Thursday, February 26, 2015

TCM Classic Film Fest To Honor Shirley MacLaine

Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon

Festival Also Includes Extensive Tribute to Henry Fonda 
by Son and Golden Globe® Winner Peter Fonda;

Appearances by Emmy® Winner Robert Morse and Golden Globe® Nominee George Lazenby

Club TCM Panels to Feature Tony Mendez, Aron Ralston and Mark Schultz,
Whose Real-Life Stories Were Told in Argo (2012), 127 Hours (2010) and Foxcatcher (2014)

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) continues to add screen legends and beloved titles to its most star-studded festival lineup yet. The festival will pay tribute to Academy Award®-winning actress Shirley MacLaine with a pair of screenings and an in-depth interview during the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival, set to take place March 26-29 in Hollywood. The roster is also expanding to include a salute to actor Henry Fonda by his son and two-time Oscar® nominee Peter Fonda; appearances by Emmy® and Tony Award® winner Robert Morse and Golden Globe® nominee George Lazenby; and a panel discussion with three people whose real lives and experiences have been depicted on film, including Tony Mendez (Argo – 2012), Aron Ralston (127 Hours – 2010) and Mark Schultz (Foxcatcher – 2014).
TCM will welcome Shirley MacLaine for an extensive celebration of her 60th anniversary as a film actress. The legendary star will be on hand for screenings of two acclaimed and groundbreaking films: Billy Wilder’s The Apartment (1960), which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, and William Wyler's The Children’s Hour (1961), for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. MacLaine will also participate in an in-depth conversation about her storied career in Club TCM, the central gathering point for festival passholders at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Actor and filmmaker Peter Fonda will mark the 100th anniversary of Henry Fonda's birth with a special three-part tribute, He will join bestselling author and critic Scott Eyman (John Wayne: The Life and Legend, Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford) in Club TCM to discuss the senior Fonda’s character, style, career and very unexpected antic humor from the standpoint of a loving son who himself became a symbol for a generation. Fonda will also introduce screenings of two John Ford classics starring Henry Fonda: Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) and My Darling Clementine (1946).

Stage, television and film actor Robert Morse will be at the festival to present a screening of Tony Richardson's The Loved One (1965), the outrageously hilarious satire based of Evelyn Waugh's novel about Hollywood and the funeral business.

Australian actor George Lazenby will introduce a screening of the action-packed thriller On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), in which he plays one of the most popular and enduring roles in movie history, James Bond.

One of the more remarkable events set to take place at Club TCM this year will be "A Surreal Existence: My Life as Portrayed in Film," a panel discussion featuring three extraordinary people whose real-life stories have been depicted in recent high-profile movies. The panel will include special guests:

·         Tony Mendez, whose daring mission to save a group of Americans trapped in Iran served as the basis for the Oscar-winning Best Picture Argo (2012)
·         Aron Ralston, whose harrowing ordeal of being trapped in a desert canyon was brought to the screen in Danny Boyle's127 Hours (2010)
·         Mark Schultz, the Olympic wrestler whose entanglements with multimillionaire John du Pont were dramatized in Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher (2014)
Mendez, Ralston and Schultz will give firsthand accounts of their "Hollywood" experience working with filmmakers, from the excitement of casting to the surprises of creative license. They will also cover what's fact and what's fiction, and how their lives have been impacted by their on-screen portrayals.

Previously announced events and appearances for the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival include the 50th Anniversary opening night gala presentation of The Sound of Music (1965) with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in attendance, as well as extended conversations with legendary stars Sophia Loren, who will be interviewed by Robert Osborne and participate in a screening of Marriage Italian Style (1964), and Dustin Hoffman, who will sit down with Alec Baldwin after a screening of Lenny (1974). Also featured, Spike Lee will present a screening of Malcolm X (1992); Captain James Lovell will be on hand for the 20th Anniversary world premiere restoration of Apollo 13 (1995); and legendary entertainer Ann-Margret will appear at a screening of The Cincinnati Kid (1973).

Complete bios for each of the artists appearing at the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival can be found at the festival's website:


The Apartment (1960) – Featuring an appearance by Shirley MacLaine
Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine star in writer-director Billy Wilder’s story about an aspiring executive who lets his superiors use his apartment for assignations, only to find his climb up the corporate ladder won’t be as easy as he thought after he falls for his boss' mistress.

The Children's Hour (1961) – Featuring an appearance by Shirley MacLaine
Based on the Lillian Hellman play and directed by William Wyler, this gripping drama stars Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn as the owners of a private boarding school who stand to lose everything after a conniving student accuses them of being in a romantic relationship.

