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Seven Malayalam, five Bengali films in Indian Panorama at IFFI 2014

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Paresh Mokashi's Elizabeth Ekadashi has been chosen as the opening film of the India Panorama for the 45th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2014 to be held in Panaji, Goa from November 20 to 30.
 
The jury for features films headed by renowned filmmaker A K Bir selected 26 films out of a total of 181 eligible entries, an official press release said.
 
The list includes seven Malayalam films -- 1983, North 24 Kaatham, Njan Steve Lopez, Drishyam, Munnariyippu, Swapaanam and Njaan -- and five Bengali films -- Punashcha, Chotoder Chobi, Bodhon, Jodi Love Dile Na Praane and Teenkahon.
 
The Last Adieu, directed by Shabnak Sukhdev, will be the opening film in the non-feature films section of the Panorama. The jury for the non-feature films was chaired by well-known filmmaker Mike Pandey.
 
The following are the films selected for the Panorama:
 
Feature Films: 
1.   Othello -- Assamese -- Hemanta Kumar Das
2.   Punashcha -- Bengali -- Souvik Mitra
3.   Chotoder Chobi -- Bengali -- Kaushik Ganguly
4.   Bodhon -- Bengali -- Ayananshu Banerje
5.   Jodi Love Dile Na Praane -- Bengali -- Sudeshna Roy & Abhijit Guha
6.   Teenkahon -- Bengali -- Bauddhayan Mukherji
7.   Gour Hari Dastaan - The freedom File -- Hindi -- Ananth Narayan Mahadevan
8.   Ankhon Dekhi -- Hindi -- Rajat Kapoor
9.   1-December -- Kannada -- P. Sheshadri
10.  Ri -- Khasi -- Pradip  Kurbah
11.  1983 -- Malayalam -- Abrid Shine
12.   North 24 Kaatham -- Malayalam -- Anil Radhakrishnan Menon
13.   Njan Steve Lopez -- Malayalam -- Rajeev Ravi
14.   Drishyam -- Malayalam -- Jeethu Joseph
15.   Munnariyippu -- Malayalam -- Venu
16.   Swapaanam -- Malayalam -- Shaji N. Karun
17.   Njaan -- Malayalam -- Ranjith
18.   Ek Hazarachi Note -- Marathi -- Shrihari  Sathe
19.   Elizabeth Ekadashi -- Marathi -- Paresh Mokashi
20.   Killa -- Marathi -- Avinash Arun
21.   Dr. Prakash Baba Amte - The Real Hero -- Marathi -- Samruddhi Porey
22.   Yellow -- Marathi -- Mahesh Limaye
23.   Lokmanya – Ek Yugpurush -- Marathi -- Om Raut
24.   A Rainy Day -- Marathi -- Rajendra Talak
25.   Adim Vichar -- Odiya -- Sabyasachi Mohapatra
26.   Kuttram Kadithal -- Tamil -- Bramma G.
 
Non-Feature Films:
1.     A Dream Never Dies -- Assamese -- Aneisha Sharma
2.     The Last Adieu -- English -- Shabnam Sukhdev
3.     My Father Namgyal -- English -- Utpal Das
4.     On and Off The Records -- English -- Pratik Biswas
5.     Womb on Rent -- English -- Ishani K Dutta
6.     Qissa-E-Parsi - English & Hindi -- Divya Cowasji, Shilpi Gulati
7.     Songs of the Blue Hills -- English & Nagamese -- Utpal Borpujari
8.     Songs of the Bards of Bengal – The Bauls and Fakirs -- English, Bengali -- Monalisa Dasgupta
9.     An American in Madras -- English, Tamil, Hindi -- Karan Bali
10.  Bhoomiyil Chuvadurachu -- Malayalam -- Vipin Vijay
11.  Mitraa -- Marathi -- Ravi Jadhav
12.  Vithya -- Marathi -- Prasanna Shrikant Ponde
13.  Ek Hota Kau -- Marathi -- Viju Gopal Mane
14.  Bahadur The Accidental Brave -- Nepalese/ English -- Aditya Seth
15.  Candles in the Wind -- Punjabi & English -- Kavita Bahl & Nandan Saxena
 
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Leela Samson quits as Chairperson of Sangeet Natak Akademi

Leela Samson
Leela Samson
The Government today said it had accepted the resignation of renowned Bharatanatyam exponent Leela Samson as the Chairperson of the Sangeet Natak Akademi with immediate effect.
 
Ms Samson had sent in her resignation from the post on September 5, and the Government accepted it through an order dated yesterday, an official press release said.
 
She did not give any reasons for her resignation, sources said. She had been appointed to the post by the President on August 10, 2010 for a term of five years.
 
Recognised as one of India's most energetic and engaging Bharatanatyam dancers, Ms Samson is known for her in-depth knowledge and impeccable style.
 
She is an alumnus of the famed Kalakshetra in Chennai, where she learnt dance under the tutelage of the late Rukmini Devi Arundale and later rose to become its Director.
 
Ms Samson has choreographed several group and solo compositions in Bharatanatyam and authored a book "Rhythm in Joy" as well as several articles. She has won many honours, including the Padma Shri and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
 
She has been the subject of two documentary films, "Sanchari: by Arun Khopkar and "The Flowering Tree" by Ein Lall.
 
The Sangeet Natak Akademi is India's national academy for music, dance and drama. It is the first national academy of arts set up in indepedent India, having been created on May 31, 1952.
 
As the apex body specializing in the performing arts of the country, the Akademi renders advice and assistance to the Government of India in the task of formulating and implementing policies and programmes in the field. Additionally, the Akademi carries a part of the responsibilities of the state for fostering cultural contacts between various regions in India, and between India and the world.
 
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Actor Amitabh Bachchan turns 72, spends day with family

 
Amitabh Bachchan thanksfans for their wishes on his birthday
Renowned actor Amitabh Bachchan turned 72 today and spent the day with his family, saying that the best gift to him would be whatever his little grand-daughter Aaradhya chose to present him on the occasion.
 
"She is still sleeping. I am waiting to find out what gift she will give me," he told journalists this morning.
 
Aaradhya is the daughter of Mr Bachchan's son Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, both well-known actors in their own right.
 
Mr Bachchan said nothing special had been planned for the day, and he only wished to spend it with his family.
 
He said the women in the family -- his wife and actor Jaya Bachchan, daughter Shweta Nanda and daughter-in-law Aishwarya -- were observing a fast for the day on the occasion of Karva Chauth, when women pray for their husbands.
 
He said he would join them in celebrations after they break their fasts in the evening, after sighting the moon.
 
Mr Bachchan also used the opportunity to thank the thousands of his fans who greeted him on his birthday and said he could repay their love and affection only by entertaining them with his work.
 
"The hour has passed and the greetings have poured in and the family has been with me and that is the greatest gift, if gifts were to be any judge of affection," he wrote on his blog.
 
"But it is not a day to contemplate .. it is a time to deliver thanks and gratefulness to all those that have been responsible for my 72 in completion and my 73 to begin .. 
 
"There is a numbness in all that we do now .. as opposed to the gaiety and laughter and excitement of the earlier years .. I have always wondered why .. but it there and it shall remain I presume for the days left in my life .." he added.
 
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English Vinglish to release in Romania on October 24

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Close on the heels of the success of actress Sridevi's comeback film English Vinglish in Japan, where the film garnered box office collections of a whopping $ 1.4 million plus, Eros International is all set to release the blockbuster in Romania this month on October 24 across 15 screens.
 
A press release from Eros said the film had performed exceptionally well in other new markets like South Korea, Hong Kong, Germany and Taiwan, too, and the team is confident of its continued appreciation in new territories.
 
English Vinglish, directed by Gauri Shinde released in October 2012 and has since fascinated audiences worldwide with its universal subject of people living abroad in an English-speaking world trying hard to learn English to be accepted by their society.
 
Cocktail and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara are some of the other releases by Eros which have enjoyed success in Romania, the release added.
 
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Birth centenary commemoration of Begum Akhtar begins

Begum Akhtar
Begum Akhtar
The year-long birth centenary celebrations of noted classical singer Begum Akhtar began here today with the release of a set of commemorative coins in the denominations of Rs 100 and Rs 5 by Union Culture Minister Shripad Naik.
 
Noted singers Rita Ganguly (Dadra), Shashank Shekhar (Thumri) and Prabhati Mukherjee (Ghazal) gave a performance on the occasion.
 
Born on October 7, 1914 as Akhtari Bai Faizabadi, Begum Akhtar, as she was popularly called, was one the country's top singers of ghazals, dadras and thumris.
 
She received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for vocal music and was honoured by the government with the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan posthumously.
 
To mark her 100th birth anniversary year, the government has decided to commemorate the occasion and has set up a National Implementation Committee (NIC) under the Chairmanship of Union Culture Minister. It will chalk out programmes and activities to be taken up during the year.
 
Some of the programmes which will be held during the commemoration period are Centenary festivals in Delhi, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Bhopal and Kolkata, creation of a web portal and digitization and documentation of her works,  exhibitions and workshops, publications, seminars and a scholarship for young artistes.
 
Begum Akhtar died on October 30, 1974 after falling ill during a performance in Ahmedabad.
 
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Baroda artist Preyas Mehta among Indians invited for 1st Langkawi Art Biennale

A work by Preyas Mehta
A work by Preyas Mehta
Baroda painter Preyas Mehta is among several Indian artists invited for the  Langkawi Art Biennale 2014, the first such event in Malaysia, that wil be held from October 12 to 21.
 
Other artists invited from India include Babita Das, Ashok Kumar, Ganesh Chandra Basu, and Puspita Ray.
 
The event, organized by Art Malaysia Association and supported the country's Ministry of Tourism and Culture and orther organizations, will see the participation of artists from Malaysia and 37 other countries.
 
The biennale, which is on the theme of migration, is expected to bring art enthusiasts from around the world to Langkawi island.
 
The event will take place along Pantai Cenang, a picturesque two km beach with long stretches of white sand.
 
Mehta completed his B.A. (Fine) in Applied Arts from the M.S. University of Baroda here and has been active as a sculptor, painter and photographer and has exhibited in shows around the country. Most recently, he had exhibited at the International Art Group show "Across the Ocean" at the Birla Art Academy in Kolkata.
 
Basu is an artist and a freelance writer and has participated in more than 100 international and national shows and held some 40 solo exhibitions.
 
Ray has a BA degree in Bengali and is an artist and a writer. Apart from publishing several books, she has held solo exhibitions of her works and participated in group shows.
 
Ashok Kumar has a degree in Fine Arts from the College of Arts, Patna and then studied painting at the L’Ecole Superieure Des Beaux­Arts de Marseille, France. 
 
Some of the group exhibitions that he has participating in include the Sixth Biennial of Contemporary Indian Arts, (Bhopal), International Biennale Art Exhibition at Dallas (USA), contemporary art exhibition created by the artists residence ‘Crossings’ by Frac Reunion at MOCA, Saint Dennis (Reunion Island) and international art exhibition by SODEFA (Chandigarh).
 
Das has an M.A. in Fine Arts in Printmaking from Viswa Bharati Universty and has worked as an Indian National Scholar. She has been teaching art at primary and secondary Levels at a private school in Kolkata, Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, since 1996. She has held more than 25 solo exhibitions and participated in an equal number of group exhibitions.
 
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CCI imposes penalty of Rs 2.83 crore on Super Cassettes for abusing dominant position

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The Competition Commission of India (CCI) today imposed a penalty of Rs. 2.83 crore, calculated as eight per cent of its average turnover in the last three financial years, on Super Cassettes Industries Limited for abusing its dominant position .
 
The final order was passed today on information filed by HT Media Limited, an official press release said.
 
According to it, the Commission found Super Cassettes to be in a dominant position in the relevant market of licensing of Bollywood music to private FM radio stations for broadcast in India. 
 
It held that the company was in contravention of the provisions of section 4(2)(a)(i) of the Competition Act, 2002 for imposing unfair conditions of Minimum Commitment Charges (MCC) upon private FM Stations in its existing agreements. 
 
Apart from issuing a cease and desist order, CCI directed Super Cassettes Industries Limited to modify the unfair condition of MCC imposed on private FM Stations in the agreements within three months. 
 
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Sushant Singh Rajput to play role of Dhoni in official biopic

 
Actor Sushant Singh Rajput will play the title role in the official biopic of Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the film's producers said here today.
 
The film, titled "MS Dhoni - The Untold Story", will be directed by national award winning director Neeraj Pandey, who has produced hits like "A Wednesday" and "Special 26".
 
The film will trace the story of Dhoni, from his very humble and small-town beginning to being the most succssful Indian cricket captain.
 
"Mahendra Singh Dhoni is an institution by himself and a role model to countless youths," a press release from Rhiti Sports Management, which manages the careers of Dhoni and several other well-known crickters and is now moving into the filmed entertainment space through Inspired Entertainment, said.
 
"The feature film will not only cover the remarkable rise of the World Cup-winning captain but will also reveal the exciting facts of MS Dhoni’s personal life and journey, before he became a global sporting icon as the title truly suggests," it said.
 
Arun Pandey, Chairman, Rhiti Sports Management, said, “MS Dhoni is one of the biggest sporting icons in this world, and his biopic will certainly be an inspiration to those who dare to dream and then go all out to achieve their dreams. Neeraj Pandey one of the most acclaimed directors is always a great choice for helming the project and Sushant is very promising and was undoubtedly the first choice for the role.”
 
Rajput said: “I am immensely excited for the opportunity to play MS Dhoni on screen. He is an inspiration to the millions .. and Neeraj Pandey is one of the most prolific directors, Looking forward…!!.”
 
“It’s a unique journey of a unique individual, leader and an international icon," Neeraj Pandey added.
 
Rajput made his debut in movies with Abhishek Kapoor's Kai Po Che! last year. He had finished second in dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 4. He has also been associated with theatre.
MS Dhoni biopic's first look
 
Born in Purnea, Rajput and his family moved to Delhi in the early 2000s. He was a student at the Delhi College of Engineering before dropping out after three years to pursue a career in acting.
 
He has been part of dance troupes that performed at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and at the 51st Filmfare Awards. After moving to Mumbai, he continued to be involved with theatre.
 
He got a break in television when he landed the role of Preet Juneja in Balaji Telefilms' Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil. In the following year, he acted in Pavitra Rishta, another television serial.
 
Rajput's second movie was Shuddh Desi Romance, directed by Maneesh Sharma, with Parineeti Chopra and Vaani Kapoor as his co-stars.
 
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Bob Dylan to be honoured as 2015 Musicares Person of the Year

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Well-known American singer and songwriter Bob Dylan will be honoured as the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year in Los Angeles on Febrary 6, 2015, two days before the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.
 
Neil Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the MusiCares Foundation and The Recording Academy, and Bill Silva, Chair of the MusiCares Foundation, Board, announced that proceeds from the 25th annual benefit gala dinner and concert will provide essential support for MusiCares,which ensures that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need.
 
Performers at the tribute concert will include Grammy winners Beck; the Black Keys; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Norah Jones; Tom Jones; Los Lobos; John Mellencamp; Willie Nelson; Bonnie Raitt; Eddie Vedder; Jack White; and Neil Young; as well as singer/songwriter John Doe. 
 
Three-time Grammy-winning producer and recent Emmy winner Don Was will be the evening's musical director, a press release from the Recording Academy said.
 
"In celebrating the 25th anniversary of our MusiCares Person of the Year tribute, it is most fitting that we are honoring Bob Dylan, whose body of creative work has contributed to America's culture, as well as that of the entire world, in genuinely deep and lasting ways," said Portnow.
 
"Bob Dylan's songwriting ability is unmatched, and it will be an extraordinary evening to hear his work showcased by such a remarkable group of artists," said Silva.
 
The 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year gala will begin with a reception and silent auction offering an exclusive selection of luxury items, VIP experiences and one-of-a-kind celebrity memorabilia for bidding guests. The reception and silent auction will be followed by a dinner, the award presentation and a tribute concert by renowned musicians. 
 
The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during Grammy Week. The celebration culminates with the 57th Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Sunday, February 8, 2015.
 
The MusiCares Foundation offers programs and services to members of the music community, including emergency financial assistance for basic living expenses such as rent, utilities and car payments and medical expenses. It also offers nationwide educational workshops covering a variety of subjects.
 
Established more than 20 years ago by The Recording Academy, MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. 
 
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Geetu Mohandas' Liar's Dice chosen as India's official entry to the Oscars

Geetanjali Thapa and Manya Gupta in a still from the film, Liar's Dice
Geetanjali Thapa and Manya Gupta in a still from the film, Liar's Dice
Hindi film Liar's Dice, directed by well-known Malayalam actress and filmmaker Geetu Mohandas, has been selected as India's official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the Academy Awards, or Oscars as they are popularly called.
 
The film was selected by a jury of 12 members constituted by the Film Federation of India (FFI), chaired by eminent director T Hariharan.
 
A press release from FFI said the jury, comprising an eclectic mix of film professionals representing various crafts and languages, saw as many as 30 films before submitting its recommendation to FFI Vice-President C Kalyan.
 
The road drama film is about a young woman, Kamala (Geetanjali Thapa), who embarks on a journey to Delhi from her small village in the mountains in Himachal Pradesh, along with her three-year-old daughter (Manya Gupta) in search of her missing husband.
 
Along the way, she encounters an army deserter (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), who decides to accompany them to their destination.
 
Geetu Mohandas
Geetu Mohandas
The film had won two awards at the 61st National Film Awards 2013 -- Best Actress for Thapa and Best Cinematographer for Rajeev Ravi, her husband.
 
Mohandas, 33, had written the script of the film much before her debut short movie Kelkunnundo, but could not raise the finance, partly because of the unusual storyline and the then relatively unknown cast. After the success of Kelkunnundo at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), she managed to get a project development grant of €10,000 from the IFFR’s Hubert Bals Fund. Eventually the film was co-produced by her own production company, Unplugged, and Jar Pictures. 
 
Born Gayathri Mohandas and popularly called Geetu, she has acted in more than 30 films in Malayalam and Tamil after making a memorable debut as a child artiste in 1986 in Onnu Muthal Poojyam Vare. 
 
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YuppTV launches Sun TV Network channels for audiences in UK, Europe

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Yupp TV, an over-the-top (OTT) content player for South Asian content, live TV and on-demand movies, has launched channels of the Sun TV Network for viewers in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe.
 
A press release from the company said it would now offer the network's offerings in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada for viewership in the UK and across Europe. 
 
The channels include Sun TV, K TV, Sun Music and Adithya TV in Tamil, Gemini TV, Gemini Comedy and Gemini Movies in Telugu, Surya TV and Kiran TV in Malayalam and Udaya TV in Kannada.
 
Mr. Uday Reddy, CEO of YuppTV said, “The Sun TV Network adds strength to our increasing spectrum of channels and this launch is indeed the most awaited by the UK and Europe audiences. The premium content we are offering to the viewers across the world continues to grow and expand in its scope as we add leading channels to our repertoire. This launch, we trust, will be the source of much pleasure to viewers across these regions.”
 
Yupp TV is an eight-year-old company with its headquarters in Atlanta, United States, and branch offices in the USA and India.
 
It delivers more than 200 TV channels, 4500 videos (daily), movies and live events to the six screens for video content consumption -- Connected TVs, Internet STBs, Smart Blu-ray players, PCs, Smart Phones and Tablets, the release added.
 
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Exhibition on indigenous printmaking opens at NGMA in Delhi

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An exhibition of graphic prints from the collection of the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), "Celebrating Indigenous Printmaking" began here today.
 
The exhibition was opened by Minister of State for Culture Shripad Naik, who said that this was the first time that such an extensive show on printmaking was being held.
 
He said the prints on display included many which had rarely been displayed before.
 
He pointed out that the art collection of the NGMA is vast and eclectic with more than 17,000 works, including a major collection of prints by iconic Indian printmakers. 
 
The exhibition showcases over 200 iconic prints of more than 100 eminent artists mapping the history of printmaking from the colonial period till the contemporary times. 
 
A special section has been dedicated to international prints from NGMA's own collection which were made in India by the respective artists. 
 
The exhibition along with its accompanying texts, journals and printmaking tools on display will benefit students, researchers and scholars to get an intimate understanding of printmaking practices, techniques and developments of the last two centuries in India, an official press release said.
 
NGMA would also be organising printmaking workshops under the guidance of noted printmakers of India along with regular screenings of documentary films on the art of printmaking in India, it said.
 
A set of three portfolios showcasing the prints of some of the iconic masters among other memorabilia produced by NGMA was also released. 
 
A documentary film made by noted filmmaker Bikram Singh would be screened at the NGMA auditorium daily at 11.00 am and 3.00pm.
 
The exhibition will be on view for the public from tomorrow.
 
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Eros International, Sajid Nadiadwala come together again for Housefull 3

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Film entertainment major Eros International Media Limited today announced its continued partnership with fillm producer Sajid Nadiadwala to release the third instalment of the comedy franchise Housefull.
 
"Following the unprecedented success of the first two in the series, Eros once again teams up with Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment for the much awaited Housefull 3, directed by writer-turned-director duo Sajid-Farhad," a press release from the company said.
 
Jyoti Deshpande, Group CEO - Eros International Media Ltd said, “We share a special relationship with Sajid that goes back several decades and are excited to have Sajid back with us. What better film to start with than the third instalment of the hit franchise Housefull. It promises to be a star studded laugh riot shot lavishly in the UK, Sajid Nadiadwala style.”
 
Nadiadwala added, “I’m happy to team up with Eros once more for this very popular series. Housefull 3 will be bigger and funnier and we are confident together we will once again successfully present some wholesome entertainment to audiences worldwide”.
 
The film is slated for a 2015 release.
 
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Oommen Chandy presents Kerala Govt.'s special award to singer Yesudas

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy presenting a special award of the State Government to well-known singer K J Yesudas in Thiruvananthapuram on September 11, 2014.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy presenting a special award of the State Government to well-known singer K J Yesudas in Thiruvananthapuram on September 11, 2014.
Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy presented well-known singer K J Yesudas with a special award of the State Government for his contribution in diverse fields at a function here today
 
Mr Chandy said Dr Yesudas was the pride of the state not ony as a singer but also as a person who involves himself in various socio-cultural activities. 
 
State Rural Development Minister K C Joseph presided over the function. The award comprised Rs 1 lakh and a citation.
 
Dr Yesudas congratulated the state government for its bold decision to ban liquor in the state also for implementing the Sruthitharangam project in the state, through which many children get back their ability to speak and hear thorough cochlear implantation.
 
Mr Chandy said the project would be extended to all places. He said the project had been initially planned for 100 children but more than 300 children had benefited from it so far.
 
He said that all those who apply for the benefit would be included under the project. He said it was Dr Yesudas who had suggested the project and the Governmet had gone ahead with it.
 
Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan, Mr Palode Ravi, MLA, the state Chief Secretary and others were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
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Eros Music to release sound track of Murugadoss’ Kaththi starring Vijay

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Film entertainment major Eros International Media Limited today announced its music label Eros Music's foray into Tamil music with the release of its first Tamil album, Vijay starrer Kaththi, directed by A. R. Murugadoss with music by Anirudh Ravichander. 
 
Eros Music will release the sound track of this coming action thriller, one of the most anticipated Tamil films of 2014, on September 18, a press release from the company said.
 
According to it, the soundtrack of Kaththi consists of an eclectic mix of singers and six tracks – soulful melodies to folk songs with Vijay himself lending his voice to one of the tracks, "Selfie pulla”.
 
Ms Soundarya A Rajinikanth, Director - Creative & Head Eros Digital for south India said, “We are very excited to associate with the Kaththi team to release the music of this much awaited film. This move marks Eros’ debut in the Tamil music market and what can be more auspicious than joining hands with the stalwarts of Tamil cinema – Murugadoss, Vijay sir and youth icon Anirudh."
 
"With this move, we are looking forward to leveraging our strength in exclusively exploiting Tamil music content across all formats," she added.
 
The audio launch event of the movie is scheduled to take place on September 18 in Chennai.  After the success of Thuppakki, Murugadoss and Vijay are working together once again. Produced by Ayngaran International and Lyca Productions, Kaththi is scheduled to release on Diwali.
 
With this announcement, in addition to owning music rights of its Bollywood line up, Eros Music will retain, exploit and monetize the music rights of Kaththi across physical and digital formats, the release added.
 
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Eros International, Raj & DK to co-produce films starting with Farzi

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Film entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd today said it would co-produce films with Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK’s D2R Films, including their next directorial venture Farzi. 
 
With this multi-film alliance, the director duo popularly known as Raj & DK will make their debut as producers in the Hindi film industry.
 
"The tie-up signifies a long term association between Eros and D2R Films for future projects with other directors as well," a press release from the company said.
 
Mr Sunil Lulla, Managing Director, Eros International Media Ltd, said, “Tying up with Raj and DK enforces our commitment to make more content driven films. They are a creative and dynamic duo who have gathered a following for their distinctive style of filmmaking. After collaborating together on Go Goa Gone and our forthcoming Happy Ending, we are excited about Farzi which promises to be very unique and thoroughly entertaining."
 
Raj & DK added, “Farzi is one of our favorite scripts and we can’t wait to work on it. Our experience with Eros has been wonderful for the last two films. They have always supported our vision and we are very happy to partner with them to produce films together.”
 
According to the release, Farzi will be a crime thriller with a dose of humour. Besides Shahid Kapoor in the lead, versatile actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui has also been signed up for the film.
 
Raj & DK co-wrote the script with their long time partner Sita Menon and debutant, Suman Kumar.  The film will go on the floors at the end of this year and will primarily be shot in India, the release added.
 
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President releases set of eight commemorative stamps on Indian musicians

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President Pranab Mukherjee released a set of eight commemorative postage stamps on eight of the greatest music maestros of contemporary India at a function here today and said music was at the core of the country's cultural and secular heritage.
 
The stamps feature sitarists Ravi Shankar and Vilayat Khan,  vocalists Bhimsen Joshi, D.K. Pattammal, Mallikarjun Mansur, Gangubai Hangal and Kumar Gandharva, Ustad Vilayat Khan and sarod player Ali Akbar Khan. 
 
"As we pay tribute to eight of the greatest music maestros of contemporary India, we celebrate their life and work and their matchless legacy. These eight maestros are, without a doubt, among the tallest luminaries in the history of world music," Mr Mukherjee said on the occasion.
 
"They have not only achieved personal perfection but have made extraordinary contributions, in their respective fields, to the development and evolution of the schools of music in which their talents were nurtured and honed. Their contribution and its enrichment of our cultural heritage cannot be quantified or estimated. It is infinite in its resonance and their names will be mentioned with great reverence. Their music will be cherished by the young and old, for many decades to come," he said.
 
Mr Mukherjee congratulated the Department of Posts for its initiative in bringing out these stamps. 
 
"As these travel, pasted on letters and parcels and as they are added to the collections of stamp collectors and music connoisseurs and as they are used by people across the continents, these stamps will inform and remind all who see them of a golden era in musical achievements, a high point in the history of shastriya sangeet in India," he said.
 
The President said that, at this juncture, when Indians as a people were  deeply involved with so many things, political processes and economic growth and development, while also facing the challenges of a globalized world, it was comforting and invigorating to pause and reflect on the country's unique cultural heritage. 
 
"Music, in its pure form, is spiritual nourishment for our souls. It is at the core of our cultural and secular heritage. Our classical music, which has its origin in the Vedas, is said to be a gift of God himself; it is Nadabrahma, the sound of God, the music that pervades the universe," he added.
 
 "Ours is a generation that had the privilege of knowing and witnessing the awe-inspiring performances of these eight brilliant artistes. Future generations will marvel at their genius. Many among us have been blessed with the opportunity to have personally known and experienced their uncommon prowess.
 
"I, personally, do fervently believe that the music of India in all its diversity is one of the greatest gifts to human civilization," he said.
 
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Eros International announces partnership with Home Cable Network

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Film entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd today announced the launch of a partnership between Home Cable Network Private Ltd, one of the largest multiple system operators (MSOs) in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), and ErosNow, its online entertainment service.
 
This subscription-based broadband streaming service will enable Home Cable Network’s customer base to view content from Eros’ library of films and music on multiple devices like smart-TVs, PCs, laptops, tablets and mobiles, a press release from the company said.
 
“ErosNow is the only unique online streaming service in the world to offer both current and classic Bollywood blockbusters, music videos and popular television shows. We are pleased to be partnering with a leading player like Home Cable and make our extensive film content available to their vast subscriber base. With this pairing we continue to extend the reach of ErosNow as a leading digital entertainment brand," Rishika Lulla, CEO, ErosNow said.
 
The release said that, as a dedicated online streaming entertainment service, ErosNow showcases premium Bollywood content through a catalogue of current and classic Bollywood films, TV shows and music. The ErosNow platform currently offers users thousands of new and catalogue movies from Eros as well as other major Bollywood studios, a large selection of premium television content syndicated from major TV studios as well as thousands of music videos and audio tracks.
 
Home Cable delivers high speed 50 Mbps as the default minimum speed to its broadband subscribers.
 
The streaming services will be offered at attractive monthly subscription prices with a base price for unlimited viewing of movies, the release added.
 
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Soundarya Rajinikanth joins Eros International as Director Creative & Strategy

Soundarya Rajinikanth
Soundarya Rajinikanth
Film entertainment major Eros International Media Limited has announced the appointment of Soundarya A Rajinikanth as Director Creative & Strategy for Eros and head of the company’s digital initiatives including ErosNow in south India. 
 
In her dual role, Soundarya will be spearheading Eros Digital across all the new media platforms including ErosNow, it’s on demand entertainment portal and lend her creative expertise to the company’s filmed content, a press release from the company said.
 
“We are delighted to welcome Soundarya to the leadership team at Eros. We are in an exciting phase in the company with significant progress in the digital space including ErosNow, mobile, DTH, IPTV and broadband. Soundarya’s experience in the digital domain makes her an ideal candidate to spearhead Eros’ digital strategy and make strategic inroads in South India," Jyoti Deshpande, Group CEO - Eros International Media Ltd said.
 
“I am very happy to get involved and be a part of the digital and creative processes at Eros.  Eros is an established global player with the advantage of a large content library and a vision to make quality content for the future. With a fantastic film slate lined up and such exciting digital opportunities, I am looking forward to bringing on board my experience with technology and creative inputs. With the growing south industry, its rich catalogue of content and a captive audience base, we are confident of driving further growth and making our presence felt strongly," Soundarya said.
 
Along with her new role at Eros, Soundarya will continue with her passion of directing films. She is presently scripting her next venture, to be produced by Eros, the release added.
 
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Rashtrapati Bhavan's In-Residence Programme to feature two artists, two writers in September

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The Rashtrapati Bhavan’s ‘In-Residence Programme’ will feature two artists -- Rahool Saksena and Pratap Sudhir Morey -- and two writers -- Yishey Doma Bhutia and Vempalli Gangadhar -- in September this year.
 
An official press release said the four, selected by an expert committee on the basis of a nationwide application process, will stay at Rashtrapati Bhavan from September 8 to 26.
 
Dr. Gangadhar, a writer in Telugu, was awarded theYuva Puraskar of Sahitya Academi in 2011 for his work Molakala Punnami. He has written many books and articles on issues of farmers, women and the drought prone area of Rayalaseema. 
 
Ms. Bhutia, winner of the Sikkim Sahitya Samman 2013, is a journalist and writer. Presently a copy editor with Sikkim Express, she has written several books including Legends of the Lepchas: Folktales from Sikkim; Sikkim: the Hidden Fruitful Valley; Sikkim A Traveller’s Companion; the Legacy Maker: Pawan Chamling’s Ideas that Shaped Sikkim, and so on.
 
Mr Saksena describes himself as an ‘artist of change’ who transforms everyday material into unexpected art forms.  He believes that this quest for transformation forms the core - a rock solid foundation for multiple possibilities. He became a full time artist after relinquishing a 15-year career in the corporate world with various MNCs.
 
Mr Morey is an artist who has received many awards.  His works have also been exhibited at various places in India and abroad.  The central idea of his work revolves around the body, urban space and the connection between both. Through his work, he addresses issues of redevelopment, displacement and radical growth of urban space. 
 
The ‘In-Residence’ Programme for writers and artists was launched by the President of India on December 11, 2013 with a view to encourage young and upcoming writers and artists by facilitating them to stay close to nature in the picturesque and serene surroundings of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The programme seeks to provide an environment which will inspire creative thinking and rejuvenate artistic impulses. 
 
Mr Jogen Chowdhary, MP (Rajya Sabha); former Keeper (Art), Rashtrapati Bhavan and Professor Emeritus of Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan was the first Artist In-Residence under the programme.
 
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ErosNow acquires worldwide rights to Zee TV premier TV content

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Film entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd has said that its on-demand entertainment portal ErosNow has acquired the worldwide rights of popular Zee TV shows. 
 
With this announcement, content from Zee will be available to ErosNow members with no extra subscription costs, a press release from the company said.
 
With a reach of more than 169 countries and access to more than 670 million viewers globally, Zee TV is the largest media franchise serving the South Asian diaspora.
 
"This partnership allows ErosNow to showcase Zee’s premier television content ranging from top rated serials and soaps to reality shows," the reease said.
 
The titles that will be available to subscribers include: Ek Mutti Aasmaan,         Pavitra Rishta, Fear Files, Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke, Jodha Akbar, Do Bandhe Ek Dori Se, Kumkum Bhagya, Qubool Hai, Aur Pyar Ho Gaya and        Armano ki Doli.
 
This would make ErosNow a one-stop destination for viewing quality Indian content online, the release said.
 
“We aim to provide a robust customer experience with an extensive content offering. We are thrilled to introduce prime television programming from Zee TV into our content mix," Rishika Lulla Singh, CEO, ErosNow said.
 
"Partnering with a leading television player like Zee for compelling content is a natural step to providing the very best of Indian entertainment to our consumers worldwide. We are very excited to bring these shows to the platform and are confident this content will be enjoyed worldwide on ErosNow," she added.
 
Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) said, “Zee has always been a leader in the media and entertainment space, having evolved from being a broadcaster to a content creator and aggregator. Our premium television content is enjoyed by a large global audience across diverse platforms, with a definitive surge in younger viewers who are more accustomed to consuming entertainment via digital platforms. It is therefore, a logical extension for us to make our popular programs available on leading online providers such as ErosNow. By partnering with ErosNow, we hope to capture viewers from around the world with the best shows from Zee’s library."
 
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Shripad Naik launches 60th anniversary celebrations of Lalit Kala Akademi

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Union Minister of Culture and Tourism Shripad Naik launched the year-long celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the Lalit Kala Akademi, India's national academy of art, here yesterday.
 
The academy was set up by the Government as an autonomous body on August 5, 1954 and is its apex cultural body in the field of visual arts in the country.
 
The academy consists of a General Council that comprises artists, art critics, architects, photographers, experts in folk, tribal and traditional arts, art administrators and representatives of various government organizations. 
 
The festivities commenced with an exhibition of works of art selected from the collection of the Akademi that show how artists have been viewing India in their own perspective. 
 
An installation ‘Secret Life of Memories’ consisting of photographic prints, videos and sounds of the cultural lineages of Tibet and Sikkim as well as some re-enactment of Kalimpong Tibetan Opera is also organised at Kaustubh Auditorium of the Lalit Kala Akademi. 
 
The installation has been conceived by Arghya Basu and Rajula Shah. Krishen Khanna, one of the senior most artists of the country and Ravindra Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Culture were the guests of honour on the occasion. 
 
The inaugural function was followed by a musical concert by Abhay Rustum Sopori. The compositions which he presented were based on classical ragas and took the listeners on a journey of India. Mahua Mukherjee and her troupe performed ‘Gaudiya Nritya’, a classical dance from Bengal as a part of the celebrations. 
 
The festivities will be continue today with a dance performance titled ‘Nrutya Vitana’ visualised by Dinanath Pathy and choreographed by Meera Das. The performance discusses the inter-connectivity of various visual art forms. 
 
Tomorrow, R.S. Nanda Kumar and his troupe will present a dance performance titled ‘Rasonmeelana’ which will be an interpretation of the ideas of rasa in Indian poetics. 
 
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Jogen Chowdhury to be first artist-in-residence in Rashtrapati Bhavan

Jogen Chowdhury. Photo: Biswarup Ganguly (Wikimedia Commons)
Jogen Chowdhury. Photo: Biswarup Ganguly (Wikimedia Commons)
Well-known painter and Rajya Sabha member Jogen Chowdhury has been invited to be the inaugural artist to stay at Rashtrapati Bhavan under its "In-Residence Scheme for Writers and Artists".
 
Mr Chowdhury, 75, is Professor Emeritus of Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan and former Keeper (Art) at Rashtrapat Bhavan (1972-87).
 
He will stay at Rashtrapati Bhavan for a period of 14 days beginning today, an official press release said. Several of his paintings already form part of the Rashtrapati Bhavan art collection.
 
The In-Residence Scheme for Writers and Artists was launched by President Pranab Mukherjee on December 11, 2013 with the aim of providing writers and artists an opportunity to stay in Rashtrapati Bhavan and be a part of the life of Rashtrapati Bhavan.  
 
The initiative is an attempt to encourage established as well as young and upcoming writers and artists by facilitating them stay close to nature in the picturesque and serene surroundings of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The programme seeks to provide an environment which will inspire creative thinking and rejuvenate artistic impulses.  Various activities like reading sessions, exhibitions of works of art and interaction with the residents of Rashtrapati Bhavan are also to be organized in consultation with the selected writers/artists under the scheme.
 
Mr Chowdhury has been elected to the Rajya Sabha as a candidate of the Trinamool Congress.
 
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Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan to launch Dilip Kumar’s biography

Actor Dilip Kumar and his actress wife Saira Bano
Actor Dilip Kumar and his actress wife Saira Bano
"Substance and Shadow", the biography of Bollywood thespian Dilip Kumar will be launched here on June 9 by well-known actors Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan.
 
The biography is written by author Uday Tara Nayar, who is also a close family friend of the veteran actor.
 
The book will be launched in the presence of Dilip Kumar, 91, his actress-wife Saira Banu Khan, legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar and Ms Nayar. 
 
The launch event is being arranged, managed and executed by Samara Productions, Astrus Talent and Event Management and MOH Entertainment. 
 
Glamsham.com is the Exclusive Digital Partner, Oye 104.8 FM is the Radio Partner while Zoom is the Channel Partner for Red Carpet coverage.
 
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I&B Ministry to release "India Film Guide" at Cannes Film Festival

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The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) will release an India Film Guide at the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival, which will open today.
 
The guide, the first of its kind to be released at Cannes, is aimed at positioning India as a "filming destination" and has information on film policies, movies for sale and distribution.
 
The guide has exhaustive descriptions of the policy initiatives of the Ministry, its affiliated bodies; details of all India’s co-production agreements; all Indian films at Cannes and visiting Indian delegates; key databases pertaining to the sector and the winners of this year’s national awards.
 
An official press release said the resource book is expected to act as a catalyst in view of the branding of the India Pavilion, which will showcase Indian cinema across linguistic, cultural and regional diversity, with the aim of forging an increasing number of international partnerships in the realm of distribution, production, filming in India, script development and technology, and promoting film sales and syndication. 
 
The initiatives undertaken to promote co-production between stakeholders, viability of the Single Window Clearance mechanism and the possibility of enhanced cooperation within the domain of film archiving in the backdrop of the National Film Heritage Mission will be focus areas for interaction with foreign producers and organizations associated with the film industry.
 
"The India Pavilion aims to bring about substantial interest from the international community in exploiting India’s full potential as the largest film-making nation in the world. India has the most vibrant film sector and is currently occupying a significant space in the global arena. India produces over 1000 films in more than a dozen languages annually," the release said.
 
The India Pavilion will be will be inaugurated by Mr Bimal Julka, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and Mr Arun K Singh, Indian Ambassador to France alongwith  Mr Jerome Paillard, Director, Marche du Film (the Cannes Film Market). 
 
Also expected to be present on the occasion is producer Uday Chopra, who is also one of the producers of the festival’s opening film, Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco. There will also be a  discussion and felicitation of Titli, India’s official selection at the festival along with the cast and crew including director Kanu Behl.
 
The release said the Ministry will be organizing interactive sessions with Indian and international film industry stakeholders at the India Pavilion. 
 
Some of the prominent speakers at the India Pavilion are expected to be  Dave Gibson, CEO, New Zealand Film Commission; Cindy Shyu, CEO Lighthouse Productions, China; Colin Burrows, CEO, Special Treats Productions; and crew members from Grace of Monaco, the opening film at the festival. 
 
The pavilion will also be showcasing trailers of recent Indian films and displaying brochures and other literature of Indian film companies.
 
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