September 18, 2015
        "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September                Will Smith crusades for Best Actor in the "Concussion" Trailer        

Tag Archives: Social Issues

Rose McGowan’s DAWN — Trailer

Realizing that her passion lies in filmmaking, Rose McGowan’s breakthrough directorial debut, DAWN, is a disturbing tale of a young girl’s budding sexuality and one’s desire to experience the unknown. Dawn (Tara Barr) is a quiet young teenager living in Kennedy era America who longs for something or someone to free her from her sheltered life. When she strikes up an innocent flirtation with the boy who works at her local gas station (Reiley McClendon), she thinks that he is perhaps the answer to her teenage dreams. Though when she invites the boy and his friends into her otherwise cloistered world, she gets a lot more than she bargained for.

Directed by: Rose McGowan
Written by: M.A. Fortin, Joshua John Miller
Cast: Tara, Barr, Reiley McClendon, Hannah Marks, Michael Moskewicz, Julia Sanford, John Grady

Ben Affleck responds…

Ben Affleck responds to the controversy of the PBS show “Finding Your Roots” on his Facebook page
“After an exhaustive search of my ancestry for “Finding Your Roots,” it was discovered that one of my distant relatives was an owner of slaves,” Affleck writes.
“I didn’t want any television show about my family to include a guy who owned slaves. I was embarrassed. The very thought left a bad taste in my mouth.
Skip decided what went into the show. I lobbied him the same way I lobby directors about what takes of mine I think they should use. This is the collaborative creative process. Skip agreed with me on the slave owner but made other choices I disagreed with. In the end, it’s his show and I knew that going in. I’m proud to be his friend and proud to have participated.

It’s important to remember that this isn’t a news program. Finding Your Roots is a show where you voluntarily provide a great deal of information about your family, making you quite vulnerable. The assumption is that they will never be dishonest but they will respect your willingness to participate and not look to include things you think would embarrass your family.
I regret my initial thoughts that the issue of slavery not be included in the story. We deserve neither credit nor blame for our ancestors and the degree of interest in this story suggests that we are, as a nation, still grappling with the terrible legacy of slavery. It is an examination well worth continuing. I am glad that my story, however indirectly, will contribute to that discussion. While I don’t like that the guy is an ancestor, I am happy that aspect of our country’s history is being talked about.”
Ben Affleck

Defending the Defenders! International Conference: Join Us Virtually

We are very excited to invite you to join us online for our 5th biennial conference, Defending the Defenders! Building Global Support for Women Human Rights Defenders. Over 120 women including Nobel peace laureates and frontline activists from the Middle East, Africa and Central America?will gather in the Netherlands from April 24-26 to discuss how the international community can protect women human rights defenders across the globe.
“Women activists are on the frontlines of some of the globe’s most pressing conflicts,” says Jody Williams, Nobel peace laureate (USA) and chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative. “These women play an essential role in pushing back against those wishing to repress basic human democratic rights.”
Williams will be joined at the conference by sister Nobel peace laureates Shirin Ebadi (Iran), Mairead Maguire (Northern Ireland) and Leymah Gbowee (Liberia), as well as globally-known human rights experts.
Women human rights defenders are targeted for a wide range of violence around the world?from verbal harassment to systematic rape, torture and assassinations. Often these women are targeted for violence because they are defying traditional gender roles and represent a threat to the “status quo”.
Among those at highest risk are women resisting mining and environmental destruction in their communities and women facing new threats from extremist groups such as ISIS. Women are at the forefront of creative and innovative nonviolent action. By listening, learning, and amplifying women’s voices, we hope to bring attention to incredible and important work being done by women front-line defenders, as well as strengthen networks for support and protection.
Stay tuned to #DefendingDefenders in the coming days on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and our Defending the Defenders Blog as we post photos, videos, facts and quotes and spotlight some of our extraordinary participants!
Follow our journey and allow us to introduce you to the remarkable women participants as we post blog entries, photos, video clips, interviews with activists, and more.
Read our blog
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter #DefendingDefenders
Follow us on Instagram ? @nobelwomen #DefendingDefenders
PLUS ? For exclusive conference analysis, check out’s conference blog, featuring the writings of conference participants and other experts!

