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Being an outsider sets me free: Hollywood’s Andrij Parekh

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cinematographer Andrij Parekh

New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Andrij Parekh feels his Gujarati roots make him good at business, and his Slavic soul infuses an emotional element to his creative work. The filmmaker says being of a mixed race has led him to a cultural place of being an ‘outsider’ in Hollywood, and that sets him free from many prejudices.

Parekh, of Ukrainian and Indian descent, has worked on “Half Nelson”, “Sugar”, “Blue Valentine”, “The Zookeeper’s Wife”, “13 Reasons Why”, “Madame Bovary” and “Show Me a Hero”. He served as director and cinematographer on the HBO series “Succession”, which airs in India on Star World.

“Being ‘mixed race’ and ‘other’ has lent me the unique cultural place of being an outsider — and as an outsider, I think that I’ve always ‘watched’,” Parekh told IANS while looking back at his journey in the industry.

“That’s what makes me a good cinematographer and director — I simply watch without trying to interfere too much (with actors). And people can’t pin me down with stereotypes or prejudices. So in many ways I’m free,” he added.

Parekh was born in Boston and raised in Minneapolis.

“Because I’m mixed race, I’m not sure that people do or can stereotype me. They often have no idea where I’m from or what I am,” he said.

How do you think the culture of India and Ukraine influences your work?

“I have the combination of Indo and Slavic roots. My Gujarati side ensures I’m good at business, and my Slavic soul has a strong emotional element,” he said.

After spending 20 years in Hollywood as a cinematographer, Parekh feels the world behind the camera is getting diverse, “especially in New York City”, where he lives and works.

As a director, Parekh has helmed short films like “Dead Roosters”, “Zimove Vesilya”. He directed an episode of show “Watchmen” and three episodes of “Succession”, which follows the lives of the Roy family as they contemplate their future once their aging father (essayed by Brian Cox) begins to step back from the media and entertainment conglomerate.

On balancing work as a cinematographer and director, he said: “I approach directing as I do cinematography. I try and imagine the scenes visually and emotionally. I began recording the scripts and playing them back to myself and this would allow my mind to wander to best create and serve the written scenes.”

Parekh wants to tell stories with “subjects that have some social value, that pass some social critique and comment on the human condition”.

“I’d love to make a feature. I just need to find the right script. And I’ve been fascinated by the Moorish influence in Europe, and would love to do a film or TV series about the last days of the Moors in Spain,” he added.

What’s next?

“I’m currently shooting (as cinematographer) a film for a friend in NYC. I’ll be directing two episodes of ‘A Brave New World’ in London in the fall, a TV series based on the Aldous Huxley novel.”

(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at [email protected])

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26 of Amitabh Bachchan’s staff members test negative for Covid-19

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amitabh bachchan

Mumbai, July 13 : Twenty-six staff members of Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan have tested negative for Covid-19.

Big B and his son, actor Abhishek Bachchan, tested Covid positive on Saturday night and were admitted to Nanavati hospital. While Abhishek”s wife, actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and their daughter Aaradhya were confirmed Covid positive on Sunday, Amitabh Bachchan”s wife Jaya Bachchan has tested negative.

Around 54 people had come in contact with the Bachchan family, out of which 28 have been quarantined. At the Bachchans” residence in Jalsa, 26 people were said to be at high risk. Their swab tests were done on Sunday and their Covid-19 reports have come out as negative. The 26 staff members have been kept in quarantine for two weeks, reports zeenews.india.com.

Using his verified Twitter account, Amitabh on Sunday expressed gratitude to fans, well-wishers and colleagues for showering concern and prayers, after he and his family members tested Covid-19 positive.

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Jennifer Lopez teases new music with Maluma

The 26-year-old recording artist wore a white floral jumpsuit and held onto a red bandana in his hand. Each of them appeared to be holding sheet music as they are seen laughing together on a couch.

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Jennifer Lopez Maluma

Los Angeles, July 12 : Actress-singer Jennifer Lopez has dropped hints about collaborating with singer Maluma on a new song.

The 50-year-old pop star hinted at releasing new music when she posted a series of pictures with Maluma on Instagram, reports dailymail.co.uk.

“Pase lo que pase ”toy pa” ti…Are you ready?” captioned Lopez, who is seen flexing her toned arms for the camera in a pale yellow bodysuit. She teamed up the suit with black leggings and a pair of bright white sneakers.

The ace ”Selena” star accessorised with large hoop earrings and her engagement ring.

The 26-year-old recording artist wore a white floral jumpsuit and held onto a red bandana in his hand. Each of them appeared to be holding sheet music as they are seen laughing together on a couch.

Maluma also uploaded another picture from the collaborative session on his Instagram page. In the image, they are seen deep in focus. Though each of them teased the impending collaboration, neither Lopez or Maluma revealed the song”s name. But many fans feel that the song can be for the pair”s upcoming romantic comedy film “Marry Me”.

In “Marry Me”, she plays a pop star who is left at the wedding altar by her famous rocker husband-to-be (essayed by Maluma). She goes on to marry a stranger (Owen Wilson).

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Divvya Chouksey no more, shared goodbye note hours before death

Model-actress Divvya Chouksey belonged to Bhopal and lost battle with cancer on Sunday. Her sister confirmed the news of her death on social media.

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Divvya Chouksey

Actress Divvya Chouksey has passed away after losing battle with cancer. She shared a heartbreaking note on social media before passing away.

Divvya wrote on Instagram hours before her death, “Words cannot suffice what I want to convey, the more the less, since it’s been months am absconded and bombarded with plethora of messages. It’s time I tell you guys, I am on my death bed. S**t happens. I am strong. Be there another life of non suffering. No questions please. Only god knows how much you mean to me. DC Bye.”

Divvya’s sister Soumya Amish Verma confirmed the news of the model-actress’ death on social media.

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