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Friday, July 6, 2007

Snippet: Raja and Priyamani With Giribabu

Giribabau is planning to start a film shortly, he being the director. Raja and Priyamani are going to pair up in this flick. He made the films 'Indrajit' and 'Ranarangam' long ago. But again with all confidence he got ready to make this film. He readied a story line and narrated that to Raja and Priyamani.

Well, it is becoming difficult for producers to get the dates of Priyamani right now. But Giribabu could reserve her. Giribabau has the track record of producing a film 'Devatalara Deevinchandi' as well. It will be a notable thing if he makes success with this directorial venture. Last year, Ranganath directed the film 'Moguds Pellams' with Sivaji Raja and Rathi in lead roles. But that turned down miserably.

We have to see how this senior actor fairs well as director of contemporary Cinema.

Reel Buzz: Meet Suhani At Her Website

Suhanikalita.com is the official website of Suhani, the renowned child actress of 'Tuneega Tuneega' fame. This Bengali beauty is awaiting the messages from her fans and she wants to develop her own fan club with this website.

She is now acting in the film 'Takkari' with Nitin in the direction of Amma Rajasekhar. Many of the young heroes are also keen to act with her. We have to see how she plans her career. Little while ago, Bapu considered her as heroine for his film but after a while he shunned her and opted Charmy.

Although Suhani turned down with that she is not closing her smile. She is open for all now.

Savitri's First Encounter with ANR

Savitri recalled her first encounter with ANR in her last interview long back.

She said, "I was taken by a person to Vaahini Studios for the first time to introduce to some producers. I was eager to watch shooting of any film there. That was the first time stepping into a studio. I saw a person there who is very notable to me. I watched few of his films like 'Keelugurram' by then. He was none other than ANR. He was talking to a person there. I went to him and smiled out of curiosity and wished him. He simply reciprocated for a second and continued talking to the person. I felt happy for seeing a known face there. Later I was taken to a set where the shooting of the film 'Shaavukaru' was going on. I saw a person puffing bidi in front of all the elders. I thought he was disrespectful to everyone. When I enquired, I was told that was his role in the film. When I asked the name of that person, I was told he was SV Ranga Rao who was a new actor".

Later Savitri was given chance to act and the rest of the matter is known history. Savitri acted with ANR in many films subsequently.

Screen Buzz: Karishma Kotak plans big

In Tollywood, it's like 'they come, they see, they conquer' as far as actresses from other states are concerned. Yet another girl who is gearing up to woo the Telugu audiences is Karishma Kotak, who plays the female lead in Shankar Dada Zindabad.

Karishma is all praise of Andhra Pradesh. "I love Andhra Pradesh because here everyone respects their work," says the actress.

"I love the working style here. I want to master Telugu as soon as possible so that I may get more offers from Telugu film makers. I'm sure I can learn Telugu within short period," says Karishma.

Chitra Yatra catelogue launched

Drusya Foundation is holding a film festival in Harihara Kala Bhavan from 14 June to 17 July. A Catalogue of the same was released at a function today (5 July). Jayesh Ranjan (HUDA Vice Chairman) released the catalogue and gave it to Allu Arvind.

Jayesh Ranjan appreciated Drusya Film foundation for holding event of such gigantic nature. Allu Arvind praised the enthusiasm of the members for making such a mega event without any support. He wished that he would become a part of the committee for the next year. B Narsing Rao said that they held such kind of film festivals for 10 times in the past.

This function was also attended by Mohana Krishna Indraganti, Raj Kumar and Satish (Hope fame).

Thursday, July 5, 2007

'It would be great to watch Jennifer Lopez perform live'

'It would be great to watch Jennifer Lopez perform live'

Bipasha Basu is off to Lisbon, Portugal to host the grand seven wonders show on July 7, and mingle with Hollywood personalities like Hilary Swank and Sir Ben Kingsley.

She tells us her plans for the evening.

Hosting the new seven wonders shows at Lisbon, how did it come about?

