Friday, January 30, 2015

AAFCA Set For First Ever Awards Weekend

 AAFCA Host Nichelle Turner

January 30, 2015 (Los Angeles) - The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), the premiere organization of black film journalists, is launching its first ever AAFCA Awards Weekend of events, featuring an entertainment industry career panel and an exclusive, invitation-only dinner leading up to its signature AAFCA Awards ceremony, which honors the best in film and television content, on Wednesday, Feb. 4 at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood.
Entertainment Tonight correspondent Nischelle Turner will host the AAFCA Awards, now in its sixth year.

The critically acclaimed Academy Award-nominated film Selma has been named Best Picture by AAFCA. Other AAFCA 2015 winners include Franklin Leonard (The Black List co-founder), Horizon Award, Gina Prince-Bythewood (Best Screenplay), Stephanie Allain (Legacy Award), Common, ("Glory"/Selma, Best Music), Justin Simien, director/Dear White People (Best Independent Film), David Oyelowo, Selma (Best Actor), and Ava DuVernay, Selma (Best Director/Best Film).

Talent and notable personalities confirmed to participate in the weekend's events include Academy Award Winning director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), honoree Debra Martin Chase (producer, Sparkle), honoree Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, honoree Susan King, Entertainment writer, Los Angeles Times, Mike Epps (Survivor's Remorse), Gugu Mbatha Raw (Beyond the Lights), Khandi Alexander (Scandal), Chaz Ebert (Producer and widow of Roger Ebert), the cast of critically-acclaimed feature films "Selma" and "Get on Up," Salli Richardson Whitfield (Eureka), RZA (The Man with the Golden Fists), Wendy Racquel Robinson (The Game), Edwina Findley (If Loving You is Wrong), Emayatzy Corinealdi (Middle of Nowhere), Eriq LaSalle (ER, The Night Shift), Eva Marcille (ANTM), Kym Whitley (Raising Whitley), Tasha Smith (Why Did I Get Married), Erica and Warren Campbell and Dr. Rachel Ross (The Doctors), to name a few.

Established in 2003, the African American Film Critics Association is comprised of the key African American film journalists in the United States. The organization created the AAFCA Awards in 2009, which has steadily grown into an important event during Hollywood's busy awards season.
Details on AAFCA Weekend Events:

Saturday, January 31 @ 4 p.m. - Panel Q&A -"Money on My Mind: Film & Television Industry Careers" featuring industry talent working in front of and behind the cameras. The panel and reception are sponsored by One United Bank. Location: 3683 Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016 RSVP:

Thursday, January 29, 2015

'Hot Tub Time Machine 2' Opens February 20

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 stars Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Adam Scott and Clark Duke.

When Lou (Corddry) finds himself in trouble, Nick (Robinson) and Jacob (Duke) fire up the hot tub time machine in an attempt to get back to the past. But they inadvertently land in the future. Now they have to alter the future in order to save the past... which is really the present, in the sequel from the same team that brought you the original cult hit.

Take a look at the clip below.


It's A 'Brighter Day' For Saxophonist ShaShaty

Los Angeles, California (28 January 2015): It’s a new dawn for veteran contemporary jazz saxophonist ShaShaty, who will release his sixth album entitled “Brighter Day,” on March 3 on the newly formed A.H.I. Records. His first collection comprised entirely of original songs in more than a decade, the set showcases the artist who had a hand in writing seven of the disc’s eleven songs that were produced by guitarist-vocalist Steve Oliver, writer or co-writer of ten songs for the record. The energizing excursion “Dream Ride” bodes to illuminate radio playlists ahead of the album’s street date when the single is serviced to stations for airplay early next month. The video for the single will premiere at Universal CityWalk in Universal City, California where ShaShaty has been a featured performer over the past decade. 

Instead of limiting himself to a singular sax voice, ShaShaty’s dynamic multihued approach places him front and center on the melody-rich jazz, pop and R&B outing playing tenor, alto and soprano sax. Fellow sax player Will Donato bolsters the horn section parts on “Dream Ride” and Spyro Gyra drummer Bonny B dispenses deft beats on four cuts. Taiwanese vocalist Usay Chu makes her U.S. recording debut by gracing a pair of tunes – “Song Of Hope” and “A Million Miles” – with her ethereal wordless vocalizations. Making “Brighter Day” a standout session is the chemistry between ShaShaty and Oliver. The hornman’s impassioned and emotive play flourishes in the company of the guitarist who has a masterful command of buoyant harmony. Tracks have a robustly full sound from which potent hooks connect and enveloping melodies leave a lasting impression. The power-packed pop gems that comprise “Brighter Day” also have depth and provide a varied listening experience that audaciously ventures into funky trip hop territory (“Let’s Go!”), explores an off-kilter staccato rhythm (“Late On 91”), mines an Indian motif (“Mumbai”), serves a sublime sax and guitar call-and-response chorus (“August”), romances on amorous overtures (“My Heart Yours” and “I’m Always Near”), takes off on a whimsical flight of fancy (“Brighter Days”) and closes with a blissful meditation (“Float Away”). 

