Category: Arts and Entertainment

Fourth Annual Napa Valley Film Festival



Fourth Annual Napa Valley Film Festival Announces Film Line-Up,
Special Events and Celebrity Tribute Honorees

Celebrity Tributes include Kevin Costner and Jeremy Jordan. Notable Attendees include Shailene Woodley, Mike Myers, Shep Gordon, Anna Camp, Skylar Astin, Tate Donovan, Chris Messina, Joe Carnahan, Angela Kinsey, Carla Gugino, Melanie Lysnkey, Ned Benson, Richard LaGravenese, Matthew Lillard, James Keach and More

Napa, California (October 2, 2014) – The fourth annual Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) announces its complete line-up, Opening Night & Gala screenings, special events and honorees for its Celebrity Tribute Program. NVFF returns in full force with a five-day festival showcasing the year’s best new independent films in 14 unique screening venues in the four postcard-perfect towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga, November 12-16. Organizers also showcase Napa Valley’s finest food and wine at all special events, VIP receptions and Vintners Circle dinners, pre-screen wine tastings, and a series of celebrity chef presentations and demonstrations on the Culinary Stage.

The Festival kicks off Opening Night, Wednesday, November 12, with a Red Carpet screening of The Imitation Game, fresh off winning the audience award at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival, The Imitation Game, stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. Director Morten Tyldum is expected to attend. Following the screening, NVFF Patron Circle Members and other VIP guests will enjoy an Opening Night Party at the Napa Valley Museum catered by Estate Events by Meadowood.

On Thursday, November 13, the extravagant Red Carpet Festival Gala will follow the screening of Director Mike Binder’s new film Black and White, starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer. NVFF Patron Circle Members and Pass Plus and Gala ticket holders will mingle with filmmakers and celebrities at the not-to-be missed party of the year. Guests will enjoy cuisine from more than 20 of the Valley’s top chefs including Ken Frank (La Toque), Bob Hurley (Hurley’s), Joseph Humphries (The Fox and the Farmer), and Victor Scargle (Lucy at Bardessono) and wines from more than 50 of Napa Valley’s boutique wineries.

Napa Valley Film Festival Co-Founders/Directors Brenda and Marc Lhormer are excited to announce that the BVisionary Award will be presented by Beaulieu Vineyards to Screen Icon Kevin Costner at the Celebrity Tribute Program. Domaine Chandon will present the Rising Star award to Jeremy Jordan who appears in the NVFF Selection The Last 5 Years opposite Anna Kendrick. The Tribute Program will take place on Friday, November 14 at the Lincoln Theatre in Yountville and will include video highlight reels and intimate on-stage conversations with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush. Additional Tribute Honorees will be announced over the next few weeks.

Actress Shailene Woodley (The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent, The Descendants) will receive Variety’s Indie Impact Award at the 10 Producers to Watch event, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, on Saturday, November 15 at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. Variety Executive Editor Steve Gaydos will also be conducting a “Contenders Conversation” with Kevin Costner at the event. A screening of The Fault in Our Stars will run Sunday, November 16 at 10:00 a.m. at the Uptown Theatre in downtown Napa, and Ms. Woodley will be in attendance for the Q&A.
“This year’s lineup is particularly diverse, including work by established directors alongside promising debuts by newly emerging talents,” said Artistic & Executive Director Marc Lhormer. “We are so gratified to see how many directors, writers, producers, and actors are planning on attending in support of their films. The interaction between artists and audience conversing about the films and enjoying wonderful food and wine is truly magical to behold.”

Other film highlights include:
• Alex of Venice – In actor Chris Messina’s directorial debut feature, Alex (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a workaholic environmental attorney, is forced to reinvent herself after her husband (Messina) suddenly leaves the family. Messina will participate in the post-screening Q&As. (November 15, 12:30 p.m., Cameo Cinema; November 16, 10:00 a.m., City Winery)
• Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me – An intimate, devastating, and inspiring look at the final tour of musical legend Glen Campbell as he faces the end of his career due to Alzheimer’s disease. This special screening takes place at the Uptown Theatre in downtown Napa that was the venue for Campbell’s final poignant performance. Director James Keach will attend the Q&A. (November 16, 5:30 p.m., Uptown Theatre)
• Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon – Mike Myers will attend the festival with Shep Gordon, the original mega talent manager and subject of Mike’s hilarious, touching and award-winning documentary Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. Fandango’s Chief Correspondent Dave Karger will moderate an on-stage conversation with Myers and Gordon will follow the screening. (November 13, 2:00 p.m., Uptown Theatre)
• The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her & Him – A special presentation of a unique cinematic achievement: back-to-back screenings of Ned Benson’s two versions of a film about a marriage falling apart, one from the wife’s perspective and one from the husband’s, starring Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy. A post-screening discussion with Director Ned Benson will follow. (November 15, 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., City Winery).
• Sideways – 10th Anniversary – Few films have so accurately captured the ethos of friends, wine and wine’s place in modern civilization, as the 2004 romance/road film/buddy comedy Sideways. After the special screening of the movie, festival attendees can enjoy a grand tasting of some of the best Napa Valley Merlots (Screening: Friday, November 14, 1:00 p.m., Yountville Community Center; public tasting and expert tasting panel follow from 2:30-5:00 p.m. at the Yountville Wine Pavilion).