Vin Diesel, Paul Walker – Furious 7 World Premiere

Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for the death of his brother.
Director James Wan. Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Dwayne Johnson,Lucas Black,Kurt Russell

New behind-the-scenes look from FURIOUS 7

New behind-the-scenes look from FURIOUS 7
Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for the death of his brother.
Director: James Wan
Writers: Chris Morgan, Gary Scott Thompson (characters)
Stars: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson

Madonna Talks… “I’m the new old Madonna.”

Over the course of her grandiose career, Madonna has been connected to a wide community of gay men. She has been an artistic collaborator, a political ally, and employer, a friend, and a sister. She was both an early and vocal warrior in the fight against HIV and AIDS and was a trailblazer in creating accessible gay imagery.
Now, at 56, Madonna is entering her fourth decade of entertainment with the Rebel Heart album. The mega-star sat with OUT’s Christopher Glazek to discuss gay rights, the struggle for women, and realizing for the first time her youngest brother was gay.
Select quotes from OUT’s Madonna interview include:
Madonna on Joan of Arc:
“I can relate—sometimes I’m getting burned at the stake metaphorically.”
On gay rights being ahead of women’s rights:
“Gay rights are way more advanced than women’s rights. People are a lot more open-minded to the gay community than they are to women, period… It’s moved along for the gay community, for the African-American community, but women are still just trading on their ass. To me, the last great frontier is women…. Women are still the most marginalized group. You’re still categorized—you’re still either a virgin or a whore. If you’re a certain age, you’re not allowed to express your sexuality, be single, or date younger men.”
On her realizing her brother, Christopher, was gay:
“It wasn’t something I could articulate; it was just something instinctual that I noticed,” she recalls. “My brother always had a lot of girls around him that seemed like they were madly in love with him, but he didn’t seem like he was madly in love with them. And then I saw him interacting with my ballet teacher [who was gay], and in my mind I unconsciously went, Oh, I get it. I didn’t ask my brother if he was gay. I didn’t even know there was a phrase ‘gay.’ I just understood that they were different. There was some silent, unspoken understanding that they had a connection.”
On wishing that she were gay:
“I didn’t feel like straight men understood me. They just wanted to have sex with me. Gay men understood me, and I felt comfortable around them. There was only that one problem, which is that they didn’t want to have sex with me! So…conundrum! I was like, ‘How am I ever going to get a date? Maybe if I cut my hair and I lose a lot of […]

Donald Sterling Talks: “I’m not a racist and I’ve never been a racist.”

Anderson Cooper sat down for an exclusive interview with Donald Sterling today in Los Angeles.
Below sound bites from the interview.
Donald Sterling: I’m not a racist, I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I’m here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I’ve hurt. And I’ve hurt so many people. So many innocent people and I’ve hurt myself. you know I spoke to a girl that I was fond of. When I listen to that tape, I don’t even know how I can say words like that. I’m so sorry, I’m so apologetic
Anderson Cooper: What are you sorry about.
DS: well I’m sorry that so many people are hurt. I never dreamed that this could happen it’s a terrible, terrible nightmare.
My players, they didn’t need this. they didn’t need this cloud over their head.
their good people and I love them and respect them and I would always be there for them.
AC: when you saw them..
DS: And for them to hear that I’m a possible racist is so painful to me cuz I’m not a racist and I’ve never been a racist. it’s not me.
AC: when you saw the players wear their warm up jerseys in reverse so the Clippers name wasn’t on, what did you think?
DS: I really didn’t pay attention, they are clippers and their mine and I’m theirs. that’s how I feel. I would do anything for them, I made a mistake I hope it’s in their heart to forgive me for that mistake.
I don’t know why the girl had me say those things.
AC: You’re saying you were set up?
DS: Well yes, I was baited I mean that’s not the way I talk. I don’t talk about people for one thing, ever. I talk about ideas and other things, I don’t talk about people.
AC: do you know how the tape got released?
DS: No,
AC: do you think she did it?
DS: I don’t know, an 80 year old man is kind of foolish, and I’m kind of foolish. I thought she liked me and really cared for me. I guess being 51 years older than her, I was diluting myself.
AC: do you trust her now?
DS: no, I don’t trust her and I just wish I could ask her why? And if she was just setting me up, I think that people say she was taping me for 2 years. So maybe I was just […]

Michelle Obama: Bring Back Our Girls – No More Abuse of Women

“What happened in Nigeria was not an isolated incident. It’s a story we see every day as girls around the world risk their lives to pursue their ambitions… I want you to know that Barack has directed our government to do everything possible to support the Nigerian government’s efforts to find these girls and bring them home. In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters. We see their hopes, their dreams, and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now,” said Michelle Obama.
It looks like the world is waking up to the brutal abuse of women worldwide. We must unite to make sure that men stop using, abusing and killing them.
Make no mistake, this is a violent struggle that will last for decades, if not centuries. Many people around the world, due to their beliefs, accept women has being property of men.
Words and temporary PR campaigns won’t do it. A full commitment by people, organizations and governments together with active implementation of police and military law and order must be deployed to stop these horrific acts against women.
Below Michelle Obama speech.

