Related News

Terminator: Genisys’ Star Byung-hun Lee Rides to Baton Rouge for ‘Magnificent Seven’

Moments after Jason Momoa joined the cast of Magnificent Seven, the T-1000 cyborg from Terminator: Genisys joined the same posse. Byung-hun Lee’s addition is magnificent news for the upcoming reboot. The cast is getting better and better as production nears.

We now have six riders including Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, Wagner Moura and Luke Grimes. Byung-hun Lee and Moura add an international flair to the cast as Lee hails from South Korea and Moura from Brazil. Moura is already on board to play Vasquez, one of the seven riders. Byung-hun Lee will play a character named Billy Rocks – a character that I’m sure will in fact rock – but we are unsure whether he’ll be a hero or a henchmen to the gold mining tycoon.

Terminator: Genisys was shot in New Orleans and is set to be released this summer July 1. Check out photos and the trailer here.

Magnificent Seven is directed by Antoine Fuqua and is expected to starting production in mid May. Visit our jobScene page if you’re interested in working on this film or any of the many films currently in production.

Source: Deadline

Read more

Jason Momoa Joins ‘Magnificent Seven’

The cast of the The Magnificent Seven reboot has gotten one shade more magnificent. Game of Thrones alum Jason Momoa, who is a mega beast, will ride into Baton Rouge for The Magnificent Seven. Momoa will join the already marvelous cast that includes Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, Wagner Moura, Luke Grimes and Haley Bennett.

Jason Momoa’s frightening figure will most likely have him playing on the villain side of this remake. Vincent D’Onofrio was earlier reported to play the villain but clarified that he will be one of the seven riders. Momoa will saddle up and play one of the robbers/barons who run a small town after the Civil War.

The 1960 film Magnificent Seven starred Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and Yul Brynner and was a remake of a Japanese film called Seven Samurai. The upcoming flick is written by True Detective penman Nic Pizzolatto and rewritten by The Blind Side’s John Lee Hancock. The Magnificent Seven reboot begins in a small war-torn town following the Civil War. Gold mining barons have taken over a town and ruthlessly kill a woman’s husband. She calls upon a bounty hunter (Washington) and he calls upon six other gunslingers to quell the gold mining tycoon and his henchmen.

Jason Momoa has been red hot lately and has landed Vincent Chase’s role in the upcoming DC Comic Aquaman. More news on that later.

Training Day’s Antoine Fuqua will direct. Production on Magnificent Seven begins this month and will be released January 13, 2017.

Source: /Film

Read more

Wendell Pierce in ‘Brothers From The Bottom’

Brothers from the Bottom will commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and star Tony Award winner Wendell Pierce in a limited engagement. Here’s the press release: 

Following their acclaimed Brooklyn run, the award-winning Billie Holiday Theater (BHT) at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) Stage Company join forces to present the Post-Katrina play set in New Orleans, Brothers from the Bottom, starring Wendell Pierce who also joins this team, as a producer. The limited engagement, in commemoration of the 10th year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, will run from June 5 – 28, 2015 at the Lupin Hall at NOCCA.

Brothers from the Bottom, written and directed by BHT Artistic Director, Jackie Alexander, deals with the hot button topic of gentrification. In the play, a real estate project threatens the fabric of a New Orleans neighborhood, and unravels the bond between brothers. In this “naturalistic play,” “the acting stands way above the flood line.” With a “terrific” performance by Mr. Pierce and a “particularly exuberant” performance by Kevin Mambo, the play is “ground[ed] by the actor’s sensitivity and verve. The neighborhood may need renewal and repair. These performances don’t.”  – New York Times

Wendell Pierce, an accomplished Julliard trained actor, has conquered all realms of media with critically praised performances in theater, film, television and broadcast radio. The TONY, Emmy, Obie and Peabody winning actor and producer is best known for his portrayals on HBO’s ground breaking television series’ The Wire and Treme. Pierce was also in this year’s Oscar nominee for Best Picture, SELMA. Pierce will also soon be releasing a personal memoir, THE WIND IN THE REEDS, an insightful and poignant portrait of family, New Orleans and the transforming power of art (RIVERHEAD BOOKS / Sept. 8th, 2015). Pierce states, “The 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is a significant moment in the recent history of our country.  Brothers from the Bottom does what art does best: challenge, elevate and illuminate the conversation.”

The cast includes two-time Emmy Award winner Kevin Mambo, who played the title role in Fela! on Broadway, as well as Toccarra Cash, Thaddeus Daniels, Wendell Franklin andMegan Robinson.

Brothers from the Bottom, writer and director, Alexander, is a prolific award winning actor, writer, producer and director for theater and film.

With: Original Music: Edward Anderson and Darrell Lavigne (Bleu Orleans); Set Design: Felix Cochren (Broadway credits: Amen Corner, Inacent Black, Home); Assistant Set Designer: Patrice Davidson; Costume Design: Helen Simmons-Collen; Lighting Design: Joyce Liao; Sound Design: Douglas Forbes; Stage Manager: Norman Smalls

NOCCA Stage Company is excited to provide this once in a lifetime chance for NOCCA students to work directly with these incredible artists that are part of Brothers from the Bottom. Work on set building and staging, masterclass rehearsals begins in mid-May which provides the perfect big picture insight to the students in the Theatre Arts Department at NOCCA.  NOCCA is proud to be part of this incredible moment that will shape the local theatre scene for many years to come.

Tickets and Showtimes

The Billie Holiday Theatre at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, NOCCA Stage Company and Wendell Pierce present


Hurricane Katrina 10th Anniversary: Commemorative Performances

Written and directed by Jackie Alexander

Starring Wendell Pierce* and featuring Kevin Mambo*, Toccarra Cash*, Thaddeus Daniels, Wendell Franklin* and Megan Robinson*

Show Times: June 5 – 28, 2015; Fridays at 8 pm | Saturdays at 3 & 8 pm | Sundays at 2 & 7pm

Lupin Hall at NOCCA, 2800 Chartres St., New Orleans, Louisiana

TICKETS: General Admission: $30.00 / Seniors and Students with ID: $25.00

Buy tickets online at or call: 504.940.2800

Read more

Marton Csokas Joins ‘Into The Badlands’

Perennial villain Marton Csokas will come to Louisiana to join the cast of AMC’s Into The Badlands. The cast already includes Aramis Knight, Madeleine Mantock, Ally Ioannides, Daniel Wu, Emily Beecham, Sarah Bolger, Oliver Stark and Orla Brady.

Set to premiere with a six-episode series in the fall, Into The Badlands is loosely based on the Chinese tale Journey To The West. Into The Badlands tracks a young boy, MK (Aramis Knight) and a devoted warrior named Sunny (Daniel Wu) as they traverse across land controlled by feudal barons in hopes of finding enlightenment. Marton Csokas will play Quinn, the most powerful baron in the Badlands. He was once a great fighter who spent his youth in the Badlands killing for sport. No one crosses him and lives to tell the tale.

Directed by David Dobkin, Into the Badlands began shooting late last month in New Orleans. AMC’s newest show will premiere this Fall. Watch the teaser trailer here. If you want to apply for a job on Into The Badlands, look for contact information and more on jobScene.

Source: Deadline

Read more

TEASER: New Orleans-Shot CBS Series ‘Zoo’

The teaser for Zoo is finally upon us. The New Orleans-shot CBS series is based on the novel of the same title by James Patterson. Zoo is a thrill ride that puts the extinction of mankind under the spotlight and watches as animals rampage without remorse. Jackson Oz, played by James Wolk, is a young scientist who studies the increasingly abnormal and threatening behaviors of animals around the world.

The cast includes Nonso Anozie (Game of Thrones), Nora Arnezeder (Safehouse), Billy Burke (Twilight), Kristen Connolly (House of Cards) and James Wolk (The Crazy Ones). Zoo also has looked for local actors who have been in town filming various other current productions such as Yvonne Angulo (Jurassic World), Tony Beard (Joe Dirt 2, Elvis & Nixon), Michael Scott and Billy Slaughter (Homefront).

Zoo is a six-episode thriller that will premiere on Tuesday, June 30 on CBS. The CBS series will have five different directors over the span of the season including David Solomon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Steven A. Adelson, Brad Anderson (The Machinist), Michael Katleman (Rizzoli & Isles) and Chris Long.

As the weeks inch closer to the release date of Zoo, we’ll know more. For spoilers, read James Patterson’s novel. But for now, stay tuned as this CBS summer series is sure to make you drop out of veterinary school.

Read more

Matthew McConaughey & The New Orleans Film Festival (GUEST: Jolene Pinder, NOFF Executive Director) | The SceneCast

Micah talks about the New Orleans Film Festival with executive director Jolene Pinder of the New Orleans Film Society, which just honored Matthew McConaughey at its annual gala. We also talk about the spring film fest Film-O-Rama and how the New Orleans Film Festival has just been named an Oscar-qualifying festival for documentary short films.

The SceneCast is the official podcast of Scene Magazine, the entertainment magazine. Find out more at Email us at


0:50 – Intro
2:13 – The New Orleans Film Festival is now an Oscar-qualifying festival for documentary short films
12:22 – Matthew McConaughey at the New Orleans Film Society Gala
15:38 – NOFF’s Recent Trip to Los Angeles
19:35 – ***Support NOFF Today at***
21:49 – Film-O-Rama, the Spring Festival
27:00 – Micah and Jolene Discuss the films While We’re Young, A Most Violent Year, Blood Ties, Ex Machina, ROAR


This episode of the SceneCast is brought to you by On Screens Custom Wardrobing by Baudier Marketing.  Whether you are a company seeking great promotional products, a film that needs crew shirts and wrap gifts , embroidered patches, or screen printing, Baudier Marketing does it better. When you need it, they deliver it FAST. Call us at 504-734-FAST. That’s 504-734-FAST.

Read more

Marc Blucas to Replace Devon Gummersall in Baton Rouge-Shot ‘Underground’

We received news last week that Amirah Vann joining the cast of Underground for WGN America. And we already know that Devon Gummersall, Mykelti Williamson and Kanye West have all joined the project, although Mr. West won’t be on camera. Today, we find out that Gummersall is leaving the show. His character John Hawkes will now be played by Marc Blucas (Buffy The Vampire Slayer).

Underground tracks a group of runaway slaves from a Georgia plantation to trek six hundred miles to freedom. These slaves are helped by secret revolutionary advocates through the Underground Railroad as they run under constant fear of being brought back to the plantation dead or alive. Blucas’ John Hawkes is an abolitionist lawyer who will go against the law he should abide by to do human nature a great service.

Shooting is now underway in Baton Rouge. Cast and crew will travel to Georgia to film as well. Underground will premiere on WGN America next spring. If you’re interested in working on the set of Underground, then visit jobScene for more information.

Source: Deadline

Read more

New Orleans Native Bryan Batt on MTV’s ‘Scream’

New Orleans’ own Bryan Batt will call Baton Rouge home while on the set of MTV’s Scream. Batt is known for his role on AMC’s hit television series Mad Men. Batt famously played Salvatore Romano, the art director at Sterling Cooper. His time away from Mad Men has been fruitful. You can see him in 12 Years a Slave and he has also written two novels.

The show will star Bella Thorne (The Duff), Willa Fitzgerald (Royal Pains), Bex Taylor-Klaus (Arrow), John Karna (Premature) and Carlson Young (Key and Peele). Willa Fitzgerald’s character is the popular teenager Emma Duvall. Taylor-Klaus will play preacher’s daughter Aubrey Jensen. John Karna will play Noah Foster, the logistical student. The beautiful Carlson Young will play the adorable mastermind Brooke Maddox.

In Scream, Batt will play Quinn Maddox, the town’s mayor and father of Carlson Young’s Brooke Maddox. Bryan Batt knows that no one is safe in this slasher series. “I hope I don’t die the first season, but it is a slasher series,” he says. “Some people have already gone.” At least Batt has a great attitude and has high hopes for a future demise. “I hope it’s bloody, gory and memorable,” he says.

Watch the Scream trailers hereScream stars Bella Thorne, Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna and Carlson Young. Wes Craven’s slasher dynasty will take on the screens in your living room opposed to the box office. Directed by Jamie Travis, Scream comes into your homes on Tuesday, June 30 at 10pm.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Read more

NFL DRAFT: Let’s Recap the New Orleans Saints 2015 Draft Class

The New Orleans Saints didn’t turn any heads with their first two picks on Thursday night of the NFL Draft, but they did do their best to fill necessary holes in their roster. They drafted the offensive tackle from Stanford Andrus Peat with the thirteenth overall pick, then landed the inside linebacker from Clemson Stephone Anthony with the thirty-first pick. Throughout the next six rounds, the Saints used seven picks to solidify their 2015 roster.

Hau’oli Kikaha

Picked No. 44 overall and the twelfth pick in the second round, the defensive end from Washington University is now a New Orleans Saint. Hau’oli Kikaha led the nation in sacks last year and his intriguing streak of thirteen games with at least one sack was snapped when he came up short against Arizona University. Kikaha has had some medical issues, tearing his ACL twice, but has the heart and relentlessness to become a great pass rusher in Rob Ryan’s system. Kikaha also has judo and wrestling in his repertoire including winning a championship in judo. This guy is tough. He is hard nosed and can get to the quarterback with the best of them. Good pick to rush from the end and get to the quarterback.

Garrett Grayson

Picked No. 75 and the eleventh pick in the third round, here cometh the potential incumbent for Drew Brees. Garrett Grayson hails from Colorado State and was the third quarterback taken in the 2015 draft. He is 6’2″ and scouts say that he throws with anticipation and can throw his receivers open. He lacks a large frame for a pocket passing quarterback but has sneaky athleticism and has the ability to shock defenses with his feet. I believe this guy will be the future under Drew Brees and Sean Payton. I like this pick a lot. Grayson’s deep ball accuracy is probably the best in the entire draft. One big weakness, though, is his long windup throwing motion. This can be fixed and he won’t be rushed to hit the field but his release must be shortened if he ever wants to start in the NFL. This is the earliest the Saints have drafted a quarterback since Archie Manning was taken second overall in the 1971 NFL Draft.

PJ Williams

Picked No. 78 and the fourteenth pick in the third round comes another corner back from Florida State University. He has swagger, speed and ball skills to be effective in the NFL one day. I question his discipline and his cocky-natured playing style and how it will translate into the pros. He has enough swagger to compete and make plays and avoid falling down a hole. He was a Under Armour All-American in high school and played in all of Florida State’s fourteen games as a freshman. He was the Defensive MVP of the BCS National Championship Game against Auburn in 2013 and will likely help the Saints down the line as a safety or a lock down corner.

Davis Tull

Picked No. 148 and the twelfth pick in the fifth round is the outside linebacker from Tennessee-Chattanooga University. I had never heard of Davis Tull but with his 6’2 and his high motor and physical prowess he became a player that can bring energy to defensive and special teams schemes for the Saints. He is the three-time Southern Conference Defensive Player of the year and a two-time FCS All-American. He also boasts a 4.0 GPA which shows discipline and football IQ. Tull can come in and bring high energy to special teams and come in the occasional 3rd down situations. He has football experience being a four-year starter but lacks NFL athleticism.

Tyeler Davidson

Picked No. 154 and the eighteenth pick in the fifth round is the 316 pound defensive tackle out of Fresno State. Davidson is a handful in the defensive trenches and runs downhill rather quickly. He uses his brute force to block holes and bullies his way into the opposing backfield. Davidson has high character and wrestled in high school which will translate well with his hands and angles of attack. This is a great late round project pick for the Saints as they are always in need to guys getting to the quarterback.

Damian Swann

Picked No. 167 and the thirty-first pick in the fifth round is Georgia University’s Damian Swann. Swann is the 6’0 corner back who played on a struggling SEC secondary. His upside is his ability to play anywhere on the field but lacks speed and discipline to guard downfield with superior receivers. Look to see Swann contribute in the special teams and possibly down the line defensively.

Marcus Murphy

Picked No. 230 and the thirteenth pick in the seventh round is another SEC native, Marcus Murphy. Murphy is the punt and kick return specialist for the Missouri Tigers. He will likely fit the mold of a Brandon Cooks type regarding the special teams realm for the Saints. I don’t see him getting many touches in the loaded backfield for the Saints but you never know with Sean Payton. Hopefully Ingram will get the bulk of the carries but only time will tell when this speedy runner will get touches in the New Orleans backfield.


Read more

NFL DRAFT: The New Orleans Saints’ First Round Draft Picks

Micky Loomis and Sean Payton still have a lot of work to do this offseason after a disappointing 7-9 season last year. They have made enormous strides parting ways with Jimmy Graham, Curtis Lofton, Pierre Thomas, Ben Grubbs and others. Some have wondered what direction those strides were in. Now, they now have entered the most exciting (or boring) TV fan fare of all, the NFL Draft.

The Saints have countless holes to fill on the roster, including major craters in the defense and on the offensive line. The Saints had two first round picks last night, the thirteenth and the thirty-first pick. I’m glad to see they went with an offensive lineman from Stanford (pictured above) and an inside linebacker from Clemson.

With the thirteenth pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints drafted Andrus Peat, the 6’7″ offensive tackle from Stanford. This is an intelligent pick for the Boys in Black and Gold. They sorely needed another big body to help protect the Messiah, Drew Brees. Drew is still incredibly effective and still a top five quarterback in my very biased opinion, but his time in the NFL is dwindling. The window to win is now and now only.

Coming from Standford, Andrus Peat is well versed in football IQ and is only twenty-one years young. He is quick on his feet for a 6’7″ 300+ pound monstrosity. He has a knack for catching wild blitzes and has an exceptional understanding of pass protections. He does have some weaknesses: those include stopping speed coming off of the edge and trouble getting to the second level of the defense quickly. These can all be fixed with experience, coaching and a little bit of rookie hazing.

With the thirty-first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints drafted Stephone Anthony, the 6’3″ linebacker from Clemson. Anthony was first team All-ACC and led Clemson in tackles, finishing the year with 90. Anthony brings energy, toughness and speed to a battered and bruised defense. He is the type of guy that can thrive in the Rob Ryan exciting blitz package defense. Anthony can play inside linebacker and utilize his speed to block gaps and make impact plays both through the air and on the ground. Sean Payton and Rob Ryan are both very excited with their late first round draft pick complimenting Anthony’s leadership and bursts of speed. It’ll be the first time Stephone Anthony will step foot in New Orleans.

The New Orleans Saints currently have the oldest roster in the NFL with the average age of twenty-eight. This means two things: one, they won’t have the spring in their step as they’ve had in the past, and two, experience usually reigns supreme over youth. The Saints have seven picks remaining including No. 44, No. 75 and No. 78. You can watch those live tonight.

I’ll recap the remaining picks on Monday at

Read more

Angela Bassett Cast in ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’

Bassett is back. This stop will make a trio of appearances for Angela Bassett on the American Horror Story anthology series. Once Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau on Coven then the tri-breasted Desiree Dupree on Freak Show, Bassett now checks into the Hotel as a new character that’s yet to be announced.

Ryan Murphy rocked the Twittersphere again by announcing, “In October, Angela Bassett will be making lots of trouble with Lady Gaga in the ballroom and elsewhere. #ahshotel” There is no character description yet, but we know the two formidable females will bring mischief to a whole new level.

Bassett will be accompanied by Evan Peters, Lady Gaga, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Matt Bomer, Chloë Sevigny, Cheyenne Jackson and Wes Bentley. The thirteen episode season will begin shooting in Los Angeles towards the end of summer and will air on FX in October.

Source: Deadline

Read more

IN THEATERS: ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Avengers Age of Ultron

Tony Stark tries to create a suit of armor around the world. This would be a good thing until this armor was equipped with artificial intelligence. In Marvel’s second installment of Avengers, Ultron wants to end all of humanity. 141 min. Rated PG-13.

Read more

James Purefoy Joins ‘Hap and Leonard’ in Baton Rouge

James Purefoy will make his way down to Baton Rouge to star opposite Michael Kenneth Williams in Hap and Leonard. The new Sundance TV series Hap and Leonard is based on stories and excerpts from Joe R. Lansdale.

Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are two men torn from separate cloth. The fictional town of LaBorde in East Texas is host to irksome and vicious crimes. Both characters have the brutal skill sets that fit these violent crimes.

James Purefoy will play Hap, who is a former member of the federal prison barracks after refusing to be drafted during the Vietnam War. Purefoy’s counterpart is Michael Kenneth Williams, who plays Leonard Pine. Pine is an openly gay black Vietnam veteran who’s anger is both a strength and weakness. The two work for former police officer-turned-PI Marvin Hanson. Hap isn’t quick to violence and Leonard won’t shy away from putting a bullet into someone’s head. Leonard’s violence stems from his childhood as his uncle, who was a father figure, shunned him after the news of his homosexuality. It’ll be a great contrast on the small screen watching these two work together and sometimes against each other.

The six-episode series is produced by Sundance Studios and was created by Jim Mickle and Nick Damici. It will debut in 2016. For more info and a chance to work on Hap and Leonard, check out jobScene here.

Source: Deadline

Read more

Vince Vaughn and the Power of ‘True Detective’

Not too long ago audiences were treated to the glory that was the McConnaissance, best signified by an Oscar-winning performance by Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyer’s Club and his mesmerizing run on the inaugural season of True Detective. It reminded audiences of his ability to conquer some of the most demanding roles in recent memory. Prior to these successes, the Texan heartthrob was popularly known more for his Southern charm and classic good looks, despite bringing his A-list game to every project.

Vince Vaughn is poised for a similar career boost with his upcoming turn in the second season of True Detective. After a string of forgettable comedies with disappointing box office numbers, Vaughn can only go up. And with such a strong debut season, True Detective‘s next installment is bound to do great things for its new cast. And so, we must ask this question: is this the dawn of the Vaughnaissance?

Unfinished Business, The Internship and The Deliveryman were Vaughn’s last trio of films, all of which underwhelmed in theaters. Fans longed for the days of Vince the funnyman in Wedding Crashers and Old School. And looking further back, Vaughn can be found in more serious roles like The Cell and Psycho. While neither film was a masterpiece, they each showed the actor’s dramatic chops. And then there’s Vince’s turn in the under-seen and underrated drama The Prime Gig. Yes, its a thin cypher of Boiler Room which is itself a thin cypher of Glengarry Glen Ross. But Vince is great in it.

As an actor, he’s more than a fast-talker. Vince comes across as smart and charismatic, even when playing buffoons for laughs in broad comedies. Imagine him channeling all that through a Nic Pizzolatto script.

Maybe the combination of a memorable Vince Vaughn performance with the guaranteed gripping material of True Detective can bring forth a new era. The trailer doesn’t give us much of a glimpse into Vaughn’s role, but given how well Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey faired last season, there’s a good chance he’ll showcase some serious skills. This could potentially remind audiences that Vaughn is more than the fast-talking, punchlines that’s he’s seemed grow comfortable with recently. Potentially, this may be a whole new beginning for the actor – a revitalization of his career.

Catch the latest season of True Detective on HBO on Sunday, June 21st.

Read more

New Orleans Native Wendell Pierce Lands Lead in HBO’s ‘Confirmation’

Wendell Pierce will play Clarence Thomas in HBO’s rendition of the 1991 Supreme Court nomination hearings.  The New Orleans native will star opposite Kerry Washington in Confirmation, a new project from HBO Films. Washington will portray Anita Hill.

The 1991 confirmation hearing for now-Justice Thomas were big news nearly twenty-five years ago, described as “a circus” by the actual Anita Hill, who accused Thomas of sexual harassment. The aftermath played out in the media for months and included a dramatic conclusion on the hearing floor. Obviously, Thomas was eventually confirmed, but the road there was anything but dull. We’ll spare you the spoilers-for-real-life for now.

Kerry Washington will star in and executive produce the film. Erin Brockovich scribe Susannah Grant will write and executive produce. Michael London and Janice Williams will join her as executive producers. Michael London also has the Louisiana-shot drama Astronaut Wives Club  set to debut. Rick Famuyiwa will direct Confirmation and production should get under way by the end of May.

Wendell Pierce was raised in Pontchartrain Park, a neighborhood that was wiped out during Hurricane Katrina. Pierce attended Ben Franklin High School and then graduated from New Orleans Centre for Creative Arts (NOCCA). He appeared in various Tulane productions as a college student then attended the Juilliard School of Drama. He’s held roles in Treme, The Wire, The Odd Couple, Ray Donovan and Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut The Gift.

Check out Scene‘s exclusive interview with Wendell Pierce here. There is no current release date for the film yet but, in the mean time, check out Wendell’s The Wind in the Reeds, his story about Hurricane Katrina.

Read more

Ernst Café Puts You Trackside at the Kentucky Derby

It’s the fastest two minutes in sports. Not the two-minute warning in football, or the two-minute power play in hockey. We’re talking about two minutes on the track at the Kentucky Derby on May 2. And you can watch it at Ernst Café on Fulton Street.

Fulton Street has become a new mecca of entertainment in New Orleans. They will close the road, allowing patrons to walk freely and enjoy the cobblestone streets and a cool beverage. Ernst Café will be the main caterer for Derby on Fulton, the best place in New Orleans to experience the Kentucky Derby.

Established in 1902, Ernst Café was founded by John, William and Charles Ernst. It’s been locally owned and operated for more than a century. I walked in one rainy day and still had a blast. As I strolled in through the bar area, I was greeted by a staff that is young and incredibly polite. I took a seat under one of seven flat-screen TVs. And I was immediately greeted with a smile, a menu and Jim Morrison singing “Love Me Two Times” in the background.

As I sat and looked over the menu, “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival sounded from the airwaves, and I knew that this was a great place. I ordered the Bayou Burger with caramelized onions, bacon, lettuce and cheese. I topped it off with an ice cold Fat Tire and settled in for a late lunch. I looked around. The restaurant stretches far and wraps around the back of the kitchen. There is plenty of comfortable seating and some great spots at the bar. As I was sitting at the table like Steven Glansberg, a smiling manager came and gently dropped off a shrimp creole. Just a nice gesture from the people at Ernst.

Then, my order came. A huge Bayou Burger with peppered fries and another ice cold Fat Tire to wash it down. As I ate, “Rocket Man” by Elton John, “Killer Queen” by Queen and “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel rang out. The only song that would have been a better fit for this hundred year old establishment is “Born on the Bayou.”

