Shubhashish Bhutiani’s debut film Hotel Salvation is the bittersweet story of a dying father’s road trip across India with his son. Courtesy Diff
Shubhashish Bhutiani’s debut film Hotel Salvation is the bittersweet story of a dying father’s road trip across India with his son. Courtesy Diff

Hotel Salvation is a universal story of father-son relationships



Director Shubhashish Bhutiani's critically-acclaimed film Hotel Salvation is a bittersweet comedy-drama about of a dying father's cross-country trip with his son to a kind of sacred hospice in India where the elderly can have their sins absolved in their final days.

It had its regional premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival in December, but if you missed it there is another chance to catch it, courtesy of Vox Cinemas' new Diff365 programme.

The film has continued to tour the international festival circuit since the Dubai screening, and actor Adil Hussain (Life of Pi) has been touched by how it has been received.

“It’s been a rollercoaster ride because of the kind of places it’s been to,” he says. “First Venice, then Dubai, then Gothenburg, then LA, New York, Sydney, Belgium and France. It’s been all over and I’ve been so moved by the reactions of audiences across continents.

“I remember one day when I was shooting a Norwegian film in Oslo. We had a four-day gap in shooting and I had a day free to attend the Gothenburg festival and took some of the crew with me to the film. It was a 10am screening and it was minus-three degrees – but they reluctantly agreed to brave the cold and come.”

After the screening, the crew members were nowhere to be found. When Hussain finally tracked them down, they were very quiet and he feared the worst about their opinions of his film.

“I very gingerly approached one of them, this huge six-and-a-half-foot tall German friend, and asked what he’d thought of the film – and he said, ‘I’d like to call my dad right now’,” says the actor. “That was one of the most touching compliments I’ve had.”

The film has inspired similar reactions in audiences and critics around the world. Hussain believes this is in no small part due to the universal themes that transcend its Indian setting.

“The relationship between father and son is such an issue across the globe,” he says. “These two characters in our film are like the culmination of all the fathers and sons in the world, all those tensions. I became a father a few years ago and realised when my son was born that all the attention that had been on me was suddenly on him.”

Hussain’s experience of fatherhood has clearly been thought-provoking for him.

“It’s very complex. All those jealousies that you’re really not supposed to feel, you end up feeling,” he says.

“All the focus is on this child and you, as the main patriarch – it’s very difficult to accept that for a lot of people. We’ve evolved so far in terms of equality, but that’s still very difficult to accept. There’s a tension.

“I don’t know – I’m not a psychologist to analyse that – but from my layman’s perspective that tension, between father and son, is a universal phenomenon and it seems to resonate with everyone that’s seen the film across the continents.”

Hussain is a long-time supporter, as well as star, of underground cinema. He is a lifetime member of Aligarh Muslim University’s film club and the Asian Academy’s International Film and Television Club. As such he is clearly excited about Diff and Vox’s new partnership to showcase indie cinema all year round.

The series launched two weeks ago with British director Ken Loach's acclaimed social drama I, Daniel Blake.

"I feel really privileged [for Hotel Salvation to be part of Diff365]," he says.

“I wish everybody would follow this model in every country. So often with festivals and so on, people find out about a film too late and don’t get another chance to see it, so this is an initiative that should be copied by all the festivals in the world.

“It would be great for all those films that get made and get screened at some festivals, then go to Netflix and get lost. I haven’t heard of any other festivals that have done this, and it sounds great.”

Hussain adds that the initiative is particularly important in regions such as the Middle East, where blockbuster western multiplex fare tends to dominate schedules.

“Of course in Europe you may have your art-house cinemas, but in India, South-East Asia, the Gulf countries, I really think programmes like this can help people evolve, as a person, as a cinema-goer, as a film viewer – it gives them life skills.”

Hotel Salvation is showing at Vox Mall of the Emirates in Dubai until May 17. Visit uae.voxcinemas.com

cnewbould@thenational.ae

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Company Profile

Company name: Yeepeey

Started: Soft launch in November, 2020

Founders: Sagar Chandiramani, Jatin Sharma and Monish Chandiramani

Based: Dubai

Industry: E-grocery

Initial investment: $150,000

Future plan: Raise $1.5m and enter Saudi Arabia next year

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Elmawkaa
Based: Hub71, Abu Dhabi
Founders: Ebrahem Anwar, Mahmoud Habib and Mohamed Thabet
Sector: PropTech
Total funding: $400,000
Investors: 500 Startups, Flat6Labs and angel investors
Number of employees: 12

Expert advice

“Join in with a group like Cycle Safe Dubai or TrainYAS, where you’ll meet like-minded people and always have support on hand.”

Stewart Howison, co-founder of Cycle Safe Dubai and owner of Revolution Cycles

“When you sweat a lot, you lose a lot of salt and other electrolytes from your body. If your electrolytes drop enough, you will be at risk of cramping. To prevent salt deficiency, simply add an electrolyte mix to your water.”

Cornelia Gloor, head of RAK Hospital’s Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy Centre 

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can ride as fast or as far during the summer as you do in cooler weather. The heat will make you expend more energy to maintain a speed that might normally be comfortable, so pace yourself when riding during the hotter parts of the day.”

Chandrashekar Nandi, physiotherapist at Burjeel Hospital in Dubai
 

RESULTS

Bantamweight

Victor Nunes (BRA) beat Siyovush Gulmamadov (TJK)

(Split decision)

Featherweight

Hussein Salim (IRQ) beat Shakhriyor Juraev (UZB)

(Round 1 submission, armbar)

Catchweight 80kg

Rashed Dawood (UAE) beat Otabek Kadirov (UZB)

(Round-1 submission, rear naked choke)

Lightweight

Ho Taek-oh (KOR) beat Ronald Girones (CUB)

(Round 3 submission, triangle choke)

Lightweight

Arthur Zaynukov (RUS) beat Damien Lapilus (FRA)

(Unanimous points)

Bantamweight

Vinicius de Oliveira (BRA) beat Furkatbek Yokubov (RUS)

(Round 1 TKO)

Featherweight

Movlid Khaybulaev (RUS) v Zaka Fatullazade (AZE)

(Round 1 rear naked choke)

Flyweight

Shannon Ross (TUR) beat Donovon Freelow (USA)

(Unanimous decision)

Lightweight

Dan Collins (GBR) beat Mohammad Yahya (UAE)

(Round 2 submission D’arce choke)

Catchweight 73kg

Martun Mezhulmyan (ARM) beat Islam Mamedov (RUS)

(Round 3 submission, kneebar)

Bantamweight world title

Xavier Alaoui (MAR) beat Jaures Dea (CAM)

(Unanimous points 48-46, 49-45, 49-45)

Flyweight world title

Manon Fiorot (FRA) v Gabriela Campo (ARG)

(Round 1 RSC)

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Dooda Solutions
Based: Lebanon
Founder: Nada Ghanem
Sector: AgriTech
Total funding: $300,000 in equity-free funding
Number of employees: 11

Important questions to consider

1. Where on the plane does my pet travel?

There are different types of travel available for pets:

  • Manifest cargo
  • Excess luggage in the hold
  • Excess luggage in the cabin

Each option is safe. The feasibility of each option is based on the size and breed of your pet, the airline they are traveling on and country they are travelling to.

 

2. What is the difference between my pet traveling as manifest cargo or as excess luggage?

If traveling as manifest cargo, your pet is traveling in the front hold of the plane and can travel with or without you being on the same plane. The cost of your pets travel is based on volumetric weight, in other words, the size of their travel crate.

If traveling as excess luggage, your pet will be in the rear hold of the plane and must be traveling under the ticket of a human passenger. The cost of your pets travel is based on the actual (combined) weight of your pet in their crate.

 

3. What happens when my pet arrives in the country they are traveling to?

As soon as the flight arrives, your pet will be taken from the plane straight to the airport terminal.

If your pet is traveling as excess luggage, they will taken to the oversized luggage area in the arrival hall. Once you clear passport control, you will be able to collect them at the same time as your normal luggage. As you exit the airport via the ‘something to declare’ customs channel you will be asked to present your pets travel paperwork to the customs official and / or the vet on duty. 

If your pet is traveling as manifest cargo, they will be taken to the Animal Reception Centre. There, their documentation will be reviewed by the staff of the ARC to ensure all is in order. At the same time, relevant customs formalities will be completed by staff based at the arriving airport. 

 

4. How long does the travel paperwork and other travel preparations take?

This depends entirely on the location that your pet is traveling to. Your pet relocation compnay will provide you with an accurate timeline of how long the relevant preparations will take and at what point in the process the various steps must be taken.

In some cases they can get your pet ‘travel ready’ in a few days. In others it can be up to six months or more.

 

5. What vaccinations does my pet need to travel?

Regardless of where your pet is traveling, they will need certain vaccinations. The exact vaccinations they need are entirely dependent on the location they are traveling to. The one vaccination that is mandatory for every country your pet may travel to is a rabies vaccination.

Other vaccinations may also be necessary. These will be advised to you as relevant. In every situation, it is essential to keep your vaccinations current and to not miss a due date, even by one day. To do so could severely hinder your pets travel plans.

Source: Pawsome Pets UAE

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

'Morbius'

Director: Daniel Espinosa

Stars: Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona

Rating: 2/5

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

UK - UAE Trade

Total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and the UAE in 2022 was £21.6 billion (Dh98 billion). 

This is an increase of 63.0 per cent or £8.3 billion in current prices from the four quarters to the end of 2021.

 

The UAE was the UK’s 19th largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of Q4 2022 accounting for 1.3 per cent of total UK trade.

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League, semi-final result:

Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona

Liverpool win 4-3 on aggregate

Champions Legaue final: June 1, Madrid

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Lamsa

Founder: Badr Ward

Launched: 2014

Employees: 60

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: EdTech

Funding to date: $15 million

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Calvin Harris
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