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Covid – 19 scare halts movie, TV show shoots; actors give their take

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Covid – 19 scare halts movie, TV show shoots; actors give their take

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Film/TV shootings across India stopped till March 31. Here’s what these TV actors have to say.

 

Sharad Malhotra

Film/TV Shootings have been stalled due to the Covid -19 pandemic, but this is the best decision that has been made keeping the current scenario and people’s safety in mind. Yes, there will be financial losses for individuals working in the TV and film sector and especially those getting paid on per day basis. The TV production houses who work daily to churn out episodes will also face the wrath along with film distributors and film production houses will also incur huge financial losses in the days to come. Indeed, this is a very challenging phase physically, emotionally mentally and economically for the entertainment sector.

Vikas Sethi

I think it’s a great move by our chief minister. It’s for the safety of everyone who are working on the sets. Our federation has taken steps to stall all shoots till 31ist March, let’s not talk about loses. Human loss is more important than economic loss. Yes, it’s a forced holiday but safety comes first.

Aashish Mehrotra  

I feel it is an apt decision taken to stop the Film/TV shooting across India. Of course, life gets affected, not only yours but the lives of millions of viewers who wait to watch their favourite serial and who connect their lives with it. It also affects the lives of all the people working behind the camera; from the light dada to spot dada to so many people working behind the scenes to make a successful shoot happen. I think we should all see the bigger picture and if we all can self-quarantine ourselves for two weeks, we can stop this virus to spread more. Moreover, it is not just the film industry that is getting affected, different sectors and industries are getting affected throughout the world but I believe it is the need of the hour, the need of the nation and we should understand and cooperate.

Amrita Prakash

We shoot in unventilated, air-conditioned studios with crews of 80-90pax in very close proximity. Social distancing is impossible. The crew eats catered food in common/shared metal plates (the virus can stay on metal for 12hrs) and cast wears rental costumes, has multiple hands touching their hair and face all day and sometimes has to share makeup and appliances. It’s a HIGH-risk environment. While movie shoots were cancelled with immediate effect, I don’t know why television shoots were allowed to continue uninterrupted till the 19th? There were also some actors who seem to be ‘proud’ of shooting right now. While I am all for the-show-must-go-on-attitude and have shot through the various crisis, this is different. What they don’t realize is that they aren’t doing anyone a favour and that this isn’t just about putting themselves at risk. They are putting their families, their crew and their city at risk.

Amal Sehrawat 

Obviously, it is a big monetary loss for the industry but nothing is more valuable than human life. I appreciate the decision of the government. I shall be spending maximum time with my family, binge-watching my favourite shows.

Sanjay Gandhi

I think this is the best time to be with yourself.  It is important to understand that it is better to be on house arrest than go out. These dark times will also go. Life is full of different phases. You can eat well at home, spend some good time with your family, listen to good music, watch the best cinema. You can grow intellectually by consuming autobiographies and books on world leaders. Be at peace with yourself and stay calm.

Shivin Narang

 It is one of a kind situation, nothing else matters now. No dreams, no aspirations, no competition…right now the priority is to be safe, it is survival of the fittest. We should focus on what is important to us. I’ll be spending time with my family and will definitely avoid public places. Right now, I’m on a vacation mode. I’m not being particular about what to eat and what not to eat. I do Surya namaskar at home and also trying to hone my craft because as an actor you should be able to perform and entertain people.

Arjun Bijlani

There are lockdowns happening in different countries in lieu of COVID-19. This is only the way forward and necessary preventive measures are being taken globally. Our government is very proactive in preventing the further spread of this pandemic by taking the necessary steps and I fully stand by them. Currently, I’m not shooting for any show or music video. The promotions related to the web series “State of Seige” has come to a halt. I also learned that two of the overseas events I was supposed to be a part of have been called off. Now that I have ample time, I spend my free time playing board games with my son Ayaan and wife Neha. I’m also trying my hand at cooking different cuisines and then make everyone at home try my preparation. My son always gives me honest feedback, but I guess my wife Neha is a little biased and always praises the dish, as she wants me to cook so that she gets a break from cooking.

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Bhavna Vyas and Rajan Shahi’s Kameenkhori crosses 4.5 million views!

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Bhavna Vyas and Rajan Shahi’s Kameenkhori crosses 4.5 million views!


It’s time to celebrate for producer Rajan Shahi as well as his team at First Kut Productions as their digital show Kameenkhori has crossed 4.5 million views. What’s more? Well, this has happened in less than four months! The show airs on YouTube on the First Kut Productions channel. The show has been written and created by Bhavna Vyas, who couldn’t be happier celebrating this milestone.

