US celebrities Janelle Monae, Seth Rogen and more donating to Minneapolis protesters’ bail

Actress Janelle Monae is among the celebrities helping Minneapolis protesters make bail. (File/AFP)
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Updated 30 May 2020

US celebrities Janelle Monae, Seth Rogen and more donating to Minneapolis protesters’ bail

DUBAI: US stars Seth Rogen, Steve Carell and Janelle Monae are among the high-profile celebrities donating money to help Minneapolis demonstrators who have been arrested make bail.

This week, protests erupted across the United States after a video, circulated online, showed a Minneapolis police officer  kneeling on an African American man’s neck and ignoring his pleas of “please, please, please, I can’t breathe. Please, man.” 

The man, George Floyd died on Monday, while pleading for air as the officer kneeled on his neck for nearly eight minutes.

People have been posting screenshots across Twitter and Instagram  showing donations made to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a nonprofit organization which pays bail for low-income citizens who can’t afford it.

Writer Lincoln Michel recently started a chain on Twitter asking people to match his donation to the organization where it eventually gained the attention of high profile celebrities, including Steve Carell, Seth Rogan, Ben Schwartz and many others who are donating in response to Michel’s Tweet. 

Musicians like Kali Uchis, Noname, Kehlani and Unknown Mortal Orchestra also posted screenshots of their donations to the freedom fund, too.

Floyd's death and subsequent demonstrations sparked a considerable amount of debate and outrage online, with celebrities like half-Palestinian models Bella and Gigi Hadid, part-Saudi model Shanina Shaik and musician Beyonce demanding justice for Floyd online. 


Arab movies to debut at Toronto International Film Festival

Updated 03 August 2020

Arab movies to debut at Toronto International Film Festival

DUBAI: Organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) have released a new lineup of 50 movies for screening at this year’s event including a number of Arabic flicks.

Egyptian filmmaker Mayye Zayed’s “Ash Ya Captain” (“Lift Like a Girl”), an intimate journey into the life of an aspiring athlete, will premiere at the 45th edition of the festival, due to take place between Sept. 10 and 20.

Also featured will be Palestinian filmmaking twins Tarzan and Arab Nasser’s “Gaza Mon Amour,” a satire on love and desire. The brothers’ second feature film, it tells the tale of a 60-year-old fisherman who is secretly in love with a market dressmaker. As the story unfolds, the fisherman discovers an ancient Greek statue that will trouble him.

British director Ben Sharrock’s “Limbo” will see Egyptian-British actor Amir El-Masry star as a Syrian asylum-seeker who finds himself living on a small Scottish island.

Egyptian-British actor Amir El-Masry stars in British director Ben Sharrock’s “Limbo.” (Toronto International Film Festival)

Meanwhile, American director Spike Lee’s film version of David Byrne’s hit Broadway show “American Utopia” will open at the event which will be capped off by American-Indian director Mira Nair’s “A Suitable Boy.”

In addition, there will be showings of Iranian directors Manijeh Hekmat’s “Bandar Band” and Farnoosh Samadi’s “180 Degree Rule.”

Most screenings will take place virtually due to government restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Cameron Bailey, TIFF’s artistic director, said in a released statement: “We began this year planning for a festival much like our previous editions, but along the way we had to rethink just about everything.

“This year’s line-up reflects that tumult. The names you already know are doing brand-new things this year, and there’s a whole crop of exciting new names to discover.”

The full schedule of the festival will be released on Aug. 25.