Category: entrepreneur


Dogs howl in the alley, crazy women scream…” ~ Pete Townsend

Darkness will always be fractured by light… The dawn rooster cocks sideways and crows before sunrise and spews. Have you noticed that parrots come in all shapes and sizes? Similar to lawyers they make excruciating squawking noises often leaving trails of crumby scraps whilst waddling blithely across rusty bars and polished floor boards. Parrots never really seem to care when and where they leave a trial, dropping excrement hither and thither. Guess what else is peculiar and similar between parrots and lawyers? A simple check of the Wikipedia page for “Parrot” gives further insights.

Monty Python's Gumby instep banner http://www.montypython.com

Monty Python’s Gumby instep banner http://www.montypython.com

Quite titillating really, fancy fed, a feigned meek squint and chortling at the thought of it all… conjures images of Monty Python‘s Dead Parrot hanging upside down with London Bridge as a theatrical backdrop… sketchy … the meaning of life… always look on the bright side of life… now there’s a great symbolic reunion highlighting 50 years of creative brilliance.

Parrots, also known as psittacines /ˈsɪtəsnz/ are birds of the roughly 393 species in 92 genera that make up the order Psittaciformes found in most tropical and subtropical regions. The order is subdivided into three superfamilies: the Psittacoidea (“true” parrots), the Cacatuoidea (cockatoos), and the Strigopoidea (New Zealand parrots). Parrots have a generally pantropical distribution with several species inhabiting temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere, as well. The greatest diversity of parrots is in South America and Australasia.

Mmm… gets one thinking creatively, right? And, there in lies the rub to spontaneously launch into banging out another blog article whilst listening to an old LP recording of Pete Townsend‘s solo album “All the Best Coyboys have Chinese Eyes” on my Technics Direct Drive Automatic Player System rotating at 33 1/3 rpm … there’s a timeless quality inherent in the vinyl… there’s an eternal raw beauty in The Who too … Who Are You?

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Flames impassioned in a moments anger… love conquers… without question … “There have always been times like these. The multi-coloured spheres clash and collide, the triangle expands and explodes: eventually there is nothing.” … times gift of perfect humility.

I am very excited the producers of “All the Tired Horses” aka “Dead Parrots Down Under” have decided to produce a new multi-episode season in the Explore TV series following on from season one produced in 2009. Rumour has it that there’ll be multiple seasons and episodes covering the many trials and tribulations incurred by cast and crews in Australia, India and Thailand and around the world.

Excited chatter in social media circles have variously described this as an “epic battle”, a former marine writes “In the face of adversity, with brick walls put in the way….., through strength, determination and perseverance – truth and justice shone through in the end.”  and another says “James, We are with you on this. You have won already!” Wow, wow, wow! The support from friends, fans and others providing encouragement has been humbling and I get all emotional… it makes me strive to greater perfection in my craft and to create ever lasting films that excite and ignite imaginations, insight intrigue and inform with interest driven by telling content.

ATTH DPDU Press Release 8th January 2016

ATTH “All the Tired Horses” aka DPDU “Dead Parrots Down Under” Press Release 8th January 2016

Somebody saved me … it happened again… I thank you my friend… all I know about staying alive… all I know I’ve been making it! Pete Townsend, you’re a genius and I thank you my friend. I never could queue to collect my lunch while I was pursuing the truth … and as they say the truth will set you free.

Experience is priceless and helping people, advising, and learning more provides me with a burning desire to produce more … I was just 34 years old … I was wondering why everyone I met seemed like they were in a haze… it’s sympathy not tears people need when they’re the front page newsand I know when she thinks of me … recriminations fester… and it’s she who has to beg.

Filming "All the Tired Horses' aka "Dead Parrots Down" Under Behind-the-scenes

Filming “All the Tired Horses’ aka “Dead Parrots Down Under” Gus, a warrior, battle hardened and ready.

Dawn beckons and the lights begin to fade as a new day begins in the City of Angels… I love the smell of toast in the morning… it helps to wash the smell of parrot shit away…

Francis Ford Copolla's "Apocalypse Now" Movie starring Marlon Brando Motion Picture Sound Recording Album cover; a parrot shitting on Marlon's shaved scalp.

Francis Ford Copolla’s “Apocalypse Now” Movie starring Marlon Brando Motion Picture Sound Recording Album cover; a parrot shitting on Marlon’s shaved scalp.

China and India are rapidly evolving and there are big moves afoot in media and entertainment across the divide. Having lived and worked throughout Asia, China and India for most of my life I feel that the winds of change are upon use, usefulness and us, of course … the sails are unfurled and filling smoothly… Ah, a vast frontier of possibilities beckons me hearties!

#ATTH #DPDU A snapshot of script setting and dialogue from "Dead Parrots Down Under" original screenplay by James With

#ATTH #DPDU A snapshot of script setting and dialogue from “Dead Parrots Down Under” original screenplay by James With

Characteristic features of parrots include a strong, curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet. Many parrots are vividly coloured, and some are multi-coloured. Most parrots exhibit little or no sexual dimorphism. They form the most variably sized bird order in terms of length… but enough about parrots for now…

Bait your hooks, keep the music playing, wait with baited breathe and be prepared for the journey ahead…

I Am What I Am” by Gloria Gaynor
I am what I am
I am my own special creation
So come take a look
Give me the hook or the ovation

It’s my world that I want to have a little pride in
My world and it’s not a place I have to hide in
Life’s not worth a dam
Till you can say, hey world, I am what I am

I am what I am
I don’t want praise, I don’t want pity
I bang my own drum
Some think it’s noise, I think it’s pretty

And so what if I love each feather and each bangle
Why not try to see things from a different angle
Your life is a sham
Till you can shout out loud, I am what I am

I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses
I deal my own deck
Sometimes the ace, sometimes the deuces

There’s one life and there’s no return and no deposit
One life so it’s time to open up your closet
Life’s not worth a dam
Till you can say, hey world, I am what I am

I am James With … ~ WITH LOVE ~ …
I am James Wearing-Smith V … I am James W. Gunn … I am a man walking this Great Earth and I am making my way in this great world …

James With - Actor, Director, Filmmaker, Producer, Writer IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0999139/

James With – Actor, Director, Filmmaker, Producer, Writer http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0999139/

Blessings and well-wishes,
James With
“Partnering With the World”

 

 

 

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STEVIE EAGLE E AND SHLEPP ENTERTAINMENT JOIN WITH TRI-US GLOBAL MEDIA TO PRODUCE 4 MAJOR FILMS

Shlepp Entertainment and Tri-US Global media team up to create 4 feature movies including FearChaser Trilogy

Shlepp Entertainment Supremo Stevie Eagle E AKA Stephen Ellis has announced that Shlepp Entertainment Ltd (his company) will be collaborating with  James With of Tri-Us Global Media on at least 4 full length feature films over the next several years.

Stevie Eagle E has been working with James With on his Fearchaser™ film since 2008.  The Fearchaser™ film originally meant to cast Chinese Star Ayi Jihu in the leading role as Fearchaser™and the original concept  caught fire when it was turned into an on-line video game by Adventure Quest worlds drawing 25 million gamers around the world and reaching an estimated 110 Million audience globally.

It was Fearchaser™ that brought James With of Tri-Us Global Media and Stevie Eagle E together.  James With, a veteran actor and producer of many blockbuster films including independence day and Rambo and Stevie Eagle E have been working together ever since on various projects not only related to film.

James With and Steve Rice at Babelsberg studios in Berlin

Stevie Eagle E has been a consistent figure in the entertainment industry for decades as an artist, writer, musician and producer and only started to develop his passion for film making with the creation of Fearchaser™  This lead to winning best film on his first short film collaboration  InsideOutdirected by Flamina Graziadei in 2013.

In his own words:

I have always been a closet movie maker.  It has always been my passion to be involved in the movies but it seemed a bridge too far for me as a kid and my passion for music being just as strong was easier to pursue.  However story telling and film making has always been in my blood.  I absolutely love and adore film.  I have made dozens of music videos and I feel it was here that I ‘cut my teeth’ in the film making business.  I am blessed that I seem to have a natural talent for many things I put my mind on and music videos seemed to be no different.  Stepping up to real film making was something I always wanted to do when the opportunity and time was right.  Right now I feel I am ready.  I have made several short films playing different roles in each one from PR and Marketing, Music scoring to Co Producer and Producer. I have even directed a few. Through this process I have learnt the basics needed for me to step up to the big league and make feature length films with big budgets. It has taken me almost ten years of hard work to get to this point where I am in the position to make the movies I want to make.  

It is at this point that I would tell anyone wishing to do anything that if they are truly passionate and hard working, If they have the talent and ambition and are willing to sacrifice but most of all never to quit they will achieve their dreams in life.  This has been the case for me.

The collaboration between Shlepp Entertainment Ltd and Tri-Us Global Media has four films on it’s Initial schedule in various stages of development:  Fearchaser™ I belong to the shadows, She (The movie) and another production that cannot be mentioned at this point.  Award winning director Flaminia Graziadei who Stevie Eagle E worked with on two short films already including the award winning ‘InsideOut’ is also scheduled to work on ‘She’ – The movie.

Award winning director Flaminia Graziadei is set to work with Stevie Eagle E on SHE the movie

We asked Stevie Eagle E how he chooses who he works with and why?

People bang on about ‘Talent’ all the time, but for me trust is the major issue.  Trusting that you can do your job, will do your job, will work for the team and protect the team.  There are loads of people with talent, but very few people out there you can really trust.  My team is not new.  All of the important players I have known for many years and I trust them.  They are all amazingly good at what they do.  They are all passionate and real and they are all people who I can depend on.  They won’t flake out on me.  I do believe my true value and worth can be jugged not by the amount of assets I have, but by the people I work with and who will stand beside me through thick and thin.  Because of this I am extremely rich and I can accomplish almost anything.  To build this type of team and develop these types of contacts took decades.  In that time you have to weed out the bad seeds.  This is never easy as people have become quite adept at pretending and camouflage.  So there is a learning curve for oneself, a curve which gives you the eyes and the wisdom to discern who is really with you and who is not and it is not always the ones that smile in your face.  Now I am blessed to have an amazing network.  A trustworthy and talented team all ready to do what needs to be done to make things happen. This is why all the years of hard work is falling into place now.

Shlepp Entertainment CEO and founder Stevie Eagle E

Stevie will you be directing any of the projects you mentioned?

Straight answer: No!  I have confidently directed dozens of music videos and trailers but that is the limit of my expertise at this point.  I am a 10 minute man, over that and I’m a complete novice.  When you are working as a director on large movie projects you are not dealing with  30 or 40 people and a few cameras.  You are dealing with thousands of people sometimes in front of and behind the camera, millions of dollars etc, etc, etc.  I hope that in a few years once I have a bit more experience and knowledge I can think about directing my own full length feature.  I learn fast and I am working with the best so I am confident it wont be too long before you see a film directed by Stevie Eagle E, but right now, no way.  I am concentrating on production and all that entails which is huge in itself.  I also play a big part in the marketing of the films and of course the musical aspects of each film.  I am very much a conceptual thinker.  Or I call myself a ‘light bulb man’  I come up with ideas and concepts that everything can be built around.  For example Fearchaser™ and She the movie all just came from my mind as concepts.  With Fearchaser™  I took it further and wrote a short story, developed some visual aspects, but once it caught fire I then go to the real pro’s to put it all together.  Every project is different as a producer you are involved in all aspects of making that film happen.  You hire the director.

What are your expectations for your films?

Right about now I guess you expect me to be talking about Oscars etc.  The truth is however I just want to get my movies made.  That was my first priority. Raising the capital and getting things all together was a struggle.  I just wanted to get these movies off the ground and see them on the big screen.  I want to make great movies, not just good films, or cool films but great films that people will be watching and talking about long after I am gone.  I don’t care if they win any awards I care that they are good and get the messages across you wanted them to in the beginning.  Movie making is also a business a huge business and my movies have to make money I am not in the business of making clangers.  I know if this amazing team we have does what it can do we shall be successful and yes awards will follow also.  I know all of the movies we have scheduled have the ability to capture the imagination of people all over the world and do very well.  My aim is to make sure these films realise their full potential on all levels.

Shall we be seeing Ayi Jihu, Stephan Dante or Joanna Shegera in any of your films?

I think you could say there is a very good chance you will see all or most of the above in some or all of our films.  Our artists are part of our team and where we can we protectively include them in everything we do.  Obviously they have to be able to do the job.

Stevie Eagle E directs one of his music videos in London

Who would you say is the most naturally talented actor out of Ayi Jihu, Joanna Shegera and Stephan Dante?  

That is a really tough question because they all have natural acting talent.  I am not just saying that because they are my artists either.  If my life depended on it and I had to make a choice in a moment I would go with Stephan Dante.  However I am confident and blessed that we are not carrying anyone here.  Ayi Jihu has already cut her teeth on FearChaser™ trailers and our short film ‘I believe in Monsters’  Joanna has surprised me with the range of emotions she can access during filming and Stephan Dante seems to be able to do just about anything she puts her mind to very, very well.

When can we expect to see your first major film hit the big screen?

I wish I could give you an exact date but it does not work that way until you have it all done, Unless you are one of the big players in this game, which we are not.  What I can tell you is we have already started pre-production on 3 of the films and we hope to go into full production late this year if not early next year on at least two of the films.  We are talking about a hundred million dollar worth of movie projects here so we have a lot of ‘i’s to dot and ‘t’s to cross.  Movie making on this level is not fast.  Another major aim is to fuse cultures and perceptions from around the world bring East and West closer without them even knowing it.  We work closely not only with China but with India on all levels as well as with everyone else.

The partnership of Shlepp Entertainment and Tri-Us global media looks like it will be a fruitful one bringing us some interesting and entertaining films in the future.  At globalnewsink we have been following the progress of Fearchaser™ for some time now and we like millions of others cannot wait to see that movie made.  Independent films are on the rise as independent film makers find different ways of getting the funding to compete more in the lucrative film market.  It also means we have more diverse perspectives when it comes to what hits our big screens.  Making a full length feature film is tough enough getting it distributed is another hurdle independent film makers have to overcome as the big boys have all the power when it comes to screens and times and they are not afraid to use it.  We feel the key to the success of Shlepp Entertainment and Tri-Us Global Media will be in their marketing and distribution strategies.  It is clear that they have the know how and talent to make a good product.

We wish this new partnership all the success and will keep you informed on how they progress

@gloabnewsink published this on 3rd July 2015 at this link: Stevie Eagle E and Shlepp Entertainment join with Tri-Us Global Media to produce 4 Major films.

The Legend, The Madonna and the Casanova – Tito Jackson, Ayi Jihu and Edu.

The Legend, The Madonna and the Casanova – Tito Jackson, Ayi Jihu and Edu

Legend Tito Jackson hooks up with Chinese Madonna Ayi Jihu and Edu Casanova

Legend Tito Jackson, Chinese star Ayi Jihu and Brazilian Star Edu Casanova

Before Chinese star Ayi Jihu could speak English, she could speak ‘Jackson’. Like millions of Chinese kids Ayi Jihu, also known as ‘The Chinese Madonna‘ grew up singing and dancing to Michael Jackson. In her own words ‘We did not know what we were singing but we sang it anyway because we loved it’. Ayi Jihu has carved out a historic career for herself becoming the first true-born Chinese RnB artist to transition successfully to the West. All that and independently too. She credits Michael Jackson and the Jacksons themselves for her inspiration. When asked about the Tag ‘Chinese Madonna’ She tells us it’s more about her business than her music. “Because I am independent and seen as a strong woman not part of the system who does my own thing in China, they compared me to Madonna in that respect, not because of my music or style which is very different. Obviously just like Madonna there are some out there who are not Ayi Jihu fans and seem to be on a mission to discredit me at every turn, but just like Madonna I continue to improve and move forward and I do not pay the ‘Haters’ any attention. I just keep working hard and doing my thing.”

Fast forward to the 19th of January 2014 from the small village in Leibo, Sichuan, China where she grew up and Ayi Jihu finds herself working with the Legendary Tito Jackson on track by Brazilian star Edu Casanova at Shlepp Studios in London. The Jackson’s are the biggest most well-known brand and name in show business. For Ayi Jihu they are the most important name, the inspirational name behind most she has done and now she has come full circle to realise one of her greatest dreams.

Tito Jackson and Ayi Jihu in the studio

Tito Jackson and Ayi Jihu in the studio

Tito Jackson flew in from Brazil having never met Ayi Jihu or Edu Casanova. Ayi Jihu and Edu Casanova have already collaborated on a track due for release later this year. Tito Jackson was introduced to the song ‘Bola Vez’, Edu Casanova and Ayi Jihu by his management. In Tito’s own words ‘I Checked out her [Ayi Jihu] website, music and story and I thought she was beautiful, talented and compelling. I also thought she is an important artist, someone who is in the right place at the right time in history,’ I loved the song and what I saw from Edu Casanova also. He is a passionate singer and songwriter. For me it was something I felt I had to get involved with for many reasons, not just the music.”

Tito Jackson with his Manager Vila billups and Ayi Jihu

Tito Jackson with his Manager Viola Billups and Ayi Jihu

For an artist like Tito Jackson, the very corner-stone of the Jackson’s getting back to music must be something to relish. With the press and media always hungry for all things Michael and his family in constant legal battles enjoying the simple pleasure of making music and being an artist must be a godsend for Tito. His sons (Who have a group of their own 3T) are also in London for the TV show The Big Reunion and Tito himself is working on a brand new album which he says is simply ‘Tito’. This gentle articulate gentleman is hungry to put the Jackson brand and focus firmly back onto music. Just like his brother Michael, Tito’s gentle manner completely disappears once he gets on stage or behind the microphone. It’s an almost 360 degree turn into a Showbiz Monster.

Ayi Jihu helps Tito with his portuguese in the studio in London

Ayi Jihu helps Tito with his portuguese in the studio in London

Tito flew in from Japan and headed straight for the studio. With the Jackson’s back on tour in the USA there was not much time in the UK. The press and media had also already got wind of his arrival and were laying in wait to speak to Tito and Ayi Jihu about their collaboration on this song with Edu Casanova. Not only did Tito and Ayi have to record in one day, they also had to shoot the promo video for the song. After a 16 hour flight, and no real rest Tito Jackson hit the studio and within a few minutes he was on the mic. When you have been brought up in music like Tito Jackson, the old school way, things like this are taken in ones stride. None of the extras, histrionics, moaning or ludicrous request of the so-called stars of today. Just in the studio and straight down to work. Old school, Professional, real.

Tito Jackson gets straight to work at Shlepp Studios in London

Tito Jackson gets straight to work at Shlepp Studios in London

Unfortunately Brazilian Singer songwriter Edu Casanova (and yes that is his real name) could not make it to London in time. Edu had just finished a live show in Bahia Brazil where hundreds of thousands of people turned up. Unlike many Western stars, Brazilian performers cannot perform for a few minutes and disappear. Three sometimes , four hour shows are common in Brazil. It was impossible to fly him to London in time. Edu Casanova is the writer and main artist on the song Bola Vez. The song Tito Jackson and Ayi Jihu are both featured on. The song is a fusion of Portuguese and English. A funky, almost Cool and the Gang ‘Get down on it’ type joint that makes it hard for you not to start moving. Produced by Peter (Doc B) Bielig in Brazil it could go all the way, especially when you think of the line up!

Stevie Eagle E and Peter Doc B - Peter Doc B produced the Bola Vez Track

Stevie Eagle E and Peter Doc B – Peter Doc B produced the Bola Vez Track

The UK side of the music and video production and also the director of the video: Stevie Eagle E and his Shlepp Entertainment team.
The producer of Bola Vez and is Peter Doc Bielig. Stevie Eagle E and Peter Doc B have worked together for over 20 years forming a successful artist and production team from which Shlepp Entertainment Ltd was created. EEDB (Eagle and Doc B) produced and wrote for Viola Billups and the Flirtations. Viola Billups is now the manager of Tito Jackson. Viola Billups who grew up with Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder and was herself a successful Decca recording artist was introduced to Ayi Jihu and Edu Casanova through Peter Doc B and that is how this whole collaboration came to be.

This collaboration as big as it is part of an even bigger picture. When one considers the fusion of music, cultures and artists and who they all reach, you begin to get an idea of just how big this could be. The biggest stars in the West are limited in China, due to language, culture and lets say Chinese Swag. The same can be said of the biggest stars in China. Music alone is not enough to cross over. You need to be accepted as a person and understood by the people you are singing to. This understanding does not always have to be language but it has to be something communicated which allows you to reach people who do not understand you. Perhaps thus far only Michael Jackson had mastered this conundrum. Now however Ayi Jihu seems to have this magical formula of being accepted and understood by both East and West, in fact by everyone! This allows her to open up the whole of China to other artist who collaborate and work with her bringing artist like Edu Casanova and Tito Jackson not just to the 200 million Chinese that may be able to understand them, but to Billions of Chinese everywhere.

Tito Jackson with Ayi Jihu and Stevie Eagle E from Shlepp Entertainment Ltd

Tito Jackson with Ayi Jihu and Stevie Eagle E from Shlepp Entertainment Ltd

This is reciprocated in Brazil and also the USA and Europe as Edu Casanova helps Ayi transition to Brazil and Tito Jackson helps her transition to the USA and the West. So what you have here is not just a musical collaboration, but a well thought out strategic and cultural collaboration that could signal a real change in the music industry over the next several years.

Masterminding all of this are several people Stevie Eagle E (Shlepp Entertainment Ltd ) Bernhard Storz (Storz Media GMBH) and Peter Doc Bielig. It is their vision and energy that has brought all these artists together and put this grand plan in place. Something individually and collectively they have been working on for over 10 years!

Tito Jackson with Bernhard Storz from Storz Media GMBH

Tito Jackson with Bernhard Storz from Storz Media GMBH

Peter Doc Bielig has almost completed the Edu Casanova album, working at the world-famous WR Bahia studios in Bahia Brazil. Ayi Jihu has already collaborated with Edu Casanova on Ilumina. She flew to Brazil late last year to record the song and also shoot the video with Edu. She also recorded and shot a video with another Brazilian rising star Maristela Muller. Another important part of this international puzzle.

Edu Casanova and Chinese Star Ayi Jihu new single Ilumina

Edu Casanova and Chinese Star Ayi Jihu new single Ilumina

The song Ayi Jihu recorded with Brazilian ‘Pop Princess’ Maristela Muller is called Xiboom and this is also due for release in 2014. All the artists are signed to Storz Media GMBH/Shlepp Entertainment Ltd. The constant theme throughout all of these collaborations is Ayi Jihu.

This international line up is preparing to tour the world taking their unique blend of music, culture and vibe to China, Europe, North America and beyond.

Maristela Muller and Ayi Jihu new track Xiboom

Maristela Muller and Ayi Jihu new track Xiboom

While the rest of the music industry tries to find its way in a changing world with shrinking domestic markets. This group of artists and mavericks are blazing a trail that leaves them way ahead of the competition. A combination of artists that cover practically all demographics with a huge global fan base and international cultural mix. Blending the roots of popular music with the future of popular music fusing languages and using social media to break down new markets.

We also have it on good authority that this global movement is not just about music but about social change and consciousness. The forthcoming tour will have a strong Anti-bullying and Cyber-bullying message, which will also include internet trolling (which is just another form of Cyber bullying) Something which Ayi Jihu and Tito Jackson have experienced first hand. The aim is to reach out to people especially the kids worldwide and change their perceptions about what is acceptable behavior to others no matter what race, culture, gender or persuasion they may be. This is something that Ayi Jihu has been advocating and preaching for several years now using her FearChaser alter ego as an example. With an established young audience of over 25 million kids who played her online Fearchaser™ Game she has a solid foundation for which to take her campaign global working with others like Tito Jackson and Edu Casanova.

Ayi Jihu Fearchaser™

Ayi Jihu Fearchaser™

So as the girl they call ‘The Chinese Madonna and the Legend that is Tito Jackson do the press and media round in the UK, speculation grows as to the future of this collaboration. A Collaboration that will include Edu Casanova in Brazil. Bola Vez maybe the first product of this Collaboration but it will not be the last.

Tito Jackson and Ayi Jihu meet the media in london

Tito Jackson and Ayi Jihu meet the media in london

There is a lot more to come from the Legend, The Madonna and the Casanova.

Follow more media news from around the globe @globalnewsink

Robert Redford reflects on 30 years of Sundance

By Emma Jones
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Robert Redford
Thirty years ago, movie star Robert Redford decided to create a film festival to promote America’s fledgling independent film industry. ” But I didn’t want to do it in New York or LA,” he says. “I said, let’s put it in Utah, let’s make it hard to get to. Let’s make it weird.”

Three decades on, the Sundance Film Festival at Park City in Utah is showing indie movies from 37 different countries and is bringing in about $375m (£228m) to the local economy. But although the event was responsible for “discovering” Oscar nominees such as Beasts of the Southern Wild and Winter’s Bone – which also launched Jennifer Lawrence’s career – Redford admits that, in 2014, independent cinema is, as he puts it, “still at the mercy of the distributors”.

“Hollywood is a business and it’s really good at it,” he says. “But if you’re looking at how films get nominated for Oscars for example, it’s all about the campaign that gets run. A lot of independent films – and I’d include my own latest film, All Is Lost in there – don’t have the funding for that.”

Chris O'Dowd
Red carpet style is low key at Sundance with woolly hats and ski jackets often being worn – Chris O’Dowd is at the festival with the film Calvary

Although Academy Award winners have come from the independent sector – including British film The King’s Speech – this year, Gravity and American Hustle, the leading contenders, are both studio films.

Mission statement
With low-budget movies squeezed by shorter theatrical releases and the advent of on demand and streaming services like Netflix, where does Redford see the business heading? “I don’t see Sundance’s business as being business,” Redford replied. “We are nothing to do with the box office, we are a non-profit organisation. We started Sundance as a place to come and develop new artists, with the ambition of creating a community and giving them a platform for their work. I don’t think our mission has changed at all. Thirty years ago, these people had nowhere to go. Now I’m very proud that actually, the directors of Gravity and American Hustle, Alfonso Cuaron and David O Russell, actually came up through Sundance, and now they work in the mainstream. I think independent films are seen by a bigger audience these days, and we do know that changing the platform of distribution is inevitable, and we will ride that wave. But look at something like Kickstarter – that is an innovation which is giving new life to independent cinema.”

Zach Braff
Zach Braff’s first film Garden State became a cult hit after it was shown in 2004

One Kickstarter-funded film screening at Sundance is “Wish I Was Here“, the first film Zach Braff has made since 2004’s Garden State. As well as Braff, the festival boasts its usual stellar list of acting talent who brave the snows of Park City, including Kristen Stewart, playing a Guantanamo Bay guard in Camp X-Ray, the debut feature film by graphic designer Peter Sattler.

A better experience
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon bring comedy with Michael Winterbottom‘s The Trip To Italy, while Keira Knightley has already received rave reviews for her part in Laggies, a coming of age 20-something comedy directed by Lynn Shelton, who set it in her hometown of Seattle. “Doing independent cinema is often a better experience than doing studio films,” explains Knightley. “There are so many retakes, and waiting to set up shots in blockbusters, that you can lose the momentum, particularly if you have to act against a green screen. In a low-budget film, you have to get it right and it’s like being in the theatre – you’ve only got one chance. Also, on Laggies, I got to live on a houseboat in Seattle and learn to skateboard a little, like my character. The only problem was they had no health and safety budget, so they’d hardly let me use it.”

Chloe Grace Moretz and Keira Knightley
Laggies stars Chloe Grace Moretz (left) alongside Keira Knightley

While the actors’ pay in independent cinema is often so low that only established stars can take the roles, Sundance has, nevertheless, launched new stars every year – from Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone to Felicity Jones in Like Crazy.

Biggest success
However, the festival’s biggest success remains its documentary programme, one of the first to be established at an event like this. Four out of the five Oscar nominees in this year’s documentary category debuted at Sundance in 2013.

This year, the event is screening films on subjects as diverse as former US presidential candidate Mitt Romney, film critic Roger Ebert and Star Trek icon George Takei, as well as real-life thrillers like The Green Prince – the true story of the friendship that formed between a Hamas informer and his Israeli handler. “I think Sundance has been a game-changer for the documentary,” remarks John Battsek, the British producer behind The Green Prince and last year’s Oscar winner, Searching for Sugarman.

John Lithgow, Alfred Molina
John Lithgow and Alfred Molina enjoy the relaxed atmosphere on the red carpet at Sundance – they are at the festival with their film Love Is Strange

“I think it’s helped elevate the documentary to the same status as a feature film, and shown it can perform just as well in cinemas. “Now the challenge is to continue making documentaries that have the same values and standards as a feature.” While 56 films compete across the different categories at Sundance, the reality is that only a handful will receive a theatrical release. Redford is adamant though, that the festival has a winning formula: “We are who we are and we’ll stay who we are,” he says. “And if I had a message for other festivals who want to do the same thing, I guess it would be ‘don’t even try.'”

The Sundance Film Festival runs until January 26, 2014
This article appears here with due respect to the Terms of Use of BBC Online Services

Chinese star Ayi Jihu becomes global Ambassador for Booker Autism Foundation of Louisville, BAFOL.

Chinese star Ayi Jihu becomes Global Ambassador for Booker Autism Foundation of Louisville

Chinese star Ayi Jihu becomes Global Ambassador for Booker Autism Foundation of Louisville

Chinese star Ayi Jihu yet again leads the way in her mission to bring people together and help people all over the world, part of her ‘Pay it forward’ approach to Charity and philanthropy by becoming the Global Ambassador for The Booker Autism Foundation of Louisville (BAFOL)

The mission of the Booker Autism Foundation of Louisville is to support people in their time of need and raise public awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders.

BAFOL empower families to enable their children, teens, and adults with Autism to reach their full potential. Not only to educate them, but to provide assistance in helping them to fulfill their lifelong goals. Such as: education, employment, and independent living arrangements. BAFOL has a team of dedicated volunteers who believe in this mission and put every effort in place to fulfill the mission.

Jasmine Booker founder and head of BAFOL

Jasmine Booker founder and head of BAFOL

Jasmine Booker Founder and Head of BAFOL said: “BAFOL is truly honored to pair up with China’s first truly independent R&B star and crossover artist to the West, Fear Chaser, Global Ambassador, Philanthropist, humanitarian and rising media icon Miss Ayi Jihu. We are very excited that she will be BAFOL’s Global International Ambassador.
This young lady is truly an amazing accomplished individual with a full career in music, television, and the film industry. Along with her hectic schedule, she still has time to dedicate her voice in being a great humanitarian; that is why BAFOL is pleased in announcing Miss Ayi Jihu joining our foundation by lending her voice and time to help others be aware of our journey and our goals in assisting individuals that live day-to-day with Autism Spectrum Disorders.”

“A Global Ambassador for BAFOL has the ability to reach others on a wider span. Therefore, they are able to inspire children/teens/adults along with other organizations to be encouraged to lend a helping hand in building a bridge across the world. By receiving this vital information on Autism Spectrum Disorders and the awareness that needs to be conveyed, will help bring about unity for this disorder. These are individuals who are truly committed to helping others and have demonstrated this by their efforts to motivate others to participate.”

Chinese star Ayi Jihu is Global Ambassador for The Booker Autism Foundation of Louisville (BAFOL

Ayi Jihu, who was announced Global Ambassador for SISHA (the anti human trafficking organization) the Anti Human Trafficking organisation based in Cambodia and Thailand, Australia and America told us: “This has been some year already, and i honestly do not know what is going to happen next. I was not even that clued up on Autism and then out of the blue Jasmine contacted me and if you ever speak to Jasmine you know saying no is not an option. She is so committed and full of energy and she is doing amazing things from nothing. I mean three kids is hard enough, three autistic children I cannot imagine and then with all that she sets up and runs BAFOL. I just had to get involved and help and do whatever I could do. My Manager Stevie Eagle E also has an autistic son and so he was very much up for this too. Shlepp Entertainment Ltd will be doing all they can to work with and help BAFOL. I am hoping to get be at a fund raiser for BAFOL in June and that’s when we shall really get things started. Right now I am doing all my homework on autism. A Global international Ambassadorship with BAFOL, is an individual that shares in being an advocate of bringing the awareness to other’s by displaying the image of BAFOL, they also acknowledge that they will speak on behalf of BAFOL and our goals on educating others about Autism Spectrum Disorder. So I have to know what I am talking about.”

Ayi Jihu is heading to Canada in may on a special tour during Chinese heritage month in Toronto. She will be presenting an Award a the NAMA’s with her Native American Fashion Designer and Stylist Angela DeMontigny. She will also be participating in the launch of the new Young Native™ Fashion Line.

For more information on BAFOL to Donate or get involved visit there website here.

For information on Ayi Jihu visit her website here.

AYI JIHU – Fear Chaser Star Fights Fear, Trafficking & Exploitation!

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hollywood it guy Eric Zuley
Chinese star Ayi Jihu a face that reaches a billion people

The long awaited Ayi Jihu single has finally arrived. The artist referred to as ‘The Chinese Madonna’ has not released a new track for almost a year concentrating and her philanthropic endeavors and her FearChaser® film. Ayi fans have been waiting a long time to see what this trailblazing artist would do next.

It just would not be Ayi Jihu or Shlepp Entertainment if they did anything anyone expected them to do now would it, and once again they stay true to their history and surprise as all again. Not that we should be surprised from a Chinese artist that coins a sentence no other international Chinese artist can right now, ‘Independent, Real Chinese and crossing over’. An artist that has broken the rules and made her own path from day one.

Before we get to the music we wanted to catch up with Ayi about what she has being…

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Myanmar - Yongon Taxis

Buddhist Monks hailing a taxi in Yangon, Myanmar


On a recent vist to Yangon, Myanmar – the country formerly know as Burma – it was clearly evident that the ‘old guard’ is changing rapidly! Myanmar sits at the crossroads of Asia’s great civilizations of India and China, and looks out onto the vast Indian Ocean next to Thailand.
Myanmar, Yangon Schwedagon Pagoda

Myanmar, Yangon Schwedagon Pagoda


One of South East Asia’s largest and most diverse countries, Myanmar stretches from the sparkling islands of the Andaman Sea in the south right up into the Eastern Himalayan mountain range. Myanmar offers all the traditional delights of Asia in one fascinating country; virgin jungles, snow-capped mountains and pristine beaches, combined with a rich and glorious heritage spanning more than two thousand years.

Spectacular monuments and ancient cities attest to a vibrant culture that is still home to 135 different ethnic groups. The country’s tourism infrastructure boasts five star properties, intimate boutique hotels and family guest- houses in all the major centers, as well as stunning mountain and beach resorts. Myanmar also boasts one of the lowest tourist crime records in the world, so visitors can rest assured their holiday will be carefree from start to finish.

Myanmar, Yangon Schwedagon Pagoda at night

A recce of some of the hotels and clubs in the downtown area of Yangon revealed a vibrant scene where wealthy locals intermix with high paid expatriates, business travelers and tourists in after hours establishments, which generally close at around 1am. These are distinct from the more traditional KTV, karaoke and singing show venues that are the preference for locals and the younger upwardly mobile generations on rising incomes. There exists ample opportunity to have playing in selected venues.

Investment into the country is booming, and greater changes will transform the capital into a vibrant bustling city … for more on these changes this recent article is worth the read … Burma Needs to Take Stock of the Market.

… More to come on my “In-Roads Insights” … Stay well, keep healthy!

TRI-US ENTERTAINMENT

The Extinction Protocol: 2012 and beyond

Having been focused on developing a number of my film projects, and neglecting updating this blog, I would like to draw your attention to a couple of blogs that have captured my attention and more to the point kept me coming back for more…

The publishers have been doing a great job of posting interesting, thought provoking commentary on global events… The Extinction Protocol: 2012 and beyond features selected articles, insights and perspectives on our existence in the face of weather phenomena that is described as irregular and unusal.

The Santos Republic

The Voice of the 21 Century Generation

Another very active and prominent blog site published by the renowned, outspoken and highly knowledgeable, Dr. M. J. Santos publishes daily news at “The Santos Republic” … Staying informed in this ever dynamic and changing world is more crucial than ever… in fact, your LIFE REALLY DEPENDS ON YOUR WILLINGNESS TO ADAPT & LEARN in the face of evolutionary change!

As and when time permits I will bring you more of my views and interests… but for the moment, film making is taking a front position…

Blessings,

James With - Son of a Gunn
James With, Son of a Gunn

If administrators of online social networks decide who uses their platform, and if Facebook decides who can stay and who can go based on its own self regulated Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, then should a particular social network be held accountable for allowing information to be posted? Pretty obvious that the answer to this is “YES” right?

Let’s go one step further … how many hundreds of millions of people can a social network influence with the content it allows to be propagated? Social Networks are a powerful modern tool, not only for social interaction, but also for modern warfare, psyops and influencing or marketing to large numbers of people for a driven purpose.

If that social network is Facebook, being a private company and running by its own set of strict rules, then it should also be responsible for what is being published on its site; the consequences of not being diligent enough in this self-imposed responsibility to global social netizens could prove to be the downfall of the company and its founder, billionaire Mark Zuckerberg. Is this new found internet wealth about to be suddenly ripped from his grasp?

Facebook is already battling on multiple fronts; it being sued by quite a number of individuals for the brash handing of people’s information that had been posted and shared on its private network… Facebook has been accused of unreasonably disabling users personal profiles and this arrogance in standing up and arguing their right to take such action, may now prove to be their undoing … with the speed of change being experienced in cyberspace, today’s paper billionaires could be tomorrow’s debtors.

It doesn’t really matter how much a company might be worth hypothetically if it is has to start investing millions of dollars in defending itself from mammoth claims of negligence and causative negative effect in the interests of national security… If a social network covers the globe, then it is also answerable to multiple nationalities and a vast array of nations with varying beliefs, legal parameters and social customs… Facebook has willingly waltzed into these jurisdictions, and in doing so, the management must understand that it is playing on fields that incorporate a whole spectrum of relevance…

Certainly, obvious cracks are beginning to appear on the cover of the Facebook bubble and the stakes are rising fast: Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, is known for his strong public interest advocacy in furtherance of ethics in government and individual freedoms and liberties, and now he has taken the first legal step against Facebook for their negligence on the issues of human rights and persecution. Facebook and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg sued for $1 BILLION

Larry Klayman not only has the reputation; he also has the experience and the legal skills to take the issue of corporate responsibility in terms of running and managing a global social network to a whole new level.

James With RAMBO

RAMBO - James With Sylvester Stallone


As RAMBO opens on atrocities of exploitation… introductory text fills the screen… “THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE KAREN FREEDOM FIGHTERS AND THE RULING BURMESE ARMY IS THE LONGEST RUNNING CIVIL WAR IN HISTORY“… and as I write this today it is still on-going

This is a struggle that is very real… Living and working in Asia, I see the constant persecution and exploitation that goes on … We must continue to fight against human trafficking and exploitation … the intensity that Sylvester Stallone puts into his RAMBO character, and in making every effort to draw awareness to this very real plight is something we must take on board… we must put our energy into the things that matter… the issues that need focus… and in doing so create a better world for all … this is precisely the meaning behind the RAMBO franchise of movies.

Although the Preacher Missionary character I played in RAMBO gets blown up at a pivotal point when the Burmese Army attacks innocent Karen Hill Tribe villagers, the words of the Preacher taken from Ephesians 3:16-19 resound eternally…

“…Out of the glorious riches he may
strengthen you with power through his
spirit in your inner being, so that
Christ may dwell in your hearts through
faith, and I pray that you, may have
power together with all the saints…”

Producing any media product requires investment funding. Merchandising is vitally important in the funding model of any celebrity or media project. Sylvester Stallone recently launched RAMBO inspired clothing and there is no doubt in my mind that this fashion line will enable Sly to continue to put his best foot forward… his long career presents a man of passion, sincerity and belief in doing the right thing for the right reasons.