Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Rock documentary on The Band kicks off Toronto Film Festival
The Toronto International Film Festival opened on a decidedly Canadian note on Thursday with a documentary about influential rockers The Band kicking off 10 days of movies vying for attention in the upcoming Hollywood awards season. "Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band" tells the story of the Canadian songwriter and guitarist from his early years backing Ronnie Hawkins with future members of The Band and their mid-1960s stint backing Bob Dylan as the folk legend made his controversial transition to electrified rock.
'ZeroZeroZero' takes bleak look at cocaine trade in Saviano book adaptation
Ranging from Mexico to Italy, new television series "ZeroZeroZero" looks at the violent and dangerous world of cocaine trafficking, in a fictionalized adaptation of Italian writer Roberto Saviano's book. The eight-part series follows characters from Mexican drug cartels, a Calabrian organized crime group as well as the middlemen all seeking a cut of the lucrative cocaine market.
Actress or spy? Gong Li unveils hidden layers in 'Saturday Fiction'
Chinese actress Gong Li portrays a film and stage star with a hidden agenda in "Saturday Fiction", a black and white historical spy drama set in the run up to the attack on Pearl Harbour. Gong plays acclaimed actress Jean Yu, who, in the first week of December 1941, returns to wartime Shanghai apparently to star in her former lover's play "Saturday Fiction" at the city's Lyceum Theater.
'Bang Bang': Nicki Minaj stuns fans with retirement announcement
Rapper Nicki Minaj took fans by surprise on Thursday with an announcement that she was retiring from the music business to "have my family." Minaj, 36, gave the news to her 20 million Twitter followers, although she had not previously said she was either pregnant or married.
U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky will not challenge assault conviction: lawyer
U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky, who got a suspended sentence for his role in a brawl in Stockholm, will not appeal against his assault conviction, his lawyer said on Wednesday. A$AP Rocky, real name Rakim Mayers, and two of his entourage, were convicted on Aug. 14 of kicking and beating a 19-year-old man after an argument. They had told the court they acted in self-defense.
Hidden figures no more: women shining in Hollywood
Women enjoyed a banner year in Hollywood movies and on television over the past year, notching up record highs in lead roles and gaining ground in influential jobs behind the scenes such as directors and writers, according to two studies published on Wednesday. Box office hits like "Black Panther" and "Crazy Rich Asians" also shattered barriers for black and Asian characters, reflecting the drive for wider changes in the entertainment industry that were fueled by the 2017 sexual misconduct scandal in Hollywood and the #OscarsSoWhite backlash four years ago.
Fashion comes to Venice festival with Instagram star Ferragni's film
Fashion came to the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday when Instagram star Chiara Ferragni took to the red carpet for the premiere of a documentary about her rise to global stardom as a digital influencer. The 32-year old, who counts 17.2 million followers on Instagram, is a celebrity in her native Italy as well as the fashion world, famed for postings her looks online. Portuguese drama 'A Herdade' chronicles one landowner's tale amid change
A landowner must learn to adapt to changes sweeping his country in Portuguese film "A Herdade" (The Domain), a nearly-three hour long drama about a domineering family patriarch. The movie, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Thursday, tells the story of Joao Fernandes, who owns a massive country estate on the southern bank of the River Tagus.
Eleven more women have accused Spanish opera star Placido Domingo of sexual misconduct, allegations that the leading tenor described on Thursday as "riddled with inconsistencies." The accusations, reported by the Associated Press and dating back three decades, follow similar claims published by the news wire in August by more than three dozen other singers, dancers, musicians, voice teachers and backstage staff who said they had witnessed or experienced inappropriate behavior by the singer.
New video animation aims to raise AIDS awareness on Freddie Mercury's birthday
A new video animation featuring two white blood cells in love was released on Thursday to mark what would have been Freddie Mercury's 73rd birthday and help raise awareness of the continued global fight against AIDS. The British singer, songwriter and lead vocalist of the rock band Queen died in 1991 aged 45 due to complications from AIDS.
(With inputs from agencies.)