Feryna Wazheir has been singled out for praise by critics and audience alike for all her films. Be it when playing the bubbly Frenny in Rang Rasiya, or the troubled and vulnerable Kuwaiti Yasmin in Airlift, the actress has received appreciation for her varied and interesting roles. And the recently released Commando 3 is no exception.
The actress has once again been lauded for her intense portrayal of Zahira, a woman trying to save her young child from radicalism. She outperforms, especially in the scenes clashing with her abusive ex-husband, played by Gulshan Devaiah.
Feryna portrays a vulnerable woman, scared of her menacing ex-husband and his power, but also determined to save her child from his clutches. When she meets hero Captain Karan Singh Dogra (Vidyut Jammwal), she sees a chance to escape with her child and she takes it, knowing well, that if things go wrong, all hell could break loose.
“It was an interesting character to play,” says Feryna. “I try to choose roles where the character speaks to me. It’s not about the size of the role for me, but rather, the substance,” she adds. Latest reports have it that Commando 3 is doing good business at the box-office and that is all which makes Feryna happy this week.
Tackling the subject of longing, memories, cycle of life, reflections, dreams, hope and nostalgia, world cinema film researcher Mainak Misra has written, directed and produced his first short-film Days of Marigolds.
With a unique subject, Days of Marigolds is a silent film with no dialogues. Talking about the film’s emotional quotient, filmmaker Mainak Misra says, “Sometimes we can never forget certain moments spent with our nearest and dearest ones. The story of this short delves upon one such tender moment in the life of the protagonist and how he clings on to it as his most cherished and missed memory.”
The film revolves around a story of two brothers in rural India. As the elder brother leaves the village, the younger brother keeps returning to the place they parted at. Each return marks a passage of his life cycle from childhood to adolescence, early adulthood, late adulthood, and eventually old age. Life goes on.
Shot at the banks of Pochampally village lake, about 30 km away from Hyderabad, Telangana, all the actors in the film are commoners without any previous experience in acting.
Another unique aspect of the film is that it is made in a silhouette-like sepia tone and has an endearing slow-moving village life feel to it. To aid this, the maker effectively uses sentimental instrumental music to enhance its appeal.
Many Bigg Boss Contestants Face Depression,” Reveals Bollywood Publicist Dale Bhagwagar
We have noticed that most of the top contenders and even past Bigg Boss winners are out of the entertainment industry by now. No one talks about them. Many often wonder why they fade away.
“The biggest reason is that most of the Bigg Boss participants do not understand PR. So they either go into the show without hiring a publicist or think they can rely on their Twitter fans to do the job. Both methods are PR disasters,” analyses Bollywood’s only PR guru Dale Bhagwagar, in an interview on the commerce site Business Upturn.
Apart from being India’s leading media man, Dale is considered a specialist with Bigg Boss, for having handled the news media publicity for 20 contestants of the reality show.
“One needs a professional to spin and maneuver through the ups and downs that Bigg Boss Housemates face almost on a daily basis inside the show. A solid crisis management exercise in mainstream media, coupled with hype, can help contestants sail through with ease,” he explains.
That’s true! Because the publicist’s Bigg Boss PR clients including Aarya Babbar, Aman Verma, Amar Upadhyay, Kashmera Shah, Mandana Karimi, Pooja Misrra, Rahul Mahajan, Rakhi Sawant, Sambhavna Seth, and Sonali Raut have all benefitted with a strong PR presence.
But then, many BB contestants completely fail to understand the need for PR. “Some even become arrogant by the time they come out of the show,” Dale points out. “They think that by being on national television for three months and sharing screen space with megastar host Salman Khan has made them a star. So they start behaving like one.”
Then they don’t get work and the media hype starts dying after the show ends. In a few months, they are back to square one and start fading into oblivion. That is the time they think of being proactive and about hiring a good PR to publicize themselves. But by then, it’s too late. No media is interested to speak about them.
“Many BB contestants face depression in this phase. Some come out of it. Others destroy their careers due to it. It’s sad. But it’s the ugly truth,” reveals PR specialist.
The ultra-versatile Bhumi Pednekar, who recently shocked the audiences once again, this time with her look of a dark-skinned girl in the runaway hit Bala, gives credit to makeup and prosthetic expert Preetisheel Singh for designing it.
