Wednesday Oct 1, 2014

Joy Behar to debut a 1-woman show in New York

NEW YORK (AP) — Joy Behar may have left "The View" but she's not finished offering her views on everything. The comedian will star in a solo theater show "Me, My Mouth and I" at the Cherry Lane Theatre this fall. Previews begin Nov. 6 with an opening set for Nov. 23....
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TV

Joy Behar to debut a 1-woman show in New York
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
Joy Behar to debut a 1-woman show in New York

NEW YORK (AP) — Joy Behar may have left "The View" but she's not finished offering her views on everything. The comedian will star in a solo theater show "Me, My Mouth and I" at the Cherry Lane Theatre this fall. Previews begin Nov. 6 with an opening set for Nov. 23. The show will take audiences from Behar's childhood in Brooklyn to her stint on "The View." According to the comedian: "This is a good time to take stock of my shenanigans." Behar was one of the first co-hosts of "The View" and ended her run earlier this year after 17 years. She has appeared in the film "Manhattan Murder Mystery" and onstage off-Broadway in "The Food Chain" and "The Vagina Monologues." ___ Online: http://www.cherrylanetheatre.org Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Jimmy Kimmel: the most dangerous celebrity on the internet?
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
Jimmy Kimmel: the most dangerous celebrity on the internet?

It's not because the late night talk show host's comedy routines are particularly edgy or because his interviewing technique involves sharp objects or perilous situations, but because, according to McAfee, there's a one in five chance of accidently infecting your computer with a virus or malware when searching for his name.The cyber security and anti-virus firm has been compiling a list of the top 10 celebrity names that, when entered into a search engine, are most likely to result in a potentially nasty cyber surprise, and in 2014, for only the second time in the list's history, it is topped by a man.  In 2013, Lily Collins was online miscreants' favorite famous bait for tricking web surfers into clicking on something they shouldn't. The actress, model and journalist topped a list that was almost exclusively female -- Avril Lavigne, Sandra Bullock, Katy Perry and Britney Spears all featured highly -- with Jon Hamm of "Mad Men" (number eight) being the only male celebrity to feature in the top 10. However, this year the list is much more masculine. DJ Armin van Buuren finds himself in second place, Flo Rida in fourth, Bruce Springsteen in fifth place, Blake Shelton in sixth and Jon Bon Jovi in eighth place based on the likelihood that entering their names into Bing or Google will pull up questionable results. As well as promoting safer online behavior, the annual lists are a good way of showing how cybercriminals are using breaking news, gossip and the digital zeitgeist to target the unsuspecting. "Most consumers are completely unaware of the security risks that exist when searching for celebrity and entertainment news, images and videos online, sacrificing safety for immediacy," said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee. "Cybercriminals capitalize on consumers' attention to breaking celebrity news and leverage this behavior to lead them to unsafe sites that can severely infect their computers and devices and steal personal data." Of course, simply typing a famous person's name into a search engine, particularly Google, won't open the floodgates to malware attacks, but accompanying a name with "photos," "video" or "streaming" very well could. "Cybercriminals exploit consumers' need to be updated on celebrity news, leading them to sites that can harm their devices and compromise personal data. We want to ensure we're equipping consumers with the knowledge they need to keep both themselves and their devices safe," said Michelle Dennedy, chief privacy officer at McAfee. The list in full:1 Jimmy Kimmel - 19.38% risk 2 Armin van Buuren - 19.33% risk3 Ciara - 19.31% risk4 Flo Rida - 18.89% risk5 Bruce Springsteen - 18.82% risk6 Blake Shelton - 18.47% risk7 Britney Spears - 18.19% risk8 Jon Bon Jovi - 17.64% risk9 Chelsea Handler - 17.22% risk10 Christina Aguilera - 16.67% risk Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

GLAAD study: Gay depictions increase on TV
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
GLAAD study: Gay depictions increase on TV

