Plus India launches global film contest via YouTube, the Asiavision awards deliver and much more.
Choudry: India's pop music 'almost dead'
The actress and singer Sophie Choudry, who is garnering a positive response for her latest single, Hungama Ho Gaya, says Bollywood has overshadowed the trend of pop music videos. "Music videos are more popular in the west because they don't have Bollywood. Bollywood has overtaken everything. So much money is invested in these films. In the west, pop stars are bigger than movie stars," said the 31-year-old. "I want to get pop music back in India. It is almost dead." However, Choudry did praise fellow actress Priyanka Chopra for her recently released debut single, In My City, a pop song that is not attached to any film. Film soundtracks have dominated India's music charts in recent years. - IANS
Salman Khan releases Dabangg 2 teaser
The Bollywood star Salman Khan has released two teasers for his forthcoming new movie Dabangg 2 through his official Facebook page, where he has close to 7 million likes. "There's a new generation following movie news on new media, so we launched the campaign on Facebook. We'll continue to use traditional media. It's not about one replacing the other - it's one alongside the other," said the actor. Directed by Arbaaz Khan, Dabangg 2 is a sequel to the 2010 blockbuster Dabangg and co-stars Sonakshi Sinha and Deepak Dobriyal. It is slated for a December 21 release. - IANS
Shah, Dutta to team up again in new film
Following 2011's critically-acclaimed comic satire Challo Dilli, the filmmaker Shashant Shah is reuniting with the actress-producer and former Miss Universe Lara Dutta, for his forthcoming new project. Chalo Dilli was also the first film from Dutta's Bheegi Basanti Productions. "We had a great time working together in Challo Dilli. She's superb," said Shah, who describes Dutti as "perfect" for his yet to be titled comic thriller, which is scheduled to begin shooting early 2013. - IANS
India launches global film contest via YouTube
India's external affairs ministry, in partnership with the video-sharing website YouTube, have launched the second five-minute movie competition for filmmakers around the world. The main theme is "India is a Visual Journey". A panel of film industry experts will choose 10 winners. Last year, hundreds of entries were received from 42 countries. The deadline for submission is February 9. A sidebar to the competition is an initiative by the director and scriptwriter Anurag Kashyap, who will produce five showcase films - under the contest's sub-themes: India is Incredible, India is Unforgettable and India is Wherever You Are - in association with the Bollywood studio Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and his own Anurag Kashyap Films. - IANS
Lee: Taiwan made Life of Pi possible
The Oscar-winning Taiwanese-American director Ang Lee says he could not have made his new 3D film Life of Pi if he had opted for Hollywood as the shooting location rather than Taiwan. “The movie couldn’t have been shot if it hadn’t been in Taiwan. It couldn’t have been done in Los Angeles,” Lee said in Taipei during a visit to promote the movie, which will hit cinemas later this month.
He said the decision not to shoot the movie in Hollywood allowed him and his crew to think outside the box.
“If we had been in Hollywood, the tech team would probably think they were know-it-alls, but in Taiwan they didn’t and they were exploring from the start.”
About 70 per cent of the movie was shot in Taiwan, including in a now-abandoned airport in the centre of the country where Lee’s team built a specially designed wave-generating tank.
The movie is based on the Booker prize-winning novel by Yann Martel about an Indian boy adrift on a lifeboat in the Pacific with a zebra, a hyena, an orang-utan and a tiger.
It features a newcomer, the 17-year-old Suraj Sharma from India, in the lead role of Pi Patel. Sharma was chosen out of 3,000 candidates during casting sessions across India. “The movie depends on Suraj. I would not shoot the film if it weren’t for this person and his talent,” Lee said. “He is very spirited. I was moved by his sincerity.” – AFP
Asiavision awards deliver - as expected
Fans of Malayalam movies converged at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday for the Asiavision Movie Awards 2012. An entertaining line-up of song and dance performances complemented the awards ceremony.
The list of winners of the 45 awards was announced last month, but a lack of the element of surprise did not deter fans from showing up at the event or from cheering wildly when their favourites went up on stage. It was a full house, and a very loud one at that.
Top awards for Best Actor and Best Actress went to Mohanlal and Rima Kallingal respectively. The Malayali legend Mohanlal won for the movies Spirit and Run Baby Run, while Kallingal’s victory was for her sensitive portrayal of Tessa in 22 Female Kotttayam and Ashwathi in Nidra. Jayasurya was selected as the Second Best Actor, for Beautiful, Trivandrum Lodge, while Revathy was the Second Best Actress for the movie Molly Aunty Rocks.
The director Lal Jose’s Diamond Necklace bagged the Best Movie Award while Ranjith was declared the Best Director for the movie Spirit.
The actor Juhi Chawla won the award for Excellence in Hindi for her understated performance as Mekha in the movie I Am. The film’s director Onir was elected as the winner in the category of Excellence in Hindi – Creative.
The actor, singer and music composer Shruti Haasan was awarded for Excellence in Tamil for the movie Moonu. Fahadh Faasil won Performer of the Year for his subtle performances in the movies Diamond Necklace and 22 Female Kottayam.
The Asiavision Movie Awards are conferred by fans. Winners are selected through a public voting campaign online and via SMS.