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Bird Bites: Netflix’s Sacred Games; London Mela changes and line-up! And Pride Month and the campaign for an Aids memorial and Club Kali

Bird Bites: Netflix’s Sacred Games; London Mela changes and line-up! And Pride Month and the campaign for an Aids memorial and Club Kali

Game for More? Netflix’s first commissioned drama set in India dropped today

Nawazuddin Siddiqui in ‘Sacred Games’

BREAKING boundaries as the first original Netflix commissioned series to be made in India and in an Indian language (Hindi) ‘Sacred Games’ – hit the channel earlier today.
Adapted from Vikram Chandra’s novel of the same name, the series stars Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, among a host of other top names.
The gangster (Siddiqui)-cop (Khan) drama has eight 60-minute episodes and is directed by India Indie star directors Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane. The early viewing has been positive and if successful it should lead to more India-angled content.
On June 28, the channel announced it was making a long-form series from Sir Salman Rushdie’s magnum opus, ‘Midnight’s Children’.
Booker (1981) and Booker of Bookers (twice in 1993 and 2008) prizewinner, Sir Salman is working with Netflix on this new original series and said he was greatly looking forward to the collaboration.
Erik Barmack, Netflix vice president international originals, said: “The rich experience and talent of Indian creators combined with the global reach of Netflix have the potential for millions of more people around the world to rediscover this story.”
On June 15 the channel released its ‘Lust Stories’, an anthology of four stories directed by well-established filmmakers: Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar and Dibakar Banerjee who each take a look at contemporary stories of women encountering love, lust and status in India.
Earlier this year, the channel announced it was adding three genre productions to its drama slate of ‘Sacred Games’, ‘Selection Day’ and ‘Bard of Blood’.
‘Leila’, ‘Ghoul’ and ‘Crocodile’ join the growing number of productions Netflix has chosen to invest in India itself.

Sounds of London Mela magic to come…

Singer Jay Sean will be one of those entertaining the crowds at London Mela 2018

ONE OF EUROPE’S largest (if not the largest) gatherings celebrating South Asian culture announced its line-up yesterday (July 5).
Among the performers at this year’s London Mela will be Jay Sean, Apache Indian, Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi, son Sanwal and Arjun (Coomaraswamy).
There will also be a special tribute to the musical form that is bhangra (which had its roots in the Punjabi community in Southall).
Pioneer Kuljit Bhamra (and referred to in some circles, as the ‘father of British bhangra’) is responsible for bringing back to the stage some of the earliest and biggest bands of the 1980s and 1990s, including an iconic trio of bands, Heera, Premi and Alaap.
This year the Mela moves to the home of bhangra itself at Southall Park and is a two-day affair, starting on Saturday, August 18. Expect all the usual attractions and festival entry will remain free.
India and UK broadcaster Zee sponsors and the festival is backed by the Mayor and produced through many arts organisations, including Remarkable Productions and Nutkhut. The weekend festivities start from 1pm on both days and go onto 8.30pm on the Sunday.
For more see

Pride Month, a fittng tribute to AIDs victims and Club Kali

DJ Ritu on the decks at Club Kali

TOMORROW sees one of the highlights of Pride month with the Pride march through London.
Among those attending will be writer, filmmaker and activist Ash Kotak.
Kotak has just launched a calendar month-long campaign devoted to recording the many lives lost in the 40-year battle against Aids.
He is campaigning to build a memorial in the capital recognising those who were lost to AIDs.
While great strides have been made both in tackling the disease and prejudice against the gay community, Kotak feels a lot remains unsaid and still needs to be challenged.
“New HIV infections in the UK doubled for black gay men and tripled for young Asian gay men. Worldwide AIDS still kills mainly women of colour!
“We hope to change the conversation about HIV in the UK today, where it is a manageable condition, similar to diabetes, yet the stigma remains due to moral conditioning; however in much of the world it is still 1980s and 1990s Britain” said Kotak.
There are some fundraising events too – for more please check out
Club Kali, a safe space created for gay Asians to enjoy music, dance and socialise, is putting on a special weekend of events to coincide with the march and Pride this July.
There’s a big birthday party tonight and a party tomorrow for the Pride March. Head down to Kolis in Archway, North London, and dance the night away! More detail here

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture