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Actor Rahul Bose believes the Indian film industry understands, portrays diversity and divisions of religion and caste don't matter to the craft of filmmaking.

Even though sometimes it slips and is accused of taking "ill-informed political stances" and adopting a "patriarchal mindset", films in general are inclusive.

"The intrinsic belief in diversity that the film industry displays at all levels -- both seen and unseen -- has to do with excellence behind the camera and charisma in front it," Bose said at the 21st Kolkata International Film Festival.

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At a time when women are seen in lead roles onscreen, veteran actress Sharmila Tagore on Tuesday said the difference in wages of male and female actors still exists in the Hindi film industry.

Sharmila said the portrayal of women in cinema has changed over the decades and they are increasingly grabbing meaty roles. However, the pay gap still remains.

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Vocal on the controversy over intolerance, veteran actress Sharmila Tagore asserted she has faith in Bollywood to remain united on the issue.

"I hope not. I sincerely hope not. So far Bollywood has been absolutely together and my hope and conviction is that they won't be divided," she told the media here at the 21st Kolkata International Film Festival in response to a poser on the film industry being divided.

Sharmila recently said the attacks on writers and artistes were against the basic principles of democracy.

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To celebrate the line-up of this year's NH7 Weekender, the organisers have released a new music video based on Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman's song "Dhakka laga bukka" from the Mani Ratnam film "Yuva".

Originally composed and sung by Rahman, who is also the headliner of the festival this year, the new rendition of the track features the music virtuoso himself and Karthik on vocals along with Vishal Dadlani, Papon, Samara Chopra (The Ska Vengers), Smiti Malik (Chayan & Smiti), Abhishekh Nailwal and Alisha Pais, read a statement.

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Actress Neha Dhupia says she isn't interested in entering the "Bigg Boss" house.

"I watch 'Bigg Boss' a lot. I am a big Salman Khan fan. He is the reason to watch the show. But I would never get into the house," Neha said.

"People think as we are always in the limelight, so moving around with a camera is easier for us but it makes me very uncomfortable to have a camera on me all the time."

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After directing entertainers like "Main Hoon Na", "Om Shanti Om" and "Happy New Year", which were high on glamour and stars, choreographer-director Farah Khan is now planning to make a movie on "girl power". She says it will be more "real" than her past films.

"I'm writing a script which is about two girls. It's literally a 'girl power' movie, but it would be much more real than the movies I have made in the past. It will still be entertaining and fun. It will have humour, but it will have a message too," Farah told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

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The release date of Pan Nalin's film "Angry Indian Goddesses" (AIG) has been pushed again. It is now slated to release next month.

The movie, which has been lauded at various international film festivals including the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival, was earlier scheduled to release alongside Salman Khan-starrer "Prem Ratan Dhan Payo" on November 12 and then with "Tamasha" on November 27. However, It has now moved to December 4, read a statement.

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Actress-politician Hema Malini, who is also a Bharatnatyam dancer, said that today's youngsters are more interested in Bollywood style dancing.

"Time has changed a lot. In these days when everything is moving so fast, our culture, art is getting affected," Hema said at the annual dance event Jaya Smriti held here on Sunday in memory of her late mother, Jaya Chakravarthy.

"Even our youngsters think alike, they want to keep pace with the changing world. They want quick output. Western culture has been influenced by our Bollywood dance and music," she added.

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Well-known Tamil director and producer K.S. Gopalakrishnan breathed his last here on Saturday at a private hospital. He was 86.

"He passed away due to respiratory problems on Saturday night," a family source told IANS.

Known for making films with social and devotional themes, Gopalakrishnan was known for working legendary Tamil stars such as Gemini Ganeshan, Sivaji Ganeshan, K.R. Vijaya and Jayalalithaa among others.

Besides directing, he had also penned several chartbuster songs.

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Tamil superstar Ajith Kumar, who underwent knee surgery at a private hospital here on Thursday, has been advised complete rest for three months.

The surgery was originally planned for November 24 but had to be advanced because Ajith couldn't bear the pain.

"The surgery was performed by Dr. David Rajan at Kumaran hospital on Thursday night. The surgery started around 7.30 pm and went on till 2.30 am on Friday. Post the surgery, Ajith was immediately shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where he's doing fine," a source from the hospital told IANS.

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Actress Shruti Haasan, who plays one of the female leads in the Telugu remake of Malayalam blockbuster "Premam", will be essaying the role of a college lecturer.

"Shruti will be reprising Sai Pallavi's role of a lecturer in the remake. She'll be undergoing special makeover for her role. She has already started prepping for her role," a source from the film's unit told IANS.

To be directed by Chandoo Mondeti, the film is tentatively titled "Majnu", and will feature Naga Chaitanya in the lead.

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Actor Ayushmann Khurrana, who has carved a niche in the Indian entertainment industry with films like “Vicky Donor” and “Dum Laga Ke Haisha”, credits his success to his experience in theatre.

Ayushmann will be seen on family game show “Deal or No Deal”, where he will come to support theatre group Thespo, which has been organising workshops and theatre fests across India.

The “Hawaizaada” actor played the game to donate all the money to the group to support theatre since that’s where he started his career from.

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"Mr.X" actress Amyra Dastur, who shot for a music video with singer Sonu Nigam, wants him to come up with more such singles.

"He is a great person and he is so much fun to work with. And I hope he makes more singles," Amyra said about working with popular singer Sonu Nigam on 'Aa Bhi Ja Tu Kahin Se'.

She added: "It was very good. He is one of the most humble people you'll ever meet. He's so kind I actually made him do a Dubsmash. I selected his song for it and he was actually standing behind me while doing it, so it's on Instagram and other places."

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In a country where there is no dearth of star-struck people, Hindi films with a powerful cast tend to easily get the tag of 'highest-grossing movie'. But making it to film festivals is not a cakewalk for them. Kabir Khan, whose this year's directorial "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" tasted stupendous success at the box office as well as fests, says commercially successful movies shouldn't be ignored at such galas.

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Filmmaker Hansal Mehta's reality drama “Aligarh”, which is based on the real life incident of doctor Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, who was suspended from his job as a professor because of his sexual orientation, and stars Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkumar Rao in lead roles, will release in February next year.

Manoj announced the release date of the film, which had its premiere at the 20th Busan International Film festival earlier this year, while talking to a fan on Twitter.

A fan asked the “Gangs of Wasseypur” actor why there was no news about the Indian release of “Aligarh”.

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Continuing its 20th year celebrations, “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (DDLJ) had a special screening at the iconic British Film Institute (BFI) here.

It was screened as part of BFI's "Love: Films To Fall In Love With... Films To Break Your Heart" in partnership with internet service provider Plusnet.

This special screening of DDLJ took place on November 7 at BFI Southbank, said a statement.

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Huma Qureshi says that as an actress she sometimes overthinks and overanalyses things. However, she feels that she is “growing wiser” with time.

“Time has taught me to be cool. As an actress, sometimes we over-worry and overanalyse conditions. We overthink like this because I think we are attuned to be thinking like that. But I think I'm growing older and wiser with time,” Huma told IANS during a visit to the capital last week.

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Actress-filmmaker and politician Hema Malini is proud that women are gradually making a mark as directors in the film industry and said that she would like to go behind the camera herself again.

Hema's first Bollywood directorial was the 1992 film "Dil Aashna Hai", after which she wielded the megaphone for the 2011 box office dud "Tell Me O Kkhuda", which featured her daughter Esha.

Over the years, women filmmakers like Zoya Akhtar, Gauri Shinde, Farah Khan and Madhureeta Anand have come to the fore.

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A decade after she had a shaky Bollywood debut with "Dil Maange More", actress Soha Ali Khan hopes she has carved her own niche in the film industry -- but the much-admired daughter of veteran actress Sharmila Tagore and late Indian cricketing legend Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, says she doesn't want to be a role model.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met a delegation of artistes led by Bollywood actor Anupam Kher protesting against a section of artistes who are returning their awards over "intolerance" in the country.

"He (Modi) listened to us and said the intolerance issue is harming the country and its reputation," Kher said after meeting the prime minister.

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Veteran actor Anupam Kher, while leading his 'March for India' campaign here on Saturday said that India is a "tolerant country" and nobody has the right to call it "intolerant".

Kher said: Every country has some problems but nobody has the right to call our country intolerant."

The actor and BJP supporter, who believes that India is a tolerant country, is leading a march from India Gate in central Delhi. From there, the gathering will march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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The regular shooting of Suriya-starrer Tamil actioner "Singam 3" will start from the first week of December.

"We've finally zeroed in on December 2 as the day to take the film to sets. We wanted to start much earlier but things didn't fall in place," a source from the film's unit told IANS.

The third instalment in the highly successful "Singam" franchise will feature Shruti Haasan and Anushka Shetty as Suriya's love interests.

To be produced by 2D Entertainment and directed by Hari, the makers plan to release the film during April 2016.

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Veteran actor Anupam Kher on Friday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be an audience to share with him the thoughts of "millions of Indians".

Anupam, who will lead a 'March For India' to protest the voices being raised over "intolerance" in the country, made the request on Twitter.

"Dear PM @narendramodi Ji. Please give us time tomorrow to share with you the thoughts of millions of Indians all over the world. #IndiaIsTolerant," the actor and BJP supporter, posted.

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The Supreme Court on Friday asked yesteryears film actor Aditya Pancholi to vacate the rented accommodation he is living in in Mumbai by December 31 and hand over its possession to its owner.

Giving time till December 31 to the actor to vacate the bungalow at Juhu, a bench of Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice R. Banumathi directed him to deposit the rent upto December 31 to the woman owner within two weeks.

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After a few politicians called superstar Shah Rukh Khan a "Pakistani agent", "deshdrohi" (traitor) and even likened him to Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed for commenting on the growing intolerance in India, the actor's "Happy New Year" co-star Sonu Sood has come out in his defence and said the 'King' Khan is "grounded", "generous" and "speaks from his heart".

Sonu interacted with his fans on Friday over a quick question and answer session on Twitter.

A user asked him if he was supporting Shah Rukh.

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Filmmaker Kiran Rao says that there is a market for independent or non-commercial cinemas in India too. She, however, feels that the makers need to put an extra effort to make more such films.

"From the response, we come to know that there is an audience. We just need to take the effort of bringing them such films. When people say that there is no market for these kinds of films, it is wrong," Kiran said here at the 17th Jio MAMI Film Festival that concluded on Thursday.

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Actor Naseruddin Shah, who played the common man against tough cop Anupam Kher in "A Wednesday", says that his role as a police officer in suspense thriller "Charlie Kay Chakkar Mein" is completely different from Kher's role.

"He was an idealistic, straightforward and honest police officer but the role that I'm playing is not at all like him," said Naseerudin to queries about similarities between the two characters, while attending the opening night of Prithvi Film Festival here.

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Veteran actor and BJP supporter Anupam Kher has invited all Indians to march with him to Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Friday to protest the voices being raised over "intolerance" in the country.

"#MarchForIndia will start from India Gate, New Delhi at 10 a.m. on November 7. All INDIANS are invited. Jai Ho. :) #IndiaIsTolerant," Anupam shared on his Twitter page.

The actor will be joined by a string of artistes, writers and painters for the march.

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Veteran theatre, film and television actress Supriya Pathak on Wednesday questioned what the artistes are gaining by their 'award wapsi'.

“One person returned his award, now everybody is returning their awards. Are we gaining anything from that? Have you been able to make a point that something has changed? Whom are we pressurising by this? Nobody is paying heed. The government is not even addressing the matter,” the “Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela” actress said here.

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Veteran actor Anupam Kher along with a string of artistes, writers and painters, will head to Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Saturday to protest against 'Award Wapsi'.

"Will give details about our march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan on 7th by artists, writers, painters etc. by tomorrow. #ToleranceDebate," Anupam tweeted on Wednesday.

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BJP MP and popular Bhojpuri singer Manoj Tiwari here on Wednesday condemned superstar Shah Rukh Khan's statements on the growing intolerance in the country.

Shah Rukh Khan on Monday said there was "nothing worse than religious intolerance and that it would take India to the Dark Ages".