No more violence against women. This is 2014 NOT the 1500s.

Beverly Hills Hotel’s Sultan of Brunei Imposing Drastic Rules

The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) announced it is pulling its annual Global Women’s Rights Awards, co-chaired by Jay and Mavis Leno, from the Beverly Hills Hotel because the hotel’s owner, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, is imposing a Taliban-like Brunei penal code, set to go into effect in three stages beginning on May 1, that includes the stoning to death of gay men and lesbians and the public flogging of women who have abortions.
Instead of holding its annual event at the hotel on May 5, FMF has joined with gay and lesbian groups in protesting this gross violation of human rights and will hold a rally at noon on May 5 across from the hotel, in the park on Sunset Boulevard, urging the Sultan to rescind the new penal code which has been condemned by human rights groups and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. FMF will hold the Global Awards event on the evening of May 5 at the Hammer Museum in Westwood, Los Angeles.
“We cannot hold a human rights and women’s rights event at a hotel whose owner would institute a penal code that fundamentally violates women’s rights and human rights,” said Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal.
“‘Kill-a-gay’ laws, or laws that allow the flogging of women for abortion, violate international law and have no place in civilized society,” said Feminist Majority Foundation Board Member Mavis Leno. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed deep concern about the new penal code and stated that such draconian punishments would contravene international law and international human rights.
FMF today launched a massive petition drive and social media campaign calling on the government of Brunei to immediately rescind the new code and asking the United Nations to take action if these laws go into effect as planned.
“The United Nations must condemn the government of Brunei’s plans and explore additional options, including sanctions, if Brunei fails to rescind this decree,” added Kathy Spillar, executive Vice President of the FMF and the event director.
The new penal code is set to be implemented in three phases over three years. The first phase, beginning tomorrow, will include fines and prison sentences. The second phase includes corporal punishment such as amputations and flogging women who have abortions. The stoning to death of gay men and lesbians is slated for the third phase.
Brunei is an industrialized, […]

My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize

‘My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize’ is a great memoir that Nobel Peace Prize winner and our friend Jody Williams just completed. What Mia Farrow says about Jody’s book… “An Activist’s activist.” Get Jody’s book today!
As Eve Ensler says in her inspired foreword to this book, “Jody Williams is many things—a simple girl from Vermont, a sister of a disabled brother, a loving wife, an intense character full of fury and mischief, a great strategist, an excellent organizer, a brave and relentless advocate, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. But to me Jody Williams is, first and foremost, an activist.”
From her modest beginnings to becoming the tenth woman—and third American woman—to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, Jody Williams takes the reader through the ups and downs of her tumultuous and remarkable life. In a voice that is at once candid, straightforward, and intimate, Williams describes her Catholic roots, her first step on a long road to standing up to bullies with the defense of her deaf brother Stephen, her transformation from good girl to college hippie at the University of Vermont, and her protest of the war in Vietnam. She relates how, in 1981, she began her lifelong dedication to global activism as she battled to stop the U.S.-backed war in El Salvador.
Throughout the memoir, Williams underlines her belief that an “average woman”—through perseverance, courage and imagination—can make something extraordinary happen. She tells how, when asked if she’d start a campaign to ban and clear anti-personnel mines, she took up the challenge, and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) was born. Her engrossing account of the genesis and evolution of the campaign, culminating in 1997 with the Nobel Peace Prize, vividly demonstrates how one woman’s commitment to freedom, self-determination, and human rights can have a profound impact on people all over the globe. By University of California Press
Get Jody’s book today!

“Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban landmines through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which shared the Peace Prize with her that year. At that time, she became the 10th woman – and third American woman – in its almost 100-year history to receive the Prize. Since her protests of the Vietnam War, she has been a life-long advocate of freedom, self-determination and human and civil rights.”
Get […]

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