Stefani Saintonge Named as Winner of ESSENCE’s Black Women in Hollywood Short Film Contest

WINNER’S FILM WILL BE HIGHLIGHTED DURING ESSENCE’S STAR-STUDDED 7TH ANNUAL BLACK WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD LUNCHEON ON FEBRUARY 27TH

ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Event to Honor Lupita Nyong’o, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Ava Duvernay

ESSENCE And Tyler Perry Honor Outstanding Accomplishments In Cinema With A Special Celebration Of Black Men In Hollywood

INTIMATE DINNER REMEMBERS 2013 MILESTONE ACHIEVEMENTS AND INSPIRING MOMENTS ON CAMERA AND BEHIND THE SCENES

ESSENCE, the #1 media brand for African-American women, has named Stefani Saintonge as the winner of its first The Essence Black Women in Hollywood Short Film Contest: Spotlight On Our Journeys, it was announced today.

ESSENCE-Logo

An ESSENCE first, the Black Women in Hollywood Short Film Contest challenged entrants to present unique, refreshing visions of Black women—multidimensional portrayals that are different from the stereotypical and often negative images that respondents in a recent ESSENCE study said don’t reflect the totality of who they are. Last November, ESSENCE invited aspiring filmmakers to showcase their own inspiring images reflecting the truths and triumphs of Black women’s lives by entering the contest. Contest finalists were selected from an eclectic gathering of submissions by a team of ESSENCE editors. From there, ESSENCE’s Black Women in Hollywood Academy, featuring top industry tastemakers chose Saintonge as the winner—who will be recognized in the company of A-listers during the 7th annual ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon held onFebruary 27, 2014. Saintonge will receive the Black Women in Hollywood Discovery Award. Saintonge’s journey will be chronicled on Essence.com, and a portion of her film will be shown at the Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon.

The Black Women in Hollywood Academy featured Shonda Rhimes, creator and executive producer of hit shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal; actress Regina King; husband and wife producing team Mara Brock and Salim Akil; film director and writer Gina Prince Bythewood; producer Stephanie Allain; PEOPLE movie criticAlynda Wheat; director and editor-in-chief of Shadow and Act Tambay Obenson; filmmaker Ava DuVernay; director of development for 34th Street Films Amber Rasberry; and screenwriter and director Dee Rees. Continue reading

Lena Dunham to Be Honored by Point Foundation

“Girls” Creator and Star Will Receive Award at Point Honors New York on April 7

Point Foundation (Point) will present its Horizon Award to Lena Dunham, the Golden Globe Winner and Emmy Nominated Actress and Producer of HBO’s “Girls.” The Point Horizon Award recognizes a young trailblazer who has taken a leadership role as an advocate of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community showing unwavering support.

The Point Foundation empowers promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society.  Since 2001, Point has invested more than $15 million in the education and support of Point Scholars. Point Foundation promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development, and community service training.

POINT FOUNDATION

While most students today face daunting monetary challenges as they weigh their educational options, nearly one-third of LGBTQ students drop out of high school. This figure is three times the national average according to a Lambda Legal report.

To serve this population, Point Foundation has invested more than $15 million in education and support since 2001. Students who will be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs for the 2014-2015 academic year are eligible to apply for Point Foundation’s multiyear scholarship.

Point’s rigorous selection process for awarding scholarships requires that candidates demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, community involvement and financial need. Attention is also paid to students who have lost the financial and social support of their families and/or communities as a result of revealing their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Point Scholars agree to maintain a high level of academic performance and to give back to the LGBTQ community through the completion of an individual community service project each year. Each scholar is paired with a mentor and participates in leadership development training with fellow Point Scholars, including an annualLeadership Conference. After graduating, Point Scholars become part of Point’s growing alumni network, connecting them with caring individuals and professional contacts throughout the nation.

Attaining a college education remains a worthy goal and sound investment toward a better future for millions of Americans, many of whom – like the 38 percent of Point’s 2013 scholar class – will be the first-generation of their family to go to college,” said Jorge Valencia. “Year after year we receive thousands of applications for Point Scholarships from deserving LGBTQ students who need support to improve their lives by getting a higher education degree.” Continue reading

The New Generation Hamilton Pan Europ H-30 Makes it Debut at BaselWorld 2014

In 2014 Hamilton is raising the bar for its Pan Europ family with a brand new, high-performance automatic movement. The Pan Pan EuropEurop H-30, with its 80 hours of typical power reserve, is rooted in sporty design that is both chic and dynamic. Today’s watches continue the series’ tradition of showcasing technological advancements – the original Hamilton Pan Europ, introduced in 1971, contained one of the world’s first automatic chronograph movements. Whether the wearer is taking time out for a long weekend or pushing personal sporting performance, this timepiece is a reliable partner.

Modern materials and color schemes translate the Pan Europ heritage into an eye-catching contemporary timepiece. The circular dial flows into angular lugs to frame a turning bezel with an aluminum ring. Color is king and supports timekeeping and styling. White reflector on the dial and hands with Superluminova literally make the hours and minutes leap out. Fiery red takes control of the markings from 12 to 3 o’clock and of the fine second hand. It also makes an appearance in stripe form on the textile straps and to cover the surface of the round cut-outs in the black leather ones. Although every second counts, days and dates also have their place – in this case at the 3 o’clock mark.