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Television has increased its depiction of gay, lesbian and bisexual characters, with the edge going to cable and the Internet over broadcast networks, according to a study released Wednesday by the advocacy group GLAAD. Networks are promoting the understanding of gay lives with some of the most inclusive programs yet, but should "strive to include significant transgender content," said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, which advocates for the inclusion of LGBT characters and stories in media, in a statement. Transgender characters are featured on cable and Internet fare such as the online series "Orange Is the New Black" from Netflix and "Transparent" from Amazon. In this year's Emmy Award nominations, "Orange Is the New Black" co-star Laverne Cox became the first openly transgender actress to receive a nod. The overall on-screen progress comes as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has made social and political strides that include legalization of same-sex marriage in some U.S. states and the end of a military ban on openly gay service members. In the 2014-15 season, the study by GLAAD said that 3.9 percent of 813 characters regularly seen on prime-time network scripted series will be lesbian, gay or bisexual, a total of 32 characters. That represents an increase over last year's 3.3 percent, but is down from the 4.4 percent record high for LGBT depictions on network series in 2012. Among the networks, Fox again emerged with the highest percentage of lesbian, gay or bisexual regular characters, 6.5 percent, with "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "Glee" among the programs contributing to the tally. ABC, which had tied with Fox for first last year at 5.4 percent, dropped to 4.5 percent. NBC is at 3.8 percent, up almost 3 points from last year, while CBS' shows had 3.2 percent gay, lesbian or bisexual characters, up from 1.9 percent from last season. The CW has no regular LGBT characters, the gay rights group said. Among cable TV shows, there were 64 regular LGBT characters, up from 42 last season. HBO has the most characters, followed by ABC Family and Showtime. One transgender character, on ABC Family's "The Fosters," was found by the study. "To be relevant to our audience we must reflect the world as they experience it, and we know that experience is based on valuing loving relationships, no matter the gender. This acknowledgment is especially gratifying because it means we are representing their view accurately," said Tom Ascheim, president of ABC Family, in a statement. GLAAD also studied other aspects of diversity on network TV. Despite several new high-profile broadcast series starring women, including Alfre Woodward as the U.S. president in NBC's "State of Affairs" and Tea Leoni as secretary of state in CBS' "Madam Secretary," the percentage of female characters has declined to 40 percent, down 3 points from last year. Ethnic characters on network shows make up 27 percent of the total, compared with 23 percent last season, with 1.4 percent depicted as people with disabilities, a slight increase from 1 percent in 2013. ___ Online: http://www.glaad.org Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'Bone Tomahawk' grows its ensemble cast
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
'Bone Tomahawk' grows its ensemble cast

Kurt Russell and Richard Jenkins, attached since the project's inception in 2013, will be joined by Patrick Wilson and Matthew Fox, it was announced last week. Now Lili Simmons and David Arquette have also joined the cast."Bone Tomahawk," to be directed by S. Craig Zahler, focuses on an outlaw and his band of cave-dwelling cannibals, who have captured several residents of the peaceful village of Bright Hope. A farmer, a sheriff, his deputy and a sharp shooter team up to come to the villagers' rescue. The movie's ensemble cast has just added Lili Simmons, seen on "True Detective," and David Arquette, known for his role in the "Scream" movies. The two actors join Patrick Wilson, who recently starred in "The Conjuring" and will soon return in "Stretch," and Matthew Fox of "Lost." Also on the billing are action movie veterans Kurt Russell ("Death Proof") and Richard Jenkins ("White House Down"). Screenwriter and cinematographer S. Craig Zahler will make his directorial debut with this western, which is said to be particularly violent. No release dates have been announced. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

McAfee names Kimmel its 'most dangerous celebrity'
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
McAfee names Kimmel its 'most dangerous celebrity'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — If you're about to Google Jimmy Kimmel, beware. Computer security company McAfee says the talk show host is the most dangerous celebrity to search for online. The company said Tuesday that a search for Kimmel carries a 19 percent chance of landing on a website that has tested positive for spyware, viruses or malware. The company has used its own site ratings to make the determination for the past eight years. Other celebrities McAfee deems dangerous this year include Ciara, Flo Rida, Bruce Springsteen, Chelsea Handler and Christina Aguilera. Kimmel said on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Tuesday that he can't believe a kid who played the clarinet and carried a briefcase to junior high school grew up to be the most dangerous celebrity of 2014. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Movies