Additional sneak previews include:
• The Better Angels – Director A.J. Edwards’ debut feature tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s childhood in the wilderness of Indiana. Starring Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, Brit Marling and Wes Bently (November 14, 12:30 p.m., Cameo Cinema; November 16, 12:30 p.m., City Winery). California Premiere
• The Last 5 Years – Based on the 2002 off-Broadway musical, and adapted by writer/director Richard LaGravenese, The Last 5 Years is the story of a couple’s tumultuous relationship, from entanglement to denouement starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. An on-stage conversation with Mr. LaGravenese will take place after the screenings (November 12, 5:00 p.m., Cameo Cinema; November 13, 8:30 p.m., City Winery). Mr. Jordan will join the Q&A on November 13). West Coast Premiere
• Match – A Seattle couple (Carla Gugino and Matthew Lillard) travels to New York to interview an acclaimed former ballet star (Patrick Stewart) for a research project on the dance scene in the 1960’s. (November 14, 8:00 p.m., Cameo Cinema; Saturday, November 15, 5:30 p.m., City Winery). California Premiere.
• Escobar: Paradise Lost – The debut feature from writer/director Andrea Di Stephano traces the journey of a young Canadian surfer (Josh Hutcherson) who falls under the spell of a beautiful young woman in Columbia. Unfortunately she also who happens to be the niece of international drug kingpin Pablo Escobar (Benicio Del Toro). An edgy crime drama and a soul-searching love story about family ties and loyalty, the film is a look at a dark chapter in the war on drugs and the casualties. (November 13, 5:00pm, Barrel Room Theatre; November 15, 5:30pm, Oddfellows Hall). West Coast Premiere

The Narrative and Documentary Feature Competitions are sponsored by Meadowood Napa Valley. Directors of the Narrative and Documentary films in competition participate in NVFF’s unique Artists-in-Residence Program presented in partnership with the incomparable Meadowood Napa Valley. Directors stay at the luxury resort for six nights during the festival and are treated to special events and workshops with their competition group and industry mentors. Meadowood Napa Valley will also award $10,000 to the winning filmmakers in both the Narrative and Documentary competition categories at the Closing Night Awards Ceremony on Sunday, November 16.

Documentary Competition:
• #chicagoGirl: The Social Network Takes On A Dictator, Director Joe Piscatella (California Premiere)
• American Native, Director Steven Oritt (World Premiere)
• An Honest Liar, Directors Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom (California Premiere)
• Botso, Director Tom Walters (Bay Area Premiere)
• Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank, Directors Sheila Canavan and Michael Chandler (West Coast Premiere)
• Flying The Feathered Edge; The Bob Hoover Project, Director Kim Furst (World Premiere)
• Havana Curveball, Directors Ken Schneider and Marcia Jarmel
• States of Grace, Directors Helen S. Cohen and Mark Lipman
• Underwater Dreams, Director Mary Mazzio
• What the F@#- is Cancer and Why Does Everybody Have It?, Director A.W. Gryphon

Narrative Competition:
• Amira & Sam, Director Sean Mullin (California Premiere)
• East Side Sushi, Director Anthony Lucero (World Premiere)
• Fall To Rise, Director Jayce Bartok (California Premiere)
• Kinderwald, Director Lise Raven
• Like Sunday, Like Rain, Director Frank Whaley
• Little Accidents, Director Sara Colangelo
• Song One, Director Kate Barker-Froyland (West Coast Premiere)
• Sun Belt Express, Director Evan Buxbaum (California Premiere)
• Teacher of the Year, Director Jason Strouse
• Thank You A Lot, Director Matt Muir (California Premiere)
• The Road Within, Director Gren Wells
• WildLike, Director Frank Hall Green (West Coast Premiere)

The rest of the NVFF film line-up is as follows:

