Tuesday, September 13, 2016


OPEN DATA on AGRICULTURE & NUTRITION – the key to end hunger on earth

GODAN Summit 2016, 15th and 16th September, New York - http://summit.godan.info/http://summit.godan.info/


Worldwide, 800 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition – that’s one in every nine people – with the majority being women and children.

Open Data is the sum of available global knowledge and includes the tools to end hunger on earth. A commitment to Open Data means the proactive sharing of information about agriculture and nutrition, making it available to all in dealing with the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security.

We represent GODAN, or Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition, formed to support and encourage open data with the aim of making the world’s accumulated knowledge and information about agriculture and nutrition available to all. GODAN is a rapidly growing initiative, with over 330+ partners, including national governments and non-governmental, international and private sector organisations.


The groundbreaking GODAN SUMMIT 2016, taking place on 15th & 16th September in New York on the margin of the UN General Assembly, is the largest-ever event of its kind. For the first time in history, world leaders and prominent international figures will join researchers, farmers, students and public, private and non-profit organisations, to showcase the impact of open data for Agriculture and Nutrition around the world. The Summit will include high-level speecheshackathon by young innovators, exhibits showcasing the importance of open-data and the unveiling of the results from an online open-data revolution. The petition will be handed over at the UN General Assembly meeting in NY in September and results unveiled at the summit.


The aim of the New York summit will be to urge world leaders to open their national datasets on agriculture and nutrition to help bring hunger around the world to an end.

“Open data is key to innovation in agriculture and nutrition – and hence, in promoting food security – by improving farming methods, enhancing food production and better informing nutritional methods and advice.”

GODAN's goal is to make all data in agriculture and nutrition freely available for better policy and decision-making by 2050, when the global population is expected to hit 9 billion. GODAN’s ultimate ambition is to achieve the United Nations’ goal 2 – ‘zero hunger’ by 2030 - ensuring food security

Agriculture Case Study - Thinking outside the box – improved farming methods in Uganda

GODAN partner, n has been using open data for the past 10 years, working successfully with poor farming communities in Uganda. BROSDI’s projects work with the poorest of the poor – people who are only able to afford one basic meal a day. BROSDI collects indigenous knowledge and rather than providing farmers with money, or instructions to follow, they empower them to form communities that can drive their own development. It does this through its network of over 300 farmers, holding regular meetings, where farmers discuss their agricultural problems and possible solutions along with local experts. All of these concerns and information are recorded and passed via BROSDI to a government agency, NARO, the National Agriculture Research Organization.  

Twelve years on, these farmers are no longer poor, they have money, they are eating three meals a day, they are helping others in their community – always looking for win-win scenarios that are sustainable, rather than relying on handouts or kindness. 

The GODAN Summit takes place on 15 to 16 September 2016 at the Hilton Midtown Hotel, New York. 
To register go to: http://summit.godan.info/

Monday, May 23, 2016







STUDIOCANAL and The Independent Cinema Office are delighted to announce that a newly restored version of Ken Loach’s classic 1967 feature debut, POOR COW, will return to cinemas nationwide from June 24.

Following on from his hard-hitting work in television, including Cathy Come Home and Up the JunctionPOOR COW brought Loach’s unique, uncompromising style to a big screen audience and helped kick start a new movement in social realist filmmaking. Ken Loach has gone on to direct countless highly acclaimed films that include Kes and Sweet Sixteen. He has won numerous awards including the Palme d’Or for The Wind That Shakes the Barley and both the BAFTA and BFI Fellowship Awards.

To mark the release of the new restoration, a special preview screening of the seminal British New Wave drama will take place at The Barbican on June 23. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with one of the stars of the film, Terence Stamp, alongside author Nell Dunn who wrote the novel that she adapted for the screen with Ken Loach. The film will then be available on DVD and Blu-ray from July 25 on the Vintage Classics label, including
Brand new extras.

