22, Feb 2024
Alliance Française Du Bengale & Nandan, West Bengal Film Centre Launches the 1st Edition of French Film Festival Kolkata
Nearly 35 years to the day after the last visit to Kolkata by the then French president, François Mitterrand, who came to award the iconic filmmaker from Bengal Satyajit Ray the highest French decoration, France once again celebrates cinema in Kolkata with great pomp through the inaugural edition of the French Film Festival. A lineup that shares with a cinephile audience the best of French Cinema over 9 days from 16th-24th February at Nandan.
– Tailored for the Indian Audience: Recognizing the unique tastes of the Indian audience, the festival proudly presents French cinema, known for its diversity in cinematic brilliance. From high-quality animation films targeting young audiences to renowned recent French releases like “Three Musketeers Part II: Milady” and “Jungle Bunch, ” having their national premieres at the festival, there is something for everyone.
– The inaugural ceremony of the 1st Edition of the French Film Festival Kolkata has been adorned with the esteemed presence of actor Anil Kapoor, director Anurag Kashyap, Actor-Musician- and acclaimed actress Rituparna Sengupta, Model-Actress, Richa Sharma.
– Screenings: 60 screenings featuring 28 full-length films Following the screenings each evening during the Film Festival, there will be panel discussions on various film sections featuring specialists, eminent filmmakers, and actors from the film fraternity of Bengal and beyond.
– Within the framework of this festival there will be 9 hours of short film screening from the 23rd of February evening to the 24th of February morning (9:00 pm-6:00 am) at Park Mansions Courtyard.
– The festival will cover 4 sections- French New Wave, French Contemporary Films, Films for Young Audiences and Indian Filmmakers featured in the Cannes Film Festival.
Nicolas Facino, Director of Alliance française and the Director of the 1st ever French Film Festival in Kolkata noted: As co-creator of this festival together with our Consul General I am thrilled to welcome Bollywood personalities Anil Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap together with Tollywood star Rituparna Sengupta and Director Gautam Ghosh. Cinema unites people, inspires, stirs our souls, and ignites our imagination. In the dim-lit sanctuaries of theaters, we are transported to distant lands, where we walk alongside captivating characters and immerse ourselves in diverse cultures. Despite the vast expanse that separates us, the universal language of talent unites us all, leaving an indelible mark on our hearts and minds. As we eagerly anticipate the inaugural edition of the French Film Festival, spanning eight enchanting days from the 16th of February, we will connect bridges between Bengal and France. In the vibrant city of Kolkata, where literature and cinema intertwine, we celebrate the rich heritage and the newest productions of French and Indian cinema.
Mr Anil Kapoor, Indian Actor-Director-Producer said, “I started my career here in Bengal way back in 1980s. This is one of the best cinema destinations and both France and Bengal have some best filmmakers. “
Actor Rituparna Sengupta said “France is my favourite place and Paris is my favorite destination. We are connected by an emotional bond.”
22, Feb 2024
Kolkata, 22nd February 2024: iLEAD Films and Balwant Purohit Media proudly present the premiere of “Kusum Ka Biyaah,” a Hindi film based on a true story on 21 February at PVR Mani Square Mall, Kolkata, marking a significant moment in Indian cinema directed by Suvendu Raj Ghosh.
Directed by the talented Suvendu Raj Ghosh and written by Vikash Dubey and Sandip Dubey, “Kusum Ka Biyaah” boasts a stellar cast including Lovekansh Garg, Sujana Darjee and Pradip Chopra in leading roles, supported by a talented ensemble featuring Raja Sarkar, Suhani Biswas, Panya Darshan Gupta, Atanu Mahata, Samir Kumar Dutta, Khurshid Alam, Manoj Ojha and Raj Singh Sidhu among others.
“Kusum Ka Biyaah” narrates the tale of a middle-class mining worker and an aspiring student who agree to marry for the sake of their parents’ happiness. However, their plans take an unexpected turn when a government announcement disrupts their wedding day, leading to a series of comedic and heartwarming adventures.
