Archive for the ‘PRESS RELEASES’ Category

Padmaavat, Andhadhun look designer wants more of fantasy genre in Bollywood


Preetisheel Singh - Pic 11

National Award winning makeup, hair and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh, who has designed the looks for characters in many acclaimed films like Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Andhadhun and 102 Not Out, wants to take look designing in Bollywood to the next level.


Emerging as the undisputed No 1 in her profession, she is craving for more and more challenges. “Since my teens, I have been a big movie buff and mostly fascinated by the fantasy genre. I landed up being a software engineer, but in one way or the other, my heart was always into the art form,” confesses Preetisheel.

Preetisheel Singh at work in her studio Da Makeup Lab. - Pic 1.

“Two of the initial movies which left an impression on me were Chachi 420 and Planet Of The Apes. The transformation of all the characters were absolutely brilliant. I realized that doing something like that would be a dream come true for me.”


Preetisheel, who received rave reviews for her work in the Tamil science fiction thriller 24, says that when she sees Hollywood film series such as Avengers, Fantastic Beasts, Harry Potter or even movies like Avatar, Batman, Wonder Woman or even a Jumanji, she wonders why we can’t attempt similar subjects in Bollywood. “I guess, the time is just right and we can safely take the leap,” she says.

Preetisheel Singh at work in her studio Da Makeup Lab. - Pic 2.

Though she points out that it’s challenging to execute prosthetics in India, mainly due to lack of FX material supplies, Preetisheel says she stocks up raw material whenever she gets a chance.


Because of this shortage, she along with her husband Mark D’souza have also set up India’s first makeup and prosthetic lab called Da Makeup Lab in Mumbai; a special effects makeup studio, which caters to prosthetics, body painting, tattoo work and character designing. “The goal is to bring standards of makeup and prosthetics in India at par with Hollywood,” concludes Preetisheel.

Preetisheel Singh gets the Power Brands Award

Coming up next are more innovative looks she is designing for films like the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer Thackeray, Atharvaa-starrer Boomerang, John Abraham-starrer Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW), Kangana Ranaut-starrer Panga, Salman Khan-starrer Bharat and the film Chhichore with an ensemble lead cast.



Bollywood dance series in California raises money for Bharat Ke Veer


Flute Theory donation. Pic 1

San Francisco-based Madhuri Murli, along with select students of the philanthropic platform Flute Theory, have raised over thousand dollars in funds from a Bollywood live song and dance series in California recently.

Flute Theory performance. Pic 1

“The team worked hard to perfect each move on stage, stayed late nights, practicing to help each other and stay synchronized as a team,” says Madhuri.


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Last night was special. Not just coz we worked hard to perfect each move on stage, spent late nights practicing to help each other stay synchronized as a team. . •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• . . Not just coz of the amazing response we received for both our pieces which was so worth all our efforts. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• . But because this performance was bigger than us. We touched lives and transformed the way we can give back to our brave Indian soldiers for their sacrifices and come together as one family. I’m proud to say that we raised over $1000 that we will be donating to the families of Indian Martyrs via India’s Bravehearts (Bharat ke veer) . ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• . I’m so proud of each one of us to have brought our best selves on stage. A special shoutout to one of my favorite people, Katina who we dearly missed on stage but her thoughtful gestures and presence brought us so much joy. 💕 . ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• . None of this would have been possible without the support of amazing people at @arieldancestudios who have been our family and cheerleaders, giving us a platform to make this difference from helping us with lights, sound, props, tech and backstage. We are one big dance family here at Ariel. 💕💕 . ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• . At Flute Theory, each performance is bigger than us. We look out for each other, transform communities, touch lives and evolve with every performance. It’s why we do what we do. 💕💕 . •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• . @arieldancestudios @snapchris @nehasemlani @rituchhabriya @sweta1404 @bharatkeveerofficial . •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• . . #artist #performer #stage #show #flutetheory #danceforacause #singforacause #lights #arieldanceproductions #danceshow #instadance #dancersofinstagram #singersofinstagram #dance #performerlife #artistsoninstagram #artistoftheday #ootd #creativedirector #choreographer #dancedirector #director #creativity #passion #love #giveback #philanthropy #indiasbravehearts #bharatkeveer

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“The performances were bigger than us. We touched lives and transformed the way we can give back to our brave Indian soldiers for their sacrifices, in an effort to come together as one family. I’m proud to say that we raised more than $1000 (over 70,000 rupees) that we will be donating to the families of Indian martyrs via India’s Bravehearts (Bharat Ke Veer) initiative,” she informs.

Team Flute Theory. Pic 3

‘Bharat Ke Veer — India’s Bravehearts’ is Indian government’s homage and support initiative to pay respect to the brave hearts who have laid down their lives in the line of duty. Madhuri and her team is thrilled at the “amazing response” received. “It was so worth all our efforts,” she concludes with a smile.

Team Flute Theory. Pic 1

Her team acknowledged Madhuri’s efforts with glowing words. Thanking her for her “awesome choreography and vision,” Ritu Chhabriya said she was “lucky to be part of the dance show.” Abhilasha Choudhari stated that “it was another amazing performance and that too, for a heart-warming cause.”

Team Flute Theory. Pic 2

Neha Semlani thanked Madhuri for inspiring her and giving her the opportunity to get back to dancing. “I’m fortunate to be a part of a worthy cause. Thanks for always pushing me to do better and making our dance routine so much fun,” she said. Sweta Mehta echoed the sentiments saying, it was an “honor to be a part of this great cause.”

Flute Theory donation. Pic 2


Zulfi Syed has a rollicking time in Prague and Budapest

Zulfi Syed. Pic 5

Life for Zulfi Syed couldn’t be better! Ever since the supermodel-actor turned DJ, he has been gallivanting all over the world doing what he loves — playing music.


Recently, Zulfi headed to Prague, the capital of Czech Republic, where he razzle-dazzled an elite corporate audience comprising of GM Electricals staff. The trip arranged by Harvey India, gave Zulfi a “unique experience of understanding how Bollywood is viewed by Eastern Europe.”

Zulfi Syed. Pic 3

“The folks there are crazy about our music and culture. Just like yoga, most westerners love the mention of Bollywood,” quips Zulfi, who also got a chance to visit the illustrious John Lennon Wall there. The wall dedicated to the co-founder of The Beatles, is filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles’ songs.

Zulfi Syed. Pic 1

Prague seems to have got our desi dude so excited that he headed to Budapest in Hungary for another assignment, driving straight for five hours at a stretch. “Honestly, time and distance hardly seemed to matter as I passed beautiful farmlands, which made me nostalgic as they reminded me of my hometown.”

Zulfi Syed. Pic 7

Not many are aware that Zulfi hails from Coorg in Karnataka and belongs to a family of farmers of coffee plantations.



Is Radhe Maa in competition with Salman Khan?

Radhe Maa does charity on Diwali in Borivali, Mumbai. (5)

Salman Khan is known to be one of the most charitable actors in Bollywood. He is often said to personally help poor and needy people in and around Bandra where he resides. His charitable organization Being Human is at the forefront of helping the helpless and underprivileged. But not many may be aware that what Salman is to Bandra, Radhe Maa is to Borivali.

Radhe Maa does charity on Diwali in Borivali, Mumbai. (10)

She not only helps the poor with clothes and students with books, but also indulges in various animal care activities from time to time. This Diwali, apart from running a campaign for a noise-controlled Diwali and green crackers, Radhe Maa took to the streets in Borivali (the burgeoning suburb of Mumbai where she resides), to distribute shawls, sweets and gift hampers to slum dwellers.



Most of the people living in hutments and shanties knew her, as she is a regular there with charity visits. But many were surprised that Radhe Maa was wearing a green outfit, instead of the traditional red attire she is normally seen in.

Radhe Maa does charity on Diwali in Borivali, Mumbai. (11)

When asked about the reason behind the change of colour, she said, “We celebrate Diwali on this day as Lord Ram, returned to Ayodhya after completing fourteen years of exile in the woods and defeating demon king Ravana. It was a victory of light over darkness and good over evil.”


“Just as hariali (bliss) returned to Lord Ram and his family, I am also celebrating a colourful Diwali by breaking away from the norm,” she said with a smile.



Radhe Maa’s Pyaar Wali Diwali campaign a huge success

Radhe Maa campaign collage 1

In support for the Supreme Court decision on Diwali firecrackers this year, Radhe Maa launched her own campaign ‘Pyaar Wali Diwali’ which emerged a huge success.


In and around Borivali suburb in Mumbai, where she stays, Radhe Maa propagated the cause with hoardings, posters and banners saying, “Say no to firecrackers this Diwali.” She even ran Twitter posts with hashtags #PyaarWaliDiwali and #Safediwali.

Radhe Maa - Pic 8

Her campaign included posters showing cows, birds, cats and dogs; pointing out how troubling it is for pets and other animals to tackle noise created by firecrackers, Diwali bombs and rockets. “Saying no to firecrackers will show that you care for animals. Teach your children to be kind to animals. They will grow up being kind to people,” read the message on her posters. Her campaign for a noise-controlled Diwali was welcomed by most residents in the city.

Radhe Maa campaign poster 1

Though a thick haze engulfed Delhi after Diwali celebrations, Mumbai skies were relatively clear and the pollution and smog levels were lower than most years in the past. “It’s a significant development, but just a beginning. Much more work needs to be done by us as a society too,” said Radhe Maa.

Radhe Maa campaign poster 5

“In future, we should all take more effort and care that the two-hour time-slot for firecrackers is strictly adhered to. Also the green firecrackers initiative needs to be implemented by all,” she added.

Radhe Maa campaign poster 4

“We all have to work together to make our world a better place for us, as well as for plants and animals. Because all of this plays a major role in our ecosystem,” she concluded, promising that she will continue campaigning for reduction of noise pollution as well as for animal care.

Radhe Maa - Pic 7


Ayushmann Khurrana wore special lens for blind look in AndhaDhun, reveals Preetisheel Singh


Preetisheel Singh gets the Power Brands Award

After a hattrick this year with Padmaavat, 102 Not Out and Mulk, National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh is once again on a high with the success of AndhaDhun. Here’s an interesting tête-à-tête with the lady.

 Collage -- Make-up, hair and prosthetic specialist Preetisheel Singh with Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor during the making of Padmaavat, 102 Not Out and

What was so special about AndhaDhun compared to the other films you have handled makeup and prosthetics for?

This movie did not require heavy prosthetics like many of the other movies that I have done, but giving Ayushmann (Khurrana) a blind look required a special kind of lens. The lenses were custom-made for the character to make it seem realistic. These are not the ordinary lenses that you get in the market, these are ‘Scleral lenses’ that cover the entire visible part of your eyes. The only downside to these are that they blur your vision, but Ayushmann was really co-operative and did an amazing job considering he actually couldn’t see much.


Is it easier or more difficult to design characters where the character does not have a prototype; like caste, creed or historical relevance?

I wouldn’t say difficult, but it is more time consuming, as they don’t have pre-set look-traits that I can use to build up a character. It’s the little background details like where they grew up, what is their religious background, what are their habits, what do they like or dislike — small things like this help maneuver and create a character design.

Preetisheel Singh - Pic 3

Did the fact that you have worked with Ayushmann Khurrana earlier make your job easier?

Ayushmann is a fantastic actor to work with. The fact that I’ve worked with him in the past has helped build a rapport with him that makes the environment more comfortable to work in, for both him and me. He is a very positive and fun person to work with. There were a lot of constraints on him due to the lenses, but he still worked brilliantly with them and made it all seem so easy.


Sriram Raghavan is considered to be quite a meticulous director. Was he very demanding with the looks?

Working with Sriram Sir was like a dream come true, because I grew up watching his movies like Ek Hasina Thi and Johnny Gaddar. And working on a thriller was on my check list which is finally ticked off. He had a very clear vision in his head as to what he wanted and when I presented him with the designs, we both were on the same page. So that made both the discussion and the execution very smooth.


How was it working on the other characters in the movie?

It was really interesting creating the different characters because every character has a significance in the movie. Going through the script, I could slowly visualize what the characters would look like based on the role they had. And there was a lovely lineup of actors cast for the movie that fit the characters perfectly making my job a lot easier, as it’s easy to conceptualize something when you have a face in mind. And having worked with many of them on previous projects, it was a smooth sailing in terms of execution.

Preetisheel Singh - Pic 11

Were you expecting such rave reviews for a movie with such an unusual storyline?

Guess the tradition created with Sriram Sir’s movies lives on. He always comes up with brilliant stuff and it shows on screen.


Runaway successes put more pressure on everyone. How do you deal with that?

The pressure sometimes becomes very overwhelming when the expectation levels continue to shoot up. The best thing to do is keep creating with a steady and calm mind with regular de-stressing breaks.

Preetisheel Singh - Pic 2

Which was the most difficult character to work on for AndhaDhun?

Ayushmann’s character was a little tricky, especially working with the lenses. I wanted to design something that would justify the character and give it a very realistic look, so that took a little time. And every character was important in their own aspect so due diligence was given to each character.


How are you going to celebrate the success of AndhaDhun? Do you take breaks after each success?

I would love to take a break, but sadly my work is not permitting of that. I am currently working on a couple of other projects and they’re keeping me busy. Maybe a nice little dinner with my team to celebrate the success of AndhaDhun is something that I see happening soon.



Flute Theory trains Californians in Bollywood stagecraft



Years ago, when Julie Andrews turned out to be a performer who could also sing and act out her songs in the Hollywood classic The Sound of Music, she was lauded for the feat. San Francisco-based Madhuri Murli has probably taken inspiration from that, but has taken it further.


Apart from live singing and performing her numbers, Madhuri also writes, composes, produces and choreographs them. And that is what really makes her stand out in the crowd. It’s another thing that most of the time when Madhuri is in a crowd, it expects her to dance. But the lady loves it.


Having produced many music videos and conducted numerous live performances, she is now training Californians in Bollywood stagecraft. “Apart from yoga, which is a rage in the US, people are always intrigued about Bollywood song ‘n dance. I practice it and perform regularly at events. So I thought, it’s time to train others to master the art,” says Madhuri, who is grooming many youngsters under her philanthropic platform Flute Theory.


It is interesting to note that one of her live performances has garnered more than a hundred thousand views on YouTube.



“It’s one thing to sing in a recording studio, but performing on stage requires great poise, confidence and timing. It’s a very different skill set — almost a confluence of mind, body and soul — and that’s what I teach,” she reveals.


But if you thought that’s all to this entrepreneur; hear this! Madhuri is also a computer science engineer by degree and a successful product marketing manager by profession at a tech company in Silicon Valley. Whoa! What can we say but that, some women have all it takes to make life happen and transform ideas into reality.