Monday, October 31, 2016

Celebrities Participate In Bowling For Families

(clockwise top l-r) Sereyah, Big Boy and Chris Spencer

(Hollywood, CA) - Bowling For Families hashtag (#BFF) will hold its annual charity event on Veterans Day, 7-10 p.m., Friday, Nov. 11 at PINZ Bowling Center, 12655 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604. A host of celebrities will be in attendance, including Sereyah (Empire), Chris Spencer (Husbands of Hollywood), Big Boy (92.3 FM) and more.

Bowling For Families is a fundraiser for several causes that include Autism, Cancer, Civil Rights, Education, Obesity, Hunger, Homelessness, Mental Health, and Veterans (many more). This red carpet benefit is sponsored by, Microsoft, Galpin Ford, Wing Stop, and California Endowment.

The night will conclude with a star studded after party and live entertainment for the 21 and over crowd from 10 PM to 2 AM.  The entry fee is $50 for non-bowlers. 

The mission of Bowling for Families is to provide food for families during the holiday season. This event is about bringing people together to share a common cause to give back and to help others. We believe that by bringing people together to share a meal, conversation, and fun can truly make a difference. More importantly, leadership and community service works better with help. I am asking for your help and support to make a difference.
PINZ motto is, “The Best Alley in the Valley and where the stars come out to play”.

For contributions and registration please visit

We will be raffling off a brand new TV, many gift cards, and other prizes for those attending the event.

About Bowling for Families (#BFF):
Bowling for Families is a 501(c)(3) group of organizations (Dorsey Academy, Clinch Entertainment, Creative View by You, and A Wise Way) collaborating together to contribute monetarily and in-kind to raise money to support a number of causes that are near and dear to our hearts. 

Forest Whitaker Set To Star In 'The Forgiven'

Forest Whitaker

LOS ANGELES – October 31, 2016 – Saban Films has acquired North American distribution rights to Academy Award® Nominee Roland Joffé’s The Forgiven, starring Academy Award® Winner Forest Whitaker (Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryArrival, Lee Daniels' The Butler, The Last King of Scotland) and Eric Bana (Lone Survivor, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Munich, Black Hawk Down, Chopper).

Co-written by Joffé and Michael Ashton and based on Ashton’s play “The Archbishop and The Antichrist,” the drama follows Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s (Whitaker) work as President of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in post-apartheid South Africa, and his struggle with a brutal murderer Piet Blomfeld (Bana) over concession and redemption. The film is currently in production.

Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley said: “The depth in The Forgiven is unnerving, something Roland Joffé is known for. Whitaker and Bana’s history of prestigious dramatic roles is something we know will translate into this film, they are experts within the genre and we’re eager to see their characters transform on-screen.”

“Archbishop Tutu's story is poignant and timely,” added producers Craig Baumgarten and Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat. “It reminds us of his gift of forgiveness and the healing it brings, and we are honored to tell this story.”

Joffé produced the film alongside Link Entertainment’s Craig Baumgarten and Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat of Light & Dark Films, with financing being provided by The Fyzz Facility. Bill Bromiley negotiated the deal on behalf of Saban Films. WME Global handled North American rights, with 13 Films handling international at the upcoming American Film Market. Kim Ashton, Wayne Marc Godfrey, Robert Jones, John R. Sherman, Tannaz Anisi, Greg Schenz, Jeff Gum, Jeff Rice, Lee Broda executive produced.

Saban Films most recently acquired Sean Penn’s The Last Face starring Penn, Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem, and Jonathan Mostow’sThe Hunter's Prayer starring Sam Worthington and newcomer Odeya Rush at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Saban Films’ slate also includes: Colm McCarthy’s apocalyptic thriller The Girl with All the Gifts which made its North American Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and stars six-time Academy Award® Winner Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine; Walter Hill’s The Assignment, which also made its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and starring Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub, Anthony LaPaglia; Zack Whedon’s feature debut Come and Find Me starring Emmy Award Winner Aaron Paul and Annabelle Wallis; and John Michael McDonagh’s War on Everyone starring Michael PeñaAlexander Skarsgård, Theo James, and Tessa Thompson