This film has earned numerous prestigious awards for its portrayal of social issues and nomadic life. Mr Pradip Chopra, the lead actor and producer, was recently honored with the Best Actor Award by a prominent Bollywood Town Magazine at the film award ceremony in Mumbai. Through meticulous research, the film authentically captures the traditions and lifestyle of the Santali tribe, including their intricate wedding ceremonies.
Moreover, the film’s cultural richness will be accessible to a wider audience through dubbing into Bengali, Rajvanshi, Santali, and Bhojpuri languages, sparking interest in tribal communities and beyond. Its catchy songs, beloved by Zee Music, will further enhance its appeal. Beyond entertainment, this cinematic gem serves as a compelling case study, offering invaluable insights into crisis management and prompting reflection on navigating turbulent times with foresight.
The movie “Kusum Ka Biyaah” depicts a real-life event that unfolded during the COVID-19 lockdown. The story revolves around a wedding procession traveling from Bihar to Jharkhand, which finds itself stranded at the state border due to the sudden enforcement of lockdown measures by the government. The trailer vividly portrays the chaos and challenges faced by the characters as they navigate through the unprecedented situation brought about by the pandemic.
Amidst the nationwide lockdown, imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, countless individuals across cities and villages found themselves in distressing situations, with life seemingly coming to a halt. The film captures the struggles encountered by Kusum’s wedding and highlights the broader impact of the pandemic on society. It serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience and endurance exhibited by people during times of crisis.
The film’s trailer and music have already garnered attention on Zee Music Company, setting high expectations for its release. As audiences eagerly await the much-anticipated first night of the newlywed couple, the film also delves into timely themes surrounding government bureaucracy and state-to-state security. The film is all set to release at the theatres on 1st March 2024.
19, Feb 2024
Mumbai/ Kolkata, 19th February 2024: Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), India’s Fortune 500 Maharatna Energy Conglomerate, introduces a pioneering solution for eco-friendly fuel accessibility in Kolkata with the unveiling of its first-ever Mobile MAK Adblue Dispenser. Under the leadership of Shri Sukhmal Jain, Director of Marketing at BPCL, this innovative dispenser marks a noteworthy achievement in the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility.
MAK Adblue, a diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) known for its pivotal role in curbing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from BSVI diesel-powered vehicles, has traditionally been available at Fuel Stations. Following structural enhancements, the Mobile MAK Adblue Dispenser heralds a new era of flexibility, mobility, and zero installation costs. This innovative solution streamlines the Adblue dispensing process, eliminating the necessity for complex structural alterations and greatly enhancing accessibility and usability for consumers.
Shri Sukhmal Jain, Director of Marketing, BPCL, emphasized the transformative impact of the Mobile Adblue Dispenser, expressing “The introduction of the Mobile Adblue Dispenser marks a significant milestone in BPCL’s efforts to redefine the refueling experience for consumers. This innovative solution not only enhances accessibility but also reflects our commitment to driving customer-centric initiatives that prioritize convenience and efficiency.”
This battery-powered dispenser features a Weight and Measure certified metering unit, printed bills, and SMS messaging to consumers, ensuring convenience and customization in Adblue dispensing at hubs of commercial vehicles, like bus stations, transport hubs parking lots, etc.
The launch event witnessed the presence of senior BPCL officials, including Shri Debashis Naik, Head of Retail East, Shri Rouf Khan, Head of Gas East, Shri Amarpreet Ahluwalia, Head of Lubes East, Shri Anurag Mittal, Head of LPG East, were present at the launch, reaffirming BPCL’s dedication to driving sustainable energy solutions across its various business verticals.
19, Feb 2024
Kolkata, 19th February, 2024: Siddha Group, Eastern India’s leading real estate developer, has launched Siddha Serena – a residential masterpiece where modern architecture harmoniously blends with a tranquil environment in Kolkata’s Smart city, Newtown. This upper-mid-segment project is not just about living spaces; it is about crafting a lifestyle.
Siddha Serena‘s prime location in New Town effortlessly connects to the city via a wide network of public transportation. Schools, hospitals, shopping centers, airport and vibrant entertainment hubs are all within easy reach.
