x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Shekhar Kapur quashes Ranbir rumours

Plus: Mumbia Film Festival announces its plans, Chunky Pandey wants to go over to the dark side, and Anjan Dutt announces his directorial debut.

Shekhar Kapur. Valery Hache / AFP
Shekhar Kapur. Valery Hache / AFP

The filmmaker Shekhar Kapur says he is surprised that his casual meeting with Ranbir Kapoor has prompted speculation that the actor will headline his forthcoming science fiction thriller Paani, replacing Hrithik Roshan who has recently signed on to the project. "Can't I meet an actor I like without setting of rounds of speculation? And would anyone be silly enough to give up Hrithik for a film?" said the 66-year-old director, who admitted he has met the actor on several occasions, but only to brainstorm about a future collaboration. "I really enjoy listening to him. He is proof that the future of Indian cinema is safe in this breed of new stars." - IANS

Mumbai Film Festival plans announced

The 14th Mumbai Film Festival, an eight-day event beginning on October 18, will showcase more than 200 movies, including nine silent films. "The main feature is going to be the nine restored silent films that will be shown the way it used to be shown in the silent days of Indian cinema - with live music," said the veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal, the chairman of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image, which organises the festival. "This is how we are going to celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema - bring back the era of silent films." The festival promises an interesting mix of world cinema as well, including a focus on French films and a retrospective of Italian cinema. The festival director Srinivasan Narayanan also announced that it is introducing a competition section solely for Indian films, with the guidance of the Gangs of Wasseypur director Anurag Kashyap. "These films will be judged by a jury of international award-winning directors and technicians who are interested in looking at Indian cinema," he said. - IANS

Chunky Pandey talks Bollywood future

After 25 years in the industry, the comedian Chunky Pandey announced he wants to shift to films with darker themes. "I don't think I have had my fill of comedy, but it requires a lot of guts for someone to cast me in something else," said the 47-year-old actor, who has worked on close to 60 films. "In 2005, I did a film for Ram Gopal Varma called D. It was a very dark film and I would like to do something like that." Pandey also hinted at plans to produce, saying: "My production plans are very premature as of now. I can't talk about exact plans yet. But I am going to do it - produce a film - for sure." - IANS

Anjan Dutt announces directorial debut

The actor and musician Anjan Dutt has announced plans to direct and star in a film set in Darjeeling, calling it "my own life story". "I have spent my childhood in those hills and the film will revolve around my adulthood and return to the place - based on real-life events from the past five to six years," Dutt said of the film, whose title is Darjeeling er Rasta (Streets in Darjeeling), adding that the script is currently being written and shooting will begin in February. - IANS