ESSENCE Black Women in Music: Honoring the Career & Accomplishments of MARY J. BLIGE

19 Jan 2010 18:51 Africa/Lagos

ESSENCE Presents a Special 40th Anniversary Commemorative Event During 2010 GRAMMY(R) Week

ESSENCE Black Women in Music: Honoring the Career & Accomplishments of MARY J. BLIGE


NEW YORK, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ — To commemorate the 40th Anniversary of ESSENCE magazine, ESSENCE will host a reception honoring nine-time GRAMMY-winner Mary J. Blige during 2010 GRAMMY® Week. ESSENCE Black Women in Music is an invitation-only, red-carpet event taking place on Wednesday, January 27, to fete the career and accomplishments of Mary J. Blige as an influential artist, successful entrepreneur and passionate philanthropist.

“In honor of our 40th anniversary, ESSENCE is committed to celebrating both the achievements and promise of Black women like Mary J. Blige–who absolutely delights us with her creative gifts, and continues to inspire us through her extraordinary work as a businesswoman and humanitarian,” said ESSENCE president Michelle Ebanks. “We are excited to pay tribute to Mary J. Blige during GRAMMY week with this first-ever ESSENCE Black Women in Music award.”

ESSENCE Black Women in Music honoree Mary J. Blige is profiled in the February issue of ESSENCE magazine–on newsstands now–as part of an exclusive “GRAMMY Insider” editorial package. A multi-faceted entertainer, mogul and philanthropist, with a career spanning 15 years–including nine GRAMMY awards, eight multi-platinum records, and over 40 million albums sold–Blige just released her ninth studio album, Stronger with Each Tear. Her range as an entertainer also includes star turns as an actor–most recently in Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself, 30 Rock, and Entourage. As an entrepreneur, she is the co-owner of the successful beauty line, Carol’s Daughter, and manages her own music, TV and film company, Matriarch Entertainment. In addition to these creative and business ventures, Mary is dedicated to giving back through her non-profit organization FFAWN (Foundation For The Advancement Of Women Now), which is dedicated to inspiring women from all walks of life to gain the confidence and skills they need to reach their fullest potential.

Lincoln is the sponsor of ESSENCE Black Women in Music, with cocktails provided by Belvedere.

About Essence Communications Inc.:

Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media and communications company dedicated to African-American women. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online, the Essence brand is “Where Black Women Come First”. The company’s flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood, Window on Our Women (WOW I & II) and Smart Beauty I, II & III consumer insights, the Essence Book Club,, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 40 years, ESSENCE magazine, which has a brand reach of over 8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information relating to every area of African-American women’s lives. Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at

Source: Essence Communications Inc.

CONTACT: Dana Baxter, +1-212-522-1634,, or Sheila
Harris, +1-212-522-1089,, both of ESSENCE

Web Site:

PUNCTURED HOPE Establishes Itself as the Hollywood Avant Garde in this Awards Season

PHPoster20 Jan 2010 00:59 Africa/Lagos

PUNCTURED HOPE Establishes Itself as the Hollywood Avant Garde in this Awards Season

TORONTO, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Yesterday, at Toronto Pictures’ headquarters, the company’s President Bruno Pischiutta and Vice President Daria Trifu have announced the production of three upcoming feature films: A PARTY GIRL FOR THE RAT PACK – from the original novel “Breaking My Silence” by Jane McCormick – (US $3.5 M; filming in Brazil & USA; June 2010), scripted and directed by Bruno Pischiutta, produced by Daria Trifu; GLICINE – Wisteria (US $6.1 M; filming in Romania; September 2010) and THE SEPIA PORTRAIT (US $12 M; filming in Brazil & China; March 2011), written and directed by Pischiutta and produced by Trifu.

Toronto Pictures’ film PUNCTURED HOPE has recently been nominated by the Political Film Society (Hollywood) as Best Film Expose & Best Film on Human Rights of 2009. PUNCTURED HOPE has screened in Los Angeles since November 2009. PUNCTURED HOPE has certainly established itself as the Hollywood avant garde in this Awards Season. Each screening of the film has constituted an event. Viewers’ reaction has created a grassroots movement that identifies with Bruno Pischiutta’s CAUSE. Future event screenings will follow the film as it opens commercially in New York City starting in June.

The audience at PUNCTURED HOPE’s screenings included members of Amnesty International, of the Green Party, of Women in Film (WIF), of Films4Change, of Veterans for Peace and film professionals. Together with the general public present, they all have chosen to join the movement behind the film and Pischiutta’s CAUSE.
Toronto Pictures is trading on the OTC in the USA and plans are in motion to transfer the company on the London Stock Exchange in the coming months.
This year alone, the company is releasing commercially PUNCTURED HOPE and THE COMOEDIA: ENGLISH VERSION.

Brazilian producer and Los Angeles resident, Marcelo Brito, is in negotiations with Toronto Pictures to become an executive producer of the next two films alongside Bruno Pischiutta and Daria Trifu.


Official Selection at the Montreal World Film Festival (2009); Nominated by The Political Film Society in two categories – Best Expose and Best Film on Human Rights of 2009; and Qualified (2009) for consideration for Academy Awards(R) 2010 as ‘Best Picture’. PUNCTURED HOPE is the first main stream feature film (USD 5.8 M, Hollywood standard, 35 mm, 91 min., English Language, Color, NR) that is based on an African story interpreted by an all African cast of professional actors and shot in Africa under the direction of visionary Maestro Bruno Pischiutta. PUNCTURED HOPE is inspired by the true life story of an African Trokosi slave who manages to escape. Trokosi is one of the widest spread forms of women slavery that exists today in the world.

