Saturday, November 30, 2013

Award-winning 'Silent Retreat' Punctuates Prolific Year for Canadian Casting Ace Justin Turner

29 Nov 2013 15:00 Africa/Lagos

Award-winning 'Silent Retreat' punctuates prolific year for Canadian casting ace Justin Turner

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - A Film Monkey Production's horror film "Silent Retreat" received this month the Best Canadian Feature Film award at the 8th annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival. The award underscored a banner 2013 for Justin Turner, a Toronto based casting department extraordinaire who has made a sterling impression in film and television, and who worked under Casting Director Jonathan Oliveira on the project.

Directed, written and produced by Tricia Lee, "Silent Retreat" is a creature indie feature shot entirely in Canada. It follows the story of Janey, who is sent to a silent rehab retreat in the middle of the woods. Upon arriving, she discovers the men who run the retreat are brainwashing women to be quiet and submissive. If Janey breaks the rules, she'll discover what evil lurks beyond the trees.

Toronto's Chelsea Jenish plays Janey. Sofia Banzhaf, Robert Nolan, Jen Pogue, Matthew Romantini and Mark Buck round out the film's supporting roles.

"Jonathan and I really tried to find actors who were unknowns," Turner says. "It meant initially going way out of our comfort zone. This is a credit to Tricia Lee as a filmmaker as her only priority was finding the best actors. Everyone was taking a leap of faith, but it was exciting to approach casting in a grassroots way. It gave actors who don't always get the opportunity to audition for such a meaty project a chance and also exposed us to exciting new talent."

For Turner, "Silent Retreat" was the latest of a string of achievements that evidence his aptitude with micro budget indie flicks, as well as major studio pictures and broadcast network television. He's part of the profound casting team at Toronto's RDC Casting.

Turner's casting credits this year include MGM's "Carrie" starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore, CBS Films' "The F Word" starring Daniel Radcliffe and Adam Driver, the Warner Bros. distributed and Guillermo del Toro directed "Pacific Rim," Universal's "Mama" starring Jessica Chastain and Syfy's "Warehouse 13" starring Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly and Saul Rubinek.

In 2012, Turner helped cast Lionsgate's "Nurse 3-D," Columbia Pictures' "Total Recall" starring Colin Farrell, Hallmark's "Christmas with Holly," USA Network's "Covert Affairs" starring Piper Perabo, Syfy's "Alphas" with David Strathairn, Ryan Cartwright, Warren Christie and Azita Ghanizada and NBC's "The Firm" starring Josh Lucas.

For more information, visit!silent-retreat---feature-film/cb4

SOURCE Justin Turner


For more information, visit!silent-retreat---feature-film/cb4

Silent Retreat
​Feature Film

A creature feature. In this quiet horror film, Janey is sent to a silent retreat in the middle of the woods for rehabilitation, only to discover that the men who run it are brainwashing women to be quite and submissive, and if she breaks the rules, she'll discover what lurks beyond the trees ...

Director: Tricia Lee
Producer: Tricia Lee

Executive Producer: Chris Agoston

Line Producer: Chris Luckhardt
Writer: Corey Brown
Director of Photography: Christian Bielz
Production Designer: Jennifer Morden
Editor: Mike Reisacher
Composer: Aaron Gilhuis
SPFX: Shaun Hunter
VFX: Brodie MacNeil

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Nigerian Filmmaker Breaks New Grounds with Historical Epic Movie and ABCs of Death Series

Nigerian Filmmaker Breaks New Grounds with Historical Epic Movie and ABCs of Death Series

Lancelot Imasuen.

Lancelot Imasuen, one of the most ambitious filmmakers in Nigeria’s Nollywood is breaking new grounds with his historical epic movie Invasion 1897 and for being the only African director among the 26 selected directors making the short horror thrillers of The ABCs of Death series.
He is one of the most prolific producers in Africa and his movies have focused on the unexplored aspects of the African experience including tribalism, witchcraft, crime, poverty, religion, and folk beliefs.

