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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

"Star Wars" Force is Strong in the UAE

May 6th, 2014
06:25 AM ET

Connect the World marked "Star Wars" Day on May 4 with a trip deep into the UAE desert in search of filming locations for Episode VII. Amir Daftari encountered some die hard fans and the photographer who first found the film set. But was the force strong enough to lead him to the right location?

Filed under:  Celebrity • Entertainment • General • Middle East • Parting Shots

Drive Another Day: Bond’s classic cars

March 19th, 2014
03:40 PM ET

He's famed for his 'licence to kill', rather than his 'licence to drive', but Britain's most famous spy has driven an incredible assortment of cars.

Becky visited the London Film Museum's 'Bond in Motion', the largest exhibition of James Bond vehicles, gadgets and gizmos to date.

From Alfa Romeos to Aston Martins, these vehicles have survived through some trying times. Even though special effects have improved over Bond's lifespan, the scenes in the modern films are no less dangerous. Vic Armstrong – former Bond stuntman and stunt coordinator – told Becky that there's no "under-cranking" in the films: everything happens at the speed you see it at.

Becky also spoke to Michael G. Wilson, producer and screenwriter, who says he knows what fans of the franchise really care about. "I think people, when they ask what the next film is they say 'who's the girl and what car does Bond drive?"

Filed under:  Becky's Interviews • Celebrity • Entertainment • Hollywood • London • Technology • Video

Where does art end and politics begin?

February 20th, 2014
02:33 PM ET

A Florida artist says he’s sorry for intentionally smashing a vase by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.  The work was valued at $1 million dollars.

Maximo Caminero faces charges of criminal mischief after dropping the vase.   Caminero says he broke the artwork as a protest against the gallery, for refusing to showcase local artists.

Ai Weiwei – who is photographed smashing an ancient Chinese vase in one of his own works – says he does not support artists destroying other artists work.

The case got us thinking about where the line is drawn between activism and artwork.  Becky went to London’s Brunei Gallery to find out more.

(And don’t worry – no real artwork or valuable vases were harmed in the making of this piece.)

Filed under:  Celebrity • Entertainment • United States • Video

'12 Years' a game changer for diversity

February 18th, 2014
01:45 PM ET

As '12 Years a Slave' took top honors at the BAFTA Awards, all eyes were on the film's black cast – and especially director Steve McQueen.  If he wins the Best Director prize at next month's Academy Awards, McQueen will become the first black director ever to win.

Atika Shubert spoke with John Akomfrah, a Former Governor of the British Film Institute.  She asked him what McQueen's BAFTA win meant for diversity in the film industry.

"I think Steve winning is confirmation of a trend taking place anyway," Akomfrah said.  "And by that I mean, for instance, 12 years ago, if you had a film called '12 Years a Slave,' the idea would be that it would go to a white director because it's big and so it's appropriate that it should go to a white director.  The fact that a major African diaspora story is done by a black director of black British heritage and descent is, I think, significant."

Atika also asked what Akomfrah would consider to be a true sign of diversity in cinema.

"If Steve's example became a trend, so that there were more people like Steve," he replied.  "If a range of black acting talent continues to be both affirmed and endorsed by both BAFTA and the Academy."

Filed under:  Analysis • Celebrity • Entertainment • History • Hollywood • London • Oscars • Video

Working the red carpet at the BAFTAs

February 17th, 2014
09:37 AM ET

The sun shone and so did the stars on Sunday as Hollywood's royalty joined our very own royal Prince William on the red carpet for Britain's answer to the Oscars. Microphone at the ready, as lowly TV talent my job on the night sounds pretty basic: nab the best, forget the rest and make every one of my fleeting interviews with the celebs count before their minders haul them away.

Believe me, this isn’t easy! How did we do? Check out our report.

On the night British star Chiwetel Ejiofor impressed with a best actor award for his role as Solomon Northup in “12 Years a Slave”. The harrowing drama also taking home the coveted best film award.

In terms of numbers, space odyssey “Gravity” took top spot picking up six awards.

Also a great night for Somali-born newcomer Barkhad Abdi, best supporting actor for his sinister and moving performance alongside Tom Hanks in “Captain Phillips.”

And watch this space, rising star Lupita Nyong'o failed to take home a BAFTA in London but the youngster stole the show for style and with an Oscar nomination up her sleeve, this could still be her year.

Roll on the Academy Awards in L.A.

Filed under:  Becky's Interviews • Celebrity • Video
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