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Jazz Fest Day 5

The fifth day of Jazz Fest got off to a great start with the Paulin Brothers Brass Band- a traditional New Orleans style brass band.  Other local acts included the great Irma Thomas, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, John Boutté and The Revivalists. Paul Simon, My Morning Jacket and Ms. Lauryn Hill closed the day as the headliners.

Paul Simon and his seven-piece band played a mixed set of old favorites including “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” and “The Boy in the Bubble,” as well as a couple of new songs on his new album “Stranger to Stranger” including “The Werewolf” and “Wristband” – a quirky story about a singer who gets locked out of the venue because he doesn’t have a wristband. While the audience had mixed reactions to his new songs, his old classics excited and mesmerized the crowd. After an encore performance, he closed the show with a brilliant performance of “The Sound of Silence.”  One festival-goer from San Francisco named this as her favorite festival moment and described the magical quality that was created by  the  crowd softly singing along with the great Paul Simon.

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Invincible Smuggles ‘Yoga Hosers’ Across The Border With Wide Release & Limited Tour

Invincible Pictures has scooped up U.S. rights to Kevin Smith’s horror-comedy Yoga Hosers with the film set as the company’s first theatrical release beginning July 29. Leading up to release, Kevin Smith will be touring with the film on select dates in June and July, hosting screenings followed by a Q&A panel discussion.
Among the tour dates and cities announced: New Orleans, LA at the Joy Theater on 6/1; Ponte Vedra, FL at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall on 6/2; Houston, TX at…

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Sync Up Cinema 2016 During Jazz Fest

Louisiana’s film industry conference during Jazz Fest!
FREE & open to the public At 1225 N. Rampart Street

Schedule:

THURSDAY APRIL 21, 8-10PM: BYO

Bring Your Own is a nomadic storytelling series that takes place in unconventional spaces within the community. Each month, eight storytellers have seven minutes to respond to a theme. BYO airs on All Things New Orleans and is a biweekly podcast on WWNO.org. We’re teaming up with BYO on Thursday, April 21st at the Jazz and Heritage Center for our 3rd Thursday to kick off 2016 Sync Up Cinema with stories based on the theme:

“(Not) For The Money”

….things you did just for the money, or what you did knowing there was no paper at all; rent parties, Japanese commercials, egg selling? You tell us.

7:30pm- BYO happy hours- drinks from rozzie+leggy, grub from Goodman’s BBQ, tunes from Lost in the Holler. 8pm- stories. Oh yes, and we’ll be outside! To learn more or sign up to tell a story, email bringyourownstories@gmail.com

MONDAY APRIL 25, 2016

1:30pm – The Master: best practices in film and video preservation. Panel featuring Toby Armstrong (preserving a film via NOJHFF grant), Ben Solovey (local film print preservationist), and more.

3pm – Best of the Fests & Local Works. Top Louisiana produced short films from NOFF 2015, 48HRFF, the Louisiana Film Prize 2015, and other local works, including The Boatman and Shotgun Boogie.

5pm – Louisiana Film Prize Social. Meet the crew behind the LA Film Prize and have some drinks to the jams of DJ Loira Limbal!

6:30pm – Queen Sugar Panel.  Meet the team that’s producing Oprah and Ava’s QUEEN SUGAR, a Louisiana Story being produced in Louisiana.  Discussion of Duvernay’s drive for #inclusivecrew and developing voice and vision in white male dominated Hollywood.  Producer Paul Garnes in attendance. More to come as we approach the date.

8pm – The Glamour and The Squalor, presented by Shotgun Cinema. As a rock DJ in late-’80s Seattle, Marco Collins achieved something virtually impossible: he became a star, and in the process helped make the city synonymous with grunge music. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains – Collins championed them and countless other bands, was the first to play their breakout albums, and became the go-to source for the newest and greatest in rock. But although he became one of music’s most influential tastemakers, Collins is more than his on-air personality – music is just one of his complex, unquenchable, and uncompromising passions. Director Marq Evans in attendance.

TUESDAY APRIL 26, 2016

3:30pm – Music Licensing for Film. With Rob Filomena and more.

4:30 pm – Documentary development and diversity panel with N’Jeri Eaton (ITVS) and Loira Limbal (Firelight Media). MacArthur Foundation, which funds normally 20-25 docs a year, just announced that it won’t be funding individual films any more, but will be funding 5 regrantors.  Two of them are ITVS and Firelight, and both have expressed concrete interest in highlighting voices from the South.  This is a direct opportunity for local filmmaker to hear about the types of projects and applications that two of the largest documentary funders in the country are interested in.

5:30pm – A Woman, A Shark, A Robot with Misty Talley. Misty is Louisiana filmmaker who started with a dream, a very cheesing dream that involved comic books and cheesy genre movies. Today, she is the first woman ever to have directed a feature for the Sci Fi channel and she is busy producing in Louisiana a slate of films that play on her eye for detail and sense of fun. In a keynote presentation, Misty will talk about how she built a career in film and TV, her Baton Rouge robotic shark builders and what it’s like to be a woman in a very bullshark world.

6:30pm – Springbreak Shark Attack Happy Hour with WIFT. Then join us in the courtyard for a reception hosted by WIFT and some delicious shark attack cocktails!

8pm – I AM THE BLUES (SXSW). This film takes the audience on a musical journey through the swamps of the Louisiana Bayou, the juke joints of the Mississippi Delta and Moonshine soaked BBQs in the North Mississippi Hill Country. Visiting the last original blues devils, many in their 80s, still living in the American deep south and touring the Chitlin’ Circuit. Let Bobby Rush, Barbara Lynn, Henry Gray, Carol Fran, Little Freddie King, Lazy Lester, Bilbo Walker, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, RL Boyce, LC Ulmer, Lil’ Buck Sinegal and their friends awaken the blues in all of us. Director Daniel Cross in attendance and a performance by Little Freddie King.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 27, 2016

1pm – First Friday. Oakland made it onto two “top” lists: Top Five travel destinations in the U.S., and Top Five most dangerous cities. Once a month, those two realities meet at First Friday. What started as simple art crawl on the first Friday of every month has grown into a cross-cultural and intergenerational event drawing thousands of people to downtown Oakland for food, entertainment and every kind of art imaginable. The event’s popularity has fueled the city’s larger cultural and economic renaissance. But after a teenager was murdered during one of the events, the future of First Fridays is uncertain. Directed by N’Jeri Eaton and Mario Furloni.

4:30pm – Made in Japan (SXSW). Made in Japan is the remarkable story of Tomi Fujiyama, the world’s first Japanese country music superstar. It is a funny yet poignant multicultural journey through music, marriage and the impact of the corporate world on the dreams of one woman. In partnership with the New Orleans Japan Society. The Diamond Brothers, directors of the film, in attendance. Preceded by Garrett Bradley’sLIKE, a 6 minute short about clickfarms, produced with Field Of Vision.

7pm – Belizaire The Cajun 30th Anniversary. In 1859 Louisiana, a wily root doctor must save his friend’s life, win a woman’s heart, outfox a crooked sheriff, stop marauding vigilantes, expose an evil villain, heal the sick, play music for the dance, keep himself off the gallows, and, of course, rescue the inheritance of three orphaned children in a picture that helped launch both the 1980s all-things-Cajun craze and the independent film movement. The film screened in the Official Selections of Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, Munich, Torino. Produced by Sandra Schulberg, Allan Durand, & Glen Pitre. Written & directed by Glen Pitre. With Glen Pitre in attendance. Preceded by Atchafalaya, The Construct Films Southern Gothic Thriller.

For More Information Visi:  http://novacvideo.org/syncupcinema

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Sync Up 2016 at Jazz Fest Connects Music, Film, & Digital

The 9th annual Sync Up conference  brings together leaders in music, film, and digital media for educational and networking sessions during Jazz Fest.  With panel discussions and interviews in the mornings before Jazz Fest, Sync Up explores various aspects of a career in music: recording, touring, distribution, crowdfunding and more – all from the perspective of an independent artist.

All events take place at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center, 1225 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans, LA 70116 (map).

Admission is free, but seating is limited so advance registration is required. Register online here.

