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Amitav Ghosh becomes first writer in English to bag Jnanpith Award

Amitav Ghosh
Amitav Ghosh
In the first recognition for an Indian writer in English, Amitav Ghosh has been announced as 2018's Jnanpith Award winner for "outstanding contribution towards literature".
 
The 1956, Kolkata-born author was described as a "path-breaking novelist" by Bharatiya Jnanpith. The awarding body said that Ghosh, in his novels, treads through historical settings to the modern era and weaves a space where the past connects with the present in relevant ways. 
 
"His fiction is endowed with extraordinary depth and substance through his academic training as a historian and a social anthropologist. His major thematic concerns include migration and interconnections across places, cultures and races, and human distress and suffering caused by historical turbulences, especially at the level of girmitiyas, coolies and lascars," Bharatiya Jnanpith said in a statement. 
 
Ghosh has explored Indian protagonists ranging across a wide international field, including Bangladesh, England, Egypt and Myanmar in both his fictional and discursive writings. 
 
Some of his celebrated works include "The Circle of Reason", "The Shadow Lines", "The Calcutta Chromosome", "The Glass Palace", "The Hungry Tide" and the Ibis trilogy that includes "Sea of Poppies", "River of Smoke", and "Flood of Fire". 
 
The decision was taken in a meeting of Jnanpith Selection Board chaired by eminent novelist and scholar Pratibha Ray. 
 
Other eminent persons of the selection board included Girishwar Misra, Shamim Hanfi, and Harish Trivedi, among others. All the previous winners of the much coveted award have been writers in Indian languages, making Ghosh the first writer in English its winner. 
 
IANS
 

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B P Singh to be new President of FTII Society and Chairman of Governing Council

Brijendra Pal Singh
Brijendra Pal Singh
Brijendra Pal Singh, producer-director of popular TV serial CID which has had an unbroken 21-year-run, has been nominated as the new Chairman of the Governing Council of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.
 
"Government of India has nominated Brijendra Pal Singh as President of the FTII Society and Chairman of FTII Governing Council, in pursuance of Rule 3 and Rule 22 of the Rules of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII)," an official press release said.
 
His tenure will be for the remaining period of block of 3 years starting from 04.03.2017 as per the provisions of Rule 6(1) of the Rules of FTII, Pune and the explanation given thereunder or until further orders whichever is earlier, it said.
 
Singh will replace well-known actor Anupam Kher, who resigned from the position on October 30 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".
 
Kher 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.
 
Singh is an FTII alumnus (1970-73) who specialised in film cinematography. In 2004 he made it to the Limca Book of Records for taking a single continuous shot of 111 minutes to mark the completion of six years of CID.
 
Welcoming his appointment, Bhupendra Kainthola, Director, FTII Pune said, "FTII welcomes the appointment of Shri B P Singh as new Chairman. As former Chairperson of FTII Academic Council (2014-2017) and current Vice Chairman of FTII Governing Council, Shri Singh is fully conversant with all issues of the Institute. It is his vision that launched FTII's countrywide film education outreach initiative SKIFT (Skilling India in Film and Television) in May 2017 which saw nearly 120 short courses conducted in over 24 cities and towns across India touching nearly 5000 learners so far. FTII looks forward to his guidance and support in the times to come "
 
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Kerala's one-film wonder Ajayan passes away

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Ajayan, who shot into fame with the only film that he directed "Perunthachen" (master carpenter), died here on Thursday, said his colleague and veteran character actor Nedumudi Venu.
 
Ajayan breathed his last at a private hospital here after a cardiac arrest, Venu said.
 
He is survived by his wife and two children.
 
Venu said it was always a mystery that Ajayan failed to make more movies.
 
"He was certainly immensely talented but do not know what and where he got stuck. He was my junior in college and we have had a very long association."
 
State Culture and Cinema Minister A. K. Balan condoled Ajayan's death and said that the impact of his only film will continue for a long time.
 
Son of the legendary Malayalam playwright, screenwriter and film director, Thoppil Bhasi, Ajayan began his film career under his father and later worked as associate director to legends like Padmarajan and Bharathan.
 
It was in 1990 that Ajayan turned a full-time director with "Perunthachen", which was a runaway hit and one that won rave reviews and numerous awards.
 
Ajayan won the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director, Kerala State Film Award for Best Debut Director, in 1990.
 
The film also won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Popular Film in 1990 and was nominated for the Golden Leopard Award at the Locarno International Film Festival in 1992.
 
IANS
 

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Kapil Sharma, Ginni Chatrath marry in Jalandhar

Kapil Sharma and Ginni Chatrath at their wedding at Jalandhar on December 12, 2018.
Kapil Sharma and Ginni Chatrath at their wedding at Jalandhar on December 12, 2018.
Star comedian Kapil Sharma married his lady love Ginni Chatrath here at a traditional Punjabi ceremony, which was enlivened by popular singer Gurdas Maan.
 
Kapil made a late entry at the wedding venue, which was done up in red and gold.
 
The bride stuck to the traditional for her attire, and accessorised her look with maatha patti, nath and statement earrings and a layered neckpiece.
 
Kapil sported a green sherwani, with string adding some drama to his look. His triple kalgi on the turban and sword grabbed attention, as did his bearded look.
 
He shared their first wedding picture himself via Instagram, with an emoticon with folded hands in gratitude for the love and blessings from all over.
 
The venue had ample security considering Kapil is an established name in the industry and has a huge fan following. Invitations to the wedding itself had a barcode for entry.
 
A guest on condition of anonymity told IANS that there was a limited gathering of the couple's close family members and friends, apart from a few names from the world of comedy.
 
It was very much a Punjabi wedding in terms of the food, barring special Thai food arrangements.
 
The star attraction was a performance by Gurdas Maan.
 
The "Comedy Nights With Kapil" star and Ginni wanted the wedding to be rooted in their culture. In fact, they chose Lovely Sweets, a 60-year-old Indian sweets manufacturer from here, for the sweets they have distributed, and Lovely Imagination, for designing the elaborate wedding invitations and sweets.
 
Their wedding was preceded by days of ceremonies and pre-marriage rituals, including a sangeet which saw their friends dance the night away.
 
IANS
 

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Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018 to feature works of 94 artists from across world

As many as 94 artists' works will be on display at the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale -- South Asia's biggest contemporary art event -- that will begin here on Wednesday.
 
The 108-day event, that will go on until March 29, 2019 and will be held at ten venues here, will be inaugurated by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
 
Curated by eminent artist Anita Dube, the event will also feature seminars, workshops, lectures, film screenings and performances.
 
What’s more, the curatorial theme of ‘Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life’ will encourage visitors at the Biennale to participate in its course beyond being viewers. For that, the Biennale pavilion will double up as a public space for conversation.
 
“The pavilion will have no hierarchies over who could speak on what, how long, when and in which language,” said Dube. “It is energised by the interactions between works, the dialogue sparked between artistic voices and practices. The audience is invited to share, to listen, and even to challenge the space.”
 
