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Gautam Ghosh's "Moner Manush" wins Best Film Award at IFFI

Bengali filmmaker Gautam Ghosh's "Moner Manush" won the prestigious Golden Peacock Award for the Best Film at the 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which concluded here today.

Chief Guest Actor Saif Ali Khan presenting the Golden Peacock Award to Gautam Ghosh, Director of the film ‘Moner Manush’, during the closing ceremony of the 41st IFFI-2010. The Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Choudhury Mohan Jatua is also seen.Chief Minister of Goa,Digambar Kamat presenting the Best Actor Award to Guven Kirac, for the film ‘the Crossing’.Minister for Water Resources, Goa, Filipe N Rodrigues presenting the Best Actress Award to Magdalena Boczarska of Poland, for the film ‘Little Rose.
Chief Guest Actor Saif Ali Khan presenting the Golden Peacock Award to Gautam Ghosh, Director of the film ‘Moner Manush; Chief Minister of Goa,Digambar Kamat presenting the Best Actor Award to Guven Kirac , for the film ‘the Crossing’; and Minister for Water Resources, Goa, Filipe N Rodrigues presenting the Best Actress Award to Magdalena Boczarska of Poland, for the film ‘Little Rose', during the closing ceremony of the 41st IFFI-2010, at Panaji, Goa on December 02, 2010.

The Silver Peacock Award for the Best Director went to Susanne Bier of Denmark for her film "In a Better World".

"Just Another Love Story" from India and "Boy" from New Zealand won the Special Jury Award.

Popular Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan was the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony at which Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Choudhury Mohan Jatua and Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat were also present.

Apart from the Golden Peacock, Ghosh also received a cash prize of Rs 20 lakhs.

The Best Actor Award of Rs. 10 lakh went to Guven Kirac of Turkey for his role in th"The Crossing" while the Best Actress Award was won by Magdalena Boczarska of Poland for her role in "Little Rose".

The awards were decided by a five-member Competition Jury out of 18 entries in the Competition Section of the festival from the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Finland, Denmark, China, Iran, Israel, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Turkey, New Zealand, Taiwan and Thailand, apart from three films from India. The jury was headed by well-known Polish director Jerzy Antczak. Other members of the jury were Mr. Sturla Gunnarsson (Canada), Mr. Mick Molloy (Australia), Mr. Olivier Pier (Switzerland) and Ms. Revathi Menon (India).

The festival concluded today with the screening of the French film "The Princess of Montpensier:, directed by Bertrand Tavernier, the renowned French director and screenplay writer.

Speaking on the occasion, Khan said tranforming Goa from a partying to a film destination was a welcome change but the festival should go on to become an international favourite.

The 11-day extravaganza, which began on November 22, with the screening of British filmmaker Andy Emmony’s "West is West" witnessed the screening of 300 films from 61 countries in 11 theatres. In the international section, a total of 162 films were shown. These included 68 in Cinema of the World, 18 in the Competition Section and 25 in the Country Focus.

Films from Mexico, Georgia, Taiwan and Sri Lanka were screened under Country Focus section. The films of Jan Jakub Kolski, Mira Nair, Michael Cacoyannis, Jean Baker and Jim Jarmusch were screened in Retrospectives whereas three films were screened in a homage to Eric Rohmer. Ten films were shown in Cannes Kaleidoscope section whereas 9 films were shown in the section on contemporary Iranian cinema.

During the course of the Festival besides film shows, a host of films-related events like Master Class, Open Forum , Film Bazaar and the Short Film Centre were also held to facilitate interaction and business meets in this sector. Master Classes taken by Oscar winner Rasul Pookutty on sound technology, and on evolution of comedy in cinema by Boman Irani were great hits.

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Immortal fashion themes from Indian films at IFFI

Some scenes from the fashion show, conceptualised and presented by the International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD), Goa.
Some scenes from the fashion show, conceptualised and presented by the International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD), Goa.

Fashion designers paid tribute to the inimitable style of movie icons over the decades at "Cinema Couture", a high-voltage fashion show organised here yesterday to coincide with the ogoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

The event was organised by the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) and the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF).

The show, conceptualised and presented by the International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD), Goa, presented immortal Bollywood fashion themes, with a modern twist and a contemporary look.

The staff and students of INIFD, led by their Director Anupama Kathyayni, showcased their designing talents through a nostalgia trip ... from Rajesh Khanna’s kurtas to Mumtaz’s churidars and kurtis, from the ever popular "retro" look of Rishi Kapoor and Mithun Chakraborty, to the elaborate "courtesan" costumes of Pakeezah and Umrao Jaan.

Some scenes from the fashion show, conceptualised and presented by the International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD), Goa.
Some scenes from the fashion show, conceptualised and presented by the International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD), Goa.

Top models from Mumbai, choreographed by Birendra Higgins, walked the ramp, including Gladrags Megamodel title holder Anchal Kumar, Harshita, Femina Miss Earth Dimple Patel and Gladrags Manhunt winners such as Vikas Dahiya and Viraj Patel.

"Indian films, especially Bollywood, have created timeless fashion icons whose style is revered and imitated till date. We felt that IFFI Goa, 2010 is the perfect time to hold the show alongside with, and are delighted to have such enthusiastic response from the audience," Mr. Manoj Srivastava, Chief Executive Officer, ESG, said.

ESG was established by the Government of Goa in 2004 as the nodal agency for the organisation of IFFI. Goa is now the permanent venue of IFFI.

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Alva Brothers to launch TV channel dedicated to food


Alva Brothers' Entertainment have announced plans to launch "FOOD first", India's first and only television channel dedicated to food and food-related experiences early next year.

The channel will be part of Real Lifestyle Network that the brothers, Nikhil and Niret Alva, are planning to launch as a premium lifestyle media network with a bouquet of sharply focused television channels.

A press release from the company said FOOD first had already begun technical runs and is being beamed on Intelsat-10; Frequency- 3974 MhZ; Txp- 5; POL- H; Symbol rate- 19.5 MS/S; FEC-3/4.

It is uplinked from Turner International's broadcast earth station in Hong Kong and is available on select networks across the country at this time.

FOOD first, a pay channel, will soon be available across the country on both digital and analogue distribution platforms and will target upwardly mobile English speaking, 18+, male and female audiences, the release said.

"The Real Lifestyle Network will offer Indian consumers a bouquet of clutter-breaking, well differentiated channels with incredibly compelling and entertaining content married to world class production values. With FOOD first and the channels that are to follow, we're going about building new broadcast categories that will set benchmarks for value, quality, relevance and entertainment for Indian consumers," Mr Nikhil Alva, Group CEO, Alva Brothers Entertainment, said.

According to the release, FOOD first will present focused programmes shot in high-definition, featuring the biggest names in the world of food from across the globe.

"Food is universal in appeal and is increasingly becoming an expression of one's lifestyle, therefore the first launch, FOOD first is dedicated to food. In sync with the times, we are also building strong extensions in the digital media, including web and mobile, to stay connected with the target group that is wired in to the new media," Ms Manisha Tripathi, Business Head, Real Global Broadasting Pvt Ltd, added.

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National Film Bazaar opens at IFFI 2010

The 4th edition of Film Bazaar India 2010 of the National Film Development Corporation Ltd. (NFDC) was inaugurated here today on the sidelines of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2010.


The annual film market is designed to address the current needs of filmmakers and focuses on creating business opportunities for production studios and independent producers/film makers.


An official press release said the idea behind Film Bazaar is to provide a platform for prospective buyers and sellers of film rights from India and abroad. The four-day Film Bazaar will be on until November 26.


This year, for the first time, Film Bazaar will organise industry screenings for filmmakers to showcase their films to potential producers, distributors, agents, buyers and representatives of international film festivals. The state-of-the-art screening facility will have multiple screens of 12-seater theatres and will be have Digital and 3D compatible projection equipment.


According to the release, this will help international buyers to make informed and quick decisions on the various projects they are interested in. The theatres have been set up in collaboration with UFO Moviez.


As part of the continuing efforts to improve trade relations among SAARC member-natons, the NFDC has invited projects from these countries this year to provide their filmmakers an opportunity to interct with buyers and sellers from around the world. For the first time, film projects from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are part of Film Bazaar.


This year's event will also feature a Masterclass with acclaimed Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin, with an introducton by Indian filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, and a Screenwriters Lab, where a two-part workshop for writing and selling original Indan screenplays will be held.


The Co-production Market will offer selected filmmakers the opportunity to present their feature film projects to co-producers, bankers, sales agents, and other potential financiers from India and abroad. The Prime Exchange will initiate market exchange between India and Europe in the field of Film and TV Production. The Bazaar will also see Work in Progress Lab which is held for feature films at a rough cut stage, whose makers are seeking feedback from experienced film professionals to better understand how their work will be received by the international market and maximize the potential of these in film festivals and international markets.


In the Knowledge Series, NFDC will present case studies and presentations by industry experts.


Festival Directors and representatives from leading international film festivals like Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Durban International Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival and Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles will interact with the attendees of Film Bazaar.


Last year, more than 350 delegates from 22 countries had attended Film Bazaar, the release added.


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Actor Jairam inaugurates Indian Panorama at IFFI

Well-known Malayalam actor Jairam inaugurated the Indian Panorama section of the 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here today.


Mr Jairam said the Panorama provded a platform for some of the best movies in different languages from across the country and an opportunty for cinematic talents to meet at one forum. He noted that this section of the Festival was gaining popularity each year and it enabled India to be a critical player on the global celluloid map.


Festival Director said many of the films shown in this section had gone on to win accolades at international film festivals. He said that, in order to enhance the visibility of the Panorama, the films would be screened in different parts of the country, enabling the growth of a vibrant film movement.