In a gritty 1960s London, Joy (Carol White – Cathy Come Home) is a young mother who is forced to fend for herself when her brutal and uncaring husband, Tom (John Bindon – Barry Lyndon, Get Carter), is put in jail. The film follows Joy as she searches for a glimpse of happiness, when she comes into contact with Tom's seemingly caring associate Dave (Terence Stamp, Far from the Madding Crowd, The Limey) whilst raising her son alone in squalid circumstances.


• New interview with Terence Stamp
New interview with Nell Dunn
• Archive interview with Carol White TBC
Poor Cow & The British New Wave featurette • More TBC

Poor Cow is part of the ‘Vintage Classics collection’ – showcasing iconic British films, all fully restored and featuring brand new extra content: www.facebook.com/vintageclassicsfilm
The Digital Film restoration was funded by STUDIOCANAL in collaboration with the BFI’s Unlocking Film Heritage programme (awarding funds from the National Lottery).



The Clangers sent a message to Planet Earth…

This weekend, families in King’s Cross N1C were able ‘Call the Clangers’ via a pop-up pink knitted London phone box with a phone line straight through to pre-schooler’s favourite little blue planet.

Infamous UK yarnstormer Deadly Knitshade (Lauren O’Farrell) and crafter Teasemade (Sami Teasdale) created a Clangers phone box cosy, and the art installation magically transformed a traditional red London phone box into a Clangers experience, where families heard the loveable, pink, mouse-like creatures whistle a mysterious message to the world.

The pop up experience was installed at Battle Bridge Place, the gateway to King’s Cross and St Pancras International stations.

Children and parents could approach the phone box and ‘Call the Clangers’. Via a special pink phone they were put through to the international space exchange, then introduced to the Clangers by show narrator Michael Palin so they could guess the message that Tiny ‘whistled’ to them.

The Clangers costume characters were on hand to keep children and families entertained with dances, stickers and activity sheets.

The message was revealed via Clangers’ social media channels @helloclangers and facebook.com/officialclangers in a video narrated by Michael Palin.

Coolabi Group’s multi-award winning pre-school animated series Clangers returns to CBeebies from Monday 23rd May at 6pm with 24 x 11-minute brand new episodes about the loveable, pink, mouse-like creatures who communicate in whistles and eat soup from their little blue planet’s soup wells.

The episodes follow Major, Mother, Small, Tiny and Granny Clanger on a whole host of new adventures. The Clangers are joined by friends old and new as they explore their little blue planet, stumbling upon un-discovered caves and tunnels, finding new places to practice music, knit a jumper and play.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


* Unparalleled international private collection of films on art and architecture becomes free to view online for one week from today

* Birthday gift to the art world by private collector Anthony Roland who turns 80 today

East Sussex, UK. Every one of more than 400 films in The Roland Collection - one of the world's largest and most significant private collections of films on art, architecture and writing - is now free to view online for the next seven days, starting today, at http://www.rolandcollection.tv .

The collection of more than 400 films, many of them international award winners, has been gathered and catalogued by art dealer and film maker Anthony Roland over a period of 55 years. It has long been used by American and European universities, museums and other institutions as an important resource for art education and appreciation, and it is a boon for creative writing courses, but it has never been so freely available to absolutely everyone.

Collector and curator Anthony Roland said: "My collection features film documentaries and creative film explorations of history's great western artists from virtually every period, pre-civilisation to post-modern times, along with educational pieces on artistic techniques, art appreciation and conservation.

"It also includes films on modern architecture and, a hidden gem for writers, interviews with116 different authors talking about their writing and their craft. All together, the Roland Collection is the assembled genius of 230 film directors from 25 countries and is my life's work."

He added: "Lovers and students of art, architecture and writing will not find these films on YouTube, Netflix or any other platform. They are a private collection which until today has only been available to view for a fee. Today is my 80th birthday and I would like the world to celebrate it with me by being able to stream all 400 plus films for free, for the coming week."

Sculptor Henry Moore said of the Anthony Roland's collection, in The Times, "that it required the enterprise and courage of one individual to bring such a concept into being is a matter for amazement".

Free streaming access is provided until the end of 24 May 2016.

