25 January 2010Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has been honoured with Fifa’s Presidential Award for his role in uniting South Africa ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup and for embodying the spirit of the Beautiful Game.Fifa president Sepp Blatter presented the award to Tutu during Fifa’s Ballon d’Or 2010 soccer awards ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland on 10 January.“I’m staggered … when I was told, I felt deeply humbled and also deeply honoured,” said the 79-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate. “To be recognised in this way is very significant, and I accept this on behalf of the South African people, who really deserve the applause for having hosted such a fantastic World Cup.“It was a fantastic thing; no one could have predicted that South Africans would feel so good about themselves. It was reminiscent of the time when Nelson Mandela was released from prison, or when we first won the Rugby World Cup.”Thabo Makgoba, the current Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, congratulated Tutu, saying: “We are so proud of him. Once again he has shown how, in any and every context, he is able to continue to play a reconciling role in his public ministry, in this country, on this continent, and throughout the world.”Tutu also played an integral role in bringing the 2010 World Cup to South Africa by joining a delegation that went to the Caribbean in 2005 to convince that region’s football federation boss, Jack Warner, to vote for South Africa in the 2010 bid. Tutu was joined on this trip by fellow Nobel laureates Nelson Mandela and FW De Klerk, who preceded Mandela as president of South Africa.The exuberant archbishopIn 1978, Tutu was appointed the first black general secretary of the South African Council of Churches. A few years later, in 1986, he was elected Archbishop of Cape Town, also being the first black person in the country to assume such a post.He has used his high profile to campaign for human rights and, previously, to fight apartheid in South Africa.Following the deadly Soweto riots of 1976, during which black school pupils took to the streets en masse to protest against being taught in Afrikaans, Tutu supported an economic boycott of South Africa.International companies soon started pulling out of the country and the rand’s value plummeted – this put heavy pressure on the government of the time to consider reforming the apartheid system.Tutu also coined the phrase “Rainbow Nation”, which became a metaphor for South African society following the first democratic elections in 1994. The term has been so widely used since then, it has become ingrained in the South African psyche.He is also regarded as a figurehead always ready to congratulate, critique and condemn the ruling government.Former president Nelson Mandela once said: “Sometimes strident, often tender, never afraid and seldom without humour, Desmond Tutu’s voice will always be the voice of the voiceless.”Tutu has won various awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986, the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2005, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.The Nobel laureate retired from public life in October 2010 at the age of 79. He said: “Instead of growing old gracefully, at home with my family – reading, writing, praying and thinking – too much of my time has been spent at airports and in hotels.“The time has now come to slow down, to sip rooibos tea with my beloved wife in the afternoons, to watch cricket, to travel to visit my children and grandchildren, rather than to be at conferences, conventions and university campuses.”First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.
On 27 April 2017 Brand South Africa partnered with Freedom Park to celebrate 23 years of freedom in South Africa.Freedom Park tells the story of Africa from the dawn of man to recent history, including the chapter on South Africa’s liberation struggle. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)Freedom Park is a cultural institution housing a museum and a memorial dedicated to chronicling and honouring the many who contributed to South Africa’s liberation.The museum aims to preserve and narrate the story of the African continent, and specifically South Africa, from the dawn of humanity, through pre-colonial, colonial and apartheid history and heritage, to the post-apartheid nation of today.It is a long walk, spanning some 3.6-billion years. On 27 April 2017, normal entry tariffs did not apply at Freedom Park and members of the public we granted free entry.