“I am extremely happy. In today’s times, it’s very difficult to make a place in the overcrowded web market. Also, Kameenkhori is a family comedy but with a bold plot, and this is what worked for us. It was a tough one but I am really happy that people are loving the show and things are going well,” says an elated Bhavna, who has been associated with Rajan Shahi’s production house, Director’s Kut Productions, and his shows since 2011. She has written more than 2500 screenplays for his cult show Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlalta Hai and is still writing for the show. She also created Guddu Beds Guddun, another product by First Kut Productions in 2017.
“In my career of 15 years, the maximum work that I have done has been with Rajan ji… Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Baavle Utaavle, Guddu Beds Guddun, Kameenkhori and now, another show Anupamaa. Rajan ji is someone who never clips my wings and always encourages me to do new things, to experiment and explore new genres. For the longest time, people in the industry didn’t offer me shows because they believed that I can only write slice-of-life shows like Yeh Rishta… But Rajan ji never said that. He has offered me every show of DKP with utmost faith. I am and always be grateful,” she says.

Kameenkhori is a show which is unique, says Bhavna. “I am not an expert on what works and what doesn’t. But I feel, Kameenkhori is a perfect mix of a family comedy, a story about social women issues and also has a refreshing small-town flavor,” she says. The main pillars of both Director’s Kut Productions as well as its web arm, First Kut Productions, are ecstatic at this victory. These include business head, Ranjeet Agarwal, line producer Aarif Shaikh, creative producer Vivek Jain, director Rishi Mandial and DOP Gulshan Shah.

Bhavna is already working on season 2 of the show. “I wrote the story of season 2 with season 1 itself. I just have to finish the dialogues. Hopefully, soon it will be on air!” she says.

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Filmmaker Saumitra Singh shares his directorial debut journey of Naseeruddin Shah starrer The Wallet

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Filmmaker Saumitra Singh shares his directorial debut journey of Naseeruddin Shah starrer The Wallet

Director Saumitra Singh marks his directorial debut with the short film The Wallet that stars Naseeruddin Shah and Navni Parihar in the pivotal roles. The film narrates the heart touching and incomplete love story of an elderly couple. The Wallet went on to garner much appreciation in the festival circuits round the globe.

Actor Naseeruddin Shah says, “Just as miniature is more difficult to make than a large canvas, short stories are more difficult than to write a novel, I feel short films are also difficult to make than feature films since they have to be brief. Amongst all the short films I had done in past couple of years, I would recommend The Wallet, written and directed by Saumitra Singh, which is a very simple, sweet and moving story. I really enjoyed working on it even though it is helmed by a first time director but he was very clear with what he wanted.”

Actress Navni Parihar shares, “It was a great experience working for this beautiful short film The Wallet. It has a lovely and simple script, which is very well executed by writer-director Saumitra Singh. And yes, working with my favourite actor Mr. Naseeruddin Shah in it was the icing on the cake.”

Writer-director Saumitra Singh says, “Every project, every journey is a learning experience. Yes, it’s often a roller coaster ride, but that’s the fun of it. I feel grateful to have worked with great icons of our film industry like Naseeruddin Shah, Navni Parihar. My mother, Shipra Singh not just helped me to complete the film financially but also emotionally so that I can stay grounded and not get distracted. Another co-producer Garima Shukla and Shashwat Joshi helped the project at a point where we felt it might just not be completed.”

Co-producer Shashwat Joshi shares, “I knew Saumitra Singh from a long ago, I was sure he was a creative person. When I came to know that Saumitra is going to make a short film The Wallet with Naseeruddin Shah sir and Navni Parihar ma’am, then I went to meet him and found out that the story of the film so touching. I immediately joined this film because I wanted to work with Naseer sir, Navni ma’am and Saumitra. I will always be thankful to Saumitra for giving me and my production company Jack N Jill Pictures, a chance to associate with The Wallet.”

The Wallet is produced by Shipra Singh and co-produced by Garima Shukla and Shashwat Joshi. Hasan Khan is the Executive Producer (EP) on the film. The Wallet has grabbed over 50 plus awards among the national and international film festival circuits.

Post The Wallet, director Saumitra Singh helmed Painful Pride, Darwaaza and Kalabai From Byculla and will announce the release dates soon.

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Actors work out at home, eat healthy during Covid-19 scare  

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Actors work out at home, eat healthy during Covid-19 scare

 

Due to the deadly Covid-19 scare, gyms are shut. Here is how these actors are making sure to be in shape.

