Kala festival, Albania: party time in what feels like a paradise

A new arrival on the festival circuit, Albania is tempting younger holidaymakers to dance on its beaches and explore beyond its pristine shores

Just how seriously the Albanian ministry of tourism was taking Kala festival – the first international event of its kind in the country – became clear the moment we stepped off the boat at Saranda to find a police escort waiting to accompany our coaches on the winding, mountainous transfer. That and the arrival of prime minister Edi Rama the following day, for an impromptu poolside press conference with the organisers at our hotel.

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Travel | The Guardian

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ASVOFF Festival Sets New Dates and Venue for 10th Anniversary

CHANGE OF SCENERY: The annual fashion-centric short film festival “A Shaded View on Fashion Film” has found a new venue for its 10th anniversary edition after Pierre Cardin withdrew from the event.
Originally set to take place from Sept. 7 to 9 at the 96-year-old designer’s Palais Bulles, located in the French city of Théoule-sur-Mer on the Mediterranean coast, the festival has been rescheduled for Oct. 12 to 14 at the Club de l’Etoile near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, organizers said, without proving additional details.
The jury, to be headed by Spanish actress Rossy de Palma, will include Rick Owens and his wife and muse Michèle Lamy; Jean Paul Gaultier; costume designer Eric Daman; Pamela Golbin, chief curator of fashion and textiles at Les Arts Décoratifs; artist Orlan, and film critic Elisabeth Quin, among others.
Founded in 2006 as “You Wear It Well,” the festival was renamed “A Shaded View on Fashion Film” in 2008 when it moved to Paris, to match the “A Shaded View on Fashion”  blog created by Diane Pernet, a blogger and multihyphenate industry insider.
The three-day program will feature more than 80 films, including a collaboration with the film school École de la Cité and Casa 93, a

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Your Ultimate Guide To Essence Festival 2018

Black women unite! Our festival is upon us, which means it’s time to converge at the convention center in NOLA for a weekend of empowering panels, uplifting events, beauty booths galore, concerts and so much more.

Here’s your ultimate festival guide.

What To Bring

Source: Danielle James / Hello Beautiful

First things first. Packing light, but effectively, is of the essence here (get it…essence). Girl, it’s going to be hot. We’re talking hot hot hot, which means the less clothing the better. Think white and bright colors (melanin-friendly) and comfortable but cute shoes because you’re going to be walking a lot.

The New Orleans Convention Center is the central location for the Essence experience and is where you’ll find yourself spending the most time. Bring cash, because the parking lot is full of delicious food and drink vendors. They might take cards, but who wants to be waiting for a receipt on the blacktop in the heat? Exactly.

The Panels

The most empowering part of Essence Festival is the opportunity to see your favorite motivational speakers, celebrities and personalities on panels.

Check out some of these panels and expos:

Thursday, July 5

Boss Up! – Empowering Women Entrepreneurs- Thursday, July 5: 1:00pm

“Miles & Mimosas: Back to your Roots” A conversation with RUNGRL about Black Hair as a Barrier to Wellness- Friday, July 6th: 10:00am

Ashunta Sheriff Presents “Get Glowing: Tips & Tricks For a Flawless Glow”- Friday, July 6th: 11:05

Beauty Myths Debunked: Slay, Nay or UmKay?! feat Gia Peppers, Dr. Candrice Heath and Tahira Wright of The Cut Life- Friday, July 6th: 12:35pm- 12:55pm 

Being an Editor-in-Chic with Mikki Taylor- Friday, July 6th: 12:45pm

Building and Branding The Mpire: An MPowered Conversation with Mona Scott-Young- Friday, July 6: 2:05pm

#BlackGirlsDo: How Black Girls Practice Self-Care feat, Kela Walker, Naturi Naughton and Necole Kane- Saturday, July 7th: 4:30pm-4:50pm 

Bearded Bae Showdown: The Hottest Bearded Guys at ESSENCE Fest- Friday, July 6: 2:55pm

Saturday, July 7

Source: Jeff Kravitz / Getty

Black Panther Heroic Encounter- Saturday, July 7: 11:00am

TRESemmé Summer Slay Hair Masterclass with Unilever Hair Expert, Ursula Stephen- Saturday, July 7: 11:35am

Screening of “Claws” followed by a cast Q&A, Presented by TNT- Saturday, July 7: 12:15

Cast Appearance: Insecure, Presented by HBO with Yvonne Orji & Y’lan Noel- Saturday, July 7: 12:55

Meet the cast of Power including Joseph Sikora, Rotimi & Naturi Naughton, presented by STARZ!- Saturday, July 7: 3:25

Sunday,  July 8

Cast Appearance: The Bobby Brown Story, presented by BET Networks- Sunday, July 8: 12:15pm

“What The F?” A lively, interactive, honest girl chat about FIBROIDS, FERTILITY and being a FEMALE!- Sunday, July 8: 12:30pm

10th Annual Gospel Tribute- Sunday, July 8: 12:45pm

Tasha Cobb Leonard Performance- Sunday, July 8: 2:15pm

Johnny Gill Performance- Sunday, July 8: 4:10pm

Beauty Booths

Source: Maskot / Getty

Throughout the convention center you will find beauty booths by various brands offering free hair, nail and spa services. That wristband will take you far. But be patient. As you can imagine, the lines to get these services can get long, since we’re all trying to enjoy the perks. My Black Is Beautiful always has an elaborate set-up that will immediately capture your eye. So lookout for the #MBIB logo.

Get Ready For The Turnup

Essence Festival is Black woman central. Whether you’re coming with your girls or alone, be prepared to find a fellow melanin warrior who will become your bestie. And you’ll need her because the concerts at Essence Festival are lit! Here’s a detailed schedule of who’s performing and where.

Friday, July 6

7:00 Doug E. Fresh with Special Guest Mia X- Main Stage

7:00 Ledisi- Main Stage

7:05 Pell- Superlounges

7:15 Lloyd- Superlounges

7:30 Damien- Escobar Superlounges

7:45 Miguel- Main Stage

8:30 H.E.R.- Superlounges

8:45 Kelly Price’s “For the Love of R&B” feat Keke Wyatt and Vaughn Willis-Superlounges

9:00 MC Lyte- Superlounges

9:00 Snoop Dogg- Main Stage

10:00 Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and More in a Special Curation by The Roots- Main Stage

Saturday, July 7

7:00 Doug E. Fresh with Special Guest V. Bozeman- Main Stage

7:00 Ella Mai- Superlounges

7:15 Kelela- Superlounges

7:30 Yanina- Superlounges

7:45 Jussie Smollett- Superlounges

7:45 XSCAPE- Main Stage

8:40 Queen Latifah Presents “Ladies First” with Special Guests Missy Elliott, Remy Ma, MC Lyte, Nikki D and More- Main Stage

9:00 Idris Elba- Superlounges

10:10 Mary J. Blige- Main Stage

Sunday, July 8

6:00 Roy Wood Jr.- Main Stage

7:00 Doug E. Fresh with Special Guest Ashanti- Main Stage

7:10 DJ Jubilee- Superlounges

7:15 Ro James- Superlounges

7:30 Louis York- Superlounges

7:45 Teddy Riley’s New Jack Swing Curation feat SWV, Blackstreet, Guy and more- Main Stage

8:00 Victory Boyd- Superlounges

8:15 Mali Music- Superlounges

8:30 Big Freedia- Superlounges

8:50 DVSN- Superlounges

9:40 Big Freedia- Superlounges

9:55 Fantasia- Main Stage

10:40 Janet Jackson- Main Stage

For more information, visit EssenceFestival.com.

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The Executive Producer Behind the Empowerment Experience at Essence Festival

Meet Gina Charbonnet, the founder of GeChar Inc. and executive producer behind an empowerment experience at the Essence Festival. Over the last 19 years, she’s made a business out of women’s empowerment. And believe it or not, when it comes to producing an exceptional event she learned her best business lessons from working at her family’s funeral home.

Considering your family owns the famed Charbonnet-Labat-Glapion Funeral Home, you come from a history of entrepreneurship. What are some of the best lessons you learned about entrepreneurship from your family?

Growing up watching my grandfather and dad invest meticulously in the funeral home business, which served the community, gave me a bigger understanding of the importance of branding, especially in a service-oriented business. The funeral home was competing with five other funeral homes in the same area for clients.

Best lessons I learned was that relationships and networking are very important to maintaining and sustaining your business. I also learned that having a presence in and supporting the community you serve is important as well.

Being in the funeral home every day, playing and pretending to be a receptionist that greeted clients or the funeral director that took care of the family arrangements, I learned life is production, and planning a funeral was planning a person’s last rite of passage, their last act—it inspired me to go into the entertainment and production business. It taught me to develop and work on projects that would organize and bring together all the elements creatively and logistically to tell stories.

essence festival

(Photo: Gina Charbonnet)

From Sunday brunches to full-day conferences, women’s empowerment has become a multibillion-dollar business. What was the “aha moment” that inspired you to turn empowerment into your business: GeChar Entertainment and Production?   

I made a choice early on that I wanted to work on projects that educate, create equity, have a social justice focus, and shift the way people think about our interconnectivity. I created GeChar’s mantra, Consciously Moving the Crowd, because I wanted everyone to know that the work we create contributes to building awareness and making people conscious.

So for me, my aha moment was when I first started working on the ESSENCE Festival’s Empowerment Experience with Susan Taylor the former editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine. Realizing I was working alongside the icon that graced the pages of ESSENCE Magazine and who encouraged women to embrace their spirituality and love themselves, it was a turning point in how I saw myself and my potential. I realized I was working on conversations and messaging that was actually touching people’s lives and changing the way they thought about themselves and their communities.

It’s not just about working on projects that empower the masses, it’s about embracing the ideas we live, breathe, and develop and experiences that we create. It shifts your life, your vision, and the lives you touch when you realize that the work you are doing is empowering people. So, I would have to say my aha moment was the realization that the work we were doing and creating through our programming was actually changing people’s lives.

What is the biggest change you’d like to see in the industry and how are you working toward making that change happen? 

I think creating content and experiences all age groups can embrace. In the next 5-10 years, millennials will be the new audience. We have to figure out the formula for making programming more inter-generational so we can learn from each other and create dynamic and engaging programming that is marketable via social media.

In addition to Essence, you have worked on the New Orleans Jazz Festival, with Black Girls Rock, and more.  What’s the most underestimated or overlooked tip for creating a great event? 

So many times people overlook the audience. You can spend months with a client that has amazing ideas for events and projects, but you have to really do your marketing research to figure out if your idea is viable enough to attract an audience and sponsors.

The post The Executive Producer Behind the Empowerment Experience at Essence Festival appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Denmark’s metal festival ‘Copenhell’ opens its gates to 25,000 fans

One of the biggest metal festivals in Europe, ‘Copenhell’ opened its door to 25,000 dedicated metal fans in Copenhagen. Rough cut (no reporter narration).


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Pagan paradise: Glastonbury without the festival

What’s Glastonbury like without the bands and the fans? As the festival takes a year off, it turns out there’s still plenty to enjoy, from ethical taxidermy to wall-to-wall druids

‘Summer here is something to behold,” says Kevin Mitchell from behind the counter of Knight’s, his chippy on Glastonbury’s Northload Street. “Hippies, druids, goddesses in their finery, people dressed as elves: you never know who – or what – is going to walk through the door.”

