26
Sep
14

The Incredible Joan Rivers will be missed in more ways then you think!

I still can’t believe she is gone.

As most of the world is still coping with the famous comedian’s death and as media stories surface almost daily regarding the circumstances of her recent and sudden passing, I have been trying to avoid the fact that Joan Rivers,  actress, comedian, talk show host, businesswoman and the winner of  “The Celebrity Apprentice” who made millions of people laugh around the world and who dared to criticize the A listers for their red carpet wardrobe,  is no more.

I still can’t believe it folks.

I first became a fan of Rivers’ as a youngster when in 1987, I decided on a whim, to write her a letter after seeing her talk show.  I wanted to let her know how much I enjoyed her comedy, her interviews and the writing.

To my surprise, she wrote me back! I was shocked!

Joan Rivers responded to my letter in 1987 about her talk show

Joan Rivers responded to my letter in 1987 about her talk show

I first found out about Rivers’ illness when I was recently in India. I was coming back to my hotel room in Mumbai and in the lobby, I saw a crowd of people looking at a wide-screen TV. All I could see from a distance was Rivers’ face.

“The famous American entertainer is very sick,” said a beautiful, tall  Indian lady as I approached the TV screen.

I got up close to hear that Rivers’ had in fact gone into sudden cardiac arrest from a simply outpatient procedure done at a medical clinic in NY. I stood there almost in disbelief not wanting to believe what the reporter was saying.

Then came the horrific and unbelievable news as I arrived back in the US on September 4th.

Almost every single newspapers at Newark airport had front page coverage that Joan Rivers had in fact died at the age of 81 from her sudden medical crisis.

I was in shock (and jet lagged) when I saw the news.

Joan Rivers, the quick-witted pioneer of comedy and world-famous iconic figure to women comedians, had died on September 4th in NYC due to medical complications stemming from a routine throat procedure as reported in the news. It was distressing news since no one was expecting to hear that the active, driven and energetic entertainer has suddenly died.

The memories and personal anecdotes will be flooding in for months to come if not longer. I mean after all, Rivers DID have a strong presence in the entertainment and business world with her gifted ability to make people laugh and sell them jewelry at the same time.

FYI folks, I gifted my mom a necklace a few years ago from The Joan Rivers Collection and she gets praises all the time when she wears the necklace. (Thank you Joan!)

I recently attended a little get together with some close friends in which we all shared something in common- we  had met Joan Rivers over the years and wanted to share our memories of the iconic entertainer with one another.

I started telling the group that my first personal encounter with Rivers was back in 1999 when I was at CNN in NY and Rivers was a guest on a show I was working on.  The comedian came to the studio in full make up, looking elegant, professional and very classy. She had her hair pulled back a little and was wearing a stylish black dress carrying a very fancy expensive hand bag.

After her appearance on CNN,  Rivers had another TV show to attend to and I had ordered her a car service to take her home. I walked downstairs with Rivers to the lobby and waited with for her car.

And waited.

And waited.

When I found out that the car service was running late due to the horrendous ongoing NYC traffic, I explained to Rivers that the car was on its way and would be a late due to the heavy city traffic.  I kept apologizing to her for the lateness and she was ever so gracious and said “no worries” and gave me a goodbye hug and hopped into a cab and headed to her other appointment.

Now that my friends is an example of a classy and refined lady.

Thank you People Magazine for doing an excellent and respectful  Joan Rivers tribute. A classy magazine all the way folks!

Thank you People Magazine for doing an excellent and respectful Joan Rivers tribute. A classy magazine all the way folks!

Other celebrities (and I won’t name any) would have, how shall I say this nicely, performed in the lobby if their car service was late or did not show up. Trust me when I say this folks. I have seen it first hand. But not Rivers. She was ever so gracious and so humble that you can’t help but feel sad that such a well-loved famous celebrity is no more.

But the question that many are asking and that has been presented in the media, is this. Did Joan Rivers’ celebrity or rather VIP status help or hurt her in the end with her medical treatment? A terrific article recently written by the famous NY plastic surgeon Dr. Elan Singer brings up a very good and crucial point about famous individuals and their medical care as celebrities. Dr. Singer deals with celebrities and understands the dynamics of “VIP Syndrome” extremely well.

With Rivers gone,  the upcoming awards season will have a strong void on the red carpet. I personally know celebrities and fashion designers will miss the way Rivers critiqued (and praised)  their fashions and accessories while adding her own take on how Hollywood celebrities should dress on her show at those events and on her show “Fashion Police”.

Ten Interesting facts about Joan Rivers

1. Born Joan Alexandra Molinsky  in Brooklyn, New York on June 8th, 1933.

2. Rivers was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1984 for her album What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most?

3. Rivers was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her title role in Sally Marr…and her escorts.

4.  Joan Rivers co-hosted the popular show “Fashion Police” on the E!Entertainment Network for four years.

5.  Rivers was one of four Americans invited to the wedding of her close friend, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.

6. Her career lasted over 55 years.

7. Rivers authored 12 books.

8. She acted in 21 films, the most famous being her own documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010) which premiered at Sundance.

9. Rivers won an Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host in 1990 for The Joan Rivers Show.

10. Rivers donated thousands of dollars and personal time to her favorite charity God’s Love We Deliver for over 25 years.

The journey continues for many of us, but for Joan Rivers it abruptly ended leaving a void in the world of laughter,

fashion and comedy.

RIP Joan.

Ravi

17
Aug
14

Gifted Actor and Comediane Robin Williams Left Us Too Soon

Robin Williams

Robin Williams being interviewed at The Stand Up For Heroes event in NYC

Robin Williams left us too soon folks.

I cried with the rest of the world when the extraordinary, gifted and beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams decided to end his life on August 11, 2014.

At the young age of 63, Williams, despite having decades of love and admiration from fans, family and friends, decided that it was time to go out on his own terms.

Like most of us,  I was shocked and sadden when I heard that such a talented human being who made the world laugh with his creative comedy, funny lines and humorous personality, decided that it wasn’t enough to keep himself going.
From stand-up comedian to Academy Award winning actor, Williams was one of the most versatile and well-respected entertainers in the world. His penetrating performance as the therapist Dr. Sean Maguire  in Good Will Hunting earned Williams an Oscar and still to this day, fans around the world talk about his flawless performance.
It’s hard to believe he is gone.
Makeshift memorials filled with flowers and personal notes were set up at iconic locations across the country from the actor’s television and film career and many more will be set up in the coming weeks.

I’ve been a huge fan of Williams for years. His memorable performances in films like Good Will Hunting, Birdcage, Dead Poets Society, Good Morning Vietnam, Patch Adams, One Hour Photo and of course the incredible Mrs. Doubtfire, made me a life long fan.

Most of you may already know that Mrs. Doubtfire is based on the novel Madame Doubtfire written by the gifted writer Anne Fine. What many of you may not know is that Fine recently wrote in The Guardian that it took over ten years to option her book and that Williams finally made it happen. The movie has almost a cult like following and is till this day, considered to be one of Williams’s top grossing films.

With so many countless news stories written about the actor’s inner struggles and personal issues, fans around the world are slowly beginning to understand what the troubled actor had been going through.

Williams was a true genius when it came to entertaining people. He made the world laugh while struggling internally with depression, anxiety and substance abuse.

I first met Williams years ago on the red carpet in NY at a charity event and I do fondly remember the actor being polite, funny and of course full of energy.  I also remember that whenever he stepped foot on the red carpet, a blast of  paparazzi flashbulbs would explode.

That’s the kind of magnitude Williams had with the press.

Next to Oprah, Williams was in fact the most popular person on the red carpet I have been told by many reporters and celebrity photographers.

Over the years, as I continued to see Williams at press events, red carpet galas or charity shows, he was always polite and assuming in nature.

As the news of the actor’s death’s continues to spread around the world, additional information about the actor’s health issues continue to surface.  We are now exposed to the fact that Williams was diagnosed with early stages of Parkinson’s disease, adding another shocking piece of information about the Oscar-winning actor but also bringing awareness to the progressive disorder of the nervous system that prevents your brain from making an important chemical called dopamine.
Recently quoted in the LA Times, Dr. Jeff Bronstein, a famous neurologist in the Movement Disorder Program at UCLA says that Parkinson’s disease can be linked to depression.
Williams was known in the Hollywood circles as one of the most hardworking, energetic and creative actors in the industry. A town where most people only connect with those that can help them get ahead, Williams was genuinely a helpful and kind soul who wanted people to succeed.
I know a ton of reporters and writers who have either met or interviewed Williams over the years and no one has ever spoken anything negative about the actor. In fact, many of the journalists that worked with, have said over and over again how much they wished all celebrities behaved as courteous and polite to reporters as Williams did.
As I end the post with a heavy heart, I wanted to share some  facts about Williams that I found interesting:
1. Robin McLaurin Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 21st, 1951.
2. His mother Lauren McLaurin was a former model. His father was an executive at Ford Motor Company. Both have passed.
3. Williams excelled in high school and became president of his class.
4. When Williams graduated from high school in 1969, his was voted “Most Funniest”.
5.  As a child, Williams  told jokes to his mother to maker her laugh and pay attention to him.
6. Shy as a child, Williams did not overcome his shyness until he joined his school’s drama class.
7.  In 1973, Williams was one of 20 students accepted into Juilliard with classmates Christopher Reeves and William Hurt. He became a life long best friend with Reeves.
8. Williams was a huge fan of the San Francisco 49ners and San Francisco Giants.
9. Williams was a fan of professional road cycling and often rode along  on the US Postal and Discovery Channel Pro Cycling team bus.
10. Williams loved Jazz music.
 
RIP Williams. You made us laugh and cry. Thank you for entertaining us  on your short journey.
Ravi
18
Jul
14

Academy Award nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger brings notorious gangster story to the big screen

It has been one of the most talked about and intriguing criminal stories of all times.

Academy Award nominated director Joe Berlinger and wife Loren Eiferman exclusively pose for The Ravi Report

Academy Award nominated director Joe Berlinger and wife Loren Eiferman exclusively pose for The Ravi Report

Notorious Boston gangster and organized crime figure James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger Jr. for years got away with murders and other crimes and as some believed because he was an informant for the FBI, he was never caught.  It wasn’t until in 2013 that Bulger was finally found guilty on 31 counts, including 11 murders and is now serving two consecutive life terms plus five-year prison sentence for  his crimes. He is 84.

Like most of America, I was  fascinated by the story and all the countless films and books that have been written about the famous Boston gangster. The New York Times article  in 2013 “Whitey Bulger: The Capture of a Legend” outlining the famous mobster’s life, manhunt and downfall peaked my interest even more in the dramatic life and times of Bulger.

Whitey film director Joe Berlinger along with Bulger defense attorney Hank Brennan at the NY premiere

Director Joe Berlinger along with Bulger defense attorney Hank Brennan at the NY premiere

And the fascination with Bulger is still going strong today. Hollywood actor Johnny Depp is currently filming in Boston portraying the role of Bulger in the movie Black Mass being directed by Scott Cooper and scheduled to be released sometime in 2015.  And of course who can forget the 2006 film,  The Departed  with Matt Damon. An amazing film inspired by Bulger’s notorious life in South Boston.

But the  new gripping documentary directed by the acclaimed and Academy Award nominated director Joe Berlinger that everyone is  talking about is based on the trial and conviction of Bulger and is called Whitey: United States of America vs. James J. Bulger.  Berlinger has been a strong leading voice in nonfiction films for over two decades. The documentary is produced by CNN Films and Radical Media. You are not going to want to miss this films folks! Trust me.

The film focuses on the trial and outcome of Whitey Bulger and the hidden corruption of the law enforcement in Boston. Mr. Berlinger  interviews people from both legal teams and Berlinger scores a major coup when Bulger  calls into his lawyer’s office on speaker phone for the viewers to hear his side of the story.

Berlinger discusses the film with music icon Clive Davis

Berlinger discusses the film with music icon Clive Davis

Berlinger’s other highly acclaimed films Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills and Metallica: Some kind of Monster were simply fantastic. His film CRUDE about oil pollution, won over 22 human rights, environmental and film festival awards. I became a huge fan of the acclaimed director after I saw Paradise Lost: Purgatory for which Berlinger received an Oscar nomination.

Whitey: United States of America vs. James J. Bulger  recently opened in LA and is available on In Demand. The  film premiered at Sundance this year to an exclusive sold out audience and has since grabbed the attention of everyone and anyone who has been following this incredible dramatic true-to-life story.

The Ravi Report recently caught up with the famous documentarian at the NY  premiere where Berlinger celebrated the release of his film with friends and family.

Candice Bergen smiles for the cameras at the premiere

Candice Bergen smiles for the cameras at the premiere

RR: It’s a pleasure to finally meet you Joe. You really did an excellent job with the film. If I may ask, what did you find the most interesting or surprising about Bulger’s dramatic life while making the film?

JB: The degree to which the conventional wisdom of the story might or might not be true. It’s taken as gospel  that Whitey Bulger was or was not an informant for the FBI and a lot of the bad behavior that went wrong is solely the fault of John Connolly (convicted former FBI agent)  who is currently in prison. My investigation demonstrated lots of holes in the conventional wisdom. The fact that Bulger was sentenced to two life sentences at the age of 83 after benefiting from a life of crime and that life of crime was abetted by the FBI and the Dept. of Justice, led to a lot of unanswered questions for me and that was the biggest surprise.

NY Police commissioner William Bratton and his beautiful wife Rikki Kleinman smile for The Ravi Report at the movie premiere

NY Police commissioner William Bratton and his beautiful wife Rikki Kleinman smile for The Ravi Report at the movie premiere

RR: So much already has been written about Bulger in books and his life has even inspired a few Hollywood films. But your film has been getting such strong attention and praise from people and critics all over the world despite so much out there already on the famous gangster’s life.  Your thoughts?

JB: I am proud of the film. There was a desire to exhibit this film at Sundance this year  because that is the premiere place to debut a film.  I’ve had 5 other films premiere at Sundance already so this was my 6th. I started shooting the film last June (2013)and finished it up this January(2014) in time for the festival.I am proud of the film and you can never look back…what’s done is done.

RR: Thank you Joe. It’s been a privilege indeed.

JB: Thank you

Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger  is available on In Demand and is currently screening in major cities across the United States.

The journey continues and for the Academy nominated Berlinger, it’s been an interesting ride so far.

Ravi

19
Jun
14

Bollywood Dream Girl & Politician Hema Malini comes to US for dance tour

HemaMaliniRaviReport10

Bollywood superstar and politician Hema Malini addressing the NY media

 

When she appears on the movie screen, her large, captivating brown eyes and hypnotic beauty entertains millions. When she dances on stage in her countless mythological dance dramas portraying Hindu Goddesses Durga, Laxmi or Parvati,  audiences are spellbound and believe that an actual Hindu Goddess has prevailed down from the heavens to bless them.

Such is the phenomenon behind the Dream Girl of Indian cinema and popular politician, Hema Malini.

With more than 150 Hindi films to her credit, the Bollywood actress, trained classical Indian dancer and now popular politician is all set for her much anticipated world tour of the famous dance ballet “Durga” to be performed throughout the US starting in June.

Malini and her troup of classical trained dancers will kick off their world tour (and summer solstice!) of the famous dance ballet on Sat. June 21, 2014 at the NJPAC, www.njpac.com. The dance group is also scheduled to perform at the Colden Center Auditorium in Flushing, NY on July 12th at 8pm.

The beautiful actress has been performing “Durga” all over the world and the show is considered to be one of her best performances. The dance ballet is presented by Malini’s dance company, Natyavihar Kalakendra.

The ballet is based on the Hindu Godess Durga, the wife of Lord Shiva and will be filled with beautiful custom-made costumes, stunning  dancers and classical Indian music. Not to be missed folks!

HemaMaliniParvati12

Hema Malini dancing as Goddess Parvati

Hema Malini is considered to be one of the most accomplished Bollywood actresses today. At the age of 65, she shows no signs of slowing down in work or popularity. Her recent win in the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) seat in Mathura-making her an MP in the state of Uttar Pradesh,shows the kind of love and adoration that her fans still have for her after entertaining them for over 40 years.

The superstar is married to the former top star of Bollywood films Dharmendra and they have two daughters, Esha and Ahana, both also trained dancers.  Both daughters were  recently married to much fanfare making headlines in the Indian media for their lavish weddings.  Hema Malini was the brains behind the stunning marriages and received praise and adoration from mother-in-laws to be all over the world for her efforts.

But despite being in demand in politics, movies and charities, classical Indian dancing still remains Malini’s first love.

“I have always been a dancer first and an actress second,” Malini once told me at a NY press conference. “My gift to God is to entertain people through my classical dance which I have been doing since the age of 16.”

With over 150 Bollywood films behind her, the ageless and busy actress spends her time as politician, dancer, mother, actress, singer and writer. But despite having a hectic schedule , Hema Malini continues to bring interest to classical Indian dance around the world through her ever so popular sold out dance ballets.

The journey continues…and for Bollywood superstar Hema Malini, it’s one filled with dance !

Ravi

03
Jun
14

India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi brings excitement and hope to world’s largest democracy

Most of you already know that India,  the world’s largest democracy,  recently held their elections and elected to the position of Prime Minister, the popular and very charismatic  Hindu-nationalist Mr. Narendra Modi  who defeated the Indian Congress Party in an overwhelmingly win against the party that ruled India for more than 67 years. This was huge folks!  For those that follow Indian politics closely as I do, this election was the most intense, exciting and globally covered event ever to come out of India.
Cover story in The Economist about Narendra Modi before the elections.

Cover story in The Economist about Narendra Modi before the elections.

The Congress party, lead by Sonia Gandhi, the daughter-in-law of the late Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi, and her son Rahul were defeated in an election that left many Congress supporters disappointed and to be honest, a bit embarrassed.

Mr. Modi, a 63-year old former Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat and leader of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) was clearly the people’s choice and by judging from the numbers and the support from the millions of votes he received, Modi was indeed a clear winner in becoming the 15th Prime Minister of India. Some devoted followers say that Modi’s  track record as the CM of Gujarat, where he implemented change for the people, set the precedent for the kind of work he will do as Prime Minister.
Modi, with no political dynasty to back him up or a trust fund to fall back on, came from extreme humble beginnings. The son a tea seller, Modi rose in the ranks of politics by joining the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, (RSS)  a Hindu nationalist organization. In 2001, he came the Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat, similar to that of being elected Governor of a state, and increased the economy and infrastructure  of Gujarat under his leadership. Politicians, powerful business leaders and world leaders saw what he was capable of doing and began to praise his organizational and communication skills and way of governing.
Thank you CNN! Finally!

Thank you CNN! Finally!

So, the one burning question that keeps on coming up again and again in the media is this- is Modi good for India?
“Of course he is,” said one stunning Indian girl dressed in a designer dress at a Modi celebratory party in NY. “India needs change and the country needs a person who is going to bring those changes and who is not afraid to take any risks.”
“Modi is good for India because he has a vision of where the country should be in terms of economy and international status,” said an attractive Indian doctor who said her relatives voted for Modi back in India. “He is with the times. He is social media savvy and is going to bring India to new heights. Besides, Bollywood loves him!”
Enough said! If Bollywood loves him, he has got to be good for the masses!
Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanking his supporters on his home page the day he won the elections

Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanking his supporters on his home page the day he won the elections

The day Modi won the elections, India’s stock market hit a record high, the Indian rupee strengthened and business leaders began to see hope in India’s heavily regulated economy. Unemployed workers saw light at the end of the tunnel after hearing promises of new job opportunities and local workers embraced the hope of getting out of living paycheck to paycheck and for once, many saw a bright future for their families.

In his election speeches, Prime Minister Modi  has also promised to focus on development in the country, open doors to foreign investment and strengthen ties with the U.S, which of course for a while were a bit rough.  In other words, he has his hands full!
ModiNYT

Modi made the cover of the New York Times the day of winning the election

Other areas of focus that the Prime Minister wants to cover is the improvement in  the manufacturing sector, labor laws and making India a more “investment friendly” place  with foreign countries.

Of course no politician is without controversy and Modi unfortunately didn’t escape what critics wrote about his past and personal life.  For example Modi is a married man. It is not something that is talked about in the media and Modi himself almost never mentioned the fact that he in fact is a married man. His wife Jasodhaben Modi, whom he married as a teenager stayed out of the limelight and away from the media for decades. They never lived as husband and wife as Modi has set his eyes on a political future and never looked back.

The other controversy was the  2002  communal Hindu-Muslim riots that occurred under Modi’s leadership while he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.  The out of control violence took many people’s lives and the city of Ahmedabad was under curfew for days due to the out of control violence in the city.

The Financial Times shows Modi seeking blessings from is 95 year old mother after winning the election as the cover story

The Financial Times cover story shows Modi seeking blessings from his 95-year-old mother after winning the election

But despite the riots, Modi’s ability to govern and make changes got the votes and the needed confidence from the millions who voted for him. They believe that he in fact will bring change and new hope to the billion plus people in the world’s largest democracy.

Media critics are saying that India will have to wait and see the kinds of changes that Prime Minister Modi will bring.   But he is certainly off to a good start and he has the backing of many top politicians and powerful business leaders including the world-famous billionaire Anil Ambani who have supported Modi from the very beginning.
The journey continues and for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it’s going to be a challenging but rewarding one.
 
Ravi
28
Apr
14

Isabelle Von Boch of Villeroy & Boch shares inspirational tips for Mother’s Day

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Villeroy & Boch Mother’s Day gifts bring elegance and grace together!

My mother has for the past several years, always asked for one thing (other than a silk sari which she gets anyway) for Mother’s Day- an additional piece to her amazing collection of Villeroy and Boch products.

For years my mom has entertained hundreds of family and friends with the stylish, alluring and durable dinnerware that she often refers to as “a work of art”.

I remember as a kid growing up how decorative tabletops were common in our household and how mom always took pride in creating them for whenever she would invite family or friends over during the holidays or for special dinner parties. Since my mom loves to cook (and is damn good at!) she entertained a great deal always using the luxurious and colorful brand.
 
Villeroy and Boch have been around for over 260 years and the German company, known for their bold and vibrant colors, stunning stylish designs and devoted followers (like my mom), have geared up  to help celebrate Mother’s Day 2014 by offering moms all over the world more designs, ideas and choices for creating beautiful tableware for family and friends.
 
Isabelle Von Boch holding the popular Salad Plate Camel from the Samarkand Mandarin collection

Isabelle Von Boch holding the popular Salad Plate Camel from the Samarkand Mandarin collection

So you can just image how excited I was when I found that  Isabelle von Boch, an 8th generation descendant of the internationally renowned Villeroy and Boch family was coming to Princeton, NJ to share her personal creativity and inspiration  for creating the family friendly dinning table.

 
The Ravi Report caught up with Ms. Boch to get the story behind the fascination of Villeroy and Boch.
 
RR: A true honor to meet you Isabelle. You are known as the guru in the tabletop industry and you share with people all over the world such creative ideas when it comes to tableware.  Please tell me a bit about your mission in the ever-changing tabletop generation.
 
isabellevonbochwithdisplay02

Isabelle Von Boch posing next to the ever so popular & vibrant Mariefluer Dinner collection

IVB: I feel like a missionary that inspires people. My biggest wish or rather desire is to inspire people.

It’s not about selling, it’s about inspiration. People can make it (Villeroy and Boch) part of their lives in so many easy ways. People are sometimes not aware of the personal and immense impact of using a beautiful cup or stylish place setting for their family dinning.
 
RR: Your travels have taken you around the world where you offer tips, ideas and creative suggestions for the tabletop. In India for example, you are revered for your inspirational ideas when it comes to designing the colorful dinner tabletop. Why do you think there is such a strong brand connection with Villeroy & Boch in the international scene?
 
IVB: People receive us in the way that they do because they have an emotional impact with us. We speak to the emotions
of our customers and everything we do has an emotional quality. When people connect with our colors or design, they also connect with the European part of the culture. People in India buy Villeroy and Boch because they want to be part of the rich European culture.VilleroyBochMothersDaydisplay
 
RR: I also think it may have something to do with the strong bond that Indians have with Germans.
 
IVB:  Exactly. Indians connect with Germans on many levels. They love Germany, they love the people, there is a very strong connection between the two cultures. Our artwork being perfect, the shape being perfect and the technology being perfect is why we do very well in India. Also, when I was in India recently, I saw that color schemes and the strength of colors is what people really relate to in what we offer them. What we make is relevant to people’s lives and we try to make people understand that.
 
RR: Please if you will, give me an example of your own personal creativity that people have followed and how you think it impacts in the world of tabletop design?
 
IVB: I think examples like collecting different placements which lead to creating a different atmosphere for each meal is important. Have a different one for lunch, dinner, etc. Just like you change your clothes, placements are the clothes of the table and dinnerware should not be boring. Add some crystal glassware or flowers as well. It’s not about spending money, it’s about the table coming alive during dinner and holidays. Also, I have said that bone china can be used on any occasion, not just for holidays.
 
The Villeroy & Boch store brings hints of European flair to Princeton, NJ.

The Villeroy & Boch store brings hints of European flair to Princeton, NJ.

RR:  Tell me a little about the stunning color schemes in the products and why they do so well.

IVB: Our colors schemes are bold and strong and we are not afraid to make a statement.
Each one of our patterns has a personality so to speak. People who are afraid to make a statement about themselves, are not our customers.  People want refinement! We are in the business of creating ambiance and creating a way of life for people to communicate, socialize and bring the family together. Dinner is about socialization, connecting the family and not just about beautiful plates.
 
RR: My mom who has been a life long devoted fan, says your products “keep the family together”. Your thoughts?
 
IVB: Correct! I am about the family that eats together and stays together. I stress that all over the world when I visit people.
 
RR: Thank you Isabelle. Such a pleasure and an honor to meet the woman behind such an amazing brand.
 
IVB: Thank you so much.
 
The Villeroy & Boch store is located in the Princeton Market Fair Shopping Center. For more information, please visit www.villeroy-boch.com.
 
The journey continues and for Mother’s Day, it’s going to be a stylish one for sure!
 
Ravi
14
Apr
14

Fashion icon John Varvatos talks life, fashion and family with Fern Mallis

Fashion devotees of John Varvatos recently had the chance to see the iconic designer up close and personal in an engaging conversation between the exemplary designer and the world-famous fashion personality Fern Mallis at the historic 92Y venue in NYC as part of the well received series “Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis”.
For years, the 92Y has been known as a world-class nonprofit community and cultural center that has served as a place for NY audience members to experience personal interviews with some of the leading personalities and celebrities from the world of film, fashion, business, entertainment and publishing.92YEventr
The Ravi Report was front and center to bring all the details.

Varvatos menswear fashion and accessories are globally known for their  stylish, stunning and alluring designs that are sought  season after season. I have a shirt and trust me, the man is a genius when it comes to fashion.

Over the past several years, the designer’s passion for music and writing had turned Varvatos  into a leading author and somewhat musical talent scout as he brings very talented musicians to his Bowery Store in NY to perform for rock music fans.  I’ve been to a few concerts and it is a great concept and the musicians are very talented!

Varvatos’s new book Rock in Fashion, (which is selling like hotcakes) is  a collection of his own rock style designs and personal notes from his years of designing memorable clothes. You are definitely going to want to get this book folks!

But despite the designer’s immense fame, fortune and massive following, the Detroit born Varvatos remains humble and grateful to those that have helped him achieve his fame and success.JohnVarvatosbookjacket

The creator and organizer of NY Fashion Week, Fern Mallis is to the fashion world what curry is to rice- you can’t have one without the other.  Known as the “industry game changer”, Mallis has been the backbone for many iconic designers and the main organizer of their runway shows for years. The successful and well-liked iconic business personality is now president of her own company, Fern Mallis LLC and continues to create Fashion Week around the world in major cities.  Mallis also hosts her own show on the SiriusXM flagship celebrity talk channel, Stars called “Fashion Insiders with Fern Mallis.”

I will also on record saying she is one of the nicest and most helpful people in the fashion industry I know.

During the on stage conversation, Mallis , who is an excellent interviewer, gets Varvatos to open up about his family, his humble beginnings in Detroit, his career in fashion and of course his passions which include music, writing and designing cars!

The Ravi Report caught up with Varvatos after the talk to find out what keeps the world-famous designer going and what kind of outfits would he design for Bollywood stars.
RR: John, great seeing you again. We learned so much about you during the discussion. You just keep going from one project to another. How do you manage it all?
JV: I feel like I have to learn something new everyday. I am a sponge for learning things. I want to know everything and anything that pertains to my world and I go for it.
 
RR: A lot of your followers are saying  that “John has done so much and continues to reinvent his passion.” Your thoughts?
JV: Well, that is a nice complement. I think the word you use  is passion and that is the reason you keep going. I don’t even think about it...it’s the stimulus in life that is your passion that keeps you going and keeps you motivated and keeps you  looking for the next adventure. I would be bored if I was not looking for the next adventure. 
RR: Everything you explore and do seems to have a tremendous successful outcome with no room for failure. Has that always been the case?
JV: (laughs)…there are always bumps and road blocks in the road that people don’t see and if you have this attitude that you can climb over the road block and you can knock it down, you can do it. A few years  (in 2008) the economy for all of us was a bump in the road. No matter what you did, it was a bump in the road. You had to figure out how you were going overcome it and come out stronger and better than before.  For me it was not going to let me down just because we just got punched in the stomach. What can we learn from this experience? What is going to make us stronger? So if it happens again, we can be in a much better place.
 
