Thursday, September 27, 2012

PDX Jazz @ Jimmy Mak's Presents...................

Shipp Trio

The Matthew Shipp Trio

Monday, October 15th @ 8 and 9:30pm

Photo Credit: Peter Gannushkin

2013 Portland Jazz Festival Lineup to be Announced at Show
PDX Jazz
, the presenting organization of the Portland Jazz Festival announces The Matthew Shipp Trio as part of the continuing PDX Jazz @ Jimmy Mak's series on Monday, October 15th @ 8 and 9:30pm. The 2013 U.S. Bank Portland Jazz Festival Presented by Alaska Airlines lineup will be announced. 

Shipp, an influential godfather figure in the New York Knitting Factory scene, will be making his first Portland area appearance in nearly 20 years. Drummer Whit Dickey and bassist Michael Bisio round out the trio. The pianist, who released his trio's latest album Elastic Aspects earlier this year, has been carving out a place in the jazz legacy since the mid-eighties. He has recorded on more than thirty albums and was a noted sideman in Roscoe Mitchell's Note Factory and the David S. Ware Quartet-the latter of which he was a member for 16 years, helping to earn the group raves as one of the greatest quartets of modern jazz-before deciding to focus on his own music as a solo performer and band leader.
In light of Shipp's latest release, the second with this trio's lineup following the acclaimed The Art of the Improviser, All About Jazz wrote, "Shipp has emerged as a truly original voice in modern jazz, with a readily identifiable touch, a gift for composing and improvising, and a growing discography which is starting to reflect the tremendous talent that those who have been seeing him live for years have been anxiously awaiting." 

Through constant gigging and exploration of a myriad of playing styles and formats over thirty years, the pianist has achieved a unique musical voice and a dynamic personality in the scene. His work on Hatology in the 1990's helped to solidify his status as a leading figure in jazz, but in 2000 Shipp really began to break out of standard convention. That year, Thirsty Ear Recordings invited Shipp to curate the label's new Blue Series. Under his guidance, this line of releases has served not only to expose burgeoning young musicians and highlight genre innovators, but has also pushed the envelope of what is considered "jazz" by featuring musicians such as DJ Spooky, Antipop Consortium, and Vernon Reid.

On Elastic Aspects, Shipp's piano interweaves among Bisio and Dickey's playing to create a space that alternately stretches and flexes each individual's prowess while remaining a cohesive unity. All About Jazz states, "It [Elastic Aspects] is truly moving music, full of emotion, passion, passion, spirituality, and tenderness," while DownBeat says, "the musicians' attunement to Shipp's structural and relational concerns renders his ideas with immaculate clarity."


The Matthew Shipp Trio
Monday October 15th
Set Times: 8 and 9:30pm

Matthew Shipp - Piano
Michael Bisio - Bass
Whit Dickey - Drums


Grégoire Maret
Tuesday, October 23rd 
Set Times: 8 and 9:30pm

Delfeayo Marsalis
Thursday, October 25th
Two Ticketed Show Times: 7 and 9:30pm

The Clayton Brothers Album Release Performance
in Celebration of The Gathering, Available Soon on ArtistShare

Thursday, November 8th
Two Ticketed Show Times: 7 and 9:30pm 
Ticketing Info:
To purchase tickets, visit:
PDX Jazz Members receive 10% off on Reserved Seating Only

Jimmy Mak's - (503) 295-6542
221 N.W. 10th Ave (between Davis and Everett), Portland, OR

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Third Annual BronzeLens Film Festival Set

Registration Open for Domestic and International Film Screenings, Expert Panels, Master Classes and More 

(Atlanta, GA) September 25, 2012 -- Now in its third year, the BronzeLens Film Festival (BronzeLens) continues to be one the nation's most anticipated film festival events.  The festival takes place November 8-11, 2012 and will offer content for filmmakers, industry professionals, students and the general public.   Attendees may choose from a variety of BronzeLens expert signature panels, workshops, master classes, domestic and international film screenings and get a taste of unique southern hospitality. The BronzeLens 2012 headquarters is the magnificent Atlanta Marriott Marquis located at 265 Peachtree Center Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia.

BronzeLens Festival Highlights
Legendary casting director and producer Reuben Cannon will host "The Producers Roundtable" a groundbreaking session that brings together high-level entertainment executives to share their strategies for producing successful film and television projects. Issa Rae, the producer, director, and lead actor of Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl opens up about her incredible journey to success as a webisode producer.  Award-winning author and playwright Pearl Cleage will discuss her newest project in "From Novel to Screen: The Pearl Cleage Film Project."  And, NAACP Image Award winning producer Roger Bobb will conduct a new workshop "Creating Comedy Shows with Roger Bobb".

