‘Shape of Water’ bags top honors at Oscars

Guillermo del Toro’s directorial venture wins the best picture at the 90th Academy awards

Looks like love triumphs against all all odds. Guillermo del Toro’s lavish, full-hearted monster romance fantasy took home the best picture at the 90th Academy Awards, prevailing over more traditional Dunkirk, and the rebellious Get Out and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

In addition to the best picture award, the movie about embracing the outcast and giving voice to the voiceless won accolades for its direction, Alexandre Desplat’s score and Paul Denham Austerberry’s production design.

Held Sunday March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, the ceremony took a light hearted look at last year’s envelope fiasco while tacking more serious problems in Hollywood, like allegations levied against Harvey Weinstein, gender equality and diversity.

 List of winners for the 90th Academy Awards presented Sunday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:

Best Picture: The Shape of Water

Actor: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Actress: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Supporting Actress: Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Directing: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Foreign Language Film: A Fantastic Woman, Chile.

Adapted Screenplay: Call Me by Your Name

Original Screenplay: Get Out

Production Design: The Shape of Water

Cinematography: Blade Runner 2049

Sound Mixing: Dunkirk 

Sound Editing: Dunkirk

Original Score: The Shape of Water, Alexandre Desplat.

Original Song: Remember Me from Coco

Documentary Feature: Icarus

Documentary (short subject): Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405

Film Editing: DunkirK

Makeup and Hairstyling: Darkest Hour

Animated Short Film: Dear Basketball

Live Action Short Film: The Silent Child

Animated Feature Film: Coco

Visual Effects: Blade Runner 2049

Costume Design: Phantom Thread, Mark Bridges

Superstar Sridevi no more

The acting powerhouse died at 54 after suffering a cardiac arrest in Dubai 

Acting legend Sridevi Kapoor died in Dubai at the age of 54. It was earlier reported that she dies after a massive cardiac arrest. But the forensic report issued a day later reported that she died of accidental drowning in her hotel bathtub after losing consciousness.

Born Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan on August 13, 1963, the actress known simply as Sridevi was lauded as a superstar, dancer extraordinaire and comedy queen over her four-decade long career.

She was in Dubai where she was attending the wedding of her nephew Mohit Marwah. According to reports, her husband Boney Kapoor and daughter Khushi were with her when she died. Her eldest daughter Jhanvi poised to make her debut in Bollywood was in India.

From the age of four, she had worked in films in the Tamil, Telugu, Malaylam, Kannada and Hindi languages.

Indian film and television industry reacted on Twitter:
PRIYANKA @priyankachopra
I have no words. Condolences to everyone who loved #Sridevi . A dark day . RIP

Ye Lamhe , ye pal hum har pal yaad karenge.. ye mausam chale gaye toh hum fariyad karenge.. #RIPSridevi

Rajinikanth @superstarrajini
I’m shocked and very disturbed. I’ve lost a dear friend and the industry has lost a true legend. My heart goes out to her family and friends. I feel the pain with them #RIPSridev … you will be missed.

Kamal Haasan @ikamalhaasan
Have witnessed Sridevi’s life from an adolescent teenager to the magnificeint lady she became. Her stardom was well deserved. Many happy moments with her flash through my mind including the last time I met her. Sadma’s lullaby haunts me now. We’ll miss her

Akshay Kumar @akshaykumar
Shocked beyond words to hear about the sad and untimely demise of #Sridevi. A dream for many, had the good fortune of sharing screen space with her long ago and witnessed her continued grace over the years. Thoughts and prayers with the family. RIP

Madhuri Dixit-Nene @MadhuriDixit
Just woke up to the terrible news of Sridevi passing. My heart goes out to her family. The world has lost a very talented person who left behind a huge legacy in film. #RIPSridevi

Sonakshi Sinha @sonakshisinha
She will live on in our hearts. RIP Sridevi ji.

Aamir Khan @aamir_khan
I am deeply disturbed and saddened by the untimely and tragic passing away of Srideviji. I have alway been a huge fan of her work. Equally I have always been an admirer of the grace and dignity with which she conducted herself. My heartfelt condolences to everyone in the family. I join all the millions of her fans in mourning her demise. Ma’am, we will always remember you with love and respect.

