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Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the inception of his debut web series ‘Heeramandi’

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As Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming magnum opus ‘Heeramandi’, his first-ever web series, is soon to be released, the ace director shares his inspiration for making the show.

Talking about its inception, Sanjay said, “I remember when I was a four-year-old kid and my father had taken me to a shoot and he said you sit here and I’ll meet my friends and come. I was in the studio and it seemed the most comfortable to me. More than a school, a playground, a cousin’s house, or anywhere in the world, I thought it was the most beautiful place. When I look back at 25 years, I think it’s very precious to me because you have to be blessed to be able to get a chance to make a film and that’s why I cling on to the studio because the studio floor is the most magical, that’s my temple, that’s my everything.”

He further added, “‘Heeramandi’ was something that my friend Moin Baig got to me as a 14-page story, 14 years ago and then finally when we presented it to Netflix, they loved it and they thought it had great potential to make a mega-series. It is very ambitious, it’s very big and vast. It tells you the story of courtesans. They kept music, poetry and dance and the art of living. It shows the politics within the brothels and how to emerge as the winner. It is a difficult one but I hope we come across with flying colours this time.”

The series will explore stories of courtesans and the hidden cultural reality of ‘Heeramandi’, a dazzling district, during pre-independent India. It’s a series about love, betrayal, succession and politics in the ‘kothas’.

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Bombay HC to hear Aryan Khan’s bail plea on Oct 26

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The Bombay High Court on Thursday posted to October 26 the hearing of the bail application of Aryan Khan, arrested in a drugs case by the Narcotics Control Bureau.

The matter came up before Justice N.W. Sambre with Khan’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde seeking urgent hearing on Friday or Monday.

However, Justice Sambre decided to take up the matter on Tuesday next, and Aryan Khan may have to spend five more days in custody.

Khan, the son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, has challenged a ruling of the Special NDPS Court on Wednesday, rejecting his bail plea, along with co-accused Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha.

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Nawazuddin says good people are needed for making good content

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Nawazuddin-Siddiqui

Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who has been nominated in the Best Actor category at the International Emmy Awards for the Netflix film ‘Serious Men’, says for that making good content, good people are also needed.

Talking about what’s more important according to him – content of a project or who all are starring in it, Nawazuddin in a conversation with IANS said: “I think both are important.”

“A lot of content is being made but it will not come out and shine till the time the directors, actors and their performance isn’t there.”

He says if the actor or the maker are not good then there is no meaning to the content.

“No matter how good the content is, if the actor or the director is not good then there is no meaning to the content. For making a good thing, good people are needed,” he concluded.

‘Serious Men’ is based on Manu Joseph’s book of the same name. The film, directed by Sudhir Mishra, is a sharp take on ambition and caste politics, put in perspective in the Indian context.

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Rajkummar Rao to star in Anubhav Sinha’s social drama ‘Bheed’

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Filmmaker Anubhav Sinha has announced his next film titled ‘Bheed’, a social drama starring National Award-winning actor Rajkummar Rao.

Anubhav said: “‘Bheed’ is one of those titles that the whole team jumps at the moment you propose it.”

Talking about roping in Rajkummar for the lead role, the director said that for him, “casting was crucial”.

He added: “Raj is a very intriguing actor. He is one of the very few actors who can be so successfully transparent in a story. There always was a keen desire to work with him and I am looking forward to it.”

On working with Sinha, Rajkummar says it is a matter of “great honour and privilege to collaborate with a filmmaker who has such a distinct voice”.

“I have always found myself gravitating towards stories that trigger conversation. Even as an entertainer, I want my work to get people thinking. This is an important subject and the character needs me to stretch myself as an artist, beyond my comfort zone. I can’t wait to start shooting and lose myself in this universe.”

‘Bheed’ is jointly produced by Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series and Anubhav Sinha’s Benaras Mediaworks.

Bhushan Kumar said: “Anubhav and I have a long standing relationship since Tum Bin. And every outing together is even more exciting than the last one. Thappad is a film I am incredibly proud of and I can’t wait for ‘Bheed’ to kick off. It’s another of Anubhav’s deeply stirring stories and I am so proud to join hands with him yet again on this one.

“Raj is a wonderful actor and I can’t think of anyone better to pull off a film like this.”

The film will be shot across Lucknow. It is expected to go on floors in November as the unit continues their pre-production for the next few weeks.

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