God Did It Ministries motorbike journey raises cash for group efforts – Shelby County Reporter

By NATHAN HOWELL | Employed author

ALABASTER – Almost 20 motorcycles cruised through Alabaster, Helena and Pelham on July 17th for the God Did It Ministries’ first motorcycle ride.

Sanchez Tanniehill, the organization’s founder, said the ride was a way to support the local community and raise awareness of his group’s efforts.

“We receive grants for some of the different projects we run,” said Tanniehill. “Unfortunately, they don’t always cover what we want to achieve. We thought this would be a great way to get into the community and raise some money for our activities. “

The ride began at Buck Creek Park in Alabaster, where a number of bikers waited eagerly to take to the streets as a visible representation of the organization.

They parked their motorcycles and stood up, even Tanniehill took a side seat on one of the motorcycles.
A volunteer stood in line, counted down, and the wheels were off.

“We ended up going down Alabama 119, over the intersection and came back to Shelby County 17 via Helena,” Tanniehill explained. “Helena and her police were so nice to help us. Then we drove through Pelham and your department met us there. Eventually we passed Oak Mountain State Park and worked our way back to Alabaster. “

The bike tour was a sight to see as it passed many of the normal Saturday events like farmers markets and local farm sales.

“I had a great time,” said Tanniehill. “The ride was so smooth.”

He said that from what he saw the riders were mutual.

“You loved it,” he added. “The cities were very cooperative to make sure everyone was safe. It was very good for our first run and everyone said they were ready to do it again. “

The organizers had cause for concern as rain had been a recurring problem in the past few weeks. They monitored the weather which in the end worked for them. Tanniehill attributed the success of the ride to prayer.
“It rained a little, but it didn’t last,” he explained. “I prayed and the Lord said, ‘I have you.’ In the end we didn’t have any worries. “

God Did It Ministries uses its funds to support community initiatives such as supplying local students with school supplies and other items, hosting community events and other things.

“I wanted the whole thing for the community to stand behind it and come together. I think it was a good first time, ”said Tanniehill. “Please keep praying for us.”

He said people interested in supporting the organization could purchase special patches for this run. Anyone interested in purchasing can log on to the God Did It Ministries Facebook page.

FDA chief tells reporter ‘transfer on’ when pressed on Biogen Alzheimer’s drug approval

A pedestrian walks past Biogen Inc. headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Monday, June 7, 2021.

Adam Glanzman | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Janet Woodcock, on Wednesday, opposed a journalist’s questions about the controversial approval of rejected BiogenicAlzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm.

During an interview at STAT’s Breakthrough Science Summit, STAT reporter Nicholas Florko asked Woodcock several questions about the drug, including whether she was surprised that the agency approved it for such widespread use.

When the FDA approved Aduhelm last month, it didn’t limit its use to specific Alzheimer’s patients. But after facing heavy criticism, about a month later, U.S. regulators changed course, updated the label, and restricted use of the drug for people with mild or early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Woodcock said Wednesday that the broader label is in line with other drugs for neurodegenerative disease. The FDA chief also admitted that Biogen’s drug approval process could possibly have been handled differently.

“It is possible that the process would have been managed in a way that would have reduced the controversy associated with it,” she said.

Florko asked if she was surprised at the label. She replied, “I think we should go ahead.”

When Florko then pressed Woodcock to see if she was one reported meeting Between an FDA regulator and Biogen in 2019, Woodcock said she worked for Operation Warp Speed, former President Donald Trump’s Covid drug and vaccine program, all last year. Then she said, “Nick, this is an interrogation right now,” and asked again to move on from the biotech company’s drug questions.

“I will not comment if and when and who. I really think we should go ahead, ”she replied.

The interview came less than a week after Woodcock’s call for a federal investigation in the approval of Biogen’s drug. On Friday, she asked the independent Office of Inspector General to investigate interactions between the US agency and Biogen prior to the drug’s approval on June 7th.

Biogen’s stock rose last month after the FDA issued the Drug from the biotech company, the first US regulator-approved drug to slow cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease, and the first new drug for the disease in nearly two decades.

This decision was a departure from the recommendations of the agency’s independent panel of external experts, who unexpectedly refused to support the drug last fall, citing unconvincing data. At least three members of the committee resigned in protest after the agency’s approval.