"He (Shah Rukh Khan) has issued a statement when the Bihar elections are going on. He has always been close to Congress party and his closeness has been seen before as well. I consider his statement as a political comment.

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Actor Ali Fazal, who made his international movie debut with the seventh instalment of the "Fast and Furious" franchise last year, says he is very jealous of actor Irrfan Khan, who has a growing presence in Hollywood.

In "Furious 7", Ali worked with Vin Diesel.

Asked whom he wants to work with on the international platform next, Ali told IANS over phone: "Oh there are many! Tom Hanks is one of my favourite actors...I definitely want to work with him... I am very jealous of Irrfan Khan as he is already doing something with him."

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Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, a farmer's son, says he is aware of the hardships faced by farmers and so, he is urging his fans to help them.

Known for delivering scintillating performances in Bollywood films like "Gangs of Wasseypur 2", "Kick", and "Bajrangi Bhaijaan", the actor has asked people to join him and donate to help the farmers in the country.

"I am a farmer's son and I know the hardships they face. That's why I'm supporting #SeedTheRise. Join me and donate to help India's farmers," Nawazuddin tweeted.

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Actors Piyush Mishra, Amit Sadh and Taapsee Pannu have shared the frame for a short film "The Homecoming", which aims to tell the importance of a family.

The film is for online furniture store Urban Ladder, and delves into the thought that a home is built by a family that lives in it and not the furniture.

The seven-minute film, which has the festival of Diwali as its backdrop, captures the journey of a couple to move into their son’s home, when the son and his wife make them feel at home with thoughtful changes in the house.

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Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin has been announced the brand ambassador for IICE Vodka, the packaging for which has been redesigned.

Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) company Jagatjit Industries Limited has decided to re-brand of its IICE VODKA series, both in terms of packaging and name of flavours.

While the bottle has got an artsy makeover, the company has renamed the flavours to 'Undress the Orange' (earlier Orange) and 'Bite the Apple' (Green Apple), while the plain Vodka is now called 'Bare it All'.

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Actor Vivek Oberoi, who was shooting for his forthcoming film “Great Grand Masti” in a village near Palghar, was greatly impressed by a farmer's family who make organic sweets and eco-friendly lanterns with recyclable and forest material.

The 39-year-old gave them a pre-order of 7000 lanterns and 50 dozen til laddoos (sesame sweetmeats), which he plans to distribute among the patients of Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA) and girls of his Devi foundation in Vrindavan.

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As many as 149 films by 137 directors from 61 countries will be screened across 12 venues at the 21st Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), which will be inaugurated here on November 14 by megastar Amitabh Bachchan, organisers said on Tuesday.

His wife Jaya, actresses Vidya Balan, Sharmila Tagore and Moushumi Chatterjee will also grace the occasion. However, superstar Shah Rukh Khan, a regular at the openings, will not be present due to film commitments.

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Veteran filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt has warned his fans and followers to be cautious of a fake Facebook account being operated on his name. He has even sought help of the Mumbai police to probe the matter.

“Beware of this impostor! This is a fake account. The matter will be reported to the cyber branch of Mumbai police,” Bhatt tweeted on Monday.

The director, who has also ventured into the film business as a producer, writer and has even crooned for a movie, shared a screen-shot of the fake account, which is making a casting call for his next project.

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Singer Shankar Mahadevan, also a part of Bollywood's renowned composer trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, feels that Arijit Singh, who has been in demand since “Tum hi ho”, is going to stay in the music industry for a long time as he is an “educated musician”.

“Arijit Singh is going to stay for a long time because he is an educated musician. He knows his music. He understands his 'sargams'. He has got depth. I knew him even before he became Arijit Singh,” said Shankar.

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Superstar Kamal Haasan called on Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) President Raj Thackeray at his Krishnakunj residence here on Friday morning.

The Thackeray family - Raj, his wife Sharmila and daughter Urvashi - warmly received Haasan and two relatives.

They were accorded a traditional Maharashtrian reception with shawls and flowers -- Thackeray draped a golden shawl around the 61-year-old actor's shoulders.

Sharmila greeted Haasan with a 'Namaste' while Urvashi touched his feet respectfully as he blessed her.

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