2017 Academy Award Nominations Reavealed

Hollywood, CA: January 24, 2017

La La Land leads the 2017 Oscar nominations with a record tying 14 nods. Damien Chazelle’s love letter to classic Hollywood musicals  joins Titanic and All About Eve as one of the most nominated films of all time.

Some observations, surprises and disappointment:

Amy Adams was snubbed for both Nocturnal Animals and Arrival. Meryl Streep was recognized for Florence Foster Jenkins. Take that, Donald Trump.

What should have been Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s well deserved nomination for Nocturnal Animals went instead to his co-star, Michael Shannon, playing a grizzled sheriff in a small town solving a crime. Ironically, Jeff Bridges was recognized and more deserving for playing a very similar role in Hell Or High Water.

Happy to see the touching and beautiful Lion nominated, though Nicole Kidman did little in that film to earn her a best supporting actress nod. Disappointed that the Academy did not recognize Annette Benning’s fine work in Twentieth Century Women.

Pleased that young actor, Lucas Hedges was nominated for Manchester By The Sea.

The love for Hidden Figures is well deserved but the raves for Moonlight are hard to understand. Is it a result of the #OscarsSoWhite campaign of the last few years?

13th and I Am Not Your Negro are both moving and powerful films in the Best Documentary category. Both have to be seen.

Isabelle Huppert’s nomination as Best Actress in the lame, Elle makes little sense, and talking of making little sense, the off the wall, nonsensical and ridiculous, Toni Erdmann is on the list for Best Foreign Language film. That award has to go to Land of Mine, a powerful and moving film from Denmark that should not be missed.

The 2017 Oscars will take place on February 26 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.

Read the 2017 nominations in full below.

Best Picture

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester By The Sea
  • Moonlight

Best Director

  • Arrival (Denis Villeneuve)
  • Hacksaw Ridge (Mel Gibson)
  • La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
  • Manchester By The Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)
  • Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)

Best Actor In A Leading Role

  • Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)
  • Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
  • Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
  • Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
  • Denzel Washington (Fences)

Best Actress In A Leading Role

  • Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
  • Ruth Negga (Loving)
  • Natalie Portman (Jackie)
  • Emma Stone (La La Land)
  • Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Best Actor In A Supporting Role

  • Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
  • Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
  • Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea)
  • Dev Patel (Lion)
  • Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

Best Actress In A Supporting Role

  • Viola Davis (Fences)
  • Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
  • Nicole Kidman (Lion)
  • Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
  • Michelle Williams (Manchester By The Sea)

Best Original Screenplay

  • Hell or High Water (Taylor Sheridan)
  • La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
  • The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou)
  • Manchester By The Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)
  • 20th Century Women (Mike Mills)

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Arrival (Eric Heisserer)
  • Fences (August Wilson)
  • Hidden Figures (Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi)
  • Lion (Luke Davies)
  • Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)

Best Cinematography

  • Arrival
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Silence

Best Original Score

  • Jackie
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Passengers

Best Animated Feature

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My Life As A Zucchini
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia

Best Film Editing

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • Moonlight

Best Original Song

  • ‘Audition (The Fools Who Dream)’ (La La Land)
  • ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ (Trolls)
  • ‘City Of Stars’ (La La Land)
  • ‘The Empty Chair’ (Jim: The James Foley Story)
  • ‘How Far I’ll Go’ (Moana)

Best Documentary Feature

  • Fire At Sea
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Life, Animated
  • OJ: Made in America
  • 13th

Best Documentary Short

  • Extremis
  • 4.1 Miles
  • Joe’s Violin
  • Watani: My Homeland
  • The White Helmets

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Land Of Mine
  • A Man Called Ove
  • The Salesman
  • Tanna
  • Toni Erdmann

Best Live Action Short

  • Ennemis Interieurs
  • La Femme et le TGV
  • Silent Nights
  • Sing
  • Timecode

Best Animated Short Film

  • Blind Vaysha
  • Borrowed Time
  • Pear Cider and Cigarettes
  • Pearl
  • Piper

Best Sound Editing

  • Arrival
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Sully

Best Sound Mixing

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Best Production Design

  • Arrival
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Hail Caesar
  • La La Land
  • Passengers

Best Visual Effects

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • The Jungle Book
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Costume Design

  • Allied
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Jackie
  • La La Land

Best Makeup and Hair Design

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Suicide Squad

photo.l.a. Celebrates 26th Season at Historic LA Mart Building Downtown

Los Angeles, CA – January 5, 2017

The international photographic art exposition, photo l.a. will take place at The Reef, located in the historic LA Mart building in Downtown Los Angeles, January 12-15, 2017. The 2017 photo l.a. exhibition will launch with the annual Opening Benefit Gala on Thursday, January 12, from 7-10 p.m., honoring the luminous and pioneering career of Weston Naef, founding curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum and author of numerous books on the history and art of photography.

