Dazzling, effervescent and scintillating pan-Indian actress, Aditi Rao Hydari was in town recently and in conversation with Gulf Times, she opened up about her film career spanning over 12 years.An artiste of immense talent and versatility, Hydari is well known for her portrayal of several roles in various Indian languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam among others. Hydari has also won the SIIMA Award for Best Debut Actress - Tamil for the movie, ‘Kaatru Veliyidai’ directed by ace director, Mani Ratnam. She also received a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu for her role in ‘Sammohanam’.“Working with renowned director, Mani Ratnam sir changed my experience and perspective about acting and movies. Kaatru Veliyidai really changed my life and my whole concept of acting changed thereafter. I became an actor because I could be a Mani Ratnam heroine. It was a dream come true and was a special experience for me,” Hydari said.According to the actress, film-making is about feelings and making people experience those feelings and conveying the emotions of the characters to them. She explained: ”It is taking people into the world of the characters and giving a place in their hearts. I don’t think that language is a barrier for that and that is why I was able to essay several roles in different languages and connect them to the audience. I always wanted to work with certain directors and language was never a barrier in the way of my acting.”Hydari who debuted into acting with the Malayalam movie, ‘Prajapthi’ notes that she works very hard to learn her dialogues in any language. She said: “I make sure that I can be directed and I always love to work under renowned and respected directors. What is important is to be part of the vision of the directors and language does not become a barrier or a boundary for me. India is a very diverse country with different cultures and languages. I feel lucky to be part of different kinds of culture and cinema.”The actress pointed out that Maniratnam, Sanjay Leela Bansali and Rituparna Ghosh have influenced her the most in her career. “These three have influenced me immensely and I don’t consider them as directors of different languages but as dream directors who have told amazing stories,” she emphasised.As for her visit to Qatar, Hydari said that she was in Doha to celebrate the five years of partnership between Zee5 Global and LuLu Hypermarket.She also had a word about a web series ‘Taj’ which has been a great success and her portrayal of the role of Anarkali which has become hugely popular.Hydari elaborated: “Yesteryears iconic actress, Madubala had done the role of Anarkali in Mughal-e-Azam and I happened to essay that role in this series. I had a busy schedule but the producers were keen on having me for that particular role. It was a great fortune for me and I believe that I am blessed to land such a role. As I started portraying the role, I felt that this must have something with my destiny and the rest is history.”The actress also voiced her opinion about OTT platforms and theatres saying that both have their own place in the modern era. “Theatre is a magical world of its own and it is here to stay. But I think OTT platforms have a kind of intimacy and ease to watch movies at the will of the people and they can visit and revisit any scene. Both have their own magic and charm. I think it is lovely and great that they co-exist. Because of both platforms, we have so much content and content of high quality. Both have their own place and both are thriving.”As for her upcoming projects, Hydari said that she has just finished a silent film called ‘Gandhi Talks’ with Tamil actors, Vijay Sethupathi and Arvind Swami, with the music by A R Rahman. “Currently I am shooting for Heera Mandi with Sanjay Leela Bansali and another Tamil-Telugu bilingual movie and the announcement will be made soon. I will also soon start shooting for an Indio-British production called, ‘Lioness,’” concluded Hydari.
Engineers Forum inter-alumni badminton finals, featuring 21 engineering colleges from the southern Indian state of Kerala, saw participation from hundreds of engineers and their families. The event was inaugurated by Padma Bhushan Pullela Gopichand (front left), the chief national badminton coach of India, at Al Arabi Indoor Stadium. EF Qatar president Mibu Jose welcomed the gathering in the presence of managing committee members, including Zakir Husain, Salim Abubacker, Thanuja Haseeb, Labeeb and Mohamed Muneer.
Qatar Golf Lovers (QGL), organised its 213th monthly tournament at Doha Golf Club, with 32 players.Bhupendra Jain and his partner Rahul Kumar won the Two-Person Team Texas Scramble with a Net Score of 31.6. The Team of Navin Bajaj and new member Ashok Srivastava, also finished with a net score of 31.6, but ended up as runners-up on countback.Ambassadors Arman Issagaliyev of Kazakhstan and Tran Duc Hung of Vietnam participated in the tournament and gave away prizes. QGL president Manoj Megchiani, vice-president Sanjay Jain and captain Clark White gave away special prizes to P K Viswanath for 'Nearest to Pin' and Rukkaiya Pachisa for ‘Longest Drive’. The prize for the Most Exercised Team awarded to encourage and recognise the efforts of newcomers went to Nabil Zaheer Ali and Arsalan Adam. Pavan Singh of Petro-Q awarded special Golf T-shirts to the winners.
