Entertainment – Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency http://www.khaama.com The largest news and information source in Afghanistan Sun, 25 Jun 2017 06:59:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 Veteran Indian actor Vinod Khanna dies at 70 http://www.khaama.com/veteran-indian-actor-vinod-khanna-dies-at-70-02661 http://www.khaama.com/veteran-indian-actor-vinod-khanna-dies-at-70-02661#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:22:31 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=75603 Read the full article...]]> A veteran Indian actor and politician Vinod Khanna has died at the age of 70 amid reports the actor had a difficult battle with cancer.

Khanna reportedly died earlier today almost weeks after he was admitted to hospital due to severe dehydration.

News regarding his health condition deteriorating surfaced in late 2016 and early 2017 and subsequently disappeared from the public eye.

The Twitter micro social blog went into an overdrive with tributes, pictures, updates, statuses with their love for the veteran actor soon after the death of the actor was confirmed.

Often called as one of the most handsome actors of the Indian film industry during his times, Khanna has featured in more than 100 films.

However, some of the famous movies Khanna appeared are Mere Apne, Insaaf and Amar, Akbar, Anthony.

He was last seen in Shah Rukh Khan’s Dilwale. He had 146 credits as an actor, according to Hindustan Times.

The actor was also a was a sitting Bharatiya Janata Party member of the Lok Sabha from the Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab.

Bornn on 6 October 1946, Khanna made his debut in 1968 with Mann Ka Meet and went on to win numerous awards.

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Kareena Kapoor’s photo emerge online with newborn son Taimur http://www.khaama.com/kareena-kapoors-photo-emerge-online-with-newborn-son-taimur-02521 http://www.khaama.com/kareena-kapoors-photo-emerge-online-with-newborn-son-taimur-02521#respond Wed, 21 Dec 2016 10:40:17 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=72718 Read the full article...]]> Latest photos of the iconic Bollywood actress Kareena Kappor have emerged online days after she was blessed with a baby son.

The actress married to Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan was blessed with a baby boy on Tuesday morning at the Breach Candy Hospital.

Both the mother and the baby are said to be doing fine, according to the local media reports.

In a statement, Kareena and Saif confirmed the news and revealed that they have named their baby Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi, according to the Indian Express newspaper.

Within minutes of the statement, Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi was trending on Twitter.

Confirming the news, Kareena’s father, actor Randhir Kapoor, spoke to indianexpress.com, “We are very happy. The baby is fine and so is Kareena. All of us are absolutely delighted.” According to sources, the entire Khan and Kapoor families were with Kareena moments before she was wheeled in for delivery.

Kareena married Saif Ali Khan in 2012 with the actress then saying her sole condition for marrying actor Saif Ali Khan was that she would work all her life and he would support her.

“Today I am a wife and all my life I will work and earn money and my husband will support. That is the only condition (on which) I married Saif,” she was quoted as saying in a report by Hindustan Times earlier this year.

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Aishwarya Rai’s suicide hoax goes viral http://www.khaama.com/aishwaryar-rais-suicide-hoax-goes-viral-02420 http://www.khaama.com/aishwaryar-rais-suicide-hoax-goes-viral-02420#respond Sun, 04 Dec 2016 10:21:42 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=72401 Read the full article...]]> aishwarya-raiOne of India’s famous actresses Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been a victim of a suicide hoax that went viral in major social media platforms across India, it has been reported.

The news of the actress committing suicide went viral on social media and messaging apps, according to Zoom TV, a major channel covering the Indian cinema.

The 43-year-old former beauty queen tried to commit suicide by overdosing on tranquilizers, according to the hoax story.

The report further added that the actress committed suicide due to disputes which erupted between her and her in-laws, mainly due to a hot photo shoot the actress did with Ranbir Kapoor for a magazine.

The baseless news also stated the Bachchan family on finding out about her attempted suicide, quickly summoned the doctors at the residence and chose to treat her at home to keep the matter hushed up, the channel said in its report.

According to the report, a blog even quoted the physician saying that the actress when came back to her conscious said, “Let Me Die, It Is Better to Die than Living Such Pathetic Life.”

The actress has not commented regarding the report so far.

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Shuja Rabbani becomes Afghanistan’s first celebrity, only verified Instagram user http://www.khaama.com/shuja-rabbani-become-afghanistans-first-celebrity-only-verified-instagram-user-02159 http://www.khaama.com/shuja-rabbani-become-afghanistans-first-celebrity-only-verified-instagram-user-02159#comments Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:39:11 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=71537 Read the full article...]]> shuja-rabbaniA prominent Afghan artist and influential social media activist has become the first celebrity from Afghanistan to get a verified Instagram account.

The verification of Rabbani’s account on Instagram, one f the most powerful social media platforms, comes as another milestone for Rabbani’s personal branding as the music producer also received the blue tick from Facebook and announced the verification in a recent tweet.

Rabbani is currently amongst the top Twitter users in Afghanistan and he is known for self-expression beyond the art of music production, according to an press release.

Rabbani is also an active blogger and one of Afghanistan’s few English writers who engages in humanitarian and political discussions.

“I am aware that several Hollywood celebrities have shut down their social media accounts due to hate messages and cyber bullying, and while I am nowhere near as popular as they are on social media, I am not exempted from online harassment either. I have had my share of aggressive cyber bullies from Afghanistan sending hateful tweets from anonymous accounts – however, I made up my mind long ago that I was not going to give up and I am very happy today to see that my resilience has paid off and I get to have the last laugh,” says Rabbani in reference to the challenges of living a public life under the scrutiny of a conservative Afghan society.

Earlier this year, Rabbani released his second LP album titled ‘Alpha Male’ thorough his self-owned record label Rabbani Records. The combined views on videos for his two promotional singles from the album have reached over 1.5 million viewers on the Internet, a staggering figure in comparison to the international outreach and musical appeal by other artists from Afghanistan.

On his Twitter account, Rabbani is frequently seen publishing poll tweets that have, at times, garnered over 50,000 participants in less than 24-hours. His Twitter and Instagram accounts are followed by a handful of Hollywood celebrities, internationally renowned journalists and media personalities, and Ambassadors from around the world. In his recent social media posts, Rabbani has hinted he is currently working on a new album with expected release in 2017.

Shuja Rabbani is an Electronic Dance Music producer from Afghanistan who is currently based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He is a frequent blogger on political topics concerning Afghanistan and his opinion pieces have been published in international news websites.

His music is available in over 200 digital outlets including iTunes, Tidal, Spotify, Amazon and Beatport, and he is amongst the few names in Middle East’s music industry to be established as an independent record label.

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Angelina Jolie likely to star in Afghanistan drama ‘Shoot Like a Girl’ http://www.khaama.com/angelina-jolie-likely-to-star-in-afghanistan-drama-shoot-like-a-girl-01979 http://www.khaama.com/angelina-jolie-likely-to-star-in-afghanistan-drama-shoot-like-a-girl-01979#respond Sat, 01 Oct 2016 04:36:46 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=70945 Read the full article...]]> The famous American film star Angelina Jolie is likely to star in a movie based on the story of a female US Air Force Major who served for three tours in Afghanistan, it has been reported.

