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Exhibition on “Decorated Arms & Armours” from National Museum reserve collection begins

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An exhibitions titled “Decorated Arms & Armours”, displaying select daggers, swords, armours as well as pistols from National Museum’s reserve collection, began here today.
 
The exhibition, inaugurated by National Museum Director General B R Mani, will continue till November 5.
 
The history of Indian arms and armours begins in pre- and proto-historic times. In the historical context, they are testified by several sculptures, paintings and coins. During the medieval period, there was considerable ingenuity and craftsmanship in manufacturing them.
 
During the Sultanate and the Mughal rule, weapons underwent significant modifications, and weapons with Persian, Arab and Turkish influences became common. Examples are the ‘Shamsheer’ from Persia and the ‘Zulfikar’ from Arabia.
 
A variety of daggers, imported weapons for self-protection and hand-to-hand combat were also in vogue. There were regional variants like the Jamadhar, Jambia and Khanjar of Mughal the Chura of Afghans, the Khapwa of Rajputs, the Qurauli of Sikhs and the Khukri of Nepalis. Many daggers were adorned with ivory, jade, crystal and soapstone and sometimes embellished with calligraphy.
 
From pre-historic period to the later Gupta period, the arms and armour were basically of a functional nature and do not bear much of an aesthetic element. It was from the medieval period that arms and armour began to be profusely ornamented.
 
The ornamentation on weapons began to symbolize an individual's identity, his political power and economic authority. The study of ornamented arms and armour is interesting for the part they played in shaping history. On the technical side, arts were applied in various ways in the ornamentation techniques, the metallurgy and utility of various materials such s gold, silver, copper, brass, jade, crystal, agate, ivory, horn, mother of pearl, tortoiseshell, wood, hide, precious and semi-precious stones, and so on.
 
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The arms and armours of the common man, used on the battlefield or for hunting, were often plain and the decoration kept to a minimum. However, arms and armour of the nobility, military commanders and elite warriors were adorned with precious decoration, especially for ceremonial use.
 
Weapons used by the royal houses of different dynasties were usually embellished with decorative designs bearing testimony to the fact of historical personalities. The edged weapons like swords, daggers, spears, and so on were extensively decorated with hunting scenes; and several other patterns. Many of the arms also bore the name of their owners.
 
Arms, most importantly ornamented daggers, were the most common gifts presented to distinguished individuals in recognition of their services. A custom which was prevalent right from the ancient times is still practised in many parts of India.
 
The arms and armours which made up as gifts were opulently decorated. The decoration constituted things from everyday life and was subjected to a symmetrical arrangement, with pommel itself shaped like the head of a horse, figures of deities and parrot among others.
 
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Ali Fazal, Shriya Pilgaonkar come together for a web series

Shriya Pilgaonkar
Shriya Pilgaonkar
Actress Shriya Pilgaonkar, who was appreciated for her Hindi film debut as  Shahrukh Khan's love interest in Fan and for her viral short film Jai Mata Di, is now going to be seen in a web show called Mirzapur produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani for a global online platform where she stars opposite Ali Fazal in the lead. 
 
Mirzapur is a gangster drama directed by the makers of Inside Edge and is currently being shot in Varanasi. The show also stars Pankaj Tripathi  and Vikrant Massey.
 
When asked, Shriya said "I am thrilled to be part of Mirzapur and to be working with Excel. We have already started shooting in Varanasi. The cast is fantastic and the character I play is completely different from what I have done before."
 
"Ali and I have been friends since college, so it's even more special that we are working together," she added.
 
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Reliance Foundation provides "generous gift" to The Met to support Indian art programming

Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited Director Isha Ambani with Mia Fineman, Curator of the Raghubir Singh exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where Reliance Foundation is supporting exhibition of Indian Art.
Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited Director Isha Ambani with Mia Fineman, Curator of the Raghubir Singh exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where Reliance Foundation is supporting exhibition of Indian Art.
Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited, has promised a "generous gift" to the Metropolitan Museum of Art here to support exhibitions that explore and celebrate the arts of India.
 
"This is an outstanding commitment that will have a direct impact on The Met and the exhibitions it presents to its millions of yearly visitors.” said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met. 
 
“As a global institution, we are devoted to studying and displaying art from every corner of the world, which is made possible only through the generosity of our friends," he said.
 
Mr. Weiss said RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita are truly visionary benefactors. "We are enormously grateful for this meaningful gift," he said.
 
A press release from the Reliance Foundation said the gift would support a range of exhibitions examining the accomplishments and influence of the arts and artists of India across time and media.
 
The first exhibition to benefit from this gift is this fall’s Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs, which opened on October 11, a retrospective of the pioneering artist that will present his work from the late 1960s through his last unpublished projects of the late 1990s. 
 
The focus of the remaining exhibitions that will benefit from this sponsorship will range from early Buddhist art from the 1st century B.C. to 4th century A.D to 17th century Mughal art to contemporary Indian sculpture.
 
Nita and Mukesh Ambani are great champions of The Met. In 2016, Mr. and Mrs. Ambani and the Reliance Foundation supported the exhibition Nasreen Mohamedi, the first museum retrospective of the artist’s work in the United States that was presented as one of the inaugural exhibitions when The Met Breuer opened that spring.
 
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"With this new gift, Mr. and Mrs. Ambani and the Reliance Foundation will have sponsored and made possible the showcasing of three important Indian exhibitions at the Met Breuer, allowing their Indian culture and heritage to be shared with global audiences from across the world who visit The Met. Their generosity will be recognized in the iconic building among other leadership donors to this important initiative. 
 
"In 2017, the Museum honored Mrs. Ambani at The Met Winter Party celebrating achievements made toward greater diversity and inclusion in the world of art. In addition, Mrs. Ambani is generous with her time and expertise, which she shares as a member of The Met’s new International Council," the release said.
 
“India has a rich heritage of art and culture that can be traced back to the 3rd-4th century BC. At Reliance Foundation, it has been our ongoing mission to recognise and promote this valuable tradition by offering opportunities and platforms for Indian art locally in India and at various institutions around the globe. This partnership with The Met enables Indian art to be shown at an iconic institution and further encourages us to continue our work in the art world. We are truly delighted to be part of this long term collaboration. We believe this will prove to be a wonderful partnership for learning and sharing that will go a long way for art in India," said Ms. Ambani, Founder and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation.  
 
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Veteran actor Anupam Kher appointed as Chairman of FTII, Pune

Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher
Well-known actor Anupam Kher has been appointed as Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, succeeding Mr. Gajendra Chauhan, an official press release said here today.
 
FTII is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and is regarded as a centre of excellence across the world. Films made by FTII’s students have enjoyed excellent receptions in festivals in India and abroad and have won national and international awards. 
 
"I feel deeply humbled & honoured to be apportioned as the Chairman of iconic #FTII. I will perform my duties to the best of my abilities," Mr. Kher said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
Mr. Kher, 62, has appeared in more than 500 films and has won many national and international awards during his distinguished career.
 
Earlier he served as the Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and was the Director of National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi from 2001 to 2004. He is also an alumnus of NSD (1978 batch).
 
He was honoured by the Government with the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 for his contribution to the field of cinema and arts.
 
Apart from films, Mr. Kher has acted in scores of plays. While he has worked mainly in Hindi films, he has appeared in films made in other languages such as Malayalam and Malayalam and also in international films such as the 2002 Golden Globe nominated Bend It Like Beckham, Ang Lee's 2007 Golden Lion-winning Lust, Caution, and David O. Russell's 2013 Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook. He has also hosted several television shows
 
His wife, actress Kirron Kher, is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of the Lok Sabha from Chandigarh.
 
Mr. Kher made his film debut in the Hindi movie Aagman. In 1984 came Saaransh, where the 28-year-old Kher plated a retired middle-aged Maharashtrian man who has lost his son, a performance for which he won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor.
 
He won the Special Jury Award twice in the National Film Awards -- for Daddy in 1989 and for Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara in 2005. He has won the Filmfare Award for Best Comedian five times. 
 
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Dialogue of Civilizations – IV to open on Sunday

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Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma will inaugurate the ‘4th Dialogue of Civilizations’ here today.
 
Jointly organised by the Archaeological Survey of India, Ministry of Culture and National Geographic, the theme of the week-long conference is “Technology and Civilization”.
 
Culture Secretary Rashmi Verma will preside over the function. The inaugural function of the Dialogue will be followed by academic sessions at Ahmedabad and Dholavira and the final dialogue will take place at the important Harappan centre of Dholavira in the Rann of Kachchh.
 
The inaugural function will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr B.R. Mani, Director General, National Museum. The participants will be Prof. B.B. Lal (Harappa), Dr Fransisco Estrada-Belli (Maya), Prof. Augusta McMohan (Mesopotamian), Dr Anna Latifa Mourad (Egyptian) and Dr Xinwei Li (China).
 
International scholars will include Barbara Helwing, Li Liu, Renee Friedman, Asl?han Yener, Anabel Ford, Augusta McMahon, Xinwei Li, Monica Smith, Chase Harrison, Yukinori Kawae, Thomas E. Levy and Francisco Estrada-Belli.
 
In 2013, the National Geographic Society initiated a five-year annual conference called “The Dialogue of Civilizations,” to encourage scholarly and public discourse about the five ancient, literate civilizations of the world (i.e., Egypt, Mesopotamia, South Asia, China, and Mesoamerica) and how the study of the past can inform the present and the future.
 
The first conference of this series was inaugurated in Guatemala in 2013, followed by Turkey in 2014 and in China in 2015. The fourth dialogue in this series was scheduled to be held in October 2016. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the event was shifted to October 2017.
 
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First edition of ASEAN India Music Festival to be held in New Delhi from Oct 6-8

The first edition of the ASEAN-India Music Festival will be held at Purana Quila (Old Fort) here from October 6-8 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations.
 
The event has been organised by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India in collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Seher.
 
"The theme for this commemorative year 'Shared Values, Common Destiny' along with this music festival aims to boost cultural influences among the peoples of the ASEAN member states and India," a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said.
 
The festival will witness performances by musicians of 10 bands from member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam) along with five prominent Indian bands. 
 
The ASEAN bands performing in the festival include The Ugly Band (Myanmar), Cherpen (Malaysia), Tim De Cotta (Singapore), Kong Southearith (Cambodia), Red Bamboo (Vietnam), L’alphalpha (Indonesia), Nam Fon Indee (Lao PDR), A Band Once (Brunei Darussalam), Asia7 (Thailand) and The Ransom Collective (Philippines). 
 
Indian bands which will perform in the festival are Raghu Dixit Project, Avial, Papon LIVE, Bipul Chettri and the Travelling Band, and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. 
 
Entry to the festival will be free, the release added.
 
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Jio and Roy Kapur Films in multi-year deal for Original Digital Content

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Telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. (RJIL) and Roy Kapur Films (RKF), a leading film and media production company founded by Siddharth Roy Kapur, today announced an association wherein original digital video content for the Jio platform will be curated, developed, commissioned and creatively produced by Roy Kapur Films. 
 
This will include finite and continuing series, long form and short form content across genres, and over time, ‘First on Jio’ feature films, a press release from RJIL, a subsidiary of the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), said.
 
"RKF will tap into the vibrant content production ecosystem in India and together with Jio’s cutting edge technologies, power the Jio platform with a robust content pipeline of Jio Originals. This exclusive content will be available to more than 128 million Jio subscribers all over the country, an unparalleled reach compared to any other digital platform showcasing original content in India," the release said.
 
Mr. Jyotindra Thacker from Jio said, “India is the leading country in the world for mobile data usage, and a significant part of this usage is driven by video content. Jio currently carries over 5.5 crore hours of video daily on its network, already making it one of the largest and most superior mobile video networks globally. This association with Roy Kapur Films will help us to power forward towards our goal of delivering the highest quality video entertainment content to our mobile subscribers. Over the last decade, Siddharth has developed and produced some of the most commercially successful and creatively pathbreaking movies in Indian cinema, and we are happy to partner with him in the creation of a creative ecosystem that enables everyone to fully live and experience the Jio Digital Life.” 
 
Siddharth Roy Kapur said, “Jio’s digital platform offers an unparalleled opportunity to produce and deliver high quality and world-class entertainment content at scale. Content that can be watched all over India, across all demographics and best of all completely at one’s convenience, across all screens mobile, tablet, laptop and TV. Never before has so much entertainment been so accessible to so many. Our goal is to provide Jio subscribers with a wide variety of content that caters to their diverse tastes and sensibilities, and keeps them coming back for more. Partnering with Jio to produce digital video content and sharing in its long term vision for an Indian digital revolution and global digital leadership is truly exciting!”
 
The release said the collaboration between RKF and Jio marks a milestone in the confluence between the rapidly evolving entertainment, technology and telecom sectors in India.
 
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Tamannaah Bhatia to play lead in Telugu version of Hindi movie "Queen"

Tamannaah Bhatia
Tamannaah Bhatia
Tamannaah Bhatia, who has acted in  more than 50 films in three different languages, including the Baahubali series, is understood to have bagged the lead role in the Telugu version of Kangana Ranaut-starrer "Queen".
 
Tamannaah has been focusing on women-centric films like Kalloori , Ananda Thandavan, Kanden  Kadhalai, 100% Love and Devi over the past one decade.
 
The Telugu version of Queen will be produced by Manu Kumaran under the banner of Mediente Films. National award winning director and a South favourite,  G. Neelakanta Reddy will be directing the Telugu remake and the film will go on the floors on October 25.
 
The entire film will be shot in an international locale and will release in the middle of next year, sources said.
 
The sources said Tamannaah was initially approached to play the lead protagonist in both the Tamil and Telugu versions of the critically acclaimed Queen but signed only the Telugu version citing creative preferences.
 
“Queen is an interesting film and I have always been motivated by roles that help elevate women empowerment in some form. I am very excited to be doing the Telugu version and can’t wait to start shooting next month. This is the first time I’m working with Neelakanta Reddy and I’m sure together we will create magic on the 70 mm screen.”
 
The South remakes of Vikas Bahl’s Queen will be made in Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam apart from Telugu.
 
Tamannaah who started off at the age of 15 in the film industry, has worked with a list of notable actors including Ranveer Singh, Akshay Kumar, Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Ajay Devgan, Mahesh Babu, Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Dhanush, Allu Arjun, Ram Charan, amongst others. In the past she has acted in the South remakes of Bollywood films like Jab We Met, Kick and Rowdy Rathore.
 
She is the first actress from India who was nominated at Saturn Awards for Best Supporting Actress. 
 
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Isha Ambani unveils Reliance Foundation "Holistic Healing" Art Project in Mumbai

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Ms. Isha Ambani, a Director of telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), recently launched "Holistic Healing" a new public art project at the Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai.
 
Through this initiative, Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of energy and petrochemicals giant Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), aims to introduce cutting-edge, contemporary art to the Indian public.  
 
"It also offers patients and their families an opportunity to experience the extraordinary power of visual art. Holistic Healing offers a unique opportunity to introduce site-specific artworks by contemporary artists," a press release from the foundation said.
 
The release said 12 of India’s leading contemporary artists have created nine works of art to change the atmosphere of the Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre. 
 
"Splashing color, shape and rhythm to corridors of the hospital, the art simultaneously provokes thought and evokes conversation.  Rohini Devasher, Shilpa Gupta, Reena Saini Kallat, Suhasini Kejriwal, Sandeep Mukherjee, Sachin George Sebastian, Praneet Soi, Thukral & Tagra and Raqs Media Collective have all created the site-specific works which will be placed across various locations within the hospital," it said.
 
“Holistic Healing hopes to transform the environment of a hospital into a space that transports the viewer outside the confines of its walls. This initiative at the Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre will further motivate us to continue our work in the art world. We are truly delighted to be part of this inspiring collaboration with some of India’s leading contemporary artists," Ms. Ambani, daughter of RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani, and his wife Nita Ambani, Chairperson of the Reliance Foundation, said.
 
As part of the launch, a panel discussion was held celebrating the new works of art at the hospital. Moderated by Dr. Deepanjana Klien, International Head of Classical and Contemporary South Asian Art at Christie’s, the panel featuring artists Sree Goswami, Shilpa Gupta, Reena Kallat, Sumir Tagra and Jiten Thukral discussed the significance of Public Art in India.
 
One of the Reliance Foundations’ key ongoing missions is to promote and offer opportunities and platforms for Indian art locally in India and at various institutions around the globe, the release added.
 
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Simran is worth a watch, for Kangana Ranaut

Kangana Ranaut in a still from Simran
Kangana Ranaut in a still from Simran
We went to see Simran, Hansal Mehta's latest offering, with Kangana Ranaut in the lead, on Sunday. As we set out, it occurred to us that it was the first time that we had not even bothered to find out the names of the rest of the cast of the movie.
 
Simran has been projected as a Ranaut-centred movie and that is how it turned out to be. She is one of the few Bollywood actresses who can carry a film almost entirely on her own, and the movie highlights this throughout.
 
The movie tells the story of Praful Patel, played by Ranaut, a 30-year-old Gujarati divorcee who lives in Georgia, Atlanta with her middle class parents. She works in the housekeeping department of a hotel and wants to buy her own apartment so that she can move out of the home of her parents, with whom she has a love-hate relationship. Her parents, of course, want her to remarry but she turns down every proposal.
 
The rest of the movie is about how Praful ends up in a serious mess as she chases her dream of buying a house. Along the way, we discover her "character flaws". Revealing more than this would amount to playing spoiler.
 
So does the movie work? Ranaut is in command almost throughout and essays her role well. But that is about all.
 
The film suffers from the lack of a good script. The character of a young Gujarati woman in the United States, with her Gujarati accent and living with her conservative parents, offered possibilities which have not been fully exploited. As the film progresses, you seem to be watching the same thing over and over again as the story moves forward ever so slowly.
 
Secondly, it would appear to be a case of poor casting. A movie clicks when the right actor is chosen for each role, even the minor ones, and they play their part well. This is not quite the case here. But then, given that Ranaut commands all your attention almost throughout, it does not seem to matter.
 
Sohum Shah, who appeared in Ship of Theseus and Talvar, plays Sameer, Praful's love interest and endears himself to the audience with an understated performance. He holds his own against Ranaut in all the scenes in which they appear together. Hiten Kumar, as Praful's constantly nagging father who runs a small business that is not doing too well and Kishori Shahane, who plays her mother, manage to get by.
 
One cannot get the feeling that Mehta did not pay much attention to the other characters in the movie and there are quite a few of them. Many of them have not been clearly etched out and remain unidimensional.
 
Most of us willingly suspend our disbelief when we go to the movies, and, if some parts of the story seem implausible, we can handle that. And you will have to do quite a bit of that with this one. Despite all that, the family scenes, Praful's interactions with her colleagues, the bank robberies and the car chase are all enjoyable for the elan with which Ranaut carries them off.
 
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Simran is one of those rare Bollywood movies in which the woman is not apologetic for what she describes as her "character flaws". It is also rare to see a Bollywood heroine who starts out as a divorcee in a movie, appearing to enjoy herself and living by her own set of rules. It is that spirit that leads Praful into a life of crime as the movie progresses.
 
The problem is that the movie drags quite a bit. If it is meant to be a comedy, it does not make you laugh enough. If it has a serious message, it does not quite touch or move you. Of course, a filmmaker has the right to tell a story the way he wants to and is not obliged to stick to a single theme or genre. Here, you often get the feeling that you are watching a light-hearted flick, but then it turns dark in parts and emotional at other points, and then ends abruptly, leaving you a bit confused.
 
The movie is based entirely in the United States, and you get to see quite a bit of Atlanta, Las Vegas and other parts of that country through Anuj Dhavan's efficient handling of the camera. Sachin-Jigar's music and the songs add to the charm of the movie.
 
In the end, you keep watching because Ranaut is a delight in almost all the scenes, getting the Gujarati accent right often enough, though not consistently, but always on top of all her scenes. But the lack of other competent actors and characters who could have provided a foil to Praful Patel shows.
 
Simran is loosely based on the real-life story of Sandeep Kaur, whose story had captivated the United States in the summer of 2014. The movie closely follows many of the details of Sandeep's improbable story. Reading up about her might help you understand some of the twists and turns in the story of Praful Patel which otherwise might appear strange and illogical.
 
Overall, Simran works well in its lighter moments but does not do so in the dramatic scenes and, to that extent, it becomes a bit of a stretch. Only Ranaut  can carry off a movie without relying on a top male star. The movie delivers only in part and could have been much more fun. But, still, you will enjoy it.
 
Rating: 3.5/5
 
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Festival of India in Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, and Guinea from August 15 - January 28

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A Festival of India is being organized in Cote d’Ivoire and concurrently accredited countries of Liberia and Guinea from August 15, 2017 – January 28, 2018.
 
The Festival will showcase diverse Indian culture through classical and folk dances. The events will be held in four cities of Cote d’Ivoire -- Abidjan, Yamoussoukro and Grand Bassam and Daloa -- and capital cities of Monrovia of Liberia and Conakry of Guinea.
 
The events being showcased are Bharatnatyam Dance Group led by D. Bhavani Shankar (August 15-16) and Mohiniattam Dance Group led by Aswathy Nair (September 22-25). The group will also perform in Monrovia, Liberia, an official press release said.
 
Folk Dance of Arunachal Pradesh Rinchin Droma will be staged on October 27-30. The group will also perform in Conakry, Guinea.
 
Manipuri Dance Group led by B. Sanjita Devi will perform on January 26-28, 2018.
 
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Crowdfunding campaign launched to save 1,000 years old theatre art in Kerala

Guru Margi Madhu Chakyar (R) and his son Nepathya Sreehari Chakyar help Koodiyattam student Nepathya Yadukrishnan get ready for a performance
Guru Margi Madhu Chakyar (R) and his son Nepathya Sreehari Chakyar help Koodiyattam student Nepathya Yadukrishnan get ready for a performance
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help protect one of the world’s oldest known theatre art forms from dying out for want of patronage and interest in the modern world.
 
The Nepathya Centre for Koodiyattam in Kerala is being supported by Sahapedia, the online encyclopedia of Indian arts and culture, in its goal to raise Rs 20 lakh via the crowdfunding platform BitGiving, to train a new generation of artistes in what constitutes the only surviving form of ancient Sanskrit theatre in the world.
 
Koodiyattam, a performance art that draws on the plays of Sanskrit dramatists of antiquity, is believed to have followed an unbroken tradition for more than 1,000 years in the state of Kerala. 
 
A highly stylized art form, Koodiyattam (Kutiyattam) evolved its unique theatre grammar over centuries with its own complex conventions, gestures and expressions, which require many years of arduous training to master.
 
Once limited to temples, Koodiyattam emerged on to performance stages and international audiences in the 1950s, thanks to the efforts of celebrated gurus such as Mani Madhava Chakyar, Painkulam Rama Chakyar and Ammannur Madhava Chakyar.
 
Today there are only around 50 practitioners of this art form and institutions such as Kalamandalam, Margi and Ammannur Gurukulam in Kerala impart training in Koodiyattam.
 
Nepathya, a school based in Moozhikulam in Thrissur district, is focused exclusively on Koodiyattam and is trying to preserve the most difficult of its traditional repertoires which need more time to master and which are not as popular as others because of their scholarly content. A not-for-profit institution, it was started 15 years ago to train a new generation of actors exclusively in Kutiyattam.
 
Nepathya’s founder and guru Margi Madhu says the lack of public awareness is one of the reasons for poor financial support and dearth of young artistes keen to learn. The crowdfunding drive is also doubling up as an awareness campaign.
 
“Nepathya has been struggling to raise funds for the past 12 years,” he says. “Currently, we are at risk of losing our trained artistes. Training a new student takes almost a decade and each time an artiste leaves, we go back to square one. We only have three senior students (and two young ones) and four drummers left because of lack of funding.”
 
These senior students — Rahul Gopinath, Yadhukrishnan K R and Vishnuprasad K R — aged around 20, have been training at Nepathya since the age of seven. They have undergone the preliminary stages of training and are now ready for the rigours of the more scholarly repertoires.
 
Margi Madhu says the funds raised on BitGiving will support the training of the three in Anguliyankam, the sixth act of the play 9th Century play Ascharyachudamani (The Wondrous Crest Jewel) by Saktibhadra.
 
It is an extremely difficult sequence to learn, needing up to three years of comprehensive study of the manuscripts, choreographic texts, and acting principles; and takes a full month to perform on stage. There are only three or four artistes in Koodiyattam today who can perform it in its entirety and only one or two artists who know its drumming patterns.
 
Nepathya will use the funds to enable its student artistes and drummers to dedicate more of their time and efforts to learning.
 
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Rahul, Yadhukrishnan and Vishnugopal are about to graduate from engineering colleges and under pressure to take up full-time jobs to earn a living. Margi Madhu says their families are supportive, but Koodiyattam will not sustain them unless it finds both aficionados and patronage.
 
“The real depth of the art lies in its ability to elevate the minds of the viewers. To do that the artistes themselves have to experience the pleasure of the art, and explore the depths of the performances,” he adds.  “They cannot do so if they are burdened by the prospect of looking for paying jobs, which is why we need funds to support them.”
 
UNESCO has declared Koodiyattam as a ‘Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’.
 
“It would be a tragedy and a shame if an art form that has survived for a thousand years dies on our watch,” says Dr. Sudha Gopalakrishnan, the Executive Director of Sahapedia, “We are wholly behind Nepathya’s efforts to save and popularize this ancient art. Koodiyattam is intimately connected to the cultural history of Kerala and the great traditions of Sanskrit literature, we have to preserve it whichever way we can. Supporting Nepathya is one step in that direction for all of us.”
 
The architect of the crowdfunding campaign, Neha Paliwal, Sahapedia’s Director, Projects says the campaign, which was launched on at the end of July and will run for two months, has so far raised Rs 1.02 lakh from ten patrons. “Such campaigns offer platforms for public participation in culture conservation efforts. It will also, hopefully, enable more people to see the beauty and value of art forms such as Koodiyattam that have historically been accessible to smaller communities.”
 
She said Sahapedia will use both its online portal as well as social media and other digital platforms to introduce Koodiyattam to a wider audience.          
 
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“Indian Historical Monuments in Company Painting School” exhibition begins in National Museum

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An exhibition on “Indian Historical monuments in Company Painting School” has opened at the Ajanta Hall in the National Museum here.
 
The exhibition, inaugurated by Additional Secretary, Culture, Sujata Prasad yesterday will go on until August 27. It presents illustrated paintings on Indo-Islamic monuments with scenes of Mughal architecture created with a photo realistic approach.
 
The National Museum took a new initiative on a “Small Temporary Exhibition” from its reserve collection. The exhibitions will be based on several themes, so that it will attract a large number of visitors to view new artefacts every fortnight.
 
Through such programmes, the National Museum is trying to draw the visitors' attention and allows them to experience the collection on many significant art pieces of reserve storage, which generally remains out of focus.
 
In the 18th and 19th centuries, India witnessed a new genre of painting popularly known as ‘Company School’ as it emerged primarily under the patronage of the British East India Company. The British officers trained Indian artists in British water colour style for documenting Indian daily life scene, monuments, art and culture in the form of paintings for carrying out as a souvenir to their homes while returning to the England.
 
Some of these Company Paintings depict Mughal architecture. As these paintings were part of documentation, most of these monuments were painted in full profile such as Red Fort of Delhi (1639-48 CE) and Taj Mahal (1630-48 CE). A few of them depict only some parts highlighting special features like the interior of the tomb of Itimad-ud-Daula.
 
Among the 12 paintings on display are Chini ka Rauza, Agra (Company Period, 19th Century) Paper 8.9 x 7.4 inch; Buland-Darwaza, Fatehpur Sikri (Company Period, 19th Century) Paper 8.9 x 7.4 inch; Gateway of Taj Mahal, Agra (Company Period, 19th Century) Paper 8.8 x 7.4 inch; Sketch of Red Fort, Agra from the riverside (Company Period, 19th Century) Paper 8.8 x 7.3 inch; Railing around the Graves inside the Taj Mahal, Agra (Company Period, 19th Century) Paper 8.9 x 7.3 inch; Akbar’s Tomb, Agra (Company Period, 19th Century) Paper 8.8 x 7.4 inch.
 
The temporary exhibition from the Reserve Collection of National Museum is formulated to display a variety of objects from the National Museum Reserve Collection for six months. Stuccos from Taxila will be on display in August. The next month, September will have Exploring Seals: Silver, copper, stone seals with bilingual and trilingual inscriptions from the Epigraphy followed by another exhibition on Ornamental Arms and Armour.
 
October will feature shoes and sandals from Central Asia and Folk objects of Bengal: With special reference to the wooden dolls and sholapitha objects.
 
November will see Man: the creator, the development of tool making by Early Man. It will deal with early man and the tools they have used during a different time span of evolution. The Calligraphy in the Holy Quran will also be on display in the same month. December will have Western Art in Indian Museum.
 
The first temporary exhibition at the National Museum was on “Traditional Headgear of India” from the Decorative Arts department inaugurated by Ms Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Culture & Tourism on July 24 at Ajanta Hall (First floor). This exhibition showcased printed turban, embroidered dopalli and Maratha stitched cap and zardozi cap specially designed for occasional and ceremonial occasions.
 
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Lyricist Prasoon Joshi replaces Pahlaj Nihalani as Chairperson of CBFC

Prasoon Joshi
Prasoon Joshi
The Government today appointed well-known lyricist and advertising guru Prasoon Joshi as the new Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), replacing filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani whose controversial tenure has been brought to an abrupt end.
 
An official press release said Mr. Joshi's appointment will be for a period of three years from today or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
 
In the normal course, Mr. Nihalani's three-year term would have ended on January 18, 2018.
 
"In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (37 of 1952) read with rule 3 of the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983, the Central Government is pleased to appoint Sh. Prasoon Joshi as Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification in an honorary capacity from 11th August, 2017 for a period of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier," the release said.
 
In a separate announcement, the Government also said it had reconstituted the CBFC Board, which will now include well-known actresses Gautami Tadimalla and Vidya Balan.
 
The other members include Hindi writer Narendra Kohli, filmmakers Naresh Chandra Lal, Vivek Agnihotri and T. S. Nagabharana, Shillong Chamber Choir conductor and pianist Neil Herbert Nongkynrih, National School of Drama Director Waman Kendre, writer and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activist Ramesh Patange, former BJP secretary and actor Vani Tripathi Tikoo, actress Jeevitha Rajasekhar and Gujarati writer Mihir Bhuta.
 
Bhuta, Patange, Jeevitha and Tripathi Tikoo were members of the previous Board headed by Mr. Nihalani.
 
The members will have a term of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier, the release added.
 
Mr. Nihalani had run into clashes with several filmmakers who accused him of seeking "irrational" cuts in their movies and of moral policing. Some of his colleagues were also unhappy with his style of functioning and they said he was running the CBFC on the basis of his personal whims and fancies.
 
Among the controversies were his refusal to certify "Lipstick Under My Burqa", his objection to the word "intercourse" in the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer "When Harry Met Sejal" and the decision to bleep out words like "cow" and "Hindu India" in a documentary on renowned economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.
 
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In another controversial move, the CBFC had ordered as many as 89 cuts in the film "Udta Punjab" but the High Court restored all the scenes, except one.
 
Mr. Joshi is a lyricist, screenwriter, poet and marketer. He is the winner of the National Award twice and the Filmfare Award thrice for his lyrics for Hindi films. He was honoured by the Government with the Padma Shri in 2015.
 
Mr. Joshi began writing at an early age and took up advertising as a career, starting out with Ogilvy & Mather in Delhi before moving to Mumbai. In 2002, he joined McCann-Erickson as executive vice-president and national creative director. By 2006, he was regional creative director for South and South East Asia. In December 2006 he was promoted to executive chairman for McCann Worldgroup India and regional creative director for Asia Pacific.
 
He made his debut as a film lyricist with Rajkumar Santoshi's Lajja, followed by Yash Chopra's Hum Tum, Fanaa, Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par, Black and Delhi 6. With Rang De Basanti (2006), he also became a dialogue writer. He had also written the script for the award-winning 2014 film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
 
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Indian Navy Band to perform in Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2017 in UK

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The Indian Navy Band has been invited to participate and perform in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2017 in the United Kingdom from August 1 to 26.
 
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an international event of military music performance undertaken by the Armed Forces. It is the largest tattoo performed in the world in the majestic, sprawling stretch of Edinburgh Castle Esplanade, Scotland. 
 
An official press release said the invitation to the Indian Navy Band to participate in the event is a matter of pride and a befitting recognition of its professional prowess.
 
It said the participation of the band in the event woudl further cement the ties between the two countries, more so, when the two countries have declared 2017 as the India-UK Year of Culture to celebrate cultural ties and the 70th year of Indian independence. 
 
"The Indian Navy Band has been practising hard in the last few months to further hone their skills to capture the hearts and minds of the music enthusiasts in this international event. The band comprising one officer and 65 musician sailors would perform under the leadership of Commander Vijay Charles D’Cruz, Director of Music (Navy) who would be the Principal Conductor during the event. The Indian Navy band is scheduled to depart for London from Mumbai on July 30," the release said.
 
More than 50 bands are expected to participate in the tattoo and about 2.5 lakh people are expected to attend the event over the 26-day period.
 
Apart from India, bands from countries like Australia, France, Germany and will also be performing at the tattoo this year, the release added.
 
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Reliance to acquire 24.92% of Balaji Telefilms at Rs. 413.28 crore

Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), which has interests in the digital and media segments, today said it proposed to acquire 2.52 crore equity shares of entertainment major Balaji Telefilms Limited (BTL), constituting 24.92 percent of the company, for Rs. 413.28 crore.
 
In a filing made to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE), RIL said the acquisition would be made through subscription to a preferential issue of equity shares by BTL to it for a cash consideration of Rs. 164 per share.
 
The investment was approved by RIL's Board of Directors at its meeting held here today.
 
BTL, along with its subsidiaries, is engaged in production of television content for broadcasters and production and distribution of films. It also operates an over-the-top subscription video-on-demand platform focusing on original and exclusive Indian digital content.
 
BTL was incorporated on November 10, 1994 and its equity shares are listed on BSE and the National Stock Exchange (NSE). It has a paid-up share capital of Rs. 15.2 crore (as on March 31, 2017) and generated a turnover of Rs. 421 crore, Rs. 293 crore and Rs. 343 crore in FY 17, FY 16 and FY 15, respectively.
 
The filing also pointed out that RIL inter alia is engaged in the telecom, digital and media businesses. "This investment in content production (including digital content) is in line with RIL's commitment to invest and grow in telecom, digitial and media businesses," it said.
 
According to RIL, no government or regulatory approvals are expected to be required for the investment. The transaction is subject to BTL's shareholders' approval and regulatory compliances and other conditions precedent and is expected to be completed in 45 to 60 days.
 
In a separate filing to the stock exchanges, Balaji Telefilms said its Board of Directors had approved the issue of 2.52 crore shares to RIL. It said it proposed to hold an extraordinary general meeting of the company on August 18 to seek approval of the proposal.
 
BTL Chairman and well-known actor Jeetendra Kapoor said, "We welcome Reliance Industries Limited as a partner in our growth journey towards becoming the preferred content producer for the Indian diaspora across all means of video consumption and across all geographies. This investment is a vote of confidence to the company’s strategic move to own our IP and our viewers."
 
Mr. Kapoor's wife Shobha Kapoor is the managing director of the company and their daughter Ekta Kapoor is joint managing director, while their son and actor Tusshaa Kapoor is a director.
 
Axis Capital Limited acted as the sole investment banker for the transaction, a press release from BTL added.
 
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Entries invited for short film competition on empowerment of disabled

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A ‘Short Film Competition on Divyangjan Sashaktikaran-2017’ is being organised by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) in association with Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF).
 
An official press release said that the competition was aimed at creating an awareness about Accessible India Campaign and to promote various schemes of the department among the people. It has invited entries from citizens. The entries should be shot with any electronic devices in HD format only.
 
The last date of submission of application is August 8. The applications are invited in three categories -- ‘Short Documentaries’ of up to 30 minutes duration, ‘Short Films’ of up to 5 minutes duration and ‘TV Spots’ (Television Commercials) of up to 50 seconds.
 
The ‘Short Documentaries’ and ‘TV Spots’ should be based on Accessible India Campaign theme while ‘Short Films’ could be made on various schemes including Fellowship and Scholarship; Beneficiaries of Cochlear Implant, Distribution of Assistive Devices and Tri-cycle under Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase / Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP Scheme); loan beneficiaries of National Handicapped Finance And Development Corporation (NHFDC).
 
It also includes beneficiaries of Accessible Buildings under Scheme for Implementation of Persons with Disabilities Act (SIPDA); beneficiaries of NGOs taking grant –in-aid under Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) and various skill development initiatives of the DEPwD for Persons with Disabilities.
 
The ‘Short Film Competition on Divyangjan Sashaktikaran-2017’ will carry First and Second Prize of Rs. 5,00,000 and Rs. 3,00,000, respectively, in ‘Short Documentary’ and ‘TV Spots’ categories while ‘Short Film’ category will carry only one prize of Rs. 4,00,000 for each scheme. 
 
The participants may download application form along with authorization letter and rules and regulations from www.disabilityaffairs.gov.in and www.dff.gov.in.
 
The award function will be held tentatively on September 21 at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi.
 
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India to host 8th edition of Theatre Olympics from February 17-April 8, 2018

Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma addressing a press conference on Theatre Olympics, along with National School of Drama Chairman Ratan Thiyam and Director Waman Kendre, in New Delhi on July 12, 2017.
Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma addressing a press conference on Theatre Olympics, along with National School of Drama Chairman Ratan Thiyam and Director Waman Kendre, in New Delhi on July 12, 2017.
India will host the eighth edition of the Theatre Olympics -- the biggest such event in the world -- at multiple locations in the country from February 17 to April 8, 2018.
 
This was announced here today by Union Minister for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma at a press conference here today in the presence of National School of Drama (NSD) Chairman Ratan Thiyam and NSD Director Waman Kendre.
 
He said that the event, being held in India for the first time, would feature 500 plays and 700 ambience performances from across the world and allied activities like exhibitions, seminars, symposia, interactive discussions and workshops with well-known academicians, authors, actors, designers and directors
 
Leading luminaries of world theatre will take part in these events, Dr. Sharma said, adding that the event would put India among the top nations on the world theatre map.
 
Established in 1993, the Theatre Olympics is the foremost international theatre festival, presenting the finest productions of well-known theatre practitioners from around the world.
 
In India, the event will be organised by the NSD under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture in 15 cities across the country.
 
The inaugural ceremony will be held in Delhi in a gala function with performances by hundreds of artistes. The closing ceremony will take place in Mumbai.
 
The Theatre Olympics 2018 will be the eighth edition of the event and will feature international and Indian theatre groups and eminent theatre personalities.
 
The Theatre Olympics was established in 1993 in Delphi, Greece, as the first international theatre festival. With the tagline ‘Crossing Millennia’, this is an initiative to connect the cultural past with the present and future, bringing the richness and diversity of theatre heritage to the experiments and research of contemporary theatre.
 
The first country to host the Theatre Olympics was Greece in 1995. Japan hosted the second edition in Shizuoka in 1999, followed by Russia in 2001. In 2006 the Olympics were held in Istanbul, Turkey and four years later, in 2010 in Seoul, South Korea. China hosted them in Beijing in 2014 and in 2016 the 7th Theatre Olympics were held in Wroclaw, Poland. 
 
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Sahitya Akademi invites books from publishers and young Indian authors for Yuva Puraskar 2018

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The Sahitya Akademi -- the national academy of letters -- has invited books from publishers and young Indian authors for Yuva Puraskar 2018.
 
An official press release said that the authors should be aged not more than 35 below as on January 1. The last date for submission is August 16. 
 
The books, in any of the 24 languages recognised by the Akademi, should be submitted along with the attested copy of the proof of date of birth. Further information about the submission can be obtained from the Sahitya Akademi website.
 
Sahitya Akademi introduced Yuva Puraskar in 2011 to encourage young writers writing in Indian languages and who are below the age of 35.
 
Since then every year awards have been given to the best book by young Indian authors in the Indian languages recognised by the Akademi. The languages are Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Santali, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
 
These awards are presented at a ceremony and comprise an amount of Rs. 50,000, a plaque and a citation, the release added.
 
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Salman Khan's Tubelight to be released across 4400 screens in India

Salman Khan in a scene from Tubelight
Salman Khan in a scene from Tubelight
Actor Salman Khan's Tubelight, one of the most keenly awaited movies of the year, will be released in 4400 screens across India, the biggest release any Bollywood movie has ever seen in the country.
 
This is being done in view of the huge fan following of Salman and the excitement about the movie among the audiences, a press release from the Indian distributors, NH Studioz, said.
 
The trailer of the movie has been viewed over 10 million times on YouTube and the music has also gained massive acceptance among the audiences, it said.
 
"The fan following of Salman Khan is huge in India and across the globe. The combination of Kabir Khan and Salman Khan has proven themselves year after year. They have won hearts of people at all levels of society. Keeping the content of Tubelight in mind, the Indian distributors, NH Studioz are confident it will be loved by both the single screen goers and the multiplex audiences," the release said.
 
“We have a lot of trust in the content and the makers of ‘Tubelight’. They have consistently delivered brilliant movies and this Eid again 'Tubelight' will be a treat for the fans across India. In the recent past, we have released some of the most popular Bollywood movies. The entire team of ‘Tubelight’ has worked hard and I believe that it will pay off tomorrow, when the goes on the floor across 4400 theatre screens in India," said Mr. Shreyans Hirawat, Managing Director, NH Studioz.
 
Tubelight is the story of a man's unshakable faith in himself and the love for his family. In a small picturesque town in North India, Laxman (Salman Khan) lives with his younger brother Bharat (Sohail Khan). The two have no other family and are inseparable. Laxman's world comes crashing down, when war breaks out and Bharat gets drafted into the Army. A helpless Bharat leaves a devastated Laxman behind. News from the border only worsens, as the tension continues to escalate. Seeing the carnage around him and worried for his brother, Laxman decides he must stop this conflict and get his brother back.
 
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Eros International signs two-film co-production deal with leading Turkish film company Pana Film

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Film entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd has announced two Indo-Turkish co-productions with one of the largest Turkish film studios, Pana Film, owned by leading Turkish actor Necati ?a?maz, best known for playing the lead role of Polat Alemdar in Turkey’s most popular television series Kurtlar Vadisi (Valley of the Wolves).
 
With proposed A list actors from India and Turkey, including ?a?maz himself, both films will be collaborative with shoot venues and crews in both countries and will be made bilingual, a press release from the company said.
 
Original stories blending Indian and Turkish cultures will be conceptualized and developed by Eros’ in-house writers along with top Turkish writers, it said.
 
Kishore Lulla, Chairman, Eros International said, “We are honored to associate with a powerhouse entity like Pana Film. Following our pioneering Indo-China joint production initiatives, we continue to expand the scope of Indian films internationally with our exciting Turkish collaboration. With our similar cultures, we want to tell stories with a mainstream appeal that transcend language and geographical boundaries. We hope our Indo-Turkish productions will pave the way to open one of the significant regions in the world and reach out to fans across the two countries and the MENA (Middle East to North Africa) regions”.
 
?a?maz added, “Pana Film greatly values this exciting partnership with Eros International.  Our common goal is to build a cultural bridge between both regions. With our Indian collaboration, we aim to expand our presence and tell new stories that can bring Indian and Turkish audiences together. Pana Film and Eros International will make history together as the co-producers of the first Indo-Turkish feature films, which will open new doors and provide endless opportunities for everyone involved with filmmaking. We consider this only the beginning of a new era and cannot wait for our fans to see the result of this successful partnership.”
 
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Exhibition on return of three stone sculptures from Australia opens in Delhi

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An exhibition “Return of the Three Stone Sculptures from Australia to India” was inaugurated by Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma at the National Museum here yesterday.
 
The exhibition has been organised to mark the safe return of three stone sculptures (Seated Buddha, Worshippers of Buddha, Goddess Pratyangira) from Australia to India. These sculptures were purchased by National Gallery of Australia from the Nancy Wiener, New York in 2007 and Art of the Past, New York, 2005.
 
Dr Sharma had attended a special event at National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Canberra, Australia in which Senator Mitch Fifield formally handed over the three ancient artefacts stolen and smuggled out of India and inadvertently acquired by National Gallery of Australia.
 
The Minister released a book entitled ‘War Paintings of The Irresistible Jat King Surajmal’ by Dr Satya Vrata Tripathi and also launched an ‘App on Swachchta Abhiyan’ on the occasion.
 
Mr N K Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Mr B R Mani, Director General of National Museum and senior officers of the Ministry were present on the occasion.
 
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Manju Warrier denies reports about incident during shooting for Udaharanam Sujatha

Manju Warrier
Manju Warrier
Leading Malayalam film actress Manju Warrier has denied some recent online media reports which suggested that some  people had threatened her during the shooting for her latest movie Udaharanam Sujatha at Chenkalchoola, Thiruvananthapuram.
 
"I am shooting for my latest movie, Udaharanam Sujatha, at Chenkalchoola, Thiruvananthapuram since the first week of May. From the first day of shoot, the people of Chenkalchoola have provided unprecedented support for me and team for the movie. They have given me lots of love and respect and I will remain indebted to them for the consideration and concern that I have received from the people," she said in a statement here.
 
"However, during the last few days, I have been noticing a few attempts in several online media to alienate and antagonize the people of Chenkalchoola against my colleagues and me. This has been effected by the unnecessary exaggeration of an event where nobody from Chenkalchoola was involved. During one of the days at the location, a group approached us and invited me for a book distribution event. They insisted that I attend the event even when I had regretted after informing them about the requirement for the movie and make-up related details. When we found that the group is adamant, we explained to them that it’s not possible because of the requirements of the special make-up that I need to keep on through the day. I had spoken to them personally and conveyed the message through my colleagues. When the group understood that we are conveying the truth, they left the location amicably," Ms. Warrier said.
 
"It is this incident that has been exaggerated as one where people pointed knives at me and threatened to kill me. The perpetrators of the news added masala by saying that it is an attempt by someone in the field of cinema. I am saddened at the baseless allegations that are being leveled against my colleagues. There has been no incident of anyone pointing their finger at me in Chenkalchoola, let alone daggers.
 
"I apologize for the discomfort caused by me and team Udaharanam Sujatha to the people of Chenkalchoola, Thiruvananthapuram," the statement added.
 
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Harper’s Bazaar India launches coffee table book "Iconic"


 
Kajol launches Harper's Bazaar India's book 'Iconic'
Fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar India, in partnership with jewellery brand Tanishq, launched its first-ever coffee table book Iconic! Ideas & Inspirations Behind The World’s Biggest Brands here yesterday with actor Kajol, who completes 25 years in the film industry and graces Bazaar India’s May cover. 
 
The book traces the legacies of some of the biggest brands across fashion, jewellery, beauty and hospitality and looks at what it takes to be iconic, a press release from the magazine said.
 
This year, Harper’s Bazaar celebrates its 150th anniversary, making it the world’s oldest fashion magazine. The book, then, also pays homage to the brand’s own respected history.
 
The event had guests dance to music by Ukrainian DJ Teri Miko. It also offered guests an exclusive preview of Tanishq’s Red Carpet Collection with models like Sonalee Kumar, Vidushi Mehra, Ayesha Chenoy, Shabnam Singhal, Geetika Mittal Gulati, Kiran Lohia and Payal Sen wearing jewellery from the collection.
 
“Every piece is studded with precious gem stones which is further accentuated by the unrivalled splendor of luminescent diamonds. This collection will truly enable any woman to live the ‘red carpet moment’ of her dreams,” said Deepika Tewari – GM Marketing, Titan jewellery division. 
 
Later, models wearing gowns by Amit Aggarwal showcased select pieces from Tanishq’s red carpet collection while Mr. Sandeep Kulhallo, VP (R&M) of Tanishq addressed the guests.
 
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Mukherjee presents Presidential Awards for Classical Tamil

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President Pranab Mukherjee presented the Presidential Awards for Classical Tamil for the years 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 at Rashtrapati Bhavan here today.
The awards were instituted to give recognition and honour to distinguished scholars who have made an outstanding contribution to Classical Tamil language and literature, an official press release said.
 
The following is the list of awardees:
 
Tholkappiyar Award: Dr. S. N. Kandaswamy (2013-14), Dr. A. Dakshinamurthy (2014-15) and Dr. R. Kalaikkovan (2015-16).
 
Young Scholar Awards: Dr. Ula. Balasubramaniyan, Dr. Kalai. Chezhian, Dr. S. Rajalakshmi, Dr. T. Mahalakshmi and Dr. S. P. Salavanisree (2013-14); Dr. A. Sathish, Dr. J. Muthuselvan, Dr. P. Thirugnanasammandam, Dr. M. Vasanthakumari and Dr. G. Sathish (2014-15); Dr. M. Vanitha, Dr. V. Prakash, Dr. S. Premkumar, Dr. G. Balaji, and Dr. M. Munees Moorthy (2015-16).
 
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