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Sonali Bendre says diagnosed with high grade cancer

Sonali Bendre Photo: Twitter @iamsonalibendre
Sonali Bendre Photo: Twitter @iamsonalibendre
Well-known Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre Behl has said that she has been diagnosed with a high-grade cancer and that she is undergoing medical treatment in New York.
 
"Sometimes, when you least expect it, life throws you a curveball. I have recently  been diagnosed with a high-grade cancer that has metastised, which we frankly did not see coming," the actress said in a post on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"A niggling pain led to some tests, which led to this unexpected diagnosis. My family and close friends have rallied around me, providng the best support system that anyone can ask for. I am very blessed and thankful for each of them," she said.
 
Sonali, 43, said there was no better way to tackle the situation than to take swift and immedite action.
 
"And so, as advised by my doctors, I am currently undergoing a course of treatment in New York. We remain optimistic and I am determined to fight every step of the way. What has helped has been the immense outpouring of love and support I've received over the past few days, for which I am very grateful.
 
"I'm taking this battle head on, knowing I have the strength of my family and friends behind me," she added.
 
Sonali started out as a model and made her film debut in 1994 in Aag opposite Govinda. Among her other movies are Diljale, Bhai, Sarfarosh, Zakhm, Duplicate, Hum Saath Saath Hain and Anahat. 
 
In recent years, she has appeared as a judge on television shows, including Indian Idol on Sony. 
 
She got married to filmmaker Goldie Behl in 2002 and the couple has a son. Sonali took a break from films for some years before acting in Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara! as her comeback movie.
 
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SC pulls up Rajinikath's wife for not repaying loan

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up Latha Rajinikanth, the wife of Tamil superstar-turned-politician Rajinikanth, for not complying with its order and her undertaking to repay the outstanding amount of Rs 6.2 crore to an advertising agency.
 
Latha Rajinikanth is one of the Directors of the Mediaone Global Entertainment Ltd. that had taken Rs 14.90 crore loan from Bengaluru-based Ad-Bureau Advertising to finish post-production work of 2014 Rajinikanth-Deepika Padukone starrer film "Kochadaiiyaan", directed by Rajinikanth's younger daughter Soundarya. The amount outstanding is Rs 6.2 crore.
 
Counsel for Latha told the court that she had not authorised the lawyer to give such an undertaking before the court earlier.
 
At this, the bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R. Banumathi said: "We do not like people playing around with court's order. 
 
"The long and short of it is that you (Latha) have not paid and the law will take its own course. We will pass order."
 
It also observed that it did not "think that this is a case for quashing". 
 
Posting the matter for July 10 for further hearing, it said: "We had kept the matter pending (on February 20) because you had said that you will pay the amount."
 
On February 20, the bench while keeping the petition by the advertising agency pending for three months, had said that Mediaone would pay the amount in three months failing which Latha Rajinikanth would bear the burden of payment.
 
The bench in its February order had stated: "Special leave petition is kept pending for three months. Within the aforesaid period of three months if the company - Mediaone Global Entertainment Ltd - does not pay the balance dues, the respondent-accused (Latha Rajanikanth) has undertaken before the court to pay the amount due."
 
The bench was hearing a plea filed by the Ad-Bureau Advertising against the March 10, 2016 order of the Karnataka High Court quashing the proceedings against Latha, which were initiated after a trial court order.
 
She had approached the high court after the trial court had referred the private complaint filed by the advertising agency to police for investigation.
 
IANS
 
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Dileep row: 14 actresses say no to joining 'unfair' AMMA

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
As many as 14 actresses on Sunday said they will not join the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) as it lacks any fairness, a week after the members of the association revoked the suspension of actor Dileep, accused of kidnapping an actress.
 
The 14 active members of the recently-formed Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) took the decision even as superstar Mohanlal, who heads AMMA, said on Saturday that there was no vested interest in taking back Dileep.
 
Also, two Kannada film bodies -- the Kannada Film Industry and the Film Industry for Rights & Equality -- on Sunday wrote to AMMA expressing their displeasure in the manner in which Dileep's suspension was revoked.
 
In a Facebook post, the actresses, including Amala Akkineni, Archana Padmini, Divyaprabha, Sajitha Madathil and Jolly Chirayath, wrote: "It has been a year since the WCC was formed by women from various facets of the Malayalam film industry and we decided to become members as we knew the issues of women will be addressed by WCC.
 
"We decided not to take membership in AMMA because when there is no pay parity between males and females in the industry, all have to pay an entry membership fee of Rs 1 lakh which is not justified.
 
"It has become difficult to believe the organisation, given their stand towards the victim in the actress kidnap case... besides it's tough to go forward with any sort of meaningful discussion on women issues." 
 
The actresses said that after realising that there is nothing positive in the horizon, "as no meaningful discussion can take place because it's caught between certain groups, fans associations and it fails to have a humane approach towards issues concerning women, we are unable to take membership in AMMA".
 
The WCC has been vocal about the issue since last Sunday when the annual general body meeting of AMMA decided to revoke the suspension of Dileep ordered last year, saying it did not follow the guidelines of AMMA.
 
Earlier, Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambisan and Geetu Mohandas, all of whom are leading lights in the Malayalam film industry, resigned from AMMA.
 
This was followed by actresses Revathy, Padmapriya, and A. Parvathy writing to AMMA General Secretary Edavela Babu, demanding an emergency executive meeting of AMMA on July 13 or 14.
 
IANS
 
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India gets its 37th UNESCO World Heritage Site

India's nomination of the "Victorian and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai" has been inscribed on  UNESCO's World Heritage list.
 
The decision was taken at the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO at Manama in Bahrain today. 
 
As recommended by the World Heritage Committee, India accepted the renaming of the ensemble as “Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai”, an official press release said.
 
The release said India has been successful in securing the inscription of the "Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai” on UNESCO's World Heritage List under Criteria (ii) and (iv) as defined in the UNESCO's Operational Guidelines.    
 
This makes Mumbai city the second city in India after Ahmedabad to be inscribed on the World Heritage List. In the past five years alone, India has managed to get inscribed seven of its properties/sites on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. India now has overall 37 World Heritage Inscriptions with 29 Cultural, 7 Natural and 1 Mixed sites. While India stands second largest in number after China in terms of number of World Heritage properties in ASPAC (Asia and Pacific) region, it is overall sixth in the world.
 
Union Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma has congratulated the residents of Mumbai and the entire country for this landmark achievement. In his statement, the Minister said that the international recognition to the heritage precinct of the city of Mumbai is a matter of great pride to the nation and it will boost the local economy in a number of ways. He added that this achievement is expected to give a tremendous fillip to domestic and international tourism leading to increased employment generation, creation of world-class infrastructure and augmentation of sale of local handicrafts, handlooms and heritage memorabilia.
 
