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Actors’ Guild sets up fund raising committee for Asuzu



The President of the  Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Mr Emeka Rollas, says that the body has set up a committee to raise funds for its ailing member, Ernest Asuzu.


Rollas told the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday that other members of the guild had begun to respond to the directives of the association toward assisting their ailing colleague.


NAN reports that the AGN is the umbrella body that regulates the affairs of film actors both in Nigeria and abroad.


It also reported that Asuzu had been down with stroke since 2015.


Rollas said, “Ernest Asuzu is one of us.


“I have always identified with him since he developed stroke until there was a break in communication between them, but thank God that we have reconnected.


“We are following up on our promises and have swung into action by setting up a special fund raising committee for him through which our members can assist him.’’


Rollas said that the idea was to raise money for him and the wife to take care of their daily needs.


“This is essential in his present state,” he said.


The AGN leader also said that the body was planning to move Asuzu to a better equipped hospital in Abuja for better treatment.


He said that he was optimistic that the association would achieve this with necessary assistance and help from other Nigerians.


He added that the association was mindful of the interests of its members.


The president said that the leadership of the AGN was aware that its members must be in healthy state to be active in the industry.

Rollas said, “Sound health is paramount; that is the reason why we are working to strike a deal with the various health management organisations for our members.


“Through that, our members will be allowed to enjoy medical checks and treatments with little payment.’’


Rollas urged his members who had not done the neddful regarding Azuzu’s case to comply.



He said that the AGN leadership was appreciative of its members that had got in touch with Asuzu and also praying for his quick recovery.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Peter Dada


Venice Film Festival will go ahead in September – Veneto governor



The Venice Film Festival will go ahead as scheduled at the beginning of September.

Luca Zaia, Governor of the region around the Italian city made this known on Sunday as the spread of the coronavirus in the country slows.

Organised by the Biennale di Venezia Company, Venice is the world’s longest running film festival.

In January it announced that Cate Blanchett would preside over its 77th edition.

Due to the lockdown imposed on the film industry across the world to limit the spread of the virus, the festival will probably be attended by fewer productions, Zaia, who is also a Board Member of the Biennale di Venezia said.

The Cannes Film Festival, the world’s largest, was forced to postpone its latest edition in May due to the virus epidemic.

Italy plans to lift all travel curbs from June 3 and travellers from European Union countries will be able to enter without going into quarantine.

The country recorded 119 new deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic on Saturday, bringing the death toll in Italy from the outbreak to 32,735, the third highest total in the world after the U.S. and Britain.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)



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Sudden death of popular Terrace House star shocks Japan, fans



The sudden death of Hana Kimura, a 22-year-old professional wrestler and a cast member in the popular Netflix reality show, “Terrace House,” has shocked fans.

The incident had also raised concerns over cyber-bullying after reports indicated  that she was harassed on social media.

Kimura was one of six residents in the most recent season of  Terrace House, an internationally popular show that follows the lives of young men and women living together.

Filming of the show was suspended in April due to the coronavirus.

Stardom, a pro wrestling organisation that Kimura was affiliated with, confirmed her death in a statement posted on Twitter on Saturday, adding that details remained unclear.

Kimura was a fan favourite on the show, with her signature pink hair and shy personality contrasting with her persona in the wrestling ring.

Fans flocked to Twitter after reports of her death, applauding Kimura’s work on the Netflix show.

“I’m sorry Hana that this world was cruel to you and that you could not find your peace,” one user wrote.

Celebrities also weighed in on the topic of online harassment after since-deleted social media posts from Kimura mentioned how she was affected by a torrent of negative opinions from strangers online.

Yukio Hatoyama, Japan’s former prime minister, also posted about Kimura’s death on Twitter, saying Japan should consider penalties for those who target individuals for severe online harassment.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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U.S. charges ousted Hollywood executive with defrauding pandemic loan programme, BlackRock fu



U.S. prosecutors have charged the recently ousted owner of a Hollywood movie distributor with defrauding a federal coronavirus emergency relief programme and a BlackRock Inc. investment fund, including to pay for a Beverly Hills mansion and other luxuries.

Prosecutors said William Sadleir, 66, diverted much of the $1.7 million of loans he received on May 1 from the Paycheck Protection Programme for personal expenses.

