California says film, TV production can resume this month

Film and television productions in the Golden State have been shuttered since mid-March. (File/AFP)
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Updated 06 June 2020

California says film, TV production can resume this month

LOS ANGELES: California will allow film, television and music production to resume from June 12 if conditions permit after months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the governor's office said Friday.


Film and television productions in the Golden State have been shuttered since mid-March.


The reopening will be subject to approval by local health officers, the California Public Health Office said.


"To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers," it said.


However it is not clear if major Hollywood studios will be able to resume operations from next week because Los Angeles county is one of the main coronavirus epicenters in California, recording about half the infections and deaths in the state.


To date, more than 125,000 cases and 4,500 deaths have been confirmed in California.


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.