Russell Crowe looks for his sons in 'The Water Diviner'
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
Russell Crowe looks for his sons in 'The Water Diviner'

The trailer has been revealed for Russell Crowe's feature debut as a director, in which he plays a father whose sons went missing in the Gallipoli Campaign during World War I.Russell Crowe has helmed a few documentaries and short films in the past. And having been directed by Darren Aronofsky, Paul Haggis, Ron Howard, James Mangold, Michael Mann, Ridley Scott and Peter Weir, to name a few, he must have had plenty of experience to draw on for his first scripted feature. "The Water Diviner" stars Crowe as an Australian man who has a gift for finding water but is unable to find his sons, who went missing during World War I on the Dardanelles Strait on the Turkish border.  The feature seems to have all the elements of an intimate and moving drama comparable to some of Crowe's most memorable vehicles in the past, such as "Gladiator" and "A Beautiful Mind." To support the story, Crowe enlisted Australian cinematographer Andrew Lesnie ("Lord of the Rings," "The Hobbit"), who won the Oscar for best cinematography for "The Fellowship of the Ring" in 2002. The cast also includes Olga Kurylenko ("Oblivion") and Jai Courtney ("A Good Day to Die Hard"). The film bows in Australia and New Zealand on December 26. No US release dates have been announced for the time being. Trailer: youtu.be/JL3WU3fMc1U Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

'Twilight' short films to debut on Facebook
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
'Twilight' short films to debut on Facebook

It's been two years since the fifth and final "Twilight" film appeared in cinemas, but there's just a year to go until Stephanie Meyer's book series gets another audiovisual update, this time through Facebook.Film company Lions Gate took ownership of "Twilight" studio Summit Entertainment in 2012 and will be backing at least five short films developed for the Facebook platform. "I'm honored to be working with Women In Film, Lionsgate, and Facebook on a project dedicated to giving more women a chance to be heard creatively," said Meyer, with "The Storytellers - New Creative Voices of The Twilight Saga" to be directed by a selection of up and coming women. The shorts' directors will be hand-picked by a panel whose members include not only Meyer but also "Twilight" helmer Catherine Hardwick, the feature films' star Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Lee (co-director on "Frozen") and producer Cathy Schulman ("Horns" with Daniel Radcliffe, and president of Women In Film). In addition, the panel contains a clutch of high-profile actresses in Julie Bowen ("Modern Family," "Weeds"), as well as Octavia Spencer and Kate Winslet of upcoming Lionsgate adaptation "Insurgent." Ensuring that the new ventures stay on course in terms of fictional endeavor will be the availability of 2011 Meyer and Young Kim tome "The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide." And though he confirmed that Kristen Stewart's involvement wouldn't stretch to a starring role, Lions Gate vice chairman Michael Burns couldn't resist teasing fans when encapsulating the project as "a template -- just the beginning. You can probably guess what might be coming next." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Andre 3000 finds a new rhythm in Hendrix biopic
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
Andre 3000 finds a new rhythm in Hendrix biopic

