Get ready for Pakistan’s first full-length feature animated film, “3 Bahadur”

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 Audrey Magazine:

In 2013, we said hello to 16-year-old Kamala Khan. More commonly known as Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan was Marvel’s very first Pakistani-American Muslim superhero. And if you were happy with just one Pakistani superhero, we have some good news. Three more are on the way!

11-year-olds Saadi, Amna and Kamil star in Pakistan’s very first full-length feature animated film, 3 Bahadur. The title, which translates to “three brave,” is quite a fitting description for our young heroes. When the three children suddenly acquire superpowers, they decide to rid their city of all the evil that plagues it.

The film was created by Pakistan’s first Oscar winner, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. In addition to her Academy Award (which she won for her documentary Saving Face), Obaid-Chinoy also has an Emmy, a Livingston Award and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2012.

Almost 3 years ago, I had an intense desire to create an animated feature in Pakistan which would appeal to Pakistani children everywhere,” Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy told NBC News. “As a nation, we have stopped producing quality content for our children. All of our content is imported and thus our youth grows up with mentors and heroes that are far removed from what they see around them in real life.

Obaid-Chinoy had made it clear that she hopes to inspire the youth of Pakistan. In fact, the official website, which features exclusive content and releases weekly comic strips, allows children to submit stories which showcase their own “bahadury.” These inspiring tales will be considered for publication on the official website.

“3 Bahadur is not just a movie. It is a movement,” Obaid-Chinoy explained. “The message we’re sending with this film is that ‘We shall overcome.’ Like these three kids (film main characters), we can face the challenges that come our way. You don’t need to be a superhero. You are a superhero.”

Top 5 Miyazaki films for those who have only seen ‘Spirited Away’ 

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 Audrey Magazine:

By now, you’ve probably heard of the legendary filmmaker, Hayao Miyazaki and his award-winning animated film Spirited Away (2001)Some other Miyazaki fan-favorites that come to mind include My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving CastlePrincess Mononoke and Ponyo (If you haven’t seen these yet — go watch them! They’re classic Miyazaki and beautifully rendered).

But apart from these five, how many other Miyazaki films are well-known? With so many Miyazaki films, the average movie-watcher may not bother with films beyond the fan-favorites, but many of the lesser-known films are definitely worth your time. The more you get into Miyazaki’s world, the more curious it gets.

In honor of famous filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki receiving an honorary Oscar last November 8th at the Governors Awards ceremony, here are five of our favorite Miyazaki films that often fly under the radar.


 

1. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

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Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is Miyazaki’s second feature film, and its animation, especially in the 1980s, is impressive. In fact, this is the very film that led to the creation of Studio Ghibli. The film is set a thousand years after an almost-apocalyptic war forces mankind to live in a polluted forest filled with huge insects. Luckily, the princess of the Valley of the Wind recognizes the importance of preserving the forest and its environmental significance.

 


 

2. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

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Kiki’s Delivery Service is often known as the most popular with mainstream audiences, but it’s on this list because many core Miyazaki fans may not regard it as such. While there might be less drama, the basis of the film is its focus on character. The story is of Kiki developing a sense of independence and confidence though her delivery service (by broomstick) in a faraway city.

 


 

3. Castle in the Sky (1986)

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Castle in the Sky is an epic fantasy story with beautiful animation adornment. Not only was it Miyazaki’s third feature film, it was also one of the first to put Miyazaki on the map for being an excellent storyteller. The film is of an orphan girl who inherits a crystal that links her to Laputa, a legendary kingdom. During the adventure, she crosses paths with a brave young man, evil forces and ancient technology.

 


 

4. Porco Rosso (1992)

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Often referred to as Miyazaki’s strangest movie, Porco Rosso is on the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Kiki’s Delivery Service. An Italian pilot/bounty hunter has a curse that gives him a pig’s head in place of a human head. As he navigates his life in the early 1930s, Miyazaki gives us plenty of gorgeous airplane and aerial shots.

 


5. Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

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Right to the beginning is Miyazaki’s first feature film Castle of CagliostroLupin III is a criminal genius and sly thief who accidentally steals counterfeit bills from a casino. He traces the money to a small country, where he and his ninjas team search for a fortune and save a damsel. As Miyazaki’s first film, the animation techniques are a bit unrecognizable, but there’s something about all Miyazaki films (this one included) that capture a sense of wonder and adventure.