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) – Featuring an appearance by Peter Fonda
John Ford directs Henry Fonda in this fictionalized courtroom drama about the future president as a young, novice lawyer who must defend a man accused of murder.

My Darling Clementine (1946) – Featuring an appearance by Peter Fonda
Henry Fonda stars in director John Ford’s Western about how Wyatt Earp and his brothers arrived in Tombstone, Arizona, and set the stage for the infamous shootout at the O.K. Corral. 

The Loved One (1965) – Featuring an appearance by Robert Morse
Robert Morse, Rod Steiger, Anjanette Comer and Jonathan Winters lead a sparkling cast in director Tony Richardson’s hilarious satire based on Evelyn Waugh’s novel about Hollywood and the funeral business.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) – Featuring an appearance by George Lazenby
Peter R. Hunt directs and George Lazenby stars as 007 in the sixth installment of author Ian Fleming’s blockbuster James Bond franchise. This time, Bond must thwart the maniacal plans of the evil Blofeld (Telly Savalas) while romancing a beautiful Contessa (Diana Rigg).
For the sixth consecutive year, thousands of movie lovers from around the globe will descend upon Hollywood for the TCM Classic Film Festival. The 2015 festival is set to take place Thursday, March 26 – Sunday, March 29, 2015. Over four packed days and nights, attendees will be treated to an extensive lineup of great movies, appearances by legendary stars and filmmakers, fascinating presentations and panel discussions, special events and more.

The theme for the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival will be History According to Hollywood:

The Old West. Medieval England. Ancient Rome. Hollywood has found endless inspiration in re-creating historical moments and bringing to life the heroes and villains of the past, creating a form of time travel for audiences through the ages and around the world. These films, however, are not always true to the historical record. Filmmakers have often created works about the past that are a reflection of the period in which they were made, or change facts to suit a particular storyline. The 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival will explore how cinema has shaped how we view – and remember – history.

TCM host and film historian Robert Osborne will once again serve as official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival, with TCM's Ben Mankiewicz introducing various events. The festival's official hotel and central gathering point for the sixth consecutive year will be The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which has a longstanding role in movie history and was the site of the first Academy Awards® ceremony. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel will also offer special rates for festival attendees.

Screenings and events during the festival will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and the Egyptian Theatre, as well as other Hollywood venues.

Passes for the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival are on sale now and can be purchased exclusively through the official festival website: The number of passes available, especially top-level "Spotlight" passes, is limited.

The "Spotlight" Festival Pass: $1,649 – Includes all privileges available to "Classic" and "Essential" passholders, priority entry to all screening events; plus entry to the exclusive Opening Night Gala Party following the Red Carpet Gala screening at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX; meet-and-greet events with TCM friends, including Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz; and a limited edition TCM Classic Film Festival poster.

The "Essential" Festival Pass: $749 – Includes all privileges available to "Classic" passholders, plus entry to the Red Carpet Gala screening at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX and official TCM Classic Film Festival collectibles.

The "Classic" Festival Pass: $599 – Includes access to all screenings and events at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX (excluding the Opening Night Red Carpet Gala), the Egyptian Theatre and poolside screenings at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Friday, March 27 – Sunday, March 29.

The "Palace" Festival Pass: $299 – Includes access to all screenings and events at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX (excluding the Opening Night Red Carpet Gala) and the Egyptian Theatre Friday, March 27 – Sunday, March 29, as well as poolside screenings at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is a Peabody Award-winning network that presents great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world. TCM, which is available in more than 85 million homes, features the insights of hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests. Currently in its 21st year as a leading authority in classic film, TCM offers critically acclaimed original documentaries and specials; film series like The Essentials, and Friday Night Spotlight; and annual programming events like 31 Days of Oscar® in February, Summer Under the Stars in August and TCM Essentials Jr. during the summer. TCM also connects with movie fans through such events as the annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and the TCM Classic Cruise, as well as through the TCM Classic Film Tour in New York City and Los Angeles. In addition, TCM produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs, and hosts a wealth of material online at and through the Watch TCM mobile app.

TCM is part of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company. Turner Broadcasting creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Vivica A. Fox To Host Allstate Gospel Superfest

Vivica A. Fox

Chicago, IL – February 25, 2014 – Unity Media LTD., the producers of the Allstate Gospel Superfest will return to the city of Chicago for its 16th Annual Allstate Gospel Superfest television extravaganza. The super-show will return to Chicago’s House of Hope Arena with a star-studded array of performers, hosts and presenters that resemble a made in Hollywood presentation. 

Mega-stars Vivica A. Fox, (Celebrity Apprentice), Fonzworth Bentley (Making the Band, Lift Every Voice) and Wendy Raquel Robinson (The Game) will host the national televised event that has something for music fans of all ages. 