The burger and fries were demolished, the beer was finished and I was satisfied. I can’t even imagine how great it must be to add a first class event like the Derby to that experience. The 141st Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs will take place over seven hundred miles from Fulton Street but The Derby on Fulton will be in full effect and will act as an interactive festival throughout the entire day. The Derby on Fulton will begin at 1pm on Saturday, May 2. Live music from Pocket Aces Jazz Band will fill the bustling streets, and there will be food from Ernst Café, treats from PJ’s and derby hats available for purchase from Fleur de Paris. Aprés Lounge and Fulton Alley are the organizers of the event.

“When considering how to make the most of Derby on Fulton, we recognized that the people of New Orleans don’t just like to have fun; they like to make a difference,” said Shane Songy of Aprés Lounge.

Admission is free to enter the festival. Yet, a portion of sales from local vendors and portions of winnings from the races will support Team Gleason. “Fulton Street is becoming as iconic a venue as Steve Gleason is a local hero,” said Gerald Duhon of Team Gleason.

The Derby on Fulton is sure to be packed with great drinks, great people, and one of the greatest sporting events of the year, all accompanied by delicious food from Ernst Café. The local staff members are a tight knit unit and it truly shows with their superb service.

Find out more about Ernst Cafe, Derby on Fulton and Team Gleason at


Read more

Louisiana International Film Festival Announces Full 2015 Lineup

3rd annual LIFF announces full 2015 lineup. The fest takes off on Wings of Laughter with Melissa McCarthy in Paul Feig’s Spy. Here’s the press release:

The 2015 Louisiana International Film Festival and Mentorship Program takes place May 7-10 at Cinemark Perkins Rowe, featuring films from all over the globe, including world and Louisiana premieres. Programming includes dramas, animation, foreign-language, comedies, adventure and more in feature, documentary and short formats.
A special American Premiere screening of the new Frankenstein will be presented with director Bernard Rose (Candyman, Immortal Beloved) in attendance for a Q&A session. Last year, Rose’s The Devil’s Violinist captured LIFF’s coveted Audience Award. Rose’s new one, based on Mary Shelley’s classic but set in current day LA, was last weekend awarded the Golden Raven, top prize at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival. The monster is played by otherwise handsome young star Xavier Samuel (Fury).
7:00 pm – SPY – GALA PREMIERE (120 min)
We are honored to present the second screening in the world of the year’s most awaited comedy, SPY from the director of Bridesmaids, Paul Feig, starring the incomparable laugh-maker Melissa McCarthy in what critics are already calling her masterpiece. Firing on all cylinders, SPY is an uproarious blast of globe trotting action-comedy delirium that doesn’t let up for a second. It’s guaranteed to put you in the best mood you’ve been in months, and have the best time at the movies this year. Join us for this incredibly special celebration of entertainment, and marvel in the talent that is Paul Feig, Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Bobby Cannavale and the glorious Allison Janney.
WACKATDOO (Benjamin Arcand/Canada); WOLFGANG, WOLFGANG JR (James Kwan/USA); DIJI DEATH SAILS (Dmitri Voloshin/Moldova); ENHEBRADO (Eduardo Solera/Spain); CINDERELLA: A SHADOW BALLET (Carla Patullo/USA); MONSTRO! (Christopher Romano/USA); ELEPHANT’S GARDEN (Felix Colgrave/Australia); TICK TOCK (Zeynep Kocak/Turkey); THE BALLAD OF HOLLAND ISLAND HOUSE (Lynn Tomlinson/USA); THE REWARD: TALES OF ALETHRION (Kenneth Ladekjaer, Mikkel Mainz Elkjaer/Denmark).
6:00 PM – BIG CHARITY – Guest (61 min)
Founded as a hospital for the poor by a dying French merchant in 1736, Big Charity was a symbol of compassion and a beacon of hope in New Orleans… but today the towering art deco building, closed abruptly after Katrina in 2005, stands empty. This documentary film combines never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews with hospital employees who miraculously withstood the storm to shed new light its closure.
Director Jim Strouse (Grace Is Gone, The Winning Season) returns to the screen with this effortlessly touching fatherhood dramaedy starring the wonderful Jemaine Clement. Here Clement plays a comic artist and art institute teacher who is dealing with the failure of his relationship with the mother of his children. It’s a story about failing, getting back up again, failing some more and navigating your way through the often uncertain waters of adulthood. This fresh, funny and moving film captured both audiences and critics alike at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
The Yes Men, a duo of notorious activists armed with nothing but thrift-store suits and a lack of shame, stage phony events and issue fake press releases to draw attention to corporate crimes against humanity and the environment. Now well into their 40s, these iconoclastic revolutionaries face mid-life crises that threaten to their activism forever -even as they prepare to take on their biggest challenge: climate change.
7:30 PM – BEST OF ENEMIES – GALA (87 min)
Get out your boxing gloves, here comes director Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom, LIFF 2013) and Robert Gordon’s wonderful account of the infamous televised debates between liberal firebrand Gore Vidal and conservative gadfly William F. Buckley, Jr. during the 1968 Republican and Democratic Conventions. A sort of brainy equivalent of the Ali-Frazier boxing matches of the same general era, the televised debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal during the two national political conventions in the convulsive year of 1968 comprised a watershed event in several ways, all of which are reflected in this outstanding documentary.
8:00 PM – GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE 3D (70 min)
New Wave icon Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless) is the youngest 85 year-old director working today: by embracing 3D in his new film, he has found his biggest US audience since the 60s. Using a typically lush cascade of images, words, puns, camera tricks, literary and musical quotes, the wily Godard simultaneously expresses and obscures his current ideas. He may or may not be saying goodbye to language but this film is a big hello to cinema. Be there or be square.
9:00 PM – THE CUT (138 min)
In this epic tale of one man’s Job-like odyssey, the Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin tackles the taboo subject (for Turks) of the 1915 Armenian genocide. When the men in his town are abducted and forced into slavery by the Turkish army, Nazaret, a young Armenian blacksmith and father, survives the horrors only to learn his daughters have disappeared. His quest takes him from the Mesopotamian desert through Havana to an uncertain future in desolate North Dakota. With obvious parallels to today’s Jihadist atrocities, The Cut resonates with audiences everywhere.
9:15 PM – EDEN – French Language (131 min)
The life of a French DJ who’s credited with inventing “French house” or the “French touch,” a type of French electronic music that became popular in the 1990s.
9:45 PM – THE HARVEST (104 min)
THE HARVEST is a film that could be called a cross between MISERY and the recent thriller, THE BABADOOK. Couple that with two of the most versatile and respected actors in the business, Academy Award nominees Michael Shannon and Samantha Morton, and you have one of the most deeply disturbing, chilling and terrifying films about childhood in recent years. It would be a shame to give too much away here. A very welcome return to form for director John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer).
9:45 PM – MANGLEHORN – Special Presentation (97 min)
Manglehorn is a beguiling study of a man, a one-time roustabout now living as a locksmith in Texas, who lost his way on the path of life after he stopped dreaming, and Al Pacino hasn’t been this good in years in an understated, complex role that he plays perfectly. Holly Hunter is every bit his match in this unusual and unexpected love story from director David Gordon Green.


10:00 AM – LOUISIANA SHORTS – Guests (120 min)
SNIP (Eric Rippetoe); LOVABLE (Zac Taylor, Erica Silverman); BASED ON ROSENTHAL (Stephen Kinigopoulos); A BIRD’S NEST (Christine Chen); TRUE HEROES (Chris Ganucheau); MADELINE’S OIL (Caleb Michaelson).
A labor of love by Mexican-Lebanese actress/producer Salma Hayak, this adaptation of the philosopher-poet Gibran’s widely cherished guide to life, love and death is a tribute to the aesthetic possibilities of animation. Except for the wrap around story of a mother and child who encounter the revolutionary poet named Mustafa (voiced by Hayak, Quvenzhane Wallis and Liam Neeson) each of the prophet’s parables is rendered by a different international artist, each in his own style. Scored to music and songs by Gabriel Yared, Lisa Hannigan and Damien Rice, the result is a film Variety called “as visually mesmerizing as it is profound.”
12:00 PM – OBAMA MAMA – Guest (83 min)
Barack Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was more than the mother of the first black President: she was an anthropologist with a Ph.D. whose intelligence, progressive politics, and activism inspired her son. In Vivian Norris’s illuminating documentary, friends and colleagues shed light on a woman whose life spanned small-town Kansas, Seattle, Hawaii, and Indonesia; and who was active in the Civil Rights and Feminist movements, in consciousness raising efforts regarding global poverty, and in the development of microcredit programs that address rural poverty.
12:15 PM – DELI MAN (91 min) + HAPPY GOATS Short – Guest (16 min)
Who doesn’t love good deli? This funny, nostalgic and informative film focuses on Ziggy Gruber, who gave up a promising career as a cordon blue chef to open a Houston deli, a tribute both to his Jewish heritage and to the savory foods that his beloved grandparents served him as a child. Preceded by HAPPY GOATS, HAPPY CHEESE (15 min.), a charming visit to chevre farm in South Carolina.
1:00 PM – DIPLOMACY – French Language (84 min)
“Burn Paris!” ordered Hitler; and as the Allies march toward the City of Light in the summer of 1944, General Dietrich von Choltitz mines the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Notre Dame. When the Swedish Ambassador arrives at the 11th hour hoping to persuade ‘the good Nazi’ to do the right thing for mankind, a tension-filled game of verbal cat and mouse ensues, masterfully staged by Volker Schlöndorff (The Tin Drum).
Fresh from its world premiere at Austin’s SXSW Festival in March comes this fascinating investigation into the life and times of Tab Hunter – a number one 50s box office star, a golden boy next door romantically linked to Natalie Wood and Debbie Reynolds…. and secretly gay. Meet the real Tab Hunter, a happy, healthy survivor of Hollywood’s roller coaster as he shares his story in a film Vanity Fair calls “slick, savvy, rollicking, eye-popping… and brave for its candor.”
2:15 PM – CARTEL LAND(98 min)
Winner of both ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Cinematography’ at the Sundance Film Festival, Cartel Land takes the viewer deep inside the world of vigilantes fighting vicious Mexican drug cartels on both sides of the border. This fearless, character-driven film asks questions about lawlessness, the breakdown of order, and whether it is just for citizens to take up arms to fight violence with violence.
2:30 PM – THEEB(100 min)
Theeb is a gripping adventure tale, shot entirely on location against the ravishing landscape of Wadi Araba in Jordan. The year is 1916, the Ottoman Empire is crumbling, and a Bedouin boy and his elder brother have been hired to guide a British officer across the forbidding desert on a mysterious mission. Surviving thirst, heat, and sudden violence, Theeb becomes a man.
3:00 PM – JESUS TOWN, USA – Guest (95 min)
For 88 years, a small Oklahoma town has produced a passion play on a bizarre reproduction of Jerusalem built into the Wichita foothills… but today audiences are scant and the ‘new’ Jesus is a local paperboy with a secret. In this light-hearted film, director Billie Mintz documents a community of quirky characters as they grapple with questions of tradition and faith. Q&A to follow.
3:45 PM – THE BLACK PANTHERS(113 min)
More than 40 years after the Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California, the group and its leadership live on as powerful figures in our popular imagination. In this riveting and entertaining doc, veteran director Stanley Nelson (Freedom Summer) weaves the varied voices of those who lived this story – police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, those who remained loyal to the party and those who left it. A must-see for anyone interested in race in America, past and present.
4:30 PM – ABOUT ELLY(119 min)
A high-spirited outing to the seaside turns acrimonious when Elly, the only single woman in a group of 30-something couples, suddenly disappears. A masterful portrait of Iran’s conflicted middle class by the Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) About Elly is “breezy, then suspenseful, and gradually, crushingly sad… on its own terms, it’s a perfect film.” (New York Magazine)
4:45 PM – BREATHE – French Language (91 min)
Still waters run deep in this twisted tale of two beautiful high-school girls – one a shy achiever, the other an extroverted ‘new girl’ with a murky past – whose unlikely friendship moves from high-spirited ardor to rage and obsession. Directed by internationally acclaimed actress Mélanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds) and adapted from a best-selling novel by a 17 year-old authoress, Breathe echoes Blue Is the Warmest Color in its incisive portrait of teenage angst and codependency.
5:15 PM – THE FLIGHT FANTASTIC – Guest (97 min)
In the Golden Age of the American circus, there is only one Flying Gaonas, a large Mexican family of trapeze artists renowned for the ‘triple somersault’ introduced in 1964 by Tito Gaona who performed it with grace, precision and consistency for 35 years. Tom Moore’s beguiling film introduces us to these amazing athletes who embody the myth, legend and legacy of a magical and vanishing world. Q&A to follow with director Tom Moore.
7:00 PM – I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS – GALA – Guest (92 min)
In this vibrant, bittersweet comedy, Broadway star Blythe Danner lights up the screen as Carole, a widow and former songstress who is jolted out of her comfortable routine by the death of her dog. Cheered on by three loyal girlfriends – June Squibb, Rhea Perlman, and Mary Kay Place – Carol embarks on an unlikely friendship with her pool maintenance man and a steamy love affair with Sam Elliot… learning that life can begin anew. Q&A to follow with director Brett Haley.
7:00 PM – TIMBUKTU(97 min)
At once timeless and contemporary, this heart-wrenching Oscar nominee from sub-Saharan Africa tells the tale of Kidane and his  family who live and tend their livestock in the dunes near Timbuktu. When religious fundamentalists take over the city, reducing women to shadows and banning music, laughter and soccer, Kidane’s life is changed forever.
7:15 PM – WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (86 min)
Already a hit in it’s native New Zealand, and well on its way to cult status here in America, this incredibly hilarious mockumentary is perhaps the most refreshingly upbeat comedy of the year, with a very big bite. A group of filmmakers are permitted (unharmed) to interview a very unusual family of Vampires ranging from eight thousand years old to eight months (turned). When the aging vampires hit the town to party with werewolves, zombies and humans, you won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face. One of years true discoveries.
7:45 PM – DARK STAR: The World of H.R. GIGER(95 min)
Surrealist artist H. R. Giger (1940-2014) terrified audiences with his Oscar-winning monsters in Ridley Scott’s Alien. Sci-fi, horror, music, album covers, tattoos and fetish art have been influenced by his intricate paintings and sculptures depicting birth, death and sex. Both a mesmerizing introduction to Giger’s oeuvre and a must-see for Giger devotees, Belinda Sallin’s definitive documentary DARK STAR: H. R. GIGER’S WORLD shares the last years of the artist’s life and reveals how deeply he resided within his own artistic visions.
9:15 PM – THE TRIBE(132 min)
A stunning debut feature and winner of the Cannes International Critics Award, this hallucinatory tale unfolds in a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf where crime, prostitution and corruption are a way of life: in order to survive, new boy Sergi must join the gang. Highly cinematic and performed entirely in Ukrainian sign language with no subtitles, THE TRIBE proves that for love and hatred you don’t need translation. Not for the faint of heart.
9:30 PM – FRANKENSTEIN – American Premiere – Guest (90 min)
LIFF Award Winning Director Bernard Rose (The Devil’s Violinist, Candyman) returns this year with his shocking and powerful new take on Mary Shelley’s classic tale of horror, starring heartthrob Xavier Samuel in a superb performance. A modern day journey of survival in a hostile world, Frankenstein couldn’t be more relevant for today’s audience. Q&A to follow with director Bernard Rose.
9:40 PM – THE CONNECTION – French Language (135 min)
Marseille 1975. In this classic gangster film, Gallic superstar and oscar-winner Jean Dujardin (Best Actor,The Artist) gets down and dirty as prosecutor Pierre Michel whose real life battle with the heroine kingpin ‘Tany’ Zampa, known as ‘the French connection,’ lasted 6 years and uncovered widespread corruption. Working from his award-winning script that pits poor hero against rich thug (suavely played by Dujardin lookalike Gilles Lellouche) director Cédric Jiminez, a Marseille native himself, hones in on the similarities and differences that bind these two driven men, while he amps up the action to the throb of 70s R&B.
9:45 PM – BROKEN HORSES(101 min)
Director Vidhu Vinod Chopra (3 Idiots) has fashioned a old fashioned western told with a modern day setting. Reminiscent  of the Coen Brothers Blood Simple and No Country For Old Men, Broken Horses follows the lives of two brothers (Anton Yelchin, Chris Marquette) from their father’s murder early in their youth to adulthood. Thrilling, unpredictable, and a great performance from actor Vincent D’Onofrio.
10:00 AM – INTERNATIONAL SHORTS – Guests (135 min)
THE MALTESE FIGHTER (Arev Manoukian/Malta); CONVERSATION WITH A CIGARETTE (Russell Brown/USA); A TEENAGE DRAMA (Phillip Clark Davis/USA); THE WALK (Aaron Wolf/USA); ALONE IN THE DUST (Brandon Kapelow/USA); RAG DOLL (Zena Dell Lowe/USA).
11:00AM – I AM BIG BIRD (90 min)
This loving portrait chronicles the life of Caroll Spinney, the man who has been Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969. Featuring rare footage of Spinney’s earliest collaborations with Jim Henson, I AM BIG BIRD traces Caroll’s evolution from bullied child to the celebrated, tenacious and enthusiastic performer who at 81 has no intention of slowing down.
12:00 PM – THE GREAT MAN – French Language (107 min)
The friendship of two French legionnaires forged amid the carnage of Afghanistan is renewed in Paris where one is suffering from PTS and the other is an illegal resident trying to bond with the son he left behind. Never predictable and deeply moving, THE GREAT MAN is a rare depiction of fraternal/paternal relationships by a female director.
12:30 PM – COURT(116 min)
The trial of an elderly left-wing street singer accused of inspiring a working class man to commit suicide is the impetus for this assured and original debut film that grows from an isolated incident into a far-reaching critique of a greater court – India itself, with its archaic bureaucracy and superstitious traditions. A grand prize-winner at the Venice and Mumbai festivals, COURT is a beautifully crafted and passionate work.
1:00 PM – IRIS(83 min)
This documentary by the legendary Albert Maysles, who passed away in March, is an affectionate tribute to 93-year-old Iris Apfel, a soaring free spirit and New York style icon beloved by fashionistas worldwide for her collection of outlandish accessories and her razor-sharp wit. As Iris declares: “It is more important to be happy than to be well dressed!”
1:00 PM – NOBLE (101 min)
Based on the life of Christina Noble, a fearless Irish heroine, this is the incredible true story of one woman’s valiant struggle to overcome her own life on the streets of Ireland as a child and eventually help save over a million orphan Vietnamese children from a life of poverty, starvation, disease and drugs. Noble is an inspiring film about a brave woman who not only overcame her traumatic past, she actually did something about it. Our heartfelt Mother’s Day gift to you.
2:15 PM – THE SECOND MOTHER(114 min)
Winner of Jury Awards at both Berlin and Sundance, this empathetic character study of a live-in maid who has neglected her own child in order to serve the needs of an upper class Brazilian family is one of the most touching and inspiring films in the festival. With outstanding performances by Regina Casé as frumpy, funny Val and Camila Márdila as the now adult daughter who empowers her.
3:15 PM – IN THE NAME OF MY DAUGHTER – French Language (116 min)
Catherine Deneuve has her best role in years as Renee Le Roux the glamorous owner of a successful casino on the French Riviera. But there is trouble in paradise when her wayward daughter takes up with the casino’s ex-business manager and then mysteriously disappears. Love, betrayal and revenge are the high stakes in this beautifully acted and directed film based on an unsolved true crime that has fascinated France for 30 years.
5:00 PM – THE LOOK OF SILENCE(99 min)
In Indonesia, a country where criminals and victims live as neighbors, a brave 44-year-old optician meets face to face with the men who murdered his brother. By stripping away the silence surrounding the slaughter of suspected communists under the late 60s military dictatorship, director Joshua Oppenheimer has crafted a passionate meditation on memory and history that breaks the barriers between documentary and fiction. A multi award-winner at international festivals incl Chicago, Berlin, Zurich and Pusan.
3:20 PM – CITY OF GOLD(96 min)
This witty, fast moving film chronicles Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold’s relationship to his beloved and sprawling metropolis, Los Angeles. Along for the ride as Gold seeks out new and far flung culinary experiences – both high and low – director Laura Gabbert reveals a complex, paradoxical urban landscape of taco stands, Korean food trucks and teeming Asian food emporiums. Featuring celebrity chefs Roy Choi, David Chang, and Ludo Lefebvre.
4:45 PM – UNEXPECTED (90 min)
The universal act of having a baby plays out in interesting and humorous ways in Unexpected, a powerful new comedy-drama about class differences and similarities. Samantha Abbott (Cobie Smulders), a science teacher in a soon-to-be-closed inner-city Chicago high school, finds out she’s pregnant. She also learns that her best student, college-bound Jasmine (Gail Bean), is also pregnant, and they’re both due around the same time. What follows points out the different surroundings in which the 29-year-old white teacher and the 17-year-old black student are about to bring their children into the world. Both Bean and Smulders give beautiful performances as women anticipating major changes in their lives.
5:30 PM – THE LESSON(105 min)
An honest, hardworking schoolteacher in a small Bulgarian town suddenly learns she has only a few days to save her home from foreclosure by the bank. A gripping film that has won audience awards and critical praise at festivals from Spain to Tokyo, The Lesson embodies a universal human truth: in extreme circumstances, even good people can make bad choices.
5:30 PM – LIFF 2015 Symphony Orchestra
LIFF is proud to present a special closing night concert featuring the Louisiana International Film Festival Symphony Orchestra at Cinemark Perkins Rowe in the Great Hall. Free and open to the public to enjoy the greatest music hits from favorite movies past and present like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter”. Celebrate Mother’s Day on the red carpet for a unique movie going experience. LIFF is honoring women of the world with its 2015 festival theme “Year of the Woman”. Bring your own chairs and blankets for enjoyment. Sponsored by The Advocate.
The unequivocal hit of this years Sundance Film Festival (winner of both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award), and an instant classic, ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL is a film that values intelligence and artistic pursuits in young people, teaching us that it is how we relate to one another and what we leave behind that really matters. A film people will hold dear to their heart for many years to come.
7:00 PM – BROKEN HORSES – Repeat (101 min)
7:30 PM – FRANKENSTEIN – Guest – Special Presentation – Repeat (90 min)
7:45 PM – WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS – Repeat (86 min)
9:40 PM – GIRL ON THE EDGE – (101 min)
When a seemingly normal teenager with a tragic past is targeted, manipulated, and victimized by an online predator through a dating app, she tries to cope with her trauma in unhealthy ways that quickly become self-destructive. Her parents, unable to give her the help she desperately needs, are forced to send her away to a residential treatment center where she struggles to find closure. Director Jay Silverman paints a realistic portrait of a young girl struggling to hang on to her dignity, and her sanity, in this moving film, based on a true story.9:45 PM –  Broken Horses – Repeat (101 min)

The festival kicks off with the Gala Premiere on the evening of Thursday, May 7, followed by three full days of film, food, cocktails and industry networking.

All films will be shown at Cinemark Perkins Rowe while workshops and other activities will take place throughout Perkins Rowe.

ALL ACCESS PASSES ($100): Get your All Access Pass for only $100 to the third annual Louisiana International Film Festival & Mentorship Program with guaranteed admission to over 60+ officially selected feature, documentary, animation and short film programs from around the world including premieres, exclusive sneak peeks, special screenings with filmmaker Q&A, entrance into filmmaker lounge, admission to special events and private parties featuring live music! Get what you can’t anywhere else @ LIFF 2015 with an All Access Pass. Get your ALL ACCESS PASS at for a limited time! All Access Pass pickup available at the LIFF Box Office in Cinemark Theater Lobby starting May 4 through the event, May 7 – 10.

TICKETS ($10): Individual movie tickets for films will go on sale on the LIFF website on May 1st through the event, May 7 – 10, 2015. Ticket purchase at the Cinemark Box Office begins May 1.
VIP PASSES: VIP Passes available exclusively for Patrons & Sponsors of the Louisiana International Film Festival & Mentorship Program 2015. VIP Passes not available for individual purchase. VIP Passes get you guaranteed admission to over 60+ officially selected feature, documentary, animation and short film programs from around the world including premieres, exclusive sneak peeks, special screenings with filmmaker Q&A, entrance into filmmaker lounge, admission to special events and private parties featuring live music! VIP first and preferred seating. Access to private VIP section at special events. Reserve your VIP Pass by sending name and contact information (email, phone number and address) to Pickup your VIP Passes at the LIFF Box Office in Cinemark Theater Lobby starting May 4 through the event, May 7 – 10.
Read more

Peter Hoffman “Stunned” By Guilty Verdict In Louisiana Tax Fraud Trial – Updated

2nd UPDATE, 5:46 PM: Peter Hoffman told Deadline he is “stunned” by the verdict but would have no other comment until he moves to have it set aside.
UPDATED, 4:51 PM: Peter Hoffman, Hollywood's once-highflying guru of exotic tax breaks, has been found guilty on tax fraud in federal court in New Orleans. Hoffman was convicted on 21 counts of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud as part of a scheme to defraud the state of Louisiana out of $1.13 million in tax credits to…

Read more

Evan Peters Returns for ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’

We have received news of Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Chloë Sevigny, Matt Bomer and Sarah Paulson joining the cast of Ryan Murphy’s fifth installment of American Horror Story. Now we know American Horror Story regular Evan Peters is checking into the Hotel.

Murphy hit the Twittersphere again announcing “This season, Evan Peters will be waiting for you in Room 64. #AHSHOTEL.”

Peters has held a major role in each of the four previous seasons. During PaleyFest in March, Peters showed no signs of backing out for the fifth season. This season will take place at a haunted hotel and will be the first time viewers won’t see mainstay Jessica Lange. American Horror Story: Hotel begins shooting this summer and will debut in perfect time for Halloween in late October.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Read more

Steve Gleason Documentary Is Happening

IMG is stepping up to finance and market a full-length feature documentary about Steve Gleason. Gleason is one of the most memorable and inspirational members of the New Orleans Saints in the storied franchise’s history. Gleason was responsible for the blocked punt during the team’s first home game (against the hated Falcons) after Hurricane Katrina. He’s also responsible for so much more.

Steve Gleason was tragically diagnosed with ALS at only thirty-four years old. The Gleason Project will be produced by Seth Gordon (Undefeated) and J. Clay Tweel (Print the Legend) will direct. Gleason’s journey has been very public so they will hopefully have a lot of existing material to work with, in addition to their own filming.

The former Who Dat is considered one of the world’s most recognizable ALS proponents. The special teams warrior played eight years with the Saints from 2000-2008. Three years after he left the team, he was diagnosed with the disease, the doctor gave him two to five years to live. Months later, Gleason found out his wife was pregnant. Steve Gleason now has over 1000 hours of footage to show his son who he truly was. This footage will be greatly used in The Gleason Project.

The film is set to be released in early 2016. Visit the Team Gleason page here.

Source: Deadline

Read more

Wagner Moura Goes to Baton Rouge for ‘Magnificent Seven’

Antoine Fuqua’s Baton Rouge-shot reimaging of Magnificent Seven has gotten one member closer to that magnificent number. Wagner Moura (Elysium) has joined Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Haley Bennet, Vincent D’Onofrio and Luke Grimes.

The script is written by True Detective penman Nic Pizzolatto and was rewritten by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side). The storyline of the Magnificent Seven reboot begins shortly after the Civil War. The setting takes place in a war-torn town inhabited by a ruthless gold mining tycoon and his fearsome thugs. A man is brutally killed and his widow calls upon a bounty hunter to settle the score. The bounty hunter calls upon six other guns to help take down the gold mining tycoon and his thugs.

There are without a doubt storyline similarities to the 1960s Magnificent Seven but every new iteration of this story brings with it a new opportunities with the characters. Moura will play one of the Seven riders, Vasquez. Earlier reports had Vincent D’Onofrio playing the villain in the film but his Twitter account says otherwise. He tweeted that he is thrilled to be part of the Seven.

Wagner Moura is a Brazilian actor who was recently seen in Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium. His future projects include a Netflix series called Narcos, where he will take on the role of illustrious drug lord Pablo Escobar. He’s perhaps best known for his lead role in director Jose Padilha’s 2007 film Elite Squad.

Magnificent Seven is expected to begin filming in Baton Rouge on May 18. Visit our jobScene page for a chance to work on the film. There is no current release date for the film.

Source: /Film



Read more

Christian Bale Knee Injury Means ‘The Deep Blue Good-by’ Will Follow ‘Wolverine 3′

BREAKING: The knee injury suffered by Christian Bale is serious enough that Fox will postpone the John D. MacDonald novel adaptation The Deep Blue Goodbye until its director, James Mangold, completes Wolverine 3 with Hugh Jackman. Bale suffered torn knee ligaments in an accident at his home. He has been filming The Big Short with Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and Steve Carell in New Orleans, but they play stockbrokers and it’s not physically demanding. He plays a salvage hunter…

Read more


This exclusive interview with Blake Lively first ran in the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of Scene Magazine.

The daughter of actor/director Ernie and talent manager Elaine Lively, Blake Lively was born to be a star. After an early role in the hit The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, she was cast in Gossip Girl as Serena van der Woodsen, a role she would inhabit for six seasons on The CW network. All the while, she balanced her small screen success with roles in the feature films New York, I Love You, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, actor/director Ben Affleck’s triumphant actioner The Town and the comic book blockbuster Green Lantern, which was filmed in New Orleans. Now the new face of L’Oreal, she’s also established herself as a fashion icon in the classic sense: a big screen ingénue impeccably styled, equally adored by both men and women.

I met Lively at the opening of H&M’s New Orleans location. The Swedish retailer’s expansion across North American has been swift, since their first store opened on Fifth Avenue in New York. Known for fast-fashion, H&M is the third largest clothing retailer in the world.

The store’s opening on Decatur Street in the French Quarter was grand. On a muggy night, hundreds of H&M fans stood in line to get in. Security was tight, but we were ushered into the store hours before the opening. Inside, the pristine store was accented by staff in masquerade, each stationed to accommodate an awaiting New Orleans crowd. And of course, a few special visitors.

With the first few customers allowed in, familiar faces from the cast of American Horror Story: Coven arrived. Emma Roberts hit the step & repeat first, soon followed by camera flashes and her Coven co-stars Lily Rabe and Sarah Paulsen, who also stars in 12 Years a Slave, the Louisiana-shot historical drama currently in theaters.

Blake Lively appeared fashionably late, surrounded by a buoyant but unusual entourage: the Sunshine Kids. The group gathered close on the red carpet in front of the H&M step and repeat. After smiling for photos that would soon appear across the internet – and in the glossy pages of Scene Magazine – Lively and company made their way through the large, now-crowded store.

The star of Savages made her way to the VIP reception area just outside of the store. She stood in front of an all-red faux candy storefront, the evening’s Willy Wonka of fast fashion. Extra and other national media outlets surrounded her with cameras and questions.

Lively smiled for the cameras. “Somebody asked me at the airport, ‘Are you here for work or pleasure?’And I said, ‘Isn’t it always pleasure in New Orleans?’”

“I’m here to celebrate the opening of H&M in New Orleans, which is so cool!” said Lively. “It’s great because I’ve got the best dates, the Sunshine Kids, here with me.” The Sunshine Kids is a national non-profit dedicated to children with cancer. For thirty years, it has provided positive group activities and emotional support for young cancer patients.

“We’re all all dressed up in our H&M,” said Lively with her arms around the kids. “We were the first people to shop here today. There’s a huge line of shoppers out there, but these were the first.” Although some of the kids wore fashionable hats, others had already regrown their hair, which had been professionally styled earlier in the evening.

“I keep talking about this Isabel Marant for H&M collection,” said Lively. “That I love! I think that is so cool! Isabel Marant is one of my favorite fashion designers, and the fact that she did a line for H&M that is a sixteenth of the price [of her other lines] is so cool.”

After the newly minted A-lister finished speaking with the national media outlets, she spoke exclusively with Scene.

“When you come back to New Orleans, what’s the one thing you look forward to the most?” I asked. Lively spent the better part of 2010 in New Orleans while filming Green Lantern, a titanic-sized comic book superhero actioner. She portrayed Carol Ferris, a test pilot and the romantic interest of Hal Jordan, a human destined to become a green lantern. While in town, Lively was frequently spotted shopping around the Crescent City.

“The Reuben at Stein’s Deli!” she laughed. “I always talk about food. Have you been to Stein’s?”

“Yes!” I said. “It’s right down the road from Second Line Stages, where my office is.” In 2010, Second Line housed the majority of Green Lantern’s galaxy-sized sets, which Lively called home for months.

“Ahh, it’s so good! The Rachel is actually what I order,” she said. The Rachel is a twist on the classic reuben sandwich, substituting hot pastrami for the standard corned beef, but keeping the swiss, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on rye. Stein’s Deli is perhaps the best sandwich shop in the city. It’s also a great place to get hard-to-find craft beers. I asked her if she’d found anything good to go with the Rachel, but her response was…responsible.

“I don’t drink,” she said.

“Your hair looks great, as always,” I said. “When you’re out in New Orleans on a night like tonight, how do you deal with the humidity?”

“Humidity is never really so cute for hair,” she said. “Maybe I wear my hair up more. Or maybe, I just walk around with my hair not looking as great!” Perhaps hit with a touch self consciousness, she laughed it off, instantly replacing it with self-confidence. “I don’t know! I don’t look in the mirror much when I’m here. I eat too much to look in the mirror when I’m in New Orleans!”

I laughed. “It is such a great town, and you’ve been kind enough to say so many great things about it. That means a lot to a city that’s been through so much adversity.” While I spoke, Lively broke her gaze with me, looking down intently. Doing an interview while standing up is somewhat strange. Rather than setting down your recording device on a table next to a cup of coffee – my preferred method of interview – you’re holding the recorder up in their face. Or more accurately, right at chest level.

I followed Lively’s gaze down. She was staring at my hands. Palms up, my fingers were wiggling, as if to say, ‘Gimme what ya got!’ She was clearly amused. “This is my thing, by the way,” I said with a grin.

She grabbed my hands. “I know, you’re like a magician over here!” she laughed. “Chris Angel has nothing on you.”

“When you come down here and you want to shop, what’s your thought process? Do you wander with an open mind? Are you a hunter with specific items in mind?”

“What I always look for is a mix. New Orleans has really cool vintage shopping, but what’s neat about having an H&M here is that you get all of these really on trend pieces for an affordable price,” Lively said. “That’s the thing that sucks: when there’s a craze. You don’t want to spend a bunch of money on something that’s trendy. You can splurge more on your key pieces, mix that with some vintage, and then come to this store, which is amazing. I was planning on doing my interviews and then I was like, ‘Can I shop right now. Is that allowed??’

“Plus, you’re right here in the middle of the French Quarter,” I added.

“Yeah, right by Café du Monde!” she said.

“I know! Beignets! Are you a fan? Do you partake?” I asked, betting she’d indulged more than once. If you’re here for more than a day, it’s hard to resist. If you’re here for only a day, it’s practically required. If New Orleans were a cathedral, the fried dough-and-sugar treat would be the host.

“I partake,” she said with a smile. She grabbed my hands again, and I laughed, realizing I was still silently telling Blake to gimme what she’s got.

