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Films for a cause

Indian cinema completed a grand 100 years this year. This milestone will be the overriding theme for a unique theatrical fund-raiser titled Uff Yoo Maa. This interactive play has been conceptualised by Geeta Gopalakrishnan and all proceeds from this play will be donated to Tata Medical Centre, a non-profit hospital in Kolkata that has been working towards providing world-class treatment to cancer patients coming from underprivileged background.


Waheeda Rehman, Shabana Azmi and Usha Uthup at the rehearsals of the show

Telling us about the play that will be the centrepiece of this event, Gopalakrishnan says, “When we decided to create a fundraiser we were confronted with the ultimate puzzle. How could we encapsulate a century of Indian Cinema into 100 minutes? How could we compress the ethos and showcase the emotions of each decade without losing its flavour? The jigsaw before us had mind-boggling possibilities, not to mention a century of filmmakers, actors, and music directors and the aura surrounding each.”

All these questions were solved, eventually, starting with old film posters that will be used as backdrop for different eras. Music forms an essential part of Bollywood and winners of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa challenge will provide music for this show. Gopalakrishnan will anchor the show along with actor Vivan Bhathena. Evergreen artiste Usha Uthup will sing some of her most memorable songs, and is ecstatic about being a part of this, “Music can bring the world together. It has helped shrink the world, as no longer does one need to travel across the globe. In three minutes, I can spread love and happiness and this in turn comes back to me.”


Vishal Bharadwaj

Anecdotes will form an important part of this show which have been collected from both people within and outside the industry. The creators of this show also received several untold stories from journalists across the city. “They were unstoppable when they descended into memory lane. The sweetest anecdotes came from the true voice of India, the inimitable Amin Sayani, who recalled how funny man Mehmood would barge into Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s film mahurat day yelling, ‘Yeh picture nahin chalegi, bandh kardo, picture ekdum flop hogi…’ Then, the two friends would hug and guffaw!” shares Gopalakrishnan.

The show will see a mix of current stars (Kajol, Sonam Kapoor and Vishal Bharadwaj) and Bollywood legends such as Javed Akhtar, Waheeda Rehman, Shabana Azmi and Asha Parekh share anecdotes to make the play interactive. Bharadwaj tells us, “I was in London when Uff Yoo Maa premiered at 51 Buckingham Gate. While I saw the film on Tata Medical Centre and the enormous work that was being done for the underprivileged I was extremely moved.

I told the organisers that I would be delighted to lend my support to this wonderful cause and indeed I will be present at the finale of the show in Mumbai.”


Waheeda Rehman shares her memories at the London premier of Uff Yoo Maa

With film-themed cocktails from a bar set inspired by Chandni Bar to a heady cinematic style dinner planned by Chef Hemant Oberoi, attention has been given to little details. “Keeping the theme in mind, I have crafted a special menu that is inspired by Bollywood. The menu will include delights such as Chennai Express (South Indian cuisine) Delhi Belly (Delhi’s famous street food) and Pardesi (international desserts) that will tantalise taste buds,” says Oberoi.

The play received tremendous applause during its premiere in London; with interesting details of the film industry being shared by people who have been a part of this century-old profession, we guess the Mumbai chapter will enjoy equal admiration. “Javed Saab quizzed me, post our London premiere, ‘kahaan sey utha layee yeh kahaniyan?’” Gopalakrishnan tells us proudly.

Donor passes for `10,000
On October 5, 7 pm onwards
At Crystal Room, The Taj Mahal Palace, Colaba. CALL 66653187
Email nikhila.palat@tajhotels.comĀ 

Sign up for this!
Don’t miss My Mumbai Short Film Festival where you can catch screenings of short films on social and global issues.
At Ravindra Natya Mandir, Dadar October 3 CALL 9029333078

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