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Malayalam film Olu to open Indian Panorama at 49th IFFI in Goa

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Malayalam film Olu, directed by Shaji N. Karun, will be the opening film of the Indian Panorama section of the 49th International Film Festival of India 2018 to be held in Goa from November 20-28.
 
In  all, the Feature Films jury headed by well-known film director and screenwriter Rahul Rawail has selected 22 feature films for the Panorama.
 
Four mainstream films have also been selected for the Panorama by an Internal Committee of the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) based on the recommendations of FFI and Guild.
 
The 22 films selected by the jury include five other Malayalam films -- Bhayanakam (directed by Jayaraj), Makkana (Raheem Khader), Poomaram (Abrid Shine), Sudani From Nigeria (Zakariya) and Ee Maa Yove (Lijo Jose Pellissery) -- and five Bengali films -- Nagarkirtan (Kaushik Ganguly), Sa (Arijit Singh), Uma (Srijit Mukherji), Abyakto (Arjun Dutta) and Uronchondi (Abhishek Saha).
 
The list also includes four Tamil films -- To Let (Chezhiyan Ra), Baaram (Priya Krishnaswamy), Periyerum Perumal BA.BL (Mari Selvaraj) and Peranbu (Ram); two Hindi films -- October (Shoojit Sircar); Bhor (Kamakhya Narayan Singh) and two Marathi films -- Dhappa (Nipun Avinash Dharmadhikari) and Aamhi Doghi (Pratima Joshi).
 
Other films selected for the Panorama include Sinjar (Jasari, Pampally); Walking With The Wind (Ladakhi, Praveen Morchhale); and Paddayi (Tulu, Abhaya Simha).
 
The four mainstream cinema films are Mahanati (Telugu, Nagashwin); Tiger Zinda Hai (Hindi, Ali Abbas Zafar); Padmaavat (Hindi, Sanjay Leela Bhansali) and Raazi (Hindi, Meghna Gulzar).
 
Other members of the Feature Films jury were Major Ravi, filmmaker & actor; Ahathian, director; Ujjwal Chatterjee, director, producer & screenwriter; Imo Singh, director; Utpal Datta, filmmaker; Sekhar Das, director; Mahendra Teredesai, director & writer; Haidar Ali, actor & screenwriter; KG Suresh, journalist & columnist; Chandra Siddarth, director, producer & screenwriter; Adeep Tandon, cinematographer & director; and S Viswanath, film critic & journalist.
 
The Non Feature Film Jury of seven members, headed by film director and editor Vinod Ganatra, has selected 21 non-feature films for the Indian  Panorama.
 
Kharvas directed by Aditya Suhas Jambhale will be the opening film in the Non-Feature Film segment.
 
The following is the list of selected non-feature films: Kharvas (Marathi, Aditya Suhas Jambhale); Sampurak (Bengali, Prabal Chakraborty); Naach Bhikari Naach (Bhojpuri, Jainendra Dost & Shilpi Gulati); Decoding Shankar (English, Deepti Sivan); Gyamo-Queen Of the Mountains (English, Gautam Pandey & Doel Trivedy); The World's Most Famous Tiger (English, S Nalla Muthu); Bunkar: The last of the Varanasi Weavers (English, Satyaprakash Upadhyay); Monitor (Hindi, Hari Viswanath); Nani Teri Morni (Hindi, Akash Aditya Lama); Burning (Hindi, Sanoj VS); Sword of Liberty (Malayalam, Shiny Jacob Benjamin); Midnight Run (Malayalam, Remya Raj); Lasyam (Malayalam, Vinod Mankara); Happy Birthday (Marathi, Medhpranav Babasaheb Powar); Na Bole Wo Haram (Marathi, Nitesh Vivek Patankar); Silent Scream (Marathi, Prasanna Ponde); Yes, I am Mauli (Marathi, Suhas Jahagirdar); Pamphlet (Marathi, Shekhar Bapu Rankhambe); Aai Shappath (Marathi, Gautam Vaze); Bhar Dupari (Marathi, Swapnil Vasant Kapure); and Malai (Oriya, Rajdeep Paul & Sarmistha Maiti).
 
The other members of the jury were Uday Shankar Pani, filmmaker; Parvati Menon, director & film educationist; Mandar Talaulikar, filmmaker; Padmaraj Nair, film journalist; Ashok Sharan, actor & producer; and Suneel Puranik, actor, director & producer.
 
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Veteran actor Anupam Kher resigns as Chairman of FTII

Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher
Well-known actor Anupam Kher has resigned as the Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, citing lack of time to carry out his responsibilities in view of his international assignments.
 
Kher, 63, is currently busy working in the United States on the American television show "New Amsterdam".
 
He had been appointed to the prestigious position in October last year, succeeding Mr. Gajendra Chauhan, whose appointment had led to protests from many FTII students, who felt he did not have the professional credentials to lead and guide them.
 
"I write to you with the intention to, with due notice, resign from the post of the Chairman at FTII, Pune. This decision has not come without considerable thought of the responsibilities expected of me vis-a-vis the time I have at my disposal to execute them," Kher said in a letter dated October 30 written to Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
 
He recalled that, when he was approached last year by then I&B Minister Smriti Irani, he had mentioned the fact that he was due to be stationed in the US for nearly nine months between 2018 and 2019 and for a similar period for a minimum of three years more.
 
"Given this assignment it would not be fair to me, the students and management team, for me to hold a position of such responsibility and accountability, without being actively involved in the operations.
 
"Hence I request you to please accept my resignation and in the notice period scout for someone suitable to take a handover from me.
 
"Needless to say, I will be always available, if needed, for any guidance or responsibility given to me as an individual," he added.
 
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FTII is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and is regarded as a centre of excellence across the world. Films made by FTII’s students have enjoyed excellent receptions in festivals in India and abroad and have won national and international awards. 
 
Kher has appeared in more than 500 films and has won many national and international awards during his distinguished career.
 
Earlier he had served as the Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and was the Director of the National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi from 2001 to 2004. He is also an alumnus of NSD (1978 batch).
 
He was honoured by the Government with the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 for his contribution to the field of cinema and arts.
 
Apart from films, Kher has acted in scores of plays. While he has worked mainly in Hindi films, he has appeared in films made in other languages such as Malayalam and Malayalam and also in international films such as the 2002 Golden Globe nominated Bend It Like Beckham, Ang Lee's 2007 Golden Lion-winning Lust, Caution, and David O. Russell's 2013 Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook. He has also hosted several television shows
 
His wife, actress Kirron Kher, is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of the Lok Sabha from Chandigarh.
 
Kher made his film debut in the Hindi movie Aagman. In 1984 came Saaransh, where the 28-year-old Kher played a retired middle-aged Maharashtrian man who has lost his son, a performance for which he won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor.
 
He won the Special Jury Award twice in the National Film Awards -- for Daddy in 1989 and for Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara in 2005. He has won the Filmfare Award for Best Comedian five times. 
 
