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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I am so sorry I messed up Vidya

Lately, Vidya Balan has earned a reputation for getting into controversies over refusal of roles or disagreeing with costume designers.

She had a huge problem with Aki Narula’s clothes while shooting for Ramesh Taurani’s film in Canada.

Says Vidya, "Such things happen. It's not a big deal. I don't know why the media went ballistic about it. Aki left the clothes and came away to India. I didn't like some of the clothes because I felt that they didn't go with the character. So, I went to shop on my own. That was fun."

In Sajid Khan's Heyy Babyy too Vidya received a lot of flak for her styling skills.

But this time her designer Manish Malhotra took the entire responsibilty and even sent a message apologising for going wrong with her look in the film.

However Vidya holds no grudges. “The onus isn’t his alone. He sent me a very sweet message saying, ‘I’m sorry I messed up. I hope we get another opportunity.’ He needn’t have apologised. He got a lot of flak for my look. So did I. I accept the criticism as much as I accept all the praise that comes my way”

Vidya is sure she can break free of the sari mould to look Western. Her new shoulder length hairdo makes her look breathtakingly glamorous. She seems to have suddenly stepped out of the Parineeta era into the contemporary world.

She has also shed a lot of weight in the recent past as well.

"I think I had allowed things to drift. I should have looked after myself more. But it's fine now. I am gyming a lot now and keeping as fit as a fiddle," she tells with a broad smile.

I was punished for kissing her: Abhay Deol

Q-One quality your woman must possess?
A-A sense of adventure!

Q- Any particular reason for the same?
A- Because I am adventurous myself.

Q-And the other must-haves include?
A-She has to be a career-oriented woman. She should be earnest, have a great sense of humour and, and, and — the list is indeed long!

Q-Internal or External Beauty?
A-A combination of both.

Q-From Bollywood or outside?
A-I would love to meet someone from outside. Lemme see!

Q-Would you cook for her?
A-Yes, sure. If she is willing to eat whatever I cook for her!

Q-What gifts would you expect from her?
A-The best of anything. But honestly, I don't care for gifts much. However, as I am an outdoors person, she can take me out for dinner.

Q-What would be your favourite romantic getaway with her?
A-I love the sea and the beaches. So it can be any beach destination.

Q-How important would calls and SMSes be in your relationship?
A-Since that’s a symbol of communication, I guess it would be very important.

Q-What if she was earning more than you?
A-I would love it. I would love to be a ‘kept’ man, but she should make it a point to take care of my expenses!

Q-So you prefer a career woman to a housewife?
A-Yes, absolutely.

Q-How long would you wait to take your relationship to the next level?
A-If I think about it at the moment, it's going to take really long. At one point of time, when I was younger, I thought I wouldn't get married ever. At least, now I am open to the idea. Then, too, marriage is still not in my itinerary for at least 7-8 years.

Q-Do you remember your first crush?
A-Of course, I remember her. I was in school and was six years old then. I was punished by my teacher for kissing her!

Raza Murad in a film based on Nithari Killings

Raza Murad is geared up to wear the character of Mohinder Singh Pandher, the dreadful murderer in Nithari killings in a film titled D5. The film is being directed by Yoginder Gupta and Sushil Gupta former builder, makes his debut as a producer.

The idea is the brainchild of the director, Yoginder Singh with whom Raza had worked earlier in a comedy flick Tamboo Ka Bamboo. Nithari killings had brought shivers to the spines of every Indian earlier this year. Raza Murad along with Yoginder Gupta has taken an initiative to bring up the root cause of such a frightful incident to which Raza says, “The film is an eye opener with a purpose of making the people aware and cautious of misdoings in the world and also teaching their children to remain guarded when it comes to strangers.”

Gopal Singh who had appeared in Madhur Bhandarkar’s Traffic signal as a beggar will be seen playing the servant, Surinder’s role in the film. As far as Raza is concerned, he already is done with his share of research on the subject and says, “I remember Mohinder Singh very distinctly. I have observed him very minutely. His appearance, mannerisms, body language and expressions even when he was taken to Ahmedabad for brain mapping test. However, not even in my wildest dream did I think I would play this character in future.” He also adds, “I have been to the homes of the killed children and have seen Mohinder Singh’s bungalow with my own eyes.” The film will be shot in Mumbai with some exterior shots taken in Noida.

D5 went on floors on October 15 and the shoot is expected to be wrapped up in 15 days.

FICCI felicitates R.R. Patil for his role in fighting film piracy

A high-powered delegation of FICCI’s Entertainment Committee met Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil on 15th October to felicitate the government for the support rendered in combating the increasing evil of film piracy. The film industry was a happy lot when they learnt that the Government of Maharashtra has decided to include video piracy under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act, which provides for the preventive detention of an offender.

The delegation comprised of Raaja Kanwar, Chairman, FICCI Digital Entertainment Forum & Vice Chairman, UFO Moviez Ltd., Ronnie Screwvala, President, Film and TV Producers’ Guild of India and Chairman, UTV, Shabana Azmi, former Member of Parliament and social activist and Ritesh Sidhwani, Director, Excel Entertainment P. Ltd.

Vaibhavi Merchant's musical for Europe, Turkey, South Africa

Choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant announced the launch of the fourth tour of her dance extravaganza, The Merchants of Bollywood, on 13th October at Yash Raj Studios. Her musical will tour Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, London, Dubai, Turkey, Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa from November 2007.

The Merchants of Bollywood is loosely based on her own life. It follows the story of a young woman who rebels against her father, a classical Indian dancer, to follow her dream and make a name for herself in Bollywood.

Compact Disc India announces a strong growth momentum in Q2 FY 2007-08

Compact Disc India has declared its financial results for the second quarter [July, August, September] of 2007-2008. Revenue for the second quarter grew by 74.44%, while profits grew by 126.26% in comparison to the second quarter of fiscal 2006, thus maintaining a strong growth momentum.

The revenue for the second quarter was recorded at Rs. 2131.86 lakhs vis-à-vis last fiscal’s second quarter revenue Rs. 1222.07 lakhs, an increase by 74.44%. CDI’s second quarter profit was posted at Rs. 422.48 lakhs, while last fiscal’s second quarter profits were posted at Rs. 186.72 lakhs, a whopping increase in profits by 126.26%.

The Earning Per Share for the second quarter of the financial year 2007-08 was registered at Rs. 4.41.

V&S Broadcasting appoints Sanjay Bhasin as V.P. Sales

V&S Broadcasting, an affiliate of UTV Broadcasting Ltd., has announced the appointment of Sanjay Bhasin as Vice-President, Sales. Sanjay will now lead the Ad Sales division of V&S Broadcasting for their forthcoming set of three channels in the coming months, one of which, World Movies, has already been announced. He will be reporting to Dilshad Master, COO, V&S Broadcasting. These channels will form part of the upcoming bouquet of TV channels from the UTV group.

With media experience of over 17 years, Sanjay has worked with Walt Disney Company, MTV, Buena Vista Television & The Times of India group.

Ravi Chopra to co-produce Deepa's Heaven On Earth

It seems like the season of improbable collaborations. First we had Ekta Kapoor and Sanjay Gupta getting together to produce films. Now it's Deepa Mehta and Ravi Chopra who will be co-producing Deepa's first Punjabi film Heaven On Earth.

Chopra who's currently in London will fly to Toronto in November to seal the deal. He says, "I really like Deepa and her partner David Hamilton. We share a certain creative and community affinity (we're both Punjabis). I distributed Deepa's Water in India. And now it looks like I'll be co-producing Heaven On Earth. I hope there're many more films to come."

Says Deepa, "I'm still very much a stranger in the Mumbai film industry. Mr. Ravi Chopra is someone whom I share a great rapport. That's still a rarity for me in Bollywood."

Adds her partner David Hamilton from Toronto, "Yes, Mr. Chopra and I are in negotiation. But right now it's too early to say anything about it. We're looking at not just an India-based collaboration but a far larger partnership stretching over several films."

Indian cricket board is worth nearly Rs.10 bn

Mumbai, Oct 17 (IANS) Irrespective of the national team's performance, the Indian cricket board is getting rich each year and its current total assets stand at a whopping Rs.9.6 billion ($245 million; 120.6 million pounds), thanks largely to its marketing policy and investments by sponsors.

In addition, the Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) has made investments worth nearly Rs.7.5 billion ($190 million; 93.5 million pounds) and its 'current assets, loans and advances' stand at almost Rs.2.1 billion ($53 million; 26.2 million pounds), as per its 2006-2007 annual report, a copy of which is with IANS.

Out of its total assets of Rs.9.6 billion, the board has 'fixed assets' of Rs.71 million ($1.8 million; 891,268 pounds) at the end of the 2006-2007 fiscal year. The worth of the fixed assets has shot up from Rs.16.3 million ($416,007; 204,657 pounds) during the previous fiscal year.

BCCI's marketing committee, headed by vice president Lalit Modi, is credited with bringing in most of the money during 2006-2007. Income from grant of media rights alone stood at Rs.3.1 billion ($80 million; 39.3 million pounds).

The BCCI spent Rs.37.5 million ($956,301; 470,459 pounds) on its brand new, all-glass headquarters, 'Cricket Centre', built on the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) land inside the Wankhede Stadium, venue of the seventh India-Australia One-Day International Wednesday. This amount is an additional expenditure during the year and is in "excess of the budget", says the report.

The prominent fixed assets include 'improvements to leasehold premises' worth Rs.26.1 million ($664,299; 326,805 pounds); furniture and fixtures worth Rs.13.9 million ($354,646; 174,470 pounds); 'intellectual rights' under intangible assets worth Rs.3.9 million ($99,390; 48,896 pounds); office equipment worth Rs.8.5 million ($217,685; 107,091 pounds); air conditioners, refrigerators and water coolers worth Rs.7 million ($179,453; 88,283 pounds); 'buildings' representing the National Cricket Academy Indoor School constructed on land owned by the Karnataka State Cricket Association in Bangalore, worth Rs.3.7 million ($95,229; 46,848 pounds) and trophy replicas and cricket memorabilia worth Rs.1 million ($26,413; 12,994 pounds).

Vipul's confidence in 'Singh Is King'

SINGH IS KING made news when two prolific film-makers decided to come together for this film -- Vipul Shah and Anees Bazmee. SINGH IS KING made news again when they roped in Akshay Kumar for the principal role in the film. And now, Vipul promises a film that has never been seen on the Hindi screen before.

Speaking from Australia, Vipul sounded gung ho about the project Anees and he have embarked upon. “We’ve devoted almost two months to its pre-production, before we embark on its shooting [from November onwards]. Everything to the minutest detail is being looked into before we start rolling. It’ll be a film to remember. You wouldn’t have seen something like this on Hindi screen before, I assure you,” he tells me.

Please elaborate. “There’re many surprises coming your way. Just wait and watch,” he smiles. With Akshay going through a great phase professionally, SINGH IS KING is, without doubt, one of the hottest projects in the market today.

'Allah Ke Bande' for film festivals first

Producer Ravi Walia has ambitious plans for his new film ALLAH KE BANDE, directed by debutante Faruque Kabir. Although the shooting has just commenced, the makers have decided to take the film to major international film festivals, including Cannes, before releasing it theatrically in India in May 2008.

Highlighting a major issue -- kids being used for armed conflicts and separatist movements – ALLAH KE BANDE has a formidable star cast comprising of Sharman Joshi, Naseeruddin Shah, Anjana Sukhani, Atul Kulkarni, Zakir Hussain and Anupam Kher. Shooting of the film commenced this week.

Meanwhile, the producer is giving finishing touches to his almost complete film DE TAALI. A lavish video is being filmed on the principal cast at a suburban studio in Mumbai.

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