Lancelot has just concluded his own segment for the Alphabet P with “Prince Venom” in the 26 segments of the horrors of death anthology in Benin. Then he will be in London for the British locations of Invasion 1897, featuring Nigerian born Charles "Chucky" Venn who is famous for his roles as Curtis Alexander in Sky's "One's Dream Team", Tremaine Gidigbi in "Footballers' Wives" and as Ray Dixon in "EastEnders", and also starring the St. Lucian-born English actor Joseph Marcell, who has acted in over 34 films and 3 TV shows, including "The Santa Trap", "Brothers And Sisters" and "The Bill" and popularly known for his role as Geoffrey, the English butler on the NBC sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air". The top Nigerian stars in the epic include Segun Arinze Paul Obazele, Mike Omoregbe who played the lead role as Oba Ovoramwen, Charles Inojie and the late Justus Esiri.

Invasion 1897 has been endorsed by the Benin monarch, Oba Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolopolo and by the Edo state government. The film production is co-financed by Senator Daisy Danjuma and South Atlantic Petroleum Limited, supported by Capt (Dr.) Hosa Okunbor, the Chairman of FEVA TV in Toronto, Canada and J2konsult in the UK are marketing the film in Europe and planning the London unit of the movie.

 Lancelot at a recent international event.

Lancelot Imasuen, High Chief Edem Duke, Minister for Culture, Tourism and National Orientation and actor Emeka Enyiocha.

Invasion 1897 (Nogbaisi Ovonramwen) is perhaps the most daring film project in the history of the Nigerian film industry, because no previous movie can be compared to it, both in scope and perspective of the historical context. The epic is based on the invasion of the Benin Kingdom by the British Empire in 1897 and looting the priceless ancient artifacts of the Benin kingdom, including the famous commemorative head and pendant of ivory mask representing Queen Idia (from court of Benin, 16th century) who was the mother of Esigie, the Oba of Benin who ruled from 1504 to 1550. The commemorative head is at the British Museum, while the pendant is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, USA.

The commemorative head and ivory mask pendant of Queen Mother Idia.

“It will coincide with the country’s centenary celebration and which marks 100 years Oba Ovonramen N’ogbaisi (the then sitting Oba) died in exile in Calabar, on the 14th of January, 1914, where he was banished by the British,” Lancelot said and will also “kick start our call for reparations by the return of all the looted Benin Artworks from all the museums around the world”.

Lancelot on locations of "Invasion 1897".

Lancelot Imasuen’s inclusion in the second part of The ABCs of Death has shot him to global limelight as millions of movie lovers await the next 26 segments of the horror series.

The first part of The ABCs of Death 2012 American anthology horror comedy film was produced by Ant Timpson and Tim League; a thriller of 26 different shorts, each by different directors spanning fifteen countries. The 26 chapters assigned a letter of the alphabet and the directors were free to choose a word to create a story involving death. The varieties of death range from accidents to murders. The film premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and was released on VOD on January 31 and in theaters March 8, 2013, with end credits featuring the music of Australian band Skyhooks' 1974 song "Horror Movie".

For The ABCs of Death 2, a contest was held for the role of the 26th director. The winner was UK-based director Lee Hardcastle, who submitted the claymation short for T. The horror anthology runs with the tagline, “26 directors, 26 ways to die.” For the first 25 segments, a group of 25 directors were engaged and each was given a letter of the alphabet and then tasked with creating a short film about death inspired by that letter. The result was a string of shorts including “D is for Dogfight,” “F is for Fart,” “M is for Miscarriage,” and more twisted titles to get your head spinning.
With 26 directors and 26 ways to die, "Viewer Discretion Is Advised"!

Like Invasion 1897 on Facebook,
See the YouTube teaser trailer,
See Official Trailer of The ABCs of Death on YouTube,
Follow The ABCs of Death 2 on Twitter,

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima.
© International Digital Post Network Limited. 2013. No reproduction in any format of media without the authorization and permission of the copyright owners.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The 29th Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Announced

26 Nov 2013 19:29 Africa/Lagos

The 29th Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Announced

- $75,000 in grants to be awarded to filmmakers -

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, announced nominations for the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards this morning. Film Independent President Josh Welsh presided over the press conference held at the W Hollywood, with actresses Octavia Spencer and Paula Patton presenting the nominations. Nominees for Best Feature included 12 Years a Slave, All Is Lost, Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska.