SYNC UP MUSIC 2016 SCHEDULE
Discussion Topics and Speakers

FRIDAY, APRIL 22
9:00 a.m. – Registration Opens

10:00 a.m. – Panel Discussion
How To Launch A Career In Jazz
So, you just graduated from Berklee, Juilliard, UNO or another fine jazz conservatory. Now what? How do you get your career off the ground? Do you apply for the Monk Competition? Do you hope that whoever plays your instrument in Wynton Marsalis’ band gets a better gig (whatever that could be) and makes room for you? Do you hit the road like a punk rock band? All of the above? We talk to two rising young stars of the jazz world – who took very different paths to their current success – to get their perspectives on how best to approach launching a career as a jazz musician.
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, trumpeter and bandleader
Jamison Ross, drummer, singer and bandleader

11:00 a.m. – Keynote Interview
The Art of a Career in Jazz: Geri Allen
How do you start a career in jazz? By talking to one of the most respected pianists, composers and educators around. Far from being a traditionalist, Geri Allen – who headlines the Jazz Fest’s Jazz Tent – started her touring career with Mary Wilson and the Supremes. After that, she worked with the genre-busting Black Rock Coalition and Brooklyn’s M-Base Collective. Whether working with Ornette Coleman or recording jazz versions of Beatles and Motown classics, she’s a restless artist who breaks all manner of boundaries. Now, as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, she mentors young musicians as they take their own places on the global stage.
Geri Allen, musician; Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Pittsburgh
Moderator: Geoffrey Himes, Jazz Times/Paste Magazine

12:00 p.m. – Panel Discussion
Take Me To the Next Level: Artist Managers On What It Takes to Make It
You’ve got talent. You’ve got smarts. You’ve got a great work ethic and 50,000 likes on your SoundCloud. But you still don’t have a manager. Could it be that there’s something essential that you just don’t understand? Our panel, of some of the most experienced artist managers in New Orleans, sounds off on the biggest misconceptions about what managers can – and can’t – do for your career.
Alex Bowen, Able Partners Group (manager of Earphunk, Flow Tribe, George Porter, Jr.)
Howie Kaplan, Howlin’ Wolf Management (manager of Rebirth Brass Band)
Jon Phillips, Silverback Artist Management (manager of Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk)
Tavia Osbey, Simple Play Presents (manager of Tank & the Bangas)

SATURDAY, APRIL 23
9:00 a.m. – Registration Opens

10:00 a.m. – Panel Discussion
The Business of Gospel Music
Gigging, recording, social media and… God? Gospel has lots in common with its secular cousin – and a lot that makes it different. Still, it can be a lucrative path for artists who feel the call. We reveal the mystery of how to pursue opportunities in gospel.
Alfred Caston, Jamalar Entertainment and Rampart Street Music
Reginald Nicholas, Jr., gospel and secular artist/producer
Jeremiah Stewart, booking agent
Jai Reed, gospel artist
Charles Driebe, Manager of the Blind Boys of Alabama, Grammy-winning gospel group

11:00 a.m. – Presentation
$treaming, Spotify and You. Or, Where the Money Goes from Online Streaming Services
What do Taylor Swift and Thom Yorke know that you don’t? Is there a good financial reason to keep your music off of streaming services? Or are you the one who is missing out? Our man from New York, who handles Bruce Springsteen’s online publishing, breaks down the revenue streams from streaming.
Jedd Katrancha, Executive Vice President, Downtown Music Publishing

12:00  p.m. – Keynote Interview
Newport Revived: Jay Sweet
A few short years ago, the Newport Folk Festival was known more for its history than for breaking new acts. Now, after consistently providing the crucial gig that has helped to push dozens of indie bands into the media spotlight, we talk to the talent booker who gave the spark back to the event where Dylan famously went electric.
Jay Sweet, producer of the Newport Folk Festival and executive producer of the Newport Festivals Foundation
Moderator: Dave Margulies, co-producer, High Sierra Music Festival

SUNDAY, APRIL 24
9:00 a.m. – Registration Opens

10:00 a.m. – Panel Discussion
Busting A Move: S-8ighty On His Trip to a Major Label
Singer/songwriter/producer S-8ighty (Dave Welcome, Jr.) is a New Orleans native who has been working in the hip-hop trenches for years – most notably contributing tracks to albums by Juvenile in 2009 and 2010. After some independent output of his own, he’s signed to a major label and making noise with his song “Halfway,” with a remix that features Li’l Wayne and Mannie Fresh. New Orleans’ favorite hip-hop DJ, Wild Wayne, talks to S-8ighty about his ride so far.
S-8ighty, artist
Moderator: Wild Wayne

11:00 a.m. – Keynote Interview
Managing a Platinum Rap Artist: Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad
Three albums, three Number Ones, more than a million copies sold, headlining arenas – J. Cole has had quite a ride. Along for the entire trip has been Cole’s wingman, Ib Hamad, who has provided the steady hand and calm support that a rising megastar needs. New Orleans’ own rising rap star, Dee-1, talks to Ib about the thrills and challenges of managing a platinum-selling artist.
Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad
Moderator: Dee-1, rap artist

SYNC UP CINEMA
Thursday, April 21: 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sync Up Cinema + NOVAC’s 3rd Thursday + BYO Storytelling presents:
(Not) For The Money
The things we’re ashamed to say we did for that paper, and/or what we do knowing there’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Like shooting a Fruity Pebbles commercial in between making your own doc, even though you didn’t know they still made Fruity Pebbles…or selling your own fruity pebbles… The theme is inspired by this month’s partner, Sync Up Cinema, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s conference that focuses on how to make it in the industry as an indie.

Sync Up Cinema Screenings and Panels:
Monday, April 25, 1:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 26, 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 27, 2:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Our showcase for the Louisiana independent film community features screenings and panel discussions. It’s produced in partnership with the New Orleans Video Access Center and the New Orleans Film Society. For details, see here.

TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
GRAMMY PRO STUDIO SUMMIT

Esplanade Studios, 2540 Esplanade Ave.
Featuring a keynote by Geoff Emerick, recording engineer for the Beatles. Also featuring panels on demystifying mastering and the studio magic of Allen Toussaint. Free admission for Sync Up registrants and Recording Academy members. Detailshere.
SYNC UP CONFERENCE
FRIDAY, APRIL 29
9:00 a.m. – Registration Opens

10:00 a.m. – Keynote Interview
Running a Grammy-winning Independent Jazz Record Label: Jana Herzen, founder and CEO, Motema Music
Gregory Porter, Arturo O’Farrill, Geri Allen, Monty Alexander and dozens of other jazz artists entrust their recordings to Jana Herzen, founder of the indie label that gets more Grammy nominations that just about any other. What’s the secret to selling records – and supporting creative artists – in the digital age? Danny Melnick, Producer of the Newport Jazz Festival and other events, interviews Jana to find out.
Jana Herzen, founder and CEO, Motema Music
Moderator: Danny Melnick, President, Absolutely Live Entertainment, and Producer, Newport Jazz Festival

11:00 a.m. – Keynote Interview
Crowdfunding Originator: Brian Camelio, Founder & CEO, ArtistShare
Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, Pledge Music, GoFundMe – all of them are well-known crowdfunding sites for music and other creative projects. And they all followed – by a long shot – in the footsteps of ArtistShare, which is not only the oldest crowdfunding platform but also the one with (by far) the most Grammy nominations and wins. Founder and CEO Brian Camelio has dedicated his life to helping off-the-beaten-path jazz and classical ventures, providing the kind of support that leads to not just awards but sustainable careers outside of the label system. Now he has a new project up his sleeve – one that he hopes will do for the masses what ArtistShare has done for a select few.

