Monday, October 29, 2007

Race promotion starts


It was a fashionably-late start but the Bollywood biggies made up for it as Saif Ali khan, Bipasha Basu, Anil Kapoor, Sameera Reddy, Akshay Khanna and the clothing line’s brand ambassador Esha Deol strutted their stuff on the ramp for a clothing brand and then kick started the promotion for their new film - the Abbas-Mastan thriller Race.

While some tripped up others raced up and a few just flashed their signature style.

We asked the stars what they were actually racing after in life these days. While Anil Kapoor in his usual charming demeanour said, “Pursuit of happiness”, Saif had a different goal. “Good work”, he said.

Hoping for some truthful answers, we asked the resident sassy actress of Bollywood, Bipasha Basu the same question. Her reply was, “[being] on the treadmill…always…”

Esha Deol told us, “I am always racing after a lot of things whether it is a dog or money or a guy.”

We tried to find out what their racing experience was like in reel life. “It’s a cool movie with lots of cars. We are two brothers and shouldn’t be messed."

While the stars did send Delhi's Bollywood meter racing but will the movie win the box office dash? Well, we’ll have to wait and watch till Race hits the silver screen next February.

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Akshaye as usual gets less footage and doesn't seem to have talked to the media. Akshaye is again looking quite fit and I can't believe how cool he is gonna look for Race. Look at him jiving on the ramp. Saif on the other hand looks grouchy. Can't wait for this movie.

The young cavalier

Courtesy Getty Images

Akshaye at IIFA party in Sydney. Is that the Aussie girl he is having good time with while in town?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wooing time!

Contrary to his bachelor boy image we heard that the Khanna boy has fallen head-over-heels in love with this mystery girl whom he met abroad while attending a friend's wedding and has ever since been trying to woo her in style - taking her out for coffee and candle night dinners, we hear.

Hmm, is something ‘strong’ brewing here, AK?

Is Filmfare simply re-writing its own gossip or is something really brewing in Melbourne?

Akshaye in Melbourne

Too bad the video doesn't show Akshaye gettin the award. WIsh I had gone to Melbourne, looks as if he had stayed longer and signed autographs too !

Friday, October 26, 2007

Akshaye falls for Aussie actress?

Apparently actor Akshaye Khanna was recently in Australia to receive an award for best male lead role in the movie Gandhi my Father , the actor was bowled over by one of the presenters, Isabell Lucas.

It is rumoured that the Akshaye and Isabell were heard chatting away and thoroughly enjoying themselves, before she left for Sydney.

Akshaye says that he has never seen a more beautiful and hotter woman that Isabell. Looks like the actor was totally clean bowled by this Aussie beauty.


Sorry couldn't update because I was travelling much. Will post the Sydney event pics soon.

"Anil will get me married"

Akshaye on his million flings, running after girls and disarmingly candid like never before:
Akshaye Khanna insists he is too young to tie the knot, but says Anil Kapoor is hell-bent on getting him married.

For someone who is known to be a serious guy, both on-screen and off-screen, Akshaye Khanna comes across as quite a brat. “And I have been like that since I was in school. In fact, I was so mischievous that I was suspended from my school in Ooty so many times. Thank God I was never expelled,” he laughs.

The actor feels school was the worst part of his life. “The happiest day of my life was when I gave the last exam for Class XII. After that I was free to act in films and run after girls,” he says.

And he seems to have done a lot of the latter. “I fell in love for the first time when I was in Class IV. After that, there was no stopping me. I have fallen in love about a million times and couldn’t muster the courage to confess. My only serious relationship till date was with Tara Sharma. But yes, I have had a lot of flings. I have been very much single for the last two years though,” Akshaye admits.

But he was not so successful in his film career. “My first film Himalyaputra didn’t work but it helped me get noticed. But till Border happened, I was terrified of Fridays. After that Dil Chahta Hai gave me a position in the industry,” Akshaye says.

