<![CDATA[rss-Arts & Culture]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Arts & Culture]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Four Egyptian stars present new characters in Ramadan]]>
Most of the actors prefer to perform the same role from a previous success, and the directors also usually assign the actors with the same roles to ensure a good performance, forgetting that high risk in most cases leads to high return.

However, this Ramadan, four risk-takers decided to chirp outside the squadron, boldly taking the decision to change their roles and reserve their places at the forefront of the Ramadan marathon.

Adel Emam

The most prominent actor in the Arab world, nicknamed “El Zaeem” (the leader), appears in his Ramadan series “Awalem Khafia” (Hidden Worlds) in a completely new role. The series is a suspenseful drama based on mysterious incidents, not a comedy as most of Emam’s previous series.

The most important comedian in the Arab world decided to leave his comfort zone and managed to grab attention with the role of Helal Kamel, a rebellious Egyptian journalist who strongly believes in principals and justice. Kamel comes across the memoirs of an Egyptian actress named Mariam Riad, titled “Awalem Khafia”, which contains confidential information incriminating influential people. Kamel insists on publishing them, putting his own life in danger. A series of corruption cases are gradually revealed by Kamel throughout the series.

Fathy Abdelwahab, Bushra, Rania Farid Shawky and Salah Abdallah join the iconic star in this series. Adel Emam’s son, Ramy Emam, directs this series, which is written by Amin Gamal and Mohamed Mehrez.

Mostafa Shaaban


mostafa Shaaban
Ayoub poster - Egypt Today


Each year, Shaaban used to present the role of a womanizing, rich man who sweet talks women and marries more than one – a Don Juan who all women are running after. However, this year, he makes a radical shift by playing the role of Ayoub in the series bearing the same name.

Ayoub is a bank employee who is wrongly accused of corruption and imprisoned. He suffers from injustice and betrayal by those who surround him, from his sister to his wife and neighbors. Despite suffering from liver fibrosis, he decides to study for a master’s degree in prison. Ayoub’s character has garnered widespread sympathy from the public, who praised Shaaban's performance and his ability to play different roles.

Ayten Amer, Hassan Hosny, Mohamed Lotfy, Merihan Hussein and Hana El Zahed co-star in the series, which is written by Mohamed el Sayed Beshir and directed by Ahmed Saleh.

Ghada Abdel Razek

ghada
Ded el Maghoul poster - Egypt Today

Abdel Razek presents a new dazzling role in “Dedd Maghoul” (Against the Unknown) this year, managing to gather both the sympathy and admiration of the audience, who praised the performance of Abdel Razek (Nada in the series).

“Dedd Maghoul” revolves around Nada, a married middle-class banker who faces problems with her husband because of her time-consuming job. After the two divorce, their daughter is raped and Nada decides to find the perpetrator herself.

The series contained two master scenes. The first scene was the rape and murder of Nada’s daughter, Reem, while the second shows Nada washing and burying her daughter. She remembers the most beautiful moments with her and then kisses her hand and head. The scene contains the painful contradiction between washing the daughter as a baby versus washing her corpse now. Most of the audience commented on the second scene by highly praising the dazzling performance of Abdel Razek, who succeeded in reflecting her deep sorrow and grief as a mother who lost her only daughter.

Hanan Motawe’, Rogina and Feras Said co-star in this suspense drama directed by Tarek Refaat and written by Ayman Salama.

Mai Ezzeldin


Rasayel
Rasayel poster- Egypt Today

Ezzeldin challenged herself while performing the role of Hala in “Rasayel” (Messages). For the first time, Ezzeldin performs the role of Hala, a veiled wife who was subjected to an accident after she began to receive messages from unknown people in her dreams.

The series houses a notable cast alongside Ezzeldin, including Khaled Selim, Ahmed Hatem, Maha Ahmed and Ramez Amir. “Rasayel” is written by Mohamed Soliman Abdel Malek and directed by Ibrahim Fakhr.

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5/26/2018 4:30:13 PM
<![CDATA[Film mogul Weinstein appears handcuffed in court to face rape charges]]>
Weinstein, the 66-year-old co-founder of the Miramax film studio and the Weinstein Co, intends to plead not guilty to the charges, his attorney, Benjamin Brafman, told reporters outside the Manhattan courthouse.

Prosecutors charged him with two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act following a months-long investigation with the New York Police Department. They did not identify the two women, but said the crimes took place in 2004 and 2013. If convicted on the most serious charges, Weinstein could face between five and 25 years in prison.

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women, with some of the allegations dating back decades. He has denied ever having nonconsensual sex.

The accusations, first reported last year by the New York Times and the New Yorker, gave rise to the #MeToo movement, in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment of sexual misconduct.

“This defendant used his position, money and power to lure young women into situations where he was able to violate them sexually,” prosecutor Joan Illuzzi said at Weinstein’s arraignment on Friday in Manhattan Criminal Court.

Weinstein, wearing a dark jacket over a blue sweater and white open-collared shirt and dark jeans, appeared pale, and stood next to Brafman, staring into the middle distance with his mouth ajar while prosecutors described a bail agreement.

Judge Kevin McGrath ordered Weinstein released on $1 million cash bail and the case was adjourned to July 30. Weinstein surrendered his U.S. passport and agreed to wear a monitoring device that tracks his location, confining him to the states of New York and Connecticut.

Weinstein earlier turned himself in at a lower Manhattan police station around 7:25 a.m. EDT (1125 GMT). He carried thick books under his right arm, including biographies of Broadway musical duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, and Elia Kazan, the director of “A Streetcar Named Desire” and other classic Hollywood films.

About 90 minutes later, Weinstein was led by officers into court in handcuffs, grimacing, with his head bowed and his books nowhere in sight.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Brafman signaled he would defend Weinstein by undermining the credibility of his client’s accusers.

A jury would not believe the women, Brafman said, “assuming we get 12 fair people who are not consumed by the movement that seems to have overtaken this case.”

SURREAL
Actress Rose McGowan, among the first to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault, said seeing images of him in handcuffs was surreal.

“I actually did not believe this day would come,” she said on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today” program. “This is a big strike into the heart of abuse of power.”

After the accusations became public, entertainment industry heavyweights distanced themselves from Weinstein. The Weinstein Co’s board fired him, and the company filed for bankruptcy in March.

In 2017, Weinstein was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He had racked up Oscars for a string of films that helped define independent cinema in the 1990s, including “Shakespeare in Love” and “Pulp Fiction.”

Weinstein was a fixture of elite Manhattan and Los Angeles society until his accusers came forward. He sought treatment for sex addiction at a facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, the New York Times reported.

London’s Metropolitan Police and Los Angeles prosecutors have said they are reviewing accusations of sexual assault against him.

Brafman said in a May court filing that federal prosecutors in New York had opened a separate criminal investigation into the allegations.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. had been under pressure over his 2015 decision not to pursue a complaint by model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, who said Weinstein had groped her without her consent.

Vance made the decision even though he had a covert police recording of Weinstein telling Gutierrez he would not do it again. The district attorney said his decision was based on the merits of the case.

Last month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wrote a letter ordering the state attorney general to investigate how Vance and the NYPD handled sexual assault allegations, including the 2015 accusations against Weinstein.

Slideshow (12 Images)
The New York charges mark the second high-profile prosecution of a once-powerful show business personality in the #MeToo era.

A month ago, Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a onetime friend, one of dozens of women who have accused the comedian and former TV star of sexual misconduct.

Cosby’s conviction followed a mistrial last year on the same charges. In the retrial, the judge allowed five other accusers to tell similar stories of alleged abuse at his hands.

It was unclear whether New York prosecutors would seek to have other Weinstein accusers testify against him.

Other actresses who have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct include Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek.

Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien, Peter Szekely, Jonathan Allen and Nathan Layne in New York; Writing by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Jonathan Oatis]]>
5/26/2018 4:22:34 PM
<![CDATA['We got you': Weinstein accusers relieved, elated at rape charges]]>
Weinstein was met by dozens of photographers and camera crews as he walked into a New York City police station to be charged with two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act involving two unidentified women. He was later released on a $1 million cash bond.

Weinstein, 66, denies having nonconsensual sex with anyone, and his attorney said his client would plead not guilty.

Italian actress Asia Argento, one of more than 70 women who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, live-tweeted his surrender.

“This is the only movie Harvey Weinstein will be remembered for #perpwalk,” Argento wrote. “Today Harvey Weinstein will take his first step on his inevitable descent to hell.”

Weinstein was charged after a seven-month investigation in New York and more than 20 years of alleged misconduct.

Actress Rose McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of raping her in 1997, said on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today” program that she never believed this day would come.

“We got you, Harvey Weinstein, we got you,” McGowan later tweeted.

The accusations against the co-founder of the Miramax film studio helped give rise to the #MeToo movement, in which people shared stories of sexual abuse, and the Time’s Up campaign against workplace sexual harassment.

In a statement, the Time’s Up campaign welcomed the charges against “a man whose actions were so egregious that they spawned a global reckoning.”

“Boogie Nights” actress Heather Graham, who has spoken of unsettling encounters with Weinstein in the early 2000s, wrote on Twitter that, instead of focusing on him, she would be celebrating powerful women.

“This is just the beginning #TheFutureIsFemale,” Graham tweeted.

Among others weighing in: “Mighty Aphrodite” star Mira Sorvino, who tweeted “#Justice” next to a news report about Weinstein.

Louisette Geiss, another of Weinstein’s accusers, tweeted that it was about time. “Elated and so proud to stand next to the brave women & men who are creating a new normal.”

There was no immediate public reaction from other stars who have spoken of being harassed by Weinstein, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd and Salma Hayek.

New York Times journalist Jodi Kantor, who shared a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the Weinstein allegations, on Twitter listed the reactions she had heard from victims. They included tears of relief and irreparable loss, outright joy and nausea.

“The common denominator: trouble sleeping last night,” Kantor wrote.]]>
5/26/2018 4:10:57 PM
<![CDATA[Director Peter Mimi believes in young talents in Egypt’s filming industry]]>
During the past two years, the norm that direction Peter Mini has been following is that he hires and pushes young talents in the filming industry.

Kalabsh 2 series starring Amir Karara, is currently being broadcast on Al Hayat TV channel in Egypt, and is Mimi’s last TV project as a director.

The most inspiring young talents supported by Mimi is star Mohammed Diab in “The Godfather” series, who plays the role of Abdullah Al Attar. Diab also played the role of Zanati in Kalabsh 1, which was broadcasted the previous Ramadan and hailed as a great success.

Mimi also supported young actress Sara Al Shami, in the TV series “The Godfather,” where she played the role of Nada Al Attar; later she was cast for the role of Salma in Kalabsh 1 and 2.

The young director also supported Amr Wahba, in this year’s Ramadan TV series marathon, hiring him to play alongside super star Amir Karara in the Kalabsh 2; This is the first acting participation for Wahba in a TV drama production.

Mohammed Ezz was also a fortunate young talent that Mimi believed in and supported in the TV series “The Godfather,” followed by the series Kalabsh 1.

Mimi also pushed Omar Shenawi in the series “The Godfather,” followed by both Kalabsh 1 and 2. Shenawi played the role of a police officer, and Karara’s brother in-law in the series.

Last but not least, Mimi also recommended a young female talent, named Mayan Al Sayad, to play a role in the TV series “The Godfather.” He presents her in the film industry through the movie “Karmouz War,” also starring Karara.

“Karmouz War” will be available in the local movie theatres in Eid El Fitr, when Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan.

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5/26/2018 1:44:25 PM
<![CDATA[Radwa Ashour: A writer of stance]]>
The veteran writer led a rich life with a career that spanned over 40 years. A long successful journey launched Ashour as an icon of literature during her life and after her death.

Ashour was born in 1946 to a family with great literary background as her father was a lawyer who was fond of literature and her mother was a poet. Her early literary awareness came as a result of her grandfather Abdel Wahab Azzam, who was a diplomat and a literature professor. After graduating from the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University with a major in Comparative Literature, Ashour undertook her Masters program and travelled to US where she received her PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1975.

radwa ashour 1
Radwa Ashour - Egypt Today.


Ashour’s political stances

Her Political stances were an integral part of her academic career. When the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat argued for normalization in the Israel-Palestine conflict, Ashour contributed to the establishment of the National Committee against Zionism in Egyptian universities. When the government of Hosni Mubarak intervened in academic life, she joined the March 9 group calling for the independence of Egyptian universities.
Ashour showed tremendous dedication throughout her career, becoming a professor of English and Comparative Literature in 1986. She served as head of the English Language and Literature department from 1990 to 1993.

Her work

In 1983, Ashour released her first book titled, “The Journey: Memoirs of an Egyptian Student in America.” Two years later, the writer releaser her first novel, titled, “Warm Stone,” in 1985.

Her work included a notable group of books that enriched the Arab Literature library such as “Siraaj” and the trilogy “Granada,” dating back to the period of La Convivencia in Spain, during the era where Christians, Muslims and Jews lived alongside one another. “Granada” was chosen to be among the 105 best Arabic novels of the 20th century by the Arabic Writers’ Union.

In “Spectres,” she tackled scenes from her own youth with a political background of incidents that occurred during Late Egyptian Presidents Gamal Abdel-Nasser and Sadat’s years.Here three books: “Heavier Than Radwa,” “Blue Lorries” and “The Woman from Tantoura,” were all based on autobiography fictions.

Despite being 100 percent Egyptian, the renowned author is Palestinian at heart; a characteristic that is apparent through her passionate writings, where she blended reality and historical fiction based on the idea of resistance against oppression in her novels.

Among many of Ashour’s novels, ”Farag” and “Woman Of Tantoura” focused equally on conflicts in Egypt and Palestine.

radwa w mourid
Radwa Ashour and Mouried Barghouti - Egypt Today


In “Woman Of Tantoura,” Ashour denounces Israeli violence and strong-heartedly defends the Palestinian case, as if she was of Palestinian origins. Her defensive attitude is reflected through the struggle of a Palestinian woman born in the Palestinian village called “Tantoura,” highlighting the mass killings in the refugee camps located in Lebanon called “Sabra” and “Shatila.”

The same concept was also reflected in Ashour’s novel “Farag,” in which she produced a touching and dramatic sequence of events that take place during the regimes of former Egyptian presidents Abdel Nasser and Sadat.

Ashour was married to Palestinian poet Mouried Barghouti and had a son with him, Tamim al-Barghouti, who became a famous Egyptian/Palestinian poet. Her Palestinian-oriented family has influenced her literary works.

Throughout history, the art scene has been able to portray the strong cultural and artistic ties between Egypt and Palestine and continues to produce authentic works inspired by both cultures manifested within remarkable productions.

Ashour’s influence extended from the Arab world to abroad. “Radwa Ashour was a powerful voice among Egyptian writers of the postwar generation and a writer of exceptional integrity and courage. Her work consistently engages with her country’s history and reflects passionately upon it,” wrote Marina Warner in the prominent newspaper The Guardian.

Ashour is a beautiful-mind writer who will remain forever alive in the hearts of her readers around the world.
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5/26/2018 1:39:20 PM
<![CDATA[It's 'Love, Actually' as bachelor Hugh Grant marries at 57]]>
Grant, 57, who has played a string of commitment-phobic characters, married Swedish television producer Anna Eberstein, 39, at a low-key civil ceremony in London’s Chelsea district, photos of the pair printed in British newspapers showed.

Eberstein is the mother of three of Grant’s young children. The “Love, Actually” star has two other children with former partner Tinglan Hong.

The photos showed Grant and Eberstein leaving the Chelsea register office in London on Friday and posing for pictures on the steps outside with a small group of family members. Grant wore a dark blue suit, while Eberstein was dressed in a blue shirt and white miniskirt and wearing a simple gold wedding band.

Grant’s publicist did not return a Reuters request for comment.

Grant, one of Britain’s best-known comic actors, is also famous for his own reluctance to marry. He split up in 2000 with his actress girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley after 13 years together.

“I’m not really a believer in marriage,” he told People magazine in 2015. “I’ve seen very few good examples, maybe five, in my life, but I think otherwise it’s a recipe for mutual misery.”

Grant, the star of two “Bridget Jones” comedies, also made headlines when he was arrested in Los Angeles in 1995 with a prostitute.]]>
5/26/2018 11:09:40 AM
<![CDATA[Actor Morgan Freeman apologizes after accusations]]>
The accusations against the Oscar-winning actor are the latest in a torrent against male actors, filmmakers and agents that have roiled Hollywood since October 2017, leading in some cases to resignations and the halting of projects.

On Friday, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was charged with rape and other sex crimes.

Similar accusations have also engulfed men in U.S. politics and business, and inspired a #MeToo social media movement by victims sharing their stories of sexual harassment or abuse.

CNN reported on Thursday that it spoke with 16 people as part of its investigation into the 80-year-old actor, some of whom also alleged inappropriate behavior by Freeman at his production company, Revelations Entertainment.

“I am devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye, by Thursday’s media reports,” Freeman said in a statement on Friday, a day after he initially apologized.

“But I also want to be clear: I did not create unsafe work environments. I did not assault women. I did not offer employment or advancement in exchange for sex. Any suggestion that I did so is completely false,” he added.

CNN said eight people told the network they were victims of what some labeled harassment and others called inappropriate behavior by Freeman. It said eight others told the network they witnessed the actor’s alleged misconduct.

CNN also said other sources denied having seen any questionable behavior by the actor, and that those sources described him as being professional on set and in the office.

Freeman said he is someone who feels a need to try to make women and men feel appreciated and at ease around him. As part of that, he would often try to joke with and compliment women, in what he thought was a light-hearted and humorous way, he said.

“Clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended. And that is why I apologized Thursday and will continue to apologize to anyone I might have upset, however unintentionally,” he said.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm any of the allegations.

Freeman, whose career has spanned 50 years and more than 100 movies, won a Oscar in 2005 as best supporting actor for his role as a former boxer in “Million Dollar Baby.”]]>
5/26/2018 11:07:14 AM
<![CDATA[World Cup divides fans with 'Live It Up' Will Smith anthem]]>
Some on social media asked how the tune’s Latin American feel fitted in with the tournament’s host country Russia - and compared it unfavorably with past efforts including Shakira’s “Waka Waka” theme for the 2010 contest in South Africa.

Some more were puzzled by the choice of performers - Will Smith is joined by Puerto Rico-born Reggaeton artist Nicky Jam and singer Era Istrefi, who describes herself as “Albanian Kosovar” - none of them from countries competing in this year’s contest.

“The World Cup song doesn’t have any football ring to it. Blegh. How is Messi gonna dance to Live it up?!” Twitter user @arla_I said, referring to Argentina star Lionel Messi.

Others were won over by the energetic track, with its affirming chorus “One life, live it up/‘Cos we got one life.”

“This one definitely has the World Cup vibe to it,” one user wrote, calling the song “awesome”.

The trio will perform “Live It Up” in front of spectators before the World Cup final in Moscow on July 15.

“It’s an honor to be asked to perform at the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” Smith said in a statement.

“Collaborating with Nicky, (producer) Diplo and Era on this track represents harmony, eclectic flavors and genres coming together. At the end of the day, we just want to see the world dance.”

Smith has focused on his acting career for years, but the “Independence Day” star has recently hinted about a return to music.

This week, he posted a clip of himself rapping in a music booth on his Instagram page titled “Gettin’ back in the studio. Just warmin’ Up”.]]>
5/26/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[118 artifacts seized in Italy found during Illegal excavations: official ]]>
Abdel-Gawad added in statements to the Associated Press on Friday that Egypt is expecting to receive the artifacts as soon as possible, shortly after ongoing investigation by Italian authorities are finished.

On May 23, the Ministry of Antiquities announced in statement that the preliminary examination of the 118 Egyptian artifacts seized last March in Naples, along with artifacts from other countries, suggested that the seized pieces are historic antiquities.
The Italian police notified the Egyptian Embassy in Rome on March 14 about the seizure of 23,700 artifacts, including 118 Egyptian pieces packed in parcels, according to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid.

Abdel-Gawad said then that examination of the seized artifacts' photos sent by the Italian authorities suggested they are authentic antiquities, adding that the two countries cooperate to return the seized pieces to Egypt.

The seized artifacts include objects from different pharaonic periods, in addition to objects from the Islamic era, according to a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

Many Egyptian antiquities were smuggled in the aftermath of Egypt's 2011 revolution amid the security vacuum, while others were stolen during the unrest in 2013.
Egypt managed to retrieve over 500 artifacts from abroad in 2016, Abdel Gawad previously stated.

Parliament's Media, Culture and Antiquities Committee prepared a report earlier in 2018 on an amendment to the antiquities protection law proposed by the government to toughen punishment for smuggling antiquities up to a life sentence and a fine up to LE 10 million (about $0.56 million).
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5/25/2018 5:58:49 PM
<![CDATA[Rami Malek’s ‘Papillon’ to premiere in Germany on July 26]]>


Staring Charlie Hunnam and the American-Egyptian Rami Malek, the movie’s plot is based on the two famous best-seller musical books “Banco” and “Papillon”. The Parisian safecracker Henri Papillon (performed by Charlie Hunnam) is mistakenly accused of murder and sentenced to life on Devil's Island's infamous penal colony.

After Papillion escapes from his prison he finds a surprise criminal patron awaiting him; Louis Dega (performed by Rami Malek). Papillion and Dega make an agreement, Dega will use his skills to fund Papillon's escape, which will in return protect Dega. Such an agreement will create a strong friendship between the two criminals as well as other plans for both of them to break free.

In addition to Hunnam and Malek, the “Papillon” cast includes costars Tommy Flanagan, Roland Moller, and veteran Eve Hewson among others.

The 20th Century Fox released on May 15 the first trailer of “Bohemian Rhapsody” starring Malek in the role of Queen’s singer Freddie Mercury. The short and fast shots of Malek on the trailer were very promising. The Emmy winner is known for the lead of the psychological thriller TV series “Mr. Robot” which achieved a wide commercial success.



The new trailer was heart-warming and crafted with a lot of heavy metal and rock music showing the extraordinary spirit that characterized Queen. Focusing on the formation of the band, the trailer went through the different stages of the band until they claimed the throne of rock music. The movie also presented Mercury’s life and career being one of the best front men and the greatest vocalists.

The movie crew included Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee, and Joseph Mazzello playing the role of the other members of the band: Roger Taylor, Brian May and John Deacon, respectively.

Bryan Singer, famous for X-Men, was the director of the movie but got fired after he disappeared suddenly from the movie’s set. Dexter Fletcher completed the direction of the movie.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” was written by Anthony McCarten who was nominated for the 2015 Oscar for Best Writing Award for “The Theory of Everything”.

The movie will be screened in American theatres on Nov. 2, 2018.
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5/25/2018 4:12:46 PM
<![CDATA[‘El Bahes ‘An Umm Kulthum’ to screen at German cinemas ]]>
“El Bahes ‘An Umm Kulthum” achieved a booming success and grabbed the attention of all the participants of the 37th Istanbul Film Festival. The movie tells the story of Umm Kulthum who was the most prominent singer in the Middle East and highlights how she managed, as an Egyptian woman, to break down and penetrate all social, religious, political and national barriers existing in society at the time.

Famed and talented Egyptian actress Yasmine Rais, played Umm Kulthum in the movie. “The Search for Umm Kulthum” participated in a number of prominent international film festivals, such as the 74th edition of the Venice International Film Festival which was held from Aug. 30 to Sep. 9, 2017.

“The Search for Umm Kulthum” also participated in the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival which was held from Sep. 7 to Sep. 17, 2017, and the 61st London Film Festival, which ran from Oct. 4 to Oct. 15, 2017. The movie is directed by Shereen Nishat.
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5/25/2018 4:07:53 PM
<![CDATA[Fairouz releases new song on Gaza ‘Until When, God?’]]>
The song “Eella Matta Ya Rabbou” (Until When, God?), directed and produced by her daughter Reema Rahbany, was released on Fairouz’s YouTube channel on Wednesday.



Fairouz begins by saying “Until When, God will you keep forgetting me? Will it be forever? Till when will you hide your face from me? Till when will you whisper in my soul, spreading sadness in my heart? Till when must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? Till when will my enemy triumph over me?”

Fairouz was wearing a black dress while singing with an image of Jesus in the background along with the other images of the clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip.

This is not the first time for Fairouz to release a song about the Palestinian cause; her famous song “Zahrat Madaen” was also about the about occupied Jerusalem.
Previously, Fairouz released a new song titled “Yemken” on Friday, which is the second song to be released from her upcoming album.

“Yemken” is written and composed by John Lennon, the work is arranged by Steve Sidwell and the lyrics modified by Reema Rahbany, according to a statement released on Fairouz’s official Facebook account on Thursday. The song is from the upcoming new album “Bebalee” (On My Mind) produced by Reema Rahbany.

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5/25/2018 3:26:00 PM
<![CDATA[Movie producer Weinstein to surrender on sex assault charges]]>
Weinstein’s spokesman Juda Engelmayer and Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman both declined to comment. The imminent criminal charging of Weinstein, which was first reported by the New York Daily News, follows a months-long investigation, including by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

A person familiar with the case confirmed the report to Reuters on condition of anonymity. The New York Times and other news outlets also reported Weinstein was expected to surrender.

More than 70 women have accused the co-founder of the Miramax studio and The Weinstein Co of sexual misconduct spanning decades, including rape. The allegations, first reported by the New York Times and the New Yorker last year, gave rise to the #MeToo movement in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment.

Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

Weinstein will be charged over an allegation by at least one accuser, Lucia Evans, a former aspiring actress who told the New Yorker that Weinstein forced her to give him oral sex in 2004, the Times and Daily News reported. The exact nature of the charges being brought by Manhattan prosecutors was unclear on Thursday afternoon.

The New York Police Department and the district attorney’s office declined to comment on the case.

KEEPING THEIR DISTANCE
Entertainment industry heavyweights have distanced themselves from Weinstein, once one of Hollywood’s most powerful men, since the accusations became public. The board of the Weinstein Co fired him and the company itself filed for bankruptcy in March. In 2017, he was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the Oscars.

A former fixture in the most elite entertainment circles of Manhattan and Los Angeles, Weinstein has since been seen spending time in Scottsdale, Arizona, where the New York Times said he had been seeking treatment for sex addiction.

London’s Metropolitan Police have said they are also investigating an allegation of sexual assault against Weinstein, while prosecutors in Los Angeles said in February they were reviewing three accusations of sexual assault against him.

Weinstein’s lawyer Brafman said in a May court filing that federal prosecutors in New York had opened a separate criminal investigation into the allegations.

Actress Ashley Judd last month sued Weinstein, saying that he cost her a part in 1998 for the film “The Lord of the Rings” after she rejected his sexual advances, charges that Weinstein has denied.

Actress Rose McGowan, among the first in Hollywood to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault, said in a statement on Thursday that his alleged victims were now “one step closer to justice.”

“May this give hope to all victims and survivors everywhere that are telling their truths,” she said.

Italian actress Asia Argento, who has accused Weinstein of raping her at the Cannes film festival in 1997 when she was 21, reacted to Thursday’s reports with a one-word Twitter post: “BOOM.”

Other film stars who have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct include Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek.

Brafman, Weinstein’s lawyer, is known for representing high-profile criminal defendants, including pop star Michael Jackson and Martin Shkreli, the former drug company executive.

In 2011, Brafman represented Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, over charges, which were eventually dropped, that he sexually assaulted a New York City hotel maid.

Since 2006, there has been no statute of limitations in New York for rape or aggravated sex abuse in the first degree. Crimes for which the statute had not expired on June 23, 2006, were included when the law changed, meaning crimes as early as 2001 can still be prosecuted.

“New York, which used to have some of the shortest state of limitations for rape cases, caught up with the modern world in 2006,” said former Manhattan prosecutor Marc Scholl. “Sex assailants can no longer escape their crimes because victims were afraid to speak.”]]>
5/25/2018 1:53:02 PM
<![CDATA[Stock market value of Netflix eclipses Disney for first time]]>
Lifted by a blitz of original programs and 125 million global subscribers, some of whom have given up cable television packages, Netflix’s stock has surged 80 percent so far in 2018, more than any other company in the S&P 500.

Since Netflix’s initial public offer in 2002, when it was a mail-order DVD service, its shares have surged nearly 33,000 percent. It has also become a must-own stock for Wall Street investors, alongside Apple (AAPL.O), Amazon.com (AMZN.O), Alphabet (GOOGL.O) and Facebook (FB.O).

Netflix’s stock on Thursday was up 2.3 percent at $352.90, in line with the median price target of analysts covering the Los Gatos, California company, according to Thomson Reuters data. The most optimistic analyst price target would put Netflix’s stock market value at $182 billion.

Disney has lost 5 percent over the past year as it and other one-time entertainment industry leaders struggle to adapt to the shift by global viewers to online video. It owns some of the most valuable entertainment brands in the world, including Marvel, Pixar Animation and “Star Wars.” It also operates popular theme parks on three continents and has offered to buy more assets from Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA.O) for $52 billion.

With a stock market value of $152 billion on Thursday, Disney is also starting its own streaming service for families, and it has said it will stop supplying new movies to Netflix starting next year.

Earlier this month, Netflix’s market capitalization overtook leading U.S. cable operator Comcast (CMCSA.O), which owns NBC and Universal Pictures.

Comcast, with a stock market value of $145 billion, confirmed on Wednesday it was preparing a rival bid for Twenty-First Century Fox’s media assets, setting up a bidding war with Disney.

Telecommunications company AT&T (T.N) and CNN parent Time Warner (TWX.N), which are trying to win approval to merge, have a combined market capitalization of $274 billion.

Investors are bullish on Netflix’s ability to add more members around the world, and they are paying red-hot prices to own its stock. Netflix recently traded at 98 times expected earnings for the next 12 months, versus Disney and Comcast at 14 times earnings, according to Thomson Reuters data.]]>
5/25/2018 12:42:02 PM
<![CDATA[Bollywood actress urges world to step up support for Rohingya women, children]]>
A military response to insurgent attacks on police posts and an army base in northern Rakhine state last August pushed almost 700,000 Rohingya Muslims across the border to Bangladesh, many accusing security forces of killings, rape and arson.

“Every child deserves a future, an opportunity to contribute to humanity,” Chopra told a news conference in Dhaka after a four-day visit to Rohingya refugee camps at Cox’s Bazar on the southern tip of Bangladesh.

“Refugee children are the world’s responsibility because they don’t have anywhere to go. They don’t have anything they can call their own,” she said.

The United Nations has described the military crackdown as “ethnic cleansing,” which Myanmar has denied, saying its security forces were conducting a legitimate counter-insurgency operation against “terrorists.”

Chopra urged the international community to tackle the issue of Rohingya children living without basic rights to food, clean water, shelter, proper sanitation and education.

“There’s so much more to be done. They need your money, time, compassion,” she said.

In March the United Nations launched an appeal for $951 million to help the Rohingya refugees for the rest of the year, but it remains less than 20 percent funded.

]]>
5/25/2018 12:36:43 PM
<![CDATA[Oscar winner Danny Boyle to direct next Bond film]]>
Production on the 25th installment in the Bond movie franchise will begin in December at Britain’s Pinewood Studios. The film will be released in autumn 2019.

In a statement, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli describe Boyle, who won an Oscar for heart-warming drama “Slumdog Millionaire” and is also known for “Trainspotting” and “Steve Jobs”, as “exceptionally talented”.

Boyle previously worked with Craig on a short film for the opening ceremony at the 2012 London Olympics, in which the actor, as Bond, entered Buckingham Palace, where he was greeted by Queen Elizabeth.

The as-yet-unnamed Bond film’s screenplay will be written by John Hodge, who worked with Boyle on “Trainspotting”.

Craig has played Bond since 2006’s “Casino Royale”. After months of speculation on whether he would reprise the role after 2015’s “Spectre”, the 50-year-old actor confirmed last year he would put on Bond’s tuxedo for a fifth time.]]>
5/25/2018 12:32:25 PM
<![CDATA[Morgan Freeman apologizes after sexual harassment claims]]>
Sixteen people -- eight of whom say they were victims -- described to CNN a range of troubling behavior by Freeman on production sets or promotional tours.

The downfall of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein last October triggered a US reckoning over sexual harassment and abuse that has toppled a litany of powerful men across a variety of sectors including entertainment, politics and media.

The actor, who turns 81 next week, issued a quick apology after the news network published its report.

"Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy," Freeman said in a statement.

"I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected -- that was never my intent."

One of the most bankable, respected actors in the business, Morgan was honored with a lifetime achievement award in January that the Screen Actors Guild is now considering withdrawing, the organization told AFP.

A spokeswoman for the guild acknowledged Freeman's right to due process but described the allegations as "compelling and devastating," and said its starting point was to believe the "courageous" women who had complained.

"Given Mr. Freeman recently received one of our union's most prestigious honors recognizing his body of work, we are therefore reviewing what corrective actions may be warranted at this time," she said.

- "Freaked out' -

CNN quoted a young production assistant who said Freeman harassed her over a period of months in the summer of 2015 while she was working on his bank heist comedy "Going in Style."

She accused Freeman of touching her repeatedly, resting his hand on her lower back or rubbing it without permission, and frequently making comments about her appearance.

The woman said Freeman continually tried to lift her skirt and kept asking if she was wearing underwear.

Actor Alan Arkin, one of Freeman's co-stars in the film, "made a comment telling him to stop. Morgan got freaked out and didn't know what to say," the woman said.

A senior member of the production staff on "Now You See Me" (2013) -- another bank heist film, this time featuring a team of illusionist thieves -- also said Freeman had acted inappropriately with her and her assistants.

Team members knew "not to wear any top that would show our breasts, not to wear anything that would show our bottoms," or any fitted clothes if Freeman would be near them, she told CNN.

Freeman is also accused of staring at women's breasts, asking a woman how she felt about sexual harassment and asking women to twirl for him.

He won the best supporting actor Oscar in 2005 for boxing drama "Million Dollar Baby" and was nominated four other times for Academy Awards.

His other major films include "The Shawshank Redemption," "Se7en," and "Driving Miss Daisy," as well as several "Batman" movies.

With his deeply resonant voice, Freeman also did the voiceover for an award-winning documentary, "March of the Penguins."

Weinstein, whose case triggered a greater willingness among victims to speak out against abuse, has been accused by more than 100 women of impropriety going back 40 years, ranging from harassment to rape.

Reportedly in treatment for sex addiction, he is expected to surrender to authorities in New York on Friday following a months-long investigation into the allegations, US media reported.

Other Hollywood figures who have been accused of sexual misconduct include actors Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman, and director-producer Brett Ratner.]]>
5/25/2018 12:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[9 novels announced on Naguib Mahfouz Prize's longlist ]]>
The longlist includes "Catch a Martyr" by Adel Obeid, "Shadow's Resurrection" by Moustafa Mounir, "The Tiger" by Serag el-Din Yassin, "The Female Monk and The Sinner" by Mohamed Aiad, "I decided to Leave" by Nourhan Mahmoud, "Life" by Iman al-masri, "A call to the Good Time" by Omar Hussein Sirag, "The last Sultan" by Ola Maher Aid, and "Bridge" by Tamer Shaikhon.

The Supreme Council has declared that the prize’s worth has risen to LE 50,000 for Arab and Egyptian novelists.

In 1999, Mauritanian novelist Moussa Ould Ebnou won the prize, which was worth LE 25,000, for his novel "The Impossible Love".

The Supreme Council awarded many novelists Naguib Mahfouz’s Prize for Novel until 1999.

Mahfouz was born on December 11, 1911, and passed away on August 30, 2006 at the age of 96. He is mainly known for being as one of the first Arabic literature contemporary writers. Every day, Mahfouz would write for the duration of one hour during his 70-year career; he wrote 25 movie scripts, seven plays, 350 short stories and 34 novels. The Egyptian cinema has witnessed over 30 movies that were based on Mahfouz’s novels and literary works.

In 1994, an Islamic extremist attempted to assassinate Mahfouz, who was 82 at the time, due to his controversial novel “Awlad Haretna” (The Children of Gebelawi). The novel spoke about God and the prophets, and creatively explained the philosophy of religion. This incident only directed attention to the novel, which was later deemed as one of the most famous novels in the history of Arabic literature.

The Egyptian government would go on to honor Mahfouz with the Egyptian State Prize twice for his literary works. While the American University in Cairo (AUC) recognized him with a doctorate in 1995; Mahfouz was chosen as an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Institute of Arts. ]]>
5/24/2018 6:44:13 PM
<![CDATA[I don't fear death: Egyptian feminist, novelist Nawal El Saadawi ]]>
"He never replied," said El Saadawi, who is still as passionate about women's rights. "I told him, 'if you are not fair, I'm not ready to believe in you.'"

El Saadawi's writing and political activism have made her many enemies over the intervening eight decades, upsetting governments, religious authorities and extremist groups alike.

She has received countless death threats.

Sacked from the health ministry in the 1970s, she was jailed in 1981 after criticising President Anwar Sadat and spent nearly two decades in exile during President Hosni Mubarak's rule.

"When I was in jail, the jailer said, 'If I find paper and pen in your cell, it's more dangerous than if I find a gun,'" El Saadawi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview in London this week.

Described as the "Simone de Beauvoir of the Arab world", El Saadawi has written more than 50 books, covering taboos from sexuality to prostitution to female genital mutilation (FGM).

But she dislikes any comparison to the pioneering French feminist, saying: "I'm much more radical than her."

Unlike de Beauvoir, whom she says was dominated by her partner, the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, El Saadawi proudly lives alone, having divorced all three of her husbands.

With her shock of white hair, bright eyes and ready smile, she is a force of nature who never minces words.

Now 86 and living in Cairo, she says she does not fear her opponents and enjoys huge support from young people across the Arab world. "I have lost my fear of death, I have lost my fear of prison," she said.

CHILD MARRIAGE

In a new edition of her autobiography "A Daughter of Isis", El Saadawi describes growing up in a patriarchal culture where girls were subjected to abuse, including child marriage and FGM.

Aged 10, she was dressed up and told to serve coffee to her first prospective husband. Unaccustomed to heels, she tripped, pouring hot liquid all over him.

An outspoken child, the young radical managed to fend off a succession of suitors before persuading her parents to let her pursue her studies, which led to medicine and psychiatry.

It was while working as a doctor in the 1950s and 1960s that she became an early campaigner against FGM.

Although El Saadawi had been cut as a young girl, she says she developed "amnesia" around the event.

It was not until she met some Sudanese women who had undergone the most extreme form of FGM – in which the vaginal opening is sealed - that she began to examine her experience.

"(The psychological effect) is terrible," she said. "It's the feeling you lack something, that they cut part of you. Women are deprived of (pleasure in) sex. They feel humiliated."
Egypt outlawed FGM in 2008 but it continues.

El Saadawi says the government is too scared of Islamic groups to take robust action.
About 87 percent of women and girls aged 15 to 49 have been cut, according to U.N. data, making Egypt the country with the highest number of women in the world to have undergone FGM.

El Saadawi disputes the figures, saying educated families have abandoned the tradition.
"A lot has changed. There is marvellous progress," she said.

El Saadawi has also courted controversy for her views on the veil - another "tool of oppression".

She says the veil is not Islamic and is annoyed when images of veiled women are used to symbolise Arab women on her books.

STILL DREAMING

Although much of her writing examines the status of Arab women, she says patriarchal oppression is everywhere. She ranks Islam as less oppressive than either Judaism or Christianity.

"After travelling all over the world ... I discovered that girls are brought up in a very similar way – we are all in the same boat. The patriarchal, religious, capitalist system is universal."

El Saadawi does not believe anyone will hand women their rights - women need to organise themselves and fight.

"I have had a dream since I was a child. A very mad dream, but very simple - to change the world," El Saadawi said.

"The dream is still alive."
]]>
5/24/2018 6:04:48 PM
<![CDATA[Smuggling attempt of 30 ancient metal coins foiled ]]>
Hammam remarked that an archaeological committee of experts from the Graeco Roman museum was formed to inspect the authenticity of the coins after they had been presented to the Archaeology Unit at Alexandria port.

He added that upon inspection the committee has approved the authenticity of the coins and seized them according to Egypt’s antiquities law number 117 of 1983 and its amendments.

In the same context, director of archaeological unit, Mohamed Osman, said that the seized artifacts include 22 bronze coins dating back to the early and late Roman era and the period between the first and third centuries AD, along with five bronze coins dating back to more than 135 years ago.

In the last few months, Tourism and Antiquities Police managed to seize a huge number of artifacts in Upper Egypt; for example, in October 2017, the Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Police managed to seize around 99 artifacts from two citizens in Assiut.

In January 2018, the Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Police managed to seize a historical statue dating back to the Pharaonic era, in addition to discovering illegal excavation works, searching for unearthed artifacts beneath two houses in Sohag.

Police of Antiquities and Tourism seized on May 10, 18 artifacts found at the home of one of Minya’s residents.

Also, Napoli Police seized a collection of parcels filled with antiquities from several civilizations, with 118 artifacts from the ancient Egyptian era among them. ]]>
5/24/2018 2:37:30 PM
<![CDATA[Was Philip Roth misogynist? His death reopens debate]]>
Roth's characterization of women in his novels and at least one volatile relationship shot back to the spotlight on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after his death from congestive heart failure in a Manhattan hospital.

"Farewell Philip Roth," tweeted one London reader, Ruth Robinson. "You were a gr8 writer and a massive misogynist. You were obsessed with sex but disliked, perhaps even despised women."

Charlie Leddy-Owen, a sociology lecturer at Britain's University of Portsmouth, took to Twitter to call 1995 novel "Sabbath's Theater" by Roth "probably the most enjoyable but equally disgusting novel I've ever read.

"Not sure how many women will have enjoyed reading about his sexist, narcissistic leading characters -- but what a writer he was."

Accusations of misogyny began in the 1970s with the rise of feminism, fueled by a portrayal of domestic abuse in his 1974 novel "My Life as a Man."

While critics debate the extent to which Roth's work was autobiographical, in his 1990 novel "Deception" Roth imagines his main character defending himself on charges of misogyny in court.

Following their messy breakup, British actress Claire Bloom painted a grim picture of life with Roth in the 1996 memoir "Leaving a Doll's House."

In a 2006 article, Chicago Tribune critic Julia Keller called Roth "a great writer with a large and terrible flaw: his women have no souls."

His women "are mere mirrors to men. Echoes and shadows. Pale parallels," she wrote.

Two years later, the feminist critic Vivian Gornick, compared Roth negatively to that other late 20th century literary great, Saul Bellow.

"If in Bellow misogyny was like seeping bile, in Roth it was lava pouring forth from a volcano," she wrote in Harper Magazine.

Jacques Berlinerblau, a professor of Jewish civilization at Georgetown University who has taught Roth texts for 25 years, says the novels include passages that students today consider "really disturbing."

"The fiction is misogynist," he told AFP. "I was always surprised the MeToo movement did not catch up to him, even if only to focus on the content of his fiction."

Blake Bailey, friend and biographer, flatly denied that Roth was in favor of sexual harassment and sexual misbehavior, pointing to the presence of several of his ex-girlfriends at his death bed.

"He was one of the most decent men I have ever known," Bailey told AFP.

Nevertheless, the writer was among those who worried that the #MeToo movement and sexual harassment watershed in the United States, could "get out of hand."

"It was only the innocent he was worried about... not the people who deserved punishment," he added.]]>
5/24/2018 2:27:40 PM
<![CDATA[Book by 'Game of Thrones' author to be animated film]]>
The report, which first appeared on the specialty website Deadline, says that author George R.R. Martin will produce the film based on "The Ice Dragon," published in 1980.

The book, written for young people, appeared well ahead of Martin's "Game of Thrones" series and does not take place in the land of the Seven Kingdoms, the setting of the "Thrones" medieval fantasy series.

George R.R. Martin fans are eagerly awaiting the sixth "Game of Thrones" series, titled "The Winds of Winter," which has been promised since 2012.

In late April, the author announced that readers will have to wait at least until 2019 to see the book published.

Martin has fallen so far behind in his book writing that the hit HBO TV series has already gone past the storyline in the books.

The much anticipated eighth and final season of HBO's "Game of Thrones" is expected in 2019.]]>
5/24/2018 2:21:05 PM
<![CDATA[Serbian street artists make football the beautiful game]]>
Fan groups attached to Partizan Belgrade go by the nickname 'the Gravediggers', and include the graffiti artist Derox, who is also part of 'the Grobarski (gravediggers) Trash Romantizam' (GTR) art group.

When AFP meets him Derox has been working without break repainting 35 highly impressive mural paintings with the acronym GTR.

They had been vandalised during an overnight operation likely conducted by fans of bitter city rival Red Star.

The two giants of Yugoslav and Serbian football were founded at the end of World War II.

Some people believe Red Star draw support from the middle classes and Partizan traditionally from the working classes.

GTR art group co-founder, 31-year old Ivan Lovric, is not so sure about the traditional divisions but says Partizan is also the club supported by the intellectual elite.

Derox, 33-year-old Milan Milosavljevic, is finishing the portrait of surrealist Franco-Yugoslav painter Ljuba Popovic.

"I love Partizan not only for the football," he says, insisting GTR is an "artistic movement linked to football".

He says what he does is a poke in the eye for those to whom "people who watch football are described as idiots".

And "there is the word ART in the name: pARTizan", he says.

- Orwell, Morrissey, Strummer -
On his drying mural Ljuba Popovic claims that he has been "supporting Partizan since 1942".

The club was founded three years later in fact.

Other GTR works feature the British writer George Orwell and musicians Morrissey, Joe Strummer and Eddy Grant.

"Eddy Grant is really a Partizan supporter," says Lovric who is studying English literature.

He recalls a song, where the reggae singer offers to put on an "invisible hat" to "visit Belgrade": "Relax and I'll take you to where it's at."

As for Strummer, continues Lovric, before becoming the frontman of the Clash he was a gravedigger.

Morrissey was chosen because GTR liked his lyrics contained in a Smiths song: "To die by your side is such an heavenly way to die".

What about Orwell? Lovric is convinced that "he had everything needed to be a Partizan fan". Also he contributed to the American Trotskyists magazine "Partisan", he says.

- 'Our way is art' -

Launching GTR in 2012 "we did not have any doctrine or plan. We just wanted to do something for the love of our club," says Ivan Sarajcic, a bearded 47-year old IT programmer.

He co-founded the movement after reading a post on Facebook, a line of Lord Byron, amended by Lovric: "She walks in beauty, like the night. And I live for Partizan and fight".

The group's preoccupation with romantic art clashes with the violent image often attributed to local supporters.

But the issue does not worry GTR.

"I am not against violence if it is between two groups who agree to fight together," Lovric says.

Everyone has their own way to express his love for the club: "Our way is art."

The GTR frescoes have become part of a Belgrade tradition. The city is sprinkled with portraits of young men, often hooligans or members of criminal milieu some of them commissioned by relatives in honour of those deceased.

Most of the time the GTR artist works with onlookers and sometimes even in front of the police.

One day, "a police car passed by, slowed down. They said 'Good job'. And left," Lovric says.]]>
5/24/2018 2:18:27 PM
<![CDATA[New Greco-Roman-era monuments uncovered in Egypt's Gharbia]]>
image_1 (1)
One of parts of a huge red brick building uncovered-Official Facebook Page


The mission found the building during excavations carried out at San El-Hagar archaeological site in Gharbia governorate.

Ayman Ashmawi, head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, said that the building is about 16 meters long.

Ashmawi added that the mission also found pottery vessels, terracotta statues, bronze tools, a stone fragment engraved with hieroglyphs and a small statue of a ram at the archaeological site.

image_2
Pottery vessels found at archaeological site-Official Facebook Page


In the same context, Saeed Al-Asal, head of the mission, remarked that the most important discovered artifact is a gold coin of King Ptolemy III, which was made during the reign of King Ptolemy IV.

image_3
A gold coin of King Ptolemy III- Official Facebook Page

He added that one of the coin’s faces is decorated with a portrait of King Ptolemy III wearing the crown and the other side is the Land of Prosperity surrounded with the name of the king.

imaage_4
One of parts of a huge red brick building uncovered-Official Facebook Page

]]>
5/24/2018 10:47:26 AM
<![CDATA[Mashrabia Gallery hosts ‘Qarboush: Echoes of Naguib Mahfouz’]]>
The artist interprets Mahfouz’s “Cairo Trilogy” novels into the form of tarboushes, using the books “Palace Walk” (Bayn al-Qasrain), “Palace of Desire” (Qasr al-Shawq) and “Sugar Street” (Al-Sukkariyya).

Through his exhibition, the artist tries to bridge between past and present by focusing on the tarboush, a brimless hat worn in Egypt until the early 20th century.

Carmine Cartolano, known as Qarm Qart, is an Italian artist, author and teacher based in Egypt since 1999. In the beginning, he worked as an Italian teacher at the Italian Cultural Institute and also gave classes at the Don Bosco Institute.

He first showed his talent in art when he offered to help his Italian friend and present two of his photographs for his exhibition at Mashrabia Gallery. As he grabbed his friend’s attention during the first exhibition, they worked together for a second exhibition, “2Kitching”. His first solo exhibition was in 2011, entitled “If”. ]]>
5/23/2018 3:33:18 PM
<![CDATA['Hal Hilalik' ceremony to be held on Wednesday ]]>
“Hal Hilalik” ceremony is held for the third time; many intellectuals and Egyptian actors will attend the ceremony.

Cairo Opera House usually holds ceremonies and Ramadan Nights in the course of Ramadan.

To celebrate Ramadan this year, 42 events presented by several Arab and Islamic countries will take place, including a performance by Syrian Sufi band Al Radwan.

Al Radwan specializes in chanting Islamic songs common among Sufis; they are set to perform during the launch of the program on Thursday, May 24 at 9 p.m.

Food and “sohour” (last meal prior to fasting) will be served while the group recites songs that praise Allah and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Al Radwan, led by Abdel Kader al-Merashly, is also known for organizing gatherings with poets and fans to meet and exchange poems and knowledge about religious poetry. ]]>
5/23/2018 2:18:33 PM
<![CDATA[ADEF to hold festival on arts and technology in June]]>
The program will include various workshops on caricature, drawing, visual design, music, video and contemporary art, along with more tech-related workshops.

The festival will also present different music performances featuring the bands Ehab Hip Hop, Hassaballah, 2 on the Mic and DJ Ali.

ADEF is a foundation based in Moqattam for art practitioners, writers and researchers aiming to develop the skills, talents and critical thought of young people through courses, films and arts events. It also has sound studios, a performance hall, a computer area and a hacker space.

ADEF held in November a special program that features films that explore the relationship between cinema and psychoanalysis, screening films that show a direct exploration of human psychology which allow room for the viewers to interpret and create meaning behind the events that occur.]]>
5/23/2018 2:10:22 PM
<![CDATA[Kazakhstan hopes actress's Cannes win will inspire local talent]]>
Yeslyamova -- who won the prize for her portrayal of a Central Asian single mother struggling for survival in Russia in the film "Ayka" -- is not a complete unknown in the country. But nor was she a household name until now.

"It's a cause for great celebration, but also regret," said Ermek Tursunov, a film director who lives in Kazakhstan's largest city Almaty.

"The lead actress in this film was an ethnic Kazakh girl from northern Kazakhstan, the director an ethnic Russian from southern Kazakhstan," he told AFP.

"But it was not a Kazakh film. It was a Russian film."

While a small, private Kazakh studio was among those that participated in the making of the film, funding came from the Russian culture ministry as well as the Council of Europe and the Polish film institute.

Although oil-rich Kazakhstan had a proud filmmaking tradition during Soviet times, it is better known these days for its portrayal in Sacha Baron Cohen's off-colour mockumentary "Borat".

- Kazakhstan's Tarantino and Thurman? -

The relationship between Yeslyamova, 33, and director Sergey Dvortsevoy, 55, has been likened by at least one Kazakh website to the partnership between Hollywood duo Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman.

Dvortsevoy hails from the southern town of Shymkent, which has stronger cultural links to Uzbekistan than to its northern neighbour Russia.

Yeslyamova, whose achievement is unprecedented in Kazakhstan, comes from a village near the Russian border and went to college in Petropavlovsk, a town where ethnic Slavs still form the majority population.

The pair met during casting for "Tulpan" -- a film set in the Kazakh countryside and filmed in scorching conditions which entered Cannes in 2008 and won the "Un Certain Regard" category, reserved for emerging directors or unexpected or marginal themes.

As they flew into the capital on Tuesday, Yeslyamova and Dvortsevoy were met at Astana's Nursultan Nazarbayev airport by a youthful crowd that serenaded her with a national ballad.

- Spark of inspiration -

While both private and state-owned studios in Kazakhstan have vastly increased their output in recent years, critics say that quality has not always followed on from quantity.

In recent years, the most prominent titles have been nation-building epics, with big-budget picture "Nomad" featuring American actor Jason Scott Lee proving a relative flop in 2007, drawing criticism for wasting money.

Another noted film was "The Sky of My Childhood" (2011) which looked at the early years of Nazarbayev's reign and the country's Soviet past.

There have also been a string of comedies in both Kazakh and Russian, aimed at the domestic market.

In a country of 17 million with a large rural population, that market is relatively small.

Ainur Isayeva, spokeswoman for Kazakhfilm, said Kazakhstan was "incredibly happy" Yeslyamova took the best actress gong and hoped her success at Cannes would "provide a spark" for other local filmmakers and actors.

Kazakhfilm, the state-owned studio which still produces most of the country's films, was represented at Cannes by Adilkhan Yerzhanov's "The Gentle Indifference of the World" which it co-produced with a private studio in Paris.

"For us, the fact we were at Cannes with that film was already an achievement," she told AFP by telephone.

- Censorship, funding shortage -

But critics say censorship is still an issue in the local industry, with the authoritarian government preferring uplifting plotlines to tales of woe.

And film critic Tolegen Baitukenov says directors often "struggle in the search for finances" for productions which could be seen as showing the country in a negative light.

