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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 October 2018

Today's entertainment news: Sea Shadow debuts in North America

Plus: Alec Baldwin back on Twitter; Katy Perry speaks up about divorce; Betty White gears up for star-studded 90th bash; "Melancholia" picked best film by critics group; and Matt Damon backs out of directing role.
A scene from the movie Sea Shadow.
A scene from the movie Sea Shadow.

The first Emirati film from Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Sea Shadow, will be hitting US shores this week at the 23rd Palm Springs International Film Festival in California.

The film is part of the festival's Arabian Nights showcase, with two screenings on Thursday and Saturday.

Featuring 11 new films from around the Middle East, the showcase highlights the emergence of film talents from across the region. Image Nation Abu Dhabi is owned by Abu Dhabi Media, which also owns The National.

The director Nawaf Al-Janahi, who will present the film at the festival, commented: "I am excited to present the film to a new, international audience."

Sea Shadow is a quiet coming-of-age story that follows two teenagers as they struggle with tradition in their journey towards adulthood. The film was shot entirely in the UAE and was released to audiences in the GCC last November.

Alec Baldwin makes his return to Twitter

After a month-long hiatus, Alec Baldwin has rejoined Twitter. The 30 Rock star left the social media site after he was kicked off an American Airlines flight for ignoring a request to put away his iPad before take-off.

"Back on Twitter," he simply tweeted on Saturday night, before wishing his more than 600,000 followers a belated happy new year and posting his whereabouts with girlfriend Hilaria Thomas: "Last day in Paraiso with @hilariathomas."

The 53-year-old actor's return to the micro-blogging site came days after reports that he would stay on for the seventh season of his acclaimed NBC sitcom.

Katy Perry speaks up about divorce

The singer Katy Perry addressed rumours surrounding her split from husband Russell Brand, posting on Twitter on Saturday: "Concerning the gossip, I want to be clear that NO ONE speaks for me. Not a blog, magazine, 'close sources' or my family."

Perry also thanked fans for their well wishes.

"I am so grateful for all the love and support I've had from people around the world," she said. "You guys have made my heart happy again."

Brand filed for divorce on December 30, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple married in October 2010, in a lavish ceremony in India.

Betty White gears up for star-studded 90th bash

An all-star line-up is set for NBC's televised birthday celebration for the legend Betty White, due to air on January 16.

Hugh Jackman, Amy Poehler, William Shatner, Carol Burnett, Jay Leno and White's Mary Tyler Moore Show co-stars Moore, Ed Asner, Valerie Harper and Gavin MacLeod are among the celebrities who will take the stage at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles to salute the Emmy winner, who turns 90 on January 17.

The party will be followed by a preview of White's forthcoming hidden-camera reality series, Betty White's Off Their Rockers.

White returned to pop culture consciousness via a Snickers commercial that was broadcast during the 2010 Super Bowl. Soon she was back on the Hollywood radar, appearing in films and TV shows.

'Melancholia' picked best film by critics group

The US film Melancholia picked up some Academy Awards momentum over the weekend when the National Society of Film Critics chose it as the best picture of 2011, reported the Associated Press.

The society also picked the film's star, Kirsten Dunst, as best actress for her portrayal in a film that ponders the end of the world.

Composed of 58 prominent film critics from around the country, the group announced its picks on Saturday in New York. They chose Brad Pitt as best actor for his performances in Moneyball and The Tree of Life; Terrence Malick as best director, also for The Tree of Life; and Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams as best nonfiction film. In the past, the society's picks have helped build interest in films ahead of February's Oscars.

* AP

Matt Damon backs out of directing role

The actor Matt Damon has handed over the directing reins for his still-untitled legal film to Gus Van Sant, after time commitments intruded, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The latest project features a screenplay written by Damon and the actor John Krasinski, who also happen to be the film's lead stars. They will play rival corporate executives in the movie, which begins production in April.

Van Sant previously directed Damon and Ben Affleck's Oscar- winning screenplay for Good Will Hunting.

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