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on 2007/1/18 13:10:30

Rang De Basanti out of Oscar race

'Rang De Basanti', the tragi-comic saga of a group of friends trying to purge society of corruption, lost out in the race for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars shortlist, while acclaimed director Deepa Mehta's 'Water' kept Indian hopes alive, albeit as a Canadian entry.

India's official entry to the Oscars 'Rang De Basanti' was voted out of the Best Foreign Film in the shortlist ahead of nominations for the category to be finalised by January 23.

Directed by Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra, the critically acclaimed and commercially successful film has memorable performances by Aamir Khan, Atul Kulkarni and Soha Ali Khan among others.

However, Indians still have something to cheer about as Canada's official entry 'Water', directed by India-born Deepa Mehta and starring Bollywood heartthrob John Abraham and model Lisa Ray, has made it to the shortlist of nine films for next month's 79th edition of the prestigious awards. The list was announced in Los Angeles yesterday.

The films shortlisted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences include Pedro Almodovar's 'Volver' (Spain), Mexico's entry 'Pan's Labyrinth', a fantasy from Guillermo Del Toro and Germany's 'The Lives of Others.' Among the shortlisted movies, five would be nominated for the prestigous award on January 23.

But a surprise omission was China's 'Curse of the Golden Flower,' Zhang Yimou's epic which had been tipped to vie for the top prize at the Oscars, which take place in Hollywood on February 25.

An Indian film is yet to win the top prize in the foreign film category, though a few movies have made it to the last five. Aamir-Khan starrer 'Laagan' had made it to the final five in foreign film cateogry in 2002, when a Bosnian movie had eventually won the coveted prize.

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  • Rang De Basanti fails to impress judges at BAFTA
  • Indian director buoyed by Oscar entry, looks ahead
  • Rang De Basanti vying for a Golden Globe nomination
  • Munnabhai to enter Oscar race
  • Is Rang De Basanti India’s best bet?
  • India's race at the Oscars
  • Bollywood Films used in Australian schools
  • Amir Khan’s ‘Peepli live’ in Oscar race
  • A lot of rage, a bit of Rang de
  • Is Rahman the best composer we have?
  • Soha wants to be wicked and funny on screen
  • Big B, Benegal bag top honours
  • "Water"has lost the Oscar race
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    Rang De Basanti India's entry for Oscar

    2006/9/25 21:08:40

    Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra's blockbuster Rang De Basanti has been selected as India's official entry for the best foreign film category for Oscar Awards 2007.

    The film starring Aamir Khan, Siddharth, Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor, Soha Ali Khan and Alice Patten revolves around a young British filmmaker Sue (Patten) who comes to India to make a film on the revolutionaries - Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru - who had left an everlasting impression on her grandfather.

    The film depicts the awakening of the young generation, inspired by the legendary freedom fighters.

    The producer of the film, the Mumbai-based UTV Software Communications, confirmed the selection.

    "It is true that the film is going for the Oscars. Right now we are holding meetings to chalk out the plans to promote the film," a UTV spokesperson said over phone.

    Rang De Basanti has thus beat Munnabhai Lage Raho and Omkara , among other Oscar contenders, in the race.


    Bollywood News : Rang De Basanti India's entry for Oscar

    Rang De Basanti fails to impress judges at BAFTA

    2007/2/12 9:30:18

    Bollywood blockbuster 'Rang De Basanti' lost out to Mexican film 'Pan's Labyrinth' at the British Academy of Film and Television awards in the best foreign language film category. The film, which is already out of the Oscar race, was competing with Mexican Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Lanyrinth, Mel Gibson's 'Apocalypto', Pedro Almodovar's 'Volver' and Paul Verhoeven's 'Black Book'.

    Rang De Basanti's team was present at the Royal Opera House in London last night for the award ceremony. The BAFTA awards are renowned as the British Oscars. The film starring Bollywood actors Aamir Khan, Kunal Kapoor, Soha Ali Khan and Alice Patten depicts the awakening of a whole new generation inspired by Indian freedom fighters.

    India's official entry to the Oscars, 'Rang De Basanti' was voted out of the Best Foreign Film in the shortlist ahead of the nominations for the category last month. Directed by Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra, the film has earned critical acclaim and commerical success at home.

    Bollywood News : Rang De Basanti fails to impress judges at BAFTA

    Indian director buoyed by Oscar entry, looks ahead

    2006/10/11 15:40:50 Bollywood director Rakeysh Mehra, whose hit film about the transformation of a group of self-absorbed youths is India's entry to the 2007 Oscars, said he will draw on his own childhood for one of his next ventures.

    Mehra, whose "Rang de Basanti" (Color Me Saffron) -- a film about a group of young Indians and their struggle to break away from their modern-day consumerist existence -- was the year's first hit, said he had begun work on the scripts of two films, "Delhi 6" and "Bhairavi".

