Sunday, June 20, 2010

London Indian Film Festival screens serious stuff

The London Indian Film Festival launches from July 15-20 in London with a range of cutting-edge movies from some of India's hottest independent talents. We aren't talking Bollywood here, but films that challenge, make you think and show a more realistic view of India today in all its colour and diversity.The London Indian Film Festival opens at Cineworld (Haymarket) on July 15 with the UK premiere of the challenging Love, Sex Aur Dhokha, (Love, Sex and Betrayal), by director, Dibakar Banerjee. Through three intertwined tales, this controversial film explores sexuality, voyeurism, love and betrayal in modern India. The film has un-known actors, but it's radical revision, challenging the romantic Indian fairy tale romance was a big box office hit when it was released in India in March. Of course being an Opening Night expect some VIPs to turn up!

Other highlights in this festival include the high-impact City of Gold, by the Maverick director, Mahesh Manjrekar, on the forgotten history of mill workers of Mumbai, whose livelihoods were crushed when the mills were converted into the glitzy shopping malls and five star hotels. Meanwhile, Last Chance Mumbai is a sophisticated multi-strand ensemble exploring the connective lives of the city's inhabitants over a 24 hour period by acclaimed director, Saeed Akhtar Mirza.

Road To Sangam directed by Amit Rai, explores ideas of Nation India and sometimes conflicting religious identity. It tells the story of one Muslim man's desire to help take Mahatma Gandhi's remaining ashes to the holy river and explores how many Muslims in India seem themselves 60 years after independence. The closing movie is the UK premiere Vihir (The Well) by award winning director Umesh Kulkarni (world premiered at Berlin), which is stunningly filmed amongst the grandeur of the rolling Indian plains of two adolescent friends who inspire each other's journey to manhood.

London INDIAN film Festival partners from across the industry are supporting the Festival. The Satyajit Foundation's Ray Short Film Competition has joined the Festival with the winning filmmaker receiving a £1,000 Award on 20 July at Cineworld, Haymarket. More guests are expected to be confirmed nearer the time

Emraan Hashmi shows off his 4-month-old son

Emraan Hashmi has always been known as the 'Serial-Kisser' of Bollywood. However this latest issue of People magazine portrays the talented actor in a completely different light.
Emraan HashmiLike a responsible dad, Emraan says that he has no intention of letting Ayaan watch any of his movies till he's 18. However, once he is of that age, the actor wants to show him some of his best works like Murder, Gangster and Jannat.

Zayed bonds with Jackky over FIFA World Cup

Who said actors can never be friends? Very few know that Zayed Khan and Jackky Bhagnani are close friends and have been ever since their childhood. The two were recently seen, having a gala time together at Jackky’s residence as they watched a match played by their favourite team.

Raavan witnessed poor opening at the box office

The much-anticipated Raavan did not fetch the desired start on Friday. While certain big city plexes opened to a 50% to 60% to 70% response, the response at smaller centre plexes and also single screens was much lower, in 20% to 25% to 30% range. Even in Mumbai, which contributes heavily from multiplexes, the occupancy was extremely erratic. In the recent past, films like Housefull, Badmaash Company, Kites and Raajneeti had opened to a terrific start and the industry was expecting a similar start for Raavan. But the reports of Raavan - the audience feedback specifically - is extremely mixed, tilting towards negative.

Fathers’ Day with Shahrukh Khan

The third Sunday of June is marked as Fathers’ Day and is celebrated all over the world. Why celebrate a Fathers’ Day? A man with all his virtues and moral values nourishes your development. He spends his hard earned money on you so that you get a better education as well as better facilities in all aspects of your life. But he never asks you anything in return for the money and love that he has showered on you. Why? Because he is your father. So, why not make him feel special for at least one day? Let us take a little time from our busy schedules and dedicate the day to this great man in our lives.Happy Fathers' Day! Then he quotes a beautiful line, “Any man can be a Father but it takes time to be a dad.”