He allegedly did this after falsely telling JPMorgan Chase & Co and the Small Business Administration, the funds were meant for his former company Aviron Group, which had terminated him in December and where he has no current role.

The PPP was meant “to help small businesses stay afloat during the financial crisis, and we will act swiftly against those who abuse the programme for their own personal gain,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna in Los Angeles said in a statement.

Sadleir was also accused of having previously induced the closed-end BlackRock Multi-Sector Income Trust Fund to invest $75 million in Aviron to support its films.

Prosecutors said he then created a sham company to conceal his use of the money and assumed the fake identity “Amanda Stevens” to communicate by email with the BlackRock fund about its investment.

In a related civil case, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Sadleir’s “lavish lifestyle” also included a $127,000 Tesla.

A lawyer for Sadleir could not immediately be identified. A BlackRock spokesman declined to comment.

Aviron’s films have included Halle Berry’s “Kidnap” and Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway’s “Serenity.”

The BlackRock fund had $574 million of assets as of May 21 and normally invests most assets in debt and loans. It sued Sadleir for fraud in a New York State court in December.

Sadleir faces up to 124 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

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Lagos-based real estate practitioner drums support for creative industry



A Real Estate practitioner, Mr Olabisi Akanbi, has urged private sectors to partner governments at all levels to reposition the creative industry in Nigeria.

Akanbi, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Labor Groups (Real estate and automobile company) Lagos, made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos.

He said that governments alone cannot do everything hence the need for the private sectors also to intervene with more strategic private investment as a solid buffer to boost Nigerian creative industry.

“I read a report in foreign journal that explained how foreign investors are rushing into the Nigerian business environment in spite of the COVID19 pandemic.

“This is due to the low risk perception of our country, if Nigerian business owners fail to see what these foreigners are seeing then it will be to our loss and their gain.

“The main reason I am investing in the creative industry space and other private business owners can plug into creative industry because there are a lot of untapped talents on the streets.

“More fresh injection of funds is needed in the industry and I encourage my colleagues in the private sector to tap the huge human resource goldmine,” Akanbi said.

Akanbi added that the private sectors need to know that creative industry was a major contributor to the gross domestic product in Nigeria.

“Creative industry is not an entirely hopeless situation because the industry has proven that it is a key contributor to the Nigerian digital economy.

“The evident is the increase in revenue from online audio and visual content streaming, the pandemic has only tasked us to be more creative and strategic.

“As a real estate player, I also borrow some principles from my business to apply in my intervention in the creative industry by aligning ourselves with a talented and creative artiste such as “Dotman,” Akanbi said.

NAN reports that Labo Group which has primary interests in real estate and automobile last month signed talented singer, Dotman whose real name is Olatunji Oladotun Alade to help reposition his career under its subsidiary, Labo Entertainment.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

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Disc Jockeys calls for more recognition in the entertainment industry 



The Professional Disc Jockeys Association of Nigeria (PDJAN) on Friday called for more recognition in the entertainment industry.


Mr Onyenegecha Isaac (Dj MarSs), media officer of the association told the News Agency of Nigeria that the association contributes more to the entertainment industry than the current accolades .


He said that being a Disc Jockey goes beyond playing a music as there are other technicalities which gives more live to a music and the gathering which it’s being played.


“We are the heart of entertainment industry, without Deejays, no form of entertainment will make sense just that we are behind the scene like the cameramen.


“Without the deejays, no artist song will make sense or meaning to you in a dance floor, we deejays manipulate the songs artistically because deejaying is an art.


“Playing a song originally the way it’s being sang, may be very boring.


“The deejays plays a song with his own professional touches or discretion to suit the mood at every point in time as the event progresses.


“We effect the songs making it more interesting, we pitch the songs to its best dance able tempo for our guests to enjoy. You can never get the best of a song at its normal recorded tempo at an event,” he said.


Isaac added that Deejays also make input in songs production and help in marketing a list and upcoming artistes by strategically imposing their songs on the listeners’ ears.


“A Deejay knows a good song, tells most artist where to improve on and how to go about their career sometimes.


“The Deejays promote artistes’ songs via association and constant playing till it becomes an anthem to everyone. Consciously or unconsciously, you start liking and singing along.


“Deejays support upcoming artist along in most events to showcase their talent pending when their break through comes.” he added.


