Yeh Mera India: Review

Filmmaker N Chandra’s latest flick ‘Yeh Mera India’, which released all over this Friday, makes you feel for your country. This film is an attempt to bring together the lives of twelve people, who come from diverse backgrounds. So, ‘YMI’ tries to highlight sensitive issues like racial discrimination, communal bias, immigrant issues, class and caste issues etc by weaving in multiple stories together.

The movie stars extremely talented actors like Anupam Kher, Atul Kulkarni, Seema Biswas, Milind Gunaji, Rajit Kapoor, Rajpal Yadav and Sarika among others. Good dialogues and great direction are the two biggest strengths of this film. The way Chandra has succeeded in connecting all the stories together is also commendable.

The best part of the film is that each story connects with you and talks about the values which we have forgotten, as Indians, and it’s time start incorporating them. The film is about the Indians and the hidden treasures inside them. ‘YMI’ mainly is the story of Indians and the hidden treasures inside them.

On the whole, ‘Yeh Mera India’ has its heart in the right place. This one’s a must watch.

Rating: 9/10

Yeh Mera India | Mirror Image Of The Society!

By Sampurna

Recently, a press conference was held by the Pen Movie’s film Yeh Mera India (Y.M.I) in Time and Again in Mumbai. Almost the entire team of Y.M.I was present at the Press-Conference including Director N.Chandra, Producer Dhaval Gada, M.D of Pen Music Jayantilal Gada, C.E.O of Pen Music Rajiv Sogani, Smilie Suri, Perizad Zorabian, Anupam Kher, Rajpal Yadav, Praveen Dabbas, Purab Kohli, Seema Biswas, Vijay Raaz, Milind Gunaji, Atul Kulkarni, Music director duo Siddhartth Suhas and singer Kavita Seth. To widespread their goodwill Boney Kapoor and Satish Kaushik also marked their presence. Media had gathered in large number.

The promos of the film were showcased for the media. The film is believed to have a realistic approach and portrays the dark side of complexities of elements of the society, which plays vital role to shape up our life, believes, thoughts and action.

Director N.Chandra said, “Y.M.I deals with issues like racial bias, communal bias, immigrant bias that plague today’s society and the outcome create unnecessary unrest in peace and harmony of the nation. It is the story of one day in the life of 12-13 people from different strata of Mumbai having different goals, and wants. The U.S.P of the film is that before interval one will ask a question with disappointment “Yeh Mera India?’ and after the interval one will say with a sigh of relief to find solutions and answers to long-range problems, Yeh Mera India!”

In the press conference Anupam Kher says, “I have worked with Mr. N.Chandra in the past but I strongly feel that “Y.M.I’ is the finest film of N.Chandra and everyone will vouch on that. The film has a universal appeal and I agreed to do the film in 5 minutes of the narration. The entire team of Y.M.I is highly thankful to Mr.Jyantilal and Dhaval Gada to produce such a film, which has no masala-element in it and only hard-hitting reality.”

Boney Kapoor who came on a goodwill gesture towards the film, said, “I have come here to show my togetherness towards the entire star-cast. I was highly touched after seeing the film, and therefore decided that I need to associate myself with this film.” On other hand Satish Kaushik said, “Me and Boney Kapoor got emotionally attached to the film instead of getting commercially attached.”

Rajpal Yadav is playing a vital role in the film, he said, “This film is very special to me and I feel proud and obliged to be associated to the film. Film showcases those questions, which we imprint on our thoughts, believes, actions, missions, visions and live life with those unsolved and unanswered questions. We the team of Y.M.I have worked as a football team, where the goal is the same, of building an awareness but roles are different.”

Smile Suri said, “This film is a mirror-image of the complexities of the society.” Perizad Zorabian who was also present in the conference said, “I can feel passion in the screenplay, to sum up it is real, honest, hard-hitting and N.Chandra to the core.”

The music duo added, “It is a phenomenal film, which doesn’t require music. But this is a poetry written by N.Chandra and we composed the music for it, and this was the best way to be associated to this film.”

Seema Biswas had much to say, “It is not what role one plays in the film; it is what difference the role makes in the film, and how incomplete the film is if the character is kept aside. I loved the subject of the film and hopefully will work in future with him.”

So, people get ready for another hardcore reality film, which is in full gear to make an impression on the mind of people and force them to re-think and bring a change.
-Sampurn Media


Quickgun Murugun makes Aamir Khan smile

Prithwish Ganguly

Mumbai: They've not quite recovered from the miscarriage and while the trip they planned to get away from it all is still on, both Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao are keeping a low profile.While work is on hold and Aamir is home with Kiran most of the time, DNA was intrigued to spot the actor walking into Ketnav theatre in Bandra accompanied by sister Nuzhat and pal Amin Haji.

A little probing revealed that he was there on the invitation of Fox Star Studios for a private preview of Quickgun Murugan. Says a source, "Very few people know that Aamir was approached to star in the film but couldn't do it for some reason. When he saw the promos he liked them and conveyed that to the makers (with whom he shares a very good rapport), following which they requested him to see the film and give them some feedback. Aamir agreed on the condition that they would not publicise it."