    "'Rang de' was a massive hit but I think every director should move on and stop living in the past," Mehra told Reuters.

    "I want to do good work and not just be happy and contented with what I've done. I had to move on."

    Mehra said "Delhi 6", the postal code of Chandni Chowk, an old Delhi quarter with crowded markets where the filmmaker spent his childhood, would recount experiences of his growing up years.

    "But I would like to clarify that it is certainly not an autobiographical script," Mehra said.

    Mehra, who made his Bollywood directorial debut in 2001 with "Aks" starring Amitabh Bachchan, said he was elated about the choice of "Rang de Basanti" as an Oscar entry from among nine Indian films.

    "There will be brilliant movies in the fray but we think we have a chance nonetheless," he said, referring to his hopes of making the final list of nominations in the best foreign film category.


    Bollywood News : Indian director buoyed by Oscar entry, looks ahead

    Rang De Basanti vying for a Golden Globe nomination

    2006/7/7 14:50:53

    Rang De Basanti has received outstanding reviews by the masses and critics. The film has been appreciated both in India as well as overseas with phenomenal box-office collections. All the actors and actresses have also been commended for their performances in the film. But the star of the film is no doubt the highly talented Aamir Khan. The approximate figures at the box-office have crossed a path breaking 1.25 crores. And now the film is all set to receive more adulation and praise. Rang De Basanti will vie for a place in the nominations of the Golden Globe.

    A panel including 95 team members from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will watch Rang De Basanti on 27 July. The panel is the official body that selects and shot-lists films that will be a part of the nominations. The panel will watch the film at Clarity Screening Theater in Beverley Hills, Los Angeles. Rang De Basanti will compete in the foreign language film category. The film has been produced by Ronnie Screwvala and has been directed by Rakeysh Mehra and both of them will be present at the screening.

    The Golden Globes is one of Hollywood’s most prestigious awards. For any film to even make it to the nominations is an honour. There are no doubt strict criteria and procedures that are followed while short listing a film for the nominations of the Golden Globe. Every one in India will definitely be rooting for Rang De Basanti and hopefully the film will make it to the nominations. Producer Screwvala too is optimistic about a Golden Globe nomination for his film and says “Rang De Basanti has managed to strike a chord with the youth and breaks the norm of a commercial bollywood film.”

    After films like Lagaan and Paheli which tried to gain recognition, it’s now the turn of Rang De Basanti to try and gain international acclaim.


    Bollywood News : Rang De Basanti vying for a Golden Globe nomination

    Munnabhai to enter Oscar race

    2006/9/30 17:20:25

    Overwhelmed by the national as well as international response to the film Lage Raho Munnabhai and perhaps not very happy that his film was not selected as India's official entry for the Oscars, producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra has decided to enter his film for the Oscars as an independent entry in the Oscar race.

    The fact that Rang De Basanti has been chosen as the official Indian entry to the Oscars has not dampened the spirits of the makers of Lage Raho Munnabhai.

    Worldwide support

    Chopra has gone on record to state that, “The record number of fan mails that we have received worldwide have supported our belief and inspired us to go ahead with sending the film across to the Academy as an independent entry. We strongly believe that Lage Raho Munnabhai is a film that should be screened at all international film festivals."

    Apparently his decision has also been further strengthened by an invitation extended by the University of Southern California (USC) for a special screening of Lage Raho Munnabhai for thier students of cinema.

    Ken Naz of Eros International from the US will be preparing the applications to seek entry for the film.


    Bollywood News : Munnabhai to enter Oscar race

    Is Rang De Basanti India’s best bet?

    2006/9/26 15:39:09

    For once, the Film Federation of India (FFI) cannot be faulted for its Oscar entry decision.

    Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti, India’s official submission for the best foreign language film Oscar, has much going for it although this critic would personally have preferred Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara.

    Rang De Basanti is a well-scripted, skilfully crafted, thought-provoking entertainer that made waves when it opened earlier this year. In cinematic terms, it is a work of some merit, but the question is: will Rang De Basanti be able to sway the voters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences quite to the extent that it did domestic audiences?

    Success at home is certainly important for any film seeking Oscar success – if a film fails to appeal to its own audience, how can it be expected to make an impact on foreigners – but it is by no means essential. When an Academy member sits down to watch a film submitted for an Oscar nomination, he definitely doesn’t have its domestic box office collection figures in his or her mind. The film has to connect at the level of concept and treatment.

    That is where RDB will face an uphill task. It portrays an aspect of contemporary India – the growing disillusionment of the youth with the self-seeking political class – and employs clever cinematic methods to draw parallels between the indignation and aggression of its young characters with the courage and zeal of the militant revolutionaries of India’s freedom struggle.

