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Mukherjee to inaugurate first edition of North-East cultural festival in Delhi

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

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

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

Shashi Kapoor
Shashi Kapoor
Veteran film actor and producer Shashi Kapoor has been chosen for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2014 -- the top honour in Indian cinema -- for his outstanding contribution to the growth and development of the industry.
 
Kapoor is the 46th winner of the award, which is conferred annually by the Government of India on the basis of the recommendations of a committee of eminent persons. 
 
This year's award was decided unanimously by a five-member jury consisting of eminent film personalities, an official press release said.
 
The award consists of a Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus), a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakhs and a shawl. 
 
Born in 1938, Kapoor is a well-known actor and producer from the famous Kapoor family, generally regarded as the top dynasty in Hindi filmdom. He is the youngest son of the late Prithviraj Kapoor and the brother of late Raj Kapoor and late Shammi Kapoor, all renowned actors.
 
He will be the third member of the family to get the honour after Prithviraj Kapoor in 1971 and Raj Kapoor in 1987.
 
The award was instituted by the Government to commemorate the contribution to the industry by Dadasaheb Phalke's, generally regarded as the father of Indian cinema and the maker of India's first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra in 1913.
 
The award was first presented in 1969, with the first recipient being actress Devika Rani.
 
Apart from Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor, other siblings who have won the award are Bommireddy Narasimha Reddy (1974) and Bommireddy Nagi Reddy (1986); singers Lata Mangeshkar (1989) and Asha Bhosle (2000); and Baldev Raj Chopra (1998) and Yash Chopra (2001).
 
Kapoor started acting at the age of four in plays directed by his father, while travelling with Prithvi Theatres. He began acting in films as a child artiste in the late 1940s, including in Aag (1948) and Awaara (1951), in which he played the younger Raj Kapoor. He also worked as an assistant director in the 1950s.
 
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Kapoor made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 film Dharmputra and went on to appear in more than 100 Hindi films. He was a very popular actor in Bollywood during the 1960s, '70s and until the mid-'80s. 
 
He had the distinction of being one of the first Indian actors to go international, having starred in many British and American films, notably Merchant Ivory Proudctions run by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, such as The Householder (1963), Shakespearewallah (1965), Bombay Talkie (1970) and Heat and Dust (1982). He also starred in other British and American films such as Siddhartha (1972) and Muhafiz (1994). 
 
In 1978, Kapoor set up his production house Filmvalas which produced critically acclaimed films such as Junoon (1978), Kalyug (1981), 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981), Vijeta (1982) and Utsav (1984). He also produced and directed a fantasy film titled Ajooba which had Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor in the lead roles. 
 
In 2011, Kapoor was honoured with the Padma Bhushan Award by the Government of India. He is also a recipient of three National Film Awards. 
 
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Shillong to host three-day Indian Panorama Film Festival from Thursday

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Marathi film "Dr. Prakash Baba Amte – The Real Hero", directed by Samruoddhi Porey, will be the opening festival of the Indian Panorama Film Festival that will begin in Shillong, Meghalaya tomorrow.
 
The festival will present the best of contemporary Indian cinema produced in different languages with a view to promoting quality cinema from different parts of the country. 
 
Eight feature films and three non-feature films will be screened over the three days.
 
The festival will be inaugurated by Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma in the presence of Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Bimal Julka at the U Soso Tham Auditorium in Shillong.
 
The festival has been organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in collaboration with the Government of Meghalaya. 
 
Other feature films which will be screened during the festival are ‘Drishyam’ (Malayalam), ‘December 1’ (Kannada), ‘Kuttram Kadithal (Tamil), ‘Ankhon Dekhi’ (Hindi), ‘Othello’ (Assamese), ‘Ri’ (Khasi), ‘Teenkahon’ (Bengali) and ‘Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbona’ (Bengali). 
 
Non-feature films to be screened during the festival are ‘Songs of the Blue Hills’ (Nagamese/English), ‘A Dream Never Dies’ (Assamese) and ‘Ek Hota Kau’ (Marathi). 
 
Indian Panorama Film Festivals are being held in Shillong for the last two years and this will be the third edition of the festival. 
 
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Sahitya Akademi elects S L Bhyrappa, C Narayana Reddy as fellows

S L Bhyrappa
S L Bhyrappa
The Sahitya Akademi today elected well-known Kannada writer S L Bhyrappa and distinguished Telugu poet C Narayana Reddy as its fellows -- the highest honour that it can confer.
 
The honour is limited to only 21 people at any given time, a press release from the academy said.
 
Prof Bhyrappa is widely regarded as one of India's foremost modern-day writers. 
 
He was a lecturer of philosophy at Sri Kaddasiddheswar College, Hubli; Sardar Patel University, Gujarat; and the Regional College of Education, Mysore in Karnataka, from where he retired in 1991.
 
During his literary career of more than five decades, he has written 25 novels, an autobiography and five books on philosophy. Many of his works have been translated into other Indian languages and English.
 
He has been among the top-selling authors in Kannada language for the last 25 years, and his latest novel, Aavarana, was sold out even before its release, with ten reprints within five months of the release.
 
Many of his books were made into films, which also won wide critical acclaim.
 
He is the recipient of many awards, including the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Kannada Sahitya Akademi Award and Saraswati Samman.
 
Dr Reddy is a well-known Telugu poet and educational administrator. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in August 1997.
 
C Narayana Reddy
C Narayana Reddy
He is deeply interested in medieval Urdu poetic traditions and more particularly in the ghazal form. He has imbibed influences of Urdu poetry in his Telugu poems.
 
Dr Reddy's diction is musical, both in textual form and in recitation form. He does not use rhyme in a simple way but with associated internal rhyme in meaning and poetic metaphor. His poems are characterized by universal values of humanism, hope and well-being of the people. 
 
He has written many songs for Telugu films. His work Viswambara, which was translated into three languages, won him
the Jnanpith Award in 1988. He is the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award for Telugu in 1973.
 
The US Library of Congress has acquird 45 of his works. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1977 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1992. There have been 19 works on him, all acquired by the Library of Congress.
 
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Vikram Sampath, Gayatribala Panda selected for Writers in Residence Programme at Rashtrapati Bhavan

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Writers Vikram Samath and Gayatribala Panda and painters Rajesh P Kargutkar and Haobam Sanaton Singh have been selected for the Writers/Artists in Residence Programe 2015 to be held in Rashtrapati Bhavan from March 7-21.
 
Mr Sampath, who writes in English, had won the Sahitya Akademi's Yuva Puraskar in 2012 for his book "My Name is Gauhar Jaan". He had also won the ARSC International Award for excellence in historic research in New York.
 
Ms Panda, a writer in Odiya, won the 2011 Sahitya Akademy Yuva Puraskar for her poetry collection Gaan. She has also received the state youth Award for poetry in 2000. 
 
Mr Kargutka is a painter based in Mumbai while Mr Singh is a painter from Manipur.
 
During their stay at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the artists and writers will interact with office bearers of the Sahitya Akademi, the Lalit Kala Akademi, National Gallery of Modern Art, and prominent artists and writers and also visit historical places of Delhi, museums, art galleries and so on.
 
The In-Residence Programme for writers and artists was launched by the President on December 11, 2013 with a view to encourage senior artists as well as young and upcoming talent 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. 
 
Applications had been invited online to select upcoming and established writers/artists for the writers and artists in residence Scheme, 2015. A total of 179 applications were received out of which four were selected by a high level committee headed by Secretary to the President. 
 
Mr Jogen Chowdhary, MP (Rajya Sabha) and Professor Emeritus of Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan was the first Artist In-Residence. Subsequently, two writers and two artists in residence stayed in Rashtrapati Bhavan from 8-26 September, 2014. 
 
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Govt. accepts Aiyar's resignation as Chairman of CCZCC

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The Government has accepted the resignation of Rajya Sabha member Mani Shankar Aiyar as Chairman of the Coordination Committee of Zonal Cultural Centres (CCZCC). 
 
In an order dated February 23, the Ministry of Culture said Mr Aiyar's resignation, dated May 17, 2014,  had been accepted.
 
It also said the Government had decided to wind up the CCZCC with effect from December 16, 2014 since all the recommendations made by the Aiyar Committee and CCZCC stood accepted and implemented or were being implemented. 
 
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Eros launches motion pictures production company Trinity Pictures

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Film entertainment major Eros International has announced the appointment of Ajit Thakur as CEO to spearhead the company’s motion pictures production division, Trinity Pictures.
 
Thakur has joined the leadership team at Eros and will lead Trinity Pictures’ endeavour to invest in developing intellectual property in-house, a press release from the company said.
 
“We are excited about taking a big creative initiative with Trinity and warmly welcome Ajit to join the Eros family to drive this initiative with his wealth of experience and successful track record," Jyoti Deshpande, Group CEO, Eros International said.
 
"While our acquisition and co-production model is all about scale, portfolio and market share, the Trinity label will be all about quality, success rate and building franchises with lasting value which perfectly complements our overall content strategy. We are fortunate to have David Maisel, the founder of Marvel Studios on the board of Eros International plc and are hopeful of recreating some of that franchise magic for Trinity," she said.
 
"It has been a dream to build a franchise based motion picture label and in Eros I have found a perfect home to my dreams. I am happy to be a part of the Eros family, India’s biggest film studio and hoping to create at Trinity something meaningful and of lasting value," Thakur said.
 
Before joining Eros, Thakur has held a number of key positions for companies such as Coca Cola and Unilever, UTV, Sony Television and most recently Star TV.
 
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Eros collaborates with Studio Green for worldwide rights of Suriya starrer Masss

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Film entertainment major Eros International Media Limited has announced its association with Studio Green for the worldwide rights of upcoming Tamil supernatural thriller Masss. 
 
Starring superstar Suriya, the film also features actresses Nayantara and Pranitha in leading roles.
 
The film is the first collaboration of director Venkat Prabhu with Suriya. The music will be composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja. Masss is scheduled to release in June-July 2015.
 
Soundarya A Rajinikanth, Director - Creative for South, Eros International said, “After collaborating with Suriya for Maattrraan, we are very excited to extend our relationship with this exciting project. With this film, we also extend our partnership with Studio Green with whom we have already collaborated for the music of films like Darling and Tamiluku En Ondrai Aluthavum”.
 
“We at Studio Green are proud to be producing Masss with Mr. Suriya directed by Mr. Venkat Prabhu. We are glad to be partnering with Eros International for this film. Looking forward to exciting times ahead," K.E. Gnanavelraja of Studio Green said.
 
The agreement is part of efforts by Eros to strengthen its presence in the south and tap the potential of the Tamil industry by leveraging its strong tie-ups and film content, a press release from the company added.
 
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Actress Sonam Kapoor hospitalised due to respiratory infection

Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor has been hospitalised because of a reported respiratory infection.
 
"Hate being sick... Oowie," the actress said on micro-blogging site Twitter and also posted a picture of her hand, with a drip tube stuck to it for intravenous fluids.
 
Media reports said the actress had got the infection while shooting for Sooraj Barjatya’s Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo, in which she is paired with Salman Khan.
 
Sonam also said that she used the opportunity to finish reading Gautam Chintamani's biography of late actor Rajesh Khanna. "Very well and fairly written for fans, sceptics and cinephiles," she said.
 
She also thanked chef Kelvin Cheung for sending her protein cookies. "Thank you @chefkelvincheung for the care package.. Feeling better already!!" she said.
 
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Singer, actor Shekhar Sen appointed Chairman of Sangeet Natak Akademi

Shekhar Sen
Shekhar Sen
Eminent singer, music composer, actor, director and lyricist Shekhar Sen has been appointed as the Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's national academy for dance, music and theatre, for a term of five years with immediate effect.
 
Mr Sen succeeds renowned Bharatanatyam exponent Leela Samson, who had resigned from the position on September 5, 2014. She had been appointed to the post by the President on August 10, 2010 for a term of five years.
 
An official press release said Mr Sen has done many research-oriented musical programmes and has rendered many significant bhajan albums since 1983 as singer, lyricist and composer. He is famous for his mono act musical plays “Tulsi”,” Kabeer”, “Vivekananda”, “Sanmanti”,”Saahab” and “Soordas”, which have been highly acclaimed. 
 
The release said Mr Sen had undertaken research oriented musical programmes like “Dushyant Ne Kaha Tha”, “Madhya Yugeen Kaavya”, “Pakistan Ka Hindi Kavya”, “Meera Se Mahadevi Tak”.
 
Hs performances have been acclaimed in India and in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Surinam, Singapore, Jakarta, Hong Kong, South Africa, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mauritius and Trinidad.
 
The release said Mr Sen had performed in many singing concerts and also performed his mono act musical play ‘Kabeer’ in Parliament.
 
He has been honoured by the government with the Padma Shri this year, announced on the eve of Republic Day on January 25. He has also won several state-level awards such as the Safdar Hashmi Puraskar in 2001 from the Sangeet Natak Academy of Uttar Pradesh for his contribution in the field of theatre and the V. Shantaram Samman by the Maharashtra Rajya Hindi Sahitya Academy in 2008. 
 
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Nauras, an exhibition on cosmopolitan Deccani art, opens in Delhi

A Kalamkari coverlet, one of the items on display at the exhibition, ‘Nauras: The Many Arts of the Deccan’, which opened at the National Museum in New Delhi on January 27, 2015.
A Kalamkari coverlet, one of the items on display at the exhibition, ‘Nauras: The Many Arts of the Deccan’, which opened at the National Museum in New Delhi on January 27, 2015.
An exhibition titled "Nauras: The Many Arts of the Deccan", depicting the art of Deccani sultanates between the 16th and 19th centuries, when the upper-peninsular provinces of India were steeped in unprecedented cosmopolitanism, opened at the National Museum (NM) here today.
 
The exhibition was inaugurated by NM Director-General Venu Vasudevan along with Renu Judge, who heads The Aesthetic Project, which is a co-organiser of the 53-day show.
 
Curated by art historians Dr Preeti Bahadur and Dr Kavita Singh, the exhibition has all but one set of its 120-odd objects that have been the property of the 1949-founded NM—either taken out of its reserves or moved in from its galleries where they were on display.
 
 A fabulous sequence of Ragamala paintings has come in from the National Gallery of Modern Art, thus making ‘Nauras’ a joint venture in more ways than one.
 
The six-section ‘Nauras’, designed in grey-blue interiors by independent professional Oroon Das, displays exquisite paintings, manuscripts, metal-ware, textiles and arms the Deccani sultanates generated with their highly skilled artists and craftsmen amid a grand convergence of several cultures it witnessed for almost 400 years, more so during the 18th and 19th centuries.
 
This was facilitated owing to the peninsula’s trade contacts with regions as far as Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe.
 
Dr Vasudevan, speaking on the occasion which was attended by NGMA director Rajeev Lochan among others, noted that ‘Nauras’, which is on till March 20, could be an “ideal template” of a case collaboration between a public, private and academic institution.
 
As for showing Deccani exhibits exclusively, he said, “We never had such an interesting offer”, and thanked The Aesthetics Project along with curators of both Nauras and NM’s collections.
 
Ms Judge, who is trustee and sponsor of the 2014-founded The Aesthetics Project that strives to give academics, artisans and performers a platform to explore a variety of topics on India’s art history and its aesthetic heritage, said ‘Nauras’ is a contemporary narrative to an ancient theme. “It takes a refreshing view at a rich part of our history,” she added.
 
Dealing with Deccani cosmopolitanism, ‘Nauras’ throws light at the singing sultans, the perfume in the Deccani Garden, the Mughal Presence in Deccan, the trade goods made in the region and royal lineages.
 
The cynosures include a painting of marbled horses that shows Rustom capturing a horse, leaves from an early Ragamala from Ahmednagar or Bijapur, a Kalamkari coverlet of 1630, an 18th-century Qanat from Burhanpur, a hanging embroidered temple (Vijayanagara), the Kitab-i-Nauras manuscript and Deccani copies of the Ajaib al Makhluqat that narrates the wonders of the world, besides the armour of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb who had fought military campaigns in the Deccan.
 
A magnificent Kalamkari coverlet from the National Museum Decorative Arts Department exemplifies “Deccani Cosmopolitanism” at its best. The textile was used to cover an item to be traded, and is possibly an import from overseas. The episode depicted is of a Deccani king relaxing in his grand palace that resembles South Asian architectural tradition. The figures surrounding this palace can be identified as belonging to different regions of the world based on their attire. There are figures from Armenia, the Mughal Kingdom, China, and also Turkey.
 
A collection of poems dealing with the nine rasas (sentiments) of Indian aesthetics, the Kitab-I-Nauras was written by Ibrahim Adil Shah II of of Bijapur. The manuscript was illustrated by Khalillullah, an Irani calligrapher who worked at the Safavid court before being employed at the court of this ruler. Scholars have ascertained that the Ragamala painting traditions of Mughal and Rajput cultures may have originated in Deccan and traveled northwards.
 
Deccani arms and armour gained popularity among the Mughals, as a result of Aurangzeb’s incursions and short rule in this region. Many Mughal mansabdars were settled here and the Deccani swords and daggers became very popular among them. The arms were made here as well as imported through maritime trade.
 
The exhibition showcases the Shamshir sword, the Khanjar and the Jambia daggers of Aurangzeb that have his name inscribed. The Jambia dagger is in itself an overseas import, being popular in Arabia and regions with which the Arabs had trade links.
 
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Pahlaj Nihalani appointed as new chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification

Pahlaj Nihalani
Pahlaj Nihalani
Well-known film producer Pahlaj Nihalani was today  appointed as the new Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification in an honorary capacity.
 
The appointment is for a period of three years with effect from today or until further orders, whichever is earlier, an official press release said.
 
The Government has also appointed nine new members of the CBFC with immediate effect for a period of three years or until further orders. 
 
They are: Mr Mihir Bhuta, Prof. Syed Abdul Bari, Mr Ramesh Patange, Mr George Baker, Dr Chandra Prakash Dwivedi, Ms Jeevitha, Ms Vani Tripathi Tikoo, Mr S. Ve Shekhar and Mr Ashoke Pandit.
 
Mr Nihalani has produced films such as Aankhen (1993), Talaash: The Hunt Begins... (2003) and Shola Aur Shabnam (1992).
 
The appointment of Mr Nihalani came just four days after renowned  Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer Leela Samson resigned as chairperson of the CBFC last Thursday, citing interference, coercion and corruption among members of the panel and officers appointed by the government.
 
The resignation had come amidst reports that the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) had cleared the release of the film MSG – The Messenger of God featuring Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the lead role. 
 
Her three-year term at CBFC had ended in April last year, but she and some other members of the panel had been asked to continue in office till a replacement was named by the Narendra Modi government, which took over on May 26, 2014.
 
Following Ms Samson's resignation, several other members of Board had also put in their papers, saying the Board was unable to function.
 
The Government had denied Ms Samson's allegations about interference and coercion.
 
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Leela Samson quits as chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification

 
Leela Samson quits as CBFC chairperson
Well-known Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer Leela Samson has resigned as chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), citing interference, coercion and corruption among members of the panel and officers appointed by the government.
 
Her resignation came yesterday amid reports that the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) had cleared the release of the film MSG – The Messenger of God featuring Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the lead role. 
 
But despite the reported clearance given to it by the FCAT, the controversial film did not appear in the movie listings in newspapers today. In fact, there was no official word on the decision by the FCAT. The CBFC had refused to clear the film for public screening, following which it was referred to the FCAT.
 
Ms Samson had succeeded actress Sharmila Tagore as chairperson of the CBFC on April 1, 2011. Apart from being the Director of Kalakshetra, Chennai, the institute for the classical arts founded by the late Rukmini Devi Arundale, she was also then the chairperson of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's national academy for music dance and drama, a position from which she resigned some time ago.
 
Her three-year term at CBFC had ended in April last year, but she and some other members of the panel had been asked to continue in office till a replacement was named by the Narendra Modi government, which took over on May 26, 2014.
 
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The CBFC had faced pressure recently from some right-wing outfits which objected to some scenes in the Aamir Khan-starrer PK. Ms Samson had at that time refused to order any cuts in the film, which had already been certified and released.
 
As the latest controversy unfolded, another member of the CBFC, Ira Bhaskar, also put in her papers, saying the Board was unable to function.
 
Union Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore denied Ms Samson's allegations about interference and coercion. He also said the government had had no role in the clearance given by the FCAT to the film, Messenger of God.
 
"This is her personal choice, the government has no comment on it," he said about her resignation, adding that Ms Samson should provide evidence of coercion or interference.
 
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Eros forays into Malayalam market with Jeethu Joseph’s Life of Josootty

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Film entertainment major Eros International Media Limited today announced its foray into the Malayalam market with director Jeethu Joseph’s Life of Josootty. 
 
Produced by Jayalal Menon and Anil Biswas’ Backwater Studios and Eros, the comic drama stars popular Malayalam actor Dileep along with Rachana Narayanankutty, Jyothikrishna, Harish Peradi, Sunil Sugatha, Suraj Venjaramoodu and Kalabhavan Mani.
 
The film marks the coming together again of Joseph and Dileep after their hit pairing in the immensely popular My Boss.
 
Life of Josootty marks Joseph’s neew venture after his recent blockbuster Drishyam with Mohanlal. Anil Johnson of Memories, Drishyam and Three Dots fame has composed the music for the film.
 
Sunil Lulla, Managing Director, Eros International Media Ltd said, “Eros has been one of the biggest champions of regional cinema be it Tamil, Telugu, Marathi or Punjabi. We are very excited to enter the prolific Malayalam market by associating with prominent talent like Jeethu Joseph and Dileep”.
 
Soundarya A Rajnikanth, Director - Creative & Strategy for South India, Eros added, “We are looking forward to tapping the potential of Malayalam cinema and happy to align with the very best in talent there. Malayalam industry is filled with brilliant stories and content we want to produce and we are in talks with various producers, directors and actors currently. This industry is very important in our upcoming slate of productions and we couldn’t have had a better entry than with a Jeethu Joseph film”.  
 
Producer Menon added, “We are very pleased to associate with a leading global studio like Eros to co-produce Life of Josootty. With their undisputed leadership in global marketing and distribution, we are confident they will present Malayalam cinema on a worldwide platform with maximum reach”.
 
Life of Josootty is a comedy set against the backdrop of a family with a fantasy edge. The film went on floor on January 2 and will be shot across Idukki in Kerala and New Zealand. Eros International and Backwater Studios are looking at releasing the film worldwide in June 2015.
 
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Eros International acquires overseas rights of Dil Dhadakne Do, Bangistan

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Film entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd today said it had acquired the international rights of two Excel Entertainment’s films – Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do and Karan Anshuman’s Bangistan.
 
Dil Dhadakne Do stars Anil Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Farhan Akhtar, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma and Shefali Shah. Shot mostly in foreign locales on a cruise ship, the film is a drama centered around a dysfunctional Punjabi family.
 
Film critic turned director Karan Anshuman’s Bangistan stars Riteish Deshmukh and Pulkit Samrat as two rival, blundering terrorists with Jacqueline Fernandez making a special appearance.
 
Eros International CEO Jyoti Deshpande said, "After a successful association for Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, we are happy to once again partner with Excel who are known to make films that entertain as well as consistently offer a fresh take on cinema. Dil Dhadakne Do and Bangistan are looking extremely promising and we are looking forward to showcase these films internationally through our digital and distribution network."
 
Producer Ritesh Sidhwani, Excel Entertainment added, “We are happy to collaborate with Eros for these two exciting projects and present them on a worldwide platform through their outstanding distribution network”.
 
Eros will release Bangistan on April 17, 2015 and Dil Dhadakne Do on June 5, 2015 in the international markets, a press release from the company added.
 
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Manipuri poet Naorem Bidyasagar chosen for Sahitya Akademi Award

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Eminent Manipuri poet Naorem Bidyasagar has been honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Award for 2014 for his book of poetry "Khung-Gang Amasung Refugee".
 
The book was selected on the basis of recommendations made by a jury of three members in the Manipuri language in accordance with the procedure laid down for the purpose. The award relates to books first published between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2012.
 
Earlier, on December 20, the academy had announced the winners of the awards in 23 languages. At that time, it had said that the awards for Manipuri and Sanskrit languages would be declared later.
 
The award in the form of a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque, a shawl and a cheque of Rs 1,00,000 will be presented to the authors of the books at a special function to be held on March 9 here during the Festival of Letters organized by the Akademi.
 

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Actor Mammootty inaugurates free buggy service at Kochi Biennale

Actor Mammootty and Lok Sabha member K V Thomas inaugurating buggy services at the Kochi Muziris Biennale in Kochi on December 21, 2014
Actor Mammootty and Lok Sabha member K V Thomas inaugurating buggy services at the Kochi Muziris Biennale in Kochi on December 21, 2014
The Kochi Biennale Foundation on Sunday launched free buggy services which will transport visitors to different sites of the Kochi Muziris Biennale (KMB) 2014 spead across Fort Kochi.
 
The service was inaugurated jointly by Malayalam actor Mammootty, Lok Sabha member K V Thomas and director Renji Panicker.
 
Thomas and Mammootty took short rides in the compound of Aspinwall, the main KMB ‘14 venue, on the six-seater electric vehicles, which are usually used in airports and railway stations. The actor was later given a tour of the exhibits by biennale director Bose Krishnamachari and curator Jitish Kallat.
 
“It is a one-of-its-kind event in India,” said the award-winning actor. “It needs the support of corporates and people from all walks. I will support it in whatever way I can.”
 
While Aspinwall features 69 of the 90 exhibiting artists, the 108-day art event is spread across six other venues over a three-km distance in Fort Kochi. The hop on-hop off buggy service will be available at each venue at 15-minute intervals.
 
While anyone with tickets can avail the service, it is intended for senior citizens and very young children. The buggies can reach a speed of up to 25 km/hr. Bangalore-based Maini Industries, which offered the buggies free of cost to the KBF for the length of the biennale, has also provided trained drivers. Three buggies will be operating at the venue initially.
 
“We are very proud to associate with the KBF,” said Peter D’mello, senior manager – service (buggy) of Maini, which built the Reva, the first commercially launched electric car. “With a minimum of 2,000 visitors per day, KMB ‘14 offers us a good platform to take the product to the public,” he added.
 
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Jussawala, Basu, Subhash Chandran, Poomani among Sahitya Akademi Award winners

Adil Jussawala
Adil Jussawala
Poets Adil Jussawala (English), Utpal Kumar Basu (Bengali) and Jaswinder (Punjabi) and  novelists Subash Chandran (Malayalam), Poomani (Tamil) and Ramesh Chandra Shah (Hindi) are among those whose works have been chosen for the Sahitya Akademi Awards 2014 announced here yesterday.
 
This year's list of award winners is dominated by poets. In all, eight books of poetry, five of novels, three of essays, three of short stories, one each of literary 
criticism, autobiography and play have won the award this year.
 
The awards were recommended by jury members representing 22 Indian languages and approved by the Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi wich met yesterday under the chairmanship of its president Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari.
 
Awards for Manipuri and Sanskrit langauges will be declared later, a press release from the Akademi said.
 
Others honoured this year include poets Urkhao Gwra Brahma (Bodo), Shad Ramzan (Kashmiri), Gopalkrushna Rath (Odia), Gope Kamal (Sindhi) and Munawwar Rana (Urdu) and novelists Shailender Singh (Dogri) and Asha Mishra 
(Maithili.
 
Late Ashvin Mehta (Gujarati), G.H. Nayak (Kannada) and Madhavi Sardesai (Konkani) have got the award for their books of essays. Arupa Patangia Kalita (Assamese), Nanda Hankhim (Nepali) and Rampal Singh Rajpurohit (Rajasthani) have got the award for their books of short stories. 
 
Jayant Vishnu Naralikar (Marathi) won the award for his autobiography, Jamadar 
Kisku (Santali) for his play and Rachapalem Chandrashekara Reddy (Telugu) for his literary criticism.
 
The books were selected on the basis of recommendations made by a jury of three members in the concerned languages in accordance with the procedure laid down for the purpose. According to the procedure, the Executive Board declared the awards on the basis of unanimous selections made by the jurors or selection made on the basis of majority vote. The awards relate to books first published during the three years immediately preceding the year of award, that is  between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2012.
 
The award in the form of a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque, a shawl and a cheque of Rs 1,00,000 will be presented to the authors of the books at a special function to be held on March 9 here during the Festival of Letters organized by the Akademi.
 
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Chandy opens Kochi-Muziris Biennale featuring 100 works by 94 artists

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Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated the second edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), a pioneering show of contemporary art, that features 100 works by 94 artists from 30 countries and will run for 108 days.
 
Alongside the contemporary art exhibition -- India's only biennale, there will be a four-month long performing arts festival showcasing the country's rich heritage across regions and centuries.
 
Indian artists whose works are part of the biennale include K G Subramanian, Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh, Akbar Padamsee, Dayanita Singh, N Pushpamala, Navjot Altaf, Sudhir Patwardhan, N S Harsha, Gigi Scaria and Valsan Koorma Kolleri.
 
International artists whose works will be shown include Xu Bing, Mona Hatoum, Adrian Paci, Yoko Ono, Rafael Lozano Hemmer and Anish Kapoor.
 
“Kerala has of late become a major gateway of art for the whole world,” Mr Chandy said at the sprawling Parade Ground in Fort Kochi, which houses all but one of the eight venues of KMB '14.
 
He said the state government was now considering providing grants more than the Rs 2 crore which had already been given for the event.
 
The show has been curated by well-known artist Jitish Kallat, who has titled the main exhibition "Whorled Explorations".
 
The evening began with a two-hour traditional ensemble featuring 305 artistes on the ethnic drums, cymbals, pipes and horns.
 
By nightfall, bunches of balloons went up from the gathering at the four-acre ground even as the opening ceremony also witnessed lighting of lamps by 100-odd artists, scholars and enthusiasts in a gesture of welcoming the festival being organised by the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF), which had at noon in the day hoisted the KMB’14 flag at the main Aspinwall House venue. 
 
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Kallat hoisted the flag atop a special mast in the sea-facing heritage complex, after he received paraphernalia from KBF founders Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu who were co-curators of the debut 2012 KMB that had witnessed four lakh footfalls over its 96 days.
 
“Each artwork at the biennale is a wonder in itself,” he said.
 
Kerala Culture Minister K C Joseph, former Culture Minister M A Baby, Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar, Excise Minister K Babu, Lok Sabha member K V Thomas and Mayor Tony Chammany were amongst those present on the occason.
 
The function, which was attended by film personalities such as Amol Palekar, Reema Kallingal and Ashik Abu, had its prelude in a two-hour Pandi Melam led by chenda maestro Peruvanam Kuttan Marar.
 
‘Whorled Explorations’, which is the central exhibition of the 2nd KMB that concludes on March 29, 2015, will follow a designated route that commences at the sprawling and colonial Aspinwall House, which is the largest venue of the biennale hosting the works of 69 artists. The itinerary will then track to six other venues around Fort Kochi (Cabral Yard, Pepper House, Vasco da Gama Square, David Hall, Kashi Art Gallery and CSI Bungalow), before ending at Durbar Hall, a stately gallery space situated across the waters in downtown Ernakulam. 
 
Earlier at 4 pm, KMB’14 saw a performance by Singaporean artist Ho Rui An. Tomorrow, the same venue will see a 52-hour performance by Indian performance artist Nikhil Chopra.
 
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Tyeb Mehta's Falling Bull sells for Rs 17.54 crore at Christie's auction in Mumbai

Tyeb Mehta's 'Falling Bull'
Tyeb Mehta's 'Falling Bull'
Tyeb Mehta's Untitled (Falling Bull) sold well above the estimate for Rs 17.54 crore ($ 2,818,072) to top fine arts auction house Christie's second auction in India here yesterday.
 
Francis Newton Souza's Untitled (Indian Family), an oil on board, went for Rs 9,02,25,000 ($1,449,398), while Vasudeo S. Gaitonde's Untitled 1998 oil on canvas ws sold for Rs 6,62,25,000 ($1,063,855).
 
Overall the auction totaled Rs 75,27,45,000 ($12,092,289), selling 90% by lot and 97% by value. This is the highest total for any auction of modern and contemporary Indian Art in 2014. 
 
Christie’s said they had a multitude of new clients, both online and in the room, and said it was an indication of its continuing success in India following a decade of market leadership in Indian art through international sales held in New York, London and Mumbai. 
 
More than 70% of the lots sold above their high estimates, a press release from the auction house said.
 
The evening’s auction buying came from India, Asia, the United States and Europe, with the top lot of the sale, Tyeb Mehta’s Untitled selling online against competitive bidding in the saleroom.
 
"This result confirms the international appeal of top quality Indian art and the power of online bidding. The pre-sale events in New Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Mumbai attracted a high number of collectors and interest from both new and existing clients.
 
A group of 10 contemporary works donated by the artists to benefit the New Delhi based Khoj International Artists’ Association, sold for a collective total of Rs 1.9 crore.
 
Sonal Singh, Head of Department, at Christie's Mumbai said: “Tonight’s results are an indication of the strong level of interest from clients who wish to buy exceptional works. The auction was sold 97% by value, mirroring the results from our inaugural sale in India."
 
She said the list of the top ten reflected the interest from clients for works by the modern masters.
 
"I was particularly delighted to see the interest in the Tagore pocket book, which sold for four times its pre-sale estimate, the highest price for a manuscript sold in India.”
 

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Chandy to inaugurate 2nd edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale on Friday

The 108-day second edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), a pioneering new-art show, will be inaugurated here tomorrow by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
 
Alongside the contemporary art exhibition, featuring 100 works by 94 artists from 30 countries, there will also be a four-month long performing arts festival showcasing the country's rich heritage across regions and centuries.
 
The opening ceremony at Parade Ground in Fort Kochi will start at 5.30 pm tomorrow with a grand chenda-led traditional ‘Pandi Melam’ ensemble, followed by the formal inauguration that will be attended by a host of ministers, Members of Parliament, legislators, cultural leaders and artistes besides top functionaries of the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) which is organising the extravaganza.
 
The ceremony at the four-acre grassy space bordered by huge trees will get an added sparkle when artists, scholars and enthusiasts totalling more than 100 would light lamps symbolically welcoming the biennale.
 
Earlier on Friday, at noon, the main Aspinwall House venue of the biennale will see a flag-hoisting function at its main circle close to a new ‘Umbrella Pavilion’. 
 
KMB 2014 artistic director Jitish Kallat, who is curating the second edition, will hoist the flag atop a specially designed mast after he is handed over the paraphernalia by KBF’s Bose Krishanmachari and Riyas Komu who were the co-curators of the inaugural biennale in 2012.
 
Friday will also see a function marking the launch of tickets for KMB ’14. The rates will be Rs 100 per head and Rs 50 for students, organisers said. Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany will receive the first ticket from Krishnamachari and Komu who are KBF’s president and secretary respectively.
 
‘Whorled Explorations’, which is the central exhibition of the 2nd KMB that concludes on March 29, 2015, will follow a designated route that commences at the sprawling and colonial Aspinwall House, which is the largest venue of the biennale hosting the works of 69 artists. 
 
The itinerary will then track to six other venues around Fort Kochi (Cabral Yard, Pepper House, Vasco da Gama Square, David Hall, Kashi Art Gallery and CSI Bungalow), before ending at Durbar Hall, a stately gallery space situated across the waters in downtown Ernakulam. 
 
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The two-hour traditional percussion concert, called Pandi Melam which is noted for its vigour and vibrancy, will be led by chenda maestro Peruvanam Kuttan Marar. It will feature 21 chenda in one row ahead of 101 bass drums (valamthala) and cymbals (ilathalam) each, besides 41 pipes (kurumkuzhal) and as many horns (kombu).
 
The opening week will feature a performance by Singaporean artiste Ho Rui An on December 12 evening (4 pm) at Aspinwall House. The next day, the same venue will see a 52-hour performance by Indian performance artiste Nikhil Chopra.
 
Indian artists whose works are part of the biennale include K G Subramanian, Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh, Akbar Padamsee, Dayanita Singh, N Pushpamala, Navjot Altaf, Sudhir Patwardhan, N S Harsha, Gigi Scaria and Valsan Koorma Kolleri.
 
International artists whose works will be shown include Xu Bing, Mona Hatoum, Adrian Paci, Yoko Ono, Rafael Lozano Hemmer and Anish Kapoor.
 
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Gujarat’s Memon migrants to Kochi to feature in photo show at Kochi Biennale

One of the photogaphs, taken by Haleema Hashim, in an exhibition on Gujarat;s Memon migrants to Kochi that will be part of the Kochi Muziris Biennale that will open on December 12, 2014 in Kochi.
One of the photogaphs, taken by Haleema Hashim, in an exhibition on Gujarat;s Memon migrants to Kochi that will be part of the Kochi Muziris Biennale that will open on December 12, 2014 in Kochi.
Two centuries after they moved into this backwater city from the parched lands of western India, the famed Abad business family here will feature in an exhibition of photographs being organised as part of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) 2014.
 
Images of the Kutchi Memon household between the 1950s and 1970s will be displayed at the show that is one of the partner projects at the second edition of KMB starting on December 12.
 
Titled ‘Ummijaan: Making Visible a World Within’, the three-and-a-half-month-long exhibition will open in suburban Mattancherry on December 13, providing glimpses into the history of a community that tracks origins to Sindh in present-day Pakistan. 
 
The Aasiya Bai Trust Hall will house 66 photographs taken by veteran Haleema Hashim at the show being curated by her great-grandson Nihaal Faisal, organisers said today.
 
KMB director of programmes Riyas Komu described Ummijaan as a “fantastic archive” of the life and times in Fort Kochi and Mattancherry by a person who was dedicated to the photographic medium. “The show is a tribute to a true artistic spirit,” he added.
 
Haleema, now 86, herself belongs to the Memon family of Kutch province of what is now Gujarat — and started clicking pictures after she moved to her marital home in Fort Kochi. Her husband Hashim Usman had a shop in Chullikkal, where a friend gifted him with a camera. That Yashika SLR became a crucial means for Haleema to capture images subsequently, notes Nihaal about her great-grandma who lives in a Kochi apartment and is of late suffering from failing memory.
 
Haleema, who could speak and read four languages including English and Urdu, pored over reference books on photography and started clicking her family—women, children and brides.
 
 “She never shot pictures of men, though she took snaps of her husband,” adds 20-year-old Nihaal, who is studying at the Bangalore-based Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology.
 
As a migrant in Kochi where she settled in Yasmin Manzil after marriage at age 17, Haleema shot hundreds of photos. The exhibition, which features 66 of them in black-and-white as well as colour, will conclude on March 29, 2015—the day KMB ends as well.
 
Nihaal recalls that he chanced upon the whole set of pictures when he was in high school—and soon started digitising them. “It was not just that I was related to the people who were in the pictures,” he says. “What struck me was the technical ability and the composition. Also, they are a rare historical record of the little-documented community that owns most of Jew Town.”
 
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The staged photographs were taken at Yasmin Manzil, where Haleema created a virtual studio. Reading is a recurring motif and she has even clicked self-portraits, posing holding books. From stories told by his grandmother, Nihaal pieced together a history of his great-grandmother, whose eight children and grandchildren went on to set up the Abad seafood and hospitality businesses.
 
Haleema’s interest in photography probably stemmed from a tragedy: her mother went blind in a surgery that went wrong. She stopped “perhaps in a fit of rebellion” when a relative said she should not be taking pictures of the Muslim brides in the family.
 
“When I started keenly taking up photography, my grandmother said maybe I got it from ‘ummi’ and I wondered what she was talking about,” said Nihaal. “That is when I first discovered the pictures. I was blown away when I saw them.”
 
Nihaal feels Haleema must have been “quite enthusiastic” about her craft. She sent a photograph to a competition in an Urdu magazine, where it won a prize and got published. She had a business partner from the US bring over colour negatives, and the finished roll was sent back with him to be developed there.
 
She kept all the negatives till about ten years ago, after which she burnt them, “probably to save space and because no one showed much on an interest in them”. She now recognises some of the people in the pictures, though not herself.
 
“I thought the exhibition would also be a chance for all the family to come together,” said Nihaal. “All the subjects in the photographs will be there when it opens. Ummi will not be able to make it, but we might do a skype call with her.”
 
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Anoushka Shankar, Neela Vaswani among nominees for 57th Grammy Awards

Anoushka Shankar
Anoushka Shankar
Sitarist Anoushka Shankar and writer-education activist Neela Vaswani are among those who have been nominated for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards announced by The Recording Academy on Friday night in a list dominated by Beyoncé, Sam Smith, and Pharrell Williams.
 
Shankar, the daughter of late sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, has been nominated in the Best World Music Album category for her seventh album, Traces of You. She has been nominated for the coveted award thrice in the past.
 
Vaswani, born to an Indian father and Irish mother and founder of the Storylines Project with the New York Public Library, has been nominated in the Best Children's Album category for the audio book "I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (Malala Yousafzai)".
 
Traces of You, produced by musician and composer Nitin Sawhney, features appearances by Shankar's half-sister Norah Jones, noted Hang exponent Manu Delago, world-reknowned percussionists Tanmoy Bose and Pirashanna Thevarajah, and others. 
 
Vaswani's work is based on the bestseller "I am Malala" by Pakistan's Nobel Peace Prize winning child rights activist Malala Yousufzai.
 
The nominations are determined by the Academy's voting members and reflect an eclectic mix of the best and brightest in music over the past year.
 
While Beyoncé, Smith, and Williams garnered six nominations each, Iggy Azalea, Beck, Eric Church, Tom Coyne, Drake, Gordon Goodwin, Jay Z, Miranda Lambert, Sia, Usher, and Jack White earned four nominations each.
 
Azalea, Bastille, Brandy Clark, Haim, and Sam Smith will vie for the Best New Artist award.
 
The awards will be presented on Sunday, February 8, 2015 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
 
"This year's nominees are a reflection of the music community's diversity and range of talent, and a testament to The Academy's voting process," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "The Recording Academy is pleased to celebrate this talented crop of artists, nominated to receive music's greatest honor for their contributions to their respective genres. The tone for Music's Biggest Night® has undoubtedly been set, and we look forward to producing one of the most exciting telecasts in Grammy history."
 
Nominations were revealed on a rolling basis throughout the day, starting with four categories on "CBS This Morning," followed by a series of video announcements posted by a variety of artists and celebrities on Twitter. The day culminated with the unveiling of Album Of The Year nominations on the one-hour entertainment special, "A Very Grammy Christmas," which featured performances of holiday classics and current pop songs.
 
Following is a sampling of nominations across 83 categories from the Grammy Awards' 30 Fields. 
 
Neela Vaswani
Neela Vaswani
GENERAL FIELD
Album Of The Year:
Morning Phase — Beck
Beyoncé — Beyoncé
X — Ed Sheeran
In The Lonely Hour — Sam Smith
Girl — Pharrell Williams
 
Record Of The Year:
"Fancy" — Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX
"Chandelier" — Sia
"Stay With Me" (Darkchild Version) — Sam Smith
"Shake It Off" — Taylor Swift
"All About That Bass" — Meghan Trainor
 
Song Of The Year:
"All About That Bass" — Kevin Kadish & Meghan Trainor, songwriters (Meghan Trainor)
"Chandelier" — Sia Furler & Jesse Shatkin, songwriters (Sia)
"Shake It Off" — Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
"Stay With Me" (Darkchild Version) — James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith, songwriters (Sam Smith)
"Take Me To Church" — Andrew Hozier-Byrne, songwriter (Hozier)
 
Best New Artist:
Iggy Azalea
Bastille
Brandy Clark
Haim
Sam Smith
 
POP FIELD
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
"Fancy" — Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX
"A Sky Full Of Stars" — Coldplay
"Say Something" — A Great Big World With Christina Aguilera
"Bang Bang" — Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
"Dark Horse" — Katy Perry Featuring Juicy J
 
DANCE/ELECTRONIC MUSIC FIELD
Best Dance Recording:
"Never Say Never" — Basement Jaxx
"Rather Be" — Clean Bandit Featuring Jess Glynne
"F For You" — Disclosure Featuring Mary J. Blige
"I Got U" — Duke Dumont Featuring Jax Jones
"Faded" — Zhu
 
ROCK FIELD
Best Rock Performance:
"Gimme Something Good" — Ryan Adams
"Do I Wanna Know?" — Arctic Monkeys
"Blue Moon" — Beck
"Fever"— The Black Keys
"Lazaretto"— Jack White
 
ALTERNATIVE FIELD
Best Alternative Music Album:
This Is All Yours — Alt-J
Reflektor — Arcade Fire
Melophobia — Cage The Elephant
St. Vincent — St. Vincent
Lazaretto — Jack White
 
R&B FIELD
Best Urban Contemporary Album:
Sail Out — Jhené Aiko
Beyoncé — Beyoncé
X  — Chris Brown
Mali Is… — Mali Music
Girl — Pharrell Williams
 
RAP FIELD
Best Rap Performance:
"3005" — Childish Gambino
"0 To 100/The Catch Up" — Drake
"Rap God" —  Eminem
"I" — Kendrick Lamar
"All I Need Is You" — Lecrae
 
Best Rap Album:
The New Classic — Iggy Azalea
Because The Internet — Childish Gambino
Nobody's Smiling — Common
The Marshall Mathers LP2 — Eminem
Oxymoron — Schoolboy Q
Blacc Hollywood — Wiz Khalifa
 
COUNTRY FIELD
Best Country Duo/Group Performance:
"Gentle On My Mind" — The Band Perry
"Somethin' Bad" — Miranda Lambert With Carrie Underwood          
"Day Drinking" —  Little Big Town
"Meanwhile Back At Mama's" — Tim McGraw Featuring Faith Hill
"Raise 'Em Up" — Keith Urban Featuring Eric Church
 
Best Country Album:
Riser — Dierks Bentley
The Outsiders — Eric Church
12 Stories — Brandy Clark
Platinum — Miranda Lambert
The Way I'm Livin' — Lee Ann Womack  
 
JAZZ FIELD 
Best Improvised Jazz Solo:
"The Eye Of The Hurricane" — Kenny Barron, soloist
"Fingerprints" — Chick Corea, soloist
"You & The Night & The Music" — Fred Hersch, soloist
"Recorda Me" — Joe Lovano, soloist
"Sleeping Giant" — Brad Mehldau, soloist
 
GOSPEL/CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC FIELD 
Best Gospel Album:
Help — Erica Campbell
Amazing (Live) — Ricky Dillard & New G
Withholding Nothing (Live) — William McDowell
Forever Yours — Smokie Norful
Vintage Worship — Anita Wilson
 
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album:
If We're Honest — Francesca Battistelli
Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. — For King & Country
Hurricane — Natalie Grant
Welcome To The New — MercyMe
Royal Tailor — Royal Tailor
 
LATIN FIELD
Best Latin Pop Album:
Tangos — Rubén Blades
Elypse — Camila
Raíz — Lila Downs, Niña Pastori And Soledad
Loco De Amor — Juanes
Gracias Por Estar Aquí — Marco Antonio Solís
 
AMERICAN ROOTS FIELD 
Best American Roots Performance:
"Statesboro Blues" — Gregg Allman & Taj Mahal
"A Feather's Not A Bird" — Rosanne Cash
"And When I Die" — Billy Childs Featuring Alison Krauss & Jerry Douglas
"The Old Me Better" — Keb' Mo' Featuring The California Feet Warmers
"Destination" — Nickel Creek
 
SPOKEN WORD FIELD
Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling):
Actors Anonymous — James Franco
A Call To Action — Jimmy Carter
Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America — John Waters
Diary Of A Mad Diva — Joan Rivers
A Fighting Chance — Elizabeth Warren
We Will Survive: True Stories Of Encouragement, Inspiration, And The Power Of Song — Gloria Gaynor
 
COMEDY FIELD
Best Comedy Album:
Mandatory Fun — "Weird Al" Yankovic
Obsessed — Jim Gaffigan
Oh My God — Louis C.K.
Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time — Patton Oswalt
We Are Miracles — Sarah Silverman
 
This year's Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical nominations go to Paul Epworth, John Hill, Jay Joyce, Greg Kurstin, and Max Martin.
 
The complete nominationslist is available here.
 
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the Grammy Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — the Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. 
 
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