I haven’t recorded an original project in quite some time. My previous two projects consisted of classics from the past few decades. Those interpretations were part of a period of growth and self- discovery for me musically, especially when reimagining so many beloved works. I found myself in a new, fresh space and realized it was time to reach deep inside to see what would emerge creatively. Steve Oliver and his amazing production work provided the skilled hand to help me realize ‘Brighter Day.’ I’d love for this instrumental pop project to be the vehicle that opens new horizons for many new listeners - even from other genres and cultures - that may not have necessarily been contemporary jazz followers before, but now call themselves fans,” said ShaShaty, who will perform material from “Brighter Day” on Valentine’s Day at Rideau Vineyard in Solvang, California.

A Miami, Florida native who is a long-time Los Angeles resident, ShaShaty has vast stage experience performing on concert dates and festival bills with the likes of Carlos Santana, The Mavericks, The Bee Gees, Gloria Estefan, Michael McDonald, Peter Cetera, George Benson, Dave Koz, Kirk Whalum, Brian Culbertson and Boney James. In addition to garnering radio spins throughout the U.S., ShaShaty has played on national television on “Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda” and on a PBS special alongside GRAMMY® winner Al Jarreau. ShaShaty, who released his self-titled debut album in 1993, serves as host of “Vineyard Jazz,” a wine and music lifestyle program being developed by A.H.I. Records for syndication. Please visit for additional information.

“Brighter Day” contains the following songs:

“Dream Ride”
“Let’s Go!”
“Song Of Hope”
“Late On 91”
“My Heart Yours”
“A Million Miles”
“I’m Always Near”
“Brighter Days”
“Float Away”

McGraw To Perform For Campbell At Oscars

LOS ANGELES, CA – Grammy®-winning singer, songwriter and actor Tim McGraw will perform the Oscar®-nominated song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” for Glen Campbell at the 87th Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, Feb. 22, live on ABC.

"We couldn't think of anyone better than Tim McGraw to properly celebrate  Oscar nominee, Glen Campbell.  Tim is the consummate country artist and will bring a bit of Nashville to the Oscars stage," says Zadan and Meron

“I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” written by Campbell and Julian Raymond for the documentary feature “Glen Campbell...I’ll Be Me,” is nominated for Original Song. The four other nominated songs are “Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie,” “Glory” from “Selma,” “Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights” and “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again.”

“I’m honored to be asked to sing this powerful song from one of the true legends of the music industry,” said McGraw.

In addition to his three Grammy Awards, 14 ACM Awards, 11 CMA Awards, 10 AMA Awards, McGraw has numerous film acting credits including “The Blind Side,”  “Friday Night Lights,” “Country Strong” and the upcoming “Tomorrowland.”

The 87th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscars, produced by Zadan and Meron, also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Animated Comedy 'Ted 2' In Theaters June 26

Seth MacFarlane returns as writer, director and voice star of Ted 2, Universal and Media Rights Capital’s follow-up to the highest-grossing original R-rated comedy of all time.  Joined once again by star Mark Wahlberg and fellow Ted writers Alec Sulkin & Wellesley Wild, MacFarlane produces the live action/CG-animated comedy alongside Bluegrass Films’ Scott Stuber, as well as John Jacobs and Jason Clark. 

46th NAACP Image Awards Presenters Announced

Kerry Washington
LOS ANGELES, CA (January 28, 2015) – Common, Angela Bassett, Chadwick Boseman, Laurence Fishburne, Sharon Leal, David Oyelowo, Gina Rodriguez, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Larenz Tate, Kerry Washington, and Oprah Winfrey are the first group of talent scheduled to present at the 46th NAACP Image Awards, it was announced today by Executive Producers Reginald Hudlin and Phil Gurin.

