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Sanjay Dutt promises to complete films before his prison term

Plus: Mohit Suri courting Saif Ali Khan for next movie; Indian films are the focus at NY festival; Bollywood calls for dry Holi festival amid drought.

Sanjay Dutt has promised to finish all his films before his jail term. Dutt was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for his involvement in the 1993 Mumbai bombings. He has four weeks to hand himself in. AFP Photo
Sanjay Dutt has promised to finish all his films before his jail term. Dutt was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for his involvement in the 1993 Mumbai bombings. He has four weeks to hand himself in. AFP Photo

Sanjay Dutt to complete films before prison term

The actor Sanjay Dutt, who has been sentenced to jail for his involvement in the 1993 Mumbai bombings, assured the directors of three of his movies currently in production – ZanjeerPolicegiri and PK – that he will finish shooting the films before carrying out his jail term. India’s Supreme Court last week upheld Dutt’s conviction and sent him to three and a half years of imprisonment. The 53-year-old has already served 18 months of his sentence. Dutt is required by the Supreme Court to surrender within four weeks. According to reports, Dutt met with the filmmakers – Apoorva Lakhia, TP Aggarwal and Rajkumar Hirani – at his Mumbai residence and promised to finish his scenes and record dubbed parts. – IANS

Mohit Suri wants Saif Ali Khan for his next movie

The filmmaker Mohit Suri says he’s in talks with the actor Saif Ali Khan to star in his next film but says nothing has been finalised yet. “I am still writing the script. Yes, I want Saif to be part of the project and talks are on, but I can’t reveal much about the film right now,” said the director. Asked what he sees in Ali Khan, Suri replied: “Saif is a wonderful actor. Besides, I have never worked with any of the other Khans before. I always rope in actors who suit the role and Saif is best for it.” He added: “As I said, the project is in its initial stage, so let things fall in place, then we can talk about it.” Suri is currently busy with the post-production of his other new film, Aashiqui 2, a romantic action thriller starring Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor. – IANS

NY festival focuses on Indian films

Feroz Abbas Khan’s Dekh Tamasha Dekh will open the New York Indian Film Festival on April 30, while Nitin Kakkar’s Filmistaan will screen as the festival’s closing movie on May 4. Both will premiere at the New York University’s Skirball Cultural Center, organisers of the oldest Indian film festival in the US that’s now in its 13th year. Written by the renowned Marathi playwright Shafaat Khan, Dekh Tamasha Dekh is a political satire focusing on current issues in India. The director Feroz Abbas Khan said having the film open the festival is both “a huge responsibility and an honour”. In Filmistaan, the debutante director Nitin Kakkar chronicles the tale of an Indian man assisting an American film crew in shooting a documentary on the Indo--Pakistani border. He is kidnapped and held hostage in Pakistan, where he makes friends with a young Pakistani. “It is in keeping with our mission to bring a diverse group of voices to the forefront,” said Aseem Chhabra, the festival’s director. “The themes of communal harmony and antagonism are shared in our opening and closing films.” – IANS

Indian stars call for dry Holi festival amid drought

Bollywood has joined calls for Mumbai to reduce water wastage during today’s riotous Hindu festival Holi. Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, is reeling under a severe water shortage with no rain due until the monsoon in June. The festival is normally celebrated with rain dances. “Water shortage in Maharashtra ... and it’s only March. What will happen in summer? Save water! Play a dry Holi!” tweeted Amitabh Bachchan. The actor Riteish Deshmukh stressed on Twitter that the “need of the hour is to save water”. The popular TV host Mini Mathur wrote: “The mere thought of rain dances in the wake of the water crisis is creepy and tasteless.” – AFP

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