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Sharjah jail sets actress free after drugs frame-up

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An actress from Mumbai has been released from Sharjah jail in a welcome surprise for her family. The saga has been unfolding for nearly a month – 26 days – and Chrisann Pereira’s release comes after local media quoted her lawyer in the UAE about the confidence in their case while applying for bail.

A voluntary disclosure from the actress, arrests being made in Mumbai and help from the Indian consulate ensured a happy ending for the actress who landed in the UAE in troubled waters on April 1.

For the uninitiated, Pereira was arrested after drugs were found hidden in a trophy she carried to Sharjah airport. Pereira claims that she was conned into taking over the trophy to someone as a return favour for someone who arranged her trip on the pretext of securing an audition for a role.

She cleared the immigration but when no one came to pick up the trophy at the airport, she showed good presence of mind to voluntarily report to the airport authorities that something was amiss. When the drugs were found, she was sent to a jail in Sharjah.

Meanwhile in Mumbai, the local Crime Branch unit investigated and made two arrests on Tuesday in connection with the case. The accused were identified as Anthony Paul, a resident of Borivali in Mumbai and his accomplice, Rajesh Babhote alias Ravi, a resident of Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district.

Reports suggest that Paul masterminded the plan to frame Chrisann as an act of revenge against the actress’s mother. Pereira, 27, has acted in movies such as Sadak 2 and Batla House. She wrote a thank you note to all those who helped her and brother Kevin shared it on her Instagram page.

 

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Lawyer Mohammed Al Redha told The National that surveillance cameras can confirm his client’s position that she came forward to inform authorities about the “suspicious package” she got.

“My client had passed immigration at the airport and was waiting for someone to take the trophy,” he said. “But when she called her mother, they felt there was something wrong and her family advised her to take it to the police. So the police will examine the cameras that will show that she went to the police and customs.”

Investigations in Mumbai mention that Paul sought revenge on four people in similar fashion, including Pereira, for various reasons – a break-up, jealousy, work-related issues, and fight over Covid-19 restrictions. In two cases, Paul and his accomplice got their victims arrested in Sharjah – Pereira and Clayton Rodrigues. Paul hatched a plot to send Chrisann to the UAE for a purported audition for an international web series.

 

 

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A post shared by Chrisann Pereira (@chrisannpereira)

Journalist for 25 years with leading publications in India and UAE such as The National, Mumbai Mirror, DNA, Indian Express and former Sports Editor of eIndia.com. Now managing editor of Headline.ae, part of MEMc (https://www.memc.co)

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Experts at Xposure 2024 showcase next era of technical screen marvels on how we make, see films

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SHARJAH, 3rd March, 2024 (WAM) — This weekend, the Xposure International Photography Festival hosted an exciting panel discussion themed “The Unreal Future of Film”, where leading film industry figures delved into the realm of virtual production, Extended Reality (XR), and the innovative Unreal Engine, the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D creation tool for photoreal visuals and immersive experiences.

The session offered a unique glimpse into the cutting-edge technologies shaping the future of storytelling and content creation. The filmmakers and industry executives on the panel, each with a wealth of experience and insights, included Olivier Geyhsen, a filmmaker and XR artist known for his pioneering work integrating technology into storytelling; Siraj Jhaveri, a director with over three decades of experience, known for his dynamic visual style; Bartosz Jankowski, an experienced producer and screenwriter specialising in audiovisual event production and Virtual Production technology; and Bora Batur, a production designer with nearly two decades of experience in visual storytelling and set design.

The session kicked off with an exploration of virtual production, with Jhaveri providing insights into merging the physical and digital worlds. Discussing the process, he highlighted the ability to create immersive environments where the physical meets the digital seamlessly. “Virtual elements are added to existing footage, allowing for changes in not only specific objects, but settings, backgrounds and locations,” Jhaveri said.

Geyhsen highlighted the opportunities presented by virtual production, letting filmmakers transport audiences to previously unimaginable worlds. “Virtual production enables ‘shooting’ in locations that don’t exist in real life. Places that are difficult to access can be reconstructed in 3D. This opens possibilities for ‘shooting’ in multiple venues within a short timeframe,” he said.

Jankowski shed light on the technical aspects of virtual production, particularly the importance of meticulous planning and efficient execution. Virtual production can be cost-effective but needs thorough pre-production, he said. “Pre-production is crucial in determining the feasibility of shooting in virtual production. While it is possible to shoot most things using VP, the level of pre-production planning varies depending on the project’s requirements,” he noted.

Batur highlighted how virtual production is redefining the traditional filmmaking pipeline. The art department must be involved early in the process – rather than at the post-production stage – to ensure seamless integration between the physical and virtual elements. “Decisions that used to be made at the end of production are now happening earlier, requiring changes in workflow and personnel. Seamless collaboration between departments is crucial for success,” Batur said.

Jhaveri pointed out that “many shots involve computer-generated (CG) elements, requiring extensive pre-production to ensure everything runs smoothly during the shoot. This additional pre-production time is essential for successful virtual production. There is also a latency period as new technologies emerge, so we are playing a catch-up game here – as soon as we have one technology we are using on stage, there is another one being released.”

All four filmmakers agreed on collaboration and communication in virtual production, particularly the need for a standardised pre-visualisation process and the growing potential of AI technology in streamlining production workflows. “AI could become a standard tool in virtual production workflows, streamlining processes and enhancing efficiency,” Jankowski said.

But despite technological advancements, storytelling remains the focus, Batur pointed out.

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Kiara, Diljit, Kareena shake leg at Anant-Radhika’s pre-wedding festivities

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Jamnagar (Gujarat) [India], March 3 (ANI): The pre-wedding festivities of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant have already presented many star-studded reunions and gatherings in Jamnagar.

On Day 2 of the festivities on Saturday, actors Kiara Advani and Kareena Kapoor were joined by Diljit Dosanjh at the dance stage in what created a ‘reunion’ of their 2019 movie ‘Good Newwz’.

Kiara took to Instagram stories and shared a video of the three shaking legs together.

“The Good News Reunion”, Kiara captioned her story, accompanied with a hug and heart emoji.

The ‘Shershah’ actor tagged Kareena Kapoor and Diljit Dosanjh. She also mentioned Akshay Kumar, who was not present at the event on Saturday.

“Missing Akshay sir”, she added.

Several videos and pictures from the Saturday gala night went viral on social media.

Day 2 was filled with electrifying performances of celebrities and other cute moments from the event.

Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Sidharth Malhotra, Kiara Advani, Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Varun Dhawan, Anil Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan, Ibrahim Ali Khan, Ananya Panday and Aditya Roy Kapur, Rani Mukerji are also attending the mega bash.

Famous sports personalities like MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, and Sachin Tendulkar arrived to attend the celebrations.

Day 1 of the festivities witnessed a special drone show followed by a splendid performance by pop sensation Rihanna.

‘Good Newwz’ movie, directed by Raj Mehta released in 2019. The movie performed well at the box office and garnered over Rs 200 crores.

Meanwhile, on the work front, Kiara Advani has joined the cast of famous ‘Don’ franchise, which is being rebooted with Ranveer Singh in the lead. The movie is expected to hit the big screens in 2025.

Kareena Kapoor on the other hand, will be seen in the movie ‘Crew’ where she is starring with Tabu, and Kriti Sanon as the roles of “bada” air hostesses. It will release on March 29.

Diljit Dosanjh will be starring as the titular lead in Imtiaz Ali directorial ‘Amar Singh Chamkila’. The movie will release on Netflix on April 12. (ANI)

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“Article 20” still leads China’s box office chart

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BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) — Domestic realistic drama “Article 20” continued to lead the daily box office chart on the Chinese mainland on Saturday, data from the China Movie Data Information Network showed.

The film, focusing on the 20th article about justifiable defense in China’s Criminal Law, pocketed 51.16 million yuan (about 7.20 million U.S. dollars) on the day.

It was closely followed by Taiwan action crime film “The Pig, the Snake and the Pigeon,” which grossed 48.42 million yuan on its second screening day. Domestic comedy-drama “Pegasus 2” came in third with a daily revenue of 46.20 million yuan.

Saturday’s box office earnings totalled 213.68 million yuan.

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