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World’s first silver museum opens at City Palace Complex, Udaipur

A haudah, one of the exhibits at the newly-opened Silver Museum at Udaipur in Rajasthan.
A haudah, one of the exhibits at the newly-opened Silver Museum at Udaipur in Rajasthan.

Mr Arvind Singh Mewar, head of the erstwhile ruling Mewar dynasty of Udaipur, has unveiled a silver museum, said to be the first of its kind of the world, filled with family heirlooms dating back to 743 AD.

Mr Mewar is the Chairman & Managing Trustee of Maharana of the Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF) and 76th Custodian of the House of Mewar.
 
The opening of the museum coincided with the MMCF’s annual award ceremony in recognition of international and national scholars for their work of permanent value to society.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Mewar dwelt upon the personal value of some of the exhibits, including the 1939 custom-made buggy, which formed part of his late mother’s dowry, and the wedding mandap where he gave away his daughter two years ago.
 
The museum is housed in the renowned Amar Mahal, which is located at the entrance of Zenana Mahal and said to be the inspiration for the Taj Mahal in Agra. It includes pieces ranging from objects used in rituals such as Ram Rewaris (portable shrine for religious deity), traditional royal transport like the haudah used for mounting elephants in religious, state and military processions.
 
Royal buggies and palanquins are also part of the exhibition. The works on display illustrate the result of the longstanding historical relationships between the House of Mewar and both the Rajput courts and the Mughal establishment, as well as showcasing indigenous artisan techniques.
 
The current modernization and renovation of the Zenana Mahal at the City Palace Museum is being undertaken with financial assistance from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India,  under the scheme 'Setting Up, Promotion & Strengthening of Regional & Local Museums'.
 
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3rd Delhi International Jazz Festival to be held from March 15-17

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The 3rd Delhi International Jazz Festival, organized by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and  featuring 12 bands from 10 countries , will be held at Nehru Park here from March 15-17.

Entry to the festival, conceived by ICCR in 2011 as a "tool of cultural contact" spanning Asia, Africa, North America and Europe, will be free, an ICCR press release said.
 
"Every major city such as Montreal, London, Stockholm and Edinburgh has a world class Jazz Festival that is not just named after the city but almost defines its cultural ethos. With a truly International Jazz Festival we intend to include Delhi in this list and make it a truly world class city," ICCR Director General Suresh K Goel said.
 
"For the lovers of music in Delhi, this three-day unique festival would be a treat of great music from around the world in the serene environs of the Nehru Park," he said.
 
"It has become an annual feature on the ICCR's calendar. Having lived abroad for a long time, I have realized that our musical reactions are not limited to classical traditions. We look at things with interest. We take a great deal of interest in their genres of music like rock, pop, jazz and blues. Even A.R. Rahman's music has been influenced by jazz. Not only older people, even younger people in India are listening to jazz. I thought a Jazz Music Festival would generate interest in India. It is a kind of free-wheeling music that represents freedom," Dr Goel said.
 
Some of the bands which will perform at the festival will later travel to other venues in India. The festival will also be webcast live on all three days.
 
Those slated to perform on March 15 include New Bone Quintet (Poland), Lindi & Mimi (South Africa), Sylvie Bourban (Switzerland) and Oscar Acevedo Quartet (Colombia).
 
Sachal Vasandanti (US), Radha Thomas (India), Ararat (Israel) and Oleg Butmen Jazz Trio are scheduled to perform on March 16.
 
Performers on March 17 include Toshanbar (India), Jorge Pardo (Spain), Dhruv (India) and Imany (France), the release said.
 
Of these, New Bone Quintet will perform at Jammu on March 17, Lindi and Mimi in Chennai under the Festival of South Africa, Oscar Acevedo Quartet in Kolkata on March 17, Ararat in Bangalore on March 18, Jorge Pardo at the Jaipur Art Festival on March 19 and Imany in Mumbai on March 19, it added.
 
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Yesudas takes trip down memory lane during visit to Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Renowed singer K J Yesudas at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kochi on March 5, 2013
Renowed singer K J Yesudas at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kochi on March 5, 2013
For septuagenarian singer K J Yesudas, a visit to the Kochi-Muziris Biennale here today turned out to be a rewind to his childhood in a coastal pocket here as much it was as a trip to futuristic art world-wide.
 
Just as the world-renowned musician entered the main venue of the festival, Yesudas recalled a decades-old incident where he was routinely denied access into the Aspinwall House compound.
 
The heritage building in Fort Kochi — close to the vocalist’s native Mattanchery — used to be a busy office complex where his musician father Augustine Joseph was an employee.
 
“My father used to be a worker in the coir sector those days — before switching over to the world of cinema. As a kid, I used to feel curious about the activities inside this building, but never got a chance to get in,” the 73-year-old playback singer and classical musician trailed off.
 
“Today, the entry inside is giving me goose pimples,” Yesudas said.
 
A detailed view of the exhibits at the leafy compound excited the artiste. “The biennale is for those who think,” Yesudas said, adding that it required the curious mind of children to know more about the installations, paintings and sculptures on display here. That way more schoolchildren and art students must visit this event, he added.
 
He said the preparations in organizing such a grand event merits uninhibited praise. “Only people who are ignorant about the labour behind such a festival would criticise it,” he said, hailing the Kochi Biennale Foundation and wishing it better success in the coming editions of the festival once in two years.
 
Marxist ideologue M V Govindan, who is a member of the CPI(M) Kerala Secretariat, also visited the biennale today.
 
The biennale has succeeded in marking the evolution of human aesthetics till date, he said, noting that the exhibits spoke of history, present as well as the future.
 
MLA M V Shreyams Kumar and renowned Delhi-based painter Arpana Caur also visited today the three-month festival, which is ending on March 13.
 
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Exhibition on Amir Khusrau begins at National Museum in Delhi

A month-long exhibition on the life and work of Amir Khusrau, one of the greatest poets of this region, has begun at the National Museum in the capital, with the aim of providing an understanding of the art and culture of the 13th-14th century era in which he lived and their continuity into present day India.

The exhibition, titled The World of Khusrau and curated from the collection of the museum in collaboration with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, was inaugurated yesterday by Union Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch.
 
It will remain open to the public till March 24 from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Mondays.
 
The exhibition includes 22 art objects - 7 manuscripts: Qiran us Saidan, Ijaz e Khusravi, Hasht Bihist, Shirin Khusrau ) , 2 miniature paintings ( Nizamuddin Auliya and Rag Basant), 6 musical instruments ( ud, rabab, dholak, duff, shahnai), 7 decorative art objects (astrolobe, abkora( bowl), alms bowl, shatranj and dice.
 
An official press release said the exhibition provides a glimpse of the rich and diverse range of Amir Khusrau’s work in culture, science and art.
 
It elaborates the foundation of a vital chord of Indian heritage, history, and culture which has produced an amazing range of works of art from architecture to music, thus putting the multi-faceted contributions of Amir Khusrau in contemporary context with a diverse array of related objects and visuals from the collection of National Museum and contemporary sources, the release said.
 
"Khusrau lived in the period which saw an amazing influx of scholars, poets, artisans, Sufis, travellers, and merchants from Persianate Central Asia. He saw the merging of two great civilizations and wove them beautifully in his literary works. He served as a court poet to several nobles and Sultans of Delhi Sultanates between 13th and 14th centuries: recording their battles and guiding their political campaigns; praising them eloquently in metaphors and analogies of Persian literature adapted within Indian imageries; creating governance norms and ethics; making discourses and innovations in science and music; writing epic historical and love poems; and, as a devout of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, the revered 13/14th century Chishti Sufi of Delhi, he gave to us the vibrant artistic traditions of Sufiana music and poetry – which continue till today in many oral traditions ranging from the classical to the folk," the release said.
 
"Amir Khusrau Dehlvi saw the merging of two great civilizations and wove them so beautifully in his literary works that they even surpassed the masters from Persia and Central Asia. 
 
The World of Amir Khusrau exhibition is conceived in conjunction with the Jashn-e-Khusrau – a festival of music concerts, films, lectures, exhibitions, heritage walks, and poem recitals – celebrating the many legends, attributions, contributions and the beloved Delhi of the 13th century historian, poet, mystic, and musician. . 
 
During the exhibition Masnavi recital by Ustad Jameel Ahmad will also be organized on Friday, March 8 at 6.30 pm at the National Museum Auditorium, the release added.
 
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Construction begins on RSEPL butyl rubber plant in Jamnagar

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Reliance Sibur Elastomers Private Limited (RSEPL), a joint venture (JV) between Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and SIBUR today began construction of its new butyl rubber plant, in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

The ceremony was attended by SIBUR CEO Dmitry Konov; Russian Consul-General Alexy V Novikov, RIL Executive Director Nikhil Meswani and senior officials of the two companies.
 
“Reliance is excited to join a select group of global Butyl Rubber producers. India, as a fast 
emerging auto hub, is a vast market for these products. We look forward to serving this 
market," Mr Meswani said.
 
Mr Konov said:"India is one of the most attractive petrochemicals markets right now due to the significant investment in infrastructure which has spurred demand. SIBUR’s technologies together with Reliance’s infrastructure and resources will help to establish a facility that will meet the demand for butyl rubber in Asian market.” 
 
When commissioned in 2015, the new plant will be India’s only manufacturer of butyl rubber and the JV will be amongst the world’s top five manufacturers of butyl rubber.  
 
RIL and SIBUR signed a technology licence agreement facilitating use of SIBUR's proprietary butyl rubber production technology at the new facility. The licensing package includes development of a Basic Engineering Package (BEP) and full-time provision of highly-experienced technical personnel on both project and operational stages.  RIL will supply monomer and provide the JV with world-class infrastructure and utilities. 
 
A press release from Reliance said the project is progressing as per the original schedule. The BEP has already been completed in Nov 2012, and Detailed Engineering is underway. At present, RSEPL is placing orders for long-lead equipment. When complete, the Jamnagar plant will have the capacity to produce 100,000 tonnes annually. 
 
Reliance has already started market seeding butyl rubber from SIBUR in India. The 
response is very encouraging, the release added.
 
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Plays from South dominate nominees for Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards

Ten plays, including six from the South, have been short-listed for the eighth edition of the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) this year.

The jury for the awards has also been announced and will consist of Nissar Allana, Shobha Deepak Singh, Anmol Vellani, Renu Roy, Bhanu Bharti and Pawan Maskara.
 
The short-listed productions will perform live from March 3-8 at the 2013 META Festival here, which will be open to the public..
 
The plays will be staged at the Little Theatre Group Auditorium at 5:30 pm and the Kamani Auditorium at 7:30 pm every day. The awards night will be held on March 9 at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Man Singh Road here.
 
META received 312 entries this year from across the country. The preliminary selection committee has chosen the 10 best productions, nominated across 13 categories that recognize diverse aspects of stage theatre production.
 
The nominated plays are: 
 
1.        After the Silence (Directed by Martin John & Produced by Sadhna – Center for Creative Practice)
2.        Fevicol (Directed by Jeetrai Hansda & Produced by Maidi’s Artist Association of Tribal)
3.        Gasha(Directed by Abhishek Mazumdar & Produced by Indian Ensemble)
4.        Kizhavanum Kadalum (Directed by Sasidharan Naduvil & Produced by Rembrance Theatre Group)
5.        Matte Eklavya (Directed by Satyabrata Rout & Produced by Aadima Ranga Tanda)
6.        Mirudavidushagam (Directed by S. Murugaboopathy & Produced by Manal Magudi)
7.        The Priestess (Directed by Ningthounja Deepa & Produced by NT Theatre)
8.        Savitri– Dancing in the forest of death (Directed by J Ed Araiza & Produced by Thresh)
9.        Shillak (Directed by Pradeep Vaiddya & Produced by Aasakta Kalamanch)
10.       So many socks (Directed by Quasar Thakore Padamsee & Produced by Q Theatre Productions)
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Speaking on the nominations, Ravi Dubey, Creative Director of META said, “I am very proud to witness META’s enriching journey, now in its 8th edition, scanning the country for the best talent in theatre. META now has a footprint across the length and breadth of India and that is visible from the rising number of entries we get every year. META received 312 entries this year and it has been quite a challenge to shortlist the 10 plays that have made the cut this year, outstanding in their own individual right. Fans from across the country are welcome to witness this wonderful celebration of Indian theatre, which will be staged in the capital.”
 
Jay Shah, Head, Cultural Outreach, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, “We were overwhelmed with the number of entries this year and are delighted to present the shortlisted plays to the audience, through the META Festival and Awards. The final list is quite diverse in content, language and styles, showcasing some extraordinary work from across the country - from Manipur to Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Jharkhand. META aims to bring these wonderful productions to a common platform to celebrate the richness and diversity of Indian theatre.”
 
This jury will adjudge winners from across 13 categories: Best Play, Best Director, Best Stage Design, Best Lighting Director, Best Innovative Sound Design, Best Costume Design, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Female),         Best Supporting Actor (Male), Best Supporting Actor (Female), Best Original Script, Best Ensemble and Best Choreographer.
 
Instituted by the Mahindra Group, as part of its commitment to promoting the arts, META 2013 aims at bringing together the best of Indian theatre from the year gone by. 
 
The awards consist of a specially designed trophy and a cheque of Rs.100,000 for the Best Production, Rs.75,000 for Best Original Playwright and Rs.45,000 for all other award categories.
 
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Govt. to set up expert committee on National Register of Intangible Culture

Union Minister for Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch speaking at a meeting of the Coordination Committee on Living and Diverse Cultural Traditions, in New Delhi on February 18, 2013.
Union Minister for Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch speaking at a meeting of the Coordination Committee on Living and Diverse Cultural Traditions, in New Delhi on February 18, 2013.

The Government has decided to set up a committee of experts to decide on the work of preparing a National Register of India's Intangible Culture and to advise on a mechanism for overarching inter-ministerial coordination leading to an action plan to preserve and promote the country's heritage and cultural traditions.

This was decided at the second meeting of the Coordination Committee on Living and Diverse Cultural Traditions held here today under the chairpersonship of Union Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch.
 
The high-powered committee goes into all aspects of intangible heritage and makes recommendations on the areas of preparation of a national inventory on Intangible Cultural Heritage, archives, education and outreach programmes by using such information. 
 
The committee comprises individuals who have distinguished themselves in the field of research and promotion of Indian culture such as Ms Kapila Vatsyayan, Mr Sitakant Mahapatra, Prof. G.N. Devy, Prof. Kartikeya V. Sarabhai, Prof. Peter Ronald De Souza and Secretaries of several ministries of the Union Government. 
 
The meeting also decided that we should focus as much on people as possible because that was the only way to sustain living traditions.
 
It was decided that the objective of the coordination committee should be to oversee the preparation of an exhaustive listing of Indian cultural expressions and make recommendations regarding providing recognition and associated benefits, to the creators /originators of such unique cultural expressions. 
 
During the meeting the parampara catalogue produced by the Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Ahmedabad was appreciated by the Minister.
 
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Kathakali exponent Kalamandalam Gopi visits Kochi Biennale

Kathakali exponent Kalamandalam Gopi at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kochi on February 7, 2013
Kathakali exponent Kalamandalam Gopi at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kochi on February 7, 2013

Renowned Kathakali exponent Kalamandalam Gopi visited the Kochi-Muziris Biennale here yesterday and spent a long time viewing installations, paintings and sculptures at India's first such art show.

The septuagenarian actor-dancer was accompanied by the festival’s co-curator Bose Krishnamachari and a couple of volunteers who explained to him the salient features of the exhibits at the main venue at Fort Kochi.
 
Gopi showed special curiosity at Australia-based Scottish artist Dylan Martorell’s ‘Sounds
of Kochi’, where he touched parts of the sound installation to hear beats of Kerala’s ethnic
drum "chenda" and cymbals used in his four-century-old classical Kerala ballet.
 
“This is certainly a show capable of broadening one’s mind,” the 75-year-old artiste said after
spending 45 minutes at the heritage building. For him, it was a detour from the route to his home north of Thrissur after landing at the airport in Nedumbassery from Delhi, where he presented one of his masterpiece roles on Wednesday evening.
 
Describing the biennale as “thought-provoking”, Gopi said the visuals featured sublime themes that were capable of “making the mind work in a different way”.
 
Earlier in the day, 50-plus students doing graduation in fashion designing at St Teresa’s
College, Ernakulam visited the biennale.
 
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Shashi Tharoor to open New Delhi World Book Fair on Feb 4

About 1100 exhibitors from India and around the world will display thousands of books in around 2100 stalls at the week-long New Delhi Book Fair that will be held at Pragati Maidan here from February 4 to 10.

Countries participating in the exhibition include China, the United States, Poland, South Korea and Turkey, alongside international agencies such as UNESCO and WHO.
 
More than a hundred participants will be displaying books in Indian regional languages, while there will be special enclosures for Government publications and for e-books.
 
The exhibition is being organized by the National Book Trust (NBT), an apex body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development engaged in book promotional activities in the country, in coordination with the India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO).
 
Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor will inaugurate the fair on February 4. Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) president Karan Singh will be the chief guest and French Ambassador François Richier will also be present on the occasion.
 
The fair will be opened for general public from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on February 4 and 5 and from 11 am to 8 pm on other days.
 
For the first time, special business hours have also been arranged from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on February 4 and 5.
 
ITPO shall charge an entry fee of Rs. 20 for adults and Rs. 10 for school children, an official press release said.
 
The theme of this year's fair is "Indigenous Voices: Mapping India’s Folk and Tribal Literature" as part of which there will be a special exhibition of books on various aspects of folk and tribal literature and culture, exhibits of arts and crafts, workshops and panel discussions.
 
As a part of the theme presentation, the NBT has tied up with Sangeet Natak Academy for showcasing the cultural heritage of the tribal belts in country and also the folk culture which will be organized every evening from 4.30 p.m. at Lal Chowk open air theatre at Pragati Maidan.
 
There will also be a a Children & Youth Pavilion, which will host a range of activities such as panel discussions, skits, interaction with sports icons and meetings of school librarian. There will be an Author-Illustrators Corner in the pavilion in which eminent artists and writers will interact with book lovers
 
The fair will also feature a Swami Vivekananda Pavilion to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
 
France will be the Guest of Honour country at this year's fair and a large contingent of French publishers, authors and scholars at the event. The French presentation will focus on the country's vibrant cultural heritage, music, food and cinema. Apart from close to 2000 French titles, there will also be encounters with authors such as Tahar Ben Jelloun, Kènizè Mourad and Dominique Siguad.
 
For the first time, NBT has set up four Author Corners in the fair where more than 75 eminent authors in English, Hindi and other Indian languages will hold reading sessions and interact with readers.
 
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Amrita Sher-Gil birth centenary celebrations begin at NGMA in Delhi

A self-portrait by Amrita Sher-GilA self-portrait by Amrita Sher-Gil

The birth centenary celebrations of well-known Indian painter Amrita Sher-Gil were launched at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here today by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) president Karan Singh.

Ms Chandresh Kumari Katoch, Union Minister of Culture and Ms. Katalin Bagyay, President of UNESCO’s General Conference and Hungarian Ambassador to UNESCO and Ms Sangita Gairola, Secretary, Ministry of Culture were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
The Ministry of Culture is organizing a series of events to celebrate the life and works of Sher-Gil during the centenary year. 
 
Speakers on the occasion paid glowing tributes to the works of Sher-Gil and described the occasion as an opportunity to foster cultural relations between India and Hungary and provide a strong platform for up and coming artists from both countries. They said that both India and Hungary, where she was born, are celebrating Amrita Sher-Gil (1913-1941) as an iconic personality.
 
Ms Katoch said that Sher-Gil's art displayed a blend of European and Indian influences that was well ahead of her times. Her command over handling of oil medium and use of colour, as well as her vigorous brushwork and strong feeling for composition, were the marks of a genius, she said.
 
The Minister said, above all, Sher-Gil lived life on her own terms. She was perhaps one of the earliest feminists in the country, celebrating the beauty and power of a woman through her paintings, she said.
 
Ms Katoch said, "Amrita Sher-Gil’s philosophy for life is best expressed in her own words: 'I will enjoy my beauty because it is given for a short time and joy is a short-lived thing'."
 
The Ministry of Culture, in collaboration with the Department of Posts released a Special Cover to launch the birth centenary celebrations. The cover has one of her most beautiful paintings, Three Girls, printed on it. 
 
The painting, done in 1935, was her first work after her return from Europe following her art studies in Paris. It won her a gold medal from the Bombay Art Society.
 
The National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi has one of the finest collections of Amrita Sher-Gil’s works of art and the NGMA is showcasing a special display of selected works of art at its permanent gallery in New Delhi along with a film screening on the artist entitled ‘A Family Album’ directed by Navina Sundaram, a niece of the artist who is a television journalist based in Germany.
 
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5-day Goa Carnival to be held from February 8-12

Live performances by Anushka Manchanda, Parikrama, Remo and Indian Ocean, more than 70 stalls serving food, beverages and lifestyle products and a fashion show by ace designer Wendell Rodricks will be the highlights of this year's Goa Carnival that will be held from February 8-13.

Goa Minister for Tourism Dilip Parulekar told journalists that the the festival would be held this year on a much bigger scale and be a more colourful event.
 
“The Goa Carnaval is one of our biggest events of the year. I hope that this event becomes the second-most popular event of the world after the Brazilian Carnival. We have added more attractions this year including the food festival where we have involved 15 other states as well. We urge everyone to join us in the festivities," he said.
 
Mr Parulekar said the other highlights of the event would include a vintage car rally, Serenade parade, Harley Davidson Bike rally and King Momo’s lead float. The event will also see the participation of Bollywood personalities such as Neha Dhupia, Isha Koppikar and Tanushree Dutta.
 
Mr Nikhil Desai, MD of Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) and state Director of Tourism said, “We have taken measures to ensure 100 per cent safety for everyone and have increased the deployment of police force at tourist spots. We are also in the process of increasing room inventory for tourists.”
 
He said the tourism board was keen on promoting Goa not only as an important cultural destination but also for its festivals, heritage and adventure. 
 
The opening ceremony of the carnival will kick off at D.B. Marg, Panaji on February 9.
 
The festival, as usual, will feature float parades in four cities -- Panaji, Margao, Vasco and Mapusa. 
 
The carnival will also comprise live musical performances featuring local bands at Colva and Mapusa from February 9-12. 
 
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India's Sarthak Dasgupta among four winners of Sundance Institute-Mahindra awards

Sarthak Dasgupta and other winners of the 2013 Sundance Institute-Mahindra Global Filmmaking Awards
Sarthak Dasgupta and other winners of the 2013 Sundance Institute-Mahindra Global Filmmaking Awards

Sarthak Dasgupta from India, who directed The Music Teacher, is among the four winners of the 2013 Sundance Institute-Mahindra Global Filmmaking Awards in recognition and support of emerging independent filmmakers from around the world.

The other winning directors Jonas Carpignano from Italy-US for A Chjana; Aly Muritiba from Brazil for The Man Who Killed My Beloved Dead; and Vendela Vida and Eva Weber from the UK-Germany-US for Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name.
 
The awards were presented at a private ceremony at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A., by Rohit Khattar, Chairman, Mumbai Mantra, Michelle Satter, Founding Director, Feature Film Program, Sundance Institute, and Paul Federbush, International Director, Feature Film Program, Sundance Institute.
 
"The Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Awards are part of a multifaceted collaboration that exemplifies a commitment to and support of world cinema by the Mahindra Group, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in India known throughout the world for its dedication to excellence and to social responsibility, and the nonprofit Sundance Institute, one of the world’s leading cultural organizations," a press release from Mahindra said.
 
This is the third of the three-year collaboration between the two organizations, the release said.
 
“At a time when there is no dearth of issues around the world that are crying out to be heard, the Global Filmmaking award recognizes independent film-makers who give expression to those voices. The Mahindra Group is proud to assist the Sundance Institute in this endeavour, which, in line with the Group’s ‘Rise’ philosophy, aims to drive a positive change in communities across the world,” said the Chairman & Managing Director of the Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra.
 
"We are grateful to the Mahindra Group for building with us, this multifaceted program, which embraces our joint global commitment to nurturing new storytellers and getting their voices out to the widest possible audiences," said Sundance Institute President and Founder Robert Redford.
 
Said Rohit Khattar, Chairman, Mumbai Mantra, “These are exciting times for Independent cinema in India and across the world. We feel privileged to help support Sundance Institute in its mission of nurturing and honing emerging talent. We congratulate this year’s four Award Winners and look forward to hearing much more about their incredible work in the future.”
 
Michelle Satter, Founding Director, Feature Film Program, Sundance Institute, and Paul
Federbrush, International Director, Feature Film Program, Sundance Institute, said, “As we
enter the third year of our collaboration with Mahindra, we are very excited about supporting
emerging international filmmakers who are telling stories that will resonate for audiences worldwide. The Award winners announced today represent filmmakers with singular vision and projects of quality and distinction. Sundance staff and advisors will continue to provide creative and business resources needed to get their films made at critical moments in their journey.”
 
The Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award Nomination Committee for the Indian Award winner included Anil Kapoor (Actor), Anjum Rajabali (Screenwriter, Film Professor), K. Hariharan (Film Academy Head), Ira Bhaskar (Film Professor), Rajkumar Hirani (Writer - Director), Ramesh Sippy (Director-Producer), Sharmila Tagore (Actor), Shabana Azmi (Actor-Activist) and Shyam Benegal (Director).
 
The Sundance Institute and Mahindra Group collaboration also includes the Mumbai Mantra -Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab in India, which provides an annual opportunity for eight screenwriters from India to develop their works under the guidance of accomplished international screenwriters in an environment that encourages storytelling at the highest level. 
 
The first Mumbai Mantra-Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab took place in March 2012 and was an overwhelming success. The distinguished group of 11 Creative Advisors included Guillermo Arriaga, Marcos Bernstein, Michael Goldenberg, Asif Kapadia, Kasi Lemmons, Jose Rivera, Howard A Rodman, Audrey Wells, Shekhar Kapur and Anjum Rajabali. The second edition will take place in March 2013 in India.
 
Each of the four winning filmmakers will receive a cash award of $10,000, attendance at the
Sundance Film Festival for targeted industry and creative meetings, year-round mentoring from Institute staff and creative advisors, participation in a Feature Film Program Lab, and ongoing creative and strategic support. This is the second year that one of the four award recipients is an Indian director.
 
Last year, the Indian recipient for the Global Filmmaking Award was Shonali Bose for her project, Margarita. With A Straw.
 
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CCI issues "cease and desist" order against Northern India Motion Pictures Association

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The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has issued orders against the Northern India Motion Pictures Association (NIMPA) directing it to cease and desist from indulging in anti-competitive conduct. 

The order was issued yesterday in a case filed by Shri Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Limited against NIMPA and other film associations alleging, inter alia, contravention of the provisions of sections 3 (anti-competitive agreements) of the Competition Act, 2002. 
 
The Commission found NIMPA’s practices of pressurizing the distributors to settle the monetary disputes with its members to be in contravention of the provisions of Competition Act, an official press release said.
 
Accordingly, the Commission also directed NIMPA to file an undertaking regarding compliance of its order within a period of 30 days from the receipt of the order. 
 
As NIMPA was already directed by the Commission in earlier cases to suitably modify its Articles of Association, rules and regulations and remove the condition of compulsory registration of films as a pre-condition for release of any film, the Commission did not find it necessary to pass similar directions again in the present case. 
 
The Commission also did not find it appropriate to impose any penalty upon NIMPA in light of the facts and circumstances of the present case, the release added
 
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2013 Grammy Nominees Album to be available from Jan 22

Capitol Records and The Recording Academy's Grammy Recordings will release the 2013 Grammy Nominees album on January 22, featuring 22 critically acclaimed smash hits from chart-topping artistes from various genres.

The 19th edition of the best-selling collection includes songs from Grammy categories representing nominees for Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Album, a press release from the Recording Academy said.
 
Artistes featured on the collection are Adele, Alabama Shakes, the Black Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Coldplay, Florence & The Machine, Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe, Gotye, Hunter Hayes, Carly Rae Jepsen, the Lumineers, Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa, Miguel, Mumford & Sons, Muse, Frank Ocean, Katy Perry, Pink, Ed Sheeran, Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, and Jack White.
 
The release said the album is made possible by a special arrangement with all of the major music distribution companies and rotates labels from year to year. A portion of the proceeds from the album benefit the MusiCares Foundation and the Grammy Foundation, two charitable organizations established by The Recording Academy. 
 
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will be held Sunday, February 10 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
 
The following is the 2013 Grammy Nominees Album tracklist:
 
1. THE BLACK KEYS
"Lonely Boy"
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Record Of The Year
Album Of The Year
Best Rock Performance
Best Rock Song
Best Rock Album
 
2. KELLY CLARKSON
"Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"
Record Of The Year
Song Of The Year
Best Pop Solo Performance
Best Pop Vocal Album
 
3. TAYLOR SWIFT
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
Record Of The Year
 
4. GOTYE
"Somebody That I Used To Know” 
(feat. Kimbra)
Record Of The Year
 
5. KATY PERRY
"Wide Awake"
Best Pop Solo Performance
 
6. FUN. FEAT. JANELLE MONÁE
"We Are Young"
Record Of The Year
Album Of The Year
Song Of The Year
Best New Artist
Best Pop Vocal Album
 
7. FLORENCE + THE MACHINE
"Shake It Out"
Best Pop Vocal Album
 
8. P!NK
"Try"
Best Pop Vocal Album
 
9. MAROON 5 FEAT. WIZ KHALIFA
"Payphone"
Best Pop Vocal Album
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
 
10. CARLY RAE JEPSEN
"Call Me Maybe"
Song Of The Year
Best Pop Solo Performance
 
11. MIGUEL
"Adorn"
Song Of The Year
 
12. ED SHEERAN
"The A Team"
Song Of The Year
 
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13. HUNTER HAYES
"Wanted"
Best New Artist
 
14. THE LUMINEERS
"Ho Hey"
Best New Artist
 
15. ALABAMA SHAKES
"Hold On"
Best New Artist
Best Rock Performance
 
16. MUMFORD & SONS
"I Will Wait"
Album Of The Year
Best Rock Performance
Best Rock Song
 
17. FRANK OCEAN
"Pyramids"
Album Of The Year
Best New Artist
 
18. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
"We Take Care Of Our Own"
Best Rock Performance
Best Rock Song
Best Rock Album
 
19. JACK WHITE
"Freedom At 21"
Album Of The Year
Best Rock Song
Best Rock Album
 
20. MUSE
"Madness"
Best Rock Song
Best Rock Album
 
21. COLDPLAY
"Charlie Brown"
Best Rock Performance
Best Rock Album
 
22. ADELE
"Set Fire To The Rain"
(Live At The Royal Albert Hall)
Best Pop Solo Performance
 
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. It is internationally known for the Grammy Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music.
 
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Odiya writer Pratibha Ray chosen for Jnanpith Award 2011

Pratibha Ray
Pratibha Ray
Well-known Odiya writer Pratibha Ray, whose novels and short stories are deeply and persuasively grounded in the great tradition of story telling, was today chosen for the prestigious Jnanpith Award for 2011.
 
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Jnanpith Selection Board chaired by scholar and writer Sitakant Mahapatra. Others on the board include Prof Manager Pandey, Dr K Sachidanandan, Prof Gopichand Narang, Mr Keshubhai Desai, Mr Dinesh Misra and Mr Ravindra Kalia.
 
The Bharatiya Jnanpith said in a statement that Ms Ray, 69, is one of the most widely read Odiya novelists and short story writers who brings characters and situations alive.
 
"She has a unique skill in developing the themes without being pretentious," it said.
 
Ms Ray has 20 novels, 24 short stories collections, 10 travelogues, two poetry collections and a number of essays to her credit. Her important works include Yagnaseni, Shila Padma, Mahamoha and Uttara Marga, which have been translated into most major Indian languages and also English and other foreign languages.
 
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She was honoured by the Government with the Padma Shri in 2007. She is also the recipient of the Odisha Sahitya Akademi Award, the Moortidevi Award, the Central Sahitya Akademi award and the Katha Puruskar.
 
The award, instituted in 1961 by the Bharatiya Jnanpith, set up by Mr Shanti Prasad Jain and Mrs Rama Jain, carries a cheque for Rs 500,000, a citation plaque and a replica of Vagdevi, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music and the arts.
 
Its first recipient, in 1965, was the Malayalam writer G Sankara Kurup. Any Indian citizen who writes in any of the official languages of India is eligible for the honor.
 
Before 1982 the awards were given for a single work by a writer; since then, the award has been given for a lifetime contribution to Indian literature.
 
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Entries invited for Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards 2013

The Mahindra Group has invited entries for the eighth edition of the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) to be held in March 2013.

The awards celebrate excellence in theatre and stage craft and entries are invited from theatre productions across the country for original or adapted plays, in any language, staged between January 1, 2012 and January 10, 2013.
 
"Recognizing and rewarding all aspects of theatre production and stage craft, META is one of the Indian theatre industry’s premier awards," a press release from META said.
 
It said META provides a concrete platform to celebrate and promote theatre’s varied elements like playwriting, set design, costume and light design, direction and performance.
 
Instituted by the Mahindra Group, as part of their commitment to promoting the arts, META 2013 aims at bringing together the best of Indian theatre from the year gone by. 
 
The awards consist of a specially designed trophy and a cheque of Rs.100,000 for the Best Production, Rs.75,000 for Best Original Playwright and Rs.45,000 for all other award categories.
 
“The Indian theatre industry, with its myriad languages, indigenous styles and rich cultural diversity, has a lot to offer and META is a national award dedicated to celebrating all aspects of this industry. Every year, we witness increasing enthusiasm from theatre companies as well as audiences across the country. With its finger on the pulse of Indian theatre, META 2013 hopes to continue this celebration on a grander scale," Mr Ravi Dubey, Creative Director of META 2013, said.
 
“Our commitment to theatre as an art form over the past eight years has been a truly gratifying experience. Each year, as we see artists from remote areas of India give talented performances for a discerning yet appreciative audience in the nation’s capital, we enact our own Mahindra script of enabling people to Rise," Mr Jay Shah, Head – Cultural Outreach, Group Strategy Office, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, said.
 
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Rattan Thiyam, N.Rajam, Vinayakram chosen for Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowships

File photo of Rattan Thiyam
File photo of Rattan Thiyam

Playwright Rattan Thiyam, violinist N Rajam and Grammy Award winning percussionist T H Vinayakram have been chosen as Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows (Akademi Ratna) for 2012.

The decision was made by the General Council of Sangeet Natak Akademi, the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, at its meeting here on December 21, an official press release said here today.
 
The fellowship is the most prestigious honour bestowed by the Akademi. It is restricted to a very limitd number at a given time and, presently, there are only 40 fellows.
 
The general council also selected 36 persons from the fields of music, dance, theatre and puppetry for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for 2012.
 
In the field of music, nine eminent artistes have been chosen: Rajashekhar Mansur and  Ajay Pohankar for Hindustani Vocal Music, Sabir Khan (Tabla) and Bahauddin Dagar (Rudra Veena) for Hindustani Instrumental Music, O.S. Thyagarajan for Carnatic Vocal Music, Mysore M. Nagaraja, (Violin) and K.V. Prasad (Mridangam) for Carnatic Instrumental Music, Illayaraja for Creative & Experimental Music and Bhai Balbir Singh Ragi (Gurbani) for Other Major Traditions of Music.
 
In the field of dance, nine eminent practitioners -- Priyadarsini Govind (Bharatanatyam), Vijay Shankar (Kathak), Vazhengada Vijayan (Kathakali),  Vedantam Ramalinga Sastry (Kuchipudi), Sharmila Biswas (Odissi), Jai Narayan Samal (Chhau), Painkulam Damodara Chakyar (Kutiyattam), Jwala Prasad (Music for Dance) and Aditi Mangaldas (Creative & Experimental Dance) -- have been selected for the award.
 
The eight theatre personalities chosen for the award are Arjun Deo Charan for Playwriting, Tripurari Sharma and Waman Kendre for Direction, Parvesh Sethi, Nirmal Rishi and Purisai Kannappa Sambandan for Acting, Murari Roychoudhury for Theatre Music and Ghulam Rasool Bhagat for Major Traditions of Theatre (Bhand Pather).
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For their contribution to Other Traditional/Folk/ Tribal Music/ Dance/ Theatre and Puppetry, eight artistes have been selected for the Akademi Award. They are Goru Channabasappa for Folk Music (Karnataka), Kinaram Nath Oja for Suknani Ojapali (Assam), Prem Singh Dehati for Folk Theatre (Haryana), Sulochana Chavan for Lavani (Maharashtra), Mattannur Sankaran Kutty Marar for Thayambaka (Kerala), Govind Ram Nirmalkar for Nacha (Chhattisgarh), Heera Das Negi for Mask Making (Himachal Pradesh) and Prafulla Karmakar for Traditional Puppetry (West Bengal).
 
Nandini Ramani and Arun Kakade will receive the Akademi Award 2012 for Overall Contribution/Scholarship in Performing Arts.
 
The honour of Akademi Fellow has been conferred since 1954 and Akademi Award since 1952. They not only symbolize the highest standard of excellence and achievements on a national basis, but also recognize sustained individual work and contribution to the practice and appreciation of the arts through performance, teaching and scholarship.  
 
The honour of Akademi Fellow carries a purse money of Rs 3 lakh and Akademi Awards carry Rs 1 lakh, besides Tamrapatra and Angavastram.
 
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Ansari inaugurates 60th Annual Arts Festival at Kalakshetra in Chennai

Artistes performing dance drama based on Jayadev's 'Geetgovindam' at the inauguration of the 60th Annual Arts Festival, at Kalakshetra, Chennai on December 21, 2012.
Artistes performing dance drama based on Jayadev's 'Geetgovindam' at the inauguration of the 60th Annual Arts Festival, at Kalakshetra, Chennai on December 21, 2012.

Vice-President M Hamid Ansari has said that great institutions use their past - with lessons learnt and traditions imbibed - as the bedrock for embracing the future.

"This makes it possible for them to see the great possibilities that lie ahead while keeping in mind their roots and values which nourish and provide constant inspiration and guidance to those that work within the institution," he said while inaugurating the 60th Annual Arts Festival at Kalakshetra here yesterday.
 
He noted that Kalashetra, founded by the late Rukmini Devi Arundale, was an important centre of training and performance, which has produced and molded generations of acclaimed artists in a distinctive style. 
 
"Since its establishment, Kalakshetra has been providing a holistic education in arts. It focuses on Bharatanatyam, Carnatic vocal and instrumental music, the visual arts, traditional crafts and textile design, textual heritage, aesthetics, history and philosophy. Some of India`s most revered artistes have either served on its faculty or are among its alumni. It is known for its commitment to artistic excellence whether in classrooms, in auditoria or during tours around the world," he said.
 
Mr Ansari said that, as a performance company, Kalakshetra productions are widely recognized for their in-depth research, impeccable technique and refined aesthetics. 
 
He said this year's festival attained greater importance because, over the next 10 days, audiences are going to witness two of the classical choreographies of Rukmini Devi, revived and performed by the Kalakshetra Repertory. 
 
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"Dance dramas, particularly those that draw on our own rich cultural traditions, are unique, as they not only provide ample scope for exploration in the chosen art form but they also help us in getting a glimpse of the creativity of the choreographer in interpreting much-loved stories from the past. 
 
"Jayadeva’s Gita Govindam and Kalidasa’s Abijnana Shakuntalam are classic examples of tales from India’s rich literary and performing tradition," he said.
 
He noted that these were among the works that Rukmini Devi had choreographed in 1959 and 1967 even as she worked on her magnum opus, the six-part Ramayana series between 1954 and 1969. 
 
"Jayadeva’s Gita Govindam is a glittering gem from our traditions. It dates back to the twelfth century and has remained a living, throbbing tradition in various cultural contexts and geographic locations," he said.
 
"Edwin Arnold, who first translated it into English in 1875, compared it to Solomon’s Song of Songs in the Old Testament and called it the Indian Song of Songs. Over the centuries this exquisite literary work with its philosophical undercurrent and its beautiful verses has permeated Indian painting, singing traditions, classical and folk dancing traditions, sculpture as well as chanting and devotional music traditions in our temples. In fact, its mystical beauty and content were so compelling that in 1615, Emperor Akbar had a manuscript of Gita Govindam produced and illustrated in Mughal style. Its overarching philosophical interpretation of the individual soul merging with the Divine has connotations for our own troubled times. 
 
"Rejoicing as we do in our plurality: celebrating our myriad art forms; our numerous languages; our vibrant religions; our varied cuisines; and our immeasurable potential, how enhanced that celebration is when we realise we are able to do all that under our unified identity as Indians! 
 
"And this is the important role played by Kalakshetra – to provide for us the platform to view; be inspired; and celebrate the past’s aesthetic – and relevant – mingling with the present as we move towards a luminous future," he added.
 
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Thayil, Satchidanandan, Mukhopadhyay among 24 Sahitya Akademi Award winners

Jeet Thayil
Jeet Thayil

Booker-nominated Jeet Thayil, Bengali novelist Subrata Mukhopadhyay and Malayalam poet K Satchidanandan are among the 24 authors chosen for the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Awards 2012.

In all, twelve books of poetry, six of short stories, four of novels and one each of autobiography and criticism have been chosen for this year's awards, announced by the Akademi here yesterday.
 
The awards were recommended by jury members representing 24 Indian languages and approved by the Executive Board of the Akademi, which met under the chairmanship of Dr Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, acting President of the Sahitya Akademi, here yesterday.
 
Thayil, whose novel Narcopolis was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, was honoured by the Akademi for his poetry collection These Errors are Correct in English.
 
Satchidanandan was chosen for his Marannu Vecha Vasthukal, while Mukhopadhyay got the award for his novel Birasan.
 
Apart from Thayil and Satchidanandan, the poets honoured with the awards this year are: 
Guneswar Musahary - Boro Khonthai (Boro), late Bal Krishan "Bhaura"- Tim Time Karde Tare (Dogri), Chandrakant Devtale - Patthar Phenk Raha Hoon (Hindi), H S Shivaprakash - Mabbina Haage Kaniveyaasi (Kannada), Makhan Lal Kanwal - Yath Aangnas Manz (Kashmiri), Kashinath Shamba Lolienkar - Kavyasutra (Konkani), Darshan Buttar - Maha Kambani (Punjabi), Aaidan Singh Bhati - Aankh Hinye Ra Hariyal Sapana (Rajasthan), Ramji Thakkura - Laghupadhyaprhbandhatrayi (Sanskrit) and Krishna Kumar Toor - Ghurfa-i-Ghalib (Urdu).
 
Besides Mukhopadhyay, the novelists chosen for this year's awards are: Chandana Goswami - Patkair Ipare Mor Desh (Assamese), Jodha C Sanasam - Mathou Kanba DNA (Manipuri) and D Selvaraj - Thol (Tamil).
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Writers who got the awards for their books of short stories this year are: Jayant Pawar - Phoenixchya Rakhetun Uthala Mor (Marathi), Uday Thulung - Ekantavas (Nepali), Gourahari Das - Kanta O' Anyanya Galpa (Odia), Gangadhar Hansda - Banchaw Akan Goj Hor (Santali), late Indra Vaswani - Miteea Khan Miteea Taaeen (Sindhi) and Peddibhotla Subbaramaiah - Peddibhotla Subbaramaiah Kathalu - Vol I (Telugu).
 
Shefalika Verma got the award for her autobiography Kist-Kist Jeevan in Maithili and Gujarati writer Chandrakant Topiwala was honoured for his work of criticism Sakshibhasya.
 
The awards, consisting of a casket containing an engraved copper plaque, a shawl and a cheque for Rs 100,000, will be presented to the writers at a function to be held here on February 18 during the Festival of Letters organized by the Sahitya Akademi.
 
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Bollywood actress Vidya Balan gets married to UTV CEO Siddharth Roy Kapoor

 
Vidya Balan officially Mrs Siddharth Roy Kapur

Well-known Bollywood actress Vidya Balan got married to UTV CEO Siddharth Roy Kapoor at a private and low-key ceremony at the Green Mile Bungalow in Bandra here today.

Only close family members and friends of the bride and bridegroom were present at the wedding, which was a mix of South Indian and Punjabi traditions.
 
The couple later posed for pictures as dozens of photographers clicked away merrily.
 
The newly-weds are set to host a reception in Chennai later, reports said.
 
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Ravi Shankar among six to be honoured with Grammy's Lifetime Achievement Award

Pandit Ravi Shankar
Pandit Ravi Shankar

Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, who passed away on Tuesday in San Diego, California at the age of 93, is among the six artistes and groups chosen for the Recording Academy for its Lifetime Achievement Awards.

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.
 
In an announcement in Santa Monica, California on Wednesday, the academy described three-time Grammy winner Ravi Shankar as one of the world's most renowned sitar players and a true ambassador for international music.
 
"As a performer, composer, teacher and writer, he is considered a pioneer in bringing Indian music to the West. With a performance career spanning more than 80 years, he has influenced a variety of musicians, including the Beatles, John Coltrane, Philip Glass and his daughters, Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar. A humanitarian and philanthropist, in 1971 Shankar, along with George Harrison, organized the Concert for Bangladesh, which paved the way for many other fundraising charity concerts," the academy said.
 
The other's chosen for this year's Lifetime Achievement Awards are Glenn Gould, Charlie Haden, Lightnin' Hopkins, Carole King, Patti Page and the Temptations.
 
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Marilyn & Alan Bergman, Leonard & Phil Chess and Alan Livingston have been chosen for Trustees Award honorees; and Ikutaro Kakehashi & Dave Smith and Royer Labs as Technical Grammy Award recipients.
 
The awards will be presented at a special invitation-only ceremony during Grammy week on February 9, 2013, and a formal acknowledgment will be made during the 55th Annual Grammy Awards telecast, which will be held in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 10
 
"Each year, The Academy has the distinct privilege of honoring those who have greatly contributed to our industry and cultural heritage, and this year we have a gifted and brilliant group of honorees," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "Their exceptional accomplishments, contributions and artistry will continue to influence and inspire generations to come."
 
The Lifetime Achievement Award honors performers who have made contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording while the Trustees Award recognizes such contributions in areas other than performance. Both awards are determined by vote of The Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees. 
 
Technical Grammy Award recipients are determined by vote of The Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing Advisory Council and Chapter Committees, as well as The Academy's Trustees. The award is presented to individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field.
 
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Hema Malini to receive 5th Bharat Muni Samman on Dec 18

Hema Malini
Hema Malini

Veteran film actress and renowned Bharatanatyam exponent Hema Malini will receive the prestigious Bharat Muni Samman for this year at Bhubaneswar on December 18.

Named after the writer of Natyashastra, Bharat Muni, the award has been instituted by Bhubaneswar-based Kalingayana Touryatrikam. 
 
The award will be presented to Hema Malini for her immense contribution towards the promotion of Indian arts and entertainment on the last day of the three-day Bharat Muni Festival, scheduled to be held at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar. 
 
Hema Malini will be the fifth person from the world of arts to receive the award. The earlier recipients are Ms Thankamani Kutty, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Pandit Jasraj and Mr Ratan
Thiyam.
 
This year's Bharat Muni Festival willwitness performances by Aruna Mohanty (Odissi), Kiran Segal (Odissi), Geeta Chandran (Bharatnatyam), Amal Jeet Kalamandalam (Kathakali), Ill Allah Khan (Shehnai), Sukanta Kundu and Nimakanta Routray (Odissi Vocal), Kumud Diwan(Hindustani Vocal), Students of Kalingayana Touryatrikam (Odissi), Vaidyanathan Suresh and Carole Grey (Fire Drum), according to noted Odissi danseuse Puspita Mishra and trustee of Kalingayana Touryatrikam.
 
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India's first short collaborative film Project 11 to release online on Dec 1

Project 11, billed as India’s first short collaborative film that was shot in 11 cities of the world, at 27 different locations, with a combined crew strength of over a 100 people belonging to 13 different ethnicities, is all set to release online on December 1, its makers said here today.

The film won the Best Sound Award at Imphal International Short Film Festival 2012, premiered at Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival 2012, showcased in the Panorama section of Budapest Shorts Film Festival (Busho 2012), Hungary, and Gandhara Film Festival in Pakistan.
 
The film generated a lot of buzz last year, when true to its numbers theme, the 11 min 11 sec long film had premiered at 11:11 AM on 11.11.11 on www.glamsham.com. However, after that the makers had taken it off the net, for its journey to various film festivals. 
 
The makers are also releasing a detailed making of the film, with regards to how a collaborative  film can be made, with different talents across the world. The approximately15-minute making will clear a lot of myths surrounding the shooting of the film, and will be of a great help to film buffs and aspiring film-makers, they said.
 
Vikas Chandra, the Indian director of the film, said, "I am quite happy that Project 11, a film that was made possible because of a lot of collaborative efforts from across the world, is releasing online. I wish that more and more people watch the film and hope that they will like the same.”
 
According to the release, the film will be available on YouTube from December 1. Trivia about the film can be seen here and the Project 11 Timeline here.
 
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IFFI-2012: Spectacular role play on Dadasaheb Phalke moves audiences

Theatre personalities Lillette Dubey and Muzaffar Ali Baig along with thespian M.S. Sathyu at a press conference, during the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2012), in Panaji, Goa on November 21, 2012.
Theatre personalities Lillette Dubey and Muzaffar Ali Baig along with thespian M.S. Sathyu at a press conference, during the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2012), in Panaji, Goa on November 21, 2012.

A spectacular role play depicting a dialogue of Indian film industry pioneer Dadasaheb Phalke with his wife Saraswati unraveled the passion that pioneered silent cinema in India at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here yesterday.

The 20-minute production featured Phalke's 43-year journey with all its ups and downs. The initial dream, his struggles, failures, triumphs were beautifully brought out by Muzaffar Ali Baig, who played Phalke, and actress Lillete Dubey, who played the role of Phalke's second wife Saraswati.
 
The various incidents of his life, including pawning of his wife's jewellery to make Raja Harischandra, his first feature film, his qualities of perseverance and perfectionism were brought out in the enactment along with the fact that he died in penury in Nasik. 
 
The script of the play was written by Sharayu Phalke Sammanwar, the great grand niece of Phalke, and was designed by thespian M.S.Sathyu. 
 
The film maker Anurag Basu who was the chief guest at the function said, the Indian film industry has grown tremendously and stands tall and all should celebrate it in a befitting manner. 
 
Mr Uday Kumar Verma, Secretary, Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, said as a part of the Centenary Cinema, the Ministry has taken three initiatives - formation of a Film Promotion Board to give single-window clearances to filmmakers wanting to shoot in India, setting up of a museum of Indian cinema at Gulshan Mahal in Mumbai and formation of the Naftional Film Heritage Mission to safeguard the country's film treasure for posterity. He also called for analyzing to know how the film industry grew in the last 100 years in India. 
 
The theatre presentation was followed by the screening of Raja Harsihchandra and Uday Shankar’s film dance classic Kalapana. 
 
The festival has a centenary package of 14 films from the National Film Archive of India, Pune which includes Achyut Kanya, Sant Tukaram, Pather Panchali, Meghe Dhaka Tara, Pyaasa, Awaara and Pakeejah. 
 
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43rd International Film Festival of India off to colourful start in Goa

Actor Akshay Kumar lighting the lamp to inaugurate the 43rd International Film Festival, in Panaji, Goa on November 20, 2012. Goa Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tiwari, are also seen.
Actor Akshay Kumar lighting the lamp to inaugurate the 43rd International Film Festival, in Panaji, Goa on November 20, 2012. Goa Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tiwari, are also seen.

The 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2012) got off to a colourful start here today amidst festivities, glitz and with a promise to make India an international destination of good cinema.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari assured the gathering that the Government, on its part, was taking a number of steps to nurture the Indian film industry and to promote India as a destination for film shooting. 
 
He said that Government was embarking on an ambitious National Film Heritage Mission during the 12th Five Year Plan to preserve India’s film heritage. Moreover, with a view towards encouraging co-production between India and other countries, India has entered into co-production agreements with various countries, he said.
 
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Union Information & Broadcasting Secretary Uday Kumar Varma were amongst the others present on the occasion.
 
Well-known actor Akshay Kumar, who was the chief guest, underlined the need for good and wholesome cinema and said he was proud the event was happening in the centenary year of Indian cinema.
 
Renowned Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi was conferred the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award on the occasion by Mr Tiwari.
 
Known for producing acclaimed films like Camouflage, Family life, and The Silent Touch, Zanussi said amidst a standing ovation that this was the most moving moment of his life and promised to make more films in future. He said the 21st century will be Asia’s century and it is his deep belief that it will be India’s century. 
 
Gautam Ghosh, Chairman of the International Jury and all the jury members were felicitated by IFFI on the occasion.
 
Singer Kailash Kher performing at the inaugural ceremony of the 43rd International Film Festival of India, in Panaji, Goa on November 20, 2012.
Singer Kailash Kher performing at the inaugural ceremony of the 43rd International Film Festival of India, in Panaji, Goa on November 20, 2012.
Hosted by Kabir Bedi and Perizaad Zorabian, the opening ceremony showcased the evolution of 100 years of Indian cinema through music, dance and videos conceived and directed by Jahnu Barua, Saroj Khan and Sajjad Ali. 
 
The nearly two-hour cultural extravaganza came to a close with the spell-binding renditions of singer Kailash Kher. 
 
Bollywood actors Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Om Puri, Jackie Shroff and Vinay Pathak were amongst those present on the occasion along with renowned film personalities from abroad such as Kim Ki-duk, Michael Winterbottom and Susanne Bier.
 
Academy Award winning director Ang Lee’s much acclaimed 3D film “Life of Pi” was screened later as the opening film of the 10-day festival. The cast and crew of the film including Irrfan Khan and Tabu are present on the occasion. 
 
Over a hundred movies will be screened during the festival as part of the Indian Cinema and World Cinema segments.
 
The Indian Section will bring to the audience movies from across the country in the Indian Panorama (Feature and Non-Feature Section) which is selected by a core jury headed by Buddhadeb Dasgupta for the Feature and M R Rajan for the Non-Feature section. 
 
The Indian Panorama will screen twenty feature films with ‘Baandhon’ directed by Jahnu Barua as the opening film, and nineteen films in the non-feature section with ‘Celluloid Man’ directed by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur as the opening film.
 
Movie lovers will also be treated to a varied line-up of world cinema which will be showcased in sections like ‘Cinema of the World’ which will have a showcase of fifty-one films from forty-two countries with Ang Lee’s 3D film ‘Life of Pi’ as its opening film and Mira Nair’s ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ as its closing film.
 
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