Federal agencies have faced heavy pressure from friends and family of Alzheimer’s patients to ask for the drug scientifically known as aducanumab to be expedited. The drug targets a “sticky” compound in the brain known as beta-amyloid that scientists expect to play a role in the devastating disease.

The investigation is the most recent setback for the company and the drug, which has been controversial since 2016.

In March 2019, Biogen withdrew from development of the drug after analysis by an independent group found it was unlikely to work. The company then shocked investors a few months later by announcing that it would apply for regulatory approval for the drug after all.

When Biogen filed for approval for the drug in late 2019, its scientists said a new analysis of a larger data set showed that aducanumab “reduces clinical decline in patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.”

Alzheimer’s experts and Wall Street analysts were immediately skeptical, wondering whether the clinical trial data was enough to prove the drug works and whether approval could make it difficult for other companies to enroll patients in their own drug trials.

Some doctors said they won’t prescribe it aducanumab due to the mixed data package supporting the company’s application.

Cash for ‘charudie’: Calera mates increase greater than $2K for Tallapoosa County Ladies Ranch – Shelby County Reporter

From ALEC ETHEREDGE | Editor-in-chief

CALERA – Maggie Marling sat bored in the Timberline neighborhood of Calera on a typical summer day, sprinted to her father in her house and started yelling the best idea she ever had.

“Papa, papa, I want to open a lemonade stand,” she said ecstatically to her papa, who was trying to balance a business conversation in one ear and asking Maggie what she needed in the other. “Where can I get lemons? Where can I get cups? “

Her father George put the phone down for a brief second and told her to come up with a business plan.

“He said, ‘Look, you can’t do this without a plan. You have to create a business plan for me beforehand and bring it to me, then I’ll answer your questions, ‘”Maggie’s mom Brandi remembers. “I think George thought it would only keep her occupied for a few minutes, but it got to be a couple of days.”

The business plan

At the time, George didn’t know how seriously Maggie would take his advice to create a business plan, but she was determined to change someone’s life with her lemonade stand.

What started with an idea her father got on a business call turned into a 20-page business plan drawn in crayons and crayons.

“I went and got some crayons and pencils and all that,” Maggie recalls. “I entered all the details there, what the stand should look like, what I needed for the stand, whom I wanted to help myself and a list of charities.”

One of the pages highlighting what the sign on the booth should look like said “$ 2 fresh lemonade for Charudie”.

According to Brandi, the business plan had several ideas on how to help various ends and included her friend Jamison Garzarek.

“When they heard about the accident with the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch and all the children who had lost their lives, the girls got to know the ranch and knew this was the charity they wanted to help,” Brandi said.

So the two friends set about creating the best lemonade stand with their business plan.

Thanks to the help of the community, they got all the materials they needed and set up the stand from June 25th to 26th.

When life gives you lemons, you open a lemonade stand for charity

The next step in the business plan was trying to figure out how to get people to come to their lemonade stand by the Timberline pool, tucked away from the main drag. This became the easiest part of the plan, however, when the girls announced on Facebook that they wanted to raise funds for the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch.

The ranch’s heart was torn on Saturday, June 19, when eight ranch children died after the bus that brought them home from a beach excursion was part of a tragic pile-up on Interstate 65.

A total of 10 people who were involved in the wreck died, including a father and his 9-month-old daughter in a car and the eight ranch girls on their bus.

Tallapoosa Girls Ranch is one of four across the state established by sheriff departments to help children in need. Some have often been abandoned by their parents or are growing up in broken homes, but the ranch takes them in to create a Christian family atmosphere that offers them the best opportunities in life.

This particular group, who grew up during a difficult childhood, were allowed to enjoy a trip to the beach but were killed on the way home in an accident started by car hydroplaning.

“I lost my mother in a car accident when I was 10,” said Jamison’s mother, Erin. “When you know that this is her age, it’s so difficult to explain that everything can be gone at such a moment. Explaining to my daughter that no one could say goodbye, it was just a total tragedy. It meant a lot to me that the girls wanted to help people who were hurt by what I went through in such a situation. “

Maggie and Jamison also took it to heart. None of them complained or asked their parents for help on the way.

While other friends were playing in the pool right next to them, the two girls never asked to leave the lemonade stand to go for a swim. Instead, they stayed true to the cause.

A special occasion

During the heat of the day, Maggie and Jamison hand squeezed over 50 lemons, mixed them with water, sugar, and ice, and served nearly 70 cups a day.

“It’s hard for our two children, who have both parents and are so blessed that it’s hard to convey the value of their property to them without seeing what others don’t,” said Erin. “It doesn’t make materialistic stuff seem that important. They knew where this money was going and never asked for our help.

It meant a lot to parents to see that our children had an idea that they knew their only benefit would be to help others. They never complained or asked once to go or do anything else. You rarely see that, especially with 8-year-olds. “

The hard work paid off as the girls raised a total of $ 2,800 through soda sales and donations over two days.

“When we heard about the tragedy, we just wanted to help, but we didn’t expect it,” said Jamison.

Maggie said she was afraid no one would show up and she wasn’t expecting more than 20 customers.

“The number just got higher,” she says. “I was shocked. It was so much fun.”

Not only will the money be brought to Girls Ranch by the girls and their families, but they will also raise more money later this week on Calera’s First Friday and hope to do the same for other charities soon.

“When kids go to Walmart or Target they say, ‘What can I get, what can I get?’ But none of us really remember those $ 5 toys, ”said Erin. “However, we remember experiences in life, we remember what we do for others and what they do for us.”

And this experience is one that both Maggie and Jamison said they will never forget while hoping this is just the beginning of helping others.

Parents were also grateful to the Calera Ward for their assistance in helping Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch through a tragic time.

What started with a daughter yelling an idea at her father during a phone call grew into a powerful business helping a group of people when they needed it most.

“We just want them to know we love them and know it’s hard, but we want to help them know that we are here to help them,” Maggie said.

Tri Star Sports activities and Leisure Group Launches Pupil Fund – The Hollywood Reporter

Lou Taylor, CEO of Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group – known as The Hollywood Reporter’s Business manager icon in 2019 for representatives from stars like Steven Tyler, Mary J. Blige, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Britney Spears – created the Finish Line Scholarship to support the black student community at Spelman College.

The scholarship starts with a $ 70,000 donation and is distributed among students who have excelled in their studies but need financial assistance to complete their studies. The idea for the Finish Line Scholarship came about during the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, when Taylor and her Tri Star leadership team were trying to come up with elements of action that could support the cause.

“When we shared with Tri Star staff which HBCU we would work with for our scholarships, many employees shared their personal success stories and how the financial support they received along the way made a big difference to them and their families. “Said Taylor. “Among them was an employee with her own Spelman story. We knew immediately that we had made the right choice by partnering with Spelman College for our finish line scholarship. ”

Tri-star worked with Spelman President Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell and Vp for Institutional Funding Jessie Brooks to create the scholarship. Taylor confirmed that this is not a one-time gift, but rather a long-term plan to create future opportunities for Spelman students. Tri Star hopes to expand the scholarship program each year and provide more funding in the years to come.

Eryn Bent Kicks Off Tuesday At The Pond Summer season Leisure Sequence – Los Alamos Reporter

Singer Eryn Bent opened Tuesday night free Tuesday on the summer entertainment series Pond. The event was sold out and the Los Alamos Creative District is asking those who have not been able to get tickets to register for one of the other free weekly shows by early August. Current COVID restrictions limited the number of people who could attend, but it is hoped that ticket requirements will be removed when the state reopens. For tickets, visit Eventbrite or visit www.CreativeLosAlamos.com. Photo by Ryn Herrmann / Chamber

As people started doing more, the first concert of the season on Tuesday night in the Pond had a great audience. Photo by Ryn Herrmann / Chamber

Upcoming concerts in the Tuesday at the Pond series were made public at the event on Tuesday. Photo by Ryn Herrmann / Chamber

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CNN: Trump Justice Division seized reporter telephone data | Leisure

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration’s Justice Department secretly obtained phone records from a CNN correspondent for 2017, the network said Thursday, as it revealed the existence of another apparent leak investigation aimed at identifying a journalist’s sources .

The revelation comes two weeks after the Washington Post announced that the Justice Department had confiscated phone records of three of its journalists covering the Russia investigation last year.

CNN said the Justice Department informed Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr in a May 13 letter that it had phone and email recordings for a two-month period between June 1 and July 31, 2017 have received.

“CNN strongly condemns the secret collection of aspects of a journalist’s correspondence that are clearly protected by the first amendment,” said CNN President Jeff Zucker in a statement released by the network. “We request an immediate meeting with the Justice Department for an explanation.”

The Justice Department confirmed that the recordings were officially obtained last year but did not reveal anything else about the investigation or what might affect it. CNN said that during the two-month period listed in the letter, Starr’s reports included stories about Syria and Afghanistan, as well as coverage of U.S. military options in North Korea offered to President Donald Trump.

“The records in question are for 2017 and the legal process to obtain these records was approved in 2020,” Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement. “Senior management will be meeting with reporters soon to hear their concerns about the recent announcements and to convey Attorney General (Merrick) Garland’s firm support and commitment to a free and independent press.”

CNN said the letter to Starr was signed by John Demers, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice’s national security division, and Raj Parekh, the acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The letter indicated that the government was seeking records of Starr’s Pentagon phone extension, the CNN Pentagon booth phone number, and her home and cell phone records. The government also said it received “non-substantive information” from its emails, which included information about the senders and recipients, but not the actual content of the communications.

In 2015, the Justice Department, headed by former Attorney General Eric Holder, announced revised guidelines for obtaining records from the news media during criminal leak investigations. It removed the language that news organizations said was ambiguous and required additional levels of verification before a journalist could be summoned.

The updated policy was in response to outrage from news organizations over the Obama administration’s tactics, which were viewed as overly aggressive and hostile to news-gathering.

Bruce Brown, the executive director of the Reporters’ Committee on Freedom of the Press, said Thursday that the seizure of phone records was a “big story” that had just gotten bigger.

“The fact that a journalist from another news organization had seized communications records from the Trump Justice Department suggests the recent administration’s efforts to break into reporter-source relationships and gather news are wider than we originally thought,” Brown said .

He called on the Justice Department to explain exactly what happened and “how it intends to strengthen the protection for the free flow of information to the public”.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way without permission.

Feminine Writers of Coloration on Creating Leisure in a Yr of “Heartbreak and Horror” – The Hollywood Reporter

During a year of pain for so many, my mantra was, “Try not to complain.” After all, I am healthy. My immediate loved ones are healthy, and I was fortunate enough to keep working in a job I love in a year the pandemic drove many Americans into pantries. But like most people with a heartbeat, I could not avoid being emotionally affected by the traumatic events of the past year, and afterwards my work was also affected. For example, after George Floyd’s murder, I was moved to add a scene to a script that was supposed to be a celebration of the black hair. As written, it’s just a moment when two black women prepare their hair in silence. It is only when it ends that the audience realizes that one woman’s son, who is also the other woman’s husband, was killed by a police officer and they get dressed for the funeral. When director Bianca LaVerne Jones added Billie Holiday’s haunted lynch ballad “Strange Fruit” to the scene, I accepted that our streaming production would no longer be just a celebration because the moment we live in demanded more. It’s still hard for me to see this scene, but I realize it was necessary and it turned out to be one of the most memorable among the viewers. [Editor’s note: Goff’s The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks and Curls premiered in March 2021 at Baltimore Center Stage.]

Like others I’ve spoken to, I’ve been overwhelmed with emotion in unexpected moments this year. Despite the laughter and light that has spent most of my days in the Zoom writer’s rooms, tears flowed when the subject of race or injustice of any kind or the black men in my life came up. And I was someone who took pride in the fact that my feelings in writing rooms weren’t getting the best out of me. But in a year filled with moments that represent the worst human behavior, not only was it hard to be at my best, but I frankly wondered if I had a right to be at all. Writing and laughing for a living can feel like self-indulgence when the world around you is on fire.

My bosses and colleagues, some of whom have faced their own challenges thanks to the pandemic, couldn’t have been kinder. But I wondered how it withstood other color writers, especially women writers with Black and Asian identities, in a year of so much heartbreak and horror for our specific communities. So I asked some of them. Your answers broke my heart and increased my hope at the same time. Some spoke of writing through the intense emotions, recalibrating their lives to keep their balance and refining their sense of their work. Because storytellers, in order to remind the world, with its many colors and cultures, of their humanity, are essential to the pursuit of equality and justice, and for some of us the most powerful political act we can undertake is simply to keep writing .

This story first appeared in the May 12th issue of Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to login.

How India’s COVID Disaster Is Devastating Leisure Sector – The Hollywood Reporter

The devastating second wave of the COVID-19 crisis in India has turned many sectors of the local economy upside down, including the country’s storied entertainment industry, which was still reeling from the effects of last year’s first wave of the pandemic.

India is currently the epicenter of the global COVID-19 pandemic, with the country accounting for over 3.7 million active cases while the total death toll has crossed 246,000. In the first week of May, a World Health Organization report stated that India accounted for 46 percent of new cases recorded worldwide and 25 percent of deaths.

As the second most populous nation on earth, with over 1.3 billion people, the ongoing crisis has overwhelmed the country’s medical infrastructure, leading to a humanitarian crisis.

In recent months a host of Indian celebrities have also tested positive, including Aamir Khan, Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar and Deepika Padukone, who underwent treatment. Tragically, there have also been some fatalities among the esteemed elder corps of Bollywood, such as actor Bikramjeet Kanwarpal (whose credits include the spy drama Special Ops on Disney+ Hotstar), veteran composer Shravan Rathod and classical music icon Pandit Rajan Mishra.

While cinemas gradually began to open in October with limited seating and film shoots resumed, the devastation caused by the ongoing second wave since March has now brought everything to a halt. The wildly popular cricket event Indian Premier League, which has been a massive streaming success for Disney+ Hotstar, had to be suspended mid-season due to the pandemic. Brief attempts to keep India’s most beloved game going amid the carnage of the new wave was met with widespread criticism over the resources used to protect wealthy and healthy players, prompting organizers to agree to a full, ongoing shutdown.

“Everyone is making plans and contingencies based on an assessment of when things will open up, but there is no way of knowing that,” Producers Guild of India president Siddharth Roy Kapur tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s a bit like drawing up plans on the beach and then the waves come and wash them away before you know it.”

Kapur says nearly every major Indian film production is on hold following the implementation of lockdowns in April in the western state of Maharashtra, home to the country’s entertainment epicenter, Mumbai. While some shoots, mostly for television shows utilizing indoor sets, temporarily shifted base to other states such as Goa, the severity of the second wave has brought things to a standstill across regions. Many major cities also are imposing curfews and lockdowns, including the national capital Delhi, a popular shooting location but currently the pandemic’s worst-hit major population center.

Kapur, who was earlier head of the Walt Disney Co. in India, now runs his own banner, Roy Kapur Films, which has seen a number of its projects suspended. The disruption to the company’s films and series is “being mirrored all over the industry,” he says.

Similarly, Amazon Prime Video’s debut Indian feature co-production, Ram Setu, starring superstar Akshay Kumar, is currently on hold. In early April, Kumar tested positive and was briefly hospitalized but recovered soon after.

With shoots stalled, daily wage workers employed in various capacities in film and TV crews have been hit especially hard. Last year, the Producers Guild launched a relief fund for workers which also saw Netflix contributing $1 million. Kapur says the Guild is again reaching out to its members to raise funds. While the Guild has yet to release figures, it is estimated that over last year and this year, the relief fund has raised about $2 million.

Meanwhile, as the country embarks on a massive vaccination drive — over 170 million doses have been administered so far — some corporate entities in the industry are stepping in to assist the government’s lagging public health efforts. Leading production banner Yash Raj Films announced that it would pay for the vaccination of 30,000 members of the Federation of Western India Cine Employees. The company has sent a letter to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to  allow it to purchase vaccines.

In addition, YRF’s Yash Chopra Foundation will initiate a direct benefit transfer of $68 (5,000 rupees) to women and senior citizens of the industry and distribute ration kits to workers for a family of four for an entire month through non-profit organization Youth Feed India.

The Walt Disney Company India and its Star network announced it would contribute $6.8 million for local Covid-19 relief efforts, building upon the $3.8 million it contributed last year.

When it comes to the financial impact of the pandemic, analysts estimate that 2021 could be even more dismal than 2020. According to an annual report by consultants Ernst and Young, total revenue for India’s media and entertainment industry — covering all sectors including film, digital, TV, music, print, animation and gaming, among others — fell by 24 percent in 2020 to $18.7 billion (1.38 trillion rupees) compared to $24.7 billion (1.82 trillion rupees) in 2019 — “in effect taking revenues back to 2017 levels.”

The television industry saw its total revenue falling moderately to $934 million (685 billion rupees) from $1 billion (787 billion rupees) in 2019. However, digital saw a boom with video subscriptions jumping to $57.8 million (42.2 billion rupees) from $38.4 million (28.2 billion rupees) and EY predicts this figure could reach $76.3 million (56 billion rupees) in 2021.

But the film business was the worst hit with 2020 revenue crashing by more than half to $1 billion (76 billion rupees), compared to $2.6 billion (191 billion rupees) in 2019.

“The current crisis, from a cash flow and bottom line point of view, is worse than last year for the industry,” Reliance Entertainment CEO Shibashish Sarkar tells THR. “A substantial amount of cash which got invested in new projects is stalled. In terms of working capital locked and lack of monetization, the situation is worse than last year.”

With cinemas shut for six months in 2020 starting with a two-month long national lockdown imposed last March, a slew of releases skipped theatrical release and went straight to digital as producers scrambled to supplement revenue. As restrictions for public spaces were gradually eased and cinemas began reopening from October, the box office seemed to slowly recover, thanks largely to some South Indian language hits such as Tamil title Master, which collected an estimated $33 million (2.5 billion rupees) and Telugu release Krack, which grossed an estimated $8.15 million (600 million rupees). Hollywood also pulled in audiences with Godzilla vs Kong collecting $8.7 million in its two week run when it opened in late March, making India amongst the top-ten foreign territories for the Warner title.

The theatrical industry saw a ray of hope from October until early April this year when the second wave hit and cinemas shut down again until further notice. The successes seen in these months “reinforced our faith in the Indian theatrical business,” Inox Leisure CEO Alok Tandon tells THR. As India’s second-largest multiplex chain after PVR Cinemas, Inox runs 648 screens in 69 cities. Tandon is confident that when cinemas re-open, Hollywood titles like Top Gun: Maverick, No Time to Die, Mission: Impossible 7 and big ticket Indian releases will bring audiences back. “If the content works, people will come back to theaters,” he says.

In the brief window when cinemas did reopen, mainstream Hindi language Bollywood didn’t see any major performers, since highly anticipated titles such as actioner Sooryavanshi, starring veteran Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, and cricket drama 83, both from Reliance, have been on hold for over a year.

Sarkar can’t confirm when these titles will release in cinemas given the ongoing situation but says “we are extremely confident of the product and whenever they come to theaters, audiences will love them.”

The enormity of the pandemic has also led to digital releases being postponed. Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s boxing drama Toofan, starring Farhan Akhtar, was headed straight to Amazon Prime Video, eyeing a May 21 bow, but its release has now been put on hold. “In light of the severity of the situation, our focus is completely on the pandemic and on supporting our employees, their families and in helping the wider community,” Akhtar said in a statement, adding that a revised release date would be shared later.

With the traditional film business under a cloud, producers have begun to veer towards creating more digital content. Sarkar says that for Reliance, “not just last year but over the last two or three years, we used to be around 90 percent in films, which has now come down to 60-65 percent while 30-35 percent content is for OTT and television.” Reliance also has an animation unit which produces shows such as Little Singham for Discovery Kids, Smashing Simba for Cartoon Network and Golmaal Junior for Nickelodeon. Unlike other productions, Sarkar says animation projects have been ongoing since last March just when the pandemic first hit “and employees were given hardware, software and proper bandwidth to work from home.”

But the current halt in productions could also affect content pipelines for digital platforms if last year’s figures are any indication. According to the Ernst and Young report, 2020 saw OTT players spending over $138 million (10.2 billion rupees) on creating around 1,200 hours of original content across 220 titles (excluding acquired movie rights and sports) which was a reduction of 27 percent from $190 million (14 billion rupees) in 2019 for around 385 titles. The reduced content spend in 2020 was caused by a five month stoppage of productions.

However, last year also saw digital platforms ramping up their acquisitions of film titles, with Amazon Prime Video India first off the block when it picked up a number of films starting with Gulabo Sitabo toplined by Indian screen icon Amitabh Bachchan co-starring with Ayushmann Khurrana. This obviously led to a furious debate over disrupted release windows which has become even more pronounced this year.

For instance, the much awaited title Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai starring Salman Khan announced a simultaneous release on digital, via the Zee5 platform, in addition to cinemas, and is slated to premiere on the May 13 Eid holiday weekend.

This obviously upset cinema owners who were banking on Khan’s mass appeal to bring in crowds, though given the ongoing situation, its highly unlikely if cinemas can actually open this month leaving Radhey to bow on digital, as experts warn that India could well be hit with a third wave of the pandemic at some point. Assuming a theatrical release was possible, Tandon is clear that his cinemas would not have run Radhe as a simultaneous release “because Inox believes that theatrical windows should be followed.”

Streaming giants, however, see things differently. “A year ago I told you there will be several disruptions leading to innovations, and at that time there was no evidence of any of this except for the fact that we had a lockdown,” says Amazon Prime Video India director and head, content, Vijay Subramaniam, referring to a statement to THR last year after the company unveiled a slew of acquisitions. “I continue to hold that view very firmly and what you are seeing is disruptions leading to innovative approaches to windows,” he adds, explaining how box office hit Master released on Amazon just two weeks after its theatrical run in January, as opposed to the traditional six to eight week window in pre-pandemic times.

But the disruption in windows has come at a heavy price for cinemas considering India has always been an under-screened market with only about an estimated 9,000 screens. That number is believed to have fallen further with estimates indicating that about 1,500 single screen cinemas had to shut shop over the last year due to the pandemic.

Tandon says that it is difficult to assess how many cinemas closed and he reckons that “not more than 500-600 single screen cinemas have shut and this is by hearsay since we don’t have any official data.” But he points to the South Indian market, which has more single screens “which did very well [with local titles when cinemas opened].”

However, even a publicly listed multiplex chain like Inox had to take a hit in the 2020 financial year which ended on March 31, 2021. The company’s total revenue dropped sharply to $16.1 million (1.19 billion rupees) from $260 million (19.14 billion rupees) in the previous financial year. Despite the setback, Tandon says Inox still “has a strong balance sheet” and pointed to the promoter’s stake, held by a mix of holding companies and individuals, which was reduced to about 47 percent from 52 percent.

The financial restructuring also saw massive cost cutting, with Tandon noting that monthly expenditures fell from about $11.5 million (850 million rupees) to $1.63 million (120 million rupees) last year. When cinemas were reopened, costs went up to between $3.4 million-$4.0 million (250 and 300 million rupees), “but the endeavor is to bring it down further.”

As the Indian entertainment sector continues to deal with the impact of the pandemic, there could be opportunities in identifying assets and companies for takeovers for recently launched International Media Acquisition (IMA) Corp., a New Jersey-registered company of which Sarkar is CEO and leading shareholder. IMA is set up as a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), often called “blank-check companies,” which have no commercial operations and are formed strictly to raise capital through an IPO for the purpose of acquiring an existing company. IMA plans to raise $200 million-$230 million on the NASDAQ exchange within the next 12-18 months and has plans of targeting acquisitions in North America, Europe and Asia. Its management team includes the likes of David Taghioff, the former co-head of CAA’s global client strategy department who now heads Library Pictures International, Greg Silverman, former president of creative development and worldwide production at Warner Bros., who now heads Stampede Ventures, and former Disney India executive Vishwas Joshi, among others.

With India being a focus area for IMA, Sarkar explains that “there are businesses which look like they are available at interesting valuations and we definitely have an idea about the business fundamentals without factoring in the impact of the pandemic. So even if the business is not performing well because of COVID-19, we can assess if the fundamentals are strong.”

Once IMA Corp starts its operations, Sarkar says he will be relinquishing his position at Reliance to focus full time on running the SPAC outfit. Owned by the Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, Reliance Entertainment also holds a minority stake in Amblin Partners.

Beyond just the impact on balance sheets, the pandemic is also leading to a re-assessment on the technical and creative fronts. “Cloud computing is going to facilitate in a big way” says Subramaniam, adding that he believes the use of CGI will be pressed into service even more “because you have learned the importance of protecting yourself against such forces of nature and you have to be smart about using technology even more. It will be a big mindset change to look at technology in a friendlier manner.”

Similarly, Subramaniam believes that onscreen storytelling itself will receive a reset thanks to the ongoing effects of the pandemic. “If you wanted to tell a story about a bunch of students who never meet for two years and only [interact] on social media, two years ago that script would have been a joke,” he says. “Today that would be a hot script.”

Outdated City Reside sees profitable kickoff for leisure district – Shelby County Reporter

By NATHAN HOWELL | Employed author

HELENA– Just a week after the area around the Helena Amphitheater was badly damaged, hundreds of locals and visitors came out on April 3rd to celebrate the city’s new entertainment district in Old Town Live.

After a clean-up last weekend, the area was made suitable for guests who had come into effect to reaffirm the “Helena Strong” motto that was emblazoned on T-shirts sold at the event after the storms had become effective.

The free event was designed by HOTboard, the development and advertising board of Old Town Helena, to connect people to the wide range of amenities that the many businesses in the new entertainment district can offer.

After the area was named an entertainment district in 2020, residents can now stroll through the many shops and park around the amphitheater and enjoy alcoholic beverages from restaurants and bars in the old town.

According to Laura Joseph, member of Helena City Council and HOTboard liaison, the event was very successful. She said there were around 200 people in the area at any one time.

“It was great. We stabilized all day and we loved it because there were so many other events going on that day. So we were really excited about your business,” said Joseph To be able to pull off something like this week after the storms, and we were very grateful for everyone who made it possible. “

All day long, guests can always bring their families, refrigerators and garden chairs to the park and enjoy the music in the amphitheater or take a stroll through the many shops that line the district’s street.

In the heart of the new district is Oversoul Brewing, which created a special drink for the occasion, Helena Strong Season, which many guests seemed to be enjoying.

There were three musical acts entertaining during the course of the event, including The Pine Hill Haints, Drayton Farley, and Deadwood.

Another treat of the event was the freshly cooked lobster that featured on the plates of many of the event’s guests, cooked by the Bywater Oyster Bar & Grill.

Other restaurants that attended the event included Refined To-Go and Beef O’Brady’s.

There were also several local stores with specials and gifts for guests, including Skull Girl Soaps, the Oh My Soul clothing boutique, Buck Creek Stained Glass, the florist and gifts The Petal Cart, and more.

From Joseph’s point of view, the event achieved the goal set by the HOTboard. That should get people out and enjoy the weather, the district and other people.

“It was great,” she said. “There were kids dancing and playing and families laughing and having a good time. It was really great to see Helena families pull back and do what they were supposed to be doing at this time of year. “

Joseph said the HOTboard had been working hard to decide what to do next and will host more events in the near future.

Former leisure reporter Rona Barrett now dedicates her life to serving to seniors

SANTA YNEZ (KABC) – In the television reporter world, Rona Barrett started it all on ABC7 many years ago.

She’s working hard these days to make life easier for our seniors.

She created something in Santa Ynez that she believes can be recreated across the country.

The Golden Inn & Village is now celebrating five successful years.

It wasn’t easy to achieve.

“I’ve seen everyone under the sun,” said Barrett. “Everyone said, ‘No, you can’t. No, you can’t.’ I said, ‘Yes we can.’ “

It took her seven years to convince the Santa Barbara Housing Authority to work with her. The result: the Golden Inn & Village, affordable housing and support services for low-income seniors. It is now considered a model for caring for our aging population.

“It has to be combined with your community, your government, locally and nationally, and it has to be the people who are really big money in this country and interested in being philanthropic,” Barrett said.

The past year has been tough due to the pandemic, and the nonprofit Rona Barrett Foundation reached out to Mailer for help. And it worked. “All of a sudden people would call and say, ‘How can I help? How can I help?’ And I would say, send the money because I have to start a nutrition program here. I have to make sure my people don’t go hungry, “she said.

They now offer three hot meals a week for residents.

In Rona’s previous entertainment reporter career, she interviewed Hollywood’s biggest stars and made many friends in the process.

Among them: Cher stepping straight on the plate, doing a PSA for the foundation, and asking the audience to “please contribute in any way they can”.

Barrett said, “I don’t care if you send me two dollars or two pennies as long as you send me something, and I can make life better for someone I know is not at their best at this point in life Constitution was. “

The seniors who live at the Golden Inn & Village pay 30% of their social security. About 60 seniors are currently residents, but Barrett’s vision is to add another building to help at least 60 more.

Barrett said, “You bought me a shovel of gold by the way, and I can’t wait to put that shovel back in the ground. That’s all I have to say.”

One of the Rona Barrett Foundation’s missions is to ensure seniors know that there is a future for them and that more good times are to come.

Barrett had a lot more to say. You can see more on our free ABC-7 Los Angeles app. You can find it on Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android TV.

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