BIG SWEEP BEATS THE BOYS, AS SHE’S UP TO WIN $150,000 ECHO EDDIE STAKES BY A HEAD UNDER PRAT; TRAINED BY GLATT, SHE GETS SIX FURLONGS IN 1:10.23 SPONSORED BY THE CTBA, RACE IS PART OF LUCRATIVE GOLDEN STATE SERIESARCADIA, Calif. (May 16, 2020)–In just her second career start and the lone filly in the lineup, Big Sweep came rolling from off the pace to take Saturday’s $150,000 Echo Eddie Stakes by a head under Flavien Prat. Owned by Red Baron’s Barn, LLC and Rancho Temescal and trained by Mark Glatt, the 3-year-old daughter of Mr. Big got six furlongs in 1:10.23.Sponsored by the CTBA, the Echo Eddie is part of the lucrative Golden State Series, for eligible California-bred or sired horses.Breaking from the number seven post position in a field of eight sophomores, Big Sweep had two horses beat a half mile from home, but was on the move while fourth, two off Better Trip Nick and Rookie Mistake a quarter mile out.From there, Rookie Mistake took the lead at the furlong marker and Big Sweep was all out to collar him on the money.“She ran really well,” said Prat, who had guided Big Sweep to a 2 ¼ length first-out score versus state-bred fillies going six furlongs here on March 14. She settled nicely behind the speed and she handled the kick-back like a pro. She’s got a lot of heart.”Off as the even money favorite, Big Sweep paid $4.20, $3.40 and $2.60.With the victory, Big Sweep, who is out of the City Zip mare Misszippityslewda, picked up $90,000, bringing her earnings to $130,000. Bred in California by George Krikorian, she sold for $40,000 at the Barrett’s October, 2018 Sale of Yearlings.“The race unfolded totally different than what we thought,” said Glatt. “We didn’t expect to be that far back, but she handled the dirt in her face very well. To be able to show a totally different dimension in only her second start, is pretty amazing. We did nominate to both stakes (including the Evening Jewel for fillies) and it looks like we made a good decision. We’ll see where we go from here.”A Reddam Racing homebred colt by Square Eddie, Rookie Mistake ran too good to lose while finishing 2 ½ lengths clear of Club Aspen. Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Rookie Mistake was off at 13-1 and paid $7.00 and $4.80.Club Aspen, ridden by Jorge Velez, was off at 5-1 and paid $3.00 to show.Fractions on the race were 21.56, 45.21 and 57.58.
“I am a person of convictions, I have very clear things and it is very difficult to get my way of playing out of my mind. This club has no other way than to play well and improve the number of titles. The road to victory is to play well “said Quique Setién at the presentation press conference.Accompanied by the president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and the technical secretary of Barça, Eric Abidal, Setién confessed that not even in his “best dreams” could he have imagined being on the Barça bench. “I am a very emotional person. Today is a very special day for me. The illusion with which I face this challenge and project is the most important thing. I will try to convey to the players that enthusiasm, desire to want to win and that confidence that I have” he commented.He also congratulated himself because he will train “the best players in the world” of a “huge team” that can never “improve.” “This is the best. Valverde has always seemed to me an absolutely correct person. I very much appreciate the work he has done, his way of being and his principles,” he said.In this sense, the Cantabrian coach revealed that he will talk to Valverde because “there are many things about his work” that will “come in handy.” “It leaves me with a team that is the first one, it is not normal. I hope to convey peace of mind so that matches like the other day are not escaped,” he said in reference to the semifinal of the Spanish Supercup against Atlético de Madrid in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). The new technician arrives convinced of his ideals and game modelTogether with Bartomeu and Abidal, he explained how he signed his culé signing The new coach of Barcelona, Quique Setién, defined himself as a “person of convictions” and stated that he has “clear” the philosophy that he will apply in the Barca team, in which the “road to victory is to play well”, as well as He thanked the work of his predecessor, Ernesto Valverde, who leaves the leadership in LaLiga Santander. Photo: Reuters
Rozier’s 29-point haul included 21 points from three-point range, a 77.8 conversion percentage from outside the arc.Rozier credited his form to a determined training regime launched last year.“Up early every day. Putting in a lot of work, watching a lot of film. A lot of hard work over the summer,” Rozier said.“We got together yesterday and we had a plan. No matter who it is out there, we’re going to play hard and take care of business.”Sixers coach Brett Brown was left to reflect on a below-par night for his team while acknowledging the Celtics had simply been better.“We did have an off night shooting but a lot of that you can attribute to their good defense and them getting to our shooters,” Brown said.“We give them credit. I never really felt we were in the game. It sure felt like we were playing a good team today.