Mud was selected to receive the annual Robert Altman Award, which is bestowed upon one film's director, casting director and ensemble cast.

In its commitment to recognizing the importance of below the line contributions to the art of filmmaking, Film Independent has now introduced, for the first year, the Best Editing category in the Spirit Awards.

"The nominations this year are from such an amazing pool of talented film artists," said Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent. "Their work demonstrates the deep originality and uniqueness of vision that are at the heart of independent film. At Film Independent, we work all year round to promote that spirit, and the nominees celebrated here today are tremendous ambassadors for their crafts, both in front of and behind the camera."

Winners will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, March 1, 2014. The awards ceremony will be held as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, with the premiere broadcast airing later that evening at 10:00 pm ET/PT exclusively on IFC.

Winners of the Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants will be highlighted during the awards ceremony and announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 11, 2014, at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood.

The Spirit Awards Nominating Committees selected nominees from 325 submissions this year and applied the following guidelines in determining the nominations: uniqueness of vision, original and provocative subject matter, economy of means (with particular attention paid to total production cost & individual compensation) and percentage of financing from independent sources. The Spirit Awards Nominating Committees are comprised of writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, actors, critics, casting directors, festival programmers and other working film professionals.

As the first event to exclusively honor independent film, the Film Independent Spirit Awards has made a name for itself as the premier awards show for the independent film community. Artists who have received industry recognition first at the Spirit Awards include Joel & Ethan Coen, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ashley Judd, Robert Rodriguez, David O. Russell, Edward Burns, Aaron Eckhart, Neil LaBute, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Hilary Swank, Marc Forster, Todd Field, Christopher Nolan, Zach Braff, Amy Adams, Lena Dunham and many more.

The Spirit Awards is also the primary fundraiser for Film Independent's year-round programs. To inquire about tables at the Spirit Awards, please call 310.432.1253.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors Piaget, the Lincoln Motor Company and IFC and by Principal Sponsor Stella Artois. WireImage is the Official Photographer and PR Newswire is the Official Breaking News Service of Film Independent.

For more information on submission guidelines, voting, media and publicist credentials, and the history of the Spirit Awards, please visit

Now in its 29th year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience. The winners of the Spirit Awards are voted upon by Film Independent and IFP Members.

Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, the Robert Altman Award, Best International Film, and Best Documentary. The Filmmaker Grants include the Piaget Producers Award, the Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award and the Someone to Watch Award.

The production team for this year's Spirit Awards includes Executive Producer Diana Zahn-Storey; Director and Producer Chris Donovan; Producer Shawn Davis, who has been a part of the show and produced the Spirit Awards for 11 years; and Producer John Hamilton, who has produced the Spirit Awards for 9 years.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors Piaget, the Lincoln Motor Company and IFC and by Principal Sponsor Stella Artois. WireImage is the Official Photographer and PR Newswire is the Official Breaking News Service of Film Independent.

For more information on submission guidelines, voting, media and publicist credentials, and the history of the Spirit Awards, please visit

Film Independent is a nonprofit arts organization that champion's independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent's Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff, and constituents, is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional, or a film lover.

Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artist-driven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers, as well as the Los Angeles Film Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary of showcasing the best of American and international cinema. Film Independent also produces the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public. 

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent's Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project:Involve is Film Independent's signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.

For more information or to become a member, visit

Click here for the complete list of nominees.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Set for Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014

26 Nov 2013 15:26 Africa/Lagos

Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Set for Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014
Timeline for Awards Announced

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild (IATSE Local 706) Awards honoring make-up artists and hair stylists outstanding achievements in motion pictures, television, commercials, and live theater will take place on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at Paramount Studios, it was announced today by IATSE Local 706 President Susan Cabral-Ebert. "The members are excited to have the Local 706 Guild Awards return this year," said Cabral-Ebert. For Submissions, Rules and Regulations go to:


The entry and voting timeline for the 2014 Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards is:

Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 - Submissions for motion pictures, television, commercials, mini-series/movies-of-the-week and cable open on-line at
Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 at 5:00PM (PT) - Submissions close.
Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 - Nominations announced.
Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 - Final ballot on-line voting begins.
Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 at 5:00PM (PT) - Final ballot on-line voting ends.
Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 - Winners announced at the Local 706 Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Event.