NEW YORK (AP) — Andre Benjamin was uniquely qualified to play Jimi Hendrix in the film "Jimi: All Is By My Side," and not just because his colorfully cosmic style has long owed something to the '60s icon. The film, written and directed by "12 Years a Slave" screenwriter John Ridley, is a portrait of Hendrix in 1966 — a then somewhat aimless 24-year-old playing backup guitar — finding himself as a frontman and being elevated by the blues-rock scene of Swinging London. As the often reticent half of hip-hop duo Outkast, Benjamin, too, knows something about the psychology of a performer discovering his onstage swagger. "I had to grow into being an entertainer and Jimi had to grow into being an entertainer, too," Benjamin said in a recent interview. "I can say from being an entertainer and a star, my very first shows were horrible. The shyness. You're put on stage in front of all of these people, and you're kind of in your head a lot. It takes the confidence of knowing, 'Hey, people dig this.'" "All Is By My Side," which opens in theaters Friday, eschews the usual cradle-to-the-grave biopic trajectory, focusing instead on Hendrix's discovery by Linda Keith (Imogen Poots), his formation of The Experience and his breakthrough in a town dominated by the Beatles and Eric Clapton. Made without the cooperation or approval of the Hendrix estate, the independently produced "All Is By My Side" doesn't include any of Hendrix's familiar hits. "I don't really see the point of just showing people what they already know. I never felt that that was going to impede our ability to tell the story," says Ridley, who won an Oscar for "12 Years a Slave." ''We've all seen films before that have had access to artifacts or intellectual property, and they put their best foot forward, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the story's going to be there." The film is Benjamin's first since the 2008 Will Ferrell comedy "Semi-Pro." He turned down Ridley several times before agreeing to tackle the role, for which he studied with a vocal coach and strove to learn to play guitar left-handed. As a naturally right-handed player, he compares the task to walking backward. For Benjamin, who dabbled in movies in the '00s most notably with the Prohibition musical "Idlewild," it's easily his most ambitious acting work. "All Is By My Side" is opening during a kind of crossroads for Benjamin, who has been touring with his Outkast partner, Big Boi, for the first time in years, celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut album. It's been nearly a decade since Benjamin put out an album, solo or with Outkast. He's limited himself largely to appearances on the records of others (Frank Ocean, Lil Wayne). Now 39, he's said he'll give up rap when he turns 40. "I can't say I was gearing up to make this huge acting jump, but if that's the way my life goes, I'm wit it," says Benjamin. "In music, I still write almost every day. I don't know how I feel about it at this age. I always write. But I don't know if I believe in it enough to want to present it. You have to believe in it to work. "I really don't know what's going on," he adds. "I'm kind of in a limbo place." Ridley flew to Atlanta to meet with Benjamin, who had been sought for other Hendrix films. "Being around him for about five or 10 minutes you realize that he really is the right person to try to attempt something like this," says Ridley, who's currently prepping a series for ABC, "American Crime." ''He's very intellectually curious. He's very much a true artist. He's very much a music historian." In order to capture Hendrix's far-out, mellow voice, Ridley had Benjamin stay in character during production: "John basically ordered the set not to talk to me unless I was in Hendrix's voice so I could always be in it," says Benjamin. The film also shows Hendrix's less savory side, including a scene in which he strikes girlfriend Kathy Etchingham with a phone — an incident Etchingham has resolutely denied ever happened. Ridley stands by the depiction as accurate to other viewpoints. Either way, it's the kind of scene that surely wouldn't have made it into an authorized biopic. (Another, estate-endorsed project is in development, with Anthony Mackie to star as Hendrix.) "The minute that you cede editorial control to any one person or any one entity, it goes from being an attempt at an honest story to propaganda," says Ridley. "Anybody's life story deserves a little better than that." ___ Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'Taken 3' trailer plunges Neeson back into hunt
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
'Taken 3' trailer plunges Neeson back into hunt

"Taken 3" protagonist Bryan Mills just can't get a break -- now he's wanted for murder and has to catch the killers before US law enforcement catches him.The pitch is that Mills (Liam Neeson), making amends with his ex-wife Lenore, turns up on her Los Angeles doorstep only to find her dead. The police soon arrive and arrest him -- easier said than done -- cueing another breathless race for Mills to protect his daughter and find whoever really took his ex's life. But in doing so he has to contend with not just the hit squad seeking to extinquish all those he holds dear, but a combined manhunt operation from the police, CIA and FBI. Joining Neeson for this outing are Forest Whitaker ("The Butler"), Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace ("Taken" 1 & 2), as well as Dougray Scott ("Mission: Impossible II"), Sam Spruell ("Snow White and the Huntsman") and Leland Orser (who also returns following "Taken" 1 & 2). Directing is Frenchman Olivier Megaton of "Taken 2" and "The Transporter 3," working from a script provided by series mainstays Robert Mark Kamen ("The Fifth Element") and Luc Besson ("Lucy") of Parisian production company EuropaCorp. "Taken 3" trailer: youtu.be/JuU0M2xBasc Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Classic videogame Tetris to be made into a movie
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
Classic videogame Tetris to be made into a movie

