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HD Kumara swamy's son to debut with Rs 60-crore Kannada film

Bengaluru: Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, according to reports, is launching his son Nikhil Gowda in a Rs.60-crore Kannada film. Apart from being the costliest ever film to be made in the South, this will also be a dream-launch of sorts for any new actor - given the fact that no other debutant in the South, including sons of superstars, has been launched with this high budgeted a film.

Kumaraswamy was a film producer before his political stint, and he had announced a few months back that his son Nikhil would be entering films with a home production. Once that bit of news was in the open, it has now been reported that Nikhil has been taking acting and dance lessons for his debut.

What comes across as a surprise for many is the amount of money that has been earmarked for the debut of Gowda - a whopping 60 crores. Kumaraswamy, meanwhile, is supposedly busy trying to zero in on a proper script for the film; and has been in talks with several well-known filmmakers because of that.

  • Published in Entertainment

Apple Watch to debut tomorrow!

San Francisco: Apple's hotly anticipated smartwatch is expected to debut Monday as the trend-setting firm sets out to make stylish wrist-worn computers must-have accessories for modern lifestyles.

Industry trackers say Apple Watch will star at a media event being held at the same San Francisco theater where the California tech giant introduced the iPad.

Apple's chief executive Tim Cook has revealed little about the sophisticated wrist wear, but has said that he "can't live without it."

The company announced its plans for Apple Watch last year to much fanfare and has said it would begin shipping in April. It will mark Apple's first new product type since the iPad in 2010.

Apple has indicated that the entry price would be $349 in the United States, and that two different sizes would be available in three collections, including the "Apple Watch Edition," featuring 18-karat gold cases in yellow or rose, sapphire crystal and finely crafted bands and closures.

The Apple device will connect with the iPhone, and also have a range of apps and sensors, notably for health and fitness. The watch is also expected to include map software that guides people to destinations with gentle "taps" on the wrist.

Fitness apps on the Apple Watch and its rivals could spell trouble for makers of fitness bands from companies like Jawbone, Fitbit and Nike.

"Apple is poised to once again show how computing platforms are won or lost on the one-two punch of eager consumers and hungry ecosystem partners," said Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey. Apple reportedly had to scale back health tracking features on the watch after some sensors didn't rise to the challenges.

Catalyze, dominate the market

It remains unclear whether Apple — a latecomer to the wearables segment — would do for smartwatches what the iPod did for MP3 players and the iPad did for tablet computers.

Apple enters a segment crowded with vendors ranging from South Korean giants Samsung and LG, to Japan's Sony and startups such as Pebble. Motorola, acquired by Chinese giant Lenovo last year, also produces a smartwatch, and China's Huawei introduced its version at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this month.

Pebble, which bursts on the scene with a crowd-funded smartwatch in 2012, this month broke the record on the Kickstarter platform with more than $16 million raised.

Research firm Strategy Analytics predicts Apple will set fire to the market from the outset, projecting sales of 15.4 million units worldwide in 2015, to give Apple a 55 percent market share.

"The Apple Watch is the catalyst to ignite the global smartwatch market," said Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston.

"Apple's famous brand, loyal fan base, deep retail presence and extensive apps ecosystem will ensure healthy uptake for its watch." Still, he said Apple may see a few glitches that need to be ironed out. "Apple's first-generation Watch is not yet perfect," Mawston said in a statement. "Apple will need to upgrade tangibly its second-generation watch to stay ahead of competitors later this year."

He noted that rival models are more attractive, have a longer battery life and offer more affordable prices. But Deutsche Bank analyst Sherri Scribner predicted an even bigger splash for the Apple Watch, with sales of 17.6 million units this year.

By 2018, Scribner said, one of every four iPhone users will also have an Apple Watch, making the segment worth some $26 billion for the company. In a research note, Scribner said the Apple Watch should be a "catalyst" to expand the market, with wrist-worn devices gradually becoming a complement to smartphones.

Others say it's not yet clear if the smartwatch will become the must-have accessory for consumers, particularly if the pricing remains at current levels.

Roger Kay, analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates, said Apple's loyal consumer base will deliver a certain number of sales but won't guarantee widespread adoption."There will be 10 million people who will buy it because it's from Apple," Kay said. "But the larger question is whether this category really has legs."

A key question is whether Apple can create the same kind of buzz and energy around a new product without its legendary leader Steve Jobs, who died in 2011.

"Steve could distort reality and tell everyone it was the next big thing, and people would believe it," said Kay. "They've never done it without Steve. So this is the challenge for Tim Cook."

  • Published in Technology

Sholay makes its Pakistan debut after 40 years

Karachi: A leading exhibitor and distributor in the Pakistan entertainment industry has decided to release the cult Indian classic 'Sholay' for the first time in the country.

Directed by Ramesh Sippy and produced by his father G P Sippy, the 1975 film starred Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra in lead roles.

 Nadeem Mandviwalla, who is the owner of Mandviwalla Entertainment, said film has never been screened in Pakistani cinemas and people here watched only the pirated version.

 "I think every second Pakistani has seen the movie or knows about it and I thought why not re-release it in Pakistan on the big screen because the magic of watching this movie in the theatre is awesome," Mandviwalla told PTI.

 Describing 'Sholay' as a classic and unique film, Mandviwalla said it will attract all generations to the cinema halls.

 "I know it is 40 years since it was first released but it is a timeless classic and the presence of Amitabh Bachchan is by itself a big draw," he said.

 Mandviwalla is planning to release it on March 23, a public holiday in Pakistan.

 "We feel the audience will want to come watch it, given the opportunity," he said.

 The mega hit also starred Sanjeev Kumar, Hema Malini and Jaya Bachchan among others in key roles.

The movie was remastered 2014 and re-released in 3D for the new generation of moviebuffs. It will be releasing in 2D and 3D in Pakistan.

Mandviwalla said 'Sholay' will have fewer shows in the theatres but should have a long run in Pakistani cinema halls.


  • Published in Entertainment

India’s first voter set for acting debut in Bollywood

Mumbai: Shyam Saran Negi is set to make his Bollywood debut at the age of 97. India’s first ever voter (he was the first one to cast his vote at India’s first General Election in 1951), Negi is a retired school teacher who lives in Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh.

Apart from featuring in director Divya Khosla Kumar’s next, which also stars Pulkit Samrat, Yami Gautam and Urvashi Rautela, Negi is also lending the makers his house, which will be used as Pulkit’s character’s residence.  

"Divya had been on a recce for the past few months. When she came across Negiji’s house, she immediately decided that she wanted to shoot there," says an insider. 

The Yaariyan director came across a picture of the house online and went to Shimla and Kalpa, unaware of who the owner of the house was. The day of her visit coincided with the General Elections in the state, so media vans could be spotted in the vicinity. 

At the first meeting itself, Divya expressed a desire to have the nonagenarian make an appearance in her movie, but he was hesitant. "He was too shy, plus, he felt that he wouldn’t be able to keep up with the long shooting hours. Now, Divya has decided to have him in a scene where a group of people from the neighbourhood visit the house," adds the insider. 

Divya confirms the story, saying, "I fell in love with the house the moment I saw the pictures. I have also asked Negiji to be part of a scene that won’t be too taxing."
  • Published in Entertainment

Prem and Rakshitha’s son to make his acting debut

Director-actor Prem and wife Rakshitha actress-politician's son Soorya is all set to make his debut as an actor. The youngster will be seen in Prem's next film DK, where he will be seen dancing in the title track. Prem says, "A lot of people have kept asking us why Soorya hasn't acted yet, since they feel he has the face that suits the camera. My dance master was the latest one who was insistent that Soorya should sing at least a line in the film's opening song. Rakshitha was initially averse to the idea. But seeing the team's enthusiasm and Soorya's eagerness to be a part of the film, she agreed."

Soorya will be dancing with a bunch of kids for the title track Banda Banda Banda Banda DK Saheba. "He will be mouthing two lines. When we told him the lyrics are Banda Banda Banda Banda DK Saheba, Kuntre Songe Maga, Nintre Fighte Maga, he said he liked the lyrics and immediately called our dance master and recited them asking if that was fine," adds Prem.

  • Published in Entertainment
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