By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jared Leto, the former teen heartthrob who left Hollywood to become a rock star, won the best supporting actor Oscar on Sunday in his return to movies as an HIV positive transgender woman in "Dallas Buyers Club." Leto, 42, won over both critics and audiences with his portrayal of Rayon in the 1980s era AIDS drama, and was seen as favorite for the supporting actor Oscar. He beat out Bradley Cooper, Barkhad Abdi, Jonah Hill and Michael Fassbender. But it was Leto's return to film in "Dallas Buyers Club" that piqued the interest of audiences, especially as the actor documented a weight loss of 30 to 40 lbs (13-18 kg) to transform himself into HIV-positive character Rayon. "To those of you who have felt injustice because of who you love and who you are, I stand here with you and for you." "Dallas Buyers Club" is based on the true story of homophobic drug addict Ron Woodroof, played by Matthew McConaughey, who smuggles much needed but unapproved medication into the United States to distribute to other AIDS patients. More »Jared Leto wins supporting actor Oscar for 'Dallas Buyers Club'
Visually stunning Italian drama "The Great Beauty" won the Oscar for best foreign language film on Sunday, capping its successful awards season run in the United States and Europe. Director Paolo Sorrentino's film about an aging writer's reflections on life and his search for meaning among Rome's idle rich also won top foreign film honors at the Golden Globes and Britain's BAFTAs. It was the first Oscar for Sorrentino and the 11th win for an Italian film since foreign language film became a competitive category in 1956, the most of any country. In his acceptance speech, Naples-born Sorrentino gave a nod to Italian director Federico Fellini, former Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona - who once played for Naples soccer club - his wife and the central focus of his film, Rome. More »Italy's 'The Great Beauty' wins best foreign language Oscar
The blockbuster movie "Frozen," a Walt Disney Animation Studios musical fairy tale about the bond between two royal sisters in an icy Scandinavian kingdom, won the Academy Award on Sunday for best animated feature film. The win is the first in the category for Walt Disney Animation Studios , the animation house founded by the man who pioneered the genre. The animated feature category was created in 2002 and has been dominated by Disney-owned Pixar, which has won it seven times but was shut out of the nominations this year for the second time in three years. "Frozen" cemented a resurgence for Disney Animation Studios, becoming a global phenomenon with over $1 billion in movie theater ticket sales, according to Rentrak. More »Disney's 'Frozen' wins animated feature Oscar
Mahabaleshwar (Maharashtra) March 3 (IANS) Remember the Beatles hit "Strawberry Fields Forever"? Head for Maharashtra, where, after mangoes, grapes, oranges and chickoos, the western Indian state is now wooing tourists with another trademark fruit - luscious, juicy red and dark pink strawberries. In a first, a nine-day Strawberry Festival got under way over the weekend across the state in select malls to promote it as a tourist destination through strawberries. "We have selected five centrally located malls in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik and Aurangabad where the farmers will directly sell their produce to the customers during the festival," Nayna Bondarde, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) regional manager at Pune, told IANS. More »Strawberry welcome for tourists to Maharashtra
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jared Leto won the Oscar for best supporting actor on Sunday, for his role as an HIV-positive transgender woman in AIDS drama "Dallas Buyers Club." This is the first Oscar nomination and win for the 42-year-old actor, who won critical praise for his role as the sweet and tolerant Rayon, for which he underwent dramatic weight loss. "Dallas Buyers Club," directed by Jean-Marc Vallee and starring Matthew McConaughey, was Leto's first role in five years after he stepped away from acting to focus on music, fronting alternative rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. ... More »Jared Leto wins best supporting actor Oscar for 'Dallas Buyers Club'
By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Non-Stop", a thriller starring Liam Neeson as a U.S. air marshal trying to stop a string of murders on an international flight, collected $30 million in ticket sales to soar into the lead at the domestic box office. It swept the week's other new film, "Son of God", into second place with $26.5 million in sales during a strong box office weekend which coincided with Sunday's bestowing of its annual Oscars, Hollywood's biggest night. The voice of the 61-year-old Irish former amateur boxing champion is also featured in the animated "Lego Movie," which "stars" characters based on the colorful plastic toy blocks. "This was a great result for the weekend," said Nikki Rocco, president for domestic distribution at Universal Pictures, which released "Non-Stop". More »Liam Neeson thriller 'Non-Stop' lifts off to lead box office
Pharrell Williams's "Happy" returned to the top of Britain's music charts for the third time on Sunday, becoming the first single in 57 years to do so, the Official Charts Company said. Only two other acts in history have secured the top spot on three separate occasions with the same song, the last being Guy Mitchell's "Singing the Blues" in 1957. "Happy" also passed the 1 million sales marker this week, making Pharrell only the second act after the Beatles to notch up three million-selling singles in the UK within the space of a year. In the album chart, British band Bastille retained the top spot with their record "Bad Blood", the Official Charts Company said, ahead of the Artic Monkeys second-placed "AM" and Ellie Goulding's "Halcyon" in third. More »Pharrell's "Happy" hits 1 mln sales to top UK chart for third time
Irrfan Khan, who has previously worked in Hollywood films like Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire and The Amazing Spiderman to name a few, will reportedly feature in the next installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. More »Irrfan Khan To Star In Jurassic World?
Manoj Bajpayee and Tabu, who have previously worked together in films like Ghaath and Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar, will be sharing screen space, once again, after a sabbatical of fourteen years, in Vikram Malhotra and Neeraj Pandey’s first joint production. More »Manoj Bajpayee, Tabu To Share Screen Space After 14 Years
By Mary Milliken LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In true Hollywood fashion, the Academy Awards on Sunday promised a cliffhanger finale to the tight race for best picture Oscar between favorites "12 Years a Slave" and "Gravity" but also a happier ending when it comes to the weather. After three days of heavy downpours soaked parts of the red carpet along Hollywood Boulevard, the rain let up and workers removed the plastic tenting and unwrapped the golden Oscar statues hours before hundreds of movie stars in designer dresses and tuxedos begin arriving for Hollywood's biggest night. And while there was still a small chance of rain, organizers said early Sunday they were confident that the most glamorous of red carpet shows would go off without a hitch. The 86th annual Academy Awards will be hosted by comedian and day-time talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who producers are banking on to deliver an entertaining yet tasteful three-hour show after critics widely panned last year's ceremony and host Seth MacFarlane's provocative humor. More »Oscars promise drama over best picture, glamorous red carpet
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who became a popular target for late-night TV hosts after admitting to smoking crack cocaine in a "drunken stupor", will appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and may join the comedian at the Oscars, Canadian media reported on Saturday. The Toronto Sun newspaper said Ford is scheduled to be on the Jimmy Kimmel show Monday night and is "looking forward to promoting Toronto on the world stage." The article also quoted Ford as saying he would attend this year's Academy Awards, though another report by a local TV news channel said a plan for Ford to attend the ceremony with Kimmel was not confirmed. More »Toronto's oft-lampooned mayor to guest on "Jimmy Kimmel" - reports
Italy's culture minister demanded explanations on Sunday after more collapses this weekend in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii raised concerns about the state of one of the world's most treasured archaeological sites. Pompeii, preserved under ash from a volcanic eruption in 79 A.D. and rediscovered in the 18th century, has been hit by a series of collapses in recent months and years which have sparked international outcry over the neglect of the site. Officials said the wall of a tomb around 1.7 metres (5.5 feet) high and 3.5 metres long collapsed in the necropolis of Porta Nocera in the early hours of Sunday. That followed a smaller collapse on Saturday of part of an arch supporting the Temple of Venus. More »New Italy government investigates fresh collapses in ancient Pompeii
Kolkata, March 2 (IANS) Welcoming young filmmakers to carry forward the legacy of cinema, director Ketan Mehta Sunday advised newcomers to use the medium responsibly. Addressing participants at the Clapstick International Students' Film festival during the closing ceremony of the National Student's Film Awards at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) here, Mehta said recognition as a beginner was "much more important" than appreciation at a later stage. Dubbing cinema as the harbinger of the globalisation process, Mehta hailed the initiative of awarding youngsters involved in filmmaking. "I also believe that cinema is the beginning of the process of globalisation. More »Use cinema responsibly: Ketan Mehta
Mumbai, March 2 (IANS) Nadeem Saif, living in exile since 2000 after being accused of music baron Gulshan Kumar's murder, says he wants to return home. "It has been 17 years of torture and punishment, defamation and bias," said Nadeem of the famed Nadeem-Shravan duo. Gulshan Kumar, the founder of T-Series, was killed in 1997 and the composer was holidaying in Britain when the incident took place. A: The High Court of England, the House of Lords of England and the Indian Session Court have all cleared me from this false accusation... I've seen in the last 17 years of my torment that in spite of being innocent, in my opinion, under the instructions of some biased politicians, some members of the media have tried to tarnish my image and continuously hurt me by writing negative. More »I'd want to return to India: Exiled composer Nadeem Saifi
New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) "Heart stirring" and "real hero" was how viewers lauded the first episode of the second season of "Satyamev Jayate" that focused upon the issue of rape in the country. The much-awaited talk show, with the tagline "Jinhe desh ki fikr hai" (those who care for the country), went on air Sunday and its host and Bollywood star Aamir Khan once again struck the right chord. Titled "Fighting rape", the first episode began with the narration of the Dec 16 Delhi gang rape case, in which a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was brutally gangraped in a bus. With some more cases of acid attack, rape and molestation, Aamir then shared the statistics of rape cases in India revealing that around 1,01,041 pending rape cases were reported till 2012, out of which 3,563 were convicted in an year, 11,446 cases were acquitted or withdrawn and 86,032 were still pending. More »'Satyamev Jayate 2' starts with fight against rape; strikes a chord
By Kevin Murphy SPRINGFIELD, Missouri (Reuters) - The pages are brown, faded and stained, but the handwriting is meticulous and the words detail a 150-year history of the U.S. prison system through the eyes of one of its most famous inmates. Robert Stroud, known as the Birdman of Alcatraz for his painstaking study of birds while in federal prison, wrote a four-part book about brutality, sex, bribery and what he saw as the monumental failure of prisons to rehabilitate inmates. The stacks of manuscripts stored at Stroud's former lawyer's house in Springfield, Missouri, have been converted into the book "Looking Outward: A History of the U.S. Prison System from Colonial Times to the Formation of the Bureau Prisons." "If there is anybody who could write about federal prisons, it was him," said J.E. Cornwell of Springfield, the book's publisher. Stroud entered federal prison in 1909 at age 19 after being convicted of manslaughter for killing with his bare hands a man in Alaska who allegedly beat up a prostitute. More »U.S. prisons seen through the eyes of 'Birdman of Alcatraz'
Mumbai, March 2 (IANS) Artists often talk about the hardships they have had to face in finding their first big break in filmdom, but 1990s diva Madhuri Dixit says she never had to struggle and the offer came to her door step. She entered filmdom with the 1984 film "Abodh", which was made under the banner of Rajshri Productions. We met them (the makers), then my family decided that I will do just one film," Madhuri told IANS and added that her family used to run away from movies. But destiny had stardom in store for Madhuri -- she didn't stop at one film and continued to work in movies like "Awara Baap" and "Uttar Dakshin", which didn't do much to her career. More »Never struggled for anything in my life: Madhuri Dixit
London, March 2 (ANI): Simon Cowell has claimed that he and Lauren Silverman are 'great parents' to their new born son Eric. More »Simon Cowell claims being 'great parents' to baby son Eric
London, March 2 (ANI): Simon Cowell is "hugely excited" to move into the 5.4million pounds Los Angeles home with his girlfriend Lauren Silverman, which will make Justin Bieber his new neighbor. More »Cowell set to buy 5.4m pounds mansion next to Bieber's pad
Washington, March 2 (ANI): Julie Delpy has claimed that the Academy Awards are run by a bunch of crusty white dudes who take bribes for votes. More »Julie Delpy claims Oscars voting process is 'rigged'
New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) Veer campaign, an initiative to raise funds to create employment for 1,000 people with disabilities, seems to be quite close to its target - the two-month drive has already collected Rs.50 lakh. The campaign, a joint initiative by Thumps Up, Salman Khan's Being Human, the American India Foundation, and CNN-IBN, launched Jan 24 with a target to raise at least Rs.75 lakhs. "We at Being Human - the Salman Khan Foundation - thank all those who have supported the Veer initiative. More »Veer campaign close to target, collects Rs.50 lakh
New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) Actress Sonam Kapoor, who has been on cover of various high-end magazines, has now graced the cover of debut edition of bridal magazine - Harper's BAZAAR Bride. "We are very excited to extend Harper's BAZAAR into this important category in India, and look forward to working with our longstanding partner India Today on this successful launch," Gautam Ranji, senior vice president, licensing and business development, Hearst Magazines International, said in a statement. Harper's BAZAAR Bride is expected to be an ultimate 'go-to' magazine for luxury weddings, opulent bridal-wear and international lifestyle along with the latest trends in destination events, honeymoon hotspots, spectacular soirees, and more. "With the Indian wedding market poised to be the largest in the next couple of years, we are very excited about our foray into the Luxury wedding space with the launch of Harper's BAZAAR Bride," said Ashish Bagga, Group CEO, India Today Group. More »Now, Sonam Kapoor sparkles on bridal magazine's cover
Washington, Mar. 2 (ANI): '12 Years a Slave' star Lupita Nyong'o has said that she used to pray for light coloured skin during her adolescence. The 31-year-old Kenyan-Mexican actress said that she always wanted a lighter skin because she thought having a dark black skin was a curse, TMZ reported. More »'12 Years a Slave' star prayed for lighter skin during adolescence
Washington, March 2 (ANI): Drake has reportedly been dropped by the firm that was handling his publicity following his dispute with the editors of the Rolling Stone magazine, who replaced him with late Philip Seymour Hoffman on their cover. A source told Billboard.com that ID-PR firm initiated the split after the singer posted a series of furious tweets about the mag's decision not to feature him on the cover after the 'Capote' star's tragic death, Contactmusic reported. More »Drake 'dropped' by PR firm post Rolling Stone mag cover controversy
Karachi, March 2 (ANI): Naseeruddin Shah has revealed that he prefers working with inexperienced, but passionate directors than the ones who have lost the spark for filmmaking. The veteran actor said at the NAPA Theatre Festival 2014 that the films that he is proud of, most of them are by first-time directors and he has often regretted working with cinema masters, but never debutante directors, the Express Tribune reported. More »Why Naseeruddin Shah prefers new directors over experienced ones