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Rifco Arts is a theatre company which focuses on bringing British Asian stories to the stage, and audiences from the community into theatres.The company was founded in 1999 by director Pravesh Kumar.
Rifco is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation.
In June 2014 Rifco were further awarded funding by the Arts Council for Creative People and Places project in Slough.
Arts Council England is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It was formed in 1994 when the Arts Council of Great Britain was divided into three separate bodies for England, Scotland and Wales. The arts funding system in England underwent considerable reorganisation in 2002 when all of the regional arts boards were subsumed into Arts Council England and became regional offices of the national organisation.
Well-known actors who have worked with Rifco include Shabana Azmi, Goldy Notay, Ameet Chana, Shivani Ghai, Rik Makarem, Harvey Virdi, Simon Rivers and Divian Ladwa.
Shabana Azmi is an Indian actress of film, television and theatre. The daughter of poet Kaifi Azmi and stage actress Shaukat Azmi, she is an alumna of Film and Television Institute of India of Pune. Azmi made her film debut in 1974 and soon became one of the leading actresses of Parallel Cinema, a new-wave movement known for its serious content and neo-realism and received government patronage during the times. Regarded as one of the finest actresses in India, Azmi's performances in films in a variety of genres have generally earned her praise and awards, which include a record of five wins of the National Film Award for Best Actress and several international honours. She has also received five Filmfare Awards, and was honored among "women in cinema" at the 30th International Film Festival of India. In 1988, the Government of India awarded her with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour of the country.
Goldy Notay is an Indian-born-British-Canadian-Zimbabwean film actress, television and stage actress. She played 'Roopi' as the lead role in the Gurinder Chadha film It's A Wonderful Afterlife. She has appeared as Shireen in the 2012 Mike Bartlett drama The Town and is currently working on Amar Akbar & Tony a full-length film scheduled for release in 2014.
Ameet Chana is a British-Indian actor. His most notable role is Adi Ferreira in EastEnders.
The company runs an artist development programme for emerging and developing artists: Rifco Associates.
The company has been a resident theatre company at Watford Palace Theatre since 2011.
Watford Palace Theatre, opened in 1908, is an Edwardian Grade II listed building in Watford, Hertfordshire. The 600-seat theatre on Clarendon Road was refurbished in 2004. It houses its own rehearsal room, wardrobe, cafe and bar.
In November 2016 Rifco announced their tour for 2017 - Miss Meena & the Masala Queens. Written by Harvey Virdi.
Bhaṅgṛā is a type of upbeat popular music associated with the Punjab region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, and the Punjabi diaspora in Europe and North America.
Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia, known professionally as Akshay Kumar, is an Indian born Canadian actor, producer, television personality, martial artist, stuntman and philanthropist who works in Bollywood films. In a career spanning over twenty five years, Kumar has appeared in over a hundred films and has won several awards, including the National Film Award for Best Actor for his performance in Rustom (2016), and two Filmfare Awards for Ajnabee (2001) and Garam Masala (2005).
Meera Syal is a British-Indian comedian, writer, playwright, singer, journalist, producer and actress. She rose to prominence as one of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me and became one of the UK's best-known Indian personalities portraying Sanjeev's grandmother, Ummi, in The Kumars at No. 42.
Yash Raj Chopra was an Indian director and film producer who worked in Hindi films. The founding chairman of the film production and distribution company Yash Raj Films, Chopra is the recipient of several awards, including six National Film Awards and 11 Filmfare Awards. He is considered among the best Indian filmmakers. For his contributions to film, the Government of India honoured him with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2001, and the Padma Bhushan in 2005. British Academy of Film and Television Arts presented him with a lifetime membership, making him the first Indian to receive the honour.
Shahin Badar is an English singer-songwriter who is best known in Europe and North America for her vocals on The Prodigy's single "Smack My Bitch Up". It earned her a Double Platinum award.
Meena Kumari was an Indian film actress, singer and poet under the pseudonym Naaz, who starred in classic films of Hindi Cinema. Popularly known as The Tragedy Queen, Chinese Doll and Female Guru Dutt, she is often remembered as Cinderella of Indian films. She was active between 1939-1972.
