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All about Slumdog Millionaire - Interesting News Behind this Film!!!

Started by Kalyan, Jan 22, 2009, 07:43 AM

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All about Slum dog Millionaire - Interesting News Behind this Film!!!


Director: Danny Boyle

Co-Director: Loveleen Tandon

Cast: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan

Composer: A R Rahman

Action Director: Sham Kaushal (Black Friday, Parzania fame)

Art Director: Abhishek Redkar (Outsourced and Christmas In India)

Author of Q&A: Vikas Swarup (From which Slumdog has been adapted)

source : economic times

Originally posted : times of india


What is the movie about?


The film tells the brutal but inspiring story of Jamal Malik (played by Dev Patel, a British Asian whose major turn so far has been in the television show Skins), an 18-year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai who gets on to the Who Wants to be a Millionaire ? show and is a question away from winning the Rs 20-million jackpot.

Astounded by the slum boy's knowledge and suspicious of his integrity, the police give him the third degree.

In order to prove his innocence , Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother Salim grew up, of their crazy adventures on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of his love Latika (played by Mumbai girl Freida Pinto).

source : economic times

Originally posted : times of india


Which book is the film based on?


It's based on Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup's awardwinning novel Q&A (2005) where the protagonist has the impeccably secular (and gimmicky) name Ram Mohammed Thomas. The prologue opens with the line: "I have been arrested. For winning a quiz show." Simon Beaufoy wrote the screenplay.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali had enquired about movie rights, and so had Shah Rukh Khan, but Swarup had already sold it to the owners of KBC, Celador.

source : economic times

Originally posted : times of india


Where was it shot?


Although it is largely assumed to be Dharavi, the film was extensively shot in the slums of Juhu and Versova. One shot has the children sitting on the Juhu airfield.

What were the damages?

The budget was a modest $55 million (Titanic was $200 million)

source : economic times

Originally posted : times of india


How many awards so far?


Not for nothing has the film been described as 'overpraised and overawarded'. From the time of its US release on November 12, it has won 64 awards, both the low-hanging fruit and coveted trophies.

When will it be released in India?

Mark January 23 on your calendar. The English version (Slumdog Millionaire) and Hindi (Slumdog Crorepati) will jingle into theatres.

source : economic times

Originally posted : times of india


Was Anil Kapoor Danny Boyle's first choice for the role of game show host?


Yes, the role was offered to Shah Rukh, but Boyle said he couldn't get through to the superstar because of the "several layers of people" in between.

The grapevine has it that Shah Rukh was chary of accepting because of the creepy character he would have to play.

source : economic times

Originally posted : times of india


To whom is the music dedicated?


To Shridhar, Rahman's main sound engineer and fourtime national award winner. The 48-year-old worked with Rahman right from Roja, and the composer trusted his judgement implicitly.

When Slumdog was ready, Shridhar thanked Rahman for putting his name on an international album. Soon after, on December 1, he died of a heart attack. Heartbroken, Rahman dedicated the music to his friend.

source : economic times

Originally posted : times of india


Has the movie become India Underbelly Shining?


It looks like it. Be it Aravind Adiga's Man Bookerwinning The White Tiger or Slumdog, the unpalatable realities of asli India are up there under the strobe lights for the world to gaze on. From snot-nosed children to the oppressive caste system, it's fodder that is being anew.

While acclaim for drudgery is not new (from Satyajit Ray to Meera Nair's Salaam Bombay), this is probably the first time that the worst of India is being showcased to worldwide commercial acclaim.

source : economic times

Originally posted : times of india


'Slumdog Millionaire' bags 10 Oscar nominations

Inching closer towards an Oscar, composer A R Rahman on Thursday got himself nominated for three Academy awards for his score in
Slumdog Millionaire British-Indian movie "Slumdog Millionaire", which was in all shortlisted for 10 categories including best film and best director.

"Something good is happening and I am really happy about it," was the reaction of Rahman, who became the first Indian to win a triple Oscar nomination. 43-year-old Rahman was nominated for Best Original Score and the numbers 'Jai Ho' and 'O Saya' were shortlisted for the Best Original Song.

Close on the heels of the dual-language film winning four Golden Globes, including one for Rahman, earlier this month, Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy were shortlisted for best director and best adapted screenplay categories.

The film also won nominations in cinematography, sound mixing, sound editing and film editing. David Fincher's romantic periodical "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", starring Brad Pitt, topped this year's race with a whopping 13 nominations.

The nominations were announced at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theatre by Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker. The winners will be named on February 22 at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre.

Only two Indian have won the coveted Oscar till date, Bhanu Athaiya (for costume design in "Gandhi") and Satyajit Ray, who was given an honorary Oscar for his contribution to films.

This is also the first time that an Indian has won more than one nomination in Oscars history.

Reacting to the nominations, Rahman said, "I did not think it will get there. God has been really kind. And I have to really thank the prayers of all the people and their good wishes. "There is a kind of optimism in the film and so much of positive vibes as you leave the movie hall."

In the original score category, Rahman will compete with Alexandre Desplat ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"), James Newton Howard ("Defiance"), Danny Elfman ("Milk") and Thomas Newman ("WALL-E").

Rahman will compete with Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman ("Down to earth" from "WALL-E") in the original song category. Gulzar has penned the lyrics of "Jai Ho" and Mia Arulpragasam "O Saya".

Co-director Loveelyn Tandon said "We have proved everyone wrong. It's a crazy feeling beyond words. Ten nominations is something unbelievable." She said all Rahman's work has been awarded and the "world has finally woken up to his talent". The films for the best picture race are "Milk", "Frost/Nixon", "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "The Reader".

Those nominated in the best director category along with Boyle are David Fincher ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"), Stephen Daldry ("The Reader"), Gus Van Sant ("Milk") and Ron Howard ("Frost/Nixon").

source : economic times


City of fan clubs awaits Slumdog

They celebrate new releases of their heroes as if it were a festival, and are rarely together in welcoming other films. However, fans of Ajith, Vijay, Rajnikanth and Kamal Hassan are expecting 'Slumdog Millionaire' with feverish excitement. While the A R Rahman's music is an attraction for nearly everyone, people are also looking forward to the release for reasons which seem to make the movie unique.

    "In a region where game shows and reality shows on satellite channels took time to attract eye-balls, the excitement is an indication that rags-to-riches-stories will always sell," said Kavithalaya Krishnan, a television actor.

    "Look how well 'Padaiyappa' and 'Annamalai' worked," he added. "Eight years ago, not many tuned into television shows where someone walked off with a lot of money. But that has changed," he added. Intelligence and talent are not measured by academics alone anymore, said R Govindarajan, a professor. "Films like 'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi' work

with the younger generation in Chennai because the film shows a young, married woman competing in a reality show. There has been a gradual shift in the way we acknowledge hardwork in alternate careers," he added

    It is all about aspiration meeting luck, a familiar concept for many. "Today, no one settles for what they have. Everyone wants to move up and do better. Even those in tenements dream of going to the US for higher studies," said Rashmi Kumar, a final-year student of journalism in a city college. "Slumdog sounds like it mirrors our thoughts and hopes," she added

    City-based Dr Gayathri Srikanth, who answered a record 750 questions in twoand-a-half hours in 2007 to qualify for 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' is eager to watch a show that she missed appearing on by 0.96 seconds. "You are considered intelligent if you are seen on a quiz show. What adds drama and emotion to such shows is the fact that luck plays a major role in winning.

    "There is a lot of hard work behind the 15 minutes of fame, but television shows makes you feel it is achievable," said Raghav, and Preetha, the actor couple who have been runnersup on shows such as 'Jodi No 1' and 'Maanada Mayilada'.

    Actor Khushboo, who has been hosting game shows since 2000 is waiting to watch 'Slumdog' for a different reason altogether. "I want to know if the West is portraying India as a down trodden, dirty, place with cities full of slums," she added.

source : timesofindia


I feel proud of Rahman, says Boyle

Mumbai: Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle on Thursday said he was very proud the film music director A R Rahman, who got three Oscar nominations. "I feel extremely proud of AR, who couldn't be with us at the Mumbai premiere of the film. Like I said earlier when he went to receive his Golden Globe, things are changing."

    Although Beaufoy has been nominated once before for the loveable film, 'The Full Monty', this is Boyle's first Oscar nomination. "One mustn't get too greedy," he laughed. "The Indian release means a lot to me. I wasn't even thinking about the Oscars."

    Resul Pookutty, who's been nominated for sound mixing and is a permanent Chennai import for Bollywood, said he was pinching himself to believe the unbelievable. "I've been nominated at the BAFTA too," said the bearded sound engineer. "For a technician, a nomination on these platforms is extremely gratifying."

    Slumdog Millionaire is in the race for Best Picture against The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost Nixon, Milk and The Reader.
    Co-director Lovleen Tandon said she could understand Rahman's nervousness and excitement. "We are all in a state of shock," said Tandon. "I was in tears. This is the first time an Indian has received three Oscar nominations."

    Asked if the team had ever expected the movie to capture the world's imagination in the way that it had, Rahman said, "We weren't expecting one nomination when we set out to make it. But that's the beauty of art. We never think of any of these things while creating it. This movie has created so much optimism for India."

    Having completed the score for Slumdog Millionaire in three weeks must have been a great challenge for the composer. What was the inspiration behind the music? "The inspiration was the movie itself and its message. Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, Vikas Swarup, they made it easy."

    Referring to the two nominated songs, Rahman said while 'Jai Ho' had a celebratory feel and tied the whole movie together, 'O Saya' reflected a mood of liberation. "This has been a great musical journey. And I'm very happy to share this moment with my family," he said.

source : timesofindia


CHENNAI: British film Slumdog Millionaire, which scripts the rags to riches rise of a boy who grows up in the slums of Mumbai, is finding endorsement from unexpected quarters.

The movie has earned the admiration of Home Minister, P Chidambaram who urged a gathering in Chennai to watch the movie, as it was representative of grit and enterprise that thrives in the slums of India.

"Please watch the movie," he said. Mr Chidambaram, however, didn't specify if he had seen the movie himself.