“Siddha Serena delivers a ground-breaking, affordable transformation that redefines the concept of nature. This project with an exceptional blend of openness, greenery and modern amenities,marks a new standard for residential living. Elegantly designed 26,000 sqft residential clubhouse makes the project a haven for residents to unwind, socialize, and forge lasting memories within your luxurious community. The project is not only designed with ample green spaces, but also its iconic pool and lush greenery on the podium that further encourages residents to live, play and breathe stress-free. Moreover, the efficiency in planning the entire construction is unparalleled as we opted to utilize space and create openness in such a way, which is one of its kind. Siddha Serena ensures that the residents enjoy a living space that maximizes both functionality and aesthetic appeal”, said Mr Aayushman Jain, Director, Siddha Group.
Siddha Serena hosts 3 magnificent meticulously planned G+32 floors towers with 2, 3 & 4 BHK spacious flats, ranging from 586 sq ft to 1415 sqft carpet area. It has been specially designed to ensure openness and a pollution free living with breathtaking views of the Newtown skyline.The ultra-modern clubhouse has modern amenities like banquet hall, gymnasium, squash court, indoor games room, kids play room and a movie theatre.
Step into a haven of openness, with vast greenery and open spaces, washing away the city’s bustle with fresh air and natural light. Breathe deeply in landscaped gardens, or soak in the sunshine by the iconic pool, garden sunken seating and open lawn with a swimming pool for kids – Siddha Serena transforms everyday moments into opportunities for relaxation and well-being.True to its name, serenity is woven into the very fabric of this development. Its internationally designed 54,000 sqft podium is an invitation to connect with nature, offering expansive green spaces and calming vistas. Whether you are swimming laps, basking in the sun, or simply enjoying the quietude under the shade of a tree, your well-being takes center stage.
Siddha Serena is designed by the Mumbai-based renowned architect Mr Abhay Bhonsale of Ingrain and the landscape is designed by Tectonix,a Thailand-based company.
19, Feb 2024
Kolkata, 19th February 2024: Kolkata is witnessing rapid and persistent changes in housing patterns. People are strategically choosing their homes in diverse locations that cater to modern amenities and lifestyle preferences.
According to city realtors, presently places like Joka, Pailan, Madhyamgram, Barasat, Rajarhat, and New Town are a few localities that are witnessing maximum exposure, growth, and interest from end-users as well as investors. Some also mentioned that among the metros, the share of affordable segment homes in residential realty pie is the highest in Kolkata.
According to Anarock, a real estate consultancy firm, prices of residential properties in Joka have increased maximum by 24 % in the last three years, followed by Rajarhat, New Town, and areas near the EM Bypass by 19%, 14%, and 13% respectively. Incidentally, the Joka real estate market increase is driven by metro expansion and other factors, which include the upcoming Majerhat Metro station, which will provide a changeover to the Eastern Railway, which is expected to faster travel to Sealdah and Ballygunge, further enhancing Joka’s appeal.
These places continue to thrive because of being planned townships of Greater Kolkata having commercial complexes and IT parks – DLF IT Park 1 & 2, TCS – Gitanjali Park, Ecospace, and Candor Techspace in its vicinity. Further, the proposed Bengal Silicon Valley IT Hub planned to be set up on approximately 200 acres of land in a strategic location in New Town’s Action Area-II, near Eco-Park, has also added value to the residential areas coming up in these areas.
Elaborating on the same, the COO of Keventer Realty, Mr. B.P. Singh Roy said, “The importance of proximity to the airport, the burgeoning IT sector demand proximity, making locations like Newtown the undeniable choice for Kolkata’s discerning homebuyers in 2024. With its strategic positioning offering both connectivities to the airport and proximity to the IT hub including home-buying options for people with all income ranges, Newtown has become the most convenient area thus solidifying its status as Kolkata’s prime destination for dream homes in the future ahead.”
“At present, areas close to Kolkata like Joka, Rajarhat, Barasat, and Madhyamgram cannot be classified as outskirts due to the development of excellent infrastructure that provides effective connection and a variety of transportation options. The state is witnessing a rise in affordable housing. The available bank loan rates have also propelled the rise. The time has come for micro-market expansion, hence these places are witnessing a rise in residential quarters,” Mr Piyush Beriwal – Managing Director – of Jai Vinayak Group said.
