Tuesday, April 28, 2015

'Immediate Family,' Directed By Phylicia Rashad, Opens May 3 At Mark Taper Forum

L-R: Cynda Williams (background), Bryan Terrell Clark, Shanésia Davis, Mark Jude Sullivan (background), J. Nicole Brooks and Kamal Angelo Bolden in Paul Oakley Stovall’s “Immediate Family,” directed by Phylicia Rashad, playing April 22 through June 7, 2015, at the CTG/Mark Taper Forum.

                “Immediate Family,” a biting new comedy written by Paul Oakley Stovall and directed by Phylicia Rashad,  opens at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum on Sunday, May 3 at 7 p.m. Performances continue through June 7, 2015. (Previews began April 22.)
The play explores evolving ideas of marriage and family. When the Bryant siblings come together for the first time in five years to attend a wedding, the family reunion quickly becomes a hilarious family showdown. Secrets are revealed and long-held beliefs are challenged as a spirited game of cards brings all of the family dysfunctions to the table.
The cast for “Immediate Family” includes Kamal Angelo Bolden, J. Nicole Brooks, Bryan Terrell Clark, Shanésia Davis, Mark Jude Sullivan and Cynda Williams.
Sets for “Immediate Family” are by John Iacovelli, costumes by ESOSA, lights by Elizabeth Harper, sound is by Joshua Horvath with wigs and hair by Carol F. Doran. The production stage manager is David Blackwell.
 For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 628-2772.

Robey Theatre's 'The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel' Set To Play National Black Theatre Festival

Robey Receives Academic Recognition
            The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel, the 20th Anniversary production of Robey Theatre Company that was a critical and audience favorite, and that played an extended sold-out engagement at Los Angeles Theatre Center in late 2014, has been chosen as an official selection of the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C. It will play there August 3 through August 8, 2015.
            The play, written by Levy Lee Simon and directed by Ben Guillory, tells the story of the people who built and ran the famous Dunbar Hotel, and of the famous people who performed and stayed there.

            For information regarding tickets, go to www.nbtf.org

LAWTF 'Celebration' Set For June 19 In Culver City

For one very special night, the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival (LAWTF)  comes to Culver City for a unique performance on Friday, June 19, 2015 at 8 p.m. The venue will be the Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232. The show will be hosted by Hattie Winston (Becker) and Joyce Guy (Parenthood).

The theme for the evening will be “Celebration: Steel Drums, Ballet Slippers and Resilience!” Six of LAWTF’s encore performers will be featured. Works are excerpted and include:

Wendy Hammers (RIPE): Part stand-up confessional, part booty-shakin’ biography, RIPE is a juicy dance with words, a celebration of the fleeting nature of life itself.

Juliette Jeffers (Pan Gyul): A Trinidadian woman who loves to play the steel drums in the 1950s deals with the fact that playing the drums was meant exclusively for men at that time.

Florence LaRue (Just As I Am): Ms. LaRue, a founding member of the legendary and award-winning pop vocal group The 5TH Dimension, gives a glimpse into the life of the woman, not the celebrity.

Sharrell D. Luckett (YoungGiftedandFat): Once over 100 pounds heavier, Sharrell serves up interesting insights on her emotional struggle to adjust to life after her major weight loss.

Tracy Silver (Motion Cures): A misunderstood child in a dysfunctional family shares how the beauty and grace of ballet saved her life.

Jozanne Marie (Beautiful): Jamaican-born, Jozanne shares her brave story of survival, faith and victory in a personal story about a girl, an island and a secret.

The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, a non-profit arts organization, was founded by Executive Producer Adilah Barnes and Miriam Reed.

“Celebration: Steel Drums, Ballet Slippers and Resilience!” marks the LAWTF’s fifth consecutive annual program for residents of Culver City. This performance is made possible in part by the Culver City Performing Arts Grant Program with support from Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Tickets for the performance are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and $18 for students, seniors, and groups of 10 or more.

Reservations: (818) 760-0408. Online reservations are available at http://www.lawtf.org

To join and follow LAWTF on Facebook and Twitter, click on their links at http://www.lawtf.org

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fargas Named Brand Ambassador For COZI TV

Antonio Fargas , best known as "Huggy Bear" from   Starsky & Hutch,   has signed on as the first brand ambassador for NBC's COZI TV.

