Thursday May 7, 2015

Video games that, like 'Myst,' inspired TV series

Classic mystery adventure "Myst," having been picked up by Hulu in a deal with Legendary Pictures' TV arm, joins a cohort of episodic series with video game origins. We look at four others here, from "Maniac Mansion" to "Street Fighter."Maniac Mansion (1990-93) Unusual family sitcom "Maniac...
Read More

TV

Video games that, like 'Myst,' inspired TV series
Thursday May 7, 2015
Video games that, like 'Myst,' inspired TV series

Classic mystery adventure "Myst," having been picked up by Hulu in a deal with Legendary Pictures' TV arm, joins a cohort of episodic series with video game origins. We look at four others here, from "Maniac Mansion" to "Street Fighter."Maniac Mansion (1990-93) Unusual family sitcom "Maniac Mansion" took its title from a highly rated video game -- an acclaimed LucasArts point & click adventure -- though it ended up making significant departures in the transition to TV. Nonetheless, it retained its trio of kooky main characters among its expanded cast, by name and profession at least, and a semblance of the game's setting and idiosyncratic humor even if there weren't like-for-like matches in that department either. A clutch of award nominations came toward the end of its three season run.You Don't Know Jack (2001) A cult success as a video game quiz with an offbeat party atmosphere, originally an attempt to shake up staid trivia shows, "YDKJ" didn't really translate into its ensuing game show format which had Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman) as its host. Though there was scope enough to play with traditional convention and tone, the series fared poorly in ratings and was taken off the air after a mere six episodes. The original game has been released across multiple consoles and computers over its 20-year span, most recently via the Steam Network and on Facebook.Forza Motorsport Showdown (2007) A promotional piece for "Forza Motorsport 2" running on Fox's Speed Channel, the Showdown series had six drivers taking six cars through their paces in six different tests -- maybe they should bring it back for "Forza Motorsport 6." The group's female contestant, Angela Cope, niece of Daytona 500 champ Derrike, not only won the tournament but also went on to race in NASCAR with twin sister Amber. Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist (2014) Released as a web series -- though with all episodes made available the same day -- before being repackaged as a film for home video and digital distribution, "Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist" built on the groundwork laid by earlier fan short "Street Fighter: Legacy." Similarly, web series "Mortal Kombat: Legacy" (itself based on the "Mortal Kombat: Rebirth" short) also broadcast on the Machinima channel, and took its inspiration from a long-running standard in the fighting game genre. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Aardman and Studiocanal are joining forces to create 'Early Man'
Wednesday May 6, 2015
Aardman and Studiocanal are joining forces to create 'Early Man'

"Early Man" is a stop-frame adventure set in the prehistoric era, which Nick Park of Aardman is directing while Studiocanal will also be on board.Nick Park is the creator of the "Shaun the Sheep" TV series, adapted into "Shaun the Sheep the Movie," which was also a project of the two European animation production powerhouses. The "Early Man" film is expected to release in 2018 in advance of soccer's World Cup, for a rendition of mankind's first ever soccer game is on the docket, according to Deadline Hollywood. Images will be unveiled to potential buyers at the upcoming Cannes Festival from May 13 to 24. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Geena Davis launches Arkansas film fest for women, diversity
Wednesday May 6, 2015
Geena Davis launches Arkansas film fest for women, diversity