Bhumi has specially shot a short video, describing how impressed she is with the look designer Preetisheel and her team, saying, “I think you guys are so fantastic. What you guys did for me with Bala is just something that I couldn’t even imagine.”
Bhumi adds, “With the two experiences (Bala and Pati Patni Aur Woh) that I’ve had with you (Preetisheel and team), you made me look so different. You made me feel so comfortable. You always worked around my features. You always tried enhancing them, staying true to the character. And I think that’s fantastic.”
“Speaking specifically about the technique and your prosthetic and all the specialized makeup that you do… oh my God, your entire team is so professional and talented. The number of techniques you use and the surety with which you do it, really put me at a lot of ease as an actor. So congratulations. More power to you. I think you are awesome,” concludes Bhumi.
With the news of the medical drama television series Sanjivani 2 coming on Star Plus, actor Pankit Thakker’s fans were elated and had wished him great luck on social media. But soon, they were taken aback as this reboot of the show featured different actors.
It can be noted that after the success of the earlier Sanjivni episodes on Star Plus, its sequel Dill Mill Gayye on Star One emerged a blockbuster and ran for a whopping 721 episodes.
Pankit, whose character of Dr Atul was hugely popular in Dill Mill Gayye, had fans expecting him to reprise the role, and see more of his love story with the character of Dr Anjali. His character is remembered for being the affable guy and the loving son of Dr Omi Joshi.
However, they were disappointed to find that his character of Dr Atul was missing. Pankit is also famous for being a professional and bankable actor, with a successful innings on Indian television.
The new series which began this August, is waiting to recreate that old Sanjivani and Dill Mill Gayye magic. Whether it will be able to or not, remains to be seen. But bringing back a popular actor from a cult show is always a tried-and-tested idea worth attempting to bring in the TRPs.
Versatile actress Feryna Wazheir who has earlier essayed desi period characters in films such as Rang Rasiya, Meri Preeto and Airlift, will soon be seen playing a modern British Muslim in Commando 3 along with Vidyut Jammwal, Adah Sharma, Angira Dhar and Gulshan Devaiah.
Set in London and India, shot by Mark Hamilton and Priya Seth, the film will showcase Feryna as a woman caught in a dilemma.
“It’s a performance-oriented character. Although I love playing very desi roles, it’s nice to be able to play a contemporary character closer to my roots,” says Feryna, who was required to speak Urdu for the role. Luckily for her, that’s her mother tongue.
Hailing from Kashmir, Feryna is one of the most beautiful women in Bollywood. Born and raised in Scotland, she has been into films from childhood. She studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) and now splits her time between Mumbai and London.
Her love of theatre and Indian movies was evident at a young age and led her to roles in amateur theatre, before beginning her journey in Bollywood. At university, Feryna studied film communication and cultural studies which broadened her outlook.
She is also proficient in the ancient Indian martial art Kalaripayattu as well as boxing. Its yet to be seen if those talents come to use in the film! Commando 3 releases worldwide on November 29.
Twitter plays an important role in forming and maneuvering public opinion, which is essential for PR. There are fan clubs formed for most top contestants and the best part is that they tag themselves and fight with each other like cats and dogs.
This activity happens not only throughout the season, but a lot of Twitterati even defends their favourite contestants for years after they have won or lost on Bigg Boss.
“From a PR point of view, the interesting part is that people’s emotions can be swayed very easily through Twitter,” says Bollywood’s only PR guru Dale Bhagwagar, in an interview to commerce site Business Upturn.
The PR specialist is considered to be an authority on Bigg Boss by the media, simply because he has handled PR for not one, two, or ten — but for a full 20 contestants who have been on the show since its inception.
Dale adds that there are many “dubious nameless handles on Twitter, relentlessly working day and night to fulfill ‘agendas’… or should I say hidden agendas.” For this reason, he feels that Twitter does not do justice to the reality show. “With such people on Twitter, it’s hard to think of any journalistic or PR ethics. There is no control on Twitter, just people playing with emotions and mostly wasting their energies and time.”
But Dale makes an honest and shocking confession in the end. “For a manipulative PR like me, Twitter feels like my circus, with me as its ringmaster.” Now that’s some admission!