Isaac said that the association would be signing artistes towards the end of the year while some would be linked with record labels.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)



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World Culture Day: Nigerians call for protection, promotion of cultural heritage



Some Nigerians resident in the FCT, have called on government at all levels to take responsibility by protecting and promoting Nigeria’s cultural heritage, as the World marks the 2020 Day for Cultural Diversity.

Some of the respondents, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria , on Thursday in Abuja, said the preservation of Nigeria’s cultural heritage was imperative if the country would completely liberate itself from the clutches of imperialism, which was clearly destroying the country’s natural values.

Mr Nnamani Ogbonna, a civil servant, said the preservation of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage such as; respect for elders, traditional marriage systems and abhorrence for gay relationships, was imperative.

“We should not allow foreign influence on our culture. Their cultures, such as indecent dressing, is not part of our culture.

“Section 21 of the Constitution puts a responsibility on federal and state governments to protect, preserve and promote Nigeria’s culture.

“Government at all levels should not forget that responsibility,” Ogbonna said.

He also called on the National Assembly to enact laws that would abolish cultures that were alien to us as a black, decent race.

He commended the National Assembly for halting plans to legalise gay relationships, which he described as alien to the Nigerian culture.

Mr James Kindness, a businessman, said that the benefits of cultural diversity could not be listed.

“In those days, women only wear beads on their waist, tie a piece of clothe to cover their breasts, and there were no issues, but today, diverse positive cultures have been imbibed.,” he added.

Mr Ola Joel, also a civil servant, advised Nigerians to appreciate and promote the country’s diverse cultures, adding that cultural diversity was significant for national growth.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the World Day for Cultural Diversity, Dialogue and Development, is celebrated every May 21. (NAN)

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)


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Actress Lori Loughlin, husband to plead guilty to U.S. college admission



Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her husband have agreed to plead guilty to U.S. charges they conspired to fraudulently secure their daughter’s admission to the University of Southern California, federal prosecutors said on Thursday.

Loughlin, 55, and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, 56, have agreed to serve two months and five months in prison, respectively, under plea agreements filed in federal court in Boston.

They are expected to plead guilty on Friday to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. Loughlin and Giannulli also agreed to pay fines of $150,000 and $250,000, respectively.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling in a statement said the plea deals ensure “these defendants will serve prison terms reflecting their respective roles in a conspiracy to corrupt the college admissions process.”

Their lawyers declined to comment.

Loughlin and Giannulli are among 53 people charged with participating in a scheme where wealthy parents conspired with a California college admissions consultant to use bribery and fraud to secure their children’s admission to top schools.

The consultant, William “Rick” Singer, pleaded guilty last year to facilitating cheating on college entrance exams and using bribery to secure the admission of parents’ children to schools as fake athletic recruits.

Prosecutors allege Loughlin and Giannulli agreed with Singer to pay $500,000 in bribes to have their two daughters named as fake University of Southern California rowing team recruits.

The couple had been scheduled to face trial in October alongside other parents. Their lawyers previously contended they believed their money was being used for university donations.

By Friday, 24 of the 36 parents charged will have pleaded guilty, including “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who received a 14-day prison sentence.

The longest sentence a parent has received was the nine-month term imposed on Douglas Hodge, the former chief executive of investment firm Pimco.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)

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World Culture Day: Embrace culture to create wealth, Runsewe tells youth



Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), on Thursday advised Nigerian youth to embrace the nation’s rich culture and its opportunities for wealth creation.

Runsewe gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on the commemoration of World Culture Day, celebrated annually on May 21.

He said that Nigeria was endowed with a rich  cultural heritage, and its potential had yet to be fully explored

The director general urged the youth to look inward  for areas to create wealth and be gainfully employed through culture, rather than toiling endlessly to leave the country.

Runsewe said that many had lost their lives in the Mediterranean sea due to desperation to travel through authorised routes.

He listed areas in which youths could benefit in the country as textile, cuisine, pottery, arts, crafts, sports, music, languages, among others.

According to him, youths should tap into such areas, make their contribution and turn Nigeria into a great country.

“There are numerous local sports content our youth can develop and transform to wealth. We have traditional sports of Kokowa (wrestling), Dambe (Boxing), Ayo, Abula (volleyball) and more.

