ZEE5 Global, the largest OTT platform for South Asian content, on Monday released its first Bangladeshi original “Mainkar Chipay.”
Directed by Abrar Athar, the short film is a situational thriller and dark comedy starring Afran Nisho, Sariful Razz, and Shamol Mawla.
The movie showcases Nisho in an entirely new avatar who puts Sariful, an addict, and Shamol, a peddler, between a rock and a hard place.
The film has an entertaining and intense storyline which also shows how drugs can lead people into a deadly trap. It was completed in just four days across four locations during the lockdown.
Apart from having an interesting script and extremely quirky characters, the film has been given a unique treatment using camera lenses from the ‘60s to create an indie retro look.
“All the characters have a strong presence and it was important to treat the movie with a minimalistic approach to bring out their nuances. ‘Mainkar Chipay’ is not just an entertaining thriller, it is also a story about not falling prey to addictions that make you weak and lead you into difficult, no-win situations,” said Abrar.
Afran Nisho said, “All three characters are strongly defined and quite different from one another. I’ve played this kind of character for the first time.”
Sariful Razz said, “I’m thrilled that audiences around the world, especially younger ones, will get to experience this dark yet relatable movie.”
The film rightly captures things that can go wrong when one gives in to their addictions, said Shamol.
The 40-minute movie is co-presented by Godrej Household Products and can be watched for free on the ZEE5 app, and also on www.zee5.com.
“Mainkar Chipay” is the first of four Bangladeshi originals that ZEE5 Global will launch over the next few months, with more content in the pipeline, reads a press release.
Notable reactions to the death of “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek:
“Alex wasn’t just the best ever at what he did. He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I’m grateful for every minute I got to spend with him ... Thinking today about his family and his Jeopardy! family — which, in a way, included millions of us.” — “Jeopardy!” contestant Ken Jennings on Twitter.
“So saddened to hear Alex Trebek has died. It was an honor to share the dinner hour with him. He fought his cancer battle valiantly,” — ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir on Twitter.
“It was one of the great privileges of my life to spend time with this courageous man while he fought the battle of his life. You will never be replaced in our hearts, Alex,” — “Jeopardy!” contestant James Holzhauer on Twitter.
“Alex Trebek was kind enough to film a cameo for our film Free Guy last year despite his battle. He was gracious and funny. In addition to being curious, stalwart, generous, reassuring and of course, Canadian. We love you, Alex. And always will,” — Actor Ryan Reynolds on Twitter.
“We mourn the loss of #alextrebek — a friend, a colleague, an icon. He graced us with warmth, wit & pure elegance, which is why we welcomed him into our homes night after night, year after year. We are deeply saddened for his wife Jean, his family & millions of Jeopardy fans,” — Walt Disney Co. executive chairman Robert Iger on Twitter.
“My heart breaks for the Trebek family upon hearing this heartbreaking news. Alex Trebek was a legend. There was no one like him. Kind, elegant, talented, good. Heaven just became brighter and we here on earth mourn him,” — Maria Shriver on Twitter.
“I was obsessed with Jeopardy as a nerdy kid growing up in Ohio. I’ve loved and revered Alex Trebek since I can remember. What an iconic career. RIP Alex Trebek,” — Musician John Legend on Twitter.
“We have lost an icon. Almost every night for more than three decades, Alex Trebek entertained and educated millions around the world, instilling in so many of us a love for trivia. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and all who are mourning this tremendous loss,” — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Twitter.
“Couldn’t we have one nice weekend? A kind gentleman whose excellence was so consistent, it was easy to take for granted. Rest well, Mr. Trebek,” — Jimmy Kimmel on Twitter.
“RIP Alex Trebek. A true, true gentleman and courageous hero. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest,” —Actor Viola Davis on Twitter.
“I’m so saddened that Alex Trebek has passed. Growing up, he made me feel like my nerdiness was valuable and I loved learning from watching jeopardy. It was our family’s nightly pleasure,” — TV personality and author Padma Lakshmi on Twitter.
“Alex Trebek hosted Jeopardy for 36 years. What an incredible career and remarkable life. I’m sending love to his family and fans.” — Comedian Ellen DeGeneres on Twitter.
“I am overwhelmed with emotion right now and my heart goes out to the Trebek family,” — “Jeopardy!” contestant Burt Thakur on Twitter.
“I’m honored to have known Alex Trebek, have a few meals with him, have him share some of his wisdom. On the @TCM cruise, he got me to swim w/ the dolphins. No one else could’ve done that. He was the best at what he did,” — TCM host Ben Mankiewicz on Twitter.
“Alex Trebek, you brought us so much knowledge, both important and fun, through the years. Your final battle with cancer was heroic, and we are heartbroken that it has taken you from us. I’ll take ‘Great TV Personas of Our Time’ for $800. The heavens have all the answers now,” — Actor George Takei on Twitter.
A Japanese documentary named ‘’Tagore Songs’’ has been screened recently at the Embassy of Japan here.
The film is directed by Mika Sasaki, her debut film showcased the lives of people who devoted themselves to Tagore’s ways of sensibilities and philosophy from a unique Japanese perspective, said the Embassy on Sunday.
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki spoke at the online film screening.
Ambassador Ito mentioned “Mika Sasaki is a young and talented filmmaker, who was immensely inspired by one of the most celebrated literary figures in the world in the 20th century, Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore was a great admirer of Japanese art and literature; and his love for Japan has helped forge a great cultural relation between our two countries.’’.
Organized by the Embassy of Japan on Bangladesh in collaboration with Japanese film company Nondelaico, the day-long online film screening event attracted a good number of viewers.
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), was the first non-European to win Nobel prize. The great poet visited Japan at least five times.
Popular television actor Ziaul Faruq Apurba, who has been infected with COVID-19, showed signs of improvement on Saturday.
Apurba posted a video on his official Facebook account on Saturday night, where he was seen raising his hand showing 'thumbs up'.
"When the mercy of the Almighty Allah and all of your blessings are in my side.. nothing seems impossible," the actor wrote in the video caption.
According to various media personalities and television directors including Mizanur Rahman Aryan, Chayanika Chowdhury, Shihab Shaheen, Nazmul Roni and more - the actor was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday, after testing COVID-19 positive the day before. The doctors decided to shift him to the ICU after his blood test report came out dissatisfactory.
He then received plasma therapy and was shifted into the cabin on Wednesday. According to his medical reports, 35 percent of his lungs got infected but the actor is now recovering.
One of the fan-favourites on television in recent times, Apurba made his debut as a model with the television commercial (TVC) of Nescafe under the direction of Amitabh Reza Chowdhury in 2004. The actor made his television debut with noted director Gazi Rakayet's fiction 'Boibahik' in 2006 and made his silver screen debut in Gangster Returns in 2015, directed by Ashiqur Rahman.
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The venerable New Orleans funk band Galactic purchased the historic music club Tipitina’s in late November 2018 and, according to bassist Robert Mercurio, was making a go of it.
“It’s a tight-margin business but we were making our notes and fulfilling our bills and whatnot. So, it was moving along in a good direction,” he said.
That was before the coronavirus pandemic forced shutdowns of public gatherings.
Audiences last packed into Tipitina’s for a March 12 performance by the Stooges Brass Band. Now, Mercurio is worried that COVID-19 could prove fatal to Tipitina’s, a New Orleans cultural touchstone founded in the 1970s as the performance home for the late Henry Roeland Byrd, better known as rhythm and blues keyboard genius Professor Longhair.
For Mercurio, the problem is twofold. Galactic is a band with nowhere to tour and a business whose operating model — packing hordes of people in front of a stage for hours — doesn’t work in a pandemic.
“It’s terrifying,” he said. “It’s extremely difficult to be a now-nonworking musician owning an unopened nightclub.”
Such fears aren’t limited to New Orleans. Independent music clubs all over the nation — pop culture icons like the Troubadour in West Hollywood; the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee; The Bitter End in New York’s Greenwich Village — are shuttered. And owners fear for the future of their businesses and of a musical way of life.
“There’s no amount of history or legendary status that will protect you,” Audrey Fix Schaefer said. She is a spokesperson for the National Independent Venue Association, which was formed in the wake of the pandemic to raise awareness and money for the newly struggling clubs. She points to the iconic jazz club Birdland in New York City. “Can you imagine having the type of rents that you have in midtown Manhattan and no revenue?”
NIVA, which has 2,800 members representing venues, promoters and festivals, lobbied for congressional passage of what the organization calls the Save Our Stages Act. The aid package, Schaefer said, has bipartisan backing and was included in a $2.2 trillion relief plan passed earlier this year in the Democrat-controlled House, and in a smaller relief package in the Republican-controlled Senate. But with no imminent resolution of differences on the overall package between the chambers, there is no clear end in sight to the pandemic closures.
“The rent is the rent, and that’s the problem,” says Chris Cobb, owner of Nashville’s Exit/In. He said fixed costs haven’t come down much at the nearly 50-year-old venue, while revenue is down 94 percent. Fundraising efforts, such as those by Nashville’s Music Venue Alliance, and the possibility of more federal help are keeping him hopeful that they can buy themselves a few more months.
Some venues are turning to livestreaming to help themselves and create work for musicians left jobless by the pandemic. The Maple Leaf Bar, a fixture in New Orleans’ Carrollton neighbourhood since the 1970s, recently kicked off a series of streaming concerts dubbed “The Viral Sessions,” with Jon Cleary and his band.
“It keeps musicians employed,” owner Hank Staples said. “It keeps our brand out there and we’ve made some much needed income off of it as well.”
But even with that income — minus the expenses of mounting the productions —Staples isn’t sure how long he can keep The Maple Leaf going.
“We can certainly go for another month and a half or two months,” Staples said recently as he sat on the Leaf’s narrow stage, decorated with strings of tiny blue lights, vinyl records repurposed as wall hangings and a cardboard cutout of a nearly naked James Booker, the flamboyant piano prodigy who performed there regularly until his death in 1983. “But we need some way to generate income because the money I’ve squirreled away — it’s depleted severely.”
It’s already too late for some clubs. U Street Music Hall in Washington closed for good on Oct 5, Schaefer noted.
Club owners said in an online post that they’d hoped they could save the decade-old venue. “But due to the pandemic, mounting operational costs that never paused even while we were closed, and no clear timeline for when clubs like ours can safely reopen, we had no choice recently but to make this heartbreaking decision.”
Cobb fears too many such closures would mean loss of something irretrievable in his beloved Nashville and elsewhere.
“This is an organic ecosystem that supports American music,” he said by telephone. “Without this independent network, American music as we know it would not exist. These are the venues where the superstars got their start. It’s where they honed their craft. It’s where they built fan bases. It’s where they get better. Nobody plays the arena that didn’t spend time touring the clubs.”
In New York, The Bitter End owner Paul Rizzo agrees. “Stephanie Germanotta, when she played at The Bitter End, wasn’t Lady Gaga yet,” says Rizzo. “She had to play for a while. You have to get experiences to become something that you are able to become.”