Bollywood's leading producer-director Vinod Chopra, who made hits such as 3 Idiots, Parineeta and Lage Raho Munna Bhai, has launched a hunt for India's best emerging screenwriting talent.
Having nurtured and introduced actors, writers and directors such as Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Rajkumar Hirani, Abhijat Joshi, Boman Irani, Vidya Balan and Shantanu Moitra, Chopra has announced winners of the talent hunt will get to work with his production house Vinod Chopra Films on future projects.
A Film and Television Institute of India graduate, Chopra has directed films including Khamosh, Parinda, 1942 a Love Story and Eklavya before becoming a producer. Known for spotting and encouraging new talent, he allowed his editor Rajkumar Hirani to direct Munnabhai MBBS, the first of the Munnabhai comedies. In 1942 a Love Story, he gave the chance of directing a song sequence to his assistant Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who went on to become a filmmaker, directing movies such as Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas.
Speaking on the initiative, Sameer Rao, CEO of Vinod Chopra Films, said: "We believe that the starting point for every great film is in an outstanding story. We are entering into this initiative, in collaboration with Talenthouse India, to discover new screenwriting talent who have the potential to contribute to the creation and development of our brand of cinema."
Talent House India will conduct the contest. The deadline for submission of scripts is January 22. The voting for entries will begin the next day, and the winner will be announced on February 15.
Bon Jovi not dead
Bon Jovi fans can keep the faith after the singer took to Facebook to quash rumours of his demise.
On Monday, the internet was awash with the false claim of the singer's death at the untimely age of 49.
The source of the hoax was the website dailynewbloginternational.wordpress.com, which stated the singer had died after the paramedics found him in a coma in a New Jersey hotel.
However, the rock star killed off any suggestions of his death by posting a new picture on his Facebook page with the message, "Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey".
Lange, Shepard separate after nearly 30 years
Oscar-winning actress Jessica Lange, 62, and actor Sam Shepard, 68, have separated after nearly 30 years together, according to reports by the Associated Press.
A publicist for Lange confirmed the split on Monday. People magazine first reported the separation, saying the actors had concluded their relationship almost two years ago.
Lange won Oscars for her roles in Tootsie and Blue Sky. She's starring in the FX series American Horror Story and was nominated for a Golden Globe last week.
Shepard recently starred as Butch Cassidy in the film Blackthorn. He is also a playwright and author whose play Buried Child won a Pulitzer Prize.
James Cameron sued over Avatar
The filmmaker James Cameron is being sued again for his blockbuster hit Avatar, for allegedly stealing its concept from a science-fiction writer.
Bryant Moore is suing the director for US$2.5 billion (Dh9.2 billion), claiming that Cameron used his two screenplays titled Aquatica and Descendants: The Pollination as the basis for Avatar.
In his lawsuit, Moore enumerates particular similarities between his works and the film, including the famous blue skin, bioluminescent flora and battle scenes on tree branches.
Released in 2009, Avatar earned more than $2.78 billion worldwide.
Scissor Sisters set for Yas Island gig
The chart-topping Scissor Sisters will be bringing their infectious dance-floor anthems to the Flash Forum at Yas Island on January 12.
With their mix of disco and electro, widely loved across the globe, the band, founded in 2000, sprang out of downtown New York clubs. In 2004, they scored a Grammy nomination for their debut album, which also swept the Brit Awards for that year. Bono of U2 has dubbed them "the best pop group in the world".
Led by vocalists Jake Shears and Ana Matronic, along with multi- instrumentalist Babydaddy and lead guitarist Del Marquis, the music of the Scissor Sisters is shaped around the exuberance of nightlife.
Tickets start from Dh295 and are on sale at www.thinkflash.ae.