Hayao Miyazaki receives honorary Oscar

Miyazaki with Pixar chief John Lasseter at the ceremony
Otaku USA:

Legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki received an honorary Oscar for his “years of contributions to the motion picture industry” at a ceremony on Sunday.

Receiving the award, Miyazaki said, “my wife told me I’m a very lucky man,” according to the Japan Times.

To coincide with the honorary Oscar, Miyazaki was interviewed by Japanese film expert Mark Shilling for Variety, where he talked about a variety of subjects, including his current projects, the future of Ghibli and the industry overall.

On winning an honorary Oscar: “Somebody must have been pulling strings. Maybe [Pixar chief creative officer] John Lasseter.”

On Hideaki Anno (Evangelion) becoming an anime industry leader: “I wish him the best of luck. It will be hard work though.”

On making short films for the Ghibli Museum: “I will continue to make them.”

On the state of Studio Ghibli: “I don’t anymore. I don’t want to get involved in that sort of thing.”

On the state of the industry: “The kind of animation… made with paper and pencils is dying… There’s nothing inherently wrong or right about a method, whether it be pencil drawings or 3D CG. Pencil drawings don’t have to go away, but those who continue to use the medium lack talent. So sadly, it will fade away.

On retirement: “I intend to work until the day I die. I retired from full-length films but not from animation.”

The entire interview is a fascinating read, so take a look.

 

Miyazaki needs no introduction for most anime fans. Starting his career at Toei Animation, Miyazaki worked on titles like Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon and Hols: Prince of the Sun, directed by Isao Takahata, with whom he would later found Studio Ghibli.

Miyazaki’s Spirited Away won the Oscar for best animated film in 2003, but he did not attend the ceremony.

Miyazaki is the second Japanese citizen to win an honorary Oscar. The first went to director Akira Kurosawa in 1990.

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Hacker group “Anonymous” takes down Japanese prefecture’s website to protest dolphin killing

 

RocketNews 24:

 

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International hacking group “Anonymous” has stated that it breached and shut down the official Wakayama Prefecture website earlier today as a taste of what may come should local fishermen continue to hunt dolphins. The prefecture is home to Taiji, the coastal town that shot to infamy in 2010 following an exposé in the film The Cove, which documented the mass slaughter of thousands of dolphins that takes place in the area each year.

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At 9:05 a.m. today, a message from Twitter user @YourAnonPriest stated that Taiji (which is, in fact, a city rather than a prefecture) was “offline”. Animal news site The Dodo reports that when checked the website was indeed inaccessible, though it came back online a few minutes later, with the same Twitter user stating that the intrusion had been a “warning”, and hinting that more attacks could follow should the Japanese government not bow to pressure and put an end to the hunt.

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Dolphin and whale hunting has been a part of Taiji City’s heritage since the 17th century, with dolphin hunts taking place each year between September and April. Animal rights groups have long protested the annual killings, which involve herding migrating dolphins into a narrow cove before trapping and slowly killing them, but Taiji spokespersons, particularly following the release of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove, protested that the fishermen in the area are acting within the law, and contested much of scientific evidence put forward by the film.

Source: The DodoTwitter Wikipedia

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Hacker group “Anonymous” takes down Japanese prefecture’s website to protest dolphin killing

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Top Asian American achievements of 2013

 

Each year, certain people are recognized for their accomplishments in the Asian American communities. There were many incredible feats this year, so we grouped them into 10 accomplishments.

1. President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously to the late Sen. Daniel Inouye in August. Inouye was the first Japanese American to serve in Congress, representing the people of Hawaii from the moment they joined the Union.

2. U.S. Senate Confirmations: It was a big year for U.S. Senate confirmations. Pamela K. Chen became the first openly gay, Asian American person to preside on a federal bench when she was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Raymond T. Chen became the first Asian American to serve on the Federal Circuit in more than 25 years with his U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit confirmation.

Srikanth Srinivasan was confirmed as the first circuit court judge of South Asian descent to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

3. Obama appointments: President Obama appointed Twitter’s legal director Nicole Wong to be the White House’s new deputy U.S. chief privacy officer.

In addition, President Obama nominated Vivek Murthy to serve as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States. If confirmed, Murthy would be the youngest surgeon general in U.S history.

4. Nina Davuluri made history by becoming the first Indian American woman to be crowned Miss America 2014. She was also the first woman to perform a Bollywood dance on the Miss America stage.

5. Wei Chen, 22, organizer of Asian Americans United in Philadelphia, won the Peace First Prize. He is one of 10 young people to receive the inaugural award, which includes a $50,000 fellowship that honors young people who are engaged in peace-making projects and positive change in their communities.

6. After 23 years of service, Gil Dong was officially named chief of the Berkeley Fire Department, and became the first Asian American fire chief in the continental United States.

7. Taiwanese American Ang Lee won the Academy Award for Best Director for his work on “Life of Pi.”

8. Young achievements: Nine-year-old Carissa Yip became the youngest U.S. chess expert. She reached the expert level at a younger age than anyone since the U.S. Chess Federation began electronic recordkeeping in 1991.

Eesha Khare, a Harvard-bound high school graduate from Saratoga, Calif., took the top prize at the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for her groundbreaking experiment, “Design and Synthesis of Hydrogenated TiO2-Polyaniline Nanorods for Flexible High-Performance Supercapacitors.”

In simpler terms, she invented a device that can charge a cell phone in 30 seconds. In addition, 13-year-old Arvind Mahankali won the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

9. Francis Su, a math professor at Harvey Mudd College in California, was the first Asian American elected president of the Mathematical Association of America.

Check out this link:

Top Asian American achievements of 2013

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Hayao Miyazkai’s animated film on the ‘Kamikaze Plane’ hits a nerve In Asia

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Oscar-winning Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki created beloved films such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited AwayBut his latest film is drawing unusually sharp criticism.

The Wind Rises is no ordinary tale: It tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, the Japanese engineer who designed the Mitsubishi Zero, the fighter plane (in)famously used in kamikaze attacks in World War II.

Commentators in South Korea have called the film “right wing” and said it “glorifies Japanese imperialism” and “depict[s] oneself as the victim and portray[s] the calamity of war, but fail[s] to point out the cause.”

Criticism in Japan has been no less vociferous: it’s been called “anti-Japanese” and “dim-witted.” One commenter asked, “Wouldn’t it be good to ban the movie that this traitor created?

These intense responses have their roots in the sensitive issue of World War II history — particularly in Asia, where memories of Japanese aggression and atrocities are still very much alive.

A warplane designer may seem like an unusual subject for Miyazaki. His last film, Ponyo, told the story of a goldfish princess. But he’s long been fascinated by aircraft and aviation — and in fact, his father worked at a company that provided the rudders for the Zero.

The Wind Rises is much like Miyazaki’s previous works. His stories don’t have clear heroes and villains; The Wind Rises is no different. Miyazaki says he knew what he was getting himself into with the film.

I knew a film about a warplane designer would raise questions among our staff and the rest of Japan. So I hesitated before making this film,” said Miyazaki. “It has been a long time since the war ended in 1945, but Japan has not really come to terms with neighboring countries about that part of history.”

World War II history has led to contentious relations among East Asian countries.

South Korean commenters point out the Zero was made with forced Korean labor. South Korean President Park Geun-hye refused to meet the Japanese leader without an apology for wartime “wrongdoing.”

In China, the anniversary of the 1931 Japanese invasion, and an ongoing conflict over a group of islands, has led to violent anti-Japanese protests.

And in Japan itself, there have been hate rallies targeting ethnic Koreans, and calls to change the country’s “Peace Constitution,” which was adopted after the war. Miyazaki, who was born in 1941, says “outdated nationalism” in Japan reminds him of the time leading up to World War II — which led to his decision to make this film.

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Hayao Miyazkai’s animated film on the ‘Kamikaze Plane’ hits a nerve In Asia

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Anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki retires

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Studio Ghibli President Koji Hoshino announced on Sunday that studio founder and world-renowned anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki will “retire from the production of feature-length films.” The announcement, made during a press conference at Italy’s Venice Film Festival, does not rule out the possibility of Miyazaki working on shorter projects or other endeavors.

The 72-year-old director’s 11th and latest feature film, The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu), has been playing in theaters in Japan since July 20.

Miyazaki helmed the feature films Laputa: Castle in the SkyMy Neighbor TotoroKiki’s Delivery ServicePorco RossoPrincess MononokeSpirited AwayHowl’s Moving CastlePonyo, and finally, The Wind RisesSpirited Away remains the highest earning film ever at the Japanese box office, 12 years after it opened in 2001. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film in 2003.

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Anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki retires

Spirited Away