Since the company’s launch in 2014, Saban Films has released The Homesman starring Tommy Lee Jones and Hilary Swank; Tracersstarring Taylor Lautner; Philip Martin’s The Forger starring John Travolta; American Heist starring Hayden Christensen and Adrien Brody;Some Kind of Beautiful starring Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek and Jessica Alba; Man Up starring Simon Pegg and Lake Bell; MI-5 starring Kit Harington; Alex and Benjamin Brewer’s The Trust starring Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood; Tom Tykwer’s A Hologram for the King starring Tom Hanks; sci-fi horror film Cell starring John Cusack and Samuel L. JacksonI Am Wrath with John Travolta; Renny Harlin’s action comedy Skiptrace, starring Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville; and Rob Zombie’s 31.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Justin Timberlake Is A Little Troll

By Darlene Donloe

Justin Timberlake ’s career has taken him from being a big star to a little troll.

Here’s what happened. He started off on The All New Mickey Mouse Club and Star Search. He then became a member of the highly successful boy band, NSYNC. He’s now a huge solo artist. He has appeared in several films and makes numerous television appearances, most notably on Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.

All of that progression has led him to his latest role as a troll named Branch in Dreamworks Animation and 20th Century Fox’s new film, Trolls, in theaters nationwide November 4.

Trolls stars Anna Kendrick as Poppy, the optimistic leader of the Trolls. It also features Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Russell Brand, Icona Pop, Ron Funches and Kunal Nayaar. As the story goes, together the Trolls embark on an adventure that takes them far beyond the only world they’ve ever known. 

 Justin Timberlake

I caught up with Timberlake at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills recently, to talk about how he became a troll.

Q:  What are some of the unique challenges of doing some of the songs, which are covers and recreating them?

JT: Well, the, every song is situational, whether it be for comedic purposes or dramatic purposes. Really, you break down each moment and at the end of the day it’s theatrical as well. For instance, there are some great opportunities to right your own source music. The roller skating scene. Writing a song for Ariana Grande. When you’re using a song like, The Song Of Silence as soon as you hear those two opening acoustics it’s so recognizable that all the adults in the room laugh and then when something like True Colors, I can’t imagine actually having to write a song after hearing that in that scene, it works so well.  

Q:  You can do any project you want. Why did you choose this one?

JT:   That’s not true.

Q: Yes, it is.

JT: If that’s not a setup for an obnoxious answer. I’m sure however I try to weasel out of that question I won’t sound pretentious at all.  This is like, for me, an embarrassment of riches. Dreamworks, I feel like redefined their own genre of animation. When I was pitched the movie - Anna (Kendricks) was already in the movies, so I thought, ‘I’m in.’ Then they talked to me about doing the music. I’ve always wanted to do music for film. So, I was like, wow, I may as well pick one that has an awesome budget. So, selfishly, I was like, ‘I’ll be happy to.’ Then you find yourself in a room with people asking what do you think.  I’m kidding, I’m mostly kidding. It was an embarrassment of riches to have all of these resources at your fingertips. To do it this way. You had the sense the movie was going to be great, based on the pitch they had given me. It was going to have it’s own flair and DNA. I don’t know why you would say no.

Q: Were you all in the same studio or was it individual?

JT: All the voice acting – they gave Anna and I a shot at doing it together, but we talked over each other most of the time. It was totally unusable. It’s terrible. But we did all, funny enough, the cast sings – there are some other little music pieces. What was fun for me was I got to see everybody in 24-72 hours of time.

Q: You star in the movie and you were in charge of the music. Talk about that challenge. It was a big responsibility.

JT: To be honest, I found it to be self-serving. To be honest. I got to see and know a lot of what we were trying to accomplish with the movie. The toughest part for me was some music cues that I was really excited about ended up on the cutting room floor.  Trolls 2!  (laughter)  For me the time you spend on them was singular and separate that the biggest challenge was writing Can’t Stop The Feeling. That was the biggest because they had a specific scene for our highest sort of arc of the animated extravaganza. That was the toughest code to crack at first. The way they did it was they storyboarded it. You can pick your way through it.

Justin Timberlake plays Branch in Trolls

Q: Your song from the film, Can’t Stop The Feeling, came out before the movie. 

