بایگانی ماهیانه: آگوست 2020

Cult Filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky Faces Unpaid $200,000 Loan From 2016 Film ‘Endless Poetry’ (EXCLUSIVE)

A producer on Alejandro Jodorowsky’s “Endless Poetry” is fighting to reclaim a $200,000 loan repayment as part of an ongoing legal dispute with the cult filmmaker’s Satori Films banner.

A Paris tribunal has directed Satori Films to pay Amir Abbas Nokhasteh, an executive producer on “Endless Poetry,” almost $200,000 in repayment of a loan from the producer that was used to make the 2016 film.

A March 2020 court order from the Judicial Tribunal of Paris, seen by Variety, required Satori Films to pay a provisional sum of $193,484.01 as repayment of a $200,000 loan on the film, plus $3,563 in legal costs. However, Satori Films, of which Jodorowsky owns 94%, filed for voluntary liquidation on July 23, according to filings on France’s Infogreffe registry, seen by Variety.

“I’m not looking for sympathy at all. It is more about shedding a light on something that is happening,” Nokhasteh tells Variety.

The origins of the dispute stretch back to 2015 when Jodorowsky, now 91 — a filmmaker globally renowned for surrealist films like “El Topo,” “The Holy Mountain” and “Santa Sangre” — and documentary producer Nokhasteh (“Chuck Norris vs. Communism,” “The Ballad of Exiles Yilmaz Guney”) teamed up for “Endless Poetry,” a biographical drama looking at Jodorowsky’s youth in Chile.

Nokhasteh loaned the filmmaker roughly $200,000 in May 2015, and “Endless Poetry” went on to play the festival circuit in 2016, including Locarno, Munich and San Francisco, where it won the audience award for best narrative feature. In May 2018, the producer was paid $6,515.99 with the promise of additional payments, though those never materialized.

In July 2019, the London-based Nokhasteh took legal action against Paris-based Satori, with the French Tribunal hearing the case this past February.

Satori contended at the time that Nokhasteh’s original 2015 contract had a risk attached to this level of film financing. Satori also argued that repayment of the $200,000 was contingent on the company receiving a ¥50 billion ($475,000) grant from Japan’s Unijapan Bunkachocho Coproduction, and also demanded €5,000 ($5,936) in costs.

Nokhasteh’s legal representatives presented a translation of the contract, uncontested by Satori, in court. The document states that Nokhasteh’s $200,000 is a “direct capital investment”; that $200,000 of the Japanese grant, to be received by Satori after the first Japanese screening of “Endless Poetry” in April 2016 would be set aside for Nokhasteh and sent to him by bank transfer by April 30, 2016; and that the recovery of Nokhasteh’s debt is without any condition. The court order similarly found that the contract did not have these conditions.

Following the court decision, Satori appealed unsuccessfully. However, now that the company is in voluntary liquidation, Nokhasteh will have to declare his claim to the liquidator and go through the legal process again, as the court judgement pertains only to a working company.

“It’s hard. It makes you feel like nothing,” says Nokhasteh.

Separately, Satori has also been in the middle of an acrimonious separation from former company president Xavier Guerrero Yamamoto, who has producer credits on “Endless Poetry” and Jodorowsky titles “The Dance of Reality” and “Pyschomagic, a Healing Art.”

Referring to the Nokhasteh case, Yamamoto told Variety, “Jodorowsky has money. He has enough money to solve all the problems and all the debts. But he doesn’t want to use his money to pay.”

“As I always said, I am an artist and I don’t do art to make money,” Jodorowsky told Variety via email. “Little by little, I economized money during 20 years in order to produce my own films. I did it. I spent almost 2 millions of dollars [sic] to make my three last movies, and I lost everything because my films are not commercial.”

The filmmaker alleges that Satori owes him €700,000 ($826,941). “As you know, when you produce independent films, you take the risk to lose your money, because true art is not a business and my films didn’t make profit,” said Jodorowsky.

Jodorowsky’s latest film, documentary “Psychomagic, a Healing Art,” begins streaming in the U.S. on Aug. 7 via Alamo On Demand.

Manori Ravindran contributed to this report.

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Air India Express COVID-19 repatriation plane crashes in Kerala


New Delhi: At least 15 people were killed and dozens injured when an Air India Express passenger plane overshot the runway and broke into two after landing in the southern city of Calicut in heavy rain on Friday, officials said.

The Boeing-737 flight from Dubai was flying home Indians who had been stranded overseas due to the coronavirus pandemic. There were 190 passengers and crew on board, the civil aviation ministry said in a statement. Among them were 10 infants.

