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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Taare Zameen Par becomes Tax Free

They say that great surprises come in small packages. But in this case, great surprises come because of small packages. We are talking about Aamir Khan and his maiden directorial venture Taare Zameen Par, which, even in spite of facing a lot of obstacles (like the ban of the film in Gujarat, the start-up row between the exhibitors and distributors on revenue sharing etc...) has managed to zoom its way up the B-O charts.

Now, TZP also has a tax exemption in Delhi from today onwards. This is over and above the fact that the film has received a staggering response from all quarters, including the classes, masses and the critics alike. Aamir Khan Productions is now confident of having a further boost in the B-O collections. Way to go Aamir, and Darsheel!

Showbiz has love, sex & more: Tushar Jalota

To Tushar Jalota goes the dubious distinction of being the last debutant of 2007.

The nervous but confident newcomer suffers from no insecurity.

"If the others are star-children with fathers and godfathers, I'm the product Mahesh Bhatt Saab's Vishesh Films. In fact Mukeshji's son Vishesh and I have been in school since kidergarten. That's how I got into Vishesh Films."

Tushar has assisted the Bhatts on as many as six productions before getting a break as a leading man in Showbiz which opens this week.

"And here too in my debut film I did everything from serving tea to fixing the light to helping the directorial assistant.

So rather than feeling disadvantaged as the last debutant of 2007 I'm feeling extremely privileged. Because I know more about camera angles and lighting than the average newcomer."

Showbiz, a desi take on the Hollywood film Paparazzi is about the paparazzi in Mumbai over-stepping the line of decorum.

"I play an out-of-towner who wins a talent contest named Voice Of India and is then targeted constantly by a section of the press. Yes we've dared to question the ethics of a section of the press.

And for that we're willing to suffer the consequences. In fact I suspect some papers will either not review our film or give it a bad review. That's okay. Mahesh Bhatt Saab has always had the guts to take on sacred cows.

I couldn't have attended a better school of life," gushes the newest newcomer in tinsel town, and adds that some of the incidents in the film are identifiable with real life incidents.

"But we mean no harm to anyone, or cast aspersions on any institution," says Tushar piously.

Incidentally he auditioned the film's leading lady Mrinalini Sharma for Showbiz.

"Yes," laughs the wannabe. "I auditioned Mrinalini. She then ended up doing Vishesh Films' Awaarapan first. That was more time-consuming because it was shot abroad. Showbiz took a little longer to complete.

But I'm happy. The delay gave me a chance to learn on my job.Now I feel scared about the future. Will I get producers who make me feel as comfortable as the Bhatts?"

The film is directed by choreographer Saroj Khan's son Raju Khan. "We were both new and eager to learn. We've put everything in Showbiz including love and sex.

But it's not a run-of-the-mill film, and it isn't a high- profile unconventional film either," the newcomer lays down his pragmatic fundas.

Percept hires Stan Watson to create Chimpanzee

Percept Picture Company is all gearing up for the release of its next film Return of Hanuman, the much-awaited sequel to the super-hit Hanuman, which hits theatres across the country tomorrow, December 28.

However, even before the audience can give its verdict on the latest animation flick, the makers have gone ahead and announced quite a few animation projects lined up for the new year 2008. IndiaFM spoke to Preet Bedi of Percept Picture on what the future looks like. “Our next animation project Jumbo featuring a baby elephant is almost ready and would release in April 2008. Apart from that, we would like to take the Hanuman series forward with the third film called The Return of Ravana. It would be a more contemporary film targeted at a universal audience,” says Mr. Bedi.

Apart from these animated films, Percept Picture Company is all set to start work on Carry on Pappu, where the lead role would be played by a chimpanzee. The film is in the news as international special effects expert Stan Winston of Jurassic Park, Batman Begins, Terminator series fame, has been roped in for creating the character of the chimpanzee using special effects. Mr. Bedi confirms, “Yes we are in talks with Stan who will be helping us with the special effects though at this point of time, I can’t divulge into too many details except the fact that Mr. David Dhawan would be directing the film. However this is not an animated film.”

