Catch ‘em younghttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/catch-em-young/

Catch ‘em young

Cyrus Sahukar,who is currently hosting Teenovator on National Geographic Channel completely relates to the...

Cyrus Sahukar,who is currently hosting Teenovator on National Geographic Channel completely relates to the participants on the show. “I feel blessed to host a show,which makes the kids realise their real interest in life. In India,it is the parents who pressurise their kids and even decide on their careers,” says Cyrus,who himself was pushed to get into computer engineering. The contestants on the show range between 12 – 15 years of age and are put through tasks to test their innovation skills. He says,“The other day Indigo Airlines wanted these children to come up with a unique marketing initiative to increase their consumer base. One NGO even gave them a task to come up with unique garbage disposal system. Interestingly these kids came up with competitive creative ideas. Teenovator will make the parents understand how smart their kids are and what their real strengths are in terms of academics.”

The show pits 16 teenagers against each other in this battle of creativity and imagination.

Real extravaganza

Saurabh Tewari,the producer of Madhubala: Ek Ishq Ek Junoon that went on air on May 28,is leaving no stone unturned to make this serial a magnum opus on the small screen. A story of a young girl’s journey into showbiz,this television show starring Drishti Dhami and Vivian D’Sena is shot in real locations. Tewari informs,“We did not want to shoot at the regular locations where television serials are shot since the serial has 1970s’ Manmohan Desai style of narrative. So we have shot some of the earlier episodes at Ramoji Rao studios in Hyderabad which has vast,built-in airport,havelis,railway station. The look of the serial has been transformed completely.” Moreover,the shoot schedule in Mumbai is also spread out at various locations. “We will be shooting at the public bridge in Goregaon,Marine Lines and Ballard Estate. We have also shot in the Fort area,” he says. Besides,block lenses,which are usually used in movies,have been used as the camera lens for this serial to enhance cinematic experience. Moreover,Tewari promises that the audiences will get to see various Bollywood celebrities like the 97-year-old veteran,A. K. Hangal,who recently shot for an episode where he christened the baby as Madhubala. “Since we wanted to pay a tribute to 100 years of cinema,we had two options – Zohra Sehgal and A. K. Hangal – for that episode. In future also,there are possibilities of Bollywood celebrities making an appearance in this show without the whole act looking forced,since showbiz is an integral part of the serial.”

Flashback moments

Om Puri and Ila Arun got together to shoot a promotional video for their film,West Is West. The duo came dressed up in their international film,West Is West avatar to announce its television premiere,which is July 12 at 9 pm on Sony PIX. “It was a moment of nostalgia to meet Ila and pose for the camera in the same get up as the characters from the film. In the promotional video we are talking to the audience about the movie,” revealed Om Puri who plays a 60-year old George Khan. A sequel to the internationally acclaimed,award winning East Is East,West Is West takes the Khan family on a journey from Salford,England to rural Pakistan. It is the coming of age story of both 13 year old Sajid and his father George Khan (Om Puri). The movie also features Jimi Mistry,Linda Bassett and Aqib Khan.

Same old story

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Just when we thought that Indian television was coming of age,we have been proven wrong. The two ‘mature’ shows — Bade Achche Lagte Hain and Kuch Toh Log Kahenge,targetted at the more-informed TV viewer,seem to taken the usual route of mundane soap operas. The former,which was,so far,focussing on the love story between two mature individuals,Ram and Priya,is set to now take a five-year leap. The buzz is that it will see Ram divorce Priya,and marry her younger sister Ayesha after his step-brother Sid gets her pregnant and leaves her. Priya,on the other hand,will end up with a daughter from Ram. Kuch Toh Log Kahenge was meant to be a remake of the popular Pakistani show,Dhoop Kinarey. The writer of the original,however,is disappointed with the way the show has evolved. The reasons are quite obvious — the focus has shifted from a young,bubbly Dr Nidhi falling in love with a much older Dr Ashutosh and the show has completely lost the plot.

Danger ahead

VJ Yudi,who is hosting Mission Arctic on the National Geographic channel reveals some of the accidents that happened while shooting for the show in the treacherously deceptive Arctic! “The show features eight contestants who compete with each other over dangerous tasks assigned to them. The locations where the episodes have been shot have already had three contestants involved in major accidents ,” says Yudi adding,“The other day a contestant had to cross a river by hanging on a rope. Unfortunately he slipped and fell into the running river. It took him 15 seconds to emerge on the surface and somehow the rescue team saved him. Likewise,there is a female contestant who dislocated her shoulder while climbing a bridge. Another participant banged his head on the rock wall.”

Yudi who loves adventure and travel,says he is blessed to be on the show as he feels that unlike other reality shows,this one focuses on true adventure rather than on behind-the-scenes fighting amongst the contestants. Yudi,who has completed shooting for the series is keen on doing more such shows.

Ankit Gera’s new show

Last seen in Pratigya as a down-to-earth guy,Ankit Gera will be seen as an egoistic youngster in his brand new show on Zee TV,Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke. “Mayank is very flamboyant but with oodles of attitude. He is not emotionally attached to his family and considers himself a prince. It is this character of Mayank that excited me and I took up this opportunity,” says Ankit,who has already started shooting for the show. He will be playing the role of Rachna’s (Mahima Makwana) first cousin and is Gunjan’s (Roopal Tyagi) love interest. In the episodes to come,viewers will see a love-hate relationship brewing between Gunjan and Mayank.

It’s raining blockbusters

Viewers can rest assured,as Sony Pix brings an extra dose of entertainment for its 9:00 pm slot,this monsoon. The channel has lined up an exciting list of movies,cutting across various genres such as sci-fi,animation,adventure-action,thriller and humour for all those wandering eyes who were missing some action,post the IPL season. A special offering from the channel is Flipbook,which offers viewers a sneak peek into PIX’s line-up of movies of the month. Making full use of the digital space, Hinmat Bhutalia,Marketing Head,Sony Pix calls this as movie merchandising. “Digital space is extremely critical as it gives you a two-way communication and a platform for more interaction and connectivity. Flipbook is visually very appealing and it moves beyond from the booklet platform which can be extremely boring,” says Hinmat.

In addition to this,PIX will be showcasing for the first time on Indian television,the Spiderman Trilogy and the animation film Surfs Up in its 9:00 pm slot. Ask about the run down of the films to be screened,Programming Head of Pix, Amok quips,“Pix has always lived up to its tag line Hollywood is here. We intend to give viewers a movie watching experience beyond their expectations,which is why we have films to offer for all age-groups.” Spending quality time with your family while watching some of the great Hollywood films now seems to be possible.

From films to TV

After directing a full-fledged commercial film,Shaitaan,Bejoy Nambiar has taken to television as he directs a show specially for MTV. He confirms,“The producers came to me with this proposal. Since,I always wanted to do something for television,I took it up. Also,I thought it was the perfect opportunity to adapt a feature film script that I already had,for television.” Titled MTV Rush,the show is a 13-part movie,with each episode concentrating on a different story,with different characters and actors.

Set with the backdrop of a college festival,it revolves around the problems that the teenagers face. While three of the episodes are directed by Bejoy,the rest are being handled by people like Aman Sachdeva,National Award winning documentary filmmaker,Jijy Philip who directed My Wife’s Murder and others. The show is also high on music with songs composed by Bhayanak Maut band,Shruti Haasan and several others.