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‘Superwoman’, Modi, named in Time’s 30 Most Influential People Online List

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YouTube sensation Lilly Singh is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Rick Matharu

YouTube sensation Lilly Singh is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Rick Matharu

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Lilly “Superwoman” Singh and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi are the sole persons of Indian origin represented on Time magazine’s 2016 list of 30 Most Influential People on the Internet — just two years in, it’s PM Modi’s second selection in as many years.

Singh, a Canadian YouTube sensation who possesses millions of followers across multiple platforms of social media, was described by Time as a “Indo-Canadian vlogger [who] is rapidly becoming one of the biggest stars on YouTube, both on and off-screen.” Writing additionally that her “alter ego, Superwoman, is equal parts funny and motivational, which has helped her amass more than 8 million subscribers and over 1.1 billion total views.”

Singh describes herself simply on her YouTube channel, ||Superwoman||, by writing: “I make funny videos every Monday and Thursday. I rant, create sketches and sometimes even dress up as my parents!”

In an Instagram post, Singh reacted to the honor by saying, “What an honour! Thank you! Hopefully people are influenced to also wear sweat pants all day like me. Then I wouldn’t be considered lazy. I would be trendy. GOALS.”

Last month, the 27-year-old Singh released a documentary titled “A Trip to Unicorn Island,” which acted as a diary for a 27-nation world tour she embarked on. She is a scheduled participant in Mumbai’s YouTube FanFest, which will take place on Friday. The list is somewhat familiar territory for Singh — last year, she was ranked No. 8 on Forbes’  “30 under 30” among YouTube millionaires.

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Modi makes his return since last year’s inaugural rankings were released, being described as an “Internet star, boasting more than 18 million Twitter followers and over 32 million Facebook likes. And unlike some of his contemporaries, he often uses social media to break news and conduct diplomacy.”

Specifically, Time paid homage to Modi’s surprise Christmas visit to Pakistan to meet its Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif. Strikingly similar to former President George W. Bush’s 2003 Thanksgiving visit to Iraq, Modi’s trip happened during the dark of night, and was announced via Twitter.

Time said it “sized up contenders by looking at their global impact on social media and their overall ability to drive news,” in creating the list. Last year’s list also included Indian-American food blogger Vani Hari.

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Indian American Illustrator Nidhi Chanani Premieres Pashmina

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Nidhi Chanani
Nidhi Chanani

Indian American illustrator Nidhi Chanani has released her first graphic novel Pashmina.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Indian American illustrator Nidhi Chanani has released her first graphic novel Pashmina.

Pashmina was partially inspired by Chanani’s childhood. Both she and her main character Priyanka “love samosas and drawing comics.”

In the graphic novel, Priyanka’s family and friends encourage her artistic pursuits. Chanani says “I can only speak from my own experience but I wasn’t encouraged towards art. Most

often I heard about engineering, accounting, law and medicine as viable career tracks. In Pashmina I chose to show a community we can strive towards rather than one steeped in old values and ideals. And yes I hope that Pashmina will inspire young artists to pursue different tracks. I also hope that parents will see the book as an example of how being an artist is also a viable career,” she said in a ComicsBeat.com article.

The creator of Every Day Love, a “whimsical” look into the life of immigrant children, the digital illustrator was given the Champion of Change award by the White House in 2012.

She uses digital media applications, such as Flash and Photoshop, as well as wood burning and watercolor in creating her art.

According to her website bio, she “creates because it makes her happy – with the hope that it can make others happy, too.”

Here is a brief animated preview of the release: https://everydayloveart.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pashmina_promo_fullvideo.mp4?_=1

Pashmina was released by First Second Publishing on Oct. 3 and premieres at the New York Comic Con this week. A number of tour stops are scheduled for Chanani.

Chanani is a freelance illustrator, cartoonist and writer. She recently illustrated Misty – The Proud Cloud, a children’s book by Hugh Howey and is an instructor in the Master of Fine Arts, Comics program at the California College of Arts.

Chanani has appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and BBC Radio. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, the Women’s March, My Modern Met, Bored Panda and India Times.She has worked with Disney, ABC, Airbnb, Sony, Microsoft, State Farm Insurance and a variety of other clients. Her non-fiction comics have appeared in the Nib. Everyday Love Art products are sold across the country, including the San Francisco International Airport, Books Inc., and Therapy stores.

She was born in Calcutta, India and raised in southern California. She holds a degree in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Pixar Partners with Khan Academy to launch online storytelling course

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Pixar Animation Studios is partnering with Khan Academy to launch the first of six free online lessons covering the art of storytelling, the course is taught by Pete Docter, Mark Andrews, and other filmmakers from the renowned Disney-owned studio.

The new series includes Pete Docter, director of “Inside Out,” “Up” and “Monsters, Inc.”; Mark Andrews, director and screenwriter of “Brave” and story supervisor on “The Incredibles”; Sanjay Patel, director of “Sanjay’s Super Team” and animator on “Ratatouille,” “Cars” and “Monsters, Inc.”; and Domee Shi, story artist on “Inside Out.”

The rest of the “Art of Storytelling” lessons will roll out through the rest of the year. The internet classes include videos, exercises and hands-on activities to guide them from an initial idea to a final storyboard.

The first of the storytelling lessons is available now at PixarInABox.org.

It’s the third season of “Pixar in a Box” on Khan Academy, which first launched on the site in 2015. Past lessons from the studio have covered simulation, color science, virtual cameras, character modeling and rendering. Disney funds the Pixar collaboration with Khan Academy.

Information from Variety contributed to this report. 

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Anish Kapoor Awarded Prestigious $1M Genesis Prize

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The Genesis Prize Foundation announced this week that Anish Kapoor, the Turner Prize-winning artist, has been named its laureate for 2017. The annual prize recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to Jewish politics and culture, it comes with a $1 million cash prize.

Kapoor, whose mother is Jewish, has produced several major public works, the most recognizable of them being the bean-shaped Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park. He also designed the Holocaust Memorial at London’s Liberal Jewish Synagogue. In 2015, for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, he designed a series of Holocaust remembrance candles.

Occasionally, Kapoor’s passions have spewed over into the world of politics. Kapoor said he will put the money from the Genesis Prize towards helping the Syrian refugee crisis, which has displaced an estimated 12.5 million people. No specific details have been announced, but Kapoor said he will make a much more elaborate presentation in June.

“The profound impact of Anish’s work continues a long history of Jewish contribution to the arts, while his social activism reaffirms the commitment of the Jewish people to humanitarian causes,” the Genesis Prize Foundation’s chairman and cofounder, Stan Polovets, said in a statement. “We particularly admire how, in an age frequently characterized by cynicism and indifference, Anish continually advocates for the world’s disadvantaged—challenging all of us to do more to help wherever and whenever we can.”

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