“But defensively, offensively, this isn’t who we are. This was a poor game from us. We’re going to have to fix some things.”Game two takes place in Boston on Thursday. Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier (12) celebrates his three-point shot against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first quarter of Game 1 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Monday, April 30, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)Terry Rozier scored 29 points as Boston outmuscled Philadelphia 117-101 to win the opening game of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Monday.Rozier was the top scorer in a dazzling Celtics offensive display at the TD Garden, with Al Horford and Jayson Tatum also making hefty contributions.ADVERTISEMENT Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball PLAY LIST 05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Horford finished with 26 points while Tatum added 28 points as Boston surged into a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series with a statement victory.Horford later praised Rozier’s superb contribution. “I’ve always seen that potential in Terry. I just think he’s taken advantage of the opportunity,” Horford said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“It’s a great experience for him to come into a play-off game of this magnitude and have such a great game,” Horford added.“I just think defensively we did a great job tonight, really containing them and just trying to play with pace at the other end.” P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ LATEST STORIES Wolves can be proud of playoffs; road to return has potholes The third-seeded Sixers had advanced to the semi-finals after a confident demolition of Miami in the opening round.But the Celtics lineup look to be a vastly more challenging proposition for the Sixers, who saw Joel Embiid score 31 points while pulling down 13 rebounds.J.J. Redick had 20 points for the Sixers, while point guard Ben Simmons had 18 points from 41 minutes on the court.Yet it was the shooting prowess of Celtics ace Rozier that caught the eye as the 24-year-old point guard kept Boston firmly on track for a well-earned win.Boston, who advanced to the semi-finals after a grueling seven-game series win over Milwaukee, have regrouped superbly after a slew of injuries which means they are without stars Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward.ADVERTISEMENT View comments
This is the first time in Philippine Tour history that Edsa will play in the race’s neutral zone that covers 9.5 kilometers. The race column is expected to complete the Edsa neutral ride under 30 minutes.The first of four stages of the International Cycling Union race will also tackle the McArthur Highway, where the major artery that connects Metro Manila to Central and Northern Luzon before the expressways, particularly the North Luzon Expressway, was built.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownStage 2 on Monday will bring the cyclists from Cabanatuan City to Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, covering 157.90 kilometers with a climb over Dalton Pass.On Tuesday Stage 3 is the longest at 185.20 kms from Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya, to Lingayen, Pangasinan, and finally, Stage 4 will be 154.65 kms from Lingayen to Baguio City via Kennon Road. View comments Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding The roster is up by two teams this year with 11 foreign teams and six local. They are 7-Eleven Cliqq Roadbike Philippines, Team CCN Philippines, Go For Gold, Philippine National Team, Bike Extreme Philippines, Standard Insurance-Navy, Terrenganu Cycling Team (Malaysia), Pishgaman Cycling Team (Iran), Nice Devo Cycling Team (Mongolia), Interpro Stradalli Cycling Team (Japan), Oliver’s Real Food Racing (Australia), Korail Cycling Team (South Korea), Team Sapura Cycling Team (Malaysia), Ningxia Sports Lottery Livall Cycling Team (China), KFC Cycling Team (Indonesia), Uijeongbu Cycling Team (South Korea) and Forca Amskins Racing (Malaysia).Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Burly import Joshua Smith rejoins TNT KaTropa Le Tour De Filipinas kicks off its ninth edition on Metro Manila’s busiest major highway on Sunday.Eighty-five cyclists from 17 teams kick off the race at Liwasang Aurora inside the Quezon Memorial Circle then to Elliptical Road before heading to Epifanio de los Santos Avenue toward Monumento in Caloocan City.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES MOST READ In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Dutch Government, and several others have been commended by Careysburg City Mayor, Mrs. Anna Urey-Phillips, for providing valuable and sustainable services to the City.During the recent dedication of three modern latrines in the city, Mayor Urey-Phillips explained that the latrines constructed by UNICEF have four stalls – male and female sections, hand-washing areas and are also handicap accessible. There are also shower facilities with pipe borne water, she told citizens at the dedication, adding “you must show appreciation by making good use of the facilities.” Mayor Phillips also informed the audience that UNICEF and the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) have built the best elementary school in the city at Harris Town, Lower Careysburg City.