Get ready to meet Juhi Chawla in Auckland

One of the most celebrated stars of Bollywood, renowned for her creativity and acting talent will be in Auckland next month.

You would be able to meet and pose her a few questions and go home with an enriched experience of an actor who has a combination of beauty and intelligence that is so rare in Tinsel Town.

Juhi Chawla, who has delighted her audiences with her sterling performances in a career that spans almost two decades, will be a major attraction at the Indian Film Festival 2011, with the theme, Bollywood & Beyond, scheduled to begin at Hoyts Cinema in Auckland’s Sylvia Park on March 24.

The film’s Director Bhutan-born Onirban Dhar will also be present at the Festival and join Juhi in fielding questions from the audience.

Mind Blowing Films Limited is organising and hosting the Festival on both sides of the Tasman, investing substantial financial and human resources.

It is all because the Company’s Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange and her Melbourne-based team have a passion for films.

“The Festival will feature a number of blockbusters and films that will bring forth harsh realities that dominate a vast country like India. As well as being a source of entertainment, the Film Festival will also encourage people to introspect and understand how ‘Real India’ lives today. A number of films will be under the ‘New Zealand Premier segment,” she said.

Among the films that will be shown at the Festival will be I am, a bold, no-nonsense drama that is stated to be a four-part exploration of the ‘thorny issues that prick the Indian conscience.’

Ms Lange said I am has a number of unique factors in its filming, the most fascinating aspect of which would perhaps be that it was funded by more than 400 people from various parts of the world, following appeals on community websites such as Facebook.

“It tackles a number of subjects normally considered a social anathema. The bold discussion of issues such as homosexuality, prostitution and child abuse have already evoked wide public debate and grabbed some salacious headlines in the media. It is movies such as I am that lend credibility to the core theme of the Festival (‘Bollywood and Beyond’), she said.

The ‘Miss India’ title that she won in 1984 opened the Bollywood doors for Juhi and since then she has been hailed as the ‘Queen of Indian Cinema,’ appearing in a variety of roles, each of which exposed her innate talent as an actor, singer and dancer. Although Sultanat (1987) was stated to be her first film, it was Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988), opposite Aamir Khan that brought her into limelight.

There was no stopping for the multitalented star thereafter. A number hits followed, including Pratibandth (1990), Bol Radha Bol (1992), Aaina (1993), Lootere (1993) Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke, and Darr (1993), to name a few.

Her roles in Yes Boss, Deewana Mastana and Ishq were memorable.

Inspiring filmmaker

Onirban Dhar is a rising star in Bollywood and his courage to deal with contentious issues such as AIDs and homosexuality has earned him a place of distinction in the Indian film industry.

More details about the Festival will appear in our ensuing issues.

The Indian Film Festival 2011

In Auckland from March 24 at Hoyts, Sylvia Park

Opening Night: I Am

Subsequent Screening: New Zealand Premiers: Mee Sindhutai Sapkal, Udaan, Just Another Love Story, It’s a wonderful Afterlife; West Is West

Others: Dhobi Ghat, Peepli Live; My Name is Khan; Raajneeti; Band Baaja Baraat; Guzaarish; Saat Khoon Maaf; Tere Bin Laden; Mirch (NZ Premier); Dabangg; No One Killed Jessica

Other Centres: Sydney (From March 8), Melbourne (from March 11), Adelaide (from March 22)

Contact: Sandeep Khurana on 021831968

Email: sandeepkhurana <at>

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