This year the Women Superstars Luncheon which has become a BronzeLens favorite for local corporations as a means of exposing employees and clients to the BronzeLens experience will take place on Friday November 9, 2012 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel.   Accomplished women of color in the film and television industry will be honored at this signature event.  This year at the BronzeLens Awards on Saturday November 10, 2012 thebest of the festival filmmakers in their perspective categories and other noteworthy industry leaders will be honored.  Cinema and Social Justice Sunday which takes place on the campus of Spelman College will be produced in conjunction with Center for Civil and Human Rights remains a unique and critical component of the festival.

As an international film festival, BronzeLens re-joins France Atlanta in collaboration to present films from the Francophone world at what is titled "France-Atlanta at the BronzeLens Film Festival."  This festival partnership is dedicated to bringing national and worldwide attention to Atlanta as a center for filmmaking, by and for people of color, shared by France's passion for cinema and its commitment to support diversity in film.

BronzeLens at a Glance
All BronzeLens workshops and Master Classes and onsite registration November 8-10, 2012 from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm will take place at the Festival's headquarters hotel, the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Juried screenings will be shown at the Georgia Pacific Auditorium. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012
  • Opening Plenary: Production in Georgia :  Status Report
  • Film Financing: How to Attract Investors
  • Issa Rae on the Making of Misadventures of  Awkward Black Girl
  • Kathie Fong Yoneida: Getting your Script to The Screen
  • Opening Night Screening World of Coke

Friday, November 9, 2012
  • How to Pitch Your Film to the Media sponsored by the African American Film Critics Association
  • Think Global: International Opportunities  For Entertainment Projects
  • From Novel to Screen : The Pearl Cleage Film Project:  Pearl  Cleage and Ayoka Chenzira

Saturday, November 10, 2012
  • Bus tour of Movie Locations in the ATL / Limited Seating
  • Reuben Cannon and  The Producer's Roundtable
  • Producer's Luncheon
  • Music for Film.TV, Gaming: From Scoring to Licensing
  • Creating Comedy Shows with Roger Bobb
  • African Cinema Roundtable: sponsored by France-Atlanta

Sunday, November 11, 2012
  • BronzeLens Presents: Studio Eleven Films
  • Cinema and Social Justice Sunday: Hosted by the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Screenings  at Sisters Chapel on the Campus of Spelman College
  • Closing Night Screening/Reception- Georgia Power

BronzeLens events will be housed in and around the Atlanta area which represents the "Bronze Ring".  The Atlanta Marriott Marquis serves as Festival Headquarters and other venues include Georgia Pacific Center Auditorium, The World of Coca Cola, Sister's Chapel on the campus of Spelman College, Georgia Power, Morehouse School of Medicine and the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center on the Campus of Morehouse College.  

About the BronzeLens Film Festival
Founded in 2009, The BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta, Georgia is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing national and worldwide attention to Atlanta as a center for film and film production for people of color. Its mission is twofold: to promote Atlanta as the new film Mecca for people of color; and to showcase films and provide networking opportunities that will develop the next generation of filmmakers. Since its inception the BronzeLens Film Festival has evolved as one of the most comprehensive film festivals for filmmakers of color in the United States.   Visit for more information regarding the BronzeLens Film Festival and for registration information.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

UrbanWorld Opens To Rave Reviews!!!!

Urbanworld founder Stacy Spikes, Mara Brock Akil, Debra Lee, Gabrielle Union, Tika Sumpter, Richard Brooks, Gabrielle Glore, Salim Akil and Twinkie Byrd at Opening Night of the 16th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival

NEW YORK, NY (September 21, 2012) - The 16th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival presented by BET Networks opened on Thursday night at AMC 34th Street with the BET Premiere Cinema film 'Being Mary Jane,' an original made for television movie and pilot. On hand to celebrate this world premiere was the film's lead star Gabrielle Union along with cast members Tika Sumpter and Richard Brooks and writer/director powerhouse couple Salim and Mara Brock Akil. BET top execs Debra Lee (Chairman and CEO), Loretha Jones (President of Original Programming), Jeanine Liburd (Exec Pres. of Corporate Communications) and Connie Orlando (VP, Original Programming) were also in the house to present the film, which was met with rave reviews following the screening. ESSENCE entertainment director Cori Murray moderated the cast Q&A afterward.

