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Festivals of India to be held in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar

The Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Mr V. Srinivas, briefing the press on Festivals of India in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar, in New Delhi on February 4, 2014.
The Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Mr V. Srinivas, briefing the press on Festivals of India in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar, in New Delhi on February 4, 2014.
The Union Ministry of Culture has decided to organize Festivals of India in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar between February 9 and March 21.
 
The Festival of India in Laos will be held from February 9-11 and in Cambodia from February 14-19. The event will be held in Vietnam from March 6-15 and in Myanmar from March 17-21.
 
The Indian delegation to the Festivals of India in Laos and Cambodia would be led by Culture Secretary Ravindra Singh and will include as many as 75 artistes.
 
An official press release, the two festivals would comprise the following:
 
a.       Dance Festival: Classical Dance on Ramayana will be performed by the Kalakshetra Foundation over three days. The Kalakshetra Foundation will perform Jatayu Moksham, Choodamani Pradanam and Mahapatttabhishekam to celebrate the Ramayana in Laos.
 
b.      Buddhist Exhibition: Dhamma Darshan will be presented with the objective of exploring and illustrating the life and teachings of Buddha as well as the sacred sites of events depicting the legend along with the dissemination of Buddhism which is based on Dhamma. The Buddhist exhibition will be presented by the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, an autonomous organization under Ministry of Culture.
 
c.       Buddhist Mahotsava: The Buddhist Mahotsava will be organized as part of the Festival of India will witness the construction of sand mandala, butter sculpture, sacred dance and Lama Chant by the monks from the Himalayan region. It will be presented by Central Institute of Himalayan Culture Studies Dahoo, Arunachal Pradesh.
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d.      Food Festival: Indian cuisine festival encompassing a wide variety of regional cuisines, native to India will be presented as part of the Festival of India. The Food Festival will be presented by Ministry of Tourism.
 
e.       Mehendi Art and Yoga: Mehendi artists from the South Zone Cultural Centre and Yoga teachers from Department of Ayush will participate in the Festivals of India.
 
f.       Film Festival: A film festival comprising selected films of Bollywood will  be presented in the Festival of India. They include Jodha Akbar, Dil Chahta Hai, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. The film festival would be presented by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
 
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Ansari presents 26th Moorti Devi Award to Odiya poet Haraprasad Das

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Vice-President M Hamid Ansari presented the 26th Moorti Devi Award to Mr Haraprasad Das, one of the most influential contemporary poet and thinkers in Odiya literature, at a function organised by Bharatiya Jnanpith here today.
 
The award consists of a citation and a cash prize of Rs 4 lakhs. 
 
Mr Ansari said Mr Das is amongst the most versatile literary figures in contemporary Indian literature and his versatility and prolificacy can be gauged from his creations. Every author and poet has a different state of mind while writing, he said.
 
He said that Bharatiya Jnanpith and the jury, chaired by Union Minister M Veerappa Moily deserved full credit for an excellent choice for the award. He congratulated Mr Das for the well-deserved recognition and wished him all the best for the future. 
 
Mr Das has also been a distinguished civil servant, and has served as an expert on several UN bodies. He has published 13 volumes of poetry, four volumes of literary criticism and critical thought, one book on ethnic history, a novel and a work of translation.
 
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Rajnikanth's latest Kochadaiyaan to be released on April 11

Actor Rajnikanth in a still from Kochadaiyaan
Actor Rajnikanth in a still from Kochadaiyaan
Entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd today said it would release Tamil megastar Rajnikanth's latest film Kochadaiiyaan -- The Legend, a Mediaone Global Entertainment Limited production directed by his daughter Soundarya Rajnikanth Ashwin, worldwide on April 11.
 
A press release from the company said the film features the unique visual mastery of Photorealistic Performance Capture technology for the very first time in an Indian film. 
 
This technology has been previously seen in Hollywood masterpieces such as Avatar, Tin Tin and Beowulf, it said.
 
Kochadaiiyaan is an epic dramatization of good versus evil, with Rajnikanth in a double role in a larger than life depiction. 
 
Also starring in the movie are Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone together with South India’s leading stars R. Sharath Kumar, Nazar, Aadi, Shobana and Rukmini.
 
Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman has provided the musical score for the film.
 
“Following last year’s celebrations of India's film making centenary we view the release of Kochadaiiyaan as part of the next steps of Indian cinema. For the first time a full length feature has been made using performance capture technology in India and I truly hope this creates a whole alternate film making avenue apart from live action films in our country," Soundarya said.
 
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Mr. Sunil Lulla, Managing Director, Eros International Media Ltd added, “Eros is proud to present this magnum opus with Rajinikanth, which will take the Indian film industry to the next level. We are confident that this will be a landmark film in world cinema as a result of the ground breaking technology used."
 
"The film will be released in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Bengali and Punjabi in India and overseas in more than 6,000 screens. We will be releasing an English version internationally as well," he said.
 
In a brand tie-up, Eros International and Mediaone have tied up with Karbonn Mobile to launch 1 million Kochadaiiyaan branded mobile phones to celebrate the release of the film.  
 
The Karbonn ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ mobile phones will have screen savers and  images from the film along with its trailer and signature tune. These  Kochadaiiyaan mobile phones are intended to launch in February 2014, during the audio launch of the film.
 
Kochadaiiyaan was shot extensively at Pinewood Studios in the UK with a team of world-class technical experts including the London-based Centroid Studios, a state of the art facility for Full Body Motion Capture, which has worked on various Hollywood productions including the recent Brad Pitt starrer World War Z as well as Pirates of the Caribbean, Ironman 2 and Harry Potter, and Counter Punch Studios from Los Angeles, who have been behind successes such as Beverly Hills Chihuahua. 
 
They worked in collaboration with Faceware Technologies, United Kingdom, who have worked on The Mummy 3 and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for the Facial Capturing technology. 
 
A team of technical experts from South India and China have worked on this technology, with the best production facilities in London, for the overall completion of the project, the release added.
 
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Kochi Biennale Foundation launches Arts and Medicine project

 
Union Minister for Food and Consumer Affairs K. V. Thomas inaugurated the "Arts and Medicine" initiative of the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) at the Ernakulam General Hospital here yesterday.
 
The project, which is being implemented in association with Cleveland Clinic and the district administration, aims at providing solace to patients and their relatives through arts and music.
 
In his inaugural address, Mr.Thomas said that treatment is required not only for the body but also for the mind and spirit. Arts and music could extend relief to the body and the mind, he said.
 
Iva Fattorini, Chair, Global Arts and Medicine Institute, Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi, said that it had been proved scientifically that arts could provide solace to human beings.
 
Dr Latha Mani, consultant pediatrician at Healthpoint Hospital in Abu Dhabi, said that even people who had faced torture in the German concentration camps had secretly used art for mental relief. Art is essential for peace of mind, she said.  
 
KBF trustee and research coordinator Bonnie Thomas said that various programmes would be held on Wednesdays at the General Hospital as part of the Arts and Medicine initiative.
 
Mr Dominic Presentation, MLA, presided over the meeting. Mr. Ludy Luiz, MLA; Dr. Junaid Rahman, Special Officer, Kochi Co-operative Medical College; and Dr. Annie P.G, Superintendent, General Hospital spoke.
 
A musical performance by Mehboob Memorial Orchestra was held after the launch of the programme.
 
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Exhibition of Amrita Sher-Gil's paintings opens at NGMA, Delhi

Self potrait by Amrita Sher-Gil
Self potrait by Amrita Sher-Gil
An exhibition of paintings by eminent artist Amrita Sher-Gil, that focuses on her artistic genius and mercurial personality, opened at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here today.
 
The majority of works by Sher- Gil, who died at the age of 29 in December 1941, in the public domain are with the NGMA, which houses over 100 paintings by the meteoric artist and it is for the first time that almost this entire collection is being shown in an exhibition.
 
The exhibition, curated by well-known art historian and independent curator Yashodhara Dalmia, was inaugurated by Union Minister of Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch. It will continue until March 2.
 
Titled "Amrita Sher-Gil: The Passionate Quest", the exhibition has been organised to mark the closing of the birth centenary celebrations of the painter.
 
The paintings in the exhibition are supplemented by a display of text and images entitled, Remembering Amrita Sher-Gil. To further contextualise her  modernism, an audio-visual highlighting the European art scene in the early 20th century, conceptualised by Ella Datta, is an additional feature of the show.
 
Ms Katoch said Sher-Gil flashed through the Indian artistic horizon like an incandescent meteor.
 
"Her place in the trajectory of Indian modern art is unquestionably pre eminent. Her aesthetic sensibility shows not surprisingly a blend of European and Indian elements. Her command over handling of oil medium and use of colour, as well as her vigorous brushwork and strong feeling for composition, all go towards giving a dazzling quality to her genius," she said.
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Ms Katoch said Sher-Gil was already a legend as a young woman painter in the early thirties of the last century in the art world of India. She expressed happiness that the NGMA had one of the finest collections of her works.
 
The exhibition is slated to move to NGMA, Bangalore after ending its run here.
 
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Second edition of Ragasthan to be held in Jaisalmer from Feb 13-16

A view of the first edition of Ragasthan
A view of the first edition of Ragasthan
Several new and emerging artistes from across the country and abroad will showcase their talent at the second edition of Ragasthan, a music festival, that will be held from February 13-16 at Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.
 
This time, the event will be held over three nights and four days in the untapped and secluded dunes of Khuri, a press release from the organizers said.
 
Artistes listed to perform across three varied stages include Christophe Chassol (France), Alo Wala (USA) , Ash Roy, Mame Khan and Troupe, Ganesh Talkies and Tritha Electric.
 
There will also be other activities such as Paintball, sky gazing workshops, karaoke, volleyball, drive-in camping, yoga sessions, dormitory lodging and ATV rides.
 
An added attraction for the visitors will be the full moon on the night of February 15, the release said.
 
Apart from the option of bringing their own tents, the event also offers visitors luxury camping in Swiss tents in the desert. 
 
Visitors can also enjoy camel rides around the camp site and a variety of adventure sports in the sands, along with food and drinks.
 
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DFF invites entries for 61st National Film Awards for 2013

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The Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, has invited entries for the 61st National Film Awards for the year 2013 in Feature Films, Non-Feature Films and Best Writing on Cinema sections.
 
Films which have received certification from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) between 1st January and 31st December, 2013 (both days inclusive) and books and articles/ reviews on cinema published between those dates are eligible to participate, an announcement from DFF said.
 
The last date of entry is 14th February, 2014, it said.
 
In the Feature Films section, there will be awards in 30 categories including Best Feature Film, Best Debut Film of a Director, Best Popular Film, Best Children’s Film, Best Animation Film, Best Direction, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Playback Singer, Best Production Design, Best Music Direction, Best Feature Film in each of the language specified in Schedule VIII of the Constitution and also Best Feature Film in each of the languages other than those specified in Schedule VIII, among others.
 
In the Non-Feature Film Section, the awards are given in 22 categories including Best Non-Feature Film, Best Debut Non-Feature Film of a Director, Best Arts/ Cultural Film, Best Animation Film, Best Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Music Direction, Best Editing, among others.
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In the “Best Writing on Cinema” section, the awards are given in the categories of Best Book on Cinema and Best Film Critic.
 
More details about the regulations and conditions of the awards can be seen here.
 
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Actor Shah Rukh Khan suffers minor injuries while shooting in Mumbai

Hotel doors falls on SRK, injuring him!
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan suffered minor injuries while shooting for filmmaker Farah Khan's Happy New Year at a five-star hotel in the suburbs today.
 
"Mr Khan had a minor accident on the sets while shooting. He has a minor injury and has got the necessary medical aid. Mr Khan is absolutely fine now. Thank you for all your wishes!" an official statement from his office said.
 
According to various accounts of the incident, the actor suffered the injures when a door, with a problem in its hinges, fell on him when he was passing through. 
 
He was rushed to the Nanavati Hospital nearby, where doctors treated him for bruises and also conducted various tests to make sure there were no internal injuries.
 
The actor, who left the hospital for home after about two hours, was advised by the doctors to rest for the day, sources added.
 
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Assamese poet Rabindra Sarkar chosen for Sahitya Akademi Award 2013

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Eminent Assamese poet Rabindra Sarkar has been honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Award for 2013 for his book of poetry Dhuliyori Bharir Sans.
 
The book was selected on the basis of recommendations made by a jury of three members, Mr Arun Sarma, Mr Hrishikesh Goswami, and Dr Malinee Goswami.
 
The book relates to books first published between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2011.
 
Mr Sarkar and other Sahitya Akademi Award winners in 24 languages announced earlier will be presented the award at a function here on March 11 during the Festival of Letters organised by the Akademi.
 
The award is the form of a casket containing an engraved copper plaque, a shaw and a cheque for Rs 100,000.
 
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Painter K N Ramachandran to display works at Jehangir Gallery in Mumbai

A painting by K N Ramachandran
A painting by K N Ramachandran
Well-known artist K N Ramachandran will display a fresh series of his oil paintings, titled "Colour of Life", at a week-long exhibition at the Jehangir Art Gallery here from January 15.
 
The preview of his paintings will be held on January 15 and the exhibition will be open to the public from 11 am to 7 pm for a week after that.
 
The new series of paintings has lively visuals of colourful South Indian life, especially of markets, which are a major life source, along with temples and music.
 
Ramachandran’s main focus is upon amalgamated glorification of not only South Indian royals but also roadside market’s colorful common folks.
 
One of India's most prolific and distinguished artists, Ramachandran started his career as a film hoarding painter in Bangalore back in 1954. He has held 26 solo shows in the last 60 years. He has been a part of many artist camps, Kala Melas. 
 
He has won more than 25 state and national awards and his works are part of many collections in different parts of India and abroad.
 
He is the founder of Oviya Munetra Sangam in Chennai and Bangalore.
 
Ramachandran's works have also been commercially adapted in various marketing campaigns such as Luck By Chance and ABCD posters. 
 
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Documentary film "Satyagraha - Truth Force" to be shown at Mumbai festival

Australia-born filmmaker LisaSabina Harney's documentary film, Satyagraha - Truth Force, has been selected by the 13th Mumbai International Film Festival to be held in Mumbai from February 3-9.
 
The film, which revolves around the mining and stone crushing mafia operating in Uttarakhand and the mysterious dath of social activist Swami Nigamanand in June 2011, had won the award for the Best International Documentary Film at the recent Dehi International Film Festival here.
 
Harney, in association with the Harvard Club of India, organized a private screening of the film at the Alliance Francaise here last evening for the film's cast and crew.
 
There has been a controversy around the death of Swami Nigamanand, who was on a "satyagraha" for 68 days,  about whether he died as a result of starvation or was poisoned.
 
Ms Harney was praised at the Delhi festival for her efforts to bring out the facts of illegal mining in Uttarakhand and the battle undertaken by the "sadhus" to save the river Ganga.
 
“The film shows in detail why mining the river is so disastrous. It’s crazy that they are considering mining again; they still haven't even begun the environmental impact assessment which was promised to the saints in 2011. In fact, they've never done one, ever. It's criminal in fact.  It is clear that mining is destroying the river, and the powers that be are turning a blind eye to it, unfortunately it’s the next generation which will pay for their mistakes," Harney said.
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Swami Shivananda Saraswati, head of Matri Sadan in Haridwar, present at the screening said “There is a nexus of politicians, administration and sand mining contractors. Several islands have disappeared in front of our eyes in the last twelve years. Every time we sat on fast, mining stopped. But each time the mafia was influential in it starting up again. This will not stop us from raising our voice against mining in the state; we will not let the sacrifice of Swami Nigamanand Ji go in vain. We are extremely happy that this story has been filmed by Lisa who has spent two years with us extensively researching the facts of the story.”
 
At the screening, Devashish Bharuka, Secretary, Harvard Club of India said, “The documentary film was truly touching and an eye opener. There is much we need to do to save our waters and the environment. This is the least we can do for the generations to come.”
 
Ramkishore Parcha, President, Delhi International Film Festival said, “I  believe that Delhi International Film Festival is aimed at reaching out to the audiences with not just Indian cinema but take it to the next level by bringing in global filmmakers and their work to be showcased in India. The platform is to bring together the diaspora of films from across all genres and create awareness about the films made in India covering all subjects. Satyagraha is a documentary that touches many serious issues being faced in Uttarakhand and those fighting for a cause to protect the Ganges from being destroyed by the mining mafia. We believe the film deserves to be seen by large number of audiences to increase the awareness about such serious issues.”
 
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Sholay's Gabbar Singh's backstory explored in new comics, mobile shorts

Graphic India and Sholay Media and Entertainment have announced that, for the first time, fans of the epic film Sholay will now get to experience a new graphic novel interpretation of the backstory of one of Indian cinema's legendary villains, Gabbar Singh.
 
The comic book will imagine the legend of the infamous bandit, who has captivated audiences for more than three decades.
 
It journeys into his past and looks at the "tragic and twisted" story of revenge and redemption that turned an ordinary boy into India's most famous and feared villain.
 
A press release from Graphic India said the new graphic novel, titled "Gabbar", would be on sale in January across all major bookstores in India through its Indian publishing partner, Westland Tata.
 
In addition to the book, a motion comic episodic series of the same story will be released in English and Hindi exclusively across mobile devices, it said.
 
The release said that also included in the graphic novel is a series of “Sholay Shorts,” featuring all-new, original short stories based on characters from the movie including Thakur Baldev Singh, Soorma Bhopali, Sambha and more,  done in different artistic styles by creators across the country.
 
Graphic India recruited leading Indian artists and writers for the comics including, Saurav Mohapatra, Jeevan J. Kang, Edison George, Saumin Patel, Ashwin Pande and many more for the project.
 
Sascha Sippy, Chairman of Sholay Media and Entertainment said, “Gabbar Singh is without a doubt India’s most remembered cinematic character. The plans for Sholay moving forward in this space are immense! Our partnership with Graphic India has allowed some of India’s leading artists and writers the chance to reimagine the origins and characters of Sholay in new and exciting ways for comic books."
 
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“India’s greatest and most frequently quoted villain, Gabbar Singh, will finally have his own comic book,” Mr Sharad Devarajan, co-founder and CEO of Graphic India, said.
 
“Sholay is known and beloved by potentially hundreds of millions of people across the country and remains the quintessential film to define Bollywood cinema. We are thrilled to be working with Sholay Media and Entertainment to take these iconic characters into exciting new stories through comics and digital shorts for the first time," he said.
 
In addition to Gabbar, Graphic India is also releasing, “Sholay: The Graphic Novel,” which is the official graphic novel adaptation of the original film, retelling the epic story.
 
The novel tells the classic story of Thakur's quest for revenge against the bloodthirsty and maniacal "daaku", Gabbar Singh, and the bond of friendship between Jai and Veeru. 
 
Graphic India is a character entertainment company focused on creating leading characters, comics and stories through mobile and digital platforms.  Founded by media entrepreneurs Sharad Devarajan, Gotham Chopra and Suresh Seetharaman, it is owned by U.S. comic book company, Liquid Comics and CA Media LP, the Asian investment arm of The Chernin Group, LLC (TCG).
 
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Lukup Media, Warner Bros to create India’s first on-demand TV channel

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Lukup Media today announced a new partnership with Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, through which the studio’s newly released movies such as Gravity and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and a selection of many new releases, catalogue titles and popular TV series, will be offered to viewers via an on-demand TV channel powered by a new product called the Lukup Player. 
 
The Lukup Player delivers a combination of live and on-demand content on televisions and other devices people use to consume content, a press release from the company said.
 
The deal will see titles made available through the on-demand service from February 2014, as well as future new releases. Users will have access to more than 200 films and TV series from the Warner Bros. library, it said.
 
“We are very happy to partner Warner Bros. and bring a wide selection of popular and new movies and TV shows which will be available through India’s first on-demand TV channel. The channel will allow people to choose titles from their TV program guide, pay for them and view them at a time of their choice," Mr Kallol Borah, Chief Executive Officer, Lukup Media said.
 
Mr Chris Dyde, Senior Vice President, International Licensee Markets, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group said: “Providing consumers with more choices and improving the movie experience at home is at the heart of Warner Bros.' Digital strategy and we’re delighted to be working with Lukup Media, which will see a fantastic selection of both new and library movies offered to viewers in India."
 
The release said Lukup Media plans to launch the Lukup Player in February 2014 and it will carry multiple on-demand channels that it will deliver on TV in addition to the live TV channels carried by satellite and cable platforms.
 
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Lukup Media operates a multi-screen content platform for delivering a combination of live TV, video on demand, and interactive content on TV, home entertainment and mobile devices. The platform is based on the Lukup Player, a consumer product that people can use to search content from multiple sources, and select a screen to view it on or a device to stream content to.
 
Lukup Media partners content owners and aggregators and cable and satellite TV platforms to operate its hybrid TV and multi-screen content platform.
 
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SCM Sophia conference on theatre to feature book releases, postcards, performances

Jhelum Paranjape met a pickpocket in jail and tried to explain Animal Farm to her. Dolly Thakore’s son Quasar Padamsee’s baby sitters included Shabana Azmi and Javed Siddiqui. PG Wodehouse helped Shanta Gokhale fight cancer. Nadira Babbar swore that she would never get into theatre.
 
These are some of the nuggets that readers will find in the first book of a proposed series, Lives of the Women, edited by award-wnning author Jerry Pinto.
 
The book will be released at the inauguration of a two-day conference on theatre in Mumbai titled Many Cities, Many Masks on the morning of January 10.
 
Titled On Stage/ Off Stage, this book features four in-depth essays on the professional lives of  eminent women from Mumbai’s stage such as Shanta Gokhale, Dolly Thakore, Nadira Babbar and Jhelum Paranjape. 
 
The post-graduate students of Sophia Institute of Social Communications Media (SCMSophia) here have researched and written this book.
 
The two-day conference, being organised collaboratively by the Sophia College for Women and SCMSophia, is part of a series of Mumbai seminars organised at Sophia College for the last five years. The conference will feature academic papers and presentations by practitioners and panel discussions.
Nadira Babbar
Nadira Babbar
 
Additionally, a commemorative postcard set, Green Room: Mumbai's Theatre Makers, featuring photographs  taken by SCMSophia students of  personalities from English, Hindi, Marathi, and Gujarati  theatre in Mumbai, including Anahita Uberoi, Shernaz Patel, Rita Rose, Annapurna Shukla, Aditi Desai, Vandana Gupte, Kavita Lad Medhekar, Rasika Dugal, Shanta Gokhale, Nadira Babbar and Dolly Thakore, will be released on the occasion
 
The postcards also feature insights in the form of quotes from all these personalities.
 
“After the third bell the cast waits in the wings.  At this time, you realise more than ever how crucial you are to each other.   In the silence you acknowledge each other's talent, strengths and weaknesses and together step into the collective performance zone... to create the collective illusion that we call theatre,” says Uberoi.
 
”The theatre is a space where I submit to the will of my audience,to the vision of the director and to my own vanity,” says Dugal.
 
The conference will also see the release of Mumbai—Socio-Cultural Perspectives—The Contribution of Ethnic Groups and Communities, a collection of papers presented at a previous conference at Sophia College.
 
Shernaz Patel
Shernaz Patel
More informally, students of SCMSophia and Sophia College will also be presenting short performances during the breaks, adding to the festive atmosphere.  These include a street play on Freud, bhavai (on Marx), lavni (on Galileo) and qawwali (on Darwin) during the breaks, a press release from the organisers added.
 
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Mahindra Blues Festival to be held in Mumbai on Feb 15-16

Jimmie Vaughan
Jimmie Vaughan
The fourth edition of the Mahindra Blues Festival, the largest such event in Asia and featuring an ensemble of acclaimed international and Indian artistes, will be held at the iconic Mehboob Studies in the seaside suburb of Bandra here on February 15-16.
 
Music lovers will have the chance to listen to a star-studded line-up at the festival, including Grammy Award-winning Jimmie Vaughan, the Grammy Award-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band with special guest Doyle Bramhall II, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials, Zac Harmon and India’s own bands, Soulmate and Blackstratblues.
 
Austin, Texas-based Vaughan is a four-time Grammy Award winner and the older brother of the legendary Stevie Vaughan. He has made his mark in the Blues world, winning the 2001 Grammy Award in the Traditional Blues Album category for his album, “Do You Get the Blues?” He has performed at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in the USA, which has seen the likes of B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and other legends.
 
The remarkable Tedeschi Trucks Band will be a major highlight at the festival this year. Band leaders, and husband and wife, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi gave up their solo bands to form the ten-member Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2010.
 
Though Trucks and Dtedeschi recorded their debut album only in 2011, they have taken the Blues world by storm, winning for Best Blues Album at the Grammy Awards 2012 and successfully touring around the world. 
 
A busy bunch, they also released their second album, “Made Up Mind,” just this summer. This band is probably one of the hottest current acts to tour the country, a big ‘watchout’ for the Mahindra Blues Festival fan base. 
 
At Mahindra Blues Festival, Tedeschi Trucks band will be joined by special guest Doyle Bramhall II, another talented musician from a Blues family, as the son of the late Doyle Bramhall. A multi-talented performer and producer, Doyle Bramhall II recently co-produced and toured the world with Eric Clapton in 2013, and produced American singer Sheryl Crow’s 2010 album, “100 Miles from Memphis.” 
 
Blues lovers also cannot miss Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials band. A Chicago native and a veteran of the Chicago Blues, Lil’ Ed will serve up a dose of the songs of his native city, painting the diversity of the Blues genre today.
 
Adding to this picture will be Mississippi-born and bred Zac Harmon, a multi-disciplinary giant who has written and produced songs for reggae group Black Uhuru and Rhythm and Blues singer Alexander O’Neal. This Mississippi musician gives a taste of his home state’s Blues style in a famous CD recording of his performance at Los Angeles’ Babe and Ricky’s Inn Blues club. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the prestigious Blues Foundation.
 
Meghalaya-based band, Soulmate, one of India's best-known Blues rock bands, consists primarly of singers and guitarists Rudy Wallang and Tipriti Kharbangar. Formed in 2003, the band has toured music festivals and played concerts around the world, including at the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the International Jazzmandu Festival in Kathmandu. They also opened for famed guitarist Carlos Santana at the Formula One Rocks in Delhi. 
 
Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi of the Grammy Award-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band, who will perform at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai on February 15-16, 2014.
Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi of the Grammy Award-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band, who will perform at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai on February 15-16, 2014.
This year Soulmate adds a touch of ‘new’ into their mix, adding to a line-up of traditional and folk musicians. They will also launch their new album here at the festival. 
 
Blackstratblues, the solo Blues project of Mumbai-born Warren Mendonsa, will be the other Indian act in the event. Mendonsa, arguably one of the finest guitarists in the country, has released two solo albums, “Nights in Shining Karma” in 2007 and “The New Album” in 2009, and comes prepared to wow the crowds with the soul-stirring sounds of his finely tuned axe.
 
Jay Shah, Head – Cultural Outreach, Mahindra Group said “The response Mumbai has given to the Mahindra Blues Festival is indeed heartening. Each year, the iconic spaces at the Mehboob Studios reverberate with the Blues and provide an immersive experience to the participant. The festival offers equal access both to a diverse audience as well as blues bands from India and abroad. The impact of this festival is felt far and wide – as far as the Mississippi Delta in the United States where our tractor customers feel proud of their cultural heritage being appreciated and celebrated in a land far away”. 
 
In 2013, the sold-out Mahindra Blues Festival treated over 3500 fans to international musicians like Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Popa Chubby, the Dana Fuchs band, and Indian Blues group, Big Bang Blues. 
 
Since its start in 2011, the Mahindra Blues Festival has played a major role in promoting Blues as a music genre to Indian audiences.
 
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Eminent Gujarati poet Chinu Modi chosen for Sahitya Akademi award

Chinu Modi
Chinu Modi
Well-known Gujarati poet Chinu Modi has been chosen for the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award for 2013 for his book of poetry, Khara Zaran.
 
A press release from the Sahitya Akademi, the National Academy of Letters, said the book was selected on the basis of the recommendations of a three-member jury consisting of Ms Dhiruben G Patel, Dr Pravin Shanilal Darji and Mr Raman Kantilal Soni.
 
The award relates to books first published between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2011.
 
Mr Modi and other Sahitya Akademi Award winners in 23 languages announced on December 18 will be presented the award at a function here on March 11 during the Festival of Letters organised by the Akademi.
 
The award is the form of a casket containing an engraved copper plaque, a shaw and a cheque for Rs 100,000.
 
Mr Modi, 74, is a pioneering poet and also an acclaimed playwright, critic and fiction writer. His works have been translated into English, Hindi and other Indian languages and his plays have been staged around the world.
 
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Three-week cultural festival "Utsavam" opens in Kerala

"Utsavam", a three-week cultural festival during which events will be staged at 60 venues in all 14 districts of Kerala, began here yesterday, coinciding with the peak tourism season in the state when there is a flood of domestic and foreign tourists.
 
Utsavam (which means festival in Malayalam), which was launched as an annual event in 2007 to promote traditional performing art forms of the state, will run up to January 19.
 
“’Utsavam’ is an event on a grand scale aimed to sustain and popularize the traditional art forms of Kerala, some of which are on the verge of decline,” said Kerala Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar.
 
“The festival is for the people of Kerala and our guests from outside the state and country,” he said after inaugurating the event on December 26 at the picturesque Bekal Fort in Kasargode. 
 
The inaugural day of ‘Utsavam’ saw the performance of  ‘Rhythm of Kerala’, a dance medley based on tribal, classical and folk arts by seasoned artistes.
 
The first edition of ‘Utsavam’, held from December 2007 to March 2008, drew enthusiastic response from domestic and international travelers, marking a phenomenal debut. ‘Utsavam’ 2007 fetched Kerala Tourism the prestigious Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Award in the heritage and culture category in 2008.
 
“This carefully planned event is also about taking the destination of Kerala to a higher level, so as to give an aesthetic experience to the visitors, appealing to their intellectual sensibilities,” said Kerala Tourism Secretary Suman Billa.
 
“It is yet another occasion for the local people, travelers and art lovers to be part of an exciting cultural treat of this magnitude,” said Kerala Tourism Director S Harikishore.
 
The programmes of ‘Utsavam’ are staged in different venues spread across all the 14 districts of the state to include the entire population of Kerala. More than 80 art forms will be staged and there will be 280 performances across the districts on all Saturdays and Sundays at 6 pm.
 
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Javed Akhtar, Mridula Garg, Subodh Sarkar among Sahitya Akademi Award winners

Javed Akhtar
Javed Akhtar
Well-known Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar, Hindi novelist Mridula Garg and Bengali poet Subodh Sarkar are among those chosen for the Sahitya Akademi Awards for 2013.
 
In all, eight books of poetry, four of essays, three novels, two collections of short stories and two travelogues were selected for the coveted awards, a press release from the Akademi said here today.
 
The Awards were approved by a meeting of the executive board of the Akademi which met here today under the chairmanship of Dr Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, its president.
 
Dr Tiwari said the awards for Assamese and Gujarati languages would be announced later.
 
Akhtar got the award in Urdu for "Lava", a collection of 55 poems, while Garg won it for her novel "Miljul Man". Sarkar was chosen for the award for "Dwaipayan Hrader Dhare ".
 
Other poets honoured with the award are Anil Boro (Bodo), Sitaram Sapolia (Dogri), Ambika Dutt (Rajasthani), Radhakant Thakur (Sanskrit), Arjun Charan Hembram (Santali) and Namdev Tarachandani (Sindhi).
 
Novelists chosen for the award included Manmohan (Punjabi) and R.N. Joe D’ Cruz (Tamil).
 
C.N. Ramachandran (Kannada), Tukaram Rama Shet (Konkani), Satish Kalasekar (Marathi), and Katyayani Vidmahe (Telugu) have got the award for their collections of essays.
 
Temsula Ao (English) and Mohi-ud- Din Reshi (Kashmiri) were selected for the award for their collections of short stories.
 
Makhonmani Mongsaba (Manipuri) and Man Bahadur Pradhan (Nepali)
have got the award for their travelogues. 
 
M.N. Paloor (Malayalam) has been honoured for his autobiography, Sureshwar Jha (Maithili) for his memoirs and Bijoy Misra (Odia) for his play.
 
The books were selected on the basis of recommendations made by a jury of three members in the concerned languages.
 
The awards relate to books first published during the three years immediately preceding the year of award (between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2011).
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The award in the form of a casket containing an engraved copper plaque, a shawl and a cheque of Rs 1,00,000 will be presented to the authors of these books at a special function to be held on March 11 here during the Festival of Letters organized by Sahitya Akademi.
 
The following is the list of winners:
 
Bengali: Dwaipayan Hrader Dhare (Poetry), Subodh Sarkar 
Bodo: Delphini Onthai Mwdai Arw Gubun Gubun Khonthai (Poetry), Anil Boro 
Dogri: Doha Satsai (Poetry), Sitaram Sapolia 
English: Laburnum For My Head (Short Stories), Temsula Ao 
Hindi: Miljul Man (Novel), Mridula Garg 
Kannada: Akyana-Vyakyana (Essays), C.N. Ramachandran 
Kashmiri: Aina Aatash (Short Stories), Mohi-ud-Din Reshi 
Konkani: Manmotayam (Essays), Tukaram Rama Shet 
Maithili: Sangharsh Aa Sehanta (Memoirs), Sureshwar Jha 
Malayalam: Kathayillathavante Katha (Autobiography): M.N. Paloor 
Manipuri: Chinglon Amadagi Amada (Travelogue), Makhonmani Mongsaba 
Marathi: Vachanaryachi Rojanishee (Essays), Satish Kalasekar 
Nepali: Manka Lahar Ra Raharharu (Travelogue), Man Bahadur Pradhan 
Odia: Banaprastha (Play), Bijoy Misra 
Punjabi: Nirvaan (Novel), Manmohan 
Rajasthani: Aanthyoi Nahi Din Hal (Poetry), Ambika Dutt 
Sanskrit: Chaladuravani (Poetry), Radhakant Thakur 
Santali: Chanda Bonga (Poetry), Arjun Charan Hembram 
Sindhi: Mansh-Nagari (Poetry), Namdev Tarachandani 
Tamil: Korkai (Novel), R.N. Joe D’ Cruz 
Telugu: Sahityaakashmlo Sagam (Essays), Katyayani Vidmahe 
Urdu: Lava (Poetry), Javed Akhtar 
 
Note: Assamese & Gujarati Awards will be declared later 
 
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Actor Hrithik Roshan says he and wife Sussanne have decided to separate

Hrithik Roshan and wife Sussanne part ways
Popular Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan today said that he and his wife Sussanne had decided to separate and end their 17-year relationship.
 
"Sussanne has decided to separate from me and end our 17-year relationship. This is a very trying time for the entire family and I request the media and the people to grant us our privacy at this time," Hrithik said in a statement issued this evening.
 
"I do not wish this news to disempower my fans and the people about the institution of marriage in any way. I am a firm believer in this institution and respect and honour it at the highest level. 
 
"I thank my fans for all the concern and prayers for my health. My treatment is going fine. I should be able to resume my life in every way very soon," he added.
 
Hrithik, the son of actor-filmmaker Rakesh Roshan, had married Sussanne, the daughter of well-known actor and filmmaker Sanjay Khan, in 2000. They have two sons.
 
The statement confirmed what had been speculated in the media for the past few months. The speculation intensified after Sussanne made a very brief appearance at Rakesh Roshan's birthday party some months ago and left after posing for a few pictures.
 
The couple had not been seen together for some time and were rumoured to be living separately for the past few months.
 
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Second edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale to open on December 12, 2014

Artist Namboodiri declaring the date of the 2014 edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale at a function held in Pepper House at Fort Kochi on December 12, 2013.
Artist Namboodiri declaring the date of the 2014 edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale at a function held in Pepper House at Fort Kochi on December 12, 2013.
The second edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, a pioneering new-art show, will be held here from December 12, 2014.
 
Well--known artist Namboodiri announced the dates for the event at a function held at Pepper House in Fort Kochi here this evening.
 
The inaugural edition of the epoch-making art carnival had opened at the culturally-rich Fort Kochi on December 12 last year.
 
Mr. Jitish Kallat, Artistic Director and curator of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014, inaugurated the ‘Pepper House Residency’ programme on the occasion. The Residency, which is being conducted in collaboration with Pepper House, is part of the preparations towards the 2014 edition of the international platform for contemporary art.
 
Mr Dominic Presentation, an MLA, presided over the function. Kochi Corporation councillors K. J. Sohan and Antony Kureethra; and Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) trustees including Bose Krishnamachari, Hormis Tharakan and Bonnie Thomas were present at the announcement.
 
The function began with a musical performance on harmonium by Bhasha Bhai.
 
Kochi Biennale Foundation representatives said the Pepper House Art Residency programme will invite artists from all artistic disciplines to live, work, and collaborate during their preferred time of working at Pepper House studio.
 
The Residency aims to create a dialogue between locals, artists and institutions, offering them an opportunity to establish relationships in the local community while also serving as a platform to explore their creative potentials.
 
The residency opens with three artists chosen by the KBF -  Avantika Bawa, an Indian artist, academic and curator who is settled in the US, German photographer Anja Bohnhof, who is supported by the Goethe Institute and Keralite painter Leon K.L.
 
Pepper House will also house artist Bose Krishnamachari’s travelling installation, Laboratory of Visual Arts (LaVA) – a curated collection of over 5,000 books and 1, 800 DVDs on visual arts. The library is free and open to all.
 
The inaugural edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale had showcased works by 89 artists from 23 countries. It saw revelry of different media, including painting, sculpture, installation, film, digital media and performing arts, at sites in Kochi and the Muziris region. Nearly 400,000 people visited the 96-day show.
 
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Ravi Shankar nominated posthumously for Grammy Award

Pandit Ravi Shankar
Pandit Ravi Shankar
Legendary Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, who died in December last year at the age of 93, has received a posthumous nomination in the 56th Annual Grammy Awards for his album, "The Living Room Sessions Part 2".
 
Ravi Shankar, who has been nominated in the World Music Category, had won the grammy for the Best World Music Album for The Living Room Sessions Part 1 in 2012.
 
A day after his death, the composer had been chosen by the Recording Academy, which awards the Grammies, for its Lifetime Achievement Award.
 
The academy has been celebrating music through its Grammy awards for more than 50 years, which are the only peer-presented award to honour artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position.
 
The other nominations in the World Music category are Savor Flamenco by Gipsy Kings, No Place For My Dream by Femi Kuti and Live: Singing For Peace Around The World by Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
 
The nominations for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, announced on Friday night in Los Angeles by the Recording Academy, reflected one of the most diverse years with the Album Of The Year category alone representing the rap, pop, country and dance/electronica genres, as determined by the voting members of The Academy. 
 
The 56th Annual Grammy Awards will be held on January 26, 2014 at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.
 
Jay Z tops the nominations with nine; Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Justin Timberlake, and Pharrell Williams each garner seven nods; Drake and mastering engineer Bob Ludwig are up for five awards.
 
"This year's nominations reflect the talented community of music makers who represent some of the highest levels of excellence and artistry of the year in their respective fields," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy.
 
"Once again, The Academy's awards process and its voting membership have produced an impressive list of nominations across various genres promising music fans a spectacular show filled with stellar performances and unique 'GRAMMY Moments.' We are off to a great start and look forward to GRAMMY Sunday as Music's Biggest Night takes the stage."
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Following is a sampling of nominations in 82 categories from the Grammy Awards' 30 Fields:
 
GENERAL FIELD
 
Album Of The Year:
The Blessed Unrest — Sara Bareilles
Random Access Memories — Daft Punk
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City — Kendrick Lamar
The Heist — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Red — Taylor Swift
 
Record Of The Year:
"Get Lucky" — Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
"Radioactive" — Imagine Dragons
"Royals" — Lorde
"Locked Out Of Heaven" — Bruno Mars
"Blurred Lines" — Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams
 
Song Of The Year:
"Just Give Me A Reason" — Jeff Bhasker, Pink & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Pink Featuring Nate Ruess)
"Locked Out Of Heaven" — Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine & Bruno Mars, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
"Roar" — Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry & Henry Walter, songwriters (Katy Perry)
"Royals" — Joel Little & Ella Yelich O'Connor, songwriters (Lorde)
"Same Love" — Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert & Ryan Lewis, songwriters (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring
Mary Lambert)
 
Best New Artist:
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran
 
POP FIELD
 
Best Pop Solo Performance:
"Brave" — Sara Bareilles 
"Royals" — Lorde 
"When I Was Your Man" — Bruno Mars 
"Roar" — Katy Perry
"Mirrors" — Justin Timberlake
 
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
"Get Lucky" — Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
"Just Give Me A Reason" — Pink Featuring Nate Ruess
"Stay" — Rihanna Featuring Mikky Ekko
"Blurred Lines" — Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams 
"Suit & Tie" — Justin Timberlake & Jay Z 
 
DANCE FIELD
 
Best Dance/Electronica Album:
Random Access Memories — Daft Punk
Settle — Disclosure
18 Months — Calvin Harris
Atmosphere — Kaskade
A Color Map Of The Sun — Pretty Lights
 
ROCK FIELD
 
Best Rock Performance:
"Always Alright" — Alabama Shakes
"The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" — David Bowie
"Radioactive" — Imagine Dragons
"Kashmir" (Live) — Led Zeppelin
"My God Is The Sun" — Queens Of The Stone Age
"I'm Shakin'" — Jack White
 
Best Rock Album:
13 — Black Sabbath
The Next Day — David Bowie
Mechanical Bull — Kings Of Leon
Celebration Day — Led Zeppelin
…Like Clockwork — Queens Of The Stone Age
Psychedelic Pill — Neil Young With Crazy Horse
 
ALTERNATIVE FIELD
 
Best Alternative Music Album:
The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You — Neko Case
Trouble Will Find Me — The National
Hesitation Marks — Nine Inch Nails
Lonerism — Tame Impala
Modern Vampires Of The City — Vampire Weekend
 
R&B FIELD
 
Best R&B Performance:
"Love And War" — Tamar Braxton
"Best Of Me" — Anthony Hamilton
"Nakamarra" — Hiatus Kaiyote Featuring Q-Tip
"How Many Drinks?" — Miguel Featuring Kendrick Lamar
"Something" — Snarky Puppy With Lalah Hathaway
 
Best Urban Contemporary Album:
Love And War — Tamar Braxton
Side Effects Of You — Fantasia
One: In The Chamber — Salaam Remi
Unapologetic — Rihanna
New York: A Love Story — Mack Wilds
 
Best R&B Album:
R&B Divas — Faith Evans
Girl On Fire — Alicia Keys
Love In The Future — John Legend
Better — Chrisette Michele
Three Kings — TGT
 
RAP FIELD
 
Best Rap Performance:
"Started From The Bottom" — Drake
"Berzerk" — Eminem
"Tom Ford" —  Jay Z
"Swimming Pools (Drank)" — Kendrick Lamar
"Thrift Shop" — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz
 
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration:
"Power Trip" — J.Cole Featuring Miguel
"Part II (On The Run)" — Jay Z Featuring Beyoncé
"Holy Grail" — Jay Z Featuring Justin Timberlake   
"Now Or Never" — Kendrick Lamar Featuring Mary J. Blige
"Remember You" — Wiz Khalifa Featuring The Weeknd
 
Best Rap Album:
Nothing Was The Same — Drake
Magna Carta…Holy Grail — Jay Z
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City — Kendrick Lamar
The Heist — Macklemore  & Ryan Lewis
Yeezus — Kanye West
 
COUNTRY FIELD
 
Best Country Solo Performance:
"I Drive Your Truck" — Lee Brice
"I Want Crazy" — Hunter Hayes           
"Mama's Broken Heart" — Miranda Lambert
"Wagon Wheel" — Darius Rucker
"Mine Would Be You" — Blake Shelton
 
Best Country Album:
Night Train — Jason Aldean
Two Lanes Of Freedom — Tim McGraw
Same Trailer Different Park — Kacey Musgraves
Based On A True Story — Blake Shelton
Red — Taylor Swift
 
JAZZ FIELD 
 
Best Jazz Instrumental Album:
Guided Tour — The New Gary Burton Quartet
Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue — Terri Lyne Carrington
Life Forum — Gerald Clayton
Pushing The World Away — Kenny Garrett
Out Here — Christian McBride Trio
 
GOSPEL/CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC FIELD 
 
Best Gospel Album:
Grace (Live) — Tasha Cobbs
Best For Last: 20 Year Celebration Vol. 1 — Donald Lawrence
Best Days Yet — Bishop Paul S. Morton
God Chaser (Live) — William Murphy
Greater Than (Live) — Tye Tribbett
 
LATIN FIELD
 
Best Tropical Latin Album:
3.0 — Marc Anthony
Como Te Voy A Olvidar — Los Angeles Azules
Pacific Mambo Orchestra — Pacific Mambo Orchestra
Sergio George Presents Salsa Giants — Various Artists
Corazón Profundo — Carlos Vives
 
AMERICAN ROOTS FIELD 
 
Best Americana Album:
Old Yellow Moon — Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
Love Has Come For You — Steve Martin & Edie Brickell
Buddy And Jim — Buddy Miller And Jim Lauderdale
One True Vine — Mavis Staples
Songbook — Allen Toussaint
 
COMEDY FIELD
 
Best Comedy Album:
Calm Down Gurrl — Kathy Griffin
I'm Here To Help — Craig Ferguson
A Little Unprofessional — Ron White
Live — Tig Notaro
That's What I'm Talkin' About — Bob Saget
 
This year's Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical nominations go to Rob Cavallo, Dr. Luke, Ariel Rechtshaid, Jeff Tweedy, and Pharrell Williams.
 
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Books by Jerry Pinto, Janice Pariat, Ravi Subramanian win Crossword Awards 2013

Ravi Subramanian
Ravi Subramanian
“Em and The Big Hoom" by Jerry Pinto (Aleph) and “Boats on Land" by Janice Pariat (Random House)” have jointly won the Crossword Book Award 2013 in the Indian Fiction category.
 
In a function at the Mehboob Studios here  yesterday, “The Bankster" by Ravi Subramanian (Rupa Publications)” won the Popular Award.
 
“Righteous Republic" by Ananya Vajpeyi (Harvard Business Press)” and “From the Ruins of Empire" by Pankaj Mishra (Penguin)” jointly won the award for Indian Non-Fiction
 
“Wisha Wozzariter" by Payal Kapadia (Penguin)” and “Book Uncle and Me" by Uma Krishnaswami (Scholastic)” were jointly given the award in the Children’s category
 
“A Life in Words" by Ismat Chughtai, translated by Dr M Asaduddin (Penguin) has won the award in the Indian Language Translation category.
 
The awards this year were presented by Arrow in association with Principal Retirement Advisors. It was hosted by Suchitra Pillai and the evening included a memorable performance by percussionist Taufiq Qureshi.
 
At 552, it was the highest number of entries received in the history of the Book Award. The entire judging process took more than six months, which included shortlisting the books.
 
Shortlisted authors Rahul Pandita, S Hussain Zaidi, Rashmi Bansal, Ravi Subramanian, Arunava Sinha, Jerry Pinto, Janice Pariat, Anand Neelkantan, Anuja Chauhan, Ashwin Sanghi, Ananya Vajpeyi, Anushka Ravishankar, Himanjali Sankar, Payal Kapadia, Ranjit Lal, Dr M Asaduddin, Anchita Ghatak, Rabisankar Bal were present at the event.
 
This year The Crossword Book Award 2013 followed the financial year module and considered entries published in India from 1st January 2012 to 31st March 2013. 
 
For the next year, entries from April 2013 to March 2014 will be considered eligible, a press release from Crossword added.
 
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Chenda maestro Kuttan Marar's biography released

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For Kerala’s 1500-year-old classical drum concert traditions, it was a red letter day today when the first ever biography of a "chenda melam" maestro was released, lending buffs a peek sneak at lesser-known facts and anecdotes related to him and his art besides the state's socio-ethnic history of the 20th century.
 
Melapperukkam, the life story of Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, was brought out on the occasion of the 60th birthday of the renowned drummer amid the ongoing festival at the Poornathrayeesa temple where he has been taking part in the panchari and pandi melam concerts since 1976.
 
Renowned chenda exponent Mattannoor Sankarankutty Marar released the 124-page book brought out by the Rajeev Varma Memorial Trust. The first copy was handed over to young musician Sreevalsan J Menon.
 
The biography, penned by Delhi-based journalist Sreevalsan Thiyyadi, also features an article on Kerala’s classical drum concerts by Pallathery Nambiathan Namboothiri, besides Kuttan Marar’s memoir about chenda artiste Rajeev Varma who died in January 2012, aged 50. 
 
At the function chaired by Tripunithura municipal chairman R Venugopal, Kuttan Marar recalled his nearly four-decade-old ties with this temple town. 
 
“Tripunithura has been special for me as an artiste. It has also enriched my friends’ circle,” he said.
 
Veteran artist Nambudiri has sketched images of the protagonist in the book, the foreword of which is by senior editor K C Narayanan.
 
Chief organiser M M Poulose spoke on the highlights of Melapperukkam. Kathakali artiste FACT Padmanabhan welcomed the gathering, while R V Vasudevan of the Trust proposed thanks.
 
Earlier, Kuttan Marar was received at the venue, Kalikkota Palace, after a brief procession where the artiste was accompanied by cultural leaders to the background of a percussion concert of traditional Kerala instruments.
 
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"Beatriz’s War" from East Timor bags Golden Peacock at IFFI 2013

Goa Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo presenting the Golden Peacock award for best film to 'Beatriz's War' directed by Luigi Acqisto and Bety Reis, at the closing ceremony of the 44th International Film Festival of India, in Panaji on November 30, 2013.
Goa Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo presenting the Golden Peacock award for best film to 'Beatriz's War' directed by Luigi Acqisto and Bety Reis, at the closing ceremony of the 44th International Film Festival of India, in Panaji on November 30, 2013.
"Beatriz's War" from East Timor bagged the Goldean Peacock for the Best Film at the 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) which drew to a close here yesterday evening.
 
The film, directed by Bety Reis and Luigi Acquisto, is the passionate story of one woman’s conviction to remain true to the man she loves. 
 
The award carries a Golden Peacock, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 40 lakh. 
 
Indian director Kaushik Ganguli bagged the award for Best Director for his Bengali film Apur Panchali. The award carries a Silver Peacock, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 15 lakh. 
 
The Special Jury Award went to Turkish film Thou Gild’st The Even, directed by Onur Unlu. The award carries a Silver Peacock, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 15 lakh. 
 
Alon Moni Aboutboul won the Best Actor (Male) award  for his performance in Israeli movie A Place in Heaven. The award carries a Silver Peacock, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh. 
 
The Best Actor (Female) award was presented to Boczarska Magdalena for her role in Polish film In Hiding. The award carries a Silver Peacock, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh. 
 
The Special Centenary Award was given to Bengali film Meghe Dhaka Tara, directed by Kamaleshwar Mukherjee. The award carries a Silver Peacock, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh. 
 
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Justin Chadwick’s film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom was the closing film of the festival. The film is based on anti-apartheid revolutionary and former South African President Nelson Mandela’s autobiographic book, Long Walk to Freedom. The film chronicles his life from his childhood in a rural village to his emergence as the first democratically elected President of South Africa. 
 
Goa Governor Bharat Veer Wanchoo, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Manish Tewari, film personalities Asha Parekh, Rohit Shetty, Jimmy Shergil and Deepshika were amongst tose present at the closing ceremony. Hollywood actress Michelle Yeoh was the chief guest.
 
The ceremony opened with a performance by renowned Indian rock fusion artiste and film playback singer Remo Fernandes from Goa. 
 
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National Musum to host Ranjit Makkuni's multimedia exhibition on music

The National Museum here will host an exhibition titled "Musical Landscapes & The Goddess of Music: Recent Advances in Interactive Art" mounted by multimedia artist and designer Ranjit Makkuni from today until January 16.
 
Bridging technology and culture, the multimedia interactive exhibition seeks to unravel the mystique of music by exploring its scientific, artistic and spiritual dimensions and its reflections in the goddess images across Asian cultures.   
 
The exhibition will be inaugurated by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) President Karan Singh. 
 
“The exhibition presents advances in interactive art through an exploration of the science, art and spirituality of music, and its reflections in the goddess images across Asian cultures. It provides viewers an opportunity to enter into the world of Asian music through electronic installations, digital images and recordings of performances by maestros,” Mr. Makkuni, who describes himself as a ‘tactile, interactive and computing designer’, said.
 
“Music is essential to the ritual of temples, whether the altar bell, chants or prayers of spiritual seekers or as a sacred precinct for performance. In South and Southeast Asia, the temple may be seen as a buzzing musical instrument,” the artist, an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur and University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), said.
 
A press release from the museum said the exhibition would present both traditional and new instruments based on Indian Sitar, Burmese Saung Harp, Thai Xylophone, Korean Kayagum, Chinese Guzheng and Pipa, Vietnamese Dan Tranh, and Javanese & Balinese Gamelan, among others.
 
"New instruments with embedded computation demonstrate interactions through gesture, touch, pull, movement and gaze. In addition, through responsive computing, people by their position, gesture and movements control musical events in the exhibition environment. For instance, there is a sculpture, Abstract Woman. Embedded in the waist of the sculpture is a representation of Sri Yantra, which, upon touch, plays back the 1000 names of Goddess Lalita," it said.
 
“People spend so much time interacting with the dull computer, but we are trying to create a richer experience so that modern society still has culture in its life. By putting culture back onto your desktop, you get to interact with beautiful objects, and that helps you remember your inner God,” said Mr Makkuni, whose works have been displayed at leading museums and won top international awards for promoting culture, peace and environmental protection.
 
"The project demonstrates a perfect synthesis of technology and culture, of modern and traditional, of celestial and mundane, of physical and virtual. Itshows that it is possible to develop culture-friendly technologies and how technology can become a vehicle for preserving cultural identity, not replacing it.," the release said.
 
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“The exhibition is exquisite and enthralling. It shows a convergence of culture and computing in a very innovative manner,” said Dr Venu V, Director General, National Museum. “It is a fabulous show of art and culture as well as a research exploration into Asian musical traditions and ancient instruments through modern computing methods.”
 
The exhibition comprises several sections, showing Goddesses of Music and their Iconic Transformations; forms and sculptures suggestive of the scientific and mythological imagery of sound; and the compassionate Goddesses who listen to people’s prayers. There are sections on Goddess Sarasvati, the goddess of wisdom and music; Kinayi, the Angels of Music, from Burma; and The Compassionate figure of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara from Japan.  There is also a section on Breath, Voice and Healing, which explores the healing properties of singing and its relationship to breath.
 
As the director of New Delhi-based e design think tank, the Sacred World Research Laboratory, Mr. Makkuni is engaged in pioneering new applications in culturally rooted computing design.   
 
“I try to explore innovative ways of building bridges between techno and traditional cultures. I believe engagement with culture is a valuable process to spark off technological innovation. My works show that the wisdom of traditional communities can positively negate the homogenizing aesthetics of modern media technology and help inspire new forms of indigenous information access devices,” he said.
 
"Overall, the project presents a compelling vision for indigenous design, the redesign of new economies centred on Innovation, Well Being and Compassion," he added.
 
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