A passenger is treated after an Air India Express flight skidded off the runway while landing.

A passenger is treated after an Air India Express flight skidded off the runway while landing.Credit:AP

Television footage showed rescue workers moving around the wreckage in pouring rain. The aircraft lay split into at least two chunks after the plane’s fuselage sheared apart as it fell into a valley below, authorities said.

Local media reports suggested that the plane skidded off a runway, crashing nose-first into the ground.

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The Kerala state police chief said at least 15 people had been killed, with at least four passengers stuck the wreckage.

The civil aviation ministry said in a statement there was no fire on board.

The Air India Express plane was repatriating Indians who had been stuck in Dubai during the pandemic.

The Air India Express plane was repatriating Indians who had been stuck in Dubai during the pandemic.Credit:AP

Local TV news channels showed passengers, some of them lying motionless on stretchers, brought into a hospital surrounded by health workers wearing masks because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Air India Express AXB1344 was a repatriation flight operated by the government to bring Indians home during international travel restrictions due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Millions of Indians work in the Gulf.

“Pained by the plane accident in Kozhikode,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, referring to Calicut’s new name. “My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest.”

Reuters

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Adani Transmission’s profit before tax rises 50% in June quarter

Adani Transmission, which distributes power to Mumbai, reported a 50 per cent jump in profit before tax (PBT), helped by a regulatory income in the quarter ended in June.

For the April to June period, Adani Transmission reported a PBT and deferred assets recoverable of Rs 481.97 crore, up 50 per cent. Profit After Tax (PAT) for the company was at Rs 355.4 crore, higher by 67 per cent.

The company said PBT saw a positive impact of Rs 330 crore from the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity’s order in favour of Maharashtra Easter Grid Power Transmission Company in the transmission business. The firm’s consolidated operational revenue and Ebitda, however, took a hit.

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NFL Players Union Backs Boston Globe Workers in Labor Fight (EXCLUSIVE)

The NFL Players Association is lending its support to the unionized employees of the Boston Globe, who have gone nearly two years without a contract.

The Globe employees are seeking to step up the pressure on John W. Henry, the owner and publisher of the paper. Henry is also a major figure in the sports world, as the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C.

The Boston Newspaper Guild will stage a rally at 1 p.m. on Sunday outside Fenway Park, shortly before the Red Sox home game against the Toronto Blue Jays. The demonstrators are calling the action “Fairness at Fenway,” and plan to wear masks and maintain social distance.

In a statement to Variety, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said the union was proud to stand up for the reporters, editors, advertising and production employees who are working without a contract.

“We are a union which has alliances across organized labor and we are proud of that,” Smith said. “We are thrilled to support the members of the press who exist for the sole reason of telling important and true stories that make our country stronger and better by holding those in power accountable. We support their desire to work as a team and will help in any way we can.”

The Newspaper Guild represents about 300 employees at the paper. Their last contract expired at the end of 2018. The union is seeking to retain seniority protections and to prevent workers from being fired without just cause, among other issues.

The negotiations have been contentious. The guild staged a lunchtime walkout to protest the stalled talks in August 2019.

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US imposes sanctions on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam


Washington: The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the territory’s current and former police chiefs and eight other officials for their role in curtailing political freedoms in the territory.

The sanctions were imposed under an executive order US President Donald Trump signed last month to punish China for its moves against dissent in Hong Kong. They are the latest action by the Trump administration against Beijing in the run-up to the November US presidential election.

A TV in a Hong Kong restaurant broadcasts Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a press conference.

A TV in a Hong Kong restaurant broadcasts Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a press conference.Credit:AP

As well as Lam, the sanctions target Hong Kong Police commissioner Chris Tang and his predecessor Stephen Lo; John Lee Ka-chiu, Hong Kong’s secretary of security, and Teresa Cheng, the justice secretary, the US Treasury Department said in a statement.

It said Beijing’s imposition of draconian national security legislation had undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy and allowed mainland security services to operate with impunity, “setting the groundwork for censorship of any individuals or outlets that are deemed unfriendly to China.”

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“Carrie Lam is the Chief Executive directly responsible for implementing Beijing’s policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes,” it said.

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said in the statement that the US “stands with the people of Hong Kong”.

The sanctions freeze any US asset of the officials and generally bar Americans from doing business with them.

Tensions between the United States and China have been increasing daily. China’s foreign ministry said on Friday it firmly opposes executive orders that Trump announced this week to ban US transactions with the Chinese owners of the WeChat and TikTok apps.

Last month, Carrie Lam postponed a September 6 election to Hong Kong’s legislature by a year because of a rise in coronavirus cases, dealing a blow to the pro-democracy opposition that had hoped to make huge gains.