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Veteran Marathi composer Yeshwant Deo dies

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Veteran Marathi singer, lyricist and music composer Yeshwant Deo passed away after a brief illness here on Tuesday, family sources said. He was 91.
 
Deo breathed his last at the Sushrusha Hospital in Dadar where he was admitted for treatment of pneumonia and other complications almost three weeks ago.
 
His last rites shall be performed at the Dadar Crematorium here later on Tuesday.
 
Born on November 1, 1926, Deo trained in music under his father and became a well-known figure in the Marathi film industry and music circles.
 
He was a science graduate from Mumbai and had acquired the Sangeet Visharad degree from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya.
 
After spending formative years in Raigad, Deo launched his music career with All India Radio in Nagpur as a sitar player. From 1958 to 1984 he produced light music, besides teaching music in the University Of Mumbai and SNDT Women's University.
 
His specialisation was "Bhav-geet" which involved composing poems to music, a semi-classical form, which he utilised effectively for over 40 films and plays.
 
Deo bagged several honours and awards, including the Maharashtra Government award for Best Music Director of the play "Amrapali" (1974) and the Lata Mangeshkar Award.
 
He had composed music (along with Zakir Hussein, Bhupen Hazarika and Raj Kamal) for the Hindi film "Saaz" directed by Sai Paranjpye, which was inspired by the lives of the Mangeshkar singer-sisters, and had bagged writer-poet Javed Akhtar his first National Award for Best Lyrics.
 
Deo also wrote books on the devotional music of Shirdi Saibaba, light classical music and Marathi Bhav-geet.
 
IANS
 
 

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Shakeela to make cameo appearance in her biopic

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A biopic on southern film industry's adult film star Shakeela will see her play a cameo.
 
Director Indrajit Lankesh is helming the movie, which stars Richa Chadha in the role of Shakeela, who was popular in southern showbiz in the 1990s and continues to work even today.
 
Before commencing the film's shooting, Richa had a rendezvous with Shakeela in Bengaluru to understand the nuances. Seeing the camaraderie between both the actors and also to honour Shakeela's popularity, Lankesh roped in the real Shakeela for a cameo in the film.
 
Lankesh said in a statement: "I always wanted to make a film on Shakeela. I was immensely impressed with her on-screen and off screen personality.
 
"I wanted to portray her story, the hardships and rough phase when she was not getting films and was trying for character roles. I wanted to show the true story behind the superstar Shakeela."
 
He said Shakeela has been an integral part of the making of the movie as she gave the team detailed insights into her life.
 
"Even Richa got to spend time with her, understand her style of talking, her body language and such nuances. In fact, when she came on set, she gave us very interesting insights like about our art direction and how her house was and is in real life," Lankesh added.
 
He said it was nice to shoot Shakeela for the biopic, though this is not the first time he has worked with her.
 
"I have shot with her in the past for another film of mine in 2003. That sparked an interest in me to make a film on her and in 2015 after conceiving the idea of making a film on her, I met her and realised my dream.
 
"I feel every woman and girl who wants to be an actress should see her story, to know what she went through to become an actress and how it was such a compelling rags to riches to rags story of her life."
 
IANS

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Music maestro Khayyam conferred Hridaynath Award for Lifetime Achievement

Khayyam
Khayyam
Renowned National Award winning music director Mohammed Zahur Khayyam Hashmi, better known as "Khayyam", was conferred this year's prestigious Hridaynath Award for Lifetime Achievement here late on Friday night.
 
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis gave away the award, comprising a cash prize of Rs. 100,000 and a memento, named after the famous Hridaynath Mangeshkar on his 81st birthday on Friday.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Fadnavis recalled Khayyam's great contributions to the music world since the launch of his musical career from the age of 17 at Ludhiana in 1943.
 
"Khayyamji is a 92-year-young man. Presenting this award to him is indeed an honour for me," said the 48-year old Fadnavis.
 
Lauding the role of the Mangeshkar family for their music legacy which was as tall as the Himalayas, Fadnavis said they are "a gift to the country", and listening to their music is itself a "divine experience."
 
Terming Khayyam as his inspiration', Hridaynath Mangeshkar, praised his musical creations and said that "conferring the award named after me on him, is actually a reward for me."
 
"Hridaynath is the only and youngest brother of the legendary Mangeshkar singer-sisters - Lata, Asha, Usha and Meena, all children of the great composer the late Master Deenanath Mangeshkar," said Avinath Prabhavalkar, an official of the Hridayesh Arts.
 
Responding to the felicitations, Khayyam said the Mangeshkar family has made a significant contribution to the cause of music in the country and he felt humbled by the honour.
 
Present at the ceremony in Deenanath Mangeshkar Hall, Vile Parle, were several eminent personalities like Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Jabbar Patel, members of the Mangeshkar clan and celebrities.
 
The veteran composer, lyricist and writer Khayyam, 92, started his music career in Ludhiana in 1943 at the age of 17. Later, the Padma Bhushan awardee teamed up as Sharma of the music-director duo "Sharmaji-Varmaji" to compose music for films like "Heer Ranjha" (1948) and others.
 
However, after Partition, when his partner Rahman Varma moved to Pakistan, Khayyam continued solo and his earliest notable works were for "Footpath" (1953) in which Talat Mehmood's song "Shaam-e-Gham ki Kasam, Aaj Gamgeen Hain Hum" and the film "Biwi" in which a song sung by Mohammed Rafi, "Akele mein woh, ghabrate toh honge", and other major films like "Phir Subah Hogi" (1958) with Mukesh's "Woh subah, kabhi to aayegi", became the rage of the masses.
 
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It was the 1961 blockbuster "Shola Aur Shabnam" which firmly established Khayyam as a top-notch music director followed by films with superhit music like "Mohabbat Isko Kehta Hain" (1965) and "Aakhri Khat" (1966), that was the late superstar Rajesh Khanna's debut film with memorable songs like "Bahaaron, Mera Jeevan Bhi Savaaron".
 
Not looking back, he composed memorable music for films like "Kabhi Kabhi" (1976), "Trishul" (1978), "Noorie" (1979), "Thodisi Bewafai" (1980), "Dard" and "Ahista Ahista" (1981), "Dil, Akhir Dil Hai" and "Bazaar"(1982), "Razia Sultan" (1983).
 
In 1981, he composed music for the sensitive blockbuster film "Umrao Jaan", ranked among the all time best Bollywood films and considered the jewel in the crown of Khayyam's compositions, for which he bagged the National Award, and also a Filmfare Award, besides a string of other honours.
 
"Umrao Jaan" is oft compared with another cult masterpiece "Pakeezah" (1972) for a courtesan-based musical theme. Both became superhits and now occupy their own unique pedestals in Bollywood music history.
 
Explaining this, Khayyam once said: "My biggest challenge was that Umrao Jaan should not only look different, but also sound different to make it stand apart from Pakeezah in which most songs were sung by Lata Mangeshkar for the heroine Meena Kumari. So, nearly a decade later in Umrao Jaan, I only used Asha Bhosale's voice for the heroine Rekha."
 