“Although this school was turned over to the Ministry of Education in 2014, it still lacks teachers and teaching materials for hundreds of its students,” she said.Other assistance from UNICEF include fencing around three schools among them the only high school in the city, as well as the provision of basic skills training and quilt making for many young women. All of these developments were sponsored by UNICEF under the leadership of Mr. Shelton Yett, Country Director, said Mayor Urey-Phillips.She also commended Merlin, the European Union and West Concept, for providing solar panels to the community clinic, Save the Children for building schools, wells and helping with the clinic and Water Aid for providing pipe borne water to the clinic. UNMIL also received appreciation for training one hundred and sixteen young people in eight different disciplines. Those trained are now providing livelihoods for themselves and their families.Mayor Phillips list of donors also included UN Women for providing skills training and awareness, CEMENCO for contributing cement to build toilets and renovate the market, Mr. Desere Satia, who donated paint for the market and Mr. Benoni Urey, for his moral and financial support.The Mayor praised the World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU), represented by Mr. Ezzart Eid, for breaking ground in May this year to construct a modern public kindergarten school, slated to open in early January 2016.On the other hand, the Mayor said that there were some organizations whose services did not meet the standards set by her administration, and were politely asked to leave the city. She believes, however, that those organizations will come back in the near future and make good with the people of this ‘little city.’“To those who are not mentioned here and are contributing to the city, we do apologize for the oversight,” added Mayor Phillips.During her interview with the Daily Observer, Madam Phillips revealed that when she was appointed Mayor of Careysburg City in 2012 by President Ellen Johnson, she was informed that the city was never placed in the National Budget and therefore her mandate would be collecting municipal taxes and fees, and to solicit assistance from friendly donor partners. She said that due to the lack of electricity and pipe borne water throughout the city, “It is difficult to attract businesses that would pay these fees, but even with these constraints, some progress is being made within the city.”The Mayor said one of the ongoing projects for which she is soliciting assistance is the renovation of the building currently being used by the kindergarten school, which served as a cafeteria for the public high school before the war. She wants to do this for safety and health reasons in this era of Ebola. The cost for this project is estimated at US$13,000.Another project, which she said is estimated at US$19,000, is the renovation of a building on the high school campus that was once used as a student arts center. Mayor Phillips wants to convert this building into a student center equipped with laptops, chairs and tables, a generator, water pump, basketball court, teachers’ lounge, restrooms among other facilities. This, she believes, will help to alleviate some of the psychosocial issues facing students in the area.Careysburg City is open for investment, even the possibility of providing pipe borne water and electricity that can be generated from within the City, for a fee, Mayor Phillips said. She used the opportunity to urge Liberians and foreign residents to visit the city and see the new developments and possibilities.“Come and see our potentials,” Mayor Phillips said in closing.The highest peak in Montserrado County is located within the City of Careysburg. Below this peak, on Gold Dust Street, there is a beautiful amusement park ideal for wedding photographs and other outdoor functions, not to mention Wullei and Quelue Farms to name a few attractions in the area. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A special event to celebrate the diversity of food, culture, song and dance in the North West is being held at the Regional Cultural Centre this evening.People are invited to bring along some food from their culture and share it with everyone who attends this event, organised by Raphoe Justice & Peace Group.Bring along a dish and share it with others to mark World Food Day on Thursday October 16 from 6.30-8pm. Also at the Regional Cultural centre is a fantastic exhibition of artwork by talented teenagers in Donegal.This is the 18th annual Súil na nÓg 2014 exhibition of Junior Certificate Art from Donegal Secondary Schools and is presented in partnership with the Donegal Art Teachers Association.From collage, sculpture, portraits and fantastic designs, the exhibition room is brimming with creativity.A lot of hard work has gone into each piece and the exhibition is open to the public. For school or group viewings please book in advance at the Regional Cultural Centre on 0749129186.A FEAST OF FOOD AND TALENT AT THE REGIONAL CULTURAL CENTRE was last modified: October 16th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalRCCworld food day
Minister Joe McHugh has welcomed the free GP Care service for people aged 70 and over which starts today.Minister of State, Joe McHughThe Minister of State said, “I welcome confirmation from Ministers Leo Varadkar and Kathleen Lynch in the Department of Health that registration for the Free GP Care service for people aged 70 and over begins today, Wednesday August 5th.”This second phase of universal GP care extends a GP service without charges to everyone aged 70 years and older. This new measure applies to those aged 70 and over who do not currently hold a medical or GP visit card, with persons over 70 already holding a medical or GP visit card not needing to register.Minister McHugh added “From today, over 400,000 people aged 70 and over will be able to see their GP without paying fees. This follows the recent announcement that all children under six years of age would have access to GP care also without being charged, as this Government continues with their commitment to enabling free GP care to all those under 18 years of age.”FREE GP CARE SERVICE FOR THOSE OVER 70 YEARS STARTS TODAY was last modified: August 5th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
National Geographic is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) magazines on the planet for travel buffs.Now a feature on the Wild Atlantic Way, which includes a major hats-off to Donegal, is set to have tourists keen to see what all the fuss is about.Of course, we could tell them any day of the week. But here Kathleen Mangan does her own bit for Donegal tourism.This is the article.Kathleen M. ManganAt the western fringe of Europe is a marginal zone where the force of the Atlantic crashes against the jagged rock defenses of Ireland’s western seaboard. The Wild Atlantic Way, a new driving route that covers approximately 1,500 miles, highlights the battle of land and sea with stunning vistas and iconic adventures. This epic, sign-posted route skirts Ireland’s coastline from north to south and takes travelers through traditional rural outposts where Gaelic is still spoken, tweeds are woven on wooden looms, the fish on the menu is from the boat tied up at the pier, fiddlers play sessions in the pubs at night, and—as the locals say—the craic is mighty (meaning the social banter is fun).We’ve broken the Wild Atlantic Way into seven segments and offer insider suggestions on authentic cultural experiences, killer views, and little-known highlights.Inishowen Peninsula to Donegal TownDonegal is rugged, remote, and sparsely populated, a place dominated by seabirds and sheep. Soaring sea cliffs and northern headlands seem to taunt the fishing fleet—11 lighthouses along the coast help vessels navigate to safety.Hike One Man’s Pass: Go beyond the viewing platform at the granite cliffs of Slieve League, among the highest sea cliffs in Europe, by hiking the trail along the ridge topping the cliffs. It’s not for those afraid of heights—the sheer drops are dizzying, especially in the stretch known as One Man’s Pass. Stay at Slieve League Lodge in Carrick, where the pub’s hot whiskies with lemon and cloves will heal all aches.Join a program in Glencolmcille: Guided hill-walking is one of the programs offered at Oideas Gael, a cultural center in Glencolmcille. The most popular route is over a mountain to the deserted village of Port and back around the sea cliffs at Glen Head. You can also take a week of classes covering Gaelic language, Irish harp or whistle, archaeology, and more. At Glencolmcille Folk Village, thatched cottages reveal country life during different centuries. Donegal fiddling is often heard in sessions at Roarty’s Bar. A couple strolls by the sea on Inishbofin, a small island off the coast of Connemara.Watch traditional Irish hand-weaving: Studio Donegal in Kilcar maintains hand-weaving traditions by spinning their own yarns and weaving signature tweeds and woolens on old wooden looms. Ask for a peak at the workshop, then shop for high-quality wool clothing, plus colorful pillows and throws.Try sea-stack climbing: With guides from Unique Ascent, descend sea cliffs to a storm beach, cruise by boat to a sea stack, then climb to the stack’s stony summit.See impressive late Neolithic dolmens: The Dolmen Centre near Portnoo features two stone portal tombs dating back more than 4,000 years. The larger of the two Kilclooney dolmens is one of the best preserved in Ireland and features one of the biggest capstones, which stretches 20 feet wide and soars above upright portal-stone supports. The smaller dolmen is partly collapsed. Photo op: Driving from Glencolmcille to Ardara, pull off at the top of Glengesh Pass for a view of the road looping downward into what appears to be a Hobbit-like world below.Get a guide: Derek Vial of Tour Donegal is the expert on history, sights, and everything Donegal.Donegal Town to BallinaThis stretch consisting mostly of Sligo, with bits of Counties Donegal, Leitrim, and Mayo, is a coastal zone of rugged sand dunes and wild beaches. It’s world-renowned for surfing. Streedagh Strand made news in the summer of 2015 when nine cannons from one of three Spanish Armada galleons wrecked here in 1588 were recovered offshore and taken to the National Museum of Ireland for conservation.Soak in seaweed: At Kilcullen’s Seaweed Baths, an Edwardian bathhouse in Enniscrone, experience a therapeutic soak in a tub filled with hot seawater and freshly harvested seaweed, which releases nutrients and oils to soothe skin and bones.Catch a wave: Rossnowlagh hosted the European Surfing Championships back in 1985, and the reliable curls here make it an excellent destination for beginner and experienced surfers. The Fin McCool Surf School will help you hone your technique. You can watch big-wave surfing from the headlands at Mullaghmore in winter; the nearby Prowlers surf break can sometimes throw up waves reaching 55 feet high, attracting the world’s most extreme surfers.DONEGAL PUT ON GLOBAL MAP BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC was last modified: September 26th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
The poster for District 9 Neill Blomkamp, District 9’s South African-born writer and director, speaks to fans about his movie at the recent Comic-Con convention in San Diego. (Image: Natasha Baucas, Wikipedia) USEFUL LINKS • District 9 official site • District 9 on the Internet Movie Database • QED International• Gauteng Film Commission RELATED ARTICLES • Top honours for SA movie • Movie draws public – and pirates • Bang Bang club lives on in film • New boost for Nollywood • 2010 opportunities for SA film • Hollywood studio for Cape Town • Rebate boost for SA film • Cape Town: Africa’s HollywoodSamson MulugetaA film shot on location in Johannesburg and directed by a young South African-born computer graphics whiz has taken the US box office by storm, earning the number-one spot and raking in US$37-million (R302-million) during its opening weekend on 14 August 2009.Directed by 29-year-old South Africa-born Neill Blomkamp, District 9 satirises the absurdities of apartheid in a science fiction account of extraterrestrials who become refugees in South Africa.Part of District 9’s success in the US can be attributed to a quirky and viral marketing campaign, which used billboards at bus stations to encourage people to call a toll-free number if they spotted “non-human activity”.What makes the film all the more remarkable is that it cost only $30-million (R245-million) to make, a small sum by Hollywood standards if one considers it took $250-million (R2-billion) to bring latest Harry Potter instalment to life.Obscure beginningsBlomkamp grew up in Johannesburg, moving with his family to Vancouver, Canada, when he was 17.Blomkamp dabbled in filmmaking while still at school in South Africa and later went on to specialise in animation and computer graphic design.District 9 began as a six-minute film clip, called Alive in Joburg, which Blomkamp wrote and directed in 2005 as a sample of his work.The fledgling director’s big break came when Peter Jackson, a New Zealand filmmaker, producer and screenwriter best known for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, approached him to direct Halo, a film based on a computer game.Although Halo never took off due to a profit-sharing dispute, it inadvertently led to bigger things, as an executive at Universal Studios who was overseeing the Halo project came across Blomkamp’s six-minute clip and showed it to Jackson.Jackson was impressed by Blomkamp’s work and asked him to turn Alive in Joburg into a feature-length movie. And thus District 9 was born.The involvement of Jackson gave Blomkamp instant credibility. In Blomkamp, Jackson saw a young man creating work based on his life experiences.“He saw South African society – both the good and bad of the society there – and he wanted to put a science fiction spin on what he witnessed growing up because he’s a science fiction geek,” Jackson told the Los Angeles Times at the recent Comic-Con convention in San Diego. “District 9 is not reflective of any movie that I can imagine. It’s really very original, which I love about it, and that’s totally Neill.”Science fiction satireDistrict 9 kicks off in the year 2010, 28 years after an alien spaceship arrives in Johannesburg. The craft hovers above the city without any contact, but eventually humans take the initiative and cut into the ship. There they discover a large group of malnourished and sick aliens and bring them back to earth. The newcomers are confined to an area called District 9 – a slum-like compound surrounded by barbed wire with no running water or sanitation.A documentary style with hand-held cameras and computer-generated images is used to create a fast-paced narrative.With its strong anti-segregation message and partly filmed in South Africa’s largest township of Soweto, the film is clearly a satire of apartheid. One District 9 website carries a Google Earth-like view of the district – using a satellite image of Soweto.The title District 9 plays on Cape Town’s District Six, best known for the apartheid government’s forced removal of over 60 000 coloured residents during the 1970s. The community was relocated to the Cape Flats 25km away.Although several parallels can be drawn to the apartheid era, Blomkamp says he tried hard not make the film a heavy “message movie”. He says he wrote the word “satire” in large block letters on a piece of paper and posted it in his office to remind that his first priority was to entertain audiences.It may seem incredible that Blomkamp successfully directed a Hollywood blockbuster before his 30th birthday, but he says he’s been working towards this moment all his life.