Knight’s has been run by the same family on the same site since 1909, although the building itself is medieval, constructed from stone taken from Glastonbury Abbey after it was sacked by Henry VIII. If that stone could talk, it would tell of a town much changed from its roots as a place of Christian pilgrimage to its present reality as the new-age capital of England.

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Travel | The Guardian

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Slideshow: Everything You Missed at the American Black Film Festival 2018 Including Future, Kofi, and Coogler

If you were seeking to break into the film industry or you love black movies and television shows, the only place to be on this planet was the 22nd Annual Black Film Festival. Held in Miami, the event was sold out—and for good reason.

ABFF Ventures CEO Jeff Friday created the film festival more than two decades ago as the premier professional development and networking platform for African American filmmakers, artists, and industry influencers. This year, filmmakers, producers, and actors sought to elevate themselves within the industry by gaining essential training through a series of master classes taught by seasoned pros, which included “Becoming A Showrunner;” “Film Financing;” and “Nailing Your Audition.” Others gained the inside track through “Business of Entertainment” seminars sessions that demystified film distribution deals; evaluated television writers’ rooms; and shared how Netflix Original Films seeks to diversify talent in front of and behind the camera, among other topics.

Attendees also gained access to premier entertainment and interviews. For instance, HBO, which has been an ABFF partner for 21 years, sponsored the side-splitting Comedy Wings Competition as well as diverse, powerful slate of indies featured as part of its short film competition. Moreover, filmmakers and film lovers alike packed Miami’s New World Center to view an exclusive interview with ABFF alum and filmmaker of the moment: Black Panther Director Ryan Coogler.

SEE ALL THE PHOTOS: 

Sony Pictures Reception at the ABFF Premiere of “Superfly” – June 13, 2018

 

 

The post Slideshow: Everything You Missed at the American Black Film Festival 2018 Including Future, Kofi, and Coogler appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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1 dead, 22 injured in NJ arts festival shooting

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7 tips to planning a music festival trip with your girlfriends

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Summer is finally on the way, and all those music festivals are about to hit. After years of dreaming, you and the girls are finally off on your adventure! But there are some things to remember before loading up the car and setting off.

Which bands matter?

You’ll be making a list and checking it twice as you sit with your besties and decide who is a top priority to see. Sadly, there could be two bands on at the same time. As much as it would be great to see them, no one can be in two places at once. It’s all about working out who will be the best to see as well as who goes on tour more than others before making your final decisions. Plus, you may have to sacrifice seeing one of your bands in favor of your friends.

Final check

As much as you have planned, many festivals may change their lineup shortly before the big event. It’s time for another night of gossiping as you go through the schedule one more time. Has anyone been added? Is someone missing? Although everything may not go according to plan, at least you know when the main ones to see will be playing. Who knows, the festival may have even kept one of the leading acts a secret until the final few days. The suspense is too much to handle!

Expect the unexpected

Of course, the headliners may have been the ones to draw you to the festival in the first place. However, there are plenty of other bands and musicians in the lineup, too. One of the best parts of heading to a festival is getting a chance to enjoy all the new music on offer that you may never have heard before. By being open to new plans, you could soon discover a new favorite band. As well as new music, you could walk past a stall or food truck that is offering up a brand new experience. After all, you only live once.

App check

Smartphones are wonderful inventions, and now there are many apps to give us even more excuse to be on our phone. Before heading off to the festival, have a look and see if there is an app available to download. It could include a planner for your time away, or even offer up unique camera option to capture the perfect moments with your squad. Plus, everything will then all be in one unique place without the worry of losing those precious memories or that ever important schedule.

Keep hydrated

It’s all too easy to forget to drink water, but spending all day in the sun and walking around can quickly leave you dehydrated. Team that with any drinking and it could spell a recipe for disaster. The last thing you’d want after forking out on the tickets and planning all the details is to miss your favorite bands down to something so avoidable such as dehydration. Many festivals will let music lovers carry an empty bottle around with you to keep yourself topped up at all times.

Portable chargers = lifesavers

Many festivals now offer up opportunities to charge your phone while your out and about with their various outlets dotted around. However, what happens if you haven’t had a chance to get some juice and you’re wandering around the festival grounds all day? Plus, there is always the chance that you could get split up from your group. What if your cell dies? Having a portable charger means you’ll be able to keep on top of taking all those incredible pictures, as well as having a backup just in case you need someone in an emergency.

Shoe worries

Yes, those new high heels look beautiful. Are they suitable for a festival? Probably not. Going to a festival is the perfect excuse to buy a new pair of shoes, but it’s vital to think about how comfortable they will be after walking around for hours. Will you still be able to enjoy yourself with massive blisters? Chances are, it will be a good mood ruiner. Instead, opt for something that will be comfortable to wear all day rather than something that will look good in an Instagram post.

The most important thing to remember while at the festival is to have fun. After all, why else would you be there? Music festivals offer atmospheres like no other and create everlasting memories with your girlfriends. Now you all know how to make the most of your time away.

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Governors Ball 2018: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Shawn Mendes open NYC festival with lively sets

The party is just getting started at Randall’s Island Park.

Governors Ball got underway Friday, with veteran New York band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs commanding the main stage and proving rock is not dead.

Lead singer Karen O captivated the crowd with her presence and voice, screeching at some points…

/entertainment – New York Daily News

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Back Once Again: the Art Yard Sale at Brighton Fringe Festival

From street artists to selling art on the streets of Brighton, close out your Festival experience at this year’s Art Yard Sale.

The Brighton Festival and Brighton Fringe Festival 2018 may have only just started, but if we know anything about these two annual arts events – which are among the biggest in the UK – it’s this: they fly by. You barely get your hands on the programmes and circle the things you want to see, before the tickets for all the art, comedy, theatre and family events have flown out the doors of the ticket office… and taken both of the May Bank Holidays and David Shrigley (this year’s main Festival guest director) with them.

So, with that in mind, consider this your five-minute (or three-week) warning:
The annual Art Yard Sale is back on 3 June, and we’re planning to close the 2018 Brighton Fringe Festival on a high.

If you’ve never been to the Art Yard Sale before, this is what you have been missing… The opportunity to buy contemporary art, direct from the artists who create it, all in a fun, family-friendly environment in Brighton’s North Laine. Yes, you get to meet the likes of Bonnie and Clyde, Dan Hillier, Eelus and a whole host of other artrepublic favourites, have a chat with them and buy their work. And better still, all of the artists who participate are sharing (and selling) artworks and prints that have either been created specifically for the Art Yard Sale event, or are being sold at a one-off reduced price that you won’t find anywhere else.

The unique art event was started in 2015 after we at artrepublic, the main visual art sponsor of Brighton Fringe Festival for many years, decided it was about time we ran our own event.  ‘We wanted a way to get involved in the energy of the Festival season ourselves,’ says Lindsay Alkin, the event’s founder. ‘The result is the Art Yard Sale, which fits perfectly with the local, hands-on, creative ethos of the Fringe.’

The line-up of artists changes each year, so you won’t get the same experience twice, but there is never a shortage of creatives from the artrepublic family who want to get involved. 

For us, it’s all about embracing the festival spirit and sharing new things.

‘We aim to bring you a really broad selection of art – from street art to illustration to sculpture – so people can discover new artists and types of work that they may not have thought about before,’ says Lindsay. ‘It sounds really cheesy, but it’s genuinely amazing to see all these people coming to the Art Yard Sale and leaving with a big smile on their faces because of art. That’s what it should do.’

This year’s lineup is yet to be finalised, so keep an eye on our upcoming blogs, the Art Yard Sale website and the artrepublic social media channels – over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing updates about this year’s event.

The post Back Once Again: the Art Yard Sale at Brighton Fringe Festival appeared first on artrepublic blog.
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Author Junot Diaz withdraws from festival amid allegations

SYDNEY (AP) — Author Junot Diaz has withdrawn from a writers’ festival in Australia after fellow writers accused him of past sexual misconduct and misogyny, organizers said Saturday, adding that a moment of reckoning had arrived for the Pulitzer Prize winner.
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Organizers of Berlin 032c Presents: Reference I Festival Reveal a Few More Details

At a small press conference here late Friday, the powers that be moved to fill in some of the informational gaps behind the new interdisciplinary happening, 032c Presents: Reference I Festival.
As reported April 26, a Gucci and Welt-hosted prelaunch dinner to celebrate the new project left more questions open than answered. At the follow-up session, the festival’s founders, Maria Koch and Thom Bettridge of contemporary culture magazine 032c; Mumi Haiati, ceo of fashion and lifestyle communications agency Reference Studios; art historian and gallerist Robert Grunenberg, and the festival’s special guest and cocurator Hans-Ulrich Obrist, curator of the Serpentine Gallery London, laid down a few more facts. Spanning fashion, design, art and technology in various forms including performances, installations, discussions, and interdisciplinary collaborations of all sorts, the festival will be held for a 24-hour period at Berlin’s most famous club, Berghain.
So far, so good.
Contrary to previous reports linking Reference Berlin I to Berlin Art Week in late September, the festival will be held on one of the last Saturdays in October, the final date to be determined as soon as the club’s owners return from holiday. It might have made sense to link the two events had Art Week and the

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Details of Groupe Galeries Lafayette’s Champs-Elysées Flagship Teased at Hyères Festival

SHOP TALK: A store design by an experimental architect — Denmark’s Bjarke Ingels — who has never before worked on a retail project; Instagram-friendly features and a team of sales assistants — “exciting personalities” embracing the “new Parisian” — trained to engage with customers on a seamless journey around the store. Even the fitting rooms will have something to say.
Those were some of the details from Groupe Galeries Lafayette’s soon-to-open Avenue des Champs-Elysées flagship shared by Nadia Dhouib and Clara Cornet — respectively the site’s general manager and creative and merchandising director — during a talk at the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography on Friday.
The 97,000-square-foot store, which represents around one-tenth of the Galeries Lafayette Boulevard Haussmann mothership, or the equivalent of one floor, is set to open at the end of the year in a former bank building on the famed avenue.
Don’t expect any screens, though.
“We spent so many hours and months thinking about the technology aspect and came to the conclusion that we don’t want any screens. People don’t go to a store to play with screens, but we did think about digitizing the staff and helping them to have this attitude of a concierge or personal stylist, giving

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Tiffany & Co. and Conservation International Host Private Screening of Film during the Tribeca Film Festival

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation and Conservation International hosted a private screening and panel discussion during the Tribeca Film Festival of their new virtual reality film, “My Africa,” Thursday night in New York. The panel was moderated by Dr. M. Sanjayan, chief executive officer of Conservation International and included Chelsea Clinton, vice chair, Clinton Foundation; Anisa Kamadoli Costa, chairman and president, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation; and  Sammy Leseita Lemoonga, chief operating officer at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary.
“Tiffany & Co. is 180 years old and for generations our designs have been inspired by nature and the beauty of the natural world, and of course all of the materials that get crafted into Tiffany jewelry come from the earth. So, we really do feel like we have a moral imperative to take care of the environment,” Costa said during the panel discussion. “With a brand such as ours we have the opportunity and privilege to use the power of our brand and our voice to speak out on issues that are important to us.”
The panel spoke about conservation and the topic of elephant poaching with Clinton noting, “Ninety-six elephants are slaughtered a day in Africa, elephants are a keystone species. The whole ecosystem

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Joe Jonas, Sophie Turner and More Stars Flock to the Desert for 2018 Stagecoach Festival

Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas, Sophie Turner, Stagecoach 2018, InstagramYeehaw! It’s Stagecoach time!
One weekend after the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, celebs are once again flocking to the desert for the country music event of the year, the…

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Fringe Benefits: The countdown to Brighton Fringe Festival is on

From exhibitions and performance art to street fairs and open-air creativity, artrepublic helps put the spotlight on Brighton’s creativity as a sponsor of the Fringe Festival events.