Norman Seeff Photos
John Belushi, 1981, Los Angeles, 16 x 20, Vintage silver gelatin JPEG

For 26 years, photo l.a.—the longest-running art fair in Los Angeles—has engaged the global arts community, bringing together more than 10,000 attendees each year from ardent enthusiasts to serious collectors. What started in 1991 as a casual meet-up for artists, galleries and collectors organized by art dealer Stephen Cohen of Stephen Cohen Gallery, has transformed into an unparalleled global showcase of photographic art, which ranges from 19th-century masterpieces to contemporary, cutting-edge photography-based work.

This year’s exposition aligns with Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA), which has moved from April to January to reflect the fair’s importance in making the city of Los Angeles an international photography destination. photo l.a. 2017 has teamed up with the Lucie Foundation to present 11 days of featured photographic programming, called Converge. For the first four days of this initiative, photo l.a. 2017 will offer dozens of programs, lectures and seminars including an activation with skateboarding legend Arto Sarri and panel discussions on subjects such as Snapchat as a form of photographic art and the synergies between fashion and photography.

©Grey Villet
Richard and Mildred Loving on their couch, King and Queen County, Virginia, 1965

Among the many other highlights of this year’s photo l.a. are two curated installations by Monroe Gallery of Photography. The first showcases LIFE magazine photographer Grey Villet’s intimate images of interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving, whose marriage in segregated Virginia in the 1960s is chronicled in Jeff Nichols’ newly-released feature film, Loving. The other, Tony Vaccaro: War, Peace, Beauty, exhibits work of the Pulitzer-Prize winning war photographer, exploring combat photography and its impact on public perception of war on the home front. Vaccaro’s fascinating life story is also the subject of a recent and well-received documentary.

“Our mission is to continue engaging and supporting the international community, which shares our passion for photography, while cultivating new audiences through distinctive programming across creative disciplines,” says photo l.a. director Claudia James Bartlett. “We are proud to now have over 80 exhibitors, who foster an ongoing dialogue about the changing landscape of photography and its important role in the art world at large.”

©Tony Vaccaro
Georgia O’Keeffe, Taos Pueblo, NM, 1960

The work of award-winning Canadian-born artist Penelope Umbrico will also be featured in a contemporary installation that combines photographic prints with various elements—repurposed plexiglass sourced from recycling centers, frame shops or the streets of Los Angeles; plastic lenses from deconstructed LCD screens and televisions; house paint, cardboard boxes. By presenting these abstract by-products as formal compositions, the artist presents a new twist on technology with their own visionary aesthetic evocative of abstract Modernism.

Tickets for the Opening Gala on Thursday, January 12, from 7-10 p.m. are $80 in advance or $100 at the door. Proceeds benefit the Lucie Foundation and John Wayne Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing courage, strength and grit to the fight against cancer. Funding novel and innovative programs that improve cancer patients’ outcomes, the cause saves lives through pioneering research, education, awareness and support.

General admission to photo l.a. is $20 in advance; $25 at the door. A three-day pass is available for $30 online or $40 at the door. Seniors and students receive a $5 discount. Programs are ticketed separately. A limited number of all-access passes, which include admission to the Opening Gala, the three-day photo l.a. exposition and all of its programs are available for advance purchase at $450. The exposition is open on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-6 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at: www.photola.com.

The 2017 photo l.a. exposition, Gala and programs will take place on the second floor of The Reef, located in the historic LA Mart building at 1933 S. Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. The Reef Mart offers affordable onsite parking and is also accessible by Metro.

For more information, visit: www.photola.com.

For the complete list of programming, visit www.photola.com/programs.php

Follow photo l.a.: #photola

All Photographs Courtesy of Monroe Gallery of Photography

2017 Golden Globe Nominations Announced

Hollywood, CA: December 13, 2016

The 2017 Golden Globe nominations were announced yesterday in Beverly Hills.

Actor Don Cheadle, Laura Dern, and Anna Kendrick were joined by the Miss Golden Globe trio — Sophia, Sistine, and Scarlet Stallone as well as Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Lorenzo Soria, and Barry Adelman in revealing the nominees.