Honorees for the Distinguished Artist Award and the two Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring Make-up Artists and Hair Stylists will be announced in the near future.

About Local 706:
The Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild (IATSE, Local 706) was chartered in November 1937. Today, membership includes over 1,800 artisans in the entertainment industry worldwide. Local 706 members are make-up artists and hair stylists who have created the looks for Hollywood's most memorable characters and stars of stage, screen, television and now the Internet. The wide-ranging domains of these artists include feature films and television, commercials; "live" network television, all types of theatrical productions and Disneyland theme parks. Local 706 Members have created notable characters competing for Academy Awards®, Primetime Emmys®, Daytime Entertainment Emmys®, Saturns®, BAFTA Awards, and many other honors for make-up and hair styling artistry including their own Hollywood Make-up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards®. The Local 706 Guild publishes The Artisan , a glossy quarterly magazine, and provides panels, workshops and training both for members and others interested in the field to foster a spirit of innovation in the craft. The official website can be found at

Cheri Warner, Weissman/Markovitz Communications

Dan Dodd, IngleDodd Media

Read more news from Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Local 706.

SOURCE Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Local 706

Web Site:

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Avon Foundation Launches Campaign to Help People #SeeTheSigns of Domestic Violence During 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

Avon Foundation Launches Campaign to Help People #SeeTheSigns of Domestic Violence During 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

Megan Fox, Lucy Hale and Chris Paul support the Avon Foundation as it helps people #SeeTheSigns of abuse through a powerful global social media campaign

Actress Megan Fox in New York City where she helped Avon launch the #SeeTheSigns of Domestic Violence global social media campaign.

/ PRNewswire / — Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, actress Megan Fox, the face of Avon Instinct fragrances, supported the Avon Foundation for Women  in its launch of #SeeTheSigns, a global social media campaign that will educate the public on recognizing the signs of domestic violence. Part of the Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program, #SeeTheSigns will run throughout the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, an international human rights-based movement against gender violence and will educate bystanders and victims on the signs of domestic violence and how to safely intervene or seek help.

#SeeTheSigns will educate women and men about the important role they play in recognizing the signs of abuse among their friends and family and how they can help break the cycle by starting conversations about the issue. Tied together with the hashtag #SeeTheSigns, the campaign features powerful graphics and "signs" of domestic violence intended to help people recognize the often subtle signs of abuse.

Lucy Hale, mark. Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for m.powerment by mark., and Chris Paul, basketball star and the face of Avon men's fragrance, Untouchable, also will join Avon during the 16 Days of Activism to help people #SeeTheSigns by sharing the signs on social media.
According to a recent Avon Foundation-funded study "NO MORE Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: Survey of Attitudes and Experiences of Teens and Young Adults," although 60% of Americans ages 15-and-older know a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault and 80% believe it is a problem in our society, limited public discussions are taking place about the issues. Seventy-three percent of Americans have not talked about the issues with their children and more than half have never discussed it with their friends; two-thirds say if we talk more about domestic violence and sexual assault, it would be easier for them to help someone and 75% say they would step in to help a stranger.

"The lack of conversation about domestic violence keeps the epidemic hidden," said Megan Fox, actress and the face of Avon Instinct fragrances. "With #SeetheSigns, the Avon Foundation hopes to create a global movement to encourage and motivate people to share and educate others about the signs of abuse so we can break this epidemic of violence."

The Avon Foundation will post the signs daily on Facebook and Twitter beginning Nov. 25. Each sign will link to an Avon Foundation webpage where users can find information on the signs of domestic abuse from Avon Foundation funded agencies such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the National Network to End Domestic Violence and Safe Horizon. Throughout the campaign, the Avon Foundation will encourage people to spread the word and help others to #SeeTheSigns by sharing the "signs" with their social networks. The campaign culminates on Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day.
The Avon Foundation anticipates #SeeTheSigns will generate discussions and result in an increase in calls to domestic violence service agencies across the country, such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the only national, toll-free hotline for domestic violence victims. The Hotline frequently receives more calls than it can handle with the staff it is able to fund. To support the increase in calls, the Avon Foundation is launching a #GivingTuesday campaign on Dec. 3 that will match donations made directly to the Hotline from Dec. 1 – Dec. 31 up to $200,000. The Hotline estimates the Avon Foundation grant will enable them to staff an additional 12,477 hours of advocate time to answer calls and online chats, translating into an estimated 23,695 people served.


Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women, the world's largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2013, Avon global philanthropy, led by the Avon Foundation, has donated more than $957 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses on funding breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. By 2013, the Foundation will have donated more than $38 million in the United States through Speak Out to support domestic violence programs, services and education. Globally, Avon supports efforts to end violence against women in nearly 50 countries by raising funds through special product sales and raising awareness through events and with educational information disseminated by more than 6 million global Avon Representatives. Visit for more information.

Avon Foundation for Women Contacts:
Karyn Margolis

Kristen Clonan

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

'Catching Fire' Ignites Box Office With Record $161 Million Debut

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" exploded into movie theaters over the weekend, burning up box office charts with $161 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales, distributor Lions Gate Entertainment Corp said.

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ESoDoc - European Social Documentary 2014

ESoDoc - European Social Documentary 2014

The training initiative for documentary and cross-media projects with impact!

Application Deadline: December 2, 2013
ESoDoc is a project-based course offering three one-week sessions held over a period of six month. ESoDoc focuses on new ways of producing, funding and distributing documentaries on social themes. During the workshops, participants are tutored by a network of international experts on the development of their projects. Emphasis is placed on building up strong storytelling along with new production possibilities.

Intermediary and senior documentary filmmakers, authors and producers, NGO-communication representatives and professionals from the new media sector.

To apply for ESoDoc 2014, please fill the online application form on

Application Deadline: December 2, 2013
Session #01: March 2014, The Netherlands
Session #02: May/June 2014, Italy (t.b.c.)
Session #03: September 2014, Italy (t.b.c.)

The cost per participant is 1.200,00 Euro (600,00 Euro for participants from new member states). This covers tuition, room and board.Travel expenses are not included. Four scholarships are available.

Heidi Gronauer (ZeLIG Director / ESoDoc Head of Project) and Hugh Purcell (ESoDoc Head of Studies) will be at IDFA in Amsterdam from November 23 till 26. Contact us if you want to book a meeting and get any more info about ESoDoc!

Thomas RighettiESoDoc project assistant
Phone: +390471302030

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Friday, November 22, 2013

What Cinema Can Do: Festival of 3 Continents Honours South African Cinema

The 35th Festival des 3 Continents from November 19-26 is honouring South African Cinema.
The annual international film festival has been held since 1979 in Nantes, France, solely devoted to the promotion of cinemas of Asia, and Africa and Latin America. Nigerians Report was invited to cover the 2013 edition.

Official Selection - International Competition

What cinema can do

Harshness and sensitivity: the films selected for 2013 blend,
somewhat paradoxically, a porosity to the world and its violence with a
sophisticated taste for oblique approaches and the joys of indirectness.
State corruption with consequences that worm their way into the family
core (El Mudo), one generation oppressing another (Bending the Rules), the confusion between the psychiatric institution and mental confinement (Til Madness Do Us Part), gangsterism (Poor Folk), the forced clandestinity of migrant life (L’Escale, Rêves d’or), teenage violence misunderstood (Leçons d’harmonie):
but there is no need to limit ourselves to the documentary genre to
find portraits of men and women struggling, resisting or quite simply
surviving. Without yielding to the imperious aridity of fact or
naturalist conventions, fiction also endeavours to create visions that
express what cinema can do.

See full details on

Official Selection - Out of international competition

8 feature-lenth films of 2013.