With the beginning of May comes the annual month-long Brighton Festival and its rebellious little sister, the Brighton Fringe Festival. As arts festivals go, this is one of Britain’s biggest and best. Since its 1967 launch it’s been a highlight in the annual creative calendar of our city – one we at artrepublic are incredibly proud to be closely connected with.

For the past 15 years artrepublic has been a key sponsor of visual arts events within the Fringe Festival programme, which celebrates the thriving local artistic community in a range of formats – there’s a whole host of comedy, music, theatre and dance on show as well as art and design. The entire city comes alive during this period, with artists quite literally opening up their homes to the general public to showcase and sell their work – check out the many Open House trails. There are also more formal displays, such as the famed
POP! exhibition in 2004. There’s no denying that amid the general festival fun, the Brighton Fringe likes to bring something fresh to the table each year.

The importance of visual art to the local community is emphasised even further in 2018 with the annual Children’s Parade – which kicks off the programme each year – taking ‘Paintings’ as its theme. Each school has been given a famous artwork to study and represent on the streets of Brighton, where 5,000 children wind their colourful and energetic parade through the North Lanes, the Laines and along the seafront.

We don’t leave it to others to beef up the month-long programme though – artrepublic likes to get in there and be part of the creative action! In past years we have brought Peter Blake’s mobile art gallery – the Art Bus – to the seaside city, and in 2014 we put our specialist knowledge to good use to produce the Urban Artfest, a day of live street art from top artrepublic artists, along with entertainment by a range of street performers. In 2015 we launched our Art Yard sale – an annual one-day art market, where you can buy limited edition and exclusive prints directly from the artists themselves at special prices. The yard sale is back again this year with an exciting fresh line-up that includes the likes of Dan Hillier, Eelus, Hello Marine and Joe Webb. We wonder if David Shrigley, 2018’s guest director of the Brighton Festival, will drop by?

As with all art, at the Brighton Fringe Festival there really is something for everyone. Get involved in the festivities and let us know what you are most looking forward to via our social media channels.

This year’s main Brighton Festival events run from 5-27 May, and the Fringe Festival from 4 May to 3 June 2018. Join us on the last day of the Fringe for our annual Art Yard Sale – keep an eye on the Art Yard Sale website and your emails for more details.

The post Fringe Benefits: The countdown to Brighton Fringe Festival is on appeared first on artrepublic blog.
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2018 Tribeca Film Festival Preview: The Films and Events Everyone Is Buzzing About

2018 Tribeca Film Festival Preview: The Films and Events Everyone Is Buzzing About

What separates the Tribeca Film Festival from other festivals is just how varied and diverse the program is. The 2018 Tribeca Film Festival is no exception, promising a lineup of movies, TV shows, concerts, anniversary screenings and conversations sure to dominate the scene in New York City from April 18-29.

Wanna know what everyone will be buzzing about in the Big Apple this year? Here’s our breakdown:

 

A festival dominated by female-driven movies

With 46% of the…

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Ava DuVernay Joins Competition Jury At Cannes Film Festival

 

Director Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay has been added to the main competition jury for this year’s Cannes Film Festival, joining fellow newcomer Kristen Stewart and jury president Cate Blanchett among the panel’s five women and four men, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

This year’s competition jury features also includes “Blade Runner 2049” director Denis Villeneuve and Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev, who won the fest’s best screenplay prize for “Leviathan” in 2014 and the jury prize for “Loveless” last year.

French actress Léa Seydoux, Chinese star Chang Chen, French director-producer Robert Guédiguian and Burundian singer-songwriter Khadja Nin round out the panel.

Benicio del Toro will serve as president of this year’s Un Certain Regard jury, while Norwegian helmer Joachim Trier will head up the Critics’ Week sidebar judges.

The upcoming Cannes Film Festival is set to run May 8-19.

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Bulgari Moves Further Into Film With Tribeca Film Festival Partnership

Bulgari has been named the official jeweler of the Tribeca Film Festival and has also announced a three-year partnership with the festival. The jeweler has worked with Tribeca Studios to produce two original short films that will debut during the festival, both from female filmmakers. The films each seek to highlight “Italian women going against the grain in pursuit of professions and passions that are traditionally held by men; highlighting how they are reshaping the way they, and Italian women at large, are perceived,” the company says.
“Bulgari is thrilled to partner with Tribeca Film Festival to celebrate and honor amazing Italian women disrupting the status quo with their strong personalities and going against the grain in pursuit of professions and passions that are traditionally held by men,” said chief executive officer Jean-Christophe Babin. “Our support of Tribeca Film Festival and the young filmmakers who tell these two stories builds on the powerful legacy of Bulgari and cinema, from the iconic Dolce Vita and Elizabeth Taylor until today. As we look to celebrate and connect the cinematic history of Bulgari with the bold and contemporary voices of today, Tribeca Studios’ network of award-winning directors helped bring these inspirational stories to life

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Beijing festival pulls award-winning gay film amid content squeeze

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A Chinese film festival has pulled award-winging gay romance “Call Me By Your Name” from its program, the movie’s distributor said on Monday, reflecting China’s mottled relationship with gay themes in the creative arts.


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Film festival debuts with strong showing of Aussie talent

Australian Hollywood film talent flocked to the first Australian International Screen Forum in New York last week, which showcased film, television and digital content from Down Under. The four-day forum at Film Society of Lincoln Center was a schmoozefest of producers, investors and agents rubbing shoulders. Executives from NBC, Vice Media, Sony Pictures Classics and…
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The Wombats, Travis and Rak-Su for the Isle of Wight Festival

OHMYGOSSIP — The Wombats, Travis and Rak-Su are just three of the acts added to the line up for the Isle of Wight Festival.
The ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ singers and the ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me’ hitmakers are set to grace the stage for the 50th Anniversary of the festival, which takes place from June 21 to June 24, 2018.
Sigrid, Hot Dub Time Machine and Hurts have also announced to perform over the festival with The Pretty Things, LANY, Bang Bang Romeo and Hudson Taylor hoping to get the crowds going with their tunes.
Kara Marni, SG Lewis, Gerry Cinnamon, Wild Front, Paradisia, Slydigs, Mullally and T.Rextasy complete the 18 acts that have been announced on Wednesday (21.03.18).
They joined previously announced artists including headliners Liam Gallagher, The Killers, Depeche Mode and Kasabian.
Kasabian last headlined the event in 2011, having first played it four years previously, and they admitted the history of the site means a great deal to them.
They said: “We’re hugely honoured to play at the Isle of Wight Festival. It’s kind of a big deal Jimi Hendrix played in the 70’s, 50 years on and we’re playing it! That’s pretty phenomenal, thanks for having us! We promise Friday night will be the one!”
The likes of Camila Cabello, Rita Ora and Nile Rodgers & CHIC had also been announced for the festival as well as the Manic Street Preachers, Chase and Status and Kodaline.
The ‘All I Want’ hitmakers said: “We’re so excited to be playing such an awesome festival! This will be our third time performing at Isle of Wight festival and we can’t wait. Some of our favourite artists ever have played on those stages so we’re honoured to join them! Looking forward to playing some new music for everyone!”
The Isle of Wight Festival takes place from June 21 to 24 at Seaclose Park, Newport. Day tickets start at £65 and are available to purchase now.

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‘Deadpool’ to get China Premiere at Beijing Festival

“Deadpool,” the superhero film that China previously blocked, is to get its premiere in the Middle Kingdom next month at the Beijing International Film Festival. The 2018 edition of the festival runs April 15-22. To the disappointment of Chinese fans, who were already aware of the Fox film, the 2016 movie was not given import […]

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At This D.C. Festival, Women’s Voices Take Center Stage

The Women’s Voices Theater Festival currently wrapping up in Washington, D.C., featured over 30 theatrical productions written by some of the country’s pre-eminent women playwrights. From world premieres to second and third productions of works by female playwrights, nationwide festival-related activities and a variety of other events for theater artists and audiences, the festival seeks to ignite discussions around gender parity in theater.

In its first year, the festival showcased 52 world-premiere plays by female playwrights at over 50 theaters, demonstrating the breadth of local artists and companies and expanding conversations about gender parity in theater. The 2015 inaugural event was declared “inspired” by The Washington Post and “an energizing showcase” by The New York Times.

Coordinating Producer Nan Barnett set out to ensure that this year’s iteration would further build on that legacy. Executive Director of the National New Play Network, the United States’ alliance of 110 nonprofit professional theaters, Barnett is a new play developer and advocate for theater-makers. “I’m a huge proponent of just by making people stop and think about it, we’ll see a change, and that certainly happened the first time and we’re anticipating that it will with this one as well,” she told Ms. “I feel it is very important that people hear the stories of others and doing it in a room full of other people makes it seep into us. Theater artists have always been a part of that [activism] throughout history, whether it’s done subtly or whether it’s done in a very impactful way. It’s hard to leave a theater without being changed and those changes are what start movements and motion.”

Playwright Julia Cho’s Aubergine was performed through March 4th at the Olney Theatre Center; playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Jefferson’s Garden played through February 8th at Ford’s Theatre.

Both are well-respected and critically-acclaimed playwrights whose work has been produced on Broadway, in the West End and around the world. Both plays explore issues of personal, political and national identity. Aubergine revolves around Ray, a classically trained French chef, who leaves his job to take care of his dying father, a Korean immigrant. The play explores the tension between father and son and food’s ability to divide and connect Ray to his memory, identity and heritage. Jefferson’s Garden centers around Christian, a Quaker pacifist who fights in the American Revolution, and Susannah, an enslaved women who is tempted to fight for the British in exchange for freedom. All characters in the play are forced to confront the contradictions between the ideals and realities of freedom in America.

Ms. spoke with Cho and Wertenbaker about gender parity in theater and the kinds of stories that inspire them.

What aspects of having your play performed as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival are most rewarding to you?

JC: When I was writing Aubergine, I assumed it was impossible to produce. The casting is deceptively difficult. For various reasons–demographic, cultural, etc. — it is extremely hard to find an actor who speaks Korean fluently enough to play the Uncle. And so the fact it’s being produced at all feels like a major victory. It’s also very rewarding to know that the play, despite being very specific to my own culture and growing up, resonates with people who seem, at first glance, so different from me. That’s enormously reassuring and hopeful.