12:00 p.m. – Panel Discussion
Hitting It Big the Old Fashioned Way: The Suffers
A soul band in the age of EDM? A 10-piece that tours even when the money can barely support a trio? How does that happen? The old-fashioned way: By rising to the top of a local scene, hitting key showcases and getting national exposure (thank you, NPR). Still indie (that is, with no record label but their own), the Suffers has management, booking and a publicist – and is playing major festivals around the world. We bring the band and their team together for an inside look at how an unlikely combo – one that started as a reggae jam band – now has the tiger by the tail.
Kam Franklin, lead singer, the Suffers
Adam Casteneda, bass player, the Suffers
Marc C. Austin, The Convoy Group (Suffers’ manager)
Gregg Little, New Frontier Touring

SATURDAY, APRIL 30
9:00 a.m. – Registration Opens

10:00 a.m. – Panel Discussion
Social Music Platforms: Turning Content into $$
Alex Ebert – best known as the leader of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes – says he releases one album every three years, but in that time may write and record 300 songs. He didn’t want the songs to go unheard, or to deny his fans the chance to pay for the privilege of hearing them. So he built an app for that, Skrapps. Tim Quirk, a veteran of Rhapsody and Google Play, has started a new company, Freeform Development, to help musicians make money the same way game developers do. 
Tim Quirk, Founder & CEO, Freeform
Alex Ebert, Skrapps

11:00 a.m. – Keynote Interview
How to Build a Rap Artist’s Career: The Story of PELL
Born in New Orleans, evacuated after Katrina, the rapper Pell has steadily built the kind of career most indie artists dream about: More than 15 million spins on Spotify, a tour schedule packed with more than 200 gigs a year, and he owns the rights to all of his music. No wonder his web site rhymes with “hell, yeah.” With Pell since the beginning has been Chris Cajoleas, whose own success as a manager has mirrored that of his fast-rising client. We talk to Chris for a peek at what it takes to build a rap artist’s career. 
Chris Cajoleas, Founder & CEO, SWMMNG, manager of PELL

12:00 p.m. – Keynote Interview
Making Money From Artist-Owned Records – Ghazi Shami, Founder & CEO, EMPIRE
You want to put out your own records? You want to keep ownership of your master recordings and publishing? And sell lots of copies and make it onto the Billboard charts? If you’re in hip-hop, R&B, rock, pop, gospel or Latin, you want to talk to Ghazi Shami, founder and CEO of the indie distributor EMPIRE, the San Francisco-based company that launched the career of Kendrick Lamar.

 

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New Orleans Film Society Gala Photos

Rob Kerkovich, Shalita Grant, Daryl “Chill” Mitchell, and producer Joseph Zolfo.  Photo By: Adrienne Battistella

 

Clint Bowie, Jolene Pinder, Rob Kerkovich, Shalita Grant, Daryl “Chill” Mitchell, and producer Joseph Zolfo  Photo By: Adrienne Battistella

 

Rob Kerkovich, Shalita Grant, Daryl “Chill” Mitchell, and producer Joseph Zolfo Photo By: Adrienne Battistella

 

Shalita Grant and DJ Mannie Fresh
Photo By: Adrienne Battistella

 

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Louisiana International Film Festival & Mentorship Program (LIFF) 2016 Award Winners

The 4th Annual Louisiana International Film Festival & Mentorship Program (LIFF) announced the audience award-winners for LIFF 2016 on Sunday night at the Closing Night Gala Reception for the 5-day film festival that premiered over 70 films from around the world and included guest appearances by Christy Turlington Burns, Kelsey Grammer and over 30 filmmakers representing films screened at LIFF.

 

LIFF 2016’s Audience Award Winners are:

Best Feature – THE INNOCENTS

Audience Award – PRESENTING PRINCESS SHAW

Best of Louisiana – MY FATHER, DIE

Best Documentary – NO GREATER LOVE

Best Louisiana Live-Action Short Film – WITH MY SOUL

Best International Live-Action Short Film – HOTEL BLEU

Best International Animated Short Film – tie – CUERDAS and A PRANK TIME

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'The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea': Tribeca Review


Jason Sudeikis plays a grieving widower who forms a friendship with a homeless teen in this New Orleans-set drama co-starring Jessica Biel and Maisie Williams.

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‘Star-Crossed’ Star Johnathon Schaech

Johnathon Schaech is a veteran actor and writer from Baltimore, Maryland. His films include That Thing You Do!, How to Make an American Quilt, Quarantine, Takers, 5 Days of War, The Legend of Hercules, and Phantom. His television series include Time of Your Life, The Client List, Ray Donovan, Star-Crossed, Texas Rising, and Blue Bloods. He can next be seen in the DC Comics series Legends of Tomorrow as Jonah Hex, and the independent film Marauders

What made you want to become an actor?
I took one acting class in college at the University of Maryland and I just realized I could do it. I’m from Baltimore and they were shooting a movie there. It just put it all into perspective for me. I thought, “That’s real. I could really do that.” That’s what catapulted me to go to California.

I told Jason Patric once, “You are the guy that inspires me to be an actor.” That was after I’d started acting. But before that, the guy that inspired me to be an actor was Tom Cruise. He was in Top Gun and Risky Business. I thought, “That guy…that’s who I want to be! I could do that.” Tom Cruise really motivated me. Really inspired me. He’s a hardworking man.

What was your biggest fear?
Not being taken seriously because of the way I look. Because I’m a pretty boy. People kept wanting to take pictures of me but I wanted to really explore more of who I was on the inside, not the outside. They kept putting me in commercials, so I saved my money and paid for just acting classes and rent. I studied with Roy London. He was a great coach and I was very blessed to be in that class for over three years.

What was your lowest point?
For my very first job, I got the lead in a Franco Zeffirelli movie. He’s a big Italian director who did Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet with Mel Gibson, and he hired me as the lead in this movie, The Sparrow. There were all of these Shakespearean actors. He put me up at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts to study for dialect. And at the end of that movie, before I even made it home, he had phone calls made to tell me that they were going to dub my voice. In other words, they were going to use another actor to speak my lines. As I landed back in the United States, I found that not only was that going to happen after I just spent almost a year doing this movie, I found out that Roy London had passed away. I didn’t realize it at the time, but as I was calling him from the set of Zeffirelli’s movie, he was on his deathbed. Then, I was lost. My acting teacher was gone. I didn’t really have anyone. It looked like the end of my career.

What kept you from walking away?
I had incredible faith in God. And it always felt like I was destined to do something. I just pulled on that. My father had moments of depression when I was younger, and that happened to me during that time. I could feel it. I was a very physical young man, so I started to physicalize it. And I found that — of all things — skydiving helps. I kept saying to myself, “If you want to end all this, and you want to basically end your dream, then challenge yourself. Jump out of a plane!” I’d be free-falling and would freak out and then ask myself, “Do you want to let this man ruin your life?” I talked to Roy as I went up there in the plane. I used to skydive outside of Santa Barbara where he was buried. And each time, I had to pull the cord or not pull the cord. It was a choice. There was an emergency cord that would deploy, but you really had to get the cord pulled at a certain altitude or you were in serious trouble! And every time I pulled the cord. I jumped thirty-two times.

I worked really aggressively to get other roles to make that movie not the end. I was turned down a million times. And then this is what has always happened in my career. I get a call to star in this movie called Lily, which I thought was this artistic film. And at the end of it, I found out it was Poison Ivy 2! I didn’t get that! I thought I’d found an independent film I could really put my chops into. But it was Poison Ivy 2. I got little parts like that, and then I won a role in How to Make an American Quilt.

That has crossed my mind every year for the last twenty-five years. Every year. I was going to go back to school one year. I actually applied to Yale because I had done enough work. Probably should have done that one! That would have been great! But I didn’t.

Now with a kid, it’s different. It’s constantly working out and constantly working on ourselves. Trying to find out about projects that agents aren’t necessarily talking about. And when you are working, you are working so many hours! It’s crazy.

Who has been your closest ally?
My parents. They’ve been there through everything. They’re still with us. I’ve never had the career where there’s one thing that defines me. I’ve done a lot of different work. That Thing You Do! is a good movie—everyone loves that movie—but it wasn’t a big success at the box office. So it wasn’t something I could lean on for a long period of time. They weren’t offering me a lot of films because of it, even though it was Tom Hanks! I had to go out there and get these jobs. Maybe some of them I shouldn’t have taken. No one ever told me not to take a job. Being from Baltimore, when they offer you money to act, it’s hard to say no. But really, what I should have done is just stayed home.

Acting has cost me two relationships. Two marriages. They both were due to the fact that I was on some set, somewhere I shouldn’t have been, trying to make something that wasn’t going to be anything more than it was.