Cannes Film Festival will roll out its red carpet next week, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Natalie Portman and Harrison Ford among the Hollywood stars expected at the glitzy industry event on the French Riviera.This year's festival is the 76th edition of cinema's biggest showcase, made up of screenings, press conferences and glamorous parties.Below are some facts about the Cannes Film Festival and this year's contenders.What is the Cannes Film Festival and why is it celebrated?Cannes is the world's biggest film festival, first conceived in 1939 as an alternative to the then-fascist-influenced Venice Film Festival.It has been held annually since 1946 except in 1948 and 1950, when it was cancelled due to lack of funds.The festival is known for its carefully selected programme of films that have gone on to Oscar glory or launched the careers of directors like Quentin Tarantino.Running alongside it is the world's biggest film market, drawing more than 12,500 film industry professionals annually.When is Cannes?This year's festival begins on May 16, with French-language film "Jeanne du Barry" starring director Maiwenn and Johnny Depp. It runs until May 27, closing with Pixar's animation "Elemental".What movies have been selected for Cannes 2023?There are several categories making up the official selection of films shown, the top being the "in competition" movies vying for the Palme d'Or prize.This year's 21 contenders are:"Club Zero" by Jessica Hausner"The Zone of Interest" by Jonathan Glazer"Kuolleet Lehdet" ("Fallen Leaves") by Aki Kaurismaki"Les Filles d'Olfa" ("Four Daughters") by Kaouther Ben Hania"Asteroid City" by Wes Anderson"Anatomie d'une chute" ("Anatomy of a Fall") by Justine Triet"Kaibutsu" ("Monster") by Kore-eda Hirokazu"Il Sol dell' Avvenire" ("A Brighter Tomorrow") by Nanni Moretti"L'ete dernier" ("Last Summer") by Catherine Breillat"Kuru Otlar Ustune" ("About Dry Grasses") by Nuri Bilge Ceylan"La Chimera" by Alice Rohrwacher"La Passion de Dodin Bouffant" ("The Pot-au-Feu" by Tran Anh Hung"Rapito" ("Kidnapped") by Marco Bellocchio"May December" by Todd Haynes"Qing Chun" ("Youth") by Wang Bing"The Old Oak" by Ken Loach"Banel e Adama" by Ramata-Toulaye Sy"Perfect Days" by Wim Wenders"Firebrand" by Karim Aïnouz"Black Flies" by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire"Le Retour" ("Homecoming") by Catherine CorsiniFilms screening out of competition include Martin Scorsese's "Killers of the Flower Moon" and Harrison Ford's return as the famed adventurer in "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny".There are also categories for short films and the art-house film-focused "Un Certain Regard" sidebar section.What are the prizes and who has won in the past?Cannes' top prize is the Palme d'Or, whose past winners include "Taxi Driver", "Apocalypse Now", "Pulp Fiction", "The Pianist" and "Parasite".Only two female directors, Jane Campion and Julia Ducournau - have won the prize - for "The Piano" and "Titane," respectively.Other awards include the Grand Prix, jury prize, best director, best actor, best actress, best screenplay and best short film."Triangle of Sadness" won the Palme d'Or last year.
James Bond star Eva Green on Friday won a court case in the UK over her $1 million (£810,000) acting fee for the never-made science fiction film "A Patriot".The French actress had sued UK-based production company White Lantern Film at the High Court in London for the fee but the firm countersued, saying she derailed the £4 million project by making "unreasonable demands".Judge Michael Green ruled the 42-year-old actress was entitled to the sum and dismissed the counter-claim."In particular, I find that Ms Green did not renounce her obligations under the artist agreement; nor did she commit any repudiatory breaches of it," the judge said.Green, famous for her role as Vesper Lynd in 2006 Bond film "Casino Royale", was due to play a soldier.She signed up to the project in 2018, but became increasingly uneasy as funding issues meant that UK producer Jake Seal began to assume more control.The star attended a trial in January, where messages between her and production staff were read out.At one point, she blamed her "Frenchness" for calling a film director "weak and stupid" and accusing him of making a cheap "B shitty movie".Max Mallin, lawyer for White Lantern, said Green had shown a "categorical and unequivocal refusal to perform" and repeatedly made "unreasonable demands"."I don't care about the money. I live to make good films. It's my religion," Green had told the court.Green was also angry that production was shifting from Ireland to Black Hangar studios in southern England."I need my team around me so that I can handle anything evil Jake (Seal) throws at me", she messaged her agent."My team will have to pull out and I will be obliged to take his shitty peasant crew members" from nearby Hampshire, she added.Green claims that she was not given enough training for the role and accused the producers of "cutting corners"."Look at what happened with Alec Baldwin on the movie 'Rust'," she told the court."Producers cutting corners, no safety measures in place, and a young woman got killed."