The 46th NAACP Image Awards, hosted by Anthony Anderson, will broadcast LIVE from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium from 9-11 p.m. ET (PT tape-delayed) on February 6 on TV One.  A one-hour pre-show airing live from the red carpet will air from 8-9 p.m. ET (PT tape-delayed).

Talent scheduled to attend include Gabrielle Union, Keegan-Michael Key, Nicole Beharie, Octavia Spencer, Omar Epps, Shemar Moore, Taraji P. Henson, Tessa Thompson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Uzo Aduba, Wendy Raquel Robinson.  Also expected are cast members from Orange is the New Black, Belle, black-ish, Grey’s Anatomy, House of Cards, How to Get Away with Murder and more.

In addition, the NAACP “Entertainer of the Year” will be revealed. This special honor is bestowed upon an individual within the entertainment industry who has achieved notable success in multiple projects and mediums. As previously announced, Attorney General of the United States, Eric H. Holder, Jr. will receive the NAACP “Chairman’s Award” and Spike Lee will receive the NAACP “President’s Award.”

Reginald Hudlin and Phil Gurin return as Executive Producers, and the production team will also include: Tony McCuin as Director, Byron Phillips as Producer, and Robin Reinhardt as Talent Producer. Lance Reddick is the in-show announcer.
The NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishment of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. Winners will be voted upon by NAACP members and announced when the envelopes are opened on Thursday, February 5 during the Awards Ceremony for non-televised categories. The remaining categories will be announced LIVE on stage during the two-hour star-studded TV One telecast on Friday, February 6.

The 46TH NAACP Image Awards is sponsored by: AT&T, Bank of America, FedEx, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Gilead Sciences, Hyundai Motor America, PepsiCo, Southwest Airlines, and Wells Fargo.

For all information and latest news, please visit the official NAACP Image Awards website at

FB: /naacpimageaward  •   Twitter: @naacpimageaward

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dick Gregory Set To Get Star on Walk of Fame

 Dick Gregory

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that Dick Gregory will be honored with the 2,542nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 11:30 a.m., Monday, February 2, 2015. The star in the category of Live Theatre/Performance will be dedicated at 1650 Vine Street near Hollywood & Vine. “We are proud to honor Dick Gregory with a star on the Walk of Fame during Black History month. He has given so much to the world with his wisdom through his work in entertainment,” stated Leron Gubler, President of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and emcee of the ceremonies.
The star ceremony will be streamed live exclusively on
The day after the ceremony the celebration will continue with the Dick Gregory & Friends All Star Tribute and Toast on Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 8 p.m. at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre, 1615 N. Vine Street in Hollywood.
 Richard Claxton Gregory aka Dick Gregory is a comedian, civil rights activist, author, recording artist, actor, philosopher and anti-drug crusader. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Gregory began his career as a comedian while serving in the military in the mid-1950s. He was drafted in 1954 while attending Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. After being discharged in 1956, with a desire to perform comedy professionally, he moved to Chicago.
Gregory attributes the launch of his career to Hugh Hefner, who watched him perform at Herman Roberts Show Bar. Hefner hired Gregory to work at the Chicago Playboy Club as a replacement for comedian Professor Irwin Corey.
By 1962, Gregory had become a nationally-known headline performer, selling out nightclubs, making numerous national television appearances, and recording popular comedy albums. Gregory, whose style was detached, ironic, and satirical, gained the attention of audiences with his political and controversial stand up acts. By being both outspoken and provocative, he became a household name and opened many doors for Black entertainers.
As an influential American comedian, he has used his voice to convey to both white and black audiences his message on civil rights. His social satire helped change the way white Americans perceived black American comedians since he first performed in the public arena.
By October of 1963, Dick Gregory was one of the highest paid entertainers in the world. At that time, he answered the call of Medgar Evers to come to Mississippi to join the movement. His life was forever changed.  Gregory went to Selma, Alabama and spoke for two hours on a public platform two days before the voter registration drive known as “Freedom Day.” Gregory later became more involved in struggles for civil rights, activism against the Vietnam War, economic reform and anti-drug issues and other matters.
In 2000, Gregory was honored at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., by a sold out house with special tributes by Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr., Stevie Wonder, Isaac Hayes, Cicely Tyson, Mark Lane, Marion Barry and many more.
Gregory is listed as No. 82 on Comedy Central’s list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of all time. He has appeared in numerous films including: “Steppin: The Movie,” “Letter to the President,” “Malcolm X: A Search for Identity,” “In Remembrance of Martin,” “The Hot Chick,” “Children of the Struggle,” and many more. He has written 14 books and has 15 comedy albums that contain his stand up acts and his political commentary.
He has been married to Lillian Gregory since 1959 and on the day of his star ceremony they will also be celebrating their 56th wedding anniversary. They have 10 children.

