The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Star return for films

August is the beginning of the new financial year for Star Network and its flagship channel Star Plus is set to air new programmes for its viewers. For one, Hindi feature films will be back on Star Plus. Films were taken off from the channel last year to drive eyeballs to its cinema channel Star Gold. Starís senior executives claim that the task has been accomplished and it makes sense to air blockbusters on the most viewed channel in India. So, in the pipeline are films like Rang De Basanti, Bluffmaster, Chup Chup Ke and even Krrish later in the year.That is not all. Several new series will take off on the channel next month. These include Antariksh ' a modern rendition of the epic Ramayana, a couple of new soaps from Balaji ' Karam Apna Apna and Keerti and a Nukkad type comedy Ek Chabi Pados Mein.

Ramu plays Office Office

After his break up with film production company K Sera Sera (the JV was called The Factory), Ram Gopal Varma has been thrown out of its office premises. Now the film director is moving from one borrowed office space to another. Having operated for a few days from his canteen boy-turned-assistant-turned-director E. Niwasí residence, Varma has now moved into the office of Pankaj Kharbanda ' the former secretary of Sanjay Dutt. Never heard of someone changing his factory so often. Hope he makes better films that earn him money for office space at least.

Abhi To Main Jawan Hoon

Talking of Ram Gopal Varma, Amitabh Bachchan is playing an older man in love with a young girl Jiah Khan in Ramuís film Nishabd. In fact, even Rekha played an older woman lusting after a much younger Akshay Kumar in Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi. One didnít know the trend would catch on. The latest to join the bandwagon is Lolita ' a Shahshilal Nair film starring Jackie Shroff, Dimple Kapadia and a new girl. The film is releasing right after Nishabd. Nair, it seems, wants to take on Varma and get good collections riding on Varmaís publicity budget. Incidentally, Keshu Ramsay who produced Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi is planning to cast his son Aryaman opposite a much older woman in a Bollywood adaptation of The Graduate.

Palekar turns director

Chitra Palekar, 59, the estranged wife of Amol Palekar, is making her directorial debut with a Marathi film. The film stars Nandita Das and Atul Kulkarni. Das, the dusky beauty, has dubbed her own dialogues in Marathi. The film called Maatimaay is based on Mahasveta Deviís novel Daayen. Nana Patekarís son Malhar also makes his debut in the film. He is the associate cameraman with veteran cinematographer Debu Deodhar. Incidentally, actor-director Amol Palekar is now married to his former assistant director Sandhya Gokhale.

SRK and Kajol

Any guess why Ajay Devgan does not mind his wife Kajol working with Shah Rukh Khan in a film' (The two have been cast together recently). Well, because Devgan has not seen Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, and, therefore, has no clue that the duo looks so wonderful together, on-screen chemistry et al. Meanwhile, Kajol watched Omkara featuring her husband and loved it.

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