Echoing similar views, Mr. Manmeet Singh, Ralty Consultant said, “It has been understood that realtors are getting affordable and sufficient area of land areas in these places, which is also justifying the construction cost as well as the selling cost. Post-pandemic there has been 20 percent rise in property buying.”
16, Feb 2024
Kolkata, 16th February 2024: Texmaco Rail & Engineering Ltd., a leading organisation in railway infrastructure development, has been awarded with a significant contract by Karnataka Rail Infrastructure Development Company Limited (K-RIDE). The contract entails the execution of signalling and telecommunication utility shifting in BSRP Corridor-1, spanning from Yelahanka Junction to Devanahalli Stations of Bangalore Division.
The Letter of Acceptance (LoA) issued to Texmaco Rail & Engineering Ltd. signifies the commencement of a significant project aimed at enhancing the railway infrastructure in the Bangalore Division. The scope of work entails the crucial task of shifting signalling and telecommunication utilities to facilitate the construction of BSRP Corridor-1, a vital component of the Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project.
The project involves meticulous planning and execution, including the design, documentation and completion of signalling and telecommunication drawings, as well as the removal and shifting of signalling and telecom gears to facilitate the progress of earthwork and bridge work for the Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project.
Texmaco Rail & Engineering Ltd. will adhere to the specified standards and requirements set by K-RIDE, ensuring that all materials and equipment procured meet the necessary specifications and undergo rigorous inspection processes. This project marks another significant step towards bolstering the railway network in the Bangalore Division, ultimately enhancing connectivity and transportation efficiency for the benefit of commuters and the region’s overall development.
Mr. Sudipta Mukherjee, Managing Director of Texmaco Rail & Engineering Ltd., expressed his enthusiasm about this opportunity and stated, “We are honoured to be entrusted with this project by K-RIDE. Texmaco is committed to delivering excellence in railway infrastructure development, and we are fully prepared to execute this project with the highest standards of quality and efficiency.”
12, Feb 2024
Kolkata, February 12, 2024: Dr. Alka Pande, Priti Paul, Dr. Kunal Basu and Anja Riedeberger and announced the seven shortlisted titles on the second day of the 15th Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF).
A list of 7 book covers chosen by the distinguished jury comprising author and Member of Parliament, Dr. Shashi Tharoor; author, columnist and novelist, Shobhaa De; author and academic, Dr. Kunal Basu; Museum Curator and Jury Chair, Dr. Alka Pande; Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group and the creative force behind the Oxford Bookstore chain, Priti Paul and Guest Jurors, Director, Institut français in India and Counsellor for Cooperation and Cultural Action, French Embassy in India, Emmanuel Lebrun- Damiens and Director Information Services South Asia Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Anja Riedeberger, were announced at the marque event.
In its first year, Bena Sareen was awarded the prize for the book, “Talking of Justice” by late author, Leila Seth, published by Aleph. The following year designer Pinaki De was declared winner for the book “Kalkatta” authored by Kunal Basu, published by Picador India. The third Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize was awarded to Maithili Doshi Aphale for the book “Himalaya” authored by Ruskin Bond and Namita Gokhale, published by Speaking Tiger. In the fourth year the prize was awarded to Bonita Vaz Shimray for the book “Remnants of a Separation” by Aanchal Malhotra published by HarperCollins. The fifth edition prize was handed over to Sneha Pamneja for “Tiffin”, published by Roli Books. Graphic Designer Gunjan Ahlawat was awarded the prestigious award in the sixth edition for the book “Gun Island” by Amitav Ghosh, published by Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Renowned visual artist, designer and researcher, Ishan Khosla was adjudged the winner of the seventh edition of the prestigious prize. Khosla won the award for designing the cover of ‘Kintsugi’ by author Anukrti Upadhyay, published by Fourth Estate. Paramita Brahmachari bagged the eighth Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize for designing the cover of the book titled, Pebble Monkey by Manindra Gupta, published by Jadavpur University Press.
