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IFFM Awards: Rani, Manoj named Best Actors, ‘Sanju’ wins Best Film

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Manoj Bajpayee

Melbourne, Aug 12 : Rajkumar Hirani’s “Sanju” on Sunday walked away with the Best Film honour here at the Westpac IFFM Awards night, where Manoj Bajpayee won the Best Actor for his yet-to-release “Gali Guleiyan” and Rani Mukerji was named Best Actress for her performance in “Hichki”.

Rani, who impressed with her performance as a woman faced with Tourette’s Syndrome in “Hichki”, walked away with two honours at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) as she was also bestowed an ‘Excellence In Cinema’ award.

Veteran actress Simi Garewal, looking elegant as ever in her trademark pristine white, gave away the honour to Rani, who has been a part of the film industry for over two decades.

Overwhelmed by the honour, Rani thanked her fans world over for loving her and her work through the years.

Hirani won the Best Director for “Sanju”, a biopic on the life of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, while the IFFM Vanguard Award went to actor Ranbir Kapoor for his “breakthrough performance” in bringing alive Sanjay’s tumultuous life journey on-screen.

The director told IANS here that he is happy with the recognition for the movie and is excited about showcasing the movie at La Trobe University here, with “Sanju” co-writer Abhijat Joshi and actor Vicky Kaushal.

Vicky won the supporting actor honour for his well-deserved performance as Kamli in “Sanju”, and Richa Chadha won it too as she won the jury’s heart with her power-packed role as a brothel owner in “Love Sonia”.

The jury members for the fest, launched by Mitu Bhowmick Lange, comprised Simi Garewal, Sue Maslin, Jill Bilcock, Nikkhil Advani and Geoffrey Wright.

Wright, known for the Russell Crowe-starrer “Romper Stomper”, told IANS that he was mighty impressed by the variety that Indian cinema currently has on offer. He said he feels that “perhaps it has gone from recreation to being serious cinema”.

India’s colourful and diverse culture was very much a part of the awards celebration as there were the beats of the dhol, performers dressed in traditional Indian classical attires, Odissi dance, Bhangra and more.

Composers Sachin-Jigar added the chutzpah with some of their Bollywood tracks.

The inclusion-themed ninth edition of the gala gave a Diversity Award to Freida Pinto, who shot to fame and prominence first with her role in Oscar-winning drama “Slumdog Millionairea. In her upcoming film “Love Sonia”, Freida is seen in a never-seen-before avatar.

Tabrez Noorani-directed “Love Sonia”, which opened the IFFM gala and left the audience moved with a story around sex trafficking, won the Best Indie film. A special mention in this space went to “Gali Guleiyan”, which marks Dipesh Jain’s debut as a director.

The Equality In Cinema Award was given to “Mahanati”, the widely acclaimed Telugu and Tamil film on the life of south Indian actress Savitri, who made a mark in the 1950s and 1960s.

Actor Ali Fazal, who was the jury of the short film competition, chose “To-let” as the Indian winner and the Australian winner was “Found”, which is on Islamophobia.

Richa also gave away the IFFM Heroes Award, which celebrates real life heroes who have done good deeds.

IFFM began on Friday, as part of the celebrations, Rani on Saturday hoisted the Indian flag at the Federation House, which also became a stage for a dance competition, bringing the huge and diverse Indian community of Melbourne together — denoting the unifying power of cinema.

The fest will end on August 22.

(Radhika Bhirani is in Melbourne on an invitation by IFFM organisers. She can be contacted at [email protected])

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‘Rajiv Gandhi’ was a true visionary, says Riteish Deshmukh

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Mumbai, Aug 20: On former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s 74th birth anniversary, actor Riteish Deshmukh remembered him as a “true visionary”.

The “Ek Villain” actor, son of the late Vilasrao Deshmukh, former Maharashtra Chief Minister, on Monday wrote on Twitter: “Remembering Bharat Ratna Shri Rajiv Gandhiji on his birth anniversary today. A mass leader and a true visionary. Your work will forever inspire us sir. Sadbhavna Divas. Remembering Rajiv.”

Along with the post, Riteish also shared pictures of his late father with Rajiv Gandhi.

Born on August 20, 1944, Rajiv Gandhi represented Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi parliamentary constituency four times. He assumed office as the prime minister after the assassination of his mother, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984.

Rajiv Gandhi, who was the youngest Prime Minister of India at 40, was assassinated by suicide bomber in 1991 in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur during an election campaigning.

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Big B, SRK and other celebs contribute towards Kerala relief fund

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Amitabh bachchan Shah Rukh khan

Mumbai, Aug 20: Celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Dulquer Salmaan and Jacqueline Fernandez have contributed towards relief work in flood-ravaged Kerala. They have also urged others to donate.

“The devastation caused by incessant rain in Kerala is frightening. Hundreds and thousands of our sisters and brothers are in deep anguish! We must do all we can to contribute as much as we can towards the needs of the people of Kerala. I have. You must too,” Amitabh tweeted.

The death toll due to rains and floods in Kerala increased to 370.

Shah Rukh’s Meer Foundation has donated Rs 21 lakh to a relief group working amongst flood victims.

Jacqueline committed to donate Rs 5 lakh to NGO Habitat for Humanity India’s Kerala Flood Relief Programme.

She said in a statement: “I am deeply pained to see the devastation caused by the floods in Kerala. My heart goes out to the people in need and in order to help them, I have decided to donate to Habitat for Humanity India.

“I am happy that they have undertaken their disaster response work in Kerala. I appeal to all my friends, fans and peers from the film industry to come and support our flood relief work for the people of Kerala.”

Other celebrities including Hrithik Roshan, Sonali Bendre, Farhan Akhtar, Abhishek Bachchan and Anushka Sharma, Prakash Raj have extended their support, urging people to come forward and help the people of Kerala.

Filmmaker Priyadarshan has already handed over his and actor Akshay Kumar’s cheque to Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund. “Let’s together build back Kerala back to its glory again. No politics, no religion only humanity. Let’s stand together to save Kerala,” he tweeted.

Actress Chitrangda Singh has also urged people to “join hands and hearts” and “help our countrymen. Stand for Kerala”.

Oscar winner Resul Pookutty has thanked all the celebrities like Vidya Balan, Sonam Kapoor and Alia Bhatt who have contributed to the cause.

The chief ministers of various states have also come forward with financial aid to help the state cope with the huge-scale devastation.

Kerala is facing the heaviest rains and consequent floods and destruction since 1924, which the state estimates has caused a loss of over Rs 19,500 crore.

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Parineeti shares first look of ‘Jabariya Jodi’, starts shooting

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Jabariya Jodi

Mumbai, Aug 20: Actors Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra have commenced shooting for their upcoming film “Jabariya Jodi”.

Parineeti on Monday tweeted the film’s first look.

In the image, the “Ishaqzaade” actress and Sidharth are standing on two sides of a wedding chair, while a man dressed as a groom is sitting on it, but his face is not visible.

She captioned the poster: “Announcement – shooting begins! Sidharth Malhotra.”

Directed by Prashant Singh, “Jabariya Jodi”, is set in Patna, Bihar. The film is co-presented by Balaji Telefilms and Karma Media Entertainment.

Producer Ekta Kapoor wrote: “Yeh jodi zabardast bhi hai aur jabariya bhi (This couple is the best)! Presenting the first look of ‘Jabariya Jodi’.”

Sidharth and Parineeti had earlier shared screen space in the 2014 film “Hasee Toh Phasee”.

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