Character designer Preetisheel Singh’s new office showcases fantasy with eye-catching murals

Once upon a time, Mumbai used to be famous for poster art and murals. Even today, we look at Mario Mirinda’s paintings at Cafe Mondegar in Colaba and gaze in delight. In recent times, the Mahatama Gandhi mural at Churchgate Station is also looked upon with awe. But from the last few years, not many have explored this art… at least, not in the suburbs.

Collage of Preetisheel Singh with Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Ajay Devgn and Da Makeup Lab.

But that’s just changed this week, with National Award-winning makeup, hair and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh and her partner-husband Mark D’souza at their company Da Makeup Lab, having set up their new office in Versova with a huge floral mask mural on its two-storied building wall. It’s the biggest mural on the building, with a face emerging from a large, vivid and burlesque flower.

Preetisheel Singh with her husband Mark D'souza, business head and partner at Da Makeup Lab.

Mark D’souza, business head of Da Makeup Lab explains, “At our company, what we do is transform an actor into a character. The murals depicts that. Here, the art is the flower, and the face is what emerges from this art.”


The ruling queen of prosthetics, Preetisheel Singh, who has designed the looks for Bollywood’s topline actors in films like Padmaavat, Bajirao Mastani, Andhadhun, Mom, Mulk, 102 Not Out, Thackeray and many others, is about to begin ‘Preetisheel’s School of Character Design’ at this place soon. “We intend to let the calm of our surroundings in Versova inspire the imagination of our students when we roll with the school in September,” says Mark.

Murals adorn the new office building of Bollywood's No.1 makeup, hair and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh in Versova.

Made by Delhi artist Amrai Dua, the murals are quite a sight for passerbys. So catchy are they, that they can give any eclectic Hollywood studio a run for its money. Apart from the humungous floral mask mural on the front, the second mural is of a fantasy-based devilish creature. The third has three masks, all emoting differently. A portion of the wall has a mural of Preetisheel doing what she knows best, transforming someone with a brush in her hand.


“Prosthetic is quite new to Bollywood. But we have got rave reviews for our work in the last few years. So our aim is to let filmmakers know that drastic transformation of characters are also possible in India. And the artworks are trying to convey that. One of the murals — the creature — is our way of telling people we can do world-class fantasy-based transformations, so the industry should start thinking about it,” says Mark.


Preetisheel Singh designs dual looks for South superstar Vijay

After recently designing mother and daughter looks for Madhuri Dixit for an advertisement, National Award-winning makeup, hair and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh, has now designed dual looks for Southern superstar Vijay for his upcoming Tamil flick Bigil.

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Preetisheel, who also received rave reviews recently for curating the looks for Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji in Padmaavat, Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor in 102 Not Out, Ayushman Khurrana in Andhadhun and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in and as Thackeray, is excited as the first look poster of Bigil is out.

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She has good reason to be. Because Vijay’s look in the film is unlike anything he has done before. The Southern hearththrob will be seen in two different avatars of father and son in the film directed by Atlee and having music by AR Rahman.

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“Hours of study have gone into building the character designs,” says Preetisheel. “We didn’t want to lose the authenticity of the character or miss out on the aura projected by the legendary Vijay. Keeping this in mind, for the father’s role, we added wrinkles around his laugh lines and on his forehead, using special-effects make-up. Along with that, we gave him salt ‘n pepper hair which gave a classier touch.”

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For his son’s character, Vijay was given “the trendy look that footballers of the current generation carry,” informs Preetisheel. She mentions that the superstar is a pleasure to work with. “Very humble and down-to-earth, Vijay not only showers trust, but patiently allows the team to work without interference. Both the actor and director put full faith in our vision and art, and that has immensely helped,” she concludes.

Bigil poster

Apart from Bigil, Preetisheel is looking forward to many films, including the Akshay Kumar-starrer Housefull 4, Kangana Ranaut-starrer Panga, Nawazuddin SiddiquiRadhika Apte-starrer Raat Akeli Hai and Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore; for which she has designed multiple young and old-age looks for an ensemble lead cast.


Preetisheel Singh transforms Madhuri Dixit for double role of mother and daughter

Madhuri Dixit's double role transformation as mother and daughter (Image courtesy - Aquaguard)

Powerhouse performer Madhuri Dixit has experimented with loads of looks and characters in her movies. But what she has recently done for a commercial, seems to have outdone many-a-looks she has been seen in earlier.

Preetisheel with Madhuri on the sets

Madhuri has played a double role in a new advertisement for Aquaguard water purifier, where she essays the characters of both, mother and daughter. That’s not the only highlight of it. What Madhuri stuns with, is the aged getup. The finesse with which it is curated, and the effortlessness and versatility with which Madhuri has carried it out, is seen to be believed.

