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Carnatic vocalist T. M. Krishna to perform in Delhi on Saturday

 
Delhi government hosting my concert tomorrow: TM Krishna
A concert featuring Carnatic musician T. M. Krishna, which was postponed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) reportedly following vicious trolling on social media by right-wing elements, will now be held here on Saturday under the aegis of the Delhi government.
 
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia will inaugurate Krishna's concert, labelled as "a musical evening dedicated to the voices of common man", at the Garden of Five Senses in south Delhi. The original venue was Nehru Park in the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri in the heart of Delhi.
 
Krishna will be accompanied by violinist R.K. Shriramkumar, Anirudh Athreya on kanjira and Praveen Sparsh on mridangam.
 
The announcement of the concert titled "Awam ki Awaz" came a day after a major storm brewed on Thursday following the postponement and the singer got the backing of the intelligentsia and voluntary organisations. Entry to the Saturday's event is free.
 
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi then stepped in to organise a concert for the 42-year-old Magsaysay award winner on the same day (November 17), which Krishna has accepted.
 
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal invited the people to gather in large numbers, saying, "If you believe in an inclusive India, an India which belongs to all religions, faiths and castes, your presence tomorrow (Saturday) will be a statement against those forces who are trying to divide and destroy our beloved India."
 
Sisodia said: "No artist should ever be denied an opportunity to perform... It's important to maintain the dignity of the art and artists."
 
Unfazed by online trolls which led to the postponement of his concert organised by the AAI in association with cultural NGO SPIC MACAY, Krishna alleged that "troll armies have links with people in power" and described the postponement as an attack on freedom of expression.
 
Krishna has carved a niche for himself by taking Carnatic music, long held as a preserve of the elite, to slums and masses. He has been a critic of the Narendra Modi regime, has been a regular target of rightwing trolls on social media and several of his concerts in recent times have seen last moment changes by the organisers.
 
IANS
 

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Amitabh Bachchan has preserved most of his films: Expert

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Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan has successfully saved the prints of most of his films, an expert said on Thursday.
 
Founder and Director of Film Heritage Foundation Shivendra Singh Dungarpur said Bachchan used to ask the producers to give him the prints of his films.
 
"When we approached Bachchan, we found it interesting to note that he used to ask the film producers to give him a copy of a subtitled print and another print. In that process he maintained most of his films," Dungarpur said at the 4th Preservation and Restoration Workshop's opening at KIFF.
 
He said film restoration is the need of the hour. There has to be awareness about it, as there was a need for trained archivists.
 
"I am really glad with such concerted efforts for restoring great works of Bengali cinema. We are celebrating the centenary of Bengali cinema. So saving our work is of utmost importance," said KIFF chairman and leading Bengali actor Prasenjit Chatterjee.
 
Bachchan is the brand ambassador of the initiative. He shared a video message wishing it great success.
 
"West Bengal produced some of the greatest filmmakers of Indian cinema such as Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwick Ghatak and so on. I would thank the government for supporting the initiative, so the future generations would be able to see these works," Bachchan said.
 
At least 100 Bengali classics have been identified for restoration.
 
IANS
 

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Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone debut as Mr & Mrs

Image of her wedding with Ranveer Singh shared by Deepika Padukone on Twitter on November 15, 2018.
Image of her wedding with Ranveer Singh shared by Deepika Padukone on Twitter on November 15, 2018.
The hide and seek is over. Bollywood's much-loved couple Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, after two days of wedding ceremonies in the far and dreamy Lake Como setting in Italy, unveiled their first look as a married couple to the public on Thursday, immensely pleasing their army of fans.
 
Both Deepika and Ranveer shared two images -- one each from their four-hour-long ceremony according to Konkani traditions on Wednesday and a North Indian style nuptial on Thursday.
 
In one picture, the two are laughing away, sharing a jovial moment during the Konkani wedding, and in another photograph from the celebration on Thursday they are all ears for each other.
 
Deepika looks resplendent on both occasions dressed in ensembles rooted in tradition as she chose red and gold as her primary colours. Ranveer wore pristine white for the first ceremony, and was colour co-ordinated with Deepika for Day 2.
 
In a matter of 10 minutes of sharing the first pictures at around 8 p.m. on Thursday India time on Instagram, they jointly garnered over 4 lakh 'likes'. 
 
Social media users were pining for a glimpse into the very private celebrations, which marked the culmination of a six year-long love story which began on the sets of the 2013 film "Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela".
 
Unlike most celebrity weddings which keep fans engrossed with social media updates, the 'no pictures, no phones, no drones policy' of the actors' grand destination wedding left the media and fans yearning for a glimpse of the couple or the celebrations.
 
Amit, a cousin of Deepika, a daughter of badminton ace Prakash Padukone, said it has been a "magical week, steeped purely in love" for the family.
 
"Fairytale union of the two most kind, beautiful souls. Ranveer, welcome to the family! You've dethroned me as filmiest, but I'll cope. Deepika, never seen you happier; you deserve no less," Amit tweeted.
 
Image of her wedding with Ranveer Singh shared by Deepika Padukone on Twitter on November 15, 2018.
Image of her wedding with Ranveer Singh shared by Deepika Padukone on Twitter on November 15, 2018.
That, apart from some long, wide angle shots and some hazy videos from the wedding celebrations, is all that people could get their eyes on.
 
The celebrations were as private as it could get. With a guest list of around 40, Deepika and Ranveer chose Northern Italy's Lombardy region, a resort area known for its spectacular scenery, as the backdrop for their wedding.
 
They were successful in hiding themselves from onlookers, using their umbrellas.
 
Mobile phones were not allowed outside people's rooms and there were boats patrolling the lake for drones as part of the three-level security plan for the wedding.
 
Fondly called as DeepVeer by their fans, the star couple has also worked together in "Bajirao Mastani" and "Padmaavat" although they didn't share screen space in the latter.
 
Before the two left for the wedding revelry to Italy last week, Deepika had a traditional puja at her Bengaluru residence while Ranveer had a 'haldi' ceremony at his Mumbai home.
 
Deepika and Ranveer exchanged rings on Monday evening in Italy. A more 'desi' touch to the celebrations came in with the 'mehendi' function on Tuesday afternoon, followed by a music-filled 'sangeet' the same evening. 
 
Singer Harshdeep Kaur, along with Sanjoy Das, Bobby Pathak and Firoz Khan, added a musical touch to the ceremony.
 
Poles apart from each other in personality, Deepika and Ranveer's off-screen camaraderie gave enough hints to their fans, the media and the film fraternity that love was brewing.
 
But they never confirmed their relationship until recently. They put to rest months of speculation about their nuptials with a social media announcement in October of their wedding dates.
 
"We thank you for all the love you have showered upon us over the years and seek your blessings as we embark on this incredible journey of love, loyalty friendship and togetherness," they said.
 
Over the years, Deepika has been a bit more reserved than Ranveer in expressing her love openly, but the "Band Baaja Baaraat" actor has been uninhibited.
 
