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Tributes pour in as the world mourns Prince’s death

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86103158SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Prince Rogers Nelson, the celebrated musician who penned such hits as  “Kiss,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” and “Purple Rain” died Thursday at age 57.

“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning,” publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said. Earlier in the day, police said they were investigating at his Paisley Park studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota. After responding to a medical call they found the singer unresponsive in an elevator, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson said.

A massive outpour after the announcement of his death was seen across various social media platforms. Some have said the news of his death “is what it sounds like when doves cry,” a reference to his 1984 smash hit. Others have rushed to record stores nationwide to retrieve his albums and any other memorabilia they can get their hands on.

Earlier this month, he made news after a scheduled show was cancelled at the Fox Theatre in Georgia City. He wasn’t feeling well, according to a report from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Just days later, he took the stage in Atlanta to perform an 80-minute set, unusually short for him.

After the show, his plane made an emergency landing, according to Noel-Schure, and the singer was immediately rushed to a hospital in Moline, Illinois. At the time, the publicist said, “He is fine and at home.”

Prince takes in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder next to Warriors owner Joe Lacob. (Photo courtesy GSW Media Services)

Prince takes in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder next to Warriors owner Joe Lacob. (Photo courtesy GSW Media Services)

Just one month ago, Prince attended a Golden State Warriors game, sitting court side with owner Joe Lacob. He was scheduled to perform at Oracle Arena the following night. After his experience watching Curry, Green, Iguodala and the rest of the defending champs, Prince took to Twitter to describe the atmosphere.

Thursday, Lacob released a statement after hearing news of the icon’s death.

“I was shocked and saddened to hear the news of Prince’s death today, especially after hosting him at a game recently at Oracle Arena,” Lacob said. “That night was a real honor for me and, looking back, he appeared to be doing well and was in great spirits.  From everyone in the Warriors’ organization, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and millions of fans during this difficult time. We lost a true icon in the entertainment business.”

Arts & Culture

India’s mega blockbuster ‘RRR’ vies for the Oscars

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LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) — Legendary Indian director S.S. Rajamouli, of the Baahubali fame is back with yet another box office mega hit. ‘RRR’ (Rise,Roar, Revolt), the Telugu language epic, is set in 1920’s colonial India and has already broken many box-office records internationally. With nearly 300 days of shooting, thousands of hours in post production and an international team of VFX team, RRR is now making the waves among film critics in the United States.

Grossing over $175m worldwide, with nearly $2.5m from Japan alone, this film has garnered global appeal with its Bollywood style dance numbers, epic action sequences and high-end visual effects. 

As the film is gaining momentum in the film critics society, after winning the Atlanta & New York Film Critics Circle awards, ahead of the Oscars, we sat down with the key team members behind the scenes. Check out what they had to say:

With an astounding level of commitment and an inherent pride, the team worked tirelessly to bring the director’s vision to life.

While many expected this to be India’s official entry into the Oscars, that didn’t happen, but RRR will likely compete with films such as Avatar 2 and Top Gun Maverick in the VFX category. If it were to win, it would be the first ever film made in India to win that category at the Oscars. 

We, at Diya TV will be paying close attention, so like, follow & subscribe to get all your diaspora news as it happens.

UPDATE 12/12/22 : RRR has been nominated for Best Picture: Non-English Language & Best Original Song ‘Naatu Naatu’ for the Golden Globes.

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IFFLA celebrates 20 years with a focus to mentor the next generation

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IFFLA celebrates 20 years with a trip down memory lane

LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) — IFFLA celebrated their 20th anniversary with familiar faces, overwhelming excitement and new additions to Southern California’s largest Indian and South Asian focused film festival.

Pan Nalin opened the festival with his film Last Film Show, a love letter to cinema and loosely based on his childhood.

“I think IFFLA over the years, it has been like a home in Hollywood. So I was always able to come here and invite people from the industry to see these movies,” said Nalin. “There are producers who usually don’t go to see Indian cinema. So I feel that it’s really important.”

Director Anurag Kashyap returned to host a MasterClass — a way to give back to the festival and fellow filmmakers.

“It is always good to be back here because for me this is where it all started from. And it’s amazing to see that this festival has grown so much and has been sustaining for so long,” said Kashyap.

New filmmakers were honored to be part of the lineup this year, especially after no in-person IFFLA for the last two years.

Hena Asraf, Director of The Return, shares “it feels a little unreal. It feels great! I think especially to be at a festival in person, after over two years.” 

“The community is amazing. The welcome is very warm. It feels just so honoring to be a part of this festival and amongst these filmmakers. I can’t wait to see all the other films,” said The Return Editor Esther Shubinski.

It’s that family feeling that makes IFFLA special and keeps filmmakers, attendees, and staff keep coming back.

Actor and director Ravi Kapoor is “just so grateful for this festival. It has been such a supporter of me. And they’ve helped bring the South Asian diasporic community here in LA together as well. Thank god they’ve lasted 20 years.”

Actor & musician Monica Dogra points out “what’s wonderful about IFFLA [is] it’s super niche, South Asians in LA of all places. [And] it’s small enough so you actually see people anyway.”

Actor Pooja Batra added, “I think they’ve always been eclectic with their mix of selection that they bring around here — smaller budget, smaller sort of productions also need a shout out.”

One of the new additions this year is the Spotlight on South Asia.

Festival founder Christina Marouda added this vertical to present films from different countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal. “We’re putting a spotlight on projects we want to support,” said Marouda.

The other major new change this year was a live table read of IFFLA alum Kahlil Maskati’s feature script, Alim Uncle, rather than a closing night film. Fawzia Mirza directed the piece.

These changes reflect IFFLA’s commitment to supporting filmmakers while giving audiences more than a viewing experience. In fact, they are able to be part of the filmmaking process.

Marouda says after 20 years, this is IFFLA’s direction moving forward — a full effort to mentor budding filmmakers, while showcasing new films.

Ravi Kapur and Deepti Dawar contributed to this report.

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Garcetti’s ambassadorship to India in limbo

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Garcetti's ambassadorship to India in limbo | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — Republican Senator Chuck Grassley has lifted the “hold” on the Senate confirmation of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has been nominated by US President Joe Biden as the country’s next ambassador to India. Initially, Grassley planned to object to the nomination, saying Garcetti failed to properly investigate sexual assault allegations and harassment by a close advisor.

Protesters in Sri Lanka have burned down homes belonging to 38 politicians as the crisis-hit country plunged further into chaos, with the government ordering troops to shoot anyone caught destroying property. Even the former Prime Minister had to be evacuated from his home. Angry Sri Lankans continue to defy a nationwide curfew to protest against what they say is the government’s mishandling of the country’s worst economic crisis since 1948.

Internationally recognized Indian American energy expert Arun Majumdar will head the new Stanford University Doerr School of Sustainability, which aims to tackle urgent climate and sustainability challenges,

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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