Additional attendees included: Jacque Reid, Harriette Cole, Twinkie Byrd (casting director, "Being Mary Jane"), Susan Fales-Hill, Jennifer Williams (VH1, "Basketball Wives"), Karen Gravano (VH1, "Mobb Wives"), Taimak (actor, The Last Dragon), Stacy Spikes (founder, Urbanworld), and Gabrielle Glore (executive producer, Urbanworld).  

Photos: Terrence Jennings 

        Mara and Salim Akil                               Gabrielle Union                                            Tika Sumpter

                Twinkie Byrd                       Debra Lee, Stacy Spikes, Loretha Jones    Jeanine Liburd, Gabrielle Glore

Luenell Plays Shrunken Head in Hotel Transylvania

Luenell is so cool she, like several other celebrities, can go by only her first name.

The comedienne, best known for her raunchy standup routines, is also a bonafide actress who has credits that include: Borat, Katt Williams American Hustle, I Hate You Dad with Adam Sandler, Think Like A Man, The Middle, Always Sunny In Philadelphia and more.

On Sept. 28, the hilarious comedienne’s voice can be heard in the 3D animated comedy, Hotel Transylvania, starring Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, CeeLo Green and Selena Gomez.  In the movie, she plays a shrunken head. Yeah, that’s right, a shrunken head. The movie is rated PG.

This movie is targeted to anyone gearing up for Halloween.  Here’s the story: The storyline is that Dracula owns a lavish resort where monsters go to relax without human interference, on one special weekend, he invites some of his best friends (Frankenstein & his wife, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the Werewolf family and more) to come celebrate his daughter Mavis's 118th birthday. But the fly in the ointment is when a human guy wanders into Hotel Transylvania and has a crush on Mavis, which is not something that Dracula favors. 


I caught up Luenell to talk about the film and her career.

DD:   Given your comedy which is not PG, how did you come to do the voice of a shrunken head for a children’s film?

L: Because I don’t have Tourette’s syndrome and I’m not crazy. That doesn’t mean I can’t do the job that is set before me. People are so short-sighted and they pigeonhole you and stereotype you and think that’s all that you can do. That’s not all I can do. I’m glad that Adam Sandler has given me a chance to showcase that.

DD: Tell us about your character – the shrunken head.

L: I don’t want to give up too much of the storyline. I’m just one of many fantastic characters in this film. I know people say it abou their films all the time, but this film is truly amazing. It took eight years to draw it.  It’s also in 3D. How fantastic is that?  It’s a romantic comedy in animated 3D. It’s all for the family. There is something for everyone.

 Characters from Hotel Transylvania

DD: Have you seen the final product yet?

L: Actually, I have not. There have been screenings, but I’ve been on the road doing my standup. But, I’ll see it with my boyfriend this upcoming week.  I gotta pay to go see my own movie. They didn’t have a premiere for the movie, they had a screening, but I was on the road.

DD: You voice a shrunken head. How many voices did you go through before you found the right one to use.

L: Well, you know the director is there and he knows what he wants to hear and what he wants. It’s good to be able to take direction. I can take direction. You know he can just tell me what he wants. I give them what they want.

DD:  Did you change your voice at all?

L: I had to alter my voice a bit. But, even when I do that my fans know it’s my voice. I got an ok on it so I guess I must have done OK.

DD: When are you going to do a set in LA?

L: I have a show coming up in LA at the Hollywood Park Casino with Denise LaSalle. I’m hosting. It’s part of the Hollywood Park Jazz Series. It’s on October 6.

DD: Anything else?

L: I have a project out next month on Oct. 5. It’s the sequel to the Liam Neeson movie, Taken II. They’ve done a sequel and I’m blessed to be a part of it. Taken was a big action film.  I’m also doing a movie directed and written by my good friend Nick Cannon. It’s called School Dance. It’s going to be a blockbuster. It has Kevin Hart, Katt Williams and Mike Epps. It’s so funny!