” Mastery of these games can attract  international recognition; likewise our local fabrics such as making of adire and aso-oke. These are areas the youth should look into.

He also urged parents to  guide their wards to prevent them from travelling abroad  aimlessly.

” Our herbs are still very much available to be developed; these are our cultural content which have not been well developed locally for international recognition.

” So, Nigerian youths must be able to think inward and groom what is ours here in the country, so that we can trully be the giant of Africa ,” he said.

The NCAC boss said that the lockdown period induced by the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic should be opportunity for Nigerian youth to engage in meaningful ventures and not be idle.

He implored Nigerians to have some self appraisal and reflection on how far they had been instrumental to the growth of nation’s culture on a day like this.

” We must all learn to respect, value and take pride in our culture, it is our identity as a nation, we must guard it jealously,” he said.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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World Culture Day: NICO advocates promotion of cultural diversity



The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), has called on Nigerians to appreciate and promote the diverse cultures in the country, saying cultural diversity is essential for national development.

The institute gave the advice as the citizens joined the global community to mark the 2020 World Cultural Day.

The Day is celebrated on May 21, every year. However, this year’s edition was bereft of the funfare due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Mrs Bridgette Yerima, the Director overseeing the office of the Executive Secretary, made the call in a statement issued by her Media Aide, Mr Caleb Nor, on Thursday in Abuja.

She  noted that it was only when we appreciated the importance of intercultural interaction, diversity and inclusion that our collective dream of sustainable development and peaceful co-existence could be achieved.

 “Our charge to political leaders, religious leaders, youth leaders, opinion moulders and Nigerians generally is for everyone to demonstrate commitment to do something to promote diversity,” she said. 

“You can learn a language different from your mother tongue, adorn an attire, cook and eat traditional food from another culture, visit tourist sites and museums in other parts of Nigeria, as we celebrate 2020 World Culture Day.

“More importantly as we mark this day, let us bear in mind the imperative of cultural diversity to national development as it is to mankind what biodiversity is to nature,” she said. 

According to her, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, celebrated every year on May 21, globally was declared by the United Nations General Assembly.

The declaration came by Resolution 57/249 in 2002, following the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity as adopted by UNESCO General Conference in 2001.

She said the Universal Declaration was made in recognition of cultural diversity as a critical factor in development in terms of economic growth and as a means to achieve a more satisfying intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence.

Mrs Yerima further stated that the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was a veritable platform and opportunity to underscore the value and potential of culture.

It also highlights and promotes the appreciation of cultural diversity in fostering peaceful co-existence and sustainable development in a country like Nigeria known for its ethnic and religious plurality.

The executive director added that the Institute as a stakeholder in the implementation in 2005 UNESCO convention on the protection and promotion of diversity of cultural expressions had demonstrated its commitment to the goals of the convention by implementing well-articulated programmes. 

“The Institute through its Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) encourages Nigerians to speak languages other than their mother tongue. 

“Studies have shown that three-quarters of the major conflicts in the world have a cultural dimension.

“It is our belief that through our Indigenous language programme, the gap between divergent cultures will be largely bridged.

“Also through the Institute’s Cultural Clubs in secondary schools, we have been able to foster cross-cultural interaction among Nigerian youth. 

She said that the programme helped them appreciate the value of cultural diversity through activities of the club as well as the Children’s Cultural Extravaganza where the young people were exposed to the beauty of other cultures.

Yerima said the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in conjunction with its culture parastatals and other critical stakeholders had continued to organise programmes and activities geared towards drawing national attention to the beauty of cultural diversity.

 This, according to her, also fosters a deeper understanding of its benefits in line with the 2020 Johannesburg Declaration, and ‘it is, therefore, pertinent to know that our rich diversity remains a veritable source of our collective strength.


Edited By: Ebere Agozie/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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COVID-19: Sydney fans watch live concert from cars



Singer-songwriter Casey Donovan performed on stage in Sydney on Thursday in a free concert that treated fans to some of the first live music many had heard in months.

But they had to stay in their cars to enjoy it.

Drive-in concerts are emerging as a trend that allows performers to connect with fans in real life while maintaining safe social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Donovan, who shot to fame after winning Australian Idol more than a decade ago, headlined the performance in a car park to about 40 vehicles.

