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INDIA

Film director Deepa Mehta’s controversial pic “Water” most likely will resume shooting in September. The director had faced violent protests during shooting from Hindu fundamentalist groups in India. The filmmaker has not yet decided the new location although she has offers from the governments of the states of Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. Both states have assured Mehta of protection against protesters.

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The Anglo-Indian community in India has taken a strong stand against Ismail Merchant’s latest film, “Cotton Mary.” Representatives of this minority community claim that the film denigrates Anglo-Indian women in particular and portrays them in a very unfavorable light.

The film is said to portray the community as subservient and immoral. Anglo-Indian community leader Gillian Hart, representative of the community in West Bengal, lodged a protest with the chief minister to ban the film. Special offense has been registered by the community for dialogue that suggests that Anglo-Indians have the worst of the Indian and British in them.

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Sony Entertainment Television (SET) is considering taking an equity stake in Indian entertainment company TV18, which, in turn, holds a 49% stake in CNBC India. Sony has a sales and distribution alliance with CNBC in India. TV18 soon will launch a business portal, which will be set up as a subsidiary of the parent company.

JAPAN

Pubcaster NHK will begin global daily transmission of Today’s AsiaVision News, compiled from news materials from nine other Asian countries, on March 27.

NHK will edit news materials from nine other member countries of the Asian Broadcasting Union, who have signed a news exchange agreement for the program, and send the program via NHK satellite feeds twice daily.

The program will be transmitted in English and will be anchored by Hideshi Hara of NHK.

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The so-called Israeli Film Festival 2000 will take place in Tokyo March 18-19, and will include the 1999 Jerusalem Film Festival grand prix winner, “Yana’s Friends.”

This will be the fourth Israeli Film Festival in Tokyo; the last one was held in 1996.

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