The Golden Globes are presented by the HFPA, which consists of journalists who cover American film and television for international outlets. The membership requirements however are not tough. Members are only required to publish four articles per year in almost any publication, meaning that many of the members are not full-time journalists who work for big-name outlets. In fact it has been said that legitimate journalists from major international publications are often denied HFPA membership.

It would seem it’s who you know, not what you know.

Many in Hollywoodlala-land consider the Golden Globes a second-class trophy compared to the Oscars and the Emmys, so why does Hollywood continue to support the ceremony? Because the public doesn’t know the difference and the telecast is a fun, alcohol fueled party with great gift bags for nominees and presenters.

And… as the old saying goes, any publicity is good publicity.

This year the nominations seem to be on track with what’s popular in the mainstream. La La Land, the fresh musical starring,Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone leads with seven.

The well deserved acclaim for the Matt Damon produced, Manchester By The Sea with powerful performances from Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges is also growing and both these films will surely get Oscar nods.

Lion is another heart-tugging film that is gathering traction and is worthy of it’s nomination. The HFPA got these right.

The somewhat overrated Arrival is a surprise on the list, butManchesterbytheSea_Trailer we are happy to see Annett Bening recognized for her honest and believable work in 20th Century Women.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon’s fine work in Nocturnal Animals was overlooked by the HFPA but hopefully the SAG and Academy Awards will rectify that.

There are rumblings that Fences did not get a best picture nod. While the performances in the film are exceptional, it feels much like an over the top play that is more suited to the stage, the medium for which it was conceived.

Sully, a basically well made TV movie was left out of the mix, leaving Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood batting zero for the time being. Truthfully, there are many other deserving potential nominees who join Hanks and Eastwood on the sidelines.

In the foreign kills-on-wheels-posterfilm category, the strong Hungarian film, Kills On Wheels was sadly bypassed, perhaps because Son of Saul, also from Hungary, swept last year. This is a unfortunate because Kills On Wheels is a well made, action-packed film with heart and deserves to be seen.

Here’s a full list of nominees for the Golden Globes.

Winners will be announced in a live telecast on January 8, 2017, starting at 5pm PST.

 

 

Best motion picture, drama:
Hell or High Water
Hacksaw Ridge
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Best motion picture, musical or comedy:

20th Century Women
Deadpool
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land
Sing Street

Best TV series, drama:

Netflix‘s The Crown
HBO’s Game of Thrones
Netflix’s Stranger Things
NBC’s This Is Us
HBO’s Westworld

Best TV series, comedy:

FX’s Atlanta
ABC’s Black-ish
Amazon‘s Mozart in the Jungle
Amazon’s Transparent
HBO’s Veep

Best TV movie or limited series:
ABC’s American Crime
Starz’s The Dress
AMC‘s The Night Manager
HBO’s The Night Of
FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Best actor in a motion picture, drama:

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Joel Edgerton, Loving
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

Best actress in a motion picture, drama:
Amy Adams, Arrival
Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie

Best actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy:

Colin Farrell, The Lobster
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Jonah Hill, War Dogs
Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool

Best actress in a motion picture, musical or comedy:

Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
Lily Collins, Rules Don’t Apply
Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best supporting actor in a motion picture:
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins
Dev Patel, Lion
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

Best supporting actress in a motion picture:

Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

American Legion Presents “Everything In Between”

On Veteran’s Day, the American Legion Hollywood Post 43, Liberty Theater presented the world premiere of Everything In Between, in their Historic Cultural Monument Building at 2035 N. Highland Avenue.

The story deals with four generations of vets, brought together by chance, collaborateEIB_p013 to help a young man returning home from Afghanistan. “Lance Porter” is haunted by the experiences that followed him back, and changed life as knew it. When his search for solace leads him to another bar, the cynical patrons threaten to lead him further down the rabbit hole.

“I have always had a story in my head about different generations of Veterans, from all branches of the military, coming together to help one another heal. It’s about the human condition that we all share and the specific condition that veterans share, along with the hope that things are somehow going to get better,” explains REBECCA STAHL; Playwright/MD

The play’s director, JOHN DiFUSCO is the recipient of a New York Drama Desk Award as well as a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly, NAACP Theatre, Drama-Logue, Robby, and Valley Theatre League Award. He began his professional career at the Odyssey Theatre with credits such as Peer Gynt, The Kid, The Caucasion Chalk Circle, The Balcony, and Mother Courage.

