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Indian American Sanjay Patel feels ‘special’ on Oscar nomination

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Los Angeles: Indian-American director Sanjay Patel’s short movie named as, ”Sanjay’s Super Team”, is nominated for the Best Animated Short Film at this year’s Oscars. The movie which has a story about immigrant community and ”a family of colour”, is nominated alongside the movies like “Bear Story” and ”World of Tomorrow”.

The Indian-American Pixar artist and director says it feels special just to be in the company of “incredibly deserving” nominees.

The world is eagerly waiting to see who will walk away with the prestigious statuette at the 88th Academy Awards, to be held in Los Angeles on February 28. And Indians have a reason to cheer as Patel, who has roots in Gujarat, is pitted against “Bear Story”, directed by Gabriel Osorio, “World of Tomorrow”, helmed by Don Hertzfeldt, Richard Williams’s “Prologue” and “We Can’t Live Without Cosmos”, directed by Konstantin Bronzit.

“I was confident (of winning) until I saw the other nominees. I became even less confident after I met the nominees. They are so incredibly deserving. All the films are so unique and special. It feels special just to be in that company,” Patel said over the phone from Los Angeles. The US film production studio Disney-Pixar’s film shows a boy, modelled on Patel, who wants to watch superhero cartoons on television. It goes on to present the boy’s daydreams — bored with his father’s religious meditation — who imagines Hindu gods as superheroes.

“John Lasseter (Chief creative officer, Disney-Pixar) was the one who gave me the confidence and permission (to make the film). I had a story about a little boy from India who didn’t have a father and it was more about him being absorbed in western comics and kind of ignoring the stories from his own culture. I told that story to John. He liked it. Then he asked me about how I grew up.

“I told him about my experience with my father. John straight away loved the idea. The same ideas got communicated, but it got richer and more universal. Initially, the concept was something that may be only a certain amount of people might have been able to relate to. But the idea of the generational struggle between a young person and his parents is way more universal and emotional,” he said.

He feels proud that Pixar was “so supportive in letting me tell a story from an immigrant community… a story of a family of colour and give me that opportunity to tell the truth”. Born in Britain to Gujarati parents, Patel moved to the United States in the 1980s. The 41-year-old joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1996 as an animator on “A Bug’s Life”, and has animated on many of Pixar’s feature films, including “Ratatouille”, “Cars” and “Toy Story 3″.

The 41-year-old joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1996 as an animator on “A Bug’s Life”, and has animated on many of Pixar’s feature films, including “Ratatouille”, “Cars” and “Toy Story 3″.

Patel also storyboarded extensively for “Monster’s Inc.”, “The Incredibles” and “Toy Story 2″. ”My father has always been proud of me. The truth is I was always very embarrassed of him of his Indianness. So, I am really proud that my father was patient for me to grow up, for me to come to appreciate who we really are,” said Patel.

In fact, his “big wish” is to visit India with his parents. ”My dream is to… I have never been to Gujarat with my parents. It’s a big wish of mine. I just want to go back and have them show me our roots,” said the first-time director, who also has a son named Arjun.(IANS)

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Sam Smith talks about his New Album and reveals he is ‘Insanely Single’

Sam Smith's new single - 'Too good at goodbyes' is about him and about a relationship he was in

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Sam Smith talks about his New Album and reveals he is Insanely Single
Sam Smith talks about his New Album and reveals he is Insanely Single.Wikimedia

September 9, 2017: Singer Sam Smith admits to being “insanely single”.

“This song (his new single – ‘Too good at goodbyes’) is about me and about a relationship that I was in,” the Grammy and Oscar winner Sam Smith said during an interview on Beats 1 station, reports people.com.

“I’m still very, very single. I think I’m even more single than I was when I released ‘In the Lonely Hour’ (his debut album), so I’m insanely single. People are gonna see, this one as I’ve said is about me and something that I’ve gone through,” he added.

Sam Smith said he is more optimistic, both in his love life and songwriting.

“I do feel like I’m ready for something more positive, more than I was,” the star explained.

Sam Smith said,”What I’ve been through relationship wise the last year has made me a lot stronger and I feel like I’ve learned some lessons from it.”

But Smith says his forthcoming album is “not all about me”.

“There are about four songs that are about me and the rest are about different things and different people in my life and what they’ve gone through,” he said.

“Different in my opinions on different things. I wanted to welcome people back in and I want it to be about my voice and about the storytelling of something that I’ve gone through.” Smith Smith confirmed that his next album will be released this year before Christmas. (IANS)

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Five Foreign Language Films Up for Oscar

Farhadi, whose film A Separation won the best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2012

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FILE - Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, Oct. 10. 2016. Farhadi has chosen not to attend the Oscars ceremony.

United States, 28Feb 2017: Of the five films nominated for the Academy Awards’s Best Foreign Language Film, none has won either a BAFTA in Britain or a Golden Globe in the United States. So the Oscar field is wide open.

South Pacific Romeo and Juliet

The Australian entry, Tanna, tells a Romeo-and-Juliet style story set on a South Pacific Island. The film’s Australian director, Bentley Dean, said he had wanted to go back to Tanna to make a movie ever since he went there more than 10 years ago to make a documentary.

