The first Bollywood movie about the childhood of Jesus will be shot in the Holy Land in the coming months, Indian filmmakers said Tuesday.
Director Singeetham Srinivasa Rao said his production will be narrated in four languages and feature an all-Indian cast of child actors and seven devotional songs.
Producer Konda Krishnam Raju told a news conference that the film focuses on the childhood of Jesus, a contrast with other movies that depict the later years. This is the first presentation of this type in Bollywood history, he said.
While the movie has special significance for Christians, it is intended for a global audience, Rao said.
Christians in India number 24 million, or about 2.3 percent of the country’s population.
Religious Indian films have traditionally used child actors to highlight the innocence, sanctity and divinity of religious figures, the director said. Rao’s film will follow that tradition, using the child actors to depict adult characters as well as children.
American makeup artist Christien Tinsley will use special makeup effects to make the actors appear older. The filmmakers said they chose him because of his work with The Passion of the Christ, which earned him an Academy Award nomination.
That movie, directed by Mel Gibson, won critical acclaim but also evoked charges of anti-Jewish bias and legitimizing anti-Semitism.
At $30 million, the filmmakers say, the film about Jesus will be one of India’s highest budget movies. An average Indian movie costs about $500,000.
Aditya Productions plans to release the movie next year in English and three Indian languages – Telugu, Hindi and Malayalam. South Indian star Pawan Kalyan will narrate the Telugu and Malayalam versions, while other well known actors will narrate the English and Hindi versions, the filmmakers said.
State of the art park spanning 0.7 acres at investment of NIS 5 million to open in capital by end of next year
Good news for skaters in Jerusalem: A state of the art skatepark will soon be built in the capital’s Liberty Bell Garden. The park will span some three 3 dunams (0.7 acres) at an investment of NIS 5 million (roughly $1.3 million). The site is slated to open at the end of next year.
The idea was the brainchild of a group of Jerusalem teens, who demanded Mayor Nir Barkat build an extreme skateboarding park. They met with representatives of the city’s sports authority and protested until the mayor decided to grant their request.
According to plans, the new park will offer facilities that can serve up to 70 skaters at once, and will be suited for national and international competitions.
“Jerusalem will be joining leading cities around the world with a modern and professional skatepark that will attract many visitors,” Mayor Barkat said on Sunday.
“We have been negotiating with the Jerusalem Municipality for eight months now, which has suggested we recruit donors for the park’s construction… I am pleased to hear that the city has come to understand the park’s importance and has decided to build it,” said 16-year-old Noam Rifkin-Panton, one of the youths who pushed for the park’s approval.
Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli joined world champion tennis player Rafael Nadal Thursday to play a friendly tennis match in New York as part of a NIKE promotion campaign.
Refaeli, who apparently never played tennis before the offer to participate in the games, showed the judge, tennis star Serena Williams, that she was more than just a pretty face with moves that even she seemed surprised to have pulled off.
Refaeli and Nadal, who were called “Team Rafa” by the reporters and the audience, took the tournament by storm and won first place.
Other participants included Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova.
Following deadly shooting at gay youth center, other violent acts against gays, municipality launches new school program focusing on sexual identity. Shas councilman calls content ‘debauchery’
The Tel Aviv Municipality’s Education Committee decided on Sunday to launch an educational program in the cities schools that will focus on sexual identity, familiarity with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community and the prevention of homophobia and discrimination.
The decision was reached despite objection from the religious factions, who stormed out of a committee meeting held last June, during which the plan was presented. Council member Binyamin Babayof of the Shas faction referred to the program’s content as “debauchery.”
The program was initiated by City Council member Yaniv Weizman, who is also Mayor Ron Huldai’s advisor on gay community affairs, following the deadly shooting attackat a gay youth center in the city and other acts of violence against members of the community.
The program is set to be introduced at Tel Aviv’s schools in January.
Deputy Mayor Assaf Zamir, who heads the Education Committee, said the program is important in light of the large gay and lesbian community in the city and the fact that more and more members choose to get married.
“There is a ‘baby boom’ in the city’s (GBLT) community. At least 100 children from same-sex families are currently enrolled in the city’s schools, and questions such as ‘Why does Almog have to dads?’ are being heard more and more. This program will help is answer the children’s questions,” he said.
“Tel Aviv has a historic role in improving the gay community’s status in Israel and in paving the way for social equality and the acceptance of the other,” Zamir added.
The program was initiated in cooperation with Hoshen, the informational and educational center of the GLBT community.