They are little corners of French paradise that draw British and American rock stars to record their masterpieces -- with a little help from Brad Pitt.France has long had its share of famous music studios that have attracted not just local talent, but foreign bands hoping some of the country's artistic heritage will rub off on them.Some have fallen into disrepair, such as the famed Herouville chateau where Elton John, Iggy Pop and David Bowie recorded in the 1970s.Super Bear Studios welcomed Paul McCartney, Queen and Kate Bush before it was destroyed by fire in the 1980s.But others are getting a new lease of life.Miraval, a villa in the sun-kissed southern region of Provence, opened its studio in 1977 and saw Pink Floyd record part of "The Wall", as well as albums by AC/DC, The Cure and Muse.Largely abandoned, it was bought by Pitt and then-wife Angelina Jolie in 2008.Despite a bitter divorce wrangle over the property, Pitt oversaw a renovation of its music studio with the help of French sound engineer Damien Quintard."One day, I got a message from Brad Pitt, who wanted to see me the following week -- I thought it was a joke," said Quintard.Pitt, an amateur guitarist himself, told Billboard: "It was pretty dank in there. It hadn't been touched since the 1970s, maybe the 80s. It needed a cuddle."The first artist to use the revamped, ultra-swish studio after its reopening last summer was Sade, who recorded her first and third albums there in the 1980s."My goal is that magnificent creations come out of here, so judging the result will take time, like making wine," said Quintard.- Arctic Monkeys to Rosalia -Just outside Paris, famed recording location La Frette has a very different vibe -- a 19th century manor that feels more like a home crammed haphazardly with equipment.Its cosy atmosphere has attracted many stars over its 40 years, including Nick Cave, Arctic Monkeys and Marianne Faithfull.Luke Pritchard, singer with British pop-rockers The Kooks, was busy on a drumkit in its frontroom, alongside his wife and child, during a visit by AFP.British punks Idles recently passed through, but their aggressive sound did not translate into problems for owner Olivier Bloch-Laine."Their music is furious, but they are adorable," he said. "Punks make you think of destruction, but their rooms were very tidy."Paris has also been an international recording hub, of course, with historic places such as Davout graced by jazz greats such as Nina Simone, Keith Jarrett and Chet Baker.There is a new address: Rue Boyer, which has already seen the likes of Pharrell Williams, Rosalia and Jack Antonoff since opening last year.Built on the site of an old porn studio, it was established by Victor Levy-Lasne and Maxime Le Guil, who run music production seminars, with guidance from US studio architect John Storyk, who designed Electric Lady Studios for Jimi Hendrix in the 1960s.One notable change from the studios of old -- evident at both Rue Boyer and Pitt's new Miraval -- is the sunlight."A priority for Rosalia was that there should be lots of light during the day. Same for Jack Antonoff," said Le Guil. "Me too -- I've had enough of studio-bunkers."
Malarvadi Children's Organisation - Rayyan zone conducted various competitions in connection with the holy month of Ramadan for children up to 13 years of age. The conclusion was marked with an Iftar for the participants along with differently-abled children as special guests. Raya Abdul Rasheed, Fellah C K, Musna Bassam, Sayan Sajid and Aswa Fathima won first places, Fellah C K, Atif Sayan, Raya Abdul Rasheed, Ihsan Ajmal, Atif and Ihsan bagged the second positions and Mohamed Ihsan Sameer, Raneem Shameer, Ishan, Aswa Fathima and Suhan Nadeer, the third positions. Malarvadi office-bearers Sajeena, Shabana, Zainaba, Binsi, Sunila, Faseela, Kamarunnisa, Shirin, Muhsina and Abdul Jaleel distributed gifts to the special guests.
The much-awaited public screening of the movie 'The Eventologist' starring renowned Filipino actor J C Santos finally kicked off with its world premiere at the City Center Doha cinema recently.Philippine ambassador to Qatar, Lilibeth V Pono, was the guest of honour. Other diplomats headed by vice-consul Monica Calangian and assistant labour attache Don Pancog were also in attendance.The first full-length Filipino movie shot entirely in Qatar is a milestone in both the Philippine and Qatari movie industries.Joining the 400 viewers who paraded the red carpet were 39 cast and crew members of the film, led by its writer and director, Oscar Yema Jr, and the film's executive producer and leading lady, Vanessa Casador.With the exception of the lead actor, Santos, all of the 100% Pinoy cast are residents of Qatar whose characters in the motion picture were mostly themselves in real life as the movie is based on real-life events in Qatar."I am very humbled by the outcome of 'The Eventologist' premiere night. All of the people who contributed were present, as well as our new ambassador. She said after the screeening - 'Oscar, you're a hero'. But the real hero is the cast and crew who gave all their best and time despite their busy schedule as an OFW (overseas Filipino worker) here in Doha, Qatar," said Yema in a statement during the event.The film's international publicist and line producer, Joseph Timothy Rivera, was also happy to announce that the film has now been submitted for pre-selection as an official entry to the Rome Independent Film Festival, Dubai Film Party and Manhattan Film Festival.'The Eventologist' will be shown in special screenings at the Qatar Foundation Cinema for organisations along with student workshop viewings at the Philippine International School Qatar, to be followed by its commercial screening in cinemas all across Qatar this Ramadan. Premiere galas in Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and the UAE will also soon follow immediately after Eid.