Even those that do win some recognition abroad don't always make it onto the big screen back home, he says, pointing to "Sveta", a compelling horror film about a deaf-mute family facing foreclosure on their home.

"As far as I know, there is a question mark over whether anyone here will show it," he told AFP.

"Films that explore major social and political problems, the types explored by Polish filmmakers Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Zanussi -- you don't see those kind of pictures here at all," says Tursunov.

"Cinema is a mirror of the country. When the country improves, so will our film industry."]]>
5/23/2018 10:01:30 AM
<![CDATA[DJ Avicii's funeral to be 'private': family]]>
The musician, whose real name was Tim Bergling, was found dead on April 20 in Muscat, the capital of the Gulf sultanate Oman, where he had been on holiday with friends.

In a statement, his family confirmed that "the funeral will be private, in the presence of the people who were closest to Tim", without specifying the date or location.

The family said in an open letter last month that Avicii "wanted peace" and "could not go on any longer".

"He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness," they wrote in the letter, seen by AFP.

Avicii had made no secret of his health problems, including pancreatitis, triggered in part by excessive drinking linked to his party lifestyle.

In 2016, he stunned fans by announcing his retirement when he was just 26, saying that he wanted to leave the high-flying electronic music lifestyle.

Avicii was among the first DJs to break through into the mainstream with his hit songs "Wake Me Up" and "Levels" as electronic dance music grew over the past decade from nightclubs to Top 40 radio.]]>
5/23/2018 9:56:11 AM
<![CDATA[American literary giant Philip Roth dead at 85]]>
Roth's death on Tuesday, first reported by the New Yorker and The New York Times, was later confirmed by Roth's literary agent Andrew Wylie. He said the cause was congestive heart failure.

Roth won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his acclaimed novel "American Pastoral."

"I'm in a state of shock. I'm stunned and speechless. He was a truth teller," Roth's friend Judith Thurman, also a writer, said.

A prolific essayist and critic, Roth was best known for mining the Jewish-American experience in his work.

He first achieved fame for his 1969 novel "Portnoy's Complaint," about a horny teenager named Alexander Portnoy.

His titanic stature on the post-World War II literary scene came from the universality of his message -- in his own words: "I don't write Jewish, I write American."

He long managed to sustain his literary output both in terms of quality as well as quantity, as exemplified by his widely admired political trilogy that included "American Pastoral", "I Married a Communist" (1998) and "The Human Stain" (2000).

The decorated author won most top literary honors but the coveted Nobel Literature Prize eluded him.

The Swedish Academy announced earlier this month there will be no Nobel Literature Prize this year in the wake of a crisis stemming from the anti-sexual harassment #MeToo campaign.

- 'Done with fiction' -

Philip Milton Roth was born on March 19, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey, the grandson of European Jews who were part of the 19th-century wave of immigration to the United States.

In 2012, Roth said that his most recent book, "Nemesis," published two years earlier, would be his last, after having reread all his books.

"I decided that I was done with fiction," he said.

"I don't want to read any more of it, write any more of it, and I don't even want to talk about it anymore... It's enough. I no longer feel this dedication to write what I have experienced my whole life."

Thurman said that after he stopped writing Roth spent his free time reading and swimming, and meeting friends.

"He was such a driven perfectionist, so when he felt his power ebbing, he wanted to quit at the top of his game, and he did," she said.

Roth said he was worn out in an interview this year with The New York Times.

"I was by this time no longer in possession of the mental vitality or the physical fitness needed to mount and sustain a large creative attack of any duration," Roth said.

The newspaper remembered Roth as "a passionate student of American history and the American vernacular. And more than just about any other writer of his time he was tireless in his exploration of male sexuality."]]>
5/23/2018 9:53:04 AM
<![CDATA[Tamer Hosny releases campaign song for 57357 Hospital]]>


This song was previously released by Hosny in 2014, but he changed its words and musical distribution to fit being the hospital’s campaign song. Hosny donated all his pay to 57357 Hospital to buy a room equipped with the latest equipment in the world for the treatment of cancer patients. The room at 57357 Hospital bears his name and image in honour of his charity.

Hosny is a singer, songwriter, composer and actor. He began his musical career in 2002 when he released his first album. His romantic music has made him "the star of the generation", a name given to him by his fans.

Hosny won many awards, such as the Best Selling Album in 2002 from the Nile Variety channel, Best Arab Artist at Murex D’or in 2014 and 2016, and Best Arab Artist at the Middle East Music Awards in 2015. He is also the first Arab artist to get more than 100 million views on Anghami.

Hosny is currently shooting his new movie “El Badla” (The Suit). He plays the role of a police officer who finds himself involved in a number of critical situations due to the nature of his job. “El Badla” stars Amina Khalil, Maged el-Masry, Dalal Abdel Aziz, Hassan Hosny and Mai Kassab, among others. The movie is written by Ayman Bahagat Kamar and directed by Mando el-Adl.

Hosny’s latest movie, “Tesbah Ala Kheir” (Good Night), is an Egyptian romance movie starring Lebanese actress Nour, Tunisian actress Dorra and Egyptian actress Mai Omar. It was directed and written by Mohamed Sami and produced by Walid Mansour and Talent Media Production.

“Tesbah Ala Kheir” is a movie about a millionaire named Hossam el-Khedawy, portrayed by Hosny, who is gripped with depression due to his wife’s infertility. A software professional, portrayed by Omar, who invented a dream machine, contacts him to offer him a deal. Even though the deal seems simple at first, the situation quickly becomes more complex.

Hosny performed a concert in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for the first time on Friday, March 30. The concert witnessed the attendance of thousands of Saudis, about 90 percent of whom were women.

Hosny performed on a massive stage, where the audience seats were red, white or black – the three colors of Egypt’s flag. The concert was organised under the auspices of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, which stated that Hosny was chosen to perform such a huge concert because of his popularity among all Saudis.

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5/22/2018 4:22:57 PM
<![CDATA[Russia's 'circus for delinquents' comes of age]]>
The Upsala Circus "for delinquents" has also just won a top theatre prize, despite hostility from some state authorities.

"All children and especially children at risk need something interesting, something 'cool' to give them energy and a desire to change their life," said Larisa Afanasyeva, the founder and artistic director of Upsala.

She started the circus almost two decades ago to offer vulnerable young people a chance to develop their talents, in a country with only basic provision for orphans or the disabled.

Around 70 children who are from poor families, orphans or disabled currently come to the circus company's tent in north Saint Petersburg to prepare shows of mostly acrobatics, some 45 each year.

A performance by children with Down Syndrome last month won a prize at the 'Golden Mask' awards which usually acknowledge the glitzy high-end of Moscow theatre.

The company has come a long way since Afanasyeva set it up in 2000 along with a German student, Astrid Shorn.

Back then the two young women had nothing but their drive to help some of the most vulnerable in Russian society.

Upsala Circus had no proper rehearsal space so the troupe got together in the parks and squares of Russia's second city.

Finally having a big top was a "dream come true", making a huge difference for the young performers, said Afanasyeva.

Upsala had managed to buy the tent, which incorporates a main arena and a rehearsal space, five years ago thanks to private sponsors. The circus receives no state funds.

The walls are decorated with humorous graffiti, with one slogan reading: "If you don't behave yourself, we'll send you to join the circus".

- 'Freedom is scary' -

"I met Larisa and Astrid when they were monocycling around the embankment" in Saint Petersburg, recalled Nikolai Grudino, now aged 25, of his first encounter with the circus founders as a 10-year-old.

"It was a very hard time for my family and I preferred to spend my time out of the house.

"But after I met Larisa, I realised it was more interesting to be in the circus than to hang about in the street," he said, adding that the circus had turned him from a "delinquent" into an artist.

But despite its success, Afanasyeva has the impression the project is "not moving forward", largely because of hostility from some who run state services such as orphanages.

"It was easier when we were starting out in the early 2000s. Back then everything was more open. Now there are too many rules, too many things you can't do," she told AFP.

Orphanages are keen for their charges to take part in more wholesome or "patriotic" activities, she said.

"We teach the children to be free and that's a scary prospect.

"(The authorities) just want the children to stay out of trouble, but we are talking about freedom and art."]]>
5/22/2018 4:04:59 PM
<![CDATA[First violins imitated human voices: study]]>
Researchers at National Taiwan University asked a professional violinist to play 15 antique instruments, including one from 1570 by Andrea Amati, the early 16th-century luthier from Cremony, Italy who is considered to be the father of the modern four-string violin.

Others played in the study were from the Stradivarius family, conceived by Antonio Stradivari, who improved upon Amati's design.

First, researchers recorded scales played on the 15 antique instruments played by a professional violinist and recorded at Taiwan's Chimei Museum.

Then, they recorded the voices of eight men and eight women, ranging in age from 16 to 30 years, who sang common English vowels.

Performing a thorough acoustic analysis, they found that an Amati violin dating to 1570 and a Gasparo da Salo violin dating to 1560 mimicked the basses and baritones of male singers, "raising the possibility that master violinmakers from this period may have designed violins to emulate male voices," said the report.

"In contrast, Stradivari violins were marked by elevated formants, making them relatively more similar to female voices," such as tenors and altos, the researchers added.

"These properties may explain the characteristic brilliance of Stradivari violins."]]>
5/22/2018 3:59:09 PM
<![CDATA[Barack and Michelle Obama sign Netflix production deal]]>
The former first couple have launched Higher Ground Productions to produce a variety of content for the video streamer, possibly including scripted series, documentaries and features.

"One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience," Obama, who served two terms in the White House from 2009, said in a statement.

"That's why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix. We hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world."

The Obamas already have a large social media presence -- a combined 150 million followers on Twitter and Instagram -- but the deal will see their influence boosted significantly by Netflix's 125 million subscribers in 190 countries.

"Barack and Michelle Obama are among the world's most respected and highly-recognized public figures and are uniquely positioned to discover and highlight stories of people who make a difference in their communities and strive to change the world for the better," said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos.

The statement didn't discuss money, but their time in the White House has already begun to reap lucrative dividends for the Obamas, who negotiated book deals last year reportedly worth more than $60 million.

A much-awaited memoir by Michelle Obama is due to be released on November 13, publisher Penguin Random House said in February, describing her as "one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era."

The Obamas met while he was an intern and she his adviser at a Chicago law firm, and they were soon married. She became his closest confidante during his political rise.

Michelle used her influence as one of the world's most high-profile public figures to advocate for the rights of women and girls and campaigned for Americans to live healthier lives.

The Obamas are not planning to use Netflix to counter President Donald Trump or other conservatives, but will focus instead on "storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others," the former first lady said.]]>
5/22/2018 3:55:15 PM
<![CDATA[Two master scenes dazzle audience in ‘Dedd Maghoul’]]>


The first scene was the rape and murder of Reem, while the second was of Nada washing and burying her daughter. She remembered the most beautiful moments with her and then kissed her hand and head.The scene contained that painful contradiction between washing her when she was a baby versus washing her corpse now. Most of the audience commented on the second scene by highly praising the dazzling performance of Abdel Razek, who succeeded in reflecting her deep sorrow and grief as a mother who lost her only daughter forever.



“Dedd Maghoul” revolves around Nada, a married middle-class banker who faces problems with her husband because of her time-consuming job. After they divorce, their daughter is raped and Nada decides to find the perpetrator herself. Hanan Motawe’, Rogina and Feras Said co-star in this suspense drama directed by Tarek Refaat and written by Ayman Salama.
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5/22/2018 2:30:51 PM
<![CDATA[Al Radwan to perform at Cairo Opera House’s Ramadan Nights]]>
The Syrian Sufi band Al Radwan is set to perform during the launch of the program. The band specializes in singing Islamic songs common among Sufis.

Food and “sohour” (last meal prior to fasting) will be served while the group recites songs that praise Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Al Radwan, led by Abdel Kader Al-Merashly, is also known for organizing gatherings with poets and fans to meet and exchange poems and knowledge of religious poetry.

The group is also known for blending modern styles of music with the traditional standards followed in the past, without offending the laws or boundaries commonly followed when it comes to Islamic musical compositions.

Al Radwan was founded in Damascus, Syria in 1980 by Merashly, a famous Sufi reciter in Syria who follows the Shadhili and Rifa’i Sufi orders. ]]>
5/22/2018 12:46:27 PM
<![CDATA[Now 57, romcom star Hugh Grant finally getting married]]>
Wedding banns for 57-year-old Grant and Anna Eberstein, 39, were published at the registry office of Chelsea Old Town Hall near the couple's home in Notting Hill.

"This is a day none of Hugh's friends ever thought would come," The Sun quoted a source as saying.

"He will soon be a pensioner and has finally become a family man," the source told the tabloid.

The wedding is to take place in the coming weeks.

Grant and Eberstein already have three children. He also had two children with former partner Tinglan Hong following a long relationship with actress Liz Hurley.

The British actor has been a leading privacy campaigner after his phone was hacked by Mirror Group reporters and he received a six-figure compensation earlier this year.

He received rave reviews on Monday for his performance as British politician Jeremy Thorpe, who was tried in 1979 for conspiring to murder his boyfriend, in the TV series "A Very English Scandal".]]>
5/22/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Sharmoofers to perform Ramadan concert in Jordan June 1]]>
This is the second concert for Sharmoofers in Jordan, after performing the first in Amman in early May.

Sharmoofers is a musical project consisting of lead singer Ahmed Bahaa, Moe El-3rkan and Ezz Shahwan. Starting off online, the band’s music has managed to reach millions, and they have more than 588,000 followers on Facebook and are growing more popular on social media.

They first performed on Bassem Youssef's “Bernameg” show in 2013 and then performed live at a concert at Al-Azhar Park in 2014. Sharmoofers surprised their fans recently after releasing their first romantic song, titled “Moftaked el Haniba” (I Miss a Lover), including a video featuring famous Egyptian actress Yasmine Raeis.


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5/21/2018 4:57:53 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Saudi Arabia probe boosting cooperation in antiquities, heritage fields]]>
The meeting covered cooperation between the two sides in the fields of antiquities and museums as well as training archaeologists, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Dr Mostafa Waziri said.

They also discussed establishing exhibitions of Islamic art in Cairo and Riyadh to create more opportunities of cultural exchange, Head of the Museums Sector Elham Salah said.



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5/21/2018 4:55:23 PM
<![CDATA[Six Ramadan soap operas tackle terrorism, extremism]]>
“Amr Wakea” (Matter of Fact)


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Famous Egyptian actor Karim Fahmy performs the role of a police officer combating terrorism who is assigned to thwart a terrorist operation before it occurs. The series stars Reem Mustafa, Ahmed Wafik, Nabil el-Halafawy, Noha Abdeen, Mallak Koura and others. “Amr Wakea” is written by Mohamed Refaat and directed by Magdy el Samiry.

“Malika”

malika

In “Malika”, terrorism is one of the important storylines that intersect with Malika’s story. The series revolves around a terrorist facing a lot of problems while aiming to conceal his activities. The series stars Dina el Sherbiny, Ramez Amir, Mostafa Fahmy, Nada Bassiouny and others. “Malika” is written by Mohamed Soliman Abdel Malek and directed by Sherif Ismail.

“Al Siham Al Mariqa” (Rogue Arrows)


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“Al Siham Al Mariqa” presents a different view of ISIS and terrorism – through a village whose people suffer from the oppression of terrorist groups. The series stars a notable group of actors from different Arab countries, such as Egyptian actor Sherif Salama, Tunisian actress Aicha ben Ahmed, Lebanese actress Diamand Bou Abboud, Saudi actor Hisham Fageeh and Iraqi actor Kamel Ibrahim, among others. The series is written by Sherine Diab, Mohamed Diab and Khaled Diab and directed by Mahmoud Kamel.

“Nesr El Saeed” (Hawk of Upper Egypt)


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Starring Mohamed Ramadan, Dorra, Sayed Ragab, Wafaa Amer, Dina and Mahmoud El-Leithy, this series revolves around a police officer named Zain, played by Mohamed Ramadan, who combats terrorism in Sinai. He lives in Qena and is married to a Cairene girl (Dorra) against the will of her family. After a fierce confrontation with an Upper Egyptian businessman involved in illegal business, Zain suddenly becomes a prisoner, fighting to prove his innocence. The series is written by Mohamed Abdel Moaty and directed by Yasser Samy.

“Kalabsh: Part II” (Handcuffs: Part II)


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Following his great success last Ramadan, Amir Karara returns as the brave police officer Selim El-Ansari, who is now promoted to supervisor of Aqrab Prison. His life turns upside down when his parents are killed and he is seriously wounded by the killer. Rogina and Hala Fakher co-star in the series, which is written by Baher Diwedar and directed by Peter Mimi. After airing its first episode, “Kalabsh: Part II” achieved the highest number of views on YouTube compared to other Egyptian series, with about 1 million views of the first episode.

“Abu Omar Al-Masry”


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Egyptian lawyer Fakhreldin, played by Ahmed Ezz, founds an association, along with a group of other lawyers, to seek solutions to the problems of modest citizens who cannot afford big-shot lawyers and their excessive fees. However, it is not long until they provoke a member of the security services who wants to stop their dream of an ideal society. After Fakhreldin survives an assassination attempt in which his cousin is killed, he travels to Paris, and then to Sudan, where he becomes the leader of an armed Islamic group and returns for revenge. The series is written by Ezzeldin Shoukry and Mariam Naoum and co-stars Arwa Gouda and Fathy Abdelwahab.

]]>
5/21/2018 4:35:51 PM
<![CDATA[In video: behind the scenes in “Rahim”]]>


Galal performed the dangerous jump in a dazzling way, despite how difficult it was to jump from that tall building roof. The jump stirred a lot of controversy on social media, and many thought that a duplicate performed the jump, not Galal.

“I am proud of the controversy surrounding the jump of Yasser Galal in ‘Rahim’. I would like to say that if we compare the result with an American film that shoots more than 10 times to get the scene they want, we will find that we did a great job in this scene because we work in very tough circumstances; we had more than 10 scenes to shoot that day and we don’t have the luxury of repeating these scenes.

Hats off to the director Mohmed Salama and Galal; and by the way, Galal performed the jump, not a duplicate,” stated Karim Abdel Aziz, the photographer of the jump, on his Facebook page.

Egypt Today presents a funny video from behind the scenes while shooting the fourth episode of “Rahim”, which has managed to grab the attention of the audience from its first episode, because its incidents are fast, interesting and full of suspense.



After his runaway success last Ramadan in “Zel El-Rais” (The President’s Shadow), this year Yasser Galal plays Rahim, an Egyptian businessman who works in money laundering and dollar smuggling.

After a short stint in prison, Rahim discovers his wealth has been seized and his family is gone. In the recent episodes, Rahim managed to find his father and discovered that his brother-in-law stands behind throwing him in prison.

With an unexpected meeting with his ex-fiancée Dalia, a new romantic line is added to the series to spice it up. The series, which co-stars Nour, Mohamed Riad, Hassan Hosny, Rogina and Dina, follows Rahim’s journey of revenge and the quest to locate his family.
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5/21/2018 2:41:22 PM
<![CDATA[Zafer Abdeen Denies: Eugenie Nights and Grand Hotel are not the same]]>
Abdeen further explained that both the shows might have some aspects in common, such as the general decorations used in the filming and costumes.

However, Abdeen stated that the coming episodes are going to prove that both shows are totally different, each offering a different dramatic approach and story.

Star Amina Khalil participates for the first time with Abdeen in a television show, in which he complimented working with her describing her as a special actress.

The director of ‘’ Layali Eugenie ’’ is Hany Khalifa and the scriptwriters are Engy Al Qasim and Sama AbdulKhalek.
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5/21/2018 12:48:09 PM
<![CDATA[A Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction]]>
The guitar, a 1965 Fender Telecaster that belonged to Robbie Robertson, Dylan's guitarist, was used by Dylan, Eric Clapton and George Harrison, Julien's Auctions said Saturday.

It had been expected to fetch between $400,000 and $600,000.

The guitar marked the singer's path from folk stylings like "The Times They Are A-Changin'" (1964), to electric rock, like his 1965 hit "Like a Rolling Stone."

Other famous guitars went under the hammer on Saturday: George Harrison's first electric guitar, a $40,000 Hofner Club 40, and a Fender Telecaster rosewood guitar made for Elvis Presley in 1968, priced at a cool $115,200.

More than 40 years after his death, Elvis items still fetch a handsome price.

A heavily decorated Elvis belt, which he wore during a concert in Hawaii in 1972, sold for $354,400.

A star-shaped diamond ring donated by Elvis to an admirer at a concert in 1975 brought in a sparkly $100,000.

The sale also included show costumes that belonged to artists from Elton John, to Britney Spears and Michael Jackson.

A leather jacket and pants suit from the late "Thriller" singer, with a yellow shirt, brought in $217,600, Julien said.]]>
5/21/2018 11:36:04 AM
<![CDATA[Childish Gambino: America's new favorite Donald?]]>
"Trump? Glover? I mean, are we going in order? Trump, Duck and then Glover," he asks.

Whisper it in Alabama, Kentucky or Oklahoma -- shout it in his home state of Georgia -- but the answer is Glover, not Trump, and entertainment's latest Renaissance man looks pleasantly surprised.

An accomplished actor, Glover is better known to rapt teenagers the world over as US hip hop phenomenon Childish Gambino.

"Oh, wow. I did it," he laughs, practicing the ear-to-ear grin he'll need if he ever adds an Oscar or a Tony to a trophy cabinet already groaning under the weight of Emmys, Golden Globes and a Grammy Award.

It has been quite a week for the 34-year-old actor, writer, producer, director, rapper, singer, DJ and comedian as he sits down with AFP to discuss his role as a young Lando Calrissian in "Solo: A Star Wars Story."

At the time of the interview, Glover's latest graphic music video "This is America" had racked up 100 million views in a week on YouTube, with its powerful takes on gun violence, racism and police brutality.

Every entertainment publication worth its salt has contributed to the white noise on what the enigmatic Glover could possibly have meant and how to interpret his edgy imagery.

"I haven't been on the internet since last Thursday," the normally prolific Twitterer laughs, adding that he prefers just to enjoy the moment and leave the navel-gazing to others.

- Galaxy's sexiest gambler -

As the awards roll in, Glover guards against reveling too much in past successes or daydreaming of possible future glories because a showbusiness career is "kind of like surfing."

"You just take that wave and that pulse and you just let it carry you," he says in his phlegmatic, not-quite-Southern drawl.

"Because it's like freestyling in any art form: the second we start thinking, 'Man, I'm really doing it,' you'll start to mess up."

Glover has tried his hand at sketch and stand-up comedy, been a writer on "30 Rock," an actor on "Community" and head writer, occasional director and star of acclaimed FX comedy "Atlanta."

Previously just a promising actor with small but impactful parts in "The Martian" and "Spider-Man: Homecoming," Glover's turn as the galaxy's sexiest gambler in "Solo" has elevated him to global superstardom.

Next up is another huge, iconic movie role, as Simba in Jon Favreau's live-action version of "The Lion King," not to mention a fourth and final Childish Gambino album.

He has been a fan favorite pretty much from the moment the first "Solo" trailer dropped, and Lucasfilm has said that a standalone Lando movie might happen one day -- but not any time soon.

Glover -- who divides his time between Atlanta, a couch at his studio in Los Angeles and the Hawaiian island of Kauai -- was at his brother's house when he got the top secret news that he'd landed the part.

He celebrated by getting a pizza, going home and watching "The Empire Strikes Back." But he couldn't keep his excitement from his father, with whom he shares a first name and a deep love of all things "Star Wars."

- Like a 'Springsteen song' -

"They were like, 'You can't tell anybody,' but I had to tell my dad. I felt like I would be betraying him if I didn't. I wouldn't have the part without him," Glover recalls.

The "Solo" script impressed, says Glover, because it featured not just rich, privileged, swashbuckling adventurers, but also the kind of unsung, everyday heroes who make society work.

"I love it because I think it's an honest reflection of, like, in order for you to have this nice fancy party with all this food, all that stuff, somebody is slaving away somewhere else," he says.

"They're working hard. And I just love that, and I think that theme is also in 'Atlanta.' There's an outside world that we're trying to get to. And right now, we're on the bottom."

For Glover, the most interesting aspect of the origin story of Han Solo and his childhood crush Qi'ra -- played by Alden Ehrenreich and Emilia Clarke -- is the extent to which people compromise their values to get a seat at the top table.

"It becomes 'you or them' at a certain point. And I think that's why I like this movie so much, because Han learns that. He's so naive and sweet at the beginning," he says.

"He's like... a Bruce Springsteen song: 'I'm gonna get outta this town, take my girl and we're going to fly into space.' And it's like, 'Yeah, it's not that simple.' Things change and you grow up."

"Solo: A Star Wars Story" hits US theaters on Friday.]]>
5/21/2018 11:29:35 AM
<![CDATA[Monet sister paintings reunited in US for first time]]>
Monet moved to this village in the Paris suburbs in 1878 with his sickened wife Camille and their two young children as they faced financial difficulties, along with the family of one-time patron Ernest Hoschede.

The period that ensued was one of the most prolific for the French Impressionist, who produced in just three years nearly 300 paintings, including "The Artist's Garden at Vetheuil" (1881).

Until August 8, the National Gallery of Art is presenting two of four known works of this lush summer scene with huge sunflowers, including its own, larger piece and another temporarily on loan from California's Norton Simon Museum.

"It's a turning point in terms of his career, his struggles, he's turning more toward landscape, he's becoming more interested in atmospheric effects," National Gallery curator of 19th century French paintings Kimberly Jones said in an interview.

The Norton Simon's version, believed to have served as a model for its companion, is more heavily worked in most areas.

New findings -

"Before these two pictures were together, we always described the handling of this one as quite loose because we didn't have another example, and we had always believed ours was a study for the larger picture," said Norton Simon assistant curator Emily Talbot
"All of the things that have been published about these two pictures we're starting to question just by having them in the same space."

Where Monet layered meridian green thickly on top of cobalt blue to give more interest to the sky in the Norton Simon's picture, in the companion piece it's defined instead by contrasts of thick and thin, and patches of exposed canvas ground.

The National Gallery's senior conservator of paintings Ann Hoenigswald spent months removing a discolored natural resin varnish from the museum's masterpiece that had flattened the work visually.

"The minute I got the varnish off, it just soared," she said.

"What I find really exciting is the energy of the brushwork. You see the richness of the impasto and the speed at which he moves his brush across, and all the bristles of the brush, or a little lip of paint that just comes straggling there."

It was not until almost 10 years later, in 1890, that Monet began painting formal series each comprised of dozens of works depicting a single subject -- the Rouen Cathedral, London's Houses of Parliament or water lilies -- at different seasons or times of the day usually from the same vantage point.

The garden proto-series "could be the germ of an idea that's just starting to develop in his mind," said Jones.
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5/21/2018 11:26:13 AM
<![CDATA[Box Office: 'Deadpool 2' Propels to $125 Million Opening]]>
The Marvel Comics film from 20th Century Fox debuted in North American with $125 million in 4,349 locations. That wasn't enough to match the debut of its predecessor, 2016's "Deadpool," which had the biggest opening ever for an R-rated film with $132.4 million. The Ryan Reynolds-starrer bowed overseas with $176 million for a global weekend total of $301 million.

Although it debuted under estimates, "Deadpool 2's" launch was nothing to complain about. It still secured the second-best opening for an R-rated film, as well as the third-biggest debut of the year behind Marvel blockbusters "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Black Panther." It also secured Fox its second-highest opening weekend in history.

The sequel is still boasting a strong critical consensus, with an 84 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating and an A CinemaScore.

Its opening was enough to crush "Avengers: Infinity War's" reign on the domestic box office. After securing the No. 1 spot for three weeks, the Disney and Marvel superhero tentpole dropped to second place. Its fourth weekend haul was still impressive, reeling in $29 million from 4,002 screens. "Infinity War's" domestic tally currently sits at $595.4 million.

"Infinity War" was followed by Paramount Pictures' new release, "Book Club." The romantic comedy -- starring Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen -- came in slightly ahead of expectations, earning $12.3 million on 2,781 screens.

The weekend's other newcomer, Global Road Entertainment's "Show Dogs," landed in sixth place, only digging up $6 million from 3,212 locations. The family-friendly comedy garnered an A CinemaScore. Its Rotten Tomatoes critical score didn't fare quite as well, averaging a 26 percent.

Rounding out the top five is two film's sophomore frames. Warner Bros.' "Life of the Party" rallied in $7.5 million from 3,656 locations. Domestically, it has made $30.9 million. Universal's "Breaking In" secured $6.5 million on 2,537 screens. In two weeks, it's earned $28.8 million.

In the specialty market, Focus Features' "Pope Francis - A Man of His Word" opened with $480,000 on 346 screens for a per screen average of $1,389.

"RBG," the documentary on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is still holding strong. In its third weekend, it expanded to 375 locations for a three-day total of $1.28 million. That's a per screen average of $3,413. Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media co-produced the film with Storyville Films and CNN Films.

Thanks to a trio of superhero powerhouses, the domestic box office is up 6.3 percent from 2017, according to comScore. The weekend-to-date is up a staggering 62.9 percent, compared to 2017 when "Alien: Covenant" was the No. 1 film.

"A crowded powerhouse of a mid-May weekend benefited from a very diverse lineup of newcomers to appeal to almost every taste and demographic," Paul Dergarabedian, box office analysis at comScore, said.

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Actress Morena Baccarin poses on the red carpet during the premiere of "Deadpool 2" in Manhattan, New York, U.S., May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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Actor Josh Brolin poses on the red carpet during the premiere of "Deadpool 2" in Manhattan, New York, U.S., May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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Actor Ryan Reynolds and his wife Blake Lively pose on the red carpet during the premiere of "Deadpool 2" in Manhattan, New York, U.S., May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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5/21/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[ON channels network refutes Sudan's allegations over 'Abu Omar Al Masry']]>
"The series script was written based on the scriptwriter's imagination and does not contain scenes or hints against the Sudanese government or the Sudanese people; the series has nothing to do with the Egyptian political stances towards Sudan. Egypt is always keen to strengthen its relation with the Sudanese government and its friendly people," ON’s statement reads.

ON added in its statement that the creators of the series are well aware of the important role art plays in bringing people together rather than stirring up crises among them, stressing the importance of the strategic partnership between Egypt and Sudan and the vitality of strengthening brotherly ties between the two countries, maximizing areas of mutual cooperation.

"The two countries share a long history of strong relations on the social, cultural, political and economic levels," said ON’s statement.

This comes after the Sudanese Foreign Ministry summoned the Egyptian ambassador in Khartoum Saturday to protest the Egyptian series "Abu Omar Al Masry", broadcasted currently by ON E satellite channel.

The Sudanese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Gareeb Allah Khedr, said that the Egyptian Ramadan drama conveys a negative image about Sudan, portraying it as a country that hosts Egyptian terrorists.

On the other hand, “Abu Omar Al Masry” makers refuted all the Sudanese accusations in a press statement issued Saturday, stating that the series is based on a fictional scenario that does not intend to link Sudan to terrorism.

The series revolves around an Egyptian lawyer named Fakhreldin, played by prominent actor Ahmed Ezz, who founds an association, along with a group of other lawyers, to provide solutions to the problems of modest citizens who cannot afford big-shot lawyers. However, it is not long until they provoke a member of the security service who ruins their dreams of an ideal society. After Fakhreldin survives an assassination attempt in which his cousin is killed, he travels to Paris; then to Sudan where he becomes the leader of an armed Islamic group and returns for revenge. The series is written by Ezzedine Shoukry Fishere and Mariam Naoum and co-stars Arwa Gouda and Fathy Abdel Wahab. ]]>
5/20/2018 5:39:37 PM
<![CDATA[Netflix launches program to promote its Ramadan series]]>
Netlfix brings to its viewers this Ramadan a collection of Arabic movies and series for all binge-watchers.

"Kteer Kbeer" Very Big Shot

The 2015 Lebanese film is directed and written by Mir-Jean BouChaaya. It revolves around brothers Ziad and (Alain Saadeh) and Joe (Tarek Yaacoub), who run a small drug dealing business through their pizzeria at one of Beirut’s working class districts.

Their third brother, Jad, has been serving five years in prison for a crime committed by his brother Ziad. Ziad could convince his brothers to take on the last job and run one last shipment of drugs to Syria before retiring from this life of crime, but when things went out of control in Syria they found themselves with a huge quantity of drugs.

The film made its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival in 2015, and won the Golden Star Prize at Marrakech Film Festival.

"Inshallah Istafadit" (Blessed Benefit)

Released in August 2017 in Germany, the comedy and drama film casts light on Jordan’s friendly prison system; when an elderly contractor is sentenced to three months in prison over a minor fraud charge, he could meet new people there. He realized at the end that his life in prison was better than the one he had outside.

The movie, directed by Mahmoud al Massad, participated in Cannes Film Festival in 2012, and received the Shasha Script Award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in 2011, Best Pitching Project ARTE in 2011, and the Global Film Initiative Award in 2012.

"Hajwala: The Missing Engine"

The adventure-driven movie, released across the UAE on September 29, 2016, follows the often illegal street car racing, through Khaled, who is fond of it to the extent that he decided to make his own car with a never before powerful engine.

"Zinzana" (Rattle the Cage)

The Kuwaiti film, released in 2015, was selected for London Film Festival, Beyond Fest, and Fantastic Fest. The crime, drama and thriller film revolves around a man named Talal (SalehBakri), who was trapped in a prison cell (Zinzana). Being behind bars is the least important of Talal's problems, as he is forced to play a madman's game to save his family.

"Just Like Us"

Egyptian American director Ahmed Ahmed’s film, Just Like Us, was an official selection for Tribeca Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, and The London International Documentary Festival.

Ahmed could take the audience on a hilarious tour from Dubai to Beirut and from Riyadh to New York with a gaggle of stand-up talent, exploding taboos of culture and geopolitics.

"Speed Sisters"

The documentary film, released in 2017, shows how powerful Arab girls are as it features the Middle East’s first all-woman street car racing team from Palestine.

"Secret of the Nile"

The Egyptian series "Grand Hotel", known as "Secret of the Nile" on Netflix, has just become the first Arabic series to ever be featured on Netflix.

This series is based on a Spanish show of the same name, thus prompting the Egyptian version’s name to be changed to "The Secret of the Nile" on Netflix.

Netflix has become a global monster, bringing together audiences worldwide to enjoy series from all across the world. And now, with Egypt at the forefront, the world will get a taste of Arab talent with the wildly popular "Grand Hotel" series. English and Greek subtitles ensure the show will reach an even wider audience base.]]>
5/20/2018 5:02:16 PM
<![CDATA[Cairokee to perform their first Ramadan concert in Amman]]>
The most famous underground Egyptian band also performed a grand concert at Cairo Festival City Mall on May 11. The concert that achieved a booming success was organised by Cairokee under their very own brand for the first time, with a main theme: “Cairokee Empire”.

“You are invited to Cairokee’s biggest concert yet, where you will enjoy the band’s famous songs in a dazzling setting on an unparalleled scale,” stated the band’s event on Facebook.

This concert was the first in a series of planned, self-organized concerts, which Cairokee is expected to perform over the upcoming period. “These guys are here to make you rock all night long. So Get Ready,” the event read on Facebook.

Cairokee is one of the most successful bands in Egypt; they are well-known for their folk and indie rock music, as well as their lyrics that tackle social and political issues in the country. The band was founded in 2003, but their hit "Soot al-Horreya" (Voice of Freedom), which they launched online in 2011, took them to another level of fame and placed them among pop stars.

The band released their latest album this past summer by the name “No'ta Beida” (White Dot), which has gone viral and achieved millions of views on YouTube. The whole album was filmed as music videos in a single location, except for their track “El Dinosaur”. The album was made in their style along with different twists that their audience were not used to, but was well-received. ]]>
5/20/2018 4:49:13 PM
<![CDATA[Fadl Shaker's comeback proves too controversial]]>
This comes after a Lebanese military court sentenced Shaker to 15 years in prison in absentia last September after convicting him in connection with a 2013 alleged attack on the Lebanese army that left 18 soldiers dead in the southern city of Sidon.

There were mixed reactions from both the audience and Arab celebrities to the decision of the production company. While some welcomed Shaker's return, seeing it as a triumph of “good over evil”, others regarded it as a “reward for a murderer who has blood on his hands.”

Some singers, such as Wael Gassar, Fares Karam, Melhem Zain, Elissa and Assi Helani, were supportive of Shaker’s return. Meanwhile, others like Ragheb Alama and Rami Ayash were far from impressed, with Ayash tweeting that “he who forgets his duty towards his country and attack its army...deserves falling. And peace to the martyred soldiers.”

However, this was soon brushed aside once the credit song was released on YouTube on May 8, gaining more than 2.3 million views within 10 days, which is an indication that some people have forgiven Shaker and longed for his return.

But the biggest surprise came less than 48 hours after the track’s release, when the Cairo-based production company, AG Group, decided to remove the song from the series, with a press release reiterating their support for Lebanon and its armed forces. This came directly after a campaign against the company, which even saw the mother of one of the killed soldiers appealing on TV for Shaker's removal from the song.

In an interview with an Egyptian TV channel on May 9, Medhat al Adl, co-creator of the series, admitted, “We didn’t study the legal standpoint regarding Fadl Shaker in Lebanon. We basically made our decision from a purely artistic perspective," adding, “It had not occurred to us that his problem still exists.”

“When we learnt that his problem has not been solved and that there are questions over his legal situation, we have decided, out of our respect to the feelings of Lebanese people, to do without the voice of Fadl Shaker that will no longer be present in the trailer of the series,” Adl continued.

Shaker was quoted as saying he was surprised at the move. Egyptian TV stalwart Wael al Ebrashi said he had called the singer, who denied the charges against him. “He criticized what he termed as the producing company’s bowing to critics,” Ebrashi said, going on to insinuate that Shaker is the victim of political and sectarian conflict, and suggesting that Hezbollah and pro-Assad supporters in Lebanon are actually the ones behind Shaker's situation and his dismissal.

In 2012, Shaker quit his music career on religious grounds, claiming that singing is “haram” (religiously forbidden), which upset his colleagues and fellow singers. Soon afterwards, Shaker changed his name to Hajj Shaker and allegedly went on to pledge allegiance to Lebanese cleric Ahmed al Assir.

His decision to take up arms with Assir’s supporters in 2013 in clashes against the Lebanese army led to 18 soldiers being killed and resulted in Shaker being sentenced in-absentia to 15 years in prison with hard labor, a fine of LBP 800,000 ($529) and was stripped off his civil rights.

Ever since, Shaker has been spotted sporadically at events, including performing religiously inspired songs in Ain Al Hilweh, a Palestinian refugee camp located within a buffer zone inaccessible to the Lebanese military.

Shaker appeared on a local TV station sporting a beard typical of ultra-conservative Salafists. He was also seen in pictures and videos with Islamist militants. Shaker has always denied all the accusations against him, and in an interview with the Lebanese TV channel MTV two years ago, he insisted that he does not belong or adhere to any political or religious group and that his relationship with Assir does not go beyond the fact that Shaker prays at a mosque where Assir preaches.

Shaker also insisted that the arms he was holding in all the attributed videos were licensed by the Lebanese military intelligence, and he never used them except in self defense after a brigade from Hezbollah launched a militant attack against Shaker's village and ransacked his home, stealing more than $940,000 and then torching it, according to Shaker. He went on to say that not a single bullet was triggered by him, but he was shot at, along with Assir's men, by Hezbollah, due to the ongoing conflict between the two groups.

The whereabouts of Shaker are still unknown. The producers said they had contracted Shaker for the theme song through his son.

Born in the Lebanese city of Sidon, Shaker was discovered by the record label Stallions Company in 1997 and shot to fame in 1998 with his hit “Meeta” (When), which earned him the name “King of Romance” and made him a heartthrob in the Arab region, as well as cementing his place as a leading pop star. He went on to release more hits, in addition to performing international stages, alongside pop stars like Mariah Carey and Jimmy Cliff.

The whole situation is rather baffling and could have been avoided. If the reason behind choosing Shaker for the credit song is purely artistic, then surely any company would check the criminal record of any employee it would hire, let alone someone as famous as Shaker, whose reputation has been in question for the past few years. For AG Group to then withdraw the song due to “learning new facts” raises the question of the company's professionalism; surely a big, renowned company like AG Group does not get its information from social media, but has an HR or research team.

Whether it is political pressure or public demand, it seems that the big awaited return of Shaker is still too soon for some who have yet to forgive him or forget his actions. Although the song has now been replaced with just music, the series is guaranteed publicity because of this debacle, as people were talking about it before it even aired.]]>
5/20/2018 2:58:14 PM
<![CDATA[Never lie to children, says Japanese animation master]]>
But he admits he wasn't the greatest father in the world to his first child. And his wife told him so.

"When my son was born I was working on 'The Boy and the Beast' and I was hardly at home. I relied an awful lot on my wife," Hosoda told AFP as he premiered his charming new movie "Mirai, My Little Sister" at the Cannes film festival.

"My wife still says that she brought my son up on her own. So she said to me, 'Are you going to be the same for the second child?'

"That really made me think. I wanted to bring up the children, so I changed," said the director whose films regularly top the box office in Japan and beyond.

The result is "Mirai", an often hilarious study of overstretched parents and toddler temper tantrums that came out of the time Hosoda tried to work at home after the birth of his daughter.

"A lot of what you see in the film really happened," Hosoda admitted, "especially after our second child was born. The stuff between the children and the conversations between the couple are very close to our experience."

Indeed, the antics of the film's four-year-old hero, Kun, who is sent into a spiral of jealousy by the arrival of his little sister, will ring bells with most parents.

- Hapless 'new man' -

As will the strains parenthood can put on couples, as the architect father agrees to work from home while the busy executive mother tries to make up for lost time at work.

Failing completely to balance the household chores, the father further irritates his wife by pretending to be the perfect new man in front of their admiring neighbours.

Trying not to fight in front of the children is one thing, but we should not lie to them either, Hosoda believes.

"If in the film you see the parents saying what they really think in some situations, it is because I did not want to lie to children. I wanted them to know what adults think. Maybe that is why it amuses the grown-ups so much," he said.

"If you want children to trust you, you should not lie to them. Long ago parents played the role of being the parent. Today that game no longer works, because the family has changed a lot."

"Japan may seem like a conservative country but the roles within a couple, and what constitutes a family, are changing."

Hosoda said the family has become the big theme of his work, particularly since his fantastical "The Boy and the Beast" became a worldwide hit.

- The family is changing -

"It asked how you become a father. My first child had just been born and it shows someone who does not know how to be a father.

"I have made some progress since," Hosoda laughed. "This film is how to be one..."

"The family has become my subject because it is changing and we don't know where we are going. That is why I wanted to tell these stories."

Fatherhood has also changed Hosoda's approach to storytelling.

"My son never stops asking us to read to him -- though it was mostly my wife who does it. When we run out of books from the library we just open our hands as if they were a book and make up a story.

"We call it the 'Books of the Hands'. And it's been good and fun for me to have to improvise like this."

Just as in "The Boy and The Beast", Hosoda uses fantasy sequences and time travel in "Mirai" to flit the little boy up and down his family tree to his own parents' and grandparents' childhoods.

"I wanted to tell a big story from a little one," he told AFP, recounting the recent history of Japan through the shared experiences of one family.

"It's the big cycle of life. Spending time with my children made me remember my own childhood. It is almost as if I am reliving it," he said.

"Mirai" has been snapped up by US, Canadian, British and other European distributors at Cannes and will be released in Japan in July and elsewhere later.

]]>
5/20/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Capturing hearts and TV ratings: Britain's glittering royal weddings]]>
As Prince Harry prepares to marry US former actress Meghan Markle on Saturday, AFP looks back at the weddings of three other top royals.

- Elizabeth and Philip: 1947 -

Hundreds of thousands of people thronged London's streets to cheer future Queen Elizabeth II, then a 21-year-old princess, as she married Prince Philip, aged 26, more than 70 years ago on November 20, 1947.

In post-war Britain, it was "a flash of colour on the difficult road we're taking," said former prime minister Winston Churchill, then leader of the opposition Conservative Party.

It was the first British royal wedding to be filmed and broadcast live on BBC radio, with 200 million people tuning in, according to the palace.

There were 2,000 guests, among them six kings and seven queens. But memories of World War II were fresh and so several of Philip's German relatives, including three surviving sisters who were married to German aristocrats, were not invited.

War-time rationing was still in place, even for the royal family, and the government allocated Elizabeth an extra 200 clothing coupons for her satin dress, newspapers reported.

The couple received more than 2,500 wedding gifts and women sent dozens of pairs of nylon or silk stockings, then hard to come by, to the young princess.

The couple were second cousins once removed. Shedding his titles as a prince of Greece and Denmark, he was made a British subject at their engagement, receiving the title Duke of Edinburgh shortly before the wedding.

Elizabeth became queen just four years later, her father King George VI dying in February 1952.

She and Philip went on to have four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

- Charles and Diana: 1981 -

"In marrying Lady Diana Spencer, Prince Charles is filling the last outstanding condition to become, in the eyes of the British, a perfect king of England," said an AFP report about the wedding that captured world attention.

The marriage of the heir to the throne, then 32, to 20-year-old "Lady Di" on July 29, 1981 resolved the "problem of his prolonged bachelorhood", another story said.

Diana's youth, beauty and common touch played an enormous part in the worldwide enthusiasm for the wedding, which was beamed to 750 million viewers worldwide in 50 countries.

Her gown, a closely guarded secret, featured more than 10,000 tiny mother-of-pearl sequins and pearls and a 25-foot (more than seven metres) silk train, the longest in royal history.

The Prince of Wales trembled as he murmured "I will" in front of the 2,500 guests; Diana mixed up his names as she responded.

Back at Buckingham Palace, the "enthusiasm of the 'fans' of the Princess of Wales turned to frenzy" when they appeared on the balcony and exchanged a "furtive kiss", AFP reports said.

The fairytale wedding ended in a bitter divorce in 1996 and Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris the following year. Charles, still not king, went on to marry his longtime partner, Lady Camilla Parker Bowles, at a more low-key ceremony in 2005.

Charles and Diana had two children, William and Harry.

- William and Kate: 2011 -

A million people lined London's streets and two billion TV viewers worldwide watched as Kate Middleton swept up the aisle, a "commoner" about to become a princess.

Prince William, 28, second in line to the throne, was accompanied by his brother and best man Prince Harry and mouthed "you look beautiful" as his 29-year-old bride approached.

The April 29, 2011 marriage breathed "new life into Britain's monarchy," AFP's report said.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge exchanged two kisses on the balcony of Buckingham Palace as the 500,000-strong crowd below chanted "kiss, kiss, kiss".

They also took a spin in his father Charles's classic Aston Martin sports car with a joke registration number and learner plates.

It was the culmination of a romance that began eight years earlier when they met at St Andrew's University.

"The wedding's show of pomp mixed with genuine affection offers the royals a chance at renewal after Charles and Diana's traumatic public split," AFP wrote.

Among 1,900 guests were musician Elton John, footballer David Beckham and his wife Victoria, and Australian swimming icon Ian Thorpe, along with 40 foreign royals and hundreds of dignitaries.

Kate's sister Pippa, the maid of honour, was widely considered to have stolen the show with her close-fitting outfit.

The couple had their third child in April.]]>
5/20/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Harry and Meghan shake up royal tradition in star-studded wedding]]>
The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex exchanged vows in St. George's Chapel in a historic ceremony, sealed with a kiss, which brought the biracial US TV star into the heart of the British monarchy.

As more than 100,000 people packed the sun-baked Windsor streets and millions watched worldwide, Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family were joined inside by stars including Oprah Winfrey, Serena Williams, Elton John, George Clooney and David Beckham.

The couple held hands throughout and exchanged vows in a Church of England service modified to reflect the bride's heritage and strong sense of independence.

Firebrand US pastor Michael Curry delivered a full-throttle address invoking slaves and the power of love, and a gospel choir sang classics "Stand By Me" and "This Little Light of Mine".

Markle began her walk down the aisle alone with her 10 bridesmaids and page boys walking behind her flowing white silk dress, designed by Clare Waight Keller at the French fashion house Givenchy.

Her father had been due to meet her half-way but after he pulled out due to heart surgery, Harry's father Prince Charles stepped in to escort her to the altar.

Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, looked visibly moved during the wedding.

With the words "I will", 33-year-old Harry, and US former actress Meghan, 36, declared they would love, comfort, honour and protect each other.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby declared them husband and wife -- sparking huge cheers from crowds outside the church, watching on big screens.

The bride's father Thomas Markle also followed the wedding on television and voiced regret he was unable to attend, TMZ reported.

"My baby looks beautiful and she looks very happy. I wish I were there," he told the US celebrity news website.

- Smiles at the altar -

Harry hand-picked flowers for Markle's bouquet from their home at Kensington Palace.

Her five-metre veil also contained floral designs from her native California and all 53 Commonwealth countries.

The groom and his brother Prince William -- his best man -- wore the blue doeskin frockcoat uniform of a major in the Blues and Royals, the regiment Harry served with in Afghanistan during his 10 years in the British army.

"You look amazing," Harry told his bride as she arrived.

The couple grinned during Curry's dramatic address about the power of love, in which he quoted civil rights icon Martin Luther King.

"I'm talking about some power. Real power. Power to change the world," the African-American preacher intoned.

There were no political leaders among the 600 guests but many celebrities, including Idris Elba, James Blunt, Tom Hardy and James Corden.

Some of Markle's former co-stars in US hit television series "Suits" attended, as did Harry's ex-girlfriends Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas.

The newlyweds kissed on the chapel's West Steps after the wedding, before going on a carriage procession ride through Windsor where flag-waving well-wishers cheered them on in a carnival atmosphere.

"It's been a historic, epic day," said Leslie Owusu, from nearby High Wycombe.

"It's a union of different cultures, you've got America and England and a fusion of two people that love people and life."

- Kiss and carriage ride -

Hundreds of street parties and public screenings were held around Britain where the wedding is a welcome respite for a country still burdened by austerity and divided over Brexit.

Revellers also packed into bars to watch as far afield as Sydney, Hong Kong and Markle's native Los Angeles, for what is likely to be the last big British royal wedding for a generation.

In Windsor, thousands of fans bagged their spots by dawn, bearing rugs and picnics, Union Jack flags and patriotic paraphernalia, and the bubbly was flowing freely.

"It made me really emotional when I saw them coming past," said Helen Oliver, 50.

- Canapes and Meghan's speech -

The queen hosted a lunchtime reception at the castle, where Elton John performed to guests eating canapes including Scottish langoustines, English asparagus and Windsor lamb.

The royal couple cut the lemon and elderflower cake, while Charles and Harry made speeches introduced by William.

Harry later drive his bride to the evening reception for 200 friends and family in an open-top E-Type Jaguar with the number plate E190518 -- the wedding date.

In another break with convention, Meghan was due to speak at the Frogmore House bash.

"She's got her own voice, a personality, and I think all that made a huge impression on everybody," said Shrabani Basu, a Commonwealth historian.

The couple met on a blind date in July 2016 and had a whirlwind romance, criss-crossing the Atlantic as she continued filming "Suits" in Toronto.

Harry was scarred by his mother Diana's death in a Paris car crash in 1997 when he was just 12, and he had to mourn in the full glare of the world's media.

His wedding featured a hymn used at Diana's funeral, at which he and William had walked behind her casket.

Sixth in line to the throne, Harry is one of the most popular royals, while Markle, a divorcee, is seen as a breath of fresh air for the monarchy.]]>
5/20/2018 2:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Japan wins Cannes top prize after Weinstein accuser takes stage]]>
Accepting one of global cinema's most coveted honours from jury president Cate Blanchett, Kore-eda said movies made him hopeful for the state of the world.

"Maybe because of cinema, the people who usually fight each other, the countries that are fighting each other, may be able to come together," he said.

Spike Lee won the runner-up Grand Prix for "BlacKkKlansman", a searing broadside against racism with the stranger-than-fiction true story of an African-American police officer who manages to infiltrate the highest levels of the Ku Klux Klan.

Blanchett said the film, which explicitly links the 1970s tale and white nationalism in the Trump era, "blew us out of the cinema".

Lebanese actress-director Nadine Labaki, one of three female filmmakers among the 21 contenders, earned the third-place Jury Prize for "Capernaum" set among the poorest of the poor in Beirut and featuring a devastating performance by a 13-year-old Syrian refugee boy.

It was the first edition since the Weinstein sexual assault scandal sparked the #MeToo movement.

Presenting the best actress prize, Italian star Asia Argento, who has said she was raped by the Hollywood mogul at Cannes in 1997, told the ceremony he would never be welcome at the event again.

"This festival was his hunting ground," said Argento, who says she was 21 when Weinstein attacked her in his hotel room.

"He was seated among you... But things have changed. We are not going to allow you to get away it," she said to cheers from the audience.

Kazakhstan's Samal Yeslyamova nabbed best actress for "Ayka" by director Sergey Dvortsevoy for her moving portrayal of a young jobless immigrant from post-Soviet Central Asia who abandons her baby in Moscow.

- 'Rare good news' -


Polish Oscar winner Pawel Pawlikowski took the prize for best director for "Cold War", a tragic love story set against the backdrop of the Iron Curtain.

Pawlikowski, who won the foreign-language movie Oscar for "Ida" in 2015, caused a scandal at home when he told AFP at the festival that the film had been "blacklisted" by the nationalist government. Warsaw denied the claim.

He said his award was "a rare piece of good news" for his country.

Marcello Fonte of Italy clinched best actor for his much-loved performance as a soft-spoken pooch groomer who stands up to a local heavy in Matteo Garrone's "Dogman".

"Three Faces" by Iran's Jafar Pahahi, who was barred from attending the festival, shared the best screenplay prize with Italian director Alice Rohrwacher's "Happy as Lazzaro".

The Belgian transgender ballerina drama "Girl" won the Camera d'Or prize for best first film. It had earlier scooped the Queer Palm prize for LGBT-themed cinema and the best actor award for Victor Polster in the Un Certain Regard sidebar section.