Lounge Features:
• All Stars, Director Lance Kinsey (West Coast Premiere)
• Bar America, Director Matthew Jacobs
• Big In Japan, Director John Jeffcoat (California Premiere)
• Cheatin’, Director Bill Plympton
• Gone Doggy Gone, Directors Brandon Walter and Kasi Brown
• Goodbye To All That, Director Angus MacLachlan (West Coast Premiere)
• Growing Up and Other Lies, Directors Danny Jacobs and Darren Grodsky
• Mudbloods, Director Farzad Nikbakht (Bay Area Premiere)
• Time Lapse, Director Bradley King (Northern California Premiere)
• We’ll Never Have Paris, Directors Jocelyn Towne and Simon Helberg (California Premiere)

Special Presentations:
• #standwithme, Directors Patrick Moreau and Grant Peelle (World Premiere)
• Big Dream, Director Kelly Cox (Special Sneak Preview)
• Buscando A Gaston (Finding Gaston), Director Julia Patricia Perez (US Premiere)
• Food Chains, Director Sanjay Rawal (West Coast Premiere)
• Hairy Who & the Chicago Imagists, Director Leslie Buchbinder (West Coast Premiere)
• Half The Road: The Passion, Pitfalls & Power of Women’s Professional Cycling, Director Kathryn Bertine
• Harlem Street Singer, Directors Trevor Laurence and Simeon Hutner (West Coast Premiere)
• Harmontown, Director Neil Berkeley
• Last Days In Vietnam, Director Rory Kennedy
• Stretch, Director Joe Carnahan (World Premiere)
• True Son, Director Kevin Gordon
• Impossible Light, Director Jeremy Ambers

2014 Festival Sidebar – Architecture (sponsored by Blue Homes):
• Henry Hornbostel in Architecture and Legacy, Director Mark Fallone (California Premiere)
• Lutah, Director Kum-Kum Bhavnani (Northern California Premiere)
• Paolo Soleri: Beyond Form, Director Aimee Madsen (Northern California Premiere)
• Robin Boyd: Australian Beauty, Director Kerry Gardner

Special Presentation Short Stories:
• Ace of Diamonds, Director Ana Overgaard
• LA Miner, Director Thomas Wood (Bay Area Premiere)
• The War Photographers, Director Steven Kochones

Special Presentations: Pixar & Disney Programs:
• Lava, Director James Murphy
• The Tunes Behind the Toons, Director Dave Bossert (Bay Area Premiere)

Special Presentations: The Whinnies:
• Freedom of the Heart, Director Jolanda Ellenberger (US Premiere)
• Horse Medicine, Director James Anaquad Kleinert
• Riding My Way Back, Directors Robin Fryday and Peter Rosenbaum

Documentary Short Programs:
A Stroll the Park: An Asbury Symphony, Albie (World Premiere), Cab City (World Premiere), Crooked Candy (California Premiere), David Hockney in the Now: In Six Minutes, Slomo, The Bulletproof Stockings, The Lion’s Mouth Opens, The Ox, White Earth (Bay Area Premiere), The Invisible Peak

World Cinema Shorts:
5 Tropoina Pethaneis (5 Ways 2 Die), Bis Gleich, Chronophobe (California Premiere), Into the Silent Sea, Lan Yen, Rez Carz

Narrative Shorts:
His Keeper, Horrible Parents (World Premiere), Last Shot (Nor Cal Premiere), Mediation, My New Apartment, Pin It (Nor Cal Premiere), Snail (Nor Cal Premiere), Team Work (World Premiere), The Gunfighter, An Honorable Man (California Premiere), Care, Gift, Immaculate Reception, Looms, Be My Unfinished (World Premiere), New, One Foot In (World Premiere), Plain Clothes, Salvatore (Nor Cal Premiere), Selling Rosario (World Premiere), The Inheritance, Undercover, Bunion, Humpty (California Premiere), Leonard in Slow Motion, Neighbors, Sure Thing (Nor Cal Premiere), The Motion Picture Co. 1914 (Nor Cal Premiere), The Oven

Animated Shorts:
Collectors, Silent, Humanexus, John Doe, Prelude, Sticky, The Box, The Duck, The Missing Scarf, The Umbrella Factory

Panel Discussions:
Each year the Napa Valley Film Festival welcomes a long guest list of filmmakers and industry attendees for its informative and entertaining panels covering a wide range of topics. The Film Industry Panels take place Friday, November 14 – Sunday, November 16 and are located at 500 First Street, Napa.

