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South Asian diaspora films to be part of Texas film festival


Washington: More than a dozen films focusing on issues affecting South Asians and exploring the lives and stories of the South Asian diaspora in the US will be showcased at a film festival in Texas next February.

The 2nd annual Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) South Asian Film Festival kicks off its programming from Feb 19 to 21, at locations in downtown Dallas and Plano with “Miss India America” as the opening night film.

It will screen Feb 19 at the Hoglund Foundation Theatre of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, followed by a red carpet and cocktail reception at the T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall.

The rest of the specially-curated line-up will be showcased at the Angelika Film Centre in Plano on Feb 20 and 21, followed by panel discussions with attending filmmakers, after-parties and networking events, all taking place in Plano.

JINGO Media, a Dallas and New York based, public relations and events management firm, produces the annual festival of South Asian independent cinema in North Texas.

“In our second year, we are stepping up our game,” said JINGO Media Principal/CEO Jitin Hingorani.

Our team of curators has spent the year travelling to other South Asian film festivals around the world, including Toronto, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Goa, India, to secure the most meaningful and relevant programming for North Texas audiences.

“We are certain that our community will leave these films entertained, elated and educated.”

The festival’s opening night film is the Texas premiere of wife/husband creative team of Meera Simhan (actor/co-writer) and Ravi Kapoor’s (director/co-writer) award-winning, cross-cultural comedy “Miss India America.”

Set against the backdrop of the Indian beauty pageant world in Los Angeles, the film stars Texas native Tiya Sircar and Hannah Simone (of television series New Girl fame), along with a supporting cast of talented South Asian actors.

Produced by Megha Kadakia and Saurabh Kikani, the film “establishes an authentic tone that pays respect to Indian cultural norms, while poking gentle fun at these traditions,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In addition to the opening night, centrepiece and closing night films, the festival will also showcase thought-provoking, edgy shorts and documentaries, along with women’s programming, men’s programming, LGBT programming and family programming.

(Arun Kumar, IANS)

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World could see 140mn climate migrants by 2050: Report

World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva said the new research provides a wake-up call to countries and development institutions

climate change is happening at a quickened pace and thus leading to melting of huge ice bergs
climate change is happening at a quickened pace and thus leading to melting of huge ice bergs
  • Three regions can witness migration due to climate change
  • The regions also include South Asia
  • It is important to take measures to control climate change

Three densely populated regions of the world, including South Asia, could see internal climate migrants of over 140 million people in the next three decades if climate change impacts continue, a new World Bank Group report finds.

The report, “Groundswell — Preparing for Internal Climate Migration”, released on Monday, finds that unless urgent climate and development action is taken globally and nationally, the three regions — Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America — together could be dealing with tens of millions of internal climate migrants by 2050.

World can witness migration of many due to climate change. VOA
World can witness migration of many due to climate change. VOA

These people will be forced to move from increasingly non-viable areas of their countries due to growing problems like water scarcity, crop failure, sea-level rise and storm surges.

The “climate migrants” would be an addition to the millions of people already moving within their countries for economic, social, political or other reasons, the report warns. The exodus could create a looming humanitarian crisis and will threaten the development process.

Also Read: Climate change driving dramatic rise in sea levels: NASA

However, with concerted actions — including global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and robust development planning at the country level — this scenario could be dramatically reduced by up to 80 per cent or more than 100 million people.

The report is the first and most comprehensive study of its kind to focus on the nexus between slow-onset climate change impacts, internal migration patterns and, development in these three developing regions of the world.

World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva said the new research provides a wake-up call to countries and development institutions. “We have a small window now, before the effects of climate change deepen, to prepare the ground for this new reality,” Georgieva said.

It is important to control climate change now.

“Steps cities take to cope with the upward trend of arrivals from rural areas and to improve opportunities for education, training and jobs will pay long-term dividends. It’s also important to help people make good decisions about whether to stay where they are or move to new locations where they are less vulnerable.”

The research team, led by World Bank Lead Environmental Specialist Kanta Kumari Rigaud, include researchers and modellers from CIESIN Columbia University, CUNY Institute of Demographic Research, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Also Read: Maharashtra’s climate action plan yielded disappointments

They applied a multi-dimensional modelling approach to estimate the potential scale of internal climate migration across the three regions. They looked at three potential climate change and development scenarios, comparing the most “pessimistic” (high greenhouse gas emissions and unequal development paths), to “climate-friendly” and “more inclusive development” scenarios in which climate and national development action increases in line with the challenge. Across each scenario, they applied demographic, socio-economic and climate impact data at a 14 grid-cell level to model likely shifts in population within countries.

This approach identified major “hotspots” of climate in- and out-migration – areas from which people are expected to move and urban, peri-urban and rural areas to which people will try to move to build new lives and livelihoods. “Without the right planning and support, people migrating from rural areas into cities could be facing new and even more dangerous risks,” the report added. IANS