Cumberbatch Cold War thriller is snapped up at Cannes

Benedict Cumberbatch plays the spy and businessman Greville Wynne in the thriller ‘Ironbark,’ who the CIA penetrate the Soviet nuclear program during the Cold War. (AFP)
Updated 17 May 2018
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Cumberbatch Cold War thriller is snapped up at Cannes

CANNES: A Cold War spy thriller starring “Sherlock” star Benedict Cumberbatch has been one of the big sellers at the Cannes film festival, reports said Thursday.
“Ironbark” is based on the story of British spy and businessman Greville Wynne, who handled the double agent Oleg Penkovsky, a Russian military intelligence officer who tipped off Britain and the US about Soviet missiles in Cuba.
The information he fed through Wynne — who was arrested in Budapest and sentenced to eight years in prison in 1963 — was among the most important of the Cold War.
Rights to the film were sold out across the world, according to Variety, with distributors FilmNation later posting on Facebook that it “has been a pretty good Cannes.”
The US company has also sold out the rights to the starry all-female big-budget spy caper “355” starring Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard and Fan Bingbing, which was unveiled at Cannes.
Another Soviet era movie, “Gareth Jones,” about the Welsh writer of the same name, has also sparked a lot of interest at the festival.
The journalist, played by James Norton of “McMafia” fame, helped expose the Holodomor, the man-made famine that many blame on Stalin in early 1930s Ukraine in which millions died.
Polish director Agnieszka Holland has wrapped shooting in Poland and Ukraine, with finals scenes due to be filmed in Scotland later this month.


Exhibition showcases expansions of Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah

Those wishing to see the exhibition must send a request confirming the date of the visit, which can be from Sunday to Thursday. (SPA)
Updated 19 August 2018
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Exhibition showcases expansions of Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah

  • During the Saudi era, the mosque witnessed a great expansion during the reign of King Abdul Aziz in 1953
  • The mosque’s ongoing expansion is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which aims to provide as many pilgrims as possible with the opportunity to easily perform their rituals

JEDDAH: An exhibition in Madinah, organized by the General Presidency of the Prophet’s Mosque, is showcasing the mosque’s expansions since its establishment by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
“The exhibition, in the southern part of the mosque, highlights its expansions throughout history with 50 paintings, photographs, presentations, models and documentaries in Arabic and English,” said Faez Al-Faez, the exhibition’s director.
“The exhibition also includes copies of manuscripts, a model of the Prophet’s ring, photos of his letters and 200-year-old Qur’ans,” he added.
“The exhibition includes the most important books about Madinah, and a hall where visitors are shown a 20-minute video about the stages during which the mosque witnessed expansions since the prophet’s era,” Al-Faez said.
“The Prophet Muhammad was the first to expand the mosque in 628, followed by Caliph Omar bin Al-Khattab in 638. The mosque was later expanded in the years 651, 710, 778, 782, 1483, 1849 and 1861,” he added.
“During the Saudi era, the mosque witnessed a great expansion during the reign of King Abdul Aziz in 1953,” Al-Faez said.
“The expansions and development projects continued until King Salman ordered the completion of the expansion of the eastern and western sides in 2015,” he added.
“King Salman’s interest in this matter reflects the attention and keenness of the kings of Saudi Arabia to serve the visitors of Madinah, especially those visiting the Prophet’s Mosque, which holds a special place in the hearts of all Muslims,” Al-Faez said.
“The mosque’s ongoing expansion is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which aims to provide as many pilgrims as possible with the opportunity to easily perform their rituals,” he added.
Those wishing to see the exhibition must send a request confirming the date of the visit, which can be from Sunday to Thursday.
Visitors praised the details of the mosque’s construction and expansions, and commended the Kingdom’s constant efforts since the reign of its founder King Abdul Aziz to take care of and expand the mosque.