NYASA film festival opens in Manhattan

MUMBAI: The New York Arab and South Asian Film Festival (NYASAFF) opens its 2008 festival with an international event that celebrates collaboration across cultural and artistic boundaries.

The documentary film I Love Hip Hop in Morocco – which chronicles the struggle of pioneering Moroccan rap group, H-Kayne to become the first Moroccan Hip Hop Group signed by a major label – will make its NY Premiere at 7:00 p.m., followed by an Opening Night Party at 9:30 p.m. sponsored by the Tribeca-based post-production and recording studio, Earseph Enterprises. The film’s director, Joshua Asen will be there to discuss his work, along with special guests from the NY Hip Hop Community.

Opening Weekend Festival Highlights:

March 8: NYU Professor and Chief Film Critic for the Daily Telegraph, Sukhdev Sandhu, will introduce the feature film, Mischief Night. Professor Sandhu’s writings on the history and dynamics of contemporary culture appear in a range of publications always inspiring discussion and thought. His book, London Calling, brilliantly chronicles the way Black and Asian writers have experienced and re-imagined London since the 1770s. Mischief Night is set in London and tells a story of clashing cultural barriers that come crumbling down in a blaze of clubbing, love and fireworks.

March 9: The US Premiere of the visually stunning and poignant work of young Iranian Director, Hana Makhmalbaf, Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame, will be followed by a book reception with leading Iranian film expert and Columbia University Professor, Hamid Dabashi. Professor Dabashi will discuss his recent publication Makhmalbaf at Large: The Making of a Rebel Filmmaker, which presents a deeply engaging examination of the tumultuous life and career of Mohsen Makhmalbaf (Hana’s Father), the award winning auteur whose work continues to break cinematic boundaries.

March 9: The 2008 NYASAFF Retrospective Honoree, innovative South Asian Director Murali Nair, will present his latest feature film Unni at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 9 at Tribeca Cinemas. Nair’s cinematic vision integrates the complicated affects of globalization on everyday life. His unique and authentic voice experiments with Neorealism as his films reflect the way our world is reinvented and renewed.

The 2008 NYASAFF presents a retrospective of Nair’s work that also includes his 1999 directorial debut, Throne of Death, for which he received the very prestigious Camera D’or Award a the Cannes International Film Festival, and his 2003 release, Arimpara, the eccentric tale of a man’s relationship with his wart. In addition to screenings, Nair will teach a free Film Masterclass at Columbia University on 12 March from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Largest-ever seizure of alleged counterfeit CDs, DVDs in Canada

MUMBAI: Referring to an RCMP investigation that led to the seizure of a large number of allegedly pirated CDs, DVDs and illegal digital downloads, The Stockwell Day minister of public safety said in a statement, "Counterfeiting and piracy are growing problems, both in Canada and around the world. The illegal reproduction of CDs and DVDs, which often involves organized crime, has very serious economic and social consequences for consumers and businesses across the country." The seizure also led to the arrest of four individuals in Winnipeg.

He added, "Piracy and counterfeiting also affect the Canadian economy, corporate and government revenues and investor confidence." As a result of this RCMP investigation tens of thousands of allegedly counterfeit CDs, DVDs and illegal digital downloads will be kept off the streets.

"Our government continues to take this issue very seriously. For this reason, as part of our ongoing efforts to combat intellectual property offenses, we introduced amendments to Canada’s Criminal Code in order to criminalize movie piracy and these amendments are now in force. In addition, we have engaged our global partners through discussions on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)."

"I commend the police officers across Canada who continue to work vigilantly to shut down criminal operations, which ignore and undermine our laws for their own gains. Arrests and seizure like this one represent significant progress in our efforts to combat this serious global problem," the statement added.

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