“I’m not gonna let that go!” she laughed.

“Everyone I know is used to it, apparently,” I said.

“It’s like a little beignet fondle!” she said, still laughing.

“That’s what I do. I love fondling beignets,” I said. Somehow this didn’t seem inappropriate at the time. We had a good laugh, and it was honestly nice to see Lively actually enjoying herself, surrounded by the Sunshine Kids. “Blake, it’s so great to have you here.”

“Do you have any upcoming projects you can talk about?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said, pulling it together. “I have a movie that I’m about to shoot in the spring. It’s exciting because it takes place in the 1900s to now, so the fashion opportunity in that film is really cool.”

“That’s awesome. Are you going to play a character that spans that time period?” I asked.

“Yes, I am!” she exclaimed. She brought her hands up and began imitating mine. “Fondle the decades!”

“I’m so self-conscious about this now!” I laughed, wiggling my hands for her.

“Don’t be self-conscious about it,” she smiled. “I think it’s cool.”

That film’s working title is The Age of Adaline. Lively is set to play a young woman born at the turn of the twentieth century who is rendered ageless after a near-fatal accident. After she goes on an epic but isolated journey across the world, she meets a man who might be worth the loss of immortality. Oscar winner Ellyn Burstyn will co-star in the film, which will be directed by Lee Toland Krieger.

“Tell me about these kids!” I said, turning to the dozen or so children surrounding her. “Have you enjoyed hanging out with them?”

“Yes! They can tell you about it,” she said.

“What do you guys like about H&M? And what do you guys like about Ms. Lively?”

“They have really good deals,” said one girl. “And I love that I can shop there. Like, this shirt was ten dollars.”

“Wow,” said Lively. “Ten dollars! That’s awesome!”

Although most of the kids were shy, their smiles spoke volumes. They loved the attention and were just having a great time. After speaking with them, we bid our farewells. “Thank you guys for coming out, and it was so nice to meet all of you.”

“Nice to meet you!” Lively said.

In the film industry, there’s some who say the biggest stars are really the most down to earth. In Blake Lively’s case, I can confirm that. The night’s event was clearly commercial, but it was more than that. It was a shining example of how commerce, celebrity and a truly noble cause can fit together flawlessly.

Read more

Pelicans Blow Huge Fourth Quarter Lead and Drop Three in a Row to Warriors

It was a heartbreaking finish last night in the Smoothie King Center for the raucous crowd in New Orleans. The Pelicans blew a 20 point fourth quarter lead to fall from cloud nine 123 – 119 in overtime against the Steph Curry-led Warriors. The first round playoff series 3-0.

MVP front runner Curry scored 40 points, including an insane and possible and-one three pointer with two seconds remaining in the final moments of the game. I am still dumbfounded that the Pelicans failed to foul Curry and force him to go to the line instead of letting a three pointer fly and tie the game. But that’s not what ultimately lost the game for the inexperienced Pelicans. Allowing offensive rebounds on almost every possession in the fourth quarter was the complete back breaker.

The Pelicans went into the fourth quarter on a major high as they led 89-69. An incredible offensive and defensive showing for the first three quarters that included a 19-0 run that spanded through the first and second quarters. Then, the fourth started and it was a swift yet long and agonizing crumble that will haunt fans and players alike as they enter Jazz Fest weekend.

Klay Thompson finished with 28 points, hitting big time shots throughout the entire night. The Pelicans did an average job of stopping everyone else on the Warriors except for Thompson and Curry. Draymond Green didn’t win the Defensive Player of The Year but deserves an Oscar for his childish flop during the game. Harrison Barnes followed suit as he too was hit with a phantom elbow, let’s see if the NBA grows a pair and fines the two thespians for their acting jobs.

Anthony Davis had 29 points and 15 rebounds but missed a pivotal free throw that could’ve put the Pelicans up four with under ten seconds remaining. This led to the Curry-like three to put the game into overtime.

The overtime period was deflating. The crowd was stunned, the players were stunned and Golden State kept pushing tempo and running the show. Pelicans were gifted a shot late but a worn down Davis failed to connect on a Bogut-contested runner that ultimately ended the dreadful night.

I’ll close this depressing piece with stat lines for the Pelicans. Eric Gordon finally went cold going 2-10 from the field with an abysmal six points. Tyreke Evans finished with 19 points but had four turnovers and was torched at times defensively. Ryan “Flamethrower” Anderson was one of the few bright spots shooting 10-14 from the field and hit huge jumpers over defenders like they weren’t even there. Norris Cole played great again scoring 16 off the bench and Jrue Holiday had 10. Quincy Pondexter needs to be like Stella and get his groove back. The swingman’s +/- last night was -31. That can’t happen, that’s inexcusable for such a good basketball player like QPon. We’ll see how the birds from the Crescent City respond Saturday night.

Pelicans will host the Warriors in a do-or-die opportunity Saturday night 7pm at the Smoothie King Center. A loss Saturday marks the end of a roller coaster like year for the Pelicans.

Read more

‘Pitch Perfect 2′ Soundtrack Available for Purchase

Pitch Perfect 2, the follow-up album to soundtrack smash Pitch Perfect, is available for pre-order today. The Barden Bellas are back! Here’s the press release:

The Barden Bellas are back to pitch slap the world. Pitch Perfect 2, the highly-anticipated sequel to the smash hit and platinum-selling soundtrack, Pitch Perfect, will be available for pre-order today, iTunes, Amazon CD, Amazon LP.

Once again creating exclusive a cappella mash-ups and medleys from the upcoming Universal Pictures film Pitch Perfect 2, the soundtrack from Universal Music Enterprises is available on all formats: digital, CD and vinyl on May 12, with the movie hitting theaters nationwide on May 15. The comedy is helmed by Elizabeth Banks, co-star and producer of Pitch Perfect, and produced by Paul Brooks, Max Handelman and Banks. Writer Kay Cannon returns to the team to pen the next chapter.

“Flashlight,” the first single off the album, penned by superstars Sam Smith and Sia, among others, will be hitting radio stations nationwide today. Other standout tracks include a “campfire version” of “Cups,” a ’90s medley and the song “Crazy Youngsters,” written and performed by cast member Ester Dean.

“Flashlight,” is performed by multiplatinum-selling, GRAMMY® nominated artist Jessie J. The music video for “Flashlight” is directed by Hannah Lux Davis (Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj’s “Bang Bang,” Ariana Grande and The Weeknd’s “Love Me Harder”), and was filmed at a college campus…complete with a stirring live performance from Jessie J and a rousing nighttime flashlight finale that is sure to bring audiences to their feet. You can watch the video after 7:30 p.m. EST, here

Jessie J’s debut album, Who You Are [LAVA], marked the debut of a global icon when it reached #1 and was certified multiplatinum in more than 15 countries. Who You Are also yielded an astonishing six Top 10 singles, including the hit “Domino.” To date, she has sold more than 3 million albums and 20 million singles worldwide. Her latest album, Sweet Talker [LAVA/Republic Records], debuted in the Top 10 after its October 2014 release and includes hits such as the double platinum smash hit “Bang Bang” with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, and “Burnin’ Up,” featuring 2 Chainz.

Julianne Jordan, one of the soundtrack’s producers and executive music producers of the film, explains, “With this soundtrack, we wanted to keep the unexpected fun, fly-by-the-seat-of-your pants spirit of the first one but take it to another level. We believe we accomplished that with the arrangements, more out of the box song choices and mashups.”

“Creating the song moments to illustrate the story was so exciting,” says Julia Michels, soundtrack producer and the film’s other executive music producer. “Working with Elizabeth Banks from start to finish was a great experience, and we are so proud to be a part of the Pitch Perfect team again.”

Pitch Perfect has sold almost 2 million albums worldwide. In the U.S., it was the top-selling soundtrack of 2013, 6th overall album of 2014, and the second-highest selling soundtrack of the decade, behind the Frozen soundtrack, and spent 36 of 37 weeks on the chart, and 16 weeks in the top 20.

The hit single, “Cups” has sold more than 3 million downloads, spending 50 weeks on the Top 200 tracks chart, and ended 2013 in the top-50 biggest-selling digital tracks. It has been viewed almost 200 million times worldwide on VEVO.

Album producers include Julianne Jordan, Julia Michels, Jason Moore and The Underdogs, with Jordan and Michels serving as executive music producers on the film. Tony Award-winning Tom Kitt (Next to Normal, American Idiot) is one of the movie’s vocal arrangers/producers, along with Ed Boyer (The Sing Off), Deke Sharon (International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella co-founder), Alana Da Fonseca (Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower) and The Underdogs—whose track record includes collaborating with Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Brown and Jordin Sparks, among others. The Underdogs earned Grammys for Best Pop Album (Justin Timberlake’s Justified) and Best R&B Album (Chris Brown’s F.A.M.E.), among others.

Visit the Baton Rouge-shot Pitch Perfect 2‘s official website here.

Read more