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Adil Hussain wants government to back ‘Village Rockstars’ in Oscar race

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Village Rockstar

New Delhi, Sep 24 : Noted Assamese actor Adil Hussain has urged the government to release Rs 5 crore for the promotion of Rima Das’ Assamese film “Village Rockstars” ahead of the Oscars, where it will represent India in the Best Foreign Language film category.

On Saturday, the Film Federation of India (FFI) announced the independent film as the chosen one to vie with movies from several other countries to make the cut as a nominee in the highly competitive Academy Awards category.

FFI’s selection committee chairman S.V. Rajendra Singh Babu, a veteran film producer, said there is an acute lack of funds to carry out the required promotional processes effectively, which is why many Indian movies haven’t made it to the final round, barring three — “Mother India” (1957), “Salaam Bombay!” (1988) and “Lagaan” (2001).

Adil was “flummoxed” with the statement.

“The governments have so much money to promote themselves putting posters all across! After selecting ‘Village Rockstars’, jury says there’s acute lack of funds to promote film at Oscars,” tweeted the actor, whose Norwegian film “What Will People Say” is Norway’s official entry to the Oscars this year.

Adil drew the attention of the Assam government, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, his office and of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to the matter, hoping they “will immediately release Rs 5 crore for the promotion of ‘Village Rockstars’, since all other countries have already started their campaigns in the US”.

As Rajendra Singh Babu rightly pointed out, “It is impossible for independent and small producers to promote their film all by themselves. It is important that they receive funds to do so. It is important we follow these processes to reach all the Academy members and critics.”

Adil’s tweets got reaction.

Actor Annup Sonii expressed disappointment, and wrote: “For the smallest achievement they have big funds but for this… ‘Acute lack of funds’. Eventually it will come down to the filmmaker asking for favours or donations… Sad… Very sad.”

Actress Renuka Shahane questioned: “Why don’t we from the film fraternity join hands and create a fundraiser for our Oscar entry? Let’s not depend on the government. It is important that we support this gem of a film onwards to the Oscars.”

When a Twitter user pointed out that “filthy rich, big stars and producers” from the industry “can afford your Oscar thingy”, Renuka retorted: “What do you mean ‘Our Oscar thingy’?

“It should be a matter of pride for the entire country that a young girl with no background or training in filmmaking makes an incredible film like ‘Village Rockstars’ that compels the jury to select it for the Oscars. Let’s not be myopic.”

On Adil’s plea to the government, another user commented that the taxpayers’ money should not be used for Oscars.

“Is it some kind of national service? Why should we care about an American award? Why can’t film industry fund these expenses?” the user questioned.

To that, Adil wrote: “Government can use taxpayers’ money to promote India’s image as a supporter of high quality art. That’s what all civilised governments do! ‘Village Rockstars’ is an independent film. It’s not a mainstream run-of-the-mill film.

“Government’s responsibility is to support fine art of any discipline.”

Set in Das’ own village of Chhaygaon in Assam, “Village Rockstars” is the story of “poor but amazing children” who live a fun-filled life.

The film also won the Best Feature film Award at the 65th National Film Awards.

As for Das, she is hoping for the best as far as funds are concerned to put her film on the Oscars map.

“‘Village Rockstars’ is a film about dreams and hope. It has transcended so many barriers right from the time of its inception and I am hopeful this time too it will.”

IANS

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Emphasis on opening weekend biz damaging art of cinema: Swara Bhasker

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Swara Bhaskar

Mumbai, Feb 16 (IANS) Actress Swara Bhasker says the constant emphasis on a films box office collection is damaging the art of cinema.

“The whole system of emphasising the opening weekend business of a film is damaging the art of cinema. I believe there is no connection between the box office collection and the value of a film or to the artistic part of it,” Swara said during a session at ActFest here on Saturday.

“I understand that cinema is an art that involves a huge amount of finance and it demands a steady economy… But the business part of a film should not overpower the core of a cinema — storytelling,” the actress said.

The “Veere Di Wedding” star continued: “Some of the cult films were flops at the box office when they were released. Now, when we revisit those films, we call them classics. I think this system needs to be changed.”

Swara expressed her views during a session with filmmaker Raj Kumar Gupta along with film critics like Rajeev Masand.

ActFest is being organised by the CINTAA (Cine and TV Artistes’ Association). The two-day festival features popular artists participating in discussions, conducting workshops or giving lectures on various aspects of the art. The event, which started on Friday, is conceived and designed by The 48 Hour Film Project, India.

Talking about how film critics’ opinions played a part in her journey, Swara said: “I am grateful to critics because I started my career with small independent films. And when I played some of the pivotal roles like the one in ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ even though that wasn’t a lead role, critics repeatedly mentioned my performance and according to them I was good.”

The actress feels “somewhere positive reviews helped me to gain visibility”.

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Gurugram musical show attracts protest

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Protest Gurugram musical show
Protest during Gurugram musical show (Picture Credit : @DailyWorldChd )

Gurugram, Feb 16 (IANS) Over 500 members of different Hindu organisations held protests at the Leisure Valley Park where a private company had organised a musical show on Saturday.

The protesters claimed it was wrong for the company to organise a musical show for enjoyment and raising funds when the entire country was mourning the death of 49 CRPF troopers, killed in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday.

Protesters threatened to disrupt the event if the organisers did not cancel the programme.

“We have written to the Police Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner of Gurugram to initiate the process of cancelling the event. Musical shows are meant for celebration, not when there is sadness across the country. This is not acceptable,” said Pramod Goyal, the convener the of Bharat Tibet Sahyog Manch.

“We have objections over celebration, not against any private company. The time they have chosen for organising the event is wrong. Even if preparations for the event began before Thursday’s terror attack, the organisers should have postponed it and stood with the country to show solidarity,” said Kulbhushan Bhardwaj, senior Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, who led the protest along with members of Bajrang Dal, Hindu Kranti Dal, Hindu Jagran Manch, Hindu Sena and Shiv Sena.

Subhash Bokan, PRO of Gurugram Police, said: “We are aware of the protest and have deployed extra security personnel at the venue to maintain law and order and prevent loss of property. We are waiting for organisers to take a decision.”

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Navjot Singh Sidhu sacked from The Kapil Sharma Show for comments on Pulwama attack

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Navjot Singh Sidhu
Navjot Singh Sidhu met with harsh criticism after he spoke about the Pulwama terror attack.

New Delhi, Feb 16: Cricketer turned Politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has been sacked from the ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ following his controversial comments on the Pulwama terror attack.

“The channel has already started with the process of removing Navjot and will replace him with Arachana Puran singh, news agency ANI quoted the sources as saying.

Reacting on the Pulwama terror attack, which left 40 CRPF personnel killed, Sidhu on Friday had stated “For a handful of people, can you blame the entire nation and can you blame an individual? It is a cowardly act and I condemn it firmly. Violence is always condemnable and those who did it must be punished,”.

The former cricketer’s comments were met with harsh criticism and since then social media has been flooded with posts demanding his exit from The Kapil Sharma Show.

Check out some of the tweets below:

This is not the first time Sidhu has landed himself in soup for his soft stand on our neighbouring country.

Sidhu had triggered a controversy last year when he attended Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan’s swearing-in-ceremony. He was much criticised for hugging Pakistan Army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa as well.

WeForNews

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