RR: You have a large following almost a cult like one in Bollywood for your fashions and accessories with many stars wearing your clothes to parties, red carpet premiers and events.  If you had to design an outfit for the leading men of Bollywood, what would you design?
JV: (Pauses)That is a really an interesting question. Today we  were talking in our meeting on what the next inspiration would be for our runway and we are planning on going to India this summer for an inspirational trip. There is a culture out there from everything from the intellectual flourishing artesian culture to amazing fabrics  and  it’s one of the places where people take pride in what they do. I would design something that would be inspired by Indian culture.

RR: Thanks so much John. Always a pleasure and hope to talk to you again soon.
JV: Thank you so much.
The journey continues and for John Varvatos and Fern Mallis, it’s one full of fashion, design and adventure for sure!
Ravi

 

 

28
Feb
14

Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman left us too soon

The Oscars will be a bit bitter-sweet this year.

Not because some of the most amazing films or actors were not even given a nod nor will it be because some of them were given one.
 
It will be because a leading member of the Hollywood film fraternity will no longer be among his peers cheering them on as they sit in hopes of winning  the most prestigious honor in cinema.
 
By now, many of you already know who I am talking about but I will be more than honored to mention his name just in case some of you may not know. I’m talking about Academy Award winning  Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the greatest American actors that Hollywood will ever see.

Hoffman won an Academy Award in 2005 for his portrayal of Truman Capote in the film "Capote"

Hoffman won an Academy Award in 2005 for his portrayal of Truman Capote in the film “Capote”

 
The 46 year-old brilliant and gifted film and theater actor passed away on Feb. 2, 2014  from an apparent drug overdose.
 
It was sudden. Shocking. Tragic and of course disturbing.
Hollywood lost a great actor and three kids lost their loving father.
 
I’m not going to sit here and write about what has already been written about the late gifted actor over the past several weeks including everything from drug abuse to the details of Hoffman’s will. However,  I will say that the actor’s death has brought serious attention (again) to the ongoing issue of the dangers of  drug addiction and how prevalent and on the rise it has become.
 
According to a recent New York Times editorial written by the well-known and astute NY ER physician Dr. Robert S. Hoffman, heroine-related deaths have increased 84 percent from 2010 to 2012 in New York city.  Dr. Hoffman also  states that the actor’s sudden death was more of a “wake up” call for society to try to help prevent the hundreds of other unknown deaths that are never mentioned or talked about.
 
Philip Seymour Hoffman took Hollywood  by storm with his innate ability to dig deep into the core of his being to bring to surface the kind of immense talent that only a few privileged individuals are blessed to achieve in a lifetime.
 
My first introduction to Hoffman was from the powerful  film Magnolia. The deep and emotional 1999 movie centers around 9 individuals with various levels of dysfunctional issues. Hoffman stars as the hospice nurse Phil who tries to reunite a son (played by Tom Cruise) with his dying father. Although it was clear that Tom Cruise was the protagonist in the film, Hoffman gave the kind of performance that not only made Hollywood take notice, but also gave the world the kind of versatility and  gut-wrenching performances that only a few gifted actors can achieve.
 
Magnolia was the reason I watched all of Hoffman’s films and I, like millions, was able to see  how over the years, the simple and unassuming actor transformed into a megastar by portraying versatile characters that quite frankly, were tailor-made for him.
 
Hoffman won an Academy Award in 2005 for his brilliant performance in the movie Capote. Who can forget that heartwarming speech afterwards in which he thanks his human rights lawyer mom, Marilyn Hoffman O’Conner for taking him to his first play as a child. Not a dry eye in the house when he spoke.

Hoffman with cast members and good friends Laura Linney and Philip Bosco

Hoffman with cast members and good friends Laura Linney and Philip Bosco

 
I was privileged to have met and interviewed Hoffman in 2007  at the NY premiere of  Savages.  Hoffman along with the stunning Laura Linney play brother and sister in the movie who end up caring for their  abusive and ill  father played by the brilliant Philip Bosco.  It’s an emotional family drama that is certainly a must watch. I’ve seen it twice.
 
Hoffman was indeed one of the most sincere, humble and intelligent actors I had ever met.
 
RY: How did you prepare for this role? Did you draw anything from your own life experiences?
 
Hoffman: You prepare for it like you prepare for any part….it’s always different yet always the same and you know that’s a long conversation..it really is…it’s not something you can just sound bite…it really is..there is a lot of questions and a lot of thought that goes into preparing for something.
 

RY: What did this role do for you artistically as an actor?

Hoffman: Wow..(pause)…I have no idea…very deep question. Probably nothing…(laughs)..well it’s just another opportunity to explore something that I find pertinent that interests me now …do you know what I mean?… which I hopefully think artists are about.

RY: What attracted you to the role?

Hoffman: It was a great script….it’s never just the role…it’s always the role and the story…they have to go hand in hand and this is a really a great script and it’s a role that pertains to where I am in my life…where being 40 is in your life….and I do think it’s interesting and I do think that’s the answer to your first question…it’s interesting to explore something that you find pertinent to life at this time in your life…you find that your interest and curiosities change over time. There are things that I did ten years ago as an actor that I would not want to do now as an actor.

RY: How did you prepare for this role? Did you draw anything from your own life experiences?

Hoffman: You prepare for it like you prepare for any part….it’s always different yet always the same and you know that’s a long conversation..it really is…it’s not something you can just sound bite…it really is..there is a lot of questions and a lot of thought that goes into preparing for something.

After the interview, Hoffman gracefully shook my hand and headed into the theater with good friend Linney and the rest of the cast.

What has been written about the past several weeks and what will continue to be written about the late actor has opened up new conversations about drug overdose, addicts who try to fight their inner demons and personal struggle with rehab.

When Hoffman tragically and suddenly passed away, the media compared his death to those of other talented actors who battled drug addiction including River Phoenix and Heath Ledger. The premise seems to be the same.

When the 86th Academy Awards begins on Sunday, March 2, 2014, millions will be watching the broadcast around the world while Hoffman’s spirit will be lingering among the  actors as he sends his congrats to the winners from above while fixing his trademark uncombed hair.
 
The journey continues….and for Hoffman, it was indeed a short and unfinished one.
 
Ravi
 
24
Jan
14

Bollywood Awards Get Ready To Make America Debut

Global superstars Anil Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra pose for The Ravi Report

Global superstars Anil Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra pose for The Ravi Report

Lights, camera and Bollywood!

If there is one single event that will give you a complete picture of the magic behind the largest film producing industry in the world complete with all its leading components, then you DO NOT want to miss the most talked about and highly anticipated event of 2014  soon to happen in the US for the first time. This folks, is a VERY BIG DEAL!

The International Indian Film Awards known as iifa is the biggest Bollywood event produced out of India (think Oscars) and is bound for Tampa Bay, Florida April 24-26, 2014.

Beautiful A List Bollywood celebrities, stunning exotic dancers, gorgeous actresses and choreographed spectacles with singers and superstars, will entertain thousands upon thousands of fans from all around the world that will come to see the live extravaganza.

As someone who has been covering Bollywood for almost two decades, trust me when I tell you that iifa is the most magnificent event ever to come out of India.

Now in its 15th year, the event will bring over  800 people set to perform in numerous events during the three-day celebration.

“Think Bono, Springsteen and the Superbowl all wrapped up with a  bit of Moulin Rouge mixed in,that’s how iifa can be best described,” stated a stunning and statuesque Indian model attending the recent iifa NY press conference. “For those folks that want an up-close and personal  experience of what the magic behind Bollywood is all about, they need to come to this event. Plain and simple.”

Kapoor and Chopra chatting before the press conference

Kapoor and Chopra chatting before the press conference

In just one week since ticket sales have started, over 10K tickets have been sold for the event!!

Why Tampa Bay? Glad you asked.

“Tampa Bay is family oriented and doesn’t have the craziness of Miami and has all the assets of the big cities,” said Santiago Corrada, President & CEO of Visit  Tampa Bay. “Tampa Bay is also very sophisticated and welcoming of cultures and of course you ready know how much of a terrific culture Bollywood has to offer to the world and Tampa Bay is the perfect place to launch that fascinating culture.”

Dr. Kiran Patel, a well-known cardiologist and philanthropist is the brains behind bringing iifa to Tampa Bay. Dr. Patel has been a life long Bollywood fan and is one of the most respected individuals in the state of Florida.

International superstar and iifa representative actor Anil Kapoor spoke to The Ravi Report  during the New York press conference that he and the ridiculously gorgeous  Bollywood actress, Guess girl and Pitbull favorite Priyanka Chopra co-hosted.

Priyanka Chopra and Anil Kapoor take to the stage to talk about iifa significance in the United States

Priyanka Chopra and Anil Kapoor take to the stage to talk about iifa significance in the United States

RR: Great to see you again Anil!  The NY media is buzzing saying  that both you and Priyanka, two well-known Bollywood stars outside of India with a strong international following,  will draw a huge non-Indian audience to the iifa event.  Your thoughts?

AK: Thanks so much  but honestly, there are many more accomplished actors who have done so much more in Bollywood than me and Priyanka that will be at iifa, so I really look to the iifa association as more of a family event and not really one that is showcased by me or Priyanka.

RR: Is there a lot pressure from Bollywood for  this massive event to go over well for the first time in the US?

The entire iifa 2014 Dream Team poses for the media

The entire 2014 iifa Dream Team poses for the NY media

AK: Well, we do our best to entertainment those that come to iifa and try to do the best job we can as  entertainers.

During the press conference, Kapoor pointed out he would never bestow his name to anything that he does not believe in.

“I have never endorsed any products…I never endorsed anything. I am very choosy and fussy about things. I don’t give my name just to anyone. So for me to come to NY and speak about iifa to the media is very important to me and I believe in iiffa and I believe in the folks of Tampa Bay.”

Press conference was held inside the legendary New York Plaza Hotel

Press conference was held inside the legendary New York Plaza Hotel

Rajan Singh, head of International Business for Star Plus  UK, has been a strong force behind iifa since the very beginning and is responsible for the million  of viewers in 108 countries  that will get to see the program.

RR: Mr. Singh, the iifa event is being compared to the likes of the Superbowl combined with Rolling Stones concerts in terms of viewership. Is that a pretty accurate description?

RS: Well, if you talk about the television exposure one will get with iifa with the biggest network in Asian television like Star Plus, then it certainly does fall into that kind of area.

RR: iifa has been staged around the world but never in the United States. What are some of the concerns you might have with such an intense undertaking?

RS:It’s going to be a quality event that is the most important thing we need to focus on.We have to produce quality events so people around the world can see  how far iifa has come in the past 15 years of global exposure.

RR: With leading Bollywood stars starring in big budgeted Hollywood films, popular television shows and international modeling campaigns, is Bollywood finally coming to a mainstream level in the United States with iifa?

RS: I am surprised it has taken so long with America having such a huge Indian population,that it has taken 15 years for Bollywood to officially come to the US through iifa.

For more information on iifa and ticket sales, visit www.iifa.com.

The journey continues….in Bollywood style! Jai Ho!

08
Dec
13

Actor Noah Emmerich Brings Prestige To The Americans

Star of The Americans, actor Noah Emmerich addresses the media on the red carpet

Star of The Americans, actor Noah Emmerich addresses the media on the red carpet

The Paley Center For Media http://www.paleycenter.org in NY recently held their 2013 Paley Fest featuring top stars and producers from popular television shows that have gained nationally attention and following.
One of the events  was an up close visit with the cast from the extremely popular and prodigious FX show The Americans.  The show  created by a former CIA agent himself Joe Weisberg, is based on  the marriage of two undercover Soviet spies and takes place during the Regan eighties.  The all star cast includes Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and popular actor and friend Noah Emmerich.
Emmerich, 48, is a New York born, Yale educated character actor who has over the past 25 years acted in some of the most memorable television shows  and box office favorites. Who could forget his role as Marlon  in The Truman Show with Jim Carey. Or his role as the helpful neighbor Larry Hedges  in Little Children. And don’t forget to look for the talented actor in the upcoming Jane Gotta Gun playing Natalie Portman’s husband.
Emmerich television appearances are to many to name but the few that do come to mind are The West Wing and White Collar.  But his most recent exciting and talked about role is that of  FBI agent Stan Beeman in the critically acclaimed hit series The Americans. 
Exciting and full of espionage drama, The Americans has captured audiences attention around the world for its brilliant writing, award-winning cast, strong character development, dramatic marital relationships and scandalous undertones.
Noah Emmerich poses with Ravi Yande at the Paley Media Center, NY

Noah Emmerich poses with Ravi Yande at The Paley Center for Media, NY

The Ravi Report recently had the opportunity to meet up with Emmerich and the entire cast and show producers at The Paley Center for a special sold out panel discussion.
RR: Great seeing you again Noah. Congrats on the success of the show. How does it feel to be part of something so amazing?

NE: We are gearing up for season 2 and it was amazing to come back to a job.  I’ve never come back to a job in my entire life. You star in a movie, then it ends and you say good-bye to everyone. This is great.

RR: Everyone loved Season 1. Are you at all surprised at the kind of prominent reaction that the show has gotten?

NE: I am amazed and in my wildest dreams I did not anticipate such reaction and praises we got from the audiences. It’s like a dream.

Actors Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys share a joke on the red carpet

Actors Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys share a joke on the red carpet

RR: You’re known in the industry as a very talented and versatile character actor  in both film and television.  What specifically attracted you to your character  Stan Beeman on the show?

NE: I like the ideas of the layers of the character. They sort out infinite possibilities in the world of espionage, false identities and false selves. I like the ideas the writers had, that was really the area of interest. Another part is that it is always interesting for an actor to deal with  more layers of character because the more interesting the work becomes, the more you really don’t know who these characters are to some degree.  That is quite exciting for me and hopefully the audiences as well.

RR: If your role in The Americans was offered to you say 10 years ago, would you have been ready to take on something so intense?

NE: It’s hard to say…egotistically, I’d like to say I could have done it but I certainly feel better prepared and more suitable to play this role here today.  I think everything happens for a reason and this is happening now and I am grateful.

RR: What sort of research did you do for your role as the FBI agent Stan Beeman? 

TheAmerciansGroupShot

Noah Emmerich, show creators Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys pose for the media on The Americans red carpet arrivals.

NE: I’ve done a lot of reading about the period when the show takes place and I’ve talked to some FBI agents and some CIA agents as well. I somewhat immersed myself in that world to understand what the dynamics and reality was for those people during that time which certainly helped develop my character.

RR: The world of television series has changed dramatically over the years with audiences getting more finicky about what they like to watch and follow. Do you think The Americans would have gotten the same kind of acceptance it has gotten today vs  five or ten years ago?

NE:  I don’t think we could have seen the Russian heroes working to bring down America as viable as ten years ago. I think the audiences have gotten more and more sophisticated over the years in viewership and I think we, as actors, have expanded and embraced cultures and characters along the way.   I also think it’s a beautiful moment that we can explore different points of view other than our own..I think there is a strong appetite for that.

RR: Thank you so much Noah. Always a pleasure and good luck in season 2!
NE: Thank you.
26
Oct
13

Indian Filmmaker Brings Reality To Bollywood Films

Indian filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar is a genius. Not in the Einstein sense, but in the sense of how to make great films. He knows what audiences want and goes for it. Come hell or high water.

MadhurBetsy

Madhur Bhandarkar poses with fashion icon Betsey Johnson at the recent Molecule Communications Bollywood event in NY

Bhandarkar, 45, is one of India’s prolific movie makers and one of the most sought after directors in Bollywood today. His reality based subject matter  mixed in with his brilliant way of directing,  all equals great cinema appreciated by audiences around the world. His films are fictional but have a strong sense of realism in the undertones of  each story.

His most recent film Heroine focused on the life of a young Bollywood wannabe actress trying to make it in the tough and highly competitive Indian film industry. The protagonist was played by Kareena Kapoor, one of the top stars in Bollywood. The film played to packed movie houses for months.  Again, the Midas touch of Bhandarkar.

The Mumbai born acclaimed director has won more National Awards (India’s equivalent to the Oscars) then any other director in India today.  In 2009, the acclaimed director also won the India’s Presidential Award for his contribution to Indian cinema.  Not bad for someone who has only been in the industry for 12 years.

Bhandarkar was in NY recently as part of Ticket To Bollywood, a two-day amazing film conference produced by Molecule Communications showcasing Bhandarkar’s work while allowing audience interaction with the director, something of a rarity with Bollywood celebrities.

“You couldn’t meet this guy in India even if you camped outside of his house for days,” said one striking Indian girl carrying a picture of Bhandarkar to get signed.

“I’ve seen every one of his films. The man knows how to make films that people for generations will appreciate,” stated one beautiful Indian girl with stunning features and a statuesque build.

RaviMadhur01

Madhur Bhandarkar and Ravi Yande pose on the red carpet

The Ravi Report was lucky enough to catch up with the filmmaker to talk about  his films, his journey and Hollywood.

RR: Madhur, what I have found out is that  people outside of India love your films. Are you surprised at your global fan base?
MB: I think it’s a great thing. I know people who have seen Chandani Bar, Corporate and Fashion who are not Indians or NRIs who have loved my work.
I am very happy about the kind of reception I have received from these film followers and a lot of American people on Twitter  send me their feedback.
RR: Why do you think so many followers outside of India have connected with your films? Your way of telling a story? 
MB: I think people understand me and most importantly, they understand my cinema. My whole journey has been a great struggle and a compelling  amount of hard work has gone into it. I am happy that my journey from Chandani Bar to Heroine has been great.
RR: Your films mainly deal with issues about reality such as the dark side of the world of fashion, the cut throat corporate business world and an insider’s look at trying to make it in Bollywood. Did you ever feel compelled to try another genre?
MB: A lot of people have told me to stick to the kind of genre that I have been making films in and these are the films that got Madhur Bhandarkar known as the person who shows reality in cinema.  I am happy about that and  I am sticking to the genre and I am not going to change because my cinema..I know what it is…and for me it’s about connecting emotions with the audiences around the world.
Madhur Bhandarkar poses exclusively for The Ravi Report

The stylish and trendy Madhur Bhandarkar poses exclusively for The Ravi Report

RR: You are well-known in NY and were recently  honored with the prestigious ‘New York Citizen’s Achievement Award’ by the Counsel General of India.  Do you have a sense of connection with New York and if so, in what way?

MB: New York has been a favorite city of mine. I have been here twice already this year.  I connect with New York so much because it reminds me of Mumbai in so many ways. The vibrant energy, the people, the fashion, it’s buzzing all the time and very similar to Mumbai. When I walk in Time Square, I meet a lot of people and start talking just like Mumbai.
RR: One of the biggest honors any Indian person can received for his or her work is the National Award of India. Those who receive it often work a lifetime to get this high honor. You have received four of them in less than 12 years for your films and direction and  are the only filmmaker in the history of Indian films to receive so many of them. Your thoughts?
MB: I feel the kind of contribution that I have done with the audience participation and the people liking my work, has all contributed to me being recognized on such a high level in cinema. Everywhere I go, people say “Madhur do a film on this subject, do a film on that subject”, so the love and admiration I get from people who appreciate my work is really most important to me.
RR: Are you at all surprised at the immense amount of fame and recognition that you have received in such a short time in Bollywood?
MB: You see, there is an amazing amount of trust in the people and they believe in Mahur Bhandarkar cinema and they believe that Madhur will show us reality in films. Today when I look back at my journey, here is a person from a typical Marathi background who dropped out of school, sold video cassette tapes to celebrities and who came over here in this journey is huge for me.
RR: Have you ever gotten discouraged on your journey?
MB: I am a very optimistic person and when people ask me “Madhur, where do you see yourself ten years from now, I always go with the flow and don’t want to predict the future. I just want to make the kind of cinema that I believe in..that’s it.
RR: Many top Bollywood actresses like Kareena Kapoor, Bipasha Basu and Priyanka Chopra have attributed their Bollywood success to your films. Thoughts?
MB: I am happy that the audience has given me that power and that they watch my movies all the time. I am happy that my team, producers and of course the actresses  have given my films their best work.
RR: Would you ever decide to head to  Hollywood? They are very familiar with your work.
MB:  Well, I am very busy now. If  an offer comes tomorrow…and it’s right…I would do a film. I am just to busy right now to do anything but as I have said, if you want to work in Hollywood, you have to over there,  park yourself  and try to  understand the process and the same goes for trying to make it in Bollywood.
RR: Thank you Madhur.  A true honor indeed.
MB: Thank you. My pleasure.
Bhandarkar’s National Award winning films are highly recommended for everyone to see:
1. Chandani Bar (2001)- won for Best Picture
2. Page 3- Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Editing
3. Fashion- won National Awards for international superstar Priyanka Chopra and her co-star Kangana Ranaut
4. Traffic – won for Best Director
The journey continues and for Madhur Bhandarkar, it’s indeed a reel-istic one.
Ravi
06
Oct
13

Golden Elephants Welcomed Governor Chris Christie To Indian Event

Golden elephants welcomed Governor Christie to the event

Golden elephants welcomed Governor Christie to the event

The South Asian community sure does like NJ Governor Chris Christie.
At a recent celebration in West Windsor, NJ  Governor Christie was welcomed with golden elephants, beautiful Indian ladies dressed in stunning silk saris and a whole lot of enthusiasm from NJ state registered voters.
“I came today just to say thanks to  the Governor for doing a great job. It’s tough being the Governor of NJ,” said a gorgeous Indian girl dressed in a designer Manish Malhotra chiffon sari laced with swarovski crystals.
The Governor was a special invited guest at  the annual 2013 Marathi Vishwa Ganesh Celebrations, a festive and religious  program that welcomes the “birth” of Lord Ganesh, the popular elephant headed Hindu God known for removing obstacles from one’s path and one in which millions of Hindus across the world pray to. Coincidentally, Governor Christie has a Lord Ganesh idol  placed in the Governor’s Mansion Drumthwacket in Princeton.

Governor Christie being thanks by the Indian community for his hard work with Dr. Kulkarni in the background.

Governor Christie being thanked by the Indian community for his hard work with Dr. Kulkarni in the background.

I have been attending the annual Lord Ganesh event for years now with my parents and this year the biggest attraction was the Governor’s appearance.
“Our state is a state that has great opportunity but also great challenges,” the Governor told an audience of 1200 during his pin drop silence speech.
“So many people come to our state for opportunities and when they get here, they are also confronted here with those challenges. What I have done the past four years is to try to move some of those challenges  out of your way.”
A round of applause from the audience.
The Governor meeting children of the community during the event

The Governor meeting children of the community during the event

“As I look out in this audience, I know that besides being successful in business…that each and every one of you has found your own way to contribute to the strength of the fabric of our communities…that is one of the powerful things about NJ.”

The Governor then went on to say that New Jersey residents feel a strong connection to the 566 municipalities and to the town they live in. He also pointed out that folks who have belief in the principles that have made NJ strong like hard work, integrity, honesty, strong families and a deep believe in God, are things symbolic of the community and the state.
He ended his speech with a quote from his mother.
“Christopher, first things first…do the job you have in front of you as best as you can…and your future will take care of itself.”
 
After the Governor’s speech, I spoke to a few of the guests to see what their thoughts were about what he said.

The hand made Ganesh portable temple that my dad made and sets up every year for the celebration

The hand made portable temple that my dad built is used every year to place the Lord Ganesh idol in

“He has a very tough job and he is doing a great one. We need him again in office!” said Dr. Joshi, a physician from northern NJ.
“I think the Governor was right in saying that the South Asian population is the fastest growing one in the state. Our community is attracted to NJ for its jobs, schools and of course temples, which now has  15,” stated one gorgeous  Indian lady dressed in a god brocaded  silk sari and decked in gold jewelry.
Afterwards, Christie  took a walk to the Lord Ganesh idol  to take “darshan” (auspicious viewing & blessings) with the guests. The idol was place in a handmade temple that my dad made years ago as part of the celebration. My dad adds to it ever year and this year he decided to add red lights which looked awesome!
Guests danced and played Indian drums as the procession to build Lord Ganesh goodbye began

Guests danced and played Indian drums as the procession to bid Lord Ganesh “goodbye” began

The  Marathi Vishwa organization, www.marathivishwa.com, a community group of Marathi speaking people was started by my parents started over 30 years ago for the same reason what Governor Christie mentioned in his speech- to contribute to the great community of NJ. The organization which my mom named, is now going strong after 30 years with thousands of members from all over NJ.

The celebration continued outside with the crowd into the evening

The celebration continued outside and into the evening

The Governor’s appearance gave the Indian community  increased hope and satisfaction that he will continue to give his best to the state and its people in the next four years.
The journey continues and for Governor Chris Christie, a one filled with strong support from the Indian community of the Garden State.
Ravi
01
Sep
13

Antonio Sabato Jr. Becomes Wingman & Dating Coach To Millions

Antonio Sabato Jr. smiles for The Ravi Report

Antonio Sabato Jr. smiles for The Ravi Report

Antonio Sabato Jr. really needs no introduction folks. If you have been following his career, the former “General Hospital superstar, model, devoted husband and father and now international celebrity spokesperson, has been one of the most hardworking Hollywood professionals over the years. And for good reason.
“I love to work and be creative in my career,” the Italian actor and former Calvin Klein model  exclusively tells The Ravi Report.
The handsome actor has taken on another role these days- trying to find the perfect match for the thousands of single men out there who haven’t yet found the perfect lady.  Sabato  has  signed on to become  the US-based celebrity spokesperson for the online dating site Anastasiadate.com, a high-end dating site featuring exotic ladies from around the world looking to find Mr. Right. Sabato will also give tips and personal insight into the dating world on his own personal blog called “Under The Sheets: Tips from Your Celebrity Wingman,” which will be hosted on the Anastasiadate.com website at Blog.AnastasiaDate.com.
In person, Sabato looks the same as he did when I first met him years ago on the red carpet- youthful, charming and in great shape.
The recently married actor sat down with The Ravi Report to talk about his new venture, being a parent  and the current state of reality television.
RR: Antonio, great seeing you again and congrats on the recent wedding. Your wife is gorgeous!  You are now part of something pretty exciting- finding the ideal lady for the single guy.  Why did you get involved in the international Anastasia Dating site?
AS: I’ve been with Anastasiadate for a few months now and I do see a very bright future for our collaboration.  They came to me because I am in essence not only helping single guys  find exotic ladies as life partners, but also sharing with them my own personal years of dating experiences that I believe will bring value as a spokesperson. It’s been educational for me as well.

Antonio Sabato Jr. poses with Ravi Yande

Antonio Sabato Jr. poses with Ravi Yande

RR: The entire online dating culture has taken off and millions are using social media as their primary source of finding someone. Why do you think online dating has become the main source for so many singles to meet their potential mate?
AS: Well to be honest,  it  is easy…you can be in the comfort of your home when  finding someone while you are in a relaxed and stress free environment and it can also be a fun experience.
RR:  I personally know many people who have met online and are either married now or in steady, long-term relationships.  Do you think because people nowadays are so social media savvy that they understand the whole dynamics of online dating better than before?

AS: I think social media has not just changed online dating but the entire world in general. I mean from Facebook to Google Plus, you have everyone interested in and using some form of social media in every aspect of their life so  why not online dating? People are smart, they know what they want in a person and are not afraid to ask. I think online dating sites breaks down barriers and get the ball rolling quicker by asking the right questions and starting an email dialog.

RR: Do you think people are getting tired of the social scene like going to crowded clubs or sexy rooftops trying to meet beautiful people?
AS: It can be predictable at times- you go hoping to meet someone and nothing happens so it does seem to be working in that direction. I also think guys who join will be exposed to more exotic and cultured ladies that they have a hard time meeting at clubs.
RR: Do people often have higher expectations of finding someone online especially when they have a large pool of potential dates to select from?
AS: Nothing is perfect and we don’t say it is.  You have to work on it and people do have choices. Working on a relationship and getting to know each other is a very important and basic step in any relationship whether it be online or in person. Relationships are not easy.

Sabato is now wingman and dating coach to millions!

Sabato is now wingman and dating coach to millions!

RR: You are now a happily married father with three children including a teenager.  How has the transition been for Antonio, the jet-setting single star, to Antonio the devoted dad who gets up at 3am to change diapers?
AS: (laughs) Well, it’s been the best. I met my beautiful wife 4 years ago in LA and we have been married now for a year. It’s not easy and  we work on it, like everyone else. We are blessed and we are connected to each other.  My wife is the first thing in my life. Before it was about me when I was single,  now the commitment is about us and our family. My main goal is to provide for my family and to always be there for them.
RR:  What insights from the dating world will you bring to the millions that will follow your blog  and advice on the site?
AS: I had fun dating ladies from all over the world and  I can certainly bring that experience to the site and help those single guys with tips  from my personal dating experience. I have been both single and now married,  so I know what works and what doesn’t. I can also try to lead them in the right direction in terms of what they should look for when starting out and help them with their relationship.
RR: You became a household name on the  famous soap opera “General Hospital” and went on to films, modeling and other prime time television shows. What do you think of today’s reality shows?
AS: It is off the charts! You can do anything you want today on television. No boundaries.  For actors though, it’s a bit tough because many of the reality shows have taken away from the real dramas and good shows we are used to seeing.  But good scripted TV will never go away.
RR: And if given the choice, what kind of show would you like to be in?
AS:  I would welcome the idea of doing a show on racing cars and what it takes to race them around the world. I love racing Porsche cars and am passionate about racing. Also, any show  related to Italian culture cooking, wines, holiday festivals.
RR: You have led this amazing and privileged life as an actor. Traveling the world, dating beautiful women and living the dream of becoming a Hollywood actor and successful model and now have shifted gears to being a devoted family man opting for selected projects. Would you want your kids to follow in your Hollywood stardom footsteps in any way?
AS: I don’t want my kids following this industry at all and thankfully they have no interest  in it. To have a strong family connection is important to me and them right now.  How you treat each other and the structure you have at home is important to everyone.  It’s been a blessed journey for me as a father and husband and I will continue to be there for my kids both  spiritually and emotionally.
RR: Thank you Antonio. Always a pleasure catching up with you.
AS: Thank you.
In addition to having his plate already full, Sabato is planning on introducing Italian wine from his hometown in Italy in October. The Ravi Report will keep you posted!
The journey continues…ciao!
Ravi

27
Jul
13

Jonathan Bricklin Credits The Entrepreneur For Business Success

Summer is in full swing folks and if there is one documentary  that you need to watch this summer that will inspire you and motivate you to succeed in life,  is  The Entrepreneur directed by the successful entrepreneur himself, Jonathan Bricklin.
 
