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December 29, 2009 12:38:18 PM IST

Bollywood Trade News Network

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CHANCE PE DANCE

Backed by the success of 3 of the genre defining blockbusters of 2009 – KAMINEY, WAKE UP SID and DEV.D, UTV Motion Pictures announced an aggressive line up of 4 films for the period of January – March 2010.

The slate for 2010 kicks off with CHANCE PE DANCE, which has been directed by Ken Ghosh and stars Shahid Kapoor, as the talented and passionate Sameer with a never-say-die attitude and Genelia, as a beautiful and spirited choreographer, Tina. The film will have a worldwide release on 15th January.

HARISHCHANDRACHI FACTORY, India’s official entry to the Oscars this year, will hit the screens on 22nd January. This acclaimed Marathi film directed by Paresh Mokashi is a UTV production, co-produced with Paprika Media and Mayasabha. The film has also been screened for the BAFTA and Golden Globe juries, apart from various other film festivals.

PETER GAYA KAAM SE, a fast-paced action adventure movie with a romantic twist, is directed by John Owen. Starring Rajeev Khandelwal and Lekha Washington, this film is about Peter, a football crazy motorcycle taxi rider, who decides to turn his back on Goa and quit his job – until his sleazy loan shark boss Bosco persuades him to do one last job – the job that will change his life forever. The film is scheduled for a March 2010 release.

PAAN SINGH TOMAR, the true epic journey of a talented runner who turned into a rebel, has been directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia. It stars Irrfan Khan and Mahie Gill, and will be released in March 2010.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO, UTV Motion Pictures said, “While 2009 has been a low year for the film industry in general, we released some interesting films which etched themselves in the minds of the audience. DEV.D, KAMINEY and WAKE UP SID created new benchmarks for what can now be perceived as commercial cinema. Our slate for 2010 promises to be a very entertaining mix and we are very excited to be bringing audiences such a wide array of interesting cinema.”

The much-anticipated releases by UTV in 2010 include Prakash Jha’s RAAJNEETI, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s GUZAARISH, Anees Bazmee’s THANK YOU, Rajkumar Gupta’s NO ONE KILLED JESSICA, Vishal Bhardwaj’s EK BATAA SAAT, Aamir Khan Productions’ DELHI BELLY and PEEPLI LIVE.

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Although My Name Is Khan will premiere at the 60th Berlin Film Festival, distributor Fox Star Studios, has prevented it from competing with other films in the Competition section

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 25, 2009)


With the good news comes the bad news as well. The good news is that Fox Star Studios, international partners on My Name Is Khan, has decided to premiere the film at the 60th Berlin Film Festival in February 2010, in the most prestigious Competition section. However, the bad news is that they have not allowed the film to compete with other films in the section. The reason for the same is unknown.

Karan doesn’t deny the news but pooh-poohs the belief that the global corporates are trying to bully him into submission. He says, “Yes, the decision to place our film in the Competition section without competing was taken entirely by Fox Star. Shah Rukh and I are completely one with it. We are just happy to be in the same section as the new films by Martin Scorsese and Roman Polanski. Fox Star has been on the same page as me from the start. Shah Rukh, Kajol and I are getting ready for Berlin. It will be the first full-fledged screening of our film. We are anxious to see how the global audience at Berlin reacts to it.”

According to sources, Fox Star has grown progressively wary of the 9/11 angle in cinema and has asked Karan to tone it down as far as possible. Apparently, the filmmaker was asked to change the trailer for the premiere of My Name Is Khan (unveiled last week) so that overt references to terrorism are done away with. Karan was also asked to stress on the fact that the film is not about 9/11 and terrorism. Karan dismisses the news. He says, “Fox Star knew exactly what My Name Is Khan is about. It’s a fact that the film is not about terrorism. Yes, 9/11 does form a background to the tale, but the film is a love story and a story of humanism under pressure.”