Bollywood’s only PR guru Dale Bhagwagar is an authority on Bigg Boss, simply because he has handled PR for not one, two, or ten — but for a full 20 contestants who have been on the show since its inception. We ask the Bigg Boss PR specialist some tough questions.
Indian audience, specially the youth, is changing fast. People are largely watching shows and movies on OTT (Over The Top) platforms? Do you think this is the reason behind low TRPs (Total Rating Points) for Bigg Boss?
My feeling is that Bigg Boss TRPs fluctuate for many reasons. The first among them is the show’s deviation from the core format. Please understand, Bigg Boss began as a hardcore reality show. Then over a period of time, probably to heighten the drama quotient, many tasks and entertainment props were introduced. That makes it look like any other game show now. The ‘reality’ element has gone down, and the viewer understands that.
The other aspect is that Bigg Boss is not available on the most popular web platform YouTube. Then, some journalists say they do not receive the regular updates like daily synopsis and pictures. So they have to resort to lifting content. This may be hampering the hype.
All these and many more, could be the reasons ultimately responsible for the TRP fluctuations. But TRP is a game of numbers and Bigg Boss can play it better. Remember Bob Dylan’s song “The Times Are A Changin”? The world is changing fast and I feel BB needs to keep pace. I may be wrong, but this is what I have come to understand over a period of time.
Most of the top contenders and past Bigg Boss winners are out of the entertainment industry by now. No one talks about them. Why do they fade away?
That’s a good question and many have tried to answer it before, but missed the mark. I believe that the biggest reason is that most of the Bigg Boss participants do not understand PR.
So they either go into the show without hiring a publicist, or think they can rely on their Twitter fans to do the job. Both methods are PR disasters. One needs a professional to spin and maneuver through the ups and downs that Bigg Boss Housemates face almost on a daily basis inside the show.
A solid crisis management exercise in mainstream media, coupled with hype, can help contestants sail through with ease. My Bigg Boss PR clients including Aarya Babbar, Aman Verma, Amar Upadhyay, Kashmera Shah, Mandana Karimi, Pooja Misrra, Rahul Mahajan, Rakhi Sawant, Sambhavna Seth and Sonali Raut have all benefitted with a strong PR presence. But then, many BB contestants completely fail to understand the need for PR. Some even become arrogant by the time they come out of the show.
They think that by being on national television for three months and sharing screen space with megastar host Salman Khan has made them a star. So they start behaving like one. Then they don’t get work and the media hype starts dying after the show ends. In a few months they are back to square one and start fading into oblivion.
That is the time they think of being proactive and about hiring a good PR to publicize themselves. But by then, it’s too late. No media is interested to speak about them. Many BB contestants face depression in this phase. Some come out of it. Others destroy their careers due to it. It’s sad. But it’s the ugly truth.
Do you think the Twitterati does justice to Bigg Boss?
No, but Twitter plays an important role in forming and maneuvering public opinion, which is essential for PR. There are fan clubs formed for most top contestants and the best part is that they tag themselves and fight with each other like cats and dogs.
This activity happens not only throughout the season, but a lot of Twitterati even defends their favourite contestants for years after they have won or lost on Bigg Boss. From a PR point of view, the interesting part is that people’s emotions can be swayed very easily through Twitter.
There are many dubious nameless handles on Twitter, relentlessly working day and night to fulfill ‘agendas’… or should I say hidden agendas.
With such people on Twitter, it’s hard to think of any journalistic or PR ethics. There is no control on Twitter, just people playing with emotions and mostly wasting their energies and time. But for a manipulative PR like me, Twitter feels like my circus, with me as its ringmaster.
Must say, that’s a very interesting observation. And it’s surprising that you so coolly admit the fact that you are a media manipulator. Can you name 12 contestants from previous seasons who can be put together once again in a season to set the TRP charts on fire?
Ha ha! As far as I know, Bigg Boss does not repeat contestants and even if they do, those are either special guests or don’t really make it to the end of the show. However, since you’ve asked me the question, I will name my choice of 12. Here we go: Aksahdeep Saigal, Amar Upadhyay, Armaan Kohli, Diandra Soares, Gautam Gulati, Imam Siddiqui, Mandana Karimi, Mandeep Bevli, Pooja Bedi, Rahul Mahajan, Raja Choudhary and Shweta Tiwari, with Dolly Bindra, Kamal Rashid Khan, Sapna Bhavnani as Wild card entries.