A total of 44 films, including feature narratives, documentaries, web series and shorts have been selected for the Doha Film Institute’s (DFI) Qumra 2023, the annual industry incubator event.Qumra 2023 will offer networking and development opportunities for the selected projects from 23 countries. Talents associated with the selected projects will join Qumra’s innovative hybrid event, participating in mentorship and networking activities in-person from March 10 to 15 and online from March 19 to 21, 2023.Of the 44 projects, 29 are recipients of the DFI's Grants programme, and five supported through the Qatari Film Fund. A total 24 projects have participated in DFI Training Programmes (Hezayah Scriptwriting lab, Producers Lab, Shorts Script Lab, Doc Lab with Rithy Panh, Series Lab and First Cut Lab). In all, eight feature projects are in development, five in production and 13 in post-production, seven in Qumra Series, and 11 are in Qumra Shorts.Qumra 2023 features 13 projects by Qatar-based talent, including seven by Qatari nationals. Highlighting the evolution of series, Qumra 2023 will nurture seven series projects by emerging talent.Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, CEO of DFI said the projects being nurtured at Qumra 2023 have been selected from a diverse pool of films from across the world supported by the Institute.Projects in development participate in group and individual sessions with Qumra Masters and industry mentors in script consulting, legal, sales, marketing and co-production advice, along with individual matchmaking sessions for projects in post-production, which are presented in a series of closed rough-cut screenings to leading festival programmers, broadcasters, market representatives, sales agents and distributors.Film projects at Qumra 2023 come from varied geographies, from Algeria to Indonesia and Mexico to Mongolia.Multi-award-winning British playwright, screenwriter, and director Sir Christopher Hampton (The Father, Dangerous Liaisons, Atonement); veteran film, TV and theatre producer David Parfitt (The Father, Shakespeare in Love, My Week with Marilyn, Loving Vincent); visionary costume designer Jacqueline West (Dune, The Revenant, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button); Award-winning Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin, You Were Never Really Here, Ratcatcher); and critically acclaimed British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom (The Road to Guantanamo, A Mighty Heart, Welcome to Sarajevo) will guide the filmmakers as Qumra Masters, providing one-to-one mentoring sessions.2023 Qumra Projects: Development- Feature Narrative - Perfumed with Mint (Egypt, France, Qatar, Brazil) by Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Muhammed Hamdy. The Other Wife (France, Qatar, Algeria) by Meriem Mesraoua. El Bastardiya - Once Upon A Time In Tripoli (Libya, Egypt, France, Qatar) by Abdullah al-Ghaly. Weedestine (Palestine, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia) by Said Zagha.In-Production- Feature Narrative: Thank You for Banking with Us! (Germany, Palestine, Qatar) by Laila Abbas. Sink (Jordan, France, Sweden, Qatar) by Zain Duraie. The Station (Yemen, Jordan, France, The Netherlands, Qatar) by Sara Ishaq.Post-Production - Feature Narrative: Brief History of a Family (China, Denmark, France, Qatar) by Jianjie Lin.If Only I Could Hibernate (Mongolia, France, Switzerland, Qatar) by Zoljargal Purevdash. Hounds (France, Morocco, Belgium, Qatar) by Kamal Lazraq. Tiger Stripes (Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Indonesia, Qatar) directed by Amanda Nell Eu. Backstage (Morocco, Tunisia, Belgium, France) by Afef Ben Mahmoud and Khalil Benkirane. Dead Dog (Lebanon, France, Qatar) by Sarah Francis. Motherhood (Tunisia, France, Canada, Qatar) by Meryam Joobeur.Development - Feature Documentary: Souraya Mon Amour (Lebanon, Qatar) by Nicolas Khoury. The Woman I Never Called Mum (Algeria, France, Qatar) by Sabrina Adiri Chemloul. Fouledh (Tunisia, France, Luxembourg, Qatar) by Mehdi Hmili and Abdallah Chamekh. The Myth of Mahmoud (Palestine, US, Qatar) by Mayar Hamdan.In-Production- Feature Documentary: West of May (Lebanon, France, Qatar) by Sarah Srage. Women of My Life (Iraq, Sweden, Qatar) by Zahraa Ghandour.Post-Production - Feature Documentary: Bye Bye Tiberias (France, Palestine, Belgium, Qatar) by Lina Soualem.Machtat (Tunisia, Lebanon, France, Qatar) by Sonia Ben Slama. After the Bridge (Italy, Qatar) directed by Marzia Toscano. Monisme (Indonesia, Qatar) by Riar Rizaldi. River of Toads (Mexico, Qatar) by Juan Carlos Núñez Chavarría. The Forgotten (Palestine, Qatar, UAE) by Ghada Terawi.Qumra Series: Land of Nairi (Armenia) by Ovsanna Gevorgyan. Miara (Morocco, Qatar) by Talal Selhami and Jawad Lahlou. Nguya (DRC, Belgium) by Michiel Robberecht and Precy Numbi. Status Quo (Lebanon, Qatar, Spain, US) by Gilbert Karam and Hiba Louis. From the Mountain (Syria, Jordan) by Faisal Attrache. The House that my Mother Built (Sudan) by Alyaa Musa. Let The Earth Burn (France, Qatar) by Sofia Alaoui.Qumra Shorts: Bel Falstini (Lebanon, Qatar) by Obada Jarbi. 17-0: The Untold Story (Qatar) by Fatma al-Ghanim. This I Remember (Qatar, Lebanon) by Alessandra El Chanti. I Wished for Solitude (Qatar) by Hamad Alfayhani. Missed Connections (Qatar) by Dhoha Abdelsattar. Holy Feet (US, Egypt, Qatar) by Karim Emara.Alaqiq: Darkness of Media (Qatar) by Mohammed A al-Suwaidi and Kummam al-Maadeed. Continuity (Qatar) by Nadia al-Khater. Beauty in Solace (Qatar) by Ali al-Hajri. Gihan (Egypt, Qatar) by Hadeer Omar. Villa 187 (Sudan, Qatar) by Eiman Mirghani.