Mercedes-Benz Celebrates 10 Year Commitment To The Carousel Of Hope Ball

Mercedes-Benz to Auction Limited Edition 2013 G63 AMG designo during Live Auction

(Beverly Hills, CA, September 25, 2012)---The Carousel of Hope, the world’s premiere charity event benefiting childhood diabetes hosted biennially by Barbara Davis, is celebrating ten years of commitment from Mercedes-Benz as presenting sponsor of the gala. Mercedes-Benz has been a proud sponsor of The Carousel of Hope since 2002 making this their fifth consecutive gala.  This year’s event is the 26th gala taking place on Sat., Oct. 20 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. 

As in previous years, Mercedes-Benz will auction off a limited edition vehicle during the live auction. This year’s vehicle will be a 2013 G63 AMG designo valued at $137,000. Host and auctioneer Jay Leno will put the exciting new car up for bid with the hope of raising tremendous funds for children’s diabetes. In addition, Mercedes-Benz will also be auctioning off numerous items during the silent auction including a Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy Integrated Program – a teen driver education and  training course  designed to go beyond the state minimum requirements by providing 30 hours of driving theory and 16 hours of behind-the-wheel lessons, “My First Mercedes-Benz Vehicles” – an SLS AMG kids push car and 300 SL Gullwing pedal car for children, Mercedes-Benz Women's and Men’s Golf Attire, and a Mercedes-Benz Tailgate Party. Mercedes-Benz will also be providing luxury transportation for honorees and committee members at the 26th Carousel of Hope.  

“Mercedes-Benz is proud to sponsor The Carousel of Hope for the fifth consecutive year,” says Jill Martinette, regional marketing manager at Mercedes-Benz.  “The gala is a great opportunity to raise awareness on the impact of diabetes.”

“It has been an honor to partner with Mercedes-Benz since 2002 on Mercedes-Benz Presents The Carousel of Hope,” said Barbara Davis.  “Not only do they make the finest and most beautiful cars in the world, they are a company whose philanthropy reaches around the globe.  Their support has brought us giant steps closer to prevention and the cure for diabetes.”

Jay Leno will encore as Master of Ceremonies at The Carousel of Hope which will honor Oscar®-winning actor, producer, director and philanthropist George Clooney with the “The Brass Ring Award” for his outstanding artistic achievements and unprecedented humanitarian undertakings. Featured performers include Grammy Award-winning musician Neil Diamond and R&B and Pop icon Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds along with other world-renowned artists to be announced.         David Foster and George Schlatter will, respectively, reprise their roles as music director and producer. Past awardees Quincy Jones and Clive Davis, the evening’s Music Chairmen, will also participate in the program.

The legendary, star-studded gala benefits the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes (, the country’s leading care and research center for type 1 diabetes.   

In addition to presenting sponsor Mercedes-Benz, other major sponsors include Guess? Inc., American Airlines, Estee Lauder, Moët Hennessy USA and The Beverly Hilton.

Since its founding 35 years ago by Marvin and Barbara Davis, The Carousel of Hope has raised over $75 million on behalf of the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Denver, Colo.  Over 6,000 children and adults with type 1 diabetes from around the globe visit regularly for specialized care.  The Center also cares for children with type 2 diabetes.  Both forms of the disease are increasing at an epidemic rate.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

2012 Primetime Emmy Award Winners Announced

The 2012 Emmy Awards took place tonight.  The drama, "Homeland," which puts the battle against terrorism on American soil, won big. It was honored as best drama series, along with its stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis who both won statuettes for best actress and best actor in a drama series. Following is a complete list of the winners of Sunday's 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences:

— Drama Series: "Homeland," Showtime.
— Actress, Drama Series: Claire Danes, "Homeland," Showtime.
— Actor, Drama Series: Damian Lewis, "Homeland," Showtime.
— Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad," AMC.
— Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey," PBS.
— Writing, Drama Series: Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff, "Homeland," Showtime.
— Directing, Drama Series: Tim Van Patten, "Boardwalk Empire," HBO.
— Comedy Series: "Modern Family," ABC.
— Actor, Comedy Series: Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men," CBS.
— Actress, Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep," HBO.
— Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Julie Bowen, "Modern Family," ABC.
— Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family," ABC.
— Writing, Comedy Series: Louis C.K, "Louie," FX Networks.
— Directing, Comedy Series: Steven Levitan, "Modern Family," ABC.
— Miniseries or Movie: "Game Change," HBO.
— Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Julianne Moore, "Game Change," HBO.
— Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Kevin Costner, "Hatfields & McCoys," History.
— Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, "American Horror Story," FX Networks.
— Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Tom Berenger, "Hatfields & McCoys," History.
— Directing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Jay Roach, "Game Change," HBO.
— Writing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Danny Strong, "Game Change," HBO.
— Reality-Competition Program: "The Amazing Race," CBS.
— Host, Reality-Competition Program: Tom Bergeron, "Dancing With the Stars," ABC.
— Variety, Music or Comedy Series: "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," Comedy Central.
— Writing for a Variety Special: Louis C.K., "Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre," FX Networks.
— Directing, Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Glenn Weiss, 65th Annual Tony Awards, CBS.

Gregory Porter Heats Up The Mint in Los Angeles


It was literally standing room only at The Mint Saturday night as jazz singer Gregory Porter took the stage and performed before an appreciative and enthusiastic sold out crowd.

In the tiny, but popular Pico Boulevard venue Porter, wearing his signature bow tie and black hat, didn’t disappoint as he flowed in, out and between some of his most popular songs.

It was already a warm, humid night in Los Angeles, but Porter brought even more heat with his luscious lyrics and tight band that included a bass, piano, drums and a bad-ass sax bringing up the rear.

His style has been described as shades of Donny Hathaway and Bill Withers and Nat King Cole.  That’s high praise, indeed.  However, Porter’s style is clearly his own.  His music has depth and emotion.
 Some artists are only good on their CDs after they’ve been enhanced with technology. Porter’s voice is clear and present. His showmanship and warm repartee with his audience makes him seem like an old friend.  Porter’s show was nothing short of impressive! 

A Los Angeles native who was raised in Bakersfield, but now resides in Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, Porter has two CDs to his credit, his 2010 debut, Water and his latest offering, Be Good. However, the evening felt like the tall, burly singer was presenting a decades-long discography.

Of course, he performed songs from both CDs.  His turn on the hip On The Way to Harlem, 1960 What and Be Good (Lions Song), sent the crowd whirling.

But they were just as excited to hear the intimate Illusion, as well as Real Good Hands and Painted on Canvas.

The Grammy-nominated recording artist is known for his simmering ballads, as well as up-tempo grooves. He’s just as effective doing both.

What a great night of music!!!

Some music critics have been skeptical about  where music is going. Jazz enthusiasts and critics can rest easy.  The genre is safe in Gregory Porter’s hands.

Urbanworld Announces 2012 Festival Winners

NEW YORK, NY (September 23, 2012) – The 16th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival, presented by BET Networks, has announced the winners of the narrative feature, documentary feature, narrative short, screenplay, teleplay and audience award categories. The five-day festival was held September 19-23 and concluded today with an awards reception at Tribeca Grill Loft, sponsored by Warner Bros. Pictures and HBO® and hosted by actors Stephen Hill (Barbasol) and Tracy Heggins (The Last / First Kiss, Cherry Waves). Urbanworld, which screened 49 films this year (including 17 world premieres), is the largest internationally competitive festival dedicated to the exhibition of independent cinema by and about people of color.

The 16th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival winners are: 

Best Narrative Feature

Directed by Joshua Sanchez

Honorable Mention:
Wolf – Directed by Ya’Ke Smith

Best Narrative Short

Directed by Jesse Atlas

Honorable Mention:
“Forever In Hiatus” - Directed by Andy Nguyen

Best Documentary Feature

Directed by Byron Hurt

Honorable Mention:
Jake Shimabukuro:  Life on 4 Strings - Directed by Tadashi Nakamura

Best Screenplay

Written by Peter Lord

Honorable Mention:
Escaping Bushwick - Written by Javier Ortiz

Best Teleplay

Written by Pauline Gray

Audience Award

Directed by Ralph Scott

DOIN’ IT IN THE PARK – Best Feature
Co-Directed by Kevin Couliau & Bobbito Garcia


The 16th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival Jurors are:

  • Dori Begley, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions, Magnolia Pictures
  • Nikkole Denson-Randolph, Vice President, Specialty & Alternative Content, AMC Theatres
  • Lisa Cortes, Producer, Cortes Films
  • Rashaad Ernesto Green, Writer/Director, Mi Alma Films
  • James Lopez, Senior Vice President, Production, Screen Gems / Sony Pictures Entertainment

  • Artel Great, Award Winning Filmmaker & Film Historian
  • Nick Hall, Vice President, HBO Entertainment
  • Niija Kuykendall, Vice President of Production, Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Tambay Obenson, Chief Editor, Shadow & Act
  • Frida Torresblanco, Producer, Braven Film

  • Michael Eric Dyson, Author, Professor, & Cultural Critic
  • Jackie Glover, Vice President, Documentary Films, HBO
  • Carleen L. Hsu, Producer, The Kitchen Sync Group, Inc.

  • Franklin Leonard, Vice President, Creative Affairs, Overbrook Entertainment
  • Connie Orlando, Vice President, Original Programming, BET Networks

  • Jacque Edmonds Coffer, Executive Producer, Let’s Stay Together, BET
  • Jocelyn Freid, Vice President, Original Programming, BET Networks
  • Erica Montolfo, Executive Producer, The Game, BET

For more information on the Urbanworld Film Festival, visit

The Urbanworld® Film Festival, founded in 1997 by Stacy Spikes, is the largest internationally competitive festival of its kind. The five-day festival includes narrative features, documentaries, and short films, as well as panel discussions, live staged screenplay readings, and the Urbanworld® Digital track focused on digital and social media.  Over the last fifteen years, Hollywood studios, indie film distributors, and established and emerging filmmakers have consistently chosen Urbanworld® to premiere box office and award-winning hits.  Urbanworld® has also provided a platform for some of today's leading brands seeking to reach key influencers across the industry and within the consumer marketplace.  The Urbanworld® Film Festival is an initiative of the Urbanworld® Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization that endeavors to consistently manifest its mission of redefining and advancing the roles of multicultural constituents in contemporary filmed entertainment.  By implementing initiatives that actively support and develop content creators of color, Urbanworld significantly contributes to the evolution of the media and entertainment landscape and the diversity that it reflects.  Gabrielle Glore serves as Executive Producer & Head of Programming for the Urbanworld Film Festival.  The festival website is

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions:, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fox Searchlight Pictures Set To Release 'Hitchcock'

Directed by:
Sacha Gervasi

Screenplay by:
John J. McLaughlin

Based on the book:
Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello

Produced by:
Ivan Reitman, Tom Pollock, Joe Medjuck, Tom Thayer, Alan Barnette

Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Danny Huston, Toni Collette, Jessica Biel, Michael Stuhlbarg, James D'Arcy, Michael Wincott, Richard Portnow, Kurtwood Smith

HITCHCOCK is a love story about one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century, Alfred Hitchcock and his wife and partner Alma Reville.
The film takes place during the making of Hitchcock’s seminal movie Psycho.

The film will be a limited platform release.

Chrysler Group LLC Reports Sales Increase

Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 148,472 units, a 14 percent increase compared with sales in August 2011 (130,120 units), and the group’s best August sales since 2007.

The Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and Fiat brands each recorded year-over- year sales gains in August compared with the same month a year ago. The Fiat brand’s 34 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand for the month. August marked Chrysler Group’s 29th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.

The Dodge brand produced three record-setting models while registering the largest sales volume of any Chrysler Group brand in August. The Dodge Journey full-size crossover, the most versatile and affordable crossover in America, set an all-time sales record while the sporty Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan and Dodge Challenger muscle car each set a sales record for the month of August.

The FIAT, Chrysler and Jeep brands also produced record-setting models in August. The Fiat 500 set an all-time sales record with its 34 percent sales gain while the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan and the Jeep Wrangler established sales records for the month of August.

“Our Iron Man streak continued last month as we posted our 29th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand and Head of U.S. Sales. “Our hard work over the past few years is starting to pay some dividends in our sales growth, quality awards and profitability. Not to mention, an incredibly resilient U.S. new vehicle sales industry doesn’t hurt either.”

Chrysler Group’s 14 percent increase in August was driven in part by sales of the all-new Dodge Dart compact sedan (3,045 units). Dart sales were up 294 percent in August compared with the previous month of July, as the Belvidere, Ill. assembly plant continues to ramp up Dart production.

The Chrysler 300 flagship sedan, with its substantial 65 percent increase, contributed to Chrysler Group’s August increase, as did the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans, each posting double-digit percentage gains for the month. The Jeep Grand Cherokee, with a 13 percent hike, had its best August in six years while the Ram pickup truck extended its lengthy streak of consecutive year-over-year sales gains with a 19 percent increase in August.

Chrysler Group finished the month with a 66-days supply of inventory (362,407 units). U.S. industry sales figures for August are projected at an estimated 14.6 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).

August 2012 U.S. Sales Highlights by Brand

FIAT Brand

FIAT brand sales, up 34 percent compared with the same month a year ago, were an all-time sales record in August. Sales of the Fiat 500 Cabrio were up 37 percent versus the same month last year, while the Fiat 500 Abarth, the ultimate high-performance small car, recorded a 22 percent increase compared with sales during the previous month of July. The Fiat 500 was one of three Chrysler Group models to rank highest in their segment in Strategic Vision’s 2012 Total Quality Index in August. The Fiat 500 was ranked first in the Small Car segment.

The FIAT Brand introduced the new 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo in August, the fourth model in the expanding FIAT brand product lineup and one of the most affordable turbo-charged vehicles in America. The Fiat 500 Turbo features a 135-horsepower 1.4-liter MultiAir® Turbo engine, sport-tuned suspension, track-proven brakes, dynamic exterior design and sport-styled interior. The new Fiat 500 Turbo answers the call for enthusiasts who are drawn to the Italian style of the Fiat 500 but want more power and performance for their daily drive.

Chrysler Brand

Chrysler brand sales were up 25 percent, the brand’s best August sales in five years and its 14th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Sales of the Chrysler 300 flagship sedan were up 65 percent, the full-size sedan’s best August sales in five years. The Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan contributed to the brand’s sales gain by setting a sales record for the month of August. The Chrysler Town & Country minivan, which offers families versatility, luxury, and convenience at a value, logged a double-digit sales increase, its best August sales in six years and second best sales month this year.

Ram Truck Brand

The Ram pickup truck extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 28-consecutive months in August. Sales of the Ram pickup truck, Chrysler Group’s volume leader, were up 19 percent in August compared with the same month a year ago. It was the pickup truck’s best August sales performance since 2007. Of the Ram 1500 sales, the regular cab pickups posted the largest percentage sales increase in August, while the crew cab trucks led in volume. The Ram Light Duty, Heavy Duty and Chassis Cab pickup trucks posted year-over-year sales increases in August. The Ram Cargo Van posted a 53 percent sales increase compared with the previous month of July.

The Ram Truck brand, which recorded its best August sales in four years, introduced its new 2013 Ram 1500 to the automotive media in August underscoring the model’s best-in-class fuel economy, state-of-the-art technology, and class-exclusive features. Production of the Ram begins this month and is expected to arrive in dealer showrooms in October.

Dodge Brand

Dodge brand sales increased 13 percent, the brand’s best August sales since 2005 and its second best sales month this year. Dodge brand sales of 47,348 units represented the largest sales volume of any Chrysler Group brand in August. Sales of the all-new Dodge Dart compact sedan soared 294 percent in its third month of sales. As Dart production continues to ramp up in the Belvidere, Ill. assembly plant, a full, multifaceted marketing campaign will launch this month, following the 90-second “How to Change Cars Forever” commercial that debuted in July.

As sales of the new Dart heat up, three Dodge models set sales records in August. The Dodge Journey, the most versatile and affordable crossover in America, set an all-time sales record with its hefty 58 percent increase in August. The sporty Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan and Dodge Challenger muscle car each set sales records for month of August. Not to be outdone by the passenger cars, the Dodge Grand Caravan had its best August in seven years. In fact, the Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans each logged double-digit sales increases in August.

The Dodge Charger took home a Strategic Vision 2012 Total Quality Award in the Large Car segment, complementing its 30 percent sales increase in August, while the Dodge brand was cited as the most improved brand in the industry.

Jeep® Brand
Jeep brand sales were up 5 percent, the brand’s best August sales in nine years and its 28th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Jeep Wrangler, the brand’s volume leader in August, set a sales record for the month of August. Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the most awarded SUV ever, were up 13 percent, its best August sales in six years. Sales of the Jeep Liberty were up 15 percent in August compared with the same month last year. It was the Liberty’s best August since 2006.

The Grand Cherokee won a Total Quality Award in the Medium SUV segment from Strategic Vision in August. Strategic Vision’s Total Quality Index reflects all aspects of buying, owning and driving a vehicle as a holistic measure, and encompasses positive and negative experiences including reliability, driving excitement, emotional attachment and overall sales and service satisfaction.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gyllenhaal and Pena Star in End of Watch

End of Watch is a gritty police drama that follows the lives of two patrol officers played authentically by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena.

Gyllenhaal, who is an executive producer and Pena play bonded for life partners Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala, respectively. The two document their daily activities via a video camera as they patrol the streets of South Central.

Their mission as police officers is not only to protect and serve, but to also have each other’s back to make sure they both make it home at the End of Watch.

