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Hannah Espia’s Oscar-nominated Transit. Courtesy Ten17P
Hannah Espia’s Oscar-nominated Transit. Courtesy Ten17P

Philippine-themed films vie for Oscar

Also, Abi Morgan to script new TV series for BBC One; The Good Road director defends India's Oscar bid; Kurt Cobain's childhood home is up for sale.

Three films featuring the Philippines have been submitted for nomination to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the Oscars. Hannah Espia’s Transit, about Filipinos working in Israel, has been chosen as the Philippines’ entry, while Metro Manila – directed by the British director Sean Ellis – was submitted by the UK as their nominee. The movie tells the story of a family who move to the capital to escape their impoverished life in the rice fields. Meanwhile, Singapore’s entry Ilo Ilo, directed by Anthony Chen, follows a Filipino domestic worker and the Singaporean family she works for. The Oscar nominees will be announced on January 16, with the ceremony scheduled for March 2. – The National staff

Abi Morgan to script new TV series for BBC One

The Emmy award-winner Abi Morgan is to write new drama for BBC One. Titled River, the six-part series follows John River, “a brilliant police officer whose genius and fault-line is the fragility of his mind”. Abi Morgan, who won an Emmy on Sunday for series two of the newsroom drama The Hour, which was axed by BBC Two in February, said: “River is a fractured mind navigating a brutal world. And he does it wearing a police badge.” Filming is due to start next year. – The National staff

The Good Road director defends India’s Oscar bid

Gyan Correa, the director of the Gujarati film The Good Road that is India’s selection for the Oscars, says his movie is as good as any other, in a reference to Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox, which was the popular choice but was sidelined. “It’s inappropriate for people who had a film in the competition to be publicly discussing and questioning the process of selection. I wouldn’t do that,” Correa said in an interview with the daily newspaper DNA. He said that he hadn’t seen The Lunchbox yet but would “watch it as soon as possible”. “I didn’t select the film. A committee that knows its job did it. I respect the jury and I feel every filmmaker should. Now that The Good Road has been selected, the film fraternity should support it,” he added. – The National staff

Kurt Cobain’s mother puts his childhood home up for sale

This month marks the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s final studio album, In Utero, and fans aren’t just able to buy a new “super deluxe” box set to celebrate the occasion. They can also buy the childhood home of the band’s late frontman Kurt Cobain, complete with his mattress. Cobain’s mother, Wendy O’Connor, is putting the house, two hours south-west of Seattle, on the market this week. To help sell it, the family is offering a glimpse into Cobain’s early life through photos shot at the house, including one of a chocolate-frosted birthday cake and a shot of a teenage Cobain smiling, guitar in hand. The home is valued at US$67,000 (Dh246,084) and is being listed for $500,000. The family said that it would welcome a partnership to make the home into a museum. “We’ve decided to sell the home to create a legacy for Kurt, and yes, there are some mixed feelings since we have all loved the home and it carries so many great memories,” Cobain’s sister, Kim Cobain, said in an emailed statement. “But our family has moved on from Washington, and we feel it’s time to let go of the home.” The heroin-addicted Cobain committed suicide in Seattle in 1994, at the age of 27. – Reuters

Cher releases first album in 12 years

The evergreen pop diva Cher says that her latest album is her “best effort ever”. Cher, 67, released her 26th studio album, Closer to the Truth, on Tuesday, her first record in 12 years. “It’s my best effort ever, so I’m happy with that. I’m singing better than ever and the songs are really good. I’m unbelievably proud of it,” the singer said. The new album includes the Paul Oakenfold-produced single Woman’s World and two songs co-written by the pop star Pink. – Reuters

SRK on the catwalk in tribute to Yash Chopra

The Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan will join Yash Chopra’s heroines Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit and Katrina Kaif on the ramp in a special tribute to the late filmmaker in Mumbai this Saturday. Khan is the only male actor who will walk the ramp on what would have been Chopra’s 81st birthday. The event is organised by Chopra’s wife, Pamela Chopra. “Pamelaji requested Shah Rukh Khan to be part of this tribute to Yashji and he agreed to walk with all the heroines as part of the grand finale,” said Rafiq Gangjee, the spokesperson for Yash Raj Films. The veteran filmmaker died last year on October 21. – The National staff


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