The Ensemble comprises two architectural styles, the 19th century collection of Victorian structures and the 20th century Art Deco buildings along the sea, conjoined by means of the historical open space of the Oval Maidan. Together, this architectural ensemble represents the most remarkable collection of Victorian and Art Deco buildings in the world which forms the unique character of this urban setting, unparalleled in the world, the release said.
 
The Ensemble consists of 94 buildings primarily of 19th century Victorian Gothic revival and early 20th century Art Deco style of architecture with the Oval Maidan in the centre. The 19th century Victorian buildings form part of the larger Fort precinct situated to the east of the Oval Maidan. These public buildings include the Old Secretariat (1857-74), University Library and Convention Hall (1874-78), the Bombay High Court (1878), the Public Works Department Office (1872), Watson’s Hotel (1869), David Sasoon Library (1870), the Elphinstone College(1888), etc. The Art Deco styled buildings to the west of the Oval Maidan were raised in early 20th century on the newly reclaimed lands at Marine Drive and symbolised the shift in expression to represent contemporary aspirations.
 
The inscription has been done under Criteria (ii) and (iv) as defined in the UNESCO's Operational Guidelines. Criterion (ii) refers to the important interchange of human values, over a span of time on development of architecture, monumental arts, town planning and landscape while Criterion (iv) refers to being an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates a significant stage (s) in human history. This achievement is especially remarkable in the view of the successive inscription of another Indian city after Ahmedabad last year.
 
In addition, 42 sites from the country figures in the Tentative List of World Heritage and the Ministry of Culture would be recommending one property every year for nomination to UNESCO, the release added.
 
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Will not return till cleared, Dileep tells AMMA after actresses complain

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
With the row over revocation of his suspension from Malayali actors' body AMMA heating up after three top actresses demanded its urgent meeting to discuss the matter, actor Dileep on Thursday said he will not return to the association till he gets cleared in the case of abducting and sexually assaulting an actress.
 
In a letter to Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) General Secretary Edavela Babu, Dileep, who is currently out on bail after being in jail for 85 days, said that he has learned from the media that the AMMA general body meeting held on Sunday held that the Executive Committee decision to suspend him was not done as per the by-laws and would not stand.
 
"I am happy that such a decision has been taken, but now that I am facing a case in which I have done nothing wrong, I do not wish to be active in any body till I come clean. I am deeply pained in hearing various criticism against AMMA in my name. I wish the newly elected committee of AMMA all the best," said Dileep in the letter, a copy of which has been posted in the public domain.
 
Dileep's action came after top actresses Revathy Asha Kelunni, Padmapriya Janakiraman and A. Parvathy wrote to Edavela Babu and demanded an emergency executive meeting to be called on July 13 or 14 to discuss his reinstatement.
 
The open letter was also posted on the Facebook page of the newly-formed Women in Cinema Collective (WCC).
 
As women members of AMMA, the three actresses expressed concern over its Sunday decision to bring back an expelled member who was involved in an alleged assault of another women member from the same organisation.
 
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"At this meeting, a very crucial decision was taken... Considering the gravity of the circumstances and the matter being sub judice, it is shocking that such an important matter was decided without listing it on the agenda or being discussed among all members prior to the meeting.
 
"AMMA had publicly pledged full support to the member who survived the assault but the decision taken for reinstating the expelled member who is now a chargesheeted suspect goes against the promise made to the survivor," they said.
 
As a result, on Wednesday, "the survivor resigned and in solidarity with her three other women members have also resigned", the actresses said.
 
"This does not reflect well on AMMA," it said.
 
Earlier, the Kerala State Women's Commission slammed superstar Mohanlal, who heads AMMA, over the reinstatement of Dileep who is an accused in the February 2017 actress kidnapping case.
 
This was the first decision taken by the new committee under Mohanlal.
 
Kerala Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty on Thursday expressed surprise in the manner in which AMMA revoked Dileep's suspension.
 
"It should not be forgotten that actors are icons and they should be perfect role models, but this decision that they took is baffling," she said.
 
All eyes are on superstar Mammootty, who had announced the decision to remove Dileep from AMMA. However, he is not an office bearer any more.
 
IANS
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Revathy, Padmapriya, Parvathy slam AMMA, demand meet

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
Three actresses on Thursday demanded an urgent meeting of the top artistes' body AMMA to discuss the controversial reinstatement of actor Dileep, who has been accused of abducting and sexually assaulting an actress.
 
Revathy Asha Kelunni, Padmapriya Janakiraman and A. Parvathy wrote to the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes General Secretary Edavela Babu and demanded an emergency executive meeting to be called on July 13 or 14.
 
The open letter was also posted on the Facebook page of the newly formed Women in Cinema Collective (WCC).
 
As women members of AMMA, the three actresses expressed concern over its Sunday decision to bring back an expelled member who was involved in an alleged assault of another women member from the same organisation.
 
"At this meeting, a very crucial decision was taken... Considering the gravity of the circumstances and the matter being sub-judice, it is shocking that such an important matter was decided without listing it on the agenda or being discussed among all members prior to the meeting.
 
"AMMA had publicly pledged full support to the member who survived the assault but the decision taken for reinstating the expelled member who is now a chargesheeted suspect goes against the promise made to the survivor," the letter said.
 
As a result, on Wednesday, "the survivor resigned and in solidarity with her three other women members have also resigned", the actresses said. 
 
"This does not reflect well on AMMA," it said.
 
Earlier, the Kerala State Women's Commission slammed superstar Mohanlal, who heads AMMA, over the reinstatement of the actor who is an accused in the February 2017 actress kidnapping case which took place in Kochi. This landed Dileep in jail for 85 days.
 
This was the first decision taken by the new committee under Mohanlal.
 
Kerala Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty on Thursday expressed surprise in the manner in which AMMA revoked Dileep's suspension.
 
"It should not be forgotten that actors are icons and they should be perfect role models, but this decision that they took is baffling."
 
Everyone is now awaiting superstar Mammootty's decision. It was Mammootty who had announced the decision to remove Dileep from AMMA. However, Mammootty is not an office bearer any more.
 
IANS
 
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4 Malayalam actresses resign from AMMA over Dileep row

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
The row over the reinstatement of accused actor Dileep into an artistes body took a turn on Wednesday with four leading actresses, including the kidnap victim, resigning from the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA).
 
Dileep is an accused in the February 2017 actress kidnapping case which took place in Kochi, that landed him in a Kerala jail for 85 days.
 
Those who have decided to resign include the victim, besides Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambisan and Geetu Mohandas, all of whom are leading lights in the Malayalam film industry.
 
The decision to resign was posted in the official Facebook site of the newly formed Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), led by Dileep's former wife Manju Warrier.
 
The WCC had earlier also expressed its displeasure, soon after Dileep was reinstated at the annual general body meeting held in Kochi on Sunday.
 
The victim in the kidnapping case noted in the post: "In the past when this star had thwarted to keep me away from films by denying opportunities to me, I did approach the organisation, but no action came up. 
 
"And now when I have gone through very tough times, the organisation appears to be protective of this person and hence I feel there is no point in being a member of this organisation."
 