While they spoke a bit about their likes and dislikes about each other at a summit in the capital in October, it was only on "Koffee With Karan" that Deepika was a little more open about her relationship with Ranveer.
 
The couple will have a reception each in Bengaluru and Mumbai on November 21 and 28 respectively. And on December 1 there will be a separate celebration with the film fraternity.
 
They have urged their guests to direct gifts in the form of a donation to Deepika's The Live Love Laugh Foundation, which works towards spreading awareness on mental health.
 
IANS
 

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Indian, Pakistani origin authors make cut for South Asian lit prize

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Four authors of Indian origin and two of Pakistani, whose novels bring alive a spectrum of themes and emotions relevant in contemporary South Asian life were short-listed on Thursday for the US $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018.
 
They are Jayant Kaikini for "No Presents Please" (Translated by Tejaswini Niranjana, HarperCollins India); Manu Joseph for "Miss Laila Armed And Dangerous" (HarperCollins, India); Neel Mukherjee for "A State Of Freedom" (Chatto & Windus, Vintage, UK and Penguin Random House, India) and Sujit Saraf for "Harilal & Sons" (Speaking Tiger, India) from the Indian side.
 
Besides, Mohsin Hamid for "Exit West" (Riverhead Books, USA and Penguin Random House, India) and Kamila Shamsie for "Home Fire" (Riverhead Books, USA and Bloomsbury, UK) are on  the  short-list from the Pakistani side. 
 
Several acclaimed writers, including Arundhati Roy, Jeet Thayil, Anuradha Roy and Perumal Murugan, who were earlier longlisted for the prize among the 88 submissions from major English publishing markets in India, the US, UK, Canada and Australia, among others -- failed to make the cut. 
 
The shortlist, unveiled by Rudrangshu Mukherjee, Chair of the jury panel, at the London School of Economics & Political Science, includes a translated book where the original writing was in Kannada. 
 
"Being the chair of the jury of the DSC Prize has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I say this for two reasons. One is the sheer intellectual excitement of reading, evaluating and discussing these works of fiction. 
 
"The other is the interactions I had with my four colleagues on the jury. I know I learnt an enormous amount from all of them and for this I am profoundly grateful to all of them. 
 
"Evaluating these books reminded me once again of the importance of reading in human lives," said Mukherjee, Professor of History and the Chancellor of Ashoka University and an internationally acclaimed historian of the revolt of 1857 in India. 
 
Administered by the South Asian Literature Prize and Events Trust, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature has helped to raise the profile of South Asian writing around the world by rewarding authors who write on the region. 
 
Its co-founder Surina Narula asserted that the shortlist represents "the very best of South Asian fiction writing", and "the depth, creativity and unique narrative of each of these novels" is "impressive and inspirational". 
 
The prize received close to a quarter of its submissions from publishers based beyond South Asia which highlighted the growing interest of publishers and authors across the world in South Asian writing.
 
The prize is open to authors of any ethnicity or nationality as long as the writing is about South Asia and its people.
 
IANS
 

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Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone get married in Italy

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Bollywood stars Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone on Wednesday tied the knot as per Konkani traditions in a dreamy Lake Como setting in Italy amidst a tight circle of family and friends, culminating a six-year-long love story in a 'happily ever after'.
 
The ceremony began at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, and ended around 1:30 p.m. as per local time in Italy, those in the know of developments told IANS.
 
Deepika wore a red and gold lehenga, and Ranveer was dressed in white, with most guests dressed in pastels, keeping with the subtle and classy vibe of the upscale wedding venue.
 
Northern Italy's Lombardy region, a resort area known for its spectacular scenery, served as the perfect backdrop for Deepika and Ranveer's wedding.
 
While fans and the media yearned for pictures from the wedding celebrations on social media, only a few wide angle shots of the venue gave a hint of the elaborate set-up, decorated with the choicest of flowers.
 
The Konkani style wedding will be followed by a traditional Anand Karaj ceremony on Thursday.
 
Deepika, 32, daughter of badminton ace Prakash Padukone, is likely to wear a Sabyasachi ensemble for the Anand Karaj.
 
Fondly called as DeepVeer by their fans, the star couple have together worked in films such as 'Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela', 'Bajirao Mastani' and 'Padmaavat.'
 
There were only about 40 guests for the celebrations, but a no-pictures policy imposed on them left the couple's fans pining to get a glimpse of the gala.
 
Mobile phones were not allowed outside people's rooms, and there were boats patrolling the lake for drones as part of the three-level security plan for the wedding.
 
The two left for the wedding revelry in Italy last week.
 
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Deepika and Ranveer exchanged rings on Monday evening, and a more 'desi' touch to the celebrations came in with the 'mehendi' function on Tuesday afternoon, followed by a music-filled 'sangeet' the same evening.
 
For the mehendi, Deepika wore a Sabyasachi Mukherjee creation and the couple was colour co-ordinated. Singer Harshdeep Kaur, along with Sanjoy Das, Bobby Pathak and Firoz Khan performed at the ceremony.
 
Poles apart from each other in personality, Deepika and Ranveer's love story began on the sets of filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Ram-Leela". Their off-screen camaraderie gave enough hints to their fans, the media and the film fraternity that love was brewing.
 
But they never confirmed their relationship until recently. They put to rest months of speculation about their nuptials with a social media announcement in October of their wedding dates.
 
"We thank you for all the love you have showered upon us over the years and seek your blessings as we embark on this incredible journey of love, loyalty friendship and togetherness," they said in the announcement.
 
Over the years, Deepika has been a bit more reserved than Ranveer in  expressing her love openly, but the "Band Baaja Baaraat" actor has been uninhibited.
 
While they spoke a bit about their likes and dislikes about each other at an event in the capital in October, it is only on "Koffee With Karan" that Deepika was a little more open about her relationship with Ranveer.
 
After their very private wedding ceremonies, the couple will have a reception each in Bengaluru and Mumbai on November 21 and 28, respectively.
 
They have urged their guests to direct gifts in the form of a donation to Deepika's The Live Love Laugh Foundation, which works towards spreading awareness on mental health.
 
IANS
 

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Star-studded launch for S. S. Rajamouli's next film

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The creme de la creme of Telugu filmdom came together on Sunday for the highly anticipated launch ceremony of filmmaker S.S Rajamouli's next yet-untitled Telugu film featuring Jr. NTR and Ram Charan.
 
The launch was graced by megastar Chiranjeevi, veteran filmmaker K. Raghavendra, Prabhas and Rana Daggubati among others.
 
Chiranjeevi clapped the first shot to begin the opening ceremony.
 
Currently dubbed as "RRR", the film marks the first-time collaboration of Jr. NTR and Ram Charan.
 
To be made on an estimated budget of Rs 300 crore, the film is tipped to feature the two actors as brothers.
 
In a media interaction earlier this year, producer DVV Danayya confirmed the budget.
 
"The pre-production work has already begun. The art department has commenced work on erecting sets where crucial portion of the film will be shot. The estimated budget of the film will be Rs. 300 crore," he said, adding the film will be a visual treat.
 
Apparently, both Jr. NTR and Ram Charan signed the project without listening to the script.
 
The film's regular shooting is expected to commence later this month.
 
The makers are yet to reveal the rest of the cast and crew.
 
IANS

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Deepika, Ranveer head to Italy for their wedding

Actor Deepika Padukone at Mumbai Airport on November 10, 2018, leaving for her wedding in Italy. (Photo: IANS)
Actor Deepika Padukone at Mumbai Airport on November 10, 2018, leaving for her wedding in Italy. (Photo: IANS)
Actor Ranveer Singh spotted at Mumbai airport on November 10, 2018 as he leaves for his wedding in Italy. (Photo: IANS)
Actor Ranveer Singh spotted at Mumbai airport on November 10, 2018 as he leaves for his wedding in Italy. (Photo: IANS)
Bollywood stars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh were all smiles and were twinning in white as they left for Italy for their wedding in the picturesque Lake Como next week.
 
The actors were seen leaving the Mumbai airport here, wading through the paparazzi. Deepika, unperturbed by the crowd, smiled her way to the entry gate at the airport and then struck a smiling pose for the shutterbugs, and Ranveer shook hands with the crowd and folded his hands, expressing gratitude for the love.
 
The bride-to-be was dressed in a white skirt and a turtle neck sweater and Ranveer was dressed formally in a bandhgala. His family members made their way into the airport with huge bags.
 
The couple, whose on-screen chemistry in films like "Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela" and "Bajirao Mastani" has been loved as much as their off-screen camaraderie, will tie the knot in a ceremony which will take place over two days on November 14-15.
 
 
Deepika, Ranveer leave for their wedding in Italy
They have been dating each other for six years, but had never confirmed their relationship until recently. They put rest to months of speculation about their nuptials with a social media announcement of their wedding dates.
 
Earlier this month, a traditional puja took place at Deepika's home in Bengaluru, while Ranveer had a fun-filled 'haldi' ceremony to kickstart the wedding celebrations.
 
After the wedding, Ranveer and Deepika will have a reception in India later this month.
 
IANS
 

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Faced with threat, Sarkar undergoes voluntary cuts, muting of dialogue

 
AIADMK workers vandalise Vijay-starrer 'Sarkar' movie's posters
With the ruling AIAMDK opposed to the Vijay-starring 'Sarkar' over certain scenes and a character's name, the producer and director of the Tamil movie have obtained CBFC's permission to voluntarily delete some visuals and mute some dialogues, said an official.
 
The Central Board of Film Certification said excisions and modifications carried out in the originally certified movie were: (a) deletion of visuals of throwing a mixie and grinder into fire; (b) muting the name 'Komala' from the full name of the character 'Komalavalli' and removing the same from subtitles; and (c) muting the dialogue 'Podhuppaniththuraia' (PWD) and '56 Varusham' (56 years) and the removal of those words from subtitles.
 
Tamil Nadu Minister for Information and Publicity Kadambur Raju said the issue has been settled as the film unit "has agreed to our demand of removing the objectionable scene."
 
The AIADMK's objection was to the scene that showed the actor throwing out mixie and grinder -- given free by the government to the poor -- into the fire.
 
The AIAMDK government under late J. Jayalalithaa offered free mixer, grinder, laptops and others to the poor.
 
The other reason for the ruling party opposing the movie is the name of a character 'Komalavalli' which they say is the birth name of their late leader Jayalalithaa.
 
On Thursday state Law Minister C.Ve. Shanmugam compared the scenes (burning of freebies) in the movie with terrorist activity aimed at instigating violence against the state government.
 
Party cadres protested outside the theatres which screened the movie in several places and damaged the banners on Thursday and Friday morning.
 
Earlier in the day, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan tweeted: "It is nothing new for the state government to exert illegal political pressure on movies that got proper certification."
 
"Governments that does not have the guts to accept criticisms will derail. The businessmen group will go and the good people who would come to power will win," Kamal Haasan said.
 
Similarly, actor Rajinikanth tweeted in support of the the movie condemning damage to the film's banners.
 
Meanwhile, the Madras High Court ordered the Tamil Nadu police not to arrest 'Sarkar' movie Director A.R. Murugadoss who had approached it seeking anticipatory bail.
 
He had approached the court after state ministers voiced their opposition to the movie with Law Minister Shanmugam threatening legal action.
 
IANS
 

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My female representation endorsement of female victory, spirit: Artist Rekha Rodwittiya

Artist Rekha Rodwittiya (Photo: IANS)
Artist Rekha Rodwittiya (Photo: IANS)
Artist Rekha Rodwittiya, whose art is "free, feisty, feminist and more" and yet is the "everyday woman", consciously placed the female figure at the centre of her work "as an endorsement of female victory".
 
An ongoing exhibition here looks back at her repertoire that celebrates collective female histories -- and alters the politics of the gaze that rests on women.
 
Rodwittiya's exhibition, "Rekha@Sixty: Transient Worlds of Belonging", at the Sakshi Gallery, explores the ideas of womanhood. It does so through the autobiographical lens of the artist, who positions the female form in her work as unrelenting.
 
"I see the female figure as being emblematic of being a life-giving force through the centuries. The unflinching gaze and the frontal posture of the female protagonist demands that the viewer is obliged to participate and engage with her presence," the 60-year-old artist told IANS in an email interview.
 
"Stark and arresting in demeanor, these figures with their unrelenting gaze stand... free, feisty, feminist and more."
 
In response to a popular statement made by art historian John Berger on the gender dynamic in artworks -- "Men act and women appear" -- Rodwittiya said she abhors the "gaze that suggests consumption" and that her attempt is to bring out accountability in the gaze.
 
Calling herself a proud feminist, Rodwittiya rewinds her life for one to better understand the personal politics that governs her art.
 
She recalled the nights she spent as a child, listening to her mother and aunts talk about their lives "lived with independence and courage to stand up for what they believed in", which became the "lullabies" for Rodwittiya's feminist belonging.
 
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With a non-conformist upbringing, "unfettered by restrictive boundaries of community affiliation and religious" diktat, the artist, born in Bangalore (now Bengaluru), knew from the age of five that she would paint.
 
She said that, when asked how it feels like to be a woman in India, her answer is that she views herself as "empowered" -- an inheritance "precious enough to not be squandered".
 
Through her easily-identified, bold style of painting, Rodwittiya brings alive the ordinary through this lens of the cultural self -- something especially visible in her 1995 seminal work "Songs From the Blood of the Weary" created for a Geneva exhibition commemorating 50 years of the United Nations.
 
"As a feminist, it isn't the theoretical pedagogic that I wish to engage with in my art. My content is culled from the life of the everyday woman... It is through the lives of the ordinary that we best witness any ideology."
 
A former student of London's Royal College of Art, Rodwittiya commends the indomitable spirit of women.
 
"The female figure as a central image is neither accidental, nor arrived at by chance in my work. It is consciously placed as an endorsement of female victory -- as a totemic trophy of the self for the self -- to reinforce the embodiment of the female spirit as a vital axis to life itself," she explained.
 
On the #MeToo movement rising to a fever pitch in India, the widely-exhibited artist, who has previously argued on social media that "men from cultural spaces of authority, who have behaved sexually inappropriately with women, (be) held accountable", said the movement is a stage for everyone.
 
"Power hierarchies of all types must be questioned. The #Metoo movement is everyone's stage to celebrate this emboldened moment of truth and freedom, through stories of survivors, and to work for the change.
 
"Sexual harassment and oppression must be viewed as criminal acts and legislation (to deal with this) must not only be structured, but also implemented with visible results for all," she stated.
 
"Rekha@60" will run till November 30.
 
IANS
 

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For an actor, getting Mani Ratnam film is Harvard-like: Dulquer

Dulquer Salmaan (Photo: Instagram @dqsalmaan)
Dulquer Salmaan (Photo: Instagram @dqsalmaan)
Actor Dulquer Salman, who worked under Mani Ratnam's direction in "O Kadhal Kanmani", says for any actor to work with the acclaimed filmmaker is like going to the world's top university.
 
Dulquer spoke about it on Saavn's entertainment-based audio show "Take 2 with Anupama and Rajeev" podcast.
 
The actor has been on Mani Ratnam's sets since he was a child. The son of Malayalam superstar Mammootty used to be on the sets of "Thalapathi".
 
How was it to have Mani Ratnam direct your father and to work with that same director as a leading man?
 
"It was amazing. My dad and Mani Ratnam sir have met several times even after 'Thalapathi' and discussed several films. They became very close while doing 'Iruvar' together. I have just seen Mani Sir around my house a lot and his office is literally very close to my house in Chennai," Dulquer said.
 
When Dulquer finally sat to work with the director himself, he was "super intimidated" by him.
 
"With Mani sir, you kind of have to have things to talk about or get really silent. He doesn't talk at all, so there was a moment in between the shots and I was sitting next to him and I am like 'Say something, anything, come up with something clever', and there is deafening silence.
 
"I was sure he was running through the scenes in his head. Getting Mani sir's film for an actor is like getting into Harvard or something... Getting cast or getting a call is like some kind of accomplishment. Somewhere your work is being noticed or you have been doing something," added the young actor, who is working across different languages.
 
In the recent past, he has worked in movies like "Solo", "Mahanati" and "Karwaan".
 
Does he find a big cultural difference in being on a Hindi film set to a set in the south?
 
"Honestly speaking, I connect or relate more to a Hindi film set because all my Assistant Directors and pretty much everyone I work with would have kind of grown up like me.
 
"They would have developed in big cities, they are all fairly well-travelled, we probably read the same books and watch the same movies. But the smaller industry not so much, but they at the most have exposure to maybe Bengaluru or Mumbai... maybe not rest of the world, so (it's the) little things like that.
 
"That's the big difference that I find."
 
IANS
 

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Amitabh Bachchan to inaugurate Kolkata International Film Festival

Amitabh Bachchan (Photo: IANS)
Amitabh Bachchan (Photo: IANS)
Australia will be the focus country of the 24th Kolkata International Film Festival, slated to be inaugurated by Bollywood's living legend Amitabh Bachchan in the presence of a galaxy of superstars of Indian cinema including Shah Rukh Khan here on November 10, the organisers announced on Saturday.
 
A carousel of 171 feature films, 150 shorts and documentaries from 70 countries will be on show at 16 auditoria in the city and Howrah with the 1967 Bengali classic 'Antony Firingee' being the inaugural movie of the eight-day festival.
 
Besides Bachchan, venerable Iranian director Majid Majidi, and Australian directors Simon Baker, Jill Bilcock and Philip Noyce will grace the opening ceremony, to be presided over by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.
 
Actors Sanjay Dutt, Jaya Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman and Nandita Das would also be present at the opening ceremony, said state youth and sports minister and KIFF chief advisor Aroop Biswas.
 
The best film would be given an award of Rs 51 lakh, and the best director Rs 21 lakh, with both receiving a golden trophy christened "Royal Bengal Tiger".
 
He said Antony Firingee, with Uttam Kumar and Tanuja in the lead, was chosen as the inaugural film to mark the 100 years of Bengali cinema.
 
Twenty six films from Australia will be on show, with Philip Noyce being honoured with a retrospective.
 
Four popular works of Iranian film maker Majidi will also be screened.
 
A Bengali film directory giving details of the major celluloid ventures in the language will be published during the festival.
 
IANS
 

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Malayalam film Olu to open Indian Panorama at 49th IFFI in Goa

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Malayalam film Olu, directed by Shaji N. Karun, will be the opening film of the Indian Panorama section of the 49th International Film Festival of India 2018 to be held in Goa from November 20-28.
 
In  all, the Feature Films jury headed by well-known film director and screenwriter Rahul Rawail has selected 22 feature films for the Panorama.
 
Four mainstream films have also been selected for the Panorama by an Internal Committee of the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) based on the recommendations of FFI and Guild.
 
The 22 films selected by the jury include five other Malayalam films -- Bhayanakam (directed by Jayaraj), Makkana (Raheem Khader), Poomaram (Abrid Shine), Sudani From Nigeria (Zakariya) and Ee Maa Yove (Lijo Jose Pellissery) -- and five Bengali films -- Nagarkirtan (Kaushik Ganguly), Sa (Arijit Singh), Uma (Srijit Mukherji), Abyakto (Arjun Dutta) and Uronchondi (Abhishek Saha).
 
The list also includes four Tamil films -- To Let (Chezhiyan Ra), Baaram (Priya Krishnaswamy), Periyerum Perumal BA.BL (Mari Selvaraj) and Peranbu (Ram); two Hindi films -- October (Shoojit Sircar); Bhor (Kamakhya Narayan Singh) and two Marathi films -- Dhappa (Nipun Avinash Dharmadhikari) and Aamhi Doghi (Pratima Joshi).
 
Other films selected for the Panorama include Sinjar (Jasari, Pampally); Walking With The Wind (Ladakhi, Praveen Morchhale); and Paddayi (Tulu, Abhaya Simha).
 
The four mainstream cinema films are Mahanati (Telugu, Nagashwin); Tiger Zinda Hai (Hindi, Ali Abbas Zafar); Padmaavat (Hindi, Sanjay Leela Bhansali) and Raazi (Hindi, Meghna Gulzar).
 
Other members of the Feature Films jury were Major Ravi, filmmaker & actor; Ahathian, director; Ujjwal Chatterjee, director, producer & screenwriter; Imo Singh, director; Utpal Datta, filmmaker; Sekhar Das, director; Mahendra Teredesai, director & writer; Haidar Ali, actor & screenwriter; KG Suresh, journalist & columnist; Chandra Siddarth, director, producer & screenwriter; Adeep Tandon, cinematographer & director; and S Viswanath, film critic & journalist.
 
The Non Feature Film Jury of seven members, headed by film director and editor Vinod Ganatra, has selected 21 non-feature films for the Indian  Panorama.
 
Kharvas directed by Aditya Suhas Jambhale will be the opening film in the Non-Feature Film segment.
 
The following is the list of selected non-feature films: Kharvas (Marathi, Aditya Suhas Jambhale); Sampurak (Bengali, Prabal Chakraborty); Naach Bhikari Naach (Bhojpuri, Jainendra Dost & Shilpi Gulati); Decoding Shankar (English, Deepti Sivan); Gyamo-Queen Of the Mountains (English, Gautam Pandey & Doel Trivedy); The World's Most Famous Tiger (English, S Nalla Muthu); Bunkar: The last of the Varanasi Weavers (English, Satyaprakash Upadhyay); Monitor (Hindi, Hari Viswanath); Nani Teri Morni (Hindi, Akash Aditya Lama); Burning (Hindi, Sanoj VS); Sword of Liberty (Malayalam, Shiny Jacob Benjamin); Midnight Run (Malayalam, Remya Raj); Lasyam (Malayalam, Vinod Mankara); Happy Birthday (Marathi, Medhpranav Babasaheb Powar); Na Bole Wo Haram (Marathi, Nitesh Vivek Patankar); Silent Scream (Marathi, Prasanna Ponde); Yes, I am Mauli (Marathi, Suhas Jahagirdar); Pamphlet (Marathi, Shekhar Bapu Rankhambe); Aai Shappath (Marathi, Gautam Vaze); Bhar Dupari (Marathi, Swapnil Vasant Kapure); and Malai (Oriya, Rajdeep Paul & Sarmistha Maiti).
 
The other members of the jury were Uday Shankar Pani, filmmaker; Parvati Menon, director & film educationist; Mandar Talaulikar, filmmaker; Padmaraj Nair, film journalist; Ashok Sharan, actor & producer; and Suneel Puranik, actor, director & producer.
 
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Veteran actor Anupam Kher resigns as Chairman of FTII

Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher
Well-known actor Anupam Kher has resigned as the Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, citing lack of time to carry out his responsibilities in view of his international assignments.
 
Kher, 63, is currently busy working in the United States on the American television show "New Amsterdam".
 
He had been appointed to the prestigious position in October last year, succeeding Mr. Gajendra Chauhan, whose appointment had led to protests from many FTII students, who felt he did not have the professional credentials to lead and guide them.
 
"I write to you with the intention to, with due notice, resign from the post of the Chairman at FTII, Pune. This decision has not come without considerable thought of the responsibilities expected of me vis-a-vis the time I have at my disposal to execute them," Kher said in a letter dated October 30 written to Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
 
He recalled that, when he was approached last year by then I&B Minister Smriti Irani, he had mentioned the fact that he was due to be stationed in the US for nearly nine months between 2018 and 2019 and for a similar period for a minimum of three years more.
 
"Given this assignment it would not be fair to me, the students and management team, for me to hold a position of such responsibility and accountability, without being actively involved in the operations.
 
"Hence I request you to please accept my resignation and in the notice period scout for someone suitable to take a handover from me.
 
"Needless to say, I will be always available, if needed, for any guidance or responsibility given to me as an individual," he added.
 
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FTII is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and is regarded as a centre of excellence across the world. Films made by FTII’s students have enjoyed excellent receptions in festivals in India and abroad and have won national and international awards. 
 
Kher has appeared in more than 500 films and has won many national and international awards during his distinguished career.
 
Earlier he had served as the Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and was the Director of the National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi from 2001 to 2004. He is also an alumnus of NSD (1978 batch).
 
He was honoured by the Government with the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 for his contribution to the field of cinema and arts.
 
Apart from films, Kher has acted in scores of plays. While he has worked mainly in Hindi films, he has appeared in films made in other languages such as Malayalam and Malayalam and also in international films such as the 2002 Golden Globe nominated Bend It Like Beckham, Ang Lee's 2007 Golden Lion-winning Lust, Caution, and David O. Russell's 2013 Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook. He has also hosted several television shows
 
His wife, actress Kirron Kher, is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of the Lok Sabha from Chandigarh.
 
Kher made his film debut in the Hindi movie Aagman. In 1984 came Saaransh, where the 28-year-old Kher played a retired middle-aged Maharashtrian man who has lost his son, a performance for which he won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor.
 
He won the Special Jury Award twice in the National Film Awards -- for Daddy in 1989 and for Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara in 2005. He has won the Filmfare Award for Best Comedian five times. 
 
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Veteran Marathi composer Yeshwant Deo dies

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Veteran Marathi singer, lyricist and music composer Yeshwant Deo passed away after a brief illness here on Tuesday, family sources said. He was 91.
 
Deo breathed his last at the Sushrusha Hospital in Dadar where he was admitted for treatment of pneumonia and other complications almost three weeks ago.
 
His last rites shall be performed at the Dadar Crematorium here later on Tuesday.
 
Born on November 1, 1926, Deo trained in music under his father and became a well-known figure in the Marathi film industry and music circles.
 
He was a science graduate from Mumbai and had acquired the Sangeet Visharad degree from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya.
 
After spending formative years in Raigad, Deo launched his music career with All India Radio in Nagpur as a sitar player. From 1958 to 1984 he produced light music, besides teaching music in the University Of Mumbai and SNDT Women's University.
 
His specialisation was "Bhav-geet" which involved composing poems to music, a semi-classical form, which he utilised effectively for over 40 films and plays.
 
Deo bagged several honours and awards, including the Maharashtra Government award for Best Music Director of the play "Amrapali" (1974) and the Lata Mangeshkar Award.
 
He had composed music (along with Zakir Hussein, Bhupen Hazarika and Raj Kamal) for the Hindi film "Saaz" directed by Sai Paranjpye, which was inspired by the lives of the Mangeshkar singer-sisters, and had bagged writer-poet Javed Akhtar his first National Award for Best Lyrics.
 
Deo also wrote books on the devotional music of Shirdi Saibaba, light classical music and Marathi Bhav-geet.
 
IANS
 
 

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Shakeela to make cameo appearance in her biopic

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A biopic on southern film industry's adult film star Shakeela will see her play a cameo.
 
Director Indrajit Lankesh is helming the movie, which stars Richa Chadha in the role of Shakeela, who was popular in southern showbiz in the 1990s and continues to work even today.
 
Before commencing the film's shooting, Richa had a rendezvous with Shakeela in Bengaluru to understand the nuances. Seeing the camaraderie between both the actors and also to honour Shakeela's popularity, Lankesh roped in the real Shakeela for a cameo in the film.
 
Lankesh said in a statement: "I always wanted to make a film on Shakeela. I was immensely impressed with her on-screen and off screen personality.
 
"I wanted to portray her story, the hardships and rough phase when she was not getting films and was trying for character roles. I wanted to show the true story behind the superstar Shakeela."
 
He said Shakeela has been an integral part of the making of the movie as she gave the team detailed insights into her life.
 
"Even Richa got to spend time with her, understand her style of talking, her body language and such nuances. In fact, when she came on set, she gave us very interesting insights like about our art direction and how her house was and is in real life," Lankesh added.
 
He said it was nice to shoot Shakeela for the biopic, though this is not the first time he has worked with her.
 
"I have shot with her in the past for another film of mine in 2003. That sparked an interest in me to make a film on her and in 2015 after conceiving the idea of making a film on her, I met her and realised my dream.
 
"I feel every woman and girl who wants to be an actress should see her story, to know what she went through to become an actress and how it was such a compelling rags to riches to rags story of her life."
 
IANS

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Music maestro Khayyam conferred Hridaynath Award for Lifetime Achievement

Khayyam
Khayyam
Renowned National Award winning music director Mohammed Zahur Khayyam Hashmi, better known as "Khayyam", was conferred this year's prestigious Hridaynath Award for Lifetime Achievement here late on Friday night.
 
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis gave away the award, comprising a cash prize of Rs. 100,000 and a memento, named after the famous Hridaynath Mangeshkar on his 81st birthday on Friday.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Fadnavis recalled Khayyam's great contributions to the music world since the launch of his musical career from the age of 17 at Ludhiana in 1943.
 
"Khayyamji is a 92-year-young man. Presenting this award to him is indeed an honour for me," said the 48-year old Fadnavis.
 
Lauding the role of the Mangeshkar family for their music legacy which was as tall as the Himalayas, Fadnavis said they are "a gift to the country", and listening to their music is itself a "divine experience."
 
Terming Khayyam as his inspiration', Hridaynath Mangeshkar, praised his musical creations and said that "conferring the award named after me on him, is actually a reward for me."
 
"Hridaynath is the only and youngest brother of the legendary Mangeshkar singer-sisters - Lata, Asha, Usha and Meena, all children of the great composer the late Master Deenanath Mangeshkar," said Avinath Prabhavalkar, an official of the Hridayesh Arts.
 
Responding to the felicitations, Khayyam said the Mangeshkar family has made a significant contribution to the cause of music in the country and he felt humbled by the honour.
 
Present at the ceremony in Deenanath Mangeshkar Hall, Vile Parle, were several eminent personalities like Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Jabbar Patel, members of the Mangeshkar clan and celebrities.
 
The veteran composer, lyricist and writer Khayyam, 92, started his music career in Ludhiana in 1943 at the age of 17. Later, the Padma Bhushan awardee teamed up as Sharma of the music-director duo "Sharmaji-Varmaji" to compose music for films like "Heer Ranjha" (1948) and others.
 
However, after Partition, when his partner Rahman Varma moved to Pakistan, Khayyam continued solo and his earliest notable works were for "Footpath" (1953) in which Talat Mehmood's song "Shaam-e-Gham ki Kasam, Aaj Gamgeen Hain Hum" and the film "Biwi" in which a song sung by Mohammed Rafi, "Akele mein woh, ghabrate toh honge", and other major films like "Phir Subah Hogi" (1958) with Mukesh's "Woh subah, kabhi to aayegi", became the rage of the masses.
 
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It was the 1961 blockbuster "Shola Aur Shabnam" which firmly established Khayyam as a top-notch music director followed by films with superhit music like "Mohabbat Isko Kehta Hain" (1965) and "Aakhri Khat" (1966), that was the late superstar Rajesh Khanna's debut film with memorable songs like "Bahaaron, Mera Jeevan Bhi Savaaron".
 
Not looking back, he composed memorable music for films like "Kabhi Kabhi" (1976), "Trishul" (1978), "Noorie" (1979), "Thodisi Bewafai" (1980), "Dard" and "Ahista Ahista" (1981), "Dil, Akhir Dil Hai" and "Bazaar"(1982), "Razia Sultan" (1983).
 
In 1981, he composed music for the sensitive blockbuster film "Umrao Jaan", ranked among the all time best Bollywood films and considered the jewel in the crown of Khayyam's compositions, for which he bagged the National Award, and also a Filmfare Award, besides a string of other honours.
 
"Umrao Jaan" is oft compared with another cult masterpiece "Pakeezah" (1972) for a courtesan-based musical theme. Both became superhits and now occupy their own unique pedestals in Bollywood music history.
 
Explaining this, Khayyam once said: "My biggest challenge was that Umrao Jaan should not only look different, but also sound different to make it stand apart from Pakeezah in which most songs were sung by Lata Mangeshkar for the heroine Meena Kumari. So, nearly a decade later in Umrao Jaan, I only used Asha Bhosale's voice for the heroine Rekha."
 
In 2016, Khayyam and his singer-wife Jagjit Kaur endeared themselves to the masses when they set up the 'Khayyam-Jagjit Kaur KPG Charitable Trust' in memory of their actor-son Pradeep who passed away in 2012, and donated their entire wealth to be utilized to fund upcoming artistes and technicians in Bollywood.
 
The other past recipients of the awards are Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Amitabh Bachchan, Sulochana Latkar, A.R. Rahman, Pandit Jasraj, and Javed Akhtar, besides chess champ Vishwanathan Anand.
 
IANS

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Rajkumar Singhajit Singh, Chhayanaut, Ram Sutar chosen for Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony

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The doyen of Manipuri dance Rajkumar Singhajit Singh, Chhayanaut, a cultural organization of Bangladesh and noted Indian sculptor Ram Vanji Sutar have been chosen for the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.
 
The jury, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, comprising Chief Justice of India, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, after detailed discussions on October 24, took the decision unanimously, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to cultural harmony, an official press release said.
 
Rajkumar Singhajit Singh has distinguished himself both as an outstanding teacher, performer and choreographer. His work over the years bears witness to his creativity within the framework of traditional Manipuri dance.
 
His choreography has been enriched by elements incorporated from various forms of performing arts of Manipur such as Thang-ta, Nata-Sankirtana, Lai-haraoba and Rasleela.
 
The award recognizes his contribution in keeping the tradition of Manipuri dance alive and vibrant, promoting harmony through dance and also pays tribute to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, who, deeply influenced by Manipuri dance, made it an integral part of the education curriculum at Visva Bharati.
 
Chhayanaut, established in 1961, has played a leading role in promoting Tagore’s works and Bengali culture, music and literature not only within Bangladesh but across the world. It has built a close bridge of understanding and cultural exchange between Bangladesh and India, especially West Bengal.
 
Chhayanaut was part of the movement for an independent Bangladesh and provided a platform for cultural expression and assertion of Bengali identity. When Rabindra Sangeet was banned in East Pakistan, Chhayanaut continued to promote liberal expression through secret renditions of Tagore songs and discussions.
 
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The jury's decision recognizes the contribution of the organization in upholding the liberal progressive tradition of the universal humanism of Gurudev and in promoting the spirit of cultural harmony.
 
Ram Vanji Sutar is one of the greatest living sculptors of India. He has created more than 50 monumental sculptures in the past 40 years. At the beginning of his career, he was involved in restoring several ancient sculptures in the caves of Ellora and Ajanta.
 
His first notable work was the 45 feet Chambal monument at the Gandhi Sagar Dam in Madhya Pradesh. This gigantic masterpiece carved out of a single block depicts mother Chambal with her two children -- Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan symbolizing the brotherhood of the two states.
 
His iconic bust of Mahatma Gandhi is one of the most celebrated representations of the Mahatma, as is his bronze bust of Tagore. The jury's decision recognizes his outstanding contribution to the preservation of Indian culture and its artistic tradition.
 
The annual award was instituted by the Union Government during the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore.
 
The first Tagore Award was conferred on Pandit Ravi Shankar, the Indian sitar maestro, in 2012 and the second was conferred on music conductor Zubin Mehta in 2013. The award carries an amount of Rs 1 crore, a citation in a scroll, a plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft/ handloom item. The award is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or sex.
 
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'Hichki' mints Rs 100cr in China, Rani ecstatic

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Rani Mukerji-starrer "Hichki" has raced past the Rs 100 crore-mark in China since releasing on October 12, according to its production banner Yash Raj Films.
 
The film features the actress as a determined teacher who changes lives of innocent students from economically backward strata for the better while dealing with her own nervous system disorder Tourette Syndrome.
 
It is a blockbuster in China with it racing past the Rs 100 crore-mark. Audiences in the country have loved Rani's exceptional acting and it has been recording extremely strong collections since its release, read a statement.
 
"Good cinema has no language barriers and it connects with the hearts and minds of the audience. The success of 'Hichki' in China proves just that," Rani said.
 
"We knew we had made a special film but for it to get so much love and acclaim from audiences across the globe is an extremely proud and humbling moment for all of us," she added.
 
She congratulated producer Maneesh Sharma and director Siddharth P. Malhotra for "creating a gem of a film whose universal message of love has been melting the hearts of audiences in China now".
 
"Hichki" was titled "Teacher with Hiccup" for its Chinese release. Rani had promoted the film extensively across leading Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
 
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KWAN founder attempts suicide after #MeToo allegations

Anirban Das Blah (File Photo: IANS)
Anirban Das Blah (File Photo: IANS)
KWAN Entertainment founder Anirban Das Blah, a popular Bollywood celebrity manager who has been accused of sexual misconduct, reportedly tried to end his life early on Friday but was saved at the last minute, police said.
 
The incident happened at 1 a.m. on Friday. Blah was caught and rescued by a traffic police patrol in Vashi area and handed over to police, a traffic police official told IANS.
 
Blah's statement was recorded and he was released. The police advised his family to seek professional counselling for him.
 
Blah was asked to step aside from his position in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against him after multiple reported accounts indicated that Blah had made sexual advances towards women.
 
Following this, KWAN Entertainment said on Wednesday that Blah had resigned from all his responsibilities and designations (including as a member of the Board of Directors) at KWAN and its subsidiaries/affiliates with immediate effect.
 
The company manages prominent names like Ranbir Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Pritam, Mahesh Babu and Rana Dagubatti. 
 
The #MeToo movement in India sparked with actor Tanushree Dutta renewing a 10-year-old allegation against fellow actor Nana Patekar, opening the floodgates for a sea of complaints against several other celebrities.
 
Actors and corporates in the movie industry have stepped up efforts to take stern action against offenders.
 
IANS

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Dileep removed from AMMA: Mohanlal

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
Senior actor Dileep, who was named in a Malayalam actress kidnapping case, was on Friday removed from the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists, its chief Mohanlal said.
 
Ending months of uncertainty, the actors' body at its executive committee meeting held here agreed to end Dileep's membership from AMMA as he has been facing trial in the case that took place in February 2017. 
 
The decision came amidst the raging #MeToo furore in the country. 
 
Superstar Mohanlal told the media that the issue was already lingering long enough and a decision was way overdue.
 
"I called him (Dileep) and told him about the decision and asked for his resignation. He sent us the signed resignation letter," said Mohanlal.
 
Earlier in October, the Women's Collective in Cinema (WCC) had criticised the way the actress kidnapping case was handled. They had named Mohanlal as the main culprit shielding Dileep.
 
"I really don't know why the WCC is taking on me personally. All of them have been my co-stars. We have had good relations. Now it has come to such a pass that it has started to hurt me. I do not feel good at all," the actor added.
 
Dileep has spent 85 days in jail and is now out on bail.
 
At a press conference on October 13, the WCC-led by actress Revathy, alleged that AMMA had not supported the victim whereas Dileep had got all the backing.
 
Others who took part in that conference included Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambisan and Geetu Mohandas, who had earlier quit AMMA to protest against the way the actress kidnapping issue was handled by the actors' body.
 
Mohanlal said the actresses who have resigned from the AMMA if they wished to return, they would have to give a letter. It would have to be considered by the executive committee and then by the general body.
 
"Why should we ask them to return, it was they who resigned. Hence they have to make the first move," said Mohanlal. He, however, added that they need not apologise for their actions.
 
AMMA Secretary and veteran actor Siddique, who had earlier this week attacked the conduct of the WCC members, on Friday said that he feels the women's body was out to create a rift in the AMMA.
 
IANS

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Anna Burns wins 50th Man Booker Prize for 'Milkman'

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Anna Burns from Northern Ireland has won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for her third novel "Milkman". She won the much coveted 50,000 pound award for her timely, troubles-set novel about a young woman being sexually harassed by a powerful man.
 
Burns, 56, became the first Northern Irish winner of the award and accepted the prize at a ceremony at Guildhall here late on Tuesday. 
 
She is also the first female winner since 2012, when Hilary Mantel took the award with "Bring Up the Bodies".
 
Booker's chair of judges, the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, said that the novel is "incredibly original". 
 
"Milkman" is narrated by an unnamed 18-year-old girl, known as "middle sister", who is being pursued by a much older paramilitary figure, the milkman.
 
"None of us has ever read anything like this before," said Appiah, announcing the prize. 
 
"Anna Burns' utterly distinctive voice challenges conventional thinking and form in a surprising and immersive prose. It is a story of brutality, sexual encroachment and resistance threaded with mordant humour."
 
Written in lengthy blocks of paragraphs, eschewing character names for descriptions, Appiah admitted that "Milkman" could be seen as "challenging, but in the way a walk up Snowdon is challenging. It is definitely worth it because the view is terrific when you get to the top," he said. 
 
Previous Irish winners, including John Banville, Anne Enright and Roddy Doyle, all come from the Irish Republic. 
 
Burns beat writers including American literary heavyweight Richard Powers, Canadian Esi Edugyan and Daisy Johnson, at 27 the youngest author ever to be shortlisted for the award. 
 
According to Appiah, the judges, picking from a shortlist that delved into some dark themes, were "unanimous" in their choice of winner -- and not influenced by concerns that picking a third American winner in a row could cause controversy.
 
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Burns, who was born in Belfast and now lives in East Sussex, drew on her own experiences growing up in what she called "a place that was rife with violence, distrust and paranoia". 
 
As the milkman presses his advances on the reluctant middle sister, rumours begin that she is having an affair with him. 
 
Milkman also spoke to the concerns of today, Appiah said. "I think this novel will help people think about #MeToo ... It is to be commended for giving us a deep and subtle and morally and intellectually challenging picture of what #MeToo is about."
 
First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognised as the leading award for quality literary fiction written in English. 
 
Its list of winners includes many of the giants of the last five decades, from Salman Rushdie to Margaret Atwood, Iris Murdoch to J.M. Coetzee. 
 
The prize has also recognised many authors early in their careers, including Eleanor Catton, Aravind Adiga and Ben Okri. 
 
No Indian authors were longlisted or shortlisted for the 50th edition of the prize. 
 
IANS

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Truth will prevail: Nandita Das on #MeToo allegations against father

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Actress-filmmaker Nandita Das, whose father -- artist Jatin Das -- has been accused of sexually harassing a woman, says that, while she will continue to add voice to the #MeToo movement, she believes the truth will prevail in the "disturbing allegations" against the Padma Bhushan recipient.
 
"As a strong supporter of the #MeToo movement, I want to reiterate that I will continue to add my voice to it, despite the disturbing allegations made against my father, which he has categorically denied," Nandita posted on Facebook.
 
"I have maintained from the very start that this is the time we all need to listen, so that women (and men) feel safe to speak up. At the same time, it is also important to be sure about allegations so as not to dilute the movement. I am touched by the number of people - friends and strangers - who are concerned and are trusting my integrity. I do believe truth will prevail. And that is all I have to say on this matter," she added.
 
Conservationist Nisha Bora on Tuesday accused Jatin Das of sexually harassing her at his Khidki village studio in 2004. Das refuted the allegation as "ridiculous and vulgar".
 
The #MeToo movement in India has been on a rise with victims of sexual harassment from all walks of life voicing their stories. Nandita has been vocal about urging women to speak up against any such unsavoury experiences that they have faced at their work place.
 
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Malayalam actor Alencier named in #MeToo storm

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Actor Alencier Ley Lopez has been named by an upcoming actress for allegedly harassing her a few times.
 
The actress took to her Facebook page and said the incident took place nine months ago.
 
"I had spoken to Justice Hema Commission (a state government appointed body to study the issues of women in the film industry) and they agreed to give me time to register my complaint. But now I have decided to come out," the actress said.
 
Alencier, 52, hails from the state capital and began his career in theatre. He made his debut in the Malayalam film industry in 1998 and since then, he has excelled in character roles.
 
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AMMA must look into issues raised by actresses: Kerala Minister

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A Kerala Minister on Sunday urged the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) to look into the grievances raised by actresses.
 
The Women's Collective in Cinema (WCC) has raised concerns over how AMMA, led by superstar Mohanlal, has handled the case involving the kidnapping of an actress.
 
The Kerala government will step in if a need arises, State Minister for Law, Cinema and Culture A.K. Balan said here.
 
"Now that the WCC has raised issues, in all fairness, AMMA should look into it and sort out it," said Balan.
 
The WCC was formed last year by women drawn from various sectors of the film industry to fight for their cause, after they found that AMMA was not protecting their interests.
 
Senior actor Dileep is an accused in a kidnapping case that took place last year. The actor was in jail for 85 days and is now out on bail.
 
It was at a lengthy press conference that the WCC, led by actress Revathy, alleged that AMMA has not supported the victim, whereas Dileep has got all the backing.
 
Others who took part included Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambisan and Geetu Mohandas, who had earlier quit from AMMA to protest against the way the actress' kidnapping issue was handled by AMMA.
 
On Saturday, Revathy said things were not clean in the Malayalam film industry. She said she was shocked to see a 17-year-old young girl knocking at her door and complaining about the way she was exploited.
 
But on Sunday, Revathy issued a statement, clearing her stance regarding something she said during the press conference, in reference to an incident which took place years ago.
 
"I wish to clarify that the said incident happened 25-26 years back and not one and a half years back as some are projecting it to be. She said that someone repeatedly knocked at her door asking her to open and she did not know who it was. I asked her to come inside the room and locked the door. She was scared and I was also equally scared and both of us waited out that night in fear. No sexual or physical assault actually happened," said Revathy.
 
Meanwhile, a lawyer has filed a petition at a police station in Kochi against Revathy for withholding the information and not reporting to the concerned authorities.
 
Following the WCC press meet on Saturday evening, their Facebook page has come under cyber attack.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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AMMA under fire from actresses over AMMA's handling of actress abduction case

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The Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA), led by super star Mohanlal, came under fire on Saturday from the Women's Collective in Cinema (WCC) over the way the kidnapping case of an actress is being handled.
 
The WCC was formed last year by women drawn from various sectors of the film industry to fight for their cause, after they found that AMMA was not protecting their interests.
 
Senior actor Dileep is an accused in a kidnapping case that took place last year. The actor was in jail for 85 days and is now out on bail.
 
The WCC alleges that AMMA has not supported the victim, whereas Dileep has got all the backing.
 
Leading actress Revathy on Saturday said that many like her were shocked to hear Mohanlal address them as mere actresses.
 
"It really hurt us very much... he could have mentioned us by our name. We have now realized that AMMA's executive committee is taking us for a ride and is not serious about the victim getting justice in the kidnapping case," said Revathy, adding AMMA should be handled by responsible people.
 
Trouble stared soon after Mohanlal took over as AMMA President in June. He took back into the AMMA fold actor Dileep, prompting leading actresses Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambisan and Geetu Mohandas to quit AMMA in protest. Another 14 members announced their decision to quit, citing lack of fairness.
 
At Saturday's press meet, Revathy, Padmapriya, Parvathy and the three actresses who quit AMMA and a few others were also present.
 
The decision on Dileep's status has been left to the next general body meeting of AMMA.
 
"They (AMMA) use bye-laws when they find it useful for their requirements and when it comes to our needs, they cling on bye-laws," said Parvathy.
 
Revathy said things are not clean in the Malayalam film industry, adding she was shocked to see a 17-year-old young girl knocking at her door and complaining about the way she was exploited.
 
"I will not name her, but things are bad in the industry," said Revathy.
 
She said that none should take the actresses lightly, and that they would continue to expose the goings-on in the industry.
 
Beena Paul, who is vice-chairman of the state-run Kerala State Chalachitra Acadmey, said their intention is not to shame the industry.
 
"There are so many stories of victimization... slowly these will come out," said Paul.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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