The United States condemned the action, saying it was the latest example of Beijing undermining democracy in the Chinese-ruled territory.

A source familiar with the matter said US deliberations on the sanctions intensified after the election postponement.

Reuters

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Gold price surges to all-time high of Rs 57,008, silver continues to climb

Gold price surged for the 16th straight session on Friday and touched an all-time high of Rs 57,008 per 10 grams in the national Capital, according to HDFC Securities.

Silver, too, continued its upward movement, with the price touching a record-high of Rs 77,840 per kilogram. Silver price jumped by Rs 576, compared to the closing level of Rs 77,264 per kg on Thursday.

In the previous trade, gold had closed at Rs 57,002 per 10 grams. On Friday, the price increased by Rs 6 to Rs 57,008 per 10 grams.

Prices of both the metals were at an all-time high, HDFC Securities said.

“Spot gold prices for 24 carat in Delhi continued to scale new highs by gaining Rs 6. Gold prices are trading higher for the 16th consecutive day in India,” HDFC Securities Senior Analyst (Commodities) Tapan Patel said.

In the international market, both gold and silver were trading marginally lower at $2,061 per ounce and $28.36 per ounce, respectively.

Motilal Oswal Financial Services’ Vice President (Commodities Research) Navneet Damani said: “Another day, another all-time high for gold and silver. Both the metals are just jumping numbers with still a lot of steam left in them”.

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Filipino Journalist Maria Ressa on Fighting for Democracy in the Age of Social Media

Since 2016, Maria Ressa and her team of journalists at the Philippines-based news site Rappler — which she co-founded and serves as executive editor — have been squarely in the cross-hairs of the country’s president Rodrigo Duterte. It’s part of an ongoing battle between the president and Pinoy journalists, Ressa included, who have covered his violent “drug war,” a campaign that has resulted in thousands of deaths, many suspected as unlawful — and called into question the viability of the fourth estate in the Philippines (in July, one of the country’s largest broadcasters ABS-CBN was shut down, the first time such an action had been taken since 1972, when then-president Ferdinand Marcos installed martial law).

Ressa, Rappler and the increasingly tenuous state of free press and democracy in the Southeast Asian nation are the subjects of the documentary “A Thousand Cuts,” directed by Ramona S. Diaz, with Ressa’s plight taking center stage. Currently, she faces two cyber libel cases, one for which she was convicted in June and carries a sentence of up to six years in jail. In July, she pleaded “not guilty” to charges of tax evasion.

“At the very beginning, when all the cases were filed, I realized that the end goal is to silence me and Rappler,” Ressa, 56, tells Variety. “It is a press freedom issue, right? These are lots of legal acrobatics to weaponize the law so that we crumble. And I refuse to crumble.”

The film, which premiered at Sundance and will open in virtual cinemas on Aug. 7, shows the lengths to which Rappler journalists go covering their respective beats as well as harrowing moments from Ressa’s own encounters with law enforcement, such as her 2019 arrest upon arriving at the Manila airport after a flight from San Francisco. In another scene, she casually straps on a bulletproof vest and slumps into the backseat of an SUV. The threats to her work — and life — are, seemingly, ever-present.

“In four years time, I’ve learned that the way to handle this is to keep doing our jobs and that’s part of the reason, every time I feel like I’m not doing my job, I work harder,” she says. “The more the government harasses me and Rappler and other journalists, the more I think, ‘We must be missing a story… What are we missing that they don’t want us to find?’”

“A Thousand Cuts” also touches on the social media-fueled disinformation and misinformation campaigns President Duterte has deployed, which has resulted in death threats and online abuse directed personally at Ressa; at one point, she was receiving some 90 hate messages an hour. The veteran journalist thinks tech companies play a crucial role in preserving or eroding democracy by how they mitigate (or not mitigate) the spread of misinformation.

“In the Philippines, 100 percent of Filipinos on the internet are on Facebook. So Facebook is our internet, but their algorithms are selective,” she observes. “They don’t actually just give you the facts. They’re not passive [in what] they choose and what they choose, inevitably, are lies laced with anger and hate. This is emotional manipulation.”

According to Ressa, since 2018, the Philippine government has filed 11 cases against her and Rappler in 14 months, resulting in eight arrest warrants for her. The former CNN Manila bureau chief has been formally arrested twice, and the cumulative maximum sentences behind the cases could have her facing up to 100 years in prison.

It’s a reality she has grappled and made her peace with. In her commencement speech to Princeton University’s class of 2020, she told young graduates to do what she has done to cope: embrace her fear.