Remya Nambisan wrote that she has no other way but to resign from AMMA as it has taken the most irresponsible decision with regards to the trials and tribulations faced by her co-actress.
 
"AMMA has taken a very inhuman stand against my actress colleague and hence I am resigning...," said Nambisan.
 
"I feel I should have resigned long back because AMMA does not want any member to question their decisions. I cannot stand such acts again...," said Geetu Mohandas, a former executive member of AMMA.
 
Rima Kallingal in her post said: "I decided to resign for the upcoming generation who will be able to pursue their profession without making any compromises." 
 
Late thespian actor Thilakan's daughter, Sonia Thilakan also slammed AMMA for having different standards for Dileep and her father, who was suspended in 2010 for criticising AMMA.
 
IANS
 
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Row over revoking of Malayalam actor Dileep's suspension continues

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
After an actresses' organisation expressed its displeasure over the reinstatement of accused Malayalam actor Dileep's membership of the Association of Malayalam Movie Actors (AMMA), political leaders have also slammed AMMA for the move.
 
Senior Congress MLA P.T. Thomas, who was one of the first to know about the actress kidnapping case in February 2017, and had reached the victim's side before informing the police, told the media on Tuesday that AMMA should reconsider its decision on Dileep.
 
"It is now very clear that only a handful of the artistes were genuinely with the victim. Those leading lights who took part in the protest meetings held the next day of the kidnap attempt in Kochi, were only shedding crocodile tears. 
 
"Not a single one of them was supporting the victim. It's now time for the Kerala Assembly and the state government to react," said Thomas.
 
The Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), irked by AMMA's decision to revoke the suspension of Dileep who is an accused in the actress kidnapping case, had put out a Facebook post on Monday.
 
"If you have decided to revoke the suspension... what has changed after he was suspended?" the WCC asked AMMA-led by Malayalam superstar Mohanlal.
 
"Do you know that you have decided to take back someone who is alleged to have been involved in a rape and the trial is yet to finish... don't you feel anything at all?"
 
Hugely popular actress Rima Kallingal and her husband director Ashiq Abu were the first to voice their displeasure.
 
Many were surprised by the manner in which around 385 artistes of AMMA who met in Kochi last Sunday, did not utter a word when actress Urmilla Unni asked if Dileep will be reinstated. None spoke up or against it as Dileep was taken back into the fold.
 
In fact AMMA members want showcause notices to be given to Dileep's former wife Manju Warrier, Parvathy, Remya Nambisan and Rima Kallingal of the WCC, who are also part of AMMA.
 
However, AMMA's general secretary Edavela Babu has maintained a silence.
 
IANS
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Irrfan Khan, Sridevi win top honours at IIFA 2018

 
IIFA Awards 2018: Ranbir Kapoor wows audience with his performance
 
 
Actor Irrfan Khan and late veteran actress Sridevi were named the Best Actors at the 19th edition of the IIFA Awards for their remarkable work in films "Hindi Medium" and "Mom", respectively.
 
At a grand event on Sunday here at the Siam Niramit theatre, a story of an ambitious and enterprising housewife, "Tumhari Sulu" bagged the Best Picture honour, while Saket Chaudhary took back the Best Director Award.
 
Late Sridevi's husband-producer Boney Kapoor took the award for her performance in "Mom". He was emotional as he received the award from actress Kriti Sanon.
 
"I dedicate this award to the entire team of 'Moma'," said an emotional Boney.
 
The award function also honoured late actors Vinod Khanna, Shashi Kapoor and Sridevi.
 
Vinod's award was accepted by veteran filmmaker Ramesh Sippy. Rishi Kapoor took Shashi Kapoor's award. While actor Anil Kapoor and Boney broke down in tears while talking about Sridevi at the gala.
 
"I have mixed emotions today. I miss her every minute and second of my life. I still feel she is around here....I want you all to support Janhvi like you supported her mother..." said a teary eyed Boney.
 
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Veteran actor actor Anupam Kher was honoured with the Outstanding Achievement award by Anil.
 
"It is a great feeling when your own peers celebrate your achievements and as I have been saying, this is just the interval point of what I am doing and my seconds half of journey starts now. It started with my 500th film....I told myself this is the interval point with The Big Sick and after that I have done 15 films in the last one year both international and national," Anupam told IANS.
 
The 2000-seater Siam Niramit theatre saw thousands of Bollywood fanatics coming to the event to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars.
 
A string of A-listers like Ranbir Kapoor, Varun, Arjun, Kriti Sanon, Bobby Deol and Shraddha set the stage on fire with their power-packed and electrifying performances.
 
Varun danced on numbers like "Sau Tarah Ke", "Tama Tama," and "High Rated Gabru".
 
Bobby danced with Romanian TV presenter and singer Iulia Vantur on numbers like "Gupt Gupt, "Soldier soldier", "Tera Rang Balle Balle" and tracks from his latest release "Race 3".
 
Kriti, Arjun and Shraddha also danced to tracks from their films respectively.
 
IANS
 
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Mohanlal elected new president of Malayalam actors body

Mohanlal (Photo: IANS)
Mohanlal (Photo: IANS)
Malayalam superstar Mohanlal was on Sunday unanimously elected the new President of the Association of Malayalam Movie Actors (AMMA), replacing Innocent, the hugely popular comedian and CPI-M backed Lok Sabha member from Chalakuddy, who was at the helm for the past 18 years.
 
Unlike the past meetings of the AMMA, the media was kept away and the usual press meeting after the annual general body meeting was not held while members were strictly instructed to keep a distance from the media.
 
Mohanlal's election was a foregone conclusion as there was no other candidate when the last date of filing nominations closed early this month.
 
Edavela Babu is the new General Secretary while comedian and character artiste Jagdish was brought in as Treasurer.
 
Why the AMMA is upset with the media is could be media's handling of the now infamous actress kidnap case which took place in Kochi last year in which superstar Dileep is an accused and was in jail for 85 days, before he secured bail.
 
However in Sunday's meeting, the first annual general body meeting after Dileep's arrest, took a decision to revoke the suspension of Dileep, on the grounds that it was done by a hurriedly- called executive meeting which was against the bye-laws of AMMA.
 
But Dileep was absent, so was upcoming superstar Prithviraj, who is part of a group in AMMA that opposed the supremacy of superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal.
 
This is the first time in several years that Mammootty is also not an office bearer and on Sunday, he politely turned down a request from outgoing President Innocent that he should come forward to become an office-bearer.
 
IANS
 
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Blame myself for my disappearance: Bobby Deol

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Actor Bobby Deol, who made a comeback in Bollywood after a four-year gap with "Race 3", blames himself for his disappearance from the big screen.

Bobby had tasted success with the likes of "Gupt: The Hidden Truth", "Soldier" and "Ajnabee" in the 1990s and also faced duds like "Shakalaka Boom Boom" among many others. He was last seen in "Yamla Pagla Deewana 2" in 2013, alongside his father and veteran actor Dharmendra and sibling Sunny Deol.

"I only blame myself for disappearing in between. I had kind of given up. I felt demotivated, disheartened but looking around at my family I realised I cannot let them down.

"I have to work, get on my feet and do it myself because there is nobody who can help you," Bobby told IANS.

The 49-year-old actor says his disappearance from the silver screen did affect him a lot.

"My mark disappeared from the industry. There was no space for me in it when I always believed there would be...," he added.

Despite successes like "Bicchoo", "Apne", "Jhoom Barabar Jhoom", why couldn't he capitalise on his stardom?

"I was ignorant and didn't realise that I had achieved that kind of a stardom in my career.

"Now I wish, I wasn't that ignorant and hadn't let it go. But never say never, work hard and you can always achieve things in life," he said.

He says he went through tough times and could not fathom what was happening.

"I didn't realise that competition had increased. I know there is competition now and I am preparing myself," said Bobby, who will be seen performing at the 19th edition of the International Indian Films Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards main gala, which will be held on Sunday.

The actor has been a part of the Hindi film industry for over two decades. He made his debut with "Barsaat" in 1995.

Talking about his journey, Bobby said: "It has been amazing. I have seen the highs and the lows. So, I have experienced everything...

"I'm just excited that it's a fresh beginning for me because for every actor every Friday is a make or break and it's always going to be like that no matter how successful you are or not."

Bobby hopes to have a fraction of his father's stardom one day.

"I am blessed to be a child from a star family. My dad is a legend and I am proud to be his son...We have achieved things differently and what he has achieved is out of bounds for me but it's an inspiration, with hard work I can at least achieve a fraction of it," he said.

Currently, Bobby is excited about the success of his latest release "Race 3", which has crossed the Rs 100 crore mark at the box-office.

"I knew this film will be appreciated and what makes me happier is that people have appreciated my work which is really encouraging…," he added.

IANS

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It's not a major injury: Dhanush

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After reports about Dhanush getting injured on the sets of "Maari 2" surfaced, the actor-filmmaker-singer took to Twitter on Saturday to update his fans and followers about his health. He says it was not a major injury.
 
He assured his followers that he is fine. 
 
"My beloved dear fans ... It's not a major injury and I'm well," Dhanush tweeted. 
 
"Thank you so much for your concern prayers and love. I am forever grateful. Love you all. My pillars of strength," he added. 
 
According to reports, Dhanush was shooting for a fight sequence with the film's antagonist Tovino Thomas, and got injured while performing a stunt sequence. 
 
Directed by Balaji Mohan, "Maari 2" is the sequel to the hit film, which released in 2015. 
 
IANS
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Sahitya Akademi names winners of Yuva Puraskar, Bal Sahitya Puruskar for 2018

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The Sahitya Akademi, the national academy of letters, on Friday named the 23 winners of its Bal Sahitya Puraskar and 21 winners of the Yuva Puraskar for the year 2018.
 
Those who have won the Yuva Puraskar awards for their collections of poetry include Samragnee Bandhyopadhyay (Bengali), Esha Dadawala (Gujarati), Aasteek Vajpeyi (Hindi), Wilma Bantwal (Konkani), Umesh Paswan (Maithili), Tongbram Amarjit Singh (Manipuri), Jayadratha Suna (Odiya), Dushyant Joshi (Rajasthani), Muni Rajsundar Vijay (Sanskrit) and Bala Sudhakar Mouli (Telugu).
 
The winners of the award for their collections of short stories include Bipasha Bora (Assamese), Padmanabha Bhat (Kannada), Dheeba Nazir (Kashmiri), Chhuden Kabimu (Nepali), Rani Murmu (Santali), Suneel Krishnan (Tamil ) and Shahnaz Rahman (Urdu).
 
Those who have won the Yuva Puraskar for their novels iinclude Amal (Malayalam), Navnath Gore (Marathi), Gurpreet Sehji (Punjabi) and for plays, Champa Chetnani (Sindhi).
 
No book was "found suitable" in the English language category. The award for Bodo will be declared at a later date, while no award has been announced for Dogri.
 
The Yuva Puraskar relates to books published by an author of the age of 35 and below. The award consists of a casket containing an engraved copper plaque and a cheque of Rs. 50,000. The awards will be presented to the writers at a function to be held later this year, a press release from the Akademi said.
 
The Bal Sahitya Puraskar are given for children's literature. The awards announced on Friday relate to books first published during the five years between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016.  They will be conferred at a function on November 14, which is celebrated as Children's Day, being the birth anniversary of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. 
 
The winners include Jugallochan Das (Assamese), Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay (Bengali), Sitaram Basumatary (Bodo), Easterine Kire (English), Chandrakant Sheth (Gujarati), Divik Ramesh (Hindi), Kanchyani Sharanappa Shivasangappa (Kannada), Zareef Ahmad Zareef (Kashmiri), Kumud Bhiku Naik (Konkani), Vaidya Nath Jha (Maithili), P.K. Gopi (Malayalam) and Khangembam Shamungou (Manipuri). 
 
Others named for the awards are Ratnakar Matkari (Marathi), Bhim Pradhan (Nepali), Birendra Mohanty (Odia), Tarsem(Punjabi), C.L. Sankhla (Rajasthani), Sampadanand Mishra (Sanskrit), Laxminarayan Hansda (Santali), Kalpana Ashok Chellani (Sindhi), Kriungai Sethupathy (Tamil), Naramshetti Umamaheswar Rao (Telugu) and Rais Siddiqui (Urdu).
 
The award in the Dogri language category will be announced at a later date, the release said.
 
The awards were recommended by the respective juries representing 22 Indian languages and approved by the Executive Board of the Akademi which met here on Friday under the chairmanship of its president, Dr. Chandrashekhar Kambar.
 
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Being raised by single mother has been inspiring: Miss India World 2018

Femina Miss India 1st RunnerUp 2018 Meenakshi Chaudhary, Miss India World Anukreethy Vas and Femina Miss India 2nd RunnerUp Shreya Rao Kamavarapu 2018 at the Grand finale of Miss India 2018 in Mumbai on June 19, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
Femina Miss India 1st RunnerUp 2018 Meenakshi Chaudhary, Miss India World Anukreethy Vas and Femina Miss India 2nd RunnerUp Shreya Rao Kamavarapu 2018 at the Grand finale of Miss India 2018 in Mumbai on June 19, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
The newly crowned Miss India World Anukreethy Vas -- who works for the education of transgenders -- feels a smile keeps everyone going, something she has learnt from her mother, who raised her single-handedly. The 19-year-old feels that being raised by a single mother was challenging, but being strong in every situation kept them going.
 
"The challenges were there forever starting from school because I am not from a city-based place. I studied in Trichy (Tiruchirappalli) which is not really a city... But I was very strong because my mother didn't let me down at any point. She used to say, 'You are a strong person. How can you cry?' and that's how she brought me up," Anukreethy told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
 
"I have never seen her low. She has a lot of problems herself but she never showed that to me and that is how I was brought up. Even if I had something inside me, I never expressed it to the other person because I feel that a smile is one thing that keeps the other person going. This is what I learnt from her.
 
"She inspired me in every way and she has been a great role model," added the beauty queen, whose mother is an IT professional named Seleena.
 
Anukreethy is currently pursuing Bachelor of Arts in French at Chennai's Loyola College to become an interpreter. She is also a state-level athlete, whose aspiration is to become a supermodel. Her faith in destiny keeps her confident at all times and this reflected well while she was announced the winner on Tuesday night.
 
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Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar crowned Anukreethy at the gala, where Meenakshi Chaudhary from Haryana was adjudged first runner-up and second runner-up was Shreya Rao from Andhra Pradesh.
 
Anukreethy calls herself a tomboy and loves to ride a bike. But more than that, she is actively involved in giving education to transgenders.
 
"I work for the transgender education. One of my school friends was transgender and whose family abandoned her. That struck me about this topic. I was helping an orphanage and NGO with the education of their children.
 
"In 2015, I associated with an NGO, and the main area of work was education of transgender children. We are now being able to adopt 30 transgenders and educate them," she told IANS. 
 
As of now, she is "really happy" about her victory at the Miss India contest.
 
"I will put my best to get the crown again," she said, referring to the Miss World crown which Manushi brought back to India long after Priyanka Chopra won it in 2000.
 
So after the sudden fame, is she going to miss all the normal things that she enjoys doing?
 
"Not really. I still have a normal life. My friends back home are supportive. Yes, just the responsibilities have been added, but rest is normal," said Anukreethy, who is currently not focussed on Bollywood.
 
IANS
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Tamil Nadu girl Anukreethy Vas wins Miss India World 2018 title

Femina Miss India 1st RunnerUp 2018 Meenakshi Chaudhary, Miss India World Anukreethy Vas and Femina Miss India 2nd RunnerUp Shreya Rao Kamavarapu 2018 at the Grand finale of Miss India 2018 in Mumbai on June 19, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
Femina Miss India 1st RunnerUp 2018 Meenakshi Chaudhary, Miss India World Anukreethy Vas and Femina Miss India 2nd RunnerUp Shreya Rao Kamavarapu 2018 at the Grand finale of Miss India 2018 in Mumbai on June 19, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
All of 19, Anukreethy Vas from Tamil Nadu's Trichy, triumphed over contestants from all over India to clinch the Femina Miss India World 2018 title, succeeding Manushi Chhillar who brought home the coveted Miss World crown back to the country for the first time since 2000.
 
Anukreethy, raised by a single mother, was crowned at a star-studded grand finale of the beauty contest on Tuesday night at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Indoor Stadium here. 
 
Meenakshi Chaudhary from Haryana was the runner-up and Shreya Rao from Andhra Pradesh was the second runner-up.
 
A student of Chennai's Loyola College, Anukreethy is pursuing BA in French to become an interpreter, but she works closely with an NGO for the education of transgenders -- a cause close to her heart.
 
She wishes to become a supermodel as she loves facing the camera, but Bollywood is not her focus right now. Her eyes are set on winning the Miss World crown for India again, Anukreethy told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
 
The Femina Miss India show saw participants proving their aptitude by facing some tricky questions from the judges' panel, which included Bobby Deol, Kunal Kapoor, Malaika Arora, fashion designer Gaurav Gupta and cricketer Irfan Pathan, along with Manushi.
 
The event was hosted by Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar and actor Ayushmann Khurrana. Bollywood was prominently present at the grand finale as Jacqueline Fernandez set the stage on fire by shaking a leg on "Desi Girl".
 
Dancing diva and actress Madhuri Dixit Nene performed a beautiful dance number during the India round, with her co-dancers presenting various forms of Indian classical dance. She also hummed a few lines from her latest Marathi release "Bucket List" during an interaction with the hosts.
 
Kareena Kapoor Khan looked ravising in her stage performance on "Tareefa" from her latest released film "Veere Di Wedding".
 
All the selected participants were groomed by Neha Dhupia, Rakul Preet Singh, Pooja Chopra and Pooja Hegde.
 
The organising team of the beauty pageant toured all 30 states (including Delhi) of the country and crowned one representative from each state, all aspiring for the coveted Miss India crown.
 
IANS
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Rapper XXXTentacion shot dead in Florida

 
Rapper XXXTentacion shot dead in Florida
 
 
Rapper XXXTentacion was shot and killed during an apparent robbery in Broward County in Florida in the United States on Monday, police said.
 
The 20-year-old, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was leaving a motorsports store shortly before 4 p.m. on Monday when two men in a dark coloured SUV shot and killed him in an apparent robbery, CNN quoted Keyla Concepcion of Broward County sheriff department as saying.
 
Broward County deputies are actively looking for the two men and asking anyone who witnessed the shooting to come forward, the officer said.
 
XXXTentacion, a native of Plantation in Florida, rocketed to fame after his song "Look at Me" went viral on social media and audio distribution platform SoundCloud in 2016.
 
He went on to be featured in XXL magazine's 2017 Freshman Class alongside other up-and-coming artistes.
 
His latest album "?" premiered at No. 1 when it was released in March, according to Billboard's website. The album's single "Sad!" peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 15 weeks on the charts, according to Billboard.
 
At the time of his death, he was awaiting trial for a domestic violence incident involving his pregnant girlfriend, according to court documents. 
 
He had been under house arrest for a time while he awaited trial on battery and harassment charges. The house arrest was lifted in March, according to Miami-Dade court documents.
 
XXXTentacion also stirred controversy. 
 
His September 2017 music video for the viral hit "Look at Me" sparked backlash for staging a scene depicting XXXTentacion lynching a young white boy. 
 
The video also referenced flashpoints in the national debate on race such as the 1991 Rodney King beating, the lynching in Mississippi of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955, the 2014 Ferguson, Missouri riots, the police shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota in 2016 and the 2017 Virginia violence.
 
At the end of the video, XXXTentacion spoke about violence and American youth.
 
IANS
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I enjoy being in front of the camera: Manushi Chillar

Manushi Chillar
Manushi Chillar

Every beauty pageant winner finds her next move to Bollywood, so will Miss World 2017 Manushi Chillar, who is going to give away her Miss India title to her successor on Tuesday night and the Miss World crown later this year, do the same? She says though she has discovered her love for the camera of late, her Bollywood decision is something she would like to leave for the time being.

"I still have six months to go as Miss World. I haven't completed my college and I am also learning something every day. This industry was something I have never seen and I don't know anything about it. I was not even a person who watched a lot of movies. So for me, it has been a learning experience," Manushi told IANS on phone from Mumbai when asked about her plans for Bollywood now that she is going to hand over the crown.

"I do enjoy being in front of the camera and that is something new I have discovered. With all these changes that are happening in my life, I try to take things as they come. When such a situation (Bollywood offers) will come when I have to make a choice, I will know a definite answer," added the 21-year-old.

While she was still pursuing her course in medicine in an all-girls medical college in Haryana's Sonipat district, Manushi was crowned Miss World 2017 at a glittering ceremony in the seaside resort city of Sanya in China.

Manushi, whose family belongs to Haryana and lives in the capital, is going to perform at a glittering ceremony on Tuesday when her successor will be chosen at the Miss India contest. From Bollywood, stars like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez and Madhuri Dixit Nene will add glamour to the show with their performances.

Actor Ayushmann Khurrana and filmmaker Karan Johar will host the beauty pageant's finale, while Manushi along with Irrfan Pathan, K.L. Rahul, Kunal Kapoor and Malaika Arora will be the judges.

On her expectations from the contestants, Manushi said: "I think there is no set formula and there is no one path that can be taken to the crown as everyone has their own way. Even when you look at past winners of Miss World, everyone was unique. So you can't give a set example but all I can tell them is to learn as much as they can and be themselves."

Manushi says the only advice she wants to give to the contestants is "to be able to present whoever they are in the best way possible at an international platform".

"We do have a lot of expectations from India. It's going to be a tough one for whosoever wins," she said.

A gifted poet, painter and Kuchipudi dancer, Manushi wants to be a cardiac surgeon and has been associated with a project for menstrual hygiene among women.

Talking about how she plans to take that ahead after her Miss World commitments get over, she said: "I was largely doing that when I was in college... I am taking the initiative ahead to Kenya and South Africa. It's not something that we are spreading across the country but around the globe. Even if I pass on the Miss World crown, I know I will still be associating with it.

"Globally also, the Miss World team loved the idea and that is why they are associated with so many continents who are willing to start similar initiatives in their country. It is going to go on."

IANS

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Kangana Ranaut becomes face of Vogue Wedding Show 2018

Kangana Ranaut
Kangana Ranaut

Actress Kangana Ranaut has been roped in as the face of the coming sixth edition of The Vogue Wedding Show (VWS).

"It's totally incredible to be the face of the sixth edition of the Vogue Wedding Show. I had a great time shooting with all the gorgeous outfits and jewellery and if the roster of the main event is anything to go by, this is a definite must-visit for everybody with a wedding on their mind," Kangana said in a statement to IANS.

Held in partnership with Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris, the sixth edition of the specially curated event is poised to be bigger this season. The three-day wedding exhibition will start from August 3 at the Taj Palace hotel here.

Ace designers like Anita Dongre, Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Tarun Tahiliani, Gaurav Gupta and Rahul Mishra will be available for personal consultations.

The ‘By Invitation Only' luxury fair will also offer invitees the opportunity to meet with wedding specialists, renowned jewellers and other category leaders. These include a workshop on styling, where celebrity style mentor Anaita Shroff Adajania will share contemporary style tips and advice for brides and grooms.

Make-up specialist Namrata Soni will break down facts and myths and will instruct attendees on how to wear make-up that's ideal for all kinds of bridal looks. And wellness professional Sumaya Dalmia will tell brides-to-be how to look and feel their best through fitness and healthy living.

On the fest this year, Priya Tanna, Editor-in-Chief, Vogue India, said: "For the sixth edition of our three-day long wedding showcase, we have again brought together a select gathering of experts, brands and services to create the wedding of your dreams."

Also, a dedicated space will house a ‘Sari Pavilion' comprising saris from different regions of the country such as Naina Jain, Palam Silks, Ratanshi Kheraj Sarees, Latha Puttanna, and Vani Anand.

IANS

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Sculptor Valsan Koorma Kolleri leads Kochi Biennale's 'Master Practice Studios'

Young Ghaziabad-based artist Manisha Chandel, with her half-finished sculpture of a soaring eagle, at the Master Practice Studios led by sculptor Valsan Koorma Kolleri and hosted by the Kochi Biennale Foundation, in Kochi, on June 16, 2018.
Young Ghaziabad-based artist Manisha Chandel, with her half-finished sculpture of a soaring eagle, at the Master Practice Studios led by sculptor Valsan Koorma Kolleri and hosted by the Kochi Biennale Foundation, in Kochi, on June 16, 2018.
A half-finished sculpture of a soaring eagle catches the eye as you step into the historic Pepper House at Fort Kochi, while a young woman sits in the midst of scattered leaves, twigs and branches concentrated on shaping them into this impressive work of art.
 
The eagle is the creation of Manisha Chandel, one among five young artists who have come to Fort Kochi to gather new perspectives on art from renowned Indian sculptor Valsan Koorma Kolleri at the latest Master Practice Studios hosted by the Kochi Biennale Foundation.
 
Kolleri says his effort is directed towards building on the foundation that these young people have received in art from their schools and help them take off on their own.
 
“What an art student learns in college is like what you learn from your nursery classes. It’s just the base; there's much more to it. The practical sessions here are mostly to enhance their ability to think from different perspectives,” he says.
 
The five students at the Master Practice Studios have come from different parts of the country and will remain under Kolleri’s tutelage for the next one month.
 
After a strictly conventional education there’s always a chance that the young artist gets easily bored, he observes. “To get rid of this monotony, they shift to various mediums and sometimes it helps them to develop unique creations of their own,” he says. “In a way, it also becomes 'Atma Vidya'(knowledge of the soul) as it is self -learned and self-earned.”
 
But he believes that for an artist it is not the medium that matters the most, but the expression. “That’s of primary significance. Every artist will have their own styles and mediums. Some may choose metal or wood, others might use clay or cloth. But it's the output that matters.”
 
To be able to enjoy other's creativity, one should come up with his/her own unique style and creations which have depth, Kolleri adds.
 
His message has resonated with the artists who say the session has helped them look at things from a fresh new perspective.
 
Manisha, who goes to the nearby beach every morning to collect the leaves for her tree-trunk eagle, says Kolleri’s guidance has been eye-opening in many ways.
 
“Earlier, I used to create many things without even realizing their significance. But under his tutelage, I have a better understanding of my own works,” says the Ghaziabad-based artist. “Following his guidance I have chosen natural items to complete this creation.”
 
Madhab Das who completed his education from Delhi School of Art usually uses iron as his medium. Since it takes a lot of time to collect iron here; he has shifted to clay and wood. “And it's a different experience," he says. He also thanked the KBF for their efforts to bring young and budding artists into the mainstream.
 
Shan KR, a fine arts student from Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan, West Bengal, has similarly made a successful switch to wood, from his preferred metal and fiber mediums. “It has not hampered me in any way; besides, I had guidance from Valsan sir,” he said.
 
Yadhu Krishnan, an MFA student from Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, has been able look at art in a different light. “I have learnt how to convey what I really want to say using whatever medium is available to me,” he says.
 
The studio has previously been led by masters such as Jyothi Basu, K. Raghunathan and P. K. Sadanandan. The next session will be led by renowned artist and graphic designer Orijit Sen.
 
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Slovakian movie Little Harbour to be the opening film at EU film festival in Delhi

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Putting the spotlight on the latest European cinema, the European Union Film Festival (EUFF) will premiere on June 18 at the Siri Fort Auditorium here.
 
With a selection of 24 latest European films from 23 EU Member States, this years' film festival brings some unusual stories for the world cinema enthusiasts. The European Union Film Festival is organized by Directorate of Film Festivals partnering with the Delegation of the European Union and embassies of EU Member States in various city film clubs.
 
The festival will traverse through 11 cities in India including New Delhi, Chennai, Port Blair, Pune, Puducherry, Kolkata, Jaipur, Visakhapatnam, Thrissur, Hyderabad and Goa from June 18 to August 31.
 
Celebrating diversity, the EUFF will screen movies from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.
 
As a special attraction this year, audience, students and filmmakers will get an opportunity to interact with Katarína Krná?ová (Slovakian producer), Paula Ortiz (Spanish Director), Salvatore Alloca (Italian Director), Yannis Korris (Greek Director), Douglas Boswell (Belgium Director) and Ádám Fekete (Hungarian Actor) who are travelling to India for the festival.
 
Indian actress Neena Kulkarni who has worked in the Luxembourg movie being screened at the film festival will be attending the festival in Goa.
 
The festival will be inaugurated by Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Mr Raimund Magis, Deputy head of Delegation of the European Union to India; Mr. Chaitanya Prasad, Additional Director General, Directorate of Film Festivals; Ms Katarina Tomkova, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Slovak Republic at the Siri Fort complex.
 
Slovakian producer Katarina Krnacova, whose film Little Harbour is the opening movie at the festival this year will also be attending the inauguration. Paula Ortiz (Spanish Director), Salvatore Alloca (Italian Director) will be present during their respective movie screenings.
 
The film Little Harbour is inspired by true events about two children whose innocent play changes their lives forever. It is a story of children who feel safer in the streets than at home, about children seeking out sturdy lifeboats that cross between the world of fantasy and the harsh reality of life.
 
The ten-year-old Jarka lives with her mother, who is not yet ready to be a Mum. She spends most of her time alone. Pushed by her desire for love and to form a fully functional family, she finds herself substituting as a mother to two babies.
 
The film will have English subtitles. Entry will be allowed for 18+ and will be on a first come, first served basis.
 
The films to be screened at the EUFF are - The Magic of Children (Austria); Labyrinthus (Belgium);  Viktoria (Bulgaria); Cowboys (Croatia); Boy on the Bridge (Cyprus); Tiger Theory/Teorie Tygra (Czech Republic); Walk with me/De Standhaftige  (Denmark);  Land of Mine/Under Sandet (Denmark);  The Man Who Looks Like Me/Minu Näoga Onu (Estonia); Unexpected Journey (Finland); 9 Month Stretch/9 Mois Ferme (France); House without Roof / Haus ohne Dach (Germany); Kissing?/Ontos Filiounte? (Greece); Kills on Wheels (Hungary); Taranta on the Road (Italy); The Lesson/Izlaiduma Gads (Latvia); When You Wake Up (Lithuania); A Wedding/Noces (Luxembourg); Letter for the King (Netherlands); A Brave Bunch (Poland); Mother Knows Best (Portugal); Little Harbour / Piata lo? (Slovakia); The Bride / La Novia (Spain) and Eternal Summer (Sweden).
 
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'Spider-Man: Homecoming' costume designer wants to do a film in India

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She has designed the costume for the most beloved Spider-Man for "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and has just wrapped up "Ant Man and The Wasp". Costume designer Louis Frogley, who is currently working on a film based on an astronaut, says India is one of her favourite places in the world and it will be an honour for her to do a film in the country.

"I just love India and I love the textiles. Indian fashion is really fabulous and beautiful and the country is my best place in the world. I want to work in India, do a film in the country. It will be an honour to do that," Frogley told IANS in a telephonic conversation from London.

"Spider-Man: Homecoming" made its Indian television premiere on Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) English movie channel ‘&flix’, which brings one hit Hollywood movie premiere every Sunday through its property Flix First Premiere.

Frogley, who began her career by working in London and Paris as for various commercial companies, started her journey as a costume designer as an assistant in the department on Hugh Hudson's Academy Award-winning "Chariots of Fire".

Since that initial foray into cinema, Frogley has dressed over 20 feature films, including Neil Jordan's "Mona Lisa", Ron Shelton's "Bull Durham" and many more.

Talking about how challenging it was to do one of the most iconic costumes for Spider-Man, she said it was technically very difficult.

"Technically, it was very difficult because we were trying to get back to the earlier years and it was hard to create. We had to get the scale absolutely right and we did a lot of camera testing to visualise the final product. We did close to ten tests before we finally got it right and it was very important to get the technical elements of it right... Marvel (production house Marvel Studios) was really good in content for the testing.

"We had a very brilliant cutter finisher too who make the actual patent-like suit. We were very lucky that we had very gifted people working with us. We wanted to make it fresh but very classic because it's the beginning of the Spider-Man as a young man.

"Marvel researched very thoroughly and they were very clever about the decision and decided it should be pretty simple. As a young guy, he had his homemade suit and then he has this beautiful suit that Tony Stark gives him, which is pretty cool," she said.

So, is she doing costumes for "Spiderman: Homecoming 2" too?

"I am not actually working on that film but the costumes will have very big changes because, in the film, Spider-Man becomes more like a man and not teenager," said Frogley, who is also working on a yet-untitled film based on an astronaut.

"I have also finished 'Antman and the Wasp'," she said.

What is the biggest challenge as a costume designer?

"I think the biggest challenge is to be sure that the director (who) is on board with what you are doing and so is the actor of what the director wants so that everybody can forget about their clothes and do their jobs. You must be very careful to listen to everybody and include their thoughts or point out why something won't work. You have to be very clear that they are feeling comfortable and happy," she said.

She feels fashion is peripheral and bilateral.

"Fashion really follows the socio-economic climate and represents what's happening in the world. You have to be very careful in fashion because a lot of it made for the runway but it is not fashion, its restricted to music videos. Fashion is very interesting, convoluted and it is very marvellous."

Any advice for the costume designers who want to get into the film industry?

"I think, work hard, you can get what you want. Work on the costumes, spend time on manufacturing, style. You need to go at all level. It is all about dyeing, manufacturing and you need to get to the bottom of every level," she said.

IANS

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Of films, depression, marriage and pregnancy: Ileana D'Cruz opens up

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She was all of 18 when her acting career took off, landing her in the cobweb of celebrityhood.

But actress Ileana D'Cruz has managed to escape it her way -- by prioritising family over work, maintaining a slow pace, conquering depression that stemmed from superficial judgments by faceless people, and ignoring constant rumours about her marriage and pregnancy.

"I'm not pregnant. In fact, I would have been super happy if I was. It's something I have always wanted. But there's still time. I still don't want to become pregnant yet," Ileana told IANS during her Fiji sojourn as brand ambassador, laughing off rumours.

There was a hullabaloo when she used "hubby" for her Australian photographer beau Andrew Kneebone on social media, leaving fans and the media playing the guessing game on her marital status.

"It's not important for me (to tell the world if I'm married or not). I do tell the world about my equation in a way and let the world a little bit into my life. But I like it that way because I hate the negativity that comes with it. I've learnt to live with it as it has been a little over 12 years for me in the industry now. But it's really not fair on the so many other people, the families involved," said the 31-year-old actress with Goan roots.

Ileana says a relationship is about restraint and respect.

"There's respect there," Ileana said, adding: "I had a different perception of what a relationship or love is like. I was all giddy-headed and fairytale about it in my head, but it's so different. There's a lot of restraint that you've got to have, compromising in certain situations -- and you've got to have a lot of respect."

Respect, in her checklist for a relationship, precedes trust and love.

"I feel we've sort of evolved into that," asserted Ileana, who mostly avoids opening up on her personal life.

It was Andrew, in fact, who egged on Ileana to see a therapist when depression struck her.

"Things had got so bad that I was pushing people away. I didn't realise how much I was alienating people. I would constantly refuse to go out when friends would call. At one point, I didn't realise I was at home for a week... After that, I got an ultimatum from him," Ileana said.

She is calmer today.

"Now I don't look at life where I'd say: 'Oh gosh, my life's over if I don't have films any more'. My approach is that there's so much more for me to do... It (depression) really was in a way godsent... That depression and that phase in my life, as horrible as it was, was needed in a way to switch things back and change who I was as a person."

Now she enjoys balancing her personal and professional life at a pace she controls.

Having started her career with Telugu film "Devadasu", Ileana also did Tamil movies and forayed into Bollywood with "Barfi!". Her roles in subsequent movies like "Rustom", "Mubarakan", "Baadshaho" and "Raid" gave her a further push in Hindi cinema.

"I'm happy I'm doing films at a slow pace rather than doing anything and everything... I do love my work, but for me, my priority is definitely family, and then work. More often than not, this industry expects you to put work before family. They are like 'The show must go on' irrespective of whatever happens. That's something I like to twist and tweak to my way as much as I can," she said.

"The good thing is I have managed to do it all these years. I don't want to look back, say 20 years from now, and feel I have missed out on family and memories," said Ileana, for whom the switch from southern films to Bollywood changed life for the "better".

Her choice of cinema has undergone a change too.

"When I first started out in Telugu cinema, I signed anything and everything that came my way. I was 18, was immature and it felt like a good idea that 'Oh, they are paying me a good amount of money'. I was young, naive, I had zero ambition and, honestly, it wasn't my calling," she said.

"I fell in love with films only two years after working in films. So, my choice really changed with time because there was this seriousness and respect for my work. I felt I owed it to my work to not do a very crap film and to think about what I am doing," she added.

"When I was 21, I had this thought that when I am a grandma, I don't want the kids to look at it and say, 'What's that? Why did you do that?' So, I thought I should really think about it properly and do good films," Ileana said.

IANS

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My 'Sui Dhaaga' character inspired by Suppandi: Varun Dhawan

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Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan says his character Mauji in the film "Sui Dhaaga" is inspired from comic character Suppandi.

Varun essays a tailor and an office peon in the film.

On the books he likes to read, Varun said: "I read a lot of biographies... I've read one on Dev Anand. I love reading 'Suppandi'. I used to read that a lot during my childhood. Even the characters I do, like right now I am playing this character of a tailor Mauji in 'Sui Dhaaga'...there is more to him than just being a tailor as he is a peon in a shop as well. Mauji is very inspired by Suppandi."

The actor spoke about it as he unveiled the cover of Amish's latest book "Suheldev and The Battle of Bahraich" on Monday.

The book, assisted by Vikas Singh, is the first with which Amish has introduced Writer's Center in India. It will be published under Amish's brand new series titled "Indic Chronicles".

Varun said Shashank Khaitan, director of his next film "Rannbhoomi", is a fan of Amish's works. However, he said they will not steal his ideas and will take permission if required.

IANS

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Online auction illustrates over 100 years of Indian art history

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An upcoming online auction presents 150 exceptional works of modern and contemporary Indian art, including those by stalwarts such as Raja Ravi Varma, Tyeb Mehta and S H Raza.

The artists represented span the evolution of the Indian art scene from the pre-Independence period to the present day, illustrating over 100 years of art history.

The Summer Online Auction by Saffronart, a leading player in the international art business, is scheduled to be held on Wednesday and Thursday.

The auction will take place on saffronart.com, where the lots can be viewed currently.

In the paintings section, Tyeb Mehta's iconic "Kali" (1989) is estimated to be priced between Rs 19.5 crore and Rs 26 crore.

A 1965 "Untitled" canvas by V.S. Gaitonde, widely regarded as one of India's foremost abstractionists, is estimated at Rs 5.2 crore-Rs 7.8 crore.

Raja Ravi Varma's "Untitled (Shiva)" is estimated at Rs 3 crore-Rs 5 crore.

Artworks by other prominent artists like S.H. Raza and Manjit Bawa are also up for grabs.

Also on auction are works by notable modernists such as Nandalal Bose, Gaganendranath Tagore, Mahadev Visvanath Dhurandhar, Amrita Sher-Gil, Anjolie Ela Menon, Ram Kumar, Akbar Padamsee, N S Bendre, F N Souza, Bhupen Khakhar, Arpita Singh and Zarina Hashmi.

The highlight of the contemporary section, which features 23 works by some of the foremost practitioners in the field, is "Hungry God" (2005-06), a large installation of stainless steel vessels by acclaimed contemporary artist Subodh Gupta.

Sculptors like Himmat Shah, Sankho Chaudhuri, Prodosh Dasgupta, Meera Mukherjee, S Dhanapal and Piraji Sagara, renowned for their bold yet sensitive approach to the process of creating sculptures, too find space in the two-day online auction.

The organisers said that apart from these leading names, the auction also features works by lesser-known artists "whose work left a mark on the modern Indian art scene".

IANS

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Prominent artists to participate in Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018

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The organisers of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, an international exhibition of contemporary art, announced on Tuesday that some prominent names in the art world would participate in this year's edition.

The fourth edition of the exhibition which will be curated by well-known contemporary artist Anita Dube will run from December 12 to March 29, 2019.

Dube visited a total of 29 countries as part of her research in making this edition a grand success.

On her role as a curator, Dube said: "In both the exhibition and the carefully designed interactive spaces, I hope the incredible range of artists and visitors will become active participants and co-producers of the Biennale as a 'knowledge laboratory'."

The Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) is a non-profit charitable trust engaged in promoting art and culture and educational activities in India; primary amongst them the hosting of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

KBF works around the year to strengthen contemporary art infrastructure and to broaden public access to art across India.

IANS

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