Sanjay Gagnani: Fitness-wise, yes, if one sits at home, one would gain weight. But there are people who don’t go to gyms even when gyms are open. So it all depends on you. For example, my inspiration is Akshay Kumar and he doesn’t go to the gym. He does free weight exercises. He uses his own body weight to work out. There are many other ways for us to workout without any type of equipment at home like dancing, climbing stairs, free weights, etc. One can even watch some YouTube videos to workout at home. And when it comes to diet, I read somewhere that one should increase the intake of vitamin C. So, I have been consuming a lot of sweet lime, fresh Lime water, oranges, etc because it somehow helps to fight the virus.

Sanjay Gandhi: I think this is the best time to be with yourself. Know yourself better. This bad phase will also go, life is full of phases. I can eat well at home, spend some good time with my family. I am listening to good music, watching the best cinema. And to be fit, my funda is eating well, go for a long walk and sleep well.

Shweta Rohira: I will be practicing yoga and controlling the diet so that while binge-watching I don’t do a lot of binge eating I will also make sure I am having lots of warm water to keep myself hydrated and would advise everyone to do so as water is the best cleanser for us.

Vijayendra Kumeria: I have planned my workout routine already. I’ll make the most out of the precautionary holidays and will do functional trainer and yoga as well… my diet is usually healthy so that’s not my worry at all… I will also binge as I will have time to burn the calories too.

Dipna Patel: I’m used to exercising and doing my dance practice at home. I will continue with that. The best thing to do right now is to use your personal car if you have to go out at all. People need to understand that we ourselves are carriers of this virus. So, if we move around less, it will definitely make a difference. Let’s not wait for the cases to reach 500 from 38. Precaution is better than cure. I hope people understand this underrated statement fast. And there is no cure at all yet in this case. Home-cooked food is the best food. So veggies, fruits, dal, soups, etc is what I’ll be cooking. I’m not much of a gym person. Bodyweight exercises, dancing and breathing yoga exercises is what works for me. Yes, I have a lot of books that I want to read. So I’m happy I will be able to do that.

Aparna Dixit: My fitness funda is to eat right and healthy and do yoga! Also, meditate to be at peace in these tough times. I am having fewer carbs, only good carbs, and more protein-rich foods. You should practice yoga poses and do exercises like squats, planks, pushups, and crunches at home to maintain your body. Try doing it with your family members, it will keep everyone healthy and also will be fun.

Ridheema Tiwari: Fitness is a 60% diet and 40% activity. I maintain a balanced diet and a favorable combination of weight training, mixed martial arts, yoga and Pranayam. I have early dinners, which is mostly soups and salads. Lunch is staple veggies, dal, rice, roti and lots of fruits and vegetable juices, smoothies as breakfast. For snacking, I have fig, walnuts, roasted chana, bhel or Khakhra  and sprouts. The issue of gaining weight sitting at home is every actor’s concern. I am training with my husband Jaskaran at home where we have created a small space for some warm sessions, kickboxing, stretches, weights, and yoga.

Sharad Malhotra:  Gyms are shut due to the global threat of Coronavirus and the best way to keep fit is by following my daily routine of cardiovascular exercises i.e running, brisk walking, skipping, stretching, spot jogging along with some basic pushups and sit-ups too. A restricted diet is also very helpful and recommended during such times of crisis.

Kunal Thakur: I am doing all my workouts at home. Even in my building, it is made sure that everything is sanitized every single day. Cleanliness is maintained at a top-notch level. But as people are freaking out, cleanliness is given more priority and everything is disinfected. I am continuing my fitness regimes at my house. The gym, clubhouse and swimming pool etc are kept closed in my building. I work out a little bit in my balcony. I am doing stretches, core movement exercises, handstands, leg stands, leg lifts etc. As part of my diet, I have basic routine food like oats with no added sugar, healthy fruits and healthy food.

Parull Chaudhry: We are limited to our homes. I have always worked out at home and so I am going to continue to do that. I am a yoga person so all I need is a mat. I also have some basic gym equipment at home. As far as diet is concerned, I eat very simple homemade food and drink as much water as possible. Also, I am having lots of vitamin C foods like fresh lime juice, oranges and Vitamin C tablets. I am going to take care of myself and maintain my diet, home and workout routine by staying at home.

Himanshu Malhotra: My fitness funda is going to be is Pranayam, Hathoyoga and Surya Namaskar at home as I do yoga in the morning. This has also been recommended by my nutritionist as well as my doctor that it is the best thing that one can do after waking up. I generally take a walk at the beachside but since coronavirus has come, I am walking in my building as its usually vacant at 5:30 in the morning. Walking is very essential as it keeps our weight and food in check and also keeps us healthy as the heart rate is constantly moving at a rapid pace. As we are home and are eating home-cooked food, we will be able to digest everything properly. I am enjoying home-cooked food completely as it is nutritious, delicious and beneficial and I feel my body will get enough rest which is needed.

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