The Call Up

Written and Directed by Charles BarkerThe Call Up is produced by Matthew James Wilkinson (Gateway 6, SLR, Kaleidoscope) of Stigma FilmsJohn Giwa-Amu (The Machine, The Silent Storm, Little White Lies) of Red & Black Films and executive produced by Alan Martin (The Machine, Stone of Destiny, Darklands). Max Deacon (Into the Storm, Hatfields & McCoys) leads an ensemble cast, joined by exciting up-and-coming talent, including Morfydd Clark (Love & Friendship, Madame Bovary, A Poet in New York), Ali Cook (Kajaki, The Anomaly, The Messenger), Parker Sawyers (Zero Dark Thirty, Parkside With You, Monsters: Dark Continent), Tom Benedict Knight (Dracula UntoldHoudini), Boris Ler (Death in Sarajevo, In the Land of Blood and Honey), newcomer Douggie McMeekin and Adriana Randall.

Other executive producers include Richard Holmes (Eden Lake) and Marzipan Productions, Isabelle Georgeaux (Resistance, Jadoo and Keeping Rosy) of Pont Neuf Productions acts as Co-Producer and is part-funded through Creative England’s West Midlands Production Fund.

The Call Up follows a group of elite online gamers when they each receive a mysterious invitation to trial a state-of-the-art virtual reality video game. It’s a dream come true and impossible to resist.

Arriving at the test site, the group step into hi-tech gear and prepare for a revolutionary, next-level gaming experience that brings modern warfare to life with frightening realism. At first it’s a unique and exhilarating experience.  But what starts out like a dream encounter with cutting edge technology quickly takes a turn for the sinister.

Writer/Director Charles Barker said: “I've always been fascinated by the potential for technology to create worlds as real and powerful as our own. But as VR becomes ever more developed, more accessible I also have a fear. How dangerous could this be in the wrong hands?”

For further information please visit:

Monday, May 16, 2016

All aboard with Thomas & Friends™ as new film hits cinema screens for ‘The Great Race’ weekend in May

 Thomas & Friends is back with a new feature length adventure, including a line-up of 13 magnificent new international engines, steaming in to cinemas nationwide for a special weekend of screenings on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of May.

Thomas & Friends: The Great Race sees Thomas wishing he could represent Sodor at the Great Railway Show, which is taking place on the mainland. But the bigger engines just laugh at him and say he's not big, strong or fast enough to compete with the best engines from around the world. Thomas is up against international competition from a host of new engines including Raul of Brazil, Yong Bao of China, Ivan of Russia and the brightly decorated engine from India, Ashima, (voiced by Tina Desai), but he is determined to find a way - even when his plans all go wrong and the devious Diesel threatens his chances to compete. This exciting international musical adventure - where friendship always wins the race - promises to delight children and families across the world.

Following its recent and highly publicised real-life restoration, cinema-goers will be able to see the animated version of The Flying Scotsman in the film. 

Mattel. HiT and distributor National Amusements UK Ltd are excited to bring Thomas & Friends The Great Race to over 300 cinemas across the UK & Ireland for a special weekend of screenings. The film will continue to be shown in selected cinemas from May 23rd through half term and into the summer.

To view the trailer, find participating cinemas and to book tickets visit:

About Thomas & Friends™

Thomas the Tank Engine™ was created over 70 years ago by a British clergyman, the Rev W Awdry, as a storybook for his son. That story quickly grew to become the award-winning global brand franchise it is today, enjoyed by families in more than 150 territories and in over 40 languages across multiple touch-points and formats, including: 400+ original TV shows; 11 feature-length films; 14 websites in nine languages; apps; toys (ranked number one property in the pre-school toys category in the UK and Australia and number two in the US); consumer products; publishing; live attractions and much more. Thomas & Friends has scooped prestigious accolades including a Parent’s Choice Award, a Webby and a Licensing Award for Best Classic Licensed Property. 