It’s really true that the line means a lot. SRK adds, “Who is Dad? Is he the mess-maker, rule-breaker, risk-taker and the opposite of mothers, who usually acts like the creator and nurturer? But in spite of all these things, dads must be doing something quite right! I am happy to know that most of you have joined me in the ‘Pappu and Pappa’ campaign and have made a move towards being the family man by spending some quality time with your kids.”

King Khan continued, “Father’s Day is our day, to celebrate ‘being a dad’. This day comes with an opportunity to show and convey our love and care. It’s an appropriate platform to look at our children and credit them for bringing joy and happiness. After all, a child gives birth to a father as well. But even though it’s celebrated once a year, it’s the ever after effect of being a father that will keep us connected.”

Shahrukh has rightly said that. But the young children of today also need to realize the value of their fathers. Sometimes, we get so busy in our profession that at the end of the day we just want to relax and have fun with our friends. But what about that man, who have spent years of his life caring for your growth and prosperity?

In the words of Shahrukh, “A father’s role is different to different people so I cannot do justice by trying to define it. But traditionally, we hold the role of being the head of the family, protector and role models to our children. We are definitely the more unpredictable lot for our kids. At times we may have rocked our kids more than their moms and rolled on the floor foolishly to play. Moms and dads are indeed different. And we know we cannot be like the mothers but we do know that we can make all the difference by being right there.

“I understand it’s not easy but I appreciate the effort that’s being put in by all the fathers, as more and more fathers are becoming aware and taking their role and responsibility seriously, turning into great dads. For this moment, I dedicate a song for our special day…..Will Smith’s “Just the Two of Us" which celebrates fatherhood,” he signs off.

With the hope that all the children and their fathers realize the bond as well as the responsibility towards each other, we at Oneindia wish a very Happy Fathers Day to all.

Akshay pokes fun at corrupt politicians

Akshay Kumar recently shot for Khatta Meetha's most controversial song, 'Bull Shit', poking fun at corrupt politicians. While listening to a speech, his character - Sachin Tichkule - who is in the audience, starts coughing. When asked why, he says that he allergic to bullshit.The source continues, "Akshay feels that the roads of our country and in Mumbai are in a deplorable state with potholes and are an impediment to progress. He feels India can do so much better if the roads are better developed. Through 'Bull Shit', the Khiladi has taken on the system."

He recently shot for the song. After the actor and director Priyadarshan saw the first rushes of Khatta Meetha, they realised that it needed a theme song. "That's when 'Bull Shit' happened. Akki conceptualized it. It's a bold and controversial song and politicians will definitely get upset after seeing it." The song has been choreographed by Ganesh Acharya who calls it a 'song with a message.'

Priyan adds, "I read an interesting survey that revealed that only 30 per cent out of the budget allocated is spent on development of infrastructure while the remaining 70 per cent goes into the pockets of different people like politicians, administration and bureaucracy. Khatta Meetha is a satire and I wanted to use the word 'bullshit' to hit out as hard as possible. 'Bakwaas' may not have that power. The Censors can't delete the word as it is used in the dictionary, and is not banned. It's a gaali allowed within limits."

He isn't worried about backlash from the netas, "Let them get upset. Those politicians who haven't done any work are the ones who will get upset. If you have done something for your country you won't be guilty and react."

I am allergic to Bull Shit (2)
Bull Shit-bull shit-bull shit
Mujhse bole mantri ji,
Desh main hai bolne ki,
Poori poori har kissi ko full azaadi
Mujhse bole mantri ji,
Desh main hai full azaadi,
Mantriji se main bolaaaaa...
Yahan bolne ki azaadi toh hai, par bolne ke baad azaadi nahi hai...
Sarak aur bridge banainge (Bull Shit)
Traffic main nahi phasain ge (Bull Shit)
Waqt pe kaam honge (Bull Shit)

An ode to Katrina Kaif

Katrina Kaif's beauty is worth praising, and what could be better than dedicating a couplet to her. A fan has written a poem praising Katrina's beauty and virtues which is all over the blogs and websites. This poem has inspired an entire song devoted to Katrina in Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.And that’s precisely the character that the film’s director Zoya Akhtar’s father the sensitive poet Javed Akhtar will have to describe in his lyrics. He would write a song devoted to Katrina’s character.

“There was only a vague idea for such a song in Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara. But when the poem by Katrina’s fan surfaced on the net everyone felt that the lyrics describing Katrina’s character beauty and zest for life were needed”says the source.

Katrina, neck-deep in shooting, with Hrithik, Farhan and Abhay in Spain is flattered by all the attention she’s getting online and in person. “But I can’t think of anything but how to get into the character. This role requires a lot of physical preparation. I had almost no time to prepare for Zoya’s film. I delayed my departure from Mumbai till the very last minute because I wanted to enjoy the attention that Raajneeti was getting. I get attached to a film and need a transitional period between one project and the next. I didn’t get that space before coming to Spain” speaks the beauty.

But pleasure comes with a price. Katrina’s preparation for her zany character in Zoya’s film is half-complete. She needs to master many outdoor sports. Most of them are new to her. But she is working on the character in Spain. “I landed here at night and started shooting next morning, completely unprepared. But now I’m getting a hang of it”, confessed miss Kaif.

About the ode by her fan she says, “It’s flattering to have people write such wonderful lines for you. I can’t pretend to be unaffected by all the attention that I’m getting. At the same time, I can’t let it go to my head. There’s so much more to be done.”

Raavan stuns Amitabh Bachchan

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan's hair may have turned grey but he is as energetic as the upcoming actors. He attended the special premiere of Raavan in London yesterday (June 16) and had a great time watching it.A massive turn out of fans and screaming public at the desired level - the red carpet, warmed us all up to the experience that was to follow,” he added.

The film Raavan produced and directed by Mani Ratnam was premiered in London yesterday with much fanfare. Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Aishwarya Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan attended it. The film will be released worldwide tomorrow (June 18)

Suniel Shetty's Red Alert is about naxalism

Bollywood hunk Suniel Shetty is best remembered for his muscles and action roles. Now, one will see a different side to his acting prowess in Anant Mahadevan's Red Alert - The War Within, which is a realistic depiction of naxalism. If one needs proof of his scintillating performance, well, the actor has won the Best Actor Award at the international film fest, the South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF). Obviously, the actor is elated and proud of the fact that his hard work has paid off but the award has also made him conscious of roles that he would be choosing and portraying in future.The macho man Suniel is quite comfortable with giving 'shots' with guns but in Red Alert, he plays a farmer who holds the gun for the first time. So, director Mahadevan had him refer to the naive Dith Pran character in Roland Jaffe’s Killing Fields.

Suniel has not prepared for his role blindly. He is quite aware of the problem of naxalism. Ask him about his take on it and he admits that the problem is not plain black and white. It's more complex than one can imagine, according to him. He opines that naxals are often helpless people who have been exploited and their mineral ores seized and their existence threatened. One cannot just eliminate or deal with them harshly because they are our own people and not terrorists. Suniel also says that it is quite disheartening that the naxal violence has taken such shocking proportions. The actor is also aware of the fact that violence can only result in violence and the Red Belt is bleeding with violence now. The more we try to get out of this complicated situation, the more we get knotted up.

Well, now one can witness the portrayal that Suniel is so passionate about when his film releases on the 9th of July, at theatres near you

Shiney flying back to Delhi

Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja will pack his bags for hometown Delhi. A decade long career with more than a dozen of films to his credit will cease temporarily. As per the orders of the Bombay High Court the actor will have to leave Mumbai after June 30, Wednesday.The court's permission was valid till last Wednesday. But, the rescheduling of the shooting made the lawyer to plead for few more day’s extension. Justice A R Joshi granted the plea and allowed him to stay in Mumbai until June 30 to complete the shoot. He can now visit the city only during the hearing of his case.

The 37 year old Shiney is married to Anupam Ahuja and the couple has a three year old daughter, Arshiya. He debuted with the critically acclaimed Hindi movie Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi. He came to Mumbai in 1996 and had appeared in a few commercials before entering the world of movies.

Manisha Koirala to tie the knot today

Those days are gone when Indian women used to get married before 25 years of age. Women today concentrate more on their career than on marriage. Now, this is not something out of the head, looking at the trends among the Bollywood celebrities, this point can be substantiated. Manisha Koirala, the 40 years old Bollywood diva, has finally planned to get married, and mind it she has cleared it to all that it is by no chance an arranged marriage. The marriage ceremonies will be held today in a small affair in Gokarna Forest Resort, Katmandu, but the reception is going to be a grand ball in Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza in Kathmandu.

Kareena too busy for her big sister's birthday

Kareena Kapoor cannot take time out for sister Karisma Kapoor's birthday (on June 25). In fact, she is so busy that her mother Babita is packing her bags for an overseas schedule ahead of the actress' return to MumbaiThe actress says she's sad, as it is one of those rare occasions that she will miss sis Karisma's birthday as well. "I have asked Lolo and Samaira to come to the airport for half an hour so we can sit and chat in the car. I don't know if Samaira can come so late at night but I'd love to have her come. I am feeling terrible that I won't see her for more than a month."

She adds. "I told Lolo to pick up a gift for herself and that I'd pick up the tab later. There's just no time for anything. I am shooting double shifts in Hyderabad - Rohit Shetty's Golmaal 3 in the day and three cell phone ads at night. After the schedule of Agent Vinod in Morocco, I join SRK's Ra.1 unit in London. I will return to India only in July-end."

There's no respite for Kareena till year-end. "I have three films to complete - Golmaal 3, Ra.1 and Agent Vinod. Then Madhur's (Bhandarkar) film starts in December. Then I am endorsing 11 brands and have performed at every award show this year. In September and October, I get busy with the promotion of Golmaal 3 and Karan's (Johar) Stepmom. In fact, I have requested Shahrukh to keep a schedule of Ra.1 in Mumbai so I can be there to promote Golmaal 3. He has agreed."

In talks
There's a buzz that Kareena has signed Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heera Mandi. Says a source close to the actress, "They're in talks. Nothing's official as of now. Bebo and Sanjay have been keen to work with each other for three years now. There's no script locked in as of now. Sanjay has offered her a couple of scripts including Heera Mandi. Once, she's done with her overseas schedules, she will meet him and discuss which script to sign. They will definitely work together next year."

When Raavan meets Ra.1

Some may take it as sheer coincidence but Bollywood stalwarts Shahrukh Khan and Abhishek Bachchan bonded at the London premiere of Raavan in spite of their tight schedules. Shahrukh is currently in the city shooting for his home production Ra.1, so, he obliged when the Bachchans invited him.Ironically, Shahrukh plays a superhero in Ra.1 while Abhishek's character in Raavan is negative. Aishwarya Bachchan and Vikram are the other cast of Raavan. It is releasing worldwide today.

Juhi Chawla as a Kashmiri refugee

Director Onir's movie I am, is a tale of 4 stories woven together. It is about the issues and dilemmas that bruise the modern Indian society. One part of the stories in the film, named I am Megha, stars the beautiful Juhi Chawla in the role of a Kashmiri Pandit widow. This character is based on the life of actor Sanjay Suri’s mother.The story, revolving around the life of a refugee takes Megha (Juhi) back to Kashmir. After 20 years the lady goes back to the very house where she lived and many incidents from Urvashi Suri’s (mother of Sanjay Suri) life have been incorporated into the film.

Actor Sanjay Suri, a lead in the film confirms that , “Yes, it is loosely based on my mother’s story but it is also about coming to terms with your past. Every person who has left Kashmir will identify with that. My mother revisited Kashmir after 17 years but she didn’t visit our house in Srinagar where dad was killed”

Amitabh-Balki to make short film on Indian cinema

Even as Balki puts finishing touches to the script for his third film featuring Amitabh Bachchan in the lead, the twosome, who gave us the two extremely unconventional hits Cheeni Kum and Paa, will now be getting together for a 15-minute film celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema.The first director to start his film would be Balki. Says the director, "Doing a short film with Amitji would be a special challenge for me because I've never done a film in that format before, and neither has he. We've done numerous ads and two feature films together. Now let's see what I can do with Amitji in the 15 minutes that we'll be provided."

Balki says another film with the Big B, no matter what its duration, was imperative. "I was beginning to get withdrawal symptoms. That man is addictive. Once you work with him, there's no way you can resist working with him over and over again."

While the challenge of creating a 15-minute full and comprehensive film replete with a plot and a background score will be taken up by Balki in the pre-winter months, at the end of the year, he'll start his third feature film with Mr. Bachchan. Apparently, it would be the Big B's most intensely romantic film since Yash Chopra's Kabhi Kabhie in 1975. And no, this time there would be no Abhishek Bachchan.

Deepak Dobriyal's encounter with a dead girl

Think bizarre and Deepak Dobriyal comes to mind. After getting our goat with his animal attachment, the quirky actor went ghost hunting while shooting for Anand Rai's Tanu Weds Manu, a few days ago.
Says a unit source, "We're shooting in Kapurthala near Jalandhar. Late one night, Deepak told everyone about a haunted well, where you can see the face of a woman in the water. Deepak sounded so convincing that the unit decided to check with the villagers."

The villagers told them that a young girl had jumped into the well and committed suicide because the local panchayat had not agreed to her getting married to a boy from the village. They said that sometimes people could see her face in the water. That people often went to the well to ask for blessings from the spirit for getting luck in love. So a group from the unit set off to see the well late that night.

Director Anand Rai says, "Deepak told us this whole story. The villagers also said it's true, but none of us saw her face when we went to the well, except Deepak. It was an enjoyable walk, though a bit spooky!"

Anupam bids goodbye to Dear friend Hitler

There was a lot of Buzz about the veteran actor Anupam Kher playing the German dictator Adolf Hitler in a Bollywood film titled Dear Friend Hitler. Anupam Kher, opted out of the project stating, “I wish to withdraw from the film because it is creating ill feelings among my fans and I respect their sentiments. I was never affected by commercial considerations but social opinions always matter to me.”
A small Jewish community in India has protested against the film, which led Kher to take this stand. The film has been facing criticism mainly from European media. It is said that the film does not depict the usual anti-Hitler stance. In fact, speaking about the film, the director Rakesh Ranjan Kumar stated, “It will depict Hitler’s love for India and his indirect contribution to the Indian independence. I want to show his personality, his charisma and insecurities during the last few days of his life.”

Kher is now shooting for Mausam in Edinburgh, Scotland. Kher said that the critics have no idea about the script of the film, which do not glorify Hitler. Echoing the same feeling, director Rakesh Ranjan Kumar said, “People protesting against the film, has taken it the wrong way.”

Abhishek says Bollywood is bigger than Hollywood

London, (ANI): Abhishek Bachchan, India's leading actor, has said that it is Bollywood, not Hollywood, that leads the world's film industry. Bachchan was speaking at the world premiere of his latest movie, Raavan, at London's British Film Institute.India has the largest film industry in the world. We sell twice the amount of tickets that Hollywood does," Sky News quoted Bachchan as saying.

"They are at a threshold where people have suddenly developed this love for Indian cinema. But I don't think it's going to be this huge rage in the English-speaking world. There is always a language barrier and that is something that has to be respected," he added.

American media praises Raavan to heavens

The taste of the Indians and the West is certainly different. While many Indian critics chose to take a dig at yesterday's release Raavan and dubbed it as 'boring', their counterparts in America observed it differently. Leading publication houses in the US like New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Variety and Hollywood Reporter praised it to heavens.
“Director Mani Ratnam and his colleagues give Bollywood fans full value. Ratnam’s pace is steadfastly brisk, and his film is replete with dizzying camerawork, myriad complications, violent mayhem, broad humor, usual musical interludes, a cliffhanging climactic confrontation and a finish that strikes a note of poignancy,” reported The New York Times. “Raavan is overlong and drawn out by Hollywood standards, but is of typical running time for Bollywood. In any event, its cast and crew are to be congratulated for their unflagging stamina and energy,” it added.

The Los Angeles Times described Raavan as an entertainer. “Raavan has Bollywood glamour aplenty, with the lovely if occasionally dramatically challenged Aishwarya Bachchan, Mr. Bachchan’s wife, playing the Sita stand-in. The real star, though, is Mr. Ratnam, a talented visual storyteller who directs action crisply and fills the screen with striking images,” it reported.

The praises don't end there. Praising the film and its maker Mani Ratnam, Variety reported, “A cop and self-styled Robin Hood face off in a wild and brawny contest in Mani Ratnam's bullets-and-dance spectacle Raavan,” adding, “ Fabulous locales and lush surroundings provide a great backdrop, with Ratnam carefully matching the work of two cinematographers, Santosh Sivan and V. Manikandan. Hollywood Reporter also described Raavan as a Pan-Indian saga with epic sweep, intense emotion and gorgeous images.

Well, it will interesting to see how Raavan fairs at the box office, after having received mixed response from Indian media and rave reviews from American media. Watch out for this film featuring Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Bachchan and Vikram!

Rahul Bose's 'Fall'Add to hotlist

Arthouse actor Rahul Bose has recently shot a seven-minute film titled 'The Fall', directed by Sandip Bandhopadhyay. Photographed by Vishal Sinha (of 'Bhoot') the film is about a suicidal lover - it is about a frustrated man whose life changes on meeting a woman (played by Nauheed Cyrusi of 'Lakeer' and 'Supari'). Sounds interesting, what?

Rahul Bose And Celebrities Are All Set To Run In Mumbai Marathon

Rahul Bose the versatile actor is all set to sweat and run for the Mumbai Marathon. Rahul's initiation 'The Foundation' which works in the area to prevent discrimination of any kind is all set to run for Mumbai Marathon, this time along with eminent personalities like Aparna Sen, Amitav Ghosh, Konkona Sen Sharma, Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar and Teesta Setalvad, who have joined hands with 'The Foundation' to spread the message of non-discrimination.

'The Foundation' has enabled 6 children Animesh, Bindu, Jinu, Matrena, Pratima and Rukhsar, selected from over 100 schools of the islands for Andaman Nicobar Scholarship Initiative (ANSI), are also running the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon to cover the distance between the Islands and the mainland. They are currently studying at the Rishi Valley  School as part of the ANSI education program to create a platform of equal opportunities coming from neglected areas.

When a 10-year-old romance meets a Punjabi Jatt

Yes, I am talking about the love story of Raj and Simran who met on a train 500 weeks back. The train is still chugging along in Maratha Mandir, Mumbai every day after Amrish Puri Saab gives his nod of approval in three simple words - 'Jaa Simran Jaa'. To join the celebrations and fall in love (yet again), the epic love story 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge' by Aditya Chopra releases all over India once more. No one would have imagined in their wildest dreams in 1995 that when the movie would be re-released, it would come face to face with Sunny paaji's comic-thriller 'Jo Bole So Nihal' and Shyam Benegal's historic epic 'Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose'. And how much do we love this weekend treat when all the three releases seem pretty inviting!

DDLJ's 9th print in 13 years!

The first time teaming up of Aditya Chopra and Shah Rukh Khan, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, is running in its 13th year at Maratha Mandir cinema in Bombay.

The film entered its 679th week in Bombay on 17th October 2008, which means that it recently entered its 14th year in Bombay. But since it was released at Maratha Mandir a few weeks after its premiere release, it is in its 13th year at Maratha Mandir. And in these 13 years, eight prints of the film have been changed. The film is being screened with the ninth print currently. Of course, it goes without saying that the film yields a share every week even now!

Well, that must be another addition to the innumerable records that DDLJ already has.