Brickin  needs no introduction. Many already known him as the co-owner of the popular NYC ping-pong lounge, SPiN, www.newyork.spingalatic.com where some of the most beautiful people in NY come to socialize, play  ping-pong and of course try to meet Bricklin. Co-partnered with Academy Award winning beautiful and ageless actress Susan Sarandon and businessmen Franck Raharinosy and Andrew Gordon, the social club continues to be one of the hottest spots in the city drawing in thousands of people and tourists.  Currently SPiN has social clubs in Milwaukee, Toronto, Los Angeles, Dubai and New York.
Director Jonathan Bricklin poses for The Ravi Report

Director Jonathan Bricklin poses for The Ravi Report

I first met Bricklin a few years ago with his pal, award-winning documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock ( no intro needed here folks. The guy is a total household name and his CNN show “Inside Man” rocks!) when both filmmakers were involved in WilliFest, a Brooklyn, NY based film festival that serves as an incredible platform for emerging filmmakers, actors and directors. Fast forward and we meet  again at the premiere party for his well received film The Entrepreneur, a documentary five years in the making  based on his brilliant dad Malcolm Bricklin and his  successful journey in the auto industry.  Bricklin Sr. known for bringing the Suburu and Yugo to North America  is also responsible for the first sports car with gull-wing doors.  The man is a genius folks. Plain and simple.

   

Due to some internal issues, the film could not be shown until just recently (it was completed in 2009) but since the release, it has gotten positive reviews from auto industry fans, universities and film festivals. The Entrepreneur is now available on on-demand cable, iTunes, Hulu, and SnagFilms.

“A lot of people have reacted very powerfully to the movie which is pretty amazing  and I  love it,”  Bricklin Jr.  exclusively told The Ravi Report at the recent sexy premiere party held at SPiN.  The director sat down with The Ravi Report to share his thoughts on directing his dad and how the success of the film inspired his own business.
 
Academy Award winning STUNNING actress Susan Sarandon chatting with party guests

Academy Award winning STUNNING actress Susan Sarandon chatting with party guests

RR: Jonathan, great seeing you again. Loved the film! May I ask, what you found most interesting in working with your dad?

JB: He is such an interesting guy. It was fun putting a story together that happens to star my dad and which happens to be true. But it also very subjective and we know storytelling is subjective. We had over 1000 hours of footage to edit from but we did it and are pleased with the outcome. My dad is one of the most open-minded, non-judgmental people I know.
 
RR: Your father is a brilliant businessman and you clearly inherited his business sense and drive. What role do you think the movie had in your decision to open SPiN?
 
JB: I give all the success to the ping pong club by getting 100% inspired by spending time with my dad. I really value that and owe it all to him. Making the film was indeed a journey for me.
 
RR: I know you and Morgan (Spurlock) are good friends and have worked on projects before. How influential was he in your first documentary?
 
Ravi Yande with Jonathan Bricklin at NY premiere party of The Entrepreneur

Ravi Yande with Jonathan Bricklin at NY premiere party of The Entrepreneur

JB: Morgan’s support to my movie was so important to me. It was invaluable because  Morgan himself makes amazing documentaries. I am so looking forward to his new One Direction coming out later this summer.

 
RR: I continue to hear great things about SPiN and all the hard work everyone does to make it a successful business. Susan (Sarandon) is also a partner and big supporter of your work. What does she bring to the business in addition to glamor and international fame? 
 
JB: She has such a large fan base and is a great promoter and with all our  business sense, we all had enough confidence to at that time to invest a couple of million dollars into opening a ping-pong lounge with a strong sense of what the social scene would be like with food and alcohol and it paid off.
 
RR: Are you surprise at the success for something so different then what New Yorkers are used to?
 
JB: Well, growing up with my dad, I thought anything was possible so we thought this idea would be possible and it worked out. But it’s a team effort and we are very lucky to have a good team and that’s the important thing here. Just like film making is a team effort, life is a team effort.
 
Brickin with guest smile for The Ravi Report

Brickin and guest pose for The Ravi Report

RR: With the success of SPiN, will you and your partners think of expanding the brand?

 
JB: We are interested in growing the SPiN Galactic Universe Ping Pong club to as many clubs as possible across the country and maybe even internationally.
 
RR: I know you have been to India Jonathan, how did that trip influence your business?
 
JB: I loved India. I was traveling and making this film and was in India in 2004 where I visited a high-tech design company and saw employees playing ping-pong during their lunch breaks and thought how cool is that!
 
RR: How as the journey for both Jonathan, the director and the entrepreneur been so far? 

MoviePoster01

JB: (pauses)…my journey has been miraculous. Life is unexpected and throws you for a surprise and I wake up totally inspired everyday by getting into new adventures. I think my film is an inspirational tool for everyone. It teaches you real life situations and how to handle them while both failing and succeeding along the way.

RR: Thank you Jonathan. Always a pleasure hearing about your amazing life!

JB: Thank you Ravi

The journey continues folks….vroooommmm!!!

Ravi

16
May
13

BROADWAY JOE WINS 2013 SPORTS EMMY AWARD

International boxer Vladimir Klitschko with girlfriend, the stunning actress Hayden Panettiere smile for The Ravi Report

International boxer Vladimir Klitschko with girlfriend, the stunning actress Hayden Panettiere smile for The Ravi Report

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences  34th annual Sports Emmy Awards were recently celebrated  in NY. A major  event that brings out  top producers, hosts,  writers and directors from television networks also included gorgeous actresses and international athletes  from the world of sports.

Celebrities from the sports world including the famous Russian boxer Vladimir Klitschko who along with  his stunning girlfriend, “Nashville” star Hayden Panettiere were among the list of prominent sport figures and celebrities who graced the occasion.

Hayden Panettiere smiles for The Ravi Report

Hayden Panettiere smiles for The Ravi Report

The world of sports has certainly changed over the years with athletes gaining  notoriety for enormous salaries, extracurricular activities off the field and of course dating hot supermodels. Then there are those few gifted athletes who till this day, continue to maintain their legendary status and world-wide fame without being in mainstream sports. One such superstar who continues to receive the kind of respect and fame that most players work a lifetime to achieve is the famous  former NY Jets quarterback, the popular and very well liked star Joe Namath, fondly known as Broadway Joe and one of the greatest athletes known to mankind.

NFL legend Joe Namath being interviewed on the red carpet

NFL legend Joe Namath being interviewed on the red carpet

 
The NFL legend’s HBO documentary Namath won an Emmy for “Outstanding Sports Documentary”. The film displays Namath’s personal sports journey and features close friends, family and influential people who shaped his incredible career. Co-produced by NFL Films and HBO the documentary was executive produced by  Rick Bernstein, Howard Katz and Steve Sabol. It’s a MUST SEE FOLKS!! Incredible film.
 
I have to admit here. I have been a long time fan of Joe Namath. As a journalist,  I follow the careers of a few very talented superstar athletes like Namath who literally rocked the word of sports during their reign. Namath was unstoppable and yet despite after all these years, the  former Jets quarterback continues to maintain a massive following from Jets fans from around the world and he still has that youthful appeal that captured the attention of millions.
 
Joe Namath poses with Ravi Yande at the NY Sports Emmys

Joe Namath poses with Ravi Yande at the NY Sports Emmys

The Ravi Report exclusively spoke to the NFL superstar backstage after his Emmy win.

RR: It is indeed an honor Joe. Congrats on the Emmy win. It was such a terrific documentary filled with personal details about your life and profound career. You  clearly are still well-loved and appreciated for your contribution to the world of sports. Your thoughts?
Namath:
You just said something there that is hard to accept all the time and I so respect that. After this documentary, I would be walking down the street and people would stop and talk to me about the documentary. When I’m in the supermarket to this day, people said they sincerely loved it.
 
RR: The documentary  was very well produced. And you know what is interesting is that those who didn’t closely follow your incredible career or had not been Jets fans, truly loved this documentary and have praised you and the HBO team for their efforts. How does that make you feel?

Emmy winning HBO team

Emmy winning HBO team

 
Namath: Being a former athlete, knowing what it takes to do your part, I had a small part in that sense. The hours and time that the crew put in is mind blogging and the passion that they put into it and of course without all that, it was not going to work. I had  a very small part in this. It was an incredible team that did most of the work.
 
RR: You had a legendary sports life. To this day, new star athletes often try to become the “next Joe Namath” on the field. How does it make you feel that your legendary status still continues  to this day?
 
Namath: Well, thank you. I love life and people! I feel that karma and I like to have that feeling felt by others and want to make sure when I say hello to someone it’s a good thing and it comes from the heart. I insist on feeling good and it came along the way. I learned it. It’s selfish to a degree, but I want to connect with people and  feel good about it.
 
RR: How has the journey been for Joe Namath, the NFL Legend?
 
Namath: Boy, I’ve been lucky and it’s ever changing. But the main thing is the spirituality and health is there.  Life takes some twist and turns health wise and accidents and things and you know if we are fortunate, we need to enjoy it.  I enjoy it and respect it.
 
RR: Today’s NFL has changed so much in terms of players, salaries and talent. What are some of the major changes that you have seen over the years that have transformed well into the NFL?
 
Namath: It’s mind blogging to see how good the athletes are today. We have come a long way and we should. You learn from your past and you are supposed to get smarter. The athletes are better because the coaches are better, the nutrition is better. I think it’s more competitive because  it’s exposed to a far wider audience now then before. When I played, we had three main TV stations, now look at how much access we have to sport programming. We are winning Emmys for our work and we are getting more out of sports.
 
RR: Congrats again Joe on the honor. You and your team so deserve it.
 
Namath:Thank you. I feel blessed.
 
Emmy winning reporter Jeff Verducci speaking to the press backstage

Emmy winning reporter Jeff Verducci speaking to the press backstage

Another Emmy winner included the very talented MLB star reporter and renowned Sports Illustrated baseball writer, Tom Verducci,  who won for Outstanding Sports Reporter. Verducci has been with the MLB Network for years as an on-air reporter and is considered a top and respected journalist in the sports world.

A life long baseball writer, Verducci has gained an enormous amount of notoriety as both an award-winning  writer and reporter among his peers and the public.

“I have always loved sports.. writing about it, talking about it, being in the  center of it, so it’s not a job for me because I love it so much,” Verducci exclusively told The Ravi Report after his win.

For a complete list of 2013 Sports Emmy winners , please  visit www.emmyonline.tv
 
The journey continues….
 
Ravi
28
Apr
13

Oscar Winning Danny Boyle Talks Career, Bollywood & Films on The Ravi Report

Larger than life Oscar statue awaited Oscar winning Danny Boyle's entrance!

Larger than life Oscar statue awaited Oscar winning Danny Boyle’s entrance!

He is brilliant, hardworking, world-famous and continues to give his “midas” touch to films. Oscar winning director Danny Boyle, whose film Slumdog Millionaire walked away with eight Academy Awards in 2009 including Best Director, continues to give a bit of that midas touch to Hollywood with his recent work.

I first met Boyle years ago at the NY premiere of Slumdog Millionaire and we chatted about India, his film and the chances he takes on a good script when he reads one.

 
Now, fast forward five years later and with an Best Director Oscar win, Boyle is still the same humble, kind and personable director I met years before. Immense success has not changed this family man and there has been plenty of successes since Slumdog including 127 Hours, which got six Oscar nominations in 2010, Trainspotting and most recently, the psychological thriller Trance.
 
Academy award-winning Danny Boyle greets the anxious NY press

Academy award-winning Danny Boyle greets the anxious NY press

Trance is one incredible movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. The film stars  the stunning  Rosario Dawson  as a hypnotherapist who helps an art  auctioneer (played by the super talented James McAvoy) try to recover memories of where he has hidden a stolen Goya painting. Ok, that’s it no more details. It’s a MUST see folks!
In between working on his film, Boyle was also the artistic director for  the spectacular opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics which included her Majesty,  Queen Elizabeth II who appeared along with “James Bond” actor Daniel Craig. The ceremony was watched by almost a billion people worldwide and Boyle was offered a special Knighthood afterwards but declined to accept saying it was more of a group effort and not a solo one.

The Ravi Report  recently caught up with  director at the The Academy Theater at Lighthouse International in Manhattan, NY where Boyle was invited to speak after the screening of his first successful film Shallow Grave (1995) which Boyle directed and went on to become a huge success among the masses.

 
RR: Danny, indeed a pleasure to see you again. The last time we met, we were discussing the tremendous success of Slumdog Millionaire and now you have another great film out Trance which I must say is pretty intriguing and intense.  How has the journey from Shallow Grave to Trance been for you so far? 
 
Ravi Yande interviewing acclaimed director Danny Boyle

Ravi Yande interviewing acclaimed director Danny Boyle

Boyle: Well, the journey has been extraordinary and seems like a blink of an eye really. I was very lucky with my first film that went

well and I have learned a lot of lessons from it and have remembered from those experiences as well.
 
RR: What is the one most important thing that you have remembered in all those years of making films?
 
BOYLE: Well….the one thing I remembered is how important it is that you get good actors! That is the most important thing…believe me and let them work and help them a bit and you will be half way home.
 
RR: Getting the right actors is indeed a crucial element to a film’s success but  is there something that as a director you have learned  that you applied to your craft in terms of honing it to perfection?
 
Boyle posing for the NY press

Boyle posing for the NY press

BOYLE: Try to make every film a discovery. Don’t try to go into thinking “I now how to do this”, that kind of confidence is dangerous sometimes. Filmmaking should be full of discoveries that you find as you make them. How you tell a story from the script each day and try to discover and stay a bit naive in the process to learn is very important as a director.

 
RR: Many people, especially those in Bollywood, have credited you for opening up the doors for other Bollywood stars to go Hollywood after the success of Slumdog. The gifted actor Anil Kapoor, who played the game show host in the movie, has gone on to become an international star doing American TV shows and Tom Cruise’s film Mission Impossible. Now Bollywood iconic legend Amitabh Bachchan is set to debut in Baz Luhrmann’s soon to release  The Great Gatsby. What are your thoughts on the fact that you  opened the doors for Bollywood stars to go Hollywood?
 
Boyle is a favorite of the Academy Theater!

Boyle is a favorite of the Academy Theater!

BOYLE:   Amazing actors!  It’s nothing I can teach Bollywood stars. I have said it many times that the range and depth of acting talent there (Bollywood) from the big stars you mention right down  the ranks is amazing. It’s a slightly different taste from ours at times but they can easily adjust

once they know about it and that was one of the factors of the film (Slumdog) being a success is the sheer depth of talent we can draw from a great star like Anil Kapoor right to the kids who had no fear of cameras and filming
felt very natural for them. The sense of song and dance  is so present and the love of movies is felt everywhere.
 
RR: So here is the millionaire dollar question: Would you direct a Bollywood movie?
 
BOYLE: Yes…I mean I tried to do one over there…a version of Slumdog Millionaire!
 
RR: Thank you Danny. As always, it is indeed an honor.
 
BOYLE: Thank you.
 
The journey continues…
 
Ravi
18
Apr
13

2013 Architectural Digest Show Brings Innovation & Beauty to New York

Get ready to step inside the world of luxury, beauty and architectural design!

Every year, one particular trade show is anxiously greeted by thousands of people waiting in line for hours just to get an exclusive look at some of the latest ideas and high-end products from the world of home design and housewares.AD1Welcome
And this year’s prestigious and most talked about 12th annual Architectural Digest Home Design Show held at Pier 94 in Manhattan, NY was again a super hit among fans and devotees of home decor and design.
“I waited online for almost an hour to get in but it was so worth it,” said a pretty young designer-in-the-making who came to get some new ideas for her business.AD04
The highly anticipated four-day home design show produced by the prestigious Architectural Digest Magazine (run by the gorgeous and brilliant  Editor-in-Chief Margaret Russell) draws  people from around the world including designers, architects, artists, residential decorators and media folks anxious to see the latest in home products and to meet the new designers and creative directors behind the AD show.
AD03The four-day event also included educational seminars presented by The New York Times which  highlighted well-known individuals from the home decor and design world who gave valuable  insights  about design trends and revealed their secrets in making everything look so easy and stylish. This years keynote presentation included a talk by Architectural Digest Magazine Editor-in-Chief Margaret Russell and world-renowned designer and America’s beloved author, the immensely talented and Oprah favorite Nate Berkus.

Stunning tabletop designed by Architectural Digest Magazine was a hit!

Stunning tabletop designed by Architectural Digest Magazine was a hit!

One of the highlights of the show was the Hollywood-ish entrance into the annual Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS or DIFFA tabletop design installations which allowed people exclusive access to view over 40 incredibly produced installations with special themed dining vignettes.

AD06DIFFA showcased the most extravagant and alluring tabletop designs produced by some of the most artistic and talented individuals and participating organizations from the design industry.

AD07Vibrant colors, over the top creative concepts mixed in with new ideas will make you stop and stare for hours, which most people did by the way. A big part of the AD show is the annual Cocktail By Design gala produced by DIFFA which raises money and awareness for AIDS. Attended by celebrities and who’s who of the NY social scene, the organization raised over $600,000 from their gala and party this year! Way to go DIFFA!

“I came here to get some wedding ideas for my reception,” said one gorgeous brunette with sparkling blue eyes and a notebook in tack to take notes.
“I was able to get some ideas from the show last year and apply them to some of my client projects,” said one beautiful blond designer with striking features “and I am hoping the same happens again at this show.”AD02

With the tremendous success  and over 30K people in attendance, you can almost be certain that those who were lucky enough to see what the world of home decor, art, lighting and furnishings had to offer, came way creatively smarter than ever before. I certainly did!

For more information about the world of captivating homes, designs and award-winning architects, please visit  www.architecturaldigest.com
The journey continues…and in style!!

Ravi

27
Feb
13

Manhattan Youth Baseball Hits Home Run with Kids

What happens when you bring amazing kids,former baseball stars, a beauty queen and a dedicated popular businessman together?

Extravagant dinner decor and name tags given from "home field" were the talk of the event!

Extravagant dinner decor and name tags given from “home field” were the talk of the event!

A great event folks! Plain and simple.

“This is the hottest ticket tonight and I am glad I got to come. Models, sports legends and incredible people like Howard Lutnick who care about kids, what else do you want?” said a gorgeous, tall brunette wearing Vera Wang and enough bling to buy a team.

The Maroons signed guitar was a hot item at the auction.

The Maroons signed guitar was a hot item at the auction.

At the recent Manhattan Youth Baseball Grades to Play gala dinner event held at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in NYC, sports icons, gorgeous models and some of the most beautiful (and wealthy) personalities and socialites from Manhattan came together to honor the popular and dedicated businessman Howard Lutnick, President and CEO Cantor Fitzgerald for his dedication to helping inner city kids and families with support and mentorship. I’ve met Lutnick before and he is in fact one of the nicest businessmen I have ever met and the honor was indeed very well deserved.

Yankee great and superstar Dwight “Doc” Gooden was one of the special guests who has been a long time supporter of inner city kids since his playing days with the Yankees and has never forgotten his roots.

Baseball legend Dwight "Doc" Gooden smiles for The Ravi Report

Baseball legend Dwight “Doc” Gooden smiles for The Ravi Report

“It’s a dream come true for me to meet such a big baseball superstar,” gushed an adorable little kid waiting in line to get a baseball signed by Gooden.

RR: Dwight, indeed a pleasure to meet you. You have had many ups and downs in both your professional and personal life but you have always been able to over come your adversaries. How did you manage it?

DW: It’s been hard. I have been very lucky in that I have had an immensely support system in my life both on and off the field. Family, friends, coaches and teammates have helped me when I needed someone.
I am trying to help the youth and I grew up in inner cities so I can relate to them. I had the support of my coaches and parents which helped me a great deal. These kids are talented but they sometimes need someone to push them like I had. I was very fortunate to have that kind of support system.

Gooden with honored guest Howard Lutnick pose for The Ravi Report

Gooden with honored guest Howard Lutnick pose for The Ravi Report

RR: When you walked into the room, these children’s faces just lite up as they rushed to meet you. How did that make you feel?

DG: I have truly been lucky and blessed to have had such a successful career and to be appreciated for it. Anytime you can mentor kids, give them the opportunity to fulfil their dreams, it’s worth it. You also develop friendships that last a lifetime and you learn so much about life when you get a mentor that cares such as how to be accountable for one another and share goals and dreams with each other. Having someone to support you is so important especially at a young age.

RR:How have you dealt with your own personal struggles both in your career and personal life?

DG:My problem has always been that I tried to get through my own personal inner struggles alone instead of reaching out to my friends, families and close support group. But now everything is good and I can’t let my guard down. Honestly, it’s sort of therapy for myself talking to children.

RR: How has the journey been like so far for the Doc?

DG: A great one. I played professional baseball for the top team…I lived the dream..now it’s time for these kids to live theirs.

From "The Boss" to The Yankee Greats, it was all there at the auction!

From “The Boss” to The Yankee Greats, it was all there at the auction!

Part of the special evening was a silent auction that included sports and musical memorabilia donated from superstars including Bruce Springsteen, Walt Frazier and The Maroons.

Part of the silent auction were captivating pieces of artwork donated by a young, extremely talented former Yankees baseball player Kevin Rival who has created some of the most artistic treasures you will ever see.

Professional baseball player turned artist Kevin Rival poses with one his prize paintings

Professional baseball player turned artist Kevin Rival poses with one his prize paintings

RR: Kevin, it’s great to meet you. Your artwork is well liked by the children. Have you always had such a strong connection with them?

KR: Thank you. I have always worked with children. After professional sports, I ran a baseball camp for children and have always been involved in helping them in sports.

RR: Was the transition from professional baseball to artistic creativity a difficult one?

KR: I was given the talent to play baseball professional and kids often look up to
baseball players so it was a nice connection with kids that I was able to make through sports. Now with art, kids also love art and I am lucky enough to do art well enough so that it sells well and I can make a living at it.

Ms. Dominican Republic US Chantel Martinez flashes that winning smile for The Ravi Report

Ms. Dominican Republic US Chantel Martinez flashes that winning smile for The Ravi Report

Miss Dominican Republic US 2013 Chantel Martinez spoke to the Ravi Report about her personal involvement with the baseball organization.

RR: Chantel, such a pleasure meeting you. Congrats on the title. I hear you are a big fan of baseball. True?

CM: I love it! I have been playing baseball since I was a kid. Also, now when I am not touring or speaking at events, I throw off the crown and put on a hat and play some ball! LOL!

RR: Do you consider yourself a role model for these kids?

CM: I wanted to be here tonight because two things- I love kids and baseball and the two go hand-in-hand. I believe
if you have some positive influences in your life through people or sports, you will go far. It’s a win-win situation.

For more information regarding the organization, go to http://www.manhattanyouthbaseball.com.

The journey continues…go team!

30
Jan
13

Garden of Dreams Bring Laughter, Hope & Inspiration to Children

Beastie Boy members Michael Diamond (r) and Adam Horovitz pose for The Ravi Report

Beastie Boy members Michael Diamond (r) and Adam Horovitz pose for The Ravi Report

Garden of Laughs was one of the most anticipated and exciting star-studded event at Madison Square Garden that was not only full of iconic comedians, TV & film stars, top athletes and musicians, but was an event that brought awareness to one of the most amazing children’s organizations in the world, The Garden of Dreams Foundation. (www.gardenofdreamsfoundation.org)

The Garden of Dreams Foundation is an organization founded in 2006 that makes dreams come true for children facing struggles and life obstacles. The foundation collaborates with 22 other organizations and sport teams to make dreams comes true for children and their families by connecting them to the magic of The Madison Square Garden Company. Garden of Dreams produces nearly 500 events a year and has helped achieved the dreams of over 220,000 children. Can you say GREAT karma folks?

Actor David Duchovny and comedian Ray Romano speaking to the press

Actor David Duchovny and comedian Ray Romano speaking to the press

“I looked forward to this event for months and got my tickets just before they sold out,” said a gorgeous tall blond ignoring the frigid cold weather and wearing a short sexy tight form-fitting dress with long diamond earrings.

“This is what the Garden is all about” said a stunning brunette who looked like she just came from a Vanity Fair photoshoot.

Actress Brooke Shields posing with the Garden of Laughs symbol for the press

Actress Brooke Shields posing with the Garden of Laughs symbol for the press

Actor and popular comedian Ray Romano was part of the massive ensemble of the creme-de-la creme which included Wanda Sykes, Darrell Hammond, Adam Ferrara, Robert Klein, Brian Regan, Bob Costas, Brooke Shields, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crudup, David Duchnovy, Steve Schirripa, Tony Sirico, John Leguizamo, Darrly McDaniels, Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys, John McEnroe and John Starks. What a line up folks!

Whoopi Goldberg who is also a board member of the foundation, spoke to The Ravi Report about the children’s dream.

Board member, host, producer and amazing actress Whoopi Goldberg came in style!

Board member, host, producer and amazing actress Whoopi Goldberg came in style!


RR: Whoopi, always great seeing you. You have been actively involved in Garden of Dreams Foundation for a while and have donated your time and support to the children which is amazing. What does helping these children personally mean to you?

GOLDBERG: Well, thank you…I really don’t think about it..I just do it.If somebody needs help, well, I do it..and that’s it.

Invited children got to pose on the red carpet like stars!

Invited children got to pose on the red carpet like stars!

Award-winning actor David Duchovny has been a strong supporter of Garden of Dreams and was honored to be part of the iconic ensemble of entertainers and sports legends.

RR: Pleasure to see you again David. As a well known celebrity with young children, what advice would you give to these children today that look up to celebrities as role models and mentors?

Duchovny: That’s a good question. Well, it’s the same thing I tell my kids. Do what you are interested in,stay open and do all the work. You know with my kids, some subjects in school are harder then others,but I tell them,just try and see if you have any interests and don’t not do something because you might fail.
I tell my kids it’s OK to fail.

RR: You’re a Princeton University grad so have you been back recently to visit?

Duchovny: Go tigers! I went back 5 years ago and I think I am do for a visit. I have some friends there so I will come back. Miss it.

Tennis legend John McEnroe and multifaceted actor Billy Crudup pose for The Ravi Report

Tennis legend John McEnroe and multifaceted actor Billy Crudup pose for The Ravi Report


Actor Billy Crudup, who is also a parent of a young child, says he is grateful everyday for being able to live his dreams and says that he wishes the same for the children.

RR: Always a pleasure Billy. Your personal reasons for coming here tonight?

Crudup: I have been extremely lucky in my career and worked very hard at it. Most people who are actors, don’t get to do it professionally and I am one of the lucky few that does so to have that opportunity to use my good fortune to help
other people and children…well, it’s a real pleasure for me.

Superstar Ray Romano stops to answer a question from The Ravi Report

Superstar Ray Romano stops to answer questions from the press

RR: Being the father of a young son, what advice would you give these children here tonight that are just starting out in their life journey?

Crudup: Trust yourself and keep your eye on your dreams. They will come true!

A few of the children got to walk the red carpet giving them that special “star” feeling and they spoke about how they were blessed to be able to meet their favorite stars in person and how grateful they were for everyones support.

It was indeed an incredible event filled with world famous celebrities, sport legends and television stars. But the most important part of the evening was how much these famous individuals cared and donated their time and support to the children by giving them hope while adding a bit of laughter into their lives.

The journey continues folks…one filled with hope and a ton of dreams!

Ravi

19
Dec
12

Charity:Water Brings Generosity To Whole New Levels

CharityWaterInteriorAround the holidays people like to give and boy did they ever at this year’s spectacular Charity:Water Ball.

The annual glamorous event which raises money to build safe and clean drinking water around the world, received a generous 3 million dollar holiday gift, courtesy of the over 2,000 folks that came to the ball attended by some of the most beauty people, sexy supermodels, famous entrepreneurs, celebrities and the NY media.

Charity:Water founder Scott Harrison and beautiful wife Viktoria welcomed guests to the event

Charity:Water founder Scott Harrison and beautiful wife Viktoria welcomed guests to the event

Despite the tough ongoing economic woes, Hurricane Sandy’s devastation and the not-so-exciting Wall Street numbers, folks still opened their wallets and hearts to help people around the world become self-sufficient in getting safe and clean drinking water.

The organization-run by good friend and brilliant businessman Scott Harrison and his team of amazing individuals, has taken Charity:Water each year to new levels of success proving that growth and results go hand in hand.

Some of the famous personalities at the event included the talented comedian Seth Myers, actor David Schwimmer, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey,Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley, award-winning actor John Flattery, the stunning supermodel Anne V.,beautiful actress Sophia Bush, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie, Charity Water devotee and talented actress Jessica Lowndes, Fern Mallis, and Whoopi Goldberg

TOMS founder Blake Mycoski and stunning wife Heather Mycoski pose for The Ravi Report

TOMS founder Blake Mycoski and stunning wife Heather Mycoski pose for The Ravi Report

From the first project six years ago in a refugee camp in Uganda where six water wells were build, to now almost 7,000 water wells in over 20 countries serving over 2.5 million people, Charity: Water CLEARLY cares about the world.

They also know how to throw a great party. Beautiful people+ sexy models+ generous folks+ celebrities+ passion to give third world countries clean water= the annual Charity:Water Ball. Plain and simple folks.

The red carpet was decorated with trademark yellow canisters which paved the way for the captivating and generous folks to make their way into what many referred to as “the event of the year” which was held at the Lexington Avenue Armory in Manhattan.

Actress Sophia Bush excites the media with her entrance!

Actress Sophia Bush excites the media with her entrance!

“I am going to President Obama’s inaugural in Jan.,” said one stunning model who was Photoshoot ready with her crystal blue eyes, statuesque build and perfect makeup. “But honestly, I’m more excited to me here.”

“I canceled a star-studded party to be here tonight because Scott is like family to so many of us,” stated a tall, gorgeous sari wearing Indian hottie with hazel eyes, flawless skin and enough bling to buy a small country.

The event included the traditional Waterwalk where guests carry a yellow canister filled with water to experience what it feels like for people in poor nations to walk daily to get water. The Waterwalk helped bring clear water to over 19,400 people in India. (a country that loves Scott!)

Scott Harrison and Sophia Bush get ready for Charity:Water action!

Scott Harrison and Sophia Bush get ready for Charity:Water action!

These folks are so passionate about helping the world and because Scott Harrison is such a damn nice guy who cares about the world getting fresh drinking water, that everyone wants to help him in every way they can.

I’ve known Harrison for years and I will say this: the guy would give the shirt off his back to help people get clean and safe drinking water.

TOMS founder and generous businessman Blake Mycoskie who recently got married to a stunning Heather Mycoskie (yes, she’s a ten folks!) has been a long time friend and supporter of Charity:Water and spoke exclusively to The Ravi Report about his involvement.

RR: Blake, always nice seeing you. How did you get involved in Scott’s dream?

Mycoskie: Scott and I started about the same time. I have been a big supporter of his dream ever since the beginning. I am so proud of him, he is like a brother and great friend and we love collaborating and doing these events together.

Ravi Yande poses with Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley

Ravi Yande poses with Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley

RR: What Scott has done with water, you have done with shoes through TOMS. What do you find so satisfying about what you do?

Mycoskie: The great thing about what I do is being able to go to these third world countries and give back to the kids by giving them shoes and sunglasses. Every country I go to is always a different experience and that keeps things exciting and fresh but most of all, helping kids and the world out is really a fantastic thing which is why I started TOMS.

Footnote: You must read Mycoskie’s book Start Something That Matters and trust me, you will want to jump on the band wagon to help Scott as well. Great book!

Harrison’s charity has expanded now into more countries then ever before.


RR: Another amazing event Scott! It’s fully grown into something large and global. Clearly you can see the passion and devotion people have to Charity:Water. What were some of the challenges you faced in 2012?

Illusionist David Blaine poses for The Ravi Report

Illusionist David Blaine poses for The Ravi Report

Harrison: One of the hardest things Ravi is managing the growth. Every year we get bigger and bigger with more wells being built and more people wanting to get involved in helping the world. So it’s been fun but also challenging at the same time because of the extensive growth. We are now working in 20 countries.

Guest experienced first hand what it would be like to pump water from a well

Guest experienced first hand what it would be like to pump water from a well

RR: The more you grow, the more you have to face in terms of foreign rules, regulations, etc. How has that part of the foreign expansion?

Harrison: Well, challenges include some political issues and we’ve had some water quality issues like fluoride that we ran into. But we do have a GREAT team that helps me so we are doing what we can to over come those challenges. The harder it gets, the more passionate and committed the team has gotten.

RR: Despite the ongoing economy issues and Hurricane Sandy effecting so many New Yorkers, Charity:Water had a good year. Your thoughts?

Harrison: We are very lucky. Despite all the ongoing economic issues, we grew in 2012. People have been responding, have been giving and have been extremely generous to us. The business model of 100 percent going to the building projects really helps and people see all the results for themselves.

Actress Jessica Strup smiles on the red carpet for the media

Actress Jessica Strup smiles on the red carpet for the media

Dedicated actress Jessica Strup has been involved with the organization for years and finds it both fulfilling and gratifying.

RR: Jessica, so glad to see you here tonight. What are your thoughts on the fact that now Charity:Water is active in 20 countries?

Strup: I am so proud of Scott and his team. I got involved in Charity:Water years ago when I wanted to do something for others. They have so much potential to get even bigger and they will get even bigger. I mean, look around you..these people are here just to help Charity:Water grow and at some point there will be safe and clean water for everyone! It will happen!

RR: You have been to Ethiopia and other third world countries and have seen poverty first hand. How has that effected you in your work with Charity:Water?

Strup: It was heart wrenching to see how they live in Ethiopia. I come from a small town in South Carolina so it was a true eye- opening experience for me to go to these countries and see how people live. But they knew that we were there to help them help themselves and it makes you see the world completely differently.

Supermodel stunner Anne V. in between her crazy worldwide modeling schedule, still finds time to help out Harrison and his team.

Special Charity:Water Birthday wish tree showed images of donations from around the world

Special Charity:Water Birthday wish tree showed images of donations from around the world

RR: Great seeing you again Anne. How was being involved with Charity:Water effected your way of seeing the world?

Anne V: I live in NY so we are so lucky to have access to drinking water, bottled water, designer water, every kind of water and flavor. It’s such a simple concept- fresh drinking water and it’s amazing that Charity Water has done something to help the world with it.


RR: What does being involved in Charity:Water personally mean to you?

Anne V: For me it’s not only about the glamorous part, it’s about helping. I come from a middle class family in Russia, so I have seen struggles. I am so blessed to do so many wonderful things and for me honestly, my best achievements are when I do things like getting involved in helping others and that gives me a lot of joy. As with a lot of things, we need awareness and I do hope that more people will support what Scott does.

Beautiful actress Jessica Lowndes, a long time supporter of the charity, got involved because she believed in Scott’s mission from day one.

Captivating actress Jessica Lowndes smiles for The Ravi Report

Captivating actress Jessica Lowndes smiles for The Ravi Report

Lowndes: It’s always been in my heart to help people with needs and Charity:Water does that so passionately. We take water for granted and for Scott to provide safe and clean drinking water to all these countries and people is simply amazing. He is tackling one of the biggest issues going on in the world today.

Tech genius and extraordinaire Dennis Crowley co-founder of Foursquare and Dodgeball and good friend of Harrison, believes constant awareness is the key factor in keeping the charity momentum going strong.

Crowley: I think having events like Charity Water and working closely with the folks from the NY community especially the tech community to help raise awareness it’s so important to tell the story. I was just talking about the Hurricane Sandy victims to some friends and even though people are still suffering from the aftermath, it’s not in the news as much so we’re not reminded of it as much as before.

Check out http://www.charitywater.org for updates on the continued expansion of the global water wells. Tip for next year’s ball: buy your tickets early as they continue to sell out every year.

The journey continues…and let’s make it a safe, peaceful and generous one in 2013!

Ravi

23
Oct
12

2012 NY EMMY AWARDS BRING OUT ELECTION CONCERN

Influential & high profiled media guests mingled with their colleagues at the NY Emmy Awards

New York- The 33rd News and Documentary Emmy Awards recently held at the prestigious Frederick P. Rose Hall home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in NY, has always been one of the most anticipated and well-respected media events of the year.  Over 900 guests including high profiled media executives, famous news anchors, beautiful and sexy reporters, producers and writers from all the major networks came to support their co-workers vying for the most prestigious accolade in television- The Emmy.

Presented by the National  Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the awards are more than just about winning or recognizing top talent in television. They are also about bringing awareness to social and international issues that are reported in the news daily. PBS led all networks (Romney, are you listening?) with nine awards and ABC and CBS News tied for seven awards each. The  NBC News team took home three Emmys while CNN and CNN/I, Discovery Channel and HBO each took home two. The National Geographic Channel, Science Channel, Showtime and The New York Times all took home one Emmy.
The one story that was the topic of conversation at the event that almost everyone spoke about is… you guessed it – the presidential election.
From the star-studded cocktail party to the exclusive press room, President Obama and Governor Romney were mentioned in conversation after conversation.

Ravi Yande with Univision Emmy Award recipient Maria Elena Salinas

“The Latino vote is crucial in this presidential election,” stated the beautiful and very intelligent Maria Elena Salinas,  news anchor for Univision who along with her co-anchor, the debonair and talented Jorge Ramos were presented with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Emmy by the stunning ABC news anchor  Diane Sawyer for their contribution to the world of news reporting.  Salinas spoke exclusively to The Ravi Report about her win and the upcoming election.
RR: It is so nice to see you Maria. Congrats to you and Jorge for the Emmy honor. It is so well deserved. With the election fast upon us, how important is the Latino vote in this presidential election?
SALINAS: Oh boy, so important!  Do you think a presidential candidate would sit down in a forum for a Spanish interview with an audience having the world watching knowing that they are going to be issues that are going to be very delicate to the Latino community, if they didn’t really want the Latino vote?  Every serious candidate knows how important the Latino vote is and they cannot win without it and they know it!”

Univision’s Maria Elena Salinas and Jorge Ramos pose for The Ravi Report

RR: The Lifetime Achievement is indeed a top recognition for your decades of hard work and dedication. What does the honor mean to you personally?
Salinas: We are the first Hispanic team ever to receive this tremendous honor. News is news and journalism is journalism no matter what language you deliver it in and we are so honored about this recognition for our work and dedication to the Spanish-speaking communities.
RR: The women in the  Latino communities I spoke to said that you are a role model for them and their hope for the future. Your thoughts? 
 
SALINAS: That is so nice.. thank you so much. We have developed a close connection with our audiences over the years. We are like their link to their home country, language, people and friends and we talk to them about everything. We are for them.

The beautiful CBS reporter Lara Logan poses with Ravi Yande at the NY Emmys.

Award-winning journalist and top newsman Bob Costas needs no introduction. The youthful anchor knows his craft and has done amazing award-winning interviews for the past three decades. Costas won an Emmy for his compelling interview with Jerry Sandusky which aired on “Rock Center with Brian Williams”.

2012 Emmy winner Bob Costas poses for The Ravi Report

RR: It’s a pleasure to meet you Bob. Congrats on the Emmy. If I may ask, what went through your mind as a person and a father rather than a journalist when you were interviewing Sandusky for the first time?
COSTAS:I tried to concentrate almost entirely on the journalistic aspect. I did not betray any reaction of my own and
I thought the audience should be able to be presented with the facts which in this case were his answers
however one interpreted them to the questions and the audience could make their own judgments. So I thought it was my job to ask whatever were the pertinent questions at least as how they occurred to me and then let the chips fall where they may and let the audience draw their own conclusion not provide any commentary of my own.

Ravi Yande poses with Bob Costas

RR: Was it at all challenging for you when you were speaking to Sandusky knowing what he was accused of?

COSTAS: It was not difficult to be quite honest to put aside any personal reaction to what he had been accused of doing at that point and what is seemed likely what he had done and now he has been convicted of doing. You do your job as a professional and I was just trying to bear down on the facts of the matter and I was well prepared to do the interview. I was trying to listen as intently as I could to his responses so that I wouldn’t be simply following question 5 to  question 6.
RR: You are a staple in the world of sports reporting and have given the viewers some top rated interviews. You also do mainstream news stories. What are some significant changes you would like to see in sports news?
COSTAS: More and more there is an understanding that sports topics are news worthy and they can be covered journalistically and I don’t think that is happens enough. HBO & ESPN  do a lot of journalistic  stories and
they do a very good job of that and when the networks put their minds to it, they can cover sports the same way.
Brian Ross, the eminent and well-respected ABC  news anchor  and his  producing team won an Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a News Magazine ABC News 20/20 – Brian Ross Investigates: Peace Corps – A Trust Betrayed.

ABC News anchor Brian Ross with producer Anne Schecter posing for The Ravi Report

 RR: Brian, always a privilege to meet you and congrats on another great honor. Tell me a little bit about the emotional and compelling part of putting this award-winning story together.

ROSS: Thank you. It was extremely emotional(pauses). Sometimes I still think about the courage of the women
who came forward and described…even before they told anyone even their parents…how they had been raped and abused by Peace Corps volunteers. Then for the parents of the young girl who was killed in Africa…they felt something had gone wrong. It is  a great institution but they(Peace Corps) lost their way.
RR: What was the outcome of the story?
ROSS: It led to legislation which gave the Peace Corps volunteer rights which they did not have before to be respected as whistle blowers and names kept secrets…which didn’t happen before either.
RR: What message do you want the world to take away from this powerful story?
 
ROSS: The larger message for me always and for most of the stories I do is that people should  tell the truth even if it is against powerful people and speak out and speak up.
New York award-winning local news ABC local news reporter NJ Burkett has been one of the most well-respected and popular journalist at NY Eyewitness News for years. I’ve been watching Burkett a long time and his stories are compelling, thought-provoking and often bring awareness to social and national issues. Burkett was one of the distinguished presenters at the show.
RR: NJ, nice to see you tonight. You briefly mentioned in your speech the importance of local news and its connection to the national level. Can you elaborate a bit more on how you feel the two are connected?
 
BURKETT: The national networks do such a great job of getting those very important stories on the air for the national audiences. But it is easy to lose the sight of the fact that many of these stories began at the local level. Many of these stories are researched and broken by local reporters at local TV stations and newspapers. The networks have luxury of time and  big budgets and local reporters don’t have those luxuries. They often have to work on very short deadlines and tight budgets with very little help.
RR: It sounds like local news reporting has become sort of one man operation!

WPIX anchor/host Marvin Scott with NJ Burkett pose exclusively for The Ravi Report

BURKETT: You are so right. That’s why I made my point about local news on stage. Sometimes reporters use their own money to get the story. It is  extremely kind that the National Academy make these sorts of stories known to the rest of the industry and sometimes I even think the industry forgets where a lot of these stories come from.

RR: Viewers have a strong and inner connection with their local news as you know very well with your excellent reporting over the years. As a seasoned journalist, do you see it changing with all the new accessible technology? Is that strong  sense of local connection diminishing or getting stronger?
BURKETT: If anything I see we now have a greater connection with the local audience through social media in particular. I have a twitter and Facebook account and people are using those kinds of connections in ways to get to us now more so then before. I love the feedback I get from viewers. We air a story and get comments right away.
RR: What are your thoughts about the importance of New Yorkers voting in the upcoming Presidential elections?
BURKETT: I think both political campaigns have written off NY. Because it’s a “blue state” and you are not seeing to many political ads like you are in  Ohio and Florida. I think people are not getting a sense of their message. NY and NJ folks are very news savvy and they are watching the coverage very carefully on their local news stations. 60 percent of registered voters get their news from local news  and  I am so glad to be part of it for so many years.
For a complete listing of 2012 Emmy winners, please log onto www.emmyonline.com.
The journey continues….and congrats to all the 2012 News & Doc Emmy winners!
Ravi
18
Aug
12

Frieda Pinto: A Star Is Truly Born!

Superstar Freida Pinto smiles for The Ravi Report

Frieda Pinto needs no introduction. Plain and simple folks. 

“Oh my God, did you see how beautiful she is?” said one alluring brunette with almond-shaped exotic brown eyes who was lucky enough to get a ticket to Pinto’s recent movie premiere in NY.
 
“I’d marry her in a second,” boasted a stylish male Calvin Klein model who among many models was a  guest at the premiere.
 
Such is the kind of phenomenon that the young, stylish and sought after actress possesses.  And oh by the way, she’s also a  fine actress and when you see her latest film “Trishna”, you will totally agree.
 

Ravi Yande with Freida Pinto at “Trishna” NY Premiere

Pinto  is a star in every sense of the word and over the years, as I have met and interviewed her,  I have found her to be the most well grounded, mature and focused individual. As a child, she has always wanted to be an actress and has reached her dream at a very young age. Born and raised in an academic family in Mumbai, India, Pinto modeled, did some plays and  took acting classes at the famous Barry John Acting Studio in Mumbai before hitting it big.

 
The Slumdog Millionaire superstar who became an instant overnight sensation after the amazing film took home eight Academy Awards, has now become one of Hollywood’s favorite young actresses  working with some of the biggest stars and directors. A chance only a few lucky and gifted actresses get in a lifetime.
 
Pinto 27,  had very little acting experience before she landed the role as Latika in “Slumdog Millionaire” and to be honest, her part in the film wasn’t even substantial compared to the star of the film Dev Patel. But when Pinto made screen time, you noticed. The captivating facial expressions, the on-screen chemistry with Patel combined with her innocent beauty, all catered to making her role an integral part of the movie. In other words, she had arrived.

Friends of The Ravi Report at “Trishna” premiere

Pinto’s latest film, “Trishna” directed by the brilliant Michael Winterbottom (Yes, THAT Winterbottom) and based on the novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy,  is one of the most interesting and thought-provoking films that I think Pinto has ever done. As the lead actress , Pinto holds the film on her own and one can  see that Latika has grown into a refined  actress.  Winterbottom is a gifted director. Plain and simple.

 
Pinto plays the role of a simple, lower-caste Indian girl in exotic and beautiful Rajasthan, India who meets a dashing handsome man only to be swept off her feet in a short fairy tale romance. When the fairy tale  is over, reality sets in and THAT’s where the drama gets good. Ok, no more on the story line folks.
 

Calvin Klein and friend were special guests at premiere

Pinto does an exceptional  job playing the role of Trishna showing the multiply sides of her emotions when acting. Winterbottom clearly knew what he was getting when he cast Pinto in the lead.

 
Pinto spoke exclusively to The Ravi Report about her journey into stardom and her new film. 
 
 RR: Freida, always great to see you. You look simply gorgeous. It’s been a terrific journey for you so far, your thoughts?

 
FP: Thank you so much.  The journey so far has been fantastic but honestly, there is a lot more for me to learn and I have a good feeling that it is going to be upwards for me in terms of what I am going to learn from now on.
 
RR: You are the lead actress in the film, carrying it completely on your own and you did an outstanding job. What kinds of pressures did you face working as the lead and with a brilliant director like Winterbottom?

Pinto shares a laugh with The Ravi Report

 

 
FP: This film (Trishna) is really my genesis and I never thought that I could carry a film and this is the first one. Michael (Winterbottom) really believed in me…and I am so happy that I took on the project.
 
RR: One thing that is known in Hollywood, is that you do in-depth research when you accept a new film. How has your past performances in films helped with Trishna?
 
FP: What’s really interesting for me is that I had such a good team and I have worked with the best in the film (Hollywood) industry and if I didn’t work with any of the directors like Danny Boyle, Woody Allen, Julian Schnabel, and Rupert Wyatt, none of this would have happened and I would not have had the understanding of how different directors work and how you can mold yourself into whatever character they envision you to be and understanding different nuances that I would not have understood.
 

RR: You always speak so graciously to me about your projects Frieda. I will say you are one of the most well- grounded and humble stars I have ever met and it is  always a pleasure to meet you.

 
FP: Thank you for saying that, it’s kind and I am so grateful for it all. I really and truly am.
 

Gorgeous models attend premiere

The non-stop working and jet setting actress still makes time for family and friends. With parents in Mumbai and close friends in Hollywood, the captivating actress is constantly on the go.  Now, with the tile of Global Brand Ambassador of Plan International’s Because I am a Girl campaign, the actress has added one more project to her already full plate embracing it with that million dollar  smile!

 
“Trishna” is now showing in selected theaters across the country and in India. For more info, visit http://www.ifcfilms.com/films/trishna
 
The journey continues…and for Frieda Pinto, it’s an AWESOME  one!
 
Ravi
 
27
Jul
12

National Men’s & Women’s US Rowing Team Strive For Olympic Dream!

National US Rowing Olympic Team exclusively poses for The Ravi Report

The 2012 National US Rowing Olympic Team is in London gearing up for an exciting and tough competition  and The Ravi Report was fortunate enough to attend the team’s press day prior to the rowers leaving for London. It was indeed a true honor meeting some of the top athletes in the world of rowing who were selected to represent the United States in the international competition.

2012 US Rowing press day was held at the captivating Mercer County Park in West Windsor

The media gathered at the scenic, simply stunning  and picturesque Mercer County Park in West Windsor, NJ  where reporters and writers from all across the country came to meet and interview the men’s and women’s national rowing teams. The athletes worked relentlessly for years and sacrificed much in the process to make it  to the Olympics. It’s a big deal folks!! a VERY big deal! Dedication, hard work, team spirit and competitive edge is what I saw when I met these gifted rowers.

National US Rowing Olympic women’s team signing autographs for fans

Selection process started in the fall of 2011. The athletes practiced daily, hours at a time while still maintaining top  grades  in academics at their Ivy league schools.  The words “ingenious  athlete” come to mind here folks.

 The Ravi Report members of  the Lightweight Men’s Four team about their experiences and what going to London means to them. First up was popular athlete  Robin Prendes.
RR: Congrats Robin. This is truly an honor. How has the journey to the Olympics for you been so far?
Prendes:“Thank you so much. It’s been a long process. June was the most stressful race of my life because that was the one that reflected on so many years of training. We had to qualify for the Olympics in June in Switzerland and that was the most stressful race as well I had in my entire life because there was so much on the line.”

US Olympic rowing team members Will Newell (l) with good friend Robin Prendes (r)pose exclusively for The Ravi Report

When he wasn’t signing autographs or posing for pictures, The Ravi Report caught up with Olympic rower  William Newell to find out his thoughts making it to London. Newell is also part of the Lightweight Men’s Four team.
RR:  Congrats Will. It’s pretty exciting heading to the Olympics. Your thoughts?
Newell: “Yeah, it’s totally exciting. We have known each other since 2010 and a first time for everyone in the boat at London. We came to the Olympic  finals  and will go out (to London) and do the best we can.”

US Rowing Olympic women’s team posing with the team’s mascot

The one thing that was great to see was the kind of camaraderie that these amazing rowers had with each other as well as the amount of respect they had for the sport.  I’ve been covering  the National US Rowing team for years and the one thing that I have noticed is that there is a tremendous amount of honor of being part of such a terrific organization. The rowers are so well-respected and so many of them go on pursuing higher education while still making rowing part of their life and lifestyle. It was nice to see former Olympic rowers attend the press event to support and encourage the younger athletes and by giving them advice and sharing their own personal Olympic memories with them.

For a complete listing of athletes and their races at the London Olympics, go to www.usrowing.com  and tune into NBC http://www.nbc.com for exclusive coverage of the Olympics with the networks incredible team of reporters, writers and producers.

Good luck National US Rowing Olympic Team members! We will be watching and rooting for you!

The journey continues…and for the National US Rowing Olympic teams, it has just begun!

Ravi

17
Jul
12

PRINCETON, NJ – Summer Beauty In Full Swing!!

Summer roses in Princeton, NJ are vibrant and alluring!

Summer is in full swing folks and boy, has it  been a hot one for sure!

Crowded beaches, fully blossomed  gardens,  weekly sexy pool parties  and long lines at the ice cream parlors filled with beautiful people showing off their gym toned bodies makes summer all the more complete!

In my hometown of Princeton, NJ  (www.princetonol.com) a town known to the world for its highly intellectual individuals, famous university(www.princeton.edu) with brilliant professors, renowned Olympic rowing team, (www.usrowing.com) and small town charm,

Read your favorite book by the fountain in the Princeton Shopping Center

always manages to capture my attention every summer with the tremendous amount of seasonal beauty that comes in many different shapes and forms in the summer months in the town where Albert Einstein once worked and lived.

From  blue  picturesque skies to neighborhood colorful gardens, visitors and residents of the artistic  township get to see stunning flowers, vintage churches, curated gardens and beautiful people enjoying the season as they walk the famous Nassau and Witherspoon Streets in town. Joyce Carol Oates, Toni Morrison, Paul Muldoon and the gifted  artistic director Emily Mann are just some of the distinguished celebrities who make

The world-famous Princeton University campus is an architectural delight!

Princeton their home.

“I like Princeton because it’s a scenic town with an artistic appeal to it mixed in with intelligence,” said a stunning blond graduate student with piercing blue eyes. “Princeton is full of diversity and has branched out in providing more of a multi-cultural platform for residents and students.” pointed out a beautiful Indian PhD student with a pierced nose ring and long silky hair.

Enjoy a trip around town to see the many historical and architectural award-winning homes or just walk the neighborhood admiring the mcmansions, captivating gardens and professionally designed lawns, you will clearly see summer beauty (and $$$) in many forms.

Captivating flowers everywhere you go!

TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN PRINCETON, NJ

1. Visit the world-famous Princeton University, www.princeton.edu and the alluring campus filled with architectural treasures and impressive buildings on  one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. Daily and weekend tours available.

2. Grab java or organic lunch at the iconic coffee-house, Small World Coffee www.smallworldcoffee.com,  the most popular place in Princeton filled with authors, students, screenwriters and models.

3. Bring a little bit of Indian culture back with you by visiting Salty Dog, www.shoptheworldprinceton.com, the most incredible place for handmade Indian jewelry, silk and cotton shirts, chanting beads, tablecloths and  every kind of Lord  Ganesh idol you will ever see among many other Hindu idols mixed in with colorful Indian handmade artifacts.

Beautiful, vintage churches where praying is done in style!

4. Greene Street Consignment Shop- http://www.greenestreetconsignment.com. Shop for famous name brands at a fraction of the cost in the super friendly,ultra-modern and popular Princeton store on  Nassau Street. Hunt for  designer clothing for both men and women, colorful accessories and name brand shoes and leave Princeton looking like a million bucks!

5. Infini-T and Cafe Spice Souk-one of the best and most interesting places to have any kind of tea you want. Friendly, comfortable, stylish and filled with artists, students, professors, actors and models, this tea house provides a relaxing and soothing place to sit and savor a cup of delicious tea. Located in the trendy Palmer Square and not to be missed!

5. Thomas Sweets- http://www.thomassweets.com. Cool off with the best ice cream you will get in NJ! Come early and  avoid the lines of people waiting to taste some serious delightful flavors!

Princeton Library’s scenic court-yard brings visitors from all over the world!

6. Palmer Square- A relaxing, scenic area filled with vintage shops, brand name clothing stores and visitors shopping for everything from designer shoes to vintage silver, all in one area. A must see for out-of-town folks and for those that just want to have a relaxing time drinking coffee while sitting on a bench under exquisite trees and people watching.

7. Princeton Library Courtyard- Tired after a day of shopping? Need to rest and refuel your energy? Grab some coffee from the nearby coffee houses and sit in the most resplendent courtyard you will ever be in. Filled with summer trees, flowers and town residents, the courtyard serves many purposes including a place to experience peaceful evenings filled with white lights surrounding the yard.

8. PJ’s Pancake House- http://www.pancakes.com.  If you are lucky enough to come in EARLY on a Sunday morning, you can avoid the line (and I do mean LONG line) to get into one of the most respected and popular restaurants in Princeton.

Enjoy a morning breakfast at the famous PJ’s Pancake House on Nassau St.

This historical place is filled with interesting anecdotes about the famous celebrities and historians that have eaten at the authentic place. The food is enticing and so is the service!

9. Mehek Indian Restaurant- http://www.mehekprinceton.com. If you want some  good Indian food while you visit Princeton, you must try this north Indian restaurant which serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine. From delicious naan to mouth-watering spicy chaana saag, the flavorful and exotic food will add to your memories of fine Indian dining. Their lunch buffet rocks!

10. Peaceful & Refreshing Evening Walk- After a long day of sight-seeing, shopping, eating and picture-taking, complete your visit with a long, peaceful walk by the Princeton University  Woodrow Wilson School Fountain on Washington Rd. Relax on the benches surrounding the fountain while drinking your favorite beverage or just collecting your thoughts, it’s an indefectible place to end your eventful day   leaving  you with fond memories of the historical town.

A summer storm lingering over Princeton brings out the photographer in everyone!

If you worried about  a place to park in Princeton, don’t be. There is a new garage located on Spring Street where you can  park your car and there are also plenty of meters on the main and side roads where you can also park.  If you come during the day, bring plenty (and I do mean plenty) of change for the parking meters as you will need to stay as long as you can to enjoy the fun town. Make sure you bring your camera and wear a good pair of walking shoes..’cause you’ll need them!

The journey continues….in Princeton, NJ!

Ravi

04
Jul
12

Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes Divorce: The Drama Continues

The Ravi Report front and center!

Ok  folks,  so a powerhouse Hollywood couple is divorcing. Speculation everywhere. Yes, it is big news folks. In the headlines everyday. Why?  Because it’s Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and because no one saw it coming.  Yes, it’s a big surprise to a lot of people both close and not so close to the Cruises from what my sources tell me. I will admit, it’s also a surprise to me. I thought they were happy.

