43rd International Film Festival of India to begin in Goa on Tuesday

International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Director Shankar Mohan at a press conference in Goa on November 19, 2012.
International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Director Shankar Mohan at a press conference in Goa on November 19, 2012.

More than a hundred movies will be screened in the Indian and World Cinema segments of the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) beginning in Goa tomorrow.

The opening ceremony will be a celebration of 100 years of India cinema, with actors such as Akshay Kumar, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Om Puri, Jackie Shroff and Vinay Pathak likely to be present.
While Akshay Kumar will be the chief guest at the opening ceremony, Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan, singer Kailash Kher and others will be the main attractions at the cultural celebratons.
International film personalities such as Plish director Krzysztof Zanussi, who will be conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award, Kim Ki-duk, Michael Winterbottom and Susanne Bier will also be amongst those present.
Briefing journalists about the festival here, IFFI director Shankar Mohan said the 10-day event would see the international premiere of Ang Lee’s much anticipated 3D Film ‘Life of Pi’, and also Kim Ki-duk’s‘Pieta’. 
Apart from showcasing cinema of varied cultures of the world, the festival will also bring together stalwarts like Nitin Desai, Resul Pookutty, Debabrata Pain, Shyam Benegal, Avy Kaufman, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and David Womark taking Master Classes which will provide the audience with an opportunity of interacting with the masters themselves.
As a first of its kind initiative, Canon will do a technical workshop to increase knowledge about the nuances of filmmaking. 
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. 
Apart from the Indian Panorama, the Indian section will bring to the audience varied films in different sections like ‘100 Years of Indian Cinema-A Celebration (Feature & Non-Feature)’ showcasing a selection of movies, ‘FTII: Young at 50’ which will showcase films from Film and Television Institute of India’s fifty years, Retrospective of Soumitra Chatterjee, Special Tribute to Girish Kasaravalli and Muzaffar Ali, Vintage: A Tribute to Masters showcasing works of Mrinal Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shyam Benegal, D Ramanaidu and K Balachander; Homages to Yash Chopra, Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, Navodaya Appachan, T Damodaran, Ashok Mehta, Rajen Kothari, A K Hangal, Dara Singh, Joy Mukherjee, Dinesh Thakur and Ravi Shankar Sharma; along with a showcase of Students’ Package and a package of movies celebrating Incredible India. 
Apart from the International Competition, the cine lovers at the 43rd IFFI will 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. 
Other sections in the International section include ‘A Cut Above’, ‘Masterstrokes’, ‘Festival Kaleidoscope’, ‘Turkish Currents’, ‘Sketches on Screen’, ‘Retrospective: Susanne Bier’, ‘Special Tribute: Ashok Amritraj’, ‘In Focus: Kim Ki-duk’, ‘Soul of Asia’, ‘Documentaries’ and ‘Homages’. 

Ansari presents Moortidevi Award for 2010 to Gopi Chand Narang

Vice President M. Hamid Ansari presenting the 24th Moortidevi Award to eminent Urdu scholar Gopi Chand Narang, at a function organized by the Bhartiya Jnanpith, in New Delhi on November 16, 2012.
Vice President M. Hamid Ansari presenting the 24th Moortidevi Award to eminent Urdu scholar Gopi Chand Narang, at a function organized by the Bhartiya Jnanpith, in New Delhi on November 16, 2012.

Vice President M. Hamid Ansari presented the “Moortidevi Award for 2010” to eminent Urdu scholar Gopi Chand Narang for his work ‘Urdu Ghazal aur Hindustani Zehan wa Tehzeeb” at a function organized by Bhartiya Jnanpith here today. 

Mr Ansari said Prof Narang rightly deserved the award and praised the selection board for choosing a litterateur whose work fully reflects the purpose and objectives for which the award was instituted. 
Mr Ansari said that Prof. Narang revived Urdu language in the country through his writings and he is one of the foremost theorist, literary critic and Urdu scholar of the country. 
His perceptive writings have helped Urdu criticism to become more contemporary and it was  befitting that his long academic life of excellence has been felicitated by conferring the Moortidevi award on him, the Vice-President added.

NGMA displays rare photographs by Kulwant Roy

One of the pictures on display at the exhibition,
One of the pictures on display at the exhibition,"Visual Archives of Kulwant Roy" which opened at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi on November 14, 2012.

The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here is displaying of some of the rarest photographs of Mahatma Gandhi, recently discovered and restored at an exhibition titled "Visual Archives of Kulwant Roy".

The exhibition showcases a selection of photographs taken by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984), one of the first free-lance photo-journalists who worked through the pre and post-independence era of Modern India, an era that witnessed many nationalist upsurges that shaped the political, constitutional, and economic future of the country.
The exhibition was inaugurated yesterday by Union Minister of Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch. Culture Secretary Sangita Gairola was the guest of honour on the occasion.
The exhabition has been curated by Aditya Arya, who has played a pivotal role in the formation of the India Photo Archive Foundation, of which he is a trustee, an official press release said.
Starting from 1930s to the 1960s, Roy's work followed mainstream national history. It comprised pictures of political meetings, iconic portraits and glimpses of the lives of freedom fighters and leaders of India, which are of historic significance. 
Besides this, his works contain images of daily life and the effects of nation building from the time of independence. 
Born in Baglikalan in Ludhiana, Punjab, Roy’s career started in the twenties. His earliest work of extreme importance was documenting the meeting of Mahatma Gandhi and Frontier Gandhi or Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in 1938. 
Later, working at the Royal Indian Air Force he tested his skills taking aerial shots from the cockpit. His patriotism got the better of him and he found it difficult to tolerate the discrimination at the hands of his British superiors and was court-martialled. 
Moving to Delhi around the time of partition, he witnessed and captured many of the events which shaped India’s Independence like Simla Cabinet Mission in 1945. Having followed the freedom movement closely his work captures the spirit and energy of it along with the hopes and aspirations of people at the time. 
Even after a decade of freedom, Roy still restless left for a world tour in 1958. He carried with him photographs from all around India, which were published in newspapers and magazines abroad. Prominent among these were pictures of people on the Amarnath Yatra in the snow-capped mountains of Kashmir. He took pictures of the countries( around forty) he visited . 
In 1963 he mailed all his photographs and negatives to his address in Delhi, but realized on his return that they were lost. 
NGMA Director Rajiv Lochan said the exhibition represents only a small fragment of a much larger collection of photo material, some part of which was lost or destroyed by the ravages of time. Many rare negatives, though, have been recovered through a long and painstaking process, and some of them are being displayed and exhibited for the first time. 
The exhibition attempts to highlight and showcase the brilliance and originality of Roy’s archival visuals, backed by textual references and annotations wherever present on the original envelopes, as well as other relevant accompanying information 
On display are more than 200 digital reproductions and over a 100 original silver bromide prints. Some large reproductions of rare negatives from 1938 of Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to NWFP where he met Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan are also present. 

Bollywood Snippets: Taurani's “JayantaBhai Ki Luv Story” to release on Feb 15

Jayanta Bhai ki Love Story

Tips' comic next, officially titled “JayantaBhai Ki Luv Story”, is scheduled to release on February 15 next year, a day after Valentine's Day.

Says producer Kumar Taurani, “We are happy to announce our next venture JayantaBhai Ki Luv Story, which will be a Valentine's week release. The shoots have been on schedule and we are very excited with the way things are shaping up. We can't wait for the film to hit the theatres."
Vinnil Markan, who is making his directorial debut with the film, says JayantaBhai Ki Luv Story is a film about how men and women fall in love unknowingly with people they least expect to. 
"Its a true Indian rom-com that’s light hearted, sensitive and entertaining with touch of bhaigiri for which Vivek Oberoi is famous for," he said.
“We finished our first location. Kotachiwadi was a beautiful setting and lent itself so perfectly to the scenes. Both Vivek Oberoi and Neha Sharma were extremely supportive of the grueling schedule," he added.
Starring Vivek Oberoi and Neha Sharma, the light-hearted comedy follows a gangster’s love story.
Subhash Ghai signs Mithun Chakravarthy for "Kaanchi"
Subhash Ghai has recently signed veteran actor Mithun Chakravarthy to play a stellar role in his next directorial venture "Kaanchi", which goes on the floor on January 13 with a new star cast along with an ensemble cast that includes Rishi Kapoor.
The music for Kaanchi is being done by Ismail Durbar and Salim Suleman with lyrics by Irshad Kamil.
"Mithun is one of the most talented actor in the Indian film Industry but he has never played a character like the one that he will play in Kaanchi . The way that the role has been conceived, it is one that will need to be watched out for," Ghai said.
A musical love story, Kaanchi is set to release on August 15, 2013
All praise for Malayalam star Prithviraj for Aiyya
After establishing himself as one of the biggest superstars down south, Malayalam actor Prithviraj has now set his sights on Bollywood, providing to audiences and the industry alike that is one to watch out for.
Said acclaimed critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh, “Prithviraj, who has several South Indian films to his credit, does a super job in his first Hindi outing, Aiyya. He has a striking screen presence, has worked hard to get in shape, but, most importantly, he is a damn confident actor."
All praise for her Aiyya co-star, said Rani Mukherjee, “He is a very special actor. He is handsome and lovely to work with, too. He is just awesome. Now I know why he is such a huge star."
The film’s producer Anurag Kashyup too had cited him as the possible next big star of Bollywood, with his next Hindi outing being Yash Raj Films "'Aurangzeb" and other interesting projects in the pipeline.
Talking about the kind of films that he looks at doing, says Prithvi: “All the films that I have signed or I intend to sign are purely on the basis of merit of what the films are about. As long as interesting work will find me, I will love to do more Bollywood films. I want to work in the genre that defines good cinema. Regardless of what the film is about, it should be a movie which deserves to be made."
Divya Kumar’s Yaariyaan launched on Dusshera 2012
Divya Kumar, wife of T-Series head honcho Bhushan Kumar, makes her directorial debut with Yaariyaan, a contemporary young film that takes audiences through the trials and tribulations of the best years of their life.
Producer by T-Series, the film went on the floors this Dassera, with the first schedule being filmed at Film City, Mumbai.
So kicked is the debutante director about her first venture that she is personally attending the talent workshops and even working in close quarters with the art director.
Says Divya Kumar, "I am very happy and excited that my film went on the floors on such an auspicious occasion, I’m hoping to have an amazing time shooting with the cast."
Adds Bhushan Kumar: “Yaariyaan is a film extremely special to me, especially since it's Divya’s first film as director. We are going all out to make it one of the biggest films of 2013."
The film will also be shot across other parts of the country and South Africa.

CCI finds no contravention of Competition Act by Yash Raj Films


The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has held that there was no contravention of the provisions of the Competition Act by the alleged agreement between Yash Raj Films Private Limited and single screen film exhibitors at the time of the release of its movie, Ek Tha Tiger in July-August this year.

The CCI passed its order in the case filed by Ajay Devgn Films against Yash Raj Films Private Limited. 
The informant in this case, Ajay Devgn Films, stated that the agreement entered into between Yash Raj Films Private Limited and single screen film exhibitors at the time of releasing its mega starrer film Ek Tha Tiger in July/August, 2012, was anti-competitive. 
The informant, a firm owned by actor Ajay Devgn, said that the opposite parties (Yash Raj Films and its associates) released Ek the Tiger on August 15 and had also planned to release another film, Jab Tak Hai Jahan (JTHJ) at the time of Diwali.
The complaint said Yash Raj Films had told the single screen exhibitors that if they wanted to exhibit Ek Tha Tiger, they would have to simultaneously agree to exhibit the other film, JTHJ, at the time of Diwali. Any single screen theatre who did not agree to booking of his theatre for both the films would not get the right to exhibit the single film.  
While some theatres entered into agreement with the opposite parties for exhibition of both the films, namely Ek Tha Tiger and JTHJ, some did not agree to this and did not enter into the agreement, it said.
The informant contended that this condition was violation of sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act. It said it was aggrieved because it feared that it would not get enough theatres for its own film, Son of Sardar.
In its ruling, the Commission said it was not convinced with the allegation. "There is a tie-in arrangement in this case whereby the opposite parties tied its earlier release with its forthcoming release. However, as per the scheme of the Act, tie-in arrangements per se are not violative of section 3(4)(a) of the Act," it said.
"Whether such an agreement is prohibited under the Act depends upon its actual or likely 
appreciable adverse effect on the competition in India. The governing principle under section 3(4) is 'appreciable adverse effect on competition in India'.  The guiding factors are stated under section 19(3) to assess whether any agreement is causing or likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition," it said.
According to it, the factors are as follows:
(a) creation of barriers to new entrants in the market;
(b) driving existing competitors out of the market;
(c) foreclosure of competition by hindering entry into the market; 
(d) accrual of benefits to consumers;
(e) improvements in production or distribution of goods or provision of services;
(f) promotion of technical, scientific and economic development by means of production 
or distribution of goods or provision of services.
"Considering the effect of the impugned agreement on the touchstone of factors 
elucidated under section 19(3), the Commission is of the view that the impugned agreement is not affecting the competition in the Indian markets as such. The agreement has niether craeated entry barriers for new entrants nor drove existing competitors out of the market, nor is there any appreciable effect on the benefits accruing to the ultimate consumers viz. the viewers. 
"The single screen theatres were aware at the time of entering this agreement in July, 
2012, that many other films were likely to be released during Diwali. At that particular time, the single screen theatres took a business decision to screen two films of opposite parties (one during Eid and other at Diwali, respectively) rather than screening any other film that may be released. Some single screen theatres refused to enter into such an agreement and were free to screen any film they wished to, including that of the informant. This is also a competitive decision  taken by the single screen theatres in their own interest. It was a legitimate commercial decision taken by the parties to the agreement at that particular time. 
"Also, the agreements  have  not curtailed informant's right to screen its film altogether. Single screen theatres, as per the eralier report of DG, contribute only 35% of revenue and multiplex theatres contribute about 65% of the revenue. The multiplexes are not constrained from exhibiting infromant's film. The Informant is free to exhibit its film on multiplexes and on 
those single screen theatres which did not enter into agreement with opposite parties. 
"Moreover, the release of film can be preponed or postponed as per the availability of screens by a distributor. The impugned agreement is purely commercial in nature between parties promoting their economic interests and as such does not affect any particular market. The impugned agreement, therefore, does not violate section 3(4) of the Act," the ruling said.
The CCI said the act of booking theatres by a distributor for its two films simultaneously when the theatre owners have the liberty either to agree or not to agree, is not a restraint on the freedom of business of theatre owners. The theatre owners can wait for other films and can refuse to book their theatres simultaneously for two films.  
"Even otherwise the non significant position held by the single screen theatres does not cause any adverse effect on the competition.  As per the information available with the Commission, even single screen theatres in some of the states are further sub-divided in category A, category B and category C and the distributors discriminate between these categories and do not allow release of new films in category B or category C theatres and only choose category A theatres.  Thus the market of exhibition of new films on single screen theatres in the context of this case is not of enough significance to cause an appreciable adverse effect on the competition.  
"Even otherwise, the market cannot be restricted to any particular period like Eid or Diwali and the market has to be considered a market available throughout the year.  If many high ticket mega starrer films compete with each other to be released only on the occasion of festivals, the choice lies with the theatres and each theatre is at liberty to book its theatre even in advance and it cannot be said that this had appreciable adverse effect on the market. 
"The subject of appreciability is of huge practical importance for the competition.  The Commission cannot issue restraint orders in 5 respect of agreements which are of minor importance.  While issuing restraint orders, the Commission has to keep in mind the overall exhibition market and not a particular period of the market," it added.

Scrabble Entertainment expands into Latin America

Scrabble Entertainment, an India-based digital cinema deployment entity, today said that, after successfully deploying digital cinema in India and the Middle East, it was expanding into Latin America.

"The company plans to deploy DCI-compliant digital cinema equipment to cinemas in the region," a press release from Scrabble said here.
To facilitate this deployment, Scrabble has so far signed separate non-exclusive digital cinema deployment agreements for the region with each of major Hollywood studios: Warner Bros Pictures International, Universal Pictures International, Walt Disney Motion Pictures International, Sony Pictures Releasing International Corporation is expected to sign the same with 20th Century Fox International.
Subject to the terms and conditions under each agreement, each studio will separately provide certain financial contributions to promote digital cinema when supplying films, if booked, in digital form to Scrabble’s exhibitors. 
Scrabble’s roll out plan will commence in early 2013 and will initially cover Brazil, Mexico and Chile, the release said.
"The benefits of digital cinema will be realized by all participants in these locations, from content owners, to distributors, to exhibitors, to most importantly moviegoers. Within a few months of establishing an operating presence in the region, Scrabble expects to widen its reach to other Latin American countries as well," it said.
“Our creative ways and out-of-the-box model have made us successful in every country in which we have deployed digital cinema so far. The Latin American marketplace will be no different. This region has a unique set of challenges and there will be stiff competition with other deploying entities. We believe that exhibitors will be inclined to work with us because of our unique and flexible business model,” said Ranjit Thakur, CEO of Scrabble Entertainment.
UFO Moviez holds a controlling stake in Scrabble Entertainment. “With the deployment window being so small & the end of 35 mm prints right ahead of us, exhibitors in the region are scrambling to get digital equipment at the earliest. Integrators who get in first with the most practical business model for the exhibitors will be ahead of the game. With the backing of UFO’s financial muscle, Scrabble is prepared to have more skin in the region” said Kapil Agarwal, Joint Managing Director of UFO Moviez.
Scrabble plans to convert to digital projection 100% of each and every cinema that signs up with them. 
"The management of the company strongly believes that with prints becoming harder and harder to come by in the near future, complete digitization in every cinema is essential. This benefits not only the exhibitors with whom Scrabble works, but the industry as a whole ensuring that the movie-going public will continue to enjoy the higher quality theatrical experience," the release added.

President to confer Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships, Awards on Oct 9


President Pranab Mukherjee will confer the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships on 11 eminent personalities and Akademi Awards on 36 artistes at a special ceremony here on October 9.

The Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna) and Akademi Award (Akademi Puraskar) are recognized as the highest national honours conferred on performing artistes, gurus and scholars of the performing arts and have come to stay as the most coveted honour which the artistes aspire to. 
These honours are decided by Akademi’s General Council, the apex body consisting of eminent artistes, scholars and nominees of Government of India and of different States and Union Territories of the country. 
The highest honour of Fellowship will be conferred on cultural historian Mukund Lath, flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia,  santoor player Shivkumar Sharma, sarod player Amjad Ali Khan, mridangam player Umayalpuram Kasiviswanatha Sivaraman, violinist Mohan Chandrasekaran, Manipuri dance exponent Rajkumar Singhajit Singh, Kathakali artiste Kalamandalam Gopi, Bharata Natyam exponent Padma Subrahmanyam,  Kannada poet, playwright and folklorist Chandrasekhar Basavanneppa Kambara and theatre personality Heisnam Kanhailal.
They will receive purse money of Rs 3 lakhs, besides an angavastram and a tamrapatra. The Fellowship of the Akademi is the most rare honour, which is restricted to a limited number at a given time. Presently there are only 40 living Fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi. 
The eminent representatives of Music, Dance and Theatre to be honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2011 will receive purse money of Rs 1 lakh, angavastram and tamrapatra. 
In the field of music, nine eminent artistes will receive the award. They are Shruti Sadolikar Katkar and Marathe Venkateshkumar for Hindustani Vocal Music, Tota Ram Sharma (Pakhawaj) and Pushpraj Ramlal Koshti (Surbahar) for Hindustani Instrumental Music, J Venkatraman for Carnatic Vocal Music, Ellapulli Mahadevaiyer Subramaniam (Ghatam), Ayyagari Syamasundaram (Veena) and Seshampatti T Sivalingam (Nagaswaram) for Carnatic Instrumental Music, and Gopal Chandra Panda (Odissi Music) for Other Major Traditions of Music.
In the field of dance, nine practitioners have been chosen for the award. They are Narthaki Nataraj (Bharatanatyam), Manjusree Chatterjee (Kathak), Thonnakkal Peethambaran (Kathakali), Priti Patel (Manipuri), Alekhya Punjala (Kuchipudi), Ramli Ibrahim (Odissi), V K Hymavathy (Mohiniattam), Tanusree Shankar (Creative & Experimental Dance) and Karaikudi R. Krishnamurthy (Music for Dance - Mridangam).
In the field of Theatre, eight eminent persons who will be receiving the Akademi Awards are Kirti Jain for Direction, Amitabh Srivastava, Vikram Chandrakant Gokhle, Neena Tiwana and A R Srinivasan for Acting, R Nageswara Rao for Major Traditions of Theatre – Company Theatre, Andhra Pradesh and Kamal Jain for Allied Theatre Arts (Lighting). 
For their contribution to other Traditional/Folk/ Tribal Music/ Dance/ Theatre and Puppetry, eight artists - Thrippekulam Achuta Marar for Traditional Music (Kerala), Hemant Rajabhai Chauhan for Folk Music (Gujarat), Gurmeet Bawa for Folk Music (Punjab), Kashi Ram Sahu for Folk Theatre (Chhattisgarh), Mipham Otsal for Traditional Theatre (Jammu & Kashmir), Belagallu Veeranna for Togalu Gombeyatta, Puppetry (Karnataka), Gopal Chandra Das for Putul Nach (Tripura) and Qasim Khan Niyazi for Making of Musical Instrument (Delhi) will be conferred with the Akademi Award for the year 2011. 
Shrivatsa Goswami will receive the award Overall Contribution / Scholarship to Performing Arts. 
Alakhnandan (Theatre–Direction) and Sundari Krishnalal Shridharani (Overall Contribution) were also selected for Akademi Awards 2011. Due to their demise, the award will be conferred on them posthumously. 
The presentation ceremony will be followed by a Festival of Music, Dance and Drama featuring Fellows and Awardees of the year from October 9-16.
The Sangeet Natak Akademi, established by the Government of India on 31 May 1952, is the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama. It was created as the apex body in the country for the task of preservation and promotion of the performing art tradition of India. One of the important activities of the Akademi has been to give recognition and honours to artistes for setting standards in performing arts and restoring the art and artists to their rightful place in independent India. 

Dish TV provides live entertainment on Maharaja Express

A view of a compartment in the Maharaja Express, with live television facility
A view of a compartment in the Maharaja Express, with live television facility

Travellers on the Maharaja Express, one of the top 25 luxury trains in the world, can now watch live television, thanks to Dish TV's mobile train technology installed in all its coaches.

A press release from Dish TV said every seat had a dedicated set top box (STB), which enables the passengers to view channels of their own choice on the go.
It said the train, moving in any direction, at any speed, will receive seamless digital signals through the maintenance-free and highly robust mobile train technology.
"Dish TV Mobile Train Technology will facilitate travelers to watch live programs, news, matches and their favorite movies," it said.
Mr. Salil Kapoor, COO, Dish TV said, “As a pioneer and market leader of the DTH Industry, it is indeed a proud moment for us to take TV entertainment to a completely unprecedented level by bringing Live TV experience to one of the top twenty five luxury trains in the world – ‘Maharaja Express’. 
"We continue to provide the latest technology through our constant innovation to the consumers. It’s a proud moment for us to render our services to Maharaja Express, our thrust to provide entertainment through all modes and medium has created a benchmark in mobile train technology," he said.
Mr. Vineet Singh, GGM Services, IRCTC, said, “We are extremely pleased to join hands with Dish TV to bring Live TV entertainment on our prestigious and luxury train - Maharaja Express. Our foreign guests and elite travelers are pleasantly surprised to see live TV facility available on the train in every cabin and suite. They are enjoying live matches and different programmes on the move which makes our atmosphere quite lively and friendly. Being connected with the world with live news from both national and international channels is a great facility, when one is travelling. IRCTC has always welcomed new initiatives and we appreciate Dish TV technological expertise in providing this innovative facility on our trains”. 
In 2010, Dish TV had launched its Mobile Train Technology on Palace on Wheels and Royal Rajasthan on Wheels and two other luxury trains.  
Dish TV, a direct-to-home company, is part of the Zee Group. 

Bollywood Snippets: Celebrity musicians to perform at Global Indian Music Awards

Interviews with GIMA 2012 nominees

In its third year, the  Global Indian Music Awards (GIMA) will have a number of celebrity musicians perform at what promises to be one of the biggest nights out for Indian music.

Keeping with high octane atmosphere at the awards, actor and singer Saif Ali Khan will co-host the awards for the first time. He will be joined by the beautiful Parineeti Chopra. The two are sure to enthrall in their GiMA hosting debut with their wit and charisma. 
Saif earlier performed at the 1st GiMA Awards with musician Pritam to Yeh Dooriyan from the film Love Aaj Kal. 
Being held on Monday, the 1st of October, at Yashraj Studios in Mumbai, GiMA will continue to recognize and honour excellence in Indian music. 
Saif Ali Khan said, “Music holds a special place in my heart. This is very exciting since it is the first time I will be hosting an evening dedicated solely to music. I was associated with GiMA in its first year and it was a great experience. In its third year, I look forward to this grand celebration and it will be an honour to see such great music legends and new talent come together on this wonderful platform.” 
With the GIMA awards up for grabs in both film and non-film genres, this year’s awards are bound to be a star – studded musical event. Another reason to look forward to this year’s GiMA Awards is the line-up of performances in store. 
An initiative by Wizcraft International Entertainment, GiMA is a pioneering effort to recognize Indian music talent, transcending genres, giving the music industry a unified platform to celebrate its talent.
Aashiqui 2 to retain the 1990 hit “Sason Ki Zaroorat”  
Bringing back romantic melodies in a huge way ,T-Series & Vishesh Films with their next venture, the sequel to the 1990 ‘ hit Aashiqui, promise to not disappoint audiences with the music of the film, that will be reminiscent of the blockbuster album.
In fact the makers have also decided to retain the title song “Sason Ki Zaroorat” from the original album, paying tribute to the film.
Confirms producer Mahesh Bhatt, "Nostalgia is a deadly 'drug'. And when a super hit song like this is used to evoke nostalgia it can set the box office ablaze. Our single objective of  Aashiqui 2 is to make sure that the  musical score of this film beats the record created by Aashiqui. I am certain using this track will do that trick.”
Says producer Bhushan Kumar,T-Series “We’ve already recorded many songs for Aashiqui 2 and we’re confident that the audience will enjoy them. But people insisted we bring back at least one song from the original. Using older tracks in films has anyway become a trend.”
In the day and age of remixes, ask the music-honcho if they plan on going the same route with the song and he is quick to reply “‘Sason ki zaroorat’ is a beautiful track. You can’t remix it. But we will recreate it, keeping the lyrics and the basic tune intact. We will rearrange the rhythm and make it more electronic to make it appealing for today’s generation.” adds Kumar.
 Directed by Mohit Suri,starring Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor ,T-Series & Vishesh Films' musical drama Aashiqui 2 is currently being shot in South Africa.

Bollywood Snippets: Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai-2 scheduled for Eid 2013 release

File photo of Ekta Kapoor
File photo of Ekta Kapoor

The sequel to the 2010 blockbuster Mumbai: Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai is slated for release at Eid next year.

With a huge cast comprising Akshay Kumar, Imran Khan, Sonakshi Sinha and Sonali Bendre, the Milan Luthria-directed film produced by Balaji Motion Pictures is expected to release on 2500+ screens nationwide.
And while a survey touted the sequel to be among the most anticipated films, the makers have decided on the film's nationwide release on Eid given its enormous stature and scale. The film’s four leads play Muslim characters in the film.
Says Luthria, "'The film-going public can celebrate this festival next year with the unexpected combo of Akshay Kumar and Imran Khan who are terrific together, along with Sonakshi Sinha and Sonali Bendre, all of who are playing flamboyant Muslim characters. We've already recorded a brilliant Sufi qawwali and there's lots more.... mainly.... entertainment... entertainment... and entertainment!"
Adds producer Ekta Kapoor, "Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai-2 is our biggest project and among the most keenly awaited tent-poles of 2013. Everything about the film - its size, set-up, music, release and marketing are going to be larger than life. Eid is the best time to release this runaway mass entertainer!"
Rajat Aroraa, who wrote Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai and The Dirty Picture, is the writer, and Pritam, who had scored a chartbusting soundtrack for the original, returns on the sequel.
A part of the film has already been shot in Muscat (Oman). The remainder will be shot at real locations in Mumbai.
Sophie Choudhry impresses with "It's All About Tonight" in Ishkq in Paris
For all those wondering who sings the sassy French lines "It's All About Tonight" in Ishkq in Paris, look no further than Sophie Choudry, who not only sung the French lines to perfection, but also penned them herself.
'Ishkq in Paris' music launch
Set in a Parisian night club, the song composed by Sajid-Wajid includes three languages-Hindi sung by Sunidhi Chauhan and English and French sung by Sophie.
Talking about how she was offered the song, says Sophie, "I met Preity (Zinta) at an event some time ago and she heard me speaking in French with the actress Isabelle Adjani. She invited me over to listen to 'It’s All About Tonight' later and asked me for my inputs. That’s when I sang a couple of lines and was then offered the song."
The singer-songwriter is also all praise for lead star Zinta’s dedication to getting the song just right. Adds  Sophie “Preity wrote down all the lines in Hindi so that she could get the pronunciation right. It was exciting to see her do that and learn.”
Under Preity Zinta’s home production banner PZNZ Media, Ishkq In Paris directed by Prem Raj ,starring her, Rhehan Malliek and renowned French actress and two-time Academy nominee Isabelle Adjani, is slated for release on November 2.

"Barfi!" to be India's entry in foreign language category at Oscars

Barfi, a happy-go-lucky film : Ranbir Kapoor
Ranbir Kapoor-starrer "Barfi!" will be india's official entry in the foreign language category at the Oscars this year
""We are honoured that Barfi! has been selected to represent India as its official entry to the Academy Awards 2013," Mr Siddharth Roy Kapur, Managing Director--Studios, Disney UTV, said.
"Barfi! is very close to the hearts of all of us at UTV, and it gives us great satisfaction that a film we have developed and nurtured from its inception has met with so much love from audiences and critics worldwide. 
"An added source of pride is that this is the fourth UTV film in the last seven years to have been selected to represent India at the Academy awards; our earlier selections being Rang De Basanti (2006), Harishchandrachi Factory (2009) and Peepli Live (2010),"  he added.

Mukesh Bhatt elected as President of Film & Television Producers Guild of India


Well-known filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt was unanimously elected as President of The Film & Television Producers Guild of India Ltd. at the first meeting of the newly elected Guild Council of Management held here recently.

Mr Bhatt succeeds Mr Ramesh Sippy at the end of his two-year tenure.
Mr Siddharth Roy Kapur was unanimously elected as Vice President of the Guild. Mr  Dheeraj Kumar, Mr Ashutosh Gowariker and Mr Vipul Shah were also re-elected as Vice Presidents along with Mr Manish Goswami and Mr Ashim Samanta who were also re-elected as Treasurers.
Ms. Ekta Kapoor and Ms. Shrishti Arya were nominated as the two new members in the newly- formed Guild Council of Management for the year 2012-13.
Mr Kulmeet Makkar will continue to manage the affairs of the Guild as its Chief Executive Officer.

Bollywood Snippets: Devgn performs trademark stunt with horses in "Son of Sardar"

Ajay Devgn in a scene from Son of Sardar
Ajay Devgn in a scene from Son of Sardar

Actor Ajay Devgn has always kept his audiences on the edge of their seats with his breathtaking high octane stunts since the beginning of his career.

Film goers remember the iconic scene from his debut film "Phool Aur Kaante", in which he performed a stunt of fearlessly standing on two moving bikes, even performing a perfect split as well on route!!  
He was next seen performing very similar stunts by effortlessly standing on two sports bikes followed by the stunt on two powerful hummers and cars in Rohit Shetty’s successful ‘Golmaal’ series.
This time the actor has gone even further and raised the bar for action to an all time high by performing a never-seen, never-done before act in his coming film ‘Son of Sardaar’, breaking his own record! He will be seen masterfully riding not one but two horses at one time, creating a power-packed image onscreen for his fans.
A source close to the team said, “Yes, Ajay will be seen riding two horses in the movie.  Horses are one of the toughest animals to ride. Though the horses were trained it required Ajay to practise a lot as he had to manage the timing of both the horses together. We were all very scared but at the same time there was an excitement seeing him perform one of its kind-stunt which will go down in the history of Bollywood. He has always been the pioneer of action and this stunt will showcase him like never before!!”
Son Of Sardaar (SOS), produced by Ajay Devgn Ffilms and YRV Infra & Media (P) Ltd Production, is directed by Ashwni Dhir and also stars Sonakshi Sinha, Juhi Chawla and Sanjay Dutt
Releasing on Diwali Day, 13th November 2012, SOS is a Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Eros International presentation.
Katrina denies reports about buying new house
Actress Katrina Kaif has rejected media reports that she has bought a new house and that actors Salman Khan and Ranbir Kapoor had visited her.
Katrina's spokesperson says, ""There is no truth to the reports that Katrina Kaif is house hunting, leave alone shifting into a new apartment in that particular vicinity since she has her hands full with her professional commitments .She is very happy with her current home and has no immediate plans of changing it."

ORF to release "Masked Identies" on India's intangible cultural heritage on Sep 17

Masked Identities
Masked Identities

The Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Mumbai and Reliance Foundation, in association with Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Asia Society and the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), will release ORF's latest book, Masked Identies: Safeguarding India's Intangible Cultural Heritage at a two-day event here on September 17-18.

The release event on September 17, at NCPA's Experimental Theatre, will be followed by a panel discussion on the subject and a performance of the Purulia Chhau dance.
On September 18, ORF Mumbai will organise a book reading session of Masked Identities followed by a Kutiyattam dance performance at the same venue.
The book, authored by Shubha Srinivasan, Fellow & Programme Coordinator, ORF Mumbai, depicts the current status of India’s Intangible Cultural Heritage, nine years after the ratification of the UNESCO Convention in 2003.
A Purulia Chhai performer in full dance attire.
A Purulia Chhai performer in full dance attire.
The pre-and-post UNESCO analysis has been conducted through detailed case studies of UNESCO-recognised masked theatre forms across four Asia-Pacific countries, deriving larger cross-cultural lessons for India.
The book includes detailed case studies of Kutiyattam and Chhau from India, Kabuki and Noh from Japan, Peking Opera and Kunqu from China, and Indonesia’s Balinese dance forms.
The book will be released by Mr Baijayant Panda, Member of Parliament, and Ms Sangita Gairola, Secretary, Ministry of Culture.
The panel discussion on Intangible Cultural Heritage will include Ms Leela Samson, Chair, Sangeet Natak Akademi; Ms Sudha Gopalakrishnan, founder, Sahapedia, and former director, National Mission of Manuscripts; Mr Ganesh Devy, Chair, People’s Linguistic Survey of India; Mr K K Chakravarthy, former Chancellor, National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NEUPA) and Director, Institute of Heritage Management and Research; Ms Tasneem Mehta, Vice Chairman of INTACH; and  Ms Abha Narain Lambah, heritage conservationist. The discussion will be moderated by the author, Ms Srinivasan. 
Chhau dance was nominated to UNESCO’s representative list in 2010 and is performed across Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand. Purulia Chhau originated from the Purulia district, West Bengal, and is electrifying and dynamic in nature with its unique masked characters and acrobatic vigour.
A Kutiyattam performer.
A Kutiyattam performer.
Nepal Mahato and troupe of the Adabana Tarun Sangha Chhau Dance Society will perform two of their most popular stories at the event. Mahisasur Badh features the epic battle between Mahisasur and goddess Durga, while Kirat Arjun depicts Shiva and Parvati testing Arjun’s character and courage. The dance is fast-paced featuring unique acrobatic and martial arts elements, with the beats of the Dhol, Dhumsa and Nagara creating a trance-like atmosphere.  Chhau stories are a treasury of Indian mythologies, folklores and Puranas.
The Kutiyattam performance, Balivadham, wil be by Margi Madhu and troupe. Margi Madhu Chakyar comes from a rich lineage of Kutiyattam performers. He is the son of Moozhikkulam Kochukuttan Chakyar and nephew of Ammannoor Madhava Chakyar. 
The extended four-hour performance will depict the story of the epic battle from Ramayana between the king of monkeys, Vali, and his brother, Sugriva.
A press reease from ORF said that all proceeds from the sale of books will go towards an Artists Welfare Fund which will be managed jointly by ORF Mumbai and its partners. 

Bollywood Snippets: Esha Gupta says no to body double for nude scene

Raaz 3 Esha Gupta Interview

Barely two films old, newcomer Esha Gupta has already managed to impress quite a few with her professionalism and dedication towards her roles.

The actress, who recently shot for a nude scene in her coming 3-D horror flick Raaz 3, did so minus a body double and without any inhibitions.
Reveals a source “The near-to-nude scenes were crucial to the script of the film. And while Esha was offered a body double, she insisted on doing the scenes herself. She had no qualms shooting for the scenes since she comes from an extensive modeling background 
"She completely trusted the team’s judgment and shot for the bold scenes like a thorough professional," the source said.
All praise for the actress, says director Vikram Bhatt “The scenes Esha has done is with utmost grace. She has shot for them beautifully.”
The first –of-its-kind 3D horror film,starring Emraan Hashmi, Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta follows the journey of a fading superstar’s revenge against a rising star.
Presented by Fox Star Studios and produced by Vishesh Films ,Vikram Bhatt’s Raaz 3 releases on September 7.
Shreyas Talpade gets his dream treehouse
Actor Shreyas Talpade got the biggest surpise when director Priyadarshan constructed a treehouse at Wai where they were shooting for their film Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal produced by Percept Pictures. 
Shreyas loved the Wai sets so much that he yearned to have a treehouse constructed. He casually mentioned it to Priyadarshan and the next day it was all done.
“The next morning when I woke up, I was shocked to see a treehouse being constructed for me. I was touched that Priyan Sir took so much pain to make my one dream come true,” said Shreyas. 
And what's more is that the treehouse was actually used in the film.
Ardent fan gifts Tusshar Kapoor a painting 
Actor Tusshar Kapoor was in for a pleasant surprise when an ardent fan of his gifted him a painting of himself.
The fan who for several days camped outside the actor’s house managed to present his painting to him, which also carried the line “Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai,Dil Ki Yahi Tamanna Hai - I’m your biggest fan."
Apart from being surprised, Tusshar was so touched by the gesture that he even went ahead and put it up in his room.
Reveals a source, “A die-hard fan of Tusshar’s who is also an artist by profession, made a painting of him and gifted it to Tusshar. Not the kind to have starry airs, Tusshar obliged the fan, thanked him for the gift and has even hung it up in his home since he was so overwhelmed by the gesture."

Bollywood Snippets: Rave reviews for Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi

Promotion of Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi

Eros International and Bhansali Productions' Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi achieved what it set out to, as the film opened to encouraging reviews all over the country.

Says acclaimed critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh “Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi is a simple, unfussy and heartfelt movie that hits the right notes. The film supports the fact that no one is too old to fall in love. Truly, this wonderful love story has no expiry date. Recommended!”
Adds Aniruddha Guha of the newspaper DNA, “Shirin Farhad... is quite clearly modelled on the Hrishikesh Mukherjee brand of cinema – you meet good-hearted characters, enter their lives, see them dealing with regular problems and then resolving conflicts without much ado or overt drama.”
Audiences and critics alike are also all praise for the film’s leading pair, veteran comedian Boman Irani and Farah Khan, director and choreographer who makes her acting debut with the film . 
“Boman Irani portrays yet another part that makes him stand out in the crowd. It's a sheer delight watching him get this part absolutely right. Brownie points to this supremely talented actor for yet another flawless performance!" Adarsh said.
“Though this is Farah's first attempt at acting, she depicts the character with fervor. In fact, I doubt, any other actor would've pulled off this role with such deftness and flair. She nails the character and how!" he added.
Bhavikk Sangghvi says: “Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi ….Thodi khatti, bahut meethi love story. You will be a gadhera to miss this one!”
Anurag Basu used his car as a train for Barfi!
Anurag Basu's prized Maruti 800 was used as the engine of the train for the movie Barfi!
Barfi!'s art director Rajat Podar badly needed a train for the shoot. They had already used plywood and cooking tumblers as the headlights of the train. However, the engine was missing. 
So, Basu found a way out of it and asked the art director to use his car as the engine of the train.  
“We needed a train for the shoot, and we practically created it out of my first car. After we created the body of the train, we didn't know how to move it. Suddenly, I thought my old car may be of some use. I showed it to our artist and he was ready to work on it. Within days, he modified it to make it fit on the train's body, and we finally had a train shoot. It's incredible," Basu said.
Apparently, Basu used to romance his wife in this very same car, which also happens to be his first. With so many memories associated with the car, the filmmaker cherishes it as a lucky charm.

First look of Shah Rukh Khan in Yash Chopra's new film

First look of actor Shahrukh Khan in Yash Chopra's untitled film
First look of actor Shahrukh Khan in Yash Chopra's untitled film

Well-known director Yash Chopra has started shooting for the next schedule of his yet untitled film in Ladakh last week.

The first look of the film broke with a theatrical teaser trailer recently and this has added to the  interest and buzz for the film. 
Starring Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma, the film also brings together A. R. Rahman and Gulzar, who along with Chopra, are creating the music for the romantic film.
The film is scheduled for a Diwali November 13th 2012 release, the festive time when Chopra's movies over the years have lit up homes worldwide.

Ketan Mehta launches "Mountain Man" on real-life story of Dashrath Manjhi

Ketan Mehta, one of India’s most internationally acclaimed filmmakers who has made several greatly applauded  films like Mirch Masala, Maya Memsaab and Mangal Pandey, has launched his next film, "Mountain Man".

Mountain Man is the soul-stirring story of the amazingly inspiring Dashrath Manjhi, famous for being the man who broke a mountain for love.  
The film was announced today in Mumbai on the occasion of the ‘Punyatithi’ of this noble man. 
According to the makers of the film, Mountain Man is a tribute to the power of the human will.  It is the untold story of a hero, who achieved the unachievable, and conquered the unconquerable, benefitting generations from his selfless act.
Set in 1960, the movie tells the inspiring real story of a man who singlehandedly, armed just with a hammer and chisel, worked day and night for 22 years and broke a mountain!  He  managed the feat of constructing a 360 feet long, 30 feet high and 25 feet wide passage through Gehlour hills in Bihar reducing the distance between Atri and Wazirganj  in Gaya district from 75 km to just one km.
“To me, Dashrath Manjhi, the Mountain Man, is Mr. India. He embodies the spirit of independent India, the amazing, indomitable, never-say-die spirit of achieving the impossible against all odds. It is the story of mind over matter," Mehta said.
"The film depicts the victory of an idea – the idea of being the change.  But above all it is a 
great love story, set amongst the wretched of the earth.  His sheer perseverance  and determination, as they say, would ‘move the mountains’ of apathy- a fighter whose weapon was not a gun but the human will, fuelled by love !’’ he said.
To play the eponymous role of this altruistic man, Ketan has chosen the rising star of Indian cinema, Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Nawazuddin has recently managed to charm critics and audiences alike with his brilliant performance as Faizal Khan in Gangs of Wasseypur.
Speaking about the film and his role, Nawazuddin said, “As an actor I always crave for challenges, and working with Ketan Sir is a huge opportunity and honour. I’m also fortunate to get the opportunity to essay the role of such a great man. What Dashrath Manjhi has done is greater than anything anyone could’ve ever done for love. He made a monument of love, with his own hands! And his monument of love, for me, went even beyond being just a thing of beauty like the Taj Mahal - it actually transformed the lives of millions of people! I cannot wait to begin the shoot for this film.”
Said producer Deepa Sahi ‘’I am most excited about Nawazuddin acting in it -  unfortunately I had not seen him before I saw ‘Kahaani’  but  the moment he stepped into frame as ‘Khan’  I knew a great actor had come in  – and how he handled the difficult scenes in Gangs confirmed that!  Watch out for this new age actor as, ’Dashrath Manjhi’. ‘’
The script has been co-written by Mehta himself, along with Anjum Rajabali and Mahendra Jhakar. The rest of the cast will be finalized soon and the film will go on the floors later this year.

Actor Amitabh Bachchan launches his Facebook page

Amitabh Bachchan's Facebook page
Amitabh Bachchan's Facebook page

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who has a huge following on social networking sites, launched his official Facebook page this morning.

This page will be a one stop destination for Bachchan’s fans to connect, interact and engage with him.
It will also provide up-to-date information about the actor’s coming movies, pictures and videos, as well as exclusive photographs from his private collection. It will also have a welcome video by Bachchan.
“Facebook needs no introduction and I feel that my official Facebook fan page was long overdue. Facebook is a powerful tool that helps bring people together and allows us to embrace being a part of a larger community. I have been encouraged by the overwhelming reception to my tumblr blog, and this is another avenue to reach out to my fans, not only in India, but globally,” Bachchan said.
Bachchan’s fans who are on Facebook can now join in the conversation with the Bollywood actor at his Facebook page at

Sonam Kapoor unveils "The Great Indian Wedding Book"

Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor with publisher Atul Pandey at the launch of The Great Indian Wedding Book at a function in Mumbai on August 19, 2012
Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor with publisher Atul Pandey at the launch of The Great Indian Wedding Book at a function in Mumbai on August 19, 2012
Popular actress Sonam Kapoor, along with Hema Malini, the original "dream girl", unveiled "The Great Indian Wedding Book", a collection of articles and pictures by experts on couture, food, entertainment, jewellery and many other aspects of Indian weddings, at a function here yesterday.
"There is a certain poetic charm about the Great Indian Wedding, steeped in tradition and replete with notes of luxury, that makes it quite a 'spectacle'. The rustle of silks and luster of jacquard weave a spell. Festivities and traditions dalliance with each other as notes of celebration blend with unadulterated luxury to create an extraordinary affair that needs to be chronicled," a press release from the publishers of the book.
Others present at the launch of the limited edition coffee table book, during the ongoing India International Jewellery Week (IIJW) here, included the publisher Atul Pandey and editors Iram Mirza and Jotica Sehgal.
The book also includes an interview with Sonam on how she would like to plan her edding.
"It takes the marital romance forward with a peek into the traditional and contemporary sartorial stylizations of maverick Indian couturiers and pins a mood-board documenting the myriad color inspirations for the wedding. The saga of grandeur continues with a dip into the indulgence and excess another segment that features assortment of lifestyle luxury mementos and extravagance that marks 'The Great Indian Wedding', the release said.
The book lists the luxury wedding specialists in the country and from around the world in its last segment.
"The Great Indian Wedding Book aims to morph into a holy grail for soon to be brides. A never before concept, this book encapsulates the soul of this epic celebration. Poised between the timeless traditional and lure of luxury, the traditional Indian wedding has carved its own niche. The wedding experts from around the globe contribute their unique ideas to stitch a fairytale wedding. With its old worldly ornate look, The Great Indian Wedding Book offers an exhaustive guide to the readers, as they embark on the journey to weave a grand nuptial spectacle," Pandey said.
"The Great Indian Wedding Book is a saga of nuptial grandeur with its poetic charm intact. While the first segment 'The Wedding Wishlist' chronicles the excerpts of some of the most luxurious weddings around the world, woven by the ace wedding experts the second segment,'The Wedding Ideas' has ace industry experts like mavericks couteriers, master chefs, fabled jewellery makers, contributing unique ideas for a grand wedding. The book also features an exhausting guide of the ace wedding makers in the 'The Wedding Resources' segment and ‘The Wedding Pallete' that offers the new bridal styles and decor palette for a luxurious wedding affair,' Mirza and Sehgal added.
The contributors to the book incude couteriers J J Valaya, Shantanu and Nikhil, Tarun Tahiliani, Gauri and Nainika, Gaurav Gupta, Suneet Verma, jewellery experts Umesh Nagappa, Ramesh Narang, Sudhir Kasliwal and Rajiv Arora, jewellery designers Roopa Vohra, Farah Khan, food experts Puneet Sikand and Vikas Khanna, wedding expert Aditya Motwane, invitation expert Ravish Kapoor, perfume expert Roja Dove and luxury personal shopper Monica Vaziralli.

Bollywood Snippets: Katrina Kaif wows the box office with Ek Tha Tiger

Ek Tha Tiger promotion on sets of Dance India Dance

With Ek Tha Tiger storming the box office, Bollywood’s lucky mascot Katrina Kaif has proved lucky yet again, as the film goes on to rake unprecedented figures.

Says a trade source: “Katrina has been part of some of the biggest commercial films, right from Welcome, Singhh is Kingg, Race, Rajneeti, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, and adding to that hit roster now is Ek Tha Tiger ,that has gone on to garner historic figures."
"Katrina has always associated with the right films and is dedicated both in her performances as well seeing the film through from the filming to the promotions," he said.
While the action-entertainer makes for the actress’s 13th hit so far, critics and audiences alike don’t hold back praise for Katrina, who was lauded for her dignified performance and action sequences.
Says acclaimed critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh, “Katrina is not relegated to the backseat. Neither is she arm candy here. She has a meaty part and to her credit, she handles it with aplomb. Also, watch out for her stunts… This is a new Katrina here!” 
Says critic Sukanya Verma,Rediff: “Snappy, snazzy, and substantial. Especially the Katrina bits, the Kat roars...The leading lady's nimble accomplishments took me by surprise."
“Katrina Kaif is gorgeous as always and puts in a confident act. Her agility in action sequences adds to her conviction.” adds Gaurav Malani . 
 It’s an exciting professional phase for Katrina, who is working with all three Khans this year, .bringing it in with Salman Khan in Ek Tha Tiger, followed by Yash Raj’s venture with Shah Rukh Khan and Dhoom 3 with Aamir Khan
Cast and crew of 3G bond over games and movies
Shot entirely in the picturesque Fiji Islands, Eros International  and Next Gen Film’s 3-G starring Neil Nitin Mukesh and Sonal Chauhan gave the cast and crew ample time to bond,  having shot for a month and a half on the South Pacific islands. 
Whenever time permitted, the entire team of the psychological thriller, including Sonal’s sister Himani and Neil ‘s brother Naman, who is also working as one of the assistant directors on the film, would catch up on movies, their favorite being the animated ones like The Lion King, Monster House, Finding Nemo, Madagascar, Ice Age and Toy Story series.
Apart from that, card games were another favorite pastime, not to mention games on their tablet computers. 
Confirms a unit source, “Shooting in Fiji for about two months gave the entire cast time to bond. Everyone was like a family unit, staying up until the wee hours of the morning playing cards or watching back to back films .In fact, Sonal was never into animated flicks. However,  now we’ve got her addicted to them. She was also very lucky during card games and would always end up winning."
3G is scheduled to release at the end of this year.
Katrina's red "tilak" leads to speculation
While there has been speculation over the red "tilak" Katrina Kaif sported at the recent private screenings of her film Ek Tha Tiger, sources close to the actress confirm that the tilak was nothing more than a religious one, applied to her forehead during a pooja she attended.
While various sections of the media blew the incident out of proportion, sources reiterate that Katrina had attended a traditional South Indian pooja at manager Reshma Shetty's house  just before the screenings.
Putting rumours to rest, confirms Katrina's spokesperson: "Katrina has always been spiritual. The tilak was applied to her forehead by her manager Reshma’s mother during a religious ceremony held at their home. It’s ridiculous how a simple tilak has been blown out of proportion." 
Katrina, who proves lucky at the box office yet again, is celebrating the unprecedented response her recent film Ek Tha Tiger is receiving, making it her 13th hit.
The actress was spotted with the tilak on her forehead during the special screening of the movie, and speculation started doing the rounds that she had secretly got married.

Bollywood Snippets: Shootout at Wadala to be released on May 1 next year

Ekta postpones release 'Shoot out at Wadala'

Balaji Motion Pictures and White Feather Films have announced the release of their next multi-starrer, Shootout At Wadala, on May 1, 2013, giving the action flick a clear five-day weekend.

May 1st is International Workers’ Day & Labour Day in India. The theme of the film s based on the life a Maharashtrian labourer who became involved in the first ever police encounter in the country.  
Producer Ekta Kapoor who wants the best possible release for SAW said, “When I recently watched the rushes, I was blown away. It’s such an engaging and powerful film. With its content and massive star cast, topped by the kind of marketing push that the Balaji team will give, we need a long weekend for SAW. The film is a supreme mass entertainer and we will hype it to the hilt!”
Director Sanjay Gupta said, “May 1 is Maharashtra Day / Labour Day. Manya Surve, our lead protagonist, is a Maharashtrian  from a work-oriented middle-class family whose life takes a precarious turn.”
Shootout At Wadala stars Anil Kapoor, John Abraham, Kangana Ranaut, Tusshar Kapoor, Manoj Bajpai, Sonu Sood, Ronit Roy, Siddhant Kapoor and Arif Zakaria, among others.
Director Vikram Bhatt lends his voice for Raaz 3
Guaranteed to send chills down your spine, the signature spooky voice in the trailer of Fox Star Studios' and Vishesh Films' Raaz 3 has been dubbed by none other than Vikram Bhatt.
The director’s voice has been used for a certain portion of the film that signifies lead actress Bipasha Basu being haunted. 
Reveals a source: “A crucial couple of scenes in the film required a spooky voiceover and while Vikram was imitating it ,the cast and crew suggested he do it instead of having it dubbed by a voice artiste. After much cajoling he was convinced to do it and his recordings have been retained in the film”.
The 3D horror film,starring Emraan Hashmi, Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta, follows the journey of a fading superstar’s revenge against a rising star. Presented by Fox Star Studios and produced by Vishesh Films, Vikram Bhatt’s Raaz 3 releases on 7th September, 2012.
Katrina Kaif down for a day with flu
While a recent piece of news reported by a tabloid stated actress Katrina Kaif was unable to promote her coming film Ek Tha Tiger due to food poisoning, sources close to the actress clarify that such was not the case.
States the source, "Katrina was ill and was suffering from a bad flu and not food poisoning as reported by a popular publication. She has never been the kind to skip any of her professional commitments and has never let health get in the way."
Confirms Katrina’s official spokesperson: “Katrina has been down with a bad flu since Saturday morning but despite that fulfilled her prior commitment and walked for Manish Malhotra at the Delhi Couture Week .Since the release of Ek Tha Tiger is two days away, it was a collective call that she should rest it out for a day.She is now perfectly fine and will resume promoting the film with Salman Khan as per schedule.”

Jury announced for third edition of Skoda Prize for Indian art

Eminent art historian and critic Geeta Kapur will chair the jury for the third edition of the Skoda Prize, one of the most influential platforms for Indian contemporary art.
The jury will include Anupam Poddar, co-founder of the pioneering Devi Art Foundation and leading Indian artist Sheela Gowda, a press release from the sponsors of the prize said.
Launched in 2009 by Škoda Auto India and 70EMG, the Skoda Prize is supported by museums and cultural institutions of international repute.
"The Škoda Prize offers an unparalleled opportunity for mid-career artists across India to showcase their work amongst the country’s leading artists, to a discerning art audience both within India and internationally. 
"The hugely successful top 20 exhibition, which receives thousands of visitors every year, showcases the most exciting trends in contemporary art practices in India and is representative of a diverse spectrum of established and emerging artists from across the country," the release said.
The top 20 exhibition which is curated by Girish Shahane and the jury panel will open alongside the India Art Fair in New Delhi in February 2013. The top 20 longlisted artists also get an opportunity to be represented in the annual ŠKODA Prize book.
In 2011, The Škoda Prize platform was extended to include a 'Breakthrough Artist Award’ to showcase emerging artists who are at the beginning of their careers and help them gain exposure to a wider audience. 
Madhuban Mitra and Manas Bhattacharya won the first Breakthrough Artist award and received a cash prize of INR 50,000. In 2012, this award will be presented in association with Art India magazine and the prize will include a cash prize of two lakh rupees as well as a trophy.
“We’re delighted to have onboard such a distinguished jury. We aim to build on the reputation the award has established as a benchmark of artistic quality, while also attracting new voices through the Breakthrough Artist Award," Girish Shahane, Director of Art, The Škoda Prize, said.
According to the release, nominees for the Skoda Prize need to be below the age of 45 and should have had a solo show in the country over the last 12 months.
Apart from the prize, the winner will also receive a purse of Rs 10 lakhs. Past Škoda Prize winners include Mithu Sen and Navin Thomas. 

5th edition of India Art Fair to be held in Delhi from Jan 31-Feb 3, 2013

A view of the 2012 edition of the India Art Fair in New Delhi
A view of the 2012 edition of the India Art Fair in New Delhi

The fifth edition of the India Art Fair, one of the premier art events of the country, will be held at the NSIC Exhibition Grounds here from January 31 to February 3, 2013, the organisers announced today.

"Since its inception, the fair has sought to provide a relevant and sustainable platform for the development of the Indian art scene including providing infrastructure, access and transparency, contributing to the overall growth of the domestic market and helping put India on the global map for art," they said in a press release.
The release said the event had achieved a three-fold growith, in terms of scale, footfalls and participation, since its inception in 2008, attracting 260,000 visitors from 67 cities around the world over four years.
International participation grew from three foreign galleries in 2008 to 44 in 2012, while the total number of exhibitions increased from 34 to 91. The total size of the fair has increased from 1500 sq meters in 2008 to 20,000 sq meters in the upcoming edition. 


PVR Pictures pushes back release of “Step Up Revolution” in India to August 3

Entertainment major PVR Pictures today said it had pushed back the release of "Step Up Revolution", the third sequel of the dance movie Step Up, to August 3.
The movie, starring Kathryn McCormick, the dancing queen from So You Think You Can Dance, with an entourage backing her up in the streets of Miami, was earlier scheduled to release on July 27.
The movie will be releasing in both 2D and 3D across all major cities.
Directed by Scott Speer, Step Up Revolution also has super model Ryan Guzman, Misha Gabriel, Peter Gallagher and Steven in the cast. The movie features the latest trend of flash mobs that seems to have captured dance enthusiasts across the globe.
In the movie, Emily arrives in Miami with aspirations of becoming a professional dancer and soon falls in love with Sean, a young man who leads a dance crew in elaborate, cutting-edge flash mobs, called ‘The Mob’. 
When a wealthy business man threatens to develop The Mob's historic neighbourhood and displace thousands of people, Emily must band together with Sean and The Mob to turn their performance art into protest art, and risk losing their dreams to fight for a greater cause.  
PVR Pictures is the flagship film production and distribution arm of PVR Limited and has built a film slate in Hindi and English which it markets and distributes. 
PVR Pictures made its debut in 2007 with the enormously successful ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’.
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