Fonzworth Bentley

The Allstate Gospel Superfest, the most widely distributed TV show in black gospel music history, promises to keep pace with its trendsetting production with this year’s line-up.  The show will feature chart topping inspirational recording artists including Kelly Price, Dorinda Clark-Cole, J. Moss, The Rance Allen Group, Vanessa Bell Armstrong and many others. Over thirty national acts are slated to take the stage during event.

The show is title-sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company of Northbrook, IL.  Allstate has been title sponsor of The Gospel Superfest for seven consecutive years. “We are absolutely thrilled to work with the Allstate Insurance Company. It is a privilege and honor to have the faith and confidence of a prestigious corporation like Allstate”, says show founder and executive producer Bobby Cartwright, Jr.

The Allstate Gospel Superfest “Live In Chicago” will take place Saturday, March 21, 2015 from 6-11 p.m. (local time) at The House of Hope Arena, 752 E 114th Street, Chicago, IL 60628.   Tickets for the event go on sale Friday, Nov. 28, 2014 (Black Friday) at 10 a.m. (EST). Tickets can be purchased on-line at or by phone at 866-468-7619.  More details, performer updates and host hotel information will be made available at the show’s official website at

About Allstate Gospel Superfest
The Allstate Gospel Superfest is one of the nation’s largest TV recordings in the field of urban-targeted, inspirational music and entertainment.  Founded in 1998, the show has maintained a consistent presence in broadcast syndication for 15 consecutive years.  Releasing five one-hour specials a year, The Allstate Gospel Superfest is carried by major TV network affiliated stations including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW, & MYTV.  The production is known for its elaborate staging, trendsetting production and Hollywood styled approach to gospel music television. Allstate Gospel Superfest TV programming reaches millions of TV viewers annually via domestic syndication and Cable, The Allstate Gospel Superfest is the most widely distributed TV brand in the history of black gospel music television. Gospel Superfest is a trade name of Unity Media Limited of Ohio.

Divergent Series: Insurgent Hits Theaters March 20

THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT raises the stakes for Tris as she searches for allies and answers in the ruins of a futuristic Chicago. Tris (Woodley) and Four (James) are now fugitives on the run, hunted by Jeanine (Winslet), the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite.  Racing against time, they must find out what Tris’s family sacrificed their lives to protect, and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them. Haunted by her past choices but desperate to protect the ones she loves, Tris, with Four at her side, faces one impossible challenge after another as they unlock the truth about the past and ultimately the future of their world.  The film, based on the novel Insurgent by Veronica Roth, is directed by Robert Schwentke and produced by Douglas Wick, p.g.a.; Lucy Fisher, p.g.a. and Pouya Shahbazian.

The film stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Academy Award® Winner Octavia Spencer, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Daniel Dae Kim, with Naomi Watts, and Academy Award® Winner Kate Winslet.

Insurgent hits theaters nationwide March 20.

Trailer YouTube Link: Insurgent Final Trailer – “Stand Together”

Find show times & BUY TICKETS HERE:

Summit Entertainment presents a Red Wagon Entertainment / Mandeville Pictures production, a Robert Schwentke film.

Official Website:
Official Twitter Page: 
Official Instagram Account:
Official Pinterest Page:
Follow on Snapchat: DivergentSeries

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rubicon Announces Fall Theatre Tour To England

Participants will Receive the “Royal Treatment”
September 22 through September 29, 2015

February 24, 2015 (Ventura, CA) – Rubicon’s Theatre of Ventura’s travel program has earned a reputation for providing unique behind-the-scenes experiences that cannot be arranged privately. The company’s New York trips and the recent Chicago trip sold out within days of being announced. Rubicon has just announced the company’s second tour of England, with more incredible, once-in-a-lifetime offerings.

The 8-day/7-night package to England, slated for September 22 to September 29, 2015, includes round-trip air fare on Air New Zealand and ground transportation from Rubicon. Group members will spend their first two days in England at the four-star Arden Hotel in Stratford-upon Avon, a charming country town that was the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The hotel sits opposite the famed Royal Shakespeare Company, up the road from Holy Trinity Church (where Shakespeare lies buried), and within easy walking distance of the historical landmarks of this Tudor market town. During the two-day stay in Stratford, Rubicon guests will receive an exclusive backstage tour of the Royal Shakespeare Company, dine in the beautiful RSC Rooftop Restaurant overlooking the River Avon, and experience a production in one of RSC’s three theatres.