Common and John Legend To Perform At Oscars

(l-r) Common and John Legend

LOS ANGELES, CA – Musical artists Common and John Legend will perform their Oscar®-nominated song “Glory” at the 87th Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC.

“Common and John Legend are artists who have always lifted our spirits and made us think,” said Zadan and Meron. “The Oscar stage is that much more profound because of their presence and we welcome them.”

“Glory,” written by John Stephens (a.k.a. John Legend) and Lonnie Lynn (a.k.a. Common) for the film “Selma,” is nominated for Original Song. The four other nominated songs are “Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie,” “Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights,” “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from “Glen Campbell...I’ll Be Me” and “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again.”

Common won a Grammy® in 2002 for Best R&B Song for “Love Of My Life (An Ode To Hip Hop),” and in 2007 for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for “Southside,” with Kanye West. His many acting credits include the films “American Gangster,” “Wanted,” “Date Night” and “Selma,” in which he plays the role of Civil Rights leader James Bevel.

Legend is a nine time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter.  His critically acclaimed debut album, “Get Lifted,”scored multiple Grammy Awards in 2006, including Best R&B Album, Best New Artist and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.  The follow up was the platinum-selling “Once Again,” which garnered a Best Male R&B Performance nod.  Legend’s most recent highly acclaimed fourth studio album, “Love in the Future,” scored two Grammy  nominations and features his break out hit, “All of Me,” which is his highest selling and charting song to date and also earned a 2015 Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance.

The 87th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscars, produced by Zadan and Meron, also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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Golden Globes Will Air On NBC January 16, 2016

NBC will air the Golden Globes on Jan. 16, 8-11 p.m. (ET)/5-8 p.m. (PT). The ceremony, which honors both film and TV, is viewed in more than 160 countries worldwide.

This year’s telecast per Nielsen Media averaged a 5.8 rating/16 share in adults 18-49 and 19.3 million viewers overall in Live+Same Day ratings. That was NBC’s highest-rated primetime entertainment telecast in 18-49 and total viewers since the 2014 Globes. Versus NBC’s non-sports average in the Sunday 8-11 p.m. time period the previous season, this year’s telecast was up 314% in 18-49 rating (5.8 vs. 1.4) and +269% in total viewers (19.3 million vs. 5.2 million).

Monday, January 26, 2015

21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Winners

The 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards was held last night in Hollywood. Orange Is The New Black walks away with two. Viola Davis and Uzo Aduba made history snatching top television female actor awards for drama and comedy. Debbie Reynolds is given Life Achievement Award.

Here is the full list of winners:


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
EDDIE REDMAYNE / Stephen Hawking – “THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING” (Focus Features)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
JULIANNE MOORE / Alice Howland – “STILL ALICE” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
J.K. SIMMONS / Fletcher – “WHIPLASH” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
BIRDMAN (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

AMY RYAN / Sylvia


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
KEVIN SPACEY / Francis Underwood – “HOUSE OF CARDS” (Netflix)

Viola Davis

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (6 nominees)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
WILLIAM H. MACY / Frank Gallagher – “SHAMELESS” (Showtime)

Uzo Aduba

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
UZO ADUBA / Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren – “ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK” (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

HUGH BONNEVILLE / Robert, Earl of Grantham
LAURA CARMICHAEL / Lady Edith Crawley
JIM CARTER / Mr. Carson
MICHELLE DOCKERY / Lady Mary Crawley
KEVIN DOYLE / Mr. Molesley
LILY JAMES / Lady Rose
ALLEN LEECH / Tom Branson
ELIZABETH McGOVERN / Cora, Countess of Grantham
LESLEY NICOL / Mrs. Patmore
DAVID ROBB / Dr. Clarkson
MAGGIE SMITH / Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham
ED SPELEERS / Jimmy Kent
PENELOPE WILTON / Isobel Crawley

