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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Britney Spears's kidnap fear for kids

Britney Spears fears that her kids might be kidnapped.

The singer’s divorce from Kevin Federline became official on Monday, July 30, and her lawyer Laura Wasser asked the Los Angeles Superior court judge to seal the child custody portion of the couple’s split.

Wasser, in a declaration to the judge, asked for this because Britney fears that if details of the specific timeshare schedule and transportation matters become public knowledge, it could put her boys Sean Preston and Jayden James at danger.

"Criminals ... might target the minor children for financial gain," TMZ quoted Wasser, as stating in the declaration.

Wasser also states that if made public, the media would have "a greater ability to ascertain the physical whereabouts of the minor children."

"Such information greatly increases the chances that the actions of the media could threaten the safety of the minor children by, for example, causing a traffic accident or by exposing the minor children to criminals who might target the minor children for financial gain," she stated.

The judge granted Wasser's motion to seal the custody documents temporarily, pending a full hearing on Aug. 14. He also agreed to keep the child support provisions under wraps.

Subhash Ghai's 'Yuvraaj' to start

Producer-director Subhash Ghai’s YUVRAAJ, starring Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan, Zayed Khan, Katrina Kaif and Boman Irani, will roll on 3rd September with a 35-day schedule in Europe. Music: A.R. Rahman. Lyrics: Gulzar. Screenplay: Subhash Ghai, Sachin Bhowmick and Kamlesh Pandey. Cinematographer: Kabir Lal. Production design: Omung Kumar. YUVRAAJ is being produced by Mukta Arts Entertainment.

Sanjay Dutt jailed for 6 years in Mumbai blasts

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MUMBAI, July 31 (Reuters) - An Indian court jailed Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt for six years on Tuesday for acquiring illegal weapons from gangsters involved in India's worst bombings that killed 257 people in 1993.

Dutt, 48, was cleared of conspiracy charges in the serial blasts in India's financial capital of Mumbai, but was found guilty of unauthorised possession of an automatic rifle and a pistol.

"It was an eminently dangerous act," judge Pramod Kode said. "With the punishment of a minimum of five years and maximum of 10 years it can in no way be a minor offence or of a less grave nature."

Dutt's trial has transfixed India and fans of Bollywood, the world's largest film industry by ticket sales. He has millions of dollars riding on him in films under production.

The actor is the most high-profile among 100 people, mostly Muslims, found guilty in the bombings trial, one of the world's longest-running court cases.

The 1993 Mumbai attacks were ordered by India's most wanted man, Dawood Ibrahim, a Muslim, to avenge the razing of a 16th-century mosque by Hindu zealots in 1992 and subsequent Hindu-Muslim riots in India, police say.

Ibrahim and his top associates have not faced trial as they fled the country soon after the blasts, police say. Ibrahim is believed to be hiding in Pakistan, but the government in Islamabad denies this.

Dutt's lawyers had urged that the actor, who found fame playing gangsters and anti-heroes, be set free for his good behaviour during his bail.

But the court rejected the argument.

Son of legendary film couple Sunil Dutt and Nargis, the heavy-set actor has been on bail since 1995 after more than a year in prison during initial investigations into the blasts.

He is expected to appeal.

I still haven't got any good role: Nisha Kothari

She debuted in Bollywood with James and then slowly displaced oomph girl Urmila Matondkar from Ram Gopal Varma's camp. Unfortunately, Nisha Kothari is still looking for a hold in tinsel town. Now, the actress is pinning her hopes on Aag, Varma's remake of Sholay, in which she plays the character of Basanti.

Q: How different is the character Ghungroo from the original Basanti?
A: Ghungroo is a totally versatile character and her facial expressions change with every scene. She is the tapori type who does not care about anyone and is highly impressed by superhero Rajnikant. She loves Laila, the autorickshaw that she drives and is addicted to bidis.

You can say that Basanti and Ghungroo have the same flavour, but their attitudes and looks are very different. The viewers will not say that my character is similar to Basanti.

Q: Do you feel Ghungroo will be as popular as Basanti?
A: That can be known only after the movie's release. For example, Samba was a small character in Sholay but he has become immortal. I have done my best in Aag, now the viewers will decide.

Q: How was the experience of working with so many actors?
A: I have learnt a lot from all the actors in this film. It has helped me grow as a person.

Q: Any interesting incident on the sets that you can recall?
A: I have a bad memory, so I cannot recall any such incident.

Q: Another film of yours, Go, is finally ready for release…
A: I know it has taken a long time, but I'm relieved that it is finally ready for release. I'm waiting eagerly for this film. I had started shooting for this film when I did James.

Q: Can you tell us a little about Go?
A: It's a fun-filled romantic film of the 70s. I have been cast opposite newcomer Gautam. I cannot tell you anything else about this film since I have been asked not to divulge details.

Q: Why did it take so long to complete the film?
A: It is all depends on destiny. Some films take less time to complete, while others take a longer time. Actually, Ramu did not like a few sequences which had to re-shot.

Q: Do you want to work with any other film-maker besides Ram Gopal Varma?
A : I had got a lot of offers after my first film but I did not like them. I want to get things right. Unfortunately, I still have not got any role which really attracts me. -Rajnee Gupta

Bachchans anger Aam Janta!

Big B’s visit to the famous Mallikarjuna Swamy temple in Srishailam town on Sunday has stirred a controversy because a large number of devotees were made to wait for a long duration.

Amitabh along with his family members offered prayers at the temple located in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool District.

As the Bachchan family made to the inner sanctorum, a disgruntled lot of devotees were left behind to face the heat literally.

Taking note of the complaints, the Minister for Temples and Endowment Department has ordered an inquiry into the incident.

Earlier in February this year, devotees at Tirupati temple faced a similar situation, after which stringent regulations were made for VIP visits to the temple.

Bachchan accompanied by his wife Jaya Bachchan, actor-son Abhishek Bachchan, daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and SP leader and family friend Amar Singh, performed the ‘abhishekam’ at the temple.

The Bachchans are presently at Hyderabad, shooting for the sequel of Ram Gopal Varma's 'Sarkar', and are expected to head to Tirupati later.

Kartina wanted to get noticed

She walked into a packed room, surrounded by photographers on all sides. It took a while before those assembled could catch a glimpse of her.

Model-turned-actor Katrina Kaif was in Mangalore to inaugurate a jewellery showroom.

Quite predictably, the media hounded the actor, dressed in a bright sari and decked in gold jewellery.

Patiently, the pretty Ms. Kaif, answered the series of questions thrown at her.

Prepared perhaps to field posers on her career, she was thrown a little off balance by the first question: “Would you vote for Abdul Kalam or Pratibha Patil if you had a chance to vote in the presidential election?”

“Pratibha…I think. But I respect Mr. Kalam. He has done a lot for the country. I don’t know… I am not a political expert,” she tried, grinned, and gave up with a wave of her hands.

The tension was dissipated, everyone relaxed and simpler questions followed.

Comparing the careers of modelling and acting, she said acting was tougher. It demanded more, she said.

For Katrina, her best role in Bollywood so far, has been in “Namastey London”.

“The story revolves around a woman, which is quite rare in commercial Hindi cinema.”

Katrina said she loved working in the South Indian film industry. She has worked in Telugu and Malyalam movies. “It has been two and a half years since I did a South Indian movie. I miss the industry,” she said.

She was offered a Kannada movie once, but couldn’t accept it, as she was busy with four other projects at the same time. If a good Kannada offer comes along, I will definitely take it. But I hope the language is easier than Malayalam, which was quite complicated,” she says smiling.

“I am willing to work in any language if the director is talented. Language is secondary,” she added.

Asked about her sartorial preferences, she said it depended on the situation.

“If I am wearing jewellery like this (pointing to the many gold necklaces she was wearing), then it has obviously got to be a sari.

If I am going out for coffee, or somewhere more casual, I would prefer a dress.”

She answered the expected “who is the best actor you have worked with?” with a careful, “I share a very good working relationship with Akshay Kumar. He has very good energy, and we are comfortable with each other.”

Anish Asmi’s “Welcome”, a musical with Subhash Ghai and a movie with Abbas Mastan, co-starring Saif Ali Khan, are projects she is looking forward to.

Asked what she thought of the nature of roles Bollywood offered its actresses, she thought for a moment before saying “In commercial cinema, the roles offered to heroines tend to be limited, but there are off beat roles that allow you to explore a character. However, initial success and recognition come through commercial films.

At the beginning of any career you want to be noticed. “Like everyone else, even I want to be taken note of,” said Katrina.

“Every actress thinks differently, but for me, it is more important to be an entertainer. I am consciously building my career as a commercial actress.

At a later stage, I might do offbeat roles. But now I don’t want to do films that ten people watch. I want to do movies where the hall is full.

I want to do ‘fun cinema’. Eventually of course, I want to try other kinds of roles too,” said Katrina.

Her dream role, she said would be a in a period film. “I would love to do a movie set in times of war or conflict,” Katrina said signing off.

I was paid for lewd sms: Don

Mehraj Rehman, the man accused of sending obscene SMSes to several Bollywood actors is now behind bars.

The police seized multiple SIM cards from Rehman. But the man is apparently unfazed. Arrested last year (2006) too for sending obscene messages and making threatening calls, Rehman continued his antics even after he was placed under arrest.

The list of his alleged victims include Bollywood biggies like Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and starlets like Kangana Ranaut, Rakhi Sawant, Nagma and Neha Dhupia among others.

There are more than 50 complaints against Rahman, who claims the actresses asked him to send the SMSes themselves. “Sab ko publicity chahiye aur mujhe un logo ne Bollywood ka don bana diya,” says Mehraj.

He adds, “I have proof that actresses like Kangana Ranaut, Sambhvana Seth and Koena Mitra paid me huge amounts to issue threats to them and their foes for cheap publicity.” Koena Mitra refused to respond to Mehraj’s allegation.

Mehraj who has FIRs registered against him at Bandra, Versova and Bhoiwada police stations adds, “The police have not nabbed me. I surrendered as Nagmaji had lodged an FIR against me. I don’t want to hurt her feelings as I respect her a lot.”

I'll finally pay off all my debts

Govinda is glowing. "Life is finally on an even level. Partner is such a hit. It crossed 50-55 crores in the first week. David Dhawan has changed himself through the decades. He did a very wise thing by changing his cinema with the times.

This month I too will be out of my debts. I'll finally pay off all the debts I owed after the failure of my home production Sukh. Partner proved to be lucky for me personally and professionally. Not only did I get a big hit I also found a friend in Salman and his family."

Govinda didn't charge any money for this film. "But I gained so much more from this film and my association with the Khans! And now that Partner is a hit I'm getting better and better films, so the money is coming. I've signed new films with David and Ravi Chopra. There's a queue of producers again. Now I'm going to be very careful."

Govinda is very excited about the Ravi Chopra project which starts on August 15. "I heard the script and I was bowled over. Three hours passed like thirty minutes. It was like I saw the film before my eyes. Like other films by the Chopras, it's a socially relevant subject on the dreams and aspirations of the youth.

The film says, determination can move mountains. A very inspiring story with a lots of comedy and drama. Just my scene."

Govinda is teamed with Lara Dutta in Ravi Chopra's film. "There will be one more leading lady, Sushmita or Bipasha. I'm paired with Lara for the first time. She's a very good actress."

Mallika and Rahul once more!

This could be the big hand that Rahul Bose hasn't got back home for all the charitable causes he has been supporting in his own country including supporting a group of adopted girls in the Rishi Valley.

Rahul who's all set to star in the sequel to the Pritish Nandy/Mallika Sherawat romantic comedy Pyar Ke Side Effects has finally got some positive side effects to enjoy from his philanthropic work.

Oxfam that UK-based organization supporting various charitable causes across the globe, have appointed Rahul their global ambassador.

It's a singular prestige for India. Rahul joins Scarlett Johanssen, Helen Mirren, Djimon Hounsou and Annie Lennox as Oxfam's global ambassador.

"It's flattering …and very gratifying to be among the names that you've mentioned.What better birthday gift could I hope for?" wonders Rahul as he turned 40 today (July 27)

In transit in Frankfurt on the way to Toronto to attend a retrospective of his films Rahul was deeply flattered by the offer.

"I got a call from Oxfam asking me whether I'd like to be their global ambassador. I readily agreed. Being attached to a global organization can only increase the scope and impact of my social causes. They're very good working for women and children.

It's very gratifying to know that the work which you've been silently doing has somewhere been so profoundly appreciated. I had been working with Oxfam for the last two years, post-Tsunami and the Andamans. I'll just continue working in the same direction, even harder."

I love to get drenched in rain: Smiley Suri

Q: Do you enjoy the monsoons?
A: Yes, I do, but the charm was more when I was in school and college. When I was in college, it was a ritual in our colony to march the whole of Carter Road soaking in the rain.

Q: Do you prefer getting wet or do you like staying indoors?
A: If I do not have any work, I would definitely go out and get drenched in the rain.

Q: Do you prefer to stay in Mumbai in the rainy season?
A: I think somewhere a little away from Mumbai… Lonawala would be fine.

Q: Any favourite holiday destination during the monsoons?
A: Kerala would the best place to be in during the rains because I was there a few days ago and it was just wonderful.

Q: Do you like your rainwear in bright colours or neutral shades?
A: I think bright colours look good on gloomy, cloudy days. A bright red umbrella would look awesome.

Q: What kind of food do you prefer in the monsoons? Do you follow any particular diet?
A: No, I do not have any particular diet but a hot steaming cup of tea with some bhajias would be just right.

Q. Your favourite monsoon song/song sequence…
A: There is no particular song that I have in mind. But I like Aamir Khan, so as a child, I used to sing Tip tip tip tip barish shuro ho gayee from the film Afsana Pyaar Ka quite a lot.

Q: Is it necessary to have a car during the monsoons in Mumbai?
A: I think a car is a must to reach home as soon as possible when it is raining really hard, but at times, driving in such weather gets dangerous too.

Q: What precautions should one take in the season?
A: If your car gets stuck in rainwater, get out of it, lock it safely and either walk or take a bus. A lot of people stay back in their cars, waiting for the water level to recede, and injure themselves in the process.

Q: Any bad experience related to the monsoons that you can recall at the moment?
A: Yes, I remember the flood in Mumbai on July 26. After a photo-shoot for Kalyug, my hairdresser and I had to walk back home from Ville Parle East to Bandra. It was pitch dark and so many other people were looking for shelter on that evening. What kept us all going was the never-say-die spirit of Mumbai.

Q: Suggestions for B.M.C.
A: It should mend the roads and the drainage system of Mumbai. That would be the only way to avoid such severe water-logging and flood.

Q: What if 26/7 happens again?
A: I wish that it never happens anywhere in the world again. -As told to Mili Swarnakar

Celina Jaitley is the Sexiest girl

At last, Celina Jaitly is on the top, beating off competition from Mallika Sherawat and Koena Mitra.
Not in bagging item numbers in Bollywood, but in a recent poll conducted by a well-known media house to find out the sexiest actress in tinsel town.

Said a psychologist who was on the poll panel: "Celina has a very pretty face and a great body. She is very sensual and not over the top and she knows how to carry her sensuality. Her attitude just adds to the X-factor."

The actress was shooting for an international project Love Has No Language in New Zealand when her friends sent her congratulatory text messages.
Celina said: "Yes, I did receive a lot of messages and I take the win as a compliment. My sex appeal lies in my face. It's also a lot about the right attitude."

Way to go, Celina!

Shilpa Shetty, the new Bond Girl?

Post ‘Big Brother’, there has been really no looking back for Shilpa Shetty. The latest is that the flavour of this season is now leading opinion polls as the first choice for the Bond girl’s role opposite Daniel Craig in a Bond series movie.

It all started after ‘The People’ website in the UK raised the question about whether Shilpa would agree to play the Bond girl’s role, right after she won ‘Big Brother’. Since then there have been opinion polls across the internet and vast discussions on whether Shlpa qualifies for the ultimate glam role or not.

Interestingly thousands of people have actually voted for the dusky beauty and she has topped almost seven of these polls.

Surprisingly Halle Berry who was Bond girl in the 2003’s ‘Die another day’ and who replayed the famous ‘Ursula Andress bikini shot from Dr. No’ has come second to the Indian diva.

However there is a downside as well. There are also sections of people taking part in these discussions who have been saying that things aren’t all that rosy and this could also end up as yet another big Bollywood rumour.

After the Aishwarya Rai and Gulshan Grover rumours, now it’s turn for rumours about the latest international celeb from India.

Some wrote that she doesn’t quite ‘have the Bond girl look' especially after the standard of the series went up after ‘Casino Royale’ and another even went to the extent of writing, “She is very pretty, but there is something really strange about her. Perhaps it’s the fake nose. It almost works but...”

Shilpa’s publicist and spokesperson Dale Bhagawagar chooses to analyse, “Every celeb has a fan base. Being loved by some and hated by others is a part and parcel of every actor’s life. Everyone is entitled to his/her individual opinion.”

There is yet another hitch which could be 'the Bollywood connection'. The fact remains that there has not been any actor from India who has made it as big as a Mexican Salma Hayek, a Spanish Penelope Cruz or an Italian Monica Belluci.

The general perception by now is that in Hollywood the whites and the blacks have their space, but things are not very favourable when it comes to brown skin and these actors always end up getting stereotyped.

There were high hopes about the ethereally beautiful Aishwarya Rai being the true blue cross over star but that too hasn’t exactly happened till now.

“I only have one thing to say about this. When Shilpa went for ‘Big Brother’, nobody expected her to win. But she managed to prove everyone wrong. If that,which seemed impossible has happened, why can’t this rule be broken as well?

As of now, Shilpa has many offers from the UK as well as the US. She hasn’t consented to any except for the role of Sita in Uru Patels’s ‘Hanuman’ which has two Hollywood stars playing the roles of Ram and Hanuman,” says Bhagwagar.

So if luck continues to favour the dusky beauty so, a day might come when there is actually an Indian Bond girl creating history of the unique kind.

Ayesha Takia's cameo in Cash

After going through lot of difficulty finally Cash has managed to get a final releasing date. The film will hit the cinema halls on August 3. This action packed multi-starrer film has an interesting star cast which includes Ajay Devgan, Zayed Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Sunil Shetty, Esha Deol, Shamita Shetty and Dia Mirza. It turns out that the film also has a surprise element in it. It is learnt that Ayesha Takia will be seen in a guest appearance in Cash.

Talking about Ayesha’s cameo Anubhav said, “Yes, Ayesha will be seen in the film but it’s a very small role. It was not supposed to be revealed before the film’s release as it was one of the surprise elements in the film.”

Anubhav refused to divulge details about Ayesha’s character in the film.

Anil Kapoor moved to tears in South Africa

"What a glorious coming-home it was for Mahatma Gandhi!" said producer Anil Kapoor about the world premiere of Gandhi My Father in South Africa held this weekend. The South African president Thabo Mbeki made the time to watch the film.

Anil Kapoor could barely control his emotion. "The entire South African cabinet was there with us. The President himself spent more than five hours with me and the director and cast of Gandhi My Father. Nelson Mandela sent a special message to open the film. Mandela not only spoke about Gandhi, he spoke about me. What was heartwarming and humbling was that Mandela thanked me for making this film, whereas in truth I should thank Mandela and South Africa for letting me shoot Gandhi My Father in their country and allowing me to hold the world premiere there. Mandela identified deeply with the film."

Anil couldn't hold back his tears when President Mbeki spoke about Gandhi and saw the film. There were three screenings held simultaneously. Says Anil, "Though I had watched the film earlier this experience was something else. Because my cast – Darshan Jariwala who plays Mahatma Gandhi, Shefali Shah who plays Kasturba and Akshaye Khanna who plays their son – were not treated as actors but the characters. Because the foreigners didn't know who our actors were. So they addressed the three actors as Gandhi, Kasturba and Harilal."

Now after the South African experience Anil Kapoor feels Gandhi My Father is his most special experience in the movie business. "It's gone beyond any of my expectations. Gandhi My Father has taken on its own life. I don't know where this film is taking me. I'm interacting with people who would never have been accessible to me as a conventional Mumbai actor. When President Mbeki said that he'll show Gandhi My Father on the Ivory Coast I felt I had got the biggest award of my life. He feels the film might bring together the warring factions on the Ivory Coast. I feel the film is going beyond boundaries now."

Anil Kapoor will be having no more premieres of Gandhi My Father. "There was only one premiere of the film. And that was at South Africa. Now I'll have screenings in Delhi, Mumbai and worldwide. I repeat, the only world premiere for Gandhi My Father is in South Africa."

Bipasha has a baby to pamper

Bipasha Basu is over the moon. Her elder sister Bidisha has just delivered a baby girl. And Bipasha, who's currently shooting an item song at Film City with boyfriend John Abraham couldn't be happier.

"I'm so happy. Because now I have both a nephew and a niece. I can buy the sweetest girlie things for her. And that's so much more fun than shopping for a boy. I was bored of buying Spiderman and power-ranger kits. Now I can buy the bratz and the barbies for my niece. I'm so excited."

Incidentally Bipasha loves to have her nephew around the house. "Though he's quite a handful and keeps me on my toes it's good to keep up with his energy level. And now with a niece in the family I can have both of them to keep me busy when I'm not shooting."

And that won't be too often in the near future.

Monday, July 30, 2007

UTV signs co-production deal with Kher and Kaushik

UTV announced that it has signed a co-production deal for the entire slate of productions to be launched by Anupam Kher and Satish Kaushik under their banner of Karol Bagh Film and Entertainment.

Anupam Kher and Satish Kaushik will each direct one production per year and produce atleast two others, which means UTV and Karol Bagh will together release at least four co-produced films per year.

The vision of this association is to make movies that span a variety of genres with varying themes, scales and budgets. The intention is to develop a blend of projects featuring established talent from the industry while also tapping into the wealth of young talent trying to get a foothold in the industry today.

UTV will co-produce, market and distribute all these productions, while Karol Bagh will focus on creative development and line production.

Announcing the association, Ronnie Screwvala of UTV said, "UTV has had a long creative relationship with both Anupam and Satish, and we are very happy to be associated with them in their new venture under the banner of 'Karol Bagh'. I am confident we can combine our strengths to make movies that break through the clutter, both commercially and creatively."

Anupam Kher and Satish Kaushik said, "This association is the best thing that could have happened to a creative team such as ours as it will enable us to concentrate on the creative aspects of film-making. We think that UTV would make an ideal combine with us, as it not only has an enviable record in the business, but it also has a global vision for the industry."

Karan's last Koffee with Ash-Abhi

Karan Johar’s celebrity chat show ‘Koffee With Karan’ has come to an end and to make its grand finale more special, Karan will have Bollywood’s currently hot couple Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan.

He has also planned some Koffee awards like Best Rapidfire Contestant, Best Supporting Guest etc. These awards will be judged by Malaika Arora Khan, Cyrus Broacha, Rahul Bose, Rohit Bal and Karan himself to select best of the guests of this season.

Speaking about his future television project he informs that he is in talks with Sameer Nair about a variety show. He intends to start his film first and then he will get back to television.
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