Mr Chidambaram was speaking at the launch of the "BYST" growth fund in Chennai, a fund formed by IFC and VentureEast, which would provide finance and mentoring for young grass root Indian entrepreneurs, constrained by limited resources

Mr Chidambaram, who till a few months back, held the Finance portfolio, said the movie's story should inspire banks to grant loans to enterprising entrepreneurs from the slums, budding with business ideas. He further said that people from the slums didn't lag behind corporate India in this respect.

Slumdog Millionaire, which won four Golden Globe awards and ten nominations for the Oscar, has probably been the most talked about movie in recent weeks. Not just for its India-centric storyline but also its music composer AR Rahman, who after having won a Golden Globe, now has three Oscar nominations to his credit.

He used the Slumdog Millionaire anecdote in this context, canvassing for more funds to promote entrepreneurship among the poor. "A slum like Dharavi in Mumbai is humming with business ideas and innovation, so we have to reach out to these people. Formal education does not necessarily measure success. Men and women are innovative and are willing to take the risk of starting a business venture," he said.

Besides the movie example, Chidambaram also cited instance of a girl in a Delhi slum who started a beauty salon with a government loan. He said such efforts from the government helped in creating in more self-employment amongst the slum dwellers.


'Slumdog Millionaire' profits to go into fund

LONDON: Danny Boyle, director of "Slumdog Millionaire," has said that profits from the film would be ploughed back into the Mumbai slums where it was made.

The exact amount and how it should be spent would be discussed at a meeting of investors in London next week, but he indicated that it would be "significant." The money would be put into a fund for the children of these slums.

"What absolutely mustn't happen is that the money disappears, or people think it is a PR stunt," The Times reported Mr. Boyle as saying.

His remarks came after the makers of the film were accused of exploiting slum children and glorifying poverty to make money, though Mr. Boyle insisted that the decision to set up the fund had nothing to do with the criticism.

"This is our chance to give something back to an extraordinary city which has helped us produce an extraordinary film," he said.

Christian Colson, one of the producers of the film, denied that the two child stars — Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Ismail — had been underpaid. He claimed that for a month's work they were paid "three times the amount of an annual adult salary."

He also said that a substantial sum would be paid to the children once they reached 18 and completed their studies. "It's a carrot to encourage them to stay at school," Mr. Colson said.

Source: Hindu


'Slumdog Millionaire' is mediocre, trashy: Director Priyadarshan

Mumbai, Feb 01: Indian movie director Priyadarshan has joined the bandwagon in slamming Danny Boyle's underdog saga "Slumdog Millionaire" and has called the film a "cheap trashy mediocre version" of erstwhile Bollywood hits.

" 'Slumdog Millionaire' is nothing but a cheap trashy mediocre version of those commercial films about estranged brothers and childhood sweethearts that Salim-Javed used to write so brilliantly in the 1970s. And please quote me clearly on this. If the Golden Globe and Oscars committees have chosen to honour this trashy film it just shows their ignorance of world cinema," Priyadarshan told a news agency.

Priyadarshan, whose much-acclaimed film on the silk weavers of Kanjeevaram was shown alongside Boyle's film at the Toronto Film Festival last year, feels Indians are exercising prideful property rights over a film that denigrates Mumbai.

"I saw the film with a mixed audience at the Toronto Film Festival. The Westerners loved it. All the Indian hated it. The West loves to see us as a wasteland, filled with horror stories of exploitation and degradation. But is that all there's to our beautiful city of Mumbai?"

He is surprised that Mumbai is celebrating a film that shows only the city's underbelly.

"Why are we taking this treatment? Just because a white man has made 'Slumdog Millionaire', we're so happy with it? I've read Vikas Swarup's novel 'Q&A'. It should have been made by Mani Ratnam. Then you'd have seen what he would have done with Mumbai."

The angry director wonders why there isn't a single shot in 'Slumdog...' that shows the more aesthetic side of Mumbai?

"Why has Danny Boyle not taken one shot of Marine Drive? Do his slumdwellers exist only within their slums? And look at the absurdities...A boy becomes a national hero on a game show. One cop takes him under arrest and interrogates him relentlessly. Where is everyone else? Is this kind of confinement possible in this day and age when television cameras enter your bedroom? If one of our filmmakers had made the same film we would have blasted him out of business."

"Let them give as many Oscars as they like. We don't need to be impressed," ends Priydarshan angrily.

courtesy :
Thanks and Regards
- Nithya Subramanian
Kenvivo Communications


Danny Boyle wins DGA Award for 'Slumdog Millionaire'

LOS ANGELES: British director Danny Boyle has added another feather to his cap by bagging the top honour from the Directors Guild of America for "Slumdog Millionaire", brightening his chances to scoop an Oscar for the much-acclaimed rags-to-riches saga set on Mumbai.

The British-Indian film beat rivals like "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (David Fincher), "The Dark Knight" (Christopher Nolan), "Frost/Nixon" (Ron Howard) and "Milk" (Gus Van Sant) to win the award.

The DGA awards have given another major boost to the film before the big Oscar night on February 22, since the DGA winners almost always triumph at the Academy Awards, going by trends over the last 50 years.

Set in the slums of Mumbai, the film has emerged a favourite in the award ceremonies.
The latest honour for "Slumdog Millionaire" follows its recent win at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, where it won best cast ensemble and best picture from the Producers Guild of America, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Slumdog Millionaire" is being seen as the front-runner at the Oscars with 10 nominations, second only to "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" which has 14 nominations to its credit.
The DGA award is also a first for Boyle, who had never previously been nominated for it.

courtesy : ExpressBuzz.
Thanks and Regards
- Nithya Subramanian
Kenvivo Communications


Slumdog award

'Slumdog Millionaire' Wins 4 Golden Globes

Los Angeles: Danny Boyle was named best director for Slumdog Millionaire by the Directors Guild of America yesterday.

"If I can get here, you can," Boyle said as he accepted the trophy. "Dream kind and dream hard."


'Slumdog' grosses $67.24 mn after another honour ahead of Oscars

After winning the top honour from the Directors Guild of America (DGA) for the Mumbai-set hit film "Slumdog Millionaire", British
Director Danny Boyle appears to be on the inside track for an Oscar at the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb 22.

The DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film is often an accurate indicator of who will land the Oscar for directing as 55 of the 60 past DGA award winners also went on to win the Academy Award for directing.

British Indian actor Dev Patel and newcomer Freida Pinto were among the numerous presenters at the awards gala dinner in Los Angeles Saturday, joining Hollywood actors like Sean Penn, Christian Bale and Jodie Foster.

"Slumdog Millionaire" is the eighth feature film directed by Boyle following such hits as "Trainspotting" and "28 Days Later".

The heart-warming story of a poor boy from the slums of Mumbai who goes on to win the Indian version of TV game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" has now won the top prize from the Directors Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild, Producers Guild of America, Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Awards.

Meanwhile, with an estimated gross of $7,680,000 over Jan 30-Feb 1, down 28 percent from last weekend, "Slumdog Millionaire" has earned a whopping $67,244,000 in its 12 week run in the US.

Now playing in 1,633 theatres, up 222 from last weekend, the film's per-theatre average earning was $4,703, according to movie website

Source: Economictimes


'Slumdog Millionaire' is like my story: Anil Kapoor

Versatile Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor, who played quizmaster in Danny Boyle's Oscar-nominated rags-to-riches story 'Slumdog Millionaire', says he sees a reflection of his own life in the film.

''Slumdog…' is like my story. I also started from scratch - a rags to riches story. I started in Chembur (a Mumbai suburb) and slowly climbed up. God has been kind in that way,' Anil said on CNN's show 'My City My Life'.

On the show, to be aired Thursday at 3 p.m., the actor tours the city and shows off 'his' Mumbai with clips of slums as well as the hangout spots of Bollywood's elite.

While doing a tour, the 49-year-old also talks about the success of 'Slumdog Millionaire', his first international venture.

The film triumphed at the Golden Globe awards and has also bagged 10 Oscar nominations.

'The film is basically a love story, but shot in a very realistic way. The film is not choreographed at all - it's very natural and real. There is nothing that is exaggerated or nothing that is downplayed,' said the actor.

The actor, whose first big hit was 'Tezaab' (1988), went on to give blockbusters like 'Ram Lakhan', 'Mr. India', 'Karma' and 'Beta'.

source : yahoo


'Slumdog Millionaire' in Tamil

CHENNAI: Slumdog Millionairewill soon be dubbed into Tamil. K. Natrajan of Falcon Films is producing it and the work is expected to be over this weekend. Titled Naanum Kodeeswaran, it has actor Simbu lending his voice for the hero Dev Patel. Veteran singer S.P.Balasubramaniyam has dubbed for Anil Kapoor and actor Radha Ravi, for Irfan Khan. It is to be released on February 14.


Slumdog bashing!

Slumdog has certainly struck a nerve Like it or hate it, everyone has an opinion. Preliminary box-office reports say Slumdog isn't quite the millionaire he was expected to be in India. Despite all those Oscar nominations, despite the musical blandishments of local boy (and three-time Oscar nominee) A R Rahman, despite the reams of hype in the press, and despite director Danny Boyle and Co touring the TV channels in an endless cycle of promotion, the film just hasn't caught on the way it was expected to.

Yet, in a sense, the film is a bona fide phenomenon. Don't take our word for it – just ask those who've seen it. The instant reaction upon walking out of the theatre appears to be the overwhelming urge to discuss the film to pieces. Everyone has a strong opinion – about the film, about the reactions to the film, about the pieces written about the reactions to the film – and everyone is writing in a about it.

Cliche ridden

Slumdog depicts India the way a foreigner sees it and we cannot deny that. It's a good film but doesn't deserve the hype it is getting. It It is not just a personal opinion, but an assessment born of my passion for good cinema. Unlike the majority of Indian critics who can't digest the depiction of poverty and the ugly underside of Mumbai, I have no issues with the way Boyle has done it.