If you couldn’t make it to Edit Fest London, here are 10 insights I learned from top television and film editors at this year’s Fest!EditFest is a day long series of panel discussions featuring top professional film and television editors, held in New York, Los Angeles and now London. But it is far more than just a day of talk, its a rare opportunity to meet, question and learn from world-class editors who are working on major Hollywood blockbusters and HBO multi-series hits.For a full run down of the panelists check out the Edit Fest site but know that if you’d been there, you too could have chatted over a glass of wine with the editor who cut the famous scene in Heat where Pacino and De Niro talk it out over coffee! Lesson No. 1 – You’ve Got To Get Out ThereIn this Internet age, its very easy to assume that event info will make its way online; that you just can download the podcast, read the blog posts or follow the live tweets and basically have gotten much of the same content as those who attended but for free and from the comfort of your own home. Well you would be wrong. Totally and utterly wrong!The beauty of events like Edit Fest or The Supermeet, or any event where you physically meet people, is all the stuff that happens before and after the panels. It is the chats in the corridor or over coffee or at lunch. The first lesson I learned from EditFest is that you’ve absolutely got to go to events like these. Make the trip, pay the money because days like these are a rare opportunity to get inspired, informed and integrated with other post production professionals in a way that’s not feasible online.Lesson No. 2 – Group TherapyChatting to fellow editors at the AOTG.com pub night after the free Edit Fest cocktail mixer (those Dutch editors can drink!), it seemed like the main encouragement that most editors took away from the day was that we all face the same problems, regardless of budget, genre or product market. Problems like the first version being embarrassingly bad, that its really hard to stay fresh, or that you can’t bear to watch your own work for a good few years afterwards. As John Wilson A.C.E. editor of Billy Elliot said on the day ”It takes me five years to watch a movie I’ve cut, to really see what I’ve done.”Spending a day discussing the craft with other editors at all stages in their careers was both highly educational and extremely encouraging. Lesson No. 3 – Diplomacy Is Essential“The most important talent to develop in the cutting room is diplomacy. Never hold anyone’s idea up to ridicule. Try anything and be ready to fight for what you think is right.” -Tom Rolf A.C.E.If there is one lesson which is absolutely vital for any editor to learn it is that being diplomatic is crucial to developing a healthy career. The edit suite is not only just the place where films are made, but also the arena of a great deal of personal politics, passions and opinions. All of which needs to be handled with a deftness and a strength that is often a real challenge to get right.As Tom Rolf sums up, being open to any idea is important not just on a personal level but for the benefit of the project. It’s all to easy to defend your edit decisions by saying ”I tried that and it didn’t work” than to cheerfully give it another go anyway. Equally it is important to be able to engage in a respectful level of argument when you really believe in a creative call. As Tom later said “It’s alright to get a little blood on the cutting room floor.”Lesson No. 4 – Fighting Film BlindnessWhen you are working on a project for a long time one of the most difficult hurdles to over come is that of ‘film blindness’ – being so close to your work that you can’t see it as it really is. The feature film editor’s panel shared some of their secrets on how to stay fresh to the material. “I try to watch it in a different context from the work environment, taking it home or into a screening room. I try not to dismiss any notes. Your negative reaction might be because you’re too close to the scene. So be open to all ideas.” -Chris Dickens A.C.E. (Slumdog Millionaire) “I try not to watch it alone with the director because its too easy to talk through it. It’s much better to bring in another person, to help see it through their eyes.” -Tracy Granger A.C.E. (Boys Don’t Cry)“I like to make viewing the film in the edit suite a bit more of an event by turning off the monitors, turning all the chairs around and setting up a video projector. It helps keep everyone focused on the film.” -Eddie Hamilton A.C.E. (Kick Ass 1 & 2)Lesson No. 5 – Film Vs DigitalWith the advent of digital media and the demise of film, many of the editors felt a few vital things had gotten lost along the way and that the expected pace for editors had quickened a bit too much.“Rewinding a Steenbeck gave you plenty of thinking time and thinking time is vital.” -John Wilson A.C.E.“Rewinding through rushes also gave you a chance to see every frame at high speed and you could spot things you’d forgotten.” -Tracy Granger A.C.E.“On film you had to construct it first in your head and then do it physically. Now that the polish comes with it (in digital) you don’t pay as much attention to the basics, structure etc. Because everything is so fast you feel like you have to get it right the first time. But you need the opportunity to get it wrong.” –Chris Dickens A.C.E.“It’s getting more and more difficult these days to watching everything. Shooting ratios on Game of Thrones can be as high as 60/1 (normally its 15/1) as they’re always running several cameras. I still try to do that but I have to admit I sometimes have to skim.” -Frances Parker A.C.E. (Game of Thrones)Lesson No. 6. – Watching RushesThe TV editors panel, moderated masterfully by Gordon Burkell from Art of the Guillotine provided lots of insights into each editors technique when it comes to digesting rushes and tackling a scene for the first time.“Each job is different and you just have to respond to the rushes each time. For me the performance comes through the eyes and I’m just responding to instinct and feel. And I’ll look at the script to see where is the drama in this scene and then shape it around that.” -Kristina Hetherington A.C.E. (Birdsong)“It all starts with the story. My edit suite needs a sofa in it because once I look at the rushes I need to have a lie down (to think). You’ve got to find the best nugget and shaping the story around that. It’s all about story, story, story. But each editor has their own pattern, there’s no set rules.” -Oral Norrie Ottey A.C.E. (Game of Thrones)“Dialogue scenes are often difficult to cut as there are so many nuances you want to pull through. I make extensive notes on the script – Great reaction to this line etc – and start as faithfully to the script as I can. I often assemble quickly and then leave it because you can often over work it. When I re-watch it later I’m looked for the real focus of the scene, which might not be what you thought it was when you assembled it. Its a very fluid process.” -Frances Parker A.C.E.“Very rarely does a film work as it’s scripted. I stop reading the script after the first day of shooting because if they haven’t shot it, it doesn’t matter. The footage is all that matters.” -Eddie Hamilton A.C.E.Lesson No. 7 – Wile editor tricksDuring the day a few cunning editors tricks were mentioned which might come in handy one day.“I’ll leave a bad scene in to misdirect attention, to give me more time to do the real work.” -Mick Audsley A.C.E (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)“It’s always good to have a couple of really polished sequences to roll out when people come to look at things.” –Chris Dickens A.C.E.“We kept the process private by being portable. I was editing Kick Ass 2 on a laptop in the directors flat in Kensington.” –Eddie Hamilton A.C.E.“I prefer working alone. Staying late to strip the film down to the spine, taking out things the director would never want to lose, just to see what you have. There’s a very small difference between a bad idea and a brilliant idea which you wouldn’t try with other people in the room.” -Tracy Granger A.C.E.Lesson No. 8 – Working with SoundIt was interesting to hear a variety of opinions on working with sound, with some editors leaving it all to the sound editors while others feeling like they needed to provide a highly polished and full sounding mix, right out of the Avid.“I often watch it on mute to see the issues buried in it. I try to make it as hard as possible for something to carry the scene if its not working.” -Mick Audsley A.C.E“I will cut it mute for a long time, imagining it with the sound effects at first and then adding in sound effects, music etc as a full mix to make the most of sound’s storytelling power.” -Eddie Hamilton A.C.E.“It’s all too easy to fall in love with the temp music. But if it works without sound effects and music, you know it will be fantastic with it.” -Kristina Hetherington A.C.E.Lesson No. 9 – Cutting for dramaThe most important thing you can do as an editor is to focus on the drama and the story. It’s more important for the drama and the story to be perfect than for the cosmetic things like continuity or stylistic touches to be 100 percent accurate. Chatting to commercial’s editor James Rosen at the AOTG pub night, he shared how he had learned to focus on the choices he was making in his editing as they relate to the drama of the scene: cutting to a close up not for the best line but because the drama of the scene dictates that we need to be in a close up. It’s a great lesson to ponder when watching back what you’ve cut.“I like to focus on the eyes, if they’re feeling it, we will feel it. It’s about balancing the emotional output. Not having too much either. Sometimes you need to throw away what may be the most amazing part because its too much.” -Kristina Hetherington A.C.E.Lesson 10. – Work HardOne of the things that struck me most was Eddie Hamilton’s absolute drive to be the very best editor he can be, which seems to have been a major factor in his whole career progression. If you want more advice from Eddie on getting into the film industry, check out this great article on his site.“I remember as a kid begging a friend’s dad to take me to see Return of the Jedi, because I never got taken to the cinema.” “I failed to get into film school and so I got a job as a runner and taught myself Media Composer, staying behind every single evening and weekend.” “I often think if I stay an couple of extra hours, then I can make sure this is world class, in case anyone comes in to see it tomorrow.”
Nagpur: When effigies of ‘Ravan’ were being burnt to celebrate Vijayadashmi on September 30, Gond tribals in Gadchiroli and some parts of Chhattisgarh were busy in offering prayers to their ‘great king’.A large number of gram sabhas came together to offer prayers to ‘Ravan’ in Surjagad, Kamalapur, and Korchi of Gadchiroli.“Ravan was a great king of Gond tribals. But the people, who practised Brahmnic culture based on hegemony, vilified the history of Ravan to show themselves as great warriors,” said Mahesh Raut, an activist from Gadchiroli.Tribal organisations and village bodies have petitioned the government to stop the practice of burning Ravan’s effigies, but it is yet to act on their demand, he said.Mr. Raut claimed that 70 village bodies in Surjagad, which has been witnessing a protest against the mining, came together under the leadership of zila parishad member Sainu Gota to offer prayers.Tribal organisations and groups, including Tribal Students’ Organisation, Gond Society of Korchi, Gondwana Gotul Sena, Parakrami Gond Raja Ravan Sangh, Buddhist Society of Korchi, and the Halbi Society organised prayers in Korchi.
