “I have evolved as a person while working on this film. Once, when I talked about the script with a renowned woman director, she appreciated my idea and encouraged me to work on the script but also advised me to get a woman director to assist as the story is about women’s sexuality. I understood her apprehensions but took it as a challenge. No doubt, it was difficult for a man to get into the shoes of women and portray it from a woman’s perception but after hearing all these songs of praise, I guess I succeeded in giving justice to the story.”
Rahat Kazmi thanked the protagonists of the film, Sonal Sehgal and Tannishtha Chatterjee for helping him understand the plot from a woman’s point of view. A period drama, the film is based on Ismat Chughtai’s most celebrated story Lihaaf (published 1942). The film is co-written and directed by Rahat Kazmi and produced by Rahat Kazmi Films, Tariq Khan productions, and Zeba Sajid filmNamita Lal, who will also be seen in the film, playing the role of Rabbo, which is one of the most important characters of the film. Other producers include Tariq Khan and Zeba
The film is set to hit the theatres by the end of this year.

Television

Jason Shah on losing 14 kgs without going to the gym

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Who says losing weight is all about working out in the gym. Actor Jason Shah, who has lost a ton of weight recently, and has been maintaining himself by just eating right. “I have actually lost almost 14 kilos on the sets of Jhansi Ki Rani due to extreme heat and a lot of perspiration,” says Jason, who plays the role of Captain Ross in the show.

He adds, “I wish I still had all that muscle, but there’s not much that I can do. I stopped gymming at the start of the show because I travelled quite far, about 3 hours a day. And after that its 12-14 hrs of the shoot, there’s not a lot of time to the gym and because of the amount of perspiration, my body is quite tired at the end of it. I am just waiting for the show to end and I am going to build back up, it doesn’t take any too long, give me two months and I will be good again.”

However, the actor has been eating right and has cut down on his sugar intake. “My parents always taught me that sugar rots your teeth and that it’s a killer and a thief. So keeping that in mind, ever since I was young, I have always tried to avoid it. Of course, I get tempted. It’s not like I don’t eat ice creams and desserts. I do, I spread out and do not eat these on a regular basis. You have got to watch yourself because, in India, they put sugar in almost everything that you eat,” he says.

He adds, “I am not going to the gym and that’s why I am lean. I have been maintaining myself with just a good diet, healthy food, healthy snacks throughout the day- oats, salads, fruits, eggs, chicken. That’s pretty much how I do it.”

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Television

Rajiv Kumar on playing a eunuch in EBSS: I am enjoying my role

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While he takes over an hour to get ready every day, actor Rajiv Kumar says that he is loving his role of Dipti Kalwani’s Ek Bhram Sarvagun Sampanna. The actor plays the role of a eunuch in the show. “For my character of a eunuch, I observed the eunuchs on road, also I watched some documentaries to know more about them and their lives. While wearing the costume it does feels a little uncomfortable because a man in his normal life does not wear a sari with so much makeup. As a male artist when we go on the sets, we do very basic makeup but here in this show, I have to put a wig, a sari and jewellery. For makeup, it takes around one and a half hour, but I am enjoying doing the role a lot,” he says.

He adds, “I watched a film called Daayra directed by Amol Palekar where Nirmal Pandey played this character. I also watched a film directed by Mr Bhatt where Paresh Rawal played the transgender character. Also, I saw clips of Shabnam mausi, where Ashutosh Rana has played a transgender and a film where Sadashiv Dattaray Amrapurkar has played this character.”

The actor, who has been seen in shows such as Udaan, Gathbandhan, Meri Durga and  Mariam Khan – Reporting Live, says that he loves working with co-actor Shrenu Parikh. “Among the co-actors, I bond really well with Shrenu Parikh as a maximum of my scenes are with her. She is a very talented, energetic, supportive and wonderful actor. I wish her all the very best,” he says.

Talking about working with Dipti, Rajiv adds, “Dipti Kalwani is an amazing producer as she is very professional. The whole arrangement which she does as a producer in the production house for the shoot is amazing. Five stars to her!”

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Television

Shiny Doshi: Filmmakers used to think that TV actors overact in films

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The lines between TV and films are gradually blurring with so many TV actors getting prominent roles in films. Actor Shiny Doshi, who is currently part of Shrimad Bhagavad, says that TV actors perform many scenes every day, much more than film actors, and have no problem adapting themselves to films. “Actors like Mouni Roy, Hina Khan, Karan Singh Grover make us really proud. They have been doing films. Earlier, filmmakers used to think that the television actors would overact and be over dramatic. But now things have changed and any actor who has talent will work in films. Theatre, television or films, every medium needs actor and the medium should be respected. Films shoot max 2 to 3 scenes a day while television shoots for 14 to 15 scenes a day. In fact, shooting 12 hours a day for 30 days becomes very difficult. The shows work for years and it becomes very monotonous and difficult and the actor gets trained in this process. I feel if you place a television actor in any character, he or she will adapt to it well,” she says.

Luck, of course, is another important factor in the industry, says Shiny. However, she adds that hard work triumphs everything. “Luck favours but with that hard work and talents works. Rejection is part of life, not every project works in life. I took every rejection in my life as a challenge to rise up again and try hard to give my best. We are humans and rejections are painful. But if you start taking them positively, then it would eventually work and destiny will get you what you deserve. One should not stop working hard. I feel luck is important but with hard work and talent,” she says.

Talking about her own journey, she says, “When I started my career 8 years back I went for an audition of some other show and somehow the makers of Saraswati Chandra or Star Plus saw me and they thought I should try for it. So the initial show which I went for didn’t happen and Saraswati Chandra happened. I always believe that God has plans for you. I think the struggle started when Saraswati Chandra happened because I had never learned acting. Jennifer Winget and Gautam Rode, who were already stars, were so good at their work that the level of expectation from me also rose. I learned a lot from them. I had life experience of learning acting and direction. I got shows back to back and each character I played was very different. There was a struggle after Khatron Ke Khiladi for a year as things used to lock down but didn’t turn out and so that was a difficult year for me. Everyone has ups and downs in life and finally then my show Shrimad Bhagavad happened.”

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