TW: The most rewarding aspect of being part of the Women’s Theatre Festival is being in the company of other women playwrights. I haven’t met them but I know they’re there. It’s an invisible companionship that brings great strength.

What elements of playwriting do you find especially rewarding and effective at exploring complicated issues?

JC: I think playwriting is a great way to pose questions because so much of drama is driven by people who are struggling, questioning or grappling with issues or situations. And it’s a very forgiving medium when it comes to structure and resolution. Plays can be messy and not provide any neat answers. And so when looking at a complicated issue or event, you can approach it through multiple voices with multiple perspectives and not worry so much (though of course you still do some) about providing a solution or an answer.

TW: A theatrical performance is a dialogue between the play and the audience.  We need complexity, not oversimplification and there’s no better place for complexity than in the theatre.

Which themes you explore in your play are most relevant today; and how do you hope your play will inspire your audience to gain new perspectives and reflections regarding contemporary American society?

JC: I don’t know if I’m the best person to answer that. I think readers, theater makers and audiences members could better tell say what themes are relevant to the world and themselves. I do believe that telling your story is maybe the work of our lives. And we all do it in whatever medium we work. So, I suppose if anything, I hope the play inspires those who see it to think of their own stories and their own lives — and to see the value and relevance in them no matter where they come from or who they are.

TW: It took me a long time to write this play. I couldn’t predict that it would come to Ford’s in Washington D.C. at such a time. What is happening now is a direct consequence of what happened when this country was founded. It seems to me that the consequences of historical decisions are more acute in America than in many other countries because it was founded with such deliberation.

How do you hope the Women’s Voices Theater Festival will contribute to expanding the kinds of narratives that we share?

JC: I think the more different narratives we see, the more open we become to even more different narratives. It doesn’t happen quickly, but over time you can see how the first story about a new subject can seem radical and unique, and then a dozen iterations later, it’s become almost the norm. It’s 2018 and yet there are a lot of stories women have yet to tell. There is still work to be done and I think a festival like this is part of that work.

TW: We haven’t heard enough of women’s voices in the theatre for the simple reason that there aren’t enough productions of plays by women. To this day, we don’t know all the possibilities of those narratives. Theatre is a living form and needs constant renewal.  What better way than with the perceptions and stories of women playwrights?

Micaela Brinsley is an Editorial Intern at Ms. and a rising sophomore at Smith College. Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, she is a feminist theatre artist, activist and writer with a background in labor and tenants’ rights. Passionate about social justice, she is an avid conversationalist committed to making the world a more just and inclusive place. You can contact her at mbrinsley [at] msmagazine.com.

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Berlin festival movie tells true story of Cold War rebels with a cause

ESSEN, Germany/BERLIN (Reuters) – As Soviet tanks crushed an uprising in Hungary in 1956, a group of children in East Germany began their own protest, taking on a communist regime that would keep their country divided for three more decades.


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J. Cole, Migos & Cardi B Headline 2018 JMBLYA Festival

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The state of Texas will play host to the 2018 JMBLYA Festival this spring with J. Cole, Migos, and Cardi B across three days and three cities. Joining them is a collective of rising young rappers, and appearance from a trio of local legends.

The newly freed from prison Kevin Gates, Playboy Carti, Trippie Redd, Ski Mask The Slump God, and Dreamville’s Cozzy will also show up on the JMBLYA festival. Rounding it are Killy and Jack Harlow, with Bun B, Trae Tha Truth, and DJ Mr. Rogers as special guests.

The festival kicks off on May 4 in Dallas at Fair Park, then heads to Austin on May 5 at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) Lot A, and then ends in Houston at Sam Houston Race Park on May 6.

Learn more about 2018 JMBLYA festival here.

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Breaking: Carmen Cusack, Steven Pasquale, Matthew Broderick & More Will Star in New Shows at Williamstown Theatre Festival; Full Season Announced!

Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield has announced the Williamstown Theatre Festival 2018 Summer Season, the 64th Season for the Tony Award-winning theatre company, which will include three world premiere plays, a world premiere musical, and much more.
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Bright lights, big city: Light art festival takes to London’s streets

LONDON (Reuters) – London’s dark winter nights will shine a little brighter starting Thursday, as a nighttime art exhibition featuring a range of publicly displayed works that use light as a medium gets underway.


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Hot-button topics coalesce at the Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival has always been a place for boundary-pushing programming, but from the Me Too movement, to diversity and representation in film and even the current presidency, this year the snowy mountain town of Park City, Utah, is primed to be an epicenter of conversation around some of the most burning issues of the day.
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Jessica Chastain at Palm Springs Film Festival Opening Gala: ‘Major Change Is Coming’

“Emotion has become the new punk.” Those prophetic and poetic words, spoken by Guillermo del Toro, resonated loudly with the Hollywood heavyweights and cinema aficionados gathered inside the Palm Springs Convention Center Tuesday eve for the 29th annual Palm Springs Film Festival opening night gala, considered a plum stop on the Oscar season trail. “The […]

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Spurlock’s new film pulled from festival after admitting to sexual misconduct

Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s latest work has been pulled from the 2018 Sundance Film Festival lineup following a confessional Spurlock penned about his past sexual impropriety, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
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Sorry BeyHive! There Will Be No Destiny’s Child Reunion At The 2018 Coachella Festival

The BeyHive has speculated that Beyonce is planning to bring out her former Destiny’s Child group members during her 2018 Coachella performance, but they are about to be majorly disappointed.

Fans took evidence from some of the members’ social media …


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‘She is both beautiful and touching’ – Their Finest writer tells us why she loves leading lady Gemma Arterton at London Film Festival premiere

Ask anyone in the industry and they will tell you filmmaking is a peculiar business. But just imagine trying to be creative during the Blitz – that is the premise of rom-com Their Finest.

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2018 Sundance Film Festival Line-up Announced

2018 Sundance Film Festival Line-up Announced

Let’s take a quick break from all the excitement of awards season to focus on what awaits us in the coming year. The Sundance Institute has announced their slate of feature films playing at 2018’s Sundance Film Festival, and the lineup is immense.

It includes 110 independent feature-length films from 29 different countries. Of those films, 47 are directorial debuts, including 30 in competition. If those numbers sound high, take into account the 13,468 film submissions, consisting…

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Ai Weiwei installation set to shine at Amsterdam Light Festival

The Chinese artist’s piece, Thinline, which represents a theoretical border, takes pride of place among 36 installations at the city’s land- and canal-based annual light festival

Original artworks by Ai Weiwei and Cecil Balmond will be unveiled in the Dutch capital this week, as part of the launch for this year’s Amsterdam Light Festival. From Thursday 30 November, Amsterdam’s city centre will be illuminated by 36 light installations, designed exclusively for the festival, which is now in its sixth year.

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Camerimage Festival Honors Cinema as ‘Symbol of Beauty and Hope’

Europe’s leading festival of cinematography, Camerimage, kicked off its 25th edition Saturday with Kenneth Branagh praising what he called “the magnificent seven” DPs he’s worked with in his career. The lensers “made me work harder and better and more comfortably,” Branagh said, adding that Haris Zambarloukos, who shot his “Murder on the Orient Express,” is […]

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Jay Ellis Named 2018 Ambassador for American Black Film Festival

Jay Ellis 2018 ABFF Ambassador

Actor Jay Ellis, best known for his role on HBO’s Insecure, has been named the 2018 celebrity ambassador for the American Black Film Festival, which was launched by Jeff Friday over two decades ago.

 

 

 

“Jeff’s vision for ABFF and his continued passion to create a platform for storytellers and content creators of color has been inspiring to me and many others,” Ellis said in a press release. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of building on the mission of ABFF.”

The festival returns to Miami next spring for its 22nd year, June 13 to June 18. Recognized as one of the leading film festivals in the world, ABFF is dedicated to fostering talent of African descent—both in front of and behind the camera.

“Diversity and equal opportunity for people of color are just some of ABFF’s main goals for film and television,” Ellis elaborated, in a statement on Instagram. “It’s a platform with a mission to keep moving forward.”


“We are delighted to welcome Jay Ellis to the ABFF family. His commitment to new and diverse stories embodies the mission of this festival,” said Jeff Friday, CEO of ABFF Ventures, in a press release.

In addition to his role as Lawrence on the critically acclaimed Insecure, which screened at ABFF this year, Ellis has a number of impressive acting credits. He starred as Bryce “Blue” Westbrook on the hit BET series The Game and had roles on Masters of Sex, Grace and Frankie, How I Met Your Mother, Grey’s Anatomy, and NCIS.

Ellis is currently on location in Cape Town, South Africa, filming Sony Pictures’ The Maze, for the big screen with producer Neal Moritz. He recently wrapped production on the indie film A Boy. A Girl. A Dream: Love on Election Night, co-starring Omari Hardwick and Meagan Good and directed by Qasim Basir.

“Jay’s career trajectory exemplifies the importance of supporting and uplifting our own. We feel very fortunate to have him as our 2018 ambassador and are excited about what his participation will bring to our event.”

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

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Sony pulls Spacey film from festival, going ahead with December release

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Sony Pictures on Monday withdrew a movie starring Kevin Spacey from a Los Angeles film festival following sexual misconduct allegations against the actor, but said it was going ahead with a planned U.S. movie theater release in December.
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Graffiti set design adds punch to Cuba theater festival

HAVANA (Reuters) – A play parodying the lengths some Cubans will go to in order to earn a few tourist dollars set against the backdrop of socially critical graffiti is adding punch to Havana’s annual theater festival.


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NAMT’s 2017 Festival of New Musicals Launches Today

National Alliance for Musical Theatre presents its 29th Annual FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS, set for today, October 19, and tomorrow, October 20, 2017 at New World Stages 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues. The Festival kicked off yesterday, October 18, with its celebrated concert, The 46th Minute.
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Lumière Festival: Le CiNéMa Club’s CEO Marie-Louise Khondji on Financing a Free VOD Player and Online Collection Curation

LYON – In town for a panel on VOD and streaming platforms at this year’s Lumière Festival is Le CiNéMa Club, a web-based VOD platform for classic and under-represented films. A VOD platform at a festival is not necessarily anything to write home about, but this site is rare , particularly when it comes to […]

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Chef wins $10K in showdown at New York Wine Food Festival

Three Michelin starred Antoine Westermann, Chef and owner of Le Coq Rico, and his executive chef Guillaume Ginther, took the top $ 10,000 prize as Iron Chefs’ Choice winner at the New York Wine Food Festival’s Rooftop Iron Chef Showdown hosted by Alton Brown. He won with his “Leeks Vinaigrette” dish with hollandaise sauce and Russett…
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Austin’s Sound on Sound Festival Canceled Due to ‘Roadblocks’

Austin, Texas' Sound on Sound Festival, which was set to host artists like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Iggy Pop, Grizzly Bear and more in November, canceled the three-day fest Friday due to "recent roadblocks." Ticket buyers were promised 100-percent refunds.