Do we see this star getting married anytime soon? “No way,” he says, “I am too young for that.” He thinks for a moment and adds, “That is why I am so scared of working with Anil Kapoor.

He will get me married one day. When I was working with him in Gandhi My Father, he was after my life that I should settle down. Now that I am doing Shortcut with him, I think I will actually end up getting married!”

Love this side of Akshaye!

One more Priyan movie for Akshaye?

Akshaye's next is called "Mere baap pehle aap", not an inspiring title! But, the big news is Priyadarshan is finalising one more movie with Akshaye!

From Priyadrashan's interview:

"Kanchipuram" will be free of any commercial ingredients, he says.

He is finishing the dubbing of the film, which is about the weavers of Kanchipuram and set in the period between 1942 and 1957.

"I always do films for others but this is for satisfy my emotions and feelings. I have two more scripts ready. One is on AIDS and another on female infanticide, which I will produce and direct myself," said Priyan.

Critics and audiences alike have panned his recent release "Bhool Bhulaiyaa", but Priyadarshan says he is contented and doesn't aspire to achieve anything more in commercial cinema.

"I have nothing more to achieve in commercial films after 'Bhool Bhulaiyaa'," said Priyadarshan, who earlier churned out comedies like "Hera Pheri" and "Garam Masala".

The Akshay Kumar-Vidya Balan-Shiney Ahuja starrer is about black magic and para-psychology. It is a remake of a Malayalam film "Manichithrathazhu", which Priyadarshan co-directed with Fazil that starred Mohanlal and Shobhana.

"Without doubt this is the biggest achievement in my life and I knew this film would click because something unusual always attracts attention," Priyan told IANS.

Shobhana and Fazil's reaction has made him happier. While Shobhana said the Hindi version is better, Fazil feels technically "Bhool Bhulaiya" is far superior to "Manichithrathazhu".

Priyan retained the major thread line of the original story. He changed just 30 percent of the content for the sake of Hindi audiences.

Brushing aside reports that he is only a remake man, Priyadarshan says such comments don't bother him because the Oscar last year went to the remake version of a Hong Kong film.

"As far as a director is concerned, the approach to a film is more important and also doing justice to the film. All other things are secondary."

He has five mega projects lined up.

Priyadarshan was in town to finalise the location for a song for "Mere Baap Pahela Aap" in which Akshaye Khanna, Om Puri and Genelia D'Souza will be seen in key roles.

"After that I have finalised a script for a film starring Amitabh Bachchan and Akshaye. The story is about bank robbery. I'm directing it for Percept Pictures."

Next year he will return to Malayalam films to direct veteran scriptwriter M.T. Vasudevan Nair's next script, which would star Mohanlal in the lead.

More new on the new movie:

What other films is Shemaroo producing? “On November 19, we will go on floors with a film to be directed by Priyadarshan. The film is a comedy film starring Akshaye Khanna, Genelia Dsouza, Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Rajpal Yadav, and Archana Puran Singh. We are still looking for another senior actress to be cast opposite Paresh Rawal. However, on October 27, we are recording the first song for this film. The title of the film is yet to be decided. Other than this, early next year, we have two films, one that we are co-producing with Vishal Bhardwaj, which will be directed by his junior associate. Second film is with E. Niwas, for which we have just finished the scripting. We will begin the casting soon. Other than these, we have three other films scripting for which will begin soon” states Mansi Maroo.

Rajesh Roshan is the music director. Again an underwhleming choice:

ajesh Roshan will tune lyrics by Sameer for Shemaroo Entertainment's new film directed by Priyadarshan. Akshaye Khanna and Genelia D'souza star in this story of father and son. This is Roshan's first significant outside assignment in Hindi films after almost three years when he composed the score of Vikram Bhatt's Aetbaar in 2004.
Priyadarshan is working with the music maker for the first time after Hindi films with Raamlaxman, R.D.Burman, A.R.Rahman, Anu Malik, Nadeem-Shravan, Anand-Milind, Vidyasagar, Himesh Reshammiya, Pritam and Uttank Vora. The composer has given music for three of the biggest hits in the millennium - Kaho Naa...Pyaar Hai, Koi...Mil Gaya and Krrish.