(L): My Name Is Khan, (R) :Karan Johar

Apparently, there is also a fear that Shah Rukh Khan’s smaller-than-life role as an autistic Muslim, fighting injustice in the US may not go down well with his fans. Karan laughs at the rumours. He says, “That is such an erroneous interpretation of Shah Rukh’s character. He plays a man with a disability who can see the world around him far more clearly than the so-called normal people. He is a superman with a soul pure enough to fly. No, I don’t think his fans would be disappointed just because he isn’t larger-than-life in Khan. Shah Rukh’s fans all over the world want to see him in roles that connect the reality of cinema with the reality of the world outside the theatre.”

Vijay Singh, CEO, Star Fox Studios, also insists that the film is not about terrorism. He says, “My Name Is Khan is a love story and Shah Rukh Khan’s character’s journey to win back his love. It has nothing to do with terrorism.”

Big B, SRK among several who catch Avatar premiere in Mumbai…

TIMES NEWS NETWORK (BOMBAY TIMES; December 18, 2009)

A lot of films try to lay claim to the old ‘most anticipated film of the year’ tag, but on Tuesday night, it was clear that Avatar was indeed the biggest Hollywood film of the year amongst Bollywood’s celebrity film buffs; it brought the Bachchans and the Khans onto the same blue carpet in a premiere rivalling the big Bollywood premieres. After 14 years of incubating in director James Cameron’s brain, Avatar, the once-ultrasecret project known as ‘Project 800’, finally premiered to an enraptured and appreciative Bollywood crowd. But before the 160-minute-long saga of 10-foot-tall blue aliens on a distant moon called Pandora began, the blue carpet was walked by larger than life superstars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Yash Chopra, Gurinder Chadha, Harman Baweja, Vivek Oberoi, Ram Gopal Verma, Rohan Sippy, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajkumar Hirani, Anthony D’Souza, Rohit Shetty, Shirish Kunder, Tisca Chopra to name a few.

At the end of the film, as the news channels spoke to the guests leaving, some admitted to tears, many felt it would be difficult to watch “normal movies again” and most were ready to take another trip to Pandora right then and there. Networking sites were instantly flooded with more gushing praise.

Aryan had his school exams and couldn’t make it, but Shah Rukh Khan was so amazed by the experience that arranged a screening for his family and friends over the weekend. … Hrithik, who was stuck at the shooting of Guzaarish and couldn’t make it in time to the venue, is also looking to have a private screening of the film. Amitabh Bachchan told the media “It was a fabulous film, a wonderful experience!” Abhishek, who was not scheduled to come as he had to walk the ramp the same evening in the suburbs, rushed just in time to catch the film. He posted his views on a site soon after “It’s not a film. It’s an experience! James Cameron is Hollywood’s answer to my favourite director, Manmohan Desai! He could pull off anything. Avatar too is a Hindi film at heart. It’s definitely a ‘must watch’ for the experience.”

Rohan Sippy, who had seen a trade show just the previous day, loved the film so much he came to see a second screening and plans to see the film over the weekend, again. He said, “With Avatar, James Cameron has redefined what we can dream. It is a film of breathtaking scale and impossibly meticulous detail. But I think his real triumph is that he has used his total mastery over technology to make us really feel what it is to be alive and human…” Ajay Devgn and Kajol have also requested for a screening of the film for their family and close friends after hearing the premiere buzz from others. While Vivek Oberoi said, “It’s really amazing that the west can come up with films like this. I would’ve loved an Indian director to make a film like Avatar. It’s simply astounding!” “I saw Avatar in 3D. To say the least, it made me feel pre-historic in every way,” says Varma. Director Ken Ghosh, Fardeen Khan and Zayed Khan have also planned to block an evening entire show at a suburban multiplex for a private screening for friends and family. Looks like the general public might not get tickets for the film after all, looking at the number of private screenings and shows being blocked by the Bollywood fraternity itself. The premiere was hosted by Vijay Singh, CEO 20th Century Fox India and Big Cinemas.
After dissociating herself from Kaizad Gustad, Ayesha Shroff now warns another producer to think twice before entertaining his script

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 05, 2009)

Acrimonious break-ups never amount to anything good, especially if the woman feels wronged. Ayesha Shroff and Kaizad Gustad may have parted ways, but it doesn’t mean that she’s ready to forgive or forget yet. She has warned producer Ambika Hinduja about the pitfalls of taking on Kaizad as a director.