John created and directed the landmark Vietnam play Tracers, which premiered at OTE. He directed the Tania Verafield and Jaimyon Parker2New York Premiere at The Public Theater, where it was published as one of “The Ten Best of 85/86.” He has toured extensively and internationally with Tracers, which continues to be produced around the world. Locally, he has directed numerous plays including Hair, White People, Avenue X, Joan and the Zulus, Just A Song at Twilight, Will Strip for Food, Ali, and Rounds. John received the USAF Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service in Vietnam.

The American Legion was formed in 1919 to give all veterans a place to congregate together in fellowship as well as memorial. The Hollywood post raised funds with the help of Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Ida Lupino Clark Gable, Rudolph Valentino, Clara Bow, Mary Pickford, and the Marx Brothers who attended their boxing matches along side blue-collar patrons. The building described as “military in character and a dignified solution to the problem of combining a memorial and a clubhouse,” by the Los Angeles Times was opened on July 4, 1929.

“We came back from Vietnam alone. The term PTSD was developed from our experience and this often created barriers between us and our fathers and uncles who had served in WWII. We were labeled drug addicts, losers, and crybabies. Rebecca Stahl captures today’s Vet World where these gaps are non-existent. This is what attracted me to the play. In spite of any personalJ. Kenneth Campbell, Jaimyon Parker, and Campbell De Silva emotional baggage, older Veterans seeing a need and taking action,” says director John DiFusco; Vietnam Veteran

Produced by the community veterans’ organization, Hollywood Post 43 of the American Legion, Liberty Theater. The cast, crew, and design team includes U.S. military veterans.

The ensemble includes; Jaimyon Parker, Karl Risinger, J, Kenneth Campbell, Rachel Boller, CampbellDe Silva, Caron Strong, Tania Verafield, Fred Hirz and Johnny D.

Everything In Between runs 8pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 3pm on Sundays through December 4, 2016 (no performance on November 25th).

Hollywood American Legion Post 43, Liberty Theater at 2035 N. Highland Avenue, Hollywood, CA. Tickets $25 (Military and veterans $10).

Free parking onsite. For information and reservations: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2709880

Skylight Theatre Company’s Board of Directors present “Salute 2016”

Los Angeles, Ca – SHARON LAWRENCE (Rizzoli & Isles) and BARRETT FOA (NCIS: Los Angeles) lead the list of celebrities who join event hosts FRENCH STEWART (3rd Rock from the Sun, Mom) & VANESSA CLAIRE STEWARD (Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara) as Skylight Theatre’s Board of Directors celebrates the artistic achievements of GARY GROSSMAN and the Skylight Theatre Company for this year’s annual Skylight French & Vanessa names from internetSalute being held December 4th at the Colony Theatre in Burbank.

Over the past three decades, from Camelot Artists Productions to Katselas Theatre Company and in 2013 becoming Skylight Theatre Company, the one constant thread has been Gary Grossman. First as a producer and eventually becoming its Artistic Director in 2008, Skylight and Gary have become synonymous with nurturing artists, producing live theatre in Los Angeles and developing new work.

Over 2500 different artists have graced Skylight’s stages including 204 Los Angeles based writers. Skylight and Grossman have helped to craft, develop, workshop and mount a large body of original works, generating 166 readings, 157 workshops, and 69 world premiere productions.

Works developed under Skylight’s auspices have gone on to garner awards and accolades for their playwrights, around the world. Sigrid Gilmer, a member of Skylight’s resident writers’ PlayLAb received the coveted 2014 USA Artists Ford Fellowship and PinkLemaireCraginColemanJames_edited-1$50,000, while Nathan Allan Davis’ play “Dontrell, Who Kissed The Sea” received the prestigious Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association 2015 New Play Citation. The Humanitas PlayLA workshop, launched in 2015 with support from the Center Theatre Group, has selected Skylight resident writers to fill five out of the ten available positions from over 200 candidate submissions. Louisa Hill, another of Skylight’s resident writers, won Third Place in the inaugural year of the associated Humanitas PlayLA Playwriting Prize.

Through Grossman’s leadership, Skylight’s plays have made their way across the United States to New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Denver, and San Francisco, while internationally they have been performed in Paris and Edinburgh, with additional productions scheduled for Australia, Canada and Greece.

