Dhaka, Jan 17 (UNB) - The 17th Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) with the theme ‘Better Film, Better Audience and Better Society’ will end on Friday.
Rainbow Film Society, which has been dedicated to the promotion of a healthy cine culture in Bangladesh and in celebrating the global mainstream in film and its social relevance since 1977, organised the nine-day festival.
The closing ceremony of the festival will be held at the main auditorium of the National Museum in presence of Information Minister Hasan Mahmud and Foreign Minister Professor Dr AK Abdul Momen.
Earlier, the festival was inaugurated by former Finance Minister AMA Muhith as the chief guest at the same venue.
Srijit Mukherji directed ‘Uma’ from India will be screened at the main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum following the closing ceremony of the festival.
Five movies will be screened at different times at public library auditorium under Bangladesh Panorama, Asian Competition, Cinema of the World, Children Section while ‘Rising Silence’ directed Leesa Gazi, jointly produced by UK, Bangladesh and India under Women Filmmaker Section will be screened at 7 pm.
The Short and Independent films Toprak (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 will be screened at 7 pm at Sufia Kamal Auditorium of the national museum.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs and chief patron of the DIFF Shahriar Alam will be presided over the session in presence of festival director Ahmed Muztaba Zamal and Festival Executive Committee member M Hamid.
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.
There are 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”.
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 long 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.
One film will be selected by audience vote for the Best Juvenile Film Audience Award. The award will be in the form of a certificate and a crest.
Alongside, a day-long programme ‘WEST MEETS EAST’ was held at the Dhaka International Film Festival 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.
Lima, Jan 16 (AP/UNB) — A year ago, Venezuelan migrant Reymar Perdomo was singing for spare change on jammed buses, struggling to make ends meet while building a new life in Peru's capital.
But her life took a turn when she wrote a heartfelt reggae song about leaving her homeland that went viral on the internet and has brought tears to hundreds in the Venezuelan diaspora that has spread around the globe. Now Perdomo combines her street performances with appearances at concerts and on TV programs, and her song has become the unofficial anthem of Venezuelans who have fled their country's economic implosion.
"This song gives me goosebumps" said Junior Barrios, a Venezuelan migrant who listened to Perdomo perform her song "Me Fui" — Spanish for "I Left" — recently at a busy plaza in Lima. "Leaving your home from one day to the next day isn't easy, and this just makes a whole bunch of emotions surface at once."
According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 3 million Venezuelans have left their country since 2015 as food shortages and hyperinflation became rampant in what was once a wealthy oil-exporting nation. By the end of 2019 that number is expected to grow to at least 5.4 million.
"Me Fui" is Perdomo's retelling of how she left Venezuela reluctantly with her "head full of doubts," pushed by her mother, who insisted there was no other way for her to make something of her life.
The song, which the 30-year-old plays with a ukulele after her similar-sounding Venezuelan "cuatro" broke while busking, talks about how she was robbed and faced other hardships as she had to cross four countries to reach Peru, pressing on while "speaking softly and crying along much of the way."
"I had lots of mixed feelings about having to leave Venezuela, and felt a lot of pain. And I just needed to express that in order to move on with life," Perdomo said in an interview after performing on the streets of Lima's wealthy Miraflores district.
Her nostalgic song has had more than 2 million views on YouTube thanks to a passer-by who recorded Perdomo singing and posted the video online. It's also gotten a wave of attention on radio and television, helping Perdomo get noticed by famous pop artists around South America who have asked her to be the opening act at their concerts. She has also produced a slicker version that has had 1.2 million views on its own.
In December, Perdomo was invited to Colombia by a popular satirist and Youtuber who had her sing on a bus, surprising her by bringing along Latin Grammy winner Carlos Vives and Andres Cepeda.
Perdomo said she almost fainted as Vives, who was wearing a hat and fake moustache, threw his disguise away and started to sing the chorus of her song.
"That happened exactly a year to the date after I left Venezuela" Perdomo said. "And for me to be there, performing with one of my favorite singers, singing my song, just felt like proof that God exists."
Perdomo, who used to be a music teacher at a public school in the rural state of Guarico and once participated in a televised talent show. Although she says she never voted for Venezuela's socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, as a public employee she was required to sing at pro-government rallies, something a few online critics have held against her.
Though becoming something of a symbol of the Venezuelan exodus, she still struggles to get by.
Her mother, brother, sister-in-law and year-old nephew have joined her in Peru and all share a small rented apartment in one of the city's working class districts. Only Perdomo's brother has found a permanent job, working as a bouncer at a nightclub, so the street performer works long days to help sustain her family.
Still, social media fame is opening new doors.
Perdomo says that Vives has invited her to perform on a regular basis at his nightclub in Bogota and that she is speaking with organizations in Colombia about the possibility of recording an album focused on the plight of migrants.
These opportunities have her thinking about moving yet again — this time to Colombia's capital.
"This has been a tough year, but it also been amazing" Perdomo said. "I think that to help people and do what you love, you don't need a lot of money. You just need to believe in yourself and be willing to work real hard."
New York, Jan 15 (AP/UNB) — R. Kelly wrote a letter threatening to reveal embarrassing details of a woman's sexual history if she didn't drop a lawsuit accusing him of sexual abuse, the woman and her lawyer said Monday.
In the letter, a person identifying himself as R. Kelly warned a lawyer for the woman, Faith Rodgers, that if she persisted with the suit, she would be "subjected to public opinion."
The letter said the singer would demand medical documentation of her claim that he gave her herpes, force her to turn over texts and social media posts, and have "10 personal male witnesses testifying under oath about her sex life."
"If Ms. Rodgers really cares about her own reputation she should cease her participation and association with the organizers of this negative campaign," the letter said.
A lawyer for R. Kelly in Chicago, Steve Greenberg, denied the letter's authenticity, saying it "looks fake."
"It obviously was not authored or signed by Mr. Kelly, nor sent on his behalf," Greenberg said. "He doesn't write letters."
The letter was sent in October to one of Rodgers' lawyers in New York, a few weeks after the singer was served with the lawsuit accusing him of demeaning her, locking her in rooms and vehicles, and subjecting her to "non-permissive, painful and abusive sex."
Rodgers, 21, said she met Kelly as a 19-year-old after a concert in San Antonio. She participated in the recently aired Lifetime documentary "Surviving R. Kelly," which catalogued years of accusations against the singer.
"We are here today to let Mr. Kelly know in no uncertain terms that he cannot and will not intimidate his alleged victims into keeping silent about their allegations," one of her lawyers, Gloria Allred, said at the news conference Monday.
"No woman should be victim-shamed, harassed or retaliated against because she asserted her rights and spoke her truth," Rodgers added.
The Associated Press does not typically name people alleging sexual abuse unless they come forward publicly, as Rodgers has done.
Kelly has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
The letter send to Rodgers' New York lawyer, Lydia Hills, also lectured her in sometimes nonsensical terms about her understanding of the law.
"This is to enlighten you concerning the presumption of court appearances that you may not be aware of since attorneys are taught a coloring of law and not Canon or Common Law. Color-of-Law is NOT law. It's fiction for corporate fictions of which I am not."
The letter writer added later that, "I am exempt and not subject to this court so I don't know why you are even addressing me."
Also Monday, the Chicago Tribune published a story detailing court records it obtained on a July lawsuit seeking payment of $174,000 in back rent and other costs for his Chicago recording studio.
The documents include a signed eviction notice, which was put on hold until Jan. 21 for Kelly to pay.
The studio has been the site of recent protests against Kelly, with those involved calling on promoters to stop booking his concerts.
Santa Monica, Jan 14(AP/UNB) — "Roma" is the top winner at the Critics' Choice Awards, winning best picture, foreign language film and a pair of individual honors for director Alfonso Cuaron.
The 24th annual ceremony held Sunday at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California, also split the top actress award between Glenn Close for "The Wife" and Lady Gaga for "A Star Is Born." The split win comes a week after Close won the Golden Globe Award for best actress in a film drama, an award that many expected Lady Gaga would win.
"The Americans" and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" tied for top television winners with three apiece.
"Black Panther" and "Vice" each won three awards, including best actor for Christian Bale for his portrayal of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
New York, Jan 14 (AP/UNB) —HBO announced Sunday night that the eighth and final season will begin on April 14. In a one minute and 44 second teaser released Sunday, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) are seen in the crypts of Winterfell.
Fans have eagerly awaited the six-episode finale of the show since Season 7 of the popular HBO show ended in August 2017.
The fantasy series based on the George R.R. Martin novels has been one of HBO's most successful shows.
HBO isn't getting out of the "Game of Thrones" business. A prequel created by Martin and writer-producer Jane Goldman is underway, with Naomi Watts set to star, and other spinoffs are possible.