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Sahitya Akademi announces Bal Sahitya Puraskar and Yuva Puraskar 2019

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The Sahitya Akademi has selected 22 writers for the Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2019 and 23 writers for Yuva Puraskar 2019.
 
The Executive Board of the Akademi that met in Agartala on Friday, under the chairmanship of its president Chandrashekhar Kambar approved the selection of awardees. 
 
Union Minister for Tourism and Culture Prahlad Singh Patel congratulated the award winners.
 
The awardees have been selected on the basis of recommendations made by the jury comprising three members each in the concerned language, in accordance with the rules and procedure laid down for the purpose. 
 
The executive board declared the awards on the basis of a unanimous/majority vote by the jury.  The award in Maithili will be declared on a later date, an official press release said.
 
For the Bal Sahitya Puraskar, the Awards relate to books first published during the five years immediately preceding the year of award (between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2017). However, during the initial ten years, from 2010 to 2019, the award may also be given to an author based on his/her total contribution to children’s literature.
 
Meanwhile, eleven books of poetry, six of the short story, five of the novel and one of literary criticism have won the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 2019. The award relates to books published by an author of age 35 and below as on January 1 of the year of the award.
 
The award, in the form of a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque and a cheque of Rs 50,000, will be presented to the awardees at a special function to be held at a later date.
 
The following are the awardees:
 
SAHITYA AKADEMI YUVA PURASKAR 2019
 
Assamese: Ei Pine Ki Ase? (Short Story), Sanjib Pol Deka
Bengali: Kuntal Fire Ase (Novel), Moumita 
Bodo: Sansri Arw Mwndangthini Mwkhang (Poetry), Rujab Muchahary
Dogri: Sees (Short Story), Sunil Kumar
English: Diwali in Muzaffarnagar (Short Story), Tanuj Solanki
Gujarati: Retino Manas (Short Story), Ajay Soni
Hindi: Baagh Aur Sugna Munda Ki Beti (Poetry), Anuj Lugun
Kannada: Beru (Novel) Fakeer (Shridhar Banvasi G.C.)
Kashmiri: Thaer Angnech (Poetry), Sagar Nazir
Konkani: Kathaakar (Short Story), Hemant Aiya
Malayalam: Amma Urangunnilla (Poetry), Anuja Akathoottu
Manipuri: Canvasta Tarakpa Pirangna Poetry), Jiten Oinamba
Marathi: Shahar Atmahatya Karaycha Mhantay (Poetry). Sushil Kumar Shinde
Nepali: Charkiyeko Bhui (Poetry), Karna Biraha
Odia: Bimugdha Uccharana (Literary Criticism), Sisira Behera
Punjabi: Waqt Beeteya Nahi (Novel),  Yadwinder Singh Sandhu
Rajasthani: Saglaan Ro Seer (Short Story), Keerti Parihar
Sanskrit: Vagvilasini(Poetry) Yuvraj Bhattarai
Santali: Jarpi Disomrin Manmi (Poetry), Guhiram Kisku
Sindhi: Anmol Rishta (Poetry), Kiran Paryani ‘Anmol’
Tamil: Vaal (Tail) (Poetry), Sabarinathan
Telugu: Kongavalu Kathi (Novel), Gaddam Mohan Rao
Urdu: LaC Ke Lahoo (Novel), Salman Abdus Samad
Award in Maithili to be declared on a later date
 
BAL SAHITYA PURASKAR 2019
 
Assamese: Mili, Amia Aru Ekhon Nadi (Stories), Swmim Nasrin
Bengali: Total Contribution, Nabanita Debsen
Bodo: Solobatha Khwnasong De (Folk Tales), Lakhminath Brahma
Dogri: Larjaan (Poetry), Vijay Sharma
English: India Through Archaeology: Excavating History (History), Devika Cariapa
Gujarati: Total Contribution, Kumarpal Desai
Hindi: Kachu Ki Topi (Stories), Govind Sharma
Kannada: Kadu Kanasina Beedige (Novel), Chandrakanth Karadalli
Kashmiri: Shurin Hund Naji (Poetry), Naji Munauwar
Konkani: Chitkulya Chinkichye Vishaal Vishwa (Stories), Rajashree Bandodkar Karapurkar
Malayalam: Total Contribution, Malayath Appunni
Manipuri: Thawaishinggi Thawai (Play),  R.K. Sanahanbi Chanu
Marathi: Jangal Khajinyacha Shodh (Novel), Salim Sardar Mulla
Nepali: Chara Ko Chirbir Bhura ko Kirkir (Poetry), Bhabilal Lamichhane
Odia: Total Contribution, Birendra Kumar Samantray
Punjabi: Aliens Di Dharti Te (Novel), Pawan Harchandpuri
Sanskrit: Chitva Trinam Trinam (Poetry), Sanjay Chaubey
Santali: Jharumjhag (Poetry), Lakshman Chandra Saren
Sindhi: Total Contribution, Veena Shringi
Tamil: Total Contribution, Devi Nachiappan (Deivanai)
Telugu: Thatha Maata Varaala Moota (Short Stories), Belagam Bheemeswara Rao
Urdu: Science ke Dilchasp Mazameen (Stories), Mohammad Khalil
 
The award in Maithili will be declared on a later date. 
 
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Kerala honours veteran film star Sheela with J C Daniel Award

Sheela
Sheela
Veteran actress Sheela, 76, has been honoured with the prestigious J. C. Daniel Award in recognition of her contribution to the Malayalam film industry.
 
This award is the Kerala government's top film award for a film veteran.
 
The award, which includes a cash prize of Rs 500,000 and a citation, was announced, here on Tuesday, by State Minister for Culture and Cinema A. K. Balan. It will be presented next month. 
 
Sheela, still active in the industry, along with late actor Prem Nazir holds a world record for acting in the largest number of films -- 110 -- together as heroine and hero in the 1960s and 1970s.
 
Even though she began her career in the Tamil film "Paasam" opposite M. G. Ramachandran, Sheela reigned supreme in the Malayalam industry in the sixties and seventies alongside giants such as Sathyan, Nazir, Madhu and Jayan. 
 
In the latter part of her career, she shared screen space with present-day superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal.
 
After almost a two-decade break, Sheela returned to the screen in 2003 with Malayalam film "Manassinakkare". In 2005, she won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film "Akale".
 
In a career spanning more than five decades, she has acted in close to 500 films in South Indian languages besides trying her hand at direction.
 
IANS

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Yamaha Music launches Made in India PSR I500 keyboard with Indian instrumental tunes

Yamaha Music India Managing Director Takashi Haga with the company's first Made in India PSR 1500 keyboard with Indian instrumental tunes.
Yamaha Music India Managing Director Takashi Haga with the company's first Made in India PSR 1500 keyboard with Indian instrumental tunes.
Yamaha Music India has launched its first Made in India PSR I500 keyboard for global music lovers who want to learn and perform.
 
"The instrument consists of a vast collection of onboard Indian instruments tunes and auto accompaniment style functions which covers a broad spectrum of Indian music genres from every corner of the country," a press release from the company said.
 
The PSR I500 consists of 801 instrument tunes, of which 40 are of Indian instruments. The keyboard also has a variety of instruments from Pianos to Synthesizers, making it possible to play songs from a variety of genres which ranges from orchestra classics to electronic dance music, it said.
 
"The instrument is the ideal portable keyboard for music lovers. Functions like Quick Sampling are designed to assist you to perform in a variety of situations. In addition, the PSR I500 features a number of lesson functions including a built-in Tabla / Mridangam and Tanpura function called Riyaz, to help learn how to play songs or traditional Indian Raga scales," the release said.
 
Takashi Haga, Managing Director, Yamaha Music India said the keyboard had been built at the company's manufacturing unit in Chennai. He said it was the most versatile and customized portable keyboard for Indian and global music lovers till date.
 
"India is a land of diversity and the new keyboard will address the requirement of all its discerning customers. Yamaha Music India will not only produce its equipment for the Indian market but make India its major export hub. World over the music Industry is on a growth trajectory with increasing demand everywhere, we see a growing trend in schools and other education institutes, stressing on the importance of learning music. We are confident their products like these which are unique, efficient and customized, will cater to the needs of several hundred music teachers, students, hobbyist and professionals," he added.
 
Established in March 2008, Yamaha Music India Pvt. Ltd. is a fully owned subsidiary of Yamaha Corporation and is headquartered at Gurgaon near here in Haryana. It has a manufacturing plant in Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu.
 
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Tanuja undergoes surgery, to be in hospital for a week

Tanuja (File photo: IANS)
Tanuja (File photo: IANS)
Veteran Bollywood actress Tanuja, who was diagnosed with diverticulitis, has undergone surgery.
 
An official at the Lilavati Hospital here told IANS that Tanuja was doing fine post surgery. The official added that the actress was expected to be in hospital for a week. 
 
Diverticulitis is inflammation or infection of small pouches called diverticula that develop along the walls of the intestines. 
 
The 75-year-old actress was admitted in Lilavati Hospital on Tuesday "with some pain in abdomen".
 
Tanuja's daughter and actress Kajol, whose father-in-law and action director Veeru Devgan died two days ago, was photographed while visiting her mother. 
 
Tanuja's recent prominent appearances have been in projects like "Pitruroon", "A Death in the Gunj", "Aarambh" and "Sonar Pahar".
 
She is known for films like "Memdidi", "Chand Aur Suraj", "Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi", "Jewel Thief", "Nai Roshni", "Jeene Ki Raah", "Haathi Mere Saathi", "Anubhav", "Mere Jeevan Saathi" and "Do Chor."
 
IANS

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Suited, booted: '83' cast leaves for London

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Dressed nattily -- in black and white suits, and sporting blue ties, the cast of Bollywood film "83" has left for the London round of its shooting schedule.
 
The movie will trace India's historic victory at the 1983 Cricket World Cup. Ranveer Singh, who leads the cast of the Kabir Khan directorial playing the role of former Indian skipper Kapil Dev, chose to call the squad "Kapil's Devils".
 
The rest of the cast, includes Saqib Saleem, Adinath Kothare, Chirag Patil, Harddy Sandhu, Ammy Virk, Jatin Sarna, Pankaj Tripathi, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Dinker Sharma, Jiiva, Sahil Khattar, Dhairya Karwa, Nishant Dahhiya and R Badree.
 
"About to embark on a remarkable cinematic journey. Proud, blessed," tweeted Ranveer Singh on Tuesday.
 
"Let the games begin," tweeted Salim, who will play Mohinder Amarnath on the screen.
 
The young actor also shared a video of his moustached look, and wrote: "Jimmy is ready, Jimmy is about to embark on this beautiful journey... I am super excited to be a part of this film. Boys, this is going to be itihasik (historical)."
 
'83' is being presented by Reliance Entertainment, and will release on April 10, 2020 in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
 
IANS
 

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MIB organizes interaction with Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences President John Bailey

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In a major initiative to explore possibilities of collaboration, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has organized a Special Interactive Session with John Bailey, President of Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences here tomorrow.
 
The interaction will not only throw insights into the thought leadership at Oscars but will also be informative for key stakeholders attending the event, an official press release said.
 
It will throw light not only on the nuances behind the craft of cutting-edge filming techniques but also help develop an understanding among the stakeholders about creating world-class content, it said.
 
Bailey will also meet Amit Khare, Secretary, Ministry of I&B. The interaction will be an opportunity for the Ministry to highlight the financial incentives offered to foreign filmmakers to shoot in India, single-window facilitation mechanism for filming in India through web portal under the Film Facilitation Office, financing co-production of films and promotion of single-screen theatres in small towns across the country.
 
In the 47th edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Robert Yeoman, world-renowned cinematographer, and Alan Heim, renowned Film Editor, from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had taken Master Classes in their respective fields.
 
"This interactive session presents an opportunity to further enhance the outreach of the Festival and explore possibilities of collaboration with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for the Golden Jubilee edition of IFFI which will be organized if Goa in November this year," the release said.
 
John Bailey is the first cinematographer to hold the position of Academy President.  His credits include “Ordinary People,” “American Gigolo,” “The Big Chill,” “Groundhog Day,” “As Good as It Gets,” “The Anniversary Party,” “The Way Way Back” and “A Walk in the Woods.”
 
As a cinematographer, he is best known for his collaborations with directors Paul Schrader, Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Apted, and Ken Kwapis.
 
In 1985, Bailey shared the Cannes Film Festival Best Artistic Contribution Award with EikoIshioka and Philip Glass for Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters. He was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography for Tough Guys Don't Dance and the Camerimage Golden Frog Award for Best Cinematography for Forever Mine. In 2015, the American Society of Cinematographers presented him Lifetime Achievement Award.
 
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Veteran action director Veeru Devgan dead

Veeru Devgan  (Photo: IANS)
Veeru Devgan (Photo: IANS)
Bollywood's veteran action director Veeru Devgan, the father of actor Ajay Devgn, died here on Monday, family sources said. He was 85.
 
Veeru Devgan breathed his last on Monday afternoon at a hospital here due to age-related issues, according to a source.
 
Apart from directing action sequences for films like "Himmatwala", "Mr. India", "Khatron Ke Khiladi", "Phool Aur Kaante", "Dilwale" and "Laal Badshah", he had directed the 1999 film "Hindustan Ki Kasam", starring Ajay and megastar Amitabh Bachchan.
 
Film fraternity members Shah Rukh Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Sajid Khan, Mahesh Bhatt and Harry Baweja visted the Devgan residence to pay condolences.
 
The funeral will be held here at the Vile Parle West Crematorium on Monday evening.
 
Filmmaker Sanjay Gupta said he was really "saddened to hear about Veeru Devganji". 
 
"I had the honour and pleasure of working with him in my (early) days as an assistant director. He was a fabulous human being and a master technician who always had a smile on his face. May God bless his soul," he tweeted.
 
Filmmaker Anees Bazmee, who worked with Veeru Devgan in the 1997 film "Sanam", tweeted: "My heartfelt condolences to Ajay, Kajol and the family. There will be no better action director than you Veeruji. Will miss you."
 
Veteran actor Anupam Kher wrote: "Deeply saddened to know about the passing away of Veeru Devganji. Worked with him in so many movies. He was a great action director. To him, the safety of actors and his fighters team was of utmost importance. A kind man with a great sense of humour."
 
"Sad to know that veteran action director Veeru Devganji is no more. He was a genius in choreographing fights on the big screen when there were no facilities available. My heartfelt condolences to Ajay Devgn and the entire family," filmmaker Ashoke Pandit tweeted.
 
"RIP Veeru Devganji. A legend of Hindi cinema. Left his mark at a time when 'pure action' without VFX was the order of the day. Heartfelt condolences to Ajay Devgn and Kajol. May his soul rest in peace," Kunal Kohli wrote.
 
IANS
 

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Veteran action director Veeru Devgan dead

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Bollywood's veteran action director Veeru Devgan, father of actor Ajay Devgn, died here on Monday, family sources said. He was 85.
 
Veeru Devgan breathed his last on Monday afternoon at a hospital here due to age-related issues, according to a source.
 
Apart from directing action sequences, he had directed the 1999 film "Hindustan Ki Kasam", starring Ajay and megastar Amitabh Bachchan.
 
The funeral will be held here at the Vile Parle West Crematorium on Monday evening.
 
"Sad to know that veteran action director Veeru Devganji is no more. He was a genius in choreographing fights on the big screen when there were no facilities available. My heartfelt condolences to Ajay Devgn and the entire family," filmmaker Ashoke Pandit tweeted.
 
"RIP Veeru Devganji. A legend of Hindi cinema. Left his mark at a time when 'pure action' without VFX was the order of the day. Heartfelt condolences to Ajay Devgn and Kajol. May his soul rest in peace. Prayers are with the family," Kunal Kohli wrote.
 
IANS
 

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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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