    In India, Rang De Basanti worked big time because the historical personages whose names it invokes – Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Ramprasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan and Rajguru – rang an instant bell; to the Academy voter, they might not be quite as familiar.

    Some critics have also felt that the film’s climax – in which a bunch of angry boys assassinate the country’s defence minister and then storm a radio station to get their point across to the people – was rather laboured. Ultimately, however, what will count is whether Rang De Basanti can communicate its message to the Academy strongly enough to earn an Oscar nomination.

    The fact that Rang De Basanti and Rajkumar Hirani’s Lage Raho Munnabhai were tied at the end of the FFI jury exercise points to the tendency in this country to confuse popularity and box office success with intrinsic quality. Both are great films that deal with roughly the same theme and celebrate the spirit that drove India’s freedom struggle – one does it in earnest, the other in a comic vein, but Omkara, which may not have fared quite as well at the box office, would have started with an in-built advantage had been sent to the Oscars.

    Omkara is a fine adaptation of one of the world’s best-known plays, and even while it uses song and dance set pieces to carry the story forward, there is something very universal and international about the way the film is lit and edited. It would have been rather easy for the Academy to relate to Omkara on account of its storyline. Its cinematic qualities would have done the rest.

    But that is certainly not to underestimate the merits of Rang De Basanti. One advantage that it might enjoy is the fact that it is an Aamir Khan starrer. Thanks to Lagaan, Aamir is known in Hollywood and his presence in the cast would, therefore, probably be an incentive for the Academy members to go out and watch Rang De Basanti with a degree of seriousness.

    All said and done, Rang De Basanti is certainly a better choice than Devdas, Shwaas and Paheli, the films that represented India in the Oscar race in the last three years. Lagaan had generated a global buzz for India, but that was frittered away by the choices that the FFI made in subsequent years.

    Our films, justifiably made with an eye on the predilections of the domestic audience, are usually melodramatic, over the top and larger than life. They bank on overt emotions all the way, and often tend to border on mawkishness. The Indian masses love the high-pitched theatricality of our films; Western audiences are weaned on more subdued and subtle drama.

    Omkara closes that gap very effectively, and so probably does Rang De Basanti. Both are films with an essentially Indian heart – indigenous in theme and substance – but international in terms of narrative idiom and filmmaking style. It would be great if the Academy could be persuaded to recognise the changing face of popular Indian cinema.

    Unfortunately for Rang De Basanti, it will be up against Deepa Mehta’s Water which, although Canada’s official entry, is probably far more Indian. Its language is Hindi, its setting is pre-Independence Varanasi and its emotionally charged theme is marked by classical restraint – just the combination that makes for Oscar success.


    Bollywood News : Is Rang De Basanti India’s best bet?

    India's race at the Oscars

    2006/9/19 16:34:47

    Suddenly, everyone in Bollywood is busy talking Oscars again. Even as lobbying begins for the Indian nomination, speculation is rife in the film industry as to which film will be the Indian entry in the Foreign Film Category at the Oscars.

    The Film Federation of India (FFI) started collecting entries in the first week of September and the final selection will be out anytime now. Some of the frontrunners in the race are Omkara, Rang De Basanti and Lage Raho Munnabhai.

    Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and Krrish are also being touted as favourites.

    Filmmaker Rakesh Roshan, who was upset a few years ago when Koi Mil Gaya could not qualify for the mother of all awards, is playing safe this year and has left the decision to the selectors.

    But actor Ajay Devgan sounds more confident with Omkara. Devgan recently came out in support of Omkara and alleged that a certain lobby was trying to sabotage the prospects of the film by spreading ‘false information’ about the film.

    Though producer Ronnie Screwvala claims that he is not aware of the films in the running, he said he is “proud of producing Rang De Basanti”.

    Rang De Basanti has not only done well at the box office, it has also won critical acclaim. It also acquired a special place in the hearts and minds of millions of people in the country and abroad.

    Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani’s Lage Raho Munnabhai is the latest addition to the list of prospective films for the Foreign Film Category at the Oscars.

    The film is riding high on box office success and the lethal combination of Munna and Circuit has already acquired a cult status.

    But the question that is on everyone's lips is which film will finally cross the line and join the big battle in the Big Apple.

    source:CNN IBN

    Bollywood News : India's race at the Oscars

    Bollywood Films used in Australian schools

    2006/8/30 20:21:54

    Rakyesh Mehra’s Rang De Basanti which created a wave at the Box Office early this year and also got highly appreciated for its content is now being used at the Australian schools. The film about a group of youngsters turning into rebels to fight for justice is now used for discussion at the Beachworth Secondary Government School near Melbourne city. This school in fact has a session of film appreciation where Indian films are screened to the students and then discussed. Rang De Basanti is being listed to be screened for students of VII and IX Std. Besides Rang De Basanti, other films like Lagaan and Salaam Namaste are also a part of their syllabus.

