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Indian films truly reflect national character of unity, diversity: Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday that Indian films truly reflected the Indian character of unity and diversity and felt the overseas market held great potential for them, given the growing interest in the Indian film industry around the world.

President Pranab Mukherjee presenting the Best Actress Award to Kangana Ranaut at the National Film Awards ceremony in New Delhi, on May 3, 2016.
President Pranab Mukherjee presenting the Best Actress Award to Kangana Ranaut at the National Film Awards ceremony in New Delhi, on May 3, 2016.
President Pranab Mukherjee today said Indian films truly reflected the Indian character of unity and diversity.
 
Speaking after presenting the National Film Awards for 2015 here, he said that, with a growing world audience who were attracted towards Indian films and the increasing presence of Indian films in different parts of the world, the overseas market held great potential for the Indian film industry.
 
He said it was heartening to note that the revenue from overseas theatrical releases had witnessed an increase of 11.5 percent from Rs. 8.6 billion in 2014 to Rs. 9.6 billion in 2015. 
 
He complimented the composition of Award winners in the National Film Awards which included new comers as well as legends of Indian cinema. He said that the Awards this year reflected all aspects of cinema including digitization and technology. 
 
The President also conferred this year’s Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2015 -- the top honour in Indian cinema to well-known film actor and director Manoj Kumar, who in his heydays had acquired the image of a patriotic hero. He was honoured for his outstanding contribution to the growth and development of the industry.
 
A total of 21 awards were given by the President in the Non-Feature Films category while the number of awards in Feature Films category being 51. Three awards were given for Best Writing on Cinema.
 
In the Feature Film category, the award for the Best Feature Film was given to Baahubali, produced by Shobu Yarlagadda and Arka Mediaworks Pvt Ltd. and directed by S.S Rajamouli. 
 
Masaan directed by Neeraj Ghaywan and produced by Phantom Films received the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director. The Award for the Best Popular Film providing Wholesome Entertainment was given to Bajrangi Bhaijaan (Hindi) directed by Kabir Khan. 
 
The award for the Best Film on Social Issues was given to Nirnayakam produced by Jairaj Films and directed by VK Prakash. 
 
The award for the Best Director was conferred on Sanjay Leela Bansali for the Film Baajirao Mastani (Hindi). 
 
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan won the award for the Best Actor for the film Piku (Hindi) and the award for the Best Actress was conferred on Kangana Ranaut for her double role in Tanu weds Manu Returns (Hindi). The award for the Best Children's Film was given to Duronto (Hindi) produced by Code Red Films. Gaurav Menon was conferred the award for Best Child Artiste for Ben (Malayalam). 
 
Baahubali was chosen for the top award for being an imaginative film and monumental in its production values and cinematic brilliance in creating a fantasy world on screen.
 
Bachchan got the award for his delightful, delectable performance of a man who finally lets himself go, at the age of seventy, while Ranaut was chosen for her dynamic portrayal of two contrasting characters, laced with mirth and charm.
 
Ranaut, who had won the Best Actress award last year, too, for her role in Hindi film "Queen", has achieved the rare distinction of winning the top honour for the second year in a row.
 
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Bhansali was given the award for his masterful handling of all aspects of the medium of cinema to weave a tragic love story within a grand historic drama.
 
Samuthirakan got the award for the Best Supporting Actor award for the film Visaranaai. The award for best supporting actress was given to Tanvi Azmi for her role in Bajirao Mastani. 
 
Dr. Rajakumar Samagra Charithre was chosen for the Best Book on Cinema award. The Best Film Critic award went to Meghachandra Kongbam who interprets the world of Indian cinema for his readers in Manipuri. 
 
This year's National Film Awards included a special award given to the state of Gujarat for being the most film friendly state in the country.
 
The following is the full list of awards:
 
1.    BEST FEATURE FILM: BAAHUBALI -- Producer: SHOBU YARLAGADDA and ARKA MEDIAWORKS (P) LTD., Director : S.S RAJAMOULI
2.     INDIRA GANDHI AWARD FOR BEST DEBUT FILM OF A DIRECTOR: MASAAN -- Producer:   PHANTOM FILMS, Director :  NEERAJ GHAYWAN
3.     BEST POPULAR FILM PROVIDING WHOLESOME ENTERTAINMENT: BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN -- Producer: SALMA KHAN, SALMAN KHAN, ROCKLINE VENKTESH, Director : KABIR KHAN
4.     NARGIS DUTT AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE FILM ON NATIONAL INTEGRATION: NANAK SHAH FAKIR -- Producer:  
GURBANI MEDIA PVT. LTD. 
5.      BEST FILM ON SOCIAL ISSUES: NIRNAYAKAM -- Producer: JAIRAJ FILMS, Director :  V.K PRAKASH
6.      BEST FILM ON ENVIRONMENT CONSERVATION/PRESERVATION: VALIYA CHIRAKULLA PAKSHIKAL -- Producer:  ANANTHAKRISHNA PILLAI, Director : DR. BIJU
7.      BEST CHILDREN’S FILM: DURONTO -- Producer: CODE RED FILMS, Director : SOUMENDRA PADHI
8.      BEST DIRECTION: BAJIRAO MASTANI -- DIRECTOR:  SANJAY LEELA BANSALI
9.      BEST ACTOR: PIKU -- AMITABH BACHCHAN
10.   BEST ACTRESS: TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS -- KANGANA RANAUT
11.   BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: VISAARANAI -- SAMUTHIRAKANI
12.   BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: BAJIRAO MASTANI -- TANVI AZMI
13.   BEST CHILD ARTISTE:  BEN -- GAURAV MENON
14.   BEST MALE PLAYBACK SINGER: KATYAR KALIJAT GHUSLI -- MAHESH KALE
15.   BEST FEMALE PLAYBACK SINGER: DUM LAGA KE HAISA -- MONALI THAKUR, SONG: MOH MOH KE DHAGE
16.   BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: BAJIRAO MASTANI -- SUDEEP CHATERJEE
17.   BEST SCREENPLAY:
i)  Screenplay Writer (Original):  PIKU and TANU WEDS MANU RETURN -- JUHI CHATURVEDI and HIMANSHU SHARMA
ii)  Screenplay Writer (Adapted): TALVAR -- VISHAL BHARDWAJ
iii)  Dialogues: PIKU and TANU WEDS MANU RETURN -- JUHI CHATURVEDI and HIMANSHU SHARMA
18.   BEST AUDIOGRAPHY
i)    Location Sound Recordist: TALWAR -- SANJAY KURIAN
ii)   Sound Designer: BAJIRAO MASTANI -- BISWADEEP CHATTERJEE
iii)   Re-recordist of the final mixed track: BAJIRAO MASTANI -- JUSTIN GOSE
19.   BEST EDITING: VISAARANAI -- LATE KISHORE T.E
20.   BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: BAJIRAO MASTANI -- SHRIRAM IYENGAR, SALONI DHATRAK and SUJEET SAWANT
21.   BEST COSTUME DESIGNER: NANAK SHAH FAKIR -- PAYAL SALUJA
22.   BEST MAKE-UP ARTIST: NANAK SHAH FAKIR -- PREETISHEEL G SINGH AND CLOVER WOOTTON
23.   BEST  MUSIC DIRECTION: 
a)      Songs: ENNU NINTE MOIDEEN -- M JAYACHANDRAN, SONG:KAATHIRUNNU KAATHIRUNNU
b)     Background Score: THAARAI THAPPATTAI -- ILAIYARAAJA
24.   BEST LYRICS: DUM LAGA KE HAISA -- VARUN GROVER,
SONG: MOH MOH KE DHAGE
25.   SPECIAL JURY AWARD: MARGARITA WITH STRAW -- KALKI KOCHLIN
26.   BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: BAJIRAO   MASTANI -- REMO D’SOUZA, SONG: DEEWANI MASTANI
27.   BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS: BAAHUBALI -- V. SRINIVAS MOHAN
28.   BEST FEATURE FILM IN EACH OF THE LANGUAGE SPECIFIED IN THE SCHEDULE VIII OF THE CONSTITUTION
a)     BEST ASSAMESE FILM: KOTHANODI -- Producer: 
ANURUPA HAZARIKA, Director : BHASKAR HAZARIKA
b)     BEST BENGALI FILM: SHANKHACHIL -- Producer:  NIDEAS CREATIONS & PRODUCTIONS PVT LTD., Director :  GOUTAM GHOSE
c)    BEST HINDI FILM: DUM LAGA KE HAISHA -- Producer:  MANEESH SHARMA & YASH RAJ FILMS, Director :  SHARAT KATARIYA
d)    BEST KANNADA  FILM: THITHI -- Producer: PRSPCTVS PRODUCTIONS PVT LTD., Director : RAAM REDDY
e)    BEST KONKANI FILM: ENEMY -- Producer: A DURGA  PRASAD, Director: DINESH P. BHONSLE
f)     BEST MALAYALAM FILM: PATHEMARI -- Producer: ALLENS MEDIA, Director: SALIM AHAMED
g)    BEST MARATHI FILM: RINGAN -- Producer: MY ROLE MOTION PICTURES, Director: MAKARAND MANE
h)    BEST ODIYA  FILM: PAHADA RA LUHA -- Producer:  MOHAPATRA MOVIE MAGIC PVT. LTD., Director:  SABYASACHI MOHAPATRA
i)      BEST PUNJABI FILM: CHAUTHI KOOT -- Producer: NFDC & KARTIKEYA SINGH, Director: GURVINDER SINGH
j)      BEST TAMIL FILM: VISAARANAI -- Producer:  WUNDERBAR FILMS, Director:  VETRI MAARAN
k)     BEST TELUGU FILM: KANCHE -- Producer:  Y. RAJEEV REDDY, Director: RADHA KRISHNA JAGARLAMUDI (KRISH)
l)      BEST SANSKRIT FILM: PRIYAMANASAM -- Producer:  BABY MATHEW SOMATHEERAM, Director: VINOD MANKARA
m)    BEST MAITHILI FILM: MITHILA MAKHAAN -- Producer: NEETU CHANDRA & SAMIR KUMAR, Director: NITIN CHANDRA
n)     BEST MIZO FILM: KIMA’S LODE BEYOND THE CLASS -- 
Producer: CHILDREN’S FILM SOCIETY, Director: ZUALAA CHHANGTE
o)     BEST MANIPURI FILM: EIBUSU YAOHANBIYU -- Producer: YUNMAN HITALAR (NETA) SINGH, Director: MAIPAKSANA HAORONGBAM
29.   BEST FEATURE FILM IN EACH OF THE LANGUAGE SPECIFIED OTHER THAN SCHEDULE VIII OF THE CONSTITUTION
a)     BEST WANCHO FILM: THE HEAD HUNTER -- Producer: SPLASH FILMS PRIVATE LIMITED, Director: NILANJAN DATTA
b)     BEST HARYANVI FILM: SATRANGI -- Producer: PUNAM DESWAL SHARMA, Director: SUNDEEP SHARMA
c)     BEST KHASI FILM: ONAATAH -- Producer: POMU DAS- MARJINA KURBAH, Director: PRADIP KURBAH
d)     BEST BODO FILM: DAU HUDUNI METHAI -- Producer: SHANKARLAL GOENKA, Director: MANJU BORAH
30.   SPECIAL MENTION
a)     SAIRAT -- RINKU RAJGURU -- CERTIFICATE
b)     SU SU SUDHI VATHMEEKAM & LUKKA CHUPPI -- JAYASURYA -- CERTIFICATE
c)     IRUDHI SUTTRU -- RITIKA SINGH -- CERTIFICATE
 