“Whatever that thing you’re most afraid of, you touch it. You hold it. And then you embrace it so that you rob it of its sting,” she says. “For me it’s worked throughout my life because we are our worst enemies, and the tactics of intimidation require using your own fears against you. So, I refuse to let that happen.”

Watch the full interview with Maria Ressa above. After its theatrical run, “A Thousand Cuts” will air on PBS’s “Frontline” in Jan. 2021.

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What you need to know about Queensland’s three-state border lockout


The Queensland border slammed shut to anyone from New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, in a bid to stop travellers using interstate loopholes to get into the state.

As of 1am on Saturday, anyone who has come from these three areas will be turned around at the border and any Queensland residents trying to come home can only arrive by air and must pay the $2800 cost for their two-week stay in hotel COVID-19 quarantine.

Victoria continues to grapple with a COVID-19 outbreak and NSW is recording small numbers of new daily cases. Meanwhile, the ACT was included in the new restrictions because a man allegedly drove from Sydney to Canberra before flying on to Cairns, via Brisbane.

Gold Coast Police Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said Queensland residents had poured back across the border in recent days in the lead up to the hard border closure.

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Traffic delays at the Gold Coast border checkpoint on Friday afternoon exceeded an hour.

Police were also kept busy ensuring nobody who visited an already-declared COVID-19 hotspot in greater Sydney or Victoria, slipped through the net.

Between 4pm on Wednesday and 4pm on Thursday, 54 interstate arrivals were ordered into hotel quarantine after visiting a known hotspot and that continued into Friday.

Long delays are expected at the interstate border checkpoints during the first few days of the new restrictions.

Long delays are expected at the interstate border checkpoints during the first few days of the new restrictions.Credit:Elise Derwin

Chief Superintendent Wheeler said a 78-year-old man was questioned on a bus trying to cross the Gold Coast border checkpoint on Friday and it was discovered he recently visited Sydney, so he was ordered into self-funded mandatory two weeks’ hotel quarantine.

There are two main exemptions available — an F pass for freight workers and an X pass for border community residents. Apart from that, “exemptions will be few and far between”, police said.

Chief Superintendent Wheeler said those moving freight were allowed to cross the borders under “tight restrictions” and those workers were asked to get tested for COVID-19 every seven days.

A border bubble has been created to help those communities either side of the Queensland-NSW border still be able to access essential services, such as medical appointments.

It encompasses the Tweed Heads Shire Council area and Gold Coast City Council boundaries, with included residents allowed to move within those two areas, but no further.

“If you reside in a border zone, you are free to travel across the border to the Gold Coast City Council area, but you cannot go any further than that,” Chief Superintendent Wheeler said.

“If you reside in Tweed Heads and you decide to go to Byron Bay for a surf, you then are not able to come [back] into Queensland.”

Meanwhile, exemptions have also been put in place for specialist workers and construction workers.

“Specialist workers may include people in law enforcement, the military and people who hold government official jobs,” Chief Superintendent Wheeler said.

“Construction workers who live within the bubble – for instance a Tweed Head builder – may, under certain circumstances, be able to go outside the Gold Coast City Council area.

“The only time you [a construction worker] can actually leave the current bubble zone is someone who lives in the Tweed, they’re a builder and they’re doing some essential construction in Brisbane.

“They would be able to go to Brisbane. However, there would be very strict conditions around that.”

Chief Superintendent Wheeler implored those contemplating crossing the interstate boundaries to read the state government’s FAQ information sheet.

“It’s really important people get their heads around this,” he said.

“I know it is complex, I know there are a lot of moving parts in this, we will be patient, but people need to also be patient and keep up with the announcements.”

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کسب و کار و شاخص اعتماد به نفس می افتد 40% در ماه ژوئن چهارم: NCAER بررسی

NCAER کسب و کار و شاخص اعتماد به نفس (BCI) یک شاخص احساسات کسب و کار در سراسر هند صنعت بود در 46.4 در سه ماهه اول 2020-21 یک قطره از 40.1 درصد از سطح آن از قیمت 77.4 در سه ماهه قبلی است.

آن کاهش یافت و 62 درصد در ماه ژوئن 2020 چهارم در یک سال در سال (y-o-y) بر اساس, بر اساس یک نظرسنجی که توسط شورای ملی کاربردی تحقیقات اقتصادی (NCAER).

“این کمترین که BCI تا کنون افتاده در تاریخ 113 دور از NCAER انتظارات کسب و کار سنجی (BES),” فکر می کنم تانک گفت: در روز جمعه.

کاهش از 40.1 درصد در BCI آمد در پشت 30.4 درصد چهارم در سه ماهه کاهش BCI در مارس سال 2020 است.

NCAER گفت: BCI آهنگ های کسب و کار احساسات از حدود 600 شرکت های هندی برای محاسبه این شاخص مرکب.

این NCAER بررسی elicits پاسخ از شرکت در شش شهرستانها به ارزیابی احساسات کسب و کار در چهار منطقه از هند: دهلی شورای ملی مقاومت نشان دهنده شمال; بمبئی و پونا در غرب کلکته در شرق و بنگلور و چنای, نمایندگی جنوب آن گفت.

BES انجام شده بر اساس سه ماهه از سال 1991 توسط NCAER.

فکر می کنم تانک گفت: آخرین 113th دور از BES انجام شد در ژوئن سال 2020 زمانی که این کشور آغاز شده بود به آرامی باز پس از بیش از دو ماه از مستند به دلیل بیماری همه گیر کوروناویروس زیر که از گسترش این بیماری شده است.

با توجه به بررسی یافته های بسیاری از پاسخ دهندگان انتظار دارند که به طور کلی شرایط اقتصادی را بهبود بخشد و در بعد از شش ماه سقوط کرد و 9 درصد از 26.1 درصد به 17.1 درصد بین سه ماهه چهارم FY20 و سه ماهه اول FY21.

بسیاری از پاسخ دهندگان انتظار دارند که وضعیت مالی شرکت را بهبود بخشد در شش ماه آینده’ کاهش 7.7 درصد از 27.5 درصد در مارس سال 2020 سه ماهه به 19.8 درصد در ماه ژوئن سال 2020 سه ماهه NCAER گفت.

“وجود دارد در سراسر-هیئت مدیره در کاهش احساسات در یک q-o-q اساس در Q1: 2020-21 برای تمام پنج بخش است که BES را پوشش می دهد” NCAER گفت.

این BCI برای مصرف کننده لوازم خانگي بخش کاهش 38.2 درصد برای مصرف کننده غیر-لوازم خانگي بخش با 41.4 درصد برای متوسط محصولات بخش با 60.3 درصد برای بخش کالاهای سرمایه ای با 30.7 درصد و بخش خدمات با 35.2 درصد است.

بیشتر BCI برای خصوصی محدود شرکت کاهش یافت و 34.8 درصد در سه ماهه اول 2020-21 از سه ماهه قبلی در حالی که BCI برای محدود شرکت کاهش یافته بسیار بیشتر 47.4 درصد است. این BCI برای مشارکت/به صورت جداگانه متعلق به شرکت, سقوط یک حتی بزرگتر 48.3 درصد است.

همچنین نیز BES’ سیاسی اعتماد به نفس شاخص کاهش یافت و از 73.7 در ماه های ژانویه-مارس سال 2020 دوره به 63.1 در سه ماهه اول 2020-21 سقوط با 14.4 درصد در یک q-o-q اساس و با 50.1 درصد در یک سال در سال پایه.

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Judge Approves Ending Paramount Antitrust Consent Decrees

Antitrust rules barring studios from owning movie theaters were swept aside Friday after a federal judge approved an effort by the Justice Department to do away with the Paramount Consent Decrees.

These laws have been in effect since the golden age of movies. They were intended to break up the stranglehold that major studios such as Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, and Paramount once maintained on the business by preventing them from owning both the means of production and distribution. Other studios, however, such as the Walt Disney Company and Lionsgate, which became distributors after the law went into effect, were not subject to the rules.

The move comes after the department proposed eliminating the regulations last fall, noting that they were anachronistic and failed to predict the complex ways that various forms of entertainment are made and distributed.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres found “…that termination of the Decrees is in the public interest.”

It’s unlikely that the decision will change how business is conducted in Hollywood. Movie theaters are suffering an existential threat due to the coronavirus and entertainment companies have become increasingly dependent on television and streaming in recent years. Judge Torres noted this new landscape, writing, “as internet movie streaming services proliferate, film distributors have become less reliant on theatrical distribution. For example, some independent distributors, relying on subscription, instead of box office revenues, currently release movies to theaters with either limited theatrical runs or on the same day as internet movie streaming services. Netflix, which plans to release over fifty movies this year, ‘mostly bypasses theaters.’”

Even before the pandemic, attendance at cinemas was flat. The move to do away with the decrees was part of a larger anti-regulatory drive on the part of the Trump administration and was not a major focus of the movie studios.

Eliminating the rules will also eventually lift restrictions against “block booking” and “circuit dealing” after a two-year sunset period. Doing away with those regulations will allow studios to force theater owners to show films limited commercial prospects if they want access to their more popular franchises.

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