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Wadjda gets North American premiere at Tribeca Film Festival in New York

Plus: Reese Witherspoon hearing reset; Disney gets major slice of Pi; Barfi! leads IIFA nominations; Psy's Gentleman continues record run; Kardashian says she's ready for childbirth; BitTorrent scores own film deal.

Wadjda, directed by Haifaa Al Mansour, who is considered the first female Saudi filmmaker, was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Tribeca Film Festival /AP Photo
Wadjda, directed by Haifaa Al Mansour, who is considered the first female Saudi filmmaker, was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Tribeca Film Festival /AP Photo

Wadjda gets North American premiere

Having had its world premiere last year in Venice and its regional premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival, the groundbreaking Saudi feature film Wadjda was given its North American premiere on Sunday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Following the screening, the director Haifaa Al Mansour – considered the first female Saudi filmmaker – was joined in a discussion by the feminist icon Gloria Steinem and the founder of Women for Women International, Zainab Salbi. Al Mansour summarised her film, which is scheduled for commercial release in North America this autumn, not in political terms, but instead called it a movie “about hope, embracing change and moving ahead”. – AP

Reese Witherspoon hearing reset

A court hearing on a disorderly conduct charge has been rescheduled for Reese Witherspoon. The hearing was scheduled on Monday, but was reset for May 22. She was arrested on Friday. On Sunday the actress apologised for her behaviour when her husband Jim Toth was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. The actress didn’t appear in court. She was in New York on Sunday attending the premiere of her new movie Mud. She posed on the red carpet but did not stop to talk to reporters. – AP

Disney gets big slice of Pi

Having made a huge impression in his debut role as the shipwrecked companion of the tiger in Life of Pi, the Indian actor Suraj Sharma is now set to join Jon Hamm and Alan Arkin in Disney’s sports drama Million Dollar Arm, reported The Wrap. The film – to be directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) – follows the story of the real-life agent J?B Bernstein who discovered two professional pitchers through a reality show in India in which he auditioned 40,000 cricket players. Million Dollar Arm is scheduled to start filming in Mumbai next month. – The National staff

Psy’s Gentleman continues record run

Psy continues to set records on YouTube. The South Korean pop star hit another mark for viral views with his new single Gentleman, earning 38 million views on April 14 and surpassing the single-day record of 30 million views set by the short film KONY 2012. It also holds the day-of-debut record with 18.5 million views. Gentleman was approaching a total of 207 million views on Tuesday morning. – AP

Barfi! leads IIFA nominations

Anurag Basu’s Barfi! leads this year’s International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards 2013 with 13 nominations. Shoojit Sircar’s comedy Vicky Donor received nine nods. The two are competing for the Best Picture prize alongside English Vinglish, Gangs of Wasseypur, Kahaani, Paan Singh Tomar and Talaash. “It’s been a phenomenal year for the Indian film industry. The growth has been remarkable,” said IIFA’s director Sabbas Joseph. The Best Actress nominees are Priyanka Chopra (Barfi!), Deepika Padukone (Cocktail), Sridevi (English Vinglish), Huma Qureshi (Gangs of Wasseypur), Kareena Kapoor (Heroine) and Vidya Balan (Kahaani). Nominated for Best Actor are Hrithik Roshan (Agneepath), Ranbir Kapoor (Barfi!), Manoj Bajpayee (Gangs of Wasseypur), Shah Rukh Khan (Jab Tak Hai Jaan), Irrfan Khan (Paan Singh Tomar) and Ayushmaan Khurrana (Vicky Donor). The online voting for the awards will go live on www.iifa.com and fans will be able to cast their votes starting May 1. The announcement for the venue and dates for this year’s IIFA ceremony is expected soon. – IANS

Kardashian says she’s ready for childbirth

Kim Kardashian says she is no longer feeling the aches and pains of pregnancy. “Now I think I’m past all the awkward phases and stages and once you feel the baby kick it’s a whole new experience,” Kardashian told reporters. “I finally really embrace it. I love it now, but it took a minute. I’m really not worried or nervous.” Kardashian and her baby’s father, Kanye West, know the gender of their child but are keeping it a secret. She said she’s careful when she goes shopping to not give anything away. “We buy all white,” she said, laughing. – AP

BitTorrent scores film deal

A name synonymous with internet piracy is now set to do business with the film industry, reported the Los Angeles Times. The San Francisco-based BitTorrent – widely regarded as a facilitator of online piracy because of the protocol its founder invented – is partnering with the Hollywood distributor Cinedigm to promote the film Arthur Newman, inviting its 170 million users to watch the first seven minutes of the film before its theatrical release. Arthur Newman, about a man who fakes his own death, stars Colin Firth and Emily Blunt. – The National staff

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