- 'Very scary time' -

"Shoplifters" was an early favourite at the 71st Cannes festival.

It depicts a couple who rescue two abused and neglected children, providing the first love the youngsters have experienced in their lives even as they groom the kids to steal.

US movie website hailed it as "miraculous" while The Guardian called it "a rich, satisfying film" and a "complex and nuanced family drama".

Spike Lee called his own film, which many critics hailed as a return to form for the "Do the Right Thing" director, a "wake-up call" against extremism around the world.

"It's a very, very scary time we live in," he told reporters.

"There is a lot of change but there is a lot of stuff that needs to happen... and with the present (Trump) administration they're doing many things to roll back the clock which I feel is dangerous."

Beyond the prize winners, this year's festival will linger for its off-screen moments.

Hollywood stars including Blanchett, Kristen Stewart, Helen Mirren and Salma Hayek and directors Ava DuVernay and Patty Jenkins joined a red-carpet protest to demand equal opportunities for women and a "safe workplace".

Two days later, festival organisers signed a pledge to encourage more diversity in its selection by 2020, saying they hoped it would set an industry standard.

Despite being one of the most sought-after tickets, the premiere of Danish bad boy Lars von Trier's "The House That Jack Built" saw audience members walk out in droves from what they called a misogynistic orgy of violence.

Both its female stars, Uma Thurman and Riley Keough, were conspicuously absent from the red carpet, where Stewart on another night staged a protest of her own by slipping off her high heels and climbing the vaunted Cannes stairs barefoot.

In 2017, the top prize went to Ruben Ostlund's "The Square," an art world send-up that went on to bag an Oscar nomination.]]>
5/19/2018 10:37:15 PM
<![CDATA[Winfrey, Clooney lead star guests at Britain's royal wedding]]>
Hollywood stars, musicians and sporting icons from Britain and the United States took their places among the 600 guests the historic chapel in Windsor Castle, along with Harry's ex-girlfriends.

Winfrey, the US talk show queen, was seen strolling through the castle grounds ahead of the service.

Hollywood actor Clooney, wearing a grey suit, walked arm in arm with his campaigning lawyer wife Amal, who wore a yellow dress and matching hat.

England football icon David Beckham and his fashion designer wife Victoria, the former Spice Girls singer, waved to the thousands of fans who had been invited into the castle grounds to see the stars go in.

Beckham, sporting short hair and shades, posed for a selfie with a fan on the way inside.

Pop star Elton John, a close friend of Harry's late mother Diana, who memorably performed an emotional version of "Candle in the Wind" at her funeral in 1997, was seen chatting to guests.

He reportedly cancelled shows in Las Vegas to attend.Markle made her name in the US legal drama "Suits" and several of her co-stars were in the church, as was US tennis great Serena Williams.

- Actors and princes -


Idris Elba, the British actor who is a star on both sides of the Atlantic for his television roles in "The Wire" and "Luther", was seen chatting with fellow guests inside the Gothic chapel.

He read the poem "Invictus" at the opening ceremony of the inaugural 2014 Invictus Games in London, the Olympic-style multi-sport event for wounded veterans founded by Harry.

Singer James Blunt, famous for his hit "You're Beautiful" and like Harry an army veteran, took his place in the pews. He performed at the 2016 Orlando Invictus Games.

British actor Tom Hardy, who starred in "The Revenant" and Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises" was there, along with Hollywood actress Carey Mulligan with her musician husband Marcus Mumford.

Britain's James Corden, a top talkshow presenter in the United States, was in attendance, as was soul singer Joss Stone.

Harry's close friend Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, with whom he established a charity helping the country's AIDS orphans, was in the front rows.

"Harry's Harry. He doesn't fit any mould," he told ITV television.

"That inner child in him is visible."

- Middletons and exes -
Before meeting Markle, Harry struggled to find lasting love, with his former girlfriends apparently finding the scrutiny and weight of expectation too much.

The three siblings of Harry's mother Diana, princess of Wales, have been invited.

Earl Charles Spencer, who spoke memorably at Diana's funeral on behalf of his family, was seen entering the church.

His sister Jane Fellowes was to read from the Song of Solomon during the service.

The Middletons, the family of Prince William's wife Kate, took their places in the church, led by father Michael and mother Carole.


Harry's ex-girlfriends Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas were seen going in.Kate's sister Pippa Middleton stole the show as the maid of honour at William and Kate's wedding in 2011 with a figure-hugging dress that made global headlines.

Her brother James Middleton read from the Bible at the 2011 wedding in London's Westminster Abbey, a duty this time that falls to Fellowes.

Sarah, Duchess of York, the ex-wife of Prince Andrew and the mother of Harry's cousins Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, was not on the guest list for William and Kate's wedding.

But, smiling and waving, she was seen entering the church alone on Saturday.

Johnny Wilkinson, the star of England's 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning team, and fellow England rugby star James Haskell were seen going inside.

Following the service, Queen Elizabeth II will host a lunch in the castle's St. George's Hall for the 600 guests.

Politicians have been left off the guest list, meaning there was no invite for US President Donald Trump or British Prime Minister Theresa May.

One exception was former prime minister John Major, who was the legal guardian for Princes William and Harry after their mother's death.

]]>
5/19/2018 5:20:15 PM
<![CDATA[Films in the running for the top prize at Cannes]]>
- Everybody Knows -

Iranian master Asghar Farhadi kicked off the festival with a psychological thriller about a family reunion going awry, featuring Spanish stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. While Farhadi, 46, won an Oscar and the Golden Bear at Berlin for his 2011 breakthrough film, "A Separation", he is yet to take home the coveted top Cannes prize.

- BlacKkKlansman -

US director and activist Spike Lee's drama is based on the real-life story of an African-American police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in 1978. John David Washington plays the officer with Adam Driver as his Jewish police partner. The film will open in the US on the first anniversary of a white supremacist march in Charlottesville where an anti-racism activist was killed.

- Under the Silver Lake -

Four years after giving Cannes audiences nightmares with his thriller "It Follows", David Robert Mitchell returned with a noirish spine-chiller, this time about the mysterious murder of a Los Angeles billionaire.

- Dogman -

Italian director Matteo "Gomorrah" Garrone's new film is dubbed an "urban Western", inspired by a gruesome murder by dog groomer and cocaine addict Pietro De Negri in the late 1980s.

- Three Faces -

Iranian dissident Jafar Panahi was barred from travelling to attend the Cannes premiere of "Three Faces", the latest movie he has made despite a 20-year filmmaking ban levelled by Tehran over his support for anti-government protests. The road movie, in which Panahi co-stars, portrays three generations of Iranian women rebelling against patriarchal authority.

- Leto -

Russia's Kirill Serebrennikov is another director barred from presenting his work at Cannes. Under house arrest over highly disputed allegations of embezzlement, his film focuses on Soviet rock star Viktor Tsoi and the birth of Russian underground music in the 1980s.

- At War -

As France grapples with rail strikes and student protests, French director Stephane Brize's gritty drama about factory workers battling to keep their jobs has hit a timely nerve.

- Cold War -

This tender black-and-white period romance about star-crossed lovers who meet as part of a touring folk group in the Eastern Bloc in the 1950s is the latest from Oscar-winning Polish-British director Pawel Pawlikowski. It was financed by Amazon Studios.

- The Image Book -

Cinema's oldest and most enigmatic rebel, French-Swiss legend Jean-Luc Godard, returns to the bold, sometimes baffling style of his late work with this meditation on the big questions of our time -- war, migration, the survival of the planet.

- Girls of the Sun -

Kurdish women fighters battling the Islamic State are at the centre of French actor-director Eva Husson's new film. Iranian star Golshifteh Farahani plays Bahar, the leader of the Yazidi Sun Brigade, who hunts down the extremists who had earlier captured her.

- The Wild Pear Tree -

Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who won the Palme d'Or four years ago for "Winter Sleep", is back with another Anatolian talkie, this time about a young provincial writer raging at his father.

- Ayka -

Kazakh Sergey Dvortsevoy -- who won many fans and prizes for his 2009 debut "Tulpan" -- was a late entry with his new docu-drama about a young homeless single mother in post-Soviet Central Asia adrift in Moscow.

- Capernaum -


/

Lebanese actress-turned-film-maker Nadine Labaki's third movie is set in a Middle Eastern town. Her previous film "Where Do We Go Now?" premiered at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section in 2010.

- Burning -

South Korean auteur Lee Chang-dong's new mystery drama is drawn from a short story by Japanese master Haruki Murakami, "Barn Burning", about a writer who becomes fascinated by a woman whose boyfriend burns barns. His first film in eight years, the cult director of "Oasis" and "Secret Sunshine" has an almost fanatical following.

- Knife + Heart -

French singer and actress Vanessa Paradis stars in the latest tale from Yann Gonzalez, who had a hit on the festival circuit with his quirky orgy drama, "You And The Night", with Beatrice Dalle and former footballer Eric Cantona. Paradis plays a porn producer whose stars are targeted by a serial killer.

- Asako 1 & 2 -

In this Japanese drama by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, a young woman meets her first love in Osaka. When he disappears without a trace, she moves on -- until his perfect double shows up two years later.

- Shoplifters -

Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-Eda, a longtime sweetheart of the Cannes jury, returns with a tale of a family of small-time crooks who take in a child they find on the street.

- Yomeddine -

A Coptic leper and his orphaned Nubian apprentice nicknamed Obama embark on a journey across Egypt to search for their roots. Director A.B. Shawky made the film on a shoestring with amateur actors.

- Lazzaro Felice -

Rising star Italian director Alice Rohrwacher, already a prize winner at Cannes, is back with a time-travelling story about a group of sharecroppers duped into working for a family from the fallen aristocracy.

- Sorry Angel -

The new film by Christophe Honore, the man behind the charming French musical "Love Songs", is a gay love story set when the AIDS epidemic was at its height.

- Ash is Purest White -

Chinese director Jia Zhangke's new film is an epic love story between a mobster and his moll starring Zhao Tao and Liao Fan. It is a follow-up to his "Mountains May Depart", which also competed for the Palme d'Or in 2015.]]>
5/19/2018 4:27:13 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian feature ‘Yomeddine’ grabs Francois Chalais Prize at Cannes]]>
The tragic comedy “Yomeddine” revolves around a leprosy patient who escapes from the hospital along with one of his friends in order to search for his family. “Yomeddine” is directed by Egyptian-Austrian director Abu Bakr Shawky, who became the first Egyptian to be invited to the main competition of the Cannes Film Festival.

The 71st Cannes Film Festival held a press conference with the Egyptian filmmakers of “Yomeddine” after its screening at the festival on Wednesday, May 9. The screening was attended by many international actors, including Julianne Moore, Louise Bourgoin and Kiko Mizuhara. All the attendees praised the movie’s construction and drama line, as well as the directing technique adopted by Shawky in his debut feature.

The first Egyptian movie participating in Cannes Film Festival’s main competition managed to grab the attention of all those who watched it. International media platforms were keen to put the spotlight on “Yomeddine”, writing extremely positive reviews about the movie, which presents an innovative mixture of tragedy, comedy, and condensed shots of emotions and sentiments.

“A man who has recovered from leprosy goes in search of the father who abandoned him in a sentimental drama that infantilizes its lead character,” wrote Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian.

“Recalling about a thousand other titles, with the Lynch films ‘The Elephant Man’ and ‘The Straight Story’ definitely near the top of the list, this is a picaresque road movie about two mismatched characters, with rookie director A.B. Shawky offering a motley and not entirely smooth cocktail of drama and melodrama, a dash of social critique and insight, some chuckles and a few tugs at the heartstrings, mainly by virtue of its near-virtuoso score,” wrote Boyd van Hoeij in The Hollywood Reporter.

“A lovingly made, character-driven road movie that occasionally dips into sentimentality, yet has moments that honestly play on the heartstrings,” wrote Jay Weissberg in Variety.

The Egyptian and Arab presence at the 71st edition of Cannes International Film Festival is significantly prominent. A number of Arab films are officially participating in the festival.

The Egyptian movie “El Maseer” (The Destiny) will screen on Sunday, May 13 at 9 p.m. as part of the festival's events.

“El Maseer”, released in 1997, is considered one of the classics of Egyptian cinema; it is written and directed by late great director Youssef Chahine and stars a notable group of Egyptian actors, including Leila Elwi, Khaled el Nabawy, Nour el Sherif, Hany Salama, Mohmaed Mounir, Safia el Amary, Rojina and Mahmoud Hemeida. Leila Elwi will travel to Cannes to attend the screening of “El Maseer”. She said, "This is the least I can do to honor the soul of the great Chahine.”

The movie “Kafr Naoum” will also participate in the festival’s official competition, while “Sofia” and “Qomashty el-Mofadala” (My Favorite Cloth) will screen in the Uncertain Regard section.

“Kafr Naoum”, directed by famous Lebanese director Nadine Labaki, tells the story of a rebellious child living in a poor area who decides to file a lawsuit against his parents because they gave birth to him in this cruel world.
]]>
5/19/2018 4:22:35 PM
<![CDATA[Four-legged cast of 'Dogman' win the Palm Dog at Cannes]]>
"Dogman" has been hailed as a brutal modern parable of the little guy who can take no more, with critics raving about its lead actor, Marcello Fonte.

But it is the Great Dane and chihuahua who feature in the film that got tails wagging on the jury of the Palm Dog, which judges the best performance at the festival by a pooch.

"Dogman" is also one of the favourites for Cannes top prize the Palme d'Or.

"It is its large cast of dogs that steal the show," said Palm Dog founder Toby Rose of the film, directed by Matteo Garrone of "Gomorrah" fame.

Fonte, the film's human star, turned up at the award ceremony to toast the victory with a stand-in for the chihuahua, who in the film is put into a freezer "in a chilling scene worthy of Hitchcock", said The Guardian's critic Peter Bradshaw, one of the Palm Dog judges.

The film's producer, Jeremy Thomas, said their triumph was "proof that W.C. Fields got it wrong when he said, 'Never work with dogs and children'."

The jury also handed a special prize to the CGI-generated pink Pekingese "fluffy puppies" in the wacky satire "Diamantino", which features a footballer not dissimilar to Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

In the romp, which won the best film in the Critics' Week section of the festival, the striker's career is destroyed by visions of the dogs blocking his way as he bears down on goal.

Writer Vanessa Davies and her pug, Patrick, were also honoured with the Palm Dogmanitarian Award for her forthcoming Disney family comedy named after her pet.

"It's a wonderful real life story and a worthy winner for celebrating the bond between canines and humans," Rose added.

The Palm Dog -- which has been awarded at Cannes since 2001 -- is the world's best-known award for dogs on screen.

Past winners include Uggie from the Oscar-winning "The Artist" and Ken Loach for casting a three-legged dog named Shae in his Palme d'Or-winning "I, Daniel Blake".

]]>
5/19/2018 2:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Factbox: Meghan Markle, the U.S. actress joining the UK royal family]]>
Here are some brief facts about the newest member of the Windsors.

- Markle was born in Los Angeles on Aug. 4 1981, days after Harry’s father Prince Charles married his first wife Princess Diana. Her father Thomas Markle was a lighting director for TV soaps and sitcoms and her mother Doria Ragland was a clinical therapist. Her parents divorced when she was six and she has two half-siblings.

- She went to Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, a private all-girl Catholic school. However, after her engagement was announced, Harry’s spokesman said she identifies as a Protestant and would be baptized and confirmed into the Church of England before the wedding.

- Markle attended the Northwestern University where she studied theater and international studies. She made her first TV appearance in a 2002 episode of medical drama “General Hospital” and has since appeared in a number of U.S. TV shows and films. She is best known for her role as Rachel Zane in the legal drama “Suits”.

- In 2011, she married film producer Trevor Engelson but they divorced in 2013.

- She ran her own lifestyle blog, thetig.com, and has worked as a humanitarian campaigner, acting for the likes of World Vision and as a United Nations women’s advocate.

- She met Harry on a blind date organized by a mutual friend in London in July 2016. They became engaged in November 2018.]]>
5/19/2018 1:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Drama at CBS: judge denies bid to dilute Redstone power]]>
A Delaware judge rejected a petition from the CBS board of directors to block the Redstone family's holding company from interfering with the evaluation of any merger deal.

The decision allows Shari Redstone -- daughter of media empire builder Sumner Redstone -- to keep tight control over the television and media group, with the power to replace its board.

It also could clear the way for CBS to reunite with Viacom, although the Redstones' National Amusements Inc (NAI) holding firm has said it is not seeking to force a tie-up.

CBS had sought to block any effort by Redstone and NAI to meddle with the board ahead of a planned meeting where it was to consider a measure to dilute her voting shares.

"CBS management and the special committee cannot wish away the reality that CBS has a controlling shareholder," NAI said in a statement.

"NAI yesterday exercised its legal right to amend the company's bylaws to require a supermajority vote on certain board actions with respect to dividends, effective immediately."

The CBS board of directors went through with the vote, unanimously declaring a dividend that, if endorsed by the courts and issued, would dilute NAI's voting interest to 20 percent from 79 percent, according to a release.

"The company believes that the written consents delivered by NAI purporting to amend the company's bylaws are neither valid nor effective," a board statement said.

The board also postponed an annual shareholders meeting scheduled for Friday, citing the corporate intrigue and legal wrangling.

Delaware Chancery Court judge Andre Bouchard said CBS failed to show it would suffer "irreparable" harm if its petition were denied.

NAI welcomed the ruling, saying the judge blocked an "unprecedented motion to try to deprive a shareholder of its fundamental voting rights."

"The court's ruling today represents a vindication of National Amusements' right to protect its interests," said the holding company led by Shari Redstone, who controls the shares for her ailing 94-year-old father.

A CBS statement said the judge did not rule out a potential legal claim against Redstone for failing to act in the interest of shareholders.

"While we are disappointed that the judge did not grant a (restraining order), the ruling clearly recognizes that we may bring further legal action to challenge any actions by NAI that we consider to be unlawful, and we will do so," CBS said.

- Future clouded at CBS -

The court fight brought into the open the power struggle between Redstone and CBS chief Les Moonves.

CBS had claimed that Redstone was seeking to force a merger with Viacom -- which is also controlled by the family and which was split from CBS in 2006 -- on terms that were unfavorable to public CBS shareholders.

The Redstone holding company controls about 10 percent of the equity of CBS but has nearly 80 percent of the voting power through a special share class.

NAI has disputed the claim by CBS that it wants a merger without the support of both firms.

But the open clash is likely to lead to major shakeup at CBS in the event of a merger with Viacom. CBS shares sank around four percent following the ruling.

"Ultimately, we believe it is hard to imagine Moonves having a role in the combined company," BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield said in a note to clients this week.

"We have a hard time seeing how any of the independent CBS directors in addition to Moonves, can be allowed to stay, given they are actively seeking to violate National Amusement's shareholder rights under the CBS bylaws."

CBS divisions include its large US broadcast television network, Network Ten Australia, Showtime Networks and the publisher Simon & Schuster, among others.

Viacom operates the Paramount studios in Hollywood, along with cable channels Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central, and has content agreements with TV operators in Britain, Argentina and India.

The lawsuit is the latest drama involving the media-entertainment empire built by Sumner Redstone, whose fitness and mental status have been questioned in legal proceedings.

In a separate legal clash in 2016, Shari Redstone was accused of manipulating her incapacitated father to gain control of the media empire.]]>
5/19/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Ramadan Reflections: Fasting for beauty]]>
First, it is important to understand what Ramadan is. Ramadan is commonly known as the ninth lunar month of the Islamic calendar, in which the Qur’an was sent down and in which Muslims are obligated, with some exceptions, to fast from the first light of dawn until the setting of the sun. Linguistically, the word comes from an Arabic root meaning “to burn”, so it provides the sense of being the month in which our sins are burned away. Some Islamic scholars have noted that it is always referred to as “the month of Ramadan” in the Qur’an and have therefore suggested that Ramadan is actually one of the many names of God, for the month truly belongs to Him and it is He who burns away our sins, with the month and its associated acts only being means by which He does so. We see then that the acts associated with Ramadan are not a chore, but a blessing—truly a gift granted to us by our Creator.

The act most associated with the holy month is of course fasting. While many people may see fasting from food, drink, sexual desire, etc. from sunrise to sunset as burdensome, those who do so willingly for their Lord see spiritual fruits on the horizon, ripe for the taking. These people are eager to cut off what so many of us take for granted on a daily basis, and they do so with a smile on their face, for they know the secrets of fasting. In a divine saying told to us by the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, God says, “Every act of the human is for himself, except for fasting – it is for Me, and I reward for it.” The scholars have mentioned that this is due to the fact that fasting is concealed; the one performing it doing so for no other reason than the pleasure of his Lord, who then rewards the one fasting with the best of rewards.

Shaykh Salih al-Jafari, the great 20th century gnostic and imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, stated in his book “The Secrets of Fasting” that the three letters of the Arabic word for fasting each allude to an aspect of it: patience, scrupulousness, and possessing inward beauty. Fasting develops within us a high degree of patience, not only from going without food, drink and other cravings, but also by controlling our primal emotions and through our interactions with others. This is often seen here in Cairo, as people try to let bygones be bygones and not let a given situation get to them, holding back anger, lust, and other impure thoughts and emotions. The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said that “fasting is half of patience,” as it decreases our cravings that make us impatient in the first place. One who is able to control his most basic animalistic nature of craving food is able to control his other desires as well, therefore becoming like the angels, who do not eat, drink or crave, but only do as God desires.

Muslims are encouraged to use the month of Ramadan as a time for devoting themselves more to God. Being patient and having the cravings of the self under control through fasting provides us with more time, energy and clarity to focus on God and our spirituality in a more scrupulous manner. We are more able to look inwardly and honestly take an account of ourselves. How prudent and careful are we in our various acts of worship? How sincere are we in our dealings with God and with others? How often are we fleeing from our lower appetites and turning towards God? By answering these questions, we are able to discover our deficiencies and scrupulously work to improve ourselves.

For those who patiently and scrupulously seek to strengthen their relationship with God by means of the fast of the body, mind and soul, inward beauty is the result—a gift bestowed upon them. For what other reason have we been placed in this world other than to remove the darkness within our own selves and become enlightened with the beauty of a pure heart through the worship of God for the sake of God? Through this blessing, we are able to see the world in a new, beautiful way; for the world is but a mere reflection of what is within our hearts. Shaykh Salih’s son, Abd al-Ghany, mentioned that fasting is an evidence of love. The one fasting fasts purely out of love for God, and the act itself develops within him a certain level of love for his fellow creatures and brothers in humanity. He is no longer seeking to satisfy his own cravings and desires, but instead seeking to take every means available to improve himself and possess inward beauty for the sake of God—thereby becoming a complete human being.

While there is nothing wrong with enjoying the extras of Ramadan that have manifested culturally in Egypt and elsewhere, it is important to keep the spirit of the holy month alive. If we become neglectful or forgetful of what makes Ramadan holy and why we celebrate, then we have lost its meaning and made it like any other month. May we be among those who remember the spiritual significance of the month of Ramadan, and by doing so, may we become inwardly beautiful.
]]>
5/19/2018 10:29:15 AM
<![CDATA[Allan Carr: The rise and fall of a Hollywood hedonist]]>
The producer launched countless careers with stage and screen hits like "La Cage aux Folles" and "Grease" but was as notorious for his diamond-encrusted caftans, garish yellow Mercedes and lifelong battle with obesity.

The mogul and bon viveur hosted debauched soirees where the cocaine, free champagne and even freer love attracted a galaxy of stars, from Rita Hayworth to Warren Beatty and Mick Jagger.

"Glamor is entertainment. That's what entertainment is about... It's the American Dream come true," Carr, who died in 1999, says in an archived interview unearthed in a new documentary.

Available from video streaming services from June 5, "The Fabulous Allan Carr" doubles as a history of the gay experience in Hollywood, both in the carefree pre-AIDS 1970s and in the dark days that lay ahead.

Carr's kitschy parties often turned into all-gay affairs after the stars went home, where entertainment industry bigwigs would mingle with the young, muscular, flaxen-haired men he called his "twinkies."

"Although it was no secret that Allan Carr was gay, he never formally acknowledged it publicly. The word 'flamboyant' was used to describe him, a code word," says the film's Emmy-winning director Jeffrey Schwarz.

"Using humor and outrageousness to gain entry into a conservative industry, Allan Carr furthered the acceptance of gay identity just by being himself."

- Star-maker -

Born Allan Solomon to a Jewish family in Chicago, Carr worked at Playboy before reinventing himself as a party planner, arranging a black-tie evening for Truman Capote in an abandoned Los Angeles jail.

His talent agency managed Tony Curtis, Peter Sellers, Joan Rivers and "Mama" Cass Elliot, and he is credited with discovering numerous other stars, including Olivia Newton-John, Mark Hamill and Steve Guttenberg.

Carr impressed with his marketing know-how on several of Bee Gees manager and Hollywood producer Robert Stigwood's movies, including rock opera "Tommy" and "Saturday Night Fever."

For his next project, an unfancied musical called "Grease," Stigwood entrusted Carr not only with the marketing and premiere party, but also writing the screenplay and co-producing.

Shot over two months in LA for $6 million, it was eviscerated by critics but ended up grossing $400 million and was the most successful movie musical of all time until "Mamma Mia!," 30 years later.

Carr's showmanship was never in doubt but his instincts as a producer were notoriously inconsistent.

Among his biggest flops was the flamboyant, spectacularly awful $20 million Village People origin story "Can't Stop the Music," a big screen musical brought out in 1980, long after disco went out of vogue.

In 1983 Carr came back fighting with a hugely successful musical version of the Broadway play "La Cage aux Folles" that ran for five years, picking up six Tony Awards.

- Cringeworthy -

"It was a revolutionary portrayal, made more poignant by the fact that it was released at the height of the AIDS crisis. Allan Carr was the last great showman of the 20th Century," said Schwarz.

His reputation for lavish parties brought ABC calling, and in 1989 he created a 61st Annual Academy Awards that he promised would be a transformation from the dry, staid production it had always been.

Instead it was a laughing stock, culminating in a cringeworthy duet with squeaky-voiced Eileen Bowman and a tone deaf Rob Lowe that prompted the New York Times to award it "a permanent place in the annals of Oscar embarrassments."

Crushed by the criticism, Carr became a recluse. Despite enjoying a degree of success on other projects, such as Paramount's 1998 re-release of "Grease," his reputation never recovered.

Morbidly obese, recovering from a kidney transplant and suffering from years of hard living, Carr died on June 29, 1999 from liver cancer, as he was preparing a new Broadway show.

"Allan was from the last era of the big dreamers: 'Let's do this big, that's not big enough, let's do it bigger,'" said TV personality and socialite Nikki Haskell.

"He was a one of a kind. There isn't anyone like him. There'll never be another Allan Carr."]]>
5/19/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Mounir’s first Ramadan concert May 22 at Sheraton Cairo]]>
Mounir had surgery last month to remove a tumor. The health of Mounir, known as “the King”, was a matter of concern to most Egyptians, many of whom have grown up listening to Mounir’s voice.

The King was reticent about his illness, preferring not to disturb his fans; however, after suffering from severe pain due to a ureter tumor, he had to undergo surgery as soon as possible. But he didn’t forget to assure his fans with a smiling photo of him at his bed.

Right after he left the hospital, the King addressed his worried fans in short video published on social media, telling them, "I love you, and we will sing soon."

Born in Aswan, Mounir inherited a sense of love and belonging for the Nile. Even when he moved to Cairo, he took the Nubian culture with him. Mounir’s music reflects his Nubian culture, and his contribution to the Arab music scene is almost unbelievable. He was the first Arab/Middle Eastern singer to mix jazz with Nubian music, developing the inherited Nubian music scales and combining them with new, universal jazz music.

Furthermore, Mounir helped introduce many Nubian concepts into Arabic, which is obvious in his song "Wist al-Dayra" (In the Circle's Center).

Many of Mounir's songs have an orchestral backing, enhanced with magnificent tunes of the Oud. Songs such as "Borg Hamam" (Pigeons Tower, 1995) and "Shababek" (Windows, 1981) best demonstrate this unique aspect of his music.

Using oriental drum beats, Mounir performs dynamic songs based on folk tunes, such as "Al-Nawasy" (Sidewalks, 2001), in which the drum beat is reminiscent of the familiar beats of "Al-Zar". He also produced notably oriental-sounding songs such as "Eqrar" (Endorsement, 2004).

He frequently enriches his music with rock tunes, especially in live concerts. One of the best examples is his song "El-Kon Koloh Beydor" (The Universe is Spinning, 1981) or "Ezai" (How, 2011).

Mounir added female vocals to paint the music with more emotional and attractive colors in his song "Sheta" (Winter) in 1995.

Mounir released the music video for “A’lam Wahed” (One World), which addressed the refugee crisis, in August 2017. For the video, he collaborated with German-Egyptian singer Adel Tawil and World Music Award winner Youssou N’dour. Their video has been released in Arabic, English, French and German. The clip was shot in Senegal over three days. The song has an obvious message to the world that we are all equal and united together.

“One World” aims to destroy all the barriers between humans and strengthen ties through all humanity. “My home is your home” is the song’s main hook.

It is worth mentioning that the German Ministry of Education has decided to teach “One World” to fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students in German schools.

The aim behind this decision is to teach children ideas of accepting others and of how to be able to live together peacefully, despite coming from different backgrounds.

Mounir was ecstatic at this decision, saying it proves the importance of music and art in enlightening societies and countering terrorism. He previously added that this is the true role of art – to deal with love and hate in all aspects of life.
]]>
5/19/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Intense backlash over 'harassment' in Ramadan prank shows]]>
Galal’s annual shows receive controversial and mixed reactions from audiences. This year, Galal organizes pranks on celebrities, where the celebrity is invited to come to Moscow, Russia to attend a World Cup program. On the way to the program, the guest faces many dangers, among them being horrified by a terrifying tiger and a bear. “Ramez Sub Zero” is presented daily via MBC Egypt.

Many social media users criticized the first episode featuring Egyptian actress Yasmin Sabry and accused Galal of sexual harassment, as he made repeated physical contact with Sabry while they were escaping the terrifying animals and after she found out that it was a joke.

The initiative HARASSmap posted on Facebook, criticizing Galal’s show and claiming that Galal used words that promote sexual harassment by describing the actress as a curvy and hot woman, and that he touched her lips intentionally and expressed admiration over her body in an inappropriate way.




“Using these harassment terms in media, even in comedy shows, is not acceptable; it will create a community who accepts harassment and uses these inappropriate terms easily,” the post read.

The post, which went viral on Facebook, sparked controversy among users. While some defended the show, saying that harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, and in this case, she didn’t mind his words, nor did she express any anger or upset.

Others commented that apart from whether these actions are considered harassment or not, the show is an indecent assault on public morals, customs and traditions, especially in the holy month of Ramadan.

Whether we agree with him or not, Galal has succeeded over the last six years in drawing attention to his shows, ever since he launched his first prank show “Ramez Qalb El Asad” in 2011, which achieved notably high viewership.

The booming success of his first show pushed the prank show producers to continue their cooperation with Galal for six consecutive years. This is normal, as Galal’s prank shows represent a lucrative business deal for its producers, and definitely Galal himself, as his contract increases every year, having reached LE 8 million ($449,085) in 2016.

In the beginning, particularly with his first two prank shows, “Ramez Qalb El Asad” (Ramez Lion’s Heart) and “Ramez Taa’lab Al-Sahara” (Ramez Desert Fox), most of the viewers saw them as amusing and hilarious shows. But is it funny for Galal’s guests, who actually think they are going to die?

Many Egyptian clerics have issued fatwas (religious edicts) pronouncing Galal’s shows unlawful under Islamic law.

"Islamic law does not permit people to do anything that would scare another person," Sheikh Sayyed Salman, member of Al-Azhar University's Alumni Union, said to Alaraby news website.

"These programs harm their guests, who could even lose their lives if they suffer from certain medical conditions," he added.

Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR) issued a decision earlier this month to fine any Ramadan drama series up to LE 250,000 for each obscene word.

“We lived about eight years with no rules or control over drama. We are not trying to be fascists or to set limits and restraints over freedoms; however, we are trying to set professional standards for drama work to decrease the violent content,” Makram Mohamed Ahmed, head of SCMR, said during a meeting of Parliament’s Media and Culture Committee.

He added that SCMR sets rules for everything that will air during Ramadan, especially advertisements.

Earlier in April, SCMR announced that any advertisement that disrupts the Egyptian community’s values during the holy month of Ramadan will be banned.

Ahmed Selim, secretary-general of SCMR, told Egypt Today that the ads should have valuable content and represent a respectful image of Egypt’s society. He also stressed that the council is going to send a list of the Islamic scholars authorized to issue fatwas through media outlets during the holy month.

Siham Saleh, Media Syndicate deputy, also told Egypt Today on April 16 that a separate committee has been formed to monitor the new programs expected to air during Ramadan. Saleh urged television hosts to commit to the declared charter of honor. She added that no one will appear on the screen without being a recognized member of the Media Syndicate.
]]>
5/18/2018 4:25:45 PM
<![CDATA[Cannes' swankiest party goes ahead without 'driving force' Weinstein]]>
Until this year, the movie mogul rarely missed the AmfAR dinner, put on by the U.S.-based Foundation For AIDS Research.

Weinstein’s representatives did not comment directly on his absence. But they said he had helped the event collect more than $170 million over the years and would “continue to quietly be supportive and passionate for AmfAR.”

Hollywood Reporter called him the event’s former “driving force,” bringing A-list talent to the dinner where an auction of artwork, fashion and elite experiences raises millions of dollars for AIDS research.

Weinstein was brought down last year by scandal. More than 70 women have accused him of sexual misconduct, including rape, and he has vanished from public view. Weinstein has denied engaging in nonconsensual sex.

The accusations gave rise to the international Me Too movement that sparked the downfall of other prominent men in entertainment and politics.

The AIDS fundraiser faced “a critical test for its viability,” Hollywood Reporter said in an article, suggesting it had become tainted by the scandal due to Weinstein’s former involvement.

With super-yachts moored nearby, the party took place as usual in a marquee on the grounds of the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, an exclusive hotel on the Cap d’Antibes jutting into the Mediterranean along the coast from Cannes.

Asked whether the event had been damaged by the Weinstein scandal, guests said that must not be allowed to happen.

“You’re going to literally sacrifice raising money for AIDS victims in the name of some dude and his bad habits?” said American actress Michelle Rodriguez.

Socialite Paris Hilton applauded the increased awareness of women’s rights since the scandal broke:

“I just have so much respect for so many of the women, and everyone, really sticking together and coming together to really make a big statement. And, a lot of people are not going to be taken advantage of ever again because people are making a huge difference right now.”

As guests sipped champagne, music was provided by, among others, Sting and Shaggy - performing duets of reggae numbers and The Police hit “Every Breath You Take”.

“Tonight’s event is going to be just as exciting and entertaining as always while raising critical funds for AIDS Research,” amfAR said ahead of the event.

The auction started with a replica of the Palme d’Or trophy that will be awarded at the film festival on Saturday. Bidding started at 20,000 euros, and it sold for 220,000.

An array of 31 haute couture dresses fetched 1.3 million euros.

Former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan looked amazed as bids mounted for a painting he had done of Bob Dylan. At 1.2 million pounds, the portrait sold for more than double the price of a sculpture by Ai Weiwei, “Iron Root,” which raised 550,000 euros.

Included in the price was a lunch with Brosnan - in London, New York or Los Angeles.

Stars have often in the past offered themselves for auction. Last year David Beckham raised 350,000 euros ($415,000) for a chance to play soccer with him.

Another year George Clooney auctioned a kiss for $350,000 and, in 2008, Weinstein joked he might put himself up for bids, but added: “No one would pay for me”.]]>
5/18/2018 3:59:58 PM
<![CDATA[‘Kalabsh Part II’ acheives highest viewership on YouTube]]>
Following his great success last Ramadan, Amir Karara returns as brave police officer Selim El-Ansari, who is now promoted to supervisor of Aqrab Prison. His life turns upside down when his parents are killed and he is seriously wounded by the killer.

Co-starring alongside Karara are Rogina and Hala Fakher. The series is written by Baher Diwedar and directed by Peter Mimi.

The obvious artistic chemistry between Karara and Mimi will also extend to cinema, as they cooperated together in “Harb Karmooz” (Karmooz War), which is expected to have its premiere in Egyptian cinemas during the upcoming Eid el-Fitr holiday. The film takes place in the era of King Farouk, Egypt's last king. The story revolves around a police officer, Youssef el Masry (Amir Karara), who lives in the Karmooz district of Alexandria. Masry fights many battles and saves a girl from being raped in the movie.

“Harb Karmooz” stars famous English actor Scott Adkins, known as “Boyka”, in his first appearance in Egyptian cinema, alongside Karara, Mostafa Khater, Ghada Abdel Razek, Bayoumy Fouad, Fathy Abdelwahab and Rogina, among others. “Harb Karmooz” is written by Mohamed el Sobky.
]]>
5/18/2018 2:26:22 PM
<![CDATA[King of pop Michael Jackson to get street name in Detroit]]>
The city, which has a rich history of nurturing American musical talent, will rename a portion of its Randolph Street in the downtown theater district in honor of the late entertainer.

The tribute comes 50 years after his family group known as the "Jackson 5" birthed their career with a successful recording contract audition in the Motor City.

"The Jacksons were among the first groups of black American performers to attain crossover status, and went on to release hit after hit after hit," said city spokesman Stephen Grady.

Michael Jackson, who started with the group, went on to become one of the most famous performers in pop music history.

He died in 2009 at the age of 50 from a fatal dose of drugs, including the powerful anesthetic propofol.

The street renaming will take place June 15, coinciding with the Detroit Music Weekend outdoor festival, which Tito, Marlon, Jackie and Jermaine Jackson are scheduled to headline.

"This is where music comes from. This is where everybody copied the Motown sound," Jackie Jackson said at a Detroit news conference.

The city honored another American music royalty during last year's festival -- naming a street after queen of soul Aretha Franklin.

]]>
5/18/2018 2:23:57 PM
<![CDATA[‘Nesr El Saeed’ ranks fourth on top Twitter trends]]>
“I am keen to follow your reactions about the series because I simply act only to entrain you,” commented famous Egyptian actor Mohamed Ramadan on the hashtag. Egyptian tweeps praised “Nesr El Saeed”, sharing sentences from the script of the first episode.

Starring Mohamed Ramadan, Dorra, Sayed Ragab, Wafaa Amer, Dina and Mahmoud El-Leithy, the series revolves around a police officer named Zain, played by Ramadan, who lives in Qena and is married to a Cairene girl (Dorra) against the will of her family. After a fierce confrontation with an Upper Egyptian businessman involved in illegal business, Zain suddenly turns into a prisoner fighting to prove his innocence.
]]>
5/18/2018 2:11:38 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt TV series row as Saudi objects to star]]>
"Ard El Nefaq" (Land of Hypocrisy) was forced to remove a guest appearance by prominent journalist and TV presenter Ibrahim Eissa.

His scenes were re-shot after a Saudi public channel protested his casting, at a time when the Gulf's expanding television series production is gaining popularity among Arabic-speaking viewers.

Ramadan, the holy Muslim month where faithful abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk, is also a multi-million-dollar opportunity for filmmakers, TV producers and advertisers to scoop up viewers.

But politics is never far away from the shows.

Historical series produced in Syria were hugely popular until the 2011 outbreak of the country's conflict, and a number of channels, including Saudi outlets, have boycotted popular Turkish soaps off the back of regional disputes.

Eissa, who has accused Riyadh of using oil revenues to finance the spread of Islamic extremism, was targeted by the Saudi Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) which is to run Ard El Nefaq along with several other Arab channels.

The show "will be broadcast without Ibrahim Eissa... in agreement with the producer," SBC director Dawood Shirian told AFP.

Ard El Nefaq, adapted from Youssef El-Sebaay's 1949 novel and a subsequent film, is a expected to be a comic-drama examining the culture of hypocrisy in Egyptian society.

It will also star one of Egypt's top comedians, Mohamed Henedy.

Series producer Gamal el-Adl has failed to respond to requests for comment on how much the re-shot scenes cost, nor was it immediately clear if Eissa will be cut entirely from the programme or just the version shown in Saudi Arabia.

"There won't be two versions of the show, just one, and this version will be broadcast on SBC channel," Shirian said.

The Saudi protest at Eissa's casting came after Saud al-Qahtani, an influential royal advisor, tweeted his opposition to "Arab media figures who have insulted our leaders and country".

"The terrorism that has spread across the Muslim world and the globe and all of humanity, it all came from this Wahhabi seed," Eissa said in one of his shows, referring to the puritanical ideology of Saudi Arabia.

- Costs of 'Mosalsalat' balloon -

In the industry, Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation, is the biggest market with more than 100 million viewers inside and outside the country.

Ahmed Saad el-Din, art critic at the state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram, expected around 25 to 30 series to be aired this Ramadan on channels across the region.

The costs of the series, known in the region as "Mosalsalat", have ballooned along with the fees commanded by the region's stars.

"There is no 30-episode series that costs less than 25 million pounds ($1.4 million), and these are the series without any stars, with only new faces," said Hosny Saleh, who has directed several well-known Ramadan series.

The costs can climb to 70 million pounds when featuring leading actors, he said.

Yet Ramadan series can be a very profitable venture.

"Every seven or eight minutes the episode is interrupted by advertisements that last for at least five minutes," said Saad el-Din.

]]>
5/18/2018 12:40:20 PM
<![CDATA[Nuri Bilge Ceylan: melancholy poet of his 'lonely Turkey']]>
Ceylan, 59, known as NBC in Turkey, has an unbeatable track record at Cannes, with every feature he has ever entered in the competition coming home with one of the top awards.

Bringing his sixth feature film, "Ahlat Agaci" (The Wild Pear Tree) to Cannes, which has its gala premiere Friday night, Ceylan is a specialist of slow-moving cinema, with images filled with silence but illuminated by glorious images of Anatolian and other landscapes.

In his 2014 film, the three hours and 16 minutes long "Kis Uykusu" ("Winter Sleep"), for which he won the Palme D'Or, sharp dialogue is fed by the characters' antagonism.

Ceylan's fame has come against one of the most turbulent periods in the history of modern Turkey, marked by disasters, terror attacks, a failed coup and controversy over the increasingly authoritarian leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

But the filmmaker has steered away from overt political commentary in his films and also from airing his opinions in the media in Turkey or abroad.

- 'Love passionately' -

Indeed, among the few occasions when he has made pointed remarks in public have been the award ceremonies at the Cannes Festival.

His win for "Winter Sleep" came days after 301 people were killed in Turkey's worst mine disaster and also in the wake of deadly anti-Erdogan protests the previous summer.

Ceylan, usually keen to let his films do the talking, dedicated his 2014 prize to "the young people of Turkey, those who lost their lives during the last year" in his short acceptance speech.

And after accepting the award for best director in 2008 for "Uc Maymun" ("Three Monkeys"), he said: "I would like to dedicate the prize to my lonely and beautiful country which I love passionately."

Ceylan's first entrance into Cannes came in 1995 with short film, "Koza" ("Cocoon") but his breakthrough movie was "Uzak" ("Distant") which won the Grand Prix, the number two prize in Cannes, in 2003.

Joy over its success was shadowed by the death of its co-star Mehmet Emin Toprak, who jointly won best actor at Cannes, in a traffic accident months before the festival.

"Iklimler" ("Climates"), which starred Ceylan and his wife and frequent script-writing partner Ebru Ceylan, won Cannes' top international critics group Fipresci Prize in 2006.

"Uc Maymun" ("Three Monkeys"), his most explicitly political film, won the award for best director in 2008.
And the mysteriously atmospheric whodunnit, for some admirers still his greatest achievement, "Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da" ("Once Upon a Time in Anatolia") netted Ceylan the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2011.

And then in 2014 "Winter Sleep" won him the top prize.

- 'Dark side of my soul' -

For Ceylan, his films are an attempt to depict not just human nature but also darkness and melancholy as well as the expectations humans have of each other.

"There is as much hope in my characters as there is in real life," he once said.

His work is often inspired by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen and the Russian master dramatist Anton Chekhov.

Born in Istanbul on January 26, 1959, Ceylan's interest in cinema came during his university years.

But it was not until he was in his 30s that he studied film at Istanbul's Mimar Sinan University after initially reading chemical then electrical engineering.

Ceylan quit the film course after two years and started short film "Koza" in late 1993. Throughout his career he also earned money through commercial photographs and his first feature film was "Kasaba" ("The Small Town") in 1997.

After his 2014 win for "Winter Sleep" inspired by the short stories of Chekhov, he told journalists his motivation was "generally the darkness; to search and trying to understand the dark side of my soul".

The writing process with his wife, Ebru, is no less dramatic. Describing the process to write "Winter Sleep", she said the experience was "very intense" and the two having "violent quarrels". But, she added: "I believe we work fruitfully together."
]]>
5/18/2018 12:37:12 PM
<![CDATA[Syrian refugee boy is stand-out star of Cannes film festival]]>
Zain Al Rafeea, who has been working as a delivery boy in Beirut until recently -- and who has only just learned to write his name -- turns in a performance in "Capernaum" that critics said would melt the hardest hearts.

"I and the total stranger sitting next to me were sniffling and sharing a packet of tissues" by the end, said the Hollywood Reporter's Leslie Felperin.

Director Nadine Labaki took six months to shoot the odyssey through lives of the poorest of the poor in the slums of the Lebanese capital using amateur actors.

Zain plays a boy of the same name who runs away from home after his desperate mother and father sell his 11-year-old sister into marriage for a few chickens.

Zain then takes his parents to court for having brought him into the world.

Labaki discovered the girl who plays his sister, Cedra Izam, selling chewing gum in the streets.

- Baby's parents deported -

AFP LOIC VENANCE
(FromL)Lebanese producer Khaled Mouzanar, Lebanese director and actress Nadine Labaki, actor and refugee Zain Al Rafeea, Ethiopian actress Yordanos Shifera and a guest at a screening for "Capharnaum" at the Cannes Film Festival

But it was Zain's on-screen rapport with an unbearably cute baby Boluwatife Treasure Bankole -- whose real-life Ethiopian parents were temporarily deported during the shoot -- that created the most cinematic magic.

In an astonishing sequence at the heart of the film, the boy is left to look after the breast-fed baby in a shanty town only for his mother to be picked up and imprisoned by the police.

"Capernaum" turns on the characters' lack of papers, with Zain's parents too poor to have registered his birth.

"Cinema is one of the most powerful weapons we have to draw attention to problems, it is one of our responsibilities as artists," actor-director Labaki told AFP.

She said she found the idea for the film staring her in the face one night when she was driving home from a party.

"I stopped at a traffic light and saw a child half-asleep in the arms of his mother who was sitting on the tarmac begging.

"It became an obsession for me... I did more than three years of research. I was trying to understand how the system fails these kids," she said.

"These kids are facing extreme neglect. A lot of the things I saw shocked me, children who were incredibly neglected, and I went into children's prisons.

"You feel completely powerless. And that's maybe why we turn away," said Labaki, best known for her far less gritty beauty parlour story, "Caramel".

- 'Prizes a certainty' -

"I wanted to be in the head of these kids and understand what happens when you turn away and the kid goes around the corner and disappears."

She said her 13-year-old lead -- who has been working since he was 10 in the Mazraa district -- was lucky to have loving parents. "When we started (shooting) he wasn't going to school and faced a lot of hardships. He's only now just learned to read and write his name. There are thousands of kids in his situation."

The child got a 10-minute standing ovation after walking the red carpet for the premiere at Cannes late Thursday.

Critics raved over the film although some complained its storylines were too sprawling. "Prizes are almost a certainty," said Variety.

"Young Rafeea is a revelation as the swaggering, foul-mouthed Zain, combining the requisite traits of wounded sensitivity with seasoned resilience that somehow never feels cliched," said its critic Jay Weissberg.

Since the war in neighbouring Syria broke out, tiny Lebanon has become home to a million Syrian refugees, more than half of whom live in extreme poverty, according to the UN.

With little end in sight to the seven-year civil war, Lebanese patience has been wearing thin with refugees becoming the scapegoats for many of the country's ills.

]]>
5/18/2018 11:37:54 AM
<![CDATA[First-time director brings "post-post-colonial" South Africa to Cannes]]>
But the setting of the movie, which won critical acclaim for its first-time director in Cannes, is not the Wild West but South Africa, and its cowboys are Afrikaners, a community that thrived in the apartheid era but now faces an uncertain future.

The story follows teenage boy Janno, the oldest child and only son in a God-fearing family whose life and sense of self are thrown into chaos by his parents’ decision to foster an orphan, Pieter, a 13-year-old child recovering from drug addiction and life as a rent boy.

Writer-director Etienne Kallos, a South African, but not an Afrikaner, was drawn to the story of a community in a “post-post-colonial” world that finds itself increasingly isolated.
“They are overlooked, I would say, in many ways,” Kallos told Reuters in Cannes.

“They are under-represented, especially because the only thing people think about is apartheid. But there’s so much more going on.

“The new generation of Afrikaners was born completely outside the apartheid regime and they’re moving towards some sort of a new Africa and don’t know what that is yet.”

There is a sense of identity under threat, both for the community and for Janno himself, played by newcomer Brent Vermeulen, whose deep feelings for his best friend do not fit with the macho rugby-playing culture.

Screen Daily said: “This assured feature debut effectively hints at a churning savagery beneath the surface, which is every bit as unforgiving as the stark landscape”.

That landscape, in Eastern Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, with its mesas, striking flat-topped mountains, was the starting point for Kallos.

“I set out to make a film about place,” he said.

“We worked hard to somehow capture ... a grandeur that the landscape is bigger than the people.

“I wanted to feel the landscape was more important than the characters or more powerful than the characters.”

“The Harvesters” (“Die Stropers”) is in competition in the “Un Certain Regard” section at the Cannes Film Festival that runs to May 19.

]]>
5/17/2018 5:24:20 PM
<![CDATA[Cumberbatch Cold War thriller is snapped up at Cannes]]>
"Ironbark" is based on the story of British spy and businessman Greville Wynne, who handled the double agent Oleg Penkovsky, a Russian military intelligence officer who tipped off Britain and the US about Soviet missiles in Cuba.
The information he fed through Wynne -- who was arrested in Budapest and sentenced to eight years in prison in 1963 -- was among the most important of the Cold War.

Rights to the film were sold out across the world, according to Variety, with distributors FilmNation later posting on Facebook that it "has been a pretty good Cannes".

The US company has also sold out the rights to the starry all-female big-budget spy caper "355" starring Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard and Fan Bingbing, which was unveiled at Cannes.

Another Soviet era movie, "Gareth Jones", about the Welsh writer of the same name, has also sparked a lot of interest at the festival.

The journalist, played by James Norton of "McMafia" fame, helped expose the Holodomor, the man-made famine that many blame on Stalin in early 1930s Ukraine in which millions died.

Polish director Agnieszka Holland has wrapped shooting in Poland and Ukraine, with finals scenes due to be filmed in Scotland later this month.]]>
5/17/2018 1:28:55 PM
<![CDATA[Four Arab female filmmakers making Arab cinema international]]>
Kamla Abu Zekry

image Kamla
Kamla Abu Zekry-Snapshot of Youtube

After graduating from the High Cinema Institute, Kamala Abu Zekry started her career as co-director of “131 Ashghal” (131 Works) by Nader Galal in 1993. She went on and directed her first short film, “Qittar Al Sa’aa Al Sadisah” (The Six O’ Clock Train) in 1999. After working as a director’s assistant in several films, she made her first feature films, “Sanna Oula Nasb” (2004) and “Malek W Ketaba” (2005).

She had participated in several international and national film festivals, including the Cairo International Film Festival, the Dubai International Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival.

Sandra Nashaat

Sandra
Sandra Nashaat -Snapshot of Youtube

Sandra Nashaat, 48, is an Egyptian film director. She attended Cairo’s Higher Film Institute while simultaneously studying French literature at Cairo University.

Her most famous movies are "Mallaki Iskandariya" (Private Alexandria, 2005), "Leh Khaletny Ahebak" (Why Did You Make Me Love You? 2000), "Haramia Fe KG 2" (Thieves in KG 2, 2001) and "Haramia Fe Thailand" (Thieves in Thailand, 2003).

In conjunction with the 2014 referendum on the Constitution, Nashaat released her short movie "Sharek" (Participate), in which she toured the governorates of Egypt.

In the same year, she documented the simplicity of the Egyptian people in her movie "The Dream", aiming to deliver ordinary citizens' requests to the president.

Haifaa Al Mansour

image 3 Haifaa
Haifaa Al Mansour-Snapshot of Youtube

Being best known as Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker to be internationally recognized with her work, Haifaa Al Mansour left for Egypt to study comparative literature at the American University in Cairo with the encouragement of her father, late Saudi poet Abdul Rahman Mansour.

The director, screenwriter and producer later completed a master’s degree in directing and film studies from the University of Sydney in Australia.

She started her directing career with three short films, including “The Only Way Out”, which won several international awards.

She was awarded at several reputable film festivals, such as Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.

Annemarie Jacir

image 4 Ann
Annemarie Jacir-Snapshot of Youtube

Palestinian filmmaker and screenwriter Annemarie Jacir is internationally recognized, as two of her films premiered as official selections at the Cannes Film Festival, one as an Academy Award qualifier and one in Venice.

She began her career working in theater; first in set design and then writing and directing plays. She then entered her career in cinema as an assistant on various sets.

Her first feature film, “Salt of this Sea”, was Palestine’s official Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film and was also noted as the first feature film directed by a Palestinian woman. The film also won the prestigious FIPRESCI Critic’s Prize, as well as Best Film in Milan, Best Film in Traverse City and the Special Jury Prizes at both the Osians Asian and Arab Film Festival and Oran Festival of Arab Cinema.

Jacir’s most recent achievement is that her film “Wajib” received Best Film and Best Screenplay in the second edition of the Arab Critics Award presented at the Cannes Film Festival.]]>
5/17/2018 11:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Fictional Super Heroine of Muslim Descent joins Captain Marvel’s cast]]>
Marvel Studios produced some of the world’s most popular cartoons and it has established its position in the industry for almost a century now.