LOS ANGELES (AP) — With help from a slew of corporate sponsors, Geena Davis and filmmakers focused on women and diversity have taken over Bentonville, Arkansas, a city of 40,000 best known as Wal-Mart's home base. While it's not the first film festival to specialize in diversity, Davis said it's the only film competition to promise theatrical releases for winning entries. "It's unheard of in the world, actually," the Oscar-winner said in a telephone interview before opening the festival Tuesday. "It's the only festival offering distribution across theatrical, digital and on TV and on DVD. ... That's just part of our push to show how commercial diverse films can be." About 75 films will be screened over the four-day festival, which will also include panel discussions and a celebratory "A League of Their Own" baseball game, featuring appearances by Rosie O'Donnell and two original members of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. Davis plans to expand the festival beyond Bentonville to include educational outreach and events throughout the year. Founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2007, the actress plans to bring the research amassed by her organization to film schools and colleges around the country. "It's very important to educate the next generation of content creators before they even start their professional careers," she said. "Once it's brought to (filmmakers') attention, once they hear the numbers, they're just stunned and horrified... how much gender bias there is and lack of diversity." For example, research funded by Davis' institute and conducted by the University of Southern California found that women — who constitute more than half of the U.S. population — typically comprise just 17 percent of on-screen crowd scenes. "That is one of the most shocking things when people hear it," Davis said. "And one of the things very often they'll say is, 'Let's just change that immediately.'" A favorite catch-phrase of the Geena Davis Institute is "If she can see it, she can be it." "In pretty much every sector of society, female leadership has stalled out in about the same range — interestingly, also around 17 percent," Davis said. "It's going to take a long time no matter how hard we work. We can't snap our fingers and tomorrow Congress is 50 percent women. "But the one area of gross imbalance that can be changed overnight is on screen, because they very next movie somebody makes can be gender balanced." ___ Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy . ___ Online: http://bentonvillefilmfestival.com/ Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Sandy Cohen from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

TV, Broadway's Conrad Ricamora on a 'life-changing' moment
Wednesday May 6, 2015
TV, Broadway's Conrad Ricamora on a 'life-changing' moment

NEW YORK (AP) — Conrad Ricamora's acting career is on fire of late. He may want to thank his genes. He's on ABC's hot new drama "How To Get Away with Murder" and he's also singing on Broadway in Rodgers & Hammerstein's classic musical "The King and I." Not bad for a guy who took his first acting class on a whim in his junior year of college. Then again, Ricamora recently found out that he's related to a pretty famous person in acting circles — none other than William Shakespeare. "Isn't that crazy?" the Filipino-American actor said recently over coffee before taking the stage in "The King and I" as the doomed lover Lun Tha. Ricamora and his boyfriend were consulting the genealogy website Ancestry.com when he discovered his ninth great grandfather on his mother's side married Judith Shakespeare, the Bard's youngest daughter. The news comes four years after Ricamora visited Shakespeare's birth place of Stratford-upon-Avon. "Now I want to go back and be like, 'This is mine. This is mine,'" he said, laughing. Ricamora, the son of a U.S. Air Force member, moved all the time growing up — California, Colorado, Iceland and Florida were some stops. He attended Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina, on a tennis scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in psychology. When he took his first acting class, he read a monologue from Lanford Wilson's play "Lemon Sky" about meeting his estranged father for the first time — and it made a strong impression. "My mom left when I was an infant and I met her much later when I was 8 or 9. I just was like, 'I know exactly what this is like.' It was immediately there. I didn't feel like I had to do anything," he recalled. "The connection between an author telling a story to an audience was so electric that I kept wanting to find my way back there. It was life-changing." Ricamora was done with psychology — "It doesn't fit my personality really well" — and got a master's in acting at the University of Tennessee. His background in sports psychology helped with the painful life of an up-and-coming actor. "You win a lot, you lose a lot, and your ego has to totally get out of the way in order to do what you're there to do. I transferred that skill set over to auditioning." Ricamora earned parts in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" and the off-Broadway musical "Here Lies Love" by David Byrne about Filipino ex-first lady Imelda Marcos. The musical helped Ricamora, who played opposition leader Ninoy Aquino, get closer to his father, who saw the show 14 times and started to talk about the country he left when he was 11. "Anyone that is a minority in this country can tell you what it means for them to have their story be told because you feel so left out growing up," Ricamora said. Bartlett Sher, who directs "The King and I" saw Ricamora in "Here Lies Love" and wanted the fire and political anger he brought to that part to transfer over to Lun Tha. "He gets to be strong and sexy and a revolutionist. He gets to fight for the people. He gets to fight for the underdog. He's fantastic," said Ruthie Ann Miles, a co-star who earned a Tony nomination this month. Ricamora is getting the most attention these days for his role as Oliver, the handsome but slightly nerdy I.T. guy, on "How To Get Away with Murder." Ricamora will feature in season two. Oliver wasn't supposed to survive the pilot but kept returning because creator Pete Nowalk liked what the actor did and story lines opened with his on-screen conniving boyfriend. The show has developed a strong following, in part because it depicts a mixed-race couple in love — and having steamy sex — without being coy or commenting on it. "We're just allowed to be two people," Ricamora said. "I like that a lot. I like that it doesn't feel like they're asking us to be stereotypes in any way." Whether its stage or screen, Ricamora seems happy just being able to tell a story, the way he did that first time reading "Lemon Sky." "That same electricity that infused my first connection to acting, that's why I'm here," he said. "That's the biggest honor — to have that happen every night in front of people who are leaning in to be part of an experience." ___ Online: http://www.lct.org/shows/king-and-i http://abc.go.com/shows/how-to-get-away-with-murder Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Mark Kennedy from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Martin Freeman cast in ‘Captain America: Civil War'
Wednesday May 6, 2015
Martin Freeman cast in ‘Captain America: Civil War'