 

Ayesha Shroff Ambika Hinduja

Apparently, Kaizad met Ambika and asked her if she could produce a film for him. He claimed that Sanjay Dutt is very interested in the script. Confirming that, Ambika said, “Kaizad said that Sanjay Dutt has shown interest in it. But I haven’t given it much thought yet. I am currently very busy with Teen Patti.” Dharam Oberoi, Sanjay Dutt Productions’ CEO said, “We don’t have dates for Kaizad now, but we might do the film with him later.”

Kaizad is unaware that recently Ayesha called up a close associate of Ambika to warn her that she may end up burning her fingers if she decides to produce a film for Kaizad.

Kaizad Gustad

Why did Ayesha tip off Ambika? A source says, “Ayesha and Ambika are friends. Ayesha didn’t want Ambika to experience the trouble she had with Kaizad during the making of her second film with him, Bombil and Beatrice, which went over-budget due to his ineptitude. She cautioned Ambika through her office. Ambika has got the message.”

Ayesha did not deny the story. She said, “Ambika and I are friends. I always want the best for her. I want her to make bigger and better films.”

We called and texted Kaizad, but he did not revert.

ANGRY AND HURT: Mandira Bedi

Mandira Bedi sends channel legal notice for ankle broken on show

ROSHNI K OLIVERA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 24, 2009)



Mandira Bedi is in a bad shape, physically, mentally and right now, even emotionally. A bad stunt during the Khatron Ke Khiladi press conference in Mumbai that resulted in a broken ankle, surgery, a metal plate with seven screws to hold the bone in place, has left her upset and tearful. She sent Colors, the television channel hosting the show, a legal notice for ignoring her, now that the show is off the air and demanded a response within seven days. The channel asked for time. “Six weeks later, do they still need more time,” asked a fuming Mandira.


At the press conference, at the behest of show host Akshay Kumar, the 13 lady contestants jumped from a 15-foot height, barefoot, onto two thin coir mattresses. “Barefoot, because we weren’t informed before hand that we were doing a stunt and didn’t have training shoes,” said Mandira, who hurt her foot badly after doing the stunt. A doctor on the set advised her to ice the badly swollen foot. Mandira called her husband, who suggested an X-ray. Nobody from Colors accompanied her to the hospital, she said. “I left alone in my car as there wasn’t an ambulance there. My X-ray confirmed a fracture. I informed the Colors team of it and my inability to return. Then I went to hospital to put my foot in a cast. The next day, a newspaper reported that ‘Mandira twisted her ankle’. Which is the only official statement from Colors,” added Mandira. Injuries and all, in cast and on crutches, Mandira still made the KKK finale shoot where Akshay acknowledged her injury as a
“zara si moch”.


Then followed a painful, three-hour surgery and many attempts by Mandira in vain to talk to the CEO of the channel. “He deigned to call me back,” she alleged. “Of course, it was only because the show was still on air! Subsequently, he apologised for a Colors employee’s feeble attempt at clearing my hospital bills, saying it would be ‘chicken-feed in comparison to all the pain and trauma I have gone through’. He also assured me that he would ‘make it up to me’. That was the last time I heard from him or anyone else from there.” But Mandira doesn’t want anyone to “make it up to her” she wants them to take responsibility. “Accept, on a public forum, that a mistake happened, that there was medical negligence and violation of safety norms. This acknowledgement makes for a larger issue. This callous and inhuman behaviour has to be made an example of,” she insisted. “What if Akshay had hurt himself doing a stunt on the show because of lack of safety or medical negligence? Would the channel wash their hands off him?”


CHANNEL RESPONDS:
A spokesperson from Colors told BT: “We’re surprised on receiving this notice from Mandira and our lawyers are in the process of responding to the notice. The fact is that she voluntarily opted to do the jump and all due care was taken during all the rehearsals of the show, to ensure safety of all participants. For unforeseen incidents, there was an ambulance and a doctor on stand-by, always. It was unfortunate that she hurt herself during one of the rehearsal drills. While adequate firstaid was offered to her on site, we also offered to pick up her medical expenses for this injury. And we are willing to reimburse her medical expenses now as well if we receive the bills from her. After doing all this, her behaviour leaves us amazed.”
roshni.olivera@timesgroup.com

A WINNER ALREADY: A still from the film
… and this time, it’s a Marathi film that’s taking India global

TIMES NEWS NETWORK (BOMBAY TIMES; October 22, 2009)


Marathi writer-director Paresh Mokashi, is one happy man. And why not, his debut film, Harishchandrachi Factory
is India’s official selection for the 82nd Academy Awards. It’s an honour of course, for which Paresh has UTV, Paprika Media and Mayasabha Productions to thank for. UTV whose Rang De Basanti got nominated for the BAFTAs and Taare Zameen Par for the Oscars, will see that this film too, gains global recognition. They have kicked off an aggressive campaign, will target the international media and have extensive screenings in Los Angeles in October and November.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO of UTV Motion Pictures, said, “The Academy recognises films with unusual themes. A little over 90 minutes, HCF has the ability to reach out to international audiences in a grammar of film-making they are conversant with.”


His thoughts are echoed by Vikas Bahl, Chief Creative Officer, UTV Motion Pictures. “We are proud to be bringing worldwide audience a film that tells the story of the birth of film-making in India — the world’s most prolific film producing nation,” he said.


Paresh, who through HCF presented the incredible journey of Dadasaheb Phalke to make India’s very first motion picture,

Raja Harishchandra, said, “What better than to have
one’s debut film about the making of India’s debut film! My search for the subject of my film was over when I first read the adventures of Dadasaheb Phalke. Selection to the Oscars is a very sweet surprise and now I’m hoping for the best.”


According to Smiti Kanodia, Founder & Chairperson of Paprika Media Pvt. Ltd., they were gung-ho about co-producing the film after hearing Paresh’s narration. “It captures the essence of Dadasaheb’s character and showcases fine performances by the actors, music composer and those behind the camera.”


No one in recent years has won more awards than UTV — from Rang De Basanti to Jodhaa Akbar, from Fashion
to Life in a Metro, from Khosla ka Ghosla to A Wednesday, from Mumbai Meri Jaan to Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and from Welcome to Sajjanpur to Dev. D. And now, they have yet another winner on their hands.

SHOW ME THE MONEY: Sanjay Dutt, Zayed Khan and Akshay Kumar; (top) Lara Dutta in the film
Huge opening adds to the celebrations

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 22, 2009)


The extended Diwali weekend has proved to be a boon for last week’s Bollywood releases. Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd’s underwater thriller Blue that opened this Festival of Lights, benefitted big time because it raked in a huge initial in the celebration period.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, “The promotion and publicity helped it to get a grand opening.” He also believes that since India hadn’t seen any thrillers involv
ing underwater action sequences, this proved to be the USP of the film.

Uday Singh, CEO, PVR Pictures, says, “We opened wide… and the first four days’ collections have been extremely encouraging.” Uday feels that Blue is a large screen spectacle and the audience is taken in by the sheer opulence of the product.

The makers of the film are upbeat, too, because they say that the opening weekend collection is one of the best initials an Akshay Kumar film has taken. “The Khiladi has proved once again that he is
one of the biggest Bollywood stars,” says a leading distributor.

International pop superstar Kylie Minogue’s ditty Chiggy Wiggy with Akshay has also found its share of fans. “Blue has hit the jackpot,” is Taran’s opinion.

It is estimated that the film’s collection has benefitted by the sheer magnitude of the number of screens it hit — over 2,000 worldwide. And with no new major releases lined up this week, Blue still holds viewers’ fancy.
meena.iyer@timesgroup.com

A DREAM COME TRUE: Aftab Shivdasani and Aamna Sharif in the film

… in which dreams turn into wishes and wishes come true!

