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Israel proposes India as focus country in Jerusalem Film Festival, 2020

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Israel has proposed India as the focus country in Jerusalem Film Festival, 2020
 
The Indian delegation led by Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare on Thursday met Film Commissioners of participating countries at the Cannes Film Festival.
 
During the meetings, India was positioned as an attractive filming destination by highlighting the steps taken to ease the process of obtaining permissions for filming in the country through the Film Facilitation Office which facilitates Single Window Clearance for film-makers. The steps taken by India Government to combat film piracy were also discussed.
 
The Indian delegation highlighted the opportunity of utilizing the abundant talent pool of skilled professionals and technicians and projected the possibility of India emerging as a major post-production hub.
 
The focus of the discussion was the exploration of co-production opportunities with the participating countries and forage opportunities of collaborations for films with international production houses. The rebates and incentives being explored by the government to incentivize foreign filmmakers further to shoot in India were also highlighted.
 
During the discussions, Khare talked about the possibility of filmmakers of different countries coming together under bilateral co-production agreements which would also forge new markets and wider audiences by making India a hub for shooting world class international movies.
 
He also talked about the opportunity of creative collaborations in terms of content exchange and explored the idea of cultural exchange through co-creation of content.
 
The key principals involved in the meeting were Cine Tirol Film Commission, Austria, Angelika Pagitz, Film Commissioner; Costa Rica Film Commission,  Castro, Costa Rica Film Commissioner; Film Commission Norway, Truls Kontny, Head of Film Commission Norway; Film Development Council Of The Philippines, Mary Liza Dino, Chairperson / CEO; Italian Film Commissions, Italy,  Stefania Ippoliti, President IFC; Location Austria - The National Film Commission, Austria,  Arie Bohrer, Film Commissioner; Netherlands Film Fund / Netherlands Film Commission, Netherlands,  Doreen Boonekamp, CEO; Swedish Film Commissions, Sweden, Mikael Svensson, Certified Film Commissioner; Swedish Film Commissions, Mia Uddgren, Film Commissioner; Taipei Culture Foundation - Taipei Film Commission, Taiwan, Jennifer JAO, Director; Telefilm Canada,   Marielle Poupelin, Director, International Promotion.
 
The Indian delegation met Marc Tessier, President, Film France. The delegates talked about amendments in the already existing co-production treaty between India and France to include animation, gaming and visual effects. The idea of conducting workshops to further the deep cultural connection between the two countries was also discussed.
 
The delegation also met Eti Cohen, Director of Film Department and Council, Ministry of Culture and Sports, Israel. During the meeting, Israel proposed India to be the focus country in Jerusalem Film Festival, 2020.
 
The buzz created by the Hindi movie Newton in Israel was also highlighted by the Israeli delegation. Israel also proposed the idea of making concept-based films in India, with a focus on regional and small budget films.
 
In order to further enhance the appeal of India as the go-to destination for filming, India has been positioned prominently on the Pocket Guide of Marche Du Film, Cannes Film Market, which celebrates Indian cinema as the world’s largest film industry.
 
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Big B, Ayushmann team up for Sircar's film

Actor Amitabh Bachchan (centre) with filmmaker Shoojit Sircar (left). (Photo: IANS)
Actor Amitabh Bachchan (centre) with filmmaker Shoojit Sircar (left). (Photo: IANS)
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan and actor Ayushmann Khurrana will come together on the big screen for the first time for filmmaker Shoojit Sircar's coming film "Gulabo Sitabo".
 
The family comedy, set in Lucknow, will release in November 2019.
 
Written by Sircar's frequent collaborator Juhi Chaturvedi of "Vicky Donor", "Piku" and "October" fame, "Gulabo Sitabo" will be produced by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar.
 
Sircar said in a statement: "Me and Juhi have been working on this script for quite some time...and as we all know, when Juhi comes up with a story it has her trademark quirk in it.
 
"As soon as I read it, I was extremely excited and shared it with Ronnie, my dear friend and producer and to both Mr Bachchan and Ayushmann at the same time," he added.
 
Sircar thought it would take some time to develop and proceed.
 
"But everyone including the duo were so enthusiastic to do this script, that they figured their dates and here we are, planning to release it this year," said the director.
 
"After 'Piku" and 'Vicky Donor', I had been wanting to work with Mr Bachchan and Ayushmann on an equally quirky script so this fell perfectly in place."
 
As for the film's title, he said that the story is based in Lucknow, and "Gulabo Sitabo is a fun colloquial metaphor used by the locals...as to its connect to the story, wait and watch the film to know more".
 
IANS
 

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Five FTII courses receive AICTE approval under applied arts and crafts category

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The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has granted approval to five courses of the  Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, under its newly created applied arts and crafts category.
 
This approval makes India's premier film school, FTII, the first and only Institute in this category in the country to receive such recognition.
 
A list of Institutions and approved courses published by AICTE on May 11 under its newly-constituted category pertaining to Institutes offering courses in applied arts, crafts and design, includes FTII and all its five one-year Post Graduate Certificate courses.
 
Of the five FTII courses which have received AICTE approval, four are in Television wing (Direction, Electronic Cinematography, Video Editing and Sound Recording & TV Engineering) and one in Film wing (Feature Film Screenplay Writing).
 
FTII Governing Council Chairman Brijendra Pal Singh said, "This is a historic moment for FTII to have received AICTE approval for all five PG Certificate courses. This makes FTII the first film school in India to receive this recognition.
 
“In recent years, FTII's television courses have been in the limelight winning several National awards and even international honours. The AICTE approval lends more value to the TV courses making them as attractive as the film wing specializations. Screenwriters from FTII are already making their mark in the entertainment industry,” he added.
 
“With the AICTE approval coming into effect from 2019-20, students entering TV courses and Feature Film Screenplay Writing course this year stand to gain. This is as important a watershed event as the grant of Master's degree equivalence granted to FTII's six PG Diploma film wing courses by Association of Indian Universities (AIU) in January 2017.
 
"With this, all the 11 FTII courses now stand approved by either AIU or AICTE," he said.
 
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India to showcase its cinema across linguistic, cultural and regional diversity at Cannes

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The India Pavilion at Cannes Film Festival, being held from May 14 to 25, will showcase Indian cinema across linguistic, cultural and regional diversity, with the aim of forging international partnerships.
 
Such collaborations will take place across the board in distribution, production, filming in India, script development, technology, promoting film sales and syndication, an official press release said.
 
The pavilion is being set up by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in association with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). It will serve as a platform for the Indian delegates to meet their International counterparts to promote networking with other countries and organizations.
 
The pavilion will also serve as an information dissemination point about India and Indian Cinema for the global film community.
 
The Indian delegation this year will be led by Amit Khare, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. The film delegation comprises Prasoon Joshi, Chairman, CBFC and acclaimed filmmakers Rahul Rawail, Shaji N. Karun and Madhur Bhandarkar.
 
During the Festival, the Indian delegation will be interacting with key stakeholders at Cannes as well as other members of the film fraternity. A key focus area this year will be to promote the Golden Jubilee Edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to be held in Goa later this year.
 
A specially designed IFFI poster for the Golden Jubilee Edition will also be released during the Festival.
 
The delegation will popularise steps taken to facilitate shooting films in India through the Film Facilitation Office that offers Single Window Clearance for film-makers and steps by the Government to combat film piracy.
 
To take advantage of the availability of technicians and skilled professionals, India will be showcased as a post-production hub to promote collaborations for films with international production houses. A comprehensive Film Guide will also be distributed at the India Pavilion to showcase the importance of the film ecosystem and Government incentives to shoot movies in the country.
 
“The initiatives such as co-production and single window clearance would facilitate the integration of the Indian filmmakers with production houses worldwide,” Khare said.
 
“It would be possible for filmmakers of different countries to come together under bilateral co-production agreements. These arrangements would also forge new markets and wider audiences by making India a hub for shooting world-class international movies,” he added.
 
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Deepika meets Rishi, Neetu in New York

File photo of Deepika Padukone.
File photo of Deepika Padukone.
Actress Deepika Padukone, who was in New York for the Met Gala last week, took out time to meet veteran actors Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor, parents of her former beau Ranbir Kapoor.
 
Neetu called Deepika "adorable", and took to her Instagram page to share three photographs from their meeting. They are all smiles and huddled up in the pictures.
 
"Such a fun evening with adorable Deepika Padukone. Gave lot of love and warmth," Neetu wrote.
 
Her daughter Riddhima Kapoor Sahni commented with heart emojis in the comments section.
 
Rishi has been in New York for several months for treatment. Just last month, his brother Randhir Kapoor said Rishi will be back in India in a few months.
 
Neetu has been by Rishi's side, and keeps fans updated with photographs of some of their special moments. Various Bollywood stars, including Aamir Khan, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Anupam Kher have met Rishi in New York.
 
IANS
 

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Ranveer to train with Kapil for 10 days in Delhi

Actor Ranveer Singh on the sets of his coming film
Actor Ranveer Singh on the sets of his coming film "83" at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, in Dharamshala, on April 9, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Actor Ranveer Singh is set to make Delhi his home for the next 10 days. He will live with and train with Kapil Dev to pick nuances from the former Indian cricket captain for the film "'83".
 
Ranveer, who is known to immerse himself in serious preparation for his roles -- whether it be Alauddin Khilji in "Padmaavat" or Murad in "Gully Boy" -- is doing it no differently for "'83", which will tell the tale of India's victory in the 1983 Cricket World Cup.
 
For his role as Kapil Dev on screen in the Kabir Khan directorial, Ranveer has already trained a bit with the cricket icon. But he is now looking forward to "spending more time" with him.
 
"I'm looking forward to spending more time with Kapil sir. He is kind, generous, warm and funny. I had a memorable two days with him in Dharamsala. I'm going to spend more time with him in Delhi to learn more about him," the actor said in a statement.
 
"It's a first of its kind exercise in my acting process where I'll be studying the man himself in the flesh for my on-screen portrayal of him. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to learn about life from a true legend," he added.
 
According to a source close to the film, which is presented by Reliance Entertainment, Ranveer has a set plan for his Delhi trip.
 
"He wants to see, live and breathe Kapil before he starts shooting."
 
IANS
 

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Malayalam superstar Dileep gets relief in assault case

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
The Supreme Court on Friday stayed trial against Malayalam actor Dileep, an accused in the assault on an actress, till his plea in the top court about access to visuals of the assault captured by the key accused Pulsar Suni is decided.
 
Dileep has said until he gets a copy of the crucial memory card, which he asserted proves his innocence, the framing of charges would result in "violation of natural justice" and "irreparable damage" to his reputation. 
 
The order staying the trial was passed by a bench comprising Justices A. M. Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi.
 
Earlier during a hearing, the Kerala government informed the Supreme Court that it would not press for framing of charges against him before the trial court in the case, till his pending plea in the apex court for access to visuals of the assault captured by main accused Pulsar Suni is decided. 
 
The government's counsel contended that there is no requirement under the law to share all the material with the accused. Dileep's plea for the copy of the memory card was turned down earlier by the Angamaly Magistrate Court and the Kerala High Court.
 
The Kerala government informed the court that an understanding has been reached with Dileep in this regard. The trial court was to commence hearing on framing of charges last month. 
 
Dileep says the visuals contained in the memory card had been manipulated. The Kerala government has, however, opposed his plea for the copy of the visuals and accused him of being the "chief conspirator".
 
The south Indian actress was abducted and assaulted in a moving car on February 17, 2017. Dileep was arrested in July the same year in the case. connection.
 
Mukul Rohatgi, senior counsel appearing for Dileep, contended that the memory card is a document, but the prosecution said it is a material which does not come under the I-T Act and cannot be handed over.
 
In his petition, Dileep states that he has a right to get evidence relating to the case which includes the memory card in which the attack visuals have been stored. 
 
Rohatgi argued that Dileep had the right to access all kinds of evidence that prosecution is producing against him.
 
IANS
 

R K Studios to bow out for residential, shopping complex

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The show will no longer go on at the iconic 71-year-old R K Studios. It will now make way for a swank residential complex-cum-shopping plaza through its new owner, realty major Godrej Properties Ltd., an official said here on Friday.
 
The GPL has purchased the 2.20 acres (roughly, 100,000 sq. feet) RK Studios premises in Chembur, north-east Mumbai -- founded in 1948 -- which were gutted in a major fire that engulfed it on September 16, 2017.
 
GPL, which has inked the deal for an undisclosed amount with the Bollywood's Kapoor clan -- plan to now convert it into a modern residential apartments complex and a luxury retail centre spread over a saleable area of around 350,000 sq. feet.
 
Leading realty players though point out that the current commercial property rates in and around Chembur are in the range of Rs 24,000-Rs 28,000 per sq. feet depending on the locality.
 
Executive Chairman of GPL, Pirojsha Godrej, said the deal fits with the company's strategy of deepening its presence in key locations across India's leading cities.
 
"We will seek to ensure we celebrate the remarkable legacy of this site with the goal of delivering an outstanding lifestyle for its residents," Godrej said.
 
Veteran Bollywood actor Randhir Kapoor, son of the founder of RK Stuidos, the legendary Raj Kapoor, said: "This property in Chembur, has been of tremendous significance to my family over the many decades that RK Studios has operated from there. We are excited to have chosen GPL to script a new chapter for this location and build upon its rich history."
 
Incidentally, the studio property sale deal comes barely eight months after late Raj Kapoor's widow, Krishna, passed away at the age of 87, on October 1, 2018.
 
Soon after the blaze, which also reduced to ashes precious memorabilia and costumes from the RK Films and Studios banner films over the past seven decades, the Kapoor family had expressed their inability to revive it or continue maintaining it.
 
The RK Studios was the shooting venue for some classics of RK Films like "Aag" (1948), "Barsaat" (1949), "Awaara" (1951), "Shree 420" (1955), "Jaagte Raho" (1956), "Anari" (1959), "Sangam" (1964), "Mera Naam Joker" (1970), "Bobby" (1973), "Satyam Shivam Sundaram" (1978) and many more.
 
Raj Kapoor passed away in June 1988 after which some of his incomplete films like "Ram Teri Ganga Maili" (1989) and "Henna" (1991) were also made here.
 
IANS

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Talks on Saturday for wage hike in Malayalam film industry

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A third round of talks is scheduled on Saturday between representatives of the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) and the Producer's Association over the hike in the wage structure of the film employees.
 
FEFKA is made up of 19 different organisations that include drivers and directors. The previous two rounds of talks failed to resolve the wage issues as the two sides stuck to their stand.
 
According to an agreement, the wages have to be hiked every two years. On December 31 last year, the two-year window ended.
 
Speaking to IANS, Suresh Kumar of the Producer's Association said that it's natural that a series of discussions are held to resolve issues.
 
"We are ready for any reasonable settlement. Obviously, the two sides would always like to get the best deal, so delays might occur. We are hopeful that we will be able to finalise the new rates on Saturday," said Kumar.
 
At present the lowest category wages for a day's work (9 a.m to 10.30 p.m.) includes is Rs 1,080 plus all expenses including food, travel and accommodation.
 
While the producers are ready to give a hike of 20 per cent, the FEFKA representatives want more.
 
IANS
 

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'Avengers: Endgame' sells over 2.5 million tickets in advance sales

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Ahead of its release on Friday, Hollywood superhero film "Avengers: Endgame" has sold over 2.5 million tickets in advance sales on BookMyShow, an Indian entertainment destination.
 
This marks the highest ever advance ticket sales for a Hollywood film on the platform. "Avengers: Endgame" is also the fastest film to have surpassed the two million advance ticket sales mark on BookMyShow, read a statement.
 
"With just a few hours left for 'Avengers: Endgame' to hit the screens, the frenzy around the film is unprecedented. The cinemas are doing everything possible to match fans' demand for the film, including round-the-clock screenings as also opening up advance bookings for the entire week ahead," Ashish Saksena, COO - Cinemas, BookMyShow, said in a statement.
 
"This has enabled BookMyShow to offer several more options to Marvel-lovers and cater to their excitement."
 
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson and Brie Larson, amongst others, "Avengers: Endgame" is the 22nd film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 
 
IANS
 
 

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Rana Dasgupta bags 2019 Tagore Literary Prize

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The second edition of the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize was awarded to author Rana Dasgupta for his 2010 novel "Solo", a tale of estrangement and the ultimate failure of material existence.
 
An amount of $10,000, a Tagore statue and a certificate for contribution to literature was given to Dasgupta, as per the organisers of the award ceremony on Tuesday. 
 
"Nine years after 'Solo' came out, I am delighted and indeed very surprised to see it receiving fresh recognition. This global age has very much to learn from Tagore's global age, which was in many ways more morally and politically acute than ours. 
 
"We must retrieve this lost knowledge: but we must also make of it something new, something strange, something history has never seen before," Dasgupta, who is the literary director of India's richest literary award, the JCB Prize for Literature, was quoted as saying in a statement.
 
The Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize for social achievement was awarded to Yohei Sasakawa, the World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, for "his incredible efforts to uproot leprosy and great contribution to world peace". 
 
The Prize was also awarded to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen as "a beacon of democracy", the organisers said.
 
IANS
 

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Hyderabad Nizams' family visits royal jewel show

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Royal jewels from the Hyderabad Nizams' family collection, worn by seven generations of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, are on exhibition at the National Museum here. The extensive show of jewels was visited by Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, grandson of the last ruling Nizam, on Tuesday.
 
"Jewels of India: The Nizam's Jewellery Collection", a temporary exhibition here, is open for public viewing till May 5. Displayed in Delhi for the third time now, it showcases 173 dazzling pieces of jewellery, including one of the world's biggest diamonds -- the Jacob Diamond.
 
Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, who visited the exhibition with his daughters Noorah and Fazlika Fatima, is the grandson of Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan, who continued to rule Hyderabad till he signed the Instrument of Accession in 1948 and merged it with the union of India. 
 
"We are awestruck to witness our own massive and exquisite jewels collection that represents our familial heritage. Growing up, we heard about the massive contributions of our great grandfather.
 
"This collection is rightly called a cultural contribution to the heritage of India," they said in a statement released by the Nizam Family Welfare Association.
 
Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdullah Al Thani, part of the royal family of Qatar, also visited the exhibition.
 
IANS
 

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Indian writers to gather in Abu Dhabi for book fair

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Celebrated Indian authors are set to take the stage as the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) opens for its 29th edition from Wednesday, the media reported on Monday.
 
With India as its guest of honour this year, the ADIBF will be showcasing the richness of the country's culture, as well as its diversity, throughout the fair's run from Wednesday to April 30 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the Khaleej Times reported.
 
Among the Indian authors who will be gracing the ADIBF stage is India's Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Navdeep Suri, who will be launching his book, "Inked in Blood and Spirit of Freedom". 
 
The book serves as the English translation of his grandfather's famous poem "Khooni Baisakhi", which was based on how he witnessed the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on April 13, 1919.
 
Best-selling author Preeti Shenoy is slated to speak about her new book "Wake Up, Life Is Calling".
 
Also on the list is Abu Dhabi-based writer Deepak Unnikrishnan, who will discuss his book "To Remember, I Invented People" that revolves around the people who raised him.
 
Smita Pant, a representative of the Indian Embassy, said: "We are thrilled to be the guest of honour at this year's Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. This partnership is reflective of the historical ties we enjoy with the Arab world. 
 
"We will be bringing a delegation of more than 100 members with us... and India will also have the biggest pavilion at this year's event." 
 
A roster of hand-picked Indian performers will also showcase classical music, traditional dances and Punjabi folk songs.
 
Popular pop singer Jasbir Jassi, folk music group Kutle Khan and singer-songwriter Harpreet are just some of the personalities who will be at event.
 
IANS
 

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Bollywood's soft power lends a push to India-China ties

File photo of Shahrukh Khan
File photo of Shahrukh Khan
Bollywood's soft power is working its way in China like never before -- and the fan frenzy for superstar Shah Rukh Khan and the runaway success of an experimental film like "AndhaDhun", which has surpassed Rs 250 crore at the Chinese box office, stands as testimony.
 
This, in a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping were seen enjoying an instrumental rendition of 1982 Bollywood song "Tu, tu hai wahi dil ne jise apna kana" at an event in Wuhan city.
 
In China for the Beijing International Film Festival (BIFF), where his film "Zero" brought the curtains down, Shah Rukh got the warmest welcome with gifts, flowers and goodwill of fans whose love left him overwhelmed earlier this week.
 
"Technology, exports and imports all that is going to happen but cinema is always going to be at the forefront of art and is going to be at the front of people-to-people exchanges," Shah Rukh said in an interview to state-run CGTN, stating why Indian cinema can work its magic for India-China ties.
 
BIFF also listed five Indian films, including Satyajit Ray's classic "Pather Panchali", for screening under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) countries category despite strong reservations expressed by India over the trillion-dollar project.
 
Parallel to this, "AndhaDhun" has made its way to unprecedented success. Devoid of an A-list star and the trappings of Bollywood-esque dance and drama, the black comedy crime thriller is warming the hearts of movie lovers in China with its twists and turns, and a climax that leaves viewers thinking.
 
"The China market offers a great opportunity, but not for every other Indian film. It takes a unique film to connect with the massive audience," Ajit Andhare, COO, Viacom18 Studios, the studio behind the Sriram Raghavan directorial, told IANS.
 
The film's success is sweeter as it comes in a year following 2018 which saw 10 films from India being screened in China, a major departure from the two Indian films that released in the country in 2016 and one in 2017, according to the latest Ficci-EY Media and Entertainment sector report.
 
"Padman", "Baahubali 2: The Conclusion", "Thugs of Hindostan", "Sultan" and "102 Not Out" are some of the titles which hit the screens in China, which has a quota on the number of foreign films that can release a year.
 
Among the top Indian earners in China so far include; Aamir Khan's "Dangal" and "Secret Superstar", Salman Khan's "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" and Irrfan Khan's "Hindi Medium", apart from "AndhaDhun".
 
After Aamir had garnered a fan following with "PK" and "3 Idiots", "Dangal", a story on breaking gender stereotypes, turned a game changer by earning over Rs 1,000 crore at the Chinese box office.
 
But drawing any patterns of what's working will not be useful, Andhare said, adding: "The art is picking the right story to unlock the opportunity. The popular thesis was the film should have a certain star or a social message, but with 'AndhaDhun', we have broken that myth."
 
Shibasish Sarkar, Group CEO - Content, Digital and Gaming of Reliance Entertainment, said they were initially shaky about taking a film with a "new genre" like "AndhaDhun" to China, where the company has partnered with Tang Media Partners to import Indian movies into the country.
 
"Indian stories are definitely making their space in China. They feel our stories are able to make a distinct space in the market," Sarkar told IANS, adding that even China's expansive exhibition market with around 50,000-55,000 screens would be futile without good stories.
 
IANS
 

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Never thought SOTY sequel will happen so soon: Varun Dhawan

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Actor Varun Dhawan, who made his Hindi film debut with 'Student of The Year', said he never thought that the sequel of his romantic-comedy drama film will happen so soon.
 
Dhawan was interacting with the media to promote 'Kalank' along with his co-actors Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur and Sonakshi Sinha in Mumbai on Wednesday.
 
Dhawan, Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra made their Hindi film debut with 'Student of The Year', which released in 2012.
 
On Wednesday, the makers of 'Student of The Year 2' released posters of the film and the film is going to release in May.
 
Talking about the film, Varun said, "I think Tiger (Shroff), Ananya (Panday) and Tara (Sutaria) are looking superb in the film. Alia, Sid (Sidharth Malhotra) and I are equally proud and happy about it. We never thought that there will be a sequel to our film and that too really soon. People still call us 'student' and I don't think that tag will go away from us and we never know in 'Student of The Year 3' we might go back to school."
 
Talking about audience response to the trailer and songs of 'Kalank', Varun said, "This is one of the biggest films of our film career and only seven days are left for the release of the film, so we are very nervous and excited about it. We haven't seen the film yet."
 
"I feel audience have huge expectations from this film because it has a huge cast and it's huge in its scale. People have appreciated the trailer and songs of the film so, hopefully on April 17, they will like the film as well," he added.
 
Talking about his character in the film, Varun said, "Zafar is a very interesting character and it is one of the important characters of my film career. I think we all have done justice to our respective characters. I hope we have stayed true to the vision of Abhishek Verman, Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala and Fox Star Studios."
 
'Student of the Year 2' is directed by Punit Malhotra and produced by Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar and Apoorva Mehta under the banner of Dharma Productions. The film will be distributed by Fox Star Studios.
 
The film stars Tiger Shroff, debutants Tara Sutaria and Ananya Panday.
 
It is set to release on May 10, 2019.
 
IANS
 

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FTII announces course in Film Criticism and the Art of Review

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Breaking yet another new ground, Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune has announced, for the first time, a course in Film Criticism and the Art of Review.
 
The 20-day course will be conducted from May 28 to June 19 in Delhi in association with Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Delhi.
 
Talking about the course, Bhupendra Kainthola, Director, FTII, said it meets a long-standing demand of cinema critics, film reviewers, film bloggers, research scholars, film academics and just about anyone who has more than ordinary interest in cinema. He added that one needs to know how to ‘read’ a film in order to review it, the tools for which will be provided through this course.
 
The course would be helmed by Bhopal-based filmmaker Rajula Shah, an FTII alumnus. She studied film direction at FTII from 1997 to 2000. Her film practice emerges from an intense dialogue with the various arts, schools of thought and philosophies through close collaboration with people, their work and contexts. Her special interest of study and work is in the expanding scope of the film practice & the digital arts.
 
Talking about the course, she said it has been designed to provide a basic grounding in the discipline of Film Criticism and to train the participants into becoming serious viewers of cinema. The course includes the study of significant films in the history of cinema through the prism of critical thinking.
 
The course is being conducted under FTII's countrywide film education outreach initiative SKIFT (Skilling India in Film and Television) under which over 135 short-term courses have been held in 37 cities across the country covering over 5800 learners.
 
The course is open to all, with no age bar. The last date for applying is 22nd April 2019. Accommodation will be made available on request for selected participants coming from outside Delhi. Course details are available on www.ftii.ac.in
 
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Malayalam superstar Dileep gets relief in abduction case

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam superstar Dileep on Tuesday got relief in a 2017 case related to assault and abduction of an actress in which he is a key accused.
 
The Kerala government told the Supreme Court that it will not press for framing of charges against him before the trial court in the case till his pending plea in the apex court for access to visuals of the assault captured by main accused Pulsar Suni is decided.
 
The government said an understanding has been arrived at with Dileep in this regard.
 
The trial court was to commence hearing on framing of charges on Wednesday. Dileep earlier argued in the Supreme Court that till his plea seeking a copy of the crucial memory card (to prove his innocence) is decided, simultaneous framing of charges would result in "violation of natural justice" and "irreparable damage" to him.
 
Dileep has argued before the apex court that the copy of the footage of the incident is "very essential and crucial" for him to prove his innocence in the case. Dileep maintains the visuals had been manipulated and doctored to frame him.
 
The government of Kerala has, however, opposed his plea for the copy of the visuals and accused him of being the "chief conspirator".
 
The government's counsel observed there is no requirement under law to share all the material with the accused.
 
His plea for the copy of the memory card was turned down earlier by the Angamaly Magistrate Court and the Kerala High Court.
 
The south Indian actress was abducted and assaulted in a moving car on February 17, 2017. Dileep was arrested in July the same year in this connection.
 
Mukul Rohatgi, senior counsel appearing for Dileep, contends that the memory card is a document but the prosecution says it is a material which does not come under the I-T Act and cannot be handed over.
 
In his petition, Dileep states that he has a right to get evidence relating to the case which includes the memory card in which the attack visuals have been stored. Rohatgi argued that Dileep has a right to access all kinds of evidence that prosecution is producing against him.
 
IANS
 

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Now, Hindi innings for French bestseller Asterix comics

The Hindi translation of the first four albums of the French comic classic 'Asterix' series was released on Thursday. (Photo Source: Om Books International)
The Hindi translation of the first four albums of the French comic classic 'Asterix' series was released on Thursday. (Photo Source: Om Books International)
Launched in 1959, the French comic classic 'Asterix' boasts having sold an unmatched 370 million copies in more than 100 languages. After capturing the global comics market, the series is now available for Hindi readers -- after five years of painstaking translation.
 
The Hindi translation of the first four albums of the 'Asterix' series was released here on Thursday by French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler, who called the comics' total of 33 albums "a monument of French pop culture" and "opportunity to learn not French, but about the French (people)."
 
The series follows the adventures of a group of Gallic villagers as they resist Roman occupation in 50 BCE. It was originally written by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo.
 
Published by Om Books International, the "albums", as they are called, were co-translated by Dipa Chaudhuri and Puneet Gupta, beginning from 2014. Stating that translating each album took at least 6-8 months, they said the task was "not merely a word-to-word translation".
 
"There are so many cultural references. You have to find equivalent Hindi words, terminology, proverbs, jokes, songs. There is Latin used as well," Gupta, who also translated 'The Adventures of Tintin', said.
 
Explained his French-speaking co-translator Chaudhuri: "There was a huge translator's block when we started. It wasn't just any translation. These were graphic novels and the graphic form imposes a lot of restrictions as to how you can translate.
 
"Besides finding the right word, we had to find the right length, because there were speech bubbles. The Hindi script practically is much longer than the French. There are matras on the top, side and bottom, whereas in French they are only on top. We couldn't be waffling with the translation," Chaudhuri added.
 
What the translators also had to be mindful of is that each language has its own aural space and one size does not fit all.
 
"While you'd hit a person with a 'Paff' in French, it'll be 'Bang' in English and 'Thak' in Hindi," Gupta explained, adding that they identified a 100 sounds in four of the 33 albums.
 
The French equivalent of the India's iconic 'Chacha Chaudhary' comics or 'Amar Chitra Katha', 'Asterix' is a journey into French mindsets and is widely translated and adapted into animated films, video games, live action films, and even theme parks.
 
The translators shared an interesting anecdote while preparing the Hindi comic.
 
"They've used the (military) terms decurion and centurion. We couldn't have used 'major' or 'colonel'. So we had to come up with 'dashpati' and 'shatpati' for commanders of 10 and 100 soldiers," Gupta said.
 
"We called up people in the armed forces and asked them how they'd say this."
 
Asked if they came across similarities between the Indo-French cultures, Chaudhari said that while there are culturally distinct experiences, human experiences remain the same.
 
"We talk of warfare, historical hostilities, cultural chauvinism. The comic has strategies, cultural superiority and talking down to the Germanic tribes or Romans. This kind of a comic has a universal resonance.
 
Added Gupta: "Human emotions of fear, hatred, faith, satire and greed transcend time and culture. All these emotions are depicted here and one can correlate."
 
The translation rights were acquired by publisher Ajay Mago from the French Hachette Livre after over five years of negotiations.
 
IANS
 
 

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Kochi-Muziris Biennale winds up, filmmaker Adoor lauds it as common man’s event

The fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) formally wound up here on Thursday with a closing ceremony, where renowned filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan hailed the contemporary art festival as one having become integral to Kerala society, having percolated to the sensibilities of even the common people.
 
Addressing an evening gathering in downtown Ernakulam, the 77-year-old auteur said the host state can no more imagine its cultural future without the biennale. 
 
“This festival has only been bettering with every edition, I must say as someone who has viewed it from inception (in 2012),” he said about South Asia’s biggest event of its kind.
 
The 108-day festival is scheduled to conclude on Friday evening with a flag-lowering ceremony at Aspinwall House, the main venue of the event, in Fort Kochi.
 
The biennale, curated by eminent artist Anita Dube, turned out to be the first anywhere in the world to feature women totalling more than half of its participating artists who came out with 94 projects in ten venues of the heritage city. Based on the curatorial theme of ‘Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life’, it sought to explore newer access to art practices while hosting an array of seminars, workshops, lectures, films and stage performances.
 
At the valedictory ceremony at Darbar Hall Ground on Thursday evening, Adoor said the biennale has become a place where students from various field have been visiting. “This has become one of the top biennale’s in the world. We have seen representations from other biennale visiting and appreciating the works on display and showing their interest in the various artistic projects showcased here,” he added.
 
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Bose Krishnamachari, president of the Kochi Biennale Foundation that is organising the festival, said the latest edition clocked a total footfall of 6.2 lakh people from across the country and abroad. “We believe that the next edition will be bigger. In fact, from 2020, the biennale will be extended up to 120 days.”
 
Krishnamachari, also an acclaimed artist, extended his thanks to all his team and the curator. “Without all of you, we would not have reached to this successful end. Special thanks to the 2018 curator Dube. She dealt with some important subjects.” 
 
Dube said she hoped to have delivered what she promised of bringing out a biennale that is more inclusive. “This biennale meant to show the struggle the women in society face in their day-to-day life,” she said. “Through my curatorial efforts, I ensured that young artists get a platform to showcases their work. Pleasure combined with pedagogy was the overriding theme.”
 
Trustee N S Madhavan announced the Student’s Biennale winners at the ceremony.
 
Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran said the biennale, coming within four months of the floods that devastated the state last monsoon, helped the state regain its influx of travellers to God’s Own Kerala. “I take this opportunity to thank the biennale that has compelled tourists to visit Kerala after the floods,” he added.
 
Sunil V, Secretary of the Foundation, proposed thanks. The ceremony was followed by an interactive concert by conversation band Oorali, which is a participant at the biennale that began on December 12 last year.
 
The festival was inaugurated at the Parade Ground in Fort Kochi by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
 
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Sonam Kapoor to help raise funds for cancer survivors

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Actress Sonam K. Ahuja will be walking for designer duo Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla for a fashion show by the Cancer Patients Aids Association (CPAA) to raise funds for cancer survivors here. She says she is a huge believer in using her voice to support social and health issues.
 
"It is an honour and a privilege to be a part of this show. I am a huge believer in using my voice to support social and health issues. The CPAA does outstanding work in the field of providing holistic care to those affected by Cancer," Sonam said in a statement.
 
The CPAA is completing 50 years on Sunday and to support it a fashion show is being organised.
 
The 33-year-old actress said the battle against cancer must be won.
 
"Battling Cancer is a most worthy fight and one which can and must be won. My every good wish for them as they complete 50 years of exceptional service to the cause," she added.
 
Talking about walking for the designer duo, Sonam said: "I am delighted to walk for Abu and Sandeep. They are (my) favourites. Its always a pleasure to work with them and wear their fabulous clothes."
 
IANS

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Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt win big at 64th Filmfare Awards

Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt (File photo: IANS)
Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt (File photo: IANS)
Bollywood superstars Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt won the best actor awards for their roles in the films "Sanju" and "Raazi" respectively at the 64th Filmfare Awards 2019 on Saturday.
 
The film "Raazi" won five awards including the category of Best Film, Best Director.
 
The lovebirds grabbed the attention at the star-studded award ceremony that was graced by Bollywood stars like Sonam Kapoor, Jahnvi Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Sunny Leone, Kajol, Arjun Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Karan Johar -- among many others.
 
After receiving the best actress award, Alia said, "Meghna, for me 'Raazi' is you, your blood and sweat. You are my main chick Vicky without u the film wouldn't be complete. Thank u my mentor Karan for being my mentor, father and my fashion police. Tonight's all about love there my special one, I love you (Ranbir Kapoor)."
 
While Meghna Gulzar won the Best Director for the film "Raazi", Gulzar won the Best Lyricist award for the song 'Ae Watan'. Arijit Singh won the Best singer for lending his voice for the same song.
 
Vicky Kaushal won the Best Actor In A Supporting Role for the film "Sanju". He also made his debut as a performer at the Filmfare stage and paid a tribute to the legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan. His performance was choreographed by Shiamak Davar.
 
Ranveer Singh won the Critics Awards for Best Actor for his role in the film "Padmaavat". Dedicating the award to his grandmother, Ranveer said, "I dedicate this award to my nani as it was my nani's favourite character. One day I called my sister and asked what nani is doing, she said that nani is on terrace doing her favourite thing that is watching 'Padmavaat'." 
 
He was present alongside his wife, the gorgeous actress Deepika Padukone.
 
The film "Badhaai Ho" on the other hand, also won several awards. Neena Gupta bagged the Critics' Award for Best Actor (Female). Gajraj Rao and Surekha Sikri won the Best Actor In A Supporting Role awards. Akshat Ghildial won the Best Dialogue Award for the film.
 
Ayushmann Khurana starrer Sriram Raghavan's directorial venture "Andhadhun" won the Critics' Award for Best Film.
 
The Best Debutant award has been given to Sara Ali Khan for "Kedarnath" and Ishaan Khattar for "Beyond The Cloud".
 
Ishaan said, "I am nervous in between so many huge personalities and thank you all."
 
After receiving the award Sara said, "I remember when I used to come to watch Filmfare and I had a dream to come on this stage as an actress."
 
Amar Kaushik won the Best Debut Director award for the film "Stree".
 
Hema Malini received The Lifetime Achievement Award for completion of 50 years in the Hindi film industry.
 
During the award ceremony, the film fraternity paid tributes to the late actress Sridevi.
 
IANS
 

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Jitish Kallat’s Doomsday installation mirrors prophesies of man-made catastrophe

Jitish Kallat
Jitish Kallat
Jitish Kallat’s sculptural installation at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an abstract work that combines themes from the prehistoric past and future, while deriving a part of its form from the iconic Doomsday Clock.
 
On view inside a large hall at TKM Warehouse in the heritage town of Mattancherry, a suite of six exhibits has been illuminated from the top, making the entire setting appear ominous. The installation, made out of dental plaster with mild steel supports, is called ‘Untitled (Two Minutes to Midnight)’.
 
The title of the 2018 work is a direct reference to the Doomsday Clock, which was created in 1947 as a symbolic/hypothetical representation of how close humanity is to a man-made catastrophe. Developed by a group of scientists, scholars and Nobel laureates, represented by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the clock was recently set to 11:58 pm — which is two minutes before the symbolic apocalyptic midnight.
 
Situating his work in the context of nuclear weapons and climate change being cited as one of the potential causes for the world’s end, Jitish’s work re-imagines the clock by placing the six sculptures on a plinth that is shaped liked the Doomsday Clock. “The installation draws together ciphers that link past and future, dawn and midnight to induce a contemplation on the many urgencies of our present-day existence,” says the 44-year-old Mumbaikar, with family roots tracing to Kerala. 
 
Even as he looks to the prophesied future in his installation, the form of his exhibits has been informed by a landmark discovery from the prehistoric era, which is the first evidence of tool construction millions of years ago.  
A view of Jitish Kallat's works at TKM Warehouse, Mattancherry in Kochi.
A view of Jitish Kallat's works at TKM Warehouse, Mattancherry in Kochi.
 
Elaborating on the form of his biennale sculptures, Jitish says the suite of sculptures derives its form from paleolithic hand axes and stone tools that were the first human effort to alter the face of the planet. In his work, the artist uses the reference to the first stone tools to make a point about the destruction of the planet. “The first stone tools mark the dawn of human ingenuity, augmenting physical capacities before exponential future innovations lead to uninhibited human supremacy and indiscriminate manipulation of the planet,” he says.   
 
As an artist whose vast oeuvre covers painting, photography, drawing and video apart from sculptural installations, Jitish’s work has largely focused on themes of human existence, time, sustenance, history, nations, cities and the distant cosmos.     
  
After working as a curator and artistic director of the 2014 edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Jitish returned to the fourth edition as a participating artist for the 108-day event that concludes on March 29.
 
The artist studied painting at Sir J. J. School of Art and has widely exhibited at museums and galleries all over the world, including shows at Tate, London, and a number of presentations at biennales and triennials in Asia and the west.   
 
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Film industry comes forward to help actor-turned-watchman

Savi Sidhu working as a security guard now and acting as a police officer in a scene from Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday.
Savi Sidhu working as a security guard now and acting as a police officer in a scene from Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday.
Rather than facing the pain and humiliation of penury, the out-of-work senior actor Savi Sidhu opted to take on the job of a watchman at a high-rise building in the suburbs of Mumbai. After his story went viral this week, Savi is flooded with offers to return to cinema.
 
Sushant Singh, General Secretary of the Cine & TV Artists Association (CINTAA), said: "I spoke to him. He couldn't call me earlier as he was busy with auditions. He was sounding very happy, I congratulated him for choosing to lead a dignified and honest life. 
 
"He might've been down, but he chose not to be down and out."
 
Filmmaker Hansal Mehta feels Savi's story defines the dignity of labour as well as the callousness of the entertainment industry. 
 
"I found his outlook towards life very positive and dignified. We are in an uncertain business and have only ourselves to fall back on eventually -- particularly in low phases. 
 
"I support his dignity above empty words of support and sympathy. He is better off than many who I meet at receptions of producers' offices whining or pleading and doing little about themselves, their lives or their self-respect. I salute his spirit."
 
IANS
 

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Disney now owns Star India after $71bn Fox deal

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With the closing of the $71 billion deal with 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company now owns Indian TV giant Star, a Mumbai-based media company with dozens of sports and entertainment channels.
 
The deal became effective on Wednesday morning.
 
Besides Star India, the acquisition has most of Rupert Murdoch's former empire including 21st Century Fox's film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Family and Fox Animation; Fox's television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21; FX Networks; National Geographic Partners; Fox Networks Group International.
 
The deal also makes Disney the owner of Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.
 
The acquisition would give a huge boost to the entertainment giant's content as it aims to take on streaming services providers such as Netflix, Hulu and Apple's own TV service that is slated to be unveiled next week.
 
"This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us -- one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders," Bob Iger, Chairman-CEO, Disney, said in a statement.
 
"Combining Disney's and 21st Century Fox's wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the pre-eminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era."
 
Despite the acquisition, Murdoch's Fox Corp would retain its independence and entities like Fox News and Fox Sports in the US.
 
IANS
 

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India Pavilion inaugurated at London Book Fair

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The India Pavilion at London Book Fair was inaugurated on Tuesday by Vikram Sahay, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and Sadhana Rout, Director General, Publications Division.
 
The fair is being held in the London Olympia from March 12-14.
 
The India Pavilion lays special focus on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It displays the digital version of the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, apart from various other titles on culture, history and folklore of India. 
 
An interactive digital media experience on life and times of Mahatma Gandhi, Statue of Unity and other major achievements of India is also available at the Pavilion.
 
A seminar on Making of The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi – Print and Electronic Versions – will also be organized at the London Olympia.
 
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