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Bollywood lets its hair down as 2009 comes to an end and raises its hopes for 2010

TEAM BT Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 31, 2009)

AMITABH BACHCHAN: In the New Year, the entire family is hoping to do the kind of work that would please the audience and carry the company forward. Our New Year wishes? May 2010 bring peace and well-being. May it fill us with pride as a nation. May our glory spread further. May we progress in all walks of life. And may the year keep me alive to witness the country, the film industry and my family prosper and progress. I look forward to the coming year passing peacefully.
KATRINA KAIF: I couldn’t hope for a better New Year’s day. I’m in London with my sisters and brother having the time of my life. We have lots of fun when we all are together. After I started working I have hardly seen my siblings. So meeting them is always special and a festival to mark our meeting, is the cherry on the cake. My mother forced me to leave my cell phone behind in Mumbai, so I’m almost cut off from Bollywood. What hopes for 2010? Lots of hard work and hopefully hits.


SHAH RUKH KHAN: I will be at home (Mannat) with Gauri, Aryan, Suhana and a couple of close friends like Karan Johar. Being with close family is the one thing I truly cherish.


AKSHAY KUMAR: Tina, Aarav and I are in Goa. I normally take a vacation from December 29 to January 2 because it includes a double celebration. Tina’s birthday on December 29, and then the New Year’s eve party. Honestly what can be better than spending time with your loved ones? This is a commitment I have made to my family.


DEEPIKA PADUKONE: I will be home in Bangalore with my parents and my sister. Then I go to Goa to wrap up the last fortnight on Ashutosh Gowarikar’s film. Every year I hope that the following year is as exciting as the previous year and I’m very happy with the way my professional life is going. Hope 2010 is the same.


RANBIR KAPOOR: I start shooting for Siddharth Anand’s film in the US from January 2. Since I didn’t wish to be in an aircraft on New Year’s eve, I left India on December 27. My entire family is in Dubai as tomorrow is my paternal grandmother’s birthday and the family is treating her to a one-week holiday there. I wish I could join them!


KAREENA KAPOOR: Saif and I are in England. We are catching up with Saif ’s Oxford batchmates and their spouses. I’m dying to wear my fur coat and sniff the English chill… looking and feeling every inch a diva. We work hard all the year around to make this happen, so let me enjoy myself.

BIPASHA BASU: I’m performing tonight. Then there will be a small get-together with friends. I always like to keep my New Year’s plans uncluttered. Home is the best place to be on any special occasion. And New Year will be a nonfilmy evening at home. Beyond that my only resolution for 2010 is, love yourself.

VIDYA BALAN: I bring in 2010 with my birthday tomorrow… no one can forget it! What hopes do I have for 2010? Oh plenty! After watching Mr Bachchan at work in Paa, I realised being focussed on your work to the point of shutting out everything else is not something I need feel guilty about. Now I’m all set to be seen as this full-blown, seductive, sexually-charged woman in Ishqiya. It brings an entirely new perspective to my personality for the audience. That’s what I’m hoping for in 2010… to find new aspects to my personality through the roles I play.

AJAY DEVGN: Kajol, Nysa, my parents, cousins, sister and her family and I will all be at our Karjat farm house. We’re planning an extended holiday. I start work only from January 2, so does Kajol. So in the meantime it is going to be a huge, long party.


AMRITA RAO: I wonder what 2010 has in store for me… Resolutions sound nice to the ears but adhering to them is a matter of destiny!


AMISHA PATEL: I have a show in Dubai. I will be working and then I will take a holiday. I always like working on New Year’s day because I feel you will then be working throughout!

RITESH DESHMUKH: Friends and I are contemplating how to ring in the New Year. It’s not compulsory to indulge in anything fancy, even a quiet time with good friends does the trick!


ARSHAD WARSI: I am looking forward to three releases in 2010. Will start Raju’s film next year so it’s going to be an eventful year. I haven’t a plan for New Year as yet. I’ll be with family and friends.


ANUSHKA SHARMA: I don’t do much for the New Year. Actually I do nothing. I just wish my family and go to bed.


SHABANA AZMI: As usual I’ll be with my family and a few close friends for the New Year.


IRRFAN KHAN: On every festive occasion I try to visit my mother in Jaipur. But for the New Year I made plans to be home. Beyond the New Year I’ve made no plans. I’ve noticed every time I’ve chalked out a plan for myself, life has humbled me. I leave all my plans to God.


MUGHDA GODSE: I am dancing at a live performance in Delhi tonight and will spend New Year with family and close friends. I’ve a horror film tentatively titled Help coming up for release. My co-star Bobby Deol is such a sweetheart. I hope to find a guy like him this year. Where are all the gentlemen?”


HEMA MALINI: I won’t be doing anything much for New Year. I’ll be with my family and rehearsing for my dance show which is on January 2.


POOJA BEDI: I’m having a small get-together on the terrace of my beachfront penthouse with flowers, candles and an incredible view of the entire city, with my father, my children and a few loved ones.

SUSHMITA SEN: I normally travel overseas. However, Alisah, my younger daughter, can’t travel abroad yet because she doesn’t have a passport. Hence it will have to be a beach resort in India.

ASIN: For me it will be a quiet New Year with family. I wanted to make it for Christmas itself, however I will ring in the New Year at my family home in Kerala.

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Abhay Deol will soon launch Basra, a movie that deals with drugs and human trafficking

By Sonal Chawla (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 22, 2009)


Abhay Deol’s production house, Forbidden Films, is ready to take off and will start shooting its first film, Basra, in January 2010. It is an out-and-out action film based on the drug racket and human trafficking. Navdeep Singh, who directed Manorama-Six Feet Under, will direct the film.

Abhay plays the lead and Chitrangada Singh puts in a guest appearance. Soniya Mehra (Victoria No 203) has also been roped in for an important part. Shahana Goswami is paired with Nikhil Dwivedi.

A source reveals, “Basra is an edgy and dark film. Soniya will play a teenage hippie who is involved in drugs and eventually becomes a victim of human trafficking after being kidnapped. Shahana plays a journalist, while Nikhil is a cop. It is an ensemble cast and script.”

(L) Soniya Mehra (R) Abhay Deol

The source continues, “As the film is an action thriller, Abhay is building his body. His role is that of a secret agent. You can call him an undercover cop who exposes the entire racket. The movie has its base in Basra, a city in Iraq, notorious for its involvement in drugs. It will be shot in Dubai, Kuwait, Delhi and Mumbai.”

Director Navdeep confirms, “The film deals with drug rackets and we have signed Soniya and Nikhil. The title Basra was chosen as it is a city in Iraq which is apt to the subject of the film.” Probably the film will also be shot in one of the cities in Iraq. Navdeep says, “Yes, we are looking for locations in Iraq, probably Kuwait. The movie will go on the floors in January and most probably release by the end of next year.”

Katrina Kaif fights loneliness pangs by asking her mother to stay with her in Mumbai

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 03, 2009)


After a spate of hits, Katrina Kaif may be riding high on her career front but that is in no way a compensation for leading a lonely life without family in Mumbai. Considering that the Mumbai film industry can get awfully cold for an out-of-town girl and the constant work-related travel in recent times, Katrina had begun to feel the absence of a strong support system in Mumbai.

Living alone also took its toll on her health when last month the actress was diagnosed with jaundice and a low hemoglobin count.

A close friend of the actress said, “To be  alone in Mumbai where no one asks about your health seriously and neighbours don’t even know your name, is bad enough. But for a celebrity like Katrina it’s even worse. People around her presumed she wanted to be left alone when in fact she needed comfort and company during her illness.”

That’s when Katrina made up her mind to call her mother Suzanne Turquotte to Mumbai to be with her. “It wasn’t an overnight decision. She didn’t want to pull her mother away from her social work in Chennai, but being alone was getting to Katrina. Being successful is fine but unlike other actresses her age, she had no one to return home to,” added the friend.

Earlier this week, Katrina’s mom joined the actress in Mumbai. The change in her mood, attitude and lifestyle was almost immediate. She’s now eating well and runs off to work every morning knowing someone is waiting for her back home. “Yeah, my mom is with me,” said Katrina happily from the Mumbai airport yesterday morning before she headed to Dubai for a brief appearance at a live performance. “If I feel strong enough to make this trip, it’s because my mother is at home. I know I have her to go back to. I admit it can get terribly lonely in Mumbai.”

On some nights, best friends Aamir and Salman bond over a bike ride

By Meena Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 28, 2009)


It is common knowledge that Aamir Khan and Salman Khan are bonding big time these days. Aamir too admits to his close friendship with Salman and says, “Yes, I am very fond of Salman. I also spend time with him whenever we can match our schedules.”

What is more interesting about the Khans apart from their friendship is the buzz about their nocturnal adventures. Rumour has it that when Aamir’s wife Kiran Rao is away at their weekend bungalow in Panchgani, the actor packs off the rest of his staff such as his personal assistant by around 9pm but retains his security staff.

A source says that when Aamir retains his security staff beyond midnight, it is a dead giveaway that he is going to be visiting his best friend Salman.

So what do these two forty plus actors do on their boys’ night out?

A common friend says that Aamir drives to Salman’s home in Bandra; where he parks his vehicle. Then Salman gets his red motorcycle out and the two go for a spin. Both their security staff follow them in their respective vehicles. After their nocturnal spin, they invariably land up either at Salman’s bachelor pad and have a round of drinks; or if Kiran is out of town, they land up at Aamir’s home.

And that’s not all. It is said that Aamir, who is currently on a diet, is known to break his resolve on nights that he is with Salman.

The Aamir-Salman friendship also extends to having special previews of their films for each other. Aamir had a sneak preview of Ghajini for Salman and Sachin Tendulkar. After the trial, Salman had given Aamir some suggestions on ‘changes’ to be made; which Aamir incorporated into the film.

Anyway, this time around too, Aamir who is currently in Delhi will hold a special screening of 3 Idiots only for Salman. Of course the trial is likely to happen only after December 3, because Salman, Katrina Kaif, Sridevi, Celina Jaitley and Neha Dhupia are expected to perform for a show in Dubai on December 2.

Guess, sooner or later, even Salman will hold a special screening of Veer, which is slated for a January 22 release next year, for Aamir too.

Aamir Khan Salman Khan

I don’t know what the trade pundits have to say about Karan Johar’s Kurbaan, but Saif Ali Khan, whose first film this is opposite Kareena

Saif Ali Khan

Saif Ali Khan More Pics

Kapoor, is very confident about the November 20 release.

MARK MANUEL (Bombay Times; November 5, 2009)

“I’ve a good feeling about it,” he told me. We were talking on the phone because he’s here, there and everywhere promoting the film, and just not available in Mumbai.

Tuesday he was in Delhi, yesterday London, next Dubai. “There’s more to life than shooting,” he sighed. In the background, I could hear Kareena prompting his replies. They’re not doing all the promotions together, because she’s busy making Stepmom with Karan at the same time, and Saif… well, after this he swore he’s taking a month off in December to “train and get into serious shape” before they start shooting for his home production Agent Vinod. His idea of training is not the same as Aamir’s or, say, Salman’s.
“I won’t get a funda trainer… but just kill myself in the gym. It’ll be a combo of yoga and weights. You don’t need a NASA scientist to get a great body,” he chortled.

He’s worked with Karan before in Kal Ho Na Ho, but that time, the filmmaker was completely involved in every aspect of the film. This time, Karan has left it to director Rensil D’Silva. “So the film’s got its own flavour,” explained Saif, “Rensil has brought his ad world sensibilities to Kurbaan, and this is not a filmi kind of movie… it’s a love story and thriller with a socio-politically relevant background. When I step back and see the promos, the posters, I’m like – wow!” Which means he’s confident about what it will do at the box-office. “But there’s also the risk of an off-screen couple being boring on-screen,” he admitted.