"Akshaye was reserved but great fun"-- Bipasha

Bipasha talks about her two co-stars in Race.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Akshaye shines at AIFF

Shimit Amin’s Chak De India has won the ‘Best Film Award’ while Akshaye Khanna received the ‘Best Performance Award’ for his sensitive role in Gandhi My Father 5th Australian Indian Film Festival. For starters, Chak De India, which was shot in Australia, is a feel good hockey film shot in Melbourne and Sydney starring 90 Australian hockey players and over 9000 Australian extras. While Akshaye’s role of Harilal (Gandhi’s son) in Gandhi My Father, has been recently been accepted into competition at the Tokyo International Film Festival and also finds itself in competition for Best Screenplay at the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

The awards function was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art and was attended by Chak De India’s Shimit Amin, Sagarika Ghatge and Tanya Abrol, and also Gandhi My Father’s team of director Feroz Khan and Akshaye Khanna.

Australian film critic, Peter Thompson hosted the ceremony, with the Australian actress Isabel Lucas presenting the Best Performance Award while Ian Chappell, Special Representative, Australia for UNHCR, announced the award for Best Film.

The awards were chosen by a respected group of Australian film critics including Peter Thompson (Showtime), Margaret Pomeranz (ABC TV at the Movies), Nell Schofield (Channel 9 Sunday Show), Marc Fennell (Triple J), Adrienne McKibbons (Metro Magazine) and Ian Taylor (ABC TV).

It is indeed a matter of pride for India that the festival has an advisory board comprising of advisory board comprising of Ronnie Screwvala (UTV Group), Sanjeev Kohli (Yash Raj Films), Simi Garewal and Natalie Miller (Sharmill Films), and Yash Chopra as the festival’s patron.


Akshaye nominated in Tokyo Film Festival as well. Hurrah!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"A genuine Bollywood Star"

Listen to Akshaye interviewed by Australian Radio ABC.

Akshaye sidelined in Aaja Nachle promotion

AK gets the classy treatment of the Chopras:

Now that’s pretty much justified considering the fact that this is Madhuri’s much hyped comeback film and deserves all the focus on herself. Still, if one checks out the theatrical promo carefully, there are other actors like Kunal Kapoor and Konkana Sen who get a reasonable footage in the three minute promo.
But where does it lead one of the most known faces in AAJA NACHLE after Madhuri Dixit? We are talking about Akshaye Khanna who doesn’t feature in the promo for even a flicker of a second.


Akshaye seeing Riya again

There is a new love story budding in the tinsel town.

The rather shy boy Akshaye Khanna has finally got a new gal in his zindagani. It's been a long time since he broke up with Tara Sharma and wasn't exactly seeing anyone in the interim.

The lucky gal for whom Akshoo's dil goes dhak dhak is Riya Sen.

Of course, they're not meeting in public, but chori chori chupke chupke.. and their prem ka silsila is going great bandooks and topes.

They had acted in some movie called Love You Hameshaa.. but they weren't paired together. Hmm.. achha hai that after all the wrong kinda men she's been linked with in all these years, Riya baby has fallen for someone really sensible. So, this is surely kuchh badhiya khabar no!

From HTTabloid

Akshaye is da best

A MOVIE about the Indian women's hockey team shot in Sydney and Melbourne has won the best film award at the Australian Indian Film Festival.

Box office hit Chak De India, directed by Shimit Amin, was filmed around Sydney and Melbourne, featuring 90 Australian hockey players and more than 9000 locals as extras.

The movie was inspired by the Indian women's hockey team's surprise win at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.

Indian heartthrob Akshaye Khanna received the best performance award for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi's son Harilal in Feroz Khan's Gandhi My Father.

The film was recently accepted into competition at the Tokyo International Film Festival and is up for a best screenplay award at the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

The awards were announced tonight at a gala ceremony at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art hosted by film critic Peter Thompson.

The awards were chosen by a respected group of Australian film critics, including Thompson, Margaret Pomeranz, Nell Schofield and Ian Taylor.

The 5th Australian Indian Film Festival opened last night in Sydney with a screening of Gandhi My Father, and will showcase the best in Indian cinema over the next 10 days.

It will go on the road after it ends in Sydney and Melbourne on October 28.

AK gets his first award for Gandhi--My Father. The thing that makes me so happy is that the jury is mostly Aussie and hence likely to be more objective. The award season begins early.

I had no idea that they were going to have an awards ceremony. Otherwise I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I belive this is the first time apna AK got a Best Actor award too. Woweeeee!

Akshaye at Indian Film Festival

Here's the official press on the Indian Film Festival:

The fifth edition of Australian Indian Film Festival kicked off Wednesday with the critically acclaimed Feroze Abbas Khan's "Gandhi, My Father" at Cinema Paris in the ritzy Entertainment Quarter that houses the Fox Studios.

Driven straight from the airport to Taj Blue Sydney, a boutique hotel in the heart of a luxury marina, entertainment and apartment complex, Khan was ready to face the media with Akshaye Khanna and "Chak de India!" director Shimit Amin and actress Sagarika Ghatge.

"Gandhi, My Father" is a very different film to the common perception, of kitsch romances with so called song and dance sequences that most Australians have of Indian cinema.

Khan says, "I was intrigued that it was invited for a Bollywood film festival." However, like many other Indian producers and directors, he would rather call it Indian cinema than Bollywood.

So is he excited about his film being screened at major festivals? From Sydney, he goes straight to the Tokyo International Film Festival. Khan says, "I am from the theatre and for us, we only get excited about the show." In this case, the show is the film being screened tonight.

"You want to tell the story, something which has not been told earlier. In Richard Attenborough's `Gandhi', the Mahatma has been portrayed God-like. Divinity entails perfection, but there is nothing that comes without a price. For people who lead the nation like Gandhi, the price was his family," says Khan.

"Gandhi himself talks of his flaws in his letters. It makes one understand the depth of a person. Here is a man with a mission, asking for sacrifices from the family and nation. Gandhi is deeply inspiring, but very complex," he adds.

The writer-director of this highly praised film says, "Of course, the son cannot be the yardstick to judge the greatness of a man. The angst of a father and son has to be experienced by the audience. I had the desire to tell the compelling truth about the life of a great man. I didn't want to go for the jugular and make the film dramatic."

He says, "Gandhi's family understood the compulsion of making a film from a narrative, in this case his letters." Actor Akshaye Khanna, who plays the character of Gandhi's son, Harilal, in the film says, "To be honest to the character was the thrust because it was my very first experience at playing a real life character."

"Before I read the script, I didn't even know Harilal existed! I was shocked and surprised to read this happened to Gandhi. The script, books and letters were all there to get an insight of the real Harilal. It was a huge responsibility to play a character no one really knows - he is not someone in the minds of people like Gandhi himself or Kasturba", says Khanna, who has been "inspired but not influenced consciously" by his father or any other actor.

The Australian Indian Film Festival has become one of the largest foreign film festivals in Australia. It has been added to Sydney and Melbourne's annual cultural calendar. Every October, the audience, largely reared on mainstream American and Australian productions, and the growing Indian diaspora, is treated to a selection of the best Indian films.

As festival co-director, Mitu Bhowmick-Lange, who moved from Mumbai to Melbourne and joined the Black Cat Productions' sister company MG Distributions says, "It is great for the festival to be endorsed by the Australian and Indian film industries. It has been very interesting to note reactions and interpretations of Australians to some of the films."

One of the highlights will be the Bollywood in Australia showcase - a selection of four Hindi films - "Dil Chahta Hai", "Salaam Namaste", "Chak de India!" and "Heyy Babyy", which were shot in Australia and hired Australian crew, dancers and actors.

The 10-day festival will be screened in Sydney from Oct 18-28 and Melbourne Oct 19-28, before travelling to Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Auckland in New Zealand.

Akshaye rules Sydney

After ten years of watching and watching again on the screen, I finally get to see my best-loved star in person. How awesome that the first star I ever get to meet in peron is also my most favorite star ever.

If that's possible, Akshaye looks even more handsome in real life. I am sure there was a halo around him and I am pretty sure I wasn't imagining it!

Gandhi--My Father opened Indian Film Festival in Australia and AKshaye was here to present his movie. I was expecting to see him to walk the red carpet but we were all ushered into the theatre before any stars had arrived. Then Akshaye and Feroze came along with Shimit Amin and some Chak De girls. Akshaye was wearing a brown jacket and blue jeans and a black cap as usual. Akshaye was asked to introduce the movie and he quipped, " Thanks for coming in such large numbers. So many people were not there even when the movie released!"

I now know why he is called a shy guy. Even when in spotlight he stood with his head down, so one could see the cap mostly. Still, it was surreal to see his smile and his mannerisms in real life.

I wanted to take lots of pictures but my camera said Memroy Card Full. I'd checked everything but that! I just have one crappy longshot of the event.

The audience was quite well-behaved but I couldn't resist being a star-stuck dumb fan. I waved every time AK even remotely looked in my direction and stood at the door to say Hi. He tipped his cap for me! Later, I thought I should have shook his hands but it didn't occur to me then; I was so starstruck. I was also a bit embarassed by my eagerness but what the heck, this is AK we are talking about!

After the movie, there was a QA session. AKshaye did not come again and only Feroze did. I was preparing a long homily to deliver to Akshaye should I have the chance to speak to him. I don't know how he got the clue but he wisely stayed away. Feroze answered the questions very patiently. I asked him what were the challenges like in moulding a mainstream Bollywood actor and present him in such an unusual role. He said he didn't want Akshaye at all but Akshaye audtioned and they had to go through a de-akshayisation process to get the results they did.

I saw the movie again and I liked better than the first time. It did not appear as jerky as before and the whole proceedings made even more sense than usual.

I will nver forget the few minutes I got to see Akshaye though. I am still in a star-struck daze.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dinesh Mills ad campaign starts?

Akshaye's ad campaign for Dinesh Mills is already on the air. News from this blog:

Now suddenly out of blue, Dinesh is making some interesting noise in the media . The brand now have found a new Saviour in Bollywood Actor Akshaye Khanna. The TVC featuring Akshaye is already on air. The brand retains the original tagline and expects that Akshaye can rejuvenate this failing brand.

Why Dinesh has chosen Akshaye as its brand ambassador is an intriguing question to me . Akshaye has never been a successful brand ambassador. He had a roller coaster ride in bollywood and I have always seen him in funky outfits. However the brand may be looking to break away from its past. But as always Celebrity endorsements alone can never lift up a brand. That too with a celebrity like Akshaye, one can never be sure how he is going to deliver in his field.

That's simple. Who else but the most suave and stylish guy around to promote your brand?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Gandhi--My Father nominated

Gandhi, My Father was the only Indian movie chosen by the Indian government to be showcased at the Incredible India festival celebrating 60 years of our country’s Independence at Madame Tussauds in New York recently.

Even as intellectuals debate on whether actor Anil Kapoor’s first production, Gandhi, My Father should have been India’s official entry to the Oscars, the movie is making waves on international waters regardless.

Gandhi, My Father was the only Indian movie chosen by the Indian government to be showcased at the Incredible India festival celebrating 60 years of our country’s Independence at Madame Tussauds in New York recently.