In 2016, Khayyam and his singer-wife Jagjit Kaur endeared themselves to the masses when they set up the 'Khayyam-Jagjit Kaur KPG Charitable Trust' in memory of their actor-son Pradeep who passed away in 2012, and donated their entire wealth to be utilized to fund upcoming artistes and technicians in Bollywood.
 
The other past recipients of the awards are Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Amitabh Bachchan, Sulochana Latkar, A.R. Rahman, Pandit Jasraj, and Javed Akhtar, besides chess champ Vishwanathan Anand.
 
IANS

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Rajkumar Singhajit Singh, Chhayanaut, Ram Sutar chosen for Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony

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The doyen of Manipuri dance Rajkumar Singhajit Singh, Chhayanaut, a cultural organization of Bangladesh and noted Indian sculptor Ram Vanji Sutar have been chosen for the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.
 
The jury, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, comprising Chief Justice of India, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, after detailed discussions on October 24, took the decision unanimously, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to cultural harmony, an official press release said.
 
Rajkumar Singhajit Singh has distinguished himself both as an outstanding teacher, performer and choreographer. His work over the years bears witness to his creativity within the framework of traditional Manipuri dance.
 
His choreography has been enriched by elements incorporated from various forms of performing arts of Manipur such as Thang-ta, Nata-Sankirtana, Lai-haraoba and Rasleela.
 
The award recognizes his contribution in keeping the tradition of Manipuri dance alive and vibrant, promoting harmony through dance and also pays tribute to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, who, deeply influenced by Manipuri dance, made it an integral part of the education curriculum at Visva Bharati.
 
Chhayanaut, established in 1961, has played a leading role in promoting Tagore’s works and Bengali culture, music and literature not only within Bangladesh but across the world. It has built a close bridge of understanding and cultural exchange between Bangladesh and India, especially West Bengal.
 
Chhayanaut was part of the movement for an independent Bangladesh and provided a platform for cultural expression and assertion of Bengali identity. When Rabindra Sangeet was banned in East Pakistan, Chhayanaut continued to promote liberal expression through secret renditions of Tagore songs and discussions.
 
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The jury's decision recognizes the contribution of the organization in upholding the liberal progressive tradition of the universal humanism of Gurudev and in promoting the spirit of cultural harmony.
 
Ram Vanji Sutar is one of the greatest living sculptors of India. He has created more than 50 monumental sculptures in the past 40 years. At the beginning of his career, he was involved in restoring several ancient sculptures in the caves of Ellora and Ajanta.
 
His first notable work was the 45 feet Chambal monument at the Gandhi Sagar Dam in Madhya Pradesh. This gigantic masterpiece carved out of a single block depicts mother Chambal with her two children -- Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan symbolizing the brotherhood of the two states.
 
His iconic bust of Mahatma Gandhi is one of the most celebrated representations of the Mahatma, as is his bronze bust of Tagore. The jury's decision recognizes his outstanding contribution to the preservation of Indian culture and its artistic tradition.
 
The annual award was instituted by the Union Government during the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore.
 
The first Tagore Award was conferred on Pandit Ravi Shankar, the Indian sitar maestro, in 2012 and the second was conferred on music conductor Zubin Mehta in 2013. The award carries an amount of Rs 1 crore, a citation in a scroll, a plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft/ handloom item. The award is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or sex.
 
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'Hichki' mints Rs 100cr in China, Rani ecstatic

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Rani Mukerji-starrer "Hichki" has raced past the Rs 100 crore-mark in China since releasing on October 12, according to its production banner Yash Raj Films.
 
The film features the actress as a determined teacher who changes lives of innocent students from economically backward strata for the better while dealing with her own nervous system disorder Tourette Syndrome.
 
It is a blockbuster in China with it racing past the Rs 100 crore-mark. Audiences in the country have loved Rani's exceptional acting and it has been recording extremely strong collections since its release, read a statement.
 
"Good cinema has no language barriers and it connects with the hearts and minds of the audience. The success of 'Hichki' in China proves just that," Rani said.
 
"We knew we had made a special film but for it to get so much love and acclaim from audiences across the globe is an extremely proud and humbling moment for all of us," she added.
 
She congratulated producer Maneesh Sharma and director Siddharth P. Malhotra for "creating a gem of a film whose universal message of love has been melting the hearts of audiences in China now".
 
"Hichki" was titled "Teacher with Hiccup" for its Chinese release. Rani had promoted the film extensively across leading Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
 
IANS
 

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KWAN founder attempts suicide after #MeToo allegations

Anirban Das Blah (File Photo: IANS)
Anirban Das Blah (File Photo: IANS)
KWAN Entertainment founder Anirban Das Blah, a popular Bollywood celebrity manager who has been accused of sexual misconduct, reportedly tried to end his life early on Friday but was saved at the last minute, police said.
 
The incident happened at 1 a.m. on Friday. Blah was caught and rescued by a traffic police patrol in Vashi area and handed over to police, a traffic police official told IANS.
 
Blah's statement was recorded and he was released. The police advised his family to seek professional counselling for him.
 
Blah was asked to step aside from his position in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against him after multiple reported accounts indicated that Blah had made sexual advances towards women.
 
Following this, KWAN Entertainment said on Wednesday that Blah had resigned from all his responsibilities and designations (including as a member of the Board of Directors) at KWAN and its subsidiaries/affiliates with immediate effect.
 
The company manages prominent names like Ranbir Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Pritam, Mahesh Babu and Rana Dagubatti. 
 
The #MeToo movement in India sparked with actor Tanushree Dutta renewing a 10-year-old allegation against fellow actor Nana Patekar, opening the floodgates for a sea of complaints against several other celebrities.
 
Actors and corporates in the movie industry have stepped up efforts to take stern action against offenders.
 
IANS

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Dileep removed from AMMA: Mohanlal

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
Senior actor Dileep, who was named in a Malayalam actress kidnapping case, was on Friday removed from the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists, its chief Mohanlal said.
 
Ending months of uncertainty, the actors' body at its executive committee meeting held here agreed to end Dileep's membership from AMMA as he has been facing trial in the case that took place in February 2017. 
 
The decision came amidst the raging #MeToo furore in the country. 
 
Superstar Mohanlal told the media that the issue was already lingering long enough and a decision was way overdue.
 
"I called him (Dileep) and told him about the decision and asked for his resignation. He sent us the signed resignation letter," said Mohanlal.
 
Earlier in October, the Women's Collective in Cinema (WCC) had criticised the way the actress kidnapping case was handled. They had named Mohanlal as the main culprit shielding Dileep.
 
"I really don't know why the WCC is taking on me personally. All of them have been my co-stars. We have had good relations. Now it has come to such a pass that it has started to hurt me. I do not feel good at all," the actor added.
 
Dileep has spent 85 days in jail and is now out on bail.
 
At a press conference on October 13, the WCC-led by actress Revathy, alleged that AMMA had not supported the victim whereas Dileep had got all the backing.
 
Others who took part in that conference included Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambisan and Geetu Mohandas, who had earlier quit AMMA to protest against the way the actress kidnapping issue was handled by the actors' body.
 
Mohanlal said the actresses who have resigned from the AMMA if they wished to return, they would have to give a letter. It would have to be considered by the executive committee and then by the general body.
 
"Why should we ask them to return, it was they who resigned. Hence they have to make the first move," said Mohanlal. He, however, added that they need not apologise for their actions.
 
AMMA Secretary and veteran actor Siddique, who had earlier this week attacked the conduct of the WCC members, on Friday said that he feels the women's body was out to create a rift in the AMMA.
 
IANS

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Anna Burns wins 50th Man Booker Prize for 'Milkman'

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Anna Burns from Northern Ireland has won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for her third novel "Milkman". She won the much coveted 50,000 pound award for her timely, troubles-set novel about a young woman being sexually harassed by a powerful man.
 
Burns, 56, became the first Northern Irish winner of the award and accepted the prize at a ceremony at Guildhall here late on Tuesday. 
 
She is also the first female winner since 2012, when Hilary Mantel took the award with "Bring Up the Bodies".
 
Booker's chair of judges, the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, said that the novel is "incredibly original". 
 
"Milkman" is narrated by an unnamed 18-year-old girl, known as "middle sister", who is being pursued by a much older paramilitary figure, the milkman.
 
"None of us has ever read anything like this before," said Appiah, announcing the prize. 
 
"Anna Burns' utterly distinctive voice challenges conventional thinking and form in a surprising and immersive prose. It is a story of brutality, sexual encroachment and resistance threaded with mordant humour."
 
Written in lengthy blocks of paragraphs, eschewing character names for descriptions, Appiah admitted that "Milkman" could be seen as "challenging, but in the way a walk up Snowdon is challenging. It is definitely worth it because the view is terrific when you get to the top," he said. 
 
Previous Irish winners, including John Banville, Anne Enright and Roddy Doyle, all come from the Irish Republic. 
 
Burns beat writers including American literary heavyweight Richard Powers, Canadian Esi Edugyan and Daisy Johnson, at 27 the youngest author ever to be shortlisted for the award. 
 
According to Appiah, the judges, picking from a shortlist that delved into some dark themes, were "unanimous" in their choice of winner -- and not influenced by concerns that picking a third American winner in a row could cause controversy.
 
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Burns, who was born in Belfast and now lives in East Sussex, drew on her own experiences growing up in what she called "a place that was rife with violence, distrust and paranoia". 
 
As the milkman presses his advances on the reluctant middle sister, rumours begin that she is having an affair with him. 
 
Milkman also spoke to the concerns of today, Appiah said. "I think this novel will help people think about #MeToo ... It is to be commended for giving us a deep and subtle and morally and intellectually challenging picture of what #MeToo is about."
 
First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognised as the leading award for quality literary fiction written in English. 
 
Its list of winners includes many of the giants of the last five decades, from Salman Rushdie to Margaret Atwood, Iris Murdoch to J.M. Coetzee. 
 
The prize has also recognised many authors early in their careers, including Eleanor Catton, Aravind Adiga and Ben Okri. 
 
No Indian authors were longlisted or shortlisted for the 50th edition of the prize. 
 
IANS

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Truth will prevail: Nandita Das on #MeToo allegations against father

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Actress-filmmaker Nandita Das, whose father -- artist Jatin Das -- has been accused of sexually harassing a woman, says that, while she will continue to add voice to the #MeToo movement, she believes the truth will prevail in the "disturbing allegations" against the Padma Bhushan recipient.
 
"As a strong supporter of the #MeToo movement, I want to reiterate that I will continue to add my voice to it, despite the disturbing allegations made against my father, which he has categorically denied," Nandita posted on Facebook.
 
"I have maintained from the very start that this is the time we all need to listen, so that women (and men) feel safe to speak up. At the same time, it is also important to be sure about allegations so as not to dilute the movement. I am touched by the number of people - friends and strangers - who are concerned and are trusting my integrity. I do believe truth will prevail. And that is all I have to say on this matter," she added.
 
Conservationist Nisha Bora on Tuesday accused Jatin Das of sexually harassing her at his Khidki village studio in 2004. Das refuted the allegation as "ridiculous and vulgar".
 
The #MeToo movement in India has been on a rise with victims of sexual harassment from all walks of life voicing their stories. Nandita has been vocal about urging women to speak up against any such unsavoury experiences that they have faced at their work place.
 
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Malayalam actor Alencier named in #MeToo storm

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Actor Alencier Ley Lopez has been named by an upcoming actress for allegedly harassing her a few times.
 
The actress took to her Facebook page and said the incident took place nine months ago.
 
"I had spoken to Justice Hema Commission (a state government appointed body to study the issues of women in the film industry) and they agreed to give me time to register my complaint. But now I have decided to come out," the actress said.
 
Alencier, 52, hails from the state capital and began his career in theatre. He made his debut in the Malayalam film industry in 1998 and since then, he has excelled in character roles.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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AMMA must look into issues raised by actresses: Kerala Minister

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A Kerala Minister on Sunday urged the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) to look into the grievances raised by actresses.
 
The Women's Collective in Cinema (WCC) has raised concerns over how AMMA, led by superstar Mohanlal, has handled the case involving the kidnapping of an actress.
 
The Kerala government will step in if a need arises, State Minister for Law, Cinema and Culture A.K. Balan said here.
 
"Now that the WCC has raised issues, in all fairness, AMMA should look into it and sort out it," said Balan.
 
The WCC was formed last year by women drawn from various sectors of the film industry to fight for their cause, after they found that AMMA was not protecting their interests.
 
Senior actor Dileep is an accused in a kidnapping case that took place last year. The actor was in jail for 85 days and is now out on bail.
 
It was at a lengthy press conference that the WCC, led by actress Revathy, alleged that AMMA has not supported the victim, whereas Dileep has got all the backing.
 
Others who took part included Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambisan and Geetu Mohandas, who had earlier quit from AMMA to protest against the way the actress' kidnapping issue was handled by AMMA.
 
On Saturday, Revathy said things were not clean in the Malayalam film industry. She said she was shocked to see a 17-year-old young girl knocking at her door and complaining about the way she was exploited.
 
But on Sunday, Revathy issued a statement, clearing her stance regarding something she said during the press conference, in reference to an incident which took place years ago.
 
"I wish to clarify that the said incident happened 25-26 years back and not one and a half years back as some are projecting it to be. She said that someone repeatedly knocked at her door asking her to open and she did not know who it was. I asked her to come inside the room and locked the door. She was scared and I was also equally scared and both of us waited out that night in fear. No sexual or physical assault actually happened," said Revathy.
 
Meanwhile, a lawyer has filed a petition at a police station in Kochi against Revathy for withholding the information and not reporting to the concerned authorities.
 
Following the WCC press meet on Saturday evening, their Facebook page has come under cyber attack.
 
IANS
 

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AMMA under fire from actresses over AMMA's handling of actress abduction case

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The Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA), led by super star Mohanlal, came under fire on Saturday from the Women's Collective in Cinema (WCC) over the way the kidnapping case of an actress is being handled.
 
The WCC was formed last year by women drawn from various sectors of the film industry to fight for their cause, after they found that AMMA was not protecting their interests.
 
Senior actor Dileep is an accused in a kidnapping case that took place last year. The actor was in jail for 85 days and is now out on bail.
 
The WCC alleges that AMMA has not supported the victim, whereas Dileep has got all the backing.
 
Leading actress Revathy on Saturday said that many like her were shocked to hear Mohanlal address them as mere actresses.
 
"It really hurt us very much... he could have mentioned us by our name. We have now realized that AMMA's executive committee is taking us for a ride and is not serious about the victim getting justice in the kidnapping case," said Revathy, adding AMMA should be handled by responsible people.
 
Trouble stared soon after Mohanlal took over as AMMA President in June. He took back into the AMMA fold actor Dileep, prompting leading actresses Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambisan and Geetu Mohandas to quit AMMA in protest. Another 14 members announced their decision to quit, citing lack of fairness.
 
At Saturday's press meet, Revathy, Padmapriya, Parvathy and the three actresses who quit AMMA and a few others were also present.
 
The decision on Dileep's status has been left to the next general body meeting of AMMA.
 
"They (AMMA) use bye-laws when they find it useful for their requirements and when it comes to our needs, they cling on bye-laws," said Parvathy.
 
Revathy said things are not clean in the Malayalam film industry, adding she was shocked to see a 17-year-old young girl knocking at her door and complaining about the way she was exploited.
 
"I will not name her, but things are bad in the industry," said Revathy.
 
She said that none should take the actresses lightly, and that they would continue to expose the goings-on in the industry.
 
Beena Paul, who is vice-chairman of the state-run Kerala State Chalachitra Acadmey, said their intention is not to shame the industry.
 
"There are so many stories of victimization... slowly these will come out," said Paul.
 
IANS
 

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Sajid Khan steps down as 'Housefull 4' director

Sajid Khan (File photo: IANS)
Sajid Khan (File photo: IANS)
Filmmaker Sajid Khan on Friday said he is stepping down as director of "Housefull 4" amid allegations the he indulged in sexual misconduct with multiple women.
 
At least two actresses and a female journalist came out about their unpleasant experiences with Sajid on social media on Thursday in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
 
In response, Sajid wrote on Twitter: "In the wake of the allegations against me and the pressure being put on my family, my producer and the stars of my film 'Houseful4', I must take the moral responsibility of stepping down from my directorial post, till the time I can allay the allegations and prove the truth... I request my friends in the media to kindly not pass judgment till the truth is out."
 
The film "Housefull 4" also features Nana Patekar, who too is accused of sexual misconduct by actress Tanushree Dutta.
 
Akshay Kumar, the star of "Housefull 4", has called off the film's shooting until "further investigation".
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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#MeToo fallout: Aamir Khan steps away from film

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Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan on Wednesday stepped away from a film, as "someone" associated with it has been accused of sexual misconduct.
 
Aamir and his wife Kiran Rao, who run production company Aamir Khan Productions, issued a statement late on Wednesday.
 
"Two weeks ago, when traumatic #MeToo stories began emerging, it was brought to our attention that someone we were about to begin work with has been accused of sexual misconduct. Upon enquiry we found that this particular case is sub judice, and that the legal process is in motion.
 
"We are not an investigative agency, nor are we in any position to pass judgement on anyone -- that is for the police and judiciary to do. So, without casting any aspersions on anyone involved in this case, and without coming to any conclusions about these specific allegations, we have decided to step away from this film," read the statement posted by Aamir on Twitter.
 
The power couple said they do not want their action to reflect in any manner on the people involved in this case.
 
While Aamir did not name the person or the film, it is noteworthy that filmmaker Subhash Kapoor, who was roped in to direct the Gulshan Kumar biopic -- to be co-produced by Aamir Khan Productions -- has been accused of molestation by an actress in 2014.
 
Aamir and Kiran said that as creative people, they have been committed to foregrounding and finding solutions to social issues.
 
"At Aamir Khan Productions, we have always had a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct and predatory behaviour of any kind.
 
"We strongly condemn any act of sexual harassment, and equally we condemn any and all false accusations in such cases," the joint statement read.
 
They believe the #MeToo movement, which has led to people openly calling out those who have indulged in sexual harassment, is an opportunity for the film industry to introspect and take concrete steps towards change.
 
"For far too long, women have faced the brunt of sexual exploitation. It has to stop. In this regard, we are committed to doing any and everything to make our film industry a safe and happy one to work in."
 
Kiran is also the Chairperson of Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, which has dropped two movies -- Rajat Kapoor's "Kadakh" and AIB's "Chintu Ka Birthday" -- from its line-up in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against the actor-filmmaker and some members of the comedy collective.
 
IANS
 

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#MeToo: More accusations, denials, legal actions in showbiz

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The dark underbelly of showbiz continued to shine bright on Wednesday as well-known women like actors Sandhya Mridul and Amyra Dastur and singer Sona Mohapatra came out about their unsavoury harassment experiences, even as the IFTDA sent a notice to actor Alok Nath who has been accused of rape by writer-producer Vinta Nanda.
 
A day after Nanda addressed a press conference here, claiming Alok sexually violated her around 19 years ago, Sandhya came out and supported her, recounting her own experience with the actor who is known for his 'sanskaari' on-screen image.
 
Sandhya took the social media route to describe her ordeal with Alok during an outdoor shoot, where he would trouble her in an inebriated state.
 
"The problem is sexual harassment has been open to interpretation. I come from a time when nobody wanted to hear. I was a nobody. When I tried to speak I was labelled arrogant and difficult. And replaced from work. And there was no social media to make ourselves heard, directly. It has taken me years to lay those demons to rest and move on," said Sandhya.
 
Alok on Tuesday had addressed Nanda's claim, calling it "absurd". His lawyer Ashok Sarogi on Wednesday said the accusations against Alok were false.
 
On its part, the Indian Film and Television Directors Association (IFTDA) on Wednesday said it has drafted a notice to be sent to Alok, and it has already sent a notice to Vikas Bahl.
 
Bahl was last year accused of sexual harassment by a former employee of the film collective Phantom Films, for an incident that took place in 2015 in Goa. The allegation resurfaced as the #MeToo movement garnered steam in India. 
 
Kashyap last week came out in support of the allegations in a HuffPost India report and also tweeted about it, while Motwane called Bahl a "sexual offender".
 
Bahl, known for "Queen", has sent legal notices to his former Phantom Films partners Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, whom he has called "opportunists" for making "defamatory allegations" in the wake of the ongoing #MeToo movement.
 
In the  notices, Bahl has "denied all allegations and suggestions" made by them. He has reserved his "right to take appropriate legal action" against them, and claims the statements have been made as a result of professional jealousy and with the sole intent to defame him, malign his image and destroy his career.
 
While singer Kailash Kher has already been named by a female journalist, Sona came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct too.
 
"I met Kailash for coffee in Prithvi Café to discuss a forthcoming concert where both our bands were playing and after the usual, a hand on my thigh with lines like, 'You're so beautiful', 'Feel so good that a musician got you (Ram) not an actor'," she tweeted.
 
Amyra came forward to tell IANS that she has faced harassment in Bollywood as well as in the southern film industry.
 
Citing an incident, Amyra said: "I have had an actor squeeze himself up against me during a shot in a song and whisper in my ear that he was so glad that I was in the film with him. When I threw him off me and refused to speak to him again, he made my experience miserable. 
 
"My director told me to suck it up and honestly couldn't care less. I was constantly called early to set, made to wait for hours and hours for my shot. I was made to shoot 18 hours a day, I slept for 4-5 hours if I was lucky."
 
However, she says she doesn't have the "guts" to name and shame the people. "Until I don't feel safe and secure, I won't point fingers."
 
Actor Kay Kay Menon is all for making the society safer by dealing with sexual harassment cases "seriously".
 
The world of Indian showbiz has woken up to volley of allegations against prominent names ever since Tanushree Dutta two weeks ago reiterated her experience with veteran actor Nana Patekar on the set of a 2008 film.
 
IANS
 

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#MeToo: Was asked to visit Vairamuthu in hotel, says singer Chinmayi

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Popular singer Chinmayi Sripaada on Monday backed accusations of sexual harassment against veteran Tamil lyricist-poet Vairamuthu by sharing her own story about how she was asked to "cooperate" and visit him in a hotel.
 
After endorsing allegations of sexual harassment against Vairamuthu by several users on Twitter in the wake of the #MeToo movement, Chinmayi shared her own story to corroborate the reports.
 
In a series of tweets, Chinmayi recalled an incident where she alleged that the concert organiser asked her to cooperate and visit Vairamuthu in his hotel room.
 
"Year 2005/2006 maybe. Veezhamattom. An album for Sri Lankan Tamizhs that I had sung in, as had Manikka Vinayagam sir. I don't remember if it was a book or an album release or both now; the performances and launch happened in Switzerland in Bern/Zurich maybe," she tweeted, and added that she returned to Switzerland after the concert with her mother.
 
"Everyone left. Only my mother and I were asked to stay back. The organiser (I don't remember his name) asked me to visit Vairamuthu sir in a hotel in Lucerne," she wrote.
 
Chinmayi added that she was asked to "cooperate". But she refused.
 
"We demanded to be sent back to India. He said 'you won't have a career!' My mother and I both put our foot down, career vendam mannum vendam (don't need career, need self-esteem). Demanded an earlier flight to India and came back."
 
Recalling another incident, which she said happened three or four years ago, Chinmayi alleged that Vairamuthu threatened to make false claims when she turned down his request to sing at an event.
 
"He had a book release function & asked me to sing Tamizh Thaai vaazhthu. I said I would be unable to. He in turn responded I'll tell (a politician) you spoke ill of him on stage, yelled at me and kept the phone down. I bawled," wrote Chinmayi.
 
She went on to write that her work place has been mostly clean save for some bad apples.
 
"In 17 years, not one man in the industry across languages Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Marathi has misbehaved."
 
"I call Vairamuthu sir out alone and I dare," she wrote.
 
She also alleged that the staff of Vairamuthu's office are well aware of his behavior. 
 
"His close confidants know. They are also his enablers," she said.
 
IANS
 

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#MeToo: Film bodies act against artistes accused of sexual harassment

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The raging #MeToo movement on Tuesday led film associations CINTAA and IFTDA to react in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against actor Alok Nath and director Vikas Bahl. The Producers Guild of India said it will form a committee to help the film fraternity to call out and report sexual harassment and abuse.
 
The Indian Film and Television Directors Association (IFTDA) took a hard stand against "Queen" director Bahl for "outraging the modesty of his female colleague" and condemned his "predatory behaviour" against a female crew member of a film or TV unit, read a statement.
 
"We will not tolerate the abuse of power against our female professionals... In light of the events, IFTDA has taken a stern stand against Vikas Bahl by issuing a show cause notice and asked him to respond within one week, failing which his membership will be terminated," read a statement signed by IFTDA President Ashoke Pandit.
 
They have further set up a Women's Grievances Redressal Cell and a three-member all-women committee to create a safe place for its women professionals.
 
This apart, the Cine & TV Artistes Association (CINTAA) on Tuesday decided to send a show cause notice to Alok Nath, who has been accused of rape by "Tara" fame writer-producer Vinta Nanda. She says the actor, known for his 'sanskaari' on-screen image, raped her almost two decades ago.
 
Alok has said the allegation was "absurd" as he "made her what she is".
 
He told ABP News: "Neither I am denying this nor do I agree with it. It (rape) must have happened, but someone else would have done it. Well, I do not want to talk much about it. As for the matter, if it has come out, it will be stretched."
 
CINTAA General Secretary Sushant Singh said a show-cause notice will be sent to Alok. He urged Nanda to file a complaint against "this vile creature" and added: "We extend you full support."
 
Nanda, who held a press conference here on Tuesday, feels this was "just the beginning" of the #MeToo movement in Bollywood and other fields in India.
 
"It will not stop now and it should not stop. It is encouraging. It is just a beginning. Women should not be afraid to speak up."
 
Meanwhile, the Producers Guild of India announced that it recognises the "urgent need to set up a robust process to ensure the highest standards of safety for employees and crew members at the workplace - whether in offices or on sets of productions.
 
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"We are instituting a committee within the Guild to lead this effort, and we are determined to stay the course till workplaces in the industry are safe spaces for everyone," read a statement.
 
Several celebrities including Nana Patekar, Rajat Kapoor, Alok Nath and members of comedy collective AIB have been named and shamed for sexual harassment as part of the #MeToo wave.
 
The Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) decided to drop two films -- AIB's "Chintu Ka Birthday" and Rajat's "Kadakh" -- from the line-up of the upcoming 20th edition of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.
 
"We as an Academy (MAMI) strongly support the #MeToo movement. In light of recent developments, we have decided to drop the following films from our line-up -- AIB's 'Chintu Ka Birthday' and Rajat Kapoor's 'Kadakh'," read a statement from MAMI.
 
"We want to use this opportunity to open up the conversation and find solutions to harassment and sexual misconduct in the workplace. Starting with this edition of the festival, we would like to unite the community to find positive and constructive ways to deal with it," the fest's organisers said.
 
Filmmaker Anurag Basu believes the #MeToo movement will make Bollywood a safer place to work for everyone.
 
"I am glad that people are coming up with their experience and sharing it in the public. This will make everyone conscious and they will think twice before indulging in any misconduct and sexual harassment," Basu told IANS.
 
IANS
 

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Sonali Bendre says she refuses to allow negative emotions control her life

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Actor-model-author Sonali Bendre Behl, who is undergoing treatment for cancer in New York, refuses to allow negative emotions gain control over her life and says her “visual focus remains to just get better and get back home”.
 
Posting a picture of herself applying an eyeliner, Sonali says in a tweet on the micro-blogging site Twitter, “Over the past couple of months, I have had good days and bad ones. There have been days when I’ve been so exhausted and in so much of pain that even lifting a finger hurt.
 
“I feel like sometimes it’s a cycle...one that starts off with physical pain and leads to mental and emotional pain. The bad days have been many...Post chemo, post-surgery and the like...when even laughing hurts,” she says.
 
“Sometimes I felt like it took everything I’ve had to push past it...a minute to minute battle with myself. I got through it knowing that even though I was fighting a long drawn out, draining battle...it was one that was worth the fight.”
 
Sonali feels that forced cheerfulness all the time is of no use and negative emotions should find an outlet. “It’s important to remember that we’re allowed to have those bad days. Forcing yourself to be happy and cheerful all the time serves no purpose. Who are we being fake and putting on an act for?
 
“I allowed myself to cry, to feel the pain, to indulge in self-pity...for a short while. Only you know what you’re going through and it is fine to accept it. Emotions aren’t wrong. Feeling negative emotions isn’t wrong. But after a point, identify it, recognize it and refuse to let it control your life. It takes an immense amount of self-care to get out of that zone. Sleep always helps, or having my favourite smoothie after chemo, or just talking to my son.
 
“For now, as my treatment continues...my visual focus remains to just get better and get back home,” she says.
 
“It’s yet another test...Student all my life...Learning all my life..” Sonali says in the tweet with the hashtags #LearningAllMyLife #OneDayAtATime.
 
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Someone else would have done the rape: Alok Nath on Vinta Nanda's allegation

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Actor Alok Nath, who has been accused of rape by "Tara" writer-producer Vinta Nanda, on Tuesday said the allegation is "absurd" as he "made her what she is".
 
Alok told ABP News: "Kuch to log kahenge (People will say something). Neither I am denying this nor do I agree with it. It (rape) must have happened, but someone else would have done it. Well, I do not want to talk much about it. As for the matter, if it has come out, it will be stretched.
 
"However, we only have to hear to women's stand because they are considered weak."
 
IANS tried contacting Alok since Nanda wrote about her experience via a Facebook post on Monday. But calls and messages went unanswered.
 
Nanda, a veteran writer-producer of the avant-garde 1990s' show "Tara" fame, accused Alok -- known for his "sanskaari" on-screen image -- of sexually violating her almost two decades ago. The Cine & TV Artists Association (CINTAA) has decided to send him a show-cause notice.
 
Asked about his "sanskaari" image, Alok said: "What do I have to do with people? People will say anything to spoil the image. Leave my image, whatever has been said, it is absurd."
 
He said at one point, Nanda used to be his good friend.
 
"...today she said such a big thing. In a way, it was me who made her what she is. It is useless to react on the allegations as in today's world, whatever a woman says, only that will be considered. In such a situation, it would be wrong to say anything," he said.
 
Nanda held a press conference here on Tuesday, talking further about how when she had opened up two decades ago, nobody came to support her.
 
"When I spoke years ago, not a single person came in support of me. And now one Facebook post became viral and I am standing in front of you with so much support. Not a single person questioned him that (time), everyone knew what happened... Silence is dangerous. I became silent, due to which I had to suffer so much. I left the industry," she said.
 
Has she filed a police complaint, Nanda said: "I have not filed a police complaint yet."
 
However, she feels this is "just the beginning" of the #MeToo movement in Bollywood and other fields in India.
 
"It will not stop now and it should not stop. It is encouraging. It is just a beginning. Women should not afraid to speak."
 
Why was she silent for so long?
 
"I took a lot of time to open. I was blaming myself that why I was so bold, why I was so open... I was questioning myself... So, I was not able to come out. But now I have realised that I should not be ashamed of myself and the man who harassed me should be ashamed of himself."
 
IANS

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IFFK 2018 gets a nod, to be held on 'limited scale'

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After keeping many film buffs on edge, state film body Kerala State Chalachitra Academy which organises the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), on Tuesday said the 23rd edition of the gala will be held on a "limited scale".
 
The IFFK will this year be held from December 7-13.
 
The academy, in a statement issued here, said that on Thursday, the organising committee of the upcoming event would be formed, and that the IFFK would be held on a very limited scale as directed by the state government.
 
The uncertainty around whether the movie jamboree will be held or not loomed large due to paucity of funds as the state is presently going through a rebuilding process after being hit by the worst ever floods in August.
 
It was decided in August that all events which require funding from the state government will be cancelled, and this event also came under the hammer. But the state government has now cleared it.
 
IANS

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Bryan Adams picks Harshdeep Kaur, Aditi Singh Sharma, Abi Sampa for opening acts on India tour

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Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams will be joined by women-led acts  -- Harshdeep Kaur, Aditi Singh Sharma, Abi Sampa and Threeory Band -- as the official opening acts on his five-date greatest hits India tour that will kick off from Ahmedabad today.
 
Adams will be joined by Harshdeep in Mumbai and New Delhi, Aditi in Bengaluru, Abi Sampa in Ahmedabad and Threeory Band in Hyderabad, a press release from the organisers said.
 
The gigs are lined up in support of the music veteran’s current 21-track compilation, Ultimate, which released in November last year. 
 
Adams will perform at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad today, Hitec City in Hyderabad on October 11, Jio Gardens in Mumbai on October 12, Ozone Urbana in Bengaluru on October 13 and Leisure Valley Open Ground in New Delhi on October 14.
 
The gates will open at 6 pm and the event will conclude by 10 pm, the release said.
 
While the singer has performed in India previously, his fifth outing in this country  and his 19th concert tour promises to be one of the biggest productions of the year.
 
Shyam Tallamraju, Business Head, ENIL said, “The artiste and the management feel Harshdeep Kaur, Aditi Singh Sharma, Abi Sampa and Threeory Band would be the ideal fit as the opening acts since their music sensibilities are quite similar. There was a lot of back and forth on the opening acts before a final conclusion was taken.”
 
Aditi said, “I can't overstate the impact Bryan Adams' music has had on my career. I've literally grown up listening to his music and covering his songs, with my very first band, way back in college. It is truly an honour to open for this musical legend. I can proudly cross one thing off my bucket list!”
 
Harshdeep said, “I remember performing Bryan Adams songs at my school fest. Each song of his has a memory attached to it.  I always wanted to watch him perform live but to share the same stage with him will be truly magical. I’m really looking forward to this event and I’m preparing a special Bollywood fusion set with my band.”
 
This event is produced by ENIL and has partnered with Infibeam Digital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. for Ahmedabad. 
 
The legendary musician has performed in India before in 1995, followed by 2001, 2003, and ‘The Bare Bones Tour’ in 2011.
 
The aim of "Ultimate" is to condense his extensive back catalogue - 13 studio albums, five live albums, five compilation albums and over 75 singles - into a 21-track offering guaranteed to capture the true essence of the hitmaker's much celebrated career.
 
'The Ultimate Tour' will see Adams perform material from the album, which is a mix of new tracks and his chart-topping numbers. 'The Ultimate Tour' has travelled to 53 cities and four continents.
 
On  the India tour, the 58-year-old vegan Vancouverite is expected to entertain the audience with hits like ‘Run To You’, ‘Can’t Stop This Thing We Started’, ‘Summer of ’69’, ‘Cuts Like A Knife’, ‘Heaven’, ‘Run To You’, ‘When You’re Gone’ , ‘Cloud Number Nine’, ‘Everything I Do I Do It For You’, ‘Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman’, ‘All for Love’ as well as 'Ultimate Love' and 'Please Stay'.
 
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Hailed as Sufi Ki Sultana by Amitabh Bachchan, Harshdeep Kaur who started singing when she was 12 years old has delivered hit tracks in Rockstar, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Rang De Basanti, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, Raazi and more recently Manmarziyaan.
 
Aditi Singh Sharma never gave up on her dreams and continues her quest today. From not knowing Hindi properly, to being the only girl singing in a rock band, to fighting racism as a teenager, to going door to door with a demo CD to all musicians while her single mother battled cancer, Aditi has done it all. She made her playback singing debut in the film industry with Anurag Kashyap's Dev. D and thereafter has contributed to films like Roy, Veere Di Wedding, 2 States, Dhoom 3.
 
From a young age, London-born Abi Sampa has been passionate about music, learning to play the saxophone and veena when she was only 8 years old! After her parents worried that a career in the music industry would be risky, Abi opted for a career in dentistry. Combining western popular music elements with qawwali, carnatic and hindustani classical music, she and her band have moved from strength to strength and inspired a generation of young British-Asian artistes.
 
Based out of Oxford, The Fusion Project founded by Rushil Ranjan is a collective of specialist musicians and producers that focus on bringing Indian classical music to audiences across the globe.
 
Threeory is a progressive rock fusion band which blends Indian classical with different kinds of world music. With Nagaland resident, Syntyche Mongro giving her jazz and blues touch, Tarun Vishal on drums, Parsa Datta Sai on the violin, Mark on keyboard and Shillong based guitarist Sentilong the band is complete.
 
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MAMI drops AIB, Rajat Kapoor's films from fest's line-up

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The Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) has dropped two films -- AIB's "Chintu Ka Birthday" and Rajat Kapoor's "Kadakh" -- from the line-up of the 20th edition of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival in the wake of the #MeToo tide.
 
"We as an Academy (MAMI) strongly support the #MeToo movement. In light of recent developments, we have decided to drop the following films from our line-up -- AIB's 'Chintu Ka Birthday' and Rajat Kapoor's 'Kadakh'," read a statement from MAMI.
 
It was sent to IANS via Whatsapp by MAMI's Creative Director Smriti Kiran.
 
"We want to use this opportunity to open up the conversation, and find solutions to harassment and sexual misconduct in the workplace. Starting with this edition of the festival, we would like to unite the community to find positive and constructive ways to deal with it," the statement read further.
 
Actor-director Rajat Kapoor has been called out by two women for inappropriate behaviour. He has apologised.
 
Comedy collective, All India Bakchod (AIB), on the other hand, landed in a full-fledged controversy after Utsav Chakraborty -- once associated with the group -- was accused by a barrage of women on social media of sexual harassment.
 
Chakraborty accepted and apologised for his misdeeds, but the #MeToo fire soon spread out to reveal how AIB's CEO and co-founder knew about it all along but did nothing against it. It even opened up a box of complaints against some of the group's other comedians, notably Gursimran Khamba.
 
On its part, AIB announced on Monday that Bhat and Khamba are "stepping away" from the group.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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#MeToo: Alok Nath raped me, says writer-producer Vinta Nanda

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Vinta Nanda, a veteran writer-producer of the avant-garde 1990s' show "Tara" fame, has accused actor Alok Nath -- known for his "sanskaari" on-screen image -- of sexually violating her almost two decades ago.
 
"I have waited for this moment to come for 19 years," Nanda wrote in a long, heart-wrenching Facebook post, referring to the "predator in question" as "the actor par excellence who is known as the most 'sanskaari' (cultured) person in the film and television industry".
 
Her suggestive remarks like "sanskaari" and that the person concerned was the "lead actor" and a "television star of that decade" were good enough to make out that Nanda was indeed pointing the finger at Alok.
 
Later, confirming the same to IANS via SMS, Nanda said: "It is Alok Nath. I thought saying 'sanskaari' would do the needful."
 
Alok is known for his roles as a stereotypical Indian father, personifying religious traditions and moral values in films and TV shows.
 
It is the escalating voices against sexual harassment across the world as part of the #MeToo wave that gave Nanda the courage to pen down the exeriences which had left her "shattered".
 
"He was an alcoholic, shameless and obnoxious but he was also the television star of that decade, so not only was he forgiven for all his bad behaviour, many of the guys would also egg him on to be his worst," Nanda wrote, adding that he even harassed the show's lead actress who was not interested in him.
 
Sharing the "worst" that happened, Nanda recounted the incidents that followed after she left a party at Alok's house at 2 a.m. She says her drinks were mixed.
 
"I started to walk home on the empty streets... Midway I was accosted by this man who was driving his own car and he asked me to sit in it and said he would drop me home. I trusted him and sat in his car.
 
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"I have faint memory after that. I can remember more liquor being poured into my mouth and I remember being violated endlessly. When I woke up the next afternoon, I was in pain. I hadn't just been raped, I was taken to my own house and had been brutalised.
 
"I couldn't get up for my bed. I told some of my friends but everybody advised me to forget about it and move on."
 
Later, she got a job to write and direct a series for Plus Channel, and again her paths crossed with Alok.
 
"The man found his way through the casting route and became one of the lead actors on the show. He created an environment in which I was made to feel threatened, so I asked the producers to release me from directing the series because I didn't want to be around where he was.
 
"I continued to write the show."
 
The "most difficult part" and the "main reason" why Nanda took so long to come out with the truth was because while she was working on this new series, she says, "he asked me to come to his house again and I went to allow him to violate me".
 
"I needed the job and didn't want to leave it as I needed the money. It was after this that I quit."
 
Nanda has urged people "who have suffered at the hands of predators, to come out and say it aloud".
 
"Don't hold yourselves back. This is a moment for change, so your silence will only hold barriers to its evolution. Speak out. Shout out from the top of the roof."
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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