I felt some of the visuals were disgustingly fascinating — like the man and the buffalo wading through muck during the chase scene. One can see the efforts made to locate such filth, guaranteed to turn the insides of anyone, leave alone the 'developed' western world audience.

My only grouse is that all this is used in a calculated manner to constitute the form of the movie while the content is so ordinary and full of cliches. Form has successfully overshadowed the pedestrian content. Nothing wrong in that as many slick, well-made formula movies have entertained people and made money. The problem is that this movie is critically acclaimed and awarded — undeservingly so. Satyajit Ray was repeatedly criticised for his 'exploitation' of Indian poverty. But he focused on characters as human beings, rather than visuals designed to shock. That is why his characters are men and women of flesh and blood, not just cardboard caricatures, as seen in Slumdog.

Lastly, on the music award for this film. I've been a fan of Rahman right from his Dileep days and I have no doubt about his genius. Unfortunately, his score can in no way be termed the greatest or innovative. I have a sneaking suspicion Rahman may be aware of this irony. To call his work original is a travesty of justice, if not ignorance. I hasten to add that Rahman deserves global recognition, but more for his genius and contribution to music than for his score in Slumdog. If the end justifies the means, then Slumdog is a winner every which way you look at it.

One of the best movies I've ever seen. It's just about perfect. What stuck me above everything else was the pulsating, riveting soundtrack. The head pounding Indian music throws you into the perfect mood to carry you through the movie.

What am I missing? The critics love it (my favourite critic, Roger Ebert, called it a masterpiece). Walter loves it. The masses love it. So why didn't I love it? Could it be because I hate Who Wants to be a Millionaire even more than highwire walking?

With reference to the infamous "shit scene", it is significant since it shows the child's spirit. Nothing can stop him from achieving his goal (Big B in childhood, but later on the girl). Life on the streets teaches a child many things, as opposed to kids who appear on game shows after undergoing intense training. When the protagonist asks the compere of the show if he was feeling nervous, the former, having experienced various hurdles in his life, is least intimidated by the latter.

The "Slumdog Debate" shows how far we have turned away from reality. Let's accept that we are a poor nation. We have enough companies like Satyam to ensure that our poverty lasts several years. The film has rightly projected what we are. Our political bigwigs must work honestly and diligently to make us rich and prosperous. Until then, we have to tolerate such projected realities. Tantrums over the film will not alleviate our poverty.

The movie rightly portrays India's day-to-day reality. We cannot expect Boyle to put on display India's affluent who hideously ape the West. The world will obviously want to see India as it is and if we are ashamed it's time that we reformed ourselves by bridging the appalling gap between the haves and the have-nots.

However much we try to sweep poverty under the carpet, it cannot be ignored. The National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised sector says 836 million Indians or 77 per cent of the population earn less than Rs 20 a day. Poverty is an ugly reality in India. It has a global market and there is nothing to grouse about if someone markets our poverty to get an award.

It is naive to believe movies like Slumdog can tarnish India's image. It does not require a movie to showcase India and its achievements. Indians have created a niche for themselves in space and nuclear technology, and at the same time more than 60 per cent of Indians live below the poverty line. I don't think one movie will change the world's perception of India.

Every Indian is happy that A R Rahman has bagged the Golden Globe and has been nominated for the Oscars. But the Mumbai Slum Dwellers' Joint Action Committee has filed a defamation case against Rahman and Anil Kapoor. In our country, there is freedom of speech, but no freedom after speech. Is it not sad?

Boyle has made a film that portrays every possible bias against India and structured it within the matrix of Western liberal perceptions. In keeping with the current American politics, it has been nominated for 10 Oscars. Our deracinated media, which constantly looks for inspirational good news stories that invariably revolve around Western appreciation of truthful portrayal of the Indian reality, has gone into a tizzy. Danny Boyle has cunningly changed the name of the film as also the main protagonist (in Vikas Swarup's Q&A) from Ram Mohammad Thomas to Jamal Malik. Looks like Boyle has rediscovered India and made appropriate changes to fit his film into the Hindu-bad-Muslim-good mould so that it has a resonance in today's America.

First, it was director Satyajit Ray who, with Pather Panchali, depicted the wrong side of our country. Now Slumdog is doing the same.

I hate Danny Boyle. Here I was listening to the film's audio track and immersing myself in ARR's music in all its pristine form. And then, I decide to watch the movie. An accompanying friend casually mentions that he was surprised to know Slumdog was from the same director who made a dark movie named Trainspotting. I wondered why such a director would make a movie about a kid getting lucky in a TV game show.

The film's music seemed divine to me — be it the inspirational Jai Ho with its captivating crescendos, the contrasting highs Rahman and MIA reached in O Saya or the serene song titled Riots. However, somewhere between the vulgarities of diving into a cesspool, losing a parent in a senseless riot or the unknowing participation in a programme, Boyle manages to rob Rahman's music of its divinity by juxtaposing it with a series of starkly realistic images. He skilfully ties these images as distinct episodes of Jamal's life, destined to lead him to win Who Wants to Become a Millionaire. The suspense of the contest makes it an entertaining movie. Yet, to me, it was deeply disturbing. And I believe that is the best aspect of the movie — the decadence of life is there for you to see if you choose to.

Boyle chronicles the story of Jamal without any ideological baggage; and shows Jamal's world as he sees it. By restricting himself to simply narrating the story, Boyle has created a mirror of a movie; and the audience's reaction has a lot to do with themselves rather than the movie. So whether the film exploits or depicts poverty is a question that could elicit a wide range of responses. And that is a measure of the director's success.

I have not seen Trainspotting. But I would imagine Slumdog indicates the expansion of Boyle's creative horizons. As for ARR's music, the film's realism refuses to let me escape into the heavenly sound of the music. And therein lay the key to ARR's success — the soulfulness of his music complements reinforces the movie's realism. Slumdog may not be an epic, but it gets quite close to being one!

A grave error

I'd like to point out a serious error in the film. In the quiz, Jamal Malik is asked, "Who wrote the bhajan, Darshan do Ghanshyam?" The correct answer in the film is said to be Surdas. This answer is incorrect.

The bhajan is featured in the film, Narsi Bhagat (about the eponymous Gujarati saint poet) made by Devendra Goel in 1957. Even then, the song is attributed to Narsi Bhagat (as was the custom with classical poems and dohas) as suggested in the last few lines, Narsi ki yeh binati sun lo, bhakt vilasi re. I had experts (including the old music director of the film, Ravi) check and they confirm that G S Nepali wrote the bhajan but attributed it to Narsi Bhagat.

I wouldn't quibble about this normally but this is a film about a quiz show and how the protagonist keeps winning. He picks the blind, Surdas' name because he recalls a young singer friend who is blinded to beg. This gets him closer to the big prize. But the poem has nothing to do with Surdas.

courtesy : ExpressBuzz.
Thanks and Regards
- Nithya Subramanian
Kenvivo Communications


'Slumdog' Dev Patel roped in for Shyamalan's 'The Last Airbender'

Mumbai, Feb 04: 'Slumdog Millionaire' lad Dev Patel is no underdog. The actor's praiseworthy performance in the flick has caught the eye of who's who of the entertainment world. Just one movie old, the young lad is already going places and his popularity quotient already beats that of the top notch industry biggies.

After Danny Boyle's much acclaimed film, 'Slumdog Millionaire' turned the young debutant into an overnight sensation, the latest director who is vying to cast Patel is the thriller maker M Night Shyamalan.

According to the latest buzz, Patel has signed on the dotted line for Shyamalan's next flick 'The Last Airbender'. Though the filmmaker had his eyes set on Patel even before he came under the arc lights, he held back due to certain inhibitions. However, once the director saw Patel in his debut venture, all inhibitions vanished and he immediately got Patel on board.

Speaking to a news daily, Shyamalan said, "Dev was one of the guys I was interested in. Then I saw Slumdog Millionaire; the kid just grew in my eyes".

The actor will be seen essaying the role that was initially offered to pop star Jesse McCartney but after Jesse's career as a "musician" interfered, Patel was roped in. the actor will enact the role of Prince Zuko in the film.

Based on a hit animated television series 'Avatar-The Last Airbender', the film is set to hit screens in 2010.

courtesy :

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'Slumdog Millionaire' now in Tamil

With English and Hindi versions doing well at the box-office, the Tamil version of Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire" is now all set to be released in Tamil Nadu later this month.

According to sources, K Natarajan of Falcon Films has been given the rights to dub the British-Indian movie in Tamil.

Popular Tamil actor Simbu is dubbing for Dev Patel, the movie's hero.

The Tamil version is expected to do well as the composer of its music, A R Rahman hails from the state. Rahman has been nominated for three Oscars including in the best original musical score category.

The musical wizard earlier won the Golden Globe for his Original Score in the movie, whose director Danny Boyle won accolades at the Screen Actors' Guild Awards.

Famous playback singer S P Balasubramaniam has lent his voice for Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor who quizzes the hero in the film and Actor Radha Ravi for Irfan Khan and the movie has been titled "Naanum Koteeswaran"(I am a Millionaire too).

"Slumdog Millionaire", which has received ten Oscar nominations, including best picture and best director, is the rags to riches story of a slum boy who strikes it rich after winning a TV quiz show.

source : economic times


A court here Thursday deferred hearing in a defamation case against the Indian cast of Oscar-nominated film 'Slumdog Millionare' for allegedly 'abusing slum dwellers'. The court slated the next hearing for Feb 18.

In his petition, Tapeshwar Vishwakarma, the general secretary of the Jhuggi Jhonpdi Sanyukta Sangharsh Samiti (a group promoting the rights of slum dwellers), has accused music director A.R. Rahman, actor Anil Kapoor and other Indians associated with the film of 'offending the sensibilities of slum dwellers with the abusive title of the movie'.

No charge, however, was filed against the film's director Danny Boyle, who is a British citizen.

'The court of the chief judicial magistrate did not hear the petition and fixed next date of hearing for Feb 18,' Shruti Singh, lawyer for the petitioner, told IANS here.

'The name of the film is against basic human values,' she said.

A copy of the petition has been sent to the National Human Rights Commission, the State Human Rights Commission and the Film Censor Board of the central government.