Participants continue their English adventure in the comfort of a chartered bus to London, where guests spend four nights at the luxurious Goring Hotel, a recipient of a Royal Warrant for Hospitality by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. (The only other hotel to receive such an honor is The Ritz). The Duchess of Cambridge, Katharine Middleton, spent the night before her 2011 wedding to Prince William at this hotel with her family, and it has hosted countless luminaries due to its reputation for extraordinary customer care.

In London, the group will enjoy two more shows in London’s West End. Potential shows include the re-imagined Miss Saigon and the acclaimed stage version of the Academy Award-winning Shakespeare in Love, however shows will be finalized closer to departure to allow for the booking of the latest and most exciting productions). Other scheduled activities include a guided tour of Buckingham Palace’s State Rooms and Gardens (open only two months of the year when the Royal Family is not in residence, giving an inside look at a rare “working palace”), an exclusive viewing of the Changing of the Guards from INSIDE Buckingham Palace gates, and a private Meet-and-Greet with West End artists to allow trip-goers to hear more about the inner-workings of the British theatre scene from experts. Group members will have plenty of free time to explore London with the guidance of the renowned concierge staff at The Goring and Rubicon staff.

Rubicon Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director Karyl Lynn Burns and Development Manager Alyson Schuster Melling (who received her Master’s degree in the UK and was employed at the Royal Shakespeare Company for a year before returning to Rubicon) will accompany travelers.

Says Melling, “I can’t wait for this trip! I’m thrilled to share the charm of Stratford, and the wonders of London with the Rubicon group. This trip will allow our patrons some truly extraordinary experiences – every trip we put together we try to make incredibly special, but this one is my ‘cup of tea.’”

The cost for the tour package is $4,950 per person double occupancy, and includes a tax-deductible donation to Rubicon of $500. Travelers are advised that passports are required for this trip and that while the Goring and the Arden hotel have provisions in place for guests who are less mobile, many portions of this trip require walking and stairs, which should be considered when booking. 

To reserve a place on the trip, or for additional information, call Alyson Melling at 805.667.2900 ext. 237 or e-mail her at

Lyfe Jennings New Single Available on ITunes

February 24, 2015 (New York, NY) – Armed with prolific vocal and songwriting abilities, singer-songwriter Lyfe Jennings has returned with “Pretty Is,” the lead single off of his highly anticipated sixth studio album, Tree Of Lyfe. The album will be released this summer via RAL/Sony Music Entertainment.
“Pretty Is” is a soulful and melodic ballad that celebrates women with an empowering message. The song has already sparked buzz and early reaction among radio industry heavyweights: Ryan Cameron of V103 FM radio in Atlanta says, “Listening to “Pretty Is” loud in the car, the single got a Force MD’s “Tender Love” slash Jagged Edge “I Gotta Be” feel to it...I like it!!” And Skip Dillard of WBLS 107.5 FM in New York says, “Really good record for him!”
On his new album, Tree Of Lyfe, Lyfe Jennings describes it as his most personal work to date and produced the majority of the album at his home studio. When asked about his current musical mindset, Lyfe Jennings response is one of reflection and experience, “Everybody feels like they have to reinvent themselves. I don’t think you can reinvent the truth. It is what it is. I’m not focused on reinvention. I want to go deeper. This album reaffirms the reasons why people started loving this music in the first place."
About Lyfe Jennings:
In 2004, Lyfe Jennings captivated countless listeners worldwide with his seminal platinum-selling debut Lyfe 268-192. Since then, the singer and songwriter created four more critically acclaimed and consistently powerful offerings, including 2013's Lucid. He also collaborated with notable artists from Alicia Keys and Talib Kweli to Rick Ross and Bun B. 
To listen to “Pretty Is,” please visit:
To purchase and download “Pretty Is” on iTunes, please visit:
Follow Lyfe Jennings:
Spotify: Lyfe Jennings

Sunday, February 22, 2015

John Legend and Common Win Big At 87th Oscars

The 87th Annual Academy Awards, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, were held at the Dolby Theater Sunday.  Although it rained, it didn't dampen the spirits of the throngs who came to celebrate film. There were no big surprises. Although Selma did not walk away with an Oscar® for Best Motion Picture Of The Year, John Legend and Common did win statuettes for Best Original Song for the song 'Glory,' which appeared in the film, Glory.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, Producers

Julianne Moore in Still Alice

Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

The Imitation Game
Written by Graham Moore

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alexandre Desplat
(l-r) John Legend and Common

“Glory” from Selma
Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn

Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky

Tom Cross

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Emmanuel Lubezki

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock

Big Hero 6
Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli

Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed

Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood

American Sniper
Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry

The Phone Call
Mat Kirkby and James Lucas

Ida (Poland)

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Milena Canonero

J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

Comedy and Music Industry Producer David Banks' Daughter Announces His Passing At 82

David Banks

Music industry executive, David Banks, passed away February 21. His daughter distributed the following obituary. 
We are deeply saddened to announce that comedy and music industry producer, David Banks, 82, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 of heart failure at a hospital in the San Fernando Valley, Southern California.