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

UZO ADUBA / Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren
JASON BIGGS / Larry Bloom
DANIELLE BROOKS / Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson
LAVERNE COX / Sophia Burset
LEA DELARIA / Carrie “Big Boo” Black
BETH FOWLER / Sister Ingalls
ANNIE GOLDEN / Norma Romano
DIANE GUERRERO / Maritza Ramos
MICHAEL J. HARNEY / Ofc. Sam Healy
VICKY JEUDY / Janae Watson
JULIE LAKE / Angie Rice
LAUREN LAPKUS / Susan Fischer
SELENIS LEYVA / Gloria Mendoza
NATASHA LYONNE / Nicky Nichols
TARYN MANNING / Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett
MATT McGORRY / Ofc. John Bennett
KATE MULGREW / Galina “Red” Reznikov
EMMA MYLES / Leanne Taylor
DASCHA POLANCO / Dayanara Diaz
ALYSIA REINER / Natalie “Fig” Figueroa
NICK SANDOW / Joe Caputo
YAEL STONE / Lorna Morello
LORRAINE TOUSSAINT / Yvonne “Vee” Parker
LIN TUCCI / Anita DeMarco
SAMIRA WILEY / Poussey Washington

Debbie Reynolds

Screen Actors Guild 51st Annual Life Achievement Award


Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
UNBROKEN (Universal Pictures)
Lee Adamson
Joel Amos Byrnes
Richard Anderson
Yoshianao Aonuma
Glenn Boswell
Damien Bryson
Glenn Chow
Jimmy Christiansen
Simon Crane
Haydn Dalton
Ashley Fairfield
Toby Fuller
Scott Gregory
Brendan Jakins
Alex Jewson
Chris Mitchell
Craig Morgan
Chris Patton
George Saliba
Mick Saliba
Nik Schodel
Brett Sheerin
Neil Stoddardt
Leon Stripp
Ben Toyer
Nick Turello
Darko Tuskan
Bernadette van Gyen
Gavin Wilde
Darren Yost

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series (6 nominees)

Lucy Allen
Cole Armitage
Gary Arthurs
Rachelle Beinart
Ferenc Berecz
Richard Bradshaw
Andy Butcher
Michael Byrch
Neil Chapelhow
Nick Chopping
Jonathan Cohen
Joel Conlan
Gary Connery
James Cox
Tom Cox
Jason Curle
Nicholas Daines
Bill Davey
Kelly J. Dent
Ben Dimmock
Levan Doran
Jamie Edgell
Bradley Farmer
Neil Finnighan
Jozsef Fodor
Dean Forster
David Garrick
James Grogan
Tim Halloran
Paul Heasman
Robert Hladik
Al Holland
Gergely Horpacsi
Paul Howell
Stewart James
Gary Kane
Ian Kay
Robbie Keane
George Kirby
Cristian Knight
Laszlo Kosa
Geza Kovacs
Norbert Kovacs
Guy List
Phil Lonergan
Russell Macleod
Tina Maskell
Adrian McGaw
Nick McKinless
Erol Mehmet
Andy Merchant
Sian Milne
Daniel Naprous
Chris Newton
Ray Nicholas
Bela Orsanyi
Sam Parham
Ian Pead
Justin Pearson
Martin Pemberton
Heather Phillips
Rashid Phoenix
Andy Pilgrim
Christopher Pocock
Curtis Rivers
Marcus Shakesheff
Matt Sherren
Anthony Skrimshire
Mark Slaughter
Karen Smithson
Mark Southworth
Helen Steinway Bailey
Shane Steyn
Matthew Stirling
John Street
Gaspar Szabo
Gabor Szeman
Roy Taylor
Gyula Toth
Tony Van Silva
Reg Wayment
Linda Weal
Richard J Wheeldon
Heron White
Maxine Whittaker
Simon Whyman
Donna C. Williams
Lou Wong
Annabel E. Wood
Liang Yang
Steen Young

Singer Adam Levine To Perform At The Oscars

LOS ANGELES, CA — Grammy®-winning  singer, songwriter and actor Adam Levine will perform the Oscar®-nominated song “Lost Stars” at the 87th Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC.

"Adam Levine is an exceptional and dynamic artist. We're thrilled to have him make his Oscars stage debut this year,” said Zadan and Meron.

“Lost Stars,” written by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois for the film “Begin Again,” is nominated for Original Song. The four other nominated songs are “Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie,” “Glory” from “Selma,” “Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights” and
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from “Glen Campbell...I’ll Be Me.”

Levine is the lead singer for the group Maroon 5, which has received three Grammy® Awards, two for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals (2005 and 2007) and one for Best New Artist (2004). Levine made his feature film acting debut in “Begin Again,” which is directed by John Carney and also stars Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo.