Anushka Sharma‏ @AnushkaSharma
I am shocked . I have no words. My condolences to the family , friends and fans of cinemas darling … Sridevi ji .. #RIPSridevi

Ajay Devgn @ajaydevgn
Still can’t believe it. She was truly iconic. Shocked. #Sridevi

Alia Bhatt @aliaa08
Nothing makes sense. I have no words.. just completely shocked. RIP Sri Devi. My icon forever. Love you.

Preity zinta‏ @realpreityzinta 
Heartbroken & shocked to hear that my all time favourite #Sridevi is no more. May god give peace to her soul & strength to the family #RIP

Rishi Kapoor @chintskap
Woken up to this tragic news. Absolute shock. Sad. Heartfelt condolences to Boney and their two daughters!

Nimrat Kaur@NimratOfficial
Absolutely devastated to hear about the passing of #Sridevi. What a dark black terrible moment in time. Gutted.

Ashutosh Gowariker @AshGowariker
Did not know that GODDESSES can be no more!! Just CANNOT believe it!! RIP #Sridevi ji ! My deepest condolences to Boney ji and family!!

Hema Malini @dreamgirlhema
Sridevi’s sudden passing away has left me in deep shock. Can’t imagine how such a bubbly person, a wonderful actor, is no more.She has left a void in the industry that cannot be filled. Boney is a good friend & I’ve seen their daughters grow up. My prayers are with the family

Jaaved Jaaferi @jaavedjaaferi
Shocked and devastated. An amazing talent and my favourite performer passes on. A tremendous loss to the industry.

“Bijli giraane main hoon aayi, kehte hain mujhko hawa Hawaii” RIP dear ‪#Sridevi.

Jacqueline Fernandez‏ @Asli_Jacqueline
An absolute icon. Gone too soon, #Sridevi. Too soon…

sushmita sen @thesushmitasen
I just heard Ma’am Sridevi passed away due to a massive cardiac arrest. I am in shock…cant stop crying…

Twinkle Khanna @mrsfunnybones
Chandni now and forever… too young and terribly heartbreaking #RIPSridevi

Sidharth Malhotra @S1dharthM
Really Shocked and disturbed to hear that Sridevi Ma’am is no more ‪#RIP ‪#Sridevi

Vir Das‏ @thevirdas
Cannot believe the heartbreaking news about #Sridevi Our industry lost a shining light today, way too early. Love and light to her family.

Siddharth‏ @Actor_Siddharth
The heart breaks. #Sridevi No words.

Kajol @KajolAtUN
Shocked stunned. Still see her laughing talking. Unbelievable. Actor par excellence. A school in herself.. learnt so much from her. Still can’t believe it . A huge loss. #Sridevi

Shashi Tharoor @ShashiTharoor
Shocked by the sudden passing of superstar @SrideviBKapoor… She will always live on in the hearts of her adoring public but she was far too young to be snatched away from her family. It will take a long time to digest such unbelievable news.

Neha Dhupia‏ @NehaDhupia
So heartbreaking to hear about #Sridevi ma’am … we just lost our finest …. gone way too soon….

Juhi Chawla @iam_juhi
My favorite all time films , Chandni , Chaalbaaz , Mr India , Lamhe … I used to watch Sridevi my favourite actress .. mesmerized .. cute, doll like , sexy , sad , funny .. you name it she did it !! Magic on screen !!

Rajkummar Rao @RajkummarRao
Can’t believe it, my most fav actress #Sridevi ji is no more. It’s a huge loss. Met her so many times in last couple of months and she was always so kind and gracious. You’ll be missed ma’am. We all love you and very proud of you and your achievements.

ARMAAN MALIK‏ @ArmaanMalik22
#Sridevi ma’am just gone from this world like poof..Just can’t come to terms with it!!! Such a powerhouse of talent and such a huge loss for all of us. May she rest in peace … really sad

Ashutosh Gowariker @AshGowariker
Did not know that GODDESSES can be no more!! Just CANNOT believe it!! RIP #Sridevi ji ! My deepest condolences to Boney ji and family!!

