Birthday: 1957

Sooni Taraporevala (born 1957) is a famous photographer and an eminent Indian screenwriter, best known for movies like Mississippi Masala, The Namesake, and the Oscar-nominated Salaam Bombay, all directed by Mira Nair, whom she met during her undergraduate days when both of them joined Harvard to pursue their individual goals. Their initial camaraderie fostered into their longtime creative collaboration which saw them enjoy humongous success worldwide.

The screenplays for both Salaam Bombay and Mississippi Masala were written by Mrs. Sooni during her stint in Brooklyn, New York. Salaam Bombay (1986) managed to earn critical acclaim worldwide and was nominated for the Oscars. The film made further strides when it had gathered more than twenty-five awards throughout the globe. The fact that Taraporevala earned the coveted Lillian Gish Award for Excellence in Film from Women in Film in 1988 was a mere icing on the cake. Mississippi Masala, her second screenplay, also for her friend and director Mira Nair, took them to the Venice Film Festival 1990 and won them the Osella Award for Best Screenplay. Interestingly, it was translated into a film starring Denzel Washington.

Other collaborations of the dynamic duo of Nair and Sooni include the screenplay for My Own Country based on the book by Abraham Varghese, and the cinematic interpretation of Pulitzer writer Jhumpa Lahiri’s Novel, The Namesake. Sooni, A proud recipient of the Padma Shri in 2014, also bagged the National Award from the Indian government for Best Film on family issues, as well as ten international awards including the Audience Choice Award at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, Time/Warner Best Screenplay for her directorial debut Little Zizou. Born in Mumbai, into a Parsi family, she completed her schooling from The Cathedral & John Connon School as well as Queen Mary School.

After studying at Queen Mary School, Bombay, she went abroad to pursue her dreams. She attended Harvard University pursuing English Literature, and Film and Photography after receiving a handsome scholarship to study at one of the most prestigious institutions of the world. After completing her B.A. from Harvard in 1980, she enrolled in the Cinema Studies Department at the New York University. She mastered Film Theory and Criticism there and received her M.A. in 1981, after which she returned to her homeland, India, to work as a Freelance Photographer. During her time abroad, she met photographer Raghubir Singh, who suggested her that she should work on a book on the Parsi community.

Raghubir gave this valued suggestion after he was astounded by her gallery of photographs which was centered on her extended Parsi family. Since then she has bathed in glory, her photographs being exhibited in India, the US, Britain, and France including London’s Tate Modern Gallery. Her contribution to the field of Photography increased further when she published a Coffee Table Photography Book, the first-ever visual work on India’s Parsi Zoroastrian community. The book entitled Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India portrayed the labour of love through a collection of rare photos and personal essays on the Parsi Social History. The book garnered praise worldwide, with many veterans such as Homi K Bhabha, Rohinton Mistry, and Bapsi Sidhwa labeling it as a once in a lifetime attraction.

A vivid screenplay writer, a creative director, and an imaginative photographer makes her a complete package. Despite all her hectic preoccupations and workload, she still manages to devote time to her family. America gave wings to her talent providing her the perfect platform for her work, but home is where the heart belongs, so she returned to India in 1993 after living in America for 18 long years. She is now happily married to Firdaus Bativala, a dental surgeon and resides in Mumbai along with her family. She is the mother of two kids Jahan and Iyanah, both of whom had leading roles in the movie, Little Zizou (2009). A loyal wife and a caring mother, she strikes the perfect balance between professional and personal life making her an embodiment to behold and look up to.