The actress is in early talks for the film ‘Shoot Like a Girl’ which is an adaptation of Air Force Major Mary Jennings Hegar’s “Shoot Like a Girl: One Woman’s Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front.”

The book follows Hegar’s experience as a member of the armed forces, serving three tours as a helicopter rescue pilot conducting search and rescue missions in some of the most dangerous parts of the world, which earned her a Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross, according to the local newspaper, the Wrap.

Back at home, she successfully took on the Department of Defense and helped overturn the Combat Exclusion Policy, which banned women from combat positions.

The book is scheduled to be released on March 7, 2017 by Berkley Caliber, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Jolie is in negotiations to play Hegar in the film.

This will be the second film for Angelina Jolie based on Afghanistan after ‘The Breadwinner’ film depict the life of a young Afghan girl which putss into the screen the courage of the girl who disguises herself as a boy to become the breadwinner of her family.

The Breadwinner movie will be based on the novel of Deborah Ellis and will be titled “The Breadwinner” which will tell the story of a young girl named Parvana, who lives in the reign of Taliban in Afghanistan.

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Ahmad Zahir’s death anniversary observed in Kabul http://www.khaama.com/ahmad-zahirs-death-anniversary-observed-in-kabul-01248 http://www.khaama.com/ahmad-zahirs-death-anniversary-observed-in-kabul-01248#comments Mon, 13 Jun 2016 14:55:01 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=68462 Read the full article...]]> Ahmad ZahirThe death anniversary of the legendary Afghan singer Ahmad Zahir was observed in Kabul today by a number of the Afghan artists, including singers and media supporters.

The participants who paid tribute to the legendary singer said Ahmad Zahir will remain unique and will not be replaced by any other singer in the history of the Afghan music.

Ahmad Zahir died on 1st June 1979 in an incident but there are many mixed views from critics for why he was killed, but according to his son Rishad Zahir, Zahir “was assassinated by the order of a communist general named Daud Taroon, who used one of Zahir’s best friends as an accomplice to carry out his orders”.

Ahmad Zahir left behind two children, Ahmad Rishad and Shabnam whom currently live in United States along with Ahmad Zahir’s sister, Zahira who is the personal hair stylist of Presidents Bush, Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and other dignitaries.

His songs are mostly in Persian and based on well-recognized Persian poems, although a few are in Pashto and English. Zahir composed and performed rock and pop music, in a similar style to Elvis Presley.

His debut song “Ay Bulbuli Shorida” was performed at Hibibia High School and his schoolmates awarded him title of “Bulbul-e-Habibia” (Nightingale of Habibia). While in high school, Ahmad Zahir, Omar Sultan, Nabil Meskinyar, Farid Zaland and Akbar Nayab formed a band called “Amateurs of Habibia”

By the late 1960s, Ahmad Zahir began to fully contribute to this new musical movement. Blessed with an extraordinary voice and acute musical instincts, Ahmad Zahir directed Afghan music to new depths.

He also had the opportunity to work with the best individuals in the Kabul music scene such as the late saxophonist Ustad Ismail Azimi, trumpeter Ustad Nangalai and composers Naynawaz, Taranasaz, Mas’our Jamal, along with others.

Zahir became a star in the years just before Afghanistan descended into more than 30 years of war. It was a happier time, though the government was rapidly becoming unstable. As the son of a former prime minister, he moved easily among Kabul’s cultural elite.

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Gladiator’s screenwriter starts work on life of Mawlana Jalaluddin Balkhi http://www.khaama.com/gladiators-screenwriter-starts-work-on-life-of-mawlana-jalaluddin-balkhi-01197 http://www.khaama.com/gladiators-screenwriter-starts-work-on-life-of-mawlana-jalaluddin-balkhi-01197#respond Tue, 07 Jun 2016 17:09:10 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=68285 Read the full article...]]> gladiator-522d2bd7f14a4 (1)

A top American film producer and screenwriter has started a new project about the life of Mawlana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi, it has been reported.

The screenwriter, David Franzoni, who wrote the 2000 blockbuster Gladiator has said his new project will be about the life and times of the 13th century Sufi poet Mawlana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi.

Franzoni’s idea – to create a counter to stereotypical depictions of Muslims in Hollywood – is a noble one.

“Rumi is like a Shakespeare… He’s a character who has enormous talent and worth to his society and his people, and obviously resonates today,” he told the Guardian.

“There are a lot of reasons we’re making a product like this right now. I think it’s a world that needs to be spoken to; Rumi is hugely popular in the United States. I think it gives him a face and a story,” he added.

According to reports, Franzoni and producer Stephen Joel Brown’s top choice for the role of Rumi is… Leonardo di Caprio.

On top of that, the filmmakers are crossing their fingers over bagging Robert Downey Jr to star as Shams i-Tabrizi, Rami’s mentor.

Mawlana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi also recognized as Rumi was a scholar who was forced to flee his home in present-day Afghanistan after the Mongol invasion.

He lived in Baghdad, Mecca, Damascus and Konya in Turkey, experiences which infused his poetry, still loved across the world today.

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Popular Indian actor and comedian Razzak Khan passed away http://www.khaama.com/popular-indian-actor-and-comedian-razzak-khan-passed-away-01139 http://www.khaama.com/popular-indian-actor-and-comedian-razzak-khan-passed-away-01139#respond Wed, 01 Jun 2016 15:40:38 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=68098 Read the full article...]]> Razzak KhanOne of Indian’s most popular actor and comedian Razzak Khan has passed away reportedly due to a massive heart attack in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

According to reports, Khan was declared dead on arrival to hospital in Bandra following the heart attack at 12:30 am.

He is popularly known for his role of Manikchand in Shah Rukh Khan starrer Baadshah and his list of his popular films include Hello Brother, Joru Ka Ghulam and Kyaa Kool Hain Hum and many more.

Khan made his debut in Bollywood in 1993 by appearing in Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja and was seen in more than 90 movies in his entire career span.

He also appeared on Kapil Sharma’s show ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’ in 2014.

His son Asad Khan is expected to reach Mumbai from Croatia on Wednesday and his funeral will be held in Mumbai tomorrow after the 4 pm.

Bollywood celebrities, including Anurag Kashyap, Hansal Mehta, Satish Kaushik and Arshad Warsi, expressed their grief and shock over the death of Razak.

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Death threats force Afghan film actress to seek asylum in France http://www.khaama.com/death-threats-force-afghan-film-actress-to-seek-asylum-in-france-0849 http://www.khaama.com/death-threats-force-afghan-film-actress-to-seek-asylum-in-france-0849#respond Thu, 05 May 2016 13:33:20 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=67154 Read the full article...]]> Marina GulbahariAn Afghan film actress Marina Golbahari has been forced to seek asylum in France after receiving death threats from the hardliners in Afghanistan for her role as an actress.

The death threats against Golbahari reportedly intensified after appearing in a film festival in South Korea where she was pictured with head uncovered, drawing the attention of the hardliners.

According to Agence France-Presse, Golbahari arrived in France for a film festival five months and could not return to Afghanistan as threats against her and her husband grew further.

