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Film Festivals unite for a Digital Film Festival to battle Covid 19

Major Film Festivals across the world have come together as one and decided to stream a 10-day free digital festival in association with Youtube to battle the ongoing pandemic. 

The global pandemic has forced markets across sectors, to leverage the communication patterns, Internet, Digital inventions & technology to make optimum use of available resources. In the wake of a massive hit to markets across the globe, performing artists & businesses are coming together to financially support the battle against Coronavirus outbreak. 

In what may seem as a one-of-its-kind phenomenon, noted Film festivals & organisers from round the world have decided to come together & showcase remarkable cinema created through disruptive art, and technology via the Internet. Yes, a collective of prestigious film festivals known as “WE ARE ONE”, an initiative by Tribeca Enterprise, the company behind Tribeca Film Festival in association with YouTube is all set to screen films that come to festivals like Berlin International Film Festival, London Film Festival, New York Film Festivals, and so on from 29th May, 2020 to 7th June, 2020. 

The idea is to bring positivity and a hint of entertainment in a disdain world that the year 2020 is seeing. More than 20 film festivals from around the world are participating in “WE ARE ONE” and a variety of films shall be screened at given time slots on YouTube. All funds collected shall go to the World Health Organization and local support in the USA to reduce the over-growing impact of the pandemic. 

The 10-day film festival shall include short-films, short-documentaries, comedy & conversations with the convenience of ad-free online streaming. An official list of the films is soon to be announced, however, the participating film festivals are as follows: 

* The Annecy International Animation Film Festival

* Berlin International Film Festival

* BFI London Film Festival

* Cannes Film Festival

* Guadalajara International Film Festival

* International Film Festival & Awards Macao

* Jerusalem Film Festival

* Mumbai Film Festival

* Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

* Locarno Film Festival

* Marrakech International Film Festival

* New York Film Festival

* San Sebastian International Film Festival

* Sarajevo Film Festival

* Sundance Film Festival

* Sydney Film Festival

* Tokyo International Film Festival

* Toronto International Film Festival

* Tribeca Film Festival

* Venice Film Festival

Other posts from Vironica Babbar

I for India When the entire M&E came together to stand against Covid 19 with Facebook
Vironica Babbar Added 4 years ago

A waging battle against the global pandemic, Indians have been confined to their homes for more than a month now. The increasing tension and a sharp rise in the cases has struck an alarming chord in the hearts and minds of people across the nation.


Amidst the tension, Facebook in association with Bollywood & artists beyond the Indian Cinema Industry took matters in their own hands to reach out to people and bring entertainment to their homes. In a home-to-home set up, Facebook created a star-studded night for netizens on 3rd May, 2020 that saw performances from Shahrukh Khan, Hritik Roshan, Madhuri Dixit, Aamir Khan, Varun Dhawan, Priyanka Chopra, Badshah, Lisa Mishra, B Praak, Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy, Mike Jagger, Sophie Turner, Lily Singh, Jonas Brothers, Bryan Adams, Will Smith, and many such artists.


Not only did the concert have a singing performance but also involved conversations, comedy, poetry, and a tribute to late actor Irrfan Khan & Rishi Kapoor. All the stars that were a part of it gave a piece of their personal lives by performing with either family members or showcasing their talents on musical instruments for the first time.


In a 4-hour-long concert that took place on Facebook, almost 52 crore rupee was generated from across the world for the frontline workers in India. All the proceedings went to GiveIndia to fight the battle against covid-19 and help reduce the impact of the pandemic in the country.


In this grief-stricken environment where India is being an inspiration for most nations to curb the spread of this deadly virus, the entertainment industry has yet again stepped up and proved to be a progressive & disruptive one. There is no denying from the fact that an entertainer occupies a special place in the hearts and minds of people. Whether he belongs to the 60s or a recent heartthrob doing amazing work, entertainment is at the core of our country.


Along with entertainment, the digital industry across the globe has proved to be a valuable asset. Through the means of Facebook & Instagram, performing artists are performing live gigs to bring happiness and calm through a 6-inch screen of the mobile phone. In a country where almost 70% entertainment is consumed via mobile phones, we have these social media applications to thank for bringing such events to life. Not only live streaming, it has also encouraged people to talk about pressing issues in society that hide behind a smokescreen. We have much to witness & more to add to these innovative means by reaching entertainers directly. Stay tuned for more updates from the Art, Culture, Media & Entertainment Industry.