David’s brilliance, passion and energy for the love of making people smile through comedy will truly be missed.

David Banks was born in Jackson, Mississippi and lived in Los Angeles, California since the early 1970s.   David has been in the Entertainment Business since he was a teenager and served in the Air Force shortly after he graduated from high school.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from UC Berkeley.

David started working as an Executive in the Music Industry shortly after he graduated from college, working for multiple entertainment companies including Columbia Records and Warner Bros. Records.  David produced a few of Richard Pryor’s multiple platinum albums, as well as Sly & the Family Stone, Lenny Williams and The Bee Gees.  He recently created the title of Richard Pryor’s Showtime documentary “Omit the Logic” and consulted for comedians such as Eddie Griffin, Mike Epps and Chris Tucker.

The world will definitely feel the void without David’s larger than life personality.

His greatest love was for his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary talent.

A public memorial service will be announced shortly.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

March For Justice and Unity Held In Los Angeles

 (l-r centered) Rev. Xavier Thompson; President, Baptist Ministers’ Conference L.A. and Danny Bakewell, Sr.; Executive Publisher, Los Angeles Sentinel chant for Justice at the 
March for Justice and Unity in Los Angeles.
                                                    Photo credit:  Scott Mitchell Photography

(Los Angeles-February 21, 2015) The Black Leadership Coalition spearheaded by Los Angeles Executive Publisher, Danny Bakewell, Sr. and Baptist Ministers Conference L.A. President Reverend Xavier Thompson led the March for Justice and Unity today. The two-mile march began in front of the Southwest Los Angeles Police Department on M.L. King Blvd. and ended with a rally at Leimert Park on Crenshaw. Approximately a thousand concerned community leaders and people participated in this well planned March to protest police violence, brutality and racial profiling.

The family of Ezell Ford, a 25 year old man who was described as mentally ill by family members, was fatally shot by LAPD officers nearly four months ago and Jamar Nicholson, an unarmed15 year old was shot in the back by a police officer this week.

Some of the participating leaders included, Congresswoman Karen Bass, Council President Herb Wesson, Senator Isadore Hall, National Action Network’s Rev. K.W. Tulloss & Rev. Jonathan Moseley, Urban League’s Nolan Rollins, Brotherhood Crusade’s Charisse Bremond Weaver, Dr. Maulana Karenga, Minister Tony Muhammad, along with several union leaders, churches, fraternities, sororities, political clubs, community organizations, and the African-American community.

'Birdman' Takes 'Best Feature' At Spirit Awards

The 30th Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards was held tonight.

Following is the complete list of winners:

BirdmanProducers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole

Michael Keaton

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

BEST DOCUMENTARYCitizenfourDirector/Producer: Laura Poitras
Producers: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky

Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler

KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARDH., Directors: Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia
J.K. Simmons

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

NightcrawlerDirector: Dan Gilroy; Producers: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak

Land Ho!
Writers/Directors: Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens; Producers: Christina Jennings, Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy

Ida (Poland), Director: Pawel Pawlikowski


Justin Simien, Dear White People

Patricia Arquette

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Tom Cross, Whiplash

Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sergio Mendes and Set To Perform At Governors Ball On Oscar® Sunday, February 22

LOS ANGELES, CA – Grammy® Award-winning artists Sergio Mendes and are set to take the stage at the Governors Ball, the Academy’s official post-Oscars® celebration, on Oscar Sunday, February 22.  They will perform for the Ball’s 1,500 guests, which will include Oscar winners and nominees, show presenters and performers, and other luminaries.

Mendes, a renowned producer, composer, keyboardist and vocalist, has been a force on the international music scene for more than five decades and continues to evolve creatively through new collaborations and media.  One of the most successful Brazilian artists of all time, Mendes became familiar to American audiences with the album “Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66,” which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2012.  He has recorded more than 40 albums, won one Grammy and two Latin Grammy Awards, and earned a 2011 Oscar nomination for the original song “Real In Rio” from the animated feature film “Rio.”  He currently is composing and producing music for several film and album projects, and still tours worldwide.