Meanwhile, a group of slum dwellers protested against the showing of the film at Ashok cinema hall here and tore down posters and banners of the film. They demanded that the filmmaker remove the word 'dog' from the title.



All you need to know about Slumdog Millionaire

It's already the most talked-about film of the year – and it's set to sweep the Oscar nominations tomorrow. But there's a lot that went on behind the scenes. Tim Walker has the lowdown

'Slumdog Millionaire' was all set to go straight to DVD after the film's original studio backer, Warner Independent (a division of Warner Brothers), closed down in May 2008. Luckily, the Fox studio's indie film division, Fox Searchlight, picked it up for theatrical release

During filming, Azza, the Mumbai boy who was cast as Jamal's brother Salim, had his house bulldozed by the city council – a common occurrence in the slums where much of the shoot took place. The crew found him sleeping on a car roof.

The three youngest child leads, who were all cast from the Mumbai slums, are now having their schooling funded by the film's producers. With the promise of a trust fund should they pass their exams at 16.

Anil Kapoor, who plays Prem Kumar, the host of 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' in 'Slumdog', donated his fee to Plan India, a child development NGO in Delhi, devoted to raising awareness about child abuse, trafficking, education and rehabilitating deprived children.

Kapoor has starred in almost 100 Bollywood films. The real Indian version of the gameshow, 'Kaun Banega Crorepati', has been presented by two of his fellow Bollywood superstars, Amitabh Bachchan (who also features in 'Slumdog' as young Jamal's celebrity obsession) and Shahrukh Khan. Khan turned down the role of Prem in 'Slumdog' after deciding that the character was too negative.

Director Danny Boyle almost didn't film the now-famous lavatory scene, in which young Jamal crawls through a cesspit to get an autographed photo of his favourite star, because it was too similar to a scene in 'Trainspotting' (1996), in which Ewan McGregor climbs into a loo to retrieve opium suppositories.

Lead actor Dev Patel's 'Slumdog' audition was only his second ever. His first was for Channel 4's teen series 'Skins', where Boyle's teenage daughter Caitlin talent-spotted him for the role of Jamal. Last week, he was nominated for a Bafta for best actor. Not bad going.

Bollywood composer AR Rahman, who wrote the score for 'Slumdog', has worked on British productions before. He composed music for 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age' (2007), and in 2002, he composed the musical 'Bombay Dreams'.

Boyle was slightly uncomfortable with the film's marketing campaign, which features posters of the two leads grinning in a shower of confetti with a quote calling it the "feel-good film of the decade". Considering that the film features poverty, torture and murder, says Boyle, "You can't go in expecting it to be 'Mamma Mia!'"

The budget for 'Slumdog' was the smallest of all the nominees for the Golden Globe 2009 award for Best Picture – Drama, which it won. 'Frost/Nixon' cost $25m, 'The Reader' $33m, 'Revolutionary Road' $35m and 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' a whopping $150m, 10 times Slumdog's $15m.

Mercedes-Benz asked for its logo to be removed from any scenes shot in the slums. According to Danny Boyle, the car-maker feared that such an association with a poverty-stricken area would dent its image as a luxury brand.

Two of the film's climactic scenes were shot in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station, which was formerly Victoria Terminus, and is commonly called Bombay VT station. It is the scene of one of the terrorist attacks that took place in Mumbai on 26 November; a pair of gunmen killed more than 50 people in the passenger hall. Boyle now says he believed "you should never talk about the film in terms of the attacks, because one's an entertainment and the other is a tragedy. But the scene in the station [is one] of unapologetic romantic love... It's utterly naive, and it says love conquers all. And [I'm] proud of that. It's unintentional, obviously. But it was the best thing I could possibly say."

The scene in which Jamal is tortured was meant to be funny, says Boyle. "[It] was written as comedy, which is how I thought I'd directed it. When the scene plays in the West, everybody thinks it's about Guantanamo, but in India torture is accepted as part of the culture, like bribery." Sergeant Srinivas, the police officer, is played by the Indian actor, writer and director Saurabh Shukla.

Simon Beaufoy, who adapted the screenplay for 'Slumdog' from the novel 'Q&A' by Vikas Swarup, made three research trips to India to interview street children. He says he wanted to convey the slums' "sense of this huge amount of fun, laughter, chat, and sense of community". Boyle wasn't interested in directing a script about 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' until he heard it had been written by Beaufoy (who also wrote 'The Full Monty').

One of the film's opening scenes is a chase through Mumbai's Dharavi slum – the largest slum in Asia. Boyle says it was based on a 12-minute police chase in the Indian film 'Black Friday', about the 1993 Bombay bombings. One of his other reference points was 'Satya', a 1998 film about the Mumbai underworld, written by Saurabh Shukla (who plays Sergeant Srinivas in Slumdog)

Boyle "fibbed" to his US producers that he wanted to translate about 10 per cent of the dialogue for 'Slumdog' into Hindi, then translated almost a third of the script.

'Slumdog' will be released in India on Friday. The film has not been universally praised by Indians. A debate started by commentators on Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan's blog included criticism of the film's depiction of India as a "Third World dirty underbelly developing nation".


'Slumdog' director Danny Boyle blasts 'child actors paid unfairly' claims

London, Feb 06: 'Slumdog Millionaire' director Danny Boyle has dismissed claims suggesting that child actors in his critically acclaimed film were not paid fairly, insisting that the facts have been misreported.

Speaking at the London Film Critics' Circle Awards, where the film won three awards, Boyle said that the wages reported are not true.

"The figures that were released were not true at all," a news daily quoted him as saying.

"The actors were paid very well. We have not released any figures - either what they were paid or what they will receive when they complete their education because it would make them vulnerable to certain elements, because they are quite large sums of money," he added.

He said that the production company wanted to make sure that the child actors would benefit from a decent education as well as the money.

"We are very proud of the way we have dealt with everybody, and it's sad that it's been misreported by some people," he added.

Boyle walked away with the gong for British Director of the Year. The film, also won British Film of the Year and Screenwriter of the Year for Simon Beaufoy.

"It's been an extraordinary journey, but in a way I should have expected something extraordinary because the city we made it in does nothing by half," he said.

"Everything's max, there's no half measures, it's a full-on passionate city, so we should have expected it, but you don't.

"It's been incredible," he added.

courtesy :
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Dream run continues as Slumdog... bags 3 more awards

New Delhi: The dream run is continuing for Slumdog Millionaire. The film added three more awards to its kitty at the London Film Critics' Circle Awards on Wednesday night.

Slumdog Millionaire won the Attenborough British Film of the Year, while director Danny Boyle scooped the British Director of the Year award.

The third award went to Simon Beaufoy for Best Screenplay for the film.

The film's lead star, Dev Patel lost out in the Best Actor category to Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler.

Slumdog Millionaire continues its journey towards the Oscars at the end of the month but before that, there is another big stop in London for the BAFTAs this weekend.

courtesy : IBN Live.

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Chembur boy lends voice to Jamaal in 'Slumdog Crorepati'

Even as Jamaal Malik's head was being shoved into a bucketful of water by cops so that he would explain his miraculous journey from a 'Slumdog' to a 'Millionaire', a 21-year-old from Chembur in suburban Mumbai underwent a similar experience though for different purpose.

"I was strangulated and pulled up. My mouth was filled with water so that I could utter the dialogue properly for a scene, Pratik Motwani, who lent his voice to the character in the Hindi version 'Slumdog Crorepati' said.

"As the English version of the movie was filmed using the sync sound technology (a technology where dialogues are recorded during shooting itself), I had to understand the character's emotions in each scene and then say my dialogues," he said.

However, this was only a tip of the iceberg as far as challenges for the Engineering graduate in Electronics and Telecommunication was concerned.

A scene in the movie where Jamaal says, "I wake up every morning in hope that I didn't know the answer to that  question" gave him the maximum trouble.

"The dialogues for that particular scene when translated into Hindi is quite long compared to the original version. Besides, it was a right close-up shot hence matching up the lip movement was a big challenge," Pratik said.

Co-director Loveleen Tandon, who also wrote the dialogues in Hindi, came up with an accurate translation and asked me to say my lines quickly. This went off well as the lip movement matched perfectly, he said.

The whole film was performance oriented so I enacted each scene before dubbing for it, Pratik said.

Pratik, who had a stint as a actor with the Avikal theatre group, says he had watched the film five to six times before dubbing for it.

"When I had gone for the auditions all I knew about was only one dialogue where Jamaal screams "Latika...Latika". I had no clue about the movie. So I was asked to watch it thoroughly before dubbing," he said.

Working for the film has been an enriching experience for this wannabe actor.

"I got an opportunity to interact with actors Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan... and Loveleen was there to support me all the way through. When Danny (Boyle) complimented me for my work it was one of the proudest moment for me," he said.

"It was during one such interaction that I came to know that Anil and I attended the same school, OLPS Chembur."

However, despite lending his voice for a character that has captured the imagination of the audience worldwide, Pratik, who overcame competition from more than 70 persons for the assignment, says he will not entertain anymore dubbing assignments.

"I have always wanted to be an actor. I decided to give this a shot only after a friend who worked with the production unit told me about the opportunity to work in Danny Boyle's film," he said. 

courtesy : TimesNow.

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'Slumdog Millionare' poised to gross Rs 300 mn in India

Oscar contender "Slumdog Millionaire", which has received global critical acclaim and become a worldwide box-office success, has raked in
Rs 215 million since its Jan 23 release in India and is expected to gross about Rs.300 million.

"We expect 'Slumdog Millionaire' to make about Rs 300 million in India. Considering the fact that it is not one of the formula films, its box-office performance in India so far is really gratifying. Frankly, it was beyond our expectations," Vijay Singh, CEO of Fox Star Studios that brought the film to India, told media.

The money made by the film in India is nearly four percent of its worldwide collection of Rs 5.30 billion.

Fox Star has released both the English and Hindi versions of "Slumdog Millionaire" in India. Expectedly, the Hindi version, "Slumdog Crorepati" has fared better at the box-office, contributing 30 percent more to the distributor's kitty.