So what was Aamir's reaction to the film? "We're sure he liked it. There was a smile on his face -- it had completely vanished from his face for a long time now. He has even posted his views on his blog. In fact he called up the producers to fix up a meeting with the protagonist Dr Rajendra Prasad," said the source.

Vivek Krishnani of Fox Star Studios' confirmed, "Yes, it is true that Aamir Khan watched the film and wanted to catch up with the lead actor for dinner.


Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan in National Awards '07's race

Mumbai: As the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry gets ready to announce the winners of the National Awards for 2007, buzz is that two of Bollywood's biggest stars Aamir and Shah Rukh Khan are in the contention for the Best Actor Award.

While Shah Rukh Khan has been nominated for his role as hockey coach Kabir Khan in Chak De India, Aamir Khan is in competition for his restrained performance as Art teacher Ram Shankar Nikumbh in Taare Zameen Par, Aamir Khan is also said to be in the running for Best Film for Taare Zameen Par - having directed and produced the film. News is that Darsheel Safari is also being considered for the Best child actor award for his performance as the dyslexic Ishaan Awasthi in the same film.

Shah Rukh Khan's home production, Om Shanti Om has also been nominated for a National Award in the best feature film for wholesome entertainment category. Aamir Khan earlier won an award in this category for Lagaan which he produced in 2001.

However neither Shah Rukh nor Aamir has ever won a national award for Best Actor yet in their career.

Meanwhile I&B Minister Ambika Soni is likely to announce the National Awards next week and President Pratibha Patil is scheduled to handover the awards in Delhi in October this year.


Aamir wants to take on SRK at the Box Office

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

If Aamir Khan has his way this year end might see one of the biggest clashes in the history of Bollywood. It has been learnt that Aamir wants Raj Kumar Hirani directed 3 Idiots to release on the same days as Shahrukh Khan's My Name Is Khan. This will be the first time the two stars will clash at the Box Office on the same day.

This however has become a bone of contention between the Hirani and Aamir as the director wanted the movie to release by the year end and avoid any major clashes and have a free run. Aamir has gone for a vacation deliberately to delay the film which also stars Kareena Kapoor, Sharman Joshi and Madhavan and is based on Chetan Bhagat's novel Five Point Someone.

Aamir and Hirani have had a long discussion on the issue and the perfectionist actor has given Hirani a free hand to decide on the release date. But the truth is Aamir will take the final call on the release date. Last Year Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Ghajini had released back to back and Aamir had won the battle. It seems like Aamir wants to take on SRK again and prove who is the real superstar of Bollywood.



K.S. RAVI KUMAR , the sought after director of the film Dasavathar starring Kamal Haasan in ten roles wiuth Asin, tells JYOTHI VENKATESH in an exclusive interview in chaste Tamil

K.S. Ravi Kumar is excited about the fact that he has made his debut as a director as far as Hindi films is concerned with the Kamal Haasan starrer Dasavathar, which is the Hindi dubbed version of the original Tamil-Telugu bilingual hit Dasavatharam. When K.S.Ravi Kumar who is a director of super duper hits in Chennai as far as Tamil film industry is concerned was in Mumbai for promotion of his film Dasavathar recently, he took time off to talk to me about himself and his film.

Ravi Kumar who is considered the David Dhawan of Tamil films does not mince words at all. “I will be lying if I were to declare pompously that I consider film making as a service from my side to art. You can never catch me making an off beat or an art film now at this stage of my career though when I had set point to make my debut in Tamil films around nineteen years ago with the film Puriyatha Puthir, I was na├»ve enough to make art films.”

It is very interesting to note that Ravi Kumar who has to his credit hit films starring Rajanikant like Muthu and Sivaji had actually started his career not as a film maker but as an exporter of Tamil films to Malaysia, thanks to the good offices of the late comedian Nagesh, who he say was his good family friend. “I started off by exporting films to Malaysia and hence till date I consider films as business and not an art.”

Till date Ravi Kumar has directed as many as 37 films in Tamil and Telugu including Dasavatharam. He had started his career after giving up his export business by joining as an assistant to directors like Vikraman, K. Rangarajan, Relangi Narasimha Rao and Ramarajan.

Considering the fact that Dasavatharam was made at a cost of Rs 45 crores and ended up collecting a whopping sum of Rs 68 crores when it was released in Tamil and Telugu a year back, Ravi says that even before the release of the Hindi dubbed version, the film has already proved to be a super duper hit for producer Ravi Chandran of Aascar Films.

Ravi confesses that he was overwhelmed when the doyen among the film directors -K. Balachander who had actually discovered Kamal Haasan way back in Tamil films as a leading man, landed at his house a day after Dasavatharam was released and garlanded him to express his happiness after he had watched the film.

