Teen Indie Film, TO SAVE A LIFE, Debuts With Impressive Numbers on Opening Weekend

to-save-a-life-stills-0326 Jan 2010 19:56 Africa/Lagos

Teen Indie Film, TO SAVE A LIFE, Debuts With Impressive Numbers on Opening Weekend

Teens embrace Samuel Goldwyn Films’ release that encourages and inspires, but now has literally saved lives Social media has kicked off a movement of 90,000 Facebook fans actively building a community of support

OCEANSIDE, Calif., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ — How can a little indie film with no major actors, no real TV advertising, and little attention from the mainstream press catch the attention of 215,000 teenagers who came out opening weekend?

How can it also have the #1 fan rating today on Fandango.com and Flixter.com?

IndieWire.com says “‘Life’ Debuts Strong” and “debuted on an aggressive 441 screens and managed to break the overall top 15. The film – about ‘an all-star athlete must change his life – and sacrifice his dreams to save the lives of others’ – grossed an impressive $1,499,400.” (Final numbers in today give the weekend gross for To Save A Life at $1,513,955)

In comparison, To Save A Life was neck and neck with teen horror flick Daybreakers, however To Save A Life was on less than a third of the number of screens. A similar story occurred with Youth In Revolt, which was on 300 more screens, yet To Save A Life grossed nearly $700,000 more.

The LA Times calls the film an “absorbing redemption story” that “is a deftly acted, generally absorbing cautionary tale with wider allure than its faith-based label may imply.”

The Miami Herald reports, “It features good acting, excellent production values and even a solidly eclectic musical score that ranges from rap to alternative.”

Big Hollywood.com, on the making of the film, states, “To Save a Life is perhaps even more a miracle than the average feature film. Not only did it beat the odds, it did so with its soul still firmly attached.” In contrast to more typical teen fair, such as Youth In Revolt and Daybreakers, it begs to ask the question – are teens looking for more?

“I was thinking as I was approached about this film, why aren’t we creating films that can actually make a positive change in the life of teens, movies that don’t just entertain, but also make an impact in the lives of the viewers?” said Brian Baugh, director of To Save A Life. Exit polls from teens after having seen the film show they want be challenged. And, they feel typical Hollywood films aren’t inspiring them to make their schools a better place.

Not only do box office numbers speak loudly, but the social media sites prove this point. The movie’s official Facebook page jumped over 30,000 users in the last five days – with over 90,000 active users. This number, compared to Youth In Revolt’s 42,000 fans, and the Book of Eli’s 44,000 fans, is compelling. Now, local splinter groups are breaking off, creating To Save A Life groups for their own communities.

Teens are coming together on the Facebook site, talking about their lives, their struggles, and inspiring each other to reach out to the hurting and lonely in their communities.

The proof comes from what teens are saying about the movie themselves:

Nicole- This movie saved my life, last night i attempted suicide but didnt succeed and my confirmation sponsor asked if i wanted to go see it today and as much as i didnt want to i did, and it made me think so much. I have been where jake was on top of everything and no matter what was happening in your life i always had a smile on my face but i have also been in jonny’s position too, i used to cut, people just dont no peoples breaking points and i wish people could just be who they want to be without being judged or doubted on your abilities. i was, and now i realize if you trust in the lord and just do the right thing, you will be just fine.

Mark – IN 6th grade i felt alone. i didnt feel like anyone liked me. today, i still feel like some people are just acting nice to me. i dont know what to do. i feel alone a lot, and i dont know what to do. Please help me. The movie was great and got me thinking that other people are just like me. I still feel alone, please help me.

Missy – I cried when I saw the movie, because I want real life to be like that. I never had anyone to turn to when I was depressed, and I still don’t. I don’t cut myself and I don’t try to hurt anymore, I’ve made a few friends but none of them have seen me hurt. I hide it all in a mask of shame, but I’m going to take off the mask, finally I’m gonna start and I’m gonna help other people, I’m gonna help myself too. No longer will I just be [Missy], I’m going to be known to save a life. Because of this movie. You inspired me.

Travis – I saw the movie yesterday and all i can say is wow it has really touched my life and im not gona sit back and watch anymore im goin out and try to make a difference

Dale – When I was in junior high, I was bullied to the point of suicidal thoughts. God is who stopped me from following through. I had previously just pushed the memories behind me and acted like nothing ever happened, but now I want to do something. I want to make sure no one else feels the way I once did. This movie changed the way I look at life. Save a Life!

Mel – I just got home from watching “To Save A Life” and immediately I came on the computer to Google information. I haven’t even taken my jacket off yet. I was so touched by this movie its indescribable; I cried all the way home. I want to make a difference in someone’s life. I notice things from the movie that happen around me in school, but it never hit me till now. This movie made me sad, emotional, but most importantly it made me realize that I have the opportunity to help someone. I’m a college student and I cant wait for classes to start Monday cause I already know what I’m going to do. Save a Life

Sara – The To Save A Life Story means a lot to me, because I was the one that needed saving last year. If people could only understand how far one small act of kindness could go, the world would be a better place. I love that this movie is bringing real-life issues that people rarely talk about to light and showing teens how to deal with them. You never know who around you feels he is the outcast – treat others as you would want to be treated. Save a life. This movie is going to change our teenage population for the better.

To Save A Life was created by New Song Pictures and Outreach Films, and is distributed through Samuel Goldwyn Films. After opening on 441 screens this weekend, the film will continue to open in new markets in the coming weeks.

www.ToSaveALifeMovie.com

ABOUT TO SAVE A LIFE

An all-star athlete and his girlfriend find their lives spinning out of control when Jake loses a childhood friend. Help comes when he reaches out to others who are hurting, and he realizes some people are just dying to be heard.