The 87th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscars, produced by Zadan and Meron, also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.


Friday, January 23, 2015

'Black or White' In Theaters On January 30

Black or White is the story of a grandfather (Academy Award® winner Kevin Costner) who is suddenly left to care for his beloved granddaughter.  When the little girl’s paternal grandmother (Academy Award® winner Octavia Spencer) seeks custody, a legal battle ensues that forces the families to confront their true feelings on race, forgiveness and understanding.  Anchored by an all-star cast and based on real events, the movie is a look at two seemingly different worlds, in which nothing is as simple as black or white. 

Black or White stars Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves, Open Range, "Hatfield's and McCoys") and Octavia Spencer (The Help, "Red Band Society"), Gillian Jacobs ("Community," The Box), Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty, The King's Speech), Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Bill Burr (Date Night, "Breaking Bad").

Below is a clip:

Jawn Murray Tapped For Super Bowl Duties

Washington, DC – January 23, 2015 – TV Host, Pop Culture Commentator and Editor of, Jawn Murray, was tapped by the NFL Network for hosting duties during Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix, Arizona.  Murray make his debut with the NFL Digital Media interviewing celebrities and high-profile athletes for the NFL Fan Pass Experience ( leading up to the big game between the Seattle Seahawks versus New England Patriots.
The Washington, DC-based media expert is a regular pop culture analyst on networks like CNN, HLN and MSNBC. He’s also made numerous appearances over the last year including co-hosting ABC’s “The View” while the iconic Barbara Walters was still on the show, the nationally syndicated “Wendy Williams” show, EPIX, Travel Channel Special, as well as being a featured contributor on the TV One documentary series “Unsung: Hollywood.”   
In 2013, Murray’s commentary about Miley Cyrus on HLN’s “News Now” ended up in a news package about Cyrus on “Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of the Year.”  Another HLN commentary about Jimmy Kimmel’s twerking hoax was included in a reporters’ roundup on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
For additional information on Murray, visit or
About the Jawn Murray: Jawn Murray is a veteran entertainment journalist, lifestyle reporter and pop culture commentator. He’s been named by Ebony magazine as one of the “30 on the Rise” to watch in the industry, and the NAACP recognized him as one of “40 Power Players Under 40.” Before launching his own entertainment and lifestyle website, Murray spent seven years as a columnist for AOL Black Voices. On radio, he spent five years offering entertainment coverage on the nationally syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show.” On TV, he's become a regular contributor on networks like CNN, HLN, TV One, MSNBC, and Fusion TV; and has also appeared on international networks like BBC UK, Canada’s Sun News and Dutch TV. Murray has also been featured on NBC’s “Today Show,” “Access Hollywood,” VH1, “News One Now with Roland Martin,” E!’s “True Hollywood Story,” and “Our World with Black Enterprise.” In 2011 Murray partnered with EMI Gospel for a digital music competition called "Untapped." He then executive produced the partnering compilation CD titled, "Jawn Murray presents Untapped" that was released in September of 2011.
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'Captured By The Game' At Wilshire Ebell Theatre

(Los Angeles, CA - January 23, 2015) -- The stage is set for "R&B Divas LA" star and former City High singer Claudette Ortiz to make her acting debut in the Jack Lightsy Production "Captured By The Game" opening at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre Friday, Feb. 13 and running through Sunday, Feb. 15.

In the comedy stage play, Ortiz plays Sister Shelia who is described as a street wise woman of God that believes there is a little good in everyone.  R&B crooner Jesse Campbell, most recently of NBC's hit series "The Voice," is the player--Oliver--who thinks he is running top notch game on Sister Shelia. The high-jinx that ensue are a classic character study in the challenges of dating in modern society but with a comedic twist.

"Captured By The Game" continues at string of Valentines Weekend productions presented by Writer and Composer Jack Lightsy.  With "Captured" Lightsy turns his lens on the games both men and women play when attempting to only show the positive or most attractive elements of their personality in order to find a mate.  At the same time, the play taps into that old saying about  "good girls and bad guys" while raising the timeless questions about a player's ability to truly give up the game.

