How to stop worrying and start living?

infotechfacts.com worry less, Live M___ore

Here are 2 simple and highly effective tips for you. I hope you employ them as I know these can help you out (through my own first-hand experience!)

1. Recognize Worry For What It Really Is

Worry is not an externally caused condition. It is simply a particular type of thought pattern – nothing more. We often believe we have no choice but to worry- we believe it’s our life circumstances ‘doing it to us’ but in truth it is simply a worrying thought doing it to us!

A ‘worry’ or ‘on edge’ thought happens when the brain ventures itself into the future and envisions something turning out badly. What is the feeling produced by these kinds of musings or mental films? Fear.

You may utilize more ‘socially satisfactory’ words like pressure, tension or worry yet at the center of all these is fear. In spite of the fact that these envisioned future occasions are not occurring in reality, you are as yet experiencing the occasions in your brain and your body responds in like manner, going into an inconspicuous (or not all that unobtrusive) condition of ‘fight or flight’

Learn to recognize worry and anxiety for what they are. Just thought patterns. Thought patterns that you don’t need to believe or buy into. By seeing worry for what it is it loses its power to ‘take you over’.

infotechfacts.com worry less, Live M___ore

2. A Way of Dealing With Worry: Label and Let Go

At whatever point you end up worrying about something, note to yourself that no doubt about it.”

By doing this you become present as the observer of your musings as opposed to being totally taken over by them. You presently have the ability to decide to release it.

After you name it, at that point turn your concentration to your breathing, or essentially carry your consideration into the current second and what you’re doing.

Every time you catch yourself worrying—no matter how often—you apply the technique again.

You’ll find that this will gradually break the habit of your habit of worrying.

Vikramaditya Motwane to direct untitled young adult dark comedy series backed by Legendary Global, Library Pictures

Vikramaditya Motwane, who created and directed Netflix’s first Indian Original Sacred Gameswill soon helm a Hindi young adult dark comedy series financed by US-based Legendary Global and Library Pictures. Variety reports that no official log line or title has been revealed yet.

 Vikramaditya Motwane to direct untitled young adult dark comedy series backed by Legendary Global, Library Pictures

Vikramaditya Motwane. Image from Twitter

The report further states that Motwane will write and executive produce the series as well, alongside co-creator Abhay Koranne (Bhavesh Joshi Superhero and Abhinav Bindra’s biopic). Motwane will also produce the series via his banner Andolan.

“This is a story very close to my heart and I am looking forward to collectively creating an incredible experience for local as well as global audiences,” said the filmmaker in a statement.

This project is said to be among the many projects that expect from the deal between Motwane and Legendary Global, states Variety. Legendary Global was established in December 2019 and will develop, produce and finance international language projects.

Motwane is known for his films like the Rajkummar Rao-starrer Trapped, Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha’s drama Lootera and his directorial debut, the coming-of-age drama Udaan. His now defunct production house Phantom Films had previously collaborated with Blumhouse to produce India’s first horror original series Ghoul, starring Radhika Apte and Manav Kaul.

His upcoming digital project includes AK vs AK for Netflix, featuring Anurag Kashyap and Anil Kapoor. Billed as a revenge drama, the film will reportedly see both Anurag and Anil play themselves, navigating the highs and lows of belonging to the tinsel world. Initially, the film was titled AK vs SK, with Shahid Kapoor in the lead, but the actor was later replaced by Kapoor.

Updated Date: May 19, 2020 19:49:32 IST


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Coin toss best way to make life decisions and stay happy

coin toss
Image Source : SAYYID_FAYAS/ INSTAGRAM

Both the initial coin-flipper and the third parties received a follow-up survey after two-months and six-months.

People who use a coin toss to decide on an important change in life are more likely to follow through with that decision, are more satisfied with that decision, and report higher overall happiness after a six-month period, a fascinating study has revealed. Society teaches us that “quitters never win and winners never quit”. “But in reality, the data from my experiment suggests we would all be better off if we did more quitting,” said study author Steven Levitt from the University of Chicago in the US.

“A good rule of thumb in decision making is, whenever you cannot decide what you should do, choose the action that represents a change, rather than continuing the status quo,” Levitt added.

For the findings, published in the journal The Review of Economic Studies, the researchers asked people to make significant decisions, such as whether or not to move house, quitting your job or propose, and assign either an affirmative or a negative choice to heads or tails.

Levitt created a website (Freakonomics Experiments) where participants answered a series of questions.

Some examples were: Should I quit my job? Should I move? Should I propose? Should I adopt? Users were also invited to create their own questions, including Should I get a tattoo? Should I try online dating? Should I rent or buy?

One choice, either the affirmative or the negative, was then assigned to heads and the other assigned to tails. Prior to the coin flip, the participants were encouraged to identify the third party to verify their outcomes.

Both the initial coin-flipper and the third parties received a follow-up survey after two-months and six-months.

The two-month survey found that participants favoured the status quo, making a change less frequently than they predicted they would before the coin toss.

At the six-month survey, this bias toward the status quo was gone.

Furthermore, those who were instructed by the coin toss to switch their current position were more likely to actually make the change, reported that they were substantially happier, and said that they were more likely to make the same decision if they were to choose again.

This was true for virtually every question at both the two- and six-month surveys.

The researchers noted that these results are inconsistent with the conventional theory of choice. In such a theory, people who are on the margins should, on average, report equal happiness regardless of which decision they made.

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What happens after death, Ever imagined? Read now to know

After death, the cells are exhausted of their vitality source and the protein fibers become secured. This makes the muscles become inflexible and locks the joints. During these beginning times, the cadaveric biological system comprises generally of the microbes that live in and on the living human body.

pic credit: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/07/91/49/07914970a482afbe7a71d22608946f33.jpg

The great beyond (likewise alluded to as eternal life) is the conviction that the fundamental piece of a person’s character or the continuous flow proceeds after the death of the physical body. As indicated by different thoughts regarding the great beyond, the basic part of the person that lives on after death might be some incomplete component, or the whole soul or soul, of a person, which conveys with it and may give an individual personality or, on the opposite nirvana. Faith in an existence in the wake of death is as opposed to the confidence in insensibility in the afterlife.

In certain perspectives, this proceeded with presence regularly happens in an otherworldly domain, and in other mainstream sees, the individual might be renewed into this world and start the existence cycle over once more, likely with no memory of what they have done before. In this last view, such resurrections and deaths may happen again and again ceaselessly until the individual increases section to a profound domain or otherworld. Major perspectives on the afterlife get from religion, obscurity and mysticism.

Heaven and Hell

pic credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/4560/37893638174_db3020a33c_b.jpg

Heaven is regularly depicted as a “higher spot”, the holiest spot, a heaven, as opposed to hellfire or the black market or the “low places”, and all around or restrictively available by natural creatures as indicated by different norms of eternality, goodness, devotion, confidence or different ethics or right convictions or essentially the desire of God. Some trust in the chance of a heaven on Earth in a world to come.

Hell, in numerous strict and folkloric customs, is a position of torment and discipline in the afterlife. Religions with a straight awesome history frequently portray hell as an interminable goal, while religions with a cyclic history regularly delineate a hell as a mediator period between manifestations. Commonly, these conventions find hell in another measurement or under the world’s surface and regularly incorporate doors to hell from the place that is known for the living. Other afterlife goals incorporate limbo and limbo.

Conventions that don’t imagine the afterlife as a position of discipline or prize just depict hell as a habitation of the dead, the grave, an impartial spot (for instance, shoel or Hades) situated under the outside of earth.