Rakeysh Mehra @RakeyshOmMehra
#Sridevi lives forever, what a long journey

Zareen Khan‏ @zareen_khan
Shocking and unbelievable !!! Can’t come to terms with the fact tht #Sridevi ma’am is no more … Deeply saddened ! R.I.P

Johny Lever @iamjohnylever
Deeply saddened and shocked to hear about #Sridevi Ji. My prayers and condolences to the family.

Preity Zinta @realpreityzinta
Heartbroken & shocked to hear that my all time favourite #Sridevi is no more. May god give peace to her soul & strength to the family #RIP

Adnan Sami @AdnanSamiLive
I am at a loss for words & jolted as if struck by lightening at this late hour of the night to learn about the shocking & tragic news & untimely demise of ‪#Sridevi ji. Heartbroken. She was India’s sweetheart, an incredible artiste & a beautiful human being. Gone too soon. RIP.

Karan Kundrra @kkundrra
My god! Can’t believe reading the news all over about #Sridevi ji passing away! Just saw her a couple of weeks ago! This is sad!

Richa Chadha @RichaChadha
Someone say this isn’t true ‪#Sridevi

Kritika Kamra @Kritika_Kamra 
Can’t get myself to believe…. I thought it was a hoax. #Sridevi

Shakti Mohan @thisIsMukti
Shocked beyond words. Grew up in awe of your talent. You gave us joy love and so many movies. Gone too soon.  Rest in peace ‪#Sridevi ji

Anusha Dandekar @VJAnusha
I just can’t believe it’s true… All my love & strength to the family. As gorgeous as an Angel & now amidst them. RIP ‪#Sridevi

Raveena Tandon @TandonRaveena
Woken up to Absolute Shock and Disbelief ! Tragic news ! Im at a loss of  words,can’t comprehend this at all! Why?  Gone Too soon ,Sri , my heart goes out to Boneyji,jahnvi and Khushi at this moment. Condolences and Prayers . #sridevi

Genelia Deshmukh @geneliad
This cannot be true… Shocked and Shattered… Rip Mam @SrideviBKapoor … Life is not Fair.. This is not Fair

Swara Bhasker @ReallySwara
Absolutely devastating news!!!!!!! The sudden passing of ‪#Sridevi ji is so tragic! Worst worst horrible news.. One of ‪#Bollywood ‘s brightest fires.. icon of an era, queen of hearts & an artist beyond compare! Deepest condolences to the family

Yo Yo Honey Singh @asliyoyo
Shocked by this news.Thoughts and prayers to the family. RIP  #Sridevi Ji.

Nikitin Dheer‏ @nikitindheer
Still can’t believe what I just read..no words.. 🙁 RIP #Sridevi

Daisy Shah‏
It’s so hard to believe, this absolute diva that I met sometime back at one of the award nights is no more. I wish it was just a nightmare. Strength to the entire family. #RIP #SriDevi


IMPPA refuses to retract the ban on Pakistani artists

The producers’ association restates its stand on ban. Pakistani actors will not be able to work in India anytime soon. 

Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA) has decided to uphold its ban on Pakistani actors. The organization had passed a resolution to ban actors of Pakistani descent from the Indian film industry in the wake of Uri attack in September 2016.

The association of India’s top producers had opposed the paying of Rs 5 crore (INR 50 million) to Pakistani artist, Fawad Khan, for a Karan Johar directorial venture Ae Dil Hai Mushkil post the attacks that saw 18 Indian jawans dead.

Beside the romantic drama starring Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Khan, along with another Pakistani actor Imran Abbas, several films starring actors from across the border faced opposition. Crime action film starring Shah Rukh Khan and Pakistani artist Mahira Khan, Raees too caused turbulence on both sides of the border for artists.

In addition to IMPPA, another producers’ council Indian Film and Television Producer Council (IFTPC) is also seeking to impose a 2-year ban on the Pakistani artistes working in the multi-billion-dollar film industry. IFTPC CEO Suresh Amin, reportedly announced the intention of council at a press conference held in Mumbai on Wednesday, February 21, 2018.

With a lot of money riding on their celluloid ventures, producers are playing it safe. In fact, the producers of critically acclaimed Irrfan Khan-starrer Hindi Medium have decided not to cast Pakistani actor Saba Qamar in the sequel.

Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Babul Supriyo too suggested a temporary ban on working with Pakistani artistes, at a recently held press conference.

Indian remake of ‘The Office’, ‘Criminal Justice’ in the offing

BBC Worldwide India, Applause Entertainment to produce shows

Indian remakes of British television series Criminal Justice and workplace comedy The Office are in the works. Reportedly, BBC Worldwide has struck format deals with Aditya Birla Group’s Applause Entertainment to develop and produce Indian versions of the popular BBC show.

According to various media reports, the British distributor announced the partnership plans at BBC Showcase, its annual programming event in Liverpool. This will be the first time both the shows will be developed in Asia.

The Senior Vice President and General Manager, South East Asia and South Asia at BBC Worldwide, Myleeta Aga is reported to have said that remaking The Office and Criminal Justice is just the first step. BBC is also in talks with Applause Entertainment for more formats.

‘The Office
A British mockumentary sitcom, The Office was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on July 9, 2001. Created, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the sitcom is about the day-to-day lives of office employees of the fictitious Wernham Hogg Paper Company based in a nondescript industrial town called Slough. Gervais played the central character, a narcissistic, childish and egotistical, middle manager named David Brent.

The success of the show led to a number of adaptations and it was produced for the television markets of other nations. The United States’ version starring Steve Carrell, as the lead character Michael Scott, ran for nine seasons. Filmed in a single-camera setup, without a studio audience or a laugh track, the show initially featured Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer and B J Novak alongside Carell, as the main cast.

The ‘Desi’ version
In its Indian adaptation, the Slough, Berkshire-setting will be replaced by an industrial park in Faridabad, reportedly. Brent will be Indianised as Jagdeep Chaddha, the boss of Wilkins Chawla paper company.

The adaptation will focus on series one and two of the US version, which will be adapted into one series of 28 episodes

‘Criminal Justice
A drama series first aired on BBC in 2008, written by Peter Moffat, Criminal Justice follows life of individuals on a gut-wrenching journey through the criminal justice system. The five-episode series aired for two seasons.

Directed by Otto Bathurst and Luke Watson, the first series starred Ben Whishaw as Ben Coulter, a young man accused of murder after a drunken and drug-filled night out, though is unable to remember committing the crime. The second series directed by Yann Demange and Marc Jobst aired in 2009 and featured Maxine Peake as troubled housewife Juliet Miller whose husband was stabbed in their bed.  

The first season of the drama has been adapted for the US by HBO as The Night Of. Starring John Turturro and Riz Ahmed, the miniseries reportedly experienced a TV ratings growth over its eight-episode run, with daily ratings tripling from its premiere to its finale.

‘Criminal Justice’ in India
Applause Entertainment has reportedly planned to set the first season Criminal Justice in present-day Mumbai. Also to be filmed in the maximum city, the yet-to-be named show will be 10 episodes long.

History says
The Office and Criminal Justice are not the only two BBC shows that that have head east. Prior to this, scripted formats such as satirical sitcom Yes Minister and comedy Keeping Up Appearances have been adapted in India.

Yes Minister was adapted as Ji Mantriji, literal translation, in 2001. Produced by Ochre Media, the sitcom telecast on STAR TV’s channel STAR Plus featured Farooq Sheikh as Surya Prakash Singh, the Minister of Administrative Affairs, and Jayant Kripalani as the department’s secretary.

The plot lines were the same as those of the original, with suitable changes in the Indian context.  The halls of Whitehall transformed into the parliamentary corridors of New Delhi. Reportedly, the sequel Yes Prime Minister was also licensed from the BBC, but was never made.

In 2003, BBC Worldwide signed a new production deal with production company Chrysalis Films and Star Plus to make 26 episodes of Keeping up Appearances in Hindi, with an all Indian cast. Titled Kauva Chala Hans ki Chaal, the comedy had lead character Bulbul Sand, played by TV, theatre and movie actress Ketaki Dave and her long suffering husband Madan Sand played by Manish Chaudhari.