According to you, who have been the highest paid contestants on Bigg Boss?
In my opinion, Navjot Singh Sidhu was the highest paid. I think other highly paid contestants could include Anup Jalota, Pamela Anderson, The Great Khali, Hina Khan, Tanisha Mukherjee, Rahul Dev and Shweta Tiwari. Contrary to general public opinion, I don’t believe Shilpa Shinde was among the highest paid. That news could have been a PR plug.
Who do you think have the best chances for winning Bigg Boss 13 and why?
Shenaz Gill is quite a character and that makes for good entertainment. Whether she can convert that into votes, remains to be seen. Paras Chhabra has been playing well too. His friendship with Mahira Sharma has given her a stable footing. Talking about Mahira, she’s a now-on now-off contestant and only provides drama in installments. But somehow I feel, she can be a dark horse if she really wants to. Asim Riaz has been a good friend to Siddharth Shukla and has played the dosti part well, but there’s not much to him unless he decides to come completely on his own. Rashmi Desai is a strong contender for being a cool package of drama and decent entertainment. But she should immediately come out of her Siddharth-fascination and get brownie points for her own personality. Now coming to Siddharth, he seems to attract the wrong kind of attention all the time, which makes him a perfect TRP-hogger. If he wins Bigg Boss, the Boss will be the loser.
Fresh from the super success of Housefull 4 and appreciation for her work for Ujda Chaman, ace makeup, hair and prosthetic character designer Preetisheel Singh is basking in the glory of critical acclaim for her latest film Bala… or should we say, for having constructed Ayushmann Khurrana’s shining baldpate. Tch tch! 😉
“The film reviews have been overwhelming and the audience reaction stupendous,” chirps the lady. “Never before has makeup, hair and prosthetic been so much in the limelight as in these last three weeks… and I’m loving it and lapping up all the attention,” she winks.
Preetisheel deserves it. After all, it wasn’t long ago that she was going through testing times, having to contend with the three baldie looks, and how to make them stand out and look different from each other. While Akshay Kumar’s look in Housefull 4 got that imposing moustache, Sunny Singh’s character in Ujda Chaman was given a distinctive stubble.
It’s been a fabulous year for the makeover wiz. Just last month, another of her films, Chhichhore, garnered great acclaim for the starcast’s young and old looks designed by Preetisheel. Her Tamil film Bigil starring Kollywood megastar Vijay is also the talk of the Southern industry from a fortnight.
Plus, apart from Housefull 4, both Chhichhore and Bigil have emerged great money spinners at the box-office, and now Bollywood has high expectations from Bala to ring in the greens next.
But for Preetisheel, it’s no time to rest. The National Award-winning character designer is already super-busy, working on her upcoming projects which include the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-Radhika Apte-starrer Raat Akeli Hai, Kartik Aaryan-Bhumi Pednekar-starrer Pati Patni Aur Woh, Kangana Ranaut-starrers Panga and Dhaakad, and Bhansali Productions’ Tuesdays and Fridays.
Never one to shy away from standing by social causes, actress Juhi Chawla has come in strong support of the Cauvery Calling campaign of tree plantations for revitalizing India’s rivers, started by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev of Isha Foundation.
This week, Juhi put out an impacting video on social media, saying that she will meet up with ten selected people who participate in the Cauvery Calling campaign by planting the maximum trees.
“The campaign plans to plant more than 200 crore trees in the Cauvery basin in the next 12 years to help rejuvenate the Cauvery river,” she informs and asks her fans to donate and support her on www.JuhiChawla.CauveryCalling.org to plant trees, or begin a fundraising campaign of their own.
Elaborating on her message, Juhi says, ”My journey of campaigning for rivers started in 2017, when Sadhguru spoke about the dying state of our rivers and the urgency of the matter. I hope in my lifetime, I am able to see our rivers flow again and tell the future generation that I was a part of this movement.”
A first of its kind, the Cauvery Calling campaign aims to aid farmers to plant crores of trees in the Cauvery basin across the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. This is expected to replenish organic content in the soil and increase water retention in the Cauvery basin by an estimated 40%. It can in turn help farmers in the region to switch to agroforestry (tree-based farming), which has the potential to multiply their incomes by 300 to 800 percent in around five to seven years.