Golbahari’s husband Noorullah Azizi told AFP “We never thought of staying. We hardly packed anything.”

The actress appeared in the Gloden Globe-winning film Osama when she was only 10-year-old, thrusting her to stardom as the heroine.

Her role in the film was depict the a girl who had disguised herself as a boy during the Taliban’s rule so that she can walk freely on the street.

Osama’ was a hit and made Golbahari, now 24, an instant star in her country. “Cinema is my life,” she said. “In a film, I can say everything about my people.”

The threats against Golbahari reportedly increased after the imam in her local village of Kapisa announced that she should not return, which Azizi said translates as: “She must die.”

The couple was forced to move from house to house due to growing threats followed by a failed grenade attack on her house.

She travelled to France together with her husband in mid-November to appear in a festival in Nantes in western France. But their families, who had also received death threats, told them they had to stay away.

The couple have found themselves in a decrepit shelter for asylum seekers in Dreux, 90 kilometres outside Paris. Their small green and violet room looks out over a roof full of discarded rubbish.

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Afghan Bollywood fan spent millions to have largest collection of Hindi movies http://www.khaama.com/afghan-bollywood-fan-spent-millions-to-have-largest-collection-of-hindi-movies-0062 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-bollywood-fan-spent-millions-to-have-largest-collection-of-hindi-movies-0062#comments Mon, 01 Feb 2016 05:16:15 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=62591 Read the full article...]]> Afghan Bollywood fan

An Afghan multi-millionaire has spent millions to create the largest individual collection of Hindi movies released between 1940 to 1980.

The 63-year-old Amanullah Nezami surprised the Indian authorities as he recently arrived to the country possessing a five-year visa which is rare among the non-diplomat foreigners.

With the security agencies suspicious regarding his visa, Mr. Nezami managed to obtain clearance from the airport with the intervention of a senior officer.

His story was reflected in local media for his unprecedented love to Hindi movies with and acquiring the identity of an unofficial brand ambassador of Hindi movies outside India.

He is currently living in Saudi Arabia where he runs a chain of restaurants under the brand of Al-Khalifa and visits India for at least a month every year.

His collection includes movies released between 1940 to 1980 and over 70,000 songs from the same movies, according to The New Indian Express.

Nezami said “I have 5,670 films to be precise. Barring a few I have almost every film in this period.”

To collect a rare song from Ambar from a Pakistani national, Nezami once travelled all the way from Jeddah to Berlin. “I paid him `1 lakh for the song but the person was more delighted that someone had travelled such a long distance just to collect the song,” Nezami said.

He says Hindi films have turned him half Indian. He has installed three flags at the ‘darbar’ in his residence. “Mera khoon hain Afghani par dil hain Hindustani (I come from Afghanistan but my heart lies in India),” he proclaimed with a smile.

Afghanistan was one of the biggest foreign markets for Bollywood films until the early 1990s. Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Hema Malini still have a fan-following here.

Newer actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, John Abraham and Katrina Kaif too have developed vast admirers among Afghan youngsters who watch Hindi movies on local TV channels and through DVDs in bigger cities like Kabul, Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif.

Bollywood broke new ground in Afghanistan in 2006 with the release of Kabul Express, the first international movie filmed in post-Taliban Afghanistan. India’s traditionally friendly ties with Afghanistan have been on a high since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

India is the sixth largest donor to the country with an aid budget of more than $1.5 billion, and Indian companies are rebuilding roads and schools in this country despite constant security threats. India and Afghanistan have established a strong relationship based on their historical and civilisational ties and strengthened New Delhi’s role in the reconstruction of the war-scarred nation.

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Angelina Jolie to donate ‘The Breadwinner’ film profits to educating Afghan girls http://www.khaama.com/angelina-jolie-to-donate-the-breadwinner-film-profits-to-educating-afghan-girls-1766 http://www.khaama.com/angelina-jolie-to-donate-the-breadwinner-film-profits-to-educating-afghan-girls-1766#comments Sun, 06 Dec 2015 19:28:02 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=59684 Read the full article...]]> Angelina Jolie donate film profits to Afghan girls educationThe American actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian, Angelina will donate all the proceeds from her work on the film ‘The Breadwinner’ to the education of Afghan girls.

Angelina has visited Afghanistan twice during the recent years and funds a girls school in north of Kabul through profits from her jewellery collection.

She is regularly visiting areas of conflict around the world as part of her role as a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

“Angelina read the script, looked at the artwork with her children, and really loved the approach we were taking. I think she involves her children in lots of her decisions and certainly shows them things that are of interest to them. They helped her to make the decision to be involved in the project. It’s the kind of film that they like,” Irish filmmaker Nora Twomey who is making her solo directorial debut with the film told the UAE based The National newspaper.

Twomey further added “It’s a great challenge for us in the studio to try to tell a really simple, strong, profound story from this part of the world, which you hear about a lot in the news.”

“Angelina is so knowledgeable about Afghanistan and other areas of conflict, and she really means it – it’s something that she thinks deeply about and understands the complexities of,” says Twomey. “She has a very sensitive view of what its like to live there. Having help on the story from somebody who really understands the subject matter has been priceless. And having a fellow filmmaker to talk to about the artistic elements of the film has been fantastic,” Twomey added.

According to Twomey, Angelina was adamant to find as many cast as we could from the Afghani community in Canada, where the recording the voices being made.

With plans to release the film in Dari and Pashto, the most widely spoken languages in Afghanistan, ‘The Breadwinner’ tells the story of a headstrong young girl living under the Taliban in Afghanistan, who is forced to disguise herself as a boy to provide for her family.

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Afghanistan protests regarding disqualification of Utopia film by Oscars http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-protests-regarding-disqualification-of-utopia-film-by-oscars-1700 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-protests-regarding-disqualification-of-utopia-film-by-oscars-1700#respond Wed, 18 Nov 2015 10:06:53 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=58996 Read the full article...]]>

The Filmmakers Union of Afghanistan has formally protested regarding the disqualification of an Afghan film ‘Utopia’ from Oscars foreign-language race.

The protest was reportedly lodged by Jawanshir Haidary, the head of the Filmmakers Union of Afghanistan by sending a letter to the Academy.

‘Utopia’ was disqualified after the academy found that the film was containing too much English and was therefore not qualifying for the Oscar foreign-language race.

The academy announced earlier this week that the film Babel-like drama involving three intersecting stories, failed to meet the requirement of rule 13, section A of the Academy’s “Special Rules for the Foreign Language Film Award.”

It states that A foreign language film is… a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”

In the meantime, Mr. Haidary, in his letter to the Academy has said Utopia is “predominantly” foreign language.

“Utopia has forty-eight minutes of Dari and Hindi language and thirty-seven minutes of English speaking scenes in an 85 minute film excluding credits,” Haidary submits, and “therefore in our eyes is predominantly in [a] foreign language,” according to letter cited in a report by The Hollywood Reporter.

A statement by the director of the film Hssan Nazer has also been included in the letter. “For Utopia authenticity was important so when our main character travels to the UK she would of course speak English,” he said.

Nazer also added “when communicating in India the common language would be English.”

“We ask that you please consider our points and reconsider. We do not have another film of this quality to represent Afghanistan at the Academy Awards 2016,” Haidary said.

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Afghan film ‘Utopia’ disqualified by Oscars from foreign-language race http://www.khaama.com/afghan-film-utopia-disqualified-by-oscars-from-foreign-language-race-1693 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-film-utopia-disqualified-by-oscars-from-foreign-language-race-1693#respond Mon, 16 Nov 2015 06:44:34 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=58895 Read the full article...]]> Afghan film UtopiaThe Afghan film ‘Utopia’ which was nominated for Oscar Award has been disqualified by the Academy, it has been reported.

The decision to disqualify the film was reportedly taken after it was found that the film was containing too much English and was therefore not qualifying for the Oscar foreign-language race.

Directed by Hassan Nazer, Utopia was among 81 films nominated for the Award and marked Afghanistan’s 10th submission in the category since it first entered the Oscar race in 2002.

An Academy spokesperson quoted in local media reports in United States, said the film was partially filmed in English and partially in the Dari language and did not meet the rule that requires a submission to be primarily in a language other than English.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film failed to meet the requirement of rule 13, section A of the Academy’s “Special Rules for the Foreign Language Film Award,” which states that “A foreign language film is… a predominantly non-English dialogue track.” In other words, Utopia features too much English on top of its Dari-language content.

The Academy Awards is scheduled to be held on February 28th in Los Angeles and will be televised live in more than 225 countries around the globe.

The producer of the film Malalai Zikria who also played a lead role in the film was awarded the ‘Best Actress’ award by the Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) earlier this month.

‘Utopia’ is about an Afghan woman who travels to Britain for artificial insemination which has been filmed in Afghanistan, India and Scotland.

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Afghan Woman Receives ‘Best Actress’ Award in Asian World Film Festival http://www.khaama.com/afghan-woman-receives-best-actress-award-in-asian-world-film-festival-1675 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-woman-receives-best-actress-award-in-asian-world-film-festival-1675#respond Thu, 05 Nov 2015 16:26:14 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=58486 Read the full article...]]> The Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) awarded the ‘Best Actress’ award to Afghan film actress Malalai Zikria for her role in Utopia film.

Foreign language films from 50 countries featured in the festival which ran from October 26 to November 2 in Los Angeles.

The Best Actor award was given to to He Bing from the Chinese film “12 Citizens” (China). ‘Moira’ a drama from the Republic of Georgia took Best Picture at the first annual Asian World Film Festival, while Iraq’s ‘Memories on Stone’ took the Jury Award.

Many of the films featured in the festival were official submissions for this year’s Oscar race, including the ‘Utopia’ film which is among 81 countries nominated for thee award.

The Academy Awards is scheduled to be held on February 28 in Los Angeles and will televised live in more than 225 countries around the globe.

‘Utopia’ is about an Afghan woman who travels to Britain for artificial insemination, while Vietnam’s “Jackpot” is about a lottery ticket vendor’s moral dilemma.

Produced by Malalai Zikria who is also playing the lead role, the 95-minute movie has been filmed in Afghanistan, India and Scotland.

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Afghan film ‘Utopia’ nominated for Oscar Award http://www.khaama.com/afghan-film-utopia-nominated-for-oscar-award-1614 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-film-utopia-nominated-for-oscar-award-1614#respond Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:49:58 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=57363 Read the full article...]]> An Afghan film has been nominated for Oscar Award and is among 81 countries ranging from Vietnam to first time participating Paraguay for the foreign-language Oscar.

According to the Academy Award organizers the deadline for submissions – one per country – was October 1 and the number of films is slightly below the record 83 submitted last year.

The Afghan film ‘Utopia’ is about an Afghan woman who travels to Britain for artificial insemination, while Vietnam’s “Jackpot” is about a lottery ticket vendor’s moral dilemma.

Produced by Malalai Zekriya who is also playing the lead role, the 95-minute movie has been filmed in Afghanistan, India and Scotland.

The Academy Awards is scheduled to be held on February 28 in Los Angeles and will televised live in more than 225 countries around the globe.

This comes as another Afghan film ‘Buzkashi Boys’ was shortlisted for Oscar Awards in 2013.

Produced with a joint international and Afghan crew ‘Buzkashi Boys’ won the best drama at the LA Shorts Fest, which made it eligible to be nominated for an Academy Award.

The film is based on the story of two young Afghan boys who are dreaming to become professional players of Buzkashi sport, a game that somewhat resembles polo: Horseback riders wrangle to get a headless goat carcass into a circular goal at one end of the field.

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American music manager discovers great new singer in Afghanistan in ‘Rock The Kasbah’ film http://www.khaama.com/american-music-manager-discovers-great-new-singer-in-afghanistan-in-rock-the-kasbah-film-1452 http://www.khaama.com/american-music-manager-discovers-great-new-singer-in-afghanistan-in-rock-the-kasbah-film-1452#respond Sat, 29 Aug 2015 08:36:49 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=55427 Read the full article...]]> Rock The Kasbah

A Hollywood film inspired by a true story of an American talent manager who discovers great new singer during his visit to Afghanistan is set to be released at the end of October.

American actor Bill Murray is starring in the film – Rock The Kasbah which depicts the story of a down-on-his-luck talent manager who travels to Afghanistan and discovers a great new singer.

The second trailer of the film was released this week which goes a little further into the story of Richie Lanz (Bill Murray), dumped and stranded in war-torn Kabul by his last remaining client (Zooey Deschanel).

He discovers Salima Khan (Leem Lubany), a Pashtun teenager with a beautiful voice and the courageous dream of becoming the first woman to compete on national television in Afghanistan’s version of American Idol – Afghan Star.

It seems he decides to help his talented new singer successfully perform on Afghan Star and people aren’t too happy about that idea.

Murray partners with a savvy hooker (Kate Hudson), a pair of hard-partying war profiteers (Danny McBride and Scott Caan) and a hair-trigger mercenary (Bruce Willis) and braving dangerous cultural prejudices manages his new protégée into becoming the “Afghan Star.”

Written by Murray’s longtime pal Mitch Glazer (Scrooged), whose friendship dates back to their SNL days, Kasbah opens in theaters Oct. 23.

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Indian man spends 22 years to carve mountain after wife’s tragic death http://www.khaama.com/indian-man-spends-22-years-to-carve-mountain-after-wifes-tragic-death-1427 http://www.khaama.com/indian-man-spends-22-years-to-carve-mountain-after-wifes-tragic-death-1427#respond Sat, 22 Aug 2015 18:22:04 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=55084 Read the full article...]]> Indian man carves mounting 22 yearsA major Bollywood film based on the true story of an Indian man who spent 22 years carving a massive gap in a mountain after his wife died in tragic circumstances hit cinema screens on Friday.

The man, Dashrath Manjhi, was an impoverished labourer from India’s lowest caste, undertook the mammoth task when his wife Falguni died in 1959.

His wife died because she was not able to receive urgent medical care after being involved in an incident.

