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Andy Serkis: An ‘Apes’ Movie With Live Wild Animals Would Be Absurd And Cruel

Aug 02, 2017 01:00 pm
The days of threatening exotic animals into performing on camera may soon be over – and it’s thanks to advancements in technology as well as actors like Andy Serkis, the star of War for the Planet of the Apes, King Kong, and the upcoming Jungle Book, among other films.

Video: Andy Serkis: An ‘Apes’ Movie With Live Wild Animals Would Be Absurd and Cruel

And in a new video interview with PETA, he celebrates the computer-generated imagery and performance-mapping that make modern movies like the Apes series possible – and cruelty-free.

“The thought of shooting an Apes movie now with real apes is absurd,” says the Golden Globe nominee. “We’ve matured as an industry and realised that that would be intolerable and cruel.”

Serkis previously teamed up with PETA US to call for a chimpanzee named Louie to be freed from a roadside zoo in the US state of Michigan, where he has been held in solitary confinement for nearly all his life, and the actor insists that his years of work portraying primates on screen have made him appreciate them all the more. “What is amazing is how similar we are,” he says. “[T]hey feel emotion, they sense. Their intelligence is incredibly close to us.”

As filmmakers have learned that animals endure deprivation and abuse in the entertainment industry, the use of digital effects to portray them has increased. The Revenant, Noah, and the Apes series all used digital imagery to create wild animals, and AMC’s The Walking Dead used computer-generated imagery and animatronics to create the stunningly realistic fan-favourite character Shiva the tigerPETA US’ TV spot 98% Human – which uses cutting-edge technology to address the plight of great apes in entertainment – won top honours in visual effects at the prestigious Cannes Lions festival, and the vast majority of top advertising agencies around the world have signed PETA US’ Great Ape Humane Pledge, committing to not using live great apes in their projects.

2017 Global Citizen Festival To Feature Stevie Wonder, Green Day And More

Aug 02, 2017 11:30 am

Stevie Wonder: Profile

International advocacy organization Global Citizen today announced that headliners Stevie WonderGreen DayThe KillersThe Lumineers and featuring The Chainsmokers will perform at the 2017 Global Citizen Festival, the annual free-ticketed event on the Great Lawn in Central Park, New York City on Saturday, September 23, 2017.

Special guest performances will be given by Pharrell WilliamsBig SeanAndra Dayand Alessia Cara, with more to be announced over the coming weeks.

On September 23rd, Global Citizens will stand together to call on leaders in America and around the world to uphold their responsibility to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Since last year’s Festival, Global Citizen has taken the movement and action-based model to Canada, India, and most recently on the eve of the G20 summit to Hamburg, Germany.

The 2017 Festival will serve as a platform from which millions of Global Citizens around the world will demand that world leaders fulfill their obligation to take a stand around issues such as education, food security, healthcare, gender equality, and sanitation.

Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, said, “Over the last year, we’ve seen voters around the world reject the nationalism and isolationism that keeps people living in extreme poverty. Now, we are calling on activists and music fans to use their voice to change the world. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be announcing this incredible lineup for Global Citizen. Now more than ever, we need to ensure we work together for the world’s poor.”

Stevie Wonder said, “In this crucial time, there is nothing more exciting to me than having the honor of giving my gift of song, words and motivation to the Global Citizen Festival. When we commit ourselves to life issues, we are showing love of the Most High. I was, I am and will always be, a citizen connected to the spirit of everyone on this planet moving forward. Let’s go!”

Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong said, “We’re grateful to be a part of this year’s Global Citizen Festival. American aid programs make a significant difference in the betterment of lives at home and around the world, and we should all want these programs to become stronger, not weaker. We all play a part in seeing this mission through and it starts with calling on all our leaders.”

“Thanks to the passion of artists and their fans, music has the power to transcend borders and unite people. Live Nation is proud to help the music community come together to make the world a better place through efforts like Global Citizen Festival,” said Michael Rapino, President and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment.

“We can’t wait to get back to our hometown of New York City and play for 60,000 people who have done amazing things to change the world. We are so thankful to our fans for getting online and taking action to support less fortunate people around the world. We’ll see you on September 23rd!” said The Chainsmokers.

Big Sean said, “I look forward to joining these incredible artists and thousands of Global Citizens in Central Park as we shine a light on issues that need to be addressed, such as access to education, which is so important to helping everyone create a better life for themselves and their communities.”

