Alaka Sahani


Alaka Sahani is a Senior Editor with The Indian Express, Mumbai. She received the National Film Award for Best Film Critic, 2013. Her Swarna Kamal citation states that the jury recommended her for the award for “highlighting facets of cinema beyond glamour and gossip by delving deeper into the contemporary relevance of iconic filmmakers”. In her articles and interviews, she goes beyond the tried-and-tested templates to offer insights into the workings of Indian cinema. Her choice of subjects is eclectic: from A-listers to emerging talents; the history of Indian cinema and its various trends; many strands of contemporary India and world cinema. While watching movies has been her lifelong passion, she also closely follows theatre in Mumbai.

IFFI row: Artists face adverse situation, can’t stop work, says Majid Majidi
Tue, Nov 21, 2017

Majidi said, “Artists face these kind of situations because of the talent and desire they have. That extends to filmmakers too. They should not stop innovation in their work because of adverse conditions.”

IFFI row: Six jury members write to Smriti Irani, voice concern on exclusion of Nude, S Durga
Mon, Nov 20, 2017

The jury members requested Irani to initiate a conversation so that the remaining films are not forgotten in the midst of this controversy.

Amid rising protests, Padmavati release ‘deferred voluntarily’
Mon, Nov 20, 2017

Deepika Padukone's upcoming film Padmavati has been under controversy for a long time. Viacom18 Motion Pictures on Sunday announced it had voluntarily deferred the release date of Padmavati from December 1

Padmavati actor Deepika Padukone: When the heart is in the right place, no one can stop a film
Mon, Nov 20, 2017

A decade ago, Deepika Padukone began her career in films with Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om. As she returns to Bollywood screens after a two-year break, with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s new production Padmavati, the actor talks about her journey so far, learning to be herself and why she can never be a social media sensation.

Historical or fiction, filmmakers did not state: CBFC on sending back Padmavati
Sun, Nov 19, 2017

"The makers know and admit that the paperwork is not complete. The very disclaimer, whether the film is a work of fiction or a historical, was left blank and not stated. On simply and legitimately being asked to provide important documents, they have targeted the CBFC for the delay. This is truly surprising,” said Joshi.

48th International Film Festival of India: Days after two films dropped from fest, jury chief Sujoy Ghosh resigns
Thu, Nov 16, 2017

Sujoy Ghosh, director of the Bollywood hit Kahaani, confirmed to The Indian Express that he has resigned as head of the jury but declined to offer any comment.

‘There has been no communication, only rejection’
Tue, Nov 14, 2017

Filmmakers Ravi Jadhav and Sanal Sasidharan question the removal of their films from the upcoming edition of IFFI’s Indian Panorama

Cinematic Connections
Wed, Nov 08, 2017

With a slate of cherry-picked movies, indepth interactions and beautiful venues, DIFF provides a great opportunity to reinforce the joys of cinema

Omerta director Hansal Mehta: I’m not going to spoon-feed the audience
Sun, Nov 05, 2017

"I came to the industry without any training. I am still an outsider. Yet, my work has been embraced by people. This is a testament to the fact that I have never given up. I have never looked back at my journey though I revisit my movies with a critical eye," says Hansal Mehta.

The Hills are Alive
Thu, Nov 02, 2017

The Dharamshala International Film Festival, which has gained currency for being ‘intimate’ and showcasing the best of indie cinema, is ready to roll out its sixth edition

Jio Mami Film Festival: The Road Taken
Tue, Oct 17, 2017

Sikkimese filmmaker Karma Takapa’s Ralang Road is about a series of coincidences on a regular foggy day

The Factory Life
Sun, Oct 15, 2017

Debutante Rahul Jain’s Machines presents an incisive look into the the working conditions of unorganised workers at a textile factory in Gujarat

Rising Star: Village Rockstars director Rima Das
Sun, Oct 15, 2017

Why a self-taught filmmaker went back to her village in Assam to shoot a film that is making waves in the festival circuit.

Last appointment hurt them, must make up for lost time: New FTII chairman Anupam Kher
Thu, Oct 12, 2017

The FTII chairman discusses his appointment and plans with The Indian Express Did your appointment come as a surprise? When I got a call from the Ministry of I&B, I was a bit surprised as I was not expecting it. Yesterday, I was promoting my upcoming film Ranchi Diaries and had a motivational lecture in […]

‘Injustice finds its way into most of my stories’
Tue, Oct 10, 2017

Writer-director Devashish Makhija on the making of his second feature film Ajji that has emerged as a festival favourite

Secret Superstar actor Zaira Wasim: A girl with a new song
Sun, Oct 08, 2017

After playing feisty wrestler Geeta Phogat in Dangal, Zaira Wasim is set to play the role of an internet music sensation in her next film Secret Superstar. She will be sharing the screen with Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan for the second time in this film.

Moving the Goalposts
Tue, Oct 03, 2017

Milind Dhaimade’s directorial debut, Tu Hai Mera Sunday, looks at urban life through a bunch of amateur football players and their search for space

‘We are nothing but consumers of a pre-fabricated culture’
Fri, Sep 29, 2017

Pune-based director Kranti Kanade’s feature film CRD questions the established norms and practices in art.