The double role transformation for the diva has been executed by none other than India’s most popular look designer, Preetisheel Singh. Yes, the same makeup, hair and prosthetic expert, who has given us the stunning looks of many-an-artist in movies such as Padmaavat, Bajirao Mastani, Mom, 102 Not Out, Mulk, Thackeray and Andhadhun. As for this one — it just raises the bar.

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For the record, Madhuri had earlier received accolades for playing mother and daughter with excellence in the 1992 K.Vishwanath film Sangeet, as well as the 1993 Mehul Kumar film Aasoo Bane Angaarey.

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Example of Press Release impact:

This is an example of a recent Press Release for one of our PR clients Aneesha Madhok. As seen, it has been placed on different websites with photographs.


Delhi girl Aneesha Madhok cast as main lead in Hollywood film Bully High

Actress and comedian Aneesha Madhok, known for the play Aliza-Free, will soon be making her Hollywood debut in Bill McAdams, Jr.’s coming-of-age feature film Bully High as the main lead. The story revolves around a Muslim girl who gets bullied in an American high school, but learns to stand up for herself and defeat violence with love.

Born in Kenya, Aneesha has lived in New Delhi. “I felt, I could express myself better on stage than in ordinary life,” she quips. No wonder she took to dancing at the age of three and began winning school plays and dance competitions.

At seventeen, Aneesha’s grittiness compelled her to secretly write her play Aliza-Free, while her parents thought she was doing her summer holiday homework. She managed to stage the play in Delhi with a cast of 16 actors. Being a sensitized dance drama, aimed to create awareness about the lives of visually impaired people, Aliza-Free received critical acclaim. And this made Aneesha more determined about her career path.

Moving to Los Angeles to pursue her education in theatre and screenwriting at University of Southern California (USC), Aneesha became the president of the USC stand-up comedy club. She began doing stand-up comedy shows all around LA. On her summer vacation to India, the spunky gal became a finalist on Queens of Comedy 2017.

While studying at USC, Aneesha wrote and starred in a short film The Dancer Girl, which was inspired by her life. It won best drama short at Calcutta International Film Festival, Universe Multicultural Film Festival, best student short at Los Angeles Independent Filmmakers Showcase, and was the official selection at Feminist Media Film Festival.

Graduating from USC, she played the lead in Christopher Vened’s play Infidel, where was spotted by director Bill McAdams, Jr. (of Gallows Road fame) and cast as the main lead in Bully High.

“Aneesha dives into her role with crafty finesse, falling deep into the heart and soul of her character, Maryam. She makes me laugh and she makes me cry… her passion for acting truly shines. I can’t wait to release her to the world,” notes McAdams, Jr. That makes it even more interesting to wait and watch if Aneesha can hit a high note with Bully High.

Alex Reece to play a British spy in Sarabha – Cry for Freedom

Alex Reece, who played the main villain in the Diljit Dosanjh-starrer Sajjan Singh Rangroot, will play the bura gora once again in Indian born British director Kavi Raz’s historical drama Sarabha – Cry for Freedom.

Being made in Hindi, Punjabi and English, the movie will be based on the life of an important but yet unknown personality Kartar Singh Sarabha from the history of Punjab. Starring Japtej Singh and Mukul Dev in lead roles, the movie will depict the emerging of the Ghadar movement in America and its relation to the beginning of independence movement in India.

Alex, who will be seen playing a Hindi speaking British Intelligence officer named Hopkinson, says it’s early to divulge more about his character. But this is not the first time Alex has a spy connection to his role. The British actor who has worked in Hollywood flicks, is also known for his appearance in a mega-budget James Bond commercial starring Daniel Craig.

“We just had a very exciting schedule in Canada and I’m super excited to be part of Sarabha,” says Alex. He is learning Hindi from some time now. “There is so much culture and history embedded in the language, that if an actor wants to be able to contribute and integrate his performance into Indian cinema, I think learning the language is a necessity.”

“Learning Hindi not only helps me communicate, but emote with a better understanding,” he adds. Must say, this is one foreign actor who seems to love India so much that he is prepared to take uncalculated risks and even learn a new language. Impressive indeed.

Dakshata Patel shines for her sincerity in Tennis Buddies

With sparkling eyes, a radiant smile and being a champion in tennis, 19-year-old Dakshata Patel recently made a sincere debut in the film Tennis Buddies. Receiving praise from many, Dakshata now wishes to turn a new page in her career.

“It’s been quite a roller coaster ride for me. And I am so grateful to my parents, the makers and so many who supported me during the making of the film. The encouragement and appreciation I have received throughout and continue to receive, fills my heart,” says the young sportstar-cum-actress.

The level- headed an grounded newbie got started at tennis at the iconic Rama Rao’s academy Practennis at Andheri and then honed her skills to perfection under the eagle eyes of Praja and Srinivas Kola at Leo Tennis Academy.