Sergio Mendes

Los Angeles native is a global music artist and tech entrepreneur who has earned seven Grammys, an Emmy®, two CLIOs, two NAACP Image Awards and several other honors for his creative and philanthropic work.  He came to prominence as the front man for The Black Eyed Peas, whose multi-platinum albums include “The E.N.D.” and “Monkey Business.”  His most recent album, “#willpower,” includes several guest artist collaborations in a fusion of hip-hop, R&B, and electronic/dance music.  In addition to writing or performing songs for such animated features as “Rio 2,” “Rio” and “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa,” voiced characters in all three films and played supporting roles in “Date Night” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

The Governors Ball performance will feature songs from Mendes’s Latin Grammy-winning “Timeless” album, which was produced by and featured such artists as Justin Timberlake, John Legend, The Black Eyed Peas and Stevie Wonder.

The Governors Ball will be held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center®.

The 87th Oscars will be held on Sunday, Feb. 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 Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

# # #


Codeblack and Ebony Release Original Short Film

Actress Salli Richardson-Whitfield Channels Lena Horne in

"A Lady Must Live: A Lena Horne Tribute." 

February 20, 2015 – (Los Angeles, CA) Codeblack Films, a Lionsgate Company, has partnered with Ebony Magazine to release an original short film in honor of Black History Month, "A Lady Must Live: A Lena Horne Tribute." 

This mesmerizing short film stars actress Salli Richardson-Whitfield (I Will Follow, “Being Mary Jane”) as the legendary Grammy and Tony Award-winning stage and screen star Lena Horne, who has a grand legacy as a groundbreaking performer, beauty icon, and passionate American civil rights activist. It will be available exclusively on, and a separate two-minute version will be released today on the Codeblack and Ebony Magazine Facebook Pages.

“A Lady Must Live” coincides with Codeblack Films’ month-long social media salute to Ms. Horne and other trailblazers of Black History, including Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman to be elected to Congress and run for President, Ava DuVernay, the first African-American woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award and win Best Director honors at the Sundance Film Festival and Ursula Burns, the first African-American woman to serve as CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

"As a company, we are increasingly focused on developing digital content and partnerships like this one to adapt to the changing landscape of the film industry in the digital era. The key is creating content people connect with, whether it's a two hour film or a two minute short on Facebook," says Codeblack Films founder and President, Jeff Clanagan.  “Our Black History Month digital series provides us with a vibrant and immediate platform to share the stories of some of the most influential figures in history.  We have steadily developed our social media footprint, and are very proud to bring the audience a look at a beautiful tribute to the amazing Lena Horne.”

Codeblack has developed a following of more than four million fans on their Facebook pages and has rapidly become a leader and innovator in the digital media space, creating and releasing original content with Kevin Hart, Shaquille O'Neal, Sanaa Lathan, Mike Epps, and other high-profile talent.

For more information on Codeblack:,
Twitter @CodeblackLife, and Instagram @CodeblackLife. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Youth Empowerment Conference Set For March 28

The Youth Empowerment Conference hosted by National Congress Of Black Women (NCBW-LAC) will be held on Saturday, March 28, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at Mount Saint Mary's University, located at 10 Chester Place, Los Angeles, CA 90007. You are encouraged to attend this free life-changing, most inspiring and motivating conference. Engage with speakers from all walks of life and professions - doctors, engineers, scientists, financial advisors and more. Speakers will focus on mentoring and services important to your academic and professional success. The day promises to be filled with fun and excitement for students in grades 9-12.  
To register contact Diane Drummer, Event Chair, (800) 895-3180 ext. 7 or email Space is limited!  
For thirty years, the National Congress of Black Women, Incorporated has operated nationally and internationally as a nonprofit 501(c)(3).  In 2009, the Los Angeles Chapter was founded, joining the fight to improve our communities through educational, economic and cultural development of African American women and their families.    Annually, the organization is able to offer scholarships to local students and works towards achieving program initiatives through its partnerships and fundraising opportunities such as the annual luncheon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Empire's Terrence Howard To Present At Oscars

Terrence Howard

LOS ANGELES, CA— Oscar®-nominated actor Terrence Howard (2006) and Oscar nominee Felicity Jones will be presenters at this year’s 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.

Howard was nominated for his leading role in 2006’s “Hustle & Flow.” His other films include Oscar-winning Best Picture “Crash” (2004), “Ray” (2004), “Iron Man” (2008), “Prisoners” (2013), “Lee Daniel’s The Butler” (2013) and “St. Vincent” (2014).  Howard currently stars in the hit television series “Empire.”  His upcoming films include “Term Life” and “Cardboard Boxer.”

Jones is nominated for Actress in a Leading Role for “The Theory of Everything.” Her previous film credits include “The Tempest” (2010), “Like Crazy” (2011), “The Invisible Woman” (2013) and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (2014). Jones’ upcoming films include “True Story,” “Autobahn,”  “A Monster Calls” and “Inferno.”