Hamilton was founded in 1892 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA. Hamilton watches combine the American spirit with the unrivalled precision of the latest Swiss movements and technologies. Known for its innovative design, Hamilton has a strong foothold in Hollywood, with products appearing in 400 films. The brand also boasts a strong aviation heritage. Hamilton is a member of the Swatch Group, the largest watch manufacturer and distributor in the world with 160 production sites in Switzerland.

BaselWorld 2014 Preview: AEROWATCH Launches New Renaissance Fir Tree Timepiece

Aerowatch SA is celebrating the arrival of spring with a newcomer to its successful “Grande Squelette” collection. Named “Renaissance Fir Tree“, the new creation unites the venerable craft of piercing with 21st-century aesthestics. Rooted in regional construction traditions, the ornamental “style sapin” brings the eloquence of art nouveau to the realm of watchmaking artistry.

RENAISSANCE SKELETON 'FIR TREE'

RENAISSANCE SKELETON ‘FIR TREE’

The gently rounded, stately case and the eye-catching yellow strap with a safety clasp put the spotlight on this exciting new model.
Aligned with the zeitgeist of our era, this elaborately crafted skeleton watch addresses the preferences of style-conscious men who find appeal in authenticity. To assure enhanced legibility at night, the hour and minute hands are coated with Superluminova. A modern reinterpretation of fascinating craftsmanship, this watch reflects the confident taste of its owner. The “style sapin” has a prominent presence in the brushed, manually wound skeleton movement. The “Renaissance Fir Tree” is yet another example of the unmistakably style-defining Aerowatch signature.

The new timepiece is available exclusively through Aerowatch points of sale.

SHOWTIME® Unleashes MAD DOG: INSIDE THE SECRET WORLD OF MUAMMAR GADDAFI

Documentary is a Riveting Chronicle Of The Libyan Dictator’s Tyrannical Regime

As the United States continues to confront the myriad strategic challenges and controversies that have arisen in the wake of the Arab Spring and the fall of Libyan strong man Muammar Gaddafi, SHOWTIME will premiere the new feature-length documentary MAD DOG: INSIDE THE SECRET WORLD OF MUAMMAR GADDAFI, an in-depth and provocative look into the tyrannical regime of one of the world’s most infamous dictators. The 90-minute documentary will premiere on SHOWTIME on Friday, April 11th at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.

MAD DOG: INSIDE THE SECRET WORLD OF MUAMMAR GADDAFI takes viewers on a worldwide journey, gaining exclusive access and interviews with palace insiders and those who gave shape to Gaddafi’s dark dreams. They include a fugitive from US justice who helped Gaddafi kill his enemies worldwide, and was a major supplier for the dictator’s international terror Showtime-Logoenterprise; Valerie Plame, the famous CIA counter-proliferation operative; the widow of the Libyan foreign minister whose body Gaddafi kept in a freezer; the American businessman who supplied Gaddafi with lethal poisons; a female bodyguard who adored him until she saw teenagers raped and executed; as well as Gaddafi’s German rocket designer and sometime confidante. Their collective stories represent a unique and rare close-up glimpse of a brutal and contradictory, yet sometimes vulnerable dictator – a dictator who kept the world continually fascinated for the more than 40 years he occupied the international stage. Muammar Gaddafi’s story is a study in the exercise of absolute power, told not by politicians but by those who directly served the late Libyan leader who at the height of his reign was earning more than 1 billion dollars a week in oil revenues. Ronald Reagan called him a mad dog; his story is stranger than fiction.

MAD DOG: INSIDE THE SECRET WORLD OF MUAMMAR GADDAFI was produced by Fresh One Productions for SHOWTIME. The film was directed, produced and filmed by award-winning filmmaker Christopher OlgiatiRoy Ackerman served as Executive Producer and the film was co-produced by Michael Chrisman.

New “I Know New York” Game Asks, “Do You?”

“I Know New York,” a new board game produced in the USA, is available in a New York minute for those looking for a game with a challenge.

We’ll capture the imagination and harness everyone’s ability in ‘I Know New York’.” – John Sahler, vice president and general manager of the parent company Nut Island, LLC.

The company’s first board game, “I Know New York”, is a fast-paced, multi-player board game based on New York trivia. It has taken two years for a team of six writers to create the game and the woman-owned business plans to produce several more games in 2014. Based in Loudonville, NY, a suburb of Albany, the company is committed to quality products made in the USA.

 “I Know New York” Trivia Board Game

“I Know New York” Trivia Board Game

Based on New York State trivia, the game is both informative and entertaining. Did you know there are a wealth of attractions as well as people, animals, and more to discover in New York. “With this game, players can challenge themselves, their family, and their friends. It’s both competitive and informative. It’s impossible not to learn something while you play,” said Mr. Sahler.

Game play features surprising reversals of fortune, interesting pictures and graphics, and easy-to-read text. Various options change the length of the game. The categories within the game include:

• A “Know It All” category for brainiacs.

• Multiple-choice questions for the rest of us.

• And, a “Raider” option for the fiercely competitive.

Playing this unique board game allows anywhere from 2 to more than 12 players — as single players or as a team — to test and expand their knowledge of New York State. Topics include New York geography, people, history, arts, sports, natural history, and pop culture — plus an “I Know It All” category. “I Know It All” allows the player to win the category of their choice when answered correctly.

While creating the game, research led to the discovery of some unusual sports in New York including roller derby and hot air ballooning. There are a total of 785 question cards in this board game.

To create the game, the team first had to name the categories they wanted and then split each up and assign to a question writer, basing their decision on the writer’s background, education, hobbies and general knowledge. The eight categories include Arts, People, Geography, Pop Culture, History, Sports, Natural History and “I Know It All” (the wild card). After that a question-writing guide was assembled that covered many of the pitfalls that often occur when writing questions. Each question is multiple choice with three possible answers, unlike other similar trivia games.

The writers tasked with creating the questions that would eventually make up the game relied on spontaneous stimuli for the most part. Writers would come up with questions while traveling, they would write as a result of conversation with others that sparked an idea and of course they got many questions from historical and factual information about New York’s indigenous animals, fish, plants, and even shellfish.

In addition to these trivia questions about New York State, the “I Know New York” board game also includes questions concerning a culled list of prominent New Yorkers. Some research spurred interesting conversations (such as discovering some unusual sports like tree topping and boomerang), but many were cut from the final list of 785 question cards that made it to the board game.

The New York themed trivia board game was a labor of love for the 6 writers who were in charge of writing and editing the 8 categories of questions that would make up the heart of the game. This game challenges your intellect and caters to an advanced audience, but even those who can’t seem to get a pie piece in Trivial Pursuit™ could find better luck with the multiple choice format of “I Know New York.” It really is a game everyone can enjoy!

We believe that the more you know about New York State, the more you will love it. Did you know that New York is home to the largest park in the contiguous United States, was the first capital of the U.S. and has its own sauerkraut prince and princess? Plus, New York has sent four presidents to Washington,” Mr. Sahler said.

Anyone who would like to purchase the game, or retailers who would like to add “I Know New York” to their product line, should contact Nut Island at www.nutisland.com.

Pink to Appear on the Oscars®, CHRISTOPH WALTZ RETURNS TO PRESENT, 2014 Governors Ball Creative Team Held Press Preview

As the preparations for the 2014 Oscars continues,  show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced that Grammy PinkAward®-winning singer and actress Pink will make a special appearance on the Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

We are very excited to welcome Pink to the Oscar® stage for the very first time,” said Zadan and Meron. “She is regarded as one of the greatest voices in pop music and one of the best performers of her generation, and we are thrilled to have her join us for a highly anticipated moment on the broadcast.”

Pink has won three Grammy Awards and six MTV Video Music Awards, including Best Collaboration for the single “Just Give Me A Reason” from her 2012 album “The Truth About Love.” The song was her eighth to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Top 40 chart, setting an industry record. Named Billboard Woman of the Year in 2013, Pink has sold over 40 million albums and 65 million singles. Acting under her given name, Alecia Moore, she received critical acclaim for her role in the 2013 ensemble drama “Thanks for Sharing,” which starred Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins and Gwyneth Paltrow.

The Academy's 2014 Governors Ball will be held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center®. The 86th Oscars® will be presented on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network.

The Academy’s 2014 Governors Ball will be held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center®. The 86th Oscars® will be presented on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network.

2014 Governors Ball Creative Team Held Press Preview

The 2014 Governors Ball Creative Team also held a Governors Ball Press Preview to showcase the  décor, menu, entertainment and the attire to be worn by the evening’s staff. The Governors Ball, the Academy’s official post-Oscar® celebration, which will immediately follow the 86th Oscars® ceremony on Sunday, March 2, will 1,500 invited guests include Oscar winners and nominees, show presenters and other telecast participants. This year’s Ball will feature lush vertical gardens designed with classic, elegant lines, inviting guests to meet, mingle and celebrate under the stars.

Wolfgang Puck, along with chef Matt Bencivenga, will create the menu featuring more than 50 imaginative dishes, from one-bite hors d’oeuvres to small-plate entrees that will be passed throughout the evening. The menu, which includes such signature favorites as smoked salmon Oscars, chicken pot pie with shaved black truffles, and mini American Wagyu burgers with aged Cheddar and remoulade, will incorporate local produce and sustainable seafood. Modern presentations such as crispy lobster shrimp dumplings with five spice and bites of fried chicken with white grits will add excitement, while an expanded selection of vegan dishes, including shots of carrot orange gazpacho, taro root tacos with avocado, and butternut squash with farro and wild rice will have a more prominent focus.

Master chef Wolfgang Puck and Alison Crary, winemaker at Sterling Vineyards.

Master chef Wolfgang Puck and Alison Crary, winemaker at Sterling Vineyards.

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