“I’ve been missing live music so much that I’ll go and see it in a car park, in my car just so I can see live music in front of me. It’s good,” said audience member Mick Radojkovic.

To ensure physical distancing, audience members were not allowed to leave their cars but could tune into an FM band on their radios to get full high-definition sound, or simply wind down their windows in spite of the rain.

Instead of clapping or cheering, fans blared their car horns.

Drive-in Entertainment Australia plans to have several more car park concerts in coming months with many more people being able to attend as COVID-19 restrictions are eased further.

Musicians around the world have had to adapt how they engage with their audiences due to mass closures of concert venues, with many performing online from their homes in virtual concerts.

Concert venues are expected to be among the last to reopen because of the challenges of social distancing.

Country music star, Keith Urban, performed a surprise live show at a drive-in movie theatre in Nashville, in a test drive for how concerts might look in the era of social distancing.

It was thought to be the first major live music show of its kind in the United States, following the cancellation of hundreds of concerts and tours and the closure of large venues in March because of the coronavirus epidemic.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Lawyer seeks £1m compensation from UK based TV station over copyright infringement



A Nigerian legal firm, Remedium Law Partners has demanded one million pounds from a United Kingdom (UK) based cable television station, Sky TV, as compensation for copyright infringement over a Television programme titled “Urban Kitchen”.

Paul Michael, Public Relations Officer, Remedium Law Firm said this in a statement issued and made available to News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.

The law firm via an email had accused Solution Media and InfoTech Ltd and Hi-Impact TV of fraudulently broadcasting “Urban Kitchen” without due authorisation and permission from Sate Television, the producer of the content.

He therefore demanded the sum of  N100 million as compensation for copyright infringement.

According to Michael, the Television station started airing the TV programme while it has not concluded agreement with Sate Television, for authorised broadcast of its TV programme, “Urban Kitchen”.

He stated that, while the agreement for the authorised broadcast of “Urban Kitchen” ought to be within Nigeria only, it extended the broadcast of the content to the UK.

Michael added that Sky TV UK with millions of viewers globally had been airing the TV programme without the consent of the producer, Sate Television.

The law firm also demanded the sum £250,000 from Solution Media and InfoTech Uk Ltd as compensation for Copyright violation of the said TV programme.

According to him, a 21 days deadline was given to both Solution Media and InfoTech Ltd and Hi-Impact TV, Sky TV UK as well as Solution Media and InfoTech UK Ltd to comply with the demands or be prepared to face legal action.

However, reacting to the allegation, Sky TV Viewer Relations, Elyse, via an email to Remedium Law Partners, thanked the law firm for the email sent to SKY TV and promised to look into the alleged copyright infringement.

According to the email by SKY TV, ”I can confirm that this is currently receiving our attention and a reply will be forwarded as soon as possible.”

Edited By: Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

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Julia Roberts, other stars hand over social-media spotlight to health experts



Actors Julia Roberts, Hugh Jackman and Millie Bobby Brown are among the celebrities who will turn over their social media accounts to health experts to share facts and promote a science-driven approach to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roberts, who won an Oscar in 2001 for “Erin Brockovich,” kicked off the project on Thursday by interviewing Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The #PassTheMic initiative is organised by global nonprofit ONE Campaign which aims to spotlight “health and economic experts … discussing a global response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.”

The emphasis is on data, science and facts.

According to ONE, the stars will turn over their social media accounts for one day to frontline workers, health, economic and other experts.

In the interview with Roberts on her personal social media account, Fauci says the main problem to solve is “the extraordinary health disparities” between countries.

“Right now, if you take southern Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, parts of Asia, South America and even parts of the Caribbean as areas that don’t have the healthcare system to be able to respond the way one can respond in New York or L.A. or New Orleans or Chicago.

“We have really a moral responsibility for people throughout the world,” Fauci said.

Many of the participating celebrities have a big social-media footprint. Roberts, Jackman and Brown have a combined total of about 71 million followers on Instagram alone.

Other celebrities taking part in the campaign include Penelope Cruz, David Oyelowo, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rainn Wilson and Shailene Woodley.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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California to give guidelines for restarting TV and movie production



California on Monday will roll out guidelines for the resumption of production of Hollywood movies and TV shows, but Governor Gavin Newsom warned that Los Angeles County would likely be excluded in the first phase.