Ravi Kumar admits that though today he would not even dream of making any film without a mega star, he had made his first ten films without any big star. The reason is that no big star was even ready to recognize him, forget about being ready to listen to his story narration. It was only after Nattammai which he had made with Sharath Kumar who was at that point of time not a big star as he is now, that big stars started asking him if he would like to make a film with them.

Ravi Kumar says that today when he is sought after by big stars like Rajanikant and Kamal Haasan, he is not ready at all to take a risk by casting new actors in his film. Before Dasavatharam, Ravi had directed R. Madhavan in Ethiri.

Talking about his experience having directed Kamal Haasan, Ravi adds. “We are blessed to have an actor like Kamal Haasan in Tamil films. He is not only just an actor but an all rounder. In fact it is Kamal who has written the script of Dasavatharam, besides having played ten different roles in the film. There were times when I used to take just one single shot in six different days for Dasavatharam because we had to go in for visual effects for almost 90% of the film. We had to go in for double action without C.G. Kamal Haasan almost did mono acting on the sets.”

Ravi adds that it was quite tough for him to direct a mammoth film like Dasavatharam because he had to concentrate not only on the dialogues and the script but also calculate each and every shot while directing Kamal Haasan, because he was essaying multiple roles, often pitting himself with the other characters that he himself was playing.

What difference did you find between directing Kamal and Rajanikant? I ask Ravi. Comes the reply, “Kamal is class whereas Rajanikant is mass oriented. Kamal knows all the technical aspects of making a film since he is also a director whereas Rajanikant who gives ideas to directors does not get involved in the technique of the film.

K.S. Ravi Kumar has also the practice of appearing in every film of his, though he confesses that he has no desire to take up acting as a full time job or play the lead like some Tamil directors. “I see my face every day in the mirror in the morning and hence I know that I am not cut out for acting. Besides the fact also remains that I am just not inclined to take up acting, though initially I had played character roles in nine films of mine. Nowadays I appear in a cameo role in every film I direct because my producers feel that I am lucky for my film if I do a cameo role. I have appeared in Dasavatharam too in a small role”.

Ravi Kumar is of the opinion that language is not a barrier for any director, whether he is directing a film in Tamil or Hindi. “Mani Ratnam does not know a single word in Hindi. Hasn’t Mani Ratnam churned out great films in Hindi? I am keen on directing films in Hindi too. Right now I have no time to think about directing Hindi films because I am busy with not one but three projects o mine in Tamil.

K.S. Ravi Kumar says that he works at the same pace like in the beginning and in general completes a film in 90 days though it took him nearly two years to complete Dasavatharam. -Sampurn Media


Bollywood movies fail to revive theatres in Pakistan

Lahore (PTI): Screening of several Bollywood movies in Pakistani theatres during the past two years has not brought spectators back to cinemas in droves, shattering dreams of the revival of the ailing film industry.

Some 25 Indian movies have been screened in Pakistani cinemas since 2006, when the classic 'Taj Mahal' was released after authorities eased restrictions on the import of Bollywood productions after a gap of over four decades.

'Singh is Kinng' is the only movie that has done relatively better business in Pakistan, exhibitors said.

After the closure of 1,300 of the 1,500 cinema halls across the country in recent times, the Pakistan Film Exhibitors Association pressed the government to allow the screening of Indian movies, saying it was the only way to save the remaining 200 theatres.

The PFEA was of the view that Pakistanis are fond of Indian films and would rush to theatres to watch their favourite stars on the big screen. However, their assessment did not prove correct.

People in the business blame two major factors -– terrorism and piracy -– for negating their efforts to bring people back to cinema halls.

"I don’t go a cinema hall to see my own movies because of the deteriorating law and order situation," said Meera, a Pakistani actress who has appeared in two Indian movies.


Thousands cheer for Salman Khan as he campaigns in Maharashtra

By Robin David

Nasik (Maharashtra), Apr 19 (ANI):

It’s election time, but Bollywood is making a splash. With various actors showing up in political rallies or road shows, it’s the movie buffs who are having a field day watching their favourite heroes live.

The latest instance was witnessed on Sunday when Bollywood heartthrob Salman Khan showed up to campaign for a NCP candidate from Nasik.

Thousands of fans gathered at a road show to catch a glimpse of their favourite actor. Salman Khan was in Nasik to support NCP’s Sameer Bhujbal.

Despite waiting for a long time at Bhagwanpura in old Nasik, the spirits of these fans continued to remain high. They were later pleasantly surprised to see Khan, who made a grand entry here.

“We were waiting for Salman Khan for past three hours but when he came, he came with a bang. We liked it very much,” said Ijjaz Sheikh, a resident of Nasik.

Earlier, Salman Khan had campaigned for Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel in the state’s Bhandara region.

Khan has also campaigned for Congress party, soliciting votes for its candidate in Unnao region of Uttar Pradesh.

Moreover, he has campaigned for veteran actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna, a BJP candidate from the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha constituency in Punjab. (ANI)


Kamal Hassan excited about Dashavatar

Kamal Hassan’s much awaited Hindi version of his Tamil blockbuster Dasavatharam has finally hit the theatres after almost a year since the original released. This mega budget extravaganza now titled Dashavatar directed by KS Ravikumar has Kamal Hassan playing ten different characters, which is a record of sorts. Ghajini girl Asin Thottumkal is in a double role and Mallika Sherawat also plays a significant part in the film.