News stations are having a field day with the story. Every  reporter, editor, etc, are presenting stories as if they personally knew the Cruises and played Sunday golf with them.

The once “hot new lovers” are now divorcing after a short marriage

I especially found it amusing how one sexy blond magazine editor spoke about “How Katie is devastated and can’t sleep at night over the divorce.” I guess that editor is Katie’s roommate.

Ravi Yande with Tom Cruise at NY movie premiere
(photo courtesy Tom Cruise)

I will admit,  it’s surprising that only after five years of marriage, Tom Cruise, one of the nicest and most talented actors I have ever met is divorcing his third wife, the beautiful Katie Holmes which he married in March of 2006. They have an adorable child Suri who is 6 years old. Of course, there is a great deal of speculation about the whole Scientology issue and even “confirmed” reasons coming from talking perky, beautiful blond editors from the national weeklies claiming  to know the real reason the Hollywood A- listers are divorcing.

Tom Cruise listens attentively to a question from The Ravi Report

I do know that Tom is a very private person and rarely does he give interviews about his personal life, family and children so the reason why he and Katie  decided to end their marriage  may take a while  to surface and the public will have to wait.The divorce drama has only just begun.

When Cruise was divorcing actress Nicole Kidman after almost a decade of marriage,  I had met him at an event where he was a bit reserved discussing  his divorce from Kidman. There are even reports that Cruise has hired the same powerhouse attorney Dennis Wasser who helped with his divorce from Kidman to represent him in his divorce from Holmes.

But before everyone jumps on the Tom & Katie bandwagon (and trust me, there will be many) claiming to “know” Tom or “understand” what they are going through or how they “sympathize with Katie for being married to Tom”, let me  say one thing as a reporter who has met Tom Cruise numerous times over the years- he has been professional, respectful and courteous  to reporters who have often tried to intrude on his private matters.

Personally,  I feel that both Tom and Katie need their private time now more than ever to handle this world-wide news story that is making daily headlines in the news. It is difficult to live your life under a microscope as many famous personalities have told me. They know that they are being watched, chased, photographed, harassed, etc and they know that it comes with the territory, but that does not mean they need to like it or accept it. Cruise has always maintained an immense  amount of professionalism when dealing with the press and whenever the actor is going through some tough and unpredictable situations or family issues, the 50 year-old actor handles his personal situation with class.

At a recent media event in NY, reporters and writers who have covered both Tom and Katie were talking about how the couple always seemed happy when talking about each other.

At Cruise’s Mission:Impossible Ghost Protocol  movie premiere last year, Holmes also attended the red carpet gala and smiled for photographers and reporters posing with Cruise. When I spoke to Tom, he responded how excited he was that his wife was by his side on his big night.

Things happen for a reason and as we all know, we don’t always get the answer immediately. I am sure when they are ready, Tom and Katie  will tell the world about why they decided to end their marriage.  But as I have said many times before, having some private time to decipher what they need to do, is really what both Tom and Katie need right now. A simple divorce is painful enough, just image having the whole world watching every move you make while judging you in the process. It can be  tough and at times unbearable as I have been told by many high profiled divorced celebrities over the years.

Hopefully, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes will be able to come through this stronger and the media will give them enough space to allow them to work out their issues until they are ready to talk to the world about them.

The journey continues…..

Ravi

04
May
12

Retirees Find Hope, Love & Adventure in Romantic Comedy

Dame Judi Dench posed for The Ravi Report

Dame Judi Dench poses for The Ravi Report

What do you get when you mix a powerhouse of gifted British actors, a brilliant director and an exotic Indian hotel? You get one of the best films you will ever want to see!

Academy Award-winning actress (and “M” persona) Dame Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup and Celia Imrie are thrust  into a world that is so foreign yet so familiar in the new romantic comedy “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” directed by the ingenious John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) The movie also stars super talented “Slumdog Millionaire” actor Dev Patel and beautiful  newcomer, actress Tena Desea who plays Patel’s love interest. The story is based on the novel “These Foolish Things,” written by Deborah Moggach.Dame Judi enters wearing her new Indian accessories!
But first, let’s start with the basics here folks, Dame Judi Dench rocks. At 77, the captivating actress has NO PLANS of retiring anytime soon. And why should she? The silver-haired captivating lady is one of the most sought after and versatile actresses in the world today and after you see her latest film, you will see why. And what would happen to Bond? He needs “M”!
When Dench enters the room, it’s as if an aura of royalty has trickled into the air trailing behind elements of grace, sophistication and beauty. “Judi is beautiful, classy and a gifted actress whose work is  such a privilege to see,” said a gorgeous, tall, blue-eyed British lady to The Ravi Report  as she  waited hours just to get a glimpse of the star at the recent NY premiere held at the world famous Manhattan Ziegfeld majestic theater.
Tena Desea, John Madden and Penelope Wilton at NY press eventWithout giving much of the story line away, the film focuses on a group of recent retired British folks who decide go to India for a life of tranquility, serenity and relaxation. What they get in return is anything but and the glamorous hotel that they all had signed up for, turns out to be well, NOT what they signed up for. Dench plays the part of Evelyn, a recent widow whose character is an “independent soul” who takes a chance on exploring a new life  and comes to India  and faces uncertainties and unexpected incidences along with the rest of the group. OK, that’s it folks. No more giveaways. You must watch the film. It is a terrific movie full of hope, dreams, desires and beauty.

The cast recently attended a “yellow carpet” premiere in NYC with marigold flowers laced along the walkway bringing a bit of India to the premiere.  Dressed in a shimmering blue jacket matching her captivating blue eyes, Dench spoke about her love for India. “It’s an assault on your senses” she tells reporters “and I loved every bit of it,” she added.

India  can be in fact an overwhelming experience for first timers.  The people, the crowds, the colors, the food and the traffic is all part of what makes the country of over one billion people so mesmerizing, welcoming and challenging. I love it!!

The Ravi Report exclusively asked  both Dench and gifted actor Tom Wilkinson  what there experience was like for them during their filming.
RR: India means many different things to people. What did being in India for 9 1/2 weeks mean to the both of you- both professionally and personally?
Wilkinson: For me, being in India was one of the most brain-curdling experiences ever. I couldn’t even begin to guess
what I was going to see when I got there. And if you have never been there, you don’t even begin to know the meaning of the word “culture shock” until you get there. I never quite fully recovered but I recommend it to everyone.”
Dench: I never had a desire to go to India although some of my family lived there for a while. But within 24 hours of landing there, I was completely fascinated and bewitched by the country.  The beauty of the people I thought was astounding, the colors, the noise, the smell everything about it is completely staggering and I can’t wait until I go back there.”
The renowned television and stage actress  also said she made many friends while she was there.
Dench: I made some remarkable friends who are very keen on their mobiles and if my mobile goes off now, it’s probably one of them! (laughs)
RR: You have done a phenomenal job Dame Judi and you are a true delight and privilege to watch on-screen.
Dench: Thanks for that. I’m coming to you for the next part! (laughs)
RR:  How are you dealing with the overwhelming and amazing response from the UK audiences? The film already has cleared over $70 million in box office receipts.
Dench: This is so exciting. But at the same time, you are hopeful  that people will enjoy your work. You know, there is no guarantee of that and that is a plus if they like your work.  I was in India for 9 1/2 weeks with great actors you can’t get luckier then that frankly.
Director John Madden spoke to The Ravi Report on why he choose to show real India to his audience.Director John Madden speaking to The Ravi Report
RR: It’s indeed an honor to meet you sir. Your film is a treasure. You have shown the world the “common man’s India.” Did you have any second thoughts after the film was made about your choice?
Madden:  Thank you.  I really stuck to my guns  with showing  the real India. I shot what inspired me about the place and what I thought was interesting. I had no wish to say anything beyond that. I literally drove around for months before we were shooting. I love the country.
The film opens May 4 in the US and May 18th in India. For more information, log onto www.foxsearchlight/thebestexoticmarigoldhotel/
Don’t miss this one!!
The journey continues…and with marigolds and curry!
Ravi
13
Mar
12

New York International Gift Fair Shows Off With Innovation & Style!!

Lighted hanging lanterns by Artecnica welcomed guests to the show.

The annual  New York International Gift Fair  show which brings some of the most beautiful, new and  innovative products to the world of consumer spending, offers more than just new products being introduced to the world.

It is a  buyers delight!
Held recently at the Jacob Javitz Center in NYC and Passenger Ship Terminals  Piers 92 and 93, over 35,000 visitors came to visit  2800 exhibitors including famous designers and new artists from around the world to witness the latest in innovation, creative design, style and sustainability while also learning a bit about international culture.  Exhibitors from 74 countries including Japan, Mexico, India, France, Brazil, Italy, London and Canada displayed their new and exiting products. It was as if the  United Nations hosted a party!

The Ravi Report was invited to cover the premiere gift, home decor and  lifestyle trade show and I will say this, it was one of the most interesting events that  I have been to so far this year.
The five-day event shows off some of the most creative and new designs from the world of fashion, jewelry, gifts and home design/decor. From large manufactures to smaller ones, individual companies showed off their wares hoping to gain interest from buyers and major executives willing to carry their products.
It is nearly impossible to write about every product from the show, so The Ravi Report picked just some of the items that displayed innovation, sustainability and smart design for the educated consumer.
One of the most interesting (and popular of course) items was The Ravi Wine Chiller. That’s right folks, a wine chiller with the same name of yours truly! I first came across The Ravi  last year when readers had emailed me asking if I knew about  a very popular wine chiller that was named The Ravi. I had heard about the popular Canadian product and accessories before but never fully explored it until I saw The Ravi at the show. It’s awesome folks!!
“We launched the product in Canada and the product did very well there,” stated Marc-Andre Nadeau, VP of Business Development for The Ravi.
“We started in the US in 2008 in the tough economy so it was a bit slow. But sales did start picking up in 2009 and now, every time we do a show, people take the time to stop and are impressed with the way The Ravi performs.”
And they should be! The Ravi is the perfect wine chiller and a must have for anyone that loves drinking wine.  It  can also be used for other alcoholic drinks.
“The Ravi is great for other drinks like Vodka, Gin and Scotch. As long as there is alcohol it will work well.” commented Nadeau.
How does it work? It’s  simple.  You chill The Ravi apparatus for 6 hours, slip it onto your favorite wine bottle and then slowly pour the wine into the glass, using the thumb to control the pouring speed and bingo! You have chilled wine for hours! The cooling process happens as the wine passes internally through the high quality stainless steel tube.  The Ravi is a sleek, sexy, ergonomic product created by the renowned designer Michel Dallaire and is available in 16 countries.
So the next time you drink wine folks, give The Ravi a try and see what a difference it makes in drinking wine.  Check it out on www.ravisolution.com
Michael Aram tea sets and Buddha designed trays by Annie Modica were hits with buyers
The Michael Aram  collection also caught my attention. The talented and award-winning designer is creative and intelligent and has a very large and loyal following around the world.  I’ve been a longtime fan of Aram’s work  and he is hugely popular in India where all his products are made.  Check out his latest collection at www.michaelaram.com. The stunning hand make Buddha  tray from designer Annie Modica was also a show stopper. With its beautiful colors and artistic appeal, the Asian themed tray is perfect for entertaining or makes for that special gift (Mother’s Day is around the corner folks!). For more info please visit http://www.anniemodica.com for a full line of amazing and artistically designed products.

Anokhi fine cottons from wood block prints displayed culture and style to show visitors

The Anokhi clothing exhibit displayed stunning bright Indian cottons  and dresses made from block work . The fine fabrics were designed from wood block prints on fine cottons that showed the true colors and popular designs of  India. Perfect for the coming spring and summer. For more stylish designs, visit http://www.anokhiusa.com.
Jonathan Adler was  a major part of the show. The celebrity designer’s display was one of the most beautiful and elegant displays at the show. Fans just flocked around his work and as usual, Adler creates a frenzy whenever he is around. Adler’s latest creations from the show can be seen at  www.jonathanadler.com
 An interesting new and very innovative  product was the Merge Ware coffee set. Polished, sturdy and designed for longevity, the hand crafted porcelain and rich black walnut coffee cup and saucer set complete with kettle, reminds me of drinking coffee on my trips to Vermont. Created by brilliant company founder Thomas Ryan Barkman, the Merge Ware line of cups and coffee pots merge (get it?) together porcelain and walnut to make the joy of drinking coffee an even sexier one! For more info visit www.mergecup.com
 The New York International Gift Show proves that innovation, creativity and refinement are all still very much in demand when it comes to decorating or accessories the home, buying jewelry or clothes.
A sincere note of thanks to Cathy Steel Associates who handled the press for the show. Due to their hard work and efforts, many national and international press associates  were able to meet their reporting requirements and deadlines.
The journey continues….and with innovation!
Ravi
02
Mar
12

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK SHOWS US THE MONEY!

New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2012 Collection  may have come and gone, but the strong economic impact that it left on the city of New York, will be lingering on for a while folks!
Featuring some of the world’s most amazing styles and designs created by ingenious and renowned fashion designers, worn by stunning models and  witnessed by the most influential personalities from the world of fashion, raked in close to $865 million dollars into the Big Apple according to the Economic Development Corporation (EDC). In 2007, New York Fashion Week generated close to $773  million…ah…you do the math folks!

Stunning models welcomed guests to exhibitor booths

Cha-ching!!
Thousands of visitors, celebrities and international media were drawn to Fashion Week that took place at the recently at the majestic world-famous Lincoln Center in Manhattan. Fancy shows, sexy models, after parties, restaurants, hotels, venues, shopping and party after party brought almost a billion dollars into the city- all in the name of fashion. Wow!
The biannual event  attracted over 200 designers including Derek Lam, Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs  and thousands upon thousands of devoted fashion fans, photographers, fashion bloggers, writers, reporters and beautiful people who love to get a first hand look at what a new design season will be offering.

Designer Brandon Sun speaking to the press after his show

The Ravi Report was lucky enough to attend acclaimed designer Brandon Sun’s collection called “The Silent Assassins” which included sexy models wearing creations inspired by Kong Fu movies that Sun watched during his childhood. “It’s a combination of elegance and grace but no  signs of violence,” the designer told reporters as they watched his styles created with knits, fur and leather awake the room.

New York Fashion Week is also a great place to meet and connect with some of the most captivating and influential people in the world.
“I saved all year just to be  able to come to New York Fashion Week,” said a gorgeous tall blond with stunning features visiting from California who could have easily passed for a supermodel.

Popular fashion blogger Shea Marie(r) and friend smile for The Ravi Report

“You meet all kinds of people from the fashion world and if you want to connect with them or network, this is the place to do it,” said a ravishing tall brunette with striking crystal blue eyes who had flown in from London for FW.
Going inside Fashion Week Headquarters was like  stepping into a world just belonging to beauty and glitz.  Alluring promotion models everyone ( I swear folks, products just seem to move WAY quicker when gorgeous girls represent them),  diamonds and emerald jewelry displayed in miniature curios  laced along the entrances to shows and luxurious 2012 Mercedes-Benz  cars  exhibited as invited guests and press made their way to the  shows.

Naeem Khan's gowns along with video showing him creating the gowns, was a main attraction for guests

Gifted designer Naeem Khan, whose bewitching and enchanting dresses and gowns have been worn by   celebrities including First Lady Michelle Obama, Beyonce,  Taylor Swift and Penelope Cruz received the 2012 “Mercedes-Benz Presents Title”, a prestigious honor given to a designer that has exemplified passion, talent and dedication to their craft while showing the use of high quality materials, unique style and innovation design. Hundreds of people flocked around to a visually stunning display of Khan’s latest handcrafted and beaded sequenced gowns displayed among an exquisite  2012 Mercedes-Benz that blended in very well with Khan’s designs.

Diamonds and pearls from Circa Jewelry were part of the glamorous week of fashions

Creative inspiration  was clearly seen at the DHL Carrier  booth where  clever “gowns” made out of DHL “fabric” displaying innovation at its very best! Ah Lady Gaga,  you need any ideas for your next tour?
The pioneer behind FW and the person who ran it for almost a decade, Fern Mallis was as usual being mobbed by fans and the media. She knows everyone and everyone knows her! Her SiriusXM radio show “Fashion Insiders With Fern Mallis” is hugely popular with the masses. The savvy business woman is also launching a new line of jewelry called “Ferns Finds” which she says are inspired from her trips around the world including India and Africa. Btw, Mallis is very popular in the Indian fashion industry.

The She Knows team poses with Toni Braxton, Nigel Barker and Michael Costello for The Ravi Report

In terms of fashion events, there were too many to attend but I did manage to go to a few impressive ones.  SheKnows.com  and their “SheKnows Where The Other Sock Went” campaign for autism was one of the best fashion parties I have ever been to folks. Hosted by world-famous photographer, author and celebrity judge Nigel Barker, six-time Grammy Award-winning Toni Braxton and talented designer Project Runway designer Michael Costello, all joined forces  to raise awareness and funds for Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism and science advocacy organization. Braxton’s youngest son was diagnosed with autism in 2003.

Designer Michael Costello's sock gown created for Toni Braxton was hit!

The party took place at the well-known hot spot Gary’s Loft in Manhattan and was full of some of the most elegant people you will ever see who came to support autism. The highlight of the evening was to see couture gowns made out of socks! That’s right folks! Designer  Costello was asked to create a couture gown made from hundreds of pairs of socks for Braxton and what a great job he did!

“I love seeing a flowing, amazing gown on a woman and I loved the challenge of creating one from socks!” Costello said during the party to reporters.
 For more information please visit www.sheknows.com and www.sheknowswherestheothersockwent.com for updated information on this amazing campaign and how you can help in bringing continued awareness to autism.

Renowned artist Jordan Betten and beautiful wife Sue Bae pose for The Ravi Report

Another fashion party was for the pre-launch Twelv Magazine fashion party at Hotel Gansevoort in the Meatpacking area in NYC. Gorgeous models, famous artists, designers and Fashion Week executives attended the classy and elegant affair. The party, co-hosted by acclaimed artist Jordan Betten and his beautiful wife Sue Bae Betten, mingled among the crowed of models and creative geniuses. The Editor in Chief of Hissa Igarashi is planning on building a school for children in Africa once the magazine becomes profitable.

For more info on the magazine, please visit www.twelvmagazine.com for updates in the world of beauty and fashion.
The journey continues…and a fashionable one at that!
Ravi
29
Dec
11

Tom Cruise &Anil Kapoor Rock Mission:Impossible Ghost-Protocol NY Premiere

Hollywood A Lister Tom Cruise greeting reporters

Always front and center to get the story!

What you need to know about International star Anil  Kapoor is that besides being an award-winning actor, devoted father producer and writer, the in-demand Indian actor  is one of the most versatile and talented entertainer you are ever going to see. His 30 year acting journey in Bollywood as a the lead actor in over 150 Indian films, has made him one of the most sought after Indian actors today, not to mention one of the nicest!

The A-lister of Bollywood  Anil Kapoor has made a journey into the world of Hollywood via “Slumdog Millionaire”, the television series “24″ and now the highly anticipated “Mission: Impossible Ghost- Protocol.” The movie rocks by the way folks!

Bollywood A lister Anil Kapoor speaking to the press

Kapoor  52, (born on Christmas Eve)  is being coined  as the only Bollywood star to be linked up with names like Tom Cruise, Kiefer Sutherland, Danny Boyle and Clive Owen while becoming  an international sensation. Hollywood is taking notice at the man with millions of fans around the world and Kapoor’s talents have lead to many Hollywood  projects.  Kapoor is repped by the talent agency ICM, home to many Hollywood A-listers and will be seen in the coming film “Cities” with actor Clive Owen in 2012.

Anil Kapoor poses with Ravi Yande

The millionaire’s Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire” is still one of the most popular films of all times  and is watched even more enthusiastically today by fans around the world.

But enough about the Bollywood Kapoor,  let’s talk about  international star Kapoor who with Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise had women screaming as they recently entered the red carpet premiere of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol in NYC at the world-famous Zeigfeld theater in Manhattan.  The celebrity assemble attending included Katie Holmes, (who is just beautiful in person!), co-star  sexy Paula Patton with  husband Robin Thicke (the talented singer and son of actor Alan Thicke), Josh HollowayJ.J. Abrams, director Brad Bird and the brilliant  actor Simon Pegg.
 
“We love you Mr. India ” screamed a very  attractive Indian girl wearing a sexy black designer dress and referring to Kapoor’s 1987 first Indian sci-fi film “Mr. India” which broke all box office records in India.  The film was directed by the brilliant and acclaimed Shekhar Kapoor (no relation) and there are  strong rumors in Bollywood  that the director  is in talks with the superstar Kapoor to make “Mr. India 2″. 
 
 “I waited for three hours just to get a glimpse of Anil and Tom,” said another  gorgeous Indian girl with hazel eyes and high cheek bones clinching  Kapoor’s photo as if it were a winning lottery ticket.
 
The Ravi Report caught up with youthful Kapoor  who looked amazing for being jet lagged (he flies back and forth from Mumbai and LA several times a month) and  spoke to him about the movie and his role in bringing Hollywood’s attention to Bollywood.
 
RR: Congrats Anil on another great film and it’s great  to see you again. Hollywood, particularly A-listers are looking to Bollywood now for collaboration thanks to you and your Hollywood journey. Your thoughts?
 
AK: We (Bollywood) are very proud, excited and very happy about it and I think it’s time it’s getting it’s due!
 

Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise listens to a question from The Ravi Report

RR: Tell me if you will, what your experience was like working in such a major Hollywood production with Tom Cruise for the first time.

AK: You know, honestly, when you start thinking about a huge movie, huge stars, etc, you get stressed out. I just had a lot of fun and you know what?  I went with the attitude of having fun and that’s what I did. I hope the audiences enjoy  watching the film.
 
RR:The international media and film critics are saying that Anil Kapoor is the first major Indian star  to gain notoriety in Hollywood and is now representing both India and the Bollywood around the world. What are you thoughts on such an assertion?
 
AK: Well, I think it’s huge  responsibility on my shoulders to be honest and  frankly  I think too much is being said about me being an ambassador of Bollywood to the outside world. However, I do tell my colleagues that it is a great opportunity for all of us and to be honest here, it is fun to be on the global stage. (laughs)
 
RR:  Would you like to share  some  thoughts on  the recent passing of Bollywood legend Dev Anand ?
 
AK: He is immortal. I never felt he was gone us even after his passing.
 

RR: Regarding future projects, would you ever consider setting up shop in Hollywood?

AK: (laughs) I think I got the best of both worlds and today, you CAN have the best of both worlds.
 
RR: You were the catalyst behind Tom Cruise coming to India. What were his thoughts?

Anil Kapoor listening to the NY media

 
AK: He loved India very much. The people, the warmth and the culture all appealed to him.
 

Actor Josh Halloway is always in good spirits!

In “Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol”, Kapoor plays the role of a rich Indian businessman and womanizer Brij Nath, who owns  a defunct Soviet military satellite that could potentially be used to transmit the order to fire a nuclear missile. His character role is small but essential to the movie.

 
The film had its premiere in Mumbai in early December with all  kinds of fanfare and a gala reception with the entire cast.  Kapoor played hosts to Cruise and the cast of the movie and posed in front of the historical Taj Mahal with Cruise before they left for the Dubai premiere. My contacts in Mumbai who attended the premiere said the streets were filled with people literally screaming Cruise and Kapoor’s names while they were walking the red carpet.  “It was pure mayhem” said one reporter.
 
 

Gorgeous model Tanya Callau and hubby Alan Thicke smile for The Ravi Report

 
“Mission:Impossible- Ghost Protocol” already broke box office records by clearing $161 million in box office receipts  over the Christmas holiday weekend proving that international powerhouses like Cruise and Kapoor can bring both Hollywood and Bollywood audiences together on an international level.
 
For more information on the amazing film, please visit http://www.missionimpossible.com
 
 
The journey continues….”impossible” and all!
 
Happy New Year everyone!
 
Ravi
06
Dec
11

Larry King Receives Lifetime Emmy, Wants to be Frozen & Loves The LA Dodgers!

Emmy Award-winning Larry King poses exclusively for The Ravi Report

Larry King  wants to be frozen and is considering being a part owner of  the LA Dodgers- yeah, the iconic broadcaster has been busy lately folks!

But let’s first let’s talk about one of the best listeners and observers in television and radio receiving his  Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award.   The world-famous broadcaster with the gift to get people to open up about their lives, was recently honored by  the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences  with a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award for his  five decades of service in the broadcasting and radio industries. The gala took place at the famed Jazz at Lincoln Center venue in NYC. The award was presented to King by NBC highly popular newsman, Brian Williams.

CNN’s “Larry King Live” was the highest rated and most watched show on the network for over two decades bringing in world-wide famous celebrities, leaders and politicians,  many of whom were first time guests  on the Cable News Network.

Even after King retired in December 2010, the suspenders- wearing family man  is still in demand with celebrities, world leaders and politicians.  King’s  recent and exclusive interview with Johnny Depp for CNN  is a prime example of the kind of special appeal that King has with celebrities.

Ravi Yande poses with Larry King backstage at NY Emmy Awards

Friends who came to celebrate the honor  included world-famous CNN medical host Dr. Sanjay Gupta (Gupta was just as kind and humble in person as he appears on TV folks!) several CNN producers, past employers and many, many family and friends.

The broadcasting legend wears many hats- best-selling author, father, husband and friend who shows no signs of slowing down at 78.

King spent 25 years at  CNN where he  conducted over 50,000 interviews while boosting the network in ratings. In his spare time (does he even have any?) he oversees his Larry King Cardiac Foundation, an organization that helps fund people in need of heart surgery. King suffered a major heart attack in 1987 which required bypass surgery. His own father passed away at the age of 44 of a heart attack. For more information on the foundation, visit http://www.lkcf.org.

With thousands of interviews, countless stories and best-selling books ( his book Larry King, A Remarkable Journey is a must read folks!), King has for decades kept the world informed through his thought-provoking, laconic and  non-confrontational ways of interviewing everyone from world leaders to ordinary citizens which grace, style and sophistication.

Larry King speaking to Ravi Yande about his Emmy win (photo courtesy of The Creative Brainstorm)

I have been a long time admirer and have so enjoyed watching  the legend get the  most reserved, shy and reclusive  individuals to open up to him about their lives, personal issues and struggles. King’s  intelligent  interviewing style has appealed to millions of viewers across the world and to his  guests that often want to come back again and again knowing they will be treated fairly.

Larry King spoke exclusively to The Ravi Report about his win and a bit about his personal life as well.

RR: Mr. King, it is indeed an honor and a privilege to meet you. Congratulations on the Emmy. It is so well deserved. Please tell me what your secret to such a prodigious  career has been?
LK: Thank you. Well, I think Bill Clinton said it best in the program tonight…The New Yorker did a story on me and they called it “Street Questions”…I was always every man… I didn’t go to college…I was just a guy asking the questions…I think people associate with me...I think the guy on the street would have said ” I would have asked that”…I don’t think I was ever above anyone.

Larry King and wife Shawn Southwick-King smile for The Ravi Report

RR: A demanding and ambitious career often comes with both successes and sacrifices. Looking back now, is there something that you felt you  sacrificed for the sake of your rewarding career? 

LK: Well, for a long time and for those that know me…honestly, I was not a good father. I put too much emphasis on work and I learned a lesson for it. Now, I have two little children that I spend more time with. Nothing is more important than family.
RR: It sounds like family time  is very imperative to you.
LK: Everything else is secondary-children and your wife are first. You love your children no matter what they do or no matter what happens to them. Your child becomes President of the United States or ends up in prison, if you are the father of either one, you love them both the same.

The ravishing  Shawn Southwick-King was by her husband’s side during the honor  and summed up her own personal thoughts about King  in one sentence.

The Kings pose backstage for the excited paparazzi

SSL- We are each others strength and that is so important to me.

Interesting facts about Larry King:

1. Born November 19, 1933 in Brooklyn NY.

2. When King was 9 years old, his father Edward Zeigler died  of heart disease. The family had to struggle financially and the death effected King emotionally.

2. Changed birth name Lawrence Harvey Zeiger to Larry King during his first radio show in Miami in 1957.

3.King married 8 times, twice to the same lady.  Current wife is the beautiful Shawn Southwick-King mother of their two children Chance 12, and Cannon age 11.

4. “Larry King Live ” on CNN  became the first international TV call-in show and the highest rated talk show on the air for years.

King has won to many awards to list but here are just a few  noteworthy ones that have been mentioned quite often in the media:

Guests& celebrities mingled while enjoying the Central Park view at the Jazz at Lincoln Center

1. The Peabody Award  for Excellence in broadcasting for both his radio (1982) and television (1992) shows.

2. King won  ten CableAce Awards for Best Interviewer and for Best Talk Show Series.

3. In 1989, King was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and  in 1996 into the Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame.

4. In June 1998, King received an Honorary Degree from Brooklyn College, City University of New York for his life achievements.

Ok, now for the frozen part. King is still very active with CNN and is doing celebrity specials among other projects for the network. In his first show entitled “Dinner With The Kings” that aired on Dec. 4,  the legend sat down with wife Shawn and celebrities Conan O’Brien, Tyra Banks, Shaquille O’Neal, Seth MacFarlane, Jack Dorsey, Quincy Jones and Russell Brand to discuss everything from insecurities, friendships to well…being frozen.