Scheduled to run February 13 - 15, 2015 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre tickets for "Captured By The Game" may be purchased at the Ebell Box Office, World Life Book Stores, Simply Wholesome Restaurant and Groups sales and individual tickets may also be purchased at or call 310.963.4704 for group sales inquires only.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Spike Lee To Receive NAACP Image Award

Presentation to Trailblazing Film Director, Producer, Actor, Screenwriter, and Activist
To Be Made During Live Broadcast on Friday, February 6, on TV One

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 21, 2015) – Spike Lee will be presented with the NAACP President’s Award at the 46th NAACP Image Awards, broadcast LIVE from 9-11 p.m. ET (PT tape-delayed) on February 6 on TV ONE, it was announced today by the NAACP.

The NAACP President’s Award, chosen by NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks, is bestowed in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service. Past honorees include Van Jones, President Bill Clinton, Soledad O’Brien, Ruby Dee, Muhammad Ali, the Founding Members of the Black Stuntmen’s Association, and most recently, Kerry Washington.

“Spike Lee is a trailblazer and a champion for minorities. For nearly 40 years, Lee has revolutionized the role of black talent in Hollywood,” states Brooks.  “While African-American filmmakers have been a staple of the cinematic landscape, none have had the same cultural or artistic impact as Spike Lee. His expansive body of work examining race relations, colorism in the black community, the role of media in contemporary life, urban crime and poverty, and other political issues reflect the fullness of the humanity of people of color--particularly African Americans.  I note with appreciation his renaissance versatility as a film director, producer, writer, and actor.”

Spike Lee is a Writer-Director, Actor, Producer, Author, and Educator who has helped revolutionize Modern Black Cinema. Lee is a forerunner in the ‘Do It Yourself’ school of independent film. Spike has recently finished his Kickstarter funded “Da Blood of Sweet Jesus.” An avid Knick fan, Lee will begin hosting a 1 hour bi-weekly sports-talk “Spike Lee’s Best Seat In Da House” show featuring discussions on various news and topics concerning basketball and the NBA in January 2014. Lee has received a Peabody Award for the Documentary “If God is Willing Da Creek Don’t Rise,” which revisits the recently storm-ravaged Gulf Coast region as residents attempt to rebuild in their cities while also demanding assistance and accountability from their political leaders. His recent critical and box office successes have included such films as Inside Man, 25th House, The Original Kings of Comedy, Bamboozled and Summer of Sam. Lee began teaching a course on filmmaking at Harvard University in 1991 and in 1993 he began as a Professor at New York University’s Graduate Film Program Tisch School of the Arts where he received his Master of Fine Arts in Film Production. Spike Lee has combined his extensive creative experience into yet another venture: partnering with DDB Needham, he created Spike/DDB, a full-service advertising agency.

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Lee grew up in a relatively well-off African-American family, Lee was making amateur films by age 20. His first student film, Last Hustle in Brooklyn, was completed when he was an undergrad at Morehouse College. Lee went on to graduate from the New York University Film School in 1982.

The NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishment of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. Winners will be voted upon by NAACP members and announced when the envelopes are opened on Thursday, February 5 during the Awards Ceremony for non-televised categories. The remaining categories will be announced LIVE on stage during the two-hour star-studded TV One telecast on Friday, February 6 (9:00 p.m. ET/PT tape-delated). The telecast will also include a one-hour pre-show airing live from the red carpet (8:00 p.m. ET/PT tape-delayed).

The 46TH NAACP Image Awards are sponsored by: AT&T, Bank of America, FedEx, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Gilead Sciences, Hyundai Motor America, PepsiCo, Southwest Airlines and Wells Fargo.

The official NAACP Image Awards website at

FB: /naacpimageaward  •   Twitter: @naacpimageaward

Monday, January 19, 2015

Short Movie Channel Celebrates 10th Anniversary


Los Angeles, CA January 19, 2015--- ShortsHD, the world's only Short Movie Channel in high definition (, working with Magnolia Pictures will celebrate its 10th anniversary of its Oscar shorts release by opening THE OSCAR® NOMINATED SHORT FILMS 2015 in a record 450+ theatres across the United States, Canada, Europe and Latin America on Friday January 30, 2015. THE OSCAR® NOMINATED SHORT FILMS 2015will showcase the Live Action, Animation and Documentary short film nominees as three separate theatrical events. This is the only opportunity for audiences to watch the nominated short films prior to the 87th Academy Awards® ceremony on Sunday, February 22, 2015.

This years Oscar® Nominated Short Films have a global flair with projects originating from Poland, UK, US, France, China, Switzerland, Canada, Netherlands and Mexico.

The Oscar® Nominated Short Films' box office figures for 2014 were its highest ever, making it one of the top-selling independent film releases in the USA, where it earned $2.4 million.

“Ten years on, The Oscar® Nominated Short Films have become one of the film calendar’s most anticipated yearly events,” said Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive at ShortsHD, the TV network behind the annual compilations. “The appetite for high-quality short movies is at an all-time high, and this year’s films continue to push the boundaries of innovative storytelling.”

For a sneak peak at The Oscar® Nominated Short Films 2015 program, please visit:

This years release includes the following nominated short films:


Directors: Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
Synopsis: A young woman waiting at an airport has an unexpected encounter with an arriving passenger.
Countries of origin: France, Israel
TRT: 39:50
Language: Hebrew, English

Boogaloo and Graham
Directors: Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney
Synopsis: Jamesy and Malachy are presented with two baby chicks to raise by their soft-hearted father.
Country of origin: UK
TRT: 14:00
Language: English

Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak)
Directors: Hu Wei and Julien Féret
Synopsis: A photographer and his assistant photograph the inhabitants of a remote Tibetan village.
Countries of origin: France, China
TRT: 15:54
Language: Tibetan

Directors: Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
Synopsis: An Afghan teenager living in a refugee center in Switzerland encounters difficulties wiring money to her family and asks a young Swiss woman for help.
Country of origin: Switzerland
TRT: 24:26
Language: German

The Phone Call
Directors: Mat Kirkby and James Lucas
Synopsis: A woman working for a crisis center phone line receives a call from a suicidal older man.
Country of origin: UK
TRT: 20:56
Language: English


The Bigger Picture
Directors: Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
Synopsis: Tensions arise between two brothers as their elderly mother requires more care.
Country of origin: UK
TRT: 7:27
Language: English

The Dam Keeper
Directors: Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
Synopsis: A lonely little pig in charge of maintaining the town dam is cruelly bullied by his classmates.
Country of origin: US
TRT: 18:08
Language: English

Directors: Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
Synopsis: The story of the relationship between a young man and the stray puppy he takes in is told through the food the dog receives.
Country of origin: US
TRT: 7:00
Language: English

Me and My Moulton
Director: Torill Kove
Synopsis: Three sisters growing up in an unconventional Norwegian family ask their parents for a bicycle.
Country of origin: Canada
TRT: 13:08
Language: English

A Single Life
Director: Joris Oprins
Synopsis: A mysterious vinyl single gives a young woman the power to move back and forth through the years of her life.
Country of origin: Netherlands
TRT: 2:18
Language: English
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Directors: Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry
Synopsis: Each month, the Veterans Crisis Line receives over 22,000 calls from military veterans, who account for 20% of all suicides in the U.S. each year.
Country of origin: US
TRT: 41
Language: English

Director: Aneta Kopacz
Synopsis: As she faces a terminal illness, the mother of a young son writes a blog in which she tries to leave a record of what she hopes to teach him.
Country of origin: Poland
TRT: 45
Language: Polish

Our Curse
Directors: Tomasz Śliwiński and Maciej Ślesicki
A mother and father face the difficulties of caring for a baby who has been born with a life-threatening congenital breathing disorder known as Ondine's curse.
Country of origin: Poland
TRT: 27
Language: Polish

The Reaper (La Parka)
Director: Gabriel Serra Arguello
Synopsis: For the past 25 years, Efrain has worked in a slaughterhouse, where he has developed an intimate relationship with both death and what one must sometimes do to live.
Country of origin: Mexico
TRT: 29
Language: Spanish

White Earth
Director:  J. Christian Jensen
Synopsis: Three children and an immigrant mother face a long and difficult winter in North Dakota, which has attracted many people seeking work during an oil boom.
Country of origin: US
TRT: 20
Language: English

Nominations for the 87th Academy Awards® were announced on January 15. For more information,

About ShortsHD
ShortsHDis the first high definition channel dedicated to short movies and is available on DIRECTV (Channel 573), and AT&T U-Verse (Channel 1789), US Sonet (Channel 292), CenturyLink prism (1789) and Frontier Communications (Channel 1789).  ShortsHDis operated by Shorts International, the worlds leading short movie entertainment company with the worlds largest movie catalogue dedicated to short movies. Shorts International also operates ShortsTV®, which is available in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Turkey, Romania and Eastern Africa. Shortsis the short movie on-demand service available on iTunes movie stores in 54 countries across the globe and Amazon Instant Video. The company is headquartered in London, England with an additional office in Los Angeles and is led by Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive.