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Disney and Africa’s Kugali disclose 1st look at upcoming sci-fi series ‘Iwaju’

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Walt Disney Animation Studios and the dish African entertainment company Kugali disclosed the main pictures of their long awaited Disney Plus original series “Iwájú” during a show Wednesday night at the Annecy Animation Festival.

Set in a futuristic version of Lagos, Nigeria, the series offers what production designer Hamid Ibrahim described as a “Kugali-Disney mash-up.” “This is a true collaboration. It’s not Disney in some ways pushing our vision onto Kugali,” said Walt Disney Animation Studios’ chief creative officer Jennifer Lee. “It is a collaboration in that both companies are getting something out of it and supporting each other.”

During the show, the show’s makers creators a revealed a sneak peek at their futuristic vision of Lagos, a sprawling mega-city that straddles a lagoon and is divided into a thickly populated territory and a more princely island. “That physical separation…means that we have a very unique set-up for storytelling already built into the DNA of the real-life Lagos,” said Kugali co-founder and “Iwájú” cultural consultant Tolu Olowofoyeku. Writer-director and co-founder Ziki Nelson said the creative team was “building a futuristic world rooted in the contemporary setting.”

Ibrahim uncovered the main pictures of a metropolis whose glittering towers soar above the packed cityscape below, and showed off the sleek flying cars and augmented reality glasses that will be a feature of daily life in the Lagos of “Iwájú.”

Despite the fact that details of the storyline and its main characters are as yet hush-hush, Nelson said the plot would zero in on the disparity that is a “feature of everyday life in Nigeria,” as well as “challenging the status quo.” “It’s really about that inspiration, or aspiration and desire, to try and engineer society for living in a more positive way,” he said.

Working remotely across three continents, production on “Iwájú” includes creatives in Burbank, London, Montreal, Lagos, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The aesthetic draws on Kugali’s signature comic-book style, which Nelson described as a “visual experience that you can’t really find anywhere else,” borrowing on both Eastern and Western art styles while incorporating “traditional African art styles that we’ve infused into that aesthetic.” Disney VFX supervisor Marlon West (“Frozen, “Frozen 2”) added, “It may not look like a Disney film, but it needs to look like Disney quality…. We’re going to bring our A-game.”

The childhood friends Nelson and Olowofoyeku started their joint effort with a podcast recording zeroed in on comics, video games, and animation from across the African mainland and diaspora, prior to changing gears. “We realized that what the community needed wasn’t someone to talk about the content and put it on the map. They needed someone to actually create the content,” said Nelson. The partners rebranded and before long launched as the comic book organization Kugali.

Lee reviewed her first encounter with the makers, when she ran over a BBC story about an African comic book organization that was wanting to take on Disney, in which one of the co-founders insisted they were going to “kick Disney’s you-know-what.” “I was like, ‘OK, let’s connect,’” she said, laughing.

The Disney executive was soon “blown away by their storytelling,” noting that “there were stories with themes that I had never seen put together in that way. There were ideas [based on] folklore that I had never had access to.” The company’s vision, she added, dovetailed with her own philosophy for the venerable animation house. “We, as Disney, can tell the stories of the world, but by the people of the world, and having people tell their own stories,” she said.

Head of story Natalie Nourigat, whose animated short “Far From the Tree” premiered at Annecy on Tuesday and will be released in theaters with Disney’s “Encanto” this fall, portrayed “Iwájú” to act as an illustration of a steadily growing “hunger for authenticity, and…for new stories

“This project is proof that there is a place for whatever story you want to tell in the world, and there’s a hunger for it,” she added. “If you’re not seeing yourself represented, if you’re not seeing something that’s true to you represented, or something that you care about represented, please make it.”

The Mouse House showed it was intensifying its drive for more different narrating on Thursday, with a declaration initially uncovered by Variety that it’s anything but’s a yield of rising African toon abilities on “Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire,” a Disney Plus Original compilation of energized films set to debut on the organization’s streaming stage in late 2022.

Motivated by the continent’s diverse histories and cultures, the 10-part anthology is an action-packed collection of sci-fi and fantasy stories that will present bold visions of advanced technology, aliens, spirits and monsters imagined from uniquely African perspectives. Oscar-winning chief Peter Ramsey (“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”) will fill in as executive producer.

Talking during the Annecy Festival on Wednesday, Lee recognized that both Disney and the liveliness business all in all have had a “struggle to diversify.” “There’s so much more we can do in storytelling if we diversify our storytellers,” she said.

She channeled the words of the company’s originator, who said that “storytelling must continue to evolve,” when noting that Disney’s unprecedented global reach offers a platform for a wider range of storytellers to “reach the world.”

“There’s so many different filmmakers, artists out there, who have a voice that we can help the world hear,” she said. The benefits flow both ways, she added, noting that the collaboration with Kugali has “made us better storytellers at Disney…[by] shaking up how we work.” “It’s making us move towards the future.”

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Jamuna, a veteran Telugu actor, dies

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Hyderabad: Age-related illnesses caused the veteran Telugu actor Jamuna to pass away early on Friday. At her home in Hyderabad, she passed away. Among others, the renowned actor is well-known for his roles in the films Missamma, Appu Chesi Pappu Koodu, Bhagyarekha, Donga Ramudu, Pooja Phalam, Gundamma Katha, Mooga Manasulu, and Letha Manasulu. She was married to Juluri Ramana Rao in 1965; her children, an artist named Sravanthi Juluri and Vamsee Juluri, survive her.

She was born on August 30, 1936, in Hampi to Kausalaya Devi and Srinivas Rao. After her family relocated there, she spent her childhood in Duggirala in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. She started out as a stage performer in school and made her Telugu film debut with “Puttillu” before going on to play several iconic roles and having a long, successful career spanning more than five decades. She shared the stage with other eminent performers from the time, including NT Rama Rao, Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Savitri, and SV Ranga Rao.

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Bigg Boss 16: Dalljiet Kaur, Shalin Bhanot’s ex-wife, has the greatest message for him following his emotional breakdown

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Shalin Bhanot has had a difficult few days—no, weeks—in the Bigg Boss 16 house. He has faced some severe accusations and has been on the verge of losing it.

Shalin Bhanot came up a lot at the Weekend Ka Vaar last week. Tina Datta levelled several charges against him. There were several instances in the Bigg Boss 16 house when Shalin’s ex-wife and actress Dalljiet Kaur’s name was dragged by contestants during a fight.

Recently, Tina Datta brought up Dalljiet during her argument with Shalin. She frequently used Dalljiet’s name, claiming Shalin never respected his wife. As a result, the host Salman Khan chastised her. But Dalljiet’s most recent message to Shalin has undoubtedly captured the hearts of many.

Shalin Bhanot broke down in last night’s episode when everyone divided into their own groups and left Shalin alone. Additionally, Priyanka Chahar Choudhary and Tina Datta persisted in criticising him, isolating him, and encouraging him, for which the internet community has dubbed the two actresses bullies. Even the other residents of the house believed Tina and Priyanka Chahar Choudhary were acting maliciously, and Shiv and MC Stan even pledged to stand for Shalin.

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Pathaan: When Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan appear together, the theatres erupt in raucous applause, whistles, and yells. see videos

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The moment has come, and fans have been swarming theatres across the nation since 6 a.m. to watch Shah Rukh Khan return to the big screen in a leading role in Pathaan. The fans are thrilled to see SRK back in action, and anticipation is at an all-time high on social media. Salman Khan appears in the film, as was previously rumoured, and the moment the two superstars—commonly referred to as the Karan and Arjun of Indian cinema—join forces for an action-packed scene causes a roar.

A few videos of fans reacting to their favourite stars returning to action with cheers, claps, whistling, screaming, and dancing have gone viral. Pathaan and Tiger’s encounter produced a significant moment of joy among supporters.

In the meantime, Tiger returns to the big screen in Pathaan, which is going to be followed by Tiger 3 for Diwali 2023. John Abraham and Deepika Padukone also appear in the film with Shah Rukh Khan. The War-famous Siddharth Anand-directed movie is now playing in theatres in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.

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