Baby Asahd steals hearts as DJ Khaled and Yara Shahidi win big at BET Awards

DJ Khaled and Asahd Tuck Khaled at the 2018 BET Awards. (AFP)
Updated 25 June 2018
0

Baby Asahd steals hearts as DJ Khaled and Yara Shahidi win big at BET Awards

DUBAI: US-Palestinian DJ Khaled and his toddler Asahd took to the stage at the 2018 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Monday night as the music mogul won the prize for the best collaboration.
DJ Khaled was the leading nominee with six and picked up the first award of the for “Wild Thoughts” with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller. He was holding his son on his hip onstage and used his speech to highlight young people, saying: “All of y’all are leaders and all of y’all are kings and queens — the future,” AP reported.
Meanwhile, Iranian-American teen actress Yara Shahidi won the YoungStars award, which saw her go head to head with two of her young co-stars from TV show “Black-ish.” She wasn’t on hand to pick up the trophy — and she wasn’t the only one.
The award show barely handed out any prizes with big stars like Cardi B, Drake and Kendrick Lamar absent, but it did include superior performances by rising singer H.E.R, rapper Meek Mill and gospel artist Yolanda Adams, who paid tribute to Anita Baker and nearly brought her to tears.
Baker, an eight-time Grammy winner who dominated the R&B charts from the early ‘80s to mid-90s, earned the Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
The 60-year-old used her speech to encourage the artists in the room to keep music alive.
“I would ask that the music be allowed to play, that singers are allowed to sing, and rappers are allowed to rap, and poets are allowed to rhyme,” said Baker.
Meek Mill, who was released from prison in April, rapped the song “Stay Woke” on a stage transformed into a street corner, featuring hustlers, children and police officers. A mother screams as her child is shot during the powerful performance, and an officer lays an American flag over the body.
Snoop Dogg celebrated 25 years in music, performing the classic songs “What’s My Name” and “Next Episode,” according to AP.
Childish Gambino, whose song and music video “This Is America” tackles racism and gun violence and became a viral hit last month, gave a short, impromptu performance of the song when Foxx brought him onstage.
“Everybody begged me to do a joke about that song. I said that song should not be joked about,” Foxx said.
The BET Awards normally hands its Humanitarian Award to one person, but six individuals received the honor Sunday. Dubbed “Humanitarian Heroes,” the network gave awards to James Shaw Jr., who wrestled an assault-style rifle away from a gunman in a Tennessee Waffle House in April; Anthony Borges, the 15-year-old student who was shot five times and is credited with saving the lives of at least 20 other students during February massacre in Florida; Mamoudou Gassama, who scaled an apartment building to save a child dangling from a balcony last month in Paris; Naomi Wadler, the 11-year-old who gave a memorable and influential speech at March for Our Lives; Justin Blackman, the only student to walk out of his high school in North Carolina during the nationwide student walkout to protest gun violence in March; and journalist and activist Shaun King.


‘Broken Dinners, Postponed Kisses’ tells heart-wrenching story of Syria’s lost artists

Updated 15 November 2018
0

‘Broken Dinners, Postponed Kisses’ tells heart-wrenching story of Syria’s lost artists

  • The 93-minute film follows six Syrian artists as they narrate their stories of displacement

BEIRUT: Filmmaker Nigol Bezjian premiered his latest movie “Broken Dinners, Postponed Kisses” with an intimate screening in Beirut on Wednesday night.
The 93-minute film — which features dialogue in Arabic, Armenian, German and English with English-language subtitles — follows six Syrian artists as they narrate their stories of displacement.
Bezjian, an Armenian born in Aleppo, Syria, spoke to Arab News about the experience of making the powerful film and said it was inspired by one of his previous works, “Thank You, Ladies and Gentlemen.”
“The movie is about Syrian refugees in the camps of Lebanon and it stayed with me,” he said about his previous film. “But I wanted to make a film about people in our region who had to depart their homeland, from the time of the end of World War I until today.”
That sparked the idea for his latest venture.
Bezjian chose six characters and honed in on their past experiences in what turned out to be an insightful peek through the keyhole into the lives of those who have been affected by the strife in Syria.
“The characters in the film are artists who work in different disciplines of art,” he explained.

“The film is something of a documentary, as the characters’ stories are all real, yet the concept that ties them all together was created by me,” the filmmaker continued.
Making an appearance are filmmaker Vartan Meguerditchian, actor Ayham Majid Agha, musician Abo Gabi, dancer Yara Al-Hasbani, painter Diala Brisly and photographer Ammar Abd Rabbo.
The film explores the inner feelings and reflections of people who had to leave their homes and be transported to a new environment, facing many challenges along the way.
Despite the sometimes heart-wrenching subject matter, Bezjian noted that the main challenges he faced while producing the film were budget and timeframe.
“The movie took two-and-a-half years (to make), so the main challenge was not to give up and keep the same spirit and momentum throughout this time,” he said.

At the screening, an eager crowd listened as the filmmaker gave his introductory speech.

“There are a lot of faces I don’t recognize, and that’s a good thing,” Nigol said. 

The movie is filled with tense moments, artistic shots and captivating characters, that succeeded to show the reality of artists’ lives in environments marked by conflict and refuge.