People welcome spring celebrating Pahela Falgun

সোমবার, ১৩ ফেব্রুয়ারী ২০১৭

13 February 2017 Pahela Falgun, the first day of Spring in the Bengali month of Falgun, is being celebrated across the country today in a colourful way with young girls and boys joining various functions wearing dazzling dresses.

Falgun is the eleventh month in the Bengali calendar and the first month of the season, Spring, the king of all the six seasons that brings back warm sunshine, budding flowers and dancing of birds.

The first of Falgun is known as Pahela Falgun and usually falls on February 13 of the Gregorian calendar.

After the dryness of winter, new leaves start to come out again and the nature adorns the branches with new colorful flowers such as Shimul, Polash and Marigold.

Falgun brings joys and colours both in nature and life. Everything in nature gives an impression of youthfulness or freshness, as if the nature takes a new birth. The festival-loving Bangladeshi people welcome and celebrate this day with great joy, love and in a colourful manner.

 

'Kahaani 2' declared tax-free in Uttar Pradesh

রবিবার, ১৮ ডিসেম্বর ২০১৬

18 December 2016 Actress Vidya Balan's latest suspense thriller "Kahani 2: Durga Rani Singh" has been declared tax free in Uttar Pradesh.

"In the past two weeks we've actually had people tell us that this film deserves to be made tax free so that more and more families can watch it. I'm so thrilled to know that 'Kahaani 2' has been made tax free in Uttar Pradesh," Vidya, who plays the title role in the film, said in a statement.

 
 

Amitabh Reza on film direction Star Live

বুধবার, ০৯ নভেম্বর ২০১৬

09 November 2016 So you want to direct a small entertainment video or a documentary?

Why not even dream of making a film? Here we have director of the blockbuster hit film Aynabaji Amitabh Reza talking to us sharing his insights about what makes a good director. To know more watch our video.

 
 

Sonakshi sizzles in new “Force 2” song

মঙ্গলবার, ০১ নভেম্বর ২০১৬

01 November 2016 The makers of upcoming film Force 2 starring John Abraham and Sonakshi Sinha have shared a song from the film; “O Jaaniya” is a new version of Sridevi's iconic song “Kaate Nahi Katate” from “Mr India”.

In the song, Sonakshi dons a glamorous avatar, flaunting her moves.

 

Talking about the song, Sonakshi said, “The intention was never to replicate what Sriji has done. That is iconic and I truly believe no one even comes close to her! But the song is great and I love the fact that we have given it a modern twist by fusing it with EDM music which is the flavour of today!”

Neha Kakkar has lent her voice for the song that has been composed by Gourov Roshin.

Force 2” produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah and John Abraham and directed by Abhinay Deo, is all set to release on November 18.

Source: Hindustan Times

 
 

Decoding aynabaji

শনিবার, ২২ অক্টোবর ২০১৬

22 October 2016 Just when it seemed overdue, lo and behold, “Aynabaji” hit the box offices and history was made. Not only did Amitabh Reza and his team went against all odds of the template-like formula for successful films in Bangladesh, but they defied the convention and ended up with an instant blockbuster hit. “Aynabaji” is a treat to our senses. Using state-of-the-art technology, it was able to nurture the essence of the age old Dhaka that many of us seemed to have forgotten. Amitabh Reza's capability to bring out the best from the actors, who themselves were unaware of their brilliant potential, along with the sense of humour, played an eccentric role behind the success. Jeopardy was at stake, as Nabila, the lead actress is a new-comer in the industry and “Aynabaji” did not have any “item song” either, which seems to be a must in commercial films today. Nonetheless, the team took a daring leap, and are now reaping the rewards.The Showbiz team decided to sit with the team of “Aynabaji” to learn how they found that last piece of the missing puzzle.

 

Aynabaji” has created a trend in Bengali cinema and even after a few weeks into its release it remains the talk of the town. We would like to know your thoughts on it.



Adil: It was a challenge and truly a big achievement. We had planned everything in details prior to the production and thankfully it paid off. It was a hit from the first day onwards. We did not get to screen it in as many halls in the starting, but later on, we got more theatres.