Coronavirus Outbreak: Veteran Marathi playwright Ratnakar Matkar passes away in Mumbai

Veteran Marathi writer and playwright Ratnakar Matkari has died, family sources said on Monday.

Matkari, 81, considered a pioneer of the children’s drama movement in Marathi, died at a hospital in suburban Marol here late Sunday night, a BMC official said.

(Click here to follow LIVE updates on coronavirus outbreak)

Matkari had tested coronavirus positive last week, the official said.

From story books for kids to plays, his work in Marathi literature was phenomenal, a writer said.

In his condolence message, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said, We have lost a precious gem from the world of literature. He wrote for children and for grown-ups as well.”

“His immense contribution in various forms such as plays, short stories, novel has enriched the world of Marathi literature,” Thackeray said.

Updated Date: May 18, 2020 17:48:02 IST

Tags : Buzz Patrol, BuzzPatrol, Coronavirus, Coronavirus Outbreak, COVID-19, Ratnakar Matkari

Coronavirus Outbreak: TTFI writes to players on organising training camps after latest lockdown relaxations, paddlers reckon ‘it’s too soon’

New Delhi: The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) on Monday sought written consent from its top 16 players to join a training camp after the government allowed sports complexes to open but wary paddlers said they would prefer to wait a while.

Most players, including India’s leading players Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan, said they were not comfortable travelling anytime soon amid the COVID-19 pandemic. TT camps are held at NIS Patiala, Sonepat and Kolkata.

 Coronavirus Outbreak: TTFI writes to players on organising training camps after latest lockdown relaxations, paddlers reckon its too soon

Achanta Sharath Kamal is among the leading paddlers who turned down TTFI’s proposal of organising training camps. AFP

“We were asked to join camp at the end of the month but I feel it is too early for that. Cases continue to rise and travel restrictions are in place. Training can wait until situation improves significantly,” world number 31 Sharath, who is based in Chennai, told PTI.

“Anyway, all ITTF (international body) activities are suspended till end of June. There is no event planned in the near future. It would be nice for the whole team to be together again but not anytime soon.”

The players have been confined to their homes ever since the lockdown was enforced almost two months ago. The government on Sunday extended the lockdown till 31 May with more relaxations.

Like Sharath, world number 32 Sathiyan is based in Chennai and said he would rather train in his hometown given the current situation.

“It is not safe to travel in the given situation. I would prefer to train in Chennai at Raman TTHPC along with my coach (S Raman) and a few sparring partners post the lockdown.

“Also, I have a great setup here with the necessary fitness training regime under Ramji Srinivasan (former Indian cricket team trainer). Hope I will get the necessary permission from the authorities,” said Sathiyan.

TTFI secretary general MP Singh wrote to the players on Monday morning, seeking their availability for the training camp following government’s announcement.

“We have written to the players (eight men and eight women) to check their availability for the training camp as early as next week. If they are ready to resume training, we can organise something by next week or end of the month,” Singh told PTI.

However, with travel restrictions in place, it remains to be seen how willing players assemble at one place.

While Sharath and Sathiyan are in Chennai, star women paddler Manika Batra is in Pune.

“Since, the government announced the opening of stadiums and complexes, it must have thought about how it would reopen sporting activity in the country. It can only answer on how it plans to assemble the players at one place. Either of the three centres — NIS Patiala, Sonepat and Kolkata — will be fine with us,” said Singh.

The federation has also written to coaches Soumyadeep Roy and Arup Basak on their availability for the camp.

Arjuna Award nomination

Singh also informed that TTFI will be nominating Sanil Shetty, Madhurika Patkar and Sutirtha Mukherjee for the Arjuna Award.

“They are our best bets for the award this year. They will soon be sending their application. Since there is still time for application deadline (3 June), more players can also send their applications,” Singh added.

Updated Date: May 18, 2020 17:13:16 IST

Tags : Achanta Sharath Kamal, Coronavirus Lockdown, Coronavirus Outbreak, Coronavirus Pandemic, COVID-19, G Sathiyan, Manika Batra, MHA, MP Singh, Sports, SportsTracker, TTFI

Why people should stop googling medical symptoms

Why people should stop googling medical symptoms
Image Source : PIXABAY

Why people should stop googling medical symptoms

Many people turn to ‘Dr Google’ to self-diagnose their health symptoms and seek medical advice, but online symptom checkers are only accurate about a third of the time, warn researchers.

The new study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, analysed 36 international mobile and web-based symptom checkers and found they produced the correct diagnosis as the first result just 36 per cent of the time, and within the top three results 52 per cent of the time.

The research also found that the advice provided on when and where to seek health care was accurate 49 per cent of the time.

“While it may be tempting to use these tools to find out what may be causing your symptoms, most of the time they are unreliable at best and can be dangerous at worst,” said study lead author Michella Hill from Edith Cowan University from Australia.

Online symptom checkers ask users to list their symptoms before presenting possible diagnoses.

According to the researchers, online symptom checkers may be providing a false sense of security.

“We’ve all been guilty of being ‘cyberchondriacs’ and googling at the first sign of a niggle or headache,” she said.

But the reality is these websites and apps should be viewed very cautiously as they do not look at the whole picture – they don’t know your medical history or other symptoms, they said.

“For people who lack health knowledge, they may think the advice they’re given is accurate or that their condition is not serious when it may be,” Hill said.

The researchers found the advice for seeking medical attention for emergency and urgent care cases was appropriate around 60 per cent of the time, but for non-emergencies that dropped to 30 to 40 per cent.

According to Hill, online symptom checkers can have a place in the modern health system.

“These sites are not a replacement for going to the doctor, but they can be useful in providing more information once you do have an official diagnosis,” she said.

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How to get a verified account badge on Instagram?

To request a verified badge, you must be a public figure, celebrity or brand and meet certain account and eligibility requirements.

To request a verified badge:

  1. Make sure you’re logged in to the account you’re requesting a verified badge for.
  2. Go to your profile by tapping in the bottom right.
  3. Tap in the top right.
  4. TapSettings > Account > Request Verification.
  5. Enter your full name and provide the required form of identification (example: government-issued photo ID).

Keep in mind that even if your account is eligible for verification, submitting a request doesn’t guarantee that your account will be verified. Learn what happens after you apply for verification.

What happens after I apply for a verified badge on Instagram?

Instagram will never request payment for verification or reach out to ask you to confirm your verification.

Once we review your request, you’ll receive a notification letting you know if your account has been verified or not. If your request is denied, you can submit a new request after 30 days.

Keep in mind that Instagram can remove verified badges at any time, and may take away your badge or disable your account if you:

  • Advertise, transfer or sell your verified badge.
  • Use your profile picture, bio or name section to promote other services.
  • Attempt to verify your account through a third party.

If your account doesn’t have a verified badge, there are other ways to let people know you’re authentic. For example, you can link to your Instagram account from your official website, Facebook Page, YouTube or Twitter account.

Oscar-winning helmer Danny Boyle to direct Michael B Jordan in Warner Bros film Methuselah

Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle is set to direct Michael B Jordan in Warner Bros project Methuselah.

According to Variety, Simon Beaufoy, who worked with Boyle on Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours, is in talks to rewrite the script.

The studio had been working on the film for many years with Will Smith and Tom Cruise initially interested in the project. Tony Gilroy wrote the previous draft off James Watkins’ treatment.

 Oscar-winning helmer Danny Boyle to direct Michael B Jordan in Warner Bros film Methuselah

File Image of Danny Boyle

The plot is based on the biblical story of a man who lived to be close to 970 years old.

Jordan is producing the project through his Outlier Society label, along with Heyday’s David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford. Warner Bros is also considering to start a franchise with Methuselah.