I am usually very apprehensive about hosting any kind of show; I have always refused to anchor such events no matter what the amount of money offered to me is.

But this time, a friend from Delhi, Ambika Pillai, who has always insisted that I dabble in some kind of international work, put me in touch with Simone Sheffield. She is part of the organiser's team and she offered me a chance to host the show. And I said yes because I found it very challenging.

This show is about preserving world heritage. It's got nothing to with films; it's something totally different. And I am very excited about it.

Does the excitement also arise from the fact that you will be sharing the stage with Ben Kingsley and Hillary Swank? Are you even nervous?

I am like that little girl who has butterflies in her stomach. I am so thrilled! It would be great to meet celebrities like Ben Kingsley, Hillary Swank and watch Jennifer Lopez perform live! Neil Armstrong and Christiano Ronaldo will also attend the event so it will be an understatement to say that I am just excited! I don't even have a script for this yet, and I know it will be (done) last minute, but that doesn't deter me. I am prepared to do my best. The sheer scale of the show, held in a historical Lisbon football stadium, is mind-blowing!

Are you rooting for the Taj?

Oh yes, why not? Apart from being a beautiful, magnificent architectural extravaganza, the Taj has such a beautiful story behind it. All of us like to be loved, and all of us drool over such love stories as that of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. Besides, the Taj is also internationally known to be associated with India. So if at all, any monument deserves to be up there, it's got to be the Taj!

What will you wear at the event?

(Laughs) That's a very important thing these days. I will be wearing a sari by my favourite designer, Rocky S. The organisers want me to wear an Armani gown for the second leg of the event, but I might reconsider that. I might choose the Delhi-based designer duo of Gauri-Nainika.
Let's shift focus to your films. Loads of work these days?

Yes, I have been neck deep in work. I have releases like Goal, Race and Mr Fraud lined up, and each one is different from each other. Goal is about national pride, and Mr Fraud is a comedy. Race is a typical edge-of-the-seat Abbas-Mastan thriller.

What happened between you and Arshad Warsi while shooting for Goal?

After we have made this beautiful film, I don't want to talk about stray incidents. Some small tiffs did happen, but at the end of the day, John (Abraham), Arshad, Boman (Irani) and I worked hard to make Goal a credible film. And I believe, it has turned out quite well, so I would rather not speak about it.

At the cost of earning your wrath, all well between you and John?

(Wags a finger and grins) You just won't learn! Yes, we are in love.

Why does your personal life always make news?

I don't know and I don't care. I am a very honest person who sticks by her true friends, and they value me too. The rest, they write to provoke me, so I have stopped reacting to it.

2007's Top Telugu Films So Far

The first half of the year saw quite a few Telugu releases but only a few emerged successful.
They are:

Adavari Matalaku Ardhale Verule (AMAV)
AMAV, the film with an interesting title, crossed 50 days and is cruising towards the 100 days mark.

Director Selvaraghavan's second Telugu film treads the mainstream path and is a good family entertainer. A typical love story, it does touch a chord in a few sequences. Lead pair Venkatesh and Trisha act brilliantly, enlivening and enhancing the movie. Though slow in the first half, it picks up steam in the second.

By portraying real characters in the joint family set-up, some rural imagery and some comedy with a huge dash of romance, Selvaraghavan ensured that AMAV caters to the urban and rural audience. A touch of freshness, and a realistic and authentic feel make sure audiences relate to the film, making it a winner.

Evaidaithe Naakenti
Dr Rajasekhar bought the remake rights of the Malayalam film Lion and added his own touch to come out with a socially relevant film. His research enabled him to not just write the screenplay and dialogues but also impart the 'realism' element.

A topical film, Evaidaithe Naakenti raises the issue of corruption, a deeply entrenched evil in society today. And Dr Rajasekhar, through his film, shows how to cleanse the system, albeit in a simplistic way.

Expectations were high for Desamuduru as this Puri Jagannath-directed film was released a few months after the spectacular success of Pokiri. And although it may not have matched the hugely stupendous Pokiri, Desamuduru emerged as a hit.

Despite a wafer-thin story, Puri ensured he had certain elements for its success: an interesting screenplay, a hero in Allu Arjun with six-pack abs and sinewy muscles, a nubile, debutante heroine in Hansika Motwani, good action sequences and a new picturesque backdrop in Kulu Manali.

Allu Arjun, who played a TV journalist, was the talk of the town for his physique, and came up with a good show. Puri cast Hansika as a sanyasin. This Sankranti release was the first hit of the year.

In this effort, Rajasekhar was helped by his wife Jeevitha, who was not just his sounding board, but also helped out in the direction department. Therefore, the credits for direction are shared by Samudrala and Jeevitha.

Director Sreenu Vaitla and actor Manchu Vishnu tasted success with this movie. Vaitla's earlier venture, Andharivadu with megastar Chiranjeevi, didn't do well, while Vishnu's films Game and Astram flopped.

Both finally made it with Dhee.

A story set against a gang-war backdrop, Dhee had a bit of everything: romance, action, and a brother-sister relationship.

Dhee had some good performances from the lead cast: Srihari (Genelia's brother, who plays the Don), Vishnu and Genelia. Sreenu Vaitla imparted some vitality and the rollicking comedy element played a great role in the success of the film.

Although the release of the movie was much delayed, Dhee seems to have gone down well with the audience.

Aata is slowly inching its way up on the success list.

Written off by most in the early days of its release as disappointing fare, Aata seems to be picking up the moolah now. This MS Raju produced and VN Aditya directed movie, like its title, is a game sans much of the emotion element. In fact, M S Raju wrote the screenplay of the movie too. A breezy entertainer, Aata had some real happenings making its way into the reel particularly the sms episode.

The main duo, Siddharth and Ileana, infused energy into the movie with their acting. The movie has quite a bit of songs where Ileana's glamour element comes through. The rural backdrop (for a part of the film) perhaps found favour with the audience in the smaller towns and villages.

Andhra baby girl buried by grandfather found alive

HYDERABAD (Reuters) - A two-day-old baby girl was found alive in a grave in southern India on Thursday, after she had been buried by her grandfather who did not want to bear the cost of bringing up a girl, authorities said.

Female infanticide and foeticide, though illegal in India, are still frequent in some rural areas as boys are traditionally preferred to girls as breadwinners, and families have to pay huge dowries to marry off their daughters.

Police said they had arrested 52-year-old Abdul Rahman, a village farmer from Andhra Pradesh state, after he confessed to trying to kill his newly born granddaughter by burying her.

"I am yet to marry off four daughters and cannot take responsibility for a fifth one, even when she is only a granddaughter," the police quoted Rahman, who is from a village in Mahbubnagar district, as saying.

Mahbubnagar is a four hours drive from the state capital, Hyderabad.

Authorities said Rahman had been upset his daughter had given birth to a girl and had grabbed the child from her mother and taken her away.

Concerned by his behaviour, the family as well as neighbours began a search for the child.

"We searched the place and found a fresh grave and dug it up to find the baby wrapped in a thick cloth and rushed it to hospital," said Sheikh Wasim, a neighbour.

Authorities said the child was out of danger, but remained in intensive care.

The government says around 10 million girls have been killed by their parents -- either before or immediately after birth -- over the past 20 years.

In May, police in the western state of Gujarat arrested a man for allegedly killing his 6-day-old twin daughters by burying them alive.

Gossip: Sangeeta Disappoints Many!

Heroine Sangeeta disappointed many in S.V.Krishna Reddy’s film, ‘Bahumathi’ with her pale looks. After undergoing treatment for obesity, she looked too thin and lost her charm.

Though Reddy heaved a sigh of relief as he witnessed success after much gap with the film, the feed back he is receiving on Sangeeta’s looks is disappointing.

Nayanatara too received similar criticism for her role in ‘Dubai Srinu’. She too had undergone surgery for burning fat.