MSNBC President Phil Griffin said, “Global Citizen’s commitment to end extreme poverty by 2030 is a mission that’s very dear to us at MSNBC. That’s why we’re back again as the Premier Media Partner for the fourth year in a row. This work is even more important at this moment on the world stage and we look forward to even more successful efforts and positive change in the future.”

Proud partners of the 2017 Global Citizen Festival include: presenting partner GUCCI and CHIME FOR CHANGE, premier media partner MSNBC & Comcast NBCUniversal, entertainment partner Live Nation, global health partner Johnson & Johnson, and other major partners Citi, HP, Cadillac, T-Mobile, iHeartMedia, and NYC Parks.

For the fourth consecutive year, MSNBC & Comcast NBCUniversal will air a live simulcast of the Festival on MSNBC and MSNBC.com. The Festival will be produced by Emmy Award-winning producer Ken Ehrlich (Grammy Awards).

The Festival will also be livestreamed on YouTube and Twitter.
For the second consecutive year, the iHeartRadio Music Festival and the Global Citizen Festival will take place on the same weekend – allowing for unique in-show collaborations and a special cross-over performance by Big Sean who will perform on both stages in one night.

Global Citizens can earn their admission to the free-ticketed Festival by joining the movement at globalcitizenfestival.com. Ticket draws will occur throughout the summer and fans will be notified by Global Citizen when they have been selected.

Issue specific goals for the 2017 Global Citizen Festival campaigns include:

• US Foreign Aid Assistance: Ensure the US Congress – including key senators such as Senator McConnell, Senator Corker, Senator Boozman, Senator Lankford, and Senator Rubio – protect the 2018 fiscal year budget from proposed cuts to critical foreign aid programs.

• Education: Secure $3.1 billion in annual funding by 2020 for The Global Partnership for Education and an extra $30M in new commitments to the Education Cannot Wait fund to ensure all children, particularly girls and those affected by conflict and crisis, are in school and learning.

• Food & Hunger: Secure commitments, including from the European Commission and Japan, to meet the UN’s $4.9 billion appeal for countries facing famine and severe food security.

• Health: Secure commitments from world leaders, including those of the UK, Canada, the US and Uganda, towards universal health coverage, prioritizing investments in maternal and child health, vaccines, and addressing pandemic threats such as polio, HIV, TB, Ebola and Zika.

• Girls & Women: Secure commitments from world leaders, including those of Cameroon, Tanzania, Nigeria and Papua New Guinea, to end reform or repeal laws that unfairly discriminate against women, to outlaw gender discrimination and gender-based violence, promote women’s sexual and reproductive health and secure from companies $1 billion in financial support for women-owned businesses – as critical steps forward in achieving gender equality by 2030.

• Water & Sanitation: Secure commitments from the private sector, including PepsiCo, Danone, and Nestle, to donate 1 cent per litre of their bottled water sales to the Global Investment Fund for Water, and ensure the Government of Maharashtra in India will implement teachings of menstrual hygiene for schoolgirls into the education syllabus.

This year, fans and activists will earn tickets to the Festival by participating in three Action Journeys: For Freedom, For Justice, For All. Today marks the launch of “Action Journey 1: For Freedom,” in which Global Citizens will complete actions in support of maternal health, polio eradication, girls’ education, increased foreign aid, and more.

For more information about how to join the movement, please visit www.globalcitizen.org.

SAG-AFTRA Foundation To Honor Judd Apatow With Patron Of The Artists Award

Aug 02, 2017 09:30 am

Judd Apatow: Profile

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation announced today it will bestow its Patron of the Artists Awards to celebrated director/writer/producer Judd Apatow, Academy Award-winning director/producer Kathryn Bigelow, and visionary Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.

The award honors industry leaders who are champions of the arts and whose history of fostering creativity and creating opportunities for actors has made a positive impact on the acting profession and the performing arts. The SAGAFTRA Foundation’s celebration takes place Thursday, November 9 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.

“We are excited to pay tribute to three extraordinary people whose creative impact on the performing arts has produced ground-breaking opportunities for a world-wide community of artists,” said SAGAFTRA Foundation President JoBeth Williams. “As a director, writer and producer, Judd Apatow is known for discovering and nurturing some of the most beloved comedic actors and actresses on television and in film. Kathryn Bigelow is a trailblazing director and producer whose risk-taking gambles on unknown talent have expanded the careers of many artists both in front of and behind the camera. Ted Sarandos is an innovator whose executive leadership has created and supported tens of thousands of industry jobs. Judd, Kathryn, and Ted are the epitome of what it means to be patrons of artists and we are proud to honor them.”

