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|July 28, 2001||
The former Miss Universe's celluloid career kicked off with an appearance at the launch of the audio casette of Majnu, which pairs Prashanth opposite Rinke Khanna.
The film is being produced by Dr Murli Manohar's banner, Cee TV. Prashanth has been something of a blue-eyed boy for the banner which, you will recall, was co-producer of the Aishwarya Rai-Prashanth starrer Jeans, directed by Shankar.
The same banner then starred Prashanth in Kaadhal Kavithai, with Majnu completing the hat-trick.
Dr Murli Manohar, meanwhile, has roped in Lara Dutta to play the lead in an as yet untitled venture, to be directed by Maharajan. The director's last outing was the superhit Vallarasu, with Vijaykanth in the lead.
Now, Maharajan is busy remaking it in Hindi, title Indian, with Sunny Deol and Shilpa Shetty in the lead. The director will begin work on Lara's debut film once he is through with this remake. Meanwhile, the male lead is yet to be finalised.
Her first Malayalam outing with pair her with Jayaram in a film to be directed by T K Rajeev Kumar.
Rajeev Kumar's credits include Raja Ko Rani Se Pyar Ho Gaya, with Manisha and Arvind Swamy in the lead. Just about the only thing that film was memorable for was the fuss animal lovers made, claiming that the elephant that forms past of the cast had its trunk twisted in a scene.
Meanwhile, Neha -- who had a forgettable debut in Kareeb before playing Hritik Roshan's love interest in journalist Khalid Mohamed's directorial debut Fiza -- becomes the latest Hindi cinema import in Madras.
Neha and Laila will form the two angles to a triangular tale titled Alli Thantha Vaanam. It has Prabhu Deva playing the male lead. The film, produced by Roja Combines, is being helmed by debutant director Sridhar Prasad.
Flights on the Bombay-Madras sector, come to think of it, are overbooked these days. Another Hindi cinema artiste migrating Southwards is Rati Agnihotri -- who, you will recall, actually made her film debut in Tamil, in Bharati Raja's Puthiya Vaarpugal opposite Bhagyaraj.
Sixteen years later, she is now due to play mom to Rinke Khanna in Majnu, referred to earlier in this item.
To wrap up another instalment in the saga of stars moving Southwards, Shabana Azmi is due to face the cameras in Kerala. Azmi will play the lead role, what else, in Feminist, to be directed by Biju Machad based on his own story.
The likes of Nedumudi Venu, Bhanupriya and Narendra Prasad form the supporting cast.
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