"The Hindi version is doing better business in the smaller centres. In fact, we had to increase the number of prints of the Hindi version in the second week of its run following the public demand in those centres," Singh said.

"Slumdog Millionare" opened with Rs 135 million overall and its per print earnings in second week stood at Rs 592,000 in an average, which is excellent for a film of its genre when taken into account that as many 363 prints of the film were in circulation in the second week of its run in India.

Although the number of prints has been reduced to 350 in the third week, according to Singh, multiplexes in some cities have increased the number of shows to cater to the demand.

The heart-warming story of a poor boy from the slums of Mumbai who goes on to win the Indian version of TV game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" has won top prizes from the Directors Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild and Producers Guild of America, as also the Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Awards.

The film by British Director Danny Boyle is also leading in the Oscar race with 10 nominations.

Source: Economictimes


'The Slumdog team made my son an actual human being'

Ten-year-old Mohammed Azharuddin may not be living his cricketing namesake's confortable life but this child is enjoying his share of success as well.
Azhar plays the youngest Salim in Danny Boyle's Oscar nominated film, Slumdog Millionaire, and is quite amused by the constant media flow into his home -- a tent made of hoarding banners, in the slums of Bandra, in suburban Mumbai.

His family seems poorer than even Rubina Ali, the slum-dweller who played Latika in Slumdog, who has her own brick home.

Azhar's family has been living in this tent for the past 15 years. His father Mohammed Ismail suffers from tuberculosis, and is admitted to TB hospital in Sewri. He needs to stay in the hospital for at least eight months, since his condition has worsened. We learn that he has a drinking problem, which has spoilt his liver as well.

Azhar lives with his mother Shamim Begum. His two sisters are married, while his older brother Irfan lives in their native place.

courtesy : Rediff news.
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Not everyone is raving about Slumdog Millionaire

Everyone is raving about Slumdog Millionaire, which has bagged quite a few awards and nominations. And the film seems certain to win a couple of Oscar awards.

Yet, there are a handful who feel that the film does not, in fact, deserve the applause.

Shamal Sengupta, who teaches direction at Subhash Ghai's filmmaking institute Whistling Woods in Mumbai, tells us why he disliked Slumdog Millionaire.

Broadly speaking, Slumdog is just an olden-day story, the way the whites or the westerners interpret India. It is an on-your-face look at reality. As an Indian, I know we cannot discard poverty. But there is a way to portray it.

There have been many movies based on Indian poverty. City of Joy was based on (slum) people in Kolkata. Directed by Roland Joffe, the film was a complete misrepresentation of the city. I was horrified with that movie. I can see the same mentality in Slumdog.

Slumdog may not be as bad as City of Joy but I didn't expect this from Danny Boyle. He has a different sensibility, and for him to make Slumdog was a shock. He is one of finest directors I have known. I was greatly disappointed.

source : rediff


'After the kids got off the train, it was like any other Hindi masala film'

The film has made waves oveaseas and everyone's expectations have soared. Britishers have a more balanced view about India, and I expected UK-based Danny to have a balanced view as well. But I was disappointed.

Slumdog started off well. The first half was promising. But after the kids got off the train, it was like any other Hindi masala film.

The concept of using Kaun Banega Crorepati was good but the questions could have been better. It got very predictable and boring after a point in time. If you don't use the right questions, the essence is lost.

There were many cliched scenes as well -- like the scene where the child's eyes were gorged out, and the way police tortures Jamal in the police station. We have seen such scenes a million times in Bollywood films.

source : rediff


'The film was clearly over-hyped'

I liked Dev Patel's and Freida Pinto's performances but was greatly disappointed with Anil Kapoor and Irrfan Khan. Irrfan looked very uninterested. It looked like he was interested only in the cheque.

Irrfan is one of the finest actors in our industry, and I didn't expect such a poor performance from him. He has done better work in other films. Slumdog is one of his bad performances.

Anil did not give an out-of-the-box or 'wow' performance either. He gave a very mediocre performance.

The film was clearly over-hyped. I rather not say anything about the award shows. All of us know how they work. The lesser I say the better it is. These days, a huge amount is set aside for marketing and publicity. So I'm not surprised by the awards it has received.

source : rediff


'What has Rahman done in Slumdog Millionaire to get an Oscar nomination?'

Slumdog will definitely bag an Oscar or two. But that would be a shame. The sanctity of the Oscars was lost long ago, so Slumdog will not the only film that will show it down. There are many other films that deserve it more.

I must mention A R Rahman. What has he done in Slumdog Millionaire to get an Oscar nomination? He is such a great musician, he has composed better music in other films. I am sure that he knows himself that he has done a very mediocre job here.

The background score is a disaster. The song Jai Ho and its picturisation is another disaster. Why did the song need to be in the film? What a waste! It was very unnecessary for that song to be in the film; more so, to be shot in Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

source : rediff


'I don't think a film like this will ruin our country's worth'

Rahman will get his cheque and continue making music and entertaining us. But the question is why waste your talent for money?

Portraying India this way gives a very bad taste. India has always been looked upon from the fixed viewpoints of poverty, prostitution, crime, superstition and blind beliefs.

But let me also tell you what I liked about the film. The technical aspects like camera work, shooting locations, and location management were well done. I will definitely show this film to my students to teach them camera angles.

I am not being patriotic, I am just being reasonable. I don't think a film like this will ruin our country's worth. I think the world knows that India is not just about poverty and crime but has much more value than that.

source : rediff


Get ready for the BAFTAs

'Slumdog Millionaire' is up for 11 nominations at Britain's top film awards -- the BAFTA on Sunday (February 8), building on its Golden Globes success and giving it another boost ahead of the Oscars later this month.

It is tied at the top with 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', starring Brad Pitt, followed by Batman blockbuster 'The Dark Knight' which won nine BAFTA nominations and Clint Eastwood's drama 'Changeling', which won eight.

'Frost/Nixon' has six nominations, 'The Reader' five and 'In Bruges', 'Milk' and 'Revolutionary Road' four apiece.

Slumdog Millionaire, a British picture about a young man from the slums of Mumbai who seeks to rise from rags to riches by winning a Hindi TV game show, triumphed at the Golden Globes last month with four honours including best drama.

At the BAFTAs it was shortlisted for best film, while director Danny Boyle, who made the acclaimed 'Trainspotting' in 1996, is in the running for the best director award.

The movie's international success has been tempered by objections in India to the name, which some slum dwellers find offensive, its depiction of the lives of impoverished Indians and the treatment of the cast.

Boyle, who has faced accusations from some parts of the Indian media that his film is "poverty porn", has said he was trying to capture Mumbai's "lust for life".

Eighteen-year-old 'Slumdog' star Dev Patel is also vying for best leading actor when the BAFTAs are handed out at a gala event at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden.

The televised ceremony will be hosted by controversial presenter Jonathan Ross, who was recently suspended without pay from the BBC for his participation in obscene prank calls made to actor Andrew Sachs.

'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', in which Pitt's character gets younger with time, is also in the running for best film and best director.

Pitt won two nominations -- best actor for Benjamin Button and best supporting actor for his role in the Coen brothers' comedy 'Burn After Reading'.

The late Heath Ledger is nominated in the supporting actor category for his performance as the villainous Joker in Batman picture 'The Dark Knight'.

The Australian actor, who died last year aged 28 of an accidental prescription drugs overdose, won the same category at the Golden Globes and is many tipsters' favourite to win an Academy Award.

Kate Winslet, a double Golden Globe winner, competes against herself in the best actress category for 'The Reader' and 'Revolutionary Road', and is up against Angelina Jolie playing a mother desperately searching for her son in 'Changeling'.

Winslet has received two best actress BAFTA nominations in the same year before. In 2005, she was shortlisted for 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' and 'Finding Neverland'.

British media said the nominations underlined a strong year for home-grown cinema, and patriotic punters have made Slumdog Millionaire an early favourite to pick up a best picture Oscar.

courtesy : TimesNow.
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You could call them slumdog stocks. And believe it or not— they actually had the potential of making you a millionaire, that is if you picked up the right stock. In fact, investors taking risky bets on at the beginning of the last bull-phase pocketed phenomenal returns.

Many of these penny stocks which were trading below Re 1 in April 2003, have now shown a price appreciation of a whopping 2,000%, a performance level not even achieved by the blue-chips

source : economic times


According to a SundayET analysis of all 55 penny stocks on BSE which were trading below Re 1 in April 2003— when the last bullrun actually began— 26 of them, constituting about half of that amount, are now trading in positive territory.

Of course, only 30 of the 55 penny stock companies are currently traded, while the rest no longer feature on BSE. And out of the 26 top performers, four actually gave a massive return of more than 1,000% and as many as 14 companies are trading with a price appreciation of more than 100%. Stocks such as Pennar Industries and Entegra are now trading at a price appreciation of 2,290% and 1,739% respectively.

source : economic times


According to Motilal Oswal, chairman & managing director of Motilal Oswal Financial Services, it does not matter whether an investor keeps his money in blue-chips or penny stocks. "One can make money in both and also lose in both. Moreover, it is difficult to find several multibaggers— stocks that can multiply several times in value— in the segment of large cap companies, while they are relatively easier to find in the penny stock category," he said.

The last bear phase between 1998 and 2002, pushed several top performing stocks into the bracket of penny stocks. Sectors such as IT and metals were battered in that period. But in the consequent bull-phase , stocks from these sectors picked up and started selling like hot cakes.

source : economic times


Pennar Industries can be dubbed as one of the slumdogs of the previous bull-phase and was a victim of the last downturn. As the steel sector got impacted badly, Pennar Industries, a maker of cold rolled steel, could not isolate itself from the slowdown. It recorded a sales turnover of Rs 76 crore in FY02 against Rs 320 crore in FY98. As the slowdown ended in 2002, it started performing better and in 2008, it reported a net income of Rs 537 crore and net profit of Rs 30 crore.

Twentyfirst Century Management Services, which is into capital market services, is another company which saw changes in fortune with the ups and downs of the economic cycle. Between 2001 and 2004, it posted losses but the bull-phase later turned it around. During the last year, it posted a net profit of Rs 20.76 cr against a loss of Rs 0.33 crore in 2004.

Similarly, Shyam Star Gems also posted good profit during the last year. Mr Oswal further said, "The most important criteria to judge such a company is to see its strong business prospect for the next three to four years. Also, the management of the company must be good." So even as Hollywood celebrates the 'Slumdog' season, Indian investors too can do the same as they laugh their way to the bank.

source : economic times


'Slumdog Millionaire' wins seven BAFTA awards

LONDON: British filmmaker Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire", Mumbai-based rags-to-riches movie, has won top honours at Britain's most prestigious film awards with a sweeping seven wins, including best film.

It beat four other contenders Sunday - "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", "Frost/Nixon", "Milk" and "The Reader" - to win best film at the awards ceremony in London's Royal Opera House.

"Slumdog Millionaire" also won the best director award for Danny Boyle, racing ahead of Clint Eastwood for "Changeling", David Fincher for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", Ron Howard for "Frost/Nixon" and Stephen Daldry for "The Reader".

The film also won awards for adapted screenplay, music (Indian composer A.R. Rahman), editing, cinematography and sound, as it continued its improbable march to the Academy Awards later this month.

"David Lean said you should announce your ambition for the film in the first five minutes," Boyle said.
"In that spirit, I'd like to announce my ambition for this speech - my father's power went out last night. A big shout-out to everyone who helped him run the extension cable in so he could watch this."

"Slumdog Millionaire" is considered the front runner for the Oscars with 10 nominations and has already dominated the Golden Globes, while also picking up prizes from the Producers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild of America.

The best actress award went to Kate Winslet for her role in "The Reader". Winslet, who was also nominated in the same category for "Revolutionary Road", said: "To get this award at home means a lot to me."

It's her second BAFTA, the first in 1995 for her supporting role in "Sense and Sensibility".
Mickey Rourke won the best actor prize for his portrayal of a comeback fighter in "The Wrestler" and thanked director Darren Aronofsky for giving him a second chance. "Such a pleasure to be here and be out of the darkness," he said.

Penelope Cruz took home the best supporting actress prize for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona", while the supporting actor award went posthumously to Heath Ledger for "The Dark Knight".

The "Curious Case of Benjamin Button", the Brad Pitt-starrer about a man who ages backwards, was nominated for 11, but won just three awards - for production design, special effects and hair and make-up.

"I've Loved You So Long" (France) won the top prize for best foreign film.

The ceremony of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, held weeks before the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, is one of the highlights of the year's awards season.

courtesy : ExpressBuzz.
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'Slumdog' sweeps BAFTAs with 7 awards

London: Music maestro Allah Rakha Rahman has scooped the BAFTA award in the best music score category for "Slumdog Millionaire", a rags-to-riches story that won six other awards including the Best Film at the star-studded function in London.

Bolstering its chances for the Oscars scheduled later this month, the film based on India's diplomat-turned author Vikas Swarup's novel went into the ceremony with 11 nominations and won prizes for best film, best director, original screenplay, music, cinematography, editing and sound.

The film, which received 10 Oscar nominations, is now poised to win laurels at the Oscars on February 22.

Besides Rahman, India's Resul Pookutty received the prize for the best sound for the same film along with Glenn Freemantle, Richard Pryke, Tom Sayers and Ian Tapp.

Danny Boyle, who directed the film based in the slums of Mumbai was named best director.

However, the film's 18-year-old star Dev Patel lost to Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) in the best actor category. Patel is also nominated in the best actor category for the Oscars. Kate Winslet and Mickey Rourke also gained the Oscar momentum with acting wins -- Winslet for her role in 'The Reader' and Rourke for his career-reviving performance as a washed-up athlete in 'The Wrestler'.
"It is in response to a billion prayers," said Rahman while dedicating the award to the people of Mumbai.

Slumdog writer Simon Beaufoy, who was awarded the prize for best adapted screenplay, thanked Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup for his novel Q and A, on which the film was based.

"It is a great privilege to have won the award," Beaufoy said adding, "I have two pretend Baftas at home, so it's great to have a real one." He revealed one Bafta was made of chocolate, while the other was a plastic replica he purchased online. Beaufoy said the whole cast was "genuinely thrilled" at how people have been reacting to the film.

The low-budget British film about a young man from the slums of Mumbai who seeks to rise by winning a Hindi TV game show, 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire', triumphed at the Golden Globes last month with four honours including the best drama.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt, was nominated for 11 awards but walked away with just three.

Pitt, who arrived at the ceremony with partner Angelina Jolie, missed out on the best actor award.

Source : IndianExpress


'Success of Slumdog will be a turning point for Indian cinema': Anil Kapoor

London (PTI): The versatile Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor, who played quizmaster in 'Slumdog Millionaire', the feel good film about a Mumbai tea-boy, has said the success of the movie will be a turning point for Indian cinema in reaching the global heights.

"It is a turning point in Indian Cinema. Bollywood has made its presence felt on the world platform. Now everybody knows who is A R Rahman, the ace music maestro and all the people connected with this film," Anil Kapoor told PTI here on Tuesday evening.

Anil, a prominent National Award winning actor and producer of Bollywood, also said that he was overwhelmed by the response, the film has received so far.

He hoped that the film which had won seven awards including the Best Film, Best Director and Best Music at the recent BAFTA awards on Sunday here "will give a positive result" at the Oscars on February 22.

The film has received ten Oscar nominations.

"Just being there (at the Oscars) to me personally is a very very proud moment. Today a film with Indian actors and Indian story has achieved world-stage and world-recognition.

It is a huge box office success and it may emerge as the best film of the century," Anil said.

courtesy : The Hindu.
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Experts says 'Slumdog Millionaire' to top counterfeit market

London (PTI): Danny Boyle's 'Slumdog Millionaire, a rags-to-riches story of a Mumbai street boy, is set to become one of the most counterfeited movies of all time, anti-piracy experts have warned.

The black market of DVD is flooded with illegal copies of the film, which won seven British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) on Sunday and is still running packed in cinema halls.

In the UK, the film, currently is the highest grosser.

But pirate versions are already being sold in London for 1 pound to 2.50 pounds each, a report in a city based tabloid 'London Lite' claimed on Tuesday.

Eddy Leviten of the Federation of Copyright Theft said that "Any new release is camcordered and duplicated straightaway. But Slumdog Millionaire has real global mass appeal and is going to be targeted on another level."

He said "It is a film that has used some relatively unknown talents on a modest budget and all those who worked on it deserve not be cheated."

courtesy : The Hindu.
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Dev Patel struck by 'how happy people are in slums'

Dev Patel, who has earned much acclaim for his stellar performance in Danny Boyle's rags-to-riches saga "Slumdog Millionaire", feels the "most striking thing" about slum-dwellers is their optimism.

"The most striking thing is how happy people are in the slums. They don't seem depressed. They don't pity themselves. They are communities that flourish on their own," the lanky 18-year-old said in an interview the 'Sunday Telegraph'.

"They elect their own head of the slum. Such a sense of community, all working together to make their slum a better slum," said Patel, who has been nominated for the best actor in Bafta award and is pitted against actors like Brad Pitt.

Patel, who plays the role of Jamal, the protagonist of the film, attributed his being cast to pure luck.

He said Danny Boyle's daughter happened to be a fan of "Skins", in which he had acted, and suggested his name. Until that point Boyle had been looking at Indian actors, who were proving too muscular, the wrong physical shape.

"Danny was looking for someone like me who looks like they grew up in a slum, someone lanky and skinny and not particularly handsome," he told the paper in Mumbai.

After having been acting in the slums of Mumbai for five months, Patel says he has fallen love with the city. "I love this place. I would love to come back to Mumbai and film something. I've fallen in love with Mumbai. It is magical," he said.

courtesy : Timesnow.
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'Slumdog' turns spotlight on Mumbai's biggest slum

Mumbai: A slum portrayed in the award-winning film 'Slumdog Millionaire' is at the centre of a land controversy in Mumbai that has highlighted the challenges facing a booming India as it tries to modernise its cities.
Dharavi, where part of the film was shot, is the focus of an ambitious, but contentious, 150-billion rupee ($3 billion) redevelopment plan to turn shanties near the heart of the Indian financial capital into upscale apartments and office towers.

Dharavi's residents, who would be relocated to tiny apartments under the redevelopment plan, are hoping that the popularity of the film will put the Government under pressure to uphold their rights.

"Perhaps they will think more about our welfare, and listen to our opinions on what we want," said Albert Raj, a long-time resident who runs a telephone booth in Dharavi.

Once a marshy stretch of land on the outskirts of Mumbai, Dharavi is today Asia's largest slum.

More than half a million people are crammed into a maze of shops and squat homes. The stench of sewers mixes with the spicy aromas of cooking and a cacophony of noises from workshops blend with the chants of worshippers praying at mosques and temples.
Mumbai has long been a magnet for the poor from northern and eastern states. Its pricey real estate has led to the formation of dozens of slums, often hotbeds of criminal activity, as depicted in 'Slumdog Millionaire'.

Dharavi is also a thriving industrial area that earns $500 million a year from cottage industries in squalid homes and workshops that produce everything from pickles to shoes.

But it is the land itself, located near the business district, that is coveted by developers in land-starved Mumbai.


There have been many attempts at developing Dharavi by politicians and builders keen on a windfall in a city that has seen property prices soar along with India's economic fortunes.

"The redevelopment of such a large land mass in a central location in a city like Mumbai is very, very rare and hugely important to developers," said Subhankar Mitra, an analyst at real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.

This is particularly the case due to the difficulties of acquiring land in India as ascertaining property ownership is a complex task due to the absence of title deeds and claims by squatters.

Dharavi, where the government has provided basic amenities such as electricity and common water taps and toilets, is particularly challenging because of its size and complexity.

courtesy : Indian Express.