Newton actor Rajkummar Rao: My definition of a commercial film is very different
Sun, Sep 24, 2017

Rajkummar Rao on why he considers himself to be lucky to have been at the right place at the right time, the roles he finds compelling and why he hates narrations.

I wish for a society that’s free of prejudice, says Farhan Akhtar
Sat, Sep 23, 2017

Farhan Akhtar on star-backed movies not working this year, interacting with his audience and his agnostic upbringing

Monica Bellucci to attend 19th Mumbai Film Festival
Fri, Sep 15, 2017

Model-turned-actor Monica Bellucci will be the first recipient of a special award instituted by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) to honour prominent women artistes in international cinema.

Today, everyone wants to be a star, not an actor: Sunny Deol
Sat, Sep 09, 2017

Actor Sunny Deol opens up about his infrequent screen appearances, being shy and synonymous with ‘dhai kilo ka haath’.

Serving entertainment only is such a haughty formula: Sniff writer-director Amole Gupte
Mon, Sep 04, 2017

In his film Sniff!!!, writer-director Amole Gupte creates a fascinating world of children and a young hero powered by his sense of smell. Though Sniff!!! revolves around adventures of Sunny and his friends, it also captures the idiosyncratic life of Mumbai’s Bima Nagar, where Gupte grew up.

My role is not to micromanage but that of guiding sensibilities, says CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi
Fri, Sep 01, 2017

Adman-lyricist Prasoon Joshi, who took over recently as the CBFC chief, on his new role, bringing together all stakeholders and why he believes in the power of informed choice

Autumn of the Patriarch
Fri, Sep 15, 2017

Naseeruddin Shah on his upcoming play The Father, stimulating the audience’s imagination, and living his dream of having a continuous long run for a play.

I don’t want others to learn patience the way I have, says Sanjay Dutt
Sun, Aug 20, 2017

Sanjay Dutt’s life and career have hit unimaginable lows. As he makes another comeback, the actor says he is now a patient man who wants to move on. In this interview, he does not dodge any question or shy away from talking about his past.

Hitting the right spot
Sat, Aug 19, 2017

After a breezy entry into the industry, actor Jacqueline Fernandez has been working hard to make her screen appearances stand out

‘I won’t ever stop being that middle-class Delhi boy,’ says actor Sidharth Malhotra
Wed, Aug 09, 2017

"There are certain aspects and details of industry I am unaware of. I have seen people obsess over production and the business of movies. Not being aware of these things keeps me sane and I have less pressure." Sidharth Malhotra speaks his heart out.

‘I wanted to investigate the source of entitlement’
Wed, Aug 02, 2017

Cinematographer Shanker Raman on his directorial debut Gurgaon, which takes a deep look at the world of patriarchy and corrupt real-estate practices

The Quest for Identity
Mon, Jul 31, 2017

An ongoing collaborative project between National Theatre Wales and Mumbai-based Junoon, explores what it means to be a woman of the Indian diaspora

Jab Harry Met Sejal actor Shah Rukh Khan: It is the most beautiful feeling to be a star
Mon, Jul 31, 2017

Shah Rukh Khan on why he can’t not like love stories, imagining the after-life of the characters he plays and why he has no complaints about his stardom. During a chat with The Indian Express, the actor also spoke about his kids Aryan, Suhana and AbRam.

Being an outsider, I’ve charted my own path, says Anushka Sharma
Tue, Sep 12, 2017

"I’m always looking for ways to reinvent myself. Sometimes when you experiences success in certain roles and genres, you can continue doing it," says Anushka Sharma

The Voice of Jagga
Wed, Jul 19, 2017

A long search for the perfect voice for Ranbir Kapoor in Jagga Jasoos ended with music director Pritam’s assistant Tushar Joshi.

Raag Desh director Tigmanshu Dhulia: I still can’t say I am from Bombay
Sun, Jul 16, 2017

Bollywood director Tigmanshu Dhulia talks about his upcoming film, Raag Desh and why he keeps his small-town experiences alive while getting lost in Mumbai despite spending two decades in the city. He also shot a portion as Shah Rukh Khan’s father in Aanand L Rai’s next film.

Ranbir Kapoor on playing complex characters, his wrong decisions and what it means being a Kapoor
Mon, Jul 17, 2017

A decade in front of the camera has not taken anything away from Ranbir Kapoor’s charm. In a freewheeling conversation, the Jagga Jasoos actor talks about the most unusual role of his career, the lessons learned from failure, and his most Kapoor-like trait.

Munna Michael actor Tiger Shroff: I’m like a racehorse, with eyes on the finish line
Fri, Jul 07, 2017

Ahead of his dance-action movie Munna Michael’s release, Tiger Shroff talks about being fiercely ambitious and trying to create his own identity. The film also stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Nidhhi Agerwal. Tiger's next projects are Baaghi 2, Student Of the Year 2 and Rambo remake.