The classic videogame Tetris, in which players slot a cascade of tumbling blocks together, is being turned into a science-fiction movie, the project's developers said Tuesday.Tetris has been a mainstay of computer gaming since it was created 30 years ago, but the shape-slotting puzzle may not seem like an obvious subject for a big-screen adaptation. Threshold Entertainment said in a statement that it was partnering with The Tetris Company to develop the film. "Everyone knows that Tetris is one of the best known, most beloved brands in the world," Threshold chairman Larry Kasanoff said. "What everyone doesn't know yet is this epic sci­fi story that we're going to tell. That's what's really exciting." Threshold has already scored some game-to-movie successes, notably two "Mortal Kombat" films. Henk Rogers, the managing director of The Tetris Company, said the game feeds our "innate desire to create order out of chaos." "You'll soon find out, there's much more to Tetris than simply clearing lines," he said. Tetris has been downloaded more than 425 million times as a paid-for app on mobile devices, and is played more than a billion times online annually, according to the statement. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Events

World Festival of Interiors kicks off in Singapore
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
World Festival of Interiors kicks off in Singapore

The Inside World Festival of Interiors has kicked off in Singapore, shining the spotlight on the most stylishly decorated spots all over the world.The three-day festival features exhibitions, talks and debates in addition to the Inside Awards, which will see one of 60 nominations from 21 countries crowned "World Interior of the Year". The competition showcases a range of swish interiors created over the past year, including schools, airports and tents. It spans nine different categories, including Bars and Restaurants, Civic, Hotels, Creative Re-use and Education and Health. Big industry names shortlisted include MAKE Architects for its Escalator Hall in London department store Harrods, OpenAir Studio for its Just Cavalli store in Bangkok and Studio mk27 for its Riviera bar in Sao Paulo. The festival will also feature talks by designers and architects such as Ben van Berkel of UNStudio and Rossana Hu and Lyndon Neri of Neri&Hu Design and Research Office. Award category winners will be announced on October 1 and 2, with the overall winner revealed on October 3. World Festival of Interiors runs October 1-3, alongside World Architecture Festival. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Once ignored, violinist Bell plays Washington public encore
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
Once ignored, violinist Bell plays Washington public encore

More than seven years ago on a cold January morning, virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell stood in an entrance to a Washington metro station disguised as a street performer and played his heart out.No one noticed. Since then, the story of Bell's social experiment -- which saw more than 1,000 people pass him by and only 27 stop to listen -- has become nearly as famous as the Grammy award-winning musician himself. But on Tuesday, Bell was back in Washington, wanting to prove that, if given a proper chance, the city's people would listen -- in neck-craning hordes. Once again staking out ground in the public transportation system - this time at midday at the city's Union Station train hub - Bell, accompanied by nine young string players, played with his trademark passion. And this time, amid the station's whirr and hum, people listened. More than 1,000 fans and curious onlookers packed half of the station's cavernous main hall for the free 30-minute concert, which included selections by Bach and Mendelssohn. "The whole idea of the original stunt, I think, for me, was to show that you need active listeners. There's two parts to the equation of making music," the 46-year-old Bell told AFP. "I wanted to show that even though the surroundings are similar, if you have active people who are really there to listen you have a wonderful experience, and it turned out much better than I could have imagined." - 'Not a week goes by' - The 2007 stunt, which was chronicled in The Washington Post and earned its author Gene Weingarten a Pulitzer Prize, raised questions about beauty and society's perception of it. Bell, whose concert hall performances are regularly sold out and who plays on a Stradivarius violin that reportedly cost him around $3.5 million, earned just over $32 when he set out his case at the L'Enfant Plaza metro stop in 2007. Disguised in a black baseball cap, his efforts went nearly unrecognized in the station at the heart of federal Washington. "If a great musician plays great music but no one hears... was he really any good?" wrote Weingarten. Seven years later, Bell said the concert has become a sort of defining moment, with the article repeatedly making the rounds on social media websites. "There still isn't a week that goes by without someone remarking that if they had been there, they would have stopped and listened," he said. But the Indiana native claims he was not really surprised by how the experiment unfolded. "Music needs that attention -- you can't throw it to people while they're rushing to work," Bell said. But members of Tuesday's audience felt sure they could never have ignored him. Ginger Reich, 62, a retired World Bank employee, said that the commuters at the L'Enfant Plaza Metro stop had engaged in stereotyping. "They think, 'He's at a Metro stop so not really a real musician'," Reich said. Meaghan Kilner, a 13-year-old violin student, said she might not have recognized Bell, "but I would have known it was better quality." Children, Weingarten reported in 2007, were the only demographic that repeatedly tried to stop and watch Bell. Tuesday's concert coincided with the release of Bell's new album "Bach" and comes ahead of HBO's "Joshua Bell: A YoungArts MasterClass" documentary that airs on October 14. Following the performance, Bell said, he would hop on a train. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