Talking Matters Toastmasters Club in association with WabiSabi Qatar conducted an upcycling waste disposal drive, 'Trash to Treasure'.The event, which saw donated waste materials being taken by individuals to create craft pieces, was held at Stafford Sri Lankan School.Discarded plastic and glass bottles, cans, bags, magazines, newspapers, scrap paper and old clothes were brought in by members from the Toastmasters Community and from DPS-Modern Indian School. The event was organised by club president Pooja George and vice president (public relations) Abhina Pradeep in association with member and WabiSabi Qatar founder Nisha Shivram and with the support of club officials and members Thirumoorthy Anbazhalgan, Midhun Mohandas, Kumar Angamuthu, Ram Mohan Rai, Sivaprakash Vaitheesvaran, Hitesh Saviliya, Meenalochini and Pramod Shetty.Toastmasters District 116 director Rajesh V C, district programme quality director Ravi Shankar and Division C director Pradeep Menon also attended.Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organisation committed to communication and leadership. There are 117 clubs in Qatar.
When the New York Youth Symphony recorded its debut album during the pandemic's dark early days, violinist Jessica Jeon was just 12 years old.Now she and her fellow musicians are competing against some of the world's elite orchestras, including the famed Los Angeles and Berlin Philharmonics, to take home the Grammy award for best orchestral performance -- the first time a youth orchestra has ever made it into the category."What a cool experience to have -- this is my first time ever, like, recording in a studio," Jeon, now 14, told AFP after a rehearsal.Confronted with the pandemic-forced cancellations of the symphony's customary performances at Carnegie Hall, music director Michael Repper decided to organize a recording experience for his students instead -- something to mark their accomplishments despite the halt in live performance.It was no easy feat: pandemic restrictions meant recording could only happen in smaller groups, meaning the young artists had to wear headphones and use a click track for cues, and the different parts were later synchronized."It was a funny story to tell my teachers, why I had to miss school a couple of days to record," said 17-year-old bassist Gregory Galand.Recording in small groups is atypical for orchestras, but the health crisis demanded creativity while ensuring that no one contracted Covid-19 (no one did, Repper said)."I'm very proud that we were able to engineer a way of making it happen despite the pandemic. It was a fantastic experience," the 32-year-old conductor said.And the Grammy nomination? A cherry on top.Noelia Carrasco, a 19-year-old cellist, is now studying music at New York University.She called finding out that she was a Grammy nominee "so surreal.""I had to re-read that, like twice, because I didn't really process it the first time," she said."It's just amazing."- 'A big honour' –The untitled album was produced by Grammy winner Judith Sherman, who this year is nominated as well, as classical producer of the year.In the wake of the 2020 police murder of George Floyd and the mass uprising that followed, the symphony decided the album would include pieces by Black composers -- it features Florence Price, Valerie Coleman and Jessie Montgomery."I thought that it would be really important to highlight works by Black composers and works that address systemic racism from the perspective particularly of Black women," Repper said.Violinist Jeon said that as a person of color herself, playing music by historically underrepresented composers "really strengthened my connection to the repertoire.""I always grew up only listening to Mozart, Bach, Beethoven... all white men," she said. "And I think that I never really grew up knowing a composer of color."Phoebe Ro, a 19-year-old viola player, called it "a big honor" to learn the pieces and record them.She said Coleman's "Umoja: Anthem of Unity" was particularly meaningful."To be able to come back together, especially during the time of isolation, and to play and reflect the message... of unity -- it was a really big honor to perform that," said Ro.Unfortunately the youth orchestra members won't be able to attend Sunday's ceremony in Los Angeles -- tickets are reserved for conductors -- but they are planning a watch party to bask in their moment together.Repper, who will be there, noted it's his first Grammy nomination as a conductor."Many of my idols are on this list: Gustavo Dudamel and John Williams, I mean come on!" he said. "I'm beyond honored to even just be on the same list with them, and to be with the New York Youth Symphony that's been a really special part of my life for the last six years, it's wonderful.""I'm really proud of the young musicians for taking it and running with it."
The Akurana Community Qatar (ACQ) held its first event of the year, a ‘Barbeque Night’ at Al Bidda Park, aimed at increasing the bond among its members. “It was a great evening where several bachelors and families gathered and enjoyed the evening with hometown flavours,” said ACQ founder Zameer Nayeem.Sri Lankan flavoured short eats and tea were followed by games to introduce new and old ACQ members to each other. ACQ was formed in 2015 in Doha by expatriates hailing from Akurana - a suburb town of Kandy district in the central province of Sri Lanka. Members have been involved in different social and welfare activities in Qatar and Sri Lanka. “We at ACQ as a community, urge all those who hail from Akurana and living in Qatar, to join hands with us in upcoming events to enjoy the taste of home,” Nayeem added.
