Poll finds widespread disenchantment

first_imgDear Editor,An ongoing opinion poll being conducted by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) shows that four months after the CCJ ruled that Bharrat Jagdeo could not run again for the Presidency of Guyana, the former (two) term limited President remains the most popular politician in Guyana. Ironically, even APNU and AFC supporters have a favorable view of Jagdeo.The survey found widespread disenchantment over many issues. The incumbent coalition (APNU/AFC) administration is very unpopular even amongst its traditional supporters and is likely to suffer a defeat in the upcoming November 12 local government elections. The poll further found that a majority of voters do not support the Appeal Court’s decision of affirming the Chief Judge’s decision of President David Granger’s unilateral appointment of Gecom’s Chairman (James Patterson). My opinion is that the country wants a more energetic, unbiased Gecom Chair selected from among those recommended by the opposition.The survey began on October 20, 2018, and is likely to be completed within a week.The preliminary findings of those interviewed thus far reveal that 59 per cent did not agree (as against 28 per cent who did) with the Appeal Court’s ruling on President Granger’s appointment of Gecom Chair. Also, a large majority (69 per cent) of the population is not pleased with the job the Government has been doing in running the country (only 22 per cent supporting). Almost everyone says the country is going in the wrong direction. Some 68 per cent does not approve (only 19 per cent approve) of the management of the economy- saying that the quality of life has been declining over the last three years. Almost all of them said the country has been going down and that the economy is very bad and likely to get worse, indicating a lack of confidence in the future. They said that the government does not know how to grow the economy to improve the standard of living. They felt former President Bharrat Jagdeo, and former Finance Minister Ashni Singh, did a far better job of running the country and managing the economy respectively. More than two thirds (72 per cent), said that they are worse off today (with only 16 per cent saying they are better off) than they were around the time of the 2016 local government elections. Almost three quarters (74 per cent), disapproved (with only 15 per cent approving), of Government’s handling of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the terminated sugar workers. They oppose the closure of sugar estates. Almost everyone polled in Berbice, greater Enmore, and the West Coast, disagreed with the downsizing (restructuring) or closure of the sugar industry. Even APNU and AFC supporters do not support Government’s policy on closing sugar estates.Poor governance and misguided policies are taking a toll on approval ratings. According to the poll’s findings, President David Granger and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo have relatively low approval numbers of 43 per cent and 40 per cent respectively as compared with Jagdeo who towers above them with 61 per cent; even APNU and AFC supporters speak favorably of Jagdeo, with the PPP saying they were better off when Jagdeo ran the country than they are under the present administration. The leadership of the Government can increase popularity by pushing constitutional reforms to empower the people.When asked if the government has been transparent enough in its policies and the handling of revenues, 60 per cent said no, while only 28 said yes. And when queried about the government’s handling of public complaints and widespread perception of corruption against the administration, 71 per cent said that not enough is being done to crack down on corruption (including graft). A majority (59 per cent) said corruption is more rampant now than it was under the preceding PPP administration.Persons also expressed a lack confidence in the police force, with almost everyone accusing elements of law enforcement of being corrupt by accepting bribes to do their job, or make traffic tickets and other court matters disappear. Some 83 per cent respondents of the survey said Government has not been doing enough to rein in police abuse and bribery. Voters (57 per cent) also feel the Government is abusing Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) and SARU for its political agenda in targeting members and supporters of the opposition.The poll also queried voters on other issues including how they will vote in the LGE. The findings will be released in a subsequent report.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more

15 SMEs Get Certificate in Entrepreneurship

first_imgAs part of effort to develop Liberia into a vibrant private sector-led economy, 15 beneficiaries of the Branson Scholarship Program were last Tuesday certificated, after completing one year training in entrepreneurship.The scholarship program was offered to the students through the Business Start-up Center (BSC Monrovia), a local non-governmental organization in partnership with SPARK, and the Association ofLiberian Universities (ALU), to promote entrepreneurship and Small, Medium Enterprise (SME) development among Liberia’s youth.In special remarks, Dr. Walter Wiles of the University of Liberia challenged the graduates to put into practice what they have acquired from the year of training.“The knowledge you have acquired doing these few months is intended for you to improve businesses and to provide job opportunity for Liberians, which would help in the economic development of the country,” he said, encouraging the young entrepreneurs.According to him, Liberia cannot be only developed by foreign investors. Instead, it is time for small business owners to take ownership by helping to empower more local businesses people who would compete with the foreign-owned businesses.He also admonished the graduates to organize themselves into a partnership and to work hard, if they want to compete with the foreign investors “Liberia can not only develop by foreign investors, it can be developed if only you can extend what you have learned to other local business owners. You can provide it,” Dr. Wiles added.Earlier, giving an overview of the scholarship, Wilson Idanor, project consultant at BSP, said the aim of the scholarship is to develop Liberian’s entrepreneurs that would act as a catalyst to spearhead the development and acceleration of a vibrant private sector-led economy in the country.Mr. Idanor also said training provided students the opportunity to travel to South Africa, where they were able to interact with local and international business people, on the development of entrepreneurship.According to him, they have selected about 20 students for the next phase of the program which, he said, would begin in September.Angie Howard, one of the beneficiaries of the program thanked the organizers for the opportunity and knowledge they acquired from the training.Madam Howard said the training has empowered them to take their businesses to another level.She called on other Liberians to take the advantage of such opportunity to empower them for the future. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Do Studios Release Teasers and Trailers Too Early?

first_imgIs it possible to hype an upcoming blockbuster too much? Here’s what studios face when they release teasers into the market early.You may be hard-pressed to remember a time when you only found out about a new movie by either seeing the teaser poster at the cinema, the trailer at the cinema, or reading an exclusive interview in a magazine or newspaper. I remember I only found out that Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker from seeing the cover of Empire Magazine in a supermarket. In fact, I only found out that Warner Brothers had rebooted the Batman franchise as my local Blockbuster was giving free Batman Begins VHS away as they were shifting to DVD only.Of course, in the early 2000s, movie forums were lively with discussions about upcoming movies. But, they were also areas of the internet you had to be a part of in order to read the information. Now, just by logging onto Twitter, you may see from the trends tab that an actor is set to take the mantle of a famous character for a film that is years away from release.Image via Rudy Manahan (©2013 SDCC).If you’re a movie fan, especially a fan of genre films, it’s almost become a game to be in the know of just about everything to do with said genre. And studios lap this up. It has created a systematic loop of endless, free promotion. Each year at San Diego Comic-Con you know that the newest Marvel & DC films are going to be announced, along with an abundance of trailers from other studios in attendance and likewise, every year at the Star Wars celebration you can be sure to catch a glimpse of the next iteration of the franchise.Getting the fans excited and talking about the upcoming feature has become part of the norm. People create twitter accounts, Instagram and Facebook pages to promote and discuss the film in their own free time, and studios need to get content out way ahead of release to allow the build-up and following to accumulate. Of course, we can’t forget the YouTube channels who will in-depth analyze a 30-second teaser for over ten minutes. Content! Of course, this isn’t always the case for releasing a teaser or trailer early; it may very well be part of the scheduled marketing.The problem is, this has become a double-edged sword? Social media and the internet, in general, has become quite unforgiving come 2019, and when studios publish unfinished content as early as possible, sometimes the reaction isn’t positive. And as a result, we usually see a Tweet from the director like this one from Shazam director David Sandberg.(As a side note, the VFX in the Shazam trailer weren’t awful. It just wasn’t as polished as the director intended).In 2013, Forbes published an article titled Six Ways To Fix Movie Trailers, and for the second point, senior contributor Scott Mendelson said:Say what you will about the final product that is Green Lantern, but the marketing campaign never really recovered from the too-early release of the first teaser back in November 2010.  The special effects weren’t remotely ready and the clip was filled with unfinished FX and shots of people running away from nothing. It was a terrible and cheap-looking initial preview for a very expensive film, and later better trailers did little to stem the tide of negative buzz……If you don’t have the goods, wait until you do.  We can be patient. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.This was from 2013, talking about a teaser released in 2010. And, almost a decade later, it still feels like a prevalent issue. It’s bizarre for a company to sell a product that cost them millions but to release a teaser that doesn’t showcase the final product.Case in point was 2017’s The Great Wall. This video featured an unfinished CGI creature and was so severely mocked that Universal removed it from their Twitter account just a day later.Fans and The Internet We have to acknowledge how fans, or the internet as a whole, is very vocal and reactionary to media that does not meet their expectations upon first impression. It doesn’t even take a few weeks for negative feedback to seep in; it’s practically within the early few hours of publishing the material.There is perhaps a no more excellent example from recent times than Netflix’s The Witcher. While possibly known best as a video game series, the Netflix dramatization is based on the best-selling Polish book series known as The Witcher Saga. As such, fans were not to expect the version they know best from the games (which had its fair share of artistic deviations anyhow), but an adaption closer to the material from the books. In October of 2018, shortly after hearing that Henry Cavil would be filling the moniker role, Netflix gave us our first taster; a 20-second costume test of Henry Cavil donning the proposed costume for Geralt. Well, it took less than an hour for the internet to explode and start populating social media with memes poking fun at the somewhat less-than-great costume and wig.The thing is, and as many loyal fans quickly pointed out in the comments across social media, it was only a costume test. The studio possibly wanted to see how his costume and hair rendered on camera. Or, maybe they just wanted to post something to get people excited. Whatever the reason, it was not the finished project. However, it certainly felt like the damage was done. It’s almost a sport to be cruel to a film if the initial impressions are negative. Still, come July we were treated to the first live-action teaser trailer.The teaser, although holding 71k dislikes vs. 480k likes (primarily due to the casting), was received a lot warmer than the makeup test. Quite simply, it sparked excitement. Yet as someone stated in the comments, “So MUCH better. I appreciated the fact that they were trying to be transparent with their progress, but I feel it would have been best if they had never revealed that test.” And as Scott Mendelson pointed out: “We can be patient. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” You have to wonder how the series would have been received if they just released the live-action teaser and skipped the costume test teaser.Music artists such as Eminem and Beyonce can release a surprise album with no marketing, and the news can spread like wildfire and instantly land them a number one record. Yet, studios still insist on releasing unfinished teasers and trailers nearly a year out from release, which often only harms the general perception of the film or TV show. There is currently so much media to be consumed; from several superhero blockbusters released each year, to over a dozen streaming services all offering their own shows and films. It seems frivolous to release unfinished media so early in an oversaturated marketplace. I have to wonder if negative opinions would falter if blockbusters released fully polished trailers just two months before the release of the film. In 2019, do we really need trailers almost a year out from the opening night?Looking for more industry insights? Check these out.PG vs. R Ratings: What’s the Difference for Summer Action Films?Interview: Director Ernie Gilbert on His Sci-Fi Short Film “Nine Minutes”From Favreau to Scott – Filmmakers Who Changed Direction in PostInterview: “The Man in the High Castle” Cinematographer Gonzalo AmatHow DPs Make the Shift from Commercials to Features and Back Againlast_img read more

Sachin Tendulkar biopic opens across UK cinemas today

first_imgFrom Aditi KhannaLondon, May 26 (PTI) A biopic on the life of Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar opened across cinemas in the UK today.”Sachin: A Billion Dreams”, the first-of-its-kind Indian docu-drama to get a wide cinema release in Britain, traces the life of Tendulkar from the moment he received a cricket bat as a gift from his elder sister at the age of eight.”Playing cricket was like going to the temple for me,” says Tendulkar in the film, which has been narrated by him.London-based director James Erskine, a well-known sports documentarian, tracks Tendulkars journey which led to Indias 2011 World Cup victory and his retirement from Test cricket in 2013.The film, which has been set to a musical score by Oscar-winning musician A R Rahman, also has previously lesser- known glimpses of the personal life of the 44-year-old cricketing genius who played 200 Test matches in his illustrious career.”This film really is the story of the man, and while cricket is a huge part of his life, it is just one chapter,” said Erskine.Produced by Ravi Bhagchandka of 200NotOut, a reference to Tendulkars record, and Carnival Motion Pictures, the film had premiered in India earlier this week and its cinematic opening in the UK coincides with a worldwide release. PTI AK CPS AKJ CPSlast_img read more