Entertainment

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Priyanka Chopra joins Kate Winslet to voice calming HBO Max series

BollyWood|: Indian actress and global star Priyanka Chopra revealed on Twitter that she will join the voice cast of HBO Max’s upcoming series ‘A World Of Calm’. “Excited to join such an amazing group of ‘calming’ voices for HBO Max’s Calm series, A World Of Calm. Coming 1 October,” tweeted Chopra on September 22. See also Mulan: Everything to know about Disney’s 2020 adaptation UAE: Artist depicts Emirati women’s history in digital exhibit All the Emmy’s biggest surprises: Hazmat suits, Friends reunions and more Mariah Carey to LANY: 9 more albums releasing in 2020 ‘A World Of Calm’ is a limited 10-episode series featuring spectacular visuals along with a soothing narration by stars aimed at calming viewers. Other celebrity voices include Kate Winslet, Nicole Kidman, Idris Elba, Zoe Kravitz, Keanu Reeves and Lucy Liu. The series is a collaboration between the popular mental health awareness app Calm and production house Nutopia. Kate Winslet. Image Credit: AP Chopra has been updating her fans regularly about her time spent indoors with her pop idol husband Nick Jonas and her pets in Los Angeles. This month alone, she celebrated her husband’s birthday and posted a montage of her Jonas doing things that he loves such as playing the guitar and para gliding. Chopra, who is one of the most popular Indian cultural exports to the West, was last seen in the stirring Hindi-language drama ‘The Sky Is Pink’ and has a string of ambitious projects up her sleeve including ‘Matrix 4’ and the adaptation of Aravind Adiga’s award-winning novel ‘The White Tiger’. She has also starred in Hollywood projects including ‘Baywatch’ and hit TV series ‘Quantico’. She has also starred in Hollywood projects including ‘Baywatch’ and hit TV series ‘Quantico’.

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Marathi actress Ashalata dies aged 79 from COVID-19

BollyWood|: Veteran actress Ashalata Wabgaonkar, who was reportedly suffering from COVID-19, died in the early hours of Tuesday after a four-day battle with her illness at a private hospital in Satara. She was 79 and had been hospitalised in a critical condition last weekend. See also Amitabh Bachchan on 'KBC' set with full COVID-19 precautions Bollywood: On filmmaker Anurag Kashyap's birthday, here are 7 movies of his to watch Salman Khan’s ‘Dabangg’ turns 10: Sonakshi Sinha, Arbaaz Khan thank fans From Mawra Hocane to Sajal Aly, here's how Pakistani celebrities spent their week Former Chief Minister of Goa, Digambar Kamat, confirmed the news in a tweet, paying tribute to the Goa-born actress. “Deeply pained by the passing away of acclaimed Goan Artist Ashalata Wabgaonkar. Her splendid performances in theatre & films will keep inspiring the generations to come. My condolences to her family & fans. May her soul rest in peace,” Kamat tweeted. “Deeply pained by the passing away of acclaimed Goan Artist Ashalata Wabgaonkar. Her splendid performances in theatre & films will keep inspiring the generations to come. My condolences to her family & fans. May her soul rest in peace,” Kamat tweeted. Wabgaonkar worked in over 100 Hindi and Marathi films. Her notable Hindi films include ‘Apne Paraye’, ‘Ankush’, ‘Woh 7 Di’, ‘Ahista Ahista’, ‘Shaukeen’ and ‘Namak Halal’. Her Marathi films include ‘Umbartha’, ‘Sutradhar’ and ‘Vahinichi Maya’. She had acted in theatre too, notably the Marathi plays ‘Chinna’, ‘Gunata Hridhya He’ and ‘Varyavarchi Varaat’. Ashalata also wrote a book, ‘Gard Sabhowati’.  The actress reportedly contracted COVID-19 a week ago while shooting for a mythological show.

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BTS performs on NPR Tiny Desk and breaks viewership record