“I had a brief window of opportunity between projects and I convinced my wife to come with me, with my two small children and try and make a film by collaborating with the local community,” Dean said. “We connected with the tribes over there and went and visited and said, ‘What do you think? Do you want to make a film together?’ and they said yes.” he added.

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Danish Retelling of WWII Story

Land of Mine recounts the true story of teenaged German prisoners of war who were made to clear mines from the coasts of Denmark after World War II. Martin Zandvliet, who directed the film, said it caused a lot of soul searching in Denmark.

“It brought out a lot of debate,” Zandvliet said. “The historians came out of their holes so to speak, and it brought out a big debate in the media whether it was right to treat the Germans like this or whether it was facts or whether it was fiction or whether I had fictionalized it too much or whether all these things – that is interesting for a movie.”

Swedish Novel Becomes a Film

Sweden’s A Man Called Ove tells the story of a disagreeable old man who keeps trying to hang himself so that he can be reunited with his late wife. But when a young Iranian woman moves into his neighborhood, his perspective changes.

The film is based on the novel by Fredrik Backman. Actor Rolf Lassgard, who plays Ove, says the novel helped him make choices for the film.

“A book is much larger than a film, you have one hour and 45 minutes but I have shot films from several books and I am not afraid of the book,” he said. “Of course you could feel the pressure but pressure is something good to have on you. I used the book as a tool as an actor because you can find a lot of good stuff that you can use in a shoot,” he said.

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Cannes Winner from Germany

Germany’s Toni Erdmann is a father-daughter comedy that also pokes fun at sexism, greed, and family relationships. The film won the FIPRESCI prize given by critics at the Cannes Film Festival. Director Maren Ade says she has been almost overwhelmed by the film’s success.

“It was a lot of work, the success, but it’s nice and I enjoy that the film is released in so many countries,” Ade said. “It’s really something that you dream of when you do a film. It’s what you do the film for that it has its own second life with the audience. It’s a crazy time and the year’s almost gone now. I don’t know.”

Trump Travel Ban Hits Iranian Oscar Nominee

Iran’s entry is The Salesman from director Asghar Farhadi. It tells the story of an Iranian theater couple whose lives are turned upside down when the wife is attacked in their apartment.

Farhadi, whose film A Separation won the best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2012, will not be attending the Oscars because of the Trump administration’s ban on travel from Iran and six other Muslim majority countries. Though the ban has been temporarily overturned in U.S. courts, the president has announced plans to issue a new order soon.(VOA)

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How advertisements in India are defying gender cliche

Ads playing an effective medium in moulding opinions of society

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How Indian advertisement industry is breaking the gender stereotype

Feb 27, 2017: The most important part of advertisements is the story line and it gives a spur on the social media when the lessons from the story line are timeless. Needless to say, every time a free-spirited ad is released, it not only sparks conversations over the internet but also leaves a viral trail of debates. Just in the same way, some of the Indian advertisements did when they strove to change the mindset of people with regard to gender difference. We often tend to slur women not realizing the essence of being a woman, it takes strength and an indomitable spirit to be a woman. This article will talk about how advertisements in India are leading by example and discarding gender difference.

Let’s recall some of the advertisements that did away with gender difference.

Nike’s recent ‘Da Da Ding’ ad starring Deepika Padukone as one among other female athletes is a powerful ad which got the people talking about giving importance to female athletes as well. It showcased females of a real athletic figure which is not animated and has got nothing to do with ‘legs and butts’.

(A still from Nike’s Da Da Ding advertisement)

The ad portrayed women as fierce and passionate about sports. Once upon a time, Nike’s product catered almost exclusively to marathon runners and then, a fitness craze emerged –and the folks in Nike’s marketing department knew where to mark their next move, an applause for Nike for initiating a spellbinding effort.

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Whisper, Touch the pickle ad

(A still from Whisper Touch the pickle advertisement)

Whisper, Touch the pickle ad is another exemplary of breaking taboos surrounding women’s menstrual cycle. The whisper #Touchthepickle campaign makes an attempt to purge the baseless superstitions owing to Dos and Dont’s in menses. The ad showcases a young girl who dares to touch the pickle while she is on her periods. It conveys a sensible meaning to its viewers to break away these taboos. The ad was lauded internationally and awarded ‘Glass Lion Grand Prix’ award at Cannes International Festival of Creativity.

Many advertisements over the years have sold the cosmetic product but fewer have tried to change the societal conception of beauty. Even fewer have tried to do both, Joy Cosmetic is the brand that did it in India.

(A still from Joy beauty advertisement)
The ad begins with showcasing a well renowned oversized comedian, Bharti Singh asking the viewers “What did you expect, 36-24-36?”, and shuts down body shamers who presumed it to be an ideal body size. The ad conveys effortlessly that an Ideal beauty has nothing to do with body and shape.The advertisement has a sensitive message and is meaningful to its consumers.

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While there is a lot of chaos regarding section 377 in India, Ebay India took an audacious stance through its ad titled “Things don’t judge”.

(A still from Ebay India advertisement)