Anurag Kashyap's latest movie Gangs of Wasseypur is India's first mainstream film to be screened in the Director's Fortnight section at Cannes. The epic follows a feuding family over 60 years in the rural eastern coal district of Dhanbad. It stars Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Richa Chadda. Kashyap says being at Cannes has increased interest in his work, since Indian movies that are not Bollywood are too often "sidelined as very boring and art house, and they don't often get released " in his native land. "But when people everywhere are endorsing the film, back home they suddenly take it very seriously," he said. Kashyap has another film, titled Peddlers, showing in the festival's Critics' Week section. * AP
Shilpa Saklani denies drugs accusation
The actress Shilpa Saklani claims innocence after she was detained along with husband Apurva Agnihotri for drug use and possession. Police raided and found drugs at a Mumbai hotel party the couple attended on Sunday. Nearly 100 guests were detained for drug tests by the Mumbai police, including the model and actress Madhura Naik, the fashion designer Rocky S and the cricket players Rahul Sharma and Wayne Parnell. Saklani insists they didn't know drugs were present in the venue. "We didn't know it was a rave party. It was a nice sundown event and we were hardly there for 25 minutes. There were journalists as well," she told reporters on Monday. "It was after a long time that we had gone out together and this is what happened. How are we supposed to differentiate which party is safe and unsafe? There is no way my test can be positive." * IANS
Big B talks about Great Gatsby role
"Blink and you'll miss me," says Amitabh Bachchan of his role in the forthcoming Hollywood adaptation of The Great Gatsby, his first international project in a career spanning four decades. Big B, 69, wrote on his blog: "I play the role of Meyer Wolfsheim … for about a few seconds. Yes, by the time you look down in your popcorn bucket to pick another morsel, I'd be gone. It's kind of a short service," he said. "And before you all start punching me for my minuscule participation in the film, may I just say that it was more out of a friendly gesture, than a desire towards furthering my career." Bachchan quips that his co-star Leonardo DiCaprio is "so gorgeous, no wonder all the ladies are flocking to him" and called the director Baz Luhrmann a "great genius". "Sitting on the set, talking to Leonardo and Spider-Man [co-star Tobey Maguire] was pretty darn OK! They're nice and polite people," he wrote. "I am certain that when you shall see the film, you will realise that you have indeed been transported to another decade. That really is the beauty of cinema." The 3D film, which also stars Joel Edgerton and Carey Mulligan, is set for a Christmas Day release.
Rajesh Khanna terminally ill
The Bollywood actor Rajesh Khanna, often referred to as the "First Superstar" of Hindi cinema, is terminally ill, according to The Times of India. His estranged wife, the actress Dimple Kapadia, is reportedly keeping a vigil in a hospital in Bandar. Kaka, as he is popularly known by his legions of fans, recently starred in a TV advert for an electric company. The 69-year-old, who made his film debut in 1966, has been in and out of hospitals throughout the past year for an undisclosed condition.