The versatile British character actor has landed a role in the upcoming blockbuster, slated for a May 2016 release.Marvel confirmed the new via its website but gave no clues as to which role Freedman would play. An accomplished actor who's back catalogue of roles include Bilbo Baggins in The Peter Jackson directed "Hobbit" trilogy as well as the award-winning TV shows "Sherlock" and "Fargo", Freeman first came to prominence following his role in the original UK version of the Ricky Gervais sitcom, "The Office" Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Movies

Universal Orlando announces new King Kong ride for 2016
Wednesday May 6, 2015
Universal Orlando announces new King Kong ride for 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — King Kong first appeared on screens in New York City in 1933, but next summer, he'll be in Florida , headlining a new thrill ride at Universal Orlando. "Skull Island: Reign of Kong" will open in the summer of 2016 at Islands of Adventure. Universal executives announced this week that guests participating in the "intense adventure" will board expedition trucks and forge through jungles, temple ruins and past prehistoric beasts before they come face to face with the oversized ape. It will be one of Universal's longest rides and will have a 34-inch height requirement. The attraction will be partially indoors and partially outdoors and will involve flaming cauldrons and caves. The new attraction will be nestled in between Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park. This isn't Kong's first rodeo at Universal Orlando. From 1990 until 2002, the Kongfrontation attraction was housed at Universal Studios. But that experience centered on Kong in New York. Mike West, Universal Creative Executive Producer, said the ride takes guests into King Kong's home on Skull Island. Locating the ride "in Kong's home" as opposed to New York was a conscious decision on the part of the creative team, he said. "We want to tell the next generation Kong's story," said West. "He's timeless. In the 1933 version of "King Kong," Fay Wray played an unemployed actress who agrees to take a job with a movie company that is going on location to a mysterious island. Kong is the huge ape that inhabits a part of the island. When the film company discovers the enormous gorilla, Kong is attracted to Wray and abducts her. But he is eventually captured and brought to New York and put on display. Kong escapes and finds Wray, with terrifying results, but eventually meets his death on the Empire State Building. West said more details about the ride will be released in 2016, but promises it will be an "intense, thrilling ride" that will "use all of the senses." ___ Follow Tamara Lush on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tamaralush Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Tamara Lush from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Kevin James, Jeff Wadlow sign on for "True Memoirs of an International Assassin"
Wednesday May 6, 2015
Kevin James, Jeff Wadlow sign on for "True Memoirs of an International Assassin"