Many politicians have squandered away the benefits of a landslide electoral victory by doing precious little for the common man. But Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar seems inclined to make the most of the three-fourths majority given to his alliance in the recent assembly elections.He has begun his new innings in right earnest by declaring an all-out war on corruption. Less than a week after he assumed charge, he announced his government’s resolve to bring about the Right to Service Act in Bihar to facilitate timely disposal of work related to public utility services. He also talked about incorporating provisions for a penalty on officials who do not compelte their task within the stipulated time.In the following week, his government acted swiftly to confiscate the property of an official charged with amassing wealth disproportionate to his known source of income. The government will now open a school in his palatial building in keeping with Nitish’s poll-time promise.But it is his decision to abolish the local area development fund of the state legislators that has underlined his determination to rid the state of corruption. Under the scheme, MLAs and MLCs of the state had been getting a discretionary fund of Rs 1 crore per annum.This fund was created with the seemingly ‘noble’ intention of helping legislators implement development projects as per their preference in the areas of their choice but it did not remain immune to taints of graft in subsequent years. Majority of the schemes executed with this fund reeked of poor quality and hence the scheme came to be seen as perpetuating corruption.advertisementSensing the public perception of this scheme, Nitish first broached the abolition of this project during a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance ( NDA) legislators last week and sought their opinion about it. He also spelt out the reason behind it, saying the fund had caused more harm to their image in the public eye. Three days later, the state cabinet took a decision in principle to do away with this scheme and bring about an effective scheme in its place.In just one masterstroke, he put an end to this fund of Rs 1 crore each to 243 MLAs and 75 MLCs, which he can now channel to other welfare initiatives. Not only this, he also called upon all ministers and legislators to declare their income and assets every year to ensure probity in public life.Even opposition parties like the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress have supported this move. But more surprising is the way the NDA legislators have rallied behind him, except for the murmurings of a few. Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi says that there is no difference of opinion among the legislators over the abolition of the fund and wants the Centre to emulate it.Nitish’s decision to get the fund abolished has come at a time when the NDA had received a massive mandate and his leadership cannot be questioned by anybody within the coalition. He apparently wants to convey his seriousness about eradicating corruption from public life not only to the people in general but also to those politicians who wish to perpetuate the myth that graft is a way of life these days.Nitish’s decision has come at the right time. This has set the agenda for his government for the next five years. He has taken the bull of corruption by the horns at the outset of his new tenure. Its success will be evaluated in the next assembly election.Sonepur’s good old cattle fairThe traditional rural fairs are fast becoming pass even in Bihar but the famous Sonepur Mela seems to have retained its old charm. In an era of fun parks and mobile games, the fair – once touted as the biggest cattle fair in Asia – gives glimpses of the “real India”. The month- long mela attracts not only national and foreign tourists but also villagers from nearby areas. It has been primarily famous for the sale and purchase of animals, especially elephants, horses, dogs, cows and birds over the years.In recent times, the ban on the sale of birds and animals, including elephants, have limited its appeal but it still attracts hordes of prospective buyers. Instead of outright sale, elephants are given away as ” gifts” to tweak the rules these days. It is, however, the village market-like atmosphere that is the USP of this mela.From the typical Bihari cuisine available at food stalls to the rural wares sold at the fair, everything reminds one of good old days. The crowds of villagers swaying to the beats of catchy tunes inside the theatres also seem to be the throwback to a bygone era. The Saran district administration is often forced to cancel the licence of the theatres on the charge of obscenity but they return every year in view of their ever- growing demand among the mela revellers.advertisementA treat for Patna’s bookworms Patna Book Fair is an event that every Patnaite looks forward to every year.Bihar is considered to be a huge market by the publishers because of the people’s abiding interest in books and their love for reading.The fair attracts a large number of bookworms every day. This time, it is no different.The latest edition of the fair, inaugurated by chief minister Nitish Kumar on Friday, had more than 60,000 visitors last Sunday. But not every visitor is a potential buyer of books. Majority of them go there for reasons other than purchasing books.Some visit the fair to listen to eminent writers and other intellectuals who share their thoughts with the readers every day. Others go to explore career and employment opportunities through the stalls of different agencies and institutions. Some food stalls selling delicacies like Hyderabadi Biryani draw more crowds than many of the book stalls. And a large majority makes the most of it by having fun, loitering around under the winter sun and having an extended picnic through the day. Nitish believes that this ambience makes it a ‘fair’ in the real sense.In a lighter vein, he said that many people primarily turned up only to gaze at the crowd of book buyers. ” But how long can one go on gazing at the people?” he said.”They also end up developing an interest in reading when they look at the books.” Nitish now wants the organisers to host an international book fair in Patna in deference to the wishes of the teeming book lovers of Patna.Do not disturb! Cops sleeping It is not at all uncommon to catch policemen napping during their duty hours in Bihar.Some of them tend to make the most of the winter sun whenever they find a convenient place. At times, one can find them dozing off even in their patrol cars.But two such ‘ sleeping’ constables in Patna found themselves to be the unlucky ones when they were caught stealing forty winks by none other than the district’s senior superintendent of police B. S. Meena.The SSP saw Rakesh Kumar and Ravindra Kumar Singh sleeping near a girls’ college where they had been deployed to keep a watch on mischief mongers and eveteasers.The SSP, who happened to be passing by, promptly suspended them from duty. The suspension must surely have robbed the duo of their sleep now!BIHAR has finally found a woman sporting icon in Smita Kumari who was part of the Asian Games gold- medal winning kabbadi team. Her success is all the more striking because she fought poverty and family opposition before making it to the team. Smita developed a passion for kabaddi while watching boys play in her village. She now wants more girls to take up kabbadi and hopes that the state government would provide jobs to players to motivate them.advertisement