TIMES NEWS NETWORK (BOMBAY TIMES; October 20, 2009)


After experimenting with everything from the dark and dangerous to the edgy and cool this year, Bollywood is ready with a cute film, Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd’s Aao Wish Karein. The film, starring Aftab Shivdasani and Aamna Sharif, promises the kind of entertainment that kids, teenagers and parents are bound to enjoy. It is a bit of a fairytale in which a boy’s life gets transformed when he makes a wish to be grown-up and his wish comes true. Not quite Tom Hanks in Big, but still, this one has all of Aftab’s wildest fantasies come true — he achieves success and finds true love but the film has an intriguing twist at the end and some really soulful melodic music in between.

Andrey Purushottam, CEO, Mumbai Mantra, is of the opinion that all of us as kids have had fantasies on the lines of ‘main bada hoke yeh karoonga, woh karoonga!’ “Equally, don’t all of us adults want to rediscover the child in us,” he asks. “If you are part of this everybody… voila! This film is for you.”
Aftab, actor and coproducer (Rising Sun Entertainment), says “Aao Wish Karein is an honest effort and that makes it endearing to anyone who’s been a part of this journey. It’s simple, sweet, funny and has exceptionally soulful music. This is the kind of film that would appeal to kids and teenagers, mamas and papas, grandpas and grannies too.” While his co-star, the vivacious Aamna, adds, “Every girl wants to be part of a fairy tale… I got to live mine through this film as it has everything that a girl’s dreams are made up of ! I believed in it so I became a part of it…”
Sohail Khan blames UTV’s hasty release for the Main Aurr Mrs Khanna fiasco. A case of blame everything, but the flawed film?

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 21, 2009)

Sohail Khan & Main Aurr Mrs Khanna

In a shocking disregard for all norm, UTV has allowed their Diwali release Main Aurr Mrs Khanna to be telecast on all DTH satellite television channels just three days after release (on Monday).

The film’s creative producer Sohail Khan tries to downplay his dismay as he says, “Maybe we just need to work harder. But seriously they must’ve decided to salvage whatever finances they could. I can’t blame them for it.”

However, Sohail does blame UTV for the wrong release date. He said, “Diwali was not the right time to release Main Aurr Mrs Khanna. People want to watch happy, funny films during Diwali. The middleclass doesn’t have the buying capacity for tickets for three films.”

Sohail tried hard to reason with them. He says, “I wanted it released during the Valentine week. Mrs Khanna was a romantic film and it needed to be pitched that way. During Valentine’s, we would have tied-up with vendors and sold romantic merchandise. I tried my best. But somewhere my judgment got fogged by their reasoning. They’re after all experts at finances. We were just the creative people.”

Sohail gave in to the Diwali release against his better judgment. “It was just a matter of four months. And I firmly believe it would have made a difference to our film.”

Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO of UTV Motion Pictures, politely declined to comment.

Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; October 2, 2009)

Mumbai: Film producers have called for a meeting with processing laboratories to discuss ways of “foolproof security’’ for film prints when they are with the laboratories. The producers also plan to introduce a fresh clause, demanding that the labs take full responsibility of the prints as long as they are with them. The labs, predictably, have rejected the idea.

The move comes in the wake of a recent incident in which processing lab and distributors’ staff were found involved in a piracy racket.

Producer Mukesh Bhatt, head of the anti-piracy cell of the film industry, told TOI, “We want the film and digital labs to give us an undertaking about keeping our property safe. They will now have to
take complete responsibility. We are going to talk about this at the next meeting and will stop working with labs that don’t agree with us. A film is like a bank for us in which we deposit our money.’’

UTV CEO and What’s Your Rashee? producer Sidharth Roy Kapur said, “The earlier contracts never pinned responsibility on labs for theft or misappropriation of prints. But now, we want them to sign an undertaking and take responsibility. A lab should be like a safe deposit vault in a bank. We will not work with those who refuse to sign the new deal.’’

The producers are firm on inserting this clause but laboratories do not seem to be eager. Adlabs Ltd CEO Anil Arjun said, “I am not aware of it and will need to discuss it with the producers.’’ He added that the incident regarding What’s Your Rashee? was not attributable to Adlabs. “Adlabs has always taken steps to curb piracy. Adlabs Film Processing Lab, Digital Lab, Digital Cinema Mastering facility and Adlabs’ preview theatre are the only facilities in India to be accredited by London-based trade body Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).’’


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