To the great surprise of comic books fans in the Middle East, Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, made a historical announcement, stating that a new fictional female super hero character will be created and is going to be the counterpart of Captain Marvel in their coming movie being filmed at the moment.

The bigger surprise is that Ms Marvel is a character of Pakistani descent and Muslim faith named Kamala Khan. She is from New Jersey and has two daughters.

This is the first time that a character of such background participates in a film production associated to Marvel Studios.]]>
5/17/2018 9:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Netflix reveals Ramadan's plan for MENA binge-watchers]]>
"KteerKbeer" Very Big Shot



The 2015 Lebanese film is directed and written by Mir-Jean BouChaaya. It revolves around brothers Ziad and (Alain Saadeh) and Joe (Tarek Yaacoub), who run a small drug dealing business through their pizzeria at one of Beirut’s working class districts.

Their third brother, Jad, has been serving five years in prison for a crime committed by his brother Ziad. Ziad could convince his brothers to take on the last job and run one last shipment of drugsto Syria before retiring from this life of crime, but when things went out of control in Syria they found themselves with a huge quantity of drugs.

The film made its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival in 2015, and won the Golden Star Prize at Marrakech Film Festival.

"Inshallah Istafadit" (Blessed Benefit)



Released in August 2017 in Germany, the comedy and drama film casts light on Jordan’s friendly prison system; when an elderly contractor is sentenced to three months in prison over a minor fraud charge, he could meet new people there. He realized at the end that his life in prison was better than the one he had outside.

The movie, directed by Mahmoud al Massad, participated in Cannes Film Festival in 2012, and received the Shasha Script Award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in 2011, Best Pitching Project ARTE in 2011, and the Global Film Initiative Award in 2012.

"Hajwala: The Missing Engine"



The adventure-driven movie,released across the UAE on September 29, 2016, follows the often illegal street car racing, through Khaled, who is fond of it to the extent that he decided to make his own car with a never before powerful engine.

"Zinzana" (Rattle the Cage)



The Kuwaiti film, released in 2015, was selected for London Film Festival, Beyond Fest, and Fantastic Fest. The crime, drama and thriller film revolves around a man named Talal (SalehBakri),who was trapped in a prison cell (Zinzana). Being behind bars is the least important of Talal's problems, as he is forced to play a madman's game to save his family.

"Just Like Us"



Egyptian American director Ahmed Ahmed’s film, Just Like Us, was an official selection for Tribeca Film Festival,Sydney Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, and The London International Documentary Festival.

Ahmed could take the audience a on a hilarious tour from Dubai to Beirut and from Riyadh to New York with a gaggle of stand-up talent, exploding taboos of culture and geopolitics.

"Speed Sisters"



The documentary film, released in 2017, shows how powerful Arab girls are as it features the Middle East’s first all-woman street car racing team from Palestine.

"Secret of the Nile"



The Egyptian series "Grand Hotel", known as "Secret of the Nile"on Netflix, has just become the first Arabic series to ever be featured on Netflix.

This series is based on a Spanish show of the same name, thus prompting the Egyptian version’s name to be changed to "The Secret of the Nile" on Netflix.

Netflix has become a global monster, bringing together audiences worldwide to enjoy series from all across the world. And now, with Egypt at the forefront, the world will get a taste of Arab talent with the wildly popular "Grand Hotel" series. English and Greek subtitles ensure the show will reach an even wider audience base. ]]>
5/16/2018 5:43:47 PM
<![CDATA[Gouna Film Festival holds reception in Cannes ]]>
In this regard, Naguid Sawiris, founder of El-Gouna Film Festival (GIFF), invited some talents from Cannes Film Festival to the reception.


GIFF team, Sawiris, co-founders Amr Mansi (CEO) and Kamal Zadeh, festival director Intishalal Tamimi, and Chief Operating Officer and co-founder Bushra Rozza, travelled to France to attend the 71st edition of Cannes.


Bushra, Tamimi, and artistic director, Amir Ramses, also attended “Yomeddine” screening during the grand opening of Festival de Cannes’s main competition.“Yomeddine” (Day of Judgment) is nominated for the Golden Camera award, which is granted each year to the best first-time director at the festival.
El Gouna Film Festival management started to accept film submissions for its second edition on April 12.

The submissions are for the Feature Narrative Competition, Feature Documentary Competition and Short Film Competition; the deadline for submission is set to be on July 22, 2018.

The selected films will compete for total prizes of $220,000. Winners in all categories will be awarded the El Gouna Gold Star for Best Film. Silver and Bronze Star awards will be given to those who claim the first and second ranks. An award will also be given to the best film from the Arab world in each of the three competitions. In addition, the Feature Narrative Competition will also present an award for the best actor and actress of the competing films.

The closing ceremony of the first edition of El Gouna Film Festival was on Sept. 29, 2017. It was attended by a notable group of Egyptian and international filmmakers, like Vanessa Williams and famous American actor Forest Whitaker, who won the lifetime achievement award. The festival’s management showed a documentary that features Whitaker’s most important acting roles.

“Photocopy” won El Gouna Golden Star Award for the Best Arabic Feature Narrative Film (the prize includes atrophy, a certificate and $20,000). Daniel Gimenez Cacho, who starred in “Zama”, won the Best Actor Award, while the Best Actress Award went to Nadia Kunda, who starred in “Volubilis”. The closing ceremony was presented by famous Egyptian actress Amina Khalil and ended with a song tailor-made for the festival by the mega star, Yousra. ]]>
5/16/2018 12:35:37 PM
<![CDATA[Tom Wolfe, author of 'The Right Stuff', dies at 88]]>
Wolfe's agent Lynn Nesbit said the writer died Monday in a Manhattan hospital, where he was being treated for an infection.

"We are incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of Tom Wolfe," his publisher Picador said. "He was one of the greats and his words will live on forever."

During a prolific career, Wolfe turned his flamboyant pen and keen eye to pop culture, the hippie movement, the art world, race relations and Wall Street.

But he is perhaps best known for his non-fiction bestseller "The Right Stuff" about the US space program and the original Mercury astronauts.

The 1979 book was made into a Hollywood hit starring Sam Shepard and Ed Harris and made swashbuckling test pilot Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier, a household name.

Wolfe is credited with contributing the phrase "the right stuff" and another from the book, "pushing the envelope," to the American lexicon.

Among those paying tribute to Wolfe on Tuesday was American astronaut Scott Kelly.

"He changed my life, and I am grateful I was able to thank him for the wildly unrealistic dream he gave me as an 18 year old boy," Kelly tweeted. "He was the #RightStuff."

Wolfe's first book, "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby," published in 1965, was born out of a collection of articles about the 1960s he wrote for Esquire and New York magazines.

The book became a bestseller and placed Wolfe alongside other figures in the "New Journalism" movement such as Hunter S. Thompson, Gay Talese, Norman Mailer and Truman Capote.

Instead of keeping a distance from their subjects, "New Journalism" practitioners often adopted an unconventional stylistic approach and perspective.

In interviews over the years, Wolfe would fend off criticism of his liberal use of exclamation points.

Wolfe published two bestsellers in 1968 -- "The Pump House Gang" and "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," for which he spent time with the "Merry Pranksters," a band of LSD-taking traveling hippies led by Ken Kesey, author of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

His 1970 book "Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers," examined racial tensions in the United States and lampooned some of the good intentions of New York liberals in awkward detail.

Wolfe's 1975 book about the US art world, "The Painted Word," outraged many artists with its depiction of an insular village.

Wolfe turned to writing novels in the mid-1980s, penning "The Bonfire of the Vanities," a scathing takedown of greed and excess in New York.

Like "The Right Stuff," the book also contributed a phrase -- in this case "master of the universe" -- to the American vocabulary.

"Bonfire" was made into a 1990 film starring Tom Hanks, Melanie Griffith and Bruce Willis.

Another novel, "A Man in Full," was published in 1998 and also made it to the New York Times bestseller list.

More recently, Wolfe wrote "I Am Charlotte Simmons," a 2004 novel about college life, and "Back to Blood," a poorly received 2012 book set in Miami.

Thomas Kennerly Wolfe was born on March 2, 1930 in Richmond, Virginia, where his father was the editor of The Southern Planter, an agricultural magazine.

After earning his undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University, Wolfe obtained a PhD in American studies from Yale University.

Wolfe then began a 10-year career as a newspaper reporter. He joined the Springfield Union in 1956 in Massachusetts before going on to work for The Washington Post and the New York Herald Tribune.

In a 1991 interview with The Paris Review, Wolfe described his newspaper experience as invaluable training for his later fiction and non-fiction pursuits.

"I wouldn't give anything for the years I spent on newspapers because it forces you, it immerses you, in so many different sides of life," he said.

A dapper dresser, Wolfe was known for his trademark white suits, homburg hats and two-tone shoes, a style he would famously self-deprecatingly describe as "neo-pretentious."

Wolfe married Sheila Berger, the artistic director of Harper's magazine, in 1978. They had two children.]]>
5/16/2018 9:59:44 AM
<![CDATA[Soon screening near you? Blockchain tech premieres at Cannes]]>
For the first time, key players in the emerging industry have set up shop at Cannes' bustling Film Market, a subterranean labyrinth where most of the world's movie trade takes place.

In a series of workshops, six international start-ups are decoding the complex science behind blockchain and why it matters to both makers and consumers of movies.

"Blockchain is the future in film, there's no turning back," enthused Jonny Peters, the Australian founder of Gazecoin, one of the companies holding court at Cannes.

Barely a decade old, the technology is an ultra-encrypted process used to handle peer-to-peer transactions, for now mostly of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

But its partisans claim that blockchain has the potential to become cinema's biggest disruptor in decades.

They want to break up what they see as an opaque financing monopoly controlled by a handful of big studios, while also tackling film piracy.

The revolution, if it comes, could be a "quantum shift" comparable to the advent of the internet, they say.

Cannes -- which drew ire for banning red-carpet selfies and snubbing Netflix -- insists its lens is firmly turned on the future, and that includes jumping on the fast-moving blockchain bandwagon.

"Everyone is now talking about blockchain, and there's a general consensus that it will become important in a good number of areas including in cinema," Film Market director Jerome Paillard said.

- Past 'can't be rewritten' -

One main aim is to make it a lot easier for independent artists to draw funding.

"Many filmmakers struggle to raise funds because investors don't feel like they know where their money is going," said Daniel Hyman, of Swiss company SingularDTV.

Blockchain addresses issues like accountability and control because it "provides a window into how exactly money is spent", he told a packed audience in Cannes.

Similar to a spreadsheet, a blockchain is a shared "ledger" or database, in which each entry is permanently recorded with an indelible time stamp.

Crucially, there is no central operator who controls the blockchain. Every participant has a real-time, DNA-like record containing all the transactions.

This decentralised network, combined with a unique coding system, means the technology is extremely tamper-resistant.

"The factor of immutability prevents the past form being rewritten," SingularDTV founder Arie Levy-Cohen Singular said.

"That's unique and new and this is THE breakthrough that underpins the invention."

The advantages are manyfold, experts claim, from indisputable proof of intellectual property rights and protection of royalty payments to improved crowdfunding opportunities.

"In cinema where the rights chain is often very complex, this could in the long run provide an alternative to big systems like France's public register of cinematography," said Paillard, the Film Market head.

- Reformed pirates -

For viewers, the changes could be equally important.

The technology enables filmmakers to bypass big studios and distribute their content directly to audiences who can access it with digital tokens, aka cryptocurrencies.

Next month will see the release of Hollywood's first blockchain film with "No Postage Necessary" by US director Jeremy Culver.

The comedy about a luckless hacker will be made available via peer-to-peer video network app Vevue, which runs on the world's most advanced blockchain.

"Although this is a first for the industry, we hope it will signal a shift in the way content is shared and consumed," Culver said in a statement in March.

He banks on the technology to help "No Postage Necessary" go viral by offering Vevue reward tokens to movie reviewers.

In this blockchained universe, pirates may find their hands tied, too.

Not only is counterfeiting films much harder, but experts also hope that consumers will be encouraged to switch from illegally downloading to paying for movies -- similar to what Spotify has done for the music industry.

"Blockchain and piracy have an interesting relationship because many blockchain people are former pirates," Gazecoin's Peters told AFP.

"They are therefore well-placed to provide solutions."]]>
5/16/2018 9:52:58 AM
<![CDATA[Meghan Markle: LA actress with the fairytale role]]>
At 36 and with a successful self-made career behind her, few doubt that the television star and humanitarian activist is ready to join the cast of the monarchy.

Markle made her name as savvy paralegal Rachel Zane in the US legal drama series "Suits", but cultivated a high profile for herself outside the show too.

She became a United Nations advocate for women's empowerment and a global ambassador for the World Vision Canada relief agency.

The Los Angeles-born star had more than two million followers on her now-closed Instagram account and ran a successful lifestyle blog, The Tig.

Markle was also revealed as the anonymous blogger behind The Working Actress, which chronicled the struggles of hustling for parts in Hollywood.

"She comes across as very poised, eloquent, thoughtful," said royal writer Andrew Morton, who has penned a biography of Markle.

"She's very focused and someone who has been very ambitious and really wants to give back. Her great phrase is 'make the change'," he told AFP.

"Meghan's a smart girl. She knows exactly what she's getting into."

- Ancestors royals and slaves -

Rachel Meghan Markle was born on August 4, 1981 to Thomas Markle, a white, Emmy Award-winning television lighting director who worked on top US shows like "Married With Children", and Doria Ragland, a black social worker and yoga instructor.

On her mother's side, her ancestors were slaves who worked on cotton plantations in Georgia. Her mother's surname is taken from a slave owner.

On her father's side, genealogists have traced her ancestry back to king Robert I of Scotland, who reigned from 1306 to 1329.

Markle's parents split when she was two and divorced five years later. She is now estranged from her older half-sister and half-brother, who has been scathing about her attitude towards the family.

"Her tiny bit of Hollywood fame has gone to her head, changing her into a jaded, shallow, conceited woman that will make a joke of you," half-brother Tom Markle wrote in an April 26 open letter to Harry.

She went to a private Catholic girls' school where she was remembered for her strong sense of right and wrong.

Aged 11, her letter-writing campaign got the consumer goods giant Procter and Gamble to change a washing-up commercial, referring to people rather than just women.

Determined to give herself options, Markle studied theatre and international relations at Northwestern University.

She graduated in 2003, after which she landed a six-week internship as a press officer at the US embassy in Argentina.

"She had all that it takes to be a successful diplomat," said Mark Krischik, her superior in Buenos Aires.

- 'Suits' springboard -

Returning to Los Angeles, in 2004 she fell in love with go-getting film producer Trevor Engelson, who helped her get on the acting ladder as she struggled for bit parts.

They married in Jamaica in 2011.

Soon after their engagement, Markle had landed her signature role in "Suits".

Filmed in Toronto, their relationship became a long-distance one. A series of flops followed for Engelson but the struggling actress became a star and the marriage collapsed in 2013.

Through a mutual friend, she met Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Harry in July 2016 while visiting London. Their romance quickly blossomed on a whirlwind camping trip to Botswana.

Since their engagement was announced in November, Markle has accompanied Harry, now sixth in line to the throne, on several public events ahead of their wedding.

Arthur Edwards, The Sun newspaper's royal photographer since 1977, said her style at public engagement was unusual.

"I've seen Meghan do selfies and give autographs, which the royals never do."

But Majesty Magazine editor Ingrid Seward told AFP that some readers "don't like her way of being outspoken, saying what she thinks, having views on politics and everything else".

"Everybody's intrigued by Meghan, whether they like her or not," she added.

Her acting career behind her, Markle's royal duties are likely to focus on youth, the Commonwealth and women's empowerment.

With Harry, his brother Prince William and his wife Kate, the four will have the task of renewing the monarchy's relevance to a younger generation.]]>
5/16/2018 9:45:43 AM
<![CDATA[Bohemian Rhapsody's trailer released and it rocks]]>
The new trailer was heart-warming and crafted with a lot of heavy metal and rock music showing the extraordinary spirit that characterized Queen. Focusing the formation of the band, the trailer went through the different stages of the band until they claimed the throne of the rock music. The movie also presented Mercury’s life and career being one of the best frontmen and the greatest vocalists. Other band members, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon



The movie crew included Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee, and Joseph Mazzello playing the role of the other members of the band: Roger Taylor, Brian May and John Deacon, respectively.

Bryan Singer, famous for X-Men, was the director of the movie but he got fired after he disappeared suddenly from the movie set. Dexter Fletcher completed the direction of the movie.

Bohemian Rhapsody was written by Anthony McCarten who was nominated for the 2015 Oscar Best Writing award for The Theory of Everything.

The movie will be screened in the American theatres on 2 November 2018.]]>
5/16/2018 3:25:34 AM
<![CDATA[The reason behind not screening Yousra, Heneidy's series in Ramadan]]>
Morsy noted in an official statement that the delay in the screening of the two series is because of the management's complete trust that these two high quality series will achieve a huge success and high viewership even when screened after Ramadan.

This comes as a part of a new marketing strategy adopted by ON TV that relies on creating new soap opera seasons other than the very busy Ramadan season; the matter that will increase the ads during and after Ramadan, achieving both artistic and economic gains.

Morsy's announcement ended a controversy that was recently raised on the aftermath of ON TV's decision to delay the screening of the two soap operas.

“Ard El-Nefaq” soap opera is directed by Sameh Abdel Aziz and Mohamed Gamal el Adl; it is based on a story penned by late writer Youssef el Sebai. Massoud, a humble worker, played by Mohamed Heneidy, is constantly suffering because of his modest income. One day, he comes across a professor who offers him “morality pills”, which completely change his character and consequently his life.

The series is scripted by Ahmed Abdallah and stars Hana Shiha, Dalal Abdel Aziz, Poussy and, for the first time as an actor, veteran Egyptian writer Ibrahim Eissa.

“Ladayna Akwal Okhra” series tells the story of a legal counsellor, Mervat Mahran, played by Yousra, whose life is ripped apart after an accident involving her son. Sherine Reda and Naglaa Badr co-star in this series directed by Mohamed Aly and written by Abdallah Hassan.

It’s that time of the year again where we’ll be glued to our TVs or more likely our phones and iPads, trying to cram in as many episodes as possible of soap operas produced for the peak viewing season that is Ramadan. ]]>
5/15/2018 4:18:18 PM
<![CDATA[Former Egyptian Museum official to be prosecuted for theft]]>
The administrative prosecutors received a tip from the legal department in the High Council of Antiques that an ancient item weighing 22 grams of pure gold had been reported missing, after being portrayed in the hall No. 44 located on the ground floor of the Egyptian Museum.

Investigators charged the former official, who claimed her innocence and informed police that the item may have been lost during the chaos and political turmoil that the country witnessed in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution.

The item is still missing, but the Egyptian police are widely exerting their efforts to locate it.

The Egyptian police and prosecutors stressed on the importance of properly handling precious antiques from Egypt’s ancient civilization, because they are not just a great part of Egyptian history, but humanity as a whole.
]]>
5/15/2018 2:55:19 PM
<![CDATA[Eye-watering tale of budding transgender ballerina is Cannes hit]]>
This year is no exception with a Belgian director's debut about a transgender budding ballerina trying to force her boy's body into executing perfect pointes drawing gasps.

Based on the true story of a 15-year-old girl trapped in a boy's body who dreams of becoming a prima ballerina, Lukas Dhont's "Girl", has drawn rave reviews, with 16-year-old Victor Polster hailed for his stand-out cinematic debut.

Dhont was still in film school when he stumbled across the true story of a non-conformist 15-year-old in the throes of gender reassignment who enrolled at one of Belgium's top dance academies.

The ordeal of trying to bend her body to the demands of the bar is compounded by Lara's increasingly desperate efforts -- culminating in a horrific act of self-harm to hide her male attributes.

Yet the film still manages an upbeat feel-good ending.

"This incredibly brave internal battle profoundly moved me," Dhont told AFP, who read about the girl's trials in 2009.

"I soon decided this would be the theme of my first film."

Dhont, who grew up in a Flemish family where boys were expected to "be boys", found echoes of his own childhood in the girl's story.

- 'Sexual identity crucial' -

"When I was little, my dad wanted me to be in the Scouts. Every fortnight, he would take my brother and me to play in the mud camp with other kids. We both hated it."

"We much preferred theatre, dance and song, where we would express ourselves. You can imagine our confusion when we learnt that these activities were seen as being 'for girls'," said Dhont who suspended his artistic endeavours for a few years "because I didn't want people to make fun of me."

Polster, a professional dancer, transformed himself physically for the role, learning to make his movements more feminine and working with a voice coach to reach a higher pitch.

"Lara's story touched me even if it wasn't easy to play," said the teen from the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp, who was accompanied to the festival by his mother.

"For people whose bodies don't conform to their identity, there is no choice. Getting their real sexual identity is absolutely crucial to them," he said.

In a moment of life imitating art the svelte actor overcame his shyness during the photocall for the film to perform the splits on a table for the cameras.

"Girl" comes nearly two decades after Hilary Swank strapped down her breasts to play a 20-year-old woman from Nebraska trying to live like a man in "Boys Don't Cry".

Issues relating to gender identity have become more mainstream since then, driven by the high-profile transition of personalities like Bruce Jenner, the former US decathlete who became Caitlyn Jenner in 2015.

Dhont hopes his film -- whose mutilation scene has drawn comparisons with a self-circumcision in Lars Von Trier's 2009 Cannes shocker "Antichrist" -- will further the normalisation of gender fluidity.

"It's good if my film encourages different thinking about masculinity and feminity," he said.]]>
5/15/2018 2:27:33 PM
<![CDATA[Von Trier targets #MeToo in shocking serial killer film]]>
The Danish provocateur, who was banned from Cannes for seven years for saying he understood Hitler, has a frustrated architect played by Matt Dillon kill a string of women and children in scenes of such "abhorrent cruelty" that many critics walked out.

"Vile movie. Should not have been made. Actors (also) culpable," said American entertainment reporter Roger Friedman, while another who left tweeted, "Gross. Pretentious. Vomitive. Torturous. Pathetic."

As the killer Jack horribly mutilates one girlfriend, who has suffered a night of controlling behaviour, he says: "Why is it always the man's fault... If you are born male you are born to be guilty. Think of the injustice of that."

He later makes a wallet from her severed breasts.

But the scene that sparked most revulsion was one in which Jack indulges in amateur taxidermy on one of the children he has killed with their mother after inviting them on a picnic.

Before dispatching them, he had them all wear Donald Trump-style red baseball hats.

The Hollywood Reporter slammed the film as "an autoerotic ego massage... often as inane as it is unsettling."

And there was no doubt that it was "a direct FU to the current climate of reckoning over gender bias and sexual misconduct."

- 'Gruesome' -

Von Trier also seemed to taunt the festival over his ban with images of Hitler and other mass-murdering dictators as the killer rhapsodises about icons of evil and the sound of German World World II Stuka dive-bombers.

Von Trier, who is notorious for putting his actors through hell, has had to deny accusations he sexually harassed singer Bjork on the set of his 2000 film, "Dancer in the Dark".

Danish authorities investigating the production company he founded said female staff had been bullied, humiliated and sexually harassed.

His longtime producer Peter Aalbaek Jensen said last week he would stop spanking his staff or asking them to strip.

Cannes has been criticised by feminist activists for allowing Von Trier back, particularly in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

The bad boy of arthouse cinema delights in butchering sacred cows and pushing beyond the limits of taste.

First reviews of "The House That Jack Built" were mostly hostile, with The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw writing that it was "an ordeal of gruesomeness and tiresomeness that was every bit as exasperating as I had feared."

However he admitted to being impressed by its "spectacular horror finale".

The film received a traditional standing ovation at its gala premiere, which prompted one person to say, "They'll clap for anything," according to Variety correspondent, Ramin Setoodeh‏.]]>
5/15/2018 2:23:12 PM
<![CDATA[Abdel Wahab to perform for the first time in Saudi Arabia]]>
Abdel Wahab, 37, is a popular Egyptian singer who was born in 1980. She started her career in 2000. Two years later, music producer Nassr Mahrous, who strongly believed in Abdel Wahab, paired her with Tamer Hosny on the same music album.

The album achieved booming success; Abdel Wahab and Hosny became mega stars.

Abdel Wahab has released a lot of successful songs, such as “Masha’aer’’ (Emotions), "Albi Leek" (My Heart is For You),”Garh Tany” (Another Wound), “Lazem Ayesh” (I Have to Survive) and “Batmenak” (I Am Assuring You), among others.

She acted in only one movie, “Mido Mashakel” (Mido Always Makes Problems), alongside Egyptian megastar Ahmed Helmy. Her only soap opera, “Tare’y” (My Path), was released in 2015 and achieved great success.

Abdel Wahab is famous for her emotional, melodious voice that has a significant touch of intimacy. She is consistently hailed as one of the most talented and successful singers of her generation, being dubbed as “The Queen of Emotions” for her popular romantic ballads.

It is worth mentioning that Mokattam’s Court of Appeals issued on Tuesday May 8, a not guilty verdict pertaining to Abdel Wahab’s case, in which she was charged with insulting Egypt in a “bad joke” she made during a concert in Lebanon.

The Egyptian court had previously sentenced Abdel Wahab to six months in prison and a fine of LE 5,000 ($281.5), but Abdel Wahab’s lawyer appealed the verdict.

Abdel Wahab’s lawyer built the defence on a similar sentence that was said by late Egyptian actor Ismail Yassin in one of his movies, titled “Am Abdou” (Uncle Abdou), and nobody at that time accused Yassin.

The singer made an ill-humored joke when one of the fans asked her to perform “Mashrebtesh Min Nilha” (Have You Drunk from Egypt’s Nile?), to which Abdel Wahab replied that she would catch schistosomiasis if she drank it, a phrase seen as inappropriate by many social media users.

“We will continue drinking the Nile’s water and will stop listening to Sherine’s songs,” was the name of a hashtag that launched in response to her joke. The hashtag topped trends in Egypt for the few hours that followed Abdel Wahab’s declaration.

The Health Ministry previously released a statement disproving the singer’s allegations, stating that Egypt has fought schistosomiasis and reduced its prevalence to 0.2 percent.

After conducting the necessary investigations, the Egyptian Musicians Syndicate decided to ban Abdel Wahab from singing in Egypt for two months; this period ended on January 14, 2018.

“There are some envious people who seek to harm Sherine and ruin the great accomplishments she achieved in the past few years. She will come to the syndicate to defend herself and clear her position,” Reda Ragab, deputy head of the Musicians Syndicate, previously recounted.

"We should turn this page and be all fully dedicated to support our country culturally and artistically at this current historic stage to achieve the aspirations of the great Egyptian people,” Hani Shaker, renowned Egyptian singer and head of the syndicate, previously stated, commenting on the syndicate's decision to ban Abdel Wahab from singing. ]]>
5/15/2018 12:56:37 PM
<![CDATA[Romancing the maid: Indian film tackles taboo]]>
"I didn't understand why this person who took care of me, who I loved... was so separate."

In a country where millions of servants sleep on the floor of the homes they work in, the idea that a "master" might fall for the meek low-caste woman who is there to cook and scrub for him seemed "inconceivable", she said.

But that is the premise of Gera's new film, "Sir", an upstairs-downstairs love story of a kind she says has never been seen in an Indian movie.

That the maid is a widow -- whose lives can be severely circumscribed in India -- adds another layer of taboo to the tenderly told tale which premiered at the Cannes film festival Monday.

Young property developer Ashwin and his maid Ratna may live "under the same roof but they are in completely different worlds," said Gera.

"They do not even speak the same language," with him coming from the English-speaking Mumbai elite and her a poor villager.

Even if by some miracle he married her, his family and friends might object to sharing a table with her.

Nor would she "be able to sit on a sofa with his sister", Gera told AFP.

0a82be558f8a0b31e98b934429a39d9dc359cdc8
In "Sir", an upstairs-downstairs love story, Ratna the maid is played by rising Indian star Tillotama Shome- AFP


- Class and caste system -

"Indian society is pretty rigid. It not so much the caste system as class these days which plays out as caste... And we accept it. No one is doing anything actively to challenge it."

The director saw the divide more starkly when she returned from college in the US. "You see these dramatic inequalities but I didn't know what to do about it.

"I couldn't be holier than thou because I am part of the problem," Gera admitted.

So rather than making "some preachy story or tell people what to think", instead she spun a subtly revealing study of thwarted love.

It is more Bergman than Bollywood, but as Gera joked, "it does have two dance numbers".

"As you get older, you begin to realise how love operates, how we allow ourselves to love who we love," he said.

"They are both victims in a way. He is in his gilded cage of privilege but he can't live his dreams."

Ratna the maid, played by rising star Tillotama Shome, is in some ways freer than him, Gera claimed, fired by a fierce determination to make the best of her circumstances.

"People not familiar with India might think, 'Oh my god, she sleeps on the floor in this little tiny room," but in Indian terms she is in a relatively privileged situation for a maid, the director insisted.

- 'Widows seen as cursed' -

"She is earning money and she has her dreams. She is not judging where she sleeps. It is not so different to what happened in England and Europe a few generations ago."

Following those dreams as a widow sets her apart in a country where patriarchal attitudes have become more entrenched under the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

Widows are still seen as cursed or bringers of bad luck by some, Gera said.

"They are denied a lot of joy and from wearing certain colours... Even in the supposedly progressive cities I have friends whose mothers lost their husbands in their forties and they never really moved on. You can't date in India if you are a widow and you have a child.

"For a widow to have desire is seen as preposterous."

But in the film Ratna -- who has been brought up to be docile and deferential, anticipating her employer's every whim -- manages not just to free herself but also her master, without losing her dignity.

"I don't know how people will take that," said Gera, who hopes the film will be seen widely in India.

"I think it will make some people extremely uncomfortable, which isn't a bad thing. But I think it will give others hope," she said.

With two Indian women directors selected for Cannes for the first time ever this year, Indian indie cinema seems to be on the up.

"It is a good year for Indian women at a very bad time for Indian women," Gera said dryly. "Our voices need to be heard."

]]>
5/15/2018 12:25:12 PM
<![CDATA[Belgian comic book artist William Vance dies: publisher]]>
"My friend the artist William Vance died this evening," Yves Schlirf, editorial director at Dargaud Benelux, tweeted. "I will really miss you my old lion."

Vance, the pen name of William Van Cutsem, was born in the Brussels region and drew for the Tintin series before striking it big with XIII, a contemporary action adventure series.

Media accounts said the bespectacled and mustachioed Vance was 82 years old and was suffering from Parkinson's disease.

The Belgian news outlet L'Echo said Vance, who also produced Bob Morane and Bruno Brazil, was "one of the last masters of Belgian comic strips."

Parkinson's disease forced him to abandon XIII in 2010 after he created it with script writer Jean Van Hamme in 1984, L'Echo said.

He launched his career by drawing for Tintin, translated into English and other languages, in the 1960s. In 1967, he worked with Gerald Forton to sketch Bob  Morane.

In 1969, he sketched the adventures of US secret agent Bruno Brazil.]]>
5/15/2018 12:20:59 PM
<![CDATA['Superman' actress Margot Kidder dies in her sleep at 69]]>
Kidder's manager Camilla Fluxman Pines said the actress died peacefully in her sleep on Sunday at her home in Livingston, Montana. The cause of death was not given.

Canadian-born Kidder appeared in more than 70 movies and TV shows, including "The Great Waldo Pepper," "The Amityville Horror" and the 2014 children's TV series "R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour," for which she won an Emmy award.

Kidder began her acting career in her 20s and shot to international fame playing the intrepid reporter Lois Lane in 1978's "Superman," opposite Christopher Reeve, and in three sequels.

"Thank you for being the Lois Lane so many of us grew up with," DC Comics, the home of the "Superman" franchise, said on its Twitter account.

"Star Wars" actor Mark Hamill tweeted "on-screen she was magic. Off-screen she was one of the kindest, sweetest, most caring woman I've ever known."

Reeve died in 2004 from complications from a spinal cord injury in 1995. The Reeve Foundation, which funds research into such injuries, said it was saddened by Kidder's death, adding, "Fly high, our friend, shine bright."

Kidder was unable to work for two years after a serious car crash in 1990, and eventually became bankrupt. Six years later, she suffered a mental health breakdown and in a highly publicized episode she disappeared for four days and spent time as a homeless person. She was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

After her breakdown, acting work dried up for several years, but Kidder later re-emerged with a guest starring role in TV shows like "Smallville" and "The L Word" and on stage including a 2002 Broadway production of "The Vagina Monologues."

She also was a prominent political activist, campaigning against the Gulf War, energy fracking and in support of Democrat Bernie Sanders in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Kidder became an American citizen in 2005.

She was married three times, including a six-day union in 1979 with actor John Heard.]]>
5/15/2018 5:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[41 Netflix series renewed for another season]]>
Here is a list of renewed series that have an official premier date:

"Arrested Development" – Season five premiers May 29 and stars Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett and Michael Cera


large web photo template
Arrested Development - cc via flickr


"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" – Season four premieres May 30 and stars Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane and Jane Krakowski

2
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - cc via flickr



"Marvel's Luke Cage" – Season two premieres June 22 and stars Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Simone Missick and Theoe Rossi

3
Marvel's Luke Cage - cc via flickr



"Glow" – Season two premieres June 29 and stars Alison Brie, Marc Maron and Betty Giplin


4
Glow - courtesy of Netflix

]]>
5/15/2018 1:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Spike Lee's signature: entertainment, activism, rage]]>
Lee first grabbed attention at the festival with his breakout feature, "She's Gotta Have It" -- shot in two weeks in black and white during the hot summer of 1985, in part thanks to his grandmother's savings.

With that film, which won a youth prize at Cannes, Lee "broke the glass ceiling" for black filmmakers and "opened the doors for everybody who's come after him," says Michael Genet, an actor and screenwriter who penned the script for "She Hate Me."

African-American director Ryan Coogler "couldn't be who he is today with 'Black Panther' without Spike Lee doing what he did," he adds. "It's impossible."

Lee -- born Shelton Jackson Lee in Georgia on March 20, 1957 -- was raised in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood, where he filmed "She's Gotta Have It" and which is still home to his production company 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks.

A small man with a piercing gaze from behind his round glasses, Lee acted in that first film, taking the supporting role of motor-mouthed Mars Blackmon, one of the main character's three suitors.

John Canada Terrell, one of his co-stars in the movie, described Lee as a "very strange, cerebral kind of cat."

"Spike was always quiet. He kept to himself but I called him the idea man," recalls Herbert Eichelberger, an associate professor of film at Clark Atlanta University whom Lee calls his mentor.

"He would come with all kinds of ideas about doing films and making certain kinds of approaches to a situation."

- Storyteller -

"From the start, he was a good storyteller," says Eichelberger, who thought Lee's career would be focused on documentaries, given his keen powers of observation of society around him.

But Lee would embrace that format only once, in 1997 with "4 Little Girls" -- the Oscar-nominated story of the racially motivated bombing of an African-American church during the US civil rights movement.

In the decade in between, Lee established himself as a force to be reckoned with, producing films with an often political bent like "Do the Right Thing," "Malcolm X" and "Jungle Fever."

Lee remained outside the usual Hollywood glare, mindful of keeping a hold on his own marketing, distribution and editing. His features starred mainly black casts.

"He wants to decide what he puts forth as his film," said Eichelberger, adding that Lee usually only makes movies that he has written as well.

That allows him to tell the stories as he sees them, blending human relationships with social themes and dark humor.

"I said to him, 'Why do you even worry about the writing?' And he said, 'No, Michael, I am a writer first. Always a writer first'," Genet recalls.

- 'We can't be satisfied' -

Today, Lee -- a huge fan of the New York Knicks -- is respected as a director of films with wide appeal that depict American society and culture with razor-sharp clarity.

"When we came back (from Cannes), the production had opened in New York City and I couldn't walk on the street. It was a hit," said Terrell, Lee's co-star in "She's Gotta Have It."

That success catapulted Lee to unexpected stardom -- he made a series of black and white Air Jordan ads for Nike, in character as Mars Blackmon and co-starring NBA legend Michael Jordan, that changed sports marketing forever.

Lee has made various other commercials and music videos over the course of his career.

He also has sometimes turned away from his usual films to direct more traditional Hollywood fare like the crime thriller "Inside Man" (2006) -- one of his greatest box office successes.

But at 61, he is back to basics with his Cannes entry "BlacKkKlansman," which is based on the true story of a black police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan.

"Between '85 and today is like between day and night," Lee told the Viceland program "Desus and Mero" in January when asked about the presence of blacks in cinema.

"But we can't be satisfied. It's not just making a film. We have to get in those gatekeeper positions so we have a say at what gets made."

]]>
5/14/2018 7:59:39 PM
<![CDATA[The ancient art of making rosary beads]]>

rosary 1

It is important for rosary bead makers to be in a good mood while working due to the patience required in the craft, sometimes taking a whole day to produce a single rosary. The craft requires a great deal of precision and professionalism. A rosary bead maker has to be highly skilled while manufacturing so that no mistakes occur which may negatively affect the Rosary's artistic shape.

rosary 2

Currently, the Al-Hussein neighborhood and Qasr al-Shouk Street especially, are preparing large quantities of rosary beads of different shapes and sizes, to meet demands in Ramadan, which consistently represent a time of peak sales for the beads. Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia also buy rosaries from Egypt for Ramadan and pilgrimage season, with Iraq and Yemen also buying.

rosary 3

Rosary bead makers are strongly attached to every rosary they produce. They consider every piece as a part of their soul. They know what suits every customer. An Egyptian for example, wants something that is cheap but elegantly shaped, while a foreigner usually tends to buy practical and valuable rosaries. for the bead maker, they feel that they are selling their art and creativity not just rosaries.

The price of a rosary starts from LE 50 and can go all the way up to LE 5000. The prices vary according to the design and the material of every rosary. Rosaries can be made from emerald, fairuz, silver and other valuable materials and precious stones. Sometimes the customer demands a special design with certain materials, such rosaries are sold in hard currency.

Chinese rosaries cannot compete with the Egyptian ones, because the quality of the Egyptian are higher and they are handmade, not machine-manufactured like the Chinese rosaries. It is worth mentioning that rosary bead manufacturers demanded the government’s support to preserve the rosary industry and to prevent this ancient art from dying out.

]]>
5/14/2018 2:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Film shows 'fearless' pope taking on church]]>
The Argentine is dressing down the cardinals and bejewelled princes of the Curia who run the Catholic Church, lacerating them for their greed, back-stabbing and lust for power.

The scandal-hit, Italian-dominated body is full of people leading immoral double lives who "possess a heart of stone and a stiff neck", he tells them in German director Wim Wenders' remarkable insight into the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

"Pay a visit to the cemeteries" and look at those "who thought they were immortal, immune and indispensable," Francis urges them in the feature, which premiered late Sunday at the Cannes film festival.

"You see the sharp faces of some of these cardinals who are rich and ambitious," said Wenders, who interviewed the reforming pontiff over several months for the portrait.

"But you can also see other archbishops thinking, 'Yes, this is why we elected you.' As Francis said, you cannot combat the diseases of the world without examining yourself first."

The picture that emerges of Francis from Wenders' unprecedented access is of a man determined to radically transform the vast wealthy institution into "a poor church for poor people".

And Wenders, the maker of such classics as "Wings of Desire", "Paris, Texas" and "The Buena Vista Social Club", believes this pontiff has the steeliness to do it.

pp
German director Wim Wenders says the Vatican contacted him out of the blue asking if he would like to talk to the pope- AFP

- Enemies digging in -

Many in the Curia "think he is going too fast and too far," according to Wenders, and have been digging in with traditionalists to resist him.

"But I think the opposite," said the filmmaker. "I think Francis is stepping on the brakes in order to take them all along.

"Yet also he is fearless. He knows what has to be done and he wants to push it as far as he can knowing that he is not young anymore."

For Wenders, a lapsed Catholic who rediscovered his faith in a "friendly God" after the death of his doctor father, the 81-year-old is a revolutionary.

"When you look him in the eye you see this is a very loving man who really likes people. He is as honest as a man can be and you see the courage in his eyes.

"His message -- that we are equal and we have to treat each other as equals -- is why people say he is a communist. We cannot leave people behind in the dust. It is a tough message and he doesn't hesitate with it."

Francis is a radical just like the medieval saint from whom he took his name, Wenders argued, "who like him wanted to go back to early Christianity... when the church was an organisation of poor people."

- Call from the Vatican -

"St Francis of Assisi was also the first ecologist," said Wenders, who was "amazed" by the depth of the pope's understanding of climate change and his warning that the global "mania for growth" is threatening mankind.

"That growth is coming at the expense of the poor majority... who are suffering first and worst from climate change," said Wenders.

The director said the Vatican contacted him out of the blue asking whether he would be interested in talking to the pope.

"I was given carte blanche," he told AFP, and access to the Vatican's video archives. "There was no interference whatsoever," he insisted, despite the film being co-produced by Vatican television.

Wenders said he was also touched by the pope's deep tolerance of other religions and lifestyles.

"He says don't try to convert anybody, just try to convince them to be of goodwill and to accept each other. His firm belief is there is no difference between people. That is revolutionary -- communists don't have that message."

But despite trying to lead by example by living modestly, the pope knows his power is limited. "All he has are his words," Wenders said.

"Each time he left us after the shoot, he would look into our eyes and ask each of us, 'Please pray for me.'

"There are a lot of people praying for him, praying that he can do it," Wenders said.

]]>
5/14/2018 1:45:32 PM
<![CDATA[Kurdish women fighters film sparks furious Cannes row]]>
"Girls of the Sun", which follows a platoon of Yazidi women battling the extremists who had enslaved them and their children, was premiered at the same time as one person was killed and four others wounded in a knife attack in Paris claimed by IS.

The movie, with Iranian star Golshifteh Farahani as a lawyer who picks up an AK47 to lead the Sun Brigade of survivors, is set in Kurdistan in the days leading up to the November 13 Paris terror attacks, in which 130 people died.

The premiere followed a historic protest on the Cannes red carpet by Hollywood stars and female filmmakers demanding equal pay and an end to sexism.

But as the curtain came down, a shouting match erupted at a nearby screening for critics.

A small number who had booed the film were shouted down by others, who accused them of disrespecting the film's female director and cast.

"It's not about you, dude. Not your time to talk," one said.

The divide was equally stark in the first reviews published Sunday, with the French magazine Telerama calling the war film "naive and inconsequential", while others said it was a "disservice to a noble cause".

- 'Condescending' critics -

But IndieWire's David Ehrlich said it was impossible not to be moved by it and called it a "surefire Palme (d'Or) contender", referring to the festival's top prize.

He conceded that there "was a little too much paprika on the sandwich where none would have done nice, but (French director) Eva Husson is one hell of a filmmaker."

French producer Claudine Nougaret Depardon took to Twitter to condemn the "misogynous and condescending attitude to this beautiful and courageous film.

"Let's fight to demand the early retirement for these (male) critics," she added.

The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw also rallied to its defence, hailing it as a rousing "feminist war movie: impassioned, suspenseful, angry".

While admitting that some might find it naive and "unsophisticated.... for me it is heartfelt, forthright and muscular."

But several French critics excoriated Husson's handling of the story, arguing that some of the women characters were paper thin.

The Hollywood Reporter was also critical of its "narrative histrionics and a tear-jerking score worthy of a Walt Disney movie".

But it praised Husson for "shining a light on an important and terrifying story that made headlines a few years ago but has since been forgotten by many of us."

Overall, critic Jordan Mintzer called it "a meaty all-female war movie served with an extra slice of cheese."
]]>
5/14/2018 12:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Medhat Saleh to perform at Cairo Opera House on June 4]]> Saleh was born in Cairo in 1960 in Shobra district. He started his musical career directly after he was graduated from Cairo University. He released his first song, entitled “Akeed” (Sure) in the 1980s. He performed his song named “Ya Greed el Nakhl el Aly” (O high palm leaves) in front of former Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak in mid 1980s, where the song achieved a booming success, placing Saleh among the top singers at that time.

Throughout his career that extended for more than 30 years, Saleh was famous for performing the songs of the most successful movies such as "Habiby Ya Ashek" in “Short w Fanla w Cap” (Shorts, a T shirt and a Hat) movie, "El Nour Makano Fel Keloob" ( Light is in the hearts) from “Amir el Zalam” ( The Prince of Darkness) movie, “La Hatakhod Eih” ( What Will You Take?) from the movie "Mafia", among others.
As usual, Cairo Opera House will present a wide variety of concerts throughout the holy month of Ramadan, with a massive schedule of more than 42 concerts. The first 21 concerts are scheduled to take place in the Small Hall and the Open Air Theater.

In cooperation with their embassies in Cairo, five Arab and Islamic countries – Indonesia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tunisia, Palestine and Sudan – will celebrate Ramadan through performances presented by their art troupes to reflect their heritage, customs and traditions. Additionally, the Armenian embassy will celebrate 100 years of independence by presenting Armenian-style concerts.

The Open Air Theater will host 16 concerts in Ramadan that combine singing, religious singing, mystical singing, spiritual music and some unique artistic experiences by young artists.

Ramadan concerts will be performed by various prominent artists, including Medhat Saleh, Nesma Abdel Aziz, Al-Radwan (Al-Maraashli Sons) group, Hadara Group, Hazem Shaheen and his troupe, Sheikh Ehab Younis, Dina al-Wadidy, Basata troupe, Mawlawia troupe and artist Amer el Tony, the South Nubian band led by Mahmoud Al-Sharqawi, Fathi Salama with Sheikh Mahmoud al-Tohamy, Intisar Abdel Fattah and Tunisian singer Ghalia bin Ali.


In parallel, Cairo Opera House continues its annual season of performances at its main halls in the Cairo, Alexandria and Damanhur opera houses with 21 other concerts for the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, Abdel Halim Noireh Ensemble for Arab Music and the National Arab Music Ensemble.


]]>
5/14/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Attempt to smuggle historic books, manuscripts failed]]>
General Manager of the Archaeological Unit at Cairo airport, Hamdy Hammam, explained that immediately after informing the unit, a committee has been assembled to inspect the books and documents; the documents were confirmed to be archeological and were immediately seized. The ministry of Antiquities should receive the seized books and documents in accordance with the law of the protection of antiquities No. 117/1983 and its amendments.

Manuscipts - Press photo
Manuscript - press photo


Head of the Archeological Unit pointed out that the governmental documents belong to the Department of Lands and Property in a number of governorates in Egypt, such as Menufia and Asyut, among others. These documents date back to 1230 AH -1251 AH. The committee returned the seized items to the police until the ministry gets the approval to receive them so that they can be restored and preserved.

Manuscripts - Press photo (2)
Manuscript - press photo



]]>
5/13/2018 6:35:18 PM
<![CDATA[Barred Cannes director desperate to show his film at home in Iran]]>The female cast and crew of the new film by Iranian director Jafar Panahi, who is banned from leaving the country, said Sunday he was crushed he could not attend the Cannes premiere but that his "most ardent hope" was to show the movie at home.

His "Three Faces", one of 21 movies vying for the Palme d'Or top prize, drew a standing ovation at the world's top film festival late Saturday, but Panahi's absence was sorely felt with a seat left symbolically empty for the dissident director.

"He said several times he was prepared not to present his film in Cannes if he could show it in Iran. The film isn't particularly political as you saw -- it could take place anywhere else in the world -- so we're still hopeful," his editor Mastaneh Mohajer told reporters.

"It's his most ardent hope he'll be able to show his film in Iran," she said.

- 'All his films are feminist' -

The meditative road movie tells the story of the intertwined fates of three Iranian women from different generations, with Panahi playing a co-starring role.

In the opening scene a girl makes a smartphone video of her own faked suicide to draw Panahi's actress friend Behnaz Jafari to her village from Tehran after her conservative family refused to allow her to attend art school.

"Jafar Pahahi was always really ahead of the times in terms of empowering women," Mohajer said. "All his films focus on feminist issues."

It is the second Iranian feature in competition alongside Asghar Farhadi's "Everybody Knows" starring Spanish star couple Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

Panahi, 57, was outlawed from making movies and leaving the country after supporting mass protests in 2009 and making a series of films that critiqued the state of modern Iran.

Pleas by Oscar-winning US director Oliver Stone and other supporters to let Panahi travel to Cannes fell on deaf ears in Tehran ahead of the premiere.

He has frequently found ways of working around the ban, famously smuggling his 2011 documentary "This is Not a Film" out of the country in a flash drive hidden in a cake to screen it in Cannes.

His 2015 picture "Taxi" won the Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival to the consternation of his conservative critics back home.

- 'Police everywhere' -

"Three Faces" lead actress Jafari, who plays a version of herself in the film, said the entire crew had to be careful while working in a rural region of the country's northwest.

"We were very worried all the time. We were expecting a shock to come out of the blue," she said.

"There were police everywhere in the village where we shot. When they saw me they recognised me but Mr Panahi stayed in his car. I don't want to say that he hid himself but he didn't want to be seen so he wouldn't have any problems."

Panahi is one of two Palme d'Or contenders to be barred from attending Cannes this year.

Russia's Kirill Serebrennikov missed Thursday's premiere of his much-praised film "Leto" after being placed under house arrest in Moscow on embezzlement charges his allies claim are political.

Also premiering Saturday was feminist war movie "Girls of the Sun" starring acclaimed Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani, who sparked controversy a decade ago with topless images and has not worked in her home country since she appeared in Farhadi's 2009 film "About Elly".

Farhadi said last week that attending his own Cannes premiere while Panahi was barred was "something I have difficulty living with".]]>
5/13/2018 2:52:47 PM
<![CDATA[Ghalia Benali to perform at Cairo Opera House June 9]]>
She grew up listening to the voices of Umm Kulthum and other Arab legends, and she watched Arabic films that later contributed to her understanding of the multiple Arabic cultures and philosophies.

She embarked on her journey in music when she released her album in the late 1990s. Her album “Ghalia Benali Sings Om Kalthoum”, released in 2010, attracted various Arabic youth to enjoy the classical strong lyrics of the famous Umm Kulthum and to discover Benali.

As usual, Cairo Opera House will present a wide variety of concerts throughout the holy month of Ramadan, with a massive schedule of more than 42 concerts. The first 21 concerts are scheduled to take place in the Small Hall and the Open Air Theater.

In cooperation with their embassies in Cairo, five Arab and Islamic countries – Indonesia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tunisia, Palestine and Sudan – will celebrate Ramadan through performances presented by their art troupes to reflect their heritage, customs and traditions. The Armenian embassy will celebrate 100 years of independence by presenting Armenian-style concerts.

The Open Air Theater will host 16 concerts in Ramadan that combine singing, religious singing, mystical singing, spiritual music, and some unique artistic experiences for the youth artists.

Ramadan concerts will be performed by various prominent artists, including Medhat Saleh, Nesma Abdel Aziz, Al-Radwan (Al-Maraashli Sons) group, Hadara Group, Hazem Shaheen and his troupe, Sheikh Ehab Younis, Dina Al-Wadidy, Basata Troupe, Mawlawia troupe and artist Amer el Tony, the South Nubian band led by Mahmoud Al-Sharqawi, Fathi Salama with Sheikh Mahmoud Al-Tohamy, Intisar Abdel Fattah and Tunisian singer Ghalia Benali.


In parallel, Cairo Opera House continues its annual season of performances at its large theaters in the Cairo, Alexandria and Damanhur opera houses with 21 other concerts for the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, Abdel Halim Noireh Ensemble for Arab Music and the National Arab Music Ensemble. Benali started her artistic career path when she studied art in Belgium. She then found herself mesmerized with the multiculturalism of the Middle East.

]]>
5/13/2018 1:24:14 PM
<![CDATA[Story of doomed love 'Cold War' wows Cannes festival]]>
The director who won the 2015 foreign language Oscar for “Ida”, also set in the Communist era, is vying for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival with “Cold War” a romance that moves from the peasant farms of Poland to Paris jazz clubs and back from the 1940s to the 1960s.

Zula is a tough, beautiful woman who wins a place at a school for traditional performing arts set up to promote a wholesome nationalistic image of post-war Poland, where the handsome Wiktor is musical director.

Early in their clandestine affair, she admits to spying on him for the authorities, the first, and perhaps least, of many problems that the political climate throws at the relationship.

In his five-star review, The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw called “Cold War” a “mysterious, musically glorious and visually ravishing film” with “an exquisite chill”.

Asked why the cold war made a good backdrop for a romance drama, Pawlikowski said: “There were a lot of obstacles around at the time, and love is, to a large degree, a matter of overcoming obstacles.”

The movie is also inspired by personal experience.Pawlikowski, 60, lived in exile from Poland from the age of 14 when his ballerina mother escaped with him to the West. The protagonists of “Cold War” are named after his late parents.

“There are a lot of things in common between this couple and my parents,” he said.

“They were kind of a disastrous couple who fell in love, separated, fell in love again, married other people, got together again, changed countries, fell apart, came together again and so on.

“It’s not their portrait but there are quite similar mechanics to their relationship.”

Critics praised the film’s black and white cinematography, musical score and sense of humor, with IndieWire comparing Joanna Kulig’s performance as Zula to a young Jeanne Moreau: “an alcoholic hellcat who thrusts herself into the embraces of other men – quite literally, in a reckless spree around the dance-floor of a rock’n’roll club.

“It’s a terrific, high-showmanship sequence, as if Pawlikowski had the urge to unleash his inner Scorsese.”

The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 8 to May 19.]]>
5/13/2018 12:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Singer Charles Aznavour fractures arm in fall]]>
"It's nothing serious. Charles Aznavour fractured his humerus (upper arm)" in the fall at his house at Mouries near Arles in southeastern France, the attache told AFP.

Dubbed the French Sinatra, the legendary crooner and prolific writer will turn 94 later this month, but continues to tour despite his age.

Last year he was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and he remains very much in demand.