Newsom told a film and TV industry roundtable on Wednesday that the guidelines would “allow counties that are in better condition than some of the others, to be able to move forward and … allow some movement in your industry.”

Movie and television sets shut down in mid-March due to the coronavirus epidemic. Because of the challenges of social distancing on sets, Hollywood is expected to be among the last industries to come back.

Newsom said Los Angeles County – the home of major movie studios and television networks – would likely “be a few weeks behind potentially everybody else” before it can meet California’s criteria on testing, deaths and hospitalisations that would allow production to restart.

Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix (NFLX.O”>NFLX.O), said the streaming platform had resumed filming in countries like South Korea, Iceland and Sweden, where strict testing and contact tracing was underway.

Netflix was paying crews on all of its shut down shows, resulting in “150 million dollars plus” commitment, Sarandos told the livestreamed event.

In the United States, filmmaker Tyler Perry is expected to be the first to get going with plans to shoot two television series at his vast studio compound in Atlanta, Georgia in July.

The timeline is much longer elsewhere. Actor Jon Huertas, who plays Miguel Rivas on the NBC series “This Is Us,” said on Wednesday that the show may not resume production until January.

“Selma” director Ava DuVernay, said everyone in the industry was anxious to get back to work.

“But she added: “It is hyper vigilance around this, and a real desire to get it right so that we don’t kind of take two steps back.”

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Nollywood actress Emilia Dike is dead



Nollywood actress, Emilia Dike, is dead.

She reportedly died on Wednesday in Enugu after slumping.

Mr Okechukwu Oku, a movie Director, who expressed sadness over the bad news, took to his Instagram page on Thursday @okechukwuoku to announce the death of the actress.

”Why is death taking the best people???? I’m confused oooo.

“Just filmed with Mama here on my 2 last projects, excited to release it and this horrible news today.

” A woman with a heart of gold, Aah noooo. Will miss you Mrs Dike.

“Nollywood has lost a gem in you. This is messed up’,’ he wrote.

Some Nollywood stars like Uche Ogbodo, Anita Joseph, Belinda Effah, Ken Erics and others have expressed shock at the news of her passing.

Dike featured in Nollywood movies such as “Ignorant couples”, “Dust of yesterday”, “Kings Guard”, “Where Money Never Sleep 1 and 2”, and many more.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)


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Ali Baba, other stakeholders, give roadmap for Lagos tourism post COVID-19



Veteran Comedian Atunyota Akpobome, popularly known as “Ali Baba” and other stakeholders on Wednesday enumerated the way forward for tourism growth in Lagos State post COVID-19.

 The stakeholders spoke during a virtual zoom meeting organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, with the theme: “Resetting the Tourism Sector in Lagos State”.

The comedian said that for the state to be properly positioned for growth, there was need to put in place the needed infrastructure that would drive tourism.

He also advised on organising competitions around entertainment, tourism and culture to attract tourists into the state which would also drive the entertainment economy.

“Lagos is a cosmopolitan state already, with capture of people across the world meaning we have a representation of those to look into Lagos tourism.

“What to be done is to ensure that the needed infrastructure are put in place to drive tourism, like building high-rise sites where people can view some segments of the state.

“We need more art galleries; when President Macron of France visited Lagos, he asked for where local fabrics are sold, we should have places where our local fabrics, arts and crafts are constantly exhibited,” he said.

Also, a Hotel Consultant, Mr Dayo Adesugba, advised the state government to create tourism lottery and special funds for tourism stakeholders as a way to revitalise the industry postCOVID-19.

He said the state government must also think of upgrading tourism sites within the state which were not attractive enough to woo tourists.

Adesugba said that security had been an issue of concern to most tourism practitioners, adding that the state government needed to work on beefing up security to rekindle the confidence of tourists.

“We need to rekindle that sense of security in every intending tourist just by making sure we have effective tourism security personnel in place.

“There should be training and retraining of tourism practitioners and also creation of tourism fund to assist those engaged in small and medium scale tourism businesses to remain in business postCOVID-19,” he said.

Mr Bankole Bernard, former President,  National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA), drew the attention of the state to untapped potential of religious tourism dominant in the state.