What was the audition that changed your life?
It was the day I met Tom Hanks. There was this confidence as an actor that I was going to be with another actor. And one of my favorites! It was so competitive, but I just had this take on it that I knew was going to be special. I was so scared but so excited, and he was just such a welcoming soul. As soon as I walked through the door I thought, “I’m going to be able to perform today. I’m really going to get to do what I was trained to do.” And I did! There’s lines in the movie That Thing You Do! where the lead singer quits. I didn’t listen to any other auditions, but I’m sure everyone just quit and walked out. But I decided I was going to sing it: “I quit, I quit, I quit.” And of all the things I’ve ever done – that’s the famous line! People always talk on social media about how they are going to quit like Jimmy from That Thing You Do!.

That day when I auditioned, I tapped that microphone (which wasn’t there), and I sang it. And when I left, he came out and got me. Right there, I knew my life had changed for the better. Even though Zeffirelli took my voice away, I was going to get my due.

What were the words that kept you going?
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” It’s called the serenity prayer. It’s used by people in Alcoholics Anonymous, but my parents gave me a plaque when I first came out that I always kept by my side.

How do you think you have changed?
As soon as I had a child, I changed more than ever. I’m more professional. I’m just better at what I do. All that chaos that was inside my head about not being enough, all from the day that Zeffirelli did that to me. Why he did it. The other reasons behind it. I trained so hard before it, and even harder after it. But like Roy told me, this is such a competitive field. And I don’t take it so personally anymore. I don’t blame myself anymore. I just move forward. I take action on the things I can change. I just take action. As soon as I know I can change something, I go for it in a positive way. In as kind and humble a way as I possibly can.

What words do you have to inspire others?
The thing you are auditioning for is never the thing you are auditioning for. In everything that you do…it’s not about getting the job. It’s about growing as a person and as an artist. You can never quit on that.

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‘Better Call Saul’s’ Rhea Seehorn

Rhea Seehorn is a triple threat: beautiful, funny and incredibly smart. After making her Broadway debut in Neil Simon’s 45 Seconds From Broadway, she landed a series regular role on I’m With Her starring Teri Polo. Since relocating to Los Angeles, the mecca of film and television, Seehorn has appeared on The Starter Wife, The Closer, Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, Burn Notice and Franklin & Bash. She also brought her comedic talents to NBC’s Whitney every week.

Now she stars opposite Breaking Bad alum Bob Odenkirk in the Emmy-nominated drama Better Call Saul. Seehorn plays Kim Wexler, a whip smart attorney ambitiously climbing the ladder at a large law firm where she first met Jimmy McGill (Odenkirk), the man who will one day become the titular Saul. The AMC show is a prequel to the now-legendary Breaking Bad, which was also created by Saul showrunner Vince Gilligan and featured writer Peter Gould, who originated the character of Saul Goodman.

As Wexler, Seehorn returns to her roots in the theater, showcasing her chops through a nuanced performance that’s rarely flashy but always compelling. Each week, a layer of her beautiful blonde exterior is rolled back to reveal a hardscrabble work ethic, razor sharp wit and an emotional connection with Jimmy McGill that transcends the boundaries of television. We spoke over the phone right after Better Call Saul was renewed by AMC for a third season.

MH: Have you been to New Orleans before?

RS: I went to Mardi Gras once when I was still in college. I can’t say that it was my favorite thing. I remember thinking, “This is not the city: this is a party.” Then, I came back later and spent a week there and just had the best time. Now, I’d love to go back for Jazz Fest!

MH: I don’t feel like Mardi Gras stands out that much. The traffic is worse then, but that’s pretty much the way the city is all the time, at least in spirit. Fun film story: I met with Nina Noble and her team on HBO’s Treme to shoot that film’s pilot in New Orleans. We were in this meeting with the New Orleans Police Department and other city officials, and they told us they wanted to do a second line down the street in the Treme neighborhood. Do you know what a second line is?

RS: No, what’s that?

MH: A second line is where a group of people — not necessarily anyone special – get some instruments like a trombone or drums, grab some beers and then play music. It’s a walking parade. In fact, one of the film studios in New Orleans is called Second Line Stages.

RS: That is awesome! I love that.

MH: And they start with like five or ten people, but then people along the way grab a beer from their house and then join you, so at the end it’s like 100 people. And we had to tell production, “Even though it’s a fake second line, real people are going to join you. So, you have to be sure to release all of them.”

RS: I love that. I watch that show Togetherness on HBO. How about the Slow Roll they did when he goes home to Detroit? That is a real thing! I watched a little post-show discussion they did and found that people in Detroit who wanted to revive their city gathered, and started just biking at night with lights on their bikes. Almost an artistic statement, but also to artistically discuss the question of, “How do we reinvigorate different parts of the city?” When they shot a scene like that for the show, real people got on their bikes and joined.

MH: That makes so much sense, because Jay and Mark Duplass are part of the show and they are from the New Orleans area.

RS: Then they definitely know something about second lines! It’s kind of the same thing. It’s local camaraderie for the sake of community without political purpose or agenda.

I grew up partially in Virginia, but I also grew up in Japan and Arizona. I find that the South – for all of the bad things that are sometimes associated with it – has a “village” mentality. There’s a community quality there that is without agenda.

MH: There is just a slower lifestyle down here. Which is sometimes beneficial and sometimes not.

RS: Haha! When I visit my family in Virginia, they tell me, “Just slow it down, slow it down.” New York’s even faster. Even down to the foot traffic and the way public transportation helps to create a group or herd mentality. When I moved out to Los Angeles, I found that there’s a different fast-paced quality here that has its own kind of anxiety built in, but people are a little more relaxed with their time. It’s a subtle difference. People will say, “We’re meeting at 1pm,” and it’s completely acceptable to show up fifteen or even thirty minutes late. And everyone always says the same thing. “Traffic” or “I was in six meetings.” Super late is still rude, of course. But in New York, punctuality is sort of seen very differently. Because of public transportation, everything thinks, “We all had to ride five trains, so I don’t want to hear it.”

MH: You’re on one of the best shows on TV right now, Better Call Saul. So, I want to know what TV shows you grew up watching.

RS: I was obsessed with Nick at Nite from around age nine to fifteen. I watched a ton of TV! I know now you’re never supposed to say, “Oh my God, you let a TV raise your kid!” But I completely sat in front of that TV. I guess we can discuss whether I turned out okay or not.

I was completely obsessed with Nick at Nite and at the time, it was all reruns of classic television. I didn’t know until I was older that many of those shows were not in their first run. I thought I was watching I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched in their first run! I don’t think I knew that they were old shows. I loved them! And many of the 1970s sitcoms I was obsessed with, like Maude and anything Bea Arthur touched, including Golden Girls later. Taxi, Barnie Miller, Soap and Benson. I would watch these all with my mom and my dad. All in the Family, Rhoda, Mary Tyler Moore Show. I loved their timing. Half-hour shows have gotten kind of a bad rap, and half-hour sitcoms especially. However, they can and certainly should be very character specific. There is great drama and humor that’s very character driven in those shows. I was fascinated with all of that.

Then, I transitioned to one-hour dramas and movies. Endless hours of movies. I worked at a video store. Remember those?

MH: Barely.

RS: My sister was a manager and I was an employee. I don’t recommend that arrangement if you have an older sibling…because you will be abused. Haha! But I got to watch as many movies as I wanted for free. And I did that through all of high school. I’ve always been utterly enthralled with and immersed in television and film. I love them and I love books, too. I love storytelling.

MH: Even a show like All in the Family, which was a comedy, had some really dramatic stuff in it. Not to mention politically sensitive.

RS: Yeah! And not just during the “very special episodes,” which is a lot of what they do now where they say in advance, “It’s going to be a sentimental episode.” They dealt with real issues that they tackled all the time. There are some really smart shows on the air now doing that. There’s a lot of really challenging three-dimensional characters that did not have being likeable as their first priority.

