Ekushey Padak and National Film Award winner, freedom fighter and renowned cultural activist Nasiruddin Yousuff Bachchu has tested positive for COVID-19.
The eminent cultural personality was admitted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital (BSMMU) in the capital on Friday, with symptoms of the coronavirus. The test result came out positive on Saturday.
"Our Dhaka DocLab chairman Nasiruddin Yousuff is currently receiving treatment at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital (BSMMU). He is advised to take rest and he requests his admirers and associates not to panic at all. We are seeking prayers from everyone for his speedy recovery," Dhaka DocLab coordinator Shoriful Islam Shaon told UNB.
One of the pioneers and most respected personalities in the theatre arena of Bangladesh, Nasiruddin Yousuff founded Dhaka Theatre in 1973 and later Bangladesh Gram Theatre along with the late playwright Selim Al Deen.
Yousuff is currently serving Dhaka DocLab as its chairman, Bangladesh Gram Theatre and Dhaka Theatre as president and Bangladesh Centre of International Theatre (BCITI) as organising secretary, to name a few.
A former president of the Sammilita Sangskritik Jote, he has also served as the president and director of the Committee for Cultural Identity and Development (CIDC).
In his illustrious career, Nasiruddin Yousuff received the National Film Award as the Best Director for his critically acclaimed film Guerrilla (2011). He was awarded Ekushey Padak by the Government of Bangladesh in 2010 for his outstanding contribution towards the development of the theatre industry in Bangladesh.
Also read:9,600 unemployed cultural activists get financial assistance during pandemic: State Minister
Bollywood actress Sunny Leone who left India along with her husband and three children during Covid lockdown in May, has hinted at a return to Mumbai from the US.
Sharing a picture from an outdoor photoshoot in her new Instagram post, Sunny wrote: "One last stop to smell the roses". Her caption read, “Almost time to come home!! Quarantine alone with family until I’m on a plane!! Not going near anyone! Just one last stop to smell the roses.”
The39-year-old model-turned-actress flew to Los Angeles with her husband Daniel Weber, a US citizen, and their three children -- Nisha, Asher and Noah -- in May this year.
Opening about her decision soon after flying to the US, the actor wrote on Instagram on International Mother’s Day in May: "In life when you have children your own priorities and well being take the back seat. Both @dirrty99 and I had the opportunity to take our children where we felt they would be safer against this invisible killer 'coronavirus'. Our home away from home and secret garden in Los Angeles."
However, Sunny had said in an interview that she was "sad" to leave Mumbai, but "it was important for us to be around Daniel’s mother and his family. Like everyone else, they wanted to be with their loved ones".
Sunny, a former porn star, made her Bollywood debut in Pooja Bhatt's erotic thriller Jism 2 in 2012, followed by blockbusters like Jackpot (2013), Ragini MMS 2 (2014), Ek Paheli Leela (2015) and Tera Intezaar (2017). She also acted in south Indian regional film Madhura Raja in 2019.
Apart from her acting career, she has been part of various activism campaigns, including the Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Half-Marathon to raise money for the American Cancer Society. She has also posed for a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ad campaign with a rescued dog, encouraging pet owners to have their cats and dogs sterilised.
ZEE5 Global,the largest OTT platform for South Asian content, announced its first four Bangladeshi originals created by top directors Abrar Athar, Shihab Shaheen and Anam Biswas.
ZEE5 Global announced it at the launching programme of its first Bangladeshi Original, a dark-comedy thriller – "Mainkar Chipay" (In a Spot of Bother) at a virtual press conference.
Mainkar Chipay, directed by Abrar Athar, will be released on November 9 this year.
The announcement was made by Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 Global.
She also announced that the development and production of three new Bangladeshi content projects over the next few months, with more in the pipeline.
The announcements were made at a star-studded event attended by the likes of Ziaul Faruq Apurba, Nusraat Faria, Afran Nisho, Bidya Sinha Mim, Arifin Shuvoo and many more. Asaduzzaman Noor, the former Minister of Cultural Affairs of Bangladesh, Vice Chairman of Asiatic 360, and a legendary veteran actor himself, also graced the event with his presence.
The event also saw the trailer of the upcoming venture being unveiled. All these shows will be available to ZEE5 Global subscribers in over 190 countries.
Mainkar Chipay, directed by internationally acclaimed young film maker Abrar Athar, is a situational thriller comedy which will see Afran Nisho, Sariful Razz and Shamol Mawla working together for the first time.
The film is set to release on 9th November and will mark the beginning of ZEE5’s Bangladeshi Original Content chapter.
“We’re super excited to shoot the first Bangladeshi original on Zee 5. The film was shot in record time and we wrote the script in a way that didn’t require a large crew or a lot of equipment. It’s a crime thriller comedy and we really hope people have as much fun watching it as we did making it.” said Director Abrar Athar.
Among other projects, notable Bangladeshi screenwriter and film maker Shihab Shaheen is set to commence shoot on 28th October for his new film while second ZEE5 Original title Jodi, Kintu Tobuo…, a romantic comedy starring Ziaul Faruq Apurba and Nusraat Faria, while another national award-winning young director Anam Biswas will be working on “What the Fry?” starring Bidya Sinha Mim.
Also part of the line-up will be Tanim Noor and Krishnendu Chattopadhyay’s (with Parthe Sarkar as an associate director) Contract, a web series starring Arifin Shuvoo, Chanchal Chowdhury, Zakia Bari Mamo and Iresh Zaker.
The Originals are being produced in partnership with local content agency Good Company Limited – An Asiatic 360 Content Initiative.
Amit Goenka, President – Digital Businesses and Platforms, ZEE Entertainment said, “Investing in local content that resonates with global audiences and building out strong local partnerships is high on our agenda this year. Bangladesh is a high priority market for us and we’re very glad to be rolling out our first set of Originals in this market today as a first step towards our vision for strong collaborations with this market”
Announcing the lineup, Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 Global said “Bangladesh has an immense pool of talented directors and artistes and rich cultural stories. In line with our vision of creating rich local narratives with the local talent, and giving them a global audience, we’re thrilled to be announcing a slate of multiple projects."..
"The launch of our very first Bangladeshi Original - Mainkar Chipay. We have brought together the best of talent from Bangladesh to create these unique narratives which are sure to resonate with viewers, not just in this region but across the globe," she also said.
Shayan Chowdhury Arnob, the immensely popular and talented singer-songwriter with a fanbase spanning Bangladesh and West Bengal, got married Wednesday to Sunidhi Nayak, a fellow musician as well as alumni of Shantiniketan - although they attended at different times.
Arnob is popular for his captivating and enthralling songs such as 'Hariye Giyechhi', 'She Je Boshe Achhe' and more,
The wedding took place in Sunidhi's hometown of Kolkata. Noted Bengali director Srijit Mukherji, who is the husband of Arnob's cousin and popular Bangladeshi celebrity Rafiath Rashid Mithila, among others, shared the news on his official Facebook profile congratulating the newlywed couple.
Sunidhi also confirmed the news in her Facebook profile.
Arnob has been staying in Shantiniketan, located some 4 hours from Kolkata, with Sunidhi for a while now and could not come home to Bangladesh due to the ongoing global pandemic. The couple started dating back in 2019.
This marks Arnob's second marriage. He was previously married to his childhood sweetheart Shahana Bajpaie, also a Bengali singer-songwriter from Santiniketan and one of the most prominent contemporary Rabindra Sangeet vocalists of her generation.
Arnob, the son of Swapon Chowdhury, has been regarded as one of the most original and exciting talents in the music scene of Bangladeshi since breaking through with the pioneering Bangladeshi fusion band Bangla on their debut album in 2000. Since going solo, songs from his albums Chaina Bhabish (2005), Hok Kolorob (2006), Doob (2008), Rod Boleche Hobe (2010), Khub Doob (2015) and Ondho Shohor (2017) have garnered massive popularity among audiences in both the Bengal for the aesthetics of the lyrics, melody and composition. His song, 'Hok Kolorob' from the same-titled album was used as a slogan in the 2014 Jadavpur University protests which also got the recognition as The Hok Kolorob Movement.
Also an accomplished Rabindra Sangeet singer, Arnob released his Tagore song-based album Adheko Ghume in 2012. He has also done playback and worked as a music director in popular Bangladeshi films Monpura, Jaago, Aha! and more.
Sunidhi has also been performing with Arnob in his recent collaborations and concerts, alongside with her own musical projects as a classical and Tagore singer.
Arts Against Corona, a month-long special art exhibition by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), was inaugurated on Tuesday putting the spotlight on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the world.
The unique exhibition was inaugurated by Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen. State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid also joined the event as the special guest alongside the ministry’s Secretary Md Badrul Arefin and noted artist Jamal Ahmed.
“We’ve achieved worldwide appraisal and respect as a nation which always fought back against every unimaginable circumstance - a fact that has been again proven through this exhibition. All these mesmerising artworks showcase the talent and willpower of our noted and emerging artists who never stopped creating their crafts, even during this challenging and unprecedented time - which is incredible,” Momen said.
Praising the artists and Shilpakala’s constant activities during the shutdown and in recent times after its reopening, Khalid said the exhibition was “incredibly unique”, the likes of which has not been seen in any other country during this pandemic.
“Our heartiest gratitude to all the performing artists and Shilpakala Academy for arranging this special exhibition,” he said.
Presiding over the ceremony, BSA Director-General Liaquat Ali Lucky thanked all the artists-mentors and associates behind the exhibition. BSA Secretary Md Nawshad Hossain and artist Jamal Ahmed also spoke at the ceremony.
After the seminar session, BSA performers enthralled the audience with cultural performances.
A total of 325 artworks are being put on display at BSA’s Gallery 1 and 2 at the National Art Gallery. The selected artworks were created back in July at BSA’s special art camp.
The month-long ceremony is open for all till November 26 from 11am to 6pm. Visitors are requested to wear masks and follow health guidelines while visiting the exhibition.