“Which means Bebo and I have to choose our roles carefully. We’ve got to present an exciting avatar on-screen… more than the usual pairing. And that we have done in this film. I was equally confident about Love Aaj Kal (his last film and first home production)… but there were moments of panic as well then. In this business, it’s tough to be consistent about your emotions. I can’t be like a rock. I go through ambivalence.”

There’s a lot riding for Kareena, as well, in Kurbaan… especially since her last film Main Aur Mrs Khanna, and Kambakht Ishq before that, didn’t exactly do much for her at the box-office. Saif, aware that she is listening to our conversation, defended his co-star and love. “I preferred her in Jab We Met,” he said cleverly.

“And I thought she looked stunning in Kambakht Ishq. It was a clever attempt at a commercial potboiler. Akshay was very funny. But people discuss Kambakth Ishq as if it was of great national importance. It was a fun film. Main Aur Mrs Khanna… I’m not sure, I saw a rough print, I don’t watch too many films, I’m not an authority… it was a sweet film, I don’t know what to say, baba! I think she chooses all kinds of films. She covers the entire spectrum of Hindi cinema in her choices… not all of them for the best! She’s done Kambakht Ishq and Main Aur Mrs Khanna this year, now she’s got Kurbaan, then 3 Idiots, and she’s working on Stepmom… all different. I think she works more for the audience than herself!”

They’ve worked together in Tashan earlier. The film, well, was disastrous… but it brought them close. Was Kareena different as an actress then, I asked. Saif hummed and hawed, then safely replied, “The same… she’s focused and a sensitive artiste, very concentrated. Also great fun to work with. I had just a couple of scenes with her in Tashan. So Kurbaan is really my first experience with her. There are few people I’ve met who are more passionate about their work. And I’m impressed with that. It’s not just about giving your shot… her knowledge of cinema is great and all round, and she has a deep interest, which I find very cool.”

Naturally, there must have been joys and pains in working with her. I pictured him giving her a backward glance then saying, “No pains, being together, creating something special, watching each other at work… those were the joys. I normally don’t have to worry about my co-star’s moods because I’ve not been so deeply involved with a co-star. But here we were connected. So I had to take time… to get comfortable… to find my own space… to figure out what to do between shots, how to unwind, I mean… we didn’t have to be together all the time. It’s a bit like working with your mom… she knows you so well, there’s no scope of impressing her!

” So, who’s your favourite actress, I asked Saif Ali Khan, the artful dodger. “Suchitra Sen, Zeenat Aman, Madhubala…” he began. Then, “Oh, you mean who I’ve worked with… I don’t know what to say… I’ve not worked with too many… but Rani’s a great co-star and Kareena’s fab… but my favourite actress, hmmm…” And Kareena Kapoor replied for him from the background, “Monica Bedi!”

Bharati Dubey | TIMES NEWS NETWORK (THE TIMES OF INDIA; October 18, 2009)


Want to net Indian tourists? Woo Shah Rukh Khan or Amitabh Bachchan. It’s a simple formula that several foreign countries seem to be following to boost tourism.


In a first, Khan has just been signed on by the Korean Tourism Organisation as its cultural ambassador to promote tourism as well as to encourage Indian film-makers to shoot in Korea. With SRK promising to use everything from taekwondo to the Korean countryside for his next home production, Korean Consul General Dong Yern Kim is all smiles: “I am confident that Shah Rukh Khan’s appointment will enhance awareness and interest about Korea among his fans.’’


The Bollywood bait has been utilised by countries to promote tou
rism for a long time now. Invite Bollywood film-makers to shoot, offer them hospitality, incentives and the works, and then watch the movie act as a powerful advertisement for India’s outbound tourist market, which is growing at the second fastest rate in the world.


Even before any concerted efforts were begun to market countries, however, there was Yash Chopra, the man who launched film tourism’s Indian chapter. Chopra regularly used UK and Switzerland as the backdrop for his lavishly mounted, chiffon-saris-in-the-Swiss Alps phantasmagorias, and thanks to him, Indian tourist traffic to Switzerland spiralled by almost 30%. Similarly, after Rakesh Roshan shot Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai in New Zealand, the desi footfall went up manifold—Roshan was even honoured by the New Zealand prime minister for promoting tourism.


