Holocaust-Era Academy Awards Selection DARA OF JASENOVAC, Official Trailer Released

101 Studios has released the official trailer and poster for Serbia’s official Academy Awards selection for Best International Feature, DARA OF JASENOVAC, along with a featurette that takes a behind-the-scenes look at this first-ever feature film about theviolent Holocaust-era concentration camp complex Jasenovac. Directed and produced by Predrag Peter Antonijevic, DARA OF JASENOVAC personalizes this part of history that has been mainly concealed from the public, through the eyes of a young girl named Dara. To this day, there is still controversy surrounding on how many lives were actually taken at Jasenovac.

Set in 1940s Croatia, DARA OF JASENOVAC follows 10-year-old Dara (Biljana Cekic) as she comes face-to-face with the horrors of the Holocaust-era after she, her mother and siblings are sent to the concentration camp complex known as Jasenovac. Considered one of the most overlooked parts of history, Jasenovac is not run by the Germans but by the fascist Ustase who brutally murdered Jews, Serb and Roma people, which included many women and children.

As unspeakable atrocities start to unfold, Dara must summon tremendous courage to protect her infant brother from a terrible fate while she safeguards her own survival and plots a precarious path toward freedom.

DARA OF JASENOVAC opens in select theaters on February 5, 2021.

Here is the film’s synopsis
In 1940s Croatia, 10-year-old Dara (Biljana Cekic) comes face-to-face with the horrors of the Holocaust-era after she is sent with her mother and siblings to the concentration camp complex known as Jasenovac. Overseen by vicious emissaries of the fascist Ustase government, the facility, the only operational death camp during World War II not created or run by the Germans, is tasked with murdering Serbs, Jews and Roma people-and re-educating the few children deemed worthy of rehabilitation. As unspeakable atrocities unfold all around her, young Dara must summon tremendous courage to protect her infant brother from a terrible fate, to safeguard her own survival and to plot a precarious path toward freedom.

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Film Feature: Silence & Darkness

aiphotostudioAfter the death of their mother, blind and deaf sisters Anna and Beth live happily in a secluded small town with Father. However, when a neighbor stops by, Anna and Beth begin to question Father’s medical diagnoses and start to realize his intentions are more sinister than they could have imagined.

Shot in the haunting ephemeral landscapes of Vermont, and at times disturbing, Silence & Darkness carefully crafts a harrowing, and eerie portrait of two sisters forced to use every skill they have to uncover the truth about their family. Writer/director Barak Barkan’s feature debut takes the audience to an elliptical presence in Anna and Beth’s world, guiding our imaginations to follow them into peculiar, secret places.

“I sought to create tension between the viewer and the film, both through Anna and Beth’s interactions and Father’s backstory,” says writer/director Barak Barkan. “My goal is that while viewing the film, the audience will inhabit a constant state of curious unease—desperate to find out what led to the circumstances of this family’s life and what is going to happen next—while simultaneously fearful of the answer.”

Silence & Darkness is now available on VOD/Digital in the U.S. and Canada on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, as well as Direct TV, Dish Network, Vubiquity, and Deluxe Canada. Silence & Darkness is written and directed by Barak Barkan. Produced by Barkan, and Pablo Burn. Cinematography by Omar Nasr, edited by Colton Fordyce, and music by Bob Dylan.

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Julia Ormand Stars in “Reunion”

aiphotoimaging aiphotostudioJulia Ormand (TV’s The Walking Dead: World Beyond, My Week With Marilyn), returns in the psychological thriller “Reunion”, from Dark Sky Films. See new trailer below.

The film is set for releasee in theaters, VOD and digital platforms on February 5th, 2021.

Written and directed by Jake Mahaffy (Free in Deed), the film also stars Emma Draper (Wellington Paranormal), Cohen Holloway (Thor: Ragnarok, What We Do In The Shadows), Ava Keane (Daffodils), Gina Laverty (Wellington Paranormal), John Bach (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Return of the King)

Here is the film’s official synopsis:

A pregnant woman returns to her recently deceased grandparents’ old family home to spend time with her estranged mother. What begins as a tenuous reunion slowly turns terrifying.