Mr N Chandra, chairman of the jury of the feature film section of the Panorama, said it had provided an opportunity for the jury to peep into the minds of film makers across the country who represented the diversity of India. He suggested that in order to enthuse further participation it was necessary to carve a new section such as "Emerging Frames" that would cater to the needs of those regions where the film culture was not vibrant. This would bring in wider participation from different remote corners of the country, he said.

Mr Siddhartha Kak, chairman of the jury of non-feature films, mentioned that documentaries were the power and source of film making and had an individual identity. It was incorrect to consider documentary films as an appendage to feature films. Mr Kak called upon the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) to facilitate a pro-active policy in promoting the documentary movement in the country.

During the inauguration of the Panorama, the members of the jury were felicitated along with some of the members of the cast and crew of the opening film "Mee Sindhutai Sapkal".


The members of the crew of the opening film of the non-feature films category "Leaving Home", featuring the Indian Ocean band were also felicitated.


This year's Indian Panorama has a package of 26 feature and 21 non-feature films from around the country. The opening feature film is based on the life of a living social reformer, Sindhutai Sapkal. The opening film in the non-features category chronicles the ups and downs of one of the Indian Ocean, one of the country's best known bands.


Mr India, a documentary, provides a window into the lfe of K H Pradip Kumar Singh who battled HIV to rebuild his life and sculpt his body.


The 21 non-feature films in the section showcases the best of the talent from across the country. Achtung Baby (Beware), a documentary film in English narrates the story of how even after six decades after Nazi Germany surrendered, a minority continues to be obsessed with racial purity and it seeks this in unlikely places like Ladakh. Aval (Tamil) is a story of female infanticide in a remote village of Theni District. Courtroom Nautanki (Hindi) is a musical farce revolving around a court trial scene.

The feature films in the Panorama include Achin Paakhi, Abohomaan, Maner Manush, Ami Aadu (Bengali), Three Idiots, Wake Up, Sid, Paa (Hindi), Kaal Chilambu (Malayalam), Ravanan (Tamil), Shabari (Kannada) and Swamyamsiddha (Odiya).


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41st IFFI gets under way in Goa, to feature 300 films from 61 countries

Union Minister for Railways Mamata Banerjee with Dada Saheb Phalke award winner D. Rama Naidu at the inaugural ceremony of 41st International Film Festival of India at Kala Academy, in Panaji, Goa on November 22, 2010. Filmmaker Yash Chopra, Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, South Indian actor Jairam and Bengali actors Dipankar Dey and Ranjit Mallick are also seen.
Union Minister for Railways Mamata Banerjee with Dada Saheb Phalke award winner D. Rama Naidu at the inaugural ceremony of 41st International Film Festival of India at Kala Academy, in Panaji, Goa on November 22, 2010. Filmmaker Yash Chopra, Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, South Indian actor Jairam and Bengali actors Dipankar Dey and Ranjit Mallick are also seen.

The 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) got underway here today, promising a treat to cinema lovers with a package of more than 300 films from 61 countres over the next ten days.

The festival was inaugurated by Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee, who said that IFFI, since its inception, had provided a forum for converging cinema from all parts of the world.

The festival had also, over the years, presented masterpieces of the Indian Panorama secton to global audiences, she said.

Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat outlined the steps taken by his Government to facilitate the film industry in the State and to reposition Goa as a film destinaton.

Actor Ajay Devgan at the inauguration of 41st International Film Festival of India at Panaji, Goa on November 22, 2010.
Actor Ajay Devgan at the inauguration of 41st International Film Festival of India at Panaji, Goa on November 22, 2010.

Well-known filmmaker Yash Chopra, who was the Chief Guest, spoke of the need to improve infrastuctructure within the State to ensure international standards that were mandatory for hosting world-class flm festivals.

Popular Bollywood actor Ajay Devgan was the guest of honour at the inaugural ceremny while actors Aftab Shivdasani and Gracy Singh were the comperes.

The Indian Section of the Festival will feature centenaries of five cinema personalities - Ashok Kumar, B.R. Panthulu, Motilal, Nadia and Raja Paranjpe. Apart from this, the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of Odiya cinema will be observed.

"Masterstrokes" will salute cinematographer V.K.Murthy and versatile producer D. Ramanaidu – the two recent recipients of Indian cinema’s highest honors, he Dadasaheb Phalke Award in the last two years. Two films each associated with them are lined up for screening.

And in the "Tributes", IFFI will remember those who lived a full cinema life by offering screenings in memory of those film personalities who are no more. This includes Bina Rai, Pamela Rooks, Sujit Kumar, Keshu Ramsay, Debu Deodhar, Pankaj Advani, Nirmal Pandey, Tahir Hussain, Vishnuvardhan and Ravi Baswani.

Another key highlight of this year’s edition of IFFI will be the inclusion of three Indian films from Panorama in the International competition category.

"Masterstrokes" will salute cinematographer V.K.Murthy and versatile producer D. Ramanaidu – the two recent recipients of Indian cinema’s highest honors, he Dadasaheb Phalke Award in the last two years. Two films each associated with them are lined up for screening.

And in the "Tributes", IFFI will remember those who lived a full cinema life by offering screenings in memory of those film personalities who are no more. This includes Bina Rai, Pamela Rooks, Sujit Kumar, Keshu Ramsay, Debu Deodhar, Pankaj Advani, Nirmal Pandey, Tahir Hussain, Vishnuvardhan and Ravi Baswani.

Another key highlight of this year’s edition of IFFI will be the inclusion of three Indian films from Panorama in the International competition category.

The Indian Panorama will feature 26 feature films, including Achin Paakhi, Abohomaan, Maner Manush, Ami Aadu (Bengali), Three Idiots, Wake Up Sid, Paa (Hindi), Kaal Chilambu (Malayalam), Ravanan (Tamil), Me Sindhuthai Sapkal (Marathi) which is the opening film of the Panorama, Shabari (Kannada) and Swamyamsiddha (Odiya).

There will be 21 Non-Feature Films showcased in the Indian Panorama. "Leaving Home" will be the opening film for the non-feature film category.
Another key aspect of the festival will be the commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. Five non-feature films curated by the institute will be screened.

As part of the festival, a special screening of India’s Oscar entry "Peepli Live" in the presence of cast and crew members is also scheduled.

A highlight of the festival will be a Cannes Kaledioscope 2010, a package of films that made it to Cannes this year. The films include "Film Socialism" by Jean Lun Godard. There will also be a package of ten Iranian films. There will be retrospectives of well-known film makers such as Jan Jakub Kolski, Jim Jarmusch, Michael Cacoyannis and Mira Nair.

The country focus during the festival will be on Sri Lanka, and there will be sections on Taiwanese New Wave Cinema and Australian Indigenous Fiction Films. IFFI will also pay homage to iconic French film maker Eric Rohmer, who passed away this year with the screening of six of his films.

Some of the prominent films being featured in the Competition Section, which includes three Indian films, are Apart Together from China, On Foot from Iran, Valley of Strength (Gei Oni) from Israel and Taipei Exchanges from Taiwan. The Indian representation includes Moner Manush in Bengali and Vihir in Marathi.

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"Dancing Feet" set to enthrall IFFI delegates from Nov 24-27

Delegates to the 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI 2010), beginning in Goa tomorrow, will have a chance to see "Dancing Feet", a four-day documentary film festival on Indian classical dances and gurus from November 24-27.


The festival of 22 select documentaries has been organised by the Films Division in collaboration with the Directorate of Film Festivals and the Entertainment Society of Goa. It will be held at the Black Box theatre, Kala Academy, Panaji.


Conceived as a sequel to the hugely applauded film festival on music, "Moments with the Maestros" held as part of the 40th IFFI last year, "Dancing Feet" offers dance lovers from India and abroad glimpses of important classical dances like the Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathakali, Kathak, Mohiniattam and Manipuri.


There will also be biopics on some of the leading dancers such as Sitara Devi, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Yamini Krishnamurthy, Sonal Mansingh, Padma Subramaniam, Raja & Radha Reddy, Uma Sharma and Mallika Sarabhai.


An official press release said these celebrated artistes would be felicitated during the festival and they would interact with the delegates and the media.


"Dancing Feet" will be inaugurated by Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat in the presence of Sitara Devi, Pandit Birju Maharaj and other dignitaries.


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41st International Film Festival of India to begin in Goa from Nov 22


"West is West" from the United Kingdom will be the opening film at the 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI 2010) which will begin in Goa from November 22.

The ten-day festival will see some major changes. The competition section has been opened to feature films from across the world, unlike earlier years when it was restricted to films from Asia, Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America.

As many as 18 films, three Indian and 15 foreign, have been short-listed for participation in this section.

New awards have been introduced this year for the Best Actor and Best Actress under the Competition Section.


The Indian panorama will feature 26 feature films, including Achin Paakhi, Abohomaan, Maner Manush, Ami Aadu (Bengali), Three Idiots, Wake Up Sid, Paa (Hindi), Kaal Chilambu (Malayalam), Ravanan (Tamil), Me Sindhuthai Sapkal (Marathi) which is the opening film of the Panorama, Shabari (Kannada), and Swamyamsiddha (Odiya).

There will be 21 non-feature films showcased in the Indian Panorama. "Leaving Home" will be the opening film for this category.

Another key aspect of the festival will be the commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. Five non-feature films curated by the institute will be screened.

As part of the celebrations of the Platinum Jubilee of Odiya Cinema, five Odiya films will be screened during the festival. There will also be screening of two films associated with the work of the Dada Saheb Phalke Awardees - Mr V.K. Murti and Mr D. Ramanaidu. Apart from all this, the birth centenary of luminaries of Indian cinema, including actor Ashok Kumar, will be observed with the screening of their films.

As part of the festival, a special screening of India’s Oscar entry "Peepli Live" in the presence of cast and crew members is also scheduled.

A highlight of the festival will be a Cannes Kaledioscope 2010, a package of films that made it to Cannes this year. The films include "Film Socialism" by Jean Lun Godard. There will also be a package of ten Iranian films. There will be retrospectives of well-known film makers such as Jan Jakub Kolski, Jim Jarmusch, Michael Cacoyannis and Mira Nair.

The country focus during the festival will be on Sri Lanka, and there will be sections on Taiwanese New Wave Cinema and Australian Indigenous Fiction Films. IFFI will also pay homage to iconic French film maker Eric Rohmer, who passed away this year with the screening of six of his films.

Union Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate the festival. Well-known producer and director Yash Chopra will be the Chief Guest at the function.

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Yash Chopra honoured with Swiss Ambassador's Award 2010

Filmmaker Yash Chopra with his wife Pamela, Swiss Ambassador Philippe Welti, Mrs Myrtha Welti and actress Deepika Padukone at the Swiss Ambassador's Award ceremony in New Delhi on October 25, 2010.
Filmmaker Yash Chopra with his wife Pamela, Swiss Ambassador Philippe Welti, Mrs Myrtha Welti and actress Deepika Padukone at the Swiss Ambassador's Award ceremony in New Delhi on October 25, 2010.

Well-known filmmaker Yash Chopra has been honoured with the Swiss Ambassador's Award 2010 for his contribution in promoting "Brand Switzerland" through his movies.

The award was presented at a function hosted on the lawns of Swiss Ambassador Philippe Welti's residence here yesterday evening. Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone was amongst those present on the occasion.

The evening started with a rendition of music from the 1965 film Waqt that Mr Welti played on a Flugelhorn. This was followed by dance performances by troupes to songs from Yash Chopra films.

"We are pleased to honour Mr. Yash Chopra with the first of its kind award. Mr. Chopra’s association with Switzerland dates back to 1965 when he was present at the very same lawns while shooting for his golden jubilee hit, Waqt. Our association has come a long way since then with numerous of his movies showing the splendid serenity of Switzerland. To many Indians, a Yash Chopra movie has been their window to a scenic dreamland…a window to Switzerland," Mr Welti said.

Mr Chopra said he was honoured by the gesture. "Switzerland has always been my first choice of destination for shooting outside India. Be it for its picture perfect snow capped mountains or lush green fields, it is truly a heaven on earth that has made every angle, every shot and every frame of my movies breathtaking with the scenes vividly etched in peoples’ minds, he said.

The Swiss Ambassador’s Award is presented to people who have played outstanding role in promoting relations between India and Switzerland.

According to a press release from the Swiss Embassy, "Asambhav", is the first Hindi film to be shot entirely on location in Switzerland and is also the first Indian movie to have the longest shooting schedule abroad lasting over two months. Year 2009 saw at least 17 Indian films being shot in Switzerland. About 12 film crews have already shot in Switzerland since January 2010.

Some of the Yash Raj Films that have been shot in Switzerland are: Chandni (1989), Darr (1993), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Mohabbatein (2000), Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai (2002), Mujhse Dosti Karoge (2002), Veer Zaara (2004), Laaga Chunari Mein Daag (2007) and Bachna ae Haseeno (2008).

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Six novels shortlisted for DSC Prize for South Asia Literature

Amit Chaudhuri's The Immortals, Musharraf Ali Farooqui's The Story of a Widow and Tania James' Atlas of Unknowns are among the six novels shortlisted for the inaugural DSC Prize for South Asia Literature announced at a gala dinner at London's Globe Theatre last night.


The other three novels on the shortlist for the $ 50,000 prize are Manju Kapur's The Immigrant, Neel Mukherjee's A Life Apart and H M Naqvi's Home Boy.


Longlisted authors, publishers, London’s literati and ambassadors from the South Asian region had gathered together for the event yesterday.


The jury, chaired by Ms Nilanjana S Roy, along with renowned literary figures such as Lord Matthew Evans, Ian Jack, Amitava Kumar, and Moni Mohsin, selected the shortlist for the award from the longlist comprising 16 books.


"As we finalised our shortlist, the criteria that was uppermost in our minds was DSC's mandate to look for the best and the most interesting examples of the contemporary novel set in, or about, South Asia," Ms Roy said.


"In different ways, as we argued the merits of the final six contenders, all of us rediscovered the pleasures of reading--a pleasure that we hope will be shared by all readers, wherever they come from," she said.


"Moni Mohsin was taken, as we all were, by the rich variety of experiences that one gets from these novels; Ian Jack commented that the South Asian novel today has found its voice--often, multiple and very varied voices. For Lord Matthew Evans, reading the novels submitted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature was a welcome reminder of how much things had changed from the era when Britain and America exported books to India and Pakistan," she said.


"With a rising publishing industry in South Asia, what we were now seeing, in his words, was knowledge and creative thinking being 'exported' to other parts of the world. Amitava Kumar commented on how the South Asian novel may have some of the old tropes--spices, and servants, and glossaries--but had moved beyond these, with authors now writing departures from the familiar.


"The six novels on the shortlist take us from quiet, deeply rooted, intimate stories, such as Musharraf Ali Farooqui's Story of a Widow to explorations of history past and present, as in Neel Mukherjee's A Life Apart, which moves from contemporary London to pre-Independence Bengal. The old immigrant narrative is wide enough to accommodate Manju Kapur's precise, moving analysis of a marriage between two immigrants, one an old hand, one new, to America; Tania James' exploration of the diverse choices two sisters face as one stays home and one struggles with a new identity; and H M Naqvi's brash, swaggering post 9/11 saga. Each novel on this list has a distinctive voice, as with Amit Chaudhuri's exploration of the worlds of musicians and aspiring singers in The Immortals, and taken collectively, they represent some of the finest and most rewarding of the work produced by novelists about South Asia," she said.


The DSC Prize not only focuses on the richness and diversity of South Asian writing but is also unique since it is not ethnicity-driven in terms of the author's origin and is open to any author belonging to any part of the globe as long as the work is based on the South Asian region and its people.


A press release issued by DSC limited said the initiative for the prize had been guided by an international Advisory Committee comprising M J Akbar, Urvashi Butalia, Tina Brown, William Dalrymple, Lord Meghnad Desai, David Godwin, Surina Narula, Senath Walter Perera, Nayantara Sehgal and Michael Worton.


Mr Manhad Narula, Director, DSC Limited said, "Shortlisting six books from 16 can never be an easy task especially if all 16 authors are powerhouses of literary talent. The jury for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature must be applauded for executing this responsibility and narrowing the nominations to the most deserving six This shortlist announced here at the DSC South Asian Literature Festival, brings us one exciting step closer to the winner of this prestigious prize."


The winner of the first DSC Prize for South Asian Literature will be declared at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2011. The prize will be awarded for the best work of fiction pertaining to the South Asian region, published in English, including translations into English.


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President: Cinema important factor in influencing social norms

President Pratibha Patil presenting the Dada Sahab Phalke Award 2009 to Dr. D. Ramanaidu at the 57th National Film Awards function in New Delhi on October 22, 2010. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni is also seen.
President Pratibha Patil presenting the Dada Sahab Phalke Award 2009 to Dr. D. Ramanaidu at the 57th National Film Awards function in New Delhi on October 22, 2010. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni is also seen.

President Pratibha Patil today said cinema was a very potent modium for conveying a message and had bcome an important factor in influencing social norms.

"Cinema operates within the context of a social scenario and, thus, has a stake in the stability, prosperity and progress of society," she said after presenting the 57th National Film Awards here this evening.

"Therefore, all involved in the film industry should consider themselves as social leaders and as stakeholders in the welfare of people. Striking a balance between entertainment and social relevance is an essential call for the industry and the response will define its role in society," she said.

Veteran film producer D Ramanaidu received the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award for his lifetime conribution cinema at the ceremony, which also saw Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan being given a standing ovation as he received the Best Actor Award for his role in the Hindi film Paa.

Bacchan played the role of a boy suffering from progeria, a rare congenital abnormality characterised by premature and rapid aging in the highly acclaimed film.

Mr Ramanaidu was chosen for the Phalke Award for 2009 for his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema during a long career of nearly half a century in which he has made scores of entertaining films and been involved with all aspects of the industry.

Malayalam movie Kuttysrank, directed by Shaji N Karun and starring superstar Mammootty in the lead role, has been chosen for the Best Feature Film Award.

Ananya Chatterjee got the Best Actress Award for Abohoman (Bengali) which also won for Rituparno Ghosh the Best Direction Award.

The President said she was glad that films continued to generate interest and attract talent. She said technologies like the digital format, being affordable, provided an opportunity for young and budding filmmamers to experiment with the medium.

She appealed to the industry that, while experimenting with the format, they also needed to keep in mind the content of the films they were producing. "This will take your work to a wider audience," she said.

Minister of Information & Broadcasting Ambika Soni said 2013 would be celebrated as a centenary milestone to showcase the cinematic heritage of the Indian film industry in the last 100 years. India's first feature film "Raja Harshchandra" was released in 1913.

She said that, for this purpose, a national committee would be constituted consisting of eminent film persons and other stakeholders to suggest a comprehensive plan for making it a truly memorable event for cine lovers.

Ms Soni said the celebrations would also offer an opportunity to applaud the young iconic members of the film industry for their contribution, while at the same time positioning India as a "soft power" at the global level.

President Pratibha Patil presenting the Best Actor Award to Amitabh Bachchan at the 57th National Film Awards function in New Delhi on October 22, 2010. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni is also seen.
President Pratibha Patil presenting the Best Actor Award to Amitabh Bachchan at the 57th National Film Awards function in New Delhi on October 22, 2010. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni is also seen.

She said that it was her endeavour to complete three institutional mechanisms to mark the occasion. These included the Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai, the National Centre of Excellence for Animation, Gaming and Visual Effects in Pune and the National Archival Heritage Mission to cover the country’s rich archival wealth by 2013. The National Archival Heritage Mission would not only safeguard the rich archival wealth, it would also ensure accessibility to the people in digital format.

The winner of the Best Film Award, Kuttysrank, which means a boat captain in Malayalam, tells the story of a mariner who operates a cargo vessel between the port towns of Kerala. It is told from the perspectives of three women after the death of the protagonist, who each experience a different Kuttysrank.

The Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director went to Lahore (Hindi) directed by Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan and produced by Vivek Khatkar.

Bollywood blockbuster 3 Idiots, starring Aamir Khan, got the award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

The Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration was given to Delhi 6 produced and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

Another Hindi film, Well Done Abba, produced by Reliance Big Pictures and directed by Shyam Benegal, was chosen the Best Film on Social Issues.

Putaani Party in Kannada and Keshu in Malayalam were chosen for the Best Children's Film Award. Both were produced by the Children's Film Society of India. Putaani Party was directed by Ramchandra P N and Keshu by Sivan.

Farooque Shaikh was chosen the Best Supporting Actor for Lahore and Arundhati Naag the Best Supporting Actress for Paa.

Rupam Islam got the Best Male Playback Singer Award for Mahanagar@Kolkata (Bengali) and Neelanjana Sarkar the Best Female Playback Singer Award for Houseful, another Bengali film.

Cameraperson Anjuli Shukla won the Best Cinematography Award for Kuttysrank.

The following are the other awards presented today:

Best Screenplay: Kuttysrank, Screenplaywriter original: P F Mathews and Harikrishna

: Kanasemba Kudureyaneri (Kannada): Screenplay writer (adapted)

: Pasanga (Tamil): Dialogues: Pandiraj

Best Audiography: Kaminey (Hindi): Location Sound Recordist: Subash Sahoo

: Kerala Varma Pazassi Raja (Malayalam): Sound Desinger: Resool Pookutty

: 3 Idiots: Re-recordist of the final mixed track: Anup Dev

Best Editing: Abohomaan, Arghyakamal Mitra

Best Production Design: Delhi 6, Samir Chanda

Best Costume Designer: Kuttysrank, Jayakumar

Best Make-up Artist: Paa, Christein Tinsley and Dominie Till

Best Music Direction: Dev D (Hindi): Music Director (Songs): Amit Trivedi

: Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja, Music Director (Background Score): Ilayaraja

Best Lyrics: 3 Idiots: Swanand Kirkire, "Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh"

Special Jury Award: Kaminey (Hindi), Kuttysrank, Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja (both Malayalam)

Best Special Effects: Magadheera (Telugu), R Kamal Kannan

Best Choreography: Magadheera, K Siva Shankar

Best Feature Film in Languagues in Schedule VIII of the Constitution:

Assamese: Basundhara, Producer, Director: Hiren Bora

Bengali: Abohomaan: Producer: Reliance Big Pictures, Director: Rituparno Ghosh

Hindi: Paa, Producer: AB Corp Ltd, Director: R Balakrishnan

Kannada: Kanasemba Kudureyaneri, Producer: Basanta Kumar Patil, Director: Girish Kasaravalli

Konkani: Palatadcho Munis, Producer: National Film Development Corporation, Director: Laxmikant Shetgaonkar

Malayalam: Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja, Producer: A M Gopalan, Director: T Hariharan

Marathi: Natarang, Producer: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., Director : Ravindra Harishchandra Jadhav

Tamil: Pasanga, Producer: M. Sasikumar, Director: Pandiraj

Special Mention: Padmapriya (certificate only)

NON-FEATURE FILMS:

Best Film: The Postman, Producer: K Hariharan, Director: B Manohar and Bilal, Producer, Director: Sourav Sarangi

Best Debut Film of a Director: Vaishnav Jan Toh, Producer: FTII, Director: Kaushal Oza, and Rituparno Ghosh

Eti Kaktaliyo Golpo, Producer: FTII, Director: Tathagata Singha

Best Compilation Film: Pancham Unmixed, Producer, Director Brahmanand Singh

Best Environment Film, including Agriculture: In for Motion, Producer: Amlan Dutta Director: Anirban Dutta

Best Film on Social Issues: Mr India, Producer, Director: Haobam Paban Kumar

Special Jury Award: Kelkkunnundo, Child artiste: Aasna Aslam

Short Fiction Film: Boond, Producer: Kumar Mangat, Director: Abhishek Pathak

Best Cinematography: Gaarud, Cameraman: Deepu S. Unni, Laboratory : Adlabs

Best Audiography: Gaarud, Re-recordist (final mixed track) : Lipika Singh Darai

Best Editing: In Camera, Editor: Tarun Bhartiya

Best Narration/Voiceover: In Camera, Best Voiceover : Ranjan Palit

Special Mention: Vilay: Cinematographer: Nitika Bhagat (certificate only)

BEST WRITING ON CINEMA:

Best Book on Cinema: Cinema Yaana (Kannada), Publisher Hasiru Prakashana Author: Dr. K. Puttaswamy

Special Mention: Eka Studioche Atmavrutta, Prabhakar Pendharkar (Certificate)

Best Film Critic: C.S. Venkiteswaran (Malayalam)

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President to present National Film Awards on Friday

File photo of D Ramanaidu.
File photo of D Ramanaidu.

President Pratibha Patil will present the National Film Awards for 2009, including the prestigous Dada Saheb Phalke Award to veteran film producer D Ramanaidu, at a ceremony here tomorrrow.

In the awards declared last month, Malayalam movie Kuttysrank, directed by Shaji N Karun and starring superstar Mammootty in the lead role, has been chosen for the Best Feature Film Award, while megastar Amitabh Bachchan has won the Best Actor Award for Paa in Hindi.

Bacchan played the role of a boy suffering from progeria, a rare congenital abnormality characterised by premature and rapid aging in the highly acclaimed film.

Ananya Chatterjee got the Best Actress Award for Abohoman (Bengali) while it also won for Rituparno Ghosh the Best Direction Award.

Mr Ramanaidi was chosen earlier for Phalke Award for 2009 for his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema during a long career of nearly half a century in which he has made scores of entertaining films and been involved with all aspects of the industry.

Kuttysrank, which means a boat captain in Malayalam, tells the story of a mariner who operates a cargo vessel between the port towns of Kerala. It is told from the perspectives of three women after the death of the protagonist, who each experience a different Kuttysrank.

The awards in the Feature Films and Non-Feature Films categories were announced on September 15 by the chairmen of the respective juries, Mr Ramesh Sippy and Mr Mike Pandey. The awards for Best Writing on Cinema were decided by a panel headed by Mr Samik Bandhopadhyay.

The selection process for the awards returned to a two-tier system this year, with five regional juries also seeing the films.

Ms Sushma Seth headed the jury for the Northern Region, Mr M S Sathyu, Western Region, Mr T S Nagabharna, South-I Region, Mr B Lenin, Eastern Regon, and Mr Pinaki Choudhury, South-II Region.

The Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director went to Lahore (Hindi) directed by Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan and produced by Vivek Khatkar.

Bollywood blockbuster 3 Idiots, starring Aamir Khan, got the award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

The Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration was given to Delhi 6 produced and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

Actor Mammootty in a still from the film Kuttysrank which was chosen the Best Film in the National Film Awards.
Actor Mammootty in a still from the film Kuttysrank which was chosen the Best Film in the National Film Awards.

Another Hindi film, Well Done Abba, produced by Reliance Big Pictures and directed by Shyam Benegal, was chosen the Best Film on Social Issues.

Putaani Party in Kannada and Keshu in Malayalam were chosen for the Best Children's Film Award. Both were produced by the Children's Film Society of India. Putaani Party was directed by Ramchandra P N and Keshu by Sivan.

Farooque Shaikh was chosen the Best Supporting Actor for Lahore and Arundhati Naag the Best Supporting Actress for Paa.

Rupam Islam got the Best Male Playback Singer Award for Mahanagar@Kolkata (Bengali) and Neelanjana Sarkar the Best Female Playback Singer Award for Houseful, another Bengali film.

Cameraperson Anjuli Shukla won the Best Cinematography Award for Kuttysrank.

The following are the other awards that will be presented tomorrow:

Best Screenplay: Kuttysrank, Screenplaywriter original: P F Mathews and Harikrishna

    : Kanasemba Kudureyaneri (Kannada): Screenplay writer (adapted)

    : Pasanga (Tamil): Dialogues: Pandiraj

Best Audiography: Kaminey (Hindi): Location Sound Recordist: Subash Sahoo

: Kerala Varma Pazassi Raja (Malayalam): Sound Desinger: Resool Pookutty

: 3 Idiots: Re-recordist of the final mixed track: Anup Dev

Best Editing: Abohomaan, Arghyakamal Mitra

Best Production Design: Delhi 6, Samir Chanda

Best Costume Designer: Kuttysrank, Jayakumar

Best Make-up Artist: Paa, Christein Tinsley and Dominie Till

Best Music Direction: Dev D (Hindi): Music Director (Songs): Amit Trivedi

  : Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja, Music Director (Background Score): Ilayaraja

Best Lyrics: 3 Idiots: Swanand Kirkire, "Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh"

Special Jury Award: Kaminey (Hindi), Kuttysrank, Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja (both Malayalam)

Best Special Effects: Magadheera (Telugu), R Kamal Kannan

Best Choreography: Magadheera, K Siva Shankar

Best Feature Film in Languagues in Schedule VIII of the Constitution:

Assamese: Basundhara, Producer, Director: Hiren Bora

Bengali: Abohomaan: Producer: Reliance Big Pictures, Director: Rituparno Ghosh

Hindi: Paa, Producer: AB Corp Ltd, Director: R Balakrishnan

Kannada: Kanasemba Kudureyaneri, Producer: Basanta Kumar Patil, Director: Girish Kasaravalli

Konkani: Palatadcho Munis, Producer: National Film Development Corporation, Director: Laxmikant Shetgaonkar

Malayalam: Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja, Producer: A M Gopalan, Director: T Hariharan

Marathi: Natarang, Producer: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., Director : Ravindra Harishchandra Jadhav

Tamil: Pasanga, Producer: M. Sasikumar, Director: Pandiraj

Special Mention: Padmapriya (certificate only)

NON-FEATURE FILMS:

Best Film: The Postman, Producer: K Hariharan, Director: B Manohar and Bilal, Producer, Director: Sourav Sarangi

Best Debut Film of a Director: Vaishnav Jan Toh, Producer: FTII, Director: Kaushal Oza, and Rituparno Ghosh

Eti Kaktaliyo Golpo, Producer: FTII, Director: Tathagata Singha

Best Compilation Film: Pancham Unmixed, Producer, Director Brahmanand Singh

Best Environment Film, including Agriculture: In for Motion, Producer: Amlan Dutta Director: Anirban Dutta

Best Film on Social Issues: Mr India, Producer, Director: Haobam Paban Kumar

Special Jury Award: Kelkkunnundo, Child artiste: Aasna Aslam

Short Fiction Film: Boond, Producer: Kumar Mangat, Director: Abhishek Pathak

Best Cinematography: Gaarud, Cameraman: Deepu S. Unni, Laboratory : Adlabs

Best Audiography: Gaarud, Re-recordist (final mixed track) : Lipika Singh Darai

Best Editing: In Camera, Editor: Tarun Bhartiya

Best Narration/Voiceover: In Camera, Best Voiceover : Ranjan Palit

Special Mention: Vilay: Cinematographer: Nitika Bhagat (certificate only)

BEST WRITING ON CINEMA:

Best Book on Cinema: Cinema Yaana (Kannada), Publisher Hasiru Prakashana Author: Dr. K. Puttaswamy

Special Mention: Eka Studioche Atmavrutta, Prabhakar Pendharkar (Certificate)

Best Film Critic: C.S. Venkiteswaran (Malayalam)

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"Paa", "Mummy & Me" and "Raavanan" chosen for Indian Panorama

The Amitabh Bachchan-starrer "Paa" in Hindi, directed by R Balakrishnan, Jeethu Joseph's "Mummy & Me" in Malayalam and Mani Rathnam's "Raavanan" in Tamil are among the 26 feature and 19 non-feature films selected for the Indian Panorama 2010.


The selections will be first screened in the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) - 2010, from November 22 to December 2 in Goa. The Panorama will be inaugurated on November 23.


The 26 feature films for the Panorama were chosen by a 10-member jury headed by filmmaker N Chandra after previewing 140 films over 20 days.


The other films chosen include Tere Bin Laden (directed by Abhishek Sharma), I am Kalam (Nila Madhab Panda), Wake Up Sid (Ayan Mukerji) and 3 Idiots (all in Hindi) and Just Another Love Story (Kaushik Ganguly) in English.


The list also includes Achin Paakhi (Anjan Das), Abohomaan (Rituparno Ghosh), Ami Aadu (Somnath Gupta) and Moner Manush (Goutam Ghose), all in Bengali, Pail Te Sumbaran (Gajendra Ahire), Jhing Chik Jhing (Shishir Kularni), Mee Sidhutai Sapkal (AnanthNarayan Mahadevan) and Vihir (Umesh Kulkarni), all in Marathi, and Makaramanju (Lenin Rajendran), Kaal Chilambu (M T Annoor) and Elektra (Shyama Prasad), all in Malayalam.


The list also includes: Kanasemba Kudureyaneri (Girish Kasaravalli), Aidu Ondola Aidu (V K Prakash) and Shabari (Baragaru Ramachandrappa), all in Kannada, Athma Kadha (Premlal) and Angadi Theru (G Vasanta Balan), both in Tamil, Prasthanam (Deva Katta) in Telugu and Swayamsiddha (Sudhanshu Mohan Saboo) in Oriya.


The non-feature films were chosen by a five-member jury headed by Mr Siddhartha Kak which saw 97 films over seven days.


The films are: Incurable India (Umesh Aggarwal), Leaving Home (Jaideep Varma), Motorbike (Radhika Murthy), My Daddy Strongest (Suresh Triveni), Surang (Anurag Goswami), Going the Distance (Tiainila Jamir), Mr India (Haobam Paban Kumar), Kal (S Manjunathan), Dhruva Natchathiram (Aravind Subramanian), Seshasha (Dip Bhuyan), Numit Tadri (Suvash E), Rupban (Supriyo Sen), Journey to Nagaland (Aditi Chitre), Germ (Snehal Nair), Achtung Baby (Sanjeev Sivan), Courtroom Nautanki (Chittaranjan Tripathy), The Victims (Nabakumar Khagokpam), Aval (Prasanth Kanathur) and Shyam Raat Seher (Arunima Sharma).


AFSPA 1958 and The Postman, the National Award-wnning Best Non-Feature Films of 2008 and 2009, respectively, have gained direct entry into the non-feature films list of the Indian Panorama, an official press release added.


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Hay Festival to be held in Thiruvananthapuram on Nov 12-14


The internationally renowed Hay Festival will be held in India for the first time on November 12-14 when more than 50 authors, thinkers and performers from India and across the world will gather in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala to cross barriers and exchange ideas.

A press release issued by the organisers said confirmed participants include William Dalrymple, Sebastian Faulks, Michelle Paver, Vikram Seth, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Jorge Volpi, Paul Zacharia, Shashi Tharoor, Amrita Tripathi, Pavan Varma, Rosie Boycott, Gillian Clarke, Tishani Doshi, Sonia Faleiro, Bama Faustina, Bob Geldof, Namita Gokhale, Nik Gowing, Sister Jesme, Manu Joseph, N S Madhavan, Jaishree Mishra, Anita Nair, Vivek Narayanan, Basharat Peer, Hannah Rothschild, K Satchidanandan, Marcus du Sautoy, Simon Schama, C P Surendran, Miguel Syjuco and Tarun Tejpal.

Lyndy Cooke, Executive Director of the festival, said "It's a thrilling opportunity to celebrate great writing from Kerala, India, and around the world in the most sumptuous surroundings."

Tishani DoshiVikram SethBob Geldof
Tishani Doshi, Vikram Seth and Bob Geldof

The release said the Week Hay Festival, in collaboration with Teamwork Productions, is planned as an annual event for the public to revel in the best of the world of literature, with access to regional as well as international literary figures: an eclectic mix of intellectual and cultural events.

The festival will also host musical concerts and present a range of Kerala cuisine at Kanakakunnu Palace, the former summer retreat of the Travancore royal family. It will witness more than 40 events over three days and evenings, in Malayalam and English.

The musical highlight of The Week Hay Festival will be a performance by Irish singer and songwriter of The Boomtown Rats, author and political activist Bob Geldof. Other performances on the programme include Swaratma and Avial.

"We are delighted to be collaborating with Hay Festivals Worldwide, and hope to attract literature lovers from across the world. The beaches and back waters of Kerala will form an extraordinary setting for an exciting event – a beach festival of literature!," Mr Sanjoy K Roy, MD of Teamwork Productions, said.

For more than 20 years, the Hay Festival has brought writers, musicians, film-makers and scientists together from around the world to cross cultural and genre barriers and foster the exchange of ideas.

"Hay sets literature within a wider cultural and social context and creates live festivals with internationally resonant media impact. In Bill Clinton's famous phrase it is 'the Woodstock of the mind'," the release said.

Over the last ten years it has become a global not-for-profit charity that runs projects and festivals worldwide, including Colombia, Mexico, Spain, Nairobi, Maldives and Beirut. Hay Festival was awarded the Queen's Award for International Trade in 2009.

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Ishqiya selected for 34th Cairo International Film Festival

Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan in a scene from Ishqiya.
Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan in a scene from Ishqiya.

Hindi film Ishqiya has been selected for the 34th Cairo International Film Festival, the oldest in the Middle East, that is scheduled to be held from November 30 to December 9 this year.

The film, which has been successful at the box office and won critical acclaim, has already been screened at various international film festivals.

It stars Naseeruddin Shah, Vidya Balan, Arshad Warsi and Salman Shahid in the lead roles and has been directed by debutant Abhishekh Chaubey and produced by Raman Maroo of Shemaroo Entertainment and Vishal Bharadwaj.

"We are getting an overwhelming response from people worldwide. The film has already participated in around five international film festivals and is appreciated by all," Mr Hiren Gada, Director, Shemaroo Entertainment, said.

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Renowned Endellion Quartet to perform in Mumbai on October 5

Endellion String Quartet
Endellion String Quartet

The renowned Endellion Quartet, one of the world's leading string quartets, will perform at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) here on October 5 as part of their Beethoven quartet cycle.

For Indians, a matter of additional interest would be the fact that Indian-born violinist Ralph De Souza will be part of the quartet, a press release from the NCPA said.

The programme for the concert includes Beethoven’s magical arrangement of the piano sonata op 14 no. 1 for quartet, and the op 59 no. 2 which is arguably the greatest of Beethoven’s middle period quartets.

"The quartet of Andre Watkinson and Ralph de Souza on Violin; Garfield Jackson on Viola and David Waterman on Cello promise to regale Indian audiences with their magical performance," the release said.

The quartet is named after St. Endellion in Cornwall. It was formed in 1979 and has been "Quartet in Residence" at Cambridge University since 1992.

According to the release, the quartet has an extensive discography and appears in concert halls around the world. In 1997, the quartet received the award for "Best Chamber Ensemble" from the Royal Philharmonic Society.

They have released their recording of the cycle of Beethoven's quartets, string quintets and quartet fragments for Warner Classics and Jazz1.

Over the years, their schedule has included regular tours of North and South America and concerts in Australia, the Far East, the Middle East, South Africa and every West European country.

"The Endellion String Quartet is known to ‘set the audience ablaze’ and ‘captivate concert goers’ with their remarkable rapport - playing to each other with a sense almost of discovery, and communicating to the audience on a level of unusual intimacy," the release said.

In 2008-2009, the Quartet celebrated its 30th Anniversary Season. The occasion was marked by the release of a box-set of the complete Beethoven String quartets, string quintents, Fragments and Original versions; new commissions of Six Quartettini from Robin Halloway and a new piece from Roxanna Panufnik and the poet Wendy Cope; involvement in Phil Grabsky’s new documentary film, In search of Beethoven; a series of performances of Haydn’s Seven Last Words incorporating the Endellion’s especially for this piece and concerts in the UK, Europe, China, Japan and Korea.

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Early photographs of Delhi on display at exhibition

An exhibition titled "Historic Delhi: Early Explorations of the Camera, c. 1860-1950", which showcases the earliest known photographs of India, dating back from the 1860s, opened at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here today.


The exhibition, which will remain open for public viewing till November 7, is drawn from the extensive Alkazi Collection of Photography based in Delhi.


Photography was introduced in India in the 1840s. There began a gradual setting up of the photographic societies in India henceforth, from 1855 onwards in Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. The medium received patronage not only from the elite rulers and professional practitioners who set up studios, but also from the British administration, to document and survey the entire country.

"Capturing the essence of the evolution of modernity in visual form, Historic Delhi documents the birth of photography in India, gives us for the first time a visual history of the capital of the country, and challenges our perception of the city we live in," Prof Rajeev Lochan, Director of NGMA, said.


"NGMA is proud to show this important exhibition of landmark photography at a time the city celebrates the Commonwealth Games," he said.


According to a press release, the history of photography in Delhi is also due in part to the coming of early artists and painters who traveled here and so photography can also be considered a continuation of those forms of visualization. The early picturesque painters such as the Daniells, spent over 10 years here, in the 18th century, traveling the country, often in the footsteps of other itinerant painters, such as William Hodges. These painters were affected by ideas of the sublime and beautiful. Other artists from the Company School in India (1775-1910), who were patronized by Europeans, also created a visual language akin to that of photography by documenting the trades and professions of those who resided in the city.

The coming of early photography to Delhi and other Northern states was therefore influenced by the above and one of the earliest professional photographers here was Samuel Bourne, from the later established company of Bourne and Shepherd. Delhi emerges as a city in the immediate aftermath of the Uprising of 1857. Most of the sites therefore captured by photographers are those affected by the mutiny and later led to the demoralization of the sites by the British to keep alive the memory of their deceased. Similarly, with the transfer of power to the British Crown, the Durbars of Delhi in 1877, 1903 and 1911, conducted under the supervision of the three Viceroys, leads to the visualization of Delhi as an imperial capital. The 1911 Durbar therefore leads to the transfer of all administrative power to Delhi from Calcutta and even the reversal of the partition of Bengal. Delhi plays host to over 250,000 people in the last durbar.

Photography plays a key role throughout the early modern visualization of Delhi and is circulated through loose photographs, souvenir albums, transformed into engravings and circulated in newspapers and journals, and even as postcards in the early 20th century. It plays a key function as a propaganda tool, as a mode of enquiry and surveillance, as well as a form of art, all of which play a part in the later 20th century, when the documentation of Delhi shifts to the burgeoning national movement, the release added.


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Renovated facilities at Delhi's Siri Fort Auditoria world-class: Soni

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni seeing the renovated Siri Fort Auditoria in New Delhi on September 30, 2010.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni seeing the renovated Siri Fort Auditoria in New Delhi on September 30, 2010.

Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting reviewed the renovation work being carried out at the Siri Fort Auditoria here yesterday and said the new facilities were world-class.

She said the auditoria now provided a platform for staging a wide range of cultural events, including film screeings, contemporary musical concerts and similar programmes.

An official press releas said the purpose of the renovation was to provide appropriate infrastructure that would enable people to appreciate the events and screening of films in an aesthetic environment.

As part of the comprehensive renovation effort, changes have been carried out in the auditoria, including replacement of carpets and chairs, leveling and polishing of stage and auditoria wall panel, improvement in the acoustics and providing of interior lighting with dimmer arrangements and light wash from LED lamps in the coves.

There has also been a complete overhaul of the main foyer, including renovation of the floor and the ceilings, replacement of LED lamps and fixing of LCD screens for display of visuals.

According to the release, the back-stage of the auditorium has been completely renovated with a new look altogether, leading to the two newly done up green rooms. The VIP lounge has also undergone a complete facelift with appropriate furniture. The external envelope of the auditoria complex has also had a complete makeover by treating it with spectrum finishing in white colour. A new security system with the latest baggage scanner facility has been set up in the cabins at the main entrance. A new signage plan has also been put in place.

The renovation work of the complex was monitored by a Special Monitoring Committee comprising senior officials of the Ministry and experts.

The Siri Fort Auditoria is one of the biggest such facilities in India. Built in 1982 ahead of the Asian Games, it was subsequently transferred to the Directorate of Film Festivals under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in 1986 for being used as a general purpose venue for film screenings, musical concerts and other cultural events.

The complex is spread over an area of about six acres on August Kranti Marg and consists of four auditoria with different seating capacities.

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3rd Haryana International Film Festival from Oct 1-7

Around 50 films from India and abroad will be screened at the 3rd Haryana International Film Festival and Film Appreciation Course that will begin at the DAV Colelge for Girls at Yamuna Nagar on October 1.


The festival will be inaugurated by well-known film-maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan and the opening film is his "Nizhalkuthu" (Shadow Kill).


The festival, which will continue till October 7, will have films from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, the United States, Poland, Russia, Japan, China, Iran, Sweden, Hong Kong, the Phillipines, Denmark, Hungary, Norway, Argentina and Brazil, among others.


Well-known actor Om Puri will be the chief guest for the closing function.



Festival Director Ajit Rai told a press conference here that there would be a special focus on Iran, which will be inaugurated by the Director of the Iran Cultural Centre attached to the Iran Embassy in India, Mr Ali Dehghai.



Literature and Cinema is the theme of a seminar to be held on October 3, which will be inaugurated by eminent littérateur and Hans editor Rajender Yadav. Basu Chatterji’s film "Sara Akash" based on Yadav’s novel will be screened on the occasion.



Ms Sushma Arya, Principal of the College, said Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda would inaugurate a special celebration of Haryanvi cinema in the presence of renowned filmmaker Ashwini Chaudhury and actor Yashpal.


A seminar on the Growth of Haryanvi Cinema will be inaugurated by Mrs Asha Hooda, Vice-President of the Haryana State Child Welfare Society, with producer Usha Sharma as Guest of Honour. Kurukshetra University Director of Youth and Cultural Affairs Anoop Lather will be the moderator of the discussion.



She said Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia will inaugurate a section on Rajasthani cinema on October 6, when Om Puri will be present along with director Seema Kapoor, whose film "Haat – the Weekly Baazar" will be screened on the occasion.


Eminent filmmaker Shyam Benegal will be in conversation with filmmaker Anwar Jamal on October 5, which will be followed by the screening of Benegal’s "Samar".



Eight important films are being premiered in Haryana during this festival. Apart from Shadow Kill, the others are Gautam Ghose’s ‘Kaalbela’, Makrand Deshpande’s ‘Hanan’, Seema Kapoor’s ‘Haat – The Bazaar’, Anwar Jamal’s ‘Harvest of Grief’, Sharmila Maiti’s ‘Beyond Borders’, Tripurari Sharan’s ‘Jab Din Chale Na Raat Chale’, and Ranjeet Bahadur’s ‘Sab ko Intezaar Hai’.



The Film Appreciation Course will be inaugurated by Mr Vijay Jadhav, Director of the National Film Archive of India (NFAI).



Former Film and Television Institute of India Director Tripurari Sharan will preside over the function, in the presence of filmmaker Sharmila Maiti and senior film critics Vinod Bhardwaj and B B Nagpal.



Earlier on October 2, a Children's Film Section will be inaugurated in collaboration with the Children’s Film Society, India, by Bipin Chandra with child star Shreya Sharma of ‘The Blue Umbrella’ as the Guest of Honour.



This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) founded by eminent critic Aruna Vasudev and some international personalities keen to popularize Asian cinema. Eminent critics Latika Padgaonkar, Nagpal, and Raman Chawla, and senior journalist Gobind Thukral will be speaking at a discussion on October 5 to mark the occasion.


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New heritage collection of handicrafts, handlooms at National Museum

The Handicrafts and Handlooms Export Corporation of India (HHEC) has launched a new range of product lines at its refurbished outlet at the National Museum here to coincide with the XIX Commonwealth Games that Delhi will host from October 3-14.


The new heritage collection was inaugurated yesterday by Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran.


Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Jitin Prasada, Planning Commission Member Arun Maira, Textiles Secretary Rita Menon, Archaeological Survey of India Director General Gautam Sengupta and HHEC Chairman and Managing Director Nirmal Sinha were amongst those present on the occasion.


An official press release said the HHEC had brought several artisans and designers together to produce an exclusive range of products for the outlet, including Bidri objects.


In the first of its series, the HHEC has focused on the Museum Shop at the National Museum , New Delhi for various products and replicas relating to artifacts and monuments for the display at the National Museum.


The HHEC plans to open similar museum-cum-souvenir shops at the Qutab Minar in Delhi, the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad and the Museum at Egmore, Chennai.


According to the release, the shop at the National Museum will stock, among other items, cushion covers inspired by miniature paintings, scarves & stoles, brass objects with pichwai motif, replicas of sculptures and art books produced by leading publishers.


There will be Gupta seals, mobile stands with traditional textile motifs, coasters, notebooks, wrapping papers, bags, boxes, postcards and posters linked to the Museum. There will be a collection of mugs which have Mughal floral designs, reproduction of great bronzes from the masters of Tamil Nadu, miniature paintings from master artisans and reproductions of some stone sculptures.


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President confers Akademi fellowships on Lagoo, Lalgudi, others

President Pratibha Patil presenting the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship 2009 to actor Shreeram Lagoo for his outstanding contribution to Indian theatre at a ceremony in New Delhi on September 28, 2010.
President Pratibha Patil presenting the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship 2009 to actor Shreeram Lagoo for his outstanding contribution to Indian theatre at a ceremony in New Delhi on September 28, 2010.

President Pratibha Patil today conferred the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship on well-known actor Shreeram Lagoo, Carnatic violinist Lalgudi Jayaraman, Bharatanatyam dancer Yamini Krishnamurti, Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar and theatre personality Kamlesh Dutt Tripathi.

They received a purse of Rs 300,000 besides an "angavastram" and a "tamrapatra". Vocalist Pandit Jasraj, who was also to be conferrred with the fellowship, could not attend the function to receive it.

The fellowship, or Akademi Ratna, is the highest honour of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, which was established by the Government in May 1952 and is the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama. It was created as the apex body in the country for the task of preservation and promotion of the performing art tradition of India.

The fellowship is a very rare honour and is restricted to a limited number at a given time. At present, there are only 32 living Fellows of the Akademi.

The President also honoured eminent artistes with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2009 which consists of prize money of Rs 100,000, an angavastram and a tamrapatra.

President Pratibha Patil presenting the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship 2009 to violiist Lalgudi G. Jayaraman for his outstanding contribution to Carnatic music in New Delhi on September 28, 2010.
President Pratibha Patil presenting the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship 2009 to violiist Lalgudi G. Jayaraman for his outstanding contribution to Carnatic music in New Delhi on September 28, 2010.

In the field of music, eight artistes got the awards: Abdul Rashid Khan and Vasundhara Komkali for Hindustani Vocal Music, Lachman Singh Seen (Tabla) and Ali Ahmad Hussain (Shehnai) for Hindustani Instrumental Music, Parassala B Ponnammal for Camatic Vocal, U. Shrinivas (Mandolin) and Dandamudi Sumathi Rama Mohan Rao (Mridangam) for Camatic Instrumental Music, and L. Ibohalmacha Singh (Nata Sankirtana) for Other Major Traditions of Music.

Eight dancers got the award. They are: Ananda Shankar Jayant (Bharatanatyam), Prerana Shrimali (Kathak), Kalamandalam Rajan (Kathakali), L. Bino Devi (Manipuri), Geeta Mahalik (Odissi), Vyjayanthi Kashi (Kuchipudi), Daksha Sheth (Creative & Experimental) and Kala Krishna (Other Major Traditions of Dance -Andhranatyam).

In the field of theatre, the awardees included: playwright Vayala Vasudevan Pillai (Malayalam), actors Sudha Shivpuri and Neeta Mohindra, and directors Joy Michael and Dinesh Thakur.

Kamal Arora (Make-up) and Kuldeep Singh Vig (Music for Theatre) received the award in the category of Allied Theatre Arts. Playwright Shankar Narayan Navre (Marathi) could not attend the function to receive the award.

In the category of Other Traditional/Folk/Tribal Music/Dance/Theatre, the awards were given to: Musafir Ram Bhardwaj (Folk Dance-Himachal Pradesh), Vilayat Khan Ragi (Dhadhi Folk MusicPunjab), U K Kunjirama Panicker (Theyyam-Kerala), Jaganath Behera (Pala-Orissa), Shanti Jain (Folk Music-Bihar), Vithal Gangaram Umap (Folk Theatre-Maharashtra) and Bhikhudan Govindbhai Gadhvi (Folk Music-Gujarat). Moinul Haque from Assam received the Award for his contribution to Mime.

Leela Venkataraman honoured with the Award for her overall contribution to the Performing Arts.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Patil said culture was a source of pride for all peoples, nations and societies.

"This award ceremony is a time to recall our own highly evolved and rich culture. Dances with their rhythms and expressions, music with its different gharanas, folk performances with their multiplicity of local themes and local dresses bring to mind a powerful idea of India and its civilization. Art and culture, music and literature not only give an identity to a country, but also become the means to celebrate life itself. Dance and music in India have closely been associated with the change of seasons, cycle of agriculture, ceremonies of birth and marriage," she said.

Ms Patil said material prosperity through the application of science and technology was no doubt essential for any modern community, but economic progress by itself in a cultural vacuum would be soulless.

"A nation needs the moorings of a set of values and cultural expressions, which provide it the intellectual and spiritual compass for its growth. Rejuvenation of arts has been an inevitable accompaniment of our national growth. Hence, even as we are progressing, we must continue to have an environment where excellence in art and culture can be achieved. Fine arts sharpen our sensibilities as human beings and make life worth living. Society, therefore, has a great stake in the artistic genius of gifted individuals and they must receive our encouragement and appreciation," he said.

President Pratibha Patil with the winners of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships and Awards 2009 in New Delhi on September 28, 2010.
President Pratibha Patil with the winners of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships and Awards 2009 in New Delhi on September 28, 2010.

The President said the music of India's saints and sages like Guru Nanak, Tulsidas, Kabir and Surdas had helped preserve equilibrium in society and righteousness in the individual.

"By promoting greater understanding, even within the country, of our various cultures, music has became a vital aspect of our national integration as well. Moreover, a society which ennobles arts is enlightened. Hatred and violence can have no place in a civilized society," she said.

She hoped the many masters in the field of music and other arts in the country would pass on their knowledge to their students so that the country's rich heritage could be kept alive.

Ms Patil also pointed out that cultural diplomacy was a potent instrument in the country's foreign policy. Cultural exchanges were important to promote understanding between peoples and must be encouraged, she said.

"In today’s globalised and integrated world, there are cross-cultural currents and, at the same time, advances in technology are providing newer variants of art and music. In these circumstances, questions of how to absorb change and how to retain the traditional styles present a challenge. I believe it is important for the many strands of culture that exists in the world and are a result of the evolution of different civilizations, to continue to exist. These add to variety in the world which is so essential for keeping it as a planet of great cultural diversity, which alone can make it interesting. However, there should be efforts to take these different cultural forms to the people in an appealing manner," she said.

The President said new technologies offered an opportunity to preserve, conserve and document the country's rich heritage.

"Creating archives of performing arts would also help academic institutions who could use these materials for educational purposes, researchers in their work and practitioners in their art," she said.

The President also spoke of the need for society at large to become patrons of art and culture. Business houses and the corporate world must lend their support to this cause, she added.

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Exhibition on Intuit Art from the Canadian Arctic opens in Delhi

Culture Secretary Jawhar Sircar inaugurating an exhibition of Canadian Inuit arts in New Delhi on September 27, 2010
Culture Secretary Jawhar Sircar inaugurating an exhibition of Canadian Inuit arts in New Delhi on September 27, 2010

An international exhibition on Intuit Art from the Canadian Arctic, featuring sculptures, prints, drawings, textile art and video, was inaugurated by Culture Secretary Jawhar Sircar here today.

Acting Canadian High Commissioner Jim Nickel was amongst those present on the occasin.

The exhibition has been jointly organised by the National Museum in Delhi, the National Museum Institute and the National Gallery of Canada.

The exhibition is the first major venture under the India-Canada MoU on Cultural Cooperation that was signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Canada in June 2010, and was mentioned in the Joint Statement by the Prime Ministers of India and Canada.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sircar and Mr Nickel expressed the hope that visitors from around the world during the Commonwealth Games 2010 to be hosted by Delhi next month would see a glimpse of Intuit Art through the exhibition.

Inuit Nunangat - the Inuit homeland in Canada - is a glorious expanse of taiga and tundra, polar ice and permafrost that has been inhabited by Inuit and ancestral peoples for more than 4000 years. Since the mid-20th century, Inuit artists have established a powerful art movement that tells a compelling story of artistic invention and cultural continuity.

Featuring masterworks from the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, the exhibition Sanaugavut, meaning "our works of art" in Inuktitut, focuses on the emergence of this most recent stage of creative expression. It highlights the significant themes of Inuit art- traditional social life and customs, spiritual beliefs and mythology, historical moments and personal experiences- in a richly diverse range of artistic media and styles.

The exhibition will be opened to public from 28 September 2010 at the National Museum, Janpath, New Delhi.

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Culture Ministry to release funds to its organisations in two instalments


In a major departure from the existing practice of release of funds in three installments of 40 percent, 30 percent and 30 percent, the Union Ministry of Culture has decided to release funds to its 41 autonomous organizations in two installments only of 75 percent and 25 percent.


An official press release said this decision would enable the various autonomous bodies under the Ministry of Culture to plan their activities well in advance and also facilitate better expenditure management.


According to it, the release procedure for grants-in aid would be as follows:


Release of 1st installment of 75 percent:


(a) The 1st installment of grants-in-aid amounting to 75%, in respect of the recurring grant may be released on the basis of provisional Utilization Certificate (UC) of the preceding financial year.


(b) The unspent balance/carry forward funds of the previous year would be deducted at time of release of the 1st installment itself.


(c) In the provisional Utilization Certificate, the unspent balance shall be shown separately for "Grants in aid-General" and "Grants for Creation of Capital Assets", as has been depicted in Detailed Demands for Grants Document w.e.f. 2010-11.


(d) Annual Action Plan should have been approved by the Governing Body of the Autonomous Organization.


Notwithstanding Para 1(a) above, the release of the 1st installment would be subject to the ceiling of 1/6th of the total Budget Estimates (BE) of the Ministry as a whole, during "Vote on Account" period.


Release of 2nd Installment of 25 percent:


The remaining 2nd installment of 25% of the grants-in-aid will be released on the request of the Autonomous Body, on fulfillment of the following conditions:-


(i) Annual Statement of Accounts and final Utilization Certificate for the previous year, being submitted by the Autonomous Organization.


(ii) Utilization of 75% of the funds released as 1st installment, including unspent balance/carry over funds of Autonomous Body.


(iii) Finalization of the Revised Estimates (RE)


(iv) Any other condition laid down at the time of last release (of 75%) should have been met/satisfied.


The effectiveness of this arrangement of releasing grants-in-aid in two installments of 75% and 25% shall be reviewed by the Administrative Division after a year, the press release added.


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Celebrities turn out in London to boost God's Own Country

Soccer superstar Didier Drogba and his wife at the Kerala film premier in London on September 21
Soccer superstar Didier Drogba and his wife at the Kerala film premier in London on September 21

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba joined famous stars from cinema, music and fashion here last night to celebrate Kerala, billed as God’s Own Country, as one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

"Kerala is a dream place," said Drogba, who came to watch "Your Moment is Waiting", a new three-minute advertisement film of Kerala Tourism, premiered at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea.

"It's my area. I am here to support anything that happens in my area," said the Ivory Coast national captain, whose team Chelsea's homeground Stamford Bridge is only 20 minutes of walk from the Saatchi Gallery. Drogba was accompanied by his wife Alla.

"Your Moment is Waiting," which is directed by Vodaphone's ZooZoo ad-fame Prakash Varma for Kerala Tourism's new global publicity campaign, captured the imagination of a host of celebrities, including former England striker Gary Linekar, current 400 metres Olympic gold medalist Christine Ohuruogu and Indian-born British businessman-politician Swaraj Paul.

"It's a great film. There is magic in it. Now I feel I have to go back to Kerala to discover it again," said Malayalam mega star Mohan Lal, who posed for photographs with many members of the Indian community in London.

Linekar, who won the Golden Boot at the 1986 Mexico World Cup, said his model-presenter wife Daniele has been persuading him to visit Kerala. "It's a place you want to go," said Linekar, now a soccer commentator who arrived with Daniele.

Ohuruogu, who confessed to having never heard about Kerala before, said, "Kerala seems to be very colourful and lively. It is one place I am going to add to the list of destinations to visit before I die," said the London-born and Nigerian origin Ohuruogu, who clocked 49.61 seconds to win the 400 metres at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The British athlete, will, however not be seen in action at the Delhi Commonwealth Games because of injury.

Smitha Tharoor, the sister of former Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor, described the film as "brilliant". "It’s a brilliantly made film reflecting the true image of Kerala as place full of surprises," she said.

"Kerala is the opposite of what you expect in India," said famous British photographer Seamus Murphy. "Kerala is slow, less crowded and unspoiled."

Glamour couple Yasmin and Simon le bon and their daughter Amber at the Kerala event in London, on September 21.
Glamour couple Yasmin and Simon le bon and their daughter Amber at the Kerala event in London, on September 21.

One of the biggest draws of the Kerala night in London was British actor Bill Nighy, who plays the role of Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", the penultimate part of the magical saga which will be released in November before the second and last part next year.

And among the early guests at the premiere was Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger’s daughter Jade Jagger, a former model and jewellery designer. "Kerala is a very interesting place, very spiritual. It is a very special place in India," said Jade Jagger, who has visited Kerala "several times" before. Former Duran Duran band member Simon Le Bon said he had heard "a lot about your great cuisine".

Among other guests were British MP Keith Vas and "Slumdog Millionnaire" actor Dev Patel.

"It's magic. The film really touches your soul," said Patel. During the course of the evening, the guests were mesmerised by Kerala's classical dance forms "Mohiniattam" and "Ottamthullal" performed by Corinne Mathow from France and Hartmut Schmidt from Germany.

Kerala Tourism Secretary V Venu, who was also involved with the Incredible India campaign, explained that the film was about connecting with potential visitors. "We are trying to be different from others by saying pretty pictures don’t make a destination, but experiences make a destination."

Kerala Tourism Director M Shivshankar echoed the comments. "Something in Kerala appeals to the visitors. Many people who came to the state have come across a self-discovering experience."

"Your Moment is Waiting" will hit theatres in the United Kingdom on September 23 and multiplexes in India on September 27. The film was shot over 11 days in locations at Thekkady, Munnar, Thalassery and Kannur. The film features upcoming international model Miriam Ilorah.

"Kerala is all surreal, raw and sensuous. I was trying to capture all these elements together," said Varma. Famous Senegalese musician Baaba Maal sings in the film, which will hit the YouTube and iPad in United Kingdom, France and Germany targeting nearly 50 million viewers.

The UK is the largest source market for Kerala Tourism and the state’s nature-based experiences are a huge draw for British travelers seeking more intimate, village experiences. Baby boomers who are getting more interested in their health are also attracted to Ayurveda in Kerala.

The campaign will run in all of Kerala Tourism’s major markets around the world from October 2010 until mid 2011. The film will be shown in cinemas across the United Kingdom where the Julia Roberts-starrer "Eat, Pray and Love" is being shown and in CNN, Europe targeting viewers in the key source markets of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium.

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Jury and longlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature announced


Infrastructure fim DSC Limited today named a five-member for for the $ 50,000 first DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, who then announced the 14 longlisted entries for the prize.


The jury includes comprises literary figures such as Lord Matthew Evans, Ian Jack, Amitava Kumar, Moni Mohsin, and Nilanjana S Roy (Chairperson).


A press release said the 14 longlisted entries were selected from amongst numerous entries received from around the world and includes an eclectic mix of writers who are expected to dominate the literary scene of South Asia in the years to come.


The following is the longlist:


Upamanyu Chatterjee: Way To Go (Penguin),


Amit Chaudhuri: The Immortals (Picador India),


Chandrahas Choudhury: Arzee the Dwarf (HarperCollins),


Musharraf Ali Farooqui: The Story of a Widow (Picador India),


Ru Freeman: A Disobedient Girl (Penguin/ Viking),


Anjum Hassan: Neti Neti (IndiaInk/ Roli Books),


Tania James: Atlas of Unknowns (Pocket Books),


Manju Kapur: The Immigrant (Faber & Faber),


HM Naqvi: Home Boy (HarperCollins),


Salma: The Hour Past Midnight (Zubaan, translated by Lakshmi Holmstrom),


Sankar: The Middleman (Penguin, translated by Arunava Sinha),


Ali Sethi: The Wish Maker (Penguin),


Jaspreet Singh: Chef (Bloomsbury),


Aatish Taseer: The Temple Goers (Picador India).



"South Asian Literature is at a crucial standpoint with a potential for tremendous growth. At DSC we believe that Literature is the yarn that binds our society and its people," Ms Surina Narula of DSC said.


"After the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and the DSC South Asian Literature Festival are seamless extensions of our vision to promote literature that cuts across regional divides. We received overwhelming response to our call for entries and we are proud to have such distinguished Jury members and participants associated with our endeavour," she added.


According to the release, the jury for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature will deliberate on the Longlist and then go on to announce 5 selected works as the Shortlist at the DSC South Asian Literature Festival, scheduled to be held in the United Kingdom at the end of October.


The winner of the first DSC Prize for South Asian Literature will be declared at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2011. The prize will be awarded for the best work of fiction pertaining to the South Asian region, published in English, including translations into English.


The chairperson of the jury, Ms Roy, said: "What makes the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature unique is its recognition of the distances – geographical and emotional – that South Asian fiction has spanned in the last few decades. By opening up the category of South Asian fiction to authors regardless of nationality, the Prize has created a far more interesting way of reading fiction from and about the region than we've ever seen before."


"My experience as a member of the jury this year has convinced me that the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature works well for writers, but that it will ultimately function as an essential reading list for anyone who has an interest in Asian culture, politics, history and fiction. We began our reading as members of the jury with an unspoken question in our minds: is there such a thing as 'Asian writing', or 'the Asian novel'? The answers to that question are fascinating, for readers and writers alike."


The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature is guided by an international Advisory Committee comprising M J Akbar, Urvashi Butalia, Tina Brown, William Dalrymple, Lord Meghnad Desai, David Godwin, Surina Narula, Senath Walter Perera, Nayantara Sehgal and Michael Worton.


The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature is unique since it is not ethnicity driven in terms of the author’s origin and is open to any author belonging to any part of the globe as long as the work is based on the South Asian region and its people.


DSC Limited also announced its association as the title sponsor for the DSC South Asian Literature Festival, a premier festival in Britain showcasing the diverse literary and cultural traditions of the South Asian region.


The DSC South Asian Literature Festival has been scheduled from October 15-25 in London and from October 26-31 in the rest of UK.


Renowned authors, poets, and artists connected to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and UK are expected to partake in the celebration of this literary extravaganza. The Festival has been envisioned to imaginatively combine South Asian literature with various other disciplines and art forms, including journalism, dance, visual art and music to explore the social, political and cultural issues that are shaping today’s world.


The release said confirmed participation had been received from eminent personalities in the literary and cultural fraternity including Fatima Bhutto, Amit Chaudhuri, Lord Meghnad Desai, Farrukh Dhondy, Romesh Gunesekera, Mohammed Hanif, Nayantara Sahgal, Michael Wood to name only a few.


The company has been the principal sponsor of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival for the last five years. During this period, this event has grown to become the largest literary event of its kind in the region.


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