To ensure other villagers wouldn’t suffer the same fate as his wife, Manjhi worked day and night to chip away at the mountain using only a hammer and chisel – reducing the distance to only 15 kilometres by creating a path between the rocks.

The distance between Manjhi’s village to the nearest town involved around 54 kilometres trek around the mountain.

Manjhi completed the work until 19282 by creating the path which is around 110 metres (360 feet) long and in some places more than nine metres wide.

Bollywood star Nawazuddin Siddiqui who plays the lead role in the film – The Mountain Man, told AFP “The story is beautiful and compelling. He made the impossible possible and his work has helped thousands.”

Siddiqui further added “The most difficult aspect was to capture the madness. His work is extraordinary. He should be an inspiration and an icon for the youth.”

Manjhi died from cancer of the gall bladder in 2007, aged 73, and was recognised with a state funeral in Bihar.

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Angelina Jolie’s new film to depict the life of a young Afghan girl http://www.khaama.com/angelina-jolies-new-film-to-depict-the-life-of-a-young-afghan-girl-1392 http://www.khaama.com/angelina-jolies-new-film-to-depict-the-life-of-a-young-afghan-girl-1392#comments Sat, 15 Aug 2015 17:27:09 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=54729 Read the full article...]]> Angelina Jolie film about Afghan girl

The latest of film by the American actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian, Angelina Jolie Pitt will depict the life of a young Afghan girl putting into the screen the courage of the girl who disguises herself as a boy to become the breadwinner of her family.

According to the reports, Angelina is set to produce the animated film by becoming the director of the movie.

The movie will be based on the novel of Deborah Ellis and will be titled “The Breadwinner” which will tell the story of a young girl named Parvana, who lives in the reign of Taliban in Afghanistan.

Parvana acts bravely and disguises herself as a boy to become the breadwinner of her family despite her life comes to a standstill when her father is wrongly imprisoned.

Angelina quoted in a statement cited in a report by The Hollywood Reporter said “Millions of young girls like Parvana are growing up today under oppression or conflict and helping their families to survive in those conditions. This story is a reminder of the immense value of their contribution.”

The statement further added “I am delighted to be working with a talented team of artists who I know will do justice to the richness, creativity and strength of Afghan culture and to little girls like Parvana.”

The project is expected to be taken up by the Irish animation studio and production company and Irish animator and filmmaker Nora Twomey to direct the film.

The screenplay of the film will be written by the Ukrainian/Canadian film director and screenwriter Anita Doron who is best known for her work in the films, “The End of Silence” and “The Lesser Blessed.”

The rich culture, history and natural beauty of Afghanistan would also be depicted in the film which will also be released in Dari, one of the official languages of Afghanistan.

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Indian star Salman Khan’s father says they hail from Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/indian-star-salman-khans-father-says-they-hail-from-afghanistan-1354 http://www.khaama.com/indian-star-salman-khans-father-says-they-hail-from-afghanistan-1354#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 17:57:22 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=54107 Read the full article...]]> Salman Khan and Salim KhanThe father of the famous Indian film star Salman Khan has said they hail from Afghanistan while responding to protesters who demanded them to return to Pakistan.

Salman’s father Salim Khan who is a screen writer in the Indian cinema has been under fire due to his son’s off-screen shenanigans and police case.

According to reports, a Twitter message by the star once again sparked outrage after he tweeted in favour of Yakub Memon who was executed over terror charges last month.

The angry protesters demanded apology by Khan’s family and some even went to “demand” that they should sent back to Pakistan.

However, Salim Khan said he will go to Afghanistan where he belongs to and has good relations there.

Speaking during an education event attended by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Khan said “I hail from Afghanistan; those who protest outside my house shouldn’t tell me to go to Pakistan, they should say go to Afghanistan.”

According to Khan his great-grandfather Anwar Khan came from Afghanistan and his father Rashid Khan was the third generation settled in India.

He also condemned the remarks by his son Salman Khan calling them “ridiculous and meaningless” and insisted that the tweets had been posted in ignorance of the issue.

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Salman Khan lookalike fulfils dream in film epic mirroring real life http://www.khaama.com/salman-khan-lookalike-fulfils-dream-in-film-epic-mirroring-real-life-1306 http://www.khaama.com/salman-khan-lookalike-fulfils-dream-in-film-epic-mirroring-real-life-1306#respond Sun, 19 Jul 2015 12:53:54 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=53269 Read the full article...]]> Najeem KhanNEW DELHI, India, July 15 (UNHCR) Najeem Khan vividly remembers the first time his friends called him Salman Khan due to his striking resemblance to the Bollywood star who is one of Bollywood’s biggest box office draws.

“We were standing in a market when suddenly one of my friends said that I looked just like Salman Khan. That day when I got back home, I looked myself in the mirror for hours. I was just 7 years old then,” said Najeem, now 23, with a smile.

That day changed his life completely and gave the Afghan-born, Pakistan-bred refugee a dream to become a Bollywood actor like his idol.

But while growing up in Pakistan, Najeem had never imagined that one day his looks would launch his acting career in Bollywood and that in his first movie he would act alongside his hero Salman Khan, playing the role of a ‘young Salman Khan.’

Due to his striking resemblance with actor Salman Khan, Najeem was selected for the role in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, a romantic drama about an Indian man who helps a mute Pakistani girl get home. Najeem in this movie “is playing a young and naughty Salman Khan in his late teens, who doesn’t pay enough attention to his studies.”

However in the real life, the two men’s lives could not be more different at least until now.

Unlike the 49-year-old Salman Khan, who was born into an influential family in Bollywood and is one of the most commercially successful actors ever in the Indian film industry, Najeem has had a tough life, a life full of struggles. A few months after his birth in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1992, his family had to flee to Islamabad, Pakistan, where he spent 16 years of his life.

“Bollywood movies were very popular in Pakistan and they still are,” he said. “I have loved Bollywood since my childhood. In fact, when I was a child, I would dance and imitate Indian film actors. The growing comparison with Salman Khan further acted as a catalyst.”

In 2007, he and his family moved back to Afghanistan but were forced to flee to India after spending only 20 days there due to escalating violence.

Once in India, there was no looking back. Najeem now resides in New Delhi with his mother and three brothers, who have been his great support.

“My face resembled to that of Salman Khan but not my body. So I started working on my physique and also learned acting and modelling,” said the budding actor, who by 2012 had started getting modelling assignments and advertisement contracts. By this time he was even enjoying the nickname Salman Khan, and had started hogging some limelight.

“I look so much like Salman Khan, then I started walking and talking like him,” he told UNHCR in an interview.

In refugee events organized by UNHCR’s partners, Najeem dazzled fans with his sculpted body and quirky dance moves.

“I’m really grateful to UNHCR and its implementing partner BOSCO for its support and encouragement to showcase my talent at the refugee events which helped me to gain confidence and build a fan base.”

Then came the big break. Director Kabir Khan was looking for someone who could play the young Salman Khan in the movie, Bajrangi Bhaijaan. When the director could not find anyone in the usual casting call, he took the search to social media.

“When I saw a post seeking actors on a social networking website, I went for an audition and soon I was in the cast. In November last year, I started shooting the movie in New Delhi.”

For Najeem, finally it was a dream come true and when he met the real Salman Khan on the set of the movie, the actor hugged him.

“It was such an emotional moment for me. I can’t even describe it in words. He has been my hero since childhood and there I was standing in front of him and then he hugged me,” said Najeem.

“He congratulated me, told me to work harder and even offered me some helpful tips on body-building.”

The movie is set to be released on July 17 to mark Eid the official end of the holy month of Ramadan.

It is one of the most anticipated movies of the year. The film will be released in approximately 50 countries, including Pakistan, USA, UK and UAE among others.

Najeem is so excited that he can barely sleep these days. “I have been invited to the special screening of the movie. I hope people would love me playing the real Salman Khan.”

By Shuchita Mehta in New Delhi, India

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Salman Khan look-alike in Afghanistan makes Bollywood debut http://www.khaama.com/salman-khan-look-alike-in-afghanistan-makes-bollywood-debut-9452 http://www.khaama.com/salman-khan-look-alike-in-afghanistan-makes-bollywood-debut-9452#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2015 04:48:57 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=51037 Read the full article...]]> Najim Khan

A young Afghan man who shares a same face with popular Indian actor Salman Khan is expected to make a debut in Indian cinema in the near future.

The 23-year-old Najim Khan will appear in a movie with Salman Khan and will play a role to depict the actor’s teenage days.

In an interview with Voice of America (VOA) Dari, Najim said the movie will be screened in India in the near future where he will play the role of Bajrani bhai – the teenage days of the actor in the film.

Najim said he dreams to return to Afghanistan with honors while speaking about the issues he has faced as a refugee in Pakistan and Iran where majority of the Afghans migrated due to internal conflicts.

Najim is among the fewer Afghans who have became popular for sharing similar face with celebrities, including Bruce Lee and Lionel Messi.

bruce-lee-copy1

A photo of young Afghan man went viral on social media in Afghanistan last year which depicts the look-alike of the martial arts legend and Hollywood icon Bruce Lee.

His real name is Abas Alizada, a resident of Kabul city, who is dreaming and aiming to fulfill his dream to be Dragon of mystery universe (Bruce Lee), according to a message on his Facebook profile.

Alizada, who has changed his name to Bruce Hazara, vows to follow the path of Bruce Lee and become a successful athlete and star like him.

He is an athlete of Wushu the “Chinese Kunk Fu” and has been got the first position in a championship in Kabul.

A photograph of another young Afghan man with similar face as Lionel Messi was also widely shared in social media earlier last year.

The young man, Abdul Karim was spotted during a wedding in western Herat province of Afghanistan whose photo was uploaded in Facebook.

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Feminist TV drama rolls out in Kabul challenging taboos about women http://www.khaama.com/feminist-tv-drama-rolls-out-in-kabul-challenging-taboos-about-women-9972 http://www.khaama.com/feminist-tv-drama-rolls-out-in-kabul-challenging-taboos-about-women-9972#comments Sat, 04 Apr 2015 07:07:03 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47899 Read the full article...]]> feminist drama kabulThe first feminist TV drama is due to be aired in Afghanistan amid growing and persistent violence against women with the latest lynching of a woman in Kabul shocking Afghanistan and the world.

The TV drama “Shereen’s Law” focuses on empowering women and struggles of women in Afghanistan by portraying a strong female character, according to drama actress Leena Alam who plays Shereen.

The story is based on a 36-year-old woman who brings up three children on her own while forging a career as a clerk at a court in Kabul.

“It is the first such drama — that is about women, that is about empowering women, that is about the struggles of women in Afghanistan,” Alam told AFP.

The series also attacks the Afghan judicial system, where rampant corruption is hidden behind a wall of silence with several actors saying no to storyline they found just too challenging.

Alam admitting that defying entrenched conventions in such a country comes with a risk. “It’s a bit dangerous, even for myself. Yesterday we were shooting outside. When… I’m waiting for the shot I’m always scared that somebody may throw acid on me or somebody may hit me with a knife,” she told AFP.

“It takes a lot of courage to write something like this and it takes a lot of courage to play something like Shereen,” Alam, a producer who has also appeared in several Afghan films, said.

“But I think it’s time, after more than 30 years, to move on and educate people and give them the information as bluntly as Shereen,” she added.

The director and writer of the drama Max Walter, an Australian who came to work in Afghanistan, says took advice in advance on how to avoid drawing too much attention from conservative clerics.

“There’s been an enormous consultation, an enormous review of the script and of the whole storytelling process to make sure that it raises these issues, but it doesn’t raise them so bluntly and so offensively that it’s going to make the programme go off air,” Walker said.

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Bruce Hazara dreaming to complete Bruce Lee’s unfinished film http://www.khaama.com/bruce-hazara-dreaming-to-complete-bruce-lees-unfinished-film-9938 http://www.khaama.com/bruce-hazara-dreaming-to-complete-bruce-lees-unfinished-film-9938#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 16:47:42 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47022 Read the full article...]]> bruce-lee-copy1

Martial arts legend and Hollywood icon Bruce Lee’s look-alike in Afghanistan Abas Alizada is dreaming to complete the star’s unfinished film ‘The Game of Death’.

Locally known as Bruce Hazara, Alizada became popular shortly after his stories and photographs went viral on internet late last year.

An athlete of Wushu the “Chinese Kunk Fu”, Alizada is followed by more than 50,000 on Twitter and his Facebook page has been liked by 40,000 users.

In an interview with the AFP, Alizada, said his project is to complete the film Lee left unfinished when he died.

“When I was eight years old I saw the Bruce Lee movies, and I was hooked,” Alizada said.

“I said I will be the Bruce Lee of Afghanistan one day. I know I cannot be Bruce Lee, but I follow in his path,” he added.

Alizada also has dreams to work with the Hong Kong martial arts movie start Jackie Chan besides idolising starts such “Mr Rambo” — Sylvester Stallone — Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Bruce Lee reportedly died at the age of 32 in 1973 while he was filming Game Of Death.

Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee earlier announced that a new biopic about her father is in the works. “There have been projects out there involving my father but they’ve lacked a complete understanding of his philosophies and artistry,” she said in a statement.

She said “They haven’t captured the essence of his beliefs in martial arts or storytelling. The only way to get audiences to understand the depth and uniqueness of my father is to generate our own material.”

Bruce Lee kept an extensive library, was deeply philosophical and was fond of writing poetry as well as acting for the movies.

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2nd International Women’s film festival kicks off in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/2nd-international-womens-film-festival-kicks-off-in-afghanistan-8734 http://www.khaama.com/2nd-international-womens-film-festival-kicks-off-in-afghanistan-8734#comments Sat, 08 Nov 2014 16:35:37 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=41197 Read the full article...]]> 10628099_954556304610418_5814478409902468963_nThe second International Women’s film festival kicked off in western Herat province of Afghanistan on Saturday.

The three-day film festival will mainly focus on violence against women and women’s right in Afghanistan which will be attended by filmmakers both from Afghanistan and abroad.

A committee will select over 60 films produced by various international filmmakers and will be displayed during the film festival.

According to reports, around 500 films, including movies from Hollywood and Bollywood have been introduced to the film festival where 15 films produced in Afghanistan will be displayed while the remaining films will belong to foreign producers.

A jury consisting of jurors from England, Italy, United States, India and Iran will select the best short fiction film, best documentary film and best animation.

According to the organizers of the event, the festival has been organized in Herat province with an aim to campaign against growing violence on women in this province.

The festival will also be attended by famous filmmakers from India, Iran, Pakistan and Tajikistan.

A statement released by the film festival states that the event has been organized by Roya film, Arman Shahr foundation and with financial support of United Nations.

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Shahrukh Khan: No combination like sports and women http://www.khaama.com/shahrukh-khan-no-combination-like-sports-and-women-1410 http://www.khaama.com/shahrukh-khan-no-combination-like-sports-and-women-1410#respond Sun, 24 Feb 2013 06:24:06 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=23544 Read the full article...]]> Shahrukh Khan has no time for cricketBollywood star and producer Shahrukh Khan on Saturday said he personally doesn’t have time to play cricket and the Cricket Championship League (CCL) doesn’t need a “smaller star” like him, The Times of India reported.

While speaking during the opening ceremony of a cricket championship Shahrukh Khan said, “I will be really honest… I am someone who believes professionalizing sports in this country is perhaps the most important aspect if I can any way get attached to it. I am happy that I am associated with it,” Shah Rukh told reporters at the opening ceremony of a cricket championship.

Khan said, “I personally won’t get time to play cricket so I don’t think I will be attached to anything else but if it requires me.. I think there are so many stars in CCL, I don’t think they need a smaller star like me.”

Another Indian film star Salman Khan was also cheering for Mumbai Heroes – the team owned by his brother Sohail Khan. He was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the third edition of Celebrity Cricket League (CCL).

In the meantime Shahrukh Khan insisted that sports is the greatest profession and one needs to create alternate professions for youstres in the country.

He said, “Sports is perhaps the greatest profession in this country. We hope with this, many more tournaments are created . This is just the beginning.”

Khan also added that he feels there is no combination like sports and women.

“You have to start somewhere and this is just the beginning slowly, it will spread to more places. Specifically if you ask me, then there is no combination like sports and women. I would be really happy if it went across and women participate in it,” he said.

The podium was shared by the Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid during the press conference.

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Shahrukh Khan romance Katrina and Preity on Valentines eve http://www.khaama.com/shahrukh-khan-romance-katrina-and-preity-on-valentines-eve-1391 http://www.khaama.com/shahrukh-khan-romance-katrina-and-preity-on-valentines-eve-1391#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2013 04:32:02 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=23408 Read the full article...]]> Shahrukh Khan romance Katrina and Preity on Valentines eveShah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif rekindled their unmatched chemistry on stage during the ‘Temptation Reloaded’ tour in Muscat inn a full-fledged stage show which was the first time that the duo has performed together live.

The show was organised as part of the Muscat Festival. Officials from event Management Company Light and Shadow Enterprises LLC, which organised the concert, said they were delighted with the success of “Oman’s Biggest Live Concerts”.

King Khan made a breathtaking entry from a sky high crane and his ‘Don’ number being played in the background. After dancing to some of their biggest Bollywood hits, the stars all boarded an open bus and threw soft toys among the audience.

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Preity Zinta, Ali Zafar, and singers Anushka Manchanda and Shalmali Kholgade also put up spirited performances. The gala, organised by Oman Automobile Association Club, had more than 25,000 spectators cheering and screaming themselves hoarse for the Bollywood stars.

“A big thank you all to the awesome crowd in Muscat for such a great response and for so much love ! Back home now, tucked into Bed & down with Fever,” Preity Zinta later wrote on Twitter.

The 47-year-old ‘Ra.One’ star made his grand entry in the jam-packed Oman Automobile Association Club in Azaiba in Muscat much to the delight of the rousing audience.

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Valentine’s Day 2013: Americans spend $18.6 Billion http://www.khaama.com/valentines-day-2013-americans-spend-18-2-billion-2192 http://www.khaama.com/valentines-day-2013-americans-spend-18-2-billion-2192#respond Thu, 14 Feb 2013 07:21:06 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=23273 Read the full article...]]> Valentine's Day 2013 Americans spend $18.6 BillionValentine’s Day is a $18.6 billion event holiday with origins in a third-century beheading, stoning and ritualized beating of a recalcitrant priest.

Even amid a slow recovery, Americans are set to spend a record $18.6 billion this Valentine’s Day. Flower shops, jewelry stores and online dating sites are all expecting to cash in on the day of love.

“It’s a holiday with a lot of cash. It’s a lot of sales,” Ron Friedman, who leads Marcum Consulting’s retail business told Forbes Magazine. “Although, it’s pretty short-lived. The flowers die, the candy gets eaten up, and the lingerie gets destroyed in a couple minutes.”

According to the 2013 National Retail Federation Valentine’s Day spending survey, the average American is expected to spend $130.97 on gifts, a slight increase from last year.

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Here are some of this year’s numbers according to Fiscal Times:

$18.6 billion
The amount of money Americans are expected to spend this Valentine’s Day.

$13.5 billion
The total cost of shipments for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products in 2011.

$4.4 billion
The amount of money Americans are expected to spend on diamonds, gold and silver this Valentine’s Day.

$1.9 billion
The amount of money Americans are expected to spend on flowers this Valentine’s Day.

$1.6 billion
The amount of money Americans are expected to spend on candy this Valentine’s Day.

$928 million
The amount of revenue brought in my Internet dating services in 2011

$815 million
The amount of money Americans are expected to spend on gifts for their pets this Valentine’s Day.

$365 million
The total value of fresh cut roses in 2011.

$175.61
The average amount men will spend on gifts and a date this Valentine’s Day.

$88.78
The average amount women will spend on gifts and a date this Valentine’s Day

70,575
The number of workers employed by floral shops in 2010.

52,600
Number of workers employed by chocolate, cocoa and candy manufactures in 2010. Bureau)

Valentine’s Day comes into light in Afghanistan:

Although the conservative Afghanistan majority are unaware of the Valentine’s Day, some youngsters do celebrate the day by sending flowers to their beloved ones and by sending messages via cell phone or the Internet.

In Afghanistan, the tradition is that having open relations between boys and girls is a taboo. Love marriage and court marriage seldom happen in the Muslim Afghan society as the families prefer arranged marriage for their sons and daughters in accordance with Sharia or Islamic laws.

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A Serbian Film is ‘most cut’ movie in 16 years http://www.khaama.com/a-serbian-film-is-most-cut-movie-in-16-years http://www.khaama.com/a-serbian-film-is-most-cut-movie-in-16-years#respond Sun, 28 Nov 2010 11:11:41 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=1108 Read the full article...]]> (BBC) – Controversial movie A Serbian Film has become the most cut film in 16 years, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has said.

The dark thriller, which features disturbing scenes of violence and sex, has had four minutes and 11 seconds of its original content removed.

The BBFC said that it “rarely cuts” cinema releases with an 18 certificate.