He also called for proper tourism education for Lagos residents to understand what tourism means as most people lacked tourism knowledge.

“We have a market for religious tourism growing on a daily basis and we seem not to identify with it.

“Along the whole of Lagos-Ibadan expressway are religious organisations with different programmes held on a daily basis, this is a form of religious tourism we are not grooming.

“Lagos State government need to educate residents on what tourism means and areas they could invest,” he said.

Another tourism practitioner, Mrs Tayo Oladaisi, called for the resuscitation of traditional storytelling culture which was capable of preserving nation’s culture and indigenous languages, among others.

She urged the youths to embrace business ideas in tourism value chain as the industry remained fertile.

Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, Lagos State Commissioner of Tourism, Arts and Culture, appreciated the participants for their brilliant contributions toward the success of the meeting.

She said the state would continue to ensure the security of Lagos residents and visitors relating to tourism.

Akinbike-Yusuf encouraged the stakeholders to work together with the ministry to ensure a common goal of boosting the tourism industry was achieved in due course.

“We will continue to ensure the security of the state. We can together create wealth and employment with tourism. When  tourism and entertainment activities are heightened, crime rate will be reduced.

“I appreciate you all for taking out time for this, let’s continue to stay safe and be hopeful that the final ease of the lockdown will start soon,” she said.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Make-up artist decries low patronage over COVID-19



A Make-up artist, Mr Samuel Obi, on Wednesday said the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had impacted negatively on the income of make-up artists in Nigeria.

Obi, a celebrity with the brand name, “GlowingfacesbySam”, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

He said: ”Generally, the pandemic has affected us a lot, because we depend mostly on parties, and since social gathering was halted to contain the spread of the virus, it has reduced our income drastically.

“Make-up artists with bigger brands still survive on training though, the number of students are limited.

“For others who are startup, they have been at the receiving end with no means or source of making money to survive.

“I also think prices of doing make-up might fall, because it is going to be a struggle after postCOVID-19.

“And people will be skeptical about large gathering before things finally return to normal.”

According to him, some professional make-up artists are already doing postcoronavirus education on how to protect themselves and their clients while carrying out their jobs.

“We all have a role to play as Nigerianas to stop the spread of this virus and in that line a lot of make-up professionals have been doing post pandemic education to guide against the virus.

“Our job entails touching the face and before COVID-19, I make use of make-up disinfectant chemicals to clean make-up brushes, and I also use disposable brushes.

“I hope others will also take preventive measures to protect their clients and themselves,” he said.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Film Academy Considering Postponing 2021 Oscars 



The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is considering postponing the 93rd Oscars, although the big night is scheduled for February 2021.

According to multiple sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, say definitive plans are far from being concrete at this juncture, said.

The telecast is currently set for Feb. 28, 2021, on ABC.

“It’s likely they’ll be postponed,” one of the sources familiar with the matter told Variety.

However, that person cautioned that the details, including potential new dates, have not been fully discussed or formally proposed yet. Another source says the date is currently unchanged at ABC.

When new temporary rule changes for Oscar eligibility were announced in April because of COVID-19, Academy president David Rubin told Variety it was too soon to know how the 2021 Oscar telecast could change in the wake of the pandemic.

“It’s impossible to know what the landscape will be,” he said. “We know we want to celebrate film but we do not know exactly what form it will take.”

Under the usual rules, a film must have a seven-day theatrical release in Los Angeles County to qualify for Oscar eligibility. But for this year, films released digitally can qualify if the studio had originally planned a theatrical release.

“I think everyone is sympathetic to the filmmakers’ plight and we’re here to support our members and the film community,” Rubin said.

“It makes sense when we don’t really know what’s to come in terms of the availability of theatrical exhibition. … We need to make allowances for this year only and during this time when theaters are not open so great film work can be seen and celebrated.”

The new rule changes also include allowing Oscar-qualifying theatrical runs to take place in New York, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta and the Bay Area, instead of just in Los Angeles.

The Academy declined to comment for this story.

It’s unclear if postponing the Oscars will also mean that the Academy will allow films released after the year-end deadline to qualify for the 2021 Oscars.

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

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Davido’s dedication inspires young talents, says budding artiste



A budding  artiste, Marcel Obute, has described music star, David Adeleke (a.k.a. Davido), as an inspiration to many youths through his dedication, achievements and encouragement of young talents.