Film Review:

Human Rights Examiner Article: pe-true-story-Academy-Award-contender-opens-in-LA
Political Film Society Review:

Film Video Clips:

About Maestro Bruno Pischiutta:

Born in Udine, Italy in 1947, Bruno Pischiutta began his film career in the late 1960s as an actor in films by Francesco Rosi, Nanni Loy and Billy Wilder. In 1975 he founded the Centro Iniziative di Azione Culturale in Rome. Pischiutta graduated from the Institute of Dramatic Art, Trieste, Italy (1966); he is a Dr. of Philosophy graduated from the University of Trieste, Italy (1971) and International Academician appointed by Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori di Pavia, Italy (1981). Pischiutta has been awarded: Critics Award at Venice Film Festival (1970), Premio Simpatia (1976), Belle Arti Di Roma (1976), New York Film Festival (1981 & 1986), Bahamas One World Film Festival (2003). Pischiutta has been nominated by The Political Film Society (2009). Maestro Pischiutta is also a published writer of two books (‘The Comoedia’ 1980; ‘E va bene parliamo di cinema’ 1982) and of recognized courses for filmmakers (directing, writing, editing and acting) in Italy. He made his directorial debut in 1975 with COMPAGNE NUDE, and he moved to Canada in 1983. His other films include ULTIMO INCONTRO A VENEZIA (1977), ISOLA MECCANICA (1978), THE COMOEDIA (1981), BOUNTY HUNTERS (1985), LIFE’S CHARADE (1987), MAYBE (2003) and PUNCTURED HOPE (2009). Additionally, he wrote, directed, produced, executive produced and edited other feature films, TV shows and documentaries widely screened in cinemas and broadcast throughout Italy and other European countries to date. Bruno Pischiutta is the Founder, President and C.E.O. of Toronto Pictures and Chairman of the Toronto Pictures Film Academy of Ghana.

About Pischiutta’s CAUSE:

“We want that the rights of women and children are respected. We want to fight intellectual pollution, stupidity, racism and discrimination. We want to show that nonviolent films can be commercially viable and it can help to make a better world. We want to win the fight against ignorance and bigotry. We want to use film as an artistic weapon to improve the lifestyle and mentality of the viewers, to make their life better and to make them think in a positive way about major social problems that anguish our world today.
Our CAUSE is driven by high ideals and it is more important than anyone of us.
It is a new world; it is time for a new morality! It is time to put the important things first. We are working for our CAUSE through the medium of film because we are filmmakers. Film is our way to express ourselves and we are aware that our films will live after us: they will become our legacy.” – Bruno Pischiutta

About Daria Trifu:

Born in Brasov, Romania in 1981, Daria Trifu began her film career in the year 2000, few months after moving to Canada, as a graduate of Bruno Pischiutta’s exclusive Film Acting Courses in Toronto. Trifu has studied Fine Arts since grade 5 in Europe and she graduated in 2000 with honors from the Central Technical School – Fine Arts Program in Canada. In Romania, she held private exhibitions of her paintings ever since the early age of 15 and her artwork was commissioned by prestige hotels in the mountain resort of Poiana Brasov. In her youth, Trifu, a prodigy child, excelled in sports such as tennis and sky when she won numerous competitions; she traveled the world both with her family and on her own with a National Choir attending International Festivals. Today, Trifu oversees the organization of Toronto Pictures’ attendance to all major film markets such as The American Film Market, Cannes, Montreal, etc. and in 2003 she was a speaker on the “Peacefulfish & Variety Presents Global Film Finance” panel in Cannes. Trifu is the Assistant Director of the feature film MAYBE (2003); Producer & Executive Producer of the documentary BRUNO PISCHIUTTA: FILM DIRECTOR (2009) and Producer & Executive Producer of the feature film PUNCTURED HOPE (2009). She will make her acting debut in the leading female role in the feature film GLICINE (Wisteria) to be shot in Romania in 2010. Daria Trifu is the Founder, President and C.E.O. of Adhara Properties and Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of “Daria!” Magazine. She is also Vice President and C.O.O. of Toronto Pictures and President of the Toronto Pictures Film Academy of Ghana. Daria Trifu is the role model for the actual generation of Romanian girls. She is one of the youngest and most powerful film executives in the world.

About Toronto Pictures:

Targeting a global audience, Toronto Pictures explores different cultures and addresses controversial issues of our time in dramatic format. Toronto Pictures develops, produces and releases Hollywood standard, 35 mm feature films that provoke thought not violence.

Official Website:
Source: Toronto Pictures Inc.
CONTACT: Toronto Pictures, Inc., (647) 296-3459,

‘Tyler’s Wood’ Released, But Tiger Woods is Roaring Back to PGA ‎

The release of ‘Tyler’s Wood’ is making headlines, and Tiger Woods will not give up the PGA Tour. The sex scandal left him disgraced. He lost his million dollar endorsements, but the good news is Tiger Woods is roaring back to PGA golf tour‎!


Here is the news release on the adult film, Adam & Eve Pictures’ ‘Tyler’s Wood’ Available Now on Video-on-Demand!