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Irreplaceable Heartthrobs of Indian Cinema
Vironica Babbar Added 4 years ago

A hole in the heart of the Entertainment Industry of India. News that has shocked the entire nation and not just the entertainment industry. Fans across the globe are tongue tied on the shocking news one after the other.

While we cannot help but go back to the dialogue from Anand that was “babumoshay, yeh duniya ek rangmanch hai, aur hum is rangmunch ki kathputliyan. Kab kiski dor khinch jaaye koi nahi keh sakta” but when actually the strings have been pulled, the helplessness of the dialogue is being felt by each person who ever knew the two souls, even in the most distant association.

The country was still mourning and sinking at the fact that an outstanding & self-made actor like Irrfan Khan had passed so early in his life, when the news of lauded actor Rishi Kapoor’s demise came in. The two departed souls were no less than a blessing on the Indian Cinema, who time and again gave some of the most exuberant performances of their lives. While one came from an inherent stardom, the other rose to prominence through sheer honesty & vehemence.


Rishi Kapoor, better known as Chintu Kapoor was born to jubilee star Raj Kapoor & his wife Krishna Raj Kapoor in 1952. Rishi Kapoor made his debut with the film Bobby alongside Dimple Kapadia & received accolades of sorts from far and wide. His songs like "Hum Tum Ek kamre mai band ho… " are as fresh in our hearts in 2020 as they stroked the hearts In 1973. 



The original heartthrob of bollywood, who wooed us with his dashing personality & charming smile. Here is a shout-out to Rishi Kapoor aka Chintu Ji for being an utter delight on the big screen.


How many of us knew Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan? He is the same Irrfan Khan, the man who left an impact on our minds through great performances from his acting. The 180-minutes, spent with him in those cozy theatres, being extremely engrossed in his expressions & dialogues, we could, today, go back to his revered performance of The Namesake. The novel that turned into a motion picture was no less than an ode to a heart-wrenching vail due to the loss of a loved one.


As we all woke up, ready to take on the day while fighting the pandemic, two entertainers, so close to our hearts had found a place in heaven. So much for two people who appeared on the big screen and danced to wacky songs, said flattering dialogues & brought emotions to life.  


We wonder, what made us fall in love with these gentlemen to this depth? What could possibly be the reason that the nation is deeply mourning, saddened by their departure? It is indeed the fact that the rare entertainers who give life to a character, bring a part of our life to the screen as if it was there life in real, build a deep connection and impact us the most. Rishi Kapoor ji and Irrfan Khan did that time and again and now left a void.

Our tribute to these legendary actors who gave some of the most iconic films, brought characters to life and left us with dialogues that question life and its meaning.

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Are you consuming fake news too?
Vironica Babbar Added 4 years ago

Did you recently win a $100000 lottery in your mail? How did the election results come out even before the counting started? We come across many such news pieces in a day. What are these & why do we receive them? 

Well, this can simply be called Yellow journalism or Hoax news. In layman’s language it is called “Fake News”. It is a piece of news that manipulates facts & presents itself as a bias, myth, conspiracy, or allegations. It is spread with political motives & agendas in the background. 

Media is one of the most dominant vehicles of Information in India as citizens do give a considerable time and attention to it. The lifestyle of masses has television and radio deeply inculcated in the daily regime of men and women, boys and girls. It holds the power to influence citizens in the most substantial ways because it is consumed by young and old, alike. 

A news piece spreads like wildfire through print, broadcast and even more so, through social media. It can twist the facts to attack a certain section of the society, and their beliefs. If it aims to destroy the peace and harmony in the environment and disturb the functioning of a smooth running government, it can. 

Political, religious, economical, and communal agendas can be realized through media, simply to spread unrest & hostility in the society because it meets the agenda of a group that might benefit with the unrest. Lately, owing to great many reasons, communal unrest is increasing by the day. Political parties coaxing media vehicles, attaining ownership of certain publications, news channels & local social media access have spread an immense amount of fear in the country. 