The film, which took three years to get completed was pegged at over Rs.100 crore and was shot in eight foreign locations which including America, England, Japan, Malaysia etc. In India, the film was shot in Tamil Nadu, Mumbai and Hyderabad. The advertisement budget alone went up to a stupendous Rs.6 crores.

Kamal Hassan tells us, “If I start telling about the film from where we actually began Dashavatar it will take 2 years to tell you the story ,that is because every day, every word mattered. We started with just 25 days for the first schedule of the film, which had no shooting, no acting. It was just for the make-up tests 25 days in the US. 20 days, 12 hours a day, and then 5 days of taking photographs.

“When we came back with the photographs, people started believing more in Dashavatar including the producer, the director and myself. Till date nobody outside of the unit has seen any of these photographs. To cut it short, to cut to the chase as we call it. If you want to get a glimpse of all the hard work we did, you will have to come and see it on the big screen.”


Now, Mickey Mouse to regale in Hindi

Kolkata: Disney Publishing Worldwide, a division of The Walt Disney Company (India), has entered into a licensing agreement with publisher Junior Diamond to launch its Disney Comics portfolio in the country.

For the first time, these comics will be available in vernacular languages. At present, only story and activity books in English from Disney Publishing are available in India. Last year, Disney test-marketed eight storybook titles in Marathi and Hindi as a precursor to the launch of Disney Comics.

Roshni Bakshi, regional director, Disney Consumer Products, India & Asia, said, "We are adding value to the comics portfolio by bringing them out in vernaculars, as well."
Disney's comics, targeted at the age group of 6-14 years, would be priced at Rs 25. For starters, every month two new Mickey and Donald stories would be released. Later, the range could be expanded to include Disney's other characters, including the Princess.

Disney is targeting to sell its comics through about 10,000 outlets, including mom-and-pop stores and newsstands.

Bakshi said comic reading habits are not waning among kids since Disney has received encouraging feedback from children for the 3-4 page comics published in its Disney Adventures magazine.

Bakshi added that Disney's special magazine, brought out through a tie-up with Kingfisher Airlines, has also received positive feedback from kids.

New York-based Disney Publishing, with over 340 regular titles, sells 274 million copies of children's magazines and 120 million children's books annually across the world.

Junior Diamond, which will print and distribute the comics, is the youngest division of the Diamond Group, which has been in the publishing industry for the last 70 years. Its titles include Grihlakshmi (a woman's monthly), Cricket Today (in English and Hindi) and Sadhna Path (a magazine on ayurveda and spiritualism).

Sony planning to release six new games in Hindi

Seeking to hijack the potentially lucrative Indian gaming market, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is planning to release games in the regional languages in India. Business Standards has reported that Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, which holds 80 percent gaming market in India, is looking to release at least six games in Hindi this year.

Business Standards has articulated that the gaming and animation giant - Sony Computer Entertainment has decided to release new games in Hindi after the success of first Hindi title, Hanuman; the company sold 10,000 units on the first day. The sales of Hanuman have indicated the potential of regional language games. Hanuman was developed by the Hyderabad-based Aurona Technologies.

Business Standards has quoted Atindriya Bose, country manager - playstation, Sony Computer Entertainment, in its report. Mr. Bose has said "We introduced the first regional language game 'Hanuman' on March 25, this year. Hanuman saw 10,000 units being sold to the trade on day one of its launch. Usually, a good international title would see 3,000-4,000 units sale on the first day. This proved the potential of regional games."

According to Mr. Bose, the company is expecting the sales of 50,000 units of the Hanuman, against the 30,000 units originally aimed by the company. Normally, International titles sell around 15,000 units. Bose has said, "Again, initially we had set a target of selling 30,000 units of the Hanuman game in the first year of its launch, but now we have revised it to 50,000 going by its demand. Any international title would sell close to 15,000 units in one year."

According to Business Standards, after Hindi, Sony Computer Entertainment is looking to release Playstation games in Tamil Bengali, Telugu and Punjabi. The games in Hindi will include the action games based on the Mumbai under world and some games oriented around Indian mythology.

According to Mr. Bose, the regional language games that we are planning to release will be regional not just in terms of language, but also in terms of characters, scenery and stories. Bose has stated, "Bangalore-based Candela Software is developing two quiz-based education games which would help students prepare for competetive exams. Another Hyderabad-based company Gameshastra is developing four games on Indian rural tradition, like 'gili danda', 'kabbadi', among others."

Meanwhile, the Walt Disney Co. (India) has also announced that it will publish comic books featuring globally loved cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Donald duck, in Hindi. The comic books will be priced at Rs25. In a statement, Roshini Bakshi, regional director, Disney Consumer Products, Asia and India, said, "The launch of comic books in Hindi, reinforces our commitment to localize our stories and connect with the Indian consumers through content, that is appealing and relevant."



