Holly to Bolly: Arab Stars of Tomorrow launches at DIFF, Michelle Obama co-hosts Ellen show, and more

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Arab Stars of Tomorrow launches at DIFF

Screen International has announced that it will launch Arab Stars of Tomorrow — an offshoot of its highly successful United Kingdom and Ireland talent-spotting initiative — at this year’s 13th annual Dubai International Film Festival in December. Promising talent from across the region will be shortlisted over the coming months with the final list to be announced at this year’s festival, which will be held at Madinat Jumeirah between December 7-14. Launched 13 years ago in the UK, Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow has an unrivalled track record when it comes to identifying up-and-coming British and Irish talent. Benedict Cumberbatch, Emily Blunt and James McAvoy were all selected for the very first edition in 2004. Subsequent Screen Stars of Tomorrow have included Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne, Carey Mulligan, Tom Hiddleston, Robert Pattinson, John Boyega and filmmakers Andrew Haigh, Andrea Arnold, Corin Hardy and Stephen Fingleton.- The National staff

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Zayn Malik to publish autobiography

Former One Direction star Zayn Malik has joined forces with Penguin Random House to release his first autobiography. The 23-year-old, who last week announced he was cancelling his upcoming Dubai gig due to “extreme anxiety around major live solo performances”, has penned his memoirs in a book that will include personal photographs and drawings. Malik left One Direction in 2015 and released his first solo studio album Mind of Mine earlier this year. The singer-songwriter says his autobiography will allow his fans to judge him on his own terms. The book is due for release on November 1. - AP

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Michelle Obama co-hosts talk show with Ellen

Michelle Obama has begun preparing for a career outside the White House by co-hosting an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The First Lady of the United States told the audience during the recent episode that she thinks her daughters will have a “tough time” leaving the only home they’ve known for years. Obama admits that her family will miss the staff the most because they have helped to raise 18-year-old Malia and 15-year-old Sasha. She says that although the girls think they’re ready, it will be hard, especially given the fact that the staff have loved them and taken care of them. “The minute we leave, that’s it,” Obama adds, saying that she and her husband, US President Barack Obama, are encouraging their daughters to “step back” and appreciate such moments as walking on the South Lawn or taking in the view from the Truman Balcony. — AP

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Classic toys vie for Hall of Fame status

Games including Care Bears, Uno and Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots will compete for inclusion in the United States-based National Toy Hall of Fame after organisers revealed its list of finalists on Tuesday. After evaluating each on innovation, longevity, educational quality and iconic status, judges at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, will announce the two or three toys that will get a place in the Hall of Fame. This year’s contenders include Transformer action figures, Nerf products and the murder mystery board game Cluedo. ccording to a poll on the museum’s website, Fisher-Price’s Little People toys were the most popular with fans, followed by colouring books and Dungeons & Dragons role-playing games. The museum set up the Hall of Fame in 1998. The 59 previous inductees have included Barbie dolls, bicycles, Mr Potato Head, and the Frisbee flying disk. — Reuters

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Bollywood should be more hard hitting, says Om Puri

The Indian film industry needs to break out of its mould and produce more hard-hitting films that challenge its audience, claims veteran actor Om Puri. Puri, who has acted in both Hollywood and Bollywood and is a recipient of an OBE (Order of the British Empire), believes Indian filmmakers should draw on the country’s rich culture and history more. “We always say we give people what they want. That shouldn’t be the attitude. Then why don’t you give your child what he wants,” Puri told Reuters in an interview. “Similarly, your audience, if you think that you need to develop their taste, then give them something that is tasteful.” Puri has over four decades of experience acting in television, theatre and film and was one of the first actors to cross-over into the Western film market. Some of his notable movies include East is East and The One Hundred-Foot Journey in which he starred alongside Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren. He is now also breaking barriers by appearing in Pakistani film Actor in Law in which he plays the lawyer father of the protagonist. The movie explores social issues like corruption and gender discrimination. — Reuters

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Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake set to reunite?

One-time celebrity couple Britney Spears and Justin Timberlike could getting back together — in the studio at least. Spears recently revealed that she’d love to collaborate with Timberlake, and her former flame, didn’t say no to the idea. Timberlake, who was attending the Toronto premiere of his new Netflix concert documentary, found out about Spears’s suggestion during an interview with E! News, and said: “I apologise for not being in the know … I’m accessible, give us a call!” - The National staff

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Blake Lively found diving with sharks ‘cool’

Actress Blake Lively, star of surprise summer hit The Shallows, says that despite being terrified of sharks she found the experience of swimming with them in preparation for the film pretty cool. “I went cage-diving with great white sharks before we started filming,” Lively told PTI. “Sharks are so villainized that I was scared of them. But I had just got my diving license, I was very excited to dive but was also terrified. I went with a conservationist, who was looking at them in a respectful way. The sharks were just swimming, playing, jumping out of the water with their mouths open, it was a beautiful sight. I remember taking a picture of the moment and sharing it with friends, putting it on Instagram, people told me that that’s the scariest photograph. Being there wasn’t a scary moment, it was a really cool moment.” - The National staff

Published: September 14, 2016 04:00 AM

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