Actor Keven James will play the leading role in "The True Memoirs of an International Assassin" teaming with director Jeff Wadlow.It's about a mild-mannered accountant who writes a fictional book about an assassin that's mistakenly published as a true story, leading to him being wrongfully accused of international, high-stakes crimes, according to The Hollywood Reporter, who spotted the story. Production is scheduled to begin in September, with PalmStar Media and Global Film Group joining forces to produce the film. Good Universe will take charge of international sales at the upcoming Cannes Festival, which starts May 13th and finishes May 24th. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Jon Hamm to star in Tony Gilroy’s thriller "High Wire Act"
Wednesday May 6, 2015
Jon Hamm to star in Tony Gilroy’s thriller "High Wire Act"

Actor Jon Hamm has signed on the dotted line for the lead role in Tony Gilroy's upcoming thriller "The High Wire Act," which Brad Anderson is to direct representing Ted Field's Radar Pictures, Variety reports.Producers are Field, Gilroy and Mike Weber and Good Universe will market the film internationally, according to Variety, who spotted the story. With 1980s Beirut as a backdrop, Ham is to play a former US diplomat who reenters the service to save a former colleague from a dangerous gang that could possible have caused his family's death. Anderson has directed "The Machinist," "Transsiberian" and "The Call." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Aardman and Studiocanal are joining forces to create 'Early Man'
Wednesday May 6, 2015
Aardman and Studiocanal are joining forces to create 'Early Man'

"Early Man" is a stop-frame adventure set in the prehistoric era, which Nick Park of Aardman is directing while Studiocanal will also be on board.Nick Park is the creator of the "Shaun the Sheep" TV series, adapted into "Shaun the Sheep the Movie," which was also a project of the two European animation production powerhouses. The "Early Man" film is expected to release in 2018 in advance of soccer's World Cup, for a rendition of mankind's first ever soccer game is on the docket, according to Deadline Hollywood. Images will be unveiled to potential buyers at the upcoming Cannes Festival from May 13 to 24. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Man pleads not guilty to stalking actress Sandra Bullock
Wednesday May 6, 2015
Man pleads not guilty to stalking actress Sandra Bullock

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man arrested inside Sandra Bullock's home has pleaded not guilty to stalking the Oscar-winning actress. Joshua Corbett entered the plea Wednesday in a Los Angeles courtroom in his first court appearance after a judge determined last month that he should stand trial in the case. The 39-year-old was arrested inside Bullock's residence in June 2014. The "Gravity" star was forced to hide in her closet and directed police through her home in a 15-minute 911 call. Authorities later found a cache of illegal weapons, including machine guns and an assault weapon at Corbett's home. He was not carrying any firearms when he was arrested at Bullock's home. A judge set a tentative trial date for July 6. Corbett has undergone mental health evaluations while in custody. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

Video games that, like 'Myst,' inspired TV series
Thursday May 7, 2015
Video games that, like 'Myst,' inspired TV series

Classic mystery adventure "Myst," having been picked up by Hulu in a deal with Legendary Pictures' TV arm, joins a cohort of episodic series with video game origins. We look at four others here, from "Maniac Mansion" to "Street Fighter."Maniac Mansion (1990-93) Unusual family sitcom "Maniac Mansion" took its title from a highly rated video game -- an acclaimed LucasArts point & click adventure -- though it ended up making significant departures in the transition to TV. Nonetheless, it retained its trio of kooky main characters among its expanded cast, by name and profession at least, and a semblance of the game's setting and idiosyncratic humor even if there weren't like-for-like matches in that department either. A clutch of award nominations came toward the end of its three season run.You Don't Know Jack (2001) A cult success as a video game quiz with an offbeat party atmosphere, originally an attempt to shake up staid trivia shows, "YDKJ" didn't really translate into its ensuing game show format which had Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman) as its host. Though there was scope enough to play with traditional convention and tone, the series fared poorly in ratings and was taken off the air after a mere six episodes. The original game has been released across multiple consoles and computers over its 20-year span, most recently via the Steam Network and on Facebook.Forza Motorsport Showdown (2007) A promotional piece for "Forza Motorsport 2" running on Fox's Speed Channel, the Showdown series had six drivers taking six cars through their paces in six different tests -- maybe they should bring it back for "Forza Motorsport 6." The group's female contestant, Angela Cope, niece of Daytona 500 champ Derrike, not only won the tournament but also went on to race in NASCAR with twin sister Amber. Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist (2014) Released as a web series -- though with all episodes made available the same day -- before being repackaged as a film for home video and digital distribution, "Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist" built on the groundwork laid by earlier fan short "Street Fighter: Legacy." Similarly, web series "Mortal Kombat: Legacy" (itself based on the "Mortal Kombat: Rebirth" short) also broadcast on the Machinima channel, and took its inspiration from a long-running standard in the fighting game genre. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Margaret Atwood named honorary member of arts academy
Wednesday May 6, 2015
Margaret Atwood named honorary member of arts academy

