Film awards celebrate India’s diversity: President

President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday presented the National Film Awards to this year’s winners who included Bollywood star Akshay Kumar (best actor) and Rajesh Mapuskar (best director) as well as the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke to renowned filmmaker and actor K. Viswanath.

He said he was happy that the 64th edition of the awards represented a “microcosm” of India and celebrates the diversity of languages, customs, religions and culture. “Indian cinema and its diversity convey the underlying spirit of brotherhood, tolerance, acceptance and co-existence,” Mr. Mukherjee said at the ceremony.

Highest recognition

Mr. Viswanath became the 48th recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke award, the highest recognition in Indian cinema, which consists of a golden lotus, a citation, cash prize of ₹10 lakh and a shawl.

Akshay was honoured for his portrayal of a patriotic naval officer in Rustom, a court room drama directed by Tinu Suresh Desai, which is loosely based on the 1959 Nanavati murder case. He received the Rajat Kamal and ₹50,000.

C.M. Surabhi got the best actress award for her role in the Malayalam film Minnaminungu. She received the Rajat Kamal and ₹50,000.

Neerja, directed by Ram Madhvani, was awarded the best Hindi film. It is based on the 1986 hijacking incident during which flight attendant Neerja Bhanot was killed by terrorists while saving passengers. Sonam Kapoor received a special mention for her role in the film.

Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Pink, a female-centric court room drama by Bengali filmmaker Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, won the award for best film on social issues.

Marathi movie Kasaav led the regional cinema dominance bagging the best feature film honour and was awarded the Swarna Kamal and ₹2,50,000 each to the director and producer.

Kasaav, directed by Sunil Sukhtankar and Sumitra Bhave, revolves around the issue of depression and environment conservation. Veteran actor Mohan Agashe produced the film. Kashmiri actress Zaira Wasim was given the best supporting actress award for her role in Dangal, while Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dhanak was honoured as the best children’s film.

Mapuskar took home the best director award for his film Ventilator. Actor Mohanlal received the Special Jury award for his work in films like Pulimurugan.

The awards for the best male playback singer went to Sundharayyar for Tamil movie Joker for the song ‘Jasmine E’, while the best female playback singer award went to Iman Chakraborty for ‘Tumi Jaake’ from the Bengali film Praktan.

NFDC to dub regional movies in Hindi

Hindi-speaking cinema lovers can now enjoy regional movies without any language barrier, thanks to the presidential nod to a parliamentary panel recommendation that the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) either dubs them or carries Hindi subtitles.

The Committee of Parliament on Official Language has also recommended that film-makers submit their script in Hindi to the NFDC and make it available to all concerned.

The NFDC facilitates line production services of shooting in India and animation services of overseas clients. It deals with film financing, production and distribution, and works under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

As of now, the corporation’s sub-rules on submission of applications for feature films state that the applicants should submit six copies of their script in English and one in the language the movie is to be made.

However, subsequent to the recommendations getting the presidential nod, the NFDC needs to tweak its sub-rules on film production.

The recommendation only covers regional films produced by the NFDC.

With subtitles

The panel had also recommended that the films being shown in festivals organised by the NFDC be dubbed or have subtitles in Hindi so that “the viewers could be linked to Hindi through good quality films.” However, this recommendation wasn’t accepted as the film dubbing unit at the NFDC is defunct, the order states.

Senior officials from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Directorate of Film Festivals said they hadn’t received the orders till now. “Whenever the order comes, we will work accordingly,” said an official.

Remembering legendary artist Jamini Roy

Google is celebrating with a doodle the 130th birth anniversary of one of the big names in 20th century Indian art, Jamini Roy.

A graduate from the Government College of Art, Kolkata, Roy was a pupil of Abanindranath Tagore, the creator of ‘Indian Society of Oriental Art’. Roy was born in Beliatore village of Bankura district in 1887.

He started his career spanning over six decades as a commissioned portrait artist but soon gave up and began experimenting with Indian folk art. He took lessons from patua, a community known for their traditional occupation of painting idols, to better his craft at Kalighat paintings.

Jamini Roy, master in the realm of Asian art. Photo: The Hindu Archives
 
| Photo Credit:
The Hindu Archives

His work, however, wasn’t limited to painting alone. His wooden sculptures, rooted in Indian villages, reflect the traditional art of Bengal. The quintessential ‘Jamini Roy’ work exhibits bold colours of red, yellow ochre, blue, and white. Roy brought versatility and emotion to folk art. While a painting of a Santhal woman oozes sensuousness, the ‘Three Pujarinis’ are very traditional looking almond-eyed women.

Some of his other world famous work includes, ‘Ramayana’ a magnum opus spread across 17 canvases; ‘Gopini and two Companions’; ‘Mother and Child’; ‘Bengali Woman’; and ‘Three men in boat’ .

Jamini Roy received many awards and accolades, including the Padma Bhushan in 1955. In 1976, the Archaeological Society of India declared him one of “Nine Masters” to be treated as treasure. Roy passed away in 1972.

S.P. Balasubrahmanyam’s passport, other articles stolen in the U.S.

Legendary playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam has said his passport and other articles were ‘stolen’ in the U.S., but officials of Indian Consulate were quick to provide him with a duplicate travel document.

“My bag with passports, credit cards, cash, my Pads with all my song scripts were stolen,” the National Award winning singer said in a Facebook post.

SPB, as the multi-lingual singer is fondly called, is currently touring the U.S. as part of his ‘SPB50’ series where he has enthralled music lovers in cities including Seattle, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Balasubrahmanyam thanked the Indian Consulate in Houston for his coming to his aid.

“Thanks to Consul General, Houston, I got my duplicate passport in 24 hrs,” he said.

The passport saga is the latest in SPB’s unforgettable U.S. tour, as he had last month received a legal notice from music maestro Ilayaraja for singing his compositions without his permission at various concerts.

Balasubrahmanyam, had then said he would render songs of other music composers at the concerts instead of those composed by Illayaraja following his objection to it.

Death during rail promotion of ‘Raees’: summons sent to SRK, Excel Entertainment

Actor Shah Rukh Khan and co-producer of his movie “Raees”, Excel Entertainment, have been asked to record their statements in connection with the death of a man at the Vadodara railway station during the promotional tour of the film.

Fahreed Khan Pathan (45) died of heart attack on January 23 after he got trapped in the crowd that had turned up at the railway station to catch a glimpse of the actor, who was travelling by the Kranti Express from Mumbai to Delhi to promote his film “Raees.”

“We have issued summons to Shah Rukh Khan and co-producer of the movie, Excel Entertainment, which had sought permission from the railways for the film’s promotion on a train. We have given to them 7 days time to file their statements,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (Railways) Tarun Barot told PTI.

On March 2, a judicial magistrate’s court ordered the Government Railway Police to submit a  inquiry report on the incident within 45 days.

Earlier, Mumbai based advocate and activist Abha Singh met GRP officials in the city on February 10 and requested them to file an FIR against Mr. Khan and the company that was handling the promotion of the film.

A youth Congress worker had also filed an application in a local court on February 17 seeking directions to the police for filing a complaint against the actor.

According to Mr. Barot, it is advisable for Mr. Khan to appear in person within a week before the police to explain his side. “Earlier too, we had sent summons to Excel officials. However, instead of appearing in person, they had sent their lawyers, which is not allowed. It is recommended that both the parties give their statements in person. If they do not comply, we will inform the court and take action as per its order,” Mr. Barot said.

Several people, including policemen, were injured when a crowd of thousands surged to have glimpse of the actor.

‘Raees’ promotion: Summons sent to SRK, Excel Entertainment

Actor Shah Rukh Khan and co-producer of his movie “Raees”, Excel Entertainment, have been asked to record their statements in connection with the death of a man at Vadodara railway station during the promotion of the film.

Fahreed Khan Pathan had died of heart attack on January 23 after he got trapped in the crowd that had turned up at the railway station to catch a glimpse of the actor, who was travelling by the Kranti Express from Mumbai to Delhi to promote his film “Raees.”

“We have issued summons to Shah Rukh Khan and co-producer of the movie, Excel Entertainment, which had sought permission from the Railways for the film’s promotion on a train. We have given to them 7 days time to file their statements,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (Railways) Tarun Barot told PTI.

On March 2, a judicial magistrate’s court had ordered the Government Railway Police to submit its inquiry report on the incident within 45 days.

Earlier, Mumbai-based advocate and activist Abha Singh had met GRP officials in the city on February 10 and requested them to file an FIR against Khan and the company that was handling promotion of his film.

A youth Congress worker had also filed an application in a local court on February 17 seeking directions to the police for filing a complaint against the actor. According to Mr. Barot, it is advisable for Khan to appear in person within a week before the police to explain his side. “Earlier too, we had sent summons to Excel officials. However, instead of appearing in person, they had sent their lawyers, which is not allowed. It is recommended that both the parties give their statements in person. If they do not comply, we will inform the court and take action as per its order,” Mr. Barot said.

Several people, including policemen, were injured while 45-year-old Pathan died when a crowd of around 15,000 surged to have glimpse of the superstar, who arrived by train to promote the film.