JT: When they first gave me the pitch for the music. True Colors was already in the movie and Sound of Silence was in the movie. It all looked like an ABBA video. It reminded me of something I may have taken. It reminded me of a certain era. The 70s. The great R&B songs like September. I felt like the whole thing felt 70s to me. For some reason I referenced Saturday Night Fever to the powers that be. We talked about how Staying Alive and that basically the soundtrack came out before the movie and that happened with Grease and Urban Cowboy.  I don’t know why I just referenced three John Travolta movies. That probably says a lot about me than anything.  When we finished Can’t Stop The Feeling we were like – lets just put it out now and see what happens.

Q:  Talk about your writing process. How do you create? Do you have a tape recorder? Do you write things down?  Does it differ from when you’re doing your own music?

JT: This is different from any experience I’ve had writing a song. To write specifically within a sort of landscape for a scene and lack of a better term a feeling, it’s situational, but the trick is to write something that could work for the scene. But something that could stand alone on its own and live outside the movie.

Q: I mean do you actually have a tape recorder? Do you write things down?

JT: Oh, you want to know my actual tricks. You got to pay extra for that. I can’t talk about my process because if I do I won’t be able to do it.  I actually don’t write anything down in the studio. I believe all of it is melody based. It has to all make sense. I try to write things down in the studio. I found I kept writing the same word 20 times. There are different songs that get written different ways. To be totally honest I couldn't tell you how it all happens. You just start piecing it together. This had its own set of obstacles. I had to sensor myself because it was animation. I don’t usually do that.  Just the specificity of what is happening in the scene, I felt I had to have it make sense. I was given a list of criteria which felt like a huge wall that you couldn't get around.

Trolls is in theaters nationwide November 4.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Anna Danes Wants You To 'Find Your Wings'

SOLANA BEACH (28 October 2016): National Breast Cancer Awareness Month has an entirely new meaning this year for jazz singer Anna Danes. Her life turned in an instant three months ago when she was diagnosed with the disease. When the positive-mind chanteuse steps onto the Jazz on Cedros stage Friday night in Solana Beach, California at a launch party concert in support of her empowering “Find Your Wings” album released that day (and October 30 on iTunes) by DLG Records, she does so knowing how lucky she is. Danes will perform tracks from the intimate acoustic jazz collection of standards and original love songs produced by Dave Darling surrounded by loved ones and supportive people in her life.     
“This has been the best wakeup call ever. I’ve never experienced so much love and support from people. So it’s all for the best. And I can also relate to so many other people now affected by this scary disease. I consider myself one of the lucky ones and will take this lesson and fight on their behalf,” said Danes, who is now cancer free although she will be closely monitored via MRI’s and mammograms because of suspicious lymph nodes and conflicting opinions from two different world-renown hospitals.    

Last summer, Danes took a mammogram that came back negative prior to undergoing elective cosmetic surgery. Routine labs found the cancer in her pathology that was categorized as “very early and small” yet also “an aggressive grade.” Shaken by the diagnosis, she turned to her own encouraging messages of hope and inspiration. Danes had realized the dream of recording an album in the same iconic Capitol Records studio using the same microphone as her role models, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, and she had every intention of sharing the session with the world. Having successfully remade her life multiple times in the past, the San Diego-based former lawyer and stay-at-home mother who escaped communist Poland with her family as a child was ready to embrace the role of cancer fighter, advocate and survivor. Danes is using her health challenge to educate others by journaling her experience on a cancer blog, social media and as source material for an upcoming book, motivational speaking engagements and personal growth products.  

“Find Your Wings” is about breaking free of whatever is holding you back from doing what you love. Danes co-wrote the original material for the collection that stylistically emulates the starkly-produced vocal jazz albums by Tony Bennett and Bill Evans. Darling adorned Danes’ grand and expressive voice with sparse accompaniment from an astute jazz trio consisting of piano, upright bass and drums. Half of the set list is composed of five gems from the Great American Songbook plus a mesmerizing, emotionally-baring tune from blues singer Janiva Magness (“When You Were My King”). While recording the album, Danes invited cameras into the studio to document the experience in this video:

With her health scare apparently behind her, Danes is focusing her full attention on promoting “Find Your Wings.” The radiant and healthy-looking artist recently shared her story and sang live on the CW6 San Diego’s morning news show. Reviewers have called the album “truly stunning,” “hypnotic,” “gentle and soothing” and “haunting.” Below are a few excerpts from album reviews:

For more information, please visit

Thursday, October 27, 2016

19th L.A. Focus First Ladies High Tea A Success

(Top Right (l-r) Gospel Legend Dr. Bobby Jones, R&B Crooner Kenny Lattimore. (2ndRow (l-r): First Ladies Honoreees; Marguerite ReeveFaith Community ChurchJudi Wortham-Sauls; Holman United Methodist Church, Ranza TrotterMorningstar Baptist Church and Linda G. HodgeLiving Praise Christian Center

(3rd Row (l-r): Stellar Award winner & Grammy nominee Tina CampbellMary Mary, Lisa Collins, Founder, First Ladies High Tea & Publisher, LA Focus, renowned actress Lynn Whitfield, OWN’s “Greenleaf”, Adrienne Richard; Global Talent Management, Walmart International and Javier Angulo, Walmart’s Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations. (Left Photo: Tina Campbell and Lynn Whitfield)

The 19th L.A. Focus’ First Ladies High Tea held recently at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills was a glorious affair. Over 1,000 attendees were blessed to have witnessed a star-studded event, as the ladies in attendance wore their Sunday Best Hats!

Renowned actress Lynn Whitfield received the prestigious Legacy Award and actress Edwina Findley-Dickerson, star of Tyler Perry’s “If Loving You Is Wrong” was presented the Shining Star Award

Powerful performances by Mary Mary’s Tina Campbell, R&B crooner Kenny Lattimore, and vocalist Judith McAllister, as the legendary Dr. Bobby Jones and Dr. Beverly “BAM” Crawford, Pastor of Bible Enrichment Fellowship International Church served as co-hosts for the event.  Other celebrity participants included; dynamic actress Rhyon Nicole BrownMichel’le in Lifetime’s Surviving Compton, Actress Christina ElmoreTNT’s The Last ShipActress Alley Mills; The Bold and the Beautiful and TV Personality & Host Claudia Jordan.

The event honored women and First Ladies who have served the communities well, through their activism and charitable contributions. The First Lady Honorees included: Marguerite ReeveFaith Community ChurchLinda G. HodgeLiving Praise Christian CenterJudi Wortham-Sauls; Holman United Methodist Church and Ranza TrotterMorningstar Baptist Church.

About First Ladies High Tea
This afternoon tea is a red carpet affair for the Who’s Who of women in the church and black community, featuring celebrity guests, community leaders and honorees.  In the two decades since its inception, the tea has served to inspire women, both young and old, to join forces and create a movement of service towards each other, the communities in which they live and to God.  Past honorees include former California First Lady Maria Shriver, Oscar Nominee Cicely Tyson, former LA County Supervisor Yvonne Burke, renown vocalist Nancy Wilson, gospel recording duo Mary Mary, TV One founder Cathy Hughes, actor/activist Hill Harper and The Honorable Kamala Harris, Attorney General of California, to name a few.

Photo by: Ian Foxx

Oprah Winfrey Appears on T.D. Jakes Today

Oprah Winfrey appears on  T.D. JAKES today!

T.D. JAKES airs weekdays in afternoon time periods around the country (check your local listings or as well as at 6 p.m. EST/ PST on OWN.

The powerful one-hour interview with Oprah airing today Thursday, Oct. 27 on T.D. JAKES, shows Oprah as you have never seen her before and ranges from laughter to tears as the two delve into topics from the 30-year anniversary of her signature talk show to her AHA! moments, producing the critically acclaimed OWN drama series “Queen Sugar,” what is next for her and more surprises.

The syndicated daily one-hour talk show T.D. JAKES, hosted by the best-selling author, film and music producer, and entrepreneur, premiered in more than 50 TEGNA markets on Monday, Sept. 12, as well as on OWN on September 19. The show and its original social media content feature real personal stories and honest conversations with celebrity and non-celebrity guests. Filmed before a live studio audience in L.A., T.D. JAKES airs weekdays in afternoon time periods around the country (check your local listings or well as at 6 p.m. EST / PST on OWN. Series is produced by Tegna Media44 Blue Productions, Jakes’ TDJ Enterprises and enLight Productions

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Fences Film Set For Christmas Day Release

FENCES is directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson, adapted from Wilson's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play. The film stars Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, and Saniyya Sydney.  The film is produced by Denzel Washington, Todd Black and Scott Rudin.

Fences Official Channels
Hashtag: #FencesMovie
Facebook: /FencesMovie
Twitter: @FencesMovie
Instagram: @FencesMovie

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Weathers and Walker Celebrate #OneChicagoDay

(l-r) Carl Weathers (Chicago Justice) and Eamonn Walker (Chicago Fire
celebrate #OneChicagoDay.  Walker stars as Battalion Chief Wallace Boden, a fireman's fireman who is the leader of the firehouse and is in the midst of major personal changes on Chicago Fire. Weathers starts as State Attorney Mark Jefferies in Chicago Justice. 

About Chicago Fire:
An edge-of-your-seat view into the lives of everyday heroes committed to one of America's noblest professions. For the firefighters, rescue squad and paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51, no occupation is more stressful or dangerous, yet so rewarding and exhilarating. These courageous men and women are among the elite who forge headfirst into danger when everyone else is running the other way and whose actions make the difference between life and death.

Eamonn Walker plays Chief Wallace Boden, a stoic who leads Firehouse 51 and its men in uniform. Chief Wallace Boden is joined by Jesse Spencer (Lt. Matthew Casey), Monica Raymund (Gabriela Dawson), Yuri Sardarov (Brian Zvonecek), David Eigenberg (Christopher Hermann), Joe Minoso (Joe Cruz), and Taylor Kinney (Lt. Kelly Severide). NBC’s Chicago Fire is executed produced by series showrunner Michael Brandt (2 Fast 2 Furious), Derek Haas (Wanted), Lisa Wiegand (Necessary Roughness), Peter Jankowski (Law & Order), Steve Schill (The Flash), and Joe Chappelle (The Wire).

NBC’s Chicago Fire
Twitter: @NBCChicagoFire (,

About Chicago Justice:Powerhouse creator Dick Wolf delivers a captivating new installment to the hit Chicago franchise. Just like their brethren in the Chicago P.D., the State's Attorney's dedicated team of prosecutors and investigators navigates heated city politics and controversy head-on, while fearlessly pursuing justice. As they take on the city's high-stakes and often media-frenzied cases, they must balance public opinion, power struggles within the system, and their unwavering passion for the law. And it all starts with a gut-wrenching case when one of Chicago's finest is shot in the line of duty.

NBC’s Chicago Justice
Twitter: @ChicagoJustice (

Monday, October 24, 2016

AAFCA Announces Achievement Award Recipients

(Los Angeles) – The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) announced the honorees for its annual Special Achievement Awards, set to be handed out on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, California.


Anthony Hemingway

AAFCA Horizon Award: Anthony Hemingway – Visionary Director/Producer, UNDERGROUND

Floyd Norman

AAFCA Legacy: Floyd Norman – Legendary Animator, Disney/Hanna-Barbera

Lee Daniels

AAFCA Cinema Vanguard: Lee Daniels – Oscar-Nominated Producer/Director, record-breaking TV show creator, Precious, Empire 

Mike Phillips

AAFCA Roger Ebert: Mike Phillips – Film Critic, Chicago Tribune

Vanessa Morrison

AAFCA Ashley Boone: Vanessa Morrison – President, Fox Animation

“All of our honorees are serious players who are helping to move the industry forward in terms of creating images that are diverse and inclusive,” says Gil Robertson, AAFCA president/co-founder. “They are all cultural visonaries who deserve to be recognized for their roles in advancing projects that have paid off critically and finacially and we look forward to celebrating their careers.” 

In the next month, AAFCA will host its signature event, The 8th AAFCA Awards on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood. Winners will be announced on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016.

Established in 2003, the African American Film Critics Association is the largest black film critics organization in the world, representing television, radio, print and online critics.