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After Ezra, Tiyaan and Adam Joan Prithviraj marks the end of this year with a film based on a young man and his aeronautical dreams. The debutant director Pradeep M. Nair certainly didn’t disappoint the young students who rushed to the cinemas since schools closed for Christmas. An inspirational-slash-love story, a great concoction for a family film and finally a climax of reunion of the old sweethearts- in short, the viewer goes home happy, satisfied.

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MUMBAI: The highest earning film in India this year -- "Baahubali 2: The Conclusion" -- was neither an original Hindi movie nor featured an established star. That says a lot about the changing dynamics of Bollywood which, in 2017, saw a mixed bag of projects that drew audiences mainly with solid content, notwithstanding star power. Salman Khan's "Tubelight", Shah Rukh Khan's "Jab Harry Met Sejal" and Ranbir Kapoor-starrer "Jagga Jasoos" are cases in point.

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The year 2017 is one that the Malayalam film industry would perhaps like to forget, given the unexpected and shocking after-effects of the abduction of a popular actress. The industry was stunned when news broke in February that the young actress had been kidnapped after sunset when she was on her way to a friend's place in the commercial capital of the state, Kochi.

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MUMBAI: If during the year 2017, the scarcity of new acting talent was scary, the abundance of directorial talent instantly lifted the spirit and made sore expectations soar. Yes, there is hope for Bollywood.

Around 28 new directors made their debut during the year that was. Here's looking at the finest directorial talent that broke into the Hindi cinema in 2017:

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Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who has shared an emotional bonding with late Shiv Sena founder-president Bal Thackeray, on Thursday promised to contribute his bit in the making of the upcoming biopic titled 'Thackeray'.

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NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court on Friday refused a plea seeking to ban the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's controversial "Padmavati" epic drama featuring Deepika Padukone as a Rajput queen. The court said it could not intervene since the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) was yet to decide about its certification. The film, which also stars Shahid Kapoor as Rawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as invader Alauddin Khilji, is set for release on December 1.

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MUMBAI : Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry is in India and enjoying getting "lost" in the streets of the country's financial and film capital here. Berry, known for films like "Monster's Ball", "Die Another Day" and "X-Men", revealed through her Instagram account that she is in India. "Caught a sunrise in Mumbai today," the actress posted on Wednesday, along with a photograph capturing a skyline full of high-rises as the sun rays add an orange tinge to the sky.

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LOS ANGELES : Actress Kate Hudson, who was romantically linked to actor Brad Pitt earlier this year, says though there was no truth in the buzz, she still liked it. Hudson addressed the dating rumour between her and Pitt during her appearance on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen" on Tuesday, reports aceshowbiz.com.

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MUMBAI : Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, following widespread criticism against his yet-to-release film "Padmavati", on Wednesday said the film upholds the honour of Rajputs and does not depict anything that may hurt anyone's sentiments. A post on the official Twitter handle of "Padmavati", read: "'Padmavati' my tribute to the sacrifice, valour and honour of Rani Padmavati: Sanjay Leela Bhansali."

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CHENNAI : Actor-filmmaker Dhanush says he continues to explore and learn as he shoots with director Vetrimaaran for their next venture, "Vada Chennai". Dhanush on Wednesday night shared a photograph from the film's set and captioned it: "10 years ago this day 'Polladhavan' released. Our journey continues as a team to explore and learn together. From the sets of 'Vada Chennai' right now."

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CHENNAI : Tamil actor Kamal Haasan, who has plans for a political plunge, has welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's praise towards inclusion of Chennai in Unesco's list of Creative Cities for its contribution to music. Unesco, the United Nations cultural organisation, on Wednesday, included Chennai in its list of Creative Cities for its contribution to music.

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MUMBAI : Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali has rubbished rumours and reports of a romantic dream sequence between Rani Padmavati and the invader Allauddin Khilji in his forthcoming movie "Padmavati". "There is no interaction whatsoever between the characters played by Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh," Bhansali said. A video recording by Bhansali declaring zero interaction between Rani Padmavti and Khilji is expected to be put out.

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MUMBAI : Choreographer-filmmaker Farah Khan says she shared knowledge about Hindi filmdom with Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct. Farah on Wednesday shared the image on Twitter, and said that she gave some "Bollywood gyaan (knowledge)" to Weinstein from the shoot of the superstar Shah Rukh Khan-starrer "Main Hoon Na", which was largely shot in Darjeeling.

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MUMBAI : Singer Mika Singh on Tuesday launched a musical web series titled "Old Is Gold" for which he has teamed up with reality show contestants. "Old Is Gold" is a project conceptualised by Mika, produced by his company Music & Sound, in association with Saregama. A set of 27 unplugged recreations of classic evergreen Hindi songs with a taste of romance and melancholy have been chosen. 

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LUCKNOW : A senior leader of a Hindu outfit -- Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha -- on Friday slammed veteran Tamil actor Kamal Haasan for his "Hindu terror" remarks and said people like him should be "shot dead". Referring to the statement made by Haasan on Thursday in a column in a weekly magazine, Mahasabha leader Pt. Ashok Sharma said these people accused the followers of Hinduism of Hindu terror only to "push their own biased communal agenda".

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NEW DELHI : Actress Kangana Ranaut, known to speak her mind despite the reactions her words elicit, says it is difficult to remain "headstrong" in Bollywood as there are always people who try to make one "feel insignificant". But she continues to fight it. "Being an outsider in the business, I have fought to carve a niche for myself. I have also been opinionated and I choose to express my views openly," Kangana told IANS in an email interview.

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CHENNAI : Actor-filmmaker Prakash Raj on Friday supported actor Kamal Haasan's views on "Hindu extremists". "If instilling fear in the name of religion... culture... morality is not terrorizing... then what is it. Just asking," tweeted Prakash Raj, a popular name in the Kannada, Telugu and Tamil film industries.

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MUMBAI : As the reach of a star is growing at a rapid pace, the concept of stardom is changing and affecting its longevity, says superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who has clocked over 25 years in Indian showbiz and continues to rule the hearts of millions.

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MUMBAI : Filmmaker Karan Johar will judge acting and singing skills of contestants on a reality television show tentatively titled "Ticket To Bollywood". To be produced by Endemol, the show -- previously known as "India's Next Superstar" -- will go on air on Star Plus in a few months, read a statement issued on behalf of the channel.

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MUMBAI : Bollywood star Aamir Khan on Shah Rukh Khan's 52nd birthday on Thursday, said he hopes the 'King of Romance' continues to rule hearts. "Dear Shah, Wishing you many happy returns of the day. May you always have good health, and may you continue to rule our hearts for all time time to come. Have a great day and a wonderful year. Love. a," Aamir tweeted.

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MUMBAI : National Award-winning actress Kangana Ranaut says she worked towards her "mental health" to overcome the hurdles that she faced while working in Bollywood.

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DUBAI : National Award winning actor Akshay Kumar, who attended the grand audio launch of his debut Tamil film "2.0" here, said that the Hindi film industry has a lot to learn from southern cinema. Akshay along with filmmaker S. Shankar, megastar Rajinikanth, Oscar winning composer A.R. Rahman, actress Amy Jackson and producer Allirajah Subaskaran of Lyca Productions attended the audio launch of the 3D sci-fi entertainer here at the Burj Park on Friday.

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MUMBAI : Reliance Entertainment-backed "Golmaal Again", the latest in the hit Bollywood franchise "Golmaal", has garnered Rs 156 crore at the worldwide box office in the first four days of its release, the makers said. Director Rohit Shetty said: "I am overjoyed that 'Golmaal Again' has broken records along with spreading happiness, cheer and smiles during this Diwali. I am thankful to the audience for the success and the love they have shown to the 'Golmaal' series."

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NEW DELHI : Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan and Zaira Wasim starrer "Secret Superstar" has minted over $2 million from the overseas market since its release. Distributed internationally by Zee Studios International, the film collected $2.8 million on its release weekend across markets like the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, UAE/GCC and Pakistan, read a statement on behalf of Zee Studios International.

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MUMBAI : Continuing the tradition of releasing his films on the festive occasion of Eid, Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has booked the auspicious date for his 2019 release titled "Bharat". The film is an official adaptation of 2014 South Korean film "Ode to My Father", which depicted modern Korean history from the 1950s to the present day through the life of an ordinary man. 

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MUMBAI : Salman Khan's piercing eyes catch the eye from the first look of his next movie "Tiger Zinda Hai". The superstar, who was praised for his action avatar in the 2012 film "Ek Tha Tiger", flaunts a revengeful demeanour in the first look of upcoming spy thriller film "Tiger Zinda Hai". The look was revealed by Salman on Twitter on Wednesday, a day before Diwali.

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MUMBAI : Megastar Amitabh Bachchan says during festivals, he always tries to keep himself free to spend time with his family. Amitabh, who hosts popular game show "Kaun Banega Crorepati" (KBC), greeted soldiers at the Wagah Border in an episode of the show. A soldier named Pushpika Sahu asked Amitabh whether he is also unable to take leave or celebrate festivals with family members because of work.

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MUMBAI : From Amitabh Bachchan to Arjun Kapoor, Vyjayanthimala to Kriti Sanon, Lata Mangeshkar to Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Neeta Lulla to Shiamak Davar, Ramesh Sippy to Madhur Bhandarkar -- as many as 50 celebrities are a part of a special video to be played at the launch of actress-politician Hema Malini's biography here on her 69th birthday on Monday.

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PUNE : Newly-appointed Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Chairperson Anupam Kher on Monday visited the campus of the iconic institution unannounced and promised the students that he is on their side. In a live video on social media, Anupam revealed that he was on his way to FTII. He caught the guards, students and faculty by surprise when he walked the streets of the institute where he once studied around 40 years ago.

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NEW DELHI : Singer-composer Raghu Dixit says music has the power to bring people together, inspire them and start a revolution. When Dixit goes behind the microphone, he not only sings in Hindi but other languages like Kannada and Telugu as well. But sometimes artistes get slammed for performing in languages other than Hindi. 

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MUMBAI : Actor and filmmaker Farhan Akhtar believes that it is the woman, who is more harassed than the man, but it is not true all the time. Answering a query on this at a media interaction here, he said: "I don't think that would be true from existing records or information out there on public domain. I do believe that more often than not, it is the woman, who is harassed but it doesn't mean all the time."

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MUMBAI : Famous Pakistani-origin musician and singer Adnan Sami has described the "Rhythm in Paradise" concert held in Srinagar last week as the most "memorable" live performance of his life. Adnan performed for free at the concert, jointly organised by the Union Home Ministry and the Jammu and Kashmir government, and held at the lawns of the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre on the banks of the Dal Lake here.

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MUMBAI : Actor Bobby Deol has been roped in to star alongside Bollywood superstar Salman Khan in upcoming action-thriller film "Race 3". He says he feels great to be a part of the team. Producer Ramesh Taurani, who is backing the project through his Tips Industries Limited banner, took to Twitter on Thursday to welcome Bobby on board. "Welcome to the family Bobby Deol. Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez. ‘Race 3' Eid 2018," Taurani tweeted.

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MUMBAI : Actor Irrfan Khan got tensed for his latest song "Jaan le lu teri", says its lyricist Rajshekhar. Directed by Tanuja Chandra, the film "Qareeb Qareeb Single" is a modern age romantic drama with a refreshing angle of love story. Its first song will release later on Thursday.

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NEW DELHI : Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan says he was scared of losing out his fan-following when he was offered the role of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat in "Dangal" as he had to play an old and fat man.

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MUMBAI : Apple Music on Wednesday said it will set up two Mac Labs at the A.R. Rahman-founded KM Music Conservatories (KMMC) based in Chennai and the upcoming campus in Mumbai. The Mac Labs will teach students how to create music using Logic Pro X, Apple's professional music creation app for the Mac. Apple Music said it will also contribute to fund 10 full-time musical scholarships for students from underprivileged backgrounds.

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MUMBAI : Actor Tiger Shroff, who is known for his fit body, says that running correctly is very important but one should keep in mind the right form. "Running correctly is very important in one's life. Why I mean correctly is because running can also be hazardous to a person who doesn't run with correct form and who runs on a hard surface. That's where a good shoe come into place", the actor told IANS.

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MUMBAI : Superstar Aamir Khan, who is working with Amitabh Bachchan in the upcoming film "Thugs of Hindostan", says watching the megastar on the big screen is "a fulfilling experience", and his superstardom can't be re-created. Asked if working with Big B was surreal, Aamir, an admirer of the veteran actor, told media here on Sunday: "Watching Mr Bachchan on screen in a theatre… His aura, action, every nuance of his acting was such a fulfilling experience in cinema."

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BENGALURU : Veteran actress Sridevi, who walked as a showstopper for a jewellery brand here, says walking on the ramp is always special for her. Sridevi looked ravishing on Saturday in a heavy gold and red lehenga paired with a boat-necked choli, designed by ace couturier Manish Malhotra. 

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MUMBAI : Actress Vidya Balan says she is "very greedy" when it comes to the performance of her films. The National Award winning actress was present at the Jio MAMI Movie Mela on Saturday, and said: "I want all my films to do well in theatres first and then do good in festivals, I am very greedy that way. One film just won't do me any good." Vidya also spoke about being inspired by Iranian movies, which she feels are simple and big-hearted. Her own forthcoming movie "Tumhari Sulu" is on similar lines.

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HYDERABAD : Prabhas always thought he ws too shy to emote in front of the camera, and had planned a career in the hospitality sector. But not only did he enter showbiz, but attained global fame with the "Baahubali" film franchise. The actor says he still gets conscious at public events -- and is learning the art of handling stardom.

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CHENNAI : Popular southern celebrities Mahesh Babu, Trisha Krishnan and Taapsee Pannu among others on Saturday extended their heartfelt wishes to the newly-weds -- actor Naga Chaitanya and Samantha Ruth Prabhu. The couple got married in a destination wedding in Goa on Friday. Chaitanya and Samantha, who have worked together in films such as "Ye Maaya Chesave" and "Autonagar Surya", decided to make it official after a courtship of nearly two years.

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