Aznavour, who has recorded more than 1,400 songs and has more than 60 film credits, is scheduled to play two dates in Japan on May 21 and 23.

He will celebrate his birthday in-between the two shows, then follow up those concerts with further summer appearances in Italy, London, Spain and Germany.

Last month, he was forced to cancel a show in Saint Petersburg after suffering back strain during a rehearsal.]]>
5/13/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[A few good women: Female filmmakers at Cannes]]>
But the numbers show the festival still has some way to go in the battle of the sexes.
- And the winner is... -

Of the 268 filmmakers who have claimed one of Cannes' top three prizes, only 11 -- or four percent -- have been women, an analysis by AFP shows.

New Zealand's Jane Campion remains the only female director to have received the highest accolade, the Palme d'Or, awarded for her masterpiece "The Piano" in 1993.

Iranian prodigy Samira Makhmalbaf snagged the prestigious Jury Prize twice, first for her 2000 breakthrough feature "Blackboards" and again three years later for "At Five in the Afternoon".

The last major prize winner was Italian director Alice Rohrwacher, who took home the Grand Prix for "The Wonders" in 2014. She's back in the running this year with "Happy as Lazzaro".

- Director's cut, or not -

Women have made up barely 3.5 percent of the best director and best screenplay winners over the past seven decades.

Only four of the 111 winners have been female -- and two of them were last year when Sofia Coppola became only the second woman to secure the best director trophy with her American Civil War drama "The Beguiled".

Meanwhile, Briton Lynne Ramsay's "You Were Never Really Here" scored best screenplay.

- Struggle to get in -

If only one woman has won the Palme d'Or it's likely because very few ever get nominated.

Since the festival's launch in 1946, only 82 films by female directors have been shown in competition -- a number dwarfed by the nearly 1,700 male contenders.

In other words, women made less than one in 20 of the films.

This year's festival doesn't buck the trend, with just three female directors among the 21 main competition contenders.

This is still better than the 2010 and 2012 festival editions, which had all-male lineups.

While Cannes organisers acknowledge the gender inequality, they insist this merely reflects the underrepresentation of women directors in the cinema industry as a whole.

- On jury duty -

Australian actress Cate Blanchett heads this year's starry majority-female jury, which also includes Kristen Stewart and Lea Seydoux.

While Blanchett is the 12th chairwoman in the festival's 71-year history, only one woman director, Jane Campion in 2014, has had the honour.

Campion has said that Cannes needs to have an all-female jury one day to counter the decades of male domination.

Apart from the president, the jury is composed of four women and four men -- a parity ratio observed since 2013.

Overall women fare slightly better as judges at Cannes, although it is still relative. One in five jury members have been women in its seven-decade history.]]>
5/13/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[ACC declares winners of second annual Critics Awards]]>
The Best Actor award went to Mohamad Bakri for his role in the movie “Wajib”. The Best Actress award was granted to Mariam Al Ferjani for her role in the film “Beauty and the Dogs”. The Best Screenplay went to Annemarie Jacir for “Wajib”. Ziad Doueiri was awarded the Best Director award for “The Insult”, and “Taste of Cement” won the Best Documentary award.

The winners, who come from eight Arab countries, were selected by 62 film critics from 28 countries around the world. The critics viewed the Arab features and documentaries produced in 2017 on the digital platform Festival Scope, a partner of the Arab Cinema Center.

The awards are given to the best Arab film productions every year in the following categories: Best Film (feature and documentary), Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Actor. This year, the Critics Awards' jury brings together 62 of the most prominent Arab and international film critics from 28 countries all over the world for the first time in the history of Arab cinema.

The final list of nominees for the Critics Awards were selected according to certain criteria, such as the films must have premiered at international film festivals outside of the Arab world during 2017 and at least one of the production companies must be Arab (regardless of the size of its contribution in the production of the film). In addition, the films must be feature-length films (fiction or documentary).

The first annual Critics Awards was launched within the 70th Cannes Film Festival. The winners are slated to be announced during the 71st Cannes Film Festival (May 8-19).

Organized by MAD Solutions in 2015, the Arab Cinema Center is an international promotional platform for Arab cinema, as it provides the filmmaking industry with a professional window to connect with their counterparts from all over the world through a number of events that it organizes.

The ACC also provides networking opportunities with representatives of companies and institutions specialized in co-production and international distribution, among others. The ACC's activities vary between film market main wings, introduction and networking sessions for Arab and foreign filmmakers; welcome parties; meetings with international organizations and festivals; and the issuance of the Arab Cinema Magazine to be distributed at leading international film festivals and markets.

The ACC also launched an English-language Arab Cinema Guide, available on its website, which is a comprehensive cinematic guide that comprises a variety of tools presented collectively for the first time to offer information on Arab cinema to filmmakers inside and outside of the Arab world. It also aims to facilitate filmmakers' access to international markets and help film industry representatives to easily identify Arab film productions.
]]>
5/13/2018 1:30:00 AM
<![CDATA['Let's climb!' Female stars call for equal pay in Cannes protest]]>
Eighty-two actresses, filmmakers and producers marched arm and arm to demand equality and "a safe workplace", seven months after the world was shaken by the #MeToo movement and the fall of mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The ranks included a battalion of Oscar winners from Helen Mirren and Marion Cotillard to US blockbuster directors Ava DuVernay and Patty Jenkins who made "Wonder Woman".

"We demand that our workplaces are diverse and equitable so they can best reflect the world in which we live," said Blanchett in a statement read out with the legendary 89-year-old French director Agnes Varda.

Blanchett, a double Oscar winner, said they wanted "a world that allows all of us in front and behind the camera to thrive shoulder to shoulder with our male colleagues."

With Cannes under fire for its dearth of women directors, the world's top film festival hoped to fend off some of the fierce criticism with the march.

The number of protesters was highly symbolic as it represented the 82 films by female directors who have competed for the top Palme d'Or prize since 1946 -- a number dwarfed by the nearly 1,700 male contenders.

The star-studded group stopped halfway up the stairs to the Palais des Festivals to mark the obstacles they face in trying to reach the top.

- Women in suits -

"The stairs of our industry must be accessible to all. Let's climb," Blanchett declared, with some of the rally's participants visibly moved.

The Australian actress also head the female-majority jury that will decide the festival's top prize.

Several protestors including Stewart made a strong fashion statement by donning suits and tuxedos, in a show of defiance to Cannes' red-carpet dress code which is often denounced as sexist.

Women have been stopped from entering premieres in the past for not wearing high heels.

Producer and activist Melissa Silverstein of Women and Hollywood hailed the event as a "massive milestone towards change".

"An honour to share the carpet with @Ava (DuVernay) and all the other women who are pushing for more opportunities for women," she said in a tweet after the march.

The protest took place ahead of the premiere of "Girls of the Sun" by Eva Husson, one of only three women out of 21 directors in the running for the Palme d'Or.

The film is the story of the Kurdish Yazidi all-female Sun Brigade who are fighting Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq, where thousands of women were kept as slaves.

The protest comes at the first Cannes festival since the cinema industry was engulfed by the spiralling sex abuse allegations against Weinstein.

Cannes was the scene of several of the disgraced Hollywood mogul's alleged attacks on actresses.

In response, the festival set up an anti-harassment hotline this year.

The number has already received "several calls" since the festival's launch on May 9, said French Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa.

Cannes "must be a safe space for women," she stressed.

- 'Disturbing' depictions -

Blanchett has criticised Cannes for once again failing to invite more female directors.

"There are many women on the jury but I wish there were more in competition," the Australian-born star told French radio earlier this week.

The 48-year-old has emerged as a key figure in Hollywood's fight against sexual misconduct.
One of the first women to call out Weinstein, Blanchett co-founded the "Time's Up" movement to support abuse victims.

Her comments echo those of fellow actress Jessica Chastain who served on the jury last year and lambasted Cannes for its "disturbing" depiction of women.

Chastain caused a stir on Thursday when she revealed that she planned to make Hollywood's first big budget all-female blockbuster with a cast including Penelope Cruz and Lupita Nyong'o.

Only seven percent of Hollywood blockbusters were directed by women in 2016.

France has the best ratio among the major film-producing countries with 23 percent of films directed by women.]]>
5/13/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[‘The Cachette’ to take place at Darb 1718 on May 13]]>
“The Cachette” will host paintings, photos and installations made by six female artists: Butheina Shalan, Salwa Rashad, Aliaa El-Gready, Noha Naguib, Hemat Rayan and Yasmine Hussein, along with the special participation of Marianne Fahmy.

“The Cachette” will showcase the results of a workshop that was attended by the six artists, who explored and researched what is known as "the archeology of women".

The exhibition’s displays in general are about feminine issues, such as to what extent a woman is connected to the space she lives in, her nature, collective memory, and the bond between memory, society and personal surroundings.

“The woman or female that we intend here is represented in the grander mother, which is Mother Nature. It therefore represents all of humanity. She is both man and woman,” stated Darb 1718 on the exhibition’s Facebook page.
]]>
5/12/2018 6:29:12 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian film ‘Yomeddine’ grabs world’s attention at Cannes]]>
The tragic comedy “Yomeddine” revolves around a leprosy patient who escapes from the hospital along with one of his friends in order to search for his family. “Yomeddine” is directed by Egyptian-Austrian director Abu Bakr Shawky, who became the first Egyptian to be invited to the main competition of the Cannes Film Festival.

The 71st Cannes Film Festival held a press conference with the Egyptian filmmakers of “Yomeddine” after its screening at the festival on Wednesday, May 9. The screening was attended by many international actors, including Julianne Moore, Louise Bourgoin and Kiko Mizuhara. All the attendees praised the movie’s construction and drama line, as well as the directing technique adopted by Shawky in his debut feature.

The first Egyptian movie participating in Cannes Film Festival’s main competition managed to grab the attention of all those who watched it. International media platforms were keen to put the spotlight on “Yomeddine”, writing extremely positive reviews about the movie that presents an innovative mixture of tragedy, comedy, and condensed shots of emotions and sentiments.

“A man who has recovered from leprosy goes in search of the father who abandoned him in a sentimental drama that infantilizes its lead character,” wrote Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian.

“Recalling about a thousand other titles, with the Lynch films ‘The Elephant Man’ and ‘The Straight Story’ definitely near the top of the list, this is a picaresque road movie about two mismatched characters, with rookie director A.B. Shawky offering a motley and not entirely smooth cocktail of drama and melodrama, a dash of social critique and insight, some chuckles and a few tugs at the heartstrings, mainly by virtue of its near-virtuoso score,” wrote Boyd van Hoeij in The Hollywood Reporter.

“A lovingly made, character-driven road movie that occasionally dips into sentimentality, yet has moments that honestly play on the heartstrings,” wrote Jay Weissberg in Variety.

The Egyptian and Arab presence at the 71st edition of Cannes International Film Festival is significantly prominent. A number of Arab films are officially participating in the festival.

The Egyptian movie “El Maseer” (The Destiny) will screen on Sunday, May 13 at 9 p.m. as part of the festival's events.

“El Maseer”, released in 1997, is considered one of the classics of Egyptian cinema; it is written and directed by late great director Youssef Chahine and stars a notable group of Egyptian actors, including Leila Elwi, Khaled el Nabawy, Nour el Sherif, Hany Salama, Mohmaed Mounir, Safia el Amary, Rojina and Mahmoud Hemeida. Leila Elwi will travel to Cannes to attend the screening of “El Maseer”. She said, "This is the least I can do to honor the soul of the great Chahine.”

The movie “Kafr Naoum” will also participate in the festival’s official competition, while “Sofia” and “Qomashty el-Mofadala” (My Favorite Cloth) will screen in the Uncertain Regard section.

“Kafr Naoum”, directed by famous Lebanese director Nadine Labaki, tells the story of a rebellious child living in a poor area who decides to file a lawsuit against his parents because they gave birth to him in this cruel world.
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5/12/2018 3:48:23 PM
<![CDATA[Eurovision carnival comes to Portugal for first time]]>
Favourites include Cyprus' fiery song "Fuego" by Eleni Foureira and Israeli singer Netta Barzilai's "Toy", whose lyrics "I am not your toy" sum up the concerns of many women who have adopted the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.

The 25-year-old former singer in the Israeli Navy band accompanies the uptempo song with trills, clucking sounds and chicken-like dance moves.

The final gets under way at 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) at Lisbon's riverside Altice Arena, Portugal's largest entertainment venue.

Highlights will undoubtedly include Denmark's red-bearded Rasmussen, whose song is based on a legend about a Viking who refused to fight, and a special dress worn by Estonian soprano Elina Nechayeva which flows down from her waist, beyond her feet and out across the stage.

The dress comes to life with lightening displays and laser effects while she sings.

- China ban -

Eurovision was first held in 1956 with the aim of uniting Europe after World War II.

Today it has a combined global audience of around 200 million people -- more than the Super Bowl in the United States -- and has served as a global launching pad for the likes of ABBA and Celine Dion.

This year's final won't be seen in China though.

The European Broadcast Union has barred a Chinese video service, Mango TV, from airing the event after it edited out a romantic dance sequence by two men from Ireland's entry in the first semi-final on Tuesday, and blurred out rainbow flags in the audience.

Ireland made it to Saturday's final.

Despite an ever-increasing number of TV music contests such as Pop Idol, fans say the show -- the longest-running international TV competition according to Guinness World Records -- is in a category of its own.

"I like the mix of flags, and the singing in the local languages and the mix of people," Lorenzo Formento, a 40-year-old Italian logistics manager who lives in Madrid and came to Lisbon for the final, told AFP.

"I think it is very cheerful, it is more about this than the songs. Everyone knows the songs are not that good."

- 'Can't sleep' -

Portugal is hosting the event for the first time after its entry, jazzy solo ballad "Amar pelos dois" ("Love for two") by Salvador Sobral, won the contest last year in Ukraine.

Cash-strapped public broadcaster RTP has vowed to stage a more "theatrical" contest that makes less use of flashy electronic visual effects, following in the footsteps of Sobral who said after his win that "music is not fireworks, music is feeling".

This year's contest will cost around 20 million euros ($24 million) to stage, the lowest amount since 2008 when it started to have two semi-finals.

Sobral will perform his winning song from last year at the final with his idol, Brazilian music icon Caetano Veloso.

It will be the first time that he hits the stage since he underwent a heart transplant in December.

"I think I will faint. Before I never get nervous and now I can’t sleep. It's surreal," he said in an interview published Wednesday in Portuguese daily Publico.

After two semi-finals held this week, 20 countries moved to Saturday's final while Britain, Italy, Spain, France and Germany got free passes as they are the biggest contributors to the European Broadcasting Union.

Host Portugal also automatically qualified.

Viewers and professional juries in all 43 participating countries will pick the winner, with the televoting and juries each representing 50 percent of the outcome.]]>
5/12/2018 2:56:56 PM
<![CDATA[Frank Sinatra, five parts of a remarkable life]]>
AFP draws on its archives to look over his exceptional life.

- 'The Voice' -

Born on December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey, Sinatra -- the son of Italian immigrants -- cut his first record in 1939 and three years later was a star.

Over his lifetime, the elegant and clean-cut performer produced more than 100 records and dozens of hits such as "Strangers in the Night," "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "My Way."

His singing career saw highs but also lows, during which he turned to Hollywood, winning an Oscar in 1953 for the World War II army drama "From Here to Eternity."

On the stage into his late 70s, "The Voice" pulled in the crowds.
pulled in the crowds.

In 1962, at the height of the Elvis Presley craze, he caused a riot at Paris's legendary Olympia venue when fans rushed to see him on stage, turned out in "a night-blue suit with a red pocket handkerchief and a bow tie," according to an AFP report.

"At 11:30 pm organisers were still pushing back latecomers who were prepared to pay 5,000 old francs (today worth around 70 euros) for a stand-up place for the end of the performance," it says.

- A ladies' man -

Renowned for his many romantic conquests, the dashing Sinatra was first married to teenage sweetheart Nancy Barbato (1939-1949), with whom he had his three children Nancy, Frank Jr and Tina. Then followed Hollywood stars Ava Gardner (1951-57) and Mia Farrow (1966-68), and model Barbara Marx (from 1976).

In 1965, as rumours swirled of his impending marriage to Farrow, the performer made a highly public return to New York with the actress, 30 years his junior, on board his luxury yacht and pursued by boatloads of journalists.

"The arrival of Sinatra and his beautiful 'siren' made the front pages of all the local dailies alongside large headlines announcing that an American fighter jet was shot down by a Soviet missile near Hanoi," AFP writes.

- Shadow of the mafia -

Sinatra was dogged by allegations of links with the mafia which he always denied, including in the courts, but was never able to shake completely.

In 1963 he was stripped of his casino licence on allegations of ties with Chicago mobster Salvatore "Momo" Giancana. At a 1981 gaming control board hearing on his request for a new licence, he was grilled about claims that he had delivered two million dollars in an attache case to mafia boss Lucky Luciano in Havana in 1947.

"'If you can find me an attache case that could hold $2 million, I'll give you the $2 million,' the singer replied," says an AFP story.

Sinatra won back his casino licence with the support of president Ronald Reagan.

- Battlin' Frankie -

Sinatra was also known for getting into scraps and fisticuffs.
In 1960 a security guard said he was punched up by the singer after he had been thrown out of an event. Just before, "Sinatra, who had been singing at a charity benefit banquet, had had a heated altercation with actor John Wayne and was escorted out in a very bad mood," the AFP account says.

Four years later, French photographers issued an outraged statement after the star swept through.

"Paris is not Chicago and we don't want Mr Sinatra acting out his number of 'tough guy' or 'charming gangster' by taking journalists for targets," they fumed.

- 1998: a voice silenced -

Sinatra died on May 14, 1998 in Los Angeles at the age of 82, after suffering a heart attack. New York's Empire State Building was lit up in blue in honour of "Ol' Blue Eyes."

From the Cannes Film Festival in France, director Martin Scorsese said "words cannot express my sadness."

His funeral was held in the only Catholic Church in Beverly Hills with leading lights such as Nancy Reagan, Kirk Douglas and Bruce Springsteen among the hundreds in attendance.

The church was "filled with gardenias, roses and white lillies, Frank Sinatra's preferred colour of the flower," AFP's piece describes.

The only one of his songs played in the church was "Put Your Dreams Away," the piece with which he habitually closed his concerts, it says.



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5/12/2018 2:52:33 PM
<![CDATA[New blood pumped into veins of CIFF]]>
Critic Osama Abd El-Fatah will be managing the International Critic's Week, while Egyptian critic Andrew Mohsen will manage the Cinema of Tomorrow competition for short and student films. “The competition has achieved great success in the previous editions and we will work on maintaining this success, along with working on adding more variety to the submitted films in order to provide more space for documentary and animation films, and also conjoining distinctive films from countries that hadn't participated yet in the competition," Mohsen said about his vision for the new edition of the competition.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Shawky, CIFF's deputy technical director, continues to manage the Horizons of Arab Cinema competition.

The press center will be managed by critic Khaled Mahmoud, who will supervise a team specialized in dealing with local, regional and international print and online press, as well as social media mediums.

“CIFF has a great value regionally and internationally; thus, it requires the presence of a modern press center that reflects all the events with the desired speed and accuracy, and to facilitate the mission of fellow journalists, whether Egyptians, Arabs or foreigners,” Mahmoud added. He explained that its policy will be reflected on the credence and methods of circulating the festival's news and updates moment by moment, according to an ambitious plan that is appropriate for the position and future of a large cinematic entity; it will also benefit from the great contribution that had been provided by the previous administration of the press center through the previous years.

“The choices made were based on the attempts to develop the administration in a way that suits the picture we want to deliver to the world about CIFF as a major modern event; working as a part of the cinematic industry and culture in the whole world and not only in Egypt and the Arab world," Mohamed Hefzy, head of CIFF, said about these changes.

Youssef Cherif Rizkallah, technical director of CIFF, regards the changes as a reflection to the administration's desire to pump new blood in CIFF's different sections in a way that grants the festival more vitality and interaction with modern work demands.

It is worth mentioning that CIFF will open the door starting May 21 for films participating in its 40th edition, set to be held November 20-29.

Hefzy has been selected as the president of the 40th Cairo International Film Festival, following acclaimed Egyptian film critic Magda Wasef.

Hefzy is an Egyptian film producer and screenwriter who was born in 1975. He is the founder of Film Clinic, which is now considered one of the leading production companies in Egypt and the Arab world. He is also a film activist who gives workshops and training programs conducted in cooperation with acclaimed international organizations and institutes.

In 2013, Hefzy was named by Screen International as the only Arab among 30 future leaders in film production. In 2016, he was chosen by Variety on top of a list of “Ten Names You Need to Know in the Arab Film Industry”.

His films have participated widely in numerous prominent film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Sundance and Toronto, and they have won more than 80 international awards. In 2016, one of his latest productions, “Clash”, was chosen as the opening film of the Uncertain Regard section of Cannes Film Festival.

In 2011, Hefzy was as a jury member at several local and Arab festivals, including the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival.

Hefzy is very familiar with Cairo International Film Festival, as he was on CIFF’s advisory board, an advisor for Cairo Film Connection (CFC) and a CIFF jury member in 2010.

Hefzy is a former director of the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts, and he has been a board member of the Egyptian Chamber of Cinema since 2013. He also continues to represent and lobby for independent filmmakers in Egypt and throughout the Arab world.

Hefzy previously said that his main plan is to develop the festival, solve the problems of the previous editions, and build on the efforts and achievements that have been executed before.
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5/12/2018 12:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[US museum explores Louise Bourgeois, beyond the spiders]]>
A five-decade survey that opened Thursday at the private Glenstone museum in the town of Potomac, Maryland outside Washington explores the breadth of deeply autobiographical, sexually-charged creations by this prolific artist, best known for her giant metal spider sculptures displayed around the world.

Traumatized as a child by her philandering father's infidelities, including with her nanny, Bourgeois took a revenge of sorts with "The Destruction of the Father" (1974), her first large-scale installation.

A red-lit room lined in soft fabric suggests a womb-like bedroom/dining room, but also a crime scene.

Abstract blobs represent children who have rebelled against their overbearing father, murdered him and eaten him up, his body reduced to lamb shoulders and chicken legs cast in soft plaster.

"So he was liquidated... the same way he had liquidated his children," Bourgeois once said about the piece.

Nothing surprising, really, for someone who said "art is a guarantee of sanity."

The ferocious aspects of Bourgeois's femininity are on display in an untitled piece from 1996 that's a macabre take on a mobile or clothing tree, with fine undergarments hanging from huge bones.

Jerry Gorovoy, Bourgeois's longtime assistant who now leads the Easton Foundation dedicated to her life and work, recalled that the artist kept most of her old clothes -- including from her childhood -- and used them for her creations.

"Ode a la Bievre" (2002), an embroidered book made of fabric pieces, pays tribute to the tannin-rich river that ran near the Bourgeois family's tapestry restoration workshop.

In "Cell (Choisy)" (1990-1993), Bourgeois placed a guillotine in front of a reproduction of her childhood home in hollow flesh-colored marble inside a metal enclosure lined with knocked out windows.

There are architectural qualities to "He Disappeared into Complete Silence," a book of engravings and letterpress text Bourgeois first made in 1947, here in an edition she reworked through 2005.

Various figures are represented as large, inhuman structures in a world where communication is often problematic.

On one page, a tall figure holds up a smaller one. Bourgeois's accompanying parable: "Once a man was angry at his wife, he cut her into small pieces, made a stew of her. Then he telephoned to his friends and asked them for a cocktail-and-stew party. They all came and had a good time."

- 'Unparalleled' -
Glenstone founders Mitch and Emily Rales amassed this varied assemblage of the artist's works over just a few years.

Having an in-house collection has its advantages. Totem-like wood structures were drilled directly into the floor as they were originally intended to be shown, rather than fixed on a metal base, as other museums have traditionally done.

Gorovoy called Glenstone's holdings of late pieces in particular "unparalleled."

"To take this in-depth trajectory is really significant," he said.

There's a series of six hand-colored etchings, "I Give Everything Away," that Bourgeois created in 2010, the year she died at the age of 98.

The elderly artist here made her final goodbyes with messages such as "I am packing my bags" in shaky handwriting alongside large images of humans, plants or abstract forms.

After taking this journey, it's a relief to step out into Glenstone's carefully manicured landscape of rolling hills, meadows and woodlands, the air filled with birdsongs and the sun-tinged fragrance of spring.

"Louise Bourgeois: To Unravel a Torment" runs through January 2020, with a temporary closure in September as Glenstone prepares to unveil on October 4 the site's stunning expansion that will make it America's biggest private art museum.]]>
5/12/2018 11:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Women action heroes kick ass at Cannes as #MeToo gets real]]>
Jessica Chastain caused a stir Thursday by revealing a dream team cast of female talent including Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Lupita Nyong'o of "Black Panther" fame and Fan Bingbing for her new $75-million Bond-style caper called "355".

The "Interstellar" and "Zero Dark Thirty" star said she came up with the idea after serving on the Cannes jury last year where she found the depiction of women in the line-up "quite disturbing".

With little or no female-led action films in Cannes' more commercial market, she decided to do something about it.

The top secret project leaked out when the A-listers were spotted meeting potential backers in a five-star Cannes hotel.

Chastain quickly went public, tweeting: "Top secret no more. Mission accepted". And she walked out in style with her co-stars to promote the project.

"I love 'Jason Bourne', the Bond films and 'Mission Impossible', and I asked myself why apart from 'Charlie's Angels', there has never been a female spy movie like that," she said.

- Avenging Yazidi women -

While fellow Hollywood stars Cate Blanchett and Kristen Stewart -- who lead this year's majority female jury -- have been preaching empowerment at Cannes, other women are doing it for themselves in a series of new movies at the festival.

They go from an Icelandic eco-warrior outrunning the island's army to Kurdish women fighters battling the Islamic State.

"Girls of the Sun", with Iranian star Golshifteh Farahani heading a brigade of Yazidi women out for revenge on jihadists, is only one of a number of oestrogen-fuelled films where women go well beyond the cinematic stereotypes.

Another contender in the running for the Palme d'Or top prize -- Jia Zhangke's "Ash is the Purest White" -- has a young dancer pick up a pistol to defend her man from rival Chinese mobsters.

And among the festival's most praised films so far is "One Day", which follows a Hungarian working mother through a gruelling 36 hours as she tries to juggle her job with the demands of her three children and a husband who may be about to stray.

The Hollywood Reporter raved about how it makes "painfully visible how much self-effacing effort goes into... the least appreciated job on the planet: being a mother.

"No one thanks her but everyone expects her to remember and do a million little things every day," it added.

- Eye-candy no more -

Oscar-nominated "Drive" star Carey Mulligan said up to now women have been reduced to playing eye-candy in action films.

"You end up always playing the wife of the guy that is saving the world, which is not very interesting," she told a Women in Motion talk at the festival.

But some conventionally conceived action films -- rarely beacons of enlightened thinking -- seem to be getting the message.

The "Star Wars" spin-off "Solo" -- which is also being launched at Cannes -- has British actress Emilia Clarke, the "Mother of Dragons" Daenerys Stormborn in "Game of Thrones" as a shapeshifting smuggler "with her own journey".

Qi'ra's story is "definitely one of survival and strength. The way that I felt about her was this girl has got a core of steel," Clarke said.

The British comedy "The Spy Who Dumped Me" -- which is showing in Cannes' film trade market -- plays the James Bond genre for chick flick laughs with two best friends who get accidently caught up in a spy hit before going toe-to-toe with hired assassins and coming out winners.

It follows in the wake of the new BBC television series "Killing Eve" -- which was hailed as the "must-see show of the year" last month by critics after it premiered at the MIPTV market in Cannes.

The whip-smart cat-and-mouse caper between two female spooks from the pen of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the brains behind the acclaimed series "Fleabag", is already a hit in the United States.]]>
5/12/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Ahmed Malek to make international debut with ‘Montreal Girls’]]>
Malek will play the role of an Egyptian student named Basel, who is granted a medical school scholarship to Montreal. Basel, whose ultimate dream is to become a poet, meets three girls there who shift his perceptions. This is considered Malek’s first international role.

"I went on a year-long quest searching for the right actor to play Basel. Ahmed Malek is perfect for this role," Chica told Screen Daily Magazine.

Montreal Girls is Chica's first feature after more than 20 well-received shorts. Chica previously won 25 awards and five nominations from international festivals.

Recently, Malek finished shooting his scenes for two new films – “Gunshot” by Karim El Shenawy and “Al Deif” (The Guest), directed by Hadi El Bagoury and written by Ibrahim Eissa, which was announced at the 14th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).

The Berlin International Film Festival management previously chose Malek to join the Berlinale Talents platform.

Berlinale Talents is a summit and networking platform held by the festival each year to gather talented filmmakers, screenwriters, film editors, producers, critics, actors and other young people working or interested in the cinema industry.

Dubai International Film Festival also chose Malek in its last edition to join its “Arab Stars of Tomorrow’’ program. The second edition of Arab Stars of Tomorrow showcased five rising filmmakers from the Middle East and North Africa: Marwan Abdullah Saleh, Ahmed Malek, Maria Zreik, Ayman al-Shatri and Manon Nammour.

Two actors participated in the 2017 program: Emirati Marwan Abdullah Saleh and Egyptian Ahmed Malek; both are on the cusp of international recognition. Palestinian actress Maria Zreik starred in festival favorites “Villa Touma” and “Ave Maria”. She was in two film screenings at DIFF in 2017 for “Wajib” and “Detained”.

The two directors selected for the program in 2017 were Iraqi Ayman al-Shatri and Lebanese Manon Nammour. Both are making short films exploring contemporary life in their complex countries. Shatri directed two award-winning movies, “Warm Night” and “Five O’Clock”, while Nammour’s “On the Ropes” premiered at Locarno Festival in 2016.

Malek was born in September 1995 in Cairo. His first audition came at the age of eight when his uncle took him to perform in a commercial.

In 2005, Malek had his first role in the TV series "Ayamna el Helwa" (Our Good Days). A few years later, executive director Osama Farid asked Malek to perform the role of young Hassan al-Banaa, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, in the TV series "The Brotherhood”, which is considered the then-15-year-old‘s first breakthrough role.

After the January 25 Revolution, Malek disappeared for a short time, as he decided to focus on political and revolutionary activities. When director Gamal Abdel Hameed offered him the role of a young Egyptian revolutionary activist in the series “The Backstreets” – starring famous actors Gamal Soliman, Leila Elwi, Samy el-Adl and Gihan Fadel – he could not resist.

Malek's talents were finally recognized in 2012 after achieving great success in his role in the TV series “Ma’aa Sabk el Esrar” (With Premeditation).

In 2013, he played the role of a troubled teen in the series “Hekayet Haya” (Haya’s Tale), for which he won the DG Award for Best Young Actor.

Seeing Malek’s impressive performance, director Sherif Arafa asked him to audition for a pivotal role in the second part of his movie “El Gezira”.

Malek’s latest movie, “Sheikh Jackson”, was chosen as the opening movie for the first edition of El Gouna Film Festival, which took place from September 22 to 29, 2017. The film also screened at the 61st London Film Festival, which kicked off on October 4, 2107. Egypt selected Amr Salama’s “Sheikh Jackson” as its candidate for consideration at the 2018 Oscars.

“Sheikh Jackson” stars Ahmed al-Fishawy and revolves around the death of the “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson. The plot-line focuses on an aspiring imam who loves Jackson’s music and imitates the pop star’s performances, but his strong relationship with Salafism reflects the contradictions in his life.

Malek was chosen by Shnit International Short Film Festival (SISFF) to be a jury member in November 2017, alongside famous scriptwriter Tamer Habib and Egyptian director Mariam Abu Ouf.

Recently, Malek participated in the Helm Foundation’s campaign that was launched on social media to make Cairo University accessible to people with disabilities; it also starred Egyptian actress Menna Shalaby.

The campaign's video features Shalaby as a visually impaired woman and Malek in a wheelchair. Both have challenges getting around Cairo due to the lack of accessibility for people with disabilities.
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5/11/2018 4:26:19 PM
<![CDATA[Hussein Al-Jassmi to sing ‘Abu Omar Al-Masry’ theme song]]>
“Abu Omar Al-Masry” revolves around Egyptian lawyer Fakhreldin, played by Ahmed Ezz, who founds an association with a group of other lawyers to seek solutions to the problems of modest citizens who cannot afford big-shot lawyers and their excessive fees. However, it is not long until they provoke a member of the security services who wants to stop their dream of an ideal society.

After Fakhreldin survives an assassination attempt in which his cousin is killed, he travels to Paris and then to Sudan, where he becomes the leader of an armed Islamic group and returns for revenge. The series is written by Ezzeldin Shoukry and Mariam Naoum; it co-stars Arwa Gouda and Fathy Abdelwahab.



Jassmi enjoys great popularity and has a good relationship with the Egyptian audience, especially after the song "Boshra Khair", which has been popular all over the world. The Canadian International College (CIC) in Cairo, affiliated with Cape Breton University in Canada, previously granted Jassmi and Egyptian actor Yehia Al-Fakharany honorary doctorates.
]]>
5/11/2018 4:07:14 PM
<![CDATA[Hosh al-Basha at El Imam El Shafei to be restored ]]>
Mohamed Abdel Aziz, general supervisor of the historic revival project, explained that the studies of the project include elevating the general site of Hosh al-Basha and the surrounding areas, in addition to studying and analyzing Hosh al-Basha for any needed reconstruction or renovation.

Abdel Aziz pointed out that restoration work is also aimed at preparing the necessary studies to modernize the electricity and illuminate the antiques, as well as developing a complete surveillance system with cameras and fire alarms.

Hosh al-Basha comprises several tombs of Egypt’s kings and sultans from the Muhammad Ali dynasty, including members of Muhammad Ali’s family, such as his son Ibrahim Pasha, Abbas Helmi l, Mohamed Said Pasha, Prince Umar Ṭūsūn, Mohamed Ali Tewfik and King Farouk, whose tomb was relocated from El Imam El Shafei Mosque and Mausoleum.

Hosh al-Basha was constructed in 1816 by Muhammed Ali; however, he was not buried there, as he was buried at his famous mosque in Saladin Citadel.
]]>
5/11/2018 3:56:38 PM
<![CDATA[Remains of Roman-era temple unearthed in Siwa]]>
The temple apparently belonged to Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, who reigned from 138 AD to 161 AD and ruled the Al-Hag Ali village in Siwa Oasis, situated 350m away of Gabal Al-Marwa (Mountain of the Dead).

32116485_1776168462428796_223954773227864064_o

Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, Ayman Ashmawy, explained that the recent discovery is archeological evidence of the history of Siwa Oasis during the Greco-Roman era in Egypt.

“The temple consists of a foundation of a limestone, which is being measured 40m from north to south and 8.5m from east to west,” Ashmawy added.

32150823_1776168235762152_2370606679336157184_o

He continued, “Its entrance is located on the northern side, lined with two small rooms leading to a 25-meter-long front hall and the holy of the Holies. The temple is also surrounded by an outer wall 71m x 56m in size.”

The temple’s limestone has been transferred to the Siwa Museum for preservation works, according to the Ministry of Antiquities.


32247381_1776168232428819_1408894726450446336_o

“The measure of the block is about 5m x 1m. It was found broken in three parts and is most probably part of the upper lintel that is located at the entrance to the temple,” he concluded.







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5/11/2018 3:54:51 PM
<![CDATA[Kosovo war weighs heavy on Serbian film 'The Load' at Cannes]]>
"Teret" (The Load), which will screen at Cannes on Saturday, addresses one of the grim secrets revealed after the war, a taboo subject in a country still struggling to confront its past.

It follows Vlada, a truck driver on the road from Kosovo to Belgrade, who discovers that he is transporting the bodies of victims from war crimes committed by Serb forces in Kosovo.

Most of them are ethnic Albanian civilians, including many women and children.

Based on real events, the bodies are transported to Serbia to be buried in mass graves in a bid to cover up the truth about the last of the wars that tore apart the former Yugoslavia.

The 1998-1999 conflict killed some 13,000 people, including 11,000 ethnic Albanians and ended with the NATO bombing of Serbia.

In 2001, just after the fall of Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian authorities announced the discovery near Belgrade of the remains of 744 people, mainly Kosovo Albanians.

- 'Depth of mystery' -

The mass grave was found in Batajnica, about 15 kilometres (nine miles) from the centre of Belgrade, at a special police unit camp.

But nearly 20 years on, the case has been largely forgotten and for the passing traveller, it is just a motorway exit between Belgrade and its airport.

Calls for a memorial have received less support than requests to build an Orthodox church near the site.

"I heard about the mass grave in Batajnica in 2009," Glavonic, who was studying cinema in Belgrade at the time, told AFP.

"Nobody knew anything about it. I asked my parents, my family, my teachers. Nothing."

It was the "depth of the mystery around the case that awakened my desire to talk about it," the 33-year-old said.

Glavonic first delved in to the story with the documentary "Depth 2" before embarking on a movie that has taken seven years to see the light of day.

The publicly funded Film Center rejected his screenplay seven times.

"I think that the theme partly explains these rejections," he said.

"It may be for the better. I'm more mature. Seven years ago it would not have been the same movie," said the director, who grew up in the suburbs of Belgrade.

- Vlada's doubts -

It is when Vlada discovers the nature of his cargo that the doubt-filled protagonist is tested, Glavonic said.

"He understands the truth about himself, the country where he lives and the war," he said.

"I wanted to give the viewer the opportunity to put himself in his place, to think about what one would have done.

"The war and the horror are always present but in the background."

Glavonic said he is not afraid of the reaction to his film in a country where those who question the actions of authorities in the 1990s are often labelled traitors by nationalists or tabloids.

"People are afraid of doctors, dentists, as children fear their first injection, but it is something that will eventually bring them good," Glavonic said.

The film will be presented out of competition in the Director's Fortnight section at the world-famous festival.

The young director, who is making his debut at Cannes, follows in the footsteps of many greats of former Yugoslavia's cinema.

But he declined to compare himself with renowned filmmakers Denis Tanovic, Emir Kusturica or Aleksandar Petrovic, all previous winners of the festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or.

"I'm not competing for prizes," he said.

]]>
5/11/2018 1:47:54 PM
<![CDATA[Empty chair at Cannes for detained Russian rock biopic director]]>
“Leto” (“Summer”), a biopic about the early days of a Russian rockstar in the Soviet era, is the first of two films in the festival’s main competition to screen without their director.

Kirill Serebrennikov was arrested during the shoot and had to complete editing the film at home, alone, without being able to communicate with his cast and crew.

While the Iranian Jafar Panahi, whose movie “3 Faces” will screen on Saturday, is officially banned from making films or leaving the country, Russian authorities say Serebrennikov’s fraud case has nothing to do with censorship.

“We received an answer from Mr Putin yesterday (to a request to allow Serebrennikov to travel) who told the Cannes Film Festival and the French government that he would have been pleased to help ... but in Russia justice is independent,” said Joel Chapron, who was chairing the news conference for the festival.

“Leto” portrays the rock scene of early 1980s St. Petersburg where musicians have to submit lyrics for official approval and audiences at the city’s one rock venue are policed to ensure they stay seated and do not show too much enthusiasm.

Established frontman Mike takes a younger singer-songwriter, Viktor, under his wing, setting up a love triangle with Mike’s wife Natasha.

Western audiences may be unaware that this is based on a true story and that Viktor Tsoi went on to become one of the most successful and influential rock musicians in Russia before his death in a car crash in 1990, aged 28.

“HE SPEAKS ABOUT TODAY”
Tsoi, who had a Soviet-Korean father, is played by Teo Yoo, a South Korean actor who had to learn the script phonetically as he does not speak Russian.

“I knew about Viktor. He is also famous in Korea,” Yoo told the news conference, saying it was scary to play a character familiar to millions of people in the former Soviet Union.

“For them, it’s like me playing Jesus,” he said.

With flashes of animation added unexpectedly by Serebrennikov during post-production, and scenes on a train and tram where members of the public break into song, the film has moments of surrealism and, according to Variety’s Guy Lodge, “avoids the bland structural pitfalls of the musical biopic”.

Not overtly political, the film will get a theatrical release in Russia, but its theme of state censorship and oppression will not go unnoticed as its auteur - who also directs theater and ballet - remains under arrest.

“This was more of a historical film – talking about the context of that time, not stressing any similarities (with the present),” producer Ilya Stewart said.

“Although, in my personal opinion, anything Kirill does in his work, whether it’s ballet, theater or any of his film, it’s about today. He speaks about today.”

“Leto” is one of 21 movies in competition for the Palme d’Or in the festival that runs from May 8 to May 19.]]>
5/11/2018 11:20:08 AM
<![CDATA[Spotify removes R. Kelly's music from playlists after boycott campaign]]>
Kelly, 51, one of the most successful R&B singers of the past 20 years, has been the object of an online #MuteRKelly boycott campaign that gained momentum last week when it was adopted by the Time’s Up movement against sexual harassment.

The action will affect Spotify-owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations, the company said. Kelly’s music will still be available on the service but the decision to remove it from playlists means it will no longer be promoted.

Kelly’s manager John Holder did not reply to Reuters requests for comment.

Spotify Technologies SA (SPOT.N) said in a statement, “We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions - what we choose to program - to reflect our values.”

“When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator,” it said.

Spotify is the world’s largest music streaming service, with 75 million paid subscribers.

Last July Kelly, whose given name is Robert, denied accusations in an article by U.S. media outlet BuzzFeed News that he was keeping a household of young women in a “cult” atmosphere.

His attorney, Linda Mensch, said at the time, “Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed at the recent revelations attributed to him. Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such allegations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.” Kelly has not been charged with any crime.

In May, the Washington Post reported that six women once connected with Kelly said they were in abusive relationships with him. Kelly has denied the accusations.

A jury acquitted Kelly in 2008 of child pornography charges, finding he did not make an explicit videotape showing him having sex with an underage girl.

On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that his management said in a statement, “Mr. Kelly for 30 years has sung songs about his love and passion for women. He is innocent of the false and hurtful accusations in the ongoing smear campaign against him, waged by enemies seeking a payoff.”

The Time’s Up campaign last week issued a statement calling on companies associated with his music business to cut ties with the singer.]]>
5/11/2018 11:03:02 AM
<![CDATA['Star Wars' spaceship lands at Disney's 'Solo' premiere in Hollywood]]>
Producer Walt Disney Co shut down an entire block and filled two historic theaters to debut the film for industry guests, fans and VIPs including “Star Wars” creator George Lucas and Amazon.com Inc Chief Executive Jeff Bezos.

The movie begins rolling out in international theaters on May 23.

Alden Ehrenreich, 28, stepped into the role of Han Solo made famous by Harrison Ford in the original “Star Wars” trilogy that began in 1977. Ehrenreich plays a younger Solo just beginning his pilot training and seeking his own spaceship when he becomes involved in a dangerous mission in the galaxy far, far away.

Disney is hoping audiences embrace the movie after reshoots midway through production. Ron Howard finished the film after original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired.

“This was a very unusual circumstance, and I decided to take it on frankly as a kind of a challenge,” Howard said on the red carpet. “I’m so glad that I jumped in.”

Stars including Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover and Woody Harrelson posed on the carpet alongside the furry wookiee Chewbacca and a handful of Stormtroopers.

Box office experts predict fans will turn out in force for “Solo.” The movie could bring in as much as $185 million over Memorial Day weekend, which would be a record for that holiday period, according to BoxOffice.com.

Fans around the world have debated how Ehrenreich, little known beyond a well-received performance in quirky 2016 comedy “Hail, Caesar,” will take on one of the most iconic roles in cinema.

At Thursday’s premiere, audience members cheered at key moments such as when Han meets his eventual co-pilot Chewbacca, takes control of the Falcon for the first time, and comes face-to-face with fellow smuggler Lando Calrissian, portrayed by Glover.

Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in five “Star Wars” films, also attended the premiere, as did Billy Dee Williams, who portrayed Calrissian in “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.”

In “Solo,” the younger Lando “doesn’t know what he’s quite doing yet,” Glover said. “I think he understands how to survive and make that look good. He knows how to make surviving look sexy.”]]>
5/11/2018 10:59:18 AM
<![CDATA[Cannes holds press conference for Egyptian film ‘Yomeddine’]]>
The screening of“Day of Judgment”, the Egyptian film participating in Cannes, was attended by many international actors, including Julianne Moore, Louise Bourgoin, and Kiko Mizuhara.

The tragic comedy “Yomeddine” (Day of Judgment) revolves around a leprosy patient who escaped from the hospital along with one of his friends in order to search for his family. “Yomeddine” is directed by Egyptian-Austrian director Abu Bakr Shawky.

A number of Arab films are officially participating in the 71st Cannes Film Festival which is set to run from May 8 to 19, 2018.

It is worth mentioning that the Egyptian movie “El Maseer” (The Destiny) will screen on Sunday May 13 at 9 p.m as part of the festival's events.

“El Maseer”, released in 1997, is considered one of the classics of the Egyptian cinema; it is written and directed by late great director, Youssef Chahine, and stars a notable group of Egyptian actors, including Leila Elwi, Khaled el Nabawy, Nour el Sherif, Hany Salama, Mohmaed Mounir, Safia el Amary, Rojina, and Mahmoud Hemeida. Leila Elwi will travel to Cannes to attend “El Maseer” screening. "This is the least I can do to honor the soul of the great Chachine,” Elwi recounted.

The movie, “Kafr Naoum”, will also participate in the festival’s official competition, while “Sofia” and “Qomashty el-Mofadala” (My Favorite Cloth) will screen in the Un Certain Regard section.

“Kafr Naoum” directed by famous Lebanese director Nadine Labaki tells the story of a rebellious child living in a poor area who decided to file a suit against his parents because they gave birth to him in this cruel world. ]]>
5/10/2018 3:56:43 PM
<![CDATA[18 artifacts seized in Minya]]>
The security forces targeted the home of the 73-year citizen after being informed that he traffics in antiquities.

The artifacts include nine cat mummies, which represent the Egyptian god Bes, wrapped in narrow bandages of fine linen, a statue of a lion in a sitting position, a flask of Ivory, a statue of green granite and two amulets.

In the last few months, Tourism and Antiquities Police managed to seize a huge number of artifacts in Upper Egypt; for example, in October 2017, the Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Police managed to seize around 99 artifacts from two citizens in Assiut.

In January 2018, the Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Police managed to seize a historical statue dating back to the Pharaonic era, in addition to discovering illegal excavation works, searching for unearthed artifacts beneath two houses in Sohag. ]]>
5/10/2018 2:34:13 PM
<![CDATA[5 rising Arab actors find their way to Hollywood]]>
Sofia Boutella

Sofia
Sofia Boutella-Facebook Page

Sofia Boutella is famous for her roles that empower women; she starred in "Star Trek: Beyond" in 2016 as Jaylah, "Kingsman: The Secret Service" in 2014 as Gazella and"The Mummy" in 2017 as Ahmanet.

Boutella, 36,is an Algerian descent, born on April 6, 1982, in Bab El Oued, Algeria. Besides being an actress, she is also a French dancer and a model.

David Mazouz

David
David Mazouz-Facebook Page

David Mazouz has achieved what most people dream ofat a very young age.The 17-year old Tunisian actor is known for his thriving television career, as he has cast as Bruce Wayne on "Gotham", a TV show about the beginnings of the Batman saga, for three seasons and is preparing for the fourth season; in addition to his role as a young mute boy, Jacob Bohm, on the short-lived Fox television series "Touch".

Mazouz was born in Los Angeles to Rachel, a psychotherapist, and Michel Mazouz, a physician. His father is from Tunisia, and his mother was born in the U.S. to Greek parents.

Mazouz also showed a promising talent in acting in the horror thriller "Sanitarium" (2013). He is currently nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor.

Fady el-Sayed

fadel
Fadel el-Sayed-Facebook Page

He is a British-Egyptian actor, best known for the role of Mo in "My Brother the Devil", for which he got a Best Newcomer nomination at the 2012 London Film Festival and a Young Performer of the Year Nomination at the 2013 Critics' Circle Film Awards.

Iman Meskini

Iman
Iman Meskini-Youtube


The half Tunisian actor shot to fame after starring in Norwegian series"Skam" for three seasons. She is also pursuing a degree in Arabic and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Oslo.

Emeraude Toubia

Emm
Emeraude Toubia-Facebook Page

Mexican-Lebanese actress,EmeraudeToubia, is famous for playing Isabelle Lightwood,a Shadowhunter-human-angel hybrid who hunts down demons, in Netflix’sseries "Shadowhunters". She is nominated for a Teen Choice Award for Choice Sci-Fi TV Actress.

Before finding her way to acting, she won several beauty contests. ]]>
5/10/2018 2:24:20 PM
<![CDATA[Diego Rivera painting sets record at auction]]>
The colorful painting entitled "Los Rivales" (The Rivals) and sold by Christie's depicts two men at a traditional Mexican celebration.

Until now the record was held by a Kahlo work auctioned in 2016 for $8 million. The 1939 painting is called "Dos desnudos en el bosque (La tierra misma)," which translates as "Two Nudes in the Forest (The Earth Itself)."

A Rivera work also holds the record for most paid ever for a Latin American piece of art, not just at auction.

That work, which the Mexican artist completed in 1928, went to a private Argentine collector, Eduardo Constantini, for $15.7 million in 2016. It was entitled "Baile en Tehuantepec." Baile means dance.

The website ARTnews said "The Rivals" went to an unnamed collector bidding by phone.]]>
5/10/2018 9:58:47 AM
<![CDATA['Iron Man' suit worn by Robert Downey Jr. stolen]]>
Los Angeles police said the gold and red suit worn by Robert Downey Jr. in the original 2008 superhero smash hit was reported missing on Tuesday from a storage facility.

Officer Christopher No told AFP the owners of the warehouse believe the iconic costume, valued at $325,000 (274,000 euros), vanished between February and April 25 from the prop storage warehouse in Pacoima, located north of downtown Los Angeles.

No said the "unusual" theft was considered high priority, and detectives so far had no leads in the case.]]>
5/10/2018 9:55:55 AM
<![CDATA['Not dead yet!' Gilliam beats ban on his Cannes film]]>
The film's former producer Paulo Branco had attempted to stop the movie closing the world's top film festival next weekend.

But Cannes' lawyers and Gilliam's producers told AFP that "we have won", though Branco said Thursday that judges in Paris had declared the screening technically illegal and ordered that his rights to the film be shown in the credits.

The Monty Python veteran released a picture of himself in a "Quixote Vive" T-shirt in his garden to celebrate the victory, declaring: "Not dead yet! We are coming to Cannes."

Gilliam has struggled for nearly two decades to get the film, one of the most ill-fated in movie history, to the screen.

The legendary polymath and maker of such screen classics as "Time Bandits" and "Brazil" reportedly suffered a minor stroke at his London home at the weekend but was later released from hospital.

"After days of rest and prayers to the gods I am restored and well again. So is 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote'!" he tweeted Wednesday after the verdict.

"We are legally victorious! We will go to the ball, dressed as the closing film at Festival de Cannes! May 19. Thanks for all your support."

Cannes director Thierry Fremaux -- who infuriated Branco last week by weighing in to support Gilliam -- confirmed the "triumph" before a gala screening at the festival to cheers from the audience, which included Hollywood stars Cate Blanchett and Kristen Stewart.

He said that the 77-year-old Gilliam would be well enough to travel to Cannes for the premiere.

"Terry Gilliam will be there. Let's turn this victory into a great party," the festival later tweeted.

- Disaster after disaster -

Gilliam's various attempts to shoot the surreal story based on Cervantes' "unfilmable" novel have been beset by a series of calamities, some of them recounted in the acclaimed 2002 documentary, "Lost in La Mancha".

The set was washed away during an aborted attempt to make it in 2000 with Johnny Depp, when lead actor Jean Rochefort also had to be airlifted to hospital after falling ill.

A host of Hollywood stars including Ewan McGregor, John Hurt, Robert Duvall and Jack O'Connell were later linked with the project, but each time the production fell through.

Minutes before news of Wednesday's verdict leaked out, Branco -- who said the judges confirmed that he owns the rights to the film -- warned that the battle still very much on.

The Paris judges are due to rule next month on a wider case over who owns the rights.

Courts in France and Britain have previously sided with Branco in the long-running dispute.

He was the producer of a 2016 attempt to make the film which fell through when he failed to raise the budget.

The Portuguese-born producer last week tried to obtain a court order stopping the film, which features "Star Wars" actor Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce, from being shown at Cannes and released in France.

Gilliam had earlier told AFP that Branco had "nothing to do with the (final) film.

"There is no negotiating with him -- his demands are laughable, absurd. He is trying to make as much money as he possibly can from a film he did not produce," he added.

But Branco told reporters Wednesday that he had sunk 800,000 euros ($948,000) of his own money into the project. "It is thanks to us that this film was made," he said.

And he warned that he would pursue Fremaux and the festival for damages in the courts.

His lawyer son, Juan Branco, said the details of the verdict showed his father would be the real winner in the long run, and he accused Fremaux of "launching a shameful press campaign against him."

He also pointed to as yet unconfirmed reports in the US trade press that streaming giant Amazon has pulled out of distributing the film in the United States.

French Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen had earlier told reporters that she hoped the film would be screened. "It is not great to hold an artist hostage," she said.]]>
5/10/2018 9:52:18 AM
<![CDATA[Horse-riding changed Eurasia's ethnic profile: studies]]>
In three studies published in the journals Science and Nature, experts reported sequencing the genomes of dozens of humans who lived between 2,500 BC and 1,500 AD -- a 4,000-year period from the Iron Age to medieval times.

Their analysis showed a slow and steady west-to-east shift in the genetic makeup of the people who populated the Eurasian steppe -- a massive expanse stretching from Hungary and Romania in the west to Mongolia and northeast China in the east.

According to the data, the steppe population changed "from being of mainly western Eurasian genetic ancestry to... east Asian genetic ancestry," said Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen, who co-authored two of the studies.

"It's also changing the steppe in terms of being Indo-European speakers to becoming Turkish-speaking people."