In this role, he'll star in exclusive musical promos for the network, which airs iconic series including   Starsky & Hutch   as well as   Magnum, P.I., Charlie's Angels, The Bionic Woman, Six Million Dollar Man   and   Lone Ranger,   plus classic movies.

Fargaas kicked off his relationship with COZI TV on Monday, with the premiere of the first of three network identity spots featuring Fargas and his swing band, The New Jump Blues (watch it below). The musical promos feature soundtracks created exclusively forCOZI TV. The other two promos will premiere later in the year. 
In his new role as brand ambassador, Fargas will also host other projects for the network.
"We are thrilled to have Antonio be part of the COZI TV family," said   Diane Petzke,  director of programming and promotion. "Antonio's career embodies our programming philosophy and the warm, inviting and laid-back attitude of our network."

After  Starsky & Hutch  ended its run in 1979, Fargas continued his stage, film and television career with roles in such movies as   Foxy Brown, Don't be a Menace  and  Car Wash   and appearances on shows including  All My Children, House of Lies, Miami Vice, Lie to Me   and  Everybody Hates Chris.

COZI TV launched on Jan. 1, 2013, on the multicast channels of the NBC Owned Television Stations and is now available in about 80 million homes nationally.
Story written by The Hollywood Reporter Staff  4/20/2015 9:10am PDT 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

'Mad Max: Fury Road' Set To Open May 15

Synopsis:  From director George Miller, originator of the post-apocalyptic genre and mastermind behind the legendary “Mad Max” franchise, comes “Mad Max: Fury Road,” a return to the world of the Road Warrior, Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy).

Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa(Charlize Theron). They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne)from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord marshals all his gangs and pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows.
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD opens nationwide on May 15th!
2Pac’s ”California Love” Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDZ961xhNEo
Mad Max: Fury Road ‘Legacy’ Featurettehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-V16V3M23U


Thursday, April 16, 2015

'Rock My Soul' Tribute For Pastor Andrae Crouch

Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans
Donnie McClurkin, CeCe Winans and Marvin Winans 
Honor Their Friend and Mentor in a Musical Tribute during
Cleveland Rock Week

Recently, the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame and Museum rolled out the red carpet for gospel legend Andrae’ Crouch during the Rock My Soul: Gospel Music Celebration. Once the tickets were made available to the public they were gone in 12 minutes, needless to say, the house was packed. Some of Crouch’s long-time friends were on hand for the special occasion and everyone who turned out was there to remember all that he contributed to the music industry.  Crouch’s influence reached beyond the walls of the church and was woven throughout mainstream entertainment.  Crouch’s legacy lives on as his music is still being sung in churches around the world.
The seven-time Grammy winner was honored by musical greats Donnie McClurkin, CeCe Winans and Marvin Winans who all acknowledge Crouch as the person who paved the way for them.  “He set the standard so high for us and we’re still trying to reach that level,” says CeCe Winans. What was billed as a tribute concert turned into touching moments filled with stories of humble beginnings, laced with laughter and tears as God’s presence settled into the atmosphere. 
“Andrae’ Couch made an indelible impression on the way we write, the way we do harmonies, chords and structure,” says Marvin Winans
Where would Donnie McClurkin be today had a man named Andrae Crouch not stopped to pray for an eleven year old boy after a concert simply asking, “God give to him what you gave to me?”  McClurklin says, “After he prayed for me God gave me the gift to play the piano and that’s how I learned to sing.”
For those who couldn’t make it to Cleveland, truly missed a musical trip down memory lane, but can enjoy highlights of the evening by viewing the following links:

Pickens and Avery To Be Honored At 'Giving Back'

James Pickens, Jr., and Margaret Avery will be honored at the 16th Annual Roast/Toast sponsored by the Giving Back Corporation, Saturday, Apr. 25, 5 p.m., Doubletree by Hilton 6161 Centinela Avenue, Culver City, CA.  Ticket prices $100 and $75.  Telma Hopkins is the evenings’ hostess while Willard Pugh The Colored Purple will provide  the entertainment. 

James Pickens, Jr. is probably best known for his role as Dr. Webber on the long running hit ABC Show Grey’s Anatomy.  Margaret Avery is seen weekly on BET’s smash Being Mary Jane.

Giving Back Corporation was started 18 years ago, by Founder, and Executive Director, Ken Sagoes.   “Each year we are so pleased that we have the previous year’s honorees return and pass our torch onto the new recipients.”  States Sagoes.   “Each year, because of Giving Back, we are able to give financial aid to many urban students to assist with books, computers, lodging, etc.”  The Giving Back Corporation Scholarship Program has provided support to over 200 students over the 16 years.  The students have completed studies with Howard University, UCLA, UCS, Harvard, Yale, Pepperdine, etc. 

Past honorees have included Harold Wheeler Dancing With The Stars, Barbara Montgomery Amen, Ted Lange Loveboat, Ruby Dee, Bill Duke, Dick Anthony Williams, and Irma P. Hall The Ladykillers.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Riviera Maya Film Fest Announces Program

More than 70 Films from Around the World, Including the Critically Acclaimed ‘Burying the Ex’ and Asia Argento’s ‘Incompresa,’ Have Been Selected To Screen During the 2015 Riviera Maya Film Festival

LOS ANGELES, CA (April 13, 2015) – The Riviera Maya Film Festival (RMFF) today announced its official program of domestic and international films to be screened at this year’s annual event (April 23rd–29th). Continuing its mission to promote and distribute the most outstanding productions of the global film industry, the fourth edition of the RMFF will feature three Mexican-production world premieres, 53 international premieres in Mexico, a wide variety of Latin American premieres and about 200 free screening sessions compose our program.

The competitive sections of the Festival are Mexican Platform, in which the jury bestows two Kukulkan Awards endowed with 300,000 MXN each and a Kukulkan Youth Jury Award, endowed with 100,000 MXN; the RivieraLAB/Co-production Forum, where two selected projects will receive a financial incentive of 200,000 MXN each; and the RivieraLAB/Work in Progress, where two selected projects will receive a financial incentive of 100,000 MXN each. In total, the Festival grants 1,300,000 MXN in awards and prizes.

"We are constantly trying to create a festival that has what is important: a solid program with guests that represent it. We will have 70 films, from which 53 are premiering nationwide. Thus, RMFF brings an added value to the people and visitors of Riviera Maya", said Paula Chaurand, director of the festival.

"What is important about festivals, film shows and events that promote national film production, is not for them to be numerous, but to have an identity of their own,” said Cristina Prado Arias, Director for Cultural Film Promotion. “That is the match point of this festival –RMFF, as it was born with an identity that has respected and reinforced.”

"The importance of RivieraLAB lies in the fact that, through its activities, incentives and support for creators, it has achieved to get films released in and out of the country.” Said Sandra Gómez, RivieraLAB chief coordinator.

The Riviera Maya Film Festival will take place in Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, from April 23rd to the 29th.

Below you can find a selection of the films which will be shown at the 2015 Riviera Maya Film Festival:

·       Burying the Ex (2014, United States) Director: Joe Dante 
·       Elvira, te daría mi vida pero la estoy usando (2014, Mexico) Director: Manolo Caro 
·       Incompresa (2014, Italy / France) Director: Asia Argento 

The board composed by Maximiliano Cruz, Fernando del Razo and Claudio Zilleruelo has chosen 14 films from a total of 71 national films entering the call. All corresponding screenings will include special guests. The selected films are:

·       Alexfilm (2015, Mexico) Director: Pablo Chavarría 
·       El regreso del muerto (2014, Mexico) Director: Gustavo Gamou 
·       El señor de las 3 caídas (2015, Mexico) Director: Roberto Olivares Ruiz *World Premiere 
·       El silencio de la princesa (2014, Mexico) Director: Manuel Cañibe 
·       Ícaros (2015, France / Mexico) Director: Pedro González Rubio 
·       Juanicas (2014, Canada / Mexico) Director: Karina García Casanova
·       La maldad (2015, Mexico) Director: Joshua Gil 
·       Los muertos (2014, Mexico) Director: Santiago Mohar Volkow 
·       Lucifer (2014, Belgium / Mexico) Director: Gust Van den Berghe 
·       Me quedo contigo (2014, Mexico) Director: Artemio Narro 
·       Memoria oculta (2014, Mexico) Director: Eva Villaseñor 
·       Muchachas (2015, Mexico) Director: Juliana Fanjul 
·       Noche de resurrecciones (2015, Mexico) Director: Raúl Rico *World Premiere 
·       Plan sexenal (2014, Mexico) Director: Santiago Cendejas 

The selected films deal with the juncture issues of today’s social structure. Planetarium takes a stand before aspects of the world: political, cultural, historical, social and environmental. The selected films are:

·       Atlas (2014, France) Director: Antoine d'Agata
·       La obra del siglo (2015, Argentina/Cuba/Switzerland/Germany) Director: Carlos Machado Quintela
·       Of Men and War (2014, France Switzerland/United States) Director: Laurent Bécue-Renard
·       Over the Years (2015, Austria) Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
·       The Postman's White Nights (2014, Russia) Director: Andrei Konchalovsky
·       Violencia (2015, Colombia / México) Director: Jorge Forero *Screening will be attended by special guests

A showcase of diverse outlooks aimed to mass audiences. Films arriving from diverse territories proffer ways, perhaps unheard, to entertainment. The selected films are:

·       3 Hearts (2014, France/Germany/Belgium) Director: Benoît Jacqot
·       Among the Living (2014, France) Directors: Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury
·       Buzzard (2014, U.S.A.) Director: Joel Potrykus
·       Caprice (2015, France) Director: Emmanuel Mouret *Screening will be attended by special guests
·       Cub (2014, Belgium) Director: Jonas Govaerts
·       Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2 (2014, Hong Kong/China) Director: Johnnie To
·       Fires on the Plain (2014, Japan) Director: Shin'ya Tsukamoto
·       Girlhood (2014, France) Director: Céline Sciamma *Screening will be attended by special guests
·       Goodnight Mommy (2014, Austria) Directors: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz *Screening will be attended by special guests
·       Los hongos (2014, Colombia/France/Argentina/Germany) Director: Óscar Ruiz Navia *Screening will be attended by special guests
·       Queen and Country (2014, Ireland/France/Rumania) Director: John Boorman
·       Results (2015, EEUU) Director: Andrew Bujalski *Screening will be attended by special guests
·       The Golden Era (2014, China/Hong Kong) Director: Ann Hui
·       The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq (2014, France) Director: Guillaume Nicloux
·       The Midnight After (2014, Hong Kong) Director: Fruit Chan
·       Tokyo Tribe (2014, Japan) Director: Sion Sono
·       Victoria (2015, Germany) Director: Sebastian Schipper *Screening will be attended by special guests
·       Slow West (2015, United Kingdom-New Zeland) Director: John Maclean

A film panorama for international film creators. The section exhibits alternative ways to tell stories, produce films and approach film language and diverse film genres.  The selected films are:

       Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories (2015, Vietnam/France/Germany/Holland) Director: Phang Dang Di
       Fort Buchanan (2014, France/Tunisia) Director: Benjamin Crotty *Screening will be attended by special guests
       Heaven Knows What (2014, United States) Directors: Joshua and Ben Safdie *Screening will be attended by special guests
       Hide and Seek (2014, United Kingdom/United States) Director: Joanna Coates
       In the Basement (2014, Austria) Director: Ulrich Seidl
       Iris (2014, United States) Director: Albert Maysles
       La mujer de los perros (2015, Argentina) Directors: Laura Citarella and Veronica Llinás 
       Le Paradis (2014, France) Director: Alain Cavalier
       Lulú (2014, Argentina) Director: Luis Ortega *Screening will be attended by special guests
       Mar (Chile / Argentina) Director: Dominga Sotomayor
       Meurtre à Pacot (2014, Haiti/France/Norway) Director: Raoul Peck *Screening will be attended by special guests
       Near Death Experience (2014, France) Directors: Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern
       Red Amnesia (2014, China) Director: Wang Xiaoshuai
       Saint Laurent (2014, France/Belgium) Director: Bertrand Bonello *Screening will be attended by special guests
       Taxi (2015, Iran). Director: Jafar Panahi
       The Forbidden Room (2015, Canada) Directors: Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson *Screening will be attended by special guests
       The Kindergarten Teacher (2014, Israel/France) Director: Nadav Lapid *Screening will be attended by special guests
       The Smell of Us (2014, France) Director: Larry Clark *Screening will be attended by special guests

A showcase for films that went through former editions of RivieraLAB, as projects. This fourth edition outstands the world premiere of the Mexican documentary Los días no vuelven, directed by Raúl Cuesta. The selected films are:

       Adventure (2014, Kazakhstan) Director: Nariman Turebaev
       El tiempo nublado (2014, Switzerland/Paraguay) Director: Arami Ullón
       Feguibox (2015, Equatorial Guinea/Spain) Directors: Rubén Monsuy and Gabriel Amdur
       La princesa de Francia (2014, Argentina) Director: Matías Piñeiro
       Los días no vuelven (2015, Mexico) Director: Raúl Cuesta. * World Premiere *Screening will be attended by special guests
       Ruined Heart! Another Love Story Between a Criminal & a Whore. (Philippines/Germany) Director: Khavn De la Cruz *Screening will be attended by special guests
       The Iron Ministry (2014, China) Director: J. P. Sniadecki

SELECTION - RivieraLAB 2015
RivieraLAB is the project laboratory and the production incentive platform of the Riviera Maya Film Festival. It presents, in its two sections, Coproduction Forum and Work in Progress, film projects in stage of development and post-production, accordingly. In addition to pursuing coproduction, sales agency, international funding, distribution and alternative financing, the chosen projects compete for economic and in-kind support.

RivieraLAB/ Coproduction Forum 2015: 
From 94 projects entering the call from 20 countries, the members of the board, Sandino Saravia, Rebecca de Pas, Jorge Forero and Sandra Gómez, chose 9 projects in stage of development. The selected projects are:

       Am I Demon (United States) Director: Joel Potrykus
       Carroña (Mexico) Director: Sebastián Hiriart
       Tiempo vertical (Spain) Director: Lois Patiño
       Rojo (Argentina) Director: Benjamín Naishtat
       Nona (Chile) Director: Camila José Donoso
       Soy una estrella del rock (Mexico) Director: Raúl Fuentes
       Mis violentas flores (Mexico) Director: Tin Dirdamal
       Pistolero anónimo (Mexico) Director: Leo Marz, Angel Marz
       Mariana (Colombia) Director: Chris Gude

RivieraLAB / Work in Progress 2015:
From 93 projects that entered the call from 22 countries, the members of the board, John Campos, Gonzalo de Pedro, Susana Santos, Sandra Gómez and Maximiliano Cruz, chose 7 projects with a cut in post-production stage. The selected projects are:
       La balada del Oppenheimer Park (Mexico) Director: Juan Manuel Sepúlveda
       Lazar (Macedonia/Croatia/Bulgaria/France) Director: Svetozar Ristovski
       I, Olga Hepnarova (Czech Republic/Poland Slovakia/France) Directors: Petr Kazda and Tomas Weinreb
       El rastreador de estatuas (Chile) Director: Jerónimo Rodríguez
       ¿Dónde estás? (Mexico) Director: Maricarmen Merino
       Maquinaria Panamericana (Mexico) Director: Joaquín del Paso
       Silenciosa (Argentina) Director: Sofía Medrano

PENINSULAB: Training workshop for producers and directors of the Mexican Southeast

PENINSULAB was created by RivieraLAB to enable counseling and follow up for 3 projects selected from the CAI Audiovisual Itinerating Camp, given by lecturers and special guests of RivieraLAB 2015.  
CAI is an initiative that promotes production and development of audiovisual projects for communities of the State of Oaxaca. The program arranges workshops, training, meeting, and exhibition of the projects.

PENINSULAB together with CAI share the purpose of contributing to decentralization of the film culture in Mexico. We believe that quality films can and should be accessible to everyone. Beyond technical effort and high budget, the most important aspect of filmmaking is the common language and the stories to be told.


In order to take the next step regarding the exchange between film creators and audiences, the Riviera Maya Film festival has created TEACHINGS/RMFF 2015, a program for gatherings, conversations and master classes that will be held on April 26 and 27 in Playa del Carmen.

It intends to bring the audience closer to the experience of filmmaking, through the teachings of important creators. TEACHINGS/RMFF 2015 brings a complete schedule of academic activities, lecturers and disciplines such as direction, performance, production, sound design or scriptwriting.

Among the lecturers that will be attending the event, we have: Asia Argento, Joshua Safdie, Gust van den Berghe, Pedro González Rubio, Evan Johnson and Nathalia Acevedo. The complete list of lecturers will soon be announced.

 For further information please visit www.rmff.mx 


About the Riviera Maya Film Festival
The Riviera Maya Film Festival was created in 2012 with the goal to meet one of the greatest needs of the film industry in Mexico and perhaps in the entire world: the distribution of quality international cinema.

By bringing this sort of films to a larger number of people we reaffirm our belief in the transforming power of cinema due to its ability to show different glances and ways of thinking. That’s why we decided the festival should be for free and that is also why we decided to revitalize the experience of watching a film by organizing screenings in all kinds of stages and contexts, such as at the beach or in public squares.