Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood


Tribeca Film Festival:Closing Night Celebrates “My Life In Ruins”.

Red carpet entrance to the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival

Red carpet entrance to the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival has ended and I do hope that many of you had a chance to attend the incredible festival this year that included first time screenings, opening night celebrity filled premieres and award winning documentaries and short films.  Most of my friends who went had a great time watching new documentaries,  meeting celebrities, directors, producers and actors.   Co-founded  in 2002  by legendary & twice Academy Award winning actor Robert De Niro (The Godfather II  & The Raging Bull) and highly acclaimed & brilliant producer Jane Rosenthal, the festival has over the years  proven to be one of the most popular and prominent  film festivals around the world.

 I unfortunately got caught up in some projects  this year so I was unable to go  to many of the events.  But luckily I had the time to attend the closing night red carpet premiere  for the much anticipated  movie  “My Life In Ruins”  (produced by Tom Hank’s Playtone Production Company) starring Nia Vardalos, Richard Dreyfuss, Greek

Festival Co-Founder and Academy Award winning actor Robert Di Nero along with lovely wife Grace Hightower smiles at The Ravi Report.

Festival Co-Founder and Academy Award winning actor Robert Di Nero along with lovely wife Grace Hightower smiles for The Ravi Report.

superstar Alexis Georgoulis and

Rachel Dratch. You will truly enjoy it!
 The film is director by extremely talented actor turned director Donald Petrie (“Mystic Pizza” & “How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days”).  The guy has some serious talent folks!

Many of you are already  familiar with Vardalos. How could you not. I mean please. Her incredible & astonishing 2002 film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” which the Greek actress both wrote and starred  in has been seen over and over again my millions.

Actress Nia Vardolas at the premiere of her film "My Life in Ruins"

Actress Nia Vardalos at the premiere of her film "My Life in Ruins"

 Who can forget that the  movie proved to be the highest grossing comedy film of 2002 putting the actress on the map and making her  an instant overnight sensation. So naturally “My Life in Ruins” in which Vardolas plays an unhappy Greek tour guide who has lost her “mojo” in life and is trying to find it was in fact the talk of the festival which was attended by  celebrities and hundreds of fans of who wanted  to see how the 46 year old actress got her mojo back! (I personally think she never lost it!)

Vardalos was looking Hollywood glamorous indeed at the premiere. “Wow” shouted one fan. “She looks so beautiful” said a sexy brunette waiting in line to get the actress’s autograph.  Vardalos completely transformed herself into a glamorous and sexy movie star with all the trimmings of an Hollywood actress.

The talented actress spoke to The Ravi Report about the making of her film and how after all these years, it’s still been a family oriented career for her.

Ravi Yande with Nia Vartolas at the red carpet press area.

Ravi Yande with actress Nia Vardalos at the red carpet premiere of "My Life In Ruins".

RR:Nia, you look terrific. Thanks so much for your time and congrats on the film.

NV: Thanks so much. I’m pretty excited.

RR: What excites you the most about your new film?

NV:For me, the hardest films to make are the ones that are so worth it at the end. You have to test your drive like we did we this film.We were trying to get permission to shoot at the ancient ruins in Greece and it was so tough for us,  so it made us work that much harder on the script, hone it and make the budget affordable and we did and it all turned out well at the end.

RR: The incredible success of your  film  “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” made history in Hollywood. Seven years later, people are still watching the film and loving it. Is that a tough act to follow with your future work?

NV:(laughs). Well for me, I think ok..that already happened so now I can concentrate more on other projects and things so I can be “been there…done that” (more laughs).

Vardolas also went on to speak to reporters about how she is teaching her newly adopted daughter the importance of family values and how having a close knit family for herself  is vitally important  in life and in her career.

Co-Founder of The Tribeca Film Festival Jane Rosenthal talking to the press

Co-Founder of The Tribeca Film Festival Jane Rosenthal talking to the press

Of course besides her movie, the talk of the red carpet was Vardalos’s new sensational look.

RR:Ok…so from cute actress to sexy siren. How did you do it?

NV:  I know!!! (Laughs in excitement) I designed my own program and in one sentence I will say this. I broke up with cheese!

 Despite the on going recession and other recent public concerns,  fans came out in droves to the festival this year. Most of the screenings I heard about were sold out and the Q&A afterwards with stars and directors were standing room only. De Niro &  Rosenthal and their  team of dedicated staff members  do an OUTSTANDING job every year and continue to face new challenges as the festival grows in attendance and in film entries.

Director of "My Life In Ruins" gives two thumbs up to The Ravi Report!

Director Donald Petrie of "My Life In Ruins" gives two thumbs up to The Ravi Report!

If you missed it this year, I highly recommend that you make Tribeca Film Festival one of the top ten things to do in 2010.

