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”If Aamir doesn’t want to accept the honour, what is the point in honouring him?”

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National Awards Jury Chairperson Priyadarshan Tells Subhash K Jha

Why Akshay Kumar & Not Aamir Khan For Best Actor Priyan, a lot of people are wondering why Akshay Kumar in Rustom and and Aamir Khan in Dangal for the Best Actor?

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Why should we have given the Best Actor award to Aamir Khan when he has made it very clear that he doesn’t attend awards functions?  If he doesn’t want to accept the honour, what is the point in honouring him? Nowadays we have seen people returning their awards. We didn’t want to take that risk.

But he may feel differently about popular awards?

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He was given the National award for Taare Zameen Par. But he didn’t attend. It would be insulting to the government and to the National awards if we honour an actor who doesn’t wish to turn up  to receive the honour. And we are honouring an actor who is every bit as meritorious.

But Akshay was far superior in Airlift as compared with Rustom?

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The award is for both Airlift and Rustom. The National awards jury felt Akshay was equally outstanding in the two contrasting roles. For technical reasons we could  only mention one film in the winners’ list.

Eyebrows are bound to be raised since Akshay Kumar and you have collaborated over many movies in the past?

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Should we not have honoured  Akshay because we’ve worked together? If he’s good he’s good , no matter who honours him. For  that matter another dear friend of mine Mohanlal has won the Special Jury Award for  three  films Pulimurugan, Janatha Garage and Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol. He is the only actor apart fromPrakash Raj to have won a National award for his performances in films of two different languages. Incidentally we did not include the fourth outstanding performance by Mohan Lal in Oppam  because I directed Oppam.

What was your criteria for honouring actors?

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That the actors should not be honored for playing tailormade roles. An actor from Haryana playing a Haryanvi or an action hero doing exceptional stunts ….these were not what we were looking for.We were looking at  actors who stretched themselves beyond their comfort zone, like Akshay Kumar in Airlift and Rustom.

What about the Best Actress award  award?Why not Sonam Kapoor in Neerja?

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There too the jury selected Surabhi Lakshmi in in the Malayalam film Minnaminungu unanimously.

 Was  this an  attempt to balance out the awards since a North Indian  actor won the Best Actor award?

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Not at all. Have you seen Minnaminungu?Surabhi plays a widow bringing up a child on her own. Her performance has immense social resonance. It’s a class act.

What was the  one thing that you noticed among the film this year?

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Two things. One, Indian cinema is really growing.We had a jury comprising members from Manipur to Kerala.We looked at some really outstanding films in Marathi, Bengali, Malayalam and even Manipuri. The other thing that we noticed is that the child actors this year were better than the adult actors! There were so many outstanding performances by child actors we couldn’t select one. We had to honour three child actors. Even the Best Supporting actress has gone to a child actor. Zaira Wasim in  Dangal.

 You  couldn’t avoid Dangal, could you?

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We weren’t trying to.

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Pink Director’s Next  Featuring Yami As A Crime Reporter To Stream From February 16

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Yami

Anniruddha Roy  Chowdhury whose  Pink  featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu was one of  the  most important  films of  2016, is all set to  release his  next  Hindi film.

Entitled LostAnniruddha’s film , based on true  events, will see Yami Gautam Dhar(that’s  what the actress calls herself after her marriage)  as a crime journalist. LOST is an emotional social thriller that represents a higher quest, a search for lost values of empathy and integrity.

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Inspired by true events, Lost is a story of a bright young woman crime reporter in her relentless search for the truth behind the sudden disappearance of a young theatre activist.

Lost

Lost

Says Aniruddha  “The shoot of LOST has been an incredible journey. I have been eager for the release of our hard-worked venture. The film is a realistic highlight of media in a social context and I am sure that it will give the audience a compelling watch. I am curious about its release and see the responses it shall get. I hope they will welcome it with open hearts.”

Yami Gautam Dhar  who plays  the lead  of  the  crime reporter  says,   “I can’t be happier and more proud of the film’s selection for the opening night at CSAFF. I feel like its one that the people will connect to and will be the one that you cannot miss, especially in the current age and time. I have loved playing this role because it was such a special experience, it allowed me to explore so many layers of emotions as an actor and the entire team has worked really hard on it. I genuinely cannot wait for the film’s release, especially to see the reactions of the audience to it.”

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The crime investigation  drama boasts a stellar cast. Along with Yami, the film will feature Pankaj Kapur, Rahul Khanna, and an ensemble of younger talent, including Neil Bhoopalam, Pia Bajpai, and Tushar Pandey, in pivotal roles.

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Jamuna Had A Love-Hate Relationship With  Bollywood

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Jamuna

Veteran  Telugu  actress  Jamuna who passed away on Friday, shared an uneasy relationship with  the Hindi film industry.She did eleven Hindi films including the iconic Milan in  1967 where Jamuna  agreed to play the  second lead, or the  supporting role if you will, to Nutan.

 Jamuna as Gauri was the Other Woman who craved for the hero Sunil Dutt’s attention whereas  he had  eyes and devotion  only for Nutan. In later  years  Aruna Irani played a similar  role in  Caravan.

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 In Milan Jamuna  was not keen to  do a supporting role. Producer L V Prasad tempted her with three chartbusting songs. Besides, Jamuna had played the same role in Mooga Manasulu, the  Telugu original  of  Milan. But it  was the songs composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal  which convinced  Jamuna to  take up the second lead in Milan.

 While  Nutan had no solo songs  in Milan, she did have the chartbuster duet  Sawan  ka mahina . Jamuna on the  other hand,  had two  splendid Lata Mangeshkar solos: Tohey saawariya naahin khabariya  and   the magnificent Ghazal Aaj dil pe koi  zor chalta nahin.Not only  these, Jamuna  also had a  hit duet  with Mukesh  based on her character  Gauri:  Bol Gauri  bol tera kaun piya.

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But  then, fate  intervened. After the film released  one of Jamuna’s solos, the poignant and memorable  Aaj dil pe koi zor chalta nahin was  snipped  out of the film.

Here is what  happened:  the  Ghazal , one of Lataji’s all-time greats, was very much a part of Milan when  it released on 17 March 1967. But then  it was seen to hamper the  flow of the  film and  edited  out. The  beautiful song occurred right after intermission. Producer  Prasad, a shrewd  filmmaker, got to know that audiences prolonged their  loo breaks as there was  a song after the break. Hence the sacrifice  of  a seriously  sonorous melody.

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Jamuna hardly did  Hindi films after Milan. Her last  Bollywood appearance  was in  Raj Kumar  Kohli’s Raj Tilak  where she  was lost in a multistarrer as  the royal  queen.

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Karan Johar Moves Alia Song From Switzerland To Kashmir

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Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani

The  romantic duet in  Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani  which was to be  shot in Switzerland and which was  delayed  due to the film’s leading lady Alia Bhatt’s motherhood, is now being relocated to  Kashmir.

Purely out of  the  love for  new mom Alia.

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Says a source in the know, “Karan loves Alia  like his own daughter. He would do anything for her. He postponed  the  release of Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani as the love duet could not be shot before Alia’s maternity leave. Karan had decided to shoot the song in Switzerland  after Alia’s maternity love. But now he has relocated the song to Kashmir  as Alia doesn’t want to leave her  baby girl behind for  long stretches.”

And as Karan Johar argued, snow is  snow. How does it matter whether it is  Switzerland or Kashmir?

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This  song would be Karan Johar’s tribute to  his  idol Yash Chopra. Alia would be dressed in chiffon sarees while  Ranveer, for  a change, would be seen in  formals.

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Bobby Deol’s Switchover To Villainous Roles

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Bobby Deol

After  Prakash Jha’s webseries Ashram where Bobby  played a sleazy  godman, and Love Hostel  where  he was a ruthless assassin,   he is playing the villain to Ranbir Kapoor in  Sandeep Vanga’s  Animal.

Bobby says it is not conscious career decision to play negative characters  but a conscious  decision to play interesting characters. “ I don’t look at  characters as positive or negative.When I watch  films there is always  one character  that stays  with you. I want to play that  character.”

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Prakash Jha’s Ashram proved a gamechanger for Bobby.  He admits finding  challenging roles is tough.  “I am trying. I  am doing Sandeep Vanga’s Animal with Ranbir  Kapoor , Parineeti Chopra. Then I am doing the family film Apne  2 which I am  very excited  about.”

 In an  earlier  interview with  this writer Bobby spoke  about his   long absence  from screen  before Prakash Jha’s Ashram.  “My fans   would ask why I wasn’t being seen on the screen.And I couldn’t tell them it was  because  I wasn’t getting good roles. But my fans  stood by me. They gave me  the strength  to  keep looking for the right roles. Thankfully I found the roles I liked. My new  films have given  me  some new fans. I am  thankful  I am still here. Yeah , I am in a good space right now.”

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