The Oscar nominations for a year in which the big-screen box office finally bounced back from the pandemic will be unveiled Tuesday, with Academy voters expected to reward blockbusters such as "Top Gun: Maverick" for helping to save movie theaters.Tom Cruise's long-awaited sequel to his huge 1986 hit is the most likely crowd-pleaser to make the cut for best picture -- Hollywood's most coveted prize -- but other popular follow-ups including "Avatar: The Way of Water" and "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" could also get a nod.They will compete with a wide range of movies, from word-of-mouth sci-fi smash "Everything Everywhere All At Once" to Steven Spielberg's quasi-memoir "The Fabelmans," which wowed many critics but didn't persuade theatergoers to pay up.Other films firmly on the radar of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voters are Irish black comedy "The Banshees of Inisherin," Baz Luhrmann's rock-and-roll biopic "Elvis," and Cate Blanchett's latest tour-de-force "Tar.""This year is one of the more unknown years," said Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis."I probably have put more effort into talking to Academy members to try to gauge their interest and see where the race is headed than in any other year in my life," he told AFP."And I probably know the least I've ever known in my career."A major complicating factor for Oscars prognosticators is the recent massive growth in the number of international Academy voters.Those members have been credited with surprises such as South Korea's "Parasite" winning best picture in 2020, and Japan's "Drive My Car" being nominated last year."We've had international features get in the past few years, and I think that streak could continue," said Davis.Germany's World War I drama "All Quiet on the Western Front" has built major momentum, scooping a massive 14 nods last week for Britain's BAFTAs.Another best picture contender could be "RRR," an unapologetically over-the-top Indian action film that has built grassroots support to become a hugely popular favorite in Hollywood."RRR" cannot be nominated for best international feature, however, as India opted instead to submit "Last Film Show" as the country's official pick for that category."No shade to the movie they did choose, which is actually very good, but 'RRR' was a slam dunk," said Davis.- Acting races –In the individual categories, Brendan Fraser ("The Whale"), Colin Farrell ("The Banshees of Inisherin") and Austin Butler ("Elvis") are clear favorites to score best actor nominations.Double Oscar-winner Blanchett appears to be locked in a two-way battle atop the best actress section with Michelle Yeoh, who could make history with "Everything Everywhere.""She's going be the second Asian woman ever nominated for lead actress in 95 years" of the Oscars, said Davis.Her co-star Ke Huy Quan -- who appeared as a child in "Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom" almost four decades ago -- is likely to cement a remarkable comeback with a nod for best supporting actor.The best supporting actress category is expected to feature Angela Bassett, who would become the first star in a Marvel superhero movie to ever earn an Oscar acting nomination with "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."Spielberg is among those predicted to make the best director shortlist.- 'Saved movies' –Actors Riz Ahmed ("Sound of Metal") and Allison Williams ("Girls") will unveil the nominations Tuesday from Los Angeles starting at 5:30 am (1330 GMT).Television ratings for award shows including the Oscars have trended downwards, as Academy voters in recent years have veered toward honoring lesser-known indie hits like "Nomadland" and "CODA."Many in the industry will be hoping for a healthy spread of nominations among 2022's crowd-pleasing sequels, which were sorely needed as giants such as Cineworld, the world's second biggest cinema chain, filed for bankruptcy protection.James Cameron's sci-fi epic "Avatar: The Way of Water" sailed past the $2 billion mark globally last weekend."Top Gun: Maverick," which came out in May during highly uncertain times for movie theaters, earned around $1.5 billion."That's the one that feels like it could actually win best picture," said Davis."What better story the day after the Oscars air, than that the movie that saved movies was named the best movie? That's a good story to tell."
In another exciting match up of the Filipino Chess Players League (FCPL) Qatar 2023 Rapid Chess Tournament, AIM Syed Abdul Khader ruled the 8-round Swiss format on January 13.Other winners include: Ryan Mendoza (second place) AGM Sumith K S (third), Nash Mua (fourth), and Taksh Sharma (fifth). Awards were also given to – Jayaditya Gantayet (best under-14), Mithran Krishnakumar (under-12), Nidhish Sakthivel (under-10), Amulya Guruprasad (best women), and Tanishka Harish Kuma (top unrated).Participated by at least 60 wood pushers of ages ranging from six to 58 years, FCPL has been consistent in holding such events aimed at encouraging local expatriate communities to actively involve in honing their chess skills.In a press statement, tournament organiser Rolenson Loyola said that they plan to hold monthly tournaments in Doha.
‘Game of Thrones’ star Emilia Clarke kicked off the first in-person Sundance festival in three years, as indie filmmakers and Hollywood stars pulled on their snow boots and headed back to the mountains of Utah.Co-founded by Robert Redford, Sundance has launched countless independent movies, but its absence has been keenly felt at its wintry, high-altitude base in Park City as recent editions were forced online by Covid."This is my first ever Sundance. So I am over the moon that everyone is filled with the same amount of excitement as I am," said Clarke, whose "The Pod Generation" film premiere headlined Thursday's opening night."It's really important as well for independent cinema. We need to keep it alive," she told AFP.Clarke stars opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor in "The Pod Generation," a near-future social satire in which a corporation has invented a detachable egg-shaped "womb," allowing couples to bring their babies to term externally.The technology is marketed to spare women from the physical complications of pregnancy -- while conveniently keeping its inventor's female employees at the office, and free of "distractions" from work."There are so many aspects of this film that ask so many fundamental questions that I think many of us will be wrestling with, especially now," said Clarke."I think it's timely, important and beautiful."While Sundance skews to low-budget films, Clarke is one of dozens of Hollywood stars who will make the trek to Park City for high-wattage premieres.Also Thursday, "Star Wars" alumnus Daisy Ridley unveiled "Sometimes I Think About Dying," a low-key indie drama in which she plays a deeply shy office worker whose quiet life is punctured by the arrival of a new, charismatic colleague.On Friday, Jonathan Majors will unveil a much-hyped performance in "Magazine Dreams," set in the dangerously competitive world of amateur bodybuilding.At the weekend, Anne Hathaway stars in "Eileen," about a young secretary working at a prison who befriends a glamorous counselor with a dark secret.Emilia Jones also returns to the festival that first played her best picture Oscar winner "CODA," with "Cat Person," adapted from a New Yorker short story, and "Fairyland," based on a best-selling memoir about San Francisco's AIDS crisis.- 'Surreal' –Despite -- or because of -- headwinds now facing the market for films aimed at adults and arthouse movie theaters, anticipation for Sundance's return this year has been especially high."It's just exciting to be back at the mountain," said Sundance CEO Joana Vicente at a press conference Thursday, referring to the festival's ritzy ski resort home.Program director Kim Yutani said Sundance stands out from other festivals with countless examples of "directors getting their next gig, or people meeting their next collaborators on the shuttle" between venues.Director Nicole Newnham -- whose previous Oscar-nominated documentary "Crip Camp" debuted at the last in-person festival in 2020 -- told AFP it felt "surreal" to be back.Her latest documentary "The Disappearance of Shere Hite" tells the astonishing but forgotten story of the author of "The Hite Report" -- a pioneering survey on female sexuality that sold millions of books but triggered a furious backlash from conservatives.It is one of several major documentaries this year tackling sex and politics, along with "Judy Blume Forever," which charts how the US author guided a generation of young girls through puberty, but also came under attack from activists.Brooke Shields will attend Sundance as the subject of "Pretty Baby," which addresses the sexualization of young girls via the supermodel's own journey."I'm really honored to be included in the festival this year... the fact that there's such a strong showing of films about women's sexuality and women's issues is really heartening," said Newnham.On Friday, Jason Momoa narrates "Deep Rising," an eye-opening and unsettling look at the race to harvest the ocean seabed for rare metals under the guise of furthering the "so-called green revolution."Other timely and prominent themes in the documentary lineup include films about Ukraine and Iranian women.The 2023 Sundance Film Festival runs until January 29.
A picture by Qatar-based photographer Vinod Divakaran was recently selected as one of the 26 shortlisted images for World Athletics Photograph of the Year 2022. The image was Korea's world indoor gold medallist Woo Sanghyeok celebrating after clearing 2.33m in high jump at the Wanda Diamond League in Doha. A total of 110 images were submitted by as many photographers. Divakaran's entry was featured in a digital exhibition of shortlisted images. A two-time third place winner in Qatar Olympic Committee's annual photo contest, the Indian national has worked for Doha Stadium Plus sports weekly and Inside Qatar.
The Golden Globes were back with a bang on Tuesday, as champagne flowed and A-list celebrities broke out the profanities in an evening where backslapping and earnestness was balanced with edgy humor.Here are some of the more memorable moments from the 80th edition of the awards, held at the Beverly Hilton.- Taking on racism – After a torrid couple of years for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association over allegations of racism and corruption, the organizers of the Golden Globes were hoping to redeem themselves this year.But their chosen host, comedian Jerrod Carmichael, wasn't going to give them an easy ride, coming out swinging at the HFPA's longtime lack of diversity."I'll tell you why I'm here. I'm here because I'm Black," he said.Carmichael said he was taken aback when he was offered the hosting gig by producer Stephen Hill, who is also Black."One minute you're making mint tea at home; the next, you're invited to be the Black face of an embattled white organization. Life comes at you fast."But the paycheck made it hard to turn down, he joked, recounting a conversation with a friend."She said, 'Jerrod, enough of all that. How much are they paying you?' I said, '$500,000.' She said, 'Boy, if you don't put on a nice suit and take them white people's money...'"- Don't play it again – As ever, the celebs demonstrated that there are few things they like more than the sound of their own voices, with almost every speech testing its allotted time limit.The whole show, which was supposed to be a tight three hours, overran by 20 minutes, thanks in no small part to award recipients who just wouldn't take the hint.Producers tried to play them off with piano music as they ran through their lists of thank yous to agents, managers, parents and assorted hangers-on.While several just kept talking, Michelle Yeoh, who won for a star turn in "Everything Everywhere All At Once" that included her busting out some martial arts moves, was having none of it."Shut up please," she said, feigning menace. "I can beat you up. That's serious."- Will Smith –He wasn't there, and probably won't be at any awards ceremony any time soon after smacking Chris Rock at the Oscars last year, but Will Smith provided some of the biggest laughs of the night.Smith, who attacked Rock for a quip about his wife's shaved head in a foul-mouthed tirade, was the butt of one joke by Carmichael."While we were on commercial, we actually presented Will Smith with the Rock Hudson award for best portrayal of masculinity on television," he said.But Eddie Murphy, receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement, stole the show, with a wonderful slow wind-up that quoted Smith's outburst."There is a definitive blueprint that you can follow to achieve success, prosperity, longevity, and peace of mind," he said."There's three things: Pay your taxes, mind your business, and keep Will Smith's wife's name out of your fucking mouth."- 'The invisible' – Producer Ryan Murphy, who was honored for his prolific output in television and film, used his acceptance speech to spotlight the marginalised in the entertainment industry.Murphy, the creative force behind "Nip/Tuck" and "Glee," began his speech with a tribute to MJ Rodriguez, the "Pose" star who won an Globe at last year's untelevised ceremony.- Tom Cruise – Will Smith wasn't the only absentee who got a roasting, with host Carmichael also taking aim at Tom Cruise, who publicly disowned the Golden Globes as the HFPA was put through the ringer, handing back his three gongs in 2021.Coming back from one commercial break, the comic arrived on stage clasping three Globes."Hey guys, backstage I found these," he told the audience. "(The) three Golden Globe awards that Tom Cruise returned."Maybe we take these three things and exchange them for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige."Shelly Miscavige, who allegedly has not been seen in public for several years, is the wife of David Miscavige, the leader of the church of Scientology, of which Cruise is a prominent member.
Here are the winners in key categories for the 80th Golden Globe Awards, which were handed out on Tuesday."The Fabelmans" won for best drama film and best director, putting Steven Spielberg's semi-autobiographical movie in good position ahead of the Oscars on March 12. "The Banshees of Inisherin" won for best comedy film.- FILM -Best film, drama:"The Fabelmans"Best film, musical or comedy:"The Banshees of Inisherin"Best director:Steven Spielberg, "The Fabelmans"Best actor, drama:Austin Butler, "Elvis"Best actress, drama: Cate Blanchett, "Tar"Best actor, musical or comedy: Colin Farrell, "The Banshees of Inisherin"Best actress, musical or comedy: Michelle Yeoh, "Everything Everywhere All at Once"Best supporting actor:Ke Huy Quan, "Everything Everywhere All at Once"Best supporting actress: Angela Bassett, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever"Best screenplay:Martin McDonagh, "The Banshees of Inisherin"Best music, original score: Justin Hurwitz, "Babylon"Best music, original song:"Naatu Naatu" from "RRR"Best non-English language film:"Argentina, 1985"Best animated feature:"Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio"- TELEVISION -Best drama series: "House of the Dragon"Best drama actor:Kevin Costner, "Yellowstone"Best drama actress: Zendaya, "Euphoria"Best musical or comedy series:"Abbott Elementary"Best musical or comedy actor:Jeremy Allen White, "The Bear"Best musical or comedy actress: Quinta Brunson, "Abbott Elementary"Best supporting actor, television: Tyler James Williams, "Abbott Elementary"Best supporting actress, television: Julia Garner, "Ozark"Best limited series or TV movie: "The White Lotus"Best limited series or TV movie actor: Evan Peters, "Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story"Best limited series or TV movie actress: Amanda Seyfried, "The Dropout"Best limited series supporting actor: Paul Walter Hauser, "Black Bird"Best limited series supporting actress:Jennifer Coolidge, "The White Lotus"
The flashy ‘Elvis’ biopic and sci-fi blockbuster ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ battle for the top honor at the Golden Globes on Tuesday when stars return to a ceremony trying to rebuild its reputation after scandals.The Golden Globes will be back on television after celebrities and broadcaster NBC abandoned the 2022 show because of ethical lapses at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the group that hands out the awards.A larger and more diverse membership and other changes by the HFPA convinced many of the biggest movie and TV stars to support this year's ceremony, which provides publicity for winners and nominees and often boosts their chances at the Oscars.Big names expected to walk the red carpet include Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Viola Davis, directors James Cameron and Steven Spielberg, and "Elvis" star Austin Butler, a favorite for a best actor trophy."I think we're going to see 'Elvis' win and Austin Butler win," said Chris Beachum, managing editor of awards website Gold Derby. Golden Globes voters "have proven time and time again that they love spectacles and they love musicals."The ceremony will air live on Comcast's NBC broadcast channel and stream on Peacock starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT."Elvis" is in the running for top drama film against "The Way of Water," the long-awaited "Avatar" sequel that is lighting up movie box offices; Steven Spielberg's coming-of-age film "The Fabelmans" and Tar, starring Cate Blanchett as a conniving orchestra conductor."Top Gun: Maverick" also is in the mix, though its chances were likely hurt by star Tom Cruise returning his Globe statues in protest in 2021, Beachum said.Cruise was reacting to a Los Angeles Times investigation that revealed the HFPA had no Black journalists in its ranks and accused members of soliciting favors from celebrities and movie studios. He is not expected to attend Tuesday's show."The Banshees of Inisherin," which has more nominations than any other movie, is seen as the leading contender for best comedy or musical film.Comedian Jerrod Carmichael will host the three-hour ceremony, while Eddie Murphy will receive a lifetime achievement honor. Director Quentin Tarantino and actor Jamie Lee Curtis are listed among presenters.Actor Sean Penn also will introduce a video message from President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine.In TV categories, "Abbott Elementary" racked up the most nominations and is considered a leader for best comedy.Roughly 200 journalists and others from the international film industry voted on this year's Globes. Among those voters, nearly 52% are racially and ethnically diverse, including 10% who are Black, according to the HFPA.