Preetisheel Singh does a hattrick with the prolific Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali for the first time in Bajirao Mastani, National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh curated Ranveer Singh’s look in the film. She got a second chance to work with the prolific filmmaker with Padmaavat.

Here, she not only worked on the stunning looks of Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor, but designed the look once again for Ranveer Singh, this time transforming him as the intimidating Alauddin Khilji.

And now, Bhansali has repeated Preetisheel to curate the look for Alia Bhatt for his upcoming saga Gangubai Kathiawadi.

“Working with Sanjay Sir is one of the most important milestones of my career,” says Preetisheel. “It feels surreal. You always feel part of something larger than life. I cannot express in words how grateful I am to him for showing so much faith in my work,” she adds.

A master with makeovers, Preetisheel has emerged as the most sought-after look transformation specialist in Bollywood. Apart from Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat, she has attracted acclaim for her deft work in numerous movies including Haider, Mom, 102 Not Out, Thackeray, Shivaay, Hawaizaada, Housefull 3, Rangoon, Brothers, Parched, Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW), Pati Patni Aur Woh, Mulk, Bala, Chhichhore, Malaal, Andhadhun, Panga and Housefull 4.

Composer VR Kharb puts the spotlight on melody with Tum Hi Toh Ho

The nineties is known as one of the best eras for Bollywood music in contemporary times. We had musical greats such as Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan and music composers Nadeem-Shravan who were popularly known as melody kings. And yes! Movies of Mahesh Bhatt and Indra Kumar churned out some of the most melodious songs of that decade. But after that time, much of Bollywood music slid into cacophony or too much loudness.

Now, suddenly out of the blue, has come a song reminiscent of that glorious era of melody. Budding music composer and lyricist VR Kharb’s first single Tum Hi Toh Ho immediately transports you into the nineties-ish era where melody reigned supreme.

Released by Yo Yo Music on YouTube, the number touted as the “most romantic song of 2020” has already garnered more than 4.5 lakh views. The love song sung by Manish Sharma not only soothes the senses, but is laced with some racy beats, giving it an upbeat tempo and a challenging pace.

Going by the fact that this is young-gun composer-lyricist VR Kharb’s premier musical endeavour, one can surely expect more beautiful melodies from this talented lad soon.

Multifaceted Gyan Sharma releases first ghazal single Reto Ke Ghar

UK-based Gyan Sharma is truly a multifaceted personality. An IT consultant by profession, he runs the famous event management company Chilly Events, is a well-known Astrologer and a Vastu consultant, founder of AstroListing, the director and global head of strategy in a media company called Governance Today, founder of a digital media company AcroGloria, an advisor on planetary gemstones, runs a cultural organization in UK called Sangam, is a poet, lyricist and composer.

And as if all this isn’t enough, the versatile busybee has now released his first ghazal single as a singer. Titled Reto Ke Ghar, the song is out on You Tube, as well as various online platforms including JioSaavn, Gaana, Raaga, Hungama, WynkMusic, Amazon Music, Itunes and Spotify. Whoa!

While the melodious and scintillating number is sung, written and composed by Gyan, another highlight is that the music for the song has been arranged by the popular ghazal maestro Talat Aziz. What’s more! The single has already managed to garner 1.5 lakh views on YouTube within a fortnight of its release.

“I try to compose Ghazals which are not very slow, have good meaning and nice melody… not boring ones,” says Gyan. He wants people to pay attention to the quality and depth of his ghazal Reto Ke Ghar and its meaning.

“I’ve heard Ghazals since childhood, in my Indian hometown Kanpur. My parents were fond of greats like Begum Akhtar and Mehdi Hassan. I personally like the depth of Mirza Ghalib’s ghazals,” he adds.

It can be noted here that Gyan Sharma hit fame earlier too, with his poem Gharo Ki Kahani which became quite popular and was narrated at various shows in UK. He has also written a Ghazal dedicated to Prime Minister Narendra Modi explaining all of his welfare schemes in different shers (couplets) and it was very popular during 2019 elections, and also a poem about the abrogation of article 370 in Kashmir.

Look designer Preetisheel Singh’s ‘Da Makeup Lab’ becomes a landmark in Versova

For any passerby on Versova main road in Andheri, Mumbai, there stands this imposing black building with coloured dots and huge face murals hard to miss. Some people point at the uniqueness of colour and designs, some stop to take selfies with the building in the background, and some even try to enter it just to ask what the place is all about.

National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh’s new four-storey office ‘Da Makeup Lab’ has fast become a landmark in the heart of Bollywood. It is Bollywood’s premier firm for all of the industry’s makeup, hair and prosthetic requirements.

Spearheaded by Preetisheel Singh along with her partner Mark D’souza, the dream team has worked on some of Bollywood’s topnotch movies such as Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Haider, Mom, 102 Not Out, Thackeray, Bala, Chhichhore and Housefull 4.

The building keeps amusing everyone. “Is it a museum?,” a passerby asked at the reception once. “Is it a tattoo parlour?,” asked another. “Do you do bridal makeup?”; “Why is it painted black?”; “Is it a salon?”; “Is it a production house?”; “Do you do auditions?” — the questions are never-ending.

Once a group of people walked in saying, “The building looked good from outside, so just came inside to check out.” Gee! Didn’t we say this landmark building is hard to miss!!

Emotional story of brothers wins hearts at international film festivals

Mainak Misra’s short film Days of Marigolds has been winning hearts at various international film festivals, which has the maker feeling elated and all charged up to think of a bigger and better future.

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“When I made this short film I had not expected that it will get such a grand response. But the kind of feedback and acclaim its managed to generate at all the film festivals is simply mind-blowing for a debutant filmmaker like me,” says a thrilled Mainak, who shot the film near his hometown Hyderabad, at the banks of Pochampally village lake, with commoners as actors.

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The film has received widespread acclaim at various film festivals including The Mediterranean Film Festival (MedFF), Sicily, Italy; Salto Independent Film Festival, Salto, Uruguay; Move Me Productions Belgium-Film Festival, Antwerp, Belgium; Inshort Film Festival, Lagos, Nigeria; Bayamon International Film Festival, Bayamon, Puerto Rico; Yecora International Film Festival, Yecora, Mexico and at the Art Quake Kyoto 2019  (Creativity Biennale of Art Exhibitions & Film Festival), Kyoto, Japan.

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What’s more! Days of Marigolds also bagged the Semi-Finalist position at Los Angeles Cine-Fest, Los Angeles; USA, A Rebel Minded Festival, Brooklyn, New York, USA; as well as at FESTPRO Film Festival, Moscow, Russia.

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Mainak points out that it is the narrative of the short film which caught the fancy of audiences. Days of Marigolds 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.

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“The absence of our dear ones is felt deep down in our hearts. We keep longing for their presence. Their memories remain vivid in our minds for the rest of our lives. Those memories are missed and the moments are cherished forever,” quips Mainak. True that.

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The filmmaker is now working on the script of his first feature film and plans to make a splash in Bollywood in future. We wish him all the luck.

Feryna Wazheir receives praise for Commando 3

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

World cinema film researcher Mainak Misra directs short-film Days of Marigolds


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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.

Filmmaker Mainak Misra

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.


Preetisheel Singh is awesome with makeup and prosthetic, says Bhumi Pednekar

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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.

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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.”

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“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.


Fans missing Pankit Thakker in Sanjivani 2

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Feryna Wazheir to play a British Muslim in Commando 3

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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Preetisheel Singh basks in the ‘shining’ glory of Bala

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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! 😉

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


Juhi Chawla asks her fans to go green

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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 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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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