PRAGUE (Czech Republic): Gene Deitch, the Oscar-winning animator, filmmaker, and illustrator behind classic cartoons like Tom and Jerry and Popeye has died at the age of 95.
The news was confirmed by his Czech publisher, Petr Himmel. Deitch died unexpectedly at his home in Prague on Thursday night, but no further details or cause of death has yet been provided.
He is survived by his wife, and his three sons from a previous marriage. All of his sons have followed in their father and mother’s footsteps to become cartoonists and animators as well.
The last Facebook post shared by Gene Deitch on April 11 was about the coronavirus but Cartoon Brew cited a family friend and neighbour to report that his death wasn’t related to coronavirus.
Deitch was born in Chicago in 1924 but moved to California as a child. After a brief military career, he quickly made his name in the world of animation and began to receive recognition from those within his industry.
Gene Deitch directed 13 episodes of Tom And Jerry for MGM between 1961 to 1962 and also directed a few episodes of Popeye for King Features between 1960 and 1963.
His animated short Munro won the Best Animated Short Film Oscar in 1961, the first of its kind created outside the US to win an Oscar.
He had also been nominated for an Oscar in 1958 for Sidney’s Family Tree.
Gene Deitch is also critically acclaimed for directing animated feature Alice of Wonderland In Paris. Gene Deitch was honoured with the Winsor McCay Award in 2003 for his contribution to animation.
Meanwhile, tributes have poured in on Twitter from those who grew up watching the iconic cartoon shows.
Deitch moved to Prague with his first wife and fellow animator Zdenka Najmanova in 1959. Whilst resident in the Czech capital, he created more than 70 animated movies, as well as seven television series’.
He also wrote a memoir about his life living as an American in Prague under the dictatorship of the Communist Party.
In that book, entitled For the Love of Prague, he described his life as “the only free American living and working in Prague during 30 years of the Communist Party dictatorship.”
Despite the fact that he was a US citizen living in the country, and making work for a worldwide audience, he said that the authorities never bothered or interfered with him during that time.
Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan On DD National Creates A World Record
The epic had generated a total viewership of 91 million on the first day of its retelecast on March 28.
BHARAT: Producer-Director Ramanand Sagar’s EPIC || RAMAYAN || has created the world record of being the Highest-Viewed Entertainment Programme Globally on April 16, 2020, during the 9-10 PM slot. The episode on the day, which featured the Lakshman-Meghnad Maha Yuddh, was viewed by a mind-numbing 7.7 crore people in the aforementioned time slot.
Rebroadcast of #Ramayana on #Doordarshan smashes viewership records worldwide, the show becomes most watched entertainment show in the world with 7.7 crore viewers on 16th of April pic.twitter.com/hCVSggyqIE
— Doordarshan National (@DDNational) April 30, 2020
— Prasar Bharati (@prasarbharati) April 28, 2020
33 years after it first appeared on television, the series is being retelecasted on Doordarshan National from March 28.
DD National which airs the show has also continued its string of strong viewership numbers. It is the most viewed channel across all genres, all languages, all platforms in the Indian television space.
The channel generated a total of 1.64 billion impressions from 18 to 24 April, as per BARC data. Sun TV was at the second spot with 1.12 billion impressions.
In fact, || RAMAYAN || has become the most viewed show in the Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) segment ever since it started airing on DD National from March 28.
Episode one on the first day got 38 million viewers which increased to 45 million for the evening slot. The next day the viewership increased to 40 million in the morning to 51 million at night. Thus the show received a total of 91 million views in just one day.
Here are two clips that describe the impact that the epic TV series has always had on Indians:
With #Ramayan being re-telecasted on T.V., it finally feels like there’s something for everyone to sit and watch together. And in such difficult times, that’s what keeps us strong – being together.#InThisTogether #quarantine #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/0OBfMg7eqL
— Indiatimes (@indiatimes) April 11, 2020
COVID-19: Children’s Story Book Released To Help Children And Young People
Six language versions released today and more than 30 others in the pipeline.
GENEVA (Switzerland): A new storybook that aims to help children understand and come to terms with COVID-19 has been produced by a collaboration of more than 50 organizations working in the humanitarian sector, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Save the Children.
With the help of a fantasy creature, Ario, “My Hero is You, How kids can fight COVID-19!” explains how children can protect themselves, their families and friends from coronavirus and how to manage difficult emotions when confronted with a new and rapidly changing reality.
The book – aimed primarily at children aged 6-11 years old – is a project of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, a unique collaboration of United Nations agencies, national and international nongovernmental organizations and international agencies providing mental health and psychosocial support in emergency settings.
During the early stages of the project, more than 1700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers from around the world shared how they were coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The input was invaluable to scriptwriter and illustrator Helen Patuck and the project team in making sure that the story and its messages resonated with children from different backgrounds and continents.
In order to reach as many children as possible, the book will be widely translated, with six language versions released today and more than 30 others in the pipeline. It is being released as both an online product and audio book.
Download the book here
My Hero is You: all language versions
As A Muslim, I Feel Safe In India: Music Icon, Padma Shri Adnan Sami
“I fold my hands and request people to foster peace and harmony,” he said about Delhi violence.
KEWADIA (Gujarat): Singer-musician Adnan Sami on Friday said that as a Muslim he feels safe in India and the Citizenship Amendment Act is for fast-tracking people wanting citizenship and is not for Indians in India.
Speaking at the ‘India Ideas Conclave 2020’ organised by the India Foundation at Kewadia in Gujarat on February 29, Adnan Sami said that as a Muslim he feels safe in India and the Citizenship Amendment Act is for fast-tracking people wanting citizenship and is not for Indians in India.
“As a Muslim, I feel safe in India,” he said, answering a query on the Delhi anti-Hindu riots that has left more than 40 dead.
Answering another query on his opinion of the CAA and the ensuing violence perpetrated by Muslim groups, he categorically said that “Citizenship Amendment Act is for fast-tracking people wanting citizenship and is not for Indians in India,” he said. He said that the matter is being politicised.
The Padma Shri awardee also said that he hopes that peace is restored soon. “Being a musician, I always talk about love and peace. I request everyone to talk and maintain peace. I request everyone to respect life and there is nothing that conversation can sort out all issues. I request people to bring peace in the country,” said Adnan Sami.
When asked for his opinion of actor Aamir Khan had stated that his wife does not feel safe in India, Adnan Sami said that “I am not here to answer whatever Aamir Khan has to say. As far as I am concerned, I am a Muslim. I respect all religions, I celebrate all religions. I celebrate humanity in whichever form it comes. I had so many options, but if I felt that I wanted to come to India, being a Muslim doesn’t that say something about how secure I would feel,” said Sami.
Aamir Khan’s remarks were lambasted by everyone in the country as it had exposed his allegiance to the anti-Modi and award-wapsi brigade which created a fake narrative of Muslims being unsafe in India over few isolated incidents.
He was born in London to Arshad Sami Khan, a Pakistani Air force veteran and diplomat of Pashtun origin, and Naureen, who was originally from Jammu and Kashmir.
He is singer, musician, music composer, pianist and actor. He performs Indian and Western music, including for Hindi movies. His most notable instrument is the piano. He has been credited as “the first musician to have played the santoor and Indian classical music on the piano”.
A review in the US-based Keyboard magazine described him as the fastest keyboard player in the world and called him the keyboard discovery of the nineties.
He was awarded the Padma Shri on 26 January 2020.
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