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Modi releases digital version of Ramcharitmanas

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today released the digital version of  Ramcharitmanas, as a set of digital CDs produced by public broadcaster All India Radio. 
 
Praising the efforts of the artistes who had contributed to this musical production, Mr. Modi said they had performed not just "sangeet sadhna", but also "sanskriti sadhna" and "sanskaar sadhna" (devotion not just to music, but also to culture and tradition). 
 
He described the Ramcharitmanas as a great epic which contained the "essence of India." He mentioned how Indians who had travelled to various parts of the world, such as Mauritius, kept alive their link with India over successive generations, through the Ramcharitmanas. 
 
The Prime Minister appreciated the role played by All India Radio – Akashvani – in uniting the people and spreading awareness and information in India. He said that he has been informed that All India Radio has approximately 9 lakh hours of audio recordings of various artistes from across the country. He said this was a priceless collection, which should be documented in detail for posterity. 
 
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Arun Jaitley and Prasar Bharati Chairman A Suryaprakash were present on the occasion. 
 
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Sun TV Network partners with Hooq platform for delivery of movies

Sun TV Network, which has a large catalogue of movies from the South, today said it had entered into a partnership with Hooq, one of Asia's biggest video-on-demand services, in a multi-year deal.
 
A press release from Sun TV said Hooq had recently entered the Indian market with more than 30,000 hours of movies and television series.
 
Under the agreement, it wll now also carry Sun TV's library that includes a mix of Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films.
 
The content catalogue includes titles such as 3, Jilla, Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kanaom, Manam Kothi Paravai, Mayakkam Enna, Oru Kal Oru Kannadi, Ragalapuram, Kanchana, Neram, Kazhugoo (New), Sundara Pandian, Mankatha and many more.
 
S L Narayanan Group CFO, Sun TV Network, said, "We are excited about the possibilities arising out of our association with Hooq, a digital distribution platform of impeccable lineage. Sun TV holds a large library of blockbusters and timeless classics with enduring appeal."
 
"We are proud to partner Sun TV Network. Their extensive library with titles from Tamil to Malayalam will help us ensure we have something for everyone in India," said Mr. Peter Bithos, Chief Executive Officer of Hooq.
 
"More importantly, we want our customers to continue to enjoy the largest and best catalogue of Hollywood and Indian content of any service available today," he added.
 
Hooq is a joint venture established in January 2015 by Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros. It currently operates in the Philippines, Thailand and India with a population footprint of over 1.4 billion people. 
 
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Sahitya Akademi opens book shop at Vishwavidyalaya metro station in Delhi

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The Sahitya Akademi opened its second book shop on the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) network at the Vishwavidyalaya station today.
 
The first book stall is functional at the Kashmere Gate station since February this year.
 
The shops have been set up as part of a joint initiative by the academy and DMRC to promote Indian literature by providing quality books in Indian languages published by the Akademy and also to cultivate reading habits among Metro commuters and employees.  
 
Metro passengers can avail 15% discount on the books purchased from this book shop by showing their Delhi Metro Smart Card. Limited editions of DMRC publications will also be made available for sale from the Metro book shop.
 
The book shop was formally inaugurated by Mr. Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, Chairman of the Sahitya Akademy in the presence of senior DMRC and Sahitya Akademi officials. 
 
DMRC had earlier, in 2014, opened two book shops in association with the National Book Trust (NBT) at Kashmere Gate and Vishwavidyalaya stations.
 
DMRC in recent times has taken up the initiative of tying up with various government bodies and other organizations (National Book Trust, Delhi Tourism, Sahitya Akademy, India Habitat Centre, Ministry of Textiles) authorizing them to use the Metro premises in such a way that they are treated as a hub for promotion of Indian art, culture, literature, craft, tourism and so on.
 
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Mukherjee presents Saraswati Samman for 2014 to Veerappa Moily

President Pranab Mukherjee presenting the 24th Saraswati Samman 2014 to former Union Minister M. Veerappa Moily, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on August 10, 2015.
President Pranab Mukherjee presenting the 24th Saraswati Samman 2014 to former Union Minister M. Veerappa Moily, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on August 10, 2015.
President Pranab Mukherjee presented the 24th Sarasati Sammaan for 2014 to former Union Minister M. Veerappa Moily for his epic ‘Sri Ramayana Mahanveshanam’ written in Kannada. 
 
He described Dr Moily, a senior Congress leader and member of the Lok Sabha, as a "fellow Parliamentarian and friend of several decades" and congratulated him for contributing to literature through his prolific writings along with having a successful political career.
 
The President said in his magnificent composition of 43,000 lines inspired by the original epic of Valmiki, Dr. Moily had shared with people his unique insight into contemporary situations. 
 
"He has then addressed them through the prism of the eternal principles of good governance, high morality and righteousness. He has shared his belief that present day India has a lot to learn from the Ramayana – especially that our nation-building effort must be based on the strong foundation of tolerance, pluralism and inclusiveness," he said.
 
The President said that just as good prevails over evil in the Ramayana - and Gandhiji’s words “Satyamev Jayete” remind people that truth alone triumphs, the epic brings to them such ageless values as compassion, self correction and discipline in thought and deed.
 
"In Dr. Moily’s message, an echo of his own perceptions – that our democracy can only flourish if there is an active Parliament, if the representatives of the people have a clear vision, if their efforts are supported and supplemented by a diligent Government and an independent judiciary. Additionally, the system depends on a responsible media and a vigilant society. The composition could truly be called a milestone – not only in the realm of Indian literature; but in the tradition of the Ramayana," he added.
 
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Mr Mukherjee said democratic rights came with responsibilities and the people of India were duty bound to make collective efforts to build their society, and contribute sincerely to the economic growth and inclusive development of the nation. 
 
"I have no doubt that through his magnificent work, Shri Ramayana Mahanveshanam, Moilyji will help create a greater sensitivity to such values.
 
"This composition can truly be called a milestone – not only in the realm of Indian literature; but in the tradition of the Ramayana.
I am very glad that the poem has been translated into Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and English and has thus become accessible to a larger readership," he said
 
The Saraswati Samman is an annual award for outstanding proose or poetry literary works in any of the Indian languages listed in Schedule VIII of the Constitution. It was instituted in 1991 by the K K Birla Foundation.
 
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Bollywood gets its own version of Rangabati!

 
The Hindi version of Odisha cult classic Rangabati from Nila Madhab Panda’s film Kaun Kitney Paani Mein launched yesterday on YouTube.
 
The song has been inspired by the Sambalpuri hit Rangabati and is Panda’s tribute to the composer and creators of the original song. 
 
“I am very proud to bring the song and the Sambalpuri flavour into Bollywood and Hindi cinema. The song is all the more important and of great significance, since my film is based in Odisha. And coming from the Oriya community myself, the song is a tribute to its original creators and composers at a national level," he said.
 
The number has actress Radhika Apte reveal her dancing avatar on the big screen for the first time as she dances to the tune of Rangabati. The track sung by Rekha Rao and Krishna Beura also features Odiya actress Prakriti Mishra and famous Odishi dancer Saswat Joshi. 
 
The music has been composed by KB tunes, while the lyrics are by Protiqe Mojoomdar.
 
The filmmaker said that it was matter of great pride and honour for him to be able to present the song to the Hindi audiences as well.
 
The Sambalpuri song, Rangabati is one of the most popular songs in Odisha, ever since it was first recorded in the mid-1970s. Written by Mitrabhanu Gauntia, composed by Prabhudatta Pradhan and sung by Jitendra Haripal and Krishna Patel, the song continues to be a hit in popular culture too. 
 
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Talking about his version of the song, Panda said, “The Rangabati song in my film is in Hindi and has been inspired by the original cult classic. The idea is to share and showcase the rich culture on a wider scale and what better platform than to have it in a Bollywood film."
 
Kaun Kitney Paani Mein is Panda’s most ambitious film yet and deals with one of the most critical challenges facing the world -- water.
 
Starring Kunal Kapoor, Radhika Apte, Gulshan Grover and Saurabh Shukla, the film has been funded by One Drop Foundation, Montreal and produced by Eleeanora Images and One Drop Foundation and is slated to release on August 28.
 
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Salman Khan-starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan crosses Rs 300 crore at Indian box office

Salman Khan-starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan, directed by Kabir Khan, crossed the Rs 300 crore mark on Wednesday at the Indian box office, taking its worldwide gross to over Rs 500 crore and making it now the highest grosser of 2015.
 
A press release from film entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd and producers Salman Khan Films said the film, that release on July 17, had a thunderous start at the box office with the fastest Rs.100 crore in the opening weekend itself. 
 
The film also earned the highest single day collections for a film at Rs. 38.75 crore on Sunday in the opening weekend. The film then crossed the Rs. 150 crores milestone within five days of release in India and went on to collect the highest second weekend ever of Rs. 56.10 crore.
 
The release said Bajrangi Bhaijaan has been doing phenomenal business in the overseas markets too with the film garnering Rs. 155 crore ($ 24.3 million) till Wednesday. 
 
"The film has broken all previous overseas records of Salman Khan films and is in Top 10 in the UK. It crossed Rs. 50 crores (29 million Dirhams) in UAE and GCC regions to become the highest grosser for any Hindi film in the region," it said.
 
Amar Butala, COO, Salman Khan Films and co-producer of Bajrangi Bhaijaan said, “It's a matter of pride for Salman Khan Films that our first film as producers continues to set new box office benchmarks both in India and worldwide and has found both box office success and critical acclaim. We are overwhelmed with the love and appreciation the audience is showering on the film across the globe".
 
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Nandu Ahuja, Senior Vice-President, India Theatrical, Eros International Media Ltd added, “We are so delighted that our first collaboration with SKF has garnered such an unprecedented response and we hope for many more to follow. Bajrangi Bhaijaan has created box office history; Salman mania persists amongst his fans and audiences and records continue to shatter as there is no stopping the film”.
 
Pranab Kapadia, President - Marketing and Distribution, Eros International Plc, said, “Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s performance in the overseas markets has amazed trade pundits with unheard of numbers. The movie has surpassed the overseas collections of Salman’s previous blockbusters and has gone on to become the highest grossing Salman Khan movie ever.”
 
Bajrangi Bhaijaan is produced by Salman Khan and Rockline Venkatesh and distributed worldwide by Eros International.
 
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Actor Shahid Kapoor marries Delhi girl Mira Rajput

 
Actor Shahid Kapoor marries fiancee Mira Rajput
Popular Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor, 34, married his 21-year-old fiancee Mira Rajput of Delhi at a ceremony attended by their close friends and family on the outskirts of the national capital today.
 
The couple later made a brief appearance for the media and were due to attend a reception later this evening at a hotel in Gurgaon.
 
Those present at the ceremony included Shahid's father and well-known actor Pankaj Kapoor.
 
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Sahitya Akademi announces Bhasha Samman awards for 2013, 2014

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The Sahitya Akademi today announced that the Bhasha Samman would be given to Dr. K. Meenakshi Sundaram in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Classical and Medieval Literature (Southern) for the year 2013.
 
A press release from the academy said that Acharya Munishwar Jha would get the award in recognition of his significant contributions to Classical and Medieval Literature (Eastern) for the year 2014.
 
The award will also be given jointly to Mr Charu Chandra Pande and Mr Mathuradutt Mathpal for their valuable contributions to the enrichment of Kumauni language, a language not recognized by the Akademi. 
 
Bhasha Samman carries a cash prize of Rs. 1,00,000, an inscribed copper plaque and a citation. In the case of joint winners, the prize money is equally shared between the winners. The Samman will be presented to them by the President of the Sahitya Akademi at a special function to be held later.
 
Dr. Meenakshi Sundaram, born in 1925, is a founder director of International Institute of Tamil Studies and his contribution to ancient and medieval literature is phenomenal. He is an authority of Cilappatikaram, an ancient Tamil epic. His masterly works on Cilappatikaram, minor characters in Cilappatikaram and the role of the characters in Cilappatikaram have won laurels for him. To his credit goes an earlier work on the society of the Cankam age. He has written scholarly essays on Tirukkural. He has made rich contribution to medieval literature and his work on Kambar stands as an example. An author of 16 works on literature, his contribution extends up to modern literature also (Manonmaniyam –Puratchi-Thiran).
 
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Acharya Jha, born in 1928, is an eminent scholar, teacher and educationist. He is a former Vice-Chancellor of K.S.D. Sanskrit University, Bihar (1989-1992). He has made valuable contribution in the area of Sanskrit literature for which he was honoured with the Presidential Award in 2006. He has over more than a dozen books in Hindi, English, Maithili and Sanskrit. Among which Vidyapati Vanmaya (Maithili), Tapasa Kavi Vidyapati (Maithili), Bhu-Parikramanam (Sanskrit) among others. He also worked on a project on Maithili Bhashaki, Evolution and Reconstruction of the Maithili Language.
 
Mr Pande was born in 1923 at Kasoon, Almora (Uttarakhand). He has worked extensively on Kumauni language and has published Sej Gumani, Eco Farms Hills (in English), Chhodo Gulami Khitab and Angwal. He has received awards like Umesh Dhobhal Smiriti Samman and Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan Award.
 
Mr Mathpal, born in 1942, at Bhikiyasain, Almora (Uttarakhand) is a poet, teacher and Kumauni scholar. He has published Aang-Aang Chichail Haigo (poetry), Mook Geet (a book based on famous Kumauni poet Pandit Kripal Dutt Joshi) along with the translation of many poems in Hindi. He has been awarded with the Sumitranandan Pant Award by the Uttar Pradesh Government (1989) and Sherda ‘Anpad’ Smriti Samman, among other awards.
 
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Kerala: CCI imposes penalty on KFEF, FDA for contravening competition law

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The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has found Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation (KFEF), an association of theatre owners, and Film Distributors Association, Kerala (FDA), an association of film distributors, in contravention of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002.
 
The informant, Kerala Cine Exhibitors Association (KCEA), had approached CCI alleging anti-competitive conduct by KFEF and FDA in not allowing screening of new films in the theatres owned by its members. 
 
An official press release said that, consequent upon detailed investigation by its Director General, the CCI concluded that the conduct of KFEF and FDA in agreeing on the number of theatres where the new movies would be released resulted in restricting/ limiting the release of new movies. 
 
CCI found that KFEF ensured that despite having necessary infrastructure and appropriate classification/ grading from the Committee appointed by the Government of Kerala, the theatres owned by members of KCEA were not getting fresh releases/new movies. It was observed by CCI that any industry player who flouted the said mandate of KFEF was boycotted by its members.
 
Accordingly, CCI held that by controlling and limiting the distribution of movies to pre-determined release centres in Kerala through an agreement, OP-1 and OP-2 have infracted the provisions of section 3(3)(b) read with section 3(1) of the Act. 
 
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Further, CCI imposed a penalty of Rs. 56,134 upon KFEF calculated at the rate of 7% of its average income. Taking into consideration the mitigating factor that FDA succumbed to the diktats of KFEF to protect the commercial interest of its members, a penalty of Rs. 45,189 was imposed upon it, calculated at the rate of 3% of its average income.
 
CCI also found that during the period of contravention, the President and General Secretary of KFEF and FDA were actively involved in the affairs of their respective associations and as such they were responsible for the anti-competitive decision making by their respective associations. Accordingly, financial penalties were imposed upon them under section 48 of the Act.
 
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Bachchan, Graphic India join Disney Channel India for animated series "Astra Force"

Graphic India and Disney Channel India announced today that renowned Hindi movie star Amitabh Bachchan will start production on a 52-episode animated series, “Astra Force".
 
The series created by Bachchan and Graphic India CEO Sharad Devarajan is slated to air on Disney Channel India in 2017.
 
"I am truly excited to be collaborating with my friends Sharad Devarajan at Graphic India and Sid Roy Kapur at Disney to launch this exciting new superhero series, ‘Astra Force'," said Bachchan.
 
"In the same way animation from other markets has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide, it’s now India’s time to create new heroes and animated shows to spark the imaginations of children all across the world," he said.
 
Billed as a funny and fast-paced, action-adventure series, filled with laughs and thrills, “Astra Force” tells the story of a mythical hero from a distant world, who was stranded on Earth millions of years ago after an epic space battle, a press release from Graphic India said.
 
When 8-year old brother and sister twins accidentally awaken the mythical superhero from his long hibernation, they must teach him about our modern world and join Astra to save the universe from a new wave of giant monsters and intergalactic threats. If monsters were not enough, Astra’s new young friends also have to hide the superhero from their parents and deal with Astra’s insatiable hunger for modern desserts after an eternity spent in hibernation.
 
“At Disney, we believe in showcasing great stories with compelling characters that are loved by our audiences. It is imperative to get the local texture right for any story to resonate and emotionally connect with the viewers. With Mr. Bachchan associating with Graphics India and Disney Channel India on ‘Astra Force,’ we will be bringing an interesting facet to storytelling in the local animation space,” said Kapur, Managing Director, Disney India.
 
“Amitabh Bachchan is a real life superhero to millions, including myself, so it’s no surprise that he is the perfect person to become immortalized in this new animated avatar,” Devarajan said.
 
“The opportunity to collaborate with Mr. Bachchan on ‘Astra Force’ is made that much stronger by partnering with Disney, a company whose creativity and storytelling I have admired all my life," he said.
 
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"Disney Channel India has been entertaining kids and families through a range of locally relevant stories spread across high-quality animation and live-action series. 'Astra Force' will be the perfect complement to the line-up of existing shows," the release said.
 
Devarajan is the producer on “Astra Force” along with Jeevan J. Kang, SVP Creative at Graphic India, who is overseeing visual development, character design and art for the project. Graphic’s previous animated superhero, Chakra The Invincible, was created with Stan Lee (co-creator of Spider-Man, Iron Man and The Avengers) and received over 30 million views globally on Rovio’s ToonsTV platform available through the Angry Birds app.
 
In addition to the partnership with Disney Channel India, Graphic India will also be launching the character in a series of digital and print comic books available through a special Facebook comic app through Bachchan’s large social media following. 
 
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FTII students go on strike against Gajendra Chauhan's appointment as Chairman

 
FTII students protest appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as Chairman
Students at the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) have gone on an indefinite strike since yesterday in protest against the appointment of actor Gajendra Chauhan as the Chairman of its Governing Council.
 
All classes and activities such as shoots and practicals have come to a halt on the campus, sources said. Students raised slogans against Chauhan and put up posters and banners all over the institute.
 
Chauhan is best known for his portrayal of "Yudhishthira" in the television serial Mahabharat. He is also associated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
 
The students have objected to his appointment because of his perceived political leanings as well as because of reports that some eminent film personalities with a much bigger body of work were overlooked in the process. 
 
The Government had on June 9 announced Chauhan's appointment and the reconstitution of the FTII Society. Chauhan was named as the President of the Society and the Chairman of its Governing Council.
 
Well-known personalities such as Shyam Benegal, Mrinal Sen,  Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mahesh Bhatt, Girish Karnad, Vinod Khanna and U.R. Ananthamurthy have served as Chairman of the Governing Council in the past.  Filmmaker Saeed Mirza is currently the Chairman of the Governing Council. 
 
Chauhan felt it was unfair on the part of the students to protest against his appointment when they had not interacted with him or seen his work.
 
He said the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had finalised him after a six-month process and must have taken into account various factors, including his contribution to films and television.
 
He said he had been associated with the industry for long years and had also served as president of the film artistes' association.
 
The Government had on the same day also nominated various people connected with Films and Television Education, Journalism, Literature, Fine Arts, Dramatics, Performing Arts and so on as members of the society.
 
They are: Ms Anagha Ghaisas, Ms Vidya Balan, Mr Jahnu Barua, Ms  Pallavi Joshi, Dr. Narendra Pathak, Mr. Urmil Thapliyal, Mr Pranjal Saikia and Mr Rahul Solapurkar.
 
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Similarly the following persons have been nominated in the category of Alumni of FTII in pursuance of Rule 3(1)(12) of the Rules of the FTII, Pune: Mr. Shailesh Gupta, Mr. Santosh Sivan, Mr Raju Hirani and Mr Imo Singh.
 
The ex-officio members of the society are: Joint Secretary (Films), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B); Chief Executive Officer, Prasar Bharati; Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Ministry of I&B; Chairman, Central Board of Film Certification; Managing Director, National Film Development Corporation; Director General, Films Division, Mumbai; Director, National School of Drama; Director, Indian Institute of Mass Communications; Director, National Film Archive of India (NFAI), Pune; Director, Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune; and Director, Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata.
 
The following have also been nominated in pursuance of Rule 3(1)(10) of the Rules of FTII, Pune, in the category of “Experts representing the activities of the Central Government” as Members of the FTII Society: Mr Shravan Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Children's Film Society of India (CFSI); Mr Chaitanya Prasad , Officer On Special Duty, Ministry I&B; and Mr Shashi Prakash Goyal, Joint Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development.
 
Established as 'Film Institute of India' in 1960 on the erstwhile Prabhat Studio premises at Pune, FTII is today regarded worldwide as a centre of excellence and its alumni have left an indelible imprint on Indian cinema and television.
 
The institute is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of India. Its policies are determined by a Governing Council. The latter appoints the director of the institute.
 
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Sathyu, Janakiraman, Kichlu, Borkar elected Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows

M. S. SathyuS R JanakiramanM. S. Sathyu and S R Janakiraman
Carnatic vocalist S R Janakiraman, filmmaker M. S. Sathyu, singer Vijay Kichlu and harmonium player Tulsidas Borkar are the four eminent personalities from the field of performing arts elected as Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows for 2014.
 
The decision was taken by the General Council of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, at its meeting held here on June 10.
 
The Fellowship (Akademi Ratna) is a prestigious and rare honour, restricted to a very limited number at a given time. Presently there are only 40 Fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.
 
The General Council of the Akademi also selected 36 artistes from the fields of Music, Dance, Theatre, Traditional/Folk/Tribal Music/Dance/Theatre & Puppetry and Overall contribution/scholarship in Performing Arts for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2014.
 
In the field of music, nine eminent artistes -- Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan and Nath Narelkar for Hindustani Vocal Music, Pandit Nayan Ghosh for Hindustani Instrumental Music (Tabla), Ronu Majumdar for Hindustani Instrumental Music (Flute), Neyveli Santhanagopalan for Carnatic Vocal Music, T A Kaliyamurthy in Carnatic Instrumentl Music (Thavil), Sukanya Ramgopal in the field of Carnatic Instrumental Music (Ghatam) and Dwaram Durga Prasad Rao in the field of Carnatic Instrumental Music (Violin) -- have been selected for the Akademi Awards 2014.
 
In the field of dance, the awardees are Adayar Janardanan for Bharatanatyam, Uma Dogra for Kathak, N. Amusana Devi for Manipuri, Vedantam Radhesyam for Kuchipudi, Sudhakar Sahoo for Odissi, Anita Sharma for Sattriya, Jagru Mahato for Chhau, Navtej Singh Johar for Contemporary Dance and Varanasi Vishnu Namboothiri for Music for Kathakali.
 
Vijay KichluTulsidas Borkar
Vijay Kichlu and Tulsidas Borkar
In the field of Theatre, eight eminent persons have been selected for Akademi Awards 2014. They are Asgar Wajahat for Playwriting, Surya Mohan Kulshreshtha and Chidambar Rao Jambe for Direction, Debshankar Haldar and Ramdas Kamath for Acting, Amod Bhatt in Allied Theatre Arts- Music for Theatre, Manjunath Bhagwat Hostota for Other Major Traditions of Theatre (Yakshagana) and Amardas Manikpuri for Music for Theatre- Chattisgarh.
 
In the field of Traditional/Folk/Tribal Music/Dance/Theatre & Puppetry, eight artistes have been selected for Akademi Awards 2014. They are Puran Shah Koti for Traditional Music of Punjab, K Kesavasamy for Puppetry (Puducherry), Kalamandalam Ram Mohan for Makeup/Costume for Kathakali, Reba Kanta Mohanta for Mask Making of Assam, Abdul Rashid Hafiz for folk music of Jammu & Kashmir, K Shanathoiba Sharma for Thang-Ta of Manipur, Ramdayal Sharma for Nautanki of Uttar Pradesh and Thanga Darlong for Folk Music of Tripura.
 
Akshara K.V and Indudhar Nirody have been selected for the Akademi Awards 2014 in the field of Overall Contribution/ Scholarship to Performing Arts.
 
The honour of Akademi Fellow has been conferred since 1954 and Akademi Award since 1952. They not only symbolize the highest standard of excellence and achievements on a national basis, but also recognize sustained individual work and contribution to the practice and appreciation of the arts through performance, teaching and scholarship.
 
The honour of Akademi Fellow carries a purse money of Rs 3,00,000 and Akademi Awards carry Rs 1,00,000, besides Tamrapatra and Angavastram.
 
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FTII Society reconstituted, Gajendra Chauhan nominated as President

Gajendra Chauhan
Gajendra Chauhan
Actor Gajendra Chauhan, best known for his portrayal of "Yudhishthira" in the television series "Mahabharat", was nominated as the President of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) Society, Pune and the Chairman of its Governing Council.
 
The Government has also reconstituted the FTII Society for a period of three years in pursuance of Rule 3 of its rules, an oficial press release said.
 
The Government has also nominated various people connected with Films and Television Education, Journalism, Literature, Fine Arts, Dramatics, Performing Arts and so on as members of the society.
 
They are: Ms Anagha Ghaisas, Ms Vidya Balan, Mr Jahnu Barua, Ms  Pallavi Joshi, Dr. Narendra Pathak, Mr. Urmil Thapliyal, Mr Pranjal Saikia and Mr Rahul Solapurkar.
 
Similarly the following persons have been nominated in the category of Alumni of FTII in pursuance of Rule 3(1)(12) of the Rules of the FTII, Pune: Mr. Shailesh Gupta, Mr. Santosh Sivan, Mr Raju Hirani and Mr Imo Singh.
 
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The ex-officio members of the society are: Joint Secretary (Films), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B); Chief Executive Officer, Prasar Bharati; Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Ministry of I&B; Chairman, Central Board of Film Certification; Managing Director, National Film Development Corporation; Director General, Films Division, Mumbai; Director, National School of Drama; Director, Indian Institute of Mass Communications; Director, National Film Archive of India (NFAI), Pune; Director, Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune; and Director, Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata.
 
The following have also been nominated in pursuance of Rule 3(1)(10) of the Rules of FTII, Pune, in the category of “Experts representing the activities of the Central Government” as Members of the FTII Society: Mr Shravan Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Children's Film Society of India (CFSI); Mr Chaitanya Prasad , Officer On Special Duty, Ministry I&B; and Mr Shashi Prakash Goyal, Joint Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development.
 
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ErosNow signs content acquisition deal with Pakistan’s Hum TV

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ErosNow, the online entertainment portal from film entertainment major Eros International, today said it had signed a content acquisition deal with Hum TV of Pakistan.
 
Under the deal, registered users of ErosNow across the world will get access to Hum TV's entire library, including the current shows, at no extra subscription cost.
 
The deal also gives ErosNow subscribers in India an exclusive opportunity to view the content 48 hours prior to its telecast on any other platform, a press release from the company said.
 
"Hum TV is a 24-hour entertainment TV channel in Pakistan. The channel provides consistent high quality programming across a wide spectrum of genres. The members of ErosNow will be privy to some of Hum TV’s most popular television shows like Zindagi Gulzar Hai, Humsafar and Dastaan," the release said.
 
Ms Rishika Lulla Singh, CEO, ErosNow said, “We are extremely happy to introduce Pakistan’s popular soaps to a new digital generation of South Asians globally and add to our roster of content. The partnership with a leading channel like Hum will give our subscribers an opportunity to view the much sought after and varied Pakistani content.”
 
Ms Sultana Siddiqui, President, Hum Network Limited, said, “We at Hum are delighted to partner with ErosNow, a leading global digital entertainment provider. This association enables us in reaching out and providing some of our best Pakistani content to millions of keen internet users across the globe.”
 
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4th NE Youth Festival to be held at Majauli in Assam from May 29-31

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About 2100 delegates will participate in the 4th North East Youth Festival which will be held at Majuli in Assam from May 29 to 31.
 
The festival is being organized by the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) on behalf of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. 
 
Participants in the event will include contingents from the North- Eastern States, NYKS volunteers, delegates from other states for the Food Festival and Yuva Kriti and cultural troupes and youth delegates from the neighboring districts, an official press release said.
 
The festival will feature competition events such as folk dances, folk songs, one-act plays, instrumental guitar and rock bands.
 
Non-competition events at the festival will include cultural, musical and martial arts show. There will also be a food festival and seminars on youth related issues.
 
The festival is scheduled to be inaugurated by Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilisers Ananth Kumar on May 29.
 
Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma and Assam Youth Affairs Minister Ajit Singh are amongst the others expected to attend the festival.
 
The Governor of Assam will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony of the festival on May 31 when Union Ministers Shripad Naik and Kiren Rijiju will also be present.
 
Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal will preside over both the inaugural as well as the closing ceremonies.
 
The North East Youth Festival is organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sport, Government of India to showcase the rich cultural traditions and colours of the North East.
 
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Exhibition of vintage miniature paintings on Ramayana opens in Australia

An exhibition of vintage miniature paintings titled, "The story of Rama: Indian Miniatures from the National Museum, New Delhi", opened in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra yesterday.
 
The three-month show features 101 paintings done between the 17th and 19th centuries, and is the first major initiative under a recently-inked pact on culture between India and Australia. 
 
National Museum Director-General and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Mr Sanjiv Mittal, who was present, expressed his country’s delight in sharing with Australians the story of Ramayana. “It is one that transcends generations and is reflective of our rich and deep culture,” he said.
 
According to an official press release, the agreement demonstrates India’s readiness to partner with countries and celebrate the arts, Indian High Commissioner to Australia  Navdeep Suri said.
 
“We hope that all Australians enjoy these wonderful works of art that reveal one of my country’s most well-known stories,” he said.
 
National Museum curator Vijay Kumar Mathur, who has selected the 101 paintings in a chronological progression capturing the story of the Ramayana, revealed that the collection had been pooled in from India’s northern, central and eastern territories. 
 
“These miniatures are from schools such as Mughal, Deccan, Pahari, Rajasthan and Central India. They represent a matured movement that colourfully visualises the spirit of the Ramayana,” he said, recalling that the National Museum had organised a Rama Katha exhibition in 2013, after which it travelled to Belgium. 
 
The Director of National Gallery of Australia , Mr. Gerard Vaughan said the exhibition of “vibrant and exquisite Indian miniature paintings is important” for the gallery. 
 
“It forms part of our commitment to share the art and rich cultural heritage of India with all Australians,” he added about the finely-detailed paintings featuring a rich diversity of regional styles—and selected from the collection of National Museum (NM) of over 17,000 miniatures, the largest in the world. 
 
The NGA exhibition will remain open till August 23, and entry is free for the public. 
 
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10th World Hindi Conference to be held in Bhopal from Sep 10-12

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The 10th World Hindi Conference (WHC) will be held from September 10-12 in Bhopal by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in partnership with the government of Madhya Pradesh.
 
The first WHC was held in Nagpur, Maharashtra in 1975 and the last one in September 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The last time the conference was held in INdia was in 1983 when it was hosted by New Delhi.
 
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is the chaiperson of the Advisory and Programmes Committee of the conference while Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh is the chairman of the Management Committee.
 
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is the Chief Patron. Makhanlal Chaturvedi Rashtriya Patrakarita avam Sanchar Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal is the partner organization for the conference, a press release from MEA said.
 
The main theme of the conference is "Hindi Jagat: Vistar avm sambhavnai”. The venue of the Conference is "Lal Parade Ground”, Bhopal.
 
Alongside the conference, special exhibitions will be held on various themses. There will also be a separate area designated for book releases where release of Hindi books and magazines will go on simultaneously.
 
During the conference, there will be cultural programmes in the evenings organized by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Department of Culture, Government. Madhya Pradesh. 
 
A "Kavi Sammelan" will be organized by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), New Delhi. The cultural programmes and the Kavi Sammelan will be coordinated by the ICCR. The ICCR will bring out a special issue of "Gagananchal” dedicated to the conference.
 
In keeping with the past practice, Hindi scholars from India and other countries would be honoured for their distinguished service in the field of Hindi at the conference.
 
The website of the conference was formally launched by Ms Swaraj here yesterday. The winner of the conference logo design competition Ms. Khyati Gupta from Bangalore, was awarded the prize money of Rs 50,000 by Ms Swaraj on the occasion.
 
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Show on calligraphy, craftsmanship opens at National Museum in Delhi

National Museum Director General Sanjiv Mittal and Curator Anamika Pathak explain to Union Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma the aesthetics of an early 19th-century prayer carpet from Masulipatanam of Andhra Pradesh, in New Delhi on May 15, 2015.
National Museum Director General Sanjiv Mittal and Curator Anamika Pathak explain to Union Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma the aesthetics of an early 19th-century prayer carpet from Masulipatanam of Andhra Pradesh, in New Delhi on May 15, 2015.
A two-month exhibition of Islamic-stye writing on objects of daily use was inaugurated at the National Museum here yesterday evening by Union Minister for Culture Mahesh Sharma, highlighting age-old aesthetics of calligraphy and craftsmanship.
 
Displaying 56 utility artefacts from the past five centuries, ‘Art of Calligraphy and Beyond: Arabic-Persian Inscriptions on Decorative Arts objects’ focuses on tastefully done inscriptions on metal-ware, wood, textiles and semi-precious stones — all of them from the museum's own reserve collections.
 
The minister, after taking a round of the 59-day exhibition, said the show sought to reinforce the country’s syncretism. “This great institute (NM) is doing a wonderful work to preserve our art and culture with this calligraphy exhibition,” he wrote in the visitors’ register.
 
NM’s Director-General Sanjiv Mittal said the show curated by  Dr Anamika Pathak and Mr Zahid Ali Ansari focused on inscriptions beyond the usual medium of paper and architecture.
 
Dr Pathak, who is NM curator (decorative arts) explained to the minister how the show has its artefacts arranged in five main groups: writing implements, religion, faith, tradition and trade.
 
All what is written on the exhibits has been made intelligible to the general visitor as Dr Naseem Akhtar, an authority on Arabic-Persian language, has transcribed all the inscriptions at the gallery designed by NM’s Layout Artist Kuldeep Pokhriyal and Priya.
 
The exhibition, which will be on till July 12, is not just about Arabic-Persian inscriptions on a set of artefacts, the oldest among them being from 1494. Several other qualities make it unique. For instance, it shows different forms of surface ornamentation and aesthetic values.
 
“Sometimes it increases its value, especially when the name of the patron or calligrapher is inscribed on the object,” said Dr Pathak.
 
For instance, a brass shallow bowl from circa 1495 CE (the oldest at the show) belongs to Sultan Sikander Lodi who ruled Delhi for 28 years from 1489. It mentions the name of the calligrapher—as Mohmood Bin Mahammad Bin Haji Mahmood Farsi.
 
Similarly, a brass globe from the period of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1627-58) mentions the maker’s name: Mohammad Ibn Illahdad Humayuni Lahori.
 
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What is more, the works are not confined to paper. One can find beautiful inscriptions on objects such as metal-ware pen-cases, bowls, plates, alams, wooden boxes, mendicant bowls, amulets, bracelets, textiles and costumes.
 
Twenty artefacts at the exhibition are “very important”, said Mr Ansari, assistant curator (decorative arts). For, these provide details such as the name of the calligrapher, the date of manufacturing or/and the name of the owner. The objects have been decorated with different techniques such as koftagari or damascening, bidri, niello, engraving, writing, printing and embroidering on textiles.
 
The calligraphy exhibition got on a day before the concluding date of another temporary show — on the culture of India’s biggest tribal community. 
 
Named ‘Cadence and Counterpoint: Documenting Santal Musical Traditions’, the 32-day exhibition has 44 instruments and a film on their culture, besides their photographs over six-and-a-half decades from 1950.
 
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Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor receives Dadasaheb Phalke Award

 
Shashi Kapoor honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke Award
 
 
Veteran actor and filmmaker Shashi Kapoor was conferred the prestigous Dadasaheb Phalke Award -- the top honour in Indian cinema -- for his outstanding contribution to the growth and development of the film industry at a special function at Prithvi Theatre here today.
 
Kapoor, 77, who is wheel-chair bound, could not travel to Delhi to receive the award from President Pranab Mukherjee at the National Film Awards there on May 3 and, therefore, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who also holds the portfolio of Information & Broadcasting, travelled to Mumbai to present it to him.
 
The event was attended by the top names of the film industry as well as members of the Kapoor family such as Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan (who is the husband of Kareena Kapoor) and Neetu Singh, all well-known actors in their own right, and Shashi Kapoor's children Sanjana Kapoor and Kunal Kapoor.
 
Others present included actors Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh, Rekha, Zeenat Aman, Nafisa Ali and Raj Babbar, singer Asha Bhosale and filmmaker Shyam Benegal.
 
Kapoor is the 46th 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's award was decided unanimously by a five-member jury consisting of eminent film personalities. 
 
The award consists of a Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus), a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakhs and a shawl. 
 
Born in 1938, Kapoor is a well-known actor and producer from the famous Kapoor family, generally regarded as the top dynasty in Hindi filmdom. He is the youngest son of the late Prithviraj Kapoor and the brother of late Raj Kapoor and late Shammi Kapoor, all renowned actors.
 
He is the third member of the family to get the honour after Prithviraj Kapoor in 1971 and Raj Kapoor in 1987.
 
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.
 
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The award was first presented in 1969, with the first recipient being actress Devika Rani.
 
Apart from Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor, other siblings who have won the award are Bommireddy Narasimha Reddy (1974) and Bommireddy Nagi Reddy (1986); singers Lata Mangeshkar (1989) and Asha Bhosle (2000); and Baldev Raj Chopra (1998) and Yash Chopra (2001).
 
Kapoor started acting at the age of four in plays directed by his father, while travelling with Prithvi Theatres. He began acting in films as a child artiste in the late 1940s, including in Aag (1948) and Awaara (1951), in which he played the younger Raj Kapoor. He also worked as an assistant director in the 1950s.
 
Kapoor made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 film Dharmputra and went on to appear in more than 100 Hindi films. He was a very popular actor in Bollywood during the 1960s, '70s and until the mid-'80s. 
 
He had the distinction of being one of the first Indian actors to go international, having starred in many British and American films, notably Merchant Ivory Proudctions run by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, such as The Householder (1963), Shakespearewallah (1965), Bombay Talkie (1970) and Heat and Dust (1982). He also starred in other British and American films such as Siddhartha (1972) and Muhafiz (1994). 
 
In 1978, Kapoor set up his production house Filmvalas which produced critically acclaimed films such as Junoon (1978), Kalyug (1981), 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981), Vijeta (1982) and Utsav (1984). He also produced and directed a fantasy film titled Ajooba which had Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor in the lead roles. 
 
In 2011, Kapoor was honoured with the Padma Bhushan Award by the Government of India. He is also a recipient of three National Film Awards. 
 
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Mukherjee urges film industry to nurture human values in cinema

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President Pranab Mukherjee today urged the film industry to look beyond markets and work together to help nurture universal human values that draw on India's rich civilizational heritage that celebrates diversity and nurtures inclusiveness. 
 
"Cinema has been an integral part of Indian culture and entertainment from the days of Dadasaheb Phalke’s Raja Harish Chandra of 1913, the first film made in India," he said after presenting the 62nd National Film Awards for 2014 here this evening.
 
"Indian cinema transcends national boundaries and is a powerful purveyor of ideas and values that impact the consciousness of millions of people. Our movies not only showcase the multicultural diversity of our country but is also a tribute to our linguistic richness. They are a national treasure and our country’s 'soft power' in the true sense of the term, forging international ties and navigating global horizons with ease," he said.
 
Noting that the National Film Awards stood for immense honour befitting the highest governmental recognition in the field of cinema, he said the recipients of the awards had done India proud and placed its cinema yet again on the global radar.
 
Mr Mukherjee specially congratuated well-known actor Shashi Kapoor, who has been honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award this year, who could not attend the ceremony due to ill health but was recognized with a documentary and a standing ovation by the audience at today's function.
 
"His contribution to cinema has been manifold and tremendous.  He is a true living legend," Mr Mukherjee said.
 
"He made his mark not only as an actor but also as a producer with remarkable contributions to Indian cinema even while he expertly balanced two lives in theatre and cinema," he said.
 
He noted that Shashi Kapoor was the third person to win the prestigious award from his illustrious family, the others being his father Prithviraj Kapoor and eldest brother Raj Kapoor.
 
In all, 45 awards were presented in the Feature Films category and 21 in the Non-Feature Films category today. Three awards were given for Best Writing on Cinema. 
 
Chaitanya Tamhane's Marathi film Court got the Best Feature Film award, while Sanchari Vijay won the Best Actor award for Kannada film Nanu Avanalla Avalu and Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut the Best Actress award for her role in Hindi film Queen.
 
Mr Mukherjee noted that the Indian film industry is today the largest film industry in the world in terms of number of movies being produced.  
 
"With about 1600 films made every year, the film industry is today a force to reckon with, having a turnover of a magnitude of Rs. 1,62,600 crore or US $ 16.14 billion. With the world’s youngest demography and the growing smartphone market, our country is likely to soon embrace a completely digital ecosystem which would help us connect with even larger numbers transcending geographical and cultural barriers," he said.
 
He said digitization of film screens had allowed distributors to release films simultaneously across multiple screens which allowed 60 to 80 per cent of theatrical revenues to be collected in the first week itself, something which was unheard of in the past. 
 
"We need to reinforce this trend by ensuring the building of more screens for the overall health of our cinema. By now mainstream Hindi cinema is internationally recognized. We must also make focused efforts to project our regional films whose numbers as well as content are equally impressive and deserve global attention," he said.
 
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The President said the film industry would to adjust and adapt to the rapidly changing world, where technology had brought down the costs of production and expanded the mechanisms of dissemination. 
 
"Still cameras and cell phones that record video can be now edited on a home computer and uploaded on the net.  Promotion and marketing of films have now taken on a new avatar with substantial marketing happening on social media – news of a good film now spreads quicker on Twitter than by word of mouth. I also understand 2014 saw the launch of four film and entertainment focussed investment funds which is welcome evidence of the growing corporatisation of the sector," he said.
 
"Cinema in India crosses all boundaries of region, caste, creed and religion.  It reflects the immense diversity of our nation which is home to different cultures, religions and languages.  It shows the confluence of modernity and tradition as well as our ancient past and billion aspirations for the future.  Digitization and the advent of modern technologies do not mean that we lose touch with the grass roots. Our content has to be our strength as it is entrenched deeply in our vibrant cultural milieu," he said.
 
"Today’s awards are testimony to the fact that Indian cinema continues to brim and overflow with amazing talent.  I am told that this year yet again the youth have made their mark. The winner of the Best Film Award, Chaitanya Tamhane, is only 27 years old.  His film 'Court' has already created waves in the international film festivals.  I am also delighted that the winner of the Best Female Playback Singer this year is young Uthara, who is all of ten years old. The flowering of creativity amongst our youth holds tremendous promise for the future. It reassures us that we will continue to lead the world not just in number of films produced but also in the quality of our cinema and the top class talent in our industry," he said.
 
Mr Mukherjee also listed the steps being taken by the government to strengthen and promote Indian cinema and the film industry. 
"I am confident these measures will provide significant impetus to the growth of our film industry," he said.
 
One of the highlights of the evening was a live musical performance by Sukhwinder Singh and Uttara Unnikrishnan.
 
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Mukherjee to confer 62nd National Film Awards on Sunday

Kangana Ranaut
Kangana Ranaut
President Pranab Mukherjee will present the 62nd National Film Awards for 2014 at a function to be held at Vigyan Bhavan here tomorrow.
 
In all, 45 awards will be presented in the Feature Films category and 21 in the Non-Feature Films category. Three awards will be given for Best Writing on Cinema. 
 
Chaitanya Tamhane's Marathi film Court has been chosen as the Best Feature Film in the awards which were announced on March 24, while Sanchari Vijay was named Best Actor for Kannada film Nanu Avanalla Avalu and Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut the Best Actress for her role in Hindi film Queen.
 
Court is a powerful and stark depiction of the mundaneness of judicial procedure revealed brilliantly by the film’s form, forcing people to reflect on the heart-wrenching insensitivity of institutional structures, the citation for the award said.
 
The Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director has gone to Asha Jaoar Majhe in Bengali, directed by Aditya Vikram Sengupta for the portrayal of routine ordinary life with extraordinary cinematic finesse.
 
Mary Kom, the Hindi biopic on the Indian Olympic medal-winning boxer of the same name, starring Priyanka Chopra in the title role and directed by Omung Kumar, has been named as the Best Popular Film providing wholesome entertainment. The film was chosen for its inspiring tale of a woman who becomes a national icon through her determined pursuit of sporting excellence.
 
The award for Best Film on Social Issues has gone to Chotoder Chobi in Bengali while Jayaraj's Malayalam film Ottaal has been chosen as the Best Film on Environment Conservaton/ Preservation.
 
Tamil Film Kaakkaa Muttai and Elizabeth Ekadashi in Marathi have been chosen for the Best Children's Film award.
 
Srijit Mukherjee has been named for the Best Direction award for Bengali film Chotushkone, for its brilliantly reflexive use of the cinematic idiom through a playful and innovative mise-en-scene that tautens to an unexpected and gripping climax.
 
Sanchari Vijay
Sanchari Vijay
Vijay was named Best Actor for his subtle and non-stereotypical playing of a woman trapped in a man’s body, portraying a gamut of emotions as s/he struggles through confusion, rejection and humiliation to finally chart her own course with confidence and dignity.
 
Ranaut got the Best Actress award for her "endearingly etched out performance that is grounded in contextual specificity and at the same time is disarmingly spontaneous as to appear almost improvisatory".
 
Bobby Simhaa won the Best Supporting Actor award for Jigarthanda (Tamil), while the Best Supporting Actress award went to Baljinder Kaur for her role in Pagdi The Honour in Haryanavi.
 
J. Vignesh and Ramesh shared the Best Child Artiste award for their roles as siblings in Tamil film Kaakkaa Muttai.
 
Sukhwinder Singh won the Best Male Playback Singer award for the song Bismil in Hindi film Haider, while the young Uttara Unnikrishnan won the Best Female Playback Singer award for the song Azhagu in Tamil film Saivam.
 
Sudeep Chatterjee was chosen for the Best Cinematography Award for Chotushkone.
 
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German envoy Michael Steiner, Salman Khurshid star in music video

Taking diplomacy to a new level, the German embassy here has sought to enhance people-to-people ties between Germany and India through a unique project -- a music video -- that pays tribute to Bollywood.
 
The video pays homage to Bollywood and, in particular, to the film "Kal Ho Naa Ho", directed by Karan Johar, by reenacting one of its most popular songs.
 
And playing the lead roles in the music video are Michael Steiner, German Ambassador to India, and former Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, without taking themselves too seriously.
 
They play the roles enacted by Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan, while the character played by Preity Zinta is played in the video by Mr Steiner's wife, Eliese Steiner.
 
The original song from the 2003 film was shot in the United States. The video, directed by Sumit Osmand Shaw, has been filmed entirely in India.
 
It is meant as an Indo-German tribute to Bollywood movies, which have a huge fan base in Germany.
 
The video is titled "Lebe Jetzt" in German, which means what the song wants people to do, Live right now to the fullest.
 
Mr Steiner unveiled the project at a function at his residence here yesterday.
 
Bollywood celebrities Sharmila Tagore, Saif Ali Khan and Javed Akhtar as well as writer and activist Madhu Kishwar were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
Johar and Sonu Nigam, the singer who sang the song, sent video messages from New York and Mumbai, respectively. 
 
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Mukherjee to inaugurate first edition of North-East cultural festival in Delhi

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President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate a cultural festival of the North-East, organized by the government of Meghalaya and sponsored by the North Eastern Council, here tomorrow.
 
The initiative is one of the outcomes of the recommendations of the M.P. Bezbaruah Committee on the North East, set up by the Ministry of Home Affairs to work out modalities for building a strong social bond between the people of North East and the rest of the country. 
 
An official press release said the festival would showcase the rich cultural ethnicity and diversity of North East India. 
 
Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Nagaland and Manipur will set up their stalls and display a plethora of products. Leading music bands of the North East will perform. There will also be a tourism exhibition, food festival and free dance lessons for those interested in learning dances of the North East, it added.
 
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Ministry of Culture takes over management of Lalit Kala Akademi

The Ministry of Culture has taken over the management of the Lalit Kala Akademi, the national academy of art, one of its autonomous organizations, in view of the several problems it has been facing in its functioning.
 
Mr K K Mittal, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, has been appointed as the Central Government's Administrator for the academy with effect from April 1 until further orders. He is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer.
 
The release said that, over the past few years, the Ministry had been receiving complaints regarding alleged administrative and financial irregularities in the Lalit Kala Akademi.
 
The Akademi’s General Council and Executive Board are also non-functional since 2013 due to certain court cases. Also, the Akademi’s principal executive officer, the Secretary, is currently under suspension with departmental inquiry proceeding having been ordered against him by the Akademi’s Chairman, the release said.
 
"Keeping in view the Akademi’s beleaguered administration and the substantial public interest involved in the Akademi’s vibrant and transparent functioning, the Central Government through the Ministry of Culture has invoked the relevant provisions in Lalit Kala Akademi’s Memorandum of Association for taking over the Akademi’s management with effect from 1st April, 2015," the release added.
 
The Lalit Kala Akademi was inaugurated in New Delhi on August 5, 1954, by the then Minister for Education, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. 
 
The youngest of the three academies founded by the Government of India, the Lalit Kala Akademi was established in pursuance of the dream of the first Prime Minister of independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru, and focused on activities in the field of visual arts.
 
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Sanchari Vijay, Kangana Ranaut take top honours in 62nd National Film Awards

Kangana Ranaut
Kangana Ranaut
Chaitanya Tamhane's Marathi film Court has been chosen as the Best Feature Film in the National Film Awards for 2014 announced here today while Sanchari Vijay was named Best Actor for Kannada film Nanu Avanalla Avalu and Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut the Best Actress for her role in Hindi film Queen.
 
Court is a powerful and stark depiction of the mundaneness of judicial procedure revealed brilliantly by the film’s form, forcing people to reflect on the heart-wrenching insensitivity of institutional structures, the citation for the award said.
 
The Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director has gone to Asha Jaoar Majhe in Bengali, directed by Aditya Vikram Sengupta for the portrayal of routine ordinary life with extraordinary cinematic finesse.
 
Mary Kom, the Hindi biopic on the Indian Olympic medal-winning boxer of the same name, starring Priyanka Chopra in the title role and directed by Omung Kumar, has been named as the Best Popular Film providing wholesome entertainment. The film was chosen for its inspiring tale of a woman who becomes a national icon through her determined pursuit of sporting excellence.
 
Sanchari Vijay
Sanchari Vijay
The award for Best Film on Social Issues has gone to Chotoder Chobi in Bengali while Jayaraj's Malayalam film Ottaal has been chosen as the Best Film on Environment Conservaton/Preservation.
 
Tamil Film Kaakkaa Muttai and Elizabeth Ekadashi in Marathi have been chosen for the Best Children's Film award.
 
Srijit Mukherjee has named for the Best Direction award for Bengali film Chotushkone, for its brilliantly reflexive use of the cinematic idiom through a playful and innovative mise-en-scene that tautens to an unexpected and gripping climax.
 
Vijay was named Best Actor for his subtle and non-stereotypical playing of a woman trapped in a man’s body, portraying a gamut of emotions as s/he struggles through confusion, rejection and humiliation to finally chart her own course with confidence and dignity.
 
Ranaut got the Best Actress award for her "endearingly etched out performance that is grounded in contextual specificity and at the same time is disarmingly spontaneous as to appear almost improvisatory".
 
Bobby Simhaa won the Best Supporting Actor award for Jigarthanda (Tamil), while the Best Supporting Actress award went to Baljinder Kaur for her role in Pagdi The Honour in Haryanavi.
 
J. Vignesh and Ramesh shared the Best Child Artiste award for their roles as siblings in Tamil film Kaakkaa Muttai.
 
Sukhwinder Singh won the Best Male Playback Singer award for the song Bismil in Hindi film Haider, while the young Uttara Unnikrishnan won the Best Female Playback Singer award for the song Azhagu in Tamil film Saivam.
 
Sudeep Chatterjee was chosen for the Best Cinematography Award for Chotushkone.
 
The following are the other awards:
 
BEST SCREENPLAY:
i)  Screenplay Writer (Original): Chotushkone (Bengali) -- Srijit Mukherji
ii)  Screenplay Writer (Adapted) :   Ottal (Malayalam) -- Joshy Mangalath
iii)  Dialogues: Haidar (Hindi) -- Vishal Bhardwaj
BEST AUDIOGRAPHY
i)    Location Sound Recordist:  Khwada (Marathi) -- Mahaveer Sabbanwal
ii)   Sound Designer:  Asha Jaoar Majhe (Bengali) -- Anish John
iii)   Re-recordist of the final mixed track:  Nirbashito (Bengali) -- Anirban Sengupta & Dipankar Chaki
BEST EDITING: Jigarthanda (Tamil) -- Vivek Harshan
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Nachom – IA Kumpasar
(Konkani) -- Aparna Raina
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BEST COSTUME DESIGNER: Haider (Hindi) -- Dolly Ahluwalia
BEST MAKE-UP ARTIST: Nanu Avanalla Avalu (Kannada) -- 
Nangaraju and Raju
BEST  MUSIC DIRECTION
a)      Songs: Haider (Hindi) -- Vishal Bhardwaj
b)      Background Score: Nineteen Eighty Three (Malayalam) --
Gopi Sunder
BEST LYRICS: Saivam (Tamil) (Azhagu) -- NA. Muthukumar
SPECIAL JURY AWARD: Khwada (Marathi) Director: Bhaurao Karhade
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: Haider (Hindi) (Bismil) -- Sudesh Adhana
 
BEST FEATURE FILM IN EACH OF THE LANGUAGE SPECIFIED IN THE SCHEDULE VIII OF THE CONSTITUTION
 
a)  BEST ASSAMESE FILM: Othello -- Producer: Artha Films, Director : Hemanta Kumar Das
b)  BEST BENGALI FILM: Nirbashito -- Producer: Kaushik Ganguly Productions, Director: Churni Ganguly
c)  BEST HINDI FILM: Queen -- Producer: Phantom Films Pvt. Ltd. & Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Director: Vikas Bahl
d)  BEST KANNADA  FILM: Harivu -- Producer: Om Studio,  
Director: Manjunath S. (Mansore)
e)  BEST KONKANI FILM: Nachom – IA Kumpasar -- Producer: Goa Folklore Productions, Director: Bardroy Barretto
f)  BEST MALAYALAM FILM: Ain -- Producer: 1: 1: Enternatments, Director: Sidhartha Siva
g) BEST MARATHI FILM: Killa -- Producer: JAR Pictures & M R Film Works, Director: Avinash Arun
h) BEST ODIYA  FILM: Aadim Vichar -- Producer: Mohapatra Movie Magic Pvt. Ltd., Director: Sabyasachi Mohapatra
i)  BEST PUNJABI FILM: Punjab 1984 -- Producer: White Hill Production India Pvt. Ltd., Director: Anurag Singh
j)  BEST TAMIL FILM: Kuttram Kadithal -- Producer: JSK Film Corporation, Director: Bramma.G
k) BEST TELUGU FILM: Chandamama Kathalu -- Producer:  Working Dream Production, Director: Praven Sattaru
 
BEST FEATURE FILM IN EACH OF THE LANGUAGE SPECIFIED OTHER THAN SCHEDULE VIII OF THE CONSTITUTION
 
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a)  BEST HARYANVI FILM: Pagdi The Honour -- Producer: V R Entertainers, Director: Rajeev Bhatia
b)  BEST RABHA FILM: Orong -- Producer: Suraj Kr. Duwarah,
Aucto Creation, Director: Suraj Kr. Duwarah
 
SPECIAL MENTION
 
a)  Ain (Malayalam) -- Musthafa
b)  Nachom – IA Kumpasar (Konkani) -- Palomi Ghosh
c)  Killa (Marathi) & Bhootnath Returns (Hindi) -- Parth  Bhalerao
 
NON-FEATURE FILMS
 
BEST NON FEATURE FILM: Tender is the Sight -- Producer: Films Division, Director: Torsha Banerjee
BEST DEBUT FILM OF A DIRECTOR: Goonga Pahalwan
Producer: Drishti Media, Director:  Mit Jani, Prateek Gupta & Vivek Chaudhary
BEST ANTHROPOLOGICAL/ETHNOGRAPHIC FILM: Qissa – e – Parsi : The Parsi Story -- Producer: Public Service Broadcasting Trust, Director: Divya Cowasji & Shilpi Gulati
BEST BIOGRAPHICAL/ HISTORICAL RECONSTRUCTION:  
Aamaar Katha : Story of Binodini -- Producer:  Films Division, 
Director: Tuhinabha Majumdar
BEST ARTS /CULTURAL FILM: Kapila -- Producer: Films Division, 
Director: Sanju Surendran
BEST PROMOTIONAL FILM (to cover tourism, exports, crafts, industry etc): Documentation of Clay Image Makers of Kumartuli
 Producer: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Director: Ranajit Ray       
BEST ENVIRONMENT FILM  INCLUDING AGRICULTURE:  
I Cannot Give You My Forest -- Producer: Top Quark Films Pvt. Ltd., Director: Nandan Saxena  & Kavita Bahl
BEST FILM ON SOCIAL ISSUES: Can’t Take This Shit Anymore 
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-- Director: Vinod Kapri, Producer: Bhagirathi Films & Daughters of Mother India -- Director: Vibha Bakshi, Producer: V2 Film & Design Pvt. Ltd.
BEST EDUCATIONAL FILM: Komal -- Producer: Climb Media India Pvt. Ltd., Director: Prashant Shikare & Behind the Glass Wall -- Producer: Gaahimedia, Director: Aruna Raje Patil
BEST EXPLORATION/ADVENTURE FILM (TO INCLUDE SPORTS): Life Force – India’s Western  Ghats -- Producer: Grey Films India Pvt. Ltd., Director: Nallamuthu Subbiah
BEST INVESTIGATIVE FILM: Phum Shang -- Producer: Films Division, Director: Haobam Paban Kumar
BEST  ANIMATION FILM: Sound of Joy -- Producer: Aura Cinematics, Director: Sukankan Roy, Animator: Rishi Sanay
SPECIAL JURY AWARD: A Poet, A City & A Footballer
Producer: Films Division, Director: Joshy Joseph
BEST SHORT FICTION FILM: Mitraa, Producer: Athaansh Communications, Director: Ravindra Jadhav
BEST FILM ON FAMILY VALUES: Towards the Silver Lining
Producer: Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Director: Bhabani Tamuli
BEST DIRECTION: Aaranyak -- Director: Renu Savant
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Aamaar Katha: Story of Binodini --
Cameraman:  Indraneel Lahiri
BEST AUDIOGRAPHY: Tender is the Sight -- Audiographers:  
Anindit Roy, Ateesh Chattopadhyay & Ayan Bhattacharya
BEST EDITING: Tigress Blood -- Editor: Andi Campbell Waite
BEST NARRATION/ VOICE OVER: Nitya Kalyani – Oru Mohiniyattam Patham -- Narrator: Ambooty Devi
SPECIAL MENTION:  
a)  Gunjaa --  Director: Mrinal Dev
b) Seek and Hide -- Director: Manoj Kumar Nitharwal
c) 5 O’Clock Accident -- Director: Ruchir Arun
 
BEST BOOK ON CINEMA: Silent Cinema (1895-1930) -- Pasupuleti Purnachandra Rao, Publisher: Emesco Books
 
SPECIAL MENTION: Pride of Tamil Cinema (1931-2013) -- 
G. Dhananjayan
 
BEST FILM CRITIC: Tanul Thakur
 
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