first_img21 February 2005Xhosa film U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, the acclaimed version of Bizet’s opera Carmen set in Cape Town’s Khayelitsha township, has become the first South African film to win the Golden Bear for best film at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival.U-Carmen was only the second South African film – and the first in 25 years – chosen compete for the award. Athol Fugard’s Marigolds was awarded a Berlin Bear (normally called a Silver Bear) in 1980.The Berlinale, second only to Cannes in terms of prestige, is the world’s largest film festival, selling in the region of 150 000 tickets and hosting about 16 000 film professionals, including 3 600 journalists. The International Competition is the festival’s most exclusive section, always restricted to around 20 films.U-Carmen eKhayelitsha (Carmen in Khayelitsha) is the film adaptation of the opera U-Carmen that had its world premiere in New York in November 2004 as part of Season South Africa, a groundbreaking celebration of SA’s contemporary performing and visual arts.Xhosa Carmen in the townshipThe film is spoken and sung in isiXhosa and set in present day Khayelitsha township, whose vibrant structures provide a spectacular backdrop for the pulsating rhythms and sinuous melodies that made Bizet’s Carmen so popular.Bizet’s music, translated into Xhosa, mixed with traditional song and recorded by a dynamic orchestra of young South Africans, makes the film an extraordinary synthesis of Xhosa culture and European opera.Directed by Mark Dornford-May and produced by Dornford-May and Ross Garland, U-Carmen is a Dimpho Di Kopane production in association with Spier Films and Nandos, with backing from the Department of Trade and Industry and the National Film and Video Foundation.The film stars Pauline Malefane, who grew up in Khayelitsha, in the title role, along with South Africans Andries Mbali, Andiswa Kedama, Sibulele Mjali, Lungelwa Blou and Andile Tshoni.“The idea of setting and filming the world’s most popular opera in Xhosa in a South African township seemed mad at the time,” said Dornford-May. “But it was an amazing experience for everyone involved, and it is a delight beyond words to know that an international audience can appreciate what is for us such a very personal and local triumph.”“This award, Charlize Theron’s winning of best actress at the Oscars last year, and Yesterday’s nomination for best foreign film at the Oscars this year has put South Africa on the international film map,” said Dick Enthoven of Spier Films.“By competing in the high arts and having success at this level, it makes people rethink their perceptions of Africa and South Africa, and validates our long-held belief that we can stand shoulder to shoulder with developed countries and compete on a global stage. May this triumph be an inspiration for all South Africans.”U-Carmen will have its South African premiere in Khayelitsha in Cape Town on 3 March and then open in township venues around the country before it hits the formal cinema circut.Dimpho Di Kopane – combined talentsDornford-May was one of the founders of the South African Academy of Performing Arts, which later changed its name to Dimpho Di Kopane, meaning “combined talents” in SeSotho.Founded in 2000, Dimpho Di Kopane (DKK) provides opportunities for South Africans to develop their musical performance talents and to promote South Africa’s lyrical theatre talent at home and abroad.The company is made up of 40 members chosen after intensive countrywide auditions held in rural and urban South Africa by Britons Mark Dornford-May, its director, and Charles Hazlewood, its musical director.The two criss-crossed South Africa to listen to more than 2 000 voices in tiny halls and classrooms, hearing everything from Zulu war songs and Christian hymns to Frank Sinatra and Italian opera.Bulelwa Cosa, a 29-year-old company member from the Eastern Cape, explains: “We all come from different parts of South Africa and we bring our different skills. Some are better at dancing. Some are better singers than dancers. And some are actors. But when we get here, we put it all together – and that’s what makes it amazing.”Four years later, the company has won considerable praise for its musical productions, which include playing over 200 international performances to sold-out houses on four continents.In 2004, DKK held a critically acclaimed five-week repertory season in New York – part of Season South Africa, a groundbreaking celebration of SA’s contemporary performing and visual arts, which was supported by Spier and the International Marketing Council of South Africa.DDK’s hallmark is looking anew at classics in the lyrical-theatre repertoire and staging them in many of South Africa’s indigenous languages, as well as imbuing the works with South African perspectives.Yiimimangaliso The Mysteries, one of DKK’s New York productions, is typical of the company’s work.The first production staged by DDK, Yiimimangaliso was created after a planned revival of the classic South African musical King Kong fell through. Dornford-May and Hazlewood had two options to replace it: either staging something established, or tackling “the more exciting and dangerous option” of making something new.They chose novelty, and created Yiimimangaliso The Mysteries, a South African version of an English Mystery Cycle that was popular from the 13th to the 16th centuries. Plays based on the Scriptures, but also commenting on the Scriptures, they were an effective way of re-telling biblical stories in accessible and enjoyable ways.In three months, the then fledgling DDK produced a script, built a coherent sense of company, designed and executed costumes and sets and created the score. Hazelwood gathered music from ancient and modern isiXhosa, Afrikaans, isiZulu and Dutch sources. He dispensed with an orchestra, using found objects for instruments, and the company as musicians.Yiimimangaliso The Mysteries is performed on an almost bare stage and with minimal props. A bale of hay denotes a stable in Bethlehem; the Flood is represented by pouring a watering can into a washing up bowl; while the cast mimic the sound of animals boarding the Ark.DKK’s other three New York productions were:The world premiere of Ikumankanikazi ye Khephu, a South African rendition of the classic fairy tale The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.The world premiere of U-Carmen.Ibali loo Tsotsi, a different look at John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_imgToday marks the centennial day of Nelson Mandela and a day widely known as Mandela Day –  which calls on us all, to make the world a better place for all whilst celebrating Madiba’s life and legacy in a sustainable way that will bring about enduring change. Brand South Africa took to Alexandra(Alex)township to Mandela’s first home, in support of Gift of the Givers and Cake Masters to hand out food parcels, hot meals, wheelchairs and participate in a tour at the Heritage Site. The elders of Alex opened up the event in song and prayer, a way of showing gratitude and a reminder that all is well as the song sung Hayo mathata, Modimo ali teng (There are no problems, when God is present) reflected the mood for the day.  This was followed by the unveiling of an 8-meter-long cake baked by Cake Masters that captured milestones of Mandela’s life. “We wanted to encourage the community of Alex to stand up and make a difference, to be reminded of Mandela’s history and journey. That Alex was once home to Mandela and we must be proud”, said Mr Doctor Mokwena, founder of Cake Masters.Cake Masters is a company run and owned by two young men from Alex, they approached Gift of the Givers to propose the idea of baking a cake for Mandela Day and share it with the people of Alex. This was best fitting as every year Gift of the Givers spends Mandela day with the community of Alex. “Gift of the Givers has been at this house for the past 8 years on Mandela Day we’ve been feeding over 300 people in Alex, said founder of Gift of the Givers, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Dr Sooliman further adds, that “we are here today to highlight the skills of the people of Alex, we believe there are great opportunities for this place and when we were approached by the two gentlemen it created a catalyst to create something special”. The elders were entertained throughout the day and given food and a slice of the Mandela cake and parcels to take home. “I love Alex because this community has great potential for positive change and I think it is important that we celebrate Mandela Day by taking care of each other and working to see the change we want Alex”, said Gogo Mangi Follow the link to see the video of Mandela Day in Alex the conversation:Facebook: PlayYourPart Twitter: @PlayYourPartSA Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

first_imgMore specifics to comeThe Framework also makes generation recommendations for other parts of the Canadian economy, such as transportation and industry. But it doesn’t list specific requirements for new or retrofitted buildings — minimum requirements for insulation or airtightness, for example. Those details are still to come.David Foster, the senior director of communications for the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA), said by telephone that the specifics of an updated national building code are years down the road. He said a new national code is set every five years — with the next due out in 2020 — and that it’s up to provincial governments to adopt it. So the overall goal of developing net-zero standards by 2030 is still 12 years away from adoption, giving trade and government groups plenty of time to find ways of reducing costs.Keeping energy efficiency standards affordable is a key issue, Foster said. Building a net-zero energy ready house today is about $20 per square foot more than building a house to current code requirements, mainly because of more expensive windows and HVAC equipment, he said. With that incremental cost in mind, a 2,000-square-foot net-zero ready house would cost $40,000 more to build today than a house that barely meets current code requirements. That’s roughly what CHBA’s CEO Kevin Lee told the Financial Post.“You’re talking about $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 on top of the price of an existing home to meet the targets that they’re setting out,” Lee said. “Our concern is always what this will mean for affordability.” Tougher efficiency requirements could add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of building a new house in Canada, business and government officials said.Philip Rizcallah, director of research and development at the National Research Council of Canada, told a government panel last month that changes to the national building code now under development could inflate the cost of a typical home by as much as $35,000, according to an article published by the Financial Post. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) warned that stricter building requirements could add as much as $50,000 to the cost of a new home.Natural Resources Canada, a government agency, is working on more stringent building requirements as part of an effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions. A federal carbon tax, new regulations on methane, and incentives for zero-emission vehicles also are on the table.Buildings are a major culprit for greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, accounting for 17% of the country’s total, according to government estimates, and making the country’s per capita energy consumption among the highest in the world. Changes would put focus on efficiencyThe case for tougher building codes was roughed out in the Pan-Canadian Framework late last year, The Post said. The document lays out a number of approaches for lowering greenhouse gas emissions: making new houses more energy efficient, retrofitting existing buildings, improving the efficiency of appliances and equipment, and supporting building codes and energy-efficient housing in indigenous communities. RELATED ARTICLES center_img “Advances in clean technologies and building practices can make new buildings ‘net-zero energy,’ meaning they require so little energy they could potentially rely on their own renewable energy supplies for all of their energy needs,” the plan says. “Through research and development, technology costs continue to fall, and government and industry efforts and investments will accelerate that trend. These advances, supported by a model ‘net-zero energy ready’ building code, will enable all builders to adopt these practices and lower lifecycle costs for homeowners.”Officials said that more stringent model building codes should be adopted by 2020, with “net zero energy ready” codes in place by 2030. Codes for retrofitting existing buildings should be in place by 2022.In arguing for net-zero energy buildings, officials said that construction costs for that level of performance have dropped 40% in the last decade and continue to fall. “The benefits of net-zero energy buildings are significant,” it said. “Estimated operating costs for a net-zero energy ready house is 30% to 55% less than a typical house, depending on region, fuel type and occupant behaviour.” Net-Zero Gets a Boost in CanadaCanada Launches Net-Zero Project‘Canada’s Greenest Home’ Posts Energy DataRevisiting Net Zero EnergyZero-Energy Construction is ‘Set to Explode’My Net Zero Conundrumlast_img read more

first_imgWith the arrest of two persons, the Punjab police on Thursday claimed to have busted a module of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), an outfit backed by Pakistan’s ISI. Jagdev Singh and Ravinderpal Singh were allegedly arranging funds and weapons for the sleeper cells of the banned group on the directives of Kulwinderjit Singh alias Khanpuriya, currently in Malaysia. Police had received a specific input that Kulwinderjit Singh, along with his associates, had planned to target leaders of a specific community to spread terror and disturb communal harmony in the State. Kulwinderjit Singh was involved in terrorist activities and had shifted to Malaysia in January 2019.last_img read more

first_img(Photos by Sue Kirsch text by Jesse F.) September 7, 2018Photos from the last few days and nights, of a Peruvian Apple Cactus Cereus Peruvianus in bloom. The first one actually bloomed during the full moon night and started shriveling during the late morning. The Peruvian apple cactus, is a large, erect, thorny columnar cactus found in South America as well as the nearby ABC Islands of the Dutch Caribbean. We have two of these cactuses in the cactus gardens behind EC Unit 9 and 10. They were bought during the 2017 FORM Arcosanti event by SOLANGE, with a lot of other plants that were to be used as backdrop during her performance. All of the plants were donated and planted in different places all over the site. The photos are of the evening before the first bloom with just the bud, the night bloom, still blooming in the early morning [with a bee],then the next evening with the second bud opening and blooming, while the first flower is already shriveled up.The cycles of life, so beautiful and sometimes so short. Who know what we might miss if we look away for just a day or two. And thanks as always for checking in on us!last_img read more

first_imgCanal+ has launched Canal+ Séries, the sixth channel in its premium offering, Chaines Canal+.The channel, which offers the latest French and international drama series, joins existing channels Canal+ Cinéma, Canal+ Sport, Canal+ Décale and Canal+ Family in the premium offering.Shows on the new channel include Hannibal, Utopia, Mad Men season six and Nurse Jackie season five.Canal+ Séries is the first new channel to join the bouquet in six years and faces competition from Orange Cinéma Séries (OCS), which on September 12 announced the launch of a new channel, OCS City, featuring content from its US partner HBO.OCS City will feature HBO content a day after it is aired in the US, including Game of Thrones season three. Other shows on the channel include Boardwalk Empire, Girls and True Blood.OCS is also launching OCS Go, a multiscreen on-demand version of its offering.last_img read more