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Milk vs Slumdog Millionaire at the Oscars

The one-week countdown to the Oscars gets underway in Hollywood with rags-to-riches love story 'Slumdog Millionaire' the runaway favorite to dominate the movie industry's biggest night of the year.

Director Danny Boyle's low-budget film set in Mumbai has turned Hollywood's awards season into a virtual procession this year, sweeping all before it on a march towards the February 22 Academy Awards, where it has 10 nods.

With D-day nearing, one of Slumdog's biggest competitors is Sean Penn starrer biopic 'Milk'.

Somewhere up there in the pink clouds of heaven, Harvey Milk must be popping open a  bottle of champagne. Milk, a film looking at civil rights from the perspective of the gay movement has been nominated for an astounding 8 oscars. It takes 'Slumdog Millionaire' head on in some major categories as well.

The Best Picture nominations at the Oscars are, 'Milk', 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', 'Frost/Nixon', 'The Reader' and 'Slumdog Millionaire', which is really the one to beat.

'Milk' and 'Slumdog Millionaire' compete in 3 other categories. They compete for Best Direction for Gus Van Sant and Danny Boyle erspectively, Best Original Score for Danny Elfman and AR Rahman and Best Editing for Eliot Graham and Chris Dickens.

Oscarologists feel academy voters may shrink from embracing the gay theme in the top race, just like 'Brokeback Mountain', which was given the royal ignore at the Oscars even after winning 26 pre Oscar awards.

But with Gus Van Sant also known to be a maverick independent filmmaker like Danny Boyle, he does have a strong chance at the statuette, perhaps stronger that Sean Penn, who's past Oscar win might just come in the way.

courtesy : Timesnow.
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"Slumdog Millionaire" is headed for a $56 million Oscar box-office bump, the most since Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" increased sales more than 10- fold after being nominated for best picture.

"Slumdog" may take in $100 million during its run in U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to researcher Media By Numbers LLC. The movie had $43.9 million in receipts before collecting 10 Oscar nods, including best film, on Jan. 22.

Director Danny Boyle's feel-good story about a young Indian man's escape from poverty in Mumbai is attracting bigger post- nomination audiences than downbeat rivals, including Brad Pitt's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and the Holocaust drama "The Reader." "Slumdog" also may be benefiting from a recession-weary public's longing for a happy ending.

"The movie leaves you at the end very uplifted and satisfied, and in this economy, that's money in the bank," Media By Numbers President Paul Dergarabedian said in an interview.

"Slumdog," from News Corp.'s Fox Searchlight unit, was made for about $15 million, according to Box Office Mojo LLC, another film researcher.

In the movie, an 18-year-old Mumbai orphan played by Dev Patel becomes a contestant on an Indian version of the television game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." He tells his life story in a series of flashbacks after police arrest him on suspicion of cheating. Episodes in his past explain how he is able to answer difficult questions on the show.

"It's possible for it to reach $100 million, especially if it wins the Oscar," said Steve Mason, film analyst for the Web site

Rising Tide

The movie's popularity may help lift the five best-picture contenders to an average post-nomination take of $20.7 million each, more than the 10-year average of $18 million, according to projections from Media By Numbers. "Slumdog" would account for more than half.

The leader in overall sales is "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," starring Pitt as a man who ages backwards. The Paramount Pictures film, made for $150 million, had revenue of $120.6 million as of Feb. 13 and may reach $125 million in domestic sales, according to Media By Numbers. Worldwide sales were $195.4 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

"Million Dollar Baby," released by Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. in 2004, had sales of $8.3 million before being nominated for seven Oscars. The weekend after the nominations, Warner Bros. increased the number of theaters where the movie was playing to 2,010 from 147, generating $92.1 million in additional sales in the U.S. run, according to Media By Numbers.

'Million Dollar Baby'

Eastwood directed "Million Dollar Baby" and co-starred as a boxing trainer who grudgingly agrees to help a young woman, played by Hilary Swank, who wants to fight professionally.

Fox is following a similar strategy with "Slumdog." The film was released on Nov. 12 in 10 theaters and gradually expanded to almost 600 before the Jan. 22 Oscar nominations. The next day Fox added more than 800 locations, and by Feb. 13 the film was playing in 1,634 theaters, according to Box Office Mojo. "Slumdog" has taken in $130 million worldwide.

Among other best-picture nominees, NBC Universal's "Frost/Nixon" is forecast to almost double sales to $17.5 million and "The Reader," from Weinstein Co., will more than double to $18.5 million. "Milk," from Universal's Focus Features, will increase to $27 million from $20.5 million, according to projections from Media By Numbers.

Source : Bloomberg
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Kapoor says his son made him to act in 'Slumdog' 

Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor, who shot to international fame with his role as a mean game-show host in Oscar front-runner 'Slumdog Millionaire', says he had never heard about the film's director Danny Boyle before his son 'ordered' him to do the movie after reading the script.

"I didn't know who he was. My son educated me about him. Suddenly he became my agent. He said, 'you have to do this film'. He read the script first and said it was great. Then he made me call (Boyle) up," Kapoor said. The Indian actor considers the film to be a "feel-good film" based in reality.

"It's today's feel-good film. If you make a feel-good film which is complete candyfloss, where everybody is good and everything is beautiful and hunky dory, it won't appeal to the audience. "This is like real life, the way the world is. There are hurdles, there are handicaps, hardships you have to face in life, but you hope for a great future," the actor told Guardian in an interview.

Kapoor, who has been globe trotting to attend the award ceremonies, is also looking forward to the Oscars where the film has earned ten nominations. The actor dismissed the contention that the film was made to appease the audiences in the West.

courtesy : Timesnow.
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President, PM congratulate Rahman, Pookutty

President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday congratulated the entire team of "Slumdog Millionaire" for sweeping
the Oscars and said A R Rahman and Resul Pookutty have "made India proud".

In her message the president said: "I congratulate the winning team of 'Slumdog Millionare' and especially A.R. Rahman and Resul Pookutty for winning the Oscars in the three categories."

"They have made India proud," she said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also congratulated Rahman, Pookutty and Gulzar and the entire "Slumdog Millionare" team "for their success at the Oscars."

"They have done India proud," he said in his message.

British director Danny Boyle's hit film not only won the Oscars for best picture and best director at Sunday night's annual Academy Awards ceremony at Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, but also in six other categories including two for Rahman.

Rahman picked up the awards for his best original score and for also the best original song "Jai ho" from the film with lyrics by Gulzar and Sukhwinder Singh as the lead singer.

Apart from Rahman, Pookutty shared the Oscar with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke in the sound mixing category in the rags-to-riches story.

Source: Economictimes


Jai Ho not my best, says Rahman

Chennai: Did you know that Slumdog Millionaire - the film that bagged eight Oscars this year - had no takers when it was released? And that Rahman feels more passionate about his songs in the Aamir Khan-starrer Lagaan than about Jai Ho?

Double Oscar for Rahman

" I had only five per cent expectation about the Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire. In fact, I was more bothered about my live performance and that was extraordinary and its impact was much more," confessed a jet-lagged Rahman at the first press meet after his Oscar award on Thursday, February 26, in Chennai.

"Originally, they wanted me to do a live performance of the Hindi remix song, aaj ki raat. But I wanted to present my own composition before the world audience and hence I changed it to Jai Ho," said the Mozart of Madras, who made up for the two-hour delay in the press meet by patiently obliging the battery of press photographers and television crew with exclusive shots with both Oscars in hand.

Slumdog Millionaire special  | All about Oscars

"Music has no language and it is this aspect that the film has brought out," said Rahman who humbly dedicated his double Oscars to all his countrymen.

Confessing that Slumdog Millionaire was definitely not his masterpiece, Rahman said Jai Ho was more about "a burst of joy and signified the release of external energy." He attributed the awards to Gulzar's skills of making the songs "phonetically catchy" which clicked with the Western audience.

"Though the Americans are clueless about the meaning of the song, words like Jai Ho, O Saya, Ringa, ringa seem to have caught their fancy and am happy that they are now listening to Indian music," said the Oscar winner, who already has a couple of Hollywood offers at hand.

Resul Pookutty : The other Indian at the Oscars

When pointed out that the film had bagged the Oscars only under a British tag, Rahman replied, "Hollywood is the world's stage and films are pieces of art and they are valued for their worth. Only India had not got there till now but this was India's time. Danny Boyle's film was a beautiful one and my music was just an ornament that added to the beauty. This award would popularise Indian music in the world scenario. A lot of collaboration is possible now."

Admitting that he felt more joyous and comfortable with devotional songs than beat songs, Rahman felt that the Oscars had doubled his responsibility and that now "his priority was doing good films, be it in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu or English."

"My dream is to connect people with music and probably this incident has unified all of us. I think this is a starting point of extraordinary things," he proclaimed.

When queried about the partying and gifts that followed the Oscars, Rahman admitted that he had to leave all the champagne bottles back in the US owing to Customs trouble and brought back only the 2 Oscar statuettes "which carried a cash award of $500 each".
"After all that news, it was my kids who were more relieved to see me back. They bunked school that day and kept on e-mailing me – Daddy, get back to us," said the responsible father.


'Slumdog' child star beaten by father on returning home

London, Feb 28: 'Slumdog Millionaire' child star Azharuddin had a rather painful homecoming after attending the Oscars, for the boy was beaten up by his father just because he wanted to have some rest.

Mohammed Ismail slapped and kicked his 10-year-old son in front of shocked neighbours and passers-by soon after he flew back to India from Los Angeles, where he and his other young co-stars watched as their movie picked up eight Oscars.

Azharuddin, who plays young hero Jamal, got tears in the eyes and ran back inside his home, cowering and begging his father to stop while trying to hide in a corner.

The young star had been given the day off school after his long flight and wanted to take rest, but his father wanted to show him off outside their home.

And when the boy didn't agree, the 45-year-old father, who is hoping his son could be his ticket to get out of Mumbai's Dharavi slum, launched his attack while his mother pleaded Ismail to stop.

"Azharuddin's father was upset that he was asking to be left alone because he was so tired. He didn't attend school today so that he could recover from his long flight from LA and simply wanted all the attention to stop. However, when Azharuddin put his foot down and said that was it and there was to be no more talking, Ismail just flipped," the Sun quoted one stunned onlooker as saying.