MH: What were the movies you really liked growing up? What were the core that really formed you as a moviegoer?
RS: I loved John Hughes films. I watched them over and over. Every single John Hughes film I’m obsessed with. And Cameron Crowe’s films — which I would sometimes mistake for John Hughes films! I found out Say Anything and One Crazy Summer are actually not John Hughes films.

But I loved them. I identified with different parts of them at different times. Harry Dean Stanton always reminded me of my dad. I loved the humor, I love the real stories. The characters were amazing.

I also loved Paris, Texas, which is one of my all-time favorite films. The movie Brazil. I think about Brazil all the time on Better Call Saul, especially when I’m in the “document dungeon” that Kim is now working in on the show. I tell this to Peter [Gould] all the time: “Part of me wants to pull my desk through the wall.” Remember that scene in Brazil where the offices are so small and gray that the desk is shared through a wall?

MH: Yes!

RS: I think there’s elements of Terry Gilliam’s work, and at a panel the other day, they were saying that they reference the documentary Crumb. There are these fantastical elements in our show that are just slightly outside of naturalism, and I enjoy them so much. It’s a poetic step outside of total realism. Which is just fun. It’s really fun to inhabit that world. It’s tricky, tone-wise, but just such a joy.

Photo By: Ursula Coyote/AMC

MH: I think Breaking Bad, and now Better Call Saul, do that very well. It’s expressed a lot in the cinematography. You can have this really grounded scene that’s pretty realistic, and then you’ll have character moments with very dramatic lighting that are artistic elevations of the show.

RS: Yeah. There’s realism in the beats and some beautiful naturalism and realism in the way characters express themselves to each other. The [creators] let you act it instead of say it. People identify with that more: that people are not saying everything. Usually, in real life, you have to push somebody really far to actually pinpoint their emotions, or articulate why they are angry. We tend to dance around our feelings, or just act them out. And certainly with relationship like with Kim and Jimmy, they write it so well and it’s written to a letter. We don’t change anything. As brilliant of an improv person as Bob Odenkirk is, those scenes are fully written and beautifully so. The writers make this strong foundation and then Bob and I rehearse it over and over so that what can come alive is what’s between the lines. I think that’s what happens when you do have an authentic relationship. Nothing’s at face value when you know somebody that well, and people have really responded to seeing that on screen. It’s the look between the lines and thinking, “What did you mean by that?” It’s having a shared history, and Bob and I remind each other of that. Whenever a character brings something up, it’s very possible it’s not the first time they brought it up. What happened last time they talked about it? Was there an argument? Did it go well? Did it not go well? When you speak to a friend of yours, and you pick what movie to see tonight, you have a shared history about last time you picked a movie. Was it a good one or a bad one? And a smirk or a joke or anything there could communicate that.

They are just so lovely on our set. Our directors and our writers are so encouraging and they create an incredible environment to build that kind of realistic relationship.

Photo By: Ursula Coyote/AMC

MH: You work a lot with Bob Odenkirk, who plays the lead Jimmy McGill, the man that will at some point become Saul Goodman. Your character Kim is his very complicated love interest. The most romantic scenes in the show to date, in my opinion, is when Kim is at the nail salon after hours, and Jimmy is painting her toenails. It’s kitschy and yet romantic. You can see some of that unspoken history that’s there, even though it was early in the show’s first season. What was it like to put those scenes together?

RS: We always start by meeting and running the lines together over and over. Just lines. We’re not cementing any kind of performance. We wait until we’re playing with the director to solidify everything, but first we just go over and over it. It gets your brain simmering. When you walk away from that, you’re thinking about what is a reference to the past, and what’s a reference to the future. What’s something that could be taken a different way? Then, we get there, and we do the scene many times and in many different fashions. Another great thing the writers do on this show that comes across so authentically to viewers is that there’s not one obvious arc in many scenes. They take a roller coaster and become very serpentine. You can get almost in an argument, and then it peters out, then it’s a little funny and it starts being ok, and now it’s not!

We ran many versions of that. We tried it a million ways. And then Bob and I, along with the whole great cast,  are actors that enjoy not overly planning how you are going to say every line. Because you get there, and you realize it’s all in the other person’s delivery. It becomes this amazing game of volleyball, and that’s when those moments happen between the lines. You think you know what you are getting ready to say —  as we often do it real life — but then Jimmy delivers his line with a slight sadness. And suddenly I can’t come back as prickly as I planned to. Then, I say my line with a smirk and it makes Jimmy deliver his line back to me in a different way. That’s when I think the audience starts to breath with us. You’re watching a volley back and forth. Nothing can really be planned at that point.

Then, our great directors and our great DP Arthur Albert that will do what’s (oddly) unheard of in television right now, which is hold the shot in a wide or a medium, rather than in an extreme closeup for those moments. Then you are really breathing with the characters, and you can see the whole thing. It’s great. It’s like theater.

MH: One more question. One thing I have noticed about you—in red carpet videos, in EPK interviews, everywhere— is that your eyebrow game is always on point.

RS: Hahaha!

MH: So, I’m wondering… what are Rhea Seehorn’s last-minute makeup tips?

RS: Well, of course, hire great makeup artists! That’s so funny. My eyebrows move independently of each other, which I sometimes have to watch because it can be just a whole circus going on up there, and then people aren’t paying attention to my lines. And I also have a very rubbery face, which is good, but with Kim, I actually have to calm it down. She doesn’t let everyone know what she’s thinking nearly as much as I do in real life. She’s very poker faced. But I’m very aware of it for these interviews, because I can finally let them become unleashed!

MH: Keep up the great work on Better Call Saul. It’s appointment viewing for me and all my friends. You guys are doing great work.

RS: I love that! I think it’s a group kind of show to watch. And thank you for watching!

——
Micah Haley is an author and filmmaker and a partner in Scene Magazine. His recent projects include two short horror thrillers, The Angel and The Red Ribbon. Both are now available on Amazon. You can find more of his work at micahhaley.com, on Twitter at @MicahHaley and on Instagram at @itsMicahHaley.

(Some photos by Odessy Barbu and some courtesy of AMC)

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Free Film Festival at French Quarter Fest at Le Petit!

A free film festival at Le Petit Theatre is happening this weekend during French Quarter Festival. The festival dedicated to Allen Toussaint will screen 11 films over the weekend. See the press release below for times. 

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Friday, April 8

11 AM: A Tribute To Toussaint

 

Produced by Ron Yager, Jim Dotson & Greg Buisson

This Emmy-award winning concert documentary celebrates the life of Allen Toussaint – musician, composer, producer, and humanitarian. Starring Allen Toussaint and featuring Dr. John, Trombone Shorty, Elvis Costello, Irma Thomas, Deacon John, Cyril Neville, Jon Cleary, Joe Henry, Cyndi Lauper, Robert Plant and Jimmy Buffet.

After the sudden passing Allen Toussaint last year, we would like to dedicate this year’s French Quarter Fest Film Series in Mr. Toussaint’s honor by celebrating the life and legacy of one of New Orleans own musical masters. 67 Minutes. Q & A immediately following.

 

1 PM: A Warehouse on Tchoupitoulas
Directed by Jessy Cale Williamson

On January 30th, 1970, A Warehouse on Tchoupitoulas opened it’s doors to thousands of fans to see The Flock, Fleetwood Mac and The Grateful Dead. In the ensuing twelve years some of the best musicians in the world would grace the stage. Including – The Allman Brothers, Bob Dylan, The Doors, Pink Floyd, The Who, Bob Marley, David Bowie, Foghat, Jethro Tull, The Clash, The Talking Heads, Rush, Dr. John and many many more. This documentary captures the magic that so many of us missed out on. 75 Minutes. Q & A immediately following.

 

3 PM: Never A Dull Moment – 20 Years of Rebirth Brass Band
Directed by Charlie Brown

Spanning the history of the band from their formation at Clark High School to their 20th Anniversary concert at Tipitina’s, “Never A Dull Moment: 20 Years of the Rebirth Brass Band” tells the full story of New Orleans’s premiere brass band. Featuring founders Phil Frazier (tuba) and Kermit Ruffins (trumpet), this rollicking film takes us on a trip throughout New Orleans, from Sunday second lines to Glass House to the Maple Leaf Bar and even into the studio, all told through the eyewitness accounts of some of the city’s greatest (and funniest) characters. 85 Minutes.

 

Saturday, April 9

Films of Les Blank – Louisiana Double Feature

11 AM – Hot Pepper

This film is a thrilling musical portrait of Zydeco King Clifton Chenier, who combines the pulsating rhythms of Cajun dance music, African overtones, and bluesy R&B into an irresistible melange mixed up in the sweaty juke joints of South Louisiana. 54 Minutes.

 

12 PM – Yum, Yum, Yum
Les Blank marries his passion for spicy, down home food and his love for Cajuns and Creoles in this mouth-watering, exploration of the cooking, and other enthusiasms, of French-speaking Louisiana. Features tangy music, and food by Marc Savoy, Paul Prudhomme, and other greats. 30 Minutes.

 

1 PM – Piano Players Rarely Play Together
Directed by Stevenson Palfi

“Piano Players” is a portrait of three great New Orleans pianists and how they influenced one another’s music.  It documents the best piano “professors” of the last three generations — New Orleans’ keyboard ace Isidore “Tuts” Washington, Henry “Professor Longhair” Byrd, and Allen Toussaint — as they played together for the first time in a rehearsal for a joint concert. The rehearsal turned out to be the ONLY time the three ever played together, because Professor Longhair died two days before the scheduled performance.

The documentary takes viewers through the very personal and sacred New Orleans tradition of a jazz wake and funeral procession for Professor Longhair, which was taped at the encouragement of his widow, Alice. Also included is the previously planned concert with Toussaint and Washington, who turned the event into a tribute to Fess.

Released to critical acclaim in 1982, “Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together” is considered by many to be one of the most important and exciting explorations of New Orleans’ musical tradition ever made.  It is the winner of over 20 awards. 80 Minutes. Q & A immediately following.

 

3 PM – We Won’t Bow Down
Directed by Christopher Levoy Bower

‘We Won’t Bow Down’ explores a secret society of African Americans in inner city New Orleans as they devote their time and skills to create hand-beaded Indian costumes that embody a cultural, spiritual and ancient power that has kept Africa alive in the new world despite slavery and it’s legacy. 95 Minutes. Q & A Immediately following.

 

Sunday, April 10

Films of Pat Mire – Louisiana Double Feature

11 AM – Swapping Stories – Folktales from Louisiana

Tall tales, oyster shucking monsters, and some good old fashioned jokes are all on the menu in Swapping Stories: Folktales from Louisiana. This documentary film by Pat Mire brings together some of the best storytellers in Louisiana, including comedians A.J. Smith and Dave Petitjean, Creole storyteller Enola Mathews, and the late Bel Abbey and Colonel Ike Hamilton. 30 Minutes. Q & A immediately following.

 

11:45 AM – Mon Cher Camarade

During World War II, hundreds of French-speaking Cajun men from South Louisiana enlisted in the U.S. military. French-speaking Cajuns not only worked with the French resistance after D-Day, but they also provided the U.S. Army’s most effective means of communication with local authorities and the civilian population, which, in turn, provided critical support and intelligence to the American army. This documentary film, through memoirs and interviews of French-speaking Cajuns who served in WWII either as members of the OSS or as citizen soldiers, tells the story of this important aspect of the American war effort in Europe. 60 Minutes.

 

1 PM – Un Bal Cajun et Créole A La Maison (A Cajun & Creole House Party)
National Park Service Centennial Celebration
Directed by Jason Rhein

Concert and conversations at the historic Liberty Theater in Eunice, Louisiana, celebrating the National Park Service’s 100th birthday. This film, directed by Jason Rhein, spotlights the American treasures of Cajun and Creole music, featuring four musicians who are fluent speakers of Louisiana Cajun and Creole, and write new music using these traditional languages. 90 Minutes. Q & A immediately following.

Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes, Leroy Etienne, Bruce Daigrepont, and Michael Doucet all share stories and the stage together to show why South Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole culture is unique and worth preserving.

 

3 PM – From Roots to Roses
Directed by Patrick Marrero & Produced by Marlo Lacen

From Roots to Roses is a documentary film project that features the Roots of Music’s Marching Crusaders and their journey from post- Katrina New Orleans to Pasadena, California to march in the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade. From the practices, to the fund raising, to the bus ride, to climactic march down Colorado Blvd., we follow the bands experience as it makes history as the only middle school aged band to play in the parade. 90 Minutes.

Katie, Max, and the Le Petit Team
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré

616 St. Peter Street | New Orleans, LA 70116
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New Orleans Film ‘Reversing the Mississippi’ Premieres on ‘American Reframed’

Filmmaker Ian Midgley documents the work of New Orleans resident Nat Turner who teaches youth how to grow and sell vegetables at Our School in Blair Grocery in the lower 9th ward.  The film with air on the Emmy-nominated documentary series, America Reframed Tuesday April 12, 2016.

Check out Our School in Blair Grocery here.

 

__________

Ian Midgley’s documentary Reversing the Mississippi will have its U.S. television premiere Tuesday, April 12, 2016, at 8 p.m. on WORLD Channel (check local listings), as part of the fourth season of America Reframed, public media’s newest documentary series hosted by Natasha Del Toro. The film will be available for free streaming on www.worldchannel.org starting April 13, 2016.
When filmmaker Ian Midgley turned 25, he put all his belongings in storage, bought a camera and started traveling across the country looking for people who were creating their own realities and leading a purposeful life. Optimistic and believing in the possibility of change, he takes himself on an American road trip to meet people choosing to live by their own strongly-held values.

Through word-of-mouth, Midgley learns about farmer and social innovator Marcin Jakubowski, a Ph.D. in fusion physics who became dissatisfied with the consumer lifestyle and turned to the earth to become a farmer and social innovator.

As the founder of Open Source Ecology, Jakubowski is the creator of the Global Village Construction Set through which he offers free and replicable blueprints to fabricate everything needed for a self-sustaining village. At Jakubowski’s “Factor e Farm” in rural Missouri, he puts those ideas to the test.

While his ideas attract interns and volunteers from across the U.S., they ultimately feel under-appreciated and uninspired as they toil day and night in meager conditions.

Midgley’s travels also take him to New Orleans, where he spends a few life-changing weeks with former NYC schoolteacher Nat Turner. Turner drove a school bus to New Orleans with a dream of healing the Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina and gained national attention for transforming an abandoned grocery store into a community youth education center called Our School Blair Grocery.

Turner teaches kids to sell vegetables and how to work the land. He also infuses a contagious love of learning—getting students excited about English, science, math and social studies because it’s not just a classroom; it’s a learning sanctuary. However, Turner does not have many resources and works with small and broken farm equipment. The educator laments as he thinks deeply about all the work he and the teens still have to do, “The work that we are doing is like trying to reverse the flow of the Mississippi River.”

The filmmaker then asks: if these two men meet might they be able to make real change? Jakubowski, the visionary inventor could help change the world vis-à-vis his technology, but if he can’t motivate people, can he accomplish his goals? And Turner desperately needs affordable, easy-to-fix equipment. When Jakubowski meets the charismatic educator, he finally encounters a mentor who can inspire and challenge him to become a stronger and better leader.

Midgley depicts both men and their dreams, along with their shortcomings and strengths, and hopes that “viewers will be able to relate to the universal qualities that bind people in relationship to community, to the earth and to each other.”

Film Credits
Director/Producer: Ian Midgley
Executive Producer: Christina Heller
Producers: D.J. Turner, Siku Thompson, Drew Barnett-Hamilton

 

Read the original press release here.

“Midgley’s new film… tells the story of two men—scientist-inventor Marcin Jakubowski and teacher Nat Turner—united by a passion for expanding access to economic opportunity.”

– Anna Bergren Miller, Shareable

 

 

 

 

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New Orleans Film ‘Reversing the Mississippi’ Premieres on ‘America Reframed’

Filmmaker Ian Midgley documents the work of New Orleans resident Nat Turner who teaches youth how to grow and sell vegetables at Our School in Blair Grocery in the lower 9th ward.  The film with air on the Emmy-nominated documentary series, America Reframed Tuesday April 12, 2016.

Check out Our School in Blair Grocery here.