NON-FEATURE FILMS
 
1.      BEST NON FEATURE FILM: Amdavad Ma Famous --
Producer: Akanksha Tewari & Arya A. Menon, Director: Hardik Mehta
2.      BEST DEBUT FILM OF A DIRECTOR: Daaravtha -- Producer: Nishantroy Bombarde, Director:  Nishantroy Bombarde
3.      BEST ANTHROPOLOGICAL/ ETHNOGRAPHIC FILM: Aoleang -- Producer: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Stuidies, Director: Ranajit Ray  
4.     BEST BIOGRAPHICAL/ HISTORICAL RECONSTRUCTION:  
Life in Metaphors: A Portrait of Girish Kasaravalli -- Producer:  Reelism Film, Director: O.P Shrivastava
5.     BEST ARTS /CULTURAL FILM: 1. A Far Afternoon- A Painted Saga -- Producer: Piramal Art Foundation, Director: Sruti Harihara Subramanian AND 2. Yazhpanam Thedchanamoorthy -Music Beyond Boundaries -- Producer: Siddhartha Productions,  
Director: Amshan Kumar
6.    BEST PROMOTIONAL FILM (to cover tourism, exports, crafts, industry etc): Weaves of Maheshwar -- Producer: Storyloom Films, Director: Keya Vaswani & Nidhi Kamath
7.    BEST ENVIRONMENT FILM  INCLUDING AGRICULTURE:  
1. The Man who Dwarfed the Mountains -- Producer: Rajiv Mehrotra, PSBT, Director: Ruchi Shrivastava & Sumit Sunderlal Khanna AND 2. God On The Edge -- Producer: Elements Picture Studio, Director: Ashok Patel
8.     BEST FILM ON SOCIAL ISSUES: Auto Driver -- Director: Longjam Meena Devi, Producer: Oinam Doren & Longjam Meena Devi
9.     BEST EDUCATIONAL FILM: Paywat -- Producer: Mithunchandra Chaudhari, Director: Nayana Dolas & Mithunchandra Chaudhari
10.   BEST EXPLORATION/ ADVENTURE FILM (TO INCLUDE SPORTS): Dribbling with their Future -- Producer: N. Dinesh Raj Kumar  & Mathew Varghese, Director: Jacob Varghese
11.   BEST INVESTIGATIVE FILM: Tezpur 1962 -- Producer: Films Division, Director: Samujjal Kashyap
12.   BEST  ANIMATION FILM: Fisherwoman and TukTuk -- Producer: Nilima Eriyat, Director: Suresh Eriyat, Animator: Studio Eeksaurus Productions Private Limited
13.   SPECIAL JURY AWARD: In Search of Fading Canvas -- Producer: Films Division, Director: Manohar Singh Bisht
14.   BEST SHORT FICTION FILM: Aushadh -- Producer: Amol Deshmukh, Director: Amol Deshmukh
15.   BEST FILM ON FAMILY VALUES: Best Friends Forever -- 
Producer: Syed Sultan Ahmed (Edumedia India Pvt. Ltd.),  Director: Sandeep Modi
16.   BEST DIRECTION: Kamuki -- Director: Christo Tomy
17.   BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Benaras- The Unexplored Attachments -- Cameraperson:  Amartya Bhattacharyya
18.   BEST AUDIOGRAPHY: Edpa Kana -- Audiographer:
Moumita Roy
19.   BEST EDITING: Breaking Free -- Editor: Parvin Angre and Sridhar Rangayan
20.   BEST MUSIC: A Far Afternoon- A Painted Saga -- Aravind - Shankar
21.   BEST NARRATION/ VOICE OVER
1. Mala Laj Watat Nahai -- Narrator: Harish Bhimani
2. Arangile Nithya Vismayam Guru Chemancherry Kunhiraman Nair - Narrator: Aliyaar
22.   SPECIAL MENTION: 
1. The Chameleon  --  Director: Arun Shankar  
2. Amma -- Director: Neelan
3. Syaahi -- Drector: Varun Tandon
 
BEST WRITING ON CINEMA
                                                                                                                    
Best Book on Cinema: DR. RAJAKUMAR SAMAGRA CHARITHRE -- Writer: DAHULLURU RUKKOJI, Publisher: PREETI PUSTAKA PRAKASHANA
Special Mention: Forgotten Masters of Hindi Cinema -- Satish  Chopra
Best Film Critic: MEGHACHANDRA KONGBAM
 
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Shyam Benegal committee submits recommendations on film certification

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A committee chaired by eminent filmmaker Shyam Benegal has recommended that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) should only be a film certification body whose scope should be restricted to categorizing the suitability of the film to audience groups on the basis of age and maturity.
 
In the major part of its recommendations submitted to Information & Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley here, the committee said the CBFC shold refuse certification only when a film contains anything that contravenes the provisions of Section 5B (1) of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 or when its content crosses the ceiling laid down in the highest category of certification.
 
The committee had been set up by the Ministry on January 1 this year to lay down norms for film certification that took note of best practices in various parts of the world and gave sufficient and adequate space for artistic and creative expression.
 
The committee was also asked to lay down procedures and guidelines for the benefit of the CBFC to follow and examine staffing patterns with a view to recommending a framework that would provide efficient and transparent user friendly services. 
 
Other members of the committee are well-known actor Kamal Hassan, filmmakers Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra and Goutam Ghose, advertising guru Piyush Pandey, film journalist Bhawana Somaaya, National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) Managing Diector Nina Lath Gupta and Mr. K. Sanjay Murthy, Joint Secretary (Films) in the Ministry of I&B, who is Member-Convener.
 
In its recommendations, the committee said the applicant submitted a film to the CBFC must specify the category of certification being sought and the target audience.
 
It said the objective of these guidelines was to ensure that children and adults are protected from potentially harmful or unsuitable content; audiences, particularly parents are empowered to make informed viewing decisions; artistic expression and creative freedom are not unduly curbed in the process of classification of films; the process of certification by CBFC is responsive, at all times, to social change; the certification by CBFC keeps within the rights and obligations as laid down in the Indian Constitution.
 
The recommendations broadly cover the areas related to Film Certification Process and its simplification, Restructuring staffing pattern of Central & Regional censor advisory panels and Recertification of films for purposes of telecast on television and measures to preserve the identity of Indian Cinema.
 
Regarding the categorisation of films, the committee recommended that it should be more specific and apart from U category, the UA Category can be broken up into further sub-categories – UA12+ and UA15+. 
 
The A category should also be sub-divided into A and AC (Adult with Caution) categories, it said.
 
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The committee said the certification of films shall be carried out in accordance with the guidelines proposed for certification that have been split into three sections, with each section required to be read with the other two – General Guidelines, Issue Related Guidelines and Category Specific Guidelines.
 
The committee has also made certain recommendations regarding the functioning of the board and has stated that the Board, including Chairman, should only play the role of a guiding mechanism for the CBFC, and not be involved in the day-to-day affairs of certification of films. The functions of the Board shall be confined to the duties defined in the existing CBFC rules, which inter alia include an annual review of CBFC work, submission of annual report to the government, review of public reactions to films, and periodic recommendations for revision of guidelines. 
 
Given these limited functions, the size of the Board should be compact with one member representing each Regional Office. Therefore, the total composition of the Board should not be more than nine members and one Chairman.
 
Regarding the Regional Advisory Panel, the committee has laid down the criteria for appointment. All nine regions will have advisory panels comprising persons who are acquainted with the languages being certified by that regional office.
 
Members from all walks of life, recommended by the National Film Development Corporation to the Central Government, will account for 25% of the membership. Members of the general public recommended by the FFSI (Federation of Film Societies of India), members recommended by the National Council for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and National Commission of Women (NCW), and representatives of the local film industry, as recommended by FFI (Film Federation of India) will also comprise 25% each of the membership. Women must have 50% representation on each panel, it said.
 
The committee has also recommended the following:
 
·         Online submission of applications as well as simplification of forms and accompanying documentation.
·         Recertification of a film for purposes of telecast on television or for any other purpose should be permitted.
·         In order to preserve Indian Cinema, the committee recommends that every applicant be asked to deposit the Director’s Cut in the NFAI for preservation of Indian Cinema, instead of the certified version, in order to truly reflect the cinematic history of Indian cinema.
·         Out-of-turn certification may be permitted for which the applicant would have to pay five times the fee that would have to be paid if the certification were done in the normal course.
·         In the event that complaints are received by the Central Government, the same shall be referred to the CBFC. The Chairperson may, if he considers it necessary to do so, refer the film to a Revising Committee for examination once again, on account of alleged violation of Section 5B(1) of the Cinematograph Act, 1952.
 
An official press release said the committee sought some more time to give recommendations on the certification of films regarding issues relating to clearances to be obtained from the Animal Welfare Board under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act; and depiction of smoking in films wherein films are required to show a disclaimer in every scene that involves smoking, as per a directive from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
 
This has been agreed to by the Minister of Information & Broadcasting and the committee will give its recommendations on these issues by June 20, the release added.
 
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National Cultural Festival at Simhastha Kumbh in Ujjain from April 22

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A National Cultural Festival (NCF) has been organized by the Ministry of Culture at Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh as part of “Simhastha Kumbh” starting from April 22.
 
An official press release said here today that all seven Cultural Zones of the country along with Lalit Kala Akademi, Sangeet Natak Akademi, National School of Drama,  Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT), and Sahitya Akademi will be participating in the festival organized in collaboration with the Madhya Pradesh Government. 
 
Around 3,000 artistes from all over India have been invited to perform at the festival that will see a huge gathering. Daily performances will take place on four platforms – Garh Kalika Manch, Agar Manch, Bhookhi Mata and Sadaval Manch. 
 