First-time producer Shri Avinash Onkar plans to remake his Marathi film ‘Kaalchakra’ screened as part of the Indian Panorama Section at IFFI-2007 in Hindi. While speaking to media persons here today, Shri Onkar informed that he was inspired to make Kaalchakra, a film that deals with the life situation of HIV + persons and how the society excludes them at large, after having personally witnessed the plight of some of the HIV + persons known to him in real life. The Hindi version would allow spreading the message of the film to a much wider audience, the producer commented.

The film’s director, Shri Vishal Bhandari stressed that great amount of research had gone in finalizing the film’s story such as acquiring authentic information on AIDS and HIV + cases from the National AIDS Research Institute, Pune and interaction with real life HIV + people. Meanwhile, commenting on his decision to play the main protagonist of the film i.e. Shekhar, Sachin Khedekar said “It was a rare opportunity to work in a film that provided me an opportunity to give back to the society which has given so much to me”.

The film revolves around the life of Shekhar whose dreams come crashing down, when he discovers that he is HIV +. He loses his family, job and self-respect. The film deals with the problems that Shekhar faces in terms of social exclusion and how he gradually acquires the will and determination to give himself a better future. Finally Shekhar succeeds.

Hindi Shayari

Muskurahat pehan kay har mod tay,
dard miladey mainu har vaari rahey,

Justju day silsilay jaari rahey,
Taanghday kee kee umar saari rahey,
Pall khushi day kol aa kay dou ghadi,
Tilkday hathan chon har vaari rahey,
Bhar lavaangay muthiyan ch raushni,
Eh bhulekhe zindagi saari rahey,
Khaab manzil daa rahey jeonda magar,
Bhatkna day naal vee yaari rahey,
Muskurahat pehan kay har mod tay,
Dard mildey mainu har vaari rahey,
Rastiyan tay iss kadar vee kee yakeen,
Har kadam tay yaar,hoshiyaari rahey,
Ajnabi jangal ch eh terey khyaal,
Bann kay meri chaar divaari rahey,

compiled by,


Good films don’t need big promotions: Amir Khan

It is never an easy decision for a successful actor to change the rules at the top of his game and take a chance on experimenting with roles and his career. But Indian superstar Aamir Khan seems to be braver than most. Emirates Business met up with the actor who was in Dubai for the Star Middle East premiere of his film Taare Zameen Par.

You just turned director with Taare Zameen Par (TZP), which you have also produced and acted in. Were you worried this may turn into a case of Jack of all trades and master of none?
—I’m aware of what people think, but such things don’t worry me. A lot is riding on my shoulders, but I know that my previous work as an actor and producer has been loved, so higher expectations from people are justified.

Was branching out into production a way to ensure your future was secure in Bollywood? After all, not everyone can be an Amitabh Bachchan who still has roles specially written for him at the age of 65.

—I can’t speak on behalf of other people, but it was Lagaan’s script that really drew me into production. It was a very difficult film to make and whoever produced that film had to be extremely committed to the project.

Plus, the situation was very unusual because the director [Ashutosh Gowariker] already had two flops to his credit. Any producer would have thought twice before backing the film, and I liked the challenge.

How much of your own money is invested into producing TZP? Is it easy to raise funds from banks or institutions?

—You can either use your own money or aim for a partnership. For TZP, I tied up with PVR Pictures, an exhibition chain that invested in my film and co-produced it.

I could have opted for a bank loan, but money wasn’t the primary decision-maker. I was looking for financers who could bring something else to the film rather than just money. My strength is exciting the people enough to watch my film, but my weakness is distribution. PVR Pictures run a distribution network throughout India and that added extra value to our partnership.

Aggressive promoting and marketing blitzkriegs are tactics that filmmakers are adopting today to keep their films in the spotlight. Do such gimmicks really work?

—Depending on the movie, it can either work thanks to all that carpet-bombing or it could work because it has strong content. Personally, I feel if a film is good then even minimum promotion won’t stop it from becoming a huge commercial success.

Your refusal of accepting mainstream film awards is well known. But why don’t you want London’s Madame Tussauds to display your wax figure?

—I want to clarify that I have received no official invitation or letter from Madame Tussauds. The person representing it in India has asked to meet me a couple of times, but I have been too busy with my films to see him. When we both find the time, we will discuss the matter further.

Your opinion on the Narmada Dam construction project in Gujarat created a lot of furore in the media, resulting in protests and your film Fanaa being banned in the state. Have things calmed down now?

—I have always had only love and respect in my heart for the people of Gujarat; in fact, for the people of my country. And Darsheel Safary [his co-star in TZP] also happens to be a Gujarati. What happened was politically motivated. My job is to make films. I don’t have the power or the strength to ensure their release and distribution. I hope TZP is released in Gujarat.

There was a lot of speculation that TZP’s first director, Amole Gupte, and you had a falling out, citing creative differences. Can you set the record straight?