 

__________

Ian Midgley’s documentary Reversing the Mississippi will have its U.S. television premiere Tuesday, April 12, 2016, at 8 p.m. on WORLD Channel (check local listings), as part of the fourth season of America Reframed, public media’s newest documentary series hosted by Natasha Del Toro. The film will be available for free streaming on www.worldchannel.org starting April 13, 2016.
When filmmaker Ian Midgley turned 25, he put all his belongings in storage, bought a camera and started traveling across the country looking for people who were creating their own realities and leading a purposeful life. Optimistic and believing in the possibility of change, he takes himself on an American road trip to meet people choosing to live by their own strongly-held values.

Through word-of-mouth, Midgley learns about farmer and social innovator Marcin Jakubowski, a Ph.D. in fusion physics who became dissatisfied with the consumer lifestyle and turned to the earth to become a farmer and social innovator.

As the founder of Open Source Ecology, Jakubowski is the creator of the Global Village Construction Set through which he offers free and replicable blueprints to fabricate everything needed for a self-sustaining village. At Jakubowski’s “Factor e Farm” in rural Missouri, he puts those ideas to the test.

While his ideas attract interns and volunteers from across the U.S., they ultimately feel under-appreciated and uninspired as they toil day and night in meager conditions.

Midgley’s travels also take him to New Orleans, where he spends a few life-changing weeks with former NYC schoolteacher Nat Turner. Turner drove a school bus to New Orleans with a dream of healing the Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina and gained national attention for transforming an abandoned grocery store into a community youth education center called Our School Blair Grocery.

Turner teaches kids to sell vegetables and how to work the land. He also infuses a contagious love of learning—getting students excited about English, science, math and social studies because it’s not just a classroom; it’s a learning sanctuary. However, Turner does not have many resources and works with small and broken farm equipment. The educator laments as he thinks deeply about all the work he and the teens still have to do, “The work that we are doing is like trying to reverse the flow of the Mississippi River.”

The filmmaker then asks: if these two men meet might they be able to make real change? Jakubowski, the visionary inventor could help change the world vis-à-vis his technology, but if he can’t motivate people, can he accomplish his goals? And Turner desperately needs affordable, easy-to-fix equipment. When Jakubowski meets the charismatic educator, he finally encounters a mentor who can inspire and challenge him to become a stronger and better leader.

Midgley depicts both men and their dreams, along with their shortcomings and strengths, and hopes that “viewers will be able to relate to the universal qualities that bind people in relationship to community, to the earth and to each other.”

Film Credits
Director/Producer: Ian Midgley
Executive Producer: Christina Heller
Producers: D.J. Turner, Siku Thompson, Drew Barnett-Hamilton

 

Read the original press release here.

“Midgley’s new film… tells the story of two men—scientist-inventor Marcin Jakubowski and teacher Nat Turner—united by a passion for expanding access to economic opportunity.”

– Anna Bergren Miller, Shareable

 

 

 

 

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PRESS RELEASE: Christy Turlington Burns to Attend Screening ‘Giving Birth in America’ at LIFF 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 5, 2016

Global maternal health advocate, founder of Every Mother Counts and supermodel CHRISTY TURLINGTON BURNS is scheduled to attend a Special Presentation screening of GIVING BIRTH IN AMERICA, a film she Executive Produced, on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm at Cinemark Perkins Rowe as part of the Louisiana International Film Festival 2016.

Maternal health non-profit Every Mother Counts presents a new three-part, short documentary series, “Giving Birth in America,” to examine some of the key reasons that the U.S. is falling so far behind in maternal healthcare.  Each short film follows pregnant women and their healthcare providers in Florida, Montana and New York in the days leading up to delivery. Together, they navigate challenges of race, poverty, chronic illness, overuse of medical interventions and other inequalities that impact maternal health outcomes in America.
Tickets to the screening are available to purchase on the festival website: http://www.lifilmfest.org/giving-birth-in-america


Turlington Burns is also scheduled to attend a Gala Reception from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm at Bin 77’s Bistro & Sidebar  (10111 Perkins Rowe Baton Rouge, LA 70810) that is open to LIFF 2016 Pass Holders and invited guests only. VIP, All-Access and Student passes are available for purchase on the festival website: www.lifilmfest.org.


Red carpet photo ops with Talent and guests starts at 7:00 pm at Cinemark Perkins Rowe prior to the screening of GIVING BIRTH IN AMERICA. Special guest Turlington Burns will host a post-screening Q&A for the audience and press about the film and her interest in Louisiana’s maternal healthcare.


The 4th annual Louisiana International Film Festival (LIFF) is returning this April 13 – 17 at Cinemark Perkins Rowe to premiere over 50 plus films from around the world with filmmakers and special guests in attendance for screenings, special events, live musical performance, workshops and more. Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation made Turlington Burns’ festival appearance possible.

 

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Kelsey Grammer To Appear at Louisiana International Film Festival 2016

PRESS RELEASE: April 4, 2016 
 
Cinemark Perkins Rowe – Baton Rouge, LA
Friday, April 15, 2016

 

Five-time Emmy-winning television and film star and Tony-nominated Broadway actor KELSEY GRAMMER (Frasier, Cheers, X-Men, Finding Neverland) is set to appear at the 4th Annual Louisiana International Film Festival in Baton Rouge. The critically-acclaimed and beloved actor will be on hand to help present his latest film BREAKING THE BANK.

A comedic farce set in the world of high finance from director Vadim Jean, BREAKING THE BANK stars Grammer as the hapless chairman of Tuftons, a family-run English bank. With powerful and morally bankrupt U.S. and Japanese investment banks circling Tuftons, it is up to Grammer’s bumbling Sir Charles Bunbury (with the acclaimed actor sporting a convincing British accent) to fend off this ruthless takeover and save his 200-year-old bank. The film co-stars John Michael Higgins (The Breakup, Best in Show) and Tamsin Greig (Shaun of the Dead).

BREAKING THE BANK will screen at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 15 at Cinemark Perkins Rowe. Individual film tickets and festival passes are for sale online at lifilmfest.org.

For more special guest and celebrity announcements, follow LIFF on Facebook, Instagram @Lifilmfest and Twitter @LIFFilmfest.

Lauded by the likes of Variety, IndieWire and Hollywood Reporter, LIFF again brings a spirited and eclectic mix of world-class moviemaking-from acclaimed independent narratives and documentaries, to big budget studio pictures, and the best of international film.

LIFF 2016 features more than 50 films, plus live music, DJs, catering from some of the best restaurants in Baton Rouge, parties, industry workshops, and much more.

Visit lifilmfest.org for complete details.

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PRESS RELEASE: Kelsey Grammer To Appear at Louisiana International Film Festival 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 4, 2016 
 
Cinemark Perkins Rowe – Baton Rouge, LA
Friday, April 15, 2016
 

 

Five-time Emmy-winning television and film star and Tony-nominated Broadway actor KELSEY GRAMMER (Frasier, Cheers, X-Men, Finding Neverland) is set to appear at the 4th Annual Louisiana International Film Festival in Baton Rouge. The critically-acclaimed and beloved actor will be on hand to help present his latest film BREAKING THE BANK.

A comedic farce set in the world of high finance from director Vadim Jean, BREAKING THE BANK stars Grammer as the hapless chairman of Tuftons, a family-run English bank. With powerful and morally bankrupt U.S. and Japanese investment banks circling Tuftons, it is up to Grammer’s bumbling Sir Charles Bunbury (with the acclaimed actor sporting a convincing British accent) to fend off this ruthless takeover and save his 200-year-old bank. The film co-stars John Michael Higgins (The Breakup, Best in Show) and Tamsin Greig (Shaun of the Dead).

BREAKING THE BANK will screen at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 15 at Cinemark Perkins Rowe. Individual film tickets and festival passes are for sale online at lifilmfest.org.

For more special guest and celebrity announcements, follow LIFF on Facebook, Instagram @Lifilmfest and Twitter @LIFFilmfest.

Lauded by the likes of Variety, IndieWire and Hollywood Reporter, LIFF again brings a spirited and eclectic mix of world-class moviemaking-from acclaimed independent narratives and documentaries, to big budget studio pictures, and the best of international film.

LIFF 2016 features more than 50 films, plus live music, DJs, catering from some of the best restaurants in Baton Rouge, parties, industry workshops, and much more.

Visit lifilmfest.org for complete details.

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Save The Date: Gentlemen Commoners (Smiths’ Cover Band) April 1st

The Gentlemen Commoners
This project is, for the moment, an exploration of the music of the Smiths. The members of the band (all veterans of the Baton Rouge, Austin, New Orleans, and Bristol, UK music scenes) share a love for the music and the challenge involved in playing it.

-Philip Mann- Mountain Brook, Alabama
-Mike McAllester- Mineral Wells, Texas
-Linus Williams- Bristol, England
-Lee Barbier- Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia…
-Kenny Cohen- Baton Rouge, Louisiana

What: Gentlemen Commoners (Smiths’ Cover Band)
Where: Gasa Gasa – 4920 Freret St. New Orleans, LA 70115
When: Friday, April 1st Doors: 10:00PM Show: 11:00PM
Price: $10
Tickets: http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionD...

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PRESS RELEASE: Movie Tavern Opens In Denham Springs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2016

Movie Tavern has officially opened its third and largest cinema-eatery in Louisiana. With 46,000 square feet of space, a full bar and power recliners throughout all 11 auditoriums, Movie Tavern welcomes guests to experience its full service in-theater dining concept at Juban Crossing in Denham Springs.

 

Movie Tavern Expands Louisiana Footprint with Third Location

Cinema-Eatery now open at Juban Crossing in Denham Springs cinema-eatery in Louisiana. With 46,000 square feet of space, a full bar and power recliners throughout all 11 auditoriums, Movie Tavern welcomes guests to experience its full service in-theater dining concept at Juban Crossing in Denham Springs.

“Denham Springs and the surrounding area is the ideal community for the Movie Tavern experience,” said Vice President of Marketing, Danny DiGiacomo. “As our brand expands, our primary focus remains to consistently provide an enjoyable, dine-in moving-going experience for our guests.”

In addition to expanding into new markets, Movie Tavern is also revitalizing existing locations in order to showcase the company’s new and improved full service experience. Juban Crossing marks the third theater Movie Tavern has unveiled to the public in 2016.

Features of the new theater include:

-Full service in-theater dining & full bar options for all 11 screens

-Reclining Loungers with call-button service and armrest tables in every auditorium

-2K digital projection and Christie Vive Audio systems

-All-reserved, stadium seating

-Casual-dining menu with a wide range of entrees, appetizers and popular food items made mostly from scratch, including healthy and reduced-gluten options

-Full bar in the lobby featuring a complete wine, beer and signature cocktail list

-Weekly Breakfast and a Flick series where families can enjoy a feature film and a variety of morning favorites on Saturdays and Sundays at 9 a.m.

-Retro Cinema series featuring popular classics on the big screen

Movie Tavern is a family friendly experience that caters to adults. Guests 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian age 21 or older. The Denham Springs theatre is located in the Juban Crossing development at 9998 Crossing Way. For more information on Movie Tavern and how you can join the MT team, host private events or enjoy special programming visit www.movietavern.com.

About Movie Tavern

Founded in 2001, Dallas-based Movie Tavern is a leader in the cinema eatery segment catering to adults and families with 23 high-quality theatres and 200 digital screens in nine states. In September 2013, Movie Tavern was acquired by New Orleans-based VSS-Southern Theatres, LLC (“Southern”), a portfolio company of Veronis Suhler Stevenson (“VSS”), a leading private equity firm. With the acquisition of Movie Tavern, Southern became the eighth largest theatre company in North America.

About Southern

Southern was formed in May of 2003. Mr. George Solomon has been in the theatre business with his family for over 50 years and launched Southern to develop and operate state-of-the art multiplex stadium-seating movie theatres. To date, Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS) has invested over $56 million in Southern. VSS is a private equity and mezzanine capital fund management company dedicated to investing in media, communications and information industries in North America and Europe.

Southern is the eighth largest theatre circuit in The United States and is currently responsible for the daily operations of The Grand Theatres, Amstar Cinemas, The Theatres at Canal Place and Movie Tavern. The company operates 43 locations with 483 screens in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Southern is well positioned for continued expansion in key markets throughout the United States. Southern is proud to be headquartered in New Orleans, LA.

 

Media Contact:
Monica Esposito
214-252-1713
mesposito@moroch.com

 

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Ernie Hudson Joins Fox Drama Pilot ‘APB’

GhostbustersErnie Hudson is set to co-star opposite Justin Kirk and Natalie Martinez in Fox's drama pilot APB, from writer David Slack and Sleepy Hollow co-creator/executive producer Len Wiseman.
Inspired by the July New York Times Magazine article "Who Runs the Streets of New Orleans," APB explores what happens when an enigmatic tech billionaire, Gideon Reed, (Kirk) purchases a troubled police precinct in the wake of a loved one's murder.
Hudson will play Sgt Ed…

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Seven Arts Founder Peter Hoffman Gets Probation & Fine For Louisiana Film Tax Fraud Scheme – Update

UPDATED 5:10 PM with sentencing details and quotes:  A federal judge in New Orleans today sentenced Peter Hoffman, Hollywood's once-highflying guru of exotic tax breaks, to five years’ probation for defrauding the state of Louisiana out of $1.13 million in film tax credits. The founder of the now-defunct Seven Arts Entertainment also was given a $40,000 fine and 300 hours of community service.
U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman also sentenced Hoffman's ex-wife, producer…

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Save The Date: ‘The King of New Orleans’ Free Film Screening at The Broad Theater

For the first time since it’s spotlight premiere during New Orleans Film Festival in October, “The King of New Orleans” is coming back to the people who inspired it.

Join us on March 31 at the recently opened Broad Theater for a trip through the streets of New Orleans with local cabbie, Larry Shirt as our tour guide. Ride with his passengers: the city’s hustlers, tourists, socialites, musicians and weirdos. The screening will be free and open to the public, with a chance to meet and greet some of the actors and makers of the film.
“The King of New Orleans” is as much a love letter to the Big Easy as it is an entertaining homage to the American Independent Cinema Movement. The film has gone on to rack up several more awards since its New Orleans debut, including Best Narrative Feature and Favorite Actor at the Napa Film Festival.
WhatThe King of New Orleans Screening
When:Thursday, March 31, 6 p.m. Doors, 7 p.m. Screening
Where: The Broad Theater 636 N Broad St. New Orleans, Louisiana.
Cost: Free and Open to the Public

 

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‘A.P.B.’: Fox Drama Pilot Casts Taylor Handley; Carly Hughes In ABC’s ‘Second Fattest Housewife’

Vegas alum Taylor Handley is set as a series regular opposite Natalie Martinez and Caitlin Stasey in Fox's drama pilot A.P.B., from writer David Slack and Len Wiseman. Inspired by the July New York Times Magazine article "Who Runs the Streets of New Orleans," A.P.B. explores what happens when an enigmatic tech billionaire purchases a troubled police precinct in the wake of a loved one's murder. Handley will play Officer Roderick Brandt, a Marine combat veteran-turned-cop…

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Natalie Martinez To Star In Fox Drama Pilot ‘A.P.B.’

Natalie Martinez (ABC’s Secrets & Lies) has been cast as the female lead in Fox’s drama pilot A.P.B., from writer David Slack and Sleepy Hollow co-creator/executive producer Len Wiseman.
Inspired by the July New York Times Magazine article "Who Runs the Streets of New Orleans", A.P.B. explores what happens when an enigmatic tech billionaire purchases a troubled police precinct in the wake of a loved one's…

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'The Passion': Singer Seal Joins Fox Musical as Pontius Pilate


The two-hour event will air live from New Orleans this spring.

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Fugitive Real-Estate Heir Robert Durst Agrees to Extradition to L.A.


Court filings show Durst of 'The Jinx' has struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors on a weapons charge in New Orleans.

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Fugitive Real-Estate Heir Robert Durst Agrees to Extradition to L.A.


Court filings show Durst of 'The Jinx' has struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors on a weapons charge in New Orleans.

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