This emphasis on interaction will be a defining feature of the festival, according to Bose Krishnamachari, president of the Kochi Biennale Foundation. He said Dube has been credited with curating the first biennale anywhere in the world to have women totalling more than half of the participating artists.
 
On the evening of December 12 in Fort Kochi, the Chief Minister will declare the festival open. The function at Parade Ground, slated to begin with a Chenda Melam orchestra led by Peruvanam Kuttan Marrar will also be addressed by Yusuf Ali, Chairman and Managing Director of LuLu Group International, Nilima Sheikh, artist and Feroze Gujral, director, Gujral Foundation and trustee of the Biennale. 
 
The inauguration will be followed by a live performance by the Bangalore-based Vasu Dixit Collective.
 
Earlier that day, the Biennale flag will be hoisted at Aspinwall House, the main venue of the festival. This will be followed by a walk with the curator. The afternoon will see two artist performances — one by Mexican Tania Candiani (Aspinwall) and other by Netherlands-based Rana Hamadeh (MAP Project Space).
 
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Lucknow-born Dube, who studied Art Criticism at Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, has conceived the Biennale following a year-long travel around the globe. That engagement, defined by intense research and diverse dialogues with artists, led her to shortlist the artists for the Biennale.
 
The event will be held across heritage venues in the twin towns of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry, as well as in downtown Ernakulam. The venues are: Aspinwall House, Durbar Hall (Ernakulam), Pepper House, Cabral Yard (site of the Biennale Pavilion), David Hall, Kashi Art Café, Kashi Town House, Anand Warehouse, TKM Warehouse and MAP Project Space.
 
A highlight of the Biennale is a team of 20 dedicated ‘art mediators’ who will be residing in Kochi through the event and giving guided tours every day free of charge. Another novel addition is the idea of infra-projects, which is a set of four art projects put together by external curators in alignment with the broader curatorial theme.
 
There will also be a Students’ Biennale, featuring 200 student-artists, belonging to private and public art schools from across India and parts of South Asia. Other ancillary events include the Let’s Talk series, presentations and discussions by artists and thinkers, Artists’ Cinema, which presents curated packages of films, and the Music of Muziris concert series, showcasing a wide range of traditional and contemporary music acts.
 
The Foundation’s ‘Art by Children’ (ABC) runs as an endeavour that offers resources for artistic experimentation. Integral to it is the ‘art room’, a learning project at Cabral Yard, aiming to introduce people to art making from a young age. Also, there is a two-month Graffiti Residency on till December 20.
 
Materials used for the Biennale's Pavilion will be subsequently repurposed to construct a dozen houses for those affected by the August floods and landslides in the state. In January 18 next year, select paintings, sculptures and installations of more than 40 artists will be auctioned in Kochi as part of the Foundation’s ARK (Art Rises for Kerala) initiative in partnership with auction house Saffronart.
 
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Singer Beyonce arrives in Udaipur to perform at Isha Ambani's pre-wedding celebrations

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Grammy Award-winning singer Beyonce arrived in the City of Lakes on Sunday to perform at a pre-wedding celebration for Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal.
 
Beyonce sported a white printed ensemble and a pair of shades as she stepped out of the Maharana Pratap Airport. A red lip colour brightened up her look as she let her curly tresses loose.
 
The "Crazy in love" singer will perform on Sunday night for a star-studded audience, which includes US former First Lady Hillary Clinton and a slew of Bollywood celebrities including newlywed Priyanka Chopra and her American singer husband Nick Jonas.
 
Beyonce's arrival for a private concert here has been much talked about since September when American singer John Legend performed at Isha and Anand's engagement in Italy's Lake Como.
 
The wedding celebrations are as grand as expected.
 
On Saturday night, a glitzy sangeet ceremony saw the bride and groom's family in a celebratory mood.
 
Among those who joined the party were business tycoons, as well as Bollywood celebrities like Aamir Khan with wife Kiran Rao, Abhishek Bachchan with mother Jaya, wife Aishwarya and daughter Aaradhya, Karan Johar, Salman Khan, Parineeti Chopra, Anil Kapoor and wife Sunita, Boney Kapoor with daughters Janhvi and Khushi, Siddharth Roy Kapur with wife Vidya Balan, John Abraham with wife Priya Runchal, Ronnie Screwvala with wife Zarine, Karisma Kapoor, Varun Dhawan and Karan Tacker.
 
Veteran actress Rekha also arrived here on Sunday.
 
Isha and Anand, scions of the Ambani and Piramal business families respectively, will wed as per Indian traditions, customs and culture at the Mumbai residence of the Ambani family on December 12.
 
On Friday, the families started the pre-wedding functions with a special four-day 'Anna Seva' to feed 5,100 people, a majority of them with special abilities, here.
 
IANS
 

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'Kedarnath' director urges Uttarakhand government to lift 'ban'

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"Kedarnath" director Abhishek Kapoor has urged the Uttarakhand government to lift a ban on the movie.
 
"I plead with the Uttarakhand government to please lift the ban on my film 'Kedarnath'. It is an attempt to bring peace, harmony and healing to the people of this country. Please don't deprive us of this opportunity," Kapoor tweeted.
 
While there has been no official ban on the film by the state government, it wrote to all district magistrates about the film and the controversies surrounding it. 
 
The decision followed a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat that reviewed a report submitted by a committee headed by Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj.
 
The government asked the district administration to take a call on their own and left it to their discretion whether or not the film should be released in their respective jurisdictions.
 
Following which Dehradun, Haridwar, Pauri, Tehri, Nainital, Almora and Udhamsinghnagar banned the film. 
 
The Hindi film, with the 2013 flash floods in Kedarnath as the backdrop, was being opposed by the right-wing activists from the day its shooting began in the hill state and they alleged that it hurt Hindu sentiments and promoted the idea of "Love Jehad".
 
The film, starring Sushant Singh Rajput and debutante Sara Ali Khan, was shot extensively in Triyuginarayan, Gaurikund, Soneprayag, Rambada, Kedarnath and Chopta, and it had to face protests even then.
 
The Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday refused to ban the film and asked the petitioners to approach the District Magistrate with their complaints.
 
On its opening day, the movie garnered Rs 7.25 crore in India.
 
IANS
 

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'Kedarnath' not to release in Uttarakhand

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The Sara Ali Khan-Sushant Rajput starrer Bollywood film "Kedarnath' will not be released in the hill state of Uttarakhand, an official said on Friday.
 
While there has be no official ban on the film by the state government, it has written to all district magistrates (DMs) about the film and the controversies surrounding it. It has asked the DMs to take a call on their own and has left it to their discretion whether or not the film should be released in their respective jurisdictions.
 
Following this, all the DM's have banned the film's release in their districts. A decision to this effect was taken after a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat reviewed the report submitted by a committee headed by Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj.
 
The Hindi film, with the 2013 flash floods in Kedarnath as the backdrop, was being opposed by the right-wing activists from the day its shooting began in the hill state and they alleged that it hurt Hindu sentiments and promoted the idea of "Love Jehad".
 
With the latest orders by the DMs, it would mean that the film will not release now in state capital Dehradun, Haridwar, Pauri, Tehri, Nainital, Almora and Udhamsinghnagar. Other districts of the state do not have a film theater. 
 
The film was shot extensively in Triyuginarayan, Gaurikund, Soneprayag, Rambada, Kedarnath and Chopta, and it had to face protests even then.
 
The Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday refused to ban the film and asked the petitioners to approach the District Magistrate with their complaints.
 
IANS
 

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Salman Khan to be first guest on Kapil Sharma's new show

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Comedian-actor-producer Kapil Sharma has started shooting for a new edition of "The Kapil Sharma Show" with Bollywood superstar Salman Khan as its first celebrity guest.
 
The episode, which will be aired on Sony Entertainment Television, will also feature Salman's brothers Sohail Khan and Arbaaz Khan as well as their father Salim Khan, read a statement.
 
Kapil will be joined by his original gang - Chandan, Kiku Sharda and Sumona Chakravarti.
 
The audience will also get to see comedians Bharti Singh and Krushna Abhishek along with Rochelle Rao. 
 
Meanwhile, Kapil will marry his fiance, Ginni, at her hometown in Jalandhar on December 12.
 
IANS
 

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Rajinikanth's '2.0' set for major China release

A still from the movie
A still from the movie "2.0". (Photo: IANS)
Superstar Rajinikanth's "2.0", which has set the cost registers ringing all over, is gearing up for a major China release across 56,000 screens, according to its makers.
 
In a statement, Lyca Productions confirmed the news of the Shankar-directed sci-fi movie's release in association with HY Media in China with at least 47,000 of the total screens playing it in 3D format.
 
"2.0" will release in China in May 2019 and it will be the widest 3D release for any foreign language film in history, the statement said.
 
A sequel to Shankar's 2010 blockbuster "Enthiran", "2.0" has been produced by Lyca Productions and was released in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi on November 29.
 
The film, which features Rajinikanth in three different 'avatars', also stars Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson, Adil Hussain and Sudhanshu Pandey.
 
Akshay Kumar, making his southern debut, plays the antagonist. The film has been made on a budget of Rs 600 crore.
 
Rajinikanth plays a scientist and a robot. He also appears as a microbot, dubbed 3.0, which was one of the major surprise elements.
 
Earlier this week, Lyca Productions revealed that the film grossed a whopping Rs 400 crore in its opening weekend worldwide.
 
Shankar has also confirmed he is ready to commence shooting for Kamal Haasan's "Indian 2", which marks his reunion with the latter after two decades.
 
"We recently did a make-up test with Kamal sir and I was really excited to see him in the get-up of Senapathy. We are all set to begin shoot very soon," Shankar told the media.
 
Shooting of "Indian 2" may start from December 14. Kajal Aggarwal has been roped in to play the leading lady. Anirudh Ravichander will compose the music. Lyca Productions will also be bankrolling "Indian 2".
 
IANS
 

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Sonali Bendre beams with joy as she returns to 'motherland'

 
Husband Goldie Behl feels happy for Sonali’s recovery
Actress Sonali Bendre Behl beamed with joy, flashed smiles, gave a thumbs up and joined her hands in reverence for all the love as she arrived here on Monday months after she left for New York to seek treatment of a high grade cancer.
 
Sonali, known for films like "Sarfarosh", "Hum Saath-Saath Hain" and "Duplicate", has been putting up a brave fight against metastatic cancer for months.
 
She arrived here in an all-black look and flaunted her shaved head with as much confidence and bravado as she has been showcasing to her fans via social media. She was joined by her film producer husband Goldie Behl.
 
The paparazzi went clickety-click as Sonali made her way to the car and she obliged with a heartwarming smile and gratitude.
 
Before she left from New York, Sonali had shared a social media update, flaunting a casual white tracksuit. She had teamed them with shoes -- one of which read "mother" and the other read "land".
 
Clearly, Sonali was excited to be back in Mumbai -- where her heart is -- for a "happy interval".
 
Her Instagram post read: "I'm on my way back to where my heart is. It's a feeling I can't describe in words but I'm going to try - it's the joy to see my family and friends again, the excitement to do what I love and mainly the gratitude for the journey I've had up until this moment.
 
"The fight is not yet over... but I'm happy and looking forward to this happy interval."
 
For Sonali, who has spent the tumultuous time with a smile on her face, "it's time to learn that there is a new normal out there and I can't wait to embrace it and switch on the sunshine".
 
Sonali announced earlier this year that she was diagnosed with a high grade metastatic cancer. A mother of one, she said her family and close friends have provided her the best support system.
 
IANS
 

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Priyanka Chopra, Nick Jonas marry in traditional Hindu ceremony

 
Priyanka-Nick wedding: Pictures from Sangeet function
Actress and former Miss World Priyanka Chopra got married to American singer Nick Jonas in a traditional Hindu ceremony here, after three days of wedding celebrations which included a colourful mehendi ceremony, a friendly cricket match and a power-packed 'desi' musical evening.
 
Priyanka looked "breathtaking in her traditional red Indian wedding outfit", a source told E! News about the Hindu ceremony on Sunday.
 
"Nick did a beautiful job following the customs of a Hindu ceremony. It was lovely seeing how they honoured both of their heritages," the insider added.
 
From their 'roka' ceremony in August to their wedding, Nick has embraced Indian traditions whole-heartedly. Priyanka also ensured an occasion like Thanksgiving Day was celebrated like it's meant to be with Nick's family.
 
"One of the most special things that our relationship has given us is a merging of families who love and respect each others' faiths and cultures.
 
"And so, planning our wedding with an amalgamation of both was so amazing," Priyanka and Nick wrote on their respective Instagram page on December 1 when they shared glimpses of their 'mehendi' revelry.
 
Their wedding celebrations were in tune with the majestic venue -- the royal Umaid Bhawan Palace, situated atop a hill in this 'Blue City' in Rajasthan.
 
Priyanka, 36, and Nick, 26, first exchanged vows in a Christian ceremony officiated by the groom's father here on December 1. They wore custom-made Ralph Lauren ensembles -- a good fit as the two stars had shared the spotlight for the first time as guests of the designer at the 2017 Met Gala.
 
Marking their union here was the Jodhpur sky lit up with fireworks. However, Priyanka was widely trolled for it as around Diwali, she had urged people not to burst firecrackers due to the health hazards it leads to. As a result, she was called out for her "double standards".
 
Nevertheless, their fans were swooning over some of the tidbits they shared of the '#NickYanka' pre-wedding ceremonies.
 
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At the 'mehendi' ceremony, Priyanka sported a breathtaking multi-hued folksy Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla lehenga, channelling the 'desi' look in every which way, while Nick sported an aqua kurta by the same designers.
 
They also incorporated a friendly cricket match, competing as "team bride vs team groom".
 
As for the sangeet, a video and photographs shared by Priyanka suggest it was no less than a Bollywood awards night complete with a stage, elaborate light set-up and props as well as energetic performances.
 
Priyanka's cousin and actress Parineeti Chopra, who performed on stage, welcomed Nick warmly to her family and is all praise for her "jiju" (brother-in-law).
 
"The job of us bridesmaids was to make sure the bride was happy and comfortable at all times. But we did not have to worry about it because Nick promised to do it all his life.
 
"Welcome to the family Nick jiju! I am so so happy that the Jonas and Chopra family is now united," she wrote.
 
The couple first began talking in 2016 via Twitter, and met in person for the first time at a party for the Academy Awards in 2017.
 
A successful Bollywood star, Priyanka made a transition to American showbiz as the lead in crime drama "Quantico", eventually landing a role in the "Baywatch" film.
 
Nick and his brothers Kevin and Joe are known for having formed a pop-rock band, The Jonas Brothers, in 2005. The band split up in 2013.
 
IANS
 

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Anushka worked with occupational therapist, audiologist for 'Zero'

Anushka Sharma
Anushka Sharma
Actress Anushka Sharma says she worked with two professional trainers to immerse herself into her role as Aafia, a scientist with cerebral palsy, in Aanand L. Rai's "Zero".
 
The actress put herself through a rigorous three-month preparation process.
 
"I understood the challenge that I was going to face as an actor while playing this role. That is what excited me towards the role," Anushka said in a statement.
 
"If I were able to pull it off, I would have accomplished something. So I wanted to do it the right way and represent this correctly. Aanand sir and Himanshu (writer Himanshu Sharma) had already researched a lot with doctors (about this condition) when they came to me with the film and had sketched out my character accordingly. I understood their brief and went with their vision and met with the doctors," she added.
 
She said she worked with an occupational therapist and audiologist who helped her understand "what physical limitation my character would have and how my condition would impact my speech". 
 
"The difficult part in this was that I had to voluntarily create an involuntary movement that happens to my character because of my condition. While I had to focus on the dialogues, I also had focus on the emotion of the scene, which was difficult. So, in the beginning I would ask for some extra takes so that I could get it right because I wanted to make sure that I was doing it correctly," added Anushka, who shares screen space with Shah Rukh Khan in the movie.
 
Anushka also spent time on a wheelchair.
 
"With time I started to understand it better - staying on the wheelchair the whole time I was on set and for three months before as I worked with the occupational therapist and audiologist. I did all these to understand the confinements one feels when one has to spend a lifetime on a wheelchair.
 
"I think all this practice helped in understanding the condition of the character well and the vision that Aanand L. Rai had for the role. I have tried to do it to the T," she added.
 
IANS
 

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Bollywood dazzles at Ranveer-Deepika's wedding reception

 
Bollywood stars shine at Deepika-Ranveer wedding reception
Well known personalities from Bollywood, sports and political background attended Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone's wedding reception, a black-tie industry party night at The Grand Hyatt on Saturday in Mumbai.
 
Actors including Sara Ali Khan, Ishaan Khatter, Disha Patani, Tiger Shroff, Aditi Rao Hydari, Radhika Apte, Jim Sarbh, Lara Dutta along with husband Mahesh Bhupathi, Vidya Balan with Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Hema Malini with son-in-law Bharat Takhtani attended the wedding reception.
 
Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar also attended the function, along with their respective wives.
 
For their third wedding reception, the couple arrived looking nothing short of regal as Ranveer wore a classic black piece suit with a bow tie designed by Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna. Deepika was a treat to sore eyes in a jam coloured embellished gown designed by Zuhair Murad.
 
The list of attendees also included producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra and his wife Anupama Chopra, Vicky Kaushal, Rekha, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra with his wife, Kalki Koechlin, Nimrat Kaur, R Madhavan and his wife Sarita Birje.
 
Ranveer and Deepika tied the knot on November 14 in Italy in a traditional Konkani ceremony, which was followed by a Sindhi wedding on November 15. 
 
Both the functions were fiercely intimate with just about 40 guests in attendance and a ban on prying mobile phones and paparazzi. The security at the wedding venues was reportedly at par with that provided for a meeting of world leaders.
 
On their return, the two hosted a reception for Deepika's relatives in Bengaluru, followed by a DJ bash organised by Ranveer's sister Ritika Bhavnani for the couple.
 
The couple then hosted their second wedding reception for Ranveer's relatives and friends in Mumbai on November 28.
 
On the work front, they were last seen together in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Padmaavat". 
 
Ranveer will next be seen in "Simmba", while Deepika will be seen portraying the role of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal.
 
IANS
 

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Priyanka Chopra, Nick Jonas get married, fireworks light up Jodhpur sky

 
Priyanka Chopra-Nick Jonas now man and wife
The sky here was lit up with fireworks to celebrate the wedding of actress Priyanka Chopra and American singer Nick Jonas at the royal Umaid Bhawan Palace here on Saturday.
 
The couple exchanged wedding bands by Chopard and wedding vows at a Christian wedding officiated by the groom's father, Paul Kevin Jonas Sr, according to people.com.
 
Priyanka, 36, was a glowing bride in a custom-made Ralph Lauren wedding gown, and Jonas, too, wore Ralph Lauren. In fact, so did both families, all of the bridesmaids, and all of the groomsmen who included Priyanka's brother Siddharth and Nick's three brothers, Joe, Kevin and Frankie.
 
Ralph Lauren is an important designer to the couple not only because he is a close friend of the actress but also because she and Nick, 26, both rocked Ralph Lauren Collection at the 2017 Met Gala, which took place one week after their unofficial first date.
 
Late evening, synchronised fireworks marked the celebrations.
 
On Sunday, the bride and groom will continue their epic wedding weekend with a Hindu ceremony.
 
Priyanka and Nick took to Instagram on Saturday to not just share glimpses of their 'mehendi' festivities, but also their thoughts about following both traditions to get married.
 
"One of the most special things that our relationship has given us is a merging of families who love and respect each others' faiths and cultures.
 
"And so, planning our wedding with an amalgamation of both was so amazing."
 
Priyanka looks every bit the 'desi girl' in a bright multi-coloured and festive lehenga choli for her mehendi ceremony, which took place on Friday. While she looks carefree and joyous, Nick also seems to be enjoying the customs to the hilt as he rocks a kurta-pyjama.
 
"An important part for the girl in an Indian wedding is the mehendi. Once again we made it our own, and it was an afternoon that kicked off the celebrations in the way we both dreamed," read the post accompanying the pictures, which drew millions of fans across the world who had been waiting to catch a glimpse of the closely guarded wedding.
 
Ahead of their big weekend, the couple celebrated Thanksgiving in India together. Days later, they held a puja ceremony at Priyanka's mother Madhu Chopra's house in Mumbai to spiritually celebrate the upcoming event.
 
Weeks beforehand, Priyanka celebrated her bachelorette party in Amsterdam and had a bridal shower in New York City.
 
They had a traditional Indian 'roka' ceremony in Mumbai in August.
 
The couple first began talking in 2016 via Twitter, and met in person for the first time at a party for the Academy Awards in 2017.
 
IANS
 

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Priyanka Chopra, Nick Jonas now a married couple

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas (File photo: IANS)
Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas (File photo: IANS)
Actress Priyanka Chopra and American singer Nick Jonas are now husband and wife as they had their Christian wedding at the Umaid Bhawan Palace here.
 
According to people.com, the groom's father, Paul Kevin Jonas Sr officiated at Saturday's Christian ceremony, where the couple exchanged wedding bands by famed jeweller Chopard.
 
On Sunday, the bride and groom will continue their epic wedding weekend with a Hindu ceremony.
 
"It is super important to Priyanka to have an Indian ceremony that honours her heritage and culture, just as it's important to also have a Western ceremony that honours Nick's Christian upbringing," a source told people.com earlier this week. 
 
Priyanka, 36, was a glowing bride in a custom made Ralph Lauren wedding gown, and Jonas, too, wore Ralph Lauren. In fact, so did both families, all of the bridesmaids, and all of the groomsmen who included Priyanka's brother Siddharth and Nick's three brothers, Joe, Kevin and Frankie.
 
Ralph Lauren is an important designer to the couple not only because he is a close friend of the actress but also because she and Nick, 26, both rocked Ralph Lauren Collection at the 2017 Met Gala, which took place one week after their unofficial first date.
 
Ahead of their big weekend, the couple celebrated Thanksgiving in India together. Days later, they held a puja ceremony at Priyanka's mother Madhu Chopra's house in Mumbai to spiritually celebrate the upcoming event.
 
Weeks beforehand, Priyanka celebrated her bachelorette party in Amsterdam and had a bridal shower in New York City.
 
The couple first began talking in 2016 via Twitter, and met in person for the first time at a party for the Academy Awards in 2017.
 
IANS

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Jharkhand Literary Meet 2018 to be held in Ranchi on December 8-9

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Eminent writers and personalities such as Ruskin Bond, Uday Prakash, Mahadev Toppo, Alok Rai and Rekha Bhardwaj will be among the doyens of Hindi and English literature who will congregate for the second edition of the Jharkhand Literary Meet (JLM) here on December 8-9.
 
The event promises to be a literary high point encompassing writing, short films and evening performances, the organisers, Tata Steel, said.
 
Bond, the author practically every English-speaking child in India has grown up reading, will be present for two sessions -- one of which will be on the Bollywood adaptations of his stories.
 
Chanakya Chaudhary, vice president, corporate services, Tata Steel, told a press conference here on Thursday that the event would build on the "resounding success" of the first edition of the JLM last year.
 
“We initiated the first Jharkhand Literary Meet with the belief that a culturally rich region such as Jharkhand must have its very own festival celebrating literature and allied cultural pursuits, like dance, music, recitation, cinema and theatrical performances. The focus has been to engage premier authors, speakers and performance artists from the region and across India.
 
“It was our privilege and pleasure to have hosted, in the very first year itself, eminent writers and personalities such as Ashok Vajpeyi, Mark Tully and Sharmila Tagore, among others. We hope to make the Jharkhand Literary Meet an integral part of Ranchi cultural canvas as well as the region’s premier literary event,” Chaudhary said.
 
Festival director Malavika Banerjee said, “We are privileged to have iconic author Ruskin Bond to inaugurate and be a part of JLM 2018, especially as this his first-ever visit to Ranchi. Uday Prakash, one of the stalwarts of modern Hindi literature, is another author we are privileged to bring to JLM 2018.”
 
Banerjee also spoke of the presence of authors from the region who are making a mark on the country’s literary scene, such as Mahadev Toppo, Mohua Maji and Anuj Lugun. “This is part of our continued, strong focus on making the meet a balance between writing from the region and elsewhere,” she added.
 
The formal inauguration of the event will take place on December 8 morning, with Bond and Prakash doing the honours. The venue for this year’s meet is Audrey House, a gracious colonial-era bungalow near Raj Bhavan.
 
A curtain-raiser has also been planned at Jamshedpur on December 7, featuring Bond, to flag off the Tata Steel Literary Meet Season, which includes ‘Kalam’, the Kolkata Literary Meet, and BLM, the ‘Bhubaneswar Literary Meet’.
 
Rekha Bhardwaj’s performance will be another major highlight of the festival. 
 
"The National Award winning singer would surely be a perfect fit for the Jharkhand Literary Meet, not only because of her reputation as a powerhouse performer but because of her known interest in Hindi / Urdu literature," a press release from the organisers said.
 
A session on late film music composer S D Burman’s music, as explored in an award-winning book, would be an added draw for music lovers. For the millennials, a session on the advent and mass popularity of web-streamed content aided by platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime will be discussed with the cast of ‘Mirzapur’ (an Amazon Prime original).
 
A stand-up comedy performance by renowned comic and writer Sorabh Pant and a musical tribute to Begum Akhtar will round up the offerings at JLM 2018.
 
Ashutosh Chaturvedi, chief editor, representing event media partner ‘Prabhat Khabar’ and Shailesh Verma, chief resident executive, Tata Steel, based at Ranchi were also present on the occasion.
 
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IFFI: Golden Peacock for Donbass, Pellissery is Best Director, Chemban chosen Best Actor

Chemban Vinod receiving the Best Actor (Male) award for the Malayalam movie ‘Ee Maa Yau’, at the closing ceremony of the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2018), in Panaji, Goa on November 28, 2018.
Chemban Vinod receiving the Best Actor (Male) award for the Malayalam movie ‘Ee Maa Yau’, at the closing ceremony of the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2018), in Panaji, Goa on November 28, 2018.
Donbass, directed by Sergei Loznitsa has won the coveted Golden Peacock Award at the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which concluded here on Wednesday.
 
Lijo Jose Pellissery got the Best Director and Chemban Vinod the Best Actor awards for the Malayalam film Ee.Ma.Yau. 
 
The Golden Peacock Award carries a cash prize of Rs 4 million to be shared equally between the producer and the director, along with a trophy and the citation.
 
Donbass tells the story of a hybrid war taking place in a region of Eastern Ukraine, involving an open armed conflict alongside killings and robberies perpetrated on a mass scale by separatist gangs. In Donbass, war is called peace and propaganda is uttered as truth. 
 
A journey through Donbass unfolds as a series of curious adventures. This is not just a tale of one region or a political system; it is about a world lost in post-truth and fake identities.
 
Donbass is the official submission of Ukraine for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category at the 91st Academy Awards in 2019. It was selected as the opening film in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. At Cannes, Sergei Loznitsa won the ‘Un Certain Regard’ Award for Best Director.
 
The Best Director Award went to Lijo Jose Pellissery for his Malayalam film ‘Ee.Ma.Yau’. The film is a stunning satire on death and how it affects human lives. Set in Chellanam, a coastal village in Kerala, the film shows the plight of a son who tries to arrange a worthy funeral for his father; he is however met with unpredictable obstacles and reactions from different quarters. 
 
The Best Director gets the Silver Peacock Award and a cash prize of Rs 1.5 million. Lijo had also won the Best Director Award at the 48th Kerala State Film Awards for the same film.
 
The Best Actor (Male) Award has gone to Chemban Vinod for his portrayal in Ee.Ma.Yau of ‘Eeshi’, a son who tries to arrange a worthy funeral for his father but is faced with unpredictable obstacles and reactions from different quarters.
 
The Best Actor (Female) Award has gone to Anastasiia Pustovit for her portrayal of a ‘Larysa’, a teenage girl in the Ukrainian film ‘When the Trees Fall’.
 
Both Best Actor (Male) and Best Actor (Female) are honoured with the Silver Peacock Trophy and a cash prize of Rs 1 million each.
 
Milko Lazarov walked away with the Special Jury Award for his film ‘Aga’; the film focuses on the story of Sedna and Nanook, an elderly couple from Yakutia and the particular challenges they face in the midst of a frigid landscape. 
 
The Special Jury Award carries a cash prize of Rs 1.5 million (Rs 15 lakhs), a Silver Peacock Award and a citation.
 
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Alberto Monteras II received the Centenary award for ‘Best Debut Feature Film of a Director’ for his Filipino Movie ‘Respeto’. 'Walking with the Wind', directed by Praveen Morchhale, won The ICFT –UNESCO Gandhi Medal instituted by the International Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual Communication, Paris and UNESCO. 
 
The criteria for the Gandhi Medal reflect UNESCO’s fundamental mandate of building peace in the mind of men and women, particularly human rights, intercultural dialogue, promotion and safeguard of the diversity of cultural expressions.
 
‘Walking with the Wind’ tells the story of a 10-year-old boy in Himalayan Terrain, who mistakenly breaks his friend’s school chair. His daily seven km long journey to school in mountainous terrain on a donkey turns mammoth and challenging when he decides to bring the chair to his village.
 
‘Los Silencios’, the Portuguese, Spanish movie directed by Beatriz Seigner got the special mention under ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi medal category.
 
Salim Khan, the celebrated actor, story-screenplay-dialogue writer of Hindi films was honoured with the IFFI 2018 Special Award for his Lifetime Contribution to Cinema. The prestigious award consisting of a cash prize of Rs 1 million (Rs 10 lakhs), Certificate, Shawl and a Scroll has been conferred upon the master filmmaker for his outstanding contribution to cinema.
 
Salim Khan revolutionized Indian cinema in the 1970s, transforming and reinventing the Bollywood formula, pioneering the Bollywood blockbuster format, and pioneering genres such as the masala film and the Dacoit Western.
 
Later, the valedictory ceremony for the 49th edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa was held at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium, in Taleigaon. 
 
Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons was present at the ceremony, along with a host of dignitaries from the political and cinematic landscape. Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore, Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik; Minister for Town and Country Planning, Goa, Vijay Sardesai; and I&B Secretary Amit Khare were amongst those present. 
 
Indian film celebrities Anil Kapoor, Rakul Preet, Chitrangada Singh, Diana Penty and Keerthi Suresh walked the red carpet, adding to the colour and glamour of the star-studded evening.
 
Several renowned film personalities such as IFFI 2018 Lifetime Achievement Awardee Dan Wolman, Member of Parliament Manoj Tewari, Anil Kapoor, Arbaaz Khan (son of master screenwriter Salim Khan), Indian Panorama Jury Chief Rahul Rawail, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Kabir Bedi too attended the closing ceremony.
 
Stating that the 49th edition has been a great success, Khare said that film bazaar has elicited a response from various countries across the world. Israel was the focus country and Jharkhand the state focus. 
 
Noting that the preparations for the golden jubilee celebration of the festival next year has begun, the Secretary said the government would like to showcase the film culture of each and every region of the country and trace the history of IFFI. 
 
The facilities at Goa would be enhanced, given the overwhelming response received from film-lovers, he added. 
 
Over the past nine days, more than 220 movies from 67 countries were screened at IFFI. While the festival opened with the world premiere of English film ‘The Aspern Papers’, the world premiere of German film ‘Sealed Lips’ marks the conclusion of this festival bonanza. 
 
As many as 26 feature films and 21 non-feature films were screened in the Indian Panorama section. While Israel was the focus country, Jharkhand was the focus state this year. This is for the first time that any state was made focus state at IFFI. 
 
Veteran Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening ceremony. Another new section at IFFI this year was the screening of six Indian sports biopics as an extension of the Khelo India initiative.
 
In the International competition section, 15 movies were screened, out of which three were Indian. Festival Kaleidoscope section carried 20 critically acclaimed international films that have been to major film festivals and the majority of them being multiple award winners. World Panorama section had 67 films which are specially curated for the festival. 
 
It included 4 World Premiers, 2 International Premiers, 15 Asia Premiers and 60 India Premiers. This year World Panorama section presented 15 films which are Oscar submissions from their respective countries.
 
At Master classes and In-Conversations, a host of film personalities interacted with delegates. Two movies, Sholay and Hichki, were also screened at this year’s IFFI as part of a special package for visually impaired persons. 
 
Retrospective section of Ingmar Bergman in connection with his birth centenary celebration was another speciality of the festival. 
 
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Singer Mohammed Aziz of 'My Name is Lakhan' fame passes away

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Veteran Bollywood playback singer Mohammed Aziz, best remembered for his naughty rendition of the song 'My Name Is Lakhan', passed after away on Tuesday, after a heart attack in a private hospital, a family member said.
 
Aziz, 64, collapsed at the Mumbai Airport after deboarding from a Kolkata flight on Tuesday afternoon. He was rushed to the Nanavati Hospital in Vile Parle where he breathed his last a short while later.
 
His body will be taken to his suburban Kandivali home.
 
Born in West Bengal's Ashok Nagar as Syed Mohammed Aziz-un-Nabi in July 1954, he started his career as a restaurant singer in Kolkata till he got a singing break in a Bengali film, "Jyoti", before he shifted to Mumbai and sang for the Hindi film "Ambar" (1984).
 
Later, he was spotted by the music director Anu Malik and got his first major breakthrough in Bollywood with the song "Mard Taangewala" (Mard, 1984).
 
Subsequently, he sang for top music directors like Naushad, O.P. Nayyar, Kalyanji-Anandji, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Bappi Lahiri, R.D. Burman, Rajesh Roshan, Ravindra Jain, Raam-Laxman, Usha Khanna, Nadeem-Shravan, Jatin-Lalit, Aadesh Shrivastava and others.
 
Songs sung by him were picturised on Amitabh Bachchan, Mithun Chakravorty, Rishi Kapoor, Govinda, Anil Kapoor and other leading actors.
 
Deeply inspired by the legendary singer Mohammed Rafi, at one point of time Aziz was considered the musical heir to his idol for his versatility and range of singing. 
 
Besides Hindi, he sung in Bengali, Odiya and other languages during his career spanning nearly three-and-a-half decades.
 
Some of his memorable Bollywood numbers, solos and duets, include 'My Name Is Lakhan', 'Aap Ke Aa Jaane Se', 'Lal Dupatta Malmal Ka', 'Dil Le Gayi Teri Bindiya', 'Tu Kal Chala Jayege, To Main Kya Karunga', 'Patjhad Sawan Basant Bahar', 'Tu Mujhe Kubool, Main Tujhe Kubool', 'Dil Diya hai, Jaan Bhi Denge, Ae Watan Tere Liye' and 'Behna O, Behna'.
 
IANS
 

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Mammootty, Mohanlal in 60-member team to perform in Abu Dhabi on Dec 7

Mammotty and Mohanlal
Mammotty and Mohanlal
A 60-member team comprising superstars Mammootty , Mohanlal and others of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) will perform in Abu Dhabi on December 7 to raise funds for the Kerala Chief Minister's Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF), an official said.
 
The AMMA executive meeting held here on Saturday finalised the details of the show and was led by its president Mohanlal.
 
Veteran character artist and AMMA treasurer Jagdish told IANS that the team will leave for Abu Dhabi on December 5.
 
"The show is being directed by director T. K. Rajeev Kumar. There will be a one-week rehearsal starting November 28. The duration of the programme would be around five hours and would begin in the evening," said Jagdish
 
Asianet TV is the marketing firm.
 
The other artistes who will take part in the show include Manju Warrier, Nivin Pauly, Dulquar Salman, Innocent and Prithviraj, amongst others.
 
Kerala had devastating floods from May-end to mid-August that claimed nearly 480 lives. The deluge had forced at least 14.50 lakh persons to take refuge in over 3,000 relief camps across the state.
 
Soon after the tragedy, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged all Malayalees to donate one month's salary to the CM's disaster relief fund.
 
IANS
 

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Mumbai police book Alok Nath for rape

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The Mumbai Police have booked film actor Alok Nath on the charge of rape following a complaint lodged by writer-producer Vinta Nanda over a month ago, an official said here on Wednesday.
 
The victim had lodged the complaint with Oshiwara Police on October 17 after Nath hit back by filing a defamation case against her in a Mumbai Magistrate Court.
 
Among other things, Nanda had accused Nath of allegedly raping her nearly 19 years ago when they worked together.
 
Nath had denied all the allegations levelled by the victim and lodged the defamation case demanding Re. 1 as damages and a written apology from her.
 
Earlier this month, the powerful Cine & TV Artistes Association had expelled him after the rape charges came to the fore.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Sabyasachi clarifies Deepika's wedding sari given by her mother

Image of her wedding with Ranveer Singh shared by Deepika Padukone on Twitter on November 15, 2018.
Image of her wedding with Ranveer Singh shared by Deepika Padukone on Twitter on November 15, 2018.
Ace designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee has clarified on social media that Deepika Padukone's sari for her wedding with actor Ranveer Singh was given to him by the actress's mother Ujjala Padukone.
 
Sabyasachi had previously claimed that the red and gold sari for Deepika's Konkani style wedding at the picturesque Lake Como in Italy was designed by the couturier himself.
 
However on Wednesday, Sabyasachi took to Instagram and said that the sari was a gift to Deepika by her mother, which was handed over to the designer. 
 
"As per Konkani tradition, the bride's sari is gifted to her by the mother for her wedding. Deepika's wedding sari was given to us by her mother -- Mrs Ujjala Padukone. We have just received that the sari was bought from Angadi Galleria, Bengaluru and we would like to give them due credit for the same," he wrote.
 
But Sabyasachi's clarification did not go well with Deepika's fans as they started trolling the designer.
 
This was not the first time Sabyasachi forgot to give credit. Last year, at the time of cricketer Virat Kohli and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma's wedding reception, the designer took credit for the Indian skipper's outfit, which was designed by Raghavendra Rathore. 
 
Later Sabyasachi came out with a clarification that they had designed a similar outfit earlier which led to confusion.
 

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Flavours of Indian cinema come alive at 49th IFFI opener

A slight pitter-patter of raindrops here on Tuesday evening made way for a vibrant red carpet roll-out for the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) opening ceremony, which saw a melange of action, romance and music, to bring alive different flavours of cinema, but it failed to touch upon the #MeToo storm.
 
Government dignitaries, Bollywood celebrities like Akshay Kumar, Karan Johar, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Prasoon Joshi, apart from international guests and delegates and an audience full of movie buffs came together at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium for the gala.
 
Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said IFFI was a platform for the younger generation to showcase their talent and for international filmmakers to see India and explore its talent pool.
 
The festival, he said, delves on the past, present and future, as they are screening not just an evergreen Hindi drama like "Sholay" but also discussing the burgeoning world of OTT platforms and its scope.
 
Karan, who hosted a tete-a-tete with Rathore and Akshay "Koffee With Karan" style -- sans the 'coffee' -- also spoke about the "digital revolution" in India.
 
"There's a lot of content on digital space. Now what we have to do is to empower our writers," he said, citing how "other stars" should emulate Akshay in doing "socially relevant films".
 
Other guests from the Indian film world included Rahul Rawail, Mrinal Kulkarni, Hrishitaa Bhatt, Shaji N. Karun, Prasoon Joshi, Randhir Kapoor, Arijit Singh, Poonam Dhillon and Ramesh Sippy among others.
 
Filmmaker Subhash Ghai, who has been accused of drugging and sexually violating a woman -- a claim he has flatly denied -- took a prominent seat at the ceremony even as other film festivals this year took a strong stand against sexual perpetrators in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
 
IFFI has a string of panel discussions this year, but #MeToo seems nowhere in the picture. It was not even spoken about in the opener even as a book titled "Women in Indian Cinema" was unveiled by Governor of Goa Mridula Sinha, Rathore and Sadhna Raut.
 
Instead, there was a segment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision behind planning the 'Statue of Unity' in Gujarat.
 
From the foreign world, Polish writer-director Robert Glnski, "The Aspern Papers" director Julian Landais -- who showcased the trailer of his opening film -- and actors Chin Han, Barbara Meier, Nicholas Hau, Lois Robbins and Tom Fitzpatrick were present at the opening ceremony.
 
Glinski, head of the international jury at the 49th IFFI, won the audience's heart with his 'namaste', and said Goa is where he had come years ago to find his "hippie roots and had a great time".
 
With Israel as its focus country this year, IFFI felicitated veteran Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman with a Lifetime Achievement honour.
 
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"This is the highest award I have ever received. For me, it is sweeter and meaningful because this award is given in India, a country which I have become very much a part of -- a country whose people, culture and vibrant and phenomenal cinema I admire.
 
"There is chemistry between nations, and I believe there's chemistry between Israel and India. I hope this friendship will manifest in collaborating, in co-productions in the field of cinema," Wolman said.
 
He added that a well-curated package of Israeli films for IFFI reflect mini voices of his nation.
 
Meanwhile, reflecting various genres of cinema, the ceremony had a dance-based performance which moved from classical style to more popular numbers. A touch of romance was added by playback singer Shilpa Rao, who effortlessly sang melodious tracks in different languages.
 
The action was brought on stage first by a group of aerial act artistes, and then by Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, who paid a unique tribute to the industry's action heroes by dancing on songs and performing iconic dialogues of actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra.
 
Anchored by Mandira Bedi and Amit Sadh, the show also saw the launch of the web portal of Film Facilitation Office, which will ease out film shootings for Indian as well as international filmmakers in the country.
 
Over its nine-day duration, IFFI 2018 will showcase 212 films from 68 countries, which consist of 2 World Premieres, 16 Academy Award nominated films, 6 Indian rare language films, 3 Indian films competing with 15 international films for the Golden and Silver Peacock awards and more.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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49th IFFI opening ceremony to showcase Indian film industry heritage

The gala opening ceremony of the 49th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here on Tuesday will showcase the theme of New India through a variety of genres of cinema. 
 
The 90-minute programme will incorporate elements and narratives of the rich and diverse kaleidoscope of the Indian film heritage and industry.
 
It will also feature on-stage performances by mainstream Bollywood artistes – with Sonu Sood doing an action-packed set, Shilpa Rao, a romantic bit and dancers opening the ceremony with a mesmerising act.
 
The ceremony will be attended by Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, Union Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Col. (Rtd.) Rajyavardhan Rathore, PWD Minister Sudin Madhav Dhavalikar and Film Certification Appellate Tribunal Chairperson Prasoon Joshi.
 
A host of celebrities will walk the red carpet, giving added colour to the ceremony. They include Akshay Kumar, Karan Johar, Julien Landais, Hrishita Bhatt, Madhur Bhandarkar, Subhash Ghai, Arijit Singh, Ramesh Sippy and Chin Han.
 
The ceremony at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium will go live on DD National at 4.30 pm and will also be streamed live on the YouTube channel of PIB youtube.com/pibindia.
 
The show will witness the launch of the Film Facilitation Office, an initiative by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
 
Glimpses of the festival opening film "The Aspern Papers", which tells a story of obsession, grandeur lost and dreams of Byronic adventures will be screened. The film’s director Julien Landais will address the audience on the occasion.
 
Chairman, International Competition Jury and Polish director Robert Glinski will also share his thoughts. Other jury members -- Adrian Sitaru, Anna Ferraioli Ravel, Tom Fitz Patrick and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra -- will also be present.
 
IFFI 2018 will have 26 feature and 21 non–feature Indian films selected by the Indian Panorama Jury to be screened as part of this section out of the hundreds of entries sent by filmmakers from various parts of the country. 
 
The feature film jury selected the film Olu directed by Shaji N Karun as the opening feature film of Indian Panorama 2018. The non-feature film jury selected the film Kharvas directed by Aditya Suhas Jambhale as the opening non-feature film of Indian Panorama 2018.
 
This edition of the festival will showcase 212 films from over 68 countries which reflect the diversity of taste. International Competition section has 15 films out of which three are Indian. The Competition section itself represents films produced and co-produced by 22 countries.
 
The Country of Focus will be Israel. Ten films, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai, have been selected for the country focus package. The opening film for the Country Focus Section is ‘The Other Story’ by Avi Nesher.
 
A State focus section has been proposed for the 49th IFFI, 2018. This section will focus on the films of one of the Indian States, thus shedding light on the art and culture of that particular state. 
 
Jharkhand has been selected as the State of Focus for 49th IFFI 2018 and Jharkhand Day will be celebrated on November 24, 2018, as part of the festival. Movies in the Jharkhand Package include Death in the Gunj, Ranchi Diaries, Begum Jaan with others.
 
The newly-introduced Sketch on Screen (Animation Film Package) section will screen around three international feature length films in collaboration with Indian studios.
 
Open air screenings have been organized during the festival where a large screen is put up in a vast open area. This year as an extension of the Khelo India Branding, Indian Sports Biopics will be screened at the 49th IFFI. The films included in the section are Gold, Mary Kom, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, 1983, MSD: The untold story and Soorma.
 
The Masterclasses and In-conversation section will feature several renowned celebrities from the film industry including Prasoon Joshi, Dan Wolman, Sreekar Prasad, Anil Kapoor, Sumit Israni, Boney Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Jahnvi Kapoor, David Dhawan, Varun Dhawan, Rohit Dhawan, Jairaj, Kaushik Ganguly, Shaji Karun, Srijit Mukherjee, Sridhar and Sreeram Raghvan, Anupama Chopra, Rajiv Masand, Bhawana Somaaya, Jason Hafford, Meghna Gulzar, Leena Yadav and Gauri Shinde.
 
‘Homages’ section pays tribute to Indian film personalities who have passed away in recent months. This year, homage will be paid to Shashi Kapoor, Sridevi, M Karunanidhi and  Kalpana Lajmi. In the International Homages, tributes will be paid to Terence Marsh, Milos Forman, and Anne V Coates.
 
A Special Package for Visually Impaired Children will be organised with special screenings with audio description. The festival will showcase the movies ‘Sholay’ and ‘Hichki’ under this section. This year there will be a special presentation of Tunisian films.
 
NNN
 

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Neha Dhupia, Angad Bedi blessed with baby girl

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Actress Neha Dhupia and her husband Angad Bedi were blessed with a baby girl on Sunday.
 
According to a statement issued by her publicist, Neha delivered the child early Sunday morning in Womens Hospital here, and both mother and child were "doing great". 
 
Neha and Angad surprised everyone with their hush-hush wedding in May this year. They confirmed Neha's pregnancy in August, a little over three months after their wedding.
 
"Here's to new beginnings... #3ofUs," Neha had posted, sharing a series of photographs where the happy couple is posing, flaunting the baby bump.
 
In one of the images, Angad is cradling the bump, and in one image, he is pointing at it.
 
The pregnancy announcement came after months of speculation, and several appearances in flowing and loose attire making the paparazzi wonder whether it was an attempt to hide the bump.
 
"Ha! Turns out this rumour is true," Angad had posted on Instagram while confirming the speculations. 
 
IANS

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