“I want to be frozen on the hope that they’ll find whatever I died of and bring me back,” Larry King tells his  guests  at his swanky Beverly Hills home.

Regarding the L.A.  Dodgers and ownership, the life long fan and season ticket holder has offered a bid as part of an investor group to possibly own the franchise.  It would be King’s first ownership of a professional sports team.

The journey continues and for one energetic Larry King- it gets even better!

Ravi

11
Nov
11

The Ravi Report Hits The Hamptons- Part 2

The dining table was an Indian masterpiece complete with golden chairs!

Once in a while, we get invited  to a stylish and  glamorous  dinner that we  talk about even after it’s over. Well, that’s just what I’m going to do here folks.  The Ravi Report was recently  invited to an exotic Indian dinner hosted by the captivating  Kelli Delaney-Kot of KDHamptons.com  and her husband, the charismatic and well-known  Dr. Mark Kot at their beautiful and historical  house in Water Mill, a hamlet of the town of  Southhampton.

India Night At The Kots”  spared no details in making it one of the most enduring and glamorous dinner parties  ever to be seen in the affluent town of beautiful people.  Gorgeous ladies dressed in silk designer sexy saris, the aroma of Indian food coming from the kitchen (later served by the wait staff) and traditional Indian music playing,  all were a part of the cultured event. It felt like home people!

The special invited guests mingled and nibbled on tasty vegetarian samosas and bajias catered by one of the top celebrity attended restaurants in NYC called  Chola and drank  champagne while getting to know each other.  I have to be honest here, I felt like I was at back in Mumbai  at one of those fancy Bollywood dinners that are attended by Bollywood stars, dignitaries and famous politicians.

Honored guests include Chris Clarke, the stunning Kelli Delany Kot, Dr. Mark Kot, Bernard Schwartz and his sexy wife Kimberly

Jennifer Lancaster, Ravi Yande, Alyssa Heim, Dr. Kot & Marie Caroline Caiola wore their best Indian clothes for the event!

Delaney had been preparing weeks for the dinner paying close  attention to every small detail.  “It was such a joy putting this dinner together that it did not seem like a lot of work at all. I wanted the food & the decor to be perfect for our guests.  We  wanted everyone to have fun and have a taste of Indian culture- in the Hamptons!”said Delaney. And boy, did we ever! Kelli told me that I inspired her to host the Indian themed dinner as I am always sharing my culture with her.

“With readers of KDHamptons being cultured, well-traveled and curious about the world, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce a little bit of Indian culture to them by way of our dinner.” added Delaney.

Guests dined like Maharajas!

The dining table was a masterpiece. Plain and simple folks. The table-cloth was made from Banarasi silk saris (heavy, expensive hand-woven silk saris from the  holy place of Benares)  Indian vintage statues served as showcase pieces, gorgeous red and pink rose flower arrangements lined the table and designer dinnerware complete with  gold-plated drinking glasses and light blue silk napkins made the dinner fit for a Maharaja!

The delicious cuisine consisted of traditional chicken and lamb dishes, mouth-watering palak paneer (a spicy spinach and cheese dish), rice,  Naan, (Indian bread baked in a clay oven) and spicy chickpeas called Chaana served with  a yogurt based salad called Raita.

The ladies complemented  the men who were wearing traditional tunics called Kurtas, a fancy Indian shirt made of silk. A sari, has most of you may know, is the Indian dress that is worn by  ladies and consists of 6 years of fabric wrapped around the body and the tail end is then draped over the shoulder. I will be honest here, I was so amazed at the way the beautiful ladies carried themselves since they had never worn a sari before and they walked around like pros! They completed the Indian look  with Bindiyas (the Indian circle shaped mark on the forehead) and an arm full of colorful bangles.

The Kot home was decorated with vintage silks saris, Lord Ganeshes, Indian bracelets placed in trays and traditional fall  flowers both inside and outside the house welcoming people  just as they do in India. The driveway was decorated with white candles lighting the pathway for the guests as they entered the home. A sheer touch of class!

“India Night At The Kots” was one of the most enjoyable dinners I have ever been to and sincere thanks to Delaney and Dr. Kot for  bringing Indian culture into their home in such a stylish and glamorous way.

The journey continues….namaste!

Ravi

23
Oct
11

The Ravi Reports Hits The Hamptons- Part 1

Colorful fall decor graces the entrance to Dr. Mark & Kelli Delaney-Kot's stylish Water Mill home

The summer is over but for  the folks that live in the world-famous  Hamptons, the fun and beauty continue all year around. Plain and simple.

Palatial mansions are a common site in the affluent South Hamptons.

Thanks to my gorgeous and dear friend Kelli Delaney-Kot owner of  the highly popular online magazine www.kdhamptons.com, a luxurious resource for all  things Hamptons  (and for those that want a sneak peek into the lives of the most influential town residents) The Ravi Report got to see the affluent and illustrious town recently and had the privilege  of attending  one of the most  awesome, stylish and glamorous parties hosted  by Delaney and her husband, the famous Hampton doctor, Mark Kot. A report on the amazing party with the most  colorful photographs you will ever see will be posted shortly. You will not want to miss the story!

Ravi Yande walks the pristine South Hampton beach.

The Hamptons as we all know is the place to be seen…no matter what part of the world-famous town you visit. Actors, writers, business professionals, celebrities and designers  ( the list goes on and on) make their homes in the luxurious and scenic town, not to mention the number of television shows (Royal Pains) and movies (Something Borrowed, Wall Street) that are filmed in the picture perfect town. Traditionally once Memorial Day  hits, thousands upon thousands of people from all over the United States  come to stay in the picturesque town absorbing the beauty, charm and sophistication during the summer season. For many, the summer would not be complete unless they stayed or visited the town with  some of the most expensive real estate in America.

The Ravi Report got a personal tour of the Southhampton  by the gracious Delaney (who by the way lives in a historical and stunning farm-house in Water Mill). We hit famous beaches,  visited some incredible celebrity-owned mansions on Gin Lane  and drove down to the charming and impressive Kot Cottage located on a private beach on the Great Peconic Bay. It was spectacular  folks.

The Southhampton  Coopers Beach was recently selected as the Best Beach in America by the renowned “Dr. Beach”, Dr. Stephen Leatherman,director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research. The large white sand beach filled with beach grass and sand dunes is  home to some of the most beautiful birds in the world.  The prosperous Southhampton area also included miles of farmland, wineries, fine dining, historical buildings and of course beautiful people.

A major surprise which I encountered during my visit to the Hamptons, was the sighting of four  massive Lord Ganesh idols in front of a hidden mansion owned by the millionaire Francesco Galesi.  The stone idols reminded me of the wealthy Bollywood stars homes in Mumbai that are “guarded” by larger than life Lord Ganesh idols.  They are clearly visible from the highway. I stopped and said a little prayer.

Found Lord Ganesh in Southhampton!

The sitting stone idols have an almost ancient, South Indian appeal  to them something that is often seen in the  Hindu temples in South India.

The owner of the mansion must have known all about the revered Hindu God for them to be placed out in front of the mansion.  It was indeed a true surprise to see these Lord Ganesh in the Hamptons!

Beautiful beaches, palatial homes and  gorgeous people all lead up to one of the most amazing Indian Night parties that I have ever been to (and I’ve been to a ton..trust me) given by one of the nicest and well-known editors in publishing Kelli Delaney-Kot. Stay tuned!

The journey continues…Hamptons and all!
Ravi

07
Oct
11

Donald Trump & Exotic Beauties Take Center Stage

Donald Trump smiles with international beauties

It was  one of the most amazing press events I have ever been to. Plain and simple folks.

“Donald! Donald! Over here! Please!” came the screams from reporters as the world-famous debonair, charismatic and  “The Apprentice” show creator entered Studio 9 at the Chelsea Piers recently. When Mr. Trump enters the room- you know it!

“Please Donald, one more picture,” pleaded a stunning and statuesque international beauty who made  models on the cover of Vogue & Maxim look like inexperienced school girls.

Rosanna Purcell (l) Ms. Ireland 2010 and Ms. Albania 2010, Angela Martini give The Ravi Report their sexy look!

It was indeed a night of beauty, power and international glamor all under one roof. The most powerful and influential man in the world of business, television and real estate took time out recently from his busy schedule to come to the Chelsea Piers Studios to be photographed with some of the most beautiful women in the world for a special photo shoot celebrating world beauty photographed by the globally famous photographer, Fidal Berisha the man responsible for capturing many of the world beauties and celebrities for the mainstream media.


Ms. Universe 2007 Riyo Mori getting ready for her close up!

Visually stunning and breathtaking  are really the only words I can think of when describing the  scene at Studio 9 at Chelsea Piers. Watching the international beauties having conversations with Trump about their lives, his famous NBC show “The Apprentice” and getting photographed with him was a press delight!  And just for the record, NONE of these ladies needed PhotoShop adjustment on any level!

“I am so proud of these women,” Donald Trump exclusively told The Ravi Report. “They are amazing and great beauties and they have become tremendous successes in their own country,”
stated the real estate tycoon. But Before The RR could get in another question, he was whisked  away by the gorgeous gals for more pictures.

Donald Trump poses with Ravi Yande

The press event was like being at the United Nations, except 1000 times sexier. No kidding.
Ms. Albania 2010 Angela Martini  was ravishing with her picture perfect body and  exquisite features. The 25 yr old is fast on the rise of becoming the next supermodel and with her  face and sexy body, she indeed has all the prerequisites.   Ms. Universe 2008,  Dayanna Mendoza

Ms. Kosovo 2008 Zana Krasniqi speaks to the press as Ms. Kosovo 2009 Marigona Dragusha listens in.

will make you melt with her hypnotic beauty while Ms. Kosovo 2008, Dana Krasniqi’s alluring beauty, captivating eyes and charming smile is enough to lure you into her world and away from your own!

The Ravi Report was lucky to speak to  a few beauties before they got swarmed by the media to find out what the concept of beauty meant to them. First up was  Chloe Mortaud, Ms. France 2009.
Q) Welcome to NY! Please if you will, give me your personal definition of what beauty means to you?
CM: (Pauses for a few seconds) When I was young, I was tall and skinny and people would laugh at me,” said the over 6ft tall French-American beauty.
CM:I feel much better now about myself.  I feel good in my own skin which is the most important thing and that is really beauty to me. This feeling of  confidence.
Mortaud also went to say that the Ms. France title  comes with a lot  of responsibilities and demands.
CM:Since I am French-American, many people want me to be in America as well so there is a lot of traveling involve with the title, visiting many people and places and taking many, many trips.

Ms. France 2009 Chloe Mortaud

RR: You have mentioned in the press that you are proud of being a French-American and for being associated with the two countries.  May I ask then what are your thoughts are on President Obama?
CM: Hmmm….well, what we see in France is a good thing. President Obama  is trying to install new things in America and is working very, very hard to make changes and increase employment. I see if from an outsider  but I still feel that he is doing a great job.

Ms. USA 2004 Shandi Finnessey smiles for The Ravi Report

Next up was the stunning  Shandi Finnessey, Ms. USA 2004. Ouch!

RR: You look terrific Shandi and good seeing you again. What does  beauty mean to a beauty queen like yourself?
SF: (laughs)Thanks so much. Honestly, beauty lies inside you. To me that’s really what beauty is. Feeling good about yourself, being confident and able to achieve your dreams while trying to do better in the world.
RR: How has life been for Ms. USA since the title win?
SF: (flashes a captivating smile), I moved to LA and have been super busy with movies, modeling and projects. I was on “Dancing With The Stars”, that was fun and I’m doing some upcoming TV projects as well so I have been pretty busy.
Ms. Universe 2007, Riyo Moria well known model  is also a accomplished

Ravi Yande with Ms. Universe 2007 Riyo Mori

dancer in Japan who began dancing at the age of 4.  She opened up her own dance school after she won the title and now teaches Japanese dancing to over 200 students.

RR: Konnichiha! So good to see you Riyo. I hope you are enjoying your visit to NY. What is your personal definition of beauty? 

RM: Be yourself, that’s what I think beauty is all about. Just focus on yourself, who you are and what you can do as a person.  That is so important!
RR: Your country has gone through some bitter-sweet times recently. The devastating earthquake but then the women’s  soccer cup win. Your thoughts?
RM: Yes, it was a very sad and a bad time for us but we are slowly recovering. It was very, very bad during the earthquake but we are coming back now which is good news.  I love soccer and I am proud that  our team  won. It brought prestige and excitement to Japan and we  needed it!
RR: What is one thing about America that you seem to admire the most?
RM: I like American fashion very much! It’s so glamorous and stylish and the designers responsible for such creativity are so talented. I also love NY fashion Week very much. So many beautiful people!
The journey continues folks…and with some major beauties!
Ravi
24
Aug
11

New Book Brings Photographer Reka Nyari Into The Spotlight

Acclaimed photographer Reka Nyari smiles for The Ravi Report

When  I first met the stunning photographer Reka Nyari years ago, I saw what most other people saw- a hard working, ambitious and very beautiful creative person who knew how to capture the world’s attention with her gift of artistic photography.

 Fast forward a few years and Nyari has become a good friend as well as an in- demand photographer in the world of fashion, business and modeling. The NY based beauty has recently added another title to her resume- published author. The  former model who wanted to be a painter while growing up in Helsinki,  has recently written a book that demonstrates her skills as an award-winning top photographer who has taken the world of sensual photography by storm. No kidding folks.

Ravi Yande with author Reka Nyari

Entitled  “‘Femme Fatale: Female Erotic Photography,” the 220 page book is a labor of love filled with countless stunning and provocative   sexy  photographs of some of the most beautiful models taken by the New York photographer.
“I had a hard time trying to put this book together due to the thousands upon thousands of photos that I had to choose from,”stated the dazzling author at her recent book signing party which was well attended  with over 800 of her closest friends and admirers who wanted a signed copy.  The book sold out in minutes.

Nyari signing books for her fans and friends

“I’ve known Reka for years and she is an incredible photographer,” said one gorgeous brunette model wearing a very sexy, low-cut silk dress who came from Brooklyn for the party. The event was held  at the famed Kiss & Fly club in the trendy Meatpacking district in Manhattan.
“It’s her first book and we are all so proud of her,” said one exquisite and tanned blond waiting on line to meet Nyari.
Putting the book together was no easy task says the former model.
“I spent countless hours trying to figure out which models to include in the book, which pictures would capture the attention of readers while trying to pick out some of my best work. It was hard but the final results were very satisfying,” states the author.
There is plenty to capture your attention here folks. No kidding.  Pages of pages of picture perfect female bodies wearing only their smile in exotic locations are  featured in the compilation of seductive beauty.
“I find  nudity natural and beautiful and love portraying women  in my photos as strong sensual beings,” said the accomplished photographer.

" I am so grateful to everyone for appreciating my hard work"

Nyari is no stranger to the world of glitz and glamor. The model turned author has been in the limelight for years with her exotic photography and visually captivating and alluring photos shown around the world.  For many years she says she was in front of the camera and now spends a great deal behind it to capture the visually appealing image.
Like most successful and driven people, Nyari started very young in her journey and knew right from the beginning that she wanted a creative and fulfilling career.
“I was always fascinated with the human form and  as a child, I knew that photography was going to one day play a role in my career on some level.”
Nyari’s  book has two roles she says. First it portrays almost a “canvas like appeal”  of some of the  best artistic photos from her years of going around the world shooting models .The other part it is  her personal  journey into the world of exotic photography that has become part of her branding which in turn, has  made Nyari one of the most sought after  photographers around the world. The journey she says has  also been a way for her to express herself in the most purest form of art.
One of the most interesting characteristics of the beautiful author  is that she has immense  interest in people and her desire to show different forms of them through her lens no matter where she is in the world.
” I always have been curious about the world, people, art and I feel that when I am taking pictures, I am “speaking” to the subject through my lens and the pictures are the end results of my dialog.”
For more information on Reka Nyari’s work or the book, visit her visually appealing website at http://www.rekanyari.com
The journey continues…exotic and all.
Ravi
15
Aug
11

Jason Tanzer- Creative & Astute Entrepreneur

With summer in full swing and the beaches crowded with beautifully tanned  and picture perfect people,  I decided to take a break from the summer soirees one night and head to rent a movie with some of my best friends. Yeah, I know “dinner and a movie” is so over used but that’s the only way to really describe the night that I wanted.

So I went to rent some movies from my local movie rental place that I always go to – The Red Box.
With over 35, 000 locations around the country, I am sure that you all have heard about it.  The stylish red kiosk situated in the middle of your favorite grocery store, outside the library or in shopping centers standing tall and well, you know the drill-  you pick out your movie, pay and you are good to go! Simple and easy. To be able to walk up to a kiosk, choose your movie, pay and walk away is a terrific and great concept that has exploded across America and the UK.  No hassles, no waiting in line, no membership fees, nothing.
What many of you may not know is that the innovative concept for renting movies for a $1 from a dvd kiosk came from a very successful, intelligent and  business savvy New Yorker who first  developed the  $1/day DVD rentals in the country in 2001- Jason Tanzer.
Tanzer and his business partner created DVDXpress in 2001, the country’s first $1 DVD kiosk rental system  which expanded to over 1,000 locations  in 37 different states and in the UK.  Brilliant idea folks!
The concept eventually became so popular that Coinstar, the self-serving coin counting company saw the potential (not to mention the success) and  purchased DVDXpress and emerged the business into its redbox division.

Ravi Yande with successful entrepreneur Jason Tanzer

Tanzer  got the idea of renting movies from a kiosk while he was  traveling overseas in 2001 in Spain.
” I am always thinking about the next business idea no matter where I am,” Tanzer exclusively told The Ravi Report . ” What excites me is new and innovative ways to explore new  business opportunities  and when you get that “Eureka” moment like I did with DVDXpress, it’s an amazing feeling.” stated the industrious entrepreneur.
The NYU Business school top grad researched the DVD markets thoroughly to see what the future would be for DVD rentals and how traditional videos which were slowly eradicating out of the market.  He  knew right from the start the kiosk renting system would be successful from his research and intuitive sense of business.
 Why would people prefer to rent from a kiosk rather than online? Good question.
“It’s cheaper, faster and you get the newest selections at your finger tips,” said a very cute and tanned brunette holding two movies in her hand in front of the redbox kiosk in Princeton.
“You have no fuss about renting any movies. Plus, it’s a cool feeling going to a box and seeing the films you want. But I really do it for the convenient factor. I buy my groceries and pick up a movie on my way out,” said a very attractive blond college student with her nose pierced checking out the latest titles.
Tanzer says that the entrepreneur bug bit him in his early college years when he would travel the world to places like Africa, Spain and Italy (India is next on his list!!!) and explore business concepts that had yet to migrate to the United States.
But with all good ideas, comes the most important element and  usually the hardest thing to acquire- financing.
The entrepreneur reached out to friends, family and potential  investors for investments.  It was tough but he like any passionate and business minded individual, he persevered with diligence and after a successful business plan was able to get some interest.  But the one thing that Tanzer did to show just how much he believed in his business idea was to do what any hungry and ambitious entrepreneur would do- he put up his own money,  $15K to be exact and it certainly sparked an interest.  Tanzer  eventually received over $9 million from investors.
“In the business world, you have to take a risk no matter what the outcome. I took a risk and the outcome proved to be a good one because right from the beginning, I knew where the money would go, how the business would be scaled  and to be quite honest Ravi, failure was NEVER an option for me,” Tanzer stated.
Tanzer now runs an investment holding company and continues to travel the world looking for other business ideas and concepts and whenever he passes  a redbox kiosk, he quickly smiles with a bit of satisfaction.
“It’s been a great experience to see an industry get built from the ground floor up.”
Spoken like a true pioneer.
The journey continues….movies and all.
Ravi
13
Jun
11

CELEB POLO MATCH BRINGS OUT GRACE, GLAMOUR AND BEAUTY

Polo players about to begin the game!

Let me  start by saying that The Ravi Report is officially a fan of polo and everything involved. The excitement of the game, the beautiful people, the hats and  stylish picnics have all made The Ravi Report’s  introduction to the classic game an impressive  one.

The Ravi Report was invited  to the recent annual  Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic NY Match party (and it was a LARGE party with over 10K people) at the Governor’s Island to watch one of the of most exciting pre-summer events in NY. The entire island was turned into what I like to call “Hamptons meet Manhattan” with spectators dressed in traditional polo attire topped with fancy and stylish hats complete with classic outfits and  shoes portraying almost an aristocratic look.

World famous polo player/model Nacho Figueras in action!

“I saw more trendy hats here today then the Royal Wedding,” laughed one gorgeous  blue-eyed brunette wearing a designer hat standing in line at the ferry that took the thousands of polo fans back and forth to Governor’s Island.
But before I get into coverage of the celeb filled event (yes, Master of Ceremonies Hugh Jackman had a great time and co-host Marc Jacobs was ever so gracious to the press) I want to share some interesting facts about polo that I found very interesting.
POLO FACTS:
1. Polo originated in Persia and dates back to 5th Century BC.
2. Both women and men play although popularity is focused on the mens teams.
3. Modern game of polo is derived from Manipur, India.
4. Object of game is to get the wooden ball into the opposing team’s goal using a long-handled mallet.
5. Players change horses during a break period due to the intensity and speed of the game.
6. Played in 16 countries but not yet termed an Olympic sport.
7. Players cannot play left-handed.
Now for the  coverage.  The annual VC  Match was indeed something not to be missed. The long lines (the lines to get on  the ferry to and from Governor’s Island was well over an hr long and stretched well over  10 blocks long) the crowds (over 10K according to one NYC cop) and the drama (one stunning  hottie with long legs kept yelling at her boyfriend about the long wait) and the die-hard fans (one gorgeous Brazilian girl with sultry red lips traveled over 4 hours to see the match) was all worth it.
The polo game  brought out the best of the best from the entertainment world including celebs Hugh Jackman, Donna Karan, Vanessa Kay, the president of Veuve Clicquot USA,  Delfina Blaquier, the wife of the polo star Ignacio Figueras, Deborra-Lee Furness (wife of Jackman), the super talented Wyclef Jean, comedian Kathy Griffin and of course the most famous polo player (and Ralph Lauren super male model) Nacho Figueras, Captain of the Black Watch team, who pretty much had the crowd mesmerized when he entered the polo field.

The Ravi Report was keeping score!

The field was laced with a sea of alluring, stylish, champagne drinking (which sold out in minutes) spectators  who embraced the warm weather while enjoying the game looking glamorous while anxiously waiting for their hero Nacho Figueras to come into the field.

The intensity of the game was felt every second!

“I waited two hours on-line just to see Nacho play,” said one striking red-head sporting a white Ralph Lauren dress in honor of the loved Figueras, who also happens to be the face of Ralph Lauren’s  entire mens  fragrance line.

When the superstar made his entrance,  the crowd went crazy with excitement and you could  hear the ladies panting in the middle of clapping. It was quite the scene folks.
A little bit about the acclaimed  polo player if I may. Figueras was born in Buenos Aires and started playing polo at the age of 8 and turning pro at 17.  He then  became a professional  athlete in Argentina and soon  globally famous when he signed on in 2000 to be the face of Ralph Lauren Polo fragrance. Since then, Figueras has used his celebrity status to bring awareness to the game of polo in the US by co-hosting and participating in celebrity matches around the country.  Figueras 37, is married to model Delfina Blaquier and they have three children.

Fighting for the ball!

” I know he’s married,” said one very cute girl dressed in a wavy blue silk dress with a matching decorative hat laced with yellow flowers. “He is simply amazing and well worth the trek in from the city.”

For most of the spectators, it was a day filled with culture, elegance and a chance to see one of the most popular polo players in the world do what he does best- captivate an audience with his gift of playing polo.
So next year folks, make sure you don’t miss one of the most exciting polo games ever to happen in NY and  start hat shopping now!
The journey continues…and in style.
Ravi
21
May
11

DESIGN ON A DIME SHOWS OFF GRACE & STYLE

It’s considered to be one of the  premiere and most celebrated  interior design events in NYC (it sold out again this year folks!) featuring many of the elite designers from around the country.  Housing Works, the NY based  organization that raises money to help  individuals living with HIV who are homeless or are in need of support,  recently produced a celebrity driven event called  “Design On A Dime”- a  collaboration with award-winning interior designers from around the country  who  come together and exhibit their impressive talents  in  interior design mixing color trends and luxurious accessories with  their trademark talent. All  in the name of raising money for people living with HIV. Great karma folks!

Award-winning interior designers pose for The Ravi Report

The pricey (tickets started from $150  upwards) three day charitable design event included silent auction and items sale. The event was opened to the public.

Ravi Yande with event co-chairman Nate Berkus

Since 2005, Design on a Dime has raised more than $2 million in support of Housing Works and the giving continues folks.

This year’s gala showcased the largest-ever array of designers and well-known celebrities who created 56 stunning room vignettes with new and donated items which then sold for 50 to 70% off at the end of the event. Trust me, there was almost nothing left to display!

All  five of 2011  co-chairs which included  the beautiful and AGELESS supermodel Iman, national design expert  Nate Berkus, James Huniford, Charlotte Moss and the ever so  pretty Lara Spencer were in attendance and mingled with guests and the press discussing their ideas and creative look.  The business savvy and well liked BRAVO TV Executive VP of Programming, Andy Cohen was gracious enough to lend his talent in a captivating display he had designed.

Stunning Iman with co-designer Robert Verdi smile for The Ravi Report

The event not only brings awareness to those living with HIV but also shows how supportive the design and entertainment  industries  are in raising money for a great cause.

 The Ravi Report was invited this year to the opening night cocktail party which was attended by some of the most beautiful people and talented designers in the world.

Oprah’s friend and home design global expert Nate Berkus is someone who really and truly cares about people.  Plain and simple. The well liked television host first stepped into the Oprah world  in 2002 and since as become one of the most  sought after designers who  has helped countless people beautify their home with his gifted talent for design and interior layout.

Nate Berkus expresses his gratitude to guests

In a field of editors, beautiful people, sexy models (yes, that WAS Petra Nemkova walking around with her credit card) and high society folks covered with enough diamonds to feed a country, stood a very unassuming, intelligent and personable man who is ruling the air waves with his popular show “ The Nate Berkus Show” while creating goodness along the way.

The crowd outside the sold out event at the Metropolitan Pavilion formed a line down the block. “I think Nate’s way of decorating is ideal,” said one gorgeous tall blond wearing a long back sexy dress. “I’m  waiting in line for about 25 minutes but it’s well worth it to see the designers and Nate,” said one stunning brunette with almond shaped brown eyes whose pulsation seem to have accelerated with the mention of the designer’s name.

Nate Berkus addressing the crowd eager to shop!

The humble and unassuming Berkus was  co-chairman of this year’s event.   The talk show host, author and entrepreneur is concerned deeply about raising money for people living with HIV and wants to do something about it.   Hand picked by Oprah, Berkus’s own national talk show  shows the world how to design on whatever budget you maybe working with. He spoke exclusively to The Ravi Report about his work, his passion and his dedication to helping others.

RR:  Good to see you again Nate. I know you have been actively involved in Design on a Dime and the organization Housing Works is very dear to your heart.  What role does the design community play in such an imperative fundraiser?

NB: It’s an opportunity for the design community to show the side that not a lot of people have a chance to see- an enormous, giving and non-judgmental group of very talented people.

RR: What is so unparalleled about this event?

BRAVO TV star Andy Cohen shows off style & class!

NB: Rooms are designed in a way that everyone has access to and is affordable for anyone that wants beautiful pieces of furniture or accessories.

RR: You have helped countless people all over America by way of home design while becoming somewhat of an icon in the design community with others following trends you have set. What inspires Nate Berkus to do all this?

NB: Well, thank you so much. Honestly, I am most inspired by people. In the ten years of makeovers on TV, it’s never the furniture, the colors or the fabric I remember. It’s really the personal stories of the people’s lives that I was able to touch that really means the most to me.

RR: How can we sum up Nate Berkus in one sentence?

NB: hmmm…(pauses).. I have been very, very lucky and I am aware of that every single day.

The  dazzling  Iman, CEO of IMAN Home Fabrics along with TV personality and stylist Robert Verdi collaborated together and created a unique collection with traditional African motifs in black, orange and white. It was nearly impossible to get a peak at their work since crowds of fan and gorgeous supermodel Petra Nemkova were trying to see their work and speak to the talented Duo. Iman is a stunner- plain and simple folks and very sweet. No wonder why she is so well liked in the design community both in the US and internationally.

Next year folks get your tickets early and become part of the exciting world of design by helping others and beautifying your home sweet home along the way. For more information on the event and how you can contribute all year long, check out http://www.housingworks.org

The journey continues…and with style!

Ravi

26
Apr
11

Superstars Serena Williams & Darrelle Revis Launch Evoque

Superstars Serena Williams and Darrelle Revis are all smiles for The Ravi Report

It’s NY Auto International Show week folks and you know what that means- incredible and expensive new cars, beautiful people and exclusive press parties introducing the latest and hottest cars that many  of you will want to see before the show ends on May 1 at the famous Jacobs Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.

