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#TheUKAsian List: Bollywood in 2014 – An Alternate List

The 100-Crore, 200-Crore and now 300-crore success of films such as 'Chennai Express', 'Krrish 3' and 'Dhoom 3' didn't deflect from the fact that 2013 was a hugely successful year for films that are not the usual Bollywood fare.  The critical and commercial Films such as 'Shahid', 'The Lunchbox', 'Ship of Theseus' and 'Kai Po Che' were testament to the fact that filmmakers aren't merely interested in marginal special effects and boy-meets-girl-then-beats-up-lots-of-bad-guys narratives.  

2014 is going to be an equally intriguing year for fans of movies that don't numb the senses on the way to massive box-office collections.  Yes there will be a HUGE Salman Khan release; there'll be yet another Shah Rukh Khan fleecing at the box office at Diwali and a Hrithik Roshan romance at Christmas.  In between, there's going to be some choice cuts. 

Here's a taster.

UGLY

The perfect start to 2014, Anurag Kashyap's psychological drama promises plenty of thrills. Set in Mumbai, 'Ugly' has multiple themes, from child abduction and family breakdowns to police corruption and ambition. The film marks the return to the director's chair for Kashyap - India's pre-eminent independent filmmaker - after producing a string of critically acclaimed films, including 'Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana', 'Shahid' and 'The Lunchbox'. 'Ugly' is also seen as a return to Kashyap's gritty, Mumbai roots after the two-part, 7-hour gangster epic 'Gangs of Wasseypur'. The film boasts a stellar cast, including Ronit Roy, Rahul Bhat and Vipin Sharma. 'Ugly' is in cinemas 3 January.

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#ASIFALAHORE: Tackling Prejudice with Bollywood Romance

The only British Asian drag artist on London’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) cabaret and club scene, Asifa Lahore is embarking on her next project:  a cover of Bollywood’s chart smashing “Tum hi ho” that will reflect South Asian LGBT perspectives and is aimed at LGBT rights.

Through bold music videos, Asifa not only raises LGBT awareness amongst the South Asian community, but deals with serious issues through comedy.

Her previous music videos “Jimmy”, a cover of the classic anthem from Bollywood’s “Disco Dancer”, and “Punjabi Girl”, inspired by “Barbie Girl”, addressed the issues of being British Asian, marriage and of course, being LGBT.

Moving away from comedy, Asifa Lahore’s “Tum hi ho” will adopt a different tone.

The cover will address social taboos but this time in a direct and serious manner.

Asifa told the UK Asian: “I love using comedy to address taboo subjects as it de-stigmatises the issue by poking fun at it.
Comedy is what is expected of me and something I will always do. But at 30, I feel ready to tackle this issue head on and for once I want to say it as it is, rather than laugh at it.”

“Tum hi ho” with its beautifully mesmerising lyrics, captures the emotions of love perfectly.

On choosing this particular song, Asifa said she has chosen it for its simple message of “loving someone unconditionally and submitting to that feeling”.

This is vital as the stigmas surrounding LGBT issues usually dismiss the emotion of falling in love.

As Asifa points out: “Love transcends all barriers of creed, race, sexual orientation, gender, nationality and language”.

With many South Asian LGBT persons frightened of expressing who they really are due to fears including family rejection and family honour, it is time for LGBT South Asians to speak up and erase the stigma.

The only way forward is by creating brave role models such as Asifa:

“Being visible and proudly identifying as LGBT will lead to stronger campaigning, awareness and lobbying. The South Asian LGBT community isn’t going to get anywhere by hiding.”

It is time to speak up and tackle away the taboos hounding LGBT rights.

Punjabi Girl by Asifa Lahore:

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#ASHOKAMRITRAJ: Hollywood producer laments “Lack of Recognition” for writers in Bollywood (VIDEO)

Former Indian Tennis pro turned mega Hollywood producer Ashok Amritraj has lamented the “lack of recognition” for screenwriters in India, saying it is hindering progress for cinema in the subcontinent. The producer behind Hollywood blockbusters such as ‘Double Impact’, ‘Get Carter’ and the ‘Ghost Rider’ sequel said writers with creative …

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Pooja Bhatt to make Bollywood comeback – as an actress

Pooja Bhatt, actress turned director, is going to be seen acting on a silver screen after a hiatus of twelve years. Known for her performances in critically acclaimed films such as debut “Daddy” (1989), “Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin” (1991) and “Zakhm” (1989), Pooja Bhatt is reportedly preparing to essay …

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Besharam: The Cost of Bending the Bollywood Formula?

Bollywood is known for its ‘escapism’ and sticking diligently to a formula: boy meets girl, falls in love with said girl, the couple face and surmount problems and love finally blossoms. According to Mark Lorenzen, Associate Professor at Copenhagen Business School, a film industry formula is: “A particular stylized combination …

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A Modi Bollywood Movie On The Way

 Does politics and Bollywood go hand in hand? Both worlds are certainly always in controversy. Both worlds are always rife with drama. We had seen Paresh Rawal begin his Bollywood career playing supporting and villainous characters. Then he moved onto comical roles. Now, he will be playing a political role. …

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