5 Highlights From Queen Elizabeth II Documentary That Features Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry, Meghan MarkleMeghan Markle and Prince Harry make special appearances in the new Queen Elizabeth II documentary, Queen of the World.
The special focuses on the U.K.’s 92-year-old ceremonial monarch…

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THE LAST STRAW | Free Admission Documentary on Littering and it’s Detriment to Our Oceans

500 million straws are used and discarded every day in the United States alone. That’s 175 billion a year filtering into landfills and littering our waterways and oceans.

Join us for an inspiring evening of positive change with a screening of the documentary, STRAWS. With colorful straw history animation narrated by Oscar winner Tim Robbins, the film leaves audiences with a clear understanding of the problems caused by plastic pollution and empowers individuals to be part of the solution.Enjoy refreshments, a special Q&A, and art inspired by the film.
We’ll be giving out free stainless steel water bottles while supplies last and there will be a juried art exhibition by students in the City of Oxnard’s After-school Recreation Program.

Thursday, September 13, 2018 | 6 pm | Free Admission

With special guests:

  • Kathi King, Community Environmental Council
  • Todd Vasquez-Housley, Environmental Resources Division Manager, City of Oxnard

Film Premise: 

STRAWS is a 32 minute documentary by filmmaker Linda Booker released Spring 2017. Half a billion non-recyclable plastic straws get used every day in the U.S., ending up in landfills and on streets and beaches. Academy Award-winning actor Tim Robbins narrates and turtle researchers, community activists and business owners discuss a sea of change happening, one straw at a time. More information at strawsfilm.com
©2017 By the Brook Productions LLC

The post THE LAST STRAW | Free Admission Documentary on Littering and it’s Detriment to Our Oceans appeared first on .

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There are too many legendary stars to count in Netflix’s ‘Quincy’ documentary trailer

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Quincy Jones has too many awards, accolades, and accomplishments to list.

And the legendary musician and film producer’s upcoming Netflix documentary, directed by his own daughter Rashida Jones, features almost as many stars. 

The trailer for Quincy shines a spotlight on the influence he had on some of the most talented people in the entire entertainment industry: Oprah Winfrey, Kendrick Lamar, Will Smith, Lady Gaga. And we heard a little Barack Obama moment in there too.

But the doc appears to focus on his life both before and after becoming the iconic Quincy Jones. 

You can catch it on Netflix Sept. 21. Read more…

More about Entertainment, Netflix, Documentary, Rashida Jones, and Quincy Jones


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Netflix Will Not Air Louis Farrakhan Documentary

Louis Farrakhan has announced that Netflix will not stream a controversial documentary about the well-known Muslim pastor; despite previously stating that it would premiere on the streaming service.

A Netflix spokesperson said the confusion all comes down to a communication error.

“This film will not be released on Netflix. Due to an internal miscommunication, it appeared to be scheduled for release on Netflix, but it is not. We apologize for any confusion this has caused.”

Farrakhan has been accused of being an anti-Semite and many have labeled his sermons as ‘hate speech’.

No word on where his documentary will air.

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Hit Documentary ‘Three Identical Strangers’ to Be Adapted Into Feature Film

The critically acclaimed documentary “Three Identical Strangers,” which made a splash at Sundance, is to be adapted into a feature film. London-based Raw, which produced “Strangers,” is partnering with Film4 and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment on the project, which centers on the true story of identical triplets who were separated at birth and who stumbled across […]

Variety

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Documentary traces the comic genius of Robin Williams

Robin Williams left behind a rich comic legacy when he died in August 2014 at the age of 63. The manic, lightning-quick standup comedian rocketed to stardom on the 1978 ABC sitcom “Mork & Mindy” and fashioned a remarkable career in standup, movies and on television including four Grammys, two Emmys and a 1997 Oscar…
Entertainment | New York Post

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‘Whitney’ documentary reveals the first time she did drugs

There is one particularly poignant moment in the new “Whitney” documentary — about the late, legendary pop goddess Whitney Houston — when her older half brother Gary Houston gets straight to the heart of the family dysfunction that contributed to his sister’s ultimate downfall. “There were always a lot of secrets,” he confesses. “If you…
Entertainment | New York Post

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Podcast: Nick Bollettieri on Upcoming Showtime Documentary, Book

On this week’s episode, host Jon Wertheim talks with Nick Bollettieri about the upcoming documentary about his life, the current tennis landscape and more.

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Watch the Documentary That Inspired Johnny Knoxville’s ‘Action Point’

Watch the Documentary That Inspired Johnny Knoxville's 'Action Point'

What do you get when you combine Jackass and Adventureland? Johnny Knoxville's new comedy, Action Point. But the movie isn't just a clever idea to make a summertime release with dangerous stunts performed at an amusement park, wrapped inside a fictional plot. Action Point is actually based on a true story. 

In our interview with Knoxville, he admits to being inspired to make Action Point after seeing the 2013 documentary short…

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Podcast: Glenn Greenwald Discusses Forthcoming Martina Navratilova Documentary

On this week’s episode, host Jon Wertheim talks with Glenn Greenwald about his Martina Navratilova documentary, Tennys Sandgren and more.

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Serial‘s Adnan Syed Will Be the Subject of a New HBO Documentary Series

Podcasters became obsessed with the case of Adnan Syed through Serial, which investigated the disappearance of 18-year-old Baltimore County high school student Hae Min Lee. Now Syed, Lee’s ex-boyfriend who was convicted of her murder, will be the subject of a new four-hour docuseries from HBO and Oscar nominee Amy Berg.

Directed by Berg (Deliver Us From Evil, West of Memphis), The Case of Adnan Syed will re-examine the events leading up to Lee’s disappearance, its aftermath, and the present day. Berg received access to Syed, his family, friends of Syed and Lee, and members of the Baltimore law enforcement.

Syed, who has maintained his innocence, was given a life sentence for Lee’s murder in 2000. By 2016, a Baltimore judge vacated the conviction and granted a new trial in light of new evidence challenging cell phone data that linked Syed to the crime, as well as testimony from an alibi witness. The State of Maryland appealed the court’s ruling, but the Court of Special Appeals also ruled in favor of a retrial in 2018.

Read more: I Started Serial, But It Didn’t End the Way I Had Hoped

As reported by the Baltimore Sun, the office of Attorney General Brian Frosh asked the Maryland Court of Appeals on Monday to overturn the lower-court ruling for the retrial.

