SAIF : UNPLUGGED

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At the Screen Preview recently, Saif Ali Khan talking about Love Aaj Kal had women in the audience fall in love with him all over again.

“He’s so cool, so much fun,” was a common refrain repeated umpteen times since that day. One could well see the reason why – Khan was witty, funny and articulate. He certainly stole the thunder but almost always stepped back for his team members – Deepika Padukone, Imtiaz Ali and Dinesh Vijan – to have their say. And when necessary, came to their rescue with an arsenal of clever quips.

Strumming the guitar at the music release, appearances at multiplexes, reality shows, special photo sessions, Khan has done it all for the maiden production under his banner Illuminati Films. It would be no exaggeration to say that Khan is stellar in his new role as the producer of Love Aaj Kal, a contemporary love story that tests its strengths at the box-office this weekend.

Excerpts from an interview at the actor’s home in Bandra where between fervent messaging, instructing his domestic help and strumming the guitar, he takes a few questions on films and film stars. Continue reading

Order of the Kids

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: While a plethora of sectors target kids as key consumers, Indian cinema is yet to tap the market

Houseful. Irrespective of which of the about 450 screens you went to last Thursday night, that was the response as Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince released with 350 plus prints in India. Films for children are big globally. This film made a new record for opening day collections — Rs 520 crore. Just about everyone is familiar with the top box-office grossers — The Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, Ice Age series, Lord Of The Rings, The Lion King, Jurassic Park and countless others. Eight of the top 10 grossing movies ever made are children’s films. As a series, the Harry Potter films overtook all the Star Wars films when the Order Of The Phoenix was released. While global cinema has recognised the enormous potential of kids as consumers, Indian cinema seems to have still not woken up to this goldmine.

Children’s films in India, usually targeting the age groups 6 to12 and 12 to 17, have been almost an apology. In India, the list has just a few names — from the early Safed Haathi, Chhota Chetan, Mr India to the more recent Jajantaram Mamantaram, Krrish, Koi… Mil Gaya, Makdee, Nanhe Jaisalmer, Chain Kulii Ki Main Kulii, The Blue Umbrella, Taare Zameen Par etc. Out of these, only the big star cast films did well at the box-office (see box). “Kids are the biggest consumers of media, be it in the form of music, dance or television. But India makes no major films for children,” says Sushovan Banerjee, CEO, Children’s Film Society of India. Despite making children’s films, none of the CFSI films got a theatrical release (see box). “No one thought of releasing these films. There was nothing wrong with these films. CFSI was headless, and when there was an incumbent, the thinking was not towards theatrical releases,” adds Banerjee.

Stars in kid’s zone
Even those made, banked on major adult stars. In spite of few successful children’s films such as Makdee and Hanuman series, the industry prefers not to invest in films that feature children alone, instead opting for films that appeal to children as well as adults. Is the presence of an Aamir Khan or a Hrithik Roshan a must for a film to be commercially successful? Film-maker Shekhar Kapur explains, “Using a star is all that’s been done. Why think about a great script, a new idea? To risk adverse corporate money, it is only the bottom line that matters. And if a star has in the past ensured a decent bottom line, why make life difficult? Make life easy by bombing the box-office with star power.” Continue reading

No Bonus for Kambakkht Ishq from Multiplex

Ashish Saksena, ex-CEO PVR Pictures, confirms in his column today:

“Finally, let’s put an end to the debate that has been going on about whether or not KambakkhtIshq has become the second film after New York to cross the Rs17.5 crore mark in net collections at the top six multiplex chains to secure the additional 2.5% higher share from multiplexes in weeks 1 and 2.

Much to the relief of the multiplex owners, the film is yet to touch the magic figure and hence is not eligible for the additional revenues. But we are monitoring the collections and will, of course, keep you posted on new developments.”

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Here was another report yesterday that had been posted before: Continue reading

Elephant goes Berserk during shoot of “Ravana”

There has been an incident at the shooting of ‘Ravana’ in the forests of Kerala. Abhishek and Aishwarya were to do an action sequence with an elephant. Aishwarya was to be on it and minutes before the shot was to be taken the elephant went beserk. Gored his ‘mahout’ with his tusk, wrapped him around in his trunk and smashed him on the ground and then trampled on him. He then went mad around the sets sending everyone, unit member cast and crew running for cover into the forest.
After a couple of hours when they all emerged they discovered the elephant blocking the road to the Hotel. The unit and all concerned then drove away from the scene to a remote forest bungalow where there was no contact. After a few hours with the help of the police and forest guards and a vet, the elephant was subdued by firing nuetralizing injections into him. It took several hours before the area was declared safe to travel and Abhishek and Aishwarya were able to reach their Hotel by about 3 AM. Frightening !!
Abhishek and Aishwarya are now safe and out of harms way. The unit has decided to cancel further shooting and have shifted to OOTY – the picturesque hill resort in Tamilnadu.

Read the rest from HERE

Love Aaj Kal – Shah’s mini review

With Imtiaz Ali as the director & after the success of the critically acclaimed Jab We Met, and the continuous posts of Anurag Kashyap regarding how he had smiles and tears after watching Love Aaj Kal, I really had great expectations from this one and thought it would to be one of the bests of the year, even surpassing Jab We Met. LAK, however, falls below expectations.

The problem with LAK lies with its story and characterisation. You get the the point that the concept of love and being in love was different then and now, so it kind of drags on. You don’t feel much for the characters, especially of Deepika’s. One reason could be that the director wanted the audience to feel towards Saif and Deepika pretty much how they two feel towards each other, that is, no feelings at all. Saif realises his feelings for Deepika towards the end, but as an audience you don’t feel it, unlike in Hum Tum.

LAK can be compared to Hum Tum as both fall in the same genre of rom-com and a similar Saif. While in Hum Tum, you would laugh and smile throughout most of the movie, in LAK, you would smile, no doubt, but at times get restless.

Coming to the performances, Saif performs brilliantly in the present generation role, but his character is similar to that in Hum Tum. He, as the younger Rishi Kapoor, is good but sometimes his Punjabi accent sounds fake.  Deepika is good but suffers from a weak characterisation. Rishi Kapoor performs well. The other lead, “Harleen Kaur”, has no dialogues, but her performance and looks are both cute. Continue reading

Dil Bole Hadippa and What’s Your Raashee? at Toronto Film Festival

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Press

The Communications Department is responsible for the Toronto International Film Festival Group’s (TIFFG) internal and external communications, which includes media relations for all its year-round programming. The Communications Department produces press releases and backgrounders for the media on all Group initiatives and responds to all media inquiries.

Information on media accreditation for the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival now available.

For media inquiries contact the Communications Department at 416-934-3200 or e-mail us.
Press Releases

7/30/2009| The 2009 Festival Adds To Its Lineup Of Galas And Special Presentations Continue reading

Exclusive: Details of Discovery’s docu on Shah Rukh Khan

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MUMBAI: Discovery Travel & Living has tentatively titled the documentary around actor Shah Rukh Khan as Living with a Superstar. The documentary, on the life of Khan, is being produced by Red Chilles Idiot Box.

Traversing four continents with the actor, the documentary is about Shah Rukh Khan – the businessman (shot in South Africa during IPL), Shah Rukh Khan – the global phenomenon (shot in USA), Shah Rukh Khan – the family man (shot in London) and Shah Rukh Khan – the actor (shot in India).

Reveals a unit hand, “We started shooting for the documentary in Mumbai when he was shooting the music video for Kolkata Knight Riders. From there we went to South Africa. That was a revelation as SRK’s team was not playing really well.”

The unit then followed SRK to San Francisco, where he was shooting for Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan. Intimate details of the actor have been shot. We were told, “SRK is a star without any superstar tantrums. He traveled in one car with his man Friday and security officer. A very neat and tidy person, SRK’s needs are scarce. He drinks at least 20 small cups of cold coffee with many many cigarettes. On the set, the unit followed him as he gave his shots or when he chatted with Karan in between takes.” Continue reading

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