Tag: Vidya Balan

Vidya Balan praises IFFM for moving beyond movies

Photo: SAT/NN.

By Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne, 19 August: IFFM-2016 Brand Ambassador Vidya Balan is impressed with the iconic festival taking up issues beyond films. Speaking today at a function at the Victorian Parliament she said, “I am grateful and honoured to be at the Parliament of Victoria promoting the film festival’s core values of the diversity and inclusiveness.”

Praising the festival director Mitu Bhowmick Lange’s initiative of moving beyond films, Vidya Balan said, “breaking down walls and boundaries with the La Trobe University’s project of students taking part in a new effort to help children with special needs in India and the good work being done by the Royal Children’s Hospital is basically breaking barriers in the minds of the people.”

“People do not know how to handle children with special needs and the need of the hour was to treat people as people,” she said.

“The La Trobe University’s initiative was an icing on the cake,” she commented.


About her being the Brand Ambassador of the film festival, Vidya Balan says, “The journey of the past five years has been so wonderful. I come back here year after year and go back with memories cherished for ever.”

“When Mitu first asked me to be the Brand Ambassador of the festival, I thought it will be a one off, but next year again she came to me and then continued to ask me to remain in the position year after year and that kicked off my love affair with Melbourne,” she nostalgically says.


The Bollywood legend was honoured by Hon. Luke Donnellan, Minister for Roads, Roads Safety and Ports, the IFFM Gold Medal for her contributions to cinema and interest in social issues.

A large number of festival organisers, parliament MPs and officials, Indian Consul in Melbourne Manika Jain, Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick and others were present at the function.

- SAT News Service.

Difficult to accept any regulation of the film industry: Vidya Balan

Photo: SAT/NN

By Neeraj Nanda
Melbourne, 12 April: Since ‘Parineeta’, Vidya Balan has not looked back. Her stake has been rising with her being one of the busiest leading ladies in the Mumbai movie industry. Her movies ‘Hey Baby’, Ishqiya, No One Killed Jessica, The Dirty Picture and Kahaani established her as a strong female protagonist changing the very concept of a film heroine. Her newest movie ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ is keenly awaited as she is working for the first time with Mahesh Bhatt.
In Melbourne, for the launch of the Indian Film Festival Melbourne 2015, she had a short but candid talk with SAT. As usual she was well dressed (with an ethnic touch), a new hair style and smiling. Vidya Balan, answering to my question on the recent censorship troubles and the banning of a few words in movies she said, “It’s difficult to accept any regulation of the film industry.”
“The industry is talking to the Minister to sort out the issue,” she told SAT.
Talking about her new movie ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’, Vidya said, “It is an intense love story and working for the first time with Mahesh Bhatt has been a wonderful experience.”
It is directed by Mohit Suri and produced by Mahesh Bhatt under the banner Vishesh Films and Fox Star Studios. The film also stars Emraan Hashmi and Rajkummar Rao. It is based on the love story of Bhatt’s parents, Nanabhai Bhatt, Shirin Mohammad Ali and his stepmother. The movie is likely to release on 12 June 2015.

- SAT News Service.

Exclusive Interview: ‘Blessed’ Vidya Balan happy to be an actress

Vidya Balan getting the Best Actress award for 'Kahaani' from Indian Vice President in New Delhi. PHOTO: PIB

By Neeraj Nanda*

A 40 minutes drive to The Prince, St. Kilda, the sight of sea waves, a bit of sun and some gossip while waiting were worth it to meet and talk to Bollywood diva Vidya Balan. She was in Melbourne to launch the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2012 as festival ambassador with Premier Ted Baillieu. The ten day festival with about 40 movies and other activities has been funded by the Victorian Government and will be managed by the Mind Blowing Films. In a candid interview, a smiling Vidya dressed in a beautiful traditional saree answered my questions with ease.
Excerpts from the interview:

Q: The success of ‘The Dirty Picture’ & ‘Kahaani’ has put you on the top. What is the next big achievement that you are looking for?
A: I have never thought in terms of achievement; I never had a plan and pace. Things have worked out the way they have and have followed my heart. And I intend to follow my heart. My next film is Ghanchakkar which is a comedy thriller. It’s directed by Raj Kumar Gupta of No one Killed Jessica fame with Imran Hashmi. I just hope to keep doing in what I believe in.

Q: Seeing ‘Parineeta’ and ‘The Dirty Picture’ it seems you do not need a hero in your movies in the traditional sense.
A: We are in the best of times for heroines and such characters are being written for them which ten years back we could not think of. Cinema is the mirror of reality and it is today’s reality that women are establishing their identity in all fields of life. They are living life according to their principles. And that is what you are seeing in movies. I suspect it is a great thing to be an actress these days.

Q: And you are leading that trend.
A: This is my good luck. I feel blessed when someone says this to me. The credit of all this goes to the times in which such movies are being made and the film makers who have given me a chance to act characters which they want me to do in movies.

Q: When Indian Vice President Dr. Ansari was handing out the National Award for Best Actress to you recently what came to your mind?
A: I had butterflies in my stomach as I walked up the stage to get the award from him and suddenly I looked and saw everyone and my parents clapping and I choked. It was a moment I had dreamt all my life. Such a situation makes you numb.

Q: What was your parent’s reaction?
A: They were very happy and I could see their eyes were wet with happiness. In fact, I was missing my sister and brother in law there because I consider them my second set of parents. It was one of those moments which give you a massive confidence.

Q: So, does that give you a boost. For example, you are in a shoot and you do better because you got a national award?
A: I would say one feels very satisfied that your work is being appreciated. You basically want your movies to be seen. The Dirty Picture was a tough movie to make and my work is being appreciated so much that, I feel, if asked again, I would work again in it.

Q: You are bilingual. Does that give you an edge over others?
A: I can’t say but I love learning languages. There are so many languages in India that even if I learn a little of them I feel happy. Malayalam and Tamil are my mother tongues. I am good in Bengali. I know Marathi, Hindi and English as I grew up in Mumbai.

Q: How was it acting with Amitabh Bachchan?
A: One feels that when you work with a legend it is the years of dedication towards work that is before you. And one feels inspired by it.

Q: Aamir Khan has raised a social issue with the first episode of ‘Satyamav Jayate’. Do you agree that people on top such as Aamir Khan and yourself should raise such issues?
A: Absolutely, yes. If you are able to leverage your appeal beyond films then it is great to raise such issues. Aamir has always been a frontrunner and he is an inspiration. I also believe in a cause and I am the brand ambassador for national sanitation drive. If you believe in such a thing then it does make a difference.

Q: Tell us about ‘Ghanchakkar’?
A: It’s a comedy thriller. Because I am doing a comedy for the first time, I feel a bit nervous also.

Q: You have done commercials, music videos and now movies. Where do you get the most satisfaction?
A: Whether in is on the stage or before the camera, being an actor is the most satisfying. I am an actor and always will be an actor. When you work in movies you work for posterity to watch. People after your grandchildren will also see them and that is a very satisfying thought. Basically, I love acting and the medium does not matter.

Q: You are the festival ambassador. What is your message to B’wood lovers in Melbourne?
A: Many films which you do not see in the theatre we are bringing them to you. Come to see the festival movies and also bring you non Indian friends to see them to celebrate the type of movies we make in India.

Q: Many girls in Melbourne want to become Vidya Balan. What is your advice to them?
A: Just be you and then move ahead.

*Kulbir photographer assisted with recording and still photos.

Vidya Balan to launch Victoria’s Indian Film Festival 2012 on May 11

By Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne: Bollywood starlet Vidya Balan will launch the Indian Film Festival 2012, here on 11 May, 2012 at the Hoyts Melbourne Central. The program will include the screening of Vidhya Balan’s recent box office hit ‘The Dirty Picture’.
‘Ooh La La’ Vidya Balan is the brand Ambassador of the festival to be held in mid-year.The full program and details of the festival will be announced during the launch.Vidya had last last year visited Melbourne as part of the Bollywood Film festival organised by the Mind Blowing Films.

Talking to Indian Express, Vidya said that she is delighted to be named as the brand ambassador of the said festival and that she loves the format of the festival and the wide range of films screened there. She also added that the festival not only showcases the best of Indian cinema, but also provides a platform for young, upcoming filmmakers through its short film competition.

“Recalling her association with the Melbourne city, she said that when she was in Melbourne, she was smitten by the city and its love for films and its multi-cultural spirit. She added that she is confident that the festival will contribute greatly to add to that spirit,” reports the Indian Express.

Director of the Festival and co-director of the Mind Blowing Films, Mitu Bhowmick Lange said,
“This contract allows us to develop a fantastic festival program,including both”mainstream
and niche arthouse Indian cinema, regional films, and a focus on fostering relationships
between filmmakers in Australia and India.”

The 10-day festival will take place in mid-2012 and will showcase the depth and diversity of the Indian film industry. The festival , according to reports, has been awarded to the leading Bollywood company Mind Blowing Films,who were earlier holding their own similar festival over the years. The Victorian Government is expected to considerably fund the Victoria’s Indian Film Festival 2012.

INTERVIEW with Vidya Balan – I have the thirst to do something new in movies: Vidya Balan

Vidya Balan talking to SAT Editor Neeraj Nanda in Melbourne

Interview with Bollywood star Vidya Balan, who recently created headlines in ‘No one Killed Jessica’. Within a few years of her feature debut Parineeta, she is now one of the most sought-after actresses in Bollywood. Some of her later movies were Lage Raho Munna Bhai,Guru,Ishqiya, Kismat Konnection, Hey Baby, Paa etc. Vidya was in Melbourne recently for the Indian Film Festival 2011 – Bollywood and Beyond organised by the Mind Blowing Films. SAT Editor Neeraj Nanda caught up with Vidya Balan on 11 th March 2011 at the Hotel Cullen, Prahran. Some of the question inputs are by Prashant Tandon, senior journalist in New Delhi. Excerpts from the interview:

Q: A Kerala born girl from a Tamil speaking family…you speak Hindi like Dilliwallas. How come?

A: I was born and brought up in Mumbai and my parents hail from Kerala. That is the reason why I speak Hindi well. I always liked Hindi and my neighbours in Mumbai were Punjabis. I used to talk to them in Hindi. But could not pick up Punjabi. I speak Bengali, a bit of Marathi, Malyalum and some Gujarati.

Q: You had a long struggle in TV and Ad. Films and then came success with hit movies, awards etc…How do you feel about it?

A: It was a wonderful journey. I have worked in all mediums. Whether it is advertising, regional films, music videos and then came Hindi movies. I had the opportunity of working with good people.

Q: So, do you remember those advertising films?

A: Off course. There are a few ads which are still on. People remember them. This makes me happy.

Q: From “Parineeta’ to ‘No One Killed Jessica’ you did a variety of roles. Was it by chance or deliberate?

A: It was a combination of both. I always want to do something new in a movie. I do not want to repeat myself. As an actress I have the thirst to do something new. It is a bit of chance and choice.

Q: What was your reaction when you got the chance to become Amitabh Bachchan’s mom in ‘Paa’?

A: First, I got scared. I was not sure whether I want to do this at this stage of my career. The director. said if you do not come then I will not make the movie. I thought he thinks I can do it. So, I agreed. Thank god I did it.

Q: Such a big star was acting with you. What satisfaction did you get working with Amitabh Bachchan?

A: Everyone wants to work with him. I keep joking that I will tell my kids that your eldest brother was Amitabh Bachchan.

Q: In Jessica and Parineeta you did non glamorous roles. But the current rage is of ‘Munni badnam hui’ and ‘Sheela Ki Jawani’. Aren’t u scared of such roles?

A: ‘Munni badnam hui’ because there is a ‘Parineeta’ . People understand the meaning of my ‘badnami’. I comes because it is a contrast.

Q: When you took the ‘Jessica’ role did u read the Jessica case?

A: Only a little bit. My character was based on a script. Anyway, I was reading in the newspapers over the years.
Q: Similar cases are still happening. How do you react to that?

A: I feel terrible about such cases and also feel afraid. But also feel that I am fortunate to have a protected life. It can be very scary for a woman. I only pray such incidents reduce more and more.

Q: How was it to be that abusive, dhoti clad eastern UP women in Ishikya?

A: I loved it. She was a bold woman on her own. In that role even swearing was a ‘maza’. This is these peoples language. We feel it bad but it is part of their language.

Q: So, you became expert in this type of language?

A: Even if I am an expert, I do not get a chance to use it.

Q: In Google there are thousands of entries about you with all sorts of stuff. How do you react to that?

A: Earlier, I used to feel bad about it. Lots of rumours and one was about M. F. Hussain was to … Earlier, I was effected by such things for days together, but now it cools down fast.

Q : Are you net savvy?

A: Not at all. I work or see the net.

Q: Many Indian girls in Australia want to be in Bollywood. What do you say to them?

A: If you want to become an actor it is not that difficult. One has to overcome the struggles that one comes across. Neverstart unbelieving yourself. People say it is a bad place. But that is not true. You can make it a good place, anyway.

SOURCE: SAT, March 2011.