Among the top five players of Mumbai, Dakshata ranked 30th in women’s tennis category in India. She was the lead player of the Mumbai University team which won the Inter University trophy, and was instrumental in winning the team a trophy for Maharashtra during this year’s Inter State Women’s Tournament.

Ask her what the future holds for her and Dakshata is quick to say that “I have got so much in life at such an early age that my confidence has shot up. Now I want to look at things which take me to a higher ground and help me grow from where I’ve reached.” Here’s wishing this upcoming and dynamic girl all the best.

John Abraham’s RAW and Vivek Anand Oberoi’s Modi looks breaking the internet

As John Abraham-starrer RAW and Vivek Anand Oberoi-starrer PM Narendra Modi near release, both the films have come out with videos about how National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh transformed their looks for the films. Both the movies which rely heavily on get-ups and prosthetics, have been a revelation for fans who have been lapping up every bit.

Last week, a behind-the-scenes video of the Modi biopic was released on YouTube. It began with Vivek sharing that prosthetics required almost five-six hours to be applied on his face and could be used only for the same duration while shooting.

In the video Vivek remarks, “We managed to stretch our shoots from six hours to twelve hours, and from twelve to sometimes even eighteen hours, and the make-up and prosthetics held up. Prosthetics are internationally famous, par ussmein humne apna desi tadka laga hi diya.”

Director Omung Kumar and producer Sandip Ssingh reveal that at one point during the look test, they thought of dropping the idea as they felt, the looks didn’t match so well. Which is when Preetisheel tried a new technique that totally worked out.

And just as Vivek’s looks for PM Narendra Modi were breaking the internet, comes in John Abraham’s designer looks in Robbie Grewal’s spy thriller Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW). John has released a video centered around one of his most difficult looks, where he takes on the avatar of a bearded old man.

The film has John taking up several get-ups to do a secret service officer’s job on alien soil, and he will be seen masquerading as a Pakistani local in several scenes in the film. A tribute to spies, RAW is set in 1971, when India and Pakistan were on the verge of a war.

Meanwhile, Preetisheel is also elated for the glowing feedback she has been receiving for the Qasim Khallow film Gone Kesh released last week. A light-hearted take on alopecia, Gone Kesh has the heroine Shweta Tripathi braving out her fear and conquering societal norms of beauty.

It can be noted here that Preetisheel gathered accolades last year with her work for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, Umesh Shukla’s 102 Not Out, Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk and Sriram Raghavan’s Andhadhun. She began this year by curating the look for Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray in the movie Thackeray directed by Abhijit Panse and presented by Sanjay Raut.

Real tennis star Dakshata Patel to debut in Bollywood reel life with Tennis Buddies

Dakshata Patel hopes to shine with Bollywood’s first tennis film Tennis Buddies

In recent times, Bollywood has seen some very interesting movies on sports. Starting with the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Chak De India on hockey, we witnessed Salman Khan and Aamir Khan in Sultan and Dangal focusing on professional wrestling. Akshay Kumar came up with Gold on football, and R.Madhavan with Saala Khadoos on boxing.

We even had biographical films like the Farhan Akhtar-starrer Bhaag Milkha Bhaag on champion runner Milkha Singh, Priyanka Chopra-starrer Mary Kom on boxing, and the Emran Hashmi-starrer Azhar and Sushant Singh Rajput-starrer M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story on the lives of the great cricket stars.

This week the film industry gears up for another film on sport, but with a difference. Highlighting tennis for the first time in Bollywood, the upcoming release Tennis Buddies, will actually have a real tennis star Dakshata Patel playing the lead. What’s more! The girl is making her Bollywood debut at the young age of 19 along with powerhouse performers Divya Dutta and Ranvir Shorey in pivotal roles.

No wonder that during the promo launch of the film sometime ago, tennis legend Leander Paes turned up in support of Dakshata’s endeavor. “Tennis Buddies has been a big challenge not only because I am young or a tennis player in real life,” quips Dakshata.

“It’s been a revealing journey for me to bring sport and entertainment together,” adds the introspective newcomer. The trailer of the film has her bringing freshness and innocence with versatility in her expressions. She well understands that only sport wouldn’t attract the viewers.

“The film has a lot of human interest angles to make it an entertainer. But most importantly, it showcases a beautiful father-daughter relationship, which all parents and kin would identify with,” she remarks.

Dakshata hopes the audiences would accept Tennis Buddies as it hits the theatres this week. And who knows! If this works, it can even be the start for a fledging career as an actress for her. For now, she has her fingers crossed. Presented by CFSI and Kandell Media, Tennis Buddies is directed by Suhail Tatari with story and screenplay by Anoop Wadhwa.