Boyle was attached to Daniel Craig’s final outing as No Time to Die, but exited the project due to creative differences. His recent directorial venture was Beatles movie Yesterdaywhich minted $153 million at the box office. The film starred Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran and Kate McKinnon in pivotal roles.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s other films include Without Remorse and Denzel Washington-directed Journal for Jordan. He has also joined the cast of David O’Russell’s venture alongside Christian Bale and Margot Robbie,

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

Updated Date: May 17, 2020 17:35:14 IST


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Binge drinking can lead to drunkorexia in young women

Binge drinking can lead to drunkorexia in young women
Image Source : PIXABAY

Binge drinking can lead to drunkorexia in young women

Whether it is Mojito or a simple glass of fizz, if you find yourself bingeing on more than a few, you could be putting your physical and mental health at risk because binge drinking can contribute to drunkorexia, say researchers in a study that involved young women.

Drunkorexia is a damaging and dangerous behaviour where disordered patterns of eating are used to offset negative effects of consuming excess alcohol, such as gaining weight.

After examining the drinking patterns of 479 female Australian university students aged 18-24 years, researchers found that a staggering 82.7 per cent of students surveyed had engaged in drunkorexic behaviours over the past three months.

And, more than 28 per cent were regularly and purposely skipping meals, consuming low-calorie or sugar-free alcoholic beverages, purging or exercising after drinking to help reduce ingested calories from alcohol, at least 25 per cent of the time.

“Due to their age and stage of development, young adults are more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviours, which can include drinking excess alcohol,” said study researcher Alycia Powell-Jones from the University of South Australia.

Excess alcohol consumption combined with restrictive and disordered eating patterns is extremely dangerous and can dramatically increase the risk of developing serious physical and psychological consequences.

The study, published in the journal Australian Psychologist, was undertaken in two stages. The first measured the prevalence of self-reported, compensative and restrictive activities in relation to their alcohol consumption.

The second stage identified participants’ Early Maladaptive Schemes (EMS) – or thought patterns – finding that that the subset of schemas most predictive of Drunkorexia were ‘insufficient self-control’, ’emotional deprivation’ and ‘social isolation’.

The researchers said identifying the early maladaptive schemas linked to drunkorexia is key to understanding the harmful condition.

These are deeply held and pervasive themes regarding oneself and one’s relationship with others that can develop in childhood and then can influence all areas of life, often in dysfunctional ways. Early maladaptive schemas can also be influenced by cultural and social norms.

The findings showed that drunkorexic behaviour appears to be motivated by two key social norms for young adults – consuming alcohol and thinness.

“This study has provided preliminary insight into better understanding why young female adults make these decisions to engage in drunkorexic behaviours,” Powell-Jones said.

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Youtube VS Tiktok the viral roast by Carry Minati Original Video

The guy being viral on social media recently, called Carry Minati… is on our blog today let’s dig deeper and know who is Carry Minati and where does he come from?

Ajey Nagar, better known as Carry Minati, is an Indian YouTuber and streamer from Faridabad, India. He is known for his comedic skits and reactions to various online topics on his channel CarryMinati.

Life of Ajey Nagar

Nagar was born on 12 June 1999 in Faridabad, a city near India’s national capital New Delhi, where he is based. He attended school till 2016, when he dropped out to pursue his YouTube career; he decided to skip his Class-XIIBoard examination after feeling unconfident about the economics examination, and later completed it through long-distance learning.

Popularly referred to as ‘CarryMinati’, or just ‘Carry’, Ajey Nagar is known for his distinctive and energetic Hindi-language commentary. He is mainly involved in creating diss songs, satirical parodies and comedy, apart from live gaming.

Nagar started posting videos on YouTube since he was 10 years old. Initially, he posted videos where he performed mimicry of Sunny Deol and played video gamesCarryMinati is his original YouTube channel, which has been active since 2014. In 2014, the channel’s name was AddictedA1 and Nagar used to upload recorded video game footage along with his reactions on the game. The channel was not very successful. In 2015, the Channel’s name became CarryDeol, on which Nagar uploaded footage of playing Counter Strike: Global Offensive while mimicking Sunny Deol. Subsequently, he changed the name of the channel to CarryMinati when he started ‘roasting people’. In early 2017, Nagar started another YouTube channel called CarryIsLive, where he live-streams himself playing video games.

Nagar is assisted by Deepak Char, who is his business manager. Along with his team, Nagar uses a part of his Faridabad house as a studio for producing content. As of May 2020, Nagar has earned the Silver, Gold and The Diamond YouTube play buttons.

web series

Best Web Series to Watch during this lockdown; action, thriller, horror and drama

1. The Walking Dead

A group of survivors led by police officer Rick Grimes travel in search of a safe and secure home after a zombie apocalypse spreads across the USA. The Walking Dead is an American post-apocalyptic comic book series created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore – who was the artist on the first 6 issues and cover artist for the first 24 – with art on the remainder of the series by Charlie Adlard.

2. The Vampire Diaries

On her first day at high school, Elena meets Stefan and immediately feels a connection with him. However, what she doesn’t know is that Stefan and his brother, Damon, are in fact vampires. The Vampire Diaries is an American supernaturalteen drama television series developed by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, based on the popular book series of the same name written by L. J. Smith. The series premiered on The CW on September 10, 2009, and concluded on March 10, 2017, airing 171 episodes over eight seasons.

3. Vikings

Ragnar Lothbrok, a legendary Norse hero, is a mere farmer who rises up to become a fearless warrior and commander of the Viking tribes with the support of his equally ferocious family. Vikings were Norse people primarily from southern Scandinavia (in present-day Denmark, Norway and Sweden), who from the late 8th to late 11th centuries, raided and traded from their Northern European homelands across wide areas of Europe, and explored westwards to Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland.

4. Stranger Things

This thrilling Netflix original drama stars Golden Globe-winning actress Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, who lives in a small Indiana town in 1983 — inspired by a time when tales of science fiction captivated audiences. When Joyce’s 12-year-old son, Will, goes missing, she launches a terrifying investigation into his disappearance with local authorities. As they search for answers, they unravel a series of extraordinary mysteries involving secret government experiments, unnerving supernatural forces, and a very unusual little girl.

5. The Witcher

The witcher Geralt, a mutated monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world in which people often prove more wicked than beasts. The Witcher is a Polish-American fantasy drama series produced by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich. It is based on the book series of the same name by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski.

Vicky Kaushal turns 32: Taapsee Pannu, Ayushmann Khurrana, Meghna Gulzar, Karan Johar, Madhuri Dixit wish actor on birthday

Bollywood actor Vicky Kaushal is celebrating his birthday today. A number of celebrities wished the actor, who was last seen in the horror-thriller Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship, on the occasion.

Taapsee Pannu shared a photo from the sets of the 2018 film Manmarziyaan. The actress wrote, “Happy birthday mere Neele kukkad! Stay the boring black n white you are. Always.”

Check out the post

 Vicky Kaushal turns 32: Taapsee Pannu, Ayushmann Khurrana, Meghna Gulzar, Karan Johar, Madhuri Dixit wish actor on birthday

Taapsee Pannu wishes Vicky Kaushal on his birthday

Director Meghna Gulzar who had worked with Vicky Kaushal in Raazi shared a candid image where both can be seen smiling during a conversation. The director captioned the image, “Muskurate raho, hasate raho (keep smiling, keep on making others laugh.)”

Check out the post

Vicky’s brother Sunny Kaushal posted a sweet birthday note on Instagram, speaking about how things have not changed between the two of them.