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Nigerian Christmas Premiere of "FEMME: Women Healing the World" by Emmanuel Itier and Sharon Stone

The Nigerian Premiere of the new award winning awesome film "FEMME: Women Healing the World" is coming up in Lagos for the celebration of Christmas.
With Special Guest of Honour Emmanuel Itier, the famous director of the film.

Emmanuel Itier and Sharon Stone.

Eeefy Ify Ike.

 FEMME was filmed all around the World including Nigeria and also featuring Eeefy Ify Ike, the famous Nigerian born US based model, actress, motivational speaker and the author of Peering Through The Depths of life.
Read more about her on

FEMME is the first Feminist movie made by a macho man! This will empower Women and educate our Men as well!

FEMME is an inspirational voyage about women around the world who are actively transforming and healing global society of a daily basis. Starring Sharon Stone (Casino, Total Recall, Basic Instinct), Jean Houston, Marianne Williamson, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Riane Eisler, Nobel Peace Prize Laureats Shirin Ebadi and Mairead Maguire, Rickie Lee Jones, Gloria Steinem, and more!

Influential women discuss religion, science, history, politics and entertainment - and the solutions to the multiple crisis we face throughout the world. FEMME focuses on utilizing a feminine approach with nurturing energy to inspire a new hope for the future.

Directed By: Emmanual Itier 
Produced By: Sharon Stone, Amanda Estremera, Andrea Barron, Barbara Lazaroff, Celeste Yarnall, Dawn Zuill 


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12-year Secret Service Agent Resigns During Obama Administration

21 Nov 2013 17:41 Africa/Lagos

12-year Secret Service Agent Resigns During Obama Administration; Warns American People About 'Life Inside the Bubble'

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Why would a successful, 12-year Secret Service agent resign his elite position in the prime of his career to run for high public office and blow the whistle on what goes on at the highest levels in Washington DC?

Dan Bongino's Life Inside the Bubble: Why a Top-Ranked Secret Service Agent Walked Away From It All (WND Books, Nov 19) is a look at life inside the presidential "bubble," a haze of staffers, consultants, cronies, acolytes, bureaucrats and lobbyists that creates the "alternate reality" in which monumental policy decisions are made. And it is the story of a dedicated Secret Service professional who, after years inside the "bubble," walked away in favor of sounding a clarion call to the American people in defense of sane government and the U.S. Constitution.

Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity praises the book as "a rare peek inside the DC 'Bubble' which should be a wake-up call to every American."

Former congressman and U.S. Army Col. Allen West says, "Dan Bongino walked away because he is an American patriot and the embodiment of the highest standards of honor, integrity, and character … exactly what we need inside the bubble."

Take the journey with Bongino from the tough streets of New York City where he was raised, and later patrolled as a member of the NYPD, to the White House as a member of the elite Presidential Protective Division, through his ultimate decision to resign from the Secret Service in the prime of his career to run for the United States Senate against the feared Maryland Democratic machine.

Follow his experiences inside the Washington DC matrix and discover why a government filled with some incredibly dedicated people nevertheless continues to make such frequent and tragic mistakes. Indeed, Bongino shows why the "Fast & Furious" scandal, the terror bombings in Boston and the terrorist attacks in Benghazi are merely harbingers of what's to come to America without a bold change in direction.

About Dan Bongino

Starting his career in law enforcement with the NYPD in 1995, Dan Bongino joined the ranks of the Secret Service in 1999 as a special agent where he was assigned to investigate financial crimes. In 2006, he entered into duty with the elite Presidential Protective Division in the administration of President George W. Bush and remained on protective duty during the change in administration to that of President Barack Obama. He resigned from the Secret Service in 2011 to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Maryland.

Media Contact: M. Sliwa Public Relations, 973-272-2861,


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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wedding & PortraWPPI Now Accepting Submissions for Annual 16x20 Print, Album, and Filmmaking Competitions

2013 Print Comp winners line up. (L-R: Danielle Riley, Enrique Oliver, Rocco Ancora, Kelly Brown, Kaupo Kikkas, David Edmonson, Jerry Ghionis).