NEW YORK (AP) — One of the world's most celebrated writers, Canada's Margaret Atwood, has been named a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The academy also told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Robert Gottlieb, one of the world's most celebrated book editors, has been awarded a Distinguished Service to the Arts prize. Atwood, 75, is best known for her dystopian novel "The Handmaid's Tale," and for such fiction as "Cat's Eye" and "The Robber Bride." Other new foreign inductees include Italian author Roberto Calasso, British composer Peter Maxwell Davies, Canadian composer Raymond Murray Schafer and Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima. Earlier this year, Roger Angell, Sherman Alexie and Dave Eggers were among five new inductees voted into the academy's core membership of 250 writers, musicians, artists and architects Gottlieb, 84, has edited such classics as Joseph Heller's "Catch-22" and Robert Caro's "The Power Broker," and is a dance critic, biographer and a former editor of The New Yorker. The academy also announced that former U.S. poet laureate Louise Glueck was voted a gold medal for poetry and composer George Crumb a gold medal for music. William H. Gass has won the academy's William Dean Howells Medal for the best novel of the past five years. Gass was cited for his 2013 book "Middle C." The academy is an honor society based in New York and founded in 1898, with members over the years ranging from James Baldwin and William Faulkner to Leonard Bernstein and Jasper Johns. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Hillel Italie from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Godfather' director Coppola wins top Spain arts prize
Wednesday May 6, 2015
'Godfather' director Coppola wins top Spain arts prize

US filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola on Wednesday won Spain's top arts prize, the Princess of Asturias award, for a career making classics such as "The Godfather" and "Apocalypse Now".The prize jury of Spanish grandees hailed Coppola, 76, as a "visionary and innovator" in its citation for the 50,000 euro ($56,000) prize. "His explorations of power and the horror and absurdity of war have transcended his artistic work and become universal icons of imagination and contemporary culture." Masterpieces such as the "Godfather" mafia saga and Vietnam epic "Apocalypse Now" have earned Coppola multiple Oscars and a reputation as an uncompromising artist. "His attitude has clashed on occasion with the interests of the Hollywood industry, causing him economic problems and difficult shoots," the prize jury said. The Princess of Asturias Foundation hands its arts prize each year for a "contribution to the cultural heritage of mankind", along with awards in seven other categories. Other recent winners of the arts prize include US architect Frank Gehry and Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke. The awards will be handed out in a ceremony presided by Spain's King Felipe and broadcast live on Spanish television around October. They were named the Prince of Asturias awards after Felipe, until he became king last year, passing the title to his nine-year-old daughter, Princess Leonor. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Broadway stars to celebrate B. Smith, help fight Alzheimer's
Wednesday May 6, 2015
Broadway stars to celebrate B. Smith, help fight Alzheimer's