In 1994 the Indian movie Nammavar was cut by five minutes and eight seconds for violent content.

A BBFC spokeswoman said: “A number of cuts were required to remove elements of sexual violence that tend to eroticise or endorse sexual violence.”

‘Immensely indecent’

The film is scheduled for UK release on the 10 December, although distributors Revolver Entertainment said it does not yet know how many cinemas it will be shown in.

A spokesman from the company said: “Revolver remain committed to releasing the closest possible version of the film to the director’s original cut.

“The company recognises that the film is an uncompromising, artistic and political statement from a unique film-making vision and remains fully supportive to the director.

“Revolver believes this is a film that deserves to be seen by both a theatrical and home entertainment UK audience,” he added.

The movie was written by Serbian horror film critic Aleksandar Radivojevic and directed by Srdjan Spasojevic.

Radivojevic has defended the movie, calling it an “a diary of our molestation by the Serbian government”.

He said it was designed to show the “monolithic power of leaders who hypnotise you to do things you don’t want to do”.

Variety called the film a “well-crafted, immensely indecent smut-slasher”, while The Sun newspaper labelled it “sick”.

Film critic Scott Weinberg wrote: “I think the film is tragic, sickening, disturbing, twisted, absurd, infuriated, and actually quite intelligent.

“I admire and detest it at the same time. And I will never watch it again. Ever.”

In August Westminster Council refused to allow the movie to be shown during the annual Frightfest film festival.

Earlier this month trade magazine Variety reported that Spain had banned public screenings of the film at the Terror Film Week in San Sebastian.

A temporary injunction also prompted the Molins de Rei and Malaga film festival to cancel screenings.
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Source: BBC

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Justin Bieber wins four American Music Awards http://www.khaama.com/justin-bieber-wins-four-american-music-awards http://www.khaama.com/justin-bieber-wins-four-american-music-awards#respond Tue, 23 Nov 2010 09:24:30 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=1010 Read the full article...]]> (BBC) – Teen star Justin Bieber dominated the American Music Awards winning four prizes from four nominations.

Bieber, 16, who beat Eminem, Usher, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to artist of the year, also won best pop album, best pop male, and breakthrough artist.

He said he had “been singing Eminem since I was three and Usher is my mentor – so this is big”.

Eminem led the field with five nods alongside country band Lady Antebellum. He won two awards as did Usher.

Eminem, 38 – who did not attend the ceremony at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles – won best male hip-hop artist and the hip-hop album prize for Recovery.

Usher, 32, meanwhile, won best male R&B singer and the R&B album award for Raymond v Raymond while Lady Antebellum walked away with one award – for best country band.

British band Muse won the alternative rock prize.

Bizarre performance

Collecting his breakthrough artist award, Bieber – whose album My World 2.0 has sold almost 2 million copies in the US since its release in March – said: “I’m from the smallest town in the world of, like, 30,000 people.

“I never thought this was possible.”

Bieber, who was brought up in Stratford, Ontario, now lives in the US.

Picking up his best pop male prize later in the evening, he thanked Michael Jackson, who last year won four posthumous gongs at the awards.

“Without Michael Jackson, none of us would be here,” he said.

Other winners included best pop band the Black Eyed Peas – who performed new single The Time – and best country female Taylor Swift, who was last year’s big winner with five gongs.

Swift, 20, performed her new single, Back to December, and incorporated OneRepublic hit Apologize.

Other performers on the night included 1990s boy bands New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys who sang together.

Meanwhile, Rihanna – winner of best R&B female – performed a medley of songs from album Loud.

A pregnant Pink performed Raise Your Glass, Kid Rock gave an acoustic performance of Times Like These and Katy Perry used pyrotechnics to play her latest single Firework.

In the absence of Lady Gaga, who did not turn up to pick up her best pop female prize, Kesha gave perhaps the most bizarre performance of the night.

She sported a motorcycle helmet with light beams for eyes as she sang her hit Take It Off.

She then stripped off to reveal a mirrored outfit and was joined by a gang of male dancers dressed like her – complete with fishnet stocking and blonde wigs.

Other winners on the night included Michael Buble, who won best contemporary artist, and Shakira who picked up the Latin music gong.

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Source: BBC

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Roy Lichtenstein painting fetches $42.6m at auction http://www.khaama.com/roy-lichtenstein-painting-fetches-42-6m-at-auction http://www.khaama.com/roy-lichtenstein-painting-fetches-42-6m-at-auction#respond Fri, 12 Nov 2010 08:53:08 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=952 Read the full article...]]> (BBC) – A painting by Roy Lichtenstein has sold at auction for $42.6m (£26.4m) – a new record for the US ‘pop artist’.

The cartoon-style painting, sold to an anonymous telephone bidder at Christie’s in New York, features a woman on the phone with a speech bubble containing the title.

The sale of contemporary and post-war works fetched $272.8m (£169.1m) in all.

Yet an Andy Warhol piece expected to fetch up to $50m (£31m) went for less than half that amount.

Big Campbell’s Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable) was sold for $23.9m (£14.8m) at Wednesday’s auction.

On Tuesday, a Warhol canvas of a black-and-white Coke bottle sold for $35.4m (£21.9m) at rival New York auction house Sotheby’s.

The Lichtenstein sale smashed a previous record for the artist set in 2005, when his work In the Car fetched $16.2m (£10m).

In a statement, Christie’s said Ohhh…Alright… – painted in 1964 – “characterises Lichtenstein’s captivation and inspiration with techniques of commercial printing and reproduction.”

Other highlights of the sale included Jeff Koons’ sculpture Balloon Flower (Blue), which sold for $16.8m (£10.4m).

Records were also set by works from US sculptor Alexander Calder, Cuban artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Californian painter Mark Tansey.

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Source: BBC

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Horror movie film Saw 3D tops US box office http://www.khaama.com/horror-movie-film-saw-3d-tops-us-box-office http://www.khaama.com/horror-movie-film-saw-3d-tops-us-box-office#respond Tue, 02 Nov 2010 04:31:40 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=424 Read the full article...]]> The final instalment of the horror franchise Saw has topped the US box office in its debut weekend.

The last chapter in the series about the pyscho killer Jigsaw made $24.3m (£15.8m), according to studio estimates.

Saw VI, the last film in the series which was released last year, debuted with $10m (£6.2m) less.

The second, third, fourth and fifth Saw films all topped $30m over their opening weekends.

“Last year, a lot of people said, ‘Ok, that’s it. Put a fork in it, it’s done'”, said David Spitz, head of distribution for Lionsgate.

“The following week, we were all disappointed and thought, what can we do to reinvigorate the franchise? So we shot the movie in 3D and said this is the final chapter.”

Another horror film, Paranormal Activity 2, slipped to second place, with $16.5m (£10.2m).

Its low-budget predecessor became a word of mouth phenomenon last year, eventually making more than $100m in North America.

Action movie, Red, starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich, took third place with takings of $10.8m (£6.7m).

Prank movie Jackass 3D, now in its third week on the chart, has now passed the $100m (£62.3m) mark.

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Source: BBC

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