“When I was 14 or 15 I got into 3D animation on the computer my parents bought me,” Blomkamp told the Los Angeles Times.“I was toying with practical effects – prosthetics, in-camera effects, models and photography. I knew I wanted to be involved in all that.”“I realised I could take all the ideas I had and have them make fun of themselves,” Blomkamp added. “At the same time, I could address all of the stuff I wanted to get in there.”Critical acclaimThe movie has opened to rave reviews, including one from New York Times critic AO Scott.“The South African setting hones the allegory of District 9 to a sharp topical point,” Scott said.“The country’s history of apartheid and its continuing social problems are never mentioned, but they hardly need to be. And the film’s implications extend far beyond the boundaries of a particular nation, which is taken as more or less representative of the planet as a whole.”Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune described the film as “an electrifying sci-fi ride that defies all the usual Hollywood clichés. It’s that rarest kind of film, magnificent trash.”Gwen Watkins, a media blogger for Bizcommunity.com, was also impressed by the movie, but for different reasons.“Last week’s media preview of District 9, the new South African sci-fi film, left most of us quite shattered,” Watkins wrote. “The film is deservedly gaining credit internationally but in South Africa it may well be greeted with uncomfortable reactions – the film unashamedly draws on our past and current view of species different to our perception of what is human and how we treat them.”South Africans starring in District 9 include Sharlto Copley, Blomkamp’s childhood friend and frequent collaborator.In the movie Copley plays the role of Wikus van der Merwe, the bureaucratic official from Multi-National United, the giant corporation charged with relocating the aliens.Other locals who star in the film are Vanessa Haywood, Kenneth Nkosi, Mandla Gaduka, Eugene Khumbanyiwa, Jason Cope, David James, Louis Minnaar and Sylvaine Strike.Michael Murphy of Kalahari Pictures, based in Cape Town, was the film’s supervising producer.Blomkamp is currently visiting South Africa to promote the film. It opens in local cinemas on August 28 2009.
Brand South Africa was proud to be part of recognising and honouring sportswomen and men at the annual SA Boxing awards alongside SA Boxing, the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation and many other organisations in Sandton.“We are proud to be at the SA Boxing awards to acknowledge and celebrate excellence. Sport is instrumental to a competitive Nation Brand image,” said Brand South Africa’s Acting Chief Executive Officer; Ms Thulisile ManziniJust as the former great statesman Nelson Mandela once said; “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”The award ceremony was a true reflection of Mandela’s words as the event saw an array of guests which included American actor, politician and former bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, the MEC of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Ms Faith Mazibuko and many aspiring boxers.Boxing South Africa Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tsholofelo Lejaka speaks on the significance of the awards, “the boxing awards are very important, in the life of every athlete recognition and reward is crucial because it is a motivator but at the same time it is also a statement through which we inspire a generation.”Every country has to nurture its strengths. Similarly, South Africa is rated highly in the sports fraternity, continuously breaking records in the like of Caster Semenya, Kagiso Rabada, Wayne van Niekerk, Kgothatso Montjanelack and Kevin Anderson.“Sport is the one vehicle through which the globe is quickly and easily integrating, so when our athletes go out to compete on the global arena, they fly our flag and sing our national anthem and become ambassadors for the country and therefore, it is very important that we support our athletes because their victories are the nation’s victories;” further adds Mr Lejaka.Brand South Africa continues to celebrate excellence with an anticipated launch of Sports Friday, taking place 24 May as a means of encouraging citizens to rally behind the national sports teams while instilling pride and patriotism amongst South Africans.The winners at the SA Boxing were:Male boxer of the year: Tulani MbengeFemale boxer of the year: Mellisa MillerMale fight of the year: Mzoxolo Ndwayana v Shaun NessFemale fight of the year: Asandiswa Nxokwana v Sherodine FortuinMale prospect of the year: Ayabonga SonjicaFemale prospect of the year: Simangele HadebeMedia person of the year: Thabiso MosiaFemale ring official of the year: Siya VabazaMale ring official of the year: Alan MatakaneMost promising ring official of the year: Simphiwe GcebaKnockout of the year: Zolani Tete v Siboniso GonyaTrainer of the Year: Colin NathanPromoter of the year: Teris Ntutu (Rumble Africa Promotions)Most promising promoter of the year: Xolani Mampunye of Last-Born PromotionsManager of the year: Colleen McAuslandSpecial achievements: Zolani Tete‚ Hekkie Budler‚ Moruti Mthalane‚ Xaba Boxing PromotionsLifetime achievement awards: Themba Zulu‚ Les Andreasen‚ Gladys Tsenene‚ Jeff Ellis‚ Mzoli Madyaka.