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Danish World War II drama Into the Darkness bags Golden Peacock Award at 51st IFFI

The epic World War II film Into the Darkness (De forbandede år,) which portrays the story of a Danish electronics factory owner who is forced to produce for the occupying Nazi forces, has won the coveted Golden Peacock Award at the just-concluded 51st edition of the International Film Festival of India.

Directed by Anders Refn, the 152-minute Danish film gives a gripping dive into the complex emotional turmoil which the people of Denmark had to undergo, during the Nazi occupation of the country.

The film does this evocatively and powerfully, through the mental conflicts to which the protagonist Karlskov is subjected; on the one hand, he is being forced by the invaders to continue production for the German market, to protect his family; on the other hand, the moral indefensibility of this choice results also in painful breaks within his family.

The Golden Peacock Award consists of a cash prize of Rs. 40 lakhs (Rs. 4 million) to be shared equally between Director Anders Refn and Producer Lene Børglum, both of whom have also been presented with a certificate each as well.

The Silver Peacock for the Best Director goes to Taiwanese Director, writer and producer Chen-Nien Ko, for her 2020 Mandarin drama film The Silent Forest, a candid and heart-wrenching exposition of the systemic sexual abuse that happens in a school for children with special needs.

Told through the eyes of the hearing impaired lead character Chang Cheng who has just shifted to a special school, the 108-minute film brings into sharp relief the tumultuous cacophony of noises in the world of the deaf.

The story is based on real events which transpired in a school in Taiwan and tells the painful tale of how victims end up transforming into predators.

The Silver Peacock for Best Director carries a certificate and cash award of 15 lakh rupees (Rs. 1.5 million).

Notably, the Silver Peacock for Best Actor – Male too has been awarded to 17-year-old Tzu-Chuan Liu, who through his role as the protagonist Chang Cheng in The Silent Forest, has been able to beautifully and powerfully bring out the world of the differently abled boy.

Liu is known also for his roles in 76 Horror Bookstore (2020) and On Children (2018). The Award carries a certificate and cash award of 10 lakh rupees (Rs. 1 million).

The Silver Peacock for Best Actor – Female has been awarded to Polish actor Zofia Stafiej, for her role in Piotr Domalewski’s I Never Cry / Jak najdalej stad, a film which explores the journey of self-discovery of a daughter who has to traverse the maze of bureaucracy in a foreign country to bring back the body of her dead father.

Stafiej receives a certificate and cash award of 10 lakh rupees for the award. Stafiej is known also for 25 lat niewinnosci. Sprawa Tomka Komendy (2020) and Marcel (2019).

The IFFI 51 Special Jury Award for a film goes to Bulgarian Director Kamin Kalev for his 2020 film February, which tells the life story of a man at three different ages of eight, eighteen and eighty-two.

The film presents a view of life as being a mysterious continuity of different incarnations / avatars, using poetic metaphors which make the audience reflect as to whether human beings are just dots in a vast open landscape beneath the wide sky. Kalev is a writer as well, and is known for Eastern Plays (2009) and Face Down (2015).

Kalev receives a Silver Peacock, a certificate and cash award of 15 lakh rupees (Rs. 1.5 million).

The IFFI 51 Special Mention Award has been presented to Indian director Kripal Kalita for his Assamese film Bridge, which reflects life amidst hardships caused by annual floods in rural Assam.

The film tells the story of the annual phenomenon in the state, wherein the mighty Brahmaputra and its tributaries flood many villages and ruin cultivation. Kalita receives a certificate for the Award.

The Award for Best Debut Director has been presented to Brazilian Director Cássio Pereira dos Santos, for his 2020 Portugese film Valentina, an eponymous film which tells the story of a 17-year-old transgender Brazilian girl, whose sole aim is to lead a normal life with her mother.

Director Santos studied cinema at the University of Brasília, where he directed fiction and documentary projects. His works have been selected at several international film festivals. He has received more than 50 awards. DD NEWS

Elon Musk’s SpaceX creates new world record; launches 143 satellites on single rocket



Elon Musk’s SpaceX created a new world record by launching 143 satellites on a single rocket last night. SpaceX has beaten the Indian space agency ISRO’s record of deploying 104 satellites in a single launch in February 2017. The launch vehicle for the SpaceX record-breaking flight was the Falcon 9 rocket.

The 143 satellites launched last night include commercial and government CubeSats, microsats and 10 Starlink satellites. Onboard was also a spacecraft belonging to Nasa. With these satellites, SpaceX aims to provide near-global broadband internet coverage all over the world by 2021. According to sources, SpaceX offered a very low price of 15,000 dollars per kilogram for each satellite to be delivered to a polar sun-synchronous orbit.

Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli expelled from ruling Communist Party


Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has been expelled from the ruling Communist Party over his decision to dissolve the Parliament.

The decision to expel Oli from the party was taken by the Central Committee at a meeting held yesterday. The move comes amid repeated threats by the rival faction leaders who had said that they would revoke Oli’s membership over his decision to dissolve the Nepal Parliament. Spokesperson of the rival faction Narayan Kaji Shrestha said, the party leaders are planning further action against Oli after his ouster from the party.

Nepal plunged into a political crisis on December 20 last year after the Prime Minister Oli, in a surprise move, recommended dissolution of Parliament amidst a tussle for power with former PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda. Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari accepted the recommendations and Parliamentary elections are scheduled for April 30 and May 10.

The Prachanda-led faction of the party came down heavily on this move saying, by dissolving the House, Oli has given a blow to the Constitution as well as the democratic republic system.

The Oli-led CPN-UML and Prachanda-led NCP (Maoist Centre) had merged in May 2018 to form a unified Nepal Communist Party.

India celebrates National Voters’ Day


India celebrates National Voters’ Day (NVD) on January 25 every year. It is celebrated across the country to encourage, facilitate and maximize enrolment, especially for the new voters.

The Day is celebrated since 2011, all across the country to mark the foundation day of Election Commission of India. President Ram Nath Kovind will be the Chief Guest at the national function being organized in New Delhi.

The theme for this year’s NVD is Making Our Voters Empowered, Vigilant, Safe and Informed. It also focuses on the commission’s commitment towards conducting elections safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Voters’ Day is utilized to spread awareness among voters and for promoting informed participation in the electoral process. New voters are felicitated and handed over their Elector Photo Identity Card in the functions.

During the event, the President will confer the National Awards for the year 2020-21 and launch ECI’s Web Radio:‘Hello Voters’. The National Awards for the Best Electoral Practices will be conferred on State and District level officers for their outstanding performance in the conduct of elections in different spheres.

Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will launch the e-EPIC programme and distribute e-EPICs and Elector Photo Identity Cards to five new voters. e-EPIC, a digital version of the Elector Photo Identity Card can be accessed through the Voter Helpline App and websites.

UP govt to provide free coaching for JEE, NEET, NDA, UPSC and other exams


Uttar Pradesh government will provide free coaching to students preparing for various competitive exams like JEE, NEET, NDA, CDS and UPSC. Addressing a UP Day function, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced the launch of an ambitious, state-wide, free coaching facility – ABHYUDAYA from next month.

The free coaching facility program Abhyudaya will start from Basant Panchmi. In the first phase, it will start in 18 divisional headquarters of the state, where coaching will be imparted physically and virtually. Officials will also devote their time and experts will also be posted there. The infrastructure of government schools, colleges and universities will be used for Abhyudaya coaching centres.

With the announcement of Abhyudaya Chief Minister Yogi AdityaNath fulfilled his promise which he made to the youth of state last year when due to lockdown thousands of students were stuck at Kota in Rajasthan and Prayagraj. Then CM had said that in future no student will have to leave the state for learning in other states.

Varun Dhawan ties the knot with Natasha Dalal


Actor Varun Dhawan tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend Natasha Dalal on Sunday. The traditional Hindu wedding ceremony was held at The Mansion House resort in Alibaug.

Varun took to Instagram on Sunday night to post photos from the wedding. Sharing the pictures, he wrote, “Life long love just became official ❤️”

The ceremony was a close-knit affair with only family members and close friends in attendance. Karan Johar, Manish Malhotra, Zoa Morani and Kunal Kohli were among the celebrities who became a part of Varun and Natasha’s D-Day.

Following the wedding, Varun Dhawan and Natasha Dalal met the paparazzi stationed outside The Mansion House. The newlyweds posed for photographers before taking leave.

Delhi police gives conditional approval to farmers’ tractor rally


Delhi police today gave its conditional approval for the farmers’ tractor rally to be held on Republic Day. However, Delhi police said unions should ensure peaceful rally.

Speaking to reporters, Special Commissioner of Police, Dependra Pathak said tractor rally has been allowed on three routes, Tikri, Ghazipur and Singhu borders. He said barricades will be lifted on these three points. Mr Pathak said, the tractor rally has been allowed to take place only after the Republic Day parade gets over.

Farmers’ tractor rally will begin after R-Day Parade on Jan 26: Delhi police

AGENCIES / New Delhi

Delhi Police has taken an in-principle decision to allow farmers to hold their proposed tractor rally inside the territory of the national capital on January 26.

It said that the proposed tractor rally of farmers on Tuesday will begin amid tight security after Republic Day celebrations conclude, the police added.

Special Commissioner of Police (Intelligence) Deependra Pathak while briefing media on the issue said the police will provide ‘fail-proof’ security cover to the rally.

The rally will be conducted in three parts — first from Singhu border having 62 km route, then from Tikri border with around 60 km route and Ghazipur Border with 46 km route.

The Special CP, however, mentioned about the intelligence inputs suggesting that there are elements, which pose threats to the proposed rally.

He said an analysis of Twitter handles revealed that there are 308 such accounts created in Pakistan which are attempting to create confusion and thus disturbances during farmers’ rally.

Police are working out the details and the security drill for the rally, he said.

Uttar Pradesh celebrates its foundation day



Uttar Pradesh today celebrated its foundation day. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated the Sthapna Diwas at a gala at Awadh Shilpgram in capital city Lucknow. The programmes of foundation day programme will continue for next three days.

Various events and programmes are being observed on this occasion to access the state. The theme of Uttar Pradesh Divas is ‘Self-reliant Uttar Pradesh : Women, youths, Farmers: Development of all, Honour to All.’ Sabka Vikas Sabka Samman ‘.

Speaking on this occasion Chief Minister Yogi said that for the last 70 years the state was neglected and even Sthapna Diwas was not observed .He said It is only after his government came to power the foundation day started celebrating.

He said his government is carrying all round development of the state and various programmes and schemes for welfare of people have been initiated.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home minister Amit Shah ,BJP president JP Nadda, Union Information and Broadcasting minister Prakash Javdeker, Lucknow local MP and defence minister Rajnath Singh including others have greeted people of state on this occasion.

The programs of Sthapna Diwas are being conducted across the state in all 75 districts where seminars are being conducted with Covid protocol.

A huge exhibition on the theme of ‘One District One Product’ is also being displayed at Gautam Budh Nagar in NCR. An app of MSME department ‘Udhyam Sarthi ‘ was launched on this occasion. This app is said to be a master key for youths that , on a Click, will provide all detailed information regarding employment.

Chief Minister Sri Yogi distributed prizes to the winners in different fields including Sports, Agriculture , Dairy, Industry and culture. Advanced Tool kits were given to the artisans under ODOP scheme in state.

Repeal Agri Laws: Left parties to Govt


The Left parties have demanded that the central government must stop being obstinate and immediately convey to the farmers unions that these agri laws will be repealed in the forthcoming budget session of parliament that is meeting this week.

Already the government has conveyed its willingness to suspend these laws for eighteen months. Acts that are legislated by parliament, signed by the President of India and notified by the Gazette are law of the land. They cannot be suspended. Unless they are repealed, they are enforceable. Hence, the government must be reasonable, repeal these laws, hold discussions regarding agrarian reforms with the farmers and other stakeholders including state governments and then bring proposals before parliament, if any, for their consideration and due deliberations.

The Left parties hail the determination, unity and grit being displayed by lakhs of farmers who are protesting on the borders of Delhi, in the severe cold wave and lakhs more who are protesting in solidarity all across the country in a peaceful manner. Over a hundred farmers have been martyred in this struggle so far. The protest movements are gaining in strength, day by day. We hail their patriotic resolve to hold a ‘tractor parade’ on the Republic Day, in defence of our Secular, Democratic Constitution and the repeal of these laws.

The Left parties reiterate their support and solidarity to this historic struggle of our annadatas.