x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Amitabh Bachchan provides debt relief for farmers

Plus Mohamed Mounir meets The Wailers, Bollywood paints Mumbia, a crime thriller with a movie connection is published and Amala Shankar goes to Cannes.

A handout photo of Egyptian renowned folk artist Mohammed Mounir in MBC1's "Coke Studio" (Courtesy: MBC)
A handout photo of Egyptian renowned folk artist Mohammed Mounir in MBC1's "Coke Studio" (Courtesy: MBC)

Amitabh Bachchan has quietly paid off debts of 114 farmers from the Vidarbha region that amounted to Rs3 million (Dh203,000). The Rotary Club of Wardha, one of the six districts of Vidarbha affected by the suicides of debt-ridden cotton farmers, distributed cheques from Bachchan last week. "A good deed for the day can be the most satisfying experience ever … I got satisfaction today … not saying why and how!" Bachchan posted on Twitter last week, adding: "Charity needs to be done, not talked about!" - Anjali A

Egyptian folklore goes reggae

Last night's episode of Coke Studio featured a collaboration between The Wailers, the band that began the reggae revolution in the US over four decades ago, and Mohamed Mounir, the renowned Egyptian folk artist. The result? A fusion of traditional Nubian tunes with a reggae rhythmic twist, as the musicians recreated the Arabic song El Laila Ya Samra, assisted by the music producer Michel Elefteriades. Coke Studio is shown on Wednesdays at 10.30pm on MBC1.

Bollywood to paint the town, literally

In celebration of the centenary of Indian cinema, the Bollywood Art Project (BAP), possibly Mumbai's largest public art initiative, will be painting film posters on walls across the city. The first of the series is a massive hand-painted mural of the 1953 film Anarkali, in Mumbai's Bandra district. BAP plans to create 150 murals by the end of the year. - Meera Gopal

Bollywood trio launch crime novel

John Abraham, Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Gupta launched the author Hussain Zaidi's book Dongri to Dubai at a Mumbai hotel early this week, saying their forthcoming film, Shootout at Wadala, wouldn't have been possible had it not been for the book. "We have been waiting for a long time for the book to be released. People will read the book, and hopefully they will be even more inclined to watch the film," said Gupta. Shootout at Wadala is a gangster film set in 1990s Mumbai. - Anjali A

Amala Shankar to walk the red carpet at Cannes

Amala Shankar, the 93-year-old widow of Uday Shankar and the pioneer of modern dance in India, will walk the red carpet today at the Cannes film festival. Shankar will attend a special screening of Kalpana, her husband's 1948 directorial debut. It was the first Indian film to have a dancer as the protagonist. No less a cineaste than Martin Scorsese took it upon himself to restore the film digitally. A possible re-release in India is also reported to be planned. - Meera Gopal

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