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International Film Festival of India may be postponed

Bangalore : The International Film Festival of India, scheduled to begin in Bangalore on October 11, may be postponed as international air travel is being looked upon with trepidation. The Karnataka Cabinet decided to urge New Delhi to postpone the festival as the state is facing its worst drought in three decades. A minister said : "Air travel all over the world has been affected and one should not expect too many film personalities to take the chance of travelling all the way here."


Mira Nair with Golden Lion President and Prime Minister congratulate Mira Nair for winning Golden Lion award

New Delhi : The President, K R Narayanan, and the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, congratulated Mira Nair for winning the Golden Lion. Mira Nair's vision of an elaborate wedding in India (Monsoon Wedding), won top honours at the Venice Film Festival with the Golden Lion award for best film.

The President said : "Her achievement is a pleasure for Indians and an honour for the Indian film industry". The Prime Minister said : "The award proves that Indian cinema is second to none in the world".

"It's unbelievable", said an ecstatic director Mira Nair summing up her feelings on her latest venture Monsoon Wedding, a story detailing the drama of Punjabi marriage, winning the prestigious Golden Lion award.

"It has not yet sunk in. It is a matter of great pride for the country and for me and my entire team which made the film," said Nair who is the first woman director to win the coveted honour.

L'Emploi du Temps (The Use of Time), by French director Laurent Cantet, a true story of a man who resorts to murder to keep alive a fictitious life he has created for himself, won the night's second Golden Lion in a new competition category of Cinema of the Present.

Monsoon Wedding, which was a favorite at the Cannes Film Festival and also Venice, was shot in a month using hand-held cameras and depicts a colorful and musical wedding in India's Punjab state.

"This one is for India, my beloved India, my continuing inspiration," Nair told the audience as she held the small Golden Lion statuette. She called the film "nothing but a testament to life".

The maker of films like Salaam Bombay and Kamasutra, Nair said she got the idea of Monsoon Wedding, along with its story writer Sabrina Dhawan, from sequences of Punjabi wedding shown in various Hindi films.

Nair said there had been no movie made on Punjabi marriages although there were films based on family drama. The director said their main idea behind Monsoon Wedding was to reflect contemporary and modern India in the light of globalisation taking place there.

Nair said she had not expected any big award at the festival. "I expected nothing from the movie. I just wanted to make a small thing. I am so happy it has become big."


Shiv Sena demands immediate ban on film "Lajja"

New Delhi : The New Delhi faction of the Shiv Sena demanded an immediate ban on the film "Lajja". They said that it has insulted the religious sentiments of Hindus. The Party's Delhi President, Jai Bhagwan Goel, said : "The film should be banned immediately, failing which the Shiv Sainiks will enforce the ban in their own way." He said the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Sushma Swaraj, should take steps to stop the screening of the movie, in which the "great character" of the Hindu Goddess Sita has been "insulted".


BJP workers burn an effigy of filmmaker Rajkumar and posters of actress Madhuri to express their protest

Bhopal : A group of BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) workers burnt an effigy of the Bollywood filmmaker, Rajkumar Santoshi, and posters of the film actress, Madhuri Dixit, to express their protest against what they described as "objectionable dialogues" against Hindu gods and goddesses in Santoshi's latest movie "Lajja".

According to BJP workers, Madhuri's posters were burnt because the "objectionable dialogues" against Hindu gods and goddesses were uttered by her in the movie.

"Lajja" is also being screened at the local Sangam cinema hall, but no demonstration was held there. This is the second time this year that a demonstration against a Hindi film has been staged in the city.


Amitabh Bachchan Amitabh Bachchan will be honoured with "actor of the century" award

Dubai : Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan will be honoured with the "actor of the century" award at the Alexandria international film festival in Egypt in recognition of his contribution to the world of cinema.

Amitabh will be given the award at the concluding ceremony of the festival to be held in the historic city from September 5-10. Jaya Bachchan is the president of the jury of the festival. She said the festival will largely screen films from the Mediterranean region. In all, 18 films will be participating in the festival, the largest representation being from France and Italy.

Jaya said : "There were cultural commonalties between India and Egypt, which would help in understanding the themes of the participating films better."

On a question regarding the dominance of American films that threatened regional cinema including Indian cinema, Jaya said there was no threat to Indian and Egyptian cinema as the countries had a rich historical and cultural heritage of their own.


Rangmahal Theatre Rangmahal Theatre destroyed in a fire

Kolkata : Rangmahal Theatre was destroyed in a fire here. The caretaker and two employees of the theatre were arrested. The flames turned to ashes the auditorium and the Kolkata's first revolving stage. There was no casualty. Police and Fire Brigade personnel say a short circuit sparked the flames.

On the other hand, a committee of Kolkata police had inspected seven to eight cinema halls in the city. Among them four in central and north Kolkata have been issued show-cause notices as the "overall amenities, including safety" were found unsatisfactory. The notices are to be answered within 15 days.


Karunanidhi pays tribute Sivaji Ganesan laid to rest at Besant Nagar crematorium in Chennai

Chennai : The film star Sivaji Ganesan was laid to rest at the Besant Nagar crematorium in Chennai. Thousands of people thronged Sivaji Ganesan's residence in the city to pay their last respects to the thespian. Dada Saheb Phalke awardee Sivaji Ganesan (74) died of a heart ailment on Saturday. The veteran Tamil actor is survived by his wife, two son and two daughters.

Ganesan was born in 1927 in Nellipkuppam hamlet near Villupuram in north Tamil Nadu around the time when his father, Chinnaya Manrayar, was actively involved in the nationalist movement.

The 74-year-old actor's funeral procession began from his residence in T Nagar and wound through Chennai's streets bringing the city's teeming traffic to a grinding halt. People gathered all along the streets of Chennai to bid farewell to an actor who was considered second only to former Chief Minister M G Ramachandran. Sivaji's body was mounted on a floral carriage.


Salman Khan Bollywood actor Salman and six others charged in yet another case of poaching protected wild life

Jodhpur : The Bollywood actor Salman Khan and six others have been charged in yet another case of poaching protected wild life. The Chief Judicial Magistrate of a local court, S K Mathur, read out the charges, relating to alleged killing of chinkara in 1998, to the main accused Salman and others, personally present in the court.

The accused denied the charges and said they will contest them in the trial. The case will come up for hearing on September 22.


Bharat Shah Bollywood financier Bharat Shah admits Hospital

Mumbai : The bollywood financier, Bharat Shah, admitted to Lilavati hospital for an angiogram test. Shah also is a famous diamond merchant. He was brought to the hospital amidst tight security. He had earlier refused to undergo angiogram test on the ground that the government-owned J J hospital was not well-equipped. A special court had accepted his plea to undergo angiogram test in a private hospital.

Bharat Shah had been booked under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act for his alleged links with underworld don Chhota Shakeel. Police claim to have recorded telephonic conversations between them which revealed the film Chori Chori Chupke Chupke was financed by the underworld.


Maharashtra government refuses to ban "Gadar

Mumbai : The Maharashtra government refused to ban the film "Gadar - Ek Prem Katha. On the demand for a ban on the film by certain religious groups and Janata Dal (S), the Maharashtra chief minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh, told that the government has no authority to do so.

As the sporadic protest against "Gadar reached Mumbai, police have been kept on alert. The joint commissioner, Y C Pawar, has asked all police stations to tighten vigil. The alert followed a protest note to the chief minister by the Muslim League's Mumbai unit demanding a ban on "Gadar within 48 hours.


District administration rejects demand for banning screening of Dardar in Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal : The district administration has rejected the demand for banning the screening of the controversial Hindi film Dardar in the State capital. The decision follows a special show of the film for representatives of different religions, eminent public personalities and media persons, who, it is said, felt that there was no objectionable scene in the film. District Superintendent of Police Arun Pratap Singh said several Muslim brethren, including Mohammedan festival committee president Shahmiri Khurram, who were present during the show, unanimously expressed the view that there was nothing in the film which hurt religious sentiments of a particular community.


Indian film, Dattak, is likely to win top laurels, says Hema Malini

Beijing : The chairperson of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and leading film personality, Hema Malini, said the Indian film, Dattak (The Adopted) is likely to win top laurels in the competition section of the fifth Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF). The film was produced by NFDC. Dattak has been directed by Gul Bahar Singh. Its cast includes Rajit Kapur, A K Hangal, Anjan Srivastav and Kritika Desai. The film was screened on Thursday at the SIFF. She said : "The Chinese people seemed to have liked it and we received rave reviews." A four-member Indian delegation led by Hema Malini is attending the SIFF and is keen to promote Indian filin China.


Nandita Das Nandita doing Mani Rathnam's new Tamil film

Mumbai : Indian film actress Nandita Das has done films in several regional languages including Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada and Oriya. She is now doing India's celluloid geniuses, Mani Rathnam's new Tamil film.

Nandita flew to Chennai from Mumbai for a meeting with Rathnam and the deal was struck at the end of the discussion. Nandita said : "That's right, I am doing Mani Rathnam's new Tamil film. But it isn't the romantic lead. I have a very powerful character to play, and I'm looking forward to the experience."

Rathnam earlier cast Tabu and Aishwarya Rai in his political Tamil film Iruvar, Manisha Koirala in Tamil-Hindi Bombay, and Manisha-Shah Rukh Khan in Rathnam's first Hindi venture Dil Se.


Fardeen Khan Film actor Fardeen Khan released on personal bond of Rs 20,000 by special court

Mumbai : The Film actor, Fardeen Khan, son of actor-producer Feroze Khan, was on Thursday released on bail on a personal bond of Rs 20,000 by a special court. Fardeen Khan was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Saturday. Special judge M S Keny also asked Fardeen to deposit his passport and report to the NCB office everyday till May 18. He was not produced in the court.


Film-star Fardeen Khan remanded to NCB's custody till May 18

Mumbai : The Film actor Fardeen Khan and drug traffickers Nasir Abdul Karim Shaikh and Tony Gomes were remanded to NCB (Narcotics Control Bureau) custody till May 18. Fardeen's bail petition has been listed for hearing on tomorrow. The NCB is reportedly also keeping a close watch on at least six other Hindi film stars suspected of drug abuse.

On Saturday, Fardeen Khan was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau in Mumbai for illegal possession of drugs. The Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya... star Fardeen Khan is the son of veteran film-star and producer Feroze Khan and Hrithik Roshan's brother-in-law. Fardeen Khan was caught with a peddlar in the suburbs and had cocaine on him.

Noted film-maker Feroze Khan said his son actor Fardeen Khan, was not an addict but had taken the contraband drug "three or four times" to get relief from stress. Feroze Khan said : "It is a case of consumption and not possession."


Vinod Kambli agree to play in movie Anarth

Mumbai : Former Indian cricketer Vinod Kambli is set to make their Bollywood debut soon. Actor Sunil Shetty said there was a good role for Vinod Kambli in a movie Anarth, to be directed by Ravi Dewan. He said : "As I am acting in the film, I asked Kambli if he was interested in the role and he agreed." Shetty said Kambli was a very talented guy and a very good singer too.


Bryan Adams will perform in India in May

Bangalore : The Canadian rock star, Bryan Adams, will perform two live shows in India. Adams, who made the hit album, "18 Till I die," is now 41 and his first tour show on May 4 will mark Bangalore's second big rock show in less than five weeks. Adams will play on May 6 at Bombay's N S E grounds, officials of the sponsor, Internet-based financial services firm Home Trade Ltd, said.


Salman Khan Local court frames charges against bollywood actor Salman Khan

Jodhpur : A local court framed charges against bollywood actor Salman Khan and others for poaching protected wild animals more than two years after they were booked for the alleged offence. The bollywood actor was booked on the charges of poaching protected animals and carrying illegal arms in October 1998 when he was shooting for Rajshri Production's "Hum Saath Saath Hain".


Devayani Tamil actress Devayani marry Rajakumaran

Chennai : Popular Tamil film actress Devayani married a director, Rajakumaran, at the famous Murugan temple in Tiruthani, about 100 km from here. The marriage took place as per Hindu traditions, the temple sources further said. Earlier, Devayani's parents had preferred a police complaint that she was "missing from the house".

Devayani shot into fame through the Tamil film "Kalluri Vaasal". She had played a prominent role in "Vinnukkum Mannukkum", directed by Rajakumaran.


Noted Hindi litterateur Savitri Parmar passes away

Jaipur : Noted Hindi litterateur Savitri Parmar passed away here following a prolonged illness. She was 72. Parmar had authored over 15 collections of short stories and poetry. He was a recipient of Rajasthan Sahitya Academy's Meera Award and Rajasthan Patrika's Creative Award.


Soumitra Chatterjee Actor Soumitra Chatterjee also rejects special jury award

Kolkata : Following in the footsteps of film-maker, Gautam Ghosh, actor Soumitra Chatterjee spurned the special jury award for his role of a blind poet in the film Dekha. Earlier Gautam Ghosh refused the national award for the best Bengali film Dekha.

Actor Soumitra said : "For me the award is meaningless and I don't believe in portraying characters for getting awards. It is the appreciation of the people which counts."


Film-maker Gautam Ghosh Eminent film-maker Gautam Ghosh decides to return national award

Kolkata : Eminent film-maker, Gautam Ghosh, has decided to return the national award for the best Bengali film won by his recent film, Dekha, citing the resignation of three jury members and "other unfortunate developments". Ghosh said : "This year's National Film Award has become farcical with reports of rigged results in a section of the press indicating that the names of some winners had been decided even before the official declaration. I don't want my film to be clubbed with an award tainted with controversies."

On Tuesday, the ministry of information and broadcasting named Dekha as the best Bengali regional movie. It was directed by Ghosh, who is the former chairman of the jury which selects the awards.

Ghosh said : "I will not accept any award where the selection process is rigged."

The prestigious national film awards, given away by India's Information and Broadcasting Ministry, has sparked a bitter row with three jury members quitting the 17-member panel, saying some of winners did not merit the prizes.


Sonali Bendre Film actress Sonali Bendre arrested for objectionable pose on a magazine cover

Mumbai : Film actress Sonali Bendre was arrested for posing semi-nude on a cover page of a magazine in a dress which allegedly hurt the religious sentiments of the people. She was arrested along with her dress designer, Ashali Charles Rebello, and photographer, Amit Shanta Kumar Ashar. Later she was released on bail by a local court in a case filed against her for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of people by appearing in an "objectionable" pose on a magazine cover.

Film actress Sonali Bendre was produced before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Usha Iyer who released her and two other accused on bail on a personal bond of Rs. 12,000 with one surety each. The trio were charged with Section 295 A IPC which deals with deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage the religious feelings of any class.



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