Friday, November 14th
• Pitch Contest Boot Camp – Industry veterans Peter Belsito and Scott Manville teach aspiring writers, directors and producers the ins and outs of how to successfully pitch a new project. Help decide which of the 24 semifinalists move on to the final pitch on Sunday. (10:00 a.m.)
• Actors in Conversation – Moderator Dave Karger, Fandango’s Chief Correspondent, gets up close and personal with some of visiting actors as they discuss choosing projects and preparing for roles (12:00 p.m.)
• Power Players – Top talent agents, managers, studio executives, producers and financiers talk about what it really takes to put movie projects together in today’s rapidly evolving entertainment industry. Moderated by J. Todd Harris. (2:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 15th
• Bill Plympton Presents… – “The King of Indie Animation” unspools a tour de force presentation on the art of creative visual story-telling. (10:00 a.m.)
• Hope For Film: A Conversation with Ted Hope – Multi-talented indie producer Ted Hope believes the best days of the film industry still lie ahead. (12:00 p.m.)
• Variety’s 10 Producers to Watch – Variety’s executive editor Steven Gaydos moderates a roundtable discussion with some of the hottest rising stars in the producing world today. The conversation will dive deep into the myriad of challenges and opportunities they encounter every day. (2:00 p.m.)

Sunday, November 16th
• Pitch Contest Final – A dozen finalists pitch their new ideas and audience members get to vote. The winner gets a $1000 cash prize from Scott Manville’s TV Writers Vault and a chance to present to The Weinstein Company. (10:00 a.m.)
• Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Women Behind the Camera – Lissa Gibbs moderates a discussion of the challenges faced by women writer-directors in an industry heavily dominated by men. Our female competition filmmakers share their experiences. (12:00 p.m.)
• Meet the Artists: Documentary Filmmakers – Documentary filmmaking has been having a great run over the past decade. Join 2013 Academy Award winner Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom) and other directors for a lively discussion on bringing their stories to life on the big screen. (2:00 p.m.)

For information or to buy passes, visit NVFF.ORG or call 707-226-7500.

About the Napa Valley Film Festival and Cinema Napa Valley
The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is produced by Cinema Napa Valley, a registered 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Napa, California. Cinema Napa Valley’s mission is to support the art of independent filmmaking and cinematic storytelling; enhance and diversify Napa Valley’s cultural landscape, and to provide educational opportunities in and out of the classroom for local students.

Major Sponsors: Mercedes-Benz (Official Automobile Sponsor), Amazon Web Services & Intel, Sterling Vineyards & Beaulieu Vineyards, Meadowood Napa Valley.
Leading Sponsors: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Stella Artois, Terlato Family Wineries, AVMS, Domaine Chandon, Caesarstone, BRKLY
Supporting Sponsors: ColorZone, The Vintage Estate, The Weinstein Company, Cognition Studio, Classic Party Rentals, Benchmark Wine Group, Indian Springs Resort & Spa, City Winery Napa, Westin Verasa Napa
Top Media and Marketing Partners: Variety, Traditional Home Magazine, More Magazine, Wine Spectator, NBC Bay Area, and XFINITY by Comcast

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World Peace Caravan

In the history of mankind we have not managed to create sustainable world peace yet. Perhaps we need fresher, less jaded, more forward-thinking and guileless minds to help find the solution. Perhaps we should ask our youth for their ideas. After all, they are our next generation of leaders. Why not engage their optimism, ingenuity and dynamism now?

The World Peace Caravan is doing just that. A global peace movement that will culminate in a 12 day camel caravan from Petra, Jordan to Jerusalem in December, 2015. The World Peace Caravan is selecting a delegation of 12 Youth Ambassadors, ages 16-24, from a worldwide pool of candidates to spearhead the caravan. Furthermore, they are fostering an online Youth Community to provide young people everywhere a platform through which to share their ideas, voice their opinions, educate and be educated. Young people the world over will be collaborating on tackling such lofty goals as eradicating poverty and hunger, ensuring environmental sustainability, and attaining healthy lives for all.

Three separate times, Gary Young, CEO of Young Living Essential Oils, dreamt of leading a long caravan of camels through the desert on a journey for peace. The camels, ridden by people of all faiths, came from every direction and merged into one united stream. After the third dream, so vivid it was almost jarring, Gary decided to tell his wife and two of his closest friends about it. Uncannily, they each responded with the exact same words, “This you must do.”