21 Nov 2013 19:53 Africa/Lagos

Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) Now Accepting Submissions for Annual 16x20 Print, Album, and Filmmaking Competitions

Jerry and Melissa Ghionis Named Competition Directors of 2014 Honors of Excellence Competitions to Be Judged Live During Annual WPPI Conference
Competition Offers Chances to Win Thousands of Dollars in Prizes and Awards

Growth, Honor, and Prestige

10 reasons why you should enter the competition:
  • It encourages excellence, educates and motivates you to be constantly committed to your craft.
  • Share your work with your peers for mutually beneficial inspiration and learning.
  • Receive priceless feedback from respected photographers and judges.
  • Be recognized by your peers for your achievements.
  • Attend the live judging for an invaluable learning experience.
  • The new rules for the competition place all entrants on a fair and level playing field.
  • There are categories that respect and encourage all disciplines.
  • Become a "Grand Master" of WPPI - the organization's highest honor!
  • Win a category, win a Grand Award, receive a crystal trophy, win some cash!
  • It's a fun, challenging and exciting way to share your work.
NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) announced today that submissions are now being accepted for its annual Honors of Excellence 16x20 Print, Album, and Filmmaking Competitions. In addition, WPPI announced today that Jerry and Melissa Ghionis have been appointed Competition Directors of the Honors of Excellence competition. As Competition Directors, they will oversee and implement new competition rules, submissions, judging, and the Honors of Excellence award ceremony. The deadline to register images online is January 8, 2014 and all prints, albums, and films must be received at WPPI headquarters in New York by January 25, 2014. All winners will be announced and awards and prizes will be presented at the Honors of Excellence award ceremony on March 5, 2014 in Las Vegas during the WPPI Wedding and Portrait Photography Conference & Expo.

The newly-named Honors of Excellence program was created by Jerry and Melissa Ghionis, under the direct supervision of WPPI Director, Jason Groupp. The program incorporates a new set of rules and guidelines designed to make participation easy, efficient and rewarding for entrants. A new, online information hub is now available so past entrants can view their Honors of Excellence Points, download certificates and manage their records at their convenience.

Jerry Ghionis is widely regarded as one of the top wedding photographers in the world and he has won numerous awards at WPPI including 6 Grand Awards and 8 International Wedding Album of the Year awards. Jerry and Melissa are longtime WPPI members and their seminars and workshops have been educating -- and entertaining -- photographers around the world for years.

The live competition judging will be held March 1 & 2, 2014 during the WPPI conference at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas and is open for viewing by WPPI attendees with a Full Conference Pass. Judged by panels of professional photographers, the spirited and educational judging process has become the cornerstone of the annual WPPI conference and places focus squarely on the talents of photographers and filmmakers worldwide. Entries will be displayed individually -- and anonymously -- and critiqued by the panel of judges using a point scoring system. WPPI attendees are encouraged to enter the competition in advance and visit the exhibition of award-winning entries to learn more about the artistry of wedding and portrait photography.

"Melissa and I are proud and excited to have an integral role in modifying and reshaping the Honors of Excellence program to help make participation more educational, fairer and more rewarding while also encouraging greater commitment to one's craft," explains Jerry Ghionis. "This annual competition allows us to share our experiences as photographers, and encourage others to share their amazing talents during the WPPI show and be recognized for their achievements. We are looking forward to viewing all the creative entries for the 2014 competition."

"Jerry and Melissa Ghionis bring a wealth of knowledge and success to WPPI and the Honors of Excellence program," said Jason Groupp, WPPI Director of Education and Membership. "Their guidance and improvements in the categories and the rules now make it easier and more rewarding for participants and will help to greatly expand the Competition. Each year we look forward to seeing -- and sharing -- the creativity of our contestants through their photographs. With the addition of filmmaking, this year will be especially exciting," Mr. Groupp adds.

16x20-inch Print Competition Details
Photographers are welcome to submit their 16x20-inch Print entries for consideration into the following categories:

Wedding Division
Bride and Groom Together (Wedding Day); Bride or Groom Alone (Wedding Day); Bridal Party/Family and Friends; Engagement; and Wedding Details

Portrait Division
Group; Children/Babies; High School Seniors; Animals/Pets; and Beauty/Boudoir

Photojournalism Division
Wedding Photojournalism; and Non-wedding Photojournalism

Creative Division
Commercial; Fashion; Illustrative; Composite; Bride and Groom Together Non-wedding Day; Bride or Groom Alone Non-wedding Day

Premier Category
The Premier category is for first-time entrants in any professional print competition.

