Filmi Fundas

Celebrating Indian cinema abroad 

TRIO Malaika Arora, Ali Zafar and Vidya Balan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Bollywood’s biggest stars enjoyed an exclusive luncheon of fine food and wine at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) recently.

This event was held to open the 2011 Indian Film Festival: Bollywood and Beyond.

The lunch was hosted by John Dalton, Director, Strategy and Policy at Tourism Victoria, and Richard Ponsford, Manager of the MCG, who welcomed guests at the acclaimed cricket venue and brought them on a tour of the city’s National Sporting Museum.

The celebrity guest list included noted Bollywood star Vidya Balan, the beautiful Malaika Arora and husband Arbaaz Khan, acclaimed directors Kabir Khan and Raj
Kumar Gupta, Pakistani pop sensation Ali Zafar and film producer Leslee Udwin.

The private function was the first of a series of special events lined up for this year’s Indian Film Festival (IFF); the second part to last year’s smash hit inaugural festival. Said Mitu Bhowmick Lange, Director, IFF, “This year, we are proud to present a broad range of films — from traditional Bollywood, which show India at its colourful best, to those that tackle serious subjects and eloquently express a new sophistication in
contemporary Indian cinema — a hugely exciting seismic, cultural shift that must be shared. We are also thrilled to play host to so many of Bollywood’s finest film-makers and acting talent as they discuss their films and share their passion for cinema with you.”

This year’s IFF features over 30 films including 15 Australian premieres in a
programme celebrating traditional Bollywood films and also demonstrates the depth of contemporary Indian cinema. 

The dark side of life

Saregama Films announces an August 2011 release for their new motion picture Soundtrack, the official remake of the award-winning, cult film It’s All Gone Pete Tong.

The film being directed by debutant Neerav Ghosh unites Rajeev Khandelwal, Soha Ali Khan and Mrinalini Sharma for the first time, in what could be their most challenging roles ever. The film also stars Mohan Kapur, Yateen Karyekar, musicians Sidd Coutto, Ankur Tewari, and Anurag Kashyap in a very special role.

Soundtrack is an edgy, modern day portrayal spanning the life story of India’s most prolific musician and DJ. It traces his alcohol, drug and sex-fuelled meteoric rise, as he battles his internal demons and a damaging handicap. The film has already begun production and completed a schedule in Bangkok in December 2010.

The music of the film has been scored by the Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale. The album will also feature a track by Pappon.

Making things happen

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s Indo-Hollywood project titled Xtreme City just got bigger.
According to sources, renowned Hollywood director Martin Scorsese will be co-producing the film with SRK.

According to sources, Scorsese is coming on board the film thanks to SRK’s friend and Ra.1’screenwriter Mushtaq Sheikh.

Scorsese will co-produce the film along with David Weisman.

Paul Schrader will direct the film and will also co-write it with Mushtaq.

Apparently, Leonardo Di Caprio will star in the film along with SRK.

Being a lone bird

After his acclaimed portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Jesse Eisenberg is all set to play a bird! Yes, the Oscar nominated actor will be soon ‘heard’ as the voice of Blu — the lead character in 3D animation film Rio. Jesse’s character Blu is an awkward tropical bird, a rare macaw who thinks he is the last of his kind but he soon discovers there’s another macaw out there, a girl named Jewel. He leaves his cage in small town Minnesota and heads to Rio de Janeiro to start a life with her. Unexpectedly thrown together, they embark on an adventure of a lifetime, where they learn about friendship, love, courage, and being open to life’s many wonders.

Set in Brazil, the film is a comedy adventure with voice overs from Jesse, Anne Hathaway, Will.I.Am, Robin Thicke, George Lopez and Tracy Morgan. Rio hits theatres in India on April 8.

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