Mr. Kamal Sharma is the Godfather of Bollywood Cinema
The event was organized and hosted by the man I have dubbed “Mr. Entertainment,” Surrey’s own Kamal Sharma. This guy can throw a party! He’s known as the Godfather of Bollywood Cinema around here and is a great ambassador for Metro Vancouver’s South Asian Community.
The very gracious, friendly and always smiling Kamal Sharma has been a concert and events promoter since 1994, bringing mega stars like Shahrukh Khan and Sonu Nigam to Vancouver (read the history of Kamal’s live events). He is the popular TV host on Shaw Multicultural Channel of “Kamal’s Top 5 Hits” and “YAADEIN,” the longest running South Asian TV shows for more than 30 years now.
Sharma is the president of KVP Entertainers and Surrey based Kamal’s Video Palace, the largest Indian video store in North America. Wait, what? A video store? I thought those were all gone. Well, this is a whole different market. We’re talking BOLLYWOOD and Kamal has it all!
He also writes a regular entertainment column “Kamal’s What’s Happening” in Surrey based newspaper Asian Journal, the “most influential South Asian newspaper also covering East Asian and mainstream news.”
Zila Ghaziabad Red Carpet Premiere at Collingwood, Vancouver’s Bollywood Cinema
(Party goers at the Zila Ghaziabad Red Carpet Premiere at Collingwood Cinema.)
Anand Kumar’s Zila Ghaziabad is based on the true story of a gang war between two powerful rival ethic groups (Gujjar), which took place in the 1990s in Ghaziabad, a city neighboring Delhi in India. One gang is led by Satbir Gujjar (Vivek Oberoi) and the other led by Mahender Fauji Bainsla Gujjar (Arshad Warsi), with the spectacular ass-kicking police officer Thakur Pritam Singh (Sanjay Dutt) in the middle of this mayhem.
The film also stars Ravi Kisshan and Paresh Rawal with Bollywood babes Minissha Lamba and Divya Dutta.
Video – On Location: Zila Ghaziabad Red Carpet Premiere
Now when I say ass kicking, I mean ass kicking. The action scenes in this film were some of the best I have EVER seen – really exciting to watch! Yes they are over-dramatized, but if you love action films, there is something so satisfying about hearing that very LOUD impact of a landed punch or dropkick, and seeing the villain(s) go flying away like a ragdoll and smashing through a wall, or causing some explosion. Wow! Catch the audience’s reaction to this movie in our video above and you’ll see one thing is clear. This is a serious action film!
My wife Fatima first introduced Bollywood Cinema to me on a visit to my home in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2009 before we married. Her home was Surrey and I was living back East. She brought a handful of Bollywood DVDs for me to watch and the first was Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Sad) starring legendary couple Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor. I loved it. Especially chubby little brother nicknamed Ladoo (Indian Sweet), but what I loved most was discovering a culture I knew little about at the time. The same experience I had getting to know my wife and her family.
Bollywood Movies are a Whole Different Experience
They are generally longer format, about 3 hours. This is because traditionally, the whole family goes and it is a big event. Vibrant colours and scenery, music and dance are a large part of the show and you’ll see the extremely popular songs and videos released well ahead of the films.
(Still of Shriya Saran from Zila Ghaziabad. Image Source.)
There’s an intermission half way through which is an opportunity to grab some food and socialize. Kamal treated us with lots of this! You will often find many artists, celebrities, politicians and dignitaries at Kamal’s events. We bumped into Surrey’s own Member of Parliament, Jasbir Sandhu, and were graced with a performance by Gagandeep Singh of Naad Foundation at Intermission (watch here) (Gagandeep has a show on March 2nd at North Delta Secondary School).
(Before the show, Kamal and his wife presented local philanthropist and visionary Hari Varshney and his wife Madhu with flowers to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Watch a video of their flower presentation here…)
(Official Zila Ghaziabad Video Song – Ghaziabad Ki Rani)
If you haven’t already, I invite you to experience Bollywood movies at Collingwood Cinemas, or explore the rich South Asian culture on Scott Road and on 128th Street in Surrey. Visit Kamal’s Video Palace while you’re there and buy tickets to his upcoming events! Don’t forget the first ever Times Of India Film Awards are coming to Vancouver and Surrey this April.
-Daman (@Beatler)[awesome-gallery id=13100]