Skylight has been a community leader, providing artistic opportunities for at-riskTM_2A022 teens and helping to feed the hungry. In the last three years, 1250 teens in Los Angeles detention centers and high schools have experienced Lyric Project writing workshops. Supported through partnerships with ASCAP Foundation, the City of Los Angeles, and Boeing’s Employee Community Fund, 45 of the young lyricists have been mentored and teamed with professional songwriters to create new songs that are performed in a unique and fully realized musical event for the stage. Since 2012, Skylight artists have been putting Art Into Action, donating their time and talent to help feed LA’s hungry on Thanksgiving Day; since the program began over 1200 hungry people have been fed in the Downtown and MacArthur Park areas.

Gary Grossman’s unselfish efforts for the Los Angeles theatre community were recognized at the 2016 Stage Raw Theatre Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He continues to be an adSandersAnassiCASTvocate for the Los Angeles theatre community leading interactions with Actors Equity Association and LA Theatre Producers for a workable agreement between the actors union and Los Angeles producers.

Eileen Barnett, Gigi Bermingham, Dale Kristien, Marcelo Tubert, and Denise Woods, will be performing along with additional surprise guests. Directed by David Galligan, Choreography by Lee Martino, Musical Direction by Michael Sobi, and hosted by French Stewart & Vanessa Claire Stewart.

David Galligan has directed all the S.T.A.G.E benefit shows in LA since 1984 and began directing for Grossman and Skylight back in 1985 with a celebrated production of Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti.

French Stewart is perhaps best known for his roles in the television series Mom and 3rd Rock From the Sun. He is a member of Sacred Fools Theater Company, playing the title role in their 2012 hit production of “Stoneface: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton” which moved to the Pasadena Playhouse.PRISON BOXING Leah Joki Group-102

Vanessa Claire Stewart is recognized as a quadruple threat – singer, actress, director and writer. She is most often recognized for her performance as Keely Smith in Louis and Keely Live at the Sahara (Los Angeles, Chicago) that she co-wrote with Taylor Hackford and Jake Broder, but she has also opened the Newport Jazz Festival as a vocalist, and penned and then directed the wildly successful “Stoneface: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton,” which starred her husband French Stewart.

SALUTE kicks off at 6pm with a VIP dinner and 7:30pm for the stage show on Sunday, December 4, 2016. The Colony Theatre is located at 555 N. 3rd Street, Burbank CA. 91502. Tickets range from $150 – $425. Proceeds benefit Skylight’s Artistic Development Programs. Dinner reservations and show only tickets can be purchased online at http://skylighttix.com with more information at 213-761-7061. All performers are subject to availability.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ktcla and Twitter: @SkylightThtr

Lost Girls – A Powerful Film Proves Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

by Peter Foldy

On October 28th this year, 18 days ago, the FBI rescued 82 children from a ring of sex traffickers in Columbus, Ohio. Stories like this, while not uncommon in the news, seem to quickly slip from public consciousness. There is a pervading opinion that this is not something that happens in the United States. While we all agree that human trafficking is appalling, we do not see it as a problem13 year old kidnapped girl Beth (Tori Griffith)(1) in our suburbs. After all, it’s 2016.

Many think this is a problem in South Asia, Thailand or the Philippines, where sex tourism is a major industry. We may know that is a problem in certain disreputable massage parlors in Amsterdam or the bars in Belarus. JULIA VERDIN’S haunting film, LOST GIRLS, paints a bleak picture of underage sex slaves here in the United States and reminds us that human trafficking is also an American problem.

In Verdin’s film we meet a young girl, “Marisol,” who is lured from her home in a quiet California suburb and tricked into befriending her eventual captors. She is put in a cage, given drugs to numb her, and then sold to countless men, some old enough to be her father or grandfather.

How could this happen in a first world Trafficking recruiters Kara (Bar Paly) and Greg (Will Brandt)(1)country and a major city like LA? It’s mainly about the money. Human trafficking is a lucrative business. As Verdin states, “these criminals can sell a gram of coke, or heroin, or a gun once, they can sell a young girl thousands and thousands of times.”

According to statistics, sex trafficking is most prevalent in California, Texas and Florida. It has become “society’s most pervasive crisis” according to UNICEF. By 2020 they expect sex trafficking to overtake drugs and weapons in magnitude.

“Lost Girls” could not have come at a better time. “The recruiters are getting more aggressive, now sending people into schools and targeting malls and places whereKara (Bar Paly) having an insight of her past kids hang out” Verdin tells us. “I think people have this perception that it is a third world problem and it’s really not. London, New York and LA are three of the larger cities where this goes on. What’s changed in sex trafficking business is that they are not just going after kids who have run away from home. Kids are  also being targeted in their own homes or online.”

