Imran Khan
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  • From Hollywood to Bollywood

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    Originally from Kolkata, India, Sharad Malhotra took an early interest in sports. He played soccer and cricket as a child. He went on to play professionally for the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). He also spent some time working as a financial advisor. He hadn’t really considered a life on the silver screen, but at his girlfriend’s suggestion, Sharad got in contact with scouts from Zee TV, a leading entertainment channel in India — a choice changed the course of his life.

    After getting good feedback and support from Zee TV, Sharad moved to Mumbai where he began going on auditions. He modeled for a number of national and international print campaigns before landing a leading role on Banoo Main Teri Dulhann, a wildly popular Indian soap opera.

    He won several Best Actor awards for his work on the television show, but Sharad says, “I was hungry to learn more and better the craft. So as soon as my show ended, I headed toward the mecca of acting and filmmaking.” Impressed by New York Film Academy’s list of notable grads (including Paul Dano and Owen Kline, and Bollywood actors Imran Khan and Ahana Deol), Sharad decided to move from the west coast of India to the west coast of America, to attend the school’s Los Angeles campus.

    “It was a beautiful amalgamation of students of different… creeds, color, religions, nationalities, all coming under one roof with their own unique creative abilities and bonding over a common passion called cinema,” he says. “As we say in India, NYFA is a complete paisa wasool — worth every penny!”

    Since completing an Acting for Film program in 2009, Sharad has been busy at work in Mumbai. He recently completed his first Bollywood feature film, From Sydney With Love – the story of a small town girl from West Bengal who finds a new love and a new life while attending school in Australia. Sharad is looking forward to the Indian premiere of From Sydney With Love on August 31. The buzz about the film has already led to interest from film directors looking to book him for future projects.

    Sharad describes his journey as, “nothing short of a beautiful roller coaster ride…. It helped me mature as a person and made me realize that the essential five ingredients that are solely responsible for fulfilling dreams: patience, hard work, determination, belief, and finally the luck factor to put it all in place. From a cricketer to a financial advisor to a model and now an actor, it’s been one helluva fun trip.”

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  • The New York Film Academy & India’s Bollywood

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    India’s film industry, colloquially known as Bollywood, is the biggest in the world, and aspiring Indian filmmakers need an edge, (or a connection), in order to get a leg up in the business. The New York Film Academy’s own Vice President of International Relations recently visited the country to meet with aspiring filmmakers. She had some interesting comments about what it takes to get recognized in the industry.

    India has huge potential in the area of education in filmmaking and acting. Last year we saw over 100 students signing up at our institute and the number is slated to grow further as more and more students realize the importance of technical know-how in this space.

    NYFA has already produced Bollywood successes. Imran Khan, currently one of the biggest stars in Bollywood, is one of our alumns. So the question remains, is NYFA going to start a school in India? Our Vice President admitted that the New York Film Academy is open to expanding in the country.

    It will, however, be in the long-term, we have only just begun an active association with India, and yes, we do not rule out the possibility of a branch or some sort of joint venture here in the future.

    The response from young filmmakers in India has been great, and no one can deny that there is a lot of passion for film in the country. Hopefully, NYFA’s involvement with Bollywood will continue to grow stronger, and we will have the opportunity of working with more and more students from India!

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    July 9, 2010 • Acting • Views: 9940