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Usually when I write about such things it is because I feel my country or continent has been sidelined. And  this time it isn’t any different – it’s a case for African cinema at the Cannes International Film Festival, and perhaps a shift from what is often seen as an agenda setting at the festival. I announced with excitement when two films from Africa (or at least with African connections) namely Egypt’s Mohamed Diab’s ‘Eshtebak’ (Clash) and Chad’s Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s ‘Hissein Habre, Une Tragedie Tchadienne’ (Hissein Habre, A Chadian Tragedy) were announced as part of the Cannes official selection for 2016.

The Official Selection serves to highlight the diversity of cinematic creation through its different sections, the two most important of which are the Competition and Un Certain Regard. Films that are representative of “auteur cinema with a wide audience appeal” are presented in Competition, and Un Certain Regard focuses on works that have an original aim and aesthetic. The Official Selection also includes Out of Competition films, Special Screenings and Midnight Screenings, Cannes Classics and the Cinéfondation selection targeting film schools.

Mohamed Diab’s ‘Eshtebak’ was  announced as part of the Un Certain Regard selection. Un Certain Regard (a certain regard) is a section of the Cannes Film Festival’s official selection which runs at the salle Debussy, parallel to the competition for the ’. Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s ‘Hissein Habre, Une Tragedie Tchadienne’ was under the list of the special screenings session.

However after after seeing Mandla W Dube’s ‘Kalushi’ which didn’t make the Official Selection, I was convinced that the selection jury committed an obvious blunder. I saw ‘Kalushi’ during my stay in Cannes when it was screened at the South African pavilion ( a networking tent set up along the beautiful waterfront around the Palais du Cannes).  South Africa’s National Film and Video Foundation screened a number of feature films and short films at it’s pavilion including Free State, Mrs Right Guy and the box office hit Happiness Is A Four-Letter Word.

‘Kalushi’ is a biopic based on the struggles of Solomon Mahlangu, a schoolboy-hawker who joined the military wing of the ANC to fight against the brutal oppression of the Apartheid regime, and ended up becoming an icon of South Africa’s liberation.The film which took nearly nine years to complete is based on the facts provided by history, as well as the family and friends of Solomon ‘Kalushi’ Mahlangu.

On 13 June 1977, Mahlangu and his friends were caught in a gun battle with police in the Johannesburg CBD in which two men were killed and two others wounded. The judge apparently accepted that Mondy Johannes Motloung (one of Mahlangu’s friends) was responsible for the actual killings, but he had been beaten during the course of his capture and had severe brain damage making him unfit to stand trial. Despite this, Mahlangu was found guilty on two counts of murder and three charges under the Terrorism Act because of ‘the principle of common purpose’. He was sentenced to death by hanging on 2 March 1978 and executed on 6 April 1979.

‘Kalushi’ beautifully tells the emotional story of f Solomon Mahlangu from the courtroom using well choreographed flashbacks. I struggled to hold back my tears when watching the struggles many South Africans went through to attain ‘freedom’.

From the storyline to the quality of the pictures, ‘Kalushi’ was at par and even better than some of the films I watched from the Official Selection list. This brings me to the question of the ‘Cannes agenda’. Two of the films I watched, ’Mademoiselle’ and ‘Rester Vertical’ both had themes of same sex romance, which seemed to be an agenda being pushed at Cannes this year.  While the former was a bit careful of how it portrayed a twisted romance between two women, the latter was extremely graphic with nudity  and sex of both heterosexual and homosexual nature.

While I cannot conclude that Cannes was pushing a gay agenda based on just the two movies I watched, I will try to find others reasons why a fine film such as ‘Kalushi’ could not make the Official Selection for at least the Special Screenings and Midnight Screenings.

To set the tone for my argument about the ‘Cannes agenda’, let us take a look at the two films from or on Africa that made the selection. ‘Eshtebak’ is a film that explores the confrontations between pro and anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators that emerged following the removal of president Mohamed Morsi from power on 3 July 2013.

‘Hissein Habre: A Chadian Tragedy’  is a documentary on Hissène Habré’s grim legacy. The former Chadian strongman is sometimes referred to as “Africa’s Pinochet” due to the atrocities committed during his turbulent eight-year rule (1982-90). But unlike the late Chilean dictator, who died without ever going to trial, Habré is being prosecuted for crimes against humanity by a Senegalese court set up at the behest of the African Union – in a test case for African justice. The landmark proceedings, which opened amid riotous scenes in a Dakar tribunal last year, follow a 25-year campaign to bring him to court.

Yes both represent the kind of Africa that the ‘West’ likes to portray – an Africa where all leaders are power-drunk evil dictators, who must be removed from power. An Africa where all our problems are caused by us and never as a result of exploitations from the West. Therefore a story about the real struggles of black South Africans for inclusion in their own country is not worth telling to the world.

Perhaps ‘Kalushi’ would have been worth showing to the world if it had some big shot Hollywood star in lead. After all, we have seen that too many times when big studios from Hollywood take iconic African stories to tell it using their own stars, and in their own way. It happened with Steve Biko (Cry Freedom), Nelson Mandela (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and Invictus), and Idi Amin (The Last King of Scotland) . Who knows, maybe soon it would be Kwame Nkrumah. The beauty of ‘Kalushi’ is that they used local South Africans to tell their own story, and they did it terribly well – just as any Hollywood production would have done!

So what is the West afraid of? Why are they not letting the world see a film such as ‘Kalushi’ ? Is it too much for the world to see the atrocities committed against black South Africans by the whites? Just as the world is often  allowed to see the pain inflected on Africans by Africans, the world must also see films such as ‘Kalushi’!

Starring Thabo Rametsi, Pearl Thusi and Jafta Mamabolo, ‘Kalushi’ is Mandla Dube’s directorial debut. Dube studied cinematography at the American Film Institute (AFI).  He has worked with director F Gary Gray – who recently put together Straight Outta Compton. ‘Kalushi’ was originally intended to be a four-part series for the SABC, but Dube decided otherwise.

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Director Mandla Dube with Florence Masebe at the Cannes screening of ‘Kalushi’

‘Kalushi’ is scheduled to have a limited release on June 16 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, and a nationwide release in South Africa from September.

See photos from the Cannes screening below:

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-Ameyawdebrah.com

 

Kubidyza is a Global Celebrity Blogger, Music Promoter and a Social Media Influencer | Most Influential Blogger In Ghana For Bookings: Kubinho80@gmail.com

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2022 Billboard Music Awards: Full List Of Winners

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The 2022 Billboard Music Awards were held on Sunday night in Las Vegas, and it was a star-studded affair honoring music’s most successful artists.

Sean “Diddy” Combs hosted and executive produced the show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Travis Scott, Bryson Tiller, Jack Harlow, Christian Combs, Teyana Taylor, Becky G, Burna Boy, Dan + Shay, Ed Sheeran, Elle King and Miranda Lambert, Florence + the Machine, Latto, Maxwell, Rauw Alejandro, and Silk Sonic, among many others, performed at the show.

Doja Cat was named top R&B artist during the broadcast and later won best R&B album for Planet Her. Megan Thee Stallion has been named the best female rap artist. Glass Animals was named best rock artist and received the Pepsi Mic Drop Moment for “Heat Waves.”

Below, see the full list of winners.

ARTIST AWARDS

Top Artist
Doja Cat
Drake (WINNER)
Olivia Rodrigo
Taylor Swift
The Weeknd

Top New Artist
Giv?on
Masked Wolf
Olivia Rodrigo (WINNER)
Pooh Shiesty
The Kid Laroi

Top Male Artist
Drake (WINNER)
Ed Sheeran
Justin Bieber
Lil Nas X
The Weeknd

Top Female Artist
Adele
Doja Cat
Dua Lipa
Olivia Rodrigo (WINNER)
Taylor Swift

Top Duo/Group
BTS (WINNER)
Glass Animals
Imagine Dragons
Migos
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak)

Top Billboard 200 Artist
Adele
Drake
Juice WRLD
Morgan Wallen
Taylor Swift (WINNER)

Top Hot 100 Artist
Doja Cat
Drake
Justin Bieber
Olivia Rodrigo (WINNER)
The Weeknd

Top Streaming Songs Artist
Doja Cat
Drake
Lil Nas X
Olivia Rodrigo (WINNER)
The Weeknd

Top Song Sales Artist
Adele
BTS (WINNER)
Dua Lipa
Ed Sheeran
Walker Hayes

Top Radio Songs Artist
Doja Cat
Ed Sheeran
Justin Bieber
Olivia Rodrigo (WINNER)
The Weeknd

Top Billboard Global 200 Artist
Doja Cat
Ed Sheeran
Justin Bieber
Olivia Rodrigo (WINNER)
The Weeknd

Top Billboard Global (Excl. U.S.) Artist
BTS
Dua Lipa
Ed Sheeran (WINNER)
Olivia Rodrigo
The Weeknd

Top Tour
Eagles (Hotel California Tour)
Genesis (The Last Domino? Tour)
Green Day, Fall Out Boy & Weezer (The Hella Mega Tour)
Harry Styles (Love on Tour)
The Rolling Stones (No Filter Tour) (WINNER)

Top R&B Artist
Doja Cat (WINNER)
Giv?on
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak)
Summer Walker
The Weeknd

Top R&B Male Artist
Giv?on
Khalid
The Weeknd (WINNER)

Top R&B Female Artist
Doja Cat (WINNER)
Summer Walker
SZA

Top R&B Tour
Bruno Mars (Bruno Mars at Park MGM) (WINNER)
Omarion & Bow Wow (The Millennium Tour 2021)
Usher (The Vegas Residency)

Top Rap Artist
Drake (WINNER)
Juice WRLD
Lil Baby
Moneybagg Yo
Polo G

Top Rap Male Artist
Drake (WINNER)
Juice WRLD
Polo G

Top Rap Female Artist
Cardi B
Latto
Megan Thee Stallion (WINNER)

Top Rap Tour
J. Cole (The Off-Season Tour)
Lil Baby (The Back Outside Tour)
Omarion & Bow Wow (The Millennium Tour 2021) (WINNER)

Top Country Artist
Chris Stapleton
Luke Combs
Morgan Wallen
Taylor Swift (WINNER)
Walker Hayes

Top Country Male Artist
Chris Stapleton
Luke Combs
Morgan Wallen (WINNER)

Top Country Female Artist
Carrie Underwood
Miranda Lambert
Taylor Swift (WINNER)

Top Country Duo/Group
Dan + Shay (WINNER)
Florida Georgia Line
Zac Brown Band

Top Country Tour
Luke Bryan (Proud to Be Right Here Tour)
Eric Church (Gather Again Tour) (WINNER)
Chris Stapleton (All-American Road Show Tour)

Top Rock Artist
Glass Animals (WINNER)
Imagine Dragons
Machine Gun Kelly
Måneskin
Twenty One Pilots

Top Rock Tour
Genesis (The Last Domino? Tour)
Green Day, Fall Out Boy & Weezer (The Hella Mega Tour)
The Rolling Stones (No Filter Tour) (WINNER)

Top Latin Artist
Bad Bunny (WINNER)
Farruko
Kali Uchis
Karol G
Rauw Alejandro

Top Latin Male Artist
Bad Bunny (WINNER)
Farruko
Rauw Alejandro

Top Latin Female Artist
Kali Uchis (WINNER)
Karol G
Rosalía

Top Latin Duo/Group
Calibre 50
Eslabon Armado (WINNER)
Grupo Firme

Top Latin Tour
Bad Bunny (El Último Tour Del Mundo)
Enrique Iglesias & Ricky Martin (Live in Concert)
Los Bukis (Una Historia Cantada Tour) (WINNER)

Top Dance/Electronic Artist
Calvin Harris
David Guetta
Lady Gaga (WINNER)
Marshmello
Tiësto

Top Christian Artist
Carrie Underwood
Elevation Worship
for King & Country
Lauren Daigle
Ye (WINNER)

Top Gospel Artist
CeCe Winans
Elevation Worship
Kirk Franklin
Maverick City Music
Ye (WINNER)

ALBUM AWARDS

Top Billboard 200 Album
Adele, “30”
Doja Cat, “Planet Her”
Drake, “Certified Lover Boy”
Morgan Wallen, “Dangerous: The Double Album”
Olivia Rodrigo, “SOUR” (WINNER)

Top Soundtrack
“Arcane League of Legends”
“Encanto” (WINNER)
“In the Heights”
“Sing 2”
“Tick, Tick… Boom!”

Top R&B Album
Doja Cat, “Planet Her” (WINNER)
Giv?on, “When It’s All Said and Done… Take Time”
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak), “An Evening With Silk Sonic”
Summer Walker, “Still Over It”
The Weeknd, “Dawn FM”

Top Rap Album
Drake, “Certified Lover Boy” (WINNER)
Moneybagg Yo, “A Gangsta’s Pain”
Rod Wave, “SoulFly”
The Kid Laroi, “F*ck Love”
Ye, “Donda”

Top Country Album
Florida Georgia Line, “Life Rolls On”
Lee Brice, “Hey World”
Taylor Swift, “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)”
Taylor Swift, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” (WINNER)
Walker Hayes, “Country Stuff: The Album”

Top Rock Album
AJR, “OK Orchestra”
Coldplay, “Music of the Spheres”
Imagine Dragons, “Mercury – Act 1”
John Mayer, “Sob Rock”
Twenty One Pilots, “Scaled and Icy” (WINNER)

Top Latin Album
Eslabon Armado, “Corta Venas”
J Balvin, “Jose”
Kali Uchis, :Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞”
Karol G, “KG0516” (WINNER)
Rauw Alejandro, “Vice Versa”

Top Dance/Electronic Album
C418, “Minecraft – Volume Alpha”
FKA Twigs, “Caprisongs”
Illenium, “Fallen Embers” (WINNER)
Porter Robinson, “Nurture”
Rüfüs Du Sol, “Surrender”

Top Christian Album
Carrie Underwood, “My Savior”
CeCe Winans, “Believe for It”
Elevation Worship & Maverick City Music, “Old Church Basement”
Phil Wickham, “Hymn of Heaven”
Ye, “Donda” (WINNER)

Top Gospel Album
CeCe Winans, “Believe for It”
Elevation Worship & Maverick City Music, “Old Church Basement”
Maverick City Music, “Jubilee: Juneteenth Edition”
Maverick City Music & Upperroom, “Move Your Heart”
Ye, “Donda” (WINNER)

SONG AWARDS

Top Hot 100 Song
Doja Cat ft. SZA, “Kiss Me More”
Dua Lipa, “Levitating”
Olivia Rodrigo, “good 4 u”
The Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber, “Stay” (WINNER)
The Weeknd & Ariana Grande, “Save Your Tears”

Top Streaming Song
Dua Lipa, “Levitating”
Glass Animals, “Heat Waves”
Olivia Rodrigo, “good 4 u”
The Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber, “Stay” (WINNER)
The Weeknd & Ariana Grande, “Save Your Tears”

Top Selling Song
BTS, “Butter” (WINNER)
BTS, “Permission to Dance”
Dua Lipa, “Levitating”
Ed Sheeran, “Bad Habits”
Walker Hayes, “Fancy Like”

Top Radio Song
Dua Lipa, “Levitating” (WINNER)
Ed Sheeran, “Bad Habits”
Olivia Rodrigo, “good 4 u”
The Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber, “Stay”
The Weeknd & Ariana Grande, “Save Your Tears”

Top Collaboration
Doja Cat ft. SZA, “Kiss Me More”
Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar & GIV?ON, “Peaches”
Lil Nas X ft. Jack Harlow, “Industry Baby”
The Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber, “Stay” (WINNER)
The Weeknd & Ariana Grande, “Save Your Tears”

Top Billboard Global 200 Song
Dua Lipa, “Levitating”
Ed Sheeran, “Bad Habits”
Olivia Rodrigo, “good 4 u”
The Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber, “Stay” (WINNER)
The Weeknd & Ariana Grande, “Save Your Tears”

Top Billboard Global (Excl. U.S.) Song
BTS, “Butter”
Ed Sheeran, “Bad Habits”
Lil Nas X, “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)”
The Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber, “Stay” (WINNER)
The Weeknd & Ariana Grande, “Save Your Tears”

Top Viral Song
Doja Cat ft. SZA, “Kiss Me More” (WINNER)
Gayle, “Abcdefu”
Glass Animals, “Heat Waves”
Masked Wolf, “Astronaut In The Ocean”
Walker Hayes, “Fancy Like”

Top R&B Song
Doja Cat & The Weeknd, “You Right”
Giv?on, “Heartbreak Anniversary”
Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar & Giv?on, “Peaches”
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak), “Leave the Door Open” (WINNER)
WizKid ft. Justin Bieber & Tems, “Essence”

Top Rap Song
Drake ft. 21 Savage, Project Pat, “Knife Talk”
Drake ft. Future & Young Thug, “Way 2 Sexy”
Lil Nas X ft. Jack Harlow, “Industry Baby” (WINNER)
Masked Wolf, “Astronaut In The Ocean”
Polo G, “Rapstar”

Top Country Song
Chris Stapleton, “You Should Probably Leave”
Jason Aldean & Carrie Underwood, “If I Didn’t Love You”
Jordan Davis ft. Luke Bryan, “Buy Dirt”
Luke Combs, “Forever After All”
Walker Hayes, “Fancy Like” (WINNER)

Top Rock Song
Coldplay X BTS, “My Universe”
Elle King & Miranda Lambert, “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)”
Imagine Dragons, “Follow You”
Måneskin, “Beggin’” (WINNER)
The Anxiety: Willow & Tyler Cole, “Meet Me at Our Spot”

Top Latin Song
Aventura x Bad Bunny, “Volví”
Bad Bunny, “Yonaguni”
Farruko, “Pepas”
Kali Uchis, “Telepatía” (WINNER)
Rauw Alejandro, “Todo De Ti”

Top Dance/Electronic Song
Elton John & Dua Lipa, “Cold Heart – PNAU Remix” (WINNER)
Farruko, “Pepas”
Regard x Troye Sivan x Tate McRae, “You”
Tiësto, “The Business”
Travis Scott & HVME, “Goosebumps”

Top Christian Song
Anne Wilson, “My Jesus”
Ye, “Hurricane” (WINNER)
Ye, “Moon”
Ye, “Off The Grid”
Ye, “Praise God”

Top Gospel Song
Elevation Worship & Maverick City Music ft. Chandler Moore & Naomi Raine, “Jireh”
Ye, “Hurricane” (WINNER)
Ye, “Moon”
Ye, “Off the Grid”
Ye, “Praise God”

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AMVCA8: Full List Of Winners

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The following are the complete winners of the eighth edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards 8 (AMVCA8):

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN MOVIE OR TV SERIES – “Jankariwo” (Odunlade Adekola)

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA (MOVIE/TV SERIES) – “The Rattlesnake – The Ahanna Story” (Osas Ighodaro)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY (MOVIE/TV SERIES) – “Omo Ghetto -The Saga” (Funke Akindele)

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA (MOVIE/TV SERIES) – “The Rattlesnake – The Ahanna Story” (Stan Nze)

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY (MOVIE/TV SERIES) – “Dwindle” (Broda Shaggi/Samuel Perry)

BEST SHORT FILM OR ONLINE VIDEO – “I Am The Prostitute Mama Described” (Taiwo Ogunnimo)

BEST ONLINE SOCIAL CONTENT CREATOR – “Mr Funny” (Oga Sabinus)

BEST DIRECTOR/PRODUCER MOVIE – “The Rattlesnake – The Ahanna Story” – Ramsey Nouah

BEST INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE MOVIE OR TV SERIES (HAUSA) – “Voiceless” (Rogers Ofime)

BEST AFRICA MAGIC ORIGINAL COMEDY SERIES – “The Johnsons” (Rogers Ofime)

BEST AFRICA MAGIC ORIGINAL DRAMA SERIES – “The Rishantes” (Dimbo Atiya)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN MOVIE OR TV SERIES – “Country Hard” (Owowunmi Dada)

BEST ART DIRECTOR MOVIE OR TV SERIES – “Amina” (Tunji Afolayan)

BEST MOVIE SOUTHERN AFRICA – “Hairabeb” (Dantagos Jimmy – Melani)

BEST LIGHTING DESIGNER IN A MOVIE OR TV SERIES – “Nneke The Pretty Serpent” (Mathew Yusuf)

BEST DOCUMENTARY – “If Objects Could Speak” (Saitabao Kaiyare)

BEST SOUND EDITOR MOVIE OR TV SERIES – “Amina” (Jim Lively)

BEST MAKE UP CATEGORY – “Omo Ghetto [The Saga] (Balogun Abiodun)

BEST SOUND TRACK MOVIE OR TV SERIES – Gold Coast Lounge (Pascal Aka & Raquel)

BEST TELEVISION SERIES DRAMA OR COMEDY – “The Mystic River” (Rogeras Ofime)

BEST INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE MOVIE OR TV SERIES (SWAHILI) – “Obambo” (Freddy Feruzi)

BEST INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE MOVIE OR TV SERIES (IGBO) – “Nne-ka” (Uche Nnanna Maduka)

BEST OVERALL MOVIE – “Amina” (Izu Ojukwu & Okey Ogunjiofor

BEST MULTICHOICE TALENT FACTORY – “Engaito” ( Daisy Masembe)

BEST MOVIE WEST AFRICA – “Collison Course” (Bolanle Austen)

BEST MOVIE EAST AFRICA – “The Girl In The Yellow Jumper” (Morocco Omari)

BEST WRITER IN A MOVIE OR TV SERIES – “Introducing The Kujus” (Manie Oiseomaye)

BEST PICTURE EDITOR – “For Maria Ebun Pataki” (Tunde Apalawo”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER – “Rattlesnake – The Ahanna Story” (Muhammed Atta Ahmed)

BEST INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE MOVIE OR TV SERIES – YORUBA – “Alaise” (David Akande)

BEST COSTUME DESIGNER MOVIE OR TV SERIES – “Amina” (Millicent T. Jack)

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Sefa Wins First VGMA Award On Her Birthday

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A wonderful birthday celebration it was for Sefa as the songstress celebrated her birthday in grand style winning the popular Afrobeats Song of the year award at the just ended 2022 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.

Right after she delivered a live rendition of E Choke and Fever to rave reviews on stage at the VGMA’s , the next few minutes saw her snag her first VGMA trophy presented by the South African High Commioner H.E Grace Jeanet Mason.

Being nominated for the first time the ‘E Choke’ hitmaker Sefa beat stiff competition from Davido and Darko Vibes ‘J’Mapelle, Touch It by Kidi, Kuami Euegne’s Dollar on You and more.

Congratulations to Sefa and check out her brand new single ‘Soft Life’ currently climbing trend charts on Tiktok.

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