The famous and cheeky No.1 blue engine and his friends invite children to enter a world of imagination through the tracks of a train. Together, the children and engines embark on timeless adventures while experiencing valuable yet fun life lessons of discovery, friendship and cooperation. Thomas & Friends™ is viewable on more than 30 world-class broadcasters including PBS KIDS® in the US, Super RTL in Germany, and on Five’s Milkshake! and Nick Jr. in the UK. 

Downloadable episodes are available through iTunes and on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/thomasandfriends . 

For more information about the wonderful world of Thomas & Friends, please visit www.thomasandfriends.com, facebook.com/thomasandfriends and Twitter @ThomasFriends   

About Mattel

The Mattel family of companies (Nasdaq: MAT) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. At: www.mattel.com, www.facebook.com/mattel or www.twitter.com/mattel

About National Amusements

National Amusements, Inc., is a world leader in the motion picture exhibition industry operating in more than 940 screens in the US, UK, Brazil and Argentina. 

Thursday, May 05, 2016


The BFI National Archive is pleased to announce that it has received the archives of pioneering investigative TV journalist, Alan Whicker, donated by Valerie Kleeman, Whicker’s World Foundation. The collection contains meticulous records of one of the most enduring and influential careers in British television history, spanning the late 1950s into the 21st century.

This is an extensive and significant donation covering the entire career of a world-renowned broadcaster, and represents a unique insight into the production methods of a master documentarian. Alan Whicker’s name is a by-word for brilliantly crafted and revealing studies of people and places, whether exploring behind the scenes of the Miss World competition, interviewing Papa Doc in Haiti, or exposing the lifestyles of the hippies of San Francisco, with an enquiring mind and a sceptical tone. This unlikely figure, clad in Gucci tie and blazer, found his way into the nation’s hearts as he went where his audience was unlikely to follow.

The meticulously kept Alan Whicker archive spans the years 1938-2014. It includes a school report from 1938, documents relating to his war career and letters, photographs, extensive production files, audience reports, interview notes and questions (including Whicker’s hand-annotated question cards) and transcripts of every TV programme he made, along with some, as yet, unidentified films. The archive gives an insider’s view of some of the key events, social trends and personalities of the 20th century, while fully documenting the changing world of television reportage across more than five decades.

The material will be stored at the BFI National Archive’s paper store at Berkhamsted where it joins over 600 named collections from individuals such as producers Michael Balcon, David Puttnam and Betty Box, directors including David Lean, Joseph Losey, Michael Powell, Carol Reed, Mike Hodges, Muriel Box and Derek Jarman, writers such as Emeric Pressburger, Janet Green and Trevor Griffiths, and documentary filmmakers such as Humphrey Jennings, Derek Armstrong and Michael Orrom. Among the most recent additions to the collection are the archives of Ken Loach, Alan Parker, Jenny Beavan, Richard Lester, Karel Reisz, Jack Clayton and Halas & Batchelor. The Whicker papers will be able to be consulted by researchers and students of television history once cataloguing is fully completed.

Robin Baker, Head Curator, BFI National Archive said, “This is a major collection that gives us a unique insight into one of the great figures of 20th century television. Alan Whicker was a household name, famed for his daring and insightful investigations of people from all walks of life, from close to home and around the globe. His standards were meticulously high and his programmes set a benchmark for longform television documentary. The Alan Whicker collection is a very generous and important donation from Valerie Kleeman of the Whicker’s World Foundation, for which we are extremely grateful. We’re delighted that Whicker’s papers are now part of the national collection of film and television. “

Valerie Kleeman, Whicker’s partner in life and work for over 40 years and founder of the Whicker’s World Foundation said, “The Whicker’s World archive is now where it belongs – in the safekeeping of the BFI – where, I hope, its content will be of help and guidance to generations to come.

The 90 boxes, carefully curated by archivist Catherine Kirby, contain an intimate and personal take on the last half of the 20th century. Beginning with a letter informing him he has passed his School Certificate and continuing throughout his life in the Army Film and Photographic Unit, journalism and television, Alan Whicker observed both the light and the shadows of life.

Often he witnessed history in the making: war trials in Strasbourg, race riots in Alabama. He had access to the unaccessible: dictators, witch doctors, cults – and even the occasional royal. ‘Whicker’s World’ covered everything from bullfighting and the first gay weddings to the horrors of Papa Doc’s Haiti, always with intelligence, often with humour.

Whicker wrote and filmed what he saw, he had no preconceived ideas, no axe to grind. His motivation was to stimulate, to interest, to entertain…..and to allow viewers to come to their own conclusions.

The archive contains 60 years of carefully documented work: transcripts, notes, diaries and photographs, a lifetime of watching the world through thoughtful, quizzical eyes.”

Alan Whicker CBE (1921-2013) was a renowned journalist, broadcaster and television presenter. During the Second World War he joined the Army Film and Photo Unit, and by the 1950s he was working as a foreign correspondent for a Fleet Street agency, and then as a broadcaster for BBC Radio. In 1957 he was spotted by producer Alasdair Milne (later Director-General of the BBC) who gave him a regular ‘Whicker’s World’ slot on the ground breaking Tonight programme. This paved the way for the longer format Whicker's World which began in 1965 and ran for 40 years on the BBC and ITV.

His reportage spanned the globe and covered a huge range of subjects which reflect all aspects of 20th century culture, politics and history. These include race relations, gay marriage, gun culture, bullfighting, haute couture and interviews with significant (and often controversial) figures of the 20th century, for example, Francois Duvalier (‘Papa Doc’), the notorious Haitian dictator, and oil billionaire John Paul Getty. At the height of his popularity Whicker’s programmes commanded audiences of 15 million people. Whicker's work was also significant in terms of style and format, for example, he was an early pioneer of the 'blue light' programme, a format that is now well-established and perennially popular (shadowing police in their daily and nightly duties). Alan Whicker is a significant cultural figure and a household name for a whole generation. He won many awards during his career including the BAFTA Richard Dimbleby Award and the Screenwriters’ Guild Best Documentary Script (in 1963). His legacy lives on through the Whicker's World Foundation which supports new documentary talent.

About the BFI
The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:
  • Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
  • Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
  • Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK - investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
  • Promoting British film and talent to the world 
  • Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences

The BFI is a Government arm’s-length body and distributor of Lottery funds for film. The BFI serves a public role which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of film in the UK. It delivers this role:
  • As the UK-wide organisation for film, a charity core funded by Government
  • By providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK
  • By working with partners to advance the position of film in the UK.

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.

The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger.

About the BFI National Archive
The BFI National Archive was founded in 1935 and has grown to become the one of the largest and most important collections of film and television in the world with over 180,000 films and 750,000 television programmes. For over 80 years the BFI has been an international leader in film preservation and guardian of Britain’s unparalleled film and TV heritage. The BFI is an innovator in presenting films to audiences in new and dynamic ways, from cinemas to film festivals, outdoor events to online video-on-demand. At the heart of all its activities is the BFI’s central aim to ensure that everyone in the UK has access to the widest possible range of film and their own film heritage.
That heritage includes all time great British directors Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean and Powell and Pressburger; and the rich vein of documentary filmmaking, in which Britain led the world, including the lyrical work of Humphrey Jennings. The archive also boasts a significant collection of filmmakers’ papers as well as extensive stills, posters and production and costume designs along with original scripts, press books and related ephemera.
Expert teams undertake the time-consuming and complex task of restoring films at the BFI John Paul Getty Jr Conservation Centre in Hertfordshire. The BFI’s most precious film materials are kept in optimum conditions in the world-leading Master Film Store in Warwickshire.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Air Lift

AIRLIFT, stars Indian superstar Akshay Kumar (also producer) and Nimrat Kaur who stars in The Lunchbox and Homeland. The film is releases worldwide on 22nd January (internationally).

AIRLIFT is based on the true life story of Kuwaiti-Indian businessman Ranjit Katyal (played by Akshay Kumar) who orchestrated the largest human evacuation in history - he safely evacuated over 170,000 Indians who were airlifted using 488 Air India flights in just 59 days  from Kuwait through to India via Iraq and Jordan during the Gulf War.