—Amole has written a beautiful script and he was originally directing the film. But after a week of shooting, I saw the rushes and I wasn’t very happy. Because he had penned the script, I offered to remove myself as producer and actor, and let him work with a different team.
But Amole decided that he would much rather have me provide a bigger platform for his script that he may not be able to give. This decision was entirely his.

Have you settled your differences with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Amitabh Bachchan over your comments about Black, where you criticised the film, saying that it encouraged child abuse?

—I have the deepest respect for Mr Bachchan. But as a viewer, I am entitled to my personal opinions and I stand by every word that I have earlier said or written on my blog.

Aamir Khan
Actor, Producer and Director

Aamir Khan is India’s highest paid actor, demanding a salary of Rs100million (Dh9.09m) per film.

Khan first appeared on the silver screen as a child in the 1973 hit Yaadon Ki Baaraat. But rather than pursuing starry dreams, he moved away from acting to try his hand at sport. He also eloped with college sweetheart, Reena, but they kept their marriage a secret. The tremendous success of his 1988 film, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, revived his acting career and spilled the beans on his marital status. Unfazed by the tension in his personal life, Khan continued to deliver hits. It was the 1998 film, 1947 Earth, which really gained him international recognition. The star turned producer with the Oscar-nominated Lagaan, during the shooting of which he met his current wife, Kiran Rao.


Anurag Kashyap - Interview on THE RETURN OF HANUMAN

Percept Picture Company's HANUMAN created an all new market for animated films in India and made way for a number of animated films thereafter. Their next film "THE RETURN OF HANUMAN" directed by Anurag Kashyap is all set to hit screens on 28th Dec, 2007.

Anurag Kashyap is coming up with his new directorial venture “The Return of Hanuman”, an animation film. After his dark thriller No Smoking, he surprisingly comes up with a children’s film. With the film being set in modern day India and Hanuman taking the role of a school boy, it's the funny antics of the kid which involves action, comedy and drama - some of the most loved ingredients of a hardcore Bollywood potboiler - that seems to be clicking well with the film's target audience i.e. children.

The theatrical promo has met with an excellent response by the cinemagoers and with the look of things, “The Return of Hanuman”, which releases on 28th December all over, is all set to break the records created by its predecessor Hanuman. So let’s talk more about the movie and about the man behind its direction.....

How was the experience of working on the film?
The Return of Hanuman gave me an insight into how animation movies are made. The script for an animation film vastly differs from a feature script. Here, you have to consider even the smallest of details like the dust blowing, leaves falling, etc while writing for the film. It was a wonderful and enriching experience. Especially since it’s an out-and-out fun movie and is not at all connected to Ramayana.

Is this your first children’s film?
Yes. This film is dedicated to my daughter, who says my films only have policemen, people getting beaten up, etc. No songs, dance or masti. I have written the film for her so that she can enjoy it with her pals.

How was it working with PPC?
Brilliant. PPC fully trusted me from day one on a project that was totally different from my genre of dark and commercial films.

What was you reaction when you was offered by PPC?
I was pondering on what to do when I got a call from Percept who asked me to write the script for The Return of Hanuman which I eventually went onto direct. But all this I did for my daughter.

Your inspiration...
The general mindset of children acted as a reference point. The Hanuman of this film is a child. He goes to school, solves his friends’ problems, steals mangoes and behaves like a kid. Some childhood memories also came in handy.

What is your take on the music of the film?
The music of the film is awesome. It goes with the film very well… I love the music very much.
Do you think HANUMAN RETURNS will prove to be an as successful as HANUMAN.
Hanuman returns will be the biggest blockbuster ever.

Which thing fascinates you most about the industry?
A possibilities and the challenge fascinates me the most.

Don’t you think Hindi cinema now getting versatile?
I love the direction in which Hindi cinema heading.

What are your other projects in the pipeline?
My other forthcoming films are Dev D, Devki and Gulaal.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself right here talking about my films.

A big star in a little world

amir Khan talks about the magic of working with children and what he's trying to convey through his directorial debut Taare Zameen Par

Over the last few years, he has acquired the reputation of being one of the most discerning actors within the Indian film industry. Now that he makes his first foray into direction, Aamir Khan's Taare Zameen Pe is generating a lot of positive buzz that could easily translate into box office success. As he whizzes through his promotional responsibilities, he is careful not to let the attention be taken away from the subject of the film - children with dyslexia.

Heard your kids have seen the film.
They've seen the rough cut and they like it.
Are you an indulgent father or a disciplinarian?

Neither. I want my kids to grow up with character and integrity, be happy and well-behaved. I've been a good parent. Taare Zameen Par has made me more sensitised to their needs.
Wasn't your divorce from their mother Reena difficult for them?

That's not relevant here. I'm here to talk about the film.

Being celebrity kids how do they view the realities of the world around them?
Both Reena and I are particular about them having a normal childhood. They go by the school bus, like other children, but both of them are very good academically. Junaid (14) is good at football and squash and Aria (9) is already making a film with her friends where I also have a role - I play the villain.