SHORTLIST – OXFORD BOOKSTORE BOOK COVER PRIZE 2024
1. NOMINATED BOOK- The Book Beautiful
NAME OF THE AUTHOR- Pradeep Sebastian
NAME OF THE DESIGNER- Bhavi Mehta
NAME OF THE PUBLISHER- Hachette India Adult & Business/ An Imprint of Hachette India
2. NOMINATED BOOK – The Penguin Book of Indian Poets
NAME OF THE AUTHOR- Edited by Jeet Thayil
NAME OF THE DESIGNER- Ahlawat Gunjan
NAME OF THE PUBLISHER- Hamish Hamilton/ An Imprint of Penguin Random House
3. NOMINATED BOOK- Azad Nagar
NAME OF THE AUTHOR- Laura T. Murphy
NAME OF THE DESIGNER- Saurav Das
NAME OF THE PUBLISHER- Solo Nomination/ HarperCollins India
4. NOMINATED BOOK- The Adornment of Gods
NAME OF THE AUTHOR- Devdutt Pattanaik
NAME OF THE DESIGNER- Saurabh Garge
NAME OF THE PUBLISHER- Westland Books
5. NOMINATED BOOK – Not Quite a Disaster after All
NAME OF THE AUTHOR- Buku Sarkar
NAME OF THE DESIGNER- Amit Malhotra
NAME OF THE PUBLISHER- Harper Fiction/ An Imprint of HarperCollins India
6. NOMINATED BOOK- When Indian Flowers Bloomed in Europe
NAME OF THE AUTHOR- Ebeltje Hartkamp- Jonxis
NAME OF THE DESIGNER- Sashi Bhushan Prasad
NAME OF THE PUBLISHER- TAPI Collection/ An Imprint of Niyogi Books
7. NOMINATED BOOK- Mystics and Sceptics
NAME OF THE AUTHOR- Namita Gokhale
NAME OF THE DESIGNER- Bonita Vaz Shimray
NAME OF THE PUBLISHER- Harper Non Fiction/ An Imprint of HarperCollins India
10, Feb 2024
Kolkata, February 10: The first day of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival presented a captivating discussion between two stalwarts from Indian history and academia. Historians Swapna Liddle and Alka Pande discuss what lives on from the legacy of Mughal art and architecture. The session, ‘The Mughals and Us’, aimed to unravel the rich tapestry of Mughal art in modern times. Both historians conversed with Husna-Tara Prakash discussing the beauty of Mughal marvels.
The event started with moderator Husna-Tara Prakash introducing the guests and drawing parallels between the Mughal cosmopolitan outlook and that of Kolkata and the region of Bengal at large. The session’s primary focus was on the impact of Mughal art and architecture in contemporary India and how assimilation lies at the heart of it.
Speaking on discussing the beautiful city of Shahajanabad, also known as Purani Dilli. Shahajanabad, as Liddle put it, was “…a microcosm or a representation of the larger empire. This was a feature that defined Delhi throughout the Mughal period.”
While discussing the confluence of cultures with moderator Husna Tara Prakash, Swapna Liddle emphasized how people tend to characterize the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire simply as “Islamic dynasties”, overlooking the hybridity and assimilation of various cultural factors lying at the centre of it. Speaking on art and architecture, she added that Mughal architecture had the tenacity to adapt to pre-existing styles, making them a testament to the same assimilation.
Celebrated art historian Alka Pande in congruence with Swapna Liddle’s observations stated, “Hybridity was in the consciousness of Mughal rulers. This is supported by the fact that most Mughal rulers had Rajput mothers.” Connecting stories of the Mughal era with Bengal, she added how Wajid Ali Shah, the Nawab of Bengal, had brought with him not just 500 men but the culture and food of Awadh, as well.
In the contemporary context, she opined how “from the food we eat to the clothes we wear, like salwar, churidars and kurta, the Mughals are relevant even today.” The speakers and moderator agreed that the Mughal Empire was a great example of assimilation between Hindu and Islamic traditions. The session ended with Alka Pandey stating, “We Indians have the power to absorb different cultures but can still retain our individuality.”