The Ravi Report received exclusive behind the scenes coverage of  one of the most talked about cars so far this year- the amazing and beautiful 2012 Range Rover Evoque

2012 Range Rover Evoque, just stunning!

which made its NY debut a few days ago in one of the most stylish launch parties that Manhattan has seen in a while that took place in the Meatpacking area of the city (need I say more?)  The  sneak peak is especially exciting for The Ravi Report  since the  Evoque will not be available to consumers until Fall 2011 so you can just image the kind of rush it was to get into this exclusive party. But let me tell you one thing first hand here folks- the Evoque is going to rock…big time. The buzz already is that it will be sold out before it hits the streets and with its appeal to both men and the sexy ladies, the sleek & fully loaded “people magnet” will become as popular as Land Rover’s other brands in no time.

NY Jets Cornerback Darrelle Revis exclusively poses for The Ravi Report

The Evoque was introduced by some of the most alluring people from the world of sports, fashion and style and who else to help promote something so amazing then two masterful athletes synonymous with all things  the Evoque symbolizes- speed, grace, charm and power – super athletes NY Jets Cornerback Darrelle Revis and world tennis sensation Serena Williams.  It was a dream come true for the hundreds of captivating party goers who got to see their favorite athlete in person during the launch.
“I missed my friend’s engagement party to come and see Serena,” said one stunning brunette wearing a red silk Versace dress. “I left my patients early tonight  just to see my man Revis,” said one beautiful doctor laced with David Yurman jewelery.  Also on hand to help celebrate the launch were the beautiful Georgiana Chapman, Josh Rubin (coolhunting.com), Bevy Smith and  Piers Fawkes.

Serena Williams gives her sexy pose exclusively for The Ravi Report

Revis, sharply dressed and ever so polite to the press, spoke about how he liked the Evoque with its new style and for what it represents- speed and class.  Revis is part of New York,City Shapers meaning the talented NY Jets star represents a group of influential people from the world of sports, fashion, film, design and style that consumers follow. The talented football star  always seems to bring positive energy where ever he goes or whatever red carpet events he is invited to. I’ve seen Revis at other NFL parties  and the NY Jets Cornerback has become part of a very distinguished and popular social circles of influential athletes.
Serena Williams is  a super star no matter what does. The polite and very pretty gifted athlete and part of the “City Shaper” group as well made such a grand entrance that people literally on the streets were shouting her name as if a  rockstar  had arrived while she made her way inside the Highline Stages where the event took place. Williams, wearing a stunning purple dress and looking beautiful has had a couple of stressful months lately regarding some health issues.

The world tennis champion listens to a question from The Ravi Report

The tennis champion had to undergo recent emergency treatment for a  pulmonary  embolism  in March and  she also had  foot surgery last year. As one of her biggest admirers,  I will say that  Serena Williams looked phenomenal. Plain and simple. The face, the charm, the politeness were all in tact when she attended the event. She was very polite when spoke to all the reporters.

For more info on the Land Rover Evoque, please check out the website http://www.helloevoque.com
The journey continues…and come this fall, it will be a smooth ride for many!
Ravi
25
Mar
11

Paul Giamatti & Amy Ryan Are In a “Win Win” situation

Superstars Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan smile for The Ravi Report

 The Spring is here folks and you know what that means. Brighter days, warmer weather, extensive gym workouts, sprouting tulips and the box office blossoming with an amazing film. It’s a “win win” situation. Get it? Read on.

Win Win” is a movie that is for everyone. Plain and simple and “wins” in every category. Casting, story, music, emotion, direction well you name it, it wins. Plus, the story takes place in my home state of New Jersey where  some of the best Hollywood films (and TV shows) are made and where some of the biggest stars in Hollywood came from.

Writer-director Tom McCarthy knows how to write, director, act and  how to make great movies. He can also discover talent as he did with newcomer Alex Shaffer.  McCarthy is known for tapping into the emotional side of people with his scripts and this film is no exception. It’s a great film people!

The cast includes the incredibly talented Paul Giamatti (I’m a big fan since his film “Sideways”), the versatile & amazing actress Amy Ryan (I think the “R” should stand for “Rocks”), Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tamor and Burt Young and  Alex Shaffer, who already has won the hearts of millions  as a first -time actor who clearly knows how to hold his own on screen.

The talented cast of "Win Win" pose exclusively for The Ravi Report

The story revolves around  Mike Flaherty(Giamatti) a lawyer married to Jackie (Ryan) living a simple life in suburbia New Jersey and trying to make ends meet. Flaherty  is given legal guardianship of an elderly client (Bert Young) and does a little wheeling and dealing in client care when he gets a visitor- the client’s grandson Kyle (Shaffer). Kyle is a high-school talented wrestler who needs a lot more than hair gel and pretty girls to get back on track. With mom in rehab, Kyle has no place to go so he stays with Flaherty and in essence, turns their lives upside down, but in a good way.  Did I mention that Flaherty also happens to be moonlighting as a  part-time wrestling coach? The story transforms into one of the most emotional and heart-warming movies you will ever see. You will also be astounded at Shaffer’s remarkable performance. How good? Ah, let’s just say you may see the young star on the red carpet soon behind a 75 feet high golden statue.

 Academy Award nominee  Paul Giamatti is simply brilliant in the film. What else is there to say?

Directed and written by the ingenious actor turn director Tom McCarthy,  the gifted filmmaker  is probably one of the few directors that knows how to touch the soul of the audiences through his way of making films and his way of  bringing characters to life. His previous films “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor” were brilliant films based on human emotions and unexplainable friendships. So I knew what to expect when I saw “Win Win” and got exactly what I had hoped for- an emotional film that shows the strength of the human spirit  and will  make you think about the story long after you leave the theater.

Amy Ryan is awesome.  Her versatility in acting has always been noted by the  critics.  Her role as Adele in the HBO  show “In Treatment” (one of my favorite shows) gave the show a special  refinement while her role as Holly in the hit television series “The Office”  raised the caliber of the show in many ways. Ryan has been one of my favorite actresses for a long time and “Win Win” proves that the pretty actress is indeed one of the most  talented actresses we have today.

Giamatti in my opinion is one of the most proficient and versatile actors there is today in Hollywood.  The  actor earned a SAG Award for his compelling performance in “Cinderella Man” as well as an Academy Award nomination. The star recently finished up “Ironclad” in which the award-winning actor portrays “King John” in the year 1215.

During a media event in  NY, director McCarthy talked about how he wanted amazing music for the film but didn’t have the budget to pay a big rockstar.  And we all know that big time musicians don’t even bat an eyelash unless they see $$$$ up front.  But the  influential McCarthy managed to rope in the mega superstar and well-loved singer Bon Jovi who allowed McCarthy to use his song “Have A Nice Day” in the film for next to nothing.  Now that’s clout people!!

What I found  special about the film and meeting the cast in person,  is that  besides having a great storyline and being well-respected and talented actors, there was a certain positive energy and feel-good chemistry that came from both seeing the film and meeting the talented group. For more info on the film and national release dates,  go to http://www.foxsearchlight.com.

So in all it’s been a “Win Win” experience for The Ravi Report!

The journey continues….

Ravi

27
Feb
11

Good Luck Oscar Nominees!!!

 Well, it’s finally that time. The annual Academy Awards.

The best of the best come out to show off their talent, designer clothes, jewellery and beautiful nearly perfect bodies on the red carpet for the world to see and of course criticize (Joan, you listening? LOL).

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards is on tonight on ABC at 8pm (EST) giving the world a look at the creme de la creme in the world of movies and trust me, there were some great movies, roles, music and screenplays that were well worth watching this year.

I hope you all got to watch the films being nominated tonight. I have to be honest, I liked all of them. The Best Picture category includes  Black Swan, True Grit, Inception,  The FighterThe Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit and Winter’s Bone. 

A film critic for a leading entertainment magazine asked me the other day which picture I thought would win. That is a great question which I have been asked over and over again in the last few weeks. The same goes for Best Actor. But to be honest, I think all the performances and movies  were excellent. Seriously. I think everyone that is nominated tonight has done an outstanding job in their role.

Academy Award nominated actor Geoffrey Rush speaking to The Ravi Report

  Geoffrey Rush’s acting in “The King’s Speech” simply rocked! The actor is just gifted. Plain and simple. When I met the actor, I saw a humble person who just loved doing what he does best.  Rush is one of the finest actors we have today. He continues to shine in films or on stage with his God-given talents and is very gracious to the press.

Regarding the actresses, I will say that Natalie Portman’s performance in “Black Swan” is really incredible.The girl can act!  I met Portman over the year on the red carpet and at other events and she is much, much prettier in real life.  Nicole Kidman  gave a strong and powerful performance in “Rabbit Hole“. It’s a great film .My long time favorite Annette Bening got nominated for her role in “The Kids Are All Right“. Another powerful film.

I will say that one of my favorite actors nominated this year (again folks!) is the multi-talented and super nice actor Jeff Bridges. No matter how busy his guy is, he always makes time to talk to the press and he does so with such grace and charm. 

 Bridges is nominated this year for his role in “True Grit”.  He did an excellent job. Bridges’s ability as an actor gets even  more refined as he gets older. He’s also proven a very important point in Hollywood- that  despite being a youth-oriented-buffed body industry, the actor  has shown that  TALENT is the real key to success with his films, nominations and Oscar wins.  

Oscar nominated Jeff Bridges smiles for The Ravi Report

I am also happy for actor James Franco whose film “127  Hours” was among the favorite of many critics this year (even the tough ones!) and the first time nominee is pretty excited and surprised at the win he told me earlier during the year. But should he be? After all, the film director by the brilliant Danny Boyle ( Hello Slumdog Millionaire!!) who usually attaches his names and talent to a script that he knows will bring out the best in whoever he choses to be in his films. “127  Hours” did very well at the box office and besides Franco being nominated for an Oscar For Best Actor in a Leading Role, the film has also grabbed a nomination for Best Picture. Not bad at all for a newcomer!!!

Am I surprised at any of the nominations? Not really . I think everyone who got nominated this year really proved to be outstanding in their given role and based on what I have seen, they truly deserve the nomination for all their hard work, dedication, sacrifices and determination.

My reporter friends are in LA tonight gearing up to report from the red carpet and I am heading to some Oscar parties tonight in NYC to get New Yorkers reaction to who wins and loses. So  make sure you watch the Oscars and let’s compare notes after the wins! For more info on the 83rd Academy Awards, go to www.oscar.com for a complete wrap up of all the nominees and tidbits about the most “famous golden statue” there is!!

The Journey continues…..

Ravi

31
Jan
11

Chef Master Eric Ripert Brings Culinary Inspirations Into The Kitchen

Super star Chef Master Eric Ripert addressing the guests.

Bonjour!  I will be the first one  to admit it.  I’m one of his biggest fans. The food, the preparation and the way he makes his signature sea food dishes  look so easy to prepare, it is  no wonder that French Chef Master, celebrity judge, author and television host Eric Ripert  (rih-pair)is known as the Jack of All Trades and Master of Many in the world of international cuisine. Translation: the guy rocks…plain and simple. 

Ripert’s  culinary skills are legendary and so are his taste buds. The French-born NY living celebrity chef’s claim to fame started way before any television show or recipe books were written. The Frenchman rose to peak stardom with his amazing talents as Executive Chef and  co-owner of one of the most prestigious and distinguished restaurants in the world, Le Bernardin located in Manhattan.   

The hot spot  often referred to as the “Temple of Seafood” serves  the creme de la creme in seafood cuisine and caters to  some of the most well know personalities and celebrities around the world. Top ranked consistently by the New York Times for the ultimate dinning experience,  Le Bernardin is to fine dinning what the Eifel Tower is to France- an iconic symbol of prestigious, grace and culture. If you are lucky enough to get a reservation and want to experience the “Rolls Royce”  in seafood dining,  then do check it out www. le-bernardin.com.

Ripert instructs his talented staff on preparation

I recently met Ripert at a special and private press event at the fabulous, energetic and very trendy Anomaly studios run by the talented businessman Justin Barocas in Manhattan  last week. The special gathering  which introduced Ripert’s  popular second season show “Avec Eric” to the press along with his cook book “Avec Eric: A Culinary Journey With Eric Ripert ” (Wiley)  named after his show, was one of the most sought after media events of the cold mid-January week. Top editors from prestigious organizations including Luxe. Elle Decor,, O Magazine, Architectural Digest and Interior Design, graciously came to meet their favorite  iconic  chef and listen to what he  had to say about his show, his kitchen and what inspires him to make such delicious food.

The media event was held in a specially designed kitchen influenced by Ripert and his team in the Anamoly studios that serves as the background for his popular television series “Avec Eric”. World home design companies like Poggenpohl, Miele and BLANCO helped design the kitchen with their products and the talented staff from Le Bernardin created some of Ripert’s special dishes and drinks for the guests that attended.

Ravi Yande with world renowned celebrity chef Eric Ripert

“Eric Ripert is an incredible chef with a loyal following around the world,” said one very attractive editor standing in line to get her book signed who said that she became a devoted fan of Ripert since he started his guest appearances as a judge on the popular television series “Top Chef”.

“This book should represent the beginning of your culinary adventures in the kitchen,” explained Ripert.

What I found to be the best part of the book was not only were there stories of how Ripert gets inspired with his work,  but also how  both the beginner and the advanced cook can  both learn the basics and the advanced forms of Ribert’s signature and everyday dishes. Plus, you will be surprised to find out that  some of the ingredients that are required to make those delicious dishes may already been in your have  spice cabinet!

Ripert gave editors and special invited guests a tour of his kitchen and explained to them why certain products were placed in the designated areas and how a kitchen should be set up for those trying to achieve a comfortable cooking template that feeds the creative process which then fuels the inspiration for your cooking.

Ripert explaining why his kitchen set is so effective for his work.

Ripert was also kind enough to sign his book “Avec Eric: A Culinary Journey With Eric Ripert” (Wiley), a collection of mouth-watering recipes from his culinary journey from Italy to California,  that the celebrity chef  shared with readers and how his cooking motivated his creative process for his culinary masterpieces. His motto “Great cooking does not have to be complicated” holds true in this book filled with amazing recipes and photos from his travels.

Ripert’s show “Ave Eric” can be seen on the PBS and grab your notebook and pen when you watch it because you may create some culinary action that you didn’t know was in you!

The journey continues….

Ravi

04
Jan
11

Lights, Camera & Obama!

  

Gorgeous actress Nandana Sen smiles for The Ravi Report

Films! Hotties! More Films! That’s pretty much what the MIAAC Indian Film Festival was all about recently. Marking ten years of bringing the most incredible Indian films to New York City,  the South Asian  film festival (they introduced “Slumdog Millionaire” to the world by the way) run by the very much-loved and tireless socialite  Aroon Shivadasani and her Indo-American Arts Council  drew new  films, top film stars, directors, producers  and thousands of fans to the SVA Theater in Chelsea, NY where fans and journalists got to mingle & meet with  the rich and famous from Bollywood during the recent week-long festival.

Stunning Padma Laxmi gives a sexy pose for The Ravi Report

“I waited all year for this event,” said a stunning almond-shaped eyed Indian lady wearing a designer hot red sequenced sheer sari.
 
 Town cars pulled up  filled with Bollywood stars and famous personalities from the world of television, film and stage to the theater to sold out shows and anxious people waiting hours to see their favorite actor making an entrance to the theater.
 
The opening night red carpet premiere was truly like a scene out of a Bollywood film. Beautiful women(a ton of them!), gorgeous silk and gold saris and handsome actors wearing designer Indian outfits came  to support what Shivadasani has been doing for the past decade. The festival drew some of the biggest stars from film, TV and the world of literature.
 
The opening night film “Shor” (Noise) was screened to a sold out crowd with the main actor Tushar Kapoor and sister/producer Ekta Kapoor in attendance.
 
 Film actor Rahul Bose, who’s star status in India is equivalent to about several A Listers in Hollywood came for the premiere of his amazing new film  “Japanese Wife” , an emotional film about an Indian man married to a Japanese lady but they never meet during the marriage. I’ve known Bose for years and he has always remained as humble and unassuming since the day I first met him.Ravi Yande with international star Rahul Bose
 
 
“If you do the right kind of cinema, you will get the right kind of audiences,” stated Bose who has been a big advocate of the festival for the past several years.
 
 “I am a big fan of this festival because its off the mainstream radar,” states the award-winning actor with a fan base all over the world. (side bar: during our interview American girls were screaming the actor’s name as he was being interviewed).
 
Bose has been an intricate part of both Bollywood and independent cinema for years. The much in demand actor  has risen from stage to the big screen by carefully selecting roles that have suited him and his talents. His films “English August“, “Everybody Says I’m Fine” and “Before The Rains” (which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008) have all been box office successes.
 
 In between films, running marathons and representing India in rugby Bose also runs a foundation to help fight against discrimination. Check out his site at www.thefoundation.in
 
With President Obama recently back from his trip from India, I asked the acclaimed actor  what he thought of the trip and its symbolism.
 
“His (Obama) understanding of India deepened as ours did of him,” commented Bose. The actor also said it was truly a wonderful symbolic gesture for the President to stay in the same Mumbai hotel that was attacked by terrorists  two years ago.
 
Festival special guest actor Sendil Ramamurthy, the superstar  from the television series “Heros” and popular film actor,  says Obama’s visit was a step in the right direction for both the US and India.
 
“Getting a permanent placement on the UN Security Council is a great thing for India,” said the actor. Ramamurthy’s was part of the lead in the opening night film “Shor”. Great film by the way folks.
  
 The film festival also brought out well known television stars like “Top Chef” host, model and business woman the gorgeous Padma Laxmi. And folks let me tell you, she is STUNNING and shared with the RR her  views on Obama’s recent  trip to India. Laxmi lives in NY but travels to India frequently for work.
 
“I think Obama’s trip was very successful in so many ways,” stated the beauty. ” The UN Security Council is something that India has wanted for a while so the trip was indeed a success,” added the model. Check out Laxmi’s latest updates on www.padmalaxmi.com.
 
 The opening night also included the screening of the multi-talented  Indian director Mani Ratnam’s film “Raavan” which sold out days before the opening night.
 
Ratnam whose Bollywood films have  made millions, is known for having the “midas” touch when it comes to making movies but says he still gets apprehensive after each film.
 
“People think that once you have a hit movie, its smooth sailing from in on out. But it’s anything but!” comments the director exclusively to The Ravi Report.
 
NY based gorgeous actress Pooja Kumar gets prettier and prettier every time I see her.
 “Pooja,Pooja we love you!” shouted a group of male fans  as she entered the SVA Theater. The sexy and stylish actress spoke about how Indian films are no longer just the “it” factor.
 
“We are here to stay. It’s no longer a curiosity. It’s a full fledge speed ahead,” confidently stated the Indian actress.
 
“Our (Indian)cinema is popular across the world now and people want to be part of it so let’s welcome them in!” smiled the television and  film actress. For more on Kumar check out her amazing website www.poojakumar.com
 
Your heart will definitely  skip a beat when you meet Bollywood actress Nandana Sen. Mine sure did. The stunning & talented actress whose film “Autograph” was being screened during the festival,  spoke about how the event has become a strong platform for the audiences outside of India.
 
“I really like this festival because it gives a chance for people to see Indian independent cinema in a way that they would not have access to.” states the actress. Sen says that the festival supports new filmmakers and give them the much needed platform to showcase their work.
 
Sir. Salman Rashdie has been a long fan of the festival and was one of its biggest supporters from the beginning. He spoke  about the longevity of the film festival.
 
“It was a very small beginning ten years ago and now it’s turned into a large event. You get high quality of films now and the audiences are certainly appreciating it,” stated the world-famous author to The RR.
  
Rushdie also spoke about the importance of the festival. 
 
“It’s a platform for the non-commercial cinema from India and it’s a platform for Indian people in this country,” stated the award-winning author.
  
When you see sexy. You know it. Plain and simple. That’s what hot actress Sarita Choudhury breeds when she walks into a room. Any room.
 
“I waited two hours to see her tonight” stated a young sharply dressed Indian male who told me he has seen all her movies- twice.
  
Choudhury was  very vocal about Obama’s recent trip to India.
 
“How do I get to the White House?” stated the beautiful actress whose film “Mississippi Masala” (1991) is still talked about in the media circles today.
 
“I’m serious. I need to speak to Obama about  so many issues here that   I am dealing with in terms of the misrepresentation of muslims and south asians and the lack of language to talk about these issues to Americans. I feel that we (south asians) are being misrepresented  by lack of information. I want to talk to him about that,” stated the concerned New Yorker.
 
The actress also says that things have changed for South Asians actors- for the good.
 
“I think the difference now is that if you don’t want there to be a barrier, there isn’t one but you have to be super courageous, talented and you really have to know how to act.”
  
 The journey continues…
 
Ravi
30
Nov
10

NY SPECIAL EVENT: Fete With Food & Design

The prestigious A&D Bldg is home to top design showrooms.

Picture it. Over 12 floors of the most exquisite food from  the most preeminent restaurants prepared by the most incredible chefs that will leave you breathless served in some of the most stunning selected home design ultra-lux showrooms you will ever see in New York.  If you were not lucky enough to snag a ticket to the event then next year you better make your way to the annual “Taste of  T” event presented by the New York Times Style Magazine where luxurious home design meets savory cuisine.

Mouth watering desserts were part of the night of tasting and design.

The Ravi Report had exclusive  access to the most recent and talked about and culinary event  that took place at the world famous Architects and Designers Building, a venue  known for floors upon  floors of home design luxrious  showrooms.  The  resplendent building created an upscale restaurant type environment  filled with delectable  food, beautiful people, delicious pastries and fine wine.

Delicious chocolate fountain welcomed guests at the event

Each participating showroom featured a celebrity chef from a famous and trendy  restaurant cooking their trademark dish while other showrooms set up enticing displays of dessert including a chocolate fountain in the Studium showroom.

Selected showrooms welcomed guests

“This is one of the finest culinary events that I have been to. One of kind and a must for all food connoisseurs,” stated a beautiful model like brunette as she filled her plate in the Fantini Rubinetti showroom.

This is the 6th year that the NY Times Style magazine has produced the event and each year it gets bigger and better.
“I really love the fact that you get to taste some of the best food in  NY prepared by some of the best chefs in the world,” stated a stunning, tall blonde as she entered the elevator to go the 9th floor to the Miele showroom which she says was her first stop.
Miele, one of the most prestigious and popular German appliance maker in the world has indeed one of the captivating showrooms in the A&D bldg.  Modern yet classic and filled with  luxurious appliances  surrounded by sexy, stylish and trendy furniture mixed in with exquisite lighting, gives the  showroom an almost majestic appeal.  Guests in the showroom were treated  to the talents of celebrity chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli from the world-famous restaurant Butter.

Celebrity Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli from Butter cooks for guests

Many guests enjoyed seeing the spectacular Miele showroom

“We have been involved in this now for four years, ” stated Nick Ord, President of Miele, USA.

“Every year we love it. This year was better because it was focused on cuisine and we are so happy to be part of it” stated Ord.
Why has Miele become such a beloved brand to consumers?
“The brand is loved by consumers because of the attraction they have to quality and the trust they have in the name,” boasts Ord.

Each selected showroom had their own speciality.

There was a special South African wine tasting called “Indaba” that was served to visitors  while they mingled with design experts and chefs. The SNEG USA showroom was full of people fawning over the multi-colored luxurious refrigerators that will certainly brighten the kitchen and bring a lot of color to the home.

Colorful SNEG USA refrigerators were a hit with guests!

While it is impossible to write about every single showroom  that took part in the event this year and what they offered (I could write a book! LOL!) I wanted to give  a sneak peek  into one of the most appealing  events in NY.  Not only is it  a great way to taste  fabulous food and meet celebrity chefs but also a  way to get ideas on how to decorate your home with the latest, stylish, innovative and beautiful furniture and home design accessories you will ever see.
For more information on the showrooms  or to check out the other luxurious home designs studios, go to www.adbuilding.com for a complete listing.
The journey continues…
Ravi
25
Oct
10

SPECIAL EVENT COVERAGE: NEWS & DOCUMENTARY EMMY AWARDS

Guests enjoying the cocktail party prior to the main event.

 To be in the same room among the most distinquished television news legends and award-winning network  anchors and documentarians was indeed an honor.

The Ravi Report recently attended the 31st Annual  News & Documentary Emmy Awards held at the swanky  Time Warner Center in Manhattan, NY. The annual function dedicated to honoring those in the world of news and documentaries included over 900 beautiful guests  from  television news, documentary filmmaking and entertainment news. It was one of the most talked about parties so far this year folks!

This year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award went to the acclaimed Frederick Wiseman, one of the most prolific, distinguished and accomplished documentarians of all times. Some of Weisman’s memorable films include “Boxing Gym” (2010), “La Danse” (2009) and “The Garden” 2005).  The man is a genius. 

Ravi Yande posing with Emmy winning team Andrew Glazer and Dan Rather.

Iconic & accomplished broadcast news legend Dan Rather  anchor & host of “Dan Rather Reports”  for HDNet   won an Emmy for his story entitled “Iran’s Manhattan Project”, an in dept look into the laundering of Iranian money through NY banks.   He spoke exclusively to The Ravi Report about his win.

RR: Mr. Rather, it is indeed an honor to be here with you  and congratulations.  Please share if you will some of your thoughts about your win.

Rather: Thank you so much. I feel humbled  and honored to be able  to do this kind of work at my age and stage is pretty amazing. To be able to work with people like Andrew Glazer is pretty amazing.

Rather went on to say said that the most surprising fact about the story was that  he never knew that huge sums of Iranian money was  illegally being  laundered through London banks so Iranians can get NY dollars to buy supplies for their nuclear weapons and missiles programs.

Legendary news anchor Dan Rather poses for The Ravi Report

With the explosion of social media and with bloggers ( yours truly) becoming a resource for news, I asked the award-winning & renowned journalist  what his thoughts were on the explosion of the media trend.

RR: Mr. Rather, you’ve seen the journalism industry transform into what it is today- a fast and social media friendly world. What are your thoughts on the whole concept of social media?

Rather: Social media plays a very big role now  and I think it’s destined to play even  a bigger role in the future. It compasses a lot more than journalism but journalism has become part of it. Anyone who is not thinking of social media today is to far behind the times.

 The ever so ravishing Paula Zahn,  the host of “On The Case With Paula Zahn” on the  Investigation Discovery Network was one of the presenters for the event and spoke about how social media has really become an intricate part of citizen journalism.
 
RR: Paula, you look simply amazing tonight.  With so many elements to social media today like blogging, twitter, etc, where do you see it playing a role in future journalism?
 
Zahn- Thanks so much. Honestly,  it’s completely changed in the way we do our business.  When I was at CNN, it was considered pretty revolutionary for people to send us in pictures  of what they saw.  I certainly do welcome the input of audience members and always have  but my biggest concern is the accuracy of it.

Top anchors Ali Velshi & Paula Zahn grace the red carpet at the Emmys.

The Ravi Report also caught up with CNN’s  financial guru & prevalent anchor Ali Velshi  who has been an intricate part of the cable network’s success.
RR: Ali, great to see you again.  Terrific  year for CNN! What’s the secret of their success?
 
Velshi- Thanks. This indeed has been an interesting news year so far. When we  are covering breaking news, when we are covering international events, disasters, etc,  it’s where the DNA comes out. It’s where we don’t have  to worry about the competition.
RR: What was the most thought-provoking story you have done so far in 2010?
 
Velshi: My story is the about the recession. It’s actually about the people whom  I met. The one thing I do is report about the people but I also go out on the CNN Express and talk to my viewers.
RR: Why that particular story?
 
Velshi:The difficulties for me as someone who understands the world of business is that I did not fully understand how we got to where we did in this recession. Many of my viewers  are out of work or losing their homes and THAT  ultimately is what hurts me the most. What I do with my coverage is to design  it around to show opportunities so they (viewers) can try to get back some of their wealth.
NBC award-winning anchor Brian Williams accepted the Emmy for his NBC broadcast news segment that won for coverage of “Miracle On The Hudson“, the incredible landing of US Airways flight 1549 on the NY Hudson River in the middle of the 2009 winter.  Pilot Chelsey B. Sullenger, fondly known as “Sully”, became a  national hero.

Ravi Yande backstage with Emmy winner Brian Williams

RR: Congrats Brian. It’s one of those stories that no one expected to have a miracle ending. What were your thoughts when you first heard about the incident?
 
Williams: Thank you. I was out in NJ listening to a fire scanner as I always have to see what was going in Manhattan.  When I heard about the plane, all I knew is that I needed to get to the studio. I didn’t know what we had there. Because whatever it was, a story about an aircraft in the Hudson could not  end well in all likelyhood..but it DID”.
RR: The story flooded the social media world for days.  Have you become part of it (social media) yet?
 
Williams: I have an account on Twitter and I think I have 4K followers and haven’t said a peep. I am waiting. It has to be thought out. I’ll get there. I am taking my time.
RR: With the explosion of social media, what direction do you think it’s going to take in future mainstream news?
 
Williams: It is media. Someday we will drop the mainstream part and we will drop the social part and it will all be known as media.
 

NBC news anchor Brian Williams poses exclusively for The Ravi Report

The Emmy for Best Documentary went to “War Dance”.  The story focuses  on three kids abducted by war rebels living in Northern Uganda who take part in a music competition.  The eminent director of the film, Sean Fine who lived in the war zone for three months (and caught malaria while filming) says that the film was extremely well received and  all the immense struggles were well worth it.

