Wellington, Jan 24 (AP/UNB) — Singaporean actor Aloysius Pang died Thursday from injuries he sustained during a military training exercise in New Zealand. He was 28.
Pang was injured in his chest and abdomen when the gun barrel was lowered on a large artillery device he was helping repair Saturday. Singapore's defense ministry said in a statement that Pang had been put on life support following surgeries to repair his damaged organs but died at Waikato Hospital.
Also known as Pang Wei Chong, the actor was known for the movie "Young & Fabulous" (2016) as well as television series that include "The Truth Seekers" (2016) and "C.L.I.F." (2011).
Singapore mandates young men serve in its armed forces, police force or civil defense force. Most serve full-time for two years, and then have annual training obligations. Pang had completed his full-time service, and was an armament technician whose rank was corporal first class.
Before leaving for New Zealand, Pang wrote on Twitter that "Unfortunately, my 2019 will start off with me flying to New Zealand for 3 weeks due to reservist. I'll be back in action soon."
The military said it would convene an independent committee of inquiry to investigate the circumstances leading up to Pang being injured.
He had been working on a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer, a motorized piece of artillery that looks similar to a small tank. The live-firing training exercise took place at the Waiouru training area on New Zealand's North Island and is hosted by New Zealand's military each year.
Pang's Singapore agency NoonTalk Media posted a photo of the actor on Facebook and wrote "Dear Aloysius, you'll be missed."
Other actors also paid tribute. Shane Pow Xunping wrote on Instagram: "It is not enough for you to be a brother in this life. We will continue to be brothers in the next life. I love you."
Dhaka, Jan 23 (UNB) – Ekushey Padak-winning lyricist, composer and music director Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul who passed away early Tuesday was laid to eternal rest here on Wednesday night.
He was buried at the Martyred Intellectuals' Graveyard in Mirpur around 8:30pm following two namaz-e-janazas.
His first janaza was held at Dhaka University mosque after Zohr prayers while the second one on the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation premises after Asr prayers.
Earlier in the morning, his body was taken to the Central Shaheed Minar where people from all walks of life paid their last tributes to the renowned lyricist, composer and music director.
The body was kept there from around 11am to around 12:30 pm. Bulbul, also a freedom fighter, was given a guard of honour there.
A delegation on behalf of President M Abdul Hamid placed a wreath at his coffin while cultural personality and former minister Asaduzzaman Noor, state minister for cultural affairs KM Khalid paid homage to Imtiaz Bulbul.
Awami League leader Mahbubul Alam Hanif on behalf of the ruling party placed a wreath on the coffin of the noted lyricist.
Bulbul was taken to Ayesha Memorial Hospital at Mohakhali after he suffered a heart attack around 4am on Tuesday. However, doctors at the hospital declared him dead. He was 63.
Bulbul won a number of awards, including Ekushey Padak, National Film Award and the President Award.
He took part in the Liberation War at the age of 15. He started his career as a music director in the film ‘Megh Bijli Badol’. He released music album independently and directed numerous songs for films.
Bulbul won the ‘National Film Award’ as music director for ‘Premer Tajmahal’ and ‘Hazar Bosor Dhore’ films.
His famous works include ‘Shobkota Janala Khule Dao Na’, ‘O Majhi Nao Chaira De’, ‘Shei Railiner Dhare’, ‘Sundar Suborn Tarunno Labonnyo’, ‘Amar Sara Deho Kheo O Go Mati’, ‘Amar Babar Mukhe Prothom Jedin’ and many others.
New York, Jan 22 (AP/UNB) — The Oscars still don't have a host, but on Tuesday morning, they'll at least have nominees.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will unveil nominations to the 91st Oscars on Tuesday morning at 8:20 a.m. EST from the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills, California. The nominations, to be announced by Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross, will be livestreamed globally at Oscars.com , Oscars.org and on the academy's digital platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
The lead-up to Tuesday's nominations has been rocky for both the film academy and some of the movies in contention. Shortly after being announced as host, Kevin Hart was forced to withdraw over years-old homophobic tweets that the comedian eventually apologized for. That has left the Oscars, one month before its Feb. 24th ceremony, without an emcee, and likely to stay that way.
Hollywood's awards season has been an especially combustible one, too. Some contenders, like Peter Farrelly's "Green Book" and the Freddie Mercury biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody," have suffered waves upon waves of backlash, even as their awards tallies have mounted. On Saturday, "Green Book" won the top award from the Producers Guild, an honor that has been a reliable Oscar barometer. In the 10 years since the Oscars expanded its best-picture ballot, the PGA winner has gone on to win best picture eight times.
The season's steadiest contender — Bradley Cooper's "A Star Is Born" — looked potentially unbeatable until it got beat. Despite an enviable string of awards and more than $400 million in worldwide box office, Cooper's lauded remake was almost totally ignored at the Golden Globes, winning just best song and losing best picture, drama, to the popular but critically derided "Bohemian Rhapsody," a movie that jettisoned its director (Bryan Singer) mid-production.