18 Jan 2010 16:47 Africa/Lagos

Adam & Eve Pictures’ ‘Tyler’s Wood’ Available Now on Video-on-Demand!

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ — Adam & Eve Pictures, fresh from winning 13 awards (including Best Feature for the big budget epic “The 8th Day”) at the AVN Awards, is pleased to reveal the highly anticipated adult feature, “Tyler’s Wood,” is exclusively available for viewing now on video-on-demand through adamandeveondemand .com and


Directed by David Lord, and featuring adult film stars Tyler Knight and Kayden Kross (as the long-suffering wife of a world renowned golfer) “Tyler’s Wood” is the first tongue-in-cheek golf flick of its kind to be released. The DVD is available for pre-order on adameve .com, and hits the streets Tuesday, January 26!

“It was a pleasure working with Tyler again,” says Lord. “Not only is he a good friend, but he’s a great performer.”

“We shot the entire movie eight weeks ago,” says Meredith Christopher, Executive Producer for Adam & Eve Pictures. “For us to go from concept to production to delivery in two months … and with the quality we have … is an incredible feat.”

This fun, sexy romp, features five scandalous scenes focusing on golf legend “Tyler” and his multiple mistresses, giving audiences a chance to see Adam & Eve’s interpretation of events in explicit, X-rated detail! “Tyler’s Wood” is over two hours long, and also features Andi Anderson, Capri Cavali, Richelle Ryan and more.

Look for “Tyler’s Wood” at For more information on Adam & Eve or Adam & Eve Pictures, please contact Adam & Eve Director of Public Relations Katy Zvolerin at 919.644.8100 x 3121 or

AP Archive:
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN4
PRN Photo Desk,
Source: Adam & Eve

CONTACT: Katy Zvolerin, Adam & Eve Director of Public Relations,
+1-919-644-8100, ext. 3121,

Web Site:

Stars Defy Rains for Golden Moments @ 67th Golden Globe Awards

You would think the stars were coming for a new musical video of Rihanna’s Umbrella as many of them came with their umbrellas in the rainfall and walking carefully on the drenched red carpet, but the damp weather could not diminish the bright lights of the golden moments at the 67th Golden Globe Awards seen by millions of people in more than 160 countries worldwide.

Meryl Streep won the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical for “Julie & Julia”.

The phenomenal Avatar repeated history for James Cameron at the Golden Globe Awards winning the highly coveted awards for the best picture and best director as he did with his classic Titanic 12 years ago. He beat his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow‘s war thriller on Iraq The Hurt Locker and four other nominated films.

“‘Avatar’ asks us to see that everything is connected, all human beings to each other, and us to the Earth. And if you have to go four and a half light years to another, made-up planet to appreciate this miracle of the world that we have right here, well, you know what, that’s the wonder of cinema right there, that’s the magic,” Cameron said.

The following is the complete list of winners. 
Best Motion Picture – Drama

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
“The Hangover”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Robert Downey Jr., “Sherlock Holmes”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Mo’Nique, “Precious”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”

Best Animated Feature Film

Best Foreign Language Film
“The White Ribbon”

Best Director – Motion Picture
James Cameron, “Avatar”

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, “Up in the Air”

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Michael Giacchino, “Up”

Best Original Song — Motion Picture
“The Weary Kind,” “Crazy Heart”

Best Television Series – Drama
“Mad Men”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama
Michael C. Hall, “Dexter”

Best Television Series – Comedy

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical
Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical
Toni Collette, “United States of Tara”

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
“Grey Gardens”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Drew Barrymore, “Grey Gardens”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Kevin Bacon, “Taking Chance”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Chloe Sevigny, “Big Love”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
John Lithgow, “Dexter”

© Supple Magazine 2010. All rights reserved.

‘THE BET HONORS’ Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah, Sean “Diddy” Combs

Whitney Houston17 Jan 2010 07:52 Africa/Lagos

‘THE BET HONORS’ Proved What Extraordinary Looks Like by Recognizing Leading Luminaries

The Third Annual Event Celebrated the Accomplishments of Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Dr. Ruth Simmons, and Dr. Keith Black THE BET HONORS Premieres on Monday, February 1, at 9:00 p.m.*

NEW YORK, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ — With the help of the entertainment industry’s finest, BET Networks honored distinguished African Americans performing at exceptional levels in their fields by presenting the third annual BET HONORS. Hosted by the beautiful and talented actress Gabrielle Union, this phenomenal show will premiere during Black History Month, on Monday, February 1 at 9:00 p.m.*

(Logo: )

The 2010 honorees included legendary songstress Whitney Houston (Entertainment), multi-faceted entertainer Queen Latifah (Media), respected business mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs (Entrepreneur), accomplished educator Dr. Ruth Simmons (Education), and world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Keith Black (Public Service). Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, India.Arie, ELEW and others will pay tribute to these phenomenal stars with riveting performances.

BET Networks Chairman and CEO Debra L. Lee and the Honorable Mayor Adrian Fenty of Washington, D.C. welcomed the audience. Both Lee and Mayor Fenty called out to viewers and audience members alike to support relief efforts for those who were affected by the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti. Lee also referenced BET’s own initiatives as part of the worldwide effort to aid Haiti.