Oscar presenters and performers include:

Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Cate Blanchett, Jessica Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Benedict Cumberbatch, Viola Davis, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idris Elba, Ansel Elgort, Chris Evans, Kevin Hart, Terrence Howard, Josh Hutcherson, Scarlett Johansson, Dakota Johnson, Felicity Jones, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez, Jared Leto, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey, Sienna Miller, Chloë Grace Moretz, Eddie Murphy, Liam Neeson, Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Margot Robbie, Zoe Saldana, Octavia Spencer, Meryl Streep, Channing Tatum, Miles Teller, John Travolta, Kerry Washington, Naomi Watts, Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon.

Jack Black, Common, Jennifer Hudson, Anna Kendrick, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Adam Levine with Maroon 5, Tim McGraw, Rita Ora and Tegan and Sara with The Lonely Island.

The 87th Oscars will be held on Sunday, Feb. 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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Monday, February 16, 2015

Virtue's 'You Are' At #25 On The Billboard Chart

Virtue Girls One No Logo High Res
Philadelphia, PA (Monday, February 16, 2015) – Grammy, Dove and Stellar nominated female group Virtue’s latest hit “You Are” is gaining traction at gospel radio across the country by jumping +9 spots cracking Top 30 and landing at #25 with a +80 spin trend on the Nielsen BDS Gospel Airplay chart this week.
Virtue will perform “You Are” live this Friday, February 20 at 8 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. CST on “Rejoice in the Word” program on The Word Network cable channel hosted by Bishop George Bloomer.
The appearance comes on the heels of the group’s release of TESTIMONY: RELOADED (Mixed Bag/eOne) – a re-release of their 2006 Grammy-nominated album Testimony. The re-release which is available in stores and online now features the group’s current single “You Are” and a new Fred Jerkins produced track “You Deserve.”
“We are excited about all of our music, but the inspiration behind our new album [Testimony: Reloaded] comes from us being away for so long; and all of the things that happened in our lives,” states Virtue in an exclusive interview with Sister 2 Sister Magazine. “Life happened in a huge way for us. In the time we were away we all became mothers, one of us experienced divorce, and we experienced three deaths. We lost a sister, our father, and our grandmother. Our true inspiration came from real life experiences that have touched us and changed us in ways that we could never have expressed before. So, we grew up and you can hear it lyrically and vocally.”
Virtue continues to promote their rising single with upcoming appearances at the Selma 50 (An All Star Tribute to Selma) joining Fantasia, Kirk Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Ruben Studdard, The Clark Sisters and more on March 8; the Annual Gospel Superfest in Chicago (Mar 21); and the 30th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards in Las Vegas (Mar 27-28).

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Fifth 'Mission Impossible' Set For July 31 Release

HOLLYWOOD, CA (February 13, 2015) – Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, Bad Robot, and IMAX Corporation today announced that the fifth installment in the blockbuster “MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE” franchise, directed by Christopher McQuarrie and starring Tom Cruise, will be digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX® format and released in IMAX® theaters worldwide beginning July 31st.

The new film is produced by Tom Cruise, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk. The executive producers are David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger of Skydance Productions and Jake Myers. Drew Pearce, Christopher McQuarrie, Will Staples, Laeta Kalogridis & Patrick Lussier and Dylan Kussman wrote the screenplay, based on the television series created by Bruce Geller.

The newest installment reunites Cruise with stars from 2011’s “MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL,” including Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames. Joining the cast is Alec Baldwin, Rebecca Ferguson and Sean Harris.

“IMAX is so important in giving the audience the best experience of the film we have made. I am very happy to have this partnership on the next ‘MISSION,’” said Cruise.

“After the innovative way we worked with our longtime partners Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, Bad Robot and Tom Cruise on the record-setting ‘MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL,’ we are beyond thrilled to once again offer audiences The IMAX Experience® of the latest installment of this action-packed franchise,” said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. “This film was literally made for IMAX and summer moviegoing.”

Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures said, “Audiences the world over proved with the last ‘MISSION’ that the IMAX experience is not to be missed and so we are all thrilled to again partner with Rich, Greg and everyone at IMAX to bring this next exciting installment to their screens this summer.”

The “MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE” franchise has earned more than $2 billion at the box office, making it one of the most successful franchises in movie history.

The IMAX® release of the latest “MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE “ film will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX's customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Bergman's 7th Annual Oscar Party Attracts Celebs

 Renee Taylor (2nd from left) and Joe Bologna (right) 
with title sponsor MD Sun Skin Care execs

Fig & Olive, which features gourmet cuisine from the French and Italian Rivieras – opened its doors Thursday to host Doris Bergman’s Style Lounge and Party – the first tribute of the season, honoring the upcoming 87th Annual Academy Awards.  More than 100 of Hollywood’s finest turned out to celebrate and honor the film industry’s Oscar® nominated actors, former Oscar® winners, nominees, stylists and industry VIPs.   

