Sinach Tops Billboard Chart In Record-breaking Feat.
Gospel superstar Sinach was recently touted as the first African to top the Billboard Christian Songwriters Chart.
Her song “Waymaker,” originally released in 2016, recently gained massive popularity following performances by The Elevation Worship and other Christian rock bands.
But it was Leeland’s Waymaker (Live) that shot the song into Billboard Top 10 hits. Another version of the song by Michael W. Smith featuring Vanessa Campagna and Madelyn Berry also lit up the charts.
Sinach took to her Twitter on Wednesday to share the good news.
So apparently We have been No 1 on billboard USA for Christian song writer for 7 weeks !! Look at God!! First Black person 😳😳😳😳😳😳 First from Africa … So grateful to God!! Thank you @billboard #loveworld❤️ @joe_egbu 💕💕 @integritymusic #waymaker #sponsoredbygrace pic.twitter.com/XfarPtlIGX
— Sinach (@sinach) May 5, 2020
Check out Abutsa’s Animated Tribute to the Chibok Girls “CapTiv Dream”
“CaptiV Dream“, a heartfelt tribute to the Chibok girls who were kidnapped in April 2014, while preparing for their exams.
With a future brutally paused by the Boko Haram group, the girls as well as those they were snatched from, are victims of terrorism. As the years go by, the conversation seems to be slowing down. However, 112 girls are still missing. We must not stay quiet in the face of injustice.
Rejoice Abutsa, a film-trend writer and other creatives are using their creative voice, to advocate and insist on the return of the Chibok girls.
Watch the animation film below:
South African Author Writes New Book To Teach Children About The Lockdown & COVID-19
The book, written by respected South African author, poet and academic Athol Williams, is titled Oaky and the Virus.
Respected South African author, poet and academic Athol Williams has worked with Read to Rise – a literacy NGO that promotes youth literacy in under-resourced communities in South Africa and has written a book titled _Oaky and the Virus _that better explains COVID-19 to children.
Williams says primary school children are already familiar with Oaky, as the character forms part of a series of books that have already been published.
I have already written six books, a lot of children in primary school already know the character. We thought: Why not make it into a story? So it’s not a lecture, it’s a story, there is a beautiful little song in there about how you should wash your hands. We try to in a way not to make it out to be this scary thing and so we said you have to stay at home, and Oaky would love to go out and play with his friends but there are wonderful things you can do at home. At the back of the book we have got a whole set of questions that help with literary comprehension but also we’re hoping to give parents a chance to have a discussion with their children about the virus.
You can download the book, which is in the process of being translated into various South African languages, on oaky.co.za
Spotify is testing video podcasts with two YouTube stars.
Spotify is now testing video podcasts in its app, starting with two YouTube stars: Zane Hijazi and Heath Hussar, hosts of Zane and Heath: Unfiltered. The global test, which allows the creators to upload their recorded video footage to the app, will show up for 50 percent of the show’s Spotify podcast listeners, a source close to Spotify tells The Verge, and videos will only be coming to three recent episodes, numbers 28 through 30. The test doesn’t visually indicate which episodes have videos to accompany them; listeners will only know once they tap to press play and they see the video footage at the bottom of their screen. They can tap it to make it full screen.
Although this is just an initial test, the source says the feature will likely come to more podcasts in the future — and “fast.” It’ll be particularly helpful for programs from The Ringer, a network Spotify acquired earlier this year, because the team already uploads shows like The Rewatchables to YouTube.
Videos will sync with the audio feed and keep playing even if listeners lock their phones, and ad spots will still play but with the video showing up as a single, static shot. These videos will also only be uploaded in the language podcasters record, so Spotify won’t be translating them for a global audience. The feature is available on the desktop and mobile Spotify apps.
A Spotify spokesperson said in a comment to The Verge: “At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience. Some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. We don’t have any further news to share at this time.”
The fact that Spotify is starting its test with two YouTube stars seems like a direct shot at the Google-owned company. Some podcasters post their show’s video recordings on YouTube because they benefit from YouTube’s recommendation algorithm whenever they cut their show up into searchable clips. The source close to Spotify didn’t immediately know if videos posted to Spotify would show up in Google search or elsewhere on the web.
Spotify has been trying for years to make video on its platform an appealing option. It features looping videos with a tool called Canvas, and it’s experimented with special video content and music videos for big-name releases.
Whether people will want to watch videos on Spotify is tough to say. People who watch podcasts on YouTube might only be doing so because they found a show through clips, and Spotify would need to populate these shows into Google search to benefit from that traffic. People who simply enjoy watching podcasts instead of listening to them might be interested in what Spotify’s building, especially if they can lock their phone and keep the audio playing.
The test hints at bigger ambitions for the audio company. It’s already building a studio location in Los Angeles that will not only facilitate podcast recordings but also
Melbourne Film Festival Unveils Plans for Virtual Edition
The Melbourne International Film Festival, originally scheduled for August, but then canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, is to hold a digital edition. The online showcase has been nicknamed MIFF 68½ and will run during the original festival dates, Aug. 6-23, 2020.
MIFF 68½ will present a smaller selection line up than the previously conceived real-world festival, with an expected 40-50 feature films and feature-length documentaries, and 30-40 shorts selected in four categories of subject matter – Australia, animation, documentary and animation.
Film selection is expected to continue until the end of June and the lineup will be unveiled on July 14.
“This is not a substitute. It is an online film showcase, an audience offering that is very unique and specific to this very trying set of circumstances. It is about finding and fostering audiences where they are,” the festival’s artistic director Al Cossar told Variety.
“At the time of cancellation there was such disruption to our film supply chain, such a horizon of uncertainty, such as gathering bans and cultural anxiety, that we saw no uncompromised path to putting out a regular edition of our festival.”
MIFF’s shift from real-world festival to virtual event is made possible by leaning on technology partner Shift72, a New Zealand-based startup firm which is also operating online festivals for SXSW and CPH: DOX, and with the help of a substantial financial grant from private donor Susie Montague.
“MIFF 68½ is our response to these difficult times – the result of our desire to sustain MIFF’s outstanding film programming, stay connected with our audience, and foster new audience connections during this truly unparalleled time,” said Cossar in a prepared statement. Melbourne’s market event, 37 Degrees South, remains cancelled and will not be revived this year.
Screenings of most of the feature-length content is expected to require ticketing. Content will also be geo-blocked to be accessible only within Australia. All of the short film program and some features will be free to access, and there will be a handful of other program highlights that are free and communal.
“Depending on Classification Board signoff, we’d like to do things in two different ways. Ninety percent of our program would be presented at festival capacity across our dates. And we also want to have 5-6 elevated program spotlights – including opening and closing events – which are essentially gala substitutes. Those would be socialized screenings, specifically presented to an audience at a particular session and date. The idea is that people watch together and then after the screening, there is a virtual activation,” Cossar explained.
He said that the festival expects to be able to use the technology to deliver other audience activation operations. “These will include virtual introductions, virtual Q&As. We will continue our MIFF Talks program, and the festival has a Critics Campus, which we intent to deliver virtually as well,” said Cossar.
Film-maker Rachel Griffiths will act as an ambassador for MIFF 68½. “As a director, actor and film-lover, I’ve been coming to MIFF all my life. It’s like an annual tribal gathering for Melbourne’s creative communities. Please join me in supporting MIFF 2020 in its ambitious programme that will provide Australians with continued access to the world’s best new content and content makers. The festival will be a virtual community that will remind us all of what we love so much about cinema. It will guarantee that they will return to our cinemas stronger than ever,” she said in a statement.
Other festivals in Australasia have also recently unveiled plans to become virtual events this year, including the Sydney Film Festival and New Zealand Film Festival. They are seen both as a continuing response to the social distancing measures required to combat the spread of COVID-19, and as a precaution against the uncertain timing of cinema reopenings. A second or third wave of virus infections could scupper the relaunch of a physical festival, but cannot disrupt an online film showcase.