    The Shalom College in Bundaberg, Queensland is another school that has been screening Gurinder Chadha's Bend it Like Beckham for discussions. This is definitely a big achievement for Bollywood which gets accused of making escapist cinema. This is a strong proof to everyone that Bollywood is not just about glamour and masala and that it also produces films that are meaningful and sensible.


    Bollywood News : Bollywood Films used in Australian schools

    Amir Khan’s ‘Peepli live’ in Oscar race

    2010/9/25 18:22:09
    Film Federation of India has selected Amir Khan’s latest Hindi movie ‘Peepli' (Live) for Oscar race out of 27 entries it has received from all over the country. FFI general secretary Mr. Supran Sen has announced this in New Delhi on Friday evening. ‘Peepli' (Live) is directed by Anusha Rizvi, who made her debut with this film. All the artists in this film are stage actors and gave a marvellous performance. The film satirically narrates how and why the villagers migrate to big cities. The film was made in a small village in Madhya Pradesh.

    This is the third movie of Amir Khan that has been recommended for Oscar Awards. Earlier his super hit Hindi movies ‘Lagan’ and ‘Taare Jamee Par’ were also stood in the Oscar race, but couldn’t bag any award. Amir Khan said that he is quite happy to know that his movie is going to represent India in the Oscar Awards function.

    Bollywood News : Amir Khan’s ‘Peepli live’ in Oscar race

    A lot of rage, a bit of Rang de

    2006/12/19 16:59:13

    It opened as just another Bollywood movie at the box-office, on a nippy February morning. The Aamir Khan tag brought limelight in its wake, and the youth flavour that the promos peddled guaranteed initials.

    Almost 10 months later, Rang De Basanti is more than a superhit Hindi film gunning for Oscar glory. In an era when films had stopped making a difference, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s feature ended up as a generation’s wake-up call — quite simply living up to the poster punchline.

    Bollywood is about big budget, bigger moneymaking drills. But when a script like Rang De… connects with its core audience (in this case, the youth), inciting them take to the streets for a cause that isn’t solely about selfish gains, you know it’s special.

    In this context, Rang De… comes to the fore once again in the wake of two successive, high profile legal decisions: the Jessica Lal murder case and the Priyadarshini Mattoo rape-and-murder case. Street protests, candlelight crusades, student petition campaigns triggered off by what was shown in the film undeniably had an impact.

    The brains behind Rang De… would rather downplay it all. “When we wrote and, later, shot the film we didn’t expect it to fuel popular protests over issues of wide interests,” says Kamlesh Pandey, conceptualiser, scriptwriter and screenplay coordinator of the film.

    "We knew there are plenty of people in this country who are sensitive to what’s going on wrong around them and only wanted to make them aware of the fact that they have a choice to raise a voice. The mass movements over the Jessica, Mattoo cases, as well as the reservation protests, patterned on the film actually surprised us."


    Bollywood News : A lot of rage, a bit of Rang de

    Is Rahman the best composer we have?

    2006/12/13 18:02:28

    A R Rahmans’s three songs, ‘Khalbali’ and ‘Lukha Chipi’ from ‘Rang De Basanti’ and ‘Chan Chan’ from ‘Water’ have been shortlisted amongst top 56 songs of Oscars this year. It’s a big honour for the man and the country. This reclusive genius who works at his own terms and conditions (he records at night and everyone complies) has been weaving musical gems for more than fifteen years now. It’s obvious to ask, if he is the best music composer we have…

    Having started off with Mani Rathnam’s mellifluous ‘Roja’, Rahman set a new trend in terms of electronic sound and new age music arrangements. He has always laid a lot of importance on high class production values, choice of the most melodious singers (he has given break to many new voices) and has consistently raised his own bar. His prowess in South film industry is unparalleled. But his music score in Hindi films like ‘Bombay’, ‘Rangeela’, ‘Dil Se’, ‘Lagaan’, ‘Yuva’, Saathiya’ and ‘Rang De Basanti’ carries a timeless value. It can withstand the test of time. For each time you listen to a ‘Tu Hi Re’, ‘Chaiyaa Chaiyaa’, ‘Rangeela Re’, Mitwa’, ‘Humdum Suniyo Re’, ‘Khuda Hafiz’, ‘Paathshaala’ or ‘Rubaru’ you feel as if you’ve heard it for the first time. The freshness quotient in his music carries a tinge of mint.