“Before this disaster, BET Networks, in celebration of its 30th anniversary, was set to donate thirty thousand dollars every month for a year to an organization that has dedicated itself to working towards a brighter future for the African American community,” said Lee in her remarks. “In light of the devastation in Haiti, BET plans to donate the first grant to immediate emergency relief in Haiti.”

Following Lee’s remarks, Stevie Wonder, Trey Songz and India.Arie delivered a soulful rendition of the “Wake Up Everybody” in memory of the recent passing of soul-man extraordinaire, Teddy Pendergrass and his message of hope and commitment to the community.

Queen Latifah, this year’s recipient of the BET Honor for Media, was presented with her award by the talented and always hilarious Taraji P. Henson, while R&B songstress Jazmine Sullivan performed soul-stirring interpretations of “Unforgettable” and “Rock Steady.” Next, the powerhouse legend Patti Labelle performed “If Only You Knew.” Actor and comedian Chris Tucker then introduced the Public Service award honoree, neurosurgeon Dr. Keith Black, who was treated to an extraordinary performance of “Can’t Imagine Love Without You” by the iconic Stevie Wonder accompanied by Take 6.

Hip-hop pioneer Andre Harrell presented his longtime friend Sean “Diddy” Combs with the Entrepreneur BET Honor. 2009 BET HONORS recipient Mary J. Blige performed a medley of her greatest hits “Love No Limit,” “I Love You,” and “Be Happy,” as a personal tribute to her mentor and friend. During his heartfelt acceptance speech, Diddy attributed his success to his mother’s tireless work ethic, also giving credit to the hip-hop community.

BET Networks also paid tribute to Dr. Ruth Simmons (Public Service), who was presented with her award by veteran actress Victoria Rowell. It was followed by the moving performance by India.Arie, who was accompanied by pianist ELEW (Eric Lewis), with songs “Beautiful Flower” and “Someday We’ll All Be Free.”

Lastly, Whitney Houston was on her feet for a surprise soul-rousing performance by one of her favorite artists, gospel great Kim Burrell singing “I Believe In You and Me.” And if that wasn’t enough, Jennifer Hudson brought the crowd to its feet singing Houston’s chart-topping “I Will Always Love You,” as she was presented with The BET Honor for Entertainment by Ne-Yo.

Other highlights of the show included Trey Songz and Stevie Wonder’s medley of each other’s hits, “That Girl” and “Invented Sex,” as well as Ryan Leslie performing his latest single “I Choose You.” Maxwell also performed “Fist Full of Tears” and “Forgive Me.”

Stephen Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials, BET Networks, and Lynne Harris Taylor, Vice President of Specials, BET Networks are executive producers, along with John Cossette of John Cossette Productions.

The official BET HONORS after party was presented by AMBI® Skincare, a beauty brand committed to empowerment, education and providing women of color with skincare solutions for flawless, even toned skin. The star-studded event will take place in Washington, DC’s renowned Ronald Regan Building & International Trade Center and will be transformed into an AMBI® Brand oasis in which honorees, celebrity guests and the media will unwind and enjoy the evening’s entertainment in the AMBI® Brand’s ‘Flawless Beauty Lounge.’ “As a brand dedicated to empowering and supporting women of color, we are proud to partner with BET HONORS to pay tribute to the accomplished honorees who are an inspiration to us all,” says Denna Singleton, AMBI® Brand Product Director.

For more information on THE BET HONORS, visit

*All times ET/PT

About the 2010 BET Honorees

WHITNEY HOUSTON – Whitney Houston has established a benchmark for superstardom that will quite simply never be eclipsed in the modern era, with over 170 million combined album, singles and videos sold worldwide during her career with Arista Records. She is a singer’s singer who has influenced countless other vocalists, both female and male. Music historians cite Whitney’s record-setting achievements: the only artist to chart seven consecutive #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits; the first female artist to enter the Billboard 200 album chart at #1; and the only artist with seven consecutive multi-platinum albums. Her current album “I Look To You” debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts when it was released this past August and to date has sold 2 million copies worldwide. In February, Whitney will commence her long-awaited Nothing But Love World Tour 2010, with dates starting in Soeul, Korea and moving on to Japan, Australia and Europe.

QUEEN LATIFAH – Queen Latifah is Grammy® Award-winning musician, television and film actress, label president, author and entrepreneur. Blessed with style and substance, Queen Latifah has blossomed into a one-woman entertainment conglomerate. On January 4, 2006, she became the first hip hop artist to be crowned with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has received rave reviews, an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal as Mama Morton in Miramax’s Chicago as well as a Golden Globe and SAG Award win for her heart wrenching role in Life Support.

SEAN “DIDDY” COMBS – Sean “Diddy” Combs is a mogul in every sense of the word. As a top record executive, performer, TV/Film producer, writer, arranger, clothing designer, and actor, he’s mastered what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Winning three Grammy® Awards, a Council of Fashion Designers of America Award as well as a FiFi Award for Fragrance of The Year are just a few of his stellar accomplishments. At the helm of Bad Boy Entertainment Worldwide, Mr. Combs oversees Bad Boy Records; the clothing lines Sean John and Sean by Sean Combs, a movie production company, a fragrance line, and is also co-owner and brand builder for Ciroc vodka.