The raw action is in your face and the stories and situations aren’t very pretty. The officers have formed a bond that allows them to function as a unit in the face of danger, knowing full well, at any moment, they could be called on to lay down their lives.  The movie takes the audience into the city’s darkest, most violent streets and back alleys,
and the brave men and women patrolling them.

The movie is written, produced and directed by Michael Ayer (Training Day), who is no stranger to LAPD based gritting dramas. Ayer moved to the mean streets of LA as a teenager. The experiences of his youth helped shape his artistic vision and his inside knowledge and affection for the culture of Los Angeles can be seen throughout his work.

I caught up with Gyllenhaal (JG), Pena (MP) and Ayer (DA) to talk about the making of the film, set for nationwide release on Sept. 21. 

Q: How long did you do research for this film and what did you do to prepare?

JG: We spent five months on the streets with LAPD. We did ride-alongs. We did fight training. After five months of being around the community, it changed my life. My life as a person changed. This was a once in a lifetime experience.

MP: Well, actually we didn’t do fight training. We did sparring. That’s a lot different from fight training.

JG: Yeah, it is. I got beat up.

Q:  Was this like a boyhood cop and robbers dream for you?

MP: This is a movie I hold close to my heart. It’s not often you get characters like this.   It’s our movie. You don’t always get that.

Q: Was there a lot of rehearsal to prepare?

MP: We did  a lot of rehearsals to know what it’s like to be in the inner city.

JG:  David Ayer (the director) actually grew up as a white kid in South Central. He was raised in Hispanic culture. 

Q: What was your relationship while shooting the film?

MP:  We are completely different people. The first two months was difficult. The two months helpedme train in the streets and to do the fighting, um, sparring training.
Soon it became, you know, like chill. It wasn’t this Hollywood thing. It was such an experience.

Q: How long was the shoot?

MP: We shot in 22 days.  We shot in dangerous neighborhoods

Q: Describe some of those moments.

JG: There was a time I was lone. Michael had left just 15 minutes before because he needed to go get his son. There was some sort of shooting. When we got there we realized someone had thrown rocks through a window, but it looked like gunshots. We got a call about a stolen vehicle when it ran right past us.  So, it ended up on the tracks and a train was coming. I was thinking, “Am I in a Denzel Washington movie?”  They had to move the stolen vehicle off the track. I mean, it was literally 30 seconds out before the train would have hit.

Q: So, talk about the ride-alongs.

JG: The first one I went on somebody was murdered. I went on ride-alongs where there was domestic violence and stolen vehicles. One time there was a domestic violence call between two dudes.

MP: I saw someone who was shot in the face.

Q: Your thought about police officers.

MP: You have officers who really want to take care of the neighborhood.  The criminals are a small part of it.

Q: Jake, talk about your experience making the film.

JG:  This movie was from the moment I started….it was like…well, I first met David (Ayer) his wife was cooking me a meal, the kids were running around, friends were around. This movie changed my life. It was such a family to me.  The culture was so inspiring.

Q: What do you think people will take away from the film?

MP: Maybe people will appreciate cops a bit more. 


Q: David, this is an interesting film.

DA: This is cops filming themselves. I had never seen that before.

Q: David, why did you want to tell this story?

DA: (he turns to his friend, Jamie, who for eight years used to work the gang division in South Central) I did it for this guy, he says pointing to Jamie. This guy right here is why I did it. He worked gangs for eight years. He worked it with a friend of his named Darren, who was black. He got grief. He was told he’s not supposed to work with a black copy. Jamie didn’t care. He’s cool! 

Q: Who are you in all this?

DA: I grew up in South Central. I used to run from the cops. I got beat black and blue from LAPD.

Q: The partnership in the movie is white/Hispanic.

DA:  My wife is Mexican. It’s a culture. I’m familiar with the culture. It’s the changing  face of LAPD.

Q: You seem to have an affinity for this kind of film.

DA: I hope I can hang up my LAPD. I want to do a hardcore gangsta movie with no cops in it.

Q: What do you hear from police officers about the film?

DA: They say, finally somebody got it right.

Produced by John Lesher, Nigel Sinclair and Matt Jackson, with a cast headed by Jake
Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, and featuring Anna Kendrick, America Ferrera, Cody Horn, Natalie Martinez, and Frank Grillo, END OF WATCH (Open Road) is a powerful story of family, friendship, love, honor and courage.

End of Watch is RATED R.