Previous recipients of the SAGAFTRA Foundation’s Patron of the Artists Awards are director/writer/producer Lee Daniels, producer Megan Ellison, and director/producer Rob Marshall. The Patron of the Artists Awards event includes musical performances with ticket sales benefitting the SAGAFTRA Foundation. In the coming weeks, the honorees for the non-profit’s Actors Inspiration Award, event performers and presenters will be announced. Sponsors include United Airlines and Variety. To purchase tickets and for more information, please visit www.sagaftra.foundation/patronawards.

Since 1985, the SAGAFTRA Foundation has granted more than $18.5 million in financial and medical assistance including $7.5 million in scholarships to SAGAFTRA artists and their dependents. In addition, the Foundation has offered 7,200 free educational workshops, panels and screenings to union performers nationwide and its children’s literacy programs have brought the love of reading to more than 300 million children worldwide.

In 2017, the SAGAFTRA Foundation celebrates 32 years of giving back to the professionals of SAGAFTRA, their families and communities. The Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides vital assistance and free educational programming to the professionals of SAGAFTRA while serving the public at large through its signature children’s literacy programs. The Foundation relies solely on support from gifts, grants and sponsorships to maintain its free programs.

Eco-Friendly Ocean Guitar Is Unveiled In Honor Of Jerry Garcia’s 75th Birthday

Aug 02, 2017 07:30 am
In honor of Jerry Garcia’s 75th Birthday, the Jerry Garcia Foundation has commissioned luthier and artist Tom Lieber to create an eco-friendly, plastic-free electric guitar.

Jerry Garcia Ocean Guitar
Jerry Garcia Ocean Guitar
Credit/Copyright: Milo Stewart Jr. Staff Photographer National Baseball Hall of Fame

The new guitar named “Ocean” is made from sustainable maple and features a fingerboard inlay image of Jerry Garcia’s etching titled “Fish.” The instrument will be played at benefit events to support causes that were meaningful to Jerry such as coral reef preservation.

After an extensive two-year search for a guitar maker who had the expertise to create a plastic-free instrument, Jerry’s daughter, Keelin and wife, Manasha were delighted to meet luthier Tom Lieber at a recent Foundation benefit.

“This guitar, Ocean, has been conceived with love and intent to serve as a symbolic vehicle for the Jerry Garcia Foundation to utilize in its continuing effort of expanding the positive world impact of Jerry Garcia’s creative legacy,” said Tom Lieber of Lieber Instruments, Inc.

Doug Irwin and Tom Lieber were the designers and builders of Jerry Garcia’s two most famous guitars, “Tiger” and “Wolf.” In June, the “Wolf” guitar sold at auction for $1.9 million and raised over $3 million for charitable causes.

The new eco-friendly guitar’s journey will begin this month as the Jerry Garcia Foundation invites artists to play the instrument at benefit events in support of ocean conservation in addition to other worthy causes.

In his lifetime, Jerry was an active advocate for coral reef preservation. Coral reefs are vital to the ecosystem and known as the “rainforests of the sea.”

For more information, please visit www.jerrygarciafoundation.org.

Spotlight: Ashley Judd’s Charity Work

Aug 02, 2017 07:00 am

Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd is an Ambassador for YouthAIDS, and is also highly involved in Five & Alive.

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Spotlight: Malaria No More’s Celebrity Supporters

Aug 02, 2017 06:00 am
Malaria No More’s mission is simple: to end deaths due to malaria. The world has known how to beat this disease for more than a century, yet it remains the number one killer of children under five in sub-Saharan Africa, claiming more than 1 million lives a year. Malaria No More engages individuals, organizations, and corporations in the private sector to provide life-saving bed nets and other critical interventions to families in need. Together these investments will significantly reduce malaria infections and make malaria-related deaths a thing of the past.

Founded in 2006 by leading non-governmental institutions, Malaria No More works in partnership with the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), UNICEF, the American Red Cross, the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Millennium PromiseUnited Way of America, United Nations Foundation, the Global Business Coalition, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others.

Sportsmen David Beckham and Andy Murray are founding members of the Malaria No More UK Leadership Council, while Victoria Beckham wore the charity’s mosquito ring to raise funds helping to save lives in Africa.

The charity has been the beneficiary charity for the UK’s “I’m a Celebrity…” TV show – hosted by Ant & Dec – for the last 3 years.

How you can help

You can donate a bed net for as little as $10.

Celebrity supporters

Malaria No More has 33 known supporters, including Ellen DeGeneresJohn Legend, and David Beckham

Areas of work

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at TheHollywoodTimes.today, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.