The campaign stresses that if one of us tries to plant a million trees, it will be a huge task. But, if million of us plant just one tree each, we will have a million trees in no time at all. Thus, it is no wonder why Juhi asks her fans not to send her gifts, cards or flowers on her upcoming birthday on November 13, but instead support the campaign for making the world a greener place.
It can be noted here, that earlier Juhi was also part of Sadhguru’s Rally for Rivers (RFR) project to raise awareness about the significance and importance of rivers in our lives.
National Award-winning make-up, hair and prosthetic look designer Preetisheel Singh
After Bajirao Mastani, Sanjay Leela Bhansali repeated Preetisheel Singh for Padmaavat. She designed the looks of all the main starcast including Ranveer Singh (as the evil ruler Alauddin Khilji), Deepika Padukone (as the legendary queen Padmavati) and Shahid Kapoor (as the Rajput ruler Ratan Singh). Viewers and film critics alike, were awestruck with the results, with Preetisheel emerging the undisputed No.1 make-up, hair and prosthetic look designer in the film industry.
More recently, she worked on Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore where she designed multiple young and old-age looks for an ensemble lead cast. The film has crossed the 200 crore mark at the box-office.
Her bald look of Akshay Kumar for Housefull 4 has also been a lot in the news and the film is about to reach the 200 crore mark at the box-office. Akshay has also complimented her work a lot.
She has also done the make-up and prosthetic for actors in films like Shivaay, Haider, Hawaizaada, Housefull 3, Rangoon, Brothers, Talwar, Finding Fanny, Parched, Mom, Ghayal Once Again, PM Narendra Modi, Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW), Gone Kesh, Bhavesh Joshi Superhero, Bharat, Malaal, Ujda Chaman and the Tamil/Hindi film 24.
She received the ‘National Film Award for Best Makeup’ for the pre-Mughal historical epic Nanak Shah Fakir based on the life of Guru Nanak, wherein she designed the looks for all the characters in the movie. The film re-released sometime ago through Viacom18 Motion Pictures amid controversy.
Preetisheel’s work of creating believable ghost-figures for the recent horror film House Next Door has also been praised a lot. The film, which released in three languages (as House Next Door in Hindi, Aval in Tamil and Gruham in Telugu) garnered critical acclaim and earned a lot of positive reviews for her work.
Preetisheel also received a lot of praise once again, for her work in the film 102 Not Out directed by Umesh Shukla. She designed the looks for Amitabh Bachchan as a 102-year-old man, as well as for Rishi Kapoor playing his 75-year-old son.
She also designed dual young and old looks for Madhuri Dixit for an advertisement which garnered a lot of traction. Apart from this she designed a Frankenstein mask just for fun, which turned out to be a rage on social media.
Preetisheel received abundant attention once again for working on Rishi Kapoor’s look of a devout Muslim in Anubhav Sinha’sMulk as well as for Ayushmann Khurrana’s get-ups in Andhadhun.
After a success hattrick with Padmaavat, 102 Not Out, Mulk and Andhadhun, she has also begun receiving a lot of offers down South. She handled the make-up and prosthetic for the Tamil film Boomerang, where she has worked on the looks for famous Tamil actor Ataharvaa Murali. Her film Bigil with Southern superstar Vijay is a blockbuster. She achieved a double-hattrick with Chhichhore and Housefull 4, and Bigil emerging superhits.
Preetisheel also curated the look for Nawazuddin Siddiqui for the film Thackeray; the biopic on Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray. The film received rave reviews and special praise for the way Nawazuddin resembled Balasaheb Thackeray.
Preetisheel’s work will soon be showcased once again in Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer Bala, Nawazuddin Siddiqui-Radhika Apte-starrer Raat Akeli Hai, Kangana Ranaut-starrers Panga and Dhaakad, Kartik Aaryan–Bhumi Pednekar-starrer Pati Patni Aur Woh and Bhansali Productions’Tuesdays and Fridays.
She has also set up India’s first make-up and prosthetic lab called Da Makeup Lab at Versova, Mumbai and her goal is to bring standards of make-up and prosthetic in India at par with Hollywood.
Last but not the least, Preetisheel is about to begin her own school of makeup design, called ‘Preetisheel School of Character Design’.
Some links which might interest you:
Videos of look tests during the making of Padmaavat: