Eros International acquires India distribution rights of Priyadarshan's thriller Tezz


Entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd (EIML) today said it had acquired the India distribution rights of the action thriller Tezz, slated for worldwide release on April 27.

Produced by Venus Films and directed by Priyadarshan, Tezz features Mohanlal, Anil Kapoor, Ajay Devgan, Boman Irani, Kangna Ranaut, Sameera Reddy and Zayed Khan in the main roles.
"We are excited to be associated with a Priyadarshan film.  The promos have evoked positive reactions and we are anticipating an encouraging response to the film," Nandu Ahuja, Senior Vice-President, India Theatrical, EIML said.
Eros had earlier announced its acquisition of the overseas rights of the film, too.

Madhuri Dixit to star in Vishal Bharadwaj's Dedh Ishquiya

Madhuri Dixit
Madhuri Dixit

Well-known Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit has confirmed that she would be playing the female lead in Vishal Bhardwaj's Dedh Ishqiya, the sequel to his 2010 film Ishqiya, which had starred Vidya Balan, Naseeruddn Shah and Arshad Warsi.

"Hey guys, back in action. On set for Star's Life OK. Am doing Dedh Ishquiya . Jhalak right around the corner. More to come!" the actress said yesterday on her page on micro-blogging website Twitter.
According to reports, the sequel will retain Shah and Warsi as the main male characters.
Dixit, who got married to United States-based Sriram Nene, had acted in the 2007 film Aaja Nach Le after which she returned to the US.
Last year, she appeared on television dance reality show Jhalak Dikhla Jaa as a judge. A few months ago, she shifted permanently to India with her family and Ishqiya would be her first film after the move.
According to reports, Dixit will also be judging the fifth season of Jhalak Dikhla Jaa.

Actor Soumitra Chatterjee chosen for Dada Saheb Phalke Award for 2011

Soumitra Chatterjee
Soumitra Chatterjee
Iconic Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee was today chosen for the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award for 2011 -- the top honour in Indian cinema -- for his outstanding contribution to the growth and development of cinema during a long career in which he has acted in more than 400 films.
An official press release said the 77-year-old actor's name was proposed by a five-member jury.
The award, conferred annually by the Government, consists of a Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus), a cash prize of Rs 1 million and a shawl. It will be presented to the veteran actor during the 59th National Film Awards function later this year.
Chatterjee made his debut in 1959 in Satyajit Ray’s Apur Sansar and later acted in 14 of his films. 
In a career spanning more then five decades, he has acted in more than 400 films including the films of Tapan Sinha, Mrinal Sen, Ajoy Kar and Tarun Majumdar. 
Some of his notable films include Devi, Khudiito Pashan, Teen Kanya, Abhijan, Charulata, Kapurush, Akash Kusum, Aranyer Din Ratri, Ashani Sanket, Sonar Kella, Joi Baba Felunath, Hirak Rajar Deshe, Ghare Baire, Ganashatru, Shakha Proshakha, Padakshep, Ballyngunge Court and Angshumaner Chhobi.
Chatterjee had won the National Film Award for Best Actor for the film Podokshep in 2007 and Special Jury Award for Best Actor for Dekha in 2000. He was conferred with Padma Bhushan in 2004.
Chatterjee has more than a dozen books of poems to his credit.
Chatterjee will be the 59th recipient of the award, named after Dadasaheb Phalke, a pioneer of the Indian film industry.

A A Manavalan's Irama Kathaiyum Iramayakalum gets Saraswati Samman

Well-known Tamil writer A A Manavalan's magnum opus Irama Kathaiyum Iramayakalum (Ramakatha and Ramayanas), published in 2005, has been chosen for the 21st Saraswati Samman 2011.
The prestigious award was instituted by the K K Birla Foundation in 1991 and is given every year for an outstanding literary work written in any Indian language mentioned in Schedule VIII to the Constitution of India by an Indian citizen and published in the last ten years.
The award carries a prize money of Rs 750,000, a citation and a plaque.
The selection for the Saraswati Samman is made by a high-level "Chayan Parishad", presided over by former Chief Justice of India R.C. Lahoti, former Chief Justice of India, which includes renowned scholars and writers.
Dr Manavalan, 75, is a retired professor and Head, Department of Tamil, University of Madras. As a scholar in Tamil, English, Hindi and Telugu, his special areas of interest are translation and comparative literature. He was trained in these areas by professors Henry H.H. Remak and Ulrich Weisston in the University of Indiana in Bloomington, United States, during 1988-1989. 
Such varied continental experience led him to study the ancient “Ithihasas of Bharath Varsha” namely the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Among his well-known works are Epic Heroism in Milton and Kamban (1984), Twentieth Century Literary Theories (1995), An Anthology of Tamil Bhakti Poetry (Ed., 2004), Essays on Comparative Literature (2005), and A Compendium of Tirukkural Translations (Ed. 2009).
Irama Kathaiyum Iramayakalum is the result of his interest and experience in the area of literary cultures. It is a comparative study of 48 Ramayanas in the languages of Pali, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Tibetan, Tamil, Old Javanese, Japanese, Telugu, Assamese, Malayalam, Bengali, Kannada, Marathi, Hindi, Odissi, Persian, Malay, Burmese, Phillipines language, Thai, Laotian and Kashmiri (all in chronological order).
Dr. Manavalan believes that the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, as perennial custodians 
and corpus of the Indian culture, have exerted immense and ineluctable influence on the literary outlook and development of the Indian languages. In the main, such influence assumed the forms of translations, adaptations, transcreation and even transmission through folklore. A ‘reception’ study of such eminently creative influences would reveal the contemporary socio-cultural compulsions of the receiving languages.
This comparative study deals with the plot, characters and individual insertions and 
deletions. This study being geographical, linguistic and cultural in approach, it brings out 
the Ramakatha’s influence over the South-East Asian cultural splendor during the last two
millennia and more.

Eros International acquires international rights of Priyadarshan's thriller Tezz


Entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd (EIML) today said it had acquired the international distribution rights of the action thriller Tezz, slated for worldwide release on April 27.

Produced by Venus Films and directed by Priyadarshan, Tezz features Mohanlal, Anil Kapoor, Ajay Devgan, Boman Irani, Kangna Ranaut, Sameera Reddy and Zayed Khan in the main roles.
“With its stylish look, great action and catchy music, there is a positive buzz and anticipation around Tezz overseas and we are looking forward to an exciting film by Priyadarshan," Pranab Kapadia, President Marketing & Sales, Eros International plc. said.

Actor Suresh Gopi to host Malayalam version of KBC from April 9 on Asianet

Actor Suresh Gopi who will be the host of the Malayalam version of Kaun Banega Crorepati, to be launched on April 9.
Actor Suresh Gopi who will be the host of the Malayalam version of Kaun Banega Crorepati, to be launched on April 9.
The Malayalam version of television show Who Wants to be a Millionaire, one of the world's most successful formats, will be launched on April 9 with film star Suresh Gopi after the launch of two other Southern versions, Tamil on February 27 and Kannada on March 12.
Ningalkum Aagam Koteeswaran (NAK), the Malayalam version, will be telecast on Asianet.
Suresh Gopi, the National Award-winning actor, says, “Expecting and hoping that Ningalkkum Aagaam Kodeeswaran would be really very big in Kerala. NAK is going to be a big hope for the Kerala contestants. It was a really enriching and rewarding experience to get trained under Siddhartha Basu, with support from the Big Synergy and Asianet team to get into this new role, as a Host for the No. 1 game show in the World. Looking forward to a great season ahead.”
Basu is the chairman and managing director of Big Synergy, the producers of the Indian versions of the show, better known in India by its Hindi avatar, Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), hosted by Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan.
Kannadada Kotiyadipathi, the Kannada version went on air on Suvarna TV with Puneeth Rajkumar as the host on March 12. The Tamil version, Neengallum Vellalam Oru Kodi, is hosted by actor Suriya on Vijay TV.
The launch of the Kannada version of the show on Monday was marked by a spectacular opening dance, fusing performances of Yakshagana, Bharatnatyam, Dollu Kunnitha and contemporary dance, leading to the Kuvempu song "Jaya Bharata jananiya..jaya he Karnataka maate” sung by Puneeth.
The first contestant to earn a shot at the hot seat was Rakesh Uppar, the son of a railway coolie, who sought to buttress his modest scholarship and lighten the debts of his parents through the contest. There were tears at his story of trials and tribulations, joy at his achievements, and sheer celebration as he answered challenging questions to notch up winnings of 6 lakhs and 40 thousand in the opening episode. The show will be airing Mondays to Thursdays over the next few months.
In Kerala, the first call drew a response of 45 lakh entries, on par with the Hindi version of the show. 
Having produced more than 500 shows of the format in Hindi, and 100 in the eastern region, in Bangla and Bhojpuri, Big Synergy, the hitherto predominantly Mumbai and Delhi based production house, making a bid to expand the scope and reach of  the shows in the regional space. They have licensed the shows for western and eastern India, and are producing the three Southern versions in close collaboration with the Star network channels. 
“Regional TV is clearly the next frontier, where major growth is happening. This show has proved to be a game-changer not only in India, but in almost every part of the world. With excellent collaboration with the Star channels - Asianet, Suvarna, and Vijay, we’re delighted to bring this phenomenal global success to the people of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, in their mother tongue, with content and a heartbeat that is completely local. The response to the calls for entry has been huge, the scale of production and participation is possibly the
biggest seen so far in the southern region, and the production values are world class. I sincerely hope viewers will enjoy the show as a thrilling knowledge game with terrific human drama," Basu said.
Suriya says, “Being on the sets of NVOK feels like being a student in a university ably governed by HOD Mr Siddhartha Basu. Everyday with the Vijay and Synergy team on the show is a learning, every moment a discovery and to sit back and watch how the show is put together is a lesson in itself, no HR school could ever teach. Siddhartha Basu’s motivation and his hands-on-approach instructions gave me the confidence and knowledge to take up this amazing game show. I am so happy I did it because I realised 
the show is not about money it’s about people.”
Puneeth Rajkumar says, “I am excited about being the anchor of this show which gives me an opportunity to interact closely with the common people. It gives me immense pleasure to be part of the Suvarna family. The format of the show is unique as this gives the common people an opportunity to use their knowledge and change their lives."
"Siddhartha Basu is a veteran quiz master and I have learnt a lot about the show and the format from him & his Big Synergy team," he added.

Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar presented to 33 young artistes


The Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar of the Sangeet Natak Akademi for 2010 were presented here today to 33 young artistes from around the country who have made a mark in their respective fields of performing arts.
The awards were given away by Leela Samson, the chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, which has intituted them.
Over the next week, some of the artistes will perform at a week-long festival of music, dance and theatre at the Kamani Auditorium and in Meghdoot Theatre Comple, Rabindra Bhavan here.
The awards were instituted in 2006 by Sangeet Natak Akademi, the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, an autonomous body of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and apex institution of performing arts in the country. 
The Puraskar is meant to encourage outstanding young talents in diverse fields of performing arts and give them national recognition early in life so that they may work with greater commitment and dedication in life-long pursuit of their chosen art form. 
The Puraskar is given to performing artistes below the age of 40 years as on 1st April of the year of the Puraskar, and covers music, dance, theatre, puppetry and other traditional, folk and tribal forms of performing arts. 
In the field of music, eight artistes --- Manjusha Sandeep Patil and Kaushiki Desikan for Hindustani Vocal Music; Suyog Kundalkar (Harmonium) and Ashutosh Upadhayay (Pakhawaj) --- Hindustani Instrumental Music; Savita Narasimhan (Carnatic Vocal Music); Embar Kannan (Violin) and G Guru Prasanna (Kanjira) --- Carnatic Instrumental Music; Alankar Singh for Other Major Traditions of Music – Gurbani Kirtan of Punjab --- received the Puraskar. 
In the field of dance, eight artistes namely Praveen Kumar (Bharatanatyam), Pallabi De (Kathak), M Amaljith (Kathakali), Yeleswarapu Srinivasulu (Kuchipudi), Arushi Mudgal (Odissi), Naren Barua (Sattriya), Madhu Nataraj (Creative & Experimental Dance) and Yogesh Gangani (Music for Dance –Tabla for Kathak) received the Puraskar. 
In the field of theatre also, eight artistes namely Meeta Mishra and S Thaninleima Chanu for Direction; Anita Shabdeesh, Danish Iqbal, Dakshina Sharma and Pakija Begum for Acting; Rajesh K V (Lighting) for Allied Theatre Arts; Srikanth Natarajan for Major Traditions of Theatre – Bhagavata Mela of Tamil Nadu received the Puraskar. 
For their talent in Other Traditional/Folk/Tribal Dance/Music/Theatre and Puppetry, U Natarajan for Folk Dance (Tamil Nadu), Arti Kale Nagarkar for Lavani (Maharashtra), Ahongshangbam Priyarani Devi for Folk Music (Manipur), Fakira Khan for Folk Music (Rajasthan), Manzoor Ul Haq for Soofiyana Kalam (Jammu and Kashmir), Kajuram Salaam for Tribal Dance (Chhattisgarh), Mahmood Farooqui & Murtaza Danish Husaini (Joint Puraskar) for Dastangoi – Folk Narrative (Uttar Pradesh) and Hanumathu Rao for Tolu Bommalatta (Puppetry of Andhra Pradesh) were presented the Puraskar. 

Films Deool, Byari, actors Vidya Balan, Girish Kulkarni top honours in National Awards

Jury Members for the 59th National Film Awards,  Rohini Hattangady, Feature Film Jury (Central Panel), Ramesh Sharma, Non-feature film Jury and  Vijaya Mulay, Best Writing on Cinema Jury holding a Press Conference to announce the 59th National Film Awards, in New Delhi on March 07, 2012.
Jury Members for the 59th National Film Awards, Rohini Hattangady, Feature Film Jury (Central Panel), Ramesh Sharma, Non-feature film Jury and Vijaya Mulay, Best Writing on Cinema Jury holding a Press Conference to announce the 59th National Film Awards, in New Delhi on March 07, 2012.

Marathi film Deool and Byari, a film in the Byari languge, shared the Best Feature Film award while Vidya Balan was chosen the Best Actress for Hindi film The Dirty Picture and Girish Kulkarni the Best Actor for Deool in the 59th National Film Awards announced here today.

The awards were announced by the chairpersons for the three juries - Rohini Hattangady for feature films, Ramesh Sharma for non-feature films and Vijaya mulay for Best Writing on Cinema.
Earlier in the day, the jury chairpersons submitted their reports to Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni.
Deool was produced by Abhijeet Gholap and directed by Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni and Byari was produced by T H Althaf Hussain and directed by Suveeram.
The Best Feature Film award carries a "Swarna Kamal" and a cash prize of Rs 2,50,000.
In the non-feature film category  the Best Film award goes to And We Play On (Hindi & English), directed and produced by Pramod Purswane.
The award carries a Swarna Kamal and a cash prize of Rs. 1,50,000.  In Best Writing on Cinema category the Swarna Kamal goes to the book titled R.D. Burman – The Man, The Music written by Anirudha Bhattacharjee and Balaji Vittal, published by Harper Collins India. Manoj Barpujari from Assam has been chosen for the Best Film Critic award.
Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai (Tamil) won the award for Wholesome Entertainment and Chillar Party (Hindi) was chosen the Best Children's Film.
The award for Best Director has gone to Gurvinder Singh for Punjabi  film Anhe Ghorey Da Daan. 
The Best Singer award has gone to Anand Bhate (Male) for Marathi film Balgandharva and Roopa Ganguly (Female) for the Bengali film Abosheyshey.  Kumararaja Thiagarajan has won the Indira Gandhi Award for the Best Debut Film of a director.
In the Feature Films category, five films have won three awards each. These films are The  Dirty Picture (Hindi), Balgandharva (Marathi), Anhe Ghorey Da Daan (Punjabi), Deool (Marathi)  and Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbo Na (Bengali).  
Six films have won two awards each. These are Chillar Party (Hindi),  Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai (Tamil), Aaranyakandam (Tamil), Phijigee Mani (Manipuri) , Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (Hindi) and Game (Hindi). 
In the Non-Feature film category, three films have won two awards each. The Film Tiger  Dynasty has won the Best Environmental Film and Best Cinematography awards.  Awards for Best Direction and Best Editing have been won by the film There is Something in the Air.   Panchakki has been chosen for the awards for Best Short Fiction and Best Music Direction.
The following is the list of awards:
BEST FEATURE FILM (shared): a) Deool  (Marathi), Producer: Abhijeet Gholap, Director :  Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni b) Byari (Byari): Producer: T.H. Althaf Hussain, Director: Suveeran
(Tamil), Producer: S.P.Charan, Director : Kumararaja Thiagarajan
Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai (Tamil), Producer: P. Madan, Director : Suseentharan
BEST CHILDREN’S FILM: Chillar Party (Hindi), Producer: UTV Software Communications Ltd, Director: Vikas Bahl & Nitesh Tiwari
BEST DIRECTION: Anhe Ghorey Da Daan (Punjabi), Gurvinder Singh
BEST ACTOR: Deool (Marathi), Girish Kulkarni
BEST ACTRESS: The Dirty Picture (Hindi), Vidya Balan
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai (Tamil), Appu Kutty
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Phijigee Mani (Manipuri), Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi
BEST CHILD ARTIST: (Shared): a) Stanley ka Dabba (Hindi), Partho Gupte b) Chillar Party (Hindi), Irrfan Khan, Sanath Menon, Rohan Grover, Naman Jain, Aarav Khanna, Vishesh Tiwari, Chinmai Chandranshuh, Vedant Desai, Divij Handa, Shriya Sharma
BEST MALE PLAYBACK SINGER: Balgandharva (Marathi), Anand Bhate
BEST FEMALE PLAYBACK SINGER: Abosheyshey (Bengali), Roopa Ganguly
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Anhe Ghorey Da Daan (Punjabi), Cameraman : Satya Rai Nagpaul, Laboratory: Reliance Media Works
BEST SCREENPLAY: Screenplay Writer (Original): Chillar Party (Hindi), Vikas Behl & Manish Tiwari, Screenplay Writer (Adapted): Shala (Marathi), Avinash Deshpande Nigdi, Dialogues: Deool (Marathi), Girish Kulkarni
BEST AUDIOGRAPHY: Location Sound Recordist: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (Hindi), Baylon Fonseca, Sound Designer: Game (Hindi), Baylon Fonseca, Re-recordist of the final mixed track: Game (Hindi): Hitendra Ghosh
BEST EDITING: Aaranyakandam (Tamil), Pravin K. L.
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Naukadubi (Bengali), Indraneel Ghosh
BEST COSTUME DESIGNER (Shared): a) Balgandharva (Marathi), Neeta Lulla b)The Dirty Picture (Hindi), Niharika Khan
BEST MAKE-UP ARTIST: Balgandharva (Marathi) & The Dirty Picture (Hindi), Vikram Gayakwad
BEST  MUSIC DIRECTION: Songs: Laptop (Bengali), Neel Dutt, Background Score: Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbo Na (Bengali), Mayookh Bhaumik
BEST LYRICS: I Am (Hindi), Agar Zindagi...,Amitabh Bhattacharya
SPECIAL JURY AWARD: Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbo Na (Bengali), Anjan Dutt
BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS: Ra. One (Hindi), Harry Hingorani and Keitan Yadav
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (Hindi), (Senorita), Bosco Caeser
BENGALI: Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbo Na, Producer: Rana Sarkar, Director : Anjan Dutt
DOGRI: Dille Ch Vasya Koi, Producer: Sanjeev Rattan, Director: Sanjeev Rattan
HINDI: I Am, Producer: Anirban Dhar (Onir) & Sanjay Suri, Director: Onir
KANNADA: Kurmavatara, Producer: Basant Kumar Patil, Director: Girish Kasaravalli
MALAYALAM: Indian Rupee, Producer: August Cinema India Pvt. Ltd., Director : Ranjith Balakrishnan
MANIPURI: Phijigee Mani, Producer: Takhelchangbam Ongbi and Medha Sharmi, Director : Oinam Gautam Singh
MARATHI: Shala, Producer: Vivek D. Wagh & Nilesh Navalkha, Director: Sujay Sunil Dahake
PUNJABI: Anhe Ghorey Da Daan, Producer: National Film Development Corporation, Director: Gurvinder Singh
TAMIL: Vaagai Sooda Va, Producer: S. Muruganandham, Director: A.  Sargunam
SPECIAL MENTION: Byari (Byari): Mallika
Adimadhyantham (Malayalam), Director : Sherry
BEST NON FEATURE FILM: And We Play On (Hindi & English), Producer: Pramod PuRs.wane, Director: Pramod  PuRs.wane
BEST DEBUT FILM OF A DIRECTOR: The Silent Poet (Manipuri), Producer: Borun Thokchom, Director: Borun Thokchom
Anirban Datta, Director: Amlan Datta
BEST BIOGRAPHICAL/ HISTORICAL RECONSTRUCTION: Vishnupant Damle: Bolpatancha Mook Nayak (Marathi), Producer: Anil Anant Damle, Director: VirendraValsangkar
BEST ARTS /CULTURAL FILM: (Jointly Being given to two films): Fried Fish, Chicken Soup and a Premiere Show (Manipuri & English) Producer: Madhusree Dutta, Director: Mamta Murthy and Lasya Kavvya – the World of Alarmel Valli (English), Producer: Sankalp Meshram, Director: Sankalp Meshram
BEST PROMOTIONAL FILM: The Dream Fulfilled - Memories of the Engineering Challenges  
(English) Producer: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Director: Satish Pande
BEST ENVIRONMENT FILM: Tiger Dynasty (English), Producer: S. Nallamuthu, Director :
S. Nallamuthu
BEST FILM ON SOCIAL ISSUES: (Jointly Being given to two Films): Mindscapes… of Love and Longing (Hindi & English), Producer: Public Service Broadcasting Trust, Director: Arun Chadha and Inshallah, Football (Kashmiri, Urdu & English), Producer: Ashvin Kumar, Director:
Ashvin Kumar
BEST EDUCATIONAL FILM: A Drop of Sunshine (English), Producer: Public Service Broadcasting Trust, Director: Aparna Sanyal
BEST EXPLORATION/ ADVENTURE FILM: (Including sports): The Finish Line (English), 
Producer: Syed Sultan Ahmed  &  Tabassum Modi, Director: Akshay Roy
BEST INVESTIGATIVE FILM: Cotton for My Shroud (English), Producer: Kavita Bahl,  
Director: Nandan Saxena and Kavita Bahl
SPECIAL JURY AWARD: Jai Bhim Comrade (Marathi), Anand Patwardhan
BEST SHORT FICTION: Panchakki (Hindi), Producer: Sanjeev Rattan, Director: Sanjeev Rattan
BEST FILM ON FAMILY VALUES: Red Building where the Sun Sets (English), Producer: Syed Sultan Ahmed & Tabassum Modi, Director: Revathy
BEST DIRECTION: There is Something in the Air (Hindi, Urdu & English), Iram Ghufran
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Tiger Dynasty (English), S. Nallamuthu
BEST AUDIOGRAPHY: 1, 2 (Hindi), Gautam Nair
BEST EDITING: There is Something in the Air (Hindi, Urdu & English), Iram Ghufran
BEST MUSIC DIRECTION: Panchakki (Hindi), Dhruba Jyoti  Phukan
BEST NARRATION/ VOICE OVER: Just that Sort of a Day, (English), Ann Abraham
SPECIAL MENTION: (Two Films): a. You Don’t Belong (Bengali & English), Director  :
Spandan Banerjee b.  Airawat (Marathi & Hindi), Director:  Renu Savant
BEST BOOK ON CINEMA: R.D. Burman The Man, The Music (English), Publisher: Harper Collins India, Author: Anirudha Bhattacharjee and Balaji Vittal 
BEST FILM CRITIC: Manoj Barpujari (Assamese and English)

Nokia launches Music Theatre, unveils "Asha-Discovery of the Peninsula"

Artistes performing at the launch of Nokia Music Theatre initiative in Delhi on March 6, 2012.
Artistes performing at the launch of Nokia Music Theatre initiative in Delhi on March 6, 2012.

Mobile telephone handets manufacturer Nokia India has launched Nokia Music Theatre, a first-of-its-kind platform for discovering and nurturing musical talent from the grassroots in the country and providing them with an opportunity to showcase their talent.

The project was piloted in Rajasthan in 2010 where 17 artistes were handpicked from small towns and villages across the state. The pilot culminated with the launch of the first music album – "Asha – discovery of the Peninsula" under the banner of Nokia Music Theatre and published by Universal Music. The album is also available for download on the Nokia Music Store.
A Nokia press release said the project was in line with its strategy to connect people to their passions.
The release said Nokia Music Theatre, the result of a partnership between Nokia India and The Peninsula Studios, was an effort to nurture the rich and diverse musical heritage of India.
"Nokia Music Theatre aims to provide a 360-degree support to talented musicians across the country transcending boundaries of languages, genres and musical forms," it said.
“Nokia has a formidable musical legacy – from Nokia Music Store, the largest repository of legal and digital Indian music, to offering DRM free music on our recently launched Nokia Asha series of feature phones – we have built a strong music connect with Indians. India is one of the key markets for our music portfolio and, with the Nokia Music Theatre, we aim to discover the musical talent at the grass root and provide these budding musicians with a platform to nurture and showcase their talent," Viral Oza, Marketing Director, Nokia India, said,
According to Sita Raina, Chief Operating Officer, The Peninsula Studios, “The Peninsula Studios is a content creation company that is aimed at facilitating, mentoring and curating quality music from across the peninsula. We are a unique studio where aficionados enjoy live performances while being recorded in a single take. Nurturing diversity in music and reviving forms of music on the brink of extinction is our vision. Nokia is an ideal partner in realizing this vision because of its own formidable musical legacy and a strong commitment to connecting people to their passions.”
Speaking of the launch of the first Nokia Music Theatre album - ‘Asha – discovery of the Peninsula’, Devraj Sanyal, Managing Director, Universal Music India & SAARC, said, "Universal Music is most known for breaking more talent than any other label the world over. This project is very close to our heart and we think that the Nokia Music Theatre along with The Peninsula Studios (TPS) and us will be a major paradigm shift in the music publishing scene in India. I expect to see a brand new set of musicians that have never had the chance to showcase their art before be discovered and published due to this great initiative and `Asha’ - the first album is exactly this. One listen and you will experience the brilliance of TPS as well as the exceptional raw and untapped talent that’s brought in as part of the Nokia Music Theatre album."
After the Rajasthan success, culturally vibrant Uttar Pradesh will be the next stop for Nokia Music Theatre which takes off in the Autumn of 2012.
Conceptualized in partnership with “The Peninsula Studios”, Nokia Music Theatre has taken the role to discover musical talent from all over India and present it to the world. The Peninsula Studios has been set up in the National Capital Region as a centre which will curate music, facilitate content creation and mentor talent to present the Nokia Music Theatre. It provided artistes with the opportunity to interact with other artistes and the unique experience of recording in a studio in front of a live audience.
The 17 artistes selected from the auditions of about 700 musicians representing a diverse array of alternative genres of music from folk, classical, spiritual, tribal, sufi, thumri, khayal to instrumental, were mentored by some of the heavyweights in the music industry including Shuzaat Khan, Zeb and Haniya among others.
The Nokia Music Theatre finalists performed to an enthralled audience on the occasion.

RAF, IAF bands to play together at India Gate in Delhi on March 3


The Royal Air Force's (RAF) Regimental Band and the Indian Air Force's (IAF) Air Warrior Symphony Orchestra will play together for the public at India Gate here on March 3.

This will be the first time that the two bands will play together. The concert will start at 4 pm, an official press release said.
The RAF Regiment band is considered to be one of the leading military bands in the United Kingdom with a strength of 41 musicians and has earned a worldwide reputation for its outstanding performances. 
Originally formed from the Royal Air Force Coastal Command band in 1942 it has travelled extensively including tours of Europe, Canada, Cyprus, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Belize, Hong Kong, Iraq and South Korea. It is a regular performer at Edinburg Tattoo and as a part of Royal Air Force Massed Bands giving musical support to the Queen’s Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force Regiment. 
The IAF’s Air Warriors Symphony Orchestra (AWSO) was set up in June 2002. It has 76 musicians who play brass, woodwind, reed, string, electronic and percussion instruments. The band has performed in Bangkok, Berlin, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and has participated in International Music Festivals in Finland, France, Italy and Malaysia. The AWSO is the only military orchestra in the country, which has empanelled with Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). 
In 2005 the IAF Band became the first Asian Member of the International Military Music Society based in Norway. 
The two bands would be conducted by Squadron Leader G Jayachandran and Flight Lieutenant Mathew Little. 

Iraqi oud player Rahim Alhaj to perform with Amaan & Ayaan Ali Khan in Delhi on Feb 27

Rahim Alhaj
Rahim Alhaj

Rahim Alhaj, the well-known Grammy-nominated Oud player from Iraq and sarod players Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan will perform at a concert of Indo-Iraq fusion music here on February 27 under the auspices of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

Amaan and Ayaan are sons of amed sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and are the seventh generation of the Senia Bangash musical lineage.
The three players of ancient stringed instruments will present "Ancient Sounds" in effort to bring together the musical heritage of their respective cultures in a contemporary way, resulting in a harmonious dialogue. 
They will be accompanied by Satyajit Talwalkar on the tabla and Chetan Rajbhatt on the dholak.
Rahim Alhaj and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan were nominated in 2010 for the Grammy Awards in the Best Traditional World Music category for their CD "Ancient Sounds".
According to an ICCR press release, the sarod has evolved from rubab, which is similar to the oud in character. It said the concert would demonstrate the musical synergy and commonality which exists between India and its neighboring region including Central Asia, Iraq and so on.
"The project is yet another attempt by ICCR to demonstrate the larger cultural spectrum to which the region belongs," said ICCR Director General Suresh K Goel.
Alhaj was born in Baghdad and began playing the oud at age nine and displayed remarkable talent very early.
He studied under the renowned Munir Bashir, considered by many to be the greatest oud player ever, and Salim Abdul Kareem, at the Institute of Music in Baghdad.
Alhaj won various awards at the Conservatory and graduated in 1990 with a diploma in composition. He holds a degree in Arabic Literature from Mustunsariya University in Baghdad. 
In 1991, after the first Gulf War, Alhaj was forced to leave Iraq due to his activism against the Saddam Hussein regime and began his life in Jordan and Syria. He moved to the United States in 2000 as a political refugee and has resided in Albuquerque, NM ever since. He became a US citizen on August 15, 2008.
Alhaj has performed around the world and is considered one of the finest oud players in the world.  He has won many accolades and awards including two Grammy nominations.  He has recorded and performed with other master musicians of varied backgrounds and styles including American guitarist Bill Frisell, modern accordion innovator Guy Klucevsek and indy-rock pioneers REM.  He has composed pieces for solo oud, string quartet,symphony and beyond.  

ICCR chief Karan Singh reveals talent as singer

Indian Council for Cultural Relations President Karan Singh singing his favourite songs at an evening of music presented by ICCR in New Delhi on February 22, 2012.
Indian Council for Cultural Relations President Karan Singh singing his favourite songs at an evening of music presented by ICCR in New Delhi on February 22, 2012.

Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) President Karan Singh provided an insight into a lesser known aspect of his multi-layered personality when he sang his favourite songs -- ghazals, classical, geet and Dogri -- at an evening of music presented by ICCR here yesterday.

In the process, Karan Singh, a member of the Rajya Sabha and former Union Minister, also became the first ICCR chief to perform at a function organised by it.
“Music has been a major and magnificent input into my consciousness from a very early age. I first heard my mother singing Dogri folk songs and devotional hymns when I was very small. Subsequently, I learnt Indian classical music for several years, and continue my practice down to the present day," Karan Singh said.
“In one of his shorter poems, Sri Aurobindo has a memorable line- all music is only the sound of his laughter. There is indeed a certain divine quality in music that is found in no other form of artistic expression, and this is true alike of the rich majesty of classical music as also the lyrical quality of folk music the world over.
"India particularly, with its wide spectrum of language and tradition, has a rich store of folk music to which every region has made its contribution. This music expresses in a simple and direct manner the joys and sorrows, the triumph and tragedy, the shadow and sunlight of rural India," he said.
Karan Singh had revealed his musical talent when he inaugurated the International Jazz Festival organised by ICCR at Nehru Park here last year by playing an old Bollywood tune on the piano.
"I decided to make him really sing this time for the public and I am delighted that he humoured me by agreeing to my request," ICCR Director General Suresh K Goel said.
Describing himself as an amateur musician, Karan Singh says he makes it a point to sing once a week. “Music plays an important role in my life. I am fond of listening not only to Indian classical music but also Western pop. In fact, I am a big fan of Whitney Houston who died recently. I have also admired the likes of Billy Joel.”
Karan Singh was given lessons in music by Pandit Uma Dutt Sharma, father of santoor maestro Shiv Kumar Sharma. “He was my teacher in Kashmir. As ICCR is the hub of cultural activities, I decided to sing and hope people liked it," he said.
The show started with a half-hour programme by Radhika Chopra. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur was the chief guest at the event.

Asahi, Shin-Ei Animation collaborate with Reliance Mediaworks on Ninja Hattori episodes

Ninja Hattori
Ninja Hattori
Japan's leading private broadcaster TV Asahi and its subsidiary Shin-ei Animation have collaborated with Reliance MediaWorks to create all-new episodes of Ninja Hattori, the comedy action animation franchise that has a strong following in India and many other Asian countries.
Reliance MediaWorks, a film and entertainment services company, is a part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG).
A press release from Reliance MediaWorks said Shin-ei’s experienced team of writers and directors, in collaboration with the team of 100 animators at the Reliance MediaWorks’ animation studio, is creating the new Ninja Hattori episodes in 2D-HD through a digitally mastered process. 
Reliance MediaWorks has also done the post-production and sound effects for the series, the release said.
“Being an end to end service provider helps us offer our clients with a one stop solution for their creative requirements and Ninja Hattori is an excellent showcase of our talent. Being associated with some of the top Japanese talent through Shin-Ei and TV Asahi for such a legendary show and bringing it back through digital technology has been an immensely challenging and great working experience for our animation team," Naresh Malik, COO – Creative Services of Reliance MediaWorks said, 
Satoshi Kaisho, producer at Shin-ei Animation said, “It is our first collaboration with any
Indian company, and also very first challenge for us to make the classic show transformed into all new digitally mastered show without losing look and feel of the original episodes. Our hope is to get Ninja Hattori out to more children all over the world."
Takahiro Kishimoto, producer at Programming and Entertainment Division for TV Asahi, said,  “Being one of the first Japanese companies who started marketing animation shows to India, we are glad to announce this project with the aim to explore new possibilities. We TV Asahi, together with Shin-ei Animation, are thrilled to work with Reliance MediaWorks and hope this collaboration would lead to greater things."
Being produced by Shin-ei Animation, original episodes of Ninja Hattori had been telecast on TV Asahi in the 1980s. In India, it has been one of the top-rated children's shows since its launch on Nick India in August 2006, and the new episodes will premiere on air on Nick India from May 2012. 
“Ninja Hattori has been a runaway success in India and we are sure that the new episodes will take Ninja Hattori’s popularity to newer heights in India," Anu Sikka, VP-Programming, Nick India said.

NCPA to present operas Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci in Mumbai

A scene from Cavalleria Rusticana
A scene from Cavalleria Rusticana

The National Centre of Performing Arts (NCPA) will present operas Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre in Mumbai on February 18, 20 and 21.

Cavalleria Rusticana is an opera in one act by Pietro Mascagni and I Pagliacci is an opera in to two acts by Ruggero Leoncavallo.
Since they first burst onto the operatic scene at the end of the 19th century Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci have more often than not been performed together, and have become known as ‘Opera’s Heavenly Twins’.
Their composers Mascagni (1863-1945) and Leoncavallo (1858-1919) —both of whom did create several other operas— never again quite achieved the success, and therefore world-wide popularity, that has seen Cav & Pag—as they are also frequently and affectionately referred to—featured in so many opera seasons worldwide.
A scene from I Pagliacci
A scene from I Pagliacci
The shows will feature members of the Kazakh State Philharmonic Capella, the Paranjoti Academy Chorus, Living Voices and Stop-Gaps Cultural Academy with Riccardo Bonci as the chorus master.
The Symphony Orchestra of India will be conducted by Antonello Allemandi on February 18 and 20 and Zane Dalal on February 21.
Tickets for the shows are priced at Rs.3,000, 2,400, 1,800 and 1,200 while there is a special price of Rs 600 for students against valid student identity cards, a press release from NCPA said.

Model, actress Sheena Chohan to be face of Bangladesh Premier League 2012

Sheena Chohan
Sheena Chohan
Sheena Chohan, the model and actress who made her debut in the Malayalam movie
"The Train" as a leading lady of popular actor, Mammotty has been chosen as the face of first season of  the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL 2012). 
The cricket tournament began on February 9 and the final is slated for February 29. Each of the six teams will play against every other side in the doube round robin grup stage. These will be followed by two semi-finals and the final.
Matches will be held in Dhaka and Chittagong with a total of six franchises taking part. The
franchises will represent Dhaka, Barisal, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Sylhet and Khulna divisions.
A press release issued on behalf of the actress said that she would report live from the stadium during the matches and the award ceremony. She will also be part of studio interviews with cricket legends after every match.
"I love sports and cricket is one of my favourite sports. I have always followed IPL matches
and World Cup and cheered for my favourite team. But I never realized the effort and detailing that went into each and every match till today when I got an opportunity to be a part of BPL 2012. Bangladesh Premiere League has given me an excellent platform to witness and enjoy the journey of this great sport as well as observe the cricket fanatics cheering to its top. My
role is to connect with the audience, share their journey of learning as well as present this journey in a more enjoyable and intriguing manner. I am really honored to be a part of this international sports extravaganza and I am looking forward to this new experience which will help me connect and reach out to a much larger audience," the Kolkata-born actress said.
Ajay Kapoor, Director and Producer, Talking Pictures - the official broadcasters of Bangladesh Premiere League said, "Sheena is a perfect combination of beauty and talent. She represents interests of youth and works on various youth issues such as youth participation and education.Her charisma and her glamorous persona as well as fluency in Bengali make her the perfect choice as the voice of Bangladesh Premiere League. Her role will be largely to add glitz and glamour, bring in the elements of fun and make the sport an interesting watch for the viewers."
The release said Sheena would appear soon in yet another project based on the works of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, to be produced by eminent filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta.
The Hindi movie is a tribute to the India's first Nobel laureate and will mark a milestone in Sheena's career. Sheena will portray the lead roles in two of the thirteen short Hindi films in the series titled Mukti and Patralekha.
Sheena Chohan is a former Miss Kolkata, a trained contemporary dancer and one of the title winners of Miss Universe India "I am voice" at I AM SHE 2010 beauty pageant. She has by former Miss Universe and actress Sushmita Sen.
She is also a State level swimmer, martial arts expert and trained violin player. She recently has been chosen as "The Face and the National spokesperson" for the NGO "Youth for Human Rights International - India".

Retrospective of Ramkinkar Baij's works opens at NGMA in Delhi

Ramkinkar Baij
Ramkinkar Baij
A retrospective of the works of renowned sculptor and painter Ramkinkar Baij, one of the most seminal artists of modern India, opened at the National Gallery of Modern Art here today.
The show was inaugurated by Union Culture Minister Kumari Selja. It has been curated by sculptor K S Radhakrishnan, who was also a student of Ramkinkar.
Well-known painters K G Subramanyan, who was recently chosen for the Padma Vibhushan award, and A Ramachandran were advisers to the curator.
Selja said Ramkinkar was one of the pioneers of modern Indian sculpture. "He was a modernist with his themes, well grounded in the local and the present. His work was a unique assimilation of what he took away from European art and his deep rooted Indian sensibilities. The range of human suffering he saw around him led him to transform immediate facts into allegorical, symbolic and occasionally even didactic images. This gave a new thematic focus to his works, as well as an element of drama and expressive-immediacy to his execution," she said.
Ramkinkar (1906-1980) was born in Bankura, West Bengal, into a family of little economic and social standing, and grew by sheer determination, into one of the most distinguished early modernists in Indian art. In 1925, he made his way to Kala Bhavana, the art school at Santiniketan and was under the guidance of Nandalal Bose. Encouraged by the liberating intellectual environment of Santiniketan, his artistic skills and intellectual horizons blossomed thus acquiring greater depth and complexity. 
A painting by Ramkinkar Baij
A painting by Ramkinkar Baij
Soon after completing his studies at Kala Bhavana, he became a faculty member, and along with Nandalal and Benodebehari Mukherjee played a pivotal role in making Santiniketan one of the most important centres for modern art in pre-Independent India. In 1970, the Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan for his irrefutable contribution to Indian art. 
Ramkinkar’s monumental sculptures established landmarks in public art. One of the earliest modernists in Indian art, he assimilated the idioms of the European modern visual language and yet was rooted it in his own Indian ethos.
He experimented restlessly with forms, moving freely from figurative to abstract and back to figurative, his themes were steeped in a deep sense of humanism and an instinctive understanding of the symbiotic relationship between man and nature. Both in his paintings and sculptures, he pushed the limits of experimentation and ventured into the use of new materials. For instance, his use of unconventional material, for the time, such as cement concrete for his monumental public sculptures set a new precedent for art practices. The use of cement, laterite and mortar to model the figures, and the use of a personal style in which modern western and Indian pre-classical sculptural values were brought together was equally radical. 
The retrospective includes over 350 works from various important collections including paintings, drawings, graphics and sculptures- covering about six decades of his artistic journey. The exposition is also enhanced by diverse media interventions such as photographic blow ups, digital prints, texts and video clips in an attempt to ontextualize the man and the artist in the most comprehensive manner. 
Radhakrishnan, the curator, said, “My curatorial venture aims at flagging those junctures where Ramkinkar Baij met all those who travelled before him, with him, and after him. In other words, this retrospective aims to be a context in which the post 1980s generation of Indian artists see, accept, reject, understand or misunderstand the master creator, the artist, the man, Ramkinkar Baij”. 
NGMA released several publications on the occasion: ‘Ramkinkar Baij’ by R. Siva Kumar, being brought out in collaboration with the Delhi Art Gallery, ‘My Days with Ramkinkar’ translated by Bhaswati Ghosh originally authored by Somendranath Bandhapadhyaya being brought out in collaboration with Niyogi Books, ‘Ramkinkar’s Yaksha Yakshi’ by K.S Radhakrishnan brought out by the Musui Art Foundation and supported by Aakar Prakar and Navya Gallery, ‘Ramkinkar Straight from Life’ by Johnny M.L brought out by the Musui Art Foundation.
NGMA has also published two comprehensive books on Ramkinkar that provide a holistic view of Ramkinkar the man and the artist: ‘Ramkinkar and his Work’ authored by K.G Subramanyan and ‘Ramkinkar: The Man and the Artist’ authored by A. Ramachandran. The NGMA has also produced three portfolios drawn from the repertoire of watercolour, oil and graphic works of Ramkinkar Baij. 
“I on behalf of the NGMA am extremely delighted to present the retrospective exhibition of Ramkinkar Baij, a bold and daring creative personality. Perceived as a bohemian, he has been the subject of much mythification. His powerful experimentations, ranging from the representational to the abstract have inspired generations of younger artists. The exhibition sheds light on an enlightened and creative soul who was more of a fakir and a wanderer and through his work represents the larger-than-life persona of the artist and his creative genius.” said Rajeev Lochan, Director, NGMA. 
This is the ninth retrospective exhibition organized by NGMA as part of an endeavour to showcase the lifetime achievements of artists whose contributions in the field of art are outstanding. 
The exhibition will subsequently travel to NGMA's regional centres at Mumbai and Bangalore.

UF Group to launch E box for movies on demand, online shopping, e-learning


The UF Group, whose Southern Digital Screenz is the southern franchisee of UFO Moviez, is planning to launch a next generation E box called Ufx EmaginE that will offer to customers movies on demand, media player, social networking, video conferencing, online shopping an e-learning and other features.

The product will be launched in collaboration with Malaysia-based companies Select-tv and Creative Experience Sdn Bhd.
A press release from the company said that, over the last few years, Southern Digital Screenz had changed the way movies are being screened in the theaters. "Through a centralized server, they are able to screen movies in digital quality across 1200 plus theaters. These movies are delivered to cinemas through satellite downloads. The digital mechanism of movie screening has not only changed the quality but has also plugged piracy to a greater extent," it said.

London Talents to stage educational theatre shows at schools in Mumbai, Delhi

London Talents, a United Kingdom-based organisation that stages educational theatre performances for children and their parents, will hold shows in the next few weeks at selected schools in Mumbai and Delhi as well as selected venues in Mumbai that will also be open to the public.
The group's multisensory shows are performed by adult specialist actors and are conceptually researched with educationalists, percussionists, performers, focus groups of children and with the latest knowledge of neuroscientists' work in child development, a press release from London Talents said.
"These shows use theatre techniques such as puppetry, emoting through material, movement, vocal rhythm, music, dance and play to look at concepts from a child's perspective and explain the logical outcome from very much a child's perspective," it said.
"Examples of the concepts we work with are sharing, caring, empathising, good eating habits to name a few! London Talents cover a range of concepts and themes that are universal and close to the hea! rt of every parent and child," it said.
"Very often as parents and care takers of young children we find ourselves instructing our children… 'No, no. no…its wrong…you must share!', but how often do we pause and show them that by sharing and caring we can build beautiful things in life together and that we can explore humanitarian feelings and empathise with others through play? The show 'From Here to There' explores the above," it said.
The release said the show encourages 'shared play' and explores humanitarian feelings through play! 
"A show that's all about bridges! Musical bridges and magic bridges, bridges that tell stories of hungry trolls and greedy goats. Bridges where people can meet and make a friend! We take children through a world of the imagination where two quite independent individuals discover ways to share, play together and reach each other. A show truly fun and educational for children & their parents!" it said.
Following the main performance by the specialised actors, there would be workshops with the actors and musicians and free play sessions for the children to help them explore concepts from the show.
There will also be a session for parents with the group's education consultant and a parental awareness guide, which addresses day-to-day situations with children and equips parents with hands-on techniques using drama in education.
The performances will be followed by optional show-related games, worksheets & reading corner. 

Tyeb Mehta's untitled work fetches Rs 2.28 crore in Osian's auction

Tyeb Mehta , Untitled- Oil on Canvas, 1966
Tyeb Mehta , Untitled- Oil on Canvas, 1966
An untitled 1966 work by the late Tyeb Mehta got the highest bid of Rs 2.28 crore at the second of four auctions in Osian's Creative India Series which concluded on the night of January 27.
This was followed by a bid of Rs 1.44 crore received for a 1969 untitled work by painter Ramkumar.
Two rare miniatures – Folio leaf from a Harivamsha Khil Series (Kangra School) and Folio leaf from a Mahabharata Series (Kangra or Guler School) fetched Rs 52.80 lakhs each.
The auction featured important and rare Pahari School Miniatures (Kangra, Guler and Mandi Schools) along with modern and contemporary Indian art by eminent artists such as Sailoz Mookherjea, Satish Gujral, Ramkumar, Manjit Bawa, Biren De, Tyeb Mehta, J. Swaminathan, Vivan Sundaram, G.R. Santosh, Shanti Dave, V.S. Gaitonde, Rameshwar Broota, Sohan Qadri, R. Kaleka, Anjolie Ela Menon, Aparna Caur, V.T. Broota and Subodh Gupta, among others.
In all, the auction, fetched Rs 14.14 crores, a press release from Osian's said. It said that, of the  123 lots put up for auction, 82 (65.6 per cent) were sold at the auction with a total sales of Rs 14.14 crore ($ 2,719,269) with an Average Lot Price of Rs 1,724,415 ($ 33,162).
Total lots sold (17 out of 20) in the Antiquities Section of Pahari Miniatures were 85% valued at Rs  18,550,000 ($ 356,730) with an Average Lot Price of Rs 1,030,556 ($ 19,818). Total lots sold (65 out of 103) in the Modern & Contemporary Art Section were 62% valued at Rs 122,852,200 ($ 2,362,542) with an Average Lot Price of Rs 1,919,566 ($ 36,915).
Ramkumar- Untitled, Oil on canvas 1969
Ramkumar- Untitled, Oil on canvas 1969
According to the release, this second auction in the series manifested an improvement in terms of revenue on the ‘Bengal’ Auction (as was expected) which realized sales of Rs 7.95 crores. 
Neville Tuli, Founder & Chairman of Osian’s said, “These last two auctions in the Creative India Series are a clear pointer to the ongoing consolidation of Osian’s and the art market after two very difficult years. With lessons imbibed from the past, the progress of Osian’s after consolidation will reveal many new institutional changes and innovations in the coming months. These processes will naturally contribute towards the stabilization and continued growth of the Indian art market and its infrastructure. 
"The results of the antiquities sales at this auction were especially encouraging and underscore the huge potential for the Indian antiquities domestic market. Hopefully the government will facilitate this growth wherever possible.”
The next two auctions in the series will be held in in Mumbai on March 23 focusing on art from Bombay and Baroda and thereafter in New Delhi on May 28 featuring the Cholamandal School & the Art of South India.

Kolaveri Di versions grab 5 out of 10 top mobile video spots in India in December

Katrina Kaif
Katrina Kaif

As many as five different versions of the Kolaveri Di song made it to the top 10 mobile videos in India in December, three of which were mobile videos relating to singer Sonu Niigaam’s son, Nevaan, at #1, #8, and #10 positions in the Top 10 India Videos category.

The other two versions included female versions of Why This Kolaveri Di (#4) and a digitally remixed version by Dhanush (#7), according to Vuclip, an independent mobile video service, in its Global Video Insights Report for January 2012.
The report captures mobile trends for the last month and looks back at some of the biggest searches of 2011, a press release from Vuclip said.
For the second year in a row, Hindi film actress Katrina Kaif retained her title of being 2011's most searched celebrity in mobile videos in India.

Pianist Terry Riley to perform in Mumbai on January 21

Terry Riley
Terry Riley
The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) has organised a piano recital by the well-known pianist and composer Terry Riley at the Tata Theatre here on January 21.
Riley's career spans some 50 years since the time he was a Master of Music candidate at the University of California. Back then, he gave concerts with his colleagues, La Monte Young, David Del Tredici and Pauline Oliveros. Over the years, he has performed all over the world and also issued CDs of his piano music.
According to an NCPA press release, Riley has learnt Indian classical music from the great kirana master, Pran Nath, and accompanied him in many concerts till his demise in 1996. 
He is a prolific composer having written in virtually every form including solo piano, a chamber opera, a triple concerto for two guitars and violin, two violin concertos, a piano concerto, works for choir and orchestra besides 23 works for string quartet, which include a string quartet concerto and a piano quintet. 
His seminal work IN C changed the course of western classical music in 1964, and introduced the style that was to be named Minimalism. IN C is arguably the most performed and famous piece of the latter part of the 20th century.
Riley was named one of the 1,000 makers of the 20th century, by the The Times of London. 
The release said the event would include works spanning the past 34 years:
Baby’s Song (2001) was written for the play Josephine, the Mouse Singer by Michael McClure.
The Bull (2008) is an arrangement for piano of a work originally written for the massive organ at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Simply M... (2007) was written in memory of Margaret Lyon, who was the chairman of the Mills College, California) music department and who always encouraged Riley to compose.
Song from the Old Country (1979) is a work commissioned by the Kronos String Quartet.
I Like Your Eyes, Liberty (2003) is a piece in three sections played without pause and  rotating in rondo fashion.
Requiem for Wally (1989) was written in memory of Riley’s ragtime piano mentor, Wally Rose, one of the great masters of the ragtime style. This work combines elements of ‘Ragtime’ with sections built on the Raga Nat Bhairav. Much of the ragtime pattern in Requiem... is in 7/4 instead of the traditional 4/4 meter. 
Salome Dances for Peace (1985–87) is a cycle of five string quartets and was also commissioned by the Kronos quartet. Riley subsequently adapted the materials for solo piano.
The Shape of Flames (2008) was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a solo organ concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in 2008. Riley will play an adapted piano version at the NCPA.

Mahindra Blues Festival to be held in Mumbai on February 11-12

Five-time Grammy winner Buddy Guy, with special guest Robert Randolph, Taj Mahal Trio, John Lee Hooker Jr, Ana Popovic and Soulmate are some of artistes slated to perform at the second season of the Mahindra Blues Festival on February 11 and 12 in Mumbai.
The event, which will also have workshops and talks, will be held at the historic Mehboob Studios at Bandra in the metropolis, the Mahindra Group said.
Billed as Asia's largest and finest blues event, the weekend festival will give Indians a chance to witness a number of international blues superstars, many of whom are considered to be among the best in the world, and top home-grown talent like Soulmate, the organisers said.
Buddy Guy & Robert Randolph
Buddy Guy & Robert Randolph
“Our presence in various international markets helps us in transplanting local performing arts to other geographies thereby connecting communities around the world. The Mahindra Blues Festival – now an annual event and in its second year – is one such endeavour that seeks to promote a genre that has yet to receive the recognition it deserves in India and around the world," Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said.
With a brand new line-up, multiple concerts and sessions with the artists, and an iconic venue designed to create a fantastic blues-like atmosphere, the festival promises to be one to look forward to, a press release from the organisers said.
Chicago Blues veteran and multi-Grammy winner Buddy Guy, a definitive Blues artiste and a key influence on popular rock and Blues artistes like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan will be on his second visit to perform at the festival, and will also feature special guest and funk legend Robert Randolph who was included by the Rolling Stones Magazine in its list of 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
Taj Mahal  Photo By Baron Wolmans Circa 1974 Berkeley C
Taj Mahal Photo By Baron Wolmans Circa 1974 Berkeley C
The line-up also includes two-time Grammy nominee John Lee Hooker Jr., and award-winning Serbian blues guitarist and singer Ana Popovi. Grammy winner and nine-time nominee Henry Saint Clair Fredericks’s well-known blues outfit, Taj Mahal Trio will join these artistes.

Open air concert of Mozart's music in Delhi on January 6

In a rare treat for music lovers in Delhi, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) will present a selection of arias, choruses and orchestra pieces from the vast repertoire of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in an open air concert in the Central Park in Connaught Place here on January 6.
The production will include pieces from Mozart's famous operas - The Magic Flute, Idomeneo, Cosi Fan Tutte and the Marriage of Figaro.
Entry to the open air concert will be free. It will be followed by two concerts at the Siri Fort Auditorium here on January 7 and 8.
"This is the first time that ICCR is taking Western classical music to the people in an open space," ICCR Director General Suresh Goel said.
He said another concert is scheduled on the banks of the Brahmaputra in Guwahati on January 11.
The show, in collaboration with the Neemrana Music Foundation, will bring together 19 musicians from the Rouen Opera House, France, 26 from the Bombay Chamber Orchestra and 40 singers from the Neemrana Music Foundation. There will also be a conductor from the United States, a choir conductor from Russia and a visiting voice coach from New Zealand.
The programme is also being supported by the Embassy of France in India and the Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre. 
"The performance at Siri Fort is expected to be a tremendous show with costumes and stage direction, featuring 40 musicians, 40 choir singers, and 12 solo singers, For the first time, it will have Indian solo singers intensively trained in France for the performance," an ICCR press release said.
The Neemrana Music Foundation here has been actively producing operas since 2002, with its founder Francis Wacziarg dreaming of linking the Orient and the Occident with the strains of music.
The programme "Mozart Magic in India" will be in two parts, the first half featuring selections from The Magic Flute lasting about 45 to 50 minutes while the second half will be of about 45 minutes with seven acts from Idomeneo, Cosi Fan Tutte and The Marriage of Figaro.
The Bombay Chamber Orchestra (BCO) Society was founded in 1962 as an educational trust to offer free coaching to the young musical talent of the city in the techniques of orchestral playing. Its aim is not only to offer free music education but also to create an environment and incentive to encourage young talent to continue to work at the instruments of their choice.
The show will have wind musicians from the orchestra of the Rouen Haute-Normandie Opera House which was founded in 1988 under the authority of the Austrian Oswald Sallaberger. The wind orchestra has been specially trained in Mozart’s music. 
The Indian artistes include Aude Priya, Sunanda Rao, Vikrant Subramaniam, Nitya Vaz, Payal John, Ashwin Sahay, Ashwati Parameshwar, Ramya Rao, Sparsh Bajpai, Pallavi Seth, and Tara Grover. Daniel Schostok is the tenor from Vienna. 
Singapore-born Indian conductor George Mathew, founder and Artistic Director of ‘Music for Life International’ and ‘Ubuntu-Shruti’, graduated from the Manhattan School of Music. In 2010, he was named Artistic Director and Conductor of the New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, marking the first public appearance of ‘Ubuntu-Shruti’.

PPL serves notices to hotels on music license fee for year-end bashes


The Phonographic Performance Ltd. (PPL) has served legal notices to several hotels and pubs in the city and elsewhere which have not paid the requisite music license fee to play music at their year-end events.

A press release from PPL said it planned to initiate strict legal action against defaulters in case the license fee does not get paid ahead of their planned events.

Vipul Pradhan, CEO, PPL said: "New Year parties attract people promising them a good time through a combination of entertainment, food and beverage. A significant component of the sum charged from the customers is for music – an integral element of entertainment. Therefore, the music companies whose sound recording is regularly used have a right towards claiming their due because their product is getting consumed too.”

According to the release, under the statutory sanction of section 35 in the Indian Copyright Act, playing commercial music in public without paying the requisite license fee is an offence liable to contempt of court.

Section 35 grants exclusivity to PPL to issue licenses to hotels/pubs for playing music during the events in their respective premises. The tariff for the same is calculated on the basis of the number of hours the music is to be played and the number of people expected to attend the event, it said.

The release said that, every year pubs/ hotels target revenues with customized New Year packages but are reluctant to pay a nominal license fee (which varies depending on the number of hours for which the music is played) to PPL, flouting the norms and eating into the royalties of the music labels, it said.


PPL said disc jockeys too need to abide by PPL guidelines if they continue to play music without paying the license fees.

The release said that, according to Music Listening Laws in India, any performance of Indian or even international music, in public places or commercial establishments such as hotels & resorts, restaurants, bars, pubs, shacks, discotheques, DJ’s, cruise liners, cinema halls, shops, banks, offices, amusement parks etcetera, rendered without first having obtained a license from PPL constitutes an infringement of copyright under the Copyright Act, 1957.

Section 35 grants exclusivity to PPL to issue licenses to hotels/pubs for playing music during the events in their respective premises. The tariff for the same is calculated on the basis of the number of hours the music is to be played and the number of people expected to attend the event.

PPL, incorporated in 1941, is the apex-licensing arm of the Indian Music Industry (IMI), and was formulated to administer the Broadcast, Telecast and Public Performance rights of its member companies. Formerly known as Indian Phonographic Industry (IPI), PPL currently has more than 241 member companies and is registered with the Registrar of Copyrights since 1996.

The member companies of PPL have assigned their performing rights in sound recordings to PPL, by virtue of which it is the designated authority to issue Public Performance Licenses all over India and also ensure fair payment of tariffs to all the recording companies. This includes the communication of music to the public in any form, be it acoustic or visual and covers music recorded in any format or communicated by way of a radio, a World Space Receiver, a television set or a cable network.


PPL has its registered office at Kolkata, administrative office in Mumbai and licensing offices in New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chandigarh.


57th Filmfare Awards to be held on January 29, 2012


The 57th edition of the Filmfare Awards will be held in January next year, it was announced here last night.
Addressing a press conference here to announce the awards, Tarun Rai of the Worldwide Media, the organisers, said the 2011 edition of the awards is very special as this year Filmfare will be giving its 2500th trophy. 
The figure includes awards presented till date across ceremonies through the years.
"The Filmfare awards 2011 will be very special to us as we will be giving out the 2500th Black Lady at the awards show on January 29, 2012. The Black Lady, which is a testament of Filmfare's long association with Indian cinema and its commitment to recognise and celebrate the immense talent of our film industry for the last 57 years, will be given to someone special," Mr Rai said.
The press meet to announce the awards, to be held at Film City in Goregaon in Mumbai, was graced by Bollywood’s current heartthrob Imran Khan, who has enthralled cinebuffs in films like 'Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na', 'I Hate Love Stories' and 'Mere Brother Ki Dulhan', and the chief corporate affairs officer of Idea Cellular, Rajat Mukherjee.
Speaking on the occasion, Imran, who has hosted the Filmfare awards for the last two years, said, "I am fortunate that in the last three years, I have hosted the Filmfare awards twice. Both times it has been fun. The relation with the awards has added a great deal to my career."
At the same time, he admitted that getting into the shoes of Shahrukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan, who had been hosting the awards in the previous years, was not easy.
"To live up to the act by Shahrukh and Saif was a very scary feeling. We (he and Ranbir ) knew we had big shoes to fill," Imran said.
Incidentally this year is also the centenary year of Indian cinema.
Mr Mukherjee said, "This year of Idea Filmfare awards is special as it celebrates the centenary year of Indian cinema and also coincides with 'Idea' crossing the 100 million subscriber mark."
Asked if the Filmfare awards this year would be paying tribute to the evergreen star Dev Anand, who died of cardiac arrest in London recently, Rai said, "We are working on a programme to pay tribute to some of the stalwarts who passed away this year."
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