Noted Hindustani vocalist Pandit Jasraj will perform on the inaugural day. Vedic chants and devotional songs every morning would start the day. More than 150 Rangoli artists will be making their presentations every day. Over 300 painters will be displaying their creativity documenting the various aspects of Simhastha Kumbh. 
 
All creations will be exhibited in New Delhi and a coffee table book will be published after conclusion of the Kumbh Festival. 
 
Divine classical, semi-classical and light music and folk and dances, kavi sammelan, plays, rangoli, art workshops, book exhibitions will be some of the major attractions of the festival. Artistes will also make presentations to convey a message on keeping rivers pure and clean.
 
South Central Zone Cultural Centre, Nagpur is the nodal agency for the festival. 
 
The Simhastha Kumbh is being held from April 22 to May 21 during which Ujjain will host hundreds of thousands of pilgrims arriving from various parts of the country. This festival will be a major attraction for foreign tourists as well, the release added.
 
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IGNCA Trust reconstituted, journalist Ram Bahadur Rai replaces Chinmaya Gharekhan

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The Government has reconstituted the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) Trust with immediate effect and named senior journalist Ram Bahadur Rai as the new president.
 
Mr. Rai, a former news editor with Hindi newspaper Janasatta here, replaces former career diplomat Chinmaya Gharekhan.
 
The other 19 new members of the Trust include noted Odissi dancer Sonal Mansingh, lyricist Vasudeo Kamath, economist Nitin Desai, former Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police K. Arvinda Rao, filmmaker Chandraprakash Dwivedi, painter Vasudeo Kamath, Bharatanatyam exponent Padma Subrahmaniam and former bureaucrat Rati Vinay Jha.
 
Other members include Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry president Harsh Neotia, former Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) chairman Mahesh Chandra Sharma and art scholar and historian Saryu Doshi.
 
New members of the trust also include Dr. Bharat Gupta, Dr. M. Seshan, Prof. Nirmala Sharma, Mr. D.P. Sinha, Mr. Viraj Yagnik, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Additional Secretary & Financial Advisor, Ministry of Culture and Member-Secretary, IGNCA.
 
Ms. Subrahmaniam was a member of the outgoing Trust also.
 
Launched in 1985, the IGNCA, established in memory of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, is visualised as a centre for the study and experience of the arts, placing them within the context of the natural and human environment. It also serves as a major resource centre for the arts, especially written, oral and visual materials.
 
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Zubin Mehta to celebrate 80th birthday with concerts in Mumbai

File photo of Zubin Mehta.
File photo of Zubin Mehta.
Well-known conductor Zubin Mehta will celebrate his 80th birthday with a series of three concerts in Mumbai organized by the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation.
 
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) will return to Mumbai after seven years, under the baton of Mehta, who has had a long standing relationship with the IPO and its Director for Life. 
 
Five internationally acclaimed soloists -- Pinchas Zuckerman, Denis Matsuev, Amanda Forysth, Maria Katzarava, and the sensational tenor Andrea Bocelli, will perform with the orchestra on Sunday April 17th, Monday April 18th and Wednesday April 20th.  
 
The final concert will be an opera gala at the Brabourne Stadium where Bocelli will perform with the soprano Maria Katzarava.  
 
"Andrea Bocelli’s wide repertoire has brought into his audience, lovers of different music genres, different ages and all nationalities. His performance in Mumbai should be an unforgettable experience," a press release from the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation said.
 
Tickets for all three concerts have gone on sale from Sunday March 27 from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm at the K. R. Cama Institute Hall, Bombay Samachar Marg, opposite Lion Gate, Fort, Mumbai. 
 
Tickets for the April 20th concert will also be available on www.bookmyshow.com from 9:00am onwards from March 27th until April 20th 
 
Mehroo Jeejeebhoy, Founder and Trustee of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation, said, “We’re very proud to have maestro Zubin Mehta visit India so soon after last year’s visit.  But this visit is particularly special: Mumbai nurtured the young maestro, and he is bringing to the city the orchestra that he himself has nurtured.  What better way to celebrate his 80th birthday?  It  doesn’t get any more special than that.  
 
“To have the opportunity to hear Bocelli, Matsuev, Zukerman, Forsyth and Katzarava, with the IPO, makes this a once in a lifetime occasion," she said.
 
The Mehli Mehta Music Foundation was established in 1995 as a not-for-profit organisation to promote western classical music and to honour Mehli Mehta, Zubin Mehta's father, who in the 1930s and 1940s was the motivating force behind the Bombay String Quartet, the Bombay Symphony Orchestra and western classical music in the city. 
 
“Western classical music has a great history in India, and our Foundation focuses on keeping this tradition alive, by offering 
opportunities to study music to students, adults and teachers of western classical music. We teach over 400 students but could easily double our number of students if we had more available space.  The Mehli Mehta Music Foundation's outreach programme for children from low income communities has nearly 900 students in its programme.  Research has shown that music is incredibly important for the overall development of children. The presentation of concerts by the MMMF brings to Mumbai world class orchestras and soloists, and enriches the city’s cultural landscape," Ms. Jeejeebhoy said.
 
Zubin Mehta was born on April 29, 1936 in Bombay and received his first musical education from his father. He started his career by winning the Liverpool International Conducting Competition in 1958 and was also a prize winner of the summer academy at Tanglewood.
 
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By 1961, he had already conducted the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras and still retains close ties with them.  He was Music Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra from 1961 to 1967. He became Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in 1962 – a post he retained until 1978.  
 
In 1969 he also became Music Advisor to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and was made Music Director of the orchestra in 1977.  In 1981 he was made Music Director for Life.  
 
Mehta has conducted over 3,000 concerts, including tours covering five continents.  In 1978 he was appointed Music Director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, a tenure lasting 13 years – the longest in the orchestra’s history.  Since 1985, he has been the chief conductor at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence.
 
The release said the support of young talent is of major interest to Mehta. He founded the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation in Mumbai.  He is also associated with The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv, which is closely related to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. His new project offers young Arab Israelis in the cities of Shwaram and Nazareth opportunities to study with members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.  
 
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National Awards: Baahubali is Best Film; Bachchan, Ranaut chosen Best Actors

Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan
Baahubali was today chosen as the Best Feature Film while megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been picked as Best Actor for Piku and popular actress Kangana Ranaut as the Best Actress for Tanu Weds Manu Returns in the 63rd National Film Awards, 2015, announced here today.
 
Sanjay Leela Bhansali has been chosen for the Best Direction award for his film Bajirao Mastani.
 
Bajrangi Bhaijan was declared the Best Popular Film providing whosesome entertainment.
 
Baahubali was chosen for the top award for being an imaginative film and monumental in its production values and cinematic brilliance in creating a fantasy world on screen.
 
Bachchan got the award for his delightful, delectable performance of a man who finally lets himself go, at the age of seventy, while Ranaut was chosen for her dynamic portrayal of two contrasting characters, laced with mirth and charm.
 
Ranaut, who had won the Best Actress award last year, too, for her role in Hindi film "Queen", has achieved the rare distinction of winning the top honour for the second year in a row.
 
Bhansali was given the award for his masterful handling of all aspects of the medium of cinema to weave a tragic love story within a grand historic drama.
 
The awards were announced here today by the chairpersons of the juries on Feature Films, Non-Feature Films and Best Writing on cinema, headed by filmmaker Ramesh Sippy, Vinod Ganatra and Advaita Kala, respectively.
 
Earlier, the chairpersons and members of the three juries presented their reports to Minister for Finance and Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley here today.
Kangana Ranaut
Kangana Ranaut
Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Rajyavardhan Rathore and Secretary (I&B) Sunil Arora were also present on the occasion. Mr. Jaitley appreciated the efforts put in by the jury members in deciding the awards in various categories which reflected the diversity of India’s cinematic brilliance and diversity.
 
Samuthirakan was chosen for the Best Supporting Actor award for the film Visaranaai. The award for best supporting actress was given to Tanvi Azmi for her role in Bajirao Mastani. 
 
Dr. Rajakumar Samagra Charithre was chosen for the Best Book on Cinema award. The Best Film Critic award went to Meghachandra Kongbam who interprets the world of Indian cinema for his readers in Manipuri. 
 
This year's National Film Awards included a special award given to the state of Gujarat for being the most film friendly state in the country.
 
The following are the awards:
 