RUTH SIMMONS – Ruth J. Simmons was sworn in as the 18th president of Brown University, an Ivy League school, on July 3, 2001. She also holds an appointment as a professor of comparative literature and of Africana Studies at Brown. Dr. Simmons graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans and completed her Ph.D. in Romance languages and literatures at Harvard. She served in various administrative roles at the University of Southern California, Princeton University, and Spelman College before becoming president of Smith College, the largest women’s college in the United States.

KEITH BLACK – Dr. Keith L. Black serves as Chairman and professor of the Department of Neurosurgery, Director of Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute, and Director of the Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Brain Tumor Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. An internationally-renowned neurosurgeon and scientist, Dr. Black joined Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in July 1997, and prior to that served on the University of California, Los Angeles faculty for 10 years where he was Professor of Neurosurgery. Since 1987, he has performed more than 5,000 operations for resection of brain tumors, and has a unique ability to combine cutting-edge research and an extremely busy surgical practice.

About the Host

GABRIELLE UNION – Gabrielle Union is an award winning actress, successful model and has been praised by Oprah Winfrey for being a noted activist on violence against women. She landed her first major role opposite Kirsten Dunst in the teen hit Bring It On in 2001. Since then, she has catapulted her career to the next level: starring in blockbuster films Bad Boys II, opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, Deliver Us From Eva in 2003, opposite LL Cool J, the Tyler Perry film Daddy’s Girls and the Christmas film The Perfect Holiday to name a few. Union has appeared in countless TV shows including her current role in ABC’s hit series, FlashForward.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE:VIA) (NYSE:VIA.B) , is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 98 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions:, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks – BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

PRN Photo Desk,
Source: BET Networks

CONTACT: Lyntina Townsend, +1-202-608-2745,, or
Voncella McIntosh, +1-310-481-3732,, both of BET

Web Site:

Kathryn Bigelow is Best Director @ The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards


One of the most accomplished American female film directors, Kathryn Bigelow was named Best Director at the highly acclaimed Critics Choice Awards and her war film on Iraq, The Hurt Locker was named the Best Picture.

16 Jan 2010 08:15 Africa/Lagos

The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards
‘Avatar’ Wins Big With Record 6 Awards, ‘Inglourious Basterds’ Takes Home 3 Awards ‘The Hurt Locker’ Takes Best Picture and Best Director Jeff Bridges Wins Best Actor for His Work in ‘Crazy Heart’, Lead Actress Award Is a Tie Between Meryl Streep for ‘Julie & Julia’ and Sandra Bullock for ‘The Blind Side’ Winners Announced at Gala Awards Ceremony Broadcast Live on VH1 Watch the Show’s Best Moments Online Now at

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ — The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) announced the winners of the 15th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards earlier this evening. The star-studded ceremony was hosted by Kristin Chenoweth at the Hollywood Palladium and aired live on VH1. The Hurt Locker was named the year’s Best Picture and Kathryn Bigelow won Best Director honors.

Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock did more than share a best actress award at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards — they shared a little tongue, too!
Photo Credit: The fablife

Avatar was another big winner with a record six Critics’ Choice Movie Awards for Best Action Movie, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Cinematography for Mauro Fiore, Best Art Direction for Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg, and Best Editing for Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron. Jeff Bridges was honored with the award for Best Actor for his role in Crazy Heart, while Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia) and Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) tied in the lead actress category.

Christoph Waltz was honored with the Best Supporting Actor award for his work in Inglourious Basterds, the film that was also honored for Best Acting Ensemble and Best Original Screenplay for Quentin Tarantino. Best Supporting Actress honors went to Mo’Nique for Precious and Best Young Actor/Actress went to Saoirse Ronan for The Lovely Bones. Up won Best Animated Feature and Best Comedy went to The Hangover.

Renowned actor and philanthropist Kevin Bacon was honored with the third annual Joel Siegel Award presented by Meryl Streep. The BFCA created this award to honor those in the film community whose actions demonstrate that the greatest value of celebrity is the ability to do good work for others. This special award pays homage to beloved “Good Morning America” film critic and BFCA member Joel Siegel, who passed away in 2007.

The 15th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards

15th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards also included a special tribute to American film director and producer John Hughes, who passed away in August, 2009. In honor of Hughes’ life and cinematic achievements, John Krasinski and Amy Poehler presented a poignant tribute followed by a musical performance from Death Cab For Cutie who played “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” from “The Breakfast Club” soundtrack.

Nominees in attendance included: Kathryn Bigelow, Ryan Bingham, Neill Blomkamp, Emily Blunt, Jeff Bridges, T-Bone Burnette, Sandra Bullock, James Cameron, Bradley Cooper, Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Lee Daniels, Peter Doctor, Vera Farmiga, Tom Ford, Morgan Freeman, Heather Graham, Woody Harrelson, Jae Head, Ed Helms, Nick Hornby, Anna Kendrick, Diane Kruger, Bailey Madison, Paul McCartney, Christian McKay, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Mo’Nique, Julianne Moore, Carey Mulligan, Kenny Ortega, Jason Reitman, Jeremy Renner, Saoirse Ronan, Eli Roth, Gabourey Sidibe, Meryl Streep, Quentin Tarantino, Stanley Tucci, and Christoph Waltz.

Presenters at the gala included: Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell, Emily Blunt, Cedric the Entertainer, Bradley Cooper, Rob Corddry, Abbie Cornish, Claire Danes, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Vera Farmiga, Heather Graham, Ed Helms, Samuel L. Jackson, Ken Jeong, Adam Lambert, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Tobey Maguire, Tracy Morgan, Amy Poehler, Craig Robinson, Zoe Saldana, Susan Sarandon, Sarah Silverman, and Meryl Streep.

The show featured Nick Jonas & The Administration as this year’s house band.

The 240 members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the largest film critics’ organization in the United States and Canada, representing television, radio and online critics, selected nominees in each of 25 categories. The awards are bestowed annually to honor the finest in cinematic achievement. Eligible films were released in 2009. The accounting firm of Gregory A. Mogab tallied the written ballots. Historically, the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards are the most accurate predictor of the Academy Award nominations.

To watch the best moments, acceptance speeches, red carpet interviews and a complete list of winners visit The Critics Choice Awards.

The 15th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards is sponsored by Walmart and WHEAT THINS.

The 15th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards is executive produced by Bob Bain, Joey Berlin, Jesse Ignjatovic and Lee Rolontz. Paul Flattery serves as producer and Kelly Brock as co-producer.


“The Hurt Locker”

Jeff Bridges – “Crazy Heart”

Meryl Streep – “Julie & Julia” AND Sandra Bullock – “The Blind Side”

Christoph Waltz – “Inglourious Basterds”

Mo’Nique – “Precious”

Saoirse Ronan – “The Lovely Bones”

“Inglourious Basterds”

Kathryn Bigelow – “The Hurt Locker”

Quentin Tarantino – “Inglourious Basterds”

Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner – “Up in the Air”

Mauro Fiore – “Avatar”

Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg – “Avatar”

Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua, James Cameron – “Avatar”

Sandy Powell – “The Young Victoria”

“District 9”





“The Hangover”

“Grey Gardens”

“Broken Embraces”

“The Cove”

“The Weary Kind” (Theme from Crazy Heart) – Ryan Bingham and T-Bone

Michael Giancchio – “Up”

Kevin Bacon

Source: VH1

CONTACT: Andy Gelb,, or Stephanie Samson,, both of Slate PR, +1-310-556-0444, for VH1

Web Site:

Win An all-expense-paid Trip to Washington, D.C., New York and Hollywood

About the challenge
Create a video short that completes the phrase “Democracy is…”
The Prize
• An all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., New York and Hollywood.
• Gala screenings of the winning videos in Hollywood, New York and Washington
• Exposure to filmmakers and the U.S. film and television industry.
• Meetings with democracy advocates from government, media and civil society.
The Timeline
• Challenge semifinalists will be selected on or about March 31, 2010.
• An independent jury will narrow down the semifinalists to 21 finalists on or about May 15, 2010.
• The general public will vote online for the winning videos May 15 – June 15, 2010.
• Seven winners – one each from the Western Hemisphere, Europe, Middle East/North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South & Central Asia, East Asia/Pacific and one anonymous winner – will be announced in mid-June 2010.
• The six publicly identified winners, one from each of the six geographic regions, will travel to the United States to claim their prize in the fall of 2010.
The Details
• You must be 18 or older to enter.
• Videos can be any style: fiction or documentary, animated or live action.
• Videos must be no longer than three minutes.
• Videos must be in English or have English subtitles.
• Contestants may enter anonymously, but anonymous winners cannot collect the grand prize.
• See contest site for a complete list of rules,

“Avatar” Star Zoe Saldana and Avon Introduce Eternal Magic


12 Jan 2010 18:00 Africa/Lagos

Avon and Zoe Saldana Introduce Eternal Magic

A New Signature Fragrance
NEW YORK, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ — Avon Products, Inc. today announced it has signed actress Zoe Saldana to be the exclusive spokeswoman for the brand’s new fragrance, Eternal Magic, debuting April 2010. Beautiful, intelligent and talented, the actress is the perfect fit for Avon’s latest scent — a fragrance embodying timeless grace, beauty and elegance. In addition to supporting Eternal Magic, Saldana will also be featured in the company’s brochure as a face of Avon’s color cosmetics category in the coming months.

Eternal Magic By Avon. Available April 2010. (PRNewsFoto/Avon Products, Inc.) NEW YORK, NY UNITED STATES

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:

(Photo: )

“I’m very proud to be working with Avon and to be the face of Eternal Magic,” says Saldana. “It means so much to me to be associated with a company that shares my values and believes in empowering women.”

“We are thrilled to have Zoe as the spokesperson for Eternal Magic. Every woman wants to be unforgettable and Zoe perfectly embodies that feeling. She’s a rising star in Hollywood — and has built a strong reputation for playing empowering characters that leave a lasting impression,” says Geralyn Breig, Senior Vice President and President of Avon North America. “We were drawn to her inner and outer beauty, and feel she represents the perfect combination of strength and femininity.”

An unforgettable fragrance that leaves an indelible impression, Eternal Magic creates everlasting memories with a fragrance signature that lingers in the air. The artfully crafted fragrance takes inspiration from the rare Princess Monaco Rose. The enchanting scent is the embodiment of the unique magic that surrounds mysterious, alluring women everywhere. The fragrance will launch in the U.S. in April 2010 and will be available exclusively through Avon Representatives worldwide.