The movie was screened to a packed house and Anil was felicitated at the Lincoln Centre amidst much fan fare and Gandhi giri . “The response was stupendous. Gandhi, My Father is the only movie to be nominated at the Asia Pacific Awards to be held on November 13 in the Gold Coast, Australia, for Best Screenplay and has also been invited to the Australian Film Festival as the opening film and at the Tokyo Film Festival in the competition section later this month. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go as I am in Vienna shooting for Yuvraj and right after this, I’m shooting for Tashan . And then, of course, my daughter Sonam’s movie Saawariya is releasing next month so I am busy. But my director Feroz Abbas Khan and Akshaye Khanna will be attending the festivals,” says a proud Anil from Vienna.

Has his first production being received so well across the globe propelled him to produce more movies? “My next, Short Kut is already on the floor,” he says. Good going!

(Times of India)

Award season begins. The movie is nominated for screenplay. Fingers crossed Akshaye will be nominated at one of the international festivals.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Akshaye Mix

For a lazy Sunday. Thanks for ladysatin.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Akshaye hugs

It's good to see he is on good terms with Sanjay Dutt even though he refused to do two movies with him : Kaante and Zinda. Even Anil Kapoor has remarked that he is opening up a bit lately. I have never seen him being so demonstrative before.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Trendy Guy

This is how he used to dress before. In over large shirts with bug sleeves giving him a kind of sarkari daftar look.

Like this:

Or this:

Or this:

Quelle horror!

Don't even think of how he was dressed up in the movies.

But then he walked the ramp for India Fashion Show for designer Manav Gangwani. He looked great onstage but backstage he was even more awesome. Casual, trendy and lotta lotta cool.

Not out of the fashion woods yet:

But transforming into a chilled cool guy

from being a sulky, petulant loner

Clearly answering two of his his longtime fans wishes: dressing up well and taking care of his body. Keep going!

Akshaye rocks in white

Akshaye looking good at Sanjay Dutt's function.

Akshaye's next movie confirmed

Shemaroo Films is not lying low after their last film Manorama: Six Feet Under failed to deliver at the Box Office and are planning their next film which is to be directed by Priyadarshan. Said to be a comic caper, the film that has not yet been titled is to star Akshaye Khanna, Genelia D’souza and Paresh Rawal.

According to sources at Shemaroo Films, they were looking for the star cast for quite a while now and have now finally ended their search. Akshaye, Genelia and Paresh apparently were their first choices from the beginning. The movie is to be shot in two schedules although the location has not yet been finalized. The film which is to commence shooting this November will in all probability releasing next summer.


Another update from

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Luminous in blue

Glowing like a thousand-watt bulb in the second pic!

I am perplexed. He doesn't look as buffed as in the other photo. But looks like he burnt all that excess fat and he is quite fit. Nice start but keep going, Akshoo. Don't stop.

Akshaye at Lead India Peace Initiative

The Times of India’s Lead India Peace Mela organised by Citizens for Peace on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti consisted of a series of happenings throughout the day, all propagating the significance of peace and the values that the Mahatma extolled.

A series of plays kickstarted the long day; from there on, the action shifted to the brightly decorated Horniman Circle gardens where a recitation of dohas by Sant Kabir and a performance on urban folk songs by Susmit Bose was followed by a heart-wrenching account of a commuter caught in the Mumbai bomb blasts last year.

Enacted by Vaibhav Deshmukh, this moved most of the audience to tears as they were heard sighing, “It was simply brilliant!” Raell Padamsee and Teesta Setalvad’s group of zesty kids then took centrestage as they performed skits on the theme, after which poets Javed Akhtar, Menka Shivdasani and Ranjit Hoskote spun their poetical magic.

While these activities were going on, one could also see people reading the interesting messages hung on the ‘Peace Tree’; some even wrote their own peace messages on kites which were to be flown later in the evening.

The concluding part of the programme was a scintillating performance by Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash who played Gandhiji’s bhajans on the sarod — a performance that left actor Akshaye Khanna marvelling even as he “wah-wahed” the performance.

Akshaye was earlier spotted with the brothers, asking them questions about their art. Hmmm, wonder if the talented actor is onto something new now!

Akshaye then spoke about what freedom meant to him. “There cannot be a bigger joy than being free — free to talk, to write, to do whatever you please. It was after doing the film and getting to know in detail about the struggle that Bapu went through to help us achieve this freedom, that I have actually begun to realise the real worth of this freedom which we tend to take for granted” said Akshaye.

The evening, which also consisted of soulful ghazals rendered by Jagjit Singh and a blues performance by Vivienne Pocha and Merlin D’ Souza, concluded with a collectively taken peace pledge, led by Deveika Bhojwani.

The event saw quite a few of Mumbai’s well-known faces enjoying the proceedings; prime amongst those included Dolly Thakore, Brinda Chudasama-Miller, Jayant Kriplani (who made a cute sight as he sat on the Horniman Garden benches and sung and drummed away oblivious to the world!), Pravina and Jamal Mecklai and Ila and Ishitaa Arun who clapped the loudest on the Bangash brothers’ and Jagjit Singh’s performance.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A star for ever

Rediff for a change has some nice things to say about Akshaye in this catalogue of star debutants.
The pic is from Salaam-E-Ishq. From his first movie till now, still the most gorgeous star!

Sydneysiders get an Akshaye treat

Feroze Khan's 'Gandhi, My Father' will kick off the fifth Australian Indian Film Festival (AIFF) in Sydney on Oct 17.

The film is also one of the five nominated in the Best Screenplay category for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) to be held on the Gold Coast in November.

AIFF has become the largest foreign film festival in Australia.

Every October the audience, largely reared on mainstream American and Australian productions, is treated to a selection of the best Indian films.

This year's screenings include 'Shootout at Lokhandwala', 'Ta Ra Rum Pum', 'Cheeni Kum', 'Dhoom 2', 'Eklavya', 'The Namesake' and 'Laaga Chunari Main Daag'.

The event, attended by over 40,000 people each year, attracts some of India's leading filmmakers and film stars.

'Chak de! India' director Shimit Amin, actresses Sagarika Ghatge and Tanya Abrol, Akshaye Khanna, Anil Kapoor, Feroze Khan, Siddharth Anand, Arbaaz Khan and John Abraham will be guests at this year's festival.

For APSA's Best Screenplay category, 'Gandhi, My Father' is in the fray with 'Lucky Miles' (Australia), 'Night Bus' (Iran), 'Secret Sunshine' (Republic of Korea), and 'Takva: A Man's fear of God' (Turkey).

An awards ceremony announcing the Best Film and Best Performance will be held for the first time at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

An international jury to determine the winners in each category, headed by actress and activist Shabana Azmi, will meet on the Gold Coast from Nov 7.

One of the highlights will be the Bollywood in Australia showcase -- a selection of four Hindi films, shot in Australia by an Australian crew, with local dancers and actors.

The films include Farhan Akhtar's 'Dil Chahta Hai', Siddharth Anand's 'Salaam Namaste', Sajid Khan's 'Heyy Babyy' and the recent box-office hit 'Chak de! India', shot extensively in Melbourne and Sydney.

What a lucky city!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Two Priyan movies?

Are there two Priyadarshan movies in the offing? Until we get more confirmation, I'd say no.

I think Priyan wanted to make a movie Akshaye and was toying with different ideas ( a comedy, an action movie and a political satire) and different producers (UTV). Finally, I think they might be going ahead with Shemaroo and this comedy. Since, they are talking about schedules and stuff, I think this one is pukka.

Something tells me that this is not in Hulchul, Hungama league but Dhol kind of movie.

There are so many sexy starlets prancing around Bollywood these days, so why do they have to pick up such an unwatchable and untalented heroine like Genelia?

