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Anupam Kher opens acting institute in Chandigarh
Chandigarh, Feb 28 It was a nostalgic moment for
Bollywood actor Anupam Kher when he signed papers Wednesday to
set up an acting institute in the city where he took his first
professional lessons in acting.
"This is a very emotional moment for me. I started my journey
from this city after coming from Shimla. I think this is the
right time for me to pay back to the city," Kher told reporters
here as he signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the
Chandigarh administration for setting up the institute in May
Kher did his acting course at the Department of Indian Theatre
at Panjab University here in the 1960s.
Hailing from the hill station town of Shimla, 120 km from here,
his other connection to this city is that his wife Kirron Kher,
herself an acclaimed film actor and theatre personality, is from
"I thank the Chandigarh administration for taking steps to set
up the Chandigarh Acting Institute (CAI). People in Punjab,
Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh have
immense talent in acting and will no longer have to go to Mumbai
to learn acting," Kher said.
His institute, Actor Prepares, will run acting courses from the
Central Crafts Institute in Sector 11. The government
infrastructure would be lent out to CAI for short acting
"I can assure you that the acting school here will be of
international standard. Teachers will come from Mumbai and
abroad. The courses would be chosen as per needs of modern
cinema," the actor announced.
He said that these days, marketing themselves was important for
actors and this would also be taught to the students.
The MoU for the CAI was signed between Kher's institute and the
Society for Tourism and Entertainment Promotion in Chandigarh,
its CEO and director Vivek Atray announced.
The Chandigarh administration has already initiated steps for
setting up a state-of-the-art film city to cater to the needs of
the film industry. Noted director Yash Chopra, chairman of the
Chandigarh advisory tourism forum, had suggested setting up of
Kher's school in the city last year. Kher already runs his
private acting institute in Mumbai.
From NYU to Harvard, Karan is
Bollywood's brand ambassador
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Feb 28 Karan Johar is taking his newly
discovered role as Bollywood's academic ambassador very
seriously. The director was last week invited to lecture 500
students at New York University and says the response was
"The subject was Bollywood and its popular culture. It isn't so
much about what I said to them as what they asked me. I suddenly
realised how far Bollywood was reaching out. They no longer ask
questions about the song-and-dance aspect of Bollywood," Karan
"The western hemisphere is waking up to the vast possibilities
of our cinema. And it's amazing to hear how much insight the
American students could provide me about my cinema. I think the
time for Bollywood has arrived now."
Apparently, Karan is now being booked for Bollywood lectures in
several cities in the US.
"I enjoy these interactive sessions. And I don't mind talking on
our cinema as long as it doesn't interfere with my main work,
which is making movies. In any case making movies and taking
them to the maximum number of people go hand in hand."
Next month, Karan will lecture on his favourite topic to
students at Harvard.
"That's as academic as it gets," he laughed.
Kukunoor mesmerised by Thai culture
By Swati R. Chaudhary,
Mumbai, Feb 28 Talented filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor is
completely smitten by Thailand's culture and wants to showcase
the country in a different light in his next film "Bombay To
The film stars his blue-eyed boy Shreyas Talpade and also
introduces Thai actress Lena Christianson, reports Bollywood
"I've been a frequent visitor to Thailand. I am really
fascinated by the place and I've always had this strong urge to
showcase Thailand in an unusual way. I someday wanted to make a
film that sincerely attempted to understand Thai culture and
here I am with 'Bombay To Bangkok'," said Kukunoor.
Throwing light on the film, he said: "It's amazing how similar
our cultures are, but yet they are different - this probably
explains the films catch line 'same same but different'.
"The basic premise of the film is how an Indian guy meets a Thai
girl, followed by some chaos and how they fall in love and live
happily ever after."
Kukunoor, who worked with Shreyas in "Iqbal" and "Dor", says he
truly enjoys working with the actor. "This is our third film and
I am looking forward to it."
There's something about Kukunoor that catapults him into a
different league altogether and veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai,
whose Mukta Searchlight Films is producing the movie, says he is
proud to be associated with the talented director.
"As always Kukunoor has come up with a unique story and unique
concept. With 'Bombay To Bangkok' I hope we recreate the success
story of 'Iqbal'."
Known for small budget films minus mainstream Bollywood stars,
Kukunoor's films are bound to draw crowds, the success of the
critically acclaimed "Dor" being a recent validation of his
Minissha, the modern day 'Rebecca'
Minissha Lamba and mathematics don't quite gel together. While
in school, she ironically won the multiple-choice quiz in the
Mathematics Olympiad and was gifted the bestseller "Rebecca".
And after all these years, she's all set to play that very
"Call it fate or whatever. I somehow managed to win the quiz and
today I am doing Ananth Mahadevan's 'Anamika', which is a modern
day adaptation of the book," Bollywood Trade quoted her as
"I read it in my childhood. I seriously don't know how I won the
quiz. May be because of the multiple options that I had blindly
ticked. I still get math nightmares!"
"Anamika - The Untold Story" also stars Dino Morea and Koena
Mitra. Touted as a romantic suspense thriller, the film has been
shot at exotic locales at Bikaner and Gajner.
Sammir stalked by fan in Bangalore
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Feb 28 When Sammir Dattani went to Bangalore
for the release of his Kannada film "Sajni", little did he know
that he would get stalked there.
A female fan apparently kept letting
him know exactly what he was up to at any given hour of the day.
"It's scary because she seems to know what I'm up to almost
before I know it myself. And she calls from different numbers to
confuse me. Her messages can qualify as porn," Sammir told IANS.
Sammir, known as Dhyaan in Kannada cinema, isn't too comfortable
kind of attention. But "Sajni" producer J. Murli Manohar, who's
readying "Provoked" for an April release, feels he should get
used to it.
"Sammir'd better get used to the attention. All the other
leading men in Kannada cinema fall into a different category.
He's the only pin up boy we have," said Manohar.
"If being a pin up boy means I get pinned down constantly, even
in the loo, for inspection with invisible cameras, then I'd
rather not be one," said Sammir.
"Sajni" is Sammir's fourth Kannada release. "I'm nervous as
hell. People aren't making it any better for me."
He is expected to have three Hindi releases this year.
It's Dino's turn to fall ill
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Feb 28 It was touch and go for Dino Morea on
the Filmfare awards night. When friends heard he had to be
rushed out after complaining of feeling ill, they suspected
another Saif Ali Khan incident in Bollywood.
Dino was supposed to go on stage to do a promotional skit with
his co-stars Sammir Dattani and Anjori Alagh for his forthcoming
film "Life Main Kabhi Kabhie" at the event Feb 25.
Dino elaborated about his illness the day after.
"I was shooting the whole day in artificial rain with a fever.
Since I had committed myself to doing the promotional clip for
'Life Mein Kabhi Kabhie' and since I didn't want to miss the
Filmfare awards, I braved it with my director Vikram Bhatt to
the function. But soon my head started throbbing and I felt I'd
pass out. That's when I decided to leave," Dino told IANS.
Feeling weak and depleted, Dino added: "We all need to slow down
and stop pushing ourselves unnecessarily. I'm not even a smoker
like Saif. But smoking isn't the only hazard we've to face.
"Look at the work conditions in studios and on location. One
could die of anything from contaminated water to mob frenzy.
Indian actors don't need insurance, they need god's miracle to
His co-star Sammir had rushed back from Bangalore for the flash
"I was promoting my new Kannada film 'Sajni' in places like
Chikmagalur (in Karnataka) when I was asked to return to Mumbai
to be on stage with Dino for our film. When I reached Mumbai, I
got to know our event was cancelled because Dino fell ill," said
Saif, who was to perform at the Stardust Awards recently, had to
be hospitalised after he complained of chest pain. Over-stress
was said to be the reason behind his irregular heartbeat. He was
discharged a couple of days ago.
Varma recreates 'Lolita' through 'Nishabd' (PREVIEW)
New Delhi, Feb 28 Director Ram Gopal Varma's "Nishabd",
which releases Friday, tells the story of an intimate and
unusual relationship between an older man and his daughter's
Starring Amitabh Bachchan and newcomer Jiah Khan, "Nishabd" is
said to be based on Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel
"Lolita". While Nakobov's novel is about a 44-year-old man
fantasising about a precocious 12-year-old girl, Varma's "Nishabd"
is about a 60-year old married man's romance with an 18-year-old
Amitabh plays a wildlife photographer in the film and lives with
his family n a hill station. Jiah is his daughter's friend, who
comes to spend her holidays with the family.
The lensman's artistic vision is triggered off when he sees
Jiah's youthful activities and starts capturing them in his
camera. But these harmless photo sessions take an unpredictable
turn when Amitabh sees Jiah playing in the water getting all
wet. It changes his feelings towards her and starts fantasising
This attraction is not one-sided as Jiah too is obsessed with
him and unhesitatingly confesses her love.
When he tells his family about his feelings for the teenager,
all hell breaks loose. His daughter is shell-shocked on hearing
of her dad's romance with her friend.
Through this film, Varma tries to state that age has nothing to
do with love. Attraction between two people can exist,
irrespective of age.
Aaftab Shivdasani, Revathi and Rukhsar also star in the film.
The novel has been twice adapted into a film - first time in
1962 by Stanley Kubrick starring James Mason as Humbert Humbert
and next in 1997 by Adrian Lyne, starring Jeremy Irons and
received mixed response.
It is now to be seen how the Indian audience reacts to Varma's
interpretation of "Lolita"
Slated Friday release of 'Nishabd' challenged yet again
New Delhi, Feb 28 Bollywood film director Ram Gopal
Varma's "Nishabd", featuring legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan,
failed to get out of the legal tangle Wednesday, two days before
its slated release Friday.
A day after a single bench of a Delhi High Court refused to ban
the film, director Jahar Kanungo of Bengali art film of the same
name "Nisshabda" moved a division bench of the court,
challenging the single bench order.
Accusing Varma of resorting to plagiarism in making "Nishabd",
Kanungo sought the court direction to stay the release of the
Kanungo's counsel Kartik Jai Shanker mentioned the matter before
a division bench of Chief Justice M.K. Sharma and Justice Sanjiv
Khanna, who posted the matter for hearing Thursday.
Justice A.K. Sikri Tuesday had dismissed Kanungo's petition
accusing Varma of plagiarising his film of the same name. The
judge rejected his petition saying the petitioner approached the
court too late to secure the legal reprieve and have the film
stopped from being released.
"Injunction of the nature pressed by the plaintiff (Kanungo)
cannot be granted at this stage when he approached the court
barely 10 days before the proposed release of the film," said
justice Sikri Tuesday in his 38-page ruling.
The judge had squarely blamed Kanungo for failing in getting his
requisite legal reprieve by approaching the court late.
'Nishabd', directed by Varma, tells the story of a 65-year-old
man, infatuated with a girl of his daughter's age. The lead
roles in the film have been played by Amitabh Bachchan, Jiah
Khan and Rewati.
'Caribbean Party' - official music album of the World Cup
Kingston, Feb 28 "Caribbean Party", the official
music album of the World Cup, is ready to spice up and welcome
the 16 teams to the mega cricket event beginning in the West
Indies March 11.
The album, an 11-track compilation featuring an inspirational
song, will be launched by VP Records on Tuesday.
The album contains the official song - "The Game of Love and
Unity" by Rupee, Shaggy and Fayann Lyons - as well as melodies
from Assassin, Buju Banton, Edwin Yearwood, Elephant Man, TOK
and Wayne Wonder, among others. All are Caribbean singers.
"Music is synonymous with cricket in the Caribbean and therefore
it's only fitting that there is an official album for the
biggest tournament ever to be held in the region," said World
Cup marketing manager Damon Leon.
"These tracks are a salute to the lifestyle that people in the
West Indies enjoy and the passionate bond between cricket and
The music is expected to be played during the 51 matches over 49
days of the tournament.
VP Records' product manager Chris Goins said the album truly
captures the vibrant and colourful spirit of the West Indies.
Meanwhile, World Cup's new television commercial - featuring
images from the upcoming music video "The Game of Love and
Unity" - is now being aired at all nine venues of the
Leon pointed out that the 30-second commercial is part of the
'Feel Good' advertising campaign to generate further hype and
excitement surrounding the tournament.
"This commercial captures the excitement of World Cup from
various vantage points - player, spectator, average visitor and
man on the street - as well as the zest which Caribbean people
have for cricket and life as a whole," he said.