Cairo, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Artistic bands from 30 countries will participate in the fourth Afro-Chinese Arts and Folklore Festival which will be held in Upper Egypt's Aswan Province on Oct. 27-31, Suhair Abdel-Qader, head of the event said on Tuesday.
"The festival will be held in Aswan, the source of heritage and folklore, which was announced by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as the African youth capital for 2019," Abdel-Qader told a press conference in Cairo.
The festival will be held under the auspices of several Egyptian ministries including that of culture, tourism, youth and sports and antiquities, with the goal of boosting Egyptian-Chinese-African ties at cultural and touristic levels.
Abdel-Qader noted that art brings together the peoples of Africa and China, "who share brotherhood and love."
The festival's president stressed that all Egyptian ministries have joined forces to make the festival a success, pointing out that the government has been preparing for the festival for seven months.
For his part, Chinese Cultural Counselor to Egypt Shi Yuewen said that the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism has selected Xiamen Little Egret Folk Dance Troupe, China's first folk dance group, to participate in the festival this year.
He pointed out that the troupe performed in more than 46 countries and both Chinese and Egyptian leaders watched the great performances of the troupe in China.
"The troupe consists of 25 artists and bears the title of 'Flower of Chinese Folk Art'," the counselor said, wishing the festival a great success.
Shi expressed confidence that cultural and human exchanges will reach a remarkable stage, especially with the gathering of artists from China and Africa in Aswan.
"China is keen to strengthen cooperation with Egypt in many fields such as culture, tourism, archeology, youth, sports and others," he said.
Shi added that cultural exchanges between the two countries will be at its best through the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the long-standing relations between China and Egypt.
Ahmed Awad, head of Egypt's General Authority for Cultural Palaces, said that the festival is a "bridge between Chinese and African cultures."
"The festival is important and it is developing every year. The Egyptian Ministry of Culture provides all support for the success of the festival," he said.
The festival will include film screening, folkloric dance performance as well as intellectual and cultural workshops.
Hanoi, OCT 16 (AP/UNB) — Vietnam has pulled "Abominable" from theaters because the U.S.-Chinese-made animated movie showed a map supporting Chinese claims to the disputed South China Sea.
The image in one scene showed the so-called nine-dash line, a vague and broken outline around the resource-rich waters China claims as its own territory. Those claims overlap with claims by Vietnam and other Asian governments, and an international tribunal in 2016 invalidated China's vast claims in a case brought by the Philippines.
"Abominable," the story of a Chinese girl who helps a yeti get back to its home on Mount Everest, is a collaboration between DreamWorks Animation and China-based Pearl Studio.
It was shown in Vietnamese cinemas for a week before its removal, the state-owned Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Monday.
"We will be more alert and more vigorous in censorship," the head of the government's cinema department, Nguyen Thu Ha, was quoted as saying.
The department is responsible for the censorship of all movies for violence, sex and unfavorable political messages in authoritarian Vietnam.
Trailers and other associated information for "Abominable" have been removed from the Vietnamese distributors' website and social media channels. The movie's trailer and posters were removed from advertising screens in theaters.
The film was also met with criticism from Vietnamese movie fans.
"It is an insult to Vietnam," said student Minh Hieu, who was looking for a movie to watch on Tuesday afternoon.
Another student, Nguyen Mai Huong, said: "I wouldn't watch it even if it still showed in the cinema. The (nine-dash) map is straight-up wrong. And I am absolutely not going to support it."
"Abominable" began playing in the Philippines and other South China Sea claimants Indonesia and Taiwan in early October.
In Manila, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters a decision on continuing to show the movie in the Philipines was up to a government movie censorship board.
The Philippines has tempered its once-vocal opposition to China's assertive claims in the disputed sea since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in mid-2016.
Vietnam's ban of the animated movie comes during an increasingly tense and months-long standoff between its ships and a Chinese survey vessel and escort ships in disputed Vanguard Bank off Vietnam.
New York, Oct 15 (AP/UNB) — The late musical icons Whitney Houston and the Notorious B.I.G. are among the 16 acts nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 2020 class.
The prestigious organization announced Tuesday that Dave Matthews Band, Motorhead, Pat Benatar, Soundgarden, The Doobie Brothers, T.Rex and Thin Lizzy join Houston and B.I.G. as first-time Rock Hall nominees. The 35th annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place May 2, 2020, at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio.
Nine Inch Nails, Judas Priest, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, MC5 and Todd Rundgren round out the 16 nominees for the 2020 class. The official inductees will be announced in January.
Acts are eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first commercial recording.
Cambridge, Oct 14 (AP/UNB) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.
Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22, according to the Cambridge, Massachusetts, school's Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.
Other honorees include poet and educator Elizabeth Alexander, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie Bunch III, poet Rita Dove, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television Sheila Johnson, artist Kerry James Marshall and Robert Smith, founder, chairman and chief executive of Vista Equity Partners.
The award is named after Du Bois, a scholar, writer, editor, and civil rights pioneer who became the first black student to earn a doctorate from Harvard in 1895.
Los Angeles, Oct 14 (AP/UNB) — The first weekend was no fluke: "Joker" is a hit.
The R-rated comic book villain origin story had a phenomenal second weekend at the box office, topping the charts once more over newcomers such as the animated "The Addams Family" and the Will Smith action pic "Gemini Man."
Warner Bros. said Sunday that "Joker" added an estimated $55 million from North American theaters this weekend, bringing its domestic total to $192.7 million.
Not only are the pure grosses impressive, but "Joker" also dropped only 43% from its record-breaking debut.
For comic book films, which are often front-loaded and regularly see second weekend falls that are over 50%, it's a notably small dip. It's also a slightly lower drop than "Wonder Woman" and "Black Panther" — both of which had higher initial openings and went on to have long lives in theaters.
"These are incredible numbers and really reflect how interested and excited people were," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore.
The film had a rollercoaster ride to release, with highs like winning the top prize at the Venice Film Festival, and lows when concerns about the film inciting violence made headlines and prompted increased security at many theaters across the country. But audiences have spoken with their dollars and "were not going to be deterred," Dergarabedian said.
"It shows that content wins. A great movie will rise up above all the noise over whatever controversy or security concerns there were," he added. "You're totally left out of the water cooler conversation if you haven't seen 'Joker.'"
Internationally, "Joker" added $123.7 million from 79 markets, bringing its global total to $543.9 million after just 12 days in theaters.
"Joker's" second weekend success played well alongside the counterprogramming of the kid-friendly "Addams Family," which exceeded expectations and came in a strong second with $30.3 million.
United Artists Releasing distributed the film from MGM and BRON Creative that features the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron and Bette Midler. "The Addams Family" defied middling reviews (43% on Rotten Tomatoes) and benefited from a marketplace with relatively few family friendly options in theaters right now, aside from "Abominable" which is now in its third weekend.
The ambitious, star-driven "Gemini Man" was not so lucky. The visual effects-heavy Ang Lee film about an assassin on the run from a younger version of himself (both played by Smith using state of the art de-aging technology) opened in third place with only $20.5 million. Even Smith's disastrous "After Earth" had a better debut ($27.5 million).
Reviews were overwhelmingly poor (it's currently at 26% on Rotten Tomatoes) but "Gemini Man" also had the "Joker" factor to contend with, which may have contributed to the disappointing opening, according to Dergarabedian.
"Gemini Man" was not a cheap endeavor either. The film from Paramount and Skydance cost a reported $140 million to make after rebates and will have a difficult time breaking even.
Rounding out the top five were "Abominable," with $6.2 million, and "Downton Abbey," with $4.9 million.
In limited release, Bong Joon-Ho's "Parasite" had an extraordinary weekend, earning $376,264 from only 3 locations. Its $125,421 per theater average is a record for 2019.
"It's amazing how well ("Parasite") did. It's one of the biggest stories of the weekend," Dergarabedian said. "That per theater average means that those movie theaters were full. The demand far outweighed the supply."
Neon is distributing the class-conscious Korean thriller, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and is already a massive hit internationally, with over $70.9 million from South Korea alone. With near-unanimous rave reviews, "Parasite" is also expected to be an awards contender and will be expanding in North America in the coming weeks.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1."Joker," $55 million ($123.7 million international).
2."The Addams Family," $30.3 million.
3."Gemini Man," $20.5 million ($31.1 million international).
4."Abominable," $6.2 million ($15 million international).
5."Downton Abbey," $4.9 million ($4.1 million international).
6."Hustlers," $3.9 million ($3.9 million international).
7. "Judy," $3.3 million ($1.6 million international).
8."It: Chapter Two," $3.2 million ($2.3 million international).
9."Jexi," $3.1 million.
10."Ad Astra," $1.9 million ($2.9 million international).
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Comscore:
1. "Joker," $123.7 million.
2. "The Captain," $33.4 million.
3. "Gemini Man," $31.1 million.
4. "My People, My Country," $23 million.
5. "Abominable," $15 million.
6. "The Climbers," $11 million.
7. "Downton Abbey," $4.1 million.
8. "Hustlers," $3.9 million.
9. "The Most Ordinary Romance," $3.7 million.
10. "The Angry Birds Movie 2," $3 million.