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Go local this Diwali, Bollywood urges fans

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Bollywood celebrities on Monday urged people to respond positively to the government appeal to promote local businesses during the festival of Diwali. Filmmaker Karan Johar tweeted: “We came together to honour our weavers on National Handloom Day and with your support it has ensured successful sales for many in need. On the 9th of November, we are making a kind appeal for you to support our weavers, artisans, textile companies and establishments. Together, they bring the joy of a simple earthen diya, rangoli and other embellishments to your local market.”

Sonali Bendre tweeted from her verified account: “This Diwali, let’s celebrate and support local products and brands!” She used the hashtag #Local4Diwali and tagged Union Cabinet Minister for Textiles Smriti Z Irani in her tweet.

Actress Mouni Roy wrote on Instagram: “I feel most like myself in indian outfits! I love em! On National Handloom Day, I am exhilarated to have bought some beautiful diyas from a local shop and shopped for a lovely ethnic wear designed by an extremely talented local designer and now it’s your turn to go #Local4Diwali.” Mouni also shared a photograph of her wearing a red lehenga.

Singer and BJP politician Babul Supriyo tweeted from his verified account to say: “PM Shri @narendramodi has given a clarion call to promote local products and be vocal for them. This Diwali, let’s support our craftsmen, artisans and local businesses and be the reason for their celebration. Buy local handmade products. #Local4Diwali.”

Actor Riteish Deshmukh pushed for cracker-free Diwali. He tweeted from his verified account: “Let’s celebrate a Cracker Free Diwali—Diwali is Deepotsav.”

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‘Hello Kitty’ movie finds directors

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Washington [US], March 3 (ANI): The fans of the much loved fictional character ‘Hello Kitty’ now have a reason to rejoice as animation veterans Jennifer Coyle and Leo Matsuda will helm the New Line feature. It has been planned as an animated/live-action hybrid film.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lindsey Beer (Chaos Walking) of Known Universe penned the screenplay. Known Universe will also executive produce the film.
Beau Flynn and his FlynnPictureCo. will produce the film, which marks the only time Sanrio has granted film rights to ‘Hello Kitty’ and its other popular characters – including Gudetama, My Melody and Little Twin Stars, among others – to a major film studio.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Chanel Bowling will oversee the project for FlynnPictureCo. Richard Brener, Celia Khong and Paulina Sussman will oversee the production for New Line.
Coyle, who is producing and directing the project, has credits on massively popular animated series like HBO Max’s ‘Harley Quinn’ and Fox’s ‘Bob’s Burgers’.
Matsuda has worked on Disney titles ‘Big Hero 6’, ‘Zootopia’, and ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’, as well as ‘Abominable’ for Dreamworks Animation. He made his directorial debut the short ‘Inner Workings,’ which premiered before Disney’s ‘Moana’ and was shortlisted for the 2017 Oscars. (ANI)

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Hugh Grant, Sophia Lillis team up with Chris Pine for ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ movie

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Washington [US], March 3 (ANI): Paramount and eOne’s untitled ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ feature project has found its villain in the form of Hugh Grant.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 60-year-old star has been cast in the role of the main antagonist in the big-budget feature adaptation of the popular fantasy role-playing game from Wizards on the Coast.
Sophia Lillis, best known for her work in the ‘It’ horror movies, has also joined the bold-faced name of the production that also includes Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith and Rege-Jean Page.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, the game is known for its war games, treasure hunts, camaraderie and reversals of fortune, all in a fantasy setting that combines humans, elves, orcs and hundreds of other creatures.
Famously, the game uses multi-sided dice in gameplay and is overseen by a host known as the Dungeon Master. It is not known whether the story is a straight-up fantasy or incorporates the storytelling and game-playing aspects.
Currently, the plot details of the film are being kept under the wraps, however, it is known that Grant will play an antagonist named Forge Fletcher while Lillis’ character is named Doric.
The duo behind New Line’s sleeper hit ‘Game Night’- Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley – is set to direct with Paramount and eOne jointly producing and financing. eOne will distribute in the UK and Canada while Paramount distributes in the rest of the world.
Jeremy Latcham is producing via his deal with eOne, Hasbro’s entertainment arm. Hasbro’s Brian Goldner is also producing.
Grant last starred in HBO’s drama ‘The Undoing’ for which he was highly praised, earning Golden Globe, SAG, and Critics Choice Award nominations. Currently, the actor is shooting an action thriller ‘Five Eyes’, that once again reunites him with Guy Ritchie, who directed him in ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ and last year’s crime caper, ‘The Gentlemen’. (ANI)

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COVID-19 effect: 2021 CMA Fest cancelled

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Washington [US], March 3 (ANI): Country music festival CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee, will be cancelled for the second year in a row because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Fox News, the Country Music Association announced on Tuesday (local time) the decision to cancel the June event. The mega event is one of the oldest country music festivals after starting in 1972 as Fan Fair. It was also cancelled last year.
“While we are optimistic with the pace at which COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more widely available, we still face several challenges that prevent us from bringing our many artists, crew members and fans together safely for the full CMA Fest experience we know everyone has come to expect,” CMA CEO Sarah Trahern said in a statement.
As per Fox News, Trahern explained that the festival takes place at several Nashville venues and could not be rescheduled for later in the year. The venues would also have capacity restrictions that would limit attendance. Further, the festival draws many out-of-state and international visitors that would be impacted by travel restrictions.
The ones who purchased passes for last year and held onto them to use for this year’s festival can either retain them for 2022 or opt for a refund at CMAFest.com. (ANI)

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Kylie Jenner flaunts perfect winged eyeliner in latest Instagram post

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Washington [US], March 3 (ANI): American reality TV star Kylie Jenner on Wednesday treated fans to a stunning boomerang as she flaunted her perfect winged eyeliner.
The ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ star hopped on to Instagram and shared a boomerang in which she focused on her eyes.

In the video, the 23-year-old star is seen perfect makeup look in which she flaunted her unique eyeliner and her luscious locks open, the beauty mogul seemed gorgeous as ever.
Leaving a couple of black heart emoticons in the caption, the Kylie Cosmetics founder channelled her love for makeup and eyeliner.
With the post hitting the photo-sharing platform it garnered more than 2.2 million likes with many drawing comparisons of Jenner’s look to that of an Arabian girl.
“Kylies arab today (and a weary face emoticon),” one fan wrote in the comments section.
“giving me very much miss arab commercial vibe,” another chimed in.
“Looking arab with the makeup ngl,” wrote one fan of the reality TV star.
Quite an active user of social media, the beauty mogul keeps on updating fans on her activities by posting pictures and videos.
Earlier, Jenner shared an adorable candid picture of daughter Stormi Webster as she posed in front of a luxurious car and captioned it as, “chill days w mommy.” (ANI)

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Study suggests using a warmer tone in college syllabi makes students more likely to ask for help

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Oregon [US], March 3 (ANI): College course syllabi written in a warm, friendly tone are more likely to encourage students to reach out when they are struggling or need help, a new study from Oregon State University found.
Conversely, when a syllabus is written in a more cold, detached tone, students are less likely to reach out.
The study also compared the effect of syllabus tone with the effect of a deliberate “Reach out for help” statement included in the document. It was published recently in the journal Teaching of Psychology,
“The instructor has to ask themselves, what’s the first point of contact with the class for the student? In an online class and in remote learning, the syllabus is often the first thing. An impression of the course and you the instructor is formed on the syllabus,” said Regan A.R. Gurung, lead author of the study and director of the general psychology program in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts.
“In the old days, before Canvas and other online teaching tools, the student wouldn’t see the syllabus until I handed it out. That gave me a lot of time to create that impression,” he said. Now, however, students often read syllabi to determine if they want to take a course or not.
During the pandemic, when the majority of courses have moved online and students may be struggling with more stress and pressure than they would in a normal school year, conveying that it’s OK to ask for help is even more important, Gurung said.
The study recruited 257 student volunteers from introductory psychology courses at OSU. They were tasked with reading one of four sample syllabi: warm-toned with or without a “reach out” statement, or cold-toned with or without the “reach out” statement.
The warm-toned syllabi included phrases like “I welcome you to contact me outside of class and student hours,” and used more “We will” framing instead of the cold-toned version’s “You will.”
Student participants rated the hypothetical instructor based on the syllabus and answered some basic questions to verify they had read the document. They then ranked how likely they would be to reach out to the professor in each of five situations: help on an assignment, when feeling low, personal issues with friends or family, medical issues and to ask about campus resources.
“Reach out” statements have become more popular in recent years as a way to destigmatize mental health needs and point students toward available mental health and academic resources. But the study found that syllabus tone, more than these statements, made students more likely to seek help.
Results showed an increase in likelihood to reach out on three of the five situations among students who read the warm-tone syllabi, while students who read the syllabi with a “reach out” statement were more likely to ask for help in only one of the five situations. Warm versus cold tone had no impact on how students perceived the instructor’s overall competence.
Gurung cautioned that the study is limited by being performed in lab conditions rather than in a real classroom. Researchers capped the syllabi used for the study at two pages each, when real course syllabi may be 15 pages or more. And the syllabus was the sole component for students to judge.
“But that’s exactly why I think a study like this is powerful — that even without that human component, even something as black-and-white as a syllabus can make a difference,” Gurung said. “If you’re a great approachable person, good for you; you’ll just be able to magnify these effects.”
With this study, researchers are not suggesting that professors ditch all discipline or craft an overly touchy-feely syllabus.
It’s the difference between rapport and rules, Gurung said.
“You can absolutely have rules, and you should be firm and you should be fair and you should be clear, but that is sort of separate from your interaction with the student as a person. You don’t have to be extroverted or cracking jokes, but you can still show that you listen,” he said. (ANI)

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PAYAL GHOSH OPENS UP ON THE CONTROVERSIAL SONG ‘LOVE JIHAD’

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Payal Ghosh-starrer ‘Love Jihaad’ is out now and has caused a huge uproar. The song which is seen by a section as something against intercaste marriage is actually not true. The video is about a Muslim man fraudulently marrying a Hindu girl and trying to convert her to his religion. This is a truth of society how much ever we try to hide that.  Payal Ghosh spoke to The Daily Guardian about her new song Love Jihad and her views on it.

The song is being critiqued as well as accepted due to its brave portrayal of the situation. Payal has taken a bold step and she is not the one to shy away from the challenge.

Payal said, “It’s a song where a Muslim boy pretends to be Hindu and marries a Hindu girl and then tries to convert her to his religion. It’s not about unacceptance or something that some sections are making it out to be. It is a ground reality and we can’t shy away from it. The cases are in thousands if not lakhs. It’s a bold attempt and we all have to stand by it to make it a success so the right message goes out. ‘Love Jihaad’ is being misunderstood and I request the media to come into play and give out the true essence of the music video.”

She also gave a message for her fans, “I want them to watch my music video ‘Love Jihad’ and every girl should be careful to understand the intention of her partner and choose a life partner after knowing every detail about him.”

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