Surani Pictures launch the trailer of Chalk N Duster

chalknduster launch


An emotional journey of teachers, their love and passion towards their profession and their determination to impart strong moral values to their students whilst fighting the growing “commercialization” of education is what sums this heart warming story. Surani Pictures’ Chalk N Duster has much to offer as a Family Entertainer which due for release on the 15th of January 2016


Starring Shabana Azmi, Juhi Chawla and Divya Dutta in the lead roles, it is supported with an ensemble of strong seasoned cast comprising of Upasna Singh, Samir Soni, Aarya Babbar, Zarina Wahab, Girish Karnad and Adi Irani. Adding to this plethora of super talented actors are Jackie Shroff, Richa Chadda and Rishi Kapoor in special appearances to deliver a delightful cinematic treat for moviegoers


“At Surani Pictures, we thrive to deliver meaningful yet entertaining cinema. This being our maiden production, we feel lucky to have worked with such a talented team and releasing this film within a year of its commencement itself speaks volumes about our and teams dedication towards this film and business” – commented Mr Amin Surani, the producer of the film.


Talking about the film, director Jayant Gilatar added “Chalk N Duster is a film that pays respect to the most undervalued profession – Teaching, which ironically is the most important profession for the growth of every individual, leave alone the Nation! I have tried to highlight the joys as well as the pitfalls of being in this profession, and I believe eventually, every human being imparts and receives knowledge in some form or another, so everyone eventually is student or a teacher!”


The trailer launch was held at a popular suburban preview theatre and attended by the cast and crew of the film


The film is due for release on 15th January 2016 and is distributed pan India by Sony Pictures India.


Jio MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival hosts the ‘Women In Film’ panel discussion with eminent women from the world of cinema


 mami women

On Tuesday, November 3rd, Jio MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival with Star India brought together distinguished women from Indian and international cinema.  Shabana Azmi, Vidya Balan, Kangana Ranaut, Kiran Rao, Anupama Chopra and American filmmaker Ava DuVernay took part in a conversation on Women in Film that was powered by Lifebuoy and their initiative ‘Help a Child Reach 5’  that examined the position of women in film today.

The session commenced with the screening of a moving film about Lifebuoy’s ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ initiative. Made by acclaimed director Anand Gandhi, the film which deals with the issue of infant mortality left the audience visibly touched. The discussion was then kicked off by Anuvab Pal who moderated the conversation and touched upon important topics ranging from the relation between gender and characters to the wage disparity that still remains prevalent across many industries.

In response to a question, Kangana Ranaut expressed, “I feel it’s not about female or male centric characters, it is about a character that has lived and been loved.”

Vidya Balan shares her views stating that, “I have seen growth and I am happy with it. You have to look at the journey and not the destination.”

Talking about the portrayal of women in films, actor Shabana Azmi said, “It has been left to parallel cinema to portray women with any kind of complexity”.

Ava DuVernay spoke about the issues women face in Hollywood and said, “There is a definite kind of film a woman is allowed to make”. She then added, “because of economics women are not given the budget or trust to make films apart from romantic comedy.”

Kiran Rao also expressed that “women must stand up and know their worth and their value”

The panel was preceded by a brunch that celebrated women in film. Attended by women at the top of their game in media and film, the occasion was made even more special by Sula Vineyards which did a tasting of their new sparkling wine- Brut Tropicale.

Critical acclaim continues for I AM KALAM

Wednesday, 11 January 2012 : – ULTRA & SushilKumar Agrawal proudly
celebrated and unveiled the DVD of I AM KALAM, an Iconic film,
directed by Nila Madhab Panda, starring Harsh Mayar (National Award
Winner), Gulshan Grover, Hussan Saad, Pitobash, Beatrice Ordeix,
produced by development organization, SMILE FOUNDATION at Hotel Sea
Princess, Juhu, Mumbai.

Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Gulshan Grover, CEO of Ultra Sushil Kumar Agarwal and director Nila Madhab Panda

Ms. Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Gulshan Grover spoke on the ‘Spirit’
behind the making of the film and officially released the DVD of I AM
KALAM’. Also Puja Batra, Pitobash, Pravin Dabbas, Tannishtha
Chatterjee were the guests of the evening.

I AM KALAM is cinema that inspires, combining education and awareness
on complex and sensitive topics, with the entertaining aspect,
representing cinema that elevates society. I Am Kalam is the Triumph
of the Human Spirit with the core message that ‘Har Chottu’ ban sakta
hain ‘Kalam’. ‘I AM KALAM’ starts with an inspiring line of APJ Abdul
Kalam ‘Great Dreams of great dreamers are always transcendent’ and
Destiny can be changed by Action. I AM KALAM has already won 18
International and National Awards, the highest for any films in a
year, so far. The film has also been nominated for the first
prestigious award of this year SCREEN AWARD 2012, for the Best Child
Actor, Most Promising Director and the Best Story category.

I AM KALAM has also become a movement based on child labour and their
Right to Education. Director Nila Madhab Panda has been acknowledged
as one of the most sensitive and promising director to debut in
Bollywood with this path breaking film. His next mainstream commercial
film  THE DESSERT MERMAID is being considered as another classic in
the making is being produced by ULTRA, the Rs-3-billion film
production, distribution and Restoration Company headquartered in
Mumbai. ULTRA, has also picked up the worldwide Satellite, Video and
other digital rights including the international distribution rights
of “I Am Kalam”

“After watching ‘I Am Kalam’, I was fascinated about the film, message
and the director’s vision and immediately picked up all the rights of
I AM KALAM. ULTRA is proud to be associated with this film which
inspires and elevates society. And when the Director, Mr. Panda,
narrated me the story of his next mainstream film ‘The Dessert
Mermaid’, I was very much confident of his vision and thought that
this is the best opportunity to be socially active through mainstream
cinema since it is a subject told in an adventure thriller format that
has immense market potential both in domestic and international
markets says Ultra group CEO Sushil Kumar Agrawal.
I AM KALAM has become a movement with the efforts of development
organization, SMILE FOUNDATION and has reached out to 1000 Schools and
200 corporate to make a movement out of this film. The reach with this
movement: – 10,00,000 children directly and will be able to sensitize
approx 30,00,000 (Thirty Lakhs) Population indirectly through this.
The Campaign was supported by  Smile Foundation’s CFC  (Child for
Child) Programme Team of 50 members. Bollywood’s most promising and
sensitive director Nila Madhab Panda shares his views on the spirit
and making of I AM KALAM “ I come from a backward village in the
Western part of Odisha state (infamous for the drought prone
Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput region), where there are no proper schools,
no proper roads, and no development. The only thing available there
for me without begging, without any cost, was “dreams”. These were not
dreams which I had while sleeping, these were dreams which never made
me sleep till I achieved them. I had seen those dreams and made my
dream come true with true effort and education. And since I strongly
believe in education as a route to success in life, I thought of
making this film to celebrate childhood and dreams.

As Dr. Kalam says, “As a child you never failed to follow your dreams.
Why change it now? You are what you dream of”. I believe in that, and
constantly remind myself that “I am Nila Madhab Panda and I dare to
dream”. I changed my destiny by putting hard effort. You can also do

I am a true believer of “Independent cinema” and independent
storytelling. I truly believe cinema is the reflection of the society.
As a child, the biggest entertainment is when you hear a story from
your grandmother or parents. The treatment of “I am Kalam” is simply
like that – it is told like the way our grandmothers used to tell
stories to us. It’s a simple narration.

Quite a few of these awards have been audience choice awards. So, one
cannot dub it art house cinema in that sense. The film has a great
story, and uniqueness in narrating a dark prince-and-pauper story like
a peppy, musical, colourful, entertaining film full of drama. It’s a
true entertaining children’s film for the universal audience, which
has been entertaining people in the 5-100-year age group in countries
as diverse as Taiwan, Poland, Canada and Korea”
Major Celebrities from Bollywood graced the DVD launch of this iconic
film and supported the movement based on Child labour and the Right to