And so began the plans for the inaugural World Peace Caravan, 2015. Gary had recognized the trail that the caravan had traveled in his dreams as the Ancient Frankincense Trail in Arabia, since he had explored the storied trail many times on his travels there to research frankincense for his essential oils company. 3,000 years ago, the Queen of Sheba journeyed 1,400 miles with 750 camels on the ancient trade route to bring her peace offerings to King Solomon in Jerusalem. It was decided that a modern day journey for peace be created that would invite people of all cultures, faiths, and backgrounds to come together on a caravan for peace that will retrace the steps of this earliest peace movement along parts of the Frankincense Trail.

The World Peace Caravan 2015 will begin in Petra, Jordan on December 15, 2015 and end in Jerusalem on December 26. The caravan will be spearheaded by the 12 member World Peace Caravan Youth Delegation and anchored by two landmark events, a two day World Peace Caravan Peace and Health Conference on the Dead Sea in Jordan and a World Peace Caravan Concert for Peace in Jerusalem. After a pre-launch celebration in Petra on the 15th, participants will caravan through Jordan by camel, horse or foot for four days and nights, camping along the way while exchanging multi-cultural activities including music, dance and educational seminars and exploring historical and religious sites.

The caravan will break on December 20 for a high-level, interactive WPC Peace and Health Conference at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center on the shore of the Dead Sea in Jordan on December 21 and 22. The conference of invited international peace advocates will focus on health, education, and the role of women and youth in peacemaking.

On December 23, the caravan will cross the border into the Palestine Authority for a visit to Jericho and a two day trek through the Judean desert, arriving in Bethlehem on December 25. On Saturday, December 26, the caravan will culminate with a Peace Walk into Jerusalem and the blockbuster World Peace Caravan Concert for Peace. Internationally renowned musical artists will mix with musicians from around the globe for a night of once-in-a-lifetime performances at the new state-of-the art Jerusalem Arena. The evening’s festivities will be broadcast and streamed around the world.

The WORLD PEACE CARAVAN is founded by the international D. Gary Young Foundation, a 501 © (3) non-profit organization.

For more information, visit



Fourteenth Annual Tribeca Film Festival Announces 20015 Dates

The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by AT&T, will be held April 15– April 26, 2015 in New York City. Today the Festival announced a call for submissions for narrative features, documentary features, short film entries and transmedia projects. Also announced was the promotion of Genna Terranova to Festival Director and Cara Cusumano to Senior Programmer.
TFF supports and celebrates both American independent voices and established directors from around the world. The Festival hosts screenings of feature and short length films, curated conversations, and master classes. The 2015 Festival will feature Storyscapes, Tribeca’s celebrated transmedia section in collaboration with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin, the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival and the second edition of Tribeca Innovation Week.
TFF supports and celebrates both American independent voices and established directors from around the world. The Festival hosts screenings of feature and short length films, curated conversations, and master classes. The 2015 Festival will feature Storyscapes, Tribeca’s celebrated transmedia section in collaboration with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin, the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival and the second edition of Tribeca Innovation Week.

About the Tribeca Film Festival
The Tribeca Film Festival helps filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enabling the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. It is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors.
Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center, to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music and culture, the Festival brings the industry and community together around storytelling.
The Tribeca Film Festival has screened more than 1,600 films from more than 80 countries since its first edition in 2002. Since inception, it has attracted an international audience of more than 4.9 million attendees and has generated an estimated $900 million in economic activity for New York City.
About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best global wireless coverage, based on offering roaming in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier, and offers the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV service with the AT&T U-verse(r) brand. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.
Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at and YouTube at
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The Heat: The Zeitgeist of Feminism


Summer, a time of soaring temperatures and July 4th festivity, is sadly coming to an end. But not to worry, Katie Dippold’s action-comedy The Heat is still around to replace it! Starring Sandra Bullock as the uptight FBI agent and Melissa McCarthy as her unruly but street-smart associate, this film is a tribute to the progress of women’s independence and the way it has impacted on Hollywood.

The movie builds on the success of Kristen Wiig’s Bridesmaids in that it forwards the female experience as an equally realised narrative. Another comparable screenplay is Abbi Jacobson and Llana Glazer’s Broad City which was written for TV’s Comedy Central. Whether it relates to sexual, romantic or aspirational desires women command the plot in the authorial and creative sense.  With guns, gore and gender discourse however, The Heat is particularly daring.  First of all, not only are the protagonists two independent women but they are placed in the most masculine role imaginable to a civil setting; protectors of the state. The sexist convention of women as weak or unable is voiced by two disgruntled male colleagues throughout: ‘nothing gets done when they let women into the force.’ Needless to say this just makes victory all the more sweet when Ashburn (Bullock) and Mullins (McCarthy) end up showing ‘em what for.

The scene where a knife goes into Ashburn’s leg not once, but twice, is revolutionary; unthinkable to the Phillip Marlowes and James Bonds of the past. Held captive by a drug ring, the only way for the women to escape is to re-impale the instrument of torture as if it were never moved, and catch their attackers by surprise. No more is the damsel in distress or the admiring female accomplice.  These archetypes have not so much left the building as been shot and buried beneath it. Ashburn and Mullins drive and contain the action, no matter how heated (oop) or gruesome it gets.

The relationship that they share is also very telling. The former pushes for that promotion and the latter fights to save her brother, but the two are more than just a female version of the typical brains and brawn pairing: their disjunctive characters portray a new shift in the fight for women’s equality. In 2014 it is about more than women in a professional setting. Intellect and efficiency in the work-place is just one half of the story; personal dynamism is the other. This we see in the physical comfort of Mullins, both with her body and the space she claims around her, and the fact that Ashburn begins to buy into it towards the end.  In her first scene, Mullins is shown wearing baggy clothes and nonchalantly strolling up to a regular purchaser of sex to ask ‘what are we doin’? mmh?’ Later she dives through two parked cars in order to exit hers and shortly throws open her boss’ door to shout to the rest of the office ‘has anyone seen his balls?’ She takes what is due to her socially, not just what is stipulated in equality legislation. There is a relishing of that basic but no less hard-earned autonomy that previous generations of woman have staked out for us and refusal to sit back in silent gratitude.

The witty and buoyant dialogue expands on this. As well as being flat-out hilarious, there is an implicit encouragement of the right to frank and casual discourse. Women are shown bantering and opining in addition to their careers. The bit where Ashburn states, ‘I am a federal agent’, as a stiff and ready retort to anyone challenging her authority, and the lady with whom she is speaking shoots back: ‘oh yea, well I got news for you d***. I work for the postal service. That makes me a federal agent too’, is a particular jewel. Civil liberty is exercised to the fullest emotional extent.  Ashburn’s tightly kept femininity provides the emphasis by contrast. She plays by the assumed rules of etiquette, wearing the pant suits that a woman who takes her job seriously should wear, and following departmental procedures to the point of obstruction. This appears a metaphor for the potential stagnation of gender equality if vocational satisfaction is the only end goal. So, when Ashburn finally does switch to the unorthodox tactics of her partner it can be seen as a celebration of what female freedom can mean today: that complete and shameless take over of individual space.

Through all this, the idea of what defines a liberated woman never errs on simplistic. Mullins demonstrates an independence that accounts for the complexity of defining a “true” gender identity. Certain social norms such as fashion have become a welcome part of women’s day to day living, and indeed no bones are made of digging at Ashburn’s dress sense. Mullins virtually undresses- or assaults? – her dowdy partner to make her presentable to the bar scene, and later harangues her about a hair-clip:  ‘And what is this sh**?’ In this eccentric light the film meets traditional femininity in the middle. Paying attention to one’s appearance can be emancipating if it is an expression of personality, and not a marker of its restriction. When Ashburn points out that Mullins looks quite shoddy, she responds: “I don’t need to worry. I put my sexuality out there through movement.” There is an understanding that femaleness will vary from woman to woman, as long as it does not compromise a basic subjective freedom. As underscored by the loving message that Mullins leaves for Ashburn at the end, it is as much about sisterhood as the fight for gender equality. We should never alienate the people that the cause is about.

The Heat captures the evolution of feminism and broadcasts it on the big screen. It is Rachel Talaley’s Tank Girl all grown up. Explosive exploits are combined with an intellectual awareness that caters to commercial and alternative tastes and draws in women and men. With lively storytelling that is also progressive, you are not just watching a great comedy, but taking a real stand.


2014 VMAs



The 2014 VMA’s was broadcast live, back in the ‘Fantastic’ Forum in Southern California. A live pre-show with Pretty Little Liars star and rising country music singer, Lucy Hale, VMA nominees Charli XCX and Fifth Harmony started the party off right with red carpet performances. The celebration of music strayed away from what had become its ever-present raunchiness and over-sexualized undertones. It is safe to say, that the ceremony was rather tame, in comparison with years past.
Inside the Forum, Jessie J opened up with her kickass collab, Bang Bang”, alongside Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande, who performed their own hit singles “Anaconda” and “Break Free”. Next to the stage was “Stay With Me” a heart-wrenching ballad performed by Brit newcomer, singer-song writer, Sam Smith. All could tell that this talented, soulful Brit is an Artist to Watch nominee who will be sticking around for the long-hall.
Miley Cyrus received Video of the Year honors for her “Wrecking Ball” video. She accepted such honors in true Miley style as she sent a member of homeless youth to the stage in her stead. Her headline-making actions stayed faithful to the tamer theme of the evening. This year she made a notable acceptance speech through another person, a member of the millions strong, homeless and runaway youth. Her antics this year were a welcome deviation from her twerking, and rubbing against Robin Thicke’s genital area, of last year.
The woman dubbed ‘Queen B’, Beyoncé, earned Michael Jackson’s Video Vanguard Award. Husband, Jay-Z and daughter, Blue Ivy, presented her with the award. Beyoncé s staggering eight VMA nominations for her landmark self-titled visual album, further cemented Beyoncé’s status as a superior human being.

 homeless man VMA- Miley Cyrus

Formerly homeless Jesse Helt goes to the stage on Cyrus’ behalf

Fans of Taylor Swift were in for a treat as she tries to top, or come close to, her NYC taxicab performance from 2009, or her hit “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” of 2012. Breakout Aussie star, Iggy Azalea teamed up with fellow VMA Artist to Watch nominee, Rita Ora, to give a devilish performance of chart-topper, “Black Widow”. Maroon 5 decided to lose their VMA virginity Sunday night by performing live for the first time.
If this team of A-list members and bone chilling girl power did not wow your socks off, then perhaps Usher making his triumphant return to the VMA stage helped. If you were still wanting even more of a wow factor, VMA newbies and MTV Artist to Watch band 5 Seconds to Summer, must have left you feeling like you were still in middle school.
The competition for Moonman domination has grown cut-throat this year, as Queen Bey, Eminem, and Iggy Azalea led the nominations. We all hope you watched that superb celebration of music, and made it out unharmed.

2014 VMA female domination

Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Jessie J perform their smash singles

then come together to open the VMA’s & complete the circle of female domination


Creative Soul Studio Review

My mother told me the tale of her wondrous caramel frappe from Creative Soul Studio. I hit Central to try this delectable delight. Failing to fight the heat, I was a little too excited as I entered Creative Soul. Though it was a needed respite from the heat, the excitement only grew more genuine as I took in the space. Creative Soul seemed to wrap its caffeinated arms around me in a warm embrace.

A very friendly brigade of learned artists turned master baristas staff Soul. As a customer of other, more mainstream coffee houses, I find Soul’s staff is genuinely interested in what I have to say and handles every customer’s order with care.
Creative Soul employs the sacred equation of coffee+food+art+friendliness= the best coffee house in all the land! Their positive relationship with art is evident in their eclectic décor, involvement in art week and their status as a gallery. Soul has a stream of regulars in place but they welcome the addition of others! I am a newcomer to Soul and am warmly welcomed, I imagine you will be as well.



SCAD presents the 17th annual Savannah Film Festival




The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) proudly presents the 17th Annual Savannah Film Festival from October 25 to November 1. The eight day festival is filled with cinematic creativity from both award-winning professionals and emerging student filmmakers. Each year more than 40,000 people attend the festival to take part in a variety of film competitions, special screenings, workshops, panels and lectures.

PASSES: Passes start at $75 to $750 per person and are on sale now. Individual tickets go on sale October 1st. For more information, contact or call (912) 525-5051.

One of the few festivals started by an arts university, the Savannah Film Festival runs the gamut of cinematic creativity by showcasing the very best in independent filmmaking. From feature-length films with compelling stories to two-minute shorts with innovative approaches, the festival promises to keep audiences engaged and hungry for more.

Screenings take place at the Trustees Theatre at 216 E. Broughton St., the Lucas Theatre for the Arts at 32 Abercorn St. and the SCAD Museum of Art Theatre at 601 Turner Blvd.

In addition to the competition films, the festival also screens award-winning studio releases ahead of their theatrical run. Before the evening gala screenings, the festival honors leaders in the film industry including directors, producers, actors, screenwriters, entertainment journalists and editors. Previous festival honorees include Alexander Payne, Jeremy Irons, Natalie Dormer, Abigail Breslin, John Goodman, Matt Dillon, Stan Lee, Diane Lane, Lily Tomlin, Oliver Stone, Ray Liotta, James Marsden, Aaron Eckhart, Geoffrey Fletcher, Ellen Barkin, Liam Neeson, Miles Teller, Sir Ian McKellen, Isabella Rossellini, Patricia Clarkson, Charlie Rose, the Redgraves, Jeremy Renner, Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, Arthur Penn, Emmy Rossum, Michael Douglas, Milos Forman, Brett Ratner, John Sayles, Roger Ebert, Kathleen Turner, Norman Jewison, Sidney Lumet, Peter O’Toole, Debbie Reynolds, Malcolm McDowell and many others!

Please visit for more information. You can find them on Twitter at @savfilmfest and on Facebook at

 Use hashtag #SAVFF if you are Tweeting!


Janis Ian & Tom Paxton at the Capitol Theatre


GRAMMY® Award-Winners
Janis Ian And Tom Paxton
Together At Last
At The Capitol Theatre On Monday, April 13 At 7:30 pm

Tickets Go On Sale Saturday, September 20 At 10 am

Two of America’s greatest songwriters, Janis Ian and Tom Paxton, will perform at the Capitol Theatre on
Monday, April 13 at 7:30 pm. Tickets go on sale Saturday, September 20 at 10 am at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket
Office. Performing together on the Capitol Theatre stage for the first time, Together At Last will present Janis Ian
and Tom Paxton singling all their best known songs, plus a lot more.

One of the great American songwriters of our day and a towering talent, Janis Ian penned such classics as
Jesse, Stars, At Seventeen (which earned her a GRAMMY® Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance) and so
many more. Her songs have been recorded by countless diverse artists. Ian’s art is not for the faint of heart. Her
first hit (Society’s Child, at age 14) ignited controversy. Janis has never been afraid of voicing the truth. Her art is
still fresh, powerful and passionate. In 2013 she won another GRAMMY®, for her spoken word album, Society’s

Always armed with his acoustic guitar, Tom Paxton emerged with his share of what were then called protest
songs and became a voice of his generation, addressing issues of injustice and inhumanity, laying bare the
absurdities of modern culture. But he also wrote songs about love and humor and celebrated the tenderest bonds
of family, friends and community. Many became oft-covered standards (including Bottle of Wine, Ramblin’ Boy
and The Last Thing On My Mind. In 2009, Tom received a Lifetime Achievement Award during the 51st
GRAMMY® Awards.

Reserved tickets priced at $42 and $29 will be available at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office located at 1111
McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater or by calling 727.791.7400. The Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office is open
Monday through Saturday, from 10 am to 6 pm and one hour prior to show time. Patrons may also purchase
tickets at 24/7.



Béla Fleck And Abigail Washburn
In Concert
At The Capitol Theatre On Sunday, March 8 At 8 pm 

Tickets Go On Sale Saturday, September 20 At 10 am

On tour in support of the self-titled CD of duets, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn come to the Capitol Theatre for one night only, Sunday, March 8 at 8 pm.  Tickets go on sale Saturday, September 20 at 10 am at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office.  Béla and Abigail’s CD features original and traditional material that showcase’s Abigail’s voice and their two different banjo styles, on various types of banjos, such as cello, baritone and uke, along with their regular banjos.Béla is often considered the premier banjo player in the world. A New York City native, he is the recipient of multiple GRAMMY® Awards going back to 1998, Bela’s total GRAMMY® count is 15 won, and 30 nominations. He has been nominated in more different categories (jazz, classical, pop, country, world music, Latin, bluegrass, etc.) than any musician in GRAMMY® history.

Béla’s wife, Abigail is a well-known singer, songwriter and clawhammer banjo player.  Her music ranges from the “all-g’earl” string band sound of Uncle Earl to her bi-lingual solo release Song of the Traveling Daughter (2005), to the mind-bending “chamber-roots” sound of the Sparrow Quartet.

Reserved tickets priced at $$59.50, $49.50 and $39.50  will be available at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office located at 1111 McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater or by calling 727.791.7400.  The Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 am to 6 pm and one hour prior to show time. Patrons may also purchase tickets at 24/7.

Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc., a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, manages and operates the Richard B. Baumgardner Center for the Performing Arts, the Capitol Theatre and other related site events such as Ruth Eckerd Hall On The Road and Friends of Music. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc.’s mission is to engage the community to master, experience, discover and explore quality performing arts.The Capitol Theatre, located in downtown Clearwater’s Cleveland District, was constructed in 1921 and is one of Florida’s oldest operating theaters. Through a partnership between the City of Clearwater and Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc., the Capitol Theatre is undergoing a $9 million renovation that will see the 92-year old venue go through an inspired reimagining, where the customer experience will be greatly enhanced. The 750-seat theater will host more than 150 events a year and will be the catalyst for downtown development presenting a much wider variety of events including pop, rock, jazz and classical concerts, musicals, comedy, movies and more.