John Abraham’s designer get-ups for RAW stun viewers

From quite some time, there has been a lot of speculation about how John Abraham would carry the various get-ups he prepared to don in Robbie Grewal’s Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW). Finally, the cat is out of the bag. John’s varied avatars seem to compliment his role of an undercover spy in the movie to the T.

In the trailer, we see that John lies to his mother about being posted to another city in relation to a bank job. But in reality, he is being sent to Pakistan, on an undercover mission, to gather tactical information about the enemy side. It is now that his identity as an Indian agent will be put to test and John has to tread cautiously, while saving himself and his country from being exposed.

The film required John taking up several get-ups to do an officer’s job on alien soil, and he is seen masquerading as a Pakistani local effectively in several scenes during the two-and-a-half minute trailer.

Makeup and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh who worked on all the looks, is thrilled with the response to the trailer. “For a prosthetic designer, a film like this where one gets to curate so many looks, is a dream. And the response to the trailer is mind-boggling. The faith John put in my work has gone a long way in getting these results,” she says.

Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW) featuring John Abraham, Sikander Kher, Mouni Roy and Jackie Shroff in pivotal roles, is inspired by real incidents. A tribute to spies, it is set in 1971, when India and Pakistan were on the verge of a war.

Ace photographer Vickky Idnaani receives Power Brands Award

Ace photographer Vickky Idnaani recently received ‘The Photographer Of The Year Award’ at Power Brands: Bollywood Film Journalist’s Awards 2019.

The photographer’s category was recently included in the awards and the winner was selected by the jury comprising of leading members of the media. “A journalist is the one who leaves no turn unstoned,” joked Vickky, as he dedicated the award to all his friends from the media.

Others who won the Bollywood Film Journalist’s Awards included names such as Sushmita Sen, Farah Khan, Malaika Arora, Sanjay Khan and films like Badhaai Ho, Andhadhun, Padmaavat and Tumbbad. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to veteran actor Manoj Kumar.

It can be noted here that Vickky began his career, shooting covers for Femina magazine with Aishwarya Rai and Katrina Kaif. Among other achievements, he is also known for his recent book covers of Rishi Kapoor and Hema Malini. His film work includes publicity stills for directors like Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Hansal Mehta and Omung Kumar.

Vickky has shot many other top names from Bollywood, including Abhishek Bachchan, Arbaaz Khan, Ayushman Khuranna, Ekta Kapoor, Govinda, Hrithik Roshan, Huma Qureshi, John Abraham, Juhi Chawla, Kaajal Agarwal, Mithun Chakraborty, Nargis Fakhri, Naseeruddin Shah, Nawazuddin Suddiqui, Rana Daggubati, Shraddha Kapoor, Sonu Sood, Sridevi, Sunny Leone, Sushmita Sen, Tabu, Tamannaah Bhatia, Urvashi Rautela, Vidya Balan and Yami Gautam.

Preetisheel Singh glad about makeup and prosthetics finally getting recognition

National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh recently received an award for ‘Best Make Up and Hair’ for Padmaavat in the winner’s category of Power Brands: Bollywood Film Journalist’s Awards 2019. It can be noted that this is the second consecutive year she has bagged a Power Brand award.

“I am glad to see that my profession is beginning to finally getting appreciation at various awards. But some mainstream brands such as Screen Awards, Zee Awards, Stardust, Filmfare and IIFA are yet to give makeup and prosthetic industry the kind of appreciation and encouragement it deserves,” says Preetisheel. “Hundreds of makeup and prosthetic professionals give that glitter and shine to most films, but its only in recent times they are getting recognition,” she adds.

Preetisheel’s words matter much, as she is not only the foremost in makeup and prosthetic in the Indian film industry, but is also one of the rare names from Bollywood, who received a National Award for her work; that too for the very first movie, Sartaj Singh Pannu’s Nanak Shah Fakir.

Last year, she not only mesmerized the audiences as she went on to curate the look of Alauddin Khilji for Ranveer Singh in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, but also received rave reviews for her work in Umesh Shukla’s 102 Not Out, Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk and Sriram Raghavan’s Andhadhun.

She made a roaring start this year by curating the look for Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray in the movie Thackeray directed by Abhijit Panse and presented by Sanjay Raut. “Preetisheel was a valuable asset for my film,”  remarks director Abhijit. “Nawaz delivered exceptionally well as Balasaheb, but for him to look like Balasaheb, Preetisheel’s contribution was immense.”

The director continues the praise, saying, “Her (Preetisheel’s) seemingly effortless but perfect work to make Nawaz look like Balasaheb has definitely contributed to the success of the film. Not only Balasaheb, but the looks of Indira Gandhi, Manohar Joshi, Morarji Desai and Dattaji Salvi were so apt, they helped transport the thoughts of audience to that era.”