Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Old-timers team up for club flick

Hollywood old-timers Ernest Borgnine and Mickey Rooney have teamed up for a wacky new movie about a group of pensioners who turn their nursing home into a nightclub.

The two nonagenarians will play roommates and team up with former M*A*S*H star Sally Kellerman, Paul Sorvino and filmmaker Ron Howard's father Rance in Night Club, the first film by realtor-turned-moviemaker Larry Delrose's Italian American Films group.

The star-studded movie will also feature American Pie actress Natasha Lyonne and Clint Eastwood's Gran Turino neighbour Ahney Her.

The picture will close the upcoming Phoenix Film Festival in Arizona next month.

Delrose tells WENN, "The film presents the idea that one is never too young or too old to find inspiration and meaning in life.

"It is a unique saga about three USC (University of Southern California) students who get a job on the night shift at a nursing home. With the help of one of the home's residents, they improve things there in a very unusual way... There is music and lots of hugging and Italian singing!"

Through his new production company, Delrose hopes to make movies that portray Italian-Americans in a good light following decades of movies about the Mafia.

Rooney has hit the headlines recently after accusing his stepson Christopher Aber of elder abuse.

On Friday, a judge ruled the movie veteran's legal and financial affairs will remain under the permanent control of his lawyer, Michael Augustine, who was appointed temporary conservator in February after the Oscar-winner filed court papers claiming his stepson had been trying to convince him to sign over control of his assets.

The 90-year-old alleged he feared for his safety and in a sworn declaration to the court, Augustine claimed he had found $400,000 missing from one of the star's bank accounts. A judge granted his request for a restraining order against Aber and his wife.

The restraining order against the Abers has not been extended, but the couple has reportedly agreed to stay away from Rooney.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

City celebrates 100th Int’l Women’s Day with vigour

The 100th International Women’s Day (IWD) was observed with great enthusiasm across the city on Tuesday. Various non-governmental organisations, educational institutes, civil society associations and labour unions held seminars, press conferences and marches throughout the day to commemorate the struggle of women all across the globe.

The first IWD was observed on 19 March 1911 in Germany following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. 100 years on, International Women’s Day (IWD) has become a global mainstream phenomenon celebrated across many countries and is an official holiday in approximately 25 countries, including Afghanistan, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam and Zambia.

Aurat Foundation organised a seminar on “Situation of flood-affected women in Pakistan”, and it was actively participated by several women-rights activists. A documentary on the situation of women affected by the 2010 flood was also aired during the seminar.

Chanan Development Association (CDA), a national youth lead organisation in collaboration with Khawaja Rafique Shaheed Foundation (KRSF) and Global Fund for Children organised interactive dialogues through theatre at Qurban Degree College and Muslim League House in Cantt.

CDA Executive Director Muhammad Shahzad Khan, while talking on the occasion, highlighted the fact that women, particularly young women of the rural areas of Pakistan, continue to suffer from gender discrimination and violence even in this modern era. He shared that a total of 4,069 incidents of violence had been registered from January to June 2010, out of which 2,690 cases were reported from Punjab, 940 from Sindh, 342 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 56 from Balochistan and 41 from Islamabad, while there are some which went unreported. The guests included Punjab CM’s adviser, Saba Sadiq, KRSF Director and MPA, Ghazala Saad, MPA Shumaila Salman and MPA Nafisa Amin.

Centre for Human Rights Education, Lahore, also organised a seminar in which about 300 hundred women and men belonging to different walks of life participated.

Some of the demands on gender equality unanimously passed by the participants of the seminar included, the constitution and statutory laws should define discrimination and violence against women and make discriminatory actions punishable offenses, affirmative measures must be taken to revoke the discriminatory laws and customary practices such as honour killing, burying women alive, domestic violence, forced or exchange marriages, etc.

The Punjab University (PU) Department of Gender Studies Chairperson, Prof Dr Samar Fatima, led a walk at the New Campus, students and teachers taking active part in it. While addressing the participants, the VC, Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, said the importance of educating women was neglected in the past because of which they were unaware of their rights but now girls are more conscious, pointing out that this year nearly 63 percent girls got admitted to the PU on open merit, as compared to the previous year.

Later the VC also inaugurated Women Gala at the department and visited various stalls of books, fabrics, jewels, skin care, women awareness and others, put up by the students and different NGOs.

Separately, a seminar was also held by the Department of Gender and Development Studies of the Lahore College for Women University.