Shaon: The problem in Bangla cinema is the lack of ability in storytelling, in which I believe Amitabh Reza has done a fantastic job. And that is the reason why many are flocking to the theatres, many of them for the second or third time as well.

Now that you have set a milestone in Bengali cinema, how much longer does the audience need to wait for something of a similar calibre?

Shaon: We as producers should not take this success for granted. Instead, what we need to do is keep the trend for good cinema alive and strive to produce better films. Even though it is a business, in which the content is of great importance. Given the current situation in the lives of the teenagers of our country, it could provide for a good subject to base a film upon.

Interviewing the “Aynabaji” team
Nabila

Has “Aynabaji” been able to bring back the younger generation in to the theatres?

Shaon: If “Aynabaji” was not able to achieve what it has so far, I believe we would be indebted to the younger generation. It was a must on our behalf. It will also serve as an inspiration for various young people and also teach those who are intrigued by film making, the many aspects of it. A lot was at stake while making this film, so we had to play it right; we simply could not afford to put any one down.

Partho and Nabila, did you even realize during the shoot that “Aynabaji” would be such a success? What are your thoughts to continue acting?

Partho: I had a firm belief from the beginning that this would have an outstanding

outcome. Had it not, then I would have been rather disappointed. Each and every aspect of film making was conducted with precise care. Everyone involved was an expert at their individual field. Only Nabila and I were newcomers in cinema. In my thirty years' experience in the media, I have learnt one thing. It does not matter whether it is a film, song or drama, if the content is of quality, it is bound to fetch fans. The work that Amitabh has done was so worthy, entertainment was inevitable. It had the ability to hold back the audiences from the start till the final credits were rolling, and that I believe is an amazing achievement.

As for acting, if someone as Amitabh Reza offers me a film, only then I might be interested.

FACTS

Audience: Over 184,282

Box Office Collection: Over Tk. 21,352,337

Highest number for any Bangladeshi Film: 91 shows in 10 days

Occupancy: A record of 98.89% for 9 days

Balaka: Highest number of audience, 36,138; for the first time they are running 11 shows a day

IMDb: 9.8/10, highest for any Bengali movie

Nabila: I took up this challenge out of sheer trust. During the shooting of the film, many told me that it would end up as an art film as it was being directed by Amitabh Reza. I know that I have given my best and so did all the other cast and crew who were involved with “Aynabaji”. After that analysis, how could it not be a great film?

I was offered many films earlier as well, but I had to decline them. But if a similar film as “Aynabaji” comes up with all its magnificent magnitude, then I shall definitely be interested to work.

What was the reason behind casting a total newcomer in acting like Nabila?

Amitabh Reza:
An actor must be passionate and try to establish a connection with the director, and that gives birth to the trust that Nabila and I share today. Most of those, whom I had screened for the role of the actress, somehow lacked that ability to connect with me and surrender their acting to my direction. I do not accept any compromises in that aspect, thus, all those who were casted had to pass that test.

Apart from your renowned advertisements, what kind of an upcoming film can we expect?

Amitabh Reza:
My prime focus now is on the upcoming film. Once I'm fully satisfied with the overall effect of the script and story, I shall proceed with the making.

Interviewed by Rafi Hossain

Transcribed by Minam Haq

 
 

Farooki plans to make film on Dhaka attack

মঙ্গলবার, ১১ অক্টোবর ২০১৬

11 October 2016 Filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki has revealed plans for his next film based on the terror attack on Holey Artisan Bakery, the popular upscale eatery in Dhaka’s Gulshan area.

“Holy Bakery will be a one-shot film. It will be intimate and intense,” Farooki told cinema portal Variety.com in Busan, South Korea, where he is in the jury of the short film competition section of Busan International Film Festival.

The film will be based on the July 1 incident at the Holey Artisan Bakery where armed gunmen held up customers for 12 hours and killed 20 of them mostly foreigners. Two police officers and five gunmen were also killed during a shootout and later in an operation conducted by joint forces.

A cast will be set in place in early 2017 and principal photography will begin in March and Farooki’s production outfit Chabial will produce with other entities joining shortly, reports Variety quoting Farooki.

 
 

Don't mess with Indian Army: Celebs hail soldiers

শনিবার, ০১ অক্টোবর ২০১৬

01 October 2016 Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Anupam Kher have hailed the Indian Army, who recently conducted surgical strikes on terror camps along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. As many as 19 Indian soldiers were killed in the September 18 Uri attack. On Wednesday night, Indian Special Forces targeted "some terrorist teams" positioned at launch pads across the LoC, leading to "significant casualties" to the terrorists and those who support them, the military said.

Proud of the act, some of the Bollywood celebrities hailed the Indian Army on Twitter:

Amitabh Bachchan: Don't mess with the Indian Army.

Shah Rukh Khan: Thanks Indian Army for the action against terrorism. We should all pray for safety and well-being of our Indian soldiers.

Anupam Kher: Bharat Mata Ki Jai.

Rishi Kapoor: Last straw that broke the camel's back... Now, as you sow, so shall you reap. You asked for it! Proud to be an Indian. Jai Hind.

Ajay Devgn: Hats off to the Indian Army for proving that every Indian life matters. Salute to the army.

Shatrughan Sinha: Bravo PM Narendra Modi. Congratulations on your firm action. We are all with you. Jai Hind.

Varun Dhawan: Congratulations to the Indian government and proud of our army for taking the fight to the terrorist. Country first. Jai Hind.

Sidharth Malhotra: Salute to the Indian Army, we once again stand united for war against terror. Proud Indian.

Nikitin Dheer: Congratulations to the Indian Army on the surgical strike we are all with you in the fight for freedom from terrorism. Jai Hind.

Ashish Chowdhry: I'm a victim of terror. Today, I feel that pride each Indian is feeling. Indian Army I salute you, I love you. Narendra Modi, I admire you. Jai Hind.

Sajid Khan: I salute the Indian Army...I salute our braveheart soldiers... Bharat mata ki jai. Surgical Strike.

 
 

Fawad, other Pakistani artistes given 48hrs to leave India

শনিবার, ২৪ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১৬

24 September 2016 Calls for Pakistani artists to leave India have been growing after the Uri attacks as nationalist party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS)’s film wing has issued a 48-hour deadline to all Pakistani artistes to leave the country.

The MNS’s Chitrapat Sena’s President Amey Khopkar issued the statement yesterday, reports India Tribune.

“We gave a 48-hour deadline to Pakistani actors and artists to leave India or MNS will push them out,” reads the statement.

The MSN came up with the ultimatum following a militant attack on Indian army base at Uri, Kashmir that left 18 Indian military personnel dead.

Following the friction between the two countries over Kashmir, some in India have started opposing the work of Pakistani artistes in their country.

Earlier, one Indian journalist penned a letter to Fawad asking him to leave the country stating the war on Kashmir as an issue,reports Pakistani daily DAWN.

"We have watched in pain how you have chosen to look away when your country is inflicting pain on us." he wrote.

Meanwhile one wrote a counter letter arguing that "Fawad is an actor and not a politician... Let’s leave the politics to our politicians."

She added, "We’ve showered love on you because you deserve it (and also because of your dreamy eyes) not because you are from Pakistan."

This is not the first time Fawad and co have received threats from India's nationalist parties. In October last year, Shiv Sena activists had threatened Fawad Khan and Mahira and announced plans to hinder promotions of the actors' upcoming movies, Raees and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.

There have also been several protests by Shiv Sena and the Raj Thackeray-headed political organisation against the performance of ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali in India in January.

 
 

Arshi Nagar, a hope for folk artistes

বুধবার, ৩১ আগস্ট ২০১৬

31 August 2016 Arshi Nagar Bangladesh, a volunteer organisation located in Lalmonirhat has been providing a platform for folk artistes of two districts--Lalmonirhat and Kurigram--to practice and preserve this age-old art form.

The organisation was founded by Badsha Alam in 2005, with a dream to preserve the folksongs of North Bengal. Along with that, the help of donations from a kind-hearted lady, Wrathe, from Norway in 2006 helped in cementing Arshi Nagar’s position further.

At present, the organisation runs 17 centres for folksong training and four for practicing archaic musical instruments at villages of the two districts.

Wrathe visits Arshi Nagar Bangladesh’s training centres from time to time and is addressed as mother by all the folksong artistes.

About 1,200 students of schools and colleges have been learning folksongs and how to play musical instruments at the centres.

Many of the students have already been listed as folksong activists and play ancient music instruments for radios and televisions. Students of Arshi Nagar have received national awards for their performances.

Some of the students who are from poor families are provided with educational expenditure, heath care and food supplies from Arshi Nagar.

The organisation has already archived about 100 different ancient musical instruments and over 3,000 folksongs.

 
 

The importance of proper projection of Nazrul

শনিবার, ২৭ আগস্ট ২০১৬

27 August 2016 Renowned Nazrul Sangeet exponent Dalia Nausheen, with her mellifluous voice, renders diverse genres of Nazrul's songs including raga-based classics, kavyageeti, kirtan, adhunik and folk numbers. Dalia Nausheen, daughter of eminent architect Muzharul Islam, began her musical training at Chhayanaut under eminent Nazrul exponents Sudhin Das, Sheikh Lutfur Rahman and Sohrab Hossain. Dalia Nausheen joined Bangladesh Mukti Sangrami Shilpi Sangstha during the War of Liberation, and inspired millions with her voice raising funds for the refugee camps and boosting the morale of Freedom Fighters. The artiste has recently talked to The Daily Star and shared her thoughts and evaluation and current state of Nazrul Sangeet Practice in Bangladesh. Excerpts:

“We are unable to educate our sons and daughters about the essence of our rich culture. Children now have an aversion to cultural practices. They are rather busy with technology and social media. I was baptized in music at 5 under Sudhin Das. Cultural practice should start at home. The role of schools comes next. Great initiatives by mass media and different organisations like Nazrul Institute and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy seem to have shrunk.”

“I can remember the congenial cultural atmosphere that prevailed in our family. Many of our relatives would visit during weekends and my parents would inspire us to perform on a makeshift stage in our drawing room. I along with my cousins Sadya, Lubna, Naila would instantly dance and sing. Saad Bhaiya could perform a parody song and many of us would perform skits.”

“Becoming a singer requires indomitable spirit and passion, ceaseless practice, inspiration and recognition. Present day singers seem to have little patience. Private TV channels are busy showing the singers off.”

“I think Nazrul is a victim of politics. As a proponent of humanity, love and righteousness, Nazrul was a voice for the people of all classes especially the downtrodden. He was an emblem of communal harmony and spoke for social parity. Yet, we are representing the National Poet mistakenly. Many also create the idea that Nazrul Sangeet is very hard to learn. Popular Nazrul singers are busy with their own publicity; they are not concerned about holding the image of Nazrul high. Those who are the core people of Nazrul Sangeet and research are not in the limelight.”

“Nazrul was very open and would compose many songs in three ways and asserted upon singers to follow the best one. At present, his compositions are being stuck in staff notations and in the lesser popular original tunes. I believe in performing songs in three ways and retain the one that the audience accepts warmly.  How can I entertain my young audience otherwise?”

“I would like to pay my musical homage to Kazi Nazrul Islam by practising his songs till the end of my life. I have already opened a Nazrul cell along with a research centre at my home. To change society, to cultivate the beauty and justice in society, we have no other alternative than Nazrul.”

 
 

Britney Spears biopic coming to TV soon

বৃহস্পতিবার, ২৫ আগস্ট ২০১৬

25 August 2016 Britney Spears is getting her own TV movie, which will focus on the singer's road to success, including her various ups and downs.

TV network Lifetime made the announcement about the biopic on Wednesday. TO be directed by Leslie Libman, the film will chart the singer’s rise to fame, and will also focus on the peaks and valleys that occurred throughout her career, in front of the cameras and behind the scenes, reports variety.com.

Actress Natasha Bassett will star as Spears in the two-hour biopic. The film will also explore the singer’s relationships with Justin Timberlake, Jason Alexander and Kevin Federline.

The TV movie, which is tentatively titled “Britney”, will be produced by Asylum Entertainment, with a script written by Anne-Marie Hess.

Production for “Britney” will begin on September 19 in Vancouver, Canada. The film is scheduled for a 2017 release.

 

 
 

“Dana Kata Pori” scores over 5 lac viewers

শনিবার, ১৩ আগস্ট ২০১৬

13 August 2016 Bangladeshi actress Pori Moni's latest film “Rokto” will be released sometime in the coming months. The movie is directed by Wazed Ali Sumon. The teaser for the movie has reached over 2 lac views on YouTube as of August 8, 2016. The item song in the film “Dana Kata Pori” is also receiving positive response on YouTube.The song has reached over 3 lac views on YouTube within 24 hours of its release and as of August 8, 2016, total views stood at over 5 lac. The song has been choreographed by Baba Yadav. Starring opposite to Pori Moni in the film is Rikto Roshon.

 
 

Beating heart of Brazil's musical heritage reveals deeper message

শনিবার, ০৬ আগস্ট ২০১৬

06 August 2016 A joyful sashay through Brazil's extraordinary musical heritage was infused with a social message and a warning over the dangers of climate change as Rio de Janeiro drew back the curtain of the 2016 Olympic Games with a highly charged opening ceremony.

"Past the risky point" is how creative director Fernando Meirelles described the state of the planet hours before the ceremony in the Maracana Stadium, and the Oscar-nominated director of City of God made good on his promise to urge the expected three billion-plus television audience to sit up and take action, reports the official website of Rio Olympic Games.

Giant, NASA-inspired heat maps showing the projected effect of sea-level rises on cities including Amsterdam, Shanghai and Rio de Janeiro were displayed, while the sight of smiling musical legends Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veleso delighted the watching thousands.

The Amazon featured heavily, with one section highlighting the birth of the world's biggest rainforest inducing gasps of delight as clouds of luminous yellow butterflies engulfed the iconic football stadium.

The celebration continued to be matched by Meirelles' message, with even the Olympic rings turning a lush green after the almost 11,000 parading athletes were each given a cartridge containing a seedling. Organisers have pledged that every tree will be transplanted to create an Athletes' Forest in Deodoro, site of the second-largest Rio 2016 venue cluster.

Areas of low-income housing were represented by wild urban beats and stark images of poverty. A city of contrasts, pop-funk sensation Ludmilla shared the stage with 1950s samba queen Elza Soares, before 12-year-old rapper MC Soffia picked up the baton and led 1500 residents of the Carnaval city into a rocking street party.

Many of Brazil's highest profile personalities made an appearance. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, 36, marked what she has declared to be her last appearance on a catwalk in spectacular style, holding the stadium enraptured to Tom Jobim's iconic song The Girl from Ipanema. Compatriot Lea T, the first transgender model to sign a beauty contract, added to the insistent message of tolerance and diversity, carrying a placard in the Athletes' Parade.

The tones of acclaimed British actress Judi Dench were also heard, reading a classic Brazilian poem. As bizarre as that sounds, it somehow fitted the smile-inducing spectacle.

Two further moments of international focus stood out. First, the awarding of the newly inaugurated Olympic Laurel to two-time Olympic gold medallist athlete Kipchoge Keino, 76, recognising his work educating orphaned children, and the arrival of the Refugee Olympic Team to roars almost as deafening as those reserved for the home athletes.

In a fitting finale, it was Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, the marathon runner made famous for seeing his gold medal hopes dashed by a spectator who wrestled him to the ground during the latter stages of the Athens 2004 race, who lit the Olympic flame.

As predicted by Meirelles, Brazil's "heart" proved more than enough.

 
 

Nadia to return as “Shurbala”

মঙ্গলবার, ০২ আগস্ট ২০১৬

02 August 2016 After a break of one year, actress Nadia returns to BTV to appear in TV play “Ekratri.” The shoot will be held at BTV premises in Rampura.

Based on a story by Rabindranath Tagore, the play is directed by Shah Zaman Miah and will air on August 7. Cast in the role of Shurbala, the actor commented, “Ekratri is a very well known story and most people are familiar with Shurbala. I am so glad to have the opportunity to bring her to life. There are a few roles that I gladly lie in wait for, and Shurbala is one of them.”

 
 

Lady Gaga, fiance Taylor Kinney 'taking a break'

সোমবার, ২৫ জুলাই ২০১৬

25 July 2016 Lady Gaga and her fiancé, actor Taylor Kinney, are on a break.

A representative for the singer told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the couple is “taking a break.” No more details were provided.

Gaga and Kinney, a star on the NBC series “Chicago Fire,” were engaged last year on Valentine's Day. They met in 2011 on the set of Gaga's “You & I” video.

Gaga currently is working on her next solo album, which comes after 2014's Grammy-winning “Cheek to Cheek” with Tony Bennett and “ARTPOP,” released in 2013. She won a Golden Globe this year for her role in the series, “American Horror Story: Hotel,” and she was nominated at the Academy Awards for her song, “Til It Happens to You.”

Kinney also was in the film “Zero Dark Thirty.”

 
 

Hrithik Roshan: Was helped by the kindest staff at Istanbul airport

বুধবার, ২৯ জুন ২০১৬

29 June 2016 Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan and his sons Hrehaan and Hridhaan were at Istanbul airport hours before a suicide bomb attack that has killed 36 people, reports The Times of India.

The actor tweeted about the staff, praising them as the kindest staff he had come across.

Hrithik and his sons actually missed the connecting flight at Istanbul and were stuck at the airport because they could not get business class tickets. However, the trio, with the help of the staff, took an early economy flight and left the venue. The actor tweeted that his prayers are with Istanbul.

 
 

Former Voice contestant Christina Grimmie shot dead in Orlando

শনিবার, ১১ জুন ২০১৬

11 June 2016 Singer Christina Grimmie, who had competed on the US TV programme The Voice, has died of her wounds after being shot in Florida, police say.

They say a man opened fire on her when she was signing autographs after a concert in Orlando.

The assailant - who was tackled by Grimmie's brother - then shot and killed himself. The 22-year-old singer died in a local hospital.

In 2014, Grimmie finished third during season six of The Voice.

In a tweet, Orlando's police wrote: "With deep regret, we have confirmed Christina Grimmie, @TheRealGrimmie has died from her injuries."

Meanwhile, Grimmie's publicist said: "It is with a heavy heart that we can confirm that Christina has passed and went home to be with the Lord."

Police say Grimmie was shot about 22:45 local time on Friday (02:45 GMT Saturday) at The Plaza Live in Orlando.

The gunman opened fire as she was signing autographs for fans with Before You Exit band.

The attacker, whose name has not been released, had two guns.

Orlando Police Department spokeswoman Wanda Miglio said Grimmie's brother "immediately tackled the suspect".

"During the struggle, the suspect shot himself. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene," the spokeswoman said.

She described Grimmie's brother as a "hero" for stopping the attacker "from not hurting anyone else".

A police investigation is now under way into how the suspect had managed to enter the venue with the firearms.

News of the attack spread quickly on social media, with many fans voicing their shock and anger.

Grimmie first came to prominence as a teenager for her renditions of hit songs, amassing a huge following on YouTube.

In 2011, she released her debut musical recording Find Me. Her second EP - Side A - followed in February 2016.

 
 

Purnima-Hridoy are the perfect pair

বুধবার, ০১ জুন ২০১৬

01 June 2016 Popular actress Purnima and singer Hridoy Khan make a great pair on screen. Director S A Haque Alik obviously thinks so too as he frames the two stars together in Eid special telefilm "Phirey Jawa Holo Na” for the first time.

Hirdoy Khan shares, “My zone is music and I never thought I would act in a telefilm. It happened all of a sudden. Although, I have acting experience in my music videos ,this is very different as I had to deliver dialogues as well. Purnima  is a good actor and honestly as a human being she is as good as her acting.”

Meanwhile, Purnima said, “I enjoyed playing the role of a mischievous girl in a telefilm. So for me this was a fresh and fun assignment.”

“Phirey Jawa Holo Na” is the story of a fun loving, mischievous girl Rodela who meets Fahim, a visitor to Bangladesh. As the story progresses, Rodela mocks Fahim in various ways and finally the duo fall in love.

 
 

Students seeking sugar daddies for tuition, rent

সোমবার, ৩০ মে ২০১৬

30 May 2016 Candice Kashani graduated from law school debt-free this spring, thanks to a modern twist on an age-old arrangement.

During her first year, she faced tuition and expenses that ran nearly $50,000, even after a scholarship. So she decided to check out a dating website that connected women looking for financial help with men willing to provide it, in exchange for companionship and sex — a "sugar daddy" relationship as they are known.

Now, almost three years and several sugar daddies later, Kashani is set to graduate from Villanova University free and clear, while some of her peers are burdened with six-digit debts.

As the cost of tuition and rent rises, so does the apparent popularity of such sites among students. But are they really providing financial relief, or signing women up for something more exploitative and dangerous than debt?

Kashani believes such sites are a "great resource" for young women, but others say these arrangements smack of prostitution and take advantage of women in a vulnerable situation.

Lynn Comella, an associate professor of gender and sexuality studies at University of Nevada Las Vegas, said that it is not unusual for students to turn to sex work such as stripping, prostitution or webcam work to pay for school. But the sugar daddy sites are relatively new, and she says not entirely upfront about what they are really about.

These arrangements are more vague than prostitution— there is an expectation of material benefit but it is not always specified and sex is not guaranteed.

Ron Weitzer, a professor of sociology at George Washington University and criminologist with an expertise in the sex industry describes it as "prostitution light."

"Sugar Daddy" arrangements have existed for ages, and it's unclear if they are becoming more common because the phenomenon is not well studied. But experts say at the very least the internet has made these transactions far easier to arrange and negotiate. "It allows you to hone in on what you want," said Kevin Lewis, an assistant professor of sociology at University of California San Diego who studies online dating. "You could argue it is just making the market more efficient."

Kashani says she sifted through many potential suitors before finding one she clicked with. She says she considers her sugar daddy one of her best friends and that they care deeply for each other.

"The people who have a stigma, or associate a negative connotation with it, don't understand how it works," she says.

But unlike most relationships, she is paid a sizeable monthly allowance that helps her pay for school.

US undergraduate students last year finished school with an average of $35,000 in student debt — a figure that has risen steadily every year, according to Mark Kantrowitz, a financial aid expert. The average graduate debt load is $75,000, and some longer programs force students into much deeper debt.

Many students say their loans don't cover the cost of living, and with rent skyrocketing in most major cities, they are left scrambling to make up the difference.

One graduate student at Columbia University in New York had a scholarship that covered almost all of her tuition, but not her living expenses. She spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the potential impact on her job prospects. She tried to make do — sharing a room with a classmate and working a minimum wage job, plus any freelance work she could get. But still she struggled to pay her rent and utilities, and her grades suffered.

"That's just not why I am here," she said. "I wanted to find the most amount of money I could make for the least amount of effort."

So she found herself surfing Craigslist and Backpage.com and later, SeekingArrangement.com, the largest of the sugar daddy websites. Now she has two sugar daddies, one she sees occasionally and another who is more like a conventional boyfriend, except that he pays her a monthly allowance and helps rent her an apartment closer to him.

SeekingArrangement.com said it is most popular in Los Angeles and New York. The average rent in both areas is well over $2,000 a month, according to Zillow research.

The Columbia student says she plans to continue "sugaring" after she graduates to buy herself time to find a more traditional job and remain officially unemployed so she can defer repaying the roughly $70,000 in loans she had already racked up.

"There is a lot of moral panic about it," she said. "But what are the real estate and academic funding situations that led to this?"

Brandon Wade, creator of the site, touts it as an "alternative to financial aid" but says the company did not set out to target students when it launched in 2006. It stumbled on this niche and began in 2011 offering students a free premium membership, which usually costs $30 a month. It charges sugar daddies $70 to $180 a month, depending on the membership level.

Seekingarrangement.com also offers to connect same-sex couples looking for such arrangements, or "sugar mommies" for men. But the male-female "sugar daddy" dynamic makes up the bulk of its business.

It's difficult to pin down exactly how many students are involved in such situations, because they are private transactions. And it's a niche rarely studied by academics.

SeekingArrangement.com says student users on the site jumped from 79,400 worldwide in 2010 to 1.9 million this year and students make up one-third of its users. And while it sees thousands of signups on any given day, the company says enrollment jumps during August and January when tuition is typically due, sometimes to more than double its normal levels.

Women who have used the site report experiences that run the gamut — from respectful chaste dates all the way to aggressive solicitation online, even though it is forbidden on the site. Sex is not guaranteed although most users say it is implied. The company says a few arrangements have even led to marriage, although it is rare.

Some of the women say they feel respected and cared for, but remain aware that it is an arrangement, not traditional romantic love.

"It benefits me in many ways — we have a healthy relationship, we travel together, I'm able to enjoy the city more," said the New York graduate student.

Still, she said, it is a job.

"It does kind of rub me the wrong way that some people don't see it as sex work," she said.

Comella warns that unlike sex workers, many women doing this put their true identities online, and that could put them at risk. While Seeking Arrangement runs background checks, there have been reports of violence against both men and women stemming from sugar daddy websites.

Kristen Houser of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center says that violence is common any time money is exchanged for sex. "You need to pay attention that there is a power imbalance," she said.

Wade says there are risks inherent in any dating website. He should know; he runs several, including one that allows users to bid on dates and another focused on open relationships. He said he created SeekingArrangement.com out of his own frustration with women. An MIT graduate, he had difficulty meeting women and realized a site such as this would highlight what set him apart — money.

"Money and sex are things that people want," he said. "I think the controversy comes into play on seeking arrangement because we are so upfront about it."

 
 

Harjit Starring Mahi and Sajal

শনিবার, ২৮ মে ২০১৬

28 May 2016 Actor Sajal and Actress Mahiya Mahi will be seen together as an on screen duo for the first time in “Harjit”. Director Badiul Alam Khokon has commented that even though he has worked with popular on screen duos like Shakib Khan and Apu Biswas, he is concerned for the fact that no contemporary is being created in the industry and opportunities should be granted to the newer faces.

He also said that although Mahi has showcased her skills through her works till now, this new project will add a new dimension to her career. The action-romance centered venture will also see Sajal in a completely different light than from that his fans are used to.

Penned by the director himself, the movie will also star the likes of Moushumi, Omar Sunny and Misha Showdagar. The director also informed that the pre-production work are almost completed, and they are ready to start shoring from next month.

 
 

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard to divorce

বৃহস্পতিবার, ২৬ মে ২০১৬

26 May 2016 Film star Johnny Depp and his actress wife Amber Heard are to divorce, US court documents have revealed.

Heard, 30, filed for divorce in Los Angeles Superior Court citing irreconcilable differences.

They married 15 months ago and have no children.

They have recently been embroiled in a legal case in Australia after Heard took two dogs into the country illegally. She pleaded guilty in April to a charge of falsifying documents.

Depp, 52, and Heard met while co-starring in the 2011 film The Rum Diary.

In the court papers, Texan-born Heard listed the separation date as Sunday.

Celebrity news website TMZ reported that Depp had asked a judge to reject Heard's claim for spousal support.

The split comes days after the death of Depp's mother. His latest film, Alice Through the Looking Glass, is due to be released on Friday.

The Australian court case started last year when Heard brought two dogs into the country where her husband was filming the latest movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

When the case was settled, the couple released a video apology expressing remorse and advising travellers to respect Australian quarantine laws.

However, Australia's Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce had threatened to have the dogs put down, triggering a war of words with Depp that lasted for months.

The actor recently said on a US TV show that  Joyce looks "somehow inbred with a tomato".

Joyce responded by saying he was "pulling strings" in Johnny Depp's head, like film villain Hannibal Lecter.

 
 

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