A psychological thriller that preys upon perception, REUNION sees veteran actress Julia Ormond (TV’s The Walking Dead: World Beyond, My Week With Marilyn) deliver a tour-de-force performance of threateningly quiet intensity and features a twisty narrative that will burrow itself into the darkest corners of your mind.

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McFarlane Toys Launches DUNE 2021 Movie Collectible Figure Line

McFarlane Toys today announced the launch of its stunning DUNE 2021 movie collectible line, which will bring to vivid life the characters featured in the highly-anticipated motion picture from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, due in theaters on October 1, 2021.

McFarlane Toys is bringing all the DUNE 2021 movie action into this spectacular line inspired by the likenesses of the film’s star-studded cast, including Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem and Dave Bautista. Known for its evolution in action figures and its ability to capture the picture-perfect likeness of characters, McFarlane Toys has created a DUNE 2021 collectible figure line that features detailed 7-inch Build-A and 12-inch scale figures and incredibly intricate costume and accessory elements designed with “Ultra-Articulation” for extreme posing.

The DUNE BUILD-A 7-INCH line includes:

Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet)
Paul Atreides, the leader of this epic adventure, is featured in a Fremen Stillsuit that enables the human body to survive in the sun-scorched open deserts of Arrakis.
Paul comes with a crysknife, twin blades, a base, and the piece to the Build-A Rabban figure.
Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson)

Lady Jessica, a member of the order of the Bene Gesserit and highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat, is featured in a Fremen Stillsuit that enables the human body to survive in the sun-scorched open deserts of Arrakis.
Lady Jessica comes with a crysknife, fremkit, a base, and the piece to the Build-A Rabban figure.
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The World’s Last Blockbuster Overcame Netflix, Now It’s Surviving the Pandemic

The Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon, is enacting safety and social-distancing measures to keep the lights on through the pandemic.

The Blockbuster video store in Bend, Oregon, is the last of its kind in the entire world, and it’s miraculously surviving not just the streaming era but also the coronavirus pandemic. In a new interview with Vice, the store’s longtime general manager Sandi Harding said she’s keeping the lights on by making the store as safe as possible.

Because the local DVD distributor is closed, Harding ventures to major retailers with her mask and gloves on to purchase new films for her store.

“The big title for next week is ‘Call of the Wild,” Harding told Vice. “I usually start out with 30 copies on DVD, and 12 to 14 Blu-Ray. I’ll go to Walmart, Target, Fred Meyer, every retailer we have here in town, and I’ll only get five or 10 from each one.

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‘Contagion’ stars Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and more share medically approved PSAs about coronavirus: ‘Wash your hands like your life depends on it’

Contagion, the 2011 movie about a fictional pandemic sweeping the globe, has resurged in popularity in the wake of the coronavirus.

Now, the team behind the film, including its stars Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and Laurence Fishburne, is reminding people how to stay safe during what’s quickly become a global health crisis.

It’s part of a campaign, called Control the Contagion, that cast members, director Steven Soderbergh, writer Scott Z. Burns, production company Participant Media and scientists from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health have created to promote accurate information about the pandemic. The result is several public service announcements, which have been fact-checked by medical experts, and feature an A-list cast, with more to come.

Damon, in his PSA, stressed the importance of social distancing. He debunked the myth that young people aren’t affected by the coronavirus and advised everyone to stay home.

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2020 BAFTA Awards: ‘Joker,’ ‘Once Upon a Time’ and ‘The Irishman’ Lead Noms

By Creative Media Times

Just as Oscar nominations voting is wrapping up, nominations for the 2020 BAFTAs or British Academy Film Awards has been announced today, Tuesday.

Joker received the most nominations with 11. Not far behind were Martin Scorsese’s epic crime film The Irishman and Quentin Tarantino’s comedy-drama Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with 10 each. Sam Mendes’ epic war 1917 received nine.

All four films, along with Taika Waititi’s comedy-drama Jojo Rabbit, and Bong Joon-ho’s black comedy drama thriller Parasite, will be competing for BAFTA’S Best Film category.

Joaquin Phoenix, who played the title character in “Joker” and who recently won a Golden Globe for best actor in a drama on Sunday is nominated for lead actor, along with Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Driver, Taron Egerton and Jonathan Pryce.

The 73rd BAFTA Film Awards, which recognise the very best in film of the past year, is set to held on Sunday, Feb. 2 at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall. The awards will be broadcast on the BBC, with talk show host Graham Norton hosting.

See the full list of nominees below:

Best Film
“1917”
“The Irishman”
“Joker”
“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”
“Parasite”

Outstanding British Film
“1917”
“Bait”
“For Sama”
“Rocketman”
“Sorry We Missed You”
“The Two Popes”

Best Director
Sam Mendes (“1917”)
Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”)
Todd Phillips (“Joker”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Bong Joon-ho (“Parasite”)

Leading Actress
Jessie Buckley (“Wild Rose”)
Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”)
Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”)
Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”)
Renée Zellweger (“Judy”)

Leading Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”)
Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”)
Taron Egerton (“Rocketman”)
Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”)
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UK Honors Steve McQueen, Sam Mendes and More

By Creative Media Times

Oscar-winning directors Steve McQueen and Sam Mendes have both received knighthoods in the New Year Honours. The two are among the 1,097 honored on Friday.

Also in the honours list were Grammy Award-winning singer Olivia Newton-John, playwright Christopher Hampton, and Queen drummer Roger Taylor.

Mendes, whose latest World War I film “1917” reshuffled the current award season contenders after a late December release, broke out in Hollywood in a big way after winning the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Director in 1999’s American Beauty.

That film also won the Best Picture at the Oscars. He’s also directed blockbusters such as the crime drama Tom Hanks starrer Road to Perdition, and the last two James Bond installments Spectre and Skyfall. He is recognized for “services to drama”.

Critically acclaimed director Steve McQueen was recognized for services to film. He is the first black filmmaker to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, which he won for his 2013 historical drama 12 Years a Slave. He also directed erotic drama Shame (2011), and last year’s heist film Widows (2018).

The British-born Australian singer and actress Olivia Newton-John has been honoured with a Damehood for services to charity, cancer research, and entertainment. Newton-John has starred in hugely successful 70s musical Grease, the soundtrack of which is regarded as one of the most successful in history. She’s also a four-time Grammy award winner and achieved five number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

Sir Elton John was also made a Companion of Honour for services to music and charity.

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Miss South Africa Is 2019 Miss Universe

By Armando

Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi, was crowned Miss Universe.
Photo: Armando (aiphotoimaging.com

Zozibini Tunzi was crowned as the new Miss Universe after impressing the judges on her final question and answer portion, as well as her beauty and grace during the swimsuit and evening gown competitions. Miss Mexico and Miss Puerto Rico were the two runners-up.

“I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my color skin, and my kind of hair is not considered beautiful,” Tunzi said on Sunday. “I think it is time that stops today. I want children to look at my face and I want them to see their face reflected in mine.”

Tunzi is an activist against gender violence. According to the Miss Universe organization, she is a “proud advocate for natural beauty and encourages women to love themselves the way they are.”

During final question and answer portion, Zozibini was asked about what we should teach today’s young girls, to which she replied: “I think the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership. It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time, not because we don’t want to, but because of what society has labelled women to be,” she said.

“I think we are the most powerful beings on the world, and that we should be given every opportunity. And that is what we should be teaching these young girls, to take up space, Tunzi added”

The event was held on Sunday at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. During the press conference, Tunzi added that it was “very special” to win the crown at the major studio complex owned by an African-American.

Miss Universe 2019 Pre-Show Arrivals
Photos: Armando (aiphotoimaging.com)

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Crowdfunding Campaign For Christopher Dennis aka Hollywood Superman’s Funeral Launched

Christopher Dennis, AKA Hollywood Boulevard Superman, tragically passed away November 2 at the age of 52. Chris had been homeless, off and on, for three years prior to his passing, sometimes sleeping in shelters. Family, friends, and fans who had helped him find lodgings over the years, hope to raise funds to give him a final resting place where he can be at peace for eternity.

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise funds for a funeral service, cremation, grave/niche plot, and a memorial plaque at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. https://www.gofundme.com/f/funeral-service-for-hollywood-superman

The GoFundMe page was created on behalf of Christopher’s widow, Bonnie Finkenthal Dennis, by Vladislav Kozlov, his long-time friend and director, who produced of a short film starring Christopher, as himself, and film legend Franco Nero, called “The Kid,” and has been filming with Christopher for the hybrid documentary feature about Christopher’s life, called “American Superman” since 2013.
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