Today in #TheLagosReview

The Masters Review Flash Fiction Contest Judged by Sherrie Flick; $3000 Grand Prize

Our annual Flash Fiction Contest is now open for submissions! We’re looking for your very best stories under 1,000 words—and the winner receives $3000! This year’s contest is judged by the spectacular Sherrie Flick, who will be selecting the finalists from a shortlist chosen by our editors.

Sherrie Flick is the author of the novel Reconsidering Happiness and two short story collections, Whiskey, Etc. and Thank Your Lucky Stars. Her fiction has appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Flash Fiction Forward, New Sudden Fiction, and New Micro, as well as Ploughshares, New World Writing, and Wigleaf. Her awards include fellowships from Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and Atlantic Center for the Arts. She served as series editor for The Best Small Fictions 2018 and is co-editor for Flash Fiction America, an anthology forthcoming from W.W. Norton.


Peter Beard, Wildlife Photographer on the Wild Side, Dies at 82.

Called “the last of the adventurers,” Mr. Beard photographed African fauna at great personal risk, and well into old age could party till dawn. He had been missing for 19 days.

Peter Beard, a New York photographer, artist and naturalist to whom the word “wild” was roundly applied, both for his death-defying photographs of African wildlife and for his own much-publicized days — decades, really — as an amorous, bibulous, pharmaceutically inclined man about town, was found dead in the woods on Sunday, almost three weeks after he disappeared from his home in Montauk on the East End of Long Island. He was 82.

He had dementia and had experienced at least one stroke. He was last seen on March 31, and the authorities had conducted an extensive search for him.

Mr. Beard’s best-known work was the book “The End of the Game,” first published in 1965. Comprising his text and photographs, it documented not only the vanishing romance of Africa — a place long prized by Western colonialists for its open savannas and abundant big game — but also the tragedy of the continent’s imperiled wildlife, in particular the elephant.

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Toronto Film Festival Considers Digital Options in the wake of the Corona Virus Pandemic

Toronto’s Bell Lightbox cinema may be on coronavirus lockown, but the festival staff is busy planning a hybrid version of the 2020 edition.

It’s “full steam ahead” at the Toronto Film Festival, according to artistic director Cameron Bailey. However, even the organizers of North America’s largest annual film gathering can’t say with total certainty what that means, since there are so many unknowns in the fast-evolving coronavirus pandemic.

TIFF traditionally takes place in early September, boasting a lineup of nearly 300 films. Unlike other festivals that were forced to cancel or postpone due to coronavirus, the team is committed to deliver some form of the event on its original September dates — even if that means fewer venues, smaller audiences or, worst case scenario, no in-person component at all. Six months out, the team has already started developing some kind of virtual or streaming alternative, should it come to that.

“Postponing is definitely not a possibility on the table right now. [Based on] everything that we are learning, things might get worse in October or November if there is a second wave,” says TIFF executive director and co-head Joana Vicente.

By sticking to its dates and thinking about contingency plans early, TIFF has positioned itself as the year’s de facto can’t-miss festival and market. While travel restrictions have forced programmers to cancel March trips to Los Angeles, New York and Hong Kong FilMart, Bailey insists that studios and filmmakers eager to premiere their work remain highly motivated for their films to be considered.

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Director Stella Meghie to Direct a Whitney Houston Biopic.

A Whitney Houston biopic, titled “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” is in development from “The Photograph” director Stella Meghie.

The Whitney Houston Estate, Primary Wave, music producer Clive Davis and Anthony McCarten are producing the film about the iconic musician, who died in 2012 at the age of 48. McCarten, whose credits include “The Two Popes,” “Darkest Hour,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “The Theory of Everything,” is writing the script for “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”

Pat Houston will produce on behalf of the Houston Estate, and Larry Mestel will produce on behalf of Primary Wave Music along with Denis O’Sullivan. McCarten will produce through his Muse of Fire Productions banner.

Houston broke out with her self-titled 1985 debut album, which was released by Davis and Arista Records, and featured the ballads “Greatest Love of All” and “Saving All My Love for You.” Her other hits included “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and “Million Dollar Bill.”

She starred with Kevin Costner in 1992’s romantic drama “The Bodyguard,” which scored $411 million at the worldwide box office. “The Bodyguard” soundtrack won Grammys for album of the year and record of the year for the single “I Will Always Love You.” The soundtrack sold more than 45 million copies worldwide. Houston was the most awarded female musician of all time, selling more than 200 million records globally.

The Weeknd & Usher Fued; An Eric Bellinger challenge.

The Weeknd has gone on to clarify that he meant the production and not singing.
Earlier this week Black Twitter sat ringside as an R&B titan clashed with a Canadian pop star.

The Weeknd shared why he feels his alternative style affected music in a new interview with Variety, specifically noting that he thinks Usher’s work had been influenced.

“I heard ‘Climax,’ that Usher song, and was like, ‘Holy f*ck, that’s a Weeknd song.’ It was very flattering, and I knew I was doing something right, but I also got angry,” he told the industry magazine.

“But the older I got, I realized it’s a good thing,” The Weeknd, whose birth name is Abel Tesfaye, added.

Usher initially responded by flexing his falsetto on the ‘gram after songwriter Eric Bellinger, who has collaborated with Usher frequently, kicked off the #ClimaxChallenge. Bellinger invited The Weeknd and other singers to try and hit the remarkably high notes that Usher does in the single.

“Y’all think @theweeknd will accept the challenge?,” Bellinger asked to a fan in his Instagram comments.

Usher answered the call from isolation, recording a clip of himself flawlessly hitting every key of the hit song—laying down no less.

The Weeknd has gone on to clarify that he meant the production and not singing.

“The production on Climax lends itself to House of Balloons era @theweeknd. when I heard those early records they blew my mind – soulful in their silences, and a spacey iconic voice that felt uniquely internet. the idea of R&B having dark edges was what I wanted to bring to @usher.”

Khalid features Davido & Tems in the Remix of “Know Your Worth”

The original version of ‘Know Your Worth’ was released on February 4, 2020 and it featured English duo, Disclosure.

Following in the heels of his collaborative effort with producers Disclosure, Khalid steps it up a notch by featuring African artistes Davido and Tems in the remix of his single “Know Your Worth”

MTV Shuga “Alone Together” Mini-Series Releases Episode 1&2

MTV Shuga’s new mini-series tagged “Alone Together” is here and it features Shuga cast from across Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Ivory Coast.

“MTV Shuga: Alone Together” is exploring how people in different African countries (Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and South Africa) are coping with the lockdown and will depict how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting every aspect of life.

Even though this new season was entirely self-filmed by the actors, it did not compromise on quality in any way.

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