GLAAD study: Gay depictions increase on TV
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
GLAAD study: Gay depictions increase on TV

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Television has increased its depiction of gay, lesbian and bisexual characters, with the edge going to cable and the Internet over broadcast networks, according to a study released Wednesday by the advocacy group GLAAD. Networks are promoting the understanding of gay lives with some of the most inclusive programs yet, but should "strive to include significant transgender content," said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, which advocates for the inclusion of LGBT characters and stories in media, in a statement. Transgender characters are featured on cable and Internet fare such as the online series "Orange Is the New Black" from Netflix and "Transparent" from Amazon. In this year's Emmy Award nominations, "Orange Is the New Black" co-star Laverne Cox became the first openly transgender actress to receive a nod. The overall on-screen progress comes as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has made social and political strides that include legalization of same-sex marriage in some U.S. states and the end of a military ban on openly gay service members. In the 2014-15 season, the study by GLAAD said that 3.9 percent of 813 characters regularly seen on prime-time network scripted series will be lesbian, gay or bisexual, a total of 32 characters. That represents an increase over last year's 3.3 percent, but is down from the 4.4 percent record high for LGBT depictions on network series in 2012. Among the networks, Fox again emerged with the highest percentage of lesbian, gay or bisexual regular characters, 6.5 percent, with "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "Glee" among the programs contributing to the tally. ABC, which had tied with Fox for first last year at 5.4 percent, dropped to 4.5 percent. NBC is at 3.8 percent, up almost 3 points from last year, while CBS' shows had 3.2 percent gay, lesbian or bisexual characters, up from 1.9 percent from last season. The CW has no regular LGBT characters, the gay rights group said. Among cable TV shows, there were 64 regular LGBT characters, up from 42 last season. HBO has the most characters, followed by ABC Family and Showtime. One transgender character, on ABC Family's "The Fosters," was found by the study. "To be relevant to our audience we must reflect the world as they experience it, and we know that experience is based on valuing loving relationships, no matter the gender. This acknowledgment is especially gratifying because it means we are representing their view accurately," said Tom Ascheim, president of ABC Family, in a statement. GLAAD also studied other aspects of diversity on network TV. Despite several new high-profile broadcast series starring women, including Alfre Woodward as the U.S. president in NBC's "State of Affairs" and Tea Leoni as secretary of state in CBS' "Madam Secretary," the percentage of female characters has declined to 40 percent, down 3 points from last year. Ethnic characters on network shows make up 27 percent of the total, compared with 23 percent last season, with 1.4 percent depicted as people with disabilities, a slight increase from 1 percent in 2013. ___ Online: http://www.glaad.org Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Iditarod renews TV deal with Sportsman Channel
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
Iditarod renews TV deal with Sportsman Channel