Zoe Saldana is the most recent partner to join the company’s premier fragrance portfolio. Avon’s other partners include Reese Witherspoon, Salma Hayek, Courteney Cox, Fergie, Patrick Dempsey, Derek Jeter, U by Ungaro, Eon Productions for Bond Girl 007 and Christian Lacroix.

About Avon

Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with over $10 billion in annual revenue. As the world’s largest direct seller, Avon markets to women in more than 100 countries through over 5.5 million independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon’s product line includes beauty products, fashion jewelry and apparel, and features such well-recognized brand names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Advance Techniques, Avon Naturals, and mark. Learn more about Avon and its products at

About Zoe Saldana

Recently appearing as Neytiri in the highly successful sci-fi thriller Avatar (which recently grossed over $1 billion globally), Zoe Saldana is one of Hollywood’s most in-demand young actresses. Saldana has a built a reputation as a versatile, respected actress by choosing roles that she feels passionately about. Named as the Young Hollywood “One to Watch” in 2004 for her performance in The Terminal, Saldana is also most recognized for her roles in Star Trek, Center Stage, Vantage Point, Haven, Guess Who, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and can soon be seen in the upcoming films Death At a Funeral and The Losers. Saldana was born and raised in New York. She currently resides in both New York and Los Angeles.

PRN Photo Desk, Video:
Source: Avon Products, Inc.

CONTACT: Claudia Shaum of Avon Products, Inc., +1-212-282-8195,, or Lauren Donner of Tractenberg & Co. PR,

Web Site:

Kevin Spacey ‘Inseparable’ in China


13 Jan 2010 10:29 Africa/Lagos

Kevin Spacey ‘Inseparable’ in China

BEIJING, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Xinhua Sports & Entertainment Limited (“XSEL”, Nasdaq: XSEL), a leading sports and entertainment media company in China, today announced that Two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey has signed on to star in director Dayyan Eng’s black comedy from his own script titled “Inseparable”. The project, principally financed by Fantawild Pictures, co-stars Daniel Wu (Overheard, Shinjuku Incident) and Beibi Gong (The Detective 2, Waiting Alone) will begin production in southern China this month. It is being produced by David U. Lee of Xinhua Media Entertainment (“XME”), a majority owned subsidiary of XSEL, and Dayyan Eng of Colordance Pictures. Li Ming of Fantawild Pictures, Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti in association with Trigger Street Productions, Bill Block of QED International and Steven Squillante will executive produce.

Kevin Spacey’s photo link:

“Inseparable” marks the first time an award winning actor of Mr. Spacey’s caliber and international renown has starred in a Chinese production. The film to be shot in Mandarin and English follows a young man with problems at home and work who is befriended by a mysterious American expat (Spacey) who changes his life. Wu co-stars as a young engineer and Gong as his investigative reporter wife.

“Fantawild Pictures and XSEL are leading the way in the Chinese film entertainment sector by being the first to bring a two-time Academy Award winning actor to a Chinese production,” said Ms. Fredy Bush, CEO of XSEL. “We are proud to be a part of the team that shows a global audience that China can produce more than just period dramas and martial-arts pictures.”

Kevin Spacey is represented by CAA, Joanne Horowitz Management, and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren and Richman LLP.

Beijing-based American director Dayyan Eng’s previous feature film, Waiting Alone, was a cult hit in China headlined by Xia Yu, Li Bingbing and Gong Beibi, with cameos by Chow Yun-Fat and other Asian stars. The romantic comedy won Best First Feature and Best Actor awards at the popular Beijing Film Festival and was nominated for three Chinese academy awards (Golden Roosters) including Best Picture in 2005. Eng’s short film, Bus 44, won awards at Venice and Sundance.

Kevin Spacey’s other upcoming projects include “Casino Jack”, in which he plays disgraced Washington power broker Jack Abramoff, and the comedy “Father of Invention”. He is also the Artistic Director of The Old Vic Theatre in London.

Other upcoming Trigger Street projects include the Untitled Captain Richards Phillips/Somali Pirate Project, “The Social Network” adapted by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher, and “The Ugly Americans” based on Ben Mezrich’s 2004 non-fiction book.

Fantawild Pictures, a large-scale film production company, is a subsidiary of Hua Qiang Group (“HQG”). HQG widely regarded as the Disneyland of China, is the leading theme park provider and operator in the country. Fantawild Pictures is engaged in financing and producing international co-productions, blockbusters with heavy digital effects, animations and up and coming 3D features. For more information, please visit .

Xinhua Media Entertainment, a majority owned subsidiary of XSEL, is a motion picture enterprise dedicated to aggregating and marketing highly commercial world-class quality film entertainment products to the Chinese audience. Collaborating with leading film producers and distributors in China and Hollywood, XME has assembled an initial slate of eight properties, two of which are completed films to be released in the next four months. “The Spy Next Door”, starring Jackie Chan, to be released nationwide on January 15th and “More Than a Game”, starring LeBron James, to be released in April 2010. Its Managing Director, David U. Lee is recognized by the Hollywood and Chinese film communities as one of the industry leaders that specializes in bridging the two film industries. Lee is credited as Co-Executive Producer of “The Forbidden Kingdom”, which he helped structure as the most successful China/U.S. co-production in history. Lee is also credited as Co-Executive Producer of “Shanghai” starring John Cusack, Chow Yun-Fat, Gong Li and Ken Watanabe, which he helped setup as an official China/U.S. assisted co-production. For more information, please visit .

