Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hurry up!! Time is running out... First Imphal Short Film Festival accepting entries till March 31, 2012

Legend Studio, Film Forum (Manipur)  and Action for Social Advancement  (ASA) is all set to organize the First ever Imphal International Short Film Festival 2011 from April 15-18, 2012 in Imphal, Manipur. With plans to screen short films from within and outside India, ASA is inviting interested filmmakers to send their entries for the festival till March 31, 2012.

Submissions are open to all language films of all genres (fiction, animation, documentary, experimental, music video or other) from any nation of the world. However, all non-English foreign films / regional Indian films must have English sub-titles. Ideally, the short films should not exceed beyond 30 minutes duration.

For equality of opportunities, whatever formats the original film is shot at (film, analogical video, digital video, animation), all the films will be evaluated in the same standard digital format. Along with the film, three stills of the film and a 60 second promo of the film should be sent for promotional activities.

The festival will showcase the world’s best contemporary short films in this north east part of the region and has decided on 9 different categories including Best Short Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Musical Score and Three Special Mention (Critic Choice) films under which the short films will be awarded. Its heartening to inform all our readers, friends and well wishers that "Films & TV World" is the "Media Partner" to this First Imphal Short films Festival 2012.

For more more details, visit 

Friday, March 30, 2012

BIG CBS Love brings the hit drama series RINGER to India

This summer, BIG CBS Love is gearing up to take the temperature a few notches higher…come April, BIG CBS Love - India’s first international entertainment destination for the urban women – will bring to you hit drama series, ‘Ringer’. The series stars award winning actress Sarah Michelle Gellar who shot to instant fame with the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. On Ringer, for the first time, Gellar will be playing a double role as she plays twin sisters Bridget Kelly and Siobhan Martin. The show premiers on April 2nd and will air Monday to Friday at 9pm.

The show is a fast paced drama about the two twin sisters. Bridget Kelly (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is a recovering alcoholic and stripper in Wyoming and Siobhan is married into the upper crust of society. Bridget is under the protection of the FBI Agent, having agreed to testify against her employer, the local crime boss, who she witnessed commit murder. Fearing her life, Bridget flees to New York to meet her estranged twin sister Siobhan (also played by Gellar).

With just the right portions of drama, excitement, thrill and more, the show promises to be an instant hit with its audiences. With a multi-media marketing campaign to promote the show – across radio, TV and digitally, it offers an excellent option for advertisers who want to reach out to this plum relevant audience base.

Soon after arriving in New York, Siobhan, who had kept her sister's existence secret from her family, appears to commit suicide by jumping into the ocean. Bridget then assumes Siobhan's identity and tries to fit in among Siobhan's wealthy social circle, including Siobhan's husband Andrew, stepdaughter, best friend Gemma, and Gemma's husband with whom Siobhan had been having an affair. The only one who knows that Bridget is passing as Siobhan is Bridget's Narcotics Anonymous sponsor. Bridget's life becomes more complicated as she discovers that her sister was hiding secrets of her own and that someone is trying to kill Siobhan as well.

So go ahead and make your summers even more exciting with Ringer starting April 2 Monday to Friday at 9 pm only on BIG CBS Love.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Priyanka Chopra named 'most glamorous diva'

Beating several top-notch Bollywood actresses including Kareena Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai and others, Priyanka Chopra is all set to be crowned as the most glamorous diva by television channel CBS in Mumbai. The decision was based on the ratings given to her by fans and the film fraternity through the contest 'Big Love Show' that was conducted by television channel CBS. The survey covered all aspects of her like style, acting skills and fan following.

The 29-year-old along with several Bollywood actresses who was seen competing for the coveted title was a bit amazed at first. "I am being crowned now, after Miss World and Miss India, I never thought I will go again into a pageant and be crowned, but it feels awesome and I almost for a second got as nervous as I was during Miss World and thank you so much for this," Priyanka said.

The DARRRRRLING of the masses and the industry wallas, beautiful, talented, multi-faceted Priyanka Chopra has often worn many a hats. From carrying the Miss World crown & responsibilities on her young teenage shoulders to rubbing shoulders with the top actors of Bollywood… Hrithik Roshan, Salman Khan, John Abraham, Abhishek Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, to Badshah of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan who is completely in awe of her and has created a niche for herself among her fans, well wishers and the industry where she has found name, fame, and fortune.

Priyanka Chopra, who became a global celebrity at very young age, thanks to winning the beauty pageant she took to films like a duck to water! She laughed her way to award functions with √©lan, she teamed up opposite Bollywood’s biggest and brightest stars, made friends with all… and is known to be one of the most well spoken actresses in the industry today.

For someone who has been able to carve a niche for herself in the industry despite not having any godfather is outstandingly remarkable. Priyanka says, “It’s a real achievement for somebody like me as I am not from this industry. I started working when I was 17 years old. I came to Bombay with stars in my eyes and hoping that I could be the best and when your fans believe in you, it really feels that if I can do it, anyone can do it, because I am just like them. I am exactly who she is, she is a working girl and I am a working girl and you know it almost feels like a certain sense of acceptance," she said.

Pran, Manoj Kumar and Vyjayanthimala out from the race to Dadasaheb Phalke Award: Soumitra Chatterjee emerges triumphant

An iconic Bengali actor from India, known among other things for his frequent collaborations with the great Bengali film director Satyajit Ray and his constant comparison with the Bengali screen idol Uttam Kumar, veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee will receive the 2011 Dada Saheb Phalke Award for lifetime contribution to cinema.

