Friday, Dec 19th

Last update05:52:28 AM GMT


"Buried" coming soon

Paul is six feet underground, desperate, has only 90 minutes to be rescued

Buried starring Ryan Reynolds & directed by Rodrigo Cortes will be released in the UK on 1st October, ICON Film Distribution has announced.

Paul Conroy is not ready to die. But when he wakes up six feet underground with no idea of who put him there or why, life for the truck driver and family man instantly becomes a hellish struggle for survival.

Buried with only a cell  phone and a lighter, his contact with the outside world and ability to piece together clues that could help him discover his location are maddeningly limited.

Poor reception, a rapidly draining battery and a dwindling oxygen supply become his worst enemies in a tightly confined race against time- fighting panic, despair and delirium, Paul has only 90 minutes to be rescued.

The Times described it as “Tight and claustrophobic. Buried is a master class in invention and suspense” while Aint It Cool said: “Buried is kind of a complete package....The tension builds and builds until you don’t think you can take it anymore.”

Buried will open in cinemas everywhere across the UK on 1st October 2010.  Certificate & Running Time TBC.


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Arrest warrant issued for Lohan

Lindsay Lohan has been ordered to appear in court on Friday after she failed a drug test.

An arrest warrant for the 24-year-old has been issued and the actress is now facing possible jail time for violating her probation.

Officials at Los Angeles County Superior Court said a bench warrant was issued on Monday for Li-Lo. However, authorities said the actress wouldn't be taken into custody pending the court hearing on Friday.

The star confirmed on her Twitter page last week that she failed a court-ordered drug and alcohol screening.

"Regrettably, I did in fact fail my most recent drug test," she tweeted.

She also said, "substance abuse is a disease, which unfortunately doesn't go away over night. I am working hard to overcome it".

A judge had threatened her with 30 days in jail for each probation violation.

Lohan spent two weeks in jail earlier this year after violating probation stemming from convictions involving her 2007 arrests for drug use and driving under the influence.

Lohan also dropped her 100 million dollar lawsuit over a Super Bowl ad for E-Trade that featured a "milkaholic" baby named Lindsay, according to documents filed on Monday in a Manhattan court.

By The Press Association

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Film Review: Themba – A Boy Called Hope

Archbishop Tutu: “In my opinion, this film deserves two or three Oscars”

Themba – A Boy Called Hope, is one of, if not, the most powerful socio-political film coming out of South Africa. The novel by Lutz van Dijk, the German/Netherlands writer, is packed with action. It deals with politics, grinding poverty, love, squalor, hate, and for good measure soccer, although the overriding factor is AIDS.

All these components are beautifully handled by South African-born Film Producer/Director Stefanie Sycholt and moulded into a great epic. She certainly knows exactly when salt is needed in the soup, and how much. Not a pinch too much or too less.

Therefore, it is not surprising that this film has received bouquets of praise and prizes from numerous circles. Even former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu, could not hold back his admiration when he said: “The movie Themba can play an important role here. I wish the film project – that will be realised in cooperation with the local people in the Eastern Cape and the township of Masiphumelele near Cape Town all possible success. In my opinion, this film deserves two or three Oscars”. The film has already won a number of prizes and hopefully that process will continue.

I will most certainly not cross swords with the Arch. I concur entirely after seeing the film here in Berlin. I am not a regular cinemagoer. But the publicity surrounding this film left me with no other alternative but to see the movie. I am glad I did because IT IS A MUST SEE film.

The film is about Themba aged 11, who lives with his mother Mandisa and his sister Nomtha in dire poverty in a village near Lusikisiki in what was the former Transkei. His father, a migratory worker in the mines of Johannesburg, suddenly stopped sending money for the upkeep of his family and was not heard of anymore. Mandisa was forced to work on a tea plantation under slave conditions and poorly paid.

Themba’s passion was football and together with his pal Sipho, used every spare minute to emulate his heroes - international stars Zidane, Ronaldo, or his South African idol Andile Khumalo. Together with his friends, Themba founded the “Lion Strikers”. This barefooted team reached the semi-finals of a youth tournament in the area. Among the spectators was the Head of the “All Star Academy” in Cape Town - John Jacobs (Jens Lehmann – former German national goalkeeper), and Andile Khumalo. Although the Lion Strikers lost in the finals, John Jacobs was simply flabbergasted by their performance that he promised to donate the team’s football boots and gave Themba his visiting card.

Mandisa lost her job and was forced to make the journey to Cape Town to work as a domestic maid so as to support her family.

She left her boyfriend, the unemployed alcoholic Luthando, in charge of her family. Luthando turned out to be a wild beast and attempted to rape Nomtha which Themba prevented and was himself raped in the process.

There was no other alternative left but to go in search of the mother in Cape Town who had stopped communication with her family. After a long search, she was found in one of the poverty-ridden shantytowns living in squalor. She was on her death bed suffering from AIDS with which Luthambo infected her.

Little Themba pushed heaven and earth to earn money to help his mother who finally landed in a hospital and received the treatment that was so badly needed. Themba managed to do this by taking on all sorts of jobs which were for grownups only. He was desperate. He needed the money and in the process remembered the card John Jacobs had given him. At the Academy Jacobs remembered the young man and he was hired without hesitation and remunerated very handsomely. Thereafter there was no looking back on Themba’s football career.

Speaking to the press after an important match, he made a startling revelation. Themba confessed to being HIV-positive and refused to be ashamed of it. That was a brave and noble move with a clear message that he wanted to go on living and continuing to play soccer for the national team.

AIDS is a killer. But an even bigger killer is the secrecy and the stigma attached to it. The result is that thousands of people lose their lives prematurely. Society has not been taught NOT to look down on people infected with this hideous disease. HIV victims are people who need help and solidarity and not slurs and abuse. They are not outcasts. This message is loud and clear in the film.

That is why institutions like the Sparrow Rainbow Village in Johannesburg should receive all the support for the wonderful work they are doing to deal with precisely the problem raised in the film.

‘Sparrow Ministries is an inter-denominational Ministry of Help, not associated with any church, caring for Destitute Terminally ill adults and children with HIV/AIDS. We primarily function as an In-Patient Hospice facility offering comprehensive medical, nursing, psychological, social, spiritual, educational and occupational care, through a multi-disciplinary team.

Our hospice called Sparrow’s Nest was founded on 14th February 1992 by Rev Corine McClintock. Since opening, the reality of AIDS has been staring us in the face daily. From the hopeless, helpless individuals who stand outside our doors in the morning to the children with their brave smiles – we seemed to be surrounded by the biggest tragedy in human existence.

Regardless of this reality, we refuse to be stunned into passivity by this silent killer. Our motto is and has always been GET UP AND LIVE. Over the past decade we have said farewell to over 2,000 individuals – but – with dignity and peace. As the pressure of beds intensifies daily, we have “enlarged our tent” and on 14th February 2002, opened Sparrow Rainbow Village – The First AIDS Village in the world. Our new Village project enables us to care for 400 individuals including 200 children.’

Obviously such projects need assistance and it is hoped that the film Themba – a Boy called Hope will have huge audiences wherever it is screened and that it will play a pivotal role in educating people about this killing disease.

By Eric Singh

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Kylie backs charity on red carpet

She arrives for the UK premiere of The Kid

Kylie Minogue has described how lucky she felt to have had a happy childhood as she attended the premiere of a film about an abused boy.

The pop princess, an NSPCC ambassador, attended the premiere of The Kid in London's West End to support the charity.

"I have been one of their ambassadors - a very proud one - since 2003," the Australian singer, who was wearing a feather-adorned black dress, told BBC London News.

"The work they do is incredible, in comparison to some of the stories they deal with I feel like I fell from heaven with the childhood I had.

"I will give any help that I can to raise awareness - especially for the NSPCC helpline - that is just so important for people to know about."

The film, which has a 15 certificate, is based on the book by Kevin Lewis about his childhood experiences of being bullied at school, and beaten and starved by his parents.

A NSPCC spokesman said: "The NSPCC believes The Kid is a compelling, emotional and ultimately uplifting film that shows how a child with the right help can triumph over abuse, and go on to have a happy, fulfilled life.

"The charity hopes that every adult who watches the film understands how vital it is to speak up if they are worried about a child.

"Any teenagers who see the film and are affected by issues around it can call ChildLine immediately on 0800 1111."

By The Press Association

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Producer defends X Factor in row

Fans criticised producers for apparently 'autotuning' Gamu Nhengu on The X Factor

An award-winning record producer has defended The X Factor over claim the TV talent show used technology to make some contestants' voices sound better.

Furious viewers filled internet forums with complaints about the use of "autotuning" during the programme.

But Donal Hodgson, who won a Grammy for his work with Sting, said using it was perfectly acceptable as long as it was not a total "fabrication".

He said: "The issue would be if the X Factor was using it on people that really couldn't sing and making something that was a fabrication. I didn't see the show but I imagine if you have a lot of young people who have never sung live on stage before then they will sing out of tune.

"They won't be used to monitors and hearing their own voices coming back to them so they would be more likely to sing out of tune."

Most of the allegations surrounded teenage contestant Gamu Nhengu, who sang a version of the Katrina And The Waves hit Walking On Sunshine. After hearing her effort, judge Simon Cowell told the 18-year-old, from Clackmannanshire, Scotland, she was "really talented" before she was unanimously voted through to the next round.

But on the show's website, robhayes wrote: "Absolutely disgusting use of... autotune... does X Factor really think we are idiots? I see the idea of making the show more entertaining, but this is taking the mick... really..."

A spokesman for broadcasting watchdog Ofcom said it had received 30 complaints about the issue.

He said: "We do not consider that the complaints received to date raise issues under the Ofcom Broadcasting Code."

The code states broadcasters must "ensure that viewers and listeners are not materially misled about any broadcast competition or voting".

By The Press Association

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