The invitation-only event, hosted by MD Sun Skin Care and presented by Pura d’or Hair Care, showcased an array of fashion for him and her including couture gowns, bespoke tuxedos & suits, the finest in beauty, skin & hair care, jewelry collections, accessories, chic chapeaus, timepieces, fragrances, fashion-forward footwear, unique spirits, delectable sweets and much more!  

 Lisa Vidal (Being Mary Jane) and Silvana K. Designs

Elise Robertson & Marnette Patterson (Oscar Nominated Movie “American Sniper”), Oscar Nominee Danielle Brisebois (Original Song “Lostt Stars” from “Begin Again”), Kenny Chin (Oscar Nominated Move “Birdman”), Maddalena Ischiale (Oscar Nominated Movie “Unbroken”), Manny Marroquin (Oscar Nominated Original Song “Glory” from “Selma”), Melora Hardin (Golden Globe Winning Comedy “Transparent”), Trinity Simone (Oscar Nominated Move “Selma”) joined former Oscar Nominees Renee Taylor & Joe Bologna, Hollywood Icon & former Golden Globe Nominee Lainie Kazan, Greg Grunberg (“Masters of Sex”), Hollywood Icon, Deidre Hall, Dennis Christopher (“Django Unchained”), Jackson Pace (“Homeland”), Comedian Kevin Farley, John Savage, Kelsey Scott (2014 Oscar-winning film “Twelve Years a Slave”), Lisa Vidal “Being Mary Jane”), Michael Welch (“Twilight” Trilogy), Richard Grieco (“22 Jump Street”), and multiple award-winning actor Chris McDonald, to name a few who were among the cadre of celebrities and industry VIPs who were treated to the best of the best!

(l-r) Rosa Blasi and Lisa Ann Walter with Telic Footwear

Melora Hardin, (Transparent) with presenting sponsor
Pura d'or Hair Care

In the spirit of giving back, Wednesday’s Child is our official charity and will be on-site collecting new, unwrapped gifts – clothing, accessories, electronics, sporting equipment, monetary donations, etc., for a Post-Holiday Gift Drive.   All guests are encouraged to donate at least one item for teens in foster care aged 13-18.  Let’s spread the love by lending a helping hand so that these young people can look forward to a spectacular start for the New Year! 

In the spirit of giving back, guests made a monetary donation and/or donated a new,unwrapped gift for a Post-Holiday Gift Drive,  benefitting ‘Wednesday’s Child’ -- a weekly segment airing on KTTV FOX 11 News, Los Angeles, with Anchor Christine Devine. ‘Wednesday’s Child’ highlights ‘harder to place’ children in the LA County foster care system who are in need of adoptive families. “In Los Angeles County, alone, there are over 35,000 children receiving child welfare services,” says social worker, William Wong.  “This event reaches far beyond the Hollywood ‘glitz’ and into the heart and soul.  All of the guests and sponsors were extremely generous!  We have formed new relationships which extend beyond the event and, additionally, Bergman invites two foster children to join in on the festivities and experience what it felt like to be treated as a VIP -- the love from the sponsors was tremendous!” added Wong.

Gifts and services were provided by:

MD Sun Skin Care, Pura d’or Hair Care, Whirl-a-Style, Handmade Hearts by Hillel, Nitrocream, Bling It Hat Designs, Silvana K. Jewelry Designs, DI Snapback, Microderm 360, Kama Sutra, Samiah Fine Clothing, My Saint My Hero, Twisted Silver, Perch Jewelry, Single Dress, Kaya Di Koko, Single Underwear, Spongelle, Art Lewin Bespoke, Tequila Azul Imperial, Telic Footwear, Drink Hint, Sue Wong, The Virgin Cure, Arbonne, Model In A Bottle, My Dog Nose It, Shangri La Luxury, Shoppe 815, Color Wow, Tanus Designs Jewelry, Ofenbacher Fudge, GUESS,  Luna Bar & Clif Bar & Veved Ice Vodka.

del Toro's 'Crimson Peak' Hits Theaters October 16

Legendary Pictures’ supernatural thriller, Crimson Peak, a co-production with Universal Pictures, is a haunting gothic horror story directed by the master of dark fairy tales, Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy series, Pacific Rim), written by del Toro & Matthew Robbins and starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam and Jim Beaver. 

In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider.  Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers. 

Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, del Toro and Callum Greene produce, and Jillian Share executive produces.