Music|: Hope springs eternal. That was the message South Korean pop sensations had for viewers when they performed on the home edition of NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series on September 21. See also Karan Johar, Mindy Kaling, Twinkle Khanna and other stars who’ve written books MTV VMAs 2020: BLM, LED masks and more top moments from the night 10 Bollywood and Hollywood couples who’ve stood the test of time Emirati Women’s Day 2020: Celebrating women in every field The septet — made up of RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook — kicked it off their upbeat disco pop track ‘Dynamite’, which they’ve said was created to bring joy to people amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The three-song gig, filmed with a live band in a record store in Seoul, broke the Tiny Desk record for most YouTube views on its first day. “We’ve been trying to make a BTS Tiny Desk concert happen for years now — even gaming out ways we might move [‘All Songs Considered’ host] Bob Boilen’s desk far enough forward to accommodate the superstar Korean boy band’s dance moves,” Stephen Thompson of NPR wrote. Dressed in funky retro outfits, the group put on an intimate, toned down performance and let their vocals do all the talking. For their other two songs, they dug into their discography for older tracks — ‘Save Me’ and ‘Spring Day’. At the beginning of ‘Spring Day’, the group’s leader RM had an emotional message that echoed the song’s lyrics about hope and longing for better days. “It’s been the roughest summer ever, but we know that spring will come. So let’s go together,” he said. The group also announced on Monday that it would be premiering a new music video for the all-English ‘Dynamite’ in the online video game Fortnite, developed by Epic Games. The music video, which will unveil never-before-seen choreography, will premiere on Friday at the Party Royale island’s main stage within the game. (The Party Royale mode allows players to hang out with friends in a no-combat social space.) “BTS is not only incredibly popular worldwide, but their talent, creativity, and forward-thinking attitude made them a perfect match,” Nate Nanzer, Head of Global Partnerships at Epic Games, told Variety. “We’re honoured to host their premiere.” — With inputs from Los Angeles Times

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SSR case: NCB summons Deepika Padukone’s manager Karishma

BollyWood|: Widening its probe into the drug connection in Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case, the NCB has summoned Karishma Prakash, the manager of actress Deepika Padukone, and Dhruv Chitgopekar, CEO of Kwan talent management agency for questioning. A top Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) official related to the probe said, “We have summoned Prakash, who works as a manager at Kwan and its CEO Dhruv”. See also Bollywood: On filmmaker Anurag Kashyap's birthday, here are 7 movies of his to watch Salman Khan’s ‘Dabangg’ turns 10: Sonakshi Sinha, Arbaaz Khan thank fans From Mawra Hocane to Sajal Aly, here's how Pakistani celebrities spent their week 'Bill & Ted Face the Music': All you need to know about the Keanu Reeves comedy The official said that they have been summoned because some WhatsApp chats showed they were allegedly involved in the drug case. The development comes a day after NCB officials said they will be issuing summons to Bollywood actors Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, Rakul Preet Singh and fashion designer Simone Kambhatta this week for questioning. Besides Prakash and Dhruv, the NCB has also summoned Rajput’s former manager Shruti Modi and talent manager Jaya Saha for more questioning. The duo was questioned for over five hours on Monday by the NCB officials here. The NCB has already arrested Rajput’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik, Rajput’s house manager Samuel Miranda, personal staff Dipesh Sawant and over 15 others in the case so far. Showik and Rhea Chakraborty. Image Credit: IANS Later in the day, the NCB will move the Special Court to seek a day’s custody for Showik and Sawant, to connect the dots with some new facts that have emerged in the case during the investigation. The NCB has registered a case on the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after the alleged drug chats of Showik, Miranda and several others came to the fore. Rajput was found hanging in his Bandra’s Mont Blanc apartment on June 14. Besides the CBI and the ED, NCB is the third agency to probe into the death case.

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Ellen DeGeneres makes on-air apology, vows a ‘new chapter’

TV|: Ellen DeGeneres used her opening monologue of the new season of her daytime talk show to address allegations of a toxic work environment, apologising for things “that never should have happened.” “I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power and I realise that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show,” she said in a video posted Monday. See also Can Japan's ancient Noh theatre survive COVID-19? 10 films and shows to stream in the UAE in September All the cool, fun activities you’ve missed in the UAE in the last 6 months Bollywood actor Rajkummar Rao turns 36: Little-known facts about the actor DeGeneres smiled frequently but appeared strained during her remarks. She included several quips that lightened the tone but didn’t match the seriousness of the allegations. ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ started its 18th season in Los Angeles with the host on stage for the first time in months after taping from DeGeneres’s home during quarantine. There wasn’t a studio audience but a virtual one, with faces beamed in on monitors put in the audience seats. “We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace, and what we want for the future,” she said. “We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter.” Three of the show’s producers exited over the summer amid allegations of a dysfunctional workplace that harboured misbehaviour, including sexual misconduct and racially insensitive remarks. In her monologue, DeGeneres drily joked that her summer was “super-terrific.” The host also addressed the allegations that the off-camera DeGeneres is very different than her sunny on-air persona. ‘The truth is I am that person that you see on TV,’ she said. “I am also a lot of other things,” she said. “I get sad. I get mad. I get anxious. I get frustrated. I get impatient. And I am working on all of that.” The comedian, who is gay, noted that she’s played a straight woman on screen and considers herself “a pretty good actress,” but not good enough to “come out here every day for 17 years and fool you. This is me.” An internal company investigation of work conditions was prompted by a BuzzFeed News report in July based on 36 interviews with ex-staffers, who complained about or said they witnessed improper and unfair treatment. The people making the claims were not identified. “I learnt that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously, and I want to say I am so sorry to the people that were affected,” DeGeneres said in her monologue. She was joined later by guest Tiffany Haddish. The comedian and host had sent a memo to her staff after the BuzzFeed report, recalling her early promise of ensuring a workplace where “everyone would be treated with respect.” Something changed, she said, “and for that, I am sorry.” In a July statement, Warner Bros said parent company WarnerMedia’s investigation revealed what it called “some flaws in the show’s daily management.” Although not all of the allegations were corroborated, the studio said it was “disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management.”

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‘Pandemmys’ sees another record low in viewership

HollyWood|: The novelty of television stars getting Emmy Awards delivered to their homes wasn’t enough to keep the annual show from slipping further in popularity. The Nielsen company said 6.1 million people watched the Emmys on Sunday night, down from 6.9 million in 2019 and the third straight year of record low viewership. See also Photos: A preview of the world's first 'Rolling Stones' store Photos: Bollywood actress Sunny Leone heats up Los Angeles Bengaluru drug case: Who is arrested actor Sanjjanaa Galrani? Sara Ali Khan to Ananya Panday: See how Bollywood star kids are spending summer The Emmys faced competition from both NFL football and the NBA Western Conference finals. The coronavirus pandemic eliminated any chance fans had of seeing stars on a red carpet, although host Jimmy Kimmel gamely tried to make do in a mostly empty auditorium with actors accepting awards remotely. Still, it illustrated how the Emmy Awards are becoming a boutique event. Last year was the first time viewership slipped under 10 million people. As recently as 2013, the Emmys had 17.6 million viewers. The Emmys were once a celebration of all things television timed for the beginning of a new fall season. Yet the pandemic has delayed the return of many favourite shows. Viewership is also fragmented across many different networks and streaming services, and several shows don’t have a wide audience. Of the 128 Emmys awarded before and during Sunday’s show, 18 went to the Big Four broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. HBO dominated with 30 awards and Netflix had 21. Reginald Hudlin, an executive producer of the Emmys telecast, said Monday that it has been hard for all of the major awards shows to get the audiences that they had been used to. “We’re not three networks anymore,” Hudlin said. “We went from three networks to 60 with cable, and with streaming services there’s just endless choice. “So people are now used to watching a show that’s specifically for them,” Hudlin told a webinar organised by the law firm Fox Rothschild on Monday. “No matter how narrow that audience is, there’s a show that speaks to, ‘I’m a left-handed person who loves fishing’ ... And the challenge is there’s not a thing that connects to everybody.” The Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ which was once shown on Netflix but has since been airing on the little-known Pop TV network, swept the comedy awards. It won seven trophies during Sunday’s show and 10 overall. Since the show was structured to front-load the comedy awards, the Emmys were on the air for an hour Sunday before any show other than ‘Schitt’s Creek’ won an award. ABC and Kimmel, mindful of being accused of airing an obscenity, flashed the show’s name on the screen every time the title was mentioned.

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Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut takes jibe at Deepika Padukone over alleged drug link

BollyWood|: Kangana Ranaut has taken a sarcastic jibe at Deepika Padukone, saying depression is a consequence of drug abuse. Ranaut took to her verified Twitter account to take a dig at Padukone using the latter's name in a hashtag, leaving no guesses as to who her comment was aimed at. ALSO SEE Urmila Matondkar vs Kangana Ranaut: Bollywood reacts to actress' spat The 'Queen' of controversy: Why Bollywood loves to hate Kangana Ranaut Jaya Bachchan defends Bollywood in Parliament: Kangana Ranaut, Sonam Kapoor react From Salman Khan to Kangana Ranaut, Bollywood celebrates PM Narendra Modi’s birthday "Repeat after me, depression is a consequence of drug abuse. So called high society rich star children who claim to be classy and have a good upbringing ask their manager," MAAL HAI KYA?" #boycottBollywoodDruggies #DeepikaPadukone," Ranaut tweeted. Just a day after Sushant Singh Rajput's death, on June 15, Padukone had tweeted from her verified account: "Repeat after me: depression is an illness." In another tweet posted on June 16, the actress had shared: "Repeat after me: depression is a form of mental illness." Ranaut in her tweets has now taken a sarcastic jibe at Padukone using the latter's catchwords in her anti-depression campaigns. Ranaut's jibe at Padukone comes after the news channel Times Now revealed a WhatsApp chat, which the channel claims allegedly took place between Padukone and her manager Karishma Prakash, who is reportedly an employee with Kwan Talent Management Agency.

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British-French actor and ‘Bond’ villain Michael Lonsdale dies

HollyWood|: Michael Lonsdale, the British-French actor with a far-ranging film and theatre career but most widely recognised as the villain opposite James Bond in ‘Moonraker’, died on Monday aged 89, his agent told AFP. Lonsdale, who was bilingual, chalked up more than 200 roles over a six-decade career, equally at ease in experimental arthouse productions as in big-budget crowd-pleasers. See also Can Japan's ancient Noh theatre survive COVID-19? 10 films and shows to stream in the UAE in September Mulan: Everything to know about Disney’s 2020 adaptation How and why these top Bollywood actors faded into oblivion? With his silky yet imposing voice and a distinctive goatee, Lonsdale often served up memorable performances that stuck with viewers even when only in minor roles. His agent, Olivier Loiseau, said he had died at his home in Paris, the city where he was born on May 24, 1931, to an English military officer and a French mother. His agent, Olivier Loiseau, said he had died at his home in Paris, the city where he was born on May 24, 1931, to an English military officer and a French mother. Arguably the highlight of his career came when he played a Trappist monk in ‘Of Gods and Men’ in 2010. Based on true events, the film tells the story of seven French monks who were murdered after being kidnapped from their monastery in Algeria in 1996 during the country’s civil war. Based on true events, the film tells the story of seven French monks who were murdered after being kidnapped from their monastery in Algeria in 1996 during the country’s civil war. For the role Lonsdale won his first and only Cesar award — France’s version of the Oscars — for best supporting actor in 2011. Yet for millions of people he was the sadistic industrialist Hugo Drax in the 1979 Bond film ‘Moonraker’ starring Roger Moore, with a plan to destroy Earth’s population with nerve gas while he escaped into space. Yet for millions of people he was the sadistic industrialist Hugo Drax in the 1979 Bond film ‘Moonraker’ starring Roger Moore, with a plan to destroy Earth’s population with nerve gas while he escaped into space.

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Meghan’s lawyers deny she cooperated with royal book authors

HollyWood|: Lawyers for a British newspaper publisher that’s being sued for invasion of privacy by the Duchess of Sussex argued on Monday that she made personal information public by cooperating with the authors of a book about her relationship with Prince Harry. The former Meghan Markle is suing the publisher of the Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline website over five articles that published portions of a handwritten letter she wrote to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, after her marriage to Harry in 2018. See also Urmila Matondkar vs Kangana Ranaut: Bollywood reacts to actress' spat Who is Payal Ghosh, the actress who has accused Anurag Kashyap of abuse? Jaya Bachchan defends Bollywood in Parliament: Kangana Ranaut, Sonam Kapoor react Ayushmann Khurrana turns 36: What to know about the progressive actor Meghan, 39, is seeking damages from publisher Associated Newspapers Ltd for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and data protection breaches. Associated Newspapers is contesting the claim. At hearing Monday at the High Court in London, the publisher sought to amend its defence in light of a book about the couple published last month. It said the book — ‘Finding Freedom’ — “contains a great deal of detailed information about [Meghan’s] personal life, including a number of passages referring to her relationship and communications with her father, and a section referring to the letter which is at the heart of this case.” Finding Freedom gives details of the bitter split amongst the UK royals Image Credit: Supplied Antony White, the lawyer for Associated Newspapers, said in written submissions that the book appeared to have been written with Meghan and Harry’s “extensive cooperation.” Meghan’s lawyers denied that she cooperated with the authors of the book, Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie. Meghan’s lawyers denied that she cooperated with the authors of the book, Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie. Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand. Image Credit: Supplied “The claimant and her husband did not collaborate with the authors on the book, nor were they interviewed for it, nor did they provide photographs to the authors for the book,” Meghan’s lawyer Justin Sherbrooke said in a written submission. Monday’s court session was the latest preliminary hearing in the high-cost, high-profile case. A full trial is currently scheduled to begin in January. Following an earlier hearing in May, a judge dismissed parts of Meghan’s claim, including allegations that Associated Newspapers acted “dishonestly” by leaving out certain parts of her letter to her father. The judge also struck out allegations that the publisher deliberately stirred up issues between Meghan and her father and that it had an agenda in publishing intrusive articles about her. The judge also struck out allegations that the publisher deliberately stirred up issues between Meghan and her father and that it had an agenda in publishing intrusive articles about her. Last month a judge ruled that the duchess can keep secret the names of five close friends who defended her anonymously in an American magazine against alleged UK media bullying. High Court judge Mark Warby agreed, “for the time being at least,” to grant Meghan’s request to protect the anonymity of friends who defended her in the pages of a US magazine in order to spare them a “frenzy of publicity” before the case comes to a full trial. American actress Meghan Markle, star of TV legal drama ‘Suits,’ married Harry, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, in a lavish ceremony at Windsor Castle in May 2018. Their son, Archie, was born the following year. Early this year the couple announced they were quitting royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said was unbearable intrusion and racist attitudes from the British media. They recently bought a house in Santa Barbara, California. Early this year the couple announced they were quitting royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said was unbearable intrusion and racist attitudes from the British media. They recently bought a house in Santa Barbara, California.

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Sushant Singh Rajput case: Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor to be summoned by NCB

BollyWood|: Widening its probe into the drugs angle in the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) will summon Bollywood actors Sara Ali Khan and Shraddha Kapoor for questioning. A top NCB source related to the probe told IANS: “This week, we will be sending summons to Sara, Shraddha and several others for questioning.” See also Urmila Matondkar vs Kangana Ranaut: Bollywood reacts to actress' spat Kangana Ranaut’s Bollywood battle with Taapsee, Anurag explained Jaya Bachchan defends Bollywood in Parliament: Kangana Ranaut, Sonam Kapoor react Actress Kangana Ranaut wages war on drugs, Bollywood, Twitter Besides them, the NCB will also summon actor Rakul Preet Singh and fashion designer Simone Kambhatta. He said that the agency will ask them to join the probe next week. Sara starred with Sushant in ‘Kedarnath’ while Shraddha shared the screen with the late actor in ‘Chichhore’. Sushant Singh Rajput and Shraddha Kapoor during promotions for 'Chichhore' in Mumbai. Image Credit: IANS An NCB source said that the drug law enforcement agency got the lead on these actors after it was found that they went on an island near Pune multiple times for parties. The NCB has arrested Sushant’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik Chakraborty, Sushant’s personal staff Dipesh Sawant and several others in the case for allegedly procuring and transporting drugs. It had registered a case on a request from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after it found several WhatsApp chats between several people ostensibly for procuring drugs.

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Dubai music centre to perform Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle hits

Events|Music|: Fans of Indian music icons Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle will be treated to an evening of their best work in honour of the singers’ birthday month. Dubai-based Malhaar Centre for Performing Arts will host an online concert on various platforms on September 25 at 6pm. See also Amitabh Bachchan on 'KBC' set with full COVID-19 precautions Look: Taiwan craftsmen creates miniature worlds Salman Khan’s ‘Dabangg’ turns 10: Sonakshi Sinha, Arbaaz Khan thank fans 'Bill & Ted Face the Music': All you need to know about the Keanu Reeves comedy Bhosle turned 88 on September 8 while Mangeshkar will turn 91 on September 28. Artists from Malhaar will showcase classical compositions sung by the sisters or composed by their brother, Hridaynath Mangeshkar. To get a deeper understanding of their family legacy, Mangeshkar and Bhosle’s nephew Baiju Mangeshkar will share family anecdotes and memories with viewers. “This is an extremely special edition of Malhaar Baithak as we will not only be performing some of the classical compositions performed by the Mangeshkar family in Indian films, but we will also get to hear about their life and music from none other than Baiju Mangeshkar, who will be connecting with us live from Mumbai, India,” says Jogiraj Sikidar, founder-director of Malhaar. Malhaar Baithak. Image Credit: Supplied According to a statement, Baiju will let fans in on behind-the-scenes details about famous compositions that Malhaar artists will be presenting. “I am excited to talk about my family’s legacy and my musical journey so far with Malhaar Baithak’s audience,” Baiju says. “From Hindi film classics such as ‘Mohe Panghat Pe Nandalal’ [‘Mughal-e-Azam’], ‘Chalte Chalte’ [‘Pakeezah’], ‘Dil Cheez Kya Hai’ [‘Umrao Jaan’] and ‘Jhoothe Naina Boley’ [‘Lekin’] to non-film albums, we have an amazing playlist for this edition of Malhaar Baithak,” says Sikidar.

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Bollywood: Payal Ghosh to file FIR against Anurag Kashyap

BollyWood|: Actress Payal Ghosh, who has accused filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of sexual harassment, said that she will file an FIR against him at Oshiwara Police Station by today (September 21) evening. The ‘Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi’ actor said that her advocate Nitin Satpute will also be writing to Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to provide security, as there is a threat to her life. See also Can Japan's ancient Noh theatre survive COVID-19? Mulan: Everything to know about Disney’s 2020 adaptation Sushant Singh Rajput death: Why Rhea Chakraborty has Bollywood divided How and why these top Bollywood actors faded into oblivion? Ghosh also talked about her meeting with the ‘Gangs of Wasseypur filmmaker’ and said, “I don’t know whether Anurag Kashyap consumes drugs or not but when the incident took place, he was smoking something but it was definitely not a cigarette.” Talking about the filmmaker getting support from actors, she said, “There are many people who have supported Anurag Kashyap because of their bread and butter and their family run because of him so they will definitely talk in support of him.” Anurag Kashyap. Earlier in the day Kashyap’s lawyer rejected “the false allegations of sexual misconduct” levied against his client, terming it “completely false, malicious and dishonest”. On Saturday, Ghosh accused Kashyap of sexual harassment. Speaking to ANI, she said, “Five years ago I met Anurag Kashyap regarding work. He called me to his house. When I went there, he took me to a separate room and tried to sexually assault me. He forced himself on me.” “I request the authorities to kindly take action and let the country see the demon behind this creative guy. I am aware that it can harm me and my security is at risk. I am seeking action against him,” said Ghosh. After the allegations, Kashyap responded on Twitter in which he denied the allegations, claiming that they were ‘baseless’. “I neither behave like this nor do I ever tolerate this at any price,” he said.

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Global music group Now United introduces first Arab member in Dubai

Music|: The Now United family just got a little bigger. The global pop group, founded by Spice Girls manager and ‘American Idol’ creator Simon Fuller, have added their 16th member — and it’s an Arab teen. The months-long search for a new member from the Middle East and North Africa concluded on Monday morning, as Fuller himself announced that 18-year-old Lebanese songstress Nour Ardakani would officially be joining the multinational group. See also Photos: Frozen in time, scenic Antigua waits for foreign tourists Photos: All wooden 'Sanctuary of Truth' Hindu-Buddhist temple and museum in Pattaya Photos: A preview of the world's first 'Rolling Stones' store Photos: Hundreds enjoy Venice’s Historical Regatta “I think you are absolutely wonderful, and I think you would be perfect to join the group. And I would like to invite you to be the next member of Now United,” Fuller told the singer and dancer in a video call. “Seriously, it’s me? You picked me?” asked Ardakani, to which Fuller replied: “You got it.” Ardakani joins the group in Dubai later this week, after the members had come to the UAE to film a new music video for their song ‘Feel It Now’. Founded in 2017, Now United in November of last year announced that, in collaboration with Pepsi, they were looking for a new member from the MENA region. Now United. A month before that announcement, however, American member Noah Urrea hinted in an exclusive interview with Gulf News that they would be looking to add a Middle Eastern member. “I would love for that to happen,” he told Gulf News in October 2019. “What’s so cool about Now United is that there’s 14 of us now, but we just announced that we’re gonna get a new member from Australia and we definitely have ... We’ve been talking about getting a new member from another place that … you never know. You just never know!” Out of thousands of hopefuls in the MENA region, 13 were shortlisted. It came down to Ardakani and 15-year-old Emirati talent, Alya Al Ali. Fuller picked Ardakani after hearing her recording of a new Now United song, ‘Habibi’. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity to join Now United, to do what I love and represent the country that I love,” said Ardakani, who already has 46,000 Instagram followers at time of writing. “Singing and dancing is my passion and to be given the chance to do that with so many amazing talents from different countries and cultures is a dream come true for me.” “In Nour, I have found a remarkable young performer,” said Fuller. “She has natural talent and is a wonderful pure singer with gentle emotion and warmth. However, it is her personality that impressed me the most. She has a calm confidence, a maturity and intelligence far in advance of her age. She comes from an extraordinary part of the world, rich in history, culture and the arts. Nour is the perfect choice and she will make the region and Lebanon very proud.” The group’s members currently represent Mexico, Brazil, India, South Korea, Russia, China, the UK, America, Philippines, Canada, Japan, Germany, Finland, Senegal, Australia and Lebanon. Now United is made up of Any Gabrielly, 17, Bailey May, 18, Heyoon Jeong, 23, Hina Yoshihara, 18, Joalin Loukamaa, 18, Josh Beauchamp, 20, Krystian Wang, 20, Lamar Morris, 20, Urrea, 19, Ardakani, 18, Sabina Hidalgo, 21, Savannah Clark, 17, Shivani Paliwal, 18, Sina Deinert, 22 and Sofya Plotnikova, 17.

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Abu Dhabi, Israel sign pact on film and TV production, film festival

Business|Entertainment|: Dubai: The Abu Dhabi Film Commission has reached a three-way agreement with Israel Film Fund (IFF) and the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film &Television School to come up with creative and financing possibilities in the fields of film and television. “This agreement strengthens cultural ties between our creative industries as well as supports the development of Abu Dhabi’s film and TV sector through the creation of new opportunities for collaboration," said Mohammed Al Mubarak, Chairman of twofour54 and Image Nation Abu Dhabi. See More Race to rescue animals as Brazilian wetlands burn From the editors: Horrific head-on traffic collision on Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road COVID-19: Taj Mahal reopens even as India coronavirus cases soar From the editors: Global Village to boost consumer confidence The partners have agreed on an agenda consisting of four key initiatives - bilateral workshops, training, education, the International Film Lab and a regional film festival. In partnership with Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film &Television School (JSFS), Emirati students will be selected to study in one of three educational tracks in its acclaimed Jerusalem campus. More coming your way Future objectives will include a bilateral film co-production agreement to facilitate and encourage co-productions between the film industries of Abu Dhabi and Israel. The agreement also specified plans for a regional film festival, which will rotate annually between Abu Dhabi and Israel and will showcase Emirati and Israeli productions and co-productions. Emirati filmmakers will have representation at the International Film Lab for the first time ever, with one UAE director invited to participate as a jury at the upcoming 2021 edition of the high-profile annual Film Lab competition. Hans Fraikin, the Abu Dhabi Film Commissioner, said: “This new partnership between the UAE and Israel will be extremely beneficial for our burgeoning Emirati film and television community by allowing our talented content creators to broaden their landscapes and develop skills from diverse expertise.” Training programmes will be developed for filmmakers from both countries to participate in intensive script co-development workshops over a period of several months, with the aim of developing and producing Abu Dhabi-Israel film and television co-productions. Future objectives of the partnership will be announced soon and will include a bilateral film co-production agreement to facilitate and encourage co-productions between the film industries of Abu Dhabi and Israel.

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Bollywood: Kangana Ranaut says Maharashtra government is obsessed with her

BollyWood|: Days after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) demolished actor Kangana Ranaut’s Mumbai office, the actress on Monday said that “if they [Maharashtra government] stop being obsessed with me, they will know how the entire state is collapsing”. A Twitter user shared an article reporting the collapse of a three-storey building in Bhiwandi, while also tagging Ranaut’s team, and said: “Painful scenes! Happens when Maharashtra govt has only the time to dismantle @KanganaTeam’s office! #Maharashtra #Bhiwandi.” See also Mulan: Everything to know about Disney’s 2020 adaptation UAE: Artist depicts Emirati women’s history in digital exhibit Mariah Carey to LANY: 9 more albums releasing in 2020 'Bill & Ted Face the Music': All you need to know about the Keanu Reeves comedy To which, the ‘Queen’ actress responded: “Meanwhile Maharashtra government k-k-k-k-kNgnaa ..... if they stop being obsessed with me they will know how the entire state is collapsing.” On Monday morning, at least 10 people were killed after a three-storey building collapsed in Patel Compound in Bhiwandi, Thane. The incident happened at around 3.40am. Five people were also injured. On September 10, Ranaut’s office in Pali Hill, Bandra was partially demolished by the BMC. The ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ star, through her lawyer Rizwan Siddiqui, moved the High Court against the demolition of what the BMC termed as “illegal alterations” at her office. The corporation had earlier filed an affidavit in the High Court stating that Ranaut has unlawfully made substantial alterations and additions to the property, contrary to the sanctioned building plan, and termed her allegations against it as “baseless”.

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Operation Lotus in Bollywood and attack on Anurag Kashyap: When directors and stars are turned villains

The Me Too movement, which has seen women across the world expose the men who have sexually harassed them at the workplace, is by my reckoning one of the most important movements in our history. As a woman I have been in unequivocal in support of the movement. I believe her because it takes huge courage to speak up on the sexual harassment you suffer. It messes up your psyche - threatens your professional identity and nearly dismantles your confidence. Faithful reader of SWAT analysis I could have chosen to write on a myriad variety of subjects - you get enough material from the Modi government on a dismaying daily basis. So why have I chosen to write about well known film director Anurag Kashyap and the allegation of sexual harassment made against him by actor Payal Ghosh? The actor recently made sensational allegations of abuse against Kashyap on social media and tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The alleged abuse dates back to 2014 and Ghosh has made specific claims. Payal Ghosh Image Credit: IANS Kashyap has denied all these allegations and been supported by actor Tapsee Pannu. Kashyap yesterday issued a legal statement denying the charges. This came after actor Kangana Ranaut attacked Kashyap in a tweet storm. Ranaut also claimed that she was a victim of sexual harassment in the film industry. Ranaut did not name any of the men who harassed her and wanted Kashyap arrested. Now the background to these sensational allegations. Kashyap is a well-known critic of the Modi government, which is allergic to any criticism. Kashyap is one of the few A-listers in the sycophantic Mumbai film industry who regularly calls out the government. As I have written earlier here in my SWAT analysis, the BJP has done an Operation Lotus in the film industry and bullied those actors, including the three superstars Aamir, Shah Rukh and Salman into silence post the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. If you said a word against the witch hunt directed against actor Rhea Chakraborty, Rajput’s partner currently in jail accused by his family of murder and being investigated by three separate central Investigative agencies, you would bring a howling social media mob baying for your blood upon yourself. See also Meet the queen of hearts Kangana Ranaut Kangana Ranaut and other Bollywood casting controversies Kangana Ranaut’s Bollywood battle with Taapsee, Anurag explained Meet the queen of hearts Kangana Ranaut Kangana Ranaut and other Bollywood casting controversies Sneak peek inside Kangana Ranaut’s swanky new space in Mumbai Kangana turns rail ticketseller at Mumbai station to promote film No surprises that this was an organised paid mob of the BJP’s infamous IT cell weaponised by puerile television channels eager to peddle Rajput conspiracy theories as distraction from actual issues which would indict the Modi government. This backdrop will unpick for you why Kashyap has now been attacked by a mob, which wants him arrested despite the fact that Ghosh is yet to even file a first information report (FIR) against Kashyap. I am not remotely surprised by the attack against Kashyap. I am only wondering that it took so long. If Kashyap has sexually harassed Ghosh he should be given exemplary punishment. But, a social media lynch mob angry with Kashyap for bursting the bubble of the conspiracy theories about the Bollywood drug mafia, nepotism and Ms Ranaut can’t really be the mob punishing Kashyap. From describing Mumbai as “Pakistan occupied Kashmir” to comparing farmers agitating against the Farm Bills to “terrorists” to calling the municipal authorities, who brought down the alleged unauthorised parts of her office “Babur’s army,” Ranaut has made a slew of attacks which are identical in tone and tenor to the IT cell. She has also made no bones about her support for the Modi government. In all these serial allegations, including targeting Aditya Thackeray, minister in the Maharashtra government and son of Shiv Sena chief and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, you would forget that she originally asked for justice for Rajput. It is quite breathtaking that Ranaut has been a victim of all that she claims Rajput and now Ghosh has suffered. Read more Swati Chaturvedi Narendra Modi is like a sage - untouched by the Chinese aggression and COVID-19 Calling the Indian media hounding Rhea Chakraborty vultures is an insult to vultures Operation Lotus prepares to conquer Bollywood as BJP eyes political battles in Maharashtra and Bihar Kangana Ranaut reinventing herself as an actor, set to take stage as BJP candidate Days before the allegation made against him, Kashyap said Ranaut’s claims that she was forced to do drugs were wrong as nobody could force her. He also said Ravi Kishan, actor turned BJP MP, who spoke about the “drug mafia” in Bollywood allegedly used weed. What has annoyed the Right Wing is the smash the patriarchy campaign launched by some Bollywood players post Chakraborty’s arrest. If you can’t bully them, let’s target them seems to be the message. As a woman I don’t want the salience of the me too movement being sullied by misuse. Any spurious allegation hurts the credibility of the movement. Final takeaway - the Modi government makes sure that critics pay such a price that being mum on Modi is the preferred option.

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Richa Chadha takes legal action against Payal Ghosh

BollyWood|: Bollywood actress Richa Chadha on September 21 initiated legal proceedings against actress Payal Ghosh for dragging her name into her sexual misconduct claims against filmmaker Anurag Kashyap. Chadha and Kashyap have worked together in the past. See also Mulan: Everything to know about Disney’s 2020 adaptation UAE: Artist depicts Emirati women’s history in digital exhibit Mariah Carey to LANY: 9 more albums releasing in 2020 'Bill & Ted Face the Music': All you need to know about the Keanu Reeves comedy Ghosh claims that Kashyap had boasted to her that other actresses like Chadha and Huma Qureshi had granted him sexual favours in exchange for work. “Our client ‘Ms Richa Chadda’ condemns the act of her name being unnecessarily and falsely dragged in a defamatory manner into controversies and allegation being recently raised by third parties,” said Chadha’s lawyer in a statement. Chadha posted her statement and added that wronged women should get justice at all costs, no women should misuse their liberties to harass other women. She labelled Ghosh’s allegations of her being involved as ‘false and baseless’. “Our client has initiated appropriate legal action and shall further pursue her legal rights and remedies in law as may be advised in her best interest,” the statement read. She tagged the office of the Prime Minister of India in her tweet. “@anuragkashyap72 has forced himself on me and extremely badly. @PMOIndia @narendramodi ji, kindly take action and let the country see the demon behind this creative guy. I am aware that it can harm me and my security is at risk. Pls help!” Ghosh had tweeted. In a separate interview, Ghosh claimed that actors such as Chadha and Qureshi had relented to Kashyap’s demands in the past. Chadha slammed Ghosh for dragging her name into the alleged episode with Kashyap. When a Twitter user Shweta Pandey posted an old video of Chadha defending women who spoke against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and filmmaker Woody Allen, Chadha responded to her directly. “Attempt to rape is a serious allegation. She should have gone to the cops. You think feminism is women dragging your name in an obscene, unnecessary way in their personal battles? So I can make cheap allegations on TV? Your agenda has blinded you towards truth. Shame,” tweeted Chadha. Pandey had also questioned her morality and integrity in the tweet asking why she came in support of Kashyap. Meanwhile, Kashyap has employed a lawyer and is intending to take Ghosh to court for her defaming him. The ‘Manmarziyaan’ director has dismissed the actress’ claim as ‘false’ and ‘baseless’. Many colleagues such as Gulshan Deviah, Taapsee Pannu and Swara Bhasker have vouched for his strong work ethics. On Ghosh’s side, there’s actress Kangana Ranaut — a strong detractor of Kashyap and his political leanings — who has openly hailed her for speaking up against sexual misconduct. Ranaut also claimed that big heroes in Bollywood had sexually abused her in the past.