30 October 2020 01:34

MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Netflix, the world's leading internet entertainment service, announced the global release of Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb. The new docu-feature will be available only on Netflix on October 28th and documents the discovery of a “one of a kind” tomb that came to life beneath the sand at the archaeological site Saqqara in Egypt.

Directed by James Tovell, Executive produced by Richard Bradley and Caterina Turroni and produced by Lion Television and At Land Productions, the documentary films a team of local archaeologists excavating never before explored passageways, shafts, and tombs, piecing together the secrets of Egypt’s most significant find in almost 50 years.

Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb follows the decoding of the tomb of an Old Kingdom priest Wahtye, unopened for 4500 years, and the excavation of five shafts to uncover an astonishing ancient mystery. Transporting the audience back through the millennia, the film provides a unique and unprecedented window into the lives - and deaths - of one man and his family.

Described as a ‘once in a generation’ find, Wahtye’s tomb was discovered in a remarkable state of preservation - with 55 statues carved into the walls – making it the most decorated tomb ever found in this royal cemetery. During the journey of discovery, they have found over three thousand artefacts. Within the boundaries of a temple dedicated to the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet, the team discovered a mummified lion cub - the first lion cub discovered in Egypt. It signals a thrilling first in Egyptology.

“This has been an exciting moment for the whole world. Shooting this film has been an experience full of thrilling surprises. Working with an Egyptian team that has a deep connection with their ancestors has made the project even more unique,” commented James Tovell, Director of Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb. “This mission wasn’t like any other. Normally in archaeology, you labor for weeks to find anything. Here every 30 seconds there was a new jaw-dropping discovery. Such as, capturing on film the discovery of the first complete mummified lion cub in Egypt was a great moment for everyone. And then being privileged to excavate the burial shafts of the Old Kingdom priest Wahtye. The chance to excavate an Old Kingdom burial is a golden opportunity for any filmmaker,” added Tovell.

The documentary was filmed in Saqqara near Cairo, and less than a mile from the site of the Step Pyramid, one of the oldest and most iconic stone structures on earth. The documentary will be released globally in 190 countries with over 30 subs and dubbed into English.

The documentary was inspired by the discovery of a 4500-year-old tomb – the news made global headlines when it was discovered in late 2018 - and belongs to an Old Kingdom Priest named Wahtye, from the 5th dynasty, 2500-2350 BC, in the reign of Pharaoh Neferirkare.

About Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb: It is heralded as one of the most jaw-dropping, exciting, and important Ancient Egyptian discoveries in decades. And the discoveries have only just begun. A team of local archaeologists as they excavate never before explored passageways, shafts, and tombs, piece together the secrets of one Egypt’s most remarkable tombs. News of the tomb discovery has gone around the world and it has been heralded as the most significant find in almost fifty years. The condition of the tomb is remarkable – but the real excitement lies in what is to come. The archaeologists hope they are going to unearth the possessions, grave goods, and mummies of the high-priest and his family – and with that information hoping to transform our understanding of this period of Old Kingdom history.

It is heralded as one of the most jaw-dropping, exciting, and important Ancient Egyptian discoveries in decades. And the discoveries have only just begun. Join a team of local archaeologists as they excavate never before explored passageways, shafts, and tombs, while piecing together the secrets of one Egypt’s most remarkable tombs. News of the tomb discovery has gone around the world and it has been heralded as the most significant find in almost fifty years. The condition of the tomb is remarkable – but the real excitement lies in what is to come. The archaeologists hope they are going to unearth the possessions, grave goods, and mummies of the high-priest and his family – and with that information hoping to transform our understanding of this period of Old Kingdom history.

More secrets from the Saqqara Tomb:

Lion Cub mummy

Found within the boundaries of a temple dedicated to the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet, the discovery of the lion signals a fresh direction for Egyptology. ‘This first example of a mummified lion cub to be found in Egypt is one of the most exciting finds in the history of animal mummification,’ said Professor Salima Ikram. ‘It opens the door to asking questions about the types of wild animals that the Egyptians kept and how they managed them, both in terms of upkeep and breeding.’

First-ever Malaria case theory

Inside the tomb of Wahtye, there were the bones of a full family, Dr. Amira Shaheen Professor of Rheumatology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, found that those bones were distended which can be an indication that the whole family died from an epidemic most probably malaria.

If this theory can be proven it will be the first documented case of malaria in history by more than 1000 years.

Additional discoveries

The film also features the exploration of the wider ancient necropolis were Egyptians buried their dead over thousands of years, as it documents the discovery of shafts filled with the mummified animals, beautifully preserved human mummies still inside their highly decorated coffins, funerary artifacts including a rare complete senet set (board game), and numerous other stunning rare artifacts from Old, New, and Late Kingdoms.

In the course of one season, the Egyptian team at the Bubasteion found more than 3100 unique artifacts

Saturday, 17 October 2020 00:00

Joshua vs Pulev confirmed for December 12

‘AJ’ faces IBF Mandatory Challenger at The O2

Unified Heavyweight Champion of the World Anthony Joshua OBE will defend his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO World Titles against Mandatory Challenger Kubrat Pulev at The O2 in London on Saturday December 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all of its nine markets including the U.S., on a show promoted by Matchroom Boxing in association with Top Rank and Epic Sports and Entertainment.

Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) recaptured his belts and position as the Unified Heavyweight World Champion with a masterful unanimous decision victory over Andy Ruiz Jr at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia on an historical night in December that saw the Heavyweight World Titles contested for the very first time in the Middle East.

December 12 will be ‘AJ’s’ first fight on UK soil in over two years, since he defended his crowns with a devastating seventh round knockout of Russia’s Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium, and the former Finchley ABC man will be aiming to deal with Pulev in style to set up an Undisputed showdown against WBC Champion and fellow Brit Tyson Fury in 2021.

Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs), the IBF’s No.1-ranked Heavyweight Mandatory Challenger, gets his second shot at World honours after his defeat to modern legend Wladimir Klitschko in 2014 – the only loss of his 29-fight professional career. He has won six fights in a row since then, including victories over Derek Chisora and an IBF Eliminator win over Hughie Fury in 2018.

The Bulgarian superstar was set to challenge Joshua at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in October 2017 but was forced to withdraw through an injury and will now get his opportunity to ruin the champion’s plans to face Fury in an all-British blockbuster showdown in the future.

“December 12 is the date and once again the Heavyweight belts go up in the air and it is my sole focus to make sure that come December 13 they are in their rightful place in the UK,” said Joshua.

“The O2 is the original lion’s den, I have a lot of history with the arena, but without the fans something huge is missing. I am really hoping that, safety permitting, we might be able to bring some boxing fans in, but we will have to see. I respect every opponent and I respect Pulev. I wish him well during his preparation.”

“For a small country of Bulgaria to stand up for the Heavyweight Titles is a great accomplishment,” said Pulev. “This fight is for my late father and all Bulgarians around the world! I’m coming to London to seize the Heavyweight Championship of the World.”

“After a challenging year for everyone, to end with the unified World Heavyweight Championship is very special,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Over a year after regaining his crown, Anthony Joshua takes on yet another dangerous challenger in Mandatory Challenger Kubrat Pulev. AJ’s resume is unrivalled, and this is the final hurdle until we challenge for the undisputed crown next year.

“Whilst it’s unusual to think of an AJ fight without tens of thousands of fans in attendance, we will be doing everything we can to lobby for the safe return of fans to this event, we have to move forward together. I know Team Pulev and Bob Arum will be doing all they can to become World Champion on Dec 12 but AJ constantly evolves and improves and I expect a dominant performance and a spectacular KO to close out 2020.”

Bob Arum, Top Rank Chairman, said: “Eddie Hearn better watch out. Kubrat Pulev is going to destroy his plan for a Joshua-Tyson Fury unification fight.”

258 Managing Director Freddie Cunningham said: “Anthony again shows his willingness and desire to chase the Undisputed Title with another tough mandatory fight and despite the challenges of making a fight of this scale during these times it is important for AJ to keep momentum. It will be an exciting way to end the year and unique in every way. We will be working with Matchroom to build a card full of 258 fighters to give the fans entertainment throughout the undercard.”

John Wirt, President of Epic Sports and Entertainment, said: “Crowd or no crowd, we are coming to AJ’s backyard to claim the titles. Come December 12, there will be no more excuses or delays. I guarantee that it will be an epic battle and that Kubrat will stop AJ inside the distance.”

“Anthony Joshua returns to the ring, a year after recapturing his World Titles from Andy Ruiz Jr, and Britain’s Unified World Champion will be determined to reign supreme in a hotly-contested Heavyweight division,” said Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing Development.

“Kubrat Pulev has proven pedigree, with just that sole defeat to Wladimir Klitschko, and he’ll be hoping to send more shockwaves through the sport with an upset victory, but I know that AJ has been training tirelessly, priming his explosive power for another night of fireworks.

“Tyson Fury will of course be watching – as an Undisputed World Title fight is within touching distance – and AJ cannot afford a slip-up in a blockbuster ending to the boxing year.”

“We’re thrilled to bring the Heavyweight Championship of the World to all DAZN subscribers,” said DAZN EVP Joseph Markowski. “AJ-Pulev will have major consequences for the entire boxing landscape as both men aim to end the year in emphatic fashion.”

Saturday, 17 October 2020 00:00

Starz announces new docuseries Seduced

Starz, a Lionsgate company announced on “Good Morning America” that the four-part STARZ Original docuseries “Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult” will premiere on Sunday, October 18 at 9 PM ET/PT on STARZ in the U.S. and Canada.

“Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult” takes viewers through a deeply intimate, first-person account of the self-help group turned destructive sex cult NXIVM. The series will air day and date in the UK and Spanish-speaking Latin America on the Starzplay international streaming service, and then on November 15 across the rest of the Starzplay footprint in Europe, Brazil and Japan. Starz also released the official key art and trailer for the series.

“Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult” chronicles the extraordinary and harrowing journey of India Oxenberg — the daughter of Hollywood actress Catherine Oxenberg and a descendant of European royalty — who was seduced into the modern-day sex-slave cult NXIVM. More than 17,000 people, including India, enrolled in NXIVM’s “Executive Success Programs,” a front for the cult and a hunting ground for its leader, master predator Keith Raniere. Women in DOS, a secret master-slave society within NXIVM, were sex-trafficked and branded with a cauterizing iron. Both about a mother trying to save her daughter and recovery from trauma, the series follows India’s seduction, indoctrination, enslavement, escape — and her role as “co-conspirator” in assisting the U.S. government with bringing down Raniere and his criminal enterprise. In addition to being a rigorous and unsparing examination of India’s abuse and her own culpability, it explores how India and a chorus of other women are still grappling to make sense of their experience. The series also showcases extensive insider footage and exposes the inner circle of enablers around Keith Raniere.

“‘Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult’ is an intimate, harrowing first-person account of India Oxenberg’s seven-year journey through hell as she — like many other young women — was drawn into the clutches of cult leader and sexual predator Keith Raniere,” said Christina Davis, Starz President of Original Programming. “This is the first time India Oxenberg will speak publicly about her experience with the cult’s abuses as she retraces her steps, taking viewers deep inside the cult, meeting with former members, lawyers, therapists and cult analysts.”

The series comes from the filmmaking team of Cecilia Peck and Inbal B. Lessner — collaborators on the Emmy®-nominated Brave Miss World — who serve as executive producers with Daniel Voll, Alexandra Milchan and India Oxenberg. Peck also serves as director and Lessner serves as lead editor.

“I had been targeted for recruitment by NXIVM, so the subject was of personal interest,” Peck said. “In many ways, India could be anyone’s daughter. She was a young woman victimized by a serial predator, and I wanted to find out how this 19-year-old girl had become indoctrinated. There was a fearless quality to her inquiry that we were drawn to.”

“The most common question people have is ‘Why didn’t she get up and leave when no one was forcing her to stay?’” Lessner adds. “The brave women who shared their stories with us have struggled with self-blame and shame for falling prey to this cult. All of their voices were instrumental in telling a very complex story, which we hope shines a light on systematic manipulation and coercion.”

Senior Vice President of Original Programming Karen Bailey and Senior Vice President of Unscripted Programming Alice Dickens-Koblin are the executives overseeing “Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult” on behalf of Starz.

Aimed at educating and encouraging organ donation amongst youth, MTV launched the campaign during ‘Joy of Giving Week’

Not all superheroes wear capes; some choose to become organ donors instead and make a difference. Yet, in India, less than one in every ten lakh people donate their organs after death. In a nation of 1.3 billion, our Deceased Organ Donation rate stands at 0.52 per million population today, plagued by abysmally low participation, myths and limited awareness. It’s time to trigger a change and in a way that MTV aces at. India’s No 1 Youth Entertainment Brand along with its knowledge partner ORGAN India, an initiative of the NGO Parashar Foundation, has launched an action oriented campaign, MTV ORGAN Daan – Your One Time Pass (OTP) to Heaven, to add a unique twist to the gift of life. With a fine blend of quirk and impact, this campaign aims to drive awareness about organ shortage in India and encourage people to sign-up to be organ donors after they are gone.

Speaking about the campaign, Navin Shenoy, Head of Marketing – Youth, Music and English Entertainment, Viacom18 said, “As a brand, we’ve always believed that youth will lead change in our society. According to MTV Insight Studio’s research, 81% of young Indians have actively started supporting cause-led initiatives. So, they have started turning armchair activism into actual action. Whether it is through our brand campaigns or original programming, we believe that the soft power of media can be a catalyst to this change.” He further added, “With MTV ORGAN Daan, we aim to drive a conversation around the need for organ donation and primarily encourage youth to register as donors.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of the MTV ORGAN Daan Campaign” says Anika Parashar, Chairperson, Parashar Foundation. “We have seen the miracle of organ donation in our family. My mother, Former Chairperson, Late. Ms. Kirti Parashar, received a life-saving heart transplant that gave her 5 more years with us. It was possible only because someone donated their organs upon their death, and saved so many lives, including my mother’s, and we are truly grateful for that.” Sunayana Singh, CEO, ORGAN India said that “We have made it our mission to sensitize the public about deceased organ donation. We believe that MTV ORGAN Daan campaign is the perfect way to inspire the youth of this country to leave a legacy that spans many lives, and that too in a way that appeals to them.”

Bollywood actor Arjun Mathur who came on board to echo the need for awareness amongst masses, said “Organ Donation is a cause I feel strongly about for I have seen its impact quite closely. Despite the deluge of information available on this issue and the alarming data, there is a long road ahead till we rise up as a society and pledge to make a difference. I am glad to associate with MTV ORGAN Daan and with ORGAN India for a need of the hour initiative that aims to evoke awareness around organ donation in India and urge the youth to come forward and participate. As a part of this campaign, I am happy to catalyse this change and focus on the need for the most valuable gift of life.”

Launched during the Daan Utsav, i.e. the Joy of Giving Week (2nd Oct-8th Oct), MTV ORGAN Daan will be an on-going initiative that aims to catalyse the youth around the most honorable form of ‘Daan’- the gift of life. With a strong meld of humour and quirk at its core, MTV has curated this campaign around the prevalent Indian belief that ‘Punya/Good deeds are a gateway to Heaven’ and Organ Donation can surely help one reserve a spot up there. This call to action thererby aims to encourage sign ups as organ donors.

Starting off with the campaign, MTV put out a series of interactive social media posts to debunk existing myths around organ donation along with an insightful infographic that reflected the enormity of the issue in India. From the right age of donating to the different organs one can donate and the protocols involved, MTV rode on innovative messaging, memes, comic strips and out of home branding to cater to the limited attention span of today’s youth urging them to come out in large numbers and support this cause.

As a central messaging tool, two brand film that depicts the campaign idea of One Time Pass to Heaven has also been created. The film delivers the message of ‘Organ Daan’, ensuring a mass appeal in the ‘classic’ MTV way. In addition to being promoted on MTV India’s social handles, the films will also be aired across channels in the Youth, Music and English Entertainment cluster of Viacom18. With this campaign, MTV and ORGAN India eventually aim to trigger sign ups on www.mtvorgandaan.com , urging Indians to become Organ donors. On signing up, an auto-triggered personalized ‘One Time Pass to Heaven’ will be available to the participant to share on their personal social media handles as a proud Organ Donor. This will eventually be followed by the actual organ donor card.

Official Data suggests that One Organ Donor can save up to 8 lives.* That’s the power of this precious gift of life. Imagine what we can achieve if majority of us choose to do the same. So, without further ado, pledge to make a difference, stand out and get your heaven ka One Time Pass (OTP) with MTV ORGAN Daan!!

*Source: ORGAN India

Navratri afternoons will be all the more entertaining with Naari Ek Roop Anek movie festival between October 19 & 24 from12 noon; Dussehra exclusive WTP of Kahani Kismat Ke that will be telecast on October 25 at 6:00 PM

“She is water, soft enough to offer life, tough enough to drown it away.” This is the true underlying power that a woman possesses and is one that is not meant to be taken for granted. The exuberant festival of Navratri not only celebrates Maa Durga, or often called ‘Shakti’, the Goddess of power and strength, but also sees devotees bow in reverence as they worship her nine forms over nine days. Deeply rooted in our culture, the festival is celebrated amidst much enthusiasm especially across the Hindi Heartland like Bihar, Jharkhand & UP where the Mother Goddess is welcomed and worshiped with much grandeur. ZEE Biskope rejoices the festival of Navratri with a special movie festival titled —“Naari Ek Roop Anek” with an array of movies scheduled from October 19-24 at the 12noon,portraying the different shades of a women that resemble the avatar of Maa Durga. The films celebrate the power and strength of women, showcasing the importance of women in the society and in our life. Leaving no stone unturned towards providing non-stop entertainment, this week-long celebration will also mesmerize viewers on the occasion of Dussehra with a special World Television Premiere of the Bhojpuri blockbuster Kahani Kismat Ke on October 25 at 6:00 PM.

Perfectly encapsulating the message of woman empowerment, the festival movies are specially curated keeping in mind the essence of Navratri while reminding everyone of a woman’s true worth and her high stature in the society.

Enthralling its audience with a special movie line-up, the channel will kick-start the ‘Naari Ek Roop Anek’ movie festival with ‘Ghulami’ which features superstar Nirahua, Madhu Sharma &Shubhi Sharma. The blockbuster not only showcases how SP Arjun Singh, played by Nirahua, fights against the evil forces but also depicts the journey of two brave ladies —Inspector Kiran played by Shubhi and Damini played by Madhu. This will be followed by ‘Balamua Tohre Khatir’ starring Pawan Singh &Khyati in prominent roles where the latter impresses viewers with her powerful performance of a woman who takes a stand against an evil minded man and defeats him. Following which the next day, Khesari Lal Yadav & Kajal Raghwani will entertain the audience with ‘Dulhin Ganga Par Ke’, the heartfelt story of a woman’s affinity and her selfless love. Delighting viewers to their heart’s content, ‘Sajan Chale Sasural 2’ featuring Khesari Lal Yadav & Smriti Sinha, showcases how Rani (Smriti) challenges patriarchy and refuses to kneel, leaving her career behind after marriage. Ghoonghat Me Ghotala starring Parvesh Lal Yadav, Mani & Richa is centred on the soul of a woman who is seeking revenge from her lover. Wrapping up the movie festival, the audience will soak in the fathoms of love with the movie ‘Mohabbat’. The romantic blockbuster features Chintu Pandey and Kajal Yadav who profess their never-ending faith on each other.

The celebration doesn’t end here as giving a perfect adieu to the festive week, the channel offers avid cinephiles the exclusive World Television Premiere of Kahani Kismat Ke on October 25 at 6:00 PM. The movie features Arvind Akela Kallu along with Viraj Bhatt & Subhi Sharma in lead roles. A power-packed action blockbuster that showcases the quintessential conflict between the good and the evil enticing a hearty love story.

Amarpreet Singh Saini, Business Head, ZEE Biskope& BIG Ganga said, “Our viewers are a part of our family and we are super excited to celebrate the festival of Navratri with them. Although the festivities will be much constrained by the restrictions imposed due to the pandemic this year, ZEE Biskope will ensure the entertainment quotient of our viewers are cushioned by the hyperbolic movie line-up and the World TV Premiere. As the festival demands, the content block will be a fitting tribute to our women audience who area true and shining embodiment of courage, devotion and strength. I wish all our viewers a Happy & Safe Navratri.”

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