Soon after the National Award, the government announced four front runners for the coveted honour - Pran, Manoj Kumar, Vyjayanthimala and Soumitra Chatterjee. The jury members finally decided that the greatest honour should go to the Bengali actor this year.

Chatterjee with Sharmila Tagore
With a career spanning over half a century, he has worked alongside most of the stalwarts of the industry and some of the best directors of the country, which includes Satyajit Ray. In fact, his film debut came in 1959 in Satyajit Ray's Apur Sansar. Ray’s blue-eyed boy, Soumitra eventually collaborated with Ray on fourteen films. Apur Sansar, Devi, Teen Kanya, Abhijan, Sonar Kella and Joy Baba Felunath are some of the films he shot with Ray. 

Though his films won Ray a number of national and international awards, Chatterjee, himself never won a National Award in any of Ray’s films. It was only recently in 2008 that he won his first national award for his film Podokkhep. He was also conferred the ‘Officier des Arts et Metiers’, the highest award for arts given by the French government, and a lifetime achievement award from Italy earlier.

The Dada Saheb Phalke Award is the highest honour in Indian cinema given annually by the Government of India for lifetime contribution. And Soumitra Chatterjee is the much deserved winner.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wishing her..

Channel [v] launches the first ever reality show on teen crime ‘Gumrah’

It began as a backyard game with friends gunning and chasing each other but no one had ever imagined that life would turn this into reality! In an endeavor to comprehend the psyche of teenagers and understand the stress and pressures of modern life on them, Channel [v], the leading youth entertainment channel, brings to you “Gumrah – End of innocence”, a shocking tale of some of the most heinous crimes committed around the country by the innocent driven to a moment of insanity.

Based on the teenage crime and showcases the real juvenile crime incidents, Gumrah: End of the Innocence on Channel V is a social series to investigate the crimes committed by youngsters. It tries to capture the real side of teenagers today.. The Show tries to know the views of people also during the investigation. Psychologists and other known people are asked to give their views on the crime committed by youngsters. 

‘Gumrah’ is a one hour show that depicts crimes committed by youngsters and the larger issue or factors that lead to such impulsive actions. With a gripping narration and plot of shocking crimes like murder, robbery, drug and sexual abuse, each episode will be reenacted and recreated with tales of people closely associated with the accused including their family and friends. Each exclusive episode features experts and psychologists providing an in-depth analysis of what could have possibly been the reason behind these actions and how it shaped the minds of these young criminals. The show is divided into 13 invigorating episodes and will be hosted by young and dynamic Karan Kundra, of “Kitani Mohabbat Hain” fame.

Produced by Balaji Telefilms, Gumrah -End of Innocence was launched on March 11, 2012 that unravels the darker side of innocence on every Sunday at 7 pm.
Announcing the launch of the show, Prem Kamath, Executive VP & GM, said “Whilst teen crime is a rare discussion in general media or our living rooms, it often consumes youth that have an extremely bright future. Considering this, it is important to understand what factors actually lead to the occurrence of such crime. In the show, we have analyzed 13 such cases and with the help of experts and psychologists tried to explain the possible reasons behind such gruesome actions. With the explosion of media and western values, youngsters today face various pressures that have an immense influence on their actions at large. Gumrah aims at uncovering these circumstances and sensitize the youth from falling in harms way.”

‘Gumrah’ is co-produced by ALT Entertainment, a division of the umbrella brand Balaji Telefilms, and Lost Boy productions. This is the first television show produced by ALT Entertainment, which has to its fame noteworthy movies which include Love Sex Aur Dhoka, Ragini MMS, Shor in the city and the most acclaimed movie of year 2011 – ‘The Dirty Picture’.

Ekta Kapoor, Joint Managing Director, Balaji Telefilms, said “Gumrah is the first teen crime show on television that is based on real time incidents and has on board experts who explain the psyche of children and the possible reasons behind such gruesome actions. The concept of the show is very captivating and informative. When Channel [v] approached us with the show we instantly agreed as the show will definitely have a huge connect with the audience. It is the first television show produced by ALT entertainment”

The first episode of Gumrah: End of the Innocence was based on the infamous MMS scandal 2002 of Arpit and Anjali. Anjali Dobriyal was a 16-year old school going girl. She was the topper girl in her school while her mother was an employee in a Bank. Arpit was also a school going boy and Tennis Champion. He makes an MMS of Anjali and sends to his friends. The scandal blew worldwide. People watched it on web also. To know the reality of Anjali-Arpit MMS scandal 2002, Gumrah: End of the Innocence Show gives a glimpse of friendship of Anajli and Arpit.

Their friendship begins due to Anuj and Priya – their classmate. Anuj challenges Arpit that he can’t touch her. To prove himself, he makes an MMS video and shows to his friends. Knowing about it, Anjali gets angered and slaps him. The slap creates an ego inside Arpit. Finally, he distributes the video to all.

To make some money, Ravindra Malik, a student of Engineering uploads the video to the WWW. The scandal became international now. Cops arrest Arpit and Ravindra. Arpit is sent to the jail. Ravindra is restricted from the college.

Anjali wanted to be an IFS officer. Arpit wanted to be Tennis Champion for his country. Ravindra had a bright future in Engineering. But now, Anjali is a mother of two kids in just 25. Arpit changes his name and leaves the city. He works as a call centre executive. No one knows about Ravindra.

A small mistake destroys the life of Anjali, Arpit and Ravindra. Anjali’s sister – Aditi also faced huge ignorance. Her mother left her job. Channel V tries to explore the mistakes and crimes committed by youngsters through Gumrah: End of the Innocence.

Agnello Dias on Cannes Titanium & Integrated Jury... Rob Reilly named president

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has announced the line-up of the 2012 Titanium and Integrated Jury which will chaired by Rob Reilly, worldwide chief creative officer, Crispin Porter +Bogusky (CP+B).

"The Titanium and Integrated category serves to award truly breakthrough campaigns that cause the industry to stop in their tracks. It is only right then that the leader of the jury should be someone who has achieved this. In Rob's case he has achieved this multiple times. We're delighted to have him on board leading an equally high calibre jury who will look to define the standard for ground breaking creativity when they come together in Cannes," says Terry Savage, chairman, Cannes Lions.

Commenting on his role, Reilly, added, "We are at a point in our lives where massive business-changing ideas can literally come from any person, any type of creative company and from any country in the world. It's an honour to be part of the jury that will help decide which ones stood out as the most surprising and impactful."

Titanium and Integrated Jury Lions Members:
Rob Reilly, worldwide chief creative officer, CP+B, Global – Jury President
Mario D’Andrea, partner and chief creative officer, Fischer&Friends, Brazil
Agnello Dias, chief creative officer, Taproot India, India
Laura Desmond, chief executive officer, Starcom MediaVest Group, Global
Andy DiLallo, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett, Australia
Morihiro Harano, creative director and founder, PARTY, Japan
Fred Koblinger, chief executive officer, BBDO Group Vienna, Austria 
Ted Royer, partner and executive creative director, Droga5, USA
Rob Schwartz, chief creative officer, TBWA\Chiat\Day, USA 
Fernando Vega Olmos, chairman and worldwide creative council chairman, JWT Worldwide, Global

The Titanium and Integrated jury will also be responsible for selecting the winner of the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Good, awarded to the most creative piece of work in the charities and public services category across all entry sections.

Joining CP+B in 2003, Rob Reilly's time at the agency has seen him create some of the most talked about campaigns in history. Working initially as a copywriter, Rob went on to serve as the Global Creative Director on Burger King, helping to transform the burger chain into one of the most culturally relevant companies in the world. His current role as Worldwide Chief Creative Officer sees him drive the creative vision for all of CP+B's clients including Microsoft Windows, Coke Zero, Domino's Pizza, American Express OPEN, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Milka and Jell-O.

Winning multiple awards for his work, his Cannes Lions accolades include two Titanium Grand Prix Lions – one for Burger King in 2007 and one for the retailer Best Buy in 2010 – as well as three Titanium Lions and 10 Gold Lions. His creative leadership has played a significant role in the agency being named Cannes Lions Interactive Agency of the Year four times (2010, 2009, 2007 & 2006) as well as winning five other Cannes Lions Grands Prix: Cyber (2006 & 2005), Promo & Activation (2006), Film (2003) and Media (2001).

The winners of the Titanium and Integrated Lions will be announced in Cannes on 23 June during the Film, Film Craft, Branded Content & Entertainment, Titanium and Integrated Lions Awards Ceremony. Entries are now being accepted until 23 March 2012.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

YouTube and Emirates announce Global Competition to find the World’s Best Storytellers: Your Film Festival 2012

YouTube and Emirates, in partnership with La Biennale di Venezia (the Venice Film Festival) and Scott Free, announced today Your Film Festival - a global competition to find the world's best storytellers, connect them with a global audience, and provide one deserving entrant with a career-changing opportunity.

Content creators around the world are invited to submit a 15-minute, story-driven video of any format, style and genre, to After submissions are whittled down to 50 semifinalists, audiences from around the world will cast their votes, choosing ten finalists. The ten finalists will travel to Italy, where their work will screen at the 69th Venice International Film Festival in August. A grand prize winner will then be named by a special jury and awarded a $500,000 YouTube original production grant to work with Scott Free, ultimately creating a brand new work for the world to see.

“YouTube is committed to bringing entertaining, original content to a global audience and Your Film Festival is another example of our investment in great creators worldwide,” says Robert Kyncl, Global Head of Content at YouTube. “Through this program, YouTube will give filmmakers the opportunity to reach a vast audience, screen their work during the Venice Film Festival and potentially be rewarded in a career-changing way.”

Michael Fassbender
The competition brings together YouTube’s cutting-edge technology with the finest traditions of the world-renowned Venice Film Festival, to help discover and nurture new talent. Directors, producers and writers from around the world will be encouraged to submit their films and the voting will ultimately belong to the YouTube community at large.

Submissions, which open February 2, 2012 and close on March 31, 2012, will be reviewed by Scott Free and narrowed down to 50 semi-finalists from around the world in the summer of 2012. The YouTube community will then vote for ten finalists who will be flown to unveil their films in a special program at the 2012 Venice Film Festival. In Venice, a jury will vote among the ten films to select one Grand Prize Winner. The winner will receive a development deal with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions.

"Short filmmaking is exactly where I started my career 50 years ago, so to be helping new filmmakers find an entry point like this into the industry is fantastic," says Ridley Scott. "It's great to be partnering with YouTube again for this global search for the next generation of exciting filmmakers." Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, is the sponsor of this year's YouTube Your Film Festival. "The foundation of the Emirates brand is connecting people. As an airline, we link people from one destination to another and we also act as a cultural bridge for people’s thoughts, ideas and dreams,” said Boutros Boutros, Divisional Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Emirates. “Through our sponsorship of Your Film Festival we are supporting the journey of emerging filmmakers through YouTube’s innovative entertainment platform.”

Alberto Barbera, the newly named artistic director of The Venice Film Festival, said that they were excited to be working in partnership with YouTube and Ridley Scott. “The festival has such a wonderful and rich history with launching great talent. We’re thrilled to remain on the cutting edge and let the world participate in our festival,” said Barbera.

Your Film Festival is one of several efforts by YouTube to push the boundaries of music, art, and film. It follows the incredibly successful partnership that YouTube experienced with Scott Free to help create the critically acclaimed documentary Life in a Day. Other projects like the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, YouTube Play, and YouTube Space Lab are examples of the convergence of online video with traditional arts. Emirates, the global airline, has also come on board as a proud sponsor of the program and the festival.

For more information, please visit and submit your film between February
2 and March 31, 2012.

Scott Free Productions was formed in 1995 and is the film and television production vehicle of acclaimed film directors, brothers Ridley and Tony Scott. Scott Free Films recently released the international hits Robin Hood and Unstoppable, as well as the critically acclaimed films Cracks, Welcome to the Rileys, Cyrus for Fox Searchlight, and most recently the YouTube backed Life in a Day. Next for Scott Free is Ridley Scott’s visionary epic Prometheus starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron which Fox will release in June 2012, and Joe Carnahan’s The Grey starring Liam Neeson set for January 2012. The company just wrapped production on Stoker, the English language debut of Park Chan Wook (Old Boy) at Searchlight, starring Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode and is currently in production on The East with director Zal Batmanglij and starring Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgard, and Ellen Page also for Fox Searchlight.

Scott Free Television produces the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated, Peabody-acclaimed drama, The Good Wife for CBS which is now in its third year. Up next this year, is an eight hour adaptation of World Without End, Ken Follett’s international best-seller featuring Cynthia Nixon, Ben Chaplin and Miranda Richardson, as well as Coma, a four-hour adaptation of the Robin Cook novel, starring Geena Davis, James Woods, Richard Dreyfuss and Ellen Burstyn, set to air Memorial Day 2012 on A&E. Scott Free also produced the Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominated mini-series The Pillars of the Earth for Starz, and the hit CBS show Numb3rs, which ran for six seasons. With offices in Los Angeles and London, Scott Free works closely with RSA Films, one of the world's largest and most successful commercial production houses.

The 69th Venice International Film Festival is directed by Alberto Barbera and organised by la Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta. It will be held on the Venice Lido from 29th August to 8th September 2012. The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness and promote the various aspects of international cinema in all its forms: as art, entertainment and as an industry, in a spirit of freedom and tolerance. The International Competition awards the Golden Lion and other official prizes. The Festival is officially recognized by FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations).

Emirates, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, has received more than 500 international awards and accolades for excellence. Emirates flies to 118 destinations in 70 countries across six continents and is the world’s largest airline in available seat kilometres. Operating 168 wide-body Airbus and Boeing aircraft, including an industry leading 20 A380s, Emirates has orders for an additional 237 aircraft, worth more than USD$84 billion. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Service tax not applicable on copyrights relating to recording of cinematograph films

Commenting on the Union Budget, Mr Karan Johar, Co-chairman, FICCI Entertainment Committee said “We are really thrilled that the Service tax will now not be applicable on copyrights relating to recording of cinematograph films. This will provide a major relief to the M&E Industry. We are thankful to the finance minister  and I&B Minister for accepting the industry demand to exempt service tax on copyrights relating to recording of  cinematography films. While we have to read the fine print, this will cheer the industry as we celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema in 2013”

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rockstar, The Dirty Picture and Bade Ache Lagte Hai sweeps FICCI Excellence Awards…

Filmmaker Imtiaz Ali's 'Rockstar' emerged a big winner scooping four awards, including best actor for Ranbir Kapoor, at the 2012 FICCI Frames Excellence Awards in Mumbai. The film, which chronicles the story of an aspiring singer swept the top honours and a won a total of four awards making it the most prolific winner, last evening. Imtiaz Ali won the Best Director while Ranbir bagged the Best Actor award. Music Maestro A R Rahman was given away the Best Music director award and Mohit Chauhan bagged the honour for Best Singer (Male).

However, Usha Uthup and Rekha Bhardwaj jointly received the award for best singer (female) for the film '7 Khoon Maaf'.

Actress Vidya Balan continued with her winning spree in the best actress category for 'The Dirty Picture' while Producers Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani walked away with the Best Film award for their path-breaking movie 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara'. while Vidyut Jamwal won best debut award (Male) for 'Force' newbie Parineeti Chopra won the best debut (Female) for 'Ladies VS Ricky Bahl' while Abhinay Deo was given best debut director for Imran Khan-starrer 'Delhi Belly'. Abhinay Deo’s award was received by his father the illustrious actor Ramesh Deo.

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan was honoured with the award for maximum impact made by a personality. Naturally, in the television category, Game show 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' won the best non-fiction programme. Following that was the most popular show 'Bade Achhe Lagte Hai', on Sony, that fetched producer Ekta Kapoor the 'Best Fiction Programme' award while both the protagonists - Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar - were adjudged as Best Actors in the Male and Female category respectively. 

The show which is only 8 months old won Sakshi seven awards. However, Sakshi who became popular and a household name as Parvati Bhabhi in Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki was never awarded for her role in that serial. The show however went on for Eight long years.

Hosted by Mandira Bedi, The awards ceremony, held Friday night, was the concluding event of the three-day annual FICCI Frames conclave. The awards, presented by UTV Stars, featured performances by Usha Uthup and rocker Papon.

BIG CBS LOVE partners with ELLE India for its show STYLISTA! Announces ‘Stylista ELLE Hunt’

BIG CBS Love, the channel for the urban contemporary women from BIG CBS, has tied-up with leading lifestyle magazine ELLE India to bring the international fashion reality show Stylista to Indian audiences. As a part of the partnership, the channel will launch a contest ‘Stylista ELLE Hunt’ which will provide a platform for aspiring fashion enthusiasts to not only be a marketing intern with the magazine but also to be featured in it.

To participate in the ‘Stylista Elle Hunt’ contest, the participants need to upload their best picture on BIG CBS Love’s Facebook page ( along with a paragraph on why they deserve to be the winner. The entries will be judged on the basis of the write up and the picture posted on the page. To participate, those interested should be of 18 years of age or above. ‘Stylista Elle Hunt’ will end on April 29, 2012.

The partnership will see excellent synergies come into play with BIG CBS LOVE catering to an audience base of upwardly mobile urban women, also the profile of the readers of Elle. Similarly, this would provide a window for the readers of Elle to get on to the channel. 

ELLE India will promote the contest through their website and social networking pages – Facebook and Twitter. The channel, BIG CBS Love, will also use Reliance Broadcast Network’s multi-media communication platforms like TV, Radio, Digital – website, Facebook, Twitter etc. and outdoor to promote the show and the contest.

Stylista premiered in India on BIG CBS Love earlier this month and the contest promises to provide an excellent opportunity to its audiences, the fashion conscious generation, to fulfill their dreams of working in a fashion magazine.

In the world of sky-high Manolos and Fendi totes, Stylista sees eleven aspiring fashion enthusiasts vie for a much-coveted editorial job with a top fashion magazine. They work as assistants to the magazine's editor, a demanding and well-respected fashion icon. Each week, these aspiring fashion editors perform everything from humbling and menial assistant challenges to a fashion editorial assignment to social- climbing endeavors. Catch the all new Stylista, every Sunday at 8 pm only on BIG CBS Love

Tinsel town’s latest mommie Aishwarya Bachchan is basking in her new role!

She has given every Indian a reason to be proud. Hers is the face that launched a thousand products both in India and in the international circuit. Her beauty and popularity crosses geo-political boundaries.That’s Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, the Queen of Hearts, the new celebrity mother in town, and one of the contenders on BIG CBS Love’s India’s Glam Diva who is basking in her new challenging role.

Aishwarya is listed in the top 5 as one of The Most Trusted Cinema Personalities and is the only actress in the list. More than just being an actress; this Diva has positioned herself as a brand ambassador for her country and a face that has become synonymous with beauty and prosperity. She’s one of the few celebrities who have handled every crisis in her life with utmost dignity and poise. Whether it was the highs or the lows, she’s always held her own. Much before she was crowned Miss World, she wanted to become an architect .Said she:”I was studying to be an architect and films were just another career option.”Well, it was perhaps the architect in her that helped her built her beautiful empire today!

As one of the top Divas of India’s Glam Diva on BIG CBS LOVE, she is someone who is an open book to all her fans and admirers. There’s nothing about Aishwarya that is a secret from her admirers. Yet we bring some excerpts from some commonly asked questions to her:

On why she participated in the Miss World Pageant in 1994: “For me, it went beyond being a beauty queen. For me, it was about being the 20-year-old girl from India on international platform and a lot of people actually would assume that I wasn’t even educated in India because of the way I’d speak. And they’d be like, ‘Have you studied in India? Do you actually speak English out there?’ and, I was like, ‘This is so interesting that so many people know so little about my country.’ and this is exactly what I wanted to do when I set out on this little mission in my head.”

On her moving from architecture to films: “I was studying to be an architect. I wasn’t plotting to join movies. Films were just another career option. I took acting up with the same school girl enthusiasm as I had for examinations. Acting is a job and I take it seriously.”

Playing Umrao Jaan: It was a demanding emotional journey .When a story takes that course it is following an entire arch, it goes through all possible emotions. The process was satisfying, inspiring and challenging. It forced me to deliver my best.”

On her character in Dhoom: 2: “It’s the kind of character I have never essayed before. Sunehiri, my character in the film, is distinctly different from any other character you have seen me play. That’s what makes her exciting to me. For the first time in my life I went through a bit of a fitness regime. Contrary to popular belief, right since modeling, to the (Miss World) title, to films, I have never been a fitness freak or exercised.”

On donating her eyes: I’m just average woman with average concerns. People know me more because of my eyes. So, I decided to donate my eyes. But before that, I acquired all the information about the campaign. Within what time after death one has to donate eyes, and all other information. Only then I decided to donate my eyes. It’s not that just for doing something, I donated my eyes. I found that useful so I did it. I like to do social service from my heart. Whatever is possible I do, but I don’t speak of that? But I would like to give more time to it in the near future.’’

On being on the list of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the world) “It’s undoubtedly an honor. It feels great that I was a part of this remarkable group,” said Aishwarya on that occasion.

On being voted as the most beautiful Bollywood star in Hollywood: Wow! The most bankable Bollywood Star in Hollywood! Thank you. I must confess that any acknowledgement of hard work makes me feel content. In all humility I want to thank all those who feel I am bankable.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan continues to be the most watched & talked about star in the industry. Her marriage, pregnancy, motherhood, first public appearance post motherhood… every move has the entire nation wanting to know more. There’s no end to people’s eagerness to know about this iconic star.

Stay tuned to India’s Glam Diva, on Sunday, March 18 at 9 pm to get up close and personal with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, only on BIG CBS Love.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Has marriage & controversy overtaken Sania Mirza's rankings: Tennis star talks about her marriage and career post marriage

Ace tennis player of India; youth icon of India: star of Indian tennis: tennis sensation: India’s Glam Diva contender…and more. That’s how young Sania Mirza is referred to by millions of her fans and followers all over the country. No stranger to controversies, nothing will keep this ace tennis icon down. From career threatening injuries, Bollywood link ups, and a fatwa against her and of course her scandalous wedding to an already married Pakistani cricket player, Sania Mirza has sailed through it all from strength to strength.

Currently with a drop in her rankings the concerned All India Tennis Association (AITA) is planning to get a wild-card entry for Sania for the singles event at the London Olympics. AITA is keen that Sania competes in the mixed doubles event of the Olympics and for that Sania has to be there in either in singles or doubles draw to be able to compete in mixed event. If Sania manages to be inside top-64 in the singles and top-10 in the doubles, she will get a direct entry.

However, as the country’s  only woman to reach the 4th round of any Grand Slam event and the first Indian to get in top 50 of WTA(Women’s Tennis Association) Sania as the new age sportsperson beat the boys by becoming the most searched sportsperson on Google for two consecutive years. This goes to show young Sania’s popularity and the reason why she is a strong contender on India’s Glam Diva on BIG CBS LOVE.

And just like her dedication to tennis, Sania dedicated herself to the 'Save the Girl Child' campaign as their ambassador for the ministry of health and family welfare. No matter what reason Sania finds herself in the news, this diva attracts controversy like bees to the honeycomb! Like Sania’s grand strokes and shorter than short skirts ruffled a few feathers back home. To this Sania shoots back; “As long as I am winning, people shouldn't care whether my skirt is six inches long or six feet long!"

With her signature short skirts, kajal clad eyes and prominent nose ring, Sania is a tennis player who exudes femininity that makes her so popular both in India and overseas. When she is not on the tennis courts she maintains her strict physical routine by working out at the gym with weights and endurance training. Fitness has been a lifestyle for Sania ever since she can remember and thus plays an important part in her success.

For a young girl who is a sports celebrity, plus a youth icon and a fashionista Sania Mirza has weathered all the highs & lows with strength & grace. To know more about the multi faceted young sports star catch her on India Glam Diva, this Saturday, March 17th at 9.00 pm on BIG CBS LOVE

Due diligence in news reportage vital for preserving media freedom: Justice J S Verma at FICCI FRAMES 2012

Justice J. S. Verma, former Chief Justice of India, today advised the media to exercise due diligence in news reportage by questioning whether a news item is true, fair, necessary and in public interest. The answer to these questions were necessary in order to inform and enlighten the people accurately and obviate any possibility of regulation by the government as that would tantamount to curbing the freedom of the media.

Addressing the session on “Freedom of Media: Significance of Self-regulation’ on Day II of FICCI FRAMES 2012 here, Justice Verma said “I often hear people say why is the media not responsible? This might just be a pretext for the authorities to step in, and if they do step in, the dangers to free expression and the right to report freely will be immeasurably curbed.”

The practice  of ‘breaking news’, of being the first with the news, has to be controlled, he said and added that since the reach of television is wide and its effect on the viewer instantaneous, the scope for damage is more.

Mr. Narayan Rao, President, News Broadcasters Association (NBA) & Executive Vice Chairman, NDTV, said that NBA ‘s membership comprised 95 per cent of the news channels and the Association has laid out a code of programming and ethics. Besides, a News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) has been created which regularly issues advisories on news depiction and coverage. Yet, have standards improved? “Perhaps not, not yet, and our intent is to ensure that self-regulation in this regard is important,“ he said.

Mr. Nitin Desai, former Under Secretary General, United Nations & Member, NBSA, pointed out that rather than self-regulation, there is need to subject the media to independent regulation to preserve its independence. “People have the right to accurate information, free of rumour, falsehood and superstition,” he said and added there was no substitute to  due diligence in news reporting.

Mr. Phillip Turner, Chief of Bureau, CNN International, South Asia, said that news stories from India were important to the rest of the world. With a surfeit of new media and technological advancement, there is need to ensure that the rules of attribution and authenticity are not broken. “How does one report objectively in the face of the plethora of news that is pouring in all the time? he asked and added that it would be important to say that “ We are hearing this and seeing this, but we don’t know whether it is true.”

Mr. Kiran Karnik, Member, NBSA & former President, NASSCOM, said one of the challenges before the news channels was posed by technology. For instance, there are citizen reporters who pass on spot news and if these are picked up by the media it would be important to say that it is unverified. He also cautioned against the danger posed by news channels when they begin to make news and starting setting the agenda.

Digitisation has disrupted revenue model of newspapers, says Rajiv Varma, HT Media CEO

The impact of galloping digitisation and proliferation of digital media on the print medium came in for close scrutiny at FICCI FRAMES 2012 here, with Mr, T N Ninan, Chairman, Business Standard, stating that the “Press is showing signs of stress”, that proliferation and consolidation in the in the Indian print market was taking place simultaneously and advertising going towards entertainment media while advertising in news content moving towards the internet.

“The Indian print market is displaying contradictory trends,” Mr. Ninan said and added that while proliferation is being seen in the form of new titles and new editions, consolidation is also evident. Eventually, however, proliferation would give way to consolidation. What is not clear is how long this process would take, he said.

Mr. Rajiv Varma, CEO, HT Media, in his remarks, noted that “the print medium has a bright future.” His optimism was based on the market dynamics in the eastern part of the world – Japan, Korea and Singapore – where newspapers are thriving. Seen from the western lens, the picture was not very encouraging, he said. For instance, in the U.S. print newspaper advertisements declined from $ 60 billion in the late nineties to $ 20 billion in 2011, mainly due to the impact of the internet.

Whether India is in the eastern or the western, situation was not very clear as it was difficult to predict how the audience is going to behave in the next decade, he said and remarked, “The best strategy would be to plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

Ms. Lynn De Souza, Chairperson and CEO, Lintas Media Group & Chairperson, Readership Studies Council, noted that the Indian print market remains buoyant. Advertising spends during the last five years have doubled -- from Rs 15000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore. The share of the print media at 40 per cent has remained unchanged.

Asked by the moderator of the session, Mr. Swapan Dasgupta, Columnist and Senior Journalist, whether at all there is a viable revenue model to make the print medium hold its own, Mr. Varma said that digitisation has disrupted the decades-old model of making the reader walk through the news stories in a newspaper to reach the advertised product or message.  Mr. Ninan pointed out that internationally the business model is subscription-led and at some point of time India would have to move towards that model.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

3-day FICCI FRAMES 2012 gets under way

The Union Ministries of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) and Tourism propose to set up a Film Commission to put in place a single window clearance mechanism for film shooting in India to replace the current requirement of multiple on-ground permissions and clearances that results in huge loss of potential revenues to the   film, tourism and ancillary sectors. The two ministries have also signed a MoU to work together to promote India as a global film shooting destination.

This was stated by Mr. Uday K. Varma, Secretary, Ministry of I&B, while addressing the inaugural session of the three-day FICCI FRAMES 2012.
Mr. Varma said that in order to combat piracy in the film industry, there is an urgent need to have an effective legal mechanism and creation of public awareness about the effects of piracy on the economy. “We therefore propose to carry out an all-encompassing multi-media campaign during the 12th Plan period involving all stakeholders from the film and music industries,” he said.

The Ministry will also provide assistance in training programmes and workshops to sensitize the police, judicial and administrative officials about the Copyright Act. In addition, Mr. Varma said, “We will aim at facilitating research on the effects of piracy, as well as the development and implementation of public-private strategies to combat piracy.”

Earlier, Mr. Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, announced that his government was creating new centres for film shooting in the state; the first such centre will come up at Kohlapur where entrepreneurs would be provided with lots of financial incentives.

Mr. Chavan said that “the Maharashtra Government would protect any creative work that is within the framework of law and will not allow fascist elements to thwart creativity.”

He also   assured the film industry that its concerns over policing on film locations, the high levels of entertainment tax and stamp duties was receiving close attention of the government. The Chief Minister released the FICCI-KPMG Indian Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2012; FICCI-Amarchand Lawbook and ‘Positivity: The impact of television on India’ by The Indian Broadcasting Foundation.

The Union Government, on its part, remains committed to time-bound to digitisation of the broadcast chain, especially the cable television distribution chain. The I&B Ministry has notified the dates mandating digital addressable transmission in phases, beginning with the four metros which will switch over to digital transmission on July 1, 2012. The entire country will go digital by December 31, 2014. “This will address a plethora of issues facing the television industry, such as addressability, carriage fees, audience measurement and consumer choice. This will have a long term beneficial impact for all players, increase transparency in the sharing of distribution revenues and help improve both the quality and variety of content,” Mr. Varma said.

To celebrate 100 years of cinema in India, the Government of India, in cooperation with the film industry, proposes to line up a host of activities between May 3, 2012 and May 3, 2013. It also proposes to present a tableaux of ‘100 years of Indian Cinema’ at the Republic Day parade next year.

He said that in view of the vociferous demand for lending professionalism in the conduct of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), the Ministry is in the process of setting up a new organisation to make IFFI a landmark international event.

Mr. Varma also announced the Government’s proposal to set up a National Film Heritage Mission to safeguard and salvage India’s celluloid history by undertaking frame-by-frame picture and sound restoration of more than 2,500 films that are an important component of Indian film history. In Addition, the Mission, with a budget of over Rs 500 crore, would also look at constructing preservation vaults to international standards for archiving restored material, and for conducting workshops and training to further consolidate the processes of restoration, preservation and archiving.

Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman, Motion Pictures Association of America, underlined the urgent need to protect content. “When content is stolen, 95 per cent of the people who contribute to the vitality and success of a film are adversely affected”, said. Quoting an Ernst & Young report, he said, movie theft contributes to a loss of US$ 1 billion annually and threatens the jobs of half a million people.

Mr. Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India & Chairman, FICCI Broadcast Forum, expressed concern at industry’s lack of preparedness to transform or find new business models for the digital media. With universal digitisation, he cautioned, broadcasting business models which are built on centralised creation and distribution of content and even a centralised advertising revenue model will come under huge pressure. He called for a clear policy to enable multiplicity of beams and splits that would be a powerful trigger of content and revenue opportunities. The inaugural session that flagged off with Film maker Karan Johar, Co-Chair, FICCI Entertainment Committee and Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Secretary General, FICCI ended on a high note by Singer Performer Adnan Sami enthralling the audiences

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bollywood starlet Nupur Mehta denies match-fixing link

Move over all the Rakhi Sawants and Veena Maliks. The new “it” girl Nupur Mehta will be the new face of bigg boss and maybe a swayamvar too. For the little knowns who are wondering who she is, well, the little known actress was a part of the Sunny Deol-starrer Jo Bole So Nihal, and not many were aware of her. Her name has now resurfaced with the match-fixing case whose pictures were splashed across newspapers and TV channels in cricket-playing nations. Though she does accept that the picture splashed was hers, she denied any link with the match-fixing controversy.

Well, whatever the case, with all the free publicity she has got in every other news, she will next be seen on every second reality show. Bye bye ms nobody status. Hello next season bigg boss! And maybe a swayamvar will be done for you too. Agree Rahul??

Indian Media & Entertainment Industry to touch INR 1,457 Billion by 2016: FICCI-KPMG report

Industry achieves 12% growth in 2011; is projected to grow at CAGR of 15% over next five years
In 2011, the Indian Media & Entertainment (M&E) industry registered a growth of 12 percent over 2010, to reach INR 728 billon, says the FICCI-KPMG report. The growth trajectory is backed by strong consumption in Tier 2 and 3 cities, continued growth of regional media, and fast increasing new media business. Overall, the industry is expected to register a CAGR of 15 percent to touch INR 1,457 billion by 2016.

The report will be formally released at the inaugural session of FICCI FRAMES 2012 on March 14, 2012.
2011 has been a challenging year not just for the Indian M&E industry, or even the Indian economy, but for the larger world economy. While India is still expected to grow at a healthy pace, growth is projected to be lower than earlier expectations.

While television continues to be the dominant medium, sectors such as animation & VFX, digital advertising, and gaming are fast increasing their share in the overall pie. Radio is expected to display a healthy growth rate after the advent of Phase 3. Print, while witnessing a decline in growth rate, will continue to be the second largest medium in the Indian M&E industry. Also, the film industry had reason to cheer, with multiple movies crossing the INR 100 crore mark in domestic theatrical collections, and INR 30 crore mark in C&S rights.

Advertising spends across all media accounted for INR 300 billion in 2011, contributing to 41 percent of the overall M&E industry’s revenues. Advertising revenues witnessed a growth of 13 percent in 2011, as against 17% observed in 2010.

In terms of performance, 2011 proved to be a year with mixed results in terms of growth across different sub sectors. The traditional media businesses experienced a slow down compared to last year, especially in the second half of the year. However, the new media segments like Animation and VFX, Online and Gaming businesses witnessed phenomenal growth rates.

Says Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Secretary General, FICCI “The key highlights are rise in digital content consumption, launch of diverse content delivery platforms, strong consumption in Tier 2 and 3 cities, rising footprint of the players in the regional media, rapidly increasing new media business and regulatory shifts.”

According to Mr. Jehil Thakkar, Head of Media and Entertainment, KPMG “The Media & Entertainment industry landscape is undergoing a significant shift. Cable digitization, the promise of wireless broadband, increasing DTH penetration, digitization of film distribution, growing internet use are all prompting strategic shifts in the way companies work. Traditional business models are evolving for the better as a host of new opportunities emerge.”

“The Media & Entertainment landscape is beginning to change with national cross media conglomerates emerging and consolidation and deal making finally picking up the pace”, says Rajesh Jain, Head of Markets, KPMG.

Key trends and industry drivers
Growth in digital content consumption across media
Digital technology continues to revolutionize media distribution – be it the rapid growth of DTH and the promise of digital cable, or increased digitization of film exhibition - and has enabled wider and cost effective reach across diverse and regional markets, and the development of targeted media content.
There has been increased proliferation and consumption of digital media content – be it newspapers and magazines, digital film prints, and online video and music or entirely new categories such as social media. Accordingly, online advertising spends have seen a spurt in growth vis a vis spends on traditional media.

Rise of new age user devices
Smart phones, tablets, PCs, gaming devices, etc. all form the foundation of a new wave in media usage.This is gradually impacting the way content is being created and distributed as well. Multiple media including TV, films, news, radio, music etc are being impacted with this change.

New age consumers adapting themselves to the newer technologies
As Indian consumers evolve, there is a heightened need to engage them across platforms and experiences. There is a greater need for integration and innovation across traditional and new media, with changing media consumption habits and preferences for niche content. Media companies today have no choice but to provide more touch points to engage with audiences.

Regional television and print continued its strong growth trajectory owing to growth in incomes and consumption in the regional markets. National advertisers are looking at these markets as the next consumption hubs and the local advertisers are learning the benefits of marketing their products aggressively.

An advertising revenue dependant industry
The ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) for television, average Newspaper cost for print and Average ticket price for films continue to be low on account of hyper competition in these industries. Segments like Radio and a significant portion of online content are available free of cost to consumers. Owing to this, the Indian consumer is still not used to paying for content and hence the industry players are sensitive to the impact of the slowdown which affects the budgets of advertisers.

Awaited regulatory shifts
Lastly, apart from the shifts in consumer preferences, company strategies and business models, one big change awaited for the next growth wave is the implementation of recently enacted and regulations on digitisation for cable, implementation of Phase 3 and copyright for Radio and the roll out of 4G. These shifts are expected to be game changers in terms of how business is being done currently and what could be the path going forward.

KPMG is a global network of firms providing professional services. We operate in 146 countries and have 140,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity.  Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. KPMG in India is the Indian member firm of KPMG International and was established in September 1993. It strives to provide rapid, performance-based, industry-focused and technology-enabled services, which reflect a shared knowledge of global and local industries and its experience of the Indian business environment. KPMG provides services to over 2,000 international and national clients in India and has offices in Mumbai, NCR, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Pune and Kochi.

FICCI is the rallying point for free enterprises in India. It has empowered Indian businesses, in the changing times, to shore up their competitiveness and enhance their global reach. With a nationwide membership of over 1500 corporates and over 500 chambers of commerce and business associations, FICCI espouses the shared vision of Indian businesses and speaks directly and indirectly for over 2,50,000 business units. It has an expanding direct membership of enterprises drawn from large, medium, small and tiny segments of manufacturing, distributive trade and services. FICC maintains the lead as the proactive business solution provider through research, interactions at the highest political level and global networking.