Recently, the Singapore Tourism Board invested $6.3 million under its ‘Film in Singapore’ scheme that subsidises international film productions by up to 50%.

Thailand is new filmy favourite
Krrish was the first Bollywood film to opt for this scheme, and the annual Indian tourist traffic to Singapore immediately after its release went up from 60 lakh to 70 lakh.


Lately, there’s been a change in the Bollywood list of favourite locales. Switzerland and Dubai are no longer as hot as they used to be—it’s Thailand that tops the list of new favourites, with South Africa a close second. Others include Mauritius, the US, the UK, Nambia, Canada, Italy, Austria and Sri Lanka. “More and more countries are aggressively wooing Bollywood to shoot their films,’’ says producer Rajat Rawail. “Israel, Ireland and Poland are the three new players. Then there’s Fiji Islands, whose government is even willing to give producers a payback of 35% of the cost incurred on shooting. All of them have realised that the exposure their countries gets through our films is huge.’’


Says Sudhanshu Hukku, director, Locations, a firm that organises destinations for film-makers. “Today the world is taking cognisance of the fact that Indian films do leverage huge tourism. The Indian film industry, the world tourism boards and film commissions need to work together. They need to work out Indian film-specific incentives such as tax rebates, subsidies, air
fare support etc, which provide opportunities through in-film branding for tourism.’’


Strangely, India has been unable to similarly promote itself through outside films. Although the government has sanctioned nearly 19 international projects to be shot in India, there is still a lot of reluctance because of the red tape involved. Angelina Jolie went back with a bad taste in her mouth after shooting A Mighty Heart. Udaishankar Pani, who has been the line producer for Gandhi and Salaam Bombay, says, “It is getting extremely difficult to shoot in India because of the red tapism and the number of clearances one has to seek.”

September 5, 2009 1:21:25 PM IST
Bollywood Trade News Network

view BLUE videos

BLUE

The OVERSEAS division of Shemaroo Entertainment, in association with Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd., will be distributing the film BLUE worldwide.

Directed by Anthony D’Souza, BLUE has a star cast that any film would love to embrace – Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar, Zayed Khan, Lara Dutta and Katrina Kaif.

For promoting the film worldwide, BLUE is planned to be premiered in Dubai, London and New York. The film will not only be exhibited in the ethnic territories, but will also be distributed and seen in the non-ethnic territories like Mexico, Scandinavian countries, etc. It is expected to be released in 650 screens around the world, making it one of the biggest Bollywood releases in the overseas market.

Hiren Gada, Director, Shemaroo Entertainment shares his thoughts, ”With the international appeal the film has, the first look of BLUE got a tremendous response from non-ethnic territories. We are glad to be associated with Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd. for this huge project and are really looking forward to taking it worldwide. Our subsidiaries in US & UK will be handling key territories of North America & Europe. With a catalog of more than 750 Indian films distributed by us in international territories, this is the next logical step for our international business.”

Dhilin Mehta, Director, Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd. shares his thoughts, ”BLUE is an ambitious project in terms of style, production values, standards, creativity etc… It’s a team effort as not only the production team, but also the captain of the ship, the director, his crew along with the Hollywood technicians and the experienced cast of the film. We are trying to release BLUE in maximum number of screens, to get an international appeal and target people of all ages. Technically and visually this film will be one of the best Bollywood has never seen before, it’s the first time in India movie has been shot 250 feet deep in the sea this is the USP of our film.”

Our Oscar Winners A R Rahman and Resul Pookutty have given the Music/ Background Score and the Sound Design respectively. To add to this, one of the dance numbers has been performed by the famous international pop star Kylie Minogue.

The film has been shot in ‘Bahamas’ – the country of islands, in the Atlantic Ocean & Bangkok -Thailand. The best Hollywood Technicians have worked on the film giving it an absolutely international look and feel. The Cinematography has been done by Laxman Utekar and underwater Cinematography by Pete Zuccarini which is the highlight of the film.

Apart from the casting, BLUE certainly has a lot to talk about and hope for the best.

GLAMSHAM.COM


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