• Oscar diversity efforts 'not about political correctness,' Academy says

    Reuters - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 11:48 PM IST

    Oscar organizers on Wednesday denied they were bowing to political correctness by bringing more women and people of color into the ranks, and said they were determined to cull voters who no longer play an active role in contemporary movie-making. In the first major interview since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced sweeping measures to recruit new members, Chief Executive Dawn Hudson and President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said they would take the heat from members who will be stripped of their rights to vote on future Oscar nominees and winners. Because unless you have the best artists as members, unless you have the best artists voting on the Academy Awards, you don't have a real reflection of the best of our film culture," Hudson told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview released on Wednesday. More »Oscar diversity efforts 'not about political correctness,' Academy says

  • Go figure! Game victory seen as artificial intelligence milestone

    Reuters - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 11:36 PM IST

    In what they called a milestone achievement for artificial intelligence, scientists said on Wednesday they have created a computer program that beat a professional human player at the complex board game called Go, which originated in ancient China. The feat recalled IBM supercomputer Deep Blue's 1997 match victory over chess world champion Garry Kasparov. "Go is considered to be the pinnacle of game AI research," said artificial intelligence researcher Demis Hassabis of Google DeepMind, the British company that developed the AlphaGo program. More »Go figure! Game victory seen as artificial intelligence milestone

  • Every character in 'Aligarh' moved me: Karan Johar

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 11:34 PM IST

    Mumbai, Jan 27 (IANS) Filmmaker Karan Johar says he can relate to Hansal Mehta's film "Aligarh" and every character in the film emotionally moved him. The film is based on the real-life of Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a professor of Aligarh Muslim University who was removed from his job for homosexuality. Manoj Bajpayee plays the role of the professor while Rajkummar Rao plays a journalist. More »Every character in 'Aligarh' moved me: Karan Johar

  • Twenty years on, TV series brings O.J. Simpson case full circle on race

    Reuters - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 10:14 PM IST

    When producers began work three years ago on a new TV series about the O.J. Simpson murder trial, they took a chance on whether Americans would still care about a case that captivated the nation 20 years ago. "The People v. O.J. Simpson," a 10-episode drama series starting on the FX network on Feb. 2, sets the 1994 arrest, year-long trial and acquittal of one of America's best-loved sporting heroes firmly in the arena of the nation's still troubled history of race relations. The first image viewers see is TV footage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots that followed the acquittal of four white police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King. More »Twenty years on, TV series brings O.J. Simpson case full circle on race

  • Celebrity backed anonymous messaging app alarms parents, politicians

    Reuters - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 10:13 PM IST

    By Dan Williams JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A new app that allows users to send anonymous text messages is causing alarm among parents, politicians and some teenagers, who say it is being used as a weapon for cyber-bullying. Blindspot, launched by Israeli company Shellanoo, has attracted 700,000 users since it was launched a month ago, mostly in Israel where it is being heavily marketed but also in the United States and Britain. Shellanoo, backed by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and popstars will.i.am and Nicki Minaj, among others, is being targeted by campaigners but says criticism of its app is undeserved. More »Celebrity backed anonymous messaging app alarms parents, politicians

  • Not scared of anyone: Karan Johar

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 9:58 PM IST

    Mumbai, Jan 27 (IANS) Filmmaker Karan Johar says he is not scared of anyone and is proud of his opinions and about having a voice, after his remarks on freedom of expression grabbed headlines recently. At the Jaipur Literature Festival, Karan had said freedom of expression and democracy were the biggest jokes in the country. Asked if he could express his views about the film "Aligarh" without fear and hesitation after he saw the movie, Karan replied: "Without fear and without any hesitation, I can say anything. More »Not scared of anyone: Karan Johar

  • It's a tendency to look down on our language: Milap Zaveri

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 6:40 PM IST

    New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS) Writer-director Milap Zaveri, who has written adult comedies like "Masti", "Grand Masti" and has directed "Mastizaade", feels that it's due to the language barrier that people find such films distasteful and feels that "it's a tendency to look down on our language". Laila is the bombshell, bikini clad Sunny the world loves and wants to watch. More »It's a tendency to look down on our language: Milap Zaveri

  • Punjabi music lovers can now live stream 'Crossblade' tour

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 5:28 PM IST

    Mumbai, Jan 27 (IANS) With the Punjabi musical tour 'Crossblade' being held on Thursday and Friday, music aficionados can live stream the tour on the on-demand digital entertainment service Hungama. Live from Polo Grounds, Delhi University, Hungama users will have an opportunity to listen to their favourite Punjabi singers like Jazzy B, Jassi Gill, Babbal Rai, Guru Randhawa, Sukh E, amongst many others performing at the music festival. More »Punjabi music lovers can now live stream 'Crossblade' tour