“When filming a story that deals with sexual abuse,” says Verdin, “it’s vital to balance voyeurism and subtlety. A filmmaker must avoid making prostitution titillating; she must avoid contributing to the already enormous feat of teen girls and girlish qualities in adult women. It’s the filmmaker’s duty to look the issue in the eyes. She must3544696(1) not gloss over the issue and try to make sexual abuse family-friendly.”

In “Lost Girls” Verdin balances the subject delicately and deftly, making scenes that would normally border on gratuitous, nuanced. She understands the need to open a serious conversation about this issue without exploiting it, a pitfall many films have teetered on the brink of.

Instead, Julia Verdin delivers a film that’s 23.50 minutes of tension, tossing every scene at us, unblinking and moving along right before we put our hands over our eyes.

We need more films like this to remind us of important issues such as this to spread awareness and prompt action

“Lost Girls” is currently playing the film festival circuit and can next be seen at The Culver City Film Festival Dec 3rd-9th.

Review: Hedwig And the Angry Inch Keeps It Fresh At The Pantages

by Peter Foldy

HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH is an innovative, powerful and wickedly humorous musical that will stay with you long after the final curtain.

The show actually began its life as a racy, sexually charged cabaret act. Created by STEPHEN TRASK and JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL, it first morphed into a 1998 off-Broadway hit and thenDarren-Criss-Hedwig-and-the-Angry-Inch a 2001 film before finally hitting the bright lights of Broadway in 2014. As the show’s legend grew, ultimately rising to cult status, it’s stars also received well deserved acclaim. NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, who played “Hedwig” on Broadway won a Tony, as did LENA HALL, here in Los Angeles reprising her role as “Yitzhak,” Hedwig’s back-up singer husband.

Though it’s been twenty years since it’s inception, this welcome First National Tour still packs a punch and manages to keep it fresh for new audiences. As we are drawn into Hedwig’s heart-breaking story,  the nature of the play allows for saucy, cutting-edge, ad libbed banter from it’s star, here brilliantly played by the energetic and talented, DARREN CRISS.

Hedwig, we learn, is an East German rock singer who suffered a botched sex-change operation that left her down there with only an inch of flesh. In Los Angeles to perform a one-night-only concert at the Pantages, she reveals that 1434618341137.cachedshe was recently involved with “Tommy Gnosis,” a now famous rock star with whom she co-wrote many of the songs that helped fuel his career. Hedwig was in fact the “mysterious blond” who distracted Tommy while he was driving his car, causing him to crash into a school bus. That accident and it’s subsequent notoriety made Tommy a star, leaving Hedwig to live her sad life as an “internationally ignored song stylist.”

By coincidence Tommy is also in town, headlining the Hollywood Bowl, and when Hedwig opens the backstage door, she can hear him talking to his adoring fans, never once acknowledging Hedwig’s contributions.

Throughout the show we also meet the aforementioned “Yitzhak,” a doting waif of a man whom Hedwig treats with disdain. Though Yitzhak also craves the spotlight, Hedwig does all she can to prevent her husband from showing off his talents.

Joining the pair on stagehedwig-rebecca-naomi-jones-3794 is Hedwig’s fictional band, The Angry Inch, comprised of musicians JUSTIN CRAIG (guitars, keyboards), MATT DUNCAN (bass, guitars, keyboards), TIM MISLOCK (guitar) and PETER YANOWITZ (drums), the same quartet who played the Broadway run and who are really not a fictional band at all.

In between banter, Hedwig and the Angry Inch roll through an array of great songs, many of them a nod to glam rock, grunge and metal rock. There are also ballads like, “Wicked Little Town” and “Wig In A Box” that are also standouts.

But the real stand out here is Darren Criss. His performance as Hedwig electrifies as it breaks your heart. Criss is charming and likeable, seemingly inhabited by Hedwig’s persona in this 90 minute physically demanding role.82321-11 He speaks to all those with a dream not fully realized, making L.A. a perfect venue for this story. Criss’ job is not made any easier by the array of over-sized wigs and platform heels his character prances around in, but the physically fit actor makes it seem flawless.

Lena Halls surprises as “Yitzhak” once her powerful singing abilities are finally revealed, and in a clever twist, Hall becomes Hedwig by the end of the show, allowing Criss to reveal his muscular body and the fact that he is not a “slip of a girly boy” at all.