30, Jan 2024
Kolkata, 30th January 2024: The Annual Sports Meet of Techno India Group Public School, Garia ‘UDGAM- 2024’was an extravaganza which continued for five days with great mirth and verve. A wide array of sports events for all classes were held which included Flat Race, Pick Up the Healthy Food Race, Sandwich Race, Skipping Race, Backward Race, Sack Race, Anti Germs Race and so on. Students and teachers enjoyed the events wholeheartedly amidst the thrills and cheers. The Sports Meet had the theme–Green and Healthy India, it was declared open by releasing doves in the air which symbolizes peace in celebration of unity and strength. Participants from Netaji House (Red), Teresa House (Blue), Vivekananda House (Yellow), and Tagore House(Green) displayed their zest. The rhythmic movements of the drill presented by students of Pre-Primary and Primary section enthralled the spectators. In all the other events, the athletes displayed their team spirit, vigour and physical prowess. Tagore House was adjudged the winner after the performances of the participants. Winners were given medals and trophies. On the penultimate day, Mrs Suman Sood, Director, BD Memorial Schools was the Chief Guest. The programme culminated on the 75th Republic Day which included a spectacular well-synchronized March Past by the four houses along with the unfurling of our National Flag by our respected Principal Madam Ms. Tania Sen and Prof. Madam Manoshi Roychowdhury, Co- Chairperson of Techno India Group. Parents, Staff and Heads of different units of TIGPS graced the occasion and the events were certainly a feast for the eyes.
24, Jan 2024
Kolkata, January 23, 2024: ABP Ananda, West Bengal’s leading Bengali news channel, is excited to announce the milestone 10th year of its renowned food festival, ‘Khaibaar Paas’. Scheduled from January 25-28 January 2024, 1 PM – 9:30 PM at the Baghbazar Sarbojanin Durgotsav Exhibition Ground in North Kolkata, this edition promises to be the most significant celebration yet, featuring over 50 food stalls.
The 10th edition of ABP Ananda Khaibaar Paas not only commemorates a decade of culinary excellence but also marks a significant shift by venturing into North Kolkata for the first time. Traditionally held in the Southern part of the city, this expansion broadens the festival’s reach, inviting new communities to partake in the grand celebration of Bengal’s diverse cuisine and cultural heritage.
A staple in the state’s culinary calendar, ABP Ananda Khaibaar Paas unites the finest restaurants and food joints for a spectacular celebration of Bengali cuisine. As the largest food festival in Bengal, it draws food enthusiasts from across the region, establishing itself as a must-visit event.
Attendees can anticipate sampling signature dishes from Kolkata’s legendary restaurants and exciting new eateries, showcasing both traditional and contemporary takes on Bengali cuisine. ABP Ananda, in commemorating this milestone, maintains the festival’s ethos – to honour the spirit of Bengali cuisine. It’s a rendezvous where time-honoured classics meet contemporary innovations, all crafted with passion and culinary finesse.
Beyond the delectable offerings, ABP Ananda Khaibaar Paas is a celebration of community and togetherness. It serves as a platform for local culinary artisans, a stage for emerging talent, and a melting pot of flavours where everyone is welcome to savour the richness of Bengali cuisine.
The 10th edition of the festival will provide a great platform for the event’s sponsors and partners to showcase their brands in front of large audiences. The presenting sponsors for this year’s edition are Jaya Biscuits, Sudha, Solaris Shalimar, Foodie Folks, Weikfield, Doctor’s Choice Cooking Oil, Catch Masala. The festival is Co-Powered by Shanghai-Flavours of China Town, Rungta Steel TMT Bar, Dear Government Lotteries. It is Partnered by Saha Textile, Softovac (Lupin), Kajaria, Federal Bank – Speak for India. The Digital Partner for the food festival is ABP Live while its Print Partner is t2 and Venue Partner is Baghbazar Sarbojanin Durgotsav Ground.
ABP Ananda’s commitment to hosting Khaibaar Paas annually reflects its unwavering dedication to Bengal’s cultural tapestry. Beyond being a food festival, it symbolizes the channel’s profound connection with the community, reinforcing its role as more than just a news channel. By curating this grand celebration of Bengal’s culinary heritage, ABP Ananda continues to embody its commitment to showcasing the essence of Bengal’s traditions, fostering community bonds, and nurturing the spirit of togetherness that defines the brand.