x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Aishwarya named UN goodwill ambassador

Plus, Anurag Basu takes on Kishore Kumar biopic; and Yash Chopra's Jab Tak Hai Jaan might be his last film.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been named goodwill ambassador for the UN's Aid initiative. AP
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been named goodwill ambassador for the UN's Aid initiative. AP

Aishwarya named UN goodwill ambassador
The United Nations has named the Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan a goodwill ambassador for the UN’s Aids initiative. The 38-year-old L’Oréal spokeswoman and former Miss World says the appointment is a “turning point” in her life. She says she’ll be more than a poster girl for the UN Aids initiative, launched last year, which aims to prevent the spread of HIV among babies and to keep infected mothers alive in 22 countries, including India. She says that, as a new mother, she can relate to “the joys and concerns of every mother and the hope that we have for our children”. Rai Bachchan and her husband, the actor Abhishek Bachchan, had their first child last year. * AP

Anurag Basu takes on Kishore Kumar biopic
The filmmaker Anurag Basu, whose latest movie Barfi! is a critical and box-office success, has announced his next project – a biopic on Kishore Kumar, a popular Bollywood singer who died in 1987. The actor Ranbir Kapoor, who plays the lead in Barfi!, has been signed on to play Kumar. “I am very connected to the subject and the idea of translating his story on to the big screen,” says Basu. “I have not started working on the script yet but we are happy that we have got a nod from Kishore’s family.” He says the singer’s son, Amit Kumar, has been very cooperative: “Amit is helping us a lot with the research – we talk constantly.” Basu says shooting will begin next year, after Kapoor finishes work on two other movie projects. * IANS

Johar: Jab Tak Hai Jaan may be Yash Chopra’s last film

The filmmaker Karan Johar says that Jab Tak Hai Jaan may be the acclaimed director Yash Chopra’s last movie. “It is going to be the most special film of the year because it might be his last film before he retires,” says Johar, a close friend and a frequent collaborator of the 80-year-old Chopra. “He is like my father. This year is important not only for him but the entire Indian film industry.” Jab Tak Hai Jaan marks Chopra’s comeback to direction after his 2004 romantic drama Veer Zaara. Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma, the movie will be released on November 13. Meanwhile, Johar’s latest directorial venture, Student of the Year, starring the newcomers Varun Dhawan, Siddharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt, will be released on October 19. * IANS

Actor Rajpal Yadav gears up for his directorial debut
The actor Rajpal Yadav is looking forward to the release of his directorial debut, Ata Pata Lapata. “The film is a musical satire. I have tried to include my personal experiences in the industry over the past 10 years,” said the 41-year-old, known for his comic roles in Hindi movies. Set to be released in October, the film is headlined by Vijay Raaz, Mukesh Tiwari and the late Dara Singh. Early this week Yadav debuted the film’s soundtrack at an event that was attended by Amitabh Bachchan. The Bollywood superstar said he wants to help drum up interest for Yadav’s debut movie. “I was fortunate to work with him back in 2005. Very few people know how good he really is. There was a time when he didn’t have any work and now he has come such a long way. We are here to support him and give him our good wishes,” said Bachchan. * IANS