Chloé Zhao became the second woman to win best director at the Golden Globes and the first female winner of Asian descent on a night in which her film “Nomadland” was crowned the top drama film.
Zhao, who was among three women nominated in the directing category, was honored for her work on “Nomadland,” about people who take to the road and move from place to place seeking work for usually low wages. It stars two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand and includes nonprofessional actors.
“I especially want to thank the nomads who shared their stories with us,” Zhao said, accepting the directing honor virtually on Sunday night.
She singled out real-life nomad Bob Wells, who appears in the movie, for help with her remarks.
“This is what he said about compassion,” Zhao said. “Compassion is the breakdown of all the barriers between us. A heart to heart pounding. Your pain is my pain. It’s mingled and shared between us.”
The 38-year-old director who lives in Los Angeles is a leading Oscar contender for “Nomadland,” which is in select theaters and streaming on Hulu.
“Now this is why I fell in love with making movies and telling stories because it gives us a chance to laugh and cry together and it gives us a chance to learn from each other and to have more compassion
for each other,” Zhao said in her acceptance remarks. “So thank you everyone who made it possible to do what I love.”
She joins Barbra Streisand, who won in 1984 for “Yentl,” as the only women to win directing honors at the Globes. Until this year, just five women had been nominated in the category.
“Sometimes a first feels like a long time coming. You feel like, it’s about time,” Zhao said in virtual backstage comments. “I’m sure there’s many others before me that deserve the same recognition. If this means more people like me get to live their dreams and do what I do, I’m happy.”
Regina King ("One Night in Miami...") and Emerald Fennell ("Promising Young Woman") were the other female director nominees.
Zhao also was nominated for best motion picture screenplay and lost to Aaron Sorkin. McDormand received a nod for actress in a motion picture drama, but lost.
Born in China, Zhao made her feature directing debut in 2015 with “Songs My Brother Taught Me.” She broke out in 2017 with “The Rider.” Next up for her is the big-budget Marvel film “Eternals,” set for release this fall.
Bongo, the first and largest video streaming platform in the country, is set to release popular Turkish series 'Sohosro Ek Rojoni'.
It will also be aired on the private television channel 'Nagorik TV'.
Fan-favourite Turkish drama series 'Sultan Suleiman' famed noted Turkish actor 'Halit Ergenç’ who won the hearts of the Bangladeshi audience by playing the title character of the longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, has also played a central role in the soon-to-be-released drama series 'Sohosro Ek Rojoni' on Bongo.
Based on the modern version of the ancient collection of Middle Eastern folk tales 'Arabian Nights', 'Sohosro Ek Rojoni' is the story of a widow named 'Sehrazat' and her struggle of life with her only sick child. The characters in this Turkish drama series gained popularities in some Latin American countries that many have named their children Sehrazat and Nur, according to Bongo.
Mushfiqur Rahman, Chief Content Officer of Bongo, said, "Although it is a Turkish drama series, we hope it will win the hearts of Bangladeshi viewers because of the consistency of the story and the fact that we broadcast it in Bangla."
"We are optimistic about 'Sohosro Ek Rojoni' series," said Kamruzzaman Babu, Head of Entertainment Program & Events at Nagorik TV.
“Sohosro Ek Rojoni”, there is a kind of fascination in the name itself. We have already seen many foreign serials on different TV channels in our country, where “Sohosro Ek Rojoni” is a serial in a very different context. Here it reflects how the lower circles see the real life of the upper circles in their lives, how the people of the lower circles surrender to the upper circles in the throes of life," he added.
"We are displaying it with the permission of the government. Thanks to the Bongo authorities, they have brought the series for us. Hopefully, in the future, they will come up with more series for us,” Babu said on the broadcasting partnership.
The fully Bengali-dubbed series will be broadcast from March 1st ion the video streaming platform 'Bongo', scheduled to air 6 episodes every week. Viewers can enjoy this drama series from Bongo Android/iOS app and website (www.bongobd.com). This will be aired on the private television channel 'Nagorik TV' from the same date.
Echoing solidarity with the global Black Lives Matter movement against racial injustices, much-anticipated art exhibition “The Black Story,” was launched virtually by Gallery Cosmos on Thursday.
Curated by Nahar Khan, Executive Director of Gallery Cosmos, the special exhibition is shedding the spotlight on the recent wave of protests against racial injustices perpetrated against the Black community in America, which inspired people of all colours across continents to proclaim “Black Lives Matter”, in solidarity with the movement.
Also read:Enthralling artworks showcase Sheikh Hasina's eventful life at Gallery Cosmos
Featuring a powerful combination of artistic expression from five prominent Bangladeshi visual artists: Alakesh Ghosh, Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Afrozaa Jamil Konka, Bishwajit Goswami and Sourav Chowdhury, and a series of intellectual interventions with global art-enthusiasts and specialists - the exhibition is aiming to explore the intolerable injustices and generational trauma experienced by black communities.
This interactive exhibition delves into the interactions between the historic Black and South Asian communities, harmonizing the motif to examine, expose, and embrace the historical and ancestral ties of people in this region, the organizers emphasized at the inauguration of this month-long exhibition.
Nahar Khan, Executive Director of Gallery Cosmos, inaugurated the special event at 9 pm on Thursday at Gallery Cosmos and UNB’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GalleryCosmos and https://www.facebook.com/unbnewsroom.
Hosted by Nabila Rahman, the inauguration was also joined by eminent Bangladeshi social activist, feminist, and environmentalist Khushi Kabir, and Nigerian American visual artist Osi Audu.
Nahar Khan, in her capacity as curator, mentioned that the exhibition has been profoundly transformative for her on a personal and professional level.
Shedding light on the history, Nahar Khan said, “The two communities (Black and South Asian) in the West share a longstanding history of being allies and enjoyed a sense of camaraderie born out of their shared struggles to build solidarity. These connections are best embodied by the ‘mixed’ lives of Black Bengalis. Vivek Bald’s ‘Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America’, reveals how multiple waves of Bengali Muslim migrants became part of iconic American cities like New York, New Orleans, and Detroit."
Nahar Khan pointed out how their men were known for inter-marrying with African American, Creole, and Puerto Rican women, building new lives in the American working-class communities of colour between the 1880s and early 1900s.”
“The ties between Black and South Asian communities are not just limited to the diaspora that exists in the West,” she continued. “Black-South Asia is an important and mostly unexplored segment of the Global African Diaspora which is present across the region: such as the African descended communities of Gujrat and Karnataka’s Sidis, Hyderabad’s Chaush, Pakistan’s Seedis, and Sri Lanka’s Kaffirs.”
“The body of work presented here is a collective commentary on the experience of systemic oppression, racism, and discrimination faced by the Black community; and examines how our own communities have institutionalized anti-black sentiments. Through this month-long virtual exhibition, we hope to engage Bangladeshi and global audiences on a journey to discover how our communities are intertwined. The Black Story comprises works encompassing painting, video, sound, poetry, film, and photography. Concurrently, a series of webinars and interviews will be held to create meaningful dialogue around issues of race, identity, and power (or lack thereof). Through multi-disciplinary art and intellectual discourse, The Black Story will explore our past, examine our present, and imagine our future in the context of institutionalized racism experienced by minority communities,” Nahar Khan added, explaining the event details.
Also read: Curtain rises on first-ever virtual exhibition on Bangabandhu by Gallery Cosmos
Congratulating the organizers for initiating this special exhibition, Khushi Kabir said, “Art is such a positive form of trying to bring out the nuances that exist in society. I really want to congratulate Gallery Cosmos and Nahar Khan for organizing 'The Black Story', and we need to work to have a world that does not exploit nature, people and everything that is beautiful. I believe art is the best way to bring this issue to the forefront.”
“The Black Lives Matter movement became as big as it is today with the murder of George Floyd which brought global attention towards the issue regarding the black lives, though it was always there. If we look at the history of the USA right from the very beginning, we see that there has always been racial injustice but it also has had its existence in our (South Asian) communities as well,” Khushi Kabir, the lead convenor of Nijera Kori Foundation, added.
“I think it is the time to start looking at ourselves, as we also have tinctures of racism within us as we are part of such globalisation consisting the problematic epitome of beauty and certain skin tones-looks-features, and do not try to realise that each of us has different characteristics by nature. Being aware of and respecting all human beings, and not having preconceived notions and ideas of what constitutes what a person is or should be and should not be, is something that we have to start breaking from,” Khushi Kabir suggested.
Acclaimed Nigerian American visual artist Osi Audu said, “I am deeply honoured to be on this platform as a visual artist and a Black artist, and my experience of facing racism actually began when I moved to London and then moved to the US; as the western world deliberately tried to demotivate me from my passion to the abstract art. The reality which I found later that abstraction was not originally a western phenomenon. The abstraction and abstract thought, in terms of art and aesthetics, came into the West through Picasso when he actually interacted with some figurative works from Congo, which resulted in the production of these abstract works. Prior to then, ‘realism’ was the main form of art that started way back in the Renaissance period, made very popular by Leonardo (Da Vinci).”
“So that was one of the ways that I kicked against some of the silent racist thoughts about what the Africans are, what their imaginations should be engaged in because one of the insidious things about racism and generally the prevalent anti-black sentiment is that it wants to hijack and give your imagination a different narrative,” he shared his side of fighting back and forth with the struggles.
Also read:Group art exhibition 'Musicality in Wood' begins at Gallery Cosmos
“I intentionally went against all odds and did not allow my imagination to strive with struggles, enslavement, and sadness. I dared and still continue to dare to look at the full extents of black lives. Look at our (black artists) subject matters: love, happiness, fantasy, and all types of ideas which was the reason that the Black Panther movie became highly successful. I am really inspired by the stories of people who strived to live their life to the fullest of their imagination and potential, looking at modern-day examples like former president Barack Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris and more,” Audu said at the event.
Focusing on the peaceful harmony against racism, he added that the protests that swept through America in response to George Floyd’s killing, were joined by people of all colours in demanding racial equality. “Not all white people are racist. In fact, a lot of them had died during the civil war in America against slavery - and my own personal story has been determined by that. At the core of our being, we have a lot of common - more than what separates us.””
Also watch: The Black Story
Apart from the evocative artworks from the five participating and renowned Bangladeshi visual artists, there will be interesting segments showcased in the exhibition alongside webinars, photography, poetry, film, and various audio and visual multimedia pieces through its dedicated and interactive virtual gallery.
“The exhibition entitled The Black Story will stand as proof that many of the debates around race, violence, injustice and discrimination centring the Black Movement have been left unconfronted for far too long. Although the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed the opening of the exhibition, its cross-disciplinary approach that encompasses the art, sound, sculpture, video, photography, live talk shows, performances, poetry and music will make this event a unique initiative by Gallery Cosmos, conceived and curated by Nahar Khan. Cosmos Foundation is delighted to support The Black Story,” Enayetullah Khan, chairman of the Cosmos Foundation stated regarding the exhibition.
In partnership with Cosmos-Atelier71, The Black Story is supported by Cosmos Foundation while UNB is the media partner (full disclosure: Cosmos Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Cosmos Group, UNB's owning company). Proceeds from The Black Story will go towards the Black & Indigenous People of Colour Creative Association (BIPOC-CA).
Also read: Gallery Cosmos art camp on PM Hasina begins
The month-long virtual exhibition is inviting people from all walks of lives from February 25 to March 25, 2021, on the official website of the exhibition at www.theblackstory.com, as well as through the social media pages of the Gallery and UNB.
If you’re coming to “ Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry ” hoping for a primer on the music sensation, you’ve come to the wrong place. Filmmaker R.J. Cutler’s two hour and 20-minute documentary about the “Ocean Eyes” singer and songwriter is not biography or reportage. It’s a verite-style plunge into her life, her home, her concerts, her process, her Tourette’s, her brother’s bedroom where they famously write all their songs and even her diary in the year in which she became a star.
It is raw and filled with music — over 20 of her songs are played over the course of the film, including live performances, like her extraordinary Coachella showing in 2019. Some are shown in full. It is also very, very long.
Cutler, who also did “The September Issue” and “Belushi,” cited seminal verite rock docs “Gimme Shelter” and “Dont Look Back” as inspiration. But both of those came a few years and albums into The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan’s superstardom. Eilish’s ascent is extraordinary and yet she is still in the early part of her artistic and actual life. Fans will certainly disagree, as is their right, but it is an enormous amount of unfiltered space to give to an artist who is still getting started. There’s no right or wrong way to make a documentary like this, but for the Eilish curious and not the Eilish die-hards, it’s initiation by fire without any context.
Clearly someone in Eilish’s camp had an eye toward legacy when they invited Cutler to her family home to see if he wanted to follow the then-16-year-old during her breakout year, during which she and her brother Finneas wrote, recorded and released her debut album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”
Eilish is funny and sullen and charismatic and moody, just as you’d want and expect a teenage artist to be. She gets dreamy and protective of her followers, saying “they’re not my fans, they’re like part of me” and complains that for her, writing songs is “torture.” And she breaks the fourth wall occasionally (she’d told Cutler that she wanted it to be like “The Office”) to let the audience knows that she knows they’re there.
Her brother is the driving force a lot of the productivity in their cozy family home in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles (he’s since moved out). Their parents homeschooled them and music was always part of their life, with mom, Maggie Baird, teaching them how to write songs and dad, Patrick O’Connell, teaching instruments.
It is interesting to see her and Finneas riff about lyrics and test things out — he has anxiety about having to produce a hit and she couldn’t care less — and the juxtaposition of her glamorous appearances and performances with the modest normalcy of their home life.
There are some terrific moments that Cutler caught out on the road: In one instance, she meets Katy Perry who introduces Eilish to her fiance — “a big fan.” It’s only later that Eilish realizes that was Orlando Bloom. Her brother reminds her he is “Will Turner from the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies.” She wants a redo. “I thought he was just some dude,” she says.
Another is her first meeting with Justin Bieber. She talks about her longstanding obsession in an interview, he gets in touch three days before her album release about wanting to collaborate. (She tells her manager that “he could ask me to kill my dog and I would.”) Then at Coachella he appears as she’s greeting a hoard of her fans. She freezes and becomes a fan herself. Later she’ll sob over a heartfelt message he sends her.
And there are some incredibly vulnerable moments too, showing the performer exhausted and annoyed. Eilish remains as unique and enigmatic as she seems from a distance, but also is presented very much like a normal Los Angeles teenager, getting her driver’s license, dreaming of a matte black Dodge Challenger and texting with a largely absent boyfriend.
Fans will eat up every morsel of this documentary and wish for more. For newcomers, however, it might benefit from watching in installments, which is one of the benefits of the film debuting on Apple TV+. There’s even an intermission to help take the guesswork out of where to hit pause.
This does not come across as a vanity project that’s been intensely controlled by the star or the machinery around her, either. It’s refreshing. It’s also probably one of the last times we’ll all be invited into her life in this way.
“Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry,” an Apple TV+ and Neon release out Friday, has not been rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. Running time: 140 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.
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Narrating the thrilling and triumphant story of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)'s breathtaking operations to defeat the pirates of the Sundarban, acclaimed action director Dipankar Dipon's 'Operation Sundarban' is set for release on Eid-Ul-Adha 2021.
The action thriller set in the mangrove forest, produced by RAB Welfare Cooperative Society Limited, unveiled its teaser and website through a gala event at the Army Golf Club in the capital on Tuesday, where the makers announced the release date of the film.
Featuring an ensemble cast including Dhallywood's celebrated superstar Riaz Ahmed who is making a comeback after four years, alongside heartthrobs including Siam Ahmed, Nusraat Faria, Ziaul Roshan, Manoj Pramanik and Taskeen Rahman, the 1-minute and 33-second teaser was lauded by its audiences for showcasing the commendable narrative of the history and facts through infotainment.
Benazir Ahmed, Inspector General of Bangladesh Police attended the event as the chief guest while RAB Director General Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun and Additional Director General (Operations) Colonel Tofail Mostafa Sarwar joined as special guests, alongside other higher officials and the cast members of the film.
The 1-minute and 33-second teaser of the film was then released by the guests, which was followed by the launching of the official website of the film, https://operationsundarban.com/.
"Sundarban has a language and narrative of its own, which was pretty much controlled by the water pirates until 2016 when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared the Sundarbans free of pirates. Our film is depicting the story with the involvement of our 1,300 cast and crew members, narrating the saga of the mission against the pirates and their post-pirate life, and the livelihood of the natives living around Sundarban," Director Dipankar Dipon said at the event.
He added, "We had to work through a lot, with a mission to tell a tale that the Bangladeshi audiences have never seen before. In addition to that, we had challenges to make an actual movie that is different than a documentary. Without the cordial cooperation of RAB members and other elite force officials, alongside the people of Sundarban - this film would not see the daylight."
"For years, the imagery of our elite forces in our own movies were confined into silly, comedic actions such as discouraging the casts in the last sequences on not to take actions by themselves. Film is a wonderful medium of documentation of history, and without proper documentation, the glorious tale of our operation against the pirates in Sundarban would remain untold. From that perspective, we took the initiative and Dipon made justice with proper research and development on the project," Benazir Ahmed said at the event.
Also read: Shooting of ‘Operation Sundarbans’ begins
Comparing with movies from outside the country, RAB Additional Director General Colonel Tofail Mostafa Sarwar said about the film, "Reality is much more different and difficult than fiction. We often see international movies showcasing glorious operations of elite forces, and we have tried to do the same in Operation Sundarban, depicting the enthralling true stories blending adequate amount of entertainment."
Under the supervision of RAB, the shooting of the film has taken place in some remote areas in the Sundarban where people usually do not go or cannot go. Actor Siam Ahmed, alongside Ziaul Roshan, Riaz Ahmed and others have undergone special training sessions from RAB prior to the shooting in Sundarban and were seen taking part in various expeditions on water, land, and air into the teaser.
Initially scheduled to be released for Eid-ul-Adha in 2020, it faced delays due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The film is expected to enthrall the audiences in theatres during Eid-Ul-Adha 2021 and also with possible releases on global platforms including Netflix, the organizers informed at the event.
Eid ul Adha is most likely to fall on July 19/20 this year, subject to the moon sightings.