The Indo-European language group gave rise to modern-day tongues such as English, French, German, Russian, Hindi, and Persian, while Turkish is part of the Turkic language group thought to have originated in east Asia, including Mongolia.

From about 800 to 200 BC, the Eurasian steppe was dominated by the Scythians, a group of Iranian-speaking mounted warriors, the researchers said.

These were thought to have originated from Bronze Age farmers of western "European" ancestry.

Yet today, "the people living in central Asia and western Asia are really of Asian descent," said Willerslev. "We wanted to understand how this happened."

The Scythians, they found, were "absorbed and replaced" by Huns spreading westward out of Mongolia, "killing all the people they met but also mixing with them".

- Hold your horses! -

When the Hun empire collapsed about 1,500 years ago, other groups started moving westward -- most famously the Mongols.

"You can say that the vast majority of the genetic makeup of contemporary people in this 8,000 kilometre-long (4,971 mile) stretch across Europe and Asia has really mainly been formed within the last approximately 1,000 years," Willerslev told journalists.

For his colleague and co-author Peter de Barros Damgaard, a highlight of the research is to show how horse herding and riding changed the face of Eurasia.

"Starting with the domestication of course, which enabled these groups to grow in number and this expansion of pastoralist societies and then later, as we move into the late Bronze Age, we have the invention of the spoke wheel chariot which connects south Asia with Europe and establishes these huge trade routes," he explained.

"The next big change in the use of horses is to actually start riding them and shooting with bow and arrow as mounted warriors, and this infuses a military dynamic into the steppe" -- leading to a constant changes in empire and the genetic makeup of conquered populations.

The researchers also found that the Justinian plague pandemic, which killed millions of people on the European continent in the years 541 and 542, had come with the east Asian conquerers.

"Some people have argued it came from Greece," said Willerslev, but bacterial DNA found in the remains of two ancient humans shows "it was probably brought to Europe by the Mongol expansion".

Finally, the research showed that Hepatitis B, which kills almost a million every year due to complications such as liver cancer, was already present in Eurasia some 4,500 years ago.

Scientists are keen to learn more about when the virus arose, and the rate by which it mutates.]]>
5/10/2018 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[China filmmaker delves long and deep into lives on the margins]]>
"The Dead Souls", an eight-hour film-marathon, its title borrowed from the Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, distinguished itself this year at the Cannes film festival for its exceptional length -- but the epic running time is standard fare for one of China's foremost documentary directors.

Now in his 50s, Wang made a name for himself in 2003 with his debut "West of the Tracks", a nine-hour long documentary depicting the deprivations faced by labourers after the closure of state factories.

The piece was set in the icy winter of northeastern China, where the artist filmed the agonising decline of a once flourishing industrial complex that symbolised of the collapse of an obsolete system.

Wang said he could connect with all walks of life: his friends "are workers or peasants, poets and writers," he said last year after the release of his latest work, "Bitter Money".

Winner of best screenplay at the Venice Film Festival, "Bitter Money" dived into life inside small textile workshops in Huzhou, where workers endure insecurity, decrepit housing and punishing schedules.

-'No distance'-

Wang's films hone in on those who have been left behind by China’s economic miracle. The "Man with no Name" is a portrait of a hermit in an abandoned village; "’Til Madness Do Us Part" is the haunting story of patients left to fend for themselves in a dilapidated psychiatric institution.

Born in 1967 in the northern province of Shaanxi, Wang grew up in the countryside, where his parents took refuge to escape the violence of the Cultural Revolution.

A photographer by training, Wang began filming, camera in hand, taking his time, in the early 2000s. His camera often focuses on still, uninterrupted shots.

"When I start filming, I think about the rapport I established with the subjects of the film," Wang told AFP in 2017. "Every time, right from the outset, I make sure there is no distance."

- Three-hour shots -

"Fengming" (2007) was an unusual three-hour documentary that consisted mostly of a single shot of an old lady recounting the story of her life to the camera, including the "anti-rightist" campaigns of the 1950s and the imprisonment of her husband at the Jiabiangou "re-education through labour" camp.

The film's raw nakedness was a poignant testimony to the forgotten victims of the "Chinese gulag". Haunted by this dark chapter in the forging of Chinese socialism, Wang returned with "The Ditch" in 2010, which was based on 100 testimonials.

Shot without official permission, the film describes the Jiabiangou camp in the Gobi Desert where 1,500 "rightist" political prisoners were decimated by famine in 1960. Barely 300 survived.

"All around us, every day, are people with difficult lives who are not being paid attention," Wang told AFP. "The difference is that on the screen, we dwell on their problems."]]>
5/9/2018 4:22:56 PM
<![CDATA[National Geographic’s photography competition 'Moments' launched]]>
This year’s edition is held under the theme “Stories of People of the Arab World", in partnership with Almarai, which has been the supporter of this platform for five years,enabling photographers from the region to present various images that reflect the true essence and beauty in the Middle East and bringpersonal and heart-felt stories to life through the power of photography.

"Moments" is one of the largest regional photography competitions, which attracts over 19,000 entries from across the Middle East and North Africa.

The winner will have his photograph printed in the National Geographic magazine Arabic edition and will be awardeda 10-day expeditionto Italy, worth $10,000, where they will be mentored by National Geographic expert photographers, in addition toa $10,000 photography hamper from Nikon.

The judging panel will feature award-winning Saudi photographer and NatGeo regular,Tasneem Sultan, and EVP Corporate Marketing at Almarai,Hussam R. AbdelQader.]]>
5/9/2018 3:49:07 PM
<![CDATA[Arab Cinema Center views DIFF shutdown as great loss]]>
Through its stand at the Cannes Film Festival, ACC viewed the figures and achievements of the Dubai International Film Festival throughout its 14 editions. ACC mentioned that the festival contributed to supporting more than 140 Arab film projects, panel discussions and support programs, as well as 300 Arab films in their post-production stage through its Enjaaz initiative, in addition to honoring more than 200 Arab filmmakers.

DIFF hosted the world premieres of over 2,000 Arab films within its various competitions.

DIFF’s management announced on April 18 that the festival will now be held every two years. The 15th edition will reflect DIFF’s changed strategy and is confirmed to be hosted in Dubai in 2019.

The decision comes as a part of the new strategy adopted by the festival to support the growth and evolution of the film and content industries in the region.

“DIFF has established Dubai as a world-class destination in the film and content industry. It serves as a platform to promote cultural understanding between the region and the world, as well as the development of the local and regional film industry, giving the opportunity to many ambitious film makers to shine,” Jamal Al-Sharif, chairman of Dubai Film and TV Commission commented.

The strategic shift aims to embrace the significant changes taking place in the region’s creative and entertainment landscape. The new strategy also seeks to leverage the emergence of exciting new talent and innovative new technologies that are rapidly transforming the content landscape in the region.

“With the vast changes taking place both in the regional and global movie-making and content industry, we are seeking to redefine the Dubai International Film Festival’s approach towards nurturing growth, creativity and talent,” Sharif recounted.

Dubai International Film Festival has celebrated the magic of cinema over the past 14 years, with almost 2,000 screenings, including 500 films from the Arab world. The festival helped more than 300 films from the region reach completion, facilitated funding and partnership for a further 140, supported more than 200 talented Arab filmmakers through the Festival’s Muhr Awards, and increased tourism throughout the city. ]]>
5/9/2018 2:40:50 PM
<![CDATA[Tomb of Army General during King Ramsses II reign uncovered in Saqqara]]>
image 11
An archaeological mission from Cairo University uncovered the tomb of Great Army General, Iwrhya, from King Ramsses II's reign- Ministry of Antiquities’ Official Facebook Page

In a speech delivered during the third annual meeting of archaeological missions in Egypt, inaugurated by Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Enany on Tuesday, Aguizy said that the tomb, discovered during the 2017/2018 excavation season, is found in the New Kingdom necropolis, south of the Causeway of King Unas in Saqqara, Giza.

She referred that the tomb probably dates back to the reigns of king Sethi I and King Ramesses III in the 19th Dynasty, noting that the tomb is not fully excavated, but information about its owner and his family has been confirmed by the mission working in Saqqara.

Aguizy said that the owner of the tomb was a great army general in the period of King Ramesses II, and his name, Iwrkhy, appears on the tomb, along with the names of his son and his grandson.According to the inscription found on the tomb’s walls, Iwrkhy's grandson also occupied a significant position.

Iwrkhy began his military career during the reign of king Sethi I and reached higher positions in the Egyptian court during the reign of king Ramesses II; he had foreign origins and was among the few foreigners who could reach high positions in the Egyptian court in the New Kingdom.

im
An archaeological mission from Cairo University uncovered the tomb of Great Army General, Iwrhya, from King Ramsses II's reign- Ministry of Antiquities’ Official Facebook Page


Influenced by the contemporary tombs in the area, the tomb includes a forecourt, a statue room with adjacent plastered vaulted storehouses, a peristyle court and western chapels that are still not excavated, according to Aguizy.

Exceptional scenes from Iwrkhy’s military career and scenes depicting the foreign relations with neighboring countries, including images of mooring boats taking down their loads of Canaanite wine jars, are found on the walls of the statue room and on the blocks.

image 2
Exceptional scenes from Iwrkhy’s military career and scenes depicting the foreign relations with neighboring countries are found at the tomb of Great Army General, Iwrhya- Ministry of Antiquities’ official Facebook Page
Furthermore, the artistic features of the tomb evidently provethat it was constructed in thereigns of king Sethi I and king Ramesses II.

Additionally, a block, probably detached from the tomb’s northern wall, reflected a scene of an infantry unit and charioteers crossing a waterway with crocodiles. The preliminary study of this scene proved that it represents the eastern boarders of Egypt with its fortified walls.

Aguizy concluded that it might be a family tomb, but this can only be assured after the excavation of its sanctuary and its shaft.]]>
5/9/2018 12:40:23 PM
<![CDATA[For top pianist Andsnes, a quest for a perfect mood]]>
The Norwegian virtuoso, who has spent the past season as the artist-in-residence at the New York Philharmonic, has developed an intuition on the relationship between settings and the great composers whose works he brings to life.

"With Beethoven, for instance, I feel that he speaks to the crowd -- he's sort of delivering a speech in an extremely profound way. But with Chopin -- and the same with Schumann -- you feel it's very much between two persons," Andsnes told AFP over lunch near the Philharmonic's home at Lincoln Center.

Andsnes had recorded well-regarded CDs of Sibelius and Stravinsky in Berlin's Teldex studio but he found its reflection from the walls and floor ill-suited to Chopin and the intimacy he requires.

Instead Andsnes headed to the Sendesaal studio in Bremen, whose building-within-a-building design makes it thoroughly sound-proof. But the CD also features live recordings from the studio, which Andsnes described as "liberating" after days of solitary sessions.

"The problem with recording is that you're always thinking about how you did things and you become self-conscious about how it's going, because obviously you're recording all the time for things to be perfect on tape and for things to be good and intense," he said.

"But in concerts, you're naturally thinking much more forward -- you're thinking about what is coming and what you have to tell."

- Life quest on Chopin -

Andsnes, 48, had been playing the first three of Chopin's Ballades since he was a teenager. He only six years ago attempted the especially challenging fourth Ballade but has since played it frequently.

"How it is possible to tell so much and with so much diversity within 10 minutes, it's quite a miracle to me," he said.

Considering the Ballades to be too passion-rich to play in a single cycle, Andsnes is interspersing them with Chopin Nocturnes for the CD, which will be released in September on Sony Classics.

Throughout his residency at the New York Philharmonic, Andsnes highlighted works by major composers that often go overlooked.

Andsnes, who plays with forcefulness yet grace, selected Rachmaninoff's modernist fourth concerto, Britten's often overlooked piano concerto and Debussy's "Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra."

The "Fantaisie," the French master's sole work for piano and orchestra, was never played in Debussy's lifetime. The 1890 premiere was scrapped when the conductor said there was no time to prepare and Debussy later balked at attempts to perform it.

The "Fantaisie" presents a fine balancing act for the pianist, who has little scope for outward showmanship. Andsnes instead forged a rich blend with the New York Philharmonic, conducted with subtlety in the orchestra debut of Bergen-based British conductor Edward Gardner.

Andsnes -- who described the "Fantaisie" as "wonderful" yet indicative of a still-young Debussy -- will perform the work again next month in Paris with the Orchestre Philharmonic De Radio France.

- Looking back at World War I -

Andsnes attaches particular importance to remaining active in Norway. A father of three, Andsnes briefly stepped back from curatorial roles but since 2016 has put together a summer festival in the western coastal village of Rosendal.

The latest festival in August will examine music written during World War I on the conflict's centennial. One featured work, Janacek's "Violin Sonata," reproduced the sounds of bombs but most of the works, such as Ravel's "La Valse," tread more obliquely on the bloodshed.

Andsnes said he remained fascinated by the richness of music at a time of such carnage.

"There was so much great music written in those years and it's interesting to see how the war affected the lives of so many of the composers. But nevertheless they just wrote music, and not necessarily music reflecting the war."]]>
5/9/2018 10:03:27 AM
<![CDATA[Kuwait's first soprano brings Puccini to the Gulf]]>
A soprano by training, and with her trademark bob haircut, Hajji is Kuwait's first opera singer with a small but dedicated local following.

The 51-year-old's journey has not been easy. When she first enrolled in Kuwait's National Conservatory in 1985, her parents banned her from singing anywhere outside the walls of the school.

Fifteen years later, Hajji appeared onstage at the Cairo opera house. The audience settled in for an interlude of oriental folklore. Instead, they were treated to Giacomo Puccini's repertoire.

Hajji has since been invited back five times to perform works by the Italian composer, still her favourite, to Arab audiences in Italian or German.

Puccini, she believes, is also the most relatable to Kuwaiti music lovers' ear, with his emotive, late Romantic style.

- 'Sentimental style' -

Kuwait opened its first opera house in 2016 -- but Hajji was not invited to appear onstage.

That's when she found out about her own dedicated fan base who -- to her surprise -- had been following her career for years.

"The Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli opened the venue, and a lot of Kuwaitis were outraged by my absence," Hajji told AFP.

"That's how I discovered that I had an audience who knew who I was and who loved me."

Hajji was first introduced to opera as a teenager, when she saw a television special that caught her eye.

"I loved music in general, and in my first year in high school I saw an interview with Ahmed al-Baqer, who founded Kuwait's conservatory," she said.

"I decided to register for lessons. I started to train and then discovered opera, thanks to an Egyptian teacher here in Kuwait."

She has since represented her country in music festivals in Bahrain, Italy, Ukraine, Turkey, Morocco and elsewhere.

Shortly after her initial snub by Kuwait's opera house, she made it on stage in her native country performing with the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra.

- 'Raw talent' -

Hajji credits her oriental roots with helping Kuwaiti audiences relate to the classical works of Puccini and others.

"Even if they don't understand the language, the audience appreciates the music, the way it is sung," she said.

"I have my own style. It's sentimental. It's a contrast to the Western way of interpretation."

Now an instructor herself at Kuwait's national conservatory, she is starting to sense a budding interest in opera at home.

Most of them, however, are men -- and Hajji still has her eye on finding a female star pupil.
"There is so much raw talent that we're working to train musically," Hajji told AFP.

"But I've always dreamt of singing a duet with another female Kuwaiti opera singer."
Kuwait's conservatory is highly popular in the Gulf and for years has drawn students from neighbouring countries -- some of whom have had to stand up to their families to follow their passion.

Opera houses have also begun to pop up across the region, with Dubai and Oman each home to a venue.

But there is still cultural pushback against the genre, some say.

Ahmed Kandari, an opera teacher at Kuwait's conservatory, had to face his family's disapproval over his choice to study opera.

Today, he is fighting to introduce music into Kuwait's educational system.

"High school education is marked by the total lack of a music curriculum," he told AFP.

"We have to start introducing it earlier, and growing our education, to help teach the public appreciation of different musical styles and genres."

The work of Hajji, and Kandari, has inspired youth beyond Kuwait.

Ahmed Saleh al-Jazali, from Oman, is enrolled in the opera programme at Kuwait's conservatory. With the support of his family, he says his goal is to become his country's first opera singer.

"I'm working on it -- I'm going to sing in German and Italian," he said.]]>
5/9/2018 9:55:39 AM
<![CDATA[New archaeological discovery in Matariya]]>
“The digging process uncovered a statue of a royal compartment’s priest was on Tuesday, along with a small artifact not identified yet,” said Eldamaty, the current head of Ain Shams University excavation mission. The statue dates back to the ancient city of Heliopolis. The city was the capital of the Heliopolite Nome of Lower Egypt and a major religious center, now located in Al-Matariya neighborhood, northeastern Cairo.

“ The area witnessed important incidents of the ancient Egyptian history, included King Ramesses II to King Ramesses IX, the discovered Royal celebration compartment dates back to the Ramesses dynasty, the royal compartment was considered as the first of its kind during that Late Dynasty of Egypt,” Eldamaty told Egypt Today.

The neighborhood witnessed a major discovery in March 2017 of statue of 26 dynasty king Psammetich I.

The ancient Royal compartment was discovered earlier on April 30.
]]>
5/9/2018 2:30:53 AM
<![CDATA[Cairo Opera House concerts in Ramadan]]>
In cooperation with their embassies in Cairo, five Arab and Islamic countries – Indonesia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tunisia, Palestine and Sudan – will celebrate Ramadan through performances presented by their art troupes to reflect their heritage, customs and traditions. The Armenian embassy will celebrate 100 years of independence by presenting Armenian-style concerts.

The Open Air Theater will host 16 concerts in Ramadan that combine singing, religious singing, mystical singing, spiritual music, and some unique artistic experiences for the youth artists.

Ramadan concerts will be performed by various prominent artists, including Medhat Saleh, Nesma Abdel Aziz, Al-Radwan (Al-Maraashli Sons) group, Hadara Group, Hazem Shaheen and his troupe, Sheikh Ehab Younis, Dina Al-Wadidy, Basata Troupe, Mawlawia troupe and artist Amer el Tony, the South Nubian band led by Mahmoud Al-Sharqawi, Fathi Salama with Sheikh Mahmoud Al-Tohamy, Intisar Abdel Fattah and Tunisian singer Ghalia Benali.


In parallel, Cairo Opera House continues its annual season of performances at its large theaters in the Cairo, Alexandria and Damanhur opera houses with 21 other concerts for the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, Abdel Halim Noireh Ensemble for Arab Music and the National Arab Music Ensemble.
]]>
5/8/2018 6:10:16 PM
<![CDATA[A few good women: Female filmmakers at Cannes]]>
But the numbers show the festival still has some way to go in the battle of the sexes.

- And the winner is... -

Of the 268 filmmakers who have claimed one of Cannes' top three prizes, only 11 -- or four percent -- have been women, an analysis by AFP shows.

New Zealand's Jane Campion remains the only female director to have received the highest accolade, the Palme d'Or, awarded for her masterpiece "The Piano" in 1993.

Iranian prodigy Samira Makhmalbaf snagged the prestigious Jury Prize twice, first for her 2000 breakthrough feature "Blackboards" and again three years later for "At Five in the Afternoon".

The last major prize winner was Italian director Alice Rohrwacher, who took home the Grand Prix for "The Wonders" in 2014. She's back in the running this year with "Happy as Lazzaro".

- Director's cut, or not -

Women have made up barely 3.5 percent of the best director and best screenplay winners over the past seven decades.

Only four of the 111 winners have been female -- and two of them were last year when Sofia Coppola became only the second woman to secure the best director trophy with her American Civil War drama "The Beguiled".

Meanwhile, Briton Lynne Ramsay's "A Beautiful Day" scored best screenplay.

- Struggle to get in -

If only one woman has won the Palme d'Or it is also because very few of them ever get nominated.

Since 1946, only 84 of the 1,790 directors whose films has been shown in competition at Cannes have been women -- in other words, less than one in 20.

The latest edition doesn't buck the trend, with just three female directors among the 21 main competition contenders.

This is still better than the 2010 and 2012 festival editions, which featured all-male lineups.

While Cannes organisers acknowledge the gender inequality, they insist this merely reflects the underrepresentation of women directors in the cinema industry as a whole.

- Jury duty -

Australian actress Cate Blanchett heads this year's starry majority-female jury, which also includes Kristen Stewart and Lea Seydoux.

While Blanchett is the 12th chairwoman in the festival's 71-year history, only one woman director, Jane Campion in 2014, has had the honour.

She has said that Cannes needs to have an all-female jury one day to counter the decades of male domination.

Apart from the president, the jury is composed of four women and four men -- a parity ratio observed since 2013.

Overall women fare slightly better as judges at Cannes, although it is still relative. One in five jury members have been women in its seven-decade history.]]>
5/8/2018 2:31:05 PM
<![CDATA[Belgian singer dies just days after making comeback]]>
Maurane, real name Claudine Luypaerts, was found dead at home in Brussels around 8:00pm (1800 GMT) on Monday, according to the Belgian federal prosecutor's office.

It said it had begun an investigation but that foul play was not suspected.

Maurane shot to fame in the late 1980s in the sci-fi rock opera "Starmania" and had a string of French-language hits before putting her career on hold in 2015 because of problems with her vocal cords, according to Belgian news agency Belga.

She announced a return to performing last week and took to the stage at an open-air festival in Brussels at the weekend, singing hits by legendary mournful Belgian crooner Jacques Brel.

"A true artist left us tonight -- Maurane, an extraordinary singer, an inspiring voice, an endearing character," Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel tweeted.

French musician Catherine Lara told Europe 1 radio she was "devastated" by the death of her friend of 40 years, saying she had seemed tired when they last met three weeks ago.

"But she talked about the future, she told me she was preparing an album of Jacques Brel songs, that she was singing again," Lara said.

Maurane released 11 albums in a recording career that began in 1980 and had been preparing to tour next year after the new Brel album which was due in the autumn to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his death.

"On the album front, things are going well, with 14 first takes recorded... a first single should be out in the summer," Maurane wrote on Facebook just days before her death.

A spokesman for the prosecutor's office told AFP they were waiting for an initial report on the death before deciding whether an autopsy was needed.

"There was no intervention by a third party," the spokesman said, ruling out any criminal involvement.]]>
5/8/2018 2:26:42 PM
<![CDATA[Who's who in the Cannes film festival jury]]>
- Cate Blanchett -

The two-time Oscar winner from Australia is the 12th woman to head the panel of judges. The 48-year-old has emerged as a key figure in Hollywood's fight against sexual harassment.

One of the first women to call out Harvey Weinstein, Blanchett recently co-founded the "Time's Up" movement in support of abuse victims.

She made her breakthrough as Britain's flame-haired monarch Elizabeth I in the 1998 biopic, earning her the first of her six Oscar nominations.

Although she has never won anything at Cannes, her performance in "Carol", where she played one half of a couple of illicit lesbian lovers, earned her rave reviews in 2014.

- Chang Chen -

One of Taiwan's best-known actors, the 41-year-old shot to fame in the 2000 martial arts saga "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" by fellow countryman Ang Lee.

Born into a family of actors, Chang got his first leading role aged 14 in "A Brighter Summer Day", a violent four-hour epic about warring street gangs.

He has starred in several critically acclaimed Chinese-language films including Hou Hsiao-hsien's "The Assassin", which won the best director award at Cannes in 2015.

- Kristen Stewart -

The 28-year-old has long been a darling of Cannes, appearing in the main competition in "On the Road" by Walter Salles in 2012 and Olivier Assayas' "Clouds of Sils Maria" and Woody Allen's "Cafe Society" in 2014.

The award-winning actress also premiered her first short film as a director, "Come Swim", at the festival last year.

Stewart, a Los Angeles native, was first spotted by a talent scout at age eight and had her breakout role opposite Jodie Foster in the 2002 thriller "Panic Room".

But her career made a quantum leap when, at 17, she played broody teen Bella Swan who falls in love with a vampire in the "Twilight" films.

- Khadja Nin -

Burundian Khadja Nin has become one of French-speaking Africa's most celebrated singer-songwriters with her unique blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms and modern pop.


AFP/File / Loic VENANCE
At 32, Seydoux is one of France's best-known actresses with a Palme d'Or already under her belt
She has performed alongside music legends like Montserra Caballe and Sting, and collaborated with French screen legend Jeanne Moreau for a music video.

The daughter of a diplomat and youngest of eight children studied music from an early age before eventually moving to Europe.

- Ava DuVernay -

The trailblazing director, screenwriter, producer and distributor, who directed the Oscar-nominated civil rights drama "Selma," is the first African-American woman to helm a film with a budget over $100 million -- this year's "A Wrinkle In Time" starring Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey.

DuVernay's Oscar-nominated documentary "13th", named for the constitutional amendment that abolished slavery, offered a devastating account of mass incarceration of black men in contemporary American.

In March, she signed on to make the DC Comics superhero blockbuster, "The New Gods".

- Robert Guediguian -

French writer and producer Robert Guediguian is best known for the "The Young Karl Marx" and the acclaimed "Marius and Jeannette", the gutsy story of a single mother supermarket checkout worker.

He also directed the much praised "Le voyage en Armenie", a story set in his ancestral homeland.

- Lea Seydoux -


Starring in pictures by heavyweights ranging from Quentin Tarantino to Woody Allen, Seydoux is arguably best known to global audiences for her turn as a Bond girl opposite Daniel Craig in 2015's "Spectre".

But it was her soulful turn in Abdellatif Kechiche's epic lesbian love story "Blue is the Warmest Colour", which unusually captured the Palme d'Or for the director and the two leads, that made her a Cannes fixture.

- Denis Villeneuve -

The director and screenwriter, whose update of the sci-fi classic "Blade Runner 2049" picked up two Oscars this year, is a frequent guest of the festival.

The 50-year-old filmmaker made his Cannes debut two decades ago with "August 32nd on Earth" a drama about a model who confronts an existential crisis by deciding to have a baby with her best friend.

- Andrei Zvyagintsev -

The Russian maker of such classics as "The Return" and "Leviathan" is regarded as one of the greatest directors in the world at the moment, with his last film "Loveless" the critics' favourite for the Palme d'Or last year.

It was pipped at the post by "The Square", but the sombre story of the warped values of the country's post-Soviet middle class was later nominated for best foreign film Oscar.

]]>
5/8/2018 2:23:37 PM
<![CDATA[‘Sallem Nafsak’ play to be performed in Ramadan]]>
The play that achieved a booming success is directed by Khaled Galal and performed by the students of the Actor’s Studio, and was considered an opportunity to discover new talents among Egyptian youth. The play has been presented 115 times in a row since its first show in October 2017. Additionally, many critics described it as the best theater show in 2017, as Egypt Today has previously reported.

The two-hour-play focuses on the negative features in the Egyptian community during the recent period. This includes violence against women, terrorist acts under false religious slogans, consumption patterns of households, negative effects of social media and insincere love relations.

These features have been reflected in 13 sarcastic scenes, mixed with music and dance, giving the actors the chance to showcase their skills. In a step to encourage talented youth in different fields, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi invited Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to watch “Sallem Nafsak” during his last three-day-visit to Egypt to shed light on new Egyptian talents.

Sisi and bin Salman watched “Sallem Nafsak” on March 12 and strongly applauded the performance, showing their great appreciation for the play, the artists and the director.
At the end of the show, Sisi mentioned that the scene that presented the noble mission of defending Egypt deeply affected him, expressing his thanks to all the actors and the director.

Sisi remarked that difficult tests are set for youth seeking to enroll in the Egyptian National Academy for Youth Training and Rehabilitation. But, he remarked that he will allow the theater’s cast members to register easily in the academy, as they possess great talents.



He added that Egypt needs honest and sincere people to be at the forefront of the country's building process to be able to achieve the intended objectives. Sisi expressed his thanks and appreciation for the team's dedication and hard work.

“I proudly watched a group of creative Egyptian young people performing in the theater show 'Sallem Nafsak' at the Cairo Opera House,” Sisi remarked directly after watching the play.

Galal previously expressed his great pride in all his students who participated in the play and presented such a dazzling performance, such as Ola Fahmy, Ahmed Tarek, Ahmed Abdel Tawab, Mohamed Hassan, Rehab Ezzeldin, Mahmoud Abdel Lateef and Gamal Abdel Nasser, among others. Galal also thanked Minister of Culture Ines Abdel Dayem and Cairo Opera House Head Magdy Saber.
]]>
5/8/2018 1:33:36 PM
<![CDATA[Court to issue verdict in Sherine Abdel Wahab case]]>
The Egyptian Court had previously sentenced Abdel Wahab to six months in prison and a fine of LE 5,000 ($281.5), but Abdel Wahab’s lawyer appealed the verdict.

Abdel Wahab’s lawyer built the defense on a similar sentence that was said by late Egyptian actor Ismail Yassin in one of his movies, titled “Am Abdou” (Uncle Abdou), and nobody at that time accused Yassin.

The singer made an ill-humored joke when one of the fans asked her to perform “Mashrebtesh Min Nilha” (Have You Drank from Egypt’s Nile?), to which Abdel Wahab replied that she would contract schistosomiasis if she drank it, a phrase seen as inappropriate by many social media users.

“We will continue drinking the Nile’s water and will stop listening to Sherine’s songs,” was the name of a hashtag that launched in response to her joke. The hashtag topped trends in Egypt for the few hours that followed Abdel Wahab’s declaration.

The Health Ministry previously released a statement disproving the singer’s allegations, stating that Egypt has fought schistosomiasis and reduced its prevalence to 0.2 percent.

After conducting the necessary investigations, the Egyptian Musicians Syndicate decided to ban Abdel Wahab from singing in Egypt for two months; this period ended on January 14, 2018.

“There are some envious people who seek to harm Sherine and ruin the great accomplishments she achieved in the past few years. She will come to the syndicate to defend herself and clear her position,” Reda Ragab, deputy head of the Musicians Syndicate, previously recounted.

“We should turn this page and be all fully dedicated to support our country culturally and artistically at this current historic stage to achieve the aspirations of the great Egyptian people,” Hani Shaker, renowned Egyptian singer and head of the syndicate, previously stated, commenting on the syndicate's decision to outlaw Abdel Wahab from singing.

Abdel Wahab, 37, is a popular Egyptian singer who was born in 1980. She started her career in 2000. Two years later, music producer Nassr Mahrous, who strongly believed in Abdel Wahab, paired her with Tamer Hosny on the same music album.

The album achieved booming success; Abdel Wahab and Hosny became mega stars.

Abdel Wahab has released a lot of successful songs, such as “Masha’aer’’ (Emotions), "Albi Leek" (My Heart is For You),”Garh Tany” (Another Wound), “Lazem Ayesh” (I Have to Survive) and “Batmenak” (I Am Reassuring You), among others.

She acted in only one movie, “Mido Mashakel” (Mido Always Makes Problems), alongside Egyptian megastar Ahmed Helmy. Her only soap opera, “Tare’y” (My Path), was released in 2015 and achieved great success.

Abdel Wahab is famous for her emotional, melodious voice that has a significant touch of intimacy. She is consistently hailed as one of the most talented and successful singers of her era, being dubbed as “The Queen of Emotions” for her popular romantic ballads.
]]>
5/8/2018 1:27:47 PM
<![CDATA[In a film festival far, far away, Cannes puts art over commerce]]>
Critics have said a jury including Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart and Lea Seydoux has more A-list acting talent than the films - many from lesser-known European, Asian and African filmmakers - vying for the Palme d’Or.

“Solo: A Star Wars Story,” will be the only Hollywood blockbuster screened during the fortnight, and even that will have already premiered in Los Angeles.

Netflix, which brought a raft of A-listers last year, is boycotting Cannes due to French rules that would stop it streaming movies for three years after a cinema release.

This will also be the first festival in years without Harvey Weinstein, the movie mogul once famous on the Riviera for his lavish parties, but now the subject of sexual assault allegations that have shaken the global film industry.

Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Festival director Thierry Fremaux denied that the lack of U.S. movies indicated Cannes was losing its appeal in Hollywood, where studios increasingly release big films late in the year to get visibility in the run-up to the Oscars, which are awarded in late winter.

“You should never judge on one year,” he told a news conference, while adding that the perhaps the famously harsh press corp at Cannes - where movies are often booed during media screenings - might be “scaring certain productions” away.

Hollywood Reporter critic Scott Roxborough said Cannes remained “the number one film festival for quality cinema worldwide” and that its selection of less commercial movies showed “Cannes is going back to its roots.”

“It’s the only place really you can have an unknown film ... that within a hour of being shown everybody is talking about it ... within a day, a week, it’s the biggest name in arthouse cinema,” he told Reuters.

There are 21 films in the main competition and dozens more vying for other prizes and screening out of competition. Here are a handful of the most hotly anticipated:

Everybody Knows (Todos lo Saben)

The festival opens with this Spanish-language family drama starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. The writer-director is the Iranian Asghar Farhadi who won foreign language Oscars for “A Separation” and “The Salesman”, taut character-driven realist movies that explore the divisions imposed by social class and national boundaries. “Everybody Knows” is competing for the Palme d’Or.

The House That Jack Built

Danish provocateur Lars von Trier returns after being ejected from the festival in 2011 for telling a news conference he was a Nazi who sympathized with Adolf Hitler - comments he later said were taken out of context.

Matt Dillon stars as a serial killer of women. “We experience the story from Jack’s point of view, while he postulates each murder as an artwork in itself,” according to notes in the festival’s program.

Hollywood Reporter critic Roxborough said the film, screening out of competition, is one of his top-three must-sees, calling it: “a movie that could almost be seen as an answer to the MeToo movement, in a really nasty way”.

BlacKkKlansman

Spike Lee returns to Cannes almost 30 years after “Do the Right Thing” was tipped for, but failed to get, the Palme d’Or. (“He said he was robbed, I agree with him,” said Roxborough.)

“BlacKkKlansman”, the true story of an African-American police officer who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan, stars John David Washington (son of Denzel) and Adam Driver.

Lee says the story, set in the 1970s, is more relevant than ever in President Donald Trump’s America.

“Agent Orange refused to repudiate the Klan, the alt-right and the Nazis,” he told Hollywood Reporter.

“‘There’s good people on both sides.’ That’s going to be on his gravestone.”

In competition for the Palme d’Or, “BlacKkKlansman” will open in U.S. cinemas on Aug. 10, one day before the anniversary of the far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia where counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed by a car driven into the crowd.

The Man who Killed Don Quixote

Terry Gilliam’s two-decade struggle to make this film has entered movie folklore. An initial version, starring Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, was dumped after a series of calamities meant shooting had to stop.

Finally finished, it remains to be seen if this version, with “Brazil” star Jonathan Pryce as the Spanish knight who tilts at windmills, can be shown at Cannes due to a last-minute legal challenge from a movie producer who says he has the rights over it.

“It’s taken him so long to make this movie I think we all owe it to the man to go and check it out,” said Roxborough of the film that should, but may not, close the festival, out of competition, on May 19.

A Paris court on Monday heard an application for an injunction on showing the film, but will not rule until Wednesday.

Leto (The Summer)/ 3 Faces

Two films in the main competition will screen without the presence of their directors - both prevented from traveling by national authorities in their home countries.

Leto, about the Leningrad rock music scene in the latter years of the Soviet Union, is directed by Kirill Serebrennikov who is under house arrest pending a fraud case his supporters say is part of a government crackdown on artistic freedoms.

Iranian director Jafar Panahi was arrested in 2010 and banned from making films, but has continued to work, to international acclaim. Like his 2015 film “Taxi”, “3 Faces” features Panahi playing himself on screen.

The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 8 to May 19.
]]>
5/8/2018 11:47:35 AM
<![CDATA[Goddesses, angels and a pope rock Catholic-inspired Met Gala]]>
Bejeweled crosses, veils and halo-inspired headdresses ruled on the red carpet, dubbed the Oscars of the east Coast for its celebrity guest list and stunning outfits.

From saints to sinners, guests took to heart the 2018 theme of “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute ball.

Although some commentators had feared the Catholic theme might yield the most controversial Met Gala ever, most of the actors, models and music stars stayed on the right side of propriety in colors of red, white, gold and black.

Rihanna, one of the Met Gala co-hosts, dressed like a pope, sporting a head-turning, jewel-encrusted mitre with matching mini-dress and a priestly-style cape designed by Maison Margiela.

Katy Perry wowed in enormous, feathered six foot high white wings teamed with a Versace gold mini-dress paired with thigh-high gold boots.

The invitation-only Met Gala is a fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and also marks the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibition.

The 2018 exhibit shows how Catholicism has influenced fashion and designers through the decades and features more than 50 vestments and other religious items direct from the Vatican.

Madonna, a key religious provocateur early in her pop career, turned demure in a black, long-sleeved gown, with a huge gold crown, and a full face veil.

Kim Kardashian, appearing without husband Kanye West, kept it simple in a curve-hugging, gold metallic floor length dress with plunging neckline by Versace.

“Sex and the City” actress Sarah Jessica Parker opted for a gold Dolce & Gabbana gown embroidered with sacred hearts and a towering nativity scene headpiece.

Jennifer Lopez chose a Balmain dress, split to the hip, with a large cross across the breast and a black feathered train.

Model Bella Hadid was among those opting for the darker side of religion, wearing a Chrome Hearts black latex and leather outfit with long black gloves, and a black veil trailing to the floor.

Actors Olivia Munn, Zandaya and Priyanka Chopra went for Crusades-inspired chain-mail outfits, while “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman was among the few men going avant-garde in an ivory cape with gold beaded crosses, an embellished suit, and gold colored shoes.


Other guests chose looks ranging from heavenly white (Dakota Fanning) to angelic yellow (Amanda Seyfried) and skin-baring black lace (Zoe Kravitz).]]>
5/8/2018 11:43:35 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian and Arab presence in Cannes Film Festival]]>
During the 71st edition of Cannes International Film Festival, scheduled to run between May 8 and May 19, the Egyptian movie “El Maseer” (The Destiny) will screen on Sunday May 13 at 9 p.m.

The movie, released in 1997, is considered one of the classics of the Egyptian cinema; it is written and directed by late great director, Youssef Chahine, and stars a notable group of Egyptian actors, including Leila Elwi, Khaled el Nabawy, Nour el Sherif, Hany Salama, Mohmaed Mounir, Safia el Amary, Rojina, and Mahmoud Hemeida. Leila Elwi will travel to Cannes to attend “El Maseer” screening. "This is the least I can do to honor the soul of the great Chachine,” Elwi recounted.

Chahine, or “The Professor” as dubbed by his students, is considered one of Egypt’s greatest directors, having filmed a wide variety of films along over five decades.
Chahine was born in Alexandria in 1926. He travelled to Hollywood to study acting in Pasadena Playhouse, California in 1946. Upon his return, he decided to shift from acting to directing.

Chahine directed his first film “Baba Amin” (Dady Amin) in 1950. The following year, he directed his second film, “Ibn El-Nil” (Son of the Nile), which was his first film to be featured at the Cannes Film Festival. Another famous film of chahine, “Al-Ikhtiyar” (The Choice), was awarded a Golden Tanit in Carthage Film Festival in 1970.

Nine years later, “Eskenderia Leh” (Alexandria …Why?), which is directed by Chahine and narrates his early life, won a Silver Bear and a Special Jury prize in Berlin International Film Festival.

He continued the autobiographic quartet with “Hadouta Masryia” (An Egyptian story) in 1982, “Eskendria Kaman we Kaman” (Alexandria Again and Again) in 1990 and “Eskendria…New York” (Alexandria…New York) in 2004.

Chahine cooperated with legendary singer Dalida in “El-Youm El-Sades” (The Sixth Day) where she played the role of a poor, humble Egyptian woman. He also established a production company named “Aflam Masr El-Alamya” (Misr International Films), producing plenty of films, some of which were directed by other directors, such “Shafiqa we Metwally” (Shafiqa and Metwally) by Aly Badrakhan.

"El-Maseer" (The Destiny) was nominated for the Palme d'Or in 1997, and against all expectations, the film did not win any prizes in the festival. His cooperation with French production companies and choosing themes appealing to the western taste were his key to get into the international arena. In 1997, Chahine was awarded, among many other awards, the 50th annual Lifetime Achievement Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Youssef Chahine left a legacy of 42 movies, starting in 1950 with “Baba Amin” and ending with “Heya Fawda” in 2007.

Chahine had a unique style in directing his movies. He used to act for the actors to get them to perform the scene as he wants them to; this was shown clearly in his brilliant movie “Al Mohager” (The Immigrant), where the Pharaohs were speaking in a colloquial dialect, in the way he himself talks.

Chahine had a very distinct way of speaking: short and fast. This pattern was criticized widely, yet the movie was a huge success, although controversial due to the notion that the hero of the movie is Prophet Joseph. According to the religious edict of Al-Azhar, prophets should not be impersonated in drama. Chahine changed the name to “Ram” and bypassed the decision. The images literally talked in this movie due to the talent of genius Ramses Marzook, the director of photography.

A total of 10 of Chahine's films participated at the Cannes Film Festival during his career which are:

1. "Ibn El-Nil" (Son of the Nile) - 1951

2. "Sera’ fi Al-Wadi" (Struggle in the Valley) - 1954

3. "El-Ard" (The Land) - 1969

4. "Al-Asfour" (The Sparrow) - 1972

5. "Wada’an Bonaparte" (Goodbye Bonaparte) - 1985

6. "El-Youm El-Sades" (The Sixth day) -1986

7. "Eskendria Kaman we Kaman" (Alkexandria Again and Again) - 1990

8. "El-Maseer" (The Destiny) - 1997

9. "El-Akhar" (The Other) - 1999

10. "Alexandria…New York" - 2004

A number of Arab films are officially participating in the 71st Cannes Film Festival. “Yomeddine” and “Kafr Naoum” movies will participate in the festival’s official competition, while “Sofia” and “Qomashty el-Mofadala” (My Favorite Cloth) will screen in the Un Certain Regard section.

“Yomeddine” (Judgment Day) revolves around a leprosy patient who escaped from the hospital along with one of his friends in order to search for his family. “Yomeddine” is directed by Egyptian-Austrian director Abu Bakr Shawky.

“Kafr Naoum” directed by famous Lebanese director Nadine Labaki tells the story of a rebellious child living in a poor area who decided to file a suit against his parents because they gave birth to him in this cruel world.

Following the decision to allow the establishment of movie theaters, Saudi Arabia is taking the next step and for the first time ever, is participating in the 71st Cannes Film Festival in France.

The news came from the recently formed Saudi Film Council, which announced its participation, according to The National, and will launch internationally with its own space at Cannes.

The kingdom will come to the festival with its own pavilion, allowing visitors of the Cannes Film Festival to meet and converse with filmmakers, industry professionals and actors from Saudi Arabia, and allowing the kingdom to become a more desirable spot for film locations. The Saudi Film Festival will also be hosting a wide range of industry events that will allow for a better understanding of the region's interests in the film world.

Saudi Arabia's official selection of contributing films will be announced on Thursday; for now it is known that nine short films will be participating as part of the Cannes Film Festival's Short Film category on May 14 and 15.

Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux spoke warmly of Saudi Arabia's debut in a statement, according to Deadline:

“I am thrilled that Saudi Arabia has launched the Saudi Film Council with a clear focus on nurturing its filmmaking talent and sharing Saudi stories with the world. Its participation is a great way of opening up global opportunities for its creative talent. The many young filmmakers among the Saudi delegation will have access to the world’s most prestigious film festival, including meaningful interactions with leading, international film industry professionals.”

It is worth mentioning that “Black Panther” was the first film to screen at Saudi Arabia's new AMC Multiplex that opened in Riyadh on April 18. Saudi Arabia's newfound interest in the film industry is an important part of its Vision 2030 plan, which aims to diversify and strengthen the economy by weaning it off oil and looking into other industries, such as entertainment.
]]>
5/7/2018 2:00:00 PM
<![CDATA['El BahesAn Umm Kulthum'achieves success at 37th Istanbul Film Festival]]>
Famed and talented Egyptian actress,YasmineRaees, played Umm Kulthum in the movie. “The Search for Umm Kulthum” participated in a number of prominent international film festivals, such as the 74th edition of the Venice International Film Festival held from August 30 to September 9, 2017.

“The Search for Umm Kulthum” also participated in the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival held from September 7 to September 17, 2017, and the 61st London Film Festival, which ran from October 4 to October 15, 2017. The movie is directed by Shereen Nishat. ]]>
5/7/2018 11:08:58 AM
<![CDATA[Nefertiti possesses no rooms behind Tut’s tomb]]>
MostafaWaziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said that head of the mission, Francisco Porcella,announced the results of the studies and researches that were carried out by his scientific research team in a lecture at the Fourth International Tutankhamen's Conference on Sunday May 6.

Waziri added that the scientific report submitted by Porcella to the Ministry of Antiquities pointedout that the studies showed that there were no rooms at the tomb which contradicted the theory that assumed the presence of corridors or adjacent rooms inside the king’s tomb.

The results of a Ground Penetrating radar, GPR, conducted by a Japanese and American scientific mission in 2015 and 2016,and supported by British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves's theory in 2015, which states that there was a chamber which belonged to Queen Nefertiti behind Tut’s tomb led to a huge controversy among Egyptologists in Egypt and the world.

The ministry discussed this whole matter in the second International Tutankhamen’s Conference in May 2016. This conference was attended by archeologists from Egypt and the world; they decided to carry out a third radar survey with different advanced scientific techniques to resolve the debate and to verify the validity of the theory before taking any actions. ]]>
5/7/2018 11:05:32 AM
<![CDATA['That's brave': Bardem on Iran's Farhadi making a Spanish film]]>
But the Spanish star says the result -- "Everybody Knows", which will open Cannes film festival on Tuesday -- is "more Spanish than many Spanish movies made in Spain!"

Farhadi's "A Separation" and "The Salesman" both won foreign language Oscars, but it was his 2014 French feature "The Past" that changed Bardem's mind.

"When I saw 'The Past' and I understood he can do it," the 49-year-old actor said in an interview in Paris.

Up for the Cannes' top Palme d'Or prize, "Everybody Knows" is a psychological thriller about a wedding in a small town that is turned upside down by a family tragedy.

Bardem stars alongside his wife and fellow Oscar-winner Penelope Cruz, their ninth film together and second in a row after last year's "Escobar".

He says their latest film together was different from another set in Spain, Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona".

"Woody Allen's movie is about cliches, about what the foreign tourists are looking for, they go to Barcelona for that," Bardem says.

"But Asghar is a different game... he's very realistic.

"I smell Spain," in Farhadi's film, he adds.

"I believe in that country, that city, those people. They speak like that."

He says he and Cruz had some input about the Spanish: "Mostly we brought things about the language, about the complexity of the sentences."


And it had all the ingredients of "a Farhadi movie".

"Usually his stories are very nice, simple, open-hearted people under very strong circumstances, conflicts," Bardem says.

"But in this case... there is a thriller aspect that makes you want to know more what is going on and keeps you at the edge of the seat."

- Juggling acting and marriage -

Bardem says it was a coincidence that he and Cruz starred in two movies together in a row.

"We did 'Escobar' and then we did this movie, one after the other. We were like OK, stop. Let's stop for a second. But they are also different, and the roles are different."

But he says acting together did make family life simpler for the couple, who married in 2010 and have two children.

"That part is great. That's way easier than the opposite, because the opposite -- like me in China and her in Australia -- we're like, what do we do with the kids?"


But he adds that "you have to make a divided line" between "what is fiction and what is reality".

"We rehearse with the directors and we talk about it, but once we get home, none of that is discussed."

Bardem won the best actor award at Cannes in 2010 for "Biutiful", but says he's had "ups and downs" at the festival.

He says that "No Country for Old Men", for which he later received an Oscar, was well received at the festival -- but adds that it "didn't get any award by the way".

"And also I've been booed," for 2016's "The Last Face", he says, "a movie that is considered one of the worst movies in the festival's history, which I have to say that I don't disagree.

"It's a great honour to open such an amazing festival with a movie with Asghar Farhadi. But also it's a risk, it's scary, it's a responsibility."


]]>
5/7/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Films in the running for the top prize at Cannes]]>
- Everybody Knows -

Iranian master Asghar Farhadi kicks off the festival with a psychological thriller about a family reunion going awry, featuring Spanish stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. While Farhadi, 45, won an Oscar and the Golden Bear at Berlin for his 2011 breakthrough film, "A Separation", he is yet to take home the coveted Cannes prize.

- BlacKkKlansman -

US director and activist Spike Lee's drama is based on the real-life story of an African-American police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in 1978. John David Washington plays him with Adam Driver as his Jewish police partner. The film will open in the US on the first anniversary of a white supremacist march in Charlottesville where an anti-racism activist was killed.

- Under the Silver Lake -

Four years after giving Cannes audiences nightmares with his thriller "It Follows", David Robert Mitchell returns with another spine-chiller, this time about the mysterious murder of a billionaire.

- Dogman -

Italian director Matteo "Gomorra" Garrone's new work is not for the faint-hearted. Dubbed an "urban Western", the film is inspired by the gruesome murder by dog groomer and cocaine addict Pietro De Negri in the late 1980s.

- Three Faces -

Little is known about this portrait of three women by the Iranian dissident Jafar Panahi, who is banned from travel by Tehran. The festival and US director Oliver Stone have pleaded with the authorities to let the director, who has faced years of harassment and arrest, to fly to Cannes to show his film.

- Leto -

Russia's Kirill Serebrennikov is another director who may not be able to present his work at Cannes. Under house arrest over highly disputed allegations of embezzlement, his film focuses on Soviet rock star Viktor Tsoi and the birth of Russian underground music in the 1980s.

- At War -



As France grapples with rail strikes and student protests, French director Stephane Brize's gritty drama about factory workers battling to keep their jobs may hit a timely nerve.

- Cold War -

Amazon Studios is pinning its hopes on this tender black-and-white period romance set among the members of a touring folk group in the Eastern Bloc in the 1950s from Oscar-winning Polish-British director Pawel Pawlikowski.

- The Image Book -

Cinema's oldest and most enigmatic rebel, French-Swiss legend Jean-Luc Godard, has let little slip about his new film other than this enigmatic synopsis: "Nothing but silence, nothing but a revolutionary song, a story in five chapters like the five fingers of a hand."

- Girls of the Sun -

Kurdish women fighters battling the Islamic State are at the centre of French actor-director Eva Husson's new film. Iranian star Golshifteh Farahani plays Bahar, the leader of the Yazidi Sun Brigade, who hunts down the extremists who had earlier captured her.

- The Wild Pear Tree -

Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who won the Palme d'Or four years ago for "Winter Sleep", is back with another Anatolian talkie, this time about a young provincial writer raging at his father.

- Ayka -

Kazakh Sergey Dvortsevoy -- who won many fans and prizes for his 2009 debut "Tulpan" -- was a late entry with his new docu-drama about a young homeless single mother adrift in the post-Soviet Central Asian state.

- Capernaum -



Lebanese actress-turned-filmmaker Nadine Labaki's third film is set in a Middle Eastern town. Her previous film "Where Do We Go Now?" premiered at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section in 2010.

- Burning -

South Korean auteur Lee Chang-dong's new mystery drama is drawn from a short story by Japanese master Haruki Murakami, "Barn Burning", about a writer who becomes fascinated by a woman whose boyfriend burns barns. His first film in eight years, the cult director of "Oasis" and "Secret Sunshine" has an almost fanatical following.

- Knife + Heart -

French singer and actress Vanessa Paradis stars in the latest tale from Yann Gonzalez, who had a hit on the festival circuit with his quirky orgy drama, "You And The Night", with Beatrice Dalle and former footballer Eric Cantona.

- Asako 1 & 2 -

In this Japanese drama by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, a young woman meets her first love in Osaka. When he disappears without a trace, she moves on -- until his perfect double shows up two years later.

- Shoplifters -

Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-Eda, a longtime sweetheart of the Cannes jury, returns with a tale of a family of small-time crooks who take in a child they find on the street.

- Yomeddine -

A Coptic leper and his orphaned apprentice leave the confines of their colony for the first time and embark on a journey across Egypt to search for what is left of their families.

- Lazzaro Felice -


Italian director Alice Rohrwacher is back with the time-travelling story Lazzaro Felice
Rising star Italian director Alice Rohrwacher, already a prize winner at Cannes, is back with a time-travelling story which takes in the fascist 1930s.

- Sorry Angel -

The new film by Christophe Honore, the man behind the charming French musical "Love Songs", is a gay love story when the AIDS epidemic was at its height.

- Ash is Purest White -

Chinese director Jia Zhangke's new film is a story of "violent love" between a mobster and a dancer starring Zhao Tao and Liao Fan. It is a follow-up to his "Mountains May Depart", which also competed for the Palme d'Or in 2015.

]]>
5/7/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Mariinsky Theatre, AUR Capital’s surprise for the virtuoso Omar Khairat]]>
The Mariinsky Theatre is a historic Russian masterpiece of architecture, located in the cultural city of Saint Petersburg, opened in 1860. The Theatre was home for several iconic plays written by Russian literature giants such as, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. The historic cultural establishment is a home of opera and ballet.

1
Guests take their seats for a "pre-premiere" performance, put on for veterans, senior employees of the theater and other special guests, in the new Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, May 1, 2013 – Reuters

The Theatre hosts the annual Russian National day celebrations, along with prestigious symphonies and orchestras. It accommodates 1300 people.

2
Mariinsky Theatre -Reuters

Ashraf Salman, the former Minister of Investment and the current chairman of AUR Capital Company, told Egypt Today that the concert is set to hit several goals, on the top of them presenting respectable image of Egypt through one of its most talented musician. Salman added that Omar Khairat was chosen for his global reputation as a magnificent musician.

3
Main auditorium of the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint-Petersburg, Russia – Reuters

“Mariinsky theatre was picked to host the expected concert for its worldwide fame, it is considered as one of the three most important theatres in the International cultural field,” said Salman. The ex-minister added that the Theatre’s reputation will draw a multinational audience to Khairat’s concert.

The AUR Capital’s chairman said that the tickets marketing process will be handled by International agencies such as Ticketsmarche.