The movies he has lined up for next year are Shortkut, Bhaagte Raho and this one--all comedies. It doesn't look that exciting, innit? After Gandhi--My Father I'd hoped he got some serious, variety stuff at least from the arty directors. So far he hasn't.

Born to Act

He’s born to act! Akshaye is Harilal! Such is the manner in which Akshaye Khanna’s latest performance in the most impressive Gandhi My Father has been defined. On Gandhi Jayanti, we bring up the topic again. Never mind that the film didn’t make it to the Oscars, but it did make an impact in the hearts and the minds of the people.

It was a love story between a father and son, says Akshaye, Their love for each other was tremendous. Is Akshaye quite like Harilal? Maybe to a miniscule extent. There was an age when, I hated authority and was sensitive to being told what to do. But it was just a phase and I assume that the majority of us have gone through it.
The story has been highly praised by the likes of Nelson Mandela. We hear it brought many to tears as well. How moved was Akshaye? I don’t cry, I weep. So yes, I wept twice out of the five times, I watched the film. It was a catharsis.

What touched me the most is the freedom we enjoy today, because of those people who sacrificed much for us yesterday. We live in a free country, we enjoy freedom of expression, we have the free press all on a platter, thanks to people like Gandhi, who worked selflessly for the nation, and put the interests of the country before even their own family.

Talking about father-son relationships, it has been some time now since we saw Akshaye putra on screen with dad Vinod Khanna. I’m petrified to be on screen with my father. Most actors of his day and age have been bestowed with such over-powering personalities, that it seems quite useless and nerve wrecking to even try and be in the same frame as them.

And if there’s any other actor, of the present generation who has the same effect, it is Govinda. They are all simply remarkable and I am very wary of acting with them.
AK seems to be very wary of the media, too. It’s not often that he is at his communicative best. Shy or arrogant? I am a shy person by nature, he confesses. I can’t stand huge crowds and large gatherings. But I love people. I tend to connect with people on a more personal, intimate level. I prefer the one-to-one interaction.

But when people misunderstand my introvert nature for arrogance, I totally understand the ‘injustice’. It’s a natural thing. Maybe I have an unusual face that sends out those kind of messages, or maybe it’s my attitude. I don’t know. But I’ll never try and fight the intrinsic misconception of my bouts of arrogance.

The actor has a suave personality, but unlike his contemporaries, we haven’t seen him go berserk experimenting with his looks no blonde hair tips, no earrings, no tattoos You see, I’m a conventional guy and not quite experimental when it comes to things like relationships or food. I’d rather go to a restaurant I like than try a new exotic one out. I tend to prefer the tried-and-tested. I’m a simple daal-chawal guy. I can’t pick up my bag and go backpacking alone, the way my brother Rahul does.

If I have to go to a place out of Bombay, and if we have relatives there, I’ll stay with my relatives, but Rahul will put up at a hotel. I need people around me. I need to have someone hold my hand and plan my day. Time to get married, then, we say. Why can’t people see me enjoying my bachelor life? I am very happy the way I am and I’m going to safeguard my single status fiercely, he concludes, laughing.

Times of India

Priyadarshan movie confirmed

Post Manorama Six Feet Under, Shemaroo Films is all set for its next project, an out and out comedy, which will be directed by Priyadarshan. The star cast of this yet-untitled film includes Akshaye Khanna, Genelia D'souza and Paresh Rawal.

Shemaroo Films vice president Hiren Gada confirms, "We have been working on the casting bit for long time and have finally zeroed in on Akshaye, Paresh and Genelia. They all were our first choice. The film will hit the floors by November end." Gada refused to comment on the budget for the film.

This untitled movie will be shot in two schedules. Though the location has not been locked in, Goa is certainly on the cards. "The schedules would be around November-December and January-February. I think by next summer we should be ready for the release," mentions Gada.

Why Genelia? It's a worse choice than Shriya. Couldn't they think of a better heroine than Genelia? WTF?!!!