The Case of Adnan Syed will attempt to trace “how the rush to justice and Syed’s conviction in 2000 raised more questions than answers about what happened to Hae Min Lee, underscoring the instability of memory and conflicting eyewitnesses.”

Henrietta Conrad, Jemima Khan, Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan, and Andrew Stearn will executive produce the series, which will hit HBO in the U.S. and Sky Atlantic in Europe.

A premiere date has not been announced.

This article originally appeared on ew.com.


Entertainment – TIME

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WATCH: ‘Truth and Lies: Waco’ the documentary event – airs Thursday, Jan. 4, at 9/8c on ABC

He claimed ‘God spoke through him’ – Now, 25 years after the 51 day stand-off and deadly siege on David Koresh & the Branch Davidian Compound – New details & what survivors now reveal. ‘Truth and Lies: Waco’ airs Thursday, Jan. 4, at 9/8c on ABC
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‘Black in Tokyo’ Documentary: A Woman’s Mission to Increase Cultural Representation

Amarachi Nwosu is a Nigerian American filmmaker, photographer, and writer who moved to Japan to indulge her interest in Japanese culture, design, and food. But when she arrived in Tokyo, a city known for its cuisine, advances in tech, and historical landmarks, she became frustrated with the representation of black travelers. “I didn’t see enough representation of black people in media but I saw it of black culture—youth culture trends and music, but not enough in general media,” says Nwosu. When I did see black people in media it was often as stereotypical characters and that is largely due to the western objectification of black people, which translates all over the world. I knew I had to do something to change it and that was when Black In Tokyo was born.

 

Black In Tokyo Film

 

Black in Tokyo is a short documentary which depicts the experiences of five people who have moved to Japan from Eritrea, Ghana, and the United States. Beyond exploring the challenges of being black in Tokyo, the film spotlights the experiential opportunities which have helped black expats build successful careers, relationships, and businesses.

 

Black in Tokyo

 

The documentary is part of Melanin Unscripted,  a platform created by Nwosu to dismantle stereotypes and blur the racial lines by exposing complex identities and cultures around the world.

Nwosu’s passion and dedication to “storytelling that brings culture to light” have also landed her on a multitude of platforms including Highsnobiety, OkayAfrica, Huffington Post, CNN Africa, and on documentary projects with VICE Japan. She’s also produced and shot social campaigns for Adidas Tokyo that featured the first African woman on their Instagram page. She’s worked on projects with London-based women’s rights group Equality Now and also works as an ambassador for D&AD in New York and Princeton University’s race relations.

 

On changing perception.

“Rather than being viewed as “expats” like most white travelers, blacks were often seen as “immigrants” who were often victims of discrimination and prejudice. I saw it as an opportunity to create stories on people all around the world who are making positive strides for themselves and their community.

 

On monetizing culture and creating opportunities. 

A few of the individuals in the documentary talk about how Japanese take their time to study black culture. What can “we” in the U.S. take away from that?

If you are passionate about something, study it, understand the classics, and try to understand the root of that culture you are learning. Japanese people, in general, like to pay attention to details and really take their time to learn things. However, I believe that appropriation exists in all cultures, but the difference is that most Japanese give credit where it’s due, which is something lacking in pop culture in America. Sometimes, people monetize other people’s cultures and forget to credit the source to the sauce. In the U.S., we have to get better at that.

 

Watch:

 

The post ‘Black in Tokyo’ Documentary: A Woman’s Mission to Increase Cultural Representation appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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Jordan Peele Calls ‘Get Out’ A Documentary After Golden Globe Deems It A Comedy

Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” was first marketed by Universal as a horror movie upon its Feb. 24 release. This week, the racially-charged box office smash is being submitted to Golden Globes voters as a comedy – and Peele is not amused.

“Get Out is a documentary,” Peele tweeted on Wednesday morning.

The Hollywood Foreign Press, which presents the Golden Globes annually, agreed to accept the submission of “Get Out” in its comedy/musical category, where it might square off against such potential nominees as “The Big Sick,” “I, Tonya,” “The Disaster Artist,” “Lady Bird” and “The Greatest Showman.” Awards pundits have already pegged it a likely contender regardless of its placement.

Released to theaters in February after a strong showing at Sundance the previous month, “Get Out” was a runaway hit, grossing a massive $ 33.4 million across its opening weekend en route to a $ 253.4 million worldwide haul on a miniscule $ 4.5 million budget. Its financial strides have only helped its cause in the race for awards attention, and, after the Academy invited a record 774 new faces to join its ranks this summer, several invitees told EW the film was high on their list of best picture choices at this early stage of the game.

Nominations for the 75th Golden Globe Awards will be announced Monday, Dec. 11, with the awards telecast to follow on Sunday, Jan. 7 at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

Peele spoke to “CBS This Morning” Wednesday about exploring the “deep horror of racism” in “Get Out,” saying, “There are no jokes in the movie.”

Watch below:

 

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BWW TV: First Look at Morgan Marcell’s THE ELIZA PROJECT Documentary, Featuring Phillipa Soo, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and More

A film directorial debut for Morgan Marcell, original Hamilton cast member, Sharing Our Stories The Eliza Project is a 10 minute Short Documentary about the inception, purpose and hopeful legacy of The Eliza Project, co-founded by Philippa Soo original ‘Eliza Hamilton,’ Hamilton amp Morgan Marcell.
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‘Hunting Ground’ Team Plan Hollywood Sexual Assault Documentary

The filmmakers behind The Hunting Ground, a documentary about the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses, will tackle the same issue in Hollywood following the Harvey

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: ‘Hunting Ground’ Team Plan Hollywood Sexual Assault Documentary

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Watch Teaser for Simpsons Documentary About Iconic ‘Homer at the Bat’ Episode

In addition to being inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame earlier this year in celebration of its 25th anniversary, "Homer at the Bat" is getting a documentary makeover. Titled Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson, the documentary will air this Sunday on Fox.

"A satire of Ken Burns' epic

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Watch Teaser for Simpsons Documentary About Iconic ‘Homer at the Bat’ Episode

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Watch Trailer for New ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper Documentary

A new documentary chronicling the life of wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper is now available for streaming on NineLegendsFilms.com for $ 7.99. Titled "Roddy Piper: In His Own Words," a percentage of all sales will go to the Doernbecher Children's Hospital, which had a “special place in Roddy’s heart.”

"This project meant a

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Watch Trailer for New ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper Documentary

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New Documentary Claims a British Soldier Got Away with Mass Murder in Northern Ireland

LONDON — A suspected paramilitary serial murderer active during the Troubles in Northern Ireland has been named for the first time in a film by an Oscar-winning documentary-maker who alleges that the shooter was a former British soldier and his killing spree was covered up by the authorities.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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John Legend to Produce Olympics Human Rights Salute Documentary

Singer John Legend and actor Jesse Williams are teaming to executive produce a documentary on Olympic gold medalist and former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tommie Smith,

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: John Legend to Produce Olympics Human Rights Salute Documentary

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‘Rat Film’: The Disturbing Documentary Exposing Racism as a Parasite

“It ain’t never been a rat problem in Baltimore. Always been a people problem,” says Harold Edmond, a member of the city’s Rat Rubout Program, in Rat Film. Theo Anthony’s thrillingly unconventional documentary, however, argues that, for the last century or more, maybe it’s been both – and that the two are inextricably intertwined. It’s a fascinating hypothesis, and one that’s laid out in daring video-essay form by the filmmaker’s feature debut, which stands as one of this year’s most idiosyncratic, and impressive, non-fiction works.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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George Michael pays tribute to his late first boyfriend in his final interview for Freedom documentary

GEORGE Michael opened up about the death of his first boyfriend, Anselmo Feleppa, in his last ever interview.

The iconic singer spoke about Anselmo and revealed his heartache at the Brazilian’s death during an interview for Channel 4 documentary, Freedom.

George Michael opens up about the tragic death of his first boyfriend in his last interview before his death
PA:Press Association

Freedom will focus on five years of Michael’s life in the 90s and was filmed before his death on Christmas Day 2016.

George met Anselmo, who was a dress designer, in a hotel lobby but he tragically died of an “Aids-related illness” in 1993.

It’s believed the documentary will air around the same time as the re-release of George’s album Listen Without Prejudice on October 20.

An insider who has seen the documentary told The Mirror that George becomes very emotional while speaking about his late boyfriend.

They said: “George speaks very movingly about Anselmo being the first love of his life and how important he was in his life.

“It is very emotional and he clearly never forgot him and left a huge ­impression on George.”

The Freedom documentary looks at five years of George’s life in the 90s
Reuters
George Michael's backing singers Pepsi and Shirlie pay tribute to him eight months after death

George, who was 27 when he met Anselmo, previously revealed he knew shortly after they met that he was terminally ill.

Speaking on Desert Island Discs in 2007, he said: “It was a very strange first love. It was very distorted by the situation. This was the first love of my entire life.

The Wham! singer died on Christmas Day 2016
Getty – Contributor

“It was tragic that I lost him, but it was a wonderful experience meeting him. There have only been three times I’ve really fallen for anyone.

“And each time, on first sight, something has clicked that told me I was going to know that person. It happened with Anselmo across a lobby.”


The Wham! singer penned his No 1 single, Jesus To A Child as a tribute to Anselmo.

George’s former partner Kenny Goss and last boyfriend Fadi Fawaz are not mentioned in the documentary as it focuses on his life in the 90s,

Kenny Goss speaks to the Sun on Sunday about pop legend George Michael

Got a story? email digishowbiz@the-sun.co.uk or call us direct on 02077824220.

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TV and Showbiz – latest celebrity news, gossip, photos, TV and film reviews | The Sun

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Zac Posen focus of new documentary

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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4 Things We Learned From the New Documentary About Whitney Houston

As one of the most successful pop artists of all time, Whitney Houston was — and continues to be — one of the world’s most beloved voices. But her musical legacy has also been clouded by her personal struggles and tragic death at the age of 48 in 2012, chapters of her story that are explored in the new documentary Whitney: Can I Be Me.

Helmed by Rudi Dolezal and BAFTA winner Nick Broomfield — who delved into the untimely death of another iconic musician, Kurt Cobain, in the 1998 film Kurt & Courtney — the documentary is an in-depth look at the private life of a cultural icon. It crafts a heartbreaking narrative through found footage, including never-before-seen interviews, performances and clips that address everything from her intimate relationship with best friend Robyn Crawford to her tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown.

As it opens in theaters on Aug. 18, and ahead of its Showtime debut on Aug. 25, here are the aspects of Houston’s story onto which Can I Be Me shines a light.

Houston’s commercial success came at a personal price.

The documentary’s title speaks to the struggle Houston fought her whole life between her public persona and her true self. She was groomed from an early age to be marketable to white mainstream consumers, an endeavor spearheaded by her mother Cissy Houston and the producer Clive Davis, who discovered Houston as a teenager and helped catapult her to meteoric pop stardom. But the musical choices and respectability politics that catapulted her to mainstream success also backfired by making her less palatable to black audiences. In the late 1980s, for exmple, she was booed during the Soul Train Awards, with some audience members calling her “Whitey” instead of Whitney.

The film also focuses on how Houston’s success supported the livelihoods of many of her friends and family, with the singer choosing to work even to the detriment to her own health and well-being, especially as she became heavily addicted to drugs and alcohol. Her longtime bodyguard David Roberts, who was somewhat of an inspiration for her film The Bodyguard, insinuates in the film that the personal interests of the friends and family that she employed sometimes took precedent over her own welfare and sobriety.

She had an incredibly intimate relationship with her friend Robyn Crawford — of which some of her inner circle disapproved.

Whitney’s childhood friend Robyn Crawford was one of the star’s closest confidantes. The film addresses longtime speculation about a romantic relationship between Crawford and Houston, with the latter’s stylist Ellin Lavar noting that she thought that the singer might have been bisexual. “Robyn provided a safe place for her. Robyn loved her,” Lavar says in the film. “In that, Whitney found safety and solace.” The two remained close friends until Houston started a relationship with her eventual husband Bobby Brown. Brown and Crawford did not like each other and often fought, sometimes leading to blows.

According to the singer’s former security guard Kevin Ammons, Brown was jealous of the intimate relationship Crawford and Houston shared. “[Robyn and Whitney] had a bond and Bobby Brown could never remove Robyn,” he says. “He wanted to be the man in the relationship.” While Crawford eventually parted ways with Houston after heightened tensions with Brown, Brown himself admitted that Houston had no close friends after Crawford left and that she “would probably still be alive” if Crawford had still been in her life. Brown wasn’t the only one who didn’t like Crawford; Houston’s mother Cissy disliked her as well and often advocated for her to be fired. Cissy told Oprah, in a 2013 interview, that she would have disapproved of her daughter being in a lesbian relationship.

Brown and Houston had an intense (and at times toxic) relationship.

In one of the most poignant scenes in the documentary, Brown and Houston are seen playacting scenes from What’s Love Got to Do With It in their hotel room. Although the pair are having fun impersonating Ike and Tina Turner, it’s an eerie parallel to the tumultuous nature of their own relationship. Houston’s fame and success made Brown jealous. The film paints him as emotionally abusive, trying to reduce her self-worth in order to make himself feel better.

The documentary also reveals that while Houston relied on drugs before she met Brown, Brown turned to alcohol. Once the pair got together, they began using both substances together. The film also emphasizes how much Houston tried to make their relationship work, despite their emotional duress and Brown’s womanizing, suggesting that her religious upbringing was a driving force in her wanting to make the marriage work.

Houston’s bodyguard was fired when he tried to intervene with her drug addiction.

Roberts reveals in the documentary that after the singer’s 1999 My Love Is Your Love tour, during which he witnessed the star overdose, he filed an extensive report on Houston’s drug abuse to her management — largely her family and friends— and was fired immediately. “There’s no doubt in my mind, had that report been taken seriously, Whitney and Bobbi Kristina would still be here,” he says in the movie. Roberts contends that Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina’s untimely death at the age of 22 in 2016 was a direct result of this approach to Houston’s drug abuse. “She never had a chance,” he says. “She came along when things were only getting worse.”


Entertainment – TIME

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When did Chris Brown attack Rihanna and what is the Welcome To My Life documentary about?

HIS shocking personal life has hit headlines over and over again.

And now Chris Brown is set to reveal all about his life on tour and his infamous attack on Rihanna in a new documentary. Here’s all you need to know before you watch…

R&B singer Chris Brown has had huge music success
Getty – Contributor

Who is Chris Brown?

Chris Brown is an American R&B singer and songwriter whose hit songs include Run It!, With You, Turn Up The Music and Fine China.

Although he has received critical acclaim for his music, Brown’s personal life has hit headlines just as much.

He pleaded guilty to felony for attacking ex-girlfriend Rihanna and is now set to be taken to court by another ex-girlfriend, Karrueche Tran, over domestic violence claims.

Tran claims the popstar kicked her down a flight of stairs, punched her in the stomach, threatened to shoot her and made death threats to her.

Nightclub photographer Bennie L. Vines also reportedly considered bringing charges against Brown after the singer allegedly punched him for taking photos during a promotional appearance.

While he was also arrested in a dramatic stand-off at his home in 2016 after beauty pageant winner Baylee Curran accused him of pointing a gun at her head.

Brown has hit headlines for his alleged violent behaviour
Reuters

When did he attack Rihanna?

Chris Brown and Rihanna were in a relationship from 2008-2009, having been friends before they became romantically involved.

Brown has described their relationship as volatile and claimed they were were always fighting.

A domestic violence case was brought against him in 2009 after he attacked Rihanna in their car, dealing her facial injuries so severe she required hospital treatment.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of felony assault and was sentenced to five years of probation, one year of domestic violence counselling, and six months of community service.

He was also handed a five-year restraining order requiring him to remain 50 yards away from Rihanna at all times, reducing to 10 at public events.

There was some backlash against Brown following his conviction resulting in radio stations pulling his music from their playlists, however he has still had a successful music career.

He has admitted busting Rihanna’s lip and leaving her “spitting blood” as he attacked her in documentary Welcome To My Life.

Chris Brown reveals all about the night he assaulted former girlfriend Rihanna in a new documentary

What is the Welcome To My Life documentary about?

Chris Brown: Welcome To My Life is a documentary in the same vein as Justin Bieber and Katy Perry’s concert films.

It combines concert footage with behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with other stars like Usher, DJ Khaled, Mike Tyson, and Rita Ora.

Chris will also discuss his criminal past, especially his assault conviction against Rihanna, in a candid interview.



TV and Showbiz – latest celebrity news, gossip, photos, TV and film reviews | The Sun

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L7 Detail ‘Pretend We’re Dead’ Documentary Release

A new documentary about revolutionary grunge outfit L7 will be released October 13th on DVD and video-on-demand. L7: Pretend We're Dead will also get a multi-city theatrical run starting September 1st at the Hollywood Theater in Portland,

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: L7 Detail ‘Pretend We’re Dead’ Documentary Release

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¡Olé, Olé, Olé! documentary out May 26!

¡Olé, Olé, Olé! A Trip Across Latin America by the Rolling Stones, a documentary film by Paul Dugdale, will be released by Eagle Rock Entertainment on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download, on May 26th 2017.

Pre-order the BluRay: http://smarturl.it/STONESOLEBR

Pre-order the DVD: http://smarturl.it/STONESOLEDVD

Pre-order the Digital Download: http://smarturl.it/STONESOLEDIGITAL

The film was given a strictly limited theatrical release around Europe in September 2016, and North America in November 2016, and broadcast on the UK’s Channel 4 in December 2016. ¡Olé, Olé, Olé! A Trip Across Latin America makes the perfect companion piece to the Havana Moon release from Autumn 2016. The DVD and Blu-ray release will also include seven exclusive bonus live tracks from the tour with a running time of over 50 minutes.

¡Olé, Olé, Olé! A Trip Across Latin America follows the Rolling Stones on their 2016 tour through ten Latin America cities, whilst at the same time trying to stage their first ever concert in Havana, Cuba, a colossal once-in-a-lifetime open air free show, the likes of which Cuba had never seen before. The film captures the unique chemistry that exists between the Rolling Stones and their Latin American fans, a bond that has stretched across many years.

As well as the full film, the Bonus Features on this release offer a collection of incredible full length performances from the Latin American tour:

1) Out Of Control (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

2) Paint It Black (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

3) Honky Tonk Women (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

4) Sympathy For The Devil (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

5) You Got The Silver (Lima, Peru)

6) Midnight Rambler (Lima, Peru)

7) Miss You (Lima, Peru)

Featuring electrifying live performances, intimate moments with the band members, anticipation and reaction from the fans, and all the twists and turns of staging the Havana concert !Olé, Olé, Olé! A Trip Across Latin America is a portrait of a vital band still at the very top of their game.

Pre-order the BluRay: http://smarturl.it/STONESOLEBR

Pre-order the DVD: http://smarturl.it/STONESOLEDVD

Pre-order the Digital Download: http://smarturl.it/STONESOLEDIGITAL

The Rolling Stones

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Watch Jim Carrey Talk Art, Vulnerability in New Mini Documentary

Jim Carrey shows a more vulnerable side in a new mini-documentary called Jim Carrey: I Needed Color. The six-minute short chronicles the famous comedian's lesser-known past time: fine art. Carrey's work is a range of miniature clay sculptures, colorful life-size paintings and collages comprised of

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Watch Jim Carrey Talk Art, Vulnerability in New Mini Documentary

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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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Renowned Chefs Share Tips They Want You To Master In New Documentary

A number of world-renowned chefs have come together in a new documentary to impart a critical kitchen skill: how to keep food out of the trash.

“Wasted! The Story of Food Waste,” which debuts Saturday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, outlines the crisis surrounding food waste and how leaders in the restaurant industry are working to combat it.

Worldwide, one third of the food produced is lost or squandered and typically winds up in landfills, where it releases methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas.

The reasons why the food is discarded often has nothing to do with its edibility. Some restaurants are reluctant to donate leftovers, citing fears of lawsuits, while supermarkets tend not to sell produce that’s bruised or blemished. And all of this is happening while about 800 million people struggle with hunger.

The film, which was produced by chef Anthony Bourdain – of the Travel Channel and CNN fame – features a number of other household names, including Mario Batali and Massimo Bottura. The chefs share the steps they’re taking to help combat the problem and raise awareness around the issue.

In the clip above, Bottura, a three-time Michelin star chef, talks about the life cycle of bread, and how it can be elongated: You can use it for bruschetta on its first day out of the oven, and grate it into bread crumbs after three days, when it starts getting hard, he explains. 

Bottura has been involved in a number of other initiatives to help curb food waste. During the Olympics in Rio last summer, for example, he and another celebrity chef used the leftovers that came out of Olympic Village to make meals for people in need. The goal was to churn out about 5,000 meals a day for homeless people and other underserved groups. 

“We mostly hope to become an example for others,” Bottura told HuffPost Italy last summer, “and that work like ours will help favor social integration through a commitment to fighting waste and redistributing resources. We would like to see the commitment to this cultural project expand and multiply all over the world.” 

More stories like this:

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This ‘Speed Sisters’ Documentary Will Totally Inspire You

The ‘Speed Sisters’ documentary shares the story of the first all-female Muslim racing car driving team in the Middle East.
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Kao USA, the owner of Jergens, has discovered that counterfeit Jergens moisturizers are being manufactured and sold to consumers.
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Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Documentary Packs An Emotional Punch at Palm Springs International Film Festival

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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.


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

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The Team Behind ‘Batkid Begins’ Shares Behind-The-Scenes Stories From Their Heartwarming Documentary

In 2013, the Make-A-Wish Foundation made 5-year-old leukemia patient Miles Scott’s dreams come true when they turned San Francisco into Gotham City and transformed Scott into “Batkid.” Alongside a fully-grown Batman partner, Batkid saved a damsel in distress, brought two super-villains to justice and captured the hearts of the thousands who turned up to see his crusade in person and the millions who watched online.

And on June 26, the incredible story comes to the big screen with the documentary “Batkid Begins.” On Wednesday, HuffPost Live’s Ricky Camilleri spoke to the team behind the film and the wish itself to get the behind-the-scenes story of how it all went down.

The documentary chronicles the increasingly elaborate preparation for granting Scott’s wish. Patricia Wilson, the CEO Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area, said she initially hoped for about 200 people to show up for support. When that turned into more than 25,000, organizers worried all the attention might be too much for a 5-year-old. But when the pressure was on, Bakid never hesitated for a moment.

“I tell you what, the first time he saw that costume, he just started stripping right down to his Batman underwear and put that costume on,” Wilson said. “We put the hood on and I said, ‘Who are you?’ He goes, ‘I’m Batman!’ And I thought, ‘Okay, we’ve got a real Batman here.'”

“Batkid Begins” is in select theaters June 26. Our advice: bring tissues.

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with the team behind “Batkid Begins” here.

Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live�s morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before.

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‘The Trials Of Spring’ Documentary Project Amplifies Voices Of Women In The Arab Spring

A new multimedia documentary project is spotlighting the vital roles of women in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

“The Trials of Spring,” is a series of six shorts, a feature film and news reports by The New York Times that offer a rarely seen look at the gripping personal experiences of female activists in the wave of revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa.

The films profile nine women across Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen, with each detailing their journey through uprisings and crackdowns. While each story is unique, they often share an arc similar to the larger political developments of the post-revolution countries in the region, where an initial hope for change is quashed by increasing repression and conflict.

In the Syria short, for example, archival footage shows four women known as the Brides of Peace defiantly march in protest of the Assad regime while wearing homemade wedding dresses. In interviews after fleeing the country, two of the brides describe how their triumphant demonstration caused security forces to imprison them for months.

trials of springKinda Zour, one of the Brides of Peace from Syria.

As the films show, many countries have regressed on women’s rights since the Arab Spring.

A 2013 United Nations report found that 99.3 percent of women in Egypt are subject to sexual harassment, and female activists have been forced to undergo virginity tests after being arrested for demonstrating. In an incident that sparked widespread outrage, police fatally shot female activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh in the street during a protest earlier this year.

The team of filmmakers and producers, most of them female, presents the cross-platform project as a fascinating counter-narrative to misconceptions of women in the region as submissive to the repression of women’s rights. Instead, the films show brave acts of protest both at home and in the streets, and depict women as driving forces behind many protest movements.

“I went from I think a stereotyped understanding, to some degree, of the women in the Middle East and North Africa, to something that was more nuanced and understanding of their diversity and their strength and resilience,” said producer Beth Levison in a call with reporters on Tuesday.

Levison said stories about the Arab Spring lacked female perspectives, with media focusing mostly on men with guns and shifts in political power.

“I don’t think enough stories are told about the women who are the mortar, who are holding things together,” Levison explained. “I think that the narrative that’s often told about conflict is about who’s in what position, rather than about what’s happening on a day-to-day level to try to bring peace. It’s kind of like that old saying, ‘If it bleeds it leads.'”

anbar
Hend Nafea, a young religious Muslim woman whose story is a lead role in the feature film.

While the project puts a spotlight on activists, the films themselves are not heavy-handed works of advocacy. Instead, the works hope to amplify the voices of the women who are profiled.

“We certainly wanted to avoid the thought that here are some Western filmmakers trying to help these Arab women — because they’re incredibly strong women who can help themselves and are doing a lot to help their countries,” said the project’s Digital Director Lauren Feeney.

The short films will debut on June 7 as a special project on The New York Times homepage and will culminate with the feature focusing on Egypt that premieres at the Human Rights Watch film festival on June 12.

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Rape Survivor: Working On A Sexual Assault Documentary Helped Me Heal

Ari Mostov says she was bitter that she felt pushed out of her “dream school” in 2013, after campus officials didn’t take her report of rape seriously.

Now, the 22-year-old is channeling her energy into “It Happened Here,” a documentary about campus rape — work she said makes her feel like she is making an impact and has also helped her heal.

Mostov filed a complaint in May 2013 against the University of Southern California that resulted in an ongoing federal investigation of the school. In the complaint, Mostov detailed that the university’s Department of Public Safety had told her she had not been raped because her assailant stopped and did not orgasm.

Records later obtained by The Huffington Post showed that the DPS had also labeled Mostov’s report as an “injury response” rather than rape, which she believes shows how the school kept sexual assault statistics low.

The increased scrutiny on USC began to subside in 2014. Some of the complainants graduated, while others said they became too stressed to continue speaking about their cases in public. Mostov was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and clinical depression. She had found university employees’ responses to her report of an assault to exacerbate her mental anguish, so she left USC behind.

“I knew returning to school, it was going to be absolute hell again,” Mostov said, so she took time off to address the aftermath of her assault on her own terms.

Mostov was a film and screenwriting major at USC, and was able to find some short-term production work after leaving school. Then she was introduced to Marjorie Schwartz Nielsen in November 2014, who agreed to hire Mostov to help work on the “It Happened Here” release and subsequent campaign and promotions. The film debuted on the cable channel Pivot earlier this year and began being screened on college campuses in conjunction with the White House’s “It’s On Us” anti-sexual violence campaign. It will be released on iTunes and Google Play on May 12.

Working on the film, Mostov said, has been “one of the most amazing experiences” of her life.

“For the longest time I wasn’t able to think about what happened, I wasn’t able to grieve,” Mostov said. “Not being able to return to the school of my dreams and all of this hurt and pain I was putting off — I was finally able to put it to work.”

Nielsen said the survivors she has worked with and interviewed came forward for various reasons — that their assailant attacked someone else, that they felt their school’s atmosphere was getting worse, that they were tired of hearing stories similar to theirs — but what has kept them involved is a desire for “not letting the momentum die.”

“None of them pursued civil suits against their attackers,” she said. “They took up activism because they wanted it to change things.”

Neilsen said the social activism component is critical because to actually eliminate sexual violence, awareness isn’t enough — advocates need to address actual solutions.

At each screening, Neilsen said she explains campaigns some colleges have hosted on their campuses to inspire copy-cat demonstrations, and asks students in attendance to take the White House’s “It’s On Us” pledge.

The “It Happened Here” team has had more than 130 screening requests for the film, including some from organizations in France, Canada and Bangladesh. It’s stretching beyond college campuses, getting screened at several California high schools. On March 30, Mostov and Neilsen spoke about sexual assault at a TEDxYouth event in San Diego. Over the summer, the team will plan for more screenings at schools in the fall. They said they are particularly hoping to get more high school students to see the film, so they can start engaging young people before they arrive at college.

“This affects everyone, and really, in order to stop the cycle, we need to get ahead of these behaviors,” Mostov said. She envisions a day when asking for consent is as routine as asking for a condom.

“We’re really hoping to help to teach people, especially the younger generation, that they have a right to advocate for themselves,” she added. “It’s personally something I really struggled with because I didn’t know.”

Mostov wants to send the message that “I am brave.”

“I am doing this, this happened to me and I’m not going to be silent about it,” she explained. “My story matters too. This is what happened. I don’t care if you don’t believe me, I don’t care. This is what happened to me.”

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Live From New York! Official Trailer 1 (2015) – Saturday Night Live Documentary HD

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Live From New York! Official Trailer 1 (2015) – Saturday Night Live Documentary HD

“Saturday Night Live” has been reflecting and influencing the American story for 40 years. Live From New York! explores the show’s early years, an experiment that began with a young Lorne Michaels and his cast of unknowns, and follows its evolution into a comedy institution. Archival footage is interwoven with stolen moments and exclusive commentary from “SNL” legends, journalists, hosts, crew and others influenced by the comedy giant. Live From New York! captures what has enabled “SNL” to continually refresh itself over nearly 800 episodes and keep America laughing for 40 years.
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16 Shocking Allegations In Scientology Documentary ‘Going Clear’

The Church of Scientology has long been a controversial institution among both the religious community and entertainment business. But the latest documentary from Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney, “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” explores the secrets of the organization through interviews with former high-ranking officials and former members in a way never seen before.

Based on the 2013 book of the same name by Lawrence Wright, “Going Clear” not only exposes details about Scientology but also serves as an in-depth explainer for those unfamiliar with the group. The Church has spoken out against the film (read their full statement here) as have its celebrity members. But whether you’ve studied Scientology closely or merely know it as “the religion with Tom Cruise,” watching “Going Clear” is a powerful, stunning and emotionally overwhelming experience that will likely leave you with your mouth agape. Here are the most shocking allegations put forth in “Going Clear,” which made its HBO debut on Sunday night:

1. L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology creation story
When Scientologists reach level OT III, they are shown the “secret materials,” as director and former member Paul Haggis described them: Hubbard’s hand-written account of the creation myth. According to this, 75 million years ago a galactic dictator named Xenu froze people and dropped their bodies into volcanoes. From there, the disembodied spirits, or thetans, apparently jumped into newborns bodies. According to Hubbard, these multiple thetans crowded in our bodies are the source of our anxieties and fears.

l ron hubbard

2. Hubbard spent time in a black magic cult
Before founding Scientology, Hubbard befriended rocket and chemical engineer Jack Parsons who was a part of black magic cult Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), which followed the teachings of Aleister Crowley. According to “Going Clear,” Hubbard became Parsons scribe and assistant on a magical operation to impregnate a goddess-like woman to create the anti-Christ.

3. Members were allegedly thrown overboard as punishment
Hubbard created Ethics, or punishments for his auditors who made mistakes during sessions. They were then pushed overboard on his ships into the water, which was “30 feet, 35 feet” below, according to Hana Whitfield, one of the original Sea Org members.

4. Hubbard told his second wife he murdered their daughter
When Sara Northup, Hubbard’s second wife, threatened to leave him unless he got psychiatric help, he reportedly kidnapped their daughter Alexis. According to written accounts from Northup, Hubbard told her he “cut [Alexis] into little pieces” and dropped her in a river. Then he would call back and tell Sara that their daughter was alive.

5. There was a Scientology “prison camp”
Former Church member Sylvia “Spanky” Taylor, who was once the liaison between the Church and John Travolta, was sent to the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), or what she described as the “prison camp where you’d go for re-indoctrination.” According to the film, when sent to the RPF, people would have to do hard labor for “30 hours on, 3 hours off,” eat table scraps and sleep on dirty, wet mattresses.

scientology

6. The FBI raid on the Church was the biggest in history at the time
On July 8, 1977, the FBI raided Scientology’s Los Angeles, Hollywood and Washington, D.C. locations, which at the time was the bureau’s biggest raid ever.

7. The Church stole government documents
According to the film, in the ’70s, many Scientologists were directed to get jobs in Department of Justice and IRS offices in order to steal documents against or relating to the Church.

8. The Church apparently has a blackmail folder on John Travolta
According to Wright in the film, when there were rumors of Travolta wanting to leave Scientology, the Church created a “black PR package” that has “all the damaging material” from his private auditing sessions. Travolta also reportedly refused to have his sessions video taped, but secret cameras were hidden anyway.

john travolta

9. The Church investigated the IRS
One of the Church’s goals was to be recognized by the IRS as a fully tax-exempt religion, according to former senior executive of the Church Mark “Marty” Rathbun. Thousands of Scientologists reportedly filed 2,400 total lawsuits against IRS employees, and private investigators were sent to IRS conventions to obtain information. According to journalist Tony Ortega, Scientology leader David Miscavige told the IRS commissioner that the lawsuits would go away if the Church was given tax-exempt status. The Church was granted exemption in October 1993.

10. Tom Cruise and the Church allegedly wire-tapped Nicole Kidman’s phone
According to the film, the Church noticed Tom Cruise slipping away from Scientology during his marriage to Nicole Kidman. Cruise reportedly said he wanted to have Kidman’s phone wiretapped, which the Church did at his request.

11. Cruise may have had employees pimp his cars for 40 cents an hour
Sea Org members make 40 cents an hour, according to Ortega, who says, “I don’t think there’s any way Tom Cruise is not aware of that.” According to the film, they have “tricked out his cars and motorcycles” and hanger in Santa Monica, California, and installed the audiovisual equipment at his home.

tom cruise

12. The Church supposedly found Cruise a new girlfriend
According to Wright, Cruise was “overheard to complain that he needed a new girlfriend” when he was in Spain at the opening of a new Scientology center. The Church then found a young Scientologist, Nazanin Boniadi, and reportedly had her braces removed, bought her $ 20,000 of clothes and colored her hair “to Cruise’s liking.” She was then told she would be Cruise’ girlfriend, but the relationship soon ended. Boniadi apparently signed a non-disclosure agreement with the Church and has since become a well-known actress in “Homeland,” “Iron Man,” among other films and shows.

13. Paul Haggis left because of the the Church’s homophobic stance
Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis (“Crash,” “Casino Royale”) left Scientology in 2009 after 30 years when his two gay daughters told him how they were being treated and harassed by the Church. According to Church doctrines, the religion views homosexuality as a disease. Haggis then wrote a now-famous letter of his resignation from the Church.

paul haggis daughter

14. Scientology’s book value is about $ 1.5 billion
Ortega obtained recent tax records that revealed the main three tiers of the Church (which is a non-profit organization) have a combined book value of $ 1.5 billion.

15. Sea Org members were allegedly tortured to the sounds of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”
In 2004, Miscaviage apparently ordered the top members of the Sea Org to live in what was known as The Hole in the Chuch’s secret Gold Base in California. In the film, former members say they were told to confess their crimes against the Church in order to leave The Hole. Beyond beatings and one man being ordered to “mop up the bathroom floor with his tongue,” another method of abuse was when members were forced to play musical chairs to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Those participating were “fighting to stay” in the Church: whoever didn’t have a seat when the music stopped was expelled from the Church.

16. If members leave the Church their friends & family are forced to “disconnect”
The biggest reason to not leave the Church for many Scientologists is fear of “disconnection.” This is when all friends and family members still with the Church are told to cut ties with those who leave, or those deemed Potential Trouble Sources (PTS), or Suppressive Persons (SPs). Many former members included in the film haven’t seen or spoken to their family or friends since they left.

“Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” airs again on Monday, March 30 at 9:00 p.m. ET on HBO.
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‘Little Ballers’ Documentary Teaches Us That Black Boys Aren’t Monolithic

Different players across the NBA have something in common: they once played basketball with the AAU, aka the Amateur Athletic Union, a non-profit organization that provides sporting activities for kids across the country. One film sheds light on the dreams, challenges, wins and losses of youth in the program.

“Little Ballers,” a 2013 documentary that premieres Wednesday on Nickelodeon, focuses on the New York-based AAU basketball team New Heights as they fight their way to the national championship. Four boys in particular, Judah, Tyriek, Cole and Kevin, pepper in their opinions on basketball and life in general, noting their personal goals of making it to the NBA.

At 11 years old, these boys evoke the raw emotion of childhood innocence, which is counterbalanced by the adults of the movie — including their Coach Billy, current and former NBA players like Carmelo Anthony and Walt Frazier, and cultural pundits such as Travis King and Roland Martin — who stress the idea that dreams also have a layer of reality to them.

coach billy and judah

In addition to its all-star cast, “Little Ballers” is directed by author Crystal McCrary, who happens to be one of the team moms, and executive produced by recording artist Lupe Fiasco and NBA player Amar’e Stoudemire.

McCrary was just a mom with a camera in her hand when the idea of the documentary blossomed. “I didn’t know where the story was going to go,” the director told The Huffington Post, adding that she’s a “filmmaker, sports fanatic and a lover of children,” which were all factors leading to her telling New Heights’ story.

Throughout filming, McCrary encountered a slew of emotions, including on-court tantrums, locker room tears and, of course, the unabashed boys who tell it like it is. “Since the boys hadn’t had any real disappointments in their 11-year-old lives, they believed they could scale Mount Everest, they believed that they are going to make it to the NBA, despite the fact that the odds are overwhelmingly against them,” she said. “And that’s inspirational.”

However, there are underlying themes within “Little Ballers” that bring up society’s ongoing interaction with black boys and men. The film illuminates the issue of street and gang violence, and how the AAU helps kids avoid dangerous situations, allowing them to make safer decisions.

Chicago Bulls player Joakim Noah’s initiative, the Noah’s Arc Foundation, aims to mentor gang members and encourage them to make better choices for their future. He speaks in the film about the importance of extracurricular activities, which McCrary said was a focal point in the movie. Noah mentioned that there isn’t much for the gang members to do other than inflict violence in their community, and McCrary agreed that any sort of activity provided for inner-city youth outside of school is crucial.

“I’m not one of those people that says basketball replaces education, nor am I trying to sell a pipe dream,” McCrary noted, saying that while basketball is a popular attraction, there are other avenues of expression when it comes to extracurriculars. “So, that could be a chess club, debate team,” she said, adding, “It’s just important to show that there are so many attributes that kids can acquire by being on an organized team.” This includes life skills, healthy lifestyle choices, discipline and structure, all of which can promote a better future when instilled in kids at, say, age 11.

the team

Further, McCrary touches on another overarching tone: the stereotypical notion that black people, especially men and boys, are monolithic characters in America — especially in the social and political climate following the killings of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and several others.

New Heights wasn’t just a “black team,” as its members had different backgrounds, but the film mostly focuses on black players and coaches, which has more meaning than just race. “It’s about these four boys that come from diverse family and economic situations,” McCrary said.

One of the kids, Tyriek, lives with his single mother in the gang-ridden Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn. McCrary talked about him throughout the conversation. “Typically, when society sees a kid like Tyriek walking down the street in his community, he’s immediately written off as some sort of statistic or some sort of other — so the kid is not destined to achieve,” she said.

ty and mom

However, there’s always more to the story. “Just because you are being brought up in poverty, that doesn’t make you a criminal,” McCrary added. “It also doesn’t mean you’re not brought up in an environment that’s filled with love, just as much as that kid that lives in the suburbs with two parents and a white picket fence, who also is brought up with love.”

More importantly, McCrary felt like the boys’ different upbringings prove that in the face of diversity, there can be common ground. “So, we as people of color in this country come from all different backgrounds and all different family situations, so we’re not monolithic,” McCray said, but the team’s commitment to each other combats stereotype.

“I also found inspiration in the bond that they developed as brothers,” she noted. “For these young men, race, class and culture really meant nothing, but what did mean something was the brotherhood they developed playing together as teammates and getting to know each other off the court.”

“Little Ballers” premieres on Nickelodeon on Feb. 25 at 9 p.m. EST. Check your local listings.
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Life Itself Movie CLIP – Ava DuVernay (2014) – Roger Ebert Documentary HD

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Life Itself Movie CLIP – Ava DuVernay (2014) – Roger Ebert Documentary HD

Acclaimed director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and executive producers Martin Scorsese (The Departed) and Steven Zaillian (Moneyball) present LIFE ITSELF, a documentary film that recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert—a story that is by turns personal, funny, painful, and transcendent. Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, LIFE ITSELF explores the legacy of Roger Ebert’s life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America.
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The Roger Ebert Documentary ‘Life Itself’ Shines At Sundance

As I write this fourth update, I have now seen 15 movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. (I should add: I am very, very tired.) I’ve been sitting at my computer for the last 10 minutes trying to think of some fun anecdote to share, but, honestly, I can’t remember much of anything right now, so let’s just get to the movies. Movies that include one of the most special films at the festival, the Roger Ebert documentary, “Life Itself.”

“Life Itself”

life itself

“Life Itself,” a title that was taken from Roger Ebert’s autobiography, chronicles the life of the famed film critic – including the last few months of Ebert’s life in, at times, ghastly detail. It’s heartbreaking to see Ebert in such poor shape for those last few months, especially contrasted with the guy who used to be so full of life. But even in those final months, Ebert’s writing was still very much full of life.

I don’t want to paint “Life Itself” as a sad film. There’s a sequence where outtakes are shown of Ebert and Gene Siskel filming a television promo that are downright hilarious. Thankfully, a lot of time is spent on Siskel (who died in 1999) and the strange relationship the two shared. It was Siskel’s insistence on hiding the severity of his condition from Ebert -– Ebert had been hurt that he wasn’t in Siskel’s inner circle concerning his condition — that led Ebert to be as open as possible about his future medical conditions.

It’s a shame Ebert didn’t live to see this film released, but in an interview conducted for the film, he was fairly sure that he would never live to see the finished film. “Life Itself” will take you through the emotional gauntlet. No, Ebert wasn’t a saint and this documentary doesn’t sugarcoat that fact. But it does give us a look at this man who lived an extraordinary life and inspired so many. “Life Itself” is one of the best films at Sundance.

“Laggies”

laggies

When “Laggies” begins, it almost feels like a distant cousin to “Bridesmaids.” (Note: I am in no way comparing “Laggies” to “Bridesmaids,” just the first ten minutes.) There are some laughs! I laughed a few times! Keira Knightly plays Megan, a woman with an advanced degree, yet who is content doing not much of anything with her career. After her best friend’s wedding, during which her boyfriend (Mark Webber) unsuccessfully tries to propose, she’s asked by a high school student, Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz), to buy Annika and her other underage friends some alcohol. Megan agrees, then moves in with Annika and falls in love with Annika’s dad (Sam Rockwell). Yes, the plot of this movie is as dumb as that sounds.

Again, there are some legitimately funny scenes, but “Laggies” suffers from way too many “Nobody in real life would ever make the decisions that these characters do” moments. Annika, a stranger, calls Megan and asks Megan to pose as her mother for a meeting at the principal’s office. With no hesitation, Megan agrees. Nobody would ever agree to that! Who are these people? You know what? Never mind, I don’t want to know.

“To Be Takei”

to be takei

I had no idea that George Takei had worked with John Wayne. “To Be Takei” is filled with enough footage and fun facts like that one to satisfy the weary popular culture connoisseur – and, yes, there’s a lot of “Star Trek” – but the film focuses mostly on Takei’s extraordinary post-“Trek” life, in which he’s become one of the leading voices in the LGBT movement.

If you’ve paid attention to Takei’s life, I’m not sure there’s a lot here that someone wouldn’t know – Takei has discussed his unfortunate time in a Japanese internment camp during World War II many times in the past – but Takei just emits joy. It’s impossible to watch Takei speak and not feel some sort of happiness. The film is sprinkled with interviews with the rest of the living “Star Trek” cast, including William Shatner who, honestly, comes off as an asshole. (I can see why when Takei told Shatner to “get off your high horse” at a celebrity roast, he states he wasn’t joking.)

Regardless, Takei has lived a fascinating life and makes for a great case study, even if you don’t know the difference between a Klingon and a Romulan.

Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.
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