Obute, with stage name, D Masel, said on Wednesday that Adeleke’s dedication to music  was much.


Obute, a student of  music in  the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.


He said that Adeleke encouraged young artistes to do their best.


Obute  called on other established artistes to emulate the famous musician in lifting young artistes.


NAN reports that Adeleke, a singer, songwriter and record producer,  is trending with  his recent release of chat-topping songs.


Obute said that Adeleke’s achievements had made him to be  focused on his career.


“My best artiste is Davido, the boss of Davido Music Worldwide. His  dedication to music inspires me and makes me want to achieve more with music.


“Davido also loves helping young artistes. He always says: ‘We rise by lifting others’. He does not hesitate to help young artistes especially if he sees that you have the passion and talent.



“He signed in  Mayorkun in 2014 following his effort in playing a piano version of one of his (Davido’s) oldest songs at the time.



“Artistes like Davido are rare, and I believe he should be used as a point of reference for those losing focus on their musical career,” said.



Obute advised those desiring to  have a career in  music to learn to play  at least  a musical instrument.



According to him, playing a musical instrument gives an artiste relevance.



Obute, who sings, plays keyboard, trumpet, guitar, drum set and some other  instruments, said that passion  for playing musical instruments led him to study music.


“What inspired me to choose music is the passion I have for playing musical instruments.



“I had always wanted to play a musical instrument. When I got a keyboard, my passion for music became unstoppable which led me into studying it as a course in the  university.


“It is a good thing to know how to sing and also handle musical instruments. Look at people such as  the  late Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Victor Olaiya, their relevance in the music industry was much,” he said.

Edited By: Josephine Obute/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Mariachis delight quarantined Colombians with jolts of street music



The boisterous music – usually heard at family celebrations and raucous birthdays – bursts through the eerily quiet streets of Colombia’s capital, Bogota. The mariachis have arrived.

As the Andean country waits out two months of a national coronavirus quarantine, musicians playing the traditionally Mexican genre are lugging guitars, trumpets, violins, speakers and microphones to street corners, accepting tips from delighted residents who dance on their balconies.

The pandemic and accompanying shutdowns have cut the musicians off from their usual work, band leader Hubert Ramirez said as his group sets up on a new street.

“The poor mariachis are shut in,” said the father of five. “So we decided to go out, we’ll make people happy and they can support us and that’s how we’ll get through this situation.

“There isn’t money left to buy food, let alone pay rent,” said Ramirez, adding the street playing has helped allay some costs. “It’s gone better than we expected.”

Surprised residents often record the serenades on their cell phones and some sing along.

“I think it’s a breath of fresh air during this situation and it takes people out of their houses, their social isolation,” said resident Maria Elena Mondragon.

“They make us smile so we have to support them, help them because they don’t have a way to offer their services.”

“I think it’s marvelous,” she said.

The nation of 50 million people has more than 16,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and just under 600 deaths.

It has been in obligatory lockdown since late March.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

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Police warn writer Gaiman over lockdown trip from New Zealand to Scotland



British writer Neil Gaiman has apologised for travelling from New Zealand to his home on the Scottish island of Skye in breach of coronavirus lockdown measures, saying “I did something stupid.”

Police spoke to Gaiman, author of “American Gods” and “Good Omens,” about his actions after he revealed he had made the 11,000 mile trip to Britain, flying into London and then driving to his home on Skye at the start of the month.

His “selfish” actions were criticised by Ian Blackford, the lawmaker who represents the area and the Scottish National Party’s leader in the Westminster parliament.

“I want to apologise to everyone on the island for creating such a fuss.

“I also want to thank and apologise to the local police, who had better things to do than check up on me.

“I’m sure I’ve done sillier things in my life, but this is the most foolish thing I’ve done in quite a while,” the author wrote on his website.

Gaiman said he had returned from New Zealand when the lockdown was eased there because he and his wife had agreed they “needed to give each other some space.”

His wife Amanda Palmer is an American musician and performance artist.

Scotland maintains stricter lockdown conditions than England, including telling its citizens to stay at home and advising against cross-border travel.

Ten residents of a care home in Skye’s main town of Portree have died of COVID-19.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Salif Atojoko (NAN)


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