November 15 2016
UNESCO City of Film will host two events on Sunday ahead of Befikre December release…
THERE will be huge excitement and quite possibly hysterical screaming when Bollywood star Ranveer Singh makes what is understood to be his first ever official UK public appearance.
Singh, who plays the lead in the coming to be released romantic film, “Befikre” (‘Carefree’) will be joined by his female star co-star, Vaani Kapoor.
The couple (pictured right ) will attend a special launch event of the film in Bradford on Sunday (November 20) in conjunction with its status as a UNESCO City of Film.
As well a stage appearance in City Park (pictured above right), there will be top music acts including Arjun, Tasha Tah and Indian singing sensation, Harshi Mad, providing the support entertainment. Comedian Tez Ilyas will be the compere.
Before this, Kapoor’s debut film, “Band Baaja Baaraat” (2010) will screen at the National Media Museum, followed by a Q&A with the star.
One of the moderators for the Q&A is David Wilson (pictured below), director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film.
“We are expecting a large crowd – people will be coming from London and Birmingham and the impact of events like this in Bradford is great,” Wilson told www.asianculturevulture.com. “We have a long tradition of showing Bollywood films – going back to the 1960s. People used to bring reels of film over and hire a hall on Saturday mornings to show them.”
He told www.asianculturevulture.com they had developed contacts with Yash Raj Films, the makers of “Befikre” after screening ofthe Bollywood romantic classic from the same stable, “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (‘DDLJ‘) – which enjoyed a 20-year anniversary celebration last year. (See link below)
“There was an opportunity to do something different,” he explained.
The film also marks the return of then debutant DDLJ director Aditya Chopra after an absence of seven years from the helm. He is regarded as an exceptional director of Bollywood romantic films, and fans and critics alike are excited by the prospect of his latest film.
Wilson said the new movie offered a sense of hope and optimism after a recent events and the world was in need of some ‘befikre’.
“After Brexit and what’s just happened in the US, young people are feeling anxious and there’s growing anxiety and we are all in need of something free and light,” he felt. “The timing of this film could not be better, you don’t know what’s next looming over the horizon.
“I haven’t seen the full film (it goes on release on December 9) but from the trailers, there is a real message of being carefree – not careless – and it is about engaging people to love each other rather than hate.”
He also believed the film also had another important message – shot in Paris last year, its making was affected by the horrific terror attacks in Paris and the slaughter of concertgoers at the Bataclan.
“It’s a film about two people falling in love and the filmmakers were advised to leave after the attacks but continued, because of the message of the film.”
The film’s association with Paris has been recognised by its own twitter emoji – the first Bollywood film to have one.
Wilson added: “I am really looking forward to the Q&A and members of the public asking Ranveer questions. He’s a fun person and likes to do selfies.”
Wilson be joined as a co-moderator at the post screening Q&A by Fatima Patel, editor Asian Sunday.
Avtar Panesar, Yash Raj Films vice-president international – international operations said: “We are delighted to be presenting ‘Befikre’ and the stars of the film in Bradford.
“While also being a UNESCO City of Film, Bradford is a powerhouse for Yorkshire and beyond and engaging with audiences there is vitally important to us. We are extremely excited about the imminent visit.”
The city’s film and tv heritage was recognised when it was designated a UNESCO City of Film in 2009 and it is home to the National Media Museum too (which first opened in 1983 and was one of the first venues to have an IMAX theatre).
Bradford was the first city to be recognised as such by the UN’s cultural and social arm. There are now another eight cities with the same designation and another 15 which cover different genres, such as Literature.
The designation helps to create a global link with other cities with the same designation and encourages further contact and dialogue.
Bradford itself has a long history of production, going back to the earliest 20th century, and the initiative helps to spread knowledge and education about film and TV in the wider community.
It also assists infrastructure support and funding opportunities and the UNESCO City of Film is a partnership between the city council, the university and other local bodies.
‘Band Baaja Baaraat’ – screening followed by a Q&A with Ranveer Singh, 2.30pm, at National Media Museum (Picturehouse Bradford), West Yorkshire BD1 1NQ.
‘Befikre in Bradford’ – Ranveer Singh & Vaani Kapoor with singers Harshi Mad, Arjun and Tasha Tah. 4pm-8pm. Free.
City Park, Bradford BD1 1HY.