Check out the post

Ayushmann Khurrana too shared a photo with the Masaan actor on his Instagram Stories. Ayushmann’s next film Gulabo Sitabo alongside Amitabh Bachchan will release directly on Prime Video on 12 June.

Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit posted a tweet to wish him a very happy birthday. “May you always keep smiling and keep entertaining everyone with your talent!” she wrote.

Filmmaker Karan Johar took to the Stories section of Instagram and wrote, “Happy birthday to the boy with the kindest smile and the hugest talent! big love to you Vicky!!!” followed by four heart emojis.

Vicky Kaushal was part of Netflix’s Lust Stories plot that was directed by Karan Johar.

Kiara Advani, Shilpa Shetty, musician Akhil Sachdeva and T-series head Bhushan Kumar too wished the actor on his birthday through social media.

Vicky Kaushal made his Bollywood debut with the critically acclaimed Masaan which was directed by Neeraj Ghaywan. His father is veteran action director Shyam Kaushal.  

Check out the posts

Updated Date: May 16, 2020 17:23:38 IST


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Blow the Man Down movie review: Bridgette Savage Cole, Danielle Trudy establish themselves as major new talents

Language: English

Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Trudy’s Blow the Man Down begins with a spirited rendition of the seaman’s chant of the same name (some of you may have heard Woody Guthrie’s version of it) — we see a group of seasoned greybeards belting it out even as we look around Easter Cove, Maine; the tiny port town where our story is set.

 Blow the Man Down movie review: Bridgette Savage Cole, Danielle Trudy establish themselves as major new talents

A still from Blow the Man Down. Twitter

Now, one might question exactly how singing a song about a gale knocking you down at sea is supposed to be good luck for sailors — it is actually in the same vein as theatre actors saying ‘break a leg’ to each other before going onstage. It is quiet courage with just the right amount of fatalism; like the Faceless Men saying ‘Valar morghulis’ (all men must die) on Game of Thrones. It sets the tone for Blow the Man Down, a delectable small-town noir that starts off as Fargo Lite before establishing its unique voice, and delivering a stunning finale marked by poetic justice.

Mary Beth Connolly (Morgan Saylor) and her older sister Priscilla have an argument at their mother’s funeral (Priscilla withheld the extent of their financial troubles from Mary Beth), following which Mary storms off, and ends up hitching a ride with a stranger named Gorski (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). Mary notices blood in the trunk of his car, and before you know it, things escalate — fearing for her life, Mary grabs a harpoon off the nearby docks, and impales her attacker. This triggers a sequence of events that will test the sister’s relationship, as well as the complex network of loyalties and motivations among the residents of the town, and its keepers; three proverbial little old ladies, Susie Gallagher (June Squibb), Gail Maguire (Annette O’Toole), and Doreen Burke (Marceline Hugot). 

Todd Banhazi’s cinematography deserves a lot of credit for the effectiveness of Blow the Man Down. Right from the first shot, where a man chases a woman in the snow in the distance, the camerawork is sharp, decisive, and underlines the ‘low-key noir’ sensibilities of the film beautifully. A school of fishes in a net, being transferred into a barrel, the murder-via-harpoon, the sister’s awkward attempts to get rid of Gorski’s body — these are all very different kinds of scenes involving different challenges as a cinematographer, and Banhazi aces every last one of them.      

Squibb, who you might remember as Kate Grant from Nebraska (or indeed, Sheldon Cooper’s impossibly cherubic grandmother ‘Meemaw’ from The Big Bang Theory) does a brilliant job too. She is perfectly cast as the mild-mannered matriarch with a secret. Everything about her is low-key and yet, Squibb manages to imbue her scenes with an inscrutable charisma. Saylor and Lowe are also competent as the Connolly sisters.  

The most memorable performance, however, belongs to Margo Martindale (most recently seen reprising her role as a fictionalised version of herself on the concluding season of BoJack Horseman). She plays Enid, the quietly menacing owner of the local brothel, named Oceanview. This establishment seems to have everybody’s blessings, including the local police, but everything is not what it seems, of course.

Martindale’s ability to infuse even innocuous statements with a simmering, righteous disdain is remarkable. Even the subtle way she uses her cane makes it feel like more of a superhero/supervillain’s accessory than a crutch. Without her, Blow the Man Down would have been remembered as a fun, eccentric cousin to Fargo et al. With her, it will be rightly remembered as a classic of the genre. 

In the recent past, many filmmakers have created characters like Enid, with uneven results — the idea is to have a visibly ‘strong woman’ heading a traditionally patriarchal institution (a recent, if somewhat misguided example from Bollywood is the Mardaani cop film franchise, starring Rani Mukerji). These characters can go two ways — they either subvert the familiar male hegemonic pattern that comes with their office, or they end up becoming the kind of hegemonic power they started off fighting. And Enid actually occupies both of these roles, and everything in between; it takes some serious acting on Martindale’s part to convey all of this in what is, at the end of the day, a supporting act in an already compact film (at just under 90 minutes). The second of her two scenes with Susie and Co is a miniature masterpiece by itself. 

At the end of the movie, we see the sailor’s songs again, this time being hummed by Susie and her fellow matriarchs. It is a subtle show of strength by the women who run Easter Cove, as if to say, “Don’t worry, we’ve got this.” It is an immensely warm, likeable moment, one that will stay with you for a long time.

Blow the Man Down establishes Bridgette Savage Cole and Danielle Trudy as major new talents, miners of the macabre, and it will be fascinating to see what they do next.

Blow the Man Down is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Rating: ****

Updated Date: May 16, 2020 14:29:17 IST

Shah Rukh Khan mourns demise of Red Chillies colleague Abhijeet, says he was ‘my most resilient and solid ally’

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Friday mourned the demise of his close ally Abhijeet who was also one of the very first members of his film company Red Chillies Entertainment.

Taking to Twitter, Khan penned down a post in his remembrance and said that he will miss him.

“We all started the journey of making films with Dreamz Unlimited. Abhijeet was my most resilient & solid ally,” he tweeted.

“V did some good, some wrong but always believed v will sail through because strong team members like him were there to look after the rest of us. Will miss u my friend,” his tweet further read.

The 54-year-old actor also alternatively posted a list of lessons that he learnt from the COVID induced lockdown.

(Click here to follow LIVE updates on coronavirus outbreak)

Check out the posts

(With inputs from Asian News International)

Updated Date: May 16, 2020 12:56:12 IST


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Ryan Gosling to produce, star in space drama directed by Phil Lord, Chris Miller, based on The Martian author’s next

Filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller have come on board to direct and produce the movie adaptation of The Martian author Andy Weir’s next novel.

The MGM project features Ryan Gosling is the lead.

 Ryan Gosling to produce, star in space drama directed by Phil Lord, Chris Miller, based on The Martian authors next

Ryan Gosling. Image from Twitter

Gosling is also producing the project alongside Ken Kao, Weir and Amy Pascal.

Aditya Sood, the president of film at Lord Miller production banner, will also produce.

According to Variety, Gosling played a major role in roping in Lord and Miller for the project.

All of us at MGM are incredibly excited by this literal dream team coming together around Andy’s astounding novel.

“With their masterful ability to balance drama, action, and humour, Phil and Chris are the perfect filmmakers to take on this unique material and we are thrilled to have them partner with Ryan, Ken, Andy, Amy and Aditya to bring this movie to life for big screens everywhere, said Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, MGM film group president.

Weir’s yet-untitled book is described as a solitary tale of an astronaut on a space ship who is tasked with saving the planet.

It will be published early next year by Random House.