The movie asks…
How far would you go?
How much would you risk?
How hard would you fight…TO SAVE A LIFE

ABOUT SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS

Samuel Goldwyn Films is a major, independently owned and operated motion-picture company that develops, produces and distributes innovative feature films and documentaries. The company is dedicated to working with world renowned and emerging writers/filmmakers and committed to filmed entertainment that offers original voices in uniquely told stories. This steadfastness is best exemplified by the Academy Award® nominated SUPER SIZE ME, AMAZING GRACE and Julie Delpy’s hit comedy 2 DAYS IN PARIS. Goldwyn’s past slate included PRICELESS, a romantic comedy starring Audrey Tautou, Academy Award® winner Claude Lelouch’s ROMAN DE GARE, the critically hailed ELEGY starring Academy Award® nominee Penelope Cruz and Academy Award® winner Ben Kingsley and the box office smash FIREPROOF.

ABOUT NEW SONG PICTURES

New Song Pictures is proud to release TO SAVE A LIFE, their debut production. New Song Pictures is based in Oceanside, CA, and seeks to make films that tell relevant stories while being encouraging and uplifting.

www.tosavealifemovie.com

www.facebook.com/tosavealife

Source: New Song Pictures

CONTACT: Lori Lenz of Biscuit Media Group, +1-714-553-5181,
lori@biscuitmediagroup.com

Web Site: http://www.tosavealifemovie.com/

http://www.outreachfilms.com/

http://www.facebook.com/tosavealife

Statement From the Producers of the Film ‘Midgets vs Mascots’

26 Jan 2010 20:36 Africa/Lagos

Statement From the Producers of the Film ‘Midgets vs Mascots’

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ — Earlier this month, Gary Coleman made a claim that the producers of the new film “Midgets vs Mascots” used an unauthorized (albeit brief) shot of his penis in the movie.

Today, the producers reached a settlement with Mr. Coleman. In return for the producers making Mr. Coleman’s bail in Utah County, Utah, Mr. Coleman has agreed to allow the footage to be kept in the movie.

The footage in question occurred during an improvised moment in a shower scene when Mr. Coleman attempted to break up a fight between two Little People. During the scuffle, Mr. Coleman’s robe split open to reveal more than he had planned.

The producers stand behind their position that Mr. Coleman signed multiple documents allowing any and all footage, including both scripted and unscripted moments, to appear in the film. The producers simply agreed to bail out Mr. Coleman as an “olive branch” and to avoid any potential litigation.

Mr. Coleman asked the producers to make it clear to the public that while he’s not pleased with the film’s footage, he needed to get out of jail. According to Mr. Coleman: “I guess I have to recognize that the footage is actually me, as I don’t know of any such thing as a body double for Gary Coleman.”

Mr. Coleman was arrested on Sunday on a warrant for failing to appear in court.

About “Midgets vs Mascots”

“Midgets vs Mascots” won third place at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival (Heineken Audience Award). The film’s trailer and associated clips — including the shower scene featuring Mr. Coleman — currently have more than a million online views. A limited promotional offer for the DVD and “midget condoms” is available at www.midgetsvsmascots.com. The DVD will be released on February 9 at retailers and online.

CONTACT: Kevin Sullivan, 214-259-3011, kevinsullivan18@gmail.com

Source: Midgets vs Mascots

CONTACT: Kevin Sullivan, +1-214-259-3011, kevinsullivan18@gmail.com, for
Midgets vs Mascots

Web Site: http://www.midgetsvsmascots.com/

Record Audience of 3.3 Million Powers Weekend Debut of New Starz Original Series, ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’

STARZ-ENTERTAINMENTStarz Record: 3.3 Million* Total Viewers “Cheer for Blood” as “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” Debut Weekend Delivered a Strong Performance. 1.2 Million Watched the 1/22 10PM Premiere Starring Andy Whitfield as “Spartacus” (above). (PRNewsFoto/Starz Entertainment) ENGLEWOOD, CO UNITED STATES

26 Jan 2010 22:47 Africa/Lagos

Record Audience of 3.3 Million Powers Weekend Debut of New Starz Original Series, ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ — Updated figures for the series premiere of “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” indicate that more than 3.3 million total viewers* tuned in for episode one of the new Starz Original, a record performance for a series debut on the premium pay TV network.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100126/LA44222)

Based on live plus same-day DVR viewing, the Friday night 10PM ET/PT airing on Starz drew a 2.1 HH rating (661,000 viewers) and Encore a 1.2 rating (580,000 viewers), or more than 1.2 million viewers combined. An additional 430,000 viewers (1.6 HH rating) watched at 11PM ET/PT on Starz.

The 3.3 million viewership figure includes three additional weekend airings on Starz and Encore with same-day DVR usage. Figures from other Starz channels, additional DVR usage, starz.com viewership and on-demand/online previews with affiliates are expected to grow that figure well past 4 million total viewers.

With a gross average viewing audience of more than 2.5 million for the six Starz/Encore airings, Stephan Shelanski, executive vice president, programming for Starz Entertainment commented, “This is the most successful premiere in the company’s history. We are very gratified to see that our excitement and faith in the series – already renewed for a second season – has been matched by initial demand. This show is unlike anything ever seen on television, and we are confident that passion for the series will grow as the character development and incredible story arcs unfold.”

Post-premiere episodes of “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” debut on Starz on Fridays at 10PM ET/PT with an additional airing on Sunday nights at 10PM ET/PT.

About “Spartacus: Blood and Sand”

Produced by Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi, Joshua Donen and Steven S. DeKnight, “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” is the most highly anticipated original series in the history of Starz. The 13-episode hour-long drama was renewed for an epic second season prior to the series premiere on January 22, 2010.

The UK-born and Australia-based Andy Whitfield portrays Spartacus, a soldier in the Roman Auxiliary who is taken prisoner. Lucy Lawless is cast as Lucretia, who along with her husband Batiatus (John Hannah), own the slave Spartacus and the gladiator camp where the former soldier learns the ways of the arena fighter. Additional cast members include: Erin Cummings as Spartacus’ Thracian wife, Sura; Peter Mensah as Doctore, Batiatus’ most loyal and trusted slave; Manu Bennett as Crixus, the top gladiator at Batiatus’ gladiator school; Antonio Te Maioha as Barca, who is Batiatus’ bodyguard and hit man; Craig Parker as Glaber, who blames Spartacus for his failed military campaign; and Nick E. Tarabay as Ashur, a former gladiator who is now the school’s resident bookie. Starz’ new “Spartacus” series was inspired by the actual slave of the Roman Republic who in 73 BC led a slave revolt that grew to more than 120,000 fighters. Defying the Roman Republic’s legions of soldiers, they campaigned for two years through much of what is now Italy before succumbing to a much larger army. The new series will tell a new set of stories rich in character, action, sex and combat.

Starz Entertainment is the exclusive subscription television and broadband provider of Starz Originals (including “Party Down,” “Crash,” “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” and “Gravity”) and feature films. First-run movies are from leading Hollywood studios including Walt Disney Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Overture Films, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Pixar, TriStar, Screen Gems, Sony Classics and Warren Miller Films. Starz licenses hundreds of feature films from a wide array of independent distributors including IFC, Yari Film Group, and Summit Entertainment and a vast collection of classic and favorite titles from most Hollywood studios, including Warner Bros., Universal and MGM.

Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie service provider operating in the United States. It offers 16 movie channels including the flagship Starz® and Encore® brands with approximately 17.3 million and 30.7 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs more than 1,000 movies and new original series every month across its pay TV channels and offers advanced services including Starz HD, Encore HD, Starz On Demand, Encore On Demand, MoviePlex On Demand, Starz HD On Demand, Encore HD On Demand, MoviePlex HD On Demand, and Starz Play. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation, and is attributed to Liberty Starz (NASDAQ:LSTZA) , a tracking stock group of Liberty Media Corporation.

*3.3 million viewers based on Live + Same Day P2+ Cume estimates across Starz and Encore channels, Nielsen NPOWER 1/22/10 – 1/24/10. All Ratings references based on Live + SD HH Coverage Area estimates for respective program telecasts. All other viewer references based on Live + Same Day P2+ Average Audience and Gross Average Audience estimates for Starz and Encore, Nielsen NPOWER 1/22/10 – 1/24/10. Subject to qualifications available upon request.

Contacts:
Eric Becker Paul Campbell
Starz Entertainment Starz Entertainment
(720) 852-4065 (212) 905-4230
eric.becker@starz.com paul.campbell@starz.com

Sheila Feren
FerenComm for Starz
(212) 983-9898
sheilaf@ferencomm.com

Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100126/LA44222
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN14
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
Source: Starz Entertainment, LLC

CONTACT: Eric Becker, +1-720-852-4065, eric.becker@starz.com, or Paul
Campbell, +1-212-905-4230, paul.campbell@starz.com, both of Starz
Entertainment; or Sheila Feren of FerenComm, +1-212-983-9898,
sheilaf@ferencomm.com, for Starz Entertainment

Web Site: http://www.starz.com/

15 Films Compete for VPRO Tiger Awards at 2010 IFFR

The Publisher of Supple magazine will be at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR).

15 films have been selected for IFFR’s VPRO Tiger Awards Competition 2010.

The nominees are:

Autumn Adagio by Inoue Tsuki (Japan, 2009)
Inoue Tsuki’s début feature film, after her prize winning short fiction The Woman Who Is Beating The Earth, is called Autumn Adagio. Japanese musician and actress Rei Shibakusa plays a middle-aged nun in a drama that deals with salvation, sexuality and identity in the different stages of a woman’s life.

C’est déja l’été by Martijn Maria Smits (The Netherlands/Belgium, 2010)
Talentend young filmmaker Martijn Smits literally makes his way into Dardenne Brothers territory with his début feature C’est déja l’été, a realistic and engaging portrayal of a dysfunctional, lower class family living in Seraing, Belgium.

Agua fría de mar (Cold water of the Sea) by Paz Fábrega (Costa Rica/France/Spain/Netherlands/Mexico, 2010)
Paz Fábrega’s first feature film Agua fría de mar (Cold Water of the Sea) is set on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica during the Christmas holiday season. It is the sensitive and atmospheric story of a young couple and a seven-year old girl with very different social backgrounds.

Let Each One Go Where He May by Ben Russell (USA/Suriname, 2009)
Let Each One Go Where He May is the feature début of Chicago-based filmmaker Ben Russell. The film, portraying contemporary Saramaccan life, traces the journey of two brothers who venture from the outskirts of Paramaribo, Suriname, on land and through rapids, past a Maroon village on the Upper Suriname River. Their journey reflects the voyage undertaken by their ancestors, who escaped from slavery at the hands of the Dutch 300 years earlier.

Mama by Yelena Renard & Nikolay Renard (Russia, 2010)
Yelena and Nikolay Renard, new and promising voices in Russian cinema, made fiction out of the real life story of a complex relationship between an overbearing mother and her obese, forty-year-old son who still lives at home. The filmmakers use a very realistic style in which shots are sometimes turned into tableaux vivants.

Miyoko by Tsubota Yoshifumi (Japan, 2009)
Tsubota Yoshifumi’s Miyoko is a lavishly styled biopic about a Japanese manga-artist, his regularly nude posing muse Miyoko and the bohemian Tokyo neighborhood where they live in the seventies. The young artist obsessively sticks to his girlfriend and the bottle.

Mundane History by Anocha Suwichakornpong (Thailand, 2009)
Scriptwriter and director Anocha Suwichakornpong’s short film Graceland (2006) became the first Thai short film to be included in the Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival. Her feature film début Mundane History is a family drama about a paralyzed son, an elusive father and the male nurse hired to take care of the wheelchair-bound patient. Suwichakornpong’s second feature project By the Time It Gets Dark is selected for CineMart 2010.

My Daughter by Charlotte Lay Kuen Lim (Malaysia, 2009)
Charlotte Lay Kuen Lim worked for numerous TV commercials after completing her studies in broadcasting and was an assistant director for various films. She directed several short films, such as Escape (2008), screened at IFFR 2009. Her feature film début My Daughter is an intimate study of the mutual dependence between a slovenly hairdresser and her insecure teenage daughter.

R by Michael Noer & Tobias Lindholm (Denmark, 2010)
R is Lindholm & Noer’s first feature film about young Rune who tries to survive in a Danish prison. A gripping, hard hitting film that portrays the prison world with its strict hierarchy, codes of honor and mysterious contracts.

Les signes vitaux (Vital Signs) by Sophie Deraspe (Canada, 2009)
A young Canadian woman wants to know what people really need in the last moments of their lives. In a restrained way, without any false sentimentality, Sophie Deraspe’s film evokes grand questions about the things that are important in life and the strange intimacy between caregivers and the dying.

Street Days by Levan Koguashvili (Georgia, 2010)
Sober Georgian drama about Checkie, a jobless and penniless junkie, is a reflection of a generation who were around the age of twenty when the Soviet Union fell, brought up in the soviet style, and incapable of adapting to all the socio-political and economical changes. They are now in their late thirties and early forties and referred to as the lost generation.

Sun Spots by Yang Heng (Hong Kong/China, 2009)
Three years after his award winning début feature Betelnut, Yang Heng presents Sun Spots, minimalistic Chinese cinema that combines beautiful HD imagery with the story of a tragic relationship between a young gangster and a girl disappointed in love.

The Temptation of St. Tony by Veiko Õunpuu (Estonia/Sweden/Finland, 2009)
After winning the Horizon Award 2007 at the Venice Film Festival for his début feature Autumn Ball, Estonian filmmaker Veiko Õunpuu now returns with his second feature The Temptation of St. Tony, a parable on the new, wolf like capitalism in Eastern Europe with its compassionless capitalist rules and rulers. Shot in beautiful black and white, Õunpuu’s vision is provocative and dark, but also very diverting with his use of black comedy.

Alamar (To the Sea) by Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio (Mexico, 2009), European premiere
Alamar delicately portrays the relationship between a father and son spending a summer on Chinchorro reef on the Mexican-Caribbean coast, where the father is a fisherman. The second feature film by Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio was produced by Jaime Romandia for Mantarraya Producciones that previously produced films by Carlos Reygadas and Amat Escalante.

La vie au Ranch by Sophie Letourneur (France, 2009)
In her début feature La vie au ranch, Sophie Letourneur portrays with great insight the seemingly quite happy daily life of a small group of twenty-year-old female students living together in what they call their ‘Ranch’. Their lives are about to be confronted with the sharper edges of reality and relationships.

© 2010 International Film Festival Rotterdam

 

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‘What’s On Brides’ Minds?’

DAVID-S-BRIDAL-SURVDavid’s Bridal, the nation’s leading and most trusted bridal authority, outfits more than 30% of today’s brides with fresh, fashion-forward styles, such as Oleg Cassini style CWG322. This stunning ball gown, with unique 3D floral detail at the waist, represents David’s Bridal’s classic yet contemporary designer collections. (PRNewsFoto/David’s Bridal) CONSHOHOCKEN, PA UNITED STATES

25 Jan 2010 14:00 Africa/Lagos

Bridal Authority’s ‘What’s On Brides’ Minds’ Survey Reveals Couples Tying the Knot Still Cutting Costs

David’s Bridal Finds Economy Continues to Impact Wedding Planning

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ — Think the busy shopping season is over? Think again! The percentage of couples who get engaged between Thanksgiving and New Years is more than any other time period, so the beginning of the year, known as Bridal Christmas, marks the busiest time to plan nuptials. And while the economy is still shaky, that’s not stopping couples from taking the plunge, even if it means tightening their belts as they plan for the big day. The fourth annual “What’s on Brides’ Minds” survey by David’s Bridal, the nation’s leading and most trusted bridal authority, reveals that more than two-thirds (68%) of brides say they plan to spend less on their wedding in light of the current economic climate.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100125/NY42302 )

While the economy is still impacting overall wedding budgets, there are some signs of improvement. In 2009, three-quarters (75%) of respondents adjusted their budgets, however this year only 68% of engaged couples say their bottom-line has decreased. In addition, more than half (54%) of today’s brides revealed they do not plan to spend more than $25,000 on their wedding day, and the key to bringing that dream day to life is keeping priorities in check.

“Now more than ever, brides are looking for ways to achieve their dream weddings, while making smart purchases and staying within a tighter budget,” said Robert Huth, President and CEO of David’s Bridal. “As the leading national retailer trusted by more than 30% of brides, David’s Bridal offers affordable and exceptional fashion, quality and value, so true love doesn’t have to wait.”

Wedding Planning on a Budget

Many couples are strapped for cash, so they are finding creative ways to eliminate unnecessary luxuries.

— Budget Matters: Of the 68% of brides who adjusted their wedding
budget:
— More than half (55%) cut up to a quarter from their total spend.
— 14 percent say they will slash their budget in half.
— 5 percent will have to cut it by more than three-quarters.
— Save Me the Money: Almost one-third (30%) of respondents plan to spend
less than $10,000 on their big day, while only 22% have a total
wedding budget over $50,000.
— Cutting Cost Corners: Almost half (46%) of brides-to-be said they’d
cut their guest list and 39% said they will likely spend less on the
venue/location. 39% also indicated the wedding planner would get the
boot.
— No Compromises: When asked what items they refuse to compromise, the
top responses were wedding bands (42%) and, not surprisingly, the
wedding dress (35%).
— Saving for the Ever After: Last year’s survey revealed that other than
their wedding, 77% of recently engaged couples said their top economic
priority was to pay off debt. This year, barely one in five (19%)
ranked this as a leading concern. Today’s brides seem to be happily
looking to the future, opting instead to save for a down payment on a
home (24%) and prepare for a family (21%).

Finding “The One” – The Dress, That Is!

Buying a wedding dress is a big decision, and with limited funds, brides can find their gown without sacrificing style and quality for price.

— The “A-Ha” Moment: Almost all (90%) respondents agreed that it’s
important to try dresses on in their size, so they can better envision
their big day look and have that “I just know it’s THE one” moment.
— Beautiful and Budget-Friendly: Fifty percent of brides-to-be plan to
spend less than $800 on their wedding gown and 57% say they do not
plan to ask their bridesmaids to pony up more than $150 for their
dresses.
— Looking Beyond The Runway: More than half (54%) of future brides say a
designer’s name is of little or no importance in their search for the
gown of their dreams, affirming that most opt for affordable, yet
fashionable styles that won’t break the bank.
— Celebrity Style: One-third (33%) of brides plan to emulate
celebrities’ wedding gown styles with Alyssa Milano, Gisele Bunchden
and Khloe Kardashian Odom standing out for their A-list fashion sense.
— Planning Ahead: More than one-third (36%) of brides say they began
shopping for their gown nine months before their wedding, but more
than half (56%) did not buy their gown until the big day was less than
six months away.
— After The Party: Almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents plan to
preserve their gown for their children and 16% say they plan to sell
or donate their gown to a charity organization.

Planning for the Big Day

While planning a wedding in today’s economy can be challenging, a little research and smart shopping goes a long way.

— No Surprises: The survey revealed that 78% of brides involved their
fiance in the planning process.
— Fifty-five percent of brides-to-be said their men are helping plan
the honeymoon and 45% lured their significant other with food,
cake or wine tastings.
— Only one-third (33%) of grooms chose to help out with the wedding
planning.
— Surfing the ‘Net: Brides go online to do their wedding research:
— Almost half are looking for do-it-yourself tips (47%) and
searching dress and accessory galleries for ideas (44%).
— Thirty percent are heeding advice from other brides in online
forums.
— Green is the New White: About half (48%) of brides say they will be
more eco-conscious in their wedding plans.
— More than a quarter (26%) of respondents say they will use locally
sourced food or flowers during their reception; another quarter
(25%) chose to use recycled materials whenever possible.

Smart Shopping 101

Whether searching for that elegant bridal gown, bridesmaid dress or picture-perfect accessory, David’s Bridal is the ultimate resource for brides and a go-to source for help planning their special day. Featuring a wide selection of budget-friendly gowns – styles range from $299-$1250 and include designer gowns from Oleg Cassini, Galina Signature and Galina – handbags, headpieces, jewelry, shoes and undergarments, David’s Bridal is a smart choice during today’s challenging economic times. In addition to the wide selection in-store and online, David’s Bridal is renowned for providing quality, value and service to women in more than 300 stores across the country. Having earned brides’ trust for the most important day of their lives, it is no surprise that the retailer is also a top destination for special occasion dresses and accessories.

Methodology

This Internet survey was conducted by Infosurv, Inc. from December 3 – 8, 2009. A total of 500 surveys were completed among a national panel of women (ages 18 – 35) who were recently engaged or married. This study has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3% at the 95% confidence level.

About David’s Bridal

With more than 50 years of bridal experience, David’s Bridal understands the importance of providing brides-to-be with a vast selection of exquisitely crafted dresses, available at affordable prices. Today, with over 300 locations nationwide, David’s Bridal continues to expand its retail store locations, while maintaining its philosophy of superior quality, value and service. To locate a store nearby, consumers can call 1-877-693-BRIDE or visit www.davidsbridal.com, the #1 ranked wedding website in the Lifestyle-Weddings category, according to Hitwise, the leading online competitive intelligence service.

Copyright © 2010 David’s Bridal, Inc. All rights reserved

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CONTACT: Charly Rok, +1-212-598-4400 ext. 155, charly@lippetaylor.com,
or Kristen Tully, +1-212-598-4400 ext. 157, ktully@lippetaylor.com, both of
LIPPE TAYLOR for David’s Bridal

Web Site: http://www.davidsbridal.com/

Sandra Bullock Wins Best Actress at the 16th SAG Awards

bullocksagFor Sandra Bullock winning the Screen Actors Guild Awards® for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role as Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side has confirmed that she deserved the coveted laurels she has been given for the film. And she seems poised to win the Oscar for the best actress.

Photo: Sandra Bullock

THE BLIND SIDE

Sandra-Bullock-Blind-Side

Photo: Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side.

Complete List of Winners at 16th Annual SAG Awards‎ –

Recipients of the 16th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards presented Saturday night:
Movies:
–Cast: ”Inglourious Basterds.”
–Actor in a leading role: Jeff Bridges, ”Crazy Heart.”
–Actress in a leading role: Sandra Bullock, ”The Blind Side.”
–Supporting actor: Christoph Waltz, ”Inglorious Basterds”
–Supporting actress: Mo’Nique, ”Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
–Stunt ensemble: ”Star Trek.”
Television:
–Drama series cast: ”Mad Men.”
–Actor in a drama series: Michael C. Hall, ”Dexter.”
–Actress in a drama series: Julianna Margulies, ”The Good Wife.”
–Comedy series cast: ”Glee.”
–Actor in a comedy series: Alec Baldwin, ”30 Rock.”
–Actress in a comedy series: Tina Fey, ”30 Rock.”
–Actor in a movie or miniseries: Kevin Bacon, ”Taking Chance.”
–Actress in a movie or miniseries: Drew Barrymore, ”Grey Gardens.”
–Stunt ensemble: ”24.”
–Life Achievement: Betty White.

Do You Need AN EDUCATION in Seduction?

If you do, then you have to see the typical British romantic film Sony Pictures AN EDUCATION directed by Lone Scherfig and written by Nick Hornby.

Film_Poster_An_Education
When the British Empire was losing her colonies in Africa, Jenny, a 16 year old school girl living with her parents in London wanted to attend Oxford to have the best education that would give her a better life than her parents. But her father was not happy with her over Latin and going out with a social misfit named Graham until Jenny met David Goldman an older man who convinced her parents that he was only going to improve her education in socio-cultural life style. But Jenny learnt more than she bargained for.
You have to see the film for the rest of the story.

An older man dating a younger woman is a popular theme in movies since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. See Jurassic Park, The Firm and In the Line of Fire.

Two U.S. ‘YOUR BIG BREAK’ Finalists to Travel to New Zealand to Make Films with Barrie Osborne, Judged by Peter Jackson

100% Pure New Zealand’s Filmmaking Competition will Premiere Winning Film on IFC leading into 25th Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 5, 2010

Los Angeles and Auckland, New Zealand (January 21, 2010) /PRNewswire/ — Academy Award®-winning producer Barrie Osborne (The Lord of the Rings) and a panel of judges named the five finalists in the 100% Pure New Zealand Presents Your Big Break short film competition today. American finalists Kristi Simkins from Auburn, Wash., and Aya Tanimora from Santa Monica, Calif., will now travel to Queenstown, New Zealand, where they will work with Osborne and world class post-production facility Park Road Post Production to shoot and direct their own short films capturing the essence of the world’s youngest country. Academy Award®-winning director Sir Peter Jackson will select the winning entry.

YOUR BIG BREAK

After Jackson personally views and judges the five finalists’ films, he will select one overall winner whose film will air on IFC just prior to the Spirit Awards live broadcast on March 5 at 8 p.m. Pacific/11 p.m. Eastern.

As if the opportunity to travel to Queenstown and work with the Academy Award-winning team responsible for The Lord of the Rings trilogy wasn’t enough, all finalists’ films will premiere in front of hundreds of the entertainment industry’s brightest at the 100% Pure New Zealand lounge at the 25th Film Independent Spirit Awards, of which 100% Pure New Zealand is a Principal Sponsor, and on the Your Big Break Web site, www.your-big-break.com.

“The diversity of excellent entries demonstrates the passion people have for New Zealand,” says Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler. “Many of the screenplays capture the spirit of New Zealand including the country’s extraordinary landscapes, people and culture; the judges had their work cut out for them selecting just four.”

Barrie Osborne, Producer of Lord of the Rings
Barrie Osborne (The Lord of the Rings)

While Osborne and a panel selected four of the finalists, Your Big Break site visitors voted for Aya Tanimura’s film as the “People’s Choice” finalist.

The other three finalists include Andrés Borghi from Buenos Aires, and Tim McLachlan and Rajneel Singh from Auckland, New Zealand.

“Putting the spotlight on emerging filmmakers is the essence of the Spirit Awards, and giving the “Your Big Break’ finalists the opportunity to present their work on IFC is a fantastic way to cultivate new filmmaking talent,” said Jennifer Caserta, Executive Vice President and General Manager of IFC.

All of the finalists are aspiring filmmakers who’ve dabbled in multiple aspects of the entertainment industry. The protagonist in Simkins’s film “Something Special” seeks to fulfill a promise with his trip to New Zealand, while the main character in fellow American Tanimura’s script “Sweet As,” uses her imagery of the world’s youngest country to impress. New Zealand native Singh’s submission “Blank Spaces,” plays off New Zealand’s pure, untouched and unmapped image, while his fellow Kiwi McLachlan’s entry “Mr. Whippy and the BMX Kid,” focuses on a young Maori boy’s conversation with an old man searching for renewal. Borghi’s screenplay for “Working Day” centers on New Zealand’s creation and aims to take advantage of his post production prowess.

“Many of the entries were stellar, but our five finalists’ films displayed a combination of humor, imagination and passion that brought New Zealand’s spirit to life,” says Osborne. “I’m looking forward to working with all of these talented individuals.”

The submission and voting period ran from December 9, 2009 until January 15, 2010 on www.your-big-break.com. More than 1,000 aspiring directors from around the globe entered a screenplay for a three-minute short film that captured the spirit of New Zealand and any supporting content they thought would aid their selection. The five finalists will produce their films in New Zealand in early February.

Useful Links:
Your Big Break website: www.your-big-break.com
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/YourBigBreak
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/YourBigBreakNZ
For inspiration: www.newzealand.com

For information about New Zealand’s extensive vacation options, log onto the 100% Pure New Zealand website at http://www.NewZealand.com.

For other media information, log on to http://www.media.newzealand.com. For high-resolution images, visit http://www.images.newzealand.com.

ABOUT THE FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS The Film Independent Spirit Awards is a celebration honoring films made by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. Televised in millions of homes and covered internationally by the press, the Spirit Awards has become the vanguard event in independent film, recognizing the achievements of independent filmmakers and promoting independent film to a wider audience.

Media Contact:
Andrew Reynolds
Hill & Knowlton for Tourism New Zealand
949-223-2307
andrew.reynolds@hillandknowlton.com

James Cameron Faces His Ex-wife at the British BAFTA Awards

James Cameron and his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow are pitched against each other for the most coveted honours at the 2010 BAFTAAwards. I can bet you that Kathryn will upset James at the Bafta Awards and Oscars if the judges would be fair and square.

You do not need 3D glasses to see Bigelow’s American Iraqi war thriller The Hurt Locker, but you would be impressed by her guts and genius. She has already beaten her ex-husband when ‘The Hurt Locker’ won two CriticsChoice Awards‎ in the Best Director and Best Film categories. James took the awards at the 67th Golden Globe Awards, but he even confessed that he thought Kathryn would have beaten him to them. The truth is, he knows that her film deserves the awards and do not be surprised when she wins the Oscars for the Best Director and Best Film.

the-hurt_locker

The details of the 2010 Bafta are in the following Film Awards Nominations.

Avatar, An Education and The Hurt Locker have each received eight nominations for the Orange British Academy Film Awards in 2010.

District 9 has seven nominations; Inglourious Basterds and Up in the Air have six nominations apiece; and Coco Before Chanel, Nowhere Boy, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire and Up each receive four nominations.

Avatar has been nominated in the categories Best Film, Cinematography, Editing, Music, Production Design, Sound and Special Visual Effects. James Cameron is nominated for Director. An Education has been nominated for Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Adapted Screenplay, Costume Design and Make Up & Hair. Lone Scherfig is nominated for Director, Alfred Molina for Supporting Actor and Carey Mulligan for Leading Actress.

The Hurt Locker is nominated for Best Film, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Sound and Special Visual Effects. Kathryn Bigelow is nominated for Director and Jeremy Renner for Leading Actor.

Completing the Best Film line up are Up in the Air and Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, both of which are also nominated for Adapted Screenplay.

Up in the Air is also nominated for Editing as well as receiving three perfomance nominations: Leading Actor for George Clooney and Supporting Actress for both Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick.

Up against George Clooney and Jeremy Renner in the Leading Actor category are: Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart, Colin Firth for A Single Man and Andy Serkis for Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. Crazy Heart and Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll are also both nominated for Music.

Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’Nique have been nominated for Leading Actress and Supporting Actress respectively for Precious.

District 9 has been nominated for Director for Neill Blomkamp, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Production Design, Editing, Sound and Special Visual Effects.

Inglourious Basterds has nominations for Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing and Production Design; Quentin Tarantino is nominated for Director and Christoph Waltz for Supporting Actor.

Audrey Tautou is nominated for her Leading Actress performance in Coco Before Chanel and the film has been nominated for Costume Design, Make Up & Hair and Film Not in the English Language.

Also nominated for Leading Actress are Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia and Saoirse Ronan for The Lovely Bones. Saoirse’s co-star Stanley Tucci is nominated for Supporting Actor, where he competes against Christian McKay for Me and Orson Welles and Alec Baldwin for It’s Complicated.

Nowhere Boy is nominated for Outstanding British Film and Anne-Marie Duff and Kristin Scott Thomas both receive Supporting Actress nominations. The film’s director Sam Taylor-Wood is nominated for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. Joining her in that category are: Eran Creevy, writer/director of Shifty; Stuart Hazeldine, writer/director of Exam; the directing and producing team of Mugabe and the White African (Lucy Bailey, Andrew Thompson, Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock and David Pearson); and Duncan Jones, director of Moon. Moon is also nominated for Outstanding British Film where it is joined by Fish Tank and In the Loop, which also has an Adapted Screenplay nomination.

Up has nominations for Animated Film, Original Screenplay, Music and Sound.

The Hangover and A Serious Man both receive nominations for Original Screenplay.

Nominated alongside Up for Animated Film are Coraline and Fantastic Mr Fox, which is also nominated for Music.

Broken Embraces, Let the Right One In, A Prophet and The White Ribbon are nominated in the Film Not in the English Language category alongside Coco Before Chanel.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus received nominations for Make Up & Hair and Production Design. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was nominated for Production Design and Special Visual Effects. Star Trek was nominated for Special Visual Effects and Sound.

The Road was nominated for Cinematography. Nine was nominated for Make Up & Hair, as was The Young Victoria, which also received a Costume Design nomination as did Bright Star and A Single Man.

The Short Animation nominations are The Happy Duckling, The Gruffalo, Mother of Many and the Short Film nominations are 14, I Do Air, Jade, Mixtape and Off Season.

The nominees for the Orange Rising Star Award, announced earlier this month, are Jesse Eisenberg, Nicholas Hoult, Carey Mulligan, Tahar Rahim and Kristen Stewart. This audience award is voted for by the British public and presented to an actor or actress who has demonstrated exceptional talent and promise.

The Orange British Academy Film Awards take place on Sunday 21 February at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.

This is the thirteenth year of Orange’s sponsorship of the Film Awards.

Coverage on the BBC begins with a stand-alone red carpet show on BBC Three followed by the ceremony on BBC One.

pdf Download this Press Release (139 KB)
pdf Download the Full Nomination List (145 KB)

For further information please contact Freud Communications:

Jo.Fernihough@freud.com / 020 3003 6386
Vicky.Grayson@freud.com / 020 3003 6327

21 January 2010. Nominations are correct at the time of going to print

 

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The “Avatar” disaster: Thanks be to… trees?

~ By Adeleke Adeyemi

Hollywood’s Spectacle vs. Substance bipolar disorder seems to be working in favour of the former. A cinematic ‘point-weak-here-bang-pulpit’ moment is finally here and with a big bang: it is box office record-holder James Cameron’s latest film “Avatar.” Congruent with the spirit of the age is the fact that a clueless visual bravura is wooing audiences worldwide on the strength of dazzling landscapes and nature-loving blue creatures, with all but a slapdash, shallow sorry-gory plotline of a story running through it.

avatar_avt_jpg_595x325_crop_upscale_q85The “Avatar” disaster: Thanks be to… trees?

Cameron’s effort pales into frivolity beside the cocky real McCoy: “Pocahontas,” the 1995 animated musical loosely based on the life of Pocahontas, the Native American princess who, according to legend, saved the life of English colonist Captain John Smith. Captain Smith comes to the New World to find gold (unobtanium in “Avatar”, worth US $20 million per kilo ‘back home’) and fatten the coffers of the Queen of England.

John Smith comes to meet with the Native Americans… and encounters Pocahontas. She falls in love with the colonist despite her father’s protests. After many debates with her father, Smith, and herself, she decides that love conquers all. She intervenes on Smith’s behalf when he is to be executed by her father’s warriors. The Indian woman leads the white man into the grove; he learns the way of the people and becomes their saviour.

That haughty, simplistic plot proved impossible for Cameron to outdo. He tows its line religiously, only highly ingeniously. Alas, with “Pocahontas” off the prowl, hordes of climate-change-battered moviegoers could not keep from falling prey to “Avatar.” For one, there’s ample sweep and swoop of Sinbadesque bird-riding magic.

Not all that glitters is gold. But why does fool’s gold abound so? The US$350 movie has made more than US$1.3 billion at box offices worldwide, partly boosted by higher 3-D ticket prices.

The first-of-its-kind 3-D blockbuster is also a shameless flirt: the worship of nature, hints it, is here to replace religion. The movie is a simplistic and sappy tale, despite its awe-inspiring special effects. Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, summed it up in a headline: “Not much behind the images.” Apart from the do-I-wake-or-sleep motif of English poet John Keats, deployed as a transformational technique you may have encountered in Ted Dekker.

As the second highest-grossing movie ever, “Avatar” is challenging the record set by Cameron’s previous movie “Titanic.” It has been widely acclaimed and touted as a leading Oscar contender. Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, has praised it for what he calls its message of saving the environment from exploitation.

Not so fast, a number of critical voices are saying. Actively engaged on two major warfronts, and coupled with the prevailing climate of global terror, some American conservative bloggers have decried the film’s anti-militaristic message. Further, a growing group of people are saying the movie contains racist themes.

To many critics, the alien extravaganza is just “bland.” Cameron “tells the story without going deep into it, and ends up falling into sappiness,” said L’Osservatore Romano. Vatican Radio called it “rather harmless” but no heir to sci-fi masterpieces of a bygone age. Most significantly, much of the Vatican criticism was directed at the movie’s central theme of man vs. nature. L’Osservatore pinpoints how the film “gets bogged down by a spiritualism linked to the worship of nature.” Says Vatican Radio, the film “cleverly [gives the nod to] all those pseudo-doctrines that turn ecology into the religion of the millennium.”

“Nature is no longer a creation to defend, but a divinity to worship,” the radio observed. The Roman Catholic leader Pope Benedict XVI’s has warned on the dangers of turning nature into a “new divinity.” The “green pope” has often spoken about the need to protect the environment, balanced by a warning against turning environmentalism into neo-paganism.

In a recent World Day of Peace message, the pontiff warned against any notions that equate human beings with other living things in the name of a “supposedly egalitarian vision.” He said such notions “open the way to a new pantheism tinged with neo-paganism, which would see the source of man’s salvation in nature alone, understood in purely naturalistic terms.”

As the pontiff explained, while many experience tranquillity and peace when coming into contact with nature, a correct relationship between man and the environment should not lead to “absolutising nature” or “considering it more important than the human person.”

“Avatar” is “[s]o much stupefying, enchanting technology, but few genuine emotions,” as L’Osservatore correctly observed. The plotline of aliens who live on a distant unspoiled planet and the humans who want to pillage their resources is a universal theme … reminiscent of past colonisations and wars. It is easy to relate to it because it is also trite. “Everything [has been] reduced to an overly simple anti-imperialistic and anti-militaristic parable.”

Countless blog posts, newspaper articles, tweets and YouTube videos have criticised the film. Some say it is “a fantasy about race told from the point of view of white people” and that it reinforces “the white Messiah fable.” Cameron insists his theme is about respecting others’ differences.

Anti-smoking lobbies have also stepped in to denounce its cigarette-puffing character (“Who’s got my g*damned cigarette!”) played by Sigourney Weaver, who came to fame as the remorseless heroine of the 1986 science-fiction horror classic “Alien”.