Angawi plays with light to create art

Updated 29 January 2014

Angawi plays with light to create art

Najla Mahmoud Angawi, the first Saudi photographer to win the title of International Artist Photographer, was awarded a silver medal and declared the winner of the Federation of the International Artistic Photographers (FIAP) award for her solo exhibition.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Iyad Madani, incoming secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and Abdullah bin Ahmed Al-Thaqfy, director of the Department of Education, in Jeddah on Thursday.
The exhibition titled, “Magic of Light,” was organized by the Saudi Art Center and displayed 40 photographs taken from different angles and in different light conditions.
Madani, Al-Thaqfy, Esa. S. Engawi, the Saudi international photographer, Hameed A.Opeloyeru, assistant secretary-general of the OIC, and a number of Saudi and international dignitaries took a tour of the exhibition and praised the unique work of the artist.
“This is an excellent exhibition by Najla. We are proud of her and her talent and in recognition of this the Ministry of Education has helped her organize a few workshops and courses in schools to inspire budding photographers,” said Al-Thaqfy.
Madani said that he was very pleased to attend the photo exhibition where the photographer has produced unique creations using different techniques and dimensions; some of them are direct, some are personal while some are purely artistic.
“We found a variety of creations in her artistic inspirations for which she has used photography as the medium. The real artist sees different combinations and contrasts; colors which the ordinary eye cannot see. We have very talented photographers and artists whom the media should give a chance so that they will be motivated to produce more of this brilliant work,” he said.
Madani said that the OIC plans these exhibitions with a view to achieving cultural exchange programs as this is the most effective way to get to know other cultures and helps to dismantle stereotypes.
Esa said that Najla is a very smart and hardworking photographer and her achievement of winning the FIAP is not easy as it only comes after several submissions of photographic work of international standards.
“She is one of my students and is working under my guidance. I advise every photographer to work hard and win the title of the international photographer federation. But only those who share their experiences not only at the local but international level will be able to do it ,” he said.
Najla told Arab news that she took different pictures to express herself in different moods, such as the “Light of Allah” with the black and white picture of the Kaaba and people performing Umrah; the picture of a cave in Vietnam titled “Hope,” “A foggy day,” “Prosperity,” “Reflection,” “Starting point,” “Happiness,” “Big bang” and many more.
She said she wants to show people different moods of life and the beauty of light through her pictures and that’s why she kept the name of her exhibition, “Magic of Light.”

Tom Hanks talks ‘News of the World’ and the comeback of Westerns

Tom Hanks stars in ‘News of the World.’ (File/AFP)
Updated 29 November 2020

Tom Hanks talks ‘News of the World’ and the comeback of Westerns

LOS ANGELES: Depending on who you ask, Westerns are either on their way out, gone for good, or making a slow comeback in Hollywood. At one point a staple genre of the film industry, the classic Western rarely makes it onto the movie theater marquee these days. Big-budget flops such as 2013’s “The Lone Ranger” have served to usher the genre out of popularity, but critical successes such as Quinten Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” “The Hateful 8” and the Coen Brothers’ “True Grit” are doing their part to keep Westerns from dying off completely. 

On Christmas Day, “News of the World” will be doing its part to keep the Western genre alive, and hopefully bag Universal Pictures a few Oscar nominations. Arab News heard more from the film’s star Tom Hanks.

“I love listening to a great story as much as I like telling one, and that’s why I was so excited about playing Kidd,” Hanks said, giving audiences a taste of what his performance has in store. “He is a storyteller. He is driven, emotional. He is noble. He is moved by a pursuit of the truth.”

Hanks plays Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a former army officer who, after the death of his family, makes his living traveling around Texas reading the news to illiterate townsfolk and entertaining with true tales from across the world.

“'News of the World' takes place in the shadow of the Civil War’s end. There is defeat. There is strife and anger. Because of the war, Kidd came back to having nothing left,” he told us. “Reading the news gave him a purpose. He got up. He collected the stories. He delivered a reading and then he moved onto the next town.”

 As he continues in his travels, Kidd comes across Johanna, a young girl who had been taken from her pioneer family and raised by the Kiowa Native Americans. 

“She has no idea who her family is,” Hanks shared. “Burdened by his own decency, Kidd is going to have to return her to her family and this coming from a man who has lost any semblance of what a family is.”

The movie is adapted from the novel of the same name by author Paulette Jiles, and while it is not based on a true story, its main characters are inspired by real people. Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd is based on the ancestor of a friend of Jiles’ — the similarly named historical figure Captain Adolphus Caesar Kydd — who performed readings of newspapers in the 1870s. Johanna is inspired by the more well-known historical tale of Cynthia Ann Parker, who was kidnapped and raised by the Comanche Native Americans.

Interestingly, there seems to be a disagreement between Jiles and film director Paul Greengrass about their goals in portraying the story of “News of the World.” In a 2016 interview with Texas Monthly, Jiles stated that she had no intention of making a commentary on contemporary politics with the original book, preferring to “move people into the world of imagination.”

Greengrass, on the other hand, told reporters at Vanity Fair that he saw the film, which features families and communities in conflict with each other, as representative of the societal divide in the modern-day US. With these opposing ideas woven into the fabric of the story, it will be interesting to see what audiences take away after watching.

It is clear what Universal is hoping to take away, and that is an Oscar. “News of the World” sees Hanks and Greengrass working together again after their previous collaboration, 2013’s “Captain Phillips.” While not an Oscar-winner, “Captain Phillips” received six nominations as well as attention at the Golden Globes and other award shows. With the film releasing at the tail end of the Oscar season, and a road-tested team of director and star, “News of the World” could be Universal’s best shot at an award for the 2020 film year.

Between award season dreams and the hopeful continuation of the Western genre, there is a lot riding on “News of the World.” At its core, however, the movie promises A-list performances and a compelling story full of action and heart.

“Kidd goes through something that saves him as much as he saves Johanna. She gave him a true purpose,” Hanks told us. “His real message is ‘when you have love in your life you will be alright.’ That’s what all great stories are. It’s just pure love for another human being.”