Alexandria’s summer arts festival promises a varied line-up

Alexandria’s summer arts festival promises a varied line-up
Avo Demerjian of Jordanian band Autostrad performs at a previous event in Dubai. (AFP)
Updated 22 July 2018

Alexandria’s summer arts festival promises a varied line-up

Alexandria’s summer arts festival promises a varied line-up
  • Now in its 16th edition, the month-long festival is an annual cultural celebration
  • This edition’s musical line-up includes Sudanese singer Asia Madani, Swedish-Syrian singer Faia Younan, Moroccan band Made in Bled and the Swiss OY Band

CAIRO: Alexandria-based art aficionados are currently enjoying a vibrant arts program as part of this year’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina International Summer Festival, which opened on July 16 and runs until August 18.

Now in its 16th edition, the month-long festival is an annual cultural celebration, which brings a selection of music concerts, theater and dance performances, film screenings and poetry recitals to the Alexandrian crowd.

Opening the festival last week was the Jordanian band Autostrad, who performed at the bibliotheca’s open-air theater. The following day saw Swedish folk band Triakel take to the stage, also at the venue’s open-air theater. This free concert was organized in collaboration with the Swedish Institute in Alexandria. A theater performance by Kawabees, an Egyptian performing arts troupe, took place at the bibliotheca’s great hall on the same day.

This edition’s musical line-up includes Sudanese singer Asia Madani, Swedish-Syrian singer Faia Younan, Moroccan band Made in Bled and the Swiss OY Band.

Some of the Egyptian musicians performing at this year’s event include pianist and composer Omar Khairat, bands Cairokee and Massar Egbari, singers Ali El-Haggar, Maryam Saleh and Mohamed Mohsen and musician Hisham Kharma, in addition to two performances by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Orchestra.

Other events include a screening of Alekos Sakellarios’ 1957 Greek film “The Aunt from Chicago,” a comedy in which Aunt Calliopi returns to Greece from Chicago after 30 years and plans to marry off her nieces, a recital by Egyptian poet Amr Hassan, a dance performance by the Al-Wahag troupe for Ballet and Free Dance and a talk by Egyptian actor Ahmed Kamal, who is a show business veteran with more than 30 years of experience in front of the camera.

This annual festival is organized by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Arts Center. 

According to the Bibliotheca’s official website, the BA Arts Center “provides a forum dedicated to various expressions of all forms of art, and it seeks to realize the goals of the BA in being Egypt’s window on the world and the world’s window (to) Egypt in the artistic field.”

This summer festival has in the past hosted Palestinian singer Kamilya Jubran, Lebanese singer Marcel Khalife and Lebanese singer and songwriter Tania Saleh.


Promo released for joint Saudi-Japanese anime ‘The Journey’

Promo released for joint Saudi-Japanese anime ‘The Journey’
‘The Journey’ tells the story of Aws, a potter with a mysterious past who indulged in an epic battle in defense of his city. (SPA)
Updated 35 min 57 sec ago

Promo released for joint Saudi-Japanese anime ‘The Journey’

Promo released for joint Saudi-Japanese anime ‘The Journey’
  • A number of famous Arab actors have taken part in the Arabic version of the movie, including Nassar Al-Nassar, Abdo Chahine and Rasha Rizk

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Manga Productions has launched a promotional video for the first joint Saudi-Japanese anime film “The Journey.”
Film buffs will enjoy a unique multi-sensory experience through 4DX technology, which simulates the effects and conditions seen on screen.
The launch of the promotional video comes ahead of the renowned Berlin International Film Festival beginning March 1.
The promotional video will be featured on the social media platforms of Manga Production and Vox Cinemas.

“The Journey,” which is in pre-production, will be available in summer this year in cinemas in the Middle East and North Africa, and will be distributed in Japan by T-Joy Company.
CEO of Manga Productions Dr. Essam Bukhari said the film is directed and produced by a specialized team of Japanese experts and Saudi talents.
“The video will be featured in the region and worldwide to export our Saudi culture and historical stories from the Arabian Peninsula,” he added. “This will be the first of a number of videos that will be produced by Manga Productions and will be featured in cinemas in the Middle East and the world.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• Launch comes ahead of Berlin International Film Festival on March 1.

• The promotional video will be featured on the social media platforms of Manga Production and Vox Cinemas.

Inspired by the history of the Arabian Peninsula and the ancient civilizations of the region, “The Journey” tells the story of Aws, a potter with a mysterious past who indulged in an epic battle in defense of his city.
It is a joint production with famous Japanese studio Toei Animation, and is directed by renowned international director Kobun Shizuno, who has directed anime hits including “Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle” and “Detective Conan.”
Manga Productions was keen to recruit well-known Japanese voice actors, such as Hiroshi Kamiya, Takaya Kuroda, Toru Furuya and others.
A number of famous Arab actors have taken part in the Arabic version of the movie, including Nassar Al-Nassar, Abdo Chahine and Rasha Rizk.
Manga Productions is a subsidiary of the Mohammed bin Salman Foundation, and is specialized in producing creative content through animations, video games and comics that target various social groups, both locally and internationally.