Avinash Kumar Singh Hindi Actor

Avinash Kumar Singh

Avinash Kumar Singh is a movie director, Writer, Cinematographer and a producer. He is known for his work in the movie “Listen...Amaya” and “Last words of a Dying Tree.” He made his debut in the film Industry in the year 2012 and before that he directed a  TV series and Short films. Avinash Kumar Singh completed his high school from Barnes High School, Deolali and for further studies, he went UP. He, then, completed his higher education from the St. Joseph’s College, Allahabad, UP, India. He is a married man and a father. His wife’s name is Mrs. Geeta Singh. Avinash Kumar Singh has produced and directed many documentaries for Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channel. He started pursuing his career as a director and writer of TV series Documentary, “Chhattisgarh: The Tribal Planet” in 2006. All 4 episodes, In the Wild, Celebrating the Tribe, Temple Trail and joining the Tribe were written and directed by him. Discovery Channel produced special four-part series on Chhattisgarh and it was the journey of uncovering the mystical, traditional and spectacular Chhattisgarh. The documentary was released on 9 December 2006. Later, In 2010, he produced a short film, “Last Words of a Dying Tree.” He worked as a cinematographer on the same short film. The short film was an experimental film using live action combined with poetry, digital art, and animation- all within the same frame. He directed many other short films and documentary. “Light on the Dark Side”, and “Royal Reformer”, are some of his works. Royal Reformer is the documentary about the hidden life of Late Rajmata Gayatri Devi. This documentary is one of the last filmings of Her Royal Highness before she passed way in 2009. Light on the Dark Side is a short film directed by Avinash Kumar Singh and Geeta Singh which released on 7 September 2012.   After all the direction in documentaries and short films, Avinash Kumar Singh and his wife decided to produce a film. In 2013, the couple produced a movie, “Listen…Amaya”. Avinash Kumar Singh was the director and writer of the movie. In an interview, he said, “We wrote this film for Farooque Shaikh and Deepti Naval.” Avinash Kumar Singh first thought of making a short film but after talking to one of his friends he decided to make a movie out of the story. The story was originally written by his wife for a short film but when they planned to make a movie, the couple decided to re-write the story for a movie. The movie tagline was “You don’t always have to right, you have to be happy”. The movie was all about a 22-year-old writer, Amaya who was getting a hard time in balancing her work life and family life after finding out that her mom was dating his Collaborator at work.

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Amit Masurkar

Amit Masurkar is a film director, who mainly works in Hindi film industry. He worked in the films such as Newton which has the political genre. Amit Masurkar was born in the year 1981, at Mahim, Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra. He did his schooling at IES Modern English School, Dadar in Mumbai. Amit Masurkar joined in the Industrial production engineering course at the Manipal University of Karnataka and discontinues it. Then he studied B.A. (History) at Mumbai University. He worked in the television shows such as The Great Indian Comedy Show as a writer with performers such as Vinay Pathak, Suresh Menon, and Ranvir Shorey from the year 2004 to 2006. It became his immense break, and he got regular payments when he was working for this comedy show. His father works for a Pharmaceutical company, and mother works in desktop publishing work. His hobbies are reading, writing, traveling and listening films. He works as a cartoonist in the magazines. Amit Masurkar worked in the telefilms with Aanand L Rai. Varun Grover, a comedy actor, has a friend of him. Konkani language was his mother tongue. He has known the lingo such as Konkani, Marathi, Hindi, and English. Amit Masurkar came from a middle-class family in Mahim area of Mumbai. During his school days, he received the anger of Professor S.S. Vengsarkar, who is the Mathematics teacher of Amit Masurkar, for his behavior. His TV Programme “The Great Indian Comedy Show has directed by Shashant Shah and Co-directed by Kumar Bhatia, written by Varun Grover from the year 2004 to 2006, Du Kirpalani, staff writer from the year 2004 to 2006, Amit Masurkar, staff writer from the year 2004 to 2006, Rahul Patel from the year 2004 to 2006, Mahesh, Ramchandani, Arshad Sayed, T.D. Tailang, Ranvir Shorey, Suresh Menon, Vinay Pathak, and Suchitra Pillai performed in this programme. His film Newton released in the year 2017 Rajkumar Rao plays a role of Newton Kumar, Pankaj Tripathi acts as an Assistant Commandant, Anjali Patil, Raghuvir Yadav, Ishar Ahmed, and Bachan Pachera were acted in this film, music This film got many awards and screened in many International film festivals. This film was selected as the Indian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards. Actor Rajkumar Rao Receives Asia Pacific Screen Award in the category of Best Actor. Newton film got the Asia Pacific Screen Award in the category of Best Screenplay.

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Amit Masurkar Hindi Actor

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