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‘Daily Show’ comedian Hasan Minhaj takes his show on tour



Comedian Hasan Minhaj is hitting the road with his one-man show.

Comedian Hasan Minhaj is hitting the road with his one-man show.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Hasan Minhaj, a correspondent on the hit Comedy Central program “The Daily Show,” is coming to a town near you with his solo act titled, “Homecoming King.”

The comedian will kick off his 19-city North American tour this summer, beginning Aug. 19 in Portland, Oregon. His act will then move to stages in Seattle, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Iowa City, New Orleans, Boston and Toronto, among others.

The show is about a first-generation Indian-American making his way through these two worlds but never completely at ease in either of them. The show debuted last year at New York’s Cherry Lane Theatre.

In his show, Minhaj talks about the explorations he made growing up in northern California, the bullies that made his life more difficult, discovering a sister he never knew existed and his long walks home from school everyday after being excluded from student carpools. As a young boy, Minaj embraced everything about the American culture — from drinking Capri Sun, to watching “Ghostbusters” and riding BMX bikes — however, American often times did not embrace him back.

During his tenure on “The Daily Show,” Minhaj has mocked everything from the pope to robot journalists, he was also charged with transitioning the show from hosts Jon Stewart to Trevor Noah. His speech at this year’s Radio and Television Correspondents’ Dinner about gun control has been seen by millions.

Minhaj says his biggest influences were the writer Junot Diaz and the storytelling of hip-hop. His comedic idols include Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and his former boss, Jon Stewart.

His one-man show came into clearer focus after dealing with the struggles of his own cultural and religious divides — he is a Muslim Indian-American and his wife a Hindu. Minhaj spent countless hours trying to win the affection of his wife, that when it happened, he was forced to recollect on the entire process.

“To me, it represented this huge mental and emotional shift in my life,” he said. “There was a lot of growing up and now I feel like there’s a lot of, ‘OK, what are we fighting for and where are we going?'”

Arts & Culture

U.S. and India conduct joint military drill on Diego Garcia in Indian Ocean



Indian Ocean drill

DIEGO GARCIA, India Ocean (Diya TV) — The U.S. and Indian Navies went submarine hunting in the Indian Ocean, their first bilateral anti-submarine warfare exercise since a signing pact to work more closely together last fall.

India’s exports to China are up in 2019, while imports declined, leading to a $10 billion reduction in India’s trade deficit with China. Analysts say the current Washington-Beijing trade war has also opened things up for India.

The Jallianwala Massacre 100 years ago that left hundreds dead and 1200 injured at the hands of British troops is considered a key turning point towards a free India. British prime minister Theresa May marked the occasion by expressing “deep regret”, but there are still no apologies.

An effort by an American and British companies to help Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal save the airline from collaspe dissolved after Etihad Airways and TPG Capital threatened to walk away themselves if Goyal was part of the deal.

And comedian Hasan Minhaj, who won a 2017 Peabody Award, received another Peabody nomination in the entertainment category for his Netflix show, “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.”

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Women film makers shine at the 2019 Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles



IFFLA staff with the 2019 festival winners

LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) — Way into its 2nd decade, the 17th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) concluded Sunday night with the zany slice-of-life film, The Odds, directed by Megha Ramaswamy. Complete with a glamorous closing night red carpet, and an awards ceremony the festival ended with an after party at the Spice Affair in Beverly Hills.

(From Left to Right) Praveen Morchale, Christina Marouda, Shazia Iqbal, Anand Patwardhan, Nitin Sonawane , Divya Kohli Courtesy: Javeed Sheikh Photography

IFFLA was only four days this year (compared to five days in previous years) but there was still so much to see during that time. In addition to the curated set of films, there was an incredible panel discussion, Breaking in Brown: Making it to Series in TV’s Golden Age, that featured panelists working in various fields in the television industry and their struggles to rise up through the ranks in the Hollywood while being brown.

Panel Discussion Breaking in Brown. Courtesy: Javeed Sheikh Photography

This year’s film lineup boasted five world premieres, two North American premieres, two U.S. premieres and eleven Los Angeles Premieres, with films presented in nine different languages. The overall atmosphere was very relaxed even with films that tackled difficult subject matters. About fifty percent of the films were directed by women so when asked about that theme, filmmakers and staff alike hoped for a future where it will be normal to have women and men equally making films.

Kicking off the awards ceremony, Director of Programming, Mike Dougherty, announced the winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature, Widow of Silence.

“We present the Grand Jury prize to a film that illuminates a condition that most of the world doesn’t get to see and shines a light on the characters that live through it everyday…This filmmaker’s civic disobedience illustrates their love and compassion for their country and their people, and the craft of their film-making was beautifully wise and refined.”

Director Praveen Morchhale was visibly surprised as he walked up to receive his award. The film he said, was about those, “that nobody talks about and nobody treats them as a human”. Even though it was Morchhale’s first time at IFFLA, he said he felt as if he had been coming here for many years, and that it is not him winning the award but the “women in Kashmir” on whom the film is based.

The Audience Award for Best Feature went to Reason, Director Anand Patwardhan received a standing ovation when he went to collect his award. On accepting his award , Patwardhan said, “Most of the time our film is getting thrown out of festivals, I wasn’t expecting this.” He went on to say this was his first time here in Los Angeles and he enjoyed every film he watched and enjoyed all the interactions he had at the festival. He added that it meant a lot for the film to be well received here and how that will hopefully impact its reception in India.

When Shazia Iqbal’s Bebaak was announced for the Audience Award For Best Short Film, the jury mentioned how she almost gave up on filming because she was getting thrown out of mosques. Iqbal spoke about how when people think of Muslims, they only think of Muslim men and not women, who experience so much misogyny. She hopes people will be able to “see beyond what misogyny and religion does to people.” Iqbal added, “A director is nothing without their team.”

Shorts Program jury member, Megha Kadakia, said how all of the short films have a strong cinematic vision, “they told stories about identity and life in the modern world, personal and subverted expectations…they were all very powerful.”

“A layered portrait of a woman determined to pursue her needs and impulses,” the Grand Jury awarded their prize for Best Short to The Field from director Sandhya Suri. “The film takes images that normally evoke a sense of fear and flips the narrative on its head redefining a new more empowered world for the female protagonist and exploring an often unseen story of a woman’s drive and agency over her own body and life,” the jury added.

After the awards, Dougherty introduced the closing night film, The Odds by saying the film was the “Perfect way to close IFFLA on a celebratory note.” Before the film started, IFFLA alum director Megha Ramaswamy, called her cast and crew on stage to greet the audience and made a reference from her film saying, “To cut a story short, what are the odds that a crew like us gets to hang out with an audience like you?”

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Arts & Culture

One-on-One with Prime Minister Modi



One-on-One with Modi

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — In a rare sit-down interview in the middle of an election, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discusses his first term and what he plans to accomplish if he is elected to a second term. Watch the full interview tonight on a special Diya TV Dialogue at 7 pm.

Two U.S. Senators are urging more negotiations with India over a Trump administration plan to end preferential imports because it could raise costs for American consumers.

Meanwhile, India purchased a missile system from Russia. Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is hopeful the deal will avoid sanctions and scrutiny from the U.S.

Thiru Vignarajah a former federal prosecutor, who also once served as deputy Attorney General in the state of Maryland, announced he is running for mayor of Baltimore as a Democrat.

And our entertainment reporter, Kari Lane will take you behind the scenes at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, an event proudly sponsored by Diya TV, full of some of the brightest stars you will soon see on the silver screen.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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