My Life In Ruins” opens nationwide on June 5.

The Journey continues…




When news broke of actor Kal Penn 31, deciding to give up the glitz, glamour, $$$ in  Hollywood to join the White House Office of Public Liaison in the Obama Administration in Washington,  I thought: Who could do a better job than the well known and  likable Penn? Quite frankly, no one. The award winning American born Indian actor will soon be given the job title of Associate Director and serve as a strong link to the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. In other words, it’s a great job folks!

Kal Penn being interviewed on the red carpet in NY with Indian actor Irrfan Khan

Kal Penn being interviewed on the red carpet in NY with Indian actor Irrfan Khan

Penn, whose was born Kalpen Suresh Modi 31 years ago in Montclair, NJ  to immigrant parents from India,  is one of the most visible and talented Asian Indian actors today in Hollywood. Some of his   popular movies like “Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle,”“The Namesake,”Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay” have created massive cult like followings around the globe. The television and film actor  for the past few seasons  has been portraying  the popular role of Dr. Lawrence Kutner in the mega hit  Emmy Award winning television series “House”on Fox directed by Bryan Singer.  Penn’s role ended recently when his character committed suicide on the show. Not a very graceful farewell exit but nonetheless,  it allows the  award winning actor to take the  job at The White House.

Kal Penn talking at "The Namesake" party in NY

Kal Penn at "The Namesake" party in NY

But let’s be clear here. Penn is not leaving acting.  It is just being put “on hold for now” as he has been quoted saying to the press.  The actor said that during the Obama campaigning he was very passionate about public service and acting so he is now embarking on another journey and will do very well in.

Over the years, I have met Penn several times at movie premiers, parties and red carpets events and let me just say one thing about the well liked actor. He is PERFECT for the job and let me tell you why.  In my opinion, Penn is not  an actor trying to gain additional popularity nor is he seeking fame and fortune-he already has that. The young and smart celebrity is ideal for the position because he is passionate about serving the public and the White House saw it and that is why they asked him to join their team.   Choosing to give up a very lucrative acting career (that Penn has worked so hard to achieve along with landing a role on popular television series that many actors only dream of getting) shows the true passion that this  young democrat has about helping to serve the public.

The Indian actor  has always been very nice and gracious to me and other reporters as well.  During the premiere of his hit movie “The Namesake” in NY, the actor made time for all the reporters and was very professional and very receptive to the audience during an Q&A session after the screening.  Even when Penn is an invited as a guest to a movie premiere or party, he is flocked  by the media and is often in high demand by the press to get an interview at premieres and parties.

Penn talking to a guest with Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri of "The Namesake" in the background.

Penn talking to a guest at the NY Public Library with Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri of "The Namesake" in the background during a surprise visit to the party.

“I have always loved acting but life is full of other opportunities” he once told me at a red carpet party in NY when I asked the actor about his choice as an entertainer when most South Asians traditionally  choose medicine or other sciences as a career.

“I am so grateful that the South Asian community has been encouraging and supportive of my work. That’s very cool” he told The Ravi Report on the red carpet recently.

The Indian actor campaigned for Obama during 2008 mostly on college campuses around the country invoking the voice of the younger generation.  He also expressed during that time to the Obama team how much he had enjoyed the opportunity and that serving the public  is something that he has always been passionae about  besides acting. They saw, they listened and they agreed.

Some of the feedback that I have been receiving from the South Asian community  has been nothing but positive.

“Finally, The White House has some solid South Asian representation” said one stunning Indian girl with porcelain like skin at a Manhattan Starbucks studying for what else, the medical school entrance exam. She further said that South Asians contribute to the economy in so many ways, it’s about time that there is strong representation in Washington.

Up close & personal!

Washington, here I come!

“I feel that Kal will in fact do a great job and open doors to communication not just with South Asians but with many other immigrants and communities” said one very cute and very petite Korean girl.  She also said the Obama Administration is filled with diversity and this appointment will only strengthen the President’s close connection to the international communities around the country.

 I  personally believe that since Penn is well liked by many people both inside and outside of Hollywood and has demonstrated his devotion to public service, he will indeed bring a great deal of honor to both Hollywood and the South Asian communities around the globe with his new and exciting role in The White House.

Way to go “Kumar”!

The journey continues…




It was indeed a sad day for the world when we learned that talented actress, mom, wife,daughter and activist Natasha Richardson had passed away on Monday. March 18, 2009. It was shocking to many that such a vibrant, beautiful and extremely talented actress was no longer among us. 

Richardson 45, died from injuries sustaining from an epidural hematoma caused by an skiing accident that occurred on March 16 in which the actress  fell on a beginner’s slope in Quebec, Canada.

The talented daughter of Oscar winning actress Vanessa Redgrave  and the late acclaimed theater director Tony Richardson was married to Hollywood star Liam Neeson  and had two children Micheál 14  and Daniel 12.

Richardson had an incredible & enriching stage and film career.  At 23, she had her first major film role in Ken Russell’s “Gothic” and numerous other films followed including “Patty Hearst” and most recently “The Parent Trap”in which she portrayed Lindsay Lohan’s mother.

“I can’t believe it. So young, so beautiful” commented one very pretty girl who was reading the devastating news at a cafe in Union Square.

I first met Richardson about two years ago on the red carpet of an event in NY. She was attending a fundraiser and she was so humble and gracious.  I remember  she was running late and was being rushed into the event but still made time to talk to reporters making sure that everyone was able to speak to her and get some questions answered and she often stayed until she was done. Now, that’s class.

When I interviewed the Tony award winning actress at  The Foundation of AIDS Research (AmFar) event last year, she spoke to me about  how her father, the late director Tony Richardson had  died of AIDS related causes  in 1991. She was so passionate about  being involved in AmFar and said it meant  more then just lending her name. She told me she had lost many friends to the disease and wanted to help out in any way she could. Richardson was actively involved in the organization for more than 15 years. That’s just the kind of person she was.

Always impeccably dressed, the actress had the most captivating smile and dazzling eyes I have ever seen. When she walked the red carpet, she would bring with her grace, charm, style and a whole lot of class that will be  missed.

 Richardson wasn’t a friend but there is still a sense of sadness that I am feeling as if I have lost a good friend. Many people that I have spoken to in the last 48 hours feel the same way.

I will light a candle for Natasha Richardson and pray  for her family and hope they remain strong during this time of sadness.




Talk about a film with the Midas touch. Is there anything else really left to say about “Slumdog Millionaire“?  Ten Oscar nominations and other recent  honors include Best Ensemble Cast at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Daryl F. Zanuck Award for Producer at the Producers Guild of America Awards. This  is unbelievable! The film has broken all records at the box office and continues to win award after award in Hollywood and overseas.

Co-director Loveleen Tandan and acclaimed movie director Mira Nair share a joke at the NY premiere.

Co-director Loveleen Tandan and acclaimed movie director Mira Nair share a joke at the NY premiere.

 Just to show you how popular the movie has become,  I recently took some friends to a Manhattan movie house last week and the film sold out!  I thought, what a minute! The movie has been out since last November and it is still selling out? Remarkable.

“The ten Oscar nominations really increased ticket sales” said the gorgeous blonde behind the ticket booth who also told me she has seen it once  and was planning on seeing it again with her friends.

The magic behind the movie besides having magnificent director Danny Boyle and a great team is that the film seems to be attracting all kinds of audiences who have been longing for a feel good film and “Slumdog Millionaire” is certainly filling the void.

The nominations for global musical genius A. R. Rahman, who has been nominated for two of the three songs in the Best Song category, has been a tremendous honor for his work and for India. The singer, composer, producer , instrumentalist and song writer has for the past two decades, created some of the most incredible songs and background music for Indian films. His work is known across the globe and now Hollywood as taken notice.  The soundtrack of “Slumdog Millionaire” has caught the attention of the nation with it’s foot tapping melodies and soulful tunes.

NY after party of "Slumdog Millionaire" premiere with Co-director Loveleen Tandan and director Danny Boyle in the background mingling with guests.

NY after party of "Slumdog Millionaire" premiere with Co-director Loveleen Tandan and director Danny Boyle in the background mingling with guests.

My media contacts in India who attended the Mumbai premiere of the film said that the Oscar nominations were announced the night of the premiere so there was a double celebration that night. Guests and celebrities danced the night away to an Indian band playing  on the red carpet when they heard of the nomination news. Co-director Loveleen Tandan dressed  in a beautiful & classic pink silk sari danced the night away with Bollywood top star Anil Kapoor and the beautiful Frieda Pinto and charismatic Dev Patel,  all of whom have become households names .

As The Academy Awards are watched around the world on Sunday, February 22, 2009 on ABC by millions,  all eyes will be focused on a small film with unknown leads that has magnified into one of the most powerful films of the year catching  the attention of the world in the process.

Music Composer/Producer/Singer A.R. Rahman seen here with Andrew Lloyd Weber, has been nominated twice in the Best Song category for the Oscars.

Music Composer/Producer/Singer A.R. Rahman seen here with Andrew Lloyd Weber, has been nominated twice in the Best Song category for the Oscars.


The Oscar nominations for “Slumdog Millionaire” are as follows:

1. Best Picture

2.Best Director

3. Best Adapted Screenplay(writing)

4. Best Cinematography

5. Best Song (2 nominations)

1.”Jai Ho”

2. “O Saya”

6. Achievement in Editing

7. Best Sound Mixing

8.Original Score

Flickr Photos