“The Concert will be equipped by technological gimmicks and interactive screens to introduce Egypt’s sights to the audience in a fascinating method,” Fayez Abaza, Martech Company managing director told Egypt Today.

Salman praised the Khairat’s approval to perform in Russia, noting that the Egyptian musician’s performance will reflect positively on the Tourism links between Egypt and Russia.

4
Swan Lake at the Mariinsky Theatre – photo via Wikimedia commons
]]>
5/7/2018 3:23:37 AM
<![CDATA[Prominent musician Omar Khairat to perform in Russia in a concert sponsored by AUR Capital]]>
1
Youm7 seminar pertaining to Omar Khairat concert in Russia for Egypt's participation in World Cup - Egypt Today/ By Karim Abdel Aziz

Ashraf Salman, former Minister of Investment and current chairman of AUR Capital Company, along with several Egyptian sponsors is handling the project's organization and Youm 7 was chosen as the media partner for the event.

Ex-minister Salman asserted that all the sponsors must be Egyptian private equity firms and that the whole thing must be organized and executed by Egyptians.


In a seminar held on May 6 in Youm7 headquarters in Cairo, Salman stressed that such an event might not be witnessed again; therefore it must be taken advantage of.

Russian historical theatre of Mariinsky will host the expected massive concert, Egyptian movie star Ahmed El Saka will give the opening speech, followed by several prominent Egyptian and Russian icons.

The Mariinsky Theatre is located in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and is considered as one of the most prominent theatres in the world. The historical theatre that accommodates 1300 people is built by the end of the 19th century; it acquires a prestigious reputation among the international cultural establishments.

The concert will be performed under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, the Egyptian Gulf Bank, Cairo Bank, Wadi Degla Company for Real Estate development, Arco Company for Real Estate development, AUR Capital Company, Book UR Star Global Company and Martech Company, revealed Salman.

Fayez Abaza, Martech Company managing director pointed out during the meeting that his company will introduce to the concert audiences the major landmarks of Egypt, and will provide some information about Egypt and its civilization.

Abaza said that the concert will be broadcasted by multiple Russian, Egyptian and International satellite channels.

Mohammed Tala’at, Chairman of Book UR Star Global company, revealed that the concert’s tickets will be available on the Internet soon, adding that the international Ticketsmarche company will be assigned to sale the them.

2
Youm7 seminar pertaining to Omar Khairat concert in Russia for Egypt's participation in World Cup - Egypt Today/ By Karim Abdel Aziz


6
Youm7 seminar pertaining to Omar Khairat concert in Russia for Egypt's participation in World Cup - Egypt Today/ By Karim Abdel Aziz


5
Youm7 seminar pertaining to Omar Khairat concert in Russia for Egypt's participation in World Cup - Egypt Today/ By Karim Abdel Aziz


8
Youm7 seminar pertaining to Omar Khairat concert in Russia for Egypt's participation in World Cup - Egypt Today/ By Karim Abdel Aziz


3
Youm7 seminar pertaining to Omar Khairat concert in Russia for Egypt's participation in World Cup - Egypt Today/ By Karim Abdel Aziz
]]>
5/6/2018 11:23:04 PM
<![CDATA['Youm An Katalo el Ghena' to be displayed until May 13]]>
The play presents the struggle between two brothers in their quest for the cause of existence and the mystery of the universe. It examines the conflict between the spirit of tolerance and love on the one hand, with fanaticism and hatred on the other hand.

The show is written by Mahmoud Gamal and directed by Tamer Karam, and it stars Alaa Quqa, Yasser Sadek, Hamada Shousha, Tarek Sabri, Mohamed Nasser and Hind Abdel Halim. “The Day They Killed Singing” opened on March 30, 2017, and was awarded the first-place prize at the 10th edition of the National Festival of Egyptian Theater.

“Youm An Katalo el Ghena” is one of the most unique and varied plays that continues to prove successful for the second consecutive year. Prominent theatrical critics Azza Heikal, Ahmed Khamis, Yasmine Farrag and Rana Abdel Kawy chose it to be one of the best four plays in 2017.
]]>
5/6/2018 4:40:48 PM
<![CDATA[Saad releases 'Baraka’ promo on his official Instagram account]]>

The series follows Baraka (Amr Saad) who settles in Cairo where he starts to get richer, but at the same time he gets involved in a lot of serious problems with powerful people. The show stars Hala Sedky, Kamal Abo Raya, Salah Abdallah and Rana Raies and is directed by Mahmoud Karim.

Saad won the Best Actor award for his role in “Mawlana” (The Preacher) movie at the 66th Egyptian Catholic Center Cinema Festival on Friday, March 2. "Mawlana", based on a novel by renowned journalist Ibrahim Eissa, revolves around an influential religious preacher who turns into a TV celebrity; the preacher's credibility is shaken when he gets close to politicians and security agencies.

The movie stars Amr Saad, Dorra Zarrouk and Ahmed Magdy and is written by Ibrahim Eissa, directed by Magdy Ahmed Aly and produced by telecom tycoon Naguib Sawiris.

It is worth mentioning that "Mawlana" previously won the Circle Award at the Washington, D.C. Film Festival. The film was also awarded Best Film at the Luxor African Film Festival, and Amr Saad won the Best Actor award. Additionally, Saad was crowned Best Actor at Tetouan Film Festival.

"Mawlana" was originally released in 2016 and earned praise from both the public and critics despite the controversy surrounding it.
]]>
5/6/2018 4:19:49 PM
<![CDATA[NY auction houses get set for an 'extraordinary season']]>
The collection was amassed by the late billionaire banker David Rockefeller, who died last year aged 101, and his wife Peggy.

In all, Christie's is selling 1,600 items over three days, with an expected take of $600 million. The proceeds are going to charity.

The jewel in this collection's crown is Picasso's 1905 masterpiece "Fillette a la corbeille fleurie" ("Young Girl With a Flower Basket"). Its purchase by Gertrude and Leon Stein, along with two other Rose Period paintings, helped jumpstart the artist's career.

The Picasso alone is valued at $100 million, but the combined total is expected to smash the previous record for a collection set by that of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge, which fetched $484 million in 2009.

For the first time, Christie's this year will spread its spring sales over two weeks, twice the traditional length, kicking things off on Tuesday.

This comes after Christie's sold da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," a 500-year-old depiction of Jesus Christ, for $450.3 million in November, making it the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction.

- Christie's 'biggest ever' -

"After the Leonardo, I went through three weeks of a bit of a lowdown. But then you get excited by new projects," said Loic Gouzer, co-chairman for postwar and contemporary art at Christie's.

"Not only is the Rockefeller sale the biggest sale we've ever had at Christie's, but the Impressionist and modern sale is also the biggest one ever," he told AFP.

"It's probably going to be the biggest season Christie's has ever had."

The highlight of the second week is Sotheby's May 14 sale of a stunning nude by Amedeo Modigliani, expected to fetch more than $150 million, the highest presale estimate for any work of art at auction.

Another of the Italian's nudes sold for $170.4 million in 2015, currently the third most expensive work of art ever sold at auction.

- A revolutionary Modigliani -
Not only is Modigliani's "Nu couche (sur le cote gauche)" his biggest painting, Sotheby's calls it the greatest of his celebrated reclining nudes. It was the cover star of a recent retrospective at the Tate Modern gallery in London.

Simon Shaw, co-head of Impressionist and modern art at Sotheby's, said Modigliani quietly revolutionized nude painting in the work -- rooted in tradition but reflecting the changing status of women during World War I.

"This is a nude of a very self-possessed, sexually confident woman who is not looking out from a distance. She's absolutely meeting our gaze," he told AFP.

Overall, the season includes five works estimated at $70 million or more, including a painting by Malevich and a sculpture by Brancusi, and will test the depth of an increasingly globalized art market.

"I think demand is at an all-time high at this point for the very best of the best. It's a selective market. It's not every work that would meet that appetite," Shaw said.

- The 'new' collector -

After the remarkable marketing blitz around the "Salvator Mundi" in November, the spring season is focused more than ever on a new generation of buyers building collections differently than in the past.

Traditionally divvied into Impressionist and modern, and postwar and contemporary, those categories are ebbing away as the new generation wants not just a savvy investment but the ultimate status symbol.

Both Christie's and Sotheby's, rivals founded in 18th-century London and still dominating the market, have mixed and matched periods in the hanging and grouping of their presale exhibitions.

Shaw says collectors "want the best of its kind rather than collecting a particular school or period," adding that categories are increasingly "anachronistic."

"It's going to be an extraordinary season," he predicted.

"We've seen a lot of great works of art in recent times on the auction market but never anything quite like this."

]]>
5/6/2018 4:06:56 PM
<![CDATA[Cate Blanchett's feminist wake-up call to Cannes]]>
Among the sea of grey heads on the stage there was only one woman, Jane Campion, who had won for "The Piano" two decades earlier.

"Sometimes things have to get that bad and that stark for us to say, 'Hang on a minute. There's something wrong -- literally -- with this picture'," the actress said this week, days before heading the jury that will chose this year's winner.

With Cannes and the film industry still reeling from the Harvey Weinstein scandal, some saw her appointment as a quick-fix PR coup to head off critics.

The world's top film festival, which likes to think of itself as "the movie Olympics", has long faced criticism for its "dismal" attitude to female directors.

Only three of the 21 films in competition for the Palme d'Or are directed by women, the same number as last year.

And the festival's decision to lift its ban on controversial Danish director Lars Von Trier, who has faced sexual harassment claims from the singer Bjork and whose company has been hit by multiple accusations, further raised eyebrows.

- 'We are not going back' -

But Blanchett, one of the few women in Hollywood with the clout to carry a movie single-handed, insists the film industry must change.

The double Oscar winner supports the call for "inclusion riders" or "equality clauses", which demand diversity in casting and were championed by actress Frances McDormand at the Oscars.

She called McDormand's speech "one of the highlights of my year" and has been been active in the Time's Up movement set up by Hollywood stars to combat sexual harassment.

Blanchett said the riders are "a litmus test. We have nothing to lose but progress".

If the producers do not match up to their commitments, they would have to pay a penalty that would help support female directors or other underrepresented groups.

"We are not going back to ground zero," Blanchett told the film industry bible Variety. "We are moving onward and forward from here.

"Change is happening within the industry in a kind of positive, unstoppable way that will benefit not just women but everybody in the industry," she added.

- Harassed by Weinstein -

The Australian-born actress, who now lives in London, revealed that she had also been harassed by Weinstein in the same Variety interview.

The disgraced mogul was an "unwanted" producer on several of her films, including "Carol" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley", she said.

Asked if he ever sexually harassed or acted inappropriately with her, she said, "Yes. I think he primarily preyed, like most predators, on the vulnerable. I mean I got a bad feeling from him.... He would often say to me, 'We're not friends'."

Blanchett, 48, said she hopes that Weinstein -- who is facing a raft of rape and sexual assault accusations -- goes to jail. "Rape is a crime the last time I looked," she said.

The actress, who lives near London with her husband and their four children, made her breakthrough in "Elizabeth" in 1998, playing the 16th-century British monarch with a distinctly feminist twist.

It won her a slew of awards and the first of her six Oscar nominations.

Although her career has been peppered with blockbusters such as the "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" films, she built her reputation in indie movies from the crusading Irish journalist in "Veronica Guerin" to another heavily-accented (and pregnant) reporter in Wes Anderson's "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou".

Although she has never won anything at Cannes, her performance in "Carol", where she played one half of a couple of illicit lesbian lovers, won her rave reviews there in 2014.]]>
5/6/2018 3:07:41 PM
<![CDATA[Stormy Daniels taunts fake Trump on comedy show SNL]]>
Daniels drew screams and applause when she appeared in the opening skit of SNL.

She took a call at Trump's request from his personal lawyer Michael Cohen, played by comedian Ben Stiller. Trump said he would just listen as they spoke, and Cohen asked Daniels if she was alone.

"What are you wearing,?" the fake Trump blurted out, to laughter, before cutting the faux Cohen out of the call.

Trump has denied allegations from Daniels, a porn star whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, that they had an affair in 2006.

Cohen has admitted he paid her $130,000 days before the 2016 election. Trump has denied the affair or knowing anything about the payment, until his new lawyer Rudi Giuliani acknowledged shockingly this week that Trump had in fact reimbursed Cohen for that payoff, which arguably may have violated federal campaign finance laws.

In a skit that got playfully raunchy at times, Trump asked Daniels what it would take to make the whole thing go away.

"A resignation," she said with a smile.

Trump persisted and rattled off what he called a series of achievements as president, including progress in the Korean nuclear crisis. Why can't he resolve things with Daniels, too, he asked.

"Sorry, Donald. It's too late for that. I know you don't believe in climate change. But a storm's a'comin', baby," she said.

Trump: "I've never been so scared and horny at the same time.]]>
5/6/2018 11:57:31 AM
<![CDATA[Chariot transfer shows world Egypt, GEM are safe: Enany]]>
Enany noted that the chariot was transferred in an optimal and seemly way. “The chariot transfer sends a message to all the tourists around the world to come and visit Egypt; we have a museum named the Grand Egyptian Museum that will truly dazzle you all,” Enany stated, adding that the Grand Egyptian Museum will be very huge, which is why its inauguration will be divided into more than one stage. “The first stage of GEM’s opening will include the inauguration of the museum’s first part which is about to 20,000 square meters, so imagine how big GEM is,” he said.

Enany explained that big ceremonies will take place in the upcoming period during the transfer of two highly important artifacts, which are the Tutankhamun mask and tomb, to GEM. “We will make a big ceremony for the mask and another for the tomb; we will attract the attention of the whole world to Egypt through its treasures,” Enany announced. He added that plenty of international news agencies and about eight international archaeologists specialized in Tutankhamun witnessed the procedures to transfer the chariot.
]]>
5/6/2018 10:46:29 AM
<![CDATA[Divisions resurface as Germany fetes Marx at 200]]>
Marx's birth city of Trier led commemorations of the man officials describe as a "great son of the city", with 600 events planned around the 19th-century scholar hailed for foretelling the ills of capitalism.

The centrepiece of the festivities was the unveiling of a 5.5-metre (18-foot) tall statue of the philosopher -- a gift from communist China.

It was wrapped in a red cloth and nearly 1,500 people attended the event, police said, including a Chinese delegation and the head of Germany's Social Democrats (SPD).

It shows Marx in a frock coat striding forward.

SPD chief Andrea Nahles said Marx was still relevant, adding: "We are well advised to re-read some of his analyses in the context of present times."

A permanent exhibition was also unveiled at the house where he was born on May 5, 1818.

However, scores of people from an association representing victims of communism marched with a banner showing Marx sitting on human skulls. They blame him for inspiring Stalinist regimes.

"We want to protest loudly against the unveiling of the Marx statue and raise our voices against the glorification of Marxism," said Dieter Dombrowski, president of the Union of the Victim Groups of Communist Tyranny.

For Dombrowski, Trier's decision to accept the gift from China is "disrespectful and inhuman" to those who suffered under communist regimes.

Far-right party AfD, which enjoys strong support in former East German states, staged a silent march with the theme "Get Marx off the pedestal" through Trier's city centre.

- 'Neither glorify nor vilify' -

Born in the western German city close to the border with Luxembourg, Marx developed his theories as the Industrial Revolution gathered pace.

His works such as the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital subsequently became compulsory course material in countries under communist regimes, with revolutionaries from Vladimir Lenin to Mao Zedong seizing on Marx's ideas.

China's President Xi Jinping on Friday said the Asian giant's communist party will forever remain "guardians and practitioners" of Marxism, while Vietnamese leader Tran Dai Quang also penned a gushing commentary marking Marx's birth.

Due to Marx's reputation as the Father of Communism, he was largely derided in the former capitalist West Germany during the Cold War.

But since reunification, and particularly over the past decade, unbridled capitalism and its discontents have fuelled renewed interest in Marx's work.

His theories on inequality and oppression of the working class find resonance today as societies once again see social and political upheaval.

Rainer Auts, director of a company set up to oversee the exhibitions on Marx's life, works and legacy, said that more than a quarter century after reunification it was now time to reexamine the philosopher who left Germany deeply divided.

"We're not looking to glorify or vilify him. But we want to show him as a person in his time, as well as show where he may have gone wrong," Auts told AFP.

Speaking in Trier on Friday, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said that Marx "wasn't responsible for all the atrocities for which his supposed heirs must answer."

But the gigantic statue gifted by Beijing has sparked accusations of a city seeking to capitalise on Chinese tourists or investments.

Rejecting the claims, Trier mayor Wolfram Leibe said it is simply "a gesture of friendship" from China.

"There isn't a single Chinese company in Trier. We have no economic relations with China and that means we made this decision autonomously. We are not susceptible to blackmail," he told AFP.

Leibe acknowledged that the statue could become a vandalism target, but said: "that isn't going to give me sleepless nights. It can simply be cleaned up."]]>
5/6/2018 6:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Guns N' Roses unearth new tracks from 'Appetite' blockbuster]]>
The new edition of "Appetite for Destruction," which remains the top-selling debut album of all time, comes as the once notoriously turbulent band cashes in on a reunion tour that once appeared impossible but is entering its third year.

The new version, to go on sale on June 29, will come in multiple formats ranging from two CDs to a box-set packed with four CDs, one Blu-ray disc, seven 12-inch LPs, seven 7-inch records and a 96-page book of photos from singer Axl Rose.

Highlights of the collection include both recorded and live versions of "Shadow of Your Love," which was one of the first songs of Guns N' Roses but did not make the cut for "Appetite."

The collection also features two unfinished songs, "The Plague" and "New Work Tune," covers of songs including Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" and two early attempts at "November Rain," the sprawling nine-minute power ballad that eventually came out in 1992 and remains the longest song ever to make the top 10 on the US singles chart.

The new version remasters the original "Appetite for Destruction," which opens with the insurgent "Welcome to the Jungle" and rolls through the hits "Paradise City" and "Sweet Child O' Mine."

Signed by Geffen Records in 1986 as the group made waves on the Los Angeles club scene, Guns N' Roses brought together the sweeping and intense vocal texture of Rose with the intricate guitar of Slash.

The two parted ways in 1993 in Argentina after a chaotic global tour but, following years of rumors and false starts, reunited in 2016 for the Coachella music festival in California.

The band has repeatedly extended the tour, with dates scheduled in Europe through July and the group hinting in the box-set announcement that it will continue into later in the year.

But the classic line-up is not completely back together as rhythm guitarist and key songwriter Izzy Stradlin has stayed away from the tour following disputes on compensation.]]>
5/5/2018 4:56:00 PM
<![CDATA[Chris Martin planning to play Argentina for Global Citizen campaign]]>
The advocacy movement, which rallies support for development assistance through music and other events, holds festivals in New York's Central Park each year when world leaders are gathering for the UN General Assembly and has previously expanded to Canada, Germany and India.

Sources close to the organizers told AFP that Martin, who holds the title of festival curator, is planning a concert later this year in Buenos Aires as part of Global Citizen.

Details are being worked out but the sources said that Global Citizen's CEO, Hugh Evans, met Thursday with President Mauricio Macri in Buenos Aires.

Macri and Argentine first lady Juliana Awada took to the stage last year at the Global Citizen festival in Hamburg to join Colombian superstar Shakira.

Macri, who will host a summit in November of the Group of 20 major economies, said at the time that the festival sent a strong message of support for fighting poverty including by investing in education and women's empowerment.

Global Citizen does not sell tickets for its festivals but instead admits fans who commit to taking actions such as writing to their governments to support development aid as part of the UN-backed goal of eradicating the planet's most extreme poverty by 2030.

Reports earlier indicated that Global Citizen is also planning a large event in South Africa in December to mark this year's centennial of the birth of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.

Coldplay both launched and ended its last world tour in Argentina. The English rockers' tour became the third highest grossing in music history.]]>
5/5/2018 4:50:00 PM
<![CDATA['Do you speak African?' Black actors blast racism of French film industry]]>
"Being black is not my job" ("Noire n'est pas mon metier"), written by 16 of the country's leading black female actors, recounts some of the everyday racism they have suffered in their work.

"Do you speak African?", "You can't play her, she's a lawyer" and "luckily you have fine features and you are not negroid, not too black..." are among the things that Nadege Beausson-Diagne said she has been told at castings.

The actress, who appeared in France's biggest ever film at the box office, "Welcome to the Sticks" ("Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis"), said she was also told she was "not African enough to be African" and that "for a black, you are really very intelligent. You should have been white".

"French cinema is still very much in thrall to cliches from another time," said Aissa Maiga, the star of "Bamako", who was nominated for a Cesar, a French Oscar, for the 2007 drama.

She said they had enough of "inevitably being referred to as gazelles or panthers", and of being confined almost always to roles that were little more than stereotypes.

- 'Window dressing' -

"Our presence in French films is still often due to the window dressing of just having a black character," she said.

Maiga said the same lack of diversity ran as deeply through French television and theatre. "To have any kind visibility and any length of career (as a black actress) is a miracle, a huge challenge and a scandal," she added.

Although the book does not name names, the 16 actresses -- who will launch the book at the Cannes film festival next week -- said racism is endemic in the French industry.

"It is time to shake up French cinema, to show the real face of our diverse society not just in the casting but in the stories that we tell, and to get over the caricatures of the past," they added in a statement.

"Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler will take on the problems black film-makers and actors face in his masterclass at Cannes next Thursday.

His blockbuster has already beaten the box office record set by "Titanic", and is now the third highest-grossing film of all time.

"There are not that many films about the presence of the black man in American cinema," Cannes director Thierry Fremaux said last month as he launched the festival's line-up. "But there is this ("Black Panther"), and it is a touchstone," he added.]]>
5/5/2018 2:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[King Tut's last chariot arrives at final home]]>
“For the first time we are gathering all Tutankhamun artefacts, which are 5,398 pieces, from all the Egyptian museums to be displayed in GEM,” Elwaziry added.
From about 25 days 122 artefacts from Tutankhamun belongings were transferred to GEM from Luxor Museum.



Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani inaugurated on Saturday the fourth International Tutankhamun Conference, organized by the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) at Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel.

As part of the conference, the GEM will receive the sixth and last historic chariot of King Tutankhamun, which was moved from the Military Museum in Saladin Citadel on Saturday to the GEM.

In his speech, Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany said that the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is scheduled to be inaugurated in December, 2018, will be a great global Museum that will dazzle the whole world, adding that the museum is expected to be one of the largest museums in the world.

“From two years ago the achievement percentage of establishing GEM was less than 20 percent now it is over 70 percent. At this precise moment that I am talking to you dear guests, 43,257 artefacts have been transferred to GEM, in addition to 4,549 artefacts from Tutankhamun’ s belongings; the total of his belongings are 5,000 pieces,” said Anany.

Anany explained that the rest of Tutankhamun’s belongings have not yet been moved to the GEM to ensure that tourists can enjoy seeing them until the opening of the new museum. “When we transfer the last Tutankhamun piece from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to the Grand Egyptian Museum, other valuable artefacts and magnificent treasures from Toya, Yoya, San el Hagar, as well as many others, will be displayed in the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir,” Anany added. The new museum will offer tourists the chance to see more and do more in Egypt.

Anany’s speech was followed by displaying a documentary about the achievements that have occurred in the GEM.



The Grand Egyptian Museum has been organizing the conference since 2015 to discuss the best methods to restore and preserve Tutankamun’s funerary collection, ensure its safe transportation from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the GEM and to come up with the best display techniques to present the Golden King’s collection in its new permanent exhibition halls at the GEM.

On October 3, 2017, the Grand Egyptian Museum team packaged the second historic chariot and bed of Tutankhamun to transport them to the Grand Egyptian Museum, located about two kilometers from the Giza Pyramids.

The repair team used modern materials and methods in the process of packing and moving the bed. They also used precise air lifters that facilitated moving the bed from the base area without exerting any mechanical stress on it. Previous studies on the internal structure and wooden joints of the king's bed have been implemented using an X-ray device, which greatly helped to identify the weak points in the bed and determine the amount of intervention needed to maintain it during the transfer process.

The treasures of King Tutankhamun were exhibited in the Egyptian Museum located in Tahrir Square since their discovery inside King Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of Kings on the western bank of Luxor in 1922.

In earlier statements, the Minister of Antiquities had revealed that 50 percent of the work needed to build the new museum has been finalized and that the first phase will be inaugurated in 2019. The first phase will include a room for Tutankhamun’s relics.]]>
5/5/2018 1:14:16 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo Opera House to present ‘La Bayadère ballet May 3-6]]>
“La Bayadère” is directed by Eminia Kamel and the orchestra will be conducted by Nayer Nagiu. It is an epic ballet performance containing dazzling music, expressive dancing, and a romantic plot full of emotions and noble sensations.

“La Bayadère” is about two lovers, Nikiya, a temple dancer, and Solor, a warrior. The High Brahmin, who is also in love with Nikiya, learns of her relationship with Solor. Meanwhile, Rajah Dugmanta of Golconda chooses Solor to wed his daughter, Gamzatti. Nikiya, who doesn’t know about the deal, agrees to dance at the couple’s wedding.

The jealous Gamzatti decides to poison Nikiya by sending her an extremely poisonous snake hidden in a flower basket, which Nikiya thinks is sent by Solor. Unfournately, Nikiya dies, but on the wedding day of Solor and Gamzatti, the gods take revenge for Nikiya by damaging the temple and killing Solor, Gamzatti and all the attendees; Nikiya and Solor are reunited again in eternity.

The music for “La Bayadère” was composed by Ludwig Minkus, while the choreography was created by Valentin Bartis and Marius Petipa.

]]>
5/5/2018 1:00:51 PM
<![CDATA[No museum will parallel to GEM: Hawass]]>
HASSAN MOHAED (4)
A side of the attendees during the fourth International Tutankhamun Conference, organized by the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) at Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel - Hassan Mohamed/ Egypt Today


Hawass offered a message of gratitude to King Tutankhamun for blessing Egypt and Egyptians with many treasures that have succeeded in attracting millions of visitors and generating billions of Egyptian Pounds. Hawass spoke about important issues pertaining to Tutankhamun like the Valley of the Golden Mummies; they discovered mummies covered with Golden masks and underneath the village houses they found ancient tombs. “We always ask who found the Tomb of Tutankhamun? Was it Howard Carter?”

One of the most important things that introduced Tutankhamun to Hawass was the beautiful and unique scenes and inscriptions that were found in the area between abo Seer and Sakara and showed how he defeated his enemies.

Dr. Tarek Tawfik, the General Director of the Grand Egyptian Museum, said that the most famous pharaonic king Tutankhamun is still surrounded by many secrets that are not yet revealed.

In previous statements to Egypt Today, Tawfik has explained that King Tanis enjoys a similar religious significance for ancient Egyptians, and no lesser artistic significance for us, to King Tut’s. Due to their similarity on those two fronts, Tawfik elaborated that the matter no longer becomes an issue of losing artifacts from the Tahrir Museum’s exhibition; instead, Tut’s relocation ushers a chance of displaying other valuable artifacts.

Tawfik has also pinpointed the fact that the Tanis mask represents a different era in Egyptian history, about which very little is known, unlike the 18th dynasty to which King Tut belongs. The Tanis mask being on display will allow other Egyptian treasures to receive more prominence, while also ensuring that each Egyptian museum will have its own well-known, stand-alone exhibitions. The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir is already starting to uncover its hidden treasures, which were previously overshadowed by King Tutankhamun and the massive space he and his collection occupied.

“We now know a lot about Tutankhamun,’’ said Fayza Heikal, the conference head, noting that many know Tutankhamun as king through his artefacts, but few know his wide history.

The Grand Egyptian Museum has been organizing the conference since 2015 to discuss the best methods to restore and preserve Tutankamun’s funerary collection, ensure its safe transportation from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the GEM and to come up with the best display techniques to present the Golden King’s collection in its new permanent exhibition halls at the GEM.

On October 3, 2017, the Grand Egyptian Museum team packaged the second historic chariot and bed of Tutankhamun to transport them to the Grand Egyptian Museum, located about two kilometers from the Giza Pyramids.

The repair team used modern materials and methods in the process of packing and moving the bed. They also used precise air lifters that facilitated moving the bed from the base area without exerting any mechanical stress on it. Previous studies on the internal structure and wooden joints of the king's bed have been implemented using an X-ray device, which greatly helped to identify the weak points in the bed and determine the amount of intervention needed to maintain it during the transfer process.

The treasures of King Tutankhamun were exhibited in the Egyptian Museum located in Tahrir Square since their discovery inside King Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of Kings on the western bank of Luxor in 1922.

In earlier statements, the Minister of Antiquities had revealed that 50 percent of the work needed to build the new museum has been finalized and that the first phase will be inaugurated in 2019. The first phase will include a room for Tutankhamun’s relics.
]]>
5/5/2018 12:24:35 PM
<![CDATA[Grand Egyptian Museum will dazzle the world: Minister of Antiquities]]>
As part of the conference, the GEM will receive the sixth and last historic chariot of King Tutankhamun, which was moved from the Military Museum in Saladin Citadel on Saturday to the GEM.


HASSAN MOHAED (2)
Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani and Egyptian Archeologist Zahi Hawass during the inaugurated on Saturday, the fourth International Tutankhamun Conference, organized by the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) at Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel - Hassan Mohamed/ Egypt Today



In his speech, Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany said that the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is scheduled to be inaugurated in December, 2018, will be a great global Museum that will dazzle the whole world, adding that the museum is expected to be one of the largest museums in the world.

“From two years ago the achievement percentage of establishing GEM was less than 20 percent now it is over 70 percent. At this precise moment that I am talking to you dear guests, 43,257 artefacts have been transferred to GEM, in addition to 4,549 artefacts from Tutankhamun’ s belongings; the total of his belongings are 5,000 pieces,” said Anany.

Anany explained that the rest of Tutankhamun’s belongings have not yet been moved to the GEM to ensure that tourists can enjoy seeing them until the opening of the new museum. “When we transfer the last Tutankhamun piece from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to the Grand Egyptian Museum, other valuable artefacts and magnificent treasures from Toya, Yoya, San el Hagar, as well as many others, will be displayed in the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir,” Anany added. The new museum will offer tourists the chance to see more and do more in Egypt.

Anany’s speech was followed by displaying a documentary about the achievements that have occurred in the GEM.



The Grand Egyptian Museum has been organizing the conference since 2015 to discuss the best methods to restore and preserve Tutankamun’s funerary collection, ensure its safe transportation from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the GEM and to come up with the best display techniques to present the Golden King’s collection in its new permanent exhibition halls at the GEM.

On October 3, 2017, the Grand Egyptian Museum team packaged the second historic chariot and bed of Tutankhamun to transport them to the Grand Egyptian Museum, located about two kilometers from the Giza Pyramids.

IMG_5788
Egyptian Archaeologist Zahi Hawass during the inaugurated on Saturday, the fourth International Tutankhamun Conference, organized by the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) at Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel - Hassan Mohamed/ Egypt Today


The repair team used modern materials and methods in the process of packing and moving the bed. They also used precise air lifters that facilitated moving the bed from the base area without exerting any mechanical stress on it. Previous studies on the internal structure and wooden joints of the king's bed have been implemented using an X-ray device, which greatly helped to identify the weak points in the bed and determine the amount of intervention needed to maintain it during the transfer process.

The treasures of King Tutankhamun were exhibited in the Egyptian Museum located in Tahrir Square since their discovery inside King Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of Kings on the western bank of Luxor in 1922.

In earlier statements, the Minister of Antiquities had revealed that 50 percent of the work needed to build the new museum has been finalized and that the first phase will be inaugurated in 2019. The first phase will include a room for Tutankhamun’s relics.]]>
5/5/2018 12:14:06 PM
<![CDATA[Dan Costa’s jazz in Egypt for first time ]]>
The concert will take place at Wisdom Hall at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 6.

Dan Costa is a music composer and jazz pianist. His latest music album, “Suite Três Rios”, which was recorded in Brazil, won a Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement at the Global Music Awards.



“Brazil reflects the convergence of various cultures; my background is also a mixture, as I born in England, my mother is Italian and my father is Portuguese,” Costa said in a video feature of the making off for his latest music piece.



Costa added that this project stems from his fondness for three musical styles that were very important to his upbringing: classical, jazz and Brazilian music.

“Suite Três Rios” reflects the album's connection with Brazil's rich natural diversity and recaptures the essence of Brazilian rhythms.



Costa studied classical piano for six years at the Académie de Musique Rainier III in the south of France and underwent further classical training at the Académie Internationale d’Été de Nice as well as at the Aurora Music Star Festival in Sweden, according to the El Sawy Culture Wheel website.



The website added that Costa has performed as a pianist and composer with orchestras and projects in countries such as the U.K., France, Finland, Germany, Spain, Greece and the USA.
]]>
5/5/2018 12:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s architectural heritage in a photography competition]]>
The pictures could be from different governorates reflecting the characteristics of a particular era of Egyptian history with its special architectural structure and particular environment.

The contest may also capture buildings associated with national history, events, historical figures or a touristic attraction; showing the technical details according to the vision of the contestant.

The photos are to document and spotlight these sites in order to grab society’s attention for them.

بوستر-تراثي-3
The third round of “Torathy” photography competition by The National Organization for Urban Harmony

Interested photographers can send their photos until May 10. The contest requires that the work be in accordance with the contest theme; each contestant is entitled to participate with one or more pictures with a maximum of three pictures; pictures must also have a high resolution of not less than 300 dots per inch and a JPEG format of 21 x 30 centimeters.

Winning photographers will be announced on June 6 at the Hanager Theater at the Egyptian Opera House, where an exhibition will be held for three days.

The value of the first prize is LE 10,000; the second prize LE 5,000 and the third is worth LE 3,000. Ten pictures will be honored with certificates of appreciation.

The National Organization for Urban Harmony aims to re-formulate the aesthetic vision of the country and works to remove the current architectural distortions. It also works on preparing a specialized database of all buildings of a distinctive architectural character in all governorates of the Republic and laying down the necessary rules for preserving them.
]]>
5/5/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[LIVE: Egypt moves King Tutankhamun's last historic chariot to GEM]]>
Live streaming of moving last Tut's chariot ceremony


A total of six historic chariots were collected from museums across Egypt, including Luxor Museum and the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, to be displayed at the Grand Egyptian Museum.

“A total of 4800 out of 5398 pieces of King Tutankhamun’s artifacts were moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum,” said Assistant Minister of Antiquities Mostafa Wazeery during a press conference.

He further assured that all Tut’s artifacts that were moved from other museums to GEM will be replaced with other artifacts. ]]>
5/5/2018 10:44:07 AM
<![CDATA[Meet the representatives of French archaeological missions in Egypt ]]>
The event starts at 10 a.m., and will give journalists for two hours the opportunity to meet with the missions’ heads and representatives and to know more about the institute’s activities.



At 6 p.m. attendees can join the open discussion at the French Institute in Egypt for the representatives of the French archaeological missions in Egypt which will feature Marie-Dominique Nenna, director of the Center for Alexandrine Studies, Christophe Thiers, director of the Franco-Egyptian Center for the Study of Karnak Temples, and Bérangère Redon, former scientific member of IFAO.

Laurent Bava, the IFAO director hosts a seminar at 7 p.m. to address the institute’s plans for 2018.

France is one of Egypt’s key partners in the archaeological field. More than 30 French archaeological missions that include 400 archaeologists and researchers work in excavation and restoration fields in Egypt, from the coastal city of Alexandria, to Upper Egypt and until the Red Sea coast, according to the IFAO’s press statement.

IFAO
The French institute for Oriental Archaeology in Egypt – CC official website

The French Institute for Oriental Archaeology in Egypt which was established in 1880 is one of the major French research centers abroad and falls under the aegis of the French Ministry of Education (National, Higher and Research).

The IFAO’s mission is to study the successive civilizations of Egypt from prehistory until the modern era. The disciplines involved are archaeology, history, and language studies. The excavation sites of the IFAO cover all eras (prehistory, Pharaonic Egypt, antiquity, and the Islamic period) and they are situated throughout Egypt (Nile Calley, Delta, oases, Eastern and Western Desert, Sinai and the Red Sea).

French and Egyptian researchers are traditionally divided into two sections. The first is devoted to the study of ancient Egyptology and Papyrus, and the other is dedicated to Coptic, Arabic and Islamic studies.

façace-institut
The French Institute in Egypt – CC official website

The French Institute in Egypt is an entity that follows the French Embassy in Egypt. It executes the policies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France; it offers cooperation in the fields of science, archaeology, education and technology.






]]>
5/5/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[114 artifacts smuggled to Cyprus brought back to Egypt]]>
These artifacts were allegedly smuggled out of Egypt during the 1980s.

The Cypriot president thanked his Egyptian counterpart for the “Revival of Roots” week held in Egypt that was aimed at reviving the historical roots of the two countries and Greece and strengthening the bilateral relations between them.

During the Revival of Roots week, the Greek and Cypriot communities’ members paid visits to several historical and important places in Egypt, including Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Ras Al Tin Marine Base, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Greek cemeteries, Alexandria National Museum, Cavafy Museum, the Monastery of St. Sava, and the Arab Academy for Science and Technology in Alexandria.
]]>
5/5/2018 9:09:35 AM
<![CDATA[Chris Martin planning to play Argentina for Global Citizen campaign]]>
The advocacy movement, which rallies support for development assistance through music and other events, holds festivals in New York's Central Park each year when world leaders are gathering for the UN General Assembly and has previously expanded to Canada, Germany and India.

Sources close to the organizers told AFP that Martin, who holds the title of festival curator, is planning a concert later this year in Buenos Aires as part of Global Citizen.

Details are being worked out but the sources said that Global Citizen's CEO, Hugh Evans, met Thursday with President Mauricio Macri in Buenos Aires.

Macri and Argentine first lady Juliana Awada took to the stage last year at the Global Citizen festival in Hamburg to join Colombian superstar Shakira.

Macri, who will host a summit in November of the Group of 20 major economies, said at the time that the festival sent a strong message of support for fighting poverty including by investing in education and women's empowerment.

Global Citizen does not sell tickets for its festivals but instead admits fans who commit to taking actions such as writing to their governments to support development aid as part of the UN-backed goal of eradicating the planet's most extreme poverty by 2030.

Reports earlier indicated that Global Citizen is also planning a large event in South Africa in December to mark this year's centennial of the birth of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.

Coldplay both launched and ended its last world tour in Argentina. The English rockers' tour became the third highest grossing in music history.]]>
5/5/2018 4:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia launches $34.7 billion entertainment revolution]]>
American film star Katie Holmes and British actor-cum-director Idris Elba rubbed shoulders with Saudi officials, as the conservative kingdom on Thursday night kicked off an initiative to invest 130 billion riyals ($34.7 billion, 29 billion euros) in culture and leisure by 2020.

The goal is to create "a true cultural industry, with theatres, cinemas and training centres," said Ahmad al-Mazid, who leads culture policy for Saudi Arabia.

Key projects include 16 entertainment complexes, an aquatic centre and three other huge leisure hubs -- all part of a bid to ensure three Saudi cities make it into the global top 100 for quality of life.

The project, dubbed "Quality of Life Program 2020," is in part designed to encourage wealthy young citizens to spend more of their leisure time in the kingdom, where more than half the population is below the age of 25.

"It will contribute to the satisfaction of Saudis and incentivise them to invest in their country and to stay," said Ahmad Khatib, head of the oil-rich state's entertainment policy.

The government will pump 50.9 billion riyals into this cultural revolution, while courting private investors and foreign partners for the rest of the investment.

"Saudi Arabia gave me an opportunity to make my film here, it made sense on an economical model," British actor Elba, who made his name as a gangster in the gritty American police series The Wire, told AFP at the event.

"I would definitely be here -- why not?" added the Londoner, who has in more recent years turned his hand to directing and has a Twitter following of more than 2.5 million.

The investment programme feeds into a drive by powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to modernise his homeland, both in terms of liberalising Saudi society and reducing the economy's overwhelming dependence on oil.

The initiative aims to create 300,000 new jobs and represents a key pillar of the nation's "Vision 2030" reforms.

]]>
5/4/2018 4:35:45 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian filmmaker Tarek Saleh to direct ‘Westworld’ episode]]>
The series “Westworld” is divided into a group of timelines; the common link between them is Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), the park’s oldest functioning robotic “host”. Dolores plays a vital role with almost every character in the park, both human and host, so the audience must understand her storyline well in order to be able to understand the chronology of the whole story. Flashback also play a prominent role throughout the series.

Saleh’s "The Nile Hilton Incident", released in 2017, revolves around an Egyptian officer investigating the murder of a stripper who was killed by a businessman in one of Cairo's hotels. The detective exposes relevant connections between the businessman and high-ranking officials.

The setting of the film occurs during the period of the January 25 Revolution in 2011 and features some of the reasons that led citizens to take to the streets in mass demonstrations, including corruption and poverty.

Co-produced by Atmo, a German, Danish and Swedish production company, "The Nile Hilton Incident" stars Fares Fares, Mari Malek and Yaser Ali Maher, among others.

The film participated in major international film festivals and won La Grand Prix at the 2017 Beaune International Thriller Film Festival and the Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
]]>
5/4/2018 4:27:39 PM
<![CDATA[Arturo Avello visits restoration lab in Grand Egyptian Museum]]>CAIRO – 4 May 2018: Ambassador of Spain in Egypt, Arturo Avello, visited the restoration labs in the Grand Egyptian Museum, GEM, with his delegation. General supervisor of the labs in GEM, Tarek Tawfik, welcomed the ambassador and his delegation when they arrived at the museum.

Avello and his group inspected the restoration works on the organic antiques laboratory, the wood factory, and the heavy antiques laboratory. Then they headed to the construction site of the Grand Egyptian Museum and expressed their admiration of the Egyptian Civilization and Egypt’s role in preserving it.

The Grand Egyptian Museum is located between modern Cairo and the Giza Pyramids. It contains more than 100,000 artifacts, covering almost 3,000 years of Egyptian history.


The Grand Egyptian Museum is considered to be the largest archaeological museum in the world, it covers over 491,000 square meters, and is situated two kilometers away from the Giza Pyramids.
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5/4/2018 1:44:12 PM
<![CDATA[Dubai TV channel will screen 4 Egyptian soap]]>
“Layali Eugine”

The series revolves around an Egyptian princess living in Egypt in the 1940s. The princess is accused of killing her husband, and while his brother tries to help her prove her innocence, a love story takes place between them. “Layali Eugine’s” cast includes Dhafer L’Abidine, Amina Khalil, Engy El-Mokadem, Entesar, Mourad Makram, and Mariam El-Khosht. The soap opera is written by Angy el-Kassem and Samaa Abdel Khalek and directed by Hany Khalifa.




“Dedd Maghoul”

Ghada Abdelrazeq stars as Nada, a married middle-class banker who faces problems with her husband because of her time-consuming job. After they divorce, their daughter is raped and Nada decides to find the perpetrator herself. Hanan Motawe’, Rogina and Feras Said co-star in this suspense drama directed by Tarek Refaat and written by Ayman Salama.



“Azmy and Ashgan”

Starring Hassan El-Raddad, Amy Samir Ghanem, Samir Ghanem, Nesrine Amin, Mohamed Tharwat and Malak Koura, this comedy soap opera is about a gang of two members, Azmy and Ashgan, who go through a series of funny situations, while being tailed by an officer tracking their every move.



“Nesr El Saeed”

Starring Mohamed Ramadan, Dorra, Sayed Ragab, Wafaa Amer, Dina, and Mahmoud El-Leithy, this series revolves around a police officer named Zain, played by Mohamed Ramadan, who lives in Qena and is married to a Cairene girl (Dorra) against the will of her family. After a fierce confrontation with an Upper Egyptian businessman involved in illegal business, Zain suddenly turns into a prisoner fighting to prove his innocence.



Ramadan is that time of year where we’ll be glued to our TVs or more likely our phones and iPads trying to cram in as many episodes of mosalsalat (soap operas) produced for the peak viewing season that is Ramadan.

It’s too early to decide who the forerunners this year will be, but after the runaway success of “Kalabsh” (Handcuffs) and “Zel El-Rais” (The President’s Shadow), all eyes are on Amir Karara and Yasser Galal.

A good soap opera to watch out for is “Bel-Hagm El-Aaeely” (Family Size), which sees megastars Mervat Amin and Yehia El-Fakharany teaming up for a much-hyped comedy series.
]]>
5/4/2018 1:40:27 PM
<![CDATA['Black Panther' knocks out 'Infinity War' in MTV movie nominations]]>Supernatural television show “Stranger Things” landed six nods, MTV announced, including a best performance nomination for 14-year-old Millie Bobby Brown who will also compete in the fan favorite best kiss category.

The youth-oriented TV network, known for its irreverent award shows, again dispensed with gender classifications, placing men and women together in performance categories in a move to embrace equality and gender fluidity.

Other entries in the best kiss category include the Ferris wheel scene between actors Nick Robinson (Simon) and Keiynan Lonsdale (Bram) in popular teen coming out movie “Love, Simon.”

The MTV awards show, to be held in June in Los Angeles, features the stars of blockbuster productions and has established itself as an antidote to the winter Hollywood awards season, which honors more serious fare. Winners are chosen by fans voting online.

“Black Panther” got nominations for Chadwick Boseman as both best hero and best performance, as well as Michael B. Jordan (best villain), Letitia Wright (scene stealer), best fight for the battle between Boseman’s Black Panther and Winston Duke’s M’Baku, and best movie.

“Avengers: Infinity War,” which assembles more than 20 Marvel superheroes and set a new world record for its opening weekend box office, got just three nominations, including best fight, best villain (Josh Brolin’s Thanos) and best movie.

Other best movie nominees included “Wonder Woman,” horror movie “IT” and comedy “Girls Trip,” while best TV shows nods went to teen suicide drama “13 Reasons Why,” “Game of Thrones,” “Riverdale,” and “grown-ish.”

Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver scored nods as best hero and best villain respectively for their roles in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” although their lightsaber battles failed to make the cut in the race for best fight.

“Girls Trip” breakout star Tiffany Haddish will host the MTV Movie & TV Awards ceremony on June 18.]]>
5/4/2018 11:45:02 AM
<![CDATA[2018 Nobel Literature prize postponed over Academy sex scandal]]>
“The present decision was arrived at in view of the currently diminished Academy and the reduced public confidence in the Academy,” it said in a statement.

“Work on the selection of a laureate is at an advanced stage and will continue as usual in the months ahead but the Academy needs time to regain its full complement, engage a larger number of active members and regain confidence in its work, before the next Literature Prize winner is declared.”

The Academy said it aimed to award two prizes in 2019.The council of prestigious authors and linguists has been dealing with the fallout of allegations of sexual misconduct by the husband of one of its members and of the leaks of names of some prize-winners ahead of the formal announcements.

Photographer and cultural figure Jean-Claude Arnault, who is married to Academy member and author Katarina Frostenson, denies all allegations, regarding both sexual misconduct and leaking the names of laureates, his lawyer told Reuters on Thursday. A postponement or cancellation of the prize is rare but not unprecedented.

There were no awards between 1940 and 1943, due to World War Two, while the American novelist William Faulkner received his prize a year late in 1950 when two prizes were handed out.

The rules of the foundation that administers the will of dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel mean prizes can be reserved until the following year.]]>
5/4/2018 11:38:20 AM
<![CDATA[Cairotronica Festival to be launched on May 5]]>
In this year’s edition, entitled “A Future of Possibilities”, audiences will be exposed to the latest electronic arts through exhibitions, screenings, workshops and out-door performances that will be presented by groundbreaking artists, pioneering engineers, ingenious designers, academics, international digital communities, students, and art lovers from Egypt, Africa, the Middle East, and the world.

Cairotronica is an international symposium for electronic and media arts which aims to present different forms of art, including the algorithmic art, digital art, digital performance art, game art, generative design, generative music, information art, interactive art, internet art, video and experimental film and animation.

The screening of this year’s program comprises of local and international video art, experimental film and animation.Additionally, the symposium will run three - five days workshops, which attempt to bridge the educational gap in the field of art, technology and digital culture.



]]>
5/4/2018 11:33:52 AM
<![CDATA[Film Academy expels actor Cosby, director Polanski]]>
The Academy's board of governors met on Tuesday night and voted to strip both men of membership "in accordance with the organization's Standards of Conduct," said a statement fromt he body, which hands out the Oscars.

"The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy's values of respect for human dignity," it added.

Cosby, once the darling of American television, has been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women.

A 12-member Pennsylvania jury found the 80-year-old comedian guilty on three counts of sexual assault on April 26 for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.

Polanski, who lives in France, for his part is wanted in the United States for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

The veteran director of "Rosemary's Baby" for years has been seeking to negotiate a deal in the case with US authorities.

The Academy last October also voted to expel disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein in response to allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

The body's board of governors includes some of the biggest names in the industry, among them Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Whoopi Goldberg.]]>
5/4/2018 12:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Cosby's wife Camille slams 'mob justice']]>
"This is mob justice, not real justice," said Camille Cosby, who has been married to the disgraced megastar for more than half a century.

"This tragedy must be undone not just for Bill Cosby, but for the country," she added in a three-page statement, insisting her husband was innocent.

A 12-member Pennsylvania jury found 80-year-old Cosby guilty on three counts of sexual assault on April 26 for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.

The sequestered panel reached a unanimous verdict after 14 hours of deliberations. Cosby's first trial ended last June with a hung jury.

Camille Cosby called for a "criminal investigation" into the district attorney, accusing his office of an "unethical campaign."

Without naming her, she accused Constand of lying, and branded her testimony "unsupported by any evidence and riddled with innumerable, dishonest contradictions."

She also claimed "relentless demonization" by the media against her husband had "eliminated the possibility of a fair trial."

Couching her husband's treatment as a product of race discrimination, she cited "many tragic instances of our justice system utterly and routinely failing to protect African Americans falsely accused."

Cosby's wife appeared at his retrial only once, to hear closing statements from the defense.

Her husband remains at home on a $1 million bail, pending sentencing. Each count carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in jail.

His lawyers have vowed to appeal.]]>
5/3/2018 3:46:46 PM
<![CDATA[Establishing 6 wells at Kom El-Shoqafa, saving it from groundwater]]>
This project is part of the restoration work to convert Kom El-Shoqafa archaeological site into an open-air museum.

Abul Ella said that Kom El-Shoqafa archaeological site has suffered from rising groundwater level since its discovery in 1892, and that the lower level of the site has been submerged with water; he earlier urged the ministry to launch a project to lower the groundwater table and to establish pull wells at a depth of 20 meters as a preliminary solution until experts finish the necessary studies to start launching the project.
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Funerary art in the catacombs - Photo courtesy of Ancient history Facebook page

He remarked that the implementation of the project started in November 2017, including the establishment of six wells at a depth of about 40 meters and the installment of submersible pumps with an electronic control system in the site.
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Frescoes in Tigrane Tomb, Catacombs kom El-Shoqafa seen in a photo taken on Sept. 4, 2017 – CC via Wikimedia Commons/Ibrahim el-Mezayen

In this regard, he referred that the Ministry of Antiquities has cooperated with the U.S. Agency for International Development to undertake all the necessary studies on the project.
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Pillars inside the catacombs – Photo courtesy of Ancient history Facebook page
Kom El-Shoqafa, which is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World, consists of a series of catacombs, artifacts of the ancient Egyptian funeral cult, along with several remains from the Greek and Roman eras.

The catacombs at the site reach 100 feet down into the ground of solid rock. On entering the catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, a circular staircase that takes visitors several levels deep into the ground is found.
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Sarcophagus showing Egyptian god and priests offering sacrifices is seen in the photo taken on April 4, 2007 – CC via Wikimedia Commons/Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said in a press statement issued on January 16, that the ministry will form a committee to plan for displaying the artifacts in Kom El Shoqafa, Alexandria.

He added that the restoration of Kom El-Shoqafa is part of the ministry’s latest plan to renovate the abandoned archaeological sites.

In the same context, Aymen Ashmawi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, said that the archaeological site will be divided into four sections: the first being dedicated to funerary structures, the second to religious buildings; the third to civil edifices, and the fourth will serve as a temporary exhibition.

The first section will include 34 sarcophagi; the tomb of "El-Ibrahimi" after reconstruction and an abundant cemetery after being rehabilitated.

The second section will comprise of a collection of sphinx statues and the remains of Semouha temple, while the third section will include remains of crowns, statues and pillars.

The last section contains artifacts that will be displayed in the Grand Egyptian museum and the Greco-Roman Museum. ]]>
5/3/2018 3:34:53 PM
<![CDATA[4th International Tutankhamun Conference to be inaugurated on May 5]]>
As part of the conference, the GEM will receive the last historic chariot of King Tutankhamun which will be moved from the Military Museum in Saladin Citadel.

The Grand Egyptian Museum has been organizing the conference since 2015 to discuss the best methods to restore and preserve Tutankamun’s funerary collection, ensure its safe transportation from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the GEM, and to come up with the best display techniques to present the Golden King’s collection at new permanent exhibition halls at the GEM.

On October 3, 2017, the Grand Egyptian Museum team packaged the second historic chariot and bed of Tutankhamun to transport them to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), located two kilometers from the Giza Pyramids.

The repair team used modern materials and methods in the process of packing and moving the bed. They used precise air lifters that facilitated moving the bed from the base area without exerting any mechanical stress on it. Previous studies on the internal structure and wooden joints of the king's bed have been implemented using an X-ray device, which greatly helped to identify the weak points in the bed and determine the amount of intervention needed to maintain it during the transfer process.

The treasures of King Tutankhamun were exhibited in the Egyptian Museum located in Tahrir Square since their discovery inside King Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of Kings on the western bank of Luxor in 1922.

In earlier statements, Minister of Antiquities Anani said that 50 percent of the work needed to build the new museum has been finalized and that the first phase will be inaugurated in 2019. The first phase will include a room for Tutankhamun’s relics.

The museum is expected to be one of the largest museums in the world.

Some 42,000 out of 100,000 artifacts were moved to the Grand Museum which plans to hire international companies for service management, Anani stated during a press conference in the Cabinet. ]]>
5/3/2018 2:45:14 PM
<![CDATA[Tokyo digital art museum looks to 'expand the beautiful']]>
The flower-filled waterfall is the work of Japanese collective teamLab, known internationally for their innovative "digital art" that combines projections, sound and carefully designed spaces to create other-worldly, immersive experiences.

After exhibitions around the world, they are opening this summer a museum dedicated entirely to their unique brand of artwork.

The space is being billed as a first, a digital museum with artwork that envelopes and interacts with visitors.

One space features a bucolic rice field, another is filled with seemingly endless hanging lamps that illuminate as the visitor nears, the light moving from one lamp to another around the room.

Elsewhere, a waterfall filled with flowers appears to flow over a hill or waves crash along the walls, throwing spray towards the ceiling.

The exhibits are designed to flow into one another and interact with each other and the viewer. Some follow visitors or react in different ways when they are touched.

"We have created a borderless world made up of pieces of artwork that move by themselves, communicate with each other and mix perfectly with others," teamLab co-founder Toshiyuki Inoko, 41, told AFP.

"I would like this space to become a place where we can remember that borders do not exist in our world," he said.

Some exhibits also encourage visitor participation -- in one, viewers are "propelled into space" by bouncing on a trampoline in the midst of an intergalactic projection, in another they can dance in unison with performers who appear as translucent silhouettes.

Inoko, who has a background in physics, founded teamLab in 2001 with four fellow Tokyo University students, but the collective didn't make its artistic debut until 2011, with a show at a gallery in Taipei.

Three years later, New York's Pace Gallery began promoting their work, and in 2015, they organised their first exhibition in Japan, drawing nearly 500,000 visitors over 130 days.

Since then, they have shown across the world, with exhibitions in London, Silicon Valley, China and elsewhere and the collective has grown to some 500 members.

- 'Liberating art' -

They describe themselves as "ultratechnologists", who combine expertise in speciality fields, including engineering, robotics and architecture, with hands-on manual labour to produce art.

While teamLab works are now in several permanent collections, the new museum will be the first permanent space completely devoted to the collective's pieces.

The cost of the project has not been disclosed, but a team member told AFP that each piece of artwork can cost around $1-2 million.

The collective will have some 50 exhibits in the 10,000-square-metre (more than 100,000 square-foot) space in the bayside Odaiba area of Tokyo.

They have partnered with property management company Mori Building, and secured support from Japanese companies ranging from Panasonic to Epson.

Dubbed the "Mori Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless," the facility will open its doors on June 21, charging 3,200 yen a ticket ($29).

Maintaining the artwork requires a bank of 520 computers and 470 projectors, but the real key is the set of sophisticated algorithms that generates images in real time.

The artworks are "neither pre-recorded animations nor images on loop," says teamLab.

The collective say they want to use digital technology to "expand the beautiful".

"Unlike a physical painting on a canvas, the non-material digital technology can liberate art," they say in an explanation of their work.

"Because of its ability to transform itself freely, it can transcend boundaries."

"The fact that the universe transforms with the presence of the other is very important for us," Inoko told AFP.

"I am as much a part of the artwork as the other visitors," he said.]]>
5/3/2018 9:43:32 AM
<![CDATA[Bollywood greats Bachchan, Kapoor reunite after 27 years]]>
The movie, directed by Umesh Shukla, sees Bachchan play a 102-year-old who dreams of becomming the world's longest-living man by making it to 118.

But to do so, he decides he has to put his downbeat 75-year-old son, played by Kapoor (who is 65 in reality), into an old people's home.

The two actors -- who were the stars of a string of hits throughout the 1970s and '80s -- last paired up for a film in 1991.

"Getting together after a gap of 27 years with Rishi ji, was just like getting off a bicycle and getting on it again," Bachchan, 75, told the Press Trust of India news agency this week.

The cinema icon affectionately known as "Big B" shot to stardom in the early 1970s on the back of powerful roles in hits "Zanjeer" and "Sholay".

He was dubbed India's "angry young man" for portraying violent heroes fighting an unjust system and injecting a new aggressive element into Bollywood movies, which had previously consisted of polite romances.

Kapoor, part of India's legendary Kapoor acting family, made a name for himself as a romantic hero following his breakthrough role in the 1973 classic "Bobby".

Bachchan and Kapoor's first film together was the 1976 romantic drama "Kabhi Kabhie" ("Sometimes").

"Amar Akbar Anthony" followed in 1977, "Naseeb" in 1981, "Coolie" in 1983 and "Ajooba" ("Prodigy") in 1991.

"You played my step father-in-law in 'Kabhi Kabhie', we were brothers in 'Amar Akbar Anthony' and 'Naseeb'. We were friends in 'Coolie' and ... in 'Ajooba'," Kapoor, 65, said to Bachchan at a promotional event attended by AFP.

Lately the two have enjoyed success playing cantankerous old men, notably Bachchan's turn in "Piku" (2015) and Kapoor's role as a 90-year-old in "Kapoor & Sons" (2016).

"102 Not Out" is an adaptation of a popular Gujarati play by Saumya Joshi.]]>
5/3/2018 9:35:34 AM
<![CDATA[In pics: Paris at heart of Cairo’s Downtown]]> caption 1
The newly-renovated Shereifein Street situated in Al Borsa district-Cairo Memory's official Facebook Page

Speaking to Egypt Today, Omar Mostafa, the engineer in charge of the renovation, said that the renovation of Shereifen Street is part of the major Khedive Cairo Development project, which started in 2012 to revitalize Khedival Cairo, extending through Downtown from Qasr Al-Nil Street to Attaba.
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The newly-renovated Shereifein Street situated in Al Borsa district-Cairo Memory's official Facebook Page

The project aims to preserve Downtown’s historic character, restore its ornamental facades, and rescue the area from degeneration after it had been neglected and damaged due to climate factors. The revitalization has been undertaken under the auspices of Cairo governorate and the National Organization for Urban Harmony.

Influenced by French architecture, Downtown Cairo was first built by Khedive Ismail in 1863, who was determined to turn Cairo, a largely medieval city, into the “Paris of the East”.

Mostafa said that Khedival Cairo consists of 500 real estates, of which about 300 have been renovated until now.
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The newly-renovated Shereifein Street situated in Al Borsa district-FILE

The first stage was started by renovating the buildings in Al-Alfi Street and Talaat Harb Square. Mostafa mentioned that the project is now in its fourth stage, which includes all the streets in the Borsa district, including Shereifen Street. Shereifen Street has very important buildings, including the Egyptian Stock Exchange Museum, the Suez Canal Bank and Cosmopolitan Hotel.
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The newly-renovated Shereifein Street situated in Al Borsa district-Cairo Memory's official Facebook Page

Cairo Governor Atef Abdel Hamid and Mohammed Abu Saada, head of the National Organization for Urban Harmony, inaugurated the street on Wednesday, which marked World Heritage Day, with the participation of members of the National Committee for the Protection and Renovation of Cairo's Heritage and representatives from banks and companies funding the project, along with UNESCO’s Cairo office.
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The newly-renovated Shereifein Street situated in Al Borsa district-Cairo Memory's official Facebook Page

“We are currently completing the rest of the buildings in the Borsa district. To protect the renovated buildings, we met with Cairo governorate on April 23 to impose a punishment on any person who would damage the buildings, and to fix sanitary systems of the buildings to avoid water leaks so as not to affect the foundations,” Mostafa concluded.
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The newly-renovated Shereifein Street situated in Al Borsa district-Cairo Memory's official Facebook Page
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5/2/2018 5:24:51 PM
<![CDATA[Embassy of India in Cairo to hold Tagore Festival ]]>
As a part of the festival, an exhibition entitled “Rabindranath Tagore: Rhythm in Colors”, during which the paintings of Tagore will be presented, will be held on May 5 at the Museum of Ahmed Shawky in Giza.

The 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Tagore, the first non-European to win the prize, for his great writings and poems that touch many sensitive subjects in Hindu society. He was the first Indian artist to exhibit his works across Europe, Russia and the United States.

Along with his great talent in writing, Tagore could merge the familiar with the unknown in his paintings, spurred by a spirit of inventiveness. Most of his paintings of landscapes showed a nature bathed in the evening light, skies and forms coagulating into ominous silhouettes, invoking a sense of silence at night.

Tagore did not name his paintings, as he sought to make his viewers read the paintings according to their own perspective and relate them to their past experiences, especially since his painted faces focus on the vast human experience and intrinsic human emotions, varying from fear and wonderment to melancholy.]]>
5/2/2018 4:52:53 PM
<![CDATA[Al Dar Al Ahlia publishes Bassam Gamil's 'Hakatha Najawt' ]]>
The novel follows a prisoner and a reporter named Khalil Daif whose writings fell in the hands of an Israeli journalist; the journalist discovers the resemblance between the protagonist and her husband, the missing Israeli pilot. She begins to search for her husband by bringing herself close to Daif and she starts to interrogate him on the pretext of showing sympathy to the Palestinian people.

The events in the story occur in the occupation prisons and in the city of Ramallah, Palestine.

Gamil was born in 1984 in Damascus, Syria. He published several novels; Dar Azminah for Publishing and Distribution in Amman published his series of stories called "Dimashq wa Esmi" (Damascus and my name) in 2013. In 2014, Fadaat for publishing and distribution published Gamil's novel "Seerati al Motakhaila" (My Imaginary Autobiography).

Palestinian poet and researcher Al Mutawakil Taha said that "Hakatha Najawt" depicts both fantasy and bitter reality in contrast to each other, where the author puts before the readers scenes from the Palestinians' daily lives in a way more surreal than the wildest fantasy imaginable.

Taha explained that this novel is bold and is trying to establish a world that tells the reader that "we are still on the verge of the earthquake". ]]>
5/2/2018 4:50:32 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt restores 14 smuggled artifacts from Cyprus ]]>
This came on the sidelines of the initiative entitled “Nostos: Reviving Roots,” which was launched by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and his Cypriot and Greek counterparts in Alexandria on Monday.

In this regard, Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani expressed his thanks to the Cypriot authorities for their continuous cooperation with Egypt to restore these artifacts.

In the same context, Director General of the Retrieved Antiquities Department of the Antiquities Ministry Shaaban Abdel Gawad stated that the process of repatriation began in 2017 when Interpol conversed with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

Abdel Gawad revealed that these artifacts date back to the ancient Egyptian era. They were smuggled after the Antiquities Protection Law had been issued in 1983, and arrived in Cyprus in 1986.

He further remarked that the Ministry of Antiquities, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice and the International Cooperation Office coordinated to send urgent letters to Cyprus, stressing Egypt’s right to retrieve the artifacts, especially considering that the Cypriot law allows for antiquities trafficking.

Abdel Gawad said that the restored pieces comprise of an alabaster vase decorated with the name of king Ramses II, in addition to 13 ushabti figurines and amulets of different shapes, sizes and materials, including amulets for goddesses Sekhmet, Neith and Isis.

Upon invitation from the Cypriot authorities, Abdel Gawad travelled to Cyprus to inspect these pieces, which were kept at the Cypriot antiquities museum in Nicosia. Gawad delivered a lecture highlighting the efforts exerted by the Ministry of Antiquities to restore the smuggled artifacts and to make new archaeological discoveries in Egypt.

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Director of Cyprus' Department of Antiquities, Marina Solomidou, handed over 14 artifacts to Egypt-Photo courtesy of Ministry of Antiquities official Facebook page

“Nostos: Reviving Roots” initiative is a cultural festival, which is scheduled to be held from April 30 to May 6 in Alexandria, Cairo and Sharm El Sheikh.

The festival will give the opportunity for Greeks and Cypriots, who once lived in Alexandria, to participate in this event, returning to their old homes and reviving their memories.

Sisi said on Monday that the ancient city of Alexandria has a special place in the hearts of Egyptians, as well as the people of the Mediterranean region. He expressed his great pleasure for hosting this celebration in Alexandria.

Sisi said that Alexandria has been witness to the deep ties binding the people of Egypt, Greece and Cyprus throughout ancient and modern history. He noted that Alexander the Great laid the first pillars of the city of Alexandria in 332 BC, establishing a point of convergence of civilizations and an incubator of cultures and heritage on the Egyptian Mediterranean shores.

"Alexandria remains an embodiment of the values of tolerance, coexistence and human communication. These values encouraged hundreds of thousands of people in the region to choose to live in Egypt, where they were embraced without discrimination," he added.

Thousands of Greeks and Cypriots were among those who chose to live in Egypt, where they integrated into the Egyptian fabric, the president said, adding that they were a major addition to the economic, scientific and cultural movements in Egypt.

The Greeks and Cypriots, together with their Egyptian brothers, contributed to the renaissance of trade, culture and art and worked to promote various aspects of economic life, Sisi said, remarking that Egypt witnessed the establishment of organizations for the Greek communities in many governorates, including Minya in 1812, Zagazig in 1850, Cairo in 1856, Mansoura in 1860 and Port Said in 1870. ]]>
5/2/2018 2:11:14 PM
<![CDATA[Disney eyes new app aimed at millennials]]>
The app -- called "Oh My Disney" -- will be a variation of the site of the same name, which publishes editorial content and short videos on the world of Disney, Mickey and Marvel superheroes.

This is a new stage in Disney's evolution to mobile media, just weeks after the launch of its new ESPN+ app for sports fans.

In addition, Disney has already planned to launch a new online video platform for family content and youth programs in 2019, but also to beef up the existing Hulu service.

After long focusing on traditional television and cable, the entertainment giant is making a strategic shift and adapting to new streams of income.]]>
5/2/2018 10:14:33 AM
<![CDATA[Weinstein Company names Lantern Capital winning bidder]]>
The Weinstein Company had on March 19 announced a "stalking-horse" agreement -- an initial bid on a bankrupt company's assets from an interested buyer -- with Lantern Capital.

Trade magazine Variety reported that Lantern had offered $310 million plus the assumption of project-based liabilities totaling $115 million.

On Tuesday, a studio representative said the Lantern bid, which was negotiated with the New York state attorney general's office, offered "the highest and best value for the estate and its creditors."

"We look forward to working with Lantern to close the transaction and consummate the going concern sale," said Ivona Smith, a member of The Weinstein Company Board of Representatives.

The film studio said a letter of interest from Inclusion Media, a potential bidder backed by Broadway producer Howard Kagan, had been submitted too late and was deemed not a bona fide offer.

The production house announced March 19 that it had filed for bankruptcy, less than six months after the Hollywood mogul was beset by avalanching sexual assault allegations.

At the time Lantern co-founders Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic said they intended "to reposition the business as a pre-eminent content provider, while cultivating a positive presence in the industry."

The New York-headquartered studio has been engulfed in chaos since 66-year-old Weinstein was sacked as chairman last October, his career going down in flames over sexual abuse allegations.

More than 100 women have since accused him of impropriety going back 40 years and ranging from sexual harassment to assault and rape.

The twice-married father of five has been investigated by British and US police, but is yet to be charged with any crime. He denies having non-consensual sex and is reportedly in treatment for sex addiction.]]>
5/2/2018 10:10:34 AM
<![CDATA[DJ Avicii killed himself with glass: report]]>
A representative for the Swedish DJ did not reply to requests for comment. But his family earlier insinuated that Avicii had killed himself.

"He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness," his family said in an open letter on Thursday. "He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace."

TMZ, quoting unnamed sources, said that Avicii inflicted intensive bleeding by cutting himself with glass, possibly from a bottle.

The 28-year-old whose real name was Tim Bergling was found dead on April 20 while on vacation in Oman.

Police in the Gulf sultanate said that there was no indication of foul play.

Avicii had long spoken of his problems with alcoholism and his struggles as an introvert in adapting to the hard-partying DJ lifestyle.

He stunned fans in 2016 by retiring from touring at the age of just 26, although he later returned to the studio.

Avicii was one of the first DJs to bring electronic dance music into the mainstream, filling festivals and winning radio airplay as he collaborated with artists including Madonna and Coldplay.]]>
5/2/2018 2:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt celebrates International Jazz Day ]]>
Security was tight and many necessary measures were taken in numerous areas of the event, which added a sense of safety amongst the participants. Attendees and jazz enthusiasts mingled together and socialized, conversing and exchanging knowledge about jazz and jazz-related topics, while bands prepared to go on stage and perform.

Different bands performed on stage, while observers cheered them on and sometimes sang along with the vocalists. People of all ages, ethnicities and religions were found among the attendees, which serves the main aim of the event very well — to unite people of all backgrounds, ethnicities and gender in an effort to ignore any conflicts that may be pulling people apart.

Many voluntarily events are organized in Egypt, but many jazz enthusiasts who attended the event announced their hopes for more efforts on the governmental level.

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Egypt celebrates International Jazz Day in the arts center of the Grand Nile Towers in Cairo on Monday, April 30 - Egypt Today/Mustafa Marie


Ziyad Hisham, a guitarist, freelancer and jazz enthusiast, was among the attendees. He performed with numerous jazz bands, such as Baheya and Sarah. He believes that the Cairo Jazz Festival, organized by Amro Salah, is going to contribute greatly to raising awareness about jazz amongst Egyptians. However, he wishes that Egypt would provide more venues that would focus more on jazz music and help promote it.

Yasmin Farah, a 21-year-old student and fan of jazz music, made sure she attended the event. She stated that she got bored with all the alternative music genres and that she was interested in exploring something new to her.

Jazz concerts are becoming more common in Egypt recently, according to Farah, and she finally gave in to the vibe and decided to attend Cairo’s Jazz Festival. She hopes that efforts will be maximized in the future to better market jazz in Egypt and turn Egypt into an international jazz hub.

As a musician, Kamal Naseem expressed his happiness in taking part in such an event. He claimed that jazz became a huge part of many people’s lives, not only in Egypt, but worldwide. He said it is quite an honor for such an event to be organized in Egypt, and he hopes for more to come.

Ahmed El Badry, a drummer, said that he always had a passion for jazz; but unfortunately, growing up in Egypt, he had very little resources to further pursue his passion and take it to a higher level, as jazz was not very popular in Egypt. He claims that jazz is for everyone and does not target certain age groups or segments of society. Moreover, he hopes that the media would take a more serious initiative in raising awareness about the jazz scene in Egypt and help promote its activities more often.

Osama Al Taweel has participated in numerous jazz events and concerts both locally and internationally. He is part of the band Telepwetic but also performs as a freelancer with other bands. He believes that, in Egypt, jazz has its own elite community, many of whom attended the event. According to him, jazz now has many subsets, including fusion jazz.

When asked about his opinion regarding the goal of jazz music, Taweel stated that jazz is an important genre of music, which several bands in Egypt use as a style for their performance and for expressing themselves and the obstacles that their generation may be facing.

Boghdady Band, Big Band Society and Cocoon are some examples of jazz-based bands in Egypt that Taweel likes to listen to. He hopes there will be more initiatives taken on the governmental level to promote arts and music in Egypt, especially jazz.

Tatiana Villegas, cultural program specialist at UNESCO’s Cairo office, stated that, in 2011, UNESCO designated April 30 of every year as International Jazz Day, with the aim of unifying people through a musical means.

Herbie Hancock, a world famous pianist and UNESCO goodwill ambassador for intercultural dialogue, founded this annual event in an effort to promote unity and harmony amongst people of all races, cultures and backgrounds.

Jazz originated in New Orleans, USA, but quickly spread throughout the world, Villegas said, adding that many subgenres of jazz have even been created, such as Latin jazz and Arab jazz.

Villegas claimed that jazz has a diplomatic role, as it enables people to express themselves in different intercultural dialogues, adding that jazz events are designed to focus on the unity of humanity and bringing people together regardless of their differences. She stated that jazz seeks peace, fights discrimination, and is an excellent way to bring together people when they are trying to find solutions for issues such as gender equality, violence, poverty and more.

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5/1/2018 10:32:06 PM
<![CDATA[My big break: Tom Cruise on the snapped ankle that halted 'M:I6']]>
The injury has threatened or ended the careers of sports legends like Diego Maradona, Yao Ming and Derek Jeter, but 55-year-old Cruise calmly finished the take and was back on set within six weeks.

"I've broken bones before in my life, but it was hard," the "Top Gun" icon, perhaps the most recognizable movie star in the world over the last four decades, told AFP.

"It was very difficult, because they were concerned I wasn't going to be able to run for nine months at least and I'm in the middle. I've got a release date and responsibilities -- I didn't want to stop filming."

AFP caught up with Cruise at the annual CinemaCon industry gathering in Las Vegas, where he was promoting the sixth film in the lucrative spy franchise ahead of its July 27 release.

"Mission: Impossible - Fallout" was forced to halt production in London last year after Cruise slammed awkwardly into a concrete wall as he leapt between buildings while attached to cables.

"I knew instantly my ankle was broken and I really didn't want to do it again so just got up and carried on with the take," he said after the incident.

Director Chris McQuarrie -- who was also at the helm for Cruise's "Mission: Impossible 5" (2015) and "Jack Reacher" (2012) -- said he would "move heaven and earth" to ensure that fateful fourth take got into the movie.

- Semi-naked -

Cruise's most difficult days were ahead of him, though, as he had to spend hours every day in rehab and climb a mountain in Norway when he returned to filming.

"When you see the sprinting in the movie, I'm basically doing it on a broken foot. But I was able to get to a physical point where it wasn't causing any more damage by doing that," Cruise told AFP.

A veteran of more than 50 movies, the star is admired for his adventurous attitude to filmmaking, which over the years has involved some hair-raising moments on set.

It all started comparatively sedately as Cruise announced himself to Hollywood with a minor role in the 1981 romantic drama "Endless Love."

It was a memorable scene in 1983's "Risky Business," where he cavorts in a white shirt and his underwear while lip-syncing to "Old Time Rock and Roll," that confirmed him as one of the film industry's brightest talents.

Legendary producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson cast Cruise in 1985's smash-hit "Top Gun" as the fighter pilot Maverick, a role that catapulted him into the ranks of Tinseltown's elite.

In the 33 years since, he has established himself as one of the most powerful and bankable players in Hollywood, his movies grossing $9.3 billion and his talents earning three Oscar nominations.

His box office successes have included conventional action movies but also edgier roles, such as Oliver Stone's "Born on the Fourth of July," Barry Levinson's "Rain Man" and Michael Mann's "Collateral."

- Innuendo -

Born in New York on July 3, 1962, the actor had an unsettled childhood after his father left home when he was 11 and refused to pay child support. Cruise is reported to have attended 15 schools in 12 years.

His onscreen success has been matched by an ability to create controversial headlines off it, mostly through his vocal support for the secretive Church of Scientology.

Cruise has also been forced to endure persistent innuendo about his sexuality and has sued over claims he is gay or that his second and third marriages to Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes were a sham.

"Almost 40 years. Forty years. For-ty," Cruise mused backstage at CinemaCon about his longevity in the business as AFP asked how he would rank the "Mission: Impossible" franchise among his career accomplishments.

"It's been a massive part of my life. It was the first film I ever produced. I love playing this character, something that you kind of dream that hopefully an audience would still want," he added.

For the coming months, Cruise turns his attention to a sequel of the warmly received 2014 sci-fi movie "Edge of Tomorrow" and the project most of his fans are buzzing about -- long-awaited sequel "Top Gun: Maverick."

Director Joseph Kosinski is expected to begin production this summer, ahead of a 2019 release, although the return to perhaps Cruise's most iconic role is shrouded in secrecy.

"We'll see if it goes through. We'll see if it happens," Cruise teased, flashing his trademark mile-wide grin.

"I'd tell you but I'd have to kill you."

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5/1/2018 2:17:06 PM
<![CDATA[Trailer, behind-the-scenes of long-awaited ‘Harb Karmooz’]]>


The film takes place in the era of King Farouk, Egypt's last king. The story revolves around a police officer, Youssef el Masry (Amir Karara), who lives in the Karmooz district in Alexandria. Masry fights many battles and saves a girl from being raped in the movie.

“Harb Karmooz” stars famed English actor Scott Adkins, known as “Boyka”, in his first appearance in Egyptian cinema, alongside Karara, Mostafa Khater, Ghada Abdel Razek, Bayoumy Fouad, Fathy Abdelwahab and Rogina, among others. “Harb Karmooz” is written by Mohamed el Sobky and directed by Peter Mimi.

Egypt Today presents for the first time a video from behind the scenes of this massive production.


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5/1/2018 2:05:32 PM
<![CDATA[Angham, Abdou to perform at Cairo Opera House on May 9]]>
The two renowned singers will hold a press conference on Monday, May 7 to announce all the details pertaining to their concert.

This is not the first cooperation between Abdou and Angham, as they performed in a concert that achieved booming success in Bahrain on January 25.

Angham is a popular Egyptian singer who started her artistic career in 1987. She is expected to perform a group of her famous songs, such as "Etegah Wahed" (One direction), "Toul ma enta be'ed" (As long as you are far), "Akteblak Ta3ahod" (I sign to you a pledge), "Mahzoma" (Defeated) and other popular songs.

Angham was the best-selling female pop artist in 2003. She is famous for her wide vocal range and romantic style.

Abdou is one of the most renowned singers in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. He is dubbed “The Artist of Arabs” because of his popularity.

Abdou released numerous successful songs and albums throughout his artistic career that has spanned over 50 years, such as "El Amaken" (The places), "Bo’ad Wala Orybeen" (Are you far or near?) and others. His earliest releases were religious chants and Quran recitations.
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5/1/2018 1:58:27 PM
<![CDATA[What will you be watching in Ramadan?]]>CAIRO – 1 May – 2018: It’s that time of year again where we’ll be glued to our TVs—or more likely our phones and iPads—trying to cram in as many episodes of mosalsalat (soaps) produced for the peak viewing season that is Ramadan.

It’s too early to decide who the forerunners this year will be, but after the runaway success of Kalabsh (Handcuffs) and Zel El-Rais (The President’s Shadow), all eyes are on Amir Karara and Yasser Galal. Safe bets are also likely to be the stalwarts of the season, with Nelly Karim, Youssra, Adel Imam and Ghada Abdelrazeq all headlining series.

One to watch out for is Bel-Hagm El-Aaeely (Family Size), which sees megastars Mervat Amin and Yehia El-Fakharany teaming up for a much-hyped comedy series. Here are our picks and pans:

1- “Nesr El Saeed” (Hawk of Upper Egypt)

mohmed Ramadan

Starring Mohamed Ramadan, Dorra, Sayed Ragab, Wafaa Amer, Dina, Mahmoud El-Leithy, this series revolves around a police officer named Zain, played by Mohamed Ramadan, who lives in Qena and is married to a Cairene girl (Dorra) against the will of her family. After a fierce confrontation with an Upper Egyptian businessman involved in illegal business, Zain suddenly turns into a prisoner fighting to prove his innocence.


“ Rahim”

yasser Galal


After his runaway success last Ramadan in Zel El-Rais (The President’s Shadow), this year Yasser Galal plays Rahim, an Egyptian businessman who works in money laundering and dollar smuggling. After a short stint in prison, Rahim discovers his wealth has been seized and his family are gone. The series, which co-stars Nour, Mohamed Riad, Hassan Hosny, Rogina and Dina, follows Rahim’s journey of revenge and the quest to locate his family.


“Ekhtefa” (Disappearance)

nelly

Nelly Karim teams up with Hisham Selim for Ekhtefa’ where a university professor (played by Karim) is living with her husband in Russia, when he suddenly disappears. Her search brings her to Egypt where she uncovers many surprises. Basma, Mohamed Mamdouh and Mohamed Alaa co-star in this suspense drama written and directed by Ahmed Medhat.


“Fouq El-Sahab” (Over the Clouds)

hany Salama

Starring Hany Salama, Stephanie Saleeba and Ibrahim Nasr, this series revolves around a poor young man who falls in love with a girl but is unable to marry her due to tough circumstances. He travels abroad to look for a job and comes back a wicked person.


“Kalabsh Part II” (Handcuffs, Part II)
kalabesh

Following his great success last Ramadan, Amir Karara returnsas the brave police officer Selim El-Ansari, who is now promoted to the supervisor of Aqrab prison. His life turns upside down when his parents are killed and he is seriously wounded by the killer. Rogina and Hala Fakher co-star.


“Ladayna Akwal Okhra” (We Have other Testimonies)

yousra


The series tells the story of legal counsellor Mervat Mahran, played by Yousra, whose life tis ripped apart after an accident involving her son. Sherine Reda and Naglaa Badr co-star in this drama directed by Mohamed Aly and written by Abdallah Hassan.


“Abu Omar Al-Masry”


Ahmed ezz

Egyptian lawyer Fakhreldin, played by Ahmed Ezz, founds an association, along with a group of other lawyers, to seek solutions to the problems of modest citizens who cannot afford big-shot law-yers and their excessive fees. However, it is not long until they provoke a member of the security services who wants to stop their dream of an ideal society. After Fakhreldin survives an assasination attempt in which his cousin is killed, he travels to Paris; then to Sudan where he becomes the leader of an armed Islamic group and returns for revenge. The series is written by Ezzeldin Shoukry and Mariam Naoum and co-stars Arwa Gouda and Fathy Abdelwahab.


“ Awalem Khafeya “ (Hidden Worlds)

adel emam

Fathy Abdelwahab, Bushra, Rania Farid Shawky and Salah Abdallah join the iconic Adel Imam who plays a prominent writer and novelist strongly attached to his family. When he comes across confidential documents incriminating high government officials, the writer insists on publishing them, putting his own life and his family in danger. Ramy Imam directs this series penned by Amin Gamal.


“Ard El-Nefaq” (Land of Hypocrisy)


henedy

Directed by Sameh Abdelaziz and Mohamed Gamal Eladl, this series is based on a story penned by the late writer Youssef El Sebai. Massoud, a humble worker (played by Mohamed Heneidy), is constantly suffering because of his modest income. One day, he comes across a professor who offers him “morality pills,” which completely change his character, and consequently his life. The series is scripted by Ahmed Abdallah and stars Hana Shiha, Dalal Abdelaziz, Poussy and for the first time as an actor, veteran Egyptian writer Ibrahim Eissa.


“Ayoub”


mostafa Shaaban


Mostafa Shaaban plays Ayoub, a bank employee who is wrongly accused of corruption and imprisoned. He is released and begins to seek revenge. Ayten Amer, Hassan Hosny, Mohamed Lotfy, Merihan Hussein and Hana El Zahed co-star.


“Bel-Hagm El-Aaeely” (Family Size)

yehia

The comedy series witnesses the comeback of two giants, Yehia ElFakharany and Mervat Amin, more than 30 years since their last cooperation. It revolves around retired ambassador Nader, who decides to follow his passion for food by opening a restaurant in a touristic village, where he is the main chef. The series is directed by Hala Khalil, written by Mohamed Ragaa and stars Yousra El Lozy, Ahmed Magdy and Ramzy Lehner.


“Dedd Maghoul” (Against the Unknown)


ghada

Ghada Abdelrazeq stars as Nada, a married middle-class banker who faces problems with her husband because of her time-consuming job. After they divorce, their daughter is raped and Nada decides to find the perpetrator herself. Hanan Motawe’, Rogina and Feras Said co-star in this suspense drama directed by Tarek Refaat and written by Ayman Salama.


“Baraka”

Baraka


Baraka (Amr Saad) settles in Cairo where he starts to get richer, but at the same time he gets involved in a lot of serious problem with influential people. The show also stars Hala Sedky, Kamal Abo Raya, Salah Abdallah and Rana Raies and is directed by Mahmoud Karim.

“Azmy and Ashgan”
azmy

Starring Hassan El-Raddad, Amy Samir Ghanem, Samir Ghanem, Nesrine Amin, Mohamed Tharwat and Malak Koura, this comedy soap opera is about a gang of two members, Azmi and Ashgan, who go through a series of funny situations, while being tailed by an officer tracking their every move.


“Tayea”


amr youssef


Amr Youssef plays Tayea, a young man from Upper Egypt who graduated from faculty of medicine. Tayea has a strong opinion concerning revenge customs in Upper Egypt; and he suddenly finds himself involved in a number of crimes including antiquities smuggling. Seba Mubarak, Amr Abdelgeleel and Soheir El-Morshedy co-star in this drama directed by Amr Salama.

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5/1/2018 1:53:04 PM
<![CDATA[Marx at 200: Germany torn over revolutionary's legacy]]>
With scars from the Cold War still fresh, people from capitalist former West Germany and the once communist East are of two minds about the 19th-century philosopher.

Some hail Marx as a visionary scholar who foretold the ills of the market economy, while others revile him for inspiring Stalinist regimes.

In the western town of Trier, the icon's birthplace which is planning 600 events for his bicentenary, it is not lost on critics that the centrepiece of the celebrations is a gargantuan statue offered as a gift from communist China.

"I never had a need for him," retiree Helene Schmidt, 76, told AFP, voicing her opposition to the statue, which is 5.5 metres (18 feet) tall and is to be unveiled on Saturday, Marx's birth anniversary.

For many Germans, their feelings are shaped by where and when they grew up.
"My mother told me once that Karl Marx is a communist and that was that. And now he is standing before us," said 92-year-old Anne-Lise, somewhat puzzled by the imposing statue, which is positioned near a set of recently installed special edition traffic lights featuring the philosopher.

As she was growing up in the West, she rarely heard mention of Marx, and it was only this year that she learned anything about the man, Anne-Lise said, declining to give her last name.

University student Sandra Konrad, 22, however has no doubts as to his lasting importance. Marx "delivered a great manifesto and no one can counter that," she said. "He should not be buried away."

While older generations in west Germany grew up with little knowledge of key Marx works such as the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, that has changed since reunification.

Over the last decade in particular, unbridled capitalism and its discontents have fuelled renewed interest in Marx's work on the oppression of the working class and inequality.

The theories, developed as the Industrial Revolution gathered pace in the 19th century, find resonance today as societies once again see social and political upheaval.

"There is a growing timeliness about Karl Marx -- certainly the financial and economic crises played a role since 2008 when renowned contemporary economists praised him as a theorist," said Rainer Auts, director of a company set up to oversee the exhibitions on Marx's life, works and legacy.

- Capitalising on Marx -

But in the former East, where the work of the burly man known for his flowing mane and beard was once espoused in every school, some reject any praise for Marx because of the damage his ideas wrought.

"Karl Marx developed the foundation upon which all subsequent communist dictatorships have built until today," Dieter Dombrovski, president of the Union of the Victim Groups of Communist Tyranny, told AFP.

"He wrote these works; sure, he did not implement them but he developed the thought and the communist dictatorships implemented everything that he wrote word for word.

"According to our penal system today, if someone were to incite a person to commit murder, and if the other person carries out the murder, then the one who incited is also convicted, which is only right," said Dombrovski, who was once jailed by the East German dictatorship.

More people were killed under communist regimes than under Adolf Hitler, he added.

The giant statue gifted by China has also become a lightning rod.

"In Germany, erecting a statue means conferring an honour to that individual. The city of Trier is therefore honouring Karl Marx and his works," said Dombrovski, also accusing it, perhaps ironically, of capitalising on the philosopher to draw more Chinese tourists.

- 'Great son of the city' -

Officials in Trier reject the accusations, arguing that Marx cannot be blamed for regimes which distorted his theories to their own ends.

"The (East German) regime treated Marx as its god, and his words were the true gospel. That discredited his ideas and philosophy. A new look has not been possible until after reunification," Auts said, stressing that the commemorations aim neither to "glorify nor vilify" Marx.

For Trier mayor Wolfram Leibe, this year offers an opportunity to reassess the man and his work.

"We now have 30 years of distance from reunification... which gives us the possibility to look at Marx with a critical eye without prejudice," he said, adding that the thinker should "take his place as one of the greatest sons of the city."

Leibe also denied trying to attract Chinese tourists -- many of whom come on a pilgrimage to visit Marx's birthplace.

Only one percent of Trier's five million visitors a year are Chinese, he said, adding that the city does not have sufficient capacity to accommodate more tourists even if it wanted to.

"Karl Marx formulated important ideas, and it is worthwhile to think about these ideas. If, after visiting (these exhibitions), someone then goes out to buy a book to re-examine different aspects of what Karl Marx offered, then I think we'd have achieved a lot," Leibe said.

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5/1/2018 12:03:58 PM
<![CDATA[At New York's Met, an opera even babies can go gaga for]]>
"BambinO" -- a 40-minute opera composed specifically for infants -- has crossed the Atlantic for a booked-out, six-day run after winning over audiences in Britain and Paris.

Well-dressed and well-groomed six- to 18-month-old New Yorkers assemble in a small auditorium at the Met, either cradled on parents' knees or crawling and toddling among a sea of soft blue cushions.

Babies can make as much noise as they want, the audience is told. Adults, on the other hand, are told to pipe down.

Then the music starts. Sung in Italian and baby sounds, it's performed by a cellist, a percussionist and two singers, who roam among the children, introducing them to furry toy birds and a golden egg.

Almost any baby contemplating a meltdown stopped crying, variously grinning, baffled and engaged by the colorfully-costumed singers.

Sloane Campbell, 12 months, already goes to a music class once a week and her mom Kate Mangiameli is a Met singer herself, but Monday marked her first live performance.

"Hearing that kind of singing from someone other than me is probably pretty great for her," says Mangiameli.

The plot, secondary to the music as in most operas, tells the story of a bird, a baby bird and their relationship before the baby's quest for flight ultimately leads to separation.

"It's not a patronizing kiddies show, it's a genuine, beautiful piece of quite challenging music," explains director Phelim McDermott.

Jokes aside about the Met's quest to lower the average age of its audience, each performance seeks to win over babies and caregivers to an art form often castigated as elitist and out of touch.

"We thought what a magical thing to bring true opera to little people," says composer Lliam Paterson, believing even very young children respond to musical patterns, rhythm and text.

- 'Toddlers get bored' -

Initially commissioned by Scottish Opera and performed in Scotland and Manchester, Paterson said coming to New York, arguably one of the world's greatest opera venues, was a "amazing."

Charlotte Hoather, who plays the character Uccellina, says reactions are different every time, and vary from country to country. If French children were very calm, Americans were more forthright.

"We had confident babies today. Very brave," she says.

"I was just having fun because she was clearly overjoyed the whole time. I couldn't stop smiling," says nurse Jessie Thisell, whose daughter Bonnie wandered around transfixed.

"She wouldn't have enjoyed it if she had to sit still."

In a world of opera obsessed with widening outreach, BambinO makes no secret of its determination to win over new audiences.

"We've had people who love rock music and punk rock people and they were like 'I might go to something at my local theater' and that's really cool," says Hoather.

The performers say meltdowns are surprisingly few, and usually food or tiredness-related.


"It's an experiment. We'll see what happens," said Peter Gelb, general manager of the Met, asked whether it could become regular repertoire.

"We need to reintroduce the arts to the school system and we might as well start earlier than that, at the beginning," he told AFP.

But McDermott has words of advice for parents trying to push the envelope and bring children older than 18 months.

"We genuinely created an opera for babies. Toddlers get bored."

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5/1/2018 11:59:52 AM
<![CDATA[With fans aflutter, boy band 'NSync 'reunites' for Hollywood star]]>
Timberlake reunited with Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick along Hollywood Boulevard for the unveiling of the emblematic terrazzo and brass star that is one of the city’s major tourist attractions.

“We’re really a family,” Timberlake, 37, said, addressing the crowd.

“I don’t really think I could put into words how much the four of you mean to me. ... I just love all of you so much,” he added.

One of the most successful groups of the teen pop era that also launched the careers of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, ‘NSync was greeted with adoring screams and a spontaneous sing-a-long to hit “Tearin’ Up My Heart.”

The band’s second album, 2000’s “No Strings Attached,” held the U.S. record for first week sales with 2.41 million for 15 years.

Spectators chanted “reunite” and “sing” during the ceremony.

‘NSync last released an album of new music in 2001 and performed together full time in 2002. They last performed together at the 2013 MTV Music Video Awards.

Bass, who revealed he was gay in 2006, spoke about how he feared for the group’s success if he came out.

“I wanted to so badly let you know I was you; I just didn’t have the strength then,” Bass said.


‘NSync has sold more than 40 million records worldwide. They were founded in 1995 in Orlando, Florida.]]>
5/1/2018 11:30:23 AM
<![CDATA[Nine things about Bushra not known before her TV interview]]>CAIRO – 1 May 2018: The TV program “Ana wa Ana” (Me and Me) presented by Egyptian TV host Samar Yousry on ON TV channel has proved to be a huge success with viewers, as it provides a closer and more intimate side of popular and famous celebrities.

Yet the success of the show has on some occasions relied on out-of-context statements, such as the alleged insults of Shereen Reda on the sound of mosques’ prayer calls or the attack that Ahmed Fahmi endured by the press and social media based on the program's portrayal of him as a narrow-minded, controlling and oppressive husband. These two examples may have increased viewers’ ratings, but it may have also made guests cautious and calculated in their replies out of fear of the same backlash their predecessors endured.

Multi-talented actress and singer Bushra was the guest on Friday, April 27. The clear thing about Bushra is that she is a complex character, not easily understood.

Here are nine things about Bushra from her interview with Samar Yousry.

1. She had a troubled relationship with her late father, political and social activist Ahmed Abdalla Rozza, as she never got to spend time with him due to his activism work. Although she admits that she now understands more as to why he was not around much, there is a somber tone in her statement that her father generally chose to be a father to many orphans and young children rather than to his own daughter.

2. Bushra does not have any close friends from the acting industry; the only one she mentioned as a friend, but within limits, is Nelly Kareem. She stated that the reason for her “rule” is to avoid rivalry and competitiveness, which is bound to occur.

3. There was an overwhelming feeling by Bushra that she has been treated unfairly at times, whether by her colleagues or directors/producers/writers. She went on to narrate a recent incident where she was involved in filming a new role, and everyone working with her was surprised and astonished at her high level of professionalism, which upset her, as she has been in the industry for more than twenty years, yet people still see her as a “newbie”.

4. She has not forgiven Ahmed Al-Feshawy for his public outburst at the Gouna International Film Festival, despite Feshawy apologizing to her personally; however, she stated that she loves him because of their long working history, but does not like him due to his behavior.

5. Bushra has two children, Ismai'l (6 years old) and Layla (5 years old), from her marriage to Syrian Amr Raslan. She admitted marrying Raslan during a period of depression she experienced after her father's death. They are divorced now and she is looking at a possible new commitment.

6. In a video clip, comedic actor Hani Ramzi described Bushra as a true friend and someone who always runs to you when you are in need. He sees her as a potential new Soad Hosni. After seeing the clip, Bushra became emotional and shed a few tears, as she did not realize that people actually saw her in this light.

7. Her mother admitted that Bushra had a fairly strict upbringing, although she also had the freedom of choice, as her father always insisted on her gaining top grades at school, being punctual and thinking outside of the box.

8. All the critics agreed that she needs to concentrate more on her acting and focus on her career rather than divulging into multiple areas such as production, singing and festival organizing. Bushra admitted they were right, but she did not know how to solve this issue when producers and directors do not offer her progressive career moves.

9. At the end of her interview, Bushra claimed that she was a forgiving person but not one to forget who wronged her. When Samar Yousry asked her about the dispute with Amr Waked, she said it was in the past and that they are not friends, although she did stress that Waked came to the Gouna International Film Festival and congratulated her on the great effort and achievement.
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5/1/2018 10:39:58 AM
<![CDATA[Royal celebration hall from Ramses II era discovered]]>
The Royal Celebration Hall was revealed during excavation work performed by the Ain Shams University archaeological mission headed by Mamdouh al-Damati.

“The Hall was unearthed below the soft-brick buildings and commercial residential areas that date back to the third transition period, particularly the 22nd and 23rd dynasties’ eras,” Damati recounted. The discovered hall has a rectangular floor of 2.9 m × 1.9 m, consisting of limestone tiles, rising 80 cm from the ground.

The discovered hall, which was used to hold royal celebrations such as the Jubilee feast, is considered the first of its kind in the New Kingdom era.

Damati explained that this discovery reveals that such celebrations took place in the Re Temple at this specific area. He added that the hall was discovered inside the palace used to host royal celebrations.

a

Damati elaborated that the mission members also unearthed a group of brick walls of a multi-story building, pointing out that it shows the three phases of construction dating back to the era of King Ramses II.

The discovered items include the main building, a layer of the third transition era and the late era, as well as the royal celebration hall.

The archaeological mission discovered a number of valuable artifacts, such as five stone blocks carved from the reign of King Ramses II, a painting of the high priests of the Sun Prince Nept Ma Raa, in addition to some pottery figures dating back to the 27th Dynasty, one of which was a small dog-shaped statue.

Damati recounted that a human amulet with a human head for a person named Thi from the Roman era is considered one of the most important pieces discovered.

“The lower part of a statue for a priest from the Ramses era was also unearthed during the digging work. It is made of alabaster, rising 20 centimeters off the ground, on a base of red porphyry stone,” Damati described in a press statement issued by the Ministry of Antiquities on Saturday.

It is worth mentioning that two important exceptional discoveries occurred on Sunday, April 22: the discovery of a marble head of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Aswan and an Osirian temple in Luxor.

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The head is of Emperor Aurelius with wavy hair and beard. The Roman emperor’s head was described as rare, because in general, statues of Roman rulers are extremely scarce. The head is now located at the archaeological store; it will be subjected to restoration work and maintenance in the coming period. An Egyptian mission is currently working in Aswan to reduce the subterranean water level at Kom Ombo Temple, where the Marcus Aurelius head was discovered.

The Osirian temple was discovered at the southern side of Karnak Temples’ tenth pylon. The temple contains architectural elements of a late-period shrine dedicated to the god Osiris-Ptah-Neb.

The temple, which was found in a good state, consists of an entrance, foundation remains, columns, inner walls and ruins of a third hall located at the eastern side. The Osirian temple also houses paving stones from the shrine floor, along with other extension structures built during ancient times.

The shrine is not located on the eastern or northern side of the Amun-Re temple according to ancient Egyptian belief, which makes this discovery a highly important one. The shrine was discovered on the southern side, indicating the accuracy of the Osirian belief at that time.

Also discovered were a collection of clay pots, remains of statues and a winged frame relief decorated with offering tables bearing a sheep and goose. The relief holds the names of the kings Taharka and Tanut Amun. These two highly important discoveries were made by the Egyptian archaeological missions in Upper Egypt. ]]>
4/30/2018 1:44:57 PM
<![CDATA[Cold case culture: when writers revive stalled investigations]]>
"I'll Be Gone in the Dark," a chilling true-crime bestseller by Michelle McNamara, was published after she died suddenly in her sleep in 2016, and is to be adapted into a documentary series for HBO.

Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, arrested after a 40-year search, was charged Friday with the 1978 murders of a newlywed couple shot dead in Rancho Cordova, a suburb of California's capital Sacramento.

He is a suspect in 10 other murders committed in California between 1976 and 1986, according to authorities, while the Golden State Killer has been linked by DNA or other evidence to more than 50 rapes.

"Think you got him, Michelle," McNamara's husband, the entertainer Patton Oswald, tweeted following the arrest on Tuesday, with horror writer Stephen King and the actor Rob Lowe also praising her steadfast work.

It was the latest in a string of stalled or dead cases given fresh impetus by journalists, including the probe into real estate tycoon and multiple murder suspect Robert Durst, and the dubious conviction of Adnan Syed made famous by the acclaimed "Serial" podcast.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones has denied that McNamara's book put investigators on DeAngelo's trail but admitted it had revived public interest and generated a flood of new leads.

- 'Marketing matters' -
The author, who could almost have passed for Jodie Foster's FBI trainee Clarice Starling in "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991), set out her theory in a 2013 article for Los Angeles magazine that "marketing matters" in the solving of murders.

The authorities had entrusted her with a neighborhood plan found at the scene of one of the crimes, likely drawn by the killer, in the correct calculation that the story would prompt calls.

Paul Holes, a now-retired Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office investigator whom McNamara contacted for her book, considered her "an investigative partner," he told CBS news magazine show "48 Hours" last year.

"It was nice to be able to talk to someone who knew as much about the case, and that she could talk the case with me and rattle off things," added Erika Hutchcraft, of the Orange County District Attorney's Office, on the same program.

McNamara came up with the "Golden State Killer" moniker for her quarry, whom she suspected was military or police-trained, given his ability to handle weapons and the care he took to wear gloves.

She wrote that she had come to know almost everything about the killer, from his blood type to his penis size -- "conspicuously small" -- and that he was built "like a runner or a swimmer."

- 'Remember when we played?' -

"One victim's phone rang 24 years after her rape. 'You want to play?' a man whispered. It was you. She was certain," McNamara said in her book, addressing the killer directly.

"You played nostalgic, like an arthritic former football star running game tape on a VCR. 'Remember when we played?' I imagine you dialing her number, alone in a small, dark room, sitting on the edge of your twin bed, the only weapon left in your arsenal the firing up of a memory, the ability to trigger terror with your voice."

Even though satisfied that the police would eventually use advances in science to flush out the killer, the insomniac author had become exhausted, taking powerful anti-anxiety drugs that contributed to her death.

"He can't hurt me, I say, not realizing that in every sleepless hour, in every minute spent hunting him and not cuddling my daughter, he already has," McNamara wrote.

Launched in December 2015, Netflix's "Making a Murderer" featured the 2007 killing of Teresa Halbach in Wisconsin, for which Brendan Dassey was convicted.

The series raised questions about the US legal system and prompted many to believe Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery were wrongly convicted of the killing.

A federal court in Wisconsin found in 2016 that Dassey, over the course of multiple interviews, had been tricked into confessing -- both by police and an unsympathetic private investigator working for his defense attorney.

Business magnate Robert Durst was arrested three years ago in a New Orleans hotel room hours before the final episode of the six-part HBO investigative documentary "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst."

The series delved into the disappearance of his wife in 1982 as well as the killing of his friend Susan Berman in 2000 and the 2001 death of a neighbor in Texas who was found dismembered.

Perhaps the greatest "real crime" hit of all, the "Serial" podcast from the team behind public radio show "This American Life," raised doubts over Adnan Syed's conviction for the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend.

Journalist Sarah Koening's investigation, one of the most downloaded podcasts in history, highlighted shortcomings in the police probe and the work of Syed's lawyer.

Last month, an appeals court ordered a new trial, finding that Syed, 37, had received ineffective counsel and ruled that his 2000 conviction can be vacated, subject to an appeal by the state.]]>
4/30/2018 1:35:00 PM
<![CDATA['Avengers' opens with $630 mn, smashing global record]]>
"The latest Marvel juggernaut... opened with $630M worldwide, making it the largest global weekend tally in the history of film, and this was done without China," which has a later opening, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

That topped "The Fate of the Furious," the eighth installment of the high-octane action series starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Michelle Rodriguez that opened with more than $530 million globally in 2017.

"Infinity War," which features more than two dozen superheroes fighting to save the universe, also broke the record for highest North American opening weekend, raking in $250 million at US and Canadian box offices.

That beat "The Force Awakens," the seventh film in the long-running "Star Wars" space saga that made $248 million in its opening weekend in 2015.

- Saving the universe -

"Infinity War" is the 19th film in the so-called Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), combining a whopping nine franchises and a cast list that reads like a who's who of Hollywood's A-list.

Robert Downey Jr dons the red and gold metal suit once again as Iron Man; Benedict Cumberbatch is Doctor Strange; Scarlett Johansson is back as Black Widow; and Australia's Chris Hemsworth is Thor.

Also back for more?

Black Panther -- the Marvel breakout of the year after the standalone pic's massive opening in February, Captain America, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, the Guardians of the Galaxy and their assorted allies.

Their mission is to prevent the powerful purple alien Thanos (Josh Brolin) from destroying the universe.

"We took a picture of every single person whose character has been in the MCU. We hung it up on a wall all around us," co-director Anthony Russo, who helms the film with his brother Joe, told reporters ahead of its release.

"We basically spent months and months and months talking about where we could go with each character, how we could draw them through the story," he added.

"Every one of these characters... has been on a very specific journey through the MCU to arrive at this moment."

This is the third "Avengers" film, before the final, untitled saga set for next year.

- 'North Star' -

An important source of inspiration is the Marvel canon -- the storylines developed over decades in the original comic books.

"Infinity War" is drawn from the "Infinity Gauntlet" series of the early 1990s.

"It starts with those comics and us beginning to rip pages out or rip copies of pages out and put them on the walls and start to be inspired," explains Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, which is owned by Disney.

"It's a North Star for us as we lead these giant productions into reality."

In the movie's trailer, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) -- Thanos's daughter, of sorts -- explains that the villain believes that if he annihilates half of the universe, he can save the other half.

He needs the so-called Infinity Stones to do it. So, the heroes need to keep him from getting them.

The film cost an eye-watering $300 million to make, according to Hollywood media.

"It was about the most fun creative exercise I think I've ever been through in my life," said Anthony Russo. "We thought about everybody in the MCU."]]>
4/30/2018 1:29:20 PM
<![CDATA[Cairokee to perform its largest concert ever in CFC]]>
Cairokee is organizing their own concert under their very own brand for the first time, with a main theme: “Cairokee Empire”.

“You are invited to Cairokee’s biggest concert yet, where you will enjoy the band’s famous songs in a dazzling setting on an unparalleled scale,” stated the band’s event on Facebook.

This concert is the first in a series of planned, self-organized concerts, which Cairokee is expected to perform over the upcoming period. “These guys are here to make you rock all night long. So Get Ready,” the event read on Facebook.

Cairokee is one of the most successful bands in Egypt; they are well-known for their folk and indie rock music, as well as their lyrics that tackle social and political issues in the country. The band was founded in 2003, but their hit "Soot al-Horreya" (Voice of Freedom), which they launched online in 2011, took them to another level of fame and placed them among pop stars.

The band released their latest album this past summer by the name “No'ta Beida” (White Dot), which has gone viral and achieved millions of views on YouTube. The whole album was filmed as music videos in a single location, except for their track “El Dinosaur”. The album was made in their style along with different twists that their audience were not used to, but was well-received. There were also collaborations that took place in this album.
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4/30/2018 11:00:00 AM