News Buzz

October 2020

Netflix Deal

Prince Harry and Meghan Markel have signed a deal with Netflix. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be producing films and TV series for the streaming platform that will also include documentaries, features and children’s programming.

They say, “Our lives, both independent of each other and as a couple, have allowed us to understand the power of the human spirit: of courage, resilience, and the need for connection. Through our work with diverse communities and their environments, to shining a light on people and causes around the world, our focus will be on creating content that informs and also gives hope.

As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us, as is powerful storytelling through a truthful and relatable lens.”

Sakina Samo’s ‘Intezaar

‘Intezaar’ is a debut feature film by Sakina Samo as director and producer; the original screenplay is written by Bee Gul. The film was supposed to release on March 20 but cinemas were shut down due to COVID 19. With things coming back to normal, the film recently had its world premiere at the Harlem International Film Festival in New York and online for the rest of the world.

The story of the film is about a family in waiting. Even in despair, they find reasons to celebrate life, to live on. The cast includes Samina Ahmed, Khalid Ahmed, Kaif Ghaznavi, Raza Ali Abid and Adnan Jaffar.

Pakistan’s ‘Bench’

Pakistani short film ‘Bench’ has been selected for the first-ever Cannes International Independent Film Festival.

Directed by Usman Mukhtar and written by Ali Mudar, the film explores the struggles faced by a couple played by Rubya Chaudhry and Usman Mukhtar.

The film won at the South Shore Film Festival in New York and was nominated before that in the best short film category at the Independent Short Awards Festival in Los Angeles. The film is doing festival rounds at present. It will be shown in Pakistan soon.

Ertugrul Visit

Turkish actor Engin Altan Duzyatan (Ertugrul) is expected to tour Pakistan on a three-day visit in October. He will visit Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. There are also reports that he would perform a ribbon-cutting ceremony of a newly built-mosque in Islamabad and also perform the ground-breaking of another mosque.

Earlier, Engin Altan fulfilled the wish of some ailing Pakistani children by meeting them through a virtual video link. He talked to Fizza, Sidra and Sohail in Karachi. The Make-A-Wish Foundation has also gifted him a sword with the Kalima inscribed on it.

‘Meharbaan’ Song

Usman Ali Raees, a singer from Islamabad, has released his first official song ‘Meharbaan’ featuring guitarist Hassan Ali, who has composed and written the song. The concept revolves around the love of a man’s life who he feels is around him when in actuality, it’s all playing out in his thoughts.

Usman began his music career in 2013. He has been performing on several TV channels and singing on different platforms for years. He has also been to the UAE, China, Turkey and Russia, representing Pakistan through his singing skills.

The song ‘Meharbaan’ has been visualized and portrayed through a strong supporting video directed by Nouman Javaid. The lead role in the video has been performed by Usman himself, accompanied by one of the finest performers from the US, Gillian Rhodes. The music has been produced by Ahsan Pervaiz Mehdi.

Dhabi Group gets new CEO

Dhabi Group of Companies has announced the appointment of Tanveer Awan as its Chief Executive Officer.

Awan, former Managing Director of Alvarez & Marsal, brings more than 15 years of experience focused on turnarounds and transformations. He has successfully transformed multiple businesses by improving their financial, commercial and operational performance. Prior to joining Dhabi Group, he worked with Alvarez & Marsal, Bain & Company and Schlumberger in GCC and Europe.

Awan earned a Master’s degree in Engineering from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway and an MBA from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.

‘MISA’ to Hit Stores

I Life Digital, a developer for innovative technologies, has announced the launch of MISA, a next-generation social family robot which will be available in the UAE from October.

The robot responds to its name ‘Hey Misa’. It is first-of-its-kind addition to any household as it is uniquely designed to handle play/teach children, handle daily schedules/tasks with ease, home automation and surveillance, support the elderly and more. The multilingual robot understands 10 languages - French, English, Dutch, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean.

MISA is equipped with a range of high-tech sensors, AI, 7inch IPS display and emotional intelligence that can easily learn, teach and interact with people. UAE residents can purchase MISA at an attractive launch price of AED 999 available at all major retailers.

Mehwish Angry

Actress Mehwish Hayat is reeking with anger and wants to know why Karachi cannot have an infrastructure to cope with the rains in today’s age. She has demanded strict action against the people responsible. The urban-flooding and damage to the houses and economy have disturbed her.

She said in a Twitter message that her anger knew no bounds. She wanted to know why did a modern city like Karachi not have the infrastructure to cope with the rains? She wanted heads to roll.

Mehwish Hayat has also said that Indian media are simply practising “gutter Journalism”. She has denied any relationship with the infamous Indian Dawood Ibrahim and has said she will not give credence to the unfounded accusation being made about her in Indian media but would continue to highlight Indian atrocities in Kashmir.

New KE Chief

K-Electric has appointed Shan A. Ashary as its new Chairman. Ashary, who has been on the Board of Directors of the Company since 2005 and represents the KES Power stake in KE, is the longest-serving member of the Board.

As the new Chairman, his focus will be on operational excellence in the Company across its generation, transmission and distribution functions to ensure safe, reliable and uninterrupted power supply to customers.

The Board of Directors is confident that Ashary, with his proven track record of accomplishments, will bring a wealth of knowledge and valuable experience to the position. The Board also looks forward to working closely with the committee formed on the directives of the Supreme Court to facilitate K-Electric’s service provision and investment approvals through a one-window solution.

BTS Billionaires

Members of Korean music band BTS are all set to become billionaires after their label Big Hit Entertainment has offered them ordinary shares worth 64.6 billion won (official South Korean currency). Individually the band members will receive shares valuing 9.23 won after the company opens its Initial Public Offering (IPO).

The shares are a gift to strengthen long-term partnership with major artists and boost morale, says the CEO of Big Hit, Bang Si-hyuk, who also happens to be the largest shareholder in the label.

87.7% and 97.4% of Big Hit’s revenue in the first half of 2020 and 2019, respectively, came from BTS. The label, however, has concerns over the upcoming military service the boys will have to render as per South Korea laws.

Jolie’s Support

Actress Angelina Jolie extended support to some boys in England who had set up a stall to sell lemonade to collect donations for Yemen. She wrote a note and sent it to the boys along with a generous donation. She wrote, “Dear Ayaan and Mikaeel. Thank you for what you and your friends are doing to help children in Yemen. I’m sorry I’m not able to buy lemonade from you but I’d still like to make a donation to your stand.”