1.    BEST FEATURE FILM: BAAHUBALI -- Producer: SHOBU YARLAGADDA and ARKA MEDIAWORKS (P) LTD., Director : S.S RAJAMOULI
2.     INDIRA GANDHI AWARD FOR BEST DEBUT FILM OF A DIRECTOR: MASAAN -- Producer:   PHANTOM FILMS, Director :  NEERAJ GHAYWAN
3.     BEST POPULAR FILM PROVIDING WHOLESOME ENTERTAINMENT: BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN -- Producer: SALMA KHAN, SALMAN KHAN, ROCKLINE VENKTESH, Director : KABIR KHAN
4.     NARGIS DUTT AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE FILM ON NATIONAL INTEGRATION: NANAK SHAH FAKIR -- Producer:  
GURBANI MEDIA PVT. LTD. 
5.      BEST FILM ON SOCIAL ISSUES: NIRNAYAKAM -- Producer: JAIRAJ FILMS, Director :  V.K PRAKASH
6.      BEST FILM ON ENVIRONMENT CONSERVATION/PRESERVATION: VALIYA CHIRAKULLA PAKSHIKAL -- Producer:  ANANTHAKRISHNA PILLAI, Director : DR. BIJU
7.      BEST CHILDREN’S FILM: DURONTO -- Producer: CODE RED FILMS, Director : SOUMENDRA PADHI
8.      BEST DIRECTION: BAJIRAO MASTANI -- DIRECTOR:  SANJAY LEELA BANSALI
9.      BEST ACTOR: PIKU -- AMITABH BACHCHAN
10.   BEST ACTRESS: TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS -- KANGANA RANAUT
11.   BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: VISAARANAI -- SAMUTHIRAKANI
12.   BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: BAJIRAO MASTANI -- TANVI AZMI
13.   BEST CHILD ARTISTE:  BEN -- GAURAV MENON
14.   BEST MALE PLAYBACK SINGER: KATYAR KALIJAT GHUSLI -- MAHESH KALE
15.   BEST FEMALE PLAYBACK SINGER: DUM LAGA KE HAISA -- MONALI THAKUR, SONG: MOH MOH KE DHAGE
16.   BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: BAJIRAO MASTANI -- SUDEEP CHATERJEE
17.   BEST SCREENPLAY:
i)  Screenplay Writer (Original):  PIKU and TANU WEDS MANU RETURN -- JUHI CHATURVEDI and HIMANSHU SHARMA
ii)  Screenplay Writer (Adapted): TALVAR -- VISHAL BHARDWAJ
iii)  Dialogues: PIKU and TANU WEDS MANU RETURN -- JUHI CHATURVEDI and HIMANSHU SHARMA
18.   BEST AUDIOGRAPHY
i)    Location Sound Recordist: TALWAR -- SANJAY KURIAN
ii)   Sound Designer: BAJIRAO MASTANI -- BISWADEEP CHATTERJEE
iii)   Re-recordist of the final mixed track: BAJIRAO MASTANI -- JUSTIN GOSE
19.   BEST EDITING: VISAARANAI -- LATE KISHORE T.E
20.   BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: BAJIRAO MASTANI -- SHRIRAM IYENGAR, SALONI DHATRAK and SUJEET SAWANT
21.   BEST COSTUME DESIGNER: NANAK SHAH FAKIR -- PAYAL SALUJA
22.   BEST MAKE-UP ARTIST: NANAK SHAH FAKIR -- PREETISHEEL G SINGH AND CLOVER WOOTTON
23.   BEST  MUSIC DIRECTION: 
a)      Songs: ENNU NINTE MOIDEEN -- M JAYACHANDRAN, SONG:KAATHIRUNNU KAATHIRUNNU
b)     Background Score: THAARAI THAPPATTAI -- ILAIYARAAJA
24.   BEST LYRICS: DUM LAGA KE HAISA -- VARUN GROVER,
SONG: MOH MOH KE DHAGE
25.   SPECIAL JURY AWARD: MARGARITA WITH STRAW -- KALKI KOCHLIN
26.   BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: BAJIRAO   MASTANI -- REMO D’SOUZA, SONG: DEEWANI MASTANI
27.   BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS: BAAHUBALI -- V. SRINIVAS MOHAN
28.   BEST FEATURE FILM IN EACH OF THE LANGUAGE SPECIFIED IN THE SCHEDULE VIII OF THE CONSTITUTION
a)     BEST ASSAMESE FILM: KOTHANODI -- Producer: 
ANURUPA HAZARIKA, Director : BHASKAR HAZARIKA
b)     BEST BENGALI FILM: SHANKHACHIL -- Producer:  NIDEAS CREATIONS & PRODUCTIONS PVT LTD., Director :  GOUTAM GHOSE
c)    BEST HINDI FILM: DUM LAGA KE HAISHA -- Producer:  MANEESH SHARMA & YASH RAJ FILMS, Director :  SHARAT KATARIYA
d)    BEST KANNADA  FILM: THITHI -- Producer: PRSPCTVS PRODUCTIONS PVT LTD., Director : RAAM REDDY
e)    BEST KONKANI FILM: ENEMY -- Producer: A DURGA  PRASAD, Director: DINESH P. BHONSLE
f)     BEST MALAYALAM FILM: PATHEMARI -- Producer: ALLENS MEDIA, Director: SALIM AHAMED
g)    BEST MARATHI FILM: RINGAN -- Producer: MY ROLE MOTION PICTURES, Director: MAKARAND MANE
h)    BEST ODIYA  FILM: PAHADA RA LUHA -- Producer:  MOHAPATRA MOVIE MAGIC PVT. LTD., Director:  SABYASACHI MOHAPATRA
i)      BEST PUNJABI FILM: CHAUTHI KOOT -- Producer: NFDC & KARTIKEYA SINGH, Director: GURVINDER SINGH
j)      BEST TAMIL FILM: VISAARANAI -- Producer:  WUNDERBAR FILMS, Director:  VETRI MAARAN
k)     BEST TELUGU FILM: KANCHE -- Producer:  Y. RAJEEV REDDY, Director: RADHA KRISHNA JAGARLAMUDI (KRISH)
l)      BEST SANSKRIT FILM: PRIYAMANASAM -- Producer:  BABY MATHEW SOMATHEERAM, Director: VINOD MANKARA
m)    BEST MAITHILI FILM: MITHILA MAKHAAN -- Producer: NEETU CHANDRA & SAMIR KUMAR, Director: NITIN CHANDRA
n)     BEST MIZO FILM: KIMA’S LODE BEYOND THE CLASS -- 
Producer: CHILDREN’S FILM SOCIETY, Director: ZUALAA CHHANGTE
o)     BEST MANIPURI FILM: EIBUSU YAOHANBIYU -- Producer: YUNMAN HITALAR (NETA) SINGH, Director: MAIPAKSANA HAORONGBAM
29.   BEST FEATURE FILM IN EACH OF THE LANGUAGE SPECIFIED OTHER THAN SCHEDULE VIII OF THE CONSTITUTION
a)     BEST WANCHO FILM: THE HEAD HUNTER -- Producer: SPLASH FILMS PRIVATE LIMITED, Director: NILANJAN DATTA
b)     BEST HARYANVI FILM: SATRANGI -- Producer: PUNAM DESWAL SHARMA, Director: SUNDEEP SHARMA
c)     BEST KHASI FILM: ONAATAH -- Producer: POMU DAS- MARJINA KURBAH, Director: PRADIP KURBAH
d)     BEST BODO FILM: DAU HUDUNI METHAI -- Producer: SHANKARLAL GOENKA, Director: MANJU BORAH
30.   SPECIAL MENTION
a)     SAIRAT -- RINKU RAJGURU -- CERTIFICATE
b)     SU SU SUDHI VATHMEEKAM & LUKKA CHUPPI -- JAYASURYA -- CERTIFICATE
c)     IRUDHI SUTTRU -- RITIKA SINGH -- CERTIFICATE
 
NON-FEATURE FILMS
 
1.      BEST NON FEATURE FILM: Amdavad Ma Famous --
Producer: Akanksha Tewari & Arya A. Menon, Director: Hardik Mehta
2.      BEST DEBUT FILM OF A DIRECTOR: Daaravtha -- Producer: Nishantroy Bombarde, Director:  Nishantroy Bombarde
3.      BEST ANTHROPOLOGICAL/ ETHNOGRAPHIC FILM: Aoleang -- Producer: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Stuidies, Director: Ranajit Ray  
4.     BEST BIOGRAPHICAL/ HISTORICAL RECONSTRUCTION:  
Life in Metaphors: A Portrait of Girish Kasaravalli -- Producer:  Reelism Film, Director: O.P Shrivastava
5.     BEST ARTS /CULTURAL FILM: 1. A Far Afternoon- A Painted Saga -- Producer: Piramal Art Foundation, Director: Sruti Harihara Subramanian AND 2. Yazhpanam Thedchanamoorthy -Music Beyond Boundaries -- Producer: Siddhartha Productions,  
Director: Amshan Kumar
6.    BEST PROMOTIONAL FILM (to cover tourism, exports, crafts, industry etc): Weaves of Maheshwar -- Producer: Storyloom Films, Director: Keya Vaswani & Nidhi Kamath
7.    BEST ENVIRONMENT FILM  INCLUDING AGRICULTURE:  
1. The Man who Dwarfed the Mountains -- Producer: Rajiv Mehrotra, PSBT, Director: Ruchi Shrivastava & Sumit Sunderlal Khanna AND 2. God On The Edge -- Producer: Elements Picture Studio, Director: Ashok Patel
8.     BEST FILM ON SOCIAL ISSUES: Auto Driver -- Director: Longjam Meena Devi, Producer: Oinam Doren & Longjam Meena Devi
9.     BEST EDUCATIONAL FILM: Paywat -- Producer: Mithunchandra Chaudhari, Director: Nayana Dolas & Mithunchandra Chaudhari
10.   BEST EXPLORATION/ ADVENTURE FILM (TO INCLUDE SPORTS): Dribbling with their Future -- Producer: N. Dinesh Raj Kumar  & Mathew Varghese, Director: Jacob Varghese
11.   BEST INVESTIGATIVE FILM: Tezpur 1962 -- Producer: Films Division, Director: Samujjal Kashyap
12.   BEST  ANIMATION FILM: Fisherwoman and TukTuk -- Producer: Nilima Eriyat, Director: Suresh Eriyat, Animator: Studio Eeksaurus Productions Private Limited
13.   SPECIAL JURY AWARD: In Search of Fading Canvas -- Producer: Films Division, Director: Manohar Singh Bisht
14.   BEST SHORT FICTION FILM: Aushadh -- Producer: Amol Deshmukh, Director: Amol Deshmukh
15.   BEST FILM ON FAMILY VALUES: Best Friends Forever -- 
Producer: Syed Sultan Ahmed (Edumedia India Pvt. Ltd.),  Director: Sandeep Modi
16.   BEST DIRECTION: Kamuki -- Director: Christo Tomy
17.   BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Benaras- The Unexplored Attachments -- Cameraperson:  Amartya Bhattacharyya
18.   BEST AUDIOGRAPHY: Edpa Kana -- Audiographer:
Moumita Roy
19.   BEST EDITING: Breaking Free -- Editor: Parvin Angre and Sridhar Rangayan
20.   BEST MUSIC: A Far Afternoon- A Painted Saga -- Aravind - Shankar
21.   BEST NARRATION/ VOICE OVER
1. Mala Laj Watat Nahai -- Narrator: Harish Bhimani
2. Arangile Nithya Vismayam Guru Chemancherry Kunhiraman Nair - Narrator: Aliyaar
22.   SPECIAL MENTION: 
1. The Chameleon  --  Director: Arun Shankar  
2. Amma -- Director: Neelan
3. Syaahi -- Drector: Varun Tandon
 
BEST WRITING ON CINEMA
                                                                                                                    
Best Book on Cinema: DR. RAJAKUMAR SAMAGRA CHARITHRE -- Writer: DAHULLURU RUKKOJI, Publisher: PREETI PUSTAKA PRAKASHANA
Special Mention: Forgotten Masters of Hindi Cinema -- Satish  Chopra
Best Film Critic: MEGHACHANDRA KONGBAM
 
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I&B Secretary reviews progress of upcoming Film Museum in Mumbai

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The upcoming National Museum on Indian Cinema will be housed in a state-of-the-art new building in Mumbai.
 
Mr Sunil Arora, Secretary, Information & Broadcasting, said he had  held a review meeting yesterday on the progress of work in phase II of the  Museum coming up at the Films Division premises.
 
He said every effort was being made to create such facilities to provide visitors to the museum an interactive viewing experience. The museum should highlight cultural and social impact of cinema, he added.
 
The museum, spread over five levels would showcase various facets of Indian cinema from its early years to the present period. It would also have interactive exhibitions on all verticals of film making covering cinematography, editing, sound, script writing and screenplay among others.
 
There would also be special sections on regional cinema, Hindi cinema, documentaries and Indian film music.
 
The new building housed in the Films Division complex on Pedder Road in South Mumbai, would also have two mid-size auditoriums, viewing galleries, cafeteria among others. It is being constructed by the public sector National Building Construction Company.
 