NRI couple makes a mark in Andhra Pradesh

Chicago, IL: India is now emerging as a land of opportunity. A congenial climate to succeed as investors exists for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in India in general and in Andhra Pradesh in particular.

This encouraging view with supporting examples has been expressed by a successful NRI wife and husband duo – Galla Aruna Kumari, Andhra Pradesh Minister for Medical Education and Health Insurance, and Galla Ramachandra Naidu, a leading industrialist.

Aruna Kumari and Ramachandra Naidu were speaking at a well-attended felicitation meeting arranged in their honor by various Telugu associations of Chicagoland at the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago (HTGC) in Lemont, a suburb of Chicago, on July 1.

The couple, who had come to the US in 1969, returned to Andhra Pradesh in 1985 when no one else even thought or ventured to do so. The temple was taken as the venue because the couple, along with other friends, played an important role in its establishment and growth.

Addressing the gathering, Aruna Kumari said that all NRIs, with their knowledge and education acquired in India, and the success they achieved in the US, owe an obligation to their country and the state. They would definitely find gainful venues in Andhra Pradesh to invest their money and knowledge.

Explaining the opportunities they would have, she said: “India is growing at a fast pace. There are ample opportunities available for NRIs to help the country. Andhra Pradesh, with its rich resources, is emerging as a leading knowledge and industrial state. The Chief Minister, Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, promises to do what he can do; he does not promise what he cannot do. The investment areas in Andhra Pradesh are abundant. There is an opportunity for investment for every NRI. They can start industries. They can support education. They can help hospitals. They can develop their villages. The NRI physicians can invest in the medical colleges that they studied. The NRI engineers can help industries. They all can give money to buy furniture, equipment and books for libraries of medical and other educational institutions.”

She said that the YSR government was concentrating on youth employment schemes, women empowerment plans, rural housing, agriculture and other growth-oriented works.

Speaking about her Ministry, she said that it was only 50 days ago she assumed charge. With her persuasion, the newly initiated health insurance scheme, which was originally started in three districts, had been extended to 10 districts. It would soon be extended to all the districts of the state. Listing the problems faced by hospitals and medical colleges, she said that there was severe shortage of faculty. She gave an example of a government dental college where the principal along with eight other faculty members resigned en masse to join a private college. Therefore, she proposed some remedial measures and incentives to retain the faculty. Hitherto it was taking five years for an assistant professor to become a professor. Now the period had been cut down to two years. Similarly the retirement age of physicians and professors had been extended from 58 years to 60 years. She also emphasized the need for new medical graduates to serve in the rural areas.

Galla Ramachandra Naidu, who owns companies like Amara Raja Batteries in Tirupati, Amara Raja Power Systems in Kanakambadi, Amara Raja Electronics in Diguvamagham and Galla Foods in Rangampeta, said all these projects would remain second to his first successful project – the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago. Tracing the history of HTGC, he said it was started as a small project with an investment of $250,000 and it had grown into a project of millions of dollars.

He said that when he returned to India in 1985, the country was still had a license raj. Hurdles and red tape were many in the way of starting any new industry. It needed a lot of patience and perseverance to start an industry and succeed. But as of today, all his industries provided employment to about 5,000 people, including women and the youth – both educated and uneducated. “Now things are very different in India. Many incentives and opportunities are available to start industries. In economic parity, India now occupies fourth place after Japan in the world. With 10 percent GDP, India would soon replace Japan. India, which was looked down suspiciously in 1960s, is now commanding great respect and recognition among world countries. Today China may be dominating by flooding the world with cheep consumer goods, but India will soon overtake China by supplying quality consumer goods to world. If you want to start an industry or business, India provides you several opportunities. It is a turning point. With consumerism growing in the largest Indian middle class population, and with increasing purchasing power among the youth workforce, India’s economic activity is scaling new heights. Our scientists, doctors, engineers, management experts and other professionals and entrepreneurs, who are contributing so much to the growth of world counties, can now help India. India needs you and provides you opportunities,” he added.

Yugandhar Yadlapati, one of the founders of Telugu Association of North America, praising the hard work and perseverance behind the success of Aruna Kumari and Ramachandra Naidu in the US and in India, said that it was no exaggeration if some one said that one day a person of Andhra origin would become the President of the US. “You can already notice the influence of Andhras here – former President Bill Clinton would be addressing the forthcoming TANA conference in Washington DC. Aruna Kumari, with her vast experience gained in the US, quickly won the hearts of people in Cuddapah area and became an MLA, and subsequently a Minister. She gained political acumen from her father, Rajagopala Naidu, an active parliamentarian and a close associate of N.G. Ranga.

Syama Pappu, president of Telugu Association of Greater Chicago (TAGC), said that TAGC was proud at the success of Ramachandra Naidu because he was its president in 1975. Paying tributes to the contribution of Telugus to the US and other countries, Syama Pappu said that the world which realized the importance of Telugu physicians, engineers, scientists and other professionals also recognized the importance of experts of information technology. “In Chicagoland itself, there are 10,000 Telugus. With thousands of Telugus living and serving the US, the bondage between Andhra Pradesh and the US is strong. We do everything ourselves in this country and we value dignity of labor. We must carry this message to our own people in India. Here we should work to keep our family and Vedic values and pass them on to our younger generations. We should celebrate our festivities and showcase our culture to mainstream Americans here,” he concluded.

Earlier, Narendra Reddy, vice president of American Telugu Association (ATA), welcomed the gathering

The others, who spoke in praise of services of Aruna Kumari and Ramachandra Naidu, included Subramanyaraju Rudraraju, regional vice president of TANA, Dr. Sinha, Dr. Prasanna Reddy, Ramakrishna, Dr. Umapathy Reddy, Dr. Tata Prakasam, Dr. Vidya Sagar, Dr. Ram Reddy, and Dr. Sadasiva Reddy.

Ch Bharati, who emceed the program with all the charm, said that in one of the factories of Ramachandra Naidu, 90 percent of the employees held qualifications less than 10th class.

Photo Gallery : Chiru, Venky, Pawan Kalyan & Allu Arjun attended Shankar Dada Zindabad audio launch

Muhurat - Raja Sekhar’s Gorintaku

Raja Sekhar’s latest film Gorintaku was launched at a function arranged in Hyderabad on the morning of 5 July. Arti Agarwal is doing female lead. Meera Jasmine plays sister to Raja Sekhar. This film is a remake of Kannada film Anna Tangi. D Rama Naidu sounded the clapboard. RB Suresh Chowdary switched on camera. VR Pratap directed the first shot.

Music director SA Raj Kumar said, “This is 25th film in my career. All the films I worked for in Supergood banners were musical hits. I worked with VR Pratap for Nuvvu Vastavani film. I really liked Gorintaku title.”

Director VR Pratap said, “This is my second film in this banner after Nuvvu Vastavani. This film deals with sister sentiment. Raja Sekhar is 100% apt for this film. We changed the script to suit Telugu nativity. Raja Sekhar’s performance in this film is going to be superior like his Anna and Maa Annayya films (of same genre).”

Hero Raja Sekhar said, “We rarely get opportunities to do roles like these. Meera Jasmine and SA Raj Kumar are going to be assets. All the characters including that of Arti Agarwal are going to be realistic. Title of this film generated good response.”

Producers said, “This is 4th film on Mega Super Good banner. The regular shooting will start on 15 July. Anna Tangi is a tremendous hit in Kannada and we are remaking it as Gorintaku. Bellari exhibitor Lakshmikanth Reddy bought rights of the movie and offered us to remake it. It was RB Chowdary’s decision to cast Raja Sekhar. We waited for him because he was busy with Evadaithe Nakenti.”

Actress Arti Agarwal expressed happiness over doing another film in the same banner after Andala Ramudu.

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