In line with its vision of bringing the best of entertainment content across languages to the fore for audiences across the globe and encouraging local talent across countries, ZEE5 Global, the largest OTT platform for South Asian content, on Monday announced the launch of a global OTT content festival.
A first-of-its-kind across global OTT platforms at this geo-scale, the festival will give independent filmmakers, students of cinema, and young content creators a global platform to showcase their talent on and find audiences in 190-plus countries.
Through the content festival, ZEE5 Global is inviting entries for content created in any language across fiction and non-fiction TV shows, movies, documentaries, stories, short films, music videos and more. The duration for music videos or albums can be between 3 and 5 minutes, and audio-visual content consisting of episodic content, film and web series must have a minimum duration of 30 minutes.
Participants are required to send in their entries to email@example.com. Entries will be open for a month. An expert panel of judges at ZEE5 will shortlist the top 50 entries, which will then be premiered exclusively on the platform. ZEE5 will also drive promotional efforts around the content globally on behalf of the filmmakers.
The content festival is expected to attract the largest aggregation of entries across languages from multiple markets. Not only is the festival a singular unique opportunity for content creators to attain global fame instantly, but it will also add vastly to the slate of language content already available on ZEE5, according to its officials.
Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 Global, said, “As a global platform, we’re often approached by people across markets for opportunities to showcase their content on ZEE5. We’re thrilled therefore to be announcing the ZEE5 Global Content Festival, a first of its kind initiative across global OTT platforms at this geo-scale, to give aspiring and budding content creators a chance for instant global recognition."
"An initiative like this will not only bring to the fore hidden gems from different countries but also add vastly to our already rich content library, and I eagerly look forward to watching the shortlisted entries," she added.
Taylor Swift won her third consecutive artist of the year prize at the American Music Awards, but she missed the show for a good reason: She said she’s busy re-recording her songs’ masters after her catalog was sold.
In a video that aired during Sunday’s awards show, the pop star said “the reason I’m not there tonight is I’m actually re-recording all of my old music in the studio where we originally recorded it. So it’s been amazing. And I can’t wait for you to hear it.”
Last year music manager Scooter Braun — who manages Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande — announced that his Ithaca Holdings company had acquired Big Machine Label Group, the home to Swift’s first six albums. This month Braun said he has sold the master rights to Swift’s first six albums to an investment company; Swift acknowledged the sale on social media and said she would not work with the new buyers because Braun was still involved.
Instead, she began re-recording her albums.
Swift beat out Bieber, Post Malone and Roddy Ricch to win the top award. She also won favorite music video and favorite pop/rock female artist.
The Weeknd lost artist of the year, but he still kicked off his all-star week as a big winner: Days before he’s expected to land multiple Grammy nominations, the pop star dominated the 2020 American Music Awards with multiple wins.
The 30-year-old won favorite soul/R&B male artist, favorite soul/R&B album for “After Hours” and favorite soul/R&B song for “Heartless” on Sunday, two days before the 2021 Grammy nominations are announced.
“The last time I received this award it was given to me by the late, great Prince,” he said after winning favorite soul/R&B album. “And, you know, he’s the reason I get to constantly challenge the genre of R&B and yeah, I’d like to dedicate this to him,” he said.
The Weeknd didn’t break character throughout the three-hour show with his gauze-wrapped face, which matched the vibe of his recent album and music videos where he appears blooded and bruised. He accepted his awards and performed with his face wrapped in gauze.
Kenny G joined the Weeknd for his performance, playing the sax in downtown Los Angeles as the Weeknd walked across a bridge singing “In Your Eyes.” He finished the performance singing “Save Your Tears.”
The Weeknd was one of several artists who appeared live at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles for the fan-voted awards show. Others recently taped their performances because of the coronavirus pandemic, though host Taraji P. Henson — who appeared live from the venue — said the few audience members sitting in the mezzanine practiced social distancing, wore masks and were tested for the virus.
Henson joked that A-list celebrities were in the audience, including Beyoncé, though cardboard cut-out of the singer, Jay-Z and other stars appeared in seats.
But a good number of chart-toppers were in the building. Breakthrough singer-rapper Doja Cat performed and won multiple honors, including new artist of the year and favorite soul/R&B female artist. Grammy-winning country duo Dan + Shay beautifully performed “I Should Probably Go to Bed” and won collaboration of the year and best country song for “10,000 Hours,” both shared with Bieber. And Megan Thee Stallion — won favorite rap/hip-hop songs for “WAP” with Cardi B — performed “Body” from her recently released debut album “Good News.”
Bieber and Shawn Mendes kicked off the AMAs with a pre-taped performance of their new duet “Monster,” marking the first time they performed the song together. It began with a stripped-down Bieber singing his recent hit “Lonely,” with songwriter-producer Benny Blanco on piano, and “Holy,” where background dancers wearing masks joined him.
Mendes, strumming his guitar, then appeared for “Monster,” which featured the twentysomethings singing lyrics about about fame and growing up as celebrities who attracted massive public attention. Mendes later sang his song “Wonder” during the show, which aired on ABC.
Katy Perry, in her first performance since giving birth to her first child, gave a strong performance of the emotional and hopeful song “Only Love,” which featured a surprise guest appearance from Darius Rucker, who sang and played guitar. With flaming red lights glaring behind her, Billie Eilish sang her new song “Therefore I Am,” as her brother-songwriter-producer Finneas backed her on guitar. Jennifer Lopez and Maluma teamed up to perform their new songs “Pa’ Ti” and “Lonely” from the film “Marry Me,” which both of them star in, while Dua Lipa — who won favorite pop/rock song — levitated in the air during her performance of “Levitating.”
24kGoldn and Iann Dior — who currently have the country’s No. 1 song with the smash hit “Mood,” also performed. The multi-genre track is the rare song that has reached No. 1 on both the rap and rock charts.
Other performers included BTS, Bad Bunny, Lewis Capaldi, Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Baby, Bell Biv DeVoe and Nelly, who performed hits from his diamond-certified debut album “Country Grammar,” which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
This year the AMAs, which typically awards one Latin honor, launched more categories in the genre. Becky G — who burst on the music scene in 2014 with the pop hit “Shower” but has recently had success singing in Spanish and launching hits on the Latin charts — won favorite Latin female artist.
She used her speech to honor immigrant families.
“I proudly wave both flags, Mexican and American. And like many, many children and grandchildren of immigrants, no matter where they’re from, we have learned from the ones before us what sacrifice and hard work looks like,” she said. “And I dedicate this award to all of our immigrant workers in this pandemic; the students and immigrant families. It’s because of my family, my abuelitos, that I stand here today.”
Nominees for the AMAs were based on streaming, album and digital sales, radio airplay and social activity, and reflect the time period of Sept. 27, 2019, through Sept. 24, 2020.
A long-lost trove of Bob Dylan documents including the singer-songwriter’s musings about anti-Semitism and unpublished song lyrics has sold at auction for a total of $495,000.
Boston-based R.R. Auction said Friday the collection privately held by the late American blues artist Tony Glover, a longtime Dylan friend and confidante, was sold as individual lots Thursday, with a majority of the key pieces going to a bidder whose identity was not made public.
The collection included transcripts of Glover’s 1971 interviews with Dylan and letters the pair exchanged. The interviews reveal that Dylan had anti-Semitism on his mind when he changed his name from Robert Zimmerman, and that he wrote “Lay Lady Lay” for Barbra Streisand.
Dylan, 79, was close with Glover, who died last year. The two men broke into music in the same Minneapolis coffeehouse scene. Glover’s widow, Cynthia Nadler, put the documents up for auction online.
The reclusive Dylan won the Nobel Prize in literature in 2016 after giving the world “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’” and other anthems of the turbulent 1960s.
Included in the auctioned items were lyrics Dylan penned after visiting folk legend Woody Guthrie in May 1962. The lines, never made public until last month, read:
“My eyes are cracked I think I been framed / I can’t seem to remember the sound of my name / What did he teach you I heard someone shout / Did he teach you to wheel & wind yourself out / Did he teach you to reveal, respect, and repent the blues / No Jack he taught me how to sleep in my shoes.”
In a 1971 conversation with Glover, Dylan discussed why he changed his name, saying: “A lot of people are under the impression that Jews are just money lenders and merchants.”
Aly Zaker, country's eminent thespian, director and chairman of Asiatic 3sixty, has been hospitalized with physical complications.
The actor has been suffering from cancer for the last four years and recently felt unwell, and was taken to the Bangladesh Specialised Hospital in the capital on Sunday.
His family members including wife Sara Zaker and son Iresh Zaker, also renowned cultural personalities in Bangladesh, informed media on Wednesday night that the actor is currently undergoing treatment at the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) in the hospital.
"His physical condition is stable now, and he is not infected with COVID-19. He was taken to the hospital due to prior health complications as he is suffering from cancer, hopefully we will be able to get him back to home pretty soon," Iresh Zaker briefed about his father's health condition.
Born on November 6, 1944, in Chattogram, Zaker is a freedom fighter and an artiste of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra during the liberation war of 1971. After the independence of Bangladesh, he started his journey as an actor and became one of the most successful actors on stage, television and silver screen playing wide variety of roles.
His glorious career as a thespian began with theatre troupe ‘Aranyak Natyadal’ in 1972. He performed in Munier Chowdhury’s play ‘Kabar’ with the troupe that year. Later, he joined Nagorik Natya Sampradaya in the same year and still remains with the troupe.
Zaker directed 15 plays and acted in 31 plays for his troupe till 2019, including Kopenik-er Captain, Galileo, Nurul Diner Sarajibon, Macbeth, Achalayatan, Dewan Gazir Kissa and more, to name a few. His performances in the role of Nurul Din, Galileo and Dewan Gazi earned him acclaims from critics and fans. He also earned prominence in television dramas including Aaj Rabibar, Bohubrihee and more.
The septuagenarian artist received Ekushey Padak, country’s second highest civilian award in 1999. He has also received Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Award, Bangabandhu Award, Munier Chowdhury Award, Naren Biswas Award and many other accolades throughout his glorious career.
After striking a chord with the audience in Bangladesh and Bengal with his brand of music, fusion renditions of Rabindra sangeet, popular singer-composer Arnob is all set to give a new dimension to Nazrul geeti for the first time in his career.
Arnob's remastered version of the famous song Jaago Nari, written by rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, will be released on Thursday on the official YouTube channel of Shushmita Anis, the niece of legendary singer Firoza Bagum, the artiste announced on Wednesday.
“Jaago Nari is a protest against injustice meted out to women around. Nazrul's song inspires us to fight against injustice. This song is a portrayal of women's power to resist evil," said Shushmita Anis.
The music video features Ridy Sheikh, popular Bangladeshi dancer, model, actress and choreographer. She gained immense popularity over the years both at home and abroad, and has been exploring different dance styles, including hip-hop, jazz-funk, Indian folk dances, semi-classical fusions based on Bharatnatyam, Kathak, etc.
Ridy participated in her first reality show in 2012, in the Ukrainian version of 'So You Think You Can Dance'. After taking a break for two years due to a knee injury, she participated in the Russian version of 'So You Think You Can Dance', in 2014 and reached the Top 50 in the contest. Ridy also appeared on the popular Indian reality show 'Dance Plus' in 2017.
In Bangladesh, Ridy gained widespread popularity after becoming the champion of Mangolee-Channel i Shera Nachiye's third season in 2016.
Singer Shushmita was trained by her aunt Feroza from the age of five in Nazrul geeti and modern Bengali songs tuned by her uncle, the legendary music director Kamal Das Gupta. As a TV child artiste, she won the first prize in its annual national competition on performing arts 'Notun Kuri' in 1976.