National Council of Science Museums, Kolkata under the Ministry of Culture has been tasked with setting up of the museum.
 
Earlier in the day, Secretary I&B visited All India Radio, Mumbai and interacted with the personnel.
 
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Eros International’s Trinity Pictures to start production of its first slate in FY 2017

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Leading Indian studio Eros International today said that itsTrinity Pictures, which was set up as India’s first franchise feature studio in February 2015, is now ready with its first slate of films across new and exciting genres.
 
"In what is said to change the way films are traditionally developed, Trinity’s first slate is all about creating character-driven franchises which will be leveraged across feature films, merchandising, digital and more," a press release from the company said.
 
With a focus on creating fresh concepts in new spaces, Trinity is also the first Bollywood studio in India that has a dedicated in-house team of writers in the ‘Trinity Writers’ Room’ who have created over ten original franchises since the Division’s inception, out of which at least four films will go into production in fiscal year 2017, it said.
 
The release said Trinity’s initial line-up includes a range of character-driven franchises across budgets, genres and languages – from a live action elephant film, to a kid’s action film and an Indo-China project.
 
These will be helmed by acclaimed directors from across the country including Kabir Khan, Siddharth Anand, Amole Gupte, Telugu director Krish and popular Tamil director Prabhu Solomon.
 
The first feature to roll out under Trinity Pictures will be director Amole Gupte’ s favorite genre but with a difference – a kids action film, a big scale action film with a child secret agent at the centre of the story that will go on floor in the summer vacation.
 
With Trinity’s launch, the studio is looking at expanding new film markets which includes opening of one of the biggest markets in the world – China. Two projects will be co-produced with a leading Chinese studio, based on stories organically weaving the socio-cultural worlds of India and China. Additionally, the films will be shot in both languages. The first Indo-China co-production to roll will be directed by Kabir Khan with an A-lister cast from India and China — a human drama exploring the central character’s journey from India to China.
 
Other projects in the pipeline include a film by Siddharth Anand which will explore a fresh take on the spy genre in India. This genre is a global favourite with franchise potential.
 
Multiple award winning Tamil director, Prabhu Solomon’s bilingual project will be an inspiration from the quintessential super hit animal film—Haathi Mere Saathi. The shooting will take place during the monsoons across India and abroad and will be mounted on a scale with never-seen-before visual effects in this genre.
 
Ace director Krish’s buddy cop film will be shot in Hindi and Tamil simultaneously, featuring popular lead actors from both the South and Bollywood. This film has been co-written by Shridhar Raghavan (mentor to Trinity writers), Dheeraj Rattan and K. Subhash.
 
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Jyoti Deshpande, Group CEO, Eros International said, “With Trinity, we continue our endeavor to raise the bar in revolutionizing Indian cinema. As a leading film studio, we have peaked with three out of the top four and seven out of top fifteen films in Bollywood in 2015 being Eros films. Trinity strategy is all about conceiving breakthrough big content ideas and unlocking value from that intellectual property across various distribution platforms for a very long time. We are excited about the slate under development and hope we will have a few top ten films from Trinity”.
 
Ajit Thakur, CEO, Trinity Pictures added, “With Trinity, there is an effort to create something absolutely new for the Indian market, an effort in investing in creating characters that open a world of possibilities – films, digital games, comics, merchandise. We have writers for the first time creating characters first and then building scripts and projects around these characters. We are the first studio to have tied up with China for co-productions and will be creating new markets with films shot in multiple languages.  There are many firsts to Trinity and only Eros could have seen the merit in a franchise set up as this and taken the risk of making Trinity Pictures happen. We are very excited that the characters and franchises we are creating will hopefully entertain Indian audiences across platforms and well beyond the first Friday."
 
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Actor, director Manoj Kumar chosen for Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2015

Manoj Kumar
Manoj Kumar
Veteran film actor and director Manoj Kumar, who in his heydays had acquired the image of a patriotic hero, has been chosen for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2015 -- the top honor in Indian cinema -- for his outstanding contribution to the growth and development of the industry.
 
Manoj Kumar is the 47th winner of the award, which is conferred annually by the Government of India on the basis of the recommendations of a committee of eminent persons. 
 
This year, a five-member jury consisting of Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Salim Khan, Nitin Mukesh and Anup Jalota, unanimously recommended Manoj Kumar for the award.
 
The award consists of a Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus), a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh and a shawl. 
 
Minister for Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley spoke to Mr. Manoj Kumar today and congratulated him on being conferred the award. 
 
Manoj Kumar is an award-winning actor and director. He is remembered for his films Hariyali Aur Raasta, Woh Kaun Thi, Himalaya Ki God Mein, Do Badan, Upkaar, Patthar Ke Sanam, Neel Kamal, Purab Aur Paschim, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, and Kranti. He is known for acting in and directing films with patriotic themes. 
 
Manoj Kumar was born in July 1937, in Abbottabad, then part of pre-Independent India. When he was 10, he shifted to Delhi. After graduating from Hindu College, University of Delhi, he decided to enter the film industry. 
 
After making his acting début in the film Fashion in 1957, Manoj Kumar got his first leading role in Kaanch Ki Gudia in 1960. In the following years, he featured in films like Hariyali Aur Raasta, Woh Kaun Thi, Himalaya Ki God Mein. 
 
His film Do Badan is remembered for many reasons including Raj Khosla's direction, Manoj Kumar’s performance and the outstanding musical score by Ravi, immortal songs by the lyricist Shakeel Badayuni, among others. 
 
In the 1960s, his successful films included romantic films like Honeymoon, Apna Banake Dekho, Naqli Nawab, Paththar Ke Sanam, Sajan, Sawan Ki Ghata and social films like Shaadi, Grihasti, Apne Huwe Paraye, Pehchaan, and Aadmi. 
 
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Manoj Kumar's image as the patriotic hero started with the 1965 film Shaheed, based on the life of Bhagat Singh. After the India-Pakistan War of 1965, Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri asked him to create a film based on the popular slogan Jai Jawan Jai Kissan. The result was his magnum opus and directorial debut, Upkaar. In the mid-1970s, Manoj Kumar starred in Roti Kapda Aur Makaan (1974), a social commentary featuring an all-star cast including Zeenat Aman, Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan. 
 
Manoj Kumar is a recipient of the National Film Award for “Upkaar”. In 1992, he was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India. 
 
He is married to Ms. Shashi Goswami. He has two sons, Vishal and Kunal. 
 
The award was instituted by the Government to commemorate the contribution to the industry by Dadasaheb Phalke, generally regarded as the father of Indian cinema and the maker of India's first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra in 1913. The award was first presented in 1969, with the first recipient being actress Devika Rani.
 
Previous winners of the award include Dilip Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Gulzar, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Soumitra Chatterjee, Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen.
 
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Combined performance by bands of Indian Navy, British Royal Marines in Delhi on Friday

The British Royal Marines Band
The British Royal Marines Band
The bands of the British Royal Marines and the Indian Navy will present a one-hour joint sunset performance at the iconic India Gate here from 6.30 pm tomorrow.
 
The band of HM Royal Marines is based at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint, Cornwall the premier training establishment of the British Royal Navy. It has given rise to great composers and music directors such as British March King KJ Alford and FJ Ricketts. 
 
The Indian component will comprise of musicians from INS India augmented by musicians from the Indian Navy Central Band.
 
A press release from the British High Commission here said the bands would perform a wide repertoire of stirring martial music like Colonel Bogey, The Thunderer, Heart of the Oak, Jai Bharti, Life of the Ocean Waves, and Sare Jahan Se Achcha. 
 
Popular movie theme tunes like Dragon Music, Pink Panther, and James Bond will also feature alongside Amazing Grace.
 
Popular Indian pieces like Vaishnava Janto, Jeena Jeena and a medley of old Hindi music from the 1970s will also be played. The programme will culminate with the national anthems of the two countries.
 
The bands will perform under the baton of Cdr VC D’Cruz and Major Richard Long, respectively.
 
The Royal Marine Band has played at various locations in Delhi this week, including local schools and the Gymkhana Club, and held a workshop with the Indian Navy band.
 
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The visit of the band is part of a broad and deep collaboration between the United Kingdom and India. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK in November 2015, the UK and India agreed to deepen Defence and International Security Partnership across military capability, counter terrorism and cyber, as well as consolidating strong cooperation that exists already in many areas of defence and security.
 
The UK and India are elevating their defence relationship by establishing capability partnerships in strategic areas, through which both the countries will work together across the spectrum of doctrine, training and other elements upon which military effectiveness depends. These partnerships would enable support to ‘Make in India’ and transfer of strategic capability between the two nations, including defence technologies and manufacturing in areas of mutual interest.
 
In support of India-UK technology capability partnerships, the two countries are set to develop research into new areas and progress their defence science and technology collaborative projects.
 
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Indian Naval Symphonic Orchestra mesmerises Delhi audience

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Indian Naval Symphonic Orchestra captured the hearts and minds of the music lovers of the capital during the Annual Symphonic Musical Extravangza held at Siri Fort Auditorium here yesterday evening.
 
The well-known band regaled and enthralled the audience with its repertoire of stirring martial music and arrangements of Western classical, Indian classical and other forms of contemporary popular and folk music. 
 
The programme also included a wide variety of music like fanfare, overture, jazz, fantasia, pop, swing music and patriotic music.
 
The highlight of the evening was the signature performance by the young drummers of the Navy who presented the Drummers Line ‘Light Tattoo’ to everyone’s delight. 
 
The band performed under the baton of Commander VC D’Cruz, Director of Music, who is an alumnus of Pilar Music School, Goa and Trinity College of Music, London. 
 
The event was organised as part of the Navy Week Ativities - 2015. Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh was amongst those present on the occasion.
 
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Founders increase stake in Arré, B. Saikumar takes controlling interest

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Ahead of its launch, the founders of Arré, a content platform from UDigital Content, have realigned their shareholding in the company.
 
A press release from the company said that Mr. B Saikumar, Managing Director and co-founder has taken controlling interest in Arré, with Mr. Ajay Chacko continuing as CEO and Co-Founder. 
 
Mr. Sanjay Ray Chaudhuri (RayC), who was co-founder of TV18, has come in as co-founder in Arré.
 
Promoter Ronnie Screwvala said, “Arré is now all set to launch and all of us are tremendously excited about its potential and trajectory. I am pleased that Sai and team are taking a controlling shareholding in Arré and I will continue as an investor with a significant minority shareholding supporting the company and mentoring the leadership team."
 