Still, "A Star Is Born" (the sole film to land top nominations from every guild award except the Visual Effects Society) may be the lead nomination-getter Tuesday with around 10 nominations including best actress for Lady Gaga and both best director and best actor for Cooper. But other films, including Ryan Coogler's "Black Panther," Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma" and Yorgos Lanthimos' "The Favourite," could be in for big mornings, too.
Here are some of the pressing questions heading into Tuesday's nominations.
HOW MANY WILL THERE BE?
Best picture nominees can fall anywhere from five to ten. Most commonly, we end up with nine nominees, as there was last year when Guillermo del Toro's "The Shape of Water" ultimately prevailed. Most assured of a spot are the films that have fared well consistently with Hollywood's guilds, whose memberships overlap with the 17 branches of the academy.
The five films picked by the strongly predictive Directors Guild — "BlacKkKlansman," ''A Star is Born," ''Roma," ''Green Book" and "Vice" — are probably in. So, too, are "The Favourite" and "Black Panther," leaving films like "Eighth Grade," ''First Man," ''A Quiet Place" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" vying for a place.
CAN NETFLIX MAKE HISTORY?
"Roma," Cuaron's black-and-white memory masterwork, is poised to hand Netflix its first best picture nomination — something the streaming service has dearly sought. Amazon got there first in 2017 with "Manchester by the Sea" but Netflix came close last year with Dee Rees' "Mudbound." This time around, it has gone against its regular policies to release "Roma" in select theaters shortly in advance of arriving on Netflix.
But there's resistance among some academy members to Netflix films at the Oscars since the company typically bypasses movie theaters. Steve Spielberg has said Netflix films are more like TV movies and deserve an Emmy, not an Oscar.
If "Roma," which is Mexico's foreign language submission, were to win best picture, it would become the first foreign language film to ever win in the category. Cuaron, who served as his own director of photography, is expected to be nominated for both best directing and best cinematography. If he were to win best director, he and his "Three Amigos" countrymen — del Toro, Alejandro G. Inarritu — will have won the category five of the last six years.
WILL 'BLACK PANTHER' ROAR?
Coogler's superhero sensation sold more tickets ($700 million worth) than any other film in North America in 2018. It has thus far won some honors here and there, but "Black Panther" may emerge as a major contender Tuesday. Coogler's film could be well represented in the craft categories, including visual effects, production design and costumes, along with Kendrick Lamar's "All the Stars" in the best song category.
The film's director of photography, Rachel Morrison, last year became the first woman to be nominated for best cinematography. This year, she could repeat the feat.
"Black Panther" could make history in one other way, too. A best picture nomination would be Marvel's first.
WILL SPIKE LAND HIS FIRST DIRECTING NOMINATION?
Spike Lee has been nominated twice before, for writing 1989's "Do the Right Thing" and for best documentary (1998's "4 Little Girls"). The 61-year-old filmmaker has even been given an honorary Oscar by the film academy, in 2015. But this year, Lee is favored to earn his first directing nomination for his impassioned white supremacist drama "BlacKkKlansman."
A year after Greta Gerwig became just the fifth woman nominated for best director, all of this year's favorites are men. Whether someone like Debra Granik ("Leave No Trace") can crack the category this year or not, it will be a different academy voting. In the last few years, the academy has considerably increased its membership in an effort to diversify its ranks, which have historically been overwhelmingly white and male. In June, the academy invited a record 928 new members.
AND ABOUT THAT HOST?
The Academy of Motion Pictures is reportedly planning to go host-less following Hart's exit, something it has tried only once before in an infamous 1989 telecast that featured a lengthy musical number with Rob Lowe and Snow White.
The Oscars last year hit a new ratings low, declining 20 percent and averaging 26.5 million viewers. Though ratings for award shows have generally been dropping, the downturn prompted the academy to revamp this year's telecast. Though initial plans for a new popular film category were scuttled, the academy is planning to present some awards off-air and keep the broadcast to three hours.
Nashville, Jan 20 (AP/UNB) — Guitarist Reggie Young, a Memphis- and Nashville-based session player whose signature licks defined hit records from Elvis, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and many more, has died. He was 82.
Friend and fellow Nashville Cats session musician David Briggs said Young died Thursday at his home in Nashville, Tennessee.
Young started his illustrious career in Memphis, where he was an in-demand session player working with acclaimed producer Chips Moman, and opened for the Beatles with the Bill Black Combo in 1964. At Moman's American Studio in Memphis, he played the signature sitar intro on "Hooked on a Feeling," by B.J. Thomas, and played guitar on "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield, "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond, and "Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley.
After moving to Nashville in the 1970s, he became part of the Nashville Cats session players recording hundreds of songs for top country stars. Young added guitar to No. 1 records including "Luckenbach, Texas," by Jennings, "Pancho and Lefty" by Nelson and Merle Haggard and "Always On My Mind," by Nelson.
When the Highwaymen super group formed between Nelson, Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson, Young played on their No. 1 records and even toured with them.
His first-ever album, containing a collection of hits he played on from Memphis to Nashville, was due out later this month through London-based record label Ace.
Dhaka, Jan 18 (UNB) - The 17th Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) ended here on Friday with the awards ceremony.
This year’s theme was ‘Better Film, Better Audience and Better Society’. Rainbow Film Society organised the nine-day festival.
State Minister of Cultural Affairs KM Khalid attended the closing ceremony at the main auditorium of the National Museum as the chief guest. State Minister for Foreign Affairs and chief patron of the DIFF, Shahriar Alam, presided over the session in presence of festival director Ahmed Muztaba Zamal and festival executive committee member M Hamid.
There were competitions named “Asian Cinema Section”, “Retrospective”, “Bangladesh Panorama Section”, “Cinema of the World Section”, “Children Films Section”, “Women Filmmakers Section”, “Short and Independent Films Section” and “Spiritual Films Section” in the film festival.
‘Little Prince of Our City’ directed by Talgat Temenov from Kazakhstan won the ‘Best Children Film Badal Rahman Award’ while the ‘Best Audience Award’ was given to ‘EK Je Chilo Raja’ directed by Srijit Mukheji from India.
‘Sonatan Golpo’ (Ancient Trap) directed by Masum Aziz from Bangladesh won ‘Best Critic Film by FIPRESCI Jury’ while ‘Bitter Sea’ directed by Fateme Ahmadi from the UK, ‘Burkinabe Bounty’ by Iara Lee from Burkina Faso, the USA, Bulgaria, Italy, Rising Silence directed by Leesa Gazi from Bangladesh, India, UK and Mamang directed by Denise O’hara from Philippines got the award for Best Short fiction in Women Filmmakers Section, Women Filmmakers Section Documentary, Best Documentary in Women Filmmakers Section and Best Feature Film in Women Filmmakers Section respectively.
‘Return’ by Shahriar Pourseyedian from Iran won the best short fiction in Spiritual Film Section while ‘Walking for Genna’ by Frederic Furnelle and Oliver Bourget from Belgium, Ethiopia and ‘Namdev Bhau’ directed by Dar Gai from India, Ukriane were awarded with Best Documentary in Spiritual Film Section and Best Feature in Spiritual Film Section respectively.
In the Asian Film Competition Section, ‘Signal Rock’ directed by Chito Rono from Philippines and ‘Shynyrau’ (Deep Well) directed by Zhanabek Zhetiruov from Kazakhstan were awarded the best script and best cinematography. ‘Sofra Sirlari’ (Serial Cook) by Umit Unal and ‘Brothers of Silence’ by Taylan Mintas from Turkey got the Best Actress and Best Actor awards.
‘Darak yry’ (The Song of the Tree) by Aibek Daiyrbekov from Kyrgyzstan won the best film award while Best Director was selected from ‘Dressage’ movie from Iran in the Asian Film Competition.
Srijit Mukherji directed ‘Uma’ from India was screened following the closing ceremony of the festival.
Five movies were also screened at different times at public library auditorium. ‘Rising Silence’ directed Leesa Gazi, jointly produced by UK, Bangladesh and India under Women Filmmaker Section will be screened at 7pm.
The short and independent films ‘Toprak’ from Turkey, ‘Man of the Hour’ from the UK, ‘Lao Wai’ from the UK and ‘Made-in-China’ and ‘Rufus King Park’ from the USA were screened at 7pm at Sufia Kamal Auditorium.
At the 17th DIFF, some 220 films from around 72 countries were selected for screening, according to the organisers.
The venues of film screening were the Alliance Francaise de Dhaka, Blockbuster Cinemas at Jamuna Future Park, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Central Public Library Auditorium and National Museum Auditorium.
Like previous years, Rainbow Film Society arranged a two-day ‘Fifth Dhaka International Conference on Women in Cinema 2019’ on Friday where woman filmmakers, actors and personalities from all over the world took part.
Alongside, a two-day International Film Critics Federation (FIPRESCI) Asian region conference was held as part of 17th DIFF on January 13-14.
The aim of the conference was to motivate and introduce the Asian FIPRESCI members, who are less prioritised and are not getting the privileges properly.
Another very important segment that the 2019 DIFF arranged in continuation of all the previous festivals is the Children’s Film Section.
Around 10 fiction films were screened in this segment. These screenings are ideal family outings and were open to all children and adults.
Alongside, a day-long programme ‘WEST MEETS EAST’ was held at DIFF on January 14 at the Dhaka Club Samson Lounge.
An international film critic, a prominent festival official, a leading academic and an experienced producer participated in the segment.