Updated Date: May 16, 2020 12:56:02 IST


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Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii’s Sachin Kumar passes away; Chetan Hansraj, Vineet Raina mourn actor’s demise

Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii actor Sachin Kumar passed away due to a heart attack in the early hours of 15 May. The actor had featured in another popular show Lajja which was produced by Binafer Kohli. Sachin quit showbiz in pursuit of a career in photography.

In an interaction with SpotBoye, actor Chetan Hansraj expressed his shock at the news stating that he got to know of the news from Facebook and did not know the actual reason for his death. “We had worked together in Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki but he had quit acting a long time back,” he added.

Actor Rakesh Paul confirmed the news to Times of India adding that he could not see him since by the time he learnt of his demise, Sachin’s body had already been sent to the crematorium.

“What I have learnt is that he went to sleep and the next day he did not open the door. His parents panicked and they got keys and when they opened the door, he had passed away,” he was quoted as saying.

Actor Syed Zulfi posted about Sachin’s death on Facebook, writing, “Miss you brother Sachin rest in peace gone to soon.”

Writer Salil Sand expressed his grief over the passing away of the actor on Instagram, writing, “We worked together and now one gets to know that you are no more!! #Stunned and #Shocked #SachinKumar.”

Actor Vineet Raina too mourned the loss of the actor on Facebook.

Check out the posts

Updated Date: May 16, 2020 10:40:54 IST


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Youtube VS Tiktok the viral roast by Carry Minati

Who is Carry Minati???

The guy being viral on social media recently, called Carry Minati… is on our blog today let’s dig deeper and know who is Carry Minati and where does he come from?

Ajey Nagar, better known as Carry Minati, is an Indian YouTuber and streamer from Faridabad, India. He is known for his comedic skits and reactions to various online topics on his channel CarryMinati.

Life of Ajey Nagar

Nagar was born on 12 June 1999 in Faridabad, a city near India’s national capital New Delhi, where he is based. He attended school till 2016, when he dropped out to pursue his YouTube career; he decided to skip his Class-XIIBoard examination after feeling unconfident about the economics examination, and later completed it through long-distance learning.

Popularly referred to as ‘CarryMinati’, or just ‘Carry’, Ajey Nagar is known for his distinctive and energetic Hindi-language commentary. He is mainly involved in creating diss songs, satirical parodies and comedy, apart from live gaming.

Nagar started posting videos on YouTube since he was 10 years old. Initially, he posted videos where he performed mimicry of Sunny Deol and played video gamesCarryMinati is his original YouTube channel, which has been active since 2014. In 2014, the channel’s name was AddictedA1 and Nagar used to upload recorded video game footage along with his reactions on the game. The channel was not very successful. In 2015, the Channel’s name became CarryDeol, on which Nagar uploaded footage of playing Counter Strike: Global Offensive while mimicking Sunny Deol. Subsequently, he changed the name of the channel to CarryMinati when he started ‘roasting people’. In early 2017, Nagar started another YouTube channel called CarryIsLive, where he live-streams himself playing video games.

Nagar is assisted by Deepak Char, who is his business manager. Along with his team, Nagar uses a part of his Faridabad house as a studio for producing content. As of May 2020, Nagar has earned the Silver, Gold and The Diamond YouTube play buttons.

ICC shares childhood pictures of cricketers, ask fans to identify them on occasion of International Day of Families

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has shared a collage of nine photographs of cricketers from their childhood and asked sports lovers to identify them. The tweet has been posted commemorating the International Day of Families 2020.

“On the occasion of #InternationalFamilyDay, we bring you a fun game! Can you guess these nine cricketers from their childhood photos?” ICC wrote.

If the ICC was looking for active participation from the fans, it certainly hit the bull’s eye. Within a few hours of the post being shared on Twitter, it was flooded with comments. So far, around 1,500 people have liked the post already.

Several people participated in the guessing game and wrote their answers in the comment section. Most of them wrote that the first picture is David Warner while the second one is that of Indian skipper Virat Kohli.

Others in the collage were identified as Joe Root, Yuvraj Singh, Denny White, Hardik Panya, Krunal Pandya, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shane Warne and Michael Clarke.

International Day of Families is celebrated every year on 15 May. The day proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1993 aims at promoting awareness of issues relating to families and to increase the knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting them.

The theme for International Day of Families 2020 is Families in Development: Copenhagen & Beijing + 25.

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 17:46:05 IST

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Coronavirus Outbreak: With shows moved up in the calendar, OTT platforms are milking the most of lockdown

OTT content has surged to new highs during the COVID-19 lockdown that began on 24 March. As reported across the US, Netflix subscription numbers witnessed a 47 percent rise since the lockdown started. As per their earnings statement, their global subscriptions have gone up by a significant 25 percent approximately.

 Coronavirus Outbreak: With shows moved up in the calendar, OTT platforms are milking the most of lockdown

Abhishek Banerjee in a still from Paatal Lok. YouTube

In India, Netflix has added demand and subscribers, even as it cuts down 25 percent of bandwidth to save data usage. Netflix had a sustained advertising campaign here that encouraged people to stay home and chill. It feels a bit too real today. 

Netflix is not alone in witnessing growth, although its success worldwide has been the most talked about. Amazon Prime Video has also witnessed a significant rise in viewership interest. When we reached out to the company, they refused to comment on subscription or viewership as part of global policy. But a visible rise in advertising of original Indian content from the platform on both TV channels and digital platforms shows that the time to capitalise on audience interest is now.

Prime Video has just released the thriller Paatal Lok, part of their extensive Indian Originals slate for this year. Minor adjustments have been made to Bandish Bandits, the next Indian Original show to drop on this platform, although post production and editing are on track for most shows. At a quicker pace then before, original Indian content, made in Hindi, have become big drivers for OTT Platforms in the post-lockdown scenario. 

Interestingly, the benefits of lockdown go beyond established brands in this space. Voot Select, an OTT platform from Viacom 18 that has launched with a small but impressive inventory, has seen a huge surge in viewers with Asur. A crime thriller set in Varanasi, it stars Arshad Warsi, Barun Sobti, and Anupriya Goenka among others. Co-writer Niren Bhatt explains, “People in metros had stopped going to office, and had begun working from home a few days before the lockdown came into effect.  Voot told us that interest in the series had already begun to rise then. It’s a relatively new platform, and Asur doing well has gotten people to stay on and watch their other shows too.”

Showrunners and directors are now restricted from speaking about their upcoming series or films for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video India. Announcement calendars and slotted press releases have something to do with this.  Increased demand means shows are being pushed up too. Sources confirm that Hasmukh, the crime comedy series starring Vir Das, was also moved up on Netflix. 

Sources also confirm that editing or wrapping up of post-production of most shows has been told to stay on track, as have been those that are currently writing content. As reported in their global earnings release, the company has over 200 shows and films being completed remotely across the world. Dubbing challenges have emerged for all OTT platforms, as languages like Italian and Mandarin have become relatively inaccessible owing to lockdowns.

Given their increasing presence and brand recall in India, Netflix has contributed significantly to daily wage labourers’ welfare, and also offered four-week steady pay for below-the-line workers committed to stalled shoots and projects. 

The sentiment amongst makers, who are working for these OTT giants or are in process of engaging with them professionally, is not euphoric. Instead, they are staying the course to maintain normalcy. 

Bombay Begums is a promising upcoming Netflix series by Alankrita Shrivastava, yet to be announced. Reportedly staring Pooja Bhatt, Rahul Bose, Plabita Borthakur, and Shahana Goswami among others, it is among the many Indian Originals Netflix will heavily advertise to gain a foothold in the Hindi viewership belt.

Refusing to comment on the show directly, Shrivastava offered a glimpse in the mindset of a showrunner working remotely. She is developing stories while completing her ongoing commitments. “These are such strange times, and the pressure to be productive in the middle of a pandemic also feels unnatural. I have been finding it really hard to work during this period because my mind is so preoccupied with anxiety. All I want to do is stare at the ocean, drink coffee, and doom surf.”

“Nevertheless, I am editing my series through virtual editing suite software. It’s slow, and not like working with my editor in close proximity but we’ve both gotten used to it. And it’s kind of comforting because I have something to do all day, and it forces one to think about other things. Also, since I am alone and so is my editor, it’s like hanging out together all day virtually. I am also prepping for another show that I am directing a few episodes of. So there is some script work on that, and some prep meetings. And that is fun too. So I’m trying to make it through this crisis just like everybody else on the planet I guess.”

Lockdown has the sharpest impact on shooting content. As Amit Sial, star of web shows like Mirzapur and Inside Edge, mulls, “Even if one were to manage a shoot with a tight crew that observes protections like masks and sanitisers, how would actors shoot with one? How do they keep a distance? Shooting is not possible in these circumstances. Meanwhile, reading scripts and pre production is continuing.” 

In a post-lockdown era, fear of contagion will deter many from flocking to movie theatres. This means that the surge in OTT might be here to stay. This also offers OTT platforms in the massive Indian market an enviable position in commanding the kind of content they want to make or produce.

Disney+ launched in India on Hotstar with Angrezi Medium, a film affected by the COVID-19 storm. In the near future, OTT platforms might become the preferred destination of high-budget, lavishly produced content in both film and long-format forms. The question is will that necessarily translate to quality content? Or will the viewer be simply spoilt for choice? 

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 16:52:06 IST


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Coronavirus Outbreak: BWF unlikely to introduce synthetic shuttles next year due to COVID-19 pandemic

New Delhi: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is unlikely to go ahead with its plans of introducing synthetic shuttlecocks next year in international tournaments in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In January this year, the world body had approved the use of synthetic feather shuttlecocks at sanctioned international tournaments of all levels from 2021.

 Coronavirus Outbreak: BWF unlikely to introduce synthetic shuttles next year due to COVID-19 pandemic

Representational image. AFP

The shuttlecocks currently in use are usually made of goose or duck feathers.

However, Vikram Dhar, country head Yonex Sunrise (India), feels the introduction is set to be delayed by another year due to the coronavirus outbreak which has forced a suspension of all badminton tournaments, hitting the industry hard.

“That will take time, it might take a year more,” Dhar told PTI when asked if he sees the synthetic shuttle being introduced in 2021.

The first synthetic shuttlecock, which is made of plastic instead of actual feathers, approved by BWF was developed with the technological cooperation of Yonex. The company also handled the testing of various prototypes during the development phase of the project.

Talking about the challenges ahead, he said: “There will not be many events or activities in next few months. Many academies and camps are not functioning properly now. So, the overall industry will take a hit. It is a wait and watch situation for everyone.

“We have to see how the market will behave, how competitive sports resume again.”

India’s chief national coach Pullela Gopichand also feels it won’t be feasible to introduce the synthetic shuttle next year but he supports the new technology.

“I think maybe for the next Olympics I don’t know how feasible it would be to introduce it since we hardly have any time but I think we have to get synthetic shuttles in the long term,” Gopichand said.

“I know it is a problem at the moment but we need to go away from natural feather because we had in the past experienced H1N1. It will help the game overall, whenever it happens.”

The idea of moving away from traditional feather shuttlecocks has also led to some concerns among players and coaches, who are raising questions on the quality of the synthetic shuttles.

Gopichand said: “It will be a problem for players to adjust initially. It will change the game in some way which we are not sure of, whether it is an advantage or disadvantage for our country, we don’t know.

“But with all the problems also, I am for synthetic shuttles because natural feather is not a long term solution especially with the pricing, kind of regulations, so at some point of time, we have to accept it.

“It is basically a technology so one or two years down the line, it will behave better and we will produce better shuttles.”

World Championships bronze-medallist B Sai Praneeth believes it will give an advantage to attacking players.

“I don’t think they will introduce it next year now with the Olympics being postponed due to the coronavirus. They might start it from 2022,” he said.

“The quality of the sport will go down. You can’t control it, you can’t play a lot of strokes with the synthetic shuttle. It will give an advantage to attacking players. It will be tough to control. It will take a lot of practice to get used to it.”

India’s men’s doubles player Chirag Shetty feels synthetic shuttle is inevitable but it should be introduced gradually in the international circuit.

“The process needs to be gradual so that players get used to it. If it is suddenly introduced in bigger events then it will affect the game.

“It can help attacking players because it might be difficult to control. Attacking players will rush to the net and wait for the lift to score points.”

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 16:30:05 IST

George Miller’s upcoming Mad Max film to be a Furiosa prequel, will not feature Charlize Theron, confirms director

Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller has confirmed that his standalone on Furiosa will be a prequel to the 2015 hit.

There were rumours that the director was meeting young actors such as Anya Taylor-Joy to take over the part of Furiosa, which was terrifically portrayed by Charlize Theron in the previous film.

 George Millers upcoming Mad Max film to be a Furiosa prequel, will not feature Charlize Theron, confirms director

The Mad Max universe. Image from Twitter

Miller told The New York Times that he considered de-aging Theron for a while but abandoned the idea later.

“For the longest time, I thought we could just use CG de-aging on Charlize, but I don’t think we’re nearly there yet. Despite the valiant attempts on The Irishman,’ I think there’s still an uncanny valley. Everyone is on the verge of solving it, particularly Japanese video-game designers, but there’s still a pretty wide valley, I believe,” the Australian director said.

Miller is planning to film the Furiosa movie after he finishes production on his next film, Three Thousand Years of Longing, starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton.

The director developed the script for Furiosa while making the Fury Road to help Theron get into character.

According to the paper, Miller “sought to answer questions about what the character’s life was like in the idyllic Green Place,’ why she was plucked from the group of woman warriors known as the Vuvalini, and how she became the hardened warrior we meet by the time Fury Road‘ begins.

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 16:25:22 IST


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Hockey veteran Ashok Diwan returns to India after being stranded in the United States due to COVID-19 pandemic

India’s World Cup-winning hockey goalkeeper Ashok Diwan, who was stuck in the United States due to the travel ban imposed for containing the spread of coronavirus pandemic, returned to the country on Friday.

 Hockey veteran Ashok Diwan returns to India after being stranded in the United States due to COVID-19 pandemic

File image of Kiren Rijiju (L) and Ashok Diwan. Twitter@KirenRijiju

His deteriorating health adding to the trauma, the 65-year-old Diwan had made a distress call to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra last month, requesting him to take his plea to the higher authorities.

The Sports Ministry had forwarded his request to the Ministry of External Affairs.

“I returned to Delhi this morning and right now I am undergoing the 14-day mandatory quarantine period at a hotel in Dwarka. Healthwise I had a few tough days and it feels great to return to my own country,” Diwan told PTI.

The spike in COVID-19 pandemic cases across the globe has forced the countries to enforce lockdown in their territories.

“During this time of distress, senior players, colleagues, hockey lovers and friends kept me motivated. I am now doing okay health-wise and improving,” Diwan said.

The 1975 World Cup-winning former player thanked Batra, Spots Minister Kiren Rijiju and the Indian mission in the US for their help and co-operation during the difficult times.

“I am indebted to Mr Batra, Hon’ble Sports Minister, the External Affairs Minister Indian Ambassador in US Taranjit Sandhu and Indian embassy officials and the media for all the help and support,” Diwan said.

“The love and support I got from my countrymen kept me going in the foreign land.”

Diwan, a member of the 1976 Olympic team, travelled to Sacramento in December 12 last year to spend time with his son, who works there.

He was scheduled to head back to India on April 20 but could not due to the travel restrictions.

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 16:15:29 IST

Boxer Amit Panghal requests Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju to revamp selection criteria for National Sports Awards

Repeatedly denied the Arjuna award for an “inadvertent” dope offence back in 2012, Asian Games gold-winning boxer Amit Panghal on Friday requested Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju to revamp the selection criteria for the national sports awards, calling the current process “discriminatory”.

 Boxer Amit Panghal requests Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju to revamp selection criteria for National Sports Awards

File image of Amit Panghal. Image: @BFI_official

In a letter to the Minister, Panghal, who became India’s first male boxer to win a world championship silver last year, said that athletes should not have to plead their case for an award by nominating themselves.

“The current process is that a sportsperson has to send application and then sports committee selects on the basis of these applications. Award selection is also based on the discriminative decision of sports committee members who hold no accountability,” he said in the letter.

Panghal has been nominated twice for the Arjuna award but has not been considered because of the past dope violation, which took place when he underwent treatment for chickenpox in 2012.

The process to pick this year’s national sports awardees has already started and the last date of filing nomination has been set at 3 June.

“Sports Ministry and Sports Authority of India (SAI) has all the data, they know who is deserving and who is not,” Panghal told PTI while speaking about his reasons for writing the letter.

“If not this year, then maybe next year, change has to come at some point,” he added.

After nominations, a panel selected by the sports ministry finalises the winners based on a points system in which the Olympic and world championship medals get maximum weightage.

“The Army is pushing my case this year and I hope the dope violation won’t come into the picture because that was an inadvertent intake at the youth level. I have been performing consistently, I do deserve to be considered,” said the subedar in the Indian Army.

Self-nomination or nomination by the national federations, sports boards and past awardees are the first step in the process.

“This process is not transparent and there are many examples where a deserving sportsperson has to go to courts to claim awards. This is very uncomfortable for sportspersons as well as for sports administration,” he said.

The 24-year-old Commonwealth Games silver-medallist is by far the most successful in Indian boxing right now but is unlikely to be considered even this year as the criteria does not allow for dope-tainted nominations.

“Most of the prestigious awards in the world have been given without asking for nominations as in true spirit, an award is a recognition of achievement of sportspersons.

“This (the current process) resembles an old system from the British era when achievers have to apply for an award. By making this award nomination-free, you will be making a solid change in sports system of India,” he said addressing Rijiju.

“It is a humble request to consider this change and I will be highly indebted to you,” he added.

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 15:46:15 IST

Sourav Ganguly has political skills to lead ICC, says former England skipper David Gower

New Delhi: Former England skipper David Gower feels Sourav Ganguly has the right “political skills” to lead the ICC one day and he has already displayed that as BCCI president, which is a “far tougher job.”

The elegant left-hander is very impressed with Ganguly’s leadership abilities and believes that he has what it takes to head the global body in the future.

Sourav Ganguly has political skills to lead ICC, says former England skipper David Gower

File image of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly. AFP

“One thing I have learned over the years is that if you are going to run BCCI, you need to be many, many things. Having a reputation like he (Ganguly) has is a very good start, but you need to be a very deft politician.

“You need to have control of a million different things,” Gower said ahead of ‘Q20’, a unique chat show for the fans presented by ‘GloFans’.

Gower reckons being president of the BCCI is the toughest job imaginable in world cricket.

“And of course, you need to be responsible for a game that is followed by, I mean, should we say a billion people here in India,” he said.

“We all know about the immense following for cricket in India. So it is indeed a wonderful thing to behold. Sourav has the toughest task imaginable in charge of BCCI, but so far I would say the signs are very good.

“He has listened, given his own opinion and has pulled strings gently,” he said.

Political skills are a must in administration and that’s where Gower finds his fellow left-hander ticking all the boxes.

“He is a very, very good man and has those political skills. He has the right attitude and can keep things together and will do good job. And if you do a good job as BCCI chief in the future, who knows?

“But I would actually say the more important job, to be honest, is running BCCI. Being head of ICC is an honour, there is a lot that can be done by ICC, but actually look at the rankings, look at where the power is heading up. BCCI is definitely the bigger job,” he said.

On the cricketing front, Gower believes World Test Championship has given the format much-needed context.

“The idea of this World Test Championship has come about for one very simple reason that people are worried about the survival of Tests. Back in the seventies, eighties, I don’t think we needed context to be fair.

“Test cricket was obviously the most important format and if there was anything to be judged by, it was the performances in Test matches both as an individual and as a team.”

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 15:41:54 IST

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Katy Perry drops new single Daisies from fifth album; writes ‘everyone has their stories of resilience to tell’

Katy Perry treated music enthusiasts on Friday with a new song ‘Daisies,’ which is sure to leave one feel motivated.

The 35-year-old musician shared information about her new song on Instagram.

Check it out here

The newly launched song starts off with the lyrics, “Told them your dreams, and they all started laughing I guess you’re out of your mind till it actually happens.”

The song is motivational, inspiring and is a reflection on how one gets back to their own feet when others have knocked them down. The music dominantly falls to a soothing version supported with slow beats and rhythms.

“They said I’m going nowhere tried to count me out, took those sticks and stones, showed ’em I could build a house. They tell me that I’m crazy, but I’ll never let them change me, till they cover me in daisies, daisies, daisies,” the lyrics read.

The music video sees Katy Perry casually strolling in a garden filled with daises as she croons to the song. The outdoor video was shot and produced by director Liza Voloshin.

In the two-minute and 56-second video, the ‘Roar‘ singer is also seen flaunting her baby bump.

On 5 March, the singer put all the speculations around her pregnancy to rest, as she dropped her song ‘Never Worn White‘, where she is seen cradling a baby bump towards the end of the video.

Katy Perry is gearing up to marry longtime boyfriend Orlando Bloom. The couple who dated on and off from 2016 got engaged on Valentine’s Day last year. However, the ongoing coronavirus crisis has made the duo push back their ceremony dates.

(With inputs from Asian News International)

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 15:40:26 IST


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SAG awards announces temporary change in the eligibility, allows films without theatrical release to qualify

After Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Screen Actors Guild awards too announced a temporary change in the eligibility for qualification, allowing films without theatrical release also to qualify.

“We are still revising our film release criteria but will be following the Academy’s rule change to allow titles with a planned theatrical release to be eligible if streamed or released on VOD first,” Variety quoted an e-mail as saying.

“Full language will be announced in June along with the rest of our rules,” the email further read.

Earlier on 28 April, the Academy had announced that there will be a temporary hold on its eligibility criteria under which films needs to have a minimum theatrical run of seven days in the commercial theater of Los Angeles for
qualifying.

After the temporary change in the eligibility criteria, digitally released films will now be allowed for competing without theatrical releases.

The streamed film must have a planned theatrical release for being eligible in the Oscar race.

Check out posts on SAG- AFTRA

(With inputs from Asian News International)

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 15:34:41 IST


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After INOX, PVR expresses ‘disappointment’ over films’ digital release; Producers Guild of India defends decision

Expressing their displeasure over the statements issued by few multiplex chains against the digital release of films, Producers Guild of India (PGI) on Friday said, it is time for the entire industry to come together and support each other, amid the nationwide lockdown, which has resulted in shutting of theatres.

Also read on Firstpost: After Gulabo Sitabo, Amazon Prime Video announces Vidya Balan’s Shakuntala Devi biopic will premiere directly on streaming platform

In an apparent reference to the decision of the makers of Gulabo Sitabo to release the film on a streaming platform, multiplex INOX on Thursday had expressed its “extreme displeasure and disappointment” over the move.

Kamal Gianchandani of PVR Pictures also said they were expecting the producers to hold their films for theatrical release.

“As PVR, we believe that the theatrical release is the best way for audiences to experience the labour and creative genius of our filmmakers. This has been so for decades and not just in India but globally,” Gianchandani told Press Trust of India. 

Gianchandani said the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has caused an unfortunate shutdown of cinemas but they are confident when the situation returns to normalcy, people will definitely go to theatres to watch movies.

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“We are confident, once we get to the other side of this crisis, there will be enough and more pent up demand from cine-goers who have been cooped up at homes for the last many weeks. We are likely to see demand by force on a sustained basis, once we reopen.”

He said the exhibitors have asked producers to “hold back their film’s release till cinemas reopened.”

“Needless to say, we are disappointed with some of our producers deciding to go straight to streaming platform/s, he said.

Gianchandani noted that cinema halls have faced competition from OTT platforms in the past as well.

“That said, this is not the first time films are being premiered on streaming platform/s. Cinema exhibition has regularly faced competition from new emerging distribution platforms over the last many years, and it has continued to enjoy cine-goers patronage and affinity.

“I would also like to use this opportunity to express our appreciation for all the producers who have publicly voiced their support for the theatrical platform and have decided to reschedule their releases to accommodate the reopening of cinemas, he added.

On the other hand, the Guild said it is disappointing to see abrasive and unconstructive messaging from some of their colleagues in the exhibition sector.

This is a time for the entire film industry to come together with empathy and support for the difficult predicament that each of our constituents finds themselves in – from producers, distributors, exhibitors, daily wage earners and technicians, to the thousands of people whose lives and livelihoods are in some way dependent on our industry, PGI said in a statement.

Statements that call for “retributive measures” against producers who decide to take their movies direct to OTT platforms -especially at a time when cinemas are unfortunately closed for the foreseeable future – do not lend themselves to a constructive or collaborative dialogue on the way forward for the industry.

The Guild said when it comes to financial losses, the situation of the producers is no different from exhibitors.

Elaborate and expensive sets erected for under-production films have had to be taken down due to no date in sight for shoots to resume, with the sunk cost of the set and studio rentals to be borne completely by producers – as insurers refuse to cover the cost.

Shoot schedules have had to be abruptly cancelled due to the lockdown, with huge cancellation charges being borne completely by the producer – again with no support from insurers.

The Guild said cinemas may be one of the last sectors of the service likely to be given permission to re-open and even if theatres in India start functioning, there is no guarantee that the overseas theatrical market, which is a key component of the economics of Hindi films, will resume.

Producers of Hindi movies will have to wait for cinemas across the entire country to re-open, as the economics of the business require an all India release. For cinemas to be open across the entire country, it is clear we are sometime away.

“Even if it has in some countries, it might not have in others, hence leading to additional loss of revenue for a producer.

The Guild said by the time cinemas will start functioning, there will be a huge backlog of films, which will lead to sub-optimal showcasing of small and mid-budget films.

One because of the social distancing norms that will be both mandated and necessary for public safety. Secondly, because of the inevitable concern that cinema-goers will have about venturing back into public spaces.

In addition to this, there will be a huge backlog of releases, and the smaller and medium scale films especially will suffer from sub-optimal showcasing in addition to all the concerns above.

The Guild said given these factors, it is only natural that producers will seek out all avenues available to recover their investment and to stay in business.

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However, it emphasised that it is unequivocally and passionately supportive of the theatrical release of films.

A theatrical release will always be the preference for movies that were conceptualised as cinematic experiences. But these are unprecedented times for all the reasons mentioned above, and it is imperative to see things in that context.

For producers to continue to keep producing’ the movies that light up our cinema screens, they need to continue to be in business in the first place, the statement read.

The Guild said it would like to work collaboratively with the exhibition sector to bring the audiences back to theatres.

Read the entire statement here

The production fraternity would like to work collaboratively with the exhibition sector to ensure that once cinemas do re-open, we do all we can to bring audiences back in large numbers to experience our movies in the way they were always meant to be enjoyed – at the theatres.

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 14:19:25 IST


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Madhuri Dixit turns 53: Sanson Ki Mala Pe to Barson Ke Baad, discovering actor’s lesser-known dance numbers

Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit turns a year older on 15 May. Known for her beautiful expressions and effortless acting, she started her career with the 1984 film Abodh alongside Tapas Paul. Following a successful stint in the film industry, she went on a long sabbatical after her wedding and moved to the US. The actor has since then made a comeback with a number of memorable performances.

Madhuri Dixit, who has regaled the audiences for decades with her dancing skills has many popular songs to her credit. Today, we are looking at a few lesser known dance numbers of the actress.

Phool Maangu Na Bahaar Maangu

This romantic track from the film Raja, starring Madhuri Dixit and Sanjay Kapoor, features the lead pair matching steps in a fort. The film which won Madhuri a Screen Award for Best Actress had a number of other popular tracks, including ‘Akhiyaan Milaoon Kabhi‘ and ‘Nazrein Mili Dil Dhadka.’

Sanson Ki Mala Pe

Clad in a saree, Madhuri can be seen dancing in the song with graceful hand gestures and powerful moves. A number from the 1997 film Koyla, the film starred Shah Rukh Khan alongside the actress. While the film is perhaps better known for the song ‘Ghunghte Mein Chanda Hai,’ Madhuri’s stellar performance in ‘Sanson Ki Mala‘ Pe cannot be ignored.

Barson Ke Baad Aayi Mujhko Yaad

Showcasing Madhuri’s dancing prowess to the fullest, this lesser known song from the Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit starrer Anjaam is a must-watch for her fans. The psychological thriller, which also starred Deepak Tijori, Johnny Lever and Sudha Chandran in pivotal roles, has a number of other popular tracks including ‘Badi Mushkil Hai’ and ‘Chane Ke Khet Mein.’ However, none perhaps capture the chemistry of the lead pair as effortlessly as this one.

Yeh Gathri Taaj Ki Tarah

The song from the film Gaja Gamini shows Madhuri dancing, draped in a saree in Maharashtrian style. The actress has performed with much elegance in the dance drama song. The film was written and directed by artiste MF Hussain and is his ode to womanhood and his muse Madhuri Dixit.

Allah Allah Mera Dil Dhakde

This one perfectly captures the dancing style so prevalent in Bollywood flicks in the 90s. Clad in a red saree, Madhuri is seen dancing and romancing Rishi Kapoor in a picturesque European town in ‘Allah Allah Mera Dil Dhakde’. The film is Yaarana.

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 14:12:24 IST


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Live-action show based on Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson novels in development at Disney+

A live-action series based on Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson novels is in development at Disney Plus.

Riordan and his wife Becky announced the project on Twitter and said the show will follow the storyline of the original Percy Jackson five-book series.

“We can’t say much more at this stage but we are very excited about the idea of a live-action series of the highest quality, following the storyline of the original Percy Jackson five-book series, starting with The Lightning Thief in season one.”

“Rest assured that Becky and I will be involved in person in every aspect of the show, he said in a statement posted on the social media platform.

The Lightning Thief and the second book in the series, Sea of Monsters, were previously adapted as feature films.

The movies featured Logan Lerman as the title character, a boy who discovers he is the son of the Greek god Poseidon, and Alexandra Daddario as another demigod, Annabeth.

The five-book series also comprises of The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.

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(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 13:38:35 IST


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