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European short film ‘The Dress’ shortlisted for a 2022 Academy Award

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Scene of the Oscar 2022 shortlisted film The Dress

‘The Dress’, a short film about a disabled woman who longs for companionship, has been shortlisted for a 2022 Academy Award. Directed by Tadeusz Lysiak and addressing sensitive topics of disability and intimacy, the production has screened at over 25 film festivals, including the Oscar-qualifying Odense International Film Festival and Krakow Film Festival. The Dress has won multiple Awards including the Oscar qualifying Award at the 2021 Atlanta Film Festival.

“It is absolutely mind-blowing to be recognised like that and to see “The Dress” on the Oscar’s shortlist alongside so many outstanding movies. I believe we were selected because our film is different, just like the main character is. Our protagonist is a woman with dwarfism, and I think people of short stature are still being unrecognized in cinema. Although American actor Peter Dinklage is doing an absolutely fantastic job on this, it is crucial to speak even more about it. Anna Dzieduszycka, who plays the main character, is an outstanding actress who deserves every award she can get. I am proud of her especially because, before The Dress, Anna was not a professional actress; she has bloomed on the set and shown her exceptional acting skills.” – says Tadeusz Lysiak, who has also directed award-winning short film Techno. Tadeusz was featured in the 2020 Generation NEXT of European Cinema within Eastern Promises at the Karlovy Vary Festival and he is a winner of the Discovering Eye Award, an award given to young talented filmmakers at the Polish Film Festival in Chicago.

Film director Tadeusz Lysiak

Tadeusz Lysiak: Polish director was awarded at the Palace International Short Film Festival in 2021

The Dress is co-produced by creative production studio Dobro, Warsaw-based image post-production company Milo, and sound studio Głośno.

Other productions lined up for the 2022 Oscar in the Live Action Short Film category include Annie St-Pierre’s short film Like The Ones I Used To Know (Les Grandes Claques), and Censor Of Dreams by Léo Berne and Raphaël Rodriguez, who have worked together since 2008 as part of the French collective Megaforce.

Nominations voting begins on Thursday, Jan. 27, and ends on Tuesday, Feb. 1. The official credits and nominees for all the films will be announced, with the rest of the Oscar nominations on Tuesday, Feb. 8.

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UK to get multi-million pound boost for grassroots cricket

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UK to get multi-million pound boost for grassroots cricket
Investment is expected to deliver 2,500 pieces of new equipment across schools, and help to get 930,000 pupils playing cricket

United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a £35 million investment in grassroots cricket facilities and widening access to the sport within state schools, enabling over 900,000 young people to play cricket over the next five years.

The investment, to be delivered across a period during which England and Wales host the 2026 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, the 2030 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and cricket returns to the Olympics for the first time in over 120 years, includes a major capital programme that will see 16 state-of-the-art all-weather cricket domes built within host cities across England.

The domes are covered and wind-protected and will allow for participation in cricket throughout the year – connecting school, community and talent programmes. Each dome will be built within diverse communities where figures have indicated low levels of physical activity. It follows the first cricket dome opened in Bradford in November last year.

The funding package will enable an extension to the ECB and Chance to Shine’s in-school cricket partnership. This will have a particular emphasis on children from lower socio-economic groups, and ensure that every school child in inner-city locations from across the 16 World Cup host cities will access the programme.

A further investment to the charity Lord’s Taverners will have a focus on access to cricket provision for 80,000 children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The total investment is expected to deliver around 2,500 pieces of new equipment across schools involved in the programmes, and help to get 930,000 pupils playing cricket over the next five years.

In addition, the ACE Programme will receive additional funding to support their work in reconnecting the Black community with cricket.

“I first experienced the magic of cricket watching Hampshire play at my local ground in Southampton as a child.

“There remains huge potential to grow the sport even further and open it up to everyone, from all backgrounds and in all parts of the country, building on the great work of organisations such as ACE and Chance to Shine.

“That is why I am so proud we are making a major £35 million investment in grassroots cricket today, to widen participation in schools, encourage healthy lifestyles and provide world class, all-year-round facilities for local communities,” said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said.

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European Forum pledges over €7.7 billion for global crises

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European Humanitarian Forum pledges over €7.7 billion for global crises
Nearly 300 million people around the world will need humanitarian assistance and protection in 2024.

Nearly 300 million people around the world will need humanitarian assistance and protection in 2024. The EU will provide more than €7.7 billion in humanitarian funding for 2024, following the European Humanitarian Forum which gathered leaders and humanitarian experts in Brussels. The money will go towards more efficient, long-term solutions to global humanitarian challenges.

The Forum’s participants agreed to increase funding to address the gap between humanitarian needs and available resources. Increase in climate financing for conflict-affected, climate-vulnerable areas is also on the cards, as well as address conflict and preserve humanitarian space, notably in the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip.

The European Humanitarian Forum was co-organised by the European Commission and the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU last month, gathering 1,400 representatives from across the humanitarian community, EU countries and beyond.

Currently the EU is one of the biggest aid donors in the world, with funds being used for intervention in areas such as food and nutrition, shelter, healthcare, water, sanitation, and education.

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Grants for community projects in the UK open for applications

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Grants for community projects in the UK open for applications
The scheme offers support to projects which benefit both rail passengers and local communities | Photo: Kenny Eliason

Community rail projects have been given the green light thanks to funding from London Northwestern Railway (LNR).

Grants of between £10,000 and £100,000 have been made available via the “Your Community, Your Fund” scheme which offers support to projects which benefit both rail passengers and local communities.

The scheme, funded by the Department for Transport, is aimed at inspiring people to get involved with the railway and has been made available for applications by LNR.

“This funding is crucial for the railway and the vital projects make a real difference to local areas. The scheme has already supported a number of community-led projects in recent years and I am delighted that we have secured funding for new applications,” says Cara Higgs, LNR community strategy manager.

The funding is split between projects from LNR and its sister company West Midlands Railway (WMR).

Previously, projects have included enhancing Smethwick Rolfe Street with bedders, planters and artwork and the opening of a new tea room at Bricket Wood station in Hertfordshire.

The deadline for applications is 11.59pm Tuesday 16 April.

For more information visit www.lnr.uk/ycyf.

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