How was the experience of directing kids?
It was exciting because kids bring a lot of energy and their own point of view during filmmaking. You can get something magical, and I did. 'Taare' looks at the issue of dyslexia, which is often confused with low IQ or lack of talent, while actually it is a disability with language. This movie is not about disabilities but about the endless abilities and possibilities of children.

What pointers would you give parents?
To connect with our children in a focused way. In the rush of today's life and adult responsibilities, even as we love our children to death and they are our main lifeline, we tend to soft focus and not really make an effort to understand them completely, their world and the way they see things, what they like, what they don't, what really gives them joy. I hope children see this film with their parents.

How much was Kiran involved in the making? It is being said that when you were facing the camera she would get behind it.
Kiran is a part of the film but what you are saying is untrue. She will make her own movie some day.

What has been her contribution then?
She's the executive producer of the movie and from the Lagaan days she has been the best assistant director I have ever worked with. She is amazing at scheduling, handling the children, and things like that.

Haven't you asked her to rework her script?
No. I loved her script and wanted Aamir Khan Productions to produce it. But she's very individualistic. It's for her to decide if she wants to involve me or not.

Apparently you make an appearance only minutes before the interval?
I don't want to reveal anything except that both Darsheel and I are playing the leads.

You have been trying to meet Amitabh Bachchan since you lashed out at him and Black?
I have heard rumours that he is upset and hurt with me. With that in mind I called his office for an appointment. Hopefully, we'll meet soon.

Why did you speak out so strongly now and not before?
I did say the same things soon after the release of the film two years ago.

There is buzz that all's not well with the Khans either?
You mean Salman and Shah Rukh? We get along very well, thank you.

Meanwhile 'Gajini' has been put on hold till after the release of 'Taare Zameen Par', right?
I hadn't expected to direct 'Taare Zameen Par'. Producing and acting are bad enough since I'm not good at multi-tasking. Though I started shooting for 'Gajini' after 'Taare' I was distracted by post-production. Fortunately, everyone involved with 'Gajini' has been supportive.


BIG 92.7 FM's Chipak Ke Jeeto - The ultimate challenge only gets tougher!

BIG 92.7 FM, India's No.1 FM Station, has begun the first round of eliminations of 'Chipak Ke Jeeto' contest by conducting a thorough medical check-ups of contestants across the 5 metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

BIG 92.7 FM, India’s No.1 FM Station, has begun the first round of eliminations of ‘Chipak Ke Jeeto’ contest by conducting a thorough medical check-ups of contestants across the 5 metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore. While the medical check ups have been completed in some of the centers, there are others, where hopeful and excited candidates will queue up at hospitals to get their medical tests done and be qualified for the finale! The elimination round has witnessed few mixed emotions from the participants as there was an immense craze and excitement among the participants to win a brand new Hyundai i10 car.

This elimination round, the most important of them all is being conducted by BIG 92.7 FM to ensure participants are tested for Blood pressure, sugar, ECG, BMI, pulse ratings etc., to ensure the participants are at no health risk whatsoever during the contest. The tests results ended with mixed reactions from contestants – great excitement and gearing up among those who have cleared the medical tests and morose and upset people who have not made it to the finale.

Contestants who passed the medical test will now fight each other in the grand finale on January 11, 2008 across the 5 cities, one of whom will make it to the Limca Book of Records. On successful completion of the contest, Limca Book officials will certify the winner of Chipak Ke Jeeto and enter his/her name into the record books.

About “Chipak ke Jeeto”
The contest Chipak Ke Jeeto, a one of its kind challenge, allows the contestant who remains touching the swanky new Hyundai i10 for the longest period, to grab the keys and drive home the machine! Chipak Ke Jeeto conceptualized and presented by BIG 92.7 FM, will be held simultaneously across the five metros of Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. Officials for Limca Book will visit the locations during the course of this event and will give their final verdict on successful completion of the test.

A Rs. 400 crore investment in Transmission Equipment, Infrastructure and licensing, a plan for a 1000-strong national workforce - all geared towards an ultimate count of 45 stations in the nation’s biggest private FM Radio Station Network that is poised to reach 200 million Indians through a pan-India presence across 45 cities, 1000 towns and 50,000 villages. That’s BIG 92.7 FM, an Adlabs Films Initiative, which is perhaps the only private FM Radio network that provides an extremely strong and effective platform for both, large corporates as well as local retailers that need an effective national platform. What adds to BIG 92.7 FM’s complete effectiveness is that its programming is geared towards the aspiration-ally conscious and active masses whose daily life is a quest to better their lives and lifestyles. With its mission of impacting its listeners’ lives positively, and applauding the work and achievements of local heroes through its continuous initiatives, BIG 92.7 FM is making a strong personal connect with millions every day.

Mauj Mobile brings 'Dus Kahaniyaan' onto your mobile!

- Brings you innovative content - Video Ringtones, Celebrity Greetings-

‘Dus Kahaniyaan’, is a part of Mauj’s ongoing deal with Eros Multimedia Pvt. Ltd giving the company worldwide telecom rights for the same. Mauj has developed some very exciting mobile content around the film, including ringtones, themes, and animations based on some striking visuals, catchy songs and dialogues capturing the movie’s essence and contemporary mood.

Special features of the content developed for Dus Kahaniyaan include mobile wallpapers featuring all the 25 actors of the star cast., video animations, and video ringtones of the movie’s sound track.

Speaking on this initiative, Mr. Manoj Dawane, CEO, People Infocom (Mauj), said, “Mauj is known for the quality content and innovative products that it provides to its consumers. With this tie-up with Dus Kahaniyaan, we have attempted to pick up the best from the 10 short films along with 25 film stars and package it beautifully for the mobile screens of Hindi movie enthusiasts. Our association with Eros has been extremely encouraging, giving us the opportunity to work with banners like White Feather Films.”

With ‘Dus Kahaniyaan’ being considered the next big film after OSO and Saawariya, Mauj has provided special attention to the movie! The company picked up a fresh story each week from the ten, to ensure in-depth, active and innovative promotional activities for every tale. The company has also created a Special New Year Celebrity Greetings designed on the members of the film’s starcast.

About People Infocom
People Infocom is a Managed Services Provider to Telecom Operators, Media & Entertainment Companies and Consumer Brands. The company develops and distributes unique platforms & applications in diverse areas such as Portal Management (GPRS, SMS, Voice), Mobile Entertainment (music, videos, gaming), Mobile Communities (dating, matrimonials, real-estate) and Mobile Marketing (advertising, campaign management). It also extends its services by developing, aggregating, and facilitating content on these platforms and applications through Mauj Mobile.

The company develops services on all leading platforms including J2ME, Smartphone, BREW, Symbian, SS7 and I-Mode. People Infocom was awarded the Nokia and Singtel Multiplayer Game Quest 2006 Award and has also won the Red Herring Asia 2006 Top 100 Awards recently. People Infocom is a Sequoia Capital and Intel Capital backed company and is part of Anupam Mittal led People Group.


Reunion of Shailendra Sigh and Mithun Chakraborty

Director Pankaj Shukla managed to make one more casting coup for the most talked about film in Bhojpuri Cinema "Bhole Shankar". Legendry Singer Shailendra Singh who was voice of Cult Star Mithun Chakraborty in the super-duper hit films like "Suraksha", "Tarana" and many others makes a come back in the film "Bhole Shankar" as voice of Mithun Chakraborty once again.

Director Pankaj Shukla managed to make one more casting coup for the most talked about film in Bhojpuri Cinema "Bhole Shankar". Legendry Singer Shailendra Singh who was voice of Cult Star Mithun Chakraborty in the super-duper hit films like "Suraksha", "Tarana" and many others makes a come back in the film "Bhole Shankar" as voice of Mithun Chakraborty once again.

Shailendra Singh, who is known for his voice with difference recorded a Bhojpuri song in Sativika Studio in Mumbai which will be picturised on Mithun Chakraborty in Bhojpuri Film "Bhole Shankar". Commenting on this casting coup Mithun said, "It is indeed a pleasure to have a singer like Shailendra Singh in our team. When director Pankaj Shukla narrated the song situation to me, the very first name that came into my mind was Shailendra Singh. And, I was so happy to learn that even Pankaj has thought to get this song sung by Shailendra."

Present at the time of recording of the song was hero of the film and Super star of Bhojpuri Cinema, Manoj Tiwari 'Mridul'. Manoj welcomed Mr. Shailendra Singh to Bhojpuri Cinema and said, "Bhojpuri Cinema has finally arrived in big way and after likes of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini and Ajay Devgan supporting the revival of Bhojpuri Cinema, more and more Stars of Hindi Cinema are open to it. Mr. Shailendra Singh has been the idol of many singers and he has a huge fan following around the world. To have Shailendra Singh in the team of "Bhole Shankar" is nothing less than an honor."

Director Pankaj Shukla is making casting coups for Bhojpuri Cinema again and again. Last one heard about his debut film as director was for the news that he has managed to rope in two times National Award Winner for Best Actor and a cult star of Hindi Cinema, Mithun Chakraborty in his film "Bhole Shankar". Then he roped in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Finalists Raja Hasan and Mauli to sing for this film. Raja Hasan lapped the song which was originally composed keeping Rahet Fateh Ali Khan in mind whereas Mauli sings a peppy solo number in the film.
Produced by Gulshan Bhatia, "Bhole Shankar" boasts of a huge cast and is seen as the biggest Bhojpuri film till date. Mithun Chakraborty plays a very special role in the film while Manoj Tiwari Mridul plays the main male lead. The film has three heroines cast opposite Manoj, namely Mona Lisa, Lovy Rohatgi and Niraali, whilelikes of Rajesh Vivek, Gopal Singh and Shabnam Kapoor are doing the character roles. Crime Reporter fame Raghvendra Mudgal makes debut on big screen with this film. "Bhole Shankar" has lyrics by Bipin Bahar and Music by Dhananjay Mishra.