Mr. Saikumar added, “I am thrilled to welcome RayC aboard as co-founder and we are delighted and honoured to have Ronnie continue to guide us. The trailer to our first show 'I Don’t Watch TV' is now out and we look forward to the launch of Arré in the next few weeks."  
 
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Hyderabad Airport introduces entertainment-on-demand service for passengers

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GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL) has launched a personalized on-demand entertainment service at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) here, offering passengers the freedom to download movies in a span of three minutes. 
 
With this RGIA has become the first airport in India to offer passengers the freedom to download a wide range of blockbuster movies, television shows and videos at the terminal at high speeds without needing any internet or data connection. 
 
A press release from GHIAL said the service had been made available in partnership with Fropcorn, a travel entertainment venture.
 
The entertainment wi-fi hotspot is currently available in the security hold area of the domestic terminal, which shall soon be extended to other parts of the airport.
 
Fropcorn’s wi-fi-enabled media servers create a secure hotspot that allows passengers to download a complete movie within three minutes. This can be done by downloading Fropcorn App from Google Play Store. Flyers can connect their devices to the Airport Movie WiFi available at the terminal and download the movies via the Fropcorn App. 
 
Once downloaded, the movies can be viewed at leisure during the flight duration. The content catalogue includes hundreds of high quality movies across multiple genres and languages, the release said.
 
Mr. SGK Kishore, CEO, GHIAL, said, “At GHIAL, we strive to offer our flyers a stress free and enjoyable journey experience. We understand entertainment is a great way to keep them engaged on the flight journey as they have limited or no entertainment options. With Fropcorn entertainment hotspot, we now extend the GHIAL experience even beyond the airport premises and ensure our flyers have a great time throughout the journey. We expect this to be a wow experience for both the flyers and the airlines and shall further augment Hyderabad airport's status as a preferred Gateway for South & Central India.”  
 
Mr. Kartik Bansal, Co-Founder & CTO, Fropcorn, said, “We have been working closely with the GHIAL team to ensure our technology and the content catalogue meets the demands of the new age traveller. We are extremely excited to launch this service in partnership with GHIAL and will be releasing multiple product features and engaging content to keep the service exciting for the airport passengers.”
 
GHIAL is a joint venture company promoted by the GMR Group (63%) in partnership with Government of India (13%), Government of Telangana (13%) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (11%). The company was incorporated to design, finance, build, operate and maintain a world class greenfield airport at Shamshabad, Hyderabad. 
 
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Reliance Entertainment, Friday Filmworks partner to form Plan C Studios

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Anil D. Ambani-owned Reliance Entertainment and prolific filmmaker producer duo Neeraj Pandey and Shital Bhatia’s Friday Filmworks, today announced the formation of Plan C Studios, a 50:50 joint venture for production of movies.
 
Apart from being a widely appreciated and acclaimed director who has also tasted success at the box office, Pandey is also an accomplished writer and has won multiple awards for his films.
 
His first film “A Wednesday” made in 2008, went on to win the National Award. Subsequently, he directed “Special 26” in 2013, and “Baby” in 2015, both widely appreciated and huge commercial successes. He is currently on the floors with “M S Dhoni – The Untold Story”.
 
A press release from Reliance Entertainment said the combination would benefit from the creative and production strength of Friday Filmworks, and leverage the global marketing and distribution capabilities of Reliance Entertainment.
 
Plan C Studios will kick start with a period drama, Rustom, directed by Tinu Suresh Desai and starring Akshay Kumar. Other projects include Pandey’s cinematic version of his novel, Ghalib Danger and films helmed by Shivam Nair, Chandra Prakash Dwivedi, Anurag Singh, Anvita Dutt and Shree Narayan Singh.
 
Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, Group Managing Director, Reliance Group, said, “We are delighted to partner with creative minds like Neeraj and Shital. This relationship is in line with our continuing strategy in the media and entertainment business, of partnering with like minded and successful individuals, while playing the role of supportive investors on our part.”
 
Pandey said: “The partnership with Reliance Group is very significant and welcome, as it enables us to further raise the bar on our continued strategy of developing cutting edge commercial content. We like to keep pushing the envelope, and this partnership will greatly expand our vision.”
 
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“The alliance with Reliance Group and our continued success at the box office are a welcome and clear vindication of our focused strategy. Reliance's significant global and domestic distribution and monetization network, not just perfectly complements our distinct content, but will also ensure highest value creation for all our partners and stakeholders,” added Bhatia.
 
Reliance Entertainment has produced, distributed and released more than 170 films in multiple Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Bengali.
 
Internationally, Reliance Entertainment has partnered over the past seven years with iconic film producer and director, Steven Spielberg, in the formation of DreamWorks Studios and announced the continuation of that relationship with the formation of Amblin Partners in December 2015.
 
Bridge of Spies, the latest release from this partnership, has received six Oscar nominations and nine BAFTA nominations this year, including Best Picture and Best Director.
 
In India, Reliance Entertainment has recently formed a partnership with Phantom films, a company created by directors and producers.
 
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Naresh Bedi honoured with V Shantaram Award as MIFF 2016 gets underway

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Veteran wildlife filmmaker Naresh Bedi was honoured with the V. Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award as the 14th edition of the Mumbai International Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films (MIFF 2016) got underway here today.
 
The festival was inaugurated by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore in the presence of veteran film maker Shyam Benegal, MIFF brand ambassador Jackie Shroff, Indian Documentary Producers Association (IDPA) President Mike Pandey and Festival Director Mukesh Sharma.
 
The Lifetime Achievement Award, comprising a trophy, shawl and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh, is instituted in memory of legendary film maker V Shantaram, who was head of the Films Division in the past. 
 
Bedi, eldest of the Bedi Brothers, is counted amongst the foremost wildlife documentary makers, being the first Asian to receive the Wildscreen Red Panda award. A graduate of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, Bedi has made films which have been shown on National Geographic, Discovery Channel, BBC, Channel 4, and so on.
 
He is credited with filming several rare wildlife moments.  His film ‘Cherub of the Mist’ about the life of two red pandas was the opening film of the festival.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Col. Rathore said digital technology had ushered in a new era in film making and was greatly contributing to the documentary film movement. He said MIFF was playing a pivotal role in promoting documentary and short film culture in the country by providing a platform for filmmakers to exchange ideas.
  
“It is heartening to note that our film makers, despite great financial hurdles, have gone ahead and made excellent films, displaying a mature approach while dealing with social and economic issues. Such films should not remain unseen,” he said.
 
Col Rathore said the Government would consider making one of the Doordarshan channels, perhaps DD Bharati, a platform to promote documentary films.  He asserted that the Government hadno interest in curbing the creativity of filmmakers and added that the I&B Ministry had set up a committee under Mr. Benegal to look into the revamp of film certification process.
 
Mr. Fadnavis said the Maharashtra government was ready to allot land in Film City in Mumbai for setting up a National Institute of Animation & Short Films.
 
"Documentary films are close to my heart, I myself want to make a documentary film tracing my mother’s journey from Turkmenistan to India," actor Shroff said.
 
MIFF 2016,  a biennial event organized by the Films Division of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and supported by the Government of Maharashtra will feature 30 films in international competition, including 12 from India and 27 films in national competition vying for the Golden Conch Award.  The festival will screen a total of 385 films over the six-day event.   
 
The screenings will be held at the Films Division theatres, Russian Cultural Centre and Sophia College theatres at Pedder Road, Mumbai. Screenings will also be held at the Mumbai University auditorium Kalina, Mumbai and Doordashan Kendra (Worli). 
 
Apart from international and national competition, there will be screening of  films in MIFF Prism, Indian premieres, Jury retrospectives, Animation and award winning films  from different countries, Children’s documentary films, North East package, Films Division and PSBT (Public Service Broadcasting Trust) films and homages.
 
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The festival also presents special packages from leading international documentary film festivals like Berlin, Dresden, DokLeipzig  from Germany and Leiria from Portugal.
 
Some of the best documentaries of 2015, among them Mohammed Ali Naqvi and Hemal Trivedi’s Among the Believers, a new documentary about the roots of religious extremism in Pakistan and Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence, a Danish documentary about Indonesian killings of 1965-66, and Rinku Kalsy’s For the Love of a Man, a documentary about the cult of adulation for Rajinikant in South India, are among the top attractions at the festival.
 
The International Jury for the Festival comprises prominent documentary makers Don Askarian from Germany, Jesper Andersen from Denmark, Mathiue Roy of Canada, Siddharth Kak and Gitanjali Rao. Mike Pandey, Uma DaCunha, Biju Dhanapalan, Audrius Stonys (Lithuania) and Jane Yu (Taiwan) are the members of the National Jury.
 
The festival will also have master classes by jury and eminent film makers, Camera and Digital workshops, Producers’ Forum, Panel discussions, Seminar and Open Forum by IDPA, under the MIFF Hub. Cash prizes worth Rs 60 lakh would be distributed for the winners in various categories along with Golden Conch Awards.
 
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BookMyShow on-boards the iconic G7 Multiplex, Maratha Mandir in Mumbai

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BookMyShow, India's largest online entertainment ticketing platform has partnered with the G7 multiplex and Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai.
 
The portal has commenced bookings for the theatres across its platforms – mobile app, website and mobile website.
 
Among the oldest cinemas in Mumbai, the theatres were also part of the success of several Bollywood blockbusters of the recent past, a press release from BookMyShow said.
 
Mr. Ashish Saksena, COO, Cinemas at BookMyShow, said, “Being associated with the city’s most iconic cinema halls like G7 Multiplex and Maratha Mandir is a very prestigious development for us. We have always focussed on consumer demands and firmly believe – we’ll go where our customers want us to go”. 
 
“These cinemas have been a very popular destination over the years and attract the masses across the city. By partnering with BookMyShow, access to these movie theatres will now be friction free," he said.
 
Mr Manoj Desai, Executive Director, G7 Multiplex and Maratha Mandir said, “We are very happy and excited on our association with BookMyShow and we wish them all the best."
 
G7, Mumbai’s oldest multi-screen theatre located in Bandra West, has seven cinema halls called Gaiety, Galaxy, Gemini, Gossip, Gem, Grace and Glamour.
 
Maratha Mandir, with a 1000+ seater capacity, first opened its doors almost 60 years back and also has created a record after screening the legendary movie Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge for over 1000 weeks since its release in 1995. 
 
"With a large number of city dwellers emotionally connected to G7 multiplexes and Maratha Mandir, BookMyShow’s association with the same will be a perfect blend of technology, convenience and entertainment for the masses," the release said.
 
BookMyShow was founded in 2007 by three friends - Ashish Hemrajani, Parikshit Dar and Rajesh Balpande and it is now present in over 400 cities and towns across India.
 
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Shyam Benegal calls for dedicated science & technology TV channel

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Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal has called for a 24-hour dedicated science and television channel to promote scientific temper in the country.
 
Addressing a press conference about the coming National Science Film Festival at the Nehru Science Centre here yesterday, Mr. Benegal said such a channel would go a long way in helping the spread of scientific temper and rational thinking among the citizens.
 
Such a channel is the need of the hour to highlight issues on science, technology, environment, health and hygiene among other things, he said.
 
“A 24-hour S&T TV channel will be a fitting tribute to late Narendra Dabholkar who laid down his life in the pursuit of spreading scientific temper and creating a rational society,” he said.
 
Mr. Benegal complimented the Nehru Sciecne Centre and Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India for joining hands to organize the 6th National Science Film Festival in Mumbai from February 9 to 13.
 
He said that 45 films had been shortlisted to be screened during the festival.
 
“The jury was pleasantly surprised to see quality films that have been made by professionals and school students. Most of the films, some from remote areas of the country, touch upon the local issues of environment, livelihoods, health and local innovation. 
 
The winning films will be honoured with the Silver Beaver Awards and cash prizes.
 
Mr. Benegal is the chairperson of the national jury. The other members of the jury include Ms. Shama Zaidi, writer & art director; Mr Aseem Sinha, film editor; Prof. Iftekhar Ahmad, director, New Delhi; Ms. Aparna Vaish, ADG, Prasar Bharati; Dr Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, Distinguished Professor, TIFR; Mr Amrit Gangar, writer, film theorist, curator and historian; Ms Aruna Raje Patil, filmmaker; and Dr Anil P. Joshi, environmentalist.
 
Professional workshops on science film making will also be organized during NSFF 2016 in which renowned science filmmakers will share their experience with the participants. 
 
Film enthusiasts can participate in the workshop by filling up an online application form at www.vigyanprasar.gov.in. 
 
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National Film Awards to have new award for Most Film Friendly State/UT

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The Government has decided a new award for the "Most Film Friendly State/Union Territory" under the National Film Awards.
 
Announcing this, Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Secretary Sunil Arora said this was being done as part of the Government's efforts to promote the Indian film industry and the country's soft power.
 
The award will be conferred for the first time at the 63rd National Film Awards  to be held on May 3 this year, he said in his inaugural address at the public screening of Indian Panorama 2015 films at the Siri Fort Auditorium here yesterday.
 
Mr. Arora said that it had also been decided to establish a Film Facilitation Office at the NFDC premises under the supervision of the Ministry of I&B.  
 
The objective of setting up the office was to provide  single window clearance to film makers and promote India as a filming destination.  This would also enable creating a film friendly environment in the country, he said.
 
Mr. Arora said that the Indian Panorama section this year had received a record number of 384 entries including 238 feature and 146 non-feature film. Out of the large number of entries, 26 feature films and 21 non-feature films were selected by the jury.  
 
The package of Indian Panorama includes films in Bengali,  Bodo, Hindi, Kannada,  Konkani,  Malayalam,  Sanskrit,  Tamil,  Wancho and Marathi.  
 
Mr. Arora also felicitated the director of the documentary film “Daughters of  Mother India”, Ms. Vibha Bakshi and the director of the Bengali feature film “Cinemawala”,  Mr. Kaushik Ganguli, during the inaugural function. Both the films were the opening films at the inaugural function.
 
The public screeening of the films selected in the Indian Panorama 2015 as a part of the 46th International Film Festival of India has been organized by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The 11-day festival will screen 26 feature films and 21 non-feature films.
 
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Music festival to celebrate 75th birth anniversary of ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh

File photo of Jagjit Singh.
File photo of Jagjit Singh.
A two-day music festival will be held in Mumbai on February 7 and 8 to celebrate the 75th birth anniversary of ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh.
 
The event is being organized by the Jagjit Singh Foundation in association with Perfect Harmony Productions Pvt. Ltd.
 
"Padma Bhushan Jagjit Singh's music has touched our souls. Although he is physically not present among us today, but his mesmerizing voice still lingers in our hearts and minds with the same charisma," a press release from the organisers said.
 
On February 7, the festival will feature 25 young singers from around the country selected by a jury consisting of well-known Urdu poet Nida Fazli, singer Chitra Singh, chairperson of the foundation, and singers Suresh Wadkar and Roop Kumar Rathod.
 
Young ghazal singers below the age of 30 years have been invited to sing a ghazal with only the tanpura as an accompaniment and post their videos on www.facebook.com/JagjitSinghMF (Jagjit Singh Music Festival's Page) with hashtag - ?#?JSMF75.
 
The top 25 singers selected by the jury will perform on the opening day of the festival. A total of 75 ghazals of Jagjit Singh will be sung. At the end of the day's session, all participants will be honoured by members of the jury and given a citation from the foundation.
 
"This will lead to enormous enthusiasm among young ghazal singers to take up ghazal as art form and spread it around the world," the release said.
 
Day two of the festival on February 8 will be a public event featuring performances by well-known singers and musicians.
 
The line-up includes Deepak Pandit and Ranjit Barot giving a musical invocation of 10 minutes to the commencement of the festival, followed by ghazal singer Hariharan.
 
Suresh Wadkar and Sonu Nigam will also render Jagjit Singh's compositions in their own inimitable styles.
 
The second half will showcase a unique combination titled “Tridhara” which will premier on the occasion. This will feature three streams of art -- Taal, Sur and Nritya together featuring tabla wizard Ustad Zakir Hussain, flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and renowned Kathak dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj.
 
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Kalki Koechlin's satire against media's approach to women creates waves on YouTube

Well-known actress Kalki Koechlin, one of the most unapologetic and experimentative stars in India, has released on YouTube her performance of a self-written poem titled "The Printing Machine" that is a hard-hitting satire against newspapers, magazines, social media and text-books.
 
The scathing monologue, a rhythmic piece that rises to a crescendo,  is the third in the series UnBlushed from Culture Machine for the women's lifestyle channel Blush.
 
The five-minute video features the actress in one of her edgiest avatars yet as she takes on media, society and their approach towards women and crimes against them.
 
Directed by Akanksha Seda, the video is one of the most stirring invectives of a culture that may be going morally numb, one newspaper edition a time.
 
Talking about chilling events in the recent past such as the increase in acid attacks, gang rapes, foreigners being raped in the country, the on-going flood of objectifying imagery in glossy magazines; Kalki takes on the appalling reportage of news events, to reveal their hollowness and robotic production. 
 
The Printing Machine is a satire not just against news gatherers, daily broadsheets, magazines and social media but also the generation that consumes these reports with a vulgar hunger for juicy headlines.
 
“Printing Machine was inspired by one of the key influencers in our lives – news houses and the media. We are flooded by an onslaught of objectifying and horrific news reports and imagery that have desensitised us a culture. It is only when we look at these reports in totality do we realise what our Indian heritage and culture have come to, and how we have come to be at the mercy of printing machines," Kalki said.
 
"Culture Machine and the UnBlushed team did an amazing job of creating a visual rendition of Printing Machine that best expresses the violence and brutality of our culture. They have helped take the story forward with this video that would have otherwise just been on paper," she added.
 
Nimrat Kaur and Sayani Gupta have been featured in the previous episodes of Unblushed, a series that features female celebrities.
 
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BBC ‘Travel Show’ presenter becomes Kathakali dancer for a day

BBC Travel Show presenter Henry Golding trying out Kathakali movements in Kochi, on January 9, 2016.
BBC Travel Show presenter Henry Golding trying out Kathakali movements in Kochi, on January 9, 2016.
Henry Golding, the BBC’s ‘The Travel Show’ presenter, has lived with elephants in Kenya and cleared the debris of a devastating earthquake in the Philippines, but never imagined he would become a Kathakali dancer one day.
 
That happened in the New Year when on a visit to ‘God’s Own Country’, Golding participated in a Kathakali performance in Kochi on Saturday.
 
While shooting an episode for ‘The Travel Show’ with its editor Mike London and producer Dawn Layke, Golding ventured on to the stage, becoming a part of the performance.
 
The Kathakali play, ‘Narakasura Vadham’ (The Killing of Narakasura), authored in the 18th century, is regularly staged in cultural events.
 
The event had been organised for the BBC team,  which was on a six-day visit to Kerala to film an episode on the state’s culture and nature-endowed destinations for ‘The Travel Show’.
 
“During the performance, Golding wanted to try if he could dance like a Kathakali dancer and he did,” said P K Devan of See India Foundation, which hosted the performance.
 
The BBC crew filmed Golding's performance as the characters Jayantha and Lalitha. “In Kathakali, there are no female dancers,” said Devan. “Male dancers do the roles of  female characters,” he added.
 
Golding also tried the movements of eyes, feet and fingers, critical in a Kathakali performance, earning the applause of those watching the performance.
 
“Golding succeeded in bringing a classical dance form more closer to the audience,” said Devan, whose institution has been working to link Kathakali with other art forms across the world.
 
Two years ago, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles had witnessed a similar performance of Kathakali in Kochi.
 
“I don’t know what took me so long to come to Kerala,” said Golding. “Kerala’s beauty is unbelievable,” exclaimed the presenter, who has travelled across the world to create episodes for BBC’s hugely popular The Travel Show, which reaches a global audience of 77 million.
 
The BBC team, which spent two days in Kochi, also filmed the intricate make-up of Kathakali performers for the show.
 
Earlier, Golding climbed a coconut tree in Alapuzha as the BBC team filmed locations in the town to capture images of a coconut climbing competition between traditional climbers and those who use machines for climbing as well as the famous backwaters. The team also spent a day in  "Canoe Ville" - a home-stay - an increasingly popular mode of accommodation among foreign tourists, in Alapuzha.
 
"The episode on Kerala on BBC’s popular travel programme showing our state’s natural beauty and rich culture is certain to charm people worldwide,” said Kerala Tourism Secretary G Kamala Vardhana Rao, who had invited the BBC team to the state during his visit to London for a tourism road show last year.
 
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The BBC travel team also went to the Punnamada Lake, home to the world famous Nehru Trophy snake boat race.
 
The BBC team has filmed coir making, which provides livelihood to tens of thousands of families living near Kerala’s backwaters. “More and more travellers are interested in our new product, called Village Life Experience,” Mr Rao said. The Village Life Experience, another highlight of the BBC travel show, involves travellers visiting local homes to experience home-made meals, local culture and their livelihoods.
 
"This is certainly not my last visit to Kerala," promised Golding, before he left for London on Sunday.
 
The BBC will beam two episodes on 'The Travel Show' from Kerala.  The first programme will be on Kathakali and will be broadcast in two weeks. The second one will include the backwaters and coconut tree climbing and will be broadcast in February. Both the programmes will be repeated later in the year.
 
"There are so many stories here, we hope we can come back soon," said the BBC team.
 
Another television travel show team from the Russian private broadcaster NTV is going to be in Kerala during January 15-18 to film  an episode on the state’s culinary traditions.
 
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Google's fairy tale tribute to French author Charles Perrault

Internet search engine Google today celebrated with a doodle the 388th birth anniversary of French author Charles Perrault, who has become immortalised as the creator of the fairy tale genre in literature.
 
Perrault, born in Paris on January 12, 1628, was a lawyer who authored 'Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals' drawn from a vast repository of folk tales. He was 67 when the book was published in 1695.
 
Among the tales were La belle au bois dormant (The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods), Le petit chaperon rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), Le Maistre Chat, ou le Chat Botté (The Master Cat or Puss in Boots) and Cendrillon, ou la petite pantoufle de verre (Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper).
 
The book became a success and was translated into English in 1729 by Robert Samber.
 
The set of doodles that keeps changing at frequent intervels presents well known scenes from the fairy tales including the Prince about to wake up sleeping beauty, Cinderella on her way to the ball seated in the pumpkin chariot and Puss in Boots at the palace.
 
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New aspirants in cinema need to adapt technology along with art and craft, says Ansari

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In a scenario where rapid advancement in technology was changing the face of cinema, new aspirants need to learn not only the basics of the art and craft but also “how to adapt with and adopt the latest technology,” according to Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari.
 
Delivering his address at the inauguration of the K R Narayanan National Institute of Visual Sciences & Arts here yesterday, Mr Ansari said India was the largest producer of feature films in the world.
 
“People in India love their cinema. Whether they watch it in movie halls or multiplexes or on television sets, and even on their mobile phones; cinema has become an integral part of our cultural identity. While it is true that a large number of films are made for entertainment; the meaningful and artistic films continue to hold a special place with the audience,” he said.
 
“Cinema is a complex and powerful art form. It is a form of popular entertainment but it is also a mass-communication medium. Films can transmit political and social message. They can provide catharsis and perspective and can open our eyes to new ways of thinking, feeling and pursuing our lives,” he added.
 
Mr Ansari noted that visual media such as cinema, television and video is attractive to youngsters today -- both as an avenue of creative expression and as a career choice.
 
“As an art form, cinema is perhaps the most dependant on technology and thus most susceptible to changes from technical innovations. The medium of cinema undergoes a fundamental change whenever there is a new discovery in technology. Silent movies became talkies; Black and white became colour; Celluloid film gave way to digital formats. Technology has transformed every department of cinema. Be it cinematography, audiography, editing or animation. Equipment quickly becomes obsolete.
 
“In this scenario, new aspirants need to learn not only the basics of the art and craft but also how to adapt with and adopt the latest technology,” he added.
 
There was the felt need to have institutes with international standards to equip the future generation of visual and video artists- not only with the aesthetic creativity and social awareness, but also with the technical and logistical aspects of film and video making, he said.
 
In this context, it is very apt that the Government of Kerala has come forward to establish a national level film and visual arts institute in memory of the former president KR Narayanan, Mr Ansari said.
 
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He noted that Narayanan's life illustrated hard work and talent bringing success even in adversity. Born in an extremely poor Dalit family, he overcame several obstacles and occupied the highest office in the land. The only Dalit and Malayali, so far, to have held the office of President of India, he remained dedicated to the cause of social welfare. Before his stint in public life, Narayanan served with distinction in the diplomatic corps of the country and retained his love for the academic pursuits. 
 
The institute, set-up as an autonomous body under the Government of Kerala, “has the vision to impart world-class knowledge and training in visual based technologies such as cinema, television, and video to Indian artists and technicians,” Mr Ansari said.
 
It must be the endeavor of everyone associated with the institution to make it a centre of excellence in visual based academics and research, focused on innovation and creativity and to nurture a new generation of film makers, technicians, artistes and researchers in the domains of visual science and arts, he added.
 
“I am informed that initial steps have already been taken in this direction and that the institute already has on offer three-year diploma programmes in six disciplines, ranging from direction and acting, to cinematography and animation. I also hope that the institute will develop a focus on research activities into the visual arts domain and become a centre of innovation,” Mr Ansari said.
 
The Vice President noted that people of Kerala appreciate good cinema. “Hundreds of film appreciation societies function even at the village level here. The annual International Film Festival of Kerala has established itself in the international cinema calendar. The provenance of Kerala should prove to be fertile ground for recruiting talented students and staff,” he added.
 
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Film experts want 'Censor' Board to go

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Noted actor-director-producer Amol Palekar has called for scrapping the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) saying that the government-appointed body's conduct often bordered on “dangerous” or “absurd” premises.
 
“A violent rape scene would be okayed, but use of cuss words—they could be essential in a context—might get cut,” he said during a discussion ‘So Many Cinemas: Do Filmmakers Have to be Responsible to Their Audiences?” by a six-member panel at the four-day 'Krishnakriti 2016' that concluded here on Sunday night.
 
The septuagenarian Palekar, who has acted in Hindi films and a range of regional Indian movies, said it was illogical that films alone had to go through a pre-presentation filter, which was not applicable to TV serials.
 
The credits should be shown at the start—and not at the end when the seats in the cinema houses go empty. “They should be of at latest 14-point font size and displayed for a minimum eight seconds,” he specified.
 
Films adapted from literary works should give credit first to the original author and not the screenplay writer, he added.
 
While cinema should not engage in gender discrimination when it comes to remuneration, it should also not let unsafe stunt scenes or shoot without the crew being insured, he said.
 
“As for the audience, it is bad for them to be engaged in heckling and passing loud comments while watching a film,” said Palekar, who is also a painter.
 
“But the worst thing the public can do is to forcibly stop the screening of a film, thus obstructing others as well,” he added pointing to instances of vigilantism by vested interests.
 
Selvaggia Velo, director of the annual River to River Florence India Festival, moderated the hour-long session at Madhapur Centre for Cultural Resources and Training. Her fellow speakers were television features producer Pawan Manvi, film actress-designer Elahe Hiptoola, creative sciences scholar Hariharan Krishnan and sociologist Samuel Berthet.
 
Dr Manvi, who has an association with Doordarshan dating back to the mid-1970s, trashed current television industry, saying its obsession with eyeballs and TRP ratings was leading to a huge rot in ethics.
 
“Today, you have a television serial with a silly little story being extended to years of monotony on the mini screen,” he noted, saying “the advertising revenues decide everything” in India, which had no less than 750 channels.
 
Elahe, who is the producer of ‘Hyderabad Blues 2’, said her films sought to tacitly weave in the idea of secularism. For instance, her sports drama ‘Iqbal’ (2005) never prompted the viewer to see the central character as a Muslim boy, but a deaf-and-mute village boy struggling to make it to the upper echelons of cricket in his country.
 
Taking the cue at this point, Hariharan Krishnan, who is a professor at Mahindra Ecole Centrale, said the film ‘Mother India’ had its top five personalities all Muslims, yet the iconic 20th-century movie borrowed abundantly from Hindu mythology.
 
He also took the debate to a different level by noting that Mahatma Gandhi’s antipathy for cinema was based on a fallacy. “The great leader thought the youth were wasting time on this entertainment, when cinema of those days actually was promoting a discourse on various societal issues,” he said.
 
Also, Indian cinema had an international connection even in the pre-Independence era. For instance, the 1945 Tamil film ‘Meera’ starring musician M S Subbulakshmi had its historical protagonist from north India and the director Ellis R Dungan from the United States, he pointed out.
 
Prof Samuel Brethet, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology at School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shiv Nadar University, said Indian cinema should no more toe the line of “we give audience trash because the audience wants it”.
 
A second session in the evening on ‘Discussing Pluralities/ Marginalities in Contemporary Indian Art’ was addressed by experts Susie Tharu, Anand Gapada, Jayram Poduval, Rahul Bhattacharya and Anshuman Dasgupta.
 
This was followed by the screening of a much-acclaimed documentary ‘Scattered Windows, Connected Doors’ produced and directed by Bangalore-based Roohi Dixit and Ziba Bhagwagar. The 75-minute work is on thoughts and choices of urban Indian women with focus on eight of them in random conversation on love, loss, fear, loneliness, marriage and freedom.
 
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Carnatic vocalists Ranjani-Gayatri to perform at concert in Bangalore

Ranjani and Gayatri
Ranjani and Gayatri
Noted Carnatic vocalists Ranjani and Gayatri will peform at a concert in the garden city on January 16 with each composition set in a different language or in multiple languages on the theme, "Different tongues, one heartbeat"
 
The concert, will be held at 7 PM at MLR Convention Centre in J P Nagar, Bhoomija, the organisers, said in a press release. Tickets, priced at Rs. 300, are available on bookmyshow.com and at the venue.
 
The singer duo have just concluded a successful December season in Chennai. They will be accompanied at the concert by H N Bhaskar on the violin, Sai Giridhar on Mridangam and Giridhar Udupa on Ghatam.
 
About the concert, Ranjani and Gayatri, said, “Growing up in Mumbai, a city of cultural contrasts and staggering diversity, meant being exposed to different languages and music, and being immersed in a potpourri of diverse traditions.
 
“The Tamizh Tevarams and Thiruppavais that we heard in the nearby temples coexisted harmoniously with the Marathi Abhangs - and we savoured both as the sound of these languages swirled around us. We understood that lyrics are at the core of musical experience. And when music and emotion are breathed into poetry, there is magic!
 
"While language and lyrics are essential elements of Carnatic music, they give the genre an extra dimension, making the connect more meaningful," they said.
 
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“Carnatic music is enriched by the multiplicity of diverse languages the compositions are written in - from Sanskrit that is perhaps the mother of most Indian languages to Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. And the repertoire of this glorious musical tradition keeps expanding with the inclusion of Hindi, with its close cousin Brijbhasha, and Marathi from western India.
 
“Our concert will celebrate the beauty of languages. Each composition set in a different language, and some pieces in multiple languages that sing in different tongues to the same heartbeat! We hope you will enjoy it as much as we are, putting it together,” they added.
 
The sisters, whose musical talents were discovered at a very early age, had started their violin training at the early age of nine and six, respectively, from Sangita Bhooshanam Prof. T.S. Krishnaswami at the Shanmukhananda Sangeeta Vidyalaya, Mumbai. Even before reaching their teens, their music career was launched as violin duet artistes. 
 
They started giving vocal concerts from 1997 after training under Padma Bhushan award winner P S Narayanaswamy. Later, a chance meeting with amateur Hindustani vocalist and World Bank official Vishwas Shirgaonkar led them to learn abhangs and gavians with further training under Manek Bhide and Appasaheb Deshpande of Kolhapur.
 
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