    His last release ‘Guru’ is a mixed bag. But even then, a few of the songs like ‘Tere Bin’, ‘Barso Re’ and ‘Jaage Hain’ are miles ahead of any of the other music compositions in the recent times. A fantastic singer (as is evident in his rendition of ‘Vande Mataram’) Rahman never went overboard in promoting himself as a singer the way a few upstart music composers have done in the recent past. Rahman’s live performances are always sold out and he is the highest paid star while performing abroad (matching the biggest superstars). The biggest compliment comes his way when any and every music composer in Bollywood tries to copy him (recent example being Anu Malik in his music arrangements of ‘Jaaneman’ soundtrack).

    Finally, A Rahman is definitely the finest music composer in Bollywood at the moment. And here record sales are not the criterion for saying that. Even Altaf Raja can sell a crore copies of ‘Tum To There Pardesi’. The criterion is the union of commercial viability and unmistakable virtuosity as a genius. ‘Rang De Basanti’ is one of the recent examples from his repertoire where he blends brilliance of music with exceptional artistic sensibilities. ‘Rubaru’, ‘Khalbali’, ‘Lukha Chipi’, ‘Rang De Basanti’ and ‘Paathshaala’ entertain and ignite a passion-for-change at the same time.

    we wishes A R Rahman all the best in his endeavour to bring more laurels to the country. Hope he brings an Oscar home…


    Bollywood News : Is Rahman the best composer we have?

    Soha wants to be wicked and funny on screen

    2007/12/9 20:06:38

    Her sweet and delicate presence in her last release Ahista Ahista was built on her image of an unspoilt beauty in pursuit of life's mysteries, but Soha Ali Khan is keen to change that by doing funny and dark roles.

    "Ahista Ahista was the first film to feature me as 'the heroine'. So far I've been part of ensemble casts like Rang De Basanti and Pyaar Mein Twist. Yeah, I agree films like Antarmahal, Rang De Basanti and Ahista Ahista have had me play timid characters, though I'm not the least like that in real life. I'd like to do something funny and maybe something a little dark," Soha, whose Khoya Khoya Chand was released on Friday, told IANS.

    "I think I've been vulnerable often enough on screen. Now I'd like to tap other aspects of my personality. That opportunity to play a darker character than the characters I generally play would occur in Sudhir Mishra's Khoya Khoya Chand. I want to do something that would make people laugh. In real life I've a lot of self-confidence and I think I've a sense of humour."

    Soha is happy with her career.

    "I'm happy with the kind of roles I'm getting. I want to discover the limits of my range so that I'd know where to go. I'm pleased I'm getting to work with directors like Rituparno Ghosh, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Shivam Nair and Sudhir Mishra. I'm working with directors who will teach me a lot. I'm glad after Rang De Basanti I'm doing something as different."

    The only films Soha has signed post-Rang De Basanti are the ones with Sudhir Mishra and Aparna Sen.

    "I haven't signed on anything else. Many of the offers are highly avoidable. I'm told I'm very accommodating at the time of reading a script and I'm very critical when the film comes out. I'm told it should be the other way around."

    The actress takes her advice from her mother.

    "Finally I go by my own instincts. But, yes, amma watches all my films. She loved Rang De Basanti. She thought the film was far better than the script."

    Soha brushes off rumours of a link-up with Abhay Deol.

    "They say we're more than friends because we go to the same gym. A lot of people go to the same gym. That's hardly reason to link us together. But I'm not going to let such talk affect my friendship with Abhay. We know where we stand.

    "I don't think I give people reason to believe I'm involved with any of my co-stars. I'm just a normal friendly girl. I'm sensible enough to handle myself with dignity. Even though my mother doesn't come to the sets I've someone accompanying me all the time. My spot boy is someone who has been with our family for 13 years. He's my bodyguard-cum-manager."

    Bollywood News : Soha wants to be wicked and funny on screen

    Big B, Benegal bag top honours

    2007/9/15 9:23:10

    The much delayed National Film Awards for 2005-2006 were finally presented by the President on Friday evening in New Delhi.

    The glittering ceremony held at Vigyan Bhawan honoured film personalities and technicians from across the country.

    Filmmaker Shyam Benegal the winner of the Dada Saheb Phalke Award got a standing ovation.

    From the Best Film Kaalpurush to the Best Entertainer Rang De Basanti the award winners said they were humbled to receive the national honour.

    P S Bharati got the award for best editor for Rang De Basanti while Amitabh Bachchan was conferred the best actor award for Black.

    Cheering on Bachchan senior were son Abhishek and daughter Shweta Nanda.

    There was further good news for the film industry, as President Pratibha Patil suggested that the prize money given to award winners should be substantially increased.

    Bollywood News : Big B, Benegal bag top honours

    "Water"has lost the Oscar race

    2007/2/26 17:06:36

    Deepa Mehta’s “Water” has lost the Oscar race for best foreign film to Germany’s “The Lives Of Others” at the 79th annual Academy Awards.

    “Pan’s Labyrinth”, a fable set in wartime Spain and directed by Mexican filmmaker Guilermo del Toro, and considered a hot rival to “Water” won three Oscars Sunday - for art direction, achievement in makeup and cinematography.

    The other foreign film nominees include Algerian “Days of Glory” and Denmark’s “After the Wedding”, which begins in an Indian orphanage,

    “Water”, a Canadian entry, revolves around Indian widows while “The Lives of Others” tells of East Germany’s secret police - the Ministerium fur Staatssicherheit, or Stasi - and its surveillance of artists during the Cold War.

    source:Radio sargam

    Bollywood News : "Water"has lost the Oscar race

    'Rang De Basanti' nominated for BAFTA Awards

    2007/1/13 15:42:18

    Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's highly acclaimed "Rang De Basanti" has been nominated in the Best Foreign Picture Category at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards which are equivalent to the Oscars.

    "We are all very pleased with this new achievement. The success of the film with the Indian youth worldwide was our best award, and now this," Ronnie Screwvala, producer of the film, told IANS.

    Starring Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan and Soha Ali Khan, the film, about the awakening of the youth, is also India's official entry to the Oscars.

    Other films nominated in this category are Mexican filmmaker Del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth", Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto", Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar's "Volver" and Netherlands-based filmmaker Paul Verhoeven's "Black Book".

    The awards will be announced on Feb 11 at a ceremony at London's Royal Opera House.


    Bollywood News : 'Rang De Basanti' nominated for BAFTA Awards

    Salman, Kareena mobbed in the Capital

    2006/9/29 18:50:15

    Bollywood stars Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor got mobbed by media persons on Friday when they arrived in the Capital to inaugurate Mumbai-based designer Purva Kothari's first jewellery exhibition.

    Kothari's designs are sold under the brand name Intrea.

    Apart from media persons, star-struck guests went berserk when Salman and Kareena entered the Roshanara Hall of Taj Palace. The race among lensmen to capture the actors resulted in shifting the spotlight from Kothari and her designs to the stars.

    Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel got ignored too. He was seen chatting with a friend in a corner.

    Salman, who was at his charming best, refused to talk about his upcoming film Jaan-e-Mann. "I will not talk about my film. Ask me about fashion and jewellery," he chuckled.

    He then talked about his style statement. "I always wear an earring and this bracelet," he said pointing towards his bracelet.

    Salman also showed his pierced bellybutton. "My sister got it done so I also went ahead."

    Kareena, looking gorgeous in jeans and a shirt, whetted the media's appetite. From fashion to films - she answered all their queries.

    She said, "I am very fond of jewellery and that's why I am here. I have a couple of friends in Delhi, mainly designers," said Kareena who was wearing one of Kothari's creations.

    Asked about Rang de Basanti being nominated as India's official entry for the Oscars, she said, "I loved Rang de Basanti. It is one of my favourite films. I am very happy that it is going to the Oscars. I will keep my fingers crossed".

    With these two stars hogging the limelight, hardly anybody showed interest in the exquisitely designed jewellery on display.

    Intrea is a joint venture between Kothari and diamond merchant Ketan Seth.


    Bollywood News : Salman, Kareena mobbed in the Capital

    Lage Raho Munnabhai upstages Rang De.. at GIFA as Best Film

    2006/12/10 15:15:16 Vidhu Vinod Chopra`s Lage Rahe Munnabahai bagged the Best Film Award at the 2nd Global Indian film Awards here, upstaging Omprakash Mehra`s Rang De Basanti which dominated the glitsy Bollywood night by winning in eight categories.

    Over 4000 ecstatic fans thronged the Putra Stadium to witness the five-hour award function last night, attended by Malaysia`s Queen, Prime Minsiter Abdullah Badawi and Deputy Premier Najib Tun Razak and the cream of Indian cinema.

    Chopra also won the award for the Best Story for his superhit movie that has grabbed the imagination of Indians with its theme of "Gandhigiri"- a coinage for Mahatma Gandhi`s teachings.

    Hrithik Roshan walked off with the Best Actor Award for his superhero role in Krissh and dusky beauty Bipasha Basu won the Best Actress Award for her role in Corporate.

    Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra`s Rang De Basanti, India`s official entry for the Oscars in the Best Foreign Film Category, had in its kitty awards in the categories of Best Director, Best Supporting Actress (Soha Ali Khan), Best Music (A R Rahman), Best Lyrics, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Back Ground Score (A R Rahman) and Best Art Director.

    The audience were handed out the usual Bollywood fare of songs and dance on elaborate sets and fireworks, but the Oscar-style event had its share of slip-ups, including flat jokes by hosts Arbaaz Khan and Arjun Rampal and long-winding speeches. A globe on the award trophy came off several times during the ceremony.

    Abhishek Bachchan won in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role in "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna", beating his own father superstar Amitabh Bachchan.

    Hrithik Roshan dedicated the award to his father Rakesh Roshan and described him as a "true superhero".

    A separate award was given to Rakesh Roshan for his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema over the past 35 years.

    The crowds went wild as heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan appeared on stage. However, his fans were disappointed when the actor said that he will not be able to dance as he had suffered a thigh injury.

    However, Shah Rukh`s comments about Malaysians having more than one wife, which he thought was "good" and said women activists back home would not like that, left many in the audience puzzled.

    Shah Rukh Khan also got the inaugural award for the Most Searched Actor on the Internet while Priyanka Chopra got it for Most Searched Actress.

    Rosmah Mansor, wife of Malaysia`s Deputy Premier and patron of GIFA 2006, in her speech said that Hindi films had become a powerful unifying tool across the world.

    She noted that the culture depicted through the Indian films had spread and noted these films were about good cultural values, familial piety and virtuous behaviour and hoped it never changed.

    List of winners

    Best Film: Lage Raho Munnabhai

    Best Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (Rang De Basanti)

    Best Actor: Hritik Roshan (Krissh)

    Best Actress: Bipasha Basu (Corporate)

    Best Supporting Actor: Abhishek Bachchan (Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna)

    Best Supporting Actress: Soha Ali Khan (Rang De Basanti)

    Most Searched Actor on Internet: Shahrukh Khan

    Most Searched Female Actor on Internet: Priyanka Chopra

    Best Comedian: Tusshar Kapoor (Golmaal)

    Best Villain: Saif Ali Khan (Omkara)

    Best Music: A R Rahman (Rang De Basanti)

    Best Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi (Rang De Basanti)

    Best Playback Singer Female: Alka Yagnik (Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna)

    Best Playback Singer Male: Zubin (Gangster)

    Best Debut Director: Vickram Chopra (Fight Club)

    Best Debut Actor: Upen Patel (36 China Town)

    Best Debut Actress: Kangana Ranaut (Gangster)

    Award for Outstanding Contribution to Indian Cinema: Rakesh Roshan

    Best Story: Raj Kumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra (Lage Raho Munnabhai)

    Best Screenplay: Renzil D`Silva and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (Rang De Basanti)

    Best Dialogues: Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani (Lage Raho Munnabhai)

    Best Cinematography: Tassaduq Hussain (Omkara)

    Best Editing: P S Bharathi (Rang De Basanti)

    Best Background Score: A R Rahman (Rang De Basanti)

    Best Art Direction: Samir Chanda (Rang De Basanti)

    Best Action: Tony Suiching, Shyam Kaushal (Krissh).


    Bollywood News :  Lage Raho Munnabhai upstages Rang De.. at GIFA as Best Film

    Regional directors rue Bollywood bias

    2007/10/17 8:45:29

    Watching the Oscar mess unfold are filmmakers who in many ways would be the real gatekeepers of global Indian cinema. But because of the Oscar jury's strong Bollywood bias they rarely make it to the Oscar shortlist.

    It is a great irony, given that some of the best work, from outside of Mumbai including India's only Oscar award. The only award India received at the Oscars was by Satyajit Ray.

    Filmmakers say it is this kind of cinema in India's regional art houses that should also be in the reckoning of awards and festivals.

    But considering even local film events don't create space for them it's unlikely that they are considered in the race for our Oscar entries.

    "The international awareness of Indian cinema is unfortunately Bollywood. That's the biggest drawback where regular cinema takes a backseat," said Priyadarshan, filmmaker.

    Buddhadeb Dasgupta's films like Charachar, Kalpurush, Grihajuddha and Bagh Bahadur have won awards at Cannes and Berlin where our mainstream commercial cinema has often failed to impress.

    But Dasgupta has never been in the reckoning for any Oscar entry although he was invited on the jury once in what he saw as a mere tokenism for regional cinema.

    ''Last year they wanted me to be there. I said no because I was just not interested. I knew for quite some time this selection also not very fair," said Buddhadeb Dasgupta, filmmaker.

    Regional films have at best been a token presence in India's Oscar race only seven half-hearted entries in the last 50 years.

    * 1987: Nayagan by Mani Ratnam
    * 1992: Thevar Magan by Bharathan
    * 1995: Kurudhi Punal by P C Sreeram
    * 1996: Indian by Shankar
    * 1998: Jeans by Shankar
    * 1986: Swathi Muthyam by K Vishwanath
    * 2004: Shwaas by Sanjay Sawant.

    ''Ask them those who have selected these films. The names you have just mentioned barring few most of the names I have never heard," said Buddhadeb Dasgupta, filmmaker.

    Bollywood News : Regional directors rue Bollywood bias

    Who'll it be?

    2007/5/8 10:01:24

    Sometime back, we told you of RANG DE BASANTI director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and UTV joining hands to produce four films with the total budget being Rs. 280 crores. The gamut of films to be directed by Mehra includes PAANCH KAURAV [a trilogy] and DILLI-6, based on Mehra's growing up years in the vibrant Chandni Chowk area of New Delhi.

    The casting of DILLI-6 has been the topic of discussion ever since Mehra announced the project officially. Initially, Mehra had approached Hrithik Roshan for the main role, then Abhishek Bachchan, later Akshay Kumar. Just recently, it was reported that Mehra had finally confirmed Siddharth [enacted one of the leads in RANG DE BASANTI] for the role in question.

    “It's completely untrue,” Mehra clarifies when I quiz him about the casting, “I haven't signed Siddharth for the film. In fact, I haven't signed anyone so far. The media keeps planting someone every alternate week.” Didn't he approach Akshay Kumar again? “Not at all! I guess, the media knows more about my film than I do,” he laughs.

    Bollywood News : Who'll it be?

    The battle for global eyeballs

    2006/9/21 16:24:52

    It has so far been a wonderful year for popular Hindi cinema, thanks to a wide array of products having achieved varying degrees of commercial success in the last nine months. Rang De Basanti, Fanaa, Omkara, Being Cyrus, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and Lage Raho Munnabhai, among others, have found ready takers, niche or otherwise, at the box office.

    What is particularly striking in the current situation is that none of the above-mentioned films bears any resemblance to the others. Each exists in a space of its own. That has raised hopes that Mumbai cinema is steadily coming of age, having rediscovered the power of originality.

    But where, pray, is the film that is going to further India’s cause in the global market? KANK has reportedly collected enough in the North American circuit to become the biggest Indian overseas grosser ever. But its global impact has been rather limited for it is hardly the kind of film that could have western audiences flipping big time for its facile storytelling devices.

    India has drawn a blank this year in Cannes, Locarno and Venice, front-ranking international festivals that are regarded as launch pads into the global arena. In the one major festival where India did have considerable presence with as many as five films in the official line-up – the just-concluded 31st Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) – the world’s largest filmmaking nation fell well short of generating a buzz despite the high-profile presence of the likes of Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan.

    India simply did not have the quality in Toronto this year that could have catapulted its cinema to top of the mind status. Besides the overlong KANK, which was screened in its original uncut form at TIFF, India was represented in various sections by four interesting debut efforts – Kabir Khan’s Kabul Express, Chitra Palekar’s Maati Maay, Rajnesh Domalpalli’s Vanaja and Haobam Paban Kumar’s documentary, A Cry in the Dark.

    All these four films were unusual in both conception and execution, but suffered appreciably because of the gap that remained between intent and achievement. And that is where the irony lies – Indian films of the past few months that have scored high on the intent-versus-realisation scale, the likes of Rang De Basanti, Being Cyrus and Omkara, haven’t really travelled as much as they deserve to.

    Programmers attending the Cannes and Toronto film festivals have found the going rather tough when faced with the prospect of selecting a handful of films from India for different international cinema events. The world has been waiting for the completion of Mani Ratnam’s Guru and Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Eklavya – The Royal Guard simply because there is very little in the currently available lot to enthuse them.

    That brings us to the inevitable question: which of the films in the running this year will represent India in the foreign language Oscar race? Will the Film Federation of India, the industry’s apex body charged with selecting India’s official Oscar nomination, use its discretion to project a film that has a realistic chance of putting up a fight, rather than one that brazenly peddles the song-and-dance formula, which, it is becoming increasingly obvious, is losing its novelty.

    In Toronto, Shahrukh Khan insisted that Indian cinema should not sacrifice its own special character in trying to grab global eyeballs. Fair enough, but then neither Chinese nor Iranian cinema has done anything resembling a sell-out to Western tastes. They have wrested sustained international attention by simply telling high-quality stories in styles that blend their own cultural peculiarities with world-class cinematic trappings.

    Indian cinema hasn’t got even remotely close to where films from China, Taiwan and Iran are today. One obvious reason is that, as things stand, our style of filmmaking is still driven more by the clout of the superstars than by the robustness of the themes and the inventiveness of the treatment. We are probably getting there – hope floats on films like Rang De Basanti and Omkara. But there is no guarantee that either of these two films will be up for the consideration of the Academy voters when Oscar time is upon us.

    But then, we do not really need the Oscars, as many in Bollywood are prone to saying. The world – and I do not mean only the NRI crowd – doesn’t need our cinema either, thank you.


    Bollywood News : The battle for global eyeballs

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