However, Azharuddin's return to the slums was another picture altogether when his father had lifted him up and paraded him like a trophy.

Just a few hours after the attack, TB patient Ismail apologised for the attack, saying: "I was very sorry I did what I did. I was confused and stressed by my son's homecoming and I did not know myself for a minute. I love my boy and I am very happy to have him home."

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'Slumdog' puts Bollywood in spotlight

With 'Slumdog Millionaire' making it big in the United States, there's whole new focus on films made in India as Hollywood studios are vying to join hands with Bollywood filmmakers.

'Slumdog Millionaire', shot in India with Indian actors and musicians, is based on an Indian novel.

The film is said to have opened the doors of Hollywood to an industry that makes more than 1,000 movies annually, with over 3 billion tickets sold.

Recently, Bollywood filmmakers have signed a range of creative and commercial deals with Hollywood production houses, studios and stars.

All deals came as a result of a booming economy over the past five years, which made Indian moviemakers to dream about Hollywood.

And with 'Slumdog' winning eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, there is a feeling that U S filmmakers will be interested in India, and that the U S will be hungry for Indian films.

"There is a natural synergy between the film industries in India and the U S India is a democracy, has a massive movie-going market and an open entertainment policy with no government restriction," the Washington Post quoted Amit Khanna, chairman of Reliance Big Entertainment, as saying.

Big Entertainment is the most aggressively expanding entertainment company in India, and has signed a 1.2 billion-dollar, debt-equity deal with Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks SKG for 36 movies over six years.

Source: ANI


'Slumdog Millionaire' laden with impossible scenes: Salman Rushdie

Atlanta, Feb 23: Famed novelist Salman Rushdie apparently wasn't too impressed with the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire," telling an Atlanta audience it "piles impossibility on impossibility."

Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called for the author's death in 1989, made the remarks Sunday during a speech to more than 1,000 people at Atlanta's Emory University. The author criticized other Oscar winners adapted from books, including "The Reader" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the 61-year-old author of "The Satanic Verses" complained about several scenes, including one in which characters wind up at the Taj Mahal — 1,000 miles from the previous scene.

"Slumdog Millionaire" won eight Oscars on Sunday, including best picture.

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The woman who groomed Slumdog's heroine

NEW DELHI: Indian actress Freida Pinto is making waves internationally for her walk down the Oscar red carpet, her designer gowns and gracing the covers of popular magazines, thanks to "Slumdog Millionaire". But not many know the woman who helped groom her and introduced her to British director Danny Boyle.

Sushma Puri, a grooming instructor and owner of Elite Model Management India in New Delhi and Mumbai, groomed and launched Freida when she began her career in modelling in 2005. Freida's photograph was among those of a few others that Puri had sent to Loveleen Tandon, the casting director of "Slumdog Millionaire".

And now she just can't stop praising here protege.

"My agency has worked very closely with the casting team of 'Slumdog Millionaire'. We received a call from Loveleen Tandon's office when they were casting for the movie.

"We sent pictures of some of the girls who fit the brief. Freida was immediately put on the short list. She went on to audition for the part.

Over the next six months, we were asked to send Freida many times over for various screen tests. Finally, Boyle personally selected her for the role," Puri told.

Born Oct 18, 1984 in Mumbai, Pinto was a professional model before starring in "Slumdog Millionaire" as Latika. She also hosted international travel show "Full Circle" on Zee International Asia Pacific between 2006-2008.

"Freida began her modelling career in mid 2005 with Elite. She had never modelled before she signed up with us. She visited the Elite office in Mumbai with some pictures shot by her friends.

We realised that she was good and offered her a modelling contract. We have also featured her on the Elite calendar for two years," Puri said.

Freida had an edge over "newcomers" because she was confident and articulate. She was naturally comfortable in front of the camera, said Puri.

Six years ago, Puri decided to set up Elite India after she realised that the country required grooming schools and more modelling agencies because the profession was becoming a mainstream career option for girls in metros.

"We represent some of the best and biggest names in fashion and commercial modelling," she claimed.

Anushka Sharma, who starred in "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi" opposite Shahrukh Khan, former Miss India Neha Kapur, and top models Vipasha Agarwal, Sonalika Sahay and Diana Penty are some of the other faces launched by Puri's Elite agency.

"I don't know how many Indian girls will see that level in Hollywood although I believe this has opened up doors for others. However, Bollywood is within reach. A good example is Anushka Sharma," Puri said.

courtesy : Express Buzz.
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'Slumdog Millionaire' takes million rands in South African opening

Johannesburg, March 12: Following its recent sweep at the Oscars, "Slumdog Millionaire" raked in more than a million rands after opening at 20 cinemas across South Africa this past weekend.

The Mumbai-based movie by British filmmaker Danny Boyle grossed over 1.4 million on its opening weekend, playing to sold out houses and clinching the number one spot in the hearts of moviegoers everywhere.

Lining up against Hollywood hit "Watchmen", the other high-profile opener over the weekend, "Slumdog Millionaire" made 22 percent more at the box office with 68 percent less prints than "Watchmen".

At a print average of just over 70,000 rands, "Slumdog Millionaire" more than doubled the print average of "As it is in Heaven", the most successful film of all time in South Africa.

"It is rare to find a film that is both a critical and commercial success, but 'Slumdog Millionaire' has gone into this unique millionaire's club," Isabel Rao, chief executive of major cinema group Ster-Kinekor Distribution, told IANS.

"This is a film that overcame its 'art/niche' label and went on to perform commercially to audiences everywhere."

Rao said Slumdog Millionaire was the top film at the South African box-office, on all circuits - art and commercial.

"The film's success epitomises the communal interaction of moviegoing and its unique ability to transcend cultural barriers makes it truly a 'one-in-a-million' success story."

Rao expressed the hope that this success of a film about life in Mumbai would also encourage audiences across all communities in South Africa to watch more Indian movies as well: "We hope the film's success also serves to inspire audiences to sample Indian cinema more broadly."

Ster-Kinekor has been screening Bollywood movies for nearly a decade now at its cinemas across the country, but has become more selective in recent years, opting only for some of the best titles.

However, the support has come mainly from the South African Indian community and Indian expatriates here, with a sprinkling of interest from Black and White patrons.

Two of the bigger titles screened here last year were "Jodhaa Akbar", which grossed 289,000 rands on its opening weekend, and the highly-acclaimed Aamir Khan film "Taare Zameen Par", which only grossed 51,000 rands on its opening weekend but went on to do much better.

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Slumdog Millionaire kids to catwalk at WIFW

The dream run continues for "Slumdog Millionaire" stars Rubina and Azharrudin who are set to sashay down the ramp for designer duo Ashima-Leena at the Wills India Fashion Week beginning here next week.

"As we watched these two beautiful children Rubina and Azhar, bringing the rare honour to our country, our hearts melted with emotions with the thought of their getting back to the slums after all the fame and glory they enjoyed," says designer Leena Singh.

The capital-based designers, who have been doing solo shows with the WIFW since its inception in 2000 have not had any celebrity endorsements so far.

"We are a very business oriented brand and have always believed that our clothes are the stars. But the thought of these two innocent children touched our hearts returning to the slums. we really felt very bad and decided to do something for them which will make them keep going in life," says the designer.

Both Rubina and Azaruddin who starred as the young Latika and Jamal in the eight Oscar winning film "Slumdog Millionaire" will be wearing outfits specially designed by Ashima Singh.

"Ashima is just finishing up the designs for the children. They will be wearing clothes that have a very global look," Leena told the media without giving further details. 

The designer duo both sisters in law who began their business in 1993 has made it their policy to adopt one orphan every year and provide them with financial aid and support for their education.

"Surely, it would make a difference and collectively we can make this world beautiful for them," says Leena adding that so far they have adopted 16 children and would also launch a special foundation for underprivileged children. 

The foundation would be closely associated with Delhi-based NGO Khushii, founded by cricketer Kapil Dev.   

"The walk for the kids does not end at the ramp. We want them to enjoy all the privileges in the long walk of life ahead. The show is just the beginning. We are setting up the ashima-Leena Jai Ho Foundation for the welfare of  children," says Leena. 

courtesy : Times Now.
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Police clear "Slumdog" child star Rubina's father for now

Police said on Wednesday they had no evidence to suggest that the father of Rubina Ali, a child star in the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire", tried to sell his daughter.

The mother of 9-year-old Rubina demanded an investigation after a sting operation by a British tabloid alleged her father tried to sell her for 200,000 pounds ($290,000).

Rubina's father, Rafiq Qureshi, and other slum dwellers were subsequently questioned by police.

"So far there is no evidence of any offence, hence there is no registration of complaint and no arrest," Nisar Tamboli, a senior police officer, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Rubina, who starred as the youngest incarnation of the film's heroine, Latika, lives with her father and stepmother in a teeming slum in the suburbs of the financial hub.

Rubina's father had denied to the media that he was trying to sell her.

The sting operation by the News of the World quickly made headlines in India and abroad.

Slumdog Millionaire, a rags-to-riches romance about a slum boy competing on a TV game show, won eight Academy Awards earlier this year.

In the lead-up to the Oscars, the success of "Slumdog" around the globe was overshadowed by objections in India to its name, which some Indians found offensive, its depiction of the lives of impoverished Indians and the treatment of the cast.

But since the film's sweep of Oscars, India's media got caught in a patriotic frenzy and politicians jumped on the bandwagon to praise the film.

This week, a charitable trust from Qatar, offered to pay for Rubina's education, which is already being taken care off by the producers of the film.

The family said they were willing to accept help, although Rubina's education was already being sponsored.

courtesy : Yahoo News.
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Slum dog millioners is the best movie which win the lot of awards .
The Oscar award is the one of the big award for them which is honour for this movie.


Slumdog millionaire is an excellent film.
A quality film with excellent performances & outstanding music.
JAI HO !!!!


My friend has recommended this film for many times, but I still don't watch it.
what a pity!