film festivals

Racism, Donald Trump, sexual harassment and Priyanka Chopra at Sundance Film Festival 2018

A total of 110 titles will be screened at the prestigious independent film event.

The Sundance Film Festival announced its line-up of 110 films on Thursday, 99 of which will see their world premieres at the event, Variety reported. America’s largest independent film festival will be held in Park City, Utah, from January 18 to 28, 2018.

Movies from 29 countries spanning across a variety of genres will be featured at the event. A range of contemporary social and political issues such as sexual harassment, white supremacy, homosexuality and alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 US Presidential elections are reflected in the selected films.

“I think the artists and the storytellers and the filmmakers have always been responsive and out in front of the issues facing our times and trying to engage with them,” Sundance director of programming Trevor Groth told Variety. “Then, depending on what’s happening in the world and the zeitgeist, it’s the audience’s reaction to those issues that shifts. We felt that last year with Trump. We’re feeling it this year with a lot of the women’s issues, such as sexual assault.”

The festival will be headlined by Seeing Allred, a documentary about women’s rights activist Gloria Allred, and Idris Elba’s directorial debut Yardie, a crime drama set in the 1970s. Other headlining premieres include Emmy Award-winning director Reed Morano’s post-apocalyptic drama I Think We’re Alone Now, starring Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning, Rupert Everett’s Oscar Wilde biopic The Happy Prince, featuring Colin Firth in the lead, and Ethan Hawke’s music drama Blaze, among others. Priyanka Chopra-starrer A Kid Like Jake directed by Silas Howard and Marc Turtletaub’s Puzzle featuring Irrfan Khan will also be premiered at the festival.

The 16 films competing in the US Dramatic Competition category include Bo Burnham’s coming of age drama Eighth Grade and Andrew Heckler’s Burden, which chronicles the transformation of a Ku Klux Klan member.

The 16 American documentaries include Amy Scott’s Hal, about director Hal Ashby, and Derek Doneen’s documentary Kailash, about Indian child rights’ activist Kailash Satyarthi.

Films with big stars in the line-up include Keira Knightley’s Colette based on the French novelist of the same name and Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot featuring Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara. Ophelia, an alternative view of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, stars Daisy Ridley.

The festival has instituted two new awards this year. The Festival Favorite award will identify one film from any category that is most appreciated by the audiences, and the “NEXT Innovator” prize, to be selected by one dignitary.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.