 


Netflix’s ‘The Girl on the Train’ with Parineeti Chopra goes off-track

Netflix’s ‘The Girl on the Train’ with Parineeti Chopra goes off-track
Updated 01 March 2021

Netflix’s ‘The Girl on the Train’ with Parineeti Chopra goes off-track

Netflix’s ‘The Girl on the Train’ with Parineeti Chopra goes off-track

CHENNAI: “The Girl on the Train,” the bestseller written by British author Paula Hawkins in 2015, told the story of three women in bad relationships drowning their woes in binge drinking. The novel was on The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers list for 13 consecutive weeks before being adapted into a Hollywood film in 2016 by Tate Taylor, with Emily Blunt as the girl on wheels. Netflix has now brought out a Bollywood remake directed by Ribhu Dasgupta. Also entitled “The Girl on the Train,” it stars Parineeti Chopra (the cousin of actress Priyanka Chopra).

Dasgupta sticks to the thriller genre of the book, but instead of narrating the story through three women, he focuses on Chopra’s Mira Kapoor, a brilliant lawyer whose life spins off axis after she gets a man convicted. Practising in London (why this city was chosen remains a puzzle) and once happily married to Shekhar Kapoor (Avinash Tiwary), her relationship suffers after a tragic motor accident.

“The Girl on the Train” stars Parineeti Chopra (the cousin of actress Priyanka Chopra). (YouTube)

The audience watches as Mira takes a train back and forth from central London every day, passing the house where she had lived in absolute bliss. Seeing happily married Nusrat John (Aditi Rao Hydari) with her husband, Anand (Shamaun Ahmed), Mira becomes obsessed with what could have been her own life. Fueled by alcohol, she is driven into a self-destructive cocoon. Finally, when she is accused of murder, with British-Asian policewoman Inspector Kaur (Kirti Kulhari) leading the investigation, Dasgupta’s effort begins to sway as wildly as Mira’s tottering steps.

Parineeti Chopra is an amazing actress, but the script has been so shoddily written that it becomes clear midway that she has had a raw deal. A terribly tormented woman should have been offered a better script, but the director settled for smudged makeup and stage tricks — there is hardly any depth in the way her character has been built.

Tiwary gets nothing better — the minute he displays his darker, sinister side, he is sidelined with a fresh twist.

The one person who sparkles is Hydari, who manages to rise above the sparsely written part in a short screen time with a remarkable range which swings from love and care to anger and fear.

With contrivances and coincidences at every turn, the train goes way off track. While the original work invested in emotional trauma and psychological brutality, which the girl fought to emerge from the mess, Dasgupta offers a murder mystery whose carriages seem uncoupled. The work is so choppy that a lot of talent, including that of Kulhari, is wasted.


Beauty mogul Huda Kattan speaks up against racism toward Asian community

Beauty mogul Huda Kattan speaks up against racism toward Asian community
Updated 01 March 2021

Beauty mogul Huda Kattan speaks up against racism toward Asian community

Beauty mogul Huda Kattan speaks up against racism toward Asian community

DUBAI: US-Iraqi beauty mogul Huda Kattan on Monday spoke out about racist comments towards the Asian community that she says have “increased dramatically” since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2019 in China. 

On her makeup brand Huda Beauty’s Instagram page, she shared a story writing: “At Huda Beauty, we stand against racism of any kind. Today, we want (to) draw attention to the violent hate crimes against the Asian community that have increased dramatically since the pandemic began.”  

Instagram:@hudabeauty

The makeup artist and entrepreneur added: “Sadly these alarming events have had very little attention with the media, and that is not okay.”

Kattan shared a series of images that gave her 47.8 million followers insight into the issue. The source of the statistics presented in the images is not immediately clear.  

Kattan also shared a video by Michelle Lee, host of The Science of Beauty podcast, who addressed this issue. In the video, Lee said: “Racism was always there, but the pandemic has given people an excuse to act on it.” 

In the 84-second clip, Lee shared videos of Asians people being pushed, thrown objects at and made fun off. 

“No one’s going to pay attention to you. You’re a stupid blue Asian haired girl,” said one man in the video. 


Egyptian-British actor Amir El-Masry to star in Netflix’s ‘The One’

Egyptian-British actor Amir El-Masry to star in Netflix’s ‘The One’
Updated 01 March 2021

Egyptian-British actor Amir El-Masry to star in Netflix’s ‘The One’

Egyptian-British actor Amir El-Masry to star in Netflix’s ‘The One’

DUBAI: Egyptian-British actor Amir El-Masry is set to star in Netflix’s new sci-fi drama “The One.”

The series, which is set to launch on March 12, is based on British author John Marrs’ novel, “The One.”

It is set in the future, in a world where a DNA test can find your perfect partner – the one person you’re genetically predisposed to fall passionately in love with.

El-Masry will star alongside actors Hannah Ware, who will play the role of Rebecca – the founder of MatchDNA, a company that pairs people with their soulmates, and Dimitri Leonidas, who will play the role of James, Rebecca’s best friend and the co-founder of MatchDNA. 

El-Masry will play Ben who is best friends with James and Rebecca.  


Trailer drops for Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle

 Trailer drops for Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
Updated 01 March 2021

Trailer drops for Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle

 Trailer drops for Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle

DUBAI: Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey released the trailer for her eagerly anticipated interview with Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle on Monday.

This will be the couple’s first major interview since they stepped back from their royal duties in January 2020.

In the short clip, Winfrey told the viewers: “There’s no subject that’s off limits.” 

“My biggest concern was history repeating itself,” Prince Harry said in the clip.  

“I am just really relieved and happy to be sitting here, talking to you, with my wife by my side, because I can’t imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago because it has been unbelievably tough for the two of us,” he explained, referring to his mother Princess Diana.