NEW YORK (AP) — Broadway stars and singers will come together next week to celebrate former model and restaurateur B. Smith and raise money to help people with Alzheimer's disease. Tony Award-nominee Keith David, current "Les Miserables" star Megan Osterhaus, "Motown the Musical" star N'Kenge, opera star John Davies and chef Marcus Samuelson will be on hand Monday at an intimate Manhattan event. Tickets are available for $425. B. Smith, 65, became one of the first African-American models on the cover of Mademoiselle and later opened restaurants, revealed last year that she has Alzheimer's disease. She and her husband Dan Gasby have been married over 20 years. Proceeds will support the educational efforts of Positive Approach to Care, which helps people cope with changing needs due to the effects of dementia. ___ Online: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/9994495 Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Charlie Hebdo receives PEN award at literary gala in NYC
Wednesday May 6, 2015
Charlie Hebdo receives PEN award at literary gala in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) — This year's PEN American Center gala was a defense of free expression, of Charlie Hebdo and of PEN itself. Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman and Roz Chast were among hundreds who gathered Tuesday night at the American Museum of Natural History, where guests of honor included playwright Tom Stoppard, Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova and Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle. Hebdo Editor-in-Chief Gerard Biard and critic-essayist Jean-Baptiste Thoret accepted the Freedom of Expression Courage Award to a standing ovation that followed a weeklong debate — alternately thoughtful and divisive — over whether the tribute was deserved. The mood was both celebratory and uneasy, as PEN at times recalled an attorney mounting its closing arguments. Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose and four other writers scheduled to be table hosts had withdrawn because of objections to what they considered the satirical magazine's offensive cartoons of Muslims, with Gaiman and Alison Bechdel among those taking their place. More than 200 writers and others in publishing, among them Joyce Carol Oates and Michael Cunningham, signed an open letter saying that for Muslims in "marginalized" communities like France, the Hebdo images "must be seen as being intended to cause further humiliation and suffering." Rushdie and others tenaciously responded, saying opponents mischaracterized the magazine and were suggesting that Hebdo somehow deserved the January shootings that left 12 people dead. PEN president Andrew Solomon quickly referred to Hebdo in his opening remarks, calling the award, and dispute, reminders that the "defense of people murdered for their exercise of free speech is at the heart of what PEN stands for, so is the unfettered articulation of opposing viewpoints." Addressing the racism allegations, PEN brought in French-Congolese writer Alain Mabanckou to introduce Hebdo, while a surprise visit was made by Dominique Sopo, president of the French anti-bias group SOS Racisme. The gathering Tuesday night was overwhelmingly supportive of Hebdo and the award if only because so many critics stayed home, some by choice, some citing scheduling conflicts. Rushdie, who feuded bitterly online with Prose and others, wondered how soon the literary community would unite again. "Charlie Hebdo is the greatest anti-racist magazine in France and that these people should have been called racists has, to my mind, been criminal," Rushdie, forced into hiding for years because of death threats over his novel "The Satanic Verses," told The Associated Press before the ceremony. "This is a bad wound and people have behaved shockingly and I think they need to say so." During the ceremony, several speakers recalled absent friends. While introducing Stoppard, actress Glenn Close cited the late Mike Nichols, who directed her in a Broadway adaptation of Stoppard's "The Real Thing." Ismayilova, given the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award, has been imprisoned since December and was represented by fellow journalist Emin Milli. Biard and Thoret came on behalf of colleagues killed in the January attacks. In accepting the award, Biard noted the magazine's history of shocking readers with its irreverent drawings of religious figures. "Growing up to be a citizen is to learn that some ideas, some words, some images, can be shocking," he said. "Being shocked is a part of democratic debate. Being shot is not." The Hebdo award made the PEN gala the most controversial in recent memory, but also among the best attended. More than 800 came for the event, at $1,250 a ticket, compared with around 700 a year ago. With the presence of Hebdo officials and the recent shootings near Dallas at an anti-Islam event, guests passed through metal detectors and armed police officials. Police cars lined the street outside the museum's main. While virtually everyone stood and clapped for Hebdo, not everyone was an admirer. The Iranian-born novelist Porochista Khakpour, a table host, told the AP that she had no plans to applaud even as she affirmed her support for PEN's mission. Chast, the best-selling author and New Yorker cartoonist, told the AP that she found the Hebdo illustrations "sort of stupid and ham-handed," and "kind of obvious, kind of, 'duh.'" "But if I didn't support their right to publish them I wouldn't be here," she said. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Hillel Italie from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.