When the nation was slapped with the security and safety breach of women as the Nirbhaya rape case came to light, the social media was flooded with vile rumors about the girl, her way of lifestyle & her appearance. While nothing about her could justify what she was put through yet it was spoken. In another instance, a political party spokesperson said that there was television present in Mahabharata which allowed Sanjay to depict every movement of the battlefield to Dhritrashtra. Here, a fact & a myth were twisted to spread unwanted & false information about something that holds great importance to the society. 

Fake news leads a reader astray from the topic. It is successful each time one receives a WhatsApp forward that speaks of unusual cures, pranks of winning a lottery, videos edited to bring mutiny, communal indifference by wrongly interpreting religious scriptures, and so on. 

As the country is amidst a major lock down, certain news channels & publications have been spreading the news of a particular community spreading the disease through non-cooperation & religious spin. However, are these news pieces really true? Each message that circulates on the internet, does it have genuity & authenticity? 

News channels and social media handles of various media houses in India have been broadcasting videos that have been altered to propagate and create hate for various minorities in India. No religion, individual, caste, sect, or race deserves to be judged on the actions of certain misled members of the society. While this could be the dark side of a human design but the fact that it is allowed to not just surface but also grow and destruct, means there is a huge pitfall in surveillance, integrity and accountability. It means that the decision makers are careless, driven by negative agendas and are out of their own integrity. 

Fighting a pandemic has proved to be more difficult than thought about and in times like these, the country needs genuine information & not pseudo-news. Leaders at all level are urged to control fake news, people to stop consuming information that targets anyone in particular, even if it is stimulating and engaging. Fake news does not come with a red dot or a yellow band, it looks even more real than the real news, thanks to the creativity of its creators but are the rest of the people really dumb to not learn from the first, second, fifth and even the hundredth fake news that came, damaged and never lasted to be proved right?

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A Monologue competition organised by Dramaturgy Theatre Group
Vironica Babbar Added 4 years ago

“How hard is it, when everything encourages us to sleep, though we may look about us with conscious, clinging eyes, to wake and yet look about us as in a dream, with eyes that no longer know their function and whose gaze is turned inward.” – Antonin Artaud

In a nation such as India, there is always something happening in every nook & corner of every city & state. Performing arts is the corner of the Art & Culture of India and theatre is one form of performing arts that has grabbed most attention in the last century. Great plays written by remarkable authors from India as well as abroad have been successful, owing to their writing styles, set-up, storyline, and fiction.

Theatre is the art of expressing through fiction, enactment, lights, dialogues, drama, emotions, and most importantly, the storyline. One can find social issues, humor, fantasy, and similar pressing topics being openly discussed through theatre in India.

In theatre, a monologue is a speech presented by a single character, most often to express their mental thoughts aloud, though sometimes also to directly address another character or the audience. Monologues are common across the range of dramatic media, as well as in non-dramatic media such as poetry.

While most states of India have embraced various forms of arts and a lot of groups have been active in speaking about growing issues of the society in the most sought-after form. A Delhi-NCR based Hindi theatre group that goes by the name, “Dramaturgy Theatre Group”, has been extremely active and vocal about social causes. Started by notable theatre director, Sunil Chauhan & his students, “Dramaturgy” is one of those very few theatre groups that have been blending traditional theatre forms along with modern techniques and entertaining its audience with pivotal plays.

Dramaturgy has an ongoing monologue competition that aims at bringing forward compelling writers with their flair for writing and expression through theatre. “Our aim is to explore and bring out the hidden talents from the corner and give them a platform to showcase their talents with free will. The response is overwhelming and writers from across the country have been sending their entries,” said Shikhar Mishra, one of the key members of the Dramaturgy Theatre Group.

Cash prizes worth 4000, 1500, 1000 & 500 rupees are being rewarded to the winners in order first, followed by runners-up, respectively. Mohammad Nizam & Manav Mehra, veterans in the theatre domain shall serve as judges for this competition. The last entries are to be sent by 20th April, 2020. You can visit the Instagram page of Dramaturgy Theatre group.

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