Due to India's political alliance with Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, the incident was muzzled by the media and finds no mentions in text books.

Director:           Raja Krishna Menon
Presenters:       Gulshan Kumar and Hari Om Bhatia, in association with Abundantia and Emmay Entertainment
Producers:       Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Nikkhil Advani, Aruna Bhatia, Monisha Advani, Madhu G Bhojwani and Vikram Malhotra
Banners:          T-Series, Emmay Entertainment, Cape of Good Films & Abundantia Entertainment
Distributor:       Internationally by B4U Network
Music:              Amaal Mallik, Ankit Tiwari
Genre:              Thriller, Drama
Cast:                Akshay Kumar, Nimrat Kaur, Kumud Mishra, Purab Kohli, Inaamul Haq and Prakash Belawadi

Friday, November 27, 2015


Fancy watching something cultural for the weekend? Take a look at the brand new English-subtitled free on demand offer by Arte!
Arte - the Franco-German channel of culture and leading European producer of quality documentaries, news and info magazines, short films, drama, music TV and more launched last week (17th Nov 2015) a brand new online TV offer with English and Spanish subtitled programmes available to anyone with an internet connection in the UK and worldwide at www.arte.tv/en and www.arte.tv/es. Take a look at our pick of the week below;
Paris-Berlin: Destinies Intertwined - four part mini-series (click on titles to watch)
The capital cities of France and Germany have developed throughout three tumultuous centuries of history; a fruitful rivalry between two fascinating cities. The series narrates, in four episodes, the evolution of the two capitals: a fascinating duel that results in two opposing models, neither possible without the other. Admiring or critical, an example or a contrast, neither city can ever be indifferent to the other.
Produced by Frédéric Wilner, the series offers a stunning bird's eye view of the two cities whilst offering a detailed look at their entangled roots. Since the 1700s, five wars have been fought between Paris and Berlin. Each defeat has only increased each side's hunger to overcome the opponent. The competition has proven to be a driving force for innovation and creativity on both sides, catalysing the development of new cityscapes.
Political and social events have left their mark on architecture and urbanism. This ambitious series charts that history through the stories of these two unique cities.
Episode One: Brothers and Foes - In 1650, París had 350,000 inhabitants, and Berlín barely 15,000. This first episode is the story of a fascination: the fascination that drives a small city called Berlin to look towards the prestigious city of Paris for inspiration.
Episode Two: The Race to Modernity - In 1806, Napoleon's troops enter Berlin. The French occupation increases Prussian nationalism, but also causes a dramatic modernisation of the kingdom and its capital. By 1870, Berlin is nipping at Paris' heels - but following a very different urban model.
Episode Three: Face to Face - France suffers a terrible humiliation in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles; the conqueror is now the conquered. This third episode recounts the transformation of Berlin, now an imperial capital, while Paris gradually revives the notoriety of yesteryear…
Episode Four: The Shock - After World War One, Paris was able to rise from the ashes, but Berlin continued to suffer the aftermath. The situation is soon made far worse by Hitler's madness and envy.
Further programmes to enjoy online at www.arte.tv/en
A selection of documentaries (culture, history, society, science, geopolitics, exploration and investigation): Climate Special, Paris-Berlin Destinies Intertwined, Europe of Writers
ARTE's flagship magazine shows: Tracks, Arte Reportage, Metropolis
Also featuring: Mapping the World, Square, FutureMag, Yourope, Vox Pop, Xenius, Street Philosophy, the BiTS web magazine and more.
Live recordings from shows on the ARTE Concert platform: world music, theatre, opera, pop, rock, jazz or dance.
ARTE in English and ARTE en español are available online and feature subtitled versions - in English and Spanish respectively - of a selection of 600 hours of fact-based European programmes, excluding the channel's newscasts, drama and films. This selection of programmes will encompass ARTE's flagship magazine shows, including web programmes, a large number of documentaries embodying the channel's editorial line, and live recordings of performances. An average of 11 to 12 hours of new programmes will go online each week, for 7 to 90 days.