Harvey Virdi is an actress and writer from Indian descent. She trained at Academy Drama School in London.
Tanika Gupta, MBE is an English playwright of Bengali descent. Apart from her work for the theatre, she has also written scripts for television and radio plays.
Jamila Massey is a British actress and writer. Massey has had a long career on UK television and radio. She is known for playing Auntie Satya in the long-running radio soap The Archers, Jamila Ranjha in Mind Your Language, and Neelam Kapoor in EastEnders.
Masala films of Indian cinema are those that mix genres in one work. Typically these films freely mix action, comedy, romance, and drama or melodrama. They also tend to be musicals that include songs filmed in picturesque locations. The genre is named after the masala, a mixture of spices in Indian cuisine. According to The Hindu, masala is the most popular genre of Indian cinema. Masala films have origins in 1970s Bollywood (Hindi) films, and are most common in Bollywood and South Indian films.
Pooja Chopra is an Indian film actress and model. She was a semi-finalist at Miss World 2009 and the first Indian to win the title of "Beauty with a Purpose" in the competition held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Chopra won as many as eight national and international titles including Femina Miss India in 2009.
Kuljit Bhamra MBE Hon DMus is a British composer, record producer and musician whose main instrument is the tabla. He is best known as one of the record producers who pioneered the British Bhangra sound and for his many collaborations with musicians from different genres and continents. His MBE was awarded in the Queen's Birthday Honour's List 2009 with the citation For services to Bhangra and British Asian Music. In July 2010 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the University of Exeter.
Ravi Sethi, also known as Ravi Apnabeat, or DJ Ravi, is a DJ, dhol player and entertainer based in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Dharmputra is a 1961 Hindi film directed by Yash Chopra based on a novel of the same name by Acharya Chatursen. This is Yash's second directorial venture. It was the first Hindi film to depict the partition of India, and Hindu fundamentalism. Produced by his elder brother B.R. Chopra, who was himself uprooted from Lahore, during the partition of India and established B.R. Films in Mumbai in 1956. The film dealt with issues of religious bigotry, fanaticism and communalism amidst the backdrop of the partition. Two years earlier, Yash Chopra had made his debut with Dhool Ka Phool (1959), steeped in Nehruvian secularism, wherein a Muslim brings up an "illegitimate" Hindu child and featured the classic song "Tu Hindu Banega Na Musalman Banega, Insaan Ki Aulaad Hai, Insaan Banega". The theme was reversed in this film as herein a Hindu family brings up an illegitimate Muslim child.
Pawan Kumar is an Indian film director, actor, producer, and screenwriter from the Kannada film industry.
Akshay Kumar is a Canadian Bollywood actor and producer, residing in Mumbai. He made his debut with a minor role in the 1987 Mahesh Bhatt directed Indian film Aaj. He appeared as the lead actor in Saugandh (1991) before making his breakthrough with the suspense thriller Khiladi (1992), the first film of the Khiladi series. In the same year, he appeared in the Pramod Chakravorty-produced film Deedar. In 1994, Kumar earned his first nomination for Best Actor at the Filmfare Awards for his performance in the Yash Chopra-produced romance Yeh Dillagi and starred in Mohra. The following year he appeared in Sabse Bada Khiladi. Kumar played a supporting role in the Chopra-directed romance Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), for which he received a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. However, several other of his releases in the 1990s, including Lahu Ke Do Rang, Insaaf, Daava, Tarazu, Angaaray, Barood and Zulmi performed poorly at the box office leading to a setback in his film career.
Niraj Chag is a London-based musical artist and composer. His musical style mixes Indian classical influences with contemporary stylings and layered, complex beats. Niraj's tracks were initially released on the Outcaste record label and later on his own Buzz-erk label. He has written and produced three albums released under his own name: Along the Dusty Road (2006), The Lost Souls (2009) and Mud Doll (2015).
The Viral Fever (TVF) is an online YouTube channel started by TVF Media Labs in 2010, and currently owned and operated by Contagious Online Media. According to the founder Arunabh Kumar, the thought behind starting TVF was to reach out to the younger generation who seldom watch television entertainment.