  • Rongali fest to showcase composite culture of Assam

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 5:22 PM IST

    Destination, Culture, Harmony - a festival of Assam, is set to entertain people here starting Friday. Sports activities have been planned near the mighty Brahmaputra river, along with Assamese mask making, fashion shows, lip-smacking food items from the northeast and performances by musicians like sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan and "Moh moh ke dhaage" hitmaker Papon. As many as two lakh people attended the festival last year and the chief organiser of Rongali, Shyamkanu Mahanta, hopes the number goes up this time as there are lots of interesting activities lined up for the three-day fest. More »Rongali fest to showcase composite culture of Assam

  • An actor is a star because of fans: Akshay Kumar

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 5:14 PM IST

    Mumbai, Jan 27 (IANS) Actor Akshay Kumar, who has over millions of well-wishers across India, credits his fans for making an actor a "star". More »An actor is a star because of fans: Akshay Kumar

  • Films like 'Airlift' come once in an actor's lifetime: Akshay Kumar

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 4:34 PM IST

    Mumbai, Jan 27 (IANS) Akshay Kumar is overwhelmed with the response to his latest film "Airlift", which revolves around the evacuation of Indians from Kuwait during the 1990 Iraq-Kuwait war. The actor says such type of films come "almost once in an actor's lifetime". More »Films like 'Airlift' come once in an actor's lifetime: Akshay Kumar

  • Thailand is top Asia-Pacific tourist stop thanks to Chinese

    Reuters - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 3:51 PM IST

    By Miral Fahmy SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Chinese tourists can't seem to get enough of Thailand, with visitor numbers to the Southeast Asian kingdom surging over the past year at one of the fastest clips in the Asia-Pacific region. In a year that saw the Thai military government grapple with an outbreak of the deadly flu-like MERS virus as well as the bombing at a major shrine, Chinese tourists helped turn Bangkok into the region's most-visited destination in 2015, according to the first-ever MasterCard Asia Pacific Destinations Index published on Wednesday. In 2016, the Thai government expects Chinese visitors to make up a larger proportion of the record 32 million people forecast to visit. More »Thailand is top Asia-Pacific tourist stop thanks to Chinese

  • Thais turn to "child angel" dolls as economy struggles

    Reuters - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 3:07 PM IST

    By Patpicha Tanakasempipat and Juarawee Kittisilpa BANGKOK (Reuters) - A craze for lifelike dolls thought to bring good luck is sweeping Thailand, reflecting widespread anxiety as the economy struggles and political uncertainty persists nearly two years after a coup. Thailand is predominantly Buddhist and has been modernizing rapidly over the past two or three decades but many people are highly superstitious, their Buddhist beliefs co-existing with notions of animism, astrology and "black magic". The plastic dolls, about the size of a real baby, are called "look thep", or "child angel". More »Thais turn to "child angel" dolls as economy struggles

  • What was banned in India, recognised globally: Resul Pookutty

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 2:16 PM IST

    New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) Resul Pookutty has scored two nominations at the Motion Picture Sound Editors' 63rd annual Golden Reel Awards this year for "Unfreedom" and "India's Daughter" - films which have been banned in India. The Oscar-winning sound designer says the recognition outside India tells that "we have to keep our mind open as artists". Directed by Raj Amit Kumar, the film was banned in India due to its bold scenes. More »What was banned in India, recognised globally: Resul Pookutty

  • Perception of transgenders changing in India: Sonu Nigam

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 1:46 PM IST

    Mumbai, Jan 27 (IANS) Singer Sonu Nigam, who has collaborated with the transgender band named 6 Pack Band for a song, says that perception of Indian society towards the community is changing. "People are appreciating the song and this indicates that even society is ready. More »Perception of transgenders changing in India: Sonu Nigam

  • Raj Tarun made 'Seethamma Andalua' memorable: Arthana

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 12:54 PM IST

    Chennai, Jan 27 (IANS) Actress Arthana Binu says her co-star Raj Tarun made working on forthcoming Telugu film "Seethamma Andalu Ramayya Sitralu", which releases in cinemas on Friday, an experience to remember for a long time. "Working with Raj was so much fun. Two best things to have happened to the debutante on this project are Raj Tarun and her role. More »Raj Tarun made 'Seethamma Andalua' memorable: Arthana

  • Bhumi Pednekar feels Bollywood's love for 'honest' talent

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 12:24 PM IST

    New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) For fans of Hindi film "Dum Laga Ke Haisha", Bhumi Pednekar is etched in their memories as the smart plus-sized Sandhya. "Dum Laga Ke Haisha", in which she landed a role by chance, required Bhumi -- a casting assistant herself back then -- to gain over 20 kg. Asked if Bollywood favours women of a certain weight and size, Bhumi told IANS over phone from Mumbai: "I think today a lot of attention has gone from what you look like physically. More »Bhumi Pednekar feels Bollywood's love for 'honest' talent

  • 30,000 'follow' Kamal Haasan within 24 hours on Twitter

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 9:58 AM IST

    Chennai, Jan 27 (IANS) As many as 30,000 people have "followed" actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan on Twitter within 24 hours of him joining the micro-blogging site. More »30,000 'follow' Kamal Haasan within 24 hours on Twitter

  • When Elton John worked in a record shop

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 8:02 AM IST

    London, June 27 (IANS) British singing legend Elton John didn't mind working behind the counter of a music store when he had begun his career because he loved being around everything to do with music. More »When Elton John worked in a record shop

  • Actor Abe Vigoda, known for 'Godfather' role, dies at age 94

    Reuters - Wed 27 Jan, 2016 1:30 AM IST

    Abe Vigoda, an American actor best known for roles in "The Godfather" and the 1970s sitcom "Barney Miller," died on Tuesday at the age of 94, after spending three decades jokingly refuting rumors of his demise. Vigoda's daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, said her father died at her home in New Jersey. Vigoda was known for his role in "The Godfather" in 1972, playing mobster traitor Salvatore Tessio in his first credited movie role. More »Actor Abe Vigoda, known for 'Godfather' role, dies at age 94

  • Comedian Carol Burnett 'gobsmacked' at SAG lifetime award

    Reuters - Tue 26 Jan, 2016 11:01 PM IST

    She may already have won some of the biggest U.S. honors but beloved American comedian Carol Burnett says she was "gobsmacked" when told she would receive the Screen Actors Guild 2015 lifetime achievement award. Comedy duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will present Burnett with the honor on Saturday at the Screen Actors Guild annual award ceremony in Los Angeles. "To use my friend Julie Andrews' comment, this is very British, I was gobsmacked," Burnett said. More »Comedian Carol Burnett 'gobsmacked' at SAG lifetime award

  • Padma Shri an inspiration to make more good films: Panda

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Tue 26 Jan, 2016 1:54 PM IST

    Bhubaneswar, Jan 26 (IANS) National Award winning filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda of "I Am Kalam" fame, who has been chosen for the prestigious Padma Shri, said the honour will inspire him to work in the direction of making more films on the country's pertinent issues. The announcement that Panda will be conferred with the fourth highest civilian honour came on Monday. Reacting to it, Panda told IANS: "I am very happy that I will get the Padma Shri. More »Padma Shri an inspiration to make more good films: Panda

  • Gigs have revived 'almost dead indie scene'

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Tue 26 Jan, 2016 1:03 PM IST

    New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS) The gig scene, which is becoming huge in India, has pumped up new life into the "almost dead" independent music scene, says Sudhanshu Pandey, an actor and a member of pop band A Band of Boys. The musical quartet, which also consists of Karan Oberoi, Chin2 Bhosle and Sherrin Varghese, hit the right chord with music lovers with numbers like "Meri neend", "Nain kataari" and "Gori" in the early 2000s. Content with the music scene in the country now, Sudhanshu told IANS in an interview: "I am honestly quite happy with the music scene nowadays, especially with the gig scene which is becoming so huge and a large number of people are patronising them. More »Gigs have revived 'almost dead indie scene'

  • Filled with pride, B-Town celebs wish Happy Republic Day

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Tue 26 Jan, 2016 12:26 PM IST

    Mumbai, Jan 26 (IANS) Bollywood celebrities Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, and Anupam Kher among others on Tuesday wished their fans and friends a Happy Republic Day, hoping that there be progress and equality in the country in the years to come. More »Filled with pride, B-Town celebs wish Happy Republic Day

  • It was a struggle to make 'Saala Khadoos': Director

    IANS India Private Limited/Yahoo India News - Tue 26 Jan, 2016 12:20 PM IST

    Chennai, Jan 26 (IANS) Director Sudha Kongara Prasad, who spent nearly six years of her life on forthcoming Hindi-Tamil bilingual sports drama "Saala Khadoos", says she and her team went through "hell" to make the film. Hope came in the form of actor R. Madhavan, recalls the director. Madhavan was instrumental in bringing on board his "3 Idiots" filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, who has produced the film in Hindi. More »It was a struggle to make 'Saala Khadoos': Director

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