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Organizers of Alaska's famed Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race have renewed a deal with the Sportsman Channel, continuing a national television presence for the nearly 1,000-mile trek across rugged and sometimes unforgiving terrain. With the agreement announced Wednesday, the network maintains its status as the official network of the race from Anchorage to the old gold rush town of Nome on Alaska's wind-scoured western coast. The original partnership began weeks before this year's race took place in March, culminating with musher Dallas Seavey running a blistering pace to rally from third place and win his second Iditarod in a record-breaking finish. "We couldn't be happier about this event," Sportsman Channel spokesman Tom Caraccioli said. "We see this as an iconic American, Alaskan celebration, and it's something that people know about. But we want people to really be able to see this and embrace it for the true rugged event that it is." As with the 2014 Iditarod, the network won't document the race live in 2015. Hours of programming will air later, detailing stories of mushers, dogs, race history, the wilderness trail and the intense competition that marks each race. Musher standings will be updated on the network's website during the race. The Iditarod Trail Committee also provides video footage along the trail for fans who subscribe to its "Iditarod Insider" online service. Caraccioli and race executive director Stan Hooley declined to discuss terms of the deal. Hooley said the partnership translates into a substantial investment to augment escalating logistical and other expenses in staging the Iditarod. The race also relies on other moneymakers such as fundraisers and sponsorships. Perhaps someday some of the new revenues can go toward the purse, which has dwindled in recent years as organizers struggle with race sponsors and finances after a downturn in the economy. But for now, Hooley expects the purse for the first 30 mushers to remain in the $650,000 range, with the cash awarded on a downward sliding scale. All other mushers who finish the race receive $1,049. The winner's take since 2010 has been $50,400 and a new truck — compared with the more than $72,000 won by 2005 champion, Norwegian musher Robert Sorlie. "We're certainly not content with where we are," Hooley said. "Our desire is to be more successful in our fundraising efforts to increase the purse when it's prudent or makes financial sense." Hooley said race organizers are thrilled with the Sportsman Channel partnership as a platform for a wider coverage. "We're very happy to have a national television partner that will do a great job telling the Iditarod story to a national audience," he said. For next year's Iditarod, the network and its affiliated magazines and websites will promote the race before its March 7 ceremonial start in Anchorage. The competitive part of the race for mushers and their dog teams will begin the following day 50 miles to the north in Willow. It takes the winner about 10 days to cross the finish line in Nome. Before joining up with the Sportsman's Channel, the Iditarod had not had a network deal since 2009. ___ Follow Rachel D'Oro at https://twitter.com/rdoro Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

James Gunn heads up Tokyo Film Festival jury
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
James Gunn heads up Tokyo Film Festival jury

"Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn will lead the prize jury at the Tokyo International Film Festival, where Takeshi Kitano and Tim Burton will receive the inaugural Samurai Awards.Running for nine days from October 23, this year's Tokyo International Film Festival is to open with a screening of Disney's "Big Hero 6" and close with the last of 30 TIFF world premieres, manga adaptation "Parasyte" from prize-winning Takashi Yamazaki of "The Eternal Zero" and the "Always: Sunset on Third Street" trilogy. Gunn and his five fellow jury members have the task of selecting a best director, best actress, best actor and best artistic contribution, as well as the recipient of its Special Jury Prize ($20,000) and the Tokyo Grand Prix ($50,000). The TIFF's 15 films in competition include two French works in C├ędric Jimenez's thriller "The Connection," starring Jean Dujardin of "The Artist," and Romain Goupil's drama "The Days Come," as well as the Paris-based "1001 Grams." Among the features joining them are tense Iranian emigration story "Melbourne," Malaysian youth drama "River of Exploding Durians," the Chinese sibling story "River Road," Philippino slum escape "Ruined Heart," which was expanded from a 2012 Berlin International Film Festival-nominated short, and a Japanese literary adaptation in the well-anticipated "Pale Moon." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.