Lastly as a move to strengthen its position further in the Indian animation industry, the company has also announced its plans to set up its own high-end animation studio at Madh Island, Mumbai.

Is Deepika Padukone no Star

Call it an irony of fate but it's true, post OSO, Deepika Padukone is getting more endorsements offers than film offers. And the few she managed to get are already slipping from her hand.

We hear that the dusky beauty has been dropped by Rakesh Roshan, who thinks she she doesn't fit the bill for his dance-based next starring Hrithik Roshan.

Says Roshan senior, "I am in the process of working on a film which will be directed by Anurag Basu. And Deepika didn't fit the role. We'll definitely work with her in future for some other project. It's quite a complex character and we are looking out for a female lead."

Accordding to Filmkraft sources Roshans are now looking at casting a non-Indian for the role who can do Salsa.

Deepika too doesn't shy away from admitting this bitter truth. “I don’t think I am a star. I am just one film old and have a long way to go,” she says.

Talking to a tabloid she reveals," As of now I have signed two movies. I’ll be shooting with Ranbir in January for Yash Raj’s next. It will be directed by Sidharth Anand. It’s not titled yet. After that I will be working on Nikhil Advani’s Made In China opposite Akshay Kumar.”

Seema Biswas to do a comedy for Deepa Mehta

Director Deepa Mehta and actor Seema Biswas have one thing in common. They both badly need to loosen up. Seema has been doing un unbroken series of stern wretchedly unhappy characters including the unforgiving mother in Sooraj Barjatya's Vivah and the profoundly grieving widow in Deepa Mehta's Water. Deepa has been going through her own bouts of depression after shooting the story of a battered wife in Heaven On Earth.

Both Biswas and Mehta are ready to whoop it up with a comedy. "It is a film called Stella - it’s about a joyous adventure of a wacky nanny. I just thought Seema was so right for it. So far we've only seen her in serious roles. Seema has an innate sense of fun and mischief which nobody has tapped," says Deepa even as she wraps up Heaven On Earth with Preity Zinta in Chandigarh.

Shoot for Stella starts in January 2008. "I'll be co-directing the film with my brother Dilip Mehta, before going into my next big project Luna with John. I hate to praise my own family. But Dilip is a very talented filmmaker," informs Deepa

T-Series releases Adnan Sami's latest album

Adnan Sami and Bhushan Kumar, after the success of TERA CHEHRA and his last album KISI DIN, have joined hands once again to come out with a brand new album. The album, titled BEST FRIENDS, released by T-Series on 27th December, promises to show an even slimmer and different look of Adnan's.

Choreographer Remo has directed the song 'Assalamwalekum', while Sameer has provided the lyrics.

Music director Lalit Pandit acts in a film

Music director Lalit [of erstwhile Jatin-Lalit duo] faced the camera for a feature film this week. He along with lyricist Javed Akhtar and singer Alka Yagnik participated in the shooting of director Madhurita Anand’s MERE KHWABON MEIN JO AAYEN.

Director Madhurita Anand was, perhaps, capitalizing on the frenzy of music reality shows and cast Lalit Pandit, Javed Akhtar and Alka Yagnik, who became household faces after judging hugely popular music reality shows. Lalit, Alka and Javed Akhtar play judges in the film.

TOP five grossers at the Bollywood box office

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The Khans — Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman — continue to rule Bollywood, with Akshay Kumar giving them stiff competition. Making star-packed comedies and packaging them with music video type of songs seems to be the trend. The industry has become corporatised, a film like SRK’s home production “Om Shanti Om” has been sold before release to Eros entertainment for a whopping Rs. 75 crore, creating a new benchmark. The top five grossers at the box office are “Om Shanti Om”, “Partner”, “Heyy Babyy”, “Bhool Bhulaiya” and “Jab We Met”.

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