"We are extremely saddened to announce today that Sound On Sound Fest 2017 is being cancelled," the festival said in a statement. “This is

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Austin’s Sound on Sound Festival Canceled Due to ‘Roadblocks’

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10 Highlights of the San Sebastian Film Festival

Cannes’ biggest achievement is that it’s the most important festival in the world while San Sebastián remains the highest-profile festival in the Spanish-speaking world. The festival has maintained its staple sections while constantly innovating. From a bigger Basque presence to TV series, here are 10 not-to-be-missed 2017 novelties, events and trends. Star Contingent Arnold Schwarzenegger… Read more »

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10 Best Movies We Saw at 2017 Toronto Film Festival

We came, we saw, we dropped Visine into our tired eyes and then we saw some more – over the past 11 days, we've let the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival dominate our viewing time with a host of unique visions, singular voices and the occasional marquee-name project gambling on the event's award-season platforming skills. Some 50 movies later, we staggered out of the city's screening

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: 10 Best Movies We Saw at 2017 Toronto Film Festival

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‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing,’ ‘Custody,’ ‘Under The Tree’ to Compete at Zurich Film Festival

Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Xavier Legrand’s “Custody” and Hafsteinn Gunnar’s “Under The Tree” are among the 15 feature films set to compete at the 13th Zurich Film Festival. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” a darkly comic drama with Peter Dinklage and Frances McDormand, and “Custody,” a suspenseful French drama exploring domestic strife,… Read more »

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Lady Gaga, Margot Robbie, Jason Sudeikis and More Spotted at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival

Margot Robbie, 2017 Toronto International Film FestivalThe 2017 Toronto International Film Festival is in full swing.
The festival just started on Sept. 7 and runs until Sept. 17, but there have already been several celebrity…

E! Online (US) – Red Carpet Blog

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Fyre Festival genius reportedly scammed himself by selling Kanye West, Hamliton tickets

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What’s the opposite of ticket scalping? 

The business visionary behind the Fyre Festival reportedly bought up pricy concert and theater tickets to sell on members of his other business, racking up thousands of dollars in losses along the way, according to a report from Vice News.

Billy McFarland, the now-infamous cofounder of Fyre media, also once started a high-end membership brand called Magnises. Vice News got a look at internal documents from the companies that showed McFarland used Fyre Festival credit cards to buy tickets to a variety of major shows including Adele, Broadway hit Hamilton, and Kanye West’s Saint Pablo Tour. He’d then sell those tickets to Magnises members for less than he paid.  Read more…

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AT&T Seeks Black Filmmakers for 2018 Tribeca Film Festival

black filmmaker

AT&T, the Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) and Tribeca Film Institute have announced an open call for aspiring black filmmakers. Not only will filmmakers get the chance to debut their films at one of the most anticipated festivals of the year, they will also have a chance to win $ 1 million to make a movie as part of the AT&T Presents: Untold Stories, a program for underrepresented filmmakers. 

Black Filmmakers (Image: Faraday Okoro, the director of “Nigerian Prince” Photo cred: TribecaFilm.com)

 

Last year, after AT&T* and Tribeca teamed up to launch AT&T Presents: Untold Stories, New York City-based Nigerian-American filmmaker Faraday Okoro was awarded $ 1 million dollars to create his film, Nigerian Prince. In a statement released by Tribeca Film, Okoro shared a few tips about his experience and the submission process:

“This is the real deal. In April, they gave me $ 1 million to help produce my film. Now, I’m heading to Africa to start shooting the movie. It’s about a Nigerian-American teenager sent to Lagos, Nigeria, against his will. To get money for a plane ticket home, he teams with his Nigerian cousin to scam unsuspecting foreigners. We’ve got a busy production schedule ahead to finish the film in time for our debut at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, but we’re well on our way.

“If you have a script—or are writing one—you can submit it between now and Nov. 4. You’ll have a chance to be the second $ 1 million recipient of AT&T’s Untold Stories grant and access to AT&T distribution channels like DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW. This time next year, you could be on location filming your movie in preparation for its debut at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

“My best advice to you is to make sure your script is fully developed. If you feel like it’s incomplete, don’t push it. A lot of people will be submitting their stories for consideration. And the folks reviewing these scripts are experts at what they do. If your story isn’t ready for prime time, they’ll notice it right away. If it is, they just might pick you to pitch it to a panel of experts at next year’s Tribeca Film Festival.”

Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002. Next year’s festival marks AT&T’s fifth year as presenting sponsor. AT&T will once again provide the other four finalists with grants of $ 10,000 each to help achieve their respective films goals.

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

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Keenen Ivory Wayans To Receive Honor At Austin Film Festival

Comedian/filmmaker Keenen Ivory Wayans will be among the honorees this year at the annual Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference, reports Deadline.

Wayans, who created, launched, and hosted the landmark 1990s variety series “In Living Color,” will receive AFF’s Extraordinary Contribution to Television Award.

The ceremony will take place during the Festival’s 25th Anniversary, which runs from Oct. 26 to Nov. 2.

Acclaimed filmmaker Walter Hill (“The Warriors,” “48 Hrs.,” HBO’s “Deadwood”) will receive the Extraordinary Contribution to Film Award during the festival.

Wayans and Hill join previously announced Distinguished Screenwriter award recipient Kenneth Lonergan (“Manchester By The Sea”).

Wayans’ Emmy-winning “In Living Color” broke racial barriers with scathing social humor while introducing other household names including Damon Wayans, Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey, and Jennifer Lopez.

Outside of television, Wayans has had a successful career writing, directing, and acting in films. He co-wrote 1987’s “Hollywood Shuffle” with actor/director Robert Townsend and wrote, directed, and starred in 1989’s blaxploitation parody “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.” He also directed the successful horror spoof “Scary Movie.”

(Photo Credit: Tony Lowe / PR Photos )

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Matt Damon, Octavia Spencer, Amanda Seyfried and More Attend the 2017 Venice Film Festival

Amanda Seyfried, Venice Film Festival 2017The 2017 Venice Film Festival is bringing Hollywood’s stars to Italy for the premieres of their latest films. The 74th international festival is being held at Sala Grande.
Matt Damon…

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Toronto Film Festival 2017: 30 Movies We Can’t Wait to See

Even if the Toronto International Film Festival was simply the unofficial beginning of the prestige-movie–dropping, Oscar-obsessing, A-listing awards season – the tail end of a three-fest starting gate along with Venice and Telluride – it would still be considered an autumn hot spot for movie lovers. Where else can you catch so many potential "and the winner is …" nominees, the films that

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Toronto Film Festival 2017: 30 Movies We Can’t Wait to See

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Husband and Wife Build Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival Into a 15-Year Brand

Celebrating 15 successful years, the 2017 Run&Shoot Filmworks’ Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAAFF) screened more than 60 features, short films, documentaries, and television series. The six-day festival featured the movies Marshall, Detroit, Crown Heights, and Rodney King; and two episodes from Spike Lee’s new television show She’s Gotta Have It and two episodes from Issa Rae’s Insecure, among other groundbreaking works.

 

(L-R: Academy Award-Winning Director Spike Lee, actor Roger Guenveur Smith and Ken Shropshire of Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University for “The Color of Conversation” talk back screening for the RODNEY KING movie. Image: Courtesy of the MVAAFF)

 

 

This month, MVAAFF founders Stephanie and Floyd Rance received a special citation from the State of Massachusetts’ Governor’s Office for their significant contributions to the local economy of Martha’s Vineyard. With more than 2,500 participants at this year’s festival, the island saw a marked increase in housing rentals, hotel bookings, restaurant patronage, and lifestyle and consumer shopping.

 

(“Marshall” film screening; L-R: Charles E. Walker Jr., Esq.; Chrisette Hudlin, wife of Reginald Hudlin; director Reginald Hudlin; founders Stephanie and Floyd Rance. Image: Courtesy of the MVAAFF)

 

 

The Rances held the inaugural festival in July 2002 in Oak Bluffs on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard. “Fifteen years is an outstanding accomplishment and everyone should be applauded,” says Floyd Rance, who co-founded the MVAAFF with his wife, Stephanie. “I always consider this event our third child and just like our other children we are equally as proud of this event. We have nurtured it and watched it crawl, helped it to its feet, and watch[ed] it walk.”

 

When Corporate and Art Backgrounds Unite

 

The Rances came to film festival production from backgrounds in corporate media and film production. Stephanie left her corporate job at Westhill Partners as director of public relations more than 15 years ago to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an entrepreneur and eventually launched her marketing firm, Crescendo.

Floyd, a film producer and cinematographer, started his career working on Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues. The Howard University graduate continued working with Lee and director/cinematographer Ernest Dickerson on the acclaimed films Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, and Clockers, among others. Floyd also produces episodic television and commercials; some of his clients have included HBO, Reebok, Foot Locker, and Family Dollar, to name a few.

 

(MVAAFF’s founders Floyd and Stephanie Rance. Image: Courtesy of the MVAAFF)

 

 

After leaving corporate America, Stephanie was taking a much-needed break while her husband was working on an independent short film in Barbados. During that time, she began to think about marketing initiatives that she could bring to the Island of Barbados. After returning home, she arranged a meeting with the management team of the Barbados Tourism Board in New York, which was looking to increase travel to the island by African American visitors. In her proposal, she included a pitch to bring a film festival to Barbados.

In the summer of 2000, the couple rented a house in Martha’s Vineyard, one of their favorite vacation destinations. They met a filmmaker who brought her short films to the Vineyard and convinced the local owner of the former Strand Theatre in Oak Bluffs to allow her to screen her films. He agreed, and the line to see her series of shorts extended around the block.

“Subconsciously, I kept that moment in the back of my mind,” says Stephanie. “If you’ve been to Martha’s Vineyard, [you know] there’s not a ton to do on the island in the evenings.”

 

(Netflix Original Series, “She’s Gotta Have It,” L-R: Actor Cleo Anthony, actress Margot Bingham, MVAAFF co-founder Stephanie Rance, actress Dewanda Wise, actor Lyriq Bent, MVAAFF co-founder Floyd Rance. Image: Courtesy of the MVAAFF)

 

A Setback Turns Into an Opportunity

 

In 2001, the Barbados Tourism Board was ready to move forward with creating the island’s first film festival. Instinctively, Stephanie knew the film festival was a good idea for the Island of Barbados, as she reflected on that moment with the female filmmaker in Oak Bluffs. Not knowing anything about producing a film festival, she stumbled across a group on Yahoo.com titled Black Filmmakers, which still exists. She posted information about the festival and soon filmmakers were submitting their works along with registration fees for consideration to screen their projects. She received almost 15 film entries and secured both Showtime and AOL Black Voices as festival sponsors.

Unfortunately, the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks occurred that year; the Barbados Tourism Board, nervous about the negative impact on international travel, pulled out. Thinking on her feet, she decided that it would be a great idea to host the film festival in Martha’s Vineyard.

MVAAFF’s inaugural four-day event in 2002 had only 10 attendees. Though Stephanie had secured sponsorship for the fest, the representatives never showed up.

 

(“Insecure” stars Jay Ellis and Yvonne Orji enjoying a screening at the MVAAFF. Image: Courtesy of the MVAAFF)

 

“I could have given up,” Stephanie recalls of that early disappointment. “But I said, ‘You know what? I think I have something here. I’m going to stick with it.’ And 15 years later, the film festival is a huge success with sold out audiences and rousing standing ovations nightly. It’s been a long and rewarding journey. We are very proud of it.” There is much to be proud of. Now hailed as the summer’s finest local film festival, the MVAAFF attracts more than 2,500 attendees worldwide.

The Business of Building a Film Festival Brand

 

Producing the MVAAFF is a family affair for Stephanie and Floyd, who have two children. “There are pluses and minuses in our partnership,” Stephanie explains. “The great thing is that the money stays in the family. We might squabble about which films get in and which films don’t; Floyd is looking at it from a cinematic lens, and I gauge movies based on what pulls at my heart strings. We’re great partners, and I wouldn’t do it with anybody else.”

Still, the couple says that building the festival is a labor of love and has not been an overnight success. MVAAFF has also experienced a healthy increase in both revenues and sponsorship. From 2002 to 2005, the festival saw a 15% increase; from 2006 to 2010, revenues jumped by 25%; and from 2011 to 2015, the festival saw a 45% gain.

Each year, the festival has attracted more sponsors, as well as sponsors for individual events; over the past five years sponsorship doubled. Also, the founders included merchandising to their bottom line, with the sale of branded T-shirts and caps, which have become the festival’s must-have items. The growth has kept pace with the increase in conference registration and participation, numbers that remained steady even through the 2008-2009 recession.

Bringing Diversity to Martha’s Vineyard’s Arts Scene

 

The MVAAFF showcases between 50 and 60 films; currently, all the films are screened at one location, the Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center (MVPAC), which seats 800 people. Utilizing one theater venue for the festival is an added value for the filmmakers, sponsors, and attendees since no films or events are scheduled at the same time.

The MVAAFF draws a diverse and affluent group of attendees and loyal supporters. . There’s a large contingent of people from the Washington, D.C., area, with several from President Obama’s administration, including former Attorney Generals Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch as well as state and local politicians. The event also draws educators, doctors, and lawyers; and Ivy Leaguers from Princeton, Stanford, and Harvard, including Professors Charles Ogletree, Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr., and Khalil Muhammad. The festival is also popular among the alumni and students from historically black colleges and universities, including Howard, Morehouse, Hampton, North Carolina A&T, and others.

(Academy Award-Winning Director Spike Lee. Image: Courtesy of the MVAAFF)

 

Aspiring and veteran filmmakers, producers, writers, executives, and a host of celebrities from across the country frequent the annual festival. Some are regular vacationers on the island; for instance, director Spike Lee has been a longtime supporter. Others celebrities and friends of the festival have included Ben Vereen, Jeffrey Wright, Ava DuVernay, Reginald Hudlin, David E. Talbert, Gail King, S. Epatha Merkerson, Marla Gibbs, Naomie Harris, Janelle Monae, Karyn Parsons, Delroy Lindo, Morocco Omari, Dee Rees, Daphne Reid, Debra Lee, Lisa Davis, Esq., and many others.

“Our festival is different from other festivals, it’s like a family reunion,” says Stephanie. “It’s not a celebrity gawk fest; we’re not into that. It’s not pretentious; it’s laid back and cool.”

Over the years, the festival has screened a wide range of works including Hidden Figures, Baggage Claim, The Princess and the Frog, Birth of a Nation, Chi-Raq, Four Brothers, Idlewild, Miracle at St. Anna, and Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley, along with noted documentaries Anita, A Ballerina’s Tale, The Nine Lives of Marion Barry, and television series Blackish and Backyardigans. 

(Filmmaker’s Brunch. Image: Courtesy of the MVAAFF)

 

 

Expanding Beyond the Vineyard

 

The Rances are extremely pleased with the support they have received from the film studios and television and cable networks as well as from the black film community. By creating a great platform for future filmmakers, Stephanie and Floyd are proud to have seen several festival participants go on to achieve greater milestones in their film careers. In fact, the exponential growth of the Martha’s Vineyard festival in recent years is leading to expansion beyond the beloved island.

The Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival is very special to us and our loyal attendees,” says Stephanie. “We will remain on the island, but we are currently planning another three-to-four-day festival stateside that will launch in October 2018.” The name, date, and location of the new event will be announced separately.

“We are asked constantly to start a new festival,” Stephanie continues. “We would like to serve and accommodate the larger artistic community, and we plan to make [the new festival] bigger and better.”

 

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

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Bob Dylan, Steven Spielberg Documentaries to Premiere at New York Film Festival

New documentaries about Bob Dylan and Steven Spielberg are among the slate of films that will premiere during the New York Film Festival, which begins in late September.

The hour-long Trouble No More constitutes lost

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Bob Dylan, Steven Spielberg Documentaries to Premiere at New York Film Festival

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Behold These Glorious Photos of Rihanna’s Crop Over Festival Outfit

While we at Fashionista are spending this rainy Monday as we would any other — in our tiny office, hunched over computers, munching on Cheez-Its — Rihanna is out there looking nakeynakeynaked at Barbados’s annual Crop Over Festival. We know you didn’t click this for the …

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Thick Rihanna At Crop Over Festival Has Thirst Trap Twitter In Shambles

The annual Crop Over festival is going down in Barbados. But you don’t really care about that—it’s the photos of Rihanna looking thicker than cold grits is what has thirst trap Twitter reacting.

The Bajan singer knew exactly what she was doing when she posted a photo of herself in her festival attire. This is nothing new.

We’ve already written more words than necessary.

Peep the photos and the best thirsty reactions below and on the flip.

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The post Thick Rihanna At Crop Over Festival Has Thirst Trap Twitter In Shambles appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.

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US Tennis Association throwing 2-day festival ahead of US Open

The United States Tennis Association is throwing a two-day event at the South Street Seaport to whet appetites for what could be Roger Federer’s 20th Grand Slam when the US Open kicks off later this month. The festival — featuring the tournament’s defending champions, Swiss-born Stan Wawrinka, who is sitting out this year’s event due…
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New Eric Clapton Documentary to Premiere at Toronto Film Festival

A new documentary about Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival before airing on Showtime in 2018.

Oscar winner Lili Fini Zanuck (producer, Driving Miss Daisy) directed Life in 12 Bars, which features extensive interviews with Clapton.

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: New Eric Clapton Documentary to Premiere at Toronto Film Festival

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Thousands Evacuate Barcelona’s Tomorrowland Festival As Fire Erupts on Stage

A fire on the main stage of a Barcelona music festival prompted the evacuation of more than 22,000 attendees, officials said.

No injuries were reported as crowds fled the scene at the Tomorrowland Unite Spain festival on Saturday, Barcelona fire officials said in a statement, according to CNN.

“At this time, the fire is totally extinct although very hot areas remain and the entire assembly structure is at risk of collapsing,” the statement said, CNN reports.
A technical malfunction caused the fire to break out, according to a post on the festival’s website. “Authorities will follow up and continue the investigation with the local Spanish organizer,” the page added.
Tomorrowland is one of the world’s largest music festivals with multiple locations. Its main concert takes place in Belgium.
Festival organizers did not immediately respond to TIME’s request for comment.


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Massive Fire Forces Evacuation at Barcelona EDM Festival

Over 22,000 people at Barcelona's Unite EDM festival were evacuated from the city's Parc de Can Zam after a massive fire engulfed the main stage.

"Tonight, July 29th 2017, the Unite Barcelona stage caught fire due to a technical malfunction,"

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Here’s What to Expect at the 2017 American Black Film Festival

ABFF

For over 20 years, the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) has celebrated black excellence in film and television.  Launched in 1997 by Jeff Friday, the festival was created to promote diversity in Hollywood and showcase the talent of black filmmakers, producers, actors, and rising stars. Today, the festival is recognized as the largest gathering of black film and TV enthusiasts in the nation. This year marks the 21st  anniversary of ABFF, which will be held in Miami, June 14-18, 2017.

 

What’s On The Agenda?

 

A host of panel discussions, film screenings, networking opportunities, and parties.

Kicking off the festival will be the worldwide premiere of Girls Trip, a comedy directed by Malcolm D. Lee, which stars Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Queen Latifah.

 

ABFF

 

The closing night film at the festival will be the highly anticipated Tupac biopic, All Eyez on Me. The picture documents the iconic rapper’s rise to stardom, starting with his early days in New York City, to his untimely death at the age of 25.

 

 

Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear directly from media mogul Mona Scott-Young, the television producer and entrepreneur best known for the VH1 reality TV franchise Love & Hip Hop. During “The Business of Entertainment” panel, she will open up about her path to professional success.

 

 

Another highlight of the five-day event is HBO’s annual Short Film Competition, presented by HBO, the founding and presenting sponsor of ABFF. During the ABFF Filmmaker Awards presentation, a panel of HBO executives will select and award a promising independent filmmaker with a grand prize of $ 10,000. The runner-ups will each take home $ 5,000. Finalists will also have the opportunity to get their entries licensed by HBO for exhibition on the HBO cable service, HBO Go, and HBO Now.

ABFF will also host a series of master classes. Led by prominent filmmakers and industry professionals, these workshops focus on the varying disciplines that make up the film and television industry, including writing, directing, producing, and acting for film and television, as well as cinematography.

 

 

Additionally, the festival will offer a virtual reality (VR) experience, which will include a special screening of dynamic VR content, with post-screening Q&A discussions with filmmakers and VR experts.

 

How Can I Register?

 

For a complete festival schedule and to purchase passes, tickets for events, panels, and screenings, click here.

To remain in the loop, stay updated by following @ABFF and #ABFF17 on social media!

 

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

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‘Wonder Woman’ Creator and Tonya Harding Biopics Top Toronto Film Festival

New biopics on the creator of Wonder Woman and disgraced Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding, as well as a comedy crime caper from George Clooney, are among the films set to premiere at the 42nd Toronto

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: ‘Wonder Woman’ Creator and Tonya Harding Biopics Top Toronto Film Festival

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Spike Lee, Regina Hall, and Other Black Stars Kick Off the 2017 American Black Film Festival (ABFF)

ABFF

The 21st annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) kicked off on Wednesday, with an exclusive media luncheon, a networking mixer, and the world premiere of Girls Trip.

For the last two decades, ABFF has been a cornerstone, multiday convention, which celebrates black excellence in film and television. When it was first launched by Jeff Friday in 1997, the festival was held in Acapulco, Mexico. However, the festival has since convened in Miami for the last 13 years.

This year, the festival began with the Cadillac Media Luncheon, where Cadillac Global Human Resources Director Tonya Hallett emphasized Cadillac’s commitment to supporting initiatives like ABFF, which showcase the talent of black filmmakers, actors, producers, and rising stars.

Also present at the luncheon was actress Regina Hall, who is this year’s ABFF brand ambassador. In an interview, Hall told BLACK ENTERPRISE that she was thrilled about being a brand ambassador on behalf of ABFF and was excited for the premiere of her new movie Girls Trip.

 


 

In addition to the good food, drinks, and music, the luncheon included a candid conversation between Spike Lee, a legendary filmmaker, and Kenny Gravillis, a graphic designer, about their work in the industry.

The very outspoken Lee didn’t mince words when addressing the importance of black people being “in the room” with those making decisions on whether or not to greenlight a film, and when corporations are determining how to best target people of color. Lee explained that when people of color are absent, companies run the risk of launching marketing disasters, such as the now infamous Pepsi ad that was recently criticized for insensitively appropriating Black Lives Matter protests.

 


 

Lee also stressed the importance of supporting filmmakers of color during a one-on-one interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE.

 


 

To end the luncheon, LeToya Luckett, a singer, actress, and former member of Destiny’s Child, gave an exhilarating performance.

 

ABFF Letoya Luckett performs at the Cadillac Media Luncheon at ABFF (Image: Twitter/ABFF)

 

Later that evening, Producer Will Packer and Director Malcolm D. Lee presented the worldwide premiere of Girls Trip, the new comedy starring Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Queen Latifah.

 


 

Click here to follow @BlackEnterprise’s live coverage of #ABFF2017 on Twitter.

 

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

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Alton Glass Debuts New Virtual Reality Film at American Black Film Festival (ABFF)

Alton Glass (Image: File)

 

Back in 2014, Alton Glass’ groundbreaking drama CRU made history at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Independent Film Awards when it took home a win in each category it was nominated for, including Best Film and Best Director. Three years later, the award-winning filmmaker returned to the annual festival to break new ground yet again with his virtual reality movie, A Little Love, which premiered Saturday, June 17, 2017.

The story of A Little Love explores the themes of love, family, and adventure, and stars actors Kellita Smith and Dorien Wilson. Watch Glass summarize the plot of the film in the video clip below:

 


 

Although the majority of the films screened at ABFF were shot via a standard camera, Glass’ VR film uses a combination of live-action and animation footage to leverage innovative VR technology in a way that completely immerses viewers in a 360° experience. In turn, this enables the audience to feel part of the narrative itself.

“Seeing the audience watch A Little Love for the first time was really awesome,” Glass says, in an interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE.“They were looking all around, laughing, and just fully transported into this experience. I think that this was something very different for them to experience at a film festival [and] at ABFF, and I think that they loved it.”

 

A post shared by Alton Glass (@altonglasscru) on


 

Along with providing the audience with an exclusive VR experience, the accompanying panel included a Q&A about the convergence of technology, media, and entertainment, which featured Glass as well as VR experts and television executives. During the talkback session, Glass opened up about being one of the few African American pioneers in the VR filmmaking landscape.  He also spoke about his decision to explore VR filmmaking, after directing a number of highly acclaimed movies like The Confidant (2010), starring Boris Kodjoe and David Banner; and The Mannsfield 12 (2007), which was acquired by BET.

“What inspired me to create a narrative in virtual reality like this, was being able to see someone like myself—for people of color or diversity—inside of an experience in virtual reality,” Glass says. “I’ve never seen anything where I felt like I was there—[in the film]— with people that looked like me. So, I felt compelled to make that piece.”

The celebrated director also explained why he chose to premiere his VR movie during the five-day festival. “It was important for me to debut this film at ABFF because one, ABFF has very supportive throughout my career,” Glass says, also adding that secondly, A Little Love is one of the first VR films to feature people of color.

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

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The Return of the Party Prince! Harry Meets Up with Friends at Music Festival in London

Prince Harry was just another fan in the crowd at a music festival over the weekend.

The 32-year-old royal was spotted at the British Summertime Festival in Hyde Park on Saturday night, where The Killers headlined the show. Donning a button-up blue shirt and baseball cap, Harry casually drank beer and snapped selfies with pals.

Noticeably absent from the festivities was his girlfriend of over a year, Meghan Markle. The 35-year-old actress is most likely at home in Toronto, Canada, where she films Suits.

In a recent interview with the Mail on Sunday, Harry admitted that he “didn’t want to grow up” and considered giving up his title — before deciding to create a new role for himself within the royal family.

He revealed that he considered living an ordinary life following his time in the army, calling his time in service the “best escape I’ve ever had.”

RELATED VIDEO: William and Harry Open Up About Diana Together for the First Time

 

“I felt as though I was really achieving something,” Harry said. “I have a deep understanding of all sorts of people from different backgrounds and felt I was part of a team.”

He continued, “I wasn’t a Prince, I was just Harry.”

When he decided to turn things around, Harry considered leaving the royal life behind and live as a commoner.

“I felt I wanted out but then decided to stay in and work out a role for myself,” he said, adding that his loyalty to Queen Elizabeth, his grandmother, helped him in his decision.

Still, Harry wanted to be more than just famous figure who waved to the crowds who gathered to catch a glimpse of him and his family.

“We don’t want to be just a bunch of celebrities but instead use our role for good,” he said.

 


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Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Documentary Packs An Emotional Punch at Palm Springs International Film Festival

2017-01-12-1484253807-975453-brightlights_010.jpg

Just weeks after the surprise deaths of mother-daughter duo Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, the soul-stirring HBO documentary “Bright Lights” moved audiences to laughter–and tears–at the Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF), where it played to a packed house earlier this week. Other screenings of the deeply moving endeavor, directed by Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens, are on the festival roster, but Wednesday night’s screening was shrouded with intrigue and empathy for a number of reasons.

For starters, it was one of the very first times people gathered en masse to view “Bright Lights” after the passing of Fisher and Reynolds last month. Fisher died on Dec. 27 from complications of a heart attack (she was 60); Reynolds died of a fatal stroke one day after her daughter (she was 84). Twist of fate or divine timing, the loss of the two famous entertainers left Hollywood and fans stunned and heartbroken. The PSIFF screening morphed into a rare opportunity for a large group to celebrate the lives of the famous performers.

“We obviously programmed [the film] at this festival when Carrie and Debbie were alive,” co-director Stevens told the crowd prior to the screening. “Debbie loved Palm Springs, and there are a couple of shots in the film of Carrie and Debbie here. Obviously, there has been a big turn of events, but we felt it was important to still screen this.”

Stevens went on to say that he didn’t change a frame in the doc since the legends’ deaths. “We were shocked and devastated,” he went on, “but I don’t want to get emotional right now.”

That came later.

As the documentary unraveled, it became evident that the audience was more than a traditional biopic. No. This was a different kind of love story–a positively unique one shared between a mother and daughter, two consummate performers with equal parts wit and charm.

Sired from an original idea that Fisher, the famed “Star Wars” actress and “Wishful Drinking” author–had several years ago to document her relationship with her mother, the end result does several things very well. It illuminates why Reynolds maintained her celebrity beyond her breakout film “Singin’ In The Rain”–style, grit, class–and it also gave us a closer look at the inner workings of Fisher, whose sense of humor, struggles with mental illness, and devotion to her mother shined through brightly. That the doc manages to capture the rare symbiosis the two women shared is an achievement. In the hands of other filmmakers, we’d be inundated with a gaggle of “talking heads.” Not here.

“They’re just performers through and through,” noted “Bright Lights” editor Sheila Shirazi on th red carpet prior to the screening. “If you look at old footage, they’re always singing showtunes, singing around the piano together. They really were dyed-in-the-wool showbiz people.”

Asked what challenges she faced while compiling, literally, an auditorium-sized vault of vintage home movies kept by Carrie’s sibling Todd Fisher, Shirazi says: “I think the temptation when you are making a movie like this is to get bogged down in the details. You want to tell everything about their fascinating lives. We really chose to focus on the relationship, keeping it focused on the present while touching on the past to help you understand the larger context for their relationship.”

Judging by the roar of applause by the time the credits rolled, it’s apparent the filmmakers managed to capture it all effectively. In the meantime, as Hollywood still mourns the fading of these two magnanimous stars, the numbers have been tallied over at HBO, where “Bright Lights” premiered shortly after the stars’ death: An impressive 1.6 million viewers tuned in.


2017-01-12-1484253849-2062259-carriefisherfisherstevens1484078871.jpg

Co-director Fisher Stevens (left) with Carrie Fisher.

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Glastonbury Festival: The Meeting of the Tribes

“I almost didn’t make it this year”, the younger sister of a friend told me at Glastonbury a few years ago. “It’s so expensive and I’m saving to get my buccal pads removed.” Buccal pads? “They are the bits of fat on top of your cheek bones”, she explains, pinching her attractive rosy cheeks. The time was when you would have been hard pressed to find anyone at the Glastonbury Festival planning cosmetic surgery, let alone being brave enough to admit to it. But Britain has changed and so has Glastonbury.

When I skipped school to come to Glastonbury for the first time a couple of decades back, the festival was a radical, counter-cultural event. Tickets, for those who decided not to step through the flimsy barbed wire fence, cost £17 – compared to £220 this year – and money raised went to CND. There were no Winnebagos filled with millionaire footballers, WAGs, supermodels and Conservative Party constituency chairmen dying in portaloos.

Headliners were edgy, musical outsiders rather than the likes of stadium rockers like the Rolling Stones and U2 or chart-toppers such as Beyoncé or Kanye West who will headline on the Pyramid Stage this year. Attending Glastonbury back then felt like a political statement and the only mainstream media coverage of the festival would centre on sporadic clashes between the police and traveller community. But even ’86 involved sitting around bonfires with veteran festival-goers who would bemoan the fact that Glastonbury was “not like it used to be”.

While Glastonbury has undoubtedly become more mainstream, however, it has not lost sight of its origins. Beneath the commercialisation and the hype, its political heart still beats strong.

The Glastonbury festival emerged more than four decades ago from the wider free festival movement whose philosophical roots can be traced back to a long tradition of British utopianism integrally connected to the land. Land rights and access to the land have always been an intensely political issue in Britain, reaching a climax in 18th century with the enclosure of common land under the Enclosures Act of 1761. The free festival movement of the 1970s and ’80s was founded on the principle of temporarily reclaiming patches of the countryside to create mini-collectives where normal rules and expectations would not apply.

The entry charge for the first Glastonbury Festival in 1970, headlined by Marc Bolan and Mickey Finn in Tyrannosaurus Rex, was £1. The following year, it was free. The early festivals had a loose manifesto of environmentalism and spiritual awareness-raising – the 1981 festival collecting an unprecedented £1 million for the anti-nuclear movement.

While the modern Glastonbury Festival may be surrounded by a virtually impenetrable fence and overseen by battalions of high-visibility security guards and police, it still feels remarkably free. It has retained strong links with the peace, environmental movements and campaigning organisations, eschewing virtually all corporate sponsorship.

According Rhian Lewis, WaterAid’s UK campaigns manager, the festival “provides us with a unique opportunity to publicise our work and reach out to new supporters” as evidenced by almost 18,000 signatories to a petition calling on the British Government to commit to lifting 100 million people out of water and sanitation poverty by 2015.

Graham Petersen, environmental co-ordinator of the University and College Union, has been coming to the Leftfield – an area where radical politics and music mix – since its inception in 1992. He believes that people are more receptive to new ideas at Glastonbury. “When you take people away from their hum-drum activities and put them in at festival in the middle of the countryside, their minds become more open”.

Yasmin Khan, former senior campaign co-ordinator at War on Want and regular speaker in the legendary Leftfield tent, was inspired to join War on Want when she heard one of the organisation’s speakers at Glastonbury a decade ago. “Most charities are not political. Rather than campaign for justice for the world’s poor, they focus on Band Aid solutions, like Bob Geldof and Bono before them. That is why Leftfield is so important – it’s about looking at the structural causes of poverty and inspiring people to get involved in the movement, be that by taking action against the cuts or in standing in solidarity with sweatshop workers in Bangladesh.”

Billy Bragg, who first came to Glastonbury in 1984 and now curates Leftfield, believes that in the face of the coalition Government’s unprecedented attack on public services the political side of Glastonbury is as important as it ever has been. I told him about the girl with the buccal pads and asked whether he ever despairs at how unpoliticised so many young people. “Not at all. Look at me. I wasn’t really that political until Margret Thatcher came along.”

In 2013 Michael Eavis, Glastonbury’s founder, stated that he wanted the festival to return to its political roots. He pointed out that the festival has “always been a sounding board for lots of unrest.” But while there may have been a record number of activists at that year’s festival, the most high-profile piece of political activism – an attempt by UK Uncut to stage a protest against Bono’s tax avoidance during U2’s set – was brought to an abrupt end by stewards.

Ed Gillespie, who spends much of the festival in the Green Field absolving people in the Earthly Sins Confessional Booth, believes: “Glastonbury may not be as vigorously, overtly political now as it has been in the past, but the systematic subversion that the festival subliminally disseminates is still a powerful force which is perhaps why the mainstream has worked so hard to co-opt and coerce it.” According to Gillespie, Glastonbury offers people an opportunity to express themselves freely and creatively without the constraints of societal norms. “More importantly, people are doing this together. They establish a sizeable and functioning city in a Somerset field that experiments with possibilities and asks many questions about how we really want to live.”

Throughout history, festivals have provided imaginative communal spaces for people to step outside their normal lives and their normal selves. While most festivals might not be overtly political, the process of coming together to create to a temporary society where people live and dance side-by-side is in itself both a political and politicising thing.

Glastonbury, like all festivals throughout all ages and cultures, is still about the gathering of the tribes. But the tribes of Britain are no longer Celts, druids and pagans.

Some echoes of ancient British lore may linger, but the “tribes” of modern Britain are complex, fluid and constantly shifting. Today’s Glastonbury is not the same as it used to be. But somehow the “Glastonbury spirit” endures. People of all ages and all classes from all regions of the nation gather in the lush English countryside. They live beside each other. They talk and laugh and dance together. And when they arrive home and step back into their everyday lives, they find that something within them has changed. It may be a subtle shift. It may not last forever. But whatever it is, it is something intrinsically political.

Stefan Simanowitz is a journalist. He has written on music for the Independent, the Guardian, Dazed & Confused, AnOther Magazine, Prospect etc. He runs the New Bands In Town website.

This article was first published in Tribune.

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Wave Gothic Festival Storms Into Germany

You’ve goth to see this.

Around 20,000 people trudged into Leipzig, Germany, this weekend for the annual Wave Gothic festival, according to the Associated Press.

The first Wave Gothic festival took place in 1992 with around 10 bands, the Orlando Sentinel reports. But the four-day event now includes more than 100 acts.

Take a look at some of the participants from this year and years past.

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Newlyweds Nikki Reed And Ian Somerhalder Are Beyond Glamorous At The Cannes Film Festival

Newlyweds Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder were the picture of grace and glamour on Wednesday as they walked the red carpet at the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival.

The couple showed up for the premiere of “Youth” and Reed dazzled in a midnight blue, backless gown by Azzaro, while Somerhalder looked dapper in a black tux. The couple tied the knot last month, and are clearly still in the honeymoon phase.

nikki reed ian

nikki reed ian

nikki reed

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Ultra Music Festival 2015: The People And Outfits We Loved (NSFW PHOTOS)

Crazy outfits, neon, and a definite excess of exposed skin are staples of the 3-day electronic music rager down in Miami.

It’s the 17th year of the Ultra Music Festival which has attracted the high profile talents of Tiesto, Avicii, Alesso, Nicky Romero, Paul Van Dyk, Bassnectar, David Guetta, and Skrillex. Up-and-comers like Goldfish, Kygo, and Klingade are set to take over the scene and hypnotize the crowd with their melodic beats and cascading sounds of pianos, saxophones and xylophones.

The entire gamet of the electronic dance music genre is covered, from trance to dubstep, tropical house to deep house, trap to techno. With such an impressive lineup and range of artists, EDM and festival fans flock to Miami’s Bayfront Park for the 3-day festival that attracts over 150,000 people with crunchy beats, mind-numbing light shows and non-stop dancing.

Fashion standards for the weekend include crazy wigs and edible jewelry, and attracts more neon than a 711 sign does to a fly. Some of our favorites include the iconic Nintendo characters of Mario & Luigi, a cat on a moped, and lots of national pride.

Check it out:


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SXSW Video – Movie Review: The Boy (2015) – Film Festival Video HD

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SXSW Video – Movie Review: The Boy (2015) – Film Festival Video HD

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Black Films Are Buzzing At This Year’s Sundance Festival

Every year the Sundance Film Festival premieres some of the best independent black films around, and it looks as if 2015 will be no different. Viola Davis, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rick Famuyiwa, Zoë Kravitz and Stanley Nelson are just a few of the black actors and filmmakers attending the festival in Park City, Utah, from Jan. 22 to Feb. 1. Sundance was where films like Fruitvale Station and directors like Ava DuVernay won big before going on to garner even more acclaim. This year, early buzz for many of the films is extremely positive.
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Black Films Are Buzzing At This Year’s Sundance Festival

Every year the Sundance Film Festival premieres some of the best independent black films around, and it looks as if 2015 will be no different. Viola Davis, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rick Famuyiwa, Zoë Kravitz and Stanley Nelson are just a few of the black actors and filmmakers attending the festival in Park City, Utah, from Jan. 22 to Feb. 1. Sundance was where films like Fruitvale Station and directors like Ava DuVernay won big before going on to garner even more acclaim. This year, early buzz for many of the films is extremely positive.
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Music Festival Style – Life is Beautiful preview – Zappos Rockit Shop Ep19

Comment to tell us who rocked it best!

You’ve rocked out to Katy Perry at Coachella, built a bonfire at Bonaroo, and gone crazy for Kanye at Lollapalooza.. but be sure to check out the new kid on the festival circuit – Life is Beautiful. Why? For starters, Life is Beautiful happens in Las Vegas so whatever happens there stays there – need we say more??

Rockit Shop host Canaan Rubin is festival regular and will teach you how to look cool as a cucumber in the festival heat. Canaan has packed this special episode of Rockit Shop episode with the coolest festival fashion whether you’re lucky enough to score a ticket to Life is Beautiful, or just want to look like you got lucky.

Brands featured in this episode:
Ray-Ban
L*Space
G-Star
Teva
Stuart Weitzman
Will Leather Goods
BCBG Maxazria
Volcom
Lacoste

Rockit Shop is presented by Zappos (http://zapwow.me/pf3C) where you can shop all the brands you saw here today, as well as all the latest trends in fashion. Zappos carries everything you need from shoes and clothing to hats, accessories, beauty, and more!

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Life is Beautiful Music Festival Fashion, Vintage Style & Hippie Chic- Rockit Shop Ep 20

Comment below and tell us who you think rocked it best!

Featured Brands: Trina Turk, Levi’s, Minnetonka, Ray-Ban, Mr. Turk, Diesel, Lucky Brand, Dockers, Stacy Adams, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Vera Bradley, and more!

At the Life is Beautiful music festival in sunny Las Vegas, NV, Canaan Rubin discovered just how beautiful life can be when you’re free to wear what you want – or wear not too much of anything at all! Welcome to the most “hippie dippie gypsy” episode of Rockit Shop yet!

Warning: Canaan Rubin is turned into a hippie dippie gypsy in this episode and crowned “Flower Canaan” – don’t say we didn’t warn you..

Rockit Shop is presented by Zappos (http://zapwow.me/pf3C) where you can shop all the looks you saw here today, and you can find all your favorite skate, surf, snow, and street wear brands in one place. Zappos carries everything you need from shoes and clothing to hats, accessories, beauty, and more!

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Kristen Stewart Opts For Sequin Pants Instead Of A Gown At Cannes Film Festival

Kristen Stewart decided to try out a different kind of look for the premiere of “Clouds of Sils Maria” at the Cannes Film Festival on May 23.

The 24-year-old actress, who stars in the film alongside Juliette Binoche and Chloe Grace Moretz, looked très chic in a Chanel couture two-piece jumpsuit, which she paired with nude heels. Stewart styled her orange locks in loose waves and rocked smokey eye makeup.

kristen stewart

kristen stewart

kristen stewart

kristen stewart

“I dress really practically, so when I do red carpet things, I like to go extreme on the other side of it,” Stewart recently told PopSugar of her beauty routine. “I really like working with people who love what they do and are a bit more bold. If you’re going to do that job, it’s always more interesting to find artists and not people who just want to get it done. It can be fun to find different aspects of myself, since it’s not usually what I do.”
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Live from the Dubai International Film Festival: Wednesday, Dec. 11

2013-12-12-lunchbox.jpg

Another strong day at the Dubai International Film Festival kicked off for me with a morning press screening of a film I tried to see at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival this past summer – but was denied because of a breakdown in the subtitle technology.

Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox has toured the film festival circuit since then and will open in February 2014 in the U.S. It’s a soulful, thought-provoking tale featuring two central performances that can’t help but stir you.

Nimrat Kaur plays Ila, a Mumbai housewife who dutifully cooks her husband a lavish, multicourse lunch, which she packs in a metal tiffin box. Then a courier picks it up and delivers it by train to the office where her husband works.

(The film’s opening is a brief but fascinating short-course in an incredibly complex lumch-delivery system in Mumbai that somehow seems to work, despite what seems like a dependence on old technology and systems.)

But on this day, her careful preparation of curry, rice and more goes astray – and lands on the desk of a soon-to-retire insurance-claims examiner, Saajan, played by the amazing Irrfan Khan (best known to American audiences for his work in The Namesake, Slumdog Millionaire” and Life of Pi). He’d contracted with a diner near his apartment for lunch for years – but this food was significantly better. So he eats it all.

Which surprises Ila because, apparently, her husband never sends the used lunchbox back looking as though it’s been licked clean, the way Saajan did. She puts a note in with the chapatti bread the next day – and Saajan responds. Before long, they’ve struck up a correspondence, which deepens into an epistolary relationship, though they’ve never met.

The film is a marvel of understatement and intelligence, exploring the loneliness and regret two people are able to express to each other, perhaps because they are strangers. The correspondence changes their outlook, makes them a little more aware of their regrets – and of what they can do to get rid of those regrets and make a fresh start. As one character notes, “Sometimes the wrong train takes you to the right station.” These character studies make The Lunchbox a movie to be keenly anticipated by American audiences.

Louise Archambault’s Gabrielle” had the potential to be something cloying and awful, given its focus on a mentally challenged couple, their romance and the objections of the young man’s mother. Archambault cast Gabrielle Marion-Rivard, a young woman with Williams’ syndrome, in the title role – and she delivers a real performance (as does actor Alexandre Landry, as Martin, the young man she’s in love with).

This commentary continues on my website.
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