The set by JULIAN CROUCH is compact. A car crash scene with moving parts that seems a good fit for this car crash of a story.

MICHAEL MAYER’S direction keeps the show moving at a pace while some ingenious screen projections from BENJAMIN PEARCY during the beautiful ballad, “The Origin of Love,” make us feel as if we are watching Hedwig in an animated fish bowl, his thoughts coming to life in front of our eyes.18386_show_landscape_large_02

Tickets for HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH are on sale now and are available for purchase at www.HollywoodPantages.com or www.Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-982-2787, and at the Hollywood Pantages Box Office (6233 Hollywood Boulevard). Groups of 10 or more may purchase tickets by visiting www.PantagesGroups.com or by calling 866-755-3075.

Darren Criss will NOT appear as “Hedwig” in the following performances: Sunday, November 6th at 6:30pm; Sunday, November 13th at 6:30pm; Sunday, November 20th at 6:30pm & Friday, November 25th at 8:00pm.

 

 

 

 

Glass House Distribution – Generating Buzz at the American Film Market

November 2, 2016

GLASS HOUSE DISTRIBUTION, a new sales company has been generating buzz at the 2016 AMERICAN FILM MARKET for one important reason. They deliver to both filmmakers and buyers exactly what they advertise. A straight-forward approach, transparency, fairness, and hard work on the films they are selling.

The companyIMG_3374 was created as a partnership between well known indie film producer/actor/writer (and author of the book BANKROLL, the gold standard book on film financing), TOM MALLOY, and BRYAN GLASS, a wall street broker-dealer with a keen eye and a strong interest in films.

“When I was approached by Bryan to start this company, I stated my goal was to not do what distribution companies had been doing to me as a filmmaker for years,” says Malloy. “Glass House has producer-friendly contracts, numbers we have to hit, or rights revert back to the filmmaker, pic5and transparent spending. The name Glass House was taken from Bryan’s surname, but it ended up serving another purpose. You can look inside and see everything that’s going on.”

The company was launched at last year’s AFM, Malloy’s eleventh consecutive market, but the first time he was an exhibitor. He brought in MICHELLE ALEXANDRIA, formerly in acquisitions for several companies, and the pair hit the ground running.

“Our approach positions Glass House to become to be the number one trusted and transparent “go-to” distribution company of choice for the independent film community,” states Bryan Glass. “If last year is any indication, 2016 will be ever strongerIMG_3388 for us.

“Glass House has recently added film producer, ROBERT DEEGE, to the company’s roster. With credits that include Soul Surfer and the Emily Dickinson biopic, A Quiet Passion, Deege’s expertise is an important asset for Glass House.

“What attracted me to Glass House is the immediate focus on well-crafted movies,” says Deege. “I’m excited to help develop the company’s reputation for quality.”

Glass House brings several high profile indies to this year’s AFM. Stand is an intense thriller that stars LUKE ALBRIGHT. Turnabout, another thriller that isIMG_3372 racking up festivals and acclaim with PETER GREENE, and the award-winning, Warren, starring ALEX BEH, JEAN SMART and JOHN HEARD, a dramedy that RogerEbert.com says “recalls the Graduate.”

With so much in play, Glass House Distribution is sure to climb the ranks of the top sales and distribution companies who are offering their films to the world market.

 

“It’s Time” Is A Poignant Celebration Of Love And Life

Review by: Peter Foldy

The Beatles said it best. “All You Need is Love.” Paul Linke reaffirms that notion in his heartfelt, nostalgic solo performance currently running at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. Linke’s current piece, IT’S TIME, bookends his Ace Award Nominated HBO Showcase entitled “Time Flies When You’re Alive.”

This time Linke shares a remarkable journey that saw him love deeply and then grieve desperately before finding a new love again, I_T_Paul_Linke2a love that has sustained him and his family for over twenty five years.

Best recognized for his role as “Artie Grossman” on the NBC-TV series CHiPs as well as for his co-starring roles in “Parenthood” and “K-PAX,” Linke’s story starts out in the 1960s. He introduces us to his younger self, a horny pot smoking college kid who has no clue where his journey is headed. Nor does he care. His main focus are girls and seeing the Doors at the Whisky Au Go Go. By chance he finds himself in a college acting workshop where at his audition he proceeds to embarrass himself with an impromptu improvised sex act on a plant. Not a great start, but, hey, it’s the 60s.  Fortunately, the people running the workshop see something in this free spirited wild child–a potential of talent–which gets him into class and ultimately sparks his interest in pursuing a life as an actor.

Having finally discovered his calling, Linke also manages to fall in love. It’s a deep, committedI_T_Paul Linke4 love that brings him much happiness and produces three beautiful children. But as most of us know, life sometimes has other plans. Linke’s wife is diagnosed with breast cancer and before long he finds himself a single dad with not a clue as to how to move forward.

Linke shares his deep debilitating grief while humorously revealing his attempts at dating and parenting. It’s a time of  pain and desperation but somehow Linke carries on.

Eventually, through an unexpected introduction, he meets a beautiful actress called Christine and he is instantly smitten. His nerves however get the better of him and he makes an obnoxious first impression. The opportunity almost implodes but the actress gives him another chance and gradually a deep, caring relationship is formed and a broken family slowly becomes whole again.

Expertly directed by I_T_Paul Linke8EDWARD EDWARDS, Linke’s story is brought to life through a series of projected photographs that ably connects the audience to Linke’s loved ones.

This is a beautiful journey. One that is honestly and openly shared. It is hard not to shed a tear, nor to feel empathy during Linke’s 70 minute performance. He celebrates the magnitude of life, the power of love and applauds the contributions of those around him who helped turn his life around. And isn’t that something we can all relate to? Seeing “It’s Time,” may compel you say thank you, or I love you to those who matter the most in your life.

When: IT’S TIME runs at 8pm on Fridays, 5pm Saturdays, and 2pm on Sundays through December 4, 2016 (no performances November 25 – 27).

Where: Ruskin Group Theatre is located at 3000 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405.

How Much: Tickets are $25 ($20 for students, seniors, and guild members) and can be purchased in advance by calling (310) 397-3244 or online at www.ruskingrouptheatre.com Ample free parking available.

 

 

“Last Days Of Summer” Seeking First Place This Winter

Los Angeles: October 27, 2016

Festival circuit darling,  “LAST DAYS OF SUMMER” produced by British born OLIVER RIDGE, is going for another win at the upcoming Whistler Film Festival. Having taken the grand prize for best feature at the Rhode Island Film Festival, the acclaimed drama starring WILLIAM FICHTNER next goes into competition at the prestigious Canadian event, which starts Nov. 30th.

Getting great buzzOliverRidgepic (1) ahead of an anticipated theatrical release next year, the film offers the kind of role we’ve never seen before from Fichtner, best known for “ARMAGEDDON” and “PRISON BREAK” and currently starring in CBS sitcom “MOM.” In Last Days of Summer” he  plays a suburban husband whose quiet life is turned upside down when he becomes obsessed with the beautiful young woman who moves in next door.

“It was an honor to work with such a talented and dedicated actor and make art with him” said producer Ridge, whose Last Days team also included director AARON HARVEY.

Ridge made his directorial debut recently and managed to pull of a coup by being able to recruit Academy Award nominee ERIC ROBERTS to star in Ridge’s “BLUEBIRD,” a poetic short film based on one of the works of the late Charles Bukowski.

We caught up with Oliver Ridge to to talk about his experiences in Hollywood.

Hollywood Revealed: How hard has the transition beenlastdaysofsummerposter (1) for you, moving from the UK to L.A? What were some of the challenges you faced?

Ridge: Driving was pretty scary! Away from that I think media has united us recently in western culture, but certainly when you’re moving five thousand miles away from home, it can be daunting. There are so many people in Los Angeles, but I think the biggest challenge was finding like minded people who I could drink whiskey with and talk movies.

Hollywood Revealed: How did you transition from producing to directing?

Ridge: I loved producing Last Days of Summer, but it certainly made me impatient to be in creative control again. I think that desire made my pre-production for Bluebird even more detailed and thorough, so that helped smooth the transition.

Hollywood Revealed: What kind of genres interest you as a producer/director?

Ridge: Can I say all oliverstepsof them? Because they all do. I want my films to have a universal feel and tone that you can see, but I also want them all to have an emotional weight. I like exploring the darker emotions, because I want my audience to feel something. But specific genres? My next film is a revenge thriller, but I’ve also just finished writing a science fiction film and have plans for a western. So I am all over the place!

Hollywood Revealed: Who are some of the directors you look up to? Who has been your biggest influence?

Ridge: David Fincher and Denis Villeneuve are two of my all time favorites, but Nicolas Winding Refn has certainly had the biggest influence on me.

Hollywood Revealed: Thanks for chatting with us, Oliver.

Ridge: It was a pleasure.