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Saudi Arabia’s highest ranking Cleric warns of depravity of Cinemas and Musical concerts in the Country

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Crowd enjoying a concert, Wikimedia

New Delhi, Jan 15, 2017: Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-sheikh, in an interview warned of the depravity of cinemas and musical concerts. Saudi Arabia’s highest ranking cleric, Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-sheikh while responding to a question about the plans of the kingdom’s General Authority for Entertainment to license concerts and study opening cinemas, gave a statement saying, “Cinemas and music concerts would corrupt morals if allowed in the ultra-conservative kingdom.”

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The head of the Saudi supreme council of clerics said, “Cinemas might show movies that are libertine, lewd, immoral and atheist, because they rely on films imported to change our culture.”

Al-sheikh gave many statements opposing music concerts saying the concerts don’t really promote good music and are not at all a medium to connect with music. He insisted that music entertainment and opening cinemas represent a call for mixing between sexes. Al-sheikh said, “At the beginning they would assign areas for women, but then both men and women will end up in one area. This corrupts morals and destroys values.”

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Recently a show by American stand-up comedian and actor Mike Epps at a university campus in western Saudi Arabia was cancelled last month. However, he also said that entertainment through cultural and scientific media is okay. He urged the authorities, “not to open the doors for the evil.”

– prepared by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks

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Good News Is When An Actor Works For My Banner At A Lower Price: Karan Johar

Filmmaker Karan Johar, is readying his new multistarrer production "Good Newwz" for a Christmas release

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Filmmaker Karan Johar
Karan Johar is readying his new production "Good Newwz". Wikimedia Commons

Filmmaker Karan Johar, who is readying his new multistarrer production “Good Newwz” for a Christmas release, says he feels really happy when an actor agrees to work for his banner at a lower price. He adds that Akshay Kumar, the hero of “Good Newwz”, has not given him any good news so far on that front.

“Good news to me is when an actor agrees to do my film at a low price, but that’s a good news Akshay hasn’t given me so far,” Johar said with a laugh, while interacting with the media at the trailer launch of the film along with the lead cast, comprising Akshay, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kiara Advani and Diljit Dosanjh, besides director Raj Mehta on Monday in Mumbai.

He added: “I feel if I hear some good news, then there is also a bad news around the corner — unless the good news is about something like the birth of a child. I still remember when I got the information of my two babies, I felt really happy. I feel, after hearing every good news you hear some bad news, and I guess there is some kind of ‘kabhi khushi kabhie gham’ situation that takes place in our lives. So, I don’t hold on to that news with a lot of joy ever. Rather, I am a bit of a cynic that way.”

“Good Newwz” is the third collaboration between Johar and Akshay after “Kesari” and “Brothers”. Next year, Akshay will be seen in “Sooryavanshi”, which is co-produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions.

The film marks the directorial debut of Raj Mehta.

Karan Johar
Karan Johar says that Dharma Productions has always maintained the ethos of treating every artist equally. Wikimedia Commons

Johar admitted the weird spelling of the film’s title was an outcome of his team’s inherent superstitious streak.

“There is a certain inherent superstition in the creative world, so earlier in my career I was obsessed with the alphabet K. I released films starting with alphabet K, which also starred Kareena, but then a few of them didn’t work. I felt it (the urge to name films with K) had stayed with me for no reason, so I gave up on that superstition. After that, I encountered Raj Mehta who is paranoid about everything. He, along with Azeem Dayani — who is the curator of this film’s music — were paranoid and told me that we should name this film ‘A Good News’. I told them ‘A Good News’ is incorrect English. So, they said we would have to change the spelling. We decided to name the film ‘Good Newwz’. Personally, it’s rather ridiculous, but actually everybody has learnt to accept it and envelope it, so I would give credit for the film’s name to Raj and his team,” said Johar.

Asked how he makes sure that equal rights are given to men and women in his production company, which is headed by him, he said: “We at Dharma Productions have always maintained the ethos of making sure that everyone including men, women, artists, and technicians get paid solidly for their craft, art, ability, work and worth. All of us are here from the blend of commerce and art. It is something I endorse strongly. When it comes to female-led films, we always make sure that there never is a disparity from our end.”

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He continued: “We have given profit share to female actors. In near future, you will see producer’s credit given in a female-led film. Where they (actresses) dominate and lead the film, they must have a humongous part of the pie. You will hear announcements in the future where women-lead films produced by Dharma Productions will have strong producer’s credit and profit shares (for heroines). There is and there will not be any disparity in my company.”

“Good Newwz” is scheduled to release on December 27. (IANS)