 
FINE: We were shocked and appalled to see over 60K  children being abducted by rebel forces,” stated the filmmaker to The Ravi Report. The Emmy winner  has also become the guardian of one of the children from the story.
“War Dance” has won numerous awards including being nominated for an Academy Award and for winning the Sundance Directing Award Documentary.  Fine is also planning on building a music and art center there for the kids. For more info on the film or how you can help the kids, check out www.wardancethemovie.com  and   www.thepatangofund.org. The film will be seen in November on the Documentary Channel (www.documentarychannel.com).
The event also included special guests and celebrated actors including “Lethal Weapon” star Danny Glover. The award-winning Hollywood actor is one of several celebrities currently lobbying to legalize cannabis in the state of California.
A special note of thanks goes to Daryl B. Cohen, Chairman of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and to Paul Pilliteri for doing a great job and for accommodating the media with interviews and access.For a complete list of winners, go to www.emmyonline.org.
The journey continues..
Ravi
20
Sep
10

MORGAN SPURLOCK CONNECTS WITH WILLIFEST 2010

The other day, one of my reporter friends mentioned to me that she was going to the 2010 Willifest Film Festival. She asked me if I was going. 
“Was I going?” I eagerly replied.
“I”m all over that already” I then boasted. 
And I am.
 
The Williamsburg Film Festival, (www.willifest.com)  fondly known as Willifest will begin on Sept 23 and run until the 26th in one of the hippest and stylish places in Brooklyn. The newly establish film festival will bring together hundreds of film professionals and thousands of movie fans over the course of three days in the famous town full of artists and some of the most creative people you will ever meet.
 
The festival will feature the works of some of the most talented directors, producers, writers and actors from NY showcasing their short films and documentaries. It with also feature special Q&A with the directors, industry executives and producers after specific screenings.  If it’s anything like their recent press party, you are NOT GOING to want to miss this exciting film festival folks!
 
Co-Founded by talented veteran filmmaker Michael Helman and film/TV/music producer Robin Adams, The Williamsburg Film Festival was established so that accomplished and up and coming artistic  filmmakers from NY can showcase their films to a live audience while meeting industry professionals and networking with their peers.
 

Ravi Yande with "Dream Team" filmmakers Beth Aala, Jonathan Bricklin and Morgan Spurlock

One of the most successful and eminent filmmaker to attach his name and films to the festival this year is the resplendent Morgan Spurlock.  

 
Spurlock, whose 2004 Academy Award nominated film “Super Size Me” is still one of the most famous and most watched documentaries of all time,  is one of the nicest, humorous and talented filmmakers I have ever met. Spurlock spoke exclusively to The Ravi Report about his involvement in the Williamsburg Film Festival this year. I caught up with Spurlock and his team of amazing producers at one of the hottest & sexiest places in NY, the ping-pong social club SPIN New York. (www.spingalactic.com).
 
“This festival became a great showcase for what I think has become a NY platform for films for NY based filmmakers and I am surprised by the amount of talent I see in NYC.” said the NY based director. 
 
” I came from West Virginia to NYC to find my way into this business and I want to help people get their movies seen,” added the award-winning screenwriter.
 
 The acclaimed filmmaker gained nationwide fame with his  documentary creating ripples through the fast food industry  by showing the world what a diet of McDonald’s fast food can do to you and your body.  The success of the film made Spurlock one of the most sought after filmmakers in Hollywood and NY.
 
Spurlock is executive producer of the opening night  film “Pool Party” which is directed by long time friend, the talented and beautiful Beth Aala. The film tells the story of how one of the largest abandoned pools in NY became a venue for bands and musicians. The buzz on this film is pretty intense.
 
“Morgan is one person that  loves to take chances” said  Aala. The director also believes that due to Spurlock’s ability to work well with people and his ability to be trusting in new producers and directors, the masterful documentary filmmaker  is revered by many of his peers.
 
“For Morgan, it’s aways been about quality and story and it shows in his work or whatever project he gets involved in” stated Aala,
 
Then for a split second during my interview, Spurlock became the reporter (Spurlock is an excellent journalist by the way who was voted by Time magazine in 2007 as one of  the top 10 “Best Journalists of The World”) and I became the listener.
 
“What do you expect from your film. What do you hope for?” the  filmmaker asked Aala.
 
“My hope is that an audience is going to experience this film and appreciate the changes and music in Williamsburg. I knew it back in the day (1999) and it is completely different from it is now” said Aala.
 
Spurlock is also the executive producer (the guy never rests!) of another incredible and engrossing film called “The Entrepreneur” based on the life of Malcom Bricklin, the gentleman responsible for bringing Suburus to America in the 1960s and for importing Yugos. The film is director by Bricklin’s son, the gifted filmmaker and co-owner of SPIN New York, Jonathan Bricklin.
 
” I asked if he (Spurlock) could help me finish the film and he said yes. I think its his great vibe and the fact that he is very approachable, really made this happen.” said Brickin Jr.
 
Spurlock said he took to the film because of one main thing the premise.
 
“Jonathan related the story and I saw so many similarities with it in my own life. I also grew up with a dad who was an entrepreneur who did not rest until he became successful so I could so related to this film in so many ways” stated the filmmaker.
 
This is Bricklin Jr. first documentary.
 
“As a filmmaker, just screening a film for  live audience is satisfying but when Morgan came into this project, that was pretty much it for me. To be endorsed by a great filmmaker who is so creative that was a great satisfaction for me in making this film” stated the NY based filmmaker.
 
Bricklin also says that Spurlock fully understands both the creative and business process which is  rare in a highly successful filmmaker.
 
Spurlock says his love for documentaries began in college when he saw the documentary  “Brother’s Keeper” (1992), the story about the murder trial of Dilbert Ward. Spurlock says that film directed by Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky really impacted his life in terms of following his decision into making documentaries.
 
“There is a great way to tell engrossing stories through non-fiction film making that does exist through narrative filmmaking”  pointed out the director who also believes that documentaries have grown to a place where they have become popular and accepting and that  now is the chance to make more docs that will eventually become mainstream.
Spurlock’s next film will be an adaptation of the book Freakonomics”  by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J Dubner due out in October.  Spurlock will be working with four other directors includng Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady, Alex Gibney and Eugene Jarecki.
 
With his sense of filmmaking and passion for telling realistic stories, I had to ask the talented filmmaker about what his thoughts were on making a documentary on Bollywood.
 
” I would love to head to Mumbai to make a documentary. That would be amazing.” said the director.
 
“He should be a consultant to Bollywood films” chimed in Bricklin.
 
“They would welcome him with open arms” smiled Aala.
 
Indeed they would.
 
The journey continues…..
Ravi

 

20
Aug
10

The King of Bollywood Continues to Rein

Bollywood superstars Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan entering NY press conference

Hope you all are having a great summer! Got sidetracked with some new projects and travel so my apologies for not posting anything new for a while. But now, I’m back so here goes! 

 
The summer has been good for the King of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan.  The A-lister who continues to be the biggest star in the Indian film industry with millions of fans, is basking in the successful of his film “My Name Is Khan” which recently  had its DVD release in the US  and the recent honor of being immortalized in the world-famous Madame Tussauds wax museum in NYC recently.
 
Khan, 45, who was named one of Newsweek’s ’50 Most Powerful People in the World’ in 2008 continues to be one of Bollywood’s highest paid actors making millions in brand endorsements, stage shows and hosting television specials in India.
But he has also remained as humble by his mega success and is so  appreciative of his fans who he believes have kept him going strong in the Indian movie business for almost 20 years!
The actor’s latest film “My Name is Khan” has done very well at the box office this and was the highest grossing Indian film in the US so far this year. Released earlier in 2010,  the iconic actor co-stars with one of the most sought after actresses in Bollywood today Kajol and the duo came together on-screen after almost a decade. Fox Searchlight was the distributor for the film and from what my sources tell me, they are pretty happy with the results.
 
My Name is Khan”  tells the story of Rizwan (Khan), an Indian muslim living in the US and married to the beautiful Hindu Mandira (Kajol)  whose lives are transformed into anguish after the Sept. 11 attacks. Rizwan has Asperger’s Syndrome and is often mistaken for a terrorist after the attacks . To save his marriage and reputation, Rizwan insists on seeing the President of the United States to proclaim his innocence and clear his name. The film with a combination of love and a quest for truth will make you route for the underdog as is most common in Bollywood films. 

Ravi Yande and Shah Rukh Khan at the NY premiere of "My Name is Khan".

Khan and stunning actress Kajol have returned to the screen after many years and their on-screen chemistry is even stronger than before. They  have worked together in many films (most of them being box office hits) and are termed the “Royal Couple” of Bollywood due to their regal on-screen presence and loyal following. 

 
It’s interesting to note that I first interviewed Khan on Sept 10, 2001, the day before tragedy struck America. He spoke about the incident during our interview and the sadness that comes over him  when he talks about it.  He also points out that the film is clearly not about the attacks.
 
“I keep getting that question asked of the film” he told The Ravi Report recently. “the movie is about prejudices people go through solely based on who you are as a person or what you look like or for that matter, what your last name is” stated the actor.
 
My Name is Khan”  is co-produced by Khan’s  wife Gauri Khan and directed by one of the most prolific and acclaimed young director’s in Bollywood today, Karan Johar.  The magnanimous director usually shoots his films outside of India in foreign locations often picking NY or LA as his favorite spots.  What’s really intriguing and fascinating about his films is how Bollywood looks at America through the movie lens.
But the most enthralling thing that Khan told me was that he hopes their film shows how important tolerance is along with others with different faiths, appearances and of course religion.
The film is first that both Khan and Johar have co-produced together.  Johar is also one fo the few if not only Bollywood directors to enlist the talents of foreign talent for his movies. He is a genius when it comes to knowing what the public wants. All of his movies have been box office hits.
The music for the film scored by the “dream team” of Indian music Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy will bring you to tears.
 
The release of the DVD was in conjunction with the recent installation of Khan at the world famous  Madame Tussauds wax museum in NY a few weeks ago. This is Khan’s second statue. He also has a presence at the London branch.
 
The event included beautiful dancers who danced to the music of Khan’s 2007 hit film “Om Shanti Om“.
 
” I think it’s such a validation for Bollywood to have Khan in with the rest of the world’s prestigious wax figures. He certainly deserves it!” said one beautiful Indian girl who said she skipped work to make it to the event.
The museum also has wax figures of iconic Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and his daughter in law, world’s most beautiful woman, Aishwariya Rai.
 
“More and more people are seeing Bollywood as part of the  mainstream,” Rosemary del Prado, director of marketing at Madame Tussauds has told the press. For a complete Bollywood tour, check out www.madametussauds.com/newyork for more info. A must see folks!!
 
“I think Khan being in the museum shows that the world is embracing Bollywood even further” said another very attractive and tall Indian lady who was studying acting in NY hoping to make it to Bollywood someday and star in a film with Khan.
 
As I was leaving the event  I see an American trying to see what the fuss is about.
“Who is Khan?” the young man innocently asks.
“Take Elvis, Tom Cruise, Sting and throw in Jay Z and maybe you will get the kind of magnitude that Khan exemplifies in Bollywood” said one turban wearing proud Indian.
 
 Khan and Johar are back together again currently in London shooting for their new film “Ra. One” due out early next year. Prepare yourself for another hit.
 
The Journey continues…
Ravi
 
 
 
 
 
 
24
Jun
10

“SOLITARY MAN” GETS A CHAPLIN!

Illustrious actors Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones arriving at the 37th Chaplin Award

 Humanitarian, actor, producer, husband, father and friend are just a few of the words to describe legendary Michael Douglas and if you see  his latest film “Solitary Man” you may also want to add  “ingenious” to the list. 

The iconic star latest performance  proves that  the 65-year-old actor   is one of the most multifaceted,  talented and sought after names  in Hollywood today. For his outstanding contribution to the world of cinema, Douglas was recently bestowed the distinguished  Chaplin Award at a star-studded gala given by The Film Society of Lincoln Center.  

Who can forget the actor’s captivating performance in the sexual thriller   “Basic Instincts” (1992) or  the international box office hit  “Traffic” (2000)  in which he co-stars with his beautiful wife  award-winning actress Catherine Zeta- Jones.  The legendary “Wall Street” (1987) movie in which Douglas portrays a ruthless money man is about to  resurrected  in “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps”  due out later this year. The film is being directed by Oliver Stone.  

Michael Douglas, mom Ann Buydens Douglas, wife Catherine Zeta- Jones and father Kirk Douglas

Douglas won two Academy Awards so far in his career. One for as producer in the film “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”  in 1975 and one for best actor in the hit film “Wall Street” (1987).  

But let’s back track a bit. Like many top stars in Hollywood, Douglas has had his share of ups and downs.  For years after his role in the film “The China syndrome” with Jane Fonda (1979), the actor’s career seem to have been at a  stand still with occasional roles in films that ever made a splash at the box office.  

Recent Tony award winning actress Catherine Zeta Jones listens to a question from The Ravi Report.

But the award-winning actor’s luck seemed to have changed in 1984 with the film “Romancing The Stone” which became an instant hit putting the star  right back up on the A list. Followed by the equally popular sequel “A Jewel In The Nile” , the films made Douglas one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood. It didn’t stop there folks.  

Fatal Attraction” (1987) with Glenn Close,   “Disclosure” (1994) with Demi Moore,  “War of The Roses” (1989) with Kathleen Turner and of course who can forget “Black Rain” (1989) with Andy Garcia which became an  international hit.  The  innovative star  was on a roll  

Michael Douglas addresses questions from the press

The actor married the stunning Zeta-Jones in 2000. Both youthful looking  actors share the same birthday, September 25.  The couple has always planned a special celebration on their Day of Glory  and  last year, they celebrated in NY with friends and family for the big 4-0 for Zeta-Jones.   

Douglas and Zeta-Jones are also actively involved in charitable causes and spend a great deal of time in Wales attending events close to their hearts.  

Long time friend and colleague actor Danny Devito was part of the celebration.

Long time friend and colleague actor Danny Devito came to honor his friend Michael Douglas.

The 93 year-old  Kirk Douglas  Sr.  was  also present during the tribute to his son.  A rare treat indeed. 

The award began in 1972 in honor of Charles Chaplin who had returned to the US from exile to accept the award.  The award has honored many since then including Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Laurence Olivier, Federico Fellini, Elizabeth Taylor, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep and most recently last year’s recipient, Tom Hanks. The rare treat for us press folks was to see the entire Douglas family coming together to honor the versatile actor and his dedication to his craft.  The Film Society of Lincoln Center produces the gala every year.  

Brooke Shields gives a quick smile for The Ravi Report

Friends, long time associates and well wishers who have known Douglas for years  came to be part of the celebration.  Brook Shields looking as beautiful and classy as the statuesque mom always does, came to honor her friend as did  Danny Devito, the comical actor who also stars in “Solitary Man” with Douglas.  

Douglas’s striking wife Catherine Zeta Jones who just recently won a Tony for her performance in “A Little Night Music” was at her husband’s side at the Lincoln Center Gala  along with her in-laws posing for pictures and answering questions from the press.  

Catherine Zeta- Jones herself has had an incredible journey in Hollywood as well. The 40 year singer, dancer and actress  has both a successful career as a film and stage actress.  Films like “American Sweethearts” (2001),  “The Phantom” (1996),No Reservations” (2007) “The Mask of Zorro” (1998) and “Traffic” (2000) have all done well at the box office making the Welsh actress one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood today.  She won an Academy Award for her role in 2002 in the film “Chicago” which she did her own dancing and singing.  Her stage work on Broadway has proven that people appreciate her work and her recent Tony win, Outer Critics Circle Award & Drama Desk Award  for “A Little Music Night”  only validates her talent even more.  

Friends of The Ravi Report Graff USA President Henri Barguirdjian with guests arriving at the gala.

There are also some industry rumors circulating that both Douglas and Zeta-Jones may be in the film “Racing The Mansoon” a story about a diamond robbery on an Indian train. The RR will  keep you posted on any updates.   

 2010 already seems to be a favorable year for Douglas and his family. With “Wall Street 2″ releasing  later this year, his wife winning a Tony, a hit movie currently in the theaters and the Chaplin Honor, things are looking pretty good for the star these days.  

The journey continues…and for the Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones it just got sweeter.  

Ravi 

21
May
10

PEABODY AWARDS HONORS THE BEST!

The Ravi Report in line with the best!

The prestigious and world-famous NY Waldorf Astoria  was recently home to one of the most prestigious honors for television and radio programming.  The George F. Peabody Awards given to  the most distinguished and talented individuals in electronic media from around the world celebrated its 69th awards presentation in elegance and style. 

Recipients included producers, actors, writers, directors and talent that were associated with some of the most innovating and thought-provoking films, radio broadcasts, documentaries and television shows.  The Ravi Report was invited to cover the special awards ceremony which included meeting some of the dignified winners. 

"Modern Family" star Sophia Vergara graces the Peabody Awards with her beauty!

36 recipients picked up the eminent award for their outstanding work reflecting diversity, creativity and original content in electronic media.  

Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker poses with executive producer Forest Whitaker.

The charismatic, humble  and well liked mayor (over a million followers on Twitter!)  of Newark, NJ , Cory Booker  was featured in the film  “Brick City” which won  for its portrayal of a selected group of Newark residents trying to make their lives better against all odds. The film follows Booker along with the city’s Police Chef  as well as the individuals facing daily struggles of survival. 

But fame was never important to the mayor.   Booker is a well grounded and goal oriented individual and has been since he got elected into office.  He has deep passion for the city of Newark and its residents. That is very clear in his actions and in the film.  

Booker spoke to The Ravi Report about the film’s honor.  

“I think the film being on the Sundance Channel and having such a great team behind it, I’m happy that the film is getting the kind of recognition it deserves,” stated the mayor.  

But the rising political star  likes to give credit where credit is due regarding his success.  

"Brick City" executive producers Mark Benjamin, Mark Levin and Forest Whitaker

“It’s really everyone not just me. It’s a group effort and that’s very important” smiled the mayor who recently attended President Obama’s state dinner for the Mexican President. 

Booker who has been credited for turning Newark into a platform for positive change and is very grateful for the amount of support that he has received from everyone including celebrities and politicians. 

The multi-talented actor Forest Whitaker served as one of the executive producers of  “Brick City” and he spoke to The Ravi Report about what the film meant to him.   

Cory Booker poses exclusively for The Ravi Report

“This film shows how people can change with positive influence and how there is hope with people like Cory”  commented the award-winning actor.  

The ceremony was hosted by the legendary news anchor  and ever glamorous and beautiful Diane Sawyer  who also won a Peabody for her  news special ” A Hidden America: Children of The Mountains” an expose of poverty-stricken Central Appalachia families.  Sawyer and her team spent two years documenting  four youths trying to escape the despair of poverty.  

"Modern Family" executive producer Steven Levitan speaks to The Ravi Report about his show's success.

The prevailing ABC show “Modern Family” won for its creative content and original format.  Steve Levitan, the creator of the hit series said that he was excited that his show has gotten such a loyal following and was grateful for the honor. HBO’s innovative drama series “In Treatment” a psychoanalysis therapy-session drama with award-winning actors Gabriel Bryne and Dianne Wiest also won.  

Another popular series that won was “Glee” (Fox) the television drama that focuses on realistic issues teenagers continue to deal with such as  pregnancy, disability and sexual orientation.  

"60 Minutes" acclaimed journalist Steve Kroft and his team of producers exclusively pose for The Ravi Report

60 Minutes” the  most innovating news programs, on the air today, added two more Peabodys to their collection of awards.  Esteemed and audacious journalist  Steve Kroft’s  special report on  cyber terrorism entitled “60 Minutes: Sabotaging the System” focused on potential attacks on computer systems around the world won the award as did  w his report “60 Minutes: The Cost of Dying”.   

Peabody Winner Anika Noni Rose speaks about her win to the press

The beautiful and talented Tony Award winning actress Anika Noni Rose won for her role in  the HBO series “No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency”. The show based in Botswana displays the talents and personalities of several ladies with  probing kind of  nature and is produced by The Weinstein Company, BBC and HBO Entertainment. Rose comes from a strong stage background where she won her Tony Award for her role in “Caroline or Change” and for her role in “Dreamgirls”.  This is the first Peabody for the actress.  

For a complete list of winners please go to www.peabody.uga.edu  

The journey continues..and for these Peabody winners…it just became sweeter!!!  

Ravi

23
Apr
10

CARELL & FEY HAVE “DATE NIGHT” FROM HELL!

Ok folks let’s face it. We’ve all had a  “date night” from hell at some point or another in our lives (some of us more than others but that’s another story). Things  just didn’t go right.  The restaurant gave away your reservation because you couldn’t find a parking spot or the genius who took your reservation, accidently gave you the wrong date for your special night or the photo that the person posted on an online dating service turned out to photoshopped so well,  it created a new image.  You get the idea.
 So when I saw the new hit comedy movie “Date Night” with mega stars Steve Carell and Tina Fey, I couldn’t help but think about the millions of people around the world watching this movie and thinking “I can relate to that.”
Let me just say one thing about versatile & mirthful actors Carell and Fey. They have the best on-screen chemistry I’ve seen in a long time and they are two of the nicest actors that you are ever going to want to meet. Plain and simple.
 
“Date Night” is a whimsical  movie filled with witty humor and heaps of intelligently written scenarios that will make you think about all those crazy date nights you all have had. I know I can throw in a few!! LOL!

Actor Steve Carell gives an exclusive pose for The Ravi Report

 
“Tina! Tina! We love You” screamed fans across the street  when the “30 Rock” star got out of her limo and ran across the street to sign  autographs for fans who waited  hours just to get a quick glimpse of  her before the star entered the official red carpet at the world famous Ziegfeld Theater in midtown.
“I waited two hours to get Tina’s autograph” said one very  cute brunette  who was holding images of Fey from her SNL shows.
 
“Steve you rock!” shouted fans as “The Office” star also  walked across the street to sign autographs  before he hit the throng of paparazzi waiting for him.
 

Superstar Tina Fey speaks to the press on the red carpet

I have to be honest, I’ve been a long time fan of both Carell and  Fey.  Carell, for his ingenious humor in the hit series “The Office” and Fey for being a very talented and excellent writer/actress  and for her famous Sarah Palin impersonation which brought her world-wide attention.  The actors shine working together.

 
I’ve met  both of them before and every time they enter the red carpet, there is almost a wave of prodigious & positive energy that follows.
 
Date Night” focuses on the “Fosters” (Carell & Fey) who have let family life and raising kids take the spice out of their marriage. So like most married couples who have limited quality time to spend together, the Fosters decide to  make a special  “date night” to rekindle the romantic side of their marriage.  Well, their date night turns into a roller coaster of adventure when they accidently use someone else’s identity to secure a table  at a fancy restaurant. I won’t give away any more than that folks!

Steve Carell carefully listens to a question from The Ravi Report

 
At the recent premiere,  Carell  told reporters how he balances fame and family.
 
“When I’m not a work I’m with my family. I come right home. I wake up and take my kids to school. Those are  the only two things I do. Work and home.” stated the star  of such  hit films such as  “Get Smart”,Bewitched” and “40 Year Old Virgin”.
 
The versatile actor also said  that his character Michael Scott from “The Office” and his role as Mr. Foster from “Date Night” have common traits.
 

Tina Fey filming a promo for "Date Night" from the red carpet!

“I think Phil Foster is who Michael Scott would want to be,” said the star when asked about how the two characters are similar in nature. “Because he(Foster) is successful with a  family, kids he has that life that Michael Scott would want.” 

 
When asked by The Ravi Report what the intelligent actress finds the most enjoyable part of her work,  Fey smiled and added ” I always felt lucky making a living at doing what I like doing. Being able to write stuff and being in it is very enjoyable to me” stated the married mom.
The reviews for “Date Night” have been positive and fans on the social media sites are asking if they can expect a sequel anytime  soon.  Hey, what about a follow-up entitled ” Date Night 2: Revenge of the Fosters!” LOL!
 
Now, the important question here. What ABOUT having a special date night of your own? Well,  I spoke to a few married couples who said that the movie inspired them to try to do a date night  to spice things up in their marriage but they would stick to keeping their own reservations! LOL!
 
For info check out the movie website at www.datenight-themovie.com and kudos the terrific folks at Fox Searchlight for doing a great job (again) with the premiere.
The journey continues…
Ravi
 
25
Mar
10

Harold & Lee Make “Falling For Grace” Worth Falling For!

Actor Gale Harold smiles exclusively for The Ravi Report

We enter the restaurant and female fans  were already lined up to get his autograph. We sit down and pretty girls start to tap on the window just to get his attention and hopefully a picture. He obliges with a smile. 

That’s just the kind of guy actor Gale Harold is. Respectful and unassuming.  The talented actor was in NY recently promoting his  new romantic comedy movie “Falling For Grace” which he co-stars with the beautiful and talented actress Faye Ann Lee. You want to see  some on-screen great chemistry? Then you have got to see this movie folks! 

“It’s not just a comedy. It’s relevant and culturally meaningful,” states the 40-year-old actor known for his most recent role as Terri Hatcher’s love interest Jackson Braddock  in “Desperate Housewives” and for his provocative role as Brian Kinney in the 2005  Showtime  television series “Queer As Folk“. 

In “Falling For Grace”, Harold plays the role of Andrew James Barrington Jr., a rich, eligible bachelor who falls for the pretty and witty Grace Tang played by actress-writer-director- Fay Ann Lee. Without giving to much of the story away, the two accidently meet and with a few misunderstandings mixed in with a few white lies, you get a  surprised romance that everyone will enjoy.  The chemistry is written into the script so well that both Harold & Lee should do more movies together. Both are terrific actors by the way. 

The LA based actor known mostly for his serious, dark and internal acting, takes on this light and comical  role with ease. Lee is simply a natural born actress. The moment you see her, she lights up the screen!

“To be able to work in NY is a great think and I really enjoyed the script and the realistic aspects of it,” says the accomplished  actor who travels back to the Big Apple whenever he gets an opportunity. 

Actors Gale Harold and Clem Cheung attend the Q&A session after a special screening.

Harold has an impressive list of credentials. In addition to  “Desperate Housewives” the actor also has appeared on numerous top shows included “Grey’s Anatomy“, “Vanished” and “Deadwood“. This is his first comedy romance film. 

” I would like to try to develope ideas for television involving comedy because I like comedy performance and maybe with the freedom & input to talk developement as well for other shows,” asserts the actor.  

Maybe a little stand-up comedy action also? 

” Oh boy, that’s not me…to me that is the most terrifying thing I have ever seen. I’m not that brave,”  laughs the actor. 

Since he’s done it all (stage, TV and film)  Harold believes it’s all relative and that the quality of work has always been his first priority rather than the medium. 

“I think as long as you are fortunate enough to get an opportunity to get good work at what you love doing, it’s worth it, ” expresses Harold. 

Fond of French and Italian cuisine the actor  likes to travel to places like Mexico and Paris and even enjoys Bollywood films on his days off.

“I would love to go to India and I loved Slumdog Millionaire,”  smiles the actor who recently  finished a limited engagement  of  Tennessee Williams “Orpheus Descending” in LA which opened to great reviews. 

Ravi Yande, top model Richie Kul and beautiful actress Fay Ann Lee pose for The Ravi Report

Television and film actress Fay Ann Lee is driven. Plain and simple. She has not only proven that she can she act but also that she can write  an outstanding script and direct a great film. The multi-talented Hong Kong born filmmaker is proactive in nature and thanks to her dedication and passion, “Falling For Grace” was born.  Lee is hopeful that her film will create oppportunities  other Asian actors who have not yet gotten their major break.  The filmmaker started writing the script almost ten years ago while she was in “Ms. Saigon” because she felt there were no mainstream roles for Asians who are immensely talented actors she says and didn’t stop until her film was made. Not only did she direct, write and act in the film, she also spent years  raising money to make the film then travelled around the country promoting it.

Harold is all smiles for The Ravi Report

Her efforts paid off when it became one of the opening films of the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival with a star-studded red carpet. The film has also been featured at other film festivals including Los Angeles Asian Film Festival and the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. The film also had a special star studded premiere in March at the world famous Asia Society in Manhattan.

The multi-talented astute actress has  been nominated for an Emerging Artist Award by The White House Project so please you vote for this amazing actress  by March 31st!! Time is ticking!! 

http://thewhitehouseproject.org/epic/emerging_artist.php 

Falling For Grace”  continues to play until April 1 at Big Cinema in NY. (www.us.bigcinemas.com) so get your tickets fast! For more information regarding the movie, check out the website at www.fallingforgrace.com.

The journey continues… 

Ravi

18
Jul
14

Spoonfuls of Summer: Raspberries for Baby

theravireport:

Congrats Leena!!! Please save me some jam!!

Originally posted on Masala Baby Food:

20140712_120918

Freshly picked!

Hi everyone!

Oh my gosh, before I even get started with this spoonfuls of summer business, I have to tell you all (well, all five of you reading this thing) something:  I MADE JAM! Yes! Me! Canning-challenged and fearful ‘ol me successfully made jam this morning! So many leftover berries from our farm picking adventures I had to try something new:

20140716_101216

Omg jam!

I know to most of you this sounds ridiculous, and yes, smart people have been making jam and canning things for eons.  But I suppose I’m excited because I was never one of those smart people.  For whatever reason the whole process seemed really intimidating.  But my dear friend Amy, who always sends us the MOST divine strawberry jam, inspired me to try and make some.  I didn’t use pectin, or do anything complicated because I was too scared, but did a lot of research…

View original 671 more words




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