Entry Fees
The cost for each 16x20 print entry is $40 (WPPI Members) and $60 (non-members).
Multiple entry discounts are as follows:*
Enter 7 prints; get 1 additional entry for free
Enter 10 prints; get 2 additional entries for free
Enter 15 prints; get 3 additional entries for free
*Rates per entry are based on membership / non-membership costs per entry

New - In-Camera Artistry Competition Details
To promote in-camera artistry (SOOC or straight out of camera); there will now be a category for the purist photographer with no raw adjustments, retouching, Photoshop, etc. allowed.

The cost per entry for WPPI Members is $20 and $30 per entry for non-members.

Digital Photo Album Competition Details
Photographers are encouraged to submit a series of digital images presented as a story for consideration into the following album competition categories:

Event/Informal; Engagement; Wedding (Multiple Photographers); and Wedding (Single Photographer)

The cost per album entry for WPPI Members is $50 and $65 per entry for non-members. Quantity discounts: Enter 4 albums; get 1 additional album entry for free

Filmmaking Competition Details
Filmmakers are encouraged to submit short films for consideration into the following filmmaking competition categories:

Wedding/Engagement Short Film; and Commercial/Illustrative Short Film

The cost per film entry for WPPI Members is $50 and $65 per entry for non-members.
Quantity Discounts: Enter 1 film; get 1 additional film entry for free.

Prizes and Awards
The Grand Award for each category (16x20 Print, Album, and Filmmaking) includes: a $2,000 cash prize (U.S. dollars), a complimentary Full Conference Pass for WPPI 2015 Conference and Expo, and complimentary entry into next year's Honors of Excellence Print Competition (10 print maximum). In addition, all Grand Awards, as well as First, Second and Third Place winners will each receive custom-designed, engraved crystal awards. All winners will be announced and awards and prizes will be presented at the WPPI Honors of Excellence award ceremony in Las Vegas on March 5, 2014.

For complete information on entry submissions, prizes and competition rules, visit

View the 2013 WPPI 16x20 Print and Album Competition film at

All WPPI 2014 classes, events, and the expo will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV from February 27 - March 6, 2014. WPPI is the biggest event in the world for photographers and filmmakers specializing in the creative and business aspects of wedding and portrait photography. Last year, nearly 12,000 registered attendees and over 180 speakers from the U.S. and 46 other countries including Latin America, Australia, and Russia, attended the conference and expo.

Registration for WPPI 2014 is now open. The early bird registration rate for a Full Conference Six Day Pass to the WPPI 2014 Conference and Expo is $199 for WPPI members and $379 for non-members, through December 12, 2013. After December 13, 2013 registration rates increase to $275 for WPPI members ($399 for non-members) through February 26, 2014. A Full Conference Six Day Pass includes one (1) free guest*, and provides access to up to 6 full days of comprehensive learning, including all Platform classes, live 16x20 Print, Album and Filmmaking competition judging, all special events, and a 3-day pass to the biggest photography expo for wedding and portrait photographers in the world. Plus Classes, Master Classes, WPPI University and the WPPI: Filmmaking class cost additional.

Additional information and a complete schedule of seminars and activities are available online:


About WPPI
The WPPI Wedding and Portrait Photography Conference + Expo is the premier industry event for photographers and now filmmakers specializing in the creative and business aspects of wedding, portrait photography and filmmaking. Each year, nearly 12,000 professional photographers and imaging experts attend WPPI to learn new techniques from industry leaders, build new relationships to grow their business, experience new products and solutions from major manufacturers to improve their productivity, and enjoy the many attractions in Las Vegas.

SOURCE Wedding & Portrait Photographers International

CONTACT: Lou Desiderio, Synergy Communications, Inc., 917-627-0912,; Scott Heath, Synergy Communications, Inc., 951-735-3686,

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