For more information, please contact:

Media Contact:
Joy Tsang
Phone: +86-10-8567-6050; +86-136-2179-1577

IR Contact:
Edward Liu
Phone: +86-10-8567-6061

Howard Gostfrand
American Capital Ventures
Phone: +1-305-918-7000; toll free +1-877-918-0774

About XSEL

Xinhua Sports & Entertainment Limited (“XSEL”; NASDAQ: XSEL) is a leading sports and entertainment media company in China. Catering to a vast audience of young and upwardly mobile consumers, XSEL is well-positioned in China with its unique content and access. Through its key international partnerships, XSEL is able to offer its target audience the content they demand -premium sports and quality entertainment. Through its Chinese partnerships, XSEL is able to deliver this content across a broad range of platforms, including television, the Internet, mobile phones and other multimedia assets in China. Along with its integrated advertising resources, XSEL offers a total solution empowering clients at every stage of the media process linking advertisers with China’s young and upwardly mobile demographic.

Headquartered in Beijing, the company employs more than 1,000 people and has offices and affiliates in major cities throughout China including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Xinhua Sports & Entertainment Limited shares are listed on the NASDAQ Global Market (NASDAQ:XSEL) . For more information, please visit .

Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements are made under the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “future,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” ”confident” and similar statements. Among other things, any quotations from management in this announcement contain forward-looking statements. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about XSEL’s beliefs and expectations are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks outlined in XSEL’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 20-F. All information provided in this press release is as of the date hereof, and XSEL undertakes no duty to update such information, except as required under applicable law.

Source: Xinhua Sports & Entertainment Limited

CONTACT: Media Contact: Joy Tsang, XSEL, +86-10-8567-6050;
+86-136-2179-1577,; IR Contact: Edward Liu, XSEL,
+86-10-8567-6061,; Howard Gostfrand, American Capital
Ventures, +1-305-918-7000; toll free +1-877-918-0774,

Web site:

Do You Have a ‘Little Red Dress’?

MACY-S-LITTLE-RED-D“The Little Red Dress” Benefitting The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Movement and Available Exclusively at Macy’s and (PRNewsFoto/Macy’s) NEW YORK, NY UNITED STATES

13 Jan 2010 13:00 Africa/Lagos

Macy’s Loves Go Red For Women with INC’s ‘Little Red Dress’

Limited Edition Design to Benefit American Heart Association Available Exclusively at Macy’s and

NEW YORK, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ — Macy’s continues to show its love for the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement, by announcing the launch of the INC International Concepts “Little Red Dress.” Since 2004, Macy’s has raised more than $21 million in the fight against heart disease and this marks the first time in the retailer’s six year relationship with the American Heart Association that a limited edition design has been specially created to inspire and promote awareness of women’s heart disease–just in time to celebrate National Wear Red Day on February 5, 2010.


Available exclusively at select Macy’s, including locations in New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, as well as on, the “Little Red Dress” retails for $69 with 10% of the sales price of each dress to be donated to the American Heart Association. A seasonal twist on the iconic “Little Black Dress” in a seductive shade of red, this exclusive design showcases a flirty, fitted silhouette and is available in Small, Medium, Large, and Extra-Large. An obvious choice for a glamorous Valentine’s Day rendezvous, it’s also the perfect way to show heartfelt support for Go Red For Women, a nationwide life-saving movement to promote awareness and prevention of heart disease among women.

“This is the sixth consecutive year that Macy’s and the American Heart Association have joined forces in the crusade against women’s heart disease,” stated Nicole Fischelis, Macy’s Group Vice President, Fashion Director for Ready-to-Wear. “Creating an exclusive dress design and donating a portion of each sale to the American Heart Association was a logical and fashionable way to celebrate our partnership and demonstrate Macy’s ongoing support for the Go Red For Women movement and National Wear Red Day.”

Neil Meltzer, Board Chairman of the American Heart Association and President and COO of Sinai Hospital of Baltimore added, “Macy’s long-standing commitment to Go Red For Women has helped us provide women with the knowledge and tools to make life-saving choices every day. The creation of Macy’s ‘Little Red Dress’ will bring even more exposure to the red dress symbol and awareness of heart disease, as we continue to fight this No. 1 killer of women.”

Additionally, in honor of American Heart Month and National Wear Red Day, Macy’s customers wearing any item of red–anything from lipstick, to the signature Red Dress pin, to an entire red ensemble–will receive a special 20% discount on a wide assortment of merchandise at all nationwide Macy’s stores, as part of the Wear Red Sale Event on February 3-7.

The “Little Red Dress” will be available from January 31-March 21, 2010.

Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s solution to save women’s lives. With one out of three women still dying from heart disease, we are committed to fighting this No. 1 killer that is

largely preventable., a premiere source of information and education, connects millions of women of all ages and gives them tangible resources to turn personal choices into life-saving actions. We encourage women and the men who love them to embrace the cause. For more information please visit or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278). Macy’s is a proud national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women.

About Macy’s:

Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Macy’s stores and offer distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for such epic events as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Building on a 150-year tradition, Macy’s helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities that make a difference in the lives of our customers.

For Macy’s media materials, images and contacts, please visit our online pressroom at

AP Archive:
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN3
PRN Photo Desk,
Source: Macy’s

CONTACT: Marissa Nicolaescu, +1-646-429-5232,

Web Site: