Tag: Apeejay-Kolkata-Literary-Festival

Celebrities at Inter-School Shakespeare Festival; A Three Day Event Engaging Students

Is-Shakespeare Contemporary

With an aim to engage students through an active way of learning, engaging, ideating and participating, AHAVA Communications along with South City International School organized the Inter-School Shakespeare Festival at the school auditorium.

The inaugural ceremony of the festival took place at Starmark, South City Mall. The Principal of the host school, South City International School, Mr John Bagul, inaugurated the festival while Ms Ushoshi Sengupta, Miss Universe India (2010), was the Guest of Honour. The inauguration has been supported by Education Trust for All.


The formal opening was followed by a panel discussion titled, “Is Shakespeare Contemporary?” The eminent speakers included actor Barun Chanda, Professor Anand Lal, Ms Ramanjit Kaur,  Ms Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Mr Vikram Iyengar. The panel was moderated by the Co-Director of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF), Ms. Anjum Katyal.

Speaking at the onset of the panel discussion, Ushoshi Sengupta, recounted her experience of reading Shakespeare as a child and said she believes that Shakespeare is one dramatist who will always be loved by all.


Actor Barun Chanda too said that he believed that Shakespeare is contemporary. The well known actor went on to speak of his college days when he tried to play Hamlet where he “quietly slipped into the character,” by the end of the drama.

The inauguration was followed by a three day festival at South City International School auditorium. The festival concluded with a prize distribution ceremony where the principal of the host school Mr. John Bagul gave way the prizes. The prize for the best drama was won by St. James School. The best script and costume awards were won by Sri Sri Academy and St. James School respectively. The best actor of the play session was Varij Khanna from South City International School. The winner of the art competition was Karini Anand from Loreto House and the overall champion of the festival was St. James School.​

Priyanka Dutta

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Aparna Sen Makes a Debut in Hindi films as Director with Saari Raat


Ace director Aparna Sen has made her debut in Hindi films as a director with Saari Raat. The film is based on a play written by ace playwright Badal Sircar. The premiere of this film took place at Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) on the day of the inauguration.


The event also saw the release of the book “Badal Sircar: Towards a Theatre of Conscience”. The book is a full length study about the life and works of the ace playwright. Aparna Sen, Anjan Dutt, Anjum Katyal were present at the launch of this book on the playwright.


Badal Sircar brought theatre to the streets and masses in India. Aparna Sen spoke at length about how she was inspired by Sircar’s work for making her Hindi film debut. The film had gone to many premiere film festivals all over the world namely New York Indian Film festival (May 2015), London Indian Film Festival (July 2015), Indian International Film Festival of Tampa Bay, Florida (August 2015), DC South Asian Film Festival (September 2015) and Jagran Film Festival (October 2015).


Started in 2010, the Apeejay Surrendra Group and Oxford Bookstore on Park Street have started this festival as part of the bookstore’s year round involvement with writers, publishers and books. Eminent personalities like Ben Okri, Shobhaa De, Ruchir Joshi, Meera Syal, Ravinder Singh, Durjoy Datta, Shatrughan Sinha were present at this festival.


This multi-faceted event had several stimulating components designed to give visitors and the audience an enriching experience with a blend of literature, culture, art and heritage.

Priyanka Dutta

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Mukesh Bhatt, Rituparna Sengupta and Jeet Gannguli at Concert Abhishek Tomar Jonyo

Abhishek Tomar Jonye Concert

“With the initiatives undertaken by the Bishwa Bandhan Foundation (India) for Cerebral Palsy, a huge number of parents will be benefitted. They will be aware of this disease and will be able to do something for their child” said ace actress Rituparna Sengupta. The actress along with Mukesh Bhatt, Jeet Gannguli was present at the event ‘Abhishek Tomar Jonyo’ held at Nazrul Manch recently.


Abhishek Mitra who died at the age of twenty seven after his long battle with Cerebral Palsy is the main motivation behind starting this organization. Gautam Mitra, Abhishek’s father started this organization to raise awareness and prevent other youngsters from falling prey to this grave disease.


Rituparna Sengupta and her dance troupe “Bhabna aaj o kal” performed dance to songs like Lal paharir deshe ja, Jhinga phuler sajete and others. Her dance troupe also enacted a special dance drama at this event.


The event also saw the inauguration of Biswa Bandhan Musical Team by Mukesh Bhatt, president of Film and Television Producers Guild of India.

With the help of this foundation, we hope that awareness will be spread and this will prevent the death of another young individual in the society.

Priyanka Dutta

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Shatrughan Sinha’s biography ‘Anything but Khamosh’ released at Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2016

Shatrughan Sinha’s biography Anything but Khamosh Launched in Kolkata

Day four of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2016 saw the release of the book ‘Anything but Khamosh: The Shatrughan Sinha biography’ written by Bharati S Pradhan. The chief guest at the release was acclaimed film maker Goutam Ghose.


“This is one of the most accurate biographies that any reader will come across. Shatrughan Sinha and his family have been very kind and have supported me immensely in the job. He took time out so that we too could sit alone and discuss about the book. He even sent me to meet politicians who expressed their views about him. Often they were not very good. But he never asked me to edit them. Hence this is a very true account of the life of the actor” said author Bharati S Pradhan.


Gautam Ghose who had worked with the actor in his National Award winning film Antarjali Jatra narrated interesting incidents at the event. “Sonu as I call Shatrughan literally was planning to run away from the sets. He thought why I selected him over actors like Om Puri or Naseeruddin Shah for the role. It was later that he realized his potential and he gave his best shot during the shoot of the film” said the ace director.


Shatrughan Sinha advised the young generation to retain their originality and not copy anyone. “I have never ever copied anyone. I have maintained my originality throughout my career. People may love me or hate me, but I have remained the way I am. Young generation of today must opt for originality and never copy anyone. That will lead them to achieve success” said the actor.


The event also saw the release of the book “River of flesh and other stories: The prostituted women in Indian fiction” written by Keya. Ace director Aparna Sen was present at the session and read excerpts from the book too.

Priyanka Dutta

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Seventh edition of Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2016 announced

Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2016 announcement

Apeejay Surrendra Group and Oxford Bookstores announced the much awaited Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2016 (AKLF 2016) at Oxford Bookstore. The literary festival in its seventh edition will be held in Kolkata from 14th to 17th January 2016. Present at the announcement press conference was Aparna Sen, Ashoke Vishwanathan, Maina Bhagat, Anjum Katyal, Stephane Amalir, Anuradha Lohia, Saira Shah Halim and others.


The festival will also celebrate the hidden charms of the city through walks at the various heritage sites and magnificent public monuments. Among the other themes of this literary festival, AKLF 2016 will also be commemorating the 125th anniversary of Dame Agatha Christie, Queen of Crime Fiction. This will see the launch of “A for Arsenic: the poisons of Agatha Christie” by Kathryn Harkup, in association with UK’s leading Crime Writing Festival, Bloody Scotland!!


Aparna Sen who was also present at the press conference said “I am really thrilled and excited that my film Saari Raat based on playwright Badal Sircar’s play will be showcased at the inaugural day of this literary festival. This is a great honor and I am glad that the organizers actually included a film in the literary festival”. The film will be shown at Nandan. Badal Sircar: Towards a theatre of Conscience will also be launched on the same day.


The festival will see book launches by Ben Okri, Lord Meghnad Desai, Vir Sanghvi, Christine Manfield, Meera Syal and others. A host of literary initiatives like Poetry Café with city